A Few Updates

A couple of quick updates here:


The dragon is doing great. She seems to love her new terrarium set up and is making it her job to try and eat all the insects that are supposed to be keeping her tank clean. I’m guessing I’m going to be needing to add more bugs before they have a chance to reproduce! I did add some mealworms to the tank. We’ll see how they survive. It’s awesome to see how active she is nibbling plants, checking things out, digging, climbing, etc.  I’m really happy for her.

Cali is not happy about her increased walk schedule and decreased treats, but she’s doing well.  The lump is definitely just fat, so not a problem, just something to keep an eye on. She is slowly getting weaned off of Apoquel and doing well so far. I plan to take her in for another shot of Cytopoint at the end of the month, and we’ll see how it goes from there.  Cali also had a bath and haircut last week, I miss her fuzz, but she seems happier to have some of that thick mess gone.

Hector is Hector. She is doing great. I was worried about her getting cold a couple of weeks ago when the house felt a little colder than normal. She usually hates having a cover on her cage, but with the cold, I wanted to insulate her a bit. She’s getting used to having her blankie on each night, and actually seems to like it.  I just put a small fleece over the top 1/4 of her cage. It gives her some insulation, but doesn’t block her view.  So far so good!

The kitties are all doing well.  Logan’s blood work all came back within normal ranges, so she is scheduled to have her teeth cleaned and the broken tooth removed on Thursday. Bean is very excited about all the outside animal activity as the weather is warming up a little.  He’s found a new spot to hang out and hunt.

The gliders are also doing well.  I was getting a little bit worried about my little guy, Miney. He has been smaller than the others since I got them, but I started to worry that he might be losing a bit of weight. I reached out to a glider expert through a FaceBook group to get some advice. She recommended “Glider Crack” which is a high protein temporary diet to help add weight to a sick or needy glider. The problem is that my other three boys definitely don’t need extra food! 

It has been a bit tricky getting him out alone, but I’ve been able to do it for the last few nights. I wait until it is close to the time I think they will wake up, about 9pm usually, and I disturb the pouch where they all sleep. I offer treats to the three other boys to encourage them to leave the pouch, and I make sure their food is all set up for them. Once I get the three big boys out of the way, I remove the pouch with Miney in it from the cage. I’ve been hand feeding him the special Glider Crack, and he loves it!

In case you were wondering what kind of deliciousness is in Glider Crack, it is canned chicken, avocado, scrambled egg, calcium supplement, and water, all blended together into a lovely green slime.

Miney seems to be doing well. Other than being a little thin, he seems totally fine and healthy. I’ve added more food bowls and separated things out more in the cage, so hopefully if he is getting chased from food, he will have a better chance to get at it now. I’ve hand fed him for the last 4 or 5 nights, so I plan to take a night off. I don’t want him to become totally dependent on hand feeding. I’ll offer him more Glider Crack tomorrow night, and obviously I’m keeping an eye on him.

I’m ready for Spring! How about everyone else?

 

 

Climbing Fun!

I know how to have a fun weekend! Yes, pandemic is putting a damper on things, but I found a new pet project to brighten up my weekend!

Hector D. Byrd wrapped up after a bath

 

Hector has been very entertaining lately. A couple of weeks ago she started coughing. I was really worried! Every time she coughed, I would get up and go check on her, but she seemed fine, breathing was good, no discharge, eyes looked good, eating, drinking, pooping normally, I was stumped! The next day she coughed and I ran to check on her and she started laughing.  I realized she was coughing for attention! It’s developed into a new routine around here: Hector coughs, I ask if she is OK, “oh poor poor birdy! Is my baby bird OK?” She coughs again, maybe a couple of coughs in a row. “Poor Hector! what a terrible cough! Maybe you need a treat?” She laughs, I bring her a treat. This is what it is like to be owned by a parrot.

As I’m writing today, Wena the dragon is hanging out on the back of my chair. Bean is very concerned that she is going to eat me, or maybe he just wants to play with her, but here’s the look I’m getting.

