Zeeta and Mr. Biggie

Let’s talk about our little Zeeta. Our “Mak-Mak” Cat.

We brought Zeeta into the family a bit over a year ago. She progressed only so far in her domestication and has been almost “autistic” in her behaviors. There are things she can do, and things she cannot do. And also, there are the things that Must Not Ever Change.

As an example: Zeeta can only be petted in my bedroom, on my bed. And Nowhere Else. On my bed, she is a cuddle-monkey. A lovey-dovey, pushy, PET ME, kitty. But if you try to approach her anywhere else in the house or in the yard, Zeeta flees in terror. It is disconcerting. But it is how she is.

And Then … there is Zeeta’s Very Special Blanket.

I have, on the top-left corner of my bed, a folded, heavy, dark-colored, western blanket. It was supposed to be for me, on the cold nights, but Zeeta has claimed it and now it is her spot on the bed when I am not sleeping (if I am sleeping, I am the cat bed). However … my other blankets are Other Colors, Zeeta Offending Colors.  And if I get up and my other blankets touch her “cat bed”, then she cannot use it.

Zeeta’s Blanket must be an island, isolated from all other things. It is her Holy Place. And if a corner of one of the Other Blankets touches Her Sacrosanct Bed, she will sit in an unhappy ball next to it until I return and can fix it.   When I return, Zeeta begins “mak-ing” at me to point out the Contamination.  And then I fix it. I move the offending blankets away. And she leaps with joy onto her perfect, wonderful bed, once again clean and perfect.



She is an odd kitty.

Now, another Zeeta story.  As you may remember, Zeeta is usually the feral cat during the day and I rarely see her unless it’s bedtime.  Until very recently. When we put in a cat door. It took her a day to figure it out. And then …

I was sitting in my room at the computer when I hear “mak-mak” from under my chair. This was during the day, so I was surprised. I turned to peek at her and she scampered out, almost playfully, I thought. Then I said to myself, “Naw, that wasn’t playing. Zeeta is not a playful cat. She is a serious cat.” And went back to working on the computer.

But a few minutes later, I hear another “mak-mak”, I look, and she runs out of the room again.  And this time, I follow, to see what’s what. And I see her run out the cat door.  Like, “haw haw, you can’t catch me!”.  I smile and go back to my room to work, and yes, a moment later, I again hear, “mak-mak!”

This is now her game. Kinda like how kids ring the doorbell, then run away.  She does it over and over.  And if I ignore her, the “mak-mak”s go on until I look at her so she can “flee”.

I have started to call her “Squeaky” because her multiple “mak-mak”s sound a bit like a squeaky toy.

Silly girl!

In other news? Mr. Biggie, our old, grumpy feral cat got an early Christmas Present — a heating pad that only heats when weight is on it. HE LOVES It. And also? He now loves us.

This is the one if you’re curious:


Also … we started giving him an extra-special treat every day after the … offense of having him fixed a while ago.  He was mad for weeks and we had to make amends.  So we put out a bit of a hot dog, or a slice of lunch meat for him whenever we saw him out and about.

Then, recently, there was a super-sale on “close to due date” chicken livers. So we bought a couple of containers and started giving him 2 a day.

And he is crazy for them!

And now? Now Mr. Biggie comes right up to our sliding glass door and scratches on it to remind us! “Get Out here, Human and feed thy Cat King!” He has even become braver and stays very close by when we open the door to plop it into his bowl. And he’s eating before the door is even closed.

Also … He is getting a bit chubby. And Winter Coat Fuzzy. All fluffy and stuff. And OMG he is adorable!  I wanna pick him up and squeeze him. But I like my face as it is, sans stitches. So. No. I won’t.  But I wanna!

And, life goes on here in Cat Land.  I hope ya’ll have a wonderful Holiday Season!  May it be Joyful.


Life in the Cat House

In Videos, even!

This is The Old Guy, Mr. Biggie. He wants me ta stop pointing the camera at him and put out a bowl of food.

