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While I remember the Maura story, I clicked the link so I could chuckle over it again. And what did I see at the top of the page? BABY CORBIE! I forgot how he used to look. And while he is a beautiful cat, he was an abso-stinking-lutely GORGEOUS kitten.

You are for sure not going to get any argument from me! He was a stunning little guy, wasn’t he?


Speaking of hissing around, that’s going on here following an all-day absence of one cat, Ellie, at the vet’s getting dental work done–cleaning, some extractions (and she’s only 3 years old, but it would seem that’s when this stuff starts…UGH). The other cat, pretty close to the same age, seemed to enjoy being an only cat for the day, and since Ellie’s return has been nasty to her, hissing, growling. Even this morning it is still going on…hoping that as Ellie starts smelling more like herself (to Lizzy–she doesn’t smell to us humans!) and less like vet/stranger this will die down. She was friendly to and played with Ellie prior to this altho she treated the late Mabel like dirt…hoping it’s not a mental block that won’t change. Has this happened with anyone else, and what was the outcome? Kind of wishing I’d scheduled them both the same day!

I think that after a few days, Lizzy will calm down and remember that Ellie’s her friend. But if anyone has suggestions on how to speed up that process, please chime in!


Lilybet is almost as pretty as my Harley! Do all torties have one light paw? Harley’s left front is tan, too. And I’m glad I’m not the only one doubting Lilybet’s pregnancy!

The only other tortie I have in the house at the moment (Miz Poo) has two white paws, so I’m going to say that no, not all torties have one light paw and one dark. (Though I’ve had plenty of tortie fosters, and it’s driving me a tiny bit nuts that I can’t think of who might have had one light and one dark paw!) I love that Lilybet has a “dark” side and a “light” side, though.


Robyn-as someone who is new to cats and kitties and the whole feline reproductive system, could you give us a little background into it? What is a cats general gestation? How do you know when they are pregnant, or even ready to be? What is the average litter size? Thanks.

A cat’s gestation period is 58 – 67 days, with 64 days being the average, at least according to Wikipedia.

I, personally, know that a cat is pregnant because someone tells me so. I wholeheartedly believed that Maura was pregnant because she looked pregnant. I mean, come on – go look at the picture at the top of this page and tell me that doesn’t look like a pregnant cat! I mostly believe that Lilybet is pregnant because a vet tech with 20 years of experience said that she is – and also because I want her to be pregnant because having wee baby kitties from the day of their birth is such a cool experience. Past a certain point, you can tell that a cat is pregnant because you can see the babies moving around in her big ol’ belly.

I’ve read somewhere that cats can start going into heat as young as six months, but it can also happen earlier. Since Kara, Maggie, and Brandywine all went into heat before I had them spayed, I can tell you this – if you’ve got a cat in heat, you’ll know it. If she’s suddenly super friendly and raises her back end into the air every time you touch her, get her to a vet ASAP!

I’ve read that the average litter is 3 – 5 kittens. In my experience, Kara had 4, Emmy had 4, and Maggie had 6, so I’d have to say 4 – 6. Maybe Lilybet will have 5!


Re: Black cats – This was just posted on Dog Shaming.

Awwww. So sweet!


I have wanted to share something with the L&H community for a while – the Stimulo feeding station by Aikiou. It took my two a bit of time to get the hang of it but now it’s the only place they can get their dried food from and they have become quite good at it. I originally bought it more as an enrichment type of thing to make mealtimes a bit more interesting (plus I’m a sucker for anything marketed for cats) but a very welcome side effect has been that Abby, who used to more often than not immediately puke up dried food after eating it (because she ate it so fast – she is like a vacuum that cat) has been stopped from eating so quickly, and miraculously the puking has stopped. Well it has almost stopped I think… I can’t be certain that she did the one I found the other day. One of the problems with having two cats!

Just thought I would share in case there are any cat mamas and papas out there who want to give their kitties some enrichment and/or have a bit of a puking problem on their hands.

Thanks for listening, and sorry for those of you with sensitive stomachs!

Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve thought of getting something like that for Jake. He’ll Hoover* up anything you put down for him; he’s not overweight, but I think something that feeding station might slow him down and keep him a little more interested.

