Tag Archives: Cats

Our New Catio Has It’s Drawbacks

Last week we had an incident that I can’t really explain. We had the door open to the new catio just enough for a cat to get through. Chris was lying inside looking out the door and growling. It was that growl that you sometimes hear when a cat encounters an unknown cat. I looked out to see what the problem was and saw he was directing that growl at Frankie. When Frankie saw me he tried to come inside and Chris attacked him. I had to break it up and for a long time afterward, we had to keep them separated.

Rose thought an outside cat had sprayed Frankie through the screen but I never heard of a cat spraying another cat. Besides, there was no sign of a wet spot on the screens. I assumed he got into something that made him smell different but a quick inspection of the catio revealed nothing unusual.

What was unusual was that his ears were twitching and he was scratching himself. Rose checked him for fleas but nothing was obvious so I brought her the flea comb and she tried again. This time she combed out at least three live fleas.

Since they were due for their flea medication we put it on Frankie and on Floki, which wasn’t easy, at least for Floki. Chris had a three-month flea med put on him a couple of months ago so he wasn’t due yet. Rose also said she didn’t want them going outside anymore, but that didn’t last.

20180313_cats on patio_Frankie and Chris14520180313_cats on patio_Frankie135

The next morning Chris and Frankie were getting along and nobody was scratching themselves. I put some diatomaceous earth down in the house to help control any stray fleas and I plan on getting a flea spray to put around the perimeter of the house. I am told there are environmentally friendly sprays out there so I will be looking for that today.

As far as what happened to Frankie that got Chris so upset, I still don’t have a clue.

One other issue I noticed, and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, is that everyone seems to have a hard time deciding on what side of the door they want to be on.

20180313_cats on patio_1137

When they do make a decision, they change their minds as soon as the door is closed.


Our New Catio

We recently had a new screened patio/catio built under our carport. I wanted to write about this last week but, after losing Puck, it was not a priority. The main reason we wanted it built was that trying to get in and out of our house was a nightmare with Chris and Frankie always ready to bust out the door. The screened room would allow a buffer zone. If they escaped as we were leaving we could catch them and put them back inside. If they escaped while we were coming in we could just leave them out there. It is really nice when I have bags of groceries. I can now bring them into the catio and then open the door to the house.

The men came on the first Sunday of February to do the job. We were assured that it was a one day job and they would be finished that day but they got a late start and we had a very heavy rain that started early in the afternoon and lasted all day. They did what they could under the shelter but they couldn’t finish while it was raining.

They came back the following Saturday and finished the work.


Introducing the cats went about as expected. Chris and Frankie took the lead with Puck and Floki following more hesitantly. Puck got over his fear relatively quickly but Floki took a little longer. The following video is the last video ever taken of Puck.

You can see in this photo Floki is still nervous but Chris has forgotten all about the new catio and is more interested in smelling Puck’s butt.

Floki hangs out close to the door so he can run inside at the slightest commotion.

Puck was interested in what was under the house. Perhaps a rabbit.

Rose, of course, wanted it to be a human patio as much as a catio and that required furniture and rugs and a ceiling fan that the guys already installed for us. So the next day we bought some rugs and two wicker chairs, a wicker ottoman and a matching table. We cringed when the salesman said it was packed in small boxes and needed assembly but he said it was easy, just a few screws.

Apparently, on his planet, easy means difficult as hell and a few screws mean slightly less than a hundred. I spent well over an hour Sunday evening putting together the first chair. Fortunately, I had helpers or it might have been done quicker.

We put the rugs down first and Chris and Frankie loved them.

I then started on the first chair

The boxes were a bit of a distraction for Chris and Frankie.

cat Chris in boxcats in box

Finally, by Monday, I had everything put together.

Now that they have a nice catio so they can finally spend time safely outside, guess what Chris does when someone is around to see him?

Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat Review

I recently got an email from Art of Paws asking if I would give an honest review of their Heated Pet Mat in exchange for the product. I was reluctant at first because our weather was warm but I figured it was the first half of February so there were probably a few cold days ahead. I was wrong. I received the product a few days ago and opened it yesterday after checking the 10-day forecast. It showed mostly highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s.

