Kept By Cats

1
Happy Gotcha Day to Dori & Nikolas
2
Up For Adoption Bios of Dori and Her Family: 2013
3
16 Harmful Foods That Cats Should Not Eat
4
Are Scented Candle Fumes Toxic to Cats?
5
Jingle Free Sleep
6
Emergency Care for Holiday Pet Toxins
7
Winter Shelter for Outdoor Cat
8
In the Mood for Christmas Family Dysfunction? Read Kringle!
9
#Mold Poisoning… It’s Deadly
10
My Billy Mumy Cat

Happy Gotcha Day to Dori & Nikolas

Congratulations to Dori and her daddy, Nikolas, on another year with the Wonderpurr Gang! They arrived along with mom, Annie, Dori’s twin sister, Patsy, and panfur brothers Kepurr and Kopea. All found homes, but only Nik and Dori stayed with us. Below are a couple of Then and Now photos, as well as a look back on Dori and Nik’s family, 2013.

From the start I had a feeling Annie wasn’t motherly material. While Nikolas played with the kittens, Annie camped in her tall cat tree and watched, as though disinterested. She was friendly, and yet aloof. Read More

Up For Adoption Bios of Dori and Her Family: 2013

On January 23rd we celebrate Dori and Nikolas’s Gotcha Days at our house. It seems like only yesterday when the entire family of stray cats arrived in my yard.  Mom, Dad and four tiny kittens. I kinda freaked out. I was already caring for numerous ex-strays. How could I afford to get them all vetted, plus find them homes? Well, the DeSoto Animal Rescue Society in Horn Lake, Mississippi stepped in, and helped me get them vetted. But then I had to find them homes. There were already way too many needy pets waiting for adoption on PetFinder.com. I had to put on my thinking cap and get real creative to get my gang noticed. I recently came across their bios and thought I would share them with you. All were adopted. We kept Nik and Dori.

 Nikolas Ridikolas

“I don’t want to be your whole life, just your favorite part.”

Day job: Purrfessional belly rub receiver.

Dream job: Loves mewic. Can hit tenor high C and plans to win AmeriCat Idol.

Purrsonality: Natural comedicat known for random acts of silliness. Embraces his inner goofball and completely dorks out for no reason.

Caregiver Notes: This is a fun cat with lots of personality. Impressive that after a year as a stray he invites belly rubs and greets me at the door with dog-like excitement, however he has no experience with dogs. Nik is a good father to his 4 kittens with AdoraBelle.

 

AdoraBelle (later named Annie)

“We can’t all be princesses. Someone has to clap when I go by.”

Day job: Meowmy of 4 – AdoraPurr, Addie Pray, Kepurr and Kopea

Dream job: Pampurr’d Princess

Purrsonality: Grace Kelly regal with a touch of Beyonce cool.

Caregiver Notes: Her approachable friendliness and devotion to her first litter brought her to my attention. Belle is sweet, though reserved due to hard start in life. She puts her family first, allowing them to eat before her. She enjoys cuddles and sweet nothings whispered in her ears. Sincere appreciation for how wonderpurr she is will make a huge impact on her. She needs a home where she never has to worry or be afraid ever again. Has no experience with dogs.

AdoraPurr

“If I was your kitten I’d never let you go. You’ll never be alone. EVER!”

Day job: Manning phones for Itty Bitty Adopt a Kitty Committee

Dream job: Designer for Pampurr’d Princess fashions

Purrsonality: Wonderpurr from ears to tail. Easy going, sweet and unafraid.

Caregiver Notes: Someone forgot to tell “Dori” never-handled, stray kittens are supposed to come with a little wildness. She loves to be cuddled, sits sweetly in laps and is trying so hard to be purrfect in order to find a Forever Home. We assured her she has nothing to worry about. Read More

16 Harmful Foods That Cats Should Not Eat

Please welcome Linda Butts from Pawesometalk.com who asked to share her infographic on 16 Harmful Foods That Cats Should Not Eat.

