In 2000 my husband found out he had a recurrence of prostate cancer which came back with a vengeance. At the time we had a domestic shorthair who had been born from a feral cat under the house of my co-worker. The day my little kitten came to my office was the same day we logged a very successful well, the Riley Trust 4, hence her name Riley. Riley was one of those cats who came running to me when I walked in the door, wanted two seconds of love, then out the door she went. At about 10 o’clock every evening, I would open the front door and holler “Riley” and she would come running down from out of the top of my neighbors tree. She would be in for the night, and the next day until I got home from work. She might jump on the foot of the bed and sleep or maybe on top of the T.V. cabinet. In the morning she would jump up on the table and want two more seconds of attention when I was reading the paper. She would tolerate me picking her up when I needed her attention, but not for long before she was wiggling to get down. Never would she lay beside me on the couch or in the chair, that was just too close. When Hal and I married in 1999, she became his cat and was terribly devoted to him. Funny, because he was a lifetime cat hater. But every night she preferred sitting snug between his leg and the arm of his recliner with his hand rubbing her head…for hours.
During Chemo treatment, Hals immune system was really compromised and the Dr. said the cat should not be getting up on the bed with Hal. So, I bought a cat tower with a nice big box which turned out to be a few inches higher than the bed. As I put Riley in the box the first time, I told her ” you know Hal is sick and you need to not get on the bed any more and just visit him from this box. From that day forward, she never got on the bed and slept in the box or just hung out in the box, awake, just being near Hal.
Eventually, Hal’s health declined to a point where we were under Hospice care and I had moved him into a hospital bed in our family room. When I moved Hal into the family room, Riley retreated to the very back of our bedroom closet. She came out to eat and to use the litterbox. I had my hands full at the time taking care of Hal and I just had to let Riley do what she needed to do.
A few days after we moved Hal, I had a conversation with our Hospice nurse about the end of his life and how I did much better knowing exactly what to expect. She said ” if you want to know when the end is near, you pay attention to that cat (Riley had appeared to eat). Cats are very highly evolved spiritual animals.” She did not know of the details between the cat and Hal, so I thought her comment was a little weird. I know now, she dealt daily with death, spirituality, and those seconds of from here to there. Over the next few days Hal got worse, my sister and her husband moved in with me, they cooked and made me eat, they sat by Hal while I slept a few hours. Hal had started this crazy pattern of sleeping for about 20 minutes, then waking and having the feeling of falling. He would wake up and say in an almost comical cadance “Falling, Falling,” and then we would rush to his side to hold him and then he would drift back off to sleep for another 20 minutes.
Then he just slept. I knew the change meant something. It was Monday night about 11:30 pm, my sister was cooking and making me eat again. When you are doing what we were doing, the time of day has no meaning. All of the sudden Riley came trotting out of the bedroom. She jumped up on the back of the hospital bed frame, put her front paws on the mattress and turned her head to look into Hal’s face. She hesitated for a few seconds, then jumped down and ran back to the bedroom closet. All of us watched this in amazed silence. My sister spoke and said “she just told him goodby”. Hal passed away a few hours later.
In the days following Riley tinkled on everything in the house. In 6 years, she had never ever tinkled outside of the litter box. She was mad, and depressed and trying to rid the house of what was left of Hals essence. Nothing I could do would ease her grief. I contacted a nearby animal shelter, told them the story and that Riley needed a new home. I took Riley over to the shelter that afternoon. Devastating for me, but the best for Riley. The next morning an older couple visited the shelter looking for a new cat. They saw Riley, fell in love with her, heard the story and took her home.
Lizza had her kittens today. All 5 are healthy and nursing. This is Lizza’s first litter and she is doing wonderful as a new mom. There are two traditional and three minks. I’ll know the sexes in a few days. I will post weekly photos.
Bella’s litter all went to the Vet this morning for their first check up and feline leukemia vaccine. Everybody had a thorough exam. We passed with flying colors and no evidence of internal parasites (a testament to good housekeeping). I tried something new this morning. I always put two kittens to a carrier, but today I sprayed Feliway, (a synthetic replica of the feline facial pheromones) in the crates about 30 minutes before I placed the kittens inside. Feliway worked amazingly well. Everyone laid down and was totally relaxed in the car, in the vets office, after the exam and on the car ride home. Just a couple of peeps, no constant crying. Now that we are home, the kittens are running around, playing and happy, not wiped out exhausted from the stress. A trip like this can be very stressful for kittens. I highly recommend this product if you have to travel with your cat or kitten. I give Feliway 5 stars.
