1-21-22 Friday

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Advice wanted.

Rachel says:

I’m wondering if you or your readers have any advice about integrating a new cat with a formerly bonded kitty.

We have two cats who are litter mates, and best friends. They’re not quite 4. Our boy is having kidney trouble, and the vets are pretty sure it’s renal lymphoma, which means he likely doesn’t have long. We caught it early, so he’s not sick yet (just really, really thirsty) but we know it’s coming.

He and his sister are best friends. She adores him, and is a frequent instigator of both tussles and snuggles. They are sweet, easy going cats, and I’ve never seen her so much as hiss, even after he spent a day at the vet and came home smelling funny.

I know she’s going to need a friend – she’s so young, and I can’t imagine she’s cut out to be an only cat – but I’m at a loss as to how to do it. Do I get a kitty the same age, or a kitten? Do I get TWO kittens, repeating the bonded situation and hoping she’d join in? Do I get a new friend now, while everyone is well, or wait until after we’ve lost our boy? Any suggestions or past experiences I can draw on would be helpful as we navigate the next few months.

Thanks in advance. (Photos of of our boy Austen and his sister The Paws (she has 23 toes!), attached.)

I told Rachel that my knee-jerk reaction would be to bring a kitten (not a super-young kitten, maybe 6 – 12 months old) in sooner rather than later. However, I haven’t had to deal with this situation and I would hate to steer her wrong, so I’m posting here and asking y’all to chime in on the topic. Please leave a comment with your advice!


How are all your permies doing health-wise? When we moved up here in 2014, we had 17 cats. Our 18th collapsed and died on the day we moved (I can’t even…). We’ve lost them over the years to age and disease but last year we lost 5 and I don’t think I’ve even begun to process it. We now are down to 3 and one of them has just been diagnosed with something scary.

How do you deal with the losses and are there any concerns for your current crew? I hold my breath when you open a post with a picture of one and the relief that they’re fine is palpable. It’s hard, isn’t it, loving these fluffy ones.

They are all doing well – they’re getting older, but are in good health. Newt is slowing down (he’s 16 now), but he’s still pretty spry (I keep telling Fred that I think Newt’s going to make it to 20.)

I am so sorry for your losses. Your 2021 sounds like our 2015 – we lost 4 cats that year, and all but 1 of them were completely unexpected. I wish I had any words of wisdom on how to deal with the loss, but time helps more than anything else, I’ve found.

I worry in a general way about the current crew, but everyone is healthy and so my worry isn’t directed toward anyone in particular.


Will Ivy’s howling end immediately, or does it take a few days for the hormones to leave her system?

It was like turning off a faucet – zero howling from her since I brought her home from the vet, and believe me, none of us miss it!


Welcome back! Loved your Random Post button. I never realized you used to do product reviews. Will that ever return? You certainly have the clientele to prove a toy or food out.

I doubt I’ll go back to doing product reviews because they were so time consuming. I will, of course, continue to share anything cool that I find out about on my own or through a suggestion. (I am totally up for a partnership with Churu!)


I love photos of Jake! Does he still have his multiple outdoor houses?

There are three houses in the back yard, but he spends more time inside than outside lately (I’m sure that’ll change once spring gets here.)


Did y’all get any snow? I heard a blurb about Alabama getting snow…. Just wondering if you did and what all residents thought of it… 😉

We got a dusting, but not much (at least not right here – I think other parts of Huntsville got more than we did.) The only permanent resident who ventured out into it was Charlie, and his immediate reaction was “no thank you” and a quick return to the house. They’re no dummies!


What! No updates this year on the Little House on the Prairie family? How sad, as that group really stole my heart.

Charles and Caroline are on Facebook and on Instagram with a few updates this year, Albert and Willie are on Instagram with lots of updates, and Cooper (formerly Almanzo) is on Facebook and Instagram with some updates as well.


I looked and looked but can’t find you in the wreath photos. 😉 Are you photoshopping those or actually getting the cats to hold still for the photos? Love them either way.


I’m curious how you set those shots up now. I can’t figure out what’s holding the wreath. If you were in the old house, I’d think you had it hanging from the shelf you took the kitten pictures on, but now I don’t know!

If you look in the reflection of the balls, you’ll see me there.


Me in the reflection, wildly waving my hand to get her attention.


Both Fred and I, trying to get Alice to behave and look our way.

The wreath was mounted to a piece of white posterboard, and then both the wreath and posterboard were mounted to the side of a big box (both the posterboard and box had a hole cut in the middle). The whole box was set up on a table. The cats were actually inside the box, and I lured them out through the hole with Churu (Ivy) or baby food (Alice.) I wish I’d thought to take a picture of the whole contraption, but alas I did not. Maybe next year!


Ivy takes a snooze.

Watching from the landing.

It’s an Ivy pie (my favorite!)

Watchin’ birds.

Ivy is headed home today, hooray! She’ll going to Kentucky to join our former fosters d’Artagnan and Porthos, and also Forgotten Felines kitty Jessica (who is being adopted today as well). It’s a big day for everyone and I am so excited for our girl!


Oh, it’s just a Charlie-bear, hanging out in that spot so that anyone who wants into the back porch from the window has to hop over him. Look at that innocent face! Would he take a swipe at someone who hopped over him? NEVER, and he resents the accusation.


Posted on social media (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr) yesterday.

This is our version of the 10-year challenge. On January 20, 2012, I had just brought Everett, Lucy and Sally Peppers home from Petsmart for a break. They eventually went back after a month and were adopted. On January 20, 2022, I have just Ivy, who is going home tomorrow!

This is our version of the 10-year challenge. On January 20, 2012, we had thirteen permanent residents (I KNOW). Here they are in no particular order. 1st row: Spanky, Miz Poo, Joe Bob, Maxi. 2nd row: Jake, Elwood, Corbie, Newt. 3rd row: Tom Cullen, Sugarbutt, Alice, Kara. Last row: Stinkerbelle.

The 2nd part of the 10 year challenge, permanent residents style. These are the permanent residents we have today. Top row: Newt, Jake, Alice, Archie. 2nd row: Khal Drogo, Dewey & Charlie.

YouTube link
Tossing toys for Ivy – who isn’t really that into it, but she pretended for my sake. She’s such a good girl.

Good night innernets. (Ivy)


2021: He knows she’s back there, he’s just pretending she isn’t.
2020: She is one lucky girl.
2019: A lot of people have asked what the father of Caroline’s kittens looks like.
2018: No entry.
2017: No entry.
2016: He’s all “My Queen!”
2015: No entry.
2014: Tricki thinks my slippers need some bunny-kicking.
2013: “HOW did I get up here? HOW do I get down? Oh, WOE, I don’t WANT to live up here forever!”
2012: No entry.
2011: The kneading paws KILL ME DEAD. Is that one happy kitten or what?
2010: “Who, ME?”
2009: Samba and Rumba.
2008: She is such a SWEET girl!
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.


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