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Remember last week, when I said I was pretty certain another Challenger’s House fosterer had used the idea of constellations to name a litter of kittens? I was right!

Cydney emailed me and said:

Yep, you were right….it was me that used the constellation theme when I had a crew of 7 black and whites (pic attached). Sort of reminded me of the night sky when all 7 cuddled up like that which was often. They were all right at a pound in this picture and look at that beautiful little boy in the bottom right corner. But I only used the letter P so thereโ€™s a bunch more constellation names out there. Mine were Perseus, Pegasus, Pyxis, Pictar, Puppis, Pisces, and Pavo.


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2012-06-11 (1)
Razzie and her gigantic back foot.

2012-06-11 (2)
This right here is why Fred calls Logie “Miss Mouth.” She’s always got somethin’ to say.

2012-06-11 (3)
Such a pretty girl.

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Razzie and her shaved belleh.

2012-06-11 (5)
Clearly it bothers her a great deal.

2012-06-11 (6)

2012-06-11 (7)
Logie, judging. (I love it when cats sit with their tail curled over their front paws.)

2012-06-11 (8)
Newbery and Logie.

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2012-06-11 (9)
Kennebec keeps an eye on the goings-on.

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Fianna, skeptical.

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Agata, pondering.

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Norland, gazing off into the distance and thinking deep thoughts.

2012-06-11 (13)
Just look at that girl. She’s all eyes!

2012-06-11 (14)
Norland cracks me up.

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2012-06-11 (16)
You can see in this picture (where I am clearly waving a toy over my head to get the kittens to look at me, which Kennebec is NOT), that Russet and Kennebec are a yellowy orange, whereas Norland is more of a redder orange.

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2012-06-11 (18)
Sound asleep, snuggled up to his stuffed mama kitty. Then he hears me coming….

2012-06-11 (17)
“Wahhhhhhhh! I am STARVIN’!!!!”

2012-06-11 (21)
Such a beautiful boy.

2012-06-11 (20)
One of the things he likes to do when he’s done eating is to run around the room. And he ADORES hanging out under the hammock. He sits under there, then pops out at me, then slides back under. I’m pretty sure he’s trying to kill me with the cute.

2012-06-11 (19)

I caught a little of his “voice” on video. I did, of course, immediately pick him up and kiss him after I set the camera down.

YouTube link

Cicero is doing well. He’s steadily gaining weight, he’s eating well. He’s been using the litter box since the day after I put it in his cage. He laps formula out of a bowl and eats on his own. I leave his cage open and let him run around the room for a couple of hours in the evening, and usually when I check on him he’s either sitting under the hammock, checking out the toys under the bed, or he’s put himself back to bed in his cage. SO. FREAKIN’. CUTE.

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2012-06-11 (23)
Stinkerbelle’s been spending more time hanging out in various places through the house other than her usual spot atop the kitchen cabinets. The other day I was watching TV and Alice came into the room. She sat in the center of the rug and kept looking toward the doorway. A few moments later, Stinkerbelle RAN into the room at top speed. She and Alice had a slap fight, and then Stinkerbelle ran back out of the room. I’m not sure what that was about, but it was funny to witness.

2012-06-11 (22)
Pretty, pretty girl.


2011: No entry.
2010: So, meet Lieu.
2009: No entry.
2008: I love the Paw o’ Doom. It cracks me up.
2007: “All full up on the petting for now, thanks.”
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



6-11-12 — 64 Comments

  1. A post so nice it posted twice… sorta. The video of Cicero is missing in the first iteration. There may be other differences, but I’m too tired to figure it out.

    Where’s my caffeine?!?!?

    • Sorry if I came across as cross in this reply! I really did need my caffeine! Of course I loved the post(s)!!! The constellations are gorgeous, the Noms are the cutest (and I’m glad they’re recovering apace).

      I also like how the orange boys are trying to make a peace sign, apparently (Robyn, you hippie!) and Fianna is all like, “No, I’m not gettting in between those two boys to finish it!!” (Fianna, you warmonger!!).

      And if Cicero looked at me like that with those big, watery blue eyes and gave me that quiet, raspy meow, he would be a failed foster almost instantly!! He is looking so much better than last week. Good job, Robyn!!

      Finally, Do you think that maybe Alice and Stinkerbelle were …gasp….playing? My Fuzz and Sweetpea once had a slow mo play session in the Summer heat once which was like that. Slow slap fight, walking away, another slow slap fight, lying facing each other and slowing whipping their tails, etc.

      I watched and laughed and laughed. Eventually, one walked away and flopped somewhere while the other one just fell asleep.

      • You didn’t come across as cross in the slightest. ๐Ÿ™‚

        It’s entirely possible that Stinkerbelle and Alice were playing (and if those two team up, we are going to be in TROUBLE!), but they both looked pretty annoyed. I’ll be keeping an eye on them, believe me!

