8-31-15 Monday

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I have an update!

I got an email from Alex last week. He said:

I wanted to let you know that Maggie and the rest of the family (cats, baby, and wife) are moving to Milwaukee this weekend. The trip will be long, but I am confident that Maggie will pull her brothers through. Once we have found a house (we are living at our grandmother’s house for now), I will send new pictures of Maggie in the land of cheese. I wanted to share these latest pictures of Maggie so she is kept fresh in those who still remember her.

The first is Maggie in typical form around food. Waiting…plotting…

The second is a comparison picture. We have a book called the “Pout Pout Fish” and I couldn’t help see the similarities in facial expression.

And finally, Maggie assisting in the move.

I’ll let you know when we are settled.

Thank you so much for the update and pictures, Alex! Hopefully the move goes as smoothly and painlessly as possible.

That picture of Maggie at the table made me laugh out loud. I am forever telling the story of Maggie getting into zucchini fritters, and our having to give her hydrogen peroxide to vomit (you can read the story here; there’s nothing too descriptive in the story, and – you’re welcome – no pictures of the result.)


Recently, I declared that I was TIRED of the plastic Rubbermaid containers we have sitting next to and under the side stoop. They’re there as shelters for Maxi and whatever other cats need to use them (they’ve been used by raccoons and possums occasionally, too), but they’re flat on top and collect rainwater. They’re hard to get to (the ones under the stoop, anyway) and I hate crawling under there to dump the stagnant rainwater off the top. So I ordered replacements from Amazon, and over the weekend Fred put them together.

They’re pretty nice little houses. They’re not as big as the ones we have in the back yard, but they’re also less expensive (and Fred actually said that he thinks he likes them more). I’m going to stuff them with straw this week, and replace the Rubbermaid containers (which we will probably place at other spots on the property in case a marauding gang of cats need shelter).

These are the ones I got (that is an affiliate link, FYI), and according to Fred, they were super easy to put together. At the moment they’re still lined up in the front room, and every now and then (when I don’t have a camera or my phone at hand), a cat settles in for a short nap. Dennis, particularly, thinks they’re the bee’s knees.


The kittens were making such a mess in the foster room after snack time – first standing in their food and then tromping their grimy little paws all over the floor and rug – that I had to come up with a better way to give them their plates of food. I came up with this:

Those plates are on small washable pee pads, with a larger washable pee pad underneath. That’s in the closet (where the litter boxes are also kept), and it actually does a great job of containing the mess. I pick up the small pee pads every time I pick up the plates (ie, after every meal – they get three of them a day), and I pick up the medium pad when it needs it, which is once or twice a day.

Those pee pads are one of the BEST things I’ve bought. We use them all over the place (including as furniture protectors), and they hold up really well. My only gripe (and I’m not really complaining about it, you understand) is that I dyed them back when I got them, and the color fades pretty quickly.

By the way, the kitten missing in that picture is Zuke. That boy just is not at ALL interested in canned food, the little weirdo. He’s all kibble, thank you very much!


Pretty, pretty Louganis.

Torres the snuggler.

Ambercup loves to stick her head in the middle of that sproingy toy.

It appears to have offended her.

Louganis. I love his little pouty face.

::THLURRRP:: He can be a bit of a nut, too, if you couldn’t tell.

“Oh, Pattypan, they have made me deformed! They trimmed my wonderful sharp little needle claws! LOOK WHAT THEY DID!”
Pattypan: ::GASP::

“Don’t cry, Ambercup. You’re still fabulous! ::smooch:: ”

“You’re right. I can totally rock this trimmed-claw look!”

“Why you trim my claws, lady? WHY?”

Zuke gets a look at the outside world.


Videos! In the first, you can see that the kittens (especially Calabash!) are spending a lot of time running these days.

YouTube link.

And in the second, Torres brings on the drama (please note that Zuke doesn’t appear to ever actually touch her at all).