 

The gliders are settling in really well.  I’m still not sure they like me, but they don’t bite me, so it’s all good. I’ve been reading that a lot of glider owners use mosquito net bed tents to let their gliders run and play. While I think this sounds like an awesome idea, I also know how incredibly messy my boys are, and they believe the entire world is their bathroom. I wasn’t excited about the idea of cleaning up a tent, as well as not wanting to buy or store the tent.

Eenie, Meenie, Miney, and Mo have been hanging out with me in my glass shower stall. It’s a double stall, like bathtub size, and it works out really well.  The boys can run around, and when it is over, I can just clean the shower. The problem is, other than the corner shelf unit, there isn’t much for them to climb on in the shower. This weekend, I had the best idea!

This pile of PVC was a homemade parrot stand I made for Hector years ago. She never liked it, so it has been up in the attic. Rebuilt, I was thinking I could convert it into a climber for the gliders!

I took the original structure and made sure it fit in the shower, and it did! Next I took a bunch of the fleece pieces I had for the gliders and hung them from the stand to give them more climbing options. I wasn’t sure if I would need to wrap the PVC in fleece or add something to make it easier for them to climb.

As soon as I let them out in the shower, two of them climbed right up the PVC pipe! They had no problems with it at all, especially Miney, the tiniest of the 4 by far. He is also the craziest! Every night Miney is the one running like a maniac in the wheel. Climbing this structure was definitely right up his alley. It took him maybe 2 seconds to figure out how to get from the structure I built up onto the shower head. At one point, he was running up one side of the fleece and down the other, over and over again.

Mo found himself a comfy spot on the 2nd layer and mostly hung out there.

Meenie enjoyed climbing, and went all the way to the top, but was a bit more cautious than crazy Miney. He explored carefully and checked out all the different parts.

My Eenie is my big boy. He’s chunky. He’s the one I most often find at the food bowl when he’s awake. He never left my body while they were out this time. His friends would come over and pester him, but he just hung out with me.

He sat in my lap, he hung out on my shoulder, he did some climbing, but only on me. At one point he tried to climb across my face, ouch! Thankfully the scratch is small. Not looking forward to trimming nails again, but it might be almost time.

Eventually, Miney really got into crazy mode, and just started running and leaping. He made his way to the shower head, then made the leap to the top of the shower doors. From there he was looking around and I knew I was in trouble. I put away the other three boys, and watched Miney leap about 8ft from the top of the shower doors to the towel rack. Scooped him up from there, and they all went back to their cage.

I’m sure over the next few weeks I’ll be adding/changing toys to the climbing structure, but I’m so excited to have it! Now I don’t feel the need for a messy tent, and the boys have a great new play area. I just have to figure out how to keep Miney from the gap at the top of the shower!

Next project I’m working on is creating a BioActive terrarium for the Dragon! I’m learning all about substrates, clean up insects, and safe plants. I’ll update soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Cats, Dragon, And Glider Diet

Last night Puck was sleeping happily on the couch next to us. Logan decided to leave my lap and take over Puck’s spot. This is Puck wondering what the heck she’s thinking!

I’ve been wondering what the Dragon is thinking. Wena is still awake, and she’s a bit crazy. I’m not sure what is going on, but she is super active. She’s scratching at the glass of her tank, climbing everything. Basically knocking everything in her tank around every day lately. She’s never laid eggs since I’ve had her, but she could. I’ve added a dig box to her tank to see if that calms her down, but so far she doesn’t seem very interested in it.

This is the dig box. Just a small area with some safe soil for her her to dig in and lay eggs if she wants to. So far she has been climbing in and out of it, but that’s about it.

Friday, I took her out while I was working. Sometimes letting her sit on my shoulder settles her down, not this time! She was sitting on my shoulder and all of a sudden she leaped about 8 feet across the room! I was horrified! She’s never done anything like that before and I was really worried she was hurt. She got right up and looked at me like “What?” I watched her walk and she seemed fine, so I put her back in her tank to warm up.