*Typing “Hoover” reminded me that as I was looking through my folder of cat names, I found an email I sent to myself with the names Doover, Hoover, and Cooper. I have no idea where that came from (or what I’d call the litter as a whole), but it made me laugh.


So before Christmas I took in a small female cat. She’s good cat overall but doesn’t really know how to be loved. She’s good with me, lets me pick her up and the like, but several of my cats pick on her. And the problem is when they pick on her, she corners herself and howls like the dickens – sounds like she’s dying. If any of the cats get near her when she’s awake she growls at them. I know she got attacked by another cat before I brought her inside because she had an abscess. I have some calming stuff you add to their water which I might try, but might anyone else have any suggestions if that doesn’t work. I’ve never had this problem with the others, even my Ginger who is still semi feral and won’t let me near him gets along fine with the other cats.

Oldcat said: Feliway is supposed to be good at calming cats, although I’ve had issues with it here. Another thing to try is to make sure she has a safe way out or up so she can’t get cornered. This seems to help the nervous types, and keeps the other cats away from the eye to eye fight.

I agree with Oldcat – if she has an escape route to get away from the other cats, she’ll probably use it. I’d also give Feliway a try, and also maybe Rescue Remedy.

If anyone out there has other suggestions, please feel free to share!


I got pictures of Sungold (Sunny) and Mr. Stripey from Lynn! They certainly look happy in their forever home, don’t they?

That’s Tika (black cat) and Tabby on the back of the couch, and the boys in the bed on the floor.

Checking out one of the many cat trees!

I love the looks on Tika and Tabby’s faces. They’re thinking “What the – ? Who are these INTERLOPERS?”

Cat trees galore at Lynn’s place.

And cat TV!

Lynn reports that the boys are doing great, and she absolutely loves them. They’re the snuggle bugs she was hoping for, and I’m sure they’re quite the entertainment, too.

Thanks for the update, Lynn! I love seeing their little faces again. 🙂


Maybe she’s like one of those pregnant ladies that doesn’t look pregnant until like three days before she gives birth, and then she’s ALL belly?

She is SUCH a little nut.

I love her orange tabby stripes.

Yesterday I was hanging out with Lilybet, and Mercury was howling and howling, because she could hear my voice but not get to me for petting. So I cracked the door open, planning to let she and Lilybet sniff each other.

Well, Mercury pushed through the door and started running around and wildly sniffing every inch of that room. She completely ignored Lilybet, who was following her around hissing and growling, and finally I picked Mercury up and put her out so as not to stress Lilybet. And Lilybet just looked at me like “Do not let that happen again.”


Kennebec is such a chill boy.

Mercury, checking out the mantel in the dining room.

And hanging out on my desk.

Everyone loves the window bed.

Baby Beans on the chair in the guest bedroom (where he spent most of yesterday).

I’ll be heading out of here in a little while to drop Kennebec, Mercury, and Baby Beans off at Petsmart. It was just a tiny bit insane around here yesterday with all those cats running around. I’m going to hate the drive back to Petsmart (maybe I should take ear plugs). I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they ALL get adopted this weekend, because they sure are good kitties.


I love Corbie’s jaunty curling-up-on-the-ends whiskers.

I wish I could remember to tell you how gorgeous he is. I seem to keep forgetting, though (HA).


2012: Everett’s got the grumpies.
2011: (Fred calls that “Robyn math”)
2009: No entry.
2008: Inevitably, Mister Boogers gets in on the warmth, and stretches out and sleeps the sleeps like a log.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



2-8-13 — 50 Comments

  1. Doover, Hoover, and Cooper sound like frat nicknames – the frat is Phi Phi Phi and the other members are Looper, Trooper, Boomer, Bloomer, Blooper, Woofer, Noodle, Pooper, Doodle, Swooper, Spoofer, Snoozer and Moocher. Phi Phi Phi is famous for their ‘nip parties, they’ve installed climbing walls all over the house and are always on super secret double probation.
    When the Phis are home, they mostly hang out in the glassed in front porch and spy on their neighbors. They’re no longer invited to parties at other frats – the shredded furniture, hidden vomit, food stealing and unholy habit of yowling when they get wound up – have made them unwelcome all over campus.
    (Woofer got his nickname by getting all nipped up and then playing fetch like a damned dog – he’s still trying to live down the shame)

  2. Robyn, I do believe you have committed a heinous crime against Corbie-hood! You called him merely “beautiful” up there and seemed to be asserting that he was only gorgeous as a kitten. On behalf of all Corbie groupies, I respectfully request that you change the offending word to GORGEOUS and then assert that he was more gorgeous as a kitten. Those are the only acceptable terms with which to refer to the King Corbie!

