The Fora: A Higher Education Community

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: eigen on May 17, 2019, 02:24:47 PM

Title: Herd your cats here
Post by: eigen on May 17, 2019, 02:24:47 PM
Another perennial favorite, started by tuxedo_cat in 2009:

I am opening this thread to invite others to post miscellaneous cat inquiries, if only to address the "cat gravity" phenomenon on the fora: the inexplicable power of cats to draw various threads inexorably towards discussion of them.  Even if we started by discussing grading rubrics or home mortgages.

So, my two questions of the day:  one of the things that makes Dangercat dangerous is . . . well, to put it kindly, her size.  She's almost ten, and I don't want her to suffer some of the health problems that will follow from this problem -- diabetes especially.  This is not a cat that would put up with a needle, so diabetes would be the end of her. 

Other than feeding her less, or feeding her that "diet" cat food -- neither of which has had any any effect -- what do people do?  I live in an apt. building, so having her get exercise outdoors is not a possibility.  Efforts to get her to play with me are largely ignored.  I could chase her with the water bottle, but that would seem kind of mean.

Second ques:  I did have one of those laser toys, and that was pretty good to get her moving, but it fell apart after a week.  Any type/brand the rest of you would like to recommend?

TCat
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 17, 2019, 10:24:54 PM
The littlest cat now has nine tricks fully mastered. We've also been working on object discrimination for a couple of months now, and he can reliably pick out the toy mouse and the small tube of pencil crayons in forced choice situations, with vocal commands or hand signals, and he's not bad at picking out new objects which are introduced. I guess that's his tenth trick? I dunno, I think it still needs a little work before I can properly count it.

I need to think up some more things for him to do, though. I suppose I could work on jumping on command?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on May 18, 2019, 06:56:12 AM
Agility, perhaps?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 18, 2019, 12:32:10 PM
Agility, perhaps?

Hmmm. Like, walking across a narrow ledge or making difficult jumps, that sort of thing? Could do. It shouldn't be too hard to shape his current behaviours in those directions.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on May 18, 2019, 01:50:50 PM
Cats have to be trained for agility?

I can't jump up to a counter 10 times my height from a standing squat.

Anytime they let us "train" them, you should be aware they're just humoring us, you know...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: overthejordan on May 18, 2019, 04:33:10 PM
Cats have to be trained for agility?

I can't jump up to a counter 10 times my height from a standing squat.

Anytime they let us "train" them, you should be aware they're just humoring us, you know...

M.

True. But we need humoring, don't we?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on May 18, 2019, 04:38:45 PM
I would imagine they think so, anyway...

;--}

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on May 20, 2019, 03:15:48 PM
You could train him to jump through a tiny hoop!  Or balance on a ball.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on May 20, 2019, 04:01:41 PM
One of the Thundercats just spent 5 minutes pushing against the screen in my office window, to no avail.  Then she went across the room to get a run at it.  Alas for her, I had shut the window in the interval (I had just been waiting for her to get out of the way).

She was very perplexed by the solidity of the glass.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on May 20, 2019, 07:10:39 PM
Poor kitty!

You thwarted her legitimate ambitions, you, you... FishProf, you!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: happylittletrees on June 02, 2019, 04:37:49 PM
Ah, springtime. The time of open windows bringing exciting outdoor smells and sounds! It’s better than the fish tank for entertainment.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on June 03, 2019, 08:43:12 AM
We have company over and the cats are Most Displeased that doors are shut.  Sir Puck says he NEEDS to get into the guest room so he can sit at the window and watch for the squirrel. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on June 03, 2019, 09:22:50 AM
This morning, younger cat, who is now formally out of kitten-hood, topped a protracted and highly athletic pursuit of a fly with a leap from the bathroom windowsill to the top of the shower doors.  That's almost 6 feet, from a mostly sideways stance on the narrow sill & at a slight upward angle, to a 2.5 inch wide landing platform.  She not only nailed the landing, I'm pretty sure she did a 180o twist in mid-air.  Only pretty sure, because all I saw was the flying blur immediately prior to looking up into a pair of huge golden eyes.

I'm reasonably sure that, in her mind, it was only the waterfall which deterred the ferocious predator from instantly pouncing on the helpless prey!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on June 17, 2019, 06:07:58 PM
I'm going on a two week work trip and my friend who used to cat sit is moving, so I had to hire a petsitter for Victoria and Gus. I'm leaving them canned food, but I don't think that will be enough to thaw their feelings about strangers. I got Victoria Gus about a year ago because she is a terrible only cat and anxious about people. I had hoped that Gus would help Victoria be a little braver. Instead, Victoria seems to have taught Gus to hide.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 17, 2019, 08:44:13 PM
Of course, the real question might be, what do they get up to when they hide???

    |
    |_£}_
    I  o )
    Iv /
    I.  \
    I.    )
    I.    \

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on July 02, 2019, 07:40:20 AM
I am glad to see you, drbrt!  I was just asking a mutual acquaintance the other day if Victoria had had kittens.  Has she?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on July 02, 2019, 09:32:13 AM
I am glad to see you, drbrt!  I was just asking a mutual acquaintance the other day if Victoria had had kittens.  Has she?
Victoria has not. She’s not going into heat because I can’t get her weight up. She’s only 11 lbs, which is tiny for a rag doll. I have them free feeding on high quality dry and the canned food she will eat (friskies with cheez). She will also eat Tiki Cat but I can’t deal with cat food that looks back at me when I open the can.

So far the pet sitter reports that they are eating the canned food and cowering under the bed whilst The Scary Human refreshes food and litter box.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on July 02, 2019, 12:56:06 PM
Genuine scaredy cats!  You may be glad to know that Kitty and Princess are still doing well.  They are beautiful, as soft as clouds, and Princess bosses everyone around.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on July 02, 2019, 02:26:02 PM
Genuine scaredy cats!  You may be glad to know that Kitty and Princess are still doing well.  They are beautiful, as soft as clouds, and Princess bosses everyone around.

I’m glad to hear it. Princess has a definite sense of how she wants things.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: tuxedo_cat on July 07, 2019, 10:57:44 AM
Eigen -- thank you so much for restarting this thread!  And for taking the trouble to transfer my original post, that was awfully considerate of you : )

I have to say, I only just discovered the shuttering of the fora and I'm really heartbroken!  I had not been posting a lot recently, and also wasn't much in contact with a few of you that I know on fb, so I had no idea.  I really bummed that I didn't have a chance to say good-bye and to say thank you to so many people, especially those who have decided not to jump on over here.

I am using my original moniker, although with some sadness, because the original Tuxedo Cat passed away back in February.  I had posted with some questions for advice about food for him in light of his liver disease a bit earlier.  And Dangercat (whom I asked about in that very first post) passed away about a year and half ago.  I originally picked Tux as my moniker because he was such a good natured creature and got along with everyone––he seemed like a good example to follow.

Anyhow, I have found such kind company and wisdom in this community, so I am pledging to return to being a more regular poster now in our new home.  And I'm still finding out from fora folk IRL who put in the labor to recreate this site––which I am just very moved by!  If you all have any advice about where to post my thanks here and to whom, please let me know.

Finally, I did adopt a new kitty about a year and a half ago, although I don't think I've talked about her much.  Her name is Ella -- and she's a lovely creature.   She also has some personality -- I imagine there will be stories to post about her eventually!

In the meantime, I'm glad to see this particular corner of the fora reviving already : )
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Vhagar on July 07, 2019, 12:17:35 PM
Hey Tux! So sorry about the original Tuxedo Cat. Glad you have someone to keep you busy. That was important for me when I lost kitties.

I am now in Italy through the end of July (yay!!). A friend of mine who loves cats but can't have them where she is living is house/cat sitting. Lorenzo LOVES her. Henry thinks she's fine. Which, really, is a big step for Henry. She is trying to figure out why they cry to go into the garage just to sit on the car. There are things that I just don't question. I am so glad she is there, though. I don't know that I would have gone away so long otherwise.

Glad to see the cat-herding board up and running again!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 07, 2019, 12:33:29 PM
Tux!!! So very glad to see you.

My condolences for the loss of your kitties; a warm welcome to Ella (Fitzgerald)?

-=-=-=-

I can't have kitties in my present digs, but one of my students, knowing my proclivities, asked if I'd like to see the two 8-week-old rescue kitties they've just adopted.

Of course I said yes.

They're tiny, very cute, have perfect little triangular faces with wide, (seemingly) innocent eyes (of course, we all know better) and they're orange-and-tan marmalade tabbies with a purr sixteen times their size each.

She told me their names, I'm going to call them Darien and Julien here (close but not identical).

And...they were doing zoomies in the upstairs bedroom while she had her lesson.   

I'm in love.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: ktmkwk on July 09, 2019, 11:30:12 AM
Sorry to hear about Tux Cat but glad to hear Ella is doing.  We've added two devil kittens (Peik and Lasse) to our clan and they have really helped to bring our older cats, Charlie and Betty, out of their shells.  We always told Charlie we'd get him a kitten...instead he got two!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: fast_and_bulbous on July 09, 2019, 01:56:23 PM
Sorry to hear about Tux Cat

I totally read that as Tax Cut.

I am so sorry.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: ursula on July 13, 2019, 03:48:08 PM
Anyone have tips for helping a fat cat lose weight?  Jules has been declared "too fat" by the vet. 

We've switched to having many small bowls of food scattered through the house, so he has to hunt for them.  We're also adding in extra play time.

How have you dealt with your hefty felines?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on July 13, 2019, 06:46:42 PM
Anyone have tips for helping a fat cat lose weight?  Jules has been declared "too fat" by the vet. 

We've switched to having many small bowls of food scattered through the house, so he has to hunt for them.  We're also adding in extra play time.

How have you dealt with your hefty felines?

Twin got an automatic dry food dispenser on a timer for his portly felines. It helped some.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Conjugate on July 13, 2019, 07:19:22 PM
When I first moved to Current State, I had an elderly (~9 yr old) cat with me who'd been with me through jobs in three other states.  He was suffering from insecurity (in part due to open hostility from my (now, happily, ex-)wife) and would crawl up on my chest at night to ensure I wasn't going anywhere without taking him along.

When I got to Current State, I remarried to an excellent (sane!) woman who came with her own cat. This cat immediately let my cat know that my cat was HIS ROLE MODEL, and new cat wished to subscribe to my old cat's newsletter, so to speak. My cat tolerated this surprisingly well, and when he eventually passed away, my wife's cat decided that he was now Senior Cat With All Rights And Privileges Appertaining Thereto.

He now will climb up on my chest. The old cat would, when the door was opened, go outside a bit, bite some grass (not because he needed or wanted to, but just to show he could), and then calmly come back in.  My wife's cat now makes a habit of this. It's kind of funny.

He is black, with bits of white underfur showing through in a few places now. (He's 9 years old now; how time flies!) Since then, my wife has acquired two other cats, including a beautiful gray cat and a large, plump orange cat.  The latter came to us by sitting on a bale of pine straw that we were going to use for mulch. He blended in beautifully, and my wife at first could only tell that something was different about the bale of pine straw, before it moved. 

The orange cat was going to be an outside cat, we agreed, because our house would be crowded for three cats (we'd already acquired the gray cat at this point). We sat on the porch, getting to know our new boy, as a truck went by on the road near our door.  We played with him a bit as a motorcycle zoomed by the road near our door.  After two more cars and a large truck went by, we looked at each other.  No, he can't be an outdoor cat any more; it's too damn dangerous. So it's crowded, but mostly they get along okay.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on July 16, 2019, 09:41:06 AM
Hurry for acquiring new cats!  The new orange kitty must have been observing you and decided you would make acceptable staff :o)

My advice for slimming down a plump cat is to measure their food, know if they supplement their diet (begging treats from the other human/pretending they have not been fed to get second breakfast/sneaking human food/etc.), and encouraging more play.  That being said, I measured Buddycat's food for YEARS and he was determinedly plump for years.  I joked that I was feeding a cat that was "12 pounds of cat and 6 pounds of lazy" because feeding him less made him sleep more.  He only slimmed down when I moved somewhere with a large yard to explore.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: tuxedo_cat on July 16, 2019, 12:32:34 PM
Agreed on the "hurray for new cats" narratives!

I have two suggestions for trim down kitty plans:  one is to use a plastic kibble ball (https://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-SlimCat-Meal-Dispensing-Great-Treats/dp/B0018CE8LG/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=kibble+ball+cat&qid=1563304876&s=gateway&sr=8-3) which prevents a cat from bolting their food and perhaps allows them to feel full sooner?  I don't know if it's necessarily more fun for them that way or not. 

The other advice that I got from a vet was to eliminate all dry food entirely, since it was likely to be full of carbohydrates and to feed the cat an all-protein, wet food diet. I think my Dad used to be put on this diet occasionally by his doctor, probably some version of the Atkins.

That advice obviously contradicts, but I guess you could see if either of those works!

For exercise, perhaps having some kind of cat tree would help on the exercise front, since the cat would using his own body weight going up which would require more exertion?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: miss jane marple on July 16, 2019, 01:19:10 PM
The other advice that I got from a vet was to eliminate all dry food entirely, since it was likely to be full of carbohydrates and to feed the cat an all-protein, wet food diet. I think my Dad used to be put on this diet occasionally by his doctor, probably some version of the Atkins.

I adopted now 7 year old Ms. Tortie last August out of a cage at Petsmart. She looked like a soccer ball ready to explode and weighed 13 pounds. I've gradually learned that her weight was probably due to a combination of factors including the boredom of being confined, inappropriate diet before going to the shelter, and an old mobility problem/injury (pelvis or lower spine). She doesn't climb or play as one would expect for a cat her age. I came to the same conclusion as in the quote about dry carbohydrates vs wet food that's mostly water after reading pet food labels, and was surprised I hadn't known this before. She ate wet food twice a day with only a few bits (maybe half a teaspoon per day) of dry for about 7 months. Now she gets wet food twice a day and has a small amount of dry food in a dish 24/7 - she only nibbles at it a few minutes each day. Interestingly, she has been a picky eater, not the glutton one might expect. Many times I bought the "value packs" of 12 or 18 cans and had to give most of it away because after one or two cans she decided BLECH.

I also tried to increase her exercise, with limited success. She has visibly lost weight and gained strength and mobility over the past 11 months, although she is still overweight. Now she can do things like raise a hind leg toward her head and lick the ankle (cat yoga) or turn completely from one side to the other when rolling on the carpet without squeaking in discomfort. Her profile now includes visible legs all the way to the elbow/upper thigh. Adopting Mr. Tuxedo (15 years old and agile as a kitten, he jumps everywhere) in March as a playmate for Ms. Tortie did not work at all to increase her exercise, but I'm enjoying his company - he's the sweetest, snuggliest cat I've ever met. She has only recently stopped hissing and growling at him after 4 months. I'm not a very good toy animator, evidently. I can't hold the attention of either cat with feathers/strings on a stick for more than a minute.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: ktmkwk on July 16, 2019, 01:20:24 PM
Slimming down cats--if you have the room and motivation, kittens can help a lot.  Charlie, who is a large cat by frame, has lost two pounds in the last year due to chasing, being chased, and wrestling with the devil boys.  He now looks positively svelte, although he still weighs 18 lbs, but is 42 inches from nose to tail--as I said he is a big boy.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on July 16, 2019, 01:26:30 PM
I’m having cat drama. Gus has decided that he likes to pee on the bed to punish me for traveling and is banished from the bedroom.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on July 17, 2019, 11:31:08 AM
I’m having cat drama. Gus has decided that he likes to pee on the bed to punish me for traveling and is banished from the bedroom.

Ewww!  So glad that none of my cats is a revenge pee-er/puker/etc.  Buddycat did poop in my ex's shoes after the ex shoved Buddycat off the bed. 
Gus will have to re-earn the privilege of being in your bedroom.  Any good recommendations for products to clean up the mess?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Conjugate on July 17, 2019, 04:45:51 PM
I’m having cat drama. Gus has decided that he likes to pee on the bed to punish me for traveling and is banished from the bedroom.

Ewww!  So glad that none of my cats is a revenge pee-er/puker/etc.  Buddycat did poop in my ex's shoes after the ex shoved Buddycat off the bed. 
Gus will have to re-earn the privilege of being in your bedroom.  Any good recommendations for products to clean up the mess?

Cleanup recommendations: The aptly-named Nature's Miracle is good. I was recommended Feliway diffusers back in The Old Fora, and they prevented conflicts (I think) as I introduced two of them. They aren't cleaners, but may prevent the kind of conflicts that lead to the need to clean up.

Now, with regard to soft vs. hard (dry) foods, the soft food might be good for weight control, but according to my vet, may lead to tooth decay. Consult your vet about suggested tooth cleaning.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on July 18, 2019, 11:19:00 AM
The hard vs. soft food and tooth health does assume that your cat will actually chew the hard kibble.  Buddycat thought chewing was entirely optional.  He was happily gumming down dry food after most of his back teeth fell out.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: KafkasCat on July 21, 2019, 08:58:31 AM
Any tips on moving with cats? Multiple cats, long time in the car. I've been thinking that getting some kitty-equivalent of valium from the vet might be the kind thing to do. Also, how do I let them go to the bathroom? NOT looking forward to this move. Neither are they, although they are excited about all the boxes.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: ursula on July 21, 2019, 09:04:54 AM
Any tips on moving with cats? Multiple cats, long time in the car. I've been thinking that getting some kitty-equivalent of valium from the vet might be the kind thing to do. Also, how do I let them go to the bathroom? NOT looking forward to this move. Neither are they, although they are excited about all the boxes.

Following, because we'll be doing this in a few years.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 21, 2019, 09:54:35 AM
There are lots of discussions of moving cats (as opposed to herding them) on the old forum's cats' thread.

I can't link to it right now but if someone else can, it would be worth a re-read, I suspect.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: KafkasCat on July 21, 2019, 10:25:39 AM
Thanks, mamselle! I'll see if I can find the threads and if I do, I'll link them.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: tuxedo_cat on July 21, 2019, 12:25:13 PM
Any tips on moving with cats? Multiple cats, long time in the car. I've been thinking that getting some kitty-equivalent of valium from the vet might be the kind thing to do. Also, how do I let them go to the bathroom? NOT looking forward to this move. Neither are they, although they are excited about all the boxes.

I was going to post a similar request for advice, but instead about taking a cat on a plane, which is a new sort of challenge for me.

Here's how I handled driving with two cats in a rather small (2-door) Honda Civic:  each cat had their own carrier with a pet bed, and I also packed a litter box with some kind of cover, or housed in a large enough cardboard box to allow the cats to crawl in and use the litter.  I also put a small pet harness on each cat (ones designed for toy dogs) -- they didn't like it, but it didn't hurt them.

After a few hours on the road, I parked someplace shady and I would let one of the cats out of a carrier into the car so that she could have access to the litter.  I might take that time to go find a restroom myself, get some fast food.  If the cat needed to use the litter she would find it and do her business.  If not then, ok. 

The tricky part was getting the cat back into her carrier after that.  This is where the harnesses are helpful, especially if the cat decides to burrow her way under one of the front seats -- this just gives you something to grab onto.  I think with one Houdini cat who I was worried might try to bolt from the car, I also attached a long leash to the harness, but none of them ever escaped from the car.

The fluffy pet beds are helpful because if the cat doesn't make it to her litter in time, at least you don't have cat pee sloshing around in the carrier and possibly all over the car.  You just have a very angry, pee-covered cat to bathe once you get to your destination 😃  But I had two cats who were on the road with me once for 8 hours and they just waited until we got to the destination.

I honestly don't quite know what I'm going to do with taking the cat onto the plane and then, I guess a Lyft car.  The flight, fortunately, isn't that long, so I'm hoping she'll be ok until we get to my new apt.  I'm planning to mail myself a small litter box and some litter that will be waiting for me when I arrive.  That's about all I've got figured out for the moment!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on July 21, 2019, 04:25:07 PM
I moved cats 1,000 miles twice. I had them in harnesses on leashes clipped to a loop on their carrier. The carriers were belted to the backseat. The litterbox was on the floor. I like the cardboard box idea. I had old clothing sprayed with Feliway in the carriers. I used cat valium the first move, but one of my cats turned out to be a howler, so that only lasted a day. I moved in a Toyota Corolla both times.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: KafkasCat on July 22, 2019, 07:23:56 AM
I found the old fora thread on moving cats: https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,34002.0.html (https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,34002.0.html)
Also, apparently there are pet moving companies that will do this for you. I might have to talk to Mr.Kafkascat about this, since we're also moving with dogs. In small car. Oy.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: KafkasCat on July 22, 2019, 07:36:51 AM
And another old thread on moving with cats:https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,19886.0.html (https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,19886.0.html)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 22, 2019, 10:42:17 AM
Yea, thanks!

When I'm on my phone, I can't copy and paste stuff.

Glad they turned up!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Conjugate on July 25, 2019, 06:25:01 AM
Big hint: Line the bottom of the cat carriers with absorbent pet pads. If/when there is fluid, it will make clean-up possible with a minimum of grief.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on July 26, 2019, 09:44:23 AM
Sir Puck and Lady Jane just turned 2!  Can I still call them my "kittens"?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 26, 2019, 05:33:53 PM
Sure.

Mine were "kittens" (and all sorts of other silly names engendered in their early years) all their lives.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on July 26, 2019, 06:17:18 PM
I still call Demonbeast a kitten and she's almost six
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on July 28, 2019, 09:24:54 AM
One critical thing for travel with cats who are allowed out of their carriers:  if you have electric windows, be sure to use the child safety button to shut all but yours off!  I learned this without anything bad happening - except to my blood pressure.  Also, it's less stressful to have them in their carriers if you have to leave the car.  Otherwise, getting back in has the potential to be exciting.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: 0susanna on July 29, 2019, 08:54:10 AM
Sir Puck and Lady Jane just turned 2!  Can I still call them my "kittens"?
My 2-year-old cat spent 5 minutes chasing her tail the other night, so that surely qualifies her as still "kitten."
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 16, 2019, 02:54:51 PM
The cats have characterized most of the invertebrates in my yard:
Fun to play with, but not to eat: pillbugs, giant beetle larvae, bees, leafhoppers, worms, scarab beetles
Tasty, and easy to catch: houseflies
Endless fun and tasty: grasshoppers
Ignore: ants, butterflies
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 26, 2019, 01:36:32 PM
Effie cat is in the hospital for 24 hours of treatment.  He is vomiting a LOT, stopped eating, stopped grooming, hiding in odd places in the house, generally listless.  But no fever and his blood work came back pretty normal.  An x-ray found a "round, dense mass" that they think is in his intestine, but not large enough to cause a blockage.  He doesn't eat random stuff so I have no idea what it could be.
He's getting an abdominal ultrasound to get a better look at his GI tract, kidneys, etc.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on August 26, 2019, 02:46:11 PM
Oh, no. Poor kitty.

They don't like being sick.

(Well, nobeing does).

I hope the blockage can be cleared.

Perhaps a swallowed hair ribbon, or somesuch?

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 26, 2019, 03:16:55 PM
Oh, no. Poor kitty.

They don't like being sick.

(Well, nobeing does).

I hope the blockage can be cleared.

Perhaps a swallowed hair ribbon, or somesuch?

M.

The vet said the object is dense and shows up white on the x-ray.  Maybe a small rock?  The vet last night seemed convinced that this unidentified "mass" is causing the issues.  Vet this morning is more worried about inflamed bowels.  I know it's a long-shot, but I'm wondering if it's a trichobezoar (calcified hairball)? 
If we have to get the mass removed, I want to keep it.  Most expensive "whatever it is" and we still don't know exactly where it is or what it is.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on August 29, 2019, 07:38:30 AM
This past Sunday, we rescued an injured kitten on the side of the highway.  Vet says her pelvis has a fracture and she needs about 4 weeks to heal.  So we have taken her in.  She is feral and the vet thinks she is around 4 weeks old. During the day when no one is at home, we have her in a large cage.  When we are home, we let her out of the cage but keep her in a small room.  She still hisses at us whenever someone enters the room.  She does not scratch or bite though.  She eats very well and uses the liter box fine.  Our game plan is to get her as domesticated as we can so that we can get her into the Humane Society for adoption.    I could use some advice on how to get her more domesticated.   
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 29, 2019, 11:25:08 AM
This past Sunday, we rescued an injured kitten on the side of the highway.  Vet says her pelvis has a fracture and she needs about 4 weeks to heal.  So we have taken her in.  She is feral and the vet thinks she is around 4 weeks old. During the day when no one is at home, we have her in a large cage.  When we are home, we let her out of the cage but keep her in a small room.  She still hisses at us whenever someone enters the room.  She does not scratch or bite though.  She eats very well and uses the liter box fine.  Our game plan is to get her as domesticated as we can so that we can get her into the Humane Society for adoption.    I could use some advice on how to get her more domesticated.   

You can start by just quietly spending time in her room.  Sit nearby and read aloud so she gets used to the sound of people without getting too scared.  If there is a food she really likes, see if she's willing to eat near you.  If it's not too scary for her, try some toys like a ribbon on a stick or a long shoelace.  Poor little kitty will need time to heal and get used to people.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on August 29, 2019, 12:03:25 PM
This past Sunday, we rescued an injured kitten on the side of the highway.  Vet says her pelvis has a fracture and she needs about 4 weeks to heal.  So we have taken her in.  She is feral and the vet thinks she is around 4 weeks old. During the day when no one is at home, we have her in a large cage.  When we are home, we let her out of the cage but keep her in a small room.  She still hisses at us whenever someone enters the room.  She does not scratch or bite though.  She eats very well and uses the liter box fine.  Our game plan is to get her as domesticated as we can so that we can get her into the Humane Society for adoption.    I could use some advice on how to get her more domesticated.   

You can start by just quietly spending time in her room.  Sit nearby and read aloud so she gets used to the sound of people without getting too scared.  If there is a food she really likes, see if she's willing to eat near you.  If it's not too scary for her, try some toys like a ribbon on a stick or a long shoelace.  Poor little kitty will need time to heal and get used to people.

Four weeks is really young, so there's a high probability that you can tame her demonstrate all the benefits of having a devoted cat servant.  The lack of scratching & biting, and quickly learning to use the litter box, are all positive signs.  So, as t_g suggested, let her get used to you as a calm presence who provides good food (try human-quality canned fish....).  Since she seems able to be active you can provide toy mice or jingle balls, although I wouldn't leave ribbons or laces unattended - cats are too likely to start chewing, which leads to swallowing and that leads to trouble.  Once she's willing to come in contact with you add gentle pats/strokes/chin skritches and you should soon be able to cuddle her and hopefully to pick her up.



<quietly places a $5 bet that the_geneticist has just acquired another cat>
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mythbuster on August 29, 2019, 03:05:46 PM
I agree this one will worm its way into your heart. When they are that itty bitty its hard to resist. My dear departed PlumpCat started out so small you could hold her in one hand. It was truly adorable. But she never got over having been undernourished as a kitten, so she overcompensated, thus becoming PlumpCat.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on August 30, 2019, 05:28:09 AM

<quietly places a $5 bet that the_geneticist has just acquired another cat>

Oops!  Internet conversation fail...  I meant to bet that Volhiker was going to adopt kitten.

Mythbuster, I've had a similar experience, although it was the premature weaning that carried over into adulthood.  The pretend nursing didn't last long, but the need to knead - especially on mornings when I didn't have time for a 20 minute cuddle - did.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on August 30, 2019, 11:19:08 AM
I wouldn't say ignore the hissing, because you do want to respect signs from a cat that they want you to back off, but I would say don't let it make you leave the room, or, if she's hissing because you're taking her water bowl to refill it or her litter pan to clean it, don't stop doing those things. I usually talk back to our more feral kittens at the shelter: "Uh huh. Tell me more!" and then just keep doing whatever it is I need to do. We often sit with frightened or less socialized cats, talking to them, offering treats, offering toys, but mostly just keeping them company for a while, letting them get used to us. Any attempt on their part to engage with us is met with elaborate praise and offers of treats, similar to when one is toilet training a small human. It really just takes time.

Kittens also will use their claws without thinking about it -- adult cats only use them when they need to. So she may put her claws out for balance when climbing on you, or if she gets startled, and that's not because she's trying to hurt you or she necessarily wants you to go away. She also might start chewing on you in an attempt to play or out of curiosity. I had a 2 month old kitten gnawing on my hand the entire time I was changing out the paper in her cage yesterday. She thought this was the best game ever. I was not quite as amused.

Speaking of shelter cats, if you could spare a few prayers for my shelter's little cat Charlie, who is not doing well despite everyone's best efforts (yesterday the vet gave him fluids and one of the volunteers hand fed him cat food, and some of the other volunteers and I wiped him clean and got him warm blankets), I'd appreciate it. He's a very good boy and he's only a year old. We're not giving up on him, but he's so fragile right now.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on August 30, 2019, 05:52:10 PM
Thanks everyone.  Little One is healing well and is walking better now. She still hisses when we enter the room but will let us hold her for short periods.  I mainly just hang out in the room and talk to her.

We have fostered kittens for our Humane Society several times so we know it is hard to give them up.  Never fostered an injured feral so this is new.  No, I wouldn’t take that bet. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on August 30, 2019, 06:32:22 PM
Well, if you're going to foster fail, it might as well be with this one...

Slightly good news: the Head Cat Whisperer at the shelter has taken Charlie home for a TLC-filled long weekend. Hopefully that will help him some, or, well, if it doesn't, someone will be with him all the time.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on August 31, 2019, 11:55:28 AM
Little Cat sits by me and "helps" while I'm at my desk. This frequently involves conning me into giving her treats. (She has me trained.)

Yesterday she was playing with her Snacky Mouse, batting it around to get the treats to fall out. It got very quiet, and when I looked to see why, she was sitting there with a forlorn expression:  she batted it and its head fell off. I guess she thought she killed it.

(I put the head back on, and all was well again.)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on August 31, 2019, 07:14:49 PM
Well, if you're going to foster fail, it might as well be with this one...

Slightly good news: the Head Cat Whisperer at the shelter has taken Charlie home for a TLC-filled long weekend. Hopefully that will help him some, or, well, if it doesn't, someone will be with him all the time.

Prayers and good thoughts you have--Charlie, the cat-whisperer, and all others who care for him (pun well-intended).

Also skritches, if he wants them...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on September 01, 2019, 06:56:29 AM
Even better news as of yesterday: someone who met Charlie earlier in the month has approached the shelter about adopting him. He will come back to the shelter on Wednesday to see the vet and then perhaps he will go home with this lovely woman who said "yes, I would like this ten year old blind cat who may need regular sub-q fluids and to be hand fed his cat food" instead of wanting one of the thirty kittens or forty healthier and/or younger adult cats that we currently have.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on September 06, 2019, 03:52:28 AM
Charlie went home yesterday and is doing very well with his new human, according to the Head Cat Whisperer. We are all pleased. I hope to not see him again unless he is visiting for a vet checkup.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 06, 2019, 08:40:46 AM
Yea!

Happy sequel to his story.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on September 11, 2019, 05:25:05 AM
As I was making dinner a few weeks ago one of our cats wandered into the kitchen, flopped down, and stretched out. When she got up there was a pretty good amount of blood there on the floor. Turns out she had an inch and a half long slice behind her front left leg. She seemed pretty nonchalant about it considering she was bleeding everywhere.

It was a Sunday so off to animal emergency room we go for the next four hours. Three stitches, 400 bucks, and two weeks stuck in the cone of shame because she couldn't leave the wound alone. All of our cats are indoors only so we still don't know how she managed to cut herself like that.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 11, 2019, 08:06:45 AM
Awww..sorry for the mean Cone of Shame, but glad you caught it in time!

A jagged edge somewhere? Even a sharp piece of cardstock, hit while jumping up or down, might have torn the skin....

Poor kitty (and poor you in the pecuniary sense!)

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: 0susanna on September 11, 2019, 12:13:08 PM
As I was making dinner a few weeks ago one of our cats wandered into the kitchen, flopped down, and stretched out. When she got up there was a pretty good amount of blood there on the floor. Turns out she had an inch and a half long slice behind her front left leg. She seemed pretty nonchalant about it considering she was bleeding everywhere.

It was a Sunday so off to animal emergency room we go for the next four hours. Three stitches, 400 bucks, and two weeks stuck in the cone of shame because she couldn't leave the wound alone. All of our cats are indoors only so we still don't know how she managed to cut herself like that.
Of course it was a Sunday. How do they always manage to wait until the weekend to manifest mysterious wounds, collywobbles, or other emergency ailments? But of course, care is necessary.
I hope she's healing well.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on September 12, 2019, 09:27:14 AM
Children are exactly the same!  I cannot count the number of Friday nights I spent in the ER with our asthmatic offspring because they got sick at the very moment our GP was herding his family onto a plane for a visit to Jamaica.  It is similar to the start-wheezing signal that is triggered as soon as Mom puts her head on the pillow.  If we could figure out what causes it, we might be able to stop it!

the_geneticist--do you have any updates?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on September 16, 2019, 05:01:13 AM
Yes, it is undoubtedly a mystery as to the timing. The last time we had to take a kitty into the emergency was when my wife and I were out on vacation and my sister was house sitting.

Sushi is healing well, thank you. She is sweet but kinda dim, my guess is she wedged herself behind something and got caught. It was a pretty deep cut though the edges of the wound were really clean so who knows.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 16, 2019, 07:12:57 AM
It is very hard to teach a good but clinically hyperactive 12-year-old boy his piano lesso when his two adorable 3-month-old marmalade tabbies are having a case of the zoomies around your feet.

That is all...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on September 17, 2019, 05:13:36 PM
One of my favorite shelter cats, Squish (a favorite in part because he reminded me in appearance and temperament of Brucey), has finally gotten adopted after many months with us. I will miss his cranky meows every time I dared to spend time with another cat, but I'm so glad he has a home now.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 18, 2019, 11:18:24 AM
After a year and a half of training Elektra to give head-butts by using treats as reinforcement, she has finally got it.

Now, she won't stop.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on September 23, 2019, 11:18:55 AM
Children are exactly the same!  I cannot count the number of Friday nights I spent in the ER with our asthmatic offspring because they got sick at the very moment our GP was herding his family onto a plane for a visit to Jamaica.  It is similar to the start-wheezing signal that is triggered as soon as Mom puts her head on the pillow.  If we could figure out what causes it, we might be able to stop it!

the_geneticist--do you have any updates?

Final diagnosis for Effie cat: bleeding stomach ulcer.  Turns out there wasn't a mass (first vet apparently didn't know how to read an X-ray).  So, after the most expensive week ever, Effie came home.  He's back to his usual self!  He's missing a bunch of fur - they were very enthusiastic with the clippers for the EKG, IVs, blood pressure cuff, etc.  Still needs some followup care since there is concern he might have "irritable bowel" as well. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 23, 2019, 12:14:28 PM
We are trying to adopt another kitten.

It is mindnumbingly frustrating.  We found the perfect kitten yesterday, but were not allowed to have it b/c the foster family determined (how?) that only kids 10 and up would be suitable.  Smolt is 7 1/2, has had cats her entire life and shares in all the work (feeding, water, litter boxes), but is not old enough.  So, no kitten.

MrsFishProf has spent hours doing online background check form filling.

Maddening.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 23, 2019, 03:30:11 PM
And when a 10-year-old turns up, they'll decide the child needs to be 12.

Some fosters get very attached...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on September 23, 2019, 05:09:14 PM
Well friends, the time has come to bring a cat back into my life. A few of you may recall that I lost my beloved 14 year old tabby to cancer this past February. I was tempted to get another cat right away, but wisely decided to wait since I was planning to shop for a house and had a lot of spring, summer and early fall travel. Now the house has been bought and moved into and I just got back from my last trip until December so it is time to look at kittens!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: professor_pat on September 23, 2019, 07:35:37 PM
Oh boy, Puget, congrats on the move and how exciting about the kittens! There's not a much more fun time than starting a new kitten project.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on September 26, 2019, 06:50:12 AM
Well friends, the time has come to bring a cat back into my life. A few of you may recall that I lost my beloved 14 year old tabby to cancer this past February. I was tempted to get another cat right away, but wisely decided to wait since I was planning to shop for a house and had a lot of spring, summer and early fall travel. Now the house has been bought and moved into and I just got back from my last trip until December so it is time to look at kittens!

Great news!

We had to put down our 15 year old Maine coon in May.  Five weeks ago, we rescued a feral kitten which was injured by the side of the highway.  Little One is doing very well.  She no longer limps, is playful and best of all, has taken well to our entire family.  Even our 2 year old tuxedo cat has given in and the two cats play together reasonably well.  We decided last week to keep her - need to get her to a vet this weekend. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 26, 2019, 09:29:39 AM
Awww,.....good news!!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on September 27, 2019, 05:14:55 AM
Hooray for new kitties! When we adopted our last from the Humane Society here in town they did come for a home visit before we were allowed to adopt but it wasn't super-intense or anything. We would adopt another rescue but we're already at 5 cats and I struggle to keep up with the litter boxes. Plus now we have one cat that doesn't get along well with one of our others so I'd rather not add another complication.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 29, 2019, 07:08:17 AM
We are still new-kitty-less.  We went to a shelter and saw 5 kittens yesterday, all varying states of cuteness.  But none quite squee-inducing.

