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I’m sure you remember Orlando. A year ago, he looked like this:

And now, when he’s laying in wait for his big sister Pickles to come along, he looks like this:

Isn’t that an AWESOME picture?

When he’s trying to “rescue” his new big brother Hobo, he looks like this:

“Gimme your paw, Hobo! I’ll pull you through!”

Orlando’s big brother Hobo looks like this:

And when I saw that picture, I was like “Holy cow! He looks JUST like…”

Tig, from the Sons litter in 2011. Right down to the patch of black on their chin!

But we knew they weren’t the same cat, not only because all Challenger’s House cats are id-chipped before they’re adopted out (Hobo didn’t have an id chip), but also because Hobo…

Has a full-length tail.

And Tig just had a nubbin.

Which leads me to the reason I’m sharing all these great pictures with y’all. Teresa (Orlando’s and Pickles’s and Hobo’s mama) has a question, and I thought y’all might be interested in chiming in! Teresa said:

Question regarding Hobo…. our newly rescued adorable, sweetheart of a marshmallow poof. Keeping in mind his background – we have seen him outside randomly for 2 years, but more often since the day we chose Orlando, and then non-stop in Dec/Jan. Happily we now have him indoors but with limited access around other animals until a recheck with Vet and ‘all-clear’. He is 15 pounds of fluff, about 4 yrs old, and was neutered and declawed by whomever his owners were, at some point.β€Ž

My curiosity, I know it’s a silly question, is this. Have you encountered an adult cat that pretty much looks like they’re walking on an ice rink when they walk on smooth tile or wood floors? This boy is clumsily adorable now, as I watch him carefully walk across my kitchen floor! He has been in a room that’s carpeted for the past few weeks, and I’m now letting him out to explore more of the house, by himself. Could it be no front claws, or his big size, or new-place-nerves, or who knows how long since he’s actually been inside a house and on tile, or just plain akward…? Have you seen this with any of your backyard rescues?

I told Teresa that I haven’t seen that before, myself, but I think that maybe it’s just a matter of new-place nerves and possibly he hasn’t been on smooth tile or wood floors in a long time. I mean, a carpet is similar to a lawn, in that there’s some “give” to it. I’m sure he’s been on concrete, but tile and wood are smoother and feel different than concrete. I’ll be interested to hear whether his walk changes as he gets used to it.

I’d like to hear if any of y’all have opinions/experience with that sort of thing. Please share!


The other day I took the kittens into the bathroom so that I could clean their room without any additional “help.” When I was done and went back into the bathroom, they’d curled up on the chenille rug in front of the litter box and gone to sleep. I carried them back into their room, and they rallied to play for a few minutes, but it wasn’t long before the sleepies overtook them again.

“Am exhausted, lady.”

They climbed into my lap.

“Why she keep makin’ us look up? She gettin’ to be annoying.”

Paul was the first to succumb to the sleepies.

Mary wasn’t far behind (and would have fallen asleep even sooner if Peter hadn’t kept biting her).

I made bunny ears with Paul’s ears, but to be honest, it just isn’t as much fun if they’re not outraged by it.

Peter was all “Why everyone got to go to sleep? I wanna play!”

He climbed up for a snuggle, and ended up like this.

Then he fell asleep, too. I had to pee, but what was I supposed to do? It’s illegal to disturb a kitten’s rest for such a mundane reason, and I’m pretty sure that disturbing the rest of THREE kittens would have landed me in the hoosegow for sure.

Lucky for me (and my bladder), they really only snoozed for about 15 minutes before waking up to wreak havoc again.

Yesterday, I loaded the kittens up in the carrier and took them for their combo (FeLV & FIV) test. They tested negative, which I fully expected. What I didn’t expect was how well they handled the whole experience. They were calm and relaxed in the carrier, I didn’t hear a peep from them all the way to the vet or all the way home.

What I’m saying is that it appears they’re excellent travelers. In case that’s of interest to you. πŸ™‚


Only one video today, and it’s a short (but utterly adorable) one. I was watching Paul and Peter, hoping they’d run and play, and wasn’t paying enough attention to Mary. She let me know by spitting at me. When I turned and asked her if she’d just spit at me, she did it again. The sassy little brat!

YouTube link.


Please note that Sheriff Mama (Kara) is NOT going out there. Warm, muddy weather she can handle. The ice? Not so much. (It was 72 here yesterday. Today, the high is supposed to be 30, and we’re apparently going to have an ice storm. SIGH.)


