3-22-13

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Off topic…what do you do during the cold winter and hot summer for George and Gracie so they stay comfortable?

George and Gracie pretty much take care of themselves – they hang out under the coop during the summer days, and if they want to get out of the weather in the winter, there’s a protected area in front of the coop. They can also go into the coop if they want to (Gracie does that more often than George does). The cold weather doesn’t bother them as much as the hot weather does!

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Lurker here, slowly wading in to the commenting pool…. I read your blog religiously (it’s the first thing I open when I get to work — yay proCATination) I need the help of some experienced cat owners!

My 3 yr old tuxie, Delilah, thinks she’s a dog (it’s my fault… she’s my first cat. Leash trained and gives high fives when asked. Anyway, I digress). In the past 24 hours, she has tried to kill my bf and me twice. Last night she chewed through his laptop power cord and caused the computer to short out. Today, I went to dry my hair and was supremely startled when sparks and smoke starting shooting out all over, the fire alarm went off, and, luckily, the breaker tripped.

Point is, the girl is a chewer. That bitter grapefruit spray doesn’t work. Nor does wrapping things in tin foil. Or coating them in pepper.(She chews tinfoil and loves pepper!). I’ve tried giving her things to chew on (even dog toys) and nothing works. Any suggestions for 1) getting her to stop eating the electric cords and 2) a good chew toy or diversion for her chewing obsession?

You can read this post here – there are my suggestions in the post itself, and then be sure to check out the comments too, I believe there are more suggestions there. (One day, I’m going to get myself organized, and get that information put on a page by itself so it’ll be easy to find! )

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I need some help from fellow cat lovers, or maybe I just need to vent. I have four cats: Cookie, 12, spayed female; Xena: Warrior Calico, 5, spayed female; Marmalade, 5, neutered male; and Valentino, 3, neutered male. Xena hates male cats and she particularly hates Marmalade, which is disappointing because I bought her as a companion to Marmalade when he was six months old and was driving Cookie crazy with his overly boisterous playing/attacking. I used to let them out while I was at work (usually 1 to 9 p.m. shift). Two years ago, I found a stray cat in my driveway, dead and partially eaten, possibly by a coyote. I live 2 miles from downtown, so it was pretty shocking. There have also been pit bulls who roam my area. I went into overprotective mama mode and started only letting the cats out on weekends during daylight hours. Xena and Marmalade starting fighting all the time and Xena was miserable. So, I started letting her out, alone, when I went to work. Marmalade was NOT happy about this. I chose to let Xena out because she was aptly named, a fierce, street smart warrior whom I trusted would be OK. Over the past six months, Marmalade has been retaliating by spraying inside the house. He is now spraying all the time. I just ordered Feliway plug-ins and spray. No cats have been killed lately in my area. The question is: Do I let Marmalade, and possibly Cookie and Valentino, out during the day? Marmalade is lovable, but not the brightest bulb in the candelabra. If a coyote or pit bulls were still around, at 16 pounds, he would be a desirable target. But then again, I get home at 9 p.m. and bring all the cats in then. What should I do?

For the most part if there are coyotes and possibly dogs around, I’d do my best to keep the cats inside. Which I understand is a whole lot easier said than done! Are there places in your house where Xena can get away from the other cats? (Cat trees, tops of bookcases, like that?) Is there any way to make an enclosed area outside where they could go? I know that if our cats couldn’t go into the backyard during the day, we’d be having serious issues!

I wonder if putting Marmalade on kitty Xanax (or something like that) would help.

I know I’m not being much help here, but that’s all I can think of at the moment. Just know that I sympathize, because there’s nothing as frustrating as a cat who sprays! Readers, do you have suggestions? Please chime in!

Actually, now that I think about it – I recently read this post on Jade’s blog. She tried a Martha Stewart brand calming spray that worked amazingly well for her two kitties – it’s available in the store, but apparently not on their web site yet. I made a mental note of it because I thought I’d get a bottle and give it a try when we’re having issues. Unless it’s a tiny bottle, that’s not a bad price. (I’ll report back if/when I buy some.)

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I guess there is a tabby dad running around somewhere avoiding child support.

and

(From OldCat, our genetics expert!) Tabby dad had some white on him too.

I was going to post a picture of Corbie looking guilty here (just to be funny, of course), but then I thought “Wait. Does Corbie have white on him?” and couldn’t remember. I had to go look to see that he has no white on him at all!

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The pic labeled “The first two” – does that baybee on the left have a thumb???

I don’t believe so, I think it’s just the angle and the way his foot was pushing against the bed.

