3-23-20 Monday

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Advice needed! From Alana:

In desperate need of some help with a foster. I guess the advice is for me, as he is not actually listening to what I have been telling him.

We have been fostering Max for a month. I believe he had some sort of trauma before getting to us. We were making great progress with him (he was cuddling for short bouts, showing interest in us). But I think having all of us home is stressing him out. We have resident cats that he is attacking, but shows stress when he is by himself. He still won’t let us pick him up, so he is not easy cat.

I have had difficult fosters before and don’t give up on them. HOWEVER, a feral mama on the block gave birth and I apparently am taking those kittens in in a few weeks. I have been trying to find a place for them too, but they have ring worm, which does not make them a popular bunch.

I need advice on what to do with Max (his behavior, stress and some litter box issues). I have feliway plug ins, he has his own box–and practically his own apartment too. He is not hiding, he lays around but if we walk by him sometimes he just growls out of no where.

I did not get him from a shelter, but rather from my street. When we first started to see him he was very sweet. Right before we took him in, he had a personality change that we can’t understand and can’t fix. He has been neutered. I am sure my stress is not relaxing him either.

I will take volunteers, suggestions on how to help him–anything. I feel like crying because he just is not happy and we are trying.

Alana (whose apparent solution to being shut in, is to start hoarding cats–send help!)

Alana said that he’s only been to the vet for his neuter surgery and a vet tech did his SNAP test – he’s too stressed to get in and out of the carrier. He’s about 2 years old. His behavior is inconsistent; he had a good week last week, and he’s been more jumpy lately. Pilling him isn’t an option – they can only pet him for a few seconds. I suggested Rescue Remedy and/or Zylkene, but given the inability to pill, Zylkene isn’t an option.

So who out there has suggestions? Please leave a comment, Alana needs help!


How’re we doing, everyone? Y’all handling this social distancing and isolating okay? I hope everyone’s staying healthy and safe and that we’re all appreciating the folks who are still going to work because they have no choice, not only our medical personnel (nurses! doctors! first responders! pharmacy workers!) but the grocery store employees who are doing their very best in the face of this utter insanity, those who are keeping our utilities running, truckers who are making sure food is reaching the grocery stores, factory workers, mail carriers, and everyone else who has to go out into the world to help keep it running while the rest of us are (hopefully) hunkered down at home. If that’s you or someone you love, THANK YOU.

To be honest, life hasn’t changed much for us – Fred has worked from home for several years now and so the only thing different for him, work-wise, is the canceling of the one meeting a week that took him out of the house. Unfortunately it’s been an incredibly wet last couple of months, so he’s going a bit stir-crazy because his favorite form of activity – hiking – is off-limits due to the very super muddy trails. Except for a few moments of sunshine here and there, the sky has been gray and overcast when it’s not actively raining, which of course adds to the apocalyptic feel of the world right now.

Mostly we’re hanging out, kissing kittens, and hoping for the best. I hope that y’all are doing okay too!

(Fun fact: I was actually supposed to be in New Orleans last week with my sister, a trip we’ve planned since we were last there 3 years ago. We didn’t actually cancel the trip until the day before we were supposed to leave – the 13th – but watching the news out of NOLA made us very very glad that we had, despite our disappointment. I sure could use a beignet right about now, though!)


Pablo has a streeetch.

Alejandro’s showing that Ikea rat just who the boss is.

Carmelita has a think.

That’s a pile of cute (and a grumpy face from Alejandro.)

Sleepy little muffin Pablo.

“That’s right, kid. You eat on your own. Go for it!”

Pablo checks out the couch (it took me a minute to see Alejandro, right behind him.)

It’s a Javier sub. (I love that Toastycat bed, but I cannot get any of the little brats interested in hanging out in there. Javier is only in there in this picture because I put him there. He hopped out after I got this picture.)

Javier’s keeping an eye on me.


Archie through the glaaaaaass…looking up at meeee…

YouTube link


2019: No entry.
2018: Oksana’s all “You no touch these babies, lady. You hear me?”
2017: So ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Nola.
2016: The Fakers, 3 weeks old.
2015: “I not think I gonna fit on that Jet(Blue) plane, lady. You crazy!”
2014: No entry.
2013: Warning: there are a LOT of wee pink kitty toes in this post.
2012: Newbery gets a back rub and thinks maybe he likes it.
2011: (So RUDE, snapping a picture of a poor pregnant lady from behind!)
2010: Sometimes another kitten will join in on the howling, and OH their hearts are just breaking at the injustice of not being able to get through the door, they are PERSONALLY insulted at this turn of events.
2009: Here we go, all seven present and accounted for!
2008: No entry.
2007: Their evil chicken talons don’t poke holes in the kiddie pool?
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



3-23-20 Monday — 13 Comments

  1. Well. What can I say. Malcolm is thrilled that I’m home and can cater to his every need…

    You are so lucky you can kiss kittens.

  2. Alana can open the zylkene capsules and sprinkle them into wet food if he hopefully, likes wet food. If there is a pregnant feral in the neighborhood there is more than likely Tom cats prowling about. He could be seeing cats outside or smelling them as the case may be and some cats are extremely reactive to that. Especially if he is a recent neuter.

