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Cat House on Wheels 2017

Do you miss the Cat House on Wheels stories? Well, here is a doozy!

We usually leave Florida sometime during the last week in March which gives us plenty of time to get home for the litters born while in Florida to go to their forever homes back in Illinois. As you know, this year we had to delay our return until I was released by my eye surgeon. This happened on April 10 and we were on the road by 9:00 a.m. on the 11th. On our way out of Fort Myers we had to stop by the RV dealership who had our coach almost the entire time we were in Florida fixing a myriad of things, putting on new tires, re-painting the front and changing the oil in the generator…and there lies problem No. 1. They took the old oil out but when Jim checked it, the dip stick was dry! Obviously, they forgot to put in the new oil, or so they told us.

Okay, so they put in the oil, and we were on our way!

First night we pull into a Cracker Barrel parking lot where we like to spend the night. They have parking for us but no electricity. But that is fine because we have the generator to run whatever is needed, like the furnace or air conditioning. But guess what? No oil in the generator! So now it is obvious, they had stripped the plug and the oil leaked out. We weren’t concerned the first night because the weather was beautiful and we needed neither heat nor air. We would worry about it when we got further north.

Well, we didn’t need to worry because we weren’t going to get much further north! As we entered Tennessee, just over the line from Alabama, the check engine light came on. Within seconds, the red stop engine light came on. So at mile marker #2 on I-65 Jim pulled the motorhome over to the very narrow shoulder off the interstate and turned the key to off. We called our road service and seven (yes I said 7) hours later the motor home was being towed to the nearest repair shop, back in Alabama! And this repair shop informed us they could not get to inspect it to find out the problem until Friday – this was Wednesday!

We (by “we”, I mean Jim!) decided we could not delay our trip home for an undetermined amount of time – one main reason: what hotel would let us come in with seven cats, nine kittens and a dog!

While Jim was waiting for the tow, I took our Mini Cooper and drove to the nearest Enterprise Car Rental, also back in Alabama, to rent a vehicle large enough to transport us all home. (Now realize, I just had eye surgery, and I can’t see well enough to read any signs. Aren’t you happy you weren’t on I-65 in Alabama that day!)

We loaded everyone into the rental vehicle, one litter and their mom in one playpen, the other litter and their mom in a second play pen. Two cats are in carriers and the other three plus Zeke, the dog, are lying in the back. It is about 9:30 pm and Jim starts the vehicle and we head north.

About 20 miles down the road Jim stops the car and says “I cannot handle the meowing. We are letting these kittens out of the playpens!” For those of you who already have kittens from us, you know Jim and I totally disagree on this issue. I believe they have to be enclosed to keep them safe in the event of an accident. Jim, on the other hand, is such an animal lover, he cannot bear to hear them cry and feels they can just be left loose in the car.

After the day Jim had just gone through, I knew there was absolutely no point in arguing with him. I sent up a fervent prayer asking God to keep us all safe.

The kittens were fine, several slept on my lap or Jim’s. The cats were fine too. I believe driving at night was the right choice — yes, Jim, another good decision by you! You were right!

We pulled into the driveway of our home in Crystal Lake at 10:00 the next morning – Jim drove the entire 12 hours.

And there are 6 very happy families who are glad Jim safely transported their precious kittens back home so they could pick them up on Friday and Saturday.

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Justin, Megan, Jack and Kate loving SkippyJon who will become a great friend to their two dogs, both yellow labs.

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Nikki and Sierra taking home Buttercup to meet their two cats, Gwen and Diego and dog, Charlie.

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Chris and Jessica wanted a companion for their dog, Maddy, and we think Jasper is the perfect choice.

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Jami with sons, Christian and Kellen selected the only girl in this litter and appropriately named her Sugar because she is so sweet!

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Bryan and Jami are from Wisconsin. We met when they were attending chiropractor college in Illinois. They adopted Tia from us several years ago and now were ready to add a second Siberian, Winston, to their family.

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Beth and Justin selected Berlioz for their precious children, Elijah and Margaret. Beth reports that Berlioz settled right in by lying next to her and taking a nap after the ride home.

We thank each and every one of these families and will be anxious to see photos as the kittens grow.

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So what is wrong with the motor home? It is an alternator which is on order and will hopefully be installed later this week so Jim can drive all the way back to Alabama and then turn around and drive back to Illinois!

I think next year we will forget Florida and just stay home!

On The Mend!

