Monday, December 18, 2006

Vet School Visit

On Friday, Tanner went to the vet school for his annual cardiology check-up. He was not the happiest of cats, but he did very well. He had to get his blood pressure checked, and since they do this on their tails, he wasn't thrilled. I think he was thinking they were about to do something else back there, so he was cautious! It went fine though and he gets to have his tail squeezed again this Friday...what a lucky boy! :)

He stayed at the vet school most of the day because they had an emergency case come in, but that worked out ok because my sister and I were able to do a bit of shopping while he hung out.

We came back in the afternoon to pick him up. The doctors came in and said he has progressed mildly, and they've decided to put him on another drug in addition to his atenolol he currently takes. He is now on Enalapril in the evenings. He still takes his pills like a champ, and so far we've not had any adverse reactions to the new pill. We go back to our regular vet on Friday to have the blood pressure (tail squeezed) rechecked, and to do another renal panel. He had blood work done at the vet school, and they gave him a pretty green did they know green was his color? He was not too happy with this bandage when he got home and started trying to walk around though...I took it off pretty quickly, but not before snapping a few photos!

Here he is on the table with his cute!

If you aren't going to take it off, I'll just wash it off!

More updates on the rest of the gang coming soon!

Monday, December 04, 2006


I have lived with my sister since I graduated from college, we'll just say, several years ago :) She and I get along well, and have lived in a few places since then. We started in an apartment, then bought the townhouse, then sold it and moved to another apartment, and are now in the new house. Well, I should tell you a bit about her cats...mine aren't the only ones that are crazy! In fact, I think hers are a bad influence on mine! :)

DASHA - This was her first cat, and she got Dasha the same time that I got Smokey. Dasha was a long haired ball of fur, and she looked like a Christmas tree when she sat down. Unfortunately Dasha died suddenly when she was 7 years old. She and Smokey were good friends.

SOPHIE - When I got Devon in 2001, he was such a little terror at times, that the vet suggested we get another kitten to help him. Sophie became that helper. She is a good girl most of the time, but can be a bit annoying. She hasn't quite grasped the idea that I should sit or lay down when I am in someones lap asking for attention! She was good for Devon though, and they have become good friends. She is one of the most social cats we have...she is always looking for someone to rub her tummy, even a complete stranger isn't safe! We once had a repair man over to fix something, I don't remember what, and he bent over to pick something up, and she jumped up on his back! At least she has grown out of that habit!

When Dasha died, we were fostering a kitten named Pirate. We'd had him for about 3 months, and he was starting to grow on us. He only had three legs because he was born with just a partial back leg. It would bang on things when he jumped and always had a sore on the rescue group we were with decided he would do better to have it removed. They were right! He got along so much better once it was gone. It seemed right that we take him in since we had been through a good bit with him already, and we had a void in our home. He got along well with Smokey, Devon, Tanner and Sophie, so it was a natural choice.

PIRATE can be a bit ornery, but that makes him unique. He loves to spin around on his one back leg! He is one of the best cats because he can't get on the kitchen counters! He loves to play and can run up and down the stairs with the best of them. One of his craziest ideas is that he thinks he is Canadian! The Canadian national anthem came on during the Olympics and he just talked to the tv and raised his front arm, like he was saluting or something. We would ask him, "are you Canadian?" and he was just talk and talk.

Those are the crazy cousins...Everyone gets along quite nicely most of the time. We had a few rumbles every now and then, but nothing serious. I think they are just having a bit of fun! Craziness abounds at our house!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The cold and flu season

Tis the season for coming down with a cold, and that is no exception for the boys. Tanner had been sneezing for several days and just laying around. He becomes a real snuggle bug when he doesn't feel well...a definite momma's boy! He is doing much better now though...we like to treat with extra canned food, and pump it full of L-Lysine. This seems to help keep things from getting worse. We were lucky with him, just about a week of sneezing and a runny eye, and we were all better. Here he is just sleeping away. Poor Baby!