YouTube link.


“Watchin’ you, lady. Watchin’ you REAL CLOSE.”

YouTube link.


2014: No entry.
2013: He’s a problem solver, our Brandon.
2012: She… misses and falls over backward!
2010: Bolitar and Rhyme are off to the adoption center later today.
2009: This is how the kittens feel about Mondays.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: He just sat there and gave me this look like β€œI will never yawn for you again, so save it, woman.”, then started falling asleep while sitting up.



8-31-15 Monday — 26 Comments

  1. Wake up, Maggie, I think I’ve got something to say to you — that girl has a permanent hold on so many hearts, so thanks, Alex. All good wishes for the move.

    Glad the kittens are doing so well, and that’s an inspired way to deal with the mucky-puppy factor, Robyn. And on the clean front, that’s a lovely pic of Alice.

  2. Those babies are so precious. But Robyn, are you sure that it’s not Spitz that is not in the group eating picture? The other day you said that he doesn’t like the canned food. And now in that picture it doesn’t look like any of them are light enough to be him. I could be wrong though because I can’t make the picture big on my phone. Also, just saying, you realize you have invited every marauding gang of cats on to your property now, right?

    • You know what? You’re right – Spitz isn’t in the picture, and Zuke is. But Zuke is the one who’s never showed any interest in canned food, so I just assumed. Maybe he’s changing his stance! πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Robyn. I’m hoping that you and your readers might have some thoughts for me. I had to put one of my cats, Maggie, down on Friday. Though she was 15, it was unexpected.

    We’re now a one cat family. My remaining cat, Logan (13), spent the first day or so looking for Maggie around the house and waiting for her at mealtime before eating but now seems to have accepted that she’s not here. The two cats were never particularly close (she was extraordinarily nervous so wasn’t always the most friendly to her companion), so I suspect that with time he will adapt to our slightly modified routine that doesn’t include her.

    My question is this: Logan’s story is a bit unusual. He was born into the home of a collector (400 animals at the time he was removed from the home) and used as a breeding animal. He was then at the shelter and immediately placed into the general population. After that he came home to live with me and Maggie. So, he’s never spent more than a handful of hours completely alone in his life.

    He’s been spending almost all of his time right next to me since I came home without Maggie. Though, I’m happy to report that he decided to spend some time alone upstairs this morning, which means I think he is starting to return to some of his regular patterns.

    I start back to work tomorrow and that will be his first test of being alone during the day. I’m curious if you or your readers might have any suggestions for behavioral or other changes I might need to watch for to help determine if he is okay being an only cat or if he needs a companion?

    If Logan had died first, I know that Maggie would have been thrilled to have been an only cat, but I’m not sure if that is true for Logan. I’ve always had a slight concern that he might struggle if she passed away before he did.

    I’ve thought about this for quite some time, as Maggie developed a number of small medical conditions over the last couple of years. I know that I need to give Logan plenty of time before making any decision. I also know that if adding another animal would be better for Logan, it would have to be a very carefully selected companion. He is not very dominant, but he does like to think he rules the roost. Maggie was the kind of cat that never fought back and always gave way to his whims (absolutely not challenging in any way), so I think it could potentially be damaging to him if another animal were to come in that was more dominant than he is.

    Thank you for any suggestions you might have.

    • Jen, I’m so sorry for your loss.

      I can’t think of any behavioral changes to look for (my brain is on vacation today apparently), but hopefully someone will chime in here. Instead of saving your question for Friday, I’m going to go ahead and post it in tomorrow’s post, if that’s okay. I know that someone out there will have the perfect advice!

      • Thank you so much, Robyn. It has been a long time since I lost a pet and I think I must not have allowed myself to remember how hard this grieving process is. I can’t imagine how difficult this year has been for you and for Fred.

        I deeply appreciate everything you do. Thank you for creating this place for all of us and for letting us share in your life.

