Sunday, March 30, 2003

Crafting with kittens

wow.. its amazing how quickly the kitties can turn a few piles of papers and a stack of crafting supplies into a huge mess. We were out of the house most of the weekend.. and right now the living room is absolutely trashed. The stack of papers and coupons from the Sunday newspaper are all over the living room, along with a few other items that were at one point neatly stacked in an out of the way spot. Boy did they have fun.

I still can't find any of their balls either. Not a one. When they hide them, they hide them good.

It should be kitten season soon. I so miss fostering. I can not wait.

Friday, March 28, 2003

when your cat smells like litter

btw.. I figured out why muffin smelled all floraly... it was the same smell as the scoopable litter we are using..

vet visit

well.. We made the trip to the vets yesterday.. Was an interesting time, that's for certain. I brought the carriers up early, jack ran right in one and sat down.. that boy loves to travel. I then got out the treats to ensure that Em and Ollie didn't run away. I think they knew something was coming, but the treat is a powerful thing, so they continued to hang out on the bed. When the hubby came home, they were still there, and he was amazed. I took Em, and he took Ollie, who made a mad dash for it, but we caught him (ha ha ha) When Em saw the carriers she started to whine. The hubby stuffed Ollie in his carrier, then had to grab him again as Ol made a mad dash to get out. Getting him in wasn't nearly as hard as shutting the door. Ollie kept sticking his paws out the side, so we'd have to push them back in or risk pinching them. Em wasn't too keen to get in hers either, but at least once she was in she just sat there mewing pathetically.

Jack was once again in his carrier. I went for Eli, who was fine till I went to pick him up, then he jumped (like when you startle someone) and tried to get away. I was too quick for him though *grin* and we put him in the larger carrier with Jack. Then had to track down muffin.. which was easier than I thought it would be. Getting her in the carrier with jack and eli though wasn't a pretty site, cause eli wanted to get out. But we eventually got them all in and we were off.

And of course Em was howling the whole way down there. We found that if we don't talk during the car ride she stops crying. I guess she thinks we aren't there? No.. cause last time she could see me the whole way. The vet visit was pretty uneventful. Everyone looks good. The doc did a swab on eli's ear.. pulled out a huge gob of gunk. *sigh* She thinks its still just getting clean from the bad case of ear mites though. I'm going to clean them often and if they don't clear up I'll take him back and discuss other options.

Jack is still positive for leukemia. *sigh* Poor boy doesn't know how to fail at anything..
Em weighs 16.1 lbs
Ollie weighs 9.8
Jack 9.5
Eli 9.3
Muffin 7.8 (she was five lbs five weeks ago.. she's a little weed that one) Ollie definitely needs to put on a bit more weight.. maine coon's are supposed to weigh around 15lbs.. I'm sure in time he will.

I woke up a little early this morning. Immediately had muffin there wanting some attention. Then Jack. Then Em, then Ollie. Was 9 am before I got out of bed... when I did I found that they had found the bag of feathers again. grrr.. man those kitties are determined.

I've decided today I'm going to find all of their kitty balls. or at least as many as possible. They are amazing when it comes to hiding things. There are at least 15 jingly balls and 6 ping pong balls in this house somewhere. I am not a big surprised though. this group of kitties hid balls in my tiny - no closet - kitten room, that i have STILL not found.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Making cat toys

well I fixed the cat toy I made the other day. If I could figure out how to make the string stick to the stick with out using a huge gob of hot glue, I could actually sell these things. Jack still LOVES it. He's such a great cat toy tester. :) I also made another toy.. the other half of the stick, some stretchy bead cording, a big green pom pom, and some hot glue. That one wasn't as big of a hit as the feather toy.. maybe I should stick a few feathers on it.

Poor ollie. He's trying so hard, but he's just not getting it. The kittens and I were playing in the kitchen.. he wanted to play too, so I occasionally ran the toy in front of him. he would go after it.. which was a great sign that he's trying.. but when it would eventually get away, another kitty would go after it. then if that kitty got to close to ollie, ollie would hiss and swat at the kitty that encroached on his territory. *sigh* Well if that's the type of kitty he is, that's the type of kitty he is.. will keep working on him for a while, but I might just have to accept the fact that he's not into sharing.

