Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mark's worst nightmare

I came home today to quite a shock.

My little one was...

well.....

I will just show you!
Charlie on top of the kitchen cabinets!!



I sent Mark a picture of this and he was not too happy about it. Charlie is known to be a bit of an instigator, and now that he has FULL access to the house Mark is worried. I think Mark just feels bad for Porter and the fact that he now has no where to hide. This was the ONE place where Porter could escape to and get away from Charlie, and now...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

kitty in the tree

So, in years past with our one cat, Porter, we put up the Christmas tree and had to put up with some mildly bad behavior. Climbing in the tree, chewing the tree... I am afraid he will bite the light cord!

Porter in the tree, 2009



This year with our wild child, Charlie, I don't think a tree is the best idea. Maybe. I keep wondering if we had a real tree, would they be put off by the smell and taste if they tried to bite it? I would not try any lights until I knew they were no longer interested in biting the tree.


It just seems like too much to go get a tree. And one of those tree stands. And get it home. And put it up. And.... I just do not want to.

This year I think we will try a fresh evergreen wreath for the front door :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

it is time for Halloween

As much as I would love to dress my cats in cute costumes I don't because I know it will end in bloodshed. Instead, we did our pumpkin design this year in honor of the cats... you like?



Well, I have been working on some small projects around the house these days and it just seems that I cannot finish anything. One project I was especially excited about was some wall shelves I was setting up so that the cats had some vertical space to climb and play. This, too, has not gone so well. I have the shelves. They are cut to size. I have the materials to wall-mount them. We tried to set them up last night and there were some difficulties with the wall anchors. Oh, please! Can't I finish something successfully?!



Besides my home improvement frustrations... everything is going great here. Tomorrow is Halloween and if the trend continues, Mark will buy candy and get really excited for approximately 0.5 children to show up at the door trick-or-treating. Yes, that is right, 0.5, as in one-half. Last year we had our first kid at the door since 07' so... more candy for us! Happy Halloween

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cat Habits

So, it is nice to have my computer back up and running. I have had a few topics that I wanted to write about while away and of course I cannot remember any of them. Instead, I will resume with some cat-habits that a feline lover must endure:

Annoying things about cats!

1.Their absolute need to lay down on whatever reading material you have in front of you

2. Their total refusal to do that extremely cute thing they ALWAYS do when someone from outside the household is there to see it

3. The way they will eat random substances that are bad for them, like rubber bands or tinsel, but will fight to the death not to take helpful medication

4. Their need to show you how disgusting the off-brand food you gave them is by pretending it's something in their litter box and repeatedly pantomiming that they are burying it

5. Their magnetic attraction to anyone who doesn't like cats, shown by affection to them that is truly over the top, when you some days barely get a second glance

6. Their dire need to wash their most personal parts when you are trying to show said non-cat-lovers how adorable cats are

(the above mentioned were from a website. I have a few of my own)

1. they will run to the door to greet you home from work only to remind you it is time to eat

2. their need to use the litter box immediately after I have cleaned it out

3. when Porter is bored he finds it appropriate to sit directly in front of the TV. He just sits and stares at you...

4. how they can find the ONE thing you don't want them playing with out of a room full of potential play-things

I could add more to the list! To be fair the annoyances are only minor and are something that annoys you one minute, and the next it is what you find cute and funny when you are in a good mood.

One bad habit I have been enduring with my kitten, Charlie, is that he is nipping at me. It is when he is purring and pawing me with affection he nuzzles my face and bites my nose or chin or cheek. I am convinced this is him trying to latch on as a kitten would to a mother cat. Oh, the things we endure for FUR love! I could really use any helpful ideas to prevent this... I was thinking about getting a pacifier for him but that would make me an official CCL (crazy cat lady)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

it has been too long...

