Month: February 2018

Stray Cat Sneaks Into House & Decides To Move In

Twitter user @brenaclifton recently had an unexpected guest – who arrived in an unexpected fashion!

This cat is not Brena’s cat. She has no cats. But she welcomed her guest in anyway and posted the video to Twitter, where it was met with a lot of laughter, but not as much surprise as one might expect.

According to the Twitter-verse, this sort of thing happens. A lot. Leave it to the internet to know about these things.

Just as soon as the video went viral, other twitter users chimed in with similar stories. It seems it’s a normal thing for a cat to just show up and make himself comfortable!

Let’s be honest – most of us dream of the day a cat just moves in with us. I don’t think any of these people are complaining.

And if any of you are complaining – please call me. I will take all the cats. All of them.

I’d love to live in a home where the vents magically dispense cats, but I guess we can’t have it all.

It looks like it’s a happy ending for Brena and her kitty roommate. He has since been named Jeffrey, and he looks nice and cozy.

Do you have a cat who adopted you? Share your pictures with us on Facebook!

Featured Photo: Screenshot via @brenaclifton/Twitter

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Tired babies

Helping our kitten grow up healthy and happy means understanding the demands of the Kitten Energy Cycle.

My tired little baby (image shows two pictures, one of a black and white kitten sitting up alertly, the other that same kitten yawning)

Kittens need to play hard and sleep hard. Here’s how to guide that process:

supervised play

The tiny kitten attention span means everything looks like a toy. The more Alpha in our kitten, the more we need to kittenproof. I manage this tendency by leaving out a lot of toys when we have a kitten in residence. I would rather the urge to play light upon an actual toy.

While kittens are highly self-amusing, the downside is that we can neglect playing with them. But we should not. Making ourselves a part of their expanding world is always a good idea, and we can start the gentle guidance and patient repetition which is “kitten training.”

By being there to distract them with a thrown toy or guide them away from trouble areas, they can have fun while being trained. We can look for signs they are getting tired, though they will not make this easy to tell.

wearing out

It usually appears suddenly. The kitten starts blinking, or yawns, and while like all babies they don’t want to go to sleep, they will slow down. Stubborn kittens will sit and and sway, and my kitten Myron would fall asleep with a paw on the toy, so he wouldn’t lose a moment when he woke up again.

It is helpful to be familiar with our kitten’s needs to play and sleep, so we can join in as needed, and also to make sure they embark on their sleep and wake cycles without interference. If we push them too hard to play, they can get overexcited, with digestive upsets, or becoming fearful. Likewise, we should make sure all the humans, even the excited children, do give the kitten the space they need to wind down as they need to, and not be pushed into getting overtired.

When we do see signs our kitten is getting tired, we should stop initiating play. Let them pick their own speed. Sometimes a kitten will seek out our lap, or we can put them in our lap and see if they want a cuddle. The tireder they are, the more likely they are to enjoy our petting hand, not want to attack it out of play instincts.

If they are too rough, we withdraw. A high-pitched little squeak is how littermates let them know they should mind their manners, and this can help a persistent offender realize what they are doing.

sleeping deeply

If they have fallen asleep in a traffic area or other place where they might be disturbed, we can scoop them up and place them in some safe place where they won’t be disturbed. As cute as they are while sleeping, we shouldn’t put them on and off our lap or do anything else that might make them up.

An overhandled kitten who needs sleep can get frustrated and cranky. We never want them to find humans annoying.

I like to keep track of where my kittens like to sleep. We can keep tabs on them without disturbing them, even if we speak very softly or pet the top of their head with one finger. Shy Mithrandir liked to sleep in his cubbyhole, while exhibitionist Tristan would drop in the middle of the floor and sleep there. I would move him to the couch.

A household with dogs or small children needs to take a bit more care in putting the kitten away and making sure no one disturbs them. If we have to leave the kitten alone while we are away from home, put them in a room of their own, with toys, food, water, and a litter box. This keeps the chances of them getting into trouble to a minimum.

