Sneakers is helping me to compute!

Here is a fun photo of Sneakers who likes to lay next to me at my desk.  This desk is metal with a thin drawer on both sides above to large filing cabinet like drawers.  I pull it out and he can climb up his stool to the table and then over to my desk and lay down and spread out.  He likes to put his paw on my hand.  It is a nice time together.  I take turns computing and petting him.

Sneakers helping

Sneakers helping

Litter Box Issues….


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Lately, I have seen articles online about 5 commons errors people make with litter boxes for their cats.

So I was thinking it might be interesting to see what they have to say.

This is from The Happy Litter Box website:

Basically it is too small a box, smell, the box is covered, and not enough kitty litter in the box.

This is from PETMD website:

In this article it is about using the correct litter, keeping the litter clean, the location of the litter box, not using the right size of litter box, and not enough boxes for multiple cats.

I just Googled “mistakes with the litter box.”  I got lots of hits.

There are a couple of thoughts about this.  First, I have tried various litters and have finally found some that don’t cause the cat the drag it all over the house.  That is very annoying to find a trail of litter.  I do sweep regularly but it is so much better.

I find that Worlds Best the Red bag is best for my cats. When I went to purchase the kitty litter they were out of the Red bag one day so I tried the green and I didn’t like it at all.  I usually buy the big bag using my PetSmart card to get a discount.

SWheatScoop and the Original small bag in blue for the added smell killing and absorption.

Blue’s Naturally Fresh Walnut Based Litter which is really nice. Smells great and is not perfumy.  It is black in color and I add it for smell issues and absorption.

I mix them all up together and make sure I have enough litter in each. You are probably saying why 3 types. Well, I just like mixing them up.  The cats seem fine with it.

I also use a Litter Locker II. I scoop the dirty litter and put it into the top of the Littler Locker and then it is closed off keeping the smell down.  I have a small house.  I could just use a bucket with a plastic bag in it but this Litter Locker II has a filter that has a bag in it and the litter just gets dumped into it.  The website has a video so you can see how it works. I bought this at Entirely Pets online and get the refills at a discount as well.  With the bucket and bag thing some garbage companies require that you double bag the litter.

The other issue was enough litter boxes. I was using two and that was not enough for two big cats so now I have three.  It works so much better.  I think they like to poop in this one large litter box and do the other in the other two.  So I have a regular litter box, one with tall sides, and another that is somewhat in between the other two in size. They are all open and not self cleaning.

I have them in our utility room where it is away from the rest of the house and they have privacy so it works.  Both don’t like to be disturbed when they go in to do their business. Ebony will just leave if you crowd him.  The washer hides two of the boxes.

I don’t remove all litter weekly and bag it replacing with fresh. I just really clean the boxes.  I air the litter by using the scooper to mix it up after I clean it. I add the various types of litter and keep replenishing the litter as it is used up.  I use a kitty litter scooper that is provided by the Litter Locker but I also have one that has a wire mesh to get the little pieces and I use that several times a week to really get the litter cleaned.  About once or twice a month I pull everything and sweep and clean the floor area, shake out the mats I have down to keep the litter that gets kicked out under control.

Well the wire mesh scoop I have has been discontinued.  Too bad.  What you are looking for is a very tight pattern that most scoops don’t have to get the really little pieces of bad litter. Here is a picture of it to help you get the idea of the scoop you need.  Go ahead and use the regular type for the big stuff.

So this might seem a little over the top and more expensive well, I used to have cats that went outside, through the dog door in the kitchen, to do their business but with the two indoor cats that I know have, I have to really work at keeping the litter under control and smelling good and disposing of it easily. It has been a big adjustment for me.

Good luck on your choices.

Celebrating Six Years with Ebony and Sneakers….


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Snakers Adoption Photo

Sneakers Adoption Photo

Wow, I cannot believe it has been 6 years since we adopted Sneakers and Ebony from the Seattle Humane Society.  I was told they were 10 years old then, so this means they are now both sixteen.

