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This is probably an odd request, but everyone here is certainly likely to be a cat lover and I do believe that good thoughts can make a difference (and at least certainly won’t hurt.)
I’ve been fighting fleas in the house and have had to do without much chemical treatment due to multiple sensitivities in my cats. I’ve found that fleas here in Pennsylvania (where I am a new resident) are far worse than I ever encountered in Florida, and carry all sort of extra nasties. Already suffering from a little anemia, one of my girls got hit with a parasitical infection that greatly (and quickly) worsened it. She’s at the vet clinic now, in kitty ICU, and will be receiving a blood transfusion this afternoon. Her name is Chloe and she’s a lovely black/white mask and mantle cat.

I’m sort of in shock at this point, and while I hope y’all won’t think it too weird of me to ask, anything that I can do to help her, I will. So if any good thoughts could be spared for her, they would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Delaney, that’s not an odd request at all, and I hope that Chloe gets better fast. Poor girl – my thoughts are with you both. Please let us know how she’s doing!

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This Shironeko blog post reminded me of all your lovely da-bird-jumping photo series – including an orange bystander. LOL Just look at those toes mid-jump!

That is awesome! I love the spread toes so very much.

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I lost track (partly because I haven’t watched the series): how many boys and girls? And how do you tell the tabbies apart?

There are three boys (Tony, Silvio & Paulie Walnuts), and four girls (Carmela, Dr. Melfi, Adriana, and Meadow). Telling the brown tabbies apart is hard – I’m not sure I could do it without my cheat sheet (at least not yet), but there are differences, you just have to look closely for them. Carmela has no white fur at all, Tony has a half-pink, half-black nose. Silvio has a lot of white around his chest, and in fact the white goes around his neck in a “ring.” And Dr. Melfi is the “other” one!

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That is one gorgeous mama kitty – and well I just have to say – Jon Snow made the best faces.

He certainly did! That is one expressive kitten. These two pictures make me laugh every single time I see them.

Especially the squint on the left. Kills me DEAD.

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You’ve probably seen this, but I couldn’t take the chance of you missing it. #18 made me laugh until I wheezed. 🙂

I had seen that, but I happily scrolled through and looked at every single one of them again. I love BuzzFeed!

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My dad’s cat is named Doc. He wrote down all the names of the dwarfs he could remember (five), then tried them all out on the cat one by one for about a week. It’s an improvement – he usually names them according to color. Black animals are Blackie or Midnight, white animals are Snowball, brown animals are Brownie or (he was really proud of this one) Sandy, and anything with complicated coloration is Lady for female or King for male. It’s a wonder I’m not named Pinkie!

PINKIE killed me. But, hey – at least he doesn’t name them “Dog” and “Cat.” He has a SYSTEM.

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I just noticed that Stefan isn’t included on the ‘Permanent Residents’ page.

He seems pretty darn permanent to me. How about a bio?

I decided that putting the “Stefan to come” line under the pictures in the sidebar gives me a few months to slack before finally getting his page done.

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I eventually want to adopt a cat or 2, but I think I may be slightly allergic.

I went to the local shelter and spent some time in their cat colony (6 cats together in one room), and my eyes were itchy when I came out. I had this reaction before when I was taking care of a friend’s cat for a week, but I wanted to be absolutely sure, and so I spent about an hour in there with the cats.

I have heard that some people can get used to this over time, and fortunately itchy eyes were the only reaction I had. Any suggestions on how to mitigate this?

I don’t have any suggestions on this front, but hopefully there’ll be some helpful advice from others.

I will say that 6 cats in one (presumably small) room is probably more concentrated fur and dander than you’d have at home, so I wonder if you’d even have a reaction at home. When I used to volunteer at Petsmart on Monday mornings, cleaning the cat cages, I was really really itchy for the first year or so, even though I had cats at home. Having all those cats in one room really did a number on me, but after a year (maybe less), it stopped happening.

