Friday, September 27, 2013

Here, kitty, kitty...

Yeah, I could have used a photo of the word Hell with icicles, but I love Alan Rickman as Snape.

It did happen. Hell froze over.

My husband has fallen for a cat.

Yes, a cat.

The problem is that he is a dog person. No cats. I have never seen him show any affection for any cat. I remember him telling his kids how to "play" with their mother's cat by wrapping its feet in aluminum foil. He can't stand the semi-feral cats that breed on our neighbors porch. Litter after litter since we've moved to Winchester. They wander through our driveway, sit on our trucks, and tear up our trash.

Until now, when the last litter produced a kitten that likes Ghon. She greets Ghon when he comes home from work. She meows for him - and he meows back. She has a strong little motor, purring intensely, and constantly when he - gasp - holds her.

Do you see this? He is playing with it. He is SMILING while holding a cat!

I too have always been a dog person. I was raised by dog people. I have seen a few cats that I've thought were cute or cool, but I've never wanted to own my own. The kids love dogs and cats equally. They would love a kitten.

But our dogs, yeah, they don't like cats. We may or may not have had something to do with encouraging that dislike.

Ghon and I talked about maybe needing to get a cat for the farm. His sister-in-law said she never had a mouse problem while living there. She had at least two cats. Ghon's father and mother-in-law did have mice - and no cat.

I hate mice and snakes, and the farmhouse has both.

Since the cats were bred, born, live at, and fed by the neighbors, we casually asked if they would mind if we take one. We were told to take them all. Thanks, but no thanks. Our neighbor did share with us that the cats would be good for the farm - they've found dead squirrels, a shrew, and two black snakes on their porch.

The cats will kill mice. They have killed snakes. I am totally in. I want a cat. That cat. She has a sibling that looks a lot like her, but she is a bit more aloof. She's comes over and meows at us, but not close enough for us to pick her up.

Being a dog person, I can't say I completely get the cat mentality. I think I've learned over the years that this would mean that aloof cat would likely be demanding for food and otherwise pretty independent. It would probably sleep under the bed or in a separate room, whereas Miss Meow Meow, let me rub all over your calves and roll on your feet and let you hold me would probably sleep on our pillows and come running when we come home. Hell, she already does when Ghon comes home.

As if the giddy face wasn't enough, Ghon actually had me buy cat food and a bowl today. He plans to start sucking up to the cat even more.

You cat people are going to have to tell me if any of this is true, or if it will work.

I have no clue on how to litter train a cat. I am a little nervous to just take her to the house and throw her in with a litter box and bowl of food. Especially with the hole of dirt still in the living room. I can see it becoming a huge litter box. But I'm intrigued by the idea of finding some dead mice though. I really don't care to see them alive or dead, but dead would make me happier.

So again, cat people, let me know what to do here. We can't bring her into our current house for the dogs. I'm even a little nervous for our parrot. This gal will definitely be an indoor cat, but we are still contemplating an outdoor cat too. I suggested one of her siblings, as she got a little sassy with look-a-like when I tossed out some treats today. But how do I keep them from agitating chickens - or do I even need to worry about that?

Please, leave your comments here on the blog. At the end of the page, click "leave a comment." Enter your comment and you can select your google profile or use Name/URL as your identity and just add your name. Please. Tell me what to do with a cat!

Now, with all that cat nonsense behind us, take a look at what Ghon did on Wednesday!

Before and after. Top right is the only section done. I LOVE the color of the floor. Clear seal all the way!

Tuesday night I ran out and picked him up a belt sander so that the floor sanding process could go a lot faster. Well, turns out it didn't really make that much of an impact. Maybe a little, but it was still very time consuming. After cleaning out the mudroom the last round of chick brooding, he sanded for a bit then went to work on the road up the mountain. He cleared back about a quarter mile of roadway for the truck or Dad's Ranger. Of course, he also found a spot to hang his new tree stand.

Want to know what else he found? Lots, and lots, of bear poop. He's seen a bear on the property before and was able to capture some pictures of it on his trail camera last year. He's seen evidence in the form of destruction and poop. Never enter the woods unarmed...

