Animal companions in our happy homes



  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Lamb Chopped - that's brilliant, thanks
  • :blush: Stole it from the Old Ship, where someone used it about butter.
  • bassobasso Shipmate
    Sounds like something Kenwritez would have said.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    LC, I'm still in awe. It takes a particular kind of genius to repurpose a remembered quote in a very different context.
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    We had a wonderful, magical time this morning watching Echo work the meeting him in the sandpit back at school. His tail is even swishier and he’s even more handsome. He was paw perfect. He knew us the moment he saw us.

    His trainer has a possible match for him so it will all happen quickly from now on. The two people with us are his holiday boarders who also fell for him, as everyone does. 🐾💕
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Oh Boogie, he's gorgeous! :heart:
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    He's a beautiful Boy, Boogie!!
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    edited September 2021
    I am not very bright. I started playing a game with Aroha, throwing her kibble she had to race around to pick it up, sometimes using her paw to extricate it from where it lands. Guess who got tired of playing this first?

    Also there are days when I need to leave the house early, so I put the kibble in a dish. I get The Look. She sits at a distance waiting... 😾

    I guess there's always another bus I can catch.
  • I'm a tad sad - one of the Poor Cats that I feed was found dead by the other Feeder (while I was on holiday) We don't know what she died of, as she had seemed reasonably healthy when last seen. She was the last of the group known as Pugh, Barney, Cuthbert, Dibble, and Grubb, with the others disappearing or dying over the years. Cuthbert, for it was she, was so friendly for a stray, and we imagine she had been dumped as she was always demanding strokes and cuddles. I know the life of a Poor Cat is shorter, and harder, but she wadn't that old, and we had hoped to have her around for longer. There is only Shell, Tout Noir and Binkie left of the original colony of 15 - thanks to sterilisation of the females.
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    Poor Cat :cry:
  • So sorry for you and Poor Cat Cuthbert.
  • SnowgooseSnowgoose Shipmate Posts: 23
    Huia wrote: »
    I get The Look. She sits at a distance waiting... 😾

    Huia, I am also in thrall to a game-loving cat. Each of the two kittens gets separate playtime before we go to bed. (First Miss Molly while Coco is closed in his room, then vice-versa.) Miss M is fairly easy to please, but Coco is extremely demanding. He gets tired of a game very quickly, then sits and gives me The Look until I come up with something new to amuse him. We played measuring-tape-under-the-door for three days straight this week (three days in a row is a lot for him) but now he is bored with that and I have to think of something else.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I took Aroha to the vet for her annual vaccinations because she will be going to the cattery in November. The vet said she has put on weight (as we both did during the lockdown) The vet said she didn't need to lose weight, just not gain any more. I have bought some scales to weigh her food, rather than measure it in a too generous cup as I was doing. Aroha is not impressed at all and has developed a rather demanding meow to augment The Look.

    Now the evenings are getting warmer I think it's time I got Da Bird out of the cupboard where it hibernated during winter. It is an arrangement of feathers on a fishing pole like fibreglass rod. A friend sent it to me along with 3 bunches of feathers. Maybe if we play with it regularly we will both regain our sylph-like figures (ha-ha).
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    A smile for all Olive and Mabel fans - :)
  • We need new window coverings. Our first question is not about material or color but can the dog still see out. We went with shutters hinged in the middle so the bottom half can be opened when the top is shut against the suns glare. It appears our interior design choices are now based on our dog's comfort.
  • Having been pet free since the start of lockdown (🥲), it was a total joy to watch a small dog jump up onto Mr Alba’s lap this week! They both looked very pleased with themselves
  • We need new window coverings. Our first question is not about material or color but can the dog still see out. We went with shutters hinged in the middle so the bottom half can be opened when the top is shut against the suns glare. It appears our interior design choices are now based on our dog's comfort.

