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I was looking back at your house(s) pictures and realized every time Miz Poo was in the picture, you referenced her as “the kitten”. That made me smile. Now she is the matriarch!

I still think of her as “the kitten!”


I believe the flower you are calling a hibiscus might actually be a rose of sharon. We have both in our yard and they are beautiful! We also have a double petal rose of sharon, which is beautiful. The hibiscus flowers are typically huge and at least 6 inches across. I have heard that hibiscus tea will lower your blood pressure but I am chicken to try to make my own. I just wanted to chime in because I wouldn’t want you to get sick.

Actually, Rose of Sharon is the common name for Hibiscus syriacus, and it’s edible.

But in any case, I’m not sure who I was trying to kid when I said I might try making Hibiscus tea from the flowers, because I’ve never been a tea drinker. I like to think that if I’d grown up drinking tea (like Fred did), I’d be a fan. But no matter what kind of tea I try, it’s just not my thing (although… now that I think about it, I did try a Passion Tea lemonade drink at Starbucks last year, and it was pretty good. Maybe I just need to try the Tazo Passion Tea again!)


you mentioned about Khaleesi being returned for biting?

reminds me I saw on facebook a link posted by Oskar (the blind kitty) about this lady who adopted a stray and she posted a video about how the kitty has has its shots etc, and she’ll send it to whoever that will like to adopt it because she travels a lot.

And in that video,she had to SMACK kitty so many times because the kitty would jump and bite her real hard.. it was sad to watch.. people were commenting how kitties do that to play, is that true?

Kittens will often bite to be playful (and get you to play with them), but it’s a behavior that they will grow out of, with the help of training – I always stop playtime cold and walk away if they get bitey or kicky. Training that does NOT include hitting the cat, so I think you can imagine how disapproving I am of this video I haven’t seen!


Speaking of Licki Tricki, I have a cat who licks ALL THE TIME, too. She was born to a feral mother but rescued in time to be mostly okay with people. (Okay, she likes me. And will tolerate members of my immediate family when they visit. She hides from everyone else.) But given half a chance, she will lick me and occasionally nibble. I don’t mind a little of it but is there any way to get her to stop without making her more skittish? Or should I just be thankful she has decided I’m worthy?

I’ve never successfully found a way to stop a super-licky cat from licking. If it starts to hurt I’ll usually hide my hands under the blanket, and Tricki gives up the licking and flops down for a nap. Maybe distracting your licky girl would work? Next time she starts, pull out a toy she likes and see if that works to distract her.

Anyone else have lick-stopping advice? It’s very sweet for the first several minutes, but those tongues are ROUGH and it starts to hurt after a while!

By the way, I’ve started singing “Licky, licky, licky/ here comes Tricki/ Trick lick patrol!” (to the tune of the Cook’s Pest Control* jingle)

*Which is based off of this song right here.


Do you ever notice that the black kitties get more dandruff than the others? Or is it just my boy… He’s grain-free (grains made him wheeze, and drop napalm bombs in the litter box, both problems have since cleared), and gets a supplement in his wet food.

I haven’t noticed it, actually – though I do notice that they seem to pick up more dust than the other cats do (although I guess they don’t really – it just shows up better against their dark fur.)


But tell me why all the hate for ducks? I always kinda liked them myself. Do they have an evil side I’ve never seen?!

From Sourpuss: I used to LOVE ducks, and while I still sort of LIKE them (they ARE cute after all), I have to say I can’t blame Robyn. The males are jerks. Without getting into too many gory details (you can look it up on the web and there are even videos of it), they are extremely aggressive towards females in their mating habits, to the point where they could be called rapists/murderers. You know it’s bad when the female duck anatomy has had to evolve to try to foil attempts at unwanted copulation!

I said: Yes, this. The females are okay, but I loathe the males. They spend a lot of time chasing around our female chickens, trying to mate with them. And the roosters are just USELESS, and stand there and watch.

Kar asked: Ok so why do you have ducks? You don’t seem fond of the females and their choices in nest either. You don’t seem interested in their eggs or ducklings too.
Are these Fred’s ducks?

I said: Oh, they are 100% Fred’s ducks. The entire reason he wanted them was because he likes the way they walk around and quack under their breath. I never thought we needed them (they were awfully cute when they were little, though.) Had I known what jerks the males are, I would have resisted quite a bit more at the idea of having ducks, honestly.

I should add, also, that most of the time in recent months, the girl ducks are laying their eggs in the duck house, which is what I’d prefer. Fred did find a clutch of eggs in the weeds near the pond the other night, but when we looked the next evening, they were gone (I don’t know if the dogs got them, a snake happened along and got them, or the turtle came out of the pond to get them.) My main issue with where they lay their eggs is that I’m worried I’ll look out one day and see a female duck followed by a large number of ducklings.

You know, if the girl ducks would always lay their eggs in the duck house and the boy ducks would stop trying to mate with the hens, I wouldn’t dislike them so much!


Do you do anything special with all the gum balls, or do you just sweep them up and chuck them? Not chuck them *at* anything/body, mind, although I imagine you could do that if you wanted!

