Another novice cat owner here. Getting new kitten on Sunday. Advice please!

(286 Posts)
ToffeeWhirl Fri 19-Apr-13 14:20:31

I have been looking at old threads here and it's been really helpful, but still have a couple of questions. Firstly, am I meant to put newspaper down under the cat litter or just sprinkle the cat litter straight into the litter tray? Am not sure what newspaper will achieve, but have this odd feeling I should! confused

The other thing I'm troubled about is that we are bringing the kitten back in the car with us and it will be a four-hour journey. I have borrowed a cat carrier and bought some Feliway to spray in it. Am just looking out old fleeces and towels to make it snuggly. What I'm worried about is what to do about food, water and the kitten's need to wee/poo. It is toilet trained already (it's 14 weeks' old), but will it just do that in the carrier if it needs to? Could I bring the litter tray and offer that or is that a mad idea? I do have an absorbant disposable mat to place under the towels in case of sickness or anything else.

And I don't know what to do about food because some advice says don't feed your cat before a journey in case it makes it travel sick. But surely it's cruel not to offer the kitten some food on the journey? I will obviously be offering water anyway.

Also, a friend told me to bring ear plugs for the journey because the cat might be noisy. It's a Balinese (like a Siamese). I have visions of a four-hour journey from hell, with yowling travel-sick kitten and two wailing, travel-sick children.

cozietoesie Fri 19-Apr-13 14:34:25

I don't put any newspaper or other liner actually in the litter tray. I've found that a decent depth of litter poured straight in is just fine.

On the journey, I'd take some food and water with you to offer if you wish but don't be surprised if the don't take any at all. I've not found that my cats liked food or water during journeys. You could also take a litter tray with you but maybe offer it at rest stops - with the car windows closed! (Don't let the cat out of the carrier while the car is moving - and if you have the DCs with you and it's only four hours, I'd be tempted not to let it out at all. Cats are very good at crossing their legs.)

Having a litter tray ready is useful in any case because you can whip it quickly into the house when you reach your destination and put it, with kitten, in a quiet place to recover equanimity while you deal with the DCs and the rest of the unpacking.

As to noise, I've travelled extensively with cats (mainly Siamese) and I've found that the best plan is to largely ignore them. Secure the carrier with seat belts or something, partially cover it with - say - a light rug or coverlet to make a snug, and then leave the cat alone. As it's a new kitten to you, it won't be soothed yet by your voice so it will likely squawk a bit and then hunker down in the back of the carrier and grit it out silently. (With maybe the occasional meow to let you know it's still there and not that happy.)

Your biggest problem is going to be stopping the DCs from trying to poke their fingers in to it or wanting to let it out to play - lots of journey preparation required I'm afraid. How old are they? And are you to be alone with all of them or shall there be another adult?

ToffeeWhirl Fri 19-Apr-13 14:46:51

Thank you, that's really reassuring. I hadn't thought of covering the carrier with a rug - that's a good idea and may encourage the kitten to sleep. DH is driving, so I will be free to deal with any issues and remind the DC to leave the cat alone. They are 7 and 13. The 13 year old should be old enough to listen to my instructions hmm, but he is the one who really wanted a cat, so it might be hard for him to resist. DS2 is quite frightened of having a cat as he's not used to them. He says it won't be allowed in his bedroom, but as his is the sunniest room, the cat will probably have other ideas grin.

Is it ok to leave it alone downstairs in the kitchen/dining room on the first night? I keep thinking of the poor little thing away from its mum. I have read that it's a good idea to leave a hot-water bottle and ticking clock nearby for comfort. We have padded a cardboard box with fleeces for it to sleep in, but I realise it may ignore that for somewhere else entirely.

cozietoesie Fri 19-Apr-13 14:50:50

If Balinese are anything like Siamese they'll want to sleep in bed with someone - I'd let DS1 try his luck.

Have fun.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Fri 19-Apr-13 14:57:51

DS1 would be so happy if we let the Balinese sleep with him every night! Balinese are just like Siamese in character, apparently, and this kitten is described as very loving, so both kitten and boy would be happy with this solution. I was worried about letting it into another room so soon though. I understood you are meant to let them get used to one room before overwhelming them with all the others?

bonzo77 Fri 19-Apr-13 15:11:45

I get litter tray liners 24 for a pound from pound land.

Wouldn't feed or water before or during the journey. Unless the cat is really upset it will probably not wee or poo either.

At 14 weeks they are usually a reasonable size and independent, so although it might be best to confine the cat to one room for the first few hours, I have let them have the run of the house. It'll find its "spot" quite quickly. Keep all windows and doors shut though!

Now is a good time to start a routine with feed times, coming to call so you can get it to come inside when you want it to. Also to sort out micro chipping, vaccinations and think about neutering. Depending on your vet it might be done as soon as 5 months old (our current one was).

ToffeeWhirl Fri 19-Apr-13 15:40:03

I have booked an appointment at the vet on Wednesday, bonzo, so will find out about neutering and ask about microshipping then. The kitten has already had two sets of vaccinations. Will have to ask about fleas and worms too.

Thanks for the tip about litter tray liners at Poundland.

What do I do about feeding? Should I be feeding it just twice a day at this age?

Goodness, I have a lot to learn. It's a bit like having a new baby.

QueenStromba Fri 19-Apr-13 15:42:25

Take your cues from the cat once you get it home. We got our adult cat from Battersea and they said not to pet her too much on the first day and don't bother feeding her any wet food because she won't eat it. She was all over us for attention straight away and devoured a pouch as soon as I persuaded DP that it was a good idea to give her some. She also insisted on the tour of the flat and spent the first night sleeping on top of me.

All cats are different though, so yours might want to be left alone for a bit. Cats are pretty good at telling you when they're not happy so you should be able to figure out what it wants easily enough.

Enjoy your new kitten and don't forget to post pictures (it's the law).

QueenStromba Fri 19-Apr-13 15:46:16

I'd have thought several small meals would be best while it's still growing. My cat's 15 so doesn't eat much in a sitting and we feed her 4-6 times a day with wet food and leave down biscuits for her.

cozietoesie Fri 19-Apr-13 17:21:22

Several small meals daily and fresh water available at all times. As you're starting with a kitten it would also be a good idea to start training it on grooming and claw tip nipping at an early age - just wait until later in the evening, say, and incorporate that into the love fest that it will demand.

I'd let it roam a little although that's good advice above about shutting certain doors, cupboards and all windows.

I'd also assume that it will sleep with someone but I wouldn't announce that to DS1 in case it decides eg that you are 'the person' and he feels all rejected. You can't decide for a cat who its person is going to be although if DS1 takes it to bed on the first day, the odds are that it will choose him. (Remember to put the litter tray in whomsoever's bedroom on the first night in case the kit wakes up and gets confused.)

Best of luck.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Fri 19-Apr-13 18:30:31

Thanks for the advice on feeding and sleeping, Queen and cozie.

Just discovered a whole load of wires attached to our new broadband connection - argh! Is kitty going to chew on them? DH seems to think a bit of Citronella will put it off confused, but I have insisted he deals with the wires properly. Will have to be vigilant until the wires are dealt with. That certainly means the kitten can't sleep in that room at night.

Or am I worrying too much here?

cozietoesie Fri 19-Apr-13 19:37:49

Maybe just a little around the edges. smile

Kittens can get into anything so the usual rule is to tidy things like wires up (good practice anyway) and to put away anything valuable in the way of ornaments until they learn to be more sedate. I've never had a kit who chewed on wires but I know some can. There's some guidance below but I wouldn't myself suggest any of the serious fixes (which can be a tad expensive) until you see you have a problem. This guidance by the way is US so bear that in mind for the technical aspects like plug shapes but at least one of the items mentioned for covering wires (Crittercord) can be bought in the UK if it comes to it.

cats and wires

cozietoesie Fri 19-Apr-13 20:08:42

Or, re ornaments, and as another poster once suggested - get out the horrible vase that Great Aunt Ermintrude once gave you and put in pride of place?

grin

ToffeeWhirl Fri 19-Apr-13 20:17:52

Thanks for the link and advice, cozie. I do have form for over-worrying <remembers DS1's early weeks>. And this kitten is such a responsibility!

That vase is in the loft, by the way wink.

tabbycat15 Sat 20-Apr-13 10:16:57

Have a basket with a soft blanket & show it to the kitten. They line the hooded furry ones as they can hide & feel cosy in it. Make sure if it is sleeping to never disturb it or pick it up. It will associate the basket with being safe so will run to it if it's scared.
Make sure food & water is away from the litter tray. Cats's don't like their food near their toilet.
Try & contain the cat to just a few rooms the first few days.
It will play & get worn out & have lots of little naps. They like balls & toys so interact when it wants to play.

QueenStromba Sat 20-Apr-13 10:21:09

Cats are a huge responsibility but since you realise that you should be fine smile They also fill a hole in your heart that you didn't know you had. We've only had our girl for five weeks and I honestly don't know how we lived without her.

I'm Rice's person and it's not because I treated her any better than DP did on the first day - we made a special effort to treat her the same, I think it came down to me being more comfortable to sleep on. Knowing cats it'll probably decide that DS2 is it's person and win him over with cuddles and purrs.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 21-Apr-13 18:52:27

Our kitten is home! He is very, very sweet and still very little. He is described as a caramel tabby point, but he looks milky white to me and he has very blue eyes.

