Archive for August, 2006

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You know you’re a Cat Breeder (3) when …

31 August, 2006

 RawFeeding1

You know you’re a cat breeder when you buy a chicken costing £6.93 for the cats and then agonise over splurging out £4.95 for a Marks & Spencer’s shepherds pie for yours and hubby’s dinner.

Doubtless, said chicken was a happy free-range chicken. But still. Feeding raw costs a fortune especially when you’re feeding 3 adult cats and 7 ravenous kittens. They are going through about 5 chickens a week. I leave you to work out my food bill (sans hubby’s feed).

I don’t know … maybe I’ll have to switch to commercial because I could be spending time with the kittens rather than sweating over a meat grinder. I can understand why cat breeders feed commercial – it’s just so much more economical and convenient: just open the box/tin/packet … and pour.

And surely commercial can’t be that bad … I do wonder sometimes when I see Grand Champions in the show ring, with luxuriant coats and huge boning, the result of years of Royal Canin Maine Coon.

But I’ve seen the results of raw feeding in my queen, Ananda – she fully-converted to raw about 3 weeks ago and her coat is amazing – her tail is bushier and her energy levels have gone up. This is a queen who’s still nursing. A breeder I know in the US says her queens never lose condition during or after pregnancy because she feeds raw.

I don’t know. It’s 9pm now on a Thursday evening and I’ve got 1.5 hours of chunking and grinding a chicken because if I don’t they won’t have any food tomorrow. Ah … the joys of raw feeding!

Thank goodness hubby likes M&S Shepherds Pie (and Cumberland Pie and anything with mash, actually).

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Look and feel of blog (again)

31 August, 2006

Hello, just to let you know I will be experimenting with different WordPress schemes in a bid to find something that has a sans serif font that is readable, with a clear, uncluttered layout and professional colour schemes.

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Kittens – Litter Training 5 – In their new homes

30 August, 2006

LitterTrays1

So here’s what I have to remember to do or tell kitten owners before they take their new kittens home:

1. Remember to fill the litter tray with both the fresh litter that the kitten is used to, and also add a little of the bag of “soiled” litter. That way the kitten doesn’t have to get used to new litter, and it can smell where it’s supposed to do its business.

2. When you get home, place the kitten in the litter tray and allow it to smell the litter. Scrabble its paws a little so it gets the message.

3. Do not locate the litter tray near the kitten’s food or drink – cats will not defaecate or pee near their litter trays.

4. Locate the litter tray somewhere where the kitten will have some privacy, e.g. not near a door where the neighbourhood cat can stare in. Cats like to poo & pee in private.

5. If you have more than one cat, the rule is one litter tray per cat, plus one. If you only have one cat, you might want to consider getting 2 litter trays because some cats will poo in one and pee in another.

6. If you live in a multi-story house, put litter trays on each floor – kittens are small and may not be able to get to a litter tray on time.

7. Whether you have a hooded or non-hooded tray is your choice, but if you do have a hooded tray, take out the charcoal filters which tend to obscure the air ducts and hence, the ventilation – cats do not like pooing in smelly trays.

8. Clean the litter tray frequently, at least once a day. If you are using a clumping litter, change the litter totally at least once a week.

9. Do not use air fresheners to try to take away the smell of the cat litter – the chemicals used in air fresheners may be poisonous to cats.

10. If the kitten makes a mistake, do not rub its nose in the mess. Cats do not generally like to soil their living environments. Put the mess in the tray and the kitten in the tray. Try putting the kitten in the tray after it has eaten as it may move its bowels then.

11. If you have a multi-cat household, messes may occur if the cats are stressed, so make sure there are enough litter trays so that the dominant bullying cat cannot monopolise all the litter trays at the same time.

12. To clean messes, use a biological detergent, and surgical spirit, or a good cat urine/poo remover.

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You know you’re a Cat Breeder (2) when …

30 August, 2006

You know you’re a Cat Breeder when you refer to your female breeding cat as “my girl” and your stud cat as “my boy”.

Even if your stud cat swaggers in at 25 lbs, reeks to high-heaven of cat pee and testosterone, can pin hapless queens to the floor with one twitch of a whisker, and has a name like Imperial Grand Champion Schwarzenegger Freddy Kruger III, he’s still your “boy”.

