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When you bathe babies – how do you do it? Do you put water in the sink? if so – how much? Do you just wet a wash cloth? What kind of soap? do you only use baby wipes instead of soap and water? Huh? Huh? What do you do?! πŸ™‚ The 4 babies I’ve got are starting to smell and they keep tracking through their poo in the litter box. I’ve been wiping off feet as I catch it happening, but still. 2 of them like to snuggle under my chin and the smell is starting to annoy!!

The kind of bath I give the babies depends on how dirty they are. If they’re just a little dirty, baby wipes work okay, but if they’re stinky, then you need to get water involved. This is how I do it: I put the stopper in the sink, then put a couple of inches of warm water in the bottom of the sink. Leaving the water running (slowly), I put the kitten in the water (scruffing them if they struggle or freak out), get the offending areas wet, scrub them down with pet shampoo, and then rinse them under the faucet.
I got the pet shampoo at Petsmart, I believe, though I’m sure you can find it elsewhere. And in a pinch, Dawn (the dishwashing soap) will work, though I wouldn’t use Dawn too often, because I think it’ll dry out their skin.

I know there are other kitten-bathers out there – got any tips?

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Robyn, your cat pictures are adorable, so I know you (and your readers) will appreciate this most adorable cat photo on 365 Project.

I think – no, I KNOW – that that is the BEST. PICTURE. EVER.

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I just wanted to tell you that I LOVE YOU. You are so funny and charming and your posts really make my day, every day. I, wish I lived near you and we were neighbours but then you’d probably get sick of finding me on your property all the time, petting all your critters and asking what you were cooking up in the kitchen. And although we’ve never seen him (not that I can recall), I love Fred, too. You guys are super-duper awesome.

Awww, you guys are so good for my ego!!!

Also, I’m sure I’ve shared pictures of Fred before, but for anyone who’s curious what he looks like, here you go.

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Where did you get the hammick?

I got my Ham-Micks here. They’re a big hit with all the cats, and the one in the corner of the computer room is occupied 24/7 (Elwood’s there right now).

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How do you clean a bed that the cats PEED on, and I have an elderly cat that has started pooping on the carpet. (yea! so much fun)

I’d highly recommend getting a cleaner like Nature’s Miracle, saturating the area with it, and letting it dry (which can take days, so isn’t terribly convenient). Then buy waterproof mattress covers for all your beds!

I’ve also used the homemade stuff – 16 oz Hydrogen Peroxide, 1 Teaspoon dishwashing liquid , 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda, mix together, saturate the area, let it dry – and it works really well for me. (I used it on a chair that the cats were targeting.)

The one thing I can tell you is that no one solution works for everyone; I love and adore Nose Offense – it’s what I use when the cats spray – but someone told me that it doesn’t work for her.

Suggestions, y’all?

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And how in the HECK do Georgie and Gracie look so clean in all of the pictures? Today was the first day I saw some dirt on their coat, from their wonderful nap. But whenever I see them, I wonder how those long, white coats do not become matted and dirty??

I always say that their fur is made from Teflon. They can roll around in mud and get absolutely filthy, and by the next morning they’re perfectly clean again. The dirt just falls off their fur. It’s amazing!

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What are you going to do with your muscadine grapes? I had muscadine wine from TN for the first time this spring, and it was excellent. It is not made in Colorado, or anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line, from what I can tell. (Not that I know where that is, I mean, sounds like it is mostly made in The South). : )

Muscadine jelly! We don’t do wine around here, and to be honest we don’t eat that much jelly, but Fred planted the muscadines, so I’ll keep on making the jelly!

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So, maybe this has been asked before, or mentioned, but do the outdoor cats ever stalk/catch any of the baby chicks?

Several years ago, the chicken yard was actually right up against the back yard. Also, we weren’t letting the hens hatch their own eggs – we’d buy eggs at one of the flea markets, and then Fred would put them in the incubator. When they were big enough, we’d add them to the flock (if you add new chickens to an existing flock at night, the chickens will wake up in the morning under the impression that those other chickens have always been around). But before we added them to the flock, we kept them in a brooder in the garage. On nice days, Fred would set up a piece of fencing, and take the chicks out to what we called their “play yard” while he worked outside.

Maxi and Newt would always be interested in the chicks, but we’d shoo them away, and they’d retreat to about twenty feet away and just watch the chicks from there. That lasted until the day that Fred went to check on the chicks, and found that Maxi had reached through the fence and pulled one out and killed it; no more play yard for the chicks, unless we were right there watching them.

