12-6-13

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Speaking of squirrels, did you see this story?

and

or this one


YouTube link.

I had seen the rescued baby squirrel article (and pictures – OMG, how freakin’ CUTE), but hadn’t seen the fainting squirrel video! What is up with that squirrel? Did he get into some fermented berries or something??

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As I watched these Cheetah videos, I kept mentally adding Robyn captions – “mom, i’m clean enough!” and “do you SEE what I have to put up with?”

Yep. Now I want a baby cheetah!

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Did this link work? this picture made the top of my head fall off. just thought I’d share.

It certainly did… and now I need a wee shopping cart. Y’all are really making my shopping list interesting!

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Melfi looks like she has freckles. I don’t know if it’s the base of the whiskers that are really dark or if it’s the fur near the base, but I love her little freckles!

Fred was just pointing out the other day that she has freckles. All of the brown tabby Sopranos do, but hers are definitely very well defined.

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Denise asked:

I have a problem I’m hoping you and the cat experts who read your site can help me with.

On Wednesday I had to put my 13 year old cat, Gracie, to sleep. She had tumors in and around her ears, and she had gotten bad enough that it was time. I miss her, but I know it was best for her. The problem now is that my 16 year old cat, Lucy, who was her best friend, is grieving and lonely. I need help pulling her out of it – not only because she needs to move on, but because every time she goes upstairs to the spot where she and Gracie used to curl up together to sleep every day, she howls, really loudly. It’s a heartbreaking sound, and my husband and I have been very patient and understanding about it. But she started it two weeks before Gracie had to be put to sleep, because that’s when Gracie started feeling bad enough that she stopped going upstairs. So for two and a half weeks, we’ve each been getting woken up out of a sound sleep by that horrible wailing from upstairs.

I finally put in a pair of ear plugs last night, and slept through her yowling, but my husband can’t bring himself to do that, and he works odd hours, which means sleeping odd hours and not getting enough sleep even without Lucy waking him up whenever she feels lonely.

What can I do to get Lucy to stop making that noise? What can I do to make her feel less lonely? (Aside from getting a new cat, which isn’t going to happen.) Any ideas? I tried putting a stuffed animal up there where she lays, hoping she’d curl up with it, but she ignores it. What else can I do to help her feel better and help us get full nights of sleep again?

Kar said: I know, it breaks your heart but you’ve got to let grief go through the normal process. It will pass in a few weeks but may never get over it.

Would suggest extra cudddles and when she’s in that spot, snuggle with her. Let her know that she’s still got people and family that love and treasure her.

Diddleymaz said: sorry but the only answer is another companion, older cats need re-homing too.

I’m with Kar on this, I think giving her as much extra attention as you can is the thing to do. I don’t think that bringing another cat home would necessarily help – she misses Gracie specifically, and might not bond with another cat, since another cat isn’t Gracie. (Of course, she also might bond immediately – it’s hard to know!)

Any other suggestions, y’all? Please chime in!

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The last picture – – BEFORE I put on my glasses I thought, “Oh, a picture Robyn and Fred’s Thanksgiving table, how nice.” (Preparing myself for the picture of the feast with all the side dishes, turkey, etc…) THEN, I put on my glasses…. whoa, uh, WHAT WAS I THINKING???? hehehe! A bountiful harvest of Felines – ya’ll grow the best felines at Crooked Acres!!! Happy Caturday!

Could someone please pass the bowl of Corbie?? 🙂

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I once found an injured squirrel lying on the yellow line – and as I had an online contact who was a squirrel rehabber (a true squirrel nut, pardon the pun) I began the process of helping this little female. She’d suffered a serious head injury, and needed time, peace and ready food to have a chance to heal and be released.

It turns out that squirrels are quite gentle in general. She allowed me to treat her wound and slowly improved until she was eating normally – and no longer showing signs of her injury. I kept her in a huge cage in a spare room (away from my kitties) and fed her copious amounts of squirrel favs. She didn’t resist being handled, but I kept it to a minimum as I hoped she could be free again.

