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We encountered something with one small cat at the shelter. He wasn’t eating very well unless someone stayed with him. We wondered if he was afraid to eat or was nudged away. Thought I’d mention it in case Tony might be similar.

Luckily, Tony Rocky Horror Pickle doesn’t require an audience when he eats. I think he wasn’t eating because he didn’t feel good. Now he feels so good that all he wants to do is eat – and it would be best if you don’t get your hand between his mouth and the food! At the rate he’s gaining, I expect him to reach 1 pound in the next few days. Considering that just a week ago we thought he was dying, that’s amazing.

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Love the fierce, growly little Sungold with his toy! And was that a cameo appearance by Stompers at the end of the video??

YouTube link

That was actually Mr. Stripey, not Stompers.

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I’m so glad tiny little Tony is doing okay, but low blood sugar occurred to me, too. When you get up and check him in the night, you might give him a tiny little snacky, too.

The problem was not so much the lack of offering him food – he was being offered food every two hours around the clock – but his refusal to eat much. That problem has been overcome, and now the little man is an eatin’ champ.

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Just saw this today and it reminded me of Newt and Maxi!

It’s a project set up by the University of Georgia and National Geographic to document the lives of outside cats with video and pictures. There’s some pretty cool stuff to check out!

That is too neat! You know, I’m kind of under the impression that Maxi and Newt spend most of their time in the vicinity of the house (they always seem to appear pretty quickly when I step outside), but it would be cool to put collar cams on them and find out for sure how they spend their day.

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When you introduced Tony to us last week I wondered what would happen if you tried getting Brandywine to take him on. Is she still making milk? Do you think she would accept a new baby? I sure hope he gets stronger one way or another!

I’m not sure if she’s still making milk – her babies try to nurse, and she’ll only put up with it for a few seconds before walking off. When they follow her, she growls and slaps them. I don’t think she’d accept a new baby, and the one time the two of them came face to face (when I was headed back to the foster room with Tony Rocky Horror Pickle after he’d had a bath), neither of them was the slightest bit interested. In fact, I think Brandywine might have shuddered and said “Ugh. No more babies!”

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Trying to catch up on my blog-readin, so I haven’t read the comments to see if someone has already mentioned the resemblance between TrhP and this charming fellow.

That picture never gets old for me. I laugh every single time.

You’re the only one to point out the resemblance, but OH YES I can TOTALLY see it! (And I laughed, too!)

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Do you have any tips on how to deal with scaredy cats? We have two (unrelated) female cats that are almost 5 years old. We got them when they were 5 months old from a local rescue, and both had been found on the streets when they were 2 ish months old. As long as we’ve had them, they’ve been very skittish. They’ve definitely warmed up to us and can be total lovebugs (to the women in the house, that is–the men scare them) a lot of the time. But if we’re sitting at the table and one of us moves a chair a few inches and it makes a noise, the cats are off like rockets. Is there anything we can do about this, or will they always be scaredy cats?

I’m posting this in hopes that someone will have some suggestions for you. That sounds very much like the way Stinkerbelle acts (okay, maybe without the “warming up” part!), and we tried Feliway and Rescue Remedy, and they didn’t really help. For the most part she’s happy living atop the kitchen cabinets (and the platform in the front room), and she comes down and demands snacks – and she was the most feral kitten we’d ever had as a foster – so we’ve decided to let her be. I know that Jackson Galaxy recommends a line of holistic remedies – Spirit Essences. I tried the Feral Cat Rehabilitation with Emmy and it didn’t make any difference that I could tell (and it does say on the page that not all cats are receptive to domestication, which I think describes Emmy to a T), but I know that Connie’s had luck with Spirit Essences in the past, so it might be worth a try.

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In 1969 I was at Summer Camp when we found a kitten so emaciated that his little belly had swollen, his hair had fallen out and he was chewing his tail. His much healthier sibling was standing guard, both were very small. Ordered by the elderly camp owner to “leave the kittens alone” we formed the Underground cat committee and kept Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldran (yep that Summer) alive with mashed potatoes and gravy. When my father showed up a week later with a cat carrier he was so sure that Baby Buzz would die on the way home, he tried to steal himself to comfort a crying daughter; but Buzz made it.
He was so small he fit in a tea cup and for two years did not grow much, my Mom called him “Buzzard Bate” Niel grew up, became a very independent outside cat and one day just didn’t come home a couple of years later. But at age two, Buzz started to grow, and grow and grow! By then end of it he looked just like Morris!

