Kitty & Cocoa 16 - Slumber Party

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

This is the ongoing saga of Kitty & Cocoa, two former strays and now pets. This thread series began some 2.5yrs ago when a then 1/2 wild Kitty showed up at my door, emaciated and homeless, with 2 small kittens at her side. As she stood there quivering beneath a shrub at my front door, she hissed at me, unsure weather to seek my help or fight to defend herself and her kitten. She had been living on the streets for who knows how long and had grown fearful of all humans, and now she had 2 kittens which she had raised in the wild with no human contact at all.

I started this series then to discuss Kitty and her 2 kittens and the events surrounding my efforts to interact with them. In time I decided to adopt Kitty. One of the two kittens died after being struck by a car. The other, which I ultimately named Cocoa, remained wild. Back then he would only venture out of hiding at night in search of food. I fed him, but he would not come to me. I had him neutered via the county's TNR (trap, neuter, release) program and had to cage trap him for that.

Then one morning as I was walking my dog, I heard a cat meow and turned around to see the then mid sized, black kitten following along behind us on the sidewalk. Alone, his brother dead and his mother no longer willing to care for him, he had somehow decided that he wanted to be part of our family after all. I was very touched that day to see him feral and afraid, but nonetheless following us like a pet that day. It was a while still before he would actually let me touch him, but slowly Cocoa became a full member of the family - although he remains absolutely terrified of all other humans.

The two cats, while actually mother and son, have never been happy about living together, at least not since Cocoa was weaned. These days the two cats have ongoing jealousy issues despite my best efforts at harmony. And the story goes on...

Prior thread: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1226854/

Below is a picture from a few years ago of Kitty napping on Widget's (my little maltese) bed. (Widget's bed, btw, is at the bottom corner of my bed. Yes, he actually believes he needs a bed to sleep in the bed.)

Thumbnail by DreamOfSpring
Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

Great times ahead! DOS writes the best narratives of the kitties antics and also has a thread about wildlife who have sort of adopted her.

Sheri =(-;-)=

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thank you so much, Sheri!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I too love reading about Miss Kitty and Cocoa. Keep the stories coming....

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

Me 3! :-)

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

Me 4 ^_^ !

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Hope it is OK if I join in and lurk. I love cats and have appreciation for individuals that will help innocent cats and dogs. Sharon

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thank you all, Terese, Liz, June, & Sharon!

What wonderful and much appreciated compliments. It's really good to hear that all of you are interested in a continuation of the story, and I appreciate you letting me know.

Sharon - Welcome. We are very happy to have you with us. Feel free to join in the conversation any time you like. Lurkers are also most welcome. I do that myself on occasion. Thank you for posting to let me know you are there.

I should add that ALL are welcome here. This is a wonderful, caring group where all are treated with the utmost respect.

Thanks again, Everyone!

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Thanks so much for your cordiality.

I have a new cat. She has been with us since January. She was 9 months old and someone turned her into our vet. She is a Calico.

I have two new schnauzers. They will be a year in September. Perfect timing because now the cat and puppies are best friends. If she is outside, she follows us on our walk. We are trying everything to keep her in because we have Ravens and coyotes in the area. Raven during the early morning and coyotes at night.

I will be 70 in August and the first couple of months with the puppies just about brought me to my knees but it is going well know.

My brother had a feral cat that would feed at his back door and if he opened the door he would come inside but he could never touch him. One day the cat just disappeared. The cat had been there for over 5 years.

Keep up the good work and keep us posted. Sharon

105 here today.

This message was edited Jun 14, 2012 10:56 AM

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

Welcome Sharon! I've been following your puppy "predicaments" and some other threads that you frequent. :-)

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

So you are a lurker also. I lurk on some because the group is so close you feel like you are intruding.

Where is Emerald Hills?

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

Yes, I there are a couple of forums I read regularly, but know that I don't have the energy to write regularly, so I don't feel comfortable involving myself. I've been following Cheryl's adventures for quite a few years, now, and she knows that I'm often quiet for long periods of time, but always here. Sometimes I feel guilty for being a voyeur...

I've admired your garden for some time - you have a greenbelt behind your house, if I remember correctly.

Emerald Hills is about 25 miles south of San Francisco in the foothills west of the bay.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Every time I went to San Francisco area, I froze. No humidity in Las Vegas. You live in a beautiful area.

