9-23-11

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When you and Fred bought the house, didn’t it have a pond in the back but it really didn’t have water in it? If I recall, didn’t you have it filled in with dirt? Maybe I’m mistaken…

I can’t for the life of me find it, but I have a drawn property map somewhere, I’ll see if I can’t find it or slap one together in the next week. In short no, you aren’t mistaken, we did have a small pond that was located in the area between the back of the back yard and the beginning of the back forty. It dried up because we had a dry summer, and we didn’t like where it was located, so we had it filled in.

This is what it looked like during the brief period of time when it was full:

17Pond

And here, the summer before, with dead catfish floating on the surface and the spud on the other end:

Dsc00801

The new pond is going to be located at the back of the back forty and will be roughly four times as big as the pond we had filled in. The guy was supposed to start digging the pond on Monday but OF COURSE Mother Nature is a WHORE (pardon my french) and it rained on Monday and Tuesday, so we’re not sure when he’ll be able to start digging. Soon, I hope.

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RE: the Pond – are you going to put a plastic liner in the bottom and put large stones around it, or is it just going to be a hole in the ground. Sounds like you are going to have fishys for the duckys – so are you going to have a pump thing heater thing – or go all naturale, like a normal creek/pond.

I don’t think we could afford enough plastic to put a liner in the pond we’re having dug, so I guess it’s going to just be a hole in the ground. It’ll be like a normal creek/pond. I don’t see putting a heater in the pond, but we are talking about a solar-powered aerator. We’re talking about planting a couple of trees near the pond, and I’d like to have a bench so we could sit back there and watch the ducks paddle about.

(Fred’s talking about putting his kayak in the pond. I’m not sure if he’s kidding about that or not…)

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A little while ago you were talking about grey versus silver tabbies. I got all confused. Now I thought my boy was a grey tabby and the vet tells me he’s blue! He’s beautiful but what’s the difference grey/silver/blue??

Oldcat – my go-to expert when it comes to this sort of thing – had this to contribute last week:

Grey versus Silver tabbies –
The difference depends on what you mean by a grey tabby. I have heard of ‘grey tabby’ used as a contrast to ‘brown’, and for tabbies where the stripes are grey. Brown tabbys have a high degree of rufousing, so the hairs between the stripes can show a distinct orange or brown color. Tabbies with low levels will be a pale grey.

If a tabby has the dilute gene, the stripes themselves will be blue grey. Shiela looks like this might be the case with her – are her paw pads purplish or black? There is also some variation of how dark regular non dilute cats are, so it could be that as well.

True silvers have a different gene, the Inhibitor gene, that keeps any pigment from showing. Thus the hair near the skin will be pure white. Chinchilla Persians have this and a wideband gene that makes the pigmented part of the hair restricted to the tip. The black tip over white is supposed to make it look silvery. But if you look on these cats the paw pads and gums show that under it all these cats are black.

So in jargon terms I would call Shiela a blue tabby with low rufousing. The Inhibitor gene would make her background much whiter

Oldcat, can you weigh in on what exactly constitutes a “blue” cat?

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Several people sent me these videos, and they cracked me UP!

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as to fostering being hard.. it really depends on what you mean by hard.. The actual physical work of doing it really isn’t. Even when you have very sick kittens, it’s more hanging out and cuddling them and a few moments of medicating. EMOTIONALLY it can take it’s toll. Most of us have to remember that we are doing good even when the outcome is not what we want. Kittens die. Unless you take only the healthiest and older kittens you are most likely going to have to deal with a kitten passing on your watch. Or kittens can become really sick and you nurse them back to health and they become really loving devoted kittens and your heart breaks when you have to give them back. out of the hundreds of kittens I’ve fostered, the sick ones are still near and dear to my heart (and so are the ones I have lost). There are a bunch of kittens I no longer remember with out the help of my blog, but there are some that will always pop up in my mind from time to time and will live in my heart forever. You do loose little bits of your soul every time you send those special kittens back, but they are that much stronger and better for having taken it with them.

I always segregate. here’s why.

Very well said, Connie!

I should add here that often times the most difficult thing about fostering is the sheer frustration. You’ve got kittens, they’re doing fine, they’re healthy, they’ve been dewormed, they’re having perfect poops and then BAM! for no reason you can determine, they have diarrhea and they’re tromping through it and tracking it all over the place and you’ve changed absolutely nothing about their diet or anything at all. So you start sprinkling Slippery Elm on their food and you take fecal samples to the vet to be tested, and you try this and that and the other, and sometimes it just drags on FOR NO REASON, and other times it just clears up all of a sudden and you don’t know why. So frustrating!

