Friday, February 28, 2014

Tweedle and her dots

If there is one thing you should know about Twee, it is she knows how to be comfy..

That and she has a polka-dotted jelly bean..

She also has a few beauty marks on her back legs, but she wouldn't let me get those this time..

Twee would also like to take a minute and wish her daddy a very happy fourth or fifth birfday..  (darlin, that's 45)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Charlotte and Happy Bear

More Toys from The Natural Pet Company - Sponsored

So last week we reviewed the catnip from The Natural Pet Company, this week we want to share with you our experiences with the Variety Toy Pack

Variety Toy Pack on the left
A few pictures of my husband playing with the Plush Interactive Feather Wand..

And here is a photo of the wicker balls before..

and after..

The mouse rattle chew

Sadly my experience with this product was less than ideal.  I let the company know of my issues and their reply was that they had a lot of great feedback from the product, and they thanked me for my email.  In general their customer service is really great.  I received several emails after purchasing the product trying to make sure I was happy with them (as you can see I only got two wicker balls where the pack normally comes with three. If I wasn't already concerned with the ribbons I would have taken them up on their email letting me know that occasionally all three do not make it and if they didn't to let them know and they would fix it.)

Why did this pack not work for me?

The Wand Toy toy was a little too heavy to be a 'jump up and catch' type of toy, it seems far better suited to be dragged along the ground (and The Crew LOVED it when I did that) however the stick and string was far too short to make that an easy thing to do.  Both my husband and I found ourselves hunched over attempting to scoot the toy along the ground.  Eventually my husband gave up and sat down and dragged it along the scratcher we had, and that kept them interested for a little while, but a ground running toy that doesn't really go anywhere.. well they lose interest fairly quickly.

The balls.  As you can see we have a ribbon chewer in our house. I didn't give the balls to The Crew, but they were found and run off with. I found that one in the basement.  Ribbons are a pretty well known hazard for kitties, and I found it an interesting that they chose to attach them to the balls.  They are sewn on very well so they won't come off the toy, but nothing prevents the chewers from chewing on them. These ribbons will be removed and I'll probably be giving these to the fosters.

The mouse.  The mouse is freakingly adorable. Unfortunately it is way too heavy to be a batting around toy. I threw it across the room to try to garner interest in it, and it had a resounding thunk when it hit the floor and absolutely no one has looked at it or touched it since. I am seriously considering adding it to my "Connie's Uber Cute Cat Toy Collection - No Kitties Allowed!" collection..

So all in all pretty disappointing. However I do want to add the bonus of the very good customer service. This might work for you, and if it doesn't the company does stand behind their products.

Next week I will share with you just how happy their last product has made The Crew.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A new sweater for Charlotte

So as I said yesterday I got a sweater for Charlotte from the shelter but I wasn't a fan of how it fit on her, so I went to the pet store and bought a new one for her.

Actually, I bought several..

Sadly none of these worked out, and I'll be taking the three in the first picture back.  I'm keeping the rescued and spoiled as it is just too cute.  I ended up going with the sweater I bought that was actually the cheapest, but it fits her the best and it seems to keep her shaved bit covered very nicely..

The next modification for our little Charlotte is a rug for the kitten room so she can run and play with out worrying about falling down.. and if she does fall, it is a little more padded for her.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Sweater for Charlotte

Friday I took Charlotte to the shelter to have her sutures taken out.  They were due to come out in the middle of the week but with my work schedule and their reduced hours at the moment, I figured I'd wait till Friday when I get out early and have the time to take her and time to hang around and see if I could get some people to hold her. I currently can't take any kitties in to work which is a little annoying because dogs are totally welcome (employee manual actually says no pets other than dogs) so I have to do my best socializing her with just me, as my husband doesn't like to freak out kittens, no matter how many times I tell him that it is good for them.

It was cold out, and she is small (just three pounds now) and has two large shaved patches on her, so I dug out one of Kit's smallest outfits and put it on her to try to keep her warm on the ride over. Sadly it was still way to big, and she pulled her feet out of the arm holes and when we got to the shelter she was all twisted up.  I asked the shelter if they might have a sweater that would fit her and they did..