Yes I have the greenbelt behind my home. And I am with you on sometimes not having the energy or desire to comment.

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

If only you knew how much I have enjoyed meeting and trading with such special people. You are each very dear to my heart.

*OT (sorry)- I want all ofm y friends here and on other threads to know just how much I have learned from you and how special each and every one of you are to me.
It is looking grim on me renewing my DG membership in a couple weeks, I have had much increased medical & pharmacy charges, and find myself hanging on by a wing and a prayer.
I shall miss you all very much and will continue to lift each of you up in my prayers.

Much love,
Sheri :-(

PS- Dogwood got out last Sunday and snuck in late Thurs. LoL, the way he tried to 'shrink' in size was a hoot as he crawlled past me, thinking himself invisable. Guess maybe you are familiar with the slow, low Puma crawl.
If you see this farwell in another forum, please forgive the redundancy. I didn't want to just suddenly dissapear and alsdo wanted my bfriends knew how important they are to me.

Peaace man (& women) hopefully I can join again some time.

Hugs,
Sheri

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Hi Sharon,

105? Ouch! That sounds awful. I sure hope your temps have eased up a bit since you posted that, although from what I'm seeing on the news, it seems unlikely. So far here, it actually seems less hot than usual for this time of year, being only in the upper 80's. I hope our current weather holds for a while. We usually get into the high triple digits for 2 weeks or so in July/Aug. I do not look forward to that. Wishing you cooler temps!

I can also relate to the situation with your little dog. Some 7yrs ago I got a new puppy after the death of my very well trained and well behaved 13yr old dog. At the time I was still recuperating from knee surgery and a back injury due to a series of accidents, and I had no idea what I was in for with the puppy. I decided I'm too old for puppies (and you've got a couple decades on me - Wishing you a Happy upcoming Bday, btw!.)

What transpired between me and the puppy (at that time) would have been hilarious had I not been living it. I couldn't find the 'off' switch on my puppy. He just kept going and going - like the Energizer Bunny but faster - all day and all night. Like a 2yr old toddler, he was into everything.

When he was about a month old, to get him to go to sleep at night I actually had to hold him down on the bed beside me (with my hand over his back) and refuse to let him go, but that didn't stop him from waking up again later after I fell asleep. One night at 3AM while I was sleeping, he climbed up on the headboard bookshelf and then jumped down landing on MY HEAD some 2ft below. Thankfully, at the time he only weighed 2lbs, and he landed on the side of my head (rather than my face), but it still scared the @#&% out of me to be awakened so abruptly!

I can definitely relate to what you are going through with the puppy. I feel for you, truly I do, as I seriously considered sending my little menace back to the breeder during those early months. Hang in there, it does eventually get better. Hate to tell you this, but my puppy didn't really calm down much until he was about 6.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Just a quick word to let everyone know that things are still going fairly well with Kitty. She did get jealous and revert to her standoffish behavior a while back immediately following the incident in which she was at the door watching Cocoa sitting in my lap eating treats. The next day she was back to her negative behavior and would have nothing to do with me, having reverted to the old 'feed me and leave me alone' attitude. I was able to turn that around quickly though with a slice of cheese and some TLC.

Now I walk a tightrope, every few days giving her a special treat and a few minutes alone w/o Cocoa or Widget around, always seeking the right timing of these little private parties so as to keep some bond between us w/o letting her get so spoiled (from the treats) as to refuse her normal food. I save small bits of chicken and other meats for her treats when I have them. When nothing else presents itself, I use a little milk or a small bit of cheese. (She doesn't have any problems digesting milk.)

As a result of my new found insight and my efforts to reserve time & treats for her periodically, she now comes to sit beside me sometimes and follows me around when I'm outside. These are all things she was doing a year or so ago but which she had for a while ceased doing altogether until I found this new system. She also rubs up on my ankles when hungry now. She doesn't do this to the same extent as a 'normal' cat would do, but for her it's still big. Just a few weeks ago she would have nothing to do with me at all.

Kitty also now acts in a manner which I call 'flirty', doing little things to invite interaction, like rolling over on her back playfully in front of me and even looking around for her toys. She and I are really communicating again which is very so nice. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this solution and hope things continue in the current direction.