So the search continues.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on September 29, 2019, 07:22:32 AM
We are still new-kitty-less.  We went to a shelter and saw 5 kittens yesterday, all varying states of cuteness.  But none quite squee-inducing.

So the search continues.

Your self-control is awesome!  I can't do things like that because I'd come home with at least one.

Also - congrats, Volhiker!  I'm so pleased that my predicted foster-fail worked out for you & kitten!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: 0susanna on September 30, 2019, 08:35:12 AM
Although I have two perfectly good cats and really don't need a third (shh!), I get excited when other people are looking for new cats/kittens. Good luck to all of you. My junior cat was a tiny, sickly baby at the local shelter just over two years ago, but now she rules the house.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on September 30, 2019, 04:03:51 PM
I don't have that sort of self-control either.

I saw a kitten with the most unusual fur at the shelter this weekend.  He was a tuxedo with a super fluffy gray undercoat.  Never seen anything like it!  And he had the most adorable raspy meow. 
But three cats is my limit.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 30, 2019, 04:05:52 PM
Send a picture to FishProf?

;--}

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on October 02, 2019, 09:00:51 AM
Looks like "Snickers", the fluffy tuxedo kitten, found himself some human staff and has been adopted!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on October 05, 2019, 07:15:36 PM
Well friends, the time has come to bring a cat back into my life. A few of you may recall that I lost my beloved 14 year old tabby to cancer this past February. I was tempted to get another cat right away, but wisely decided to wait since I was planning to shop for a house and had a lot of spring, summer and early fall travel. Now the house has been bought and moved into and I just got back from my last trip until December so it is time to look at kittens!

I now have a brother-sister pair of 4.5-month olds running around the house!  She's a dilute calico and he's all grey except for a small white chest patch. They are damn cute and I'm so glad to have cats back in my life.

I met them last Sunday and their fosterers dropped them off yesterday evening. They had been separated in different rooms in the foster home after getting fixed and they were doing this elaborate weeks- long reintroduction plan they thought was necessary because one hissed at the other when they first put them back together and the rescue group's "animal behaviorist" (who signs her emails with Ed.D. so. . .) insisted it was necessary. I was supposed to put them in separate rooms and keep following the plan. Right-- that lasted through about half an hour of them crying in their rooms, then i opened both doors. There was a little hissing, a lot of sniffing, and then they were off, exploring all over the house together. Today they've been grooming each other and sleeping together in between endless games of hide and seek and chase.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Ruralguy on October 06, 2019, 08:20:04 AM
All this stuff about cute cats makes me fell like a bad person for not wanting a new critter after the last of our 4 cats leaves the planet. We are down to the sole  survivor, almost 15 and the only cat that has never been ill.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on October 06, 2019, 08:52:47 AM
Congratulations, Puget!  That "behaviorist" sounds like a nightmare.

Ruralguy, don't beat yourself up about not wanting another animal.  You've done your share of being a good provider - you can take a break without guilt.  I've often felt the same but haven't made the transition yet.  Not having pets makes things like travel so much easier.  It keeps you from worrying about what could happen to them if something unexpected happened to you.  Etc.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on October 06, 2019, 10:17:57 AM
Congratulations, Puget!  That "behaviorist" sounds like a nightmare.

I'm sure she's well-intentioned and I can imagine something like that being necessary for introducing two adult cats who are strangers, but these are kitten sibs who just spent a little time apart. I may study humans and not animals, but it seemed pretty obvious to me that prolonging the separation and having them establish their own territories in the new house was the wrong way to go.

Right now they're sharing a chair and he's washing her head.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 06, 2019, 10:48:55 AM
Right now they're sharing a chair and he's washing her head.
[/quote]

Squee!  Kittens! Kittens cuddling with eachother are the best.  When we adopted Ninja and Ricochet-the-Squirrelly-Tortie as litter mates 4 years ago, they played together constantly and slept curled up together (my favorite picture is of them attempting to demonstrate the yin-yang symbol in a laundry basket), but now they mostly ignore each other. 

We would like to add another kitty to the household now that we own rather than rent, but Ricochet has not yet figured out human-feline interactions, and we are concerned another cat may disrupt her slow progress.  We think Ninja would likely ignore a newcomer as long as they agreed that she is queen.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on October 06, 2019, 04:43:15 PM
We finally got a 3rd cat to help fill the void since Bunga the King passed in February.  So the Thundercat sisters now have a little brother (but not little for long, he part coon).  They are highly displeased, but are avoiding rather than attacking.  I can work with that.

Joy to all the new cat owners as well.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on October 11, 2019, 09:55:37 AM
All these new kitties made me dream about adding another to my household.  Until, that is, I realized that I have quite enough excitement already.

Recent examples include:  older cat stalking a squirrel across two neighbors' yards and then chasing it into the street; younger cat figuring out how to leap onto the top of the tall bookcase in order to lean down and swat two rolls of garden twine off of the top-most shelf - where I'd put them to keep them out of her reach b/c she's already had to be saved from choking on dental floss; frantically trying to find older cat this morning after three large husky-shepherd mixes managed to get out and take themselves for a run around the neighborhood; tripping over younger cat in the middle of the hall at night b/c she either doesn't seem able to learn to move away from feet or is actively trying to wind around them.

Nope - I think it's best if I just vicariously enjoy the new Fora cats!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on November 02, 2019, 09:02:44 PM
My partner's friend's two cats were poisoned with antifreeze. Both died today. It seems highly likely her neighbour did it--at least in part because they leave paw prints on the car after it's been washed.

It makes me so. Angry. Like, apoplectic with rage. I just can't even.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on November 03, 2019, 08:12:56 AM
My partner's friend's two cats were poisoned with antifreeze. Both died today. It seems highly likely her neighbour did it--at least in part because they leave paw prints on the car after it's been washed.

It makes me so. Angry. Like, apoplectic with rage. I just can't even.
I have no words - people like that are a waste of oxygen.  A police report needs to be made and all the neighbors interviewed.  Even if proof can't be found it starts to build a paper trail and may stop the behavior b/c if they get away with it once, they'll do it again.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: backatit on November 03, 2019, 11:06:53 AM
We are fostering 3 kittens. UGH. We have a full house already. Fish_Prof, we would have been happy to have you take one of these little daemons off our hands - one just climbed up my leg (note that I am not wearing long pants) and onto my shoulder. They have been through diarrhea, constipation, diarrhea again, and are now hopefully out of THAT bottlefeeding fun part (they are weaned and using the litterbox -yeah!). I am ready to have them gone, though - I forget how much I love our adult cats. Our daughter (who lives in another state) has a teenage cat and she is constantly cackling to me about the kittens - hers is into curtains and cords these days, so her house looks like an overactive toddler with a a climbing problem lives there.

When will it end? (rhetorical question - I've fostered animals and had cats and dogs my whole life, but I can clearly tell I'm getting too old for this ish).
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on November 03, 2019, 06:54:16 PM
Thanks.  But we managed to find a beautiful (if shy) purr machine.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on November 03, 2019, 08:40:38 PM
My partner's friend's two cats were poisoned with antifreeze. Both died today. It seems highly likely her neighbour did it--at least in part because they leave paw prints on the car after it's been washed.

It makes me so. Angry. Like, apoplectic with rage. I just can't even.
I have no words - people like that are a waste of oxygen.  A police report needs to be made and all the neighbors interviewed.  Even if proof can't be found it starts to build a paper trail and may stop the behavior b/c if they get away with it once, they'll do it again.

I agree. Report it.

Condolences to your friends and their neighbors. The loss of smallfurryfriends over a few pawprints on a car is beyond reckoning.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on November 04, 2019, 07:13:03 AM
Chime to condolences and anger and I hope the person who did that pays the price. 

I'm fighting tears this morning because things are not looking good for StatDad's kitty (my furry little "sister").  Never lived with her full-time, but I still love her like one of my own.  And I'm a 4 hour drive away and won't even get to say goodbye or be there for StatDad. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on November 04, 2019, 08:53:46 AM
Chime to condolences and anger and I hope the person who did that pays the price. 

I'm fighting tears this morning because things are not looking good for StatDad's kitty (my furry little "sister").  Never lived with her full-time, but I still love her like one of my own.  And I'm a 4 hour drive away and won't even get to say goodbye or be there for StatDad.

Oh no, I'm so sorry. :(
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Scatmanblues on November 04, 2019, 07:23:53 PM
Wow, I almost missed the transition to this place entirely.  Knew it was coming, but got so busy I am just now checking back in.  I think it fitting my first post here is about the cat that inspired me to make my first post on the old fora so many years ago.

I'm sad to report that I lost Scatcat a bit over a month ago at 19yrs, 10 months old.  He almost made it to 20 after a kittenhood licking of antifreeze that left his stomach so sensitive I had to buy him special food for 18 years (15 years longer than his vet thought he would make it with that kind of internal damage).  By the end he was totally deaf, mostly blind, visibly slow, but still able to strike fear and cowering in my two 80+ pound dogs.  He passed in his sleep, in one of his favorite spots, while the dogs were at the kennel and I was out of town.  I am so thankful I didn't have to make the choice, and it was fully in line with his "I will do things only on my terms" life. 

I got him less than a week before I began my professional career, and he had been with me through a public school teaching gig, a toxic grad school culture, an almost equally toxic early-faculty experience, and now into my post-tenure stride.  It was a severely disconcerting feeling to walk into the office on the Monday after and realize for the very first time as an academic, he would not be greeting me at the door that night when I came home. 

I still don't sleep as well, because -from the day I got him- he slept at my head.  That is an absence acutely felt. 

Strikingly, Scatkitty (who is now almost 9!) has turned into a completely different cat.  Where before, he barely tolerated petting and scritches and preferred roughhouse play with me and the dogs (he weighs 21 pounds, so can hold his own); he now jumps into my lap every night and purrs.  He still gets the zoomies and is a high-energy cat, but since Scatcat passed, he spends at least 30 minutes a night laying on me and demanding pets and attention.  He also stays in much closer proximity to me that he used to.  He has even moved from sleeping at my feet at night to laying behind me near my shoulder. 

I'm still trying to decide if I want another cat.  I thought so, but the shift in Scatkitty's behavior threw me for a loop and I'm trying to decide if it means he is liking being an only cat and enjoys the undivided attention, or it he is showing his loneliness as well.  Every cat I've owned has found me, so I'm sure the universe will arrange a replacement when the time is right....

Scatmanblues
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on November 04, 2019, 07:30:37 PM
I'm so sorry, Scatmanblues. But that's also a wonderful and heart-warming story (the antifreeze component is especially apt).
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Biblioeclectica on November 05, 2019, 05:58:27 AM
Condolences to Scatmanblues. Sounds like he was a wonderful cat.

My 17 year old cat has been declining for a while (she's skin and bones), but now I don't expect her to make it through the week - probable congestive heart failure. She was stable this morning but that could change at any point. It was hard to go to work this morning. My parents are checking on her periodically and if things take a turn for the worse I'll head home.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on November 05, 2019, 02:14:25 PM
My sympathies in advance.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on January 02, 2020, 02:52:54 PM
We got a kitten!  I wasn't planning to adopt another cat, but I was volunteering at the animal shelter and fell in love with a tuxedo kitten with super long whiskers.
Her name is Izzy.  I'll post pictures once I find my photobucket account.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on January 02, 2020, 04:19:23 PM
That's a great way to start the New Year!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on January 04, 2020, 08:58:46 AM
We're waiting for the hospice vet for Little Boy.  Adopted him and Little Girl (RIP 10/2017) in 2000. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on January 04, 2020, 10:39:35 AM
So sorry, Statsgeek.  My thoughts are with you.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: San Joaquin on January 04, 2020, 04:45:00 PM
Sorry to hear this, statsgeek.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on January 05, 2020, 06:08:26 AM
So for the first time in almost 20 years of marriage, StatSpouse and I are cat-less.  We came home last night and got up this morning to no kitty to greet us, no food bowls, no litter boxes...

Even though Little Boy never gave us a clear indication, I'm comforted by peace that we did the right thing at the right time, and in the right way.  Since Little Boy could be scared and aggressive with strangers and especially with the vet, and at the recommendation of our regular doctor, we doped him up before the hospice doctor even arrived.  I don't think he ever knew there was a stranger in the house.  He slept on StatSpouse's lap, nose buried in his favorite blanket, through the consultation, decision-making, and sedative and then just drifted away.  He won't have to experience the steady decline and possible emergency that was his prognosis if we had delayed. 

I'm also comforted by many things I'm taking to be signs of support from above.  There was a break in the rain and even a beam of sunlight on us as we buried him yesterday afternoon, and I found out later there was also a rainbow (the bridge?) in the neighborhood.  "His" herd of deer that he loved to watch through the window stopped by the yard, not ten minutes after we went inside.  One even went right up to his grave.  And, of course, I'm comforted by sharing this grief with StatSpouse and by the family, friends, and professionals (we have the best vet ever) who have supported us along this journey. 

We'll adopt again. I can't imagine having a house with no kitty for too long. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on January 05, 2020, 07:49:56 AM
Very sorry for your loss.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on January 05, 2020, 10:10:13 AM
Awww....you were all so lucky to have had each other.

Gentle thoughts and respect for your grief.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: bibliothecula on January 07, 2020, 01:19:22 PM
You did it right, statsgeek. All my sympathy.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on January 07, 2020, 03:05:32 PM
You did it right, statsgeek. All my sympathy.
+1 It's such a hard call but you put Little Boy first and made sure he didn't suffer.

I went through that last spring, and suddenly having no cat in the house is really hard (I called it phantom cat syndrome). I was really tempted to get another one right away, but it just didn't make sense between lots of travel and looking for a house, then moving into it, then some more travel, so it was early October before I become re-cated. I now have a ridiculously cute (if I do say so myself), snuggly and energetic pair of sibs, who are now about 7 months old.

 I'm sure the right cats will also find there way into your life when its time.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: larryc on January 09, 2020, 12:18:49 AM
Playful is getting old. A really beautiful long-haried orange and cream cat, she was given to our kindergartner by our questionable neighbors in the rental house next door. He came home one day and held up a kitten. "Look what I have! The neighbors gave it to me. I named it Playful because it is playful."

That boy is 20 and in college now. For most of her life, Playful was the most furious hunter I know. An indoor/outdoor cat, I loaded her collar up with bells until she could not hunt successfully. At night it sounded like Santa was landing his sleigh on our roof. She attacked everything that came into our yard--other cats, rabbits, dogs (that Jack Russel still has nightmares), and on one memorable occasion a pair of ducks that had been hoping to nest in our hedge. Tough luck, ducks. Yet she is a total lap cat in the house, oppressively affectionate.

The vet says she is healthy as old cats go. She goes outside out of habit and comes right back in. When we went away for five days recently she went on a hunger strike and we almost lost her, but after a few days and some fluid injections she regained her appetite. Who knows how much longer we have with her.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on January 09, 2020, 03:23:17 AM
She sounds like a wonderful companion, full of herself, who knows what she wants.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on January 09, 2020, 09:59:45 AM
Playful sounds like an amazing cat.  You can buy an appetite stimulant for kitties, Entice/Entyce(sp?), not sure if it's prescription only. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on January 26, 2020, 07:35:25 AM
Another cat has happened at our house.  Son-in-law was at the landfill on Monday when haulers arrived to drag away a huge metal dumpster.  He made them wait until he could extract a skin-and-bones kitten, which ripped his face apart while he tried to get her into his truck.  He and daughter went to the urgent care clinic, while I sat in the truck trying to calm her and accustom her to the sound of my voice.

She was brought into the house, where she ate everything in sight and terrorized her reluctant sisters and brothers.  At this point she has been to the vet twice, because we discovered that she had a huge, smelly abscess on her leg and was running a fever.  Now she has an antibiotic to take twice a day, and will finish her shots in two weeks.  The vet says she is about twelve weeks old, so we chose Halloween as her birthday.  She is all black, with bright gold eyes.  I suggested calling her Jawa, but Grandson won with Diogi.  In case you can't tell, he wanted to name her D O G.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on January 26, 2020, 08:28:49 AM
What a good thing Diogi found you all.

I hope everyone recovers well from their injuries!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on January 27, 2020, 10:34:33 AM
I hope Diogi makes a full recovery, it sounds like she's in good hands.

The last two cats we have taken in were both rescue and both needed some medical attention though not to that extent. The last one we got, Hazel, wolfed down an entire can of wet cat food while growling the whole time. She must have eaten almost half her weight in food that first day. She was pretty underweight and absolutely infested with fleas.

Poe, the older of the two, was approximately a year old when we got him. He had been hanging around a sewage processing plant that our neighbor was working at, he used to come visit the workers on lunch and beg for scraps. He weighed maybe four or five pounds tops when we got him, he now weighs 17 pounds. The vet thinks he's not very overweight, he just grew into an enormous kitty. If I had to guess he has some Maine Coon in him. He is now, by far, the biggest of the five cats we have. I think our oldest cat now regrets being a bully to him when he was smaller...
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on February 13, 2020, 09:28:04 AM
Izzy has transformed from a terrified ball of fluff and whiskers to a whirlwind of destruction!  She is entirely too fearless about getting food - hers, Effie cat's, my breakfast, the odd tortilla chip.  She completely ignores any and all growling or fussing from the other cats when there is food to be had.  She's been sneaking peanuts in the shell out of the dish on the coffee table and hiding them all over our house.  It's pretty funny!
The not so funny is that she has discovered she can use her claws to climb up our furniture.  She has a scratch pad and uses it, but the velcro kitten furniture climbing is apparently way too fun to stop.  How can I stop her from destroying all of our upholstery?  Any ideas?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on February 13, 2020, 11:12:49 AM
Do you trim her claws?

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on February 13, 2020, 11:21:53 AM
Do you trim her claws?

M.

Yes, but I can't get all 4 paws done at once.  She's still really skittish about being held.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on February 13, 2020, 11:57:12 AM
Do you trim her claws?

M.

Yes, but I can't get all 4 paws done at once.  She's still really skittish about being held.

You could try 'burrito-ing' her in a towel.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on February 13, 2020, 07:22:03 PM
Leading to the hilarious "All Creatures Great and Small" scene of Tristram trying to "wrap a cat," in my mind...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: ktmkwk on February 14, 2020, 06:48:37 AM
There is double sided tape that you can put on furniture--cats hate the feel of it on their paws.

Often with young cats, you need to work at getting them used to having their paws touched/claws trimmed so we tend to massage their paws/toes regularly (usually daily) to get them used to it.  We tend to do trimming having the cat in a flat surface beside one of us, to that you are only working with one paw at a time (and no more than fronts or back at once for most of our cats).  Burrito works well for really spazzy, fraidy cats--take one paw out at a time and again, at least with ours either fronts or backs at one time.  We've got four cats so have a schedule for trimming. ;-)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on February 14, 2020, 08:11:49 AM
Leading to the hilarious "All Creatures Great and Small" scene of Tristram trying to "wrap a cat," in my mind...

M.

It starts here...

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByFrA9cCDBo

It took a couple of episodes before the injection was finally administered, I think...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on February 14, 2020, 08:25:34 AM
Leading to the hilarious "All Creatures Great and Small" scene of Tristram trying to "wrap a cat," in my mind...

M.

It starts here...

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByFrA9cCDBo

It took a couple of episodes before the injection was finally administered, I think...

M.

Ha ha!  That is one of my favorite bits from the book.
I'll have to try the double-stick tape for now.  And I'll work more at touching her feet.  She loves ear skritches, tail tugs, and being rubbed under the collar, but HATES to have her feet touched. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on February 14, 2020, 08:28:25 AM
If her feet are dry or have gotten something like salt in them from walking around where a sidewalk has been treated for ice, they might have gotten tender or sore, too.

I think there are some creams or oils you can use to treat dry, cracked pads that won't hurt the cat when they lick their feet later...you'd want to ask your vet first, obviously.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on February 14, 2020, 08:49:33 AM
We always give our cats a treat after trimming nails, it hasn't made the experience great but it has calmed them down to where we can actually do it.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on February 14, 2020, 02:57:01 PM
If her feet are dry or have gotten something like salt in them from walking around where a sidewalk has been treated for ice, they might have gotten tender or sore, too.

I think there are some creams or oils you can use to treat dry, cracked pads that won't hurt the cat when they lick their feet later...you'd want to ask your vet first, obviously.

M.

Izzy is a strictly indoors only kitten so she has very soft feet.  It never gets cold enough here to snow, but it can get hot enough to make the ground too hot to go barefoot.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on February 14, 2020, 03:30:41 PM
If her feet are dry or have gotten something like salt in them from walking around where a sidewalk has been treated for ice, they might have gotten tender or sore, too.

I think there are some creams or oils you can use to treat dry, cracked pads that won't hurt the cat when they lick their feet later...you'd want to ask your vet first, obviously.

M.

Izzy is a strictly indoors only kitten so she has very soft feet.  It never gets cold enough here to snow, but it can get hot enough to make the ground too hot to go barefoot.

Ok, good, then at least THAT'S not the problem...next differential diagnosis...!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: peitho on February 16, 2020, 10:56:53 PM
LarryC, Ask the vet for Mirtazapine for Playful. Most cats tolerate it pretty well, and it's not dear.

I can say from experience that the first few doses were unpleasant for my senior, who is in otherwise good health, but it's out some padding on her and the side effects subsided after the first week. My other cat was on it at end of life; he had no side effects at all.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on February 20, 2020, 11:23:36 AM
We always give our cats a treat after trimming nails, it hasn't made the experience great but it has calmed them down to where we can actually do it.

This. We give our cats catnip as a reward for tolerating us touching their feet.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: paultuttle on February 21, 2020, 02:09:33 PM
Yesterday, just before the university suspended operations in advance of the snow (yes, that's a thing in central North Carolina), two very frightened kittens were pinballing around the parking lot. One was grey and the other was black. Both were young enough that their ears looked to be very nearly as big as their heads.

I felt sorry for them, but I knew it'd take quite some time (and multiple scratches) in order to bring them inside into a warm house, so I just thought kind thoughts toward them as I left.

I mean, what else can you do?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on February 27, 2020, 09:39:30 AM
We always give our cats a treat after trimming nails, it hasn't made the experience great but it has calmed them down to where we can actually do it.

This. We give our cats catnip as a reward for tolerating us touching their feet.

Izzy is VERY food motivated.  I'll bribe her with lots of treats.  Now that I think on it, Buddycat (RIP) was the same way.  It used to be a rodeo to trim just one claw, but after enough rounds of treats after a trim, he would come beg for treats when I got out MY nail clippers ("Nail clipping means good kitties get treats!  They don't have to be the kitty's nails!").
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on February 27, 2020, 11:54:03 AM
Yesterday, just before the university suspended operations in advance of the snow (yes, that's a thing in central North Carolina), two very frightened kittens were pinballing around the parking lot. One was grey and the other was black. Both were young enough that their ears looked to be very nearly as big as their heads.

I felt sorry for them, but I knew it'd take quite some time (and multiple scratches) in order to bring them inside into a warm house, so I just thought kind thoughts toward them as I left.

I mean, what else can you do?

Do you know if there are any TNR or other cat-type organizations in your area? Some of them will take kittens since it is easier to 'home' them than adult cats.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on February 27, 2020, 12:28:15 PM
Yes, I was wondering how the kittens did as well.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on March 10, 2020, 10:54:10 AM
I made a food puzzle for Izzy by filling an empty paper tube with kitten kibble, scrunching the ends shut, and cut a small hole in the side.  I thought it would keep her entertained and burn off some of that crazy kitten energy.
Izzy is unimpressed.
Puck and Jane are SUPER EXCITED!  I feel bad, like I deprived them of this joy when they were kittens.  But I didn't know that food puzzles for cats was a thing when they were kittens.
Back to the design board . . .
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on March 10, 2020, 12:50:31 PM
Kitty Kong.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: apl68 on March 20, 2020, 08:38:12 AM
As the sun rises
Feline shapes darting past me
Heading to their dens
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on March 20, 2020, 09:13:01 AM
The cats have been the only real winners in the current crisis. They approve of having their monkey servant home all the time, and have made a lot of guest appearances on Zoom.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on March 20, 2020, 09:51:34 AM
Yes, I was giving a music lesson last night on Zoom and the two yearling cats (who know me well in this family) kept getting into the background.

One just flopped down for nap no. 104 of the day; the other was madly digging out Something Of Importance (a caged jinglebell?) between the couch cushions on the sofa behind the keyboard.

My student's mom then had her lesson this AM....and they were still at it...one doing zoomies off the sofa, one sitting at the window, tail twitching, watching Bird TV.

She later pulled the laptop over to show me their "curled up baby kitties-in-a-basket" position for sleeping...apparently all that showing off is exhausting.

M. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on March 20, 2020, 12:46:31 PM
The cats are baffled that the human staff aren't leaving like usual.  But they do approve of the idea of eating lunch.
Lady Jane and I are battling over who gets to sit in my office chair.  The heat vent blows warm air right on the cushion and she has claimed it as her own.  She is currently asleep on my lap, but will take over the chair any time I get up.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Catherder on March 21, 2020, 06:01:09 AM
The cats have been the only real winners in the current crisis. They approve of having their monkey servant home all the time, and have made a lot of guest appearances on Zoom.

From  The New Yorker:  Quarantine Tips from my Cat

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/quarantine-tips-from-my-cat?source=EDT_NYR_EDIT_NEWSLETTER_0_imagenewsletter_Borowitz_ZZ&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Borowitz_032020&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9e53a2ddf9c72dc62699e&cndid=39473732&esrc=right_rail_humor&mbid=&utm_term=TNY_Borowitz

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on March 30, 2020, 05:56:34 AM
Hello fellow cat-herders. I'm newly registered but I've been lurking for a long time. This is one of my favorite threads because I probably qualify as a crazy cat lady. I have 4, OrangeGuy, Calico, HerMajesty, and Twerp.

Geneticist, thanks for the good laugh about Izzy being unimpressed by the food puzzle the other day.

Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on March 30, 2020, 08:46:24 AM
Welcome Larimar, from a fellow crazy cat lady (only two here, but sometimes it feels like a dozen)!

The sun has come out here after about a week of clouds, rain, and storms.  The girls approve.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on March 30, 2020, 10:21:04 AM
Ninja (large, black kitty who self-identifies as queen of the household) remains unimpressed that one of her people is now home all day.
Ricochet the Squirrelly Tortie has increased the frequency of practicing her human-feline interaction skills, which currently primarily consist of remaining in the same room as a human, as long as the human stays more than 6 feet away.  Occasional head scritches are acceptable; additional contact results in increased social distancing (top of a bookcase) with an intense disinfection period.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on April 03, 2020, 12:12:55 PM
There's a Queen Kitty here too. HerMajesty decided this morning that the time I was spending paying bills would be much better spent petting her. She jumped on my lap, then climbed onto the little side table I was using, and sat down on the envelopes and papers, purring loudly (and regally) the whole time. Clearly I'd had my priorities all wrong. Humans are so prone to that.



Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on April 05, 2020, 03:20:25 PM
There's a Queen Kitty here too. HerMajesty decided this morning that the time I was spending paying bills would be much better spent petting her. She jumped on my lap, then climbed onto the little side table I was using, and sat down on the envelopes and papers, purring loudly (and regally) the whole time. Clearly I'd had my priorities all wrong. Humans are so prone to that.



Larimar

Ninja acknowledges that there may be another Queen who rules another kingdom and recommends that HerMajesty also sit directly on her human's computer keyboard if she really wants her human's attention.  Further, stealing all of her human's pens is a time-tested strategy.

I was using a neck massager last night, and Richochet the Squirrelly Tortie apparently thought that it was the sound of the mothership calling her home. She vaulted onto the couch and stood on top of me, kneading me with claws extended and head-butting me while rumble-purring for a good two minutes.  Then, apparently deciding that she was not going to get beamed-up to her home planet where things make more sense, ran out of the room and jumped on top of a bookshelf.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on April 05, 2020, 05:12:15 PM
My student's two marmalade yearlings were doing "Tag-You're It" zoomies during his (apltly named, Zoom-lesson) yesterday.

Suddenly, in the middle of scales, an orange streak flashed up over the bass keyboard, behind the music lyre, and off the top of the keys to the sofa.

Apparently the other one decided to head him off at the pass; I heard scrambling below the level of the screen, then a different orange streak peaked over the footstool and onto the sofa as well--but too late to catch his brother.

Both were seen heading for the kitchen (where I think their mom decided to put some kibble out as a distraction) and off-screen after that.

My student just kept playing his scales as if nothing had happened.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on April 06, 2020, 04:53:26 AM
HerMajesty says that Ninja gives good advice. Getting between a human and his or her computer is a sure way to get attention in this queendom too. Pen-stealing is also effective, but that is more Twerp's modus operandi.

Good for your student Mamselle, but kitty zoomies are always entertaining!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on April 06, 2020, 07:11:25 AM
Yes, I was trying very hard not to laugh, so as not to disturb my student!

I gather he's become accustomed to their antics.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 06, 2020, 08:07:00 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksnt3kBR9iM

Do you think this kitty dislikes the music? Or has he simply learned that doing this nets him cuddles and attention?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 06, 2020, 09:10:50 AM
Our orange cat appears to have ingested something poisoned. He was in a bad way a few days ago, but is much better now. He doesn't want his wet food, but is at least eating a little of the dry we have left over from before we switched to wet exclusively. Poor guy's lost a couple pounds, and looks tiny.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on April 06, 2020, 10:11:49 AM
Oh no! Poor guy. Any idea what he might have gotten into? Had he been outside?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on April 06, 2020, 10:46:02 AM
Our orange cat appears to have ingested something poisoned. He was in a bad way a few days ago, but is much better now. He doesn't want his wet food, but is at least eating a little of the dry we have left over from before we switched to wet exclusively. Poor guy's lost a couple pounds, and looks tiny.

Any chance it was thread or ribbon?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 06, 2020, 12:16:55 PM
Oh no! Poor guy. Any idea what he might have gotten into? Had he been outside?

No idea, but I suspect someone's been poisoning rodents. (But yes, he'd been outside.)


Any chance it was thread or ribbon?

Not really, no. His platelet count was very low, and he wasn't coagulating. Combined with the puking and fever and stuff, some sort of poison seems pretty likely.

Finding an appropriately nutritive substitute food he'll eat is a bit of a challenge, however, especially with the travel and other restrictions in place. Most of them are just way too high in carbs (and what he was eating before was one of the lowest-carb canned food on the market). Hopefully that's just temporary, and he'll be back to the usual stuff soon, poor love.

In the meantime, he desperately resents not going out.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on April 06, 2020, 12:17:58 PM
Our two cats, Booboo and Lucky, are very happy to have us at home now.  However, the fighting between them has increased as well. When no one was home during the day, our guess was that both cats slept 95% of the time and ignored each other the remainder.  Now that there is always someone around, they are much less tolerant.   We’ve had to institute an intra-house quarantine when we are all in the living room.  Booboo gets the east end and Lucky the middle and west end with a sliding door border. Outside screened area is also strictly controlled.  Not sure if this situation can be eased up later or not.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on April 06, 2020, 02:09:12 PM
My two are also big fans of this work from home situation. I think they are going to be very displeased when I'm no longer home all day every day.

Luckily they also love each other (they are 1 year old sibs), so we are often all three snuggled on the couch together, or they run around paling and getting into trouble together.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on April 07, 2020, 10:18:26 AM
The dean asked for good news, pics of our home offices, etc. to put in the division newsletter later today.  I sent her a photo of Little Cat sprawled out on her back, looking cute, and said to caption it as my "at-home supervisor."

Even the cat needs her 15 minutes of fame.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on April 07, 2020, 10:23:02 AM
The dean asked for good news, pics of our home offices, etc. to put in the division newsletter later today.  I sent her a photo of Little Cat sprawled out on her back, looking cute, and said to caption it as my "at-home supervisor."

Even the cat needs her 15 minutes of fame.

Love it!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on April 08, 2020, 09:12:43 AM
Our orange cat appears to have ingested something poisoned. He was in a bad way a few days ago, but is much better now. He doesn't want his wet food, but is at least eating a little of the dry we have left over from before we switched to wet exclusively. Poor guy's lost a couple pounds, and looks tiny.

Poor baby orange cat. Glad he is on the mend!

My two are also big fans of this work from home situation. I think they are going to be very displeased when I'm no longer home all day every day.

Luckily they also love each other (they are 1 year old sibs), so we are often all three snuggled on the couch together, or they run around paling and getting into trouble together.

Awww! Our two 4 year old kitties (Ninja and RST) are litter mates that we adopted as tiny kittens (Ninja was just 2 pounds!). When we first adopted them, they often snuggled together, and we thought they might be good friends.  Now, they primarily ignore each other, until Ninja decides she needs to re-assert her alpha status and chases RST around the house. After a brief period of intense wrestling, they retreat to separate corners to ignore each other again.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on April 08, 2020, 09:40:25 AM
Our cats are so puzzled why we just won't leave already.  I think it's actually been stressful for Effie cat.  He likes to be in the same room as Mr. Dr. Geneticist and does NOT appreciate if that room is not the same as Effie's chosen napping spot.  Effie looks at him like "OMG will you choose a room and stay there so I can nap already?!?"
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: apl68 on April 08, 2020, 10:54:18 AM
I now believe we may have as many as three Siamese cats wandering the streets of our town.  I've seen them in that many widely-separated locations. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on April 08, 2020, 12:09:24 PM
The local newscasters are taking turns broadcasting from home.  One woman was on Friday night, and in the background was her huge tuxedo cat, lying on the floor, then later walking around into the kitchen.  Last night there was no tux, but instead a huge Siamese. At 5 p.m. he was sitting on a wing chair behind her, looking toward the kitchen and, later, listening to her read and looking at the camera; at 6, he was stretched across the seat of the chair, tail hanging off the front, dead to the world.

I have no idea what she talked about; I only watch for the cats.  (As I defended myself to ALHS, I bet a lot of older people and kids watch for the same reason.)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 12, 2020, 10:34:53 PM
The big cat is stuck in a Douglas fir tonight, the poor love. He's not too high (about twenty feet), but we have no way to reach him.

Poor love's in for a long night before the arborist comes.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on April 13, 2020, 09:18:59 AM
Poor big cat! Hope he's okay and that he won't get stuck in that tree again!

My kitties received an Easter treat of some plastic Easter eggs with catnip inside! They love this. Because the eggs are ovoid instead of spherical, they don't roll straight when batted with a paw, and this is fascinating. OrangeGuy managed to get one open, and he scarfed the catnip. He was a bit bug-eyed for a while afterward!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 13, 2020, 10:41:59 AM
Big cat rescued!

Poor love.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on April 13, 2020, 11:50:05 AM
Glad he was rescued Parasaurolophus! Hopefully he learned his lesson (not likely for a cat I know!).

It got abnormally quiet and cat-free downstairs during my last Zoom meeting, which is never a good sign with young cats. Sure enough, after I got off I checked upstairs and they had broken into the guest room (which is off limits and therefore highly desirable) and removed a large quantity of soil from the fern pot (the fern being in protective custody in that room expressly to prevent cat attacks). Door now re-latched and cats are zooming around downstairs again.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on April 13, 2020, 01:54:28 PM
Yay! Glad big cat is okay!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on April 14, 2020, 09:31:07 AM
My mom sent a care package with tea for me and fancy catnip for the cats.  They are quite spoiled.

And I finally figured out how to mostly stop Izzy from shredding the furniture.  I bought a scratching post!  It has a flat plastic disk on the top where I put a few cat treats.  She was well-trained after just one round of treat hunting by climbing the pole.  Izzy is going to be a huge cat.  She's only 6 months old and at least as large as Lady Jane already (7 pounds).
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 25, 2020, 11:59:35 AM
The red cat went back to the vet today. He was barfy, and self-isolating, and panty, and old-man walking, and not eating.

Not rodenticide this time, but he's feverish, so possibly a resurgence of whatever the other thing was. While we were there we met another couple, one of whose cats also appears to have consumed a rodenticided rodent and is presenting with the same weird mix of symptoms the red cat had three weeks ago. They live nearby, but far enough away that it's unlikely to be the same patch of rodenticide. The vet's pretty weirded out, though, because she's never seen so many young cats (apparently there's a few more) presenting with the same weird mix of symptoms, at least one of which is likely rodenticide poisoning.

Anyway. He's in good shape now, and the big cat has recovered from the tree.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 25, 2020, 08:58:26 PM
I hope red cat feels even better.

On another note, we discovered that Evil cat #1 likes to watch tv! She sat, right in front of the tv, and watched cartoons for about an hour.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on April 26, 2020, 08:43:57 AM
I'm also glad your poor kitties are doing better!


On another note, we discovered that Evil cat #1 likes to watch tv! She sat, right in front of the tv, and watched cartoons for about an hour.
[/quote]


OrangeGuy here likes to watch TV with us too, and loves the YouTube cat TV videos of birds and squirrels and mice. He'll jump right up close and paw at the TV or computer screen. The other kitties also like to be around while we're watching TV, but Calico and Twerp just want to snuggle in our laps, and HerMajesty will accept a bit of homage and then curl up on a chair or in her basket and supervise.

