30 June 2010

Sammi weighs in

Here's Sammi checking out her weight on our kitty scale. She's a lightweight at 7 pounds 13 ounces, but that's a big improvement from the 6 pounds 3 ounces she weighed when we adopted her a year-and-a-half ago.

She's gained 1 pound 10 ounces!!! That's a 26.3% gain from her original body weight!

Sammi said she'd weigh well over 8 pounds if she had all her legs. Even though she's gained quite a bit of weight, she still feels thin. I don't want her to be too heavy and put extra strain on her one front leg, but I wouldn't mind if she managed to get to 8 pounds. I think that would be a healthy weight for her naturally thin body type. Also, she's still not completely healthy due to inflammatory bowel disease, but we've made huge improvements in that situation and we've been able to keep her system well controlled with medication and a strict grain-free diet.

We've worked hard to get this far, and it's paying off!

Raven wanted to get in on the photo op and show how comfortable she is on the scale. In contrast to Sammi, Raven is a solidly built girl. She's not pudgy, but she certainly has more meat on her than skinny Sammi. She's trying to cheat a bit by letting her tail hang off the scale, but a girl is always allowed to fudge her weight a bit. She tipped the scale at 11 pounds 2 ounces. We'll keep her secret of what she weighs with her entire tail on the scale!

26 June 2010

Inspiring - cat hind leg & paw implants.

This is so inspiring I have to share. This photo was taken by Jim Incledon.

Oscar was run over by farm equipment and his hind paws were amputated. Vets put little peg implants in his remaining leg bone. Later, "paws" were attached so he could walk. Not only could he walk, he tried to climb the first day he had his new paws!

There's a great video on BBC news showing Oscar walking on his new paw "attachments" very shortly after waking up from sedation. The bone implants had been done earlier and already healed but it's amazing how quickly he was able to walk on his new feet. What's also uplifting is the obvious joy shown by the surgeon.  There's an article on CatChannel with more photos.

The medical progress being made with animals is amazing. I've seen photos of a parrot and a cow with prosthetic legs. Now a cat. It's not a financial option for 99.9 percent of owners, and I'm sure it's not medically possible for many animals. Maybe someday it will be a realistic option for more owners whose pets would benefit from prosthetics.

21 June 2010

A blast of cold air is never a good thing.

I spend most afternoons here in my favorite window seat watching the goings-on in the 'hood. The neighbor across the street is particulary interesting to watch as he does his gardening. I spend many a morning, afternoon, and evening here and occasionally let Raven borrow my spot and soak up some afternoon sun.

In winter, my window seat is a fantastic location for a nap because there's a warm blast of air that comes up from the heater vent to keep me toasty warm.

I wrote earlier that having only 3 legs made it hard for me to jump down, so mom and dad added an upside-down wicker basket with a wooden base for me to use as a step.

Everything was perfect until summer arrived and the air conditioner came on. I was getting a very COLD blast air up my window seat. No kitty wants to sit in a blast of cold air, especially since the idea is to sit in a warm, sunny window.

Something had to be done.
Mom and dad improvised another indulgence for me. They found a box that fit perfectly over the  vent and after cutting big holes in the sides to redirect the air, it became the perfect way to stop the blast of cold air from coming up my backside.

Heres a picture of the new set-up. The vent cover is behind my stepping-box. Now I stay warm and cozy in my window seat and have an easy and safe way to get up and down.

Mom and dad always find creative ways to make our lives comfortable. 

I'm glad I adopted them!

20 June 2010

Happy Father's Day

Today is Fathers Day and we wanted to show the present we got our daddy. Well, not the present, but the decorations we chose. We supervised as mom added lots of curling ribbon to the package. We wanted the ribbon long enough to reach from the top of our tallest cat tree all the way to the floor. That's 70 inches of ribbon for us to play with. Playing with ribbon is a treat because we're only allowed to do it when mom or dad supervises. It's fun to make mom drag the ribbon around the house while I chase it. Sometimes I cheat and lay on the ribbon so mom can't pull it. But she gets excited by tugging at the ribbon and I can feel it slipping out from under my body. When it's free, she runs around the house again and I chase it.

Sammi doesn't play chase the ribbon because it's too hard for her to run very far. So mom wiggles the ribbon right in front of her and "helps" Sammi catch it with her one front paw.

Sammi and I watched our future toy as dad got ready to unwrap his present.

Here a a couple other photos of our Father's Day Celebration.

Daddy and I had a nice snuggle. 

Then he offered Sammi a choice of catnip cigars.

We're very lucky to have a dad who loves us so much.


Then Dad went to play golf so mom played with us and our new toy. Sammi and I managed to play nicely together. Really long curly ribbon means we can sit a few feet apart and not annoy each other too much.

Whew, all that playing has left me exhausted. Time for a nap on my comfy couch.