One day I noticed she had a visitor – another squirrel who sat in the pear tree outside the window. They seemed to be communicating and my little girl squirrel really wanted to go. I set her free on my 43 acres along with two or three months supply of food. As squirrels are quite territorial, I released her out where fewer of her kind were resident. I’ve seen her a couple of times since – recognizable due to the large bald spot of her tail.

and

I saw your comment on last year’s post for this date when you said you thought a squirrel would be a fun pet and I have a great story for you. I was on vacation in Orange Beach several years ago and my friend Lisa and I had gone to dinner at Tacky Jack’s. I noticed Lisa was watching something behind me and asked her what it was and she said “I think that guy’s got a live animal”. I turned around and sure enough, a guy a few tables over had a squirrel, not full grown, more like a teenage squirrel I guess. Anyway, the squirrel was on his back but the waitress approached the table with a shot glass full of water, I hope, and set it down. Guy plucks the squirrel off his back and sets him on the table so he can get a drink. Then as we watch – okay to be honest we were openly staring by this point – he picks the squirrel up and puts him in his pants pocket. And I don’t mean some big ole cargo pants either, he was wearing khaki dockers. And we can see the squirrel moving around in his pocket and about that time, he looks up at us, nods his head and says “I’ve got a squirrel in my pocket.” And I can say this is one moment I was just sick I didn’t have my camera with me.

These stories are AWESOME! And also not making me want a pet squirrel any less, for the record.

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I have a kitty issue and if you have any suggestions I would appreciate it. My oldest, Felix, who will be 12 this month, has started overgrooming himself. He had a tooth extraction in August, and before that it was only above his eyes. 4 weeks after the surgery he had bald patches show up on his legs and his belly is completely bald. I have tried an allergy test (no allergens showed), 2 blood tests (perfect except for whatever measures inflammation), switching dry food and to grain free wet food (dear god was that a nightmare with 11 cats), and giving him amnitryptiline in case it’s an anxiety issue. NOTHING is helping.

Other than the bald patches, he seems really healthy and happy. With all the food switching, he’s dropped a few pounds and now is more active than he’s been since he was a kitten. He wants me to play with him all the time and he’s a lot more affectionate. He doesn’t seem stressed out by the other cats…maybe irritated by one or two, but not stressed. The medicine only seems to make him sleepy.

I’m probably going to drag him back to the vet in the next few weeks, but I really am at a loss as to what the problem is. I hate to give him steriod shots because of his age, and other than the fact that he’s overgrooming, he seems healthy and happy.

If you or anyone else have a suggestion or a thought, I would really appreciate it!

Sephy Cat said: Could Felix be allergic to a specific protein or proteins? We adopted out a very sweet cat named Sara who kept licking her foreleg pits. Took 8 months and a vet change but the new vet took a look and prescribed science diet z/d and Sara’s problem disappeared overnight.

Also somewhat relevantly, our Joey had all four of her back molars extracted at once when she was 8.5-ish, around Aug 4 years ago as she was having trouble eating and lost weight-she thinks she’s vegetarian and would eat only cookies, no icky flesh of any sort thank you. It seemed to start an avalanche of issues over the next months for her. Firstly was the post-op antibiotics which made her puke so badly she needed to have injectable doses. She also seemed to be in such pain pain-patches had to be applied on her neck. She lost weight and groomed herself silly-from her shoulder blades downwards wherever she could touch she lick, with vengence, all the way to her tail tip. She looked truly disreputable. She also started alternately lurching, limping, half dragging herself around. As if that was not enough, she also started bumping into things and being insecure, sneaking around instead of padding about in her usual way. We were so distressed by the drama and but we couldn’t have left her teeth to rot either. The vet was also perplexed. Everything that could be tried we tried-feliway, aroma therapy, meds, med changes, everything! And countless trips to the vet, some stays, batteries of tests and even 2nd opinions. All results came back great, except for her locomotion, which was diagnosed as arthritis (she is a big ginger dsh), and her clumsiness which was a degenerative eye condition the specialist had identified as common in siamese and dogs… neither of which she resembled. She just kept wasting away, lurching around nekkid. We thought we had to prepare to say goodbye. But about 11 months in, she suddenly went into reverse gear, padded on weight and fur, and at her next vet follow-up its as if she was never a problem kit, except for her missing molars, arthritis which required monthly catrophen shots, and her progressive blindness, which nothing could be done for. The vet and us concluded Joey’s issues were mostly stress-related. It was probably a perfect storm of her teeth-extraction and her sight loss coupled with her arthritis coming together. The vet comforted us by telling us we couldn’t have anticipated all those conditions or the way they manifested so close to each other. But thinking back we realise there were little clues like putting out her front paws onto bed and sofa edges before jumping up was not just a cute habit, she probably started doing it because her sight started to gradually fail sometime past her 3rd year. We can only live with the effects and be thankful Joey figured it out herself, although she sure took her time! Today she is thirteen and probably fully blind but her conditions are being monitored and she is healthy apart from her known issues. A few months back she did give us another scare when she dropped weight, first time since her year in trauma, suddenly. But after repeated vet stays and meds, she is back in the pink and look to be staying so *fingers crossed*