I spent 45 minutes with the breeder and her Balinese cats and I haven't been wheezy or sneezy at all, which is brilliant. The breeder says she is allergic too, but doesn't get any allergic reaction with Balinese.

The kitten wasn't very happy on the journey back, poor thing, and was trembling at first and yowling piteously for most of the way. My eldest son sang him lullabies to try and calm him down. Even my younger son - who claimed he didn't want a kitten confused - ended up trying to reassure him.

I had sprayed the cat carrier with Feliway, but I have no idea if it worked - maybe he'd have been more upset if we hadn't. I did cover him with a blanket for part of the way, when he was sleepy, but sometimes he seemed to want to peek out and yowl at us in protest.

We didn't take him out of his carrier in the car, but we did offer him a treat, which he refused. He didn't wee or poo and hasn't done since we came home about half an hour ago. He doesn't know where the litter tray is yet because he hasn't given me a chance to show him.

At first, when we arrived home, he wouldn't come out of the carrier (we left the door open for him and stayed well back), then he made a bolt for it and is now hiding in the shoe rack in a dark corner of the room, well out of sight. I have left a bowl of dried food and water near him, but he's staying put for now.

I have spoken to him and he squeaks in response, but still refuses to move.

We were planning for him to stay in DS1's bedroom tonight, but what do we do if he stays firmly ensconced in the shoe rack? Do we pick him up and carry him up or do we leave him where he is? I can see my DS1 deciding to sleep downstairs with him tonight and maybe that wouldn't be such a bad idea.

My eldest son is so happy to have a kitten at last. He is going through a very bad episode of OCD at the moment and we are hoping the kitten will help to relax and distract him. I know there are no magic cures, but I do hope it will help him a bit. Already, the kitten has changed the atmosphere in the house and changed the focus from DS1's illness to the newcomer, which is a healthy change.

Tabby and Queen - thanks for your tips.

cozietoesie Sun 21-Apr-13 19:08:47

My very first cat spent his first night behind the piano! I wouldn't worry.

I would though put out some mushy wet food (maybe with a little warm water in it) for him. Dry biscuits might be too much for him at this point.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Sun 21-Apr-13 20:05:11

cozie - He has ignored the dry biscuits, but I did manage to lure him out with his usual food, which the breeder gave us. He has now explored a little and is having great fun climbing on my lap and my shoulders. He is very chatty! He still hides if anyone else comes in the room and we have all learnt to move very, very slowly so as not to startle him.

I showed him the litter tray and he climbed into it, then came out again. Hopefully, he will now remember where it is and use it if he needs to.

Ooh - he has just popped into it! I can hear little miaows from behind the door!

cozietoesie Sun 21-Apr-13 20:23:56

<laughing>

Let him go at his own pace - it will likely be quicker than you currently imagine!

cozietoesie Sun 21-Apr-13 20:30:45

PS - remember, if he's chatty, to talk back to him a lot.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Sun 21-Apr-13 20:32:45

He is now in the sitting room! He hid under the sofa for a few minutes, then came out to meet DH. Thanks for the tip about chatting back to him. I have been talking to him already, but will make sure I always respond. He is very funny and cute. I quite admire his feistiness too grin.

cozietoesie Sun 21-Apr-13 20:53:18

I tell you, you can end up doing a running commentary on life as with a two year old - but it will help him to get used to your voice. Is he showing signs of choosing a person yet? (It happens early in my experience.)

smile

ToffeeWhirl Sun 21-Apr-13 20:56:35

Well, he sat on my lap the longest, but that is because I was the only person around at the time and I took the time to tempt him out with food. DS1 is now chatting to him in his new hiding place under the sofa. I hope he chooses him, but I know cats have their own minds in these matters.

cozietoesie Sun 21-Apr-13 20:58:26

They surely do.

cozietoesie Sun 21-Apr-13 21:39:27

Forgot to say. He'll be white at the moment but he'll have the Himalayan gene that Siamese and some others do. That gene is heat sensitive (I won't go into all the science) so as he gets older he'll start to develop darker colours (depending on his colour point) on the colder parts of the body - paws, tail, face etc. Take a photo or two each week so that you can see him changing.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Sun 21-Apr-13 22:22:07

Really, cozie? I had no idea. We will be taking lots of pictures anyway and it'll be interesting to see him change.

He has done a wee in the kindling wood (probably because he is used to wood-based litter), but won't use our litter tray yet. Ah well. He is being very talkative at the moment and we can't work out what he wants. We have offered him food, water and the litter tray. Maybe he is just protesting at the oddness of his new environment.

We tried to take him up to DS1's bedroom, but he was distraught, so DS is going to sleep on a mattress downstairs. He has just crept back into the shoe rack and gone quiet, so maybe he'll want to sleep there for the night...

cozietoesie Sun 21-Apr-13 22:27:43

It's probably all too busy for him. He'll be knackered, remember - a long journey when he stayed awake, a strange place when he stayed awake, everything changed....... He should shortly keel over with tiredness because he's just a kit and they sleep a lot, normally.

DS sleeping downstairs might be just what he needs. I'd suggest you all head to bed now and leave him and DS to it in quiet surroundings.

Bad luck on the litter tray but let's see how that goes later tonight and tomorrow.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 21-Apr-13 23:11:08

DS wanted to tempt kitty out of his hiding place, but I told him not to and he realised that he wasn't thinking of the kitten's needs. Poor kitten - you're right, he must be exhausted. He has hardly slept since we put him in the carrier at midday.

It's good to leave DS1 with the responsibility tonight. I hope it will be good for him and help him and kitty bond.

Thanks for chatting and for your reassurance and advice.

cozietoesie Sun 21-Apr-13 23:22:59

There's no hope on earth that DS won't be talking to him when you all leave the room - and will likely try to stay awake for that - but you could try to impress on him that when the lights are out and if the kit joins him on the mattress (which there's a good chance it will) then he must let it sleep. In the crook of his arm or whatever.

That way, there's a fighting chance that they'll both get some sleep tonight.

Best of luck

smile

ToffeeWhirl Sun 21-Apr-13 23:31:53

Ha ha! You are so right! Have just popped down and found DS chatting to kitty. He said the kitten was miaowing at him hmm. I suggested the kitten might be dreaming, but DS didn't seem to think so. I have passed on your message (from a 'cat expert', I said) and hope he will take it on board.

Ah well, so long as I get some sleep tonight, I'll be happy! DS and kitty can catch up tomorrow.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 09:59:32

Well, DS woke me up at 2am, worried because the kitten wouldn't stop crying. I offered the kitty some food and he gobbled it up, then settled back to sleep in the crook of Ds's arm. This morning, DS is exhausted because he couldn't get back to sleep, although the kitten slept for a few hours. He is a very lively and very noisy cat this morning! He is getting bolder and has had a nose upstairs. He's currently perched on my shoulder as I type grin.

Is it normal for a Bali kitten to be so chatty? He is yowling constantly, but he doesn't seem distressed - it feels more as if he's letting us know he's here. Is it because he's settling in, or is this just what Bali cats do?

Oh, and he's just used the litter tray!

Sparklingbrook Mon 22-Apr-13 10:14:20

envy It all sounds like it's going very well. Not sure about the chatty thing, but doesn't sound like he's in need of anything. Will you get anything done today? grin

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:18:16

Oh yes - he'd have been starving once he got his equanimity back! Leave some food down for him all the time now - small amounts of sloppy wet and refresh at regular intervals for the time being. Kits eat a lot.

I think Balinese are very chatty cats. I'm used to Siamese who can also be mouthy. You get used to it. Talk back to him. smile

Poor DS. The likelihood really is that he stayed awake all stiff and tense with the joy and responsibility of a kitten sleeping on him and not wanting to disturb it - and it is quite an experience, especially when it's your first. If the kit bonds with him, it will sleep with him all the time and can shortly be taken up to his room for the night - and you said it's now exploring.

Reassure DS that when the kitten is used to him, he can just go to sleep and the kit will fit into his body and the duvet; and he's not going to squash it in his sleep or anything. I had my first Siamese at 9 years old (which is many moons ago now) and I haven't squashed one yet: you seem to have some instinctive knowledge that it's there.

Lots of praise for DS of course - it must have been very draining for him.

smile

PS - yay to the litter tray use!

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:18:57

I doubt it Sparkling! Watching a kitten exploring is just too much fun.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:29:52

Sparkling - no, I don't think we are going to be doing anything except wait on this kitten! I can see why cat owners describe themselves as cat slaves grin.

Have discovered he doesn't like trout in his cat food, but loves chicken. He is eating another bowl of Applaws. I think you're right, cozi, he is probably starving, but was refusing this horrible new food I'd put in his bowl and waiting for his favourite chicken instead. I'm learning.

cozi - I read DS your words about sleeping with the kitten and he is reassured by that. Have also told him how well he did smile.

Right, kitty has eaten the bowl of chicken and is now chatting - very loudly! - again. Non stop. I think this is going to be a noisy first day.

DS is home educated, but I suspect we will have to skip work today and either minister to the kitten or let DS catch up on sleep grin.

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:35:28

Seniorboy doesn't like fishy tasting food either - but at 18, he's allowed the odd quirk. Your new boy is clearly licking you into shape early. smile

He'll be going for a sleep eventually (in fact I'm surprised he hasn't crashed already) so maybe let DS go for an afternoon snooze and see if the kit will go with him?