Thank you to all  who sent get well wishes in the time of my convalescence. During the many hours of lying flat on my back I thought of each of you with love and gratitude in my heart! I also had some warm, fuzzy company! I was in our guest bedroom where Lily and her “little women” kept me company. My eyesight is not better; in fact, it is worse than before the surgery. But this is to be expected.  It will improve over time as the healing continues.

One of our pet parents, Erin, sent me a note accompanied with some great photos

“Because cat pictures make everything better! Get well soon!”

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Maui loves to watch TV.

 

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Besties!

 

Don’t you agree? Cat pictures do make everything better! So here are a few more sent to us recently. Let me know if they, indeed, cause you to have a better day.

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Two year old Dexter. Thank you Samantha.

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Percy sleeping yoga or napping with a smile! Thank you Kristina!

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Percy wrestling with his Kickeroo on the beanbag chair.

 

 

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“Kona M. is awesome and the boys just adore her. They lovingly refer to her as their sister. They tried to sneak her into a suitcase to come with us on our last vacation.” Thank you Michelle!

 

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Lulu the Musician!  Thank you Sue!

 

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Traci says Sebastian is the sweetest cat ever!

 

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Deanne is telling Boris he will soon have a new sister, Natasha.

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Deanne said Boris was not pleased with the bunny ears but forgave her eventually.

This gives me another opportunity to remind everyone – NO Lilies this Easter!

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“Hello! Sending greetings from Lana, the birthday girl. 2 years old. Hope you are both doing well.” Thank you Julie!

 

We were scheduled to return to Illinois this week but my doctor wants to rule on the side of caution so he has asked me to come back to see him on April 10 for a check-up to make sure there is no rejection of the cornea transplant. Our plan is optimistic: we will have the motor home all packed and sitting in the driveway. The morning of the 11th we will all get on board and the Cat House on Wheels will head north for Illinois!

See you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy Update

Hi Folks, Jim here, the other half of Semper Fi Siberians. So many of you have expressed well wishes and prayers for Nancy and her surgery, so I wanted to sneak into her computer and post something on her blog Shhhh, don’t tell her I did this. LOL. Oh well, she’ll find out once she is up and around.

Anyway, she came threw the surgery fine, and she slept well Thursday night. She’s been a real trooper (Oops, I meant Marine). We went back to the Dr’s yesterday for a check up to make sure the “bubble” was still there and slowly dissipating as it should be. All was well. They place a bubble of liquid (I think) in the cornea and it is should dissipate over three to four days. During that time she must lay on her back with her head tilted back slightly so the chin is up. I assume that’s to keep the bubble level throughout the cornea.

This lying on her back is the toughest part of it all. I cannot imagine having to lay on my back for 3-4 days. When I had my heart surgery, I had to remain on my back for twenty-four hours and it darned near killed me, so I have some idea of what she is going through now.

We return to the Dr’s this coming Wednesday to see if the bubble is gone and he will at that time give us some instructions as to when she needs her next checkup. If we are able to leave the end of this month as planned, the intent is for her to fly back here whenever for the appointment rather than seeing someone up in Chicago.

This Dr. is amazing. I met him for the first time yesterday. Walks in wearing running pants, shoes, and an Under Armour T-shirt. Spent no more than 4-5 minutes with us; looked at her eye, said good, remain on your back, see you next Wednesday. He is one busy fellow. As he was leaving I jokingly asked if there was anyone keeping track of how many of these operations he has performed. He laughed and said “Thousands, I am probably number two in the world.” Trust me, I can believe him by the number of foreign languages I heard spoken in the waiting room.

Anyway, that’s it for the update on my bride. She remains in good spirits and we both sincerely appreciate and are humbled by the outpouring of wishes and prayers we have received and continue to receive from so many of you. Thank you!

 

Semper Fi,

Jim

Closed For Vacation

When my friend, Susan, learned of my upcoming surgery, she said you need to tell all your pet parents you are closed for vacation!  I guess, in a way, it will be a vacation. I am a glass half full kind of person so that is how I am going to look at this time off from the cattery.

I have a date with an eye surgeon! Two years ago I was diagnosed with Fuchs Dystrophy which is a rare eye disease where the cells in the cornea die more rapidly than normal. It is called a fickle disease because you never know when or if your sight will deteriorate enough to require a transplant. I was told by one doctor he did not think I would ever reach the point where this was necessary. But guess what? It has. I feel very fortunate that our home in Fort Myers is only three miles from the office of a world-renowned surgeon for this disease. During my initial appointment with him, I was told I need a cornea transplant in my right eye. My left eye is fine at this time. I am having this surgery on March 16. At least for three to four days I will have to be flat on my back with my eyes to the ceiling, only up for bathroom breaks and meals. The remainder of the recuperation period will be determined after the doctor sees how I respond.

