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Friday, September 27, 2013

To The Woods

We spend couple of days in the woods of Hocking Hills, in a wooden cabin where you do have a place to sleep/eat/enjoy the nature, a hot tub, an internet, but no cell phone coverage whatsoever (nice combination, isn't it?)

And but "we" I mean all of us, including all 8 fluffy paws AKA coons, about which I will have couple of stories to tall in upcoming posts.

As planned, we took it nice and slow: not much activities, just fresh brisk fall air, sleep, bbq. Except, plans for cat walks around the house had not much chances to be fulfilled because of this chav (I am not sure I am using this word correctly, but I can't find a better one to explain what I mean):

This "little" dude, as we called him, joined us 10 mins after arriving to the cabin, and didn't leave our sight till couple hours before we left: sleeping on the porch, entertaining us during all our meals and hot tub sessions, playing starring game with cats through the door glass and so on.

He ended up stealing half bag of charcoal and a bag with a bit of cat litter in it. I don't know what use he had for the coal, but bag with litter with dog teeth marks on it we recovered later down the road.

I guess a phrase "pet friendly" may have a tiny bit different meaning to it than I thought initially.

Friday, September 20, 2013

TGIF From Shiva

"Did you say today is friday?":

"Are you absolutely sure?":


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Climbing the Cat Tree

A bit of maine coon fun cat tree playing cough on video, "Stalone & Shiva" production presents:

Good Maine Coon Cat Tree Hunting

It you have a maine coon cat or kitten or a couple of them, then you probably know how hard it is to find a cat tree which is big and sturdy enough for them to use.

Most of cat trees out there have too small perches, small hight and too less weight to sustain even one maine coon kitten, let alone 2 adult ones. And now imagine 2 10-12+ pounds cats (that is how much out 7.5mo maine coons weight at the moment, and they are not too big I think) start jumping on these...

Tall and heavy cat tree suitable for a maine coon or couple of them

Our Cats Have "Molly and Friends the Alleyway Cat Tower"

The best option we found so far is Molly and Friends the Alleyway Cat Tower 86". It is 86 inches tall with a 24x24 inches base weighting 130 lbs with 24.5" long x 13.5" wide x 6.5" deep cradles, solid wood construction.

This one worked perfectly for both our maine coon kittens so far (from 3mo to 7.5mo), but I am noticing the distance between cradles being a bit too small for them now to glide between these easily. However they still enjoy jumping on it as you can see on the video.

Contras to Getting This One

Only negative side of this tree carpet and carpeting work. Carpet sheds like crazy, I find bits and pieces of it everywhere, and I only hope that none of it ends up in my kitties stomaches.

Also, as you can see on the video our tree is light in color, but the lining of the carpet material is completely black and so are the threads which stick out from pretty much every joint. I spent good amount of time cutting these off on the beginning, and even now I still do it from time to time.

Needless to say that with black lining all the joints are very much visible, so I needed to figure out how to turn the tree to the wall to hide these as much as I can. But unfortunately I can do nothing about the openings in the cradles.


"Molly and Friends the Alleyway Cat Tower 86 inches" is good built construction-wise (big and sturdy and heavy) to survive maine coon kittens (I am still are to see how it will do for adult cats). It is definitely the best and biggest one out there I could find so far.

It is worth getting, if you don't mind the carpeting flaws. And the price, which seem to depend greatly on shop which sells it, their experience with selling it (I assume there are quite few returns/refunds due to carpeting quality), and, of course, phase of the moon in marketing universe (prices a quite different, and seems at the moment to be more than we paid of it 3 months ago).

And, by the way, cats absolutely love it: they don't care much about carpet or other esthetics issues.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Space Suit" No More

I can't say Stalone got used to wear e-collar and was fighting till the last second he had to wear it. But he learned to live with the e-collar when his attempts to remove it failed...

It took me good couple of hours to figure out how to tie the band, so he can still breath but can't remove the collar by grabbing it with all 4 paws and pulling it over the head.

He learned how to walk in e-collar, sleep in it, eat in it (this was a bit challenging as well as trips to litter box) and even play in it.

Laser pointer hunt became especially fascinating (for me at least): he could see the dot thru the collar (it is plastic and somewhat transparent), or above it, but couldn't get to it because collar wouldn't let his nose get to the ground all that fast... so in result he was jumping up and high in order to descent on top of it, and he never gave up...