2014: Ferdinand was the last one to run off, because he’s NOT SKEERED OF NO STRANGERS.
2013: That’s right, still bakin’.
2012: Oh, look! Time to eat. That only happens constantly, we’re lucky I had the camera with me while it was happening.
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Sometimes the wait is so long and strenuous that he sits there, dozing.
2007: Sugarbutt does his Popeye impression.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



3-5-15 — 41 Comments

  1. I have wood and tile floors only. For the cats I acquired as adults, whether they had claws or not, all slipped and slid on the floors until they learned how to maneuver on them. For those that came to me as kittens, it was all they knew. They run full throttle and turn corners fast etc. like a snow skier would (there just isn’t a spray of snow)! I do believe Hobo will get use to it (may take a year), but will become a pro. No need to worry.

    Robyn, please send me Peter…..

  2. When I first got my male cat he walked around the house a little weirdly. He’s okay now. We chalked it up to the fact that he came from a collector’s house, where he was forced to live in a basement for 2 years. He was used to walking on a dirt floor and the tile floors (in particular) felt weird under his feet. Don’t know if that is the case here, but thought I’d mention it!

    • GD & Jen, thanks – time will probably give him confidence. πŸ™‚ Bless your heart, Jen, and your rescued boy’s!! Lucky boy now!

  3. How lucky is Hobo to have found one of the finest homes ever, and I’m sure he’ll get used to those perplexing floors. (Terrific pictures of the great Orlando too!) And even kitties who never had a problem with them sometimes slip and slide.

    Another exclamation mark for how well these kittens are doing and to congratulate all concerned on their test results. Good luck with today’s ice storm, Robyn.

      • Yay for Hobo!! Ummm, and Orlando, after seeing Hobo, I don’t think you’re going to be able to pull him out under that door… πŸ˜€

        • HEHEHE… I LOVE Robyn’s caption on that pic!! I think I have to frame that one with her quote ON it! πŸ™‚

  4. Oh my gosh, the kitten piles on your lap, too cute!!!

    I’m looking forward to reading your ideas on Hobo’s walk, I am such a newbie to indoor, as opposed to barn cats growing up, compared to the awesome experience many of you have! I will thoroughly enjoy reading your thoughts on my curiosity!! :-). Thank you!! ( And the first ones above make perfect sense!)

    • And just finally watched the video of spitty Mary… absolutely utterly adorable!!! Still giggling, replayed it about 5 times!!

  5. My Angus has all his claws but he has texture issues in general even several years after adoption. He’s ok with carpet, but cold tile makes him walk funny, as do squishy surfaces like couches and beds. He will not walk on me for love or money, which is probably ok because dudebro is 19 pounds, but the other kitty walks on me all the time so I’ve kind of gotten used to being cat furniture and kind of wish he would do the same.

    • Mine are 13 – 14 lbs on avg. When they step on my bladder or b00b at night…UGH. The latter really hurts. I cannot imagine 19 lbs. So, maybe it is a blessing!!! Hopefully, he likes to snuggle up against you! (Angus is a perfect name for a 19 lb boy! πŸ™‚ )

      • Our 19lb Hamilton absolutely treats me like furniture and it is his job to keep the furniture in place. The b00b walk is indeed very painful. For some reason my cats like to play statue on my b00b and seem to become frozen in time. Getting them to move on is not always easy. When I push them the butt moves up in the air but the front paws stay rooted on my chest.

        • Yes!!! Frozen in time…on the ONE FOOT that has all their weight on it – pressing through your b00b into your back!!!!

        • Mine loves to knead my neck at the same time. Not my chest or chin but my neck. I try to cover it with my chin so it’s less painful but one day I’m going to wake up looking like I was strangled.

          Don’t want to discourage affection, but trying to redirect it to bone and away from my windpipe and soft tissue.

  6. So instead of Smug Mary we got Spittin’ Mary. Something in the X genes in that glaring kindle . That’s okay, I’ll laff myself offstage.

  7. First, let me just say that picture of Orlando is so awesome, it made me laugh and want to squoosh his little head. Also, HOORAY FOR HOBO!! I love that you brought him in and Orlando is already wanting to be buddies!!

    On to the question at hand! It’s been my experience that declawed cats do walk (and sometimes use the litterbox) differently and I believe it’s because removing that first toe knuckle joint affects their balance so some may need to compensate on different surfaces.

    I’m by no means an expert but I’ve been around cats my whole life and volunteered at shelters/adoption centres so it’s just something I’ve observed a few times over the course of many years and that’s why I’ve drawn that conclusion. (I could be way off base, but it might be something to ask the vet when he goes in for his appointment?)

    • Orlando SO wants to play and be buddies!!! A bit overwhelming for Hobo, in the few quick times I’ve let them meet so far, but they’ll adjust! πŸ™‚

      I appreciate your input – I haven’t had a declawed cat before – so all of these tidbits are helping ease my curiosity, and keep in mind questions for the Vet!

  8. Awe…the video of Mary spitting reminded me of the very first litter of kitten our family had back home. Mom named them Hiss, Spit, Spat, Sputter & Scratch!