19 June 2010

The ESP worked. No new kitty.

All my "no more kitties" ESP worked! And thanks to Pumpkin for sending "get a rodent" vibes our way. I'll live with another hamster, but not another cat.

Mom and dad spent two hours at the shelter today playing with the little boy I mentioned in my last post. That's 6 hours they've spent with him over the last week. He's a real cutie, but mom wants a cuddler and he wasn't convincing her that he fit the bill. Whew! We were whisker-close to having a little bother (that's not a typo).

Mom decided that the benefits of bringing a third kitty into our home wasn't worth the risks. Sure, he might fit in and provide extra love and entertainment. But Sammi doesn't always appreciate me being in the same house, so how is she going to act towards a 4 month old kitty? And I've been so territorial and unpleasant towards most other kitties I see that mom & dad can't be sure that I wouldn't attack the little beastie. Sure, it might make a good playmate, but it may be just as good as target for my aggressions.

In the end, mom decided their time would be best spent playing with me and Sammi and developing our barely-there sisterly love towards each other.

And just so you think I'm not totally ungrateful for my forever home, I will allow mom to spend time volunteering at the shelter and giving the homeless kitties her attention. I just don't want any of them coming home with her. The only thing I want coming home is more fish that jump out of the tank. Mmmmm, sushi.

18 June 2010

No more cats, please?!

First mom wants a third cat, then she doesn't. Then she thinks a third cat will be a great addition, then she fears I, Raven, will be an evil step-sister and a third cat would be a bad thing.

I admit I made it very clear that I disliked the other cat they tried to adopt. What they didn't know is that I picked up on its bad-kitty vibes and knew it didn't like dogs. Sure enough, the new cat made a serious attempt to attack my super-mellow Golden Retriever brother Bentley so kitty had to go back to the SPCA so it could find a family without a dog.

But mom & dad visited the shetler twice last week to visit this 4 month old mellow boy kitty. Seriously, would you want to compete for affection with this cutie? She thinks a little boy is the only thing I'll accept, but she also fears I'll be mean like I was to the other cat. She changes her mind every 20 minutes, but so far, we've averted a kitty adoption. But then she sees a beautiful 4-year old Norwegian Forest cat at another shelter and wants to go see it. Thank the kitty gods someone else got there first and it was adopted today. Whew, another adoption averted. I'm exhausted sending "don't adopt anyone" kitty ESP to mom!

We know we were lucky to be adopted from the shelter and that there are many kitties who need homes. But we like our home just the way it is. Sammi and I have worked out agreements about who sleeps where, who owns which scratcher, who owns the crinkle paper (Sammi), who owns the front window perch (Sammi), who owns mom's bed (Sammi), who owns the front bedroom (me), who owns the closet (me), who owns the highest perch (me - because Sammi can't get up and down safely). We don't want to figure it all out again if a third kitty comes into our home.

Please help us send "no third kitty" ESP to our mom. That kitty boy hasn't been adopted yet and the shelter is just 10 minutes away, so there's still a chance that she'll change her mind again and go snuggle it.  And you know kitty moms, once they start worrying about a cat or thinking up names for it, chances are pretty good it's coming home.

We are willing to make room for another hamster, so send "get a rodent" ESP our way!

15 June 2010

What's for dinner?

Mr.Goby joined the coral tank recently. A curious and brave little fish, he comes to the front of the tank whenever something catches his eye. He also comes to the top of the tank for food, because being a fish, he never refuses a meal. His carefree bouncing around the tank provides good entertainment for Raven.

We think Mr. Goby should have had a little more cautious attitude, or at least have been a little less adventurous, because Mr. Goby is no more.

A funny thing happened the other day. Raven ran over towards the coral tank as if to play with something. Being a playful girl I didn't give it much thought other than to wonder why she was running over there since I didn't see any toys. Oh well, maybe an imaginary toy or a bit of youthful kitty antics. Nothing too unusual.

But the next night we realize Mr. Goby doesn't come out at feeding time. The following day, still no Mr. Goby. Now we're starting to put two and two together and suspect Mr. Goby's disappearance and Raven's playing by the tank were not a coincidence. The circumstantial evidence points towards Raven having helped herself to a fresh fish snack.
  • Goby are known jumpers. He may have jumped out of the tank.
  • Mr. Goby's body is nowhere to be found.
  • Raven ran towards the fish tank, possibly around the time Mr. Goby went missing. 
It's a good thing we don't convict based on circumstantial evidence or Raven would be, well, she would be as Indulged as she is now. If the fish jumps out of the tank, it gets whatever is coming, and that may include a cat who has a strong prey drive and a craving for fish.

Raven's take: "I'm not admitting anything, but Mr. Goby may have been the best bit of lick-smackin' good fish I've had in a long time. Next time please leave some rice and avocado so I can have a sushi roll."

