14 October 2009

Spay and Neuter your pets

A very creative way of sharing an important message.

Remember, 3-4 million animals are euthanized yearly in the US due to pet overpopulation.


14 September 2009

Zoom Groom to the rescue?

After getting baths, you'd think the cats would be consuming less fur while grooming themselves. But no! Apparently their baths were the trigger they needed to groom themselves silly and get furballs. At 6am Sammi woke me up as she sat at the foot of the bed and gave a funny meow. Felix had a distinctive "I'm going to puke" meow, so I knew what this likely meant. Not wanting to have a barf-laden bed, I grabbed her and put her on the floor. Seconds later, up came a Huge furball. After cleaning it up and going back to bed, not more than 3 mintues later I hear Raven wretching in the hallway. So I go, hurrying to the hall to try to scoot her off the rug and onto the wood floor. Up comes a little furball. But at least it was on the wood floor and easy to clean. Back to bed I go, hoping to get another hour sleep.

Obviously both Sammi and Raven need more brushing or a different de-furring technique. I groom them daily with a natural-bristle brush or metal comb, but every month or so they hack up a furball. And more often than not, it's an abrupt wake-up call between 1 and 6 am!

I've been reading about the Furminator de-shedding tool. My neighbor has one and I used it a bit on her cat. It removed a lot of fur, but I don't plan on using it on my cats. I just can't believe that it isn't damaging the coat. Everything I've read claims it only removes the loose undercoat, but I've also read and talked to people who say to use it only once a week or so. My logic tells me that if it's only removing loose fur, it shouldn't be a problem to use it all the time, so why are they hesitant to use it more often? I suspect you'd end up with a pet with a very thin or damaged coat if you used it more than occasionally.

I read several positive reviews about the Zoom Groom and decided to give it a try. It's a rubber grooming tool with massaging fingers that lift out loose fur. It comes in many colors, but ours is purple - the color of Indulgence! It's affordably priced at $7-8 at the local pet stores.

I've described our experience with it and give more pictures here: It works very well to remove loose fur, and hopefully it will help prevent some of the early morning furball wake up calls. Only time will tell.

12 September 2009

Our first Indulged Feline baths

We're lucky to have made it this long in the Indulged Furry home without getting a bath, especially since we were housed in a multi-cat room at the SPCA. But the day finally came when mom decided it was time for us to get deep-down clean.

Sammi was the first "volunteer", and it took two of us to bathe her because with only three legs, she's very hard to hold on to. It's amazing how much extra "grip" you get on a cat when there's another front paw! She's difficult to hold when she's dry and I didn't want to try to hold on to a slippery kitty by myself, so dad helped bathe "his" girl. Sammi did amazingly well with her first bath. Maybe she's been bathed before, but she didn't squirm too much and didn't even meow. We were in and out of the shower in less than 5 minutes. After a good towel dry, she sat in her perch in a sunny window and calmly groomed herself while she dried.

Raven's turn was next, and being awoken from a nap to be deposited in the shower was not what she expected. Since she had quite a bit of dander (or maybe it's just highly visible against her black fur) she got a thorough bathing with a little extra shampoo time and extra rinsing. She meowed a few times, and looked a bit dazed, but was very accepting of her bath. She was not as happy as Sammi to endure the drying process, and chased her wet tail in circles a few times as if something was attacking her. Having a much denser coat than Sammi, it took her a little longer to dry, but she survived.

I admit I'm pretty good at giving cat baths. Everyone claims it's an ordeal, but I've never had any problems giving my cats a bath. I think preparation, calmness, and efficiency are the keys and in about 5 minutes kitty is bathed and wrapped in a towel for drying off. My cat bathing technique is described Now that they know what the shower is really for, I'll have to wait and see if their second bath goes as smoothly as the first.

11 September 2009

We have birthdates!

SammiRavenHow can an Indulged Feline properly celebrate her birthday without a date? We joined the Indulged Furry house on December 5, 2008 but since we were adopted from the SPCA our birthdates were unknown. The waiting is over and we're excited to announce that we have official Indulged Furry Birthdates.

It is hearby declared that

Sammi's birthday is January 24.

Raven's birthday is October 16.

We can't wait to see what we get for our first Indulged Feline birthdays.