As for Cocoa, he's doing great. He can be a bit much sometimes when I'm busy, but he is now learning patience - since I started ignoring his demands and making him wait until I'm ready to hold him or pet him or let him out. Incredibly, and I thought this would never happen, he is actually getting along much better with Widget now. Cocoa used to pick on Widget rather badly. (I must have had the only cat that would chase the dog.) I don't know that he actually likes or particularly respects Widget now, but I think he has come to realize that Widget can be of benefit to him.

There was a time when Cocoa was afraid to stay in the MBR by himself. Even if I went to another room briefly like to get a drink or something, Cocoa had to get up and go with me, even if it meant getting up from a nap. Now he is comfortable staying behind even for relatively long periods as long as I make Widget stay with him. This is a huge change. Previously, Cocoa's behavior toward Widget was extremely dismissive, and he showed no sign at all of being comforted by Widget's presence. Back then he enjoyed bullying Widget, showing Widget his claws just to watch Widget cower in fear. Cocoa has now largely stopped such behavior and as a result Widget is becoming more comfortable sitting or sleeping near Cocoa. Sometimes now I also see them hanging around together outside.

Kitty & Cocoa have always gotten along well, but even they seem to be closer now. Most mornings when I let Widget out, Kitty will be there on the patio waiting. Before he goes about his business, Widget will walk over to where she is lying on the patio floor and will hang out with her for a few minutes. The two put their noses together such that they appear to be exchanging greetings and perhaps a bit of morning gossip. It's cute to see.

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

Cheryl,

So glad that you've found a way to keep Miss Kitty engaged with you! It's frustrating to have a pet, whose only interaction with you is eating... Love that she's flirting with you!

I had to laugh, when I read this: "Kitty & Cocoa have always gotten along well,. Because that's not the way I remember it... Very happy to hear that things have turned around between Kitty & Cocoa, enough that you forget the difficult times. And how wonderful that Cocoa has found a symbiotic relationship with Widget.

Sounds like you've got one big happy family (for now! LOL!).

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

>>"Kitty & Cocoa have always gotten along well,. Because that's not the way I remember it...

Liz -- i thought the same thing... BUT i'm thinking it's a typo and should have been Widget and Kitty....

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Hi Terese,

You got it right. That was a typo and was supposed to say Kitty & Widget have always gotten along well - and only because of Kitty's ongoing efforts to be his friend. While Widget has warmed up to her enough to be willing to hang with her on the patio to exchange morning pleasantries, he still readily resents having to share 'his' treats, and in his mind they are ALL his treats. This thinking is undoubtedly the result of his 5 or so years as an 'only child' during which he became accustomed to being the recipient of anything I was handing out. So it's only natural, I suppose, that he is now annoyed even when I give Cocoa & Kitty their cat treats, treats purchased for them specifically and which would not exist were they not here to eat them. All he understands is that before they showed up, he got all of the treats, and now he doesn't; therefore, they are taking his treats.

But, yes, you are right. It's a typo.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Hi Liz,

Oh, no. That was definitely a typo. I haven't had a chance to forget that Kitty & Cocoa don't get along - because they have never stopped arguing long enough. They ran upstairs this morning for a knock-down, drag-out. Not the dangerous kind though. Just the kind I described recently, the kind in which they make enough noise to have completely demolished the joint and then come down w/o a scratch - on them or the house.

This morning Kitty did the cutest thing. You probably had to be there to fully appreciate the humor, but I laughed out loud seeing it. She walked up to Cocoa in the hall downstairs. Standing there facing him and roughly an arm's length (cat's arm) from him, she very calmly reached out, placed her front paw against the side of his face - and then gave his face an unexpected, slow but forceful shove, pushing it around to the opposite side, starting out slowly and then giving his face an extra hard shove at the end, almost like a slow motion slap, except that doing it this way allowed her more power at the end of the shove than would have been possible with a slap. I had never seen a cat execute such a move. I recalled at the time thinking how Scarlet O'Hara it seemed.

The good news is that showing Kitty attention this way with food (and time w/o the others) has her starting to lighten up even at times when food is not involved.

ROTF. You are so right that the current balance in our home is tenuous at best.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Thumbnail by WormsLovSharon Thumbnail by WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Thumbnail by WormsLovSharon Thumbnail by WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Well I cannot get verbiage to post. Sorry for all the tries. Sharon

The first photo are the puppies yesterday by the back door after their grooming. They were 9 months old on the 9th.