I really love spellcheck

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I can be an idiot

well I left the kitty toy making supplies on the floor last night.. stupid connie. Now there are feathers all over the place.. :)

I woke up this morning as the hubby was leaving for work, and I realized I had most of the kitties in bed with me. I eventually got up and came out here, and poof, now they are all out here with me. They are scattered about the room, but they are here. They are like this pretty much every day. I love that they are so people orientated. Man I make good kittens. :) What's my secret? Acclimating them to the things while they are young. spending lots of time holding them and cuddling them. touching them on areas that most cats don't like when they are older, paws, tummies. Extend their claws when patting them.. get them used to things they will have to endure for the rest of their life so that its just second nature to them.

I really need to get that FAQ up and running. I started one, but I really didn't like the format. I feel so helpless when I view my stats for this page, and see people looking for answers to questions they have about their little ones. What kinds of foods do they like, questions about snotty noses, what to do when they aren't eating.. I should also redo my foster kitten webpage.. a lot of the photos are way too big, and the bandwidth is exceeded if you try to view all the images in one go round.. I'm considering getting my own domain and host for that as well. Everyone loves kitten pictures (okay well not everyone, but we just aren't going to go there today)

Monday, March 24, 2003

Making cat toys

I decided I wanted to try my hand at making a few cat toys.. I bought a long thin piece of wood, some wooden beads, some rexlace (plastic lacing) and some craft feathers (also got some pom poms and some stretch beading plasticy stuff, along with some other nick nacks, but those don't fit in this story).

I wrapped the lacing around the dowel, used the beads as a handle, and attached some feathers to the end of the lacing.. Jack IMMEDIATELY laid claim to the thing, and let everyone know in no uncertain terms that it was HIS (Hiss spit hiss.. grab and run) He's leaping after it with absolutely no concern for his own safety, (as the back flip into the cupboards will attest) When I had to repair the feathers, he was almost distraught that I took it away..

I finally had to put it away, cause frankly I was laughing way too hard.. Can't wait till the hubby comes home so I can show him what I did today..


Sunday, March 23, 2003

A cat on the side of the road

went to the movies tonight. on the ride home I saw something lying on the side of the road that very much looked like a cat. I tried to convince myself it wasn't. It reminded me of the time the hubby and I were traveling through NH, and we rounded a corner of a three lane road, and saw a cat in the middle of the road. I made him stop, turn around, and go back so I could pull it out of the middle of the road. It was beyond dead, but I couldn't stand the thought of leaving it there so some idiot could see it there, and aim for it cause he would think it would be cool (yes.. there are people who do that) I felt unbelievably foolish doing it, but Im sure the owners of the cat would be grateful if they knew. and yes.. I cried the whole time..

Also reminded me of the statistic that an outdoor cat has an average lifespan of about two years. Someone once said that their outdoor cat lived till 20. I wanted to jump up and down and tell them how lucky they were that he did. its not an AVERAGE life span for nothing. I lost my first cat Tigger at age 8. As much as I tried to make that boy an indoor only cat, he wasn't having anything to do with that. He was on the feral side of life when we adopted him from the local humane society. I had a devil of a time taking care of him and patting him because he had a very hard time trusting people. The one thing I had going for me was when you patted his chin he'd go catatonic with happiness. :) as time passed, he'd get closer and closer to us. He loved playing games like chase the stick and tag. (yes.. he actually played tag) He used to sleep under the covers in the small of my back. That kitty had personality to spare. Sadly he just didn't come home one day. It was a few months after we moved into the house we built out in the middle of nowhere. He had lived his whole live "in the city" (not much here in maine you can call a real city.. but his biggest problems were cars and dogs). Guess the wildlife out here was just too much for him.

My sister recently lost her outdoor cat as well. He too didn't come home one day.