28 August 2009

Fur Control

Fur control is serious business in the Indulged Furries' home. We love our pets, but it comes with the never-ending battle to control fur. This is especially important since the Indulged Furries' dad is allergic to cats! I purchased the Scotch Fur Fighter a while ago and have been using it to clean the carpeted cat perches. It does an excellent job and it's a product I will continue to use. I have the "car interior" version (I didn't realize there were different versions when I bought it). It's about 1-1/2 times the size of a computer mouse with stiff rubber fur-loosening teeth on a fat end and a sheet of microgripper teeth that wraps around a tapered end and onto the bottom. The rubber teeth do an excellent job at loosening and gathering the majority of fur from the perches. After using the rubber teeth, I switch to the microgripper paper and that does a very good job at snagging up the remaining fur. If there's a generous coating of fur in the gripper teeth, it can be pulled off several times before you need to replace the sheet. The tapered end works well for getting in the crevices of the perches. After cleaning up as much fur as possible with the Fur Fighter, I run a sticky-tape lint roller all over the perches to remove the few remaining hairs and the lint.

26 August 2009

Could a grain-free diet fix my problems?

Ever since we adopted Sammi 8 months ago she has had intermittent loose stool and diarrhea. And there was no mistaking her stools from Raven's because 1) they were runny and 2) they smelled worse than any cat poop I've ever smelled. She's been treated for intestinal parasites and given a course of antibiotics in case her intestinal flora were out of balance due to the medications she had been given after her amputation. She was also rechecked (negative) for fecal parasites. We were past the point of thinking new-home stress could be factor and had tried several different foods - all with varying degrees of success.

When we adopted them, we started the cats on Blue Buffalo Spa select (both the salmon and chicken versions), but that didn't work for Sammi. We knew that anytime she ate Raven's favorite dry food (Castor & Pollux Ultramix) she got terrible diarrhea. Even the ultra-premium, organic, and minimal ingredients canned foods gave her diarrhea. The Blue Buffalo Longevity adult dry food seemed to work best for her, but she was still having problems. I tried mixing in some of the new Wellness CORE grain-free dry food, and that seemed to help, but then she'd have diarrhea again.

Based on all the different foods we've tried and the tiny specks of stuff that looked like finely-milled grain in her stool, I thougth maybe the rice or barley were giving her problems. But that was just a hunch because I have no idea what those little specks were and maybe it was just a result of everything going through her system so quickly.

We were at our wits end with different foods, cleaning the bathroom floor because she often avoided the litter box when she had diarrhea, and cleaning Sammi's bottom (even her clippered hair was still getting soiled). And she was tired of it too! I sure she doesn't feel great when the best her system can produce is something the consistency of a gummy worm. Usually she was producing something akin to pancake batter. Besides being unpleasant, it isn't good for her fluid balance to be losing so much water in her stool, and I can't imagine she's absorbing all the nutrients properly.

So we called our vet to get his suggestions or make an appointment to start some testing. The vet said it was ok to try Hills z/d to see if a low-allergan formula would help her. Boy was that a mistake! Her diarrhea was the worst it's ever been and we could tell she didn't feel well. That feeding trial lasted only 3 days. The z/d ingredients of hydrolyzed chicken protein and rice gave me the best indication that rice, and maybe other grains are something Sammi's digestive system can't process.

We're transitioning her to a grain-free diet and seeing positive results. We're slowly mixing the Blue Buffalo Longevity out of her diet and switching to Wellness CORE grain-free dry food. She's also eating about 2 tablespoons Wellness grain-free canned food (chicken) twice a day. Her stools aren't perfect, but they're mostly formed, and the best they've been since we adopted her. Another wonderful benefit is that she's using the litter box consistently.

We're hoping a grain-free diet is the solution, otherwise we're in for some vet visits and probably some expensive diagnositc work. Within a few days she should be on a 100% grain-free diet and hopefully after a few weeks of letting her intestines calm down she will have firm, normal stools.

I'm also monitoring another of Sammi's "issue", and that's the amount of dark goop her eyes produce. Every day I wipe gunk from her eyes, and I'm wondering if that's possibly related to her digestive issues. A mom can hope!