She’s eating and pooping fine, just very active. She doesn’t seem to be shedding, which has made her crazy in the past.

As you can see in the background, she’s taken down all the foliage that usually hangs near the top of her tank. I’ve gotten tired of constantly fixing it, so now I fix it in the morning, she messes it up all day, and I fix it again the next morning.

The free fridge I got is working out great! So nice to have all the animal food separate so I can just grab them and feed. The little built in freezer isn’t the greatest, but it works. Unfortunately, there is one control for the temp of the fridge and freezer, so I’ve had to play with it to keep the freezer as cold as possible without freezing everything in the fridge part. I’m using the freezer for things like glider fruits and veggies I’m currently using, and using our other freezer for anything I need to store long term.

Glider food is still an experiment around here. I’ve been doing a lot of research, and it seems that there are many theories on how to properly feed them, but three basic diets that most glider people recommend. The first is the BML diet. It’s a modified version of a zoo diet. My boys were on this diet when I got them, but it is kind of a pain. It uses many ingredients, and they are all very specific and you aren’t supposed to substitute any of them. I have yet to be able to find Gerber Mixed Fruit Baby juice anywhere. Every place within a 20 minute drive has been sold out, and Amazon wants about $40 for 4 bottles of it. I’ve been making it and substituting a mix of Gerber Apple and Pear juices, not perfect, but not sure what else to do.

The next diet is a brand called Critter Love. They make a powdered formula that can just be mixed with water and fed. MUCH easier than the BML, but it also has very specific salads that you are supposed to serve with the liquid blend, and my boys don’t seem to really like the liquid all that much.

The next diet is pellet based, Pet-Pro brand  Happy Glider pellets. I think this is going to be my choice of diets. The pellets come in about 6 different flavors, and the boys have been eating it pretty well for the last couple of days. The pellets get fed with one fruit or veggie per night. Once a week you substitute yogurt instead of a fresh food, and twice a month they get protein such as chicken or egg with the pellets. I like the simplicity of this diet, and not feeding a messy liquid is also a bonus.

This is a picture of my pellet experiment. I made a bowl with the same amount of pellets in each of the six different flavors to see which they ate the best. The first night, they ate most of the Honey Peach pellets (green bowl), and barely touched the fruity pellets in the red bowl. Blue bowl was the Chicken flavor and they ate that one pretty well too. My plan was to refill bowls and change locations of the bowls for a couple of nights to see if it was bowl location or flavors that they were actually preferring.

Last night was night #2 of my experiment. I forgot to get a picture, but basically the boys spilled all the bowls everywhere. There was no way to tell what they ate. So much for my experiment!

It might not be the most recommended thing, but since I have so many BML ingredients and a big pouch of Critter Love powder, I’m rotating between all three diets right now. It gives me a feel for what they eat and what is working for me. As I run out of ingredients, I’ll transition to the pellet diet fully.

The other experiment with the gliders is figuring out best cleaning practices. I started out using giant pieces of paper on the bottom of the cage like I do for Hector D. Byrd, but it was a bit smelly. I bought some custom made fleece cage liners from Tootles Original Suggie Shack on Facebook, and they are really nice! They definitely seem to help with the smell, and I have been easily going 3-4 days before I switch it out. They are also easy to wash, I shake them off outside and then wash them with my other fleece Suggie things, like their pouches. I’m still going back and forth on advantages of fleece over paper. It is nice to be able to change the paper and just throw it away, and I buy the big craft paper rolls for Hector any way. Unless… I wonder how a fleece cage liner would work for Hector? Then I would be creating a lot less waste without using a paper liner.  I might have to experiment!

