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What is it with stumpy-tailed cats wanting to show off what they’ve got back there?

Well, they don’t have long tails that they can swish in each others’ faces, so they have to swish SOMEthing!


I want to know what you did with all those eggs!! (Does Newt know?)

Newt knows NOTHING. Those egg shells have accumulated over the past couple of months. As I use eggs, I toss the shells in that bowl on the counter. When it gets full, I squish the egg shells down and keep adding them. When they absolutely can’t be squished down any more, I run them through the food processor, grind them up pretty finely, and give them to the chickens as a calcium supplement.


I didn’t know Maxi liked to roll around in the dirt. Is she part Chinchilla?

I think she’s part chicken; she certainly likes her dust baths! She and Joe Bob both love to roll around in the dirt.


Hey, how are Tommy’s feet? Is he doing better?

His feet are definitely improving. He’s been on steroids for about a week, they look a lot better, AND he’s not limping any more!


Robyn, you’ve probably addressed this before, but how do the cats get along with George and Gracie?

George and Gracie and the cats actually don’t come into contact at all. As working dogs, G&G are in the back forty all the time, guarding the chickens. There’s a space of about 70 feet between the end of the back yard and the beginning of the back 40, so except for Maxi, Newt, and Stefan, the dogs don’t see the cats at all.

Though having said that, I’m remembering that if the cats are racing around the back yard in an especially wild manner, the dogs will catch sight of them and stop to watch, though they don’t bark.

Maxi, Newt, and Stefan occasionally wander through the space between the back yard and back 40, but they don’t go too close to the back forty. There’s a shallow ditch about three feet before where the fence begins, and the cats don’t cross the ditch. The dogs are aware of the cats, but don’t react to them. The cats just ignore the dogs. It works out pretty well!


Does Maria have the Kong Crinkle Fish? I finally picked up some today, and they are a big hit with the cats, even the one who is usually too “cool” to play with toys.

She certainly does – we have several of them kicking around here. The feathers have been removed from the Crinkle Fish, because the Players do not believe that feathers belong on toys, and so chew them off (okay, to be fair most kittens bite feathers off toys, the Players are just particularly vigilant about it), but they love to bat them around and carry them, even featherless.

That reminds me – the Kong Straw Cylinder which was among the toys I reviewed a couple of weeks ago finally bit the dust earlier this week. I walked into the room on Tuesday, and it was like a straw factory had exploded, it was scattered all over the room. So it lasted about three weeks, which I need to go add to the post about the toys.

News flash: kittens are destructive!


I just wanted to say, you have inspired me to become a foster for cats when I get my own place. However, I have no idea how to go about it! If you, or the L&H community can give me some tips, I would very much appreciate it!

Just fyi, I live in Southern California, in the San Bernardino County. If anyone knows any shelters that have foster programs down here that I can contact, that’d be great!

Connie said: It is good to have a room where you can isolate kittens if you have cats in your home. Most people don’t.. but I highly highly recommend it. Next, find a shelter with a foster program and talk to them,. Find out what is provided for and what will be expected of you, and see if that works for you. Some shelters pay for everything, some nothing. Some expect you to take kittens to adoption events until they are adopted, some take them back once they are of size.

Then get a good camera, and be ready to laugh and cry and be happy and frustrated and sucked in by a world that you can’t ever escape 😉

I think those are great tips, thanks Connie! I’d only add that when you start, start small. Don’t take a super-sickly litter of 7 who need to be bottle-fed and medicated every two hours. I mean, you’ll want to work up to that particular situation. 🙂

If anyone’s in the San Bernardino County area and knows of a great shelter, please leave a comment!


OMGosh this is absolutely hilarious and I just had to share.



Had a cat w/ the Oesinophilic thing. She was on steroids forever which allowed her to have only occasional flare-ups instead of constant.

Tommy is actually on Atopica for his Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex. When the vet suggested that we give it a try, he said that there are a lot of cats that it doesn’t work for, but it’s a life-changer for those who are able to stay on it. Tommy’s one of the lucky ones! We started him out on it 7 days a week, and after we were sure it was helping, we started weaning him off it (the idea being to get him to the lowest dose that still works). He now gets it three times a week.


Any suggestions on how to deter a cat from using the doggie door? Expensive electronic “coded” doors/collars aren’t an option right now.

I need the dog to be able to get in and out, because she’s old and her bladder/bowel control isn’t what it could be, and I don’t like leaving her outside all day long (especially now that it’s getting to be summer here). Attempts to keep the cat and/or dog locked up so that they can/can’t get to the doggie door have been fraught with ridiculousness (and I now need to replace two interior doors from where they’ve been clawed/chewed clean through).

Suggestions welcome!