I think all the foods we've tried are excellent cat foods that I would be happy to feed my cats. They just don't appear to agree with Sammi's digestive system.

Keep your fingers (and paws) crossed that a grain-free diet is the solution to Sammi's problem.

25 August 2009

Thriving on Three Legs

I'm finally getting some much overdue attention.

Being a kitty with only 3 legs isn't all fun and games, but in the Indulged Furry House, it's a pretty darn good life. You can read what's easy for me, what's difficult, and how my caretakers have made my life easier by visiting my Cat with Three Legs information page

24 August 2009

Counerfeit Advantage and Frontline

I hadn't heard anything about this in the news until I ran across a blog article about it today. Owners should be on the look-out for counterfeit Advantage and Frontline flea & tick control products. Usually the counterfeit products are from non-veterinary suppliers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is intensifying its evaluation of spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control due to recent increases in the number of reported adverse reactions in pets treated with these products. Read more at...

Specific info on counterfeit Advantage and Frontline for dogs and cats is at
Has some info & photos on how to identify potentially counterfeit products.

Raven earned her Naughty Kitty badge.

Raven is an early-morning kitty, often trying to wake us around 6am for playtime. Her arsenal of kitty wake-up tricks include: standing up on her hind legs with her front paws on the bed near her dad’s head, which despite the cuteness is a no-no due to his cat allergies; jumping up on the bed by our heads, or banging on the bi-fold closet doors to make a racket. Rolled up socks tossed at the banging kitty don’t deter her, she just ducks out of the way and continues her banging. She stops banging only when she’s put out of the bedroom – but then you had to get out of bed, chase her through the room, capture her (with snuggles of course), and put her out – which is all great kitty fun.

Sunday morning we decided to sleep in and ignore her invitations for play. Undeterred, Raven amused herself by investigating new heights, the aftermath of which was small-scale destruction and a lot of cleaning for us. When I heard the crash of glass breaking I went running. My first thought was that on her climb to the window, she knocked the empty 5-gallon fish tank off the desk. But when I saw the glass and liquid on the floor I instantly knew where she had been. After 8 months of living in her new home, she decided it was time to conquer the tallest bookcase in the office. She had gotten on top of the bookcase and knocked over a Galilean Thermometer. These are glass thermometers filled with oily liquid and floating things that show the temperature.

I had two simultaneous thoughts: is she ok, and did anything in dad’s office get damaged. I grabbed her and checked her paws for glass, and they were ok. After locking her and her sister Sammi in a bedroom, I assessed the damage and started cleaning.

The Kitty Gods were watching over her because: 1) she was safe and 2) the thermometer fell straight forward spewing oil and glass mostly on the wood floor and missing everything that would have been damaged or impossible to clean.

Oddly, she found the only glass decoration in the house. We don’t even leave drinking glasses standing in the sink overnight because I fear the cats will tip and break them.

When Raven wants to play, even at 6am, it’s probably a good idea to indulge her.

15 August 2009

Pet supplies and great customer service

If you're looking for a place to order pet supplies I've been very happy using KV Vet. I've purchased cat and dog supplies (grooming, beds, bowls, poop pick-up bags), Bentley's prescription medications, and medical & first-aid supplies like bandage scissors. They also have stuff for horses & livestock, which is fun to browse, and if you're in need of a sheep blanket or flat-sided water pail, heck you can get one!

If you're purchasing normal-sized items that don't weigh a lot, shipping is free on orders over $50. Otherwise there is a shipping charge (if under $50, or charges for bulky & heavy items). Returns are easy, and there wasn't any fee when I returned items, just the cost of mailing it back to them. They also have multiple item discounts, so if you order 3 of something, the price may be a little better than ordering just one. So if you use the same shampoo or get the same dog toys all the time, you can order several at once and save a bit of money.

What I've also found to be excellent at KV Vet is the customer service. Most recently, I ordered Bentley's prescription arthritis medication and just a couple days later we had to put him to sleep. Medications are not returnable, so I though I'd have to try to find someone who uses the same medication for thier pet, or donate it to a rescue group. But the order had not shipped yet, so I called KV Vet to see if I could cancel it. They were very nice on the phone and cancelled my order without any problems. It was one less thing to worry about during a very stressful event.
If you're looking for someplace to buy pet supplies or medications, give a look. I'm not getting paid to advertise for them, I just thought I'd give them some support since they've been a good company to purchase from.