He lived to be 15 or 16 and had a long an happy life, first in California and later in Mississippi.

Funny looking kittens don’t always stay funning looking and even when they do, they are always cute!

Awww, what an awesome Dad – and what a great story!

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Did I miss something with Tony RH Pickle? What’s wrong with the skin on his back and rear left leg?

It’s not a skin issue, it’s a fur issue – his fur isn’t very thick and that combined with the fact that he’d recently had a bath, and the camera flash makes it look like there’s a skin problem when there isn’t. It doesn’t look like that in real life!

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I can tell Rocky will be a real beautiful kitty and I can’t wait to see him grow up! I’m so jealous of your clowder but I’m pushing it at 3 in my apartment. I’ve actually told my wife we need to move out of DC and get a house just so I can foster!

That sounds like a great reason to buy a house – and I’m not even kidding. 🙂

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Have you had a Star Trek or Star Wars litter? Either would be fun, I can see Uhura (the dark pretty one), Spock (the one with the ears) and Kirk (the cheeky tabby).

Not yet, but it’s on the list of potential future names!

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So that sidebar of yours is needin’ an update

That sidebar of mine is ALWAYS needin’ an update. I’ll see if I can’t get to it this weekend – and maybe Razzie, Kennebec, and Fianna will get themselves adopted so I’ll have an even better reason to get it updated!

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I am in LOVE with Brandywine..I just want to hold her and kiss her and snuggle…She looks so comfortable and happy…what a nice turnaround for her. Will she stay until the Maters leave for Petsmart or will you keep her with them?

It all depends on when there’s room at Petsmart, but usually mothers and kittens are kept separately. Brandywine is ready to go now, actually, so it’s possible that she’ll go to Petsmart before them. Or if there’s room for them all at the same time, she’d go in one cage and they’d go into another. Otherwise, I imagine those boys would pin her down and nurse all day long!

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In response to my request for details about her new foster, JessicaD said:

Uh, the cat’s name is Freckles, and she’s a bossy, demanding pain in the neck! She went from being completely invisible (hiding behind the bed) to being all, ‘Anywhere you can be, I can be better…and louder’ in a matter of hours. When she’s not loudly complaining about something (her catchphrase is, ‘And ANOTHER thing…’) , she’s muttering (which actually cracks me up because she sounds like a cranky old lady). Or she’s lying sweetly next to you on the sofa as if she’d never dream of being a nuisance. You know, either one. She loves to ‘snoopervise’. I could hardly even get her new toy out of the box for all the help I was getting. We’re used to our neighbour’s cat, Ted, who’s a quiet, undemanding, absolute gentleman of a cat, so we weren’t really prepared for the force of personality we’d invited into our home. Neither was Ted, by the way. They were staring at each other through the French doors the other day, when Ted tentatively put a paw up to the glass, whereupon Freckles went into an apoplectic rage. The common refrain now heard in our house is, ‘Poor Ted.’ That, and, ‘WHAT, Freckles?’

And then later she came back and said:

You know, I feel a bit bad for complaining because since she came home from being spayed, she’s been a different animal. Still snoopy, and still fairly chatty when she wants something, but much, much more laid-back. I think either she was going into heat before she was spayed, or perhaps she was calling for her kittens (she had just been separated from 8-9 wk olds when we got her). She still has a conniption at the idea that any cat but her exists in the neighbourhood, but otherwise, she’s a sweet, sweet girl. I’ve got a few pictures of her sprawled out on our bed like the tart that she is. 🙂

She sounds like a definite character!

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Robyn not sure how to share a link in the comments but thought you would like this video.

Ha – that is too funny! I love the thousand yard stare cats get on their faces when they’re in the litter box.

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What does barley do to green water that helps it clear up?