Second photo is Izzy showing she owns the whole house. That is my gardening IPod boom box behind her.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Hi Sharon,

I was wondering how you even managed to post a blank page. I didn't think that was possible. Good work! ;-)

Your fur kids are all quite adorable. The schnauzers are very cute, and I am very partial to calicoes as they remind me of paint horses.

Kitty & Cocoa as you know are both strays, Cocoa being Kitty's progeny, although I'm pretty sure she regrets that. Kitty is a brown tabby. Cocoa is rich, chocolate brown with an ultra dense, 1in long coat in winter and is sleek, shiny black in summer (after he sheds). It's the darnedest thing I've ever seen, a color changing cat, but he is solid brown, even a shade or so lighter than a Hershey bar in winter and as black as India ink in summer - but I rather enjoy the variety. Widget, the one that nearly drove me crazy as a puppy, is a purebred Maltese. He's like 7 or 8. I loose track.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

When I last made a grocery run - again, I loose track - I made a rather startling discovery. Bilo (where I've been shopping as much as possible to get the fuel perks - got a tank of gas for < $2/gal last week, btw) had both Fancy Feast, Kitty's chosen food, and store brand tuna (human version) on sale at the time. I did some quick mental math in the store and realized that the tuna was actually cheaper than the cat food!!! I bought some 6 cans of the tuna in addition to my usual armload of FF. Both cats absolutely love tuna.

I just reran the calculations on the computer and sure enough the tuna was 2.4 cents LESS per oz than the Fancy Feast cat food! I'll have to redo the math when they are both back to normal price, but I'm pretty sure the tuna will still be close but a tad cheaper. For a while now I had been thinking this was likely the case. Even w/o doing the math, I had a general sense that the FF was probably comparable in price to tuna.

So, my question is...What do you think? Should I buy them tuna? I mean as a replacement for some of the FF, not all the time. Oz for oz the two are about the same. The cats LOVE tuna. And the tuna, being human grade, should actually be safer: no fillers, no grains, no bi-products, etc. Just 100% tuna. Rules for human food are stricter than for pet food (i.e., probably no kidney failure due to melamine, although that's not an absolute). I realize there is a nutrient that cats must get from their diet - they can manufacture all nutrients except this one, btw, but this one is absolutely essential. However, both cats also have access to unlimited dry cat food which includes the required nutrient (the name of which I can't recall at the moment, something like taurine, mayby), so that's not an issue. So I'm curious what you think? Given all the stated reasons, plus any you might think up, why shouldn't I buy them tuna to replace some of the FF they (mostly Kitty) currently eat?

Also, this store runs a LOT of BOGO (buy one, get one) sales. Periodically, they even run these 1/2 price (no limit) sales on tuna, name brand and even albacore. At 1/2 price even the name brand tuna will be significantly less than FF, so I figure why not 'dig in'. A while back I bought a 6pk of name brand albacore on BOGO. Got it for less per can than the store brand, regular tuna. I learned that it makes fabulous tuna salad. Wish I had bought more during the sale. Will definitely buy more next time - for ME.

So what are your opinions RE tuna for the cats? As I mentioned, I got them 6 cans on my last grocery run - and saved some 14 cents over the cost of FF in the process. I'll probably use that for special treats, but I'm considering tuna, when it is the same or less than FF, for some meals. To refresh your memory, both cats eat dry cat food daily, as much as they want. Kitty gets one 3oz can of FF daily, usually for breakfast. Every now and then Cocoa gets a spoonful of FF, up to about 1/3 of the tiny can. Mostly he prefers dry food, but sometimes he begs for some of the FF just because Kitty has it. He doesn't always eat it even if I give him some - and when he does, he often walks across the room and barfs it back up anyhow. Thus I try to feed her when he is not around. Thoughts?

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Another 'Kittyism':

There are times when I think I'm alone and then look up to catch the gaze of Kitty who has been oh so silently sitting nearby watching me, her 2 eyes and partial face peering out from behind a magazine rack or a basket of clothing. It's the strangest feeling, because I've no idea how long she has been there just staring at me that way and because she is 'supposed to be' off somewhere on her own ignoring me, or that's what she wants me to think. As soon as I see her sitting nearby, hiding behind furniture, watching me, she will will leap quickly to one side and bounce silently away.