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Is that a picture of the Spud below Tubby? I wonder what she will think when the cat’s picture is ABOVE hers and WAY bigger than hers! LOL

Both the picture on the right and the four smaller pictures in the picture frame to the left are the Spud (Danielle). I suspect she would not be at all surprised to see that Tubby’s picture is way bigger. 🙂

I had intended to put her pictures on canvas as well, and hang them up with the Tubby picture, but like I said – I had no idea that the Tubby picture was going to be so big! I still intend to put her pictures on canvas, I just think I’m going to hang them in the hall or the front room instead.

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Hey – got a question for the community here – Anyone have the “litter genie“? and if so – what do you think of it?

I don’t have the Litter Genie myself, but I got an email from a reader about a year ago saying that she loves her Litter Genie and told me I should try it out. (For those of you who don’t like to click on links, the Litter Genie is a litter disposal pail very similar to the Diaper Genie – you dump your litter box scoopings into the Litter Genie and then turn a handle on the side, and it “locks in” the odor by turning the bag. Like I said, I haven’t tried it – when I scoop the litter boxes, I do them all at the same time, use the same bag for all the scooping, and then carry the bag out to the garage to a trash can in there.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I wonder if I might not want to use the Litter Genie in the garage. I keep a three-inch layer of activated charcoal in the bottom of the trash can out there, and spray it with Nose Offense regularly, so it isn’t TOO bad, but from time to time – especially when it gets really hot – it’s unpleasant out there (and that’s when I thank my lucky stars that the garage isn’t attached to the house!) So, I’d like to hear opinions on the Litter Genie – is it worth it?

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Whats under Tony’s nose – birthmark or blood?

Neither – his nose is half black (on the top) and half pink. I think it’s the lighting that makes it look like there’s blood there.

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Those kittens are gorgeous! Also, this is what I immediately thought of when you talked about naming a kitten Dr. something.


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Check out the beautiful picture Diane Hoeptner painted using one of my pictures of Hodor as a reference. She is so talented and does such beautiful work!

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It’s hard to tell from this picture, but Norbie was sitting in the hamper, atop a mountain of clean rags, which I was attempting to fold. He was helping!

Warm and sunny Norbs.

Sleepin’ Norbs. He is just the SWEETEST boy.

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Meadow would like you to TALK TO THE PAW.

Kitten mosh pit.

Checking to see what’s out there.

Sweet Mama Livia.

Paulie Walnuts, amused by himself.

Adriana’s all “What YOU lookin’ at?”

Tellin’ secrets.

Silvio would like Paulie Walnuts to GET OFF HIS BACK, GEEZ.

So, here’s the full story of the Sopranos and how they ended up with us.

Like I said yesterday, Livia was one of many cats who were being fed by an elderly woman. Her neighbor was helping out by having the cats spayed and neutered in Huntsville. Livia was actually AT the North Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic, waiting to be spayed, when she went into labor. By the time they realized she was in labor, she’d given birth to two kittens already, so Dr. Baird opted to wait and let her have her babies, and find a group who could take them. These are some very lucky babies. Also lucky? Livia. I don’t know how many litters she’s had – I would guess this isn’t the first – but it’s 100% going to be her LAST.

I told Susan yesterday, “luck” seems to be my theme this year, between Norbie being lucky enough to survive the accident that killed his litter mates*, and now these guys. If I could have come up with names that indicated luck other than “Clover” and, you know, “Lucky”, I probably would have used them.

*If you’re new(ish) to the site, back on May 1st, as Khaleesi was in labor, I got a call from another rescue. They had a kitten whose mother and litter mates were killed in an accident. I was willing to introduce him to Khaleesi and see if she’d be willing to accept him as her own. He arrived at the house literally between Khaleesi’s third (Puff) and fourth (Scorch) kittens. She was a little doubtful at first, but after a few puzzled glances at me, she accepted him and raised him as her own. And to this day, he doesn’t know that she didn’t give birth to him. (Shhhh, don’t tell him!) You can read Khaleesi’s whole birth story here.

PS: Here’s the side-by-side comparison of Khaleesi and Livia. They certainly look like they could be related!

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“Lady. Do I hear MORE KITTENS in there? When are you going to accept that Corbie is all the cat you need?!”