Since then, we’ve moved all the chickens to the back forty, and they have George and Gracie to watch over them. The chicks do occasionally go through the fence to parts where they’re unprotected, but they don’t wander far from the fence, and the cats don’t go too close to the fence, because George and Gracie will bark at them. The cats know, I think, that the dogs can’t get through the fence, but they’re wary enough to stay a decent distance back from the fence.

All of this is to say that I don’t think we’ve lost any chicks to the outdoor cats since we got George and Gracie, but I can’t swear to it. The cats don’t mess with the grown chickens (we have one rooster and one hen who insist on leaving the back forty for a few hours every day), because they’re kind of scared of them. Especially when they flap their wings!

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Any news on finding Aristophanes a new home?

Last I heard from Lora, he MIGHT have a home. I’m still waiting back to hear for sure (graduation for Aristophanes’s owner is this week, so I’m sure things are pretty busy) and I’ll be sure to let y’all know when I know.

In related news, I did hear from Gayle about Princess – you remember Princess, the elderly cat who needed a home because the landlord changed their mind about allowing cats in the apartment? Well, Princess now has a home! She will have a teenage girl to spoil her rotten (which is something every elderly kitty needs, I think), so she is now safe and sound.

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My husband sent me this and even though I’m swamped past my eyeballs at work, I am laughing so hard I can’t work cause I’m CRYYYING. I NEED BOTH OF THESE.

Oh, that is terrible and I did not laugh out loud. I didn’t! No, really!

(Okay, I might have.)

If I hadn’t given up completely and let the cats go where they wanted to, I very well might be harassing Fred to make me something like that. πŸ™‚

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Is lucky Rupert interested in going inside? (I’m so happy he’s fetched up in Kitty Paradise!)

While Rupert is interested in following me into the garage, the blue coop (where we store things), and keeps us company in the garden, he stops short when it comes to coming into the house. Which is honestly fine with me, because I don’t need another cat in the house. We’re just FINALLY getting over a several-months-long spraying spree, and I do NOT want to set the jerks off again.

Of course, we’re making sure that Rupert has safe places to sleep – the front porch, under the blue coop, beside the blue coop, on the steps of the blue coop (the blue coop being where we store a lot of stuff right now; it used to be for the chickens ’til we moved them out to the back forty), in the bed of Fred’s truck. The list goes on and on, but his favorite place to hang out is on the side stoop. So we put a little shelter under there for him to sleep in if he so desires.

Rupert (I still occasionally call him Rufus, and the other day I called him “Rupus” and then “Roofert” in a five-minute span) has clearly belonged to people in the past. I don’t know if he wandered here from someone else’s property (someone else who didn’t have him neutered, that is), or if someone dumped him in the field across the street (which is what I suspect), but he’s made it clear he’s planning on staying.

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Rupert is also a talker. I made a video for you. Ignore the human babbling like an idiot! Also, if you look in the background, you’ll see Elwood sitting next to the fence, flicking his tail back and forth.

YouTube link

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Emmy has gone off to her new home. I don’t have any pictures for you, because I didn’t actually take her to her new home – I handed her over to her new caretaker, and then went out to breakfast with the shelter manager and friends. OY, it isn’t even the first of June, and Challenger’s House is being flooded with calls for people who have kittens (large numbers of kittens), multiple calls every day. This kills me.

This is why I could never ever run a rescue – I have a hard time saying no to people and I would end up with a thousand cats in no time flat and Matt Paxton (from Hoarders) would be knocking on the door, and I’d fling it open, all “What? You have more cats for me?!”

I started scrubbing down the foster room yesterday, and I’ll finish it up later today. I only got to vacuum in there with the real vacuum cleaner once – when Emmy was off being spayed – in the past three months. I imagine I’m going to vacuum up so much Emmy hair that I’ll be able to make another Emmy with it.

Fred let Newbery in the room with Emmy Wednesday night, because he was curious to see how they’d react to each other. He reported that they sniffed each other, meowed a few times, but didn’t run in slow motion into each other’s arms or anything. Newbery sniffed at the food, and then asked to go back out. I guess it’s good to know that Emmy hadn’t been pining away for her babies!

So another week and a half, and the little Noms will be spayed and neutered and ready to go. They’re at that age where they’re ridiculously long and lanky. I love them so much at this age (but then, I love them at all ages, don’t I!).

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Do you see this attitude I’m getting? Brats.

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Miz Poo likes to keep an eye on the kittens.

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Darwin sure does like that basket, especially when it’s in the sun.

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Look at those legs!

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Looks like Miss Logie’s going to have brown eyes.

