Is the camera you use one with a lot of bells and whistles? I like the “point and shoot” cameras but the close up pictures you get are so clear that I have a feeling I’ll have to dish out some bucks to get one that good. 🙂
The camera I use most of the time is a Sony Alpha A100 with a… um. A 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens. (I had to go get the camera to figure out what the lens is.) It is a camera that really outweighs my capabilities and many many bells and whistles. I have two books that supposedly will teach me how to use it properly, but my good lord do books about how to use cameras bore the everloving snot out of me. (The only thing I find more boring is books about writing.) Also, the information refuses to stick to my brain cells. It’s like the information is made of Teflon and slides right off my brain and out my ears.
That camera was expensive, yes. Just seeing how much the lens cost makes me want to cry. I don’t think that you have to have the big fancy camera to get good pictures, though. I also have a smaller Sony, the DSC-W300, that I use to shoot videos and get pictures of kittens who prefer to be on me (which makes it hard to get a decent picture with the bigger camera!). It was with the W300 or possibly the camera I had before that (I don’t remember which one it was, it had a lower megapixel – but it was definitely a Sony) that I took these pictures with, and I think they’re pretty good.
What’s most important, no matter what kind of camera you have, is that you be willing to mess with the settings, and be willing to take a LOT of pictures to figure out what settings work for you!
Seeing the first picture of this post this morning made me remember that I had a dream about you and your sweet kittens last night! I was cuddling kittens and telling you that I can’t tell which is which, except for Ciara. Which is true, but I love them anyway!
How obsessed with your blog do I have to be to dream about it at night?
Aww, surely not THAT obsessed. Really, they’re so cute, how can you NOT dream about them!
Is it just the camera and lighting, or is Clove growing up to have tiny bits of Calie-Tabby in her fur? I’ve seen mostly brown ticked females like that before, mostly brown tabby but with hints of orange or gold in a few places.
She does seem to have several splotches of goldish orange on her, especially on the back of her head and some spots on her back. When we first got her, those splotches seemed to be a golden brown color, like Corbie has, but the older she gets, the more orangey they seem to be.
The picture of Alice and Jake reminds me of some comic book or cartoon with Alice being the smart one trying to take over the world and Jake being her looney sidekick. Very Pinky and The Brain.
Did that big Amazon box Spanky is in originally arrive with cat toys in it? 😉
Noooo, that would be silly! I don’t get cat toys from Amazon!
(I do not think we could fit even half the cat toys in this house in that box, though. Shhh, don’t tell Fred!)
I was wondering, Coltrane looks like a bigger cat, how much did he weigh? Since he was an outside cat, did he get along or socialize with any of the other cats or animals in the yard? It looks like he had some sort of rivalry with Maxi at least.
I would say that he was about Joe Bob’s size, and Joe Bob weighs almost 12 pounds. He was long and lean and pretty tall (that sounds like a country song!). Maxi is kind of a small-framed cat, so being next to her might have made Coltrane look even bigger than he was.
He got along really well with other cats, as long as the other cats got along with him. Maxi hissed and smacked at him if he got too close, so he’d hiss back, but Maxi hates all the other cats except Newt (and sometimes that’s debatable). I think that if she weren’t such a brat, he would have gotten along fine with her. I know that he snuggled with Jake from time to time when he was in the house, and he liked (or at least tolerated) the kittens. Really, he was an all-around good boy!
I was wondering if your male cats ever “mother” the kittens? My three male cats have taken to kitten raising like, well, a cat to catnip! My 14 yr old cats follow the young’uns around the apartment and bathe and cuddle with them. of course, the kittens were younger (4 weeks) but they still all sleep together now at this age (they are 4 days older than the Mcmaos).
I wish so so SO much that one of my boy cats would step up and mother the fosters who wander through here. The only cat who comes closest is Jake, and he doesn’t so much mother them as play with them like an older brother.
I envy you your boys who are clearly in touch with their mothering side!
I was wondering, what is it like when you and Fred eat dinner? When my fiance and I eat dinner at our house, we each have one arm scarfing food in our mouths and the other pushing at least one of our two cats away. When they finally “give up,” they sit there and Stare. So of course, I have to wonder what it’s like at your house with much more cats around!
Now, y’all know that I am a pushover when it comes to my kitties. However, when it is breakfast/ lunch/ dinner time, I do not tolerate the nonsense. When I am eating, I keep a can of compressed air next to me, and if ANY cat in the house starts with the “OH MY GOD I AM STARVING DO YOU HAVE FOOD GIVE ME SOME FOOD I AM DYING DYING DYINNNNNNNNG” hysterics, I shoot a blast of air in their direction (never directly at them, just enough so that the noise startles them a bit) and they immediately back off. At this point, they’ve all learned to leave me alone while I’m eating, and if they forget themselves, I remind them with a quick blast of air.