As kittens grow, their play/sleep cycles get longer. But all kittens are likely to wake up in the middle of the night. In my post, The 3 AM Problem, I explain the best ways of letting them amuse themselves, and let us sleep.

No matter how exasperating they can be, we should remind ourselves this is a very fleeting moment in their lives. Kitten childhoods are short, and intense.

Just like them.

    Learn more about kitten guidance with Building a strong kitten.

    Got here from a Link or Search?
    There’s more ways to care for our cat with The Way of Cats than the article you are reading now. See all of my posts on CAT CARE.

Over 100 Kittens Have Found Comfort In This Doting Rescue Dog

If Zuca was born to do one thing, it was to be a mother.

When the rescue dog was found wandering the streets on her own, she was heavily pregnant and in need of help. Animal Control took her in, and she gave birth to her puppies in the comfort of a foster home.

Zuca loved mothering her babies, and she was so good at it, she even became a surrogate mother to a few other puppies in need.

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Posted by Zuca's Kittens on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

As her babies grew up, they eventually found forever homes. Zuca was up for adoption too, but for weeks, people passed by her kennel without giving her a chance.

She lived quietly at the shelter for five months before a woman named Ronda saw what no one else did. Unlike the other dogs, Zuca wasn’t jumping at the kennel door or barking. She sat quietly with her barely twitching tail as the only clue to her true feelings.

For Ronda, it was love at first sight. She knew she and Zuca were meant to be, and the two started their lives together that same day.

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Posted by Zuca's Kittens on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

After a life as a stray and then several months at the shelter, living in a home was a lot to take in. She needed time to get comfortable in her new surroundings, but a special friend made it a little easier.

Ronda’s cat, Stout, took an instant liking to the 50-pound dog. She welcomed Zuca into her home, and Zuca was always the most comfortable and the most confident with her feline friend by her side.

When Stout passed away, Zuca was devastated. She missed her friend, and Ronda recognized the signs of depression in her dog. She wanted to help, so she came up with the idea to start fostering kittens.

Their first foster kitten, a feisty girl named Monkey, met Zuca in 2015. Ronda was initially nervous about the barely one-pound kitten interacting with her big dog, but it turned out there was nothing to worry about. Zuca’s motherly instincts kicked in, and she seemed to know exactly what Monkey needed.

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Posted by Zuca's Kittens on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Zuca let Monkey climb on her back, bite her ears, and get cuddly on the floor. She was always gentle, and Ronda saw her formerly depressed dog come back to life. When it was time for Monkey to move on to a forever home, Ronda brought in more kittens.

With each new litter, Zuca never hesitated to take on the role of foster mother. When the kittens were shy and afraid, Zuca knew to hang back and give them their space. When they were sociable and playful, the mother dog was quick to give kisses. She seemed to know exactly what each individual kitten needed, and her foster felines flourished in her care.

Since she first met Monkey in 2015, Zuca has cared for over 100 kittens. All have since gone on to forever homes, and in many cases, their relationship with their canine surrogate helped them find families. This is because adopters with their own dogs saw the kittens getting along with Zuca, and they wanted that same energy and love in their own homes.

Zuca is now 12 years old, but she’s not letting her age stop her from doing what she does best. She and Ronda plan to take in more fosters this kitten season.

Featured image via Facebook/Zuca’s Kittens

H/T: Love Meow

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Woman Gets A Tattoo Of Her Cat With Ink Made From His Hair

How far would YOU go to make your kitty part of your life forever?

Kathrin Toelle, a model from Germany, wants to keep her beloved Maine Coon, Gizmo, “under her skin” forever through the ink of an innovative tattoo!

No stranger to permanent body art, Toelle learned about a service called Skin46, which “extracts medically clean carbon out of the hair of your loved ones,” according to their website.

