Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving at Casa de Gato

We had thanksgiving at the house this year. I am not a fan of it as I'm not a fan of picking up the detritus around my house, and as an introvert I'm not a fan of the invasion of my safe spaces. The last time we hosted it we had DH's family - which is extremely large. This year it was just my folks and my sister (as her family is now a split family and everyone else went to spend time with their immediate families)

Thanksgiving is DH's FAVORITE holiday and he loves celebrating it so years ago I said he was welcome to if he did the work, and he has been happy to do it. He brines his turkey the day before, he makes plans and lists and takes it all very seriously. Because of this, I have come to kind of enjoy Thanksgiving because his turkey is quite delicious and juicy and it makes the hassle kind of worth it.

DH making dinner
My dad and Jack
Enjoying dinner
Post turkey layabout
Dinner was nice. Several of my cats milled about with hope of a little something but didn't make a huge nuisance of themselves (well Fleurp did jump up on the table once but jumped right down when I told her to). My dad likes to act like a bit like a grumpy ol man, but he was the one slipping Jack, and whomever else asked, some turkey. Since we put in the fireplace there is no tv in the great room so there wasn't anything to put the game on which was nice.. as I am not into football (or any professional sports) so we sat around and chatted for a couple of hours until it started getting dark and we called it a day.  I then took some turkey down to the girls and they were very happy about it.

I then curled up with the paper and looked through all the black friday fliers and watched the parade. I know I had seen everything in the flyers prior thanks to all of the online 'sneak peek' black friday websites, but there is something enjoyable to just sitting around and looking through the paper. Maybe it reminds me of when the Sears catalog came in when I was a kid - prior to Toys R Us.. There wasn't anything that called to me other than the PetSmart half off litter sale which I did go to. It was fun to see all of the other local cat ladies picking up litter - and it was fun to know that I knew at least half of them.

Thanksgiving of years past:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A little something to be thankful for

They have become huffable.. who is brave enough to try to bury their nose in all that floof?

edited to throw on that this is apparently my 3000th post. I thought for sure I had about 10 more to go before I got there, but low and behold when I hit publish I was given the stat.  I think I shall have a little mini giveaway.. I have a $5.00 amazon gift certificate I will give away to one person who comments on this post..

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another Monday, another update

ugh, Girls, that carpet is disgusting, stop hanging out on it
I STILL do not have a name for these two. I am still teetering between Blossom and Buttercup (or maybe Bubbles and Buttercup) and Myst and Riven. I don't think it really matters what I call them because I'm fairly certain whomever adopts them is simply going to call them Fluffy.

Girl #1 is very outgoing and now comes up to me and cuddles with me and purrs easily. Girl #2 is a few days behind #1 and is currently where Girl #1 was a few days ago in terms of willingness to play and cuddle. I find this fascinating because #2 is actually bigger and healthier than #1.  #2 also strongly prefers to be on carpet much like Charlotte did. I can entice her off to chase a toy, but she'll quickly get back on it.

#1 plays with abandon which is a laugh riot. She is totally lacking in coordination and quite often rolls around on her back trying to get the toy which reminds me a bit of a cartoon character continuing to run after they have run off a cliff.

They have put on a fair amount of weight since being here. The little one (1) is 1lb 14 oz and the bigger one is 2bls 4 oz. I was told they both weighed a pound when I took them.

I even got to measure their fur, it is a hefty two inches long.. some of the under coat caps off at 1.5 so getting a photo of the two inch mark was not easy and they all were too out of focus either because the kitten was moving or the iphone was having problems focusing on it.

Kitten is looking to the right and down a bit, so you are looking at the scruff fur.. 

I have been introducing the kittens to a wider variety of canned food. One of them has nice stools, the other has softer near pudding stools. I have started slipping in some probiotics in hopes of getting those firmed up. I still haven't introduced dry yet.  I feel bad either way. I prefer not to do it but I do know there is benefit of a kitten that will eat dry food. I also know the shelter generally relies on dry food for calories, so they really need to recognize it as food before they go back, but with the poor quality of the output at the moment, I would like to keep that out of the diet until we have some improvement - a sign that the digestive tract is doing a better job.

I really wish I could get these two to work for a field trip, but the boss man is in town. I'm tempted to do it during off hours over the holiday - but we'll see how it goes. If nothing else I can always just take them into the shelter for a round of hugs and cuddles. They are due to go in soon anyway for their felv/fiv test...

test? what test? we didn't know we needed to study.. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Simple Solutions 30 Day Never Scoop litter - a review

This is another not sponsored review post. I also won this litter that another blog was giving away, and this too I find very fascinating.

