9-1-15 Tuesday

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In the comments to yesterday’s post, Jen asked for advice:

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.

Several people had suggestions (you can go here to read them), but if you guys have thoughts or suggestions, I know Jen would appreciate them, and so would I! So please chime in?


In yesterday’s post, we had an update on Maggie. Today, we have another update!

But first I have to show you one of my favorite pictures EVER of the updatee.

Do you remember that sweet little face? That’s right, it’s Terry from the True Blood 6!

Christine said:

I saw the “proof of life” requests in yesterday’s post so I took that to mean those sweet ladies want to see a little bit of sweet Terry! I am always happy to oblige so I’ve attached a few photos. He is just a funny dude that makes us smile every day. His LOUD talk-iness makes me wonder if his siblings are SO LOUD too – hopefully Bill’s and Hoyt’s moms can let us know!

That’s it from Terry-land.

I just took this pic of Terry and loved it – we were playing with his new Da Bird, which he is already obsessed with! Thought it would be a cute one to include on Tuesday since his eyes are actually open.

Thank you so much for the “proof of life” pictures and update, Christine! You know we love seeing that sweet boy so happy in his forever home. I always think that litters of kittens who have a rough start in life end up being just a bit more awesome, and that entire litter is proving me right.


Torres in the wall basket, refusing to look at me. Oh, these kittens. Why aren’t they born knowing how to POSE for me?!

Sunshine gives Ambercup the Crazy Eyes.

Sunshine gives Calabash the Kick-My-Sister’s-Butt Eyes, apparently.

Torres, looking in my general direction.

Phelps with attitude.

Louganis, all “HOW did I get up HERE?” Refusing to look at me, you’ll note.

Snoozin’ Zuke. That boy cracks me UP.

Spitz needs a kiss or ten.


Calabash thinks that camera strap is pretty awesome.


Videos! In the first, Zuke is being a goofball (in the first segment of this video, note that Zuke just jumps up into the air for no apparent reason. Goofy boy!)

YouTube link.

And in the second, it’s play time in the kitten room, and Calabash especially is being a goofball. Ya gotta love a goofy kitten!

YouTube link.


Stefan thinks you are HILARIOUS.


2014: Oh, it’s so fascinating when she tells that story. I can’t wait.”
2013: No entry.
2011: These kittens are the standing-up balancingest kittens I’ve ever seen.
2010: Jake of the l’Unervilles.
2009: “O crystal ball, when will I get my fancy new eyelips?”
2008: I know. I’m an unreasonable monster.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Morning kisses.



9-1-15 Tuesday — 17 Comments

  1. Terry’s Da-bird picture is fabulous. He sure is a lovely looking cat!! Thank you Christine!!

    I love Stefan ‘s squinched up eyes in that pic!

  2. For Jen. We had a female cat who had never been an only cat. Our older, more dominant boy died when she was 12. (We always make sure any other cat we have sees the cat who has died; having them put to sleep at home costs a bomb but they see their friend has died and don’t look for him/her.) We thought she would be lonely but her loving personality developed more and, looking back, I think she would have preferred to be an only cat. We inflicted a ittle brother on her about 10 weeks later; a 10 week old kitten. Madame was NOT pleased although she later seemed to realise he had his uses; keeping HER garden free of other cats was good. We lost her whe she was 16 and he was 4. 2 days later we started packing to move house and moved 5 weeks later. He didn’t cope well and had some stress related problems; over grooming and chin acne, which took a while to sort; 3 years later he still has the acne from time to time. We think he has adjusted well to being a only cat but has lost confidence in his new territory; too many cats round here and no big sister to egg him on. We haven’t had another cat, partly for financial reasons, partly because there are so many cats and partly to save my boy any more stress. So I would say give it 3 months or so. Look for over grooming or skin problems or different behaviour. Hope that helps.

  3. For Jen: I had 2 very close brothers from 4 months old. One, Max, had shown issues of separation anxiety from a young age, so much so that I took the day off work to be with him the day I had to take his brother, Calvin, to get his teeth cleaned. They were inseparable. When Calvin was around 10, he started getting very sick…diabetes, and a host of other things until ultimately he was diagnosed with cushing’s disease and died about 10 months after the first signs of trouble. I was SO worried about Max and how he would cope with the loss of his brother. Within a couple of days of losing Cal, Max started showing signs of something being wrong (and it’s most likely he was showing those signs earlier, but I was so caught up in the last days of his brother’s illness that I didn’t notice). Turns out he had his own slew of problems. Anyway, long story short, Max lived another 4 years as an only cat. He’d always been very close to me, but after Calvin died, he got even closer, and more vocal. As soon as I got off the elevator I could hear him crying for me (my neighbour tells me she never heard him, so he wasn’t doing it all day). I would give him lots of attention when I was home (didn’t have much choice, really, he was a lap cat, always had to be touching me, even slept on my head). I used Rescue Remedy for a while to help with his anxiety. I would leave the radio on to give him some company when I was out. No idea if these helped him (it helped me more, probably). The point of my commentary is that even cats who are extremely close to each other, who have being alone issues, can learn to cope with being an only cat.