You don’t have to use compressed air – you can use a squirt bottle of water or a can of pennies, or whatever works for you. The most important thing is to BE CONSISTENT.
I figure, I don’t come complain at them when THEY’re eating, so they don’t need to complain at me while I am!
Aww! So are Fergus Simon and Clove the new cat couple? Good mix: he is mild to her spicy. I read it in the Encaterer.
I have to say, the McMaos and the Spice Girls have integrated really well. There was some hissiness from a couple of the McMaos at first, but now they eat together, play together, and sleep together. The only thing they don’t do is spend the night together, and that’s only because I figure they can use a break (and 10 cats is an awful lot to cram into the guest bedroom!) Fergus Simon, Macushla, and Finnegan spend the most time curled up with the girls, but all the McMaos have been spotted snuggled up from time to time. It’s just a big lovefest!
“Stomach on legs” YESSSS that’s the term I’ve been looking for to describe my Maine Coon kitteh. She is a year old and only 6 lbs. Was a stray brought in off the street. Loves tomatoes, lemons, pickles (no onion/garlic), bread, beer, strawberries, avocado, you NAME it, she eats it.
Yesterday, I got groceries. As soon as I got home, I put alllll the groceries away while Maggie followed me around in hopes that I would give her food. I realized I’d left my purse in the car, and went out to get it. I was gone PERHAPS two minutes. By the time I got back inside, Maggie had discovered the pack of tortillas I’d stupidly left on the counter, chewed a hole through the plastic, and ate a small piece off of every single tortilla, thus making them not fit for human consumption (I do not care for the idea of cat spit on my food).
I have to make sure not to leave ANY kind of food on the counter – in a package or no – because she’ll give it a try. Drives me crazy!
I have a cat that tries to bury his food bowl. He is a messy eater so I have his bowl on a placemat, but he will try to cover the bowl with the placemat-sometimes for 5 minutes straight. I looked it up online and it said that cats in the wild may try to bury their food so they can come back later to eat it. I have tried everything to stop him from doing it-it drives me crazy and he ignores everything around him when he does it. Have any of yours had this problem?
I’ve definitely had cats who try to bury their food bowl! When Maggie was in the foster room with her kittens, she’d almost always cover their food after they ate; once she dragged a cat bed across the room to cover it. It is definitely an instinctual thing, the kittens do it, too.
I ended up putting a (clean) cleaning rag near their food every day so that she could drag it over the food and be satisfied that it was covered. Then, if the rag had food on it, I’d toss it into the hamper and put another rag down for her at the next mealtime. It worked out pretty well!
Maggie is a saint. How is she getting along with the resident kitties?
She’s got to be the most laid-back mama cat I’ve ever seen. Strike that – the most laid-back cat ever, mama or no. As long as no one is threatening any of the kittens, she has no issues with any of our adult cats. She hasn’t tried to make friends with them, particularly, though I’ll occasionally see her touch noses with them, and they’re pretty relaxed about her, too.
I actually saw her PLAYING with one of her kittens yesterday, and that’s the first time I’ve seen her playing since before the kittens were born. I think right now she’s so focused on getting food in her belly that she can hardly think of anything else.
I weighed her the other day – she weighs 7 pounds, 14 ounces, which is one ounce more than what Alice weighs. She actually weighs less than Kara, and Kara’s a much smaller-boned cat.
we need advice…Just rescued a 6 week kitten, female. She’s in a dogpen separated from our other cat (who needs his shots up to date). She appears to use the litter box but DOES NOT cover her poo! any advice? Kitten v. healthy, we adopted thru our friend the AC officer, so everything has checked out otherwise, except a superyoung kitty livin’ on the mean streets….
I do not have any advice here at all, so I’m hoping someone out there does – if you’ve got advice on training a cat to cover their poo, please speak up. Sugarbutt also does not cover his, and I’m pretty sure the gates of Hell are located in his bowels.
Just curious as it seems you have such a menagerie of animals — do you guys have any ducks/geese?
We do not have any ducks or geese. Ever since the day Fred and I were feeding geese at the UAH lake and a geese bit me on the butt, I have not cared for geese. We’d like to have ducks, but we don’t have a pond for them. We want to get someone out here to dig a pond for us in the back forty (so that the back forty doesn’t flood all winter long), but that hasn’t happened yet.
The irony is that there actually WAS a pond here when we moved in – it was located behind where the back yard is right now. But it dried up, and we decided to have it filled in and now we’re regretting it.
