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Speaking of spaying – my spayed female (3 yo, from shelter, was spayed long before shelter) is acting like she’s in heat and my neutered male agrees. This is crazy & has been going on for a week. She’s been to the vet, she has a spay scar, she is going back for a 2nd spay next week. Any sympathy, similar experiences, imaginary kittens stories to share? Is it possible this is psychological and she is actually completely spayed? She’s a female orange tabby, which I understand makes her a little odd genetically. I’m wondering how odd.

If a small piece of ovary is left inside, it can cause them to go into heat even though they lack a uterus. I bet that when your vet opens her up, that’s what they’ll find (but please let us know what does happen, I’ll be curious to know whether I’m right or not!)

Then Chanter asked: I once knew a gray tabby boy who, despite having been neutered, still behaved like an unfixed male. At the time, I half-jokingly speculated ‘I think the vet missed a few pieces.’ Could that have actually been the case? If a female cat with a small portion of an ovary left can go into heat, could a small piece of… something, I don’t care to speculate on what, cause a male to act like he’s still fully intact? I still wince remembering poor Grady’s cagemate at the shelter; she growled up a storm at him a few times there, volunteers separated them more than once, and that’s all I’ll say on that subject. Ick!

That is an excellent question – and I don’t know! I bet someone out there does. Anyone? Spill! We wanna know!

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Norbert bears a startling resemblance to Benedict Cumberbatch. And this otter.

You know what? HE TOTALLY DOES! How freaky is that?

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Omg I love love norbert, I’m still tickled that he was accepted into the dragon brood! Btw Robyn I just wanted to share this quick pic with you. Our kitty Molly girl loves flowers and my wife got this pic of her really taking in the scent. It’s so funny I had to share!

I LOVE how she’s going for the deep sniff. “These flowers are FABULOUS, they smell like SPRING!”

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Congrats to Robyn and the 214 kitties who were saved by her (does that mean just the kittens or does it include the occasional mama cat?)

It includes every one of them – the kittens, the mamas, the occasional adult. One day I’m going to have a page where you can go and see a picture of each and every foster cat and kitten we’ve had, by the number. That… won’t be today, though. Soon, though. Promise! (Okay, “soon” is a lie. But one day!)

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Yikes! The size of Scorch’s head made me think of this clip from the Simpsons. REST YOUR GIANT HEAD.

Haaaaaaa! I will not flip the kitten, I will not flip the kitten…

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Loved the videos today & I really don’t know how you handle all the cute everyday. One comment though… while watching the Royals video I couldn’t help but notice how those poor little kittens have absolutely nothing to play with. It must be awful to be so toy-deprived. An outrage I tell you. Only 15 or 20 toys per kitten isn’t nearly enough. Shame on you Robyn.

I KNOW. I need to go toy shopping, DON’T I!

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How big is Sheriff Mama? She looks very much like my Leia, but I can’t tell if they are the same size. Leia is about 8 pounds.

She’s about 8 1/2 pounds. Well, that’s how much she weighed in December, she’s probably closer to 8 pounds now (she goes up in the winter, then back down in the spring.) She’s actually our smallest cat – she, Miz Poo, and Maxi are the only ones who weigh under 10 pounds. (Newt’s our biggest, at 14 pounds.)

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I’ve been curious – since we haven’t had a Crooked Acres update in a while, are you getting any little piggies this year?

No, no Crooked Acres pigs this year; we’re taking a year off because we kept an entire pig from the last pigs, and that’s an awful lot of pork.

We’re also not having a garden this year – it’s almost June, we’ve still got standing water all over the property, and nothing we planted in the garden (before the last round of rain) has sprouted. So no pigs and no garden – I’ll be buying my veggies from the farmer’s market this year.

(Also, I’m hoping to get a Crooked Acres post put up this week!)

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I just have a question I thought you might be able to answer. It’s nearly winter here in Australia, and I have a suspicion that my cat is more hungry than usual. It feels like she is always bothering me for food. Someone said she might be fattening up for winter – do you notice your cats doing that?

