Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kitty Journal 3 - PVC DIY Cage

Ahh...... the night before, Sherbet sprayed me. It was surprising (especially since this was my first experience).. Some people might find it kinda gross.. but it doesn't bother me. Luckily enough, his spraying didn't smell. It made me think about neutering him quickly and getting a cage.

After much browsing, it seems buying a metal cage is more costly. So, I decided to make my own cage. I got the ideas from some forumers in Petfinders (Pakcu and NamakuAriff) on making my own cat cage. I have always been good at imagining things, basic planning and simple structural drawing. I got this idea to make a simple 3' x 2' x 2' cat cage.

I sketch out the cage, gauging the length, how many pvc pipes needed and the connectors needed. We went to the hardware store and gauge the price. I estimated around RM 80-90. So, I made up my mind and bought the materials. It wasn't easy holding 5x3' pipes, 16 x 2' pipes, 6 x 1.5' pipes and 4x1' pipes with 5' of metal mesh. Phew.. my hand looks like waffle when I arrived home.

Bf and I put together the pipes and connector, then put them together using masking tape to see how it fits. We had alot of trial and error... I forgot to calculate in the connectors and how they increase the length of the cage frame by 1" per connector. So we had to measure the pipes and cut them again.

Testing out the how the frames fit together

The hard part for me was adjusting the metal mesh, it was a cheap one and some of the edges tend to break off. So I had to take some time and twist the extra end of the wire mesh so that it won't sort of "unravel". Next, we glue the pvc pipe together to create 6 rectangle frames (including the door). This was abit tricky since some of the 90° connector was really tight. After alot of banging, struggling, tweaking and assembling.. the cage is finished. Took around 4-5 hours but I am proud.. not too shabby for a first timer.

Just finished the cat cage.. messy messy workplace

Sherbet, modelling inside the cat cage in the kitty room.

Next on agenda is getting Sherbet to a vet for neutering.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kitty Journal 2

So far, everything looks okay. No vomit were spotted anywhere in the house, I'm guessing one of my kitten ate something that didn't agree with his stomach. I let my kittens free earlier today and continued to sleep. I woke up once in a while to see them chasing each other across the room, wrestling as usual. Seems they're both healthy.

Sherbet is due for a neuter soon and I prefer to have my kittens neuter as soon as possible. Unfortunately I am rather tight on money, seems the economy is going downward lately. Luckily, I saved some money for my kittens. I need a cage, but due to monetary problems, I decided to try and make a cage. Saw some interesting ideas on Petfinder Forum, now I just hv to design, calculate and convince my bf that I can build it.... Let see how it goes :)

Kitty Journal 1

Today I woke up late and was horrified to see 2 pools of vomits in the kittens room.. It consists of digested and half digested kibble, pet milk and I'm guessing, stomach acid. It smelled sour. I wondered who the vomit belongs to while I clean em up.. from the amount of the vomit, can't be Salem.. he's too small... I'm guessing it was Sherbet, but I'm not sure because it happened while I was sleeping.

I decide to wait and see how the kids do.. can't bring them to vet if I don't know which of them have a health problem... Maybe he ate something that made him vomit.. I'll wait and see..

As usual, both kitten play happily, jumping around and wrestling each other. I love seeing their happy tail swishing. It's so adorable.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Store Room conversion

I live in a small apartment, well..more like a small flat all by myself most of the time. Sometimes bf comes over for lunch or dinner.. and once in a while my sister or my parent came to visit or go shopping and stayed at my home. It's a small home with 2 rooms and a storeroom. I was worried about parents getting disturbed by my kittens, I decided to clean up the store room and convert it into kitty room. They can have their own space, mess the room, the odor of litter box is limited and my family can be happy, so can the kittens.

