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Sooooo – scratching posts. Do you personally replace the “rope” stuff on them as needed? I’ve got two posts that have perfectly good rope all the way around from top to bottom – except at ONE spot (near the top) on one side where apparently they all stretch to scratch there. I certainly don’t want to replace the whole posts, and don’t NEED to replace the whole rope. What I’m thinking of doing – is unwrapping the whole thing and JUST wrapping the top part where they all scratch with the part that’s never been scratched. I’m mostly asking this of you because you have multiple scratchers, and multiple cats and in most of the pictures I’ve noticed that you don’t seem to have bare spots and I wondered how on earth you manage that?!

Despite the box of sisal rope that I ordered from somewhere YEARS ago with the intention of replacing a threadbare scratching post, I have never actually done it (in fact, I’ve never even opened that box). I always INTEND to do that, but usually before I get around to it I either find something to replace the scratcher with, or… well, that’s about it. They usually get replaced!

I would think that you could unwrap the whole thing and then just replace the bare spot – but since I’ve never actually done it, I’m not sure how the rope is held on. Is it glued? Because I think you’d have to be careful when re-wrapping to put the glue side on the inside. (Am I making any sense? I’m not sure I am!)

Readers, suggestions, thoughts, advice? Please weigh in!


Oh, I love Polo!!!! My 16 year Old Man Atticus has diabetes; how old is the handsome Polo?

He is 6 years old – I actually had to go look at his profile to find that information out. For some reason, I was thinking he was more like 3.


The 2009 entry is titled “That’s Hoyt the big mouth” LOL! That’s my boy! He’s still a loud one and talks to me all the time. He even talks in his sleep at times! I can’t believe I’ve had him almost five years now. I love his goofy sweet self beyond belief and I’m so glad he’s mine. He is healthy & happy. Thanks Robyn!

Love that sweet boy!


Re: Mr. Dolores – in a lot of spider species, the male is lucky if he manages to find a female, so when he does, he moves into her place and hangs around until she decides she likes him. They mate, and then she eats him. From his point of view, it’s a fair deal- she protects him (she’s usually much bigger), provides the web he hunts from, and he has little chance of finding another female if he lived. She’s only going to mate once herself, so it makes sense to make it count for all it’s worth, and a little extra food to make their babies nice and strong is his final gift. There are even species where he more or less flings himself at her jaws as a way of courtship. Don’t worry, it’s what he wanted most in life.

I just had to post this comment, because it made me laugh so hard!


I feel like I should know this, but have you had to give shots to anyone before? I remember having to give the Boo fluids in her final year, and it was very hard for me to do though I made myself do it for her sake. But boy did I cry the first time I had to put that needle in her!

Tubby was diabetic, actually. (I canNOT believe it’s been 10 years since we lost him!) Fred was always in charge of his shots, and there was never any reaction from Tubby, I think the needles are so small that the cats can’t really feel them.

I have never had to give a cat fluids (I know, hard to believe), but with our aging permanent residents, I’m sure my time is coming!


For the licky-licky thing, I’ll start doing something the cat doesn’t like. One cat tends to get wax in her ears – it always works its way to the outer ear just fine, but I’ll take my pinky and start cleaning the wax out of the ear. She’ll look at me like WTF? and go away. Or check their teeth. Or claws. Just something benign that they don’t really like. Hey, you gonna groom me, I’m gonna groom you! 🙂

This is a really good idea!


Um, I am sure it is all camera angle but Jake appears to be ready for winter. Heh.

It’s the angle! The angle, I tell ya! Actually, except for Dennis, Jake is our smallest boy cat and weighs a little less than 12 pounds. He just doesn’t carry it well – especially when he’s poured into a bowl.


