Category Archives: life at our house

BlogPaws Treats #1

Robin sent home a 33-pound box of goodies from BlogPaws, where generous sponsors and exhibitors shared samples with the pet bloggers. We have lots of food, toys and other supplies to try out in the coming weeks. And it will take weeks to try everything!

Nutmeggy got so full of herself while Robin was away, claiming to be in charge of the house. She continued with her bossy ways and jumped right in the BlogPaws treat box. She chose a packet of Natural Balance Platefulls Cod, Chicken, Sole & Shrimp Formula in Gravy. Meggy and Reggie were lick, lick, licking the packet where Meggy had punctured it with her teeth, so Robin opened it up for them and put some in bowls for each of them and for Becket as well. Becket ran away from the bowl, as he usually does with treats, and Karma enjoyed eating his portion. All three of them liked the food and the chicken formula they tried the next day.

Fancy Feast wins my vote for most creative packaging for their new Mornings recipe. Purina made the cute egg carton box to introduce the food at BlogPaws, and it will be sold in the usual 3-oz cans in the store.

The Garden Kitties got to taste the souffle with wild salmon, garden veggies and egg. As you see in the picture, they did not share this treat with the black and white kitty. In fact, they told him not to come in the shed at all this morning. He hung around and may have managed a bite or two of the leftovers, but I think those Garden Kitties enjoyed the unfamiliar flavors and gobbled up all they received.

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Our Morning Routine With An Update On Huck and Robin

We have a really nice morning routine at our house. Robin gets up, feeds Becket and Reggie, opens the catio door for Nutmeggy and Karma, drinks a cup of hot water, checks my food bowl, and then goes outside to greet the Garden Kitties. Huck is usually first to arrive in the back garden. He’s not quite all the way awake sometimes when he gets to the back door, like today, and he loves to be petted and carried the 10 feet or so to the shed where the kitties dine.

This picture is Huckie BEFORE his pets and breakfast. He looks a little confused but nowhere near as bad as he looked the day Robin left for BlogPaws. He didn’t even get all the way to the back door that day. His eyes looked wild. He wouldn’t let Robin touch him and he was growly when he walked. Huckie is NEVER growly, in fact he’s one of the sweetest of all of us (except if you’re a DOG, whom he chases), so Robin was very worried about him.

He’s getting better and acting like himself, mostly, again. UH tried to take him to the vet last week, but that was a bit of a fiasco and left everyone scared, even Robin who was in Salt Lake City! She loves us all and didn’t know how she could help Huckie. That’s when she asked Nutmeggy to request Pawcircle. We are all so thankful to have pals who send us good wishes and healing purrs! (Maybe now we can add an intention that Huckie and Sparkle allow themselves to be taken to the vet and let the vet examine them.)

As you can see here, Huck is walking better now. He’s following his sisfur Sparkle and Mystery is bringing up the rear. Every morning they have pets RIGHT outside the back door, which I can see out one of my windows. Sometimes I meow so Robin will look up at me, but mostly I just watch while the four of them go into the shed.

Usually, someone has come along and finished up any kibbles or canned food that the Garden Kitties didn’t eat the day before. They start with kibbles, for appetizers! The humans keep the kibbles and the bird seed for the wild birds in metal trash cans in hope that loose dogs and wild animals won’t be able to eat the food. A few weeks ago, a raccoon did figure out how to open the can and was eating the kibbles. Robin kept the kibbles inside for a week or so and the raccoon gave up.

Robin, or UH, fills each kitty’s dish with kibble (three kitties, three dishes) and they eat while she opens the wet food can, divides it into three portions and sprinkles the vitamins on top. The Garden Kitties have food fads. Sometimes they like the poultry flavors best, sometimes the fish. They never like beef. Who ever saw a cat eat a cow?

If you count the kitties in the picture, you’ll see something is amiss. The black and white one on the left wants to join in for meals. The Garden Kitties do NOT let anyone else eat with them, but for some reason yesterday they let this kitty stay for kibble. He would really prefer the canned food, but that annoyed Mystery, who told the black and white kitty to leave. The black and white kitty, however, didn’t leave.

