Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Smokey is down for the count...Smokey snuggles are the best :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Travels

In November 2008, a friend and I took off for a vacation in Japan. I had never been before, but she speaks the language fluently and has been multiple times, so we were set. We were there for 18 days, and visited 12 was a whirlwind tour for sure. One nice thing about the country is their love of cats. We saw cats in several cities, which was a nice reminder of my boys at home!
This is Himeji is one of the only castles left that was not bombed or destroyed by fire. It was fun to explore inside. You had to take your shoes off before walking around inside, and it was a cold day!These ladies were outside the castle having a picnic when all the cats appeared. I loved it because many of them were black like my Smokey and Devon (although not near as beautiful). These ladies enjoyed their company, and probably wondered about the crazy American taking a picture of their lunch!
This beautiful orange and white kitty is near Tokyo. He is in the Ueno park. There are many cats in this park just roaming around, but I did notice that most of them had a cropped ear, so at least they have been spayed or neutered. Someone is obviously taking care of them because he is not overly thin.

This is just a pretty bridge in the Imperial Palace Grounds in Tokyo...not too far from where orange kitty was hanging out.

This man, along with several other folks, was hanging out in the park sketching. I don't think he was drawing those two cats sitting near him, but they seemed to enjoy his company.

This trip is coming to mind again more now that the weather is turning cooler. We had beautiful weather while we were there, although some days it was a bit cold. It is a wonderful county, with great food and friendly people. I highly recommend it to everyone! I hope to go back in a couple of years, once I get some money saved for the trip!

Where is one place that you visited that you were surprised by the number of cats you saw? Where is a place you've traveled to that you would go back to in a heartbeat, and would like to recommend to our readers?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mancats do Dishes

Doing dishes is a multi-step process. I will explain to you how dishes are done, so you can help your bean...

First you need to scrap off any remaining food on the helps if this is something you like anyway, like cupcakes!
Then you hang out at the sink area while the bean puts the dishes in the soapy careful not to fall in, or you will get a wash too! You also need to be mindful of the kitchen angel on the counter, as she is very fragile, and will break if you knock her to the floor. Mom says she won't be able to glue her again if we knock her off! This can't be good luck to have an angel keep losing her head! LOL

It's important to smile at the beans and offer encouragement while they work. They like to be appreciated too.
When you are done, beg for canned food so you can create some more dirty dishes to wash...this keeps the bean busy, and then she will enjoy her snuggle time with you on the couch later all the more.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Finally it's Friday!

What a week this has been! I need a vacation from my's so hard to tackle a full week of work after a week off. Not to mention I got a bit of a cold upon my return, so that doesn't help matters any. I am tired and ready for a relaxing weekend. I think Devon and Smokey have the right idea...this is what our weekend is going to look like. Well, I may not try to squeeze in their beds, but I'll take the couch!Devon is in the green bed, and Smokey is in the blue...Smokey likes to lay on that animal print actually heats up with his body heat, so he loves it!

Have a good, restful weekend everyone, and we'll see on Monday for...Mancats do Dishes!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Hey everybody, it's Tanner! I'm going to tell you what I am thankful for today.

  1. Good yummy food, although I don't get as much as I want...something called a 'diet'
  2. That momma plays with me everyday...sometimes I have to remind her though
  3. For fun toys, like the one I'm going to demonstrate in this video below
  4. For my brothers, even if they bother me sometimes
  5. That I can look outside and see the wildlife...we have birds, some mice, a couple of squirrels, and now a bunny rabbit
  6. For all my friends that read this blog!

Now here's my says I do something funny with my head when I playing and calls me a 'bobble head'. It happens about halfway through, and then a little bit at the end. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

I see the boy's name everywhere since he has passed...I like to think it is his way of telling me he is happy! This car was in a parking lot where I had lunch one day...just looked over and there was my boy! Still missing you were the best :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gifts for the kitties

Vacation was wonderful, even though I missed the boys terribly. I need to find a place at the beach that will allow them to come with me...I think they would enjoy smelling the ocean! One day I would love to own a beach house, or a camper :)

We had beautiful weather while were there, and spent a lot of time just laying on the beach and playing in the waves.