2012: Tony Rocky Magoo + red straw = true love forevah.
2011: Tucker’s all “WHY I NEVER!” Hee!
2010: “I am hanging out with my bo’friends, lady. You go away!”
2009: But Bill apparently decided that it was time for his eyelips to GO, and ::SPROINGGGG!:: off they went!
2008: No entry.
2007: It’s a good thing he’s so cute.
2006: Maddy and Miz Poo come face-to-face over Tigger. And then Miz Poo ran away from the terrifying kitten.
2005: So, that’s been my day thus far, and it’s not even noon. I think I need a nap.



9-20-13 — 32 Comments

  1. I couldn’t tell you whether the Litter Genie works, but I mix my used litter and scoopings with shredded bills and personal papers for disposal, to deter anyone who might be interested in snooping or trying to reconstruct my paperwork. Wonder if I could still do that.

      • I wish I could say that it was my original idea, but it’s not 🙂 It makes a very effective deterrent! Glad I could help.

  2. love how your Dad named his cats. mine seemed to want to name our pets after booze and foods.
    We had a Whiskey and a Cookie,. my siblings and I seemed to all have carried that on with our pets: Chocolate, Biscuit, Pepper…
    I had a cat once who I named Bissy. she was an Abyssinian kitty, so I asked my local corner grocer what kitten was in Arabic. Thought it was cool.
    My mom named her cat inch but in French-Pouce- pronounced Puss. which i thought was hilarious.
    a friend named his cats Valise which is french for suitcase, and Bijou, which is french for jewel.

  3. Oh Norbie…. Cats are SO helpful when it comes to folding laundry, making beds, sweeping, cleaning litter boxes…I could go on and on. Born housekeepers, the lot of them! 😉

  4. Six months ago I would have poo-pooed the idea of the Litter Genie, but that was before we had to switch our elderly hyperthyroid sensitive-tummy cat to an all-wet-food diet, which means that she has to get shut into a separate room at night and while we’re at work (so she can eat her special food without the other cats getting into it), and to make a long story short, now we have a litter box upstairs in the main living space (whereas before all the litter boxes were downstairs where no guests ever go). I finally broke down and got a Litter Genie a month ago and it is the most awesome thing ever. The elderly cat is extremely picky about the cleanliness of her litter box, so that one gets scooped 4 or 5 times a day, and the Litter Genie really does keep the smell locked away. There’s not a darn thing I can do about the litter tracking everywhere (short of vacuuming hourly), but at least I can keep her box clean without having the whole house smell like a litter box.

    • I prefer the old litter locker. You turn the handle and the bag moves around a wheel inside and truly seals off the waste and smell. I found with the litter genie that the stuff just slides down the bag and I had the smell everytime I opened the lid to put more in. Maybe my nose is just extra sensitive. I had issues with the first litter genie so a replacement was sent and I never opened the box. It will be donated to Challenger’s House benefit next year!

    • Like Jenipurr, I got a “Litter Genie” for the upstairs box. I drove myself CRAZY forgetting to bring a bag upstairs every. single. day.

      Later, Seattle passed a plastic-bag ban so my bag supply dried up as well. I refuse to buy *new* plastic bags for one day’s worth of poop (only two cats), so the Genie turned out to be a good thing!

      The interior slide shuts off the storage compartment from the dumping compartment. There’s a little smell when you open the dumping compartment, but only toward the end of the week. I don’t detect any smell when both compartments are closed.

  5. To the person who is slightly allergic to cats and had itchy eyes, you have the same thing I have and I’ve taken Zyrtec every day and I don’t itch. I would itch literally from head to toe if I wasn’t taking it. I have 5 cats.

    • I was diagnosed with cat allergies when I was about 10. We kept the family cats, and as an adult I decided that it’s worth the companionship and amusement to have them in the house!

