5-10-19 Friday

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Does anyone have any advice on dealing with chewers? Both like paper and one likes wires/cords (all currently covered) but the other one likes chewing wood corners. Specifically a headboard that belonged to my great-grandparents and my brand new coffee table. Is there anything wood-safe and not completely ugly that would deter the Bubba from this particular source of dietary fiber? Any advice greatly appreciated.

You could buy that sticky stuff – basically two-sided tape – to stick to the spots where he’s chewing, but (1) it’s kinda ugly and (2) I’d worry about it messing up the finish on your furniture. Hopefully someone else will have a good suggestion, but I’ll post the question in next Friday’s post and see what comes up!

Other suggestions are Bitter Apple (Deb), Bitter End (Deborah), and citrus products, hot sauces, and lemon furniture polish (Pamela).

If you guys have any additional suggestions, please chime in!


Haven’t we had the Little House naming theme three times now?

Nope, this is the first time we’ve used it.

(For the record, y’all can see a complete list of all our fosters over here.)


Have you noticed that one kitten over the others is closer to Pa and/or Ma, or are they equally as affectionate towards them? Now that you have the actual Pa cohabitating, I’m curious.

As far as I can tell, they’re pretty much equally as affectionate – they all like to curl up with both parents, they LOVE to play with both of them. The girls might spend a bit more time curled up with Charles, but the boys snooze with him too. (I would love to walk into the room and find the whole family curled up together on the bed, but I haven’t seen that yet!)


do you think you could tell them apart without their collars now?

I think I could, but it would take a lot of staring. I still can’t tell the boys apart at first glance, but I have no problem with the girls.


So, what does Archie think of the new royal baby’s name? Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor


Have Charles and/or Caroline met your permanent residents? How do you think they would get on in an adoptive home that had other cats in it?

Fred’s been bringing Charles downstairs (on a harness) in the evening for 10 or 15 minutes for the past week or so. He was growly toward the other cats at first, and has calmed down a lot. It’s hard to know for sure – with the kittens in the house, even though they’re not downstairs with him, I think he still feels protective. I believe that, if introduced very slowly and given enough time, they’d adjust fine.


Is it me or are we starting to see some lanky going on with these kittens?

They are definitely starting to hit their lanky stage. They’re turning into total stringbeans!


Back in January, Happy asked for advice on socializing a feral 4 month old kitten (see that post here.)

Here’s an update!

I asked for advice in January about a feral kitten. All the comments were really helpful. I didn’t try to rush things and gave her space to get comfortable. What helped was her watching, as she kept her distance, my cat interacting me. My cat spends a lot of time on my lap. So eventually she would try lying on my ankles. Over the next couple weeks she worked her way up to my lap. No touching allowed during this period. It was a good feeling when she felt safe enough to fall asleep in my lap. She still hides if anyone else comes in the house and doesn’t like to be picked up. But I’m amazed how far she’s come, loves toys, wears herself out playing, and has become a total lovebug.

How absolutely wonderful is that? Thank you for letting me share, Happy!


Albert’s explaining things to Willie. “Not much longer and we’re gonna be tutored – I don’t know why we need to be tutored, we’re obviously so much smarter than everyone else, but whatever – and THEN we’re gonna go to our forever home, and we will be treated like KINGS and spoiled ROTTEN and we will have a million billion TOYS!”

“What doin’, weird lady?” Almanzo inquires.

Play time! (Isn’t it always play time?)

Laura’s all “Just passing through! Keep your hands to yourself, lady!”

Mary shows off her fabulous dance moves. Almanzo is suitably impressed.

Laura has a sleepy.

Almanzo and his Pa.

Laura and her Ma.

Caroline’s telling a story that clearly has the kittens enthralled.

Family portrait! (I wish Charles was on the bed, but I’ll take what I can get!) Kittens left to right: Albert, Willie, Almanzo, Laura & Mary.