Yes. an indoor only cat is more work. There is litter, and toys, and cat trees, and stuff.. but the trade off of the increase of the average life span from 2 years to 22 years is so worth it.

well that is if your a crazy cat lady like me :)

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Hanging with the kitties

I was laying in bed this morning, being lazy cause I knew the news only had info on the war, and that charmed was one I had recently seen. Muffin decided to attack my eyeglasses that were on the top of the bed. *rolls eyes* Somehow the TV ended up on AMC, and I started watching the original Dragnet movie. I LOVE the original dragnet. Anyway.. being a lazy morning, it wasn't long before all the kitties were in the bed. I was in Connie Heaven. :) After Dragnet was the original Dr. Dolittle - from 1967 where they set out in search of the pink sea snail. I thought it was quite appropriate. At some point in the morning there was a test of the emergency broadcast system, which totally freaked the cats out. They all stood up and looked at the TV with a look that could kill. It was a riot.

Eli's ears got dirty over the weekend. *big sigh* Oh well. Im sure the vet can figure out what's going on.. Im not going to clean them again till we go in... *looks at calendar* Hum. I thought we were going in on a Friday, which was the 24th, but the 24th is a Monday. I'll have to check on that. Wow.. has it been five weeks already?

I was cleaning the kitchen this afternoon. Found a can of catfood in the fridge. I decided to warm it up and offer it to Ollie. Only thing is I KNEW that if I just gave it to him that the kittens would be all over it and stress him out. So I took him and the food and put both in the bathroom. I went in after five minutes, and he was cowering in the corner and the food was untouched. In the past, I have locked Ollie in the bathroom when he's lashed out... I didn't even consider that. It must have totally freaked him out to be quietly sleeping on the bed then being thrown in a place of punishment. I sat with him for 10 minutes patting him and cooing at him. He started purring, but he still wouldn't touch the food. So I took him and the food out, and locked the kittens in the bathroom. He still didn't touch it. Well he might have. I didn't watch. But Em was up and about so Im sure she had a bit too. I tried offering it to him again, even had the hubby offer it to him later. after about half an hour I decided I'd let the kittens out of the bathroom, and as promised, muffin dove right into it, wouldn't move her head so anyone else could get a nibble. I pulled her away, and jack dove in, not letting eli have a nibble. So I grabbed a paper plate and divvied it up.. some of it got on the floor... but in just a few moments there wasn't a trace of that food anywhere. Licked kitty clean.

Ollie is currently sitting on my lap and slamming his tail into my side. I think he's cheezed that Im not paying more attention to him and continuing to blog. I want him to know that the world isn't going to revolve with out him, but not that it revolves around him.. its a very fine line..

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

That wet cat smell

I forgot to mention that Muffin has an almost 'wet dog' smell when she's all wet. I used a nice kitty shampoo on her due to the oil, but she still had this odor about her when she was wet. Fortunately when she was dry she smelled all sweet and floraly. I wonder if I will EVER figure out why she smells like that.

Eli's ears are clear *does happy dance* Its about freakin time. Im so glad it wasn't anything else. I did another major cleaning on friday. I got scratched a little, cause I didn't have him in a very good position when I put the cleaning fluid in his ear. I should have known, but he had been so good every time I cleaned his ears, I wasn't thinking. It was a very minor scratch, its almost gone now. His ears were mostly clean by friday, and I only got a few pieces of gunk out. Saturday I peeked in cause the day after the first cleaning lots of junk worked its way out. Saturday they were still mostly clean. Only two q-tips per ear. originally I could have used 10 per ear and they would still be dirty... ok maybe not 10, but a lot. I peeked in them yesterday and they were fine, and Monday they were clean. I was almost surprised. I have been fighting this for so long. Still fighting his eye though. That and his nose gets gunk on it. its easy to take off the bottom of his nostril, but when it gets on the top, its so hard to get off, that often I just leave it.

Jack is being all cuddly tonight. He came over to me to get some lovin. He's now over bugging my hubby for some. I do love that cat

I'm working on Ollie. Trying to get him to not be so tense. We had play time the other morning, he was actually going after the feathers. I think he's adjusting nicely. He's still a little sensitive when it comes to his personal space... we will have to work on that. (jack is back. *cuddles jack*) He actually came and had some good quality time with me last night, then went and sat on daddy while he slept for about an hour till muffin came in. she has NO respect for personal space

