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Robyn – I noticed the robin and I’m wondering do you have the problem of a lot of dead birds with so many outdoor cats. I have three adorable cats and one is a outside cat (even in -40C he will go outside for a little bit) but he’s constantly bringing me dead birds. You would think the birds would smarten up and avoid our backyard!!

I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know how many dead birds we end up with – the outside cats have learned that we are SO not appreciative of their gifts, and so they either carry them away from the house or eat them. Every now and then I’ll find a pile of feathers or a small piece of a wing that indicates that a bird was caught (or maybe nearly caught). We’ve had half-dead birds brought into the house in the past, but far fewer than you’d expect.

When I see a cat running across the yard with something in their mouth, my first reaction is to run for the back door and shut it so that they can’t bring it into the house! Of course, now that I said that, I’m reminded that only a couple of weeks ago, Fred opened the side door to let Newt in, and only realized as Newt was crossing the threshold that he had a small mouse in his mouth. Naturally, he dropped it as soon as he got inside, and the mouse scurried behind my desk. It took us 20 minutes to trap it and get it back outside!

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Dear fellow L&H readers, I have a dilemma I was hoping you could help me with.

About a year ago, we brought in a full-grown stray who was friendly and who we named Buddy. We had him dewormed and fixed and set him up in the back bedroom in the hopes of assimilating him into our gang. We started him on a harness but he would lunge at the nearest cat. We tried this many times and sometimes it went ok, but usually not. In the meantime the other cats were terrified if we even opened his door. The final straw came when I took him out of his bedroom on his leash and he lunged at Rufus, whose leg snapped in two when he leaped to get out of the way. As it turned out, Rufus had/has bone cancer and his leg was successfully amputated and as of now, he’s just fine. It was one of those weird mixed blessings. Anyway, Rufus is the most skittish of all if he thinks Buddy is coming out of his room. Which leads to the problem: Buddy can’t live in a bedroom for the rest of his life, he’s lonely even though we visit him. His tendency to attack randomly any of the other cats means he can’t mingle freely in the house. Do we take him to our local Humane Society, where he may or may not be adopted or do we let him back outside into territory he knows (we’re rural), but risk losing him to a car or coyote? There are so many pros and cons to each and my hubby and I simply can’t stop going around and around. Thoughts?

There were some responses to Dawn in the comments, but I wanted to post question here in case some of y’all had suggestions for her.

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Just curious, why aren’t you putting Arnold in with the younger chicks?

We will, eventually – but right now he’s outside and the younger chicks are still in the brooder box, and I kind of think it’s mean to move him back inside when he’s clearly enjoying being outside.

The day we move him in with the younger chicks is going to blow his MIND. He’s going to go from being the tiny guy to being, like, King Kong.

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I am wondering if I can seek some advice from the wonderful L&H community on behalf of one of my work colleagues. Any solutions I have come up with so far haven’t worked for the problem she has, and I thought there has to be someone out there who has dealt with something similar.

The problem is this – my colleague has a cat who is still quite young – about 7 months old. He was adopted from the RSPCA about 3 months ago or so. He (Casper) has taken to taking a swipe with claws out at my colleague whenever she walks past him, and she has scratches on her legs to prove it! He attacks my colleague, her husband, and their 6 year old daughter, but never their 3 year old twin boys. I suggested spraying him with water whenever he does it but apparently he likes water so that didn’t work as a deterrent. I also suggested to play with him more (and gave her plenty of toys to try) as it might be boredom (only cat and stays indoors) but that hasn’t made any difference.

Any other suggestions? I’m all ears! 🙂

I’m distracted by the fact that he never swipes at the three year old twins. I wonder why that is?

But anyway, I do not have any good suggestions here (unless it’s to suggest using compressed air as a deterrent instead of water – as a bonus, the compressed air doesn’t get stuff wet!), but hopefully there are helpful suggestions out there. Readers? Halp?

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In the first pic, it looks like the baby’s ears have sproinged..?? Did they *all* sproing and I missed it??

It’s been less of a ::sproing:: and more of a slow creak as their ears slowwwwwwly moved upward. Hmm, maybe more of a crackle – like the sound of a ball of tinfoil slowly being crumpled together, you know that sound? That’s totally what it sounded like.

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How are they not poking each other’s eyes out, flailing around like that?!? They really are so fricking cute!

Actually, they do poke each other (and themselves!) in the eye sometimes. Every now and then I’ll go in and see one with a squinty eye. They get over it pretty quickly, luckily, though sometimes they need a little eye ointment to help out. But kittens are resilient!

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This is so interesting!

YouTube link.

My favorite fact: when you’re petting a cat and he raises his tail, it’s an invitation to sniff his butt. HA.

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All right, Love & Hisses medical community… Assemble, please! You’re experts at CRF, Feline Diabetes, anal glands, and probably everything else too, which is why I present to you a new topic: PANCREATITIS.

12-year-old Norman has bouts of extreme weight loss, dehydration, massive gas build-up in his intestines and explosive diarrhea. The latest blood test indicates that the level that changes is in his pancreas and we might be dealing with Chronic Pancreatitis. Connie has already been fabulous at providing a bunch of links on the topic for me, but does anyone out there have experience with it? How do I feed this boy to avoid these attacks?

