Updated Cat Photo Gallery & Intro Page

I updated the cat gallery to include some more recent photos, as well as pictures of Michael.

I've also updated the introduction paragraph on the main page with their ages. I can't believe the kittens are already 7 years old! Glad we have Mike Wazowski! to add some energy to The Clowder. I'll be doing a profile of my little Strawberry Blonde Monster soon. 

The Clowder is all doing very well. Everyone gets along with Michael except Whisket (of course...she gets along with no one) and Miles (though they tolerate each other 98% of the the time). Dixee had a little blip with a kidney episode, but recovered quickly. She is full of life and energy for an elderly cat. Miles is losing weight slowly the the metabolic food and active feeder, but we are still struggling with Melody. We are now limiting her access to food by having her spend the day with Mike Wazowski! and Dixee.

A Cat Named Mike: Part 5

Start from the Beginning: Part 1

I spent the entire next day worried about Mr. Wazowski. My labmates were sympathetic and also concerned about his welfare. In fact, I was told to text them that night with an update (an example of why these people are so awesome).

When we returned from work that night...Mike was sitting on the stairs, like always, awaiting our arrival.

Grateful to find him safe, we moved him into his new room immediately. He was nervous for all of about 15 minutes, before settling in. He immediately adopted the grateful-to-be-rescued stray personality I've encountered twice before. He was loving and so affectionate.

The following morning I called my vet, and scheduled an appointment.

A Cat Named Mike: Part 4

Part 1

Mike held out for our return, and was there Monday night waiting for us after our long weekend trip. He helped us unload the car, and then we went inside to greet our cats and have some dinner. After dinner, I fed Mike some wet food and when he was done, I took his dish inside (to avoid raccoons) and went inside to unpack and get ready for work the next day.

Several minutes later, we heard a cat fight on our porch. A big, gray long-haired cat had come on to our porch and was fighting with Mike. We yelled out the door, and the cat ran off.

It happened AGAIN just a few minutes later. This time, I chased the cat out of our yard, while Mike stayed on the porch. I promised Mike we'd get him inside that night.

Jimmy and I immediately set to work with a plan to get Mike Wazowski inside.

We set up our guest room with food, water, a litter box and a cat bed. We covered the gap between the guest room door and the rest of the basement with towels (to prevent under the door fighting). Jimmy removed the screen from the window, and the plan was to pass Mike through the window (so none of other cats would see).

I went outside to pickup Mike for the handoff and he was gone. I called for him and searched the yard. He was nowhere to be found.

I checked several more times that night, until it was time for bed.

A Cat Named Mike: Part 2

Part 1

This adorable orange visitor continued to hang out on my porch during the following days. He'd be waiting for me, looking impatient, on the stairs when I arrived home from work. He spent his evenings on the door mat in front of my front door waiting for a visit from me. And every morning when I awoke, he was there on my porch for breakfast.

The nights were getting cold, so I put out a box with some old t-shirts in it, as well as a t-shirt in the corner of the porch where he liked to sleep. He used both areas, and piled up leaves on the corner t-shirt to make a bit of a nest.

He constantly tried to get into our house anytime we opened the door. He remained skittish to noises, or quick movements. However, everyday he became increasingly more trusting and affectionate towards me....he was downright cuddly. He let me hold him for brief periods of time, and sat on my lap once.

I took some photos as best I could. It was challenging because he wanted me to snuggle with him, not photograph him. And I posted these photos on our local NextDoor to see if he was lost.

We took great care to wash our hands after every encounter with him, and he used the human dishes, not the kitty dishes, so that we prevented accidental contamination. We also made sure our cats were up to do date on flea prevention.

We continued on like this for a week, until it was time for us to leave for a long weekend trip. We thought this would be a good test...if he didn't need us during the four days we were gone, he'd move on to another home. If he was there when we returned, we'd consider adoption.

A Cat Named Mike: Part 1

Several weeks ago Jimmy and I noticed a small orange kitty had begun hanging out in our neighborhood. This isn't unusual. Outdoor cats are abundant in our rural neighborhood, and I'm sure strays are too, sadly.

At one point, we noticed the cat walked with a bit of a limp...a stiffness in one of its back legs. We felt bad for the kitty, and Jimmy suggested we take it in, only half-jokingly. I admonished him...we already have too many cats, and we're still trying to pick ourselves up from the recent rough year we've had. Besides, Lefty had had a limp...but had a loving home. It was probably just an old injury that hadn't healed properly. We moved on, not dwelling on it much.

Two weeks ago, I was outside on the porch (possibly putting a pumpkin on it). I turned towards the stairs (the main floor is a flight up), and halfway up them was that orange cat. Up close, he was smaller than I had thought, and looked quite young. He cautiously meowed at me...several times.

I slowly crouched down, and called to him. He immediately came up the stairs and begged for attention.

He spent the rest of the night on our porch. I fed him a can of wet food, and he ate the entire plate. I later followed it up with some dry food...and he ate a bit of that too. He was very skittish...flinching at the slightest movement or noise...whether it be made by me, a passing car, or squirrel in a tree.

When I woke up that morning, he was still on my porch.



Inspector Lefty Approves of your Groceries

When we come home from grocery shopping, we place the groceries on the floor next to the fridge.

Until this moment, Lefty (the 22 yr. old) can be found in one of three places...his bed (most of the time), at the water or food dishes, or the litterbox. He cares little for the other happenings of the house, he only cares about eating, sleeping and pooping...except for the return from the grocery store.

Less than a minute after we put the groceries down, Lefty is up. He joins me at the bags and supervises the entire process of putting the groceries away. 

I have no idea why...we don't buy anything for the cats at the grocery store, he gets no treats at this time, and I'm too busy to pet him. Still...every week...he watches the groceries get put away.

Dixee's Okay!

A couple weeks ago, Dixee gave us a bit of a fright. On Tuesday, she was perfectly normal, but Wednesday evening- she wasn't eating. :(

She normally has quite the appetite, and it's not like her to skip a meal. She was also acting lethargic. I called the vet and scheduled a drop-off appointment for the following day. Dixee didn't eat at all Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.

Her blood work was great (even in the kidney department!) She had a little bit of an upper respiratory infection (a chronic, and unfortunately common, condition with her). She has had a mass in her abdomen since we've had her, which has previously been tested and proven to be composed of fat cells that was of no concern. However, the mass continues to grow, so it was a suspect in the cause of her not eating. After some x-rays and additional testing, it was determined that the cause of her loss of appetite was a small blockage in her nose from her respiratory infection, and perhaps just a general unwell feeling from the infection. She was treated with antibiotics, but we needed to monitor her defecation- just in case it was an abdominal problem.

She began eating Thursday night. We kept her isolated in the bedroom, which she LOVED (seriously), so we could monitor all her bodily functions. Her energy levels, appetite, happiness, water-drinking and urination were all back on track by Friday evening. 

She didn't defecate between coming home from the vet on Thursday and Monday morning. So, I called the vet for a drop-off appointment on Tuesday. 

Of course, when we got home Monday night- there was a poop in her box! She still had to go to the vet, though. The vet said she saw no signs of discomfort and gave her the all clear with us continuing to monitor her.

Thankfully, the next poop spotting was only two days later, and then the following day...so it looks like we are back to normal. Thank goodness!