I had a baby a couple of years ago and had one of our two cats tested for toxoplasmosis prior to my pregnancy just to check whether I’d have to be super-careful. He was negative. We didn’t test the other cat after another good-natured vet asked us how we planned on preparing her for dinner when we asked if she should be tested: Did we plan to eat her raw? He said it in such a disarming, funny way (and he clearly knew his morbid humor-loving audience) and then said no. It was unlikely that she, as an indoor-only cat, was infected. He then suggested I could either let my husband deal with the litter box (yay!) or wear gloves and wash my hands well after scooping. The point is, it’s not easy to get toxoplasmosis from an indoor, or any other cat. Unless you plan on eating them raw. Or licking your hands clean after dealing with dirty litter.

(I apologize if I’ve offended anyone! Just so y’all know, I’d never eat a cat, raw or otherwise. I can barely choke down “normal” meat…)

Like I said, I wish doctors would stop flat-out telling pregnant women to get rid of their cats! Back in the Dark Ages (1988), when I was pregnant, I was THRILLED to turn over litter box scooping duties to my then-husband. (Also, your vet sounds like my kinda people!)


This may be a silly question, but do neutered male cats still spray in the house? Hubby is convinced they do, so I told him I’d check with the experts ;-). Thanks for the help.

Louise said: I have observed that males will continue to spray inside once fixed if they had a habit of spraying before they were fixed. Or if they feel they need to be top cat because of another male cat who is is dominant. I never had any problems with my males (8 of them over the years) spraying inside. I will say they were indoor only cats, which could have made a difference. Of course each cat is different. By the way, there are no silly cat questions !!!!!!

I added: Louise is right, there’s no such thing as a silly cat question! Neutered cats can and will spray – but I’ve seen lots of cats who were spraying stop after neutering. It’s more often to send a message, an insecure cat will spray a bed or other spot to send the message “this is mine.”

Female cats can spray, too! Maxi did it, way back when we first bought this house. I was very much taken by surprise (if I hadn’t seen it myself, I’m not sure I would have believed it was her work), but I haven’t seen her do it in years (thank god).


I just had to share these adorable pictures of Orlando. I am tickled pink at how well he’s doing in his forever home!

Orlando looking through the door at Rosie the dog who clearly wants to play and be BFFs!

Is that not the most adorable thing?

“Ahhhh, yes. Right there!”



“This thing where you point that camera at me all the time and make lots of noise with it in a most annoying way – that’s going to be a regular thing?”

::sigh:: “I guess that’s the price of being beautiful.”

“You might want to take up sleeping with one eye open, lady. JUST SAYING.”


This is Corbie’s favorite place to wait while I’m eating breakfast. RIGHT there, keeping an eye on me. He likes it when I leave a little bit of scrambled egg on my plate for him.

Corbie: smuggest of the smug.

And speaking of Corbie, check out these blinkity-blink Eyes of Lurve.

YouTube link.


2013: Don’t you just want to squoosh ’em?
2012: So we leave the closet door open all the time (of COURSE), and now there’s always at least one kitten in the hamper.
2011: Bobby Brady update.
2010: No entry.
2009: With Lafayette getting his new eyelips, we now have more kittens with eyelips than without!
2008: Yoga kitteh is surprised that you’d interrupt her during such a crucial exercise.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



9-5-14 — 26 Comments

  1. My Hobbes looks just like Corbie, and that’s one of his favorite laying positions – on his back, feet up against the back of the couch, tail straight out. It always cracks me up. My female cat is far too dignified and proper for such a pose.

  2. I have replaced the rope on several trees. just using some simple water based wood glue. I cut out the section that is falling apart and tuck or tie the rope on to the old section, cover the tube or post with glue and wrap the rope up the post. I’ve ran out of rope and need to get some more.

  3. I have to say, that it is great how you have programmed the updates to come everyday at the same time. Here it is exactly at 12 and I can start my lunch break with kitten news. Thank you very much for that (and for your entertaining writing and cute residents anyway).

    Cute Polo and his scowl! My cat also has black lips and bit more black on the right side, I call it her Billy Idol scowl (though it would be an upside down one). She can look so contemptuous with her little face, it is not even funny. (I get easily intimidated).