    That's lovely, seriously.
  • @Graven Image your dog has you well trained.
  • Our Thomas came in last night about half past eight and jumped onto my lap. Very rare, almost unheard of. Then he began to purr. Then he curled up between my leg and the back of the sofa and slept the sleep of the ???
    I think he had had a fight or a fright outside. Where he spends most of his time terrorising anything that moves and eating anything that doesn't move fast enough.
    Then every few months he becomes a normal, fluffy-ish, quiet, neutered ginger stripey rescue cat for a few hours instead of the neighbourhood hooligan
  • Phases of the moon?
  • To clarify
    Not our dog, we were visiting
  • @Galilit Pixie has become more cuddly over the last couple of days - I'm guessing it's because of the cold and she's seeking my body heat. She's still on a lead when she's outside because I suspect that she'd carry on terrorising the local cats - I hope she grows out of this! Next week is her gotcha anniversary and I'm wondering how (if?) she'd like to celebrate.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I have been planting trees and roses accompanied by the chief hole digger, Aroha. Every hole I dug had a striped bottom placed in it so she could pee and mark her territory. At the end of planting time she headed for her water bowl, content with a job well done, 😺
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Clever Aroha! :)
  • Lyra presented me with a large and uninjured sparrow just as I was finishing work. Fortunately it took refuge behind the door so I managed to put a bin over it, slide cardboard underneath and release it in the garden. I don’t suppose it enjoyed flying off into Storm Barra, but it’s better than being mauled by a cat.
    Lyra is now Not Pleased with me. She made lots of squeaky noises and ate a few smallish feathers, then stalked off to tell her mother how unfair I am.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    You dreadful person Aravis. :wink: I used to do the same with Sam, who was the most efficient hunter I ever had. It must have been confusing to him that I approved of him catching mice, but not birds.

    Aroha and I are currently battling Spooky, the black cat from up the road who come in and steals food. After she has eaten she curls up on my bed for a sleep - which would be easier for me to tolerate if she didn't dribble. Poor Spooks is the very much loved cat of an elderly woman up the road who now has dementia. Her adult children moved in to help her - along with their cat and dog.
  • Huia wrote: »
    Just doing some research for my next needlework project. I have seen the saying One cat short of crazy. I am wanting to stitch it on a wall hanging.

    Crunch question; How many cats is that?

    It is the exact number of cats you currently have...
  • Oh no, I think I could have at least a couple more before crazy sets in.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    In the past I have had 3, but leaving them in the Cattery if I go away is horribly expensive. I don't feel happy about getting neighbours to feed them as I would be concerned about the possibility of another series of quakes and I wouldn't like to put that responsibly onto anyone else. Lots of cats ran away during the quakes and some possibly drowned in the liquefaction. :cry: or starved.
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    We have a Family Gathering on my brother’s birthday (the 30th). This is usually in one of our houses but Covid has messed that up. Last year we had a family walk in a park which is equidistant from us all. It was magical with snow and sledges involved plus mulled wine for the non-drivers and flasks of coffee - plus cake.

    We are going to do the same this year. If a ‘six’ rule comes in we’ll walk in two groups. I can’t expect another magical snowy, sunny day - but I can make a Christmas wish for it. ✨❄✨

    Family dogs -

    Tatze (our eight year old black Lab)
    Bryn (my niece’s springer, the same age as Tatze)
    Echo (my Guide Dog puppy, Golden Retriever now Guide Dog - then twelve months old)
    Meg (my other niece’s rescue Cavalier about ten years old)


    Here is a video of the Magical Walk -
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    That's lovely, Boogie! Hoping for another Magical Walk for all of you!
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I reckon I got more than enough snow to last a lifetime when we were in Canada, but that does look pretty, especially with the dogs and children having such fun!
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    Tatze loves her new Lambie present. I wrapped it again so that my son could watch her open it!
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Boogie, that is so endearing.

