Olivia's Opinions

Hi, everyone ... it's me, Olivia! 

And my opinion for today is ...  I'm going to relax on the porch and do absolutely nothing. 

Why?  Because I can!


Animal bonding

Hi, everyone - MP here!  Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Of the many things I enjoy about living with multiple animals, one of the most special, other than the very unique and specific relationships that I develop with each one, is seeing the bonds that develop among the animals themselves, and they aren't always ones that you might have predicted.  When I was about thirteen, my dad rescued a tiny three week old kitten and brought her home to me to raise.  I bottle-fed her, and our relationship was always very close, but Reni's primary allegiance in life was to our Border Collie, Missy, whom she would snuggle up to for hours, and even attempt to nurse from, something Missy tolerated with an air of world-weary, yet distinctly maternal, patience.  It always seemed to surprise people that we had a dog and a cat who had such a close bond, but it's one that I've seen repeated in the current group of animals I live with, in which Olivia clearly prefers the company of Tucker and Phoebe to that of Tanner or Finn.  

When I first brought Olivia home, Tucker became her self-appointed nanny, watching over her, cleaning her ears and face, lying down with her for naps.  Something which Olivia seemed determined to pass on when Dakotah was recovering from surgery (he had a two and a half inch long incision on his neck where he had to have a suspected malignancy removed).  I brought him home and put him on his bed in the living room, and Livvy went right over and lay down next to him, purring her little heart out.  Tucker was right behind her, and they gathered close to their "big brother" and gave him comfort just by their very presence, something they both repeated often in later years, as Dakotah was preparing to take his leave from us.

I unfortunately didn't take as many pictures of those moments as I should have, and the ones I did take were wiped out when my laptop was infected by a virus two years ago, though I can see them in my mind's eye as clearly as if they happened yesterday. 

But just the other day, I saw a picture and heard a story about two cats that really touched me, and the cats' mom, Heather, graciously gave me permission to post the pictures here and tell you a bit about the story behind them ... 

Meet Elvin and Artie ... 

When Heather and her family adopted Artie from their local shelter at eight months of age, they were told that his left front leg had been broken and was never set properly, so Artie always walked hunched over on his elbow.  Typical of many animals with disabilities, Artie never seemed to realize that there was anything the least wrong with him, and once he was in a home setting and had the space to run around,  he turned into a typical kitten, and with the all the racing around his previously broken leg began to swell up.  When ice packs and restricted activity failed to reduce the swelling for any length of time, the vet advised that amputation was the best thing for Artie.  

The picture above shows Artie's "big brother," Elvin, giving Artie a reassuring nose nuzzle through the bars of Artie's hospital cage, something which Heather tells me is particularly meaningful in light of the fact that Elvin turns into a holy terror at the vet's office, and will shun the other cats in the house when they return home smelling like "cat fix-it."  But rather than growling or hissing at his convalescing friend, who certainly had the vet smell all over him after his surgery and overnight hospital stay, Elvin was nothing but gentle and loving to Artie, even curling up on a nearby blanket to keep him company ...

If you would like to offer Artie some well wishes, you can do so here.  Or if you want to tell Elvin what a great big brother he is, you can do that here .

What special relationships have you observed between the animal companions who share your lives? 

* Photos with kind permission of Heather Laskey


House Rules

Hi, everyone ... it's me, Finn.

And around our house, we have rules that Mom gives us to follow - SHE says mostly for our own safety.  One of them is that I'm not supposed to get on top of the china cabinet in the dining room because she's afraid I'll break off one of my legs jumping down.  I don't like that rule very much because I really like it up there, especially because neither of the other two cat kids can get up there, but *I* can because like a certain other small black cat made famous by T.S. Eliot and Andrew Lloyd Webber, I can "creep through the tiniest crack and walk on the narrowest rail."  

So, Mom, I love you ... but when it comes to this one rule, I'm sorry, but ...

I am just going to have to pretend I didn't hear you.  (And if you want, YOU can just pretend that you don't SEE me!  Sound fair?  I thought so!)


50 Shelters - 50 States (Ares Update!)

Hi, everyone!  MP here!  I don't know how many of you will recall, but back in March, for the 50/50 series, I had profiled a darling kitty, Ares, who was available for adoption through the Purr-Fect Haven Cat Rescue in Delaware.  I fell in love with Ares' sweet face immediately, and his story really touched me as well.  You can read a little bit about his back story here .

I corresponded with Purrfect Haven's Executive Director, Kristen Mondeaux, quite a bit about Ares, and was therefore thrilled to learn that Ares had been adopted by a wonderful family!  I know a lot of you were touched by Ares' story, and his new mom very kindly agreed to answer some questions about how he's settling in so that I can give everyone an update. 

Ares has been in his new home since April 1st and is settling in well, but has proven to have a mischievous streak that may or may not prompt a name change.  He is getting along fairly well with his cat brother, Teddy, but lately has been behaving a little more roughly than would be ideal, and has been biting Teddy's neck and leaving scabs.   (Author's note - I wonder whether this might be the result of an overzealous attempt to play, as I know that this is sometimes the case with Tanner and Finn, who will often play more roughly with Olivia than she prefers.  I know lots of you out there have multi-cat households - have any of you ever dealt with something similar?  If you have, and have any advice for Ares' mom, I will be happy to pass it on, and I think it would be appreciated.) 