Hopefully, Felix’ problem is a simple one and I’m sure Michelle and her vet will do all they can for Felix but I hope my little ramble help some. Good luck to Michelle and Felix!

Thank you so much, Sephy Cat! If anyone else has suggestions or tips, please chime in in the comments!

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Paulie Walnuts makes a good decision.


See the Mo, back right down away from her. Good choice, Paulie!


Silvio approaches the Mo.


The Mo does not care for the approach.


“That was a little rude, Miss Mo.”
Mo: :::fume:::


“I understand that I should not have gotten all up in your face, Miss Mo. Please forgive me.”
Mo: :::fume:::


Melfi gives it a try, and gets the usual response.


Alice Mo, just NOT a fan of those kittens, it seems.


Melfi went to her thinkin’ spot to ponder the interaction with Alice Mo, but to her displeasure, Jake was already there doing his own thinkin’.
“I HATE YOU, YOU STUPID LOONY JAKE!” Melfi lashed out.


Jake pondered what Melfi had yelled at him, and to be honest, it hurt his loony feelings a little.


::WHAP:: said Jake.


“THAT WAS VERY RUDE AND I’M TELLING ON YOU AND I HATE YOU,” Melfi yelled.
“I AM THE JAKE AND THIS IS MY SPOT AND YOU GO AWAY RIGHT NOW, YOU LITTLE WHIPPERSNAPPER,” yelled Jake.

And she did.

Here are the last couple of pictures I have of Livia, from before she went to Petsmart. I stopped by Petsmart yesterday, and she was curled up in her bed, sound asleep. Not adopted yet – but not stressed out, it seems.


Silly girl.

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Oh, Corbie. You beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL boy. I just cannot stand how beautiful you are!

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Previously
2012: “PUT SNACK RIGHT HERE IN MY MOUTH RIGHT HERE!”
2011: For the Love of Cats review and giveaway.
2010: Bobby haz a complaint.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: I might as well go ahead and buy another six beds so there’s room for him IN THE FRICKIN’ HOUSE.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.

Comments

Comments

12-6-13 — 43 Comments

  1. When I was in about 8th or 9th grade, a baby squirrel (just old enough to have eyes open but still nursing age) was found by a student in one of the girls’ bathrooms. Our art teacher did some animal rescue (she had a pet blind raccoon, for example, that she had found by the side of the road as a kit and gotten permission to keep (from the state wildlife people I guess?)), and they took the baby squirrel to her and she sent someone out to get some kmr and I got to hold and feed it! She raised the squirrel and kept it.

    • What am I doing wrong that I’ve never encountered a baby squirrel? Wouldn’t you think, given the huge number that race around on the trees and tease the cats that I would have come across even one at some point?

      • The squirrel that I rescued and rehabbed was literally lying on the yellow lines in the center of the road – and not moving. It was because of my online squirrel friend that I started stopping to check these little guys to see if they were still alive, as many get hit again when they might only be stunned. I’m amazed that I never came across any babies who needed raising.

        I’m not saying that one can always stop in the midst of heavy traffic – but whenever possible I do – and if they’re gone, I can at least give them the dignity of being moved off the road.