I suspect that Sneakers is a little older but I can’t really know for sure.  I think Ebony was added by the past family as a companion for Sneakers.  It is a speculation of mine.

They are very happy now. It was tough going the first year with Ebony having Giardia and being depressed. He was so unhappy in the cage.  We had to adopt them together because they were bonded.  They had been at the Humane Society four months.  I don’t think Ebony would have survived much longer.

Seeking the sun, Sneakers and Ebony

Seeking the sun, Sneakers and Ebony

Sneakers was bolder but still very wary of us.  It has taken awhile for us to get them to trust us and not shy away expecting us to hit them.  Hitting is not our way.

We have had some challenges with Sneakers surgery for the mass on his back and Ebony for the cyst on his neck. They have done so much better with this then I expected. We still have the beginning of kidney disease to work with and I am trying to choose foods there are lower in the phosphorus.  Sneakers is determined to eat the food he likes.  They were very good when I was going through my thyroid cancer treatments and I had to keep them away from me because of the radioactive drug that is used. I made little cubicles for Ebony to hide in at the bottom of bookcases.

Ebony is good now. He is so much improved. He let’s us know when he needs something. Actually Ebony doesn’t meow he squeaks.  He asks for food, catnip and demands to be brushed by my hubby. He will go into his office and squeak “come and play with me.”

Ebony in 2014

Ebony in 2014

Ebony likes to sleep on the bed, on the futon, or the green chair.  He and I have snuggle and catnip sessions on the living room floor.  I can reach down from standing and pet him and he doesn’t run away.  He will never be over his fears totally but he is so much better. I do have to be careful not to crowd him in the kitchen or bedroom or move to quick. I do feed him in the living room because he just doesn’t like to be cornered.  Talking seems to worry him and he runs away, so we have to be careful about that.

Most of all they like to cuddle with each other. If they weren’t so different in color you would not be able to tell which is which when they sleep next to each other. Sneakers is a take care type of kitty and he will go to Ebony if he hears him cry.

Sneakers holds Ebony

O Sneakers holds Ebony

Sneakers likes to cuddle with me on the futon and sit next to me.

Occasionally he goes outside for a few minutes but not as much as he used to.

He likes to ask for his morning treats and is very regular about it.  He sits on the table next to my desk and is very patient. He has taken to nudging me with his paw, tap, tap. He is very gentle, not like Minx who would whack me good. Sneakers likes to lay under the dining room table or on the bed. We have step stools positioned around the house to help him climb up. It is a characteristic of Rag doll cats not to jump. Ebony is the opposite and can jump very well.

Several people have come to our house and they admire Sneakers.  They comment that he is a “beautiful cat.” I have to admit he is very handsome. His beautiful face captured my heart and his perfectly positioned paws are amazing. Sneakers has blue eyes and I have tried to take a photo and get the color but it is difficult. Here is my latest attempt.

Sneakers in 2015

Sneakers in 2015

My hubby brushes them when he comes home from work and in the morning and it is funny to see him simultaneously stroke each cat – stereo brushing. He lies on the living room floor while each cat tries to push out the other vying for attention. This has really helped with Sneakers coat keeping out the mats and with hairballs and even though Ebony is short-haired it has helped him too.  It is also very good for them and they are now more trusting of hubby.

Sneakers outside

Sneakers outside enjoying the sun…

My two little gentlemen cats are doing very well and we are so happy to have them in our lives.

Be Kind to Black Cats – it’s Halloween…

Ebony checking out the crows on the front lawn

Ebony checking out the crows on the front lawn

Ebony wishes to encourage you to adopt a black cat and be kind to them.  It is not their fault they are black, it is just the way it goes.

Halloween has many scary things that are celebrated and one is the Black Cat.  It says that if one walks in front of you it is bad luck.  Well I have a black cat and he walks in front of me all the time and nothing bad happens to me says the human….