Never mind that your breeding queen is a screaming harlot who will scratch doors down when callling, she’s still a simpering little “girl”.

Knowing this will help you understand the mindset of breeders when you next encounter them in a cat show.

I think there’s something about breeders that make them want to reduce their cats to family, and make you think of these cats as little fluff balls of purrdom even when the purpose of their cats is to breed and make kittens. It somehow throws a whimsical veil over what is basically sexual acts between two cats.

And just in case you didn’t know … you know you’re a breeder when queen doesn’t refer to Elizabeth … .

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You know you’re a Cat Breeder (1) when …

29 August, 2006

CatPalace1 You know you’re a Cat Breeder when you place getting a new cat scratching post above getting a new pair of glasses.

This weekend – quel disastre! I broke my spectacle frames at a point that could not be mended (across the bridge) and couldn’t find any of my back-up pairs. I was blind as a mole – the kittens were plump streaks on the floor, I couldn’t even read the blog.

This morning, I found a new set of frames at the optician’s, to the tune of £90, and was discussing the possibility of getting a new set of glasses + lenses because my prescription had changed and I needed varifocals.

So, how much?

£360 the reply was. Just for the lenses (a little apologetically)

But … but … (apart from the unaffordable expense of £360) that was the same amount as what I would pay for a superior cat scratching post from www.catpalace.nl.

The cat post I was lusting after was the RB.4X – 4 tiers crafted from real tree trunks, and finished with artificial ficus leaves. It was as close to natural for indoor cats as could be. I could already see my cats lolling around like little emperors and peeking from between the leaves.

So … glasses or cat scratching post?Glasses1

Please check out www.catpalace.nl, and send me your votes asap – it could mean the difference between the ability to see the no. 125 bus, or happy cats.

Which would you choose?

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Look and feel of blog, plus comments

26 August, 2006

I’ve decided to change the way my blog looks because I found the typeface and font size of the previous theme (I think it as Simpla) was difficult to read, especially when it’s text heavy (which is the way I tend to write).

So I hope you find this easier on your eyes.

I find that with the themes available, it’s always a compromise – I find something with the clean looks I like, but the fonts are too pale and wimpy (and there’s no facility to increase the font size except by adding “STRONG” to the html).

I’ve also taken off the need to register for wordpress membership if you want to leave a comment – I didn’t realise that this was the default option. A friend of mine who blogs with blogspot told me it deters comments when you have to register with the blog site. I agree.

Another thing my friend raised was that she had problems searching for my blog because there is no search facility for blogs on the wordpress.com homepage. Just a joining button. Hmm … why is this when blogspot and livejournal have search facilities?

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Kitten: Panic – Squeaky has swallowed the teat off the bottle

25 August, 2006

I could kill myself.  Squeaky has swallowed the teat off the bottle.I’d stopped hand-feeding her because she wasn’t having to fight for the teat, but she kept running up to me and squeaking for milk. So two nights ago I decided to feed her.  The bottle I use is a Catac bottle – it’s glass, shaped like a banana, open at both ends.  Anyway, the teat had been soaking in Milton’s disinfecting solution and was a little soft.  It was also a little chewed.

Squeaky was so ravenous she sucked the teat and chewed it as she sucked.  Next thing I knew, she had bitten off the end, and before I could stop her, she had swallowed it.

The vet says it should pass out, but if she started vomiting, to bring her in for surgery.

The problem is, Squeaky isn’t weaning onto solids yet … she’s still suckling from mum.  So nothing solid is passing out.  I’ve been encouraging her to drink loads, but I don’t know if that will work.

I’ve done a fingertip search of the litter trays and squished poo like a forensic scientist, but nothing so far.

Please say a prayer for little Squeaky and pray that she won’t have to have the teat removed surgically.

Lesson:  don’t hand-feed kittens if they don’t need it.  And don’t use teats that have been chewed.Addendum: 7 September 2006.

Good news. Squeaky is still doing well. It’s as though nothing has happened. I’m not sure what’s happened to the teat, but I spoke to the vet early this week and he feels that the teat has passed through her – nothing can stay that long in the gut of a cat.

I hope so. Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes (and Squeaky sends you her little mews and purrs too!