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.

Conclusion to the "A Cat Named Mike" series...

Several months later, I'm finally going to tell you what happened with "A Cat Named Mike". My apologies for not doing it sooner...life got in the way, and for awhile I wasn't blogging. 

Michael in his temporary basement room.

Michael in his temporary basement room.

Anyway.....We got Michael to the vet, and his liver values were high. For a few weeks, we kept Michael isolated from the other kitties. His liver values could indicate a chronic liver condition, bad food from the outdoors, or an infection.

Mike Wazowski!

Mike Wazowski!

Michael also had fleas and ear mites. We took care of those two through the normal means. His limp was likely caused by a misshapen growth plate when he was very little (and being kept in a confined outdoor area with his mother). 

We put him on a stable diet...no luck with the liver values. So, we tried antibiotics...


He is now happy and healthy, and officially part of our Clowder some seven months later. He's a wonderful, well-behaved and adorable cat. He's just over a year old.

Sorry to keep you all waiting! :)

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 3

Part 1

Before I tell you whether or not the cat was there when we returned from our trip, I'm going to tell you about his name.

The Monday after the cat began residing on our porch, I told my coworkers about this. One of them happens to be a huge fan of cats, so he was very interested in the welfare of the cat.

Later that day, for work-related reasons (and if you know my job, email me and I tell you the specifics), the movie Monsters, Inc was brought up. Specifically, Boo (the most adorable cartoon toddler ever) saying "Mike Wazowski!". Boo saying "Mike Wazowski" is actually the noise my phone makes when Jimmy texts me, because we both adore the movie (and the Disney attraction!).  The movie was discussed for quite some time.

Before I left that evening, my coworker who loves cats (and Monsters, Inc) suggested I name the cat Mike Wazowski because the enthusiasm Boo has when she says that is the same enthusiasm you get when see such an adorable kitty.

That evening, we started calling him Mike. I liked my coworker's reasoning. Also, the cat was bold, charismatic, and VERY talkative. He is always in a good mood, and is very silly. He's also tiny. On top of that, Mike fits well with the other names...Miles, Fred, Meredith....we tend to name cats people names, not standard pet names.

The name stuck.

When we got home from our trip, Mike Wazowski was waiting for us on the porch.

The Love of a Cat

Warning: A little sad

“What greater gift than the love of a cat?”
—Charles Dickens

As every cat owner knows, each cat has a distinct personality. I love each of my cats with all my heart. My relationship with each of them is different...some are better at snuggling, some are better at playing, some are better at showing affection and some I can have conversations with.They each have their preferred places to be pet and favorite spots to sleep. Dixee sleeps with me every night. Miles helps me in the kitchen. Melody watches tv with me. Whisket reads with me. Fred lays at my computer while I play games. And Meredith likes to eat potato chips with me.



Harree's place was by my side. Harree followed me from room to room. He was always there nudging the other cats away so he could be closer to me. It always seemed like he wanted to be near me all the time as much as possible. I feel like some of my other cats "need" me...particularly Fred...sometimes he just has to be picked up by me right now. But Harree always wanted me. He was one of my dearest friends. He comforted me when I was sad and laid with me when I was sick.



I adored Lefty. Lefty was a very good cat. He led an interesting life and had quite the number of fans. However, Lefty spent his days sleeping. Even before he got old, our interactions were not constant. He enjoyed hanging out in the room with everyone, liked the occasional pets, and was always around to lick the popcorn bowl when I was finished. I miss Lefty, but now that time has passed, I only think of Lefty when I eat popcorn or cheez-its, or stack dice, or put the groceries on the floor in the kitchen. The moments are very discreet and fleeting. 



For this reason, Harree's absence I feel more acutely. Particularly because I've experienced a lot of negative emotions recently and Harree was very good at comforting me. Everything reminds me of Harree. I still cry at least once or twice a week, but this is an improvement from several weeks ago. He will always be my special baby, and I'll always miss him.

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!