Have you named him yet?

smile

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:35:54

PS - and remember the pics!

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:39:22

We keep thinking of names and seeing if they fit, but haven't decided yet.

He really is still very lively and not sleepy at all. Rather like my children when they were babies hmm. What do I do wrong?

I will post pics as soon as I can work out how to do it!

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:47:07

Give a warning on the pics so that Sparkling can avert her eyes! (She's kitten-broody and gets jealous. smile )

He will be quite boisterous for a little yet. Not only is he a kitten but he's got a whole new world to explore and everything is exciting. Sounds like he's forgotten Mum and his litter mates already - as they do. Great pragmatists, cats.

Don't worry about the name. One will come to you all and seem perfect.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:51:28

Have discovered what stops his chattiness - rocking him and stroking him like a baby smile. He goes all sleepy and quiet. However, as soon as I put him down to get on with anything, he starts yowling again. I need a kitten sling grin.

Will give you a warning on the pics for Sparkling's sake!

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:55:11

That's orientals for you - they love closeness. (Seniorboy still demands full-on privileges at any time of day or night - even at his age.)

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 14:36:59

He's been sleeping under the sofa for two and a half hours now...

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 16:59:18

That's what I love about kittens - they do everything in such a concentrated way. When he wakes up it will be total attention on being a mad thing.

Sounds like he feels at home now.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 17:04:30

He did wake up, was hungry and wanted lots of cuddles and playtime. He has now gone back to his spot under the sofa and all is quiet again.

DH has just finished taping cardboard to our bannisters because the kitten kept peeking between the bars and we were all terrified he'd fall. I'm not sure if he instinctively knows about height or not. I know cats are supposed to right themselves when they fall, but didn't want to risk it anyway.

I haven't quite got to the stage of putting safety covers on the sockets yet wink.

Yes, I do think he feels at home now. It hasn't taken long. He is much bolder about exploring the house and is not backward about letting us know when he wants something.

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 17:22:53

It will make you feel better - but you could probably take it off in a few days once he's used to the place because one of their favourite games is playing paw and finger chase through the banisters. I don't think they necessarily have an instinct for height when they're in the middle of a 'hot pursuit' (few young things do) but he should be relatively safe.

He'll likely be partly making up for sleep gaps yesterday but kittens do sleep a lot anyway. You might have a short while of madnesses at 2 in the morning but I've always found that my cats adapted to the household routine and pretty quickly tended to go to bed when we did and sleep through till morning.

Sounding good so far.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 17:54:28

Thanks, cozie. You are very reassuring. I will leave DS1 to cope with the 2am madness, as he's the one who wanted a kitten in the first place grin.

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 18:02:57

In about a year's time, when the cat has (hopefully) fully adapted, you'll find it very useful indeed when dealing with DS1 - if he becomes the bed person.

'Shouldn't you be going to bed now, darling? Toffeekitten is looking awfully tired!'

grin

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 18:10:51

I like that, cozie. The kitten has already had its uses today when trying to get DS1 off the XBox. ("Ahem, you wanted this kitten, so you need to look after him when he's crying and I'm busy"). He would happily let DH and I do all the looking after, cheeky sod.

grin

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 18:12:16

Although he did a good job with the kitten last night, to be fair!

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 18:17:34

Sorry, ToffeeWhirl - I was trying to be positive because DS was the one who wanted it - and to be fair, having a kit in the house generally will help him a lot - but you do know who is going to end up being the kitten's person don't you? (And the kitten's personal litter cleaning and food providing servant.)

grin

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 18:22:22

Oh gawd. I suspected as much...

<sigh>

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 09:41:16

I think kitty will have to sleep on his own tonight. Do you think that's ok, cozi? He has thoroughly settled in now and spent a lot of this morning exploring the house and finding niches to tuck himself into. He slept with DS1 last night, but DS is groggy and grumpy this morning and said that the kitten was too chatty in the night and kept waking him up. "Will he always be this noisy?" he asked me. I think the answer is probably yes. On Wikipedia it says a Balinese is "a vocal breed which may vocalize for no apparent reason, albeit at a lower volume than the Siamese."

We are all thoroughly enjoying our kitten cuddles though. I love it when he climbs over me, chatting away, and perches on my shoulder. His fur is the softest I've ever felt and there is something incredibly relaxing about letting him snuggle up.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 09:54:34

As I understand it, Balinese are very similar to Siamese (Bali owners may wish to comment here) and all I can say is that in my experience Siamese don't do sleeping on their own.

I feared that DS1 might find it all a bit too much so I reckon it's time for you to step up to the plate I'm afraid. grin

How would DH feel about sleeping with a kit?

smile

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 09:56:16

PS - if you think you've heard 'noisy' wait until you get the fall-out if a kitten wants to sleep with you and is prevented.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 10:23:06

Uh oh. Thought you might say that. Do you think the kitten will get easier to sleep with as he grows up? I know DS would love him to stay overnight, but there's too much chattiness and activity in kittenland at the moment grin.

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 10:28:17

envy at kitten chatting all night. Awwww. Sparkling Cat lies on my chest snoring like a dead weight.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 10:41:06

Hmm, that sounds more like my DH, Sparkling. Maybe I should send him upstairs to sleep in DS's room and I could have the kitten! grin

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 10:43:35

You'd expect a bit of activity at night for at least a short while - you've had him for less than two days and he'll still be all excited. And he's very young.

He will likely calm down very fast (viz Sparkling Cat lying snoring! (as Seniorboy is currently doing up on his blanket)) but I think you're going to have to make that call quicker than he'll calm down because if you want to get him away from sleeping with DS1 you need to do it, in my opinion, right away - before the habit is formed. Just in case DS1 can't handle it in the long term.

Lest you think it's a dreadful chore, it's absolutely not. I think Sparkling would likely agree. There's nothing so relaxing as sleeping with a little bundle of warm fur snuggled in to you or lying long beside you. I can't sleep properly these days without a Siamese in bed with me.

(And they're very discreet about 'grown-up' moments as well so you need have no worries on that score. grin)

If you want to change things around, I'd suggest that you go for a short afternoon snooze today and take the kit (and his litter tray) with you. (I know you home educate so don't know if that could be fitted into the schedule but you may be able to manage it.) They love an afternoon snooze, see it I think as an extra love session, so go up, take a book, cuddle under the duvet reading and if/when the kit settles down with you put you head down and go for a snooze both of you. That should break the short two night pattern with DS and allow you to take the kit up tonight.

By the way - I wouldn't worry about jealousy from DS on this one at this point. Mum is different - and he'd likely take the kitten sleeping with you better than he would with anyone else, especially if you slightly exaggerate the noise when talking to DS next morning.

smile

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 10:46:22

There's nothing like been awoken in the morning by having your eyebrows licked cozie. grin She does have a bed in our room and alternates between that and our bed. we have got so used to it, she doesn't wake us up anymore.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 10:52:10

Yes - a little bed in the room (if only a fleece in a cardboard box) is a good idea, Sparkling, as an alternate.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 12:15:16

Hmm, really don't know what to do now. DS1 has issues with sleeping anyway and needs his sleep. However, DH and I had decided that our bedroom would be a cat-free zone. This is mainly because, even though I haven't shown any signs of allergy to this cat, I don't want to tempt fate by having him in my room all night. We keep the bedroom as allergy-free as possible (no carpets, etc) as we both get hayfever, asthma, etc.

Would it be unkind to settle kitty downstairs in a comfy fleece-lined box tonight? I have read about leaving kittens with a hot-water bottle and a ticking clock, or maybe the radio on low, to reassure them.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 12:25:39

Allergy issues might make a difference. Why not give it a try? (I would agree with the radio on low - a bit of continuous 'same-y' noise can often help soothe them.) I don't hold out any firm belief that it would work and you might still get a caterwauling infant wanting comfort in the early hours - but if you're going to try it, now's the time.

Best of luck whichever way you go.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 12:47:12

Thanks, cozi. I thought you might think I was being a bad kitten owner blush. I don't want kitty to be lonely, but I also need to make sure we are all well rested and healthy.

As I expected, one of the kitten's favourite rooms is DS2's, as the sun streams in there at night. Once DS2 has grown used to him, that would be a good place for the kitten to sleep. What we could do, once DS2 has 'bonded', is leave the doors ajar at night, so the kitten has the run of the kitchen (where his food and litter tray is), but can also pop upstairs and choose which boys' bedroom to sleep in. I suspect DS2 (7) would sleep through any nocturnal visits.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 12:49:07

Ah - so DS2 is moving up the ranking, eh? That would certainly cure his fear of cats. And he's at an age to cope well with cat duties.

smile

marzipanned Tue 23-Apr-13 13:22:07

What a lovely thread - so great to read of your new addition Toffee. We have two grown up boys, (cats that is, not kids!) one of whom is incredibly chatty. I have tried and tried to let him sleep on our bed but he interrupts our sleep so badly that we now have to shut him away at night.

It does sadden me because, as cozie says, there is nothing better than a purring hot water bottle sprawled all over you at night. I know the cat doesn't like being shut away but he gets loads of fusses as soon as he comes out in the morning. I'm sure your kit will be just fine on his own, as long as he has a warm, cosy bed and yes maybe some background noise to distract him.

