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I was wondering, do you (or Fred) fish in your catfish pond? Are they for eating? I’ve had catfish and found it very nice but I know not everyone regards them as FOOD fish.

Fred is the fisherman in the family, and yes – we eat our catfish. I don’t like catfish as much as Fred does (he grew up eating catfish, after all), but I’ll eat it for one meal. I refuse to eat the leftovers, which is fine with him; he’s happy to eat them.


Thomas looks huge compared with the others. Is he? (And could I be manifesting signs of obsession?)

Thomas is a big boy – at 9ish months of age, he’s almost 10 pounds and he’s very muscular. I think he’s going to be huge, and I wonder if he might have some Maine Coon in him.

Dennis, by comparison, at 6 months old is only about 6 1/2 pounds and (judging by the size of his tiny, delicate paws), I don’t think he’s going to get much bigger. Of course, I could be wrong – we thought Alice was going to stay at around 6 pounds, after all. I don’t actually know how much Tricki weighs, but it’s less than Dennis. She is a tiny girl, and doesn’t seem inclined to get much bigger.

Basically, we have Thomas and Livia at the “big” end of the spectrum and Dennis and Tricki at the “tiny” end.


Can one have too many catfish in a pond?

According to Fred, catfish are like goldfish in that they’ll grow to the resources available. That is, if you put one catfish in a pond, it’ll grow to be huge. If you put a thousand in the same pond, they’ll stay smaller. I imagine it’s possible to hit a point where there are too many of them for the food/space available, in which case they’d probably start dying off.

(The Heron who occasionally lands on the pond would probably be happy to help keep the catfish population down, but George and Gracie run it off immediately.)


Thomas looks like a big sweetie. Does he like to snuggle?

He does like to snuggle. I haven’t had him climb into my lap yet, but he loves to flop down against my leg and be petted. Also, he really likes belly rubs! Yesterday at nap time, he climbed onto my chest for a while, purring and kneading, and then flopped down onto the bed beside me and stayed there for the duration.


Hey, what on earth is a treadmill desk, and where can I [not] get one?


I’d love to know what kind Fred actually has and what he thinks of it. I’ve been thinking that I need something like this… but they are so expensive that I’m hesitant. So I’m soliciting feedback from anyone who has experience with them and who can suggest a good one to buy.

This is what Fred’s office looks like (pardon the mess, it’s a bit cluttered).

From the doorway.

And from the other end.

This is the room where Khaleesi had her kittens last year, by the way.

You can see that the treadmill desk takes up the better part of the room. His treadmill desk is a LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 (and yes, we got it from Amazon). He walks on it for 4 hours a day, usually starting around 5:30 (for the record, treadmill desks aren’t meant to burn calories, they’re just meant to keep you moving rather than sitting at a desk all day. He walks at a leisurely (for him) pace). He likes it a lot and if you’re in the market for a treadmill desk, he highly recommends it.

When I’m downstairs I can hear the treadmill going, but it’s not terribly loud and doesn’t bother me. In fact, he starts walking on it before I wake up, most mornings, and it never wakes me up.

Because I know not everyone already knows this, Fred is a software engineer who works on a contractual basis for [redacted].

(I can neither confirm nor deny that he works for the NSA, but he’s appalled at that last email you sent.)

(I’m just kidding, he doesn’t work for the NSA.)

(Which is probably exactly what someone whose husband DID work for the NSA would say, amiright?)


Robyn, can you get a video of Dennis giving Orlando’s ears a good cleaning? I’m especially curious to see why the cleaning “always ends in biting”, and I always love seeing video of those precious little monkeys!

I tried, but wasn’t able to get a video of the monkeys in action before Orlando went off to Petsmart. It always ends in biting because something about vigorous ear cleaning gets the ear cleaner (and sometimes clean-ee) overwrought and that always seems to lead to biting from one or both of the kittens involved. There’s often bunny-kicking involved, too.


Robyn, you absolutely need this! And, so do I.

I certainly do. That would be the perfect desk for me!


Holy crap Batman! Orlando is gonna be JEALOUS!!!

Those are some FABULOUS ears!


This reminds me of something that’s actually been on my mind for several days that I kept thinking I should ask the accumulated wealth of kitty wisdom represented by the L&H readership.
Is there a correlation between being very fastidious at poop covering in the litter box and the need to try to cover up wet food? I have one female cat who very energetically does both. The food-covering, of course, is just like pantomiming because she’s scratching and pawing away at the tabletop (I feed both cats on tables so the dog doesn’t think the food is his) and not actually accomplishing anything (although a few times she’s actually managed to snag a napkin lying on the table and completely cover her bowl with it! that was pretty funny).
The male cat, on the other hand, can’t be bothered to do either. And he also happens to be the messiest eater of all the cats I’ve ever had…
Just wondered if others have observed the same thing.

I haven’t observed that myself at all, but I’ll be interested to hear whether anyone else.