    • This may sound bad, but maybe he wants to go outside. Some cats just can’t stand being inside all the time. If the medicine is in tablet form, I crush it with the flat of a fork and mix it with wet food. Good luck!

  3. For Alana:

    Zylkene can be added to food – just open the capsule, sprinkle it onto the food, and mix it in (I’ve used it on my fosters too!) I’m assuming he’s been vet checked for signs of pain anywhere, so I’ll add a few things that might be of help!

    It sounds like he needs some way to let out his energy/stress – does he get any 1-1 time on his own, for playing/grooming or just having some company around? Is there a way of spending some time with him every morning and evening, even just half an hour, interacting with him? Toys like Da Bird are awesome for helping cats channel their energy into playing, and if you want a more low-key toy something like the Cat’s Meow is great (all my fosters have loved that – I’m on my second one now after one foster burnt the motor out by sitting his butt on it and challenging it to turn under his weight *lol*)

    Does he like catnip? A Meowww! catnip cigar has always been the key to a foster’s heart for me – or sprinkle some on a towel on the floor for him to roll in (or eat, as one of mine did, then got a sneezing fit because some went up his nose…) If he’s not interested in catnip you could try Valerian or silvervine toys!

    Have you considered changing his food? Some cats behaviour can be affected by the food they eat. If he’s not already, is there a chance you could try him on something like a grain-free food for a couple of weeks?

    If all these don’t help, it may be that he’s just not happy as an indoor cat. Some cats really can’t cope with the change of environment, and as much as we’d all love for every cat to know the love and warmth of a home it isn’t always possible – and if that’s the case, then it’s not because of you or anything you did, or didn’t do (I’ve been there!)
    We help cats to get them the best life that they want, and sometimes that isn’t what we want for them.

    I hope that’s given some ideas of what to try next. Good luck!

    • Maybe a Catio? Just asking as I’m sure you have much more experience & loving care than any of us…just hate to know his misery & mood swings. As always, best of luck & good thoughts your way!

  4. I’m doing okay. I have all I need, I can work from home, and I’m reaching out to people around me to help where I can. My house is full up on cats, and they don’t appreciate it when I kick them out of my office and shut the door, but I don’t appreciate it when they walk across my keyboard while I’m trying to program (bad things happen). Mine happen to like having their humans around all the time.

    My biggest problem is all the negativity running around on social media. It’s a real drag, and I ended up unfollowing a -lot- of people on Facebook for excessive negativity.

  5. for Alana: my foster fail kitty (found him on the streets, couldn’t find owners, eventually decided to keep) was super aggressive after my pomeranian died. I still had other dogs, but the personality change was notable because he was constantly on the attack. I eventually had to have my husband take him (he lives apart for work and only visits me) and that, coupled with one-on-one play time, made all the difference.

    whatever action you take, know that you have my appreciation for doing all that you can for critters in need.

  6. So…that cute Toasty cat bed is still being ignored? Picky kitties! MOL! I live just north of Clearwater Beach, which hit all the TV stations last week as an example of what-not-to-do, but we are Floriduh so we are expected to be the laughingstock of the US. My hubby & I, due to age & health, are toast if we get this crap so we are hunkered down (just like hurricane season). We have 4 not normal personality-wise cats & I feel Alana’s pain. Good luck to her. Take care everyone!

  7. Hi Alana,

    Does Max have his own water bowl? Maybe try some of Jackson Galaxy’s remedies. There are formulas to help reduce stress, new cat, etc. Check out his website, each has a good description. They can be put in water. I put them in wet food, if Max gets wet food a good way to administer.

  8. Might try a calming collar if you can get one on him. Calming treats and water drops are also available. Some quiet toys, such as a catnip banana or fishing toy, might also help. Would he be interested in a comfy hiding spot, such as a cardboard box? Does he have a window with a view or a high spot he can get up on?

  9. Maybe try some gapapentin? The liquid can be squirted in his mouth. The powder has a very bitter taste (I hear, and my cat agrees). It really relaxes them. Tinykittens uses it for ferals during intake and vet visits, with good results.

  10. Thank goodness for such wonderful things as kittens during these trying times! We’re hunkered down…one essential employee and one off because schools are closed. It HAS been so very gloomy and wet outside, indeed!
    Take care to all, and best wishes with the unhappy camper, Alana. I have no experience to help with that one!
    and thank you to the love you all show for your furry family!

  11. Things have really changed for me but not totally Covid-19. On 3/12 I finally got a kidney transplant. I came to mom’s Assisted Living on 3/15. I self quarantined myself. I only leave to walk and weigh myself daily. 3/17 mom’s Assisted Living went on lockdown. No visiters and no residents can leave. We figured my mom could still take care of my cats who are totally freaking out since she has 0 human contact. Nope, we got busted coming in the door after a visit. Of course she can’t go grocery shopping. I had no backup plan, but my BFF and cousin’s wife stepped in to help. Thank God.