Chris’s Springboard

Charles Huss:

Chris has slowed down a bit since I originally posted this but he still loves getting on my shoulders. He rarely uses me as a springboard anymore because there aren’t as many high places he can get to in our new home.

Originally posted on Bad Cat Chris:

I mentioned before that Chris likes to get on my shoulders, although my profile picture probably makes that obvious. He does not always want to be there but there are certain times where he will climb up my leg and beg to be picked up. Other times he will jump on the counter and then onto my shoulders. Sometimes he jumps on me when I am not expecting it.

As much as he likes being on my shoulders, there are times when he just wants to use me as a springboard to reach a higher place. He can be like Ricochet Rabbit sometimes. From the floor to the counter to my shoulders and then to the top of the cabinets. Ping, ping, ping! It is these times where he not only surprises me but also digs his claws in me and leaves a mark like I was bitten by a…

View original 204 more words

Lords of the Flies

I think we have the worst toilet in the Western Hemisphere. I seem to constantly need the plunger which Rose seems to think is best kept outside in the shed. Rather than argue the logic, I just go to the shed to get it, which is what I did Thursday morning, not long after we had a bad rain storm.

I was able to successfully plunge the toilet and everything went down except one thing that I hope wasn’t there the entire time; a frog. I assume it crawled into the plunger and then came into the house with me. I’m just amazed that it didn’t go down with the flush.

I grabbed a tissue and tried to grab it but it jumped out of the toilet and grabbed Frankie’s attention, who likes to hang out with me sometimes in the bathroom for some strange reason. Frankie lunged for it but missed. It hopped behind the toilet and I tried grabbing it as it came around to the other side but I missed too. Finally, Frankie was quicker than I and walked away with the frog in his mouth. I was a little concerned that he might eat it and get sick but I think the only poisonous frog in the Tampa Bay area is actually a very large, non-native toad, which I actually saw hopping away from the shed when I went to get the plunger.

Our cat Frankie with Frog in his mouth

It seems nothing attracts a crowd like a frog.


Our cat Frankie with Frog in his mouth

Our cat Frankie with Frog in his mouth and Puck and Chris watching him.

Our cat Frankie with Frog in his mouth and Puck watching him.

I managed to get the frog from Frankie before he ate it and put it outside. I thought it was dead but it was gone the next time I looked outside.

A little later I noticed a fly in the house. The cats noticed it too and were trying to catch it. I thought it was actually good that it was there to keep the cats from being bored. I would soon change my mind about that.

Cats playing with fliy

I took a lot of pictures but most came out blurry because of the action.

Cats playing with fliy

Chris finally had the fly cornered on the patio while Frankie and Puck were interested in something else a few windows down. Chris caught the fly, played with it a little, and then ate it. Yuck!

Bad Cat Chris hunting a fly Bad Cat Chris hunting a fly
Bad Cat Chris catches a fly

That is when I noticed there was another fly on the same window and a third fly was at the window where Puck and Frankie were. When I looked back, the fly by Chris had a buddy. The next several minutes were pretty exciting as our three cats chased the three flies around the house. They caught two of them and I had clean-up duty.


It seemed like every dead fly spawned into three more flies and I began to feel like I was in an Alfred Hitchcock movie and I thought a frog would be a big help but that was not to be.

I checked under the cabinets to see if I could find where they were entering the house. Nothing. I walked around the perimeter of the house but saw only one fly outside. Perhaps they were all inside. It was trash day and our next-door neighbor just moved out and left a big pile of trash outside. Maybe that is where they came from. By then the garbage men had picked it up leaving the flies with nowhere to go.

It seemed the mystery of how the flies got into the house would have to wait. I had to take over as fly killer because the cats got bored with it after fifteen minutes or so. Over the next hour, I counted twelve dead flies that the cats and I took care of and saw no more flying around. I was just starting to clean the house when I noticed the problem and so I went back to finishing that project. When I finished, I sat down to relax and noticed number thirteen flying around. Puck noticed it too and gave chase. I just let him take care of it.

I don’t know if he got him but later that evening I saw a fly and saw it again the next morning. When I came home from work Friday evening, there was a dead fly waiting for me to clean up. Rose later told me she picked up two more dead flies. All were apparent victims of cat attacks. There will be a memorial service for the victims at the end of Nevuary.

Related posts:

Chris the Exterminator

Let them Eat Snake

The Call of the Great Outdoors

Charles Huss:

The years haven’t changed Chris but now we have Frankie who is just as stubborn about wanting to get out.

Originally posted on Bad Cat Chris:

When we moved to our current home and Chris was able to go out on the patio again, we thought he would be happy. Unfortunately, it is like that old saying, “Give someone an inch and they will take a mile.” Chris was not happy with his inch. Being partly exposed to the outside just made him want it even more.

Every time one of us came home or left while the cat door was open, we had to figure out how to get through the door without Chris getting out. I use the past tense but it is still true today. Sometimes I would just let him out because it was easier than fighting with him. At first, just like at our last place, Chris would just roll around on the sidewalk, but soon he started making a beeline for the front yard.

