7-17-20 Friday

Jump to comments

JUST A REMINDER: The raffle for the Fancy Sofa ends tomorrow (Saturday) at 7 pm Central Time. Go to the auction page to see how to enter, or if you prefer not to do the Facebook thing, go to Monday’s Love & Hisses post for instructions.


At the beginning of 2019, I had 4 cats. Sister (almost 20) passed away on Jan 14th. Dunkin (almost 15) was having several health issues and within a span of 4 days declined so much that he passed on Feb 12th. At this point I had Joey (15 years) and Gracie (7 years). Joey would try to play with Gracie, and she did not care for that at all. He started ambushing her. Anyway Joey passed away on Feb 7th of this year. Gracie has gotten neurotic and needy. She has always been a lap cat, and I love that about her, but she has gotten so skiddish, and I wonder if she is ok being by herself. I am not sure about getting another cat, as she never really cuddled with anyone except Dunkin, and then he got old and cranky. How do I know if she wants a companion? I am really worried about her. She likes to spend a lot of time in the garage, and it is quite hot here right now, so I worry about that. I don’t like being gone, because she is so needy. Does anyone have any advice?

I’m posting this in case anyone out there has advice – I am leery to suggest that you get another cat since she wasn’t really friends with the ones who passed, but I’ve also seen it work out well, so it’s hard to know what to recommend. Hopefully someone out there has dealt with this and has some advice. Suggestions, anyone?


My initial gigantic soft spot is for calico sweetheart momcat Alexandra, though. Poor baby has clearly been through lord only knows what. I want to cuddle her! Is she as wonderful to humans as she is to kittens? I’m going to guess yes.

She is very friendly to humans – so far what she does is either come and stand next to me until I notice her, or flops down next to me… until I notice her. In other words, she’s friendly but not pushy, and really likes to be petted.


I have a question. Why are tabbies more common than tuxedos? My former biology teacher says that tabbies are better camouflaged in the wild than tuxedos. This is also the reason why they are so common. But tuxies can also camouflage themselves in dark places. What do you say?

I haven’t got a clue, but Joy (thank you, Joy!) said: TL;DNR – tabby is the basic, dominant color and pattern, and will always be the most common in random bred litters.

I’ve always been fascinated by feline color genetics, but am completely an interested amateur. But I’ve read a lot. Though I don’t recall every seeing/reading what I think is the answer (I might have), which is tabby (actually, the agouti gene) is the default, the basic pattern & color, if you will.

Everything else in “color variety” is a modification of the basic color. Add into that the variations in how the agouti gene is expressed, i.e. whether as a mackerel/stripey tabby, a classic/bulls-eye tabby, or a ticked tabby, or not expressed at all, in which case, you get a solid colored cat. A “brown tabby” actually has the base color of black (dominant color), but with the expression of the dominant agouti gene, the cat looks brown and has tabby markings. On a brown tabby with no white on the feet, look at the bottoms of their feet. Black.

Then there is the dilution factor. Using Jake as an example, his appearance is due to having black color expressed as gray because he has the dilution gene. And no tabby stripes because he lacks the expression of the agouti gene. Khal is non-agouti, but no dilution, so he’s black. Red (orange) cats have a modification of the color gene (and orange very often has sex linked properties, a whole ball of wax I’m going to ignore!). They too show varying expression of the agouti gene. Look at Newt, he doesn’t look much patterned at all. I’m not sure if he’s ticked or solid colored. He also has the dilution factor going on, so he’s a buff or cream color. If you remember Frankie, he was more of a “standard” orange tabby, and is little man Athos and Mr. Clyde.

Speaking of Mr. Clyde, he also has a lot of white. Well, that’s due to yet another gene, the white spotting gene. Which varies a lot in expression, from a few white hairs or a locket, to all-over white (I had one of those), and everything in between. Clyde has heavy expression of the white spotting gene. So the white amount and positioning to produce a “tuxedo” cat is very specific (think of other black & white kitties, like the ones termed “cow kitties”). That right there explains why tuxedos are fewer than brown tabbies (with or without white), more gene combinations have to line up just right.

With random bred cats, you never know what genetic colors and patterns lurk, waiting for expression on the off-spring. I could natter on a lot longer, but I will shut up now.


Alexandra is a wonderful mama to take on 4 more kittens! What’s makes y’all think she may have vision or hearing issues, other than location of her injury?