I guess every Cat owner has the problem from time to time with a Cat tinkling out of the box. Most often this happens with unaltered Males. If it happens with a female, I usually start paying attention to it being a health problem. Something is probably going on with the Kidneys or Bladder. Urinating outside of the box is the Cat’s sure fire way to tell you “I don’t feel good or it hurts to tinkle and I need to go to the Doctor”
I was using a clumping clay litter which the Cat’s liked, but I was really tired of the dust. I empty litter boxes twice a day and even though the litter was clumping, the remaining litter seemed to break down quickly. I decided to change to a litter which was a processed corn product. This litter did have a strong citrus odor, like an orange rind. I did not mind it, my husband thought it stank. I made the change gradually and I loved it. There was no dust, it is very light and clumped very well. Everything was going great for about a month. Then my breeding male “Bailey” started going outside of the box. The litter boxes were spotless, there is never more than 8 hours between scooping. I have 8 litter boxes for 6 Cats. When Bailey took to doing No.2 outside the box, I knew something was seriously wrong. I took Bailey to the Vet and he was in perfect health. Since Ragdolls are a large breed, I am using the extra large boxes with the domed cover. I thought cats preferred their potty privacy. The Vet told me to take of the lids. That was brilliant, it cut my soiled litter collection time by 75% because I did not have to remove and replace those difficult domed lids. I also turned to the internet for help. That’s when I found out about Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract litter. I started all over with sparkling clean litter boxes and Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract litter. There is no dust, it clumps hard, the remaining litter seems to stay fresher longer … which is all good for me. And, Bailey stopped going outside the box immediately and has not had any outside of the box experiences. The female cats were happy with the corn product litter. Now all of us, my husband, me and the cats are happy. Thanks to Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract formula.
Here is a very good article about Aggressive Cat Behavior. http://www.perfectpaws.com/agg.html If you are a new kitten owner or thinking about getting a new kitten. Know this above all things. Pet your kitten with your hand. Do not use your hand to play with your kitten. Use a toy to play or one of those feathers on a stick things. Make sure the kitten does not try to eat the feather. Never play with your kitten and let the kitten bite your fingers or hand. Do not encourage this behavior. When these little kitty bites turn into big cat bites, it is not funny, it hurts. Rough kitty play can turn a kitten into an aggressive, unpredictable cat.
The brave explorers Lyric, Harmony and Music with their fearless leader Luciano were allowed full run of the house yesterday with all of the other cats. There was much exploring under the desk, behind the bookcase, climbing, jumping on everything. The older cats are so good with the kittens. Even Bailey, the overprotective father. So nice having a really sweet breeding Male. The kittens discovered the stairs, up and down, full blast. At the end of the day, when I took the kittens to their room, they were all curling up to sleep before I could refill the water bowls.
Several people have asked what I do to maintain the body weight of my Ragoll Queens while nursing. I feed all of the breeding Queens Royal Canin Pro Queen all the time. Just after birthing I add 21st Century Milk Replacer powder to the dry food at the recommended rate. I always add Lysine and Missing Link at the recommended rate to the 1/2 can of Royal Canin wet (either Kitten or Intense Beauty). The wet food is fed in a small quantity daily as a treat and is the best way to incorporate the supplements. This regimen works for me so that my Queens maintain their energy and body weight during nursing. They produce plenty of milk and the kittens are plump.
Go to the Links on the lefthand bottom of the home page. I research continually to bring you the latest information on Feline health and medicine.
Bella, our Blue Mink bred to Bailey, our Red Traditional had her litter on November 28th. Five Mink and One Traditional. It’s still a little to early to tell the gender, so I will let you know. Bella and the kittens are fine. This was her first litter, so I was pleasantly surprised with a litter of 6. I am taking deposits for these kittens, which will be ready to go home with you at the end of February. I will be posting photos soon.
Hello everyone. The website is up and I am working to update photos and content. Heidi’s kittens are about 5 weeks old and starting to lap up a kitty gruel. I can’t wait for you to see the photos. They are adorable. Bella is getting bigger. Her litter will be here the first week of December. Check back in often for photos, information and news.