        I once rescued a cat under nearly the same circumstances. She appeared to be a goner, but as I passed, she raised her head. A back injury had kept her from getting off the road. She did make a pretty good recovery after all the swelling went down, though she walked a bit like she was tipsy.

  2. “wee shopping cart”…..Lordy, what an adorable picture! Robyn, you can have the shopping cart….I want the two kittehs!!!!

    Poor Melfi, just can’t get no lov’n!

  3. I sure wish we could see updates from the Starks…Arya and Jon Snow especially….

    Oh…and from Ruth (The Dragons)…..

  4. Poor Jake….ticked off kitten attack and it is all Alice’s fault. 🙂

    About Lucy – I wonder if they have beds or blankets that they haven’t washed that maybe they can move around so a common scent is still there. While sometimes I agree a second cat is a good idea, that may be a bit much for a 16 year old girl who is greiving. Time love patience….

  5. The last photo of Melfi and Loony Jake, without the context, kind of looks like both of them are guffawing at a good joke while Jake slaps his knee. “And then the clown said, ‘Those aren’t MY shoes!’ Bwahahaha!”

  6. I don’t usually comment or read the comments, but I had to today because I jumped when reading one of the featured comments in your post. Specifically, the one from Sephy Cat about her adopted-out kitty, Sara. Because my name is Sara. And I have a cat named Persephone. Who we call Sephy Cat (among other things.) Too. Weird.

    • I come back several times a day to read the comments. It’s wonderful to connect with other cat people.

        • Yup, I do that too. Sometimes in the morning, I even go back to the previous day’s post to see if I missed any comments… or any of Robyn’s answers. I enjoy the comments almost as much as the blog post itself. One big reason is that people often point out things in the pics that I never noticed. Also, there are just some very funny stories that people share, not to mention some pretty hilarious remarks and comebacks. And Robyn’s responses are always entertaining too. So this blog provides me with multiple moments of amusement each day!

  7. Regarding overgrooming, my cat Bunny started doing that last fall. She had a UTI that went undiagnosed for several days because I was on vacation. I got her on an antibiotic as soon as I got home but she overgroomed her whole backside to the point of self-mutilation. It was so bad the vet was afraid he would need to surgically remove some of the tissue that was so swollen from the constant licking and biting. We tried several medications and found that Prozac works for her. She still grooms more than my other cats but it isn’t to the point of actually harming herself now. I hope to wean her off the Prozac but a couple of attempts have been unsuccessful, as soon as the dose goes down the licking cranks back up again.

  8. With regards to Lucy – we had two cats from the lanky kitten stage until 14 years when the Siamese died. The little Brit spent WEEKS walking around the house with some catnip toy or the other yowling her “I’ve got something really awesome and you should totally come see it” yowl trying to get the Siamese to appear. She was also super needy, nervous and so miserable and lonely that we decided to get a pair of kittens to occupy her attention (the Brit was never really good with any other cat but the Siamese). We finally got the kittens 8 months later and although the Brit calmed down a little in the intervening time, the additions of kittens helped her immensely. She hated them, but she wasn’t lonely and quit trying to find the Siamese. We went with 2 kittens because of the Brit’s age: we felt that it wouldn’t be fair to a single kitten to put it through the same thing when the Brit died and two kittens would play with each other (mostly) and not exclusively with the Brit.

    If another cat is just not in the cards (and I understand, I had a really hard time even looking at Siamese cats after mine died and I *love* Meezers), then I guess extra attention to might be the key? I just know from experience that even hating the kittens was less lonely for my Brit than having no companionship at all. The best news though is that the Devon kitten, who we refer to as Ambassador TinyCat, decided that the Brit was the most awesome thing to curl up to and sleep with so within a week the action was tolerated and now, three years later, they are often found piled on top of each other.

    • What a great happy ending!!! My Josh walked around the house crying for his sister. That yowl will just rip your heart right out of your chest. It just broke my heart for him. I gave him extra snuggles and extra conversations. In the end, it was Emma (new cat – compliments of Chick-fil-a) that gave him solace.

    • I love that the wee Ambassador and the Brit became BFFs. My favorite stories are those where two unrelated cats become best friends. It just gets me RIGHT THERE, you know?