13 August 2009

Bentley's Eternal Adventure

After 17 years of life and 8 years as an Indulged Furry, Bentley left for the Spirit World. For the past few months we've known his time with us was limited, so we tried to make the best of every day. Just a few days ago we celebrated his 17th birthday with a doggy-edible birthday cake, toys from his DoggySpace friend Boomer, and toys from his family. He enjoyed them all thoroughly, albeit with less energy than before.

On the morning of August 12 we had a vet come to our home and help our wonderful boy begin his journey. We had been up with him most of the night, helping him walk or carrying him to his bed, and there was no doubt that it was time for us to help him one final time. Bentley was safe in our arms as his life here came to an end.

By the end of this very long day I was hoping for a sign that my boy was where he was supposed to be. At about 11:30pm the night he died, I went outside to look for meteors from the Persied meteor shower. It was cloudy and not the best time to see meteors, but about 30 seconds after I went outside a large meteor streaked directly overhead, beneath the clouds, vivid yellowish-white. I can only think it was Bentley's way of letting me know he's still here - right over his backyard - going through the Spirit World with the exhuberance he had in his younger years.

Sadly, his DoggySpace friend Boomer passed away just the day before. I had hoped to see two meteors streaking across the sky - Boomer and Bentley playing together - but maybe that kind of sign is only meant for each "mom", and Boomer's mom has a sign of her own that her sweet boy is happy and safe.

Turn joyous circles, take a dip in a lake, and do all the thing you did in your younger years my big Goofy Golden. You will always be loved, and missed.

08 August 2009

Bentley's 17th Birthday

We never expected him to reach 17 years old, but Bentley has astounded all of us with his continuing good health and liveliness.

Of course we continued the tradition started last year and made him a doggy-edible birthday cake. We know it's silly, but its a way for us to celebrate what a wonderful dog he is and what joy he brings to our life. And if my sharing our unabashed devotion to our pets' health and happiness inspires someone else to do something fun and interesting with their pet, that's another benefit!

Bentley's doggy-edible cake is made of mashed potatoes and decorated mostly with his dry dog food. Since he eats mashed potatoes and kibble for every meal, this treat is safe for him (and vet approved).
The orange decoration on this cake is human-edible icing, but we did not allow Bentley to eat any of that.

Bentley thoroughly enjoyed eating a hunk of his birthday cake, and we enjoyed providing him with the excitement of a novel treat. He's rarely fed anything outside of his food bowl, so he knows this is a special event!

05 August 2009

Bentley's 17th Birthday Bash Begins

Bentley is on DoggySpace and has one special doggy friend that he "barks" with. His name is Boomer and when Boomer learned that Bentley's 17th birthday was coming, he and his mom wanted to send Bentley a birthday card. We thought that was very thoughtful of them, and since Bentley has never received a birthday card from anyone but his closest family, we waited eagerly for the card to arrive.

Well, Boomer, his mom, and their other furries Darla and Violet didn't just send a card, they sent a whole box of gifts! We couldn't be more surprised at this since we only know them from DoggySpace. But pet parents are special people and Boomer and Bentley share a special bond. They are both Senior Goldens who have had some health problem and are dearly loved and care for by their owners. And their owners also enjoy celebrating other doggy's special events.

These are the cards and gifts Boomer and his family sent. There's two chew toys, a big tennis ball, some healthy treats, a decorated birthday cookie, and even a party hat! We've never seen the yellow dog with tennis ball toy before so that will be a fun one to play with. Boomer's mom and furry family sent one card, and Boomer sent his very own birthday wishes to Bentley. It all so much fun and excitement for an old guy like Bentley.

Here's a link to a slideshow of my birthday extravaganza. .
Too many toys all at once is overwhelming for my Senior Doggy brain so I'll add more photos as I get to play with more of my new toys.

