Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas to all

Hi, everyone.  Just want to tell everyone Merry Christmas (or whatever holiday you might be celebrating, I guess).

This first video is a classic version of White Christmas, sung by The Drifters, with animation by Joshua Held.  One of our long time favorites.


Next up, a copy of the Jingle Cats version of White Christmas.  This is a cat blog, after all.

I hope most of you have the connection speed and time to watch them.

Billy White Shoes is still hanging in there.  I let him out of his cage most of the day when I am around to keep an eye on him.  He stays more or less calm most of the time, and when he starts running and jumping around, I put him back in the cage.  He's kind of figured out the connection, and tends to limit his jumping and climbing.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Billy is starting to get restless

Billy is starting to feel better, which in a lot of ways makes things worse.  He feels OK, and he really can't figure out why I don't just let him out of his cage so he can run around like he wants to.

I used to let him out for a lot of the day, if I was going to be around to keep an eye on him.  Of course, back then Billy didn't feel all that great, and he would spend most of his time dozing someplace.  Now, he is spending most of his day in his cage, because he keep trying to climb up on things, and generally run around like he used to.  The last I need right now is Billy White Shoes tearing that leg up again trying to rassel with the rest of the crew.

Billy, tucked neatly between the heated pad and the litter box.

 Reaching for my leg, trying to convince me to let him out and let him run around and cuddle with the rest of us.  The shaved place on his left leg is where the V*T had an IV during surgery (and maybe for a while after that)


UPDATE: I tried Connie's nip suggestion, at least sort of.  I had a nip cigar (from  Nip & Bones) that I gave Billy.  It seemed to help, at least for the first few hours.  Thanks, Connie.  (we had some bananas that most kitties seemed to like better, but they've disappeared somewhere) 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A closer look at Billy's leg

As in, Billy's Xrays.  Let's just say Billy White Shoes is going to have trouble if he ever needs to enter a court house anywhere.

I didn't get a Before image, but you can about imagine what it looked like from the After shots.

My complements to the folks at Summer Street Animal Clinic for a job well done.

PS: Various V*T's best guess is Billy White Shoes got hit by a car.  The scrapes and scratches kind of indicate that.  Beyond that, we may never know.  Billy isn't talking about it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Billy still hanging in there

Billy White Shoes and I just got back from a trip to the V*T.  Some of the staples were working loose, and I wanted to check to see whether there was a problem or not.

The V*T checked things out, and decided the incision was healing enough that he could just remove the staples and be done with it.

Billy is getting bored in his cage, so I've started letting him out for a while when I can keep an eye on things.  Billy keeps pressing his luck, trying to start climbing around, so he usually doesn't get to stay out very long.  But progress is being made.

A close-up of Billy's incision, sort of.  Billy was laying in my lap when I took these photos, so it was kind of shoot a lot and hope.

Billy White Shoes, looking back at you.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Billy is home

Billy White Shoes is home.  Currently he is spending most of his time caged, to restrict his movements, and he is none too happy about it.

He will go back to the V*T on the 17th to have his staples removed, and for a general checking out.

I also have a couple pictures of his leg.  They are kind of gross, so I'll put them below the fold, if I figure out how to do that.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Billy White Shoes update

Billy made it through surgery in fine shape.  I went to visit him, and all the tech's liked him a lot.

I took him his penguin, and he seemed kinda glad to see it.  He reached out to grab it, and started cuddling with it.

With luck, Billy will be home tomorrow some time.  After that, it will just be a matter of keeping him calm for a few days/weeks before he can run around again.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Just a quick Billy White Shoes note

UPDATE: I just called the V*T (about 4PM, 04-DEC).  Billy came through surgery pretty well, all things considered.  The surgeon had to put a pin and several screws in Billy's leg to keep everything in place, but he seemed hopeful over the phone. Billy likely won't be home for a few days, yet, but at least he is gaining on things.

Thanks, much, for all the purrrrrss and purrrrayers.


Hi.  Just a quick note.