My only suggestion is the Pawz Away Indoor Pet Barrier. It’s not terribly expensive ($49), and we own and have used one. Basically, you put the collar on the cat and then put the round plastic barrier near where you want the cat to stay away from. If the cat gets too close to the plastic barrier, the collar beeps. If they keep going, they get a short zap from the collar. It startles them, but I don’t believe it hurts them. In my experience, they only need to be shocked once to get the idea – after that, the beep from the collar is all the warning they need.

If your cat is particularly stubborn about going outside, the zap might not stop them. Also, if the cat is really small, the collar might be too much (but I can tell you that I’ve used it on a 4 month old kitten in the past, and it wasn’t too heavy for her.) And of course, the collar has to be just right – small enough so that the contacts on the inside of the collar touch him, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable.

Now, I KNOW you guys have suggestions, so please chime in!


Hi Robyn, love that 6 drawer thingy on top of your dresser. True antique or newish made to look antiquey?

It’s newish – I got it at LL Bean a couple of years ago, with the idea of keeping cat medication and supplements in it. It’s not big enough for that (I’ve got a LOT of that stuff!), so at the moment it’s mostly empty, with a couple of drawers filled with tiny hats.


Robyn, this may be kind of a dumb question but I have to ask out of curiosity: do you ever have any allergic reactions to your cats? I mean, I have heard that even people who have mild allergies can get used to being around a set number of cats if they hang around the same ones long enough, but you have the added issue of fostering to deal with. Do you ever have days when you feel side effects after going into the foster room? (Other than the compulsion to snorgle those adorable little monkeys forever and ever)

Shakatany said: I saved this from a comment on another post: If you bathe your cats eventually your allergy may go away. Read about it here.

Matthew, that isn’t a dumb question at all. (And Shakatany, thanks for the link!) Back when I used to clean the cat room at Petsmart one morning a week, I would always be really itchy for the rest of the day. I finally started taking a children’s Benadryl before I went to Petsmart, and it did the job beautifully (the adult dose worked too, it just made me super sleepy.) These days, I can tell when I’ve been spending a lot of time kissing kittens, because I get an itchy rash on my chin. It’s not too bad, and a little hydrocortisone helps it go away. I guess I’ve been lucky!

(I’ve always said to Fred that if I suddenly developed allergies to cats, that would just be too bad for me, because I’m not giving up my cats! But I do know that allergy shots are an option, so I’d certainly look into that if my body decided it had had enough of cats!)


Dennis would like a snuggle, please.

Angelo with attitude.

Oh, Orlando. Those ears are something else!

Angelo checks out that good-lookin’ cat in the mirror.

He’s going in!

I’m pretty sure Maria needs a kiss.

“Trying to have some quiet time, lady. Stop pointing that camera at me!”

I don’t think it’s possible for Orlando to NOT look smug. Silly boy.

Sweet Angelo.

Bath time for Ferdinand.


I believe Corbie’s got a case of the smugs. They must be going around!


2013: “ATTENTION, BABIES: Due to this behavior on the part of the humans, you will not be making an appearance for a long, long time.”
2012: “No, seriously. I think I’m gonna barf.”
2011: My week in cats.
2010: Hoyt and Bill updates.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



3-14-14 — 13 Comments

  1. It makes me very happy to know there is a six drawer thingy in Alabama that is used to store tiny hats for cats. I am loving that thought.

  2. So glad that Tommy’s doing better and not limping around. I’d suggest kissing his pawpads but mine hate that. Sometimes, I can stroke the fur in the “palm” but that’s on a good day.

    Those fosters are getting HUGE. Angelo looks fully grown in that shot of him lying down.

    Love reading those old posts. Maggie was, dare I say it, a beautiful pregnant mama. Such a sweet round figure, wonderful fur, that fluffy collar and incredible eyes.

    And Rufus!! I’d forgotten how he got that stuff everywhere. Five feet up? That’s kind of gross but also impressive. Donald O’Connor would’ve been proud. Maybe. Anyway, he turned around quickly and became a lap cat. I hope he’s in a good forever home.

  3. I don’t think Orlando is gonna grow into those ears (or he is does he is gonna be the size of a bobcat).

    As for fostering, I agree – start small…and maybe a little older. My first group was 3 kittens about 6 weeks old so I had about a 2-3 week time commitment. It was easy. I was hooked. And then I “babysat” a group of five for another foster family (also a friend of mine) who had a group of 5 about 6 weeks old. HOLY MOLY!!! Who knew 2 extra kittens could be that different. 🙂 And of course now it is every man for himself around here.

  4. Dennis is SO CUTE. I love his little round baby face. (I’m biased — I think he looks an awful lot like our Gravy, only slightly fluffier.)

    I absolutely cannot get over the ears on these guys. The shelter should suggest that their adopters will get the bonus of being able to pick up radio signals from Canada…