03 August 2009

The Dynamic Duo

A few months ago, mom thought it would be good for me to have a kitty sibling closer to my age and agility to play with. I’m 4 years old and Sammi is 10, and with only 3 legs she’s can’t play as long & hard as I can. Well, they adopted Cricket, but I let my displeasure of having to share my territory be known! After a week of hissing at her through the door and showing no tolerance of her whatsoever, mom started to rethink her decision. She thought she’d give it a month, and even bought kitty “be happy” pheromones (Feliway Comfort Zone) so we might all relax and live happily ever after. But Cricket wrote herself a ticket back to the SPCA after she tried to attack our doggy brother Bentley - a completely mellow kitty-loving Golden Retriever. In Cricket’s defense, her shortened/kinky tail may have been the result of a dog attack and she learned to be terrified of them. But I really didn’t care, my will was carried out and the kitty intruder was gone. I have mom convinced that I knew Cricket was a threat to Bentley, and that’s why I didn’t like her. Mom always gives me the benefit of the doubt, and I use that to my advantage. If there was any lingering doubt in her mind about my desire to live in a two-kitty home, I think I’ve finally convinced her. Last Saturday she went to the animal shelter to renew my license only to discover they were holding Kitty Palooza – a cat adoption event. They had oodles of kittens and cats that needed homes and of course mom being a kitty-loving softy was compelled to look at them. She thought maybe I’d be accepting of kittens instead of an adult cat. She even dragged dad back to Kitty Palooza on Sunday to look at kittens, and they were seriously considering adopting two cute & cuddly kittens. They also thought about adopting a 12-year old cat that had been surrendered by its owners because they could not afford a pet deposit on an apartment. Mom was heartbroken about that 12 year old cat, but suspected I would hate it. And I completely sympathize with that cat and it’s need for a loving home because I was surrendered by my owners who lost their home and couldn’t take me to their new apartment. But the suspicion that I will not tolerate another cat is engrained in mom’s mind, so they decided against adopting anyone and just made a donation instead.

Sammi and I are the Dynamic Duo and we’ve worked out who sleeps where, who ambushes who, and all the other kitty dynamics of our home. Mom is disappointed with my intolerance for other cats because we could provide a home for one or two more. And even though mom has finally acquiesced to my Dynamic Duo plan, she did give me a little talking-to and reminded me how fortunate I am to be living here. I acknowledged my gratitude by hacking up a gigantic furball. She really should comb me more often.

Advantages of Being a Senior Dog

As an Indulged Furry you get a lot of special treatment and latitude when you’re old. I’m just a few days shy of my 17th birthday, so I know what I’m talking about. When I was younger I was never allowed to be near the dining room table when my humans ate. They believe it is ill-mannered for a dog to beg during mealtime, especially since I’m fed my dinner before they eat so they know I’m not hungry. And for some reason they find panting doggy breath unappealing while they eat! The rules in our house are so strict that I couldn’t even sit a few feet away from the table and stare at them. Mom calls that “begging from a distance” and it is not tolerated. But for the last few months the rules have been relaxed a little. If I come by the table while they’re eating I’m allowed to stay, as long as I lie down. This new tolerance is only because mom knows I’m not trying to be disobedient. I just don’t remember all the rules anymore and I’m coming for some petting, not their food. It’s also a lot of effort for both of us navigate around the dining room table as she tries to coax me back to my bed in the living room.

Being “in the way” is also something I get to do more often because it’s too hard for me to get up and get “out of the way”. Unless I’m causing a safety issue, everyone, including the cats, just steps over me. There are still times when I have to move – like when I’m lying in front of the freezer and they have to get food out. But even then, sometimes they just slide me out of the way so I don’t have to get up.

When mom is feeling really indulgent, she brings me my night-time meal on my bed. I’m always excited about my food, but just lying there and all of a sudden your food bowl appears – wow – that’s gets my tail wagging. Mom says it’s good for me to get my “happy hormones” flowing.

This next one isn’t a fun topic, but it’s part of a senior dog’s life. Going potty can become difficult for an old guy like me. Sometimes my hips are sore and my legs are really tired so it’s hard for me to squat to go potty. And it’s especially difficult when it takes a long time to go potty because I can’t feel everything that goes on back there anymore. Well, a couple weeks ago I was a bit shaky while doing my “business” so mom came over and supported my rear end and thighs. She just stood behind me and held under my thighs while I squatted. Now that’s a thoughtful mommy!