When he is happy with us, he looks at us. When he is displeased, he will not bestow the boon of seeing his open eyes…



Shade is the name that we have finally given to Cienna and Bonsai’s middle sibling. He sneaks in occasionally with one of the other kits. And that day, we closed the door on him for a bit. He was not happy about it. And Bonsai … was not exactly sympathetic to his plight…



In other news, Bonsai finds and hides things. I found a cool leaf in my shoe the other day. And this … this is him trying to hide a toy he stole from Maggie in a cola box.





Last but not least, Bonsai may be bigger, but he still needs Mommy Cuddles.



Smoke = Bad. So Here’s Pics

Hi there!  I have been promising an update on the newest, feral kitten in our household.  But I have been kinda under the weather.  And with all the fires in California and Washinton all blowing their smoke up here for us to breathe, I feel pretty icky.

So here is the next best thing.  A bunch of pictures of the new boy, Buckaroo Bonzai.  From his first day, caught in the cage and refusing to eat.  To now, where he’s decided that inside the house is GOOD.  We have food, it’s safe, and he has a giant momma dog to protect him and keep him warm.


Little Buckaroo Bonzai’s first day.  Lookit how tiny he was!


Maggie becomes a Kitty Mommy


Buckaroo Bonzai love’th his new mommy.


Maggie cannot escape the kitten.


Resistance is Futile.


It really is.


There is no escape.


Though … they are kinda de-sheeting my bed.


Aw well, I suppose I can remake it later.


Have a great day!  And stay out of that smoke!

Oops, almost forgot!

Here’s a video:



The Fixing of the Ferals

In our lovely town of Port Angeles, Washington there is an organization that calls itself, simply, Clallam County Trap-Neuter-Return. It is staffed by dedicated volunteers in the area who go out into the wilds to trap our local colonies of feral cats, spay and neuter them, give them basic shots, a flea treatment, then releases them back to where they found them. The only exception to this is the kittens. If they catch feral kittens young enough to be socialized, they are moved to the Humane Society for adoption.

It is a lot of work. And a lot of care goes into what they do. And because of their efforts to spay and neuter every wild-cat they can find, the feral cat population here is steadily decreasing. So much so, that there are now very few feral kittens available for socialization. I find this amazing and wonderful.

And why I am writing about this is, as you all know, if you’ve been reading this blog, Jatina and I have our own small, feral-cat colony living under our house. Three boys, one mama, and one kitten. And it was slowly growing in size. Jennie, the mama, was having 1 kitten a year. And though we were okay with feeding four, feral kitties, now there were five. And we really didn’t want any more.

When we spayed Cienna (we got lucky with Zeeta, as she was ear-tipped and already fixed) it ran us about $300 for everything. That took a good bite out of our finances, and we knew that there was just no way we could come up with that kind of money for five, feral cats. So about a month ago, I went on to Facebook’s PORT ANGELES PAWA page and began inquiring about any low-cost spay/neuter options for our ferals.

Shortly after my post, I was contacted by a woman named Marion Wagner who was part of the Clallam County Trap-Neuter-Return group in our area. She was quite willing to help us.

As C.C.T.N.R works with our local Spay to Save Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic, Marion was able to arrange four slots for our ferals on the 30th of July. Then she sent one of her volunteers over to bring us the traps, and to show us exactly how they worked, and to advise us on how to go about trapping our kitties.

I want to take a moment to say how much I really liked their traps. When we bought the small, Havahart trap for Cienna back in December 2016, it had a spring mechanism that snapped the door shut HARD. We were very worried it might slam down on her tail or a foot. And I wouldn’t recommend Havahart traps for that reason. (See Photo Below)havihartOwch!  Look at that scary door thing!

But the C.C.T.N.R. traps are designed quite differently and are far safer. When the trap is tripped, the door falls via gravity only, then locks securely, making it almost impossible for the animal to be hurt. Also, these traps had two doors, one which slides up so that you can put food or water into the cage without an escape. And I liked that, too. (See Photo Below)


Aren’t they great?  It is the Humane Way 914048 Live Trap Animal, Medium 32″x12″x10″

The volunteer that came to our house on the 14th was named Bruce. He went over the use of the traps more than once to make sure we understood how to use them. And then explained the plan.

