Tuesday, January 27, 2015

still no MK

Thank you everyone for your kind wishes for MK to return. I wish I had some good news to report, but sadly, still no sign of him.

beautiful Pierre
I called my local animal shelter and they don't have him. They track deceased cats they pick up from the local roads, and thankfully he wasn't on that list either.

A secure Oliver
I checked in with my vet clinic who is right behind my house and they haven't seen him but will be watching for him. Monday night I went and knocked on doors and talked with the neighbors. I left flyers asking people to check in their sheds and garages.

Pierre doesn't roam much anymore, he spends pretty much all of his days and nights here
Each day that goes on with him missing the angst in my heart grows. I've not been sleeping very well, waking often thinking about him, wondering where he might be. I spent every moment I could at work looking at the kitty-cams, looking for any sign of him. It kills me to know that Oliver and Pierre might very well know where he is but we can't communicate enough to have them lead me to him. I keep asking them to tell me, but they just look at me with their cute faces.

The highlight of my day yesterday, was when Pierre let me rub his head in the morning when I brought them breakfast. He's skittish about me touching him until his head starts getting rubbed, then he's blissed out in heaven.

so far so good!
Katie asked if the new door modification was working to keep Oliver secure. I don't have the emotional energy to put together a snazzy video right now, so I'll just let you know that so far it is working. Yea! Since making that change, Oliver hasn't escaped, but I'm not naive enough to believe that he's given up the battle just yet!

I don't know how people have outside cats, having Oliver and his family out there causes me so much stress. If I had some way to keep them secure but not in a cage, I certainly would. I keep racking my brain to figure out what I can do for them in the space I have. I'm also researching tracking devices, like the Loc8tor homing tags. Has anyone used these?

I'm super thankful that we're not getting a blizzard right now, that would really crank up my stress, imaging MK being out there with all that horrid weather. We've actually had a few very warm and sunny days. Thank you everyone for your continued care. I'll let you know the minute I learn something new.

Monday, January 26, 2015


It's been a long week since returning home. I arrived back on Tuesday morning and since being home there's been no sign of MK. Looking back in the recorded images, the last time he was around was early Monday morning.

one of the last images I have of MK
I'm trying not to panic, as he disappeared back in July for a week and came back, but I'm not being very successful with holding off that panic. It's so rare for him to not be here with his family. The feral feeder is the main source of his food. He adores Oliver and Pierre, he would not be away of his own choosing. Every morning I take food out and he's not there the pain in my heart grows.

I feel so powerless to keep these cats safe, even with all I do to try to protect them. In my heart, I feel like I have failed him by not keeping him safe, and yet I know cognitively that's not true. Ultimately they are outside cats and outside cats have short lifespans. However, thinking of him out there somewhere being trapped, hurt, starving, or dead makes me sick.

I hung signs in hopes someone sees him. Monday evening after work, I may go door to door with flyers, like I did in July. I feel utterly depressed.

MK, please, please come home.

Purrs and prayers for his safe return are much appreciated.

Friday, January 23, 2015

door mod two

With Oliver opening the programmable cat door at will, I needed something else to try. So, I dispatched a team of experts to study hours and hours of video of Oliver escaping. What was learned from all of this research is that Oliver stands in front of the door and uses his claw to open the door enough for him to get his head under it.

Thus, a theory was postulated - if a solid barrier was placed in front of the cat door, it would prevent a cat from standing in front of the door and opening it. With the barrier in place, the cat's body would block the door from opening. This theory seems promising, so the fourwhitepaws' engineers got to work...

I happen to have an old window that fit fairly well in front of the door, so I placed it so that the cat door still swings open, but a cat can't be in front of the door and have it open at the same time. Cats entering come inside the door and immediately turn right to enter.

Oliver checks out his newest challenge
Will Oliver outwit this low-tech solution? Time will tell... stay tuned...

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Being away from home means Oliver must be secured in our junky small bedroom, also known as "Oliver's Room". For him, it's his dream come true, he gets to be a real inside kitty! But before he can be brought in, the room has to be Oliverized.

Sheets and towels are hung in all the "spray-zones" to speed the cleaning process when we get back home!

No doubt that Oliver loves being inside-kitty.

Oliver's konked out on the heating pad!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

twenty years!

Twenty years ago today, Laura and I celebrated our wedding with our family and friends!

the happy young couple - Thecatguy and Laura
We were married in Laura's home town church, in rural Indiana. Being creative and non-conformist people, we didn't want a traditional formal wedding. We wanted something that uniquely represented us, so we crafted the service to be a Christian worship service that had a rite of marriage in the midst of it.

