Mental Health Break: Cattitude

catpost

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26 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  September 26, 2013

    Love the cat! Speaking of scratching posts, I’ve got a litter of 2.5 week old kittens + the momcat here and I’m working on adoptability for the momcat with teaching her how to use a litter box (she’s coming along great – never apparently used one before, poor dear) and a scratching post.

    But I’m worried that as the kids get bigger (and more mobile – they’re still at the very shaky can’t-get-out-of-the-nursing-box-yet stage) they might get “stuck” on the scratching post and I wouldn’t find them until they’re in distress (they’re sequestered in a bedroom for everyone’s safety). Is this a valid concern (and should I remove the post once the kids are mobile) or am I creating worries that don’t exist?

    Reply
    • Triangle

       /  September 26, 2013

      Is your concern that the post is too high? Or that their claw will get caught? If it’s too high and you’re handy, you can try reconfiguring it. We did this for my blind cat, and basically saw off the top ‘landing’ and nailed it to the bottom base, creating a shorter post (which he never once touched after that, because he is a brat.)

      If getting caught up is the issue, I would just trim their claw tips and watch for a few days to see how they do.

      Good luck with your babies! (and momma!)

      Reply
      • mikken

         /  September 26, 2013

        Triangle, I’m worried about claws getting caught. I guess I’ll leave it in the room until the kids are mobile, and then allow it (or not) after I observe them and how they use it. The climbing will be good exercise as long as they don’t get stuck!

  2. I wonder about getting one of those horizontal cardboard posts. Bless your heart for helping this little family. How many babies do you have?

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  September 26, 2013

      Thanks, db. She has the cardboard one which she uses a little, but I think she’s more of a vertical scratcher (which could be an issue with furniture, hence desire to teach her to use a post).

      We’ve got three little cow kittens. Mom’s name is Prudence. Dear Prudence. Because the sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful and so are you, dear Prudence.

      She was found at a high school running up to kids playing soccer, desperate for help. She was dehydrated and near starvation, trying to keep her babies fed. One of the soccer mothers took Pru and the kids home, but couldn’t keep them. Bless her though, she was hauling the little family back and forth to work with her for two days in a box, trying to keep them safe and supervised. They got to me through a plea for help on facebook.

      Pru is a sweetie, but pretty clueless about life indoors (and doesn’t know to move with you so she doesn’t get tripped over – not a lot of close human contact in the past?). She’s learning about toys, too. Really wasn’t sure at first, but the mouse on a string is great and laser dot gets her VERY excited. The vet doesn’t want us playing too much – the girl needs all of her calories for her skinny self, but a few short sessions a day are good.

      Reply
      • Eucritta

         /  September 26, 2013

        Actually, from your description of Pru’s behaviors she sounds to me like she’s been used to having her needs looked to by humans, even if that didn’t necessarily encompass an indoor litter box or much in the way of interactive play. But thing is, I’ve only ever seen cats beg for help who’ve been used to receive it, and that trick for getting in the way, I think every young cat does that. (A long time ago I read a poem – and oh, I’d love to find it again – in which a man described how every day he tripped over the cats, and as he saw his toddling son trip over a kitten one morning, he thought he could see the boy’s whole life before him.)

        I wouldn’t worry about an ordinary scratching post a yard high or so, especially with mum and sibs there to help – probably with a hearty shove, and no harm done. The things to worry about in a kitten room are electrical wires, since kittens will play with them, and can develop a taste for chewing on the rubber.

      • mikken

         /  September 26, 2013

        Oh she’s definitely people-friendly and clearly had *someone* at some point. The last mom/kitten I raised was feral, so this is certainly very different! I just don’t think she’s used to this level of interaction.

        It’s not that she gets in the way (I’ve got cats, I know the drill with their cunning ways), it’s that she doesn’t seem to understand how large bipeds move around. Well, the kittens are less than three weeks old, so we’ve got time yet for her to figure out the way of things.

        Good tip on the electrical cords, thanks! I’ll have to kitten-proof the room soon with an eye to that sort of thing. Because my last kitten came with his feral mom, the set up was much more controlled (two large dog cages set up as an “airlock” system) than what I’ve got now with Pru and her little herd of cowkittens.

      • Karen F

         /  September 27, 2013

        Now I want to read that poem, Eucritta! Mikken, Pru and the babies are beautiful!

      • mikken

         /  September 27, 2013

        Thanks, Karen! She’s such a champ, handling vet visits, poking and prodding and general upheaval with aplomb! I hope the kids have a similar attitude towards life!

  3. mikken

     /  September 26, 2013

    And for anyone looking for a nice scratching post (like our kitty above!), Amazon has the Smartcat Ultimate for a great price right now –

    http://tinyurl.com/om7wevm

    Full URL –
    http://www.amazon.com/SmartCat-3832-Ultimate-Scratching-Post/dp/B000634MH8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380231861&sr=8-1&keywords=scratching+post

    Reply
  4. Oh, my Rascal is a cow kitty. You are going to have such fun with your babies and helping Prudence learn about love and people and all the good stuff that goes along with having someone who will take care of you. My guess is that she isn’t too old, either. Again, bless your heart(s) for helping this family. Good for Prudence for not giving up and being persistent. That mothering instinct is so very strong. I’m sure that better days are ahead for all of them.