We were to start feeding the ferals from inside the unset traps immediately. We would do this for a couple of weeks, and then, two days before our appointment at the clinic, we would stop all food. Then, the day before, on the 29th, we’d set the traps and bait them, and our hungry boys and girl would come running, and find themselves captured.

There was one exception. They brought one trap with a “kitten door”. It was a piece of plywood with a small entry hole cut in it and secured near the front of the cage. This would keep the big cats out, but let the little one in. Bruce wanted us to catch the kitten right away, and begin socializing it. That way, should we decide not to keep it, it would be accustomed enough to humans to make it adoptable at the Humane Society. (I will write about this process soon.)

Catching the baby turned out to be incredibly easy. Since we had stopped all food the night before, everyone was hungry. And since only the baby’s trap had food, it wasn’t even an hour before we had the little one.

We brought the baby in and transferred him/her into a dog crate with a small cat box, food, water and a blankie. Then we removed the kitten-gate, and put that cage back outside with the others. Then put food out for all the hungry ferals, inside the new, blanket-covered boxes.

It took no time at all for Jennie, Little Boy, and Biggie to start eating out of the covered traps. They seemed to really like it, to be honest. They thought they were cool, new cat things, and they’d come daily, sniff around, stretch, and go in and eat. Biggie even claimed one for himself, laying outside it between meals, and mostly the others respected that. They each seemed to pick out their favorites.

The only one I was not seeing regularly was the one we call “Papa”. In fact, it is possible I’ve confused seeing him with Cienna because he looks exactly like her. Also, I did see him recently laying on a lawn of a house down the street, relaxed, even with people sitting on their porch. So … maybe Papa isn’t so feral after all. And that’s a good thing.

All this said, I still have to admit that I felt a bit guilty setting them up like that. But I knew that if we fixed them, we would be helping to keep the feral population down. And that’s a very good thing. Plus we were worried about the fighting. Whenever a lady-cat went into season, everybody went crazy, and eventually, someone was going to get hurt. Not to mention that our Mr. Biggie is getting very old.

And then, the 28th came before we knew it. We kept Cienna and Zeeta in to keep them out of the traps, emptied out the food from all the cages, and waited until the afternoon of the 29th. Then we baited and set the traps.

We caught Biggie first, poor old boy. And an hour later, Little Boy was trapped, too. But Jennie. Jennie was crafty. She made in and out of her preferred trap 3 times before we finally switched it out for our other free trap. And then, we caught her. There was much cheering in the household because she was our main target.

The last trap remained empty, though. Not because of any malfunction in its door mechanism, but simply because we saw no trace of Cienna’s Papa. I guess, if he has a home, he just doesn’t feel the need to eat here all the time.

So. Our feral kids spent the night in their covered cages. And the next morning we put them in the back of my 1989 Silverado and drove them to their appointments. Mostly, they were very good about it. Little Boy threatened to kill us when we reached for the cage but settled fairly quickly when we picked it up. Biggie and Jennie were mostly quiet but were a bit jumpy when we first picked up the cages.

We arrived at the Clinic at 8:30am, filled out paperwork, and with the help of one staffer, put the cages in the shade next to the Mobile Clinic. And that’s when we found out that they don’t just spay and neuter the feral kitties. They also give them free shots and a free flea treatment, too. And they fix ferals for FREE. I was quite surprised. And left a donation with them as thanks.

We were told to come back at 4:30pm for our ferals, and once home, to leave them in their cages till the next morning. We thanked them and drove home to wait.

At around 3pm, however, we got a call.

Upon examining Jennie they discovered that she had a disease called Stomatitis, an extremely painful condition that is very hard to treat. They said often it is incurable, and only gets worse with time. They told me that they’d brought in another vet to get a second opinion, just to be sure. And everyone agreed that she had it, and it was advanced. I was told that she was in extreme pain, and after talking to Jatina, we agreed to have her put down. They said that they could do it for us there.

And … I … am quite sad. But also grateful to the Spay to Save Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic for taking care of our little girl.

But, the boys seem to have done well. We brought them home and kept them inside in their covered cages overnight. The next morning we let them loose and they went straight under the house. We haven’t seen Biggie since, but likely he’s ticked at us and it may be a few days before he is willing to tolerate our presence. But Little Boy… Little Boy was out hanging with our Cienna within a couple of hours of being released. He looks pretty happy.