I smiled at your sling comment - chatty boy has definitely been wrapped up in a sling once or twice blush

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 16:16:26

Luckily, DS2 doesn't know I have him lined up for kitten duties as well, cozi wink.

marzipanned - what breed is your chatty cat? It makes me feel better to know that I'm not the only cat owner who can't/won't sleep with her cat. I still have my baby sling - am wondering if it would fit kitty now... Mind you, he seems happy enough to hang round my neck like a scarf.

DH is besotted. He admitted today that it felt a bit like falling in love grin. The novelty is definitely wearing off for DS1, who has had to be coaxed several times to look after the kitten today rather than go on his XBox. Am being charitable and putting it down to his two sleepless nights.

The good thing about the kitten's chattiness is that I can always find him. It is quite reassuring. He does make an odd sound though. It's not at all like a cat and, if anything, reminds me of a bird. Perhaps a seagull.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 16:28:22

Advance warning for Sparkling: am going to attempt to post kitten photos today!

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 16:28:30

Kittens can oftentimes chirrup or caw more than miaow. smile

I wouldn't think badly of DS1. Teenage boys are the very devil to get to think of anything at all apart from techy bits and girls. Cats are for the long haul these days eg Seniorboy is admittedly a house cat but he's over 18 now and still going fairly strong which is a good age for a Siamese.

Just having a cat around the house will be good for the DCs and who it might notionally belong to or have been bought for becomes pretty unimportant when it establishes itself as a member of the family.

smile

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 16:28:49

Ooohhh. Pics!

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 16:57:48

Oh Wow! What a handsome little chappie.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 17:03:13

Oh good, it's working. That took ages. My profile kept telling me I didn't have children, which made me unaccountably upset. Anyway, I have sorted it now.

cozie - so our kitten's noises will change as he grows up, maybe? It doesn't matter, to be honest, as he is lovely just as he is (although a volume button might have been useful wink).

Wise words about DS1. I will relay that to DH, who is feeling all disappointed at DS1's lack of commitment.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 17:05:46

That last pic is of him chasing a toy bird on a piece of elastic. I love the way he goes up on his hind legs. I didn't know cats could do that.

He is very quiet at the moment. That is because he has dozed off on my lap smile.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 17:08:03

Yep - it's sorted now.

You can see his colour points starting to come through - and it looks as if he's going to be quite a big boy as well. (Albeit orientals are leaner in general than other breeds.) He'll be gawky for a bit and then start to come into his elegance in a few months.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 17:21:10

Are his points his ears, tail and face? Will he stay creamy on the rest of his body then?

The breeder actually thought he was going to be quite little. He is a skinny little thing. I wondered if all Bali kittens are like this or if it is the result of fighting for food with all the other cats in his family. He is eating little and often now.

We have our first visitors to see our new kitten tomorrow afternoon (left it a few days for him to settle in), then have our first trip to the vet's afterwards. Am unaccountably excited about taking kitty to the vet confused.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 17:38:27

Well I have no reference size scale to judge him by but he has that big boned look of a going-to-be larger animal. His breeder will know best though especially because she knows his parentage.

Points are mainly ears, tail, face and paws. He should stay pretty creamy elsewhere although, with age, he might develop some colour shading on eg his back. Google for the colour point the breeder told you (or look at her site if she has one) to see the resultant mix. I have and it looks (from amid the mix of pictures) as if they stay pretty pale all told.

Have fun at the vets - but be prepared for unrestrained adulation when you take him in.

smile

marzipanned Tue 23-Apr-13 17:48:02

Oh toffee he is gorgeous. I love him standing on his back legs. Lucky you. How sweet that your DH is already smitten with him!

My chatty boy is a rescue moggy, just a noisy one! And he's at least 10 years old and still chirrups away like a bird. (Unless he wants something from the fridge - then it's a long and plaintive miaow)

He will love having his visitors tomorrow - more people to adore and admire him smile

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 17:50:51

PS - if you haven't got a name yet, try and get one by tomorrow. If you haven't been to a vet before, you are, from now on, an adjunct to the cat and your appointment will be announced not as 'Mrs ToffeeWhirl' but as 'Kittysname ToffeeWhirl'.

smile

PS - if it's any help, we've always found that the more elegant the cat, the more they're suited to house names that might have belonged to a head Victorian gardener - Albert, Herbert, Arthur and so on. grin

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 17:53:53

Just seen the photos. Awww and envy and squeeeee!!

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 18:52:58

<basks in kitty adulation>

Oooh, this is as good as showing off a new baby! grin

Very much looking forward to more adulation at the vet's. In fact, I will now be quite cross and disappointed if kitty doesn't receive his dues.

No idea about a name! He still answers to the name of Baby, which is what the breeder calls all her kittens. DH suggested Charlie (as in Charlie from Bali) or Sapphire (for his eyes) and DS1 thought of Bailey. None of them quite fit, although I do quite like Charlie from Bali, simply because it makes me smile. He seems a bit too elegant for a Charlie.

DH and I both like the Victorian Head Gardener idea grin.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 19:10:58

I quite like Charlie, actually.

smile

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 19:12:20

I mean you'll get people calling him a 'proper charlie' but goodness, any name has the possibility of connotations.

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 19:12:21

They never get called their names in my experience. Sparkling Cat is Alice but gets called 'Pud'. grin

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 19:13:18

Charlemagne (for grand occasions) and Charlie among family. smile

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 19:14:20

Or 'You flipping blighter'.

grin

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 20:41:37

Have had a family discussion about cat names. It got us nowhere as everyone wanted different names <sigh>. DS1 wants Merlin; DS2 wants Snowy. We favour cozi's Victorian gardener name idea grin.

I have put lots of towels and cut-up fleeces into a cardboard box with a door cut into the front and kitty has curled up in there. Am hoping it will make a good bed for tonight. Will spray some Feliway and leave the radio on. Would a hot-water bottle be a step too far or a good and comforting thing for a young kitten?

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 20:44:34

My best friend, who has kept Siamese cats all her life, has recommended this for a cat bed. All her family cats have used one like this. What do you think?

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 21:17:23

I would be in two minds about a hottie. A hot one would be uncomfortable to start with and a warm one might get chilly later. On balance, though, I'd go for a medium hot one, wrapped well - if there's plenty room for it. An alternative is to drape a blanket over the top and three sides of the box so that a nice fug builds up.

Can't advise on the pet bed I'm afraid. It looks fine, warm and cuddly - it's just that all my Siamese have slept in real beds so I have no expertise. Why not see how the box pans out?

smile

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 23:38:51

Well, I have sprayed Feliway into the box, put lots of towels and fleeces down and added a (medium), covered hot-water bottle, with a tee-shirt wrapped round it as well. He has voluntarily gone into the box and curled up! I think it must be the heat that is attracting him.

Off to bed now. Hope kitty sleeps well.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 23:42:05

Well done that kitty - and good luck to you all for tonight.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Wed 24-Apr-13 10:56:04

Kitty had a great night - and so did we grin. DH went down at 7am and kitty came out of his box, rubbed his face against him and squawked. He ate a good breakfast, then went back to his box and dozed some more.

He jumped on DS2's lap at breakfast time. DS2 has mostly ignored him so far, but he couldn't ignore this blatant demand for kitten love. I explained that if DS2 spoke to him, the kitten would answer. Saw a little smile on DS2's face - ah ha, he's weakening!

After the school run for DS2, I sat on the sofa and gave kitty loads of love and attention. He was so playful and so incredibly sweet. He clutches at me with his paws and nibbles on my hand, but none of it hurts.

He has been exploring the house this morning, providing a running commentary as he goes. He is now playing chase with an invisible creature in the hall confused. I thought it might be a spider, but there is nothing there!

cozietoesie Wed 24-Apr-13 11:03:14

Probably the end of his tail! hmm Kittens can be utterly daft.

Good news about the peaceful night, kitty's use of his box, and DS2 getting over his fear of cats a little. (A kitten can be great for that being so small and appealing.) Just don't expect that last night's sleeping arrangement will necessarily last - especially if he forms a new bond with DS2. But at least it provides some respite for the time being.

smile

Good luck with the vet later on.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 24-Apr-13 11:13:47

Yes, it gave us all much-needed respite last night - in fact, DS1 hasn't surfaced yet. I'm letting him sleep as long as he wants this morning (though might draw the line if it gets near lunchtime shock).

I will bear in mind that the night arrangements may not always go so smoothly.

Must drag myself away from the kitten lovefest and get some jobs done now <reluctant>.

marzipanned Wed 24-Apr-13 13:40:41

Wonderful, so glad it all went well. There is another thread at the moment from someone who feels guilty about locking her new cat and kitten away at night, maybe you could also go and reassure her!

ToffeeWhirl Wed 24-Apr-13 14:57:24

Thanks, will have a look for that later, marzipan (school run and vet visit first)

Kitty has had a lot of attention today and has now gone into his box and is sleeping peacefully. He looks so serene and beautiful.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 24-Apr-13 19:35:40

Vet trip was great fun. As you predicted, cozi, our new kitten had lots of attention. He was also VERY NOISY whilst we were waiting to be seen blush. It felt a bit like being out in public with a tantrumming toddler <wistful>. Ahh, happy memories.