I am telling you all of this because it will affect my communication with you. There will be no texting or computer usage.  And I probably won’t feel like talking on the phone. If you do have questions that cannot wait for a couple of weeks, you can contact Jim but please remember Jim will be busy taking care of the kittens, the cats and dogs and the house – plus waiting on me!  His telephone number is (217) 823-5483. He will read emails as time permits.


I know many of you have been waiting to see photos of Liliya’s kittens born February 7 so here they are: Three Little Women!

Beth

 

Jo

 

Meg

 


To end this post on a fun note, I thought you might enjoy the following:

Since Jim and I have separate offices (in the same house!), we often communicate during the day via email.  He sent me this and I thought you all might get a laugh!  She referred to her husband with not a very nice name in the last line, but I deleted it to make it “child friendly.”.

When Love Fades

Last night I was sitting on the sofa watching TV.

When I heard my wife’s voice from the kitchen ask…

“What would you like for dinner, my love? Chicken, Beef or Lamb?”

I said, “Thank you, dear, I think I’ll have chicken.”

She replied , “You’re having soup, XXX. I was talking to the cat.”

PLEASE READ

Tomorrow, March 1, marks the beginning of Lent. Every year, right before Easter, I post a warning about the dangers of Easter Lilies to your cat.

I am sure you have all read warnings on many things and sometimes we pay little attention, thinking that won’t happen to us. But then it does happen to us and now we take notice!

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One of our pet parents gave me permission to share their story to hopefully save you from going through the same thing they experienced.

I received a text a week ago “Well I found out today that lilies are toxic.” The husband had purchased a Valentines Day bouquet that contained a lily. One morning they found yellow pollen all over their kitten’s face and nose. They immediately contacted their vet and poison control who confirmed the pollen was from an Easter Lily. Even though the kitten did not eat any of the flower, the vet wanted her on fluids for 48 hours. This is done intravenously so she had to stay under vet care.

He told me “I’ve been careful with plants and researched them deliberately but with Valentines Day around the corner, on impulse, I bought some flowers and it turns out, the $20 bouquet will end up costing possibly around $1300.”

I wonder why a florist would put an Easter Lily in a Valentine bouquet!

Tests showed there was a slight elevation in the numbers for kidney function.  They kept checking and when it was stable, the kitten was able to come home, but this was 72 hours later and you can imagine the fear those parents had to go through during that time. The vet said her prognosis is great.  Because our pet parents acted immediately, there is happy ending to this story.

One positive thing that came out of this, we started talking about the need for pet insurance.  Our pet parent said he was definitely planning on getting a policy.  Both he and I did some checking around. I checked into Trupanion and Hartville. Hartville is the one recommended on the Life’s Abundance site. Our pet parent checked into Healthy Paws and Figo which is a Chicago based company.  He was impressed with the quote he received from Figo.

If you get a policy that covers accidents and illnesses and not routine care, the prices appear reasonable. We recommend you take the time to research various companies, paying attention to reviews, and then decide if you can provide your pet with protection.  We would greatly appreciate learning about your experiences and what company you select so we can share this with all my blog followers.

We are thankful to our pet parents for allowing me to share their story with all of you.

Let’s all say NO to lilies!

 

 

 

 

 

One Special Family

“How and why did you start breeding Siberian kittens?” is our most frequently asked question.   If you would like the answer, you can read all about it on our website: http://www.semperfisiberians.com.

What it doesn’t answer is “Why do we continue to keep breeding?”. My daughter, SueEllen, asks this question frequently. She sees beyond the joy of playing with another litter of kittens to the amount of work , worry and occasional heartbreak breeding entails. She worries about her mom!  There are days, Sweetheart, when I worry about me too!

But then there are days like this one when we receive an email that makes it all worthwhile.

Kelly sent lots of photos of Goose and Gunner and this note:

We seriously couldn’t be happier!!

I may have sent some of these… but i  can’t help it!!!

They both got fixed last Monday and did fabulous!  Everyone at the vet loved them!!  The vet even named his new dog, Goose 😉

Thank you (and yes, I’ll tell you that every time!!)

Just a few of the photos!