I called over my bf and my sister to come and help clean the storeroom, which has junks of almost 4 years. I am the type of person who like to hoard things so.. there's a lot of useless stuff that I just put in the storeroom. Took almost 8 medium trash bags to clear the storeroom! I wondered to myself, how a small room like that can handle so much junk.. knowing myself, I would probably think whatever I kept in there can be used in the future.. right...(I told myself).. Cleaner up the room, put floor lining and arranged the litter box, the small scratch post I made and some furniture that I re-do for my kittens plaything. I hope they can hang out, have fun and get some privacy in the room. It has a small window, which I always kept almost shut. I want the room to have some ventilation, and not provide a dangerous space for kitten to fall through. I also kept a huge card box in the room for my kitten to paw on. At the moment the room is scattered with some newspapers and rags for the to play or lie down on. I would buy a cage in future so I can use it to quarantine my kittens in case of injury, sickness or to keep them out of mischief when I clean the house. My kitten has some kind of fascination with brooms, terrified of vacuum cleaner and the hairdryer. Brooms are the easiest way to clean their room at the moment although I don't do it too often. I could never get their room in a organized way, everything just goes anywhere in that room. As long as they are happy in their little room, I am happy. I could put them in the room so they don't disturb me when I sleep or eat my meals.
I made a taller scratch post for my kittens, but since I'm on a tight budget, it's very bare and simple. I think I will let is stay at it is for now, and attached me elaborate platform as time goes by.. I like working with my hands, but I'm not perfect.

At the end of a long day, I managed to get my kittens their own room. Might not be furnished much.. but it's a start..

Nail Scraping Moments

I woke up today to a painful wake up call. My two kittens.. sometimes I call them 1/2 monkey kittens, decided to play tag and lo and behold, Sherbet decided to make my arm as his leverage. The pain of nail digging into you scream makes you pop your eyes wide open and scream.

From the looks of thing, he didn't even care or know what happened. Sighs, darn cat. I just babble and clean off the wound, put some salve on it. It wasn't the first time but definitely not the last I'll tell you that. Especially with Sherbet weighing around 3kg, he fails at trying to jump on people's lap now and then. In this hot, humid weather wearing cotton shorts or pants is normal and it isn't an anti-claw material, I'll tell you that. Oh well, we'll just take it as the mark of love .. *giggles*

Thing looks pretty good in terms of the kittens' health. They always jump and wrestle around, sometime chasing me back and forth kitchen to the living room. Sherbet, I suspected has weak stomach and have been having soft poop once in a while. Kinda wondered what he does when I wasn't watching.. licking bathroom floor? Pawing through trash? Cats are mysterious and in Sherbet case, he can be quite stealth. Last time I caught him eating bones from trash, he got diarrhea for a week.. schmuck cat! Salem, has cast iron stomach! He ate papaya a few days back, that surprised me (although I read up a forumer in Petfinders Malaysia, that his cat..named Salem too, loves to eat papaya).. Never did it cross my mind my black screaming banshee is the same. The lil guy wouldn't stop mewing at my feet as I was eating the papaya (it wasn't sweet enough anyway..) so I put the leftover down on the floor and he was chewing as if it's the yummiest thing. Who would've thought, my lil screaming monkey loves papaya.. the week before he begged for corn kernels from my parents.. I had fallen asleep in the living room when my mom was steaming sweet corn kernels. When I woke up, family was telling me how Salem was munching on corn kernels.. sighs.. you'd thing I didn't give them good, healthy, yummy cat food.. Told my parent to not give him anymore because I read up grains are not good for cats, especially corns. But knowing Salem.. he likes to begs for anything.. I had to lock him in the cat room during my meals. He would mew loudly near my feet, sometimes jumping on my lap to try his luck at sneaking a bite. Not on my watch, sorry, I like to eat my meal by myself and not share it with furry kids.. He also came by and stole chickpea while I wasn't looking.. geee.. this little kitten doesn't care what he eats! From my scoop the poop session, I dun see any trouble with his digestive system. Always looks firm and solid, except when I give my kittens milk or wetfood.