The sales pitch:
Introducing Simple Solution 30 day cat litter that is 300% more absorbent, 50% lighter and has 30 day odor control. The pure attapulgite clay, found only in North Africa, is so effective it absorbs the urine without clumping and neutralizes the odor so you no longer need to do daily scooping. The 30 day litter is strong enough to eliminate litter box odors in even the toughest multi-cat households. It is infused with a chemical bond that binds and neutralizes the Malodor not just masking the scent. 30-day litter is 3 times more absorbent than other litters, so it works faster and better. It also weighs less than standard litters, giving you more odor-fighting power in a smaller box.

Okay, so we are still dealing with a clay litter.  Personally I do not mind, but I do know other people are looking for clay alternatives, so I am not sure this would work for them. If that is not the reason you are looking for a different litter, then this might be on your radar.

I tested this litter with Jack during his one of his isolation times. He took to it very well and since the original test several other cats have jumped in and had a go, so compliance is not an issue. In fact in taking photos for this post, all I had to do was open up the litter box and I had a willing volunteer.

First thing you should know, this litter is pink. It does have a scent to it and it is floral/perfume-y. I have a very sensitive nose to scent, and I didn't think it was horribly offensive. A few people on Amazon did though, but really this one is a matter of preference. I do prefer my litter to have no scent, so this was a negative on my end, but it was not nearly as bad as some other litters I've tried so not a huge negative.  I also did not notice a dust cloud when pouring the litter, which I did really like as those really do bother me and my allergies.

Thank you Skippy.  Now it should be noted this is the same litter that Jack used nearly a week, and as peed in several times afterwards by different members of The Crew. It looks exactly like it does when it is poured out of the box.

Now the litter claims to be super absorbent so you do not need to scoop. The photo above is directly after Skippy made his deposit.. the one below is about an hour afterwards.

It does not appear to be absorbing at all, so I started taking it upon myself to stir the litter to help it absorb better.

I'm not a fan of this because no matter where the cat steps now it is stepping on "used" litter. Now if you have been paying attention to my post you will notice that no one seemed to care, and frankly when using regular clay litter while you do scoop out the clumps sometimes bits fall off and there is used litter left behind, but some how to me this seems like more of an issue. Also the not scooping is a bit misleading, because you aren't going to leave the cat's poop in the box for a month.

Full disclosure, this box was not 'in use' for a month but a few weeks, but the first deposits in the litter box were over a month ago, and the scent is very similar to what it was when I first poured it into the box so it is controlling the odor fairly well. If you have one kitty, you could probably get a month out of it before you need to change it out, but multiple cats would not unless you had multiple boxes.

Another con is the price. Since you have to throw all of the litter out after a month you will need to buy quite a bit of this. Currently a box of 15lbs is selling for $16 on Amazon. This is also not an ecofriendly product but neither is most litter.

So I was more pleased with this product than I expected to because of the number of cats that continued to want to use it.  The cats didn't fling the litter out of the box, and the box stayed relatively clean.

Personally I'm not switching, but I will continue to use it as an isolation box option if need be.

Yes yes, Thank you Skippy for helping.. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pioneer Pet SmartCat all natural clumping litter - a review

This is not a sponsored post.  I won a 20lb bag of this litter recently and I was very interested in this product for what it says it is, so I was pretty excited to try it.

Amusingly the box that it came in was a HUGE favorite for Jack so sit on, so I left it in the box for a very very long time so this review is being done quite some time after I won it. I got a a couple of sample packs at BarkWorld so I thought it was high time I got to this.

So, the claims by the company are that there is 'No Smell - Can't Tell,  Breathe Clean 99% dust free. Chemical FREE, clay FREE, Fragrance FREE.  Made in the USA.

NEW SmartCat All Natural Cat Litter is not only all natural but designed to make everything easier! Easier to carry, easier to scoop and easier to clean. On top of that we are made from 100% USA farmed grass, with no added chemicals or fragrances. Our product will biodegrade after disposal as a renewable resource. We are very soft on paws and can be used for younger cats.

Sounds great doesn't it!

This sample isn't going to go very far!
Kit being impressed at how dust free it was.
Apparently a line is forming.. my cats really do love an upstairs litterbox
I pulled Kit's urine ball out of the box and I was very impressed with how well it clumped up. I let it sit for a while to see what the urine clump would look like/act like after a while since most fresh urine clumps in clumping litter are not very sturdy.

I do have to say the ball felt very interesting when 'crushing' it... almost as if it had gelled as there was some give before it broke apart.

I went and scooped the box the next morning and was a little disappointed there were no additional balls in the box. That is not to say the box was not used, just that the urine in the box were in bits. Now I know Jack tends to move around when he pees so he forms lines in litter boxes (yes, my boy is 'special') but he is the only one. One thing I found very interesting about this litter was the smell. They claim there is no smell, but there very much was to me and it reminded me a lot of my hamster and rabbit cages when I would change them out. It was not unpleasant just earthy... but there was a smell.