Other times when I have been in my bedroom for some time and am certain I am alone and that she is off hiding out aloof in some little used corner of the house, upstairs perhaps where I rarely venture, I will arise and step out into the hallway only to stumble over her. But how could this be? Where had she been all this time when I had been completely unaware of her presence?

It's strange, but I have actually come to realize that there are times, often maybe, when Kitty is sneaking around in my footsteps and/or hiding out quietly in the shadows watching my every move even as she has me convinced that she is in some far corner of the house ignoring me entirely.

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

Cheryl,

I've always heard cautions about feeding human tuna to cats. I realize that you are feeding small amounts, so it's probably okay. I've fed my cats human tuna, occasionally when I wanted them to eat a particularly distasteful medicine (& I mix it inside) or when my elderly cat wasn't eating much, so any food was better than nothing.

This is what I found on WebMD: "Cats can be addicted to tuna, whether it's packed for cats or for humans. Some tuna now and then probably won't hurt. But a steady diet of tuna prepared for humans can lead to malnutrition because it won't have all the nutrients a cat needs. And, too much tuna can cause mercury poisoning."

And another from EMax Health: "a steady diet of tuna can result in malnutrition. Another concern is mercury poisoning (which is a concern for humans as well). The human variety of tuna contains enzyme that destroys thiamine, and so cats who regularly eat tuna can develop a thiamine deficiency, which can cause neurological symptoms such as loss of equilibrium and seizures if not corrected. "

Again, I don't think an occasional treat of tuna is a problem, just tuna meals...

Liz

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thanks Liz,

That is very good to know. I have let the two cats share a can of tuna on very rare occasion and even did so with greater regularity back when they 1st arrived and were eating at the front door - tuna helped to get them to come close to me back then when they were so scared. I've never noticed a problem other than the ongoing concern that they won't like their cat food if they get tuna or any other especially coveted treat too regularly.

Based on what you reported and my observations, I think I will continue to buy it on sale and give it to them infrequently for a special treat but will not seek to replace any major portion of their canned food meals with tuna as I had been considering. As you may have noticed, everything in the grocery stores is shrinking lately. Everything. It's one of the many ways manufacturers try to conceal price increases - like we are stupid - and with the current economy it is rampant. Food may even disappear completely if it continues shrinking at this rate. FF has dropped from 3.5 to 3oz while tuna has dropped from 6 or 7 down to 5oz, at least that's the size of the store brand cans I bought. So I figure the occasional 2.5oz meal of tuna won't be enough to do any harm.

The possibility of malnutrition is not a huge issue with my 2, because at most they only get a tiny bit of FF (or tuna sub now and then) and always have access to unlimited dry cat food plus anything they catch outside, and they continue to bring things home often. 2.5 to 3oz is not enough food for 1 day, so they have to eat a good bit of dry cat food daily no matter what. Even Kitty, who strongly prefers canned food, eats dry food daily to keep hunger at bay. Because of this, I know they will always get their vitamins.

I've read that their is normally only 1 nutrient that is of concern with cats. They can supposedly manufacture all of their other nutrients themselves, even vitamin C, something we can't do. This makes sense considering cats aren't inclined to eat citrus fruits or even much in the way of vegetables. The one nutrient they cannot make can be a big problem, however, if they don't get it from a food source, so all cat foods include it. Since they eat dry food daily, I know they get that nutrient. I believe the nutrient I'm talking about is taurine. Healthy cats can manufacture other essential nutrients in their liver, but they must get pre-formed taurine to live. Taurine is in all cat foods and is also available from meat sources, so either way, my cats are good to go there.

For me it sounds like there are 2 major reasons to avoid giving them tuna too often. One is the risk of them not wanting to eat their cat food. I had this concern already, because I'm bad about spoiling my pets with too many goodies and thus have seen this result too many times already, including with Widget and even the raccoons in prior years. The other is the risk of mercury poisoning, which I hadn't thought about and am super glad you mentioned. I'm surprised this didn't occur to me, because I'm even afraid to eat the 2 allowed weekly servings of fish myself these days. There is a lot of mercury out there and the fish are bathing in it.

