Deidre says: you may not shower until I am done lying on the bath mat.

Deidre says: you may not shower until I am done lying on the bath mat.

So in my ever-expanding quest to catify the apartment to a) make them happy and b) help ease tensions, I re-did a corner of the living room again, all new and kitteh-like.  I moved the stairstep scratcher into the bedroom (its intended purchase was to provide steps to go up to the bed, though it has never been used that way), moved a litter box into that corner, added another wall shelf, cut the Cardboard House of Awesome in half, and added a sky chair.

Wait, why did I cut the Cardboard House of Awesome in half?  It has four stories inside made of super industrial cardboard.  Well, one of those stories went bye-bye after it was peed upon.  Two more have buckled and been clawed to death (btw, yes – considering I’ve had the House for I think a couple of years, that’s durable for them to have lasted this long).  They could no longer hop through all the stories up to the rooftop.  So I took the inner floor that was still intact and one of the buckling ones that was the least damaged (it wouldn’t matter if it was buckling if it was upside down and on the ground level), and made it a two-story House of Awesome instead.  I added a basket with the warming blanket I made them on top, and now they have a salvaged Cardboard House of Awesome!

I first tried making new levels out of the giant box my massage table came in.  Since they weren't strong enough, it was a wash, but Yuan had a good time helping me.

I first tried making new levels out of the giant box my massage table came in. Since they weren’t strong enough, it was a wash, but Yuan had a good time helping me.

Now, the sky chair.  Have you ever seen those beds that are pillows hung from the ceiling with cloth, like this?  I’ve long wanted to get one for my kitties, but I am, alas, but a poor blogger and funds are tight.  So, I made a makeshift one of my own!

All I did really was take one of their pillows that my grandmother had made them years ago, and suspended it in a macrame plant hanger.  Voilà!  Instant kitty sky chair!

So this is what the new-and-improved cat corner looks like:

Yuan really likes those Ruth Thompson prints (he paws and meows at them), so I'm imagining him chilling in the sky chair looking up at his favorite artwork.

Yuan really likes those Ruth Thompson prints (he paws and meows at them), so I’m imagining him chilling in the sky chair looking up at his favorite artwork.

I hope they like the changes.  Yuan has already been in the cup on the stairstep scratcher in the bedroom (I’m hoping its proximity to my pillows will facilitate two – or three – cats sharing bedtime with me with less of an issue, though it has been getting better already anyway).  But so far the corner has not been claimed (I just put up the sky chair this afternoon, and was modifying the Cardboard House of Awesome at about three this morning).  Maybe I’ll put out some catnip to signal that construction is complete.

Now if only I could mount a sky chair for *me* from the ceiling…

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Aaaaah, sorry I’ve been lax on the adoptable kittehs since adopt a dog month ended.  Bad Wren!

Today’s adoptable kitteh is: Solo!

Check out his cute goatee! ^_^

Perfect for the steampunk cat man?

Barney, the toilet-flushing kitten, and his sister Bella, are in need of a new home or a no-kill rescue to take them in.  They have TWO DAYS before their human has to leave for her coast guard transfer and if they don’t have a safe place to go, they’ll go to a kill shelter! 😦  Please check out the details here:  http://coveredincathair.com/content/two-days-save-toilet-flushing-kitten-his-sister

A few notes:

 

They are in the DC/VA area

They have a $100 sponsorship toward vet care

They need to be spayed/neutered

They are ten months old

They have people willing to drive them to your location – even out of state!

 

Please help these sweet kitties if you can, and spread the word!  Thanks!

Today’s adoptable dog of the week is: Boomer!

I had some friends in town that just left in the wee hours of this morning.  When strangers (read: most anyone that isn’t me) are around, the scenario with the kittehs usually pans out something like this:

Deidre embraces her inner ninja and/or Star Trek engineer and disappears into a kitteh vortex of hiding.

Maggie stays in whatever her current comfort zone is and growls/hisses/low fives if they come too close.

Yuan wants to be pet and/or to play and goes up to them and says hi.

Well, one of the friends was sleeping at my place, so I was hoping that as she was here longer, the two shy ones would come around.  As expected, Deidre did – she just takes time.  Even the other three friends that weren’t sleeping at my place got to pet her after a few days of being at my place with some frequency without her turning ninja on them, and she quite enjoyed the loves.  Maggie got a little less stressed by their presences, but still didn’t want to be pet by her admirers from afar (we tried and she made Not Happy Maggie Sounds and gave lots of low fives).  She did come to accept the patient friend just sitting next to her though, as long as said patient friend didn’t stare at her too much or try to pet her.  I knew that was the way… just let her get used to you being around without pushing yourself on her, and she’ll sloooooowly accept you.  We both agreed with a little more time she would have likely accepted M-chan (the patient friend) petting her as she had a couple years back when she was the one sleeping at my apartment (this year it was J-chan sleeping here).  She did start to get closer to J-chan without turning into the growl monster but hadn’t migrated close enough to actually snuggle with her before my friends left town.  Small steps.

