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Alex the Kitty!

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Dr. Alex and Mr. Stuffy Pants

July 27th 2013 11:20 am
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Alex is a cat with two personalities. Outside Dr. Alex and Inside Mr. Stuffy Pants.

Outside in his horse barn, Dr. Alex is a sweet, loving, can't get enough petting or loving.

Inside the house, Mr. Stuffy Pants is a "don't touch me!" kind of cat. When Mr. Stuffy Pants is inside all he can think of is getting back outside. He only comes in during the day to get some special food and treats and he comes in at night only because he knows he has to. I admit that he is good about that. He could run and hide when we go out to retrieve him but he always comes and allows himself to be carried into the house. Maybe his instincts tell him that it is for the best.

We love him in the house with us and Rocky adores his "Uncle Alex" but as soon as sweet Dr. Alex crosses the threshold he turns into the evil Mr. Stuffy Pants who won't allow you to pet or hold him. Oh, yes he'll eat your food and accept some treats but "don't touch me" is the rule of the hour.

Kitten Rocky is starting to get him out of his shell, however. Alex loves to play with and clean Rocky and has been letting himself loosen up a bit to pay some attention to the kitten. We find Alex's gentleness and playfulness with the never-stop Rocky pretty amazing considering that Alex is tough guy, a take no prisoners kind of cat. But when it comes to Rocky, old Mr. Stuffy Pants is turning into an overgrown kitten himself.

Maybe having Rocky around will convince Alex to lighten up a bit and enjoy his inside time, and the attention of his people, more in the future. We can only hope....


Hell and High Water

July 24th 2013 10:40 am
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Yesterday started out in fine fashion. Another overly warm sunny summer day with a forecast of possible storms moving in to the region in the afternoon. There was a possibility of severe weather with the approaching cold front. We thought nothing of it, typical summer forecast.

When the yellows and reds showed up on the radar screen, we got Alex into the house as he freaks out when he hears thunder.

We got hit by the storms around 4PM.

We moved to this place in 2003 after building a new house onto a 200 year old farmhouse and have never experienced a storm like the one that hit us. Almost 4 inches of rain in under 45 minutes, high winds, horizontal hail. It was as close to a hurricane as we are ever going to come to in Southwestern Ohio! It was too much for our house gutters and the drainage around the house to handle. Our basement window well filled with water and it ran into our never before wet basement. Then the crawl space filled with water and overflowed into the mechanical room. Of course, the electric was out which meant the sump pump couldn't do its job. It seemed like it took me forever to get the generator going and electric cords to the sump. What a mess in our basement!

After the storms, we did damage assessment: In addition to the wet basement we had 7 trees down, one on the roof of one of our barns and one on a neighbor's barn. Three trees across fences, one across our driveway, and one in our largest pasture. The work ahead us is daunting and bit depressing to have to clean this mess up with all the other work we are trying to get done before winter. Besides, who in the world wants to work that hard?!

Once the storms were gone, Alex thought all the water in the basement was put there for his personal enjoyment. He's a cat that doesn't mind getting his feet wet and enjoyed splashing around in it while my wife and I totally freaked out trying to get rid of it!


Love Them Cars and Trucks

July 22nd 2013 2:24 pm
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If you've read some of the early entries of Honcho's (did you know "Honcho" is a Japanese word meaning "chief"?)diary then you know he spends most of his daylight hours outside. He's pretty good about hanging around the barn, which isn't too far behind the house, the driveway and the side yard. Sometimes he ventures over to the nearest neighbor's house which is about an acre away and occasionally he goes down to the creek to catch a frog when he's in the mood for seafood.

He has one madding habit, however. Whenever we get a visitor he must go smell their vehicle's bumpers and tires. He likes to walk under them and check out whatever it is he finds so fascinating. We try to be out outside when a visitor leaves to make sure he is clear of their vehicle. I have found him in the bed of a pickup truck about to leave and my wife has had to pull him from under the rear tire of a pickup that was about to backup and leave.

This gives us stress. He is much too friendly with strangers and would happily hop through an open door into the passenger section of a car just to say howdy. Alex is a super nice cat, not to mention good looking as all heck, and if we were not home, a stranger might be tempted to drive off with our boy. That's why he goes into the house when we are going to be away for awhile. We can enjoy ourselves so much more knowing Mr. Stuffy Pants is safely tucked away in the house beating up Rocky (and sometimes allowing himself to be kitten beaten).

Man, I just wish he would hurry up and decide to be a full-time house cat!


The Sad Life of Some Kitties

July 16th 2013 6:50 am
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We have a neighbor, and a good friend. He lives next to the horse barn that is located quite a distance from our barn, the one Alex lords over is just behind our house, the other one, the one I am talking about, is about 3/10th's of a mile away. Anyway, this friend recently asked us to feed his cats for him while he went away on a four day trip.

Now, this guy is a really decent person and he loves him some cats, but he doesn't do the right thing by his felines. They are all outside cats and, although every year he swears he will, he never gets them spayed or neutered. You know the results. Fox food, feral forest cats and road cat sails.

So, anyway, we feed the cats for him while he is gone on his trip. Once a day, in the evening is what he requested, the same as he feeds.

I don't know about you, but when we eat, our cats eat. I know how I would feel if I only got to eat once a day. These poor cats were like a scene out of the feeding frenzy in the movie Night of the Living Dead. Kittens getting smacked around by the adults, kittens and full grown cats hovering on the fringe of the feeding circle out of fear to approach. It. Was. Horrible!

We found ourselves taking extra food up to make sure the fearful cats got something to eat.

Sixteen cats and kittens. Soon there will be only five or six. This is the way it is every year. We have tried and tried to get our friend to change his ways, but he hasn't. And he won't. It's just not in the makeup of some people to "get it."