I love all the photos, but that chicken flock pic is great! Is that the entire flock?
That’s not the entire flock – I’d say it’s maybe half the flock. Some of the chickens were under the coop hanging out, and I think some were out toward the back of the back 40, and the rest were probably in the pig yard (they love the pig yard!). Fred estimates that we’ve got 50 – 60 total chickens.
Are those chickens eating popcorn?
Yep (you can really see the popcorn when you blow the photo up in Flickr). So, Robyn bakes cookies for the piglets and, apparently, makes popcorn for the chickens. That farm is animal heaven!
::sputter:: I don’t make popcorn for the chickens! Ha ha, that would be, why that would be craziness! That was leftover popcorn from Fred’s snack the night before, and he always saves the extra for the chickens.
Oh, OKAY. I USED to pop popcorn for the chickens. In fact, at some point in the past I bought a 50 pound bag of popcorn kernels at Sam’s. I popped so much popcorn at once, that the top of the air popper melted. Chickens are so funny when you give them food that they love (tomatoes!) that I always want to give them lots of food they love. I’m a sucker, what can I say?
All six McMaos and all three Spice Girls are present and accounted for!
Maggie and the Spice Girls. This is like a vacation for her!
Finnegan’s face is cracking me up. “THIS ARE MY SPOT YOU GO AWAY.”
I should just squeeze Clove ’til the marshmallow Fluff comes out her ears, shouldn’t I?
But let me tell you a quick story: the other day all the kittens were devouring Maggie ALIVE, and so I pulled them off her, and I took her into the guest bedroom, where there’s a bowl of the really good kitten food on top of the dresser. I put her there, and not ten seconds later, she was back in the kitchen calling to the kittens. She can’t hate it too much, is what I’m saying.
Nothin’ happier than a Loony Jake.
2010: Bolitar, at home wherever he happens to land.
2009: Saying goodbye to Mister Boogers.
2008: Poor little monsters, they have no idea what’s coming!
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: For the most part Mister Boogers left the kittens alone, though Oy kept going over and sniffing at him, and he could hardly stand it, and he would growl and raise his paw to smack that kitten across the room, but then I would say “Mis. Ter. Boog. Ers.” in my Mean Lady voice, and he’d put his paw back down and walk away.
Love the pic of the black kitten jumping for the feather toy! Expecially the face of the orange tabby. She looks like she is cheering him on and in awe!
The cat that doesn’t cover it’s poo is saying I am the boss, so I don’t need to hide my smell in my territory .my old kitty Blanco, aged 13 doesn’t cover, but Commodore aged 8 does. Blanco knows he is boss of all pets and humans, after all we use the same bathroom ( litter box is next to toilet) and we flush so he knows we think he’s boss, I get to deal with his “special” poo! Lucky me.he is asleep on my lap at the moment, we got him from the Cats Protection home when he was 8.He is a very special kitty.
I always thought it was because it smelled so bad that they wanted to get the heck away from it as fast as they can, too! LOL
I have some cats that don’t cover poo, and it tends to be an increasing problem in old age (my office Main Coon has started doing it). With kittens you may be able to solve (or at least lower) the problem, because a very young kitten learns some of its bathroom behavior. You can try taking its little feet after a BM and making it scratch sand over it and you can also hope that as it adjusts to the older cat, it will copy their actions as well.
To teach a bottle feed baby to wash itself, you can drop bits of kitten formula on their little rears (sounds gross but it works for cats)but other than moving the little paws with you hands, I’m not sure what else works for babies and covering their mess.
Adult cats who suddenly stop covering pool (especially females) are saying “I’m the boss” and “this is my territory.” It isn’t uncommon when a new cat is brought into the home (or dog), most of the time this behavior will stop as things calm down but it doesn’t always.
With elderly cats, sometimes the only real solution is a poop scooper and a plastic bag on top of the cat box. I won’t inflect the photo of mine, here in the office; you can also just cover the mess with sand (using the scooper) if you are in a hurry.
Nothing is going to force an elderly cat (or even reluctant kitten) to cover their mess; you just have to do it for them until either the kitten learns or the older cat decides to change it ways (and sometimes they do).
My little tabby (4 years old) does not cover her poo and it drives us nuts — we wish she would take some lessons from her much tidier (and quite vain) 7-year-old brother. She grew up with a mom and aunts until she was about 4 months, so you think she would have learned from them, but no. We live in a very open loft so if something something stinks, the whole place stinks. I do wish I knew how to solve the problem, but I have no idea. Fiendish feline turdery!