I have not been able to post anything because my home computer is not working. So, until I get it repaired... be back soon!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Two Cats Are Better Than One

As with all things in nature, no two cats are alike. Porter had a short lived time with us where he would have fun with the kitty toys. One day he looked up as we were playing laser and saw that I was controlling the light and he stopped, obviously embarrassed for being treated like an idiot. Charlie is in blissful ignorance about the game and loves to play "get the laser".

Porter will occasionally swat around his favorite toy (mouse-mouse), although his favorite fun happens when Mark would play with him. He would play-bite and scratch and roll around with Mark. Now, he has Charlie to play with and it is much better for everyone. Mark doesn't get bloodied in the battle and Porter has someone who will bite and scratch back so the two cats learn about boundaries with each other and what is truly playing and what is not tolerated from each other.

When we had only Porter I was constantly asking myself is he was really happy in our home. He seemed bored and had little interest in us besides the time we fed, brushed, or petted him. With two cats now under one roof I truly feel they are both very happy now. Porter has a friend to play with and nap with and argue with. Charlie has a chew-toy with Porter's tail and a warm body to sleep next to. All is good in the world :)



video

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

lazy day

While I was busy cleaning the house the boys were soaking up the sun together today. I couldn't help but get some pictures.

Porter

The face that I love

Charlie playing with the camera cord

Brothers Charlie is getting so big
Playful
Cat's view of the green garden

Their favorite spot in the house- sunny with a view!

What a good life these two cats have....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

posing for the camera

I just love how animals look in photos. When you can catch their personality through a picture it makes me smile. I love the photos of dogs with their tongues hanging out and that goofy look in their face. If I wasn't worried about what my husband were to think about it- I would have pictures and paintings of my kitty boys all over the house (OK, I have 2) because they make me laugh and smile. Just see for yourself:
Charlie catching Zzzzz's


Squinty Sleep Eye


"Please, not so close"

Porter found a perch

Every time I reach for the camera when they are doing something funny I always miss the shot. Today Porter and Charlie were grooming each other and wrestling all the the same time. Charlie always goes for the throat and Porter always uses the hind leg kicks to the head. They have been watching too much MMA with their dad...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We're Back

Back from vacation! We had a great trip and came home to two very hungry and happy-to-see-us kitties. Thank you Erica at Fetch!
It is becoming a habit these days when Mark gets to sleep in that he will get up and open the bedroom door to let the boys in our room. There is heavy-footed Porter who likes to walk right across your stomach to greet you. Little Charlie goes straight for Mark. He likes to rub Mark's chin and his stubble for a nice little scratch in the morning (well, actually any time Mark will allow it). They both want to be pet and talked to, but ultimately they want us up and out of bed to go feed them. Fatties, I tell you!
We are down to only one sheet on the sofa over the arm where the little newbie would most likely try to scratch while we are away at work. I want to try to get some of the no-scratch double sided tape. It is a large roll about the width of duck tape and being double sided you can place it where they are likely to scratch or walk where they shouldn't and it is supposed to annoy them- they don't like the sticky feeling on their paws. As soon as I can find some I will take the sheet off and try that out as a last step to train Charlie to be like his well behaved older brother, Porter.
And there is good news- Charlie has his appetite back! He is always hungry now and happy to sit and eat everything and then asking for more. Porter looks like he is losing some weight...hmmm... I wonder if Charlie is sneaking food from Porter :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fetch!

For over a year now we have been using the most amazing pet services though a company called "Fetch!"
To get to their website go to fetchpetcare.com/petco
They are completely professional- a bonded, and insured company with trained people working there who are all back ground checked. I won't go on and on, just check it out for yourself! We usually have our sitter (whom we interviewed and met at our house before we actually used her) come out in the morning and evening. She will play with the cats, pet them, brush them and clean the litter box and feed them. We have left Porter alone for a couple of days before and when we came back he was pretty ticked with us and made that clear. When we come back after using Fetch! he runs to greet us and is so happy. I get the peace of mind knowing someone is checking in on the house and the cats twice a day and knowing if anything goes wrong I have someone to personally call and they can be there when I need. If we decide to stay on vacation a couple of extra days we can just call and extend our services. If we are unable to get the cat to a vet visit we can call them to pick up the cat and take them there to the vet and back home. They are for any pet and we highly recommend them.
We will be going on vacation soon and will be using their services again. This is the first time we will have Charlie and Porter alone together for so long, so I am glad to know they will have someone checking on them. Whether you have a cat or dog, check out this company for your pet care needs!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

cats with eating disorders?

