As I’m sure most of you know, a good chunk of the state of Colorado is on fire right now.  People are having to evacuate themselves and their pets all over the place.  While Denver, where I live, is not being threatened by the fires, way too many residential areas are.  Hundreds of homes have been destroyed.  When I was in college, our college town had a close call with a wildfire (though not as close as that same town had this year, where more than 200 homes were destroyed), and that made me realize the importance of being prepared.  At the time, I didn’t even have a proper carrier for my cat, nor did my roommate for her cat.  I thought at the time, “Deidre doesn’t even like being in a carrier (I had borrowed one before).”  Now, I make sure to have a carrier for each of my three kitties.

Deidre is MUCH HAPPIER with a bag-type carrier than a crate.

Even if your kitties don’t like being in a carrier, it’s important to have one for emergencies.  If ever there was a tornado or a wildfire that DID threaten my neighborhood and I had to evacuate, I would feel better knowing I could keep track of my kitties without worrying about them running off and/or getting hurt.  Especially since I don’t own a car!  But there are things you can do to make the carrier experience better for your less-than-thrilled feline friends.

Deidre, for one, HATED the crate-type carriers.  She would cry in them, and even got sick once or twice.  This is why in college we got into the habit of letting her ride in the back window of the car (I have a theory that she maybe gets motion sickness like I do: if I can look out a window, I’m generally fine).  Even though she never threatened the driver’s feet or caused a ruckus in the car and was happier doing this, it wouldn’t have been safe if we had gotten into an accident.  We of course were college kids, and like all underdeveloped-brain young adults, thought we were invincible, and didn’t think about that.  Thank God nothing happened!

She now has a bag-type carrier, pictured above.  She actually doesn’t seem to mind it at all!  She doesn’t cry in it; she sits calmly and goes along for the ride.  The first time I put her in it, I was shocked it made such a difference.  So if your kitty hates their current carrier, try switching styles!

Please note the plethora of Yuan hair

Another tactic to help your kitties become accustomed to their carriers is to leave them out all the time as cat hangout spots.  To the right is Yuan’s crate, with the lid off (it’s underneath).  This is the same crate that was the one Deidre hated, and it was actually the crate we brought my first cat, Butterscotch, to Colorado from New Jersey in back in 1990.  It’s seen it’s fair share of cats!  I’ve got it lined with a pillow and blanket my grandmother made for my kitties a few years ago (you can tell Yuan approves of them by the amount of hair present).  It’s a regularly used bed now.  If I have to take him somewhere, it’s familiar and has his calm, sleeping-shedding smells all over it (yes, I do wash the pillow and blanket periodically).

So I don’t lose any parts to the carrier if I need them in a flash, I’ve got the lid underneath, with the door and the nuts and bolts to put it together stashed underneath (see below pic).  Still quickly accessible in a hurry, but a cozy and beloved bed in the meantime.  Win-win!

It assembles pretty quickly

Finally, there’s Maggie’s crate.  Oh, my Maggie Magnificat.  What a trial we used to go through to get her in a carrier.  She used to think carriers were the portals to hell, based on how she acted.  She would scream, hiss, growl, scratch, bite, and – her pièce de résistance – pee and poop on me, in order to try and avoid the terror that was the carrier.  I tried both the crate that is now Yuan’s and the bag that is now Deidre’s.  I would put treats inside.  Tuna.  Sardines!  She wasn’t having any of it.  She would hide.  She would attach herself to the carpet under the papasan like she had been super glued there.  Once, my mother (who was giving me a ride to the vet) held the crate-that-is-now-Yuan’s at an angle so gravity might help us get her inside, and I, bleeding and covered in pee, unceremoniously pushed her in by her butt.  Poor Maggie.  Poor me!

And just when I thought my only hope was one of those cat strollers (which would be handy on the bus, but another large thing to store in the apartment, and not cheap), I found The Most Perfect Maggie Crate Ever:

*enter angels singing from on high here*

It may be a little hard to tell in that photo as I have the front door taken off and sitting on top, but it has a second door *on the top*.  Miraculous!  I literally put Maggie down – in the crate.  If she pees, it goes in the crate instead of on my pants (she’s gotten better about that, but it still happens).  I don’t have to fight to get her in there like it’s an epic battle.  I literally just plunk her in – it takes about a minute, as opposed to 30 (really – I’d have to start fighting her 30 minutes before we had to leave for the vet to get her in and not miss our appointment).

BUT – most amazing thing of all – I left it out, like I do Yuan’s, with the door off (as pictured), so that she wouldn’t feel “trapped” if it swung shut, in the hopes she might check it out on her own.  For months she wouldn’t go near it.  But now that she’s being all brave explorer kitty, she… SLEEPS IN IT.

Willingly.

Of her own accord.