    Reply
  5. Hahahaha! That’s hysterical. :)

    Reply
  6. Courtesy of the irresponsible public, a photo of mikken’s feline family:
    catpost

    Reply
    • Eucritta

       /  September 27, 2013

      Oh, goodness. They’re adorable, and mum Pru is so sleek – they’ll likely grow into very handsome cow kitties indeed.

      Reply
      • mikken

         /  September 27, 2013

        Thanks, Eucritta! Pru is such a good mum, despite this likely being her very first (and last, if I have anything to say about it!) litter.

  7. Oh, I love them. Rascal’s mom was also a black kitty, and all five of her kittens were black and white, but the other 4 are all tuxies. Thanks, irresponsible public, for a nice smile to start my day. Thanks, mikken, for taking such good care of this mama and her babies. They are all quite beautiful!

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  September 27, 2013

      Thanks, db! Let’s hope they’re all REALLY ADOPTABLE too when the time comes! Fortunately, a local cat rescue group is willing to help me out with that part.

      Reply
      • Having the rescue to help should make it very do-able. I’m sure you’re doing a really good job of socializing these wee ones – it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. I love having kittens, but my old lady cats aren’t all that crazy about anyone with fur. In fact, my fosters have to go back to the humane society today – and I’m not dealing well with that. The tough part is letting them go. (My 3 10+ year olds are a major foster fail!!!)
        What is the plan for mama?

      • mikken

         /  September 28, 2013

        I’m hoping to get Pru adopted out as well. If that doesn’t happen…well…would anyone notice one more around here? She may have megacolon, which is a factor for me – I don’t want her going someplace that isn’t up for a bit of medical challenge.

        No idea how she is with other cats or dogs, yet. She’s not thrilled about the dogs hanging around her door, but she’s got kittens to protect, so understandable. Our Clifford (the small grey cat) is super eager to see what’s going on in that room and got past me yesterday! He ran in and immediately stuck his head into the kitten box. Wanted to see babies! I’ll bet Cliff would make a wonderful uncle – he’s so mellow with everyone and so inoffensive, he will be my go-to cat for kitten intros to the larger world when the time comes. BUT I didn’t want Pru freaking out about a stranger ogling her babies, so scooped him up before she knew he was there (she was at the window, watching birds) and evicted him with promises of “when they’re bigger”.

        Socializing them is a concern. The dogs I have now are not exactly “delicate” with cats and certainly not kitten safe. Tilly knows she mustn’t hurt a cat, but when they run, terrier instincts drive her to chase. Troy is just a big clutz and no more than a puppy himself, without a ton of self control on board, yet. When they’re bigger, I may just crate the little herd and mom in the middle of an activity zone so they can see/smell without danger of being mashed or chased. That’s a couple of weeks away, yet.

        In the meantime, I’m talking to them and touching them and doing some (very) short pick ups/holds to get them accustomed to the idea of handling. Pru isn’t big on being picked up or held at all, but she’ll definitely flop down against your leg if you’re sitting on the floor.

        Foster fails…man, I hope not. I’m *this close* to Crazy Cat Lady as it is…

      • What a long, weird answer. Maybe I’ve been writing this blog too long but I assumed the response was going to be “Kill.” You irresponsible public peeps confuse me.

        On Sat, Sep 28, 2013 at 10:49 AM, YesBiscuit!

      • mikken

         /  September 28, 2013

        Oh yeah, well, if they don’t find homes in 10 days, I’ll just stuff them all in a gas chamber or something. I mean, that’s what the “professionals” do, right?

        Oh dear, I’m am SO unprofessional.

      • Cassie has megacolon and even though she had the surgery, we still have bouts with constipation. I’ve found that miralax in baby food meat works wonders – just takes a day or two sometimes. We did the lactulose thing and that did NOT work all that well. It’s sticky sweet and she hated, hated, hated it!

      • mikken

         /  September 28, 2013

        We’re doing Miralax twice a day (1/8 tsp), but still not seeing as much poop as I would like (words you never thought you’d type). Hard to tell how much of Pru’s not pooping until she’s so constipated that she can’t pee (hello emergency vet visit) is megacolon (or whatever) and how much is “really starved and dehydrated while trying to nurse kittens”.

        The vet wants to give her body time to play catch up a bit before we make any sort of judgments on that front. At least her spine isn’t quite so bony, anymore. But putting weight on a nursing mom is not a simple task. Poor dear will only eat so much food in a day…

  8. Karen F

     /  September 27, 2013

    Found the poem Eucritta mentioned. Scroll down to “Tripping Over the Cat.” Cool poem! My favorite line: “I hear my toes meow.” Thanks, Eucritta!

    http://www.dennydavis.net/poemfiles/travel/catpoem2.htm

    Reply
    • Eucritta

       /  September 27, 2013

      Wow! I envy your searching skills. I’ve also now copied out the poem, so I won’t lose it again.

      I also managed to accidentally trip my cat today. Payback!

      Reply

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