14 June 2010

Cat Tree Dinner Service

Sammi gets daily medication in a bit of canned food, so part of our dinner-time routine is to get their canned food and dinner plates out. If Raven isn't already in the kitchen reminding us it's mealtime, the clank of the plates or the vacuum pop of the can is the "dinner bell" that brings them into the kitchen. Last night, Sammi was eager as usual to get her daily treat of a tablespoon of canned food. But Raven was snoozy and slept through dinnertime. Not wanting Raven to feel neglected, I provided 9:30 pm dinner service at her cat tree. After being  awoken by gentle petting and the wafting aroma of Chicken & Fish canned food, she eagerly enjoyed her evening snack. Energy renewed, she joined the family for a few hours before retiring to bed for the evening. Oh, the life of a Indulged Feline.

13 June 2010

Raven's Despised Intruder

On first sight, Raven took an instant dislike to the neighbor's cat. I call the cat Simon, but don't know its name or sex. I don't see "boy parts" so hopefully it's spayed or neutered - we'll just guess its a "he". He lives in the yard behind us and makes daily trips along the back fence to get to the roof of our shed or the roof of our other neighbor's patio cover. When our Golden Retriever Bentley was living, Simon never came into the yard. But now that Bentley is gone, it apparently thinks the yard is part of its territory. I'm not fond of other cats spending a lot of time in our yard because we occasionally take Raven out on a harness and I don't want a surprise encounter with another cat and I don't want it depositing fleas or other cat parasites into the yard. We allow Simon to use the fence as a walkway because this discourages the rats that also use the fence as a highway between the nearby river and all the neighborhood bird & squirrel feeders. But no loitering is allowed and entry into the yard is repelled with shooing, clapping, and in hot weather a gentle squirt from the hose. I admit that's kind-of fun! Don't worry, we don't squirt hard or soak him, just deter him with a steady stream directed as his skedaddling butt.

Simon must give off bad kitty vibes because Raven disliked him from the get go. Every time Raven sees Simon, Raven goes on "high alert" and runs around the house in a highly agitated state trying defend her yard from the intruder. A few weeks ago I went out to shoo Simon away and he approached my ankles side-on as if to get a little petting and be friendly, only to turn his rump up towards my ankles as if to spray, then start hissing at me. Clearly, Raven is a good judge of character.

Today, after seeing Simon take a good roll in the dirt and a little stroll through the yard (the photo above), I shooed it away. He was very unappreciative of me reclaiming my territory, and sat on the fence hissing at me before he went back into his own yard. We'll see how long he stays away. I know the dirt patch is enticing Simon in for a good dust bath, so we need to get that lure eliminated. Either that, or motion sensitive sprinklers!

12 June 2010

Raven's Box Adventure

I'm going to hide in my box.

Oops, my tail is showing

Oops, my tail is showing.

No one can see me now.

Dad, close the lid! I'm hiding.

I spy Sammi running by.

I have a perfect hiding lookout.

Oh no, Sammi must have heard me.

Sammi, leave me alone. I'm not bothering anyone.

I'm trapped in my hideout and Sammi is going to get me. I better get out.

Can we please sit here nicely together?

Mom saw you bop me first. She knows you're the domineering sister.

Sammi: I bopped you first, and I'll bop you last!

05 June 2010

Outdoor fun

The kitties had a little outdoor adventure today. Even though you can't see it, Raven wore her harness and did pretty well considering she's still getting accustomed to it. She doesn't understand that Mom can't keep up when she speeds off after a grasshopper or a moth and the end result is a rather abrupt end to her chase. She also hasn't learned that when I gently pull on the harness, that's meant to guide her in a particular direction. No, it's much easier if mom crawls behind the bushes so the leash doesn't get tangled up! Lucky for Raven, I'm not too bothered by all the little spider webs I have to clear away on our little outdoor adventures.

To our surprise, Sammi also wanted to come outside. On her previous outings she did not enjoy the great outdoors. Maybe she wasn't outside in her first home, or maybe outside is where her leg was injured. We'll never know, but today, she seemed to really enjoy being out, sniffing the grass, and just relaxing. If she continues to enjoy it, I'll have to figure out how to make or modify a harness for her so she can walk around on her own yet still be safely guided around the back yard.

Sammi settled in for a snooze

We saw Bunny the Greyhound snoozing under her quilt and remembered this photo of Sammi snoozing in her hidey-bed. Funny how such different critters can enjoy the same thing.

You can see Bunny here it's the second photo in the post.

02 June 2010

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes

Have I mentioned I like getting into boxes?

It doesn't matter if I fit in all the way.

You could have left just one for me. 

Isn't the waterfall effect of my tail beautiful?

Excuse me, this one isn't empty yet!

Dad, thanks for putting my name on my box.