He has been given a clean bill of health and we will take him in for neutering when he is five or six months. Think we might get him microchipped, even if he does turn out to be an indoor cat - just in case he dashes out the door one day.

Every time we took kitty out in public, people stopped and cooed over him. It really was very like going out with a newborn baby and I enjoyed every minute.

We discussed all sorts of names today, but in the end we went with the simple choice that both our boys agreed on. It was actually DS2's suggestion, so we thought that would be a good thing as it would help him bond with the cat. The name is....Snowy. Not the most original name, but the boys are happy. And DH and I may call him Charlie from Bali in private wink.

Took kitty to visit my MIL, who lives round the corner from the vet's, afterwards. He was a very bold little thing and roamed all over her sitting room, exploring. Wondered if this is because he is secure with us now, so it wasn't quite as frightening being in a new place. I hope so anyway.

I can't find that other thread, marzipan. Can you point me in the right direction?

cozietoesie Wed 24-Apr-13 19:49:11

Well Snowy is a great name! And if it's right for the DSs that's especially just the thing.

Well done the Toffee family.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Wed 24-Apr-13 19:55:42

smile

marzipanned Wed 24-Apr-13 21:09:49

Yay, Snowy. That reminds me of Tintin (in a good way!) What a lovely day your kitty has had.

The other thread is here: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/the_litter_tray/1739882-Advice-please

I hope Snowy sleeps just as well tonight as he did last night (and your DS does too!)

ToffeeWhirl Wed 24-Apr-13 22:38:08

Thanks for the thread link, marzipan. And yes, I think that's where DS2 may have found his inspiration, as he loves the Tintin books.

Am also hoping for another good night. Snowy has had lots of attention and cuddles from us all this evening, so - hopefully - will be ready to flake out shortly. Am just making up his hot-water bottle.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 25-Apr-13 11:46:34

Another good night! Didn't hear a peep out of Snowy until he heard me coming down the stairs at 7 and called out for his breakfast. What a star!

Poor thing managed to stand in his poo half an hour before visitors arrived to see him this morning, so DS1 and I spent a frantic few minutes showering his paws and tail, which he did not like at all sad. Because of his markings, it was hard to tell afterwards if the dark colouring on his paws was poo or him. And he was still smelly after the impromptu shower, so I found some orange-smelling dog shampoo and gave him another quick shower on his paws. Now he smells of poo and oranges hmm. And also looks a bit bedraggled.

Amazingly, he forgave us both instantly and is already cuddled up on my lap again. The visitors are coming next week instead now, so we can hopefully restore him to his normal elegance by then.

He discovered the best toy in the world this morning: a lint ball from my tumbledryer. He spent ages chasing it all over the dining-room floor and pouncing on it.

And DS2's conversion is continuing apace. Last night, he said, "You love the kitten more than me, don't you?" which gave me the opportunity to stress that I could never love the kitten more (sorry kitty). This morning DS2 peeked into the box and saw Snowy sleeping. Then Snowy opened his big blue eyes and looked up at him and DS2 exclaimed, "Ohhhh, he's so sweet!"

Snowy really is the perfect pet for our family. We have been through such an awful time with DS1's OCD taking a turn for the worse recently and him requiring surgery. It was so depressing because we had thought everything was going so well for him since we took him out of school. Snowy has shifted the focus of the family away from that problem again and we all needed that.

We bought the kitten for DS1, but in fact he is a gift to us all.

smile

cozietoesie Thu 25-Apr-13 11:49:33

Lovely thought - and of course it is.

smile

cozietoesie Thu 25-Apr-13 11:51:45

PS - standing in his poo shouldn't be too bad for him ie he should squash it but walk away clean if he comes into contact with it . Is it maybe a bit runny?

You may have to assess the litter type down the line if it proves not to suit.

cozietoesie Thu 25-Apr-13 11:52:41

Of course he is. Gawd - I blame the laptop.

Corygal Thu 25-Apr-13 11:53:15

Pix is terrible cute! How entirely adorable.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 25-Apr-13 12:24:18

It didn't appear runny, Cozi, but I'll keep an eye on it.

Thanks, Cory smile.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 26-Apr-13 09:56:33

cozi - I remember you wishing us luck at keeping our kitten out of our bedroom. I now see your point. Snowy has launched a campaign to get in there and sits outside the door constantly, waiting for his chance to slip in unseen. Twice this morning, DH has had to haul coax him out from under our bed. He is a very determined little cat!

In his breaktimes, kitty has been chasing imaginary mice again.

I don't know what we did without him really. He is such a treasure.

cozietoesie Fri 26-Apr-13 10:23:13

grin

It may be simply when the door is closed. They don't like closed doors. Last week I was painting in the basement, kept the basement door closed while the paint was wet; and Seniorboy did his nut at the perceived personal insult to him. The minute I opened the door, he lost interest and went back up to his bed!

Having said which, keeping the door open is no guarantee that he'll stay out of there. You get to know their requirements characters quite quickly - and put up with things from a cat that you would never put up with from a person.

smile

How's our girl doing, QS - any upchucking this morning?

cozietoesie Fri 26-Apr-13 10:33:32

Sorry - thought QS was on the thread.

<off to the other one>

ToffeeWhirl Fri 26-Apr-13 10:52:15

Well, he has given up for now and is enjoying a long cuddle on my lap instead smile. Am not leaving our bedroom door open, so there will be a battle of wills! (And I can guess who you think will win wink).

cozietoesie Fri 26-Apr-13 12:15:57

I knew it. A Mummy's Boy!

grin

And no - sorry - you'll lose. They take a long view.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 26-Apr-13 15:44:18

Well, he does follow me around the house. When I went to the loo a while ago and shut the door, for a bit of privacy, he sat outside and cawed at me.

As I expected, he has discovered the sunny spot in DS2's bedroom and is dozing in there now. He seems very contented.

I will bear in mind what you said about the battle of the doors smile.

cozietoesie Fri 26-Apr-13 16:03:25

They love a ray of sun. He'll be starting to think of DS2's bedroom as a nice place now.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Fri 26-Apr-13 20:29:55

I fell asleep on DS2's bed this afternoon. Kitty curled up in the crook of my arm, the top of his head nestled under my chin, and fell asleep with me. Can't believe I have lived all this time without discovering this particular form of utter contentment.

cozietoesie Fri 26-Apr-13 21:19:55

As I've likely said before, I can't sleep well nowadays without a furry beside me - and you've just discovered the joy of an afternoon snooze with one. (They love it also.) I set aside part of every Sunday afternoon in winter for a 2 hour snooze with cat. Glorious!

smile

cozietoesie Fri 26-Apr-13 21:25:28

PS - I am, of course, defining winter as any Sunday where the weather prevents me from weeding/digging the garden. That's usually quite a few.

grin

ToffeeWhirl Fri 26-Apr-13 22:49:10

Joy is the right word. I like the idea of a Sunday afternoon snooze with kitty smile.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 27-Apr-13 16:55:05

Snowy has a small split on one of his pawpads. Should I worry? No idea how he got it. He is licking it a lot and I am hoping it will heal on its own.

Went to the petshop today to buy him some Applaws Chicken for kittens, which he loves. The petshop assistant told me that it's better to feed cats dry food, rather than wet, and explained that the Applaws was a treat, not part of his proper diet. However, it feels wrong to just give him biscuits. Any thoughts on this, cozi?

cozietoesie Sat 27-Apr-13 19:30:28

I've always given my boys wet food and not dry. (Although Seniorboy is now getting a little small biscuit crunch at supper to keep his weight up because he seems to like it.)

I wouldn't worry unduly about his pad at the moment but just keep a weather eye on it to check that it's healing. Wonder how he did that? Is he doing a lot of jumping down on to hard surfaces?

cozietoesie Sat 27-Apr-13 19:34:11

PS - I see that some applaws are not a complete food though. Have you checked the tin?

QueenStromba Sat 27-Apr-13 20:15:52

You're better off mainly feeding him wet food and giving dental chews or a few biscuits. As our vet put it: in an ideal world cats would eat dry food and drink lots of water because it would be better for their teeth but since cats rarely drink enough water when they eat dry food it's better to feed them wet food for the sake of their kidneys. Cats just don't have the same thirst reflex that other animals do so it's very easy for them to be chronically dehydrated which can lead to kidney disease. Our cat has had nearly half her teeth out and it doesn't bother her, they don't use their teeth for chewing anyway - they do need their kidneys though.

cozietoesie Sat 27-Apr-13 20:49:09

I suspect that what the pet shop assistant was getting at is that Applaws wet kitten food is not complete whereas the Applaws dry kitten food is. (I'm just saying this from having a quick look see at their specs and I'll stand to be corrected by someone who actually uses them.)

QueenStromba Sat 27-Apr-13 21:32:19

Yeah - if it doesn't say something like "complete nutrition" or "complete food for cats" somewhere on it then it's a treat food rather than an everyday food because it doesn't have everything the cat needs in it. I'm kind of shocked that anything that isn't obviously a treat like dreamies or cat milk isn't a complete food though.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 28-Apr-13 00:54:20

I can't think how he split his paw, cozi. He is mainly sleeping and cuddling confused. DH and were out for four and a half hours tonight and he spent the entire time sleeping on my clean washing pile outside our bedroom door (still staking his claim to that room, I suspect!). It doesn't seem to be hurting him, but he is licking it a lot, which is healthy, I suppose.