  9. That video is killing me with the cute! And the LOOK Mary is giving you! I love a spitty kitty! My Tuxie is a spitty boy when he gets to playing with Da Bird or a ribbon, and it’s still cute even when 13 pounder is doing it! πŸ˜€

  10. bwaahahaha – spittin kitten πŸ™‚

    Teresa- you may want to have your vet take quick x-rays of Hobo’s paws. if the declaw was done badly (though shouldn’t that be said for all of them), it could be an indication of why he walks funny. though as others have said, it may just be the feel of the floor. Check out the Paw Project online and they have resources in case your vet sees something on the x-ray. glad he is safe and home!!

    • Thanks – will keep this in mind and have bookmarked the Paw Project page. Not having cats declawed myself, there are some things I’ll need to learn – one of the first things I noticed from that website, was chance of arthritis & more. And being outside, bless his heart, probably has made his feet ache more over time! Pampering days ahead, only! πŸ™‚

  11. That picture of Peter asleep in your hand just makes me melt. I can almost feel the way that would feel. If that makes any sense. πŸ™‚

  12. When we first moved into our house, it was the first time my adult, front delawed had walked on wood floors. There are several transitions in the house from carpet to wood to tile. He would be cautious whenever he would make a transition, especially from wood to tile. He still had that slight hesitation even years after living in the house. We had two other cats in the same situation but they showed no hesitation and ran through the house with they you know whats on fire.

    • Some cats are just more graceful than others! πŸ™‚ Surely he won’t stay as awkward as long-legged still-kitten Orlando still is… lol

  13. regarding Hobo…we have a ‘backyard’ rescue who skated on our wooden floors for months ( she looked like a cartoon character on an ice rink rounding a corner) She got used to it after a while and is doing great. Good Luck with Hobo! Robyn your new foster kitties are gorgeous!

    • My new addition (Laney) does the same thing and she has claws. Flailing feet! She even scrambled so hard with her back legs that she landed on her butt! I believe that it doesn’t matter claws or no claws…it is about getting use to it…and well…your kitty’s own grace level (or lack of).

    • Thanks Mary and GD! Will be interesting to watch him learn & adjust to being inside, thankfully, now!

  14. Who the F lets a declawed cat wander around outside? Sorry but that’s dangerous, irresponsible and ticks me off. Of course, they weren’t caring for him in the first place so it’s not a surprise. Just glad that he’s an indoor cat, in a good home with a loving family ,and not easy pickings for neighborhood bullies.

    That milk can picture is just too adorable. I bet he waits there to pounce on whoever comes to the door or walks past unaware.

    I suspect Hobo’s issue might be that this is new for him. I’ve seen declawed cats on hardwood and linoleum without any issues or sliding. Of course, it could be an issue with how he was declawed too, hopefully not a hack job.

    I can’t tell you what I would pay for a lapful of sleepy kittens.

    • I almost stood up & cheered your comment in bold! Our thoughts exactly! We’ve seen Hobo outside off & on for 2 years, figured he was someone’s indoor/outdoor cat. But since seeing him more, recently, we could tell he doesn’t have a home, or hasn’t for quite a while. Someone lost or abandoned him & with no responses to ‘Lost’ postings and signs, and sheltering him for a couple months, after seeing an injury on him, we knew it was time to listen to HIM and bring him inside!! I whisper to him daily, not sure how someone didn’t turn the world upside down looking for him, but he is HOME now!! We’ll keep an eye on his awkward walking on tile & hope it’s just time to adjust that’s needed. These comments are all great & give me ideas to check on, with next Vet visit!

  15. I had a foster kitten last year “Charlotte’ who was so clumsy that I ended up putting a piece of carpet I had in the foster room to help her remain upright. I think it had something to do with her toe floof being overwhelming to her wee little paw pads so she could never get traction.

    • Hehe… Love the carpet piece idea! I did have a friend suggest I check for too much hair floof between his toes… nothing extra there, just some dry looking ‘Peter kitten kind of toe beans needing lotion’… Talked to Robyn, may check with Vet to be sure toe beans are OK & massage his feet with coconut oil – he’d LOVE that – and may help with traction!

  16. About having to go “potty” when three sleeping kittens are on your lap. One word: DEPENDS! πŸ™‚

  17. Thanks for rescuing Hobo! Hate the thought of a declawed cat living as a stray, all defenseless. He is gorgeous!

    • He is so handsome, isn’t he?! I was so nervous ‘snatching him up’, taking him to a Vet, and bringing him inside! But it couldn’t have gone better… He seems so appreciative, craving our attention (human & canine at least, jury is still out on feline πŸ™‚ )… And we’re SO relieved that this sweet, sweet boy is no longer braving it outdoors!

  18. I think I watched Mary’s spitting video about 50 times last night and laughed every time. Not so much at the spitting, but at how she was so dang proud of herself afterwards. She’s a little stinker.