The gliders still don’t seem to like me much. I keep reading amazing stories about people who keep their gliders in the hoodie all day, or in a pocket. Mine definitely haven’t bonded to me yet, but I’m working on it. Many people recommend getting a bed tent to put on the floor and sit in it with the gliders. I haven’t wanted to spend the money yet, so I’ve been bringing them in the shower stall to let them climb around with me. They seem to be spending a bit more time with me when I do that. Patience is key here I’m sure.

A few of the pets had a nice nap together the other day. Today the house is chilly, so everyone has found their own spots to cuddle up. The gliders are all snuggled on top of each other as usual, Wena is under her basking light, and Hector is currently remodeling some cardboard boxes. Bean looks pretty cozy.

Gliders Day 1 – Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo!

We are definitely getting to know each other. I’m trying to balance spending time with them, and giving them some peace to adjust to their new home. It’s hard!

I had them in a towel in my lap for a little while last night. They let me pat them, and they only “crabbed” at me a couple of times. I am going to have to get a video of the crabbing noise. It’s kind of a whiny complaint. It’s amazingly loud for such a small creature.

I left them alone this morning, but took them out this afternoon. They were all sleeping on top of each other in a pouch, so I was able to take the pouch out of the cage with all of them at once.  I brought them up to my bathroom and closed the door to see if they wanted to explore a bit. They crawled in my lap a bit, and one climbed up to my shoulder and ran down my back and back up to the other shoulder! I only kept them out for about 10 minutes.

Two of them spent a little time in the bonding pouch that I carried around for a bit. Apparently sugar gliders are very scent oriented, so it’s important for them to get used to your scent.

I took them out a couple of other times, always for short periods. It’s still hard to tell them apart, but when I have all four together I’m starting to see differences. One has a white face. One is much smaller than the others, and one is bigger.

Oh! names! They are Eenie, Meenie, Miney, and Mo! Mo is the one with the white face. Miney is the tiny one. Haven’t decided which is which with the other two yet.

I have to say they are fascinating little creatures. Unlike any other pet I’ve had, but I’ve never had a marsupial as a pet before! Gliders have opposable thumbs on all four of their little hands. When I hold them, I can feel them holding on with little hands. I’ve watched them pick up treats and hold them in their little hands as they munch. So cute!

The boys are about 4 years old. I got them from a glider rescue. Life span of gliders in captivity is 12-15 years. Their food is really interesting. I’ll write more about it next time.

 

The Holidays are Inching Closer

Who buys holiday gifts for their pets? Do you buy gifts for all your pets? I have to be honest, I haven’t found a whole lot that excites Wena, my bearded dragon, so unless she needs something for her tank, she usually just gets some extra Horn Worms, her favorite treat, for the holidays.

The cats and the dog always get something, and Hector the bird, LOVES presents! She gets so excited. She even unwraps her own presents. It’s definitely part of the fun for her.

I found a new-to-me website called A Bird Toy, that had some unique toys. I like that they sell parts, and you can create your own toys, and reuse/refill them. Don’t tell Hector, but she is about to get their “hulk bolt” for Christmas. It is a stainless steel bolt that attaches to the side of her cage, and I can refill it with wood blocks, beads, leather pieces, cardboard squares, etc. Hector is often afraid of new things, so I like the idea of the solid base that I can refill with different parts. I’m hoping she might be less nervous about the refills once she gets used to it. I’ll post a review after I’ve had a chance to use it with Hector.

The cats got a giant (taller than me!) cat tree for Christmas last year that they love. This year, they don’t really need anything big, so I’ll probably pick up some plastic springs, furry mice, and maybe a new cardboard scratcher. What are you getting your cats?

 

I haven’t really decided what Cali will get for Christmas yet. She has so many toys already! She isn’t a destructive chewer, so her toys last forever. Maybe it’s time for a new sweater. Cali loves her clothes! She was so excited to dress up for Halloween! We actually had trouble getting her dress off of her at the end of the night.

I’m hoping to find time to put together a Pet Wish List before the holidays. What kinds of things would like to see on it? What kind of pets are your shopping for?