Do you, or would you ever, swim in that pond? I asked because, while I love eating catfish, I’m not so sure I could handle knowing they were down there while I was in the water. hehehe

I have never gone swimming in that pond, and I never would – not necessarily because of the catfish, but because it’s awfully murky and cloudy in that pond, and I’d be worried that there could be scarier things than catfish in there.


YouTube link.

and that is catfishin.. 🙂

It certainly is!


If you just put out the trap, who do you think you would catch of yours? 🙂

We set the trap a few years ago, and when Fred went out to check it about 10 minutes later, Maxi was sitting in it, eating the food he’d put in there. I imagine either Maxi or Stefan would be most likely to go into that trap after a plate of canned food, though Newt would probably eventually mosey his way in there, too!


“have to bring the outside cats inside and set the trap” No way! Surely by now, your regular crowd knows what that trap is for and to stay the.heck.away from it.
Our feral colony just laughs at us when we bring out the trap. One stinker, a Tuxie btw, just lays down across the pull string of the drop trap. Hey, I can see you in that car. Bring me my dinner, now.

You know, we have actually not used the trap very often. The only cats in recent memory that we had to trap were Alice (December 2010), and after that Rufus (March 2011). Most of the time we’re able to make friends with new cats who show up, and then can pick them up and drop them into a cage until we get them to the vet for vetting.


Seeing your chickens reminded me of this..

That’s really neat – and I especially like the Squeals on Wheels Petting Zoo!


Do you think you could get some video next time you have some new cats interacting with fosters or permanent residents? I always hear amusing stories of hissing and scampering, but haven’t really seen too much in the way of action. I’m always fascinated by how cats choose to get along with one another (or not!).

Sure, I’ll see what I can do – it may be a while, though. I don’t think we’ll be letting the current crew out into the house, so probably it’ll be the next batch of kittens. Although this morning Dennis was looking through the screen door at Jake like he REALLY wanted to be friends.


The pic of Dennis laying down (“Dennis, after belly rub.”) makes him look like a black footed cat.

He does. In that second picture, I really see a resemblance, because of the small stature but also the tiny paws. Maybe we could market Dennis as being part Black-Footed Cat. (Okay, not really. But I bet it would drum up interest in him!)


“Um… yep. Ceiling fan’s still there!”

“There it is. Still there. Hasn’t gone anywhere.”

“That thing makes me nervous, lady.”

Hangin’ in the wall bed.

Livia was watching the FroliCat Pounce, and Tricki ran out of the closet, sniffed her, and then ran back into the closet. Livia didn’t know what happened, and by the time she thought to hiss, Tricki was long gone. It was hilarious!

Figuring this toy out.

Dennis, keeping an eye on things.

And hanging out in the fish bed.

Tricki is SUCH a playful girl. If she hears the feather teaser, out she runs to leap up after it.

“One day, lady. One day I’m going to get that thing!”

We put the screen door up at the bottom of the stairs and opened the door to the foster room. Livia and Thomas spent most of yesterday hanging out in Fred’s room – Thomas on the bed, Livia on the recliner – and Dennis and Tricki stayed mostly in the foster room, with the occasional trip out to the hallway and down the stairs. There seemed to be a lot less hissing from Livia – at one point she was standing RIGHT next to Thomas, and didn’t hiss at him until he got too close to her. I’m hoping that by the time she goes back to Petsmart, we’ll be able to say that she’ll eventually get along with other cats if introduced slowly.


I seriously need to get a video of Corbie’s meow, because it’s less of a meow and more of a squeak. It’s utterly adorable!


2013: “You tryin’ to steal my babies? Because THAT would make me VERY… Hmm. Actually, okay. Go ahead and steal them. I can handle that.”
2012: Emmy Wednesday
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: Not scared of the Roomba, just skeedaddling to his Very Important Date!
2008: She’s a mean drunk.
2007: They definitely live the life o’ Reilly.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



4-25-14 — 32 Comments

  1. I love the idea of Gracie laughing behind Fred’s back while he strolls for hours and hours, going nowhere. 🙂

  2. Have you considered leaving Livia in there for a bit longer to see what happens? Understanding what it takes to introduce her to other cats might help Challenger’s House find her a furever home.

    • As of this morning, there’s no hissing at all from Livia. So the immersion technique seems to have worked (though it’s not one I would have chosen) and she CAN get along with other cats. I don’t know that she’d be friends with another cat (she is ALL about people), but to know that she can coexist peacefully is good to know!

  3. Until your mention today, I hadn’t realized Dennis was on the small side…he is such a big character!

    Fred’s office is cool – it sure would make a GREAT foster room if the furniture were moved out! 🙂

    • I know, right? I suggested, the other day, that his bedroom is big enough that it could also be his office (thus giving me that room back for fostering), and he acted like I was joking. Hmph!