This page saysAs barley decomposes, it prevents new algae from growing. As the old algae dies off, and no new algae is growing, you will notice a remarkable increase in the clarity and quality of your pond water.

I’ve seen other sites that say that barley doesn’t help at all, but I’ve definitely noticed a bit of a difference in our pond. Not a HUGE difference, but it’s definitely a bit clearer.

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Is Da Bird sold in Petsmart or Petco? Or purchased online? It looks like something my adult cat would like.

I got mine online at Amazon, but Kelly mentioned that she got a feather refill at Petco, so I’m sure they also sell the pole there, too.

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Speaking of Da Bird, I want to thank you SO much for recommending it so strongly! My two scaredy cats don’t have that many toys because they’re scared of anything that makes noise (crinkly balls, toys with bells, toys with rattly beads inside, etc.) and it’s harder to find silent toys that are also interesting to them. We have one that looks like a koosh ball on the end of a semi-flexible wire with a wooden handle, but they’ve never taken that much interest in it. I was at the pet store the other day, and on a whim I decided to look at the cat toys to find them a birthday present, since it’s almost their birthday. I couldn’t find any that don’t make noise until I saw Da Bird hanging there. Remembering how much your cats like it, I got it for my kitties, and so far it’s a hit! They do this weird thing where they’ll play intensely for a few minutes, then freeze and stare off into the distance and reject all my efforts to get them to play, and then a few minutes later they’ll just start playing again. But overall, they seem to like it! Thanks, Robyn. 🙂

It’s absolutely my pleasure – I try to share when I find something my cats love. I think all cats need their very own Da Bird!

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I just want to add my voice to those talking about the awesomeness of Da Bird. This thing drives my little girl out of her ever-loving head. You really have to supervise them with this, and hide it when you aren’t around. She sits outside the office until we bring it out and she’ll play until she can’t. It’s great fun. They really like the “puff” refill, too (and the regular feather, of course).

Thanks for the tip! I know what I’ll be buying the next time I put together an Amazon order!

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Does Petey do anything else but sleep? If he’s practicing looking cute curled up, he’s definitely got that down pat.

When Petey isn’t sleeping, eating, or using the litter box, he likes to sit in my lap… and suck on my shirt. Occasionally he runs off to jump on one of his siblings, but mostly he wants to sit and be snuggled. He’s training for the CuteLympics!

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Have I told you before that I am so glad to see someone else’s hardwood floors looking as cat-scratched as mine? 🙂 Sometimes I wonder why I bothered to refinish them when I moved into this house…

Oh, TELL me about it – we had the floors throughout this house sanded and refinished, and I swear that five years later, you can’t tell. Part of our problem is that our floors are made of a soft wood (pine? I think?), and the cat claws aren’t exactly gentle on the wood. I love the hardwoods – our previous house was carpeted throughout – but I can’t imagine what the floor’s going to look like in another five years. When I win the lottery, I’m buying a house with CEMENT floors! And… CEMENT walls! Take that, you rotten cats!

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If your population of permanent residents was at a lower number where you felt comfortable adopting another cat, would you have considered Brandywine? What a sweetheart.

I’m committed to not adopting any more cats until our permanent residents population is back in the single digits, and I am expecting that that will be years and years from now. Like I’ve said to Fred, I love each and every one of our cats, I just wish there weren’t so MANY of them. So we are NOT adopting any more cats, anytime soon. (Do you HEAR me, Tony Rocky Horror Pickle?!)

That said, if we had room for one more cat, then Brandywine would be at the top of the list. She is the sweetest cat on earth, and whoever ends up with that girl is going to be seriously lucky.

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Red Velvet Ants are beautiful, but they can produce a very painful sting. Since you have all those cats outside, your “kill on sight” policy is probably for the best. Here’s a video of one squeaking!

Okay now, that is just CREEPY! I swear, if I ever find one of those things in the house, I’m moving out. I love living in this house, but sometimes all the freakin’ BUGS freak me out. (I won’t even tell you about the glue traps in the garage that have Brown Recluses stuck to them. ::shudder:: )

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Morning time is lazybones time for the ‘Maters.

Dingwallace, you are a beautiful, beautiful boy.
(He knows.)