And that is the story of the Fixing of the Ferals. If you have ferals yourself, you might google your local area for a similar group. There seems to be people all over the country coming together to help keep down the feral population.

And even if you are feral free, but have a pet you aren’t sure you can afford to fix, look for a local “Spay to Save Mobile Clinic”. Ours will fix your fur babies, cat or dog, for only $20 for the girls and $15 for the boys. And shots and flea treatments are also available for a discounted price, as well.

Both groups do very good work. If you are looking for a place to donate to, please consider:

Spay to Save Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic
Clallam County Trap-Neuter-Return

And thank you! I hope you all have a wonderful and inspiring day!

Cienna is Ticked

All day today Cienna has been nipping us.  Not hard, but consistently.  Because today we are evil humans.  So evil and untrustworthy, that we are not allowed to pet or hold her.   And after some consideration, we think that we know the reason why…

Historical Video Below:

About two years ago, we caught Cienna in “The Contraption”.  Since then it has been stored in the garage, dusty and closed, with boxes on top.  Cienna has seen it every time she goes in there to play, and it has never been a problem … closed and dusty and empty.

But you see, we have this problem.  One of the ferals we feed is a lady-cat, and she keeps going into season and having a kitten.  Only one, I suspect, because she’s kinda tiny.  But she’s been having them consistently.  And it needs to stop.

So, I looked up this group in Port Angeles that arranges very low-cost spay/neuter services for feral cats: $20 for the ladies and $15 for the fellas, and they’ve agreed to help us.   But we have to catch her first.   And so, we have set up “The Contraption” again for the mummy and the wee kit.  It is now in the greenhouse where they tend to hang out, door open, and food and a blankie inside.  And Cienna saw it this morning.  And Cienna is @#$ed.

She came right in, yowling complaints, and refusing to let us touch her at all, pinching us with her teeth whenever we try.

It’s been going on now for hours.  And I suspect that she’s going to be even more ticked when we catch them and bring them inside.  Mum and Baby are not going to be happy about it.   And I suspect that it will be contagious.

Who says cats don’t remember things after 6 months.  Cienna remembers just fine.

fun fun fun

Damn it.  It is HARD being a responsible human sometimes.







Biggie is Sneaking Inside.

Yes.  He is.  We’ve caught him sneaking inside to steal cat treats now several times.  And again this morning.

I saw Jatina standing oddly in the hallway.  I asked if everything was okay.  And she said, “Biggie is inside again”.  And I peeked around her, and there was he was.  He kept eating for a moment, then hesitated, looked at us, and hobbled as quickly as his old legs could manage back outside through our door.

Cienna was sitting next to him, very socialably. 🙂

(P.S. I understand that socialably isn’t quite a word.  But for that sentence, “socially” doesn’t seem to fit.

Any suggestions?

We Are Being Invaded…

…By Cats…

Biggie has now decided that if the house is quiet enough, he sneaks inside and checks out what goodies we’ve put out for Cienna and Zeeta.  Which recently, has been various chicken livers from the whole bodies I’ve been smoking on my Weber Smokey Mountain (great, great smoker by the way.  Kicks Brinkman’s in the rear.)  And Biggie seems to love the chicken livers.

And Baby?  The last few days Baby has been following Cienna inside when they’re playing.  He/She doesn’t come all the way in but stops on the windowsill to stare forbiddingly at us before exiting.  And we have begun to suspect that Baby and Cienna have had a few Inside Playdays while we’ve been out shopping.  Because that look just seems ta scream, “why aren’t you GONE?”

Also?  Biggie loves the Weber Smoker.  I think whoever owned him before might’ve been a BBQer.  Because he wanders over to where I’m cooking, then keeps walking back and forth, and round and round, as if he’s saying, “Look!  Here I am!  BBQ Cat.  I love BBQ.  Don’t forget about me, the old, frail kitty, when you pull that yummy stuff off.”  And yes, I do throw him a bite when I pull it all off the grill.  Silly old guy.

And soon, yes.  We will have FOUR cats.

I am both happy and horrified.