Right now Twerp is helping me write this, so it's taken longer than it otherwise would!


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 26, 2020, 07:27:40 PM

I'm also glad your poor kitties are doing better!


On another note, we discovered that Evil cat #1 likes to watch tv! She sat, right in front of the tv, and watched cartoons for about an hour.

OrangeGuy here likes to watch TV with us too, and loves the YouTube cat TV videos of birds and squirrels and mice. He'll jump right up close and paw at the TV or computer screen. The other kitties also like to be around while we're watching TV, but Calico and Twerp just want to snuggle in our laps, and HerMajesty will accept a bit of homage and then curl up on a chair or in her basket and supervise.

Right now Twerp is helping me write this, so it's taken longer than it otherwise would!


Larimar

Evil cat #1 likes the string game on U tube. I've kind of Pavlovian-trained her to run to my computer and play the game when I say 'Look!' It is hilarious.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on April 27, 2020, 06:18:42 AM
My two seem completely uninterested in my laptop screen except as something to rub their cheeks on or get in front of when I'm paying too much attention to it and not enough to them.

What they are completely obsessed with are plastic spring toys. It never would have occurred to me to get them but they came with some from their foster when I adopted them and I've since bought a jumbo pack (they are very cheap online) because they keep loosing them under the radiators and fridge. They are hilarious with them-- they bat them all over the place and also carry them in their mouths like victorious hunters. I find them in the oddest places-- in the bathtub, my shoes, the laundry basket. Highly recommend especially if you have wood/hard surface floors for maximum batting fun.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on April 27, 2020, 08:11:08 AM
The war is, if not over, at least in abeyance.  One of the Thundercats (Elektra) is now curled up with the new Boy (Orestes). 

Nox, demon cat from Tartarus, is not onboard.  But, she does seem to have noticed that Orestes (Maine Coon) has surpassed her in size....
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 29, 2020, 09:58:23 AM
Asking for advice here on how to reencounter a particular stray.

Our building complex has a large parking area with garages for each unit. There are a number of curbside plants and it is not uncommon to spot stray cats here. They also like the area around the dumpsters and I’ve seen a mother cat shelter with her kittens underneath a van.

A few days ago SO and I were heading out to a doctor appointment when I spotted a kitty happily rubbing its face against a nearby plant, occasionally taking a nibble out of the leaves. While SO was pulling the car out I walked over, crouched and called to the cat. It turned to look at me, trotted over while mewing adorably, and leaned into my hand when I reached out. I was instantly smitten.

The cat was quite dirty, skinny, and had no collar so I assume it’s one of the strays; the friendliness indicates comfort with humans, but that could be from other residents giving handouts and pets, not necessarily an owner. When SO called out that we had to get going, I stood to signal to him to wait a moment. With the cessation of petting, cat stood on hind legs and pawed my leg, mewing for more. When I made a move towards the car it followed on my heels. SO insisted we were not having a strange cat loose in the car when we had an appointment to get to. He said we could try to find the cat again later, assuming it was one of the parking lot “regulars”.

I am kicking myself for not insisting we take the cat home. Been scouting the lot ever since without any sightings. SO says if we find it we can post a picture on the neighborhood social media group and have a vet scan for a chip. If there are no claims, it can be our cat. But I need to find it again first!

I am not an intuitive person. I analyze everything to death. But I feel like this cat is special; like we had a spark, a connection at that first encounter. All I want to do is love and care for this kitty for the rest of its life. I’ve never fallen in love with a cat so fast.

The parking area covers a lot of grounds, serving many buildings, and there a numerous twists and turns. Lots of places a cat could potentially be.

I thought of leaving a plate of treats regularly in a specific spot in hopes cats will learn it’s a good spot to check out. Then I could pop out to the spot a few times a day and hope to get lucky. But it doesn’t seem like the odds would be too great. I could start working outside, staking out. Wander the lot at times the cats are more likely to be out (would that be early morning and twilight?)

Or is finding the same cat again just a pie in the sky fantasy?

Anyone have experience wrangling strays?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on April 29, 2020, 01:18:21 PM
Leaving food is a good idea, but let there be gaps between times when you put it out. Feral cats need to retain their independence and ability to hunt or they will starve when the weather gets bad.

Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on April 29, 2020, 01:44:20 PM
That cat sounds like a stray rather than feral given how friendly it was. Is there are stray rescue group operating in your area? You could contact them or the humane society to help trap the cat and other strays in the area  (If they trap ferals in the process, they may have a catch-spay/neutral-release program). They will give it a vet check including checking for a microchip. You can let them know you'd like to adopt if no owner can be identified. If there is an owner missing it, I hope you can transfer that love to being happy to reunite them and adopt a different cat. Good luck!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 30, 2020, 10:25:52 AM
Maybe this should be in the minor venting thread... I swear my large moo-cat knows when to gargle, howl, yowl, make biscuits, etc. when I am trying to concentrate on grading. He's doing it right now...
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on April 30, 2020, 04:49:41 PM
Asking for advice here on how to reencounter a particular stray.

Our building complex has a large parking area with garages for each unit. There are a number of curbside plants and it is not uncommon to spot stray cats here. They also like the area around the dumpsters and I’ve seen a mother cat shelter with her kittens underneath a van.

A few days ago SO and I were heading out to a doctor appointment when I spotted a kitty happily rubbing its face against a nearby plant, occasionally taking a nibble out of the leaves. While SO was pulling the car out I walked over, crouched and called to the cat. It turned to look at me, trotted over while mewing adorably, and leaned into my hand when I reached out. I was instantly smitten.

The cat was quite dirty, skinny, and had no collar so I assume it’s one of the strays; the friendliness indicates comfort with humans, but that could be from other residents giving handouts and pets, not necessarily an owner. When SO called out that we had to get going, I stood to signal to him to wait a moment. With the cessation of petting, cat stood on hind legs and pawed my leg, mewing for more. When I made a move towards the car it followed on my heels. SO insisted we were not having a strange cat loose in the car when we had an appointment to get to. He said we could try to find the cat again later, assuming it was one of the parking lot “regulars”.

I am kicking myself for not insisting we take the cat home. Been scouting the lot ever since without any sightings. SO says if we find it we can post a picture on the neighborhood social media group and have a vet scan for a chip. If there are no claims, it can be our cat. But I need to find it again first!

I am not an intuitive person. I analyze everything to death. But I feel like this cat is special; like we had a spark, a connection at that first encounter. All I want to do is love and care for this kitty for the rest of its life. I’ve never fallen in love with a cat so fast.

The parking area covers a lot of grounds, serving many buildings, and there a numerous twists and turns. Lots of places a cat could potentially be.

I thought of leaving a plate of treats regularly in a specific spot in hopes cats will learn it’s a good spot to check out. Then I could pop out to the spot a few times a day and hope to get lucky. But it doesn’t seem like the odds would be too great. I could start working outside, staking out. Wander the lot at times the cats are more likely to be out (would that be early morning and twilight?)

Or is finding the same cat again just a pie in the sky fantasy?

Anyone have experience wrangling strays?
Put food and water near the plant where you found the kitty.  Hang out there are the same time of day you saw it the first time as it likely has a routine.  Cats are territorial so I'm guessing it will be back.  Sending good "kitty finding vibes" your way!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on May 01, 2020, 05:14:21 AM
Maybe this should be in the minor venting thread... I swear my large moo-cat knows when to gargle, howl, yowl, make biscuits, etc. when I am trying to concentrate on grading. He's doing it right now...

Do you rent this marvelous creature out?  I'd be interested in having him perform in several upcoming virtual meetings (and could have really used him in one contentious session yesterday)!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: apl68 on May 01, 2020, 07:36:27 AM
On my morning walk I saw a black cat crossing the street in front of my path (Thanks a lot, Neko-chan!).  It was moving very slowly for a cat, and did not bolt when it saw me.  I got the impression that it might not be feeling well.  Hope it will be okay.

Later on the walk I heard an altercation between cats nearby.  They went at it for a while.  Unusual to hear that in broad daylight.  They sound so vicious when they fight!  It makes you wonder whether they've ever succeeded in devouring each other like the cats of Killkinney.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 01, 2020, 07:47:48 PM
Maybe this should be in the minor venting thread... I swear my large moo-cat knows when to gargle, howl, yowl, make biscuits, etc. when I am trying to concentrate on grading. He's doing it right now...

Do you rent this marvelous creature out?  I'd be interested in having him perform in several upcoming virtual meetings (and could have really used him in one contentious session yesterday)!

You know, I never thought of that... until now. He is quite vocal and likes to carry various toys around in his mouth while yowling. He has sat in on a few online meetings (when he's quiet).

Oh, did I mention that he can open doors too?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 01, 2020, 11:45:52 PM


You know, I never thought of that... until now. He is quite vocal and likes to carry various toys around in his mouth while yowling. He has sat in on a few online meetings (when he's quiet).


Our biggest does that too! And drops them at our feet then walks off.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on May 02, 2020, 05:11:35 AM


You know, I never thought of that... until now. He is quite vocal and likes to carry various toys around in his mouth while yowling. He has sat in on a few online meetings (when he's quiet).


Our biggest does that too! And drops them at our feet then walks off.


Twerp actually does that too! She's not a large kitty, though, and can't open doors - thank goodness! She gets into enough trouble as it is.

Also, smallcleanrat, hope you find the stray. Keep us posted!


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on May 02, 2020, 12:45:36 PM
Oldest kid and "puppy" (4 months old today and already bigger than any GSD I've ever see or been around) came by and helped me set out some flowers.  Kid turned over some dirt in the raised bed; puppy tried to do his part by digging on outside of the bed, until he got told off.

He's behaving much better and all was well until they tried to go into the house to wash up and get a drink.  Large Gray Cat was already lying by the back door; I could hear her hissing across the yard.  Kid and dog were stood off for a couple of minutes, then went inside, with LGC howling and hissing and spitting the whole time.  I think she was as upset as anything just because the puppy wasn't scared off.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on May 03, 2020, 08:13:50 AM
Thanks to all for the encouragement and advice for finding my sweet stray.

I went out with a small portion of tuna-flavored wet food every morning and evening. I left the food by the plant of the original sighting and planted myself some distance away to observe.

I saw a couple of adolescent cats eating the food, but neither was the kitty I was looking for. These kitties were also a bit skittish of humans, so I let them alone.

Turns out it was all for naught (well, at least two kitties got some nourishment out of it). SO found out from the neighborhood social media group that someone had already trapped the cat I encountered and found an adoptive home for him.

I'm relieved that cat is safe and now has a home and human guardians (I was having nightmares about kitty being picked off by a bigger predator or being crushed by a car). But I'm heartbroken I couldn't be the one to give him that home. We probably should have made a post that we encountered the cat and would like to care for him should anyone happen to find him. I should have trusted my gut at that first encounter and over-ruled SO about taking the cat with us, then and there.

I know there are lots of great cats out there needing homes. I still want to adopt one. But I think it will take me some time to get over this. Something just felt so perfectly right with this kitty from the first touch. I've only felt this with an animal once before, as a child, with the puppy that would become my loyal and affectionate companion for the next twelve years. Out of all the pups at the shelter, he was the most awkward, odd-looking, and morose. But the instant I reached out and he put his head in my hand I knew that he was my dog.

I wonder if I'll ever feel that spark again.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on May 03, 2020, 11:20:01 AM
I suspect you will. Cats are so easy to love! Maybe keep an eye on the colony of strays and see who you meet?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on May 03, 2020, 12:15:10 PM
I wonder if I'll ever feel that spark again.

I also suspect you will smallcleanrat.

I was heartbroken when I lost my fluffy calico companion too soon to complications of diabetes.  But I am smitten with our two current furry goofballs, Ninja (who adopted my husband as her human and follows him around the house) and Ricochet, who remains baffled by humans, yet continues to attempt to interact with us, despite the fact that we are clearly too dumb to understand how the rules work in her world.

I hope that you will find a kitty who feels right for you when the timing is right for you, whether they come from your stray colony or a shelter.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on May 05, 2020, 08:39:45 PM
Double posting, but a couple days apart, so I think I'm OK . . .
I'm reporting in to say that, contrary to my initial assumptions, Ricochet the Squirrelly Tortie might be benefiting from the Stay-at-Home order. Yesterday, for the 1st time in the four years that she has ruled over us, she spontaneously rolled on her back to request a tummy rub, purred, and did not bite or scratch to make me stop.  Go, Ricochet, Go!
Ninja remains unimpressed because her chosen human (my husband) has a job considered essential, so he continues to go to work 5 days per week, leaving the less-preferred human at home with her.

Smallcleanrat, have you met any other kitties that pulled at your heartstrings?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: sprout on May 06, 2020, 08:49:38 AM
I'm reporting in to say that, contrary to my initial assumptions, Ricochet the Squirrelly Tortie might be benefiting from the Stay-at-Home order. Yesterday, for the 1st time in the four years that she has ruled over us, she spontaneously rolled on her back to request a tummy rub, purred, and did not bite or scratch to make me stop.  Go, Ricochet, Go!

We adopted kittens last summer, one of whom refused to believe that we weren't trying to eat her every time we got close.  (Also a tortie, hmm.)  Both of us home nearly 24-7 has done wonders for our relationship with her.  She still does a lot of flirting (I'll roll over and show you my belly, but run away if you try to come closer), but also sleeps in a cat bed next to us and lets us pet her pretty regularly now.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: backatit on May 06, 2020, 10:03:01 AM
We normally work from home most of the time (I teach fully online, and my partner also works remotely) so our 3 are used to the routine. But I've noticed a difference since the pandemic; we are home a lot more, I think, and our outside interactions are a lot more limited (we had people in at least once to play board games, which the cats did like, as they're all pretty social, but which did disrupt the routine somewhat). Now they are all getting along a lot better (we have some territorial disputes between our youngest female and our male cat, who adores her and refuses to believe that she does not adore him in return). He follows her around with lovesick eyes, howling pitifully, while she hisses over her shoulder at him and occasionally turns around and chases him back to a safe distance. Now, however, he is lying on the table and she is on one of the chairs at the same table. Who knows why the detente? Cats are just weird...

The dogs, otoh (we also have 3 dogs), are just velcro...
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on May 07, 2020, 06:43:26 AM
I'm reporting in to say that, contrary to my initial assumptions, Ricochet the Squirrelly Tortie might be benefiting from the Stay-at-Home order. Yesterday, for the 1st time in the four years that she has ruled over us, she spontaneously rolled on her back to request a tummy rub, purred, and did not bite or scratch to make me stop.  Go, Ricochet, Go!

We adopted kittens last summer, one of whom refused to believe that we weren't trying to eat her every time we got close.  (Also a tortie, hmm.)  Both of us home nearly 24-7 has done wonders for our relationship with her.  She still does a lot of flirting (I'll roll over and show you my belly, but run away if you try to come closer), but also sleeps in a cat bed next to us and lets us pet her pretty regularly now.

Funny, that is the exact phrase we used around here. 

When we first adopted her, we enrolled Ricochet in developmental coursework in Feline-Human Interaction. After a few false starts, she passed the initial courses FHI 090: Come out of the closet; the humans will not eat you and FHI 095: Hands are not for hitting; the humans just want to pet you.

However, she has WF grades from the developmental Eating Food in the Home courses: EFH 050: Wet Food is not Poison and EFH 06: Treats are Tasty Too! due to non-participation.  She has agreed to eat exactly one variety of cat food, and has resisted any attempts to feed her anything else. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on May 07, 2020, 06:49:00 AM
Orestes, our Maine Coon, has worms.  While it is a bit gross, I have been showing Smolt what they look like under a scope.

Luckily, our vet was willing to take my diagnosis and a photo as evidence and will prescribe for all 3 of the kittimals.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on May 07, 2020, 08:45:12 AM
I'm reporting in to say that, contrary to my initial assumptions, Ricochet the Squirrelly Tortie might be benefiting from the Stay-at-Home order. Yesterday, for the 1st time in the four years that she has ruled over us, she spontaneously rolled on her back to request a tummy rub, purred, and did not bite or scratch to make me stop.  Go, Ricochet, Go!

We adopted kittens last summer, one of whom refused to believe that we weren't trying to eat her every time we got close.  (Also a tortie, hmm.)  Both of us home nearly 24-7 has done wonders for our relationship with her.  She still does a lot of flirting (I'll roll over and show you my belly, but run away if you try to come closer), but also sleeps in a cat bed next to us and lets us pet her pretty regularly now.

Funny, that is the exact phrase we used around here. 

When we first adopted her, we enrolled Ricochet in developmental coursework in Feline-Human Interaction. After a few false starts, she passed the initial courses FHI 090: Come out of the closet; the humans will not eat you and FHI 095: Hands are not for hitting; the humans just want to pet you.

However, she has WF grades from the developmental Eating Food in the Home courses: EFH 050: Wet Food is not Poison and EFH 06: Treats are Tasty Too! due to non-participation.  She has agreed to eat exactly one variety of cat food, and has resisted any attempts to feed her anything else.

This is hilarious!

Luckily my two yearlings (adopted at 5 months) had excellent socialization in their foster home and are firmly in the category of believing humans are their monkey servants rather than predators. However, big panther boy has repeatedly failed Behavior 101 Not Jumping on the Table and Counters and Behavior 102 Not Destroying Plants and Curtains, despite use of a spray bottle (which he seems to find only momentarily annoying). However, he has straight As in Cuteness Studies, so much is forgiven. His sister, little calico, is a much faster study, and also excels in Cuteness.

They are currently down for their usual mid-day sleep snuggled against each other on the coach, which never stops being cute.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on May 07, 2020, 09:12:57 AM
Izzy the kitten is getting high marks in all of the coursework involving food: YUM 101 Try All the Flavors, YUM 102 Treats are Amazing, YUM 103 Trying Adult Kibble
However, she is having to do some remedial work in all Cat-Human Interactions: CHI 101 People Are Not Trying to Step on You (Really), CHI 102 Hands are for Petting, CHI 103 Getting Picked up Does Not Mean You Will be Eaten
The other cats report that she is clearly clueless about all Cat-Cat Interactions.  She is failing all CCI courses: CCI 101 Don't Steal Other Cats' Food, CCI 102 Don't Bother Me While I'm Napping, CCI 103 Growling Means You Stop That & Go Away Tiny Kitten
But she is excelling at growing fluffy, being an adorable doofus, and using a scratching post.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Catherder on May 07, 2020, 09:40:49 AM
My cat is failing Catch the Mouse 101. We have a second invader who has eluded us for two days now.  The cat does manage to flush it out from time to time, but then jumps back startled and gets in my way when the mouse starts to run.

She might be scraping a pass in Sentry Duty 102, though. She seems to know where the mouse is hiding, and crouches nearby.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on May 07, 2020, 11:49:16 AM
I agree, this is hilarious!

Right now Calico is turning in an excellent project for Feline-Human Interaction 150: Snuggling on Laps. She loves this course!

Unfortunately, earlier today Twerp failed a test in Puget's Feline Behavior 101: Not Jumping on the Table and Counters.
Apparently this is a very difficult course, because OrangeGuy's grades can be spotty too, and even HerMajesty isn't making a perfect score. Calico isn't taking this course because she is... of rubenesque nature... and doesn't jump on anything higher than a chair.


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mythbuster on May 07, 2020, 01:33:57 PM
You did know that FHI 150: Snuggling on laps, was crosslisted? It's also Feline Monkey Servant 150: Providing a Feline acceptable Lap. Sounds like you are passing that withf lying colors!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 07, 2020, 02:08:45 PM
Orestes, our Maine Coon, has worms.  While it is a bit gross, I have been showing Smolt what they look like under a scope.

Luckily, our vet was willing to take my diagnosis and a photo as evidence and will prescribe for all 3 of the kittimals.

Did your vet give you a discount for doing part of the labwork?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on May 07, 2020, 02:36:32 PM
I guess so, ididn't have to pay for a visit or labs.  Just for the Meds.

BTW - the boy is dosed and glowering.  We'll see how he does over the week it takes for the meds to take full effect
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 07, 2020, 04:33:35 PM
I guess so, ididn't have to pay for a visit or labs.  Just for the Meds.

BTW - the boy is dosed and glowering.  We'll see how he does over the week it takes for the meds to take full effect

That's even better (just paying for meds). Yep, cats don't enjoy taking the meds. Hope he gets better soon.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on May 07, 2020, 05:31:35 PM
You did know that FHI 150: Snuggling on laps, was crosslisted? It's also Feline Monkey Servant 150: Providing a Feline acceptable Lap. Sounds like you are passing that withf lying colors!

LOL! Thanks, Mythbuster. I guess Calico and I make good lab partners!


I guess so, ididn't have to pay for a visit or labs.  Just for the Meds.

BTW - the boy is dosed and glowering.  We'll see how he does over the week it takes for the meds to take full effect

That's even better (just paying for meds). Yep, cats don't enjoy taking the meds. Hope he gets better soon.

I second the get-well-soon wish for Orestes. May the worm-Furies soon begone.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on May 08, 2020, 12:49:34 PM
I have a renewed Cat.  24 hours and Orestes is back to his quirky self!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on May 08, 2020, 02:02:53 PM
I have a renewed Cat.  24 hours and Orestes is back to his quirky self!

Yay! Glad to hear it.


This morning I discovered OrangeGuy and Twerp playing with something on the dining room floor. It proved upon investigation to be a black widow spider! How it got into the house I have no idea. I confess to freaking out some. I stomped the spider and got rid of it, and then called the vet, saying I didn't know whether either of the kitties was bitten, and asking what symptoms to look for. The vet said redness and swelling at the site of any bite, and that the kitties would likely be licking at it because it would bother them. The vet also said if they started acting sick to bring them in immediately. However, she also said that black widow bites are actually not fatal to cats or dogs. This surprised me, but was good news!

I've been monitoring OrangeGuy and Twerp closely all day (not difficult under lockdown!), and they've seemed fine. At this point I think that they were not bitten. Whew!


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on May 08, 2020, 03:26:40 PM

This morning I discovered OrangeGuy and Twerp playing with something on the dining room floor. It proved upon investigation to be a black widow spider! How it got into the house I have no idea. I confess to freaking out some. I stomped the spider and got rid of it, and then called the vet, saying I didn't know whether either of the kitties was bitten, and asking what symptoms to look for. The vet said redness and swelling at the site of any bite, and that the kitties would likely be licking at it because it would bother them. The vet also said if they started acting sick to bring them in immediately. However, she also said that black widow bites are actually not fatal to cats or dogs. This surprised me, but was good news!

I've been monitoring OrangeGuy and Twerp closely all day (not difficult under lockdown!), and they've seemed fine. At this point I think that they were not bitten. Whew!


Larimar

A black widow!! OrangeGuy and Twerp are brave hunters indeed! Glad to hear that are OK.

Ricochet earns top marks in Core Cat Skills (CCS) 452: Catch ALL THE THINGS! But, I don't think she's tangled with a black widow (at least not that I've seen). She does do her best to keep our house rodent and bug free, though. She, with an assist from Ninja, has felled a handful of mice since we moved into this old house with a very unfinished basement.  Yesterday, I found her hanging out in the basement, and she looked up at me, grinning, with a bug leg hanging out of the corner of her mouth.  I left her to her kill.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 08, 2020, 07:29:11 PM
I have a renewed Cat.  24 hours and Orestes is back to his quirky self!

Yay!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on May 09, 2020, 08:07:28 AM
The cats have now had two class sessions of their accelerated summer session I lab course Going Outside 101: Habituating to Harnesses Indoors. Panther boy is adapting to wearing his PPE very well, and can even climb the sisal post wearing it. Little calico had a little trouble in the first session involving flopping over and trying to escape, but has since decided that wearing her PPE is worth it as a precondition to working with catnip. I'm optimistic that they will both pass and be able to move on to Going Outside 102: Actually Going Outside, which will involve field trips to the backyard.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 09, 2020, 10:37:15 AM
I have a renewed Cat.  24 hours and Orestes is back to his quirky self!

Whew!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on May 09, 2020, 10:46:11 AM
You guys do realize you've got it all backwards with the course structures, right? (Funny as they are...!)

I mean, they're probably all laughing their ears off at humans thinking they're teaching cats anything....

Meanwhile they're teaching us CAT 101: The Constant Care, Feeding, and Provision af Safe Environments for Your Cat.

...Sorry to burst your bubble...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on May 09, 2020, 11:00:14 AM
You guys do realize you've got it all backwards with the course structures, right? (Funny as they are...!)

I mean, they're probably all laughing their ears off at humans thinking they're teaching cats anything....

Meanwhile they're teaching us CAT 101: The Constant Care, Feeding, and Provision af Safe Environments for Your Cat.

...Sorry to burst your bubble...

M.

LOL! You have a point! Hm, HerMajesty is probably about ready to flunk me.



This morning I discovered OrangeGuy and Twerp playing with something on the dining room floor. It proved upon investigation to be a black widow spider! How it got into the house I have no idea. I confess to freaking out some. I stomped the spider and got rid of it, and then called the vet, saying I didn't know whether either of the kitties was bitten, and asking what symptoms to look for. The vet said redness and swelling at the site of any bite, and that the kitties would likely be licking at it because it would bother them. The vet also said if they started acting sick to bring them in immediately. However, she also said that black widow bites are actually not fatal to cats or dogs. This surprised me, but was good news!

I've been monitoring OrangeGuy and Twerp closely all day (not difficult under lockdown!), and they've seemed fine. At this point I think that they were not bitten. Whew!


Larimar

A black widow!! OrangeGuy and Twerp are brave hunters indeed! Glad to hear that are OK.

Ricochet earns top marks in Core Cat Skills (CCS) 452: Catch ALL THE THINGS! But, I don't think she's tangled with a black widow (at least not that I've seen). She does do her best to keep our house rodent and bug free, though. She, with an assist from Ninja, has felled a handful of mice since we moved into this old house with a very unfinished basement.  Yesterday, I found her hanging out in the basement, and she looked up at me, grinning, with a bug leg hanging out of the corner of her mouth.  I left her to her kill.

OrangeGuy and Twerp say thank you.

Yay for Ricochet and Ninja! And yes, leaving Ricochet to her kill was a good idea. Sometimes it's not good to ask too many questions!


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on May 10, 2020, 05:44:47 AM
You guys do realize you've got it all backwards with the course structures, right? (Funny as they are...!)

I mean, they're probably all laughing their ears off at humans thinking they're teaching cats anything....

Meanwhile they're teaching us CAT 101: The Constant Care, Feeding, and Provision af Safe Environments for Your Cat.

...Sorry to burst your bubble...

M.

So true, so true.   

Ninja has us enrolled in Feline Monkey Servant 150: Providing a Feline acceptable Lap through Larimar's college.  The passing criteria appear to be: !) have a blanket on your lap, 2) initially give head scritches, and 3) don't move or touch the cat until the cat is ready to get up. The last one is where we continually fail.

Ricochet has us enrolled in Feline Monkey Servant 365: Critical Thinking--Figure out how to interact with the cat so as not to freak out the cat. The problem is that she refuses to supply us with a rubric.  We suspect we will be continually enrolled as long as she rules us.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on May 18, 2020, 02:03:51 PM
Ricochet's interact-with-the-humans chip apparently got turned on today.  She has twice jumped into my lap, flopped down with a level of awkwardness only demonstrated by newborn foals who don't know how their legs work, and purred while I gave her head-scritches for five whole minutes.  She looked utterly pleased with herself each time. This will likely never happen again. But I'll take what I can get. She has now returned to a more obvious nap location--inside a cloth grocery bag.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on May 18, 2020, 02:11:56 PM
Maybe you'll even get a few extra-credit points for providing the cloth bag...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on May 18, 2020, 02:14:51 PM
Congratulations on your progress in Feline Monkey Servant 150: Providing a Feline acceptable Lap!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on May 18, 2020, 03:18:58 PM
Good progress OneMoreYear!

I think Panther Cat is trying to cure me of the snooze button habit I've developed working from home, or more likely he has decided that overnight as an almost unbearable length of time to go without monkey servant attention. As soon as my alarm goes off he has started  jumping up on the bed and  head butting me while purring loudly directly into my ear. This gets me to wake up but doesn't exactly encourage me to actually get up, which is just fine by him. This is a big improvement on his previous tactic, which was to knock things over and attack plants till I got up to chase him out of the bedroom, so it's fine by me too. 

Sometimes his sister Little Calico joins us, but more often she plays Hungriest Cat in he Whole Wide World with the saddest possible tiny meow  till I get up and feed them.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on May 18, 2020, 05:08:24 PM
Congratulations on your progress in Feline Monkey Servant 150: Providing a Feline acceptable Lap!

The problem is I don't know how to replicate this success because I have no idea what was different about my lap today. Will take more data.

I think Panther Cat is trying to cure me of the snooze button habit I've developed working from home, or more likely he has decided that overnight as an almost unbearable length of time to go without monkey servant attention. As soon as my alarm goes off he has started  jumping up on the bed and  head butting me while purring loudly directly into my ear. This gets me to wake up but doesn't exactly encourage me to actually get up, which is just fine by him.

Awwww!   The late fluffy calico was also a failed alarm clock. Around the time I needed to get up, she would rub her head on my cheek, purring softly, then settle her fluffiness on my chest and go back to sleep. I am not a morning person, and was then reeeeeaally unmotivated to get up.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on May 19, 2020, 04:42:01 AM
We finally got to meet StatDad's latest feline, who is a complete love, and I stocked up on headbutts and purrs.  I need a kitty!  StatSpouse and I are close to adopting again, just waiting for some logistics to fall into place.  (We've been without since we lost LittleBoy in January.) 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on May 19, 2020, 12:53:56 PM
Perhaps Elektra will be cured of her escapism as she just made herself spend a cold and rainy night outside under the porch.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on May 19, 2020, 01:31:04 PM
Is she OK?

If she just suddenly appeared out of nowhere this AM, I suppose you could say, "Morning becomes Electra."

Sorry.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on May 20, 2020, 06:47:58 AM
She's fine and very clingy.  MrsFishProf heard mewing, but couldn't place it.  I went outside and kneeled by the latticework under the porch and out zoomed a wet and dirty, but very relieved, kitty.

She atypically parked herself on my hip all night.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on May 20, 2020, 07:32:51 AM
FishProf, glad she is OK. Hopefully she will engage one-trial learning, and will stay inside!

Ninja loves to go out and sun herself on the porch. However she clearly does not understand the concept of "weather" as she will sit by the door and cry pitifully when we are in the midst of a torrential downpour.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on May 20, 2020, 10:46:51 AM
Also glad to hear Elektra is okay.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on May 21, 2020, 12:25:22 PM
OK. I knew it was something like this:

Cats domesticated humans to get our mice, archaeologists prove:

   https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/.premium-cats-domesticated-humans-to-get-our-mice-archaeologists-prove-1.8856783

They're herding us. We just think we're herding them.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 21, 2020, 01:35:23 PM
We've amassed a large quantity of pet store boxes from cat food orders. So, we decided to create a game to amuse humans and feed cats. I'm working on creating a 3x3 grid of boxes (right now, I have six). We're thinking of cat tic-tac-toe or maybe just a points game (maybe like skee-ball with smaller boxes being worth more points than larger boxes).

Rules so far:

Human can 'call' a box and then throw a piece of kibble into it. If a cat jumps into the right box, then you get the box (points, or 'x' or 'o' if playing tic-tac-toe). There have been issues with multiple cats jumping into the same box at once, which are highly entertaining.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on May 24, 2020, 07:10:16 AM
Our local shelter had a power outage and called in the emergency fosters.  We just brought home our sweet, beautiful houseguest.  I'm worried this might be the fastest foster fail in history. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on May 24, 2020, 07:28:53 AM
Our local shelter had a power outage and called in the emergency fosters.  We just brought home our sweet, beautiful houseguest.  I'm worried this might be the fastest foster fail in history. 

I always wonder about the term "foster fail." We can't participate in fostering b/c Ricochet is too squirrelly and we are concerned she'd end up back hiding in the closet full-time.  But, if you foster a cat and they get along with your household and you decide to adopt them, is this not a good thing for you and the cat? Does it prevent you from being a foster family in the future? What is the downside here as long as the foster family are responsible pet owners?  Obviously if you adopted every cat you fostered, your house may be overrun (and hopefully TPIC would stop letting you foster), but as long as it's not foster-failing run amok, is it just considered adoption?

statsgeek, you were looking for a kitty anyway, right? Perhaps it is fate?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on May 25, 2020, 05:09:58 AM
I think it's called a foster fail because, in a typical situation, if people who cared for these guys short term until they were ready to be adopted kept all of them, the system would break down.  You're right, though.  In this situation where we were a week away from being ready to adopt anyway, it's probably more fate than fail. 

So, assuming the paperwork goes through ok, our little house guest is staying.  By pure coincidence, she looks a lot like our beloved LittleGirl (of blessed memory), but she's already showing herself to be her own kitty in personality.  Now we just have to figure out the logistics of getting the work done on the house with a kitty already here.  And we'll probably still go to the adoption event in a couple weeks, as planned, to find her a companion. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on May 25, 2020, 07:43:27 AM
We have been adopted.

I was working in the yard last week when a scrawny little orange tabby boy showed up.  He came right up to me and helped me pull weeds and trim off the dead peony blooms.  I told ALHS, who came out to see and was smitten. 

With the two older girls in the house, one of whom would eat a kitten alive and the other wouldn't ever come out from under the bed again, if this one stays, he'll have to be an outside cat--not particularly difficult in our neighborhood, as there are several who've lived outdoors for years. 

He's been named Jake and has gotten a food dish and water dish and the old cat taxi, complete with a soft cushy towel.  We hope he hangs around.  He's very people-friendly and brave, and he entertains himself by watching squirrels in the tree and the occasional car going by in our quiet old neighborhood.  We'll call the vet this week to get him in for a check-up, shots, and neutering. It's hard to tell, but I'd say Jake is maybe 3-4 months old; he's still getting his teeth in.  And he has the prettiest light brown/dark butterscotch-colored eyes!

(A woman a few blocks away is a haven for local cats:  she takes them to the vet, then feeds and cares for them.  She has an unused garage where she leaves the door partially open, and the kitties live there; she puts out new bales of straw every winter for them, and they're very loyal and tame. They just need a place to stay and somebody to watch out for them. )
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on May 25, 2020, 07:44:57 AM
Aww..two new fora kitties to welcome!

Scritches to the little one you already have from me...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on May 28, 2020, 11:12:36 AM
Sir Puck has had several misadventures in the last few weeks.  First, he launched himself after a squirrel, ended up flopped on the fence, and fell into the neighbor's yard.  Thankfully he stayed by the fence until we could wiggle a board away to make a big enough gap for him to come back through.   He spent the rest of the morning hiding under the bed.
Then he got stuck on top of the kitchen cabinets.  No idea HOW he made the jump since it's nearly vertical and the gap on top is too short for him to stand up in.  Cue another rescue and hiding under the bed.
Latest was a giant leap to the the of the bookshelves and getting too scared to jump back down.

The "look before you leap" lesson hasn't quite sunk in yet.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: waterboy on May 28, 2020, 11:20:44 AM
Having a hard time being "productive" whilst holding a cat in one arm
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on May 28, 2020, 12:55:44 PM
Had a Zoom meeting with a friend this morning. HerMajesty kept walking across the computer keyboard and through the camera range. I told her it wasn't necessary; we already know that she has the most exquisite furry tail ever. She didn't believe me.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on May 28, 2020, 03:03:29 PM
One of my student's two kitties was sitting next to him while we worked on his homework this AM.

The screen shifted, and suddenly the cat and I were looking at each other.

Each was startled, but glad to see the other, I think.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on May 30, 2020, 12:24:32 PM
My Friday afternoon class began yesterday's class by students showing off their kittens and puppies. My two cats declined to participate in the furry fun, as neither enjoy being picked up.  Ninja will occasionally walk across the computer keyboard or lay across my notes as I'm attempting to teach. Ricochet steadfastly ignores the proceedings.
Does anyone else have a cat who spends almost their entire day in one place? When the stay-at-home order started, Ricochet was spending about 95% of her time lounging on the family room loveseat. For the last couple of weeks, she has decided that her new home is on a pile of cloth grocery bags we had thrown in front of the door with the initial intention of putting them back in the car.  As she appears so happy on her bags, we have left them there for her to nest in.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 03, 2020, 02:19:53 PM
Eldest evil cat had two procedures today, which involved the removal of teeth and two masses. He is stoned out of his mind right now and I feel terrible for him. All we can do is wait for him to recover.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 03, 2020, 03:33:14 PM
Oh, dear....were the masses already biopsied, or are you awaiting those results as well?

Poor kitty, please administer additional scritches (if he'll tolerate them) on my behalf when he awakens.

All good thoughts for all of you...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 03, 2020, 03:55:35 PM
Oh, dear....were the masses already biopsied, or are you awaiting those results as well?