    A neighbour down the road put her ginger cat (Picasso) on a strictish diet in mid-December as recommended by the vet. A week later Picasso moved in with a retired librarian three roads away and was retrieved yesterday, answering to the name Missy and more over-weight than ever. Vets do warn owners that cats tend to find wander away to find food elsewhere when put on a diet.
  • Our cat Plato was put on an (expensive) low-protein diet following an intussusception. He immediately started supplementing his low-protein diet with high-protein birds and mice, having shown no interest in hunting prior to this.

    We swopped back to his normal diet and he stopped hunting. Fortunately he remained healthy.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I'm seriously impressed by how clever Tatze is; she even had the wit to move from the slippery surface of the floor to the mat so that she could get the wrapping paper off.

    What a resourceful dog! :heart:
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Aroha is on a very slight diet. The vet said it wouldn't be good for her to gain more weight as she has a small frame so I switched her indoor kibble to half indoor, mixed with half low weight. I mix them together and weigh each portion and put it in small zip lock plastic bags for her twice daily feeds. This also means I am less tempted to give her extra kibble between meals. She also has half a pouch of wet food twice a day and water freely available.

    I didn't want to reduce her food too drastically because I was a worried she would wander or try to catch birds. I have noticed she has become a bit more territorial, chasing away the elderly grey cat from over the road who comes here for water and who has never shown any interest in coming inside. I don't know if that's because of food, or because she has become more assertive as she grows. She's 3 years old now.

    Sometime in January I'm going to take her for a weigh-in and a health check as I would hate her to become under weight.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    edited January 12
    I've been thinking of where to post this, but I guess this is the natural spot. Let me tell you about Lupin.

    But first some background. As I have mentioned before, my current favorite comic strip is called "Breaking Cat News" by Georgia Dunn (or "BCN" to us fans). It is available on the GoComics website on those days when GoComics is functioning. The original concept of the strip, based on Georgia Dunn's own three cats, was that the cats were reporters in their own news program (the Cat News Network).

    The background story to the development of the strip is important to this story. Georgia and her husband (Ryan) love animals. They tend to not only favor Shelter Cats, but cats with challenges. Lupin, the white cat, is deaf as a result of a bad kittenhood infection. (And, yes, I know it is tough to tell whether a cat is deaf or just ignoring you--but Lupin is certifiably deaf). Puck, the black cat, only has three legs, having lost a hind leg in a kittenhood trauma. Elvis, the Siamese, is....well, actually, he is fine. Just Siamese, so very firm in his likes and dislikes.

    Now Georgia has always longed to be a cartoonist. She took art classes. She tried out various web-comics and had a number of other concepts that never got developed. And that brings us to 2014. She had a young baby. Her husband had lost his job. They were preparing to move cross-country in the hopes of being able to find work. And Georgia came home one day to find that Lupin had pushes all the items off a shelf and broke them. As she cleaned up, she was amused that Elvis and Puck came around to see what was happening. She began to imagine them as reporters and made up voices to quiz her about the event. The idea tickled her so much that, just for fun, she quickly drew a comic about "Breaking Cat News" (emphasis on the word 'breaking") and sent it to friends and family. It was well received and she did a few more strips. And, despite having no income and her family being uprooted, she then toyed with the idea of making it an ongoing strip. She discusses that night here.

    So she took the chance and created the a web comic. A few months later, it was picked up by GoComics and a couple years after that, it was picked up to become a syndicated comic strip for newspapers. She now has 4 (soon to be 5) collections of the strip published. It was and is her lifetime dream to be a cartoonist and she achieved that dream and all because Lupin was Lupin and broke the items on a shelf.

    This past Monday, Lupin died. Only 9. He had a heart problem. If you want more, Georgia posted a long note about it in the comments section of Monday's strip (there are two posts from her--you have to open up "See All Comments" to read them both). I feel so bad for her. I know her heart is broken.

    Lupin will live on in the strip. Georgia decided years ago that nobody dies in BCN. The wonder of comic strips.