Ebony says to be safe and have a fun Halloween!!!

P.S. My surgery wound has healed real nice and my fur has grown back, it is now a distant memory….


Ebony’s Surgery Experience – June 2015!



Ebony had a cyst growing on his neck on the right side.  This started growing several years ago.  We have been monitoring it.  The vet took a sample and it was not cancer. They have drained it on occasion over the last several years. Each time they drained it it would come back even bigger.

Ebony and his cyst

Ebony and his cyst – see the white area on the left

About May, we both felt that the cyst was getting bigger and if they drained it again it would just come back even larger.  So we decided that it needed to come off.

This would be no easy task to remove the cyst from Ebony’s neck.  He is not the bravest cat and when he is traumatized he hides.  I have little cubicle areas for him to retreat to but my biggest concern was that he would end up under the bed and we could not be able to monitor his recovery.

Closer to Ebony's cyst

Closer to Ebony’s cyst – the size of a golf ball

Fortunately, Ebony has been with us now almost six years.  We adopted him and Sneakers in November of 2009.  He has changed and become so much more friendlier. He is still quick to run, but we can pet him more and he asks for us to pet him and feed him. He has come along way from the scared depressed and sick cat that we brought home.


I therefore, I set about planning his surgery experience.

1.  Survey of Vet Hospitals in the Seattle and Shoreline area: I did a survey of the kinds of vet hospitals in the area and what type of services they offered and their costs.  My thought was should he stay overnight at least the first night?  This would keep him safe and quiet.

A new vet hospital would mean bringing him in for a consultation and then returning for the surgery and possibly a follow up.  That means going three times to the vet for this procedure. It is hard enough getting him into the cat carrier to take him to the vet.  So doing this several times would damage all the care and love I have been giving him over the years. He remembers how I grab him.

Some of these vet hospitals required the vet to refer you to them for procedures. Which I could obtain from Cascade Pet if I decided to.

2.  Crate options:  Could we rent or buy a crate to keep him quiet the first night in our home?  I started to look at them online at rental stores like Aurora Rents, and Petsmart for the cost and sizes.

I was talking to my sister about Ebony’s cyst needing to be removed and I asked her about renting a crate or cage because she had done that herself for other cats. She offered a large dog crate she had for me to use and she sent me a picture.

So I decided that the dog crate, although small, might work long enough to keep him quiet the first couple of hours after he returned home.  I made arrangements to get this dog crate.

So I decided against the new vet hospitals because of the number of visits was unacceptable to me.  The cost was also a factor.  The Dog Crate was free and available and I knew in my heart he would not like it.

So the next step was talking to Cascade Pet Hospital about the surgery.

2.  Negotiating with Cascade Pet about the surgery:  I was near Sam’s Club so I went into Cascade Pet Hospital which is on Aurora in north Seattle.  I talked to the receptionist attendant and told her my problems with Ebony.

My goals:

1.  To reduce the time bringing him back and forth to the hospital to a minimum of two times is not just once.  This is very traumatic for him.

a.  No consultation appointment because they had knowledge of the cyst in his medical records.

b. Could they use stitches that dissolve.

c.  So he would only need to be brought in once for the surgery.

2.  How much would the surgery cost?

3.  Time he would need to be at the hospital.

3.  The vet attendant could not answer all my questions, so she said she would talk to the doctor about Ebony and she what they could do and call me back.

So she called back the next day to tell me what the doctor would do:

1.  Ebony would only have to come in once for the surgery.

2.  They needed him to come in early so they could do in-house blood work on him because he is an older cat. To make sure he is okay for anesthetic.

3.  I would bring him home by 4 pm.

4.  Cost would be about $450.00.  Total cost with a senior discount $415. Amazing.

4.  Schedule the surgery for June 25, 2015 and I would bring him in at 8:15 am.

So the plan was to take him in on the day of the surgery in the cat carrier, leave him till 4 pm the same and come and get him.


