Biting bird

dam birb

Things have been going so well lately, with regards to the birds. Koi is turning 7 next month. Her bird, Jak, is turning 8 in July. This there is this birb. Dam birb: Idris. Idris will be turning 6 in February on Valentine’s Day.

I’ve been though bitey bird spells before, but they were with my Koi Monkey, and she and I had to work out a system. We worked that that instead of her biting me when she did not want to step up onto my hand, that she would take a step or two away from me. Instead of getting her to step up on my hand to be put back in the cage, we worked out a hand gesture that tell’s her it’s really business right now “I need you to go to your room”, and she’ll put herself away. We went through all this from ages three to five. I even changed that when I ask her for a kissy, I get my nose tapped on with her beak, instead of offering my lips. We also touch my fingertip to her beak to do a kissy, too.

So what’s up with my Iddy Bird? Idris has always been the most social bird with adults in the house. She loves to see you, hang out with you, fly to you, and now, bite you. She’s so excited! Sometimes she flies to my shoulder and starts talking to me and grooming me, and then comes around and tries to bite me right on the mouth or on the side of my cheek. I’ve checked… there are no blemishes there for her to try to groom off of you. Then you want to get her away from your face, so she bites your hand because she’s so excited! She’s not done playing! I don’t want to go back! So, now my hand is bit, my face is bit, and there’s this happy little bird that just got flung back to the cage.

Also, when it’s time to be put away, you will get the bites of “DON’T WANNA”. Usually I can count to three and these bites will lessen immensely, or completely stop if she’s given up. But, she doesn’t use the cue I give Koi to put herself away. She knows it. She’ll even start to do it for her daddy, because reasons, but then try to psyche him out like “OH WAIT. WHILE YOU’RE HERE, CAN WE PLAY SOME MORE?”.

I have a big bruise on the back of my index finger because dis dam birb.
She’s just a happy little girl.

What do you want for Christmas?

There are two high tech feeders we use in our home, and they may have the solution for you.

The Feed and Go automated feeder has 6 compartments and syncs up every hour to the network to keep the feeds on an accurate schedule. These feeders have an app, a web friendly interface, a camera, and voice recording. We use two on the same schedule for our boys.

The girls use the SureFeed in the next room. It only opens for their RFID chips. If your cat won’t wear a collar to have it programmed to their tag, you can also program it to the microchip that we hope all your kitties have located near their shoulder.

But where exactly did that feline friend of yours come from? Those looks are striking, and they have so much to say! If you’d like to know more about your feline’s genetic history *breed, predisposition towards illness*, then there is a company out of Redondo Beach, CA called BasePaws. Request a CatKit, register it, return it, allow for processing, and learn more about your best friend. We think our vocal Russian Blue Mix may have a surprising amount of generic Tabby in him, and I’ll tell you more about it when we receive our results.

If you have birds in the house, like we do, you may appreciate a subscription to Squawk Box. It comes filled with paper that your fids might like to rummage through and chew on, as well as toy or two, a recipe, and some snacks. We had a six month subscription where the birds got to try new things each month, and this also gives you a chance to try new things you may not know your bird could love.

While we’re on subscription boxes, I love my Crazy CatLadyBox sub that Dismal sends me every month. You get some amazing things, both fun and beautiful, and the CRAZY part is this is the box that comes with two toys for your kitties each month. It’s not just for you! Any when you empty the box, you just leave it out in your cats’ common area. It’s the perfect size for them to lounge in each month.

RescueBox works with both cats and dogs, and every purchase you make goes back into charitable donations of food and needed vaccines. “With every RescueBox, subscribers will receive a curated box filled with high-quality toys, delicious treats, and other tail-wagging products that have been vetted by the pets of our team. The best part? Every delivery will feature a rescue story that wouldn’t be possible without the generous donation that your purchase provides. RescueBox is a special monthly delivery that both you and your pet can truly get excited and feel GOOD about.”