Emmy made her way into the sun room tonight. There was still a little heat out there after the sun went down, so we ate dinner out there. That was a big hit with everyone. Jack even sat on the fake fireplace. It was odd to see him on a fire place that looked so real. Made me glad we decided to get that one though, knowing that someone would have ended up with blisters or a burnt tail if we had gotten a real one. When we were done eating I decided it was getting a bit too cold so we went in. Everyone else had pretty much wandered back into the house except Em. I called her into the house, but she looked at me like I was metal. So I shut the door on her. She didn't care. I opened the door back up and told her it was time for bed. She came back in. :)

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Day of Beauty

Friday was yet another teeth cleaning / combing day day. It went relatively easy. Ollie didn't even try to bite me, and I was able to comb him a little. I didn't get into it too much, didn't want to traumatize him. I was very surprised. Friday night we went to the local cat show. It was fun seeing all the different breeds of cats. One cage had a sliding door. Either the owner had left it open, or someone opened it, cause when we came around the corner I saw a kitten looking out the open door. I looked around for an owner, and there was no one to be found. I stood there and watched him for a minute, and he made a move to get out. So I walked up to the cage.. he backed into it, so I reached out and slid the door shut. I felt a little odd doing it, knowing I shouldn't be touching the cage.. but I figured they would rather me touch the cage than have to track down their kitty in the building. We walked around a bit more. I kept looking for an owner to that cage but no one ever showed up.. it was rather weird. We went shopping at some of the merchants at the show. I was shocked at how they price gouge. The pair of socks I bought for $2.00 they were selling for $8. A pair of flannel pj's were 50$. a simple dress was 90. Some plates I saw at the local Christmas tree shop for a dollar a piece were being sold for 8-9$. It was insane. I saw a bunch of cute cat toys though. Even a stretchy collar with a large pink satin bow on it. I almost bought it, but it was 9$ and the bow was kinda big for muffin. We did get two pole toys.. one with a sparkly ball attached to some fishing line, and another with large feathers on the end. Those were a big hit. We also bought a small cat nip bag with feathers on the end, but some how that got lost between the show, the trip to the restaurant eggspectations (VERY good btw), and home. Hubby ran out to get another this morning.. Eli loved it.

This afternoon, the hubby decided to give me a massage. I store all my stress in my lower back, and it gets quite painful sometimes. He broke out the massage oil, which of course totally interested the kittens. Muffin wouldn't stop licking me. So to prevent her from ingesting the oils, he picked her up with his oily hands and threw her on the floor (several times.. she is obsessive). Which of course coated her in oil. Which of course lead to a a bath for muffin. I was very worried as she does NOT like water. well unless she's licking it out of my water bottle. I got a big bucket and filled it completely with water. Grabbed her by the scuff of her neck and under her behind and dropped her in. and she balked big time. When I put her on the bath tub floor for washing, she hasn't even gotten her back wet. I haven't had a cat that acted that badly to getting a bath, and that includes Tigger, my first cat who was almost feral when we got him (and who shredded me when I'd clip his claws) We were very fortunate though, I still have all my fingers.. and surprisingly she didn't try to bite or scratch me.. just was desperate to get out of there. I dunked her back in the tub after I scrubbed her with some soap. It wasn't all that helpful, so I used a bowl to pour some water over her. eventually I put her back in the tub and talked to her till she stopped bucking. She was still very unhappy, but at least we got all the soap off.

She is obnoxiously cute when she's wet.....

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Guess what Muffin is up to now

seems Im in excess of muffin stories.. :) Last night I was having a bottle of water. Muffin decided she needed to have it.. she kept pushing her nose against the top of the bottle. I finally offered it to her, and she started trying to push her way into the bottle. I started tipping the bottle to get the water near the opening.. with only a few drops spilt, she was actually able drink from the bottle of water.

that kitten has an extremely long tongue. too bad its so fast I can't get a picture of it.