    Thank you.


  3. The found posts are arranged chronologically, with the most recent on top. If you scroll down, you’ll see all the posts tagged with “Corbie”. You can refine your search to include the word gorgeous, but who am I kidding? All the Corbie posts have the word gorgeous in them!!


    • Thanks. One would think I would know these things … I teach elementary computer skills 😉 But L&H is the first thing I read each day, and my coffee hasn’t always kicked in.

  4. My tortie Maggie has the “split” color paws. One set of paws on one side is black and the other is the lighter cream tortie coloring. Also, something I didn’t notice until the vet pointed it out to me several years ago is that her whiskers on one side are white and the other side black.

  5. I’ve always been curious about cats with Tortie complexions. Were those extremely varied color patches a bred trait? If it’s natural, maybe it makes for really good nighttime woodland camouflage.

    • The patches come from the fact that the Orange gene (that replaces black color with orange color) is on the Sex determining X chromosome. So females have two, males only one. At some point in development each part of the female body decides to use one of the two X and the other is turned off. The portions of a cat that turn off the Orange X develop into black, the ones that use the Orange X develop orange color.

      This is essentially random, so odds are one of the four paws will be more orange than black, the others the reverse. My blue-creme tortie had one creme toe on the front foot that stood out.

      Whiskers tend to follow skin color, but larger ones go white.

  6. Corbie was THE cutest, oops I mean THE most gorgeous, kitten! Thanks for resharing those pics. Also thanks for the info about pregnant cats. I sure hope she has 5 babies-that will be fun. The “Hoover” comment made me remember that over the summer there were a few posts from viewers/readers talking about names and themes. I remembered that someone had posted about a vacuum cleaner naming theme: Hoover, Dyson, Lux (as in Electrolux), Kirby, and some others were mentioned.
    Link is here: https://www.love-and-hisses.com/index.php?s=themes

    • In all honesty (no matter how much I love love love kittens), I hope her litter is very small…one or two. I only say this because I volunteer at my local shelter (yep, a kill shelter) and there are already sooooo many there that need homes. I know this is true across America and the world. When my neighbor would not spay her dog and she got knocked-up, she had 9 puppies. I found homes for 7 of them. I did tell my neighbor that because of her, 9 dogs/puppies died at the pound because if those people had not gotten on of hers, they would have adopted from the shelter. Sorry to be Debbie Downer. I just thought a reminder was in order.

      “Don’l litter! Spay and neuter!!!” And I will add in, “Don’t shop! Adopt!!!”

        • Also, can you imagine what a spoiled rotten prince or princess an only kitten would be? Almost makes me hope it happens. 🙂

          • no you don’t. Only kittens are horrible. “Only Kitten Syndrome” is true and it isn’t much fun to work with. They are spoiled rotten and they tend to be biters and scratchers because they don’t have siblings to teach them that it hurts.

  7. Lizzy – my Jack does this every time he leaves and comes back or Kate leaves and come back. It even happens if I take them both at the same time. Poor Kate will look at me with sad eyes as if to say “why is he being so mean to me?” It generally passes in about three days and all goes back to normal.

    • Ruth and Nicole — I have been able to speed up the re-entry process when just one cat has gone to the vet (or whatever) by putting some scented lotion on my hands and then stroking down the bodies of ALL the cats. So they all smell the same (and stinky, in their opinion). I don’t leave a lot of lotion on their fur, obviously, but just adding the stinky scent to everyone seems to put them back on even (albeit disgruntled) footing. And the scent (and peevishness) usually wears off in about 3-4 hours. Also, during that 3-4 hours, they are so focused on their own fur and the smell that they don’t spend a lot of time interacting with each other. Currently I’m working through a small tube of Clinique lotion scented with their perfume Happy that I got in a Clinique Bonus!