Now, something for your small mammals: Oxbow Hay Stacks
If you’re going out of town and you’re taking your caged bunnies, guinea pigs, chinchillas with you, or deciding to leave them under someone else’s care, these things are great. The hay is compressed, so there is a sizable amount in the pucks that come in the stack. I wish I would have had these in their cages when we moved across country. We used them when I left for vacation during the summer because Dismal can’t handle loose hay – it’s dusty and makes his allergies go nuts.

YouCaring for Miss Bailey, a boxer, who needs a new knee

A friend of mine has been working on this problem for a while. Bailey is a very active girl who came into their hearts as a rescue. First one knee went, and then the other. In the meantime, when he was going to work towards putting his puppy back together, she got gravely ill with pancreatitis. I know as well as anyone what these emergency illnesses can do to your funds, and even your credit. Thankfully she seems to have fully recovered. Afterwards he tried to get her into a research hospital, but the formalities say that it may even cost him money even if they don’t perform the procedure, and it’s very far away to cart the doggy around on an “If”. So, we’re giving it a shot to see if we can’t get Bailey even just 1 new knee to start, and then work towards the other.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and please feel free to share.

Making home made raw cat food and deep thoughts

Right now I’m waiting for the turkey thighs to get their partial cook for surface bacteria.

I rolled out of bed late today. When I should have been sleeping last night, I was up having flashbacks of my alpha male, Tommy, going to the hospital. About a week ago marks 1 year since his medical problems began. When everything hit the fan, I had started to make these changes to his diet, hoping against hope that he would not have any recurrences. First we moved him to canned food, and about midway through December, we started to move him to commercial raw food. He’s eating that right now because of when Thanksgiving landed this year. I ran a bunch of numbers, and by the end of December I had all my supplies to start making the food myself. He was switched over on New Year’s Eve.

Then he relapsed twice in February and went into surgery.

So, here I am. I am currently covered in cats while the turkey is in the oven. I get a half hour (because they are large thighs) so I’m watching the beginning to Full Metal Jacket again with Stewart in my lap, Amalie at my ankles, and Tommy at the foot of the bed.

I applied to the community college to see about attending a writing course soon. I need to make sure y’all can understand me more often.

One day, I’m not going to have to worry about making this food myself. I’d buy it again, but I’m fairly certain my costs are now around $90 a month for the two boys on a premium of rabbit and turkey. Saving that money over having a company make it end up being shifted over into buying better food for my girls. The ladies haven’t taken to raw, and are on a diet of high quality/low carb dry with a large can of wet each day.

#BasePaws feline DNA CatKit

A few short weeks ago, we were provided 2 CatKits by BasePaws, a company out of Redondo Beach CA, who are now able to process your cat’s DNA sequence. In exchange for the CatKits, I would love to provide you with as much info as I can about the process, as well as post about my updates after my CatKits contents are done developing.

I’m sorry this took so long. Everything got neglected around here for about 2 weeks between my back issues that came up, and then the Thanksgiving holiday.

I find the BasePaws FAQ page as a good place to start.

I have often felt like these were my two most common questions:

“Do you need blood? Will this hurt my cat? Is this magic?
Absolutely not! We love cats and are committed to using only non-invasive procedures to collect DNA samples. This will not hurt the cat…and, like all science, it’s a bit meowgical!”

I can attest that this didn’t harm the cats. You will see from their videos that they were a bit startled. Removing the adhesive tape sounds like velcro.

“Do you test for breed?
Breed and ancestry are among our top priorities and will be included in your cat’s report within six months. As we expand our kitty community, your cat’s breed and ancestry will be continue to be refined. The initial report will include the Wild Kitten Index, which provides information about how much of your cat’s ancestry can be traced back to the various wild cat species. The analysis includes the review of 1,000s genetic variants that are represented more prevalently across the genome in within each of the species.”

Read more FAQs in the link above.