Ares has also become comfortable enough to roam the entire house, and he and Teddy often hang out together on the guest room bed where Ares' bed from the shelter is placed. (Author's note - This is what makes me think that the issue with Ares biting Teddy's neck is not intended as aggression, as the cats clearly seem to enjoy one another's company and are choosing to hang out together.  Any thoughts?)  He also enjoys hanging out on the screened porch and enjoys his cat tree, and loves watching birds at the feeders from the window sill or from the porch.  

New mom, H., also reports that Ares is a food-a-holic and loves to eat, so he's been on a carefully portion-controlled diet since his arrival in his new home, and is looking trim and fabulous these days.  He's also gained muscle from being able to run around more than he could at the shelter.  His favorite belonging is a red heart filled with catnip that one of the shelter volunteers gave to him.  His mom said that it is looking a little ragged these days but is still much-beloved.  Isn't that so sweet? 

I am just so thrilled to know that this special little cat now has a loving home for life - and even though I had absolutely nothing to do with it, I'm so honored to share in any small way in the happy ending he's found, and I thought all of you would be, too.

And for any of you in the Delaware area, H. had this to say about the experience of adopting a cat from Purrfect Haven: "Purrfect Haven is very caring and concerned about their cats, and they know each one well.  They have fosters in homes because they don't have enough room at the shelter. Adopting from them means room now for another cat to be on display and hopefully adopted. They have been terrific about Ares' health, giving me complete records and picking him up for a scheduled vet appmt about his teeth. He may need a dental cleaning this summer which they will take care of. As a friend volunteers there, I am a bit biased!  But they definitely provide a much more caring environment than the large SPCA can. "

Here are some pictures of Ares in his new home!  Doesn't he look happy?

Ares watching the world from his cat tower on the screened porch.

Ares with his favorite red catnip heart.  Aww!

Ares and new bro Teddy hanging out ... 
Thank you to all the wonderful people at Purrfect Haven for helping Ares to find his happy ending, and thank you to his new mom, H., for seeing something special in him and bringing him home!  I hope all of you live happily ever after!



Hi, everyone - it's me, Tanner!  I know you haven't seen me for awhile ... and I'm sorry that you won't be seeing my handsome face today, but I'm busy fulfilling my duties as watch-cat.  See?

As you can see - I'm very busy.  So have a great Friday everyone!


Happy Birthday To Me!

Hi, everyone - it's me, Phoebe!  And I'm four years old today!  

My birthday party was over the weekend, but here are a few pictures!

This is my cake - red, white, and blue since my party was on the 4th of July!

Me with my cake! 

Tucker thought it was yummy! 

So did Cosmo! 

Mmm!  Cream cheese frosting! 


Long weekends are exhausting!

Hi, everyone ... it's me, Phoebe! And I sure hope all my blog-o-sphere friends had as much fun this holiday weekend as I did.  What did we do?  Well ... take a look! 

You might not recognize me in my shades ... but what else would I wear to a pool party?

Except maybe my new PINK life jacket!  Tucker and I (mostly me) weren't too keen on these at first, so Mom bribed us with some yummy treats and let us wear them around the house for awhile before we tried them out in the water!  

Tucker didn't mind too much and was happy to relax on the couch while wearing his. 

But I'll confess ... I pouted a bit at first! 

But once Mom & I got in the water ... I rose to the occasion and swam like a fish!  See?

Swimming is pretty tiring ... so after Mom dried me off, I had to relax on the patio chair for a bit!

We had a pretty action packed weekend - including a birthday party for yours truly, even though my birthday isn't until Thursday! So I'll post some pictures of my cake and stuff later in the week.  Hey, wait a second ...   You don't think my new pink life vest is my BIRTHDAY PRESENT, do you?!!!!!!!


How To Get Whatever You Want ... lessons on human manipulation ... by Tucker

So, friends, you've probably figured out by now that in life, as in blogging, I pretty much run the show.  It's true - I have a great life - and to give credit where it is due, I don't mind admitting that the main reason I live the life of ease and pleasure that I do is because of Mom.  I have to confess - the woman is pretty good to me.  She feeds me delicious, healthy food, takes me on fun outings, buys me toys and treats, cherishes me beyond all other furred beings, and just generally has the mom thing down.  BUT ... don't think for a second that it was always this way.  She needed training to ascend to this level of Great Momness.  And, friends, I'll give you just one guess as to who it was who whipped her into shape ... yes, you're correct - that would be me

How did I do it, you ask?  Well, to get humans to do your bidding, first you have to ensure that they have fallen deeply under your spell ... and to do that you must look deeply into their eyes.  (Though first it is wise to ascertain if they are wearing vervain on their person - because if they are then your compulsion won't work ... oh, wait - never mind - that's vampires!)

Watch and learn ...


After that - it's pretty much a piece of cake.  And speaking of cake - someone we all know is having a birthday party tomorrow. Mom's baking the cake tonight - and I hope she'll let me lick the spoon.  Wait - of course she will - who could resist these puppy dog eyes?


Freaky-Weather Friday

Hi, everyone ... it's me, Tucker!  (And Phoebe!)

And we are having some really freaky weather here in Tampa!  This is what it looks like outside right now:

This makes us somewhat sad ...

So we came back inside and played instead ...