“You’re ding-dang right I brought a chipmunk into the house yesterday and chased it into the computer room so it ran behind your desk and you thought I’d knocked a toy back there, so you pulled your desk out and then screamed when the chipmunk ran at you. SORRY NOT SORRY, LADY.”

YouTube link


2018: “Does this mean I’m gonna have to hear about his extra toes for the rest of my life? Oh joy.”
2017: Roux will have you know that she is NOT responsible for the damage to this scratcher. It was a previous litter. REALLY.
2016: SOMEONE has a case of the Loons!
2015: Happy Mother’s Day!
2014: “Not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I’m prettyyyyyyy.”
2013: “You might CONSIDER yourself the fourth born child of Khaleesi, but YOU ARE NO DRAGON, SIR.”
2012: O Christmas tree.
2011: I love how, at this age, when you rub their bellies, they think about it for a moment, then begin vigorously grooming themselves.
2010: Now that Maura is gone, we’re down to just our eleven, plus four fosters. Why, it’s like we hardly have any cats in the house at all!
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



5-10-19 Friday — 24 Comments

  1. Poor chipmunk!!! I bet he was more scared (for his life) than anyone else was!

    I have a wood corner chewer also. For my night stands, I put a glass top on top of them.

  2. There are corner protectors for tables to keep kids from bumping into them and getting hurt. There’s different styles and colors, including transparent. Maybe that would stop the chewing?

  3. I’m not sure what it would do to a wood finish, but I’ve had good luck using Tiger Balm to curb cord chewing. The smell is potent enough that the cats are deterred before getting it anywhere near their mouth. At least mine were.

    • I’ve also had some luck with geranium essential oil; but it is a STRONG smell!

  4. That poor chipmunk must have messed his pants when you pulled the desk out. I hardly ever see one around my house but my old girl Sophie, who is 17, caught one and brought the remains to me a couple of months ago.

  5. Any advice for traveling with my 5 cats? We’ll be moving from MI to FL on 5/22. I bought 2 pet “playpens” to put in our vehicle; going to put 3 friends/snugglers in one and 2 (also friends/snugglers in the other. Each has room for a litter box. I put them in the great room & everyone’s hung out in there already. I started giving them hemp oil (no THC) about a week ago, which seems to have made them more relaxed/social. I plan on getting harnesses this week and leashes. I’ve already got ideas for lining them (layers) with shower curtain liners and towels in case someone has a mishap. Any further ideas for traveling 20 hours by car? I know they’ll start by singing me the song of their people for a few hours lol. All input is welcome! Thanks.

    • For their safety and yours, I’d highly recommend not bringing them out of their traveling confinement for the duration of the trip. If you have to open their crates at any time only do it when you are parked and there is zero chance of someone opening the door of your vehicle. That way if they do manage to get out of the crate they’re still safe inside the vehicle. Yeah it could be a pain in the butt catching the escapee in the cramped space but oh so much better than the terror of a busy parking lot somewhere far from home.

      They’ll sing all right. And it could be tempting to bring one or 2 out while you’re driving to try and comfort them. Safer all around if they stay put for the duration. Sing to them. Talk to them. Try your best to give them some kind of audio and visual connection to you and it might help to soothe them. Have a sheet to cover the crates for protection from the sun, and if seeing you appears to agitate them too much you can use it to block their view of you but still be thin enough to not fully block air circulation. Even if they’re normally good travel partners in their own with you best to let them stay put while driving as well. Safer all around.

      Rest stops. If you have a driving partner or passenger best to take care of business in shifts. Otherwise take care of yourself as quickly as possible and if possible take your food break at the vehicle with a door ajar to help with air so that you can walk around the vehicle and stretch but still give them fresh air. If you can park in a shady spot, otherwise cover their crates with the sheets and park as close to the entrance as possible. (If you’re traveling alone – if you’re traveling with someone then s bit farther away from the traffic of people and vehicles is a good idea so to minimize stressful noises while you guys wait for the other with open doors/windows.