Poor kitty, please administer additional scritches (if he's tolerate them) on my behalf when he awakens.

All good thoughts for all of you...

M.

Thanks Mamselle.

Things have been 'tense' over here. Biopsy is going out today and we should hear within a week. He is already stalking Youngest evil cat even though he's wearing a cone-of-shame. Meanwhile, she has retreated under the couch (while growling incessantly).
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 04, 2020, 05:41:07 AM
Poor kitty. Fingers crossed for him here too.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on June 04, 2020, 07:49:42 AM
Jake is discovering the joys of gardening.  ALHS dug two deep holes by the front porch, then went around back to get the new hostas to set in. He had to wait for the kitten to come out of the hole.  Then, he had to contend with Jake digging out the dirt he was using to fill in the holes, as fast as he could shovel it in.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 04, 2020, 10:07:16 AM
Actually, I should have said 'Elder' evil cat, as he is the one who had the procedure. Eldest evil cat didn't have it.

It's still tense around here. Youngest evil cat is still incredibly wary of Elder. Much growling, tail bristling and staring on her part. Elder evil cat couldn't care less.

Unfortunately, he looks like Dr. Frankenstein's cat with the jagged stitching on his side. He does have a very good appetite though.

I'm not sure if I can take 2 weeks of Youngest evil cat's shit though. She attacked him last night- right in the face... possibly where he had his tooth extractions, but he was pretty stoned yesterday so...

Elder evil cat meanders along though, while bumping into things with his cone-of-shame. Sometimes we have to free him from spots, so the downstairs now looks like a crazy obstacle course with boxes all over the place blocking alcoves, etc. 

Fun on the bun!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 04, 2020, 10:37:00 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about poor baby evil cat. I hope he feels better soon.


I'm not sure if I can take 2 weeks of Youngest evil cat's shit though. She attacked him last night- right in the face... possibly where he had his tooth extractions, but he was pretty stoned yesterday so...


Last year we had to take Ninja to the emergency vet for breathing problems.  When we brought her home, Ricochet, whose usual reaction to any change is to run and hide, completely lost her shit and attached Ninja, growling, hissing, and biting. We had to lock her in bathroom for most of the day. We think it was possibly the smell of the vet/medication, and after Ninja had given herself several baths, Ricochet seemed to recognize her again.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 04, 2020, 12:45:53 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about poor baby evil cat. I hope he feels better soon.


I'm not sure if I can take 2 weeks of Youngest evil cat's shit though. She attacked him last night- right in the face... possibly where he had his tooth extractions, but he was pretty stoned yesterday so...


Last year we had to take Ninja to the emergency vet for breathing problems.  When we brought her home, Ricochet, whose usual reaction to any change is to run and hide, completely lost her shit and attached Ninja, growling, hissing, and biting. We had to lock her in bathroom for most of the day. We think it was possibly the smell of the vet/medication, and after Ninja had given herself several baths, Ricochet seemed to recognize her again.

We figured as much. I think it's nonrecognition aggression. Unfortunately, he can't really clean himself at this point due to the cone and stitches.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on June 04, 2020, 01:12:32 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about poor baby evil cat. I hope he feels better soon.


I'm not sure if I can take 2 weeks of Youngest evil cat's shit though. She attacked him last night- right in the face... possibly where he had his tooth extractions, but he was pretty stoned yesterday so...


Last year we had to take Ninja to the emergency vet for breathing problems.  When we brought her home, Ricochet, whose usual reaction to any change is to run and hide, completely lost her shit and attached Ninja, growling, hissing, and biting. We had to lock her in bathroom for most of the day. We think it was possibly the smell of the vet/medication, and after Ninja had given herself several baths, Ricochet seemed to recognize her again.

We figured as much. I think it's nonrecognition aggression. Unfortunately, he can't really clean himself at this point due to the cone and stitches.

Hoping for the best for you both with the biopsy  results and reconciliation among the cats!

Yes this seems to be very common. My pair of sibs, who are usually best buds, both spent time hissing and swatting at each other after their respective spay and neuter vet visits. When panther boy came home, little calico spent about a day simultaneously hissing at him and grooming him, which was very confusing to everyone involved. It's like her tiny cat brain just couldn't reconcile unfamiliar smell with familiar sight and launched two behavioral patterns at once!  After she'd gotten enough of her own scent back on him all was well in the world again.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 04, 2020, 04:52:53 PM
Yes, separating them for everybody's own good for a couple days will probably ease out the aggressions.

M.

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 04, 2020, 05:50:12 PM
Elder Evil Cat must be feeling better (or the anesthesia finally wore off). He's been rolling and loving on me hard!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 04, 2020, 06:03:30 PM
Awww.....good for all of you.

Did he yowl a lot coming out of the anaesthesia?

They sometimes write the most endearing operas...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 04, 2020, 08:55:25 PM
Awww.....good for all of you.

Did he yowl a lot coming out of the anaesthesia?

They sometimes write the most endearing operas...

M.

He was very quiet yesterday, but still affectionate. Today, he was more vocal and even more affectionate. Right now, he is lying next to me in bed with his cone o' shame pushed up against my left arm. Actually, he's almost pushing me out of the bed. Did I mention that when he was younger that he used to spoon me?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on June 05, 2020, 08:39:55 AM
Awww.....good for all of you.

Did he yowl a lot coming out of the anaesthesia?

They sometimes write the most endearing operas...

M.


He was very quiet yesterday, but still affectionate. Today, he was more vocal and even more affectionate. Right now, he is lying next to me in bed with his cone o' shame pushed up against my left arm. Actually, he's almost pushing me out of the bed. Did I mention that when he was younger that he used to spoon me?

Aww, what a sweet kitty!  Hopefully the cone of shame can come off soon.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 05, 2020, 01:02:26 PM
Awww.....good for all of you.

Did he yowl a lot coming out of the anaesthesia?

They sometimes write the most endearing operas...

M.


He was very quiet yesterday, but still affectionate. Today, he was more vocal and even more affectionate. Right now, he is lying next to me in bed with his cone o' shame pushed up against my left arm. Actually, he's almost pushing me out of the bed. Did I mention that when he was younger that he used to spoon me?

Aww, what a sweet kitty!  Hopefully the cone of shame can come off soon.

We just took it off and he's napping on the couch. I think he's having some tummy distress since he's been burping a bit, so we figured he'd feel better with a break from the cone. We're supervising him while the cone is off and plan to put it back on later, when we can't keep all eyes on him. He is very stealthy and sneaky about things and I don't want him to scratch his stitches.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on June 08, 2020, 12:59:23 PM
Izzy the kitten has discovered house flies.  The are the Best Most Exciting Thing Ever!  She is even putting off her afternoon nap to squeak at them and romp around the house.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 08, 2020, 01:10:11 PM
And then there's the crunch.....crunch....crunch....

....of when she catches them and discovers they stop flying around and bothering you if you eat them....

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 08, 2020, 02:42:10 PM
Izzy the kitten has discovered house flies.  The are the Best Most Exciting Thing Ever!  She is even putting off her afternoon nap to squeak at them and romp around the house.
And then there's the crunch.....crunch....crunch....

....of when she catches them and discovers they stop flying around and bothering you if you eat them....

M.

Oh, yes, BUGS!!!!! Moths in particular put the entire feline contingent here into instant Hunter/Huntress Mode!


How is Evil Cat doing now? Hope he's feeling better.


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 08, 2020, 03:06:17 PM
Well, there's good news and there's bad news. Of the two lumps (both isolated outside of the rib cage), one was a fatty lipoma and the other was a slow-growing cancer that 'could' come back (so we're keeping an eye on the area). He's still doing his thing and I think that he LOVES the extra attention that he's getting. Unfortunately, he's using his cone like the front of a bulldozer to push me out of bed when he tries to spoon me. He's also tried sleeping on top of my pillows again- something he did when he was a kitten.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 08, 2020, 03:57:39 PM
Oh, dear.

Extra scritches where the cone allows....and hopes that the CA doesn't re-appear, as well.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 08, 2020, 04:52:40 PM
Poor kitty. Hope he'll be okay.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 08, 2020, 06:49:49 PM
Thanks all. Right now, he's lying all spread out on the electric blanket (I get cold easily and I'm in the South). A few minutes ago he was snoring. :)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on June 09, 2020, 09:04:50 AM
Well, there's good news and there's bad news. Of the two lumps (both isolated outside of the rib cage), one was a fatty lipoma and the other was a slow-growing cancer that 'could' come back (so we're keeping an eye on the area). He's still doing his thing and I think that he LOVES the extra attention that he's getting. Unfortunately, he's using his cone like the front of a bulldozer to push me out of bed when he tries to spoon me. He's also tried sleeping on top of my pillows again- something he did when he was a kitten.

I'd say that's pretty good news!  Slow-growing, isolated tumors are not nearly as scary as other types.  And a fatty lipoma is a literal "blob of fat", no cancer risk at all.  He sounds like a sweet kitty!  I love the mental image of the kitty bulldozer pushing you out of bed.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 09, 2020, 09:08:20 AM
Well, there's good news and there's bad news. Of the two lumps (both isolated outside of the rib cage), one was a fatty lipoma and the other was a slow-growing cancer that 'could' come back (so we're keeping an eye on the area). He's still doing his thing and I think that he LOVES the extra attention that he's getting. Unfortunately, he's using his cone like the front of a bulldozer to push me out of bed when he tries to spoon me. He's also tried sleeping on top of my pillows again- something he did when he was a kitten.

I'd say that's pretty good news!  Slow-growing, isolated tumors are not nearly as scary as other types.  And a fatty lipoma is a literal "blob of fat", no cancer risk at all.  He sounds like a sweet kitty!  I love the mental image of the kitty bulldozer pushing you out of bed.

He's VERY good at this. I woke up to a cone in my face this morning.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 09, 2020, 09:29:16 AM
He wants YOU to wear it for awhile.

He's had his turn...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 09, 2020, 10:09:34 AM
He wants YOU to wear it for awhile.

He's had his turn...

M.

Oh, believe me, I know. He really doesn't like it. I'm trying to take it off him as much as possible (when I can directly supervise him). Unfortunately, he really wants to lick his side. Maybe I could put a cat sweater on him?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on June 09, 2020, 10:13:55 AM
He wants YOU to wear it for awhile.

He's had his turn...

M.

Oh, believe me, I know. He really doesn't like it. I'm trying to take it off him as much as possible (when I can directly supervise him). Unfortunately, he really wants to lick his side. Maybe I could put a cat sweater on him?
That would work.  Or, a baby to toddler sized t-shirt. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 09, 2020, 10:15:33 AM
Umm...

Maybe. He might try to bit through the sweater, though, too.

If the skin is itchy, did they give you any cream or something to put on it?

Or maybe ask them if something inert like vegetable oil would be OK?

(I think if he licks it, it may only function as an internal lubricant, but I might be wrong).

More scritches. Sweet kitty...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 09, 2020, 01:00:48 PM
Been meaning to post here for a while, but was too overwhelmed to organize thoughts.

About a month ago, someone in our building complex found an abandoned litter of kittens. They had been left in a cardboard box without food or water for we don't know how long. Don't know what happened to the mama cat. The person who found them estimated they were about 4 weeks old and was looking for volunteers to take care of them so they wouldn't have to go to a shelter.

SO and I ended up taking the last kitten of the litter. Neither of us had ever cared for a kitty that young, so there was a lot of internet searching for instructions (especially the 2 days between taking him in and being able to get him a vet check up).

Pleased to say, he's grown from a tiny, wobbly ball of fur into a healthy, active kitten of about 10-11 weeks of age. We seem to have done ok with some major milestones: weaning him onto solid food (he's now on a mix of wet kitten food and kitten kibble), getting him using the litter box comfortably (trial and error process finding the right size box and litter he approved of), finding toys he loves, and starting some clicker training (so far I've got him turning to look at me when I say his name and touching his nose to the end of a stick).

What I'm worried about most is socialization. He is very comfortable with SO and me: loves to snuggle up to us or climb in our laps when he is in the mood to chill or nap, purrs when petted (unless in hyperactive kitten mode, in which case the slightest touch is like touching him with a live wire), and he likes to lounge near us even when not in the mood for play or affection. We're not sure yet how he will react to unfamiliar humans.

But I'm not sure what to do about:

1) Socializing him with other animals. I keep reading about how important these early weeks are for their development and how 4 weeks is far too young to be separated from mother and siblings. SO doesn't want to adopt a second cat since the one kitten already needs quite a lot of attention. I worry it would be difficult for the cat to eventually learn to get along with a second pet (cat or dog) if he has not had enough exposure while young. Not sure how to remedy this, especially with the pandemic going on. Not like I can easily invite a friend with a pet over.

2) Biting. I've been following the advice of some cat behaviorists (or at least so-called) who say to make a noise like "ow" when the kitten bites and then pull away and ignore kitty for a short time. This is meant to teach him that being too rough ends playtime. In addition, whenever we see him lunging for a hand or foot, we try to intercept him with a toy to chew on to teach him acceptable attack targets. I'm not sure how well it's working. He's perfectly happy to maul one of his toys, but if there is a hand or foot in sight, it seems to be a much more tempting target.

Also, not all the cat advice I got was consistent. Some say any mouthing at all needs to be discouraged because if the cat thinks mouthing is ok he will also think biting is ok. Others say gentle nips or mouthing are signs of affection that cats often give each other when grooming.

3) Pouncing on us in bed. He especially likes to go for the face. We've been trying to keep him on a regular feeding and play/exercise routine; but he's in this pattern of sleeping like the dead during the afternoon and bursting with energy around 10pm-1am. We try to tucker him out with an hour of play before bed, but he's still got a couple of more hours in reserve. I've tried to get him to play more in the afternoon so he is more sleepy at night, but he is so naturally sleepy at this time it's hard to get him to engage. I don't like locking him out because he is so young. He cries if not allowed to sleep with at least one of us.

Was hoping to hear kitten-raising experiences from people on the fora, since I prefer to hear from people I pseudo-know than from people I don't know at all.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 09, 2020, 01:14:52 PM
Awww, so glad you found a little furry one!

Great news.

The short time he was with his mama, he learned that biting soft places led to food. So some of the face-attacks are probably/possibly because human facial skin is a lot like the soft skin around his mama's teats. (He's probably wondering why your nose doesn't leak milk....)

They're OK without socialization, to a great degree, although, I agree, 4 weeks is really young. And he is socializing--to some degree, you're just big, funn-looking cats, to him.

And as for the scheduling, he's nocturnal, like my dad who functioned between between noon-2 PM and 3 AM every day he could. That's a hard-wired given, others might have better suggestions about how to cope with it.

But you've already learned the most important lesson. You've not only ceded your hearts, but your home, your activities, indeed, your lives to him.

He is CAT.

You are mere mortals.

Enjoy.

M. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on June 09, 2020, 01:51:13 PM
Congratulations on your tiny kitten!

For the biting, it's a normal part of their play and development of their hunting skills.  BUT if he bit a sibling or his mama cat too hard, they would squeak at him ("EEP!) or his mama cat would bop him on top of his head.  Go ahead and let him maul his toys.  If he nips you too hard, say EEP! and/or gently tap him on his forehead.

The only way to extinguish the nighttime face boxing is to: ignore it (easy to say, hard to do); tire him out; lock him out of the room (sad kitty); or squirt him with a squirt bottle (assuming he doesn't think that's a fun game).  I'd say try the ignoring method.  Just remember that cats are like toddlers in that they crave attention of any sort (positive or negative).  So, you'll have to do your best to not respond at all to his romping.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mythbuster on June 09, 2020, 02:36:00 PM
I'm so thrilled to hear that a kitten found you! Those are the best pets- the ones that are truly meant to be.

I have never fostered one that young before, so I will defer to those who know more but it really sounds to me like you are doing most everything right. He will now dictate your rhythms. My beloved  Plumpcat would herd me to bed each evening so we could have personal snuggle time. I so missed that once she passed. The nipping and pouncing issues will likely resolve with age.

Like any good parent, we fully expect lots of stories if not full on photos. Have you decided on a name yet?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 09, 2020, 02:47:59 PM
Umm...

Maybe. He might try to bit through the sweater, though, too.

If the skin is itchy, did they give you any cream or something to put on it?

Or maybe ask them if something inert like vegetable oil would be OK?

(I think if he licks it, it may only function as an internal lubricant, but I might be wrong).

More scritches. Sweet kitty...

M.

I was worried about this too. Maybe a see-through shower curtain vest? Sounds weird, but it I don't think it would itch or catch on the stiches like fabric would. I can ask the vet.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 09, 2020, 02:52:23 PM
Smallcleanrat:

Yay for kitties! When we found Youngest Evil cat (well, she found us), she was VERY energetic. I think we found her when she was about a month old. My advice- lots of toys, boxes to climb and play in, crumpled up paper can be fun, empty toilet paper rolls, laser pointers, catnip maybe?, etc. If you want to leash train, now may be the time to start thinking about it. We started Youngest Evil cat when she was about two months old.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 09, 2020, 03:02:53 PM
We need Citrine for more baby-cat-care instructions!

    Walks out to the far-off-Fora-calling-place:

          << CITRINE!!! >>

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on June 09, 2020, 03:06:09 PM
Congratulations on your tiny kitten!

For the biting, it's a normal part of their play and development of their hunting skills.  BUT if he bit a sibling or his mama cat too hard, they would squeak at him ("EEP!) or his mama cat would bop him on top of his head.  Go ahead and let him maul his toys.  If he nips you too hard, say EEP! and/or gently tap him on his forehead.

The only way to extinguish the nighttime face boxing is to: ignore it (easy to say, hard to do); tire him out; lock him out of the room (sad kitty); or squirt him with a squirt bottle (assuming he doesn't think that's a fun game).  I'd say try the ignoring method.  Just remember that cats are like toddlers in that they crave attention of any sort (positive or negative).  So, you'll have to do your best to not respond at all to his romping.

Yes, enjoy your kitten, and don't worry too much-- he will grow out of most of the crazy kitten behavior with time.

Cats are crepuscular (meaning they are most active at dusk and dawn) so there's not much you can do to change their sleep schedule to match yours-- best just to shut him out of the bedroom  with a minimum of fuss/attention each time he is disrupting your sleep, and he will eventually learn that if he wants to play at night and still have access to the bed he needs to play elsewhere and let the humans sleep. If you are lucky he will eventually learn that your alarm going off is his signal to come for snuggles-- one of mine reliably comes running when my alarm goes off now and his sister eventually joins us.

I will say after getting my pair last fall (at about 5 months) I'm a total convert to the idea that two bonded cats is actually less work than one when they are young, since they rely on each other rather than the human(s) for some of their entertainment and affection. This is especially true at night-- they can zoom around and play together downstairs in the dark all they want, so long as they don't wake me up, and are generally happy to do so. He is still young enough that getting another similar age kitten or kitten-tolerant young cat is likely to work. Even as an only-cat he will eventually calm down though.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 10, 2020, 04:39:49 AM
That's great news that you have a kitty, smallcleanrat! Congratulations. Also I second Puget's advice. As for getting contradictory information, just start trying different methods. Cats have individual personalities just as much as humans do, and as you get to know your kitten and bond with him, you'll discover what works for the two of you.


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on June 10, 2020, 01:29:27 PM
We need Citrine for more baby-cat-care instructions!

    Walks out to the far-off-Fora-calling-place:

          << CITRINE!!! >>

M.

Did someone yell my name? (I actually got a weird spam message which is why I'm here.)

1) Cats who are mostly raised by people can be a little weird with other cats, but it's not the end of the world, especially if they're gonna be indoor cats. You're giving him a lot of the socialization that he would get from his littermates and mama through play and training, so he'll be fine. He might like meeting other cats or he might not, but some cats just don't like other cats no matter how they got socialized.

2) The "mouthing" thing is really normal at 10-11 weeks and for a few more weeks into kittenhood. That will probably fade out entirely although some adult cats really like to lick hands and faces instead of biting. (Some adult cats may do a little 'play biting" if they mistake your hand for a toy during a play session, but most adult cats will only bite you if they are really irritated.) I cannot count the number of times I have said "I am not a chew toy" to a kitten of that age while gently dissuading them from gnawing upon my person. Biting and licking is a behavior they would do during play with other kittens or cats, so it's not an abnormal behavior. (Kittens play rough. It's wild to watch them go at each other like furry demons and then collapse into a pile and sleep.)

So: mouthing isn't necessarily bad and they probably will grow out of it, but there's nothing wrong with dissuading them from biting you, since their fellow felines would swat them off or bite their scruff to get them to stop biting if they weren't in the mood for that kind of rough affection. Cats and kittens have a "scruff" of loose skin at the back of their heads. Mama cats will bite that gently to get a kitten to stop doing something (and also to pick up and carry a kitten). You can gently pull up on that scruff to dissuade a kitten from biting. The "redirect" method you've been doing is also good. Remove cat from mouthing at you, have a reaction that indicates "ow, stop it," give cat something else to gnaw on instead.

3) Definitely scruff him (gently) if he pounces on your face and put him back on the floor or at the end of the bed, preferably with something distracting. I think he will grow out of that behavior as well. A lot of this stuff is really normal for kittens and eventually they settle down and stop doing it quite so much.

(Also, hello, cat people! I haven't been to the shelter since March because of regulations in my state, but the shelter is hoping to re-open to volunteers in July, although not yet for junior volunteers, which makes Nephew sad as he had just started volunteering in that program before everything shut down in March. The staff have kindly been keeping us updated on the cats. I miss them but I am glad that people are still willing to adopt them even in the middle of everything that we've got going on.)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 10, 2020, 04:15:04 PM
So cool to hear that Nephew is volunteering!!

And great to hear from you!

We need updates!!

M.

ETA: I just saw the update on the "Nostalgia" thread--thanks! M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 10, 2020, 04:52:58 PM
Smallcleanrat, congrats on your furry addition to your home!  I'm so glad you found eachother.  I don't have much to add to the wise posts.   

We adopted Ninja and Ricochet as young kittens (Ninja was just two pounds! Hard to believe as she is now a large black panther).  They both had some biting/nipping with us and with eachother, but it is pretty rare now.  Ninja will show her teeth (bright white sparkling against jet black fur) when irritated, but she's pretty mellow.   Ricochet (the squirrelly tortie) has her anxiety moments when teeth and claws come out; she can be purring in bliss then suddenly go feline venus-fly-trap on our hands with all her claws and teeth.  They grew up with each other, and probably helped socialize each other, but now they are pretty independent. 

I wouldn't worry too much about socialization with other animals, as many cats prefer to be the solitary feline in your house.  He will calm down a bit from the kitten-crazies and socialize you to be his dedicated staff all in good time.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on June 11, 2020, 09:03:39 AM
<Waves hello to Citrine!  Good to see you again!!>

Jake the Kitten had a big time while I was watering the flowers this morning.  He was pouncing around, stalking me and ALHS, and generally being an attractive nuisance, when suddenly he discovered the glider-type swing on the south of the house (where I've already seen him sit a dozen times before).  But today it was NEW and EXCITING. He bounced onto, under, over, around, and along the top of it. While he was perched on the back of it, he leaned way forward and realized that through the tiny spaces between the slats in the swing back, he could see his tail hanging down behind it. The pouncing, stalking, and disappointment when the tail disappeared--and the joy when it reappeared--commenced.

He wears me out just watching him.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 12, 2020, 07:52:55 AM
Thanks for all the congrats and advice. The cat has really brightened our lives; SO says he saw me smile more the first week we adopted him than in the last six months. I have also noticed the exhausted, tense expression and posture SO normally has at the end of a work day has been replaced with with tender looks and laughter as he watches the kitten cavort.

More about the kitty: He is a tuxedo cat with white socks, a white chest, and a black face (except for a splash of white across his upper lip that resembles a permanent milk mustache). Oreo seemed like an obvious name choice (especially with that mustache), but he has such a feisty personality that a cutesy name didn't seem right. He also has one of the most intense stares I've ever seen on a cat, with his wide, unblinking green-eyed gaze. And, although he is spooked by the sound of the dishwasher (and, a few times, by his own shadow), screams of human agony emanating from the TV or audio dramas elicit a calm fascination.

We ended up naming him after a famous writer of the macabre.

Seems the tradition on this cat thread is to create a fora name for each kitty, separate from their offline name. Perhaps here I will call him Edgar. Or maybe Maestro, as he seems all dressed up for the symphony. He would look very handsome and dignified if it weren't for that hilarious mustache.

It's a relief to hear he will eventually outgrow some of his habits. I did have a few more questions.

1) For the ignore method: do you continue ignoring even if he is shredding your flesh, drawing blood, or getting his claws worryingly close to your eyes? I did try playing dead a couple of times, under advice to make biting hands as boring as possible. He just kept chewing and chewing and chewing... The most effective way we've come up with to save our skins (outside of simply locking him out of the bedroom) is to use a blanket as a shield, covering all flesh (including face, if necessary). Would this still count as a potentially rewarding reaction or is this a way of ignoring him?

2) At what age does the biting behavior begin to subside?

3) If I lock him out of the bedroom for pouncing on us, is that his last chance for the night? Or do I let him back in a few more times, so he gets more chances to make the connection between his behavior and losing access to the bed?

4) How to interpret the vocalizations? When we first brought him home, the only sound in his vocal repertoire seemed to be a high-pitched shriek. Since then he's also acquired an annoyed, croaky meow (used for when the lap he is resting on moves too much or if his nap is interrupted), a sustained yowl (to indicate he is on the verge of starving to death since his last meal was *hours* ago), and rapid-fire squeaking (seems to be a means to get our attention when he wants something).

But sometimes I begin to pet him and get what sounds like an annoyed meow followed by loud, sustained purring...and then nipping...and then following me when I try to back away. So...did you want petting or did you not want petting, kitty? And there are times he plants himself at the feet of SO, raises his head to make eye contact, and then releases a series of plaintive meows. We've tried offering toys, blankets, food, petting, and a litter box clean (read they will sometimes complain if cleanliness is not up to standard). We cannot figure out what he is trying to communicate. As far as I remember, he's not done this with me.

Raising this kitten is turning out to be quite an adventure.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 12, 2020, 09:34:59 AM

1) For the ignore method: do you continue ignoring even if he is shredding your flesh, drawing blood, or getting his claws worryingly close to your eyes? I did try playing dead a couple of times, under advice to make biting hands as boring as possible. He just kept chewing and chewing and chewing... The most effective way we've come up with to save our skins (outside of simply locking him out of the bedroom) is to use a blanket as a shield, covering all flesh (including face, if necessary). Would this still count as a potentially rewarding reaction or is this a way of ignoring him?


Don't let him physically hurt you. If you (try to) ignore that, he will think it's acceptable. What Mr. Larimar and I do with our crew is if they start biting or clawing is withdraw our appendages with a sharp "NO!" and evict the offender from the bed. If it keeps recurring, the offender gets evicted from the room. Whether you let your kitten back in after being closed out of the room is up to you; just be consistent. I don't know what age is typical for such kitten behavior waning.


But sometimes I begin to pet him and get what sounds like an annoyed meow followed by loud, sustained purring...and then nipping...and then following me when I try to back away. So...did you want petting or did you not want petting, kitty? And there are times he plants himself at the feet of SO, raises his head to make eye contact, and then releases a series of plaintive meows. We've tried offering toys, blankets, food, petting, and a litter box clean (read they will sometimes complain if cleanliness is not up to standard). We cannot figure out what he is trying to communicate. As far as I remember, he's not done this with me.


This reminds me of a quote I saw somewhere, not sure where: "A cat doesn't know what it wants, but it wants more of it."

Does he get startled when you start petting him? Some kitties startle easily if they're high-strung or shy. It sounds like yours might be in the former category. If so, startling could possibly explain the initial loud meow. Other than that it sounds like he probably does want to be petted. As for what he does with your SO, OrangeGuy sometimes does something similar with me, and what he wants is simply attention. We're usually in the kitchen when he does this, so what I do is pet him briefly and talk to him, telling him what a sweetie and a good boy he is, and keep talking to him for a bit as I wash my hands and go back to cooking. He soon quiets down.

Raising this kitten is turning out to be quite an adventure.

Yes, raising kittens is an adventure. HerMajesty and Calico were pretty well socialized by the time we adopted them from rescue places at ages 3-4 months, so with them it was pretty easy. However, we had quite a time raising OrangeGuy and Twerp from the age of 3 days. (They were born practically right on our doorstep and then abandoned by their feral mother.) We had to learn what we were doing very quickly, but luckily a friend was able to instruct us, and it worked out just fine. Our Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser wannabes are doing well and will turn 4 in October.

Enjoy the ride, and enjoy the bond. Your kitten is one lucky critter.


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 12, 2020, 09:46:11 AM
Such joyous little problems!

My first kiitty was a tuxedo, and I love the moniker Maestro (since he is obviously also taking control of the household, as he should).

Agree that you don't want them to think it's OK to hurt you; they wouldn't want to, anyway, they don't realize you don't have that extra fur and slightly tougher skin that can tolerate the little nips and clawing that their siblings might.

Maybe a "three times and you're out for the night" rule would work...he gets a few chances to learn the desired behavior (not to bite) and then it's reinforced that biting is not acceptable and if it keeps happening, he is removed from having access to the object of the biting (you) for a more extended time.

Glad SO is also coming under his spell. Shared dominance by a kitten is such a great bonding mechanism...

;--}

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 12, 2020, 01:30:48 PM
So wonderful to hear that you and SO are doing better, smallcleanrat.  For me, a house is not a home without a cat in it, and I would definitely be stressed with the social distancing requirements if I did not have my two troublemakers at home with me.

But sometimes I begin to pet him and get what sounds like an annoyed meow followed by loud, sustained purring...and then nipping...and then following me when I try to back away. So...did you want petting or did you not want petting, kitty?

The answer to this question is  . . . Yes.   Obviously.   :)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 12, 2020, 04:19:09 PM
Elder evil cat and youngest evil cat are lying on the couch with me, as I am wiped out from gardening (interthreaduality?). Elder cat is wearing a 'sweater' to prevent him from messing up his stitches. Youngest cat is sitting over my head pouting. Eldest evil cat is being antisocial in the kitchen.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on June 13, 2020, 04:23:11 AM
Agree with OneMoreYear - a house without a cat is not a home.  We've had a rough quarantine with no fur-babies around. 

It's kitten day!  We adopted two little boys a week ago and they're coming home today.  I'm excited and scared - it's been a loooog time since I've had babies this young around.  We're hoping our "foster fail" girl will take to the newcomers and we can all be one big, happy family.  But I expect we'll have some drama in the process of getting acquainted. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 13, 2020, 08:55:32 AM
Yay for new kittens for you too! Congratulations, and hope the introductions go well.


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 13, 2020, 09:36:23 AM
After months of being the "big scary monster from which I must flee/hide!", Orestes has started allowing skritches. 

Today, I was allowed a belly-rub and got love paws in return.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 13, 2020, 12:27:14 PM
After months of being the "big scary monster from which I must flee/hide!", Orestes has started allowing skritches. 

Today, I was allowed a belly-rub and got love paws in return.

Awww....way to go, Orestes!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 13, 2020, 01:00:37 PM

This reminds me of a quote I saw somewhere, not sure where: "A cat doesn't know what it wants, but it wants more of it."

Does he get startled when you start petting him? Some kitties startle easily if they're high-strung or shy. It sounds like yours might be in the former category. If so, startling could possibly explain the initial loud meow. Other than that it sounds like he probably does want to be petted. As for what he does with your SO, OrangeGuy sometimes does something similar with me, and what he wants is simply attention. We're usually in the kitchen when he does this, so what I do is pet him briefly and talk to him, telling him what a sweetie and a good boy he is, and keep talking to him for a bit as I wash my hands and go back to cooking. He soon quiets down.

Yes, raising kittens is an adventure. HerMajesty and Calico were pretty well socialized by the time we adopted them from rescue places at ages 3-4 months, so with them it was pretty easy. However, we had quite a time raising OrangeGuy and Twerp from the age of 3 days. (They were born practically right on our doorstep and then abandoned by their feral mother.) We had to learn what we were doing very quickly, but luckily a friend was able to instruct us, and it worked out just fine. Our Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser wannabes are doing well and will turn 4 in October.

Enjoy the ride, and enjoy the bond. Your kitten is one lucky critter.


Larimar

Larimar, plea for attention makes sense, and would explain why he doesn't do it with me. SO is far more successful than I am at tuning out the kitty's antics while working or engaged in hobbies. His attention is doled out in more restricted doses than mine. All kitty has to do to get my attention is walk into the room...or make noise in the next room...or simply exist somewhere in the apartment. He doesn't really have to ask for my attention; it's there whenever he wants it (and sometimes when he doesn't; I'm trying to exercise more restraint). SO is extremely fond of the kitten and has filled his phone with photos and videos of cat and not much else over the past month. But I am utterly besotted; sometimes I just gaze at the marvel that is a kitten, taking in all the little details of his features and behaviors. I have to keep reminding myself to give him his space as he matures. He's not the needy little infant I once bottle-fed...


My first kiitty was a tuxedo, and I love the moniker Maestro (since he is obviously also taking control of the household, as he should).


Yes, Maestro seems right on multiple levels! He really has become master of our home.

For me, a house is not a home without a cat in it, and I would definitely be stressed with the social distancing requirements if I did not have my two troublemakers at home with me.

I had certainly been pining for a critter for quite some time. Something was definitely missing. Our home feels fuller now, and not just in the sense that his toy and beds and cat tree and all other items related to cat have spread to every room of the apartment.

Agree with OneMoreYear - a house without a cat is not a home.  We've had a rough quarantine with no fur-babies around. 

It's kitten day!  We adopted two little boys a week ago and they're coming home today.  I'm excited and scared - it's been a loooog time since I've had babies this young around.  We're hoping our "foster fail" girl will take to the newcomers and we can all be one big, happy family.  But I expect we'll have some drama in the process of getting acquainted. 

Congratulations, statsgeek! How old are your kitties?

After months of being the "big scary monster from which I must flee/hide!", Orestes has started allowing skritches. 

Today, I was allowed a belly-rub and got love paws in return.

What are love paws?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 13, 2020, 01:29:40 PM
Love Paws - The alternating kneading behavior of cats with their front paws.  Used as kittens when nursing to help express milk.  Adult cats do it as a sign of comfort/pleasure/affection.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on June 13, 2020, 01:39:59 PM
Love Paws - The alternating kneading behavior of cats with their front paws.  Used as kittens when nursing to help express milk.  Adult cats do it as a sign of comfort/pleasure/affection.

Also referred to as "making bread" or "making biscuits" in our house.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on June 14, 2020, 05:32:21 AM
Well, we made it through our first night at home! 

Babies are approximately 11 and 15 weeks (not same litter).  They're slowly getting used to each other, and now they're talking to our older girl under the door.  The younger one is already a lap kitty of the highest order, older is still getting used to everything and is rather growly (but his foster assured me he's also a cuddle-bug once he gets to know you).   They only woke us up twice with big thumps of the type that needed to be checked on (nobody hurt).  Younger is having some box issues; I think he's not happy with the type of litter so I'll be heading to the store for another option when they open. 

I tell you, there is nothing like being greeted in the morning by a baby who is so eager for snuggles that he's climbing my leg! 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on June 14, 2020, 06:12:55 AM
Sounds like you're off to a good start statsgeek!

Yesterday my two had their first trip to the back yard on leashes. It was officially the most exciting and best thing ever from their perspective, especially panther boy who was not best pleased when it was time to come back inside. Little calico also enjoyed it but was more cautious. From my perspective, it went pretty well but I quickly realized I needed to order longer leashes, since I was getting pulled in two directions and panther boy is STRONG. I have 16' retractable ones on the way.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 14, 2020, 06:52:05 AM
After months of being the "big scary monster from which I must flee/hide!", Orestes has started allowing skritches. 

Today, I was allowed a belly-rub and got love paws in return.

Such a brave Orestes! Ricochet, who was convinced for many months that we were going to eat her, recommends that Orestes only allows tummy rubs in specific spots in the house, so the humans are kept on their toes (Ricochet's chosen spots are: on cloth bags in front of the front door, in front of the refrigerator, and on top of the  tallest bookcase). You may not want to pass her advice along.

Well, we made it through our first night at home! 

Babies are approximately 11 and 15 weeks (not same litter).  They're slowly getting used to each other, and now they're talking to our older girl under the door.  The younger one is already a lap kitty of the highest order, older is still getting used to everything and is rather growly (but his foster assured me he's also a cuddle-bug once he gets to know you).   They only woke us up twice with big thumps of the type that needed to be checked on (nobody hurt).  Younger is having some box issues; I think he's not happy with the type of litter so I'll be heading to the store for another option when they open. 

I tell you, there is nothing like being greeted in the morning by a baby who is so eager for snuggles that he's climbing my leg! 

Sounds like a resounding success! Yay for new fora kitties!!  Ninja used to climb our legs for snuggling when she was 2 pound fluffball.  Occasionally, she appears to forget that she is now a 12 pound panther and that leg climbing is no longer welcome.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 14, 2020, 07:13:40 AM
After months of being the "big scary monster from which I must flee/hide!", Orestes has started allowing skritches. 