It is interesting to hear your views on wet vs dry food, cozi and Queen. And I can see your vet's logic about kidneys vs teeth, Queen. Will bear that in mind.

cozietoesie Sun 28-Apr-13 07:16:07

.....outside our bedroom door..........

grin

Give him a week or two.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 28-Apr-13 08:01:02

I did wonder....

grin

Am enjoying the best kitten cuddles this morning. He nibbles on my hand and if I dare to look away from him (to look at MN, for instance), he bats me with his paw until he gets my attention again. That's not a bad habit for him to nibble me, is it? He doesn't hurt and I assume he did that with his siblings and parents, so it's natural to him.

cozietoesie Sun 28-Apr-13 08:19:46

Your call really. Gentle paw batting to get attention is quite normal but nibbling is down to you - and bearing in mind that his adult teeth will be coming through/coming through shortly so his mouth may be a little sore or irritable and need some pressure. I doubt it will last as a habit.

I don't allow biting. (Seniorboy used to do it with my Mum and had to be quickly trained out of it when he came to me at 13.) In fact no biting is one of the very few house rules, along with no scratching in unauthorized places and no going on kitchen surfaces.

They don't mind a few rules so I would start to consider some training. (Kitchen surfaces is a must at this age.) Siamese (for you read Balinese) are easily trained at any age so if you allow something it's not the end of days if you later change your mind.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 28-Apr-13 11:20:46

OK, then I will allow the nibbling for the moment (it's definitely not biting) and if it ever hurts I'll stop it.

Am allowing scratching on our laundry bin because we don't think it will harm the bin. Apart from that, he is only allowed to scratch on his scratch box and he seems to have learned that pretty quickly.

He hasn't been on the kitchen surfaces so far (at least, not when we're with him), and I've been careful to clear them of food before I go to bed.

I don't know what to train him in, apart from not going in our bedroom <stern look at kitty>. He's perfect as he is. smile

cozietoesie Sun 28-Apr-13 11:33:08

smile Of course he is.

The laundry bin sounds fine. It's one thing, moveable, and not too expensive - and they have to have a place to scratch.

I have very few rules - as above. The most important is 'no kitchen surfaces' which is worth starting the minute you see it in his face. (You can train them on a 'bad thought' as well as a 'bad action' so you don't have to wait until he's actually up there: you'll see the determined look and the pre-jump crouch as soon as he's a little bit bigger and wants to explore.)

Interestingly, the 'no kitchen surfaces' seems to translate in a Siamese mind into 'no important surfaces' - except that I can't work out what the common denominator is. Certainly, learning the surfaces rule means that he'll likely avoid certain other surfaces in the house of his own volition. Beats me.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 28-Apr-13 11:48:00

You have reminded me that he does walk on our dining-room table. I suppose I should stop him doing that. How do I tell him not to do it? Do I just say "No" in a firm voice and lift him down as soon as he does it (or thinks it)?

cozietoesie Sun 28-Apr-13 12:08:30

A firm NO, a firm lift down, and - if he does it again immediately or is obstreporous, put him outside the sitting room door (or in some way exclude him from your presence) for 20 minutes. And repeat....... except that with a Siamese type cat, you shouldn't have to keep repeating especially if you have to use the ultimate sanction. (Exclusion from the presence.)

Just be careful to watch your tone of voice and make sure to use the 'Mummy means business' rather than the 'Who's Mummy's Darling Little Miscreant, then?'. As I said, they don't mind a few rules but you have to be firm and consistent.

smile

cozietoesie Sun 28-Apr-13 12:11:33

PS - occurred to me that it's generally useful in my experience to ally the NO with another word - so 'NO TABLE' or 'NO BIGHTING' or something. Don't ask me why but it seems to cement the rule quicker.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 28-Apr-13 12:11:49

Thanks, cozie. Am having flashbacks to the toddler years reading this!

ZebraOwl Sun 28-Apr-13 14:49:15

Oh so cute!

Zebra!cats have wet food for breakfast & dry for tea. After trying various brands we've settled on Almo which they adore: chicken with pumpkin is their absolute favourite of all...

If I've been waiting for a food order to arrive & thus bought wet food from a shop, they have had Applaws & the instructions on the tins themselves indicate they're fine as sole food source for cats/kittens (my two were one at the start of the month so not long graduated to adult food). That being said, there's nothing wrong in trying out other foods to see if Snowy might prefer something else. There are various other Proper Pure Meat foods out there so if you're worried the Applaws mightn't be ok you could try other things?

ToffeeWhirl Sun 28-Apr-13 16:30:26

Thanks for your advice, Zebra. I'll have a look at Almo too.

I have just looked at the tin of Applaws kitten food and this one is described as 'complementary pet food for kittens', so it seems to be a treat. On the tin, it suggests trying Applaws Kitten Complete Dry, which is, presumably, the complete food.

Snowy had an accident on DS2's duvet this afternoon, which was most unexpected. I caught him trying to dig it into the duvet. I didn't scold him (maybe I should have done?), just carried him straight downstairs to the litter tray. I think his behaviour may have been because he was nervous of DS1's friend, who had just arrived and was chatting with DS1 downstairs. I had shown Snowy to DS1's friend and handed him the kitten to cuddle and Snowy had jumped straight back into my arms, then run upstairs.

I hope it's not because he doesn't like DS2!

Is it normal for kittens to have accidents sometimes, like toddlers do? What should I do if he does it again?

cozietoesie Sun 28-Apr-13 16:51:11

In my experience, they rarely have 'accidents' if they're healthy - there's usually a reason for it. I'd guess, like you, that he was nervous and caught short but didn't want to go downstairs to his tray because of the stranger in the house. The best solution is to put his/another litter tray upstairs (or at least put one there if you have visitors) and let him go upstairs whenever he wants. I wouldn't show him to people if he doesn't want to of his own accord - that will just make him more anxious.

There's an issue here for your future thought. My experience with Siamese is that they're quite fanatically sociable and loving with their own people but that they can be darned anti-social with others outside the family group. This may be something you have to come to terms with - and he may grow up more sociable in the long term. I've always let the cat make the running when it comes to interacting with others. I have to say that with my Siamese boys, they've rarely taken the offer up.

No point to my mind in chastising him for the accident. He knows he went in the wrong place and he shouldn't want to repeat it. Just be sure to clean the duvet properly of course.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Sun 28-Apr-13 17:06:53

Poor boy. The moment I gave him to DS1's friend to cuddle, I could see that he didn't like it sad. Oh well, I have learned a lesson. That's a very good idea about putting a litter tray upstairs as well. I could put one in DS1's bedroom, then if he ever sleeps with DS1 he'll have a litter tray there too.

I have a couple of friends bringing their children to see him next week, so I'll have to be very careful about that and make sure I hold him, rather than handing him to them. I suppose the best thing would be for me to hold him whilst the children stroke him.

I'm glad I did the right thing in not chastising him. It did remind me very much of dealing with accidents in young children, where they know they've done it wrong and the last thing you need to do is make it worse by scolding them. I do praise and stroke Snowy every time he uses the litter tray, so I hope I'm reinforcing his good habits.

The duvet has had a good rinse and is going in the washing machine as soon as I get the last wash out. And I am keeping quiet about what has happened, so DS2 doesn't find out!

Thanks for your ongoing advice, cozi. It's very reassuring to have someone to ask when I'm new to all this.

cozietoesie Sun 28-Apr-13 21:40:03

Oh goodness - you're pretty well doing it by yourself by applying common sense. It's a great asset.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Sun 28-Apr-13 23:35:31

Thanks. I think I have transferable skills from having been through the toddler years with my DC. The kitten is easy compared with that!

He's had his bedtime cuddles and is now sleeping in his box, with his hot-water bottle.

smile

ZebraOwl Mon 29-Apr-13 10:33:02

You're welcome smile

Thankfully I've never [yet <touches wood frantically>] had to deal with rogue poos/wees although blond!kitten does still sometimes forget about going IN the tray not just in the general vicinity of it. (Where he was litter-trained there was not really enough space so he got the impression you just go in a certain area not so much in The Special Box. Every now & then he forgets about Going In The Box but as we've paper down it's not the end of the world. But I digress.) cozietoesie has said it all, really: she is v wise. I tend to envision her dispensing wisdom from the palace of her Siamese cats, with them dictating (possibly in more ways than one) their views on things to her.

While Snowy was upset/stressed by this afternoon you now know how you'll deal with visitors in future & he'll not've suffered any lasting hurt.

On the sleeping front, mine would like to be allowed to sleep in with me. They don't get to because I would never sleep & would be a big dislocated (& extra!unbreathy) mess in the morning. They've learned they don't get to come in until my alarm's gone & I've opened the door in the morning; and these days they sleep in with my brother which they consider preferable to their own beds but as soon as they hear me stir they're up & away to serenade me outside my door. He knows his place wink

ToffeeWhirl Mon 29-Apr-13 17:25:04

Luckily, there haven't been any more 'rogue poos', so I hope that was a one-off. I ordered an extra litter tray from Ocado today and I'll put it in DS1's room, so that kitty always has another place to go.

I like your vision of Cozie living in a palace of Siamese cats, Zebra grin.

Good to hear that your sleeping routines work so well. Our kitty seems perfectly happy sleeping in his box with a hot-water bottle and often retreats back to the box if things get too noisy during the day.