Playing entertaining catch-up games with Shiva became somewhat challenging: it usually involves fast running through various tight spots, and the game was interrupted too many times when Stalone's collar hit some roadblock making him to stop in the middle of the run. I am very thankful he didn't hurt himself during these.

Yesterday was first full day when Stalone regained his freedom to run around without collar on. At first he was so occupied by cleaning and grooming himself, that he managed to get himself completely wet from tips on his ears to tips of his toes...

I was even afraid that if he doesn't stop, we might need to go back to vet. Because something is clearly not right, if cat is trying to clean himself till he is soaking wet.

But as soon as the level of acceptable cleanness has been achieved, Stalone resumed his usual kitty-appropriate activities. So I hope the only thing which will remind him about wearing an e-collar will be this picture:

Maybe I should frame it an put on a wall?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stalone's recovery

Stalone had his neutering surgery today. I am keeping my fingers crossed for him to recover fast and easy.

Stalone, the maine coon, 7 months

He spend first couple of hours in e-collar, and, as expected, he hates it. We try to keep an eye on him while he does not wear it, but it will have to be on for at least couple of days during times when we are out to work for incisions to heal.

It may deem to be hard: he is very efficient in removing it. I might need to glue it on... Joking... Or not?

Feed the Cat!

Both cats had to be on a eat-nothing-since-6pm-yesterday diet before Stalone's surgery today, so now they seems can't get enough of food.

Even thought we have to restrict amounts of food Stalone gets to prevent post anesthesia issues. But it is quite hard - they ask for food constantly.

We try to feed them more often in smaller portions, mostly wet canned food. And, I think, Stalone still may think that we, greedy people, decided to starve poor kitties to death.

Stalone decided that his toy racoon needs some food too, and is trying to feed him:

Maine coon toy, racoon

So between them three it looks like this:

7 months maine coon cats eating

Sorry for poor quality of last two pictures, I only had my phone on hands and pretty low light in the kitchen while taking them.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Stalone, the Goat Kid

Stalone, the Maine Coon

Stalone's gastronomical affection to cat grass comes and goes as it pleases.

The very first pot of wheat grass, I got him in Whole Foods, went directly to the trashcan, after being abused by Shiva as a toy.

After that I decided, that not all cats need grass. Up until cats decided that they have some unfinished business with the only plans managed to survive my handling - 2 small pots with violets, which are quite lovely by the way, but in no way are they suitable for cat consumption.

After 3 more of less successful attacks, and failed attempt to find some place where violets would still get some sun but no cats within my reach on first floor... Violets migrated to an upstair room furnished by a door, and I decided to make a second attempt on cat grass...

I've been somewhat successful growing Cosmic Kitty Herbs (barleys, oats and wheat mix) which gave a nice vegetation and Stalone was amused by it for a while; I also tried 3 Packages of Cat Grass Seeds 1 wheat, 1 oats, 1 barley for your KITTY, for which I did manage to mess up the seeding process (it only gave couple of sprouts), but somehow Stalone loves to munch on them. See for yourself ("3 Packages..." pot is in front and "Cosmic Herbs" are behind Stalone on photos).

Stalone, the Maine Coon, eating grass
Stalone, the Maine Coon, eating grass

To be completely fair, I must say that Shiva uses any cat grass as a play toy exclusively.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Saving Private Shiva

Shiva "misplaced" herself today. She was there at 7:30am feeding, but when we woke up around noon, Stalone greeted us with his usual "mr-mew", but Shiva wasn't there.

We searched every possible hiding place including but not limited to: closet, upstairs, laundry room, behind sofas, cat houses, but couldn't locate her fluffy tail anywhere...

We even used forbidden move: "kis-kis-kis" call for food. Shiva didn't come, and Stalone was looking surprised at me: he heard "kis-kis", but there was no food?..

I will not keep you intrigued any longer: Shiva has been found under our bed. There is plenty of space to accommodate her fluffiness under the bed itself, but only 2.5 inches of space between bed frame and floor, and it is still a mystery to me how she managed to get in there.

See for yourself:

She sure couldn't get out, that we figured out by a sad mew sound from under the bed 15min though the searching process...

Shiva was saved by lifting the mattress up, no cat was injured during the rescue operation...