Since I had no option to wait for a cold day I opened it yesterday afternoon and plugged it into the outlet inside the sofa armrest and waited. I might have encouraged the boys a bit by calling them and holding it up. Floki was the first to check it out.

Art of Paws Heated Pet MatArt of Paws Heated Pet MatThen he was distracted by Chris and Frankie who discovered the box it came in.

cats and box

I put it on the floor and soon after they all realized they couldn’t fit in the box, Chris discovered the mat.

Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat
He liked it immediately and soon plopped himself down on top of it.Art of Paws Heated Pet MatArt of Paws Heated Pet Mat

I became involved in other things and stopped paying attention but when I looked again, Chris was gone and Floki was lying on it.

cat on Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat

Later, my wife sat down because we were about to watch a tv show together. She noticed the plug had become a bit hot so she unplugged it. Since the outlet is located inside of the sofa armrest where no air is allowed to circulate, I made a mental note not to plug it in there again.

When I was ready to sit down, Chris was back on the mat again. This time it wasn’t plugged in but he didn’t care. He remained on that mat until we got up to go to bed.

I plugged the mat in again this morning and felt the plug after some time. It was warm, but not hot so I don’t think that is an issue.

I also tried to interest Frankie in the mat this morning but he was a bit wound up at the time and couldn’t be bothered with it.

cat on Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat

I was impressed with the quality. It seems to be put together quite nicely and the zipper opens very smoothly so the cover can be removed for washing.

Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat

Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat

It also has a long, six and a half foot cord, of which more than four and a half feet are covered in a bite-proof wrapping.

Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat

It has a fairly thick pad and it measures 23 inches by 17 inches, which I think is large enough for a medium size dog or two cats if they like to snuggle. It also uses only 10 watts of electricity and has a three-year guarantee.

It is not as warm as I expected. I don’t have a thermometer but I would guess it is somewhere between room temperature and a heating pad on low. Perhaps 90 degrees Fahrenheit. At first, I thought that was bad but then realized that a heating pad is for temporary use and shouldn’t be used for more than 20 minutes. At this lower temperature, I would guess that it could be used much longer or indefinitely. I picture a bunch of scientists in lab coats over at Art of Paws trying to figure out the perfect temperature. For more information about this product, you can visit https://artofpaws.com/products/heated-pet-mat

One last note. As I was writing this post I plugged the mat in and left it on the floor. After I uploaded the photos I got up to get a drink of water and saw this:

I think when the hot weather is here to stay I will remove the heating element and let them use it as a regular mat until next winter. I think it is nice that I have that option. What do you think?


Photo Friday: Bedtime

Unfortunately, Chris is way too annoying at night so we have to close our door to all the cats when we go to bed. In Chris’s defense, he is only part of the problem. Frankie will jump on the dresser in the middle of the night and make noise by scratching at the blinds or knocking something over. Floki and Puck are mostly good but now I worry about Puck peeing on the bed since he has done it twice already and pooped on it once.

This means that somebody has to be the bad guy and kick out all the non-humans. That bad guy usually ends up being me.

cats on bed funny

The Game of Escape Has a New Leader

Chris has always been incredibly good at escaping. At first, it was a real problem, but it eventually became clear that he wasn’t interested in going very far so I stopped worrying when he got out. Frankie escaping, on the other hand, was more of a concern because he is a traveler and I worried that he would get lost or hit by a car or something not so good. Luckily, his escape skills were not as good as Chris’s although he still got out from time to time.

Things have changed recently and Frankie is now better than Chris at busting through the door when I try to come in with groceries or other bags. There are a few reasons for that. One is that Chris has slowed down with age, he is almost 9. Also, his weight has climbed to almost 18 pounds. Frankie has aged too but he is a couple of years younger than Chris and he is still skinny. What has changed the most though is that Frankie has become smarter. He now doesn’t hesitate and sprints out the door as I swing it open and before I can put a bag down to block him.

