Saturday, October 29, 2011

high drama at high noon

A meeting unexpectedly cancelled makes room in overpacked schedule for lunch.

Cats all jockey for bonus mid-day laptime.

Buddy has first go.

Theo second.

Lunch happens, quick rest on couch.

Theo approaches again, cut off by dashing Willow.

Willow settles in.

Nahum tries to dislodge Willow by licking on her.

Willow licks back, refuses to budge. Attempt fails.

Nahum tries to dislodge TheCatGuy by carrying favorite string to him. Asks for plays.

TheCatGuy forced to choose. Play with Nahum, Snuggle with Willow.


Muffled chirp, Rose calls out for Nahum.

Crisis averted. All is well.

Friday, October 28, 2011

snuggle season is here!

With the temperatures getting colder, suddenly everyone wants to snuggle with Nahum.

Theo makes a wiggly pillow for Nahum.

It's rare to find Nahum alone in a cat bed.

Nahum's tummy makes for the perfect pillow for Theo!

The cooler temperatures also mean that all five cats find their way to the bed for the night. Five cats and two humans sharing a queen size bed is crazy. The other night, I awoke at 1 in the morning unable to move. My back was killing me, I needed to move, but I was sandwiched between Buddy sleeping on the edge of the bed with his head sharing my pillow and Laura, who was encroaching into my side of the bed because Willow and Theo were taking up her side. Nahum and Rose were both sprawled out in my foot space. So, what was I to do?

Well, I got up and relocated to the empty couch of course. It wasn't until midway through the next day that I realized that I could have relocated the cats!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


This is a picture of BK in my lap from this morning. He basically melted into a ball of kitty putty in my lap, purring away. No doubt that this guy remembers what it's like to receive human loves and warmth, thus he is either a lost or abandoned kittypet.

After about 20 minutes of intense lap snuggles, I had to extract him from my lap so I could get off to work. He didn't want to leave my lap. My current plan is to make an appointment at the vet for Monday morning. Then each morning and evening, I will spend as much time with him as I can to keep building the trust so come Monday I can either carry him in my arms or put him in a carrier (vet's office is literally across the alley from my backyard).

Thanks everyone for your encouraging and supportive words, they have been helpful to me as I figure out how best to help BK.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

first contact!!

At around 6:45am this morning first contact with BK was made. I had envisioned first contact involving a few quick pats followed by a hiss and BK running away. Delightfully, I was wrong.

My efforts to trap BK have been unsuccessful thus far. I had high hopes for Monday morning being the day, as Laura was home from work, which offered me the bonus of emotional support for the trapping process and while at the vet. However, the local utility trumped my plan when they showed up early in the morning in the alley with lots of trucks and equipment and started their all day noisy operation on the overhead wires. BK never went after the tuna in the trap.

Fall is here. As the nights have been getting colder, I have been warming up BK's wet food as a treat for him. I can't tell if it makes a difference to him, but I like giving him something warm on a cold morning. Usually, he is either waiting for me by the back door or he waits in his warm home as long as possible and comes out right when I plunk down the food bowl.

This morning, he started to come over to the Dining Hall when I placed the food bowl down. I decided to wait to see how close he would get. He didn't hiss as he walked right up to me, entered the Dining Hall and started attacking his food bowl. As I watched him eat in the dark, I slowly reached out and gently petted his back. I was nervous as I didn't fancy a bite! He didn't have much response either positive or negative, so I kept petting him for a bit. I paused for a few minutes then started again.

After breakfast, he sat about a foot away and cleaned his paws. He then looked at me and meowed. I took this as an invitation and slowly reached over to him and that's when it all started. BK melted into a love bug. He wanted to be loved all over at the same time - his back scratched, his head rubbed, lots and lots of purrs. He rubbed his body and face against me marking me as his. At one point it even looked like he was starting to roll over to have his tummy rubbed, then he stopped himself and offered more of his back for pets. He even asked to climb in my lap. After about five minutes my knees were screaming at me for having squatted for too long, I had to move and I didn't want to push my luck.

As I was loving on BK, I wondered how long it had been since he had been lovingly touched by a human. The obvious answer was too long. He soaked up the love. I hope that maybe in time he'll let me pick him up and I can carry him over to the vet for a check-up rather than both of us being traumatized by the whole trapping process. That would be better for all!

for the love of corn

Back in July, when I was over visiting my friend Lisa, I got to see her dog, Gromit, eat corn on the cob. I was very impressed.

Gromit, eating corn on the cob

From The Guide for Lifelong Health by Hills Pet Foods:
Corn is NOT a filler. It is superb source of nutrients such as:
  • Essential fatty acids - for healthy skin and coat
  • Beta-carotene, Vitamin E, Lutein - nature's antioxidants
  • Highly digestible carbohydrates - for energy
  • Quality proteins - for muscle and tissue growth
Cooked corn is highly digestible. The protein in corn is more digestible than that of rice, wheat, barley or sorghum.
I have a hard time picturing feral cats hunting and eating corn, but whatever. I do know that Theo has a thing for corn in whatever form he can get. He has stolen corn tortilla chips right from the bag and he has chowed down on the World's Best Cat Litter (ground up corn), which is why we don't use it.

Laura recently cooked up some corn on the cob for lunch. After eating most of the corn and feeling inspired by Lisa feeding Gromit corn on the cob, I let Theo have a go. He loved it!

Laura had cooked four cobs of corn, we ate two for lunch and the other two were sitting out on the stove cooling down. About twenty minutes later, Laura went to put away the extra corn, but she only found one cob remaining. Sure enough, Theo had absconded with it and carried it to the dining room, where I found him working it over.

Notice how he uses his paw to steady the cob while he chomps away.

The lesson from all this: never feed Theo a human food, because if he likes it he will always be after it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

new tube box toy

I built one of these back in June and was very pleased with the result, so I thought it was time to build new ones. A few things I learned from the first time I built one:

  • Build two - Theo hogs one to himself and the other cats didn't get a chance to play. 
  • Use two strings per box to attach to furniture. Theo was very zealous in his efforts to extract the food, one string wasn't enough to hold it secure and it was too easily trashed.

The idea is simple. Glue toilet paper rolls into a tissue box then tie it to something sturdy. Sprinkle a bunch of kibble in the tubes, then sit back and enjoy the fun! 

The cats love these toys! They are all very good with their paw-eye and paw-nose coordination. Thanks to Lisa for helping me collect toilet paper tubes and tissue boxes. 

have drop trap need courage

After a little construction work, I now have a drop trap and makeshift transfer crate, which means I have everything I need to capture BK. The last remaining item needed is the hardest to come by, gumptions.

The drop trap

My makeshift transfer crate with a guillotine type door

While I was testing the finished trap, BK was hanging out in front of his house.

BK enjoying a moment of late afternoon sunshine.

 If I can find the courage, I may give it a try on Monday morning.

Friday, October 14, 2011

21 nips and rolls

It's been too many moons since Theo's gotten some nip. 

ooohhhh yeah!