        • Maybe Alice is annoyed because Stinkerbelle is in her territory. I’m glad that Stinkerbelle is coming down to ground level sometimes, but it may be that Alice isn’t!

      • I have a photo of Philo and Maggie lying on the floor, face to face, paws extended. They were doing the laziest slap fight you EVER saw. And yes, it was a hot day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Cicero has just stole my heart!

    Thanks for the double dose posting! I got twice the smiles!! Cicero’s little meow….m-e-l-t….

  3. Maybe one day I’ll get the hang of that “proofreading” thing. Probably won’t be today, though. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. WOW, Cicero already looks a MILLION times better than when you got him! You’re a miracle worker you are.

    And that video cracked me up. It sounded like you were a reporter trying to get a soundbite from a cranky politician. “Whatcha think?” “BAH!”

    Miss Razzle-dazzle’s shaved belleh makes me realize I had a terrible, terrible vet who spayed my Diva. Diva’s got a huge scar that runs practically all the way from her sternum down to the bottom of her belly. ๐Ÿ™ It still feels like there is a bumpy zipper that runs all the way down her wee body. She does not seem to notice or mind, though. Cats have AWESOME body image.

    • My vet is the bomb!! Emma had two tiny pick stitches! That is how small her incision was and she was an 8 lb cat!!!

      • When I got Maggie spayed, I had anxiety over the incision, because I hadn’t gotten a female cat fixed since 1994. They’ve come a long way since then. I was amazed at how neat her incision was, and it didn’t look “stitched” at all, just sort of folded over like the hem of a handkerchief. That was done May 19, and now the incision looks like a well-healed scar (she had the dissolving stitches) and all that’s left is for her fur to grow back in.

        • Some vets do laser (optional) for both spay/neuter and declaw (for those who do). 1/2 the recovery time, 1/2 the discomfort. Yes, they have come a long way.

  5. I got to meet my new ‘niece’ and ‘nephew’ on Saturday. I don’t know how you do it. They were so stinkin’ cute and warm and cuddly and feisty that I just about lost my mind. I would never get anything done if they were around. I just could not keep my hands off of them. I am pretty sure they are miserable at my sister’s house and need to come stay with me. I am sure that is what they were whispering in my ear.

    • Elaine, keep thinking about scooping litter boxes, hairballs under your bare feet in the middle of the night and those early morning awakenings!

      If that doesn’t work, obviously you’ll just have to rescue those kitties from your evil sister’s house!!


    • “Auntie Elaine, it’s terrible here! We need to come live with you! Can we come live with you? We know you’ll treat us right!” ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Right! And I’m sure Noelle’s sister was mean to her on more than one occasion when they were growing up, so stealing her kittens now would make perfect sense!


        • Sorry, *Elaine. Can I just say I’m apparently still recovering from my concussion and am not just a total idiot? Thank you.

          • LOL, Doodle Bean! The funny thing is, I DO have a sister, but we didn’t grow up together! I’m adopted, but in 2001 I was reunited with my biological family: mother, three half-brothers, and a half-sister (she of the Sphynx who likes to ride in the car).

          • That is funny! Maybe you could steal your sister’s cat anyway. You know, just to stay in practice!


            Although Sphinx’s can be a handful… Hmmm. That’s a tricky one!


        • I was once visited by my three young nephews in my tiny apartment and one didn’t want to leave after the visit. I jokingly said, “You’ll have to go now because I don’t have space for you. If you stay, you’ll have to live in the closet!”

          He turned to his mom and asked, “Mom, can I stay here and live in Aunt Jill’s closet?”

          It still tugs at my heart to think about it… it must’ve been 15 years ago! He’s working toward medical school now…

  6. Slap fight, LOL. Yup, have witnessed a few of those.

    I was just thinking about how I love it when cats curl their tails around their front paws when you mentioned it. One minute, little zombies chomping on each other and getting bitch-slapped, the next, all elegant and refined and striking poses.

      • One of my favorite photos of my Sweetpea is of her in Egyptian cat pose with her tail wrapped neatly around her toesies.

        It’s a position I hardly ever see her in. She’s so much of a… a… a SPRAWLER!

  7. Logie is lovely!! What a stunner! Awwwww sweet Cicero!! Thank goodness he’s in great hands now! Take care

  8. I wanted to say something about which kitten is my favorite – but I can’t. I adore them all. You do such a great job socializing these babies, I’m sure their forever humans are so appreciative.

    • Hard to say which of the Noms is my favorite, because I like black cats and brown tabbies equally.

      Of the Taters, I’m really partial to Agata. I just love her sweet little big-eyed face.

        • I’d probably have to vote for Logie because I do love a talky black cat. My Murphy will sit there and talk with you all day, although his end of the conversation is rather predictable.