There were responses to this in the comments, but I wanted to put it here so that anyone with more information/experience/suggestions could jump in. This is from Kelly, by the way, and you can go read more about Norman the stinkpot, here.

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Do you mean to imply that you have a feeder set up specifically for the squirrels? What does that look like, and how does it work?

No, I just refer to it as the squirrel feeder because it’s on a tree further away from the house and for that reason the squirrels seem to prefer it. It’s just a regular bird feeder, and I fill it with generic bird seed. Though I do occasionally buy a bag of squirrel-specific food (corn and… maybe peanuts? I don’t remember what it’s comprised of, it’s been a while since I bought any, but it does say “Squirrel food” on the bag.) just because.

There are a total of four bird feeders in the side yard. The one on the furthest tree is the one the squirrels prefer, and then when that’s empty, they go for the tree that’s nearer to the house (but not nearest). And if that one empties, then they come to the two that are pretty close to the side door.

I used to be really vigilant about keeping the bird feeders filled at all times, but that can get expensive so I only fill them about once a week.

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Great pictures! Have they started purring yet?

No purring from the Royal kittens – at least, not for me. I suspect they might purr while they’re nursing, but Kate’s purring is so loud that I can’t really tell. I’m looking forward to having them purr for me!

I’ve always heard (and have always experienced) that babies who are raised by their mothers don’t purr as early as bottle babies do. If I were bottle feeding the Royals, they’d for sure be purring for me at this point.

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Also, is it just me, or is Leia starting to look like she’s going to be long haired like mama? She looks fuzzier than her siblings.

Leia is definitely on the track to being medium to long-haired. When I look at her and Aslan side by side, she looks much bigger than him, but it’s all floof, he actually weighs a little more than she does.

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Speaking of their weight, I weighed the babies yesterday. Charming is still far and away the biggest, but Jareth is no longer the smallest. He outweighs Buttercup by just a little bit. You can see their weight chart at the bottom of the page, here.

“Who, ME? The biggest? But I am still teeny. No really, I am!”

Jareth checks out the pile o’ beds.

Snuggly tabby lurve.

I love how Charming’s over there on the scale, clearly trying to convince me that he’s just fluffy.

Wake up, grumpy head!

“MOMMA! I don’t have to GO!”

Charming in the litter box. No, he wasn’t using it. None of them have used the litter boxes just yet.

I put out five litter boxes, and they ignored them for a couple of days, and then they started doing what ALL kittens do, what drives me CRAZY, and they started eating the litter. This is why you use plain non-clumping non-scented litter when kittens are first using the litter box. They ALL eat the litter, because they live to drive me nuts. There are other kinds of litter that would be safe to use, like World’s Best, but I use the plain clay because it’s inexpensive and the dollar store down the street carries it.

So they’ve all bellied up to the litter box buffet, and yesterday Charming was actually scratching around in the litter, but no actual usage yet. I’m sure it won’t be long!

Sweet, smilin’ Aslan.

“What goin’ on over HERE?”

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Hey, you know that empty foster room we have upstairs?


We have ourselves a beautiful pregnant girlcat. She’s about 1 1/2 years old, and who knows when she’s going to give us those babies? Could be tomorrow, could be a couple of weeks (Fred says a couple of weeks. She’s awfully bulgy in her midsection, though.)

She showed up in someone’s yard, and they took her to the vet and had her examined and treated and then contacted Challenger’s House.

She is very, very sweet. She’s got a huge appetite, and she loves to be petted. When I sit on the floor, she climbs into my lap. I bet she’s going to have some gorgeous babies! This house is going to be filled to the brim with gorgeous kittens. This is going to be awwwwwwwwwesome!

I think she’s a calitabby, but look at her colors. It kind of looks to me like she’s a mix of regular calico colors, and a dilute calico colors. She’s got the dark orange, but she also has light, creamy yellow. Black, but gray, too. Any thoughts on what to call this particular mix of colors?

Oh, and how rude of me. I haven’t introduced you yet!

Meet Khaleesi.

Fred and I have been working our way through the first two seasons of Game of Thrones, and the instant I heard the honorific Khaleesi (Khaleesi is the wife of the Khal; ie, the Queen), I knew I had to use it as a foster’s name.

Khaleesi is the Mother of Dragons, but this litter is going to be called the Targaryens, since the character Khaleesi is Daenerys Targaryen. Her kittens will be named after House Targaryen members (and that list will probably be expanded to include characters from Khaleesi’s storyline – for one, Jorah is in the running as one of the names.) (PS: I really really REALLY want a baby dragon. Someone get on that for me, would you?)

Note that I haven’t read the Game of Thrones books (they’re on the way from Amazon), so what I’m going by is what’s been on the series.

Don’t know how to pronounce Khaleesi? Here you go.

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Newtles, snoozing. Don’t you want to kiss his nose? He’d totally let you.


2012: No entry.
2011: Princess Poutyface would like to register a complaint, plz.
2010: Isn’t it amazing how quickly they go from little round roly-poly babies to long and lanky kittens?
2009: I can only stand so much sad meowing from kittens, so I caved pretty quickly.
2008: McLovin would like you to know that he’s the man.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.