Pricing is set at $95, however if you follow their blog, sometimes you will find that they are screening for certain disorders to build up the database, and with supporting medical records, they may want your participation for free, so check that out. Also, Catster has this in their #giftguide this year and is offering $25 off with code “CATSTER” at checkout.

Now, for demonstrations:


Giving her the sticky butt


Collection 1


Intermission


Yue’s CatKit didn’t include the same materials that are in Tommy Gargoyle’s CatKit. I was told that his version is the older one that they might not be using much now.

Getting ready with all the supplies and his father


And then waiting with the last strip

I can get these in the mail tomorrow and hopefully we’ll get some new insight into Yue and Tom in approximately 2 months. While the kits weren’t terribly invasive, the daddy man did say that this probably would not be the best idea on our half-feral black and white tuxedo boy Stewart. Tom tried to rip his first adhesive strip off with his teeth and he’s the most tolerant cat I have.

I hope this has taken some of the mystery out of the process, and as I learn more, so will you.

New content coming

I’m excited to share something new with you beginning December, I just haven’t set it up yet. I got my materials, but I’m visualizing the article. 

Things have been nuts with 2 weeks of my back being spastic, then Thanksgiving dinner, feeding the boys commercial food again just because of the circumstances… I’m going to make them a new batch of their food beginning next week. 

I went a little nuts for Cyber Monday sales. I got 5 bags of CareFresh and 2 large bags of Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein for about $100. Then I put in an order to Amazon for bird toys, and redeemed Discover cashback and an Amazon certificate on that order. Today, I put in an order to Chewy.com for more guinea pig supplies.

I’m down to 10 pets, and it’s still a bunch of work.

The guinea pig calendars are up, and we made it in!

Cavy Madness 2018 Pet Piggies on Parade Calendar


We get our costumes from RatsRatLady on eBay, where there are also costumes for your favorite rats.

November #chewyinfluencer reviews

For November, we were able to choose two cat products (at no cost) to review for you.

We got help from all the cats in the household this month, but no action shots of the girls eating. I did get a great video of the boys that I hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Grain-Free Minced Recipe with Real Chicken Wet Cat Food Cups, 3.5-oz, case of 12

You receive the food cups standing up in two plastic sleeves.

For being covered in gravy, you can still see a nice texture.

Perfect sized bites for the petite or prissy cats.
My only caveat is that this food cup cannot seem to fit any of my lids and it won’t re-seal. But at the rate they ate it, it never had to sit in the fridge overnight
What the girls did with this Nature’s Variety was to lick all the gravy off and come back later, and then finish what was in the bowl. It didn’t smell too different from their regular pate diet (by the same company) and on occasion, the alpha cat, Tom, burst into the kitchen and shoved the girls aside and started eating this food from their microchip feeder. No one in the house turned this away.

It’s in stock, right now, over on Chewy.com

Our other fun find was the Vital Essentials freeze dried treats. They have a good variety of flavors available for both cats and dogs, but I wanted my boys to try something new. Squeam if you will, but I got them whole MINNOWS!
Vital Essentials Minnows Freeze-Dried Cat Treats, 0.5-oz bag

Oh noes here come the fishies!

Eww omg there really are fishies in there

They love them. They’re only 41 calories per bag and are a guilt-free pleasure.
Freeze dried makes them shelf stable without cooking. Please wash your hands and surfaces after serving and it’s recommended to consume within 30 days after opening.

And if whole fishes really just aren’t for you,
Here is the rest of the cat treat catalog.

As with all orders of $49 and over, you get free 1-2 day shipping with Chewy.com

It’s all going to work out

I hit a snag. The timing of my running out of home made cat food for the boys is going to coincide with Thanksgiving. The downstairs fridge will not be able to accommodate thawing out 18 lbs of meat, a turkey, and then housing leftovers.