Unfortunately it was a little thick at the collar and I didn't much like it. She doesn't mind it at all, if anything I think she kinda likes having it on as protection or warmth... or maybe she just likes wearing a sweater.. :)

You can see what it looked like with stitches here
The wound has healed up very well.  The clinic vet was walking through and took a look at her and he agrees. I told him that I think she might have an issue with her hips due to the way she walks and how she tends to slip around when walking on the vinyl floor, to which they replied they would take a look at it when they spayed her, and I had to remind them that she was already spayed.. so they they will take a look at that when she comes back in to go for adoption.  Which could be at any time, but I want to hold on to her until we get her past this fear of people she has going on..

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Where's Charlotte??

no really, she's visible in this photo.. 

Charlotte has been making some progress.  The other day I actually walked in the room and saw her.. When she first got her freedom she wouldn't be seen when I walked in the room, then she would wait and see if someone opened that door.. and if they did she would run.  Then she has been looking and trying to figure out who is walking through that door, almost as if trying to fight that 'MUST RUN!" fear to see who it is.

This morning I nearly got in the room before she ran, which was huge.. I enticed her to play, but she only felt comfortable doing that from the protection of under the couch, or between the couch and the cage, or from with in that basket.  Why the basket provides her 'protection' I don't know, but I don't care, it means she is out.. I kept trying to entice her into the room, but each time she'd pounce on the toy outside of where she felt protected she would immediately run back under cover. She would back a moment later, which is good as it means she has good recovery of her decision making skills..

I finally picked her up for our cuddle.. if I haven't made this abundantly clear, this kitten LOVES TO CUDDLE!!  oh she is sweet. It isn't an active cuddle like Smedley was but more of a Skippy type of cuddle.. I'm just going to sit her and let you pat me and kiss me and occasionally I'll move and get more comfortable sort of thing.. It almost aches to put her down.  Last night I decided to stretch her a little and took her out of that room for a longer cuddle and a walk around the house.. Well that was a wee bit too much, she was quite distressed but we both got through it with out any blood shed, which is good, and all was forgiven when she got back in the room -which again is huge.. she went through trauma with me and realized the world didn't end, and nothing hurt her, and now she is safe again.. and hopefully when I take her to have her sutures removed tomorrow she'll deal well with that too.

And the best part about this morning.  I wanted to give her another meal of raw food and I forgot to bring it down with me. After the cuddle I left and when to get her some.  When I returned she was still out and about, but as soon as I opened the door I could tell she wanted to run, she really did.. but she waited to see what I would do.  Each move I made almost made her run, so I went slowly, oh so painfully slowly, and put the food in completely the wrong spot so as not to have to walk past her.. and she stayed out and visible the whole time..   *soft mini yay!*

fight or flight, a very strong force to contend with..

see.. I told you..
What an odd place to sleep little one.. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Charlotte is still healing

Well it has been a bit over a week since Charlotte had her surgery.  She is healing nicely, but she is still so very small and with great big patches of fur missing from her surgeries she's tends to gravitate towards the warmth of the heaters, but still runs when we walk into the room or make loud noises.  She does like to play, but I think that it is a bit uncomfortable for her as she tends to be reserved in her play, and sometimes when she 'over does it' she stops playing for a while.

Charlotte thinking about playing with a ball

Mostly she just sits around looking uber adorable and waiting to see what is going to happen..

She will be getting her stitches off soon.  I've been tempted to put a little tshirt or sweater on her to help keep her warm, but I don't want to stress her out.  She does enjoy cuddling - I'm assuming it is mostly because it is warm to cuddle.  We are still working on getting her to over come her fear and seek out attention.  I'm sure it will come in time..

