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Petey Pickle looks like he has a little of the looneyface going on.

Petey and Tony Rocky Picklepuss both have a bit of the loon about them! I think it’s the shape of their faces, and their slightly bulgy eyes.

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Mr Magoo looks like he’d feel just like a fleece jacket, he’s so fuzzy 🙂

Tony Rocky Picklepuss Horrific Magoo, Esq. has fur that’s not only short, it’s SUPER short (and conveniently, it’s so short that when he rolls around on his back, you can see every one of his nipples. Which should come in handy for nothing, ever.)(Eight, if you’re curious.) It feels like brushed velvet – I hope it stays that way because it’s so neat and it’s such a pleasure to pet him.

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My goodness – has Mr Picklehead himself had a growth spurt? He’s almost starting to look like a normal (if somewhat devilish) kitten!

Drumroll pleeeeeeeeeeease – he now weighs TWO pounds, and TWO ounces! Considering that it wasn’t so very long ago that he was at a slight eight and a half ounces, that’s pretty awesome, isn’t it? The Pickles will be going to be spayed and neutered around the beginning of October (note to self: make the appointment!), so it’s good that he’s over two pounds already.

He’s starting to lengthen, but unlike his siblings, who have their weight pretty well-distributed along their bodies, Picklehead has his weight concentrated in his midsection, and he still has skinny legs. I’m thinking that it’s just the way he’s built.

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On the 2011 link, Buster makes an appearance. You say you are going to make him a permanent resident, but he is not listed on the permanent resident list. Did you all find Buster a home? Just curious as to what happened.

We were so excited to have Buster back here with us, and planned 100% to keep him forever and ever. But the problem was that from the minute we brought him home, he was really aggressive toward the other cats. He was especially bad toward Spanky, and Spanky is not only a very peaceful cat, he’s an old guy and couldn’t really stand up for himself. Buster was clearly stressed out by the number of cats in the house, and we both felt that Spanky deserved to have some peace and quiet in his old age. So I took him to Petsmart and made sure that it was clear that he’d probably get along with another cat or two (depending on personality), but he might do best as an only cat.

I took him to Petsmart on October 18th, and he was there for over two months. I got the word – on Christmas Eve, and I am not kidding when I say that it was the BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER – that he had been adopted. He was a Christmas gift for a teenage girl, and he went to a home with a dog and no other cats.

So, he got his happy ending – it just took a while to get there!

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Robyn, do you ever have volunteers come to your place to help out?

Nope, I sure don’t. I don’t honestly know what I’d do with volunteers! We manage to get everything done around here that needs doin’ with just the two of us.

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There’s a term that is family friendly, if only because most people generally won’t know what you’re talking about: Rectal Haberdasher.


I believe this phrase will be added to my regular rotation! And if you want to vague it out even more, Gluteal Haberdasher has a nice ring to it.

(I’m also particular to the phrase “guanophrenic.” -Phrenic as in “of or relating to the mind,” and “guano” as in bat… uh… droppings.)

You guys crack me UP!

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What’s the oddest behavior of any of your permanents? My Charlie (he’ll be one in October) – well he licks my shower curtain. He sits on the edge of the tub and leans forward and licks the plastic liner and then he chomps on the edge – just bites it over and over – not trying to break it off and eat it, but just bites it – kind of like they do with cardboard sometimes. It cracks me up – my shower curtain just has this little row of kitten teeth perforations.

I couldn’t think of any (which is not to say that there aren’t any, just that I couldn’t think of them!), so I asked Fred. He sent me a list:

Corbie running and hiding in his box when you speak sharply at him (you don’t even have to speak sharply at him – just if he thinks he’s been a bad boy, he runs and gets in his safe spot, the box in the dining room.)

Jake playing fetch (he’ll bring you a toy, howl at you ’til you throw it, then go get it and bring it to you again, howl, etc.)

Spanky walking around the house, singing his song (here’s a video of Spanky singing. Okay, maybe not singing, but answering me when I “talk” to him. He doesn’t do it all that often, but from time to time he gets in the mood to sing, and sing he does!)

Miz Poo sleeping with her eyes open (Miz Poo sleeps with her eyes open sometimes. I don’t really think this qualifies, but I’ll leave it in.)

