• Category Archives Cats
  • Quick update

    Not a whole lot going on right now.  Or rather, what is going on I’m better off not talking about in public till its settled…..lets just say that attempting to screw with my career cause you have issues with women in power is a really bad idea.

    Anyway, to top off my lovely New Year I’ve just found out that the one and only antiperspirant that I’ve found that I can wear reliably without breaking out into a rash has been discontinued.  Their clear gel version is still availible, so I may have to give it a try.  I’m not a fan of the gel antiperspirants, but its better than breaking out in a massive rash on a regular basis….

    I have some very happy pepper seedlings:



    And Shadow is definitely becoming more comfortable in our house:



    though we’re still trying to convince him that Arty isn’t really devil spawn.


    The birds have been clearing the feeders almost as fast as I fill them, hard to blame them, its been a hard winter:

    IMGA2720 IMGA2728 IMGA2745 IMGA2755 IMGA2782 IMGA2799a


    Turns out they’ve had help with the feeders though:



    we’ve not had much of a squirrel problem the last few years, but I’m pretty sure I recognize that particular one from last year…..Apollo was also very happy to “scare off” an opossum the other night.  I think it was  me flipping on the lights that really made it decide to leave the feeders, but Apollo’s sure that it was responding to him barking at it.

    The deer have been back, though I don’t have time right now to upload those photos, I’ll do it later.  They’re looking skinnier, not sure if they’re just shedding their winter coats, or if this winter is finally taking its toll.

  • NYs new animal rights law

    Text of the bill is HERE.

    ALL it does is allow local municipalities to enact stricter punishments than the state law.  Seriously.  After reading it I didn’t  understand why all the Animal Rights people were jumping for joy over it.

    Then I read THIS article.

    Money quote:

    “I think any police officer should be able to pull over and say let me see your license and paperwork. And if that dog is not spayed or neutered, it would be wonderful if they can fine that individual,” says McNeely.

    Christine McNeely is the executive director of the local Humane Association of Central NY.

    There are SO MANY things wrong with that statement its not even funny.

    First off, can you say HUMAN rights violation, for the cops to be able to stop you and ask for “your paperwork” just because you happen to be with a dog??

    Then lets look at the stupidity of mandatory spay/neuter laws, which do NOT work.  If you have a decent low cost spay/neuter program then the only folks who haven’t spayed or neutered their dog or cat either aren’t going to anyway, or don’t know about the program.  All the law does is fine them, force them to give up the animal when they can’t afford the fine, at which point they go to the BYB down the road and get another puppy.  Meanwhile the dog they gave up is sitting at the local pound and probably getting put down for “space”.

    And then there’s recent research on the fairly serious negatives of spaying/neutering dogs at an early age, with some research pointing out negatives for spay/neuter at ANY age.  Seriously, we’ve known for a long time that the removal of hormones does bad things to HUMANS, why we ever thought it wasn’t going to do bad things to other animals I do NOT understand.

    And, basic fact of life here, if you legislate out all the responsible hobby breeders by making it so incredibly expensive to breed, the only ones left breeding will be the puppy mills who can afford to pay for whatever permits are needed, and the BYBers who don’t care or don’t know about the law and slide under it for various reasons!  Yup, laws like this just make it MORE possible to find a puppy from a puppy mill.  Not less.

    If they REALLY want to put the puppy mills out of business then they need to forbid the selling of cats/dogs in petstores or other retail settings, and they need to forbid the selling of them online.  The GOOD breeders don’t sell online, they list their litters planned, and show pictures of the pups, but no transactions are done via the website.  

    But of course that won’t happen, cause the folks behind the puppy mills have money, and money talks when it comes to politics!

  • *headdesk* aka the reason I have very little respect for most animal rescue groups…

    Back at the end of January we had to put Janie down.  It hurt, but she was miserable, and nothing was helping any more.

    One thing I started doing, almost immedietly, was looking for a new cat.  Not because I wanted a new cat so soon, cause really, I didn’t.  But because in order to fit into this household a cat is going to have to fit some fairly strict criteria, and I knew it was going to take time to find a cat who did.