So you might be thinking, well that’s nice; the family is enjoying their new kittens.  But this is one special family…mom, dad and three children plus they open their home and their hearts to foster children. The phone rings, they answer and within a few hours they leave to bring a child or children into their home. They do not know how long the child will be with them but the same love and caring is given whether it is for a few days or a few years.

This was an email from Kelly received in early January:

G&G are doing awesome!!!!!!!   They are both extremely loving and talkative….  they love to snuggle!!!   They seriously talk all the time! The springs are their absolute favorite toys, and will play with anything and everything they can get their paws on… Goose loves to “wrestle” with small blankets of the kids 🙂

They are the perfect addition to our family.

One week to the day they came home, (so this past Thursday) we expanded our family again 😉  two and three year old siblings….  and we still have the baby  (3 months)….  what was really crazy, it’s the kittens immediately took to them… no fear no skittishness… they play with the three year old’s race cars and the two year old’s barbies and they love them! I was so worried about G&G being scared and overwhelmed , and i couldn’t have been more wrong 🙂

 

 

To be able to bring a smile to a child’s face is the mission of Goose and Gunner and if we were able to play a small part in this, we feel humbled and blessed.

 

Another One!

FDA Cautions Pet Owners and Caretakers Not to Feed Certain Evanger’s or Against the Grain Canned Pet Foods Due to Adulteration with Pentobarbital

February 17, 2017
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising pet owners and caretakers not to feed their pets certain lots of Evanger’s canned Hunk of Beef or Against the Grain Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy canned dog food after unopened cans from both brands were found to contain pentobarbital, a barbiturate.

Pentobarbital is a drug that is used in animal euthanasia. It should not be in pet food and its presence as detected by the FDA in these products renders them adulterated.

The FDA was unable to determine from available records whether any other Evanger’s or Against the Grain products made with beef contain any of the beef that went into the recalled products. Additionally, the agency concluded an inspection of the manufacturing facilities on February 14, 2017, and noted numerous significant concerns with conditions found at both the Wheeling, IL and Markham, IL plants. These are initial observations and do not represent a final agency determination regarding the firm.

Following discussions with the FDA, Evanger’s initiated a voluntary recall on February 3, 2017, of certain lots of its 12-ounce Hunk of Beef canned dog food: 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB, all with an expiration date of June 2020.

In the course of the investigation, the FDA tested two cans of Against the Grain brand canned Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy dog food manufactured in the same facilities as Evanger’s products and using beef from the same supplier: these samples also tested positive for pentobarbital. On February 9, 2017, after conversations with the FDA, Against the Grain voluntarily recalled lot 2415E01ATB12 BEST DEC 2019 of this product. The company issued a public notice about its recall on February 13, 2017. To date, the FDA is not aware of any pet illnesses associated with the Against the Grain product.

The FDA began investigating Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company Inc. when it learned about five dogs in a single household that suffered acute neurological symptoms shortly after eating the product. One dog was euthanized after secondary complications, and three others recovered after receiving veterinary care. One of the dogs treated remains on seizure medication, and the fifth dog that ate the least amount of food recovered with time.

The stomach contents of the deceased dog and an open can of the product were tested by an FDA Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network lab, and unopened cans of the product from the pet owner and retailer that sold the products (from the same production lot), were tested by FDA’s lab. All of the samples tested positive for pentobarbital.

In its recent press release announcing a limited product recall, Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company, Inc. stated that the beef for its Hunk of Beef product came from a “USDA approved” supplier. However, the FDA reviewed a bill of lading from Evanger’s supplier of “Inedible Hand Deboned Beef – For Pet Food Use Only. Not Fit For Human Consumption” and determined that the supplier’s facility does not have a grant of inspection from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The meat products from this supplier do not bear the USDA inspection mark and would not be considered human grade. USDA-FSIS regulates slaughter of animals for human consumption only. Testing by USDA-FSIS of Evanger’s Hunk of Beef confirmed that the meat used in the product was bovine (beef).

The investigation by the FDA is ongoing and includes examination of the suppliers of beef to Evanger’s and Against the Grain to determine a possible cause for the presence of pentobarbital. The FDA is also coordinating with the USDA to address any possible areas of shared jurisdiction at the suppliers.

Oral exposure to pentobarbital can cause drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner), inability to stand, coma and death. Consumers who notice these symptoms in their pets should consult their veterinarian.

Consumers with cans of product subject to the facilities’ voluntary recalls should refer to the firms’ respective press releases for information about returning the product.