Newt flinging himself to the ground in front of you when you walk (Newt RUNS to get in front of you, and then throws himself on the floor and rolls around on his back ’til you pet him)

Miss Stinky hating all things cat except Tom Cullen (I don’t think this one really qualifies either, but I’ll leave it in, too)

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You have a tag for Da Bird? Hilarious! 😀

I figured, some of the best pictures come when we get Da Bird out, so why not? 🙂

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I love the pic of the Terrible Pickle on his heels. Is his belly still like a little bowling ball?

His belly is less like a bowling ball and more like a baseball these days. It’s hard and round, but it’s getting smaller!

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Petey’s insistence of sitting in your food made me think about the two kittens we got a couple months ago. Every time I clean the litter boxes they have to see what I’m doing. They climb in the boxes or sit on top (there’s a lid on each of them) and either try to sniff each and every scoop or they’ll actually do their business right then and there or swipe at the scoop or some variation of the three. I’ve figured out that if I wait to scoop while they’re having one of their meals (they’re fed on a schedule rather than free feeding) then I can usually get it done before they’re done. If they hoover their food down and finish before I do they come running to see what I’m doing and end up finding themselves locked in the bathroom or bedroom until I’m done. And then of course they howl their little heads off the whole time because oh my goodness they just can’t handle the separation! A few times while having to deal with the little devils I’ve wondered how you handle it having so many more around than me. Or if you’re just luckily and they stay away while cleaning, if so I’m sooo jealous.

I have to distract the kittens with food (they get morning and evening snacks consisting of canned food) to scoop the litter boxes in peace. In the past I’ve had to grab kittens out of the litter box with one hand and scoop with the other, just to get the job done. With them distracted by food, I can scoop and get out of there before they realize I’ve done it. On the occasion when I scoop in the middle of the day, they think it’s the BEST GAME EVER. Drives me nuts!

I never have any problems with the adult cats trying to get involved when I’m scooping, but very often one of them will wait patiently while I scoop, then jump in and use the litter box immediately afterward. I usually stand and wait for them to finish, and then scoop THAT as well.

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You gotta check this out! There’s a making of-video too.

I have SO got to make a box maze tower for our cats!

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I just showed my son Dandelion’s picture. We had to look up what dandelions look like and realized that they’re what my son used to call (and still does, even just now as we were arguing what dandelions look like before we looked it up) “wishing flowers”. When we went for walks around the neighborhood, he’d pick all the “wishing flowers” and blow on them. Even the more reason to adopt your Dandelion! 🙂

Definitely an excellent reason! Only, unlike the flower, Dandelion the Kitten won’t reproduce a zillion little Dandelions all over the place. 🙂

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Look what I found! Sounds like Alice and Stinkerbelle do know each other after all.

(From June 11th) : Stinkerbelle’s been spending more time hanging out in various places through the house other than her usual spot atop the kitchen cabinets. The other day I was watching TV and Alice came into the room. She sat in the center of the rug and kept looking toward the doorway. A few moments later, Stinkerbelle RAN into the room at top speed. She and Alice had a slap fight, and then Stinkerbelle ran back out of the room. I’m not sure what that was about, but it was funny to witness.

I had completely forgotten about that! I swear, I couldn’t remember Stinkerbelle or Alice ever interacting, and then I read that and was like “Oh, okay. I guess they DO know each other!” I swear, some days I’m amazed I can even remember my NAME.

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We refer to the whisker marking as “schnouting”.


Whisker marking! In our house, it’s called “making nice,” from the southern way of telling a child to behave or hug & kiss someone.

Love these!

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I’ve been negligent with my blog reading and just catching up to the fact that you have two litters of kittens right now! Did the Weeds test positive for FIV or is their mother FIV? We took in a foster last year who tested positive for FIV at 8 weeks. We had him retested at 6 months and he tested negative. Vet said the mother antibodies stay in their system until at least that long so never go by a test that early. Also it’s not really contagious to the other cats, it would require a deep puncture bite. My brother has 3 cats, one is FIV positive and the other two are perfectly fine and 3 different vets told him it wouldn’t be an issue. His cats are already inside cats so its no change from what he would do anyway but the vet told him to not let the cats outside as it would make the kitty more vulnerable to colds and respiratory infections.

Their mother is FIV positive; they tested positive when first tested, but we’ll be retesting again in a few weeks (and then a few months after that, and so on, until we get a negative result – which I am completely expecting.)

This is our third litter who has tested positive for FIV – the Wonkas and the Bookworms were initially positive and then eventually tested negative – and I’m sure the Weeds will do so as well.