Robin opened an extra can of food so our kitties won’t think they’ll get less food if this guy eats with them. She even took a bowl outside for Huckie (she’s still a bit worried about him and wants to make sure he gets enough good food to eat). Huckie symbolically buried his leftovers when he finished eating.

Robin follows their lead on who gets to dine. If they don’t want someone around, she won’t contradict them. The Garden Kitties seem undecided on this black and white kitty. We’ll see. The humans will take him to be neutered if he hangs around. I wonder if he knows that?

After the kitties eat breakfast, then the humans fill the bird feeders. They have to wait until Sparkle is done eating because she’s afraid of the sound of the bird seed. Mystery always helps with the bird feeders, the kibble bowl on the front porch and the water dishes. Water is really important for the Garden Kitties right now because it’s so hot outside. Both Huckie and Sparkle will sometimes drink out of the bird bath, but that is just a choice. They have four water dishes out there! Mystery prefers puddles, but we don’t get enough rain to make any puddles, so he has to settle for the water dishes.

The Garden Kitties have baths after breakfast and play a little bit. Sometimes they go on patrol in the neighborhood, and sometimes they just hang out at home.

Since whatever happened to Huckie happened to him, he has been sticking close to home. He sleeps under the big sunflower plants or next to the fence. Sparkle has the biggest territory she patrols. She has been staying around home much more to look after her brother while he’s recuperating.

All of us kitties have been concerned about Robin, actually. She hurt her toe when she came home from BlogPaws. We all have our ways of showing we care for her. Last night, Nutmeggy played with Robin’s foot (ouch!), which wasn’t as much fun for her as we thought it would be. Mystery gave her lots of head rubs. Huckie came to the porch from his spot near the fence. Robin doing OK as long as she keeps her foot elevated. She tries not to put all her weight on the hurt toe when she walks. She says that we are all helping her a LOT.

We’re pretty sure now that both Robin and Huckie will be good as new in no time!

When the Garden Kitties and birds have had their breakfast, Robin comes inside for a cup of coffee and my clicker training followed by a long cuddle session  with me.

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To Eat, Or Not to Eat?

My human has been paying enough attention to the news to know that treats have been making some companion animals in North America sick. As you probably know, hundreds of dogs have fallen ill when they ate chicken jerky treats that came from China. So many dogs have died that the U.S. government has sent inspectors to China to try to figure out what’s going on there, MSNBC reported.

But the U.S. authorities were not very quick to act on this, which made pet guardians really unhappy, and they started to organize to help each other protect their companions. More than 7,000 people have signed a petition on Care2.org asking the FDA to ban all chicken treats from China. The FDA hasn’t banned the treats but has issued a warning to pet guardians who choose to feed their pets treats that were made in China. Part of the organizing has been to find out which treats are actually coming from China because packages don’t always have that much information about the origin of the treat. I’ve been searching for a list online, and still can’t find one.

We like to eat We Pity the Kitties treats from Three Dog Bakery. We ran out these treats not long ago, and our human ordered some for us, including the chicken ones, which we had never tried. Since this bakery is in Chicago, our human just assumed that the treats were made in the U.S. Our friend Boris Kitty, who is a well informed kitty, told us to make our human be more careful. Well, he actually didn’t say that, but that’s what we told her after we talked to Boris. “Stop assuming things and do your homework! We’re talking about your best friends’ health!”

The boxes don’t say anything about China. In fact the only thing they say is that the salmon treats are Alaskan Salmon. I think that’s why she just thought for sure that everything was home-grown. First, she decided that we just shouldn’t eat the treats. Then, she was sad because we love those salmon treats so much and we have had similar chicken treats and loved them too. We convinced her to write to the company and find out what is going on with the We Pity the Kitties treats. We want to EAT them but only if it’s reasonably safe for us. We are smart kitties.

Here’s what the Three Dog Bakery humans told our human in an email she got this morning (they responded FAST!):

Good morning Robin

Thank you for your email.  For our feline’s health, safety and convenience, our 100% Salmon We Pity the Kitty treats are caught in U.S. waters, and then sent to China only to be freeze dried and then sent back to Three Dog Bakery in the U.S.  Due to the complex process, we have found this delivers the best quality all-natural Salmon treat at the best value for our customers.