    The problem of course is Arty’s prey drive.  He understands that he’s not allowed to chase MY cats, but any cat he doesn’t ID as mine is fair game, and I’ve not been able to break that yet (and may not be able to ever).  Any new cat that enters my house will have a period of time where, if it makes a “prey like” move Arty will attempt to pounce, it IS going to take me time to get him to realize this is MY cat.  SO: No kittens, they’re to small and helpless and to likely to do things like scamper accross the floor in a mad dash…..I’d prefer a young adult cat, between 1-3 years of age.  The cat needs to already be dog savvy.  And a larger cat is probly a good idea.  A laid-back temperment is also required, to put up with Arty.

    Now I already knew that my local shelter had a strict policy of not adopting dogs into a home with an intact dog.  The fact that the dog I’d been looking at was already spayed had no bearing on their decision.  Apollo’s intact and thats that.  But surely it was different for their cats…..

    Nope.  Intact dog, therefor no cat for me.  I shook my head and started casting my net wider.

    And repeatedly ran into the same policy.  Apollo’s intact, therefor MULTIPLE rescues will not adopt an already “fixed” cat to me.

    Guys, I promise Apollo has no taste for rape, much less cross-species rape, and the Tibetan Meow-stiff is an urban legend, I swear……

    Its so bad that when I run across a new rescue I no longer email asking for more info on specific animals, and I no longer fill out the adoption application.  Instead the first thing I do is email asking if they will adopt a CAT into a home that has an intact DOG.

    I haven’t found one yet.

    These same rescues constantly go on about not being able to find homes for all their animals.  These same rescues can’t understand why people end up getting their next cat or dog from some BYB on Craigslist.

    They do it to themselves.

  • I haven’t posted much about my cats

    The dogs tend to be more photogenic, so its easier to focus on them.  But a cat update.

    For Trouble not much has changed.  She still lives up to her name, enticing Arty into chasing her and then swatting him with claws when he does, and trying to eat any piece of plastic bag type material I miss when cleaning up.

    Unfortunetly the same can’t be said for Janie.  Her health has continued to deteriorate.  We keep having to adjust her thyroid meds.  She’ll be stable and then her thyroid will go screwy again.  One of her last sets of bloodwork showed some odd numbers that the vet thought MIGHT be indicitive of Addisons disease.  Addisons is REALLY rare in cats, but its inevitably fatal if not treated, so we tested for it.  Came back negetive for Addisons, but possibly positive for Cushings (which is basically the exact opposite).  Except its only possibly positive.  And while Cushings is technically easily treatable, when you add in her other problems (random pancreatitus, kidneys slowly failing, an out of control thyroid, occasional IBS) we don’t know how the meds will work with her.  I HIGHLY suspect that the REAL cause of her out of control thyroid isn’t that her thyroid is getting worse, its that her kidney’s are getting worse resulting in improper dosages of medication actually getting absorbed.  But checking her kidney’s requires another ultrasound, which means another day spent at the vets, and every time we do that she comes home sicker from the stress, and we have to re-integrate her into the household cause she smells so odd that none of the other animals want to deal with her…..and I think she’s heading into another bout of pancreatitus on top of needing her thyroid meds adjusted again…..the bad days are starting to outweigh the good ones, and I’m not sure its fair to her to keep prolonging the pain and misery…..

  • For American cat and dog owners

    And anyone else who cares.

    The American Veterinary Medical Association is considering putting into place a policy officially frowning on the feeding of raw diets to household pets.

    Now yes, the AVMA does not make the laws in this country, it would “only” be a policy.  Yah right.

    First up: as a raw feeder myself, I can tell you the frustrations of trying to get a vet to tolerate the concept of a raw diet.  If this policy is passed it will become yet one more stick to beat you with when you tell them you feed raw.

    2nd: The AVMA is a highly regarded association.  If THEY pass the policy who else is going to follow suit.  Already two separate Therapy dog organizations do NOT allow raw fed dogs to be certified.