  9. SO FREAKIN’ CUTE is right! Thanks for the daily dose of AWWWW! Love it!

  10. Good morning…On one hand I hate to use the comments like this, but on the other I am at my wits’ end and it seems foolish not to take advantage of the collective cat knowledge represented here.

    My Niko continues to have diarrhea. I’ve lost track of how many months this has gone on now. That in itself is worrisome enough, but he continues to “go” outside of the litterbox, wherever he feels the urge, and that’s usually on the bedroom, bathroom, or utility room floor. My husband’s about ready to put Niko outside, and Niko’s never been an outdoor cat in his 12 years.

    He has been to the vet. He has been multiple times. They have done stool samples, bloodwork, and can’t find anything wrong. We’ve changed his food, and the only thing that seemed to help was to stop giving him wet food. Unfortunately, now the other cats think they’re being starved, and cry constantly even though they’ve always got access to dry kibble.

    (TMI alert) The “squirts” are just that, and they have an explosive sound that often wakes me from sleep. He sounds exactly like one of those automated bathroom air fresheners. He uses the litter box for peeing, but his poops are all done on the floor.

    I don’t know what to do. Hopefully, someone’s got ideas? Robyn, I know you’ve had to deal with kitten diarrhea a good deal. Do you think any of your techniques or remedies would work on an adult cat?

    Thanks in advance. ๐Ÿ™

    • For my cat Pandora, when she had consistent (and constant- good lord) diarrhea nearly exactly as your Niko does (including sound!), I switched to a completely grain-free wet diet (Wellness turkey canned), and for a long time I was adding probiotics to the food and mixing them in.

      But if Niko’s interested, feeding him raw might stop the diarrhea. Nature’s Variety does sample packs of their medallions ( you can find it at specialty pet stores, usually) and that might be a good start.

      Also, did your vet ever put Niko on metronidazole (sp?). One of my other cats needed that for a week, and a raw diet, to get back to normal.

      • When we initially saw our regular vet for this, they gave us some Science Diet canned food that they said was highly digestible. I don’t remember exactly which formula it was, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to find out.

        The problem is that if I feed one cat wet food of ANY kind, they’re ALL going to want to eat it, and that could get pretty expensive pretty quick! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll give it a try, though. Thank you for the suggestion!

        • I think one of my biggest challenges is going to be feeding Niko one diet and feeding everyone else something else.

          • Pandora is the only one of my household that gets canned food (the other 2 get raw). I have had to have her eat her food up on a raised table, away from the other two. (that’s partly to keep them from eating her food, and partly to keep her from getting neurotic about the others eating her food). You may have to shut him in a separate room if the other cats are particularly frantic about not getting wet food. ๐Ÿ™‚

            I would check the food you do have (Science Diet, etc.) and see if it has grains. (wheat/corn/barley malt/etc.), and switch Niko over. A steady diet of a grain-free canned I do think was the only reason Pandora finally got over the diarrhea. All the food the vet recommended to me was ‘medical diets’ available only at the vet, and they were all of as poor a quality as grocery store food.

          • Science Diet….look at the ingredients!!! I was shocked at how poor of food it is…and for the price.

          • Norman gets an entire can of wet kitten food every day while we try to put a little bit of weight on him. The other two are pleasingly plump and don’t need it, but still enter the kitchen screaming at Norm’s snacking time. I give them a teeny tiny spoonful to distract them while Norman and I head for another room for him to eat up the rest of the can. It’s worked so far… they get a taste of a treat and then they stay out of the way while Norman is served.

        • You could give the other cats a little bit of a cheaper wet food, mixed up with their regular kibble. That way it might seem like they are getting the “good stuff” too. I don’t know, I don’t have a lot of experience with kitty diarrhea, but I do know about husbands threatening to put kitties outside after stepping on midnight hairballs, so I know how you feel!

          And Agata might be all eyes, but it looks like Norland is all ears! He’s got a fennec fox thing going on in that picture! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sending you huge hugs. I don’t have advice but alyslinn, above, sound very knowledgeable. The best I can do is give hugs.

        • I know just what you mean about the special diet, we have 2 young cats and one ‘older’ and the older one now is on Science diet g/d because she’s been diagnosed with early chronic renal disease…the other two think it’s awful that SHE gets the best stuff all the time (canned food is usually a once or twice a week treat here…). I have to put the dry food out (a big event to the 2 young ones) and ‘trap’ them in the laundry room, feed Mabel her goodies and then let everybody else out when she’s done…licking her plate is a big deal!
          Best wishes on getting that cleared up. Never tried it but it seems like canned pumpkin has been mentioned before here?? This is sure a good place to ask questions!