Review: Stella & Chewy’s Surf ‘n Turf Dinner Patties

Hector Supervising While I Write
Hector – She has nothing to do with today’s article other than she is hanging out with me while I’m writing it!

What do you do with your pets when you travel? For me, the dog goes to a friend’s house. The cats, parrot, and dragon stay home with daily visits from a pet sitter. I like to make things as simple and easy as possible for everyone that helps out with my pets.

For the dog, that means making feeding time as simple as possible. At home, Cali gets a spoonful of canned food mixed with some dry food. This works for the pet sitter, of course, but it’s a bit of a pain for her to have to keep canned food in the fridge, measure everything out, and mix it up. I started making mason jars with the food all set and she just had to put it in a bowl, but the jars had to be refrigerated because of the canned food, another hassle.

For my last two trips, I discovered Stella & Chewy’s Dinner Patties, and they are exactly what I needed. The patties are freeze-dried raw, and grain-free. At the advice of my vet, I don’t prefer a fully grain-free diet, but I feed a dry food that has grain along with these patties to balance it out. Since they are freeze-dried, they are shelf stable.

With the Stella & Chewy’s patties, I can make up mason jars, pre-measured for each meal. They don’t need to be refrigerated, and all my pet sitter has to do is add water, shake, and pour in a bowl. Super easy and convenient!

 

What do I like about this product? The convenience is definitely what brought me to this product, but I’m also really impressed with the quality. These dinner patties are offered in 13 different varieties. I chose the Surf ‘N Turf variety with Beef and Salmon. Cali has allergies, so I find that fish based foods help her with her itchiness. The ingredients in this food are impressive: the first ingredient is beef, and the second  is whole ground salmon. Each bag contains 14 ounces which lasts me a LONG time with one 10 pound dog.

 

Recommended feeding is 3 1/2 patties per day for a dog Cali’s size, but I supplement with regular dry food. For this last trip, Cali was fed 1/2 of a patty, plus a handful of her regular Halo Salmon dry dog food per meal, two meals per day. Two weeks of travel meals and I still have almost half a bag of the Stella & Chewy’s left over. One bag is priced at about $29.99.

If you are interested in a convenient raw diet, or if you want to do what I do and supplement some raw foods, I definitely recommend this product.

 

Pros: Convenient, Easy to Use, Good Ingredients, Raw food, Versatile (can be used as is or rehydrated,) Liked by my picky eater, great variety of flavors

Cons:  I don’t have any real complaints about this product. It is a bit pricey, but all high quality foods are. I don’t like that it is Grain-Free, but that is a Pro to others.

 

 

It’s Been Too Long

Happy Spring!

The last few weeks have been crazy. Thanks to Covid-19, there isn’t much of anything on my schedule. I’m certainly not going anywhere, but somehow I’m keeping pretty busy. I started a garden, and I’ve been keeping a personal journal of all that is going on, so maybe that is why I haven’t been inspired to write here, but I’m back!

I can’t wait to see what kinds of new creatures I meet as the local wildlife discovers my new garden. I put an outdoor camera on the garden so if there are any visitors I can catch them in the act!

The other night we found a small, lovely poop in my son’s bedroom as we were all heading to bed. This wasn’t the first time. We had been blaming Cali the dog, but we had started keeping her downstairs to keep that from happening and it still happened.  Must be a cat?!? Yikes. I really freak out about the cats not using their litter box. So of course, I couldn’t sleep. Midnight, 1AM, 2AM, I’m up, stressed, why is this happening?

About 3AM, I had a revelation! It was all my fault! I had been messing with the cat litter boxes trying to find a solution to our tracking problems. I rushed downstairs and cleaned the litter boxes and returned them to our regular clumping litter. That was a couple of nights ago, and the problem has definitely cleared up. I was really enjoying the paper pellet litter and the pine litter, but I guess the cats didn’t like it as much as I did. Time to figure out a new plan. I’m not sure I will be able to find a litter that doesn’t track around the house and isn’t pelleted, but I’ll be on the look out. Does anyone have a cat litter that they really like?

