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.