He spent most of today sunning himself in front of the French windows in DS2's bedroom. At one point, he was stretched out on his back, with his fluffy belly soaking up the sunshine smile. When DS2 came home from school, kitty crept under the bed, where he feels safer. DS2 still shows no interest in him and kitty is quite afraid of him.

Still can't get used to calling him Snowy. I know it's good that the DC named him, but someone commented on what an unoriginal name it was today and it upset me. I know it's not a very original name, but I thought it was best to let the children choose. Wish people would keep their thoughts to themselves.

cozietoesie Mon 29-Apr-13 17:37:21

It's a great name - and one that the children chose. Cats have their private names and while it might suit one very well to be called 'Atahualpa' or something, there are plenty who are best suited to 'Fred'. My very first cat had a pedigree name which would break your tongue but was always called a 'Fred' equivalent. (In those days they often gave the kittens a pedigree name right away - I don't know if your boy has one.)

Pay no attention to them.

smile

ZebraOwl Mon 29-Apr-13 17:49:48

Well a palace seems fitting. In my head cozie has a throne not a computer chair, too grin

It's good for kitties to have somewhere(s) safe to retreat to. Mine adore tiny dark spaces to squirl up in (another legacy of their life before me, I fear) & black!cat has recently started trying to hide in the dresser with the crockery, which almost resulted in my brother's untimely death from fright when he went to get a plate...

Am sure ToffeeKitten will settle with a wee bit more time & being allowed to determine the pace of interaction with his humans. Mutual disinterest between DS2 & kitty possibly quite positive: lets them come to each other gradually-incrementally smile

How very rude of commenty!person. Do they have children? If so I think you're now allowed to make snarky comments about their names... wink Snowy is what my Brownies call me & as such is a splendid name. Yes. Is there another name you're happer calling him? My brother never uses the cats' full names whilst I call them the full thing or the shortened version or a lengthening of the shortening or sometimes just random things like Sir Squooshalot (blond!cat) or Lord Squooshington (black!cat) or Little Liger (blond!cat) or Squigglepuss (black!cat). They don't seem to mind the alternation of appellations...

cozietoesie Mon 29-Apr-13 18:05:47

I think Snowy and DS2 sounds positive indeed - in my experience, apparent lack of interest from a 7 year old means he's really becoming pretty fond of him! (Although you'll obviously not be able to comment on it, Snowy being - at least for the time being - notionally DS1's cat.)

ToffeeWhirl Mon 29-Apr-13 18:09:14

Thank you both for your nice remarks. You have cheered me up. The person in question has form for saying bitchy things. She has pets with very silly names, incidentally! She always names them after her favourite literary authors, so I suppose she thinks that's clever and we are being very dull.

Cozie - my kitten also has a very long pedigree name. I had hoped it would give us a clue to our name for him, but it was no help at all.

I recently found this poem about naming cats by TS Eliot. I love the idea that cats have their own private name that we don't even know.

grin

cozietoesie Mon 29-Apr-13 18:16:36

That's a great poem, isn't it?

And as to the name - well. You could hardly go around the house yelling 'Butterfly's First Light of Morning' (or whatever it is) - come and get your tuna!'

grin

ToffeeWhirl Mon 29-Apr-13 19:02:24

Exactly, cozi.

smile

ZebraOwl Mon 29-Apr-13 19:08:06

I know of a cat who was called Bix. Short for "Haveyouhadyourweetabix". Precisely for the comedy value of yelling that from the doorstep.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 29-Apr-13 19:53:08

That's funny!

grin

ZebraOwl Mon 29-Apr-13 23:29:26

It was a cat in London suburb, too, so you'd've been guaranteed an audience...

Maybe you should've had Snowy pick his name out of a hat?

ToffeeWhirl Tue 30-Apr-13 19:39:44

Help, cat experts! Why has Snowy just done a neat little poo on the seat next to me? I have just shovelled through the litter tray, looking for what on earth is making that smell, then discovered there is poo on the chair next to me. He is sitting on my lap, enjoying a cuddle.

What do I do to explain to him that we do not poo on chairs? And why on earth would he do this?

ToffeeWhirl Tue 30-Apr-13 19:44:13

Right, DH and I have a theory. Please say if you think this is likely. The washing machine is on fast spin and is being very noisy. I noticed that Snowy didn't like it and got out of the kitchen pretty damn fast when he heard the noise. Unfortunately, the litter tray is right next to the washing machine.

I bought a cheap litter tray to put up in DS1's bedroom today, so he will always have an alternative. Do I simply show it to him and hope that he retains that in his clever Balinese brain so that he will use that next time there's something scary downstairs?

ToffeeWhirl Tue 30-Apr-13 19:45:37

PS: Fell asleep with kitty after the school run today <dreamy swoon>. Dh took a photo because we both looked so contented.

smile

cozietoesie Tue 30-Apr-13 20:02:59

You could take a little bit of the (clean) litter from his existing tray and sprinkle it on top of the clean litter in his new one. Though clean, there should be enough of an odour to his sharp senses to click with him. Then it's up to him.

Your theory might well be right. In my own experience, cats instinctively want to poo and pee in the right place - so if they don't, there's something wrong. With such a young cat, that something is overwhelmingly more likely to be something about his environment than something physical.

< Studiously refrains from mentioning how impeccable his toileting behaviour would suddenly become if the litter tray was in your bedroom >

I would have thought that he just might want a more private place to do his duty. Yes indeed to the extra tray placed in a more out of the way place - and make sure that they're both kept immaculately clean. (They sometimes don't like using a tray that's already been used if even for another function.)

Then clean the chair immaculately and see how it goes for a day or two. You're already praising use of tray when you see it so that's good.

smile

Nothing like sleeping with one, is there? Where's the photo that DH took by the way?

cozietoesie Tue 30-Apr-13 20:04:25

PS - I've never been able to work out why Seniorboy uses one tray over another when both are clean. He does like (and use) two though.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 30-Apr-13 20:46:36

I will try sprinkling litter from one tray to the other, cozie.

We are not having a litter tray in our bedroom! grin (You must wake up to not-so-fragrant smells in the morning if you allow this, cozie).

Point taken about the litter tray needing to be in a more private place. The only other place I can think of is in another part of the dining room, tucked away between the shoe rack and the piano. That is extremely private and won't be noisy unless someone decides to play the piano (rare).

I am using Cat's Best litter. The instructions state that the base content may remain in the cat toilet for 4 - 6 weeks. I know this contrasts with other instructions I have read which say you should change the litter contents every week at least. So far, I have scooped up every bit of used litter as soon as it's done, so the litter remains clean. I'm sure I have read somewhere that litter should be changed more often than that and the tray cleaned with boiling water, so I hope I'm not doing this all wrong.

Snowy is still doing a good job of turning off DS1's XBox at bedtime. He bats at the button with his paw. We now send him up to do his work when it's time for DS1 to stop. DS1 can take it from his kitten in a way he could never accept it from us.

cozietoesie Tue 30-Apr-13 20:59:03

No smells at all. Seniorboy covers well and I'm conditioned to clean nearly as soon as I hear litter scrabble. grin

It is possible that he doesn't like his current litter so much. There are nearly as many tastes here as posters' cats so the board is well named. I do know that with my boy before Seniorboy, I decided for once to try wood based litter on his first night because someone had given me a spare bag of it. Oneago looked at the litter, walked all around the tray, and then came onto the bed with me and did a copious pee all over the split new duvet.

I got the message loud and clear - and the next morning was out to the supermarket first thing to buy the Fuller's Earth clumping that they've all otherwise used. No more problems. Let's see how Snowy does for a day or two with two trays in better places.

smile

It's good that he's interacting fine with DS1. I fear that you'll be the litter changer and feeder (teenage boys not always being great on the practicalities in my experience) but just having a cat as part of the family is so good for youngsters. Very calming.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 30-Apr-13 21:09:24

No smells at all? May I ask what you feed him? I suspect cheap Felix sachets (which the breeder recommended, but the pet shop pointed out were full of junk) are not doing kitty's tummy much good, but I bought a huge boxful of the stuff and I can't throw it all away.

Will keep an eye on the litter. Bizarrely, I love the fact that it clumps and I can lift out the used bits so easily, but I'm aware that it may not be exactly what he wants. The breeder used a wood-pellet based litter, but said they would probably prefer the fine clay or litter such as World's Best. I simply chose the one recommended by Mumsnetters.

Yes, I am the litter changer and feeder, but I expected that and haven't forced the issue with DS1. Snowy is happier with DH and I on the whole because we are quieter and more predictable than the DC. He enjoys being cuddled by DS1 and is actually quite alarmed by DS2's noisiness, poor thing.

DH and I are getting the boys to bed earlyish tonight and watching a film together (a rare enough event for it to be a special occasion). I can see us fighting over who gets to cuddle the kitten!

ToffeeWhirl Tue 30-Apr-13 21:10:11

Oh, have uploaded the pic.

cozietoesie Tue 30-Apr-13 21:19:37

At the moment he gets a right mix of wet brands. (Fussy and I need to get meds into him twice a day so he's managed to up the ante on variety. (Ranges from coop's own chicken supreme (which he loves) via Sainsbury's to Gourmet. Plus a lunch of cooked ham or chicken which is his treat.)) Pound for pound, he eats better than I do!