The waves were good sized when the tide was coming in...we loved to ride the waves on our floats!

We visited an old rice plantation, that has been converted into a sculpture garden, wildlife refuge, and small zoo. It was very interesting and beautiful. The nice thing about it was once you had purchased your ticket, you could visit for 6 more days! So we went there two days and just wandered was very relaxing.

I love Spanish Moss in the old trees...I learned that Spanish Moss is neither Spanish nor moss! It is actually part of the pineapple family...can you believe that?

My sister and I took a day for shopping while our dad stayed at the house. I found a neat cat store in one of the shopping areas, and bought a very strong smelling catnip toy for each of the boys. Devon and Tanner loved theirs! Smokey sniffed and then moved on...has anyone else noticed with older cats that they don't care as much for catnip? Smokey is 13, and I've noticed he doesn't get as crazy with it as the other boys.

Tanner was a happy boy when I got home...he loved his gift, and was in need of many snuggles. The petsitter said he had played with her some, so maybe he is getting better :)

Auntie's cat Pirate enjoyed his catnip toy too...he only has three legs. AARRGGHH!
Devon washed his toy to was soaking wet when he was finished :)
All in all the time away was nice. The boys loved having me home and they slept hard all day on Saturday...they were worn out! Everyone came in the night for snuggles, which I was happy to give them. It's nice to be loved :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Devon!!

Being 8 wears a baby out! Happy Birthday handsome boy :)

Devon Likes:

  • Catnip toys
  • Watching "Planet Earth" on the Discovery channel (he will sit and watch for hours!)
  • Hair product and make-up
  • Snuggling, actually gets in your lap sometimes now, but still prefers to sit beside you
  • Wrestling with his brothers
  • Being told how pretty he is, on a regular basis :)
  • Butter
  • Being talked to in general

Devon Dislikes:

  • Having his feet touched
  • Sharing
  • Being disturbed in his sleep
  • Turkey flavored canned food
  • Squatting to pee (He is a dancing fool!)
  • Being brushed

Friday, September 11, 2009

Did I hear you correctly?

Tanner: What's that? The pet sitter is coming, starting tomorrow? For a whole week?

Me: That's right, Auntie and I , along with our dad bean are heading to that big litter box by the shore :)

Tanner: Well, where does that leave me?

Me: At home!

Tanner: You know I don't like that pet sitter, I may refuse to eat for the whole week. Won't you feel bad then?

Me: If you would give her a chance, she could be a good friend. She just wants to play with you. If you chose not to eat, that is your could stand to lose another couple of pounds anyway.

Tanner: I can't believe you just said that...don't you love me anymore?

Me: Of course I do, but you are being irrational. 7 year olds should be a little more mature about things.

Tanner: Will you bring me a gift?

Me: Do you think you deserve a gift?

Tanner: Of course, I am your favorite orange boy :)

Me: I'll see what I can find for you all, now fix those ears before they stick like that!

All of us at Four Crazy Cats want to remember the families of the victims from that horrible day 8 years ago. May God Bless America!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Sophie

Today is Sophie's 8th birthday. She belongs to my sister, usually referred to as Auntie in this blog, which makes her a cousin to my boys. :) We got Sophie shortly after Devon, to help Devon learn some manners. Devon was a single, hand raised kitten, and was a little terror as a baby. He did not know how to play with others or share food or toys. Our vet recommended a kitten friend for him. Since I had adopted Devon, which at the time made two cats for me, my sister adopted Sophie, so she would have two as well. We were a happy, and well balanced family once again! Sophie did wonders for Devon. She would fight back and stand up for herself. Devon wasn't sure what to think, but they are good buddies. She is still his favorit wrestling partner!

Sophie likes asparagus, so we celebrated last night with her favorite food. She also got a catnip banana or a 'nip nanner' as some of you call it :) She loved it!

Happy Birthday Miss Sophie...may this year bring you all the happiness you could ever hope for in life!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Great Etsy Find!