    3rd: The stated reason the AVMA is considering this policy is because one of the above mentioned Therapy dog organizations asked them too.  Why would they do that?  Well, Purina’s Marketing Director just so happens to serve on the board of said Therapy dog organization.

    4th: A HUGE percentage of the money donated to the AVMA’s charity arm comes from petfood manufacturers.

    You gunny people ought to see where the real concern is.  Alot of the pet people just aren’t getting it.  “The AVMA doesn’t create laws, so whats the fuss?  They can’t stop me from feeding what I want to my dog.”  Nope, the AVMA can’t.  That’s correct.  But how long before some one in government notices the AVMA policy and figures if its important enough for the AVMA to make a policy then maybe it ought to be law?  How long be fore someone in Child Protective Services notices the AVMA policy and decides that someone deliberately feeding raw to a pet in the household where a child lives is “knowingly putting the child in danger due to exposure to pathogens”?

    Oh yes, “pathogens”, such an ugly word.  It conjures up a horrible list of bacterias and pests.  And certainly raw meats do carry the risk of some of this.  Even raw meat headed for human consumption.  However, human grade raw meat has a lower risk of such than many, and when its the human grade foods there’s a HUGE push to get it recalled in a timely manor.  There’s no such push with processed pet food.

    Oh yes, processed pet foods, kibbles and canned foods.  The stuff the AVMA apparently wants you to feed to your cat or dog instead of that evil germy meat.  The stuff that sent a total of 49 HUMANS (and god knows how many animals cause the FDA doesn’t keep track of that), to their doctors for medical treatment just this spring.  And thats just the folks who required medical treatment.  Who knows how many people got sick and never went to their doctor cause it wasn’t THAT bad.  And Diamond’s recall is by no means the first to cause sickness not only in the pets who eat it, but in the humans in contact with those animals.

    I can think of quite a few pet food recalls where a significant number of humans got sick too, on top of the sick and dying animals.  I’m unable to come up with a single pre-packaged raw diet that caused the same wide spread problems.  And although human grade meats DO get recalled, I can’t think of a single instance where that meat was fed to an animal, and anyone other than the animal’s immediate caretaker (and possibly their household & attending vet) got sick.  And the instances of the animal them self getting sick from “contaminated” human grade meat?  Even fewer.  Carnivores have been designed, (via evolution or God, your choice) to eat raw meat that may not be completely safe, their bodies are MADE to handle it safely.


    Truth About Pet Food article 1

    Truth About Pet Food article 2

    The actual text of the proposed policy

    The AVMA’s response to the uproar

    Additional article on the subject

    Additional article on the subject

    Change.org petition

    Oh, and for anyone running across this, this policy is NOT specifically limited to “prepackaged raw” only.  The policy text specifies ANY raw and unpasteurized foods, also:

    So please stop trying to tell me how the policy isn’t going to effect you….

  • That moment

    When I got home from work today the heat powered fans had been knocked off the top of the woodburning stove.  Didn’t think much of it, picked them up, made a mental note to figure out which animal was responsible and finished putting away the groceries.

    A while later I hear what sounded like a bird flapping its wings against the window.  Except there was no bird.

    A while later I noticed that Trouble seemed awefully facinated with the top of the stove.  I figured I’d found the culprit, chased her off, and went on with my evening.

    A while later I heard that sound again.

    Except this time it sounded like it was coming from the stove.

    A moment of brilliance, I opened the stove door to see wtf?

    A moment of flight as the House Sparrow shot for the door.

    A moment of ‘holy crap’ as Trouble made a flying leap and caught it on her first jump.

    A moment of ‘uhoh’ as Apollo convinced Trouble to give him the bird, and let it go.

    Another moment of ‘holy crap’ as Apollo duplicated Trouble’s jump.

     Apollo was a good boy and took it to his crate to eat, as I racked my brain trying to remember if sparrows carried anything that might be dangerous to him.  Except he was baffled by the feathers, so I was able to convince him to trade for a treat.