And Wellington, you’re not so bad, either.

I think Mr. Stripey needs a kiss.

Brandywine in profile.

Flirty Dingwall Scotty.

I took clean towels and cleaning rags out of the dryer, put them in a mesh hamper, and left it on the table with the intention of eventually folding everything and putting it away. In ten seconds it had been discovered by cats. Which, y’know, no skin off MY nose, I don’t mind waiting to fold that stuff! Here’s Sungold, curled up for a nap.

And Mr. Stripey, leaping in to join him.

Mr. Stripey, chattering at the ceiling fan, and Sungold wishing we’d all just go AWAY.

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“Sometimes I curl up and sleep, and sometimes I STRETCH OUT and sleep!” That Petey, he’s a man of many talents.

Last night, I realized that there are FOUR trackball toys in the foster room. All four of them get played with regularly, too.

“I am not LAZY. I just know the value of a good snooze!” Whatever you say, Peteypants.

Percy’s not sure about this track toy. It SQUEAKS.

Yesterday I called him “Anthony Rocky Horror” because he was misbehaving, and then it became “Anthony Michael Picklehall”, and now I’m wondering just how many nicknames one tiny terror needs.

SO FREAKIN’ CUTE. Those other competitors in the CuteLympics don’t have a chance.

Percy isn’t sure about the height. It’s kind of scary!

Polly dreams of a place where she isn’t always being jumped on by her obnoxious brothers.

And, a short video. This was taken the day I got the kittens (before Anthony Michael Horror Picklehead joined us), and Polly clearly hadn’t been introduced to toys. She kept trying to bite the golf and ping pong balls, silly girl.

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After watching all the other cats act crazy, Kara had to CUT LOOSE!

Corbie tries the lean-and-grab, but no luck.

I cannot remember what happened that made Newt run, which in turn startled Alice and made her leap up, but the result is pretty awesome!


2011: The thing about Molly Peppers is that sometimes her mouth writes checks her Paw o’ Doom can’t cover.
2010: Something about grocery day really gets the Bookworms riled up.
2009: his hernia is FREAKIN’ ME OUT, MAN (also: Jake and Elwood show up!)
2008: No entry.
2007: (We don’t let Newt wander freely through the house, because being inside freaks him out and he’ll sit at the door to the outside and howl to go out. He’s not an indoor cat at ALL.)
2006: No entry.
2005: That’s just the way it seems to go for us.



8-17-12 — 33 Comments

  1. There is something extra adorable about Petey!

    Kara l-l-l-ost her composure???? Oh my!!! 🙂

  2. Just wanted to say we got our Da Bird on sale at Petco for like, half off. And neither cat likes it at all, but the DOG thinks it’s the BEST THING EVER and flips out when he sees it. We store it in a closet so no one accidentally bumps it and sends him into a frenzy!

  3. I’ve been a loyal reader of your blog for YEARS, but I’ve never really commented before – nothing personal, I’m just usually reduced to gooey ooey putty from the cuteness when I’m done reading your posts! The Cheezburger link one of your readers shared above reminded me of a kitten picture I have on my desktop at work – seems VERY appropriate for dear Tony RH so I had to share it with you. Obviously work is making my brain melt because I didn’t see the resemblance til now! (Warning for non-Robyns: strong language ahead!)


    LOVE your blog!! Enjoy your weekend! >^.,.^<

  4. Ok, those “ant”/wasp creatures are just horrifying. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I’ve got goosebumps. I need to watch the video of the Pickles playing again to cleanse my eyeballs. And ear…balls.

  5. Eeeekkkk! Those ants are horrifying and you have brown recluse spiders too?! Diddley-brown recluse spiders are nasty things that can deliver horrible bites. Here is the link to the wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_recluse_spider

    On a better note though, those Pickles are killing me with the cute. Polly is my new love. Keep taking care of those gray/brown kitties along with the orange and black ones.

  6. If you’re going to open the door to Star Trek and Star Wars, may as well just go full fandom and do Stargate, tolkein, Harry Potter, Avengers, etc.