The other advantage I have in being a senior is that I no longer have to tolerate extreme outdoor temperatures. It can get below freezing here in the winter mornings, and over 100 degrees in the summers, but I’m not out in those extremes anymore. Last winter I stayed in the house until lunch-time, when mom would make a trip home from work to let me out. And this summer, mom or dad comes home from work at lunch to bring me in the house so I’m not out in the heat. It’s a bit of extra driving for them, but they think it’s making it easier for my system to not have to try to stay warm or keep cool.

Life as an Old Doggy has its ups and downs, but with extra consideration and help from your humans, your later years can be very enjoyable.

29 July 2009

Healthy Living

I ran across an interesting blog today that focuses on natural health. You might think this unrelated to the Indulged Furries, and it sort-of is, but not completely. We’ve had some successes using natural products to help with the furries’ medical conditions. For example, we used lactulose, a sugar, to help manage Ed’s kidney disease, and also as a laxative for Felix’s intestinal lymphoma. Fresh catnip was a fantastic appetite stimulant for Smokey during her battle with cancer.

What I was surprised to see on the Healthy Fellow blog was an article about Animal Assisted Therapy. And who’s pictured? A Golden Retriever of course! Bentley never had the opportunity to be an official therapy dog, but he’s therapy for me!

15 May 2009

Zippy Rules the Colosseum!

Zippy gets the least "web time". That's not because he's not Indulged, it's because he lives up to his full name - Zippy Munchkin. He's a dwarf hamster who packs a whollup of a bite. We adopted him from the SPCA and he's always be skittish and a bit of a biter. As he's aged, his vision may not be as good as it once was, and he has become more skittish and prone to biting. So, we give him treats throught the cage bars (to protect our fingers) and let him run around his 3-story cage to his heart's content. His favorite treats are dried banana chips and pumpkin seeds. Maybe tonight he'll get a sliver of strawberry.

11 May 2009

My 16-3/4 year old photo

This is my 16-3/4 year old photo. I don't want to brag, but I think I'm still a handsome boy! I had to go the vet this week, and he said I'm doing well, considering my age. He gave me another medicine to make sure I'm not in too much pain from my arthritic hips and was surprised to hear how active I was. He thought I'd be sleeping almost all the time and just getting up to eat and go potty. But I'm up all evening following my mom & dad around the house and sometimes I even go in the front yard and walk to the neighbor's house to visit the street lamp post and check out the "pee mail" left by all the other dogs in the neighborhood. I leave them a "pee mail" message so they know I'm still around. The vet said I may be the oldest Golden Retriever he knows and he was cautiously optimistic that I would celebrate my 17th birthday on August 8th. I don't know how mom is going to top the birthday cake I had for my 16th birthday, but I know she'll do something amazing.

23 April 2009

Bentley survives the attempted cat attack

We had a little excitement here last week. Mom decided to adopt another cat from the SPCA, but the cat was afraid of me --- silly kitty, I love kitties and sleep with them --- and the new cat tried to attack me. I mean she really tried to get me - she hissed something awful and lunged up for my neck & head. Luckily I was on the other side of a screen door, so I didn't get hurt. To be honest, I wasn't even aware that the cat tried to attack me, but mom and dad were there and they were shocked by the unprovoked attempted attack. This was the second time the cat hissed and lunged at me, even after lots of through-the-door introductions. Mom & dad decided my safety and happiness were top priority, because I am almost 17 years old and who knows how much longer I'll be around. So they took the cat back to the SPCA and told them that the kitty had to be in a home without dogs. She was really sweet (except for the part about trying to attack me) so mom & dad hope she finds a really good home that doesn't have a dog. Now I get my house back and I am happy to share it with my two kitty sisters Sammi and Raven. See, I love kitties and I let my kitty-sister Raven rub all over my paw.

21 April 2009

Sammi's adventure on three legs

Our three-legged cat Sammi is just as active as any four-legged cat. Soon after adopting her we realized she didn't have any limitations climbing up a perch or jumping onto the couch or bed. Her difficulty came in getting down from a multi-level perch or anything more than about 2-3 feet high. The standard perch levels were too far apart and too vertical for her to navigate down safely. She would tip rump-over head because her inertia would carry her rump down quickly and she couldn't absorb all that momentum on one front leg. She seemed to "fall" off the perch as often as she "climbed down" it.

