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So, when we first let the Players out of their room to have the run of the upstairs, we put baby gates at the bottom of the stairs. It looked like this:

And this:

If you can’t tell, there’s a walk-through gate on the bottom, and then two pressure-mounted gates stacked on top. There’s a gap at the bottom of the walk-through gate, because when Fred installed that walk-through gate, it was when we had Livia and the Sopranos. The idea was for there to be enough of a gap for the kittens to get through, but not Livia. It didn’t always work – Livia is not a big cat – but it worked well enough. You can see in that second picture that I blocked the gap by sticking a folded-up box there. It worked for a lot longer than I expected.

Until Friday night, when that wily little Dennis figured out how to push the box through the gap at the bottom. Fred and I were watching TV, and I glanced down the hallway to see three freaked-out kittens wandering around in the hallway. We herded them back upstairs, and then Saturday morning Fred got up bright and early and went to Lowe’s.

And now we have a screen door!

We had to trim it to fit the doorway, but that was fairly easy to do. It’s unfinished, so eventually I’m going to paint it (or at least polyurethane it). It’s got a hook on either side of the doorway, and there’s enough of a gap between the door and the door frame so that if I’m downstairs and Fred was the last one through the door, I can stick a paint stirrer through and pop the hook up, and vice versa. (There’s not enough of a gap for the kittens to put their paws through. Believe me, they’ve tried!)

The kittens haven’t tried hanging on the door YET, but the screen on the bottom is made of pet screen, so should hold up well.

When there are no kittens having the run of the upstairs, we can remove the door and store it in the closet so that the permanent residents can go upstairs. (We leave the screen door propped open at night for them right now.)

And yes, I know you guys have been telling me that that’s what we need there. I know! And I’ve been trying to convince Fred of that, but he had to come to that conclusion on his own.

It is SO NICE to not have to deal with those baby gates any more!

“What doin’, lady?”

“What’s she doin’?”
“I don’t know. She’s weird.”

Oh, these kittens crack me UP.

On Thursday Ferdinand, Maria, and Orlando will be going to Petsmart. Room has finally come available for three of them, and since those are the three who are the most confident kittens in the litter, they’re the ones who get to go first. I sure do hope that they’re adopted quickly!


Loony Jake sure does love his Tommy.

But he’ll snuggle with anyone who’ll have him, really.

I’m not sure Stefan realized he was there!

His heart really belongs to Tommy. Probably because Tommy will put up with him for far longer than anyone else.

Two boys and a heated bed.

Giving Tommy some space.

Jake will follow hiiiiiiim. Follow him wherever heeeeee may go!


2013: “Humans. So gullible.”
2012: Lazy Sunday.
2011: (But, yโ€™know, no pressure or anything, Maggie!)
2010: A future litter of kittens (when itโ€™s MY turn to name them!): Dither, Ponder, Discuss, and Swagger. Iโ€™ll call them The Verbs!
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



3-18-14 — 32 Comments

  1. Oh, the things we do to accommodate our kitties! That is a great idea! I know that when one of my guys gets a glimpse of my neighbour’s outdoor cat at my back screen door during the summer, there is much puffing up of chests and tests of manhood. How do you think the Players/Permanent Residents will react to each other (because kittens – so threatening!)?

    And what’s that pink fuzzy thing around Tommy’s neck in the last picture?

    • So far, the kittens and the permanent residents have only looked at each other through the screen. None of the permanent residents have gotten too close (ewww, kittens!) as of yet.

      That fuzzy thing around Tommy’s neck is his collar that works with the electric fence around the back yard. It’s frayed and needs to be replaced!

  2. I must follow him, ever since he touched my paw I knew
    That near him I always must be
    And nothing can keep him from me*
    He is my destiny!

    *except maybe Alice Mo. The calico. Who sure could make my life hell, yo.

    • Stinkerbelle has NO USE for Jake, and will happily give him the stinkeye given the slightest opportunity. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. awww – brudderly love – Tommy + Jake

    That picture of Ferdinand standing on the steps flat footed with the tiny tail cracks me up. Good luck at Petsmart kitts!

    I have been contemplating a screen door on the bathroom. With no window, it is either hot or cold or…. I may just have to suck it up. But I am trying to figure out a way to block any screen on the bottom to keep kittens from climbing. hmmmmmm

    • I would say that you could put wooden slats across the bottom, but Fred would probably tell me that that would make the door too heavy (and probably wouldn’t do much to stop the kittens from climbing, now that I think about it!)