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I love, love, love how #4 (I think?) started out on his back being squashed and trampled, but then managed to make his way to safety at the edge of the bad by the end. It always surprises me, how strong they are when they’re just born. I feel for the mama cats – can you imagine having five kittens, each nearly strong enough to move him/herself across a Kitten-King of siblings and a cat bed, all bundled up inside your belly and anxious to get out?! And with those claws, it always amazes me that the mothers survive the gestation process without having their innards lacerated!

Totally adorable – and I don’t know how you managed to keep your hands off of them for the filming of the video. I’d have all five of them down the front of my bra, and only give them back to Kate for nursing and potty-time. (See: this guy, tempted to keep baby bears.)

Kittens just NEVER stop moving, I swear. They’re constantly in motion, squirming over and around each other, climbing up Mt. Mama, exploring the bed. I’ll add, though, that their claws are very soft right now, so probably they weren’t clawing at her from the inside. That, or her womb is made of Teflon!

The only thing stopping me from stealing those babies away from Kate is that she willingly takes care of potty time for them, and I… am not so willing. 🙂 I spend plenty of time petting their little heads (and bellies, oh good LORD the bellies!), and then Kate decides I’ve messed with her babies plenty, and she climbs into the bed, drapes her tail over them, and gives me a LOOK that clearly says “You may go, lady.” I usually obey, because she’s in charge… at least for now!

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BTW, a PSA to all FB users — there’s a bad Facebook scam going around called “Experience Facbook Black”; read all about it here and stay safe.

Thanks for the heads-up, Charlene!

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If you need to regularly pill a cat and you’re terrible at it (I certainly am – Fred’s the one who gives pills in this house!), check out Connie’s post with instructions – and pictures – on how to get the job done!

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Beautiful mama (you can see a little black head tucked under her chin).


Sleepy monkeys.


A whole pile of ’em!


You know, it really is quite exhausting to be THIS cute.


Keeping an eye on me.


Telling secrets.


The little pink paws – seriously. Do they kill you dead, or what?


Climbing babies.


Mama Kate lubs her babies (she was purring and kneading here.)


They sure do climb a lot. I should have named them after mountain climbers!


Snuggling with Mama’s foot.


She seems a bit less frazzled, doesn’t she?


Sweet girl.

I’m planning to post at least one day this weekend (probably not both), if only because I’m getting so many pictures that I don’t want to flood you with 40 pictures on Monday!

Names will be announced in Monday’s post.

Annnnd… how about a video? Say hello to Kate and her squirmy little monkeys.


YouTube link.

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Try to relax, Corbie. Such a stressball.

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Previously
2012: “Good lord, I hope I don’t look half as dorky as you when I’m waiting to get my treat.”
2011: Do you see this face?
2010: “What babies?”
2009: Meet The Seven.
2008: No entry.
2007: How cute are these guys?
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.

Comments

Comments

3-22-13 — 28 Comments

  1. The white whiskers on the tuxie with the stripe kill me. I can’t wait to see how she looks as ahe grows up.

  2. Honestly, Kate is just soooo pretty!!!!

    Off topic, I tried the Avacado Hummus you and Nance made! That was just down right yummy!!!! Thanks!

  3. A note to the lurker – My mom’s Honda was attacked by squirrels 4 times causing $7k worth of damage. Some Honda wiring is coated in a soy product that squirrels just love and they chew through the actual wires as they go. One of her neighbor’s had a Jeep that was also attacked. (Had being the key – the wires were chewed just enough that when the Jeep was started one morning, it caught on fire and was totaled).

    Anyway – Honda found or came up with Capsicum laden tape and the local deal wrapped all her wiring with it (for Free!) and she hasn’t had another problem.

    If you can’t find the tape, you could probably jury-rig something up by rubbing Tabasco on the likely wires, letting it dry and then wrapping it with electrical tape. (my late Siamese, Good Friday, liked to lick various veggies including jalapenos – he just licked and never chewed and it was probably something to do with the texture but it was still weird to find him out in the garden loving up on the tomatoes)

    • That happened to my sister’s Hyundia – twice, also!! She has spent thousands of dollars in repairs. Soy products should be banned on vehicles!!! I will tell her about the tape you mentioned! Thanks!!

  4. I, for one, wouldn’t mind a post with 40 photos of the tiny squirmers one tiny little bit!! So, anytime you want to work that hard…

    😀

    That video is marvelous! I swear I can see the kittens growing!!

  5. Kittens are so much cuter after they have had a chance to dry out and have a good meal or four.. 🙂

    Love that photo of Corbie on the bed.. I would so be putting that on a canvas!