          Speaking of which, did the poor kitty who went thru the screen door from a thunderbolt fright, ever come home? that has haunted me ever since…

    • I think that it’s going to take changing the kind of food you’re giving him to figure out what’ll clear up his diarrhea. If you can possibly switch to grain-free for all of them, that might do the trick. Other things I’ve tried that could help with the diarrhea would be Slippery Elm powder (you can get it online or in a natural foods store), sprinkled over his food. Also, getting probiotics into his diet in the form of Forti-Flora (I get mine online) or a little bit of yogurt could help balance his system. One thing that has worked for me in the past is food grade diatomaceous earth, added to their (wet) food. You can read more about DE here, and that’s something else I buy online.

      Those are all that come to mind at the moment, just kind of thrown out there for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Probably you know this already, but he’s associated the litter box with the pain of diarrhea, which is why he’ll pee in there but won’t poop. If you can get the diarrhea to stop, he may start using the litter box again of his own accord, or you may have to retrain him. I’ve only had to retrain a renegade out-of-the-litter-box pooper once, and it consists of putting them in a room alone with a litter box and their food and water and a place to sleep, and keeping them in there (though you can go in and “visit” as often as you’d like). It took, I believe, three days for the retraining to “take” – we used our downstairs bathroom – and it was no fun for the kitten or for us, but it worked.

      Oh! And I had forgotten about this until I went back to my list of diarrhea remedies, but I have also used pectin – Add 1/8 tsp to some wet food or baby food, then let it sit for five minutes before before giving it to the cat. (It absorbs moisture, and if itโ€™s fed dry to your cat, itโ€™ll get into his stomach, absorb moisture there, turn into a rock, and then be thrown up.)

      • THANK YOU, Robyn! I’ve saved yours and the other responses to a Word doc and printed them out for reference. Niko is such a sweet kitty that his intestinal woes are causing us all great distress.

        You know how different cats show their affection at different times and varying ways? Niko’s favored way is to wait until we’re tucked into bed at night and then come love on us. I hate hate hate having to push him out of bed because his fur is streaked with poo.

    • if it isn’t parasitic or medical (cancer or some sort of blockage), then it is a food issue. Be it that the kitty has a ‘sensitive’ system to plant based ingredients or has an actual allergy to something in the food.

      I’ve taken in several cats with diarrhea so bad it dripped out of them because it was out of their control. I put them on a raw diet and in all of my cases any way it cleared up in days. Want to find out if that is your kitty’s issue, take away all food and only feed raw meat. It won’t be balanced but for two or three days it won’t matter. You can even find the lowest priced cuts of meat so this doesn’t have to be very expensive. If you are currently feeding a chicken based diet, try beef to try to eliminate food allergies as an issue.

      Any diet that is good for your diarrhea kitty is good for your non diarrhea kitties too. The less plant based ingredients the healthier the food is. Remember your kitties are carnivores and their natural diet is small rodents and birds not corn or potatoes. http://www.catinfo.org is a great resource, so is http://feline-nutrition.org “Your Cat” by Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins is a great all around resource (with lots of good information about renal issues too)

      I have multiple cats and when I started learning about what cats should be eating (and not just listening to my vet who has almost no training in feline nutrition) I had one kitty on diabetic food, two on urinary food and the rest on standard old cat food. I learned that the food that would be the best for my diabetic was the same as the food that would be best for my crystal forming kitties and would be best for kitties who aren’t currently suffering from illness.

      of course this is all well and good to be said if your kitties are picky and suffer from diet-change-itis. Cats learn at a very young age what constitutes food and once they get older if they haven’t been exposed to it they don’t recognize it as food. if that is the case, Dr. Peirson has some great tips on her catinfo.org website.

  11. Hi Noelle,

    I’d love to help, but haven’t faced that problem. I just wanted to add that I think one of the great things about the comments is the help we can give each other… but I’m a great big weenie-nerd busy-ody!!

    And see? You’ve got a couple of new thnings to try already!


  12. I love them all, each and every one of them! Is that sweet little Cicero going to join the other taters when he gets better/bigger?
    slap fight? That had to be cute and scary to watch! I hope they play not fight and that Stinkerbelle makes many more appearances below the fridge!

    • I think Cicero will probably join the other Taters once he’s a bit bigger. He needs to have some friends to play with, that’s for sure!

  13. Obviously, Alice was causing some trouble!

    And Cicero! Oh, Cicero, you are such a cutie! I love that he puts himself to bed in his cage…

  14. Why are Norland and Cicero still at Crooked Acres?? I made you a perfectly valid trade offer. I’ll even let you choose the human child. You can have your choice between the one who is currently refusing to study for his English exam, the one who keeps eating my ice cream, and the one who is just discovering her inner drama after turning 11 years old last week. Each a lovely option. If you act fast, I might even do a “Choose One, Get One Free” offer. Act now! ;-D