I actually bring a few inside the house, because the cats like to play with them and bat them around. The rest just get swept off the driveway, and eventually picked up with the sweeper (or raked up) and tossed in a random out-of-the-way location.


I was wondering how the water in the pig yard wallow/pond keeps from getting mucky and full of mosquito larvae. Are there fish in there? Please educate me as I am very curious!!!

Good question! It actually is kind of mucky (if I ever fell into that wallow, I would immediately perish from the horror of it, I’m sure), but the ducks like to get in there and paddle around, and I know there’s at least one turtle who lives in there. I don’t know if Rouen ducks eat mosquito larvae (I know Muscovy ducks do), but I think they might.


Will Dolores die, now that she laid her egg sac? Oh, I cried and cried and cried when Charlotte died after she laid hers. Not Dolores, too!! As far as Mr. Dolores goes, he prolly deserved it. Like he left the cap off the fly-flavored toothpaste for the 50th time or left the toilet seat up or something.

I’m SURE Mister Dolores deserved whatever he got!

Dolores will likely die sometime between now and after the first frost. To me, she looks like she’s slowing down and looking old, but I don’t know WHY I think that – she’s just sitting in her web like she always has.


I went combing through the old blog posts and can’t seem to come up with an answer, so here goes: Do you have a recommended cat tower for a super long kitty? My boy has been called a puma by every vet that has seen him and he’s 15# of muscle and hangs off either end of all his shelves and towers. Any suggestions???

I’m hoping that other people will chime in here and give suggestions, because I know that my recommendation is an expensive one. Last Christmas, after having the cat tree in my room start to get rickety (and tightening up the supports didn’t help at all), as a Christmas gift to ourselves and the cats, we ordered a cat tree from Playtime Workshop. They aren’t cheap (we have the Big Foot tree in my room) and it took about a month to get the tree because they make it to order, but that thing is super solid and holds up really well under the weight of Tommy and Sugarbutt with no problem at all. I like their work so much that I’m hoping to replace the cat tree in the front room this Christmas with another Playtime Workshop tree.

But like I said, they’re expensive and might not be what you’re looking for – so everyone out there, chime in, please!


On the cats and bathroom thing..

YouTube link.

Oh good lord, how CUTE is that!


Guess who’s headed back to Petsmart this morning?

“Well, I don’t like the sound of THAT.”

“But I thought it was nap time!”

Sweet girl.

At my request, Susan edited Tricki’s description to point out that she’s an adult, and only about 5 1/2 pounds, and we don’t expect her to get any bigger. I’m hoping that that will catch someone’s attention and interest, and that it’ll garner her some second looks. Fingers crossed!

The upstairs will be empty of fosters this weekend, which will give me a few days to really scrub down the foster room. Then on Tuesday, we’ll get Polo. Polo’s a diabetic kitty who lives with another Challenger’s House foster family. They’re going on vacation, so we’re cat sitting for a couple of weeks.


Stinkerbelle, keeping an eye on her Tommy.

“What you doin’, weird lady?”


2013: It’s the one where they go on vacation to Hawaii and Arya ends up hanging off a cliff and a stranger saves her by grabbing her hair and pulling her back up the cliff! This one always gives me goosebumps.
2012: Thistle having a little alone time in HER box.
2011: And Gracie was all “Yeah, whatebs.”
2010: No entry.
2009: “Thank you, internets, for my new eyelids!”
2008: Sometimes she growls at him.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: So Rambo had his belly shaved, too, and he and Jodie are awfully funny looking, laying around with their little shaved bellies.



8-29-14 — 40 Comments

  1. I’ve got a cat that will lick holes in my skin if I let him. I just apply some hand lotion to the area he targets. He doesn’t like the taste of any of them, and just stops.

  2. Ok…like you, I didn’t grow up with tea and have never found one that I liked. I really WANTED to like green tea because it is so good for you. But they all…well…taste like tea!

    I have had cats all my life (I am now 48) and I have NEVER hit a cat. It is completely unnecessary! If I want to train them to stay off the counters, I will sit them on the ground and say “DOWN!”, repeatedly. Then, I will snap my fingers and point to the ground and say “DOWN”. They all eventually get it and either stay down (I believe there are air kitties and ground kitties, by nature) or will get down if I snap my fingers and point to the ground. HITTING a kitty or a dog is NEVER necessary or warranted to train them!!! I am with Roby, just remove yourself from the licky/bitey situation and when play stops every time they do that behavior, they will learn not to do it.

    Stinkerbelle is just sooo pretty!

    Good luck Triki!!!! May your family come to get you VERY quickly!!

  3. For the licky-licky thing, I’ll start doing something the cat doesn’t like. One cat tends to get wax in her ears – it always works its way to the outer ear just fine, but I’ll take my pinky and start cleaning the wax out of the ear. She’ll look at me like WTF? and go away. Or check their teeth. Or claws. Just something benign that they don’t really like. Hey, you gonna groom me, I’m gonna groom you! 🙂

  4. Heh. I’ve actually tried to get our cat to include me in her grooming (the cat I had growing up would always do this), but every time I put my hand near her mid-grooming, she either just sniffs my hand and then ignores me or occasionally gives one quick, dismissive lick before she carries on with her own grooming. The dismissive lick is funny–it’s so ‘not worth my time, kid’.