It has been a struggle the past few days in this house between Us and the cats. Porter is trying to get fatty-mc-fat-pants on us and eat Charlie's food and Charlie decided he wants to eat nearly 1/4 of what he should be eating.
Before Charlie came along Porter has never had any reason to worry about his next meal. He gets a breakfast and then a dinner when I get home. We recently upgraded one of his meals to a more cat-friendly wet food which he loves. With two food bowls out now he is trying to keep Charlie's head out of his bowl and he also tries to sneak some extra food when we are not looking. There is some competition eating going on these days and it is not good for him. I don't want a fatty cat!
And then there is Charlie who is deciding he is not hungry. He should be eating the equivalent of 4 "servings" a day (where Porter gets only 2). He might be getting one whole serving... if I sit there with him and coax him into eating. How do you coax a cat? Well, for Charlie it involves me feeding him on the bathroom counter with the door shut so he can focus on the task at hand- dinner! I have to sit there next to him literally touching him the whole time. He will take a few bites then want to nuzzle me. I don't know where this is coming from!? He was doing so well with eating all of his food just a few days ago.
We are going on vacation soon and this new habit is a big problem. We can't have the pet sitter (will blog about the pet sitting services another day- they are AMAZING!) there all day to keep them eating the way they should be. They will be there twice a day while we are gone- once for breakfast and once for dinner. During each 30 minute visit they will feed the cats, brush them, change the litter box and play with them. I can't have the food ritual take up all of their time. So what to do?! Unfortunately I think they will have to stay on dry food while we are gone because it is the one way I can be sure Porter won't overeat. He is only mildly thrilled with dry food so once he has had enough I can be sure he won't be snacking on Charlie's. I just hope Charlie eats enough. Surely he will eat if he is hungry- right?!?
I wish I could have gotten Charlie on video trying to fight Mark for a piece of chicken the other day. We do NOT give our cats table food and especially Charlie who is so young would not have a history with table food but sure enough we were having dinner at the table when Charlie decided to join us. He jumped on the table and was going manic trying to get past Mark's hands to eat that chicken. His whole body was shaking and he was crying and Mark had to pick up the plate and walk away to stop him. It was like we have been starving him and he was so desperate for food- meanwhile he has a big bowl full of juicy chicken cat food dinner right there that he was ignoring. Meanwhile, Porter is watching the whole time, his mouth watering for that uneaten food *licking his whiskers* while he just ate his whole can of food already. That is why Mark calls Porter "Fatty Mc. Fat Fat" and Charlie is "Baby Fat" :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Charlie's big night

Well, it was an uneventful night last night... which is great news! We finally felt like Charlie was ready to stay out in the living room with Porter last night rather that sleeping in his nursery (the guest bathroom).
We cleared out anything that he might want to play with or accidentally knock down. And, we covered the sofa with sheets to protect it from scratching. Porter doesn't scratch the furniture and so far Charlie doesn't either but I have seen him climbing the arms with his nails because he is too small to jump that high, for now!
I was expecting things to go well and it seems that is what happened. They are alive and well and my house looks the same as it did before bed last night! Woo hoo! We will be so glad to get him out in the rest of the house and out of the bathroom. He has a few nights to prove himself then we can do a test run for being out during the day while we are at work.
The main two reasons we were confining him were: a) he was so young and we didn't know if Porter would try to harm him while we weren't watching, and b) he has been sick from the first day we brought him home and we were trying to make sure he rested and didn't over work his little body.
Charlie is all well now and Porter has proven he is a trustworthy cat. We are getting there! This morning it was so nice to be woken up by little Charlie rubbing his face all over me. I think this is what kittens do to find their moms when they are newborns, and he now reverts to that when he is happy and showing affection. And he purrs and kneads you, your shirt, your leg, a blanket, even the floor if you watch him eat. It is funny to see him eat and purr and knead with his feet all at the same time. I say that is a content cat!