Smokey on the other hand is battling, what I think is allergies. He has had issues with his eyes swelling and itching for several years now. Typically I can treat him with an antihistamine and he clears up, but lately, nothing seems to be working. We have an appointment with the vet school dermatology department in January. I hope they can test him and find out what the cause of his reactions are, so we can help him. He will be seeing the same doctor as Mojo. She is the best, and has done wonders for Mojo! I wonder if the vet school gives a multiple pet discount? This will make my third cat that goes there...I hope Devon doesn't start to feel left out! :) Here's a picture of Smokey when his eyes are swollen and irritated. He has a bit of colored discharge, so I've started him on a different eye drop...they seem to be helping him some. I'll have to give him some lysine too!

Well, I hope the boys will all start feeling better soon, and that it won't spread to the other cats in the house! Next time I'll introduce you to the cousin cats that live with us too...they belong to my sister...more on them next time.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Decorating for Christmas

We took time on Sunday to start decorating the house for Christmas. We have a ton of decorations so it takes a while to get everything put up. We started with the tree, and of course the boys were big helpers. They enjoyed jumping in the box the tree comes in, and playing with the cords for the lights. We have an artifical tree because Smokey and Mojo are allergic to the real ones. It is one of those pre-lit trees, but it needs more directions to be able to hook all the lights up a bit easier. We finally had to just turn the tree another way, to put the row of unlit branches in the back! We tried everyway possible to get them to work, so we just gave up.

Decorating is the most fun part, so we started unloading box after box of ornaments. We are definitely going to need a second tree next year, maybe even a third! I collect ornaments for each of my boys throughout the year, and Smokey has a ton...I think he has more than I have! Each boy is designated a color, so I look for things that remind me of them, in their color. They also get things that aren't in a particular color, if it means something. For example, Smokey is known as 'The Goose', so when I found a Canadian Goose ornament, I had to get it for him! I'm not sure if I'm mentioned what their colors are before, so here they are...Smokey is purple, Devon is blue, Tanner is green, and Mojo is red.

After a while of decorating the boys were tired...Here's Tanner sleeping in an ornament box...I'm surprised he fit!

Devon loves tissue paper, and enjoys shredding it...he was in hog heaven when we upwrapped all the ornaments, and there was a huge mound of tissue paper in a chair!

Smokey and Mojo spent most of their time sleeping! Where is their Christmas spirit? They thought it was a good day for a nap...Here are the sleeping boys.
At last, the finished product...I think it turned out nicely this year. We'll have to see how many of the ornaments are on the floor when I get home for work today. Typically we just pick them up and place them higher on the tree, so by the time Christmas gets here, the bottom half of the tree is not decorated!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New House

The boys have successfully completed another move this year. This time into their new house! (Picture taken about a week before we moved in) They were a bit freaked out at first because we brought them over before the furniture arrived, so there wasn't anywhere to hide. My sister and I moved them to the master bedroom/bathroom and put some food and water, and the all important litter box out where they would see it and just left them alone. After a while, they were doing better, and each had found a spot to sit. Tanner was behind the toilet. Mojo was in a closet. Smokey stayed in the carrier for the longest time, and Devon found a cat bed in the floor and was camped out snoozing.
Here's Devon after a couple of days. He's found a condo in front of a window and is checking things out!

We've been there for over a week now and everyone seems fine. They are getting back into their routines and that makes for some happy boys! They are also loving all the room and have been quite frisky. They love to run up and down the's like it is a race! They also enjoy just running down the halls. I hope Tanner can lose a bit of weight! As you can see by the photo below, Tanner could use it. Here he is on the first day in the house. He has squeezed up under my bed to hide out. He barely fit!

There have been quite a few people in and out during the past week, from delivery people to friends helping us rearrange and unpack, so the boys are getting exposed to lots of voices and activities. Friday night I have about 15 people coming over for a workshop, so I'm curious to see how they will behave. I'm hoping I won't have to put them back in the master suite, but we'll see.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween Spooks and Outings

Anyone that knows Devon, knows that he is a ham. He loves to have his picture taken. He loves to have people talk to him and tell him he is beautiful. He loves to be the center of attention! What better way to 'Ham it up' than to go out trick or treating on Halloween? Dressed as a pig no less! So, that's exactly what we did last night. Devon was excited...he was prancing around looking so proud of the fact that he was going on an outing. I had the stroller packed in the car, along with the costume, and the gifts he was to hand out. I packed him in the carrier, and we were sister and a friend went along too! He rode very well in the car, very quietly resting for the first stop.