  • Apollo WANTS to GET that cat

    This cat, in case you weren’t sure what cat I meant.

    He’s great with my cats, and he’s never had an issue with any of the cats owned by various inlaws and families who’s houses he’s visited.  But something about that one cat…He put serious effort into trying to drag Husband across the street last night to get at said cat.  And he did it again to me this morning, Husband watched his lack of success this morning and said he might have to start using the prong collar too.

  • The house across the street

    When we were first looking at houses to buy we ran across two houses directly across the street from each other listed under the same realtor.  Took an evening to come out and look at them both.  The one we bought had the larger acreage, if slightly older house, better cared for house/property, the pool, the attached (large) garage, the carport, the woodburning stove…the one across the street might have been newer, but it wasn’t in quite as nice a shape, didn’t have the above mentioned extras, and the current owners were smokers.  We put in an offer on ours, a bit under the asking price, and got it no problem.  The house across the street was listed for 10k more than we bought for.

    The following spring the house across the street still hadn’t been sold, and the owner turned it over to the bank (not sure if he walked away or not, didn’t ask), who sold it that summer for significantly less than he’d been asking for it.

    The folks who bought it have 4 kids, and at the time only had one dog.  Seemed nice enough, rarely saw the dog except when someone was outside.  They said she was 11 years old, and she didn’t like Apollo at all.

    September they got a puppy.  Cute little thing, looks like a smooth coated collie or similar.  Terrified of Apollo from day one.  Mid November we started to realize that the reason Apollo had taken a sudden dislike to the sight of both dogs was because they had taken a sudden liking to using our yard as their potty area.  It explained the random piles of poo that didn’t belong to Apollo.  See, apparently at their old house, the older dog had been trained to stay in their yard with no fence, or restraint.  I have my doubts.  At any rate they never did any training with her to teach her the NEW boundaries, so when they let the dogs out for potty and exercise they didn’t bother to restrain them, and just ASSUMED that the older dog was teaching the puppy the boundaries.  They were “surprised” when I chased the dogs back across the street one evening and asked them to keep their dogs out of my yard…..

    Apollo goes ballistic at the site of a dog in his yard without permission.  I don’t really want to come home one day and discovered he figured out how to go through a window.

    At least one of the random piles of poo I picked up contained a rather large number of worms, and worms are the LEAST worrisome thing that can be passed on by dog feces.

    And neither dog is light colored, and they were coming across the street to reach my yard.  The street is not lit at night, and there’s no posted speedlimit, which means its the state limit of 55mph, which means even after dark people FLY down the road.  I really don’t want to have someone knocking on my door at 9:30 at night cause a dog ran out of my driveway and got hit.

    I tried to be patient, and give them time to do the retraining that would be needed to make sure the dogs stayed on the property, or take the other steps required to ensure it.  But nothing changed, and at the beginning of January I went back over and we had another discussion.  They swore they were working on it.

    End of January I called animal control for the first time.  It must have made SOME impact, for the next few weeks they sent a kid out with the dogs (almost) every time they let the dogs out.  Not that sending a kid out did much when the kid wasn’t paying attention.  But I considered it an effort, and took it.

    Till the end of February when they stopped sending the kids out with the dogs, and the dogs started coming across the street again.  This time I didn’t go over to have a chat.  I just called animal control again.

    Just about the same time period as my 2nd call they got a 3rd dog.  Young male, possibly a boxer.  Donno what the ACO said to them this time, but ever since then if the dogs are outside they’re on tieouts.  Its an improvement.  I’m not sure how long I expect it to last, but I’ll take it.  However if that boxer is ever allowed loose at a time when we’re out with Apollo its not going to be pretty.  He hits the end of his cable every time he see’s Apollo.

    Of course, now they got a cat.

    And they allow the cat free access to roam like they did the dogs.

    Today the cat wandered across the street and strolled down my driveway to plant its butt in the middle of it, watching the swallows soar overhead.