Today, I was allowed a belly-rub and got love paws in return.

Such a brave Orestes! Ricochet, who was convinced for many months that we were going to eat her, recommends that Orestes only allows tummy rubs in specific spots in the house, so the humans are kept on their toes (Ricochet's chosen spots are: on cloth bags in front of the front door, in front of the refrigerator, and on top of the  tallest bookcase). You may not want to pass her advice along.

Oh, there is a pattern.  I am not privy to it.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 14, 2020, 12:49:19 PM
Do cats ever try to comfort humans?

Yesterday I was on my bed, upset and crying. Our little Maestro peeked into my room, saw me, and bounded straight to the bed to snuggle up to me.

This is the first time he's come to me so directly. His usual pattern of joining me for bed is to saunter into the room, check on his toys (is he trying to make sure they are still where he remembers them?), and then jump up on the bed. That is followed by batting at any lumps or folds in the blanket, peering out the window, maybe some grooming, and then, at long last, settling down next to me.

This time he seemed so purposeful.

I was reading speculation that when a cat seems more interested in a sad person, it is because they have learned sad humans like to love on kitties, so signs of sadness are a signal to the cat that it can count on more attention. So it becomes a mutually beneficial reaction, just not motivated by a cat's desire for the human to feel better.

But I think this is the first time Maestro has seen me cry, so he wouldn't have previous experience to draw on.

What do all you experienced cat-lovers think?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 14, 2020, 01:47:14 PM
I can recall times of being upset and finding a kitty creeping into my lap or snuggling up to me in bed.

Some other times I'd pick one up for a moment of consolation and have them wiggle out of my arms.

So, it's not a guaranteed thing, and it can be different with different cats for different reasons.

It's very much on their terms.

Being owned by a cat teaches one to accept mystery and abide with linear uncertainty while living amidst a fairly strong affection field.

But it's sweet that Maestro did that.

They do, sometimes.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 14, 2020, 01:54:27 PM
Elektra is highly sensitive to crying.  If Smolt is upset, Elektra is there.  And she is not normally a cuddly kind of kitten.  Crying is like catnip to her.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 14, 2020, 02:27:34 PM
FluffyGirl, my late long-haired calico who traveled with me through grad school into early career transition, was also sensitive to my crying. I was her human, so she followed me around much of the time. But, if I was crying, she would cuddle up to my chest and lick my face (salt perhaps?).  My current two are not as tuned in to my moods, but Ninja owns my husband and Ricochet remains confounded by the ways of humans, so I would not expect that type of behavior from them.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on June 15, 2020, 05:57:52 AM
My LittleGirl (of blessed memory) came right to me when I got the call my mom had passed away.  Yes, they know, especially the ones that are tightly bonded to their people. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 15, 2020, 08:55:42 AM
Agreed. Cats know.

A belated Attaboy! to Orestes for trying out the love bug thing.

Also don't forget to enroll the new kittens in Fora kitty classes from upthread!


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on June 15, 2020, 09:39:34 AM
 
Also don't forget to enroll the new kittens in Fora kitty classes from upthread!

If any cats are interested in a peer taught course, Little Calico is offering Staff Management 400: Getting the Belly Rubs you Deserve. The syllabus includes strategic times and places to roll on your back, and how to communicate with your staff the urgency of complying with your requests. Panther Boy is currently prepping courses in Getting Your Staff to Open Windows, and The Art of Getting Staff to Take you Outside in your PPE.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 15, 2020, 09:52:36 AM
Also don't forget to enroll the new kittens in Fora kitty classes from upthread!

If any cats are interested in a peer taught course, Little Calico is offering Staff Management 400: Getting the Belly Rubs you Deserve. The syllabus includes strategic times and places to roll on your back, and how to communicate with your staff the urgency of complying with your requests. Panther Boy is currently prepping courses in Getting Your Staff to Open Windows, and The Art of Getting Staff to Take you Outside in your PPE.

Ninja is excited to see Little Calico and Panther Boy's offerings and would like to propose the development of a new peer-taught certificate program entitled Fora Cats Staff Management: Getting Everything You Deserve. She predicts this would attract high enrollment and encourages other content experts to propose additional courses, particularly those that are designed to be taught asynchronously between naps.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on June 15, 2020, 04:45:23 PM
Sir Puck would like to offer certification in Staff Management 501: "How to Ensure On Time Meals".  Tips include the best way to wake up the human staff, how to barter ear rubs for faster service, and how to demand that cats are fed before the staff make coffee or any other human nonsense.

Izzy the kitten is completely failing at Sneaking 101 (aka dainty cat feet) and happily makes "tomp, tomp, tomp" noises with her giant paws on the hardwood floors.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 15, 2020, 07:25:32 PM
Elder Evil Cat is teaching an introductory course in 'How to Operate as a Bulldozer Using a Simple Cone-of-Shame.'

Youngest Evil Cat is offering advanced courses in 'How to Dig into the Sofa and Be a General Hemorrhoid to the Humans.'

Eldest Evil Cat is a Professor Emeritus and so doesn't teach.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on June 16, 2020, 08:00:04 AM
Younger daughter and I were talking at my desk this morning when we heard a pitiful meow.  At first we thought it was Little Cat but soon realized it was Jake outside the open window.  Another meow, and he appeared on the window (some 6 feet off the ground).  He had his front feet on the edge of the upper glass, claws in the screen, and hung there wondering, "now what the hell do I do? "  After gingerly climbing down to get his front feet on the screen and his back feet on the house, and hanging there a minute, he thumped onto the ground.  I stuck my head out the front door to check on him, but by then he was around back, drinking water, flipping his tail, and acting like nothing happened. 

(The screen is unscathed, luckily.  ALHS would have had a fit had it been snagged.)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 16, 2020, 08:31:51 AM
How did he get up there????!!!

Cats.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 16, 2020, 09:42:56 AM
How did he get up there????!!!

Cats.

M.

He took Youngest Evil Cat's intermediate course on "Jumping."
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on June 16, 2020, 10:16:32 AM
How did he get up there????!!!

Cats.

M.

He took Youngest Evil Cat's intermediate course on "Jumping."

I think he CLEP'ed out of that one.  He's jumped sky-high (well, at least 4+ feet in the air from a standing start) since the day we found him he adopted us.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 16, 2020, 12:46:30 PM
How did he get up there????!!!

Cats.

M.

He took Youngest Evil Cat's intermediate course on "Jumping."

I think he CLEP'ed out of that one.  He's jumped sky-high (well, at least 4+ feet in the air from a standing start) since the day we found him he adopted us.

Wow, that's some jump.

Sir Puck would like to offer certification in Staff Management 501: "How to Ensure On Time Meals".  Tips include the best way to wake up the human staff, how to barter ear rubs for faster service, and how to demand that cats are fed before the staff make coffee or any other human nonsense.

The Larimar crew has a proposal for the next peer-taught course in the sequence: Staff Management 502: Communicating Feline Dietary Requirements to Clueless Humans, team taught by HerMajesty, Calico, OrangeGuy, and Twerp. Course curriculum includes perfecting the "That stuff?!" facial expression and the "burying" gesture, as well as just the right level of purr if for once the humans actually get it right.

HerMajesty will only eat kibble, and the others have recently decided that "Cod, Sole, and Shrimp" flavor canned food is unacceptable. At least it doesn't go to waste. The feral kitties outside scarf it up in the blink of an eye.


Larimar

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 17, 2020, 08:27:31 AM
Ricochet is all set to teach Cat Computer Science 102: Changing your human's computer settings for no reason.   

In her awkward attempt to cuddle, she walked across my laptop keyboard and toggled off the microphone key, causing me to be unable to use the microphone to teach in the LMS. As I did not know about this key, I had no idea why I could suddenly no longer teach with sound.   After some trial and error, my University's fabulous tech support was able to help me figure out what happened (seriously, I am so lucky, our instructional support folks rock!).


The Larimar crew has a proposal for the next peer-taught course in the sequence: Staff Management 502: Communicating Feline Dietary Requirements to Clueless Humans, team taught by HerMajesty, Calico, OrangeGuy, and Twerp. Course curriculum includes perfecting the "That stuff?!" facial expression and the "burying" gesture, as well as just the right level of purr if for once the humans actually get it right.

HerMajesty will only eat kibble, and the others have recently decided that "Cod, Sole, and Shrimp" flavor canned food is unacceptable. At least it doesn't go to waste. The feral kitties outside scarf it up in the blink of an eye.

Larimar


Ricochet has CLEP'd this course, as she will only eat one specific flavor of one brand of kibble and responds to other offerings as if we are going to poison her.  Ninja is much more food adventurous; the other day, I caught her chewing on a piece of Roman lettuce.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on June 17, 2020, 11:48:41 AM
Ricochet is all set to teach Cat Computer Science 102: Changing your human's computer settings for no reason.   

In her awkward attempt to cuddle, she walked across my laptop keyboard and toggled off the microphone key, causing me to be unable to use the microphone to teach in the LMS. As I did not know about this key, I had no idea why I could suddenly no longer teach with sound.   After some trial and error, my University's fabulous tech support was able to help me figure out what happened (seriously, I am so lucky, our instructional support folks rock!).


The Larimar crew has a proposal for the next peer-taught course in the sequence: Staff Management 502: Communicating Feline Dietary Requirements to Clueless Humans, team taught by HerMajesty, Calico, OrangeGuy, and Twerp. Course curriculum includes perfecting the "That stuff?!" facial expression and the "burying" gesture, as well as just the right level of purr if for once the humans actually get it right.

HerMajesty will only eat kibble, and the others have recently decided that "Cod, Sole, and Shrimp" flavor canned food is unacceptable. At least it doesn't go to waste. The feral kitties outside scarf it up in the blink of an eye.

Larimar


Ricochet has CLEP'd this course, as she will only eat one specific flavor of one brand of kibble and responds to other offerings as if we are going to poison her.  Ninja is much more food adventurous; the other day, I caught her chewing on a piece of Roman lettuce.

Lady Jane has managed all sorts of mischief by dainty stepping across my keyboard.  Her brother, Sir Puck, managed to unplug the desktop during a meeting.

As far as food, we have Venn diagrams of preferences for the cats.  Effie cat will only eat paté style canned food (no shreds, chunks, meaty bits, etc.).  Lady Jane will only eat seafood flavored canned food.  Sir Puck will eat anything except the super-duper-fancy high calorie paté that is just for Effie.  Izzy the kitten will eat absolutely everything, up to and including random bits of lint off the floor.
Thankfully we can buy cases of seafood flavored paté style wet food.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 17, 2020, 11:58:53 AM
Orestes is offering a special topics course in food as well.   

ST 499 - How is that even food?  Students will learn to chew, dismember, shred, and sometimes consume non-traditional food items (e.g. silicone straws, stuffed dinosaurs, aluminum foil, tinsel, Christmas tchotchkes).  Final exam includes hairball production with an emphasis on surprising content and locations.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 20, 2020, 09:39:31 AM
Orestes is now at the hospital.  Early indications are that he ate something metallic (foil? ribbon?  is that a spring?).  He has petitioned, and will likely be granted, that this count as professional development credit with regard to his course offerings. 

We just had a long talk with Smolt about fault vs. responsibility in leaving things around that cats shouldn 't have access to, because they (he) will eat them.  Fun times.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on June 20, 2020, 09:44:05 AM
Aw, poor Orestes!  Sending good wisher for quick recovery!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 20, 2020, 10:09:13 AM
Likewise.

Learning about consequences for kitty-cats is so scary because they believe themselves immune and really flaunt the curve.

Poor Orestes!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 20, 2020, 10:10:52 AM
Oh no! Poor Orestes and Smolt!   I hope Orestes will recover quickly!  Sending scritches and hugs to the FishProf crew.

(This is probably the only benefit of Ricochet's extreme food pickiness. We know she will only eat one very specific brand/variety of cat food and live bugs.)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 20, 2020, 10:23:02 AM
I hope Orestes is on the mend soon!

Youngest Evil cat just sneaked a few licks off my plate. I wonder how she'll like the hot sauce?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 20, 2020, 11:42:17 AM
Wishes for a speedy recovery to Orestes from the Larimar crew too!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 20, 2020, 08:03:07 PM
Thanks for all the wished.  The little man had  surgery this afternoon where the removed a tangle of chewed up hair elastics!  So, not a single ingestion,  and it explains the shortage of elastics in my house.

He did great, and should come home tomorrow.  He will be wearing the cone of shame. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 21, 2020, 12:18:55 AM
Those elastics are a menace.

Kitties have had very serious issues with them....glad they were removed in time.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 21, 2020, 03:34:14 AM
Poor Orestes! Glad the surgery was successful & that he'll be coming home soon.


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on June 21, 2020, 04:38:32 AM
Yikes, those hair ties are scary!  Glad he's on the mend. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 21, 2020, 04:47:51 AM
So happy to hear the surgery was successful and Orestes will be home today.   

In his defense, eating multiple elastics makes sense. I mean, he ate one and nothing bad happened, so he ate another one, and so on . . .
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: clean on June 21, 2020, 09:01:57 AM
Quote
So happy to hear the surgery was successful and Orestes will be home today.   

In his defense, eating multiple elastics makes sense. I mean, he ate one and nothing bad happened, so he ate another one, and so on . . .

Arent they like Kitty Potato Chips?  You can't eat just one!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 21, 2020, 12:22:41 PM
He is now floppy and resting on MrsFishProf.  As soon as we got him, Smolt opened the carrier and he climbed into her lap and would not be removed until we got home.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 21, 2020, 01:14:32 PM
Sounds like Orestes and Smolt are a clan of two.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 22, 2020, 06:36:48 PM
Orestes is back at the hospital. Pneumonia at the very least. Perhaps a leaking/ruptured intestine and sepsis.  This is a very rough night.  I am on phone vigil duty.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 22, 2020, 06:38:03 PM
OH, no....thinking of you all.

Scritches, sweet kitty...get well soon.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 22, 2020, 06:47:35 PM
Poor Orestes! I'm so sorry to hear the news. The OMY crew sends healing thoughts, comfort purrs, and soft scritches to Ortestes and his humans; we hope he is well very soon. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on June 22, 2020, 06:52:21 PM
Orestes is back at the hospital. Pneumonia at the very least. Perhaps a leaking/ruptured intestine and sepsis.  This is a very rough night.  I am on phone vigil duty.

Oh, the poor love! I'm so sorry.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 22, 2020, 07:21:55 PM
I'm sorry to hear it FishProf. Sending positive waves.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 22, 2020, 10:52:18 PM
Sorry to hear it here too. Wishing Orestes the best.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 23, 2020, 04:24:08 AM
Thanks all.  Current report is pneumonia but no apparent sepsis.  We’ll here more at noon.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 23, 2020, 05:42:55 AM
Good news that there is no sepsis! Still it would be scary to have him in the hospital with pneumonia.  Sending continued healing thoughts to the FishProf family. Hope you get more good news at noon.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on June 23, 2020, 09:32:17 AM
Adding our human and kitty good wishes to all at FishProf's house, especially Orestes and Smolt.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 23, 2020, 11:09:06 AM
Best wishes for your little ones, FishProf. Hope Orestes recovers well and gets back to paling around with Smolt soon.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on June 23, 2020, 01:49:18 PM
Poor little Orestes kitty!  Let's hope he makes a quick recovery and is back to happy romping soon.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 23, 2020, 03:57:26 PM
Elder Evil cat has not worn the cone-of-shame in about a week. He has decided to make up for lost time and lick the bejezzus out of himself. He coughed up two hairballs today. I have been brushing him to remove loose hair and I gave him some 'hairball helper', but damn!- this cat is something else! What? I don't know.

We also carefully removed his stitches (very carefully), since our vet has closed due to an outbreak. That was fun. All seems fine. *fingers crossed*
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 23, 2020, 04:38:01 PM
How's Orestes-the-kitten doing?

Any updates?

Still wishing him and the FP family well.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 24, 2020, 05:29:40 AM
Orestes is still in the Hospital.  However,  the cardiac consult and the surgical intervention consults were both negative.  He's out of his oxygen tent and loving the attention.  I expect he will be home today.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 24, 2020, 05:40:24 AM
Poor kitty. Hope he will be home today.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 24, 2020, 07:40:52 AM
Orestes is still in the Hospital.  However,  the cardiac consult and the surgical intervention consults were both negative.  He's out of his oxygen tent and loving the attention.  I expect he will be home today.

Good news!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 24, 2020, 07:55:09 AM
Orestes is still in the Hospital.  However,  the cardiac consult and the surgical intervention consults were both negative.  He's out of his oxygen tent and loving the attention.  I expect he will be home today.

Yay! Good news for Orestes and the FishProf family.  Now, Orestes, no more hospital adventures for you. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 24, 2020, 08:34:58 AM
So glad to hear Orestes' good news--and yours.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 24, 2020, 09:49:25 AM
Orestes is coming home.  If I can pry Sir Cuteness away from the Hospital staff..
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 24, 2020, 09:54:33 AM
Orestes is coming home.  If I can pry Sir Cuteness away from the Hospital staff..

Yea!!!

Answered prayers...glad they've fallen in love with him, too.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 24, 2020, 10:34:11 AM
Orestes is coming home.  If I can pry Sir Cuteness away from the Hospital staff..

Hooray!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 24, 2020, 02:20:47 PM
Orestes is coming home.  If I can pry Sir Cuteness away from the Hospital staff..

Woohoo! I hope that Orestes was successfully pried away from the hospital staff and is now where he is supposed to be, ruling over the FishProf family.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 24, 2020, 02:26:34 PM
The mighty Orestes has returned.  He is doing very well and is more loving/less skittish in his revival.

As for the Thundercats, Nox is pissed, Elektra is confused.

So, all is back to normal.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: clean on June 24, 2020, 02:27:28 PM
Great! 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 24, 2020, 04:11:05 PM
The mighty Orestes has returned.  He is doing very well and is more loving/less skittish in his revival.

As for the Thundercats, Nox is pissed, Elektra is confused.

So, all is back to normal.

Glad he's back. Why's Nox pissed?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 24, 2020, 05:18:45 PM
She has never taken to Orestes*.   She seemed almost giddy in her affection over the last few days, as if celebrating his absence.  She really seems put out that he is back.

* She bullied him when he was littler, but he is a Maine Coon and has outgrown her.  Lucky for her, he just wants to play.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 25, 2020, 12:27:28 PM
The mighty Orestes has returned.  He is doing very well and is more loving/less skittish in his revival.

As for the Thundercats, Nox is pissed, Elektra is confused.

So, all is back to normal.

Glad that everything is back in situ at the FishProf house. But, poor Nox. Her glee was short-lived.


In OMY cats news, we had a workcrew here for the last couple of days.  Ninja continued to try to introduce herself, so they could bow before her royalness.  Ricochet hid the entire time; I did successfully locate her latest hiding spot--behind the couch in a space so small she could not actually lie down (she's only 7 pounds).  Now that they have left, she has returned to her baseline level of squirreliness and has retreated to her spot in the back bedroom. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 25, 2020, 01:26:08 PM
She has never taken to Orestes*.   She seemed almost giddy in her affection over the last few days, as if celebrating his absence.  She really seems put out that he is back.

* She bullied him when he was littler, but he is a Maine Coon and has outgrown her.  Lucky for her, he just wants to play.

Was Nox part of the family before the other two? Does she wish to be an only kitty?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 25, 2020, 01:55:49 PM
In other kitty news, Maestro has recently passed the 3-month mark. He's going in this week for the next round of vaccinations.

He's developing at an alarming rate. It seems every day he gets a little more athletic and a little more cunning. He's exploring places he couldn't reach before, so we are constantly kitty-proofing new areas. He doesn't understand we are trying to keep him alive and in one piece, only that we are ruining his fun; he makes annoyed chuffing noises at us when he sees us at it.

I'm a little intimidated. He seems enormous now compared to when we first brought him home, a goofy-looking, wobbly fuzzball. Now he's handsome, lanky and sleek as well as more and more difficult to pick up and carry away from mischief. And he's only a little over 3 pounds. His vet estimated Maestro would be 10-12 lb when full-grown. It's going to feel like living with a panther.

His biting tapered off for a bit, but with his new strength and agility he seems to have gained confidence to start testing boundaries again. It's getting harder to redirect him with toys. He knows the toys will be there later if he wants them, but hands and feet may not be, so those are always the prime targets. Help?

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 25, 2020, 02:03:04 PM
A sharp, short little tap on the nose, with a quick, "No!" can help deter unwanted behavior.

It has to be right after the biting for them to "get it" and make the associations, and substitute the toy anyway, even if he's disdainful of it, to re-direct.

Those days of lithe, sleek, balletic adolescent kitty are sooo cool, though.

And so evanescent...as you're hearing, pretty soon he'll be filling out and plumping up and turning into Little Miss Muffet's Tuffet.

But that's cool, too....just a different kind of cool.

(Vicariously enjoying the growing-up-kitty stages here. My student's two little boycat critters just passed through this stage, it goes so quickly!)

Enjoy him in all seasons.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 25, 2020, 02:07:35 PM
She has never taken to Orestes*.   She seemed almost giddy in her affection over the last few days, as if celebrating his absence.  She really seems put out that he is back.

* She bullied him when he was littler, but he is a Maine Coon and has outgrown her.  Lucky for her, he just wants to play.

Was Nox part of the family before the other two? Does she wish to be an only kitty?

Nox and Elektra are sisters.   When they moved in, the late Bunga was the undisputed master of the the house.  Elektra learned and bonded....Nox not so much.  Even when Bunga held her down (by body weight alone) and groomed her - she would just growl. 

Orestes is in the line of succession and Nox has not yet come to grips with that.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 25, 2020, 05:38:07 PM
A sharp, short little tap on the nose, with a quick, "No!" can help deter unwanted behavior.

It has to be right after the biting for them to "get it" and make the associations, and substitute the toy anyway, even if he's disdainful of it, to re-direct.

M.

Maybe I'm not doing it quite right, but when I try the bop and the "no!" it just seems to rile him up. His ears turn aside in annoyance, his expression becomes fierce (whereas before it may have been playful), and he attacks again and again with ever increasing vigor.

I've been experimenting with dropping a blanket or scarf over him when he lunges for me, forcing him to abort the attack in favor of disentangling himself. Sometimes that takes the fight out of him (or he decides "Hey, this is nice material" and has himself a lie down). Sometimes all it does is delay his attacks for 20 seconds.

SO favors a time-out method. Maestro either is banished to an empty room (which is no fun without people to pester) for 5-10 minutes or is put in Kitty Jail (an upside-down laundry basket). Again, results have been mixed.

I've been trying to find out whether it's possible to use clicker training to teach a cat something like "Back Off!"

Question: would you also discipline a kitty for nipping at you due to annoyance at being disturbed? If I miss his signals that he doesn't feel like being petted or played with and he bites out of frustration, would that not be more a transgression on my part? Or is it important for kitties to learn that, even when their human servants are being annoying, biting is not an acceptable form of chastisement?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 25, 2020, 05:46:11 PM
Quote
Or is it important for kitties to learn that, even when their human servants are being annoying, biting is not an acceptable form of chastisement?

You have successfully passed Human Ownership by Kitties 101.01

You have accurately described the directions of relational hierarchy.

;--}

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mythbuster on June 26, 2020, 08:13:00 AM
Maestro will likely grow out of the nipping. Plump cat, when she was just 3 pounds, used to love to lick my toes when I was in bed. Given the raspy tongue, it was quite a way to wake up! I think it was a young kitten thing. She grew out of it and then I missed it.
   Also in terms of toys- have you tried a laser pointer? The "dot" can magically disappear and so can maintain interested kitties more than physical toys.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 26, 2020, 11:22:16 AM
I agree that Maestro will likely outgrow the biting/nipping stage (though Ninja likes to attack and bite toes under the covers, which was much cuter when she was 2 pound baby than now as a 10 pound panther).

Some of the generally accepted recommendations for cat biting are (and anyone correct me if I'm wrong):
1. Make sure he is getting lots of play time in his preferred mode of stalking (does he like laser pointers, wand toys, milk rings, crinkle toys etc). Reward him with a treat for stalking the toys rather than you.
2. Try to have a consistent response from both you and SO to the biting (which it's generally recommended that you say No, remove attention, and give him an alternative)
3. Try not to use your hand as a toy, so he doesn't see it as one (e.g., do you wiggle your fingers at him or tickle him, so he thinks that  your hand is part of the fun?)
4. It's not generally recommended to use punishment (bopping on nose, water squirting) for this type of behavior. I think that you are seeing his riled up reaction to this, which may indicate that this might be an ineffective strategy for him, since what you want him to do is calm down and/or redirect attention to something else
5. Get him a kitty friend :)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 28, 2020, 09:56:55 AM
Cat wars.

Elder cat, who seems to be feeling MUCH better after his surgery, attacked Eldest cat just a few minutes ago and would not let up. We had to break out the water bottle and squirt him so that he would stop.

Fur was flying!

I suspect it started as a turf war over a water bowl. Let me just say that we have TWO in the kitchen.

I knew things were going downhill when he started giving her the 'forehead.' Eldest cat is shaken, but ok.

We have removed him from the kitchen and he is protesting by yodeling.

Sigh, can I just have a peaceful Sunday?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on June 28, 2020, 10:02:27 AM
The Return of Orestes (Book 3 of the Lord of the Living Room Trilogy) has become the tale of two sisters who have been deposed from their (they believe rightful) ruler-ship over their human subjects.  Orestes now owns the first floor, and the girls have been reduced to slinking, growling, and forcefully attempting to extract skritches from any exposed hands up on the 2nd floor.  We cannot get any sleep until we either love them into submission or evict them from the room.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 28, 2020, 10:49:27 AM
Kitteh Rules...

;--》

Glad they're all back to "feisty" on the Kitteh-o-meter...

And at least they're not playing pranks like this:

   https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/cat-owner-sets-up-pet-22252534.amp
 

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: sprout on June 28, 2020, 12:26:32 PM


And at least they're not playing pranks like this:

   https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/cat-owner-sets-up-pet-22252534.amp
 

M.

I could totally see something like this happening in our house.  We have at least two cats who are natural burrowers, maybe three.  They'll push their way under covers, into comforters, under paper/blanket/cushion/cat bed/etc.  I've seen them try to burrow under a blanket that had another cat on top of it.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 28, 2020, 02:29:15 PM


And at least they're not playing pranks like this:

   https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/cat-owner-sets-up-pet-22252534.amp
 

M.

I could totally see something like this happening in our house.  We have at least two cats who are natural burrowers, maybe three.  They'll push their way under covers, into comforters, under paper/blanket/cushion/cat bed/etc.  I've seen them try to burrow under a blanket that had another cat on top of it.

2 out of 3 here are burrowers. Elder Evil cat used to 'burrito' himself in the sheets on the bed. Youngest Evil cat burrows under the electric blanket.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 28, 2020, 03:06:00 PM


And at least they're not playing pranks like this:

   https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/cat-owner-sets-up-pet-22252534.amp
 

M.

I could totally see something like this happening in our house.  We have at least two cats who are natural burrowers, maybe three.  They'll push their way under covers, into comforters, under paper/blanket/cushion/cat bed/etc.  I've seen them try to burrow under a blanket that had another cat on top of it.

2 out of 3 here are burrowers. Elder Evil cat used to 'burrito' himself in the sheets on the bed. Youngest Evil cat burrows under the electric blanket.

Ninja occasionally attempts to burrow under my laptop.  Ricochet is a confused burrower. she'll burrow under the covers, then freak out and bolt off the bed.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 28, 2020, 03:28:03 PM


And at least they're not playing pranks like this:

   https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/cat-owner-sets-up-pet-22252534.amp
 

M.

I could totally see something like this happening in our house.  We have at least two cats who are natural burrowers, maybe three.  They'll push their way under covers, into comforters, under paper/blanket/cushion/cat bed/etc.  I've seen them try to burrow under a blanket that had another cat on top of it.

2 out of 3 here are burrowers. Elder Evil cat used to 'burrito' himself in the sheets on the bed. Youngest Evil cat burrows under the electric blanket.

Ninja occasionally attempts to burrow under my laptop.  Ricochet is a confused burrower. she'll burrow under the covers, then freak out and bolt off the bed.

Funny. I think all cats take a course in 'How to Act Like an Invisible Zombie Ghost is Chasing You.' And there's always the 'Learn How to Stare at the Wall and Freak Your Humans Out', which is usually a prerequisite course.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 29, 2020, 09:42:55 AM
Maestro ate a bug!

He wouldn't let us get close enough to see exactly what kind of bug it was.

There was...crunching. After every couple of chomps he would spit it out to look at the state of it. He ate it in pieces, leaving no remains.

On the one hand, free pest control! On the other, ewwwwww...
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 29, 2020, 09:50:49 AM
Yep. I remember the first time one of my kitties did that.

First, the sounds of a fly buzzing around the window.

A sort of peripheral awareness of kitty batting at it, but I didn't figure she'd catch it....

Then the silence.

Then came the crunching...

Ewww sums it up...!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on June 29, 2020, 10:13:18 AM
Full agreement with Ewwww here. My late calico Harlequin used to eat camel crickets in the apartment we used to live in. I would afterward have to clean up... what she didn't eat. Harlequin was not the brightest of kitties. She was, however, very loving and quite funny.


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: clean on June 29, 2020, 10:42:43 AM
Do you have cicadas in your area?  They are supposed to be tasty.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 29, 2020, 10:54:29 AM
Ricochet is a master of bug hunting; we are pretty sure that most of her calories come from bugs.  Hey, she's an obligate carnivore, right?  None of that carbohydrate-filled cat food for her! (Just kidding, we feed our cats the only food that Ricochet will agree to eat, in which the 2nd ingredient is rice and the 3rd is corn.  We tried to switch to a grain-free food and she kept trying to bury it).
I think I posted previously about walking down the stairs to our basement to find Ricochet post successful bug-hunt, in which she looked up at me with a bug leg dangling out of the side of her mouth. I backed away up the stairs and checked the laundry later.
Ricochet is of the "waste-not, want-not" school of bug-eating.  There are no leftovers.

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: 0susanna on June 29, 2020, 12:29:18 PM
Both of my cats are vigilant bug hunters, enjoying the pursuit of wasps (I don't know how they get in), small cockroaches, and an occasional fly. The only remains I've ever seen are random legs, easy to sweep up.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 29, 2020, 01:26:02 PM
Maestro ate a bug!

He wouldn't let us get close enough to see exactly what kind of bug it was.

There was...crunching. After every couple of chomps he would spit it out to look at the state of it. He ate it in pieces, leaving no remains.

On the one hand, free pest control! On the other, ewwwwww...

Free pest control is always great! Youngest Evil cat eats roaches, flies, moths and anything else that she can find. She almost ate a cicada!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 29, 2020, 01:29:14 PM
Has anyone ever had a cat get sick from eating the wrong bug?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on June 29, 2020, 03:21:51 PM
Our 3 year old tuxedo, Booboo, is a dedicated bug hunter both indoors and outdoors.  She captures and eventually kills the bugs but doesn’t eat them.  She does eat lizards, but not the heads - just the lower 2/3’s of a lizard’s body.  I guess the head doesn’t taste as good?   
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 29, 2020, 06:45:11 PM
Our 3 year old tuxedo, Booboo, is a dedicated bug hunter both indoors and outdoors.  She captures and eventually kills the bugs but doesn’t eat them.  She does eat lizards, but not the heads - just the lower 2/3’s of a lizard’s body.  I guess the head doesn’t taste as good?

Trophies?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 29, 2020, 06:49:21 PM
Has anyone ever had a cat get sick from eating the wrong bug?

Nope. Have not. *fingers crossed* If you're concerned, then you could research and see if there's anything to worry about in your area.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 29, 2020, 07:19:04 PM
Has anyone ever had a cat get sick from eating the wrong bug?

Not as far as I know. I think there are some bugs that are dangerous to cats (e.g., poisonous spiders, scorpions, large centipedes), but so far none of mine appear to have tangled with anything they shouldn't.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on June 30, 2020, 09:52:10 AM
Our 3 year old tuxedo, Booboo, is a dedicated bug hunter both indoors and outdoors.  She captures and eventually kills the bugs but doesn’t eat them.  She does eat lizards, but not the heads - just the lower 2/3’s of a lizard’s body.  I guess the head doesn’t taste as good?

I love the name Booboo!  It was one of many nicknames for my childhood cat (actual name Rasckel). 
Maybe they are offerings to show her hunting prowess and that she loves you? "I caught you a mighty foe!  You can eat it"
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on June 30, 2020, 11:18:04 AM
 
Our 3 year old tuxedo, Booboo, is a dedicated bug hunter both indoors and outdoors.  She captures and eventually kills the bugs but doesn’t eat them.  She does eat lizards, but not the heads - just the lower 2/3’s of a lizard’s body.  I guess the head doesn’t taste as good?

I love the name Booboo!  It was one of many nicknames for my childhood cat (actual name Rasckel). 
Maybe they are offerings to show her hunting prowess and that she loves you? "I caught you a mighty foe!  You can eat it"

My late great childhood cat, who was indoor/outdoor and a great hunter, used to leave a dead critter outside each bedroom door many nights. She clearly thought we were incompetent kittens who never had learned to hunt for ourselves, so she persisted in feeding us, unmoved by the fact her gifts were always ungratefully thrown outside in the morning.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on June 30, 2020, 02:02:50 PM
Our 3 year old tuxedo, Booboo, is a dedicated bug hunter both indoors and outdoors.  She captures and eventually kills the bugs but doesn’t eat them.  She does eat lizards, but not the heads - just the lower 2/3’s of a lizard’s body.  I guess the head doesn’t taste as good?

I love the name Booboo!  It was one of many nicknames for my childhood cat (actual name Rasckel). 
Maybe they are offerings to show her hunting prowess and that she loves you? "I caught you a mighty foe!  You can eat it"

The first time Booboo left the head, we just assumed she played too hard with the critter.  The second time, she made a big deal to chomp the rest of the lizard into fine pieces before swallowing.  Like all cats we’ve had, she is extremely proud when she’s caught something so maybe the head is to remind everyone!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 30, 2020, 04:33:10 PM
My godsister's sleek black kitty named Quasar used to do that. They lived right opposite a fenced-in reservoir, and I'm afraid the baby bunny population took a hit when Quasar was in nurturing mode.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 30, 2020, 06:40:08 PM
One of my childhood cats left snakes for my mother on the porch after he'd sneak outside to prowl. She was not appreciative.

Our current two do not leave us any bug/lizard trophies, but do leave any mice they catch for us in obvious places for us to find. The last time they caught one, they left it by their food bowls. We were not sure if the message was that they were saving it for later of if they wanted it noted that they were contributing to the food supply.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Morden on July 01, 2020, 03:38:21 PM
A few years ago, a random cat started snoozing on our deck. Periodically, he/she would leave dead mice at the door. I think it was a form of rent.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on July 02, 2020, 08:48:39 AM
I've just learned a wonderful new word: the shifting gold-green color of many cats' eyes is called aeneous.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 02, 2020, 08:57:50 AM
Oooo....thanks!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on July 02, 2020, 09:37:30 AM
A few updates on the Maestro:

1) Since "no!" and "ow" didn't seem to deter the nipping, the other day I tried my best imitation of a cat's hiss (no bopping or any other consequence, just a hiss). He instantly backed away looking at me with an expression of shock. Then he decided maybe it would be more fun to wrestle with his teddy bear instead. I really hope this works long-term.

I don't actually mind the nipping so much; it doesn't hurt too badly and it's mostly in play. But cat owners in my life are saying it's important to discourage the habit of biting people, because they can do some real damage when their adult teeth come in and their bite becomes more forceful.

2) This week I gave Maestro his first piano lesson. I say, "Maestro, piano!" and he presses the keys. He didn't always get a sound out of them, but at this stage I am rewarding him as long as he touches the keyboard. He looks so natural at the piano; must be the tuxedo.

3) He has now learned to get all his evening zoomies out by dashing around the floor, playing with his toys. Now when he comes to bed he is ready to snuggle in for sleep. Sometimes he even lets me wrap my arms around him as if he's a stuffed animal. Some nights he snuggles in even closer to my side, using my shoulder as a pillow for his head. I fall asleep to the sound of his tiny kitty snores.

He still gets nippy when he first wakes in the morning, but usually takes the hint when booted from the bed.

4) His new favorite toy is a plush fish only slightly smaller than he is. It's the perfect size and shape for him to wrap his front legs around and bunny-kick with the back. Sometimes we see him prancing around with the fish in his mouth, occasionally tripping over it because it is such a large toy. It's adorable.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 02, 2020, 09:47:55 AM
Glad you thought of the hiss, and that it worked!!

I also love the image of him toting the fish around and playing with it...and of you both cuddling up for bed. You're both lucky.

One of my students has two kitties, brothers, and my student's keyboard is right under the windowsill where one of them likes to bird-watch.

As we started the lesson, the dozing kitty awoke, sat upright, and leaped down--landing on some keys with a loud 'smush' of sound and looking so startled that he bolted from the room.