      • Some wire mesh would protect the less sturdy screen. I don’t think there is anything will keep kittens from climbing a screen door!

    • there are thin sheets of plastic that are sturdy enough to tack to a screen door like that.. I’m sure your local home store could recommend something

  4. I always love pictures of Jake.He is just such a character.i always miss Elwood when I see Jake,they were my 2 favorite Crooked Acres cats (love all your cats,but I have a little soft spot for the grey ones,including Joe Bob).

  5. I’m waiting for the first picture of the kittens hanging on the screen, because you KNOW it’s coming! ๐Ÿ™‚

    So they make pet screening? Good to know since I have 13 pounds cats who think they needs to hang on the back screen door like they are 3 pound kittens! Plus Jinx tore a hole in the bottom screen going after a bug or leaf last fall… And even though I hope the snow and ice killed off a lot of the mosquitoes, any that are left will find that hole and come after me for dinner!

    • HA – I took that exact picture not an hour ago. Expect to see it in tomorrow’s post. ๐Ÿ™‚

      They do make pet screening – you can buy a roll of it at Amazon, and I’m sure they carry it at Lowe’s/Home Depot. You can also get doors that already have pet screening in it. The screened porch at the shelter has pet screen in the windows – they installed it in 2001, and there are cats who regularly hang from it, and I swear it looks brand new to me!

  6. Oh man. Iโ€™m going to miss those little monkeys. Show people that shot of Ferdinand with his back feet spayed, button tail and over the shoulder look and see if he flies out of Petsmart. He is such a character! And sweet Maria, another tail specialist? Oh Iโ€™ll miss her and Orlando. I am so going to miss those giant ears and sweet face.

    Glad that Tommyโ€™s feet are doing better. Frankly, Iโ€™m fond of him too, I can see why everyone just about adores him. Jake though, such a character. That sweet looney face.

    We so need a picture of the kittens hanging from the screen door.

    I don’t get why tricki’s still at Petsmart. Same with the mama’s. They’re adorable, gorgious and have definite characters.

  7. You’ve probably been asked this before, but do you notice if you bond more with certain fosters/litters than others? If so, what do you think causes the difference? Just curious. lol.

  8. That picture of Sir Ferdinand on the stairs — CRACKING ME UP!!! I mean, seriously… ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Good luck Players! And the kitties still at Petsmart, where ARE their people??????

    Robyn – where did you get the soft cone Tommy was wearing as a ‘cape’ in one of the ‘previouslies’ from last week? My kitty Annie has glaucoma and has lost the vision in her left eye. Because her pressures are still high, and the eye is causing her discomfort, we’re going to have it removed. She’ll have to wear a cone of shame to protect the stitches and I’m thinking a soft cone will be more comfortable. Also – do you know where I can get a kitty eye patch? I’m SURE she won’t wear it for long – but Pirate Annie must be immortalized at some point.

    My poor kitties. Boo has only a stub of a tail, we had it amputated when we found her. I think a coyote had caught her by the tail at some point. Now Annie is losing her eye. We’re an odd looking bunch here.

    Thanks for all you do. Your website makes me happy every day!


  10. So, just how bright and early did Fred get up on Saturday? Promptly at 3:40? Did he leave it to 3:41? It being Saturday, did he laaaaaaze about allllll the way to 3:42?!??

  11. Loving Loony Jake in all his neediness…

    I have to tell you I finally did it. Just had to have one more “kitten” before I get too old (don’t want to leave any behind when I go, if I can help it. Most of my crew of 12 are aged 10 – 17). And I just had to name her Stinkerbelle – my now all time favorite name for a kitty. So I adopted her from a local shelter where a friend volunteers. She picked her out for me as I can never decide and I went in the cat room to get acquainted. Another volunteer handed her to me and were getting all bonded when my friend said I was holding the wrong kitty! Oh dear. So I adopted both of them, of course. Stinkerbelle (the 2nd) and Sugarbuns are both tabicos (tabbicos ?) six and seven months old respectively, and of course vaccinated, chipped, spayed, tested, etc.

    Except that three weeks after adoption – and while the new girls were still in the transition room, Stinkerbelle came into heat! Oops. Some sort of mixup there, but she’s to be spayed by my vet as soon as she stops doing that slutty little dance thing. Stinkerbelle indeed! She is a sweety. And now I have (gulp) fourteen. That’s a lot of little bowl washing.

    My best wishes will be with the Players. I shall miss them.