Sunday, November 29, 2015

Big boxes of toys for the cats from Mary and Joe!

My UPS guy is a ninja, I swear. I didn't even hear him deliver two big boxes from Mary (Jack and The Leewit's home) on the porch. Mary had just sent a very generous (our largest) donation to our spay/neuter fund, which was a huge help as we had four female kittens on deck, and two still more to go, for spay/neuter, plus a small balance still on account at the veterinarian.

The cats benefit from monetary donations, of course, however apparently Mary felt they deserved a more one-on-one experience of her love!

The house cats (both the four personal cats and those up-for-adoption) always get to test out new gifts when they arrive. However I try to make sure the cat facility adoptables get most of the new stuff, since they deserve interesting and new things in their all-vinyl-floor life. I let the house cats check out the beds, but most of the toys and all of the scratchers were saved for the cat facility cats, so they did not get pre-licked presents!

Nellie and Fluffy check out the Cat Ball.

Oliver gives it a try, too. "What do you mean we don't get to keep it in here?"

Gremlin tries the fuzzy bed first.

Gremlin likes the kitty Canoe so much, I think I'll let him keep it in the house. After all, he is up for adoption, and Mary sent three of them!

It was evening when I took presents out to the cat facility and their basking lamp was on, so the video is quite red. Here they are checking out the wonderful catnip toys, the Cat Ball, and one of the scratchers!

The cat meowing in the background is poor neglected Pierre, who could see all the fun from his run, but I did not let him out as he is quite the camera hog. Here is sweet Heidi cuddling up with the scratcher:

Thank you, Mary and Joe! You have definitely made it "Christmas" over here for all of our cats, and myself!

Gifts for grumpy kitties (and grumpy cat ladies as well)

I'm belated on sharing some of the gifts our cats have received over the past month!

One of the best parts of cat-sitting now and then is that I get to see some of our past adoptees. It's not something I can do regularly since I travel so much myself and have my own house-sitters, but it's a fun break. When I visited Peetie, Paatie, Phillip, and Jellie this past month, Christy and Gordon left a present on the table for us!

In addition to a very generous payment for the visit, there were several kitty things to make me smile and decorate my house at harvest time, and this very special gift for the cats. A six-pack of Comfort Zone!

Using cat pheromones to keep our cats relaxed (i.e. not spraying on things!) sometimes seems like throwing good money out the window given how expensive it is...until we run out and stop using it, and suddenly notice things like throw pillows--which I use to keep cats off chairs that are especially tempting pee-objects--have a faint whiff of pee, or cats growling and smacking at one another. While I don't mind my house smelling like a damp old 1860's farmhouse in the summer, I do mind smelling cat smells when you walk in the door. People judge a cat rescue by how it smells. Heck, people judge cat owners by how their house smells. Fluffy and Oliver tend to be the only culprits, but one cats who pees creates other cats who pee. I also like to use it in the cat facility when I can, because it seems to me it would be even more boring and stressful than the house. It just isn't as obvious when there is stress because there are far fewer "pee-worthy" objects there. The cats in the facility seldom (dare I say never?) pee outside of the boxes.

I do my best to introduce cats carefully and keep them separated by who is happiest together, and nothing makes me feel more like I have failed than listing to cats smack and growl over tiny things. We haven't had a cat fight since Ivan and Thomas were both here---they would get along 90% of the time, then one day I'd come home to tufts of cat fur on the floor. I would like to keep the place fight-free. This means cats need to be as happy as possible. ComfortZone (Feliway) definitely helps with that.

Thank you, Christy and Gordon! We all appreciate less stress at the holidays.

Monday, November 23, 2015

It's Tuna Time!

I haven't had a chance to post photos of the new cats, Pepper and Timea. Timea zips out from under the bed too quickly for me to get a good photo of her, but Pepper loooves his tuna too much...he just can't resist, and jumps up on the bed, and even allows me to pick him up. I hear them romping around upstairs over my head when I work, clearly having a good time now that they have two rooms to play in instead of one. Looks are deceiving in this photo. Sgt. Pepper is a very big boy! He might weigh as much as Bear, but there's not an ounce of fat on him. He's just a big muscular cat. Timea looks small next to him, but she's not a little cat either.

His rescuer sent them each a new fuzzy bed and of course the every-needed paper plates that make life so much easier. One of the kittens checked them out when they arrived.

Unfortunately I think it will be a little while before they'll stay in the beds long enough for me to get a photo of them when I come in the room!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Farewell, Pickles

Farewell to Pickles. She lost a lot of weight while I was gone in October. Blood tests showed end-stage kidney disease. She perked up with potassium supplements and fluids, but after two days of fluids, she refused to allow me to catch her. When she slept with Fluffy, I could sneak up on her to get a hold of her, but sleeping with Fluffy was her one true joy in life, and then she no longer dared because she knew I would stalk her there. When I traveled, how would anyone get a hold of her when I am the only one who can touch her? She would have had to have been caged and handled by strangers.

So I left her alone for two days to enjoy her friend, and then we said goodbye at the veterinarian's. She was sixteen years old, and now I'm very glad I brought her and Fluffy in from the cat facility to enjoy the house, the porch, and the catio for a year or so.

It's just as well she went before Fluffy (who is two years older). She would have been lost without him.

Cornerstone sent a beautiful card. The messages they leave inside always make me cry.

Remember to smack that's winter

I know the mantra, but I seldom smack my own car hood. Until I opened up the hood of my car to add washer fluid and found these tracks yesterday:

I am now a dedicated hood-smacker, and I hope you will be one, too.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cat facility photos

Our last two visitors came to the house and never made it out to the cat facility. So I'm posting a few photos of it here. I'll get the other side tomorrow.

The "cage room."

Goggles in her two-tier cage:

Dixie and Solo in their cage: