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I have a question about enticing more timid cats to play, though. Our “foster” Tommy was a fearless outside hunter-type of cat before we took him in. We are in a big metro area, neighborhood with no fences, and too many dogs and cars. I won’t let him outside, but we’re trying to keep him exercised indoors. This cat literally seems afraid of every toy we try. He shows initial interest, but after a moment of checking it out he backs away and acts if we are attacking him with it. Any suggestions for getting him moving? We can get limited moments with the laser toy and he checked out “da bird” without too much fear. He will also tear apart a sock filled with catnip like nobody’s business. But I’m running out of ideas for activities for him. (I should add that he’s not afraid of us, just the toys)

Would he maybe like “low” toys, like maybe those tracks that the balls go around in, or something battery powered, like a little mouse that you could turn on and he could chase? Ooh, or maybe the Undercover Mouse? I bought one of those and the cats really liked it, I need to drag it back out again.

I’m throwing this open to everyone else – y’all jump in here with suggestions, please!

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Do you know how the ducks are getting out?

I’m pretty sure they pushed under a piece of fence that was pulled up away from the ground a little bit. Fred fixed that, and the ducks haven’t gotten out again since the one time. The chickens that get out and wander the property have either found another piece of fence like that, or (more likely) they’re jumping over the top of the fence where it was hit by the tree that fell last April and needs to be replaced.

Did y’all know that chickens can fly a little bit? Not for long distances and not very high, but if they’re determined, they can flap hard enough to get over a fence. If it were a big issue (if, say, the chickens were wandering onto the property next door), we could clip one wing on each chicken, which would throw them off balance and stop them from being able to fly high enough to get over the fence.

I say that chickens can’t fly for long distances, but the really light ones can fly further than you’d expect. The Featherhead (did someone refer to her as Phyllis Diller recently? Because that’s what she’s starting to become named in my head.) was about halfway up Dirt Mountain a few weeks ago, and I was going out to feed the chickens. When the chickens see either of us walking toward the back forty in the afternoon, they know they’re about to get chicken scratch, and they get excited and come running. Well, the Featherhead saw me, got excited, started running and flapping her wings, and that little hen flew about 30 feet across the back forty before she touched down.

This is the Featherhead:

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Interestingly, the littlest chickens are the ones that you pretty much never see outside the back forty. Either they just can’t figure out how to get over the fence, or they know that they’re safer inside the fence than out.

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Does Logie look like a tortie to you?

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I don’t think so, because all I’m seeing is white and dark gray, but who knows? I can’t wait to see how her colors turn out as she grows up!

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I still think she/he will look like Smoky Joe over at 50 Kittens!

What a stunner!

I would not be surprised, I think Smoky Joe is one gorgeous boy!

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Robyn, do you get feedback numbers about page visits or views? That huge increase in numbers right around the time the kittens were born? All me. Whenever I get stressed, I visit for a minute to look at sweet mama and her babies. Better than any other medication I can think of 🙂

Ha – I do have a stats meter on my page, but I tend to forget to look at it. I went back and looked and my hits had about doubled the couple of days after the babies were born. I don’t think you’re alone in coming back to gaze upon their adorable little faces! 🙂

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Can Emmy really be regarded as feral and not just shy and reactive? She did go from hissing and running to letting you pet her within a week or so. My understanding of feral cats is that they never let you pet them for years!

I would really call her semi-feral rather than just shy. I’ve heard enough stories about feral mothers who allowed people to pet them and handle their kittens and then as their kittens grow older, they revert to more feral behavior. I’m not definitely labeling Emmy as feral, and all we can do is work with her and try to get her to trust us (she’s willing to let us handle her kittens, but she’s less willing to let us do more than pet her a few times), and we’ll see where we are with her once her babies are ready to go off. The good thing is that we’ve got a few months to work with her, so hopefully we’ll be able to break through that wall of fear and distrust. That poor girl has been through an awful lot in a short period of time!

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I don’t know if it’s Sugarbutt’s solid marmy-ness and lack of white, or what, but he always looks so densely furry and pet-able!

He definitely has a nice thick coat of fur. I always compliment him on his plush fur. 🙂

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you have eyeballs!!! I’ve got one that is starting (posting picts tomorrow) but the rest are refusing to look at me 🙂

You guys do know that Connie’s got baby kittens too, right? Go check them out! Yesterday’s “I booped your nose” picture made me laugh out loud.

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Robyn, have you seen this? The video made me think of it.


HA – no, I hadn’t seen that!

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Razzie’s eyes are almost all the way open (though I haven’t gotten a good picture of them yet), and Newbery’s eyes are starting to open. Logie and Darwin are apparently in no big hurry to see the world – especially Logie; my lord is that one porky little kitten. I’m hoping to get updated pictures of them all this weekend.