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In the last couple years my household went from 3 cats to 1. One passed away of old age and one of cancer. Eventually I will be adopting again. In the past my cats have come from the humane society. I have heard about Hannah Pet Adoptions and wondered if you have have heard anything good/bad about them? Or is a pet insurance plan the way to go? I can’t imagine a life without animals but in this economy pet care is so expensive. I own my own house in the city but veterinary costs will determine how many cats I own. I would love your opinion about this. Thanks!

We actually don’t have insurance on the cats, so I’m going to throw this question out to the readers – who out there has pet insurance, and do you recommend it? I’d love to hear opinions on the topic!

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Oh, Petey. I love you so, but if you try to climb up my back when I’m sitting at my desk minding my own business ONE MORE TIME, I swear. I will torture you with kisses.

King Magoo in the sun.

Bath time for Polly.

Magoo’s all “::SIGH:: Here we go AGAIN. What up with my siblings and their need to try to rip my throat out?”

The look of Evil Planning.

Somebody’s always biting someone else, up in this house.

Petey and the Ears of Annoyance.

“Listen, Petey Pickle. You come over here and jump on King Magoo ONE more time, I keel you.”

Magoo always makes good on his promises. Or tries to, anyway.

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Praying to the feather teaser.

“::sigh:: I sure wish I had that feather teaser. My life is so sad, I have nothing but the feather teaser to dream of one day having for myself…” Yeah, yeah, sad little drama queen.

Eye on the prize.

She is SUCH a pretty girl.

Thistle, keeping an eye on Purslane.

She shoots! She scores! ::crowd goes wild!::

Clearly I cannot stop taking pictures of little miss blue eyes.

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Corbie, you are the most beautiful boy ever.
“Well, DUH.”


2011: “I have had enough of your picture-taking shenanigans, lady. PET ME.”
2010: Corby and Reacher are pretty sure that if they’re under the foliage, you can’t see them, and thus you can’t yell at them to get inside.
2009: Feeling smug about his conquering of the cat tower cubby.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: Maddy sadly contemplates the vast expanse of my thigh. How will she ever cross it and reach freedom?!
2005: I sure hope they get adopted together.



9-14-12 — 53 Comments

  1. I’ve come to the conclusion that my cleaning the litterbox is like television for the fosters. The current litter gathers around outside and watches through the opening. Occasionally a kid gets amped enough to feel compelled to join in the action. Dear Henry would leap into the action with such gusto that he simply could not be contained… riding the scoop, rolling in the litter, climbing in the bag. I kind of miss it now that he’s gone.

    Also, mine don’t insist on sitting in my food but they sure insist upon sitting in their own. Cruz and Malibu are especially fond of dumping the kibble and napping on the dish. Mally woke up yesterday with kibble stuck to her nose, left it there for a minute, and then had herself a snack.

  2. In response to the person whose cat Charlie licks the shower curtain, my sister’s cat will lick plastic bags from the grocery store. She doesn’t eat them, but loves to lick them.

    • My cat Holly just started this strange habit wherein every time I open the refrigerator, she comes running to stick her nose in it. She loves to lick the crisper drawer and the shelves, and if there is a produce bag sticking out of the drawer, she’ll lick that too. Weirdo.

  3. I go “digging for treasure” and the kittens are all like “But hey, I BURIED that!!”

    first you said ” I don’t honestly know what I’d do with volunteers! We manage to get everything done around here that needs doin’ with just the two of us.”

    Then you said “I swear, some days I’m amazed I can even remember my NAME.”

    and all I can do is laugh..

    I had a kitty with diabetes, and two with urinary crystals, and one passed away from VAS. I looked into insurance several times with several different companies. I calculated out the cost of premiums then what the coverage would have taken care of for each of these situations and I quickly found out that I would do better financially if I put the premiums in the bank instead of sending them to any of the insurance companies. So to me it is not worth it, but I’ve seen it be a life saver for a puppy who a) ate something he shouldn’t then b) tore his cruciate.

    It never hurts to do up a price quote from a company. Find out what is covered, how much you need to take care of out of pocket when it isn’t covered. If you feel you need the peace of mind that if your kitty has something catastrophic then get the insurance because it is totally worth it if for nothing else but peace of mind. but if you can put aside the premiums in your emergency fund and then not feel anything but happy when you have them available to spend on your kitty when something pops up, that might make more financial / mathematical sense.