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I adore Razzie’s little stump of a tail.

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What I didn’t catch: Alice licking Newbery on top of his little head. And then biting him. She was like “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Nom? ::lick::lick::lick::BITE:: Three licks!”

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Razzie rolling around on the “Wipe your paws” door mat.

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Such a cute little monkey.

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Corbie in the back yard, keeping an eye on stuff.

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And inside, napping. I adore the caramel-colored fur on his belly. SO gorgeous, that boy.


2011: That look on her face epitomizes ::SIGH::, doesn’t it?
2010: Reacher and Bolitar: Brudderly Love.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: We have officially named the kittens.



5-25-12 — 51 Comments

  1. That is the first photo I have ever seen of Fred! He looks different than I imagined and you two must look adorable together!!!

    Corbie looks fabulous and I just want to kiss his belly in that last picture!!!

    • GD So so I – That is one floofy snorgable belly! I just want to bury my face in his belly floof!! πŸ˜€

  2. I’m so happy for Princess — yay! — and looking forward to hearing re Aristophanes fetching up in a new home. As for Logie’s brown eyes, how swoon-worthy. Hope they’ll make her stand out as she moves from one kitty paradise to another. Fingers crossed for this excellent crew, and I hope their mum is settling in. I enjoyed the Rupert vid and hope that one Corbie Friday we can have Don Corbione in action. Signed, Another spoiled, demanding regular

    • I’ll see what I can do – though there’s not a lot of action in Corbie’s life. He spends a lot of time laying around looking beautiful. πŸ™‚

  3. Awww mama Emmy! Please have a good happy amazing life! Enjoy your time now – you did so wonderfully with your beautiful babies and I hope hope hope the rest of your days are carefree, fun and free! Take care

  4. Said it before and I’ll say it again: if I didn’t live in a whole different country and didn’t have 12 cats already, Logie and Razzie would so be mine. They’re all such sweet, beautiful little babies! I don’t know how you can do this fostering business, I don’t think I’d ever be able to let the cats go. It’s a great thing that there are people like you who can, though, all of you foster people are my heroes!

    Also, Rupert (Rupus and Roofert made me laugh way too hard) is such a handsome gentleman, I’m glad he found himself nice and wonderful people like you to take care of him!

  5. Hi, Rupert! I could sit and chat with you all day. πŸ™‚

    Well, our fostering adventure began last night. The sweetest, friendliest, prettiest calico I’ve ever met moved into my front room about 11 hours ago. She purrs pretty much non-stop is enthralled by all of the birds outside the windows. Not sure “how pregnant” she is ((She’s expecting, but I don’t know when. She’s a tiny thing, at least compared to my big boys… solid, but not quite “round” yet, if that makes sense)) Taking her to the vet after the holiday for testing and a time-table. She was on a certain bad list for yesterday. Makes me sick to even think about, but thrilled she’s here. Name’s not 100% sure yet, but we’re thinking Penelope.

    I’m setting up a Facebook page with the name Teeny Tiny Tabbies over the weekend and then will work on the process of figuring out how to do a blog. I’ll let everyone know where to find us next week so I won’t write another book about it on Robyn’s blog. πŸ˜‰

    • I forgot to add that the kitty boys take turns watching the door to the foster room. It has french doors, so they have windows in (that I’m trying to keep closed with curtains, but they’ve already seen each other…might need another system) Miss Thing popped up between the curtain and the door last night. She seems non-interested and non-threatened by the dog who was peeking in, but softly hissed at the cats and closed her curtain for a bit of privacy.

  6. And while on the subject of Matt Paxton – Darwin may need a visit from the Hoarders crew cuz I’m thinking he’s got a bit of toy issue in his basket. Clearly, there are not enough in his mind.

    My neighbour’s cat brought a half-dead bird into their apartment last night. There was a smack-down of sorts in her daughter’s bedroom with Minou trying to gift the bird to Christine, and the bird having none of it. It looked like quite the mob hit in her room once they’d managed to get the poor bird out. Minou was NOT impressed that her gift was greated with “WTF Minou! Gross! Stop it!”.

    • I’m probably tempting fate here, but we haven’t had a live bird in the house in a while! (I’m sure that out in the back yard, the cats are taking that as a challenge!)