Last week I was shopping on one of my favorite websites, Etsy. I love this place because I believe in supporting local artists and love hand-made crafts and such. There is so much talent in the world that goes unnoticed, but I have found a true gem. I searched for Black Cats just to see what would pop up, and I found a really cool birthday card with a black cat wearing a purple bow, and the balloons around the cat were in the colors of my boys. 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. We use these colors for toys, Christmas ornaments, blankets, and leashes/harnesses, but I have digressed...

I bought the original hand painted card, and sent a message to the artist asking about additional customized cards. She was more than willing to create cards to meet my needs, and I had them in hand within the week. I've asked about posting there here, and she has agreed. So without further are three of the cards from the shop IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER - Art by Jamdeon

Mojo's card

Tanner's card

Devon's card. Smokey's is just like this, but he is wearing a purple bow and hat.

Stop by and visit Dian's site and see if there is something you like...You won't be disappointed.

Toesie Tuesday

Stretch Smokey!!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friends Friday

Tanner and Devon finding comfort in one another. Such sweet boys :) Makes my heart happy to see them together.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Allergies revisited

Several people commented yesterday about Smokey's allergies. His allergies present with extremely itchy, swollen eyes. He would rub them so much, he'd rub a bald spot on his arm. They itched something terrible for him. We tried antihistamines, and those worked for a while. Smokey is not the best pill taker, so we had these meds compounded into an ear cream. We called this his magic cream because it worked wonders and he didn't stress getting it! Eventually this cream stopped working for him. We tried steroid injections and saw fantastic results. One shot would last several months for him, at first. Then they stopped working too, and we could not find any way to make him comfortable.

Mojo had been working with the dermatology department at the vet school, and we saw the benefits of the immuno therapy. We decided to give it a try for Smokey too. You can read about his testing and see results at this previous post.

Another special challenge for Smokey is that he also has herpes in his eyes. When he flairs from his allergies, all the scratching, and stressing about the itching lead to ulcers. Which burn, so he rubs, is a vicious cycle! We realized that Smokey is a worrier. He internalizes everything and stresses. This causes his herpes flair ups most of the time. We have him on an anti-anxiety med for that, and it has truly helped him to be a more relaxed cat. We worked with the dosing until he would not worry, but still had all of his normal personality. He actually needs very little of this med to stay stable. It has been a miracle drug for us!

He has been taking his allergy shots now for almost 3 years and we have seen fantastic results! His shot schedule is one shot every two weeks. He went from needing steroid shots and antihistamines regularly, even though they weren't really working, to nothing at all. We have very small flairs in the summer. We saw it last summer, and this summer too. I am going to speak with his doctor about either testing for something else, or seeing if we can increase the frequency of the shots in the summer to keep him clear. At least we know what to do if we see some swelling or winking. That is a big relief, to know how to address a problem is half the battle.

Here is what he looks like with a slight flair. Notice how the skin around the eyes is puffy. Sorry the quality of the photo is not that great.

This picture is just a few months ago and you can see how his eyes look now. This is what we see most of the time, and hope to continue to see, once we get the summer thing worked out with the dermatologist.

We love our vet school, and feel very fortunate to live so close to it. The doctors are wonderful and really work hard to find the right combination to help your pet.

I don't like that my boys have these special problems, but I do take my role as their advocate for the best care possible seriously. I research their problems and speak with several friends, who are vets, about them. I am willing to do something a bit out of the ordinary if it will benefit my boys and provide them with good quality of life. I also don't have a problem with stopping a treatment if that quality is suffering and trying something else, or at least requesting a different option.

How do you handle medical issues if they come up in your cats? What 'weird' things have you seen or dealt with?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tummy Time Troubles

Exposing your tummy can be great fun! Devon loves to lay on his back and side. When we moved into the new house, Devon was very smitten with the new stove! He loved to lay on it, especially if it was a little warm, but not hot. We had to break out the squirt bottle to put an end to this bad habit, but not before snapping a few ultra cute photos!

Stretching out enjoying the those 'old man underarms' Devon!
Getting a little crazy on the stove...

Back to sleep...such a rough life!