The bearded dragon is doing well. I’ve managed to keep her well fed with greens and bugs even though my shopping is limited these days. She’s fat, happy, and having a nice spring shed.

Hector’s “Don’t mess with me” look

Hector is Hector, what can I say? She’s still taking over the house, strutting around with her beak in the air, chasing cats, and destroying any cardboard that she can find. She is definitely enjoying all the out of cage time with me being home so much. She actually mumbles at me when I close her cage during the day if I have to lock her up. I bought her some lovely freeze-dried chop from Texas Freeze Dried Naturals. She didn’t eat it very well last time I tried it, but this time I’m using it to stretch the fresh chop I make. I’m adding a bit of the freeze dried to her fresh food every day so that I can use less fresh, and she is actually eating all of it. Old birds CAN learn new tricks!

I bought a handheld steam cleaner a couple of weeks ago. I had heard they were useful for cleaning bird cages, but hadn’t bothered in the past. I saw one on sale for about $30 on Amazon and thought it was worth a try. It was great! If anyone is interested, I bought a Bissell Steam Shot. It comes with brushes for scrubbing, and it is simple to use. I rolled her cage out on the back porch and went to work one sunny day. It isn’t a miracle cleaner. I still had to do some scraping, but it definitely got the cage cleaner than it has been in a very long time. I’m also finding the steamer handy for cleaning showers and bathtubs, bonus!

 

Sleepy beast that needs a haircut!

Cali has been super annoying lately. I’m not sure if it is because we are home, if the weather is nicer, if her allergies are bugging her, if she is bored? She barks at every little noise. I’m trying a couple of different things with her and it seems to be helping. First of all, I’m trying mandatory walks every single day that the weather permits. I’m also keeping treats around the house and working on basic training again. She knows some tricks and I’m trying to teach her more. She seems to be doing a little better. I’m not sure if it is the discipline of the training or the exercise, but whatever it is, I’ll take it! I need to put a haircut for her on my schedule.

Puck’s urinary issues seem to have cleared up, but I’m still wary. I’ve got him on the prescription diet, but it is super expensive with three cats in the house. There isn’t really a good way to feed him alone, so all the cats are getting it. I’m switching between the prescription food and a couple of non-prescription urinary health foods. I found a Purina dry food that I realized is making one of the cats throw up! I won’t be buying that one anymore. Bean also throws up,  hairballs are the issue. I’ve been using a paste I bought which seems to help, but he still has occasional problems.

I’ve been researching cat diets, and I feel like my best bet is going to be putting all the cats on a raw food diet. I thought about making it myself, but with everything in various stages of being open or not lately, I didn’t want to have to try to track down healthy, fresh raw meats. I’m also worried about making sure they get all the right nutrients.

My research led me to Primal brand raw foods. They seem to be well respected and easily available. I like the idea of a commercial food because I’m worried my homemade food won’t be nutritionally complete. My local pet store sells both freeze dried and frozen versions of Primal raw food, so I’ve ordered a couple of different types to try. Hopefully I can pick it up today or tomorrow. Puck seems to be allergic to any type of fish or seafood, so I’ll be trying turkey and pork varieties. I’m hoping the cats like it, and maybe it will help keep Puck stable and help with Bean’s hair balls. Primal is expensive, but now that I have to use prescription food, it is actually cheaper than that, so worth a try. I’ve been feeding the cats a bit of canned food twice per day, plus free choice dry, so my thought it to sub in one meal a day of raw food and see how it goes. Of course, I’ll update here!

Bean is getting so big! I’ll have to see if I can get an approximate weight on him. He is just about 9 months old now. I’m 99% sure he is now our largest pet! Cali weighs about 11lbs, and I’m pretty sure Bean is heavier than that now.

Let me know what you and your pets are up to. Stay well.