  8. I had forgotten how beautiful kitteh Corbie was — truly outstanding and still is.

    My tortie, Slinky, looks a lot like mama-to-be Lilybet. I wonder if she’ll have a bebee tortie? Will be interesting to see!

  9. thanks! holding my breath today. Ellie didn’t do herself any favors last night when they were both running ahead of me, canned food in my hand. Nobody runs fast enough for miss E and she soared over Lizzy and miscalculated or something because she landed squarely on top of Lizzy, with the expected explosion of hissing! I was laughing so hard I almost couldn’t move! Thanks for the reassurances.
    I’m falling in love with Lilybet, she’s such a beauty and so lively-looking. Of course nobody beats the gorgeousness of Corbie, young or mature. Keeping fingers crossed that smart and kind people will adopt the Crooked Acres kitties at Petsmart this weekend, too.

  10. Robyn, seriously, I wish you had *told* us how gorgeous Corbie is. It’s quite a shock to the system to come across such pictures!

  11. Dang, Corbie was an absolutely adorable kitten. Love that striped belly.

    So glad Sunny and Stripey are doing so well, obviously they landed in a cat lover’s house. When the cats have bigger and more expensive furniture than the humans, that says something.

  12. The whole Hoover comments got me thinking that vacuums would make awesome kitty names! Hoover, Oreck, Bissell, Dyson and Kirby..

  13. Technically, Miz Poo would be considered a Calico and not a Tortie. From my understanding, if your Tortie has any white fur on them, they roll over into the Calico category.

    • My vet would second this, as my Zowie has a white locket in her otherwise dilute tortie markings, and thus she always calls Zowie a calico. However, IMO, she’s a tortie. One white patch does not a calico make. 🙂

  14. My Ruby (the former Willie Rae of my foster room) had a full tortie mama, two tabby siblings, and two Siamese siblings. Ruby falls into the delightfully confusing “other” category. The vet has her listed as a dilute tortie, but she has tabby stripes and orange patches. I’m calling her a torbie… her stripes do change color in mid-stream. But is there an official designation for that?

    Also, Robyn… the consensus on my blog is that we have a Magoo Jr in residence. Should I put him on “hold” for Fred? 😉

  15. OK – have to admit I hadn’t read about Maura and having seen several preggers cats, I would have said she was as well. I was volunteering at a local shelter at one point and we had this siamese girl come in and we actually crated her in our medical office as we (myself and the very experience vet tech) were sure she was going to pop. Turns out it was pyometra….poor baby.

    That Corbie….. OMG!!!!!

  16. Ellie, at the vet’s getting dental work done–cleaning, some extractions (and she’s only 3 years old, but it would seem that’s when this stuff starts…UGH). The other cat, pretty close to the same age, seemed to enjoy being an only cat for the day, and since Ellie’s return has been nasty to her, hissing, growling.

    I can suggest a cure for that: Stick your hands into a bag of kitty kibble to get kibble dust on them, then rub down the cat that’s being hissed at, to transfer to kibble smell. Instead of smelling nasty evil VET SMELL, the hissy cat will smell FOOD and stop being upset. It worked for my cat that went into hiss overload whenever the other cat came home to the vet.

  17. My vet suggested, I tried, and it worked great – when you return home from the vet with one cat, they will smell wrong to everyone still at home – so, get a wet wipe like you can buy in packages in the toilet paper aisle, or a baby wipe if you have one, and just run it down the back of every cat in the house. Then they all smell the same and no one can be pegged as a sudden stranger. Sounds silly but I do it and have not had the big hissies since.

    • I’m going to have to use some of these suggestions. Hannah and Murphy are at each others throats when one comes home from the vet. It’s soooo sad to see considering they sleep together and give each other baths everyday. Just took Hannah for another seizure checkup on Friday and its been madness since.

  18. Thanks for the suggestions, good to file for future use–yes I think a truce has been reached here!!
    also thanks for the updates on the adoptees who are faring so well, love to read about them.

  19. Corbie is gorgeous, and his kitten pictures, oh my gosh what a little darling!
    Lilybet looks more like a playful kitten than a pregnant momma!
    Yay for Sungold and Mr. Stripey! Love the update! The big stretch looking at the fish, too cute!!
    Fingers crossed that the guys returning to petsmart get adopted fast!