        • I’m trying to convince Fred that a sunroom off the front room (I have the perfect place picked out!) is exactly what we need! He’s not convinced, but I’ve only begun…

  4. Of my 2 cats, one is super fastidious about covering up stuff in the litter box and pawing at the food dishes. The other never did it. I think it just depends on the cat and how ingrained those survival/outdoor instincts are.

  5. both of my cats are diggers in the litter box, often trying to bring down the walls too. I now have the litter box under a bench so that they scratch at the sides instead of my apt’s walls
    Yet only one tries to cover her dry food dish. if there is anything on the floor, she scrap it over and cover the dish. shopping bag, a tissue… which often leaves the other kitty trying to figure out how to get some munchies.

    • the food coverer came from a household of 7 cats, none of whom let her eat or use the litter box that often. I think it’s now a case of protecting her “stash”

  6. our fosters have already started the bitey faze – though without teeth it isn’t that big of a deal. mom thinks ears are good targets cause they just stick out in the right places. 🙂

  7. Heh, I learn something new every day: I had never heard of a “Black Footed Cat” and had to immediately look it up. Interesting! And I think maybe Dennis would like that moniker. LOL

    I have a cat who hates the ceiling fan; even though he’s been here two years, he still casts a wary eye on the fan when it’s on. Have no idea how it looks to a cat, but for some reason, a few do become nervous.

    • When we opened the foster room door to let them roam the upstairs, Thomas ran into Fred’s bedroom, jumped up on the bed, and immediately looked up at the ceiling fan as if to say “Are those things EVERYWHERE?!”

  8. P.S. Forgot to add that I loved the videos of the cats catching fish. I guess now we know what species will survive when the Apocalypse hits!

    • I too loved the cat fishing videos. There’s actually a species of wild cat in Asia called the fishing cat (or maybe something like “the Asian fishing cat”). I saw one when I was at the amazing Singapore Zoo, which has an even more amazing collection of nocturnal animals. They reopen the “Night Zoo” once it is dark and you get to see all the nocturnal animal exhibits. I LOVED it!

      • The Turkish Van cat evolved a bit hunting fish on the shores of Lake Van in Turkey. They tend to be water-loving to this day.

  9. “I seriously need to get a video of Corbie’s meow, because it’s less of a meow and more of a squeak. It’s utterly adorable!”

    Yes please! I’m always grateful to get to hear cats with a squeaky meow. They’re always so cute!

    • The problem with getting Corbie’s “voice” on video is that he doesn’t squeak on demand – in fact, he usually says something when he’s complaining. If I sneeze, he’ll always squeak at me (like he’s saying “Cut it out!”), so I better work on my fake sneezing. 🙂

  10. I have solved the mystery of the cat trying to cover the food bowl.

    After driving me nuts for a good long while – Monkey will do this continuously for 10 minutes and NOTHING distracts him-I have learned that it is in fact instinctual.

    Cats in the wild do not always eat the entire food source they catch. They tend to bury it under dirt and leaves and such so that it is hidden from others, so that they may return later and carry on their munch fest.

    My other cat Basil just looks at Monkey, and I am sure if he could talk would just shake his head and say ‘whadda nutjob!’

    • I figured it had to be an instinctual thing, to not bring predators around. It’s curious that some cats do it and some don’t, though!

      • I just love it when you have a cat that will cover who scratches and scratches and then finally decides it is covered enough and walks away..

    • She was at Petsmart for 5 months. She got time out of her cage twice a day, but aside from that, she didn’t get much exercise, and I’m sure she ate out of boredom. She actually doesn’t seem to be that interested in food (I’ve seen her eating, but she ignores the treats they get at bedtime), so hopefully she’ll slim down a little while she’s here.

  11. Both of my girls are food and litter burying kitties. One came from a feral colony at about 9 months old. The other was found living behind a hotel at about the same age. I think it’s a survival instinct left over from having to live outside.

  12. I’m the one who asked the question about the cats who try to cover their food. I know that it is a carryover from wild behavior (i.e. what Leanne and Christine C. both pointed out). What I was curious to find out from other L&H readers, though was whether the same cats who are obsessive about covering their food were also the ones that scrabble away in the litter box to cover up their poop. That’s the case with my two cats (girl-cat covers food & poop; boy-cat is a slob everywhere; figures, right?) and I wondered if others have observed the same.

  13. Glad you are back up and running Robyn!
    My girl cat Oreo tries to cover food by scratching at the floor. She scratches at a lot of things. Sometimes she goes crazy and tries to get the “dead body” behind the walls. But her poop is only sometimes covered. We keep the litter box in the bathroom so maybe it’s an out of sight out of mind thing.
    Oh and Dennis has been my favorite from this group so I’m sure he will be scooped up in no time whenever he moves into Petsmart. I also surprised Tricki is still there because she is gorgeous too.

    • My cat Gus was a notorious food buryer and used to dig at the bathroom mirror when he was young enough to get up on the counter, but not anything special in digging at the litter box.