Image Source: Screen Shot via Skin46

The company is located in Switzerland and is offering 50% off to “Early Birds” willing to be backers on their soon-to-be-up Kickstarter page.

And the service isn’t cheap. According to The Sun, a full-priced batch of custom ink costs about £518 (or $724), “but each batch can stretch to around 30 small tattoos or 10 larger designs.”

A post shared by SKIN46 (@skin46ink) on Nov 25, 2016 at 11:45pm PST

And that doesn’t include the cost of actually getting the tattoo !

For some, it’s a small price to pay for a meaningful tribute to a beloved pet or family member. (Yes, you can use human hair too!)

As for, 10-year-old Gizmo, he’s still alive and well. But Toelle loves having a piece of her kitty with her everywhere she goes.

“Gizmo is a very clumsy and sweet cat. He loves to play with little balls and is always stealing my hair bands,” she told The Sun.

(h/t: The Sun)

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The landslide of love

It can seem like magic: that moment a troubled cat accepts our love.

Once that first gesture is made, things speed up.

K-- is no longer the cat who hides all the time. (image shows a marmalade tabby with a white chin and belly, blissfully relaex on her person's arm and cuddled into her person's chest)

This cat reacted with such panic when she was adopted at eight months old she had to be dragged out of the ceiling at the shelter. Just look at her now!

In a previous post, Dear Pammy, THANK YOU, I shared a reader’s success in a very challenging situation. This cat’s person checked in with me to report even more progress since then.

Hi there! I just wanted to thank you again and show you how far K– has come! After she came out from under the bed, I waited a long time to touch her. But the second I did, she realized how wonderful petting is and has been an absolute snuggle bug. She’s lying in my lap belly-up as I write this. She still regresses when there are strangers in the house, or I have to take her somewhere, but she’s very happy and secure at home with me.

She’s a super weird cat at this point, she asks to be picked up off the ground, likes belly rubs, makes faces when I hit just the right spot. I can’t believe she’s the same cat that no one at the shelter could even touch!

Your blog was such a huge help in learning how to gain her trust, so thank you so much ?

It’s all about speaking Cat, and meaning what we say.

the challenged cat

Of course, cats can only develop along the lines of their potential. We embark on cat rehabilitation knowing only that we can take the cat further than they are now. We don’t know how far they can go.

Some cats, no matter how happy and secure, will always shun lapsitting to work out other ways of being close to their people. Some cats are not going to be verbal no matter how much we encourage them. Some cats will always hide from strangers no matter how welcoming those strangers may be.

Our task is to help our cat be their personal best.

That’s going to vary. I’ll never make a Gamma like Smokepuff into a Greeter Cat. I won’t turn Alpha-Circus-Cat Tristan into Beta-Couch-Potato Reverend Jim. I’m never going to convince our Beta-Tortie-Nannycat Olwyn that she can lighten up.

I can guide their natural energies into more helpful and less destructive channels. I can find ways to help Olwyn calm down and Mithrandir to relax, despite their respective Tortitude and Ferality. I found ways to wear out Tristan without wearing us out. I brought terribly neglected RJ up to speed when his brain needed help.

This wasn’t about changing the cat into something they will never be. It was about improving the cat’s problems so they could be who they are.

the incredible connection

One thing I love about K–‘s story is how her person “just knew” there was more to be uncovered in this cat, and was proved correct.

How do we know? Well, we don’t, actually. We are taking a “leap into the void.” But feeling a connection with a cat is always a great place to start any relationship.

It’s the beginning of communication, so they can see we care. It starts a relationship, so we can tell they care. That is going to transform any cat. They aren’t going to reach out if they don’t want help and support.

That little spark can be fanned into a warm flame.

Because the beginning of a troubled cat relationship can be tough sledding, we can keep going with tiny little bits of progress. We must remember this process is unfolding in Cat Time, not on human terms. And every step creates the risk of the cat retreating to think about the new thing they have learned. It’s a slow process and we have to feel rewarded by small things at first.