Sometimes Chris and Frankie work together so while I block one, the other gets out. If that’s not bad enough, the distraction caused by one getting out is enough to let the other one escape. Then I have two cats to retrieve.

cats outside

Chris stays close and eats grass or rolls around on the driveway so I don’t worry about him. Frankie will also stay close for a short time until he senses me coming and then he is off.

cat outside

He will find a place to hide like under a car or a bush where he knows I can’t catch him.

cat outside

Sometimes he goes under our house or a neighbor’s house.

cat outside under home

I hate when he does that because it is impossible to coax him out and I believe it is where he sometimes picks up fleas. Also, our neighborhood has many rabbits that hide out under homes and Frankie has already shown himself to be a rabbit hunter.

The good news is that Frankie knows he has a good home and he will come back if left alone. Yesterday I was at Lowes buying something for the catio we will soon have built. I called my wife to ask if she would take a picture of the outside of the home and send it to me. When she did she also texted that Frankie got out.

It took me about a half hour to get home and when I did Frankie was on top of my wife’s car. When he saw my car he got very excited and was talking up a storm. I opened the door and he went right in with Chris at the door waiting for him.

Rose said she forgot about him being outside. That is the dangerous thing about waiting for him to come back. We could forget he is out there. Indeed, he got out earlier that morning and I forgot he was out there. It was relatively cold so when Rose reminded me I opened the door and he was right there waiting.

He escaped Tuesday morning as I was leaving for work and I didn’t even know he got out until I saw him running away after I closed the door. I could have just as easily looked the other direction and left for work with him outside. The funny thing was, he let me catch him relatively quickly but I forgot I had locked the door and my key was in the wrong pocket. As I struggled to get the key out of my pocket, Frankie jumped down and I was stuck waiting for him for fifteen minutes.

At least when the screened catio is built this won’t be as much of an issue. Does ay one else struggle with pets who like to escape?


Bolt Laser Light Toy

For Christmas, our boys got a Petsafe Bolt Laser Light toy from their Aunt Felice. This device projects a laser light onto the floor and moves it randomly for fifteen minutes before it automatically shuts off. It is made for humans as much as cats because now we can go about our business while the cats try to capture the elusive red dot.

Bolt Laser Toy for cats

I turned it on in the bedroom on Christmas Day and Chris immediately proved that he can still get that hefty body of his moving.

Since then we turn it on about once a day and they have not grown tired of it. Chris, however, is smarter than the average cat. He figured out a long time ago that Rose and I were controlling the red dot and now he has figured out it is coming from the Bolt device. If you watch the end of the following video you will see what I mean.

Despite Chris discovering “the man behind the curtain,” he still enjoys the cat toy along with the rest of our feline family.

What do you think? Do you have something like this?

A look Back at 2017

2017 is gone but not forgotten. Many are happy to see it go but we have some good memories.

Floki was with us for six months in January and felt right at home getting on top of our china cabinet.

In February Frankie showed everyone his Houdini trick on escaping a cat harness.cat escaping harness


Puck was at the vet in March. I think this is when he started peeing outside the box, which he is still doing.
Puck at Vet

In April we had someone marking their territory on our cars.

cat Chris smelling tire cat Frankie smelling tire

In May we had a visit from a tabby mother and her two Siamese kittens.

feral tabby cat and Siamese kitten

They were still around in June.

stray cat stray cat and kitten stray kitten

Also in June, Puck was back at the vet.

Puck was not happy to be there and wouldn't come out of his carrier.

In July we got our Jackson Galaxy bed that Chris and Floki love . . .

cats and clamshell bed

and a water fountain that nobody used.

pet water fountain

We got Kitty-Kick-Stix in August.

kitty kick stix

September we evacuated for Hurricane Irma . . . twice.



Bad Cat Chris in car

We got new furniture in October that Puck peed on before we could use it.

In November we visited Aunt Felice’s cats (and Aunt Felice).

December we got another piece of furniture that Frankie scratched and Puck pooped on.

It also got cold in December and everyone decided to conserve body heat.

cats on bed

Some states for 2017 include:

Most viewed post – Are Ginger Cats Friendlier

This post was from 2013 and is still popular with 2907 views last year.

Views in order of country of origin:

United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Austrailia, Switzerland, India and The Philippines round off the top eight.

Most views in one day: 731

Happy Valentine’s Day

My wife is irritated that I am not helping to prepare for New Year’s Eve so I will end here and wish everyone a very happy 2018.