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Aaah - that's so sad! RIP Lupin. :cry:
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    BCN is my favorite comic, and I love those kitties. Georgia has kept us informed of Lupin's illness, and it was such a relief when he started feeling better and acting like his old self! It was so heartbreaking to read that Lupin had suddenly died. In a way, he was a happy home kitty for so many of us.

    I'm so glad you posted, Hedgehog.
  • NuthatchNuthatch Shipmate
    I confess I haven't read this whole thread so I could have missed something, but I'm wondering if anyone here has guinea pigs?

    I came very late to guinea pigs (to pets of any sort actually - I wasn't allowed pets as a child, and as an adult it never felt possible for various reasons) But I gradually became convinced that an animal companion was what was missing in my life, and after doing lots of research and being urged on by a friend, I adopted two beautiful piggies - Toffee and Biscuit - in September 2020, and they have made such a difference to my life! As they came from a rescue I don't know their exact ages but believe Biscuit (female) to be nearly four years and Toffee (neutered male) to be just over two.

    As I'm now on the verge of retirement and will have more free time I'm beginning to wonder if I could/should adopt two more...

  • A friend had them years ago, and we admired them greatly. Wonder if I'd be allergic?
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    I used to have Guinea pigs - lovely animals.

    I am allergic to the stuff in their scent glands and the same with cats - but, as long as they don’t rub their faces or bottoms on me I’m fine.

  • We had Guinea Pigs for years. Living as we did in the chilly highlands, Mr Cats, who is a real softy, worried about them in cold weather. On really cold nights they came indoors into an indoor hutch, but for marginal nights he devised an underfloor heating system for them. This involved raising the floor level of the sleeping compartment and inserting a small hot water bottle in the new cavity beneath. I don’t know what the Guinea Pigs made of it. But it made Mr Cats very proud.
  • NuthatchNuthatch Shipmate
    Oh wow, @Cathscats - that sounds wonderful. I live in an inner city flat so mine are indoors all year round, and I'm more worried about them overheating in the summer than getting too cold in the winter. When we had a mini heatwave last summer I was quite concerned about them but they actually seemed to cope with it better than me. I followed advice and put plastic bottles of water in the freezer and then put them in the cage wrapped in a sock. It did seem to lower the temperature slightly and the piggies seemed to enjoy sitting next to them.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited January 15
    My Old Mum's next-door neighbours kept Guinea Pigs, but, as there was no room in the house, the animals' residences were all outside in the yard and garden. At any one time, they might have had a dozen or so Guinea Pigs, in at least half-a-dozen hutches of the size used to keep Rabbits in.

    This is SE England, so not perhaps as chilly as frore Scotland, but the Guinea Pigs seemed to come to no harm.

    As others have said, rather engaging little beasties.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    The only thing I know about guinea pigs, is that they are vulnerable to grass snakes and your outdoor hutch and run arrangements need to be sufficient to protect them.
  • The only thing I know about guinea pigs, is that they are vulnerable to grass snakes and your outdoor hutch and run arrangements need to be sufficient to protect them.

    The hutches were all some way above ground IIRC, but the runs would, of course, have been at ground level. The neighbours (with Mum's permission) used part of her long and narrow garden - otherwise left fallow (!) - for Guinea Pig purposes, and there were indeed Grass Snakes around. I know, because I found a whole family of them one day whilst doing a bit of tidying-up...

    How would they hurt a Guinea Pig, though? I thought they were harmless, at least to Humans.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    edited January 15
    I thought, and I got this from a guinea pig owner rather than a vet so it may be bollocks, that grass snakes were a danger to guinea pigs- but whether that’s a chemical or physical thing I don’t know. And might depend on their relative sizes. Grass snakes mainly eat amphibians but will take small mammals and they are quite large, over a metre full grown. In any case one would presumably not leave them out over night anyway because foxes.
  • North East QuineNorth East Quine Shipmate
    edited January 15
    My sister-in-law has four indoor guinea pigs, and they are delightful. Hers are also rescues, so she's not sure how old they are.
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