Muffin plays fetch

Muffin is back to playing fetch. She wanted some lovin, but it was exercise time for me, so I gave her a little, then went off to exercise. I have a step, and I do my modified version of step aerobics. She went off to find one of her little pompoms. She loves those things. Well, she brought it to play near where I was. I was worried about her getting underfoot, so I took the pompom and threw it down the hall. She immediately went after it. Of course, she brought it back. so I threw it again.. and yup.. she brought it back again.. :) She had a hard time finding it a couple of times cause she chose a ball that is the same color as the rug..

lol.. she's off sticking the ball in hard-to-get-out places to work at getting it out.. man she's cute.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Muffin decided she liked her collar so much she chewed right through it

Muffin decided she liked her collar so much she chewed right through it. :( so she's back to the pink one we got from the shelter.
Did a little spring cleaning this weekend.. there is a hutch in my kitchen that 90% of the small cat toys end up under. I got a yard stick and tried to get them out, and of course it became a major game.. every time I got something close to the edge someone would go after it and push it back in. *rolls eyes*. I also found a Snapple cap under there with a Snapple fact in it that said "cats have over one hundred vocal sounds". I just thought that was cute.

Today was a major day in the lives of the kitties. Ear cleanings, nail trimmings, combings and yes.. teeth cleaning. It started out with Eli. His ears were a little less dirty than they had been recently, so I got out the flush that I got when we acquired ollie (he had a major mite and flea problem) One ear went okay, got some gobs out from the inner ear. But then the sun room people stopped by (cause the frost has shifted the room and now the doors don't shut right) and that was the end of the cooperation from Eli. Made doing the other ear a bit more difficult. but with some cooing and some promises of treats, we got through the second ear, and of course he shook his head before I could get the towel over his head so I ended up with ear flush and gobs of black goop on me. Silly kitty. I'll probably flush his ears one more time toward the end of the week, then see what happens. if it continues to get dirty, then I'm going to assume its something other than the end of a bad case of mites. Since I had the treats out, I found all my teeth cleaning supplies. The little ones took to it okay. it wasn't their favorite activity, but they didn't run away once I let them go. The power of the treat is an amazing thing. Ollie HATED it. he bit me a couple of times.. at least the 'brush' prevented it from hurting. I also think he wasn't all that interested in hurting me, just getting my finger out of his mouth. Em was the worst. Her teeth are the worst.. but considering she is 12 years old... they aren't that bad. But her gums did bleed. she wasn't too happy about it. I can't blame her. I'm sure after a few weeks it will be much easier. Did some combing as well. Em went rather easily compared to last week. Ollie will never get used to it. so I decided to use a small comb on him, and got a nice pile out of him. One of these days he has GOT to realize that its good to be combed. Has to be better than hairballs. Although I wouldn't be totally shocked to find out he knows that now, I think its more of a not wanting to be restrained.

I have totally been forgiven for all the horror *smirk* Behold.. the power of the kitty treat.

Saturday, March 8, 2003

Same stuff, different day

wow.. it has been a while, hasn't it?
Got a new collar for Em. She would constantly break out of the safty collar that I had gotten her when she scratched her neck, so I got her one that buckles.

Muffin decided that she needed some attention way too early this morning. Man that cat has some determination. I threw her off the bed like 10 times.. ok.. more like 20. She'd just jump back up and start licking what ever part of my skin that was exposed. Its just so hard to get mad at her.. even if she is waking you up, cause she just rolls over on to her back and looks ever so cute and adorable.

Eli's ears are still dirty. When we were at the vet, he was treated for ear mites. Kodi was tested and they found a mite in his ear, so with the way the dirt in his ears looked and that bit of history, I was pretty sure we were on the money. But Im guessing that we were wrong now. The treatement stuff is quite effective with one dose. and thursday morning I cleaned his ears till they sparkled. Thursday night he had huge gobs of goo in them again. Same with friday. At first I was thinking it was just stuff coming loose from further down in his ear (cause I only clean the outer ear) but now Im thinking that he's still producing it. The vet said it might be a yeast infection. (didn't know kitties could get those). Eli hates it when Im physically cleaning his ears.. mostly cause Im having to hold him down when I do it, but I get the distinct impression that he is ever so glad to have his ears cleaned.

btw.. new picts were just uploaded they show the cute bunny like way that muffin likes to lay on the floor.. the kittens getting into the valentines I got the other day from a group I belong to on line, and Em's new collar. (I particularly like the jack of hearts *grin*)

Haven't gotten to the first teeth cleaning yet.. Hopefully next week, as I really need to get to that..