I actually do notice several of them putting on weight as winter draws near, and then they take it off again in the spring. It’s more noticeable with Newt and Maxi (the ones who spend more time outside), but I see it happen with Sugarbutt, Tommy, and Kara, too. I’m pretty sure it’s normal.

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Here’s a question I’m hoping the L&H community can give me their wisdom and experience about: Do you buy pet insurance for your cats?

I am looking at the ASPCA policies, which are the first I’ve come across that will insure senior pets (if they enroll before age 13, I think it is). Since I’ve had three cats die in the past two years, and had to let two of them go without much treatment because of the expense and then spent several thousand on the third before she also passed, it’s made me think that maybe insurance IS something that would be good to have.

However, insuring the one cat that is eligible (because she’s not hit age 13 yet) would run about $500/year if I include all the things that I think are worthwhile to have (that is, I don’t think the bare-bones policy is worth the money because I can pay out of pocket for the stuff the bare-bones policy would cover …) Anyway, I’d really love to hear what others have done….

We don’t have insurance on our cats (or on George and Gracie), but Ali had a great response to this question – you can read it here. If anyone else has words of wisdom to share, please do!

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The picture of Kate doing some Looning, directly under it, Jareth is pulling some loon of his own!

He certainly is!

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*sigh* the royals are going to be leaving us soon aren’t they??

Well, soon…ish. Since they can’t have their rabies shot ’til they’re three months old, I’ll take them to be spayed/neutered, id chipped, and rabies shot(ted) in mid-June (probably the week of the 16th), and then it all depends on how much room there is at Petsmart. So even if there’s immediate room at Petsmart, we’ve still got another 3 1/2 weeks or so to enjoy them!

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Elayne left a hilarious comment (and HOW did she know all my names?! I had no idea anyone knew that my whole name is actually Robyn Louise Mandalynne Destynee Ann Olga Anderson!) and I’ll direct you to go read it in its entirety, but she mentioned the camera and the noise it makes when it’s focusing, and I’ve been meaning to tell y’all that I HATE that that camera makes so much noise when it’s focusing. I used to use my smaller digital camera, but it’s suddenly started putting a LINE in the middle of the picture when I use it to shoot video (grrrr) and my STUPID Flip Video camera (which I LOVED) died several months ago, so I’m stuck with the DSLR as video camera for now.

HOWEVER, I do want to get a better (less noisy) camera and the Flip Videos have apparently become really expensive since I bought mine a couple of years ago, so I’m looking for recommendations. I need a simple, small video camera, do y’all have any suggestions?

Although now that I’ve gone over to look at the Flip Video cameras on Amazon, I see that you can buy them used. I could do that – but in the meantime, while I’m dithering about that, if you have a video camera suggestion, I’m all ears!

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Hey Robyn, have you seen this cat toy before? A friend works for a local drug store chain and they’re going to start carrying it – he tested it out on his own cat! He said they have to put it away out of sight or the cat would play with it 24×7!

I have seen that – I actually had one, and the kittens managed to keep breaking the “arm” off – or just sitting on the toy so that it would stop moving. I’ve still got it around here somewhere, I believe, I just need to find it and get it out.

Also, GD emailed me earlier this week to let me know that I can get a replacement wand on Amazon – I may have to stock up on those!

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This was Leia’s reaction when she came face to face with Miz Poo (well, “face to face” is relative – Miz Poo was about five feet away.)

And this.

She was already floofed, but when Fred reached into the hallway to turn on the light, she floofed a little more.

Jake gets the old ::sniffSNIFF:: from Jareth.

As you can see, he was really stressed out by it.

Jareth and Charming followed Jake around a little bit, and Jake was just like “Um, okay. WhatEVer, guys.”

Then Jareth went up the cat tree. Stinkerbelle was pleased by this turn of events, clearly.

“I KEEL YOU,” she said.

“I keel you dead,” she promised.

Lower on the cat tree, Leia ignored the shenanigans.

And Jareth determined that he had places (other than the top of the cat tree) to be.

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“Mama! I want out!” said Puff.

“Ehn! EHN!” said Puff.

“MAMA!” Puff yelled.
But Mama was busy eating.

“I am but a wee sad kitten who wants only to explore the world,” Puff said sadly.