    • I find that it works best for me if I stick to a schedule! I actually write them the night before and schedule them for 5 am (central time) – then if there are any problems with the pictures or anything, someone has usually emailed or posted something on Facebook to let me know by the time I roll out of bed at 6. 🙂

      Billy Idol scowl! I love it. 🙂

  4. SOOOO, since there are no silly cat questions I am going to ask one-my mom has a cat that is around 3yrs old or so. Female gray regular old cat. No special breed. She eats fine and drinks and uses her box okay as well. The thing is her tongue kind of sticks out/hangs out A LOT. Mom is not too worried (and lives on a fixed income so has ZERO money to do anything about it anyway) but I am curious if it is something to be concerned about. Mom is thinking maybe she has an abscess but like I said will not be doing anything to “fix” it. It is sounds serious-(like life threatening) to you I might be able to help her out with things.

    • if it is something new, you might want to have the vet check the mouth. It could be a sore, it could be cancer, it could be something else, it could be nothing..

      if the cat has done it all it’s life, then it is probably just a quirk of the cat.

    • I agree with Connie – if it’s a relatively new thing, it could be a problem, but if she’s done it her entire life it’s probably less concerning.

  5. I am SO happy for Orlando!

    Polo is very handsome and it does look like he might mess you up if you don’t stop with the camera stuff.

    And…Corbie has the sweetest little face EVER.

  6. I’ve re-roped several scratching posts, but never used any glue. I have heavy U-shaped nails (kinda look like rounded staples) that I fit over the rope and then nail into the post. They are usually in the nail section of most big box home improvement stores. You could probably use a heavy duty staple gun, too, if you had one. They go so snuggly into the rope that I’ve never had a problem with a cat catching their claws in the nail itself. I have 25 year old scratching posts that I just can’t bring myself to throw out, so I keep re-roping them! 🙂

    One thing I have noticed with my cats is they rather scratch on a rope post than a carpeted one, so I have added a flat door hanging rope scratcher by just nailing it to the carpet post (the post is square, not round). When they shred all the rope off that one, I just pull it off and nail a new one on!

    • I just bought a staple gun to fix mine. The 1/4″staples are useless, so next step is to buy 1/2″ staples and see if they work. I wish I’d thought to just use a hammer!

  7. OOO…..mom is replacing the rope on our scratcher now. She thought about glue, but then when it needs to be replace again, how do you get it back off? So, wandering through the hardware store, she found these: http://www.lowes.com/pd_8091-1781-MSW-1540_0__?productId=4634623&Ntt=cable+staples&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dcable%2Bstaples&facetInfo=

    She makes sure to put them on the inside of the post (we scratch on the outside) so we don’t get caught.

    That Corbs….he is a handsome devil.

  8. Ah beautiful Corbie! I want to snorgle that belly!

    We’ve made our own scratching posts with sisal. To secure it, usually I use a big old staple gun, then hammer flat the staples. Depending on the hardness of the wood, you may have to shoot a few in before they actually stick! However, if the post is tall enough and the rope goes high, I’ve found that tightly wrapping it then just a simple tuck under at the top keeps it secure enough. Wrapped sisal can be pretty sturdy.
    We put the stapled end against the wall or hide it under another piece; never had a problem with them digging deep enough to find it! A hot glue gun would also work!

    Toxoplasmosis & pregnancy: My 21 year old recently tested positive for toxo, much to everyone’s surprise. The vets explained that it’s only contagious when the parasites are active in the cat’s system, usually a period of about 2 weeks. Then you’ll have to come into oral contact with them via feces (litter or…litter feet) AND to actually get sick with it, you need a compromised immune system (pregnant, etc). So my understanding is it’s like chicken pox and pregnancy: if you have it before/after, you’re fine. If you somehow get it while pregnant, problem. I had 2 miscarriages before the toxo diagnosis and couldn’t find any cause for future concern (or to suspect it as a cause–I never had flu-like symptoms). It’s super rare for house cats to test positive, according to my vet’s experiences.

    The old cat was given a 4 week dose of antibiotics and she actually perked up within a few days! Amazing!