  9. So of course I had to Google about the fainting squirrel, only to find out he is an Internet sensation and that mainstream news media have been doing articles about what might be wrong. The most comprehensive seems to be from The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/tippy-the-fainting-squirrel-becomes-youtube-star-as-video-of-cute-collapsing-rodent-goes-viral-8979853.html

    Things I would not know if I didn’t check in here everyday!

    Love the kits interacting (albeit not well) with the permanent residents!

    Very happy that Livia is not stressed, but come on, people – we know her family is out there…they need to get a move on!

  10. I’ve seen the squirrel vid before and wondered if the poor thing had a squirrel version of fainting goat syndrome aka myotonia congenita which dogs can also have. If so it might not last too long 🙁

    Corbie is indeed a gorgeous cat.

  11. Regarding cats who overgroom — I had a female who started overgrooming around 12 yrs of age and the vet diagnosed a hormonal imbalance. The prescription was a half a doggie birth control pill. She was on that for the rest of her life, and it solved the problem. Now, how that could translate to a male like Felix, I have no idea, but for what it’s worth…

    We’re currently in the process of introducing two little ginger girls (sisters, 17 weeks old) to the older pair of sisters (6 1/2 years old), so the Miz Poo and Jake pictures above are all too familiar sights! We’re only on day 2, so I have hope that it will all even out…with patience. 🙂

    • My kitty overgroomed, too (lower abdomen and inner thighs). However, I found out she developed a food allergy to the treats I was giving her. I even took her to a vet specializing in allergies. He stated that she had psychosomatic anosplasia (sp?) – bored. I knew that was bull-crappy!! So, I investigated more myself. I took everything out of her diet except her basic food (chicken ….never do beef as it is high in allergic reactions). Well, she totally improved. As I added stuff back, I zeroed in on the culprit. It might be worth doing just incase your vet is off the mark like mine was.

      • I second this. My Pandora had periods of overgrooming, and it finally came down to food sensitivities. She’s on a grain-free canned diet now, with no beef.

  12. Corbie looks like he’s waiting for his litter-carriers to convey him around the house.

    I love Livia’s v-shapred Tongue! Some one needs to snap her up quickly.

    I’m surprised at Jake’s snapping. I thought that he was pretty much ok with kittens. Or maybe he’s ok with their food.

    • He’s a pretty good friend to the kittens, but Melfi was a little worked up after her interaction with Alice Mo, so he had to put her in her place. He’s done plenty of kitten snuggling lately, though. Sometimes he has to do the hard work of teaching the kittens their manners before he allows the snuggling. 🙂

  13. Alice Mo, the Calico, doesn’t like those kittens, yo!

    I know it seems odd, but I really like seeing pictures of the older cats, whether they are permanent residents or fosters, getting hissy with kittens (and vice versa). As long as there isn’t any serious cat-on-kitten violence going on, I think it’s pretty funny! Something about their goofy facial expression just amuses me. Go figure, right?

    • The permanent residents know that it’s important to teach those little brats their manners! 🙂 The only cat I really ever have to speak to about being rough with the kittens is Stefan (most of the cats will hiss or smack at the kittens, but don’t go after the kittens once the kitten backs off) – but then when he walks away from the kitten after (in my opinion) he’s been too rough with them, they almost always follow him and jump on him or entice him to play. So I guess what I consider “too rough”, they consider having a good time!

  14. for the grieving cat:

    I am a huge fan of the bach’s flower remedies. They also make Rescue Remedy of the same stuff (they just mix a couple of them to make it) and they have a whole host of essences that address a multitude of issues, and I know they have ones for grief and restlessness and what not.. http://www.bachflower.com/ You can find them at most health food stores and they have pamphlets to help you navigate through which ones will be helpful to you (as does the website)

    I’ve also had a lot of luck with Spirit Essences helping feralish kittens. They have a boat load, and it looks like three or four of them might help your situation http://store.jacksongalaxy.com/Spirit-Essences-for-Cats-s/1816.htm they aren’t cheap, but they do help.. (and the key word is help, they are not medicine, they do not have an immediate impact, it just makes it easier for the kitty to get past what it needs to get past)

    or you can go see your vet for some actual medicine. Prozac can help..