To make things safer and more fun for her we bought more perches and adjusted the heights so she could go criss-cross from one perch to another. The photo shows we put the perch on the left up on cinder blocks and it became the perfect height for her to climb up and down. It took only a few times of us showing her the easy way up and down before she quickly learned the new path and happily romped up and down her new perches.

There are only two things we've done to help Sammi live an easier life with three legs. We've made sure there is an easy way down from every higher-up location she visits. We put a lower step beneath every window-seat so she needs to jump only about 2 feet down at every level. A one-level perch, ottoman, or upside-down sturdy wicker basket have all worked well for this purpose. The other thing is to use uncovered litter boxes and not make the litter too deep. This helps her get good footing in the litter box and be able to get in & out from any direction so she doesn't have to turn around on the litter that shifts underfoot.

Sammi plays well with Raven, who we adopted at the same time. Being 10 years old, Sammi is less inclined to play than 4-year old Raven, but her 3-legged status doesn't appear to be a factor in their romping and chasing. Raven likes to ambush Sammi and they both playfully bop each other on the head – Raven with either front paw and Sammi with her one paw.

03 April 2009

No chinchillas were harmed in this adventure.

For a couple years I've wanted to add a chinchilla to the Indulged Furry family. They are curious, active, friendly, and oh so soft! We finally decided to get one and brought it home to a large 3-story wire cage. Sammi and Bentley were not interested in the critter, but Raven loved it. Unfortunately she "loved" it in the "thanks for bringing home dinner for me to catch!" sense. She would not leave the chinchilla alone and started stalking it all around its cage. We were deeply concerned about the chinchilla's safety because it was curious and friendly and would stick it's nose throught the cage. Raven's hunting instincts were extremely strong and we quickly realized there was no way to ensure the chinchilla's safety. Raven was just waiting to get her paws on the little critter and a even a small scratch from a cat is very harmful to a chinchilla due to the bacteria on cat's claws. So, we decided to return the chinchilla and deprive Raven of her opportunity to stalk her dinner!

So, it was another learning experience for us. Raven has an extremely strong prey drive and even thought the resident hamster is of no interest to her, a large chinchilla that jumps around a cage is just too much to ignore. We will be a chinchilla-free home as long as Raven is here and she will have to settle for stalking her toys.

22 February 2009

The Second Generation of Indulged Felines

It's been a little over a month since Felix passed away, and we thought we would wait until Bentley was gone to begin another generation of pets. But for someone who's used to the activity of up to 3 cats in the house, it's been torturously quiet. So we took a trip to the local SPCA to visit one of the cats available for adoption. He turned out not to be a good match for us, but while we were in the "living room" visiting the adoptable cats, two cats adopted us!

Sammi is a 10- year old girl who took an immediate liking to her new "dad". She climbed down from a big perch and jumped on the back of the couch and walked back and forth in front of him for petting. She rubbed against him and nuzzled up for attention. It wasn't until I gave her a good looking-over that I realized she had only 3 legs. She had been surrendered to the SPCA because her front leg had been injured and the owner could not afford the veterinary care. Her paw had been amputated less than 1 month ago, but she was already climbing the perches like a 4-legged cat. Clearly she was spunky and resilient, so we decided even though she was 10 years old and 3-legged we could give her a great home and whatever care she needed.

In the meantime, Raven, a 4-year old girl, was trying to climb into my purse (which isn't quite big enough to hold a cat). She decided she would settle for curling up on my lap while I sat on the couch. She purred and fell asleep while we decided whether or not we wanted to adopt both of them. It turns out Raven (not her shelter name) had been surrendered due to her owner losing their home in the recent foreclosure mess.

But how could we not adopt them? They chose us as their new owners!

So, Sammi and Raven started the Second Generation of Indulged Furry Felines! And they are Indulged! They have all the beds, perches, toys, good food, playtime, a doggy friend, veterinary care, and love that a cat could ever want or need. Come spring we'll see if they can be trained to go outside on a harness.

They are both Gorgeous girls who have reestablished feline playfulness, love, and joy in our home.