  7. Well I foster lots of young kittens and a lot of times when they arrive they are smelly. I fill my bathroom sink up half with warm water, get lots of towels ready because some kittens really freak out in the water. I use baby shampoo only, very safe and gentle. Scruff them by the neck and dip in the water..some kittens will actually relax in the warm water. I use a wash cloth and gently scrub and also rinse under warm water. NEVER let the water run on the head as it can get into their nose/lungs and cause some problems. I just take a wet washcloth and gently clean head, ears. Because we live in the New England and it is cool spring/fall I will use a hair dryer on low to get them dried completely. Otherwise they start shivering and that is not good. You want to keep them warm. Find a sunny spot to lay in after to completely dry and warm up. I keep baby wipes on hand for when they may step in something in the litter box. Just a quick rinse under some warm water in the sink if they make messes on their backsides. Always keep a bunch of old towels ready when you have kittens..they sure get messy fast. I then use a baby nail clipper to do the nails.

    Another tip for those living in cool areas I use a snuggle safe heating pad, it looks like a frisbee disk and you warm it in the microwave it has a soft fabric cover. It stays hot/warm for about 8 hrs. Babies that don’t have a momma to keep them warm love it, I usually wrap a towel around it as it can get pretty hot, Then I make a snuggly bed with fleece blankets on top of it and the kittens just curl up in a pile and stay cozy warm. You can find them on ebay or internet, about $25.00.

    • Obviously it’s been a while since I’ve given a bath – baby shampoo is my preferred shampoo, and I had completely forgotten about that until you mentioned it. Thanks for the tips!

  8. So for washing kittens, I use no-tears baby shampoo because I am a crybaby.

    OK so here’s my question: I have this fancy wool rug that I spent a lot of money on and for whatever reason, my cats LOVE rolling around on it and pulling out the threads. It is MAKING ME CRAZY. I tried the no-scratch sprays and they seem to LOVE the scent, as it gets a lot worse after I treat the rugs. Maybe I should set up a Blender Defender near the rug!!! Sheesh. Anybody have any tips to keep jerk cats from ruining your wool rugs?

    • I am giving the 3rd vote for baby shampoo for washing kittens. That is what I used on the two I have when they were little and constantly walked through the food/formula mash.

      The whole dropping kittens/cats off on the side of the road thing drives me crazy. last week my Mom found an adorable calico hiding on her back porch. This kitten is a purr machine, loves to be held and is not afraid of the big dog or the other cat so it is obvious she was handled. How could someone dump her? GAH…makes me mad. Fortunately, she picked the best house to wander to since 30 minutes after the parents found her, they had bought kitten food for her, made an appointment with the vet and given her a name. My parents are suckers for stray cats.

      • I’m pretty sure that you’re the one who told me about your vet recommending the baby shampoo, Regan! I have a whole selection of stuff under the sink (pet shampoo, baby shampoo, Dawn), but it’s been a while since I needed to bathe any babies so the knowledge left my brain. πŸ™‚

  9. Oh, the sweet little Noms. They are the first L&H litter that I’ve actually watched growing up in real time (as opposed to having read your archives), and so I feel especially attached to them. I know they will find good homes, but I will miss them!

    Love the photos of Fred with the chicken on his shoulder.

  10. Baths – we do something similar – wipe paws but a sink bath if it gets really bad. (yep – baths this weekend for our tinies).

    Love the Fred picture….

    Yeah for Emmy…..

    OK -and I laughed at the blender. πŸ™‚

  11. We give baths by holding them under running water, so we can target their little rears or feet or whatever it is that needs it most. That also makes it easier to keep water off of their heads. Some of them cry, but they rarely fight us, and a lot of them seem to like it (or are resigned to it). We usually just use a little dish soap if necessary, and we dry them with towels first, then a hair dryer on warm with a diffuser. Using a flea comb under the running water can help stubborn cases.

    • I just had to say that the phrase “little rears” had me smiling, because I know *exactly* what you mean and pictured it immediately.

  12. RE: mattress and carpet suggestions.

    At home, I use a couple of products by Bissell. Both can be used on upholstery and carpet. They are the Pet Stain & Odor Remover spray and the Pet Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner. The latter has a convenient brush top.

    I just love Razzie…good thing she’s far away. Give Corbs’ belly a snorgle for me.

  13. Thanks for the advice about the baths guys!!!!! Lots of helpful suggestions. I tried out the sink bath last night and only washed their back halves. I wish I could have had a video tape of it! Most of them didn’t completely freak out – but my calmest, friendliest one was the one who jumped out of the sink 3 times (and I have a pretty deep kitchen sink!). My biggest mistake that I’ll change next time was they got cold. I did them one at a time and the water cooled a lot, plus I had the air conditioner on and my house at about 70 which was too cold for them when they are wet. I wrapped them all in a blanket when I was done and held them against me for a few minutes to warm them up. They actually stayed there for about 4 minutes before they started crawling out. And they weren’t mad at me after which I expected. In fact all 4 settled on me and my lap a little later which was the first time that’s happened!