Sherbet lately is in his "big boy" mode. He would prefer to be a loner, sitting in faraway corner to himself, sleeping or just lazing around. Ignores me or bf when we call him (except when I have food or their multivitamin in my hands..) and sometimes mews at the door.. I'm guessing some cats pass by the front door and said hi.. Most of the time he wouldn't even want to play, just staring intently. I would say he would only participate 30% of the time. Most of the time, he just look and did nothing. Fine by me, he's a big boy now... but he's still my boy :) Just a few more weeks for another visit to the vet. I like him to stay indoor and not go out getting girlfriends, I'm a greedy mom. My boys are mine :P

Another day pass with me and the kids.. the trouble I have now is Salem. He's still too vocal, and still sucking on t-shirts. It minds boggle me sometimes.. granted he's an orphaned kitten but he's almost 3 months now.. shouldn't it stop.. sometime now? He's too vocal personality is also making me embarass.. living in a flat cum apartment is not easy, the walls are not as thick and having a kitten mewing loudly is not a good greeting to my neighbours. It's mind-boggling how Salem mews a lot when he's locked up in the cat room with his brother.. sometimes he would mew loudly outside the bathroom door (when i bathe).. and even in front of the bedroom door when i change clothes. Does it bother him when I left him outside the door? Perhaps.. If only I could talk cats.. life would be easier... Sad to say I'm giving Salem a few more weeks.... if he doesn't behave, I guess I have to put him up for adoption. His loud mewing keeps me awake at night and having him roam the house when I sleep is not a good option either, he likes to climb up the bed, climb on my body, suck my t-shirt or even sit on my head. The pawing while he sucks doesn't help either.. claws scraping on ur skin makes you awake. I will be sad if I have to let him go but I hope I don't have to.. I really really hope I don't have to...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cuddly Moments

What I like most about having 2 kittens is watching they snuggle up together. The picture is so serene and loving that I just had to take a snapshot. Times like this makes me wish I have a digital camera. Only time will tell..

Anyway, it seems that it's routine for my 2 kittens to snuggle up for a few hours every day. These are the few snapshots I took of them... how cute...

Furkid number two, the black screaming banshee

It was a nice Friday night in February, as usual, I went out to buy groceries with bf and on the my way back, saw a small black kitten mewing loudly near the elevator. Poor kitten must be starving, I thought. I told my bf, I liked that black cats, they're interesting. My bf just smile, looked at the kitten. We talked about the kitten, and thought, it looks clean, must be someone's kitten. So I went back to my apartment and bf left to his own place. But I can't keep my mind off the kitten, if it belongs to someone, why would anyone let a small kitten, barely able to run, roaming around without supervision? I looked out the window but couldn't see or hear the kitten. I guess his owner must hv picked him up.

As usual, I spend my days sitting in front of the computer or playing around with Sherbet. Deep in my heart, I wish I could hv a black kitten, it would look awesome. Black, shiny fur.. another friend for Sherbet.. but having another kitten means more responsibility and more mouth to feed. But a black cat! I said to myself, drooling over the idea of having another beautiful cat to cuddle. Time pass by and at midnight, I heard the kitten again. I called my bf and asked him if he could pick up the kitten for me, I'm too scared to scour the block alone to look for the kitten. He told me to look out for the kitten and confirm with him. As we talked on the phone, I saw some girl pass by and took the kitten with them. Damn, I said. Someone took the kitten, oh well, at least it will not starve on the streets. I closed the window and slept.