But one quick Cat Kiss or a paw extended for just a second will be a sign of things to come.

the increasing speed

All of these morsels of trust are accumulating, even if we have trouble seeing it in the day by day routine. It is akin to the exponential growth equation, where small numbers leads to small increases, and that leads to large numbers, and large increases. At first the numbers are tiny, barely perceptible. But as we keep sending the love our cat’s way, it expands their own heart.

At some point, their heart reaches Critical Mass… and explodes into a realization of trust.

That is what happened in the breakthrough moment above: I waited a long time to touch her. But the second I did, she realized how wonderful petting is and has been an absolute snuggle bug.

She does have a lot to catch up on.

I want the world to know that even the most frightened and uncharming kitties need love and they will grow to trust eventually.

I agree. When they do melt, so do our own hearts.

    Here’s another post about a cat transformed by love, The Power of Love.

    Got here from a Link or Search?
    There’s more ways to get our cat to be affectionate in The Way of Cats than the article you are reading now. See all of my CAT AFFECTION posts.

Rescue Cat Lost His Ears, But Gained A Family Full Of Special Needs Cats!

Purrfect Pals Cat Sanctuary in Arlington, Washington has a place for every kitty that comes their way. As a no-kill shelter, they’re happy to take in cats that other shelters would consider “unadoptable.” They offer a comfortable place for cats who are old, ill, or antisocial to wait for their forever homes, no matter how long it may take.

Pika made his way to Purrfect Pals last year after he was found as a stray living outdoors underneath a shed. He clearly needed medical attention, and the family who found him took him to a vet with hopes of helping him heal and giving him a home. Pika lost his ears to a skin issue, but not his ability to hear. His rescuers attempted to make him a part of their family, but quickly learned that Pika was terrified of their dogs. When they saw that their home wasn’t the right fit for him, they took him to Purrfect Pals, where they knew he would be given a fair chance at finding the right family.

Image Source: Purrfect Pals


Pika proved to be a sweet, affectionate boy and charmed the volunteers and staff at the shelter with his loving personality. The loss of his ears may have made him appear “broken” to some, but he quickly became a favorite for the people who got the pleasure of interacting with him.

This is where Pika met Jane, a volunteer with a soft spot for cats who need extra medical care. Jane had already adopted a number of other special-needs cats from Purrfect Pals, including Lefty, who is partially blind, Freckles, who has stomatitis, and Chrissy Lee, who has corneal herpes. Jane had heard about Pika from other volunteers, and by the time she met him, she already knew she wanted him to come home with her!

Image Source: Purrfect Pals


Pika took some time to get used to his new home, and at first, Jane was even worried that he might not fit in with the rest of her feline family. She told iHeartCats:

“We have an integration system in our house that involves gates and gated rooms… He was fine in his gated room but loud noises definitely scared/scare him. I’m not sure if he hears differently not having most of his ears or if it was because he’s new or he was still getting used to not being a stray…”

Image Source: Purrfect Pals


“For over a week, he was content in that room then one day he decided to follow me out so I allowed him out… It was on his timeframe and I’d say he was easier than most to integrate. He immediately got very playful and was fond of carrying around a fuzzy cat toy in his mouth.”

Image Source: Purrfect Pals


Pika is still taking time to get used to his new family, but Jane says that she sees the other cats taking an interest in their newest addition.

“I think Pika prefers our mostly blind cat, though he doesn’t seem to care one way or the other unless they are bothering him… Lefty is completely harmless and non-territorial or aggressive. He’s goofy and just wants to play. I’ve seen them all sleep right near Pika at various times. He doesn’t initiate it but he doesn’t seem that bothered.”

“When I adopted him I realized that there was risk, but there is risk with all cats. He deserved a home with a warm bed and people to wait on him. So – we’ll just do the best we can. We have awesome vets and will make his life the best we can make it.”

Image Source: Purrfect Pals


Visit Purrfect Pals at their website and on Facebook.

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