This state of the art, HAACP approved human grade food processing facility in China has the capability to fillet, freeze, prepare, freeze dry and package our Alaskan Salmon products in a single location. The quality of our finished product is unsurpassed and backed by US independent lab tests, as well as by the USFDA. The results are the purest, finest Wild Alaskan Salmon treats available anywhere!

The main safeguard we have in place is the simplicity of a single, wild ingredient from Alaska. Wild Salmon are tested each and every season for a wide variety of contaminates. We would like to stress that our products are produced in an HAACP approved human quality facility (with much higher standards) and not a pet food plant. The FDA also tests our products regularly to ensure quality and meet our high standards.

Our We Pity the Kitty Chicken treats are sourced and processed right here in the U.S.A.

Wags,
Your Three Dog Bakery Customer Care Pack

We decided to try the chicken treats.

You should make the decision about what works best for you. You should also insist that your humans get the fullest possible info on what they are giving you to eat and putting on your fur and stuff like that. What’s safe for humans isn’t always safe for cats. What’s safe for dogs, even, isn’t always safe for cats. We are sad about the pets who lost their lives because of unsafe treats and food, and we hope more of us will be safer because our humans are paying more attention.

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I Went to the Vet

It sounds easy enough. Hop in the carrier, ride two miles to the vet’s office, have the annual check up, ride home.

But nothing is EVER that simple when I go to the vet. First of all, I hate going in the carrier, so my human tricks me. The minute I realize I’m in there, I START SINGING. Yes, singing. Loudly. Everyone in the house comes running. They think I’m in real trouble. Some of them want to help, I think, but some seem to be gloating. I might be wrong about that, but I don’t think so.

The human runs out of the house with me SINGING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS in the carrier, and we get to the vet early for my 10:15 appointment. However, the vet is running late. Three chihuahuas in one carrier. A boxer mix on a thick lease. A big, happy-looking bruiser dog outside the door waiting to come in. Another big, not-so-happy-looking, black bruiser dog whose collar’s too loose. A reddish-brown fluffy dog in for grooming. A dachsund and his bigger brother at the vet to board.

Barking.

Barking.

Barking.

Growling.

Oops. The growly dog looks my way and Robin asks if he likes cats. His human shakes her head slowly. The guy with the big, black, bruiser dog says, “He doesn’t like much of anybody, it seems.” Growly’s human says he’s never acted like this in seven years with her. (Would you like to buy some lakefront property in the desert?)

Black bruiser’s collar falls off and he runs up to brown fluffy dog. Bruiser’s human apologizes and grabs him. Happy bruiser dog is still waiting outside.

Robin hugs my carrier to shield me from all the noise. I get quiet while she silently chants the loving kindness mantras. “May you be peaceful. May you be free of suffering…”

11 am we finally get to go to the little room and I have to come out of the carrier. Who are they KIDDING? And then I have to stay because they are too busy to X-Ray my chest right then. I SING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS ALL DAY.

And it turns out I have pretty good lungs.

A year after we finished my treatment for fungal pneumonia, my lung pictures match the old ones perfectly. I have some scarring in there. I cough a little, especially when I feel stressed.

Cheshire looks at his blue bed.I don’t know how I would have made it through that day at the vet without the drops we got from Jackson Galaxy to help my bravery. I never went to my safe place, even after all of the scary stuff with all those dogs. I did sleep all the next day in my blue bed, but I didn’t hide. The next day, I forgave Robin and started cuddling with her again.

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Mystery Has Returned to Patrol

After one week in the catio, Mystery was ready to head back out. Robin thought he should stay in the catio for one more night. She let him out in the morning on Thursday (exactly one week after he turned up hurt). They went to all of his important places together. Robin stayed with him while he sniffed EVERYTHING. He made sure the food bowls were still there in the shed and on the front porch. He rubbed his head on the little fig tree (he loves that fig tree).