Emmy’s doing okay, though she’s been a bit annoyed lately. Especially toward Fred – which bears out my belief that she’s getting overwhelmed because first she’s got all these babies on her all the time and then this guy keeps coming in and petting her and petting her. When I go in, I’ll scratch her a little around the neck and head then turn my attention to the babies, but Fred believes in the full-body massage (at least where mama cats are concerned), and I feel like she’s giving him the “Oh my GOD would you get OFF ME!” message. I backed off with the visiting yesterday a little, and it seems to have helped. Though I did go into the room in the early afternoon, and she was sitting behind the box. As soon as she saw me coming, she ran to the front of the box and then hissed at me. I put the plate of food on the floor and left, and when I went in later, she was fine and snoozed while I petted the babies.

I’m going to be interested to see her reaction when the babies start climbing out of the box.

Logie is the biggest crybaby of the litter. I pick her up, and as soon as she realizes she’s not in the box, she starts crying at the top of her lungs. I always put her right back in the box and she snuffle-snorts over to Emmy and tells her all about it. Razzie is the most relaxed about being held, and even when she complains it’s kind of half-hearted. Darwin and Newbery, well, it depends on their moods. Sometimes they’re screamy, sometimes a little more laid-back.

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Logie and Emmy (the other three kittens are in front of Emmy, between her and the back of the box).

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Babies at the milk bar.

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Whooooooooooooooo’s a beautiful boy?!

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“She’s taking my picture again, isn’t she?”

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Corbie ignores.

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“There are BIRDS out there. Big ones. How do I get to them?”


2011: Corbie Wednesday.
2010: Hoyt goes home.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



3-9-12 — 27 Comments

  1. aww..ive got the phrase ‘porky little kitten’ for an earworm now, thanks.

  2. Oh, man – that last picture of Emmy! She looks so content 🙂

    And Corbie? Anyone ever tell him how handsome he is?

  3. Is the Logie Award something for drama queens? I think our Logie is definitely in the running 😉

    Undercover Mouse looks like fun! I will have to order one for Tommy and see if he will play with it on his own. We have a track ball that none of my spoiled ingrates will even look at. Any clue how to get them started? I feel pretty dumb spinning that ball in circles on my own…

    Doodle Bean mentioned yesterday that maybe Tommy is shying away from toys that the other cats have “claimed”. Simba has definitely established himself as the alpha male… not in an aggressive or mean way, but he is certainly the household overlord. He was here first, so I guess it makes sense. Every cat in the house has certain areas they consider “their domain” (a bedroom usually) that they pretty much hang out in exclusive of the other cats. They share the kitchen and living areas pretty peacefully, but I guess they’re like my kids and each want their “own room” too (brats). Tommy hangs out with the stuffed animals and on the doll beds in younger daughter’s room (Poor Ruthie the American Girl has not been allowed to lie down in months!). Perhaps if I get new toys and put them in her room, he will take them as “his”. I will give it a try.

    Love to hear any other ideas for bringing some spunk out of him. Thanks!

      • Track ball toys.. don’t they seem like the perfect cat toy?? That’s what I thought so I got one.. And Star ignored it with extreme prejudice! (didnt have Leo then) Eventually, she started using it as a bottomless bed, but the ball remained unplayedwith. Greg was determined that she’d enjoy it though, so every day, several times a day, he would bat the ball in front of her. After a loooonnnggggg time, maybe two months.. Star batted it! Then ignored it again… then played and ignored over and over. Now she loves it, and will play with it when she’s playful. Leo’s paws are a little big, but he likes it too. Still not the huge big favorite I expected, but once they realized what it was, they liked it. (Greg had to show Leo how to play with it too) If you’re willing to put in the time, someone might decide they like it, eventually.

      • Would you believe that today (of all days) he played and I’ve done nothing different toy-wise yet? He spent a good ten minutes pulling a toy out from under the sofa and has rubbed himself all over it to get a good catnip high. He’s played with Simba and Norman without irritation. And he’s spent a good deal of time out of his hidey-holes… racing around, cuddling, and just generally hanging out. I’ve worried about him for weeks and when I finally start asking for help… he’s normal. Brat. The only thing I’ve done differently? The windows are open with the onslaught of a Michigan spring. Could he really just be suffering seasonal affective disorder?

        I’m still going to try all the new toys and ideas. I want to test out everyone’s theories (and I want to see if I can train these stinkin’ cats to play with the expensive track ball the kid insisted that they needed)

        • Another possibility is that you are feeling better about the situation now that you’re getting suggestions and he’s picking up on that!

          Cats are weird, so who knows?

        • Another suggestion is to maybe start taking Tom out on leashed walks. My Fuzz was a former outdoors cat and he really missed going outside for a decade before I learned that cats can be walked if you use a harness… and have patience.