Tuesday, March 4, 2003

A new collar for Muffin

I bought muffin a new collar. See the bell? well that bell has gone bye bye! Last night she once again decided to sleep on top of my head and jingle the bell right in my ear. VERY annoying. I was very slow to wake up this morning, and in so had both muffin and jack looking for some attention. It was really sweet... but do you know how hard it is to change the channel when there is a kitty sleeping on your remote, and another sleeping on you? So instead I watched what ever silly program was on.

Eli is quite active and on paper quite healthy. I'm concerned though. I'm probably being paranoid. His eye is still watering. The build up gets so bad that when cleaning it off I take quite a bit of fur with me, and he's starting to become "bald" around the corner of that eye. He also ends up with dirty patches in his nose. He still sneezes from time to time, so I can't help but wonder if he's still fighting off the URI. I've said it before but it bears repeating, the vet just thinks his tear duct is scarred from being so sick previously, and she's not worried, but when we go back in a few weeks, I think I'll have another talk with her about it.

Monday, March 3, 2003

Catching up

I watched "Emergency Vets" today on the animal planet channel. I don't know why I watch this show. It quite often turns my stomach and more often than not I end up all teary eyed at it. But then there are those stories like they showed today.. They showed a show from 1998 about a kitty who had been hit by car. The poor thing was hit hard, both his back legs were broken, and poking through the skin, then the kitty was dragged on something that wore down the bone. The woman who brought the kitty in was told there wasn't much they could do, so they were going to put the kitty to sleep. The vet decided that since the kitty was still alive after such a traumatic event and he was acting so sweetly that he couldn't just give up. They took x-rays and determined they could actually help the kitty out. They operated on him and fixed him, then called the woman who found him. She agreed to take him home even though she had just adopted a cat - because her two year old son really wanted one. The hospital didn't charge the woman for the surgery. The hubby agreed to keep him as long as they named him highway.

I loved this episode. I just wanted to give everyone a huge hug. btw.. Highway looks very much like jack.

It was kitty combing day here. I really need to make sure I do Emerald on a regular basis. She's a big log like kitty so I don't think she can properly remove the dead fur from her back side. If I don't do it regularly she acts like it hurts and even nips at me.. (stopping the nip the second her teeth come in contact with my skin) I took off enough fur from her to make a small kitten. She also has some dandruff... and jack came to investigate when I was combing her, and he ended up with dandruff all over his face.. it was quite funny. Everyone did really well. I got very little excess fur off of anyone else. Ollie wasn't happy about the whole thing... but at least it went pretty smoothly. Maybe if I do this once a week he'll stop getting quite so upset about it. We had "treat time" afterwards.. that's always a big hit. Everyone kept stealing treats from Em though. She often uses her paw to "put" the treat in her mouth.. its unbelievably adorable.

We had to put some plastic bowls down for water the other week... so now muffin has some acne again. poor thing. She doesn't seem to notice it at all which is good. Did have to clip her claws again though.. man her claws grow quickly.

I think jack's fully forgiven me. We had some really nice cuddle time last night, then again this morning. I love it when he comes up and cuddles with me. Muffin does it all the time. she's taken to sleeping on the pillow above my head at night. Last night she ended up with a piece of my hair in her mouth.. I woke up to her making noises like she was trying to get it out.. nothing dramatic, but since she basically sits on my head at night, it was easy to hear.

We are going to have our first real teeth cleaning day here soon. Maybe tomorrow, more possibly wednesday.. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, March 1, 2003

more pictures

a few new pictures have been uploaded to to the kitten directory. Including a number of photos of Kodi toward the end. He looks very good, except you can clearly see the problems he had with his eyes.

Meow If You Hate Smoke

Stolen from the Readers Digest.

Meow If You Hate Smoke
Smokers and nonsmokers alike have had their consciousness raised about the effects of second hand smoke on humans. But, until now, no one had considered the kitty. A recent study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that cats living with a smoker are twice as likely to develop lymphoma, the most common cancer in cats, as those in smoke-free homes. Felines living with two smokers face four times the risk. Cats may be particularly affected by household smoke (including fireplace smoke) because they spend so much time indoors, and because, when grooming, the ingest particles that have fallen on their fur. Aside from quitting, smokers can minimize risk to their cats by keeping them out of rooms where people light up. Brushing or bathing the cats may also help
~Judy Dutton
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