    Robyn – lord help yes it’s kitten season!!! Our rescue organization over here gets lots of calls also. The main worker, Cindy, has trouble saying no also and so she recently had 17 kittens at her house in addition to her 5 dogs and 4 or 5 permanent resident cats. This is how I ended up fostering in fact – to ease some of that.

    Love the pictures of Fred! I’ve never seen one on here, but I haven’t been reading since the very beginning. I started back when you had the True Blood brood. πŸ™‚

    • Kitten season is extreme this year, it seems. Our rescue normally only works with the shelters in our tri-county area, but the director drove 3 hours north yesterday to collect 2 mama cats that were on the euth list at a remote county shelter (which is lucky to adopt out 20 cats a YEAR!). My Penny was one of them. I’m tempted to offer up another room of the house, but nervous about my first cat birth/newborns. I’m told they can keep me in kittens year round (Pro: KITTENS!! Con: Too many kittens in desperate need)

      • I forgot to say, Kelly, I really like Penny’s name. I love the good, solid, sweet names for mama kitties.

        I’m always nervous about the cat birthing, but so far – with three mamas under my belt, so to speak – I haven’t had any issues. I’m betting it’s going to be the same for you. πŸ™‚

  14. Call me a skimmer, but what’s up with Rupert’s ear? I’m probably a panicky weirdo, but it looks like pictures I’ve seen of skin cancer on white cats.

    • We had it tipped so that anyone who sees him wandering around will know that he’s been neutered. When we had him neutered and tipped, we thought he was feral and might end up moving along, but now we know better! πŸ™‚ In the pictures and video, his ear hadn’t completely healed, there was some dried blood on the end.

        • You’re not being nosy, you’re just watching out for him, and he appreciates it. Or he would if he knew what the internet was!

  15. Fred’s Chicken on the shoulder pix rock! I would be so scared it would peck my eye out. Chicken Whisperer=Fred.

    No matter what color eyes Logie has she is just gorgeous. Great Gams!

    • They look sort of hazel, kind of at the nexus of brown and green. Philo, a brown tabby like Corbie, has hazel eyes. But we knew Logie was going to be gorgeous no matter her eye color! And yes, she is a long leggity beastie!

  16. I second marilia, great post as usual! I can always count on L&H to cheer me up. I want to squeeze logie to pieces!!

    Baby shampoo (or head-to-toe wash) is great for everything: I use it for my face, delicates, makeup brushes. Good to know it works for cats, as we have an overly scented pet shampoo that I don’t like using for emergency (=poop) cleanup.

  17. Yay! Thanks for re-sharing the pics of Fred (and his lovely feathered friend)!

    Also? Love love love the name “Roop-a-doops”! SO CUTE!

  18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEH_WN7fHiI&feature=g-upl

    I tend to avoid soap unless it is REALLY necessary, and generally it isn’t. Water and a good scrub gets most everything off. I’m currently bathing my current foster kittens and I fill up the sink and do the same general thing, but I’m able to run them under the water to rinse them off. My favorite part is “wringing them out” once the bath is done,

    btw, if you have too much jelly, we could put up with having you send some to us πŸ™‚

  19. I just shared with my husband the bit about being able to introduce a new chicken to the flock overnight. He wants to know: if you introduce a new hen during the day and the flock rejects her, do they remember the next morning that they rejected her or do they still wake up and think she was always there? (*love* the Fred photos, btw)

  20. I don’t know why, but I am just utterly smitten with Rupert! I’m so glad he’s decided to stay!

    And I don’t think I’ve seen photos of Fred before — I would have remembered that he had a chicken on his shoulder. πŸ˜‰

    And finally — Logie’s brown eyes! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a brown-eyed kitty before….

  21. My cat Marlowe started talking to the computer when I played the Rupert video. He doesn’t usually react to real cats over the computer (although Simon’s cat sets him off) but for some reason Rupert “speaks” to him.

  22. Today I thought about Emmy in her new home and, although I know she is probably not happy going through the adjustment period, it made me happy because I know she’s in the right place (and that the adjustment period will end).

    She was such a good mama, she deserves nothing less!

    Thank you, Robyn, for taking such good care of her and trying so hard to tame her. You are a delight!

  23. The picture of Razzie rolling around on the mat is just too cute! (Ok, all cat pictures are cute, but you know what I’m saying!) That Rupert…he’s a smart little fella. He found the kindest “cat folks” around. πŸ˜€