Busy Bird

Hector and I have a new routine lately. After I’ve fed everyone and opened Hector’s cage, I settle in at my desk. Hector used to be content to hang out on her cage, chew up some cardboard, and eat her breakfast. The last few days, after she finishes her breakfast, Hector comes to visit me.

She struts across the floor, squaking at the dog and cats and she makes her way. Yesterday morning, I happened to have a pet puzzle on the floor near me. I had been planning to put some treats in it for the cats, but Hector had her own ideas.

She showed me how she could easily open the little doors, so I put a couple of almonds in it and let her get to work. It didn’t take her any time at all to open the doors with the handles. She quickly pulled the cones off the puzzle and got the treats underneath. The only one she had any trouble with was the little sliding doors with the dog bones on them. I had to take it away from her at that point, because she was trying to chew the plastic and I didn’t want her to ruin the puzzle.

I told her to “Go Home” and she strutted by Bean and went back to her cage.

Teaching her to “go home” has been really handy. She actually does it most of the time, which for Hector is pretty good! Like a stubborn toddler, Hector listens when Hector wants to listen. She knows she gets a treat when she goes back to her cage, so she does it most of the time.

This morning when she walked over to visit me, I scooped her up and gave her a bath. A lot of birds like bath time, but Hector does not. She tolerated the bath, but got very quiet and refused to come out of her cage for a while after. Sorry bird, you needed that bath! I’ll be curious to see if she walks over to me again tomorrow morning, or if she decides to stay at her cage so she doesn’t have to have another bath.

Boredom

Sleepy Bean

With many all over the world home more now, what are you doing to combat boredom for yourself, and your pets? Our dog is definitely getting walked more often. She’s also enjoying more time on her own in the yard when the weather is nice. Yesterday she went out and sprawled out on the deck in the sunshine.

Cali got a hair cut and bath a couple of days ago. She’s looking better, but I still need to even up her face a little bit and get those stray hairs away from her eyes. I hate when she has hair over her eyes.

The dragon is getting more out of cage time. Sometimes she sits on my shoulder while I’m working. It hasn’t been warm enough to take her outside for some sunshine yet, but hopefully soon.  Unfortunately, floor time is tough for her with three cats in the house. I did bring her upstairs with me when I folded laundry yesterday. I was able to let her run around a bit in the closed laundry room, cat-free! Well, not quite cat-free, I kept seeing paws appear under the door.

Hector D. Byrd is having a great time! I open her cage when I get up in the morning, and it is only closed for short periods of time when I have to go upstairs  or outside. Yesterday while I was on my computer she climbed down to the floor and started running around (she doesn’t fly) and laughing. The second I would turn to look at her, she would freeze and look at me.

Hector Plays Yahtzee

A couple of nights ago, Hector joined us for family game night. She likes to be part of things.  Another thing she likes to take part in is family dinner. We have been having family dinners pretty much every night since we are all home together now. Our dinner table is just a couple of feet from Hector’s cage, and she loves when we have dinner at the table. Since birds are social creatures, they love to eat with their flock. Hector will usually go eat something when we have food. She always has pellets in her cage, and depending on what we are eating for dinner, I will save her some veggies, or potatoes or very occasionally a baked french fry. Last night while we were eating, Hector was chirping and whistling and hanging out. My son left dinner a little early for an online meeting, and after he left Hector got down from her cage and walked over to me. I picked her up, put her on the back of my son’s chair, and she hung out with us and ate a fry. She was so happy! Our daughter was less happy. She is not a fan of birds!

The Baby Bean

The cats have been bringing their toys all over the house, Bean loves to chase anything that makes noise, ping pong balls, bell balls, and especially a toy mouse that makes a weird electronic chirping noise. That last one wakes up the entire house when he decides to play with it in the middle of the night! We have been trying to teach Bean to play Fetch, Puck plays, but Bean just grabs the toy and takes off with it. He can’t seem to figure out the bringing it back part.