          I started just putting the harness on him and giving him treats. After a day of putting it on, givng him a treat and then taking it off right away, I went to keeping it on him for while as he did his normal cat activities (cough, nap). Then I got him used to the leash by taking him on ‘walks’ around the home (believe me, that part is fun because it’s so silly to be walking your cat around inside). Then, it was outside on the leash.

          The whole training process took less than a week and Fuzz loves, LOVES, LOVES his walks. He comes alive and acts 10 years younger than he is. Just so you know, walking a cat is a lot different from walking a dog. It’s more like waiting around while the cat sniffs and explores. But it’s a lot of fun and no two walks are the same. Sometimes, he even walks while on his walks!! 🙂

          If anyone wants to start walking their cats, I’d recommend a velcro harness which can be placed on the cat and fastened. I started with a harness that Fuzz had to put his head through and he really hated that part. I now use a Kitty Holster and it works well. Plus, tuxedo cat Fuzz gets to have tiger stripes while patrolling his yard!


  4. I wonder if Tommy would like one of the microchip mice that squeak when batted around?

  5. “…and she snuffle-snorts over to Emmy and tells her all about it”… that sentence made ME snuffle-snort!! Too funny…

    • Me too! 🙂

      lthough I suspect our snuffle snorts are from laughter, not despair as in the case of poor wee little bebbeh kitten Logie who suffers so very, very much at the hands of that evil Robyn. All. The. Time!!


  6. Thanks for posting the link to Smoky Joe, Robyn. Here’s another photo of him a little older. He’s still a stunner and Logie will be lucky if she ends up looking like that!!

    Also, if I may promote the 50 Kittens blog for a moment. Ted and Martha foster for Challenger House in the D.C. area and do great work saving kittens too sick for other fosters. One of their current fosters, Groundhog, is just getting over panleukopeniam (feline distemper). It’s quite an accomplishment since the virus is 90% fatal. They also get healthy litters and document them twice a week, Wednesday and Sunday. Ted also writes bad puns for those of you into that sort of thing.

    As for your kittens, Robyn, they are as cute as ever, of course! I love your description of Logie’s histrionics! And then there’s Corbie! Has there ever been a more gorgeous cat?!

    No. No there has not. Not even Logie!

    • I agree, Ted and Martha are awesome. I like to do the hijinx hop-around and admire the random kitteh pics! 🙂

      • Also, I like the way they have their list of kittens set up and have thought that I ought to do something similar. Some day. When I get around to it!

        • They’ve written that they started doing that when they could no longer remember details about their early fosters — around the time of their 50th kitten! Maybe when you when you get to 50 kittens and stop being able to remember them, you’ll have more motivation to get to it!

          You could even rename your blog “Love and Hisses from 50+ Kittens” at that time, Robyn!!


          • Ha – I am actually pretty much neck-and-neck with Ted and Martha as far as the number of kittens fostered. They’re at #175, I’m at #174!

          • I didn’t know that! I guess your memory is better than theirs then! Congratulations! And thanks for taking care of so many kitteh!! I could never foster in a million years, so I’m glad wonderful people do so!!


            Wow! 174 kittens!!

          • I did throw together a list of alllllll the fosters almost two years ago, here, which I keep meaning to update but, well. You see how that turned out. The administrative tasks tend to fall by the wayside around here. 🙂

          • Wow! Just Wow! I had forgotten that post and you were only up to 125 then. I’m so in awe of your ability to take care of the furballs and then give them up!


  7. snuffle-snort! MOL!! I can picture that so easily!
    I’m just noticing the white splotch on Logie’s face. It reminds me of that little grey patch on some guys with really dark hair… it’s such an interest. I know she’s a girl, but she’s got that.. what do they call it, not streak… Highlight? Color swatch (white in this case) Whatever it is, it’s only gonna be prettier as she grows I bet!

    Corbie? PRETTY BOY!

  8. Correct me if I’m wrong, Robyn, but I don’t recall Maggie’s babies being so, er, vocal. Cheers to their protective mum and, as always, to charismatic Corbie — and serious wishes for the final Pepper to find her home. Also, here’s hoping that Joe Bob does a better job of protecting his handsome nose next time round.

    • You know, I think that with Maggie, I’d pick up one of her babies and the baby would do the “I’m about to have myself a complaint right here!” pre-complaint peeping, and Maggie would wander over and lick the baby’s head or chirrup at them, and they’d calm down. With these babies, Emmy absolutely refuses to leave the box when we’re in the room (and the other babies are in the box) and so the complaining isn’t cut off before it begins.

  9. Not to be gross, but how is it that the pink mat in the box is still so clean? Don’t the babies have accidents?