Ghon works all weekend, but I am planning to get to the farm to relocate some Rose of Sharon. I think they are pretty trees, but still can't stand them lining the driveway. We'll see how far I can get with the kids running around.

I took off work next Monday and Tuesday. Monday both Ghon and I will be working at the farm. His goal is to cut some fallen trees into shorter lengths then split and stack. I understand how hard this work can be, and am actually looking forward to it. He also said I can use the chainsaw. I'm a little worried and a little bit more excited about that.


  1. Congrats! Kitties are great pets. She's a cutie. Brown tabby with white? Anyway, first thing you do is get her checked by your vet, shots, and spayed. Shots because I am assuming she will be at least part time outdoors? So she could be exposed to all sorts of stuff from strays. And rabies, for sure, especially with all the wildlife you have around there. Plus rabies is mandatory by law in many places. You do not want to have to deal with her howling when in heat if you try to keep her in, nor do you want to put up with every tom in the county spraying and fighting in your yard. And, need I mention- no kittens!

    Litter training is often easier than you might expect. I would keep her away from the dirt floor, just as a precaution. She might not try to use it, but better to get her used to a box first. If you have a smallish room you can lock her in, with food, water, and a litter box for a few weeks, that is ideal. Cats are pretty fastidious about things, and she *should* get the hang quickly. There is a litter called Cat Attract you can get at places like Petsmart that often works very well at getting a cat used to using a box. It actually works, and it clumps harder than any litter I've ever tried (and I've tried a LOT). It's a few cents more expensive but can be worth it. Use scoopable, whatever you decide, and scoop it daily (or at least quite often). If the box isn't clean enough, that can trigger a cat to not want to use it.

    Get a scratching post, preferable with a few different textures (rope, carpet, wood areas). Some cats have a definite preference for scratching material and you don't want her to pick your furniture or rugs because she doesn't have anything she likes. We have had luck with the corrugated cardboard scratch thingies, also. If she likes wood (which she may as she is outdoors now, perhaps Ghon can rig something up with a log from a cut tree? It should be tall or long enough that she can stretch out to scratch. A little catnip rubbed on the post/box can help get her interested, also.

    Toys- she should have some indoors, even if she will be out part time. Stuff she can bat around, feather wands for interactive play (a great way to teach the kid appropriate play/behavior with the cat. Cats often don't tolerate stuff they don't like as well as some dogs, so teaching the right way to play with kitty is a good idea from the start. Avoids scratches and making the kitty afraid of the kids.).

    What else? Oh, if she is outside part time, she should have a source of water out there. I wouldn't do food, since that can attract unwanted visitors. Of course, if you do barn cats at some point, you will want food out for them, but it can be dealt with at that point. I think that's about all that I can think of offhand. If you have questions, you have my email or FB message me. If you do want barn cats at some point, they are somewhat different, but many things are the same. We can talk about that later, if you decide to go there when things are ready.

    Oh, and the second cat? Go for her! Two are good company for each other, you'll have twice as many to gang up on the unwanted vermin, and I bet the second one warms up to you, also. May not be a cuddler/lap slut, but they are all different. Best to let them be themselves. If she is already at least friendly to you, she will probably be fine.

    1. Yes, vet check first and foremost! I worry every time I hold her if she already has some illness. Absolutely spaying her. I know how over populated the cat section of shelters are and I've seen entirely too many litters next door to introduce more. There seem to be three hanging around from the last litter, the girl in the pictures, a sibiling that looks so much like her, I have a hard time telling them apart - until I see the personality. There is a black one with white paws too. She is the one that got sassy - and I am thinking outdoor girl/barn cat. The three of them sit together still on the neighbor's porch, cuddled together on a chair. I too was hoping maybe Ghon could construct some scratching posts for her. Not sure if it's her or the twin that I've seen scratching at the tree out front. Thanks for the litter recommendation. I walked through the aisle at the store and was so confused as to where to begin. Same with food. I picked some up recommended for kittens that live outside. I figured some toys will be next. I think there is a run to Petsmart in my future tomorrow...the bird needs food, the fish tank needs new fish, and the cat, well, I guess she needs a toy.