What An Absolute Unit

Look at this boy:

Fucking magnificent.

Respite Open Thread: Gabe’s New Adventure

Gabe got to go outside this morning. This was our second attempt. A few weeks ago I tried it and he headed to the gate, as if to leave, so I swooped him up and brought him back inside.

Zander and Gabe wishing I would go away

Today, I grabbed a cup of coffee and joined the cats outside, ready to snag Gabe if he tried to leave again. Instead, he was content to hang out by the catnip and roll in the grass.

This is how I usually train the cats to be backyard kitties. I hang with them and discourage them from jumping the fence or finding an opening I didn’t realize we had.  It takes a few times, but they always seem to get the idea. If they want to hang out in the yard, they must stay in the yard.

Emma joins the boys

I have also been known to send Bixby out after them to bring them back in. He’s very protective of his kitties. And I figure, better he scares them than the dog next door (even though the dog next door weighs all of 4 lbs and is terrified of the ducks).

To be fair, the only way to leave the yard is to jump the six-foot fence and for Gabe, that may no longer be a possibility. We don’t body shame here, but he seems to have grown as round as he is long.

Bonus Penelope (FKA Pearl):


Most of the white stuff in the water does not belong to her, but to my neighbors’ cottonwood.

Respite open thread

ETA: Someone added a “Duck Blogging” category and it wasn’t me! I swear.

Monday Morning Open Thread: Readership Capture


And an update on Elby from his new housemate Silvery:

Elby arrived a month ago tomorrow, after he was personally flown out here by his foster mom. He is super-sweet, and very much a schedule General. He lets me know when it;s time for his medicine, time to open/close curtains, time for bed, time to get up, etc.; if it happens on a schedule, he is on it. Elby believes that human beds were made for cats, and he does not understand why anyone wouldn’t want to spend all their time there, except for his window. He’s doing great and I am super happy to have him in my life.

This is him in the middle of telling me all about the window:

May you and Elby enjoy many happy days together, Silvery!

CATCAM Open Thread!

British researchers put small video cameras on cats to observe their behavior. Here are some samples:

Excerpts from an interview with one of the authors:

Q: What were the challenges of getting the cats to wear cameras?

A: We started with 21 cats, but only 16 tolerated the cameras. The others either started racing around or tried to scratch them off. One mother cat was like this, and when we put the camera on her son, she began hitting him. So we didn’t use either cat.


Q: You thank the study cats in the paper’s Acknowledgements section. Why?

A: I always acknowledge the animals I work with. I’ve been doing that since my Ph.D. thesis. I do feel thankful because if the cats didn’t oblige us, we couldn’t do the study.

From my experience with cats and harnesses, I am surprised that none of the cats acted paralyzed and fell over on its side.

Here’s the full journal article.

Open thread for anything but politics.




Saturday Morning Open Thread: Cat Rescue Update!

Loki and Fiona seem to be adjusting to their new home (and housemates) nicely. Many thanks to cat angel Greg M:

We did have the names crossed up. Loki is the Tortie and Fiona is the Blue.

Loki is certainly the more brave of the two. She was poking her head out as soon as I opened the carriers. For her courage she was greeted with a dog snout and a lick. She didn’t seem to mind.

After a few minutes I took both cats downstairs where we’re setting up their litter. It’s a large space so it’s not ideal for adapting them to their new place but because we’re still moving in it has lots of nooks and crannies for them. Also it will be easier to deal with any accidents. Speaking of, both cats seem to have used the litter box last night so I am less concerned about that.

After a few minutes I went upstairs to eat dinner. Loki took the 15 minute gap to leave her carrier and find a bookshelf to perch on. She hid there until I set out the food dishes. She go much braver as soon as she had some grub.

Fiona was content to stay in her carrier.

Pepper, our border collie, reintroduced herself to Loki. It looks like they’ll get along fine. Every time she tried to say hello to Fiona she would get hissed at and retreat. Pepper is not the bravest dog in the world.

For the most part that was the course of the night. I did, after four hours, decide that Fiona needed to come out of the carrier for two reasons. One: She wanted attention and was loudly letting us know she wanted attention. Two: I really wanted her to use the litter box. After I helped Fiona out of the carrier and let her have some lap time she was fine. Neither cat went back into their carriers.

That’s about it so far. I had been up for 18 hours at that point so I went to bed. This morning both cats were up and about and exploring their new digs. The first thing both of the kids did when they got up was to ask to see the kitties. It’s still early days but it looks like everyone is going to settle in fine.