Bummer. Making my food is the cheapest way to get nourishment into my two bubs on an all wet diet. I had to go pick up some pre-made medallions from Nature’s Variety at Petco Unleashed, down the street. They are comparable in calories per ounce to the boys’ regular diet, so we don’t have to mess with new feeding guidelines.

I go do my grocery shopping and get back in the car to drive down the street to Petco Unleashed. I see that they have the Nature’s Variety Instinct raw Medallions and nuggets on clearance. I checked the dates on the medallions and 3 out of 4 bags said Best Used by X Dec. The tag said $12.xx. These bags are normally $21-25 a piece. I grabbed two and hesitantly took them to the counter. I said the tag was kind of just laying in the case, and I hopped it’d still apply. They asked how much. I said $12.xx. They scanned my first item and said “How does $6.xx sound?”.
“SOUNDS FANTASTIC. Let me grab another bag”. Then there was a 15% off Friends and Family coupon that is good through Wednesday and can be applied to food.

I got 3 – 43 oz bags of frozen chicken pucks for $16.xx.
That gets me at least 12 days of worry- free- no- BS- for- mommy- take- a- break- after- turkey- til- you- have- to- make- cat- food- time.

Adopt a Senior Pet Month

Don’t let the fact that the rescue you’re looking at isn’t brand new keep you from considering they may be the perfect fit for your home.

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and I’ve done it too. Adult animals don’t turn me off. I love a great Previously Used *as the dealership likes to call them* pet.

When one of my rats died and left Jane behind, I hopped on the local Humane Society and found a 2 year old rat, just like Jane, that didn’t have a friend or home. April moved in with Jane and they became good friends, and April stayed on for 6 months before being put down. I knew they only lived on average 2-3 years, but it was a good fit, and I was glad to do it.

One time I was at Petsmart and I found Honey. She was a 4 year old guinea pig with a few small health issues, and no buddy. She was waiting there for the right home. I knew from years of experience that most of my guinea pigs only lived 4-5 years, but I wanted to take her and give her a good retirement along with a few of my other guinea pigs. She stayed on for 6 months, and was the sweetest little girl, taking her medicine every day and eating her pellets with her feet inside the dish. She lived with Chai and Mu-Xi Mu until she died.

Right now, our second to last adoptee is probably around 11-12. Amalie is our resident Old Lady. Finding a cat at the shelter over 10 years of age may deter some, but let me tell you about her. She’s perfectly set in her ways. She has excellent toilet habits and will cuddle with anyone that will let her. She has back pain from time to time that might be related to her having been front declawed at some point in her life, but if you discover she’s in pain, either pet that area gently or not at all, and listen to her cues. She also likes when you’re eating chicken, and will sit just in your side vision next to you until you notice she’s there and maybe offer her a piece. She’ll sniff it, but won’t eat it out of your hand and will wait for you to put it down. If you’re spending too much time around the house during one of her cuddle moods, she will wait nearby. If you see her… stare at her… then say “what?”. She’ll answer you with one meow that says “You’re working too hard and you need to come sit with me”. Ignore her if you want, but she’ll always speak the truth.

I’ve had kittens and I’ve had older cats, and I’ve had puppies and I’ve had older dogs. All of them need homes. Don’t think that you can’t handle an older animal because of medical bills. Eventually that kitten or puppy you got might need medical attention as well. Don’t think you can’t handle an older animal because the time you get will be shorter. You never know about that pet – You might have 10 more years with a 10 year old cat, or you could get 5 more amazing years with that 10 year old dog… Or you may end up giving them the best year or two left of their lives.

Over the past year we ran into a wall with medical problems with my alpha male. We thought we were going to lose him before he even reached age 8. We were ready to reconcile with this, that will were given 7 years with this wonderful, rambunctious, loving, smart, beautiful, chill boy; being so grateful we were given this short time with such a glowing influence in our lives.

You could find that older animal that fills that place in your life to make you think, that even if it’s just a few years, wasn’t that time with them totally worth it, and that you’d do it again if you had to?