He pointed his Ears of Annoyance at the floor, hoping to intimidate the floor into getting closer. The floor was not impressed.

“WHAT DOON, GIANT HEAD?” asked Ember.
“TRYING to get out of this stupid crate!” Puff huffed.

“You gots a big giant head,” reminded Ember. “That’s why that lady calls you Gigantor. Because you gots a big head.”
“It holds my big brain in place,” said Puff.

“I should just face facts. I’m going to be stuck in this crate FOREVER,” said Puff sadly.
“Oooo, lookit that ceiling fan. It’s BEEYOOTIFUL,” cooed Ember.

As Ember toddled off to take a nap, Puff stared at the wall and tried to devise a plan to get out of the crate. He wasn’t able to think of anything… this time.

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Oh, Corbie Corbs. Corbanzo Beans. You are the most beautiful boy, you really are. Pay no attention to those kittens on the bed.


2011: “Dorfy sweepy too. I can haz a snuggle?”
2010: (Hint: SHE is the boss.)
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Aren’t I nice, taking toys away from our cats for the foster kitties to play with?



5-24-13 — 52 Comments

  1. Yes, queens that have even a tiny bit “left in” or if spayed to young a bit “grows back” can go into “heat” especially if around a male (even a neutered male, especially if he still thinks like a boy). I had this problem with my late Main Coon Freya, by the time we figured out what was going on, she was so miserable as an outside cat, I just brought her to live in my office and without the boys to set her off, she quit getting horribly angry every couple of months when they followed her around singing to her and annoying her. She was spayed very young, and my friend the vet diagnosed the problem, but also said that at her (then age) it was a bit late for more surgery, better just to let her be an “only” cat in my office.

  2. in fact, we own a 13-year old neutered male cat and he never feels the need to do something unneutered. Then we gets a female kitten and we misses the latest point to get her fixed so she went into heat. My boy does like crazy and they had a lot of fun. After head she went to the vet and he told me, that she was pregnant. She never meets an other male cat, exept our senior. The vet tolds me, he has a half done neutering, and one ball is hiding in his body. So it is possible to miss some parts while neutering!

    • Yes — my sister also adopted from the shelter a young male cat who they thought was neutered but turned out to still have one nut tucked up there somewhere. Why a vet wouldn’t go fishing for the second one, I don’t know. But until they removed the shy second testicle, this cat definitely acted and smelled like an intact male.

    • That is astonishing – I would be inclined to be skeptical if not for Michigoose and Oldcat’s comments (ETA: And Abigail’s, further down the page)! But I guess Oldcat’s got a point – if the vet only finds one testicle, and s/he’s got 15-20 more cats to neuter that day, I guess it’d be reasonable to assume there only WAS one testicle, instead of digging around searching for something that may, statistically, simply not be there. AND if removing one testicle is enough to make a cat behave like he’s neutered in almost all ways*, owners won’t be complaining or bringing the cat back, so there could be a lot of vets out there who think that the incidence of “absent testis” is a lot higher than it actually is – which brings us right back around to the reason why they would accept that they only found one, and not keep searching for the second.

      (*The owners who are responsible enough to have their male cats neutered will usually do the females too, so the only way the male cats would ever pick up a strong scent of a female in heat would be from a visiting cat or from, as in Anja’s case, a cat going into heat a bit sooner than expected.)

      That’s amazing. The things I learn when I come to ogle baby kittehs!

      • when i bought snorfy we all waited and waited for his 2nd “jatz cracker” (as we call them in Australia) to descend before the ol’ snip snip. During that time he was seen by 3 vets, all of whom said to wait. he was finally done at 5 months but still occassionally gets all boofy with his sister. She gives him a good whack.

  3. Now why is it that every time I see Puff I’m reminded of the band Big Head Todd and the Monsters? I have a feeling that the little brainiac will be Great Escaping up a storm by Monday. Hope you and your many middle names can catch him — and his fellow sentinel Scorch — in the act, Robyn. And yay for another few weeks with Kate and the Royals. Now I’m off to check out the Norbert/Cumberbatch/otter connection, though I’m still aghast at the revelation that the actor’s superfans refer to themselves as Cumberbitches. Yikes! (Cover your ears, young master Corbie, lest your fans take inspiration and start terming themselves Corbie^#%*£@$!)