Come here, Alex...I want to give you a hug!


Playful Boy!

July 15th 2013 6:59 pm
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Well, well, well...having a kitten around has been a good thing for old stuffy pants. Mr. Alex, an all business kitty, has been watching the kitten run crazy and go nuts on "Da Bird," so he decided that he wanted in on that action.

Not only has he been loosening up and attempting some play time with Rocky but tonight he went nuclear on "Da Bird." It's the first time I have seen Alex play in the house since...well, ever. He runs and plays outside, but he is all serious and such in the house. But no more. He has decided there is enough fun to be had to yank some out from under the kitten!

Good to see Alex enjoy himself. He and Rocky are destined to be great buddies, I think.



July 13th 2013 12:16 pm
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There has been a population explosion of foxes in this area. I have seen more foxes in the past three weeks than I have seen the past 10 years! I actually chased one up the road, away from the house, early in the morning while retrieving the newspaper. Foxes are not a good thing thing for little kitties...not a good thing for big kitties either! I sure am glad we got little rocky into the safety of the house before he got infected with outside-itis like Mr. Alex.

My wife spied a young fox out mid-day yesterday and he was smack dab in the middle of Alex's northern patrol area (our riding arena). This has us worried a bit. Savvy and tree smart as Alex is doesn't mean a fox can't sneak up on the boy while napping under the horse of his favorite spots.

After the fox sighting we grabbed the boy and brought him in for the day. That hurt him worse than fighting a fox I do believe! He's been waiting for some dry weather and yesterday was supreme. After he saw his protests were for nothing, he flipped his tail, went down to the home office and spent his entire time inside asleep in the leather desk chair.

That'll show us!


Rocky Goes to the Vet

July 8th 2013 2:41 pm
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Little Rocky was thrown into a carrier (well, gently placed, the way he carried on, you would have thought "thrown"), and driven to the vet's office where he was given tests for FELV & FIV and vaccinations for FRCC/FeIV and such; had his ears cleaned and was given the okay to be brought into the house. He was such a good boy, and a tough kitten...he never yowled out when blood was drawn or the shots given.

When he was taken out of his carrier and placed on the floor, Mr. Rocky liked what he saw and made himself at home. He was shown to his litter box, found the food and explored until he could no longer function as a cat and passed out.

My wife, Alex and myself took advantage of the slumbering buff colored fur ball to slip out onto the horse trails and take a nice walk.

Mr. Rocky picked a fine summer afternoon to become a full time house cat and we are so pleased to welcome him to the safety of, HIS home!

So, I decided to give Rocky his own page and diary to document the growing up, the trials and the tribulations of a kitten into cat hood. May the journey be a peaceful one with little or no breakage....


Sunshine and Micies always make you smile

July 7th 2013 12:35 pm
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Sunshine returned to the Ohio Valley this afternoon and Alex celebrated by catching himself a nice fat barn mouse. Yum, whisker lickin' good! So, I ask you...why aren't there any mouse flavored cat foods on the market? Or grasshopper/locust/insect-in-general flavored cat foods? Natural prey of the Felis Catus. Because, I mean, like, you know...well, everyone knows that cattle are the natural prey of cats (Beef Flavored), and turkeys and chickens...well, I suppose chickens are at risk, but Tunas? I think a cat stalking a cow or a tuna would be quite the sight!

Little Rocky is growing on steadily. He goes to the vet tomorrow (if I can get a short notice appointment) or Tuesday (if I can't) and, assuming a clean bill of health, Mr. Rocky's outside days are over before he gets a bad case of outsideitis like his pal Mr. Alex. I'm sure we'll be regretting that for a few a weeks! A kitten in the house...oh, the horror!


Rainy Days and Kittens

July 6th 2013 1:40 pm
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It's been raining off and on for three days now. Not conducive for a cat-boy to have many adventures. We haven't even been able to cross the creek and go for our daily walks due to the high water. Me not getting my 10,000 steps a day in is driving my Fitbit nuts! Alex not getting his exercise is driving us nuts! Sleepus Interruptus...about six times last night I had the nut walking up my body, lying on my back, jumping on my back from the back of the bed. Yeah, he wanted me up. There may be another cat spending the night in the horse trailer if that keeps up!

So, how's the kitten? Well, we have a name. Took a while to come up with one but this afternoon we settled on "Rocky." Rocky is doing well. He is an affectionate little guy. A lap sponge. We're already his people, bonded, and loved.

He is eating well, using a litter box (good, boy!), and loves to play. Alex did lose his patience with him today and sent a message with a whack on top of the little guy's head. I wasn't too pleased to see that happen but didn't interfere. Alex has to get Rocky used to the hierarchy and that will go along way to keep future peace.

Okay, time to upload a few Rocky photos...


What to do with a kitten?

July 4th 2013 10:52 am
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Alex has gone from conflicted to perplexed. You can tell he is wondering how in the world did he become a brother (or a cousin). He is nice to the kitten, touching noses, but wants not much to do with it as far as cozying up goes. He is totally fascinated by the kitten and watches over him, but doesn't want him loving on him.

The kitten spent the night in the locked horse trailer. He was completely and safely enclosed, had a soft bed, litter, food and water and we got to sleep worry free knowing he was safe from foxes, raccoons, Great Horned owls, and Lord knows what is just so wild and dangerous here, especially for a tiny kitten.

I can tell this kitten is going to wind up a house kitty. He loves us already and can't get enough attention. I guess the first order of business is to get him into the vet for a checkup and kitten shots. And, of course, get a time frame for The Unkindest Cut Of All! We'll start kitten proofing the house and see where this goes.

*Sigh* They never stop coming.....

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