Bad Cat Chris in bushes Bad Cat Chris in bushes


View original 591 more words

Puck’s Vet Adventure

Puck has always groomed himself more than the other cats but recently we noticed he had licked much of the fur of his belly, the inside of his legs and his back, near his tail. It was time for him to visit the vet but we didn’t have a vet for him. We had a vet for Tigger, near our old house, but his solution to Tigger’s recurrent mouth infections was steroids or antibiotics whenever the problem flared up. That probably helped send him to an early grave.

I wanted a vet that would take a more holistic approach but the only holistic vet I could find in the area has no office and only does house calls, which is a bit over my budget now. I ended up choosing the vet that is just down the street from our house. I figured it was a crap shoot so I might as well pick close.

I work four days a week and get one day off. That day is flexible and usually based on how busy we are, but my needs are factored in as well. I happened to have an appointment at the dermatologist for a check up that morning so it was decided that would be a good day to take off.  I called the vet and made an appointment for 11:00 a.m., two and a half hours after my doctor’s appointment.

When I got home I took a carrier out of the shed and placed it on the floor on the patio. I didn’t want to wait until the last minute and risk Puck retreating under the bed from the sight of it. I had nothing to worry about. All three cats were drawn to it like a magnet.

Frankie was the first inside and Chris and Puck did not like that.

Cats checking out carrier

Is there room for two, Frankie?

Cats checking out carrier

Ok Frankie, my turn!

Cats checking out carrier

I’m just gonna rub my scent all over this thing until you come out.

Eventually, Frankie came out and Chris went in.

Chris in carrier

Frankie! What’s that smell?

cat Chris in carrier

Ok, I’m in. Now what?

When the time arrived, I put Puck in the carrier, placed him in the front seat of the truck and drove the whopping two minutes to the vet’s office. We sat in the waiting room for about a minute and then were ushered into the examination room where we waited for about ten minutes or more for someone to come in.

That happens to me often at doctor’s appointments (as it did that same morning) and I don’t much care for ir. I would prefer to wait in the waiting room where there is a television, magazines and other people. The exam room has nothing to look at except posters showing the inside of one part of the body or another. This particular time I did not mind waiting in that room because I was able to let Puck out of his carrier.

Our cat Puck at the vet.

When am I?

Our cat Puck at the vet.

Are those dogs I hear?

Our cat Puck at the vet.

I think I will hang out back here.

Chris would have explored the room but Puck was content to stay close. He even wanted to go back in his carrier at one point because of the barking dogs he could hear but I closed it. I didn’t want to have to get him out of there when the vet came in.

When the technician came in, I tried to hand her Puck but that didn’t go so well. He climbed over my shoulders to get behind me and scratched me pretty good in the process. I was able to hand him to her on the second try. She weighed him and possibly a couple of other things that I don’t remember and then left.

We then sat and waited for the vet. I think Puck was ready to go at that point.

Our cat Puck at the vet.

Can we go home now?

After a couple of minutes the vet came in to examine Puck. She suspected that he could be having an allergic reaction to flea bites, even though she could find no trace of fleas on him. When I told her the problem started not long after we moved, she said that fleas can lay dormant in a house and then become active when they have a host. I told her my other cats show no signs of fleas but that didn’t seem to matter.

Vet examining our cat Puck

She told me a food allergy would present itself more in the face and a psychological grooming problem would not include the bumps or swelling. She also said that because he was missing fur on his back, near his tail (in addition to his belly and insides of his legs) , that was another indication of fleas. She then recommended a flea treatment for Puck and our other cats along with a shot that was both a steroid and antibiotic. Where have I heard that before?

I’ll be honest. I don’t like the flea treatments. I think it is like every other drug; it helps with one problem while causing others. The same is true for steroids and antibiotics, but I also believe that some drugs can be beneficial in the short term and the vet wasn’t suggesting more than one dose of any of it, so I agreed but I didn’t get flea treatments for the other cats because I am not convinced it is a problem.

When I left, they gave me a sheet describing something called Miliary Dermatitis, which says:

Cats can get a condition called miliary dermatitis, which is the descriptive term used for a cutaneous reaction pattern of focal (localized) or generalized small papules (bumps) or crusts. Miliary dermatitis is not a specific disease. It is secondary to many other diseases.

Causes of miliary dermatitis include insect (flea, mosquito, ear mite, etc.) bite hypersensitivity, atopy (sensitivity to aero-allergens such as pollen, mold, house dust mites, etc.), adverse reaction to a food, bacterial superficial folliculitis (inflamed skin follicles), dermatophytosis (fungal disease), feline scabies, mast cell tumors, and pemphigus foliaceus. Flea hypersensitivity is the most common cause of miliary dermatitis.


Upon returning home, Chris made sure Puck got plenty of attention.

Bad cat Chris grooming Puck

I’m so glad you’re home. Where have you been?

Bad cat Chris grooming Puck

Why do you smell like dog?

It seems like the treatment has helped a little. Puck is still grooming a lot but not quite as much as before. On the down side, Puck is now sneezing quite often. I think he caught something at the vet’s office.