The following common food items should not be fed (intentionally or unintentionally) to cats. This list is, of course, incomplete because we can not possibly list everything your cat should not eat.

Read More

Are Scented Candle Fumes Toxic to Cats?

This article was previously published in the Purrington Post. It is focused on cats, however quite obviously the deadly toxins from candles applies to not only cats, but dogs, birds, ferrets…humans! Please read and share. Super important Need To Know stuff here.

The Appeal of Scented Candles

Who of us haven’t indulged in the pleasure of scented candles in the home? They can infuse a room with delicious fragrance, or add a romantic ambiance to a meal and of course make bath time more relaxing and luxurious.  Sales of scented candles have soared in recent years as they have come to represent the ultimate expression of ‘me’ time.

As such, scented candles are a favorite indulgence of many households, but did you know that their fumes are as toxic as cigarettes? Burning low quality commercial candles in your home can cause serious illness to you, your family and your pets.

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The Dangers

The problem is that most commercial candles are made of paraffin which comes from petroleum, and therefore it’s neither sustainable nor environmentally-friendly. Paraffin is the final residue left from refining crude oil. It’s made from the sludge in the bottom of a barrel of oil which is then bleached by adding dioxin and other poisonous chemicals and then texturized with a chemical called acrolyn. And afterwards, stearic acid, a byproduct of the meatpacking slaughterhouses, is added as a hardener. Read More

Jingle Free Sleep

Flashback to October, 2013

Last Sunday morning my husband Ray complained that our tabby kitten had kept him awake.

Not because Dori loves to chew our toes and has an impressive bite for such tiny teeth. Rather, the bell on her collar jingled non-stop throughout the night.

The same bell she’s worn since May.

I’ve been married a long time. I knew better than to suggest the giant chocolate bar he ate an hour before bedtime could have been a contributing factor to his insomnia.

And true — Dori loves to jingle. She has developed a hippy-hop-jog type-of-walk to make the bell accompany her every step. She doesn’t simply walk into a room. She prances. She gallops!

There are times when I am forced to search the house to find my other cats, but never Dori. If I listen, a sweet tinkling tone will tell me she’s upstairs in my office or the cat apartment, or maybe in the sun room playing with her toys.

At Ray’s request I removed Dori’s collar at bedtime. I’m all about keeping the mood in my house relatively calm — as calm as I can with six furry drama queens in residence. Notice I didn’t include my giant chocolate bar-eating husband as the seventh.

Again. I’ve been married a long time.

So now Dori is jingle-free from 10:00 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Initially she freaked out. She pranced, she whirled, she galloped, she leaped tall cat trees at a single bound — all without sound.

In clear distress, she ran to me as if to ask whether something was wrong with her. I showed her the collar and shook it so she could hear the bell. And then I placed the collar by her breakfast bowl, ready to be slipped over her head in the morning.

But then…

Sometime in the night, long after my dear husband was fast asleep, I heard the sweet soft tinkling tone of a jingle bell being swatted by a tiny paw across the kitchen floor.

The sound continued far into the night.

Winter Shelter for Outdoor Cat

Meet Noah, a year-and-a-half-old ex-stray (as of this past summer) who needs a house for the winter.

noah-watchesMeet Ray, my charming husband who truly cares about Noah having a warm house this winter. Ray has self-taught carpentry skillz that have benefitted stray cats for a couple dozen years.
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We had an old dog house, used for years by other strays, and we had a huge roll of carpet padding. Ray cut the padding to fit the top of the dog house, and taped it into place.
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Next, the padding was used to … um… pad the bottom of the house, along with the sides. I added Noah’s bed. Read More

In the Mood for Christmas Family Dysfunction? Read Kringle!

I wrote KRINGLE for you adults who secretly read your kid’s Harry Potter and Twilight books. Adults crave magical fantasy too! Please click the book cover to read Chapter One, and let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy.

KRINGLE is available on Amazon.com in both print and for Kindle.

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CLICK TO READ CHAPTER ONE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Mold Poisoning… It’s Deadly

In 2012 I lost my beloved cats, Nicholas and Cookie, to severe mold in the air handlers of my home.