I’m trying to come up with new ways for the cats, and especially Bean, the kitten, to amuse themselves. I’ve seen some interesting cat feeders lately where the cat has to do something to get the food out of the feeder. I found a brand called Catit that has some really interesting looking feeders. I’m hoping they will send me a unit or two to review. I’ll keep you posted.

Speaking of the cats, Puck seems to be doing well.  He is acting normally and not spending extra time in the litter box. I’m feeding them canned food formulated for urinary health twice per day, and they also have dry food that is for urinary health now. I’m glad the little guy seems to be getting some relief. He is such a sweet kitty!

Little Pucky Boo Boo

Is there any cat owner that doesn’t hate the litter box? With three cats and four litter boxes, it has been a battle lately. The Breeze box I have upstairs is OK. I made the mistake of buying some Amazon pads instead of the Breeze brand ones, and they don’t contain the smell nearly as well. I will use them up to not waste them, but I have to change them twice as often as the Breeze ones. I’ll be happy when I run out!

My other three litter boxes are just regular boxes with clumping litter. I don’t know what is going on with them lately, but there is so much cat litter on the floor! The cats are tracking it everywhere. I’m thinking of switching to pine litter to see if the bigger chunks spread around less. Either that or I need to find a new kind of box. Something has to change because I’m finding myself vacuuming almost every day to deal with all the litter.

Stay safe everyone. Enjoy the extra time with your pets, and let me know what you are doing to keep them and yourselves entertained.

Sanity

There are days when I get super busy and feel bad for my pets that maybe they haven’t had enough attention that day, or a long enough walk, etc. For the most part, I think my pets are pretty spoiled, but there can be a day here and there when I’m busy. Right now, I’m thankful to have a houseful of pets!  I have to say with all the crazy going on in the world, I’m so super thankful for each and every one of them.

Taking care of all my pets brings me joy. I don’t see it as work or a chore, I love cleaning their cages, brushing and feeding them, making them comfortable. Having the routine of animal care has been super helpful to me in this time of no routines.

The pets are also amazing for stress relief. When I find something is getting to me, I take a deep breath and snuggle a kitty, or take the dog for a walk.

There have been so many stories in the news lately about shelters emptying as people are stepping up to foster and adopt. Not only am I happy for the animals that get to start a new chapter in their lives, but I’m happy for the humans that are adding animal companions, living stress relievers to their lives.

 

Cali

Cali is probably the least stress relieving pet these days, but we love her like crazy. She’s always been a bit anxious and nervous, and she knows our routine is off. While she is enjoying more walks and extra snuggles, she’s also barking more and being a bit extra nervous and jealous of the other pets. She had a nice bath yesterday, and within the next day or two, she’ll be getting a home hair cut! I miss seeing her eyes! I’ll post another picture of her once I get her all clipped.

I’m happy to report that Puck seems to be doing much better! He seems comfortable again and isn’t spending all his time in the litter box. I’ve got him on the prescription diet, and I’m trying to get as much water into him as possible. I’m feeding him canned food twice a day, and even adding some water to the canned food. I don’t want to take away his dry food totally, because I feel that will cause him more stress, but I’m definitely encouraging him to eat more canned. I also added another water bowl next to the dry food dish. I’m not sure it will help or not, but it can’t hurt.

While I was writing, Cali was curled up on the floor next to me, but she got nervous when someone pulled into the driveway and she started barking and pacing. Puck came over and snuggled up near her and she calmed right down. There’s something pretty special about that little cat.

Bean is Bean. He keeps growing like crazy. I’m curious, and slightly nervous about how big he might get. I’m pretty sure he weighs about the same as the dog now, probably 11+ pounds. He’s 7.5 months old!

I hope everyone is finding comfort somewhere, whether with family, pets, etc.  Find something to be thankful for today, whether it is a cup of coffee, food on the table, or extra time with children, and give all your pets an extra pat from me 😉