      • “WHAT DOON, GIANT HEAD” made me spray Coke on my monitor. (Fortunately I pushed in my keyboard tray in time.) I think it might not have hit me so hard, except that I had just taken a drink at the same time as I scrolled down and then did an involuntary gasp at the (apparent) MASSIVE size difference, so I was already halfway to choking, then reading the caption just sent me over the edge. (I know it’s because Puff’s pushing his head out and is closer to the camera BUT STILL.)

        Did we already discuss that Puff is the perfect name for a kitten with a head that looks like a dandelion when it’s all blown to seed? I feel like I picked that up from one of y’all.

  4. That is one big honkin’ cute head! Reminds me of that scene from “So I Married an Axe Murderer” when Mike Myers’ character’s Scottish father Stuart goes on about the size of the kid’s head:

    Stuart Mackenzie: Look at the size of that boy’s heed.
    Tony Giardino: Shhh!
    Stuart Mackenzie: I’m not kidding, it’s like an orange on a toothpick.
    Tony Giardino: Shhh, you’re going to give the boy a complex.
    Stuart Mackenzie: Well, that’s a huge noggin. That’s a virtual planetoid.
    Tony Giardino: Shh!
    Stuart Mackenzie: Has it’s own weather system.
    Tony Giardino: Sh, sh, shh.
    Stuart Mackenzie: HEAD! MOVE!

  5. Aw, no garden pictures this year. I always enjoy those. I agree that it has been a really wet start to the season though, so it’s understandable. My plan was to plant a bunch of peppers this year myself, and never got around to it because of the weather.
    Also… Puff. I just can’t get enough of him. He’s quickly becoming my favourite!

  6. When I was younger, I had a flame point stray who had 9 kittens. 5 had large heads and four normal. Obviously two fathers (or more). However, one of he kittens had the biggest head I’ve ever seen. Huge. Gigantic. And he couldn’t balance it until he was well over six weeks and got a fat butt. Puff needs to get proportional. He will be huge!

  7. The story of Puff made me laugh! I hope you’re able to capture his first steps outside the crate. Those Khaleesi-kitties are so precious I can’t even comment half the time cuz all you’d get is “AGGGGGH SO CUTE”.

    I also LoL’d heartily at “Corbanzo Beans”.

  8. Oh my god, I never realized just how huge Puff’s head is. That picture of the two of them right next to each other made me cry with laughter.

  9. Stinkerbelle is apparently thrilled to have kittens roaming around her. Or is that just her standard reaction to any cat or kitten (except Tommy) that gets too close?

  10. Robyn, Besides weight charts of the kittens can we have head circumference measurements. This may be important on determining who is the smartest, you know, big head, big brain 🙂 Is it fur or is the skull really that big?

  11. Hitler, he only had one ball
    Goering’s got two but very small
    Himmler, well his are similar
    and Goebbels has no balls at all.

    Males with only one testicle are said to be monochid. An undescended testicle is cryptorchid. It’s not uncommon for a vet to mistake a cryptorchid male for monorchid and not go searching around for the second teste. Or for a vet to be distracted and not realize that they only took out one teste. It happens. That undescended teste will still produce testosterone, and the male will still smell and act like an intact cat. Worse, cats are prone to all sorts of cancers, and an undescended teste is likely to turn cancerous. Even if it doesn’t turn cancerous, it’s more prone to causing torsions and hernias. Basically, it can’t admit that it’s lost, so it may drive around until it gets mean and ugly or causes an accident. So if you think you got your boy fixed but he is still stinking it up and hitting on everything that moves (or looks cute enough even if it doesn’t*), have your vet check his testosterone levels and see if they need to go searching for a missing ball.

    *Yes, I am fostering a recently neutered tomcat, why do you ask?

    • Isn’t it strange that the medical term for testicle/teste is orchid (orchido)?? I found that as hilarious when I learned that years ago as I do now, I mean, really??! (love the rhyme btw)

      Robyn, loved the dialogue between Puff and Ember! they’re ALL so CUTE! but not as gorgeous as Corbie of course.