Why No Laser Pointers

All of our future pet parents receive a list of what to buy for their kittens. Many question why we do not include laser toys.  This came across my computer this morning and it explains far better than I ever have!
Online Cat Store
Monday, January 30, 2017
Are Laser Pointers Actually Good Cat Toys?
I discourage people from using laser pointers to play with cats. There are so many other exciting toys to use. Nevertheless, there are situations when laser pointers are the only way cats can be played with. It is either laser play or no play.

The importance of play

In addition to being a recreational activity for cats and their people, play is serious business. Kittens learn important hunting and problem-solving skills, and adult cats fine-tune their predatory prowess. Play teaches cats bite inhibition and helps them develop coordination. Cats and kittens learn boundaries and social skills while building relationships. Play also helps develop muscles and keeps cats fit and at the top of their game. It is also mentally stimulating.
Neurotransmitters, including dopamine, play a very important role as well. During different phases of play, dopamine, associated with award-driven behaviors, is released in the brain. Although the acts of stalking, ambushing and chasing are intrinsically rewarding, cats need to have the satisfaction of catching prey and feeling their hard-earned prizes beneath their paws.
The problems with laser play

It’s not news that lasers are hazardous. Shining laser beams into eyes — human as well as feline can cause permanent eye damage. Recent news reports highlight the dangers of laser pointers aimed at helicopters and airplanes. Yet the problems with laser pointers are not limited to eyes and aircraft.
People typically play with cats using laser pointers in a way that frustrates and teases cats. Laser players usually point and dance the beams randomly on the floors and walls for their cats to chase. Certain of a successful catch, they pounce only to find there is nothing under their paws. The bright red dot disappears, or it lingers on the wall or settles for an instant on a paw. Cats are left frustrated, without the opportunity to feel the tactile sensation of their hard-earned prey. Felines need to have the satisfaction of the hunt — to catch and feel their prey beneath their paws.
The best play techniques

Ideal play technique mimics hunting — but without casualties. These “best play practices” encourage cats to stalk, chase, pounce, and finally catch their prize. In nature, felines do not catch their dinner at every attempt, but they ultimately do succeed.
The best toys to use for this type of play are pole-type toys. Pulling the toy away from the cat using quick starts, stops, and stutters imitates the movements of prey. Mimicking prey, the toy does not move toward the cat. In real life, prey, unless it is impaired, does not run back toward the predator. Pole-type toys should be available to cats only when there is someone around to supervise the activity.
Good play techniques involve encouraging kitties to catch the toy so that they do not become discouraged and frustrated. Immediately after the last catch of the session, their favorite people should feed their little hunters sumptuous meals.

Laser Pointer
Not everyone can drag toys around for cats to chase or to play fetch with them. Like Mary Beth, many people are unable to run around their homes pulling a pole toy or retrieving thrown toys. Sometimes there are only two choices — using the laser pointer or not playing at all. In this case I prefer play, but play that uses the laser pointer in a way that minimizes frustration.
Laser play the right way

Before getting into action, set up the environment for the game. In addition to the laser pointer, soft cat toys and highly prized cat food are needed for the job. Before playing, place the toys strategically throughout the play zone. Have food and treats at the ready.
Begin the laser game by aiming the beam in front of the cat and zigzagging it away from her. Periodically, encourage the cat to “catch” the elusive beam by pausing the light on one of the stuffed toys that is now doubling as prey. Before moving the beam off the toy, the cat needs to feel the toy solidly under her paws.
The intensity and length of the sessions will vary and depend on the individual cat’s age, physical conditioning, and level of interest. The play session endings are as important as their beginnings. Instead of ending abruptly, gradually slow down the beam until it finally comes to rest on a soft toy. After the cat makes her final catch of the session, feed a good meal. She will eat, groom, and then take a well-earned nap.

 

Thank you Derek for sharing this video of Arya!

 

Another announcement that came across my computer this morning:

I share this announcement because many of you have both dogs and cats.
PetSmart has issued a voluntary recall of one production lot of its Grreat Choice® Adult Dog Food sold on PetSmart.com, Pet360.com, PetFoodDirect.com and in nationwide PetSmart retail stores. This product is being voluntarily recalled as a precautionary measure due to metal contamination that could potentially be a choking hazard to pets.
This recall was initiated after receiving notification from the manufacturer of consumer complaints. PetSmart has not received any consumer complaints at this time.