Nicholas farewell

Nicholas could not breathe through his nose, only his mouth. His face had swollen due to the severe amount of pus inside his head. He was euthanized on February 20, 2012.

Cookie-1

Cookie on November 6, 2012, on his way to the vet to be euthanized.

This is what Nicholas and Cookie looked like twelve months before mold entered our home and took their lives:

Nick and Cookie

In 2012 we had a duct cleaning company scour our air handlers and ducts, and they released live bacteria that was to eat the mold. It didn’t occur to me to have it rechecked until, in the summer of 2015, when Dori and Peaches both came down with “colds from hell.”  I too was suffering from the effect of mold. Turns out I’m highly allergic to it. In 2012 I was continually foggy-brained, and aching in every joint. I wanted to sleep all the time.

Mold in air duct

Mold in my ceiling air ducts…in fact, mold was in every single duct in the house.

The foggy-brained part is what kept me from recognizing my symptoms again in 2015. It took Dori giving an eerily familiar cough that reminded me of Cookie that had me running the girls to the vet, and calling in the same company as in 2012 to check my air handlers.Mold in air handler

The mold was back, and this time it was Terminator Mold. But instead of cleaning like they did in 2012, this time the crew was a bit more investigative as to WHY we had mold…and they discovered the duct tape around the mains had softened and pulled apart, allowing attic debris into the blowers (I always wondered why I had so damn much dust). They also found the seams were allowing cold air to seep out, creating dampness.

Mold thrives on Darkness, Warmth, Oxygen, and Moisture.

It appears we had won the Mold Lottery.

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Mold on the walls of the air handler.

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Mold on the insulation wrapping the mains.

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Filters are changed every month. We thought they were dirty. We didn’t realize the dirt was mold.

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To destroy the mold, the company we called vacuumed every duct . It took hours — all day in fact — and was horrifically noisy. But it had to be done.

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Every duct was also cleaned with a bleach solvent.

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Then the mains had to be resealed using duct butter that hardened like plastic.

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Despite the hot attic temperature, the duct butter will not melt and allow moisture into the ducts.

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We have two air handlers. In each a UV light was installed. Mold cannot grow under UV lighted conditions.

Thankfully, this time there is a Happy Ending. Peaches and Dori were saved.

Peaches and Dori

Don’t think mold can’t happen to you. Mold is more rampant than I ever believed possible. Our home was 7 years old when we had mold in 2012. I read that mold is more prevalent in newer homes due to construction rush. Duct tape isn’t good enough to seal your air handlers. Make sure its duct butter, and before you buy, have your home inspected.

The life you save could be your own.

Cookie-2

 For more information, start with Mold Blogger.

So…tell me. Have you ever had mold in your home? Have you ever had your home inspected? Please leave a comment below.

My Billy Mumy Cat

Opie - Pizza deliveryRemember the 1961 Twilight Zone episode starring six-year-old Billy Mumy? Bill was a child actor in the sixties, with one of his most famous roles as Will Robinson in Lost In Space.

For me, his most memorable role was as Anthony Freemont, a little boy in Peakesville, Ohio who made the rest of the world disappear because it displeased him. No one can make Anthony mad. If they do, they will be sent into the cornfield.

You don’t need Stephen King’s imagination to know what that means.

Anthony is described in the plot summary as a monster. A mutant with godlike mental powers that include mind-reading. Everyone is under his rule. Even his parents. Children and adults both tiptoe nervously around him, constantly reassuring him how everything he does is “good.”

I saw this episode during a Twilight Zone marathon a couple weeks ago, and it struck me that I’m living with my very own Billy Mumy.

His name is Opie. He’s eight-years-old with a handsome face, ginger fur and golden green eyes.

Opie: Public Enemy Number One.

But like the opening narration for Twilight Zone’s “It’s A Good Life” states… When you look into those eyes, you’d better think happy thoughts. Because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge.