The first stop was at his Godmother Carol's house. We got out, unfolded the stroller, put the pig hat on Devon, and tucked him safely in the stroller and made it to the front door. He was sitting up so proud, just looking around. Unfortunately Carol had had to run out and was not there at the moment. Her husband said she'd be back a little later, so we promised to stop by on the way home, and went off. Back to the car to take the costume off Devon, put him back in the carrier in the car, then fold the stroller and put it away.

The next stop was at Teresa's house. She was home! Devon was a bit more reserved at this stop, as Teresa's cats were very curious about him. Personally, I think Cecil was just jealous because Devon's stroller is better than his :) He kept staring at him, and going over to the stroller. Devon was not a happy camper, and was not in a good mood to wear the pig hat and have his picture taken. I was able to get a couple of good shots of Teresa's cats...
This is Cecil admiring Devon's stroller. Cecil also has a stroller and loves to go for rides in it. He is a ham just like Devon...they are two peas in a pod. It's too bad they don't get along better :)

Here is Larry - the Lady Bug! Isn't he the cutest? He wasn't overly thrilled at wearing, but at least we were able to get his picture. Devon could learn something here :)

Devon received some wonderful treats from Aunt Teresa and the boys...kitty treats, a crown toy, a fun string on a stick (brother Tanner will probably take over), catnip mouse, and a noisey ball with feathers. He will get lots of use out of these wonderful gifts!

After we hung out with Teresa and her cats for a while, we went back to Carol's house. She was home this time, and was thrilled to see Devon. He actually let her hold him, and she petted him for a long time in his stroller. He was very good for her, which is rare because he normally likes to hiss at her. (Side note: She would come to the house for visits when he was younger, and she would have to bring treats to bribe him to be nice so she could pet him!) We had a little talk in the car though before we got there, and he was on his best behavior.

Well, that about covers our Halloween outing. I think Devon had a good time...he was ready to eat when we got home though. He is such a fun cat because he is pretty tolerant of the crazy schemes I come up with for him. I'm debating about doing Santa photos again this year with him at PetSmart. I'll keep you posted...

Monday, October 30, 2006

5th Anniversary

Devon has now lived with me for 5 years! I seems like yesterday momma Carol came into the Petsmart with this little creature wrapped in a towel. I was like what do you have Carol? She opened the towel and the cutest, smallest kitten I'd ever seen peaked out and my heart was gone. He is actually a couple of weeks older in this picture. He was affectionately known as "Bat Boy"!

I said I want him! I didn't know how to bottle feed at the time, and also had several foster cats that needed special attention, so she kept him. I checked on him daily and kept telling her I want to foster him. She said, he doesn't need a foster home, he needs a permanent home. So I decided when I had adopted out all the kittens I currently had, I'd take him. On Saturday, October 27th, 2001...Devon was mine! Here are a few first day home shots!

Devon was about 5 weeks old, but that didn't mean that he didn't need his bottle still! He was a bit spoiled, to say the least. We put down his dry food because Carol said he could eat it fine, and he just looked at it. We put down some canned food and he just looked. I said, he'll eat when he gets hungry, so we left him alone to play. Later on, we were re-heating our dinner in the microwave, and as soon as it dinged, he was in the kitchen screaming and meowing at us for his milk...he thought the 'ding' was for him! We gave in and made him a bottle. He did eventually start eating on his own. Now that he is 5, he begs for butter in the mornings and usually gets his way!

Devon was a bit sick when we got him, so to protect Smokey and my sisters cat, Dasha, I took him to the vet. He loved the vet! She gave him baby food and that sealed the deal. He tried and tried to get to go back to the vets office. He started out with a touch of a cold, hense the weepy eye in the photos. Then moved on to giardia. Then he about broke his leg and got to spend the night there! Of course there were routine kitten vaccines that he needed and dewormings. Then his neuter, which finally broke him of his love affair. (He was cryptorchid) For the first three to four months I had him, we were at the vet almost weekly...I was thankful when the affair was over!