(But so worth it.)

Here’s something Robin from Covered in Cat Hair wrote that covers the whole fostering issue, too, and is definitely worth the read.

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I just saw this comment from Robyn in an entry from January and canNOT stop laughing.

“I just spent at least two minutes talking to a cat who was sitting under my desk, up against my foot. I talked to it, petted it with the foot it wasn’t laying up against, and then finally peeked under the desk to see just which cat it was.

It was a slipper. No wonder it wouldn’t purr.”

And just recently, I kicked a slipper and then apologized to it. Stupid slippers.

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surely that’s not a ‘glare’ look? I thought it was more…well…blonde. Like trying to work out the square root of…ah… something square-rooty. 🙂

2011-09-19 (6)
“Math is harrrrrrrrd!”

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A coworker sent me this; I wanted to make sure you’d seen it. My favorite bit is the kitten with the fish vending machine.

SO CUTE!

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1) How is The Poo? I can’t remember seeing a recent picture of Miz Poo; is she doing ok?

She is doing just fine, and I’ll post some pictures of her at the end of the entry. I tend not to get so many pictures of her because she’s always right on top of me, which makes it kind of difficult to get a good picture. She’s 12 years old now and slowing down, but NOTHING stops her from getting up on the bed with me every night. Also, nothing stops her from approaching anyone who walks into the house – whether she’s ever seen them before or not – and demanding attention.

4) Regarding the excellent cat relationship chart you made some time ago:

someday, may we have an updated version, now that you’ve added to the herd? That chart was a HUGE eye-opener for me. I admit, I had visions of your cats sleeping together in big fuzzy piles, much like tiny kittens will clump together when snoozing. Clearly, I was WRONG. Now, in my mind’s-eye, I see it more like each cat needing its own personal space bubble, changing in size depending on who is nearby. I’ve been thinking about this a lot since Bolitar came back. I find it very interesting that he’s been accepted back into the herd with little fuss, yet Joe Bob, whose return story is almost the same(?) was NOT welcomed back as smoothly. (Somewhere, at some fancy university, there’s someone just waiting to write some sort of paper on cat herd behavior — what a gold mine of information you may have! 🙂 )

I will do my best to get that chart updated soon with Alice and Buster and Corbie added – I made that chart in April of last year. A lot has changed since then, hasn’t it?

I would love it if the cats would pile up like kittens, but they don’t very often. If there are cats snuggled up together, Tommy is almost always involved. There’s something about him that most of the other cats really like – maybe his easygoing nature, maybe his willingness to groom whatever cat is in tongue’s reach.

I am betting that most of the reason Buster was accepted back relatively easily as opposed to the response that Joe Bob got is because Buster was here for months before he left, and he pretty much grew up here. I mean, he was still a kitten when he left, but he was, oh, seven or eight months old, and the other cats had had a chance to really get to know him as he grew up and make him part of the herd. Joe Bob was only with us as a foster for about six weeks before he left, and he was already an adult when he came to us. He was accepted by Sugarbutt, Tommy, and Mister Boogers before he left, though, which is why we were so surprised when he came back and none of them wanted anything to do with him.

One reason I think Joe Bob and most of the other cats don’t get along is because Joe Bob is touchy; I originally thought it was just the other cats being jerks, but I’m thinking that’s not necessarily so. If the other cats are looking at him, thinking about looking at him, or thinking passing thoughts about him, he KNOWS, and he doesn’t LIKE IT, and he gets all growly and hissy toward them. There are times – three and a half years after we brought him home for good – when I’ll see him rub heads with some of the other cats (disclaimer: it’s almost always Kara or Jake, and when it does happen, it’s when they’re all milling around waiting for me to give them food), but for the most part if every other cat on the face of the earth disappeared, Joe Bob would be A-OK with that. He’s a people lover, not a cat lover.

Wow. I certainly can go on about our cats, can’t I? 🙂

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Have you seen the purrfect house for cats? Several people sent me the link, and I have to agree – that is the PERFECT house for us!

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I don’t know why but for some reason I pictured George and Gracie as being regal all the time.

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! No, George and Gracie are total goofballs. They play and they prance and they roll around on their backs like goofy dorks all the time; they can fake it pretty well, but mostly they are never ever regal.

