Monday, February 1, 2016

an inside job

Oliver enjoyed some quality inside time on Sunday. He sure looks at home.

Ambassador Nahum welcomes Oliver to the inside kitty life

When I was at the vet on Saturday with Rose, one of the receptionists told me that they frequently have customers come in and tell them that there is a black cat roaming around their parking lot. They understandably express concern because of the five lane road the vet is on. That would be my Oliver! She said they often see him (it could be Pierre but most likely is Oliver) walk along the fence line that separates the vet's dog walking area from the fire station next door. When he gets to the end of the fence next to the busy five lane road, he takes a sharp right and walks back through the fire station property. Oh Oliver! Not only making me nervous, but making everyone at the vet's office nervous too.

Oliver lives across the alleyway from the vet and fire station.

It's February. You know that that means?

It's national pet dental month.

Oliver's bitey apparatus is looking good!

We've had some warmer temperatures lately, which means Oliver's not been wanting to be locked away on his back porch at night. He likes doing the midnight patrols to keep the neighborhood cats out of his yard. I want him locked on the back porch where I know he's safe and not fighting or darting across roads. I've had to go to bed a few nights lately with him roaming free - on those nights I say a prayer for his safety and for my worries. Thankfully each morning he's waiting by the back porch door ready for some breakfast.

You should hear the purrs...

Here's to a healthy and safe February for all of us and for all of you!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

unlucky Rose

Remember Tramp?

I helped rescue him about a year and half ago. He's been with his foster mom ever since as he's waited for his forever home. Meanwhile, his foster mom fell in love with him, but when the perfect new forever home came along, she was willing to let him go. His new family have been looking for a lovey, cuddly kitty-friend for one of their lonely kitties.

Tramp was set to go to his new home Saturday after his final vet checkup, but sadly, he escaped his foster mom's house on Thursday night. Foster mom came home after work to find her door ajar and several kitties missing. So, she's working on rounding them back up, which will delay Tramp's delivery. Hopefully Tramp comes back inside soon.

Meanwhile, I had a Saturday morning vet appointment with no Tramp, and with Rose being due for annual check up, it was her unlucky day.

Catching Rose is always an ordeal, she desperately fears humans.  And after this experience, she'll believe her fear is fully justified.

Rose hunkered down at the vet hoping it would all go away. She didn't get her wish, instead she got a couple of pokes and a good look over. Vet said she's healthy - yea!

Upon coming back home, she walked around, crying for about five minutes. I felt horrible for causing her such emotional distress. Thankfully, Nahum, her best kitty friend, attended to her and offered what he does best, providing comfort.

After getting loved on by Nahum, she had to have a drink! A good stiff drink always helps with the stress.

She made her way to her safe cubby and kept watch. Poor girl couldn't settle to sleep for a number of hours. I so wish human contact wasn't so intensely stressful for her. I'm grateful she's healthy and won't need to be corralled again for another year or so.

Friday, January 22, 2016

former feral Friday

Oliver enjoying some inside play time!               Jan 21, 2016
Every time I get to hang out with Oliver my heart glows with joy. My bond with him is quite different from all of the other cats. There something about how we met and that it took quite some time for us to trust each other. He was the first feral-like cat that I befriended. Over the course of time, he went from being too scared to be in yard with me, to being a puddle of purring kitty-putty in my lap.

Join me for an Oliver flashback...

I first started noticing feral Oliver around the neighborhood in January 2011.
Jan 23, 2011
Over time I started noticing him hanging out in and around my yard more and more.
July 29, 2011

Aug 15, 2011
He was pretty thin back then.
Aug 26, 2011
 I knew absolutely nothing about feral cats then, so it took me awhile to start feeding him.
Aug 30, 2011
He took to the food right away!
Sept 1, 2011
Then I built him a house and a matching dining hall.
Sept 7, 2011
He immediately claimed the house as his.
Sept 18, 2011
Then came slowly working to win his trust.
                  Oct 6, 2011

He's such a beauty!                      Oct 7, 2011
And at long last the amazing moment happened, his desire to be held overcame his fear. He climbed into my lap and completely melted into me. I cried tears of joy and delight as I held him close.
Oliver's first cuddle                                        Oct 20, 2011
After that first cuddle, he wanted more and more cuddles. I was more than happy to oblige!
Nov 8, 2011

Dec 2, 2011
I was so honored when he brought his kittens to share in his bounty.
Dec 31, 2011
Over the years, Oliver's made his desire to be an inside kitty very clear. Sadly, he's a frequent urine marker, so he's only allowed inside under supervision or if I'm traveling and then I Oliverize his room by covering every surface with sheets and towels. I tried all sorts of things to get him to stop spraying but sadly nothing worked. Over the years he's mellowed a bit with the spraying, so I may try some of those things again.

He would jump up onto the outside window sill and beg to be let in. He has the saddest cry.
 Feb 18, 2012
When time allows, I bring him inside for some supervised snuggle time.
July 8, 2012
Last summer I had the brilliant idea of camping in the back yard with Oliver - if Oliver can't come inside to spend the night with me, then I could go outside and spend the night in his space.

Aug 1, 2015
It took a little time to win his trust, and in that time, Oliver has freely given me his heart. He is such a delightful gift, a gift that I treasure and I'm immensely grateful for.
Oct 10, 2015
Thank you, Oliver, for choosing me.

Thank you everyone for your kind comments about MK's absence. Many of you said you can't believe it's been a year already, I feel much the same way. He'll forever live in my heart and in Pierre and Oliver's lives.

Happy former feral Friday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Buddy's always been a picky eater, but now as he gets older his finickiness is growing, as his weight is dropping. So, I'm always looking for more creative ways to get him to eat. He really likes saucy food and doesn't care for the chewing part as much. He loves to lick up the sauce in Friskies shreds or the sauce in Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers foods. He's never been into healthy food and that's more true now than ever.

He loves people food - bacon (his all time favorite!), tuna, chicken, cheese, etc. He's becoming quite the pest come dinner time, with his getting up on the table and begging. He doesn't take no for an answer! Anyway, I had an idea - what about getting a mini-food processor and blending up some custom foods for him. This way I can mix in some of his favorite human-foods into cat food, making custom flavors and food that's more saucy.

I found the perfect thing at the local Goodwill - a Small Cuisinart Stick Hand Blender with Whisk and Chopper Attachments for $15. The container is the perfect size for cat food.

For this smoothie, I used a half can of Taste of the Wild wet food (which Buddy refuses to eat, cuz it's chunky and too healthy) and added some sliced cheese-product (which Buddy loves!)


Saucy, cheesy goodness!

Now comes the test - will he eat it?

That is a no! So, I bring out some Purely Fancy Feast tuna to see if maybe he'll eat that...

After two bites of dry kibble, he turns his back - he's done. Sigh.

Since he rejected all of his options, this is one of those nights where he just wasn't gonna eat, no matter what. He has eaten other smoothies I've made using Friskies or Fancy Feast as the base. I knew trying the healthier stuff was a risk. This smoothie won't be wasted as Theo and Nahum will happily make it go away!