Billy White Shoes is at the V*T tonight with a broken leg.  Billy will most likely go through surgery tomorrow afternoon.  The V*T thinks he can repair Billy's leg, but the break is bad enough there is an outside chance the only option will be removing the leg entirely.

We could all use a few purrrrrss or purrrayers, if you should have any to spare.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Poppy Vic

Victor Mathew Adamus
December 27, 1947 to September 18, 2012
better known, at least in the Cat Blogosphere, as
Poppy Vic, of Zoolatry.

Not really how I was planning to get back to blogging, but I couldn't just ignore this.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bringing Hobo home with us

Hi.  Thanks for all the comments and condolences over Dave's passing.  I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact he left so suddenly, and so soon.

But I managed to move Hobo back to our home.  He is not real happy, but he has been around here before, and he seems to be adjusting.  This house has few internal doors, for some reason, so it is hard to have a room reserved as Base Camp for the integration.  I've put a partition blocking off one room, but Billy White Shoes has already proved he can climb that any time he really wants.  I suspect the rest of them could as well if they felt the urge.  So it looks like Hobo and the rest of the clowder might get merged together a bit quicker than I would prefer.

The first day, Hobo hissed at everyone who entered his room.  Now he pretty much ignores the kitties, and will let me rub his head and stroke his back.  So we are making progress.

Hobo, in his carrier on the way to his new (old) home

Hobo, hanging out on his cat tree, in Base Camp in his new home.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

For Dave

Hi, everyone.

I just got word that my brother, Dave, has died.  Some of you might have met him and Hobo through Hobo's Tales.

I am going to be missing even more than usual for the next week or two.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kittenmonsteritus is spreading

Billy White Shoes is getting more like he is than he's ever been before. or something

He likes catching cicadas.  So far he's carried four or five of them into the house.  He chases them around for a while.  Eventually they quit making noise, then Billy gets bored and wanders off.  (if they're still alive at this point, I put them back outside)

He's unrolled two rolls of toilet paper.

He's decided it is kind of fun to take a running start and jump up on my back.  Sometimes, this is a first step to getting someplace else higher, sometimes he just hangs on for a while, then jumps down and runs off.

It looks like kitten-monster-itus is spreading.  A few minutes ago, Grace O'Malley hopped up on the table along side of me, and happily destroyed a roll of paper towels I keep around for general cleanup.

Someone, not sure who, caught a live chipmunk and left it in the middle of the living room floor.  I didn't know it was alive until I bent down to pick it up.  At that point, the chippy bounced back to live and ran under some furniture.  I never saw it again, so I can only hope it found its way back outside.

Billy, then and now, for comparison.  Maybe a little bit as a reminder.

Billy, about the second week here.

Billy, now.  Same hand, for comparison purposes.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Billy is entering the kitten monster stage

Billy White Shoes is starting to enter the kitten monster stage.  In the last couple days he has knocked over my water glass twice, drunk from it three times that I caught him, and pushed my track ball off the computer table five or six times, just so he could watch the ball roll around the floor.  That doesn't count all the things I find on the floor when I get up in the morning.

He's also has taken over the top perch in the cat tree.

Billy and Grace O'Malley still play together, but I seldom see them cuddling together when they sleep.  Billy keeps trying to play with Anne Bonny, but Annie just swats him until he runs off.

The obligatory Billy photos -

Billy still fits under the keyboard tray, if he works at it.  It's hard to remember that not too long ago, he could just walk under there, and didn't even have to duck very much.

A rare photo of Grace O'Malley not trying to grab the camera strap.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Billy White Shoes is getting bigger

At the rate he is growing, 'little' Billy White Shoes is going to be the biggest kittie in the Clowder pretty soon.  He is already almost as tall as Grace O'Malley, and might actually be a little taller than Anne Bonny.  He is still skinny as all get out, but filling out is just a matter of time.  Billy's still just a bit over four months old.