Got to love the Litter Lifter

I scooped the box again that night and the same thing. I then promptly forgot about the box because it is not part of my normal routine and when I came home two days later the smell in the hall was nearly overwhelming. I immediately panicked thinking that Jack was peeing outside the box again and that we were having a severe issue because of the overwhelming smell. I looked all around the hall and we didn't see anything, so I went to check out the box - which is on the far side of the room at the end of the hall.

The litter is so lightweight that my cats tossed quite a bit of it out of the box. They do this with regular clay scooping litter but not nearly this much. I do not know if the cat peed on the floor because there was so much litter there or if someone thought they were in the box and missed, but I'm going for the former since this hasn't happened with the previous litter box in this room but it could be the latter because Jack does tend to stand up and move around when he pees and occasionally will hit outside of the box, but never this much - it soaked not only the litter on the ground but under the box and was starting to seep into the wood on the floor. Now a lot of this isn't really the fault of the litter.. but it is something that happened while I was using this litter. If you use a box with high sides, the litter being flung out of the box when the cat digs might not be an issue.

But to me, it was an issue... that and the smell. My cat's urine smells like urine but my cat's urine in this box smelled very strong - the urine under the box wasn't that smelly. What really really got me was that gelling reaction from the litter. Once it got wet it gelled and stuck the the ground a bit like cement. Trying to clean it up was difficult because the dry litter started getting wet and started gelling. I ended up having to wipe up what I could, sweeping up what was around, vacuuming up the small bits then soaking it all in cleaner and waiting for the litter to become so saturated again that it would come up off the floor. I was so frustrated I swore I wasn't even going to bother using the rest of the bag and I'll be taking it to the shelter. Chances are another foster home will take it and use it or one of the staff will use it since they don't use clumping litter for the adult cats.

So.. bonus points to this company for making pretty much dust free that is not clay which some cats do have issues with. More bonus points for making it from grass which grows quickly and is a pretty renewable resource. This product is also biodegradable so long as you don't throw it into a landfill because as we all know nothing really biodegrades in a landfill. There is a place for this litter in some people's lives, and I am very glad the company is making it, it just unfortunately doesn't work for me and my seven cats.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

The kittens are doing better

The girls are starting to put on weight and are starting to lose that boney feeling. If you look for it, you can easily still feel their bones, but you do kinda have to look a little harder now. I used to be able to feel each nodule on their ribs, now I can simply count the ribs, and I am sure in a few more days I won't even be able to that.

I have had them on raw since getting them back and their stools took another day to firm up but have been very firm since. I ran out of raw once and they got some canned to supplement and the stool got a bit softer, so I am going to keep them on raw for a couple of more days.

I normally feed Bravo after a very disappointing customer service encounter with Oma's Pride a number of years ago, but because of the most recent recalls I have been having a hard time getting enough Bravo, so I decided to buy some Oma's to make sure we had enough food while Bravo sorts things out. Unfortunately we immediately encountered the same issue this time that that started the ball drop last time - a piece of bone big enough to get caught on a tooth and that tooth belonged to one of the kittens. She was NOT happy to have me try to get it off, but I finally did.

I also was gifted a new piece of kitten room hardware. I mentioned that the scratching post I have in that room was getting a bit disgusting and one of my kind readers offered to donate a new one.  It is absolutely lovely, thank you very much!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Two kittens and one Happy Bear

shortly after coming back
The shelter did not get into the details with me what was done, but they did send me home with some panacur for them to give for the next seven days, oh what fun. They did get a bath as the flea dirt was gone, but they still have the stench of garbage and diarrhea and death on them. It is going to be a while before that goes away and they get that new kitten smell that I love so much

I went back to work and watched them on the dropcam (link the bar above) and they pretty quickly climbed up on Happy Bear and took a good long nap.

They went back to the food several times through out the rest of the afternoon as well, which is nice. The raw will help soothe their poor little intestines, and it appears that the meds and the food is working. What you want to see the poop? click here. I know the food is helping because when I went and picked them up they were still dealing with diarrhea and caked on poop on their behinds.

I went down to hang out with them once I got home to try to get some good photos of them. They were immediately scared and ran away. I just sat down on the couch and waited. They came out and explored the room waiting for me to go after them but when they realized I wasn't going to do that they started playing with a piece of a feather that was on the floor and each other. There is something killer adorable when kittens who have more fluff than bone try to pounce.. I swear my heart skipped a beat. I got up when they weren't looking and did my best to ignore them and went and got a toy. They were fearful, but they allowed me to do it, and when I showed them the toy one was interested the other freaked. I went very slowly and eventually got them both interested, but I moved it a little too oddly at one point and the less interested kitten tried to run, but on this floor it wasn't easy.

Well I was able to entice them a bit more..

Seriously...these kittens have too much fluff for their own good.

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