It took us both a minute to stop laughing so we could re-start the lesson...

M.

P.S., the Zez Confrey rag "Kitten on the Keys" is here:

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBxRRUj1bcA

Have fun!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on July 02, 2020, 01:22:37 PM

What a great Maestro update, smallcleanrat. Glad things are going well for you two.

Mamselle, your student's "kitten on the keys" story is really funny. Thanks.


I've just learned a wonderful new word: the shifting gold-green color of many cats' eyes is called aeneous.

Just to be exact, "aeneous" is an adjective, not a noun.


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on July 02, 2020, 01:37:03 PM
A few updates on the Maestro:

<snip>

Wonderful updates on Maestro, smallcleanrat.  He sounds like a wonderful kitten!  So glad he is learning the ways of ruling his people without bitting.  He sounds very talented with the piano already.  I love snuggly kitties. Neither of mine snuggle at night, so I"m a little jealous.  Prancing kitten! Ours prance with milk rings. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on July 02, 2020, 01:39:35 PM

What a great Maestro update, smallcleanrat. Glad things are going well for you two.


Yes, sounds like you two are doing great together! Cats often get snugglier as they grow out of some of their crazy kitten energy.

And hissing is often effective-- you are speaking cat with him! That's just what they do with each other when play gets too rough-- in my household when  panther boy forgets he's way bigger than little calico now, and she has to remind him to play nice.

Panther boy has taken to going into the yard on a leash (little calico has gone a few times, but generally declines to participate), and has become very vocal about it when he thinks it's time to go out (he seems to be part Siamese, so that's very vocal indeed!)-- I need to convince him that time to go out is after work, when I'm ready, and not any time I happen to get near the back door (luckily the back door opens into an enclosed porch with its own door, so there is a kitty airlock between him and the great outdoors. And he is NOT AMUSED if he can see me in the yard and I didn't take him with me.
He is pretty cute though-- he'll lay down to get his harness on, then rush through the door and make a beeline for the grass.

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on July 02, 2020, 02:03:20 PM
Panther boy has taken to going into the yard on a leash (little calico has gone a few times, but generally declines to participate), and has become very vocal about it when he thinks it's time to go out (he seems to be part Siamese, so that's very vocal indeed!)-- I need to convince him that time to go out is after work, when I'm ready, and not any time I happen to get near the back door (luckily the back door opens into an enclosed porch with its own door, so there is a kitty airlock between him and the great outdoors. And he is NOT AMUSED if he can see me in the yard and I didn't take him with me.
He is pretty cute though-- he'll lay down to get his harness on, then rush through the door and make a beeline for the grass.

Ninja loooooves to go outside with my SO. She prances through the grass, then appears to spend most of her time hanging out in the shade by the fence. If he is out there without her, she will sit by the backdoor and wail. She will not be distracted from her pleas to go out. And she is persistent!  If I'm working inside and am doing something that requires good attention (so no music/TV in background), I've actually had to take off my hearing tech (I am then almost completely deaf) to ignore her.  Occasionally, she will then come find me and yowl directly at me to make her point; she does not appear realize that if I've taken my tech off, I see her mouth open, but I don't hear anything.   
We didn't manage to harness train her b/c as a kitten she got her jaw stuck in her collar (scary for us and her; we must have had it on a little too loose).  After that, if we attempted to put a collar or anything similar on her, she had a panic attack.
But it is wonderful that Panther Boy has learned the steps to go outside (1st harness, then yard).
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 07, 2020, 09:06:54 AM
Elder Evil cat has started dragging a blanket up the stairs. I wonder what he wants to do with it?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 07, 2020, 09:56:19 AM
Sure it's a he?

Sounds like nesting behaviour...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on July 07, 2020, 10:01:42 AM
Elder Evil cat has started dragging a blanket up the stairs. I wonder what he wants to do with it?

I've been finding two throw pillows under the couch many mornings. These are not throw pillows FROM the couch mind you-- they are from a chair across the living room, and one of them is quite large. I imagine them proudly dragging them across the floor like a lion with a gazelle.  I'm a bit  tempted to get a wildlife cam to see what they get up to at night.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on July 07, 2020, 10:59:03 AM
Elder Evil cat has started dragging a blanket up the stairs. I wonder what he wants to do with it?

He's dragging the blanket upstairs because the blanket belongs upstairs. Obviously.

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on July 07, 2020, 11:03:08 AM
Elder Evil cat has started dragging a blanket up the stairs. I wonder what he wants to do with it?

Secret cat business obviously! 
Maybe he's putting it back?  sleeping on it?  hunting it as a mighty foe?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 07, 2020, 11:07:45 AM
Elder Evil cat has always been vocal. I neglected to mention that when he drags the blanket upstairs, he is also howling/yowling and sometimes stops to knead it with front and back feet. He also carries around a stuffed crab (in his mouth) that belonged to deceased Evil dog. And yes, he is quite vocal about it.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 07, 2020, 12:39:38 PM
Nesting.

He's a she.

Kittens coming soon...

(just kidding...)

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on July 07, 2020, 12:50:11 PM
Nesting.

He's a she.

Kittens coming soon...

(just kidding...)

M.

Perhaps he's planning to adopt.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on July 07, 2020, 01:13:16 PM
Nesting.

He's a she.

Kittens coming soon...

(just kidding...)

M.

Perhaps he's planning to adopt.

When my parents were newly married, they had a female cat (adopted from a shelter) and a male cat ("gifted" by a relative because he tended to mark his territory in the house). Then they found a tiny kitten in the street as they were coming home from a party. My dad put the kitten in his shirt pocket and brought her home.   Their female cat looked over the kitten, then walked away as if to say "you're on your own, kid."  Their male cat decided that the tiny fluffball was his kitten.   He bathed her, slept curled around her, and attempted to nurse her (BigGuy was a lover, but not too bright). They remained good friends until BigGuy died too young of kidney problems.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 07, 2020, 01:59:31 PM
Interesting.

Nah, Elder Evil cat is kind of a butthead when it comes to the other cats. He has really upped his domination game when he gives them 'the forehead.' He has a certain stance where it almost seems as if he's looking down his nose at the other cats. I think he tries to elevate his back end a little too. After he poses, then he strikes. We had a fur-flying episode last week. :(

Soooo, I don't see him adopting anything really, well, except me. He hates everyone else. He tolerates the SO. When SO moved in, Elder Evil cat started shitting in the bathtub, which he doesn't do now for some miraculous reason (wasn't health-related).
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on July 08, 2020, 11:44:04 AM
Sounds like the battle cry of the triumphant hunter!  Buddycat used to "sing" to his favorite toys & carry them around.  Effie has a particular crooning song he sings while bringing us a particular toy.  He drops it near our feet, looks a bit confused, and walks away.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 08, 2020, 01:41:28 PM
Sounds like the battle cry of the triumphant hunter!  Buddycat used to "sing" to his favorite toys & carry them around.  Effie has a particular crooning song he sings while bringing us a particular toy.  He drops it near our feet, looks a bit confused, and walks away.

Cute. He has been known to carry some of his toys upstairs, while 'singing.'

Oh, and Youngest Evil cat likes to eat romaine!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on July 08, 2020, 08:10:11 PM
So I know a lot of people have experienced phantom cell phone sensations, but are there similar phantom kitty sensations?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 08, 2020, 08:46:26 PM
So I know a lot of people have experienced phantom cell phone sensations, but I
are there similar phantom kitty sensations?

Anything's possible.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 08, 2020, 11:37:24 PM
For a creature that can levitate itself twenty times its height to the top of a refrigerator, when its wants to, all bets are off.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 09, 2020, 07:21:02 AM
For a creature that can levitate itself twenty times its height to the top of a refrigerator, when its wants to, all bets are off.

M.

Hilarious... and true!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on July 09, 2020, 07:37:37 AM
Hmm...

I was just wondering if anyone else feels the cat rubbing against their leg or the feel of fur and whiskers against your hand or the weight of the cat climbing on you in bed...only to find the cat is in another room entirely.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 09, 2020, 10:37:50 AM
Aww...that's just phantom kitty love.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on July 09, 2020, 11:06:24 AM
And they can be surprisingly quick.  I often say "How many Sir Puck's do we have?".  He will look like he's sound asleep on the couch, but then I'll walk into the bathroom and he's up on the counter sniffing out the window, then I'll walk into the living room and he's perched on his favorite table.  I don't see him moving at all.  It's like he can teleport!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 09, 2020, 11:46:52 AM
And they can be surprisingly quick.  I often say "How many Sir Puck's do we have?".  He will look like he's sound asleep on the couch, but then I'll walk into the bathroom and he's up on the counter sniffing out the window, then I'll walk into the living room and he's perched on his favorite table.  I don't see him moving at all.  It's like he can teleport!

Cats have mastered the infinite nuances of quantum mechanics.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on July 09, 2020, 12:04:05 PM
And they can be surprisingly quick.  I often say "How many Sir Puck's do we have?".  He will look like he's sound asleep on the couch, but then I'll walk into the bathroom and he's up on the counter sniffing out the window, then I'll walk into the living room and he's perched on his favorite table.  I don't see him moving at all.  It's like he can teleport!

Funny, a much more common phrase around here is "Have you seen the cat?" Ricochet is a master is camouflage. I can't count the number of times that I unsuccessfully search the (small) house for her and give up, only to have her wander out of the room I was just searching. Maybe she is teleporting into another dimension?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on July 09, 2020, 12:23:52 PM
Their silent swiftness is quite impressive.

SO bought a collar with a small bell on it for the Maestro, so we would have an easier time locating him (and avoiding tripping over him when he unexpectedly darts in our way).

One day I hear a startled yelp from the next room followed by "Where did you come from?!?" Maestro had figured out how to stalk SO without a single jingle of the bell.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 09, 2020, 12:48:47 PM
Maestro is channeling his inner Bastet.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 09, 2020, 08:49:27 PM
Their silent swiftness is quite impressive.

SO bought a collar with a small bell on it for the Maestro, so we would have an easier time locating him (and avoiding tripping over him when he unexpectedly darts in our way).

One day I hear a startled yelp from the next room followed by "Where did you come from?!?" Maestro had figured out how to stalk SO without a single jingle of the bell.

That is impressive! Elder Evil cat is also very good at slinking around quietly. We were watching tv and heard growling from the other room. Elder Evil cat managed to sneak in there when we opened the gate for a nanosecond and was trying to intimidate Eldest Evil cat for her food.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on July 14, 2020, 09:34:47 AM
Last week, I added some cat nip to one of the cat beds. Neither cat appeared interested, and I though maybe it had lost potency.  This morning, Ricochet dived into the cat bed, writhed around in ecstasy, flipped the cat bed upside down, and flopped on the upside-down catbed and remained sprawled, eyes partially open for the better part of the morning.  Currently, she is sitting on top of the cabinet in the living room, staring at the wall.   She does not appear to have the munchies yet.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on July 14, 2020, 10:10:47 AM
Catnip was created for the enjoyment of cat owners watching their cats partake of it.

(ALHS refuses to give it to ours, saying he won't be their drug hookup. I suppose I'm contributing to their delinquency.)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 14, 2020, 10:32:53 AM
Just ran across this in a book on how to play the recorder (i.e., the early instrument) in the section on care and handling of the newly-purchased item in its case:

"If  your instrument is plastic, you will probably find the tenons of the center joint covered with plastic caps....Slip the caps off, and if you don't want them to get lost, put them back in the case, particularly if you have cats. Otherwise you will find them under the refrigerator someday." The author then goes on in a dry, informative way, to explain how to grease the joints.

You can always tell when people have/have had cats. You have to factor them into everything...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 14, 2020, 10:52:46 AM
Last week, I added some cat nip to one of the cat beds. Neither cat appeared interested, and I though maybe it had lost potency.  This morning, Ricochet dived into the cat bed, writhed around in ecstasy, flipped the cat bed upside down, and flopped on the upside-down catbed and remained sprawled, eyes partially open for the better part of the morning.  Currently, she is sitting on top of the cabinet in the living room, staring at the wall.   She does not appear to have the munchies yet.

Hilarious.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on July 14, 2020, 11:05:09 AM
I just found all three cats in a circle in the kitchen, legs tucked up out of sight and NOT FIGHTING.

Sort of a Legless-cat Detente. 

Or Cat-Loaf Nirvana
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 14, 2020, 11:20:07 AM
Ha!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on July 14, 2020, 11:25:32 AM

I just found all three cats in a circle in the kitchen, legs tucked up out of sight and NOT FIGHTING.

Sort of a Legless-cat Detente. 

Or Cat-Loaf Nirvana

Curiouser and curiouser.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on July 14, 2020, 12:02:43 PM

I just found all three cats in a circle in the kitchen, legs tucked up out of sight and NOT FIGHTING.

Sort of a Legless-cat Detente. 

Or Cat-Loaf Nirvana

Curiouser and curiouser.

In best Professor Snape voice, "Careful . . someone might think you are . . . up to something."
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 14, 2020, 12:54:12 PM
I just found all three cats in a circle in the kitchen, legs tucked up out of sight and NOT FIGHTING.

Sort of a Legless-cat Detente. 

Or Cat-Loaf Nirvana

Maybe you stumbled upon their weekly council meeting?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on July 15, 2020, 06:49:21 AM
I just found all three cats in a circle in the kitchen, legs tucked up out of sight and NOT FIGHTING.

Sort of a Legless-cat Detente. 

Or Cat-Loaf Nirvana

Maybe you stumbled upon their weekly council meeting?

Based on their behavior this morning, they summoned a demon (or three)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 15, 2020, 07:26:27 AM
So, you're thinking cat-coven?

Mmmm.....

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on July 15, 2020, 08:31:08 AM
The Illumicati
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 15, 2020, 08:48:28 AM
So, you're thinking cat-coven?

Mmmm.....

M.

Don't they need 13 members for that? Maybe they're recruiting?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 15, 2020, 08:49:09 AM
The Illumicati

Yup.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: sprout on July 15, 2020, 10:48:32 AM
The Illumicati

Yup.

This needs to be a comic.  First scene: that visual EPW described.

POV character: The hapless young pup in the house, who has just stumbled onto a secret no canine (or human) should know.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 16, 2020, 11:16:05 AM
The Illumicati

Yup.

This needs to be a comic.  First scene: that visual EPW described.

POV character: The hapless young pup in the house, who has just stumbled onto a secret no canine (or human) should know.

https://www.google.com/search?q=illumicati&client=firefox-b-1-d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj90dmnsNLqAhXNct8KHSbdDPUQ_AUoAXoECAsQAw&biw=1252&bih=600#imgrc=8Ce39mD8TQ5rIM (https://www.google.com/search?q=illumicati&client=firefox-b-1-d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj90dmnsNLqAhXNct8KHSbdDPUQ_AUoAXoECAsQAw&biw=1252&bih=600#imgrc=8Ce39mD8TQ5rIM)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 16, 2020, 11:18:20 AM
Double post.

Elder Evil cat is sitting/standing on my legs. His feet were cold, but they're not now. He had his chin resting on my arm a minute ago. Ten minutes before this, he was yowling his head off while carrying around a stuffed crab. I've starting hiding it in high out-of-the-way places and the bastard has managed to still get it!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on July 17, 2020, 11:12:13 PM
Further updates on the Maestro:

1) He continues to grow at an astonishing rate. We weigh him once per week, and last two weeks he has increased his mass by 14-15% each week! He often mews for food even though he's getting three meals a day. I was worried his meals weren't large enough and we were underfeeding him. SO says, given Maestro's ever increasing bulk, he's nowhere near underfed, just melodramatic.

On his first vet visit, at 5 weeks old, the vet mentioned that his tail was quite a bit smaller than average in proportion to his body size. Well, that stubby, little tail has lengthened (along with the rest of him) and is now about the length of his entire body (we measured it at about 7-8 inches). At times, he glimpses it on the ground twitching next to him, startles and attacks.

2) He mastered the piano trick in only two lessons (Maestro indeed!). I tested him by positioning myself behind him, holding his treats. He faced me, with his back to the keyboard, to see what command I would give, and promptly spun around (away from the treats!) and confidently sounded an F when I said, "Maestro, piano!" At times he gets creative and brings both front paws down, each paw pressing multiple notes. Maybe with a few more lessons he'll be ready to record his first album.

3) Maestro's love affair with his plush fish continues. When I bought it, it was bigger than he was and he was intimidated. When he grew to be just slightly bigger than the fish, it became his best friend, even though he could move it only with great difficulty. Now Maestro is long and lanky enough to easily tote the fish, running and leaping anywhere he pleases. He brings the fish into his pet bed and naps with a protective paw around it. SO says there was a time I went to the store, and SO heard Maestro crying about my absence and found the kitty clinging to his fish like it was a security blanket.

4) Hissing continues to serve as an effective nipping deterrent. He's invented an adorable way to stalk and "attack" me while still staying within the rules: he'll crouch, do the classic butt wiggle, and then rush forward, rear back on his hind legs and bop me with his front paws (claws retracted). Sometimes he just crouches, wiggles, and lunges, stopping abruptly right before making contact, peering at me with his innocent kitten eyes. It's as if he's saying, "Haha, fooled you! You thought I would attack, but I didn't."

He mostly seems to understand not to bite during playtime; but he will bite out of annoyance if he is not getting his way. He especially seems to be in some sort of battle for dominance with SO. While I now rarely get kitty-inflicted injuries, SO's hands and arms are a mess. He won't try the hissing trick. Instead I hear him yelling and swearing at the kitten as if Maestro had just cut him off on the freeway. I found it a little disturbing. He's only a little kitten.

Maestro seems far more defiant than he is scared of SO, so perhaps he is not being as traumatized as I feared he would be. But I still don't think this is an appropriate way to chastise a misbehaving kitten. SO still favors the "time out" approach (which often involves simply tossing him into my room, where he usually settles down and takes a nap). The bites and scratches SO receives are usually from the times he manhandles Maestro to put him in time out. Maestro is never injured, but he does get pretty angry.

Any advice on this?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on July 18, 2020, 06:19:50 AM
You could tell the SO to knock it off and that if it comes down to him or the cat, he might not like your choice.  (Just kidding, though I've told ALHS this many times.) 

But seriously--the SO isn't a child; he can treat the kitten well.  That's the line for me:  anybody who treats an animal badly isn't someone I'll tolerate, even if it's "only" yelling at a critter.  YMMV.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on July 23, 2020, 08:23:02 AM
One of our little boys is working on his nurse-kitty certificate.  I went to bed early last night with a headache and it only took a few minutes (and one pounce on the feet) before he curled up next to me. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on July 23, 2020, 09:03:13 AM
The biting and scratching are part of kitten play, when they're testing their limits and figuring out what hurts and what doesn't. When it happens, SO should just stop whatever they're doing with the kitten, disengage, and redirect to a toy. To extricate one's hand from a cat's death grip, move it towards the cat, not away from it. It's just like dealing with thorns: work with the thorn, not against it.

For my part, the littlest cat (who's the eldest, but 3/4 sized) had her teeth cleaned at the vet yesterday, and a resorbed (resorped?) tooth extracted, the poor love. She's better today, but still a bit wobbly and tired.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on July 24, 2020, 05:36:21 AM
Does anyone believe in feline reincarnation?  Last night our Foster Fail girl (I'll call her FF for fora purposes from here out) stole a corn cob from the sink and was happily munching away on it when StatSpouse found her.  The boys (we'll call them Yin and Yang) were curious but not really interested in eating it.  The only other cat I've ever seen like corn cobs was our LittleGirl.  It was quite an emotional moment. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on July 28, 2020, 03:39:08 AM
The Larimar household started off this morning with a really rousing game of Laser Light! Twerp and OrangeGuy worked in tandem. Calico, who has the thickest fur and been pretty languid in the heat, surprised me with how much energy she expended. Even HerMajesty participated in some royal recreation. Now they're all flopped on the floor and I need some coffee.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on July 28, 2020, 09:34:27 AM
The Larimar household started off this morning with a really rousing game of Laser Light! Twerp and OrangeGuy worked in tandem. Calico, who has the thickest fur and been pretty languid in the heat, surprised me with how much energy she expended. Even HerMajesty participated in some royal recreation. Now they're all flopped on the floor and I need some coffee.

That sounds like an excellent way to start the morning!

In the last few days, Ricochet (the Squirrelly TortieTM) has been doing her best impression of a domesticated cat.  She sat on my lap for a good 15 minutes in a position that was only 50% awkward.  She slept at the foot of the bed and let me pet her when I woke up rather than immediately bolting off the bed.  She did not automatically assume that a treat was poison and actually licked it (she didn't eat it, but you can't have everything).  And she let me brush her without attempting to amputate my fingers and even requested more brushing!  I have no idea what brought this on, but it's so flippin' cute.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on July 28, 2020, 10:42:51 AM
Lately I've noticed a curious behavior from Maestro. It's a variation on a behavior he's had since we first got him.

From day 1, Maestro enjoyed soft, fuzzy blankets. He would "nurse" from the blanket for about 5 minutes at a time: biscuit paws, suckling noises, fervent purring. I read this is fairly common behavior for kittens, especially when separated from mother too soon.

As he's matured, he's been nursing on blankets less often, and I've noticed a new quirk: as soon as SO enters the room, Maestro begins nursing and purring furiously. He will stop as soon as SO exits; we've tested this several times. Maestro does not do this with me. He and I can be lounging together on the bed peacefully, Maestro leaning against my side. Then SO pops in for a chat, Maestro leaps to his feet and attacks the blanket, making suckling noises and forcefully kneading the cloth.

Now I've read some opinions that cats nurse on objects as a form of comfort during stress. I've read others that say cats nurse as a form of comfort. Period. Cats do it because it feels nice, not necessarily because they are stressed.

Is Maestro just excited to see SO? He will often jump in SO's lap or follow him out of the room, so I'd like to think he is not seeing SO as a source of stress.

What does the forum think?

I've heard similarly divided reasons for purring. 1) Cats purr as an expression of pleasure and contentment. 2) Cats purr when experiencing stress or pain as a form of self-soothing. Maestro purrs loudly when I pick up his bowl to fill it and sometimes when he is eating. I assume these are purrs of pleasure. He will also purr sometimes if I simply move to be physically closer to him. No petting, just proximity, and he rumbles away like a motorcycle engine. I want to believe this just means he is happy to be hanging out with me.

How can I make sure he is not purring because he is stressed about me invading his space?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on July 28, 2020, 11:13:55 AM
Lately I've noticed a curious behavior from Maestro. It's a variation on a behavior he's had since we first got him.

From day 1, Maestro enjoyed soft, fuzzy blankets. He would "nurse" from the blanket for about 5 minutes at a time: biscuit paws, suckling noises, fervent purring. I read this is fairly common behavior for kittens, especially when separated from mother too soon.

As he's matured, he's been nursing on blankets less often, and I've noticed a new quirk: as soon as SO enters the room, Maestro begins nursing and purring furiously. He will stop as soon as SO exits; we've tested this several times. Maestro does not do this with me. He and I can be lounging together on the bed peacefully, Maestro leaning against my side. Then SO pops in for a chat, Maestro leaps to his feet and attacks the blanket, making suckling noises and forcefully kneading the cloth.

Now I've read some opinions that cats nurse on objects as a form of comfort during stress. I've read others that say cats nurse as a form of comfort. Period. Cats do it because it feels nice, not necessarily because they are stressed.

Is Maestro just excited to see SO? He will often jump in SO's lap or follow him out of the room, so I'd like to think he is not seeing SO as a source of stress.

What does the forum think?

I've heard similarly divided reasons for purring. 1) Cats purr as an expression of pleasure and contentment. 2) Cats purr when experiencing stress or pain as a form of self-soothing. Maestro purrs loudly when I pick up his bowl to fill it and sometimes when he is eating. I assume these are purrs of pleasure. He will also purr sometimes if I simply move to be physically closer to him. No petting, just proximity, and he rumbles away like a motorcycle engine. I want to believe this just means he is happy to be hanging out with me.

How can I make sure he is not purring because he is stressed about me invading his space?
I don't think there's anything wrong -- try to just relax and enjoy him-- he seems like he's really enjoying both of you.

My understanding is that these behaviors indicate a desire for affiliation. Kittens purr, kneed and suck around their mother to elicit care and cement their bond, and cats have transferred some of these behaviors to us. So they do it when they're happy to be with us, and when greeting us (probably what he's doing when SO enters the room), and when they're stressed and want our reassurance and care.

My two sibs purr when I'm petting them and also when they are grooming each other, which I think amounts to basically the same things for cats. They are also highly attuned to each other's purrs even when too far away for me to hear them-- If I'm petting panther boy, little calico will come running from wherever she is to get in on the action.

He seems to have outgrown it now, but when panther boy was younger he'd try to nurse on little calico, sucking on random parts of her fur. She mostly tolerated it but sometimes got annoyed and stalked off.


Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on July 28, 2020, 11:26:20 AM
Yeah, I think the other behavioural cues all seem fine. As long as he's not avoiding contact when he purrs, or putting himself away in a dark corner, it should be fine and perfectly happy purring.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 28, 2020, 11:44:31 AM
He just thinks the two of you are funny-shaped, two-legged mother cats.

Sort of like my 5-year-old music student who likes to bang on coffee cans for drums, which we do, answering each other and playing rhythm games, for quite awhile sometimes.

I think he thinks I'm just a very large 5-year-old playmate.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on July 28, 2020, 01:31:01 PM
Yeah, I think the other behavioural cues all seem fine. As long as he's not avoiding contact when he purrs, or putting himself away in a dark corner, it should be fine and perfectly happy purring.

I agree. It sounds like Maestro is most likely absolutely fine.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on July 28, 2020, 01:33:31 PM
Lately I've noticed a curious behavior from Maestro. It's a variation on a behavior he's had since we first got him.

From day 1, Maestro enjoyed soft, fuzzy blankets. He would "nurse" from the blanket for about 5 minutes at a time: biscuit paws, suckling noises, fervent purring. I read this is fairly common behavior for kittens, especially when separated from mother too soon.

As he's matured, he's been nursing on blankets less often, and I've noticed a new quirk: as soon as SO enters the room, Maestro begins nursing and purring furiously. He will stop as soon as SO exits; we've tested this several times. Maestro does not do this with me. He and I can be lounging together on the bed peacefully, Maestro leaning against my side. Then SO pops in for a chat, Maestro leaps to his feet and attacks the blanket, making suckling noises and forcefully kneading the cloth.

Now I've read some opinions that cats nurse on objects as a form of comfort during stress. I've read others that say cats nurse as a form of comfort. Period. Cats do it because it feels nice, not necessarily because they are stressed.

Is Maestro just excited to see SO? He will often jump in SO's lap or follow him out of the room, so I'd like to think he is not seeing SO as a source of stress.

What does the forum think?

I've heard similarly divided reasons for purring. 1) Cats purr as an expression of pleasure and contentment. 2) Cats purr when experiencing stress or pain as a form of self-soothing. Maestro purrs loudly when I pick up his bowl to fill it and sometimes when he is eating. I assume these are purrs of pleasure. He will also purr sometimes if I simply move to be physically closer to him. No petting, just proximity, and he rumbles away like a motorcycle engine. I want to believe this just means he is happy to be hanging out with me.

How can I make sure he is not purring because he is stressed about me invading his space?

It sounds like Maestro loves both of you :o)
Two of my cats, Sir Puck & Lady Jane, will jump on my lap & to the "purr-y slobbers" with foot kneading when I'm wearing my pjs. I think it's because that's what I wore to cuddle with them when we brought them home.  It's a sign of happiness.  I think Maestro really loves your company and likes having you near.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: sprout on July 28, 2020, 01:48:00 PM
Lately I've noticed a curious behavior from Maestro. It's a variation on a behavior he's had since we first got him.

From day 1, Maestro enjoyed soft, fuzzy blankets. He would "nurse" from the blanket for about 5 minutes at a time: biscuit paws, suckling noises, fervent purring. I read this is fairly common behavior for kittens, especially when separated from mother too soon.


We had an adult cat that would do this on one particular blanket.  And get so fixated/entranced that he'd let out a startled meow if you touched or otherwise interrupted him.  It got slightly uncomfortable at times, like, should we give them some privacy?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 28, 2020, 01:55:40 PM
Lately I've noticed a curious behavior from Maestro. It's a variation on a behavior he's had since we first got him.

From day 1, Maestro enjoyed soft, fuzzy blankets. He would "nurse" from the blanket for about 5 minutes at a time: biscuit paws, suckling noises, fervent purring. I read this is fairly common behavior for kittens, especially when separated from mother too soon.


We had an adult cat that would do this on one particular blanket.  And get so fixated/entranced that he'd let out a startled meow if you touched or otherwise interrupted him.  It got slightly uncomfortable at times, like, should we give them some privacy?

This! This is Elder Evil cat!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Catherder on August 01, 2020, 05:34:26 AM
"Look! A Bird"  I'm not sure if this belongs there or here.  With the very hot weather we've been having, all the doors and windows are open and my cat has been racing from one screen to another.  To the front door, sparrows on the lawn. To the back door, geese on the lawn. Leaping up to a side window, goldfinches in the lilac bushes. Up onto my desk, robins and doves in the cherry tree, and down to a back window, a catbird on the stump and a kingfisher hovering.  Lots of predatory crouching and tail lashing.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on August 01, 2020, 10:54:12 AM
"Look! A Bird"  I'm not sure if this belongs there or here.  With the very hot weather we've been having, all the doors and windows are open and my cat has been racing from one screen to another.  To the front door, sparrows on the lawn. To the back door, geese on the lawn. Leaping up to a side window, goldfinches in the lilac bushes. Up onto my desk, robins and doves in the cherry tree, and down to a back window, a catbird on the stump and a kingfisher hovering.  Lots of predatory crouching and tail lashing.

Sounds like a lot of fun was had! And you have lilacs and a cherry tree in your yard? How lovely!

The other day I was bringing the trash bin back from the curb after the trash collectors had been through, and discovered a suspicious pile of gray feathers in the yard - probably mourning dove - and one of the feral colony cats was a plausibly-deniable distance away but looking quite proud of herself...

Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 03, 2020, 10:58:54 AM
"Look! A Bird"  I'm not sure if this belongs there or here.  With the very hot weather we've been having, all the doors and windows are open and my cat has been racing from one screen to another.  To the front door, sparrows on the lawn. To the back door, geese on the lawn. Leaping up to a side window, goldfinches in the lilac bushes. Up onto my desk, robins and doves in the cherry tree, and down to a back window, a catbird on the stump and a kingfisher hovering.  Lots of predatory crouching and tail lashing.

The mightiest of mighty hunters has to keep on their toes!  So many birds!  Any chirping or singing involved?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Catherder on August 03, 2020, 11:14:57 AM


The mightiest of mighty hunters has to keep on their toes!  So many birds! Any chirping or singing involved?

Oh yes, my cat does both.

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 10, 2020, 12:06:24 PM
I had the hardest time getting our cat in for an urgent, non-emergency vet appointment.  The 24-hour emergency vet said they would only take trauma cases, the local vet said they only take emergencies, and the far-side-of-town said they are booked solid for more than 2 weeks out.
I finally got her seen last week when I begged to drop her off and leave her all day with the local vet just in case she could be seen between scheduled cases.
But I could get a next-day appointment for vaccinations.  Really?!?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on August 10, 2020, 12:18:39 PM
They can charge extra for vaccinations.

Next time, book the vaccination first, and ask for an exam at the same time.

One has to be crafty....

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 10, 2020, 01:17:34 PM
They can charge extra for vaccinations.

Next time, book the vaccination first, and ask for an exam at the same time.

One has to be crafty....

M.

I've been thinking and realized that the vaccinations can be handled by vet techs and don't require the main veterinarian.  That's probably why they are easy to schedule. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on August 10, 2020, 03:15:47 PM
Oh, OK, yeah.

Probably a less sinister reason.

Sorry....we don't need any more drama, do we?

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: wareagle on August 12, 2020, 08:47:51 AM
Fatso Catso has CUPS, which I had never heard of, and is apparently fairly common.  He's never had great teeth, and I'm assuming at some point the ones that remain will be pulled.  He also has tooth resorption.  When I saw the X-rays, I was shocked.  Teeth and roots that were there in 2017 were completely gone three years later.

Fortunately, he loves canned food.  Good thing, since he'll be on it for the rest of his life.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on August 12, 2020, 10:08:38 AM
Fatso Catso has CUPS, which I had never heard of, and is apparently fairly common.  He's never had great teeth, and I'm assuming at some point the ones that remain will be pulled.  He also has tooth resorption.  When I saw the X-rays, I was shocked.  Teeth and roots that were there in 2017 were completely gone three years later.

Fortunately, he loves canned food.  Good thing, since he'll be on it for the rest of his life.

Poor kitty. Elder evil cat had several teeth pulled this year, so now one side of his mouth is lacking them. Makes eating cat grass interesting for him...
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on August 13, 2020, 05:01:40 AM
We had a wonderful kitty when I was little who had no teeth for the last several years of her life, and did just fine.  We gave her wet food arranged in a "mountain" on the plate so she could lick it up easily. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on August 13, 2020, 06:26:40 AM
Kitty updates?

How's Maestro doing?

My students cats have stopped crowding into the background and looking out the window to distract me.

She says it's because her 5-year-old has taken to holding them hostage in his bedroom so he can play with them during her lesson.

I wonder...

;--}

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 13, 2020, 08:48:09 AM
We had a wonderful kitty when I was little who had no teeth for the last several years of her life, and did just fine.  We gave her wet food arranged in a "mountain" on the plate so she could lick it up easily.

Buddycat was close to being the "one toothed wonder" and still happily ate kibble and wet food.  Chewing is totally optional.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: MarathonRunner on August 22, 2020, 07:34:22 AM
I am currently owned by four cats. We never intended to have four, but, well, life happened. The eldest is on heart medication due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the next oldest has outlived his prognosis by 4 years (in Feb 2016 he was given 1-3 months to live). The two youngest are pretty much in good health (bar food/environmental allergies).
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Cheerful on August 22, 2020, 09:48:16 AM
Anyone know how smallcleanrat is doing?  She used to post in this thread so thought I'd ask here.

She had a lot going on.  Hope she is doing well.  Wishing her the very best.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on August 23, 2020, 06:12:28 AM
Jake, our outside visiting cat, has disappeared since about 10 days ago.  I've cone some sneaky drives through the neighborhood and haven't seen anything hit by a car, which I'd think would be unlikely anyway, since he could run faster than any cat I've ever seen. 

With his personality, I'm convinced he took up with a  family who let him into the house, and he's found an inside home.  Good for him, both in the recent heat and with the coming winter.  (We couldn't--meaning, I wouldn't--let him in the house, both because I don't want my furniture shredded and also because the two girls would NOT have it.  They're 13 and deserve to not have their lives turned upside down by a kitten they clearly don't want in here.)

The girls are fat and sassy, and they lounge around in their late-summer way, lying in the sun while enjoying the AC. Come cooler weather, and they'll perk up and become frisky, if this year follows their usual pattern.

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on August 23, 2020, 08:54:43 AM
Lately I've noticed a curious behavior from Maestro. It's a variation on a behavior he's had since we first got him.

From day 1, Maestro enjoyed soft, fuzzy blankets. He would "nurse" from the blanket for about 5 minutes at a time: biscuit paws, suckling noises, fervent purring. I read this is fairly common behavior for kittens, especially when separated from mother too soon.

As he's matured, he's been nursing on blankets less often, and I've noticed a new quirk: as soon as SO enters the room, Maestro begins nursing and purring furiously. He will stop as soon as SO exits; we've tested this several times. Maestro does not do this with me. He and I can be lounging together on the bed peacefully, Maestro leaning against my side. Then SO pops in for a chat, Maestro leaps to his feet and attacks the blanket, making suckling noises and forcefully kneading the cloth.

Now I've read some opinions that cats nurse on objects as a form of comfort during stress. I've read others that say cats nurse as a form of comfort. Period. Cats do it because it feels nice, not necessarily because they are stressed.

Is Maestro just excited to see SO? He will often jump in SO's lap or follow him out of the room, so I'd like to think he is not seeing SO as a source of stress.

What does the forum think?

I've heard similarly divided reasons for purring. 1) Cats purr as an expression of pleasure and contentment. 2) Cats purr when experiencing stress or pain as a form of self-soothing. Maestro purrs loudly when I pick up his bowl to fill it and sometimes when he is eating. I assume these are purrs of pleasure. He will also purr sometimes if I simply move to be physically closer to him. No petting, just proximity, and he rumbles away like a motorcycle engine. I want to believe this just means he is happy to be hanging out with me.

How can I make sure he is not purring because he is stressed about me invading his space?

Agreed...I was also thinking of smallcleanrat a couple of days ago.

Her post on this thread, 3 weeks ago, was her most recent post overall.