Billy gave me a bit of a scare the other night.  There is a little gas station/convenience store about a block away.  Billy decided to follow me there, but he was gone when I came back out.  About half an hour later, Billy was back by the back door, trying to decide whether a raccoon family eating some of the cat food was a playmate or not.  I may need try him with a harness, see if I can take him for walks.  At least, I'll have to remember to look around for Billy before I take a walk anywhere.

A couple photos:

Billy has pretty much taken over the top perch in the cat tree.  Anne Bonny won't stay there even when I put her up there.

Billy and Gracie playing in the yard.  It was like 98°F (37°C) out there that day.  If you look close, you can see Billy panting like he's about to collapse, and he was still pouncing on Gracie, climbing trees, and running around like his tail was on fire.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Everyone is still hanging in there

Mostly an update to tell everyone nothing much has changed.  We were off-line for a couple weeks (long story), but things are more or less under control again.

Billy White Shoes doing fine, although a couple of his favorite hidey-holes are starting to get a little small for him.

For example, I have the monitor on a keyboard storage shelf, and Billy likes to hide under there, and swat at the mouse.  He still fits in there, but he has to work at it now.

Weather this week has been hot, with highs around 95°F (35°C) or so.  But all the kitties insist on spending most of the day outside, anyway.

A quick video, showing Billy White Shoes & Grace O'Malley trading bowls a few mornings ago.  They do that almost every morning.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Two months in

Hello, again, all.  No real update, just bringing everyone up to date.

Billy White Shoes has been part of our lives for just a bit over two months now, and almost in spite of me he is starting to turn into a cat.  Once in a while, he'll act like he seems to want some Kitten Glop, but about half the time, by the time I have it out and warmed up, he'll have forgotten about it and run off again.

The original idea was to keep him in the house, at least most of the time.  That attempt lasted until Billy was big enough to get down the stairs to the back door.  I spent another week or so working harder and harder to keep him in the house, than I gave up.  At first I tried to keep an eye on him, or at least make sure Grace O'Malley was around to keep an eye on him.  Now I let him go out whenever he wants during the day.  It usually isn't too long before he's back in the house, chasing a ball or sleeping somewhere.  Not perfect, but when the entire crew started as strays, you've just got to assume some street smarts on their part.

A few photos (didn't think I was gonna forget that, did you?)  Most of them are stills of Billy & Gracie rasseling.  I tried to get one of them sleeping together, but they don't seem to do that much anymore.

Billy, in the 'off' position.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Update on Billy White Shoes

For the most part, no news is good news.  Billy is still running around the house chasing everything he can get to move, and rasseling with Grace O'Malley.  He isn't quite as weaned as I thought he was, though.  Once or twice a day, he starts following me into the kitchen yelling his head off until I give him some Kitten Glop.  I'm not sure he really needs the glop all that bad, but he likes it, and I still have some.  This way at least he is staying topped up on nutrition.

I keep forgetting he still isn't even two months old yet.

I suspect Grace lost track of Billy last night.  Billy had crawled into bed with me, and was asleep against my neck.  About dawn I woke up to Grace crying and running through the house. I called her, and she came running up on the bed.  She found Billy, and they started rasseling and ran off together.

A couple photos of Billy:

Billy, sleeping a bit after inhaling some Kitten Glop.

Billy, exploring the top level of the cat tree.
That is usually Anne Bonny's spot, but she wasn't there at the moment.

Finally, Billy in a life and death struggle with a stuffed penguin.  For size, that is the same penguin that was in the box with Billy when he was just a week or so old.

Just for a little variety, this is Grace O'Malley trying to grab the camera strap off my wrist.  About 80% of my photos of her show some variation on this.


Monday, May 7, 2012


Hi, everyone.  We just got an email from PetFoodDirect, and we thought we might ought to spread the word a bit further, just in case.

Manufacturers have recently issued voluntary recalls on several brands.