Billy… I mean, Opie, came to us as a three-month-old kitten, running amok in my yard among the raccoons and fox. He fell into place easily among the Wonderpurr Gang, and made fast friends with Barney.

Barney had insecurity issues and the devil in Herman took advantage by picking on Barney. It wasn’t until Opie joined the family and befriended Barney that things shifted out of Herman’s favor.

Opie read Herman like a book and taught Barney not to be afraid of him. In return for these lessons, Barney taught Opie how to spray stuff that he didn’t like.

This is how Opie evolved into Billy Mumy. I mean, Anthony Freemont—the Twilight Zone kid.

Barney has moved on, but his lessons on retaliation for things that displease him are still going strong. For a while, everything displeased Opie. The only kick he got was giving Herman a hard time. Then Peaches moved in and Opie fell in love and lightened up.

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So much so that he allowed her son, Jack, to move in after Jack had something bad happen to him and became very sick. Opie took Jack under his wing and today they are more than brofurs…they’re in a serious bromance.

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Then along came Dori, and Opie was done. She charmed the dickens out of him, and entertained him mostly by hounding Herman for attention.

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I feared the worst when Frank moved in a year later, but nope. Frank was tired of brawling and wanted a quiet, easy life. He let Opie be The Boss and was content to kiss his ginger ass.

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Around here, Opie is known as The Watcher. He watches everything, mostly from a floor basket where he blends in so often you’re not aware you’re being watched.

But you are.

All the time.

Like Santa Claus, Opie sees you when you’re sleeping; he knows when you’re awake. He also know when you’re opening cans of Fancy Feast and there will be hell to pay if you feed him last.

Emotionally Secure

Our newest – Candy – sized up the situation right away and made googly eyes at Opie. He now thinks the sun rises and sets on Candy.

We’ve had two-years-worth of Opie Joy. Then Jesse got a hole chewed into his butt, and his recoop time demanded he take refuge in Ray’s office. Opie set up camp outside the door. I was deluded into thinking he wouldn’t mind having Jesse recover inside a room that wasn’t being used.

I was wrong. But I didn’t know that yet. So I invited Nikolas inside to escape the dangerous heatwave that had settled over our town. Nik is Dori’s dad. He’s a nice guy. Never causes trouble.

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But.

Frank doesn’t like Nikolas. Frank also doesn’t like Jesse. And when I gave in to my delusion that everyone was going to behave like one big happy family…

All Hell Broke Loose!

Enter Billy Mumy cat.

His pal, Frank, wasn’t happy that Nik and Jesse were indoors, so Opie soaked the office door. He then soaked the cat bedding. He then soaked a wall or two. A rug or three. The bag of dog food for the raccoons. Nothing was considered beyond being soaked.

I quickly ran out of cat pee cleaner and patience.

As I write this Opie has entered my office and is gazing at me with his lovely golden green eyes. He’s really gorgeous. I mean, this cat has the most awesome orange fur I’ve ever seen on any cat in the entire wor–

Okay, the asshole just left.

Where was I?

Oh – just ran out of cat pee cleaner and patience.

Once Jesse was healed, he and Nik were escorted back outside with profuse apologies and a new garage fan. Still, the spraying has not quite stopped.

I made the Cardinal Sin of forgetting that Nik had slept on a cushy pet bed whilst enjoying his air conditioned suite in Ray’s office. This past weekend I put the bed down for someone else to enjoy. The next morning it was soaked.

I washed it. Twice! Put it down and again it was soaked.

I washed it again. Twice! And this time I covered it with a layer of Downy dryer sheets and a thick towel folded in half with another layer of Downy dryer sheets in between the layer.

I then put Opie on the bed and rubbed him all over it to get his personal stink ground in.

So far so good.

Good Opie! That’s real good!

If you’re interested, here is a clip from the Twilight Zone episode, It’s A Good Life.

Do you have a Billy Mumy cat at your house? A cat that holds you hostage with threat of bad behavior? I would love to hear how your cat rules your roost.

Thanks so much for leaving a comment, and have a Wonderpurr Day!

Kim

 

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