Saturday morning I woke up early for no reason and again, I heard the loud mewing of the kitten. How can this be? I saw the girls pick him up and walked across the playground into the next block. I scramble for my binoculars ( was a cheap russion made ) and scour the playground. There, on the steps of the next block, I saw the black kitten walking and mewing loudly. I called my bf over and we watched for awhile. Maybe the kitten is calling his mother? Maybe his owner? We waited for 30minutes and nothing. I saw the kitten following a jogger and told bf to go pick the kitten up. I was worried it followed someone onto the road and get ran over. A few minutes later bf came back with a smelly, black kitten with faeces still attached to his bottom. I picked up the kitten, wiped it's bottom clean and wiped his body. Bf said he found the kitten in the garbage room. I looked carefully at the kitten, he was skinny, full of lice and smells nasty. It was definitely a stray, so I told bf I'm going to take this kitten and hope he can be Sherbet's playmate. I didn't have any cage, so I just put him under a huge laundry basket and made a small litterbox for him. Gave him some tuna and water to drink. He was mewing loudly, the poor thing. I guess he was afraid or maybe crying for his mother. I went to petshop with bf and bought pet milk and pet bottle. He didn't like the bottle, so I put it on a bowl and he lick it. But he would still scream like a banshee.
I google and found out he's probably missing his mother. But it can't be helped, we never saw any mother cats or any kitten his age nearby. So I just bear with the loud mewing and kept him under the laundry basket the whole day. Sherbet didn't like the new kitten, kept hissing and had his hair stand up whenever he comes near the laundry basket.
I was somewhat regretting I picked up this kitten, he screamed like a banshee and Sherbet hates him. But suprisingly, he adapt well to his surroundings. He used the litter box I made for him easily. This is a test for me, and I endured. I let him roam the house the next day and he wasn't as curious as Sherbet. But what I saw was, he liked to follow Sherbet around. Sherbet still hissed and slaps him now and then but I had to make them live together harmoniously. I let them eat together as advised by a forumer in Petfinders and observed. Everytime Sherbet got too rowdy, I would scold him and break them apart. The difference in size is too much. But I was happy, by the third day, Sherbet accepted the black cat into the household. I named the black cat Salem, like the black cat in Sabrina, the teenage witch and also from the movie Salem's Lot. They would play together, chasing and wrestling but I worried, Salem is 1/3 Sherbet's size and Sherbet is known to play rough. The moment I was afraid of came on the weekend when I went into a room to change and let the kitten play on their own. Salem mewed loud suddenly and I rushed out to see. I saw one of his leg went limp and my heart stopped. I picked him up and cried. He was so small and skinny, what if the limp is permanent? What if he can't use his hindleg anymore?? I called my bf over and cried on the phone. He came and looked at the kitten, prodding and touching the hindleg. Everytime we touch the thigh, Salem would cry. We were desperate, it was the weekend and the vet we went to is closed. I took a chance and used traditional remedy on Salem. We massaged his leg with gamat oil slowly. Salem mewed and even the quiet Sherbet was mewing by our feet. I guess Sherbet was worried and probably saying sorry for the incident. The whole night we massage his hindleg with the oil slowly, worried he couldn't move or use it. When bf left, I took extra measures and watch both kitten carefully. I walk around the house with a water spray bottle in my hand. Everytime Sherbet tries to come near Salem I would squirt him. I felt sorry for both kitten. Sorry for Sherbet because I had to make him stay away from Salem and sorry for Salem because I didn't pay enough attention. The next day I was lucky, Salem can use his hindleg. He could run but the thigh was still tender to touch. Just one more day to hold on before going to the vet. Monday came and we went to the vet, his hindleg was swollen but it wasn't too bad. Vet gave some anti-flammation pills and I was thankful that Salem's hindleg weren't badly injured. I still watch the kittens playing but I saw that Sherbet has managed to control his power when playing with his little brother. I was also happy to see Sherbet helped to groom the little guy. I read up orphaned kittens usually have trouble grooming and I'm glad Sherbet is helping. What I can't help much is the nipple sucking. I laughed when I saw Salem searching for Sherbet's nipple and get slapped aside. It probably hurt Sherbet's pride and dignity to have a male kitten pawing at his manboobs. So, the next best thing is my T-shirt or my bf's T-shirt. Salem would crawl or jump on out lap and suck our T-shirt till it's wet. I asked the vet about it and she said it would stop at 2 1/2 months or 3 month old. I hope so because Salem has this annoying of climbing onto my bf or my lap with his claw out, scrathing our legs. If we deny him of his T-shirt sucking, he would sit and stare at any of us and mew really loud. Salem the black banshee I call him sometimes. He cries when he's he wants to eat or use his toilet (when he was younger) even though he knows where it it. Now he cries when he's bored or wants to suck on T-shirt. Such a drama queen.. I mean King..
Gee, Salem.. I should have named you Screaming Banshee I guess... *laugh*

Day 2 and freedom to roam..