    • Re: the assets of various Nazi jerks: *SNRK*! That’s hilarious.

      Re: the assets of certain tomcats: Oh, I never knew! That’s probably what happened with the tabby boy I knew. He didn’t smell like an intact male, and thank goodness, but he did act like one. I’m going to bet they missed a ball. God, I should not be that amused by typing that phrase. I am twelve and stereotypical, clearly.

  12. OMC – Puff really DOES have a big head…..I didn’t think it was so bad until Ember stood so close. 🙂
    Most of my adults are the same way with kittens: all – “whatever”

  13. I love Puff and Ember’s story. I would love to see it as a daily feature, “The Ongoing Saga of Puff and Ember” (kinda like a soap opera).

  14. My sister had a wee little British short hair with the most ginormous head I’ve ever seen on a cat. We used to call the cat “Fathead cat” because it was pretty much a size 6 head on a size 4 cat. Hopefully Puff grows into his giant melon and doesn’t become Puff the Fathead Kitten (lived by the sea). On the other hand, my sister’s cat (weighing in at 6 pounds total) was top animal in a house of 2 Labs, 1 Doberman and an African Gray parrot so maybe Puff will be king (Fathead) cat.

  15. I definitely read Stay Puff instead of said Puff one this caption, “‘Mama! I want out!’ said Puff.” So I will choose to think of Puff as:
    Stay Puff the Marshmallow Dragon.
    His big head is filled with marshmallow fluff.
    Also, in the Corbie picture is that a new cat tree his highness is perched on?

  16. thanks so much for answering my question about my constantly-hungry cat!
    I just noticed that Puff’s head really is HUGE!

  17. “He pointed his Ears of Annoyance at the floor, hoping to intimidate the floor into getting closer. The floor was not impressed.” I love your captions as much as I love the kitties. They certainly brighten up a dreary morning.

  18. Wow, you weren’t kidding about Puff’s head. Poor mama!

    Those Royals are just getting more and more adorable. Jareth is stealing my heart.

  19. I have a friend who had a female ginger who went into heat after being spade and it was because they’d left some ovary in. My own ginger boy is spade, but he has a little bit that pokes out sometimes (cue chorus of *Eeewwww*). He always looks surprised though. Lol.

  20. I come for the pics. Stay for the captions.

    (And come back later that day for comments/community!)

  21. I’m surprised Puff hasn’t flipped out of the crate. When he hangs his huge head out – you would think gravity would take over.

    Leia’s floof suit – way too adorable!

    Have a great weekend!

    • I was thinking the exact same thing, ibby. You would think that giant melon would just pull him out!

      Awwww, poor poofy Leia. She has a lot of floof to poof! Ember looks so forlorn, with the droopy ears and sad eyes.

      “I keel you!!” and the keel you face made me laugh out loud! You are a funny girl, Robyn.

  22. When I was a kid, we had a black shorthair female whom we had spayed very young. Two years later, she went into heat and got pregnant. The vet re-spayed her for free, saying he must not have removed all her reproductive system. So, it does happen. This was the same cat who, much later, got bitten three times by a rattlesnake. She was given anti-venom and lived a long life. The weird thing? She had dandruff before the snakebite, but the anti-venom apparently cured that problem!

  23. I almost forgot to update – Pumpkin, our spayed female in heat, had her 2nd spay on Wednesday. The vet removed some fatty tissue from the area where the ovaries had been, but there was nothing obvious. 🙁 So we will wait and see. If she goes into heat again the vet said we should bring her back for another surgery and maybe they’d find some inflamed tissue, but I’m not sure we’d put her through that. Poor little thing. If this doesn’t work she might be better off in a home w/out a male cat. We’ve had our male (Earl) for a year and a half and he’s never marked or sprayed or acted like a tom. Still hasn’t marked or sprayed (thank goodness!) so I think he’s well & truly neutered, but he was definitely mature when it was done. We are confused, and waiting to see what happens.