It took several months for his fur to turn solid black, but it did eventually. He started out looking a bit rough...his fur was streaked and light, except for his head and extremities...they were dark. When the vet first saw him she said, Let me tell you something about this coat of his. He'll turn solid black before you know it...his coat is a reaction to stress, and it's turned white because of it. She said being bottle fed was stressful on a kittens body. Sure enough he turned black...he does have a white bikini and white underarms!

We'll end with a current photo of Devon. Happy 5th Anniversary of coming home to live with me Devon!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More farovite toys

Devon, although he doesn't play too often, he still has favorite activities. One of the best is riding around the neighborhood in his pet stroller. He thinks he is something else, and puffs his chest out and looks so proud! Here he is out riding... He is a bit hard to see, since he is black, but look closely, he's facing forwards...

He also likes to walk around on his harness and leash. We haven't done this as much in our current residence, but once we move we will have a good place to walk him. He'll be so happy!

He hasn't quite figured out how to climb up in trees yet, although he can climb his cat condo just fine. He'll get in this stance and then look back as if to say, 'Hey, just a little boost, if you don't mind' He probably just doesn't want to get dirt under his finger nails!

There are times that he will get into a wild mood, and go tearing through the house. He loves to spook himself, and run around with his tail puffed out. I wish I could get a good photo of the puffy tail...I'll have to work on that.

Here is a rare picture of Devon playing with...are you actual cat toy!

I'll close this post with a group shot...Devon, Mojo, and Tanner were all laying around 'helping' with dinner. I'm sure they were hoping for a little treat, but they were dissappointed...such a sad, hard life these boys lead :( Until next time...

Monday, October 23, 2006


Mojo is now 10 years old...double digits! He has lived with me for about 18 months or so, and is doing fabulous. He likes to 'fight' with Tanner, but I secretly think he just likes hearing Tanner squeal like a girl :) However, Saturday night I woke up to find a couple of cats at the foot of my bed...I sat up to see who it was (thinking Tanner and Devon) and found Tanner and Mojo curled up together! It was a proud moment!

For his birthday we had Sardines on Saturday night, and canned Salmon on Sunday...Fish is the new beef for Mojo! He loved and savoured every bite of food. He would go from plate to plate sampling. Then he would go and rest a bit, then come back for more. He was one happy cat!

Here are a few shots of the birthday boy...not on his actual birthday, as those are still in the camera :)

Favorite Toys and Games

I promised to dedicate this post to the favorite games of the boys, so here goes. Tanner is by far the most playful. Always demanding to play and looking at you with anticipation. I can almost hear him thinking 'she's about to sit and play with me, I just know it'. One of his favorite games is called Pokey Stick. Take one long stick, poke it under a mat or rug and out the other side...sliding it back under before he gets it! This is great fun, and hours of entertainment for him...he drove his pet sitters crazy with this game!
I know you're under there...come out!

Another fun toy is a flying octopus looking thing. It squeaks when you bounce it, and drives him crazy! His ultimate goal is to grab the toy, so he can chew the string in half. I have to put it up when we are done, or we won't have anything to play with next time. Here's a picture of the flying octopus...
Another favorite game for Tanner is simply to chase a string or the tail of a toy under my legs while I am sitting on the floor. He loves to roll around my feet and can do some crazy acrobatics!

Last game for Tanner is the purple circular tube with 4 balls inside...There are openings on the top and the sides for arms to swat the balls and make them go around. Normally, I'll get on one side and he'll get on the other, and we'll try to hit the balls past the other one! It's a loud game, but it is a lot of fun. Sometimes he cheats though, and will just keep his arm inside the have to watch him!

Here's a shot of the tube...the blue vertical pieces have been thrown away...they had 4 string toys dangling from each of them, so you can imagine what happened. Yep, they were all chewed off within a matter of a few we got rid of the blue things making the toy more compact.

Since this post is getting long, I'll post on the favorite toys of the other boys throughout the week...So long and keep playing!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Security in Schedules

The boys are definitely creatures of habit. They love their routines and don't like to vary from it too much. For example, I know when my alarm goes off in the mornings, Tanner will come running in and start talking to me, so that we can play. I also know that Smokey is a bit smarter because he will run to the bathroom, where he knows I'll head first!