Monday, July 19, 2010

...and then Prince Charles

I wanted another cat. Plain and simple. Why not? They are cute and I enjoy one so two would be twice the fun.

First we started searching websites for different adoption programs for cats and local shelters. We found that the local SPCA had pictures of cats that were up for adoption on the website and fell in love with a few so we went for a visit. On the first visit I found so many kitties in cages meowing at me very disturbing. I admit I got choked up. There were kittens playing with each other and some cats that were trying to get your attention as you walked by in the way of calling for you and sticking their arms out of the cage. It was so sad.
We went back a few times and on the fourth visit I was looking through the cages and there were so many pretty cats.... and then there was "Prince".
Prince was a sad sight. He was very dirty looking and sat very quietly in the same spot the whole time. He just stared out of the cage with a very heart-breaking look on his little face.
"Prince" in his cage at the SPCA
The worker there told me how sweet he was and that I should hold him. She took him out of the cage and in less than 5 minutes I decided to adopt him and take him home. The next day he had his neutering and I came to pick up a quiet and very placid kitten. He was sick which was why he was so mellow for a kitten. Well, we nursed him back to health for a couple of weeks and now he is a completely different cat, in a good way!
Mark calls him "train wreck". I call him "dirty boy". He has strange litter box habits and doesn't quite groom himself the way most cats would. He is a ball of energy and loves to stalk you and then jump at you with all four legs off the ground. He purrs so much and loves to be held and sit with you. I am looking forward to when he outgrows his kitten nursery (the guest bathroom) and gets free reign of the house. He adores Porter and loves to go find him first thing when he gets let out of his room in the mornings. They are happy to share a food bowl but Porter does have to keep him in line with some paw swipes and cat bites every now and then.
Prince Charles, aka Charlie, meeting Porter

I have wanted to use the name Charlie for him because of the you-tube video of "Charlie bit my finger". Mark and I just laughed and laughed at that video and I grew to love the name.
Since he was already named Prince from his previous owners I added Charles to it. So, Prince Charles, aka Charlie, welcome to the family!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Meet Porter the cat

Porter


Before my husband, Mark, and I were married I had 2 dogs. One was named Sasha and I had taken her with me from Kansas when I moved to Florida. Not long after I arrived in Florida I wanted another dog, so I found Mako. Long story short, Sasha passed away and I had to send Mako to stay with my parents when Mark and I were married because we were moving to an apartment and could not afford the pet fees and all of the expenses from the wedding and our honeymoon and moving, etc., all at once. So, here I am, a girl who has always been around dogs ever since I can remember, and I was animal-less. We knew we could not keep up with a dog so we just forgot about the whole thing and went on with our life.



Fast forward



It was in 2007 when we purchased our first home. It was also the same year Mark started talking about changing jobs and part of that change would require an extended stay away from home for 6 months while he was training. At some point he suggested getting a cat. To me! The cat-hater. I thought it was a joke and didn't give it much thought. Well, I thought about it for a few weeks and had been discussing it with my co-workers (who all thought it was funny since I had previously shared my feelings about cats with them) when I began to accept the possibility. A cat would provide me company while Mark was gone and give me something to focus on during the 6 months he was away.



One day my co-worker approached me with a plea to come get this cat her daughter had left with her. She said that he was very sweet and cute but she already had a cat and wasn't planning on another one. I agreed to go meet him. I went to her home and I saw this long legged orange and white cat with the cutest face I had ever seen and a long tail and one white leg. It took about 5 minutes for me to fall in love with him. I made a plan to surprise Mark with the cat for an early birthday present for him.