And when there’s a stranger in the apartment that she doesn’t want to deal with – she chills out in her crate.  When the vacuum is on, she takes cover in her crate.  It’s become a safe space!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

It too has a cat mat/blanket/bed in it that has her scent all over it, which helps.  But considering every indication from Maggie over the years has been that she’s claustrophobic, I am over the moon that she actually feels safe in her crate.  It’s no longer the portal to hell – it’s Someplace The Vacuum Can’t Reach!  ^_^

Some people ask me why I have a carrier for each cat – they often ask if I take all three to the vet at the same time.  Even if they were all perfectly happy with the same carrier, I would still be sure to have three.  You never know when an emergency might happen, and it’s important to be able to take care of your fuzzy family!  Be sure that your carrier is big enough for your cat (you don’t want them too cramped in there, and they do have weight limits as well), and something you can manage to heft with your kitty inside (there are some with wheels, much like suitcases, for those that can’t lift certain weights).  And get one for each cat!

The fires being all over the news has reminded me that I still haven’t accomplished one of those “been meaning to” tasks: creating a to-go emergency kit with food, water, first aid, and the like.  I’ll be working on that this week and will write about what to add for your kitties soon.  Stay safe!

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This week’s adoptable kitteh is actually two; but unfortunately I can’t find Buddy’s page on Maxfund’s site.  It could be that since they are incoming that they are still working on it.  We have Eek and his pal Buddy!

Eek, he's so cute!

 

Eek and Buddy were adopted from Maxfund seven years ago, but since then, their human passed away and now they are back at Maxfund looking for a forever home.  Of course Maxfund is not MANDATING they be adopted together, but it would be super nice since they are friends!  Could your home be their forever home?

 

 

 

 

 

So, Yuan using one of his nine lives.  The other day I let him out on the balcony.  I was sitting just inside the balcony doors at the dining table, so I could watch him.  Not 60 seconds after I let him out, he gets the spontaneous midnight crazies and leaps from the floor to the top of the air conditioner that juts out from the wall onto the balcony, then onto the giant cable spool that serves as my balcony table, then onto the green onions in a pot on the ledge.

That pot had been there for months, and he’d even climbed in it before (I always take him out of the pots as I don’t want him going on the ledge for fear of highrise syndrome).  It was stable and not hanging over the edge or anything at all.  But with his centrifugal force or whatever law of physics he was using to fling himself around as he did, the speed and angle at which he launched onto the pot caused it to tip off the ledge and down to the ground below.  He tried to leap from the falling pot to the lettuce (and somewhere in this mess the pot in-between the two got knocked off too).  The lettuce is the biggest pot of all the pots on my ledge and luckily held him, as he hung on by his front paws with the rest of him over the side, for the two or three seconds I had to react, which is to say that I screamed and ran out onto the balcony, and grabbed the other side of the lettuce pot that was beginning to spin and tip over as well to counter-balance his weight, and before I could grab him too, that gave him the leverage to scramble up and over and right into the apartment.

He happily stayed in his cozy chair for the rest of the evening and did not ask to go outside at all.  But before he camped out, I hugged him and nearly cried and died of a heart attack.  So, I used up one of my nine lives, too.

The second and third floors are the MOST dangerous for a cat to fall from, as they don’t have sufficient time to flip over and land properly as they might from an even higher floor.  I’m on the second floor.

The next day I figured if I got into the habit of taking him for a daily walk (we walk occasionally but not every day), maybe he’d get some exercise and fresh air and not want to go on the balcony so much, but he was not even interested in going for a walk at that point.

Now, normally he’s pretty darn good out on the balcony, and just rolls around on the cement floor and looks out under the wall to see what’s going on.  He often camps out UNDER the a/c, or on top of it.  Occasionally he’s snuck onto one of the plants but at that point I pluck him off and bring him inside to indicate that the ledge is a no-no, and he gets that.  It’s gotten to the point that I trust him enough to be chill that I’ve let him outside while I’m putting around doing things in the apartment, and I just poke my head out periodically to check on him.  He uses the spool/table as a giant scratching post and enjoys his balcony time.  Neither of his sisters have gone out there yet at all.  I know it was the spontaneous crazies that caused him to jet around like that recklessly, but still it scared the crap out of me!!!

We’ll try a walk again today, I think. 😉

Why can't he just be mellow, like me? -Maggie

This week’s adoptable kitteh is: Domino!

I am fuzzy and cute! ^_^

I also just had to share how FRISKY Maggie has been lately!  She’s playing with toys!  She’s playing with boxes!  She’s chasing her tail!

…and she startled Yuan today!

I repeat, in case anyone had a case of cat name dyslexia:  MAGGIE startled YUAN.  Not the other way around.

I predict they will soon be chasing each other around the apartment in play!  Let’s see how long it takes. ^_^

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!

Yes, he’s really a puppy at seven months old – this week’s adoptable dog is: Alvin!

And he’s SO CUTE! ^_^

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

It’s adopt a shelter dog month, so for the next few weeks I’ll be showcasing adoptable goggies that need homes!

I love goggies too and wish I could adopt one right now, but I already have three cats in a one bedroom apartment that aren’t quite friends yet… even if I was allowed to have a fourth pet (I had to get special permission for number three, so I’m thinking my chances are low), that might make the kittehs quite perturbed with me.  ^_^  So I’ve decided to get myself to the shelter and volunteer to help take care of the goggies and kittehs there that need furever homes.  They’ll get some attention, and I’ll get my goggie (and moar kittehs) fix!

This week’s adoptable goggie is: Elliott!

He’s so cute!  Look at that smile! 🙂