(Wish I could claim authorship of that phrase. Here’s the source: http://www.etsy.com/listing/50364911/the-seal-is-for-marksmanship-and-the?utm_source=OpenGraph&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share )
The picture of Clove with her paw in the foreground is just the cutest. I just adore those lovely tabby kittens. It took all my willpower not to adopt one from the shelter at my local PetCo the other day.
You better really stay away from books about writing about cameras.
I have a moderate point and shoot that takes decent pictures. It tends the be a little slow deciding what to do at times for an action shot. Mine has a quick video mode, and I’ve gone into a bad video and picked out some good stills from the frames. That’s one way to take a lot of pictures with a lesser camera.
On the calitabby – the real test is not to look at the background hairs, but at hairs of a stripe. These will be all black all over for a brown tabby, or will be two shades on a calitabby.
The stripes at the outside edge of her eyes sure look orange rather than black, but it is hard to tell.
OK, that photo of the kitten jumping after the purple feathers has got to be my favorite kitten picture of all time.
I too am amazed at all the great photos you have gotten, and have tried several different cameras and have had little luck. I think I’m ready to invest, but I still have no idea what I’m looking for and what will make a great camera for taking photos of kittens (because the cool camera I just got is great for taking photos of everything BUT kittens)
as for the not burying poop… cats bury poop as a submissive thing. Not burying it says “I AM HERE AND I AM PROUD OF IT” which in a clowder can be an issue. Single kittens or kittens of cats who don’t bury often don’t learn that it is appropriate. Just cover it. If you can do it while they are still in the box, even better. Be consistent, they’ll eventually get it that they shouldn’t leave it uncovered – well most of them anyway.
I was wondering if you would do me a favor and post about one kitten I have for adoption. I found all the other kittens in the warehouse homes. She will be fixed Tuesday and UTD on all shots. She is all black, cuddly , and 14 weeks old. I am trying like heck to find her a home. I live in the Bronx but can travel. the mothers are both to be fixed Tuesday, too. All the shelters are full and 5 cats in one apartment is a lot, so six would be pushing it.
I’m starting to think Clove is a “hidden” Cali-tabby but can’t be sure just from photos. Of course, since she’s not ever going to be a Mommy Cat, this doesn’t matter the way it would as it does when cat breeding. Then you hope to be able to predict if the Mother has “the red gene” or not; but even then sometimes you don’t know. I’ve also heard of cases of “tri-colored” males (both “double-cats” and cats with extra chromosomes) that are recognized because the tiny spot of pigment is in a hard place to find and/or their wiskers. Double-cats I find amazing, they are what happens when two tiny proto-kittens bond together into one adult cat. Females are hardly noticed, but with males you sometimes get a fertile calico, cali-tabby or Torti male. A forum member I know has one as her avatar and the face is even split right down the middle between orange and black. He was genetically proven to have fathered a kitten, but after that “opps” he had samples taken and was then neutered so it wouldn’t happen again.
Sorry I just realized I was unclear in the above posts, some males escape notice as actually being tri-color until they father kittens that are an “impossible color” (again this from experience in cat breeding pedigrees). Double cats are when tiny embryos fuse together very early in the womb, this can happen in people too but most often only results in a person with two blood types.
My old boy cat, B, always covered his poo and used to rake the litter like it was his zen garden. Then we got our girl, T, 18 months old and very cavalier in her attitude to poo; point in general direction of litter tray and shoot, then leg it before the smell hit her! B was very upset about this and one day I saw him ushering her to the tray, sat her down nearby (he was like a bouncer in a nightclub, guiding her with his shoulder) and did a perfect poo dead centre while she watched. Then he covered it up, glancing up at her at each paw stroke; “Like this, see? And then again. Got it?” I honestly would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes! She did like he showed her for a few days then went back to point and shoot. Interestingly, he was no.3 then no.2 cat in the neighbourhood and he always covered it up, but always did it in the tray. T has always used the tray, leaving it uncovered despite being submissive to B. Oh what lovely things we discuss here!
Awww mama Maggie deserves a medal – mum of the year!!! Yay!!
Yay for Jake – what a gorgeous happy face!!
Thank you for the pic of Jake… that made my whole WEEK!
My twins will NOT bury… oh they scratch, everywhere but where they need to be to bury their BM/pee. Yet Nimbus, my girl’s son (RIP), bless his heart, would not only bury his own – and very quietly too – but would hover at the litter box nose almost in his uncle’s butt waiting for him to get done so he could get in and bury his uncle’s poo! I miss my boy so much… So does my nose. But it could be worse! Try litterbox training 2 stray kittens without a mom with a DEMAND to poo in the bottom of the boxspring of your bed! *Cough* that was my twins… and the bed (along with the human I was with at the time) are still somewhere a state away LOL!