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I recently acquired a new kitten that had shown up at a coworker’s home,who checked out healthy and I think he’s about.. 6-7 months not really sure, and did the required transitioning phase for him and my other two girls, Ember whom I’ve had all her life, and Miss that I’ve gotten just a little over a year ago. He leaves Ember alone for the most part, but just continues to antagonize Miss all the time. I can’t tell if they’re fighting, or rough housing half the time. She’s not happy with him when he does it but when he’s behaving she has no problem with him. He’s going to be fixed this Friday and was wondering if that would help bring his aggression level down, and I’m wondering if this is also because he’s still a kitten just in his ‘teenager’ stage and they’re both fully grown cats. Both the girls are Fixed so I’m not quite sure what it is about Miss that has him fixating on her.

I’m posting this in case anyone out there has any suggestions or thoughts on the situation, but it’s my opinion that they’ll work things out. If she seems to be handling things okay rather than being scared of him, then I think it’ll eventually calm down. She’s closest in age to the new guy, correct? He may think/ know that Miss is more likely to react to and play-fight with him, so he concentrates his energies toward her rather than Ember. He’s still pretty young and he has all that energy of a kitten, but I would bet that being neutered will help calm him down a little.

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Where is the like button?! 😀

At the top and bottom of each entry, of course!

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That wicker cat bed thing is so.cool. Where did you find that?

A friend gave it to me about a year ago (her cat wouldn’t use it). Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find it anywhere online – she said she thought she got it at Costco several years ago.

But then GD and Jenna and Sissy pointed out that Petsmart has similar wicker cat cave/ beds, so I went and looked on their web site. I didn’t find anything on the web page, and I had already gone to Petsmart and come home, so it was too late to look at the store myself, but I would recommend checking there.

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Surely you have room on your wall for a “Life of Christ in Cats” plate?

The tea towel, alas, appears to be sold out as well.

Um. There’s no room at the inn? Those are just horrifyingly wonderful (or wonderfully horrifying, take your pick!)

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You know, if you’re putting in a pond, you could probably farm your own crawfish 🙂

I originally misread this as “catfish” and I was going to say that we will most likely have catfish in that pond. But CRAWFISH! Hmm, I am going to have to think about that, because that certainly sounds like it’s right up my alley.

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Those tiny chicks, SO adorable. I just want to pick up one and pet it. Do you ever do that? Or would it put Momma Hen off the babies?

Fred occasionally picks them up and we pet them, but they get kind of freaked out so we don’t do it often. There’s less of a chance of the Momma Hens refusing to take care of their babies and more of a chance that the Momma Hens will attempt to peck our eyes out. They do NOT like it when you mess with their babies.

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Did your cats actually notice that the electric fence was out?

They didn’t – but it was only out for less than a day, because we went up to Lowe’s the next day and bought a new transformer to replace the one that fried. Fred noticed that one of the cats – Tommy, I think – was closer to the fence than he usually gets, but no one climbed the fence. I’m sure that if it had gone on for longer than a day, someone would have figured it out, and then there would have been trouble!

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Is wee but powerful Patty getting more relaxed around you and Fred?

She is more relaxed than she was, but whereas her brother runs toward us when we walk into the room, Patty runs and hides under a corner of the bed. She comes out pretty quickly, but it’s still her first instinct to hide. I’m hoping that that will go away eventually. She comes to be petted, but I have yet to hear her meow or trill or make any noise other than a purr.

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How about a question?

A question about cat farting that is?

We recently re-entered the world of cat ownership, and this brother and sister team passes some wickedly awful gas. The male in particular lets ones go (silently) that have the sulphur/egg smell.

They were just turning a year old when we got them, and they had been in foster care with something like 18 other cats. (Hmmm, familiar?) The woman taking care of them admitted she could no longer afford to feed them a very high quality food, but I think that what we’re feeding them is decent.

I read online that cats fart and the protein in their food makes it stink, but I also see people that write that you should have a cat with bad gas checked out.

WDRT? (What does Robyn think?)

I think that cat farts are nasty, is what I think. And they ALWAYS do it when you’re least expecting it, don’t they? The little monsters!

Okay, seriously, I think that it’s probably one of three things (or maybe a couple of three things – or heck, even all three of three things!)

1. How recently did you get them? Because if they were switched from a cheaper food to a more quality food, it could take their systems some time (even a few months) to adjust.

2. Have they been dewormed or checked for worms/ parasites? I know that Giardia and Coccidia can cause the most awful gas sometimes – but if their litter box leavings are in decent shape, it probably isn’t either of those. (I know that it’s possible for Giardia/ Coccidia to exist outside of diarrhea, but I’ve never witnessed that myself.)

3. They’ll grow out of it. I offer as an example of this one Loony Jake. When young, he was a gassy, gassy boy. And he was fond of walking by, farting at you, and then slinking off. You’d be minding your own business and then just about fall over from the stink. Gah. SO NASTY.