Plus, another thing I've learned from my 2 Maltese over the years is that the effect of such things (even salt) is much greater on a small animal (than on us) just because of the amount per lb of body weight. I am very careful about not giving them much of anything w/salt (most human food). Even when giving Kitty the occasional bit of cheese, I keep it to a tiny sliver of hard cheese or 1/2 slice (or less) American cheese and even then < than once a week. When Widget eats even a tiny bit of anything with salt, even canned soup, he drinks practically his weight in water, so I can see that is very bad. I keep him away from salt. I've learned a lot from these tiny dogs. I'm sure mercury would have an even more profound effect on small animals, so I'm REALLY glad you mentioned this. See, this is why I knew it would be a good idea to get input from you guys.

To be honest, even though the rationale sounded good - buy pure tuna over tuna flavored food, if the price is the same - I don't think I was really ever going to go through with this. In the back of my mind, every time I spoke of it, I was always worried about getting them started on tuna as a regular thing. I kept thinking, "then what happens when tuna goes up and is no longer the same price as FF?" My answer to this question was always that it would be very difficult to ever get Kitty off tuna again once I got her started, and Cocoa, who currently loves and prefers his dry food would be 'ruined' once he got used to expecting tuna regularly. He already has a serious Temptations Jones to deal with.

Thanks again for this valuable input!!!

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

When I sent the post it was there. But it never posted. I went back and pulled it up and copied it and opened another post, copied to that post and sent again and it still was not there. As you can see I did it many times. I am a stubborn Irish woman.

My DH use to give our female schnauzer, that died in October last year, cat food when he fed the cat, that also died in October. The vet said the worst food item you can give a dog is cat food because of ingredients in it.

I think tuna marketed for humans would be fine as a treat.

Our cat Izzy eats dry cat food freely and gets 1/3 of a can of FF everyday.

I tried giving her a little cheese today to get her to come over to me more often. She liked it and I have some by me right now but the only one interested are the puppies.

I spent the majority of the day in the front garden redoing a flower bed. Izzy spent about 4 hours with me wandering over occasionally to say hi and look to see what I was doing.

The photos I posted was introducing you to Cecil, Emma the schnauzers and Izzy the Calico.

One of the comments I made was how I laughed out loud about your story of the dog landing on your head.

I will check in tomorrow to see our your brood is doing. Sharon

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

I took care of cleaning up the blank posts,but have no suggestions as to why it happened. If it happens again,contact the helpdesk and we'll take a look and see if there is a bug.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the cleanup, melody!

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

:o)

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Thanks Melody. I felt really bad about messing up the thread. Sharon

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

As with most of the country, we are experiencing punishing temps. Today's forecast is for a heat indexed temp of 115-120F!!! Unfortunately despite these merciless temps and the sweltering humidity, Kitty & Cocoa just refuse to stay inside. We have also been under warnings the past few days for poor air quality due to elevated ozone. Widget is having difficulty with this such that I'm having to keep him on Benedryl to calm his coughing/hacking. Authorities say to keep pets indoors due to both the air quality and the punishing heat, but I can't keep Kitty & Cocoa in.

Kitty is inside right now, but she is having a fit to go back out. She stays on the back patio most of the day. It's on the north side of the house and his shaded both by the house and by the forest all day long, but it's still quite hot out there. She comes in a few times a day to munch on some kibble but refuses to stay.

I don't know where Cocoa stays. He comes inside in the morning and sometimes again around 5-6PM. He eats and then insists on going back out. I try to keep him inside hoping he will take a nap and decide to stay a while, but he wanders the hall hollering at the top of his lungs, his way of insisting on going back out.

Oh, well. They know where the house is, and they know they can stay inside if they choose to do so. Both of them usually choose to stay inside during rainy days/nights and also when it gets really cold out. I guess if the heat were bothering them that much, they would stay in.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Our weather is a slight different than yours. We are 107 today but 5% humidity. Izzy insists going outside but at least all she does is stand by the french door and look out. Or wait for one of us to trip up and leave a door open.

So we let her out in the morning. She comes back around noon and does some eating and out again. When I walk the puppies around 4:30pm she comes out of hiding and walks with us. Then she follows us in the house and we lock her down in our minds and try very hard not to let her get out of the house. We had to close the doggie door because that gave her free range to wander

Two granddaughters are here from Vancouver, Washington. Izzy had decided they are OK and follows them everywhere and has been sleeping on their beds. The girls are 16 and 20 and cannot believe this cat.