When they started coming back around the house, Mystery hung back, and Robin thought he was ready to be on his own. She headed around the house, and Mystery RAN to catch up with her. They got back to the catio area, and Mystery headed for the place where he and Huckie go under the house. He stopped at the opening and looked back over his shoulder. He had to go in there to check everything out, and he had to go alone.

She came home after her morning meeting to hang out with him and make sure he was ok. She sat on the front steps and sanded her wood sculpture while Mystery cuddled on her lap.

Mystery agreed to spend one more night in the catio, but he didn’t want to sleep in there on Saturday night. It was too bad that he didn’t want to be in there because we had awful storms Friday, Saturday and even some on Sunday. All the Garden Kitties were pretty scared of the thunder.

They’ve all been eating well now that the humans figured out to buy them pate and not shreds. Even Sparkle has been coming for at least one meal a day. She was so scared after the thunderstorm that she let Robin pet her and pet her, even pet her with both hands at once. The kitties had a nice dinner during the Super Bowl. They stayed in the shed for their after dinner bath while the rainbow shone over our house.

Sparkle was calmer on Sunday and today too. She has been around a lot more than she was from about Christmas time. The humans were beginning to think she had moved on. I guess she noticed that the humans really are up to providing the best service. We have some really decent humans. Of course, I have my own motives for wishing Sparkle would stick around. When the humans are worrying about one of us, insider or Garden Kitty, the rest of us don’t get as much attention as we would like.

Robin is glad that Mystery is better. She’s also glad that she could be there for him and that he is back on patrol at our house. This morning he plunked down behind Robin’s car. He does that when he doesn’t want her to go to work. Of course, none of us want her to go to work, but we aren’t quite as direct. She CLAIMS they pay her in cat food, so we reluctantly let her leave.

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Hopping Blogs

Petunia

Petunia sitting on the lamp shelf.

Happy Labor Day, everybody. We were happy to have Robin home with us for an extra day. It got cooler today by about 10 more degrees, down to a high of 91 F. Robin decided that Petunia could go out in the Kritter Kondo.

We are spending Labor Day sending purrs to… well ….. to everywhere around us to the people and animals affected by the Central Texas wildfires. We’re keeping paws crossed that nobody tosses a cigarette into a pile of leaves in our neighborhood, but Robin claims to have an emergency plan. I have been told I’ll be sharing a carrier with Meggy if we have to go somewhere else. I hope she lets me have at least a little bit of the food.

To keep our minds off of scary, unpredictable things, we’ve been catching up on some blog reading. I jwant to let you know that Cokie the Cat is having a blog hop for The Anipal Times. I entered the hop, but my blog hosting site doesn’t let me add the code that would actually allow you to hop to the other blogs in the chain. If you go to Cokie’s blog, you can hop around.

Also, my human has decided she wants to blog too. I’ve been giving her pointers because I’ve been at this a lot longer than she has. You can see what she has to say at Useful, Pleasant Lives. It’s kind of a blog for girls, so I hope some of you will find it interesting. I like my human a lot, and I think you will too.

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New Chair


Finished ChairRobin and I finished our first slipcover yesterday. I enjoyed the project, but I think my role was not as complicated as Robin’s was. I helped with measuring, testing and morale (that’s the harder part!). Robin picked out the fabric, made the blue muslin, fitted the aubergine fabric together (including fixing mistakes), and hemmed the whole thing. The part I don’t get, however, is using the rubber gloves to take my fur off the chair. I spent a lot of time furring it, and then had to go back and start over.

Now, the chair is GONE! I had no idea that it would go away. I guess the other kitties will be furring it now.

When the aubergine chair disappeared, I was in the bathroom waiting for a drink out of the faucet. THEN, I heard the vacuum cleaner and hid behind the toilet. When I finally went back in my room, I ducked right under the cedar chest into my hiding place. I didn’t come out for a couple of hours.

I got some treats, kibbles and a drink of water (from the dish) before I noticed a new chair. I’m still examining the chair and haven’t decided whether to accept it yet. It feels a bit like burlap, and I generally like smoother, silkier fabrics. Maybe I will have to start a new slipcover.

Standing sniffSniffing chairClose-up sniffing

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