Porter when we brought him home in 2007


Porter came home with us and didn't make a sound the whole car ride home. We let him out and he was shy but very curious. He soon found his favorite spots in the house- in front of the windows and up on the top of the kitchen cabinets. He is a scardey cat and hates loud noises and sudden movements. He has a very loud purr and loves to have his butt scratched. He is still one of the most beautiful cats I've ever seen. I love to project human characteristics into the things he does and I think that annoys him. He stares at me with squinty eyes when he is pretending to be mad at me. He follows me from room to room but in a way that makes it seem coincidental that I am there. He runs to greet me when I come home and I scoop him up and give him kisses before I feed him. This is one of the few times he allows me to hold him. He is the opposite of a "lap cat" and doesn't enjoy when I try to make him sit with me.



He has recently became a big brother and is very annoyed by this. He looks at me with these eyes that say, "Save ME!" when little Charlie is play-attacking him. He is very protective of his food and his 'spots' that he has claimed around the house. He has to go check out Charlie's food bowl to make sure there is nothing special that he is missing out on. I have noticed that he is much more affectionate with us now. He became very ill a week or so ago as a result of catching a virus from Charlie (who caught it from the shelter where we adopted him). We have been babying him and giving him his favorite canned food so I think this has won him over even more to us despite the fact we introduced a tiny monster into his home.



Porter is just a wonderful cat. I am so glad I took a chance on this cat because he has completely changed my mind about the whole feline species!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cat Mom

I can't believe I was ever a cat-hater. Yes, I admit it. I really did not like them. REALLY did not like them. In fact I thought they were evil and spiteful and hated the way they stared at me. Growing up with dogs, fish, hermit crabs and gerbils left me unknowing to the ways of cats. That said, when I did encounter cats I had bad experiences involving fangs and claws.


What changed? Well, I guess I did. One day my husband suggested getting a cat and I don't remember what my initial reaction was but I am sure that I made a sarcastic comment about the idea. Since then we have adopted 2 male cats which we have named Porter and Prince Charles. I will go into the details of each one's adoption stories another day. So, I guess that makes me a 'cat mom'.


Just like a responsible parent would, I find myself reading books about cats and when I think there is a problem or if I have a question I will go to other cat parents and the web to seek advice about the situation. I also take loads of pictures of my two buddies. I love to compare stories with other cat parents, and also human parents ;) These guys make me laugh and have made me cry like a baby when something goes wrong with them. My vet must think I am much too sensitive for this job. If I had my head shrunk the doc would probably tell me that I have unconscious desires to start a family and that I am channeling my motherly instincts into these two cats as if they were real children of mine. Yes, I am aware of this and, No, I do not care.


My husband puts up with my cat love affair very well. We made a deal that as long as the house is clean and looks mostly cat-free... if it makes me happy then it makes him happy. He says he likes them, but I know he loves them. I see the way they look at him as if to say, "don't worry, Dad. We won't tell Mom your secret." One day I will come home to the three of them all sharing a pillow or something but until then I will just pretend like I don't know what is really going on.

Welcome to My World

We have had our oldest cat, Porter, for a few years now. My husband and I adopted him before Thanksgiving in 2007. We recently added Prince Charles (Charlie) this year on my birthday, June 23rd. We do not have kids so these boys are all we have to talk about with our friends- since they all have kids already. There are so many differences in these two kitties it just amazes me. Porter is very calm and regal. He like to keep his surroundings and himself very clean. He is constantly grooming himself and doesn't like a hair out of place. What a surprise when we got Charlie home... he is our dirty boy. He likes to make messes and get into everything. I can have his area spotless and before I know it he has food bits and litter and foot prints everywhere. Oh, and I have yet to see him groom himself more than to lick some wet food off of his paw.

There will be many stories to share about these two. For now I want to welcome you into our world and... Porter says "whatever" and Charlie says "do you have any food?"