If the gas gets worse (if that’s POSSIBLE) or there’s diarrhea present or they’re acting anything other than completely healthy and energetic, I’d get them to the vet.

I know readers out there have opinions on this topic. Y’all chime in!

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You can’t really see it, but she was smacking at his tail.

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She sure does get the upper hand easily. I’m starting to think he’s letting her win.

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::chomp::

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He looks like he’s not quite sure what happened.

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2011-09-23 (1)
“THIS TIME I’m going to get it! For real!”

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“Come on… come on…”

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::SIGH::

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“Lady, I’m starting to think you’re driving me crazy on purpose.”

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“Now pet me.”

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THE BOOKWORM BRUDDERS
(Buster and Corbie)
WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU
THAT THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL.

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Buster, atop the pantry in the kitchen (nice of him to match his mustache to the color of the pantry, no?).

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Keeping an eye on Stinkerbelle.

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Corbie chills out in the back yard.

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“WHO left this pop-up hamper here?” Detective Corbie’s on the case!

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Miz Poo, in the cat bed next to my computer (that’s where she usually is during the day).

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Look o’ love.

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Still keeping an eye on me.

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Previously
2010: Until then, I’m going to try to achieve a state of Sugarbutt-type zen.
2009: Hoyt cracks me up with his woe-is-me expressions.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: “Dude, your butt is wet. Why is your butt wet? What did that horrid woman DO to you?”

Comments

Comments

9-23-11 — 22 Comments

  1. What pretty blue eyes the Buster Man has. Or is that just the camera angle? And Miz Poo’s are as well.

    How have those two brothers not gone into modelling or Fabio-like romantic book covers is beyond me.

  2. Charlie is like a mini-Buster with that face blot! And I think Miz Poo’s funny little face looks a bit like a non-dilute version of Rosie (permanent resident, Pitter Pats of Baby Cats). I love torties.

  3. Love the chart!! Tommy, Jake and Elwood are certainly the favorites! And you can see that Stinkerbelle’s name suites her! LOL
    Ok, for hte 25+ years I have owned cats, I have NEVER experienced cat farts! Seriously, my kitties don’t fart! (PTL!!!) Interesting to know that some do!

    Patty – I am rooting for the most.
    Molly – I am madly in love with.

    George and Gracie – I have known GP’s in the past and I think they are all goofballs! Just part of the breed and makes them more lovable! 🙂

    Love all the pics and kitties. Kisses to Poo.

  4. My lady cat says that ladies NEVER FART. In a book by Anne Perry, a Victorian lady was said to make a “personal noise”, which cracked my DH up, so now we say that our ladycat makes a “pawsonal noise”. She also reckons that tabby brudders are ALL HORRIBLE*. I must explain that while not suffering from farting, she does suffer from a tabby brother.

    *this opinion is not shared by the author of this comment.

  5. In re: the passing of gas, we found that there’s a Beano-type drop you can add to their food to cut waaaay down on the farts. Our younger cat had SBDs like mad her first year, and these made her tolerable. We also found certain foods would give the cats horrendous bombs of poo, so consider actually changing their food altogether. Cheapo was the worst but Iams wasn’t friendly either.

    BTW the saving-cats thing has rubbed off!! Argh. I’m visiting my sister halfway across the country, and am about to try to take a stray but extremely friendly kitty to the vet for a checkup. She clearly has a bad upper respiratory infection. Also, unfortunately, she’s decided to live on their front porch, much to the consternation of their dog & allergic husband. Anyone in the NW Virginia area want a very friendly, very purry tortoiseshell kitty who likes belly rubs?

  6. “Blue” is the term they use for the blue grey color a genetically black cat gets if it has two Dilute genes. So of your cats, Elwood is ‘blue’ – without it he would be black – like Tommy. I suppose “Blue” sounds more regal for cats that are bred to be purely that color, like the Russian Blue and British Blue.

    My cat Julius had a dilute mother – he is a brown tabby but she was a very pretty blue on light grey.

    I was actually going to ask if I could use your Flickr pictures to illustrate posts on cat genetics – I was doing one on Kara and her kittens to try and figure out what the dad cat might have looked like.

    • Thanks for the lesson. Castor has black pads, and his darkest stripes are dark dark grey almost black, very close to Elwood’s color. Maybe that’s what the vet means by blue? The other stripe colors make him look just like this cat http://www.mcbfa.org/colorbrownmack.jpg but maybe a bit less warmth to the grey. What do you think? What would you call him?