      I agree with Robyn’s comment about six stressed cats in a room providing a different experience than a few relaxed cats at home. Cat owners adjust to their own pets. I can snuggle with my two, but a skritchy-session with my stepmother’s cats make my fingertips itch. I just wash my hands afterward. Oh, and after you contact any allergen, wash your hands before you touch your face. If you were petting your six new friends and rubbing your eyes, you inadvertently put the dander where it would do its worst! 🙂

      Depending on your medical insurance, you can try immunotherapy (allergy shots), prescriptions or over-the-counter antihistamines (Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin, etc.). Those options depend on how you feel about Western medicine, of course.

      You can also take in-home measures: keep the cat(s) out of the bedroom, clean often, and so on. That would be particularly important while you’re getting used to them.

      Finally, you can try what I did: bathe the cats once a month for two years. Washing a cat in plain water, with or without a kitten shampoo, reduces the amount of dander s/he produces. I wish I could find the study online!

      Between washing the cat(s) and cleaning the house — and the body’s adjustment to one-two individual kitties — you’d probably be fine.

      • Good to know! I figured I would try to expose myself to a “worst case scenario” by visiting 6 cats in a relatively small room for an hour. I figure if itchy eyes are the worst of it, then something like Zyrtec like you suggested could manage things pretty easily.

        Plus it seems like a lot of people are saying that you can adapt to your own cats after being exposed to them for a long enough time.

        Definitely appreciate the advice!

      • My family has dogs and as a kid I was never allergic to them, but now that I’m not living with them, visiting my family’s dog makes my eyes itch. I think it is an exposure thing with mild allergies–you get used to whoever’s around, and new animals trigger a reaction.

    • I suggested that Robyn take half a Benadryl when she was volunteering at the store. She said it worked.

  6. Robyn – I don’t know that the Litter Genie would make a difference for you. the reason I got it is because (a) it was on sale AND I had a $5 off coupon, 🙂 and (b) because I only have the two litter boxes and live in an apartment. it seals off the smell, but is fairly small and will work good for us so we don’t have to walk to the trash every day. and I don’t have to go get a new plastic bag and worry about holes every day. I think it’s going to work good for our purposes. I’m much more likely to scoop fairly often this way when it’s not a big production.

  7. Re Delany’s flea problem, I wrote this in yesterday’s comments, but it was late so it’s likely no one saw it. This is for anyone who has or wants to avoid having a big flea problem (or if they live in a tick area and want to protect their pets from ticks and possibly Lyme disease).

    I have something that will help you keep the fleas away once you’ve managed to clear them out of your house and from your cats. It is totally non-toxic, chemical-free, 100% safe and will keep away all external parasites, including fleas & ticks — plus it is about 1/20th the price of the monthly topical flea meds like Frontline, Advantage & etc. I’ve mentioned it in the L&H Comment section a couple of times before. But I don’t want to appear to be using Robyn’s blog as advertising space, so please contact me directly: charlenelinfu (a) gmail.com.

    Robyn, if you have no objection, I will put the link to the product here, but feel free to let me know if you’d rather I didn’t do that. Here it is: http://www.petprotector.org/product?ID=18451

    I could go on and on singing the praises of this product, but I will refrain here. Please do contact me if you are the least bit curious.

  8. Robyn,

    I came very close to deleting my comment about Chloe yesterday because I really was worried about it seeming odd and I was in an agitated state of mind to boot, but it made me feel much better to see it today’s post. Thank you, and thanks to those who sent their good wishes as well. I appreciate it very much!

    Now for a good update: I spoke to Chloe’s vet about an hour ago. (Okay, I’ve actually spoken to them three times since I left her there yesterday.) She’s been on a fluid IV for almost a day now and she received her transfusion last night. So far, everything seems to be going very well. She’s been treated for fleas and is getting a de-wormer as a precaution. The doctor said she’s more alert today, has better color, and has been eating well. The nurses who have been by her side through the IV and transfusion have been combing out her coat, which is attention she’s apparently been eating up, while charming them by being her sweet little self.

    There are still some hurdles to go. She’ll need antibiotics to kill the parasite and it may be months before her red cell count is normal. I’ll be spending this weekend completely clearing out the guest bedroom and deep-cleaning everything so she’ll have a safe and pest-free place to be quiet when she comes home. The other cats are getting specific flea-treatment tailored to their needs so hopefully the flea scourge will end.