  4. First, thank you Robyn, for posting about Onyx! He is the sweetest kitty and I appreciate you helping me spread the word!

    To the person who asked about pet insurance – I don’t have it for my cats, but I do have it for my rabbit. I’ve had some major health scares with my cats and was able to scrape together enough money to pay for it, but vet care for “exotic” animals – which, weirdly, includes bunnies – can quickly get astronomical. I pay a super-low monthly fee (I believe Henry’s monthly premium is $12) and then they reimburse, to a certain point, for a whole list of services. The thing to remember about most basic pet insurance plans is that routine care is usually NOT covered (which for me is okay, because it’s the emergency and the non-routine care that quickly breaks the bank). However with most companies, you can upgrade to a more comprehensive plan that will cover routine care. I had never heard about Hannah’s, but if it’s legit, that seems like a pretty great deal, because if I’m reading it correctly that does cover routine care. I can’t attest to their quality, though, because this is the first I’ve heard of them. My insurance company is VPI, and they’ve been great. If you have questions, I would suggest calling a pet insurance company and chatting with them. They are extremely helpful, extremely friendly and extremely willing to answer questions. Good luck!!

    • The story is rage inducing heart breaking for someone like me. I’m def chipping in to help Onyx and sharing it on FB. For now I’ll channel my anger into this mountain of work sitting in my inbox, but I’d give anything for this poor little baby to have his eyes back =(

      • I donated yesterday after barely being able to read his story from crying so hard! It is rage-inducing and I had to get up from my desk and work and take a walk.

      • I donated earlier today. It breaks my heart too, to think that there are kids out there who are being raised to think that hurting an animal is fun or OK in any way. Those boys should be sentenced to spending many years volunteering at an animal shelter, to teach them compassion. The only consolation is that I see by the donations from people thousands of miles away from this shelter (including me!) who think that hurting an animal is NOT OK, EVER and want to donate to make this poor baby a little better. Heal quickly and find yourself a loving forever home, Onyx.

  5. When I get out of the shower, my cat Katia jumps in and licks the water from the tiles. Every time, every morning.

    • Mine frequently lick the water off my legs after a shower. What a wierd feeling! Ick! Of course, I’m the wierdo who lets them do it…..

    • Several of mine lick the water off the walls/fixtures/me, despite there being a fresh bowl full of water not two feet away, but Cambria takes it a step further and licks the walls until she gets the edge of a little strip of caulking/sealant/whatever it is* loose, then peels it off using only her teeth. I need to get the whole shower redone because she’s un-caulked the entire bottom two feet of it.

      *I don’t know if it’s properly called caulk or what. The white sealant stuff you squeeze from a tube into the spaces between the tiles that keeps water from seeping into the walls. In my front bathroom, it’s crumbly in places, but in the back she can get a whole several-inch strip of the stuff to come loose.

  6. Okay, that first post about kids shooting at kittens with BB guns was not a good way to start my Friday. Although, contemplating driving down there and warming their butts for them till they wouldn’t sit down for a week made it better. *looking at bank account to see if there’s anything in there for Onyx*

    • *sigh* I wrote a long post and the Internets ate it. In one of my upstairs bedrooms, there is a window seat where the cats like to sit and watch the world go by. It overlooks the driveway and street. Some years ago, I found a BB hole in the window. I’m certain some kid saw my cats in the window and thought it would be funny to shoot at them. My cats weren’t hurt, but the bedroom door is kept closed now if I’m not in there to keep an eye on the kitties.

      The world is full of stupid, cruel, heartless people. That’s a fact. But it is also full of people like Robyn and the others who do good things with love for the animals, and it helps to balance things out. ♥

      • It does. It does help. I still enjoyed the idea of paddling their little butts till they couldn’t sit down for a week. That’s a fact.

        There’s a reason I’ve never had kids.

  7. I insured my dog for the first 3 years thru PetFirst Health Ins. – Labs are genetically predisposed to have bad knees/hips/eyes and I wanted to be certain I could have her treated if an issue arose (thankfully it did not). But because she also loves to fetch, I knew there would be a lot of running in her future. For us, the insurance came in VERY handy and they definitely paid more on our behalf than we paid in for the insurance. I have not insured our cats – they are indoor only and I felt the risk was manageable in terms of potential injury or illness. Fingers crossed!

    Some of the more basic emergency only plans are pretty affordable and can give you peace of mind.