Monday, February 17, 2014

Gigi is up for adoption

So Gigi's blood sugar levels were stabilizing out at just over 100 last week, and then started dipping regularly below 100. She wasn't putting on any more weight, but I think it was because I wasn't paying enough attention to her. Having Charlotte in the house was a distraction.  I would love on her until she seemed to tell me that it was enough, but then I would go and pay attention to Charlotte - who Gigi did not like at all. I tried several times to introduce them to one another, and Gigi was only happy when Charlotte was locked up.

Gigi on the scale
Gigi got used to the routine of testing, weighing then food..
she wanted me to feed her, not take pictures
Since Charlotte needed me more, I made the decision to send Gigi back to the shelter to go up for adoption. If Charlotte wasn't here I probably would have kept her for another week or two, but it probably would have been for selfish reasons, not because she needed me.

She was less than pleased about being boxed up again, but she didn't seem overly stressed once we got to the shelter. They have her as diet restricted and will explain to the new owners that keeping her on a low carb diet will be in her best interest.  Hopefully she will be adopted quickly.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Jason Brown, Prince and Jack

I was watching the morning news trying to decide if I was going to be lucky enough to have a snow day today (sadly no) when I saw a little bit of Olympic coverage.  I saw a young man in a purple and black outfit with buttons down the side a la Prince.  I wondered if he was using a Prince song in his program, and in the next thought the young man turned and there was The Symbol on his back so I knew he had.

I wanted to see that program. The news had told me that his name was Jason Brown, so I asked google to find it for me, and it was less than helpful. I did find an article that told me what song was being played, so I googled Jason Brown Question of U Olympics and still I couldn't find it, but it did link me to a forum at  I was curious what Prince fans would think of this program I hadn't even seen, and low and behold they linked to the YouTube video of it!!

I do have to say, it was really nice that he totally built his program to the music. I also thought he was amazing and I loved watching it.

and apparently so did Jack.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Toys from The Natural Pet Company - Sponsored

Back on 1/29 I was contacted by Florina from The Natural Pet Company inquiring if I might be interested in helping them market some of their products. They would send them to me for free in exchange for an honest review on my blog.

I had seen these products being reviewed over at A Tonk's Tail and over at It's all about the cats! and was of course very interested.

Florina offered me a coupon code to purchase these items from Amazon directly. I found this to be a very interesting and unique way to handle this, and actually more than a little fun. I mean how often do you get a coupon code for 100% off??

They arrived a few days later. I was a little bummed that Amazon decided to use air pillows as packing material instead of the brown crinkle paper they had been sending recently mostly because I know how much The Crew love that paper. Ah well, we got free toys, we can't get everything right? :)

Catnip, a feather wand toy, and a package with a wand toy and three small toys
The Haul
It was not all that easy to get this photo with out said cats investigating..

Muffin clearly wanted some nip! What is not to like about nip. This product has 4.4 star rating on Amazon and comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. One thing I like is the eleven 1 star reviews all have comments on them from the company offering refunds or suggestions. I mean when a company goes out of their way to find unhappy customers and attempts to make them happy - well that means a lot to me. I go out of my way to do business with companies that have good customer service and actually try to make things right.

My one complaint is one thing they advertise as an asset; the nip is "fine cut" meaning it has been cut so finely that is just a step or two above a powder. This way any stalks that were in the nip are ground down so they are not a hazard to your kitty - a good thing. Stalks are still nip, but they aren't as potent, so I would probably prefer they simply not use stalks, but that can be very costly. Often leaf only nip is much more expensive, if you can find it at all. My other issue with this fine cut is it gets everywhere. When I opened the bag there was a bit of a nip cloud. I poured some out and then went to pick it up and there was a fine coating on the counter where I poured it. When I brought it to Eli who is a complete and utter nip head he started to lick it right off my hand but when he exhaled with nip joy he blew part of the pile right into Skippy's face. My last issue with fine cut is that while it is great smelling while it is fresh (man that package smelled great when I opened it - I adore the smell of nip myself) it releases its volatile compounds and will go 'stale' faster, and it will be much harder to 'refresh' it by crushing the leaves since they are all very finely cut. All of the 1 star reviews on Amazon were that cats weren't reacting to it, if the package was a little older it would completely make sense.