      • Jake and Elwood are “blue” solid cats. So if the darkest parts are that color, then “blue tabby” is right. The pads are usually called ‘purple grey’ since black pads are even darker.

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/oldcat_pics

        If you go to the “Julius Kitten Pictures” set you can see the momma cat is a “blue stripe on grey”, where most of the kittens are dark – although there is a blue solid sib in the mix too.

        The genes that color the stripes and those that define the patterns are separate, so black orange or blue tabbies have similar patterns, just tinted differently.

  7. I guess I have weird cats and ma lucky. All my cats love love love each other. The 14 year olds, the 8 year old, and the 2 six month old kittens are almost always sleeping together. On me if they can arrange it. In a twin bed. I’ve changed my mind. I’m not lucky. No wonder I cannot move in the mornings!

  8. Re: passing gas, if the cat also pass super stinky poos, then it could be worms as Robyn said. One of my cats used to CLEAR the house with her farts and poos. A quick trip to the vet + 2 days had her back to smelling like roses. Well maybe not *quite* like roses, but at least we no longer had to scramble around gagging, opening windows at furious rates and tripping over our other cat trying to get away!

    I love that chart! I can’t wait to see the updated one.

  9. pee sss from our mommy:

    I purchased the wicker cat cave/bed years ago. I found pictures of it on the web, but the new version with the name is different.

  10. I personally have had many cats (still do) and none (unlike, say, old Golden Retrievers!) have ever had a farting problem. However, if they eat something that doesn’t agree with their tummies, like dairy or cheaper cat food, then they can have very horrible-smelling poo. Also, as people mentioned, internal parasites can cause nasty poos. I would get the kitties checked out at the vet (bring a fresh fecal sample). It’s expensive but if you possibly can, feed a high-quality cat food with NO GRAIN.

    • I have to agree. I have three adult cats, two of which used to get occasional bad gas and horrendously stinky poos. Since switching to a grain-free kibble they rarely-to-never have issues with stink. My other cat, though, can even eat a little bit of dairy and not be stinky. She’s always liked it as an occasional treat, and only ever wants two or three licks, so I let her have it once in a while with absolutely no issues.

  11. fighting cats: if your kitties are hissing or have puffed fur they have moved beyond play. If they do not want to eat or be near each other when not fighting then you have a problem. Chances are you have a case of a young boy with lots of energy trying to get an older kitty to play who doesn’t want to. In time (and with out hormones) he’ll learn she’s not a good playmate in that way. Hopefully.

    Gas: yes, worms can do it. but food plays a major roll in it. Cats don’t have the digestive capacity to deal with plant material and when they eat food high in plant based ingredients it will often ferment (bacteria feed off it) in the colon and the by product of that is gas. I’m currently making water kefir and when the bacteria feed off the sugar it ferments and produces a lot of bubbles 🙂 The Crew (aka my cats) eat raw food with very little plant based ingredients and I actually forgot that cats do get gas.

  12. Seeing the photos of Miz Poo brings back memories. She looks very much like our Sunshine, who passed away in 2001. Sunshine was a ‘talker’. She had a very distinct trill-like meow that she would raise or lower depending on what she was trying to say. She mostly ‘talked’ only when spoken to, and ALWAYS had to have the last word. Just curious if Miz Poo happens to be a talker as well.

  13. I love Buster’s mewstache! It also looks like he may have taken a nip o’ the chocolate syrup when nobody was looking 😉

  14. About the gas: My vet told me that, although the quality of the food is a factor, some cats get gas even when they are fed a high quality food. It is just a matter of testing different kinds of food to see what reduces the farting the most (i.e. contains least of the ingredient your cat is reacting to).

    That said: my 4 month old kitten used fart every time I went near him (at least that’s how it felt to me…), but has almost completely stopped doing it these last few weeks :o). Conclusion: it’s quite possible the farting will stop on its own!

  15. Thank you for the Miz Poo close-ups. She looks so much like our tortie-and-white girl Snack who passed away earlier this year (cancer and diabetes — she fought both for a while, but her little system just gave out eventually) and who also disliked every other cat — only two for us — in the house. She loved her humans, though (especially my husband), and we miss her lots.

  16. LOL @ the cat farts discussion. for whatever reason, i always thought cats didn’t fart. until i started volunteering at the spca. hoooooo boy! i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again – dog farts are hilarious. people and cat farts are just gross.

  17. Also on cat farts: We adopted a pure-bred American shorthair tortie from a cat show who couldn’t be shown for two reasons: she had too much white (whatever!) and she had terrible cat farts! She was perfectly healthy so I guess she just had kitty IBS or something.