    Thanks for the linkage!

    grumpy cats in a house – vertical space!! by providing perches and trees you will dramatically increase their territory – to you it would be like adding more rooms on to your house. I also like spirit essences by jackson gallaxy.

  6. A suggestion for the cats that want to go outside. A friend of mine that works and lives in a wooded area (with coyotes, etc) came up with a solution that works for her cats. She put in a cat door on her back door that goes straight into an enclosed cat pen of sorts. Completely chicken-wired, including the top. The cats can go outside, get some air, nibble some grass, go back in, anytime they want to. If something were to come close, they could run back in the cat door to safety. Just a thought!

  7. Mama Kate is so gorgeous! And she looks very happy in the video.

    ProCATinating! Love it! This is also the first thing I look at when I get to work. 🙂

  8. Can you tell if any of the babies are long or medium haired yet? I know with Tabitha’s litter I could see that Tippy was longer haired than her 3 sisters pretty early.

  9. I was going to say exactly what Betsy said – you only real solution to this is a cat run (fully enclosed top/bottom/sides) and possibly set into two sections to keep Ms. Xena from attacking Mr. Dim but Nice…This will also protect Xena (no cat is a match for a pack of coyotes) and give everyone time to chill out – you can either attach the run to the house via a widow/cat flap or just build it near the house and carry the cats out in a carrier. If you are lucky enough to have an old fashioned porch you can just screen that in, divide it if needed or just allow cats an escape hatch to it as they wish.

    Once this sort of serious spraying behavior starts, this really is your best option, you can create or make lovely “cat huts” for bad weather (if your not home and some are in the run) even put in heaters if you need to leave one of your combatants outside for a “time out” in the Winter.

    All the cats should enjoy the run, and it is a great way for even a pampered house-cat or declawed rescue kitty to get to sniff the outside air, chase bugs and be a cat – without the danger of dogs, cars and other accidents waiting to happen.

    Breeders use these all the time, especially those for Main Coons or Forest Cats that need to be outside for their coats more long and fluffy (if the weather is cold enough).

  10. Robyn — I know for the most part Mama Kate is black, but in the video she looks to have a lot of brown or red in her undercoat. Is that just the video or does she have some awesome tabby markings we can see in the photos?

  11. I know it would be a huge amount of work for you but I would never complain about lots of pictures of kitties. It would help out with my proCATinating ( Thanks for the new vocabulary word). Bring on the videos and pictures I can handle it !!! If my head doesn’t explode from the cuteness that is.

    The tabbies look like the will have some mackerel tabby markings. I wish I could pick one to come and live with me. I just can not get over how adorable they are and Kate looks so content with her “little biscuits that she baked”. tiny nose boops to the Royals and hugs to Kate.

    Corbie you are the MOST gorgeous kitty. Please give him a cuddle for me.

  12. We have full-time outdoor cats. I hate it, they love it. We built sturdy wood crates, with heaters. K&H outdoor heating pads work great. A screened porch would be so much safer, but my gang is semi-feral and ‘enclosed’ in a catico was a deal-breaker. Outside means less fighting, with plenty room for everyone. Of course, they still spray but I don’t care, it’s outside. One day, someone will Not be at the back door waiting for breakfast and I’ll be heartbroken. But they’re happy Now.

    On the other hand, a friend has 7 indoor cats. Her motto is Safety First and is ok with the inside spray & hissy-fits; knowing everyone safe from coyotes & cougars. I think the cats at both houses are happy; it’s the humans that have to decide the level of tolerance for cat craziness.

    And calming a cat: Feliway mister is a winner at our house but not cheap.

  13. I want to stick one of the kittens in my mouth! Just gobble it all up!

    How many of the kittens would fit in one Scoop Hand?

  14. I am mesmerized by Kate’s intense topaz eyes. Just beautiful. I know her babies will be equally pretty.

  15. Love those baybee kitties. Hugs for Mama, too. No Xanax for cats but our cat was given Buspar for stress and peeing problems. It works for cats but not for dogs, btw.

  16. Poor Kate. All babies tend to wander around and root for milk but she looks like a jungle gym for those little guys. Looks like she’s got a bad infestation of body kittens.

    I would so love to call dibs on no. 2. Those white whiskers killed me from the first shot.

  17. This morning was the first time I could see the kittehs on a full computer screen. I’ve been squinting at my phone and black mom plus mostly black kittehs on a tiny screen = frustration!! Now, however, I have died from the cute!! ERMERGERD, these kittehs!!