The second day, I let him roam free in the house. I made sure every window is open no bigger than 2 inch and put a huge card box blocking the way to the kitchen. My kitchen is half opened with metal grilling extension. I live on the second floor and I worry if my kitten falls down. We named him Sherbet, my bf thought of it since he's an avid fan of Harry Potter books. He thought of Orange Sherbet fits the kitten name. It's a nice name and I like it immediately. As soon as I let Sherbet free, he roamed the apartment, going into the rooms, under every nook and cranny. The one thing that I dreaded the most is that Sherbet loves dusty and dark places. I cleaned my home but he sure knows the dustiest place and there, he sat happily. When I cleaned that area, he moves on to the next dusty place. I gave up and just clean the place whenever I want. Sherbet is a dust detector, I can't be bothered to clean every nook and cranny since I hate house chores. I spend most of my time on my computer, spending some time to play with Sherbet and fed him. I gave him Whiskas at start, seems like a good cat food and he ate it. Guess he's not picky on food. As I played on the computer, Sherbet jumped on my lap and sat on the keyboard. I laughed, he's so adorable and cute. He stared at the computer screen, watching the movement of the mouse pointers, pawing once in a while. After a while, he got sleepy and slept on the keyboard, I pushed him aside so that he slept between the keyboard and my monitor (pic above). It was the most beautiful and serene picture in my opinion. I took a snapshot and kept it, smiling to myself. I have found the other love of my live, he's furry but cuddly.

The next few days, I trained him to get used to his name by using food. It worked nicely but, Sherbet is still the same old Sherbet.. he will come if he wants to, ignore if he feels like it. Can't help but remembers his "grooming" session at SPCA. What a kingly cat... I spend most of my days reading up on how to take care of kittens, what food is best for them, how to groom and such. My family and bf said I'm obsessed with cats and I agreed. True, I am obsessed, but it's all for the best. I am serious about having a cat in my life and I don't want to be half-assed about it. Granted I won't be buying the most expensive top of the line cat food or cat litter, but getting the best within my budget is not bad. I want to get the best that I can for my new kid. I changed his food from Whiskas to Friskies, then tried Royal Canin but it was too expensive for me. I tried EVO but seems Sherbet can't handle EVO, he got diarrhea soon after. After a few enquiry, reading, I tried Blackwood and it seems to work well with my furkid. He loves eating the kibble and is growing bigger by the days. I love how fluffy he looks as the days go by. Although Sherbet is quiet and active, he also hv his mischievious side. I let him roam the whole house and he went to the kitchen, dipped his foot in cooking oil and walked proudly to my bed... I was angry but a cat is a cat. I have no one to blame but myself for not keeping the oil properly, or didn't watch him carefully. I learned my lesson and always watched him, especially when he goes into the kitchen.

Time goes by so fast I can't believe I have him for 3 months now. A few more weeks and he's due for a neuter. As he grows older, he doesn't like to be held. I guess it's typical guy thing, doesn't like to be manhandled. He's still scared of loud noises, he would run under the chair when he hears the kettle whistling, or the fogging people pass by. On rainy days, he would sleep near my feet. Sometimes he climb over on my bed and slept near my feet. I love him a lot and I never regretted the day I adopt him. My family came last week and was surprised to see Sherbet bigger and fluffier. He is very well behaved, and loved a typical foot cuddling. I just kept wondering how I had lived my life without a cat before.. unbelievable....

Christmas and day 1

It was Christmas and my family came over to visit as usual. My parent came over to my apartment a few times a year to visit my sister and I. We would go shopping, have dining experience (which is mostly consists of eating at food courts ^_^ ).