I hope all is going as well as possible.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: apl68 on August 24, 2020, 07:43:37 AM
My brother recently lost his cat of 12 years.  He was sad to lose the old fellow.  They still have a younger cat who is doing fine. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: sprout on August 24, 2020, 10:38:58 AM
My brother recently lost his cat of 12 years.  He was sad to lose the old fellow.  They still have a younger cat who is doing fine.
12 is not nearly long enough. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on August 24, 2020, 11:30:37 AM
Sorry to hear it. I agree that 12 years is not enough.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: apl68 on August 26, 2020, 07:24:13 AM
This morning's feline encounter:

In the broad alley
A black cat crossing my path
Just what I needed!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on August 26, 2020, 07:27:01 AM
They're good luck, you know....

;--》

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on August 26, 2020, 08:41:11 AM
Orestes has grown so much when he stretches out on the floor, it looks like he has a 2nd cat midsection grafted in.  He's like an accordion.  Or a dining table with a leaf that drops into place when he goes long-cat.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: apl68 on August 26, 2020, 10:21:32 AM
Sorry to hear it. I agree that 12 years is not enough.

In this case it was longer than they had expected.  The cat had had a chronic condition that could easily have cut his life much shorter.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: apl68 on August 26, 2020, 10:24:15 AM
They're good luck, you know....

;--》

M.

Their reputation notwithstanding, I actually love black cats (As much as I can love a creature I'm allergic to and can't have around the house).  Our family had several over the years.  For a time Mom and Dad had both a black lab and a black cat.  Had they lived in old Salem Village they might have been in trouble with pets like that!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: San Joaquin on August 27, 2020, 07:52:19 PM
I'm ready for FB and such to cease the asinine political bickering and get back to posting cute cat videos.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: clean on August 27, 2020, 09:27:18 PM
Quote
I'm ready for FB and such to cease the asinine political bickering and get back to posting cute cat videos.

I know that THIS is not the thread to make such statements, but I search the internet (even twitter) to see what Mable and Olive have posted lately!! 

I think that this was the last one I saw.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l942GNHc7rw

(Sorry to put up a DOG video in the CAT thread.... not sorry, really.... That is JUST the politically divided world we are living in these days!!)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: fleabite on August 28, 2020, 04:26:02 AM
Orestes has grown so much when he stretches out on the floor, it looks like he has a 2nd cat midsection grafted in.  He's like an accordion.  Or a dining table with a leaf that drops into place when he goes long-cat.

I love these images!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 28, 2020, 10:33:56 AM
Izzy's 1st birthday was yesterday!  We celebrated with a birthday sign, new toys, and entirely too many treats.  I posted pictures on social media. 
My mom is slightly mortified.  She is still disappointed that I have cats and not kids.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on August 28, 2020, 10:41:30 AM
Tell her cats are easier to potty-train.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on August 28, 2020, 01:22:57 PM
Elder evil cat has learned how to headbutt open the gate to the kitchen. Now, not only can he open doors (so far, only with lever handles), but he can open gates (which swing open) by exerting enough force. Why do we have the gate?- so he won't eat Eldest evil cat's food.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on August 29, 2020, 07:27:08 AM
Orestes has grown so much when he stretches out on the floor, it looks like he has a 2nd cat midsection grafted in.  He's like an accordion.  Or a dining table with a leaf that drops into place when he goes long-cat.

I call that the "taffy puller" stage of kittenhood.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on August 29, 2020, 07:47:36 AM
Orestes has grown so much when he stretches out on the floor, it looks like he has a 2nd cat midsection grafted in.  He's like an accordion.  Or a dining table with a leaf that drops into place when he goes long-cat.

I call that the "taffy puller" stage of kittenhood.

That is an apt description.  It is kind weird to watch.  As if he's attempting binary fission.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on August 29, 2020, 09:01:29 AM
The red cat never grew out of his taffy puller stage.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on August 29, 2020, 11:41:25 AM
I expect Orestes to grow to the point where picking him up doesn't get him off the floor.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on August 29, 2020, 03:48:58 PM
We set some peaches in a bowl on the counter this morning. I came into the kitchen later and found Ninja licking and rubbing her cheek against a peach.  Ummm, what?! No idea what brought that on. Any other fora cats like fruit?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on August 29, 2020, 06:22:03 PM
I broke down under the  insistence of Panther Boy that one short evening walk in his harness was completely inadequate (and his siamese heritage is confirmed in the volume at which he tells me this) and purchased what the company calls a catery but which I've dubbed the cat coop. It's a wood and wire structure about 3' deep by 6' long by 6' high, positioned against the side of the house so they can go out the window into it.

 Took quite a lot of assembly but with my trusty cordless electric screwdriver I finished putting it together today and it took the cats about 30 seconds to head out the window into it when I opened the screen for them. Little Calico surprised me by going first, closely followed by her brother. They practiced going in and out several times to reassure themselves they could get back in, then settled in for a long session of smelling and eating the grass and sitting on the perches checking out the yard from their new vantage, observed by the neighbors who had been following this odyssey with interest. They are now back in and asleep-- so much excitement seems to have tuckered them out.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on August 30, 2020, 12:03:44 AM
Sounds a bit like the "catio" I saw advertised the other day.

What we don't do for them...!!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on August 30, 2020, 04:17:04 AM
We set some peaches in a bowl on the counter this morning. I came into the kitchen later and found Ninja licking and rubbing her cheek against a peach.  Ummm, what?! No idea what brought that on. Any other fora cats like fruit?

Maybe it's a texture (fuzziness) thing?

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on August 30, 2020, 05:22:00 AM
We set some peaches in a bowl on the counter this morning. I came into the kitchen later and found Ninja licking and rubbing her cheek against a peach.  Ummm, what?! No idea what brought that on. Any other fora cats like fruit?

Maybe it's a texture (fuzziness) thing?



That'd be my guess.

The current Larimar cats don't go for fruit, but the late calico Harlequin did love corn chips!

Orestes has grown so much when he stretches out on the floor, it looks like he has a 2nd cat midsection grafted in.  He's like an accordion.  Or a dining table with a leaf that drops into place when he goes long-cat.

I call that the "taffy puller" stage of kittenhood.

That is an apt description.  It is kind weird to watch.  As if he's attempting binary fission.

I expect Orestes to grow to the point where picking him up doesn't get him off the floor.

LOL!


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on August 30, 2020, 06:33:51 AM
It's cooled off a bit and the humidity has dropped, so the girls are in bliss:  Mom shut off the AC and opened the windows and doors.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on August 30, 2020, 08:12:34 AM
Puget:

That catio sounds pretty cool. As for Siamese heritage, I'm wondering if Elder evil cat has some. When he parades around the room, with a sock or toy in his mouth, he will howl and cry very, very loudly. I can hear him several rooms away if I'm not there with him!

Edit: He is also incredibly loud at other times and I think his mother 'may' have had some Siamese.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Catherder on August 30, 2020, 09:58:36 AM
My cat's cat noises are so soft that you have to touch her to know she's purring. Although every morning she does sing out at about 9 AM.

I've never heard her growl or hiss--she's really sweet-tempered. But yesterday evening I annoyed her by touching her paws while she was stretched out against me in the couch. She grabbed my hand, bit it (fiercely?  gently? Hard to tell.) and leapt off the couch, tail lashing. Most unusual.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: clean on August 30, 2020, 11:10:14 AM
Quote
She grabbed my hand, bit it (fiercely?  gently? Hard to tell.) and leapt off the couch, tail lashing. Most unusual

You were Spanked!!  you should THINK about that next time! 

My cat would then proceed to hold a grudge for a while.  Sitting with his back to me. The occasional tail swish marked the 'time out' clock. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on August 30, 2020, 01:18:33 PM
Quote
She grabbed my hand, bit it (fiercely?  gently? Hard to tell.) and leapt off the couch, tail lashing. Most unusual

You were Spanked!!  you should THINK about that next time! 

My cat would then proceed to hold a grudge for a while.  Sitting with his back to me. The occasional tail swish marked the 'time out' clock.

The idea of a cat spanking someone just made me laugh.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on August 30, 2020, 01:58:58 PM
After more than 4 years, Ricochet appears to have finally figured out that 1) beds are good places to nap and 2) if the human comes into the room when she is on the bed, it is not necessary to immediately hide.  Now, if she is napping on the bed and one of us comes into the room, she will allow head scritches and some light full body petting, with an occasional tummy rub (not if both of us come into the room though, that requires immediate hiding because you never know what those humans will do if there's more than one of them at a time). Such a brave kitty!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on August 31, 2020, 04:49:01 AM
Yay for Ricochet's progress. Kitty-petting is a good thing.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Geonerd on August 31, 2020, 08:26:27 PM
I now have a childproof lock on my freezer. The FurNerds have figured out how to open the door while sitting on top of the fridge. I'm both annoyed and proud.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on August 31, 2020, 08:57:57 PM
Let me guess.

The frozen fish was on top?

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 02, 2020, 10:51:57 AM
We haven't seen any for a couple of months, but I just removed a tick from the corner of the red cat's eyelid. Those twizzlers are magic!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on September 02, 2020, 04:08:49 PM
Hurray for Ricochet becoming more friendly!
The FurNerds sound like they are entirely too clever.  I'm sure our cats would open the fridge if they knew it contained food.
And ticks are super gross.  I removed one from a cat's tail once.  I thought it was a growth or mole until I saw the legs.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 02, 2020, 05:07:08 PM

And ticks are super gross.  I removed one from a cat's tail once.  I thought it was a growth or mole until I saw the legs.

*shudder*

The red cat gets, like, 30+ a year here. Spring is terrifying.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on September 02, 2020, 05:23:31 PM
I moved the bookcase this evening because the gas "wood" stove is going to go in that corner -- there were 20(!) of the plastic spring toys back there. I thought they were distributed under various radiators and the fridge, but nope.

Cats are stilling loving the cat coop. I think they will be very displeased when it gets cold-- we'll see down to what temperature they still want to go out there (and what temperature I'm willing to leave the window cracked for them to do so).
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 02, 2020, 07:07:44 PM
Hey, when you find a good hiding place, why waste it?


    ^     ^
      o  o
  _ \ uu  /_
     /      \

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on September 03, 2020, 10:56:54 AM
I moved the bookcase this evening because the gas "wood" stove is going to go in that corner -- there were 20(!) of the plastic spring toys back there. I thought they were distributed under various radiators and the fridge, but nope.

Cats are stilling loving the cat coop. I think they will be very displeased when it gets cold-- we'll see down to what temperature they still want to go out there (and what temperature I'm willing to leave the window cracked for them to do so).

Come now, can't you just heat up the outside?  Our cats are baffled when it gets too hot or too cold or too wet to go sniff around in the garden ("Well, aren't you going to fix this?!")
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on September 04, 2020, 10:14:55 AM
Sorry for the double-post.
Our Effie cat is in the vet with severe dehydration.  We think he's having another gastric ulcer like last year - vomiting, diarrhea, blood in his stool.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 04, 2020, 10:31:09 AM
Sorry about Ephie.

In my house, Orestes continues to be a dunderhead.  While we have been zealous about keeping elastics (and thread, twine, ribbon etc) out of his reach.  Last night I heard the hairball sound, and walked into the kitchen to witness the regurgitation of a Nerf dart.

He is the dumbest cat I've ever known in this regard.

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on September 04, 2020, 12:50:28 PM
Sorry about Ephie.

In my house, Orestes continues to be a dunderhead.  While we have been zealous about keeping elastics (and thread, twine, ribbon etc) out of his reach.  Last night I heard the hairball sound, and walked into the kitchen to witness the regurgitation of a Nerf dart.

He is the dumbest cat I've ever known in this regard.

Sorry to hear, FP.

Pica?

Youngest evil cat likes wires, so we also have to be pretty cautious about having her near them.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 04, 2020, 12:54:08 PM
Pica?

I suspect so. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on September 04, 2020, 12:58:49 PM
Poor Effie and Orestes. Hope they're both feeling better.

Speaking of feline regurgitations, Calico and HerMajesty have been getting some hairballs lately. Anyone know if those "hairball control" cat foods and cat treats actually help?


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on September 04, 2020, 01:00:29 PM
Sorry for the double-post.
Our Effie cat is in the vet with severe dehydration.  We think he's having another gastric ulcer like last year - vomiting, diarrhea, blood in his stool.

Sorry to hear. :(
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on September 04, 2020, 01:01:29 PM
Poor Effie and Orestes. Hope they're both feeling better.

Speaking of feline regurgitations, Calico and HerMajesty have been getting some hairballs lately. Anyone know if those "hairball control" cat foods and cat treats actually help?


Larimar

We've been experimenting with hairball 'remedies' and so far the results are mixed.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on September 04, 2020, 01:02:47 PM
Poor Effie and Orestes. Hope they're both feeling better.

Speaking of feline regurgitations, Calico and HerMajesty have been getting some hairballs lately. Anyone know if those "hairball control" cat foods and cat treats actually help?


Larimar

The liquid goop that's mostly mineral oil and molasses does help.  Don't give them as much as it recommends on the tube or it can cause oily stools.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on September 04, 2020, 01:09:03 PM
Sorry for the double-post.
Our Effie cat is in the vet with severe dehydration.  We think he's having another gastric ulcer like last year - vomiting, diarrhea, blood in his stool.

Poor baby Effie cat. The OMY cats send scritches and hope he can escape from the vet soon.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 04, 2020, 05:29:33 PM
If it continues, take your kitty to the vet or call up for a checkup.

I ignored my longhaired, fluffy cat's spit-ups too long--thinking them just self-grooming by-products-- for the vet to be able to operate on the bowel obstruction that was growing.

They can indeed be nothing, but if they're really persistent, or contain a lot of mucous, it might be good to at least call it in.

Good luck and cuddly scritches to all Fora kitties.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on September 04, 2020, 05:54:46 PM
The hairball pastes are good. You can sometimes mix them with wet food if the cat won't eat them alone. Canned pumpkin is also a real wonder for getting things moving out the correct end. Again, you'll want to mix it with something since most cats will not enjoy it on its own.

I was the sole human servant for 21 kittens and 40 adult cats during my shelter shift on Thursday. Oof.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on September 04, 2020, 06:05:13 PM

In my house, Orestes continues to be a dunderhead.  While we have been zealous about keeping elastics (and thread, twine, ribbon etc) out of his reach.  Last night I heard the hairball sound, and walked into the kitchen to witness the regurgitation of a Nerf dart.

He is the dumbest cat I've ever known in this regard.

Perhaps he's a true experimentalist?  So, elastics are bad to eat, eating elastics gets me sent to the vet.  But what about these Nerf dart things? I mean, they could be bad like elastics or they could be OK.   Only one way to find out!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on September 05, 2020, 11:57:40 AM
Thanks, everyone.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 05, 2020, 12:11:39 PM
OR, maybe it feels like some atavistic, "gnawing on gristle" thing.

Are there any safe substitutes, like pig's knuckles, that don't have any actual bone in them?

Just brainstorming...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: ursula on September 05, 2020, 07:38:03 PM
Sorry about Ephie.

In my house, Orestes continues to be a dunderhead.  While we have been zealous about keeping elastics (and thread, twine, ribbon etc) out of his reach.  Last night I heard the hairball sound, and walked into the kitchen to witness the regurgitation of a Nerf dart.

He is the dumbest cat I've ever known in this regard.

Our Cleo is nuts about earplugs.  We have to work to keep them out of her reach after she swallowed one, and cotched it up again.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Catherder on September 07, 2020, 07:50:23 AM

[/quote]

Our Cleo is nuts about earplugs.  We have to work to keep them out of her reach after she swallowed one, and cotched it up again.
[/quote]

Oh yes, daughter's cat is also fascinated with earbuds. Over the past 4 years she has destroyed a few hundred $ worth. She doesn't swallow them, though. Just chews them up.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on September 07, 2020, 09:44:51 AM
How are the kitties today?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 07, 2020, 09:54:03 AM
Orestes spent the night vomiting, won't eat, and is now back at the hospital.

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on September 07, 2020, 10:29:07 AM
Orestes spent the night vomiting, won't eat, and is now back at the hospital.

Sorry to hear that.  Hope he gets better soon.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on September 07, 2020, 10:33:14 AM
Orestes spent the night vomiting, won't eat, and is now back at the hospital.

Poor buddy. So sorry to hear this FishProf. Hope you get good news soon.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 07, 2020, 11:55:01 AM
Orestes is going under the knife again (that is 3x since March).  X-rays showed fluid build-up in intestines and some "loopy foreign bodies" in the intestines.

Foe those of you not up to speed on my little idiot, he likes to eat hair elastics.  19 all told last time.  Who knows how many this time.

He's lucky he's so cute....

I'm lucky I said yes to the under-enrolled extra courses.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on September 07, 2020, 12:23:12 PM
Orestes is going under the knife again (that is 3x since March).  X-rays showed fluid build-up in intestines and some "loopy foreign bodies" in the intestines.

Foe those of you not up to speed on my little idiot, he likes to eat hair elastics.  19 all told last time.  Who knows how many this time.

He's lucky he's so cute....

I'm lucky I said yes to the under-enrolled extra courses.

Poor baby and poor budget! Maybe it's time to ban elastics from the household? Bulky inedible barrettes only, or short hair for all!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 07, 2020, 12:28:40 PM
I threatened shaving everyone's head.  Smolt and MrsFsihProf were aghast, but i have the longest hair so the most to give up (although, given standard hair style lengths by gender, the least to lose).

A thorough cleaning up is a better plan.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on September 07, 2020, 01:14:26 PM
Sorry to hear it. Poor Orestes. Hope he'll be okay and won't eat any more hair elastics.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 07, 2020, 01:24:55 PM
Maybe some were still in his stomach and hadn't gotten into the part of the intestines they operated on the last time (trying to give Orestes at least a tiny bit of the benefit of the doubt...)?

But the ear-buds tell against him...

All good thoughts.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 07, 2020, 06:01:57 PM
Orestes is out of surgery.  It wasn't elastics, although the docs were all surprises based on the x-rays. 

It was some black cap thingie with threads.  I asked them to save it so I could know what he ate and keep similar things away from him.

But he's ok.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 07, 2020, 06:53:12 PM
Glad he's ok, hope he learns to curb his appetites.

Scritches, anyway....after all, he's a kitty.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on September 07, 2020, 10:26:46 PM
It's good to hear that Orestes is out of surgery.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on September 07, 2020, 10:35:06 PM
Glad Orestes got through the surgery okay. Hope he won't continue to eat weird stuff.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 08, 2020, 06:01:48 AM
Smolt just completed a top to bottom sweep of the house to collect anything he might eat. 

Basically, anything smaller than his head, apparently.

He comes home midday.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 08, 2020, 06:49:58 AM
Good use of children, to have them do the cleaning.

Cats the world over will take note, no doubt.

Happy homecoming to Orestes, and let's hope he stays out of trouble!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 08, 2020, 08:29:17 AM
Smolt found about a dozen of her own things that have been missing for months.  Bonus!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on September 08, 2020, 09:40:29 AM
Glad to hear that the surgery went well for Orestes.  Cats are indeed lucky they are cute!

In sad news, Effie cat died at the vets office.  We got to be there to say goodbye.  The vet thinks it was lymphoma based on the symptoms and the suddenness of it all.  It was a peaceful end, but it's heart-wrenching that they made us sign the damn paperwork first.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on September 08, 2020, 09:48:46 AM
Glad to hear that the surgery went well for Orestes.  Cats are indeed lucky they are cute!

In sad news, Effie cat died at the vets office.  We got to be there to say goodbye.  The vet thinks it was lymphoma based on the symptoms and the suddenness of it all.  It was a peaceful end, but it's heart-wrenching that they made us sign the damn paperwork first.

I'm so sorry-- it's hard to lose them, even when they've had a good long life.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on September 08, 2020, 10:43:53 AM
Very sorry to hear about Effie. Agreed that it is really hard to lose a kitty.

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on September 08, 2020, 01:04:56 PM
Very sorry to read about Effie. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 08, 2020, 01:38:42 PM
Glad to hear that the surgery went well for Orestes.  Cats are indeed lucky they are cute!

In sad news, Effie cat died at the vets office.  We got to be there to say goodbye.  The vet thinks it was lymphoma based on the symptoms and the suddenness of it all.  It was a peaceful end, but it's heart-wrenching that they made us sign the damn paperwork first.

I'm so sorry.  Being there to say goodbye is so hard, but it is so important. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 08, 2020, 04:52:40 PM
Agreed.

I held my first kitty (FEL-V, age 4, before they had treatment regimens and vaccines) and brushed her, because that was her favorite thing, while they did the injections.

I've always been glad they let me do that.

RIP, Effie.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on September 08, 2020, 05:40:03 PM
Glad to hear that the surgery went well for Orestes.  Cats are indeed lucky they are cute!

In sad news, Effie cat died at the vets office.  We got to be there to say goodbye.  The vet thinks it was lymphoma based on the symptoms and the suddenness of it all.  It was a peaceful end, but it's heart-wrenching that they made us sign the damn paperwork first.

I'm sorry to hear this.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on September 09, 2020, 10:36:10 AM
Thank you for the kind words.  Effie was Mr. Dr. Geneticist's cat, or rather Mr. Dr. Geneticist was Effie's person.  I was a distant second, but considering Effie disliked most all people I was happy that he let me pet him.  They were together 15 years.
Our other cats keep searching the house.  I think they are looking for Effie.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on September 09, 2020, 10:47:05 AM
Thank you for the kind words.  Effie was Mr. Dr. Geneticist's cat, or rather Mr. Dr. Geneticist was Effie's person.  I was a distant second, but considering Effie disliked most all people I was happy that he let me pet him.  They were together 15 years.
Our other cats keep searching the house.  I think they are looking for Effie.

I'm so sorry to hear about Effie cat, but glad it was peaceful and you could be with him as he crossed the bridge.

When my tuxedo buddy died too young of renal complications, my fluffy calico, who had adopted him as her own, spent the next few days searching for him and crying.  She never "adopted" any of the other kittens that we brought into her life.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on September 10, 2020, 12:38:28 PM
Sorry for double posting.

Richochet is currently hanging out under my doc cam. Perhaps she thinks my students would prefer to admire her gorgeous tortie fur rather than practice hand calculations.

She is probably correct.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 10, 2020, 02:17:06 PM
You could take a screen shot and use it for your backdrop for the class....

;--}

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on September 14, 2020, 12:10:42 PM
Elder evil cat was baaaaaad during my last Webex. He howled and yowled because he wasn't in the room with me (which was intentional- he gets into everything). SO was preoccupied and so couldn't remove him. For almost 40 minutes he just stared at me from the other room.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on September 15, 2020, 11:59:42 AM
Sorry for double posting.

Richochet is currently hanging out under my doc cam. Perhaps she thinks my students would prefer to admire her gorgeous tortie fur rather than practice hand calculations.

She is probably correct.

I'm still eagerly awaiting my doc cam, not least so I can screen-share it during my lectures to keep students paying attention. In its absence, Little Cat let out with a huge pitiful meow right before my second lecture ended today.  I guess it's hard to be deprived of cat treats and not say anything about it for a whole 2 hours and 45 minutes!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on September 15, 2020, 02:47:25 PM
Twerp climbed on my lap and was my teaching assistant for the last few minutes of class just now.

She's cute. And she knows it. And she milks it.


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on September 16, 2020, 10:55:00 AM
Our giant kitty Poe got a bit of a respiratory infection with lots of sneezing and runny eyes. He managed to shake it off after a couple of days but poor little Hazel got it much worse, she's been really runny and goopy. If she doesn't look better by the time I get home today I'll have to take some time off tomorrow to take her to the vet. She's got a good amount of snowshoe in her and I think she's just built to suffer respiratory issues more with her muzzle shape.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 16, 2020, 11:12:50 AM
Those tiny little passageways are so easily clogged...poor kitties.

Hope they both get better soon.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 16, 2020, 01:03:57 PM
Orestes had a surgical follow-up.  Bit of an infection but a shot of antibiotics should clear it up.  He's not quite romping yet, but he will defend the food now.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on September 16, 2020, 02:56:46 PM
Best wishes for recovery for Poe, Hazel, and Orestes.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: brixton on September 16, 2020, 03:36:17 PM
I just put down a deposit to adopt a kitten from the humane society.   I keep checking my phone for updates, but nothing so far.  So I spend time on Amazon, looking at cat toys, trees and stuff.  It's been so long since I've had a kitten in my life.  Brixton passed away the January before last, and Pi (my little irrational-number of a cat) and I have been hanging.  (My nephew took care of her when I was in China.  He said she was a very lazy old lady.)  So, we are excited to welcome new-cat into the house hold to shake things up a bit.


Updates and names to follow when we meet and he whispers his real name in my ear.  Right now he is called Copycat at the shelter, which is a totally unsuitable name for an academic's cat.  They might as well have called him Plagiarism...

So send happy kitten thoughts my way!  I'll include pictures when I have them.  He looks lovely on the humane society website...
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on September 28, 2020, 07:06:42 AM
I just put down a deposit to adopt a kitten from the humane society.   I keep checking my phone for updates, but nothing so far.  So I spend time on Amazon, looking at cat toys, trees and stuff.  It's been so long since I've had a kitten in my life.  Brixton passed away the January before last, and Pi (my little irrational-number of a cat) and I have been hanging.  (My nephew took care of her when I was in China.  He said she was a very lazy old lady.)  So, we are excited to welcome new-cat into the house hold to shake things up a bit.


Updates and names to follow when we meet and he whispers his real name in my ear.  Right now he is called Copycat at the shelter, which is a totally unsuitable name for an academic's cat.  They might as well have called him Plagiarism...

So send happy kitten thoughts my way!  I'll include pictures when I have them.  He looks lovely on the humane society website...

This seems like a complicated process; I hope you get to bring not-Copycat home soon. I think when we last adopted our kitten pair, we went to the shelter, played with some cats, hubby fell in love with tiny black kitten (who has now become large black Ninja cat), we said "we'll take these two" (Ninja was paired with her litter mate, who is now our squirrelly tortie, Ricochet; they were Bumble and Bee at the shelter), and we signed on the dotted line.  We did have to wait until after their spay, but they were ours from that moment.

Ricochet continues her enrollment in the developmental certificate Living with Humans, and yesterday attempted to complete a lap-sitting assignment.  She did impressively flop down after only a couple minutes of jumping on and off.  She butted her head against my hand to indicate she wanted head-scritches and purred. Unfortunately, she was doing this when I was trying to finish a lecture, so I'd stop scratching her to type.  She was not impressed, and nipped me (softly) to keep me going.  Once she'd had enough, she jumped off and leaped on top of the tallest cabinet in the room to lick off the human scent. So, if we had a theme for today's assignment, it appears to be "in it for the scritches."
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on September 28, 2020, 04:55:55 PM
Anyone know how smallcleanrat is doing?  She used to post in this thread so thought I'd ask here.

She had a lot going on.  Hope she is doing well.  Wishing her the very best.

Thanks for thinking of me Cheerful and mamselle! Trying to rejoin the fora after a couple months' hiatus; for awhile things got too overwhelming to be able to string together coherent sentences.

I have quite a backlog of anecdotes, observations and questions centered around the Maestro to post here. He's about 5 months old now and quite a sleek, handsome fellow; long and lanky, but well-muscled (he's octupled in weight from the first week we got him). His milk mustache detracts a bit from the dignity of his visage, but adds charm and whimsy.

I love him so much. Even though I've seen him everyday for the past 4 months, my inner 6-year old still gleefully shouts, "Kitty!" every time. Often, adult-me says it out loud.

I was a bit nervous about committing to be his forever family when we first agreed to take care of him. We hadn't seen or interacted with the kitty in any way; we knew nothing about his breed, temperament, or...well, we knew nothing except that a 4-week old kitten needed care. On the way to meet the Maestro and bring him home with us, I said, "We can raise the kitten, get him healthy and well-socialized, and then I guess we could start inquiring about finding a home for him." SO gave me a skeptical look and said, "uh-huh; we'll see about that."

Of course, SO was right. Everyday I fell more and more in love with our serendipitous quarantine kitty, and now giving him up to anybody else is utterly unthinkable. This is our kitty, we are his family, and this seems to have become his apartment (initial plans to limit "cat stuff" to the living room fell through fairly quickly; he now has some combination of toys, scratching posts, cat trees, and beds in every room).

Awhile back I had a dream that a perfectly lovely couple, brimming with excitement, showed up at our door to adopt the Maestro and take him to live in what I assumed would be their perfectly lovely home. Dream-me told them, "This is our cat. Find your own cat!"
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 28, 2020, 06:10:41 PM
Very glad to hear that Maestro is in charge, as he should be.

And very glad to see your post on the thread.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on September 29, 2020, 05:19:54 AM
Very glad to hear that Maestro is in charge, as he should be.

And very glad to see your post on the thread.

M.

+1 to this. Glad you're back, smallcleanrat. I've been wondering how you and Maestro are doing too. Glad you're both doing well.


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Cheerful on September 29, 2020, 06:02:13 AM
Very glad to hear that Maestro is in charge, as he should be.
And very glad to see your post on the thread.
M.
+1 to this. Glad you're back, smallcleanrat. I've been wondering how you and Maestro are doing too. Glad you're both doing well.
Larimar

+1  Great to see your post, smallcleanrat.  Glad Maestro has brought you joy, as you have for him.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on September 29, 2020, 09:49:04 AM
Very glad to hear that Maestro is in charge, as he should be.
And very glad to see your post on the thread.
M.
+1 to this. Glad you're back, smallcleanrat. I've been wondering how you and Maestro are doing too. Glad you're both doing well.
Larimar

+1  Great to see your post, smallcleanrat.  Glad Maestro has brought you joy, as you have for him.
+1 Indeed!  Glad you're back on the fora.  Your description of Maestro is just charming!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: brixton on September 29, 2020, 03:57:02 PM
Didi (formerly Copycat) is now safely ensconced at our house and is a complete sweetie pie.  Didi means younger brother in Chinese, and he is indeed a younger brother.  We still have Pi, our little irrational number, who is cranky as always.

Quote
This seems like a complicated process; I hope you get to bring not-Copycat home soon. I think when we last adopted our kitten pair, we went to the shelter, played with some cats, hubby fell in love with tiny black kitten (who has now become large black Ninja cat), we said "we'll take these two" (Ninja was paired with her litter mate, who is now our squirrelly tortie, Ricochet; they were Bumble and Bee at the shelter), and we signed on the dotted line.  We did have to wait until after their spay, but they were ours from that moment.


Playing at cat shelters in San Diego is a thing of the past.  With COVID, all shelters are closed, and cats are at foster homes, so finding a new cat is very much like on-line dating.  You look at a picture, read the profile, and then finally after you've signed on the dotted line.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on September 30, 2020, 03:47:51 PM
Ok, kitty question.

Why does he stare at me so much?

He often does this while sitting in the doorway of my room. I call him and get no reaction. If I move over to him, sometimes he will accept petting and sometimes he dashes away.

If I do nothing, he will sit there for a good while just...staring. Sometimes he has a relaxed expression on his face and sometimes his expression is intense and hyper-focused.

I want to know what's happening in that little kitty brain of his.

Second question. Don't cats need to blink?!?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on September 30, 2020, 04:54:31 PM
Ok, kitty question.

Why does he stare at me so much?

He often does this while sitting in the doorway of my room. I call him and get no reaction. If I move over to him, sometimes he will accept petting and sometimes he dashes away.

If I do nothing, he will sit there for a good while just...staring. Sometimes he has a relaxed expression on his face and sometimes his expression is intense and hyper-focused.

I want to know what's happening in that little kitty brain of his.

Second question. Don't cats need to blink?!?

Why the staring?
The "Observation of Humans and Their Weird Habits" is a time-honored feline pastime.  I like to joke that they are compiling reports on us to send to the "Cat Mothership".

Do they need to blink?
Theoretically.  Maybe.  Sometimes?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 30, 2020, 05:09:17 PM
He is contemplating his secret name.

The Naming of Cats

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
     It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
     Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo, or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey—
     All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
     Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter—
     But all of them sensible everyday names,
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
     A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
     Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
     Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum—
     Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
     And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover—
     But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
     The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
     Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
          His ineffable effable
          Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular name.
              -- T. S. Eliot - 1888-1965

(Or to hear it from the poet's own mouth):

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXkLgtusza4

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on October 02, 2020, 07:07:24 AM
Lil'Lil,  our tabby rescue that we adopted last year,  was inadvertently left outside all night in our screened in lanai.  She let us know very loudly this morning that our mistake was entirely unacceptable human behavior.  However, after a larger than normal breakfast, she calmed down and was her regular good natured self.   We were reprimanded to never let this happen again!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on October 02, 2020, 07:18:48 AM
The gas plumber is here hooking up the new fireplace. Naturally, both cats are in the back corner of the bedroom closet.

Before the pandemic, they were quite friendly with most new people (at least little calico was, and panther boy was once he could see that they didn't eat little calico), but six months of basically only being around me has turned them into scaredy cats around anyone else. I wonder if they will get over that once I can have guests in the house again?

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on October 02, 2020, 07:57:23 AM
Orestes deigned to let me rub his tummy this morning.  My eyes got leaky.

The cynical part of me thinks it's just because his incision is itchy.  The optimist told me to shut that noise and enjoy it.  So I did
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 03, 2020, 07:19:45 PM
Gratitude exercises are frequently recommended to counteract stress. Whenever I try one of those "Name 3 things you were grateful for today" or similar prompts, Maestro is always one of them. Here are some of my favorite things about him:

1) He doesn't just tolerate belly rubs; he enjoys them. He often rolls over when I approach him and purrs when I gently stroke that fuzzy tummy. Of course, like all things cat, he has to be in the right mood, but I still get in an average of one belly rub every day.

I long fantasized about having a belly-rub kitty, but I never thought the dream would come true. It's more than I dared to hope for.

2) He has an extremely expressive face. Like, cartoon character expressive. It's been the basis of some great photos. When anticipating food, his eyes sparkle and his entire face radiates joy. My favorite is the blissful smile: pet him in the right spots and the eyes close in contentment. The white mustache accentuating his mouth makes it look like a satisfied smile.  I love to see a happy cat.

3) The effects of petting on his purr are additive. One hand petting him gets a strong, rumbling purr. Two hands petting him at once adds a whole other layer of sound (a sort of high-pitched coo, like a pigeon's), rich with expression. I call it his Rainbow Purr, because of the wide spectrum of frequencies. SO calls him "aggressively happy" because of how fervently Maestro reacts to pleasant feelings.

He also seems happiest when both SO and I are with him. He will wedge himself between us on the couch or drape himself so that he is lying on both laps. In the bed, the blanket makes a little valley where it dips between SO and myself. Maestro likes to recline in it, stretched out on his back as if it were a hammock.

4) He's very smart and highly food-motivated, so clicker training has paid off more than I had hoped to expect. He's learned some practical commands: sit, up/down, wait, leave it. But he also has several cute tricks in his repertoire: hitting the piano keys, standing cute (like a meerkat), wave, high five, handshake, and play dead.

5) We've bonded. Well, at least I think so. I like to believe I'm more than just a warm body that dispenses food, interchangeable with any other warm body that dispenses food. When he shows me his belly or nuzzles me or nestles in my arms, I want to tell him that I'm honored by his trust. I like to think I am a member of a highly exclusive club: Maestro's Chosen Humans.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on October 04, 2020, 05:42:44 AM
Awww, that is so sweet. I'm glad that you and Maestro find such joy in each other.

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 04, 2020, 05:50:37 AM
Love the Maestro updates, smallcleanrat. It definitely sounds like he has chosen you. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 05, 2020, 08:33:31 PM
Maestro and the Musical Beds

I had often heard that cats are creatures of habit, often finicky about food and consistency of routine. Does this set in during adulthood? Are kittens more willing to experiment?

For one thing, Maestro wants to sample every food that comes into our home. Even if it's something he tasted before and didn't like, he wants to taste it again. He's been able to develop a taste for some initially detested foods (citrus fruits, for example). We are constantly shooing him away from our plates at mealtime. He's like a feline garbage disposal.

For another, after months of having a pretty regular nighttime sleep routine, he's been bed-hopping. SO and I usually sleep in separate rooms (he snores, I kick). After months of sleeping next to me, Maestro switched to sleeping with SO (resting right on top of him, in contrast to snuggling next to me). He did this for about a week, and I dejectedly figured he had decided he was sleeping with SO from then on. Then one morning I woke up to find the kitty nestled by my side, using my shoulder as a pillow for his head. After that, some nights he'd be in my bed, some nights in SO's. Some nights he chooses one bed, only to hop out at 2-3am to sleep in the other. Some nights he doesn't sleep with either of us, preferring to curl up in his pet bed (in my room). I have no idea what motivates his choices.

Do adolescent cats go through a sort of Goldilocks stage in which they try a bit of everything to find that "just right" solution?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on October 05, 2020, 09:27:13 PM
They work very hard at being inscrutable and unpredictable.

They wouldn't want you to think you had a clue as to what they were thinking, you know?

In fact, I think the theme of this thread could be, "Who knows why cats do what they do?"

Maybe not even the cat...at least some of the time.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on October 06, 2020, 04:37:00 AM
They work very hard at being inscrutable and unpredictable.

They wouldn't want you to think you had a clue as to what they were thinking, you know?

In fact, I think the theme of this thread could be, "Who knows why cats do what they do?"

Maybe not even the cat...at least some of the time.