  9. I’ve “replaced” rope on round scratching posts by just wrapping new rope tightly around the original rope and tying off each end with a knot. Maybe a staple gun could be helpful if it keeps slipping.

  10. Awww, Corbie’s eyes of lurve are so sweet. Made me smile.

    Just thought I’d comment on giving cats shots. We had a beautiful big grey tabby boy for 18 years, who was diabetic for 11 of those years, and we gave him insulin shots twice a day for those 11 years. He passed away 10 years ago, and I now have two young girl kitties who I adore, but I still miss him terribly. Trust me, after a few days, you get very used to it, and it didn’t even phase either my husband or me to do it (even though I really thought it would when we first found out he was diabetic).

    First, the needles are so ultra fine, that they slide in without any effort. I have stuck them in my fingers by accident many times because you hardly feel it going in. And second, we always gave him a shot on the “scruff” of his neck – the vet told us that cats have very little feeling there. You just pinch the skin to make a little tent, make an indentation in the tent with your finger and put the needle in there. It got to where my kitty didn’t make a reaction like he even noticed what we were doing after awhile. We always gave him a shot while he ate, so he was preoccupied, I guess. It just became part of the routine for the day.

    • Same, and I give them in the same place. I’m wrangling a 14 year old cat who was recently diagnosed. It really isn’t a big deal, and since Pumpkin is a wiggler, I do get myself with the needle now and then. The needles really are super-fine, and literally the only thing I watch for is that cats and dogs use the same insulin that many humans do. Because I run hypoglycemic, if I get myself with the needle, I make a point to grab a container of OJ or a candy bar on my way to work, just in case. Never had a problem yet.

  11. Robyn, my Bruiser always sits on the chair opposite me quietly watching me eat breakfast, knowing that when i’m finished there’ll always be a tiny piece of egg or cheese left for her on the plate. All I can see are her ears and eyes and it cracks me up.

    I’ve often wondered how you manage that. Is Corbs the only one who pays attention?

    • Corbie is really the only one. The one thing I really can’t stand is to have a cat bug me when I’m eating, so they’ve all learned to leave me alone. Corbie knows that if he sits quietly and waits without trying to get all up in my plate, he’ll be rewarded. He must be getting tired of egg, though – the last few days he hasn’t bothered to show up at breakfast time.

      Also, I love the image of you eating breakfast while a quiet pair of ears and eyes waits patiently opposite you. 🙂

  12. wow, six is young to be diabetic..

    toxo.. you forgot the part where the stool has to sit around for three days before it becomes an issue to humans at all.. and then there is the fact that the cat only sheds toxo for two weeks after it has been infected, so it is a very small window. You are more likely to get it from digging in the garden or eating tainted produce than from your cat. I’m with you, I wish drs would stop being so ignorant. I rank this right up with telling pregnant woman to stop driving because they MIGHT be in an accident..

    spraying cats. Cats spray to defend their territory. testosterone makes a cat far more defensive of their territory, so they are far more likely to do it so they can ‘get the girl’ if one were to come around. with out testosterone (females and neutered males) they will spray when they feel the need to defend what is theirs.. if they are stressed, if there are too many cats in the house and not enough resources (food, cuddling, beds, toys, play, window whiffies) so making sure your cats have an over abundance will make them complacent and happy and keep spaying down to medical issues (and that isn’t spraying, that is inappropriate elimination, but if you have cat that stands to pee, you might not know the difference.. Jack just came over to say hi, I think he knows I’m talking about him.. yes, you Jack, you are a stand up pee-er… and it is kinda annoying)

    • My kitty was diabetic his whole life (17 yrs). I will chime in to say, for all of you who are fearful or squeemish about giving shots/fluids, you are not hurting them at all. Insulin shots are given in the scruff of the neck. There is a very low density of nerve endings there. That is how God made them so their mama’s can carry them….and for you to give them insulin if needed! 🙂

  13. So if I watch the “eyes of lurve” video over and over again can I pretend that Corbie is giving me the eyes of lurve !?!?!?