I do play with them in the mornings, but it is usually after I've showered and dressed...this does a lot to explain why I can't make it to work on time most mornings...Sorry boss. Mojo has usually made it to my room for the after shower playtime too...he is really getting into playing with a string. The next post I'll focus on some of their favorite games.

Devon on the other hand is hanging out with my sister. He loves to watch her put on her makeup and then he waits patiently for his eye shadow. Sometimes he lays in the floor and whimpers if she is taking too long! Then he follows her to the kitchen and whines for his butter. He loves to eat butter in the mornings, and gets upset if he doesn't get it. No matter how strong you try to be, he can typically 'guilt' you into giving him can anyone resist his face?

In the evenings, when I get home from work, we have some snuggle time. Everyone needs their kisses and a little quiet moment with mom. Then they are back to playing or sleeping or just hanging out or eating. When we are doing the dishes after dinner, they will start circling around to see if we will break down and give them canned food. This isn't an every night thing, just a couple of times a week as a special treat.

Here's Devon, Mojo, and Tanner waiting on the table for their canned food...are we having any tonight?

Smokey and Tanner enjoying some canned food

After a sufficient amount of tv, I turn everything off and head to bed. Tanner comes into the bathroom to help me get ready for bed, and also so I'll turn the faucet on for him to have a nice cool drink. Note to readers: There is a bowl of fresh water right beside the sink at all times! Then he'll run into my room and wait for me, so we can have another play session before bed. By the time I'm ready for bed, Mojo and Tanner are waiting to play, and Smokey is sitting on the nightstand waiting for me to get in the bed so he can get in his spot and read with me. Devon can either be at the foot of the bed, or in my sister's room. Or, he may still be in the den waiting for all the lights to go out so he can cry like he is lost, so I'll call for him, or better yet, go pick him up and bring him to bed. Have I mentioned that he's a nut? :)

Those are the routines they like and variations can result in any number of things, like pooping outside the box in the bathroom, getting mad and sleeping somewhere else, picking fights with the other brothers, etc... What are your routines and how do your cats react to change?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Introduction to the boys

I am new to the world of blogging so I thought I should start off by telling a bit about the 'crazy cats'. They are also affectionately known as 'my boys'. They vary in age and craziness but are all wonderful and sweet cats. They are all indoor only, neutered, and super spoiled. They are not declawed.

Smokey is the oldest. He is 10 years old. I've had him since he was about 6 weeks of age. He is the first cat I've been responsible for as an adult. His nickname is the Goose. Smokey loves to be held and give hugs. He'll wrap his arms around your neck and just purr and purr. He loves to knead his paws on my face or neck depending on how he is being held or laying. He's a sweetheart, that's for sure and I'm thankful that I chose him all those years ago!

Mojo is the next oldest. He is currently 9, but will be 10 on Sunday. He was 8 years old when he came to my house as a foster cat. He is super sweet and loves to play, now that he is feeling better. He came to us with lots of medical problems, but after a year of surgeries and tests we have figured out that he has severe environmental allergies. He's an indoor cat, but the pollen and stuff still bother him. He is currently doing the immuno therapy (or allergy) shots and they are helping to desensitize him to the allergens.

Devon is next and he is 5 years old. I've had him since he was 4 weeks old, and still needed his bottle some. He had been found in the woods when he was 10 days old, and was bottle raised. He is very people oriented and still does not believe he is a cat. He loves to wear eye shadow and a bit of hair gel, so he can have spikes. He wears bandannas and scarves and rides around the neighborhood in his stroller. He also loves to walk on a harness and leash, and has been in a wedding. I think he's the craziest of them all!

Tanner is the baby, and he is 4 years old. He was my first true bottle feeder baby, as he came to live with me when he was 13 days old. His mom was a feral cat, and she buried him in the litter box in the cage she was living. He was removed from her and placed on another nursing mom, who did an ok job, but by day 13 he wasn't thriving as much, so he was pulled off and given to me. He didn't take to the bottle like I had hoped, but after a scary first weekend he got it and never looked back. He is a definite Momma's Boy. When he was 2, he was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Obtrusive Cardiomyopathy (HOCM). He is stable at the moment, and takes a pill twice a day. We go back to the vet school in December of this year for another evaluation.

Well that's them! They are gorgeous boys, even if I am their mom.