M.

They'd never admit it, though!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on October 06, 2020, 05:44:56 AM
I feel you Puget.  We always said the next time we adopted, we'd go out of our way to socialize with new people from the beginning.  And, here we are, three months later, and the only people they've seen besides us are cleaners (vacuum cleaners), the exterminator (scary smells), and the occasional work person (loud noises).  This is going to be interesting to try to undo later. 

Today is 3 years since I lost my LittleGirl.  As much as I already can't imagine being without our new additions, I don't have that same connection with any of them yet.  Part of me knows a bond like that takes time to build, and part of me is scared I only get one of "those" kitties in a lifetime. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on October 06, 2020, 08:41:57 AM
Maestro and the Musical Beds

I had often heard that cats are creatures of habit, often finicky about food and consistency of routine. Does this set in during adulthood? Are kittens more willing to experiment?

For one thing, Maestro wants to sample every food that comes into our home. Even if it's something he tasted before and didn't like, he wants to taste it again. He's been able to develop a taste for some initially detested foods (citrus fruits, for example). We are constantly shooing him away from our plates at mealtime. He's like a feline garbage disposal.

For another, after months of having a pretty regular nighttime sleep routine, he's been bed-hopping. SO and I usually sleep in separate rooms (he snores, I kick). After months of sleeping next to me, Maestro switched to sleeping with SO (resting right on top of him, in contrast to snuggling next to me). He did this for about a week, and I dejectedly figured he had decided he was sleeping with SO from then on. Then one morning I woke up to find the kitty nestled by my side, using my shoulder as a pillow for his head. After that, some nights he'd be in my bed, some nights in SO's. Some nights he chooses one bed, only to hop out at 2-3am to sleep in the other. Some nights he doesn't sleep with either of us, preferring to curl up in his pet bed (in my room). I have no idea what motivates his choices.

Do adolescent cats go through a sort of Goldilocks stage in which they try a bit of everything to find that "just right" solution?

Cats have an instinct to move around their sleeping places to evade predators. Some do this more than others for whatever reason. Little Calico (who is clearly the smart one) rotates her sleeping spots all around the house, Panther Boy not so much. If there ever are really hyenas in the living room, he's the one who gets eaten and they'll never find Little Calico in her spot of the week.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mythbuster on October 06, 2020, 09:19:52 AM
The musical beds may have something to do with the change in temperature in the house. I always knew when it was a cold night, because I would wake up with a cat between my legs and another with a nose in my neck. Never happened in the summer! It was too hot for that.

While cats like routine and can get irked if the routine is upset (mine KNEW dinnertime was 6 pm sharp!), they also have their own prerogatives.  This is one reason why some people like dogs better- they are ultimately more predictable. But it's why I love cats. When they hang with you, you know  it's by their own choice.

Maestro sounds like a wonderful companion. I'm impressed with your training!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on October 06, 2020, 11:56:05 AM
Just saw this and had to laugh.

   https://phys.org/news/2020-10-evidence-cat-mimicking-human-behavior.html

Why would cats ever want to be able to replicate what humans do?

Why limit themselves like that?

No wonder the replication rate is only 80%.

The rest of the time they're probably thinking, "This is so dumb."

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on October 06, 2020, 12:29:04 PM
I feel you Puget.  We always said the next time we adopted, we'd go out of our way to socialize with new people from the beginning.  And, here we are, three months later, and the only people they've seen besides us are cleaners (vacuum cleaners), the exterminator (scary smells), and the occasional work person (loud noises).  This is going to be interesting to try to undo later. 

Today is 3 years since I lost my LittleGirl.  As much as I already can't imagine being without our new additions, I don't have that same connection with any of them yet.  Part of me knows a bond like that takes time to build, and part of me is scared I only get one of "those" kitties in a lifetime.

I feel you statsgeek.  I lost my beloved Buddycat 3 years ago.  Lady Jane, Sir Puck and Izzy kitten are sweet and silly kitties, but not even close to the same sort of bond.  And we just lost our Effie cat a month ago.  Mr. Dr. Geneticist is certain that he will never have another cat that special.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on October 06, 2020, 01:00:52 PM
When we said goodbye to the Mighty Bunga, I never expected to find another cat of comparable grandeur.   While Orestes is not yet there, his increasing chirpiness, robust purr, and cuddly loving of MrsFishProf and Smolt (but not yet me) has made him a solid contender.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on October 06, 2020, 02:51:51 PM
I feel you Puget.  We always said the next time we adopted, we'd go out of our way to socialize with new people from the beginning.  And, here we are, three months later, and the only people they've seen besides us are cleaners (vacuum cleaners), the exterminator (scary smells), and the occasional work person (loud noises).  This is going to be interesting to try to undo later. 

Today is 3 years since I lost my LittleGirl.  As much as I already can't imagine being without our new additions, I don't have that same connection with any of them yet.  Part of me knows a bond like that takes time to build, and part of me is scared I only get one of "those" kitties in a lifetime.

I feel you statsgeek.  I lost my beloved Buddycat 3 years ago.  Lady Jane, Sir Puck and Izzy kitten are sweet and silly kitties, but not even close to the same sort of bond.  And we just lost our Effie cat a month ago.  Mr. Dr. Geneticist is certain that he will never have another cat that special.


When we said goodbye to the Mighty Bunga, I never expected to find another cat of comparable grandeur.   While Orestes is not yet there, his increasing chirpiness, robust purr, and cuddly loving of MrsFishProf and Smolt (but not yet me) has made him a solid contender.

+1 to these. When Mr. Larimar and I lost our feisty little calico Harlequin a few years ago to a sudden heart attack, we were devastated. She was unique. Our current crew succeed her, not replace her. They're wonderful, but in different ways. Pets have individual personalities just like people do.


Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 06, 2020, 03:02:48 PM
I'm reminded of the ending of Charlotte's Web:

"Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart."

Some bonds really are exceptional.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 06, 2020, 06:54:19 PM
Ninja has decided to help me work on my work-life balance. I'm sick and still grading at almost 10pm. She is now sleeping on top of my grading materials.  This is a sign I should stop grading, right? Can't disturb the cat, right?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 06, 2020, 06:58:14 PM
Ninja has decided to help me work on my work-life balance. I'm sick and still grading at almost 10pm. She is now sleeping on top of my grading materials.  This is a sign I should stop grading, right? Can't disturb the cat, right?

That would be my interpretation.

Maestro likes to step on the keyboard, and tends to smash the 'E' and 'W' keys which are sitting right next to each other. So more than once, my kitty's typed the message 'ewwwwwwww' onto the document I'm working on.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 06, 2020, 07:03:57 PM
Ninja has decided to help me work on my work-life balance. I'm sick and still grading at almost 10pm. She is now sleeping on top of my grading materials.  This is a sign I should stop grading, right? Can't disturb the cat, right?

That would be my interpretation.

Maestro likes to step on the keyboard, and tends to smash the 'E' and 'W' keys which are sitting right next to each other. So more than once, my kitty's typed the message 'ewwwwwwww' onto the document I'm working on.

Awww. When Ricochet was a kitten, she ran across the keyboard when I was in the midst of responding to student emails and somehow managed to send one.  Thus, a student received an email that went something like this:

Stu Dent,
That is a very good question.  I eoywe8ryw3hpriwe0yw8r

The student was apparently amused when I explained what happened, and also surprised. She said cats generally did not like her, so she never expected to get cat-mail.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on October 06, 2020, 09:17:25 PM
I may have said this upthread, but the student I referred to a bit ago was in the middle of playing her scales one day (must have been in the spring, it was online) when one of the baby boy-cats sitting on the nearby sofa just up and did a zoomie right across the keys and down again.

We were both startled, and just sat there for a moment, blinking.

We decided it was to send a message.

They do not LIKE it when you ignore them....unless they want you to.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on October 06, 2020, 09:30:44 PM
Elder evil cat decided to do some interior decorating today and vomited all over the carpet (it's always on the carpet- isn't it?). Instead of standing in one spot, he walked around the room until we could catch him! This happens when he gorges on cat food, so we have been limiting his intake. Unfortunately, he is very sneaky and will steal the other cats' food when we aren't looking or forget to put it out of his reach.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on October 07, 2020, 05:11:24 AM
We just cleaned spots of poop off the door, about two feet high.  I don't understand. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on October 07, 2020, 06:38:53 AM
Spraying?  Cats do have anal glands.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: clean on October 07, 2020, 08:07:09 AM
Is the word "sharted"?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: spork on October 07, 2020, 01:03:23 PM
Maybe there is a parasitologist on this thread: the wifey has gotten involved with a cat rescue organization as a foster parent, which means I am now also a foster parent. We have adopted one of our foster kittens and are in the process of adopting a second kitten. Both have had the standard package of vet care including tests for various pathogenic organisms. They have been 100% indoor cats since they were rescued and will remain that way. We have given each them a single dose of Revolution Plus as ordered. The vet clinic used by the rescue organization recommends monthly treatments of Revolution Plus for all cats. The rescue organization's position is that it pays for one does of Revolution Plus then it's up to whoever adopts a cat to decide what to do, but it's not something they recommend.

For a possibly unrepresentative comparison, I had two indoor cats for 17 years, never gave them Revolution Plus or any other similar medication, and they never got fleas, ticks, or worms.

So is this monthly dosing cost effective? What's the number needed to treat?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on October 07, 2020, 01:37:12 PM
We just cleaned spots of poop off the door, about two feet high.  I don't understand.

Is the door close enough to the litter box to be from overly enthusiastic litter flinging?
Or from wiping poop off of their paws?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: wareagle on October 07, 2020, 02:26:17 PM
Fatso Catso jumped in my lap last night, reeking of poop.  Could not find any on his butt, tail, or paws.

He got a bath anyway.  Not a happy cat.  But he smells much better.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: sprout on October 07, 2020, 03:38:44 PM
Maybe there is a parasitologist on this thread: the wifey has gotten involved with a cat rescue organization as a foster parent, which means I am now also a foster parent. We have adopted one of our foster kittens and are in the process of adopting a second kitten. Both have had the standard package of vet care including tests for various pathogenic organisms. They have been 100% indoor cats since they were rescued and will remain that way. We have given each them a single dose of Revolution Plus as ordered. The vet clinic used by the rescue organization recommends monthly treatments of Revolution Plus for all cats. The rescue organization's position is that it pays for one does of Revolution Plus then it's up to whoever adopts a cat to decide what to do, but it's not something they recommend.

For a possibly unrepresentative comparison, I had two indoor cats for 17 years, never gave them Revolution Plus or any other similar medication, and they never got fleas, ticks, or worms.

So is this monthly dosing cost effective? What's the number needed to treat?

Indoor only?  I wouldn't give it to them regularly.  I've only ever used it when I've seen evidence of infestation: bites, or the insects themselves.  It may take multiple doses to do a single course of treatment, though. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on October 07, 2020, 07:09:26 PM
We just cleaned spots of poop off the door, about two feet high.  I don't understand.

Was your cat doing a downward dog pose while projectile pooping?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 08, 2020, 12:19:39 PM

.................................

Maestro sounds like a wonderful companion. I'm impressed with your training!

Training has been so much fun. I've been impressed with how quickly the Maestro makes the connection between doing the action and getting the treat.

Every time we start training on a new trick, he wriggles this way and that, trying to find the magic combination of moves to get his treat. Learning "Wait" was initially confusing for him. He'd try one movement after another, eventually stopping for a breather. When he got his treat for just sitting there, he seemed so puzzled.

One things that slows things down a bit is that he feels the need to groom after every treat. So I have to wait for him to finish before we can go again. Sometimes I call his name to get his attention, but he just gives me a quick glance and then goes back to grooming. No further training until his dapperness has been restored...

His Play Dead trick is hilariously deliberate. I pretend to shoot him, he looks around for the best place to die, meanders to the right spot and proceeds to languidly lower himself to the ground. No flopping for this cat.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 10, 2020, 02:34:41 PM
Maestro sounds like quite the character! And such a smart kitty!

We've not attempted to teach Ricochet any tricks, and I'm not sure how we'd reward her for doing any of them. She's the least food-motivated cat I've ever met, as she seems frequently convinced that treats are poisonous. 

She has, however, taught us a game that she created--we have named it follow-follow.   She runs past you, then looks back to indicate you are to follow her (fast-walking pace preferred). Then she flops down and wants scritches for a few seconds.  Then she jumps up again and runs somewhere else, often jumping on top of a bookshelf or cabinet, so we have to stand on a stool to reach her. The game continues until she runs into the basement.

Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on October 11, 2020, 09:53:04 AM
I haven't been here for awhile, and haven't caught up on the posts yet, but I have a question.  Beloved and I now have a cat, Nebula, who delivered a litter in our local no-kill shelter after living as a stray.  She is about a year old, a beautiful longish-hair dilute tortie. very affectionate.  She loves canned food, but she doesn't like her indoor kibble at all.  She's been forcing herself to eat a bit of it every day, but it doesn't meet her remarkably high standards.  What kibble are others feeding?   
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on October 11, 2020, 10:38:35 AM
The Larimar cats get Purina indoor cat kibble mixed with Meow Mix Hairball Control kibble.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 11, 2020, 10:41:34 AM
The only food Ricochet agrees to eat is Purina sensitive systems. But as she thinks canned food and treats are poison and supplements her diet with live bugs, you might not want to put too much stock in her recommendations.

Congrats on the newest member of the household, geoteo.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on October 11, 2020, 10:52:11 AM
I haven't been here for awhile, and haven't caught up on the posts yet, but I have a question.  Beloved and I now have a cat, Nebula, who delivered a litter in our local no-kill shelter after living as a stray.  She is about a year old, a beautiful longish-hair dilute tortie. very affectionate.  She loves canned food, but she doesn't like her indoor kibble at all.  She's been forcing herself to eat a bit of it every day, but it doesn't meet her remarkably high standards.  What kibble are others feeding?   

Congrats on your new addition! Cats seem to be very idiosyncratic in their food tastes. One of mine loves wet food and doesn't care much for kibble, whereas the other loves kibble (they are getting Purina ONE indoor) and thinks wet food is fine but nothing to get excited about. You may just have a wet food cat. That said, maybe experiment with poultry vs. fish flavors (cats seem to have a strong preference for one vs the other often). You can also try putting the wet food on top of the dry food-- she may go for it if it has wet food "sauce" on it. Final thought, though hopefully the shelter vet checked, is to make sure she doesn't have any tooth/mouth issues that make it painful for her to eat the dry food.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on October 11, 2020, 03:11:24 PM
Many thanks for the answers!  We are trying original flavor Meow Mix right now, and it seems to be playing to rave reviews.  We'll see what she thinks of it tomorrow.

She sees the vet this week to be spayed and shot--I'll suggest they look inside her mouth while she's there.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on October 12, 2020, 03:18:28 PM
Cats are nothing if not particular about food.

We buy Friskies and Meow Mix kibble.  They also get a spoonful of Friskies wet food each at breakfast and dinner.

Sir Puck aka "Sir Chomps-A-Lot" approves of food in all it's forms and will happily eat any kind, any flavor, any texture. 
Lady Jane is convinced she doesn't need food and would prefer to be in the gardens all day.  She will eat the same kibble we put in the kitchen only when it's in the living room and only fish-flavored pate-style wet food.  She also eats bugs.
Izzy Kitten takes after Sir Puck, but doesn't care for "fancy" pate and only wants Friskies.  She will eat dried up food (or things that might possibly be food) off the floor and/or carpet.  Her nicknames are "Izzy! What did you just eat?!" and "Izzy!  Don't eat the rug!"
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on October 12, 2020, 05:58:43 PM
As you all know, Orestes will eat anything that isn't nailed down.  And I wouldn't put pulling up nails to eat beyond him either.

As for food, he and the sisters (they are all now, collectively, the Thundercats) get a can of wet food in the morning.

For Kibble, I just switched to mixing meow mix with Blue Buffalo.  I'll report on its popularity in time.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 14, 2020, 04:07:56 PM
About a month ago, Maestro was shedding teeth. The first one we found was at the bottom of his food dish, smack in the center as if it were an offering. I picked it up and put it on my desk to keep until I could figure out what to do with it. It wasn't long before Maestro jumped onto my desk, spotted the tooth, licked it up, and ate it. Then he sauntered away, calm as you please, heedless of my protests. "Maestro, nooooooo!!!!"

Most of the other teeth have never been found (is he eating them? is this something cats do when teething, or is this a quirk?). But I did manage to snag a few more (one dropped out of his mouth mid-meow!).

Now I'd like to find out some way to save them, like a little case or whatever people do to put objects into scrapbooks. Has anyone done this before? I have no idea how to preserve teeth as souvenirs.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on October 15, 2020, 12:14:41 PM
Awww!  He got his adult teeth in!  I never found a single milk tooth from Puck or Jane or Izzy.  I think they must eat them or they are so tiny they just get vacuumed up.

I save tiny keepsakes in tiny glass bottles on a shelf.  You can get tiny bags or envelopes to put things in for a scrapbook.  I'm sure your local craft store will have entirely too many options!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on October 15, 2020, 01:22:16 PM
Sounds like a sweet idea! Some crafters make little decorated glass pill bottles for such things.

You can often find them online, with things like tiny shells or decorative beaded tops or sides added to the glass.

Some are listed as "potion" bottles, or "stash jars," also:

   https://www.buyhappyglass.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/spiral-glass-pill-bottle-stash-jar-519-9-e1557333225715.jpg

These little "pet hair keepsake" jars, with a tiny, named charm on the neck, could also work:

   https://www.google.com/search?q=tiny+decorated+glass+pill+bottles+keepsake+jars&client=firefox-b-1&sxsrf=ALeKk038pgHWPYJHQbY7UHV77VANATPXUw:1602792909610&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjlgJrwtLfsAhWpl-AKHU9-CkwQ_AUoAXoECAQQAw&biw=1408&bih=688#imgrc=bwObMt27NRYdnM&imgdii=Fdc7E68hsDUw0M

Or you could get little plain plastic ones with colorful caps (useful for other small stuff you want to keep, as well)

   https://i.pinimg.com/236x/2b/30/ef/2b30eff77edb33c100385232f2ee70fe--screw-caps-pill-bottles.jpg
   
And...scritches to Maestro from me!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on October 15, 2020, 09:15:04 PM
Smallcleanrat:

I haven't seen any baby kitty teeth- maybe my cats ate them too?

In other news, the two senior cats went to the vet today for preventatives and checkups. Youngest evil cat is convinced that they have been replaced by evil body snatchers and has been hissing and attacking when she can.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 15, 2020, 10:03:48 PM
Thanks, the_geneticist and mamselle. All those options sound like they would work nicely. I’m not very crafty, but I want to put together some kind of display or scrapbook and call it something like Maestro’s Memoirs. It would tell the story of his journey from sad little fuzzball in a cardboard box to pampered prince of our household.

It might make a good gift for SO’s mother. She loves cats and has lamented being out of state and not being able to watch her “grandkitty” grow up.

mamselle, Maestro happily receives your skritches and sends you back a purr and a milk mustachioed smile.

Also, poor youngest evil cat! I often wish I had some cat-to-English translation device. I want to know what’s going on in those little kitty brains. Do you think she will be able to make peace with the senior cat impostors soon?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on October 15, 2020, 10:13:40 PM
Thanks, the_geneticist and mamselle. All those options sound like they would work nicely. I’m not very crafty, but I want to put together some kind of display or scrapbook and call it something like Maestro’s Memoirs. It would tell the story of his journey from sad little fuzzball in a cardboard box to pampered prince of our household.

It might make a good gift for SO’s mother. She loves cats and has lamented being out of state and not being able to watch her “grandkitty” grow up.

Also, poor youngest evil cat! I often wish I had some cat-to-English translation device. I want to know what’s going on in those little kitty brains. Do you think she will be able to make peace with the senior cat impostors soon?

A scrapbook sounds like a neat idea. You could put a little tuft of his fur in it and maybe another baby tooth if you can get it in time.

Yep. Youngest evil cat is confused. I think it's probably the 'vet smell' on them. They don't 'look' different, but I bet they sure smell different.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 16, 2020, 10:47:20 AM
Maestro has invented a new way to tell his humans, "Sleep time is over! I require breakfast!"

His typical method is to wriggle out of cuddles, march repeatedly over our bodies to make sure we're awake, and then gallop thunderously out of the bedroom to his empty food dish, giving us pointed looks.

Oversleeping get us nipped toes, but we make it a point not to respond to this so he doesn't learn that biting humans makes breakfast appear.

This morning marks an innovation. My new alarm clock: having his beloved stuffed fish dropped directly onto my face.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on October 16, 2020, 12:43:26 PM
Ah yes: Apply object directly to human face.  Suitable objects include toys, wet paws, and if necessary, your butt.

(Excerpt from the Feline Guide to Galaxy)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on October 16, 2020, 02:50:31 PM
Buddycat preferred the "gently tap face with paws" method.  If that failed, there was the "purr like a chainsaw and stomp across the person".  And the final stage was "carefully place one giant kitty paw over the mouth, place another over the nostrils, and press down".
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: clean on October 16, 2020, 03:58:54 PM
I owned a waterbed when I was owned by a cat.  (He was named "Cat", "Sir Tristan de Lioness," or FatCat (as he was close to 20 pounds)).  If I 'overslept' he would get on the headboard and then Jump on the water bed and then run, making bigger waves.  He would do this repeatedly, IF I didnt get up. 

On the positive side, he would fetch!  It all started when I was trying to work on things and he would climb up and then bat, or chew on the pencil.  I balled up a small piece of paper, threw it and he would chase it down and then bring it back.  He did that once until my arm gave out.  (I wasnt really able to get my work done when he was in such a mood).
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 16, 2020, 06:26:41 PM
Buddycat preferred the "gently tap face with paws" method.  If that failed, there was the "purr like a chainsaw and stomp across the person".  And the final stage was "carefully place one giant kitty paw over the mouth, place another over the nostrils, and press down".

Wow. Buddycat's methods go from adorable to menacing real fast.

I owned a waterbed when I was owned by a cat.  (He was named "Cat", "Sir Tristan de Lioness," or FatCat (as he was close to 20 pounds)).  If I 'overslept' he would get on the headboard and then Jump on the water bed and then run, making bigger waves.  He would do this repeatedly, IF I didnt get up. 
...................................................

That's a fantastic image. I wonder if there are any animal behaviorists who would consider this a form of tool use.

I'm realizing now how much my first cat spoiled me. He was a polite elderly fellow. He always waited until I was actually out of bed to request breakfast (even if I overslept). And then it was a paw on the cupboard door where his food was kept and a gentle "Mrrrew?" as if he were saying "Might I trouble you for something to eat?"
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on October 16, 2020, 08:14:08 PM
I owned a waterbed when I was owned by a cat.  (He was named "Cat", "Sir Tristan de Lioness," or FatCat (as he was close to 20 pounds)).  If I 'overslept' he would get on the headboard and then Jump on the water bed and then run, making bigger waves.  He would do this repeatedly, IF I didnt get up. 

On the positive side, he would fetch!  It all started when I was trying to work on things and he would climb up and then bat, or chew on the pencil.  I balled up a small piece of paper, threw it and he would chase it down and then bring it back.  He did that once until my arm gave out.  (I wasnt really able to get my work done when he was in such a mood).

That's cute. Elder evil cat used to fetch socks when he was an adolescent. Now, he just carries stuffed animals around in his mouth (and sometimes socks) and does this mournful meowing/yowling. It is annoying as hell.

Edit: Sorry, I've been grumpy this week. It's actually funny when he does it (when I'm in a better mood).
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on October 17, 2020, 05:08:57 PM
Famous kitty modeling a kitty hammock:

   https://robbreport.com/style/accessories/karl-lagerfeld-cat-choupette-approves-lucybalu-new-cat-hammock-1234575623/
 
One wonders how she got up there....

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on October 17, 2020, 07:34:47 PM
Elder evil cat almost ate a katydid tonight (that had been leaving peacefully in the house). Before I knew it, he had spotted it, ran over to the wall and grabbed it in his mouth. He dropped it on the floor and I tried to remove it, but it had grabbed the carpet with its mandibles and would not let go! I mean. this thing was really hanging on. I managed to loosen it's grip using a knife to dislodge the carpet fibers and put it out of cat reach.

This was after his 2nd lunch and pre-dinner snack of chicken.

Elder evil cat was still disappointed that he couldn't eat that bug. To make up for his loss, I have shared my electric blanket with him. He's still taking a nap on it now.

What a spoiled butthead.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 17, 2020, 09:59:56 PM
Elder evil cat almost ate a katydid tonight (that had been leaving peacefully in the house). Before I knew it, he had spotted it, ran over to the wall and grabbed it in his mouth. He dropped it on the floor and I tried to remove it, but it had grabbed the carpet with its mandibles and would not let go! I mean. this thing was really hanging on. I managed to loosen it's grip using a knife to dislodge the carpet fibers and put it out of cat reach.

This was after his 2nd lunch and pre-dinner snack of chicken.

Elder evil cat was still disappointed that he couldn't eat that bug. To make up for his loss, I have shared my electric blanket with him. He's still taking a nap on it now.

What a spoiled butthead.

Are katydids really that tasty?

Do all your cats get second lunches and pre-dinner snacks or is elder evil cat an especially big eater?

Maestro gulped down a spider and it gave me the creeps.

SO: “I thought you’d be happy about that. You don’t like spiders in the house.”

Yes, well...I don’t particularly want them in my fur baby’s belly either...

But the Maestro seemed quite pleased with himself.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on October 17, 2020, 10:20:31 PM
Elder evil cat almost ate a katydid tonight (that had been leaving peacefully in the house). Before I knew it, he had spotted it, ran over to the wall and grabbed it in his mouth. He dropped it on the floor and I tried to remove it, but it had grabbed the carpet with its mandibles and would not let go! I mean. this thing was really hanging on. I managed to loosen it's grip using a knife to dislodge the carpet fibers and put it out of cat reach.

This was after his 2nd lunch and pre-dinner snack of chicken.

Elder evil cat was still disappointed that he couldn't eat that bug. To make up for his loss, I have shared my electric blanket with him. He's still taking a nap on it now.

What a spoiled butthead.

Are katydids really that tasty?

Do all your cats get second lunches and pre-dinner snacks or is elder evil cat an especially big eater?

Maestro gulped down a spider and it gave me the creeps.

SO: “I thought you’d be happy about that. You don’t like spiders in the house.”

Yes, well...I don’t particularly want them in my fur baby’s belly either...

But the Maestro seemed quite pleased with himself.

I don't know what they taste like. I do know that he ate a grasshopper earlier in the year and seemed to enjoy it.

We try to spread Elder evil cat's food out since he tends to eat way too fast and then barf it up. So, he gets a lot of mini meals throughout the day.

Hmm. Maybe he thinks he's helping clear out bugs in the house?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on October 17, 2020, 10:21:44 PM
Elder evil cat almost ate a katydid tonight (that had been living peacefully in the house). Before I knew it, he had spotted it, ran over to the wall and grabbed it in his mouth. He dropped it on the floor and I tried to remove it, but it had grabbed the carpet with its mandibles and would not let go! I mean. this thing was really hanging on. I managed to loosen it's grip using a knife to dislodge the carpet fibers and put it out of cat reach.

This was after his 2nd lunch and pre-dinner snack of chicken.

Elder evil cat was still disappointed that he couldn't eat that bug. To make up for his loss, I have shared my electric blanket with him. He's still taking a nap on it now.

What a spoiled butthead.

Edited for spelling.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on October 18, 2020, 05:40:54 AM
Hm, it seems some bugs are tastier than others. I have discovered several black beetles in the house over the past couple of weeks that had apparently been dispatched but not eaten by the Larimar cats. However, I believe they would concur that orthopterids (crickets, grasshoppers, katydids) and lepidopterids (moths and butterflies) are delicious.


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: nebo113 on October 18, 2020, 05:53:33 AM
Am giggling over the exploits of your felines....and learned that kitties have baby teeth!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on October 19, 2020, 11:35:10 AM
My kitties LOVE to catch & eat bugs. 
Tasty bugs: house flies, spiders, lady bugs, earwigs
Super tasty & super fun to catch: grasshoppers, crickets, bees*
Fun to catch but icky flavored: grubs, stinkbugs, ladybugs, cockroaches
Too small to bother: ants, aphids

They like to chase pillbugs, but can't figure out how to eat them.

*also slightly dangerous.  Sir Puck has been stung at least twice

Buddycat was a champion bug hunter in his youth.  I never had trouble with flies or spiders.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on October 19, 2020, 12:21:25 PM
Oh yes, mine are super excited about bug hunting too. The funniest is when there is a fly or something on the ceiling and they stand on their hind legs on top of whatever the tallest piece of furniture nearby is and wave their front paws toward it-- clearly judging distances is hard when you're a super excited little cat!

I'm happy to report that the cats have found the stress of having the stove installed in the living room has been worth it-- Little Calico in particular is a heat seeking missile, and will lay right next to it until her fur is toasty hot.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 19, 2020, 12:28:55 PM
Ricochet loves chasing (and eating) bugs.  She is amazingly fast and accurate.  Ninja thinks small game is beneath her and only gets excited about mice.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 20, 2020, 03:09:57 PM
Noticed a spider bite on my arm today. Maestro, go get 'em!

Unrelated Question: If a cat has learned not to bite one human, but still selectively bites the other human in the house, is there still a general concern that he will bite non-household humans?

He nips a lot less in general these days, but it still happens at times. Hissing still works like a charm for me, even when he's riled up in play mode. One hiss and he switches to lunging at me with an open mouth but no actual tooth-to-skin contact. Sometimes I don't even need the hiss: I saw "ow!" and he becomes gentler (he may even lick the spot he nipped).

He still seems to nip at SO fairly often. SO refuses to hiss at him because he feels silly doing it, but "No, stop that!" doesn't seem to make much of an impression on the kitty. Maestro's typical tactic is to charge at SO's feet and ankles, biting hard. If SO says "ow!" Maestro just continues biting.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on October 21, 2020, 09:19:34 AM
Noticed a spider bite on my arm today. Maestro, go get 'em!

Unrelated Question: If a cat has learned not to bite one human, but still selectively bites the other human in the house, is there still a general concern that he will bite non-household humans?

He nips a lot less in general these days, but it still happens at times. Hissing still works like a charm for me, even when he's riled up in play mode. One hiss and he switches to lunging at me with an open mouth but no actual tooth-to-skin contact. Sometimes I don't even need the hiss: I saw "ow!" and he becomes gentler (he may even lick the spot he nipped).

He still seems to nip at SO fairly often. SO refuses to hiss at him because he feels silly doing it, but "No, stop that!" doesn't seem to make much of an impression on the kitty. Maestro's typical tactic is to charge at SO's feet and ankles, biting hard. If SO says "ow!" Maestro just continues biting.

Maestro is a clever kitty!  He's figured out that your SO is the go-to rough-and-tumble playmate.  If SO feels silly hissing, maybe he could try a spray bottle of water?  Or redirect to a favorite toy?
I wouldn't worry about him biting new people.  Nipping is classic play and hunting behavior.  Maestro is just practicing his skills as a mighty hunter!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on October 21, 2020, 10:17:44 AM
Do your cats growl (like a dog) when someone rings the doorbell? Elder evil cat just did.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on October 21, 2020, 11:17:02 AM
I had one kitty that used to growl, 'way down deep in his throat, at perceived threats.

He was a teensy, fluffy little thing the first time he did it.

I couldn't believe such a deep, intense sound could come from such a tiny little fluffball.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 21, 2020, 11:20:22 AM
Do your cats growl (like a dog) when someone rings the doorbell? Elder evil cat just did.

My fluffy calico used to grow at a doorbell when it interrupted her nap. Naptime was sacrosanct. Thou shall not interrupt the nap.  Unless there was food.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on October 21, 2020, 11:43:10 AM
Noticed a spider bite on my arm today. Maestro, go get 'em!

Unrelated Question: If a cat has learned not to bite one human, but still selectively bites the other human in the house, is there still a general concern that he will bite non-household humans?

He nips a lot less in general these days, but it still happens at times. Hissing still works like a charm for me, even when he's riled up in play mode. One hiss and he switches to lunging at me with an open mouth but no actual tooth-to-skin contact. Sometimes I don't even need the hiss: I saw "ow!" and he becomes gentler (he may even lick the spot he nipped).

He still seems to nip at SO fairly often. SO refuses to hiss at him because he feels silly doing it, but "No, stop that!" doesn't seem to make much of an impression on the kitty. Maestro's typical tactic is to charge at SO's feet and ankles, biting hard. If SO says "ow!" Maestro just continues biting.

Maestro is a clever kitty!  He's figured out that your SO is the go-to rough-and-tumble playmate.  If SO feels silly hissing, maybe he could try a spray bottle of water?  Or redirect to a favorite toy?
I wouldn't worry about him biting new people.  Nipping is classic play and hunting behavior.  Maestro is just practicing his skills as a mighty hunter!

Right, SO has to speak cat if he wants Maestro to stop, otherwise from Maestro's perspective they are playing.
 I'd never had two cats before, so it's been fun watching my two play-- they will roll around wrestling, biting and clawing in near silence (except for little rrr sounds), but if Panther Boy (who is much bigger and doesn't really know it) gets a bit too rough, Little Calico will hiss and he'll usually back off and lay down to see if she will play again or stalk off. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on October 21, 2020, 12:11:20 PM
I had one kitty that used to growl, 'way down deep in his throat, at perceived threats.

He was a teensy, fluffy little thing the first time he did it.

I couldn't believe such a deep, intense sound could come from such a tiny little fluffball.

M.

OrangeGuy sometimes chases HerMajesty around, partly wanting to play, partly wanting to be dominant kitty, and she might growl at him if he corners her. She, after all, is the queen here, and is far above playing rough with anyone. Mr. Larimar and I try to prevent OrangeGuy from chasing her, and we yell and hiss at him when we catch him starting. He'll freeze when we do that, but the lesson hasn't entirely stuck yet.

The first time we heard HerMajesty growl, it was hard to believe. She's loud and means business. It was surprising coming from such a sweetheart.


Larimar
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 21, 2020, 12:20:27 PM
The only times I've heard Maestro growl is when he manages to steal a big chunk of brisket or pot roast and I try to take it away.

I can snatch other foods away from him and he will look annoyed, but so far he only growls for beef.

This is my favorite video for contrasting cute kitten exteriors from the primal predator interiors:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq0Za47zaaQ
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: lillipat on October 21, 2020, 02:53:09 PM
The Princess growls when it’s a specific individual at the door whom she doesn’t like.  The rest of the time she’s shy and/or pleasant, but let That Man come over, and she’s in primal huntress mode.  Such a growl!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on October 22, 2020, 08:15:56 AM
There's no issue with posting images of our kitties, right?
https://imgur.com/gallery/RumeuP3 (https://imgur.com/gallery/RumeuP3)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: smallcleanrat on October 22, 2020, 09:03:04 AM
There's no issue with posting images of our kitties, right?
https://imgur.com/gallery/RumeuP3 (https://imgur.com/gallery/RumeuP3)

Your kitties are adorable!

"Furonymus Bosch" is going on my list of Best Cat Names I've Ever Encountered. It's right up there with "Mr. Meowgi."

Is Poe the black-and-white kitty with the gorgeous green eyes? Is that a Siamese kitty chomping on his ear?

Love the pics. A nice way to start the morning :)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 22, 2020, 09:18:25 AM
There's no issue with posting images of our kitties, right?
https://imgur.com/gallery/RumeuP3 (https://imgur.com/gallery/RumeuP3)

Adorable kittehs!!  I agree with smallcleanrat that Furonymus Bosch is one of the best cat names ever!

Ricochet, who can usually only be found on one of her safe spots (current N=4), is lounging in a sunbeam on the kitchen floor. Any sudden movements will cause her to bolt, so I'm watching from afar.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on October 22, 2020, 09:28:05 AM
Thank you! Yes, we called him Poe because he has that little mustache. He was a rescue kitty and when we got him he was around a year old and weighed maybe 5 lbs, he's now up to 18. Hazel is probably a mix of snowshoe (like grumpy cat) and siamese, she was another rescue. I am a painter so I told my wife we had to have at least one cat with a painter's name.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Larimar on October 22, 2020, 09:37:36 AM
There's no issue with posting images of our kitties, right?
https://imgur.com/gallery/RumeuP3 (https://imgur.com/gallery/RumeuP3)

Adorable kittehs!!  I agree with smallcleanrat that Furonymus Bosch is one of the best cat names ever!


Aww, +1 to this. Hazel, Poe, and Furonymus are adorable.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 22, 2020, 04:02:38 PM
Ricochet got her head caught in a paper bag handle (I know, bad cat servants!) while I was teaching today. She zoomed through the house banging into things and dragging the bag. I had to stop class and go find her. Luckily she jumped on top of the bed instead of cowering under it, so I freed her quickly from offending bag.  All was then well, and she groomed herself to soothe from the trauma.  Luckily, my students have been mostly amused by cat antics while I am teaching (both cats like the doc cam and have shown up in videos).  I wonder if comments about my cats will show up in my evals.