      Don’t be too alarmed if they don’t use the litter boxes for the duration of the trip. It’s not unusual for cats to not eat or drink or use the litter box very much if at all when traveling. Possibly in the last part of the trip they might start to relax a bit and eat/drink/relieve themselves as they somewhat get used to the routine, but it’s more likely they’ll wait until the world stops moving for longer than a rest break.

      This is from my traveling alone and with others partway across country 3 different times with 3 different sets of cats. The last time was by myself from Long island to Michigan with 3 cats in 2 medium sized dog crates and a packed to the gills minivan. I had them positioned towards the front part of back of the van so our kitties could see and hear me and so they could get fresh air from my vents while driving and from the open sliding doors when I stopped for breaks. Oh I heard all the classic songs let me tell you. Because I was by myself and the car was so packed up I didn’t even try to open their pens. Since they were dog crates I was able to take a water bottle and pour a bit into the bowl I had wedged into a corner of the crate without opening it. None of them even touched their food the whole trip. Turning their noses up at the rare treats of tidbits of lunch meat I offered. I lined the bottom of the crates with wee wee pads and then towels. I also ensured that each crate had a small cat bed they each favored, along with a (not grossly) dirty pillow case from mine and my husband’s pillows for the comforting familiar scents.

      Unless they’re already super used to travel it’s going to be stressful pretty much no matter what you do, but these things should help to take some of the edge off and make the best of it. Good luck! My kitties forgave me… eventually. 😉

    • I put a towel in the bottom and put puppy wee pads on top. Towel is for comfort. Also get ID tags for all of their harnesses. Be sure they are microchipped. I travel often with my 5. It is not hard. At first, they may howl their heads off, but I tend to sing to them and they settle in. R

  6. You’re ding-dang right you made me laugh this morning! Hope you and the gang have a great weekend.

  7. I think we all need to hear about how said chipmunk safely exited the building.

    • Well, he lives here now, of course.

      (Just kidding!)

      Fred helped herd him into a box, and we set him free out the front door, whereupon he scampered off, hopefully NOT back into the back yard.

      • Did the scream best you yelling for Fred by his full name when the snake visited?

        • I think it was pretty similar, actually, though the sound was turned off on the Nest camera in the kitchen, so it wasn’t captured for posterity this time! 🙂

  8. Poor chipmunk! Poor Robyn!

    And I’m just going to say whatever everyone else is thinking: I sure wish Caroline and Charles would become permanent residents!

  9. The fiber conduit into the building comes in through our room, and it’s an old building on a forested campus, so wildlife happens in my office from time to time. To this day my coworkers are still surprised when I don’t flip out at a mouse — apparently the guy who had my chair before me jumped screaming onto his desk every time he saw one?

    Anyway, my answer to that is always to the effect of “Wayward mice and other small woodland creatures are part of the life of a cat owner. I got over it long ago.” (I did, however, draw the line at the 2 1/2″ cockroach.)

    • I only screamed because I was startled – I have a secret wish for a pet chipmunk, though I know that would end poorly. But they’re so darn CUTE.

      This makes me think of the way people freak OUT about spiders… meanwhile I had a little jumping spider living on my desk for about three days ’til I got worried I’d move papers and accidentally squish him, so moved him outside.

  10. That’s right! Clearly the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were thinking of that awesome grey tabby living in Alabama when they named their little prince Archie.

    What?! They’re being tutored already!

    Oh Alice, that is FUNNY!

  11. For the chewer, if the stuff above doesn’t work, you can smear some cayenne pepper on it. We have a plant chewer in our house and i spray the plant with a water/lemon combo and add a dash of cayenne. The lemon alone is not enough of a deterrent for my beast.

    For Charles on a harness, OMG I NEED PICTURES PLEASE!

  12. A belated but very sincere thank you to all of the helpful advice for the wood chewer.(maybe he’s part chipmunk?)