    • we are sorry about Maggie. certainly give it some time. we think if he starts getting overly clingy or really starts acting not like himself, it may be something. mom always says that she thinks companion animals know more about what is going on with each other than people do, so he may have known that Maggie was leaving. if you get to the point where you think he may need a companion, check with a local small rescue. the one where mom volunteers would love to have someone step up and “foster” or adopt a senior pet. since you have a current senior boy, they should certainly be willing to work with you to find the right match.

    • I tend to get kittens as they’re less of a threat to the existing cat but again, you know Logan best.

      what about those pheronome plug-ins? That could help with his ibgiubg transitions.

      Based on what’s happened when my cats have become solo, you’ll have to up your interaction when you get home. They’ve been home all day alone and will need that increased social interaction.

      I am sorry to hear about your loss. Maggie sounds like a love.

      • If you decide to get a kitten, get two. The one kitten will drive Logan nuts. I went through this myself, when my two older ones passed (age 17) and left my youngest (age 9) alone. She was like your Maggie….VERY submissive, so I thought a kitten would be submissive to her. Nope. Tortured her. I had to get a second kitten for him. I actually would recommend a cat similar in age and energy. SLOW SLOW SLOW introduction. If you must get a kitten…get two.

        • Having just successfully integrated kittens into a household with older cats: MY GOD YES PLEASE GET TWO for their sakes. All their sakes. They are no more trouble and a lot more fun plus will keep up with each other.

          • LOL…. imagine doing just one and realizing what a mistake that was and having to go get another!!!! Lesson learned! πŸ™‚

            • Oh, been there, done that. What irked me was I was thinking about getting an older male cat companion for my 10 year old female survivor and my vet told me to get a kitten! “Less threatening,” yeah, for about 36 hours.

              Luckily, one of his litter buddies had been rejected by older cats at his adoptive home, so I was able to get him. Their reunion was one of the funniest and sweetest things I’ve ever seen.

    • I would think any noticeable change would be something you want to be aware of. I’d also be monitoring input and output and weight.

      • I went thru this several years back and was left with a 14 yr old male. I knew he would freak out at new cats so we were with just him for 3 yrs until he passed. I tried fostering 1 kitten for several weeks – once. Solo male would have nothing to do with the kitten and was very upset with the intrusion. So keep an eye on him and only you know what he will do.

    • We lost one of our two littermate cats at 14. The other one enjoyed being an only cat until he was 18. We knew he would hate another cat.

      I would trust your instincts. If you think he would like a mate, you are probably right.

  4. You may have to leave one of those houses inside. πŸ™‚

    toenails were trimmed here too over the weekend. It always cracks mom up when one minute kittens were able to climb the chair and strangely unable to do it the next and they can’t figure out why. haha

  5. I didn’t get that first pic of Maggie at first. Then, saw that devious look tucked away. Love that pic with the pouty-face fish. I see the similarities!

    Love foster updates. Hanking for a Flookdate, Norbie or Mother of Dragons one. Or even a Stompie!

    Glad Torres is less offended and more snugly now. Not being the only girl seems to have helped.

    I have no idea what Ambercup sees with having her head stuck in a tree, but I suspect she’ll be the same way around December.

  6. That second kitten video is absolutely adorable! I tried to watch it twice! “tried” because whatever is making that chirping/squeaking sound completely freaked out my Cashmere, making her jump up onto my chest and hide the computer from me by use of her hip in my face! (Thank goodness it wasn’t a butt in my face!) I was lounging back, you see, and she would not be moved! She even tried digging under the laptop but I had to, forcefully, tell her that my stomach was not eliciting those noises so please do not shred!
    I’m going to have to watch it again, but not until she’s left the room.. I’m still spitting out fur from the hip to the face. Have you ever tried breathing through a thick long coat of tabby??

  7. The chirp in the second video sounds familiar. I have a mousey that makes that noise. I call it Daytime Mouse. You can guess why.