  24. My heart cat Cleopatra was spayed before her first heat and she was quite the little hussy. She adored our male cat Sylvester and they were truly a romantic pair. They cuddled all the time and she bathed him including his bizness (trying to be g-rated). He seemed to enjoy it quite well. He was neutered young as well. She would sit in the window calling to stray Toms sometimes in our old rented house and they would be hanging off the screens. I had to go out there and hit the house with the broom to shoo them away. There was no spraying thank goodness but she didn’t always act like a spayed cat. Sylvester had an undescended testicle that was removed when he was neutered. None of my subsequent pairs of cats ever bonded like those two. I stick to one now because we have two dogs and our last cat was her happiest when she was the last cat standing.

    Scorch and Ember have my heart. Puff’s big head is hysterical. Robyn, your kitten commentary is brilliant as previously said.

    Without the pigs who will eat the leftover sweets or DCEP recipe fails?

  25. Is there anything more intimidating than floofed out kittens? Squeeeeeheehee!
    OMG, Puff has an uneven mustache! Who let him trim one side of that himself? Don’t you know that kittens are like kids in that they shouldn’t be allowed to cut their own hair? Who else remembers cutting their bangs to the root as a kid?? Anyone? No one? Sigh, must be just me then.. But still. Puff’s ‘stach is thicker on one side!!

    • When I was young, my mom left me with a cousin to be baby-sat. I had my hair in two pigtails. As I was coloring or doing something else important, one pigtail kept falling in my face. So I did the only reasonable thing — I cut it off. Pretty sure my mom was thrilled when she returned.

      • My 3-year-old cut off a pony tail while being supervised by her older sister. I did the only logical thing and refused to allow her near scissors (or a hair cut) again until she was nearly 7. Her hair was down to her butt by then. I’m thinking that I was the one most traumatized by the event.

    • I cut my bangs off to the root as a kid – not once, not twice, but at LEAST three times. I got my butt beat for it every time, but neither I nor my mother ever learned our lessons.

      Oddly enough, once I got past about age 8, my mother’s most effective threat when she was angry with me was to tell me if I didn’t straighten up, she was going to cut my hair into a pixie cut. (She was a barber before she married my dad, and still, to this day, cuts his hair – using the same clippers her father gave her as a graduating-barber-school gift 45+ years ago!) You’d think I’d have been immune to threats involving short hair, but oh man – just the thought would bring me to tears.

  26. Re: Insurance… One of my cats (male) recently had to have surgery for a urinary blockage that cost well over $2000 after all was said and done. Earlier this week I had to take him to the vet because I was concerned he was blocked again. (He wasn’t, thankfully.) I used Care Credit to “finance” the surgery, but I’m mulling over getting pet insurance. But I’m not sure if any company will insure my male cat since he has had surgery to remove a urinary blockage. Does that count as a pre-existing condition? Does any one know of a pet insurance company that covers cats with pre-existing conditions? Perhaps these are questions I should take directly to the insurance company…

  27. Khaleesi and I should form a club. 14 years ago, I was in the delivery room when the doctor arrived, took a peek, and said very non-chalantly “That baby has a really big head” before going about his business. When my friends in the waiting room inquired later how I was, he replied that I might need a bit more time to recover after having a baby with the biggest head he had seen in quite a while. The good news is that my son is considered gifted. I guess there’s something in that big head besides marshmallow fluff. Puff is undoubtedly a genius of epic proportions.

    Please tell me that you took him out of the crate and put him on the floor. Poor big-headed baby.

  28. Did I miss something? Is Khaleesi on vacation or something? Seems like it’s been a while since I’ve seen her. Or maybe now that I’m not internet-connected 24/7 anymore (sob!) I only THINK I’m keeping up with all the L&H updates… hmm.

    • Breathe. Breathe. In with the good, out with the bad. Khaleesi is stepping away to eat. And give her little puddin’ head some time to explore. On Kitturday, she’ll be back explaining why he doesnt need to leave. Yet. You can most definitely see the yet in her look.

  29. You forgot to tag Jake and Stinkerbelle!

    Please don’t bring the Royals to Petsmart before we have seen inter-litter snuggling. I’m curious how the 2 mamas would be together. And how would Khaleesi react if you were to bring a Royal in her room? Would she feel threatened since it’s a kitten and not an adult cat?