  8. We refer to it around here as “rectal-cranial inversion”. (He’s got his head up his a**!)

  9. Regarding pet insurance, I put that in the same category as “pay me now, or pay me later”. All my kitties are indoor, and in my mind are less susceptible to major health issues. Looking back on the lives and health issues of mine who have already gone to the great litterbox in the sky, it seems like a wash. The insurance premiums over the lifetime of my cats seemed to average about the same as I have paid in regular care, and acute care. I prefer to save my money and take the gamble that the real expensive vet bills, that so often revolve around end of life, will not exceed the cost of a life time of pet insurance,

    • A former employer offered pet insurance, and we looked into it, until we realized that we had so many pets that the premiums would be prohibitively expensive. If you only have one or two pets, I’d say it’s a good deal, but otherwise you end up paying out over time what you would pay for the catastrophic care.

  10. We don’t have pet insurance per se, but we do have our dog on one of the plans that Banfield (Petsmart) offers, and I am a BIG fan. For $34 a month, all office visits and vaccinations are covered, as well as a yearly dental cleaning. As well, there is a SIGNIFICANT discount on things that aren’t covered under the plan. Since it seems I could never get out of the vet’s office for less than $200, this has been a godsend. I took my dog in for his yearly teeth cleaning and didn’t owe ANYTHING when they were done. I kept thinking it was a mistake and they’d chase me down in the parking lot.

    They also have plans for cats, and if I’m not mistaken, they cost less than the dog plans.

  11. Onyx story so sad! I hate that kids are raised to feel that is ok to hurt animals like that. I sent the story to a friend who works for ABC and is a fellow cat lover, she will see if local will run a story for awareness and donations. Yay! Hope they will.

  12. I wish I had pet insurance for my last two when they got older. In Australia, there is plenty of insurance options. Almost all require the insurance to be commenced before the cat is 9. Unfortunately, when my boys were 8 there was little choice and all of it dodgy. But then for both their final years were very expensive. One with feline urinary tract problems – 3 years of hideous expenses. I now have new little kittens and I have insured them – accident only at the moment for $200 p.a. each. My previous cats got into a lot scraps in their first 3 years. We can also get accident + illness and then pay again for “wellness” extras like vacinations and dental treatments (this one can be pricey!). doesn’t seem as cheap as your US policies. I wonder if I have the discipline to save the premiums? I’d probably get 10 years in and say “I don’t need to have $10,000 in the cat fund – I’ll go on holidays”

  13. Regarding pet insurance, I also switched most of our animals over to Banfield at PetSmart. One of the dog’s go there and hers is $31 a month. It covers everything Lisa said above. All vaccinations and well care is included, as well as cleaning their teeth. They will knock them out for that. She is prone to ear infections and you Never have to pay for an office visit, just the medication, which is at a discount. One of the cats smacked her and scratched her eye. That was two additional visits and no bill at all. The cat is on the plan as well, but I paid for the entire year up front. I think the cat plans are much lower, around $15 give or take. She was bitten by another cat and her tail got infected something fierce. I took her in and they had to knock her out to debride it and get it cleaned up. The anesthesia, cleaning, and a two week antibiotic injection cost me under $35. So yes, I believe it is a very good deal. Unlimited visits are included so you never have to hesitate to take them in for something. We are very happy customers here.

  14. Poor little Onyx. I hope everything turns out ok for him. It sounds like he has a lot of good and decent people in his corner.

    As for cats and plastic: My cats like to sit on plastic bags in the living room and “watch” tv. 😀

  15. “she shoots she scores”…..too cute!!!

    love me some Corbs!!

    I have to laugh everytime I read about Magoo…..his body type so reminds me of our Gin – she is all long body, long legs, tiny head and belleh!! 🙂

  16. Onyx is such a beautiful kitty. I try not to hate, but all I will let myself say is: someone’s parents didn’t raise them right.

  17. The entry about Newt reminded me of a dilute torti cat my parents had. Smokey did the same thing. We’d follow her all over the yard to pet her.

    Have you heard of “Catty Stacks” (www.cattystacks.com)? I donated a set of four to a fund raiser auction for the no-kill shelter I volunteer at. They were snapped up at full price–not cheap but less work. I wouldn’t want to purchase a wall of them!