    Based on what I’ve seen of them in the last twenty-four hours, I have completely lucked out with the animal clinic I chose and will hopefully be able to establish them as the vet for all my cats. There are four doctors there, but the one Chloe has is the clinic’s founder. Not only was she there with Chloe yesterday, but I was told she went back into the clinic at 11:00 last night to check on Chloe. The doctor was also in this morning and will be back this evening, despite Friday being a day off for her. I am so grateful.

    And now it is time for me to go visit my little Chloe girl! Thank you all again. I can hopefully bring her home Monday and will let you know.

    • Delaney-that’s good to hear. If you need flea treatment in the future for a “not so big” problem I recommend Dawn dishwashing soap. It is mild so just a drop rubbed around not does do the kitties any harm that I am aware of. I had people recommend it to me. I used it a few times as soon as I saw just one flea (I’m sure there were a few more)and it was great. We had no huge deal where the whole house was a problem!

  9. Adriana and Paulie have claimed my soul. such cuties!!

    I really hope that Chloe’s doing better.

    Jon reminds me Dandelion as a baby. Especially that expression when she was in her “walker.”

  10. Livia looks like a “muted” version of Kahleesi !!

    The kittens are amazing !! Already trying to explore their new world !!

    Corbie I wish I could come over and visit you and lavish you with tonnes of affection !!! You are my kind of cat !

    Robyn have you seen this video ?

    With the number of kitties you have known in your life, have any done this? My cat Liam did this when he was a tiny kitten and I have it on an audio cassette (yes I have aged myself!!) I think it is one of the most amazing sounds, always guaranteed to give me a good laugh.

    • I saw that one yesterday and added it to my favorites so I don’t lose it. My favorite part is the tiny kitten where the guy filming is “talking” to the kitten and the kitten’s talking back. So cute!

  11. I think this anti-flea product was actually mentioned here sometime in the past: No-Bite™ IGR House and Carpet Spray Aerosol.

    For the catlover who’s allergic to cats I recall Cleveland Amory saying if one gave a cat a bath once a week eventually it would cease producing allergens. I have no problem with cats but I’ve always kept it in mind. I think if one started with a young kitten it will probably get used to bathing and might even like it as I’ve seen in numerous vids.

  12. Robyn-“lucky” names would be Clover; Lucky(b); Fortune(b); Blessing; Destiny; Chance(b). That’s 6 (3g+3b) so maybe save them for the next litter.

      • Or words for lucky, (good) fortune, etc in other languages – we have lots of linguistically gifted folk here, I think? Or even things that symbolize good luck in various folkways. I’d LOVE a theme like that, as it’d give me a good reason to dust off some of my folklore reference books.

  13. Oh man, the world is now a better place. What a honey bunch of a family!

    Are everyone’s eyes open now, or is Silvio just in a crabby mood with Paulie Walnuts sprawled all over him?

  14. Thank you so much for sharing my painting, Robyn! You work tirelessly to help these beautiful animals. I so appreciate your willingness to share the journey and oh, the gorgeous pictures you take. Thank you again.

  15. Allergic reactions can also differ dramatically from cat to cat. Years ago my brother was allergic to just one of my two cats (itchiness, watery eyes). The other he could pet and play with and had no reaction to. Recently the rescue I volunteer with had a family come in looking to get a kitten, they were all set to adopt one when they realized the daughter had broken out in hives (daughter tried to hide it, she wanted the kitten). That day they went home disappointed. They came back a few weeks later though and found that with a different kitten daughter had no allergic reaction. Check local rescues and see if they have a foster-to-adopt option, that would let you bring the kitty home and see what allergic reaction you may have from normal interactions.

  16. Hi Robyn,
    There was a medical study a few years ago that found a big decrease in allergens if you bathed your cats every month. No soap needed, just a good rinse with distilled water. Here’s a link to an article about the study.

    I haven’t really tried this consistently myself, but I have bathed cats in the past (including my 17-lb big boy). It’s definitely easier to start with a kitten and get them used to it. If the prospective cat adopter doesn’t want to take antihistamines, this might be an option.