    To the over grooming kitty:
    My thought would be a food issue too. see if you can’t get your kitty over on to a limited ingredient diet. I am NOT a fan of z/d food at all, but it is very good at not setting off allergic reactions. I would say try a limited ingredient diet but what if your kitty is allergic to say the chicken in the food? Try a hypoallergenic diet for a few weeks to a month or so and see how it works out. If the kitty stops licking, then you know you have an allergy and you can try a limited ingredient diet and see if you can’t figure out what the cat is allergic to (or you could do allergy testing)

  15. I wish I had better advice for Lucy, the grieving cat, other than lots of love and attention. It will get better, but you may have a different relationship with Lucy.

    Our seemingly independent cat became extremely needy after our dog died. It seems she depended on the dog for safety–if the dog was ok with a situation, a person or another animal, Kitty was ok too. Now, three years later, she’s with either my husband or me all.the.time! Another pet is not feasible for us, so we’ve become her pals. (although she seems to love our Betta and he returns the love; people freak when they see them touch noses)

  16. Wow – have you seen Christmas Cats – a project of the North Shore Animal League? http://www.christmascats.tv/ Live streaming of cats and people in Christmas setting, with Christmas music playing – and all the cats are up for ADOPTION! It can be a little whacky depending on the humans involved at any particular time, but I’ve never seen anything like this – way to go, North Shore – get those kitties adopted!!!!

    Here is a bit from the site – it is only on through today:

    Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is ringing in the holidays with the launch of “Christmas Cats TV,” an interactive, live steam Christmas scene set to run December 4th – December 6th. For three days, eight hours a day, people at home can watch a LIVE stream of a wacky grandma “cat lady” in her home, rocking, knitting, and hanging out with room full of adoptable cats available for adoption from North Shore Animal League America.

    “Christmas Cats TV” allows an online visitor the opportunity to watch the silly antics between grandma and her cats unfold, the public will also be able to participate while enjoying music from Legacy’s Classic Christmas Album series. Visitors will be able to chat with others on the site and influence the live stream of the Christmas Cats holiday tableaus via Twitter for instant results, view the Christmas Cat bios, check out Christmas Cat playlists and help find homes for Christmas cats available for adoption all while listening to classic Christmas music.

  17. This probably isn’t Felix’s problem, but my kitty Maggie had a horrible over grooming problem that worsened over several years. As soon as she started her medication for her hyperthyroid the over grooming stopped immediately. She also had a bit of a tick (her head would wobble back and forth) and it also disappeared as soon as she started her meds.

  18. I had a cat that over groomed her tail. All that was left was a thin strip of fur in the middle. She was reacting to stress caused by a small child in the household. She stopped over grooming after I adopted her. I later adopted a cat that over groomed her abdomen due to flea bite allergy. She was previously allowed outside with supervision. Both of my cats had to have flea baths at the vet’s office. I had to treat my carpet and upholstery during their absence.

  19. One more idea about the over-grooming; my tortie started overgrooming her lower belly and her inner-back legs. The caused turned out to be blocked anal glands. The vet said the overfull glands were making her uncomfortable, hence the over-licking of just those specific areas.

    I was surprised, being sure it must be an allergy of some sort.

    Just one more theory to test. Hope it helps.

  20. Regarding Felix, we’ve had two cats who have had similar problems. The first ended up being a protein allergy and we had to switch him to Z/D food. He’s not had a problem since. The other had multiple tests and found nothing wrong. She just seems to obsessively groom at times (herself and her litter mate brother). We now put either a cone or a dog t-shirt on her (depending on what area she’s obsessing on it’s usually her front legs) so she forgets about it until it heals. We’ve had a lot of success with this and fortunately only have to do it once or twice a year now. Good luck!

  21. In regards to Felix: my stepfather swears by Colostrum added to the food (https://www.immunetree.com/product.php?product_id=7). He says it fixes many issues in older cats & they have had many positive changes in their older cats or when any of their cats have been ill. I hope he feels better soon!

    Robyn – I think your Thanksgiving-cat-table is awesome!