If you are currently feeding your pet one of these brands, please read the details of the recall below:

Affected Brands: (Click on your Brand to see details)
- Natural Balance
- Canidae
- Chicken Soup For the Pet Lover's Soul
- Country Value
- Diamond
- Diamond Naturals
- Premium Edge
- Professional
- 4Health
- Taste Of The Wild
- Wellness
- Kirkland
- Apex
- Kaytee Fort-Diets

Click Here to View All Recalls


Earlier today we sent you an email regarding the recent pet food recall. As we continue to keep you updated, we wanted to clarify the recall related to one of those brands, Wellness.

The Wellness recall is limited to one recipe: Wellness Complete Health Super 5 Mix Large Breed Puppy, 15# and 30# bags. The recall is limited to bags with Best By dates of January 9-11, 2013.

No other Wellness recipes are impacted by this voluntary recall.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I think Billy is weaned

I think Billy White Shoes is pretty well weaned.  He still complains once in a while, like he is hungry.  But when I feed him, he only eats a little, and seems more interested in the cuddling and sucking on the mouthpiece than he does in actually eating.  I have some kitten glop left, and I'll offer it to him when he seems to want it, but beyond that, I think I can figure Billy has yet another milepost toward becoming a big kittie.

He's started climbing into bed with me at night, which is kind of a mixed blessing.  On one hand, it is nice having him cuddling with me.  On the other, he's still so small, I'm almost scared to fall asleep when he is cuddled under my arm.  I got folds in the covers that are bigger than he is.  It can also be a bit disconcerting to wake up at 3AM because Billy & Grace O'Malley are play-fighting on my stomach.

The photos are not very good today.  Billy was feeling more frisky than usual.  I finally decided "that was what I got, live with it".

One quick video of Billy eating some of the dry food.  I give him canned stuff with the rest of the crew, but I haven't seen him eating that yet.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Billy seems to be weaning himself

So far, I haven't had much luck trying to wean Billy White Shoes.  But just like he litter trained himself by watching the big kitties, he seems to be weaning himself.

A few days ago, I had a few slices of deli ham I was eating.  Billy came up to check out what I was doing.  I tore off a couple small pieces, held them in my hand, and offered them to Billy.  He sniffed them, and then scarffed them down without any hesitation.

I've seen Billy grabbing some of the dry food out of the bowls.  I'm not sure how much he is actually swallowing, but at least he has gone from just sucking on the kibble to chewing/crushing it with his jaws.

I'm not sure how much credit I can claim, but Billy seems to be growing up.

A few photos. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hi, and thanks

I want to thank all of you for the comments, compassion, and concern after losing Mary Read that way.  I'm still adjusting to not having her around.  Mary was the one who always snoopervised when I was preparing food, for kitties or for me, and I still tend to check for her before I put anything down on a counter.

On a happier note, Billy White Shoes has figured out how to get into the 'big kittie' litter box.  He seems a bit intimidated once he gets there, but he is getting more comfortable.  The litter there is several inches deep, and Billy keeps moving around digging one place after another, and seems a bit flummoxed he never seems to hit bottom with all his digging.  But eventually he finds a spot he likes.

Thanks again.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mary Read -- what happened

I checked the collar Mary Read was wearing yesterday.  I thought the collar had a safety, quick release catch.  But it turned out that wasn't the case.  When I tried to open the collar, I couldn't pull the catch apart without manually pressing on the catch.  I don't remember where I got them anymore, but it is clear this was not a safety collar, regardless of what the packaging with the collar said.

I left the collar loose, just in case, to make it easier for her to slip out of the collar if it got caught someplace.  The collar had a loop where it folded back, for adjustments.  Mary Read caught that loop in her collar on a stub of a broken off branch.  It worked pretty much like a choke collar.  The harder she pulled, the tighter the collar squeezed onto her neck.

Once she got her collar caught like that, her only hope was to hang on to the tree until I saw her and freed her.

I didn't see her in time.

Mary, baby, I'm sorry.  I thought I was making you safer, and instead, I was dooming you.