  5. You know, if the girl ducks would always lay their eggs in the duck house and the boy ducks would stop trying to mate with the hens, I wouldn’t dislike them so much!

    Do they spay/neuter ducks? Maybe that would stop the male aggression 😉

  6. What’s funny is one of the main ingredients in Tazo Passion is…*drumroll* HIBISCUS! :-p I’m a tea fiend but Passion (and Hibiscus tea in general) is one of my faves.

  7. OK Tricki…you be your pretty little licky self and tell your family to come on and get you!!!

    Sweet Polo…I can’t wait to meet him! I feel like I should know this, but have you had to give shots to anyone before? I remember having to give the Boo fluids in her final year, and it was very hard for me to do though I made myself do it for her sake. But boy did I cry the first time I had to put that needle in her!

    • You know? I have a diabetic cat and I actually poked myself before I poked him with those. Truth? They’re TINY needles. Teeny tiny. It’s not bad at all. Maybe I an sanguine about such things (pun intended) but … I’d rather have to poke him with that twice a day than see the mess he’d become 🙁

    • I haven’t done it myself, but Tubby was diabetic, and Fred gave him his insulin shots. Tubby never reacted at all, and the needle is so small that I doubt he even felt it.

  8. I scrolled down after your note about Polo (I did not follow the link) and thought, Wow, Polo looks just like Stinkerbelle!. I’m a dork. We get our first Chewy.com shipment today. I am very excited. Thanks again for the reccomendation. I ordered the S-shaped scratcher as well since your kitties seems to enjoy it. We shall see.

    • Replying to my own post now that I have read Polo’s Petfinder bio. Didn’t you have fosters that Fred brought home from the office a while ago? Could Polo be from the ame family?

      • The Bookworms and the Wonkas were both from near Fred’s office, but their mother was true feral, and when we trapped her, she was so sick that she had to be euthanised. There was also no one feeding the poor girl, either. So stranger things have happened, but I’ll say that I’m pretty sure there’s no relationship there. 🙂

  9. good luck Tricki!!!

    licking: distraction is the best suggestion we have….though if the cat is super persistant, good luck. most of us aren’t lickers…though Ivy LURVS it when mom uses lotion (weirdo)

    black cats and dandruff: Mo doesn’t have any…though the boy is a lint magnet. we haven’t noticed it too much more in fosters either. maybe just more noticeable (and you can add a supplement to his food for his coat)

    • What would be a good supplement? My tux, Tuxie (original name, I know, but he was a stray who wandered up that I didn’t expect to fall in love with and bring inside!) licks himself A LOT and also has a good bit of dander. I had a flea problem last year but got that under control with everyone, and when I comb him I don’t see any flea evidence, but he still acts like he has itchy skin. But his coat is beautiful and there are no signs of over-grooming.

      • I think an Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplement would do wonders, Amy. We use a wild salmon oil for Tommy (for the anti-inflammatory properties, not for dandruff), and I think it would work well for dandruff, too.

        • Does it come in liquid form? Not sure I could pill Tuxie, though I might be able to sneak a pill in a treat…the boy loves to eat! Hence his nickname Tuxie Tank!

          • It does, it’s an oil. I squirt it over Tommy’s food in the morning. Some cats love it, other cats just tolerate it. Tommy seems to like it. You can find it at most pet stores, and on Amazon.

  10. We have several Angelical Cat trees at the shelter. Again, a bit pricy but we’ve had one tree since 1998 and it’s still as sturdy as ever & the cats like it. I would suggest berber carpet for durability. They have lots of styles & you can choose your color(s) & material. Go to angelicalcat.com.

  11. Re: Mr. Dolores – in a lot of spider species, the male is lucky if he manages to find a female, so when he does, he moves into her place and hangs around until she decides she likes him. They mate, and then she eats him. From his point of view, it’s a fair deal- she protects him (she’s usually much bigger), provides the web he hunts from, and he has little chance of finding another female if he lived. She’s only going to mate once herself, so it makes sense to make it count for all it’s worth, and a little extra food to make their babies nice and strong is his final gift. There are even species where he more or less flings himself at her jaws as a way of courtship. Don’t worry, it’s what he wanted most in life.

    Re: Biting cats – My foster-turned-permanent-resident Kala is a biter. She spent years in an abusive environment and didn’t have a healthy sense of interaction when she came to me. What worked was kindness, patience, and leaving her alone the moment she showed any signs of overstimulation. She’s still got problems and probably always will, but she’s mostly snuggly and affectionate these days, because she knows she is safe. Hitting a cat gives them more reason to bite, not less.

    • I don’t know why, but that whole section about male spiders has me giggling, especially the part about it being what he wanted most in life.

  12. We trained our cats, kids, and dogs all exactly the same way, spray bottle of water. My grandma started it with small glasses of water being splashed on the face of a temper tantrum throwing 2 year old. I just expedited the delivery system. Works with all of them!