  4. For Jen: it sounds as though you have enough room for two or three cats to happily (for the most part) coexist. I second the notion of waiting a bit to see how Logan seems to be doing. But I also firmly believe that it’s important if possible for cats to have at least one more member of their species around. To follow up on yesterday’s comments, I don’t recommend — from experience — getting one kitten. Two is the right number if you go for youngsters. On the other hand, if you do have enough room, adopting the right older cat could be wonderful. Best wishes to you and Logan, and I’m sorry for your loss.

    For Robyn: Wow, those kittens are busy bees — and so lucky to have room to run, 8,000 toys to play with, and a great foster mother to love them! Thanks to you and Challenger’s House, they aren’t restricted to a cage and little interaction with humans at this important stage.

  5. Terry! Ahhh!!! So nice to see an update on sweet Terry and I’m sooo happy he has finally found where he belongs! 🙂 And yes, his brother Bill is also quite vocal when he wants something like say his cat food or some turkey or ham or tuna. Otherwise, he’s a fairly quiet cat although now with Red & George he does talk to them more and we are hearing a whole new vocabulary from him. Give Terry a nice head scratch from his brother!

    Ann & BillCat (and Red & George the crazy kittens)

  6. Terry is one very handsome mancat….though it would appear that he may be spending too much time with the family dog and becoming confused. 🙂

    Zuke heading straight for the camera made us laugh

    go back to 2008: Kara isn’t sure about this outside thing. bwahahaha

  7. Norbie pics coming soon! Two year adoptiversary is coming.
    For Jen: my Riley was never alone the first 10 years I had him. Wasn’t “pals” with the other cats, but would occasionally share the same space, no fights that I can remember. After being alone for about 3 weeks after Maxie died, Riley started following be around as I got ready for work, which I took as a sign of loneliness. I adopted a 7 year old female -Claudette who at the shelter had the reputation for getting along with the other cats, but wasn’t particularly friendly with the others. Her integration was pretty easy and I probably should have stopped there. BUT that left me without a snuggle muffin cat for me. So enter Norbie. Of course everyone dreams of a Flynn/Hook integration- that did not happen here! Over the 2 years it has gotten better, less frequent violent eruptions on Riley’s part (sometimes for no reason, sometimes with instigation from Norbie). You learn to recognize escalations, and when to separate! Also, the challenging times are about .5% of their day- the rest of the time everyone goes about their business of eating and sleeping. And what is the alternative? Not have a Norbie in my life? I choose to believe Riley is better off in the long run having a happier momma.

  8. Christine, thank you for the update. Terry looks so smug. We may live in Terry-land but he never lets us forget that it’s his world. Love his propriatory way he owns everything he surveys, even the dog’s stuff. I would be kissing that white diamond on his nose till he gets annoyed.

    Would love to see sweet Norbie, who apparently is no longer a sleep little Ferrari, a Flookdate, some Bill pictures, a season opener with the mother of dragons…

    I think that someone will have a fight on their hands over Zuke. Such a sweetie!

    BTW, if you haven’t already seen this, this is a bad dumping story with a happy ending:


    Supposedly they found a family with two little girls that same day who lost it over their catch. So they went home with them.

    • Doesn’t that video beat all? When I walked into work this AM, I caught 5 coworkers watching it at their respective desks. Those were certainly not feral kittens; they were FAR too friendly when they were rescued. More turds of humanity, dumping helpless animals!

      Also: how desperate were those kittens that they SWAM that distance to an unfamiliar boat??!?

  9. Haha, I love Calabash and Ambercup pushing that springy toy around the room! I envy you being able to spend so much time with kittens!

  10. Terrrrryyyyyyy! You look so much like my darling Atticus!!

    There’s a guy at work named “Zeke”, only I’ve sinced christened him Zuke. He thinks I’m hilarious. And no, he is nowhere near as cute as the Squash Bug is.

    (And I just love me some Stefan!!! *smooch*)

  11. True Blood Terry! 😀 So very glad to hear he’s doing so well, and I love talker kitties. I bet he’s a big purr-er, too. 🙂

    Zuke, eep! I vant to smooch the Zuke–heck, I want to smooch all the black kits… and all the kits in general, who am I kidding? I also forever want to spell his name Zouk, but that’s a musical style rather than a squash. Whoops! There’s an idea for a litter name! You’ve had a Rumba and a Samba, but let’s see. Zouk (not to leave out the current soundalike), Cumbia, Raga, Fado, Taraab–oh, dear. Maybe this’ll have to be my first litter of foster kittens, if there ever is one in my house.