The pack I got was very fresh, the nip was nice and green, the cats ADORED it and ate it willingly and then started rolling in it and there was much rejoicing. To make sure I get the most out of this package, I will make sure they get this nip before some of the others I have until it is gone to prevent it from losing its appeal if it were to go stale. I will probably also use it to mix it in food to encourage the kitties to eat, and put it into refillable cat toys instead of making toys with it.

We also have the 32" Interactive Feather Wand Cat Toy and the Cat Toy Mega Pack to review... I know The Crew is itching to do so..

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quick update on Gigi and Charlotte

Gigi is finally producing non diabetic numbers all on her own.  She was giving me numbers that were just above 100, but last night she gave me a 94*.  She has stalled on the weight gain, I wish she'd put a little more on, but I can't have everything.  I'll be contacting the shelter tomorrow and seeing what they want to do with her. I think she is going to be limited on the food she can eat considering, but since it is available everywhere I can't see that being a huge impediment in her adoption. I would think the fact she is 12 years old to be much more so, but the shelter is blessed but a community that sees value in 'elderly' cat and while she might not be snatched up as quick as a kitten, I doubt she will be there very long, especially considering how sweet she is and how she likes belly rubs and kisses.

Charlotte on the other hand is having a few issues. Loud noises and fast movement scare her. She doesn't mind when I hold her, and she'll cuddle with me when I have my hands on her, but she tells me in no uncertain terms that she wishes I'd stop picking her up.. great big hands coming to get her freak her out.. I'm hoping that if I keep doing it she starts associating them with the cuddling she so clearly loves.

She is also started sniffling. Her eye is watering a little too. Particularly odd since she was on an antibiotic when it started. However the antibiotic was putting her off her food and causing diarrhea. In fact the diarrhea was so bad it started creating a stool ball over her anus. I was watching her on my web cam when I saw her scooting around the cage, that tell tale bootscooten across the floor, the shelves, anything. She couldn't seem to get comfortable so I left work and ran home. It was quite gross.  I wish I could bathe her, but with those two huge incisions on her I just do not feel comfortable even trying. Even if I were to try to wrap up her body to protect it with plastic or a towel, she is just not comfortable enough with me for me to think she wouldn't try to squirm out of it and end up getting poopy water on an incision.. so I cleaned her up the best I can both that afternoon and last night.  I gave her some raw food to try to soothe her intestines, some probiotics and some silver to try to ward off any cold that might be brewing (aka the sniffling)   Hopefully things will firm back up and we can work on the cuddling part more..

*this morning Gigi gave me a number over 100.. not sure what to make of that.

Something sweet from someone sweet..

So I was opening up the this morning (it tends to pile up) and I received this..  It was made for me and sent to me by the wonderfully sweet Rene over at It's all about the cats!  I do have to say, I really am thankful for cat people..

Sweet?? but not sweeter than me right?? mom.. right??  ~Jack

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

#RecipeForMoments The whole is greater than the parts

I am going to admit when I first heard of the blog hop contest #RecipeForMoments I was a little flummoxed on how to handle it. See to me #RecipeForMoments translates into what does one need to do to have a moment with your pet.. but all of the entries seemed to be how the pets came into the lives of the blog writers. I will admit those are wonderful moments, but it didn't seem much like a recipe..

But I really really want another petcam, since the last one I had stopped working, so I kept wracking my brain on how to write this post.. when it hit me.. each kitty I added to my house could be considered an ingredient if you will that mixes and blends and it is what leads up to those incredibly special moments in life.. like this one..

It took eight different stories, well technically ten since my own story as well as that of my husband would also need to be told to fully explain what led to the moment captured above; but I don't think they really need to be. This photo is very precious to me as it is the only one I have, and will ever have, of all eight of my cats. Anyone who has multiple pets can attest to the frustration of trying to get them all in one room, and all on one side of the room, and all in one room and all on the same side of the room, and all visible from one vantage point.. Booyah! I felt like I had won the lottery when I got this photo..