I'm so sorry.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mary Read is at The Bridge

I let the Pirate Girls go outside a few hours ago.  About ten minutes ago, I went to check on them.  Anne Bonny & Grace O'Malley came trotting into the house.  Mary Read didn't.

I looked around a little for her, and found her hanging, about fifteen feet up in a tree.  She had managed to get her collar caught on a stub of a limb.  She was wearing a safety collar, but for some reason the catch did not release.  I try to leave enough room for the cat to slip out of the collar regardless, but she managed to catch herself in the loop where the collar adjusts, so the collar pulled tighter, trapping her.  It looks like she turned at least three turns hanging there, trying to get free.

I just thought you might want to know.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A mini-gotcha day, sort of

Hard to believe it was only a month ago Billy White Shoes was sort of tossed into our lives. At the time he weighed around 5 ounces (140 grams) and was about the size of a candy bar.  He spent almost all his time sleeping and crying for food.

Remember this?

Now he weighs (guess) around 1-1/2 pounds (680 grams), and is happily running around the house like some sort of miniature whirlwind.  He doesn't fit on the postal scale I have any more, and most attempts to weigh him end quickly when Grace O'Malley comes running to find out what I'm doing to her kitten.

I've also gotten into the habit of looking down before I take a step, just in case Billy is underfoot again.

A quick video from a day or two ago.  Think of it as the 'after' picture of the kitten.

Billy, reminding me he has tuf!

Billy is using his litter box fine now.  I would probably try to rig up some sort of ramp or step so he could get into the big box, but the big box has clumping litter in it, and I'm not sure I want Billy crawling around in that just yet.  Like with most things, there is some question whether the clumping litter actually hurts kittens, but if he is going to eat litter, a clump of dirt is probably less harm than a lump of chemically treated whatizit.

Billy does have one habit I could do without, though.  When feeding him, he will suck up his formula fine for a while, then all at once he will start smacking at the bottle, my fingers, and anything else in the area.  He acts almost like he is choking, or is suddenly not getting anything, or something.  Sometimes he will crawl over the bottle like he is trying to get away from the nipple, other times he will clamp on and refuse to let go.  When I check, the nipple doesn't seem to be plugged, and there is formula in the bottle, so I'm wondering if anyone has seen anything similar, or has any suggestions what the heck is going on.  FWIW, Once he starts doing this, he never starts nursing again, and when I feel his belly, he feels pretty well full.

He doesn't seem to be having any other problems, so I am not too worried yet, but the kitten clawings are starting to get painful.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Got one end working, anyway

I'm not sure how much credit I can claim for the change, but Billy White Shoes is starting to use his litter box now.  I finally decided that if Billy really wanted to go where the big kitties went, I would have to find him a box small enough he could use.

Billy's custom litter box

After a little hunt I found a little aluminum tray, probably a left-over from a frozen something-or-other from once upon a time.  I put some clay litter in the tray, put it next to the big kittie box, and Billy has been using it ever since.  Billy is a digger, and he has all kinds of fun when he's getting ready to use his box.  I swear, one time he was digging with all four feet, each in a different direction.  If he had a little more litter to work with, he'd raise a dust cloud.

Billy doesn't cover very well, though, so Gracie usually finds winds (corrected a typo) up burying things for him.

A couple photos of Billy & Gracie playing.

A short, choppy video of Grace and Billy play-fighting.  I saw them wrasseling with each other a couple time, but every time I grabbed the camera, Gracie started chasing the camera string instead., which sort of defeated the point of grabbing the camera.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I Has Tuff


That isn't Billy in that LOLCat, of course, but he is starting to have the same attitude.  The other day he was trying to rassle with Grace O'Malley.  Gracie was about half way between 'Oh, yeah, bring it on' and 'HUH?'.