The recalled products include the following Grreat Choice dog food sold between Oct. 10, 2016 and Feb. 7, 2017:

Product Name UPC Best By Date or Lot Code
Grreat Choice Adult Dog Food with Chicken & Rice Classic Ground, 13.2 oz. cans
7-3725726116-7
Best By
8/5/19
Lot 1759338
The Best By date is found on the bottom of the can.
No other Grreat Choice products are impacted by this issue, and PetSmart is not aware of any reported cases of illness or injury related to this product to date.

Customers who purchased the recalled food should stop feeding it to their pets and bring any remaining cans to their local PetSmart store for a full refund or exchange. For more information about the voluntary recall or if customers have any questions, contact PetSmart Customer Service at 1-888-839-9638 between 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. CST.

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Just another reason to purchase Life’s Abundance for your cat AND dog!

http://www.mrsilversfood.com

Spaying Time/Wait List Information

When it is time to take your kitten to the vet for spaying/neutering, more than likely your vet will expect your kitten to wear a collar after the surgery for up to ten days.  This collar is supposed to keep the kitten from chewing at her stitches and possibly opening the incision or causing an infection.  Most of the time you are given a firm plastic collar that cats abhor – many people call it the Cone of Shame. So who designs these things – definitely not an animal lover!  And as lovers of kittens, we sometimes feel so sorry for our little one, that we take off the collar or some kittens find a way to take it off themselves. This is not good.  Three of our great pet parents have shared ideas of what to use in place of the dreaded hard plastic collar:

Michelle F. sent us two photos of Sally.

Sally's vet at least tried to give her a kinder collar. This one is softer. The problem was, it is way too big and she kept tripping on it.

Sally’s vet at least tried to give her a kinder collar. This one is softer. The problem was, it is way too big and she kept tripping on it.

Michelle found this donut collar. She did not like it at first but once she got used to it, she could get around with no problem.

Michelle found this donut collar. Sally did not like it at first but once she got used to it, she could get around with no problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa had previously recommended this collar she purchased when Chloe was spayed:

I believe Lisa purchased this on Amazon.. It is named  Kong  Cloud E-Collar. She purchased the x-small.

I believe Lisa purchased this on Amazon.. It is named Kong Cloud E-Collar. She purchased the x-small.

 

My favorite of all time is what Michelle M. created for Kona.

http://www.plaincitylife.com/2013/07/diy-substitute-for-e-collar-for-cat.html?m=1

You will notice that all the above kittens are girls. Very rarely do vets recommend a cone for boys after they are neutered so before you purchase one of the above, ask your vet if your male cat will need a cone.

 

WAITING LIST IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED

In my last post, I stated when our waiting list reaches 25, we will close it.  That has happened so until further notice, we will not accept waiting list deposits.

Instead, if you would like us to, we will be happy to take your information — name, email address and phone number. Once the list reopens, I will send an email or call you to give you the opportunity to join the waiting list.

 

We Have Arrived

The Cat House on Wheels pulled into the driveway of our Florida home on Friday. Although the cats had not been here since March, it took no time at all for them to find their favorite resting places. They are so smart!

Jim and I want to thank you for the outpouring of sympathy and prayers received in the passing of our dear brother-in-law, John. We were able to spend a lot of time with sister Pattie and family which was a blessing.

We have made the decision to stop taking additions to the waiting list once it reaches 25. I need to find a way to take some of the stress from our lives and I feel this number is something that is manageable.  Currently, we have 22 people on our list, which leaves three spots open.

I have been in contact with all people on the list via email during the last week. There have been several instances in the past when a person thought they were on the list because they had submitted an adoption questionnaire. When we receive a questionnaire, I always speak with the person via phone. If at the end of that conversation, we both agree a kitten is right for them at this time, they submit a $100 waiting list deposit. If that deposit is not received, their name is not added to the waiting list. Please let me know right away if you think you are on the list but have not received an email from me within the last week.

When I started writing this post yesterday, I titled it “We Have Arrived” because we had just arrived in Florida. Before I had an opportunity to finish the post, the Lady Vol/Norte Dame game started so I thought I will just finish it tomorrow. I had an entire paragraph about how I had spent the day preparing the birthing area for Ana who was due on the 17th but explained our mamas very rarely have their babies on the expected date.

We went to bed around 11:00 p.m. and Ana would not let us go to sleep; she kept pacing between us and making biscuits on my chest. Around 11:30 contractions started and by 12:10 a.m., JANUARY17, her first baby was born. It took until 4:00 a.m. before we could call it a night and slide into slumber thanking God for our six new kittens!

So…another reason to say “We Have Arrived”

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When eyes are open, in about two weeks, I will post individual photos. At that time we will let you know if they are boys or girls.

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