I have always loved looking at cats, wanting to hug and cuddle them but I don't have the courage. I loved cats since I was small, used to pick any strays I found and drag em home.. have em make a mess at home and get scolded by mom, or sometimes my mom throws them out (she doesn't like cats) or they run away by themselves. I guess, in a way, I was probably scared to hold them because I was too scared I won't be able to let them go.. but had to because my mom hates them.

Once in a while, I would open SPCA websites and stare at picture of cats, ogling over their beautiful eye and fur. Hoping some day I could hold them and have them follow me around, and have fun with them. This Christmas for some reason, I was thinking a lot about adopting a cat and my sister encourage me to adopt a cat too. I decided to be serious and asked my mom for permission. She gave her blessing but I know she has her doubt. I've been known to change hobbies now and then and to my family, this is probably another phase in my life. I want to prove them wrong, I want a companion and I will try my best!

On the 28th December, I went to SPCA with my bf and sister. It was 3pm and the shelter will close at 4pm, I walked anxiously and wondered if they will let me adopt a kitten. I have no prior cat experience, the pet I had were fishes (that I seriously took care of). Although my sister used to have hamster, I don't really like them. They smell and they bit me once. The SPCA was noisy, I hear dogs barking and a few people was moving things around into a lorry. Seems they had some kind of garage sale earlier. We went through the small gate and saw a 3 tier cat cage with lots of cats and kittens. I looked around and at first glance we liked this female cat, she looks like a normal Domestic Short Hair, nothing impressive but she was very affectionate, purring as we stuck our fingers into the cage and pet her. I would love to take her home but she has not been spayed and SPCA rep said that she has to be spayed before they will let me adopt her. Maybe I could come the next day after a spaying, they say. I was crestfallen, I have no other way of bringing that cat the next day, because my parent is going back the next day and I have no other vehicle except a small motorbike. I can't imagine bringing back a spayed, new cat on a motorbike, for a journey of over 20minutes. She would cry all the way and be in pain. Another fact was my mom had said that if I want to adopt, get a nice cat, a medium or long haired. Getting a short hair would make her angry. So I talked over to bf and sister and we looked for other kittens. Seems getting a male kitten would be easier.

I saw this male kitten, sitting leisurely on a platform, with another kitten licking his furs. Looks like he's enjoying his free grooming service, I thought to myself. He was slim, but he is a Domestic Medium Hair and he looks cute. He totally ignored us when we stuck our fingers to pet him and I thought, hmm, he's probably a very well behaved kitten. His tails were a bit crooked but that doesn't bother me. The clock was ticking and SPCA rep was in a hurry, I take another look at this golden ginger kitten and decided, yeah, he's the one. We went to the office, paid the adoption fee, bought a carrier and got myself a kitten. He was very quiet in the car, I was worried he's mute, sick or scared. We stopped to buy cat food and went back to my place.
He didn't make alot of noises, and from what i read, new cats or kittens would need 1 day of confinement to adjust with the new environment. He slept most of the day, and I leave him in his carrier. Cleaned the paper lining when he pooped and fed him. Since my family is still around, I don't think I could let him roam the house, my mom especially, would jump in surprise. So far, nothing different, I think to myself. I have a cat, and he's harmless and so well behaved. I slept happily, knowing I had my first furry companion.

My first attempt at blogging..

It is a very hot day, I was restless and bored. As usual, I spend hours and hours over the internet, reading online manga, cat forums and google almost everything. I guess, when you have alot of "free time" as I do, you will get bored easily. Blogging is a trend these days but I have resisted, I don't think I'm good enough to blog, pour my heart out or even voice out whatever I have in my head. But, there's always a first for everything.

So, here I am, blogging for the first time.. and so forth, I will tell a story of the love that I found, in the form of Felis Domestica aka Cats.

This is the guy that caught my heart, a ginger cat I named Sherbet.

Here, I shall tell the story of how I met this cat and how life has been everyday for us....



Sherbet's Cute Mew

Click Play to listen!