I'm not sure how much progress I'm making on getting Billy White Shoes weaned or box trained, though.  If I put some Kitten Glop on my finger, I can get Billy to lick it off once in a while.  But most of the time he swats my hand away and ignores me.  I haven't gotten Billy to have much of anything to do with the little litter box I put together for him, but he keeps heading to the kitchen with the 'big kitties' box.  I keep finding little puddles in the area, so I kind of suspect he is trying to go where the other cats are going, and is just too small to make it into that box.  I'm about to track down a couple bricks to give Billy some steps up there, and see how that works.

In other news, Grace O'Malley got her stitches out Friday.  She didn't appreciate being stuffed in the PTU, or being held that tight, but otherwise she didn't seem bothered much at all by the process.  The only thing left is for the fur to grow back, and that is coming along fine.

And now some totally gratuitous kitten photos.

 In that last photo, I heard Billy yelling and struggling, so I went and checked on them.  Gracie was sitting/laying on Billy's chest, and Billy was fighting to get out from under.  When they saw me, the both stopped, and looked at me like 'Well?  What do you want?  We're fine!'.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Looks like Gracie likes the kitten

It looks like Grace O'Malley is interested in the kitten, not just the kitten glop.  After feeding everyone this morning, I took the kitten and lay down on the bed for a while, mostly just to find out how he'd react.  He crawled around a little, then lay down for a quick nap.  About then, Gracie joined us.

After sleeping a bit, Billy started exploring again, and managed to fall off the bed.  Gracie jumped down and ran after him.  By the time I located everyone, Gracie had him out from under the bed, and he was running around like nothing had happened.

A couple photos, mostly just because.

That last one they had noticed I was taking photos, and were decided whether to complain or not.

If I'd waited a little longer to get Gracie spayed, she might have saved me a lot of stress.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

No real news on the kitten front

Just a quick note, mostly about the gray kitten.

So far, he is doing fine.  He now has teeth, and is willing to use them.  Sometimes I have to fight him to get the bottle back.  He is running around the house with no problems.  When he gets tired, he heads back to the PTU and the heating pad for a nap.  I still lock him in the PTU at night, mostly so I know where he is in the morning.

I've tried a few times to get him to try baby food, with little success.  I usually wind up smearing the food on his nose, or cheek, or chin, if he'll let me get that close to him.  Grace O'Malley thinks Kitten Glop is just the greatest thing, so I haven't had much success trying to leave glop or kitten food out for the kitten.

Grace is starting to play with the kitten a little, though I'm not sure yet if she is more interested in grooming the kitten, or intercepting the kitten's meals.

I've thought about calling him 'Billy White Shoes' (after the football player of a few years ago).  Depends whether Billy Sweet Feets gets unhappy about another Billy in the mix.

aannddd, of course, a short kitten video, for those of you who've read this far and help so much.  Movie is a bit dark, but it is Grace O'Malley & White Shoes checking each other out.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Purrrthday, Marg

Purrrrrrsss from all of us.

UPDATE: Forgot to include a link back to Marg's blog, if you want to add your own Thanks to the list.

Monday, April 2, 2012

We've got eyes

Of course, the eyes are attached to the same squirmy kitten that we've always had, so photos showing the new eyes are a bit hard to collect.

I was starting to wonder, just a little.  Most places said the kitten's eyes would open sometime in the first week or so, and we are starting the third week with this little gray mouser.

In other news, Grace O'Malley seems to have forgotten all about her V*T trip, and is running around like nothing happened.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Back from the V*T

Gracie spent most of the night tucked away someplace sleeping off the drugs.  About dawn she climbed up in the bed and cuddled with me until the alarm went off.  She seems a little sore, but is moving around OK.  The stitches are to be removed in about 10 days, if she hasn't pulled them out herself by then.  (Anne Bonny saved herself the trip by doing exactly that)

On the stray kitten front, I had a jar of baby food that I had no other use for, so I mixed that in with the Kitten Glop.  Figured stray kitten could use the extra protein, and it might start getting him used to the taste of solid food a little.  I tried letting him decide when he was hungry, but it looks like he wants fed anytime I try to cuddle or play with him, so I'm not sure I've gained that much.  But he is eating, and eating well.