The 25th of June came quickly and I managed to get Ebony trapped. He was lounging on the Futon.  He was digging in to the Futon with his claws.  With hubby’s help we got him into the cat carrier really quick and with as little trauma as possible.

The day before I brought the carrier and the dog crate into the house.  I wanted them both to be use to the sight of them and smell.

We were a little early with the cat carrier so Ebony YEOWLED and that upset Sneakers who kept going over to the carrier to check on his buddy.

My hubby placed the cat carrier on my lap in the car and we drove to the vet hospital which is not too far from our house.

About 1 pm the vet assistant called to tell me that the surgery was successful and he was done and doing well. I was to come and get him a 4 pm.


I was at Cascade Pet Hospital a little bit before 4 pm.  Paid my bill and talked to the vet assistant who went over the post surgery rules.

Post Surgery rules:

To keep eye on his wound for any infection.  He had been given a 14 day antiobiotic injection.

He could not eat till 6 pm but he could have water and he should resume eating by the next day.  I was to give him food and water in small amounts to prevent nausea.

I was to keep him quiet, calm and restrict his activities for a few days.

Keep and eye on the wound for any problems. Since I did not want a collar I needed to be diligent in watching him and making sure he did not scratch his wound and cause it to tear or bleed.

No Collar:  I did not want a collar put on him although the assistant felt they could use a soft one. I had a bad experience with Ciara my big dog regarding one and didn’t want it at all.

Just remember you can negotiate with the vet about the care of your animal.

Dr. Snyder the new doctor was smart and very intense.  She was concerned about his blood levels indicating kidney issues.  I told her that I had tried prescription food for both cats but they would not eat it and it was costing me a lot of money. She realized I knew about the problem. She told me to have plenty of water and I said we did. Both cats are doing well and have good quality of life.  So I am making a big decision based on their age and health at this time to not use prescription foods.

She also said he has a cyst on his chin, that we are to monitor.


Both cats are heavy, so carrying the cat carrier requires I be very careful and hold it tightly even though it has a handle at the top.

I placed Ebony on the passenger seat and drove us home.  He was complaining all the way.  I could see inside and note that he was groggy.

At home, I opened the cat carrier and he was out in a flash but I had positioned it in from of the dog crate so he went right into the dog crate. WHEW!

An unhappy Ebony in the Dog Crate

An unhappy Ebony in the Dog Crate

I had a small kitty litter container in the crate, a towel for him to lay on and got him some water.  He was YEOWLING the hole time.  He wanted out. He spilled his water and messed the kitty litter around trying to get out.

I sat next to him and Sneakers did too. He kept YEOWLING, let me out! My sitting next to him seemed to calm him some.

Hubby came home about 5:15 and took over trying to calm Ebony down and laying next to the dog crate.

We kept him in the crate from about 4:15 pm to 7 pm and he YEOWLed most of it. I think the 2.5 hours gave him time to wear off the anesthetic.

Hubby opened the door and let him out.  We immediately got the dog crate out of the house and the cat carrier gone.  I was not going to have to take him back for the stitches they were dissolving.  YIPPEE!

He was pretty wired but I think he was happy to be home and able to go to the kitty litter and his hideaways without being to silly from the medicines they used.

I was surprised to see that his surgery site was as large as it was.  The surgery cut was a good 2.5 inches.  Apparently the cyst was bigger than we realized.

Taking pictures of the surgery site has not been easy because he is so dark and he is not cooperating.

About Tuesday following, Cascade Pet called to see how Ebony was doing and I gave a good report.  Ebony was doing great.  He was healing well and not scratching his wound and each time I look at it it is looking better and better.  It was a little puffy in places and I was told that would go away in a few weeks.  I checked this morning and wound was even better.

I am so very proud of my little Ebony. He is asking for food, catnip and petting.  He even likes me again and wants to hang out with me.  I am so glad that is over.