When Ollie passed away (black kitty on the back of the green chair) I knew a moment like this would never happen again, and while it never did happen with my eight, this did..

Two very precious moments in my life.. Two moments out of hundreds of moments that my cats have brought joy into my life, and two moments I was able to catch on camera..

Each one of my cats is special to me. Each one brings me joy and to be honest frustrations - but hey, they keep life interesting - and I could write you stories about how each one came to me (but I already have, you can find their stories in that upper right hand column, just click on their names) and each story is heart warming and some are even heart breaking, but to me, "The Crew" as I affectionately call my little clowder of cats is an amazing thing, and the whole  is to me greater than the parts.

Thanks for the toys Alice Marie

I stopped by Alice Marie's blog for her fifth birthday and we had a lot of fun.  Apparently The Crew stayed behind and won the "Pouncing on a Toy" contest and as such we won a prize from their awesome store Pacific Cat Toys

I have to admit when I heard I won 'green beans' I though how silly, they are never going to like them.. oh well they'll be good for kittens, kittens play with anything.. but even Jack, 12 yr old Jack, enjoyed playing with these :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

So apparently I just can't help myself

So I went to the shelter on Friday.  I was torn about going as I needed very specific food for Gigi, and I knew finding it with in the donated food wasn't going to be easy. I knew I could go to wallyworld and simply buy it and send the shelter the bill, but at the very last minute I decided to go anyway.

I originally went to the back where they keep the canned foods for the cats in house. They tend to put the little 3 oz cans in the foster area for kittens and the regular cans out back for feeding the cats in house. There was nothing in the back for me, so I headed towards the foster area to see what was there.  As I was headed there I was one of the shelter staff saw me and asked me if I was there to get the food that was put aside for me. I had not heard word one of this, so I said no, but I was there for food, so she brought me to where the food was.  K had gone through the donated food and set aside all of the Fancy Feast classic foods for me for Gigi.. I can't tell you how heart warming that was to me, and there was quite a bit of it too which was nice. Thank you K.

But was I was walking around I saw this..

A very small long haired tortie kitten in a cage with the name of Charlotte. The tag said she was six months old, but she only weighs 2.5 lbs. She is incredibly petite. I have no idea if was over aged or if she is just that small (like Kit was) but considering how many teeth are in her mouth I'm going with a little of both.

What you may be able to tell from that photo that something is going on there on that side. She actually had surgery to repair a wound on her side. The staff at the shelter said that the vet said that he thinks it was because she crawled up in a car looking for warmth. They closed up the wound and they also spayed her (imagine having two very large incisions on your body).

She is a little skittish, but once you get your hands on her she will sit there. Sadly she came to me with several very large mats under her chin and behind her ear. It bothers me that while she was sedated and they had the shavers out they didn't bother to take them off *shrug* Fortunately she is willing to let me work on taking them off of her.

I put her in the same room as Gigi. Gigi is very mellow and laid back and I put Charlotte in the cage to keep her from running around while her incision heals.  The first time Charlotte saw Gigi, she hissed. The next time Gigi saw Charlotte first and Gigi hissed. I've let Charlotte run around and they seem to give each other a wide berth. Maybe in a few days when healing has gotten a good hold of that wound and and she has come to trust me a bit more I'll let them hang out together.

She is here while she goes through a course of antibiotics and her wound heals, so a couple of weeks.

I just hope she lets me sleep

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day from

Not sure this requires a disclaimer, but since I'm going to link to their page I figure I'd put one up. Items came to me with not charge, nor any requirement, this blog post is all of my own doing because this amused me so.. 

So the other day there was a package from on my doorway..

I hadn't yet signed up for February's blogger outreach, so I was quite curious what was in it.

This amused me to no end.. it was much like those goodie bags you got when you were in school, and people would add little things so at the end of the day you got a hodgepodge of goodies.. It really made me smile.. Thank you Chewy!!

Where are the cat treats???

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