Yuan, however, completely embraced J-chan as a new member of his tribe and LOVED her.  He snuggled with her in bed, nomed her with love (he gives love nips – especially on hair, and most painfully on the tip of your nose (sometimes his teeth go INSIDE your nostril!) – when he’s being super affectionate), and otherwise marked her as family.  I think J-chan is going to miss him the most out of all her friends in Colorado!  Within the hour of her leaving, he was lying on the air mattress, wondering where his snuggle buddy was, looking so sad.  Since Maggie and Deidre were on my bed and as of yet the girls will sleep together tolerably well but they won’t share my bed with their brother longer than a few moments, I curled up with Yuan on the air mattress for the night day (my friends left at about 3:45 AM and so I went to bed after four).  This morning afternoon when I woke up, Yuan followed me around even closer than normal and just didn’t want to be left alone.  Awwww!

J-chan, where art thou?

J-chan, you just have to move here. Yuan says so.

Feliway

19/07/2011

I have heard sooo many good things about Feliway, when I got Maggie, and again when I got Yuan, I bought some.  It’s synthetic feline pheremones – like the comforting scents they leave behind by rubbing their cheeks on things to mark them, and make things “familiar”.  It’s supposed to be great at helping them feel more comfortable in a new place, around new cats, etc.  They have an aerosol can kind (which my mother once tried and I didn’t care for because I could actually smell that one myself and it wasn’t to my liking.  However, my mother swore she couldn’t smell a thing.  Perhaps it’s my super vegetarian nose.  They say your sense of smell is better when you’re a vegetarian and I’ve had many instances where I could smell things that others could not, so, I call it my Super Vegetarian Nose), an impregnated collar kind, and a plug in kind (like air freshener plug-ins).  Having already vetoed the aerosol, I opted for the plug-in (also figuring it would disperse throughout my apartment – it covers most of my square footage).  I have to say I used it for a while under the thought process of “Wow – if it’s this bad WITH the feliway, how bad would it be if I stopped using it?!”  But when I finally stopped refilling the plug-in, I didn’t notice a difference.  I bought it again with Yuan, figuring, different cats take to different things, but I only used it for three days before the diffuser part of the plug in started to smoke!  It wasn’t dirty, but I was too afraid to leave it plugged in.  There went $40 (I had a coupon, normally the starter kit is around $50, at least at PetSmart) down the drain.  The previous one I had had ALSO had started to smoke, but that was after six months and it looked perhaps a little dirty so I thought it had just gotten something on it (and I belatedly discovered that you’re supposed to replace the main diffuser part every six months or so, anyway).  So for my kitties, I didn’t notice a difference (though it wasn’t really in play long enough with Yuan to see if it would have aided in his transition).  However I have heard lots of success stories from other cat people with it, so take my experience with a grain of salt.  I still recommend giving it a try.

On the other hand, I also tried the impregnated collar once they came out after my mother told me how much it had helped her nervous Nellie, Joshua (the poor guy came to her declawed on all four paws – I didn’t even know they did that!! – and was understandably traumatized between having no defenses besides teeth, and moving to a new house, with new people, a resident cat, and a dog).  So I bought just one to give it a go, and gave it to Maggie.  It’s purple, has some powder on it (that is harmless, it’s how they get the feliway on there, I think, and it rubs off over time), and has the texture of a flea collar.  THAT worked.  It really did notably help her stress levels.  I suppose because it was right there under her nose the whole time.  My only problem is that Maggie, like her siblings, is a collar ninja.  You can put it on her, turn around, and poof!  It’s off.  I tried adjusting the length and tightness and everything, but she just won’t keep one on for any length of time.  I believe the best I got (the feliway collars last a month or two, as I recall) was a day or two before it was back off again.  If I could get her to keep a collar on, I’d buy these all the time.

Speaking of, if anyone has any tips for getting your cats to keep their collars on (I tell them it’s a pretty necklace, and they still take them off), I’m all ears!  Deidre used to keep hers on, but after the last one broke (it was a safety collar and the elastic part broke), she hasn’t been tolerating the new one (I got the closest resemblance I could find!).  I think she figures if her siblings aren’t going to keep theirs on, she isn’t going to, either.  Yuan broke the collar-off record by escaping his in twenty minutes once.  I am just destined to have mischevious children.  All three collars have been hanging on the wall with their harnesses and leashes for the past several months because I gave up trying!  Perhaps I just need to be more pushy.

So, feliway collar, two paws up.  Feliway spray, human veto if you have a sensitive nose (if not, spray away) but an anecdotal two paws up from others.  Feliway plug in, another anecdotal two paws up from others, but no success for me.

And now for some kitteh cuteness of the day:

I'm ready for my close-up, Mom!

It's hooooot... turn on the aiiiiir conditioniiiiiiing... I'm meeeeeelting...

I am so good at these cute flopped over poses