    Pet peeve that nerds have to be either Star Wars or Star Trek fans and they don’t get along. Personally want to go to a Star Wars/Trek mixed wedding. In the 21st century, we should be tolerant enough. As far as raising their kids, pet theory that they’ll go Stargate anyway.

    Seriously though about Pete, when you see them curled up like that, don’t you just want to cup that little body like your hand is a blanket and kiss that little head?

    And nice Corbie action photo! And jumping on those weak back legs too!

  7. I love me some Kara. I wanted her so bad but alas she will remain a Southern Bell Sheriff Mama. I love the names for Tony. I think you should do a wanted poster with all his alias’
    By the way, I still think Corbie is beautiful but apparently he has fallen off the Best Looking Celebrity Cat list this week. Please don’t tell him. I can tell he is sensitive about his looks.

  8. Our cat Molly gets a leaky eye sometimes but its because of stress. After several (expensive…)vets visits we found the problem and determined the best way to mitigate it was to adjust our household to offer better stress management. We had to get more cat boxes(water fountains and food bowls also so Molly felt more possession over things) and got the plugin cat pheromones which seemed to really help a lot. I’m thinking once he finds his peaceful furrever home he’ll really be able to de-stress and hopefully the leaky eye goes away.

  9. “But if we’re sitting at the table and one of us moves a chair a few inches and it makes a noise, the cats are off like rockets.”

    You might try announcing “big noise coming [cats’ names]” in the same words/tone of voice every time you move the chair. It sounds silly, but after a while they’ll associate the sounds and won’t be so surprised. I do this whenever I run the garbage disposal and now the cats are like, “yeah, yeah, big noise, whatever” and they don’t bolt any more.

    • My cat hates the blowdryer and just knows that when I comb my wet hair, next comes the blowdryer. He exits to the door and as soon as I turn it off, he returns! Love that silly boy!

    • Yup, I love that suggestion!! I do that all the time with my fosters when I’m training them that humans make noises.. I just dont think Ive ever put thought to it after the fact.

      I also used rescue remedy to help my Eli calm down. He spent the first six months of his life being medicated and ran for the next six years. He sat on me all on his own for the first time a few months ago and he’s 10 years old now. He stopped running a while ago, mostly because of RR, and also because we found something he loved and we gave it to him when ever we could.

  10. My cat Gus is something of a nervous type and as a youngster would take off in a panic at stuff and give me some bad stratches. He’s gotten a lot better as he gotten older. Calla was pretty skittish – dodging away if I got up for anything. Then I would follow to try and put her back, ending up chasing her around the room saying “I’m not chasing you!” – but I was. Again, she is getting better but the real key with her was finding little confidence boosters. She is way more confident up on a end table or shelf than on the floor, so I put sleeping spots there. I don’t mind, and I like the fact that I can walk by and pet her in passing.

  11. Okay, that is not a suitable enough picture of the most gorgeous cat in the world, Corbie. We need our corbie fix each Friday, indeed, we look forward to it. 😉

  12. “Anthony Michael Horror Picklehead” made me laugh out loud….at work. Now everybody’s staring at me. Thanks Robyn. hee! I am totally shocked that Sheriff Mama is acting so undignified!

  13. When I saw the picture of Polly staring out of the window, it reminded me of the Wizard of Oz. I expected to hear her break out her rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow!”

    The last few pics of the cats cutting loose reminded me more of an officer administering sobriety tests for DUI’s lolol

  14. That looked like a really fun day with the Perms in the yard! Sheriff Mama better hope that her “cutting loose” photo doesn’t pop up during her next election campaign! But where was the Looniest of the bunch during this?

    After these photos and comments, I’m breaking down and buying Da Bird, too. Everyone here is getting a little bored with their current toys anyway – jaded brats! 😉

  15. It’s awesome how such a young kitten as Sungold has the primal instincts to want to protect her “kill”.
    As I watched the video,it reminded me of all of the lion and other predator videos I have seen in my life-hundreds of them.
    I was wondering what that noisy human was up to towards the end of the video,but was surprised to Mr.Stripey coming into the frame,skateboarding with the plastic basket.Funny!

  16. Why oh why did I want that ant video?? I had to watch the Pickles video 3 times just to stop the shivers!