Wednesday, July 20, 2016


I have resisted getting a cat for years.  Hubby had cats growing up,  and has brought up getting one occasionally but I did not because my mother is allergic to them. My Grandma had cats and we would often sneak one home in an old ice cream container after a visit to Grandma's, but since my mother was allergic the cat would live outside until we forgot to feed it and then it would disappear.

On the excuse that my mother visited every couple of weeks during the summer, and that I just don't want to deal with another species, I have not wanted a cat. 

There are times I have started to think about another dog.  But since Kelso is so non-dominant, I am afraid another dog, especially a small one, would be likely to try and dominate him and then he would become unhappy.  A large dog is, well, a whole other large dog.  And as I'd love another collie and think a matched set would be great, there is no guarantee it would be cuddly and particularly playful, which is what the girls want in a dog.  Kelso is the perfect dog for me, but he isn't cuddly, doesn't particularly want to be petted aside from wanting his butt scratched, and the girls would love a cuddly dog.

The real break down of my non-cat defenses came when Red started asking for a cat.  She has a friend with cats and has visited her house and listens to her friend talk about them.  So Red started on me.

I told her the big obstacle would be getting one that would tolerate the dog.  Kelso goes to the barn and is used to cats, but I don't want to have to deal with a battle so we would need a cat that would put up with him.  I figured a kitten would be more likely to do that.

Long story short we took Kelso to the rescue shelter and through a long process of watching kitten after kitten freak out when they saw him, we finally found two that didn't have a literal hissy fit when they were brought into the room with him.  A black male and a cream colored female.  While we were at the shelter the cream one sat calmly in Blondie's lap and the black one played on the floor under Kelso's legs with Red.  It seemed obvious to me that if I'm getting a cat for the girls, I need to get both of these two.  And I also let the shelter people convince me that two kittens is better than one.

It has worked out great.  Neither cat cares about the dog - they have started playing with his nose when he comes over to sniff at them.  The cats play a lot with each other.  I find them hilarious, unless it's in the middle of the night.  Hubby and Red and I have taken to shutting our doors at night.  It disrupts the airflow through the hot house, but it does mean we won't get woken up in the middle of the night by a curious kitten.  Blondie is more interested in having cats on her bed than in getting a good night's sleep, so she leaves her door open.

We named the creamy one Pangur Ban - after the cat in the 9th century Irish poem.  I had first heard about it in the movie The Secret of Kells, where they have a fabulous song about Pangur Ban, who is the abbot's white cat.   Blondie was somewhat resistant to name the cat this, because I guess when we saw the movie a couple of years back I had said something about that being a fabulous name for a cat, and she wanted to have more input into the cat's name than me predestining it back then.  But we all started calling her Pangur, even Blondie, and it kind of stuck.

The black cat the girls named  Neko because that is "Cat" in Japanese and the girls watch so much anime it seemed natural.

Neither name is very common, Pangur especially takes some explanation and repetition.  Blondie said she told someone we didn't want to just name the cats something completely ordinary.  There is a family nearby with two dogs named by the kids - Snuggles and Fluffy or something like that, and we have always wanted to make sure our pets are not named something so pedestrian.  I can't remember who it was, Hubby or Blondie, but one of them said something along the lines of "We're not just going to name the cat Friggin Mittens!"  
Mittens, no.  But Friggin Mittens, YES!!!   If we hadn't already settled on Pangur, her name would have been Friggin Mittens.

I have gotten so used to their littleness that I am not sure I'll know what to do with them when they're big.  I guess we'll find out.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Dog Proof Cat Feeder

We just added two kittens to our family.  I have resisted cats for a while, as I am a dog person really, but I have to admit it has been a fairly easy and amusing adjustment.  
Except for one thing.
The dog loves the kitty food.  
He is a good dog, but training him to stay out of the cat food seemed like a pretty hard thing when buying a dog proof cat feeder seemed like an easy thing.
Except they cannot be bought.  
I found one I liked on the internet, but alas and alack it isn't available anywhere I looked.
Here is the one I wanted.
I found it listed multiple times on pinterest, and the blog where this picture came from described it as prohibitively expensive, so they made their own.
I am not particularly handy and was kind of stuck.
Until I found this at IKEA

I bought two.  I figured it's a little small and I'd need a double wide.

Here's how I assembled it:

I attached two back pieces together using some 2 inch brackets from Home Depot.  The brackets fit just fine in the holes provided for regular assembly.  For steadiness I drilled some holes and added some dowels in between the two pieces, but you can't see that.

Then I assembled it according to the instructions, leaving out the middle piece and just making a rectangle instead of a square.

 There is a floor piece that just rests on the bottom - I cut off part of it with a hand saw so the kitties could climb up in the bottom.

I cut some IKEA placemats to cover the bottom, so the kitties wouldn't have to jump across the gap, and drips and spills wouldn't fall through.  I cut them with scissors, and went back and forth trimming just a little bit here and there, so it would be a pretty tight fit.  It ended up stabilizing the floor pieces, which just rest in there on a lip against the side.  I thought I'd have to nail or glue the floor down, but the placemats are holding it in place just fine.

The kitties can come up through the bottom and the dog can't get in.  I am so proud of myself I could bust!

I don't know what the fancy one on Orvis would have cost since it is now unavailable, but this cost me $80 for the two IKEA storage stools, $3.00 for the IKEA placemats, and about $5.00 for the brackets and dowels at Home Depot.  Roughly $88.00 total.