I can call her until I am blue in the face and no Izzy. But when I walk the puppies, she comes out from no where and joins us. The only times she howls is when she get closed in a room. Thank goodness.
Have a great day, Sharon

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

I had to laugh to myself, although at the moment I felt like screaming, when shortly after my post describing my new system of dealing with Kitty, she did something which clarified how little I really know about dealing with cat psychology. If you recall, to battle Kitty's jealousies I had begun to give her very small, high quality treats which she and I could enjoy alone w/o having to deal with Cocoa or Widget. This seemed to be working very well to show her that she is special, too, and I was just starting to applaud my new idea when...

...the next morning when both cats came inside, Kitty waited a little while to allow Cocoa to eat his meal and then picked a fight (no bloodshed) and ran him out of the house. As soon as I walked back to the kitchen from letting him out, Kitty walked up to me, arched her back, rubbed herself against my ankles, and all but said, "Ok, now that he's gone, we can enjoy our time together - where's my treat?"

Well, this was certainly and unexpected wrinkle in my wonderful new 'fix'. This was not good. No, it was bad, very bad. Kitty had just gone after Cocoa with the premeditated intention of sending him out of the house so she could have a treat. THIS was what I had taught her? So, not good. Funny, in a looking at it from a distance sort of way, but not good.

From this I learned that Kitty is much more complex than I had realized. Going with my instincts, I did not give her a treat. I petted her and then left the room. I did not want to reward, condone, or even recognize such behavior. Since then there have been no recurrences of that behavior. I continue to give Kitty treats and do so when she and I are alone; however, I have taken care to do so less often and to shrink the size of most of the treats. I want them to say, "you are special." I do not want them to say, "You can kill the others if you like."

On a more positive note, last night I awoke to find Kitty curled up at my feet sleeping. This is the 1st time she has slept in the bed with us in AGES. And she slept at my feet rather than in Widget's dog bed, a slumber ball (as seen in the cover shot), which she loves and which is stationed on the lower corner of the bed. Widget, btw, was also asleep when I awoke. He was sleeping, not in his bed, but about 4in from Kitty, something I don't believe he has ever done before. It may take forever, but with a whole lot of patience and perseverance, we just may make a family yet, a family with issues but a family nonetheless.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Do you guys remember Gladys (Kravits), my very 'community active' neighbor from across the street? She was a main character in the very early episodes of this thread series. She didn't want me to adopt Kitty. She was trying to trap Kitty and had already decided that she wanted Kitty to remain wild as part of the TNR program. She tried very hard to dissuade me when she learned I was planning to adopt her. (Just a review to prompt your memory.)

This morning I went out before sunrise to take my recyclables to the curb for pickup. Around 7AM or so when I looked out, Gladys was out there at the street looking through my recyclables! She was walking her dog as she normally does and upon seeing my recycling had stopped to browse. What's out there is just a collection of cans, bottles, paperboard from various containers, magazines, and junk mail. Still, I guess if one is that interested one can glean considerable information from such things.

Is that woman NOSY or what?!

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

I guess Gladys could be looking for magazines. Once a couple years ago I did put a large stack of magazines out for recycling and they all disappeared before pickup. Might have been her. I've seen her pick up other items I've put out for garbage pickup. Pretty much any household or garden item I put out there disappears long before the truck ever arrives.

Still, she is very nosy. As she walks her dog around the neighborhood, she stops to talk to people and gather information which she then spreads as she continues her walk - sort of like the human version of a local newspaper.

New York, NY(Zone 6b)

Good afternoon. I have follow the saga of Kitty and Cocoa from the very begining. Found it to be so interesting.
It seems that the Gladys type is every where. There is a lady (I don't know her name though) near me who does the same thing. Peeping in garbage and recyclables but not taking anything like magazines or cans is being very nosy. I imagine that they are lonely.

Might have missed it at this thread or another, but how do your kitties make out with the fireworks and noise?. Do you give them anything to calm them down?.
Thanks.

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

my two dogs and 4 cats velcro themselves to me, & or hide under the bed or couch where I am.

Sheri

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