We've never been much for formal, so we made sure the wedding was casual. Laura's cousin made her dress and my mom hand knitted my sweater. And you can't really tell in the faded photo, but I'm wearing jeans!

The tapestry in the background was handwoven by my mom. We gave her an idea of what we were wanting and she worked her magic on the loom! The candlestick holders were handcrafted by Laura's grandfather.

The theme of the three birds signifies the Holy Spirit leading us onward. Looking back, I love that we put a prayer from Saint Francis of Assisi on the cover of our program. He had such a love and respect for animals and the natural world at a time when such respect was not necessarily the norm.

I look back on the choice I made twenty years ago today, and I rejoice and celebrate as it was certainly the best choice I have ever made. Laura is an amazing woman, having her in my life is the greatest gift I could ever dream of.

And can you believe that I chose to marry Laura at a time when she didn't care for pets? At the time I was a crazy dog person and she could take or leave dogs, although she was more on the leave side. For years I tried to talk her into getting a little dog, but we never did. Now, as I look back, I'm thankful she stayed strong and resisted. Knowing us, if we had a dog, we wouldn't ever have gotten a cat, and then I would've missed out on the joy of cats!

Today, twenty years later, we are celebrating this awesome milestone with a lovely trip to Vermont! We both love Vermont, it's beauty, lack of industry, and history are good for the soul.

The Lyme Inn, Lyme, NH
Even though the temperature is quite chilly outside, we are staying toasty warm in the Lyme Inn, which is over 200 years old! My picture didn't turn out that great due to the sun, so take a look at the picture of this place from their website (they must have photoshopped out the electrical wires!)

Photo courtesy of The Lyme Inn website

The view of "downtown" Lyme from our window

It snowed on Monday as we were making our way here, but sun is forecast for our entire stay! The fresh coat of snow makes everything look fresh and pretty. What a blessing.

This is the sitting area of our gorgeous suite!
The suite we're staying in is huge! We both think the square footage of the suite is actually larger than the first floor of our house! The wide plank flooring, cozy fireplace and spaciousness of everything is delightful! And there are seven huge windows in our suite!

Breakfast is included and is served in the beautiful enclosed in front porch. Each table has fresh flowers, which is amazing as it seems we might be the only ones staying here at the moment. Amazing too how well insulated this place is. I figured a massive room with three walls of windows and the outside temperature hovering around 10°F (-12°C) would be cold, but it was perfectly warm.

I ordered the cinnamon roll french toast with berries and maple syrup made by the inn's owner! I so love real New England maple syrup - yum, yum, yum!!

I love that we are celebrating in such a lovely place and yet it's aways sad being away from the kitties. It does help to know they are being well cared for. We boarded Buddy so he could have people keeping a close eye on him in case his health turns for the worse and we also boarded Bert so Oliver could have the room he's been occupying.

My friend Kathleen, who takes care of the boarded animals, sent me these photos of Bert and Buddy.

 Bert            photo courtesy of Kathleen

Buddy          photo courtesy of Kathleen
Thanks for celebrating with us!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

mod fail

I'm sure you have all been waiting anxiously to find out if Oliver has managed to get around my modification to the SureFlap cat door. The answer should not come as any surprise!


a rare behind the scenes image of pawpurrazzi in action
Time to consult with the manufacturer to see if they have any bright ideas.

Friday, January 9, 2015

door mod

The battle to keep Oliver secure at night continues. My latest attempt involved making some modifications to the SureFlap programmable cat door.

I added two wooden bars in front of the door to try to keep him from getting his claws in the crack between the door, but the door can still swing freely.

Time will tell if he outwits my modification.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

rodent fun

Caught Pierre playing with a rodent. Sadly, it was a real one.

I thought about intervening to save the rodent's life, but before I could get very far, I noticed it was already limping pretty badly, and I figured it might be better in the long run to have Pierre dispatch it.

This activity is one of the elements of cat life that I have a hard time with. It's not so much that they hunt other critters, it's that they play with their prey before killing it. Cats have a good time while another critter suffers - seems intentionally cruel.

Pierre sure did have a good time. Thankfully he took his prize elsewhere for the final finish. Rest in peace little rodent.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

beauty in the sun

I couldn't decide if these look better in color or black and white...
Oliver and Pierre enjoying a moment together

I love how the sun really brings out Pierre's cinnamon-colored undercoat.

But the black and white look is so classic. I like them both! Which do you like better?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

inside kitty campaign

Thank you everyone for your purrs for Buddy and for the encouraging words. I am so grateful for all my kitty-blogging friends! Riding the emotional roller coaster of geriatric health problems is never easy, not being alone on the coaster makes the journey easier to endure.

Meanwhile, look who continues to make a solid case for being an inside kitty...

if only he didn't like to spray his pee all over. So sad.