That’s just what I was told – sometimes when she’s walking across the floor she tilts her head in such a way that it makes me wonder, but she’s very surefooted. As far as hearing, she doesn’t really respond to any noises other than the kittens crying, which is unusual to me (after Isabella and Bunny, who would growl and investigate any little noise they heard.)


I know you’ve mentioned this, but my lock-down-addled brain can’t remember for squat these days – but how did [Bunny] get the wound in the first place? How she was able to eat with that bit of ick, and bake kittens at the same time is miraculous.

She was so badly matted, especially under her chin, that they think she was so desperate to release the mat there that she went overboard scratching, and caused that wound.


So Bunny’s hair still has a way to go? Does she like being brushed? She always looks slightly mussed, but I know some cats just have coats that look that way.

The few times I brushed her she didn’t seem to mind it, just was more puzzled than anything. Her fur definitely has a way to go yet!


Yay! I’m glad everyone got adopted and there are new kittens. Because I know you need a question or two for Friday, since 2013 (when I started following you) which batch has been with you the shortest and also the longest time? I know some have gotten adopted “right from home” and some have not. Not counting the returners btw.

This is going to have to go on my lengthy list of information I’ll be interested to compile at some point in the future; 2020 Robyn wishes that 2005-2019 Robyn had thought to keep track of that information in a spreadsheet!


Do the Uncles ever poof up at the sight of the Fosters? I know they’re probably all “…seriously Little Dude…” and just walk away chuckling.

They don’t poof up, they just look kind of puzzled, like “Why is that kitten trying to scare me? Alls I want is my treat.”


Archie is scary, but I’m betting that he’s never hissed or swatted at a kitten.

Actually, if there’s more than one kitten, and they get too close to him, he’ll hiss and swat. One kitten is not scary – several poofed up kittens giving him the Eyes of You Go to Heck requires self-defense.


Clyde and Cutey checking out the morning sunshine.

I moved this cat tree from the foster room to the guest bedroom, in front of the window, and Clyde loves to sit and look out the window.

So does Cutey!


Winter does a sneak.

Porthos considers his next move.

When she needs a break, Alexandra jumps up and hangs out in the pie plate. Winter’s the only one who can get up there with her.

I set up the crate, figuring that they’d never hang out in there since they’re so mobile. But Alexandra lures them into the crate, lets them fall asleep at the milk bar, and then leaves them. Here they are (all except Winter) realizing that the milk bar deserted them.

Porthos is a climber. I’ve walked into the room several times to find him on top of the crate. The first 75 times I lifted him carefully down into the crate, only to find him back up there. I guess once Cutey and Clyde go home, I need to move the cat tree back into the room!

Winter discovered the Fruitasan and found it intriguing.

Rochefort’s sweet little face reminds me of Amelie. Look, here’s Amelie from last June:


That’s a crate full. Know what a full crate like that needs?

That’s right.

One more kitten! Say hello to Anne.

Anne and her litter were dropped off at a vet’s office. The rest of the litter was adopted out. Luckily for Anne, Forgotten Felines of Huntsville foster mom Gwen spotted her and knew she was way too little to be adopted out, and took her. Anne is skin and bones and can use some attention from a good mama like Alexandra, so she came here. Alexandra took one look, gave her a quick bath, the other kittens gave her a good sniff-over, and Anne is now one of the gang. (She’s still trying to figure out what’s going on, but I think she’ll be playing and snuggling before long.)

Anne is about two months old and weighed 11.5 ounces when she came to me, which is pretty underweight (the guideline for kittens is generally 1 pound per month.) Luckily, she eats well on her own, and is getting frequent meals of formula mixed with canned kitten food (and all the kibble she wants to eat.) I expect it won’t be long before she’s packing on the weight.

Rochefort comes to see the new girl. That spot on Anne’s back isn’t actually as heart-shaped as it looks here. She does, however, appear to have a set of wings on her shoulder blades.

Rochefort says “I’ll be your friend, Anne. We’re both tiny; let’s team up and kick butt together!”


Archie doesn’t mind a kitten or two, but he’s pretty sure we’re going overboard now, and he does not approve.


2019: I took one of the scratchers into the kitten room, and I think it’s fair to say that it’s a hit.
2018: He is such a Muppety little Moop.
2017: “She’s little, but she’s sassy!”
2016: No entry.
2015: Roundup: Gilda
2014: Throw Back Thursday: Everett Peppers.
2013: “There’s something right behind me, isn’t there?”
2012: Guest Post, by Stompers.
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Kaylee will not be deterred.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.