  18. I would volunteer for petting duties because there’s no way in hayle you can get it done. You only have 2 hands!

  19. Oh how I wish I could have a brushed-velvet kitteh. But, distance and kitty limits say no.

    As for pet insurance: I haven’t done it for any of mine. Mostly because they’re all a bit aged and I don’t know how much the insurance would cover, but part of it is because of the monthly premium. I put away at least $100 a month into an investment savings account (so it actually earns interest) as an emergency fund.

  20. Our kitty Svarty, who was also a tiny ball of fluff, we got at about five weeks of age and he had been found trying to nurse his dead mother by the roadside, looked a lot like your Mr. Magoo Pickle. The same short hairs and huge belly (along with shadow points, and shadow stripes!). He has grown up to be a huge negative image of an old fashioned apple headed Siamese and he still has a giant pot belly on him. Some kitties (like Buzz Aldran aka Buzzard Bait) that I wrote about found when I was a child, do finally grow lanky and loose it, but not all of them do. But then Svarty loves to eat and Buzz was just a normal cat about it (liked to eat but had other things on his mind as well).

  21. Yeah. Malcolm and Mae love to throw themselves in front of me for belly rubs, especially when I have momentum going in my step and my hands are full. I’m on crutches now because of knee replacement surgery, so they face being unintentionally whomped by a crutch. Doesn’t stop them. So endearing.

    I love Purslane. Love.You.Kitten.

    That picture of Tony Magoopants giving an amen to the feather teaser is HILARIOUS!

  22. We have three litter boxes and two cats… litter boxes are all scooped at the same time, and yet each and every box will immediately be used! What I want to know, and have yet to figure out… is who’s double dipping? Cats gotta, just GOTTA use the box the second it’s clean…

  23. Gravy, one of our two cats, is a shower liner connoisseur. She prefers to lick and munch on the white opaque variety. I finally switched to those fabric nylon-y ones so that she would stop punching holes in the liners (and also because they seem more ecologically friendly — I hated throwing out those plastic ones when they got too disgusting or chewed on to be reasonable).

    As for pet insurance, we’ve looked into it but decided against it. We had a cat with diabetes and cancer (poor Snack) whose care cost us quite a bit, but the insurance didn’t make financial sense for us. That said, by the time we looked into it, she didn’t have an awful lot of time left to live, sadly, and we were at the point where her only treatment was insulin for the diabetes. We had had her tumor surgically removed, but given her age (14-15) we decided not to treat the cancer beyond that surgery and palliative care when/if necessary. We have two other cats who are relatively young (5 and 7-8) and healthy and spend all their time indoors, so we’ve decided against insurance for them. We may regret that eventually, but I guess we are willing to take that risk. Good luck with your decision.

    Also, the Tower of Rufus is awesome. I saw that video today through another source and I totally teared up at the end.

    Dandelion is turning into quite a looker!

  24. Oh yes, the two older cats definitely do that, as soon as I’m done they’re in there. And the kittens are small enough still that they can fit in one together. So sometimes when I let them out of the room they’ll run and get in one do something then come out and go straight into the other one to do something else right after I’m done. I do the same as you, wait till everyone’s gone in and finished and scoop up that as well. Yep BEST GAME EVER!

    One of the older cats will lick plastic bags, drives me crazy, but at least he doesn’t eat them. One of the kittens loves to hop in the tub right after we’ve showered to lick up the water, he’ll also lick the curtain every now and then. Our dog loves to lick the water off of us when we get out of the shower. Or if I’m taking a bath, as long as it’s just plain water both older cats have drunk straight out of the tub. I call it momma soup. I’m sure the dog would too if he could reach it but he’s a little guy.

    Animals are just plain weird but that’s why we love ’em.

    • Philo sits on the side of the tub while I’m taking a shower, and sometimes paws at me through the translucent shower curtain liner. But if I start meowing at him, he’ll get VERY concerned and start meowing back.

      Honestly, I don’t know who behaves weirder and who’s adapted to whose weirdness. 🙂

  25. I have four pets and the health insurance for all of them total is under $80/mo. I have found Embrace to be the best plan, with ASPCA a close second. It depends what you want covered. I have “accident and illness” coverage, but not basic care like vaccinations or dental. I’ve had one cat with a mysterious illness who has needed a lot of tests and stuff this year. The insurance has more than paid for itself for all the pets, with just this one year of tests for one cat. They’re covering 80% of all of it after my yearly $200 deductible.
    If you get pet insurance, get it before the pet is sick–like people, insurance won’t cover pre-existing conditions.
    I wish I’d had pet insurance for a cat I had years ago, who tore his ACL and the surgery was very expensive.
    For me, the best part is just the knowledge that if something terrible happens, I won’t be having that thought on the way to the emergency vet of “Oh my god, how expensive is THIS visit going to be?!”

    • You have to watch his catnip video.

      And then see if you’re not going around afterward singing, “Catnip, doodly-doo-doo-doo.”

  26. Hi,

    I have pet insurance for my cats and can’t imagine what I would do without it. Plans vary by state so my options are far more limited than people in the lower 48 (I live in Alaska). I still managed to get a policy through VPI that is affordable and covers both major medical and basic yearly services like vaccines. The insurance has more than paid for itself over the years, especially with my sweet tabby who had kidney disease. My current kitty is very healthy but her curiosity got the better of her recently and she got burned. The insurance covered most of the bill.

  27. Hey Robyn,

    I was looking at some photos of my Bengal kitty when she was a wee kitten and she looked just like Tony RH (except for coat color)!

    She had the ultra-skinny legs with big belly, elongated face, short coat and bulging eyes – along with the knuckly paws, of course. Just thought I’d let you know there might be a genetic reason for why that particular Pickle looks so weird. She was also the runt in her litter. When I got her, she weighed 1 pound while her siblings all were twice as heavy. She grew up to be a gorgeous, healthy, glossy 10 pounder. Maybe TrhP will do the same!


    It’s certainly possible he was fathered by another male than the other Pickles, if you were wondering why the others aren’t so weird.

    • I think it would be very neat if he’s part Bengal! For some reason, I love it when there’s a litter of kittens where all but one look almost exactly alike, and that one looks completely different. 🙂

  28. Re: Pet insurance….yes, I believe it is totally worth it, if you are careful about the plan you get and options you select re: the benefits and restrictions. I have insurance on both my babies and it has saved me TONS of money. I have the maximum quality package from “PetPlan” and have never had any trouble with claims. When one of mine was sick, it turned what would have been close to a ten thousand dollar (this is DC, everything is insanely expensive) prolonged illness into a four hundred dollar one.

  29. About pet insurance: Something to consider if you’re on the fence about it is talking to your vet about a “lay-away” type of pre-payment system.

    I have five cats and a dog. I KNOW I’m going to have vet expenses on the regular. I’ve been using the same vet for years, and have started simply sending them a few bucks a month, or $50 here and there if I have some extra. They apply it as a credit on my account, and that money’s there whenever I need to take anyone in – it’s already paid for.

    It’s never “wasted,” like I sometimes (irrationally) feel about insurance premiums, like “I paid $17 a month for three years and only had one claim for $105! I lost $500!” There’s never any question about what’s covered or allowable. And best of all, no paperwork for me. (WIN.) It benefits the vet’s office too in that a steady cash flow means they’re more able to help out with local charity/shelter cases without hesitation. Also, if I have a couple of tight months or forget to send the money in, nothing happens – no policy cancellation, no late fee, nothing.

    The down side is that the money can’t be used for anything else unless I request a check from the vet, and they have policies in place on that to keep it at a minimum (as it’s a lot of work for their staff in addition to being a negative cash flow). The other down side is that there’s obviously a limit – with the insurance, they’ll usually pay even very large sums, whereas with my system if there’s an emergency that uses up more than my credit balance, I have to pay the difference. (Although they are usually really good about giving me some leeway, since I am, in turn, really good about sending my “pre-payment” in on a regular basis.) And of course, whatever money is sent to the vet’s is not earning any interest – although at the current interest rates I don’t feel like that’s a big issue.

    Some vets won’t do this because they like to show tidy balance sheets to their accountants at the end of every year or for whatever other reasons, but if your vet is amenable to it, it is in my opinion an excellent option.

  30. Snowball, who looks an awful lot like Spanky, has quite a few quirks. He is also a shower curtain chewer. He licks windows. He HAS to follow me to the bathroom.

    Curious, Snowball’s tortie sister, loves to hop on me when I get out of the shower and purr and purr. I guess she likes the smell of clean human?

    Kaz is a Bengal, and she is my alarm kitty. She starts meowing about six a.m. When she was a kitten she would make om-nom-nom noises into her food but she grew out of that. She drinks water out of the sink and will meow at the faucet hoping for it to come on.