I think - see how the changed tray arrangements go for a day or two. You can re-evaluate if there's a continuing problem.

If Snowy is like my boys, he'll prefer calm and structure especially as he gets older. He won't ever be mean to the DSs but I think it's understandable if he gravitates towards you and DH. It doesn't matter though, really, because he'll be a family cat. And if he sleep with you (re afternoon snoozing) I think you'll find that the DCs won't be jealous. As I mentioned before, it's somehow different when it's Mum.

smile

cozietoesie Tue 30-Apr-13 21:20:53

What a blissed out pair! And it shows just how tiny he still is because there's something to judge by now.

ZebraOwl Wed 01-May-13 02:08:21

That is an INCREDIBLY cute picture <flails slightly at the Cute>

My two are still terrified by the noise of the spin cycle & flee from The Noisy Monster so suspect that prolly is why Snowy decided to Poo Somewhere Safe. (Lucky you.) Hopefully your planned changes to Facilities For Feline will sort that out though. Might be worth seeing if he's happier with a different litter: if he was used to a wood-pellet one the change mightn't be to his liking. Mine ended up with a clumping litter once as supermarket only had clumping sorts & they showed their disgust by making it look as though there had been a sandstorm in the kitchen. Lovely. We used Catsan odour-reducing stuff for ages but are now on a wood-pellet one that the cats are happy with - as am I, on the smell & cost front.

IIRC Whiskas/Felix are only about 4% meat. Which for carnivores is prolly not ideal. I shop around online to get the best deals I can on food for the cats - usually get Almo but sometimes Lily's Kitchen & they have had Bozita which they liked but couldn't eat that much of in a sitting... They looked better for being swapped to kitten food from what they lived off before coming to live with me, but the change when they went onto Proper Meat Foods was amazing! Mine have half their food as (good quality) dry food (again I hunt about for offers) mostly to prevent their foodbill from bankrupting me but also cos it's meant to be good for their teeth. While Snowy's finishing up the Felix it might be worth having a look about at the various options for future menus. If you have a decent pet-shop near you it might be worth consulting them, too? My local (independent) pet-shop are very good at giving advice without pushing sales - they even offer guidance on feeding animals well-but-cheaply...

Is so lovely to hear about Snowy settling in & bringing you the sort of Joy that only a cat can grin

GenghisCanDoHisOwnWashing Wed 01-May-13 03:21:18

Toffeewhirl - you sound besotted! He is very cute but may I just say..

You've put a litter tray in your son's bedroom <boak> - where you child (older I know) - sleeps?! shock

I have cats btw and am complete mug about pandering to them but I think that might be a step too far. Your poor DS!

Fwiw on the food front - we give ours both wet and dry food. Our girl prefers biscuits, the boys prefer meat but tend to wolf it down so I like having the biscuits around for them all to graze on.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 01-May-13 08:42:12

Ghengis - I haven't put a litter tray in DS1's bedroom yet! Was considering it because it would be a good idea to have a litter tray upstairs too, there is nowhere else to put it (no floor space in this house) and DS1 wants kitty to sleep there sometimes.

Zebra - thanks for your advice on cat litter and food. We do have an excellent petshop nearby and I have also ordered from petsathome and zooplus. Am already looking out for good deals. Interesting that your cats are still terrified of the washing machine. I think I read that cats' hearing is more acute than ours. What on earth will Bonfire Night do to the poor things?

Gave kitty the boys' leftover fresh plaice last night (thoroughly checked for bones first) and he has had Applaws Kitten chicken for breakfast, so he's not doing too badly. He also seems to enjoy the Royal Canin kitten biscuits I have just received from an online order.

Have just realised that both errant poos were placed on DS2's things (his bed, his chair) and DS2 is the only person in this family who hasn't fallen under kitty's spell. Coincidence or cat revenge?

Kitty sat on my shoulder whilst I fetched breakfast for the boys and is now sleeping on my lap whilst I type. It's hard not to be a little besotted smile.

ZebraOwl Wed 01-May-13 15:59:45

You're welcome smile

Cats do indeed have incredible acute hearing (& indeed a sense of smell that knocks that of dogs into the proverbial cocked hat, IIRC) & my two are most unfond of fireworks. And indeed thunderstorms. Black!cat is a bit braver these days (what is making the sky explode?! I shall peer out of the window to investigate) but blond!cat is still terrified & if he can be coaxed out from under my bed/other hiding place will cling to me. Poor puss.

It would be unnatural not to be enchanted. Blond!cat has taken advantage of my spending day in bed to get in some serious snuggling. He's asleep atm, squirled up against me, looking absurdly cute <sigh>

ToffeeWhirl Wed 01-May-13 18:49:21

You lucky thing, Zebra (all those snuggles). I must say, I hadn't realised I would be quite so besotted blush. I really wanted a third baby and may have just found him (ssh, don't tell DS2).

Kitty (I'm sorry, am having real trouble calling him Snowy, especially since the rude comment) has a problem. He has just climbed out of the litter tray and when I checked his paws (a habit since he had poo on them a couple of times), I found bits of litter stuck in his pads. I brushed them out, only to find his pads red and bleeding in places sad. Is it the litter? Poor baby. Maybe the bits of litter (Cat's Best clumping litter) are too big for a kitten's paws? I feel dreadful now. I don't understand what we are doing wrong, but I assume the litter is wrong for him. What do you think, oh wise cat people?

On a more positive note, kitty has had a very busy day lying on DS2's cushion, basking in the sunshine. He did have a bit of an emergency when DS2 decided to play hairdressers and plugged the hairdryer in (which he is forbidden to do anyway angry to dry his toys' hair. I heard the noise and came in to find one very scared kitten cowering in the corner.

When I pick kitty up, he nibbles at my fingers and wraps his paws around my hands. I feel like his substitute cat mum. (Maybe I am?).

cozietoesie Wed 01-May-13 19:52:50

Oh Dear, Toffee. Not only have I never had this problem but I've never used Cat's Best so don't know what size the granules are. (Always used Fuller's Earth which is fairly fine grained if you ignore the larger stuff on top when the pack settles.

When you say his pads are red and bleeding, just how bad are they? Realistically. I'm busy wondering how he can do his duty with wounds on pads if they're really bad.

Makes me wonder if this is why he used DS2's chair yesterday. (Sore paws and associating litter tray use with hurt.)

ToffeeWhirl Wed 01-May-13 20:32:51

cozi - The granules are irregular sizes, ranging from miniscule to pea-sized. I have just scooped up a handful and they feel like pebbles, so are quite gritty and hard.

You wouldn't know his pads are bleeding unless you look closely and prise them open a little <owch>. I checked them because I wanted to see if the cut from the other day had healed, then I noticed granules still stuck in his pads and flicked them out. And then I saw that the pads looked sore. They are not bleeding all over the place or anything. It's more as if they have been grazed, but the top layer of skin has certainly been rubbed off.

He is still patting away at the granules to cover up his business and he has used the litter every time since yesterday, so he hasn't been put off. Also, he doesn't seem to be in any pain. If he was a child, I would soak his wounds in salt water, but he went right off me for a while when I last bathed his paws, so I daren't do that again.

He was using a wood-based litter at the breeder's. Maybe I should change him back to that? If the soreness doesn't heal, should I take him back to the vet? <worried>

He seems perfectly happy in himself and is currently slumbering on DH's stomach smile.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 01-May-13 20:35:21

Here is a link to Cat's Best.

cozietoesie Wed 01-May-13 20:45:17

Sounds too big and hard for my liking. I think that, if I were you, I'd try out some wood based (although I don't use it - but he did at the breeder's) or maybe some Fuller's Earth (I only use Sainsbury's or Coop because that's what Seniorboy likes) on the alternate tray that you bought. Then he can demonstrate to you what he likes so that you can make a judgement.

Kittens heal very quickly so I wouldn't worry quite so immediately re going to vet. I think you have time to do some litter varying and see how that works. Shame you can't bathe in salt water though because that would be good for ensuring clean tiny wounds.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 01-May-13 23:15:37

Yes, that sounds a good plan, cozi. Maybe I will bathe his paws in salt water if they still look sore tomorrow, even though he will scorn me for several hours afterwards.

Poor kitten. I feel awful now. Will download some more pics to cheer myself up.

cozietoesie Wed 01-May-13 23:21:45

Sounds a good tactic. And don't worry if he does the scorning thing - the trick is to harden your heart to it. He'll crack first. wink

cozietoesie Wed 01-May-13 23:23:53

Aw. Great new photos.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 01-May-13 23:28:49

Just finished uploading them, so not sure which ones you saw, cozie.

Will try to harden my heart if he scorns me <sniff>.

cozietoesie Wed 01-May-13 23:30:43

No sniffing, now - or you'll be under the paw for ever. You're dealing with master manipulators !

ZebraOwl Thu 02-May-13 01:13:57

Would he paddle in salty water? Or is it just my cats who like padding about in a damp bath? <sigh>

Poor Toffeekitten having such sore paws though - does sound as if a change of litter is in order & a wood-pellet one seems the sensible option given that's what he used before coming to live with you.

I am very lucky to have cats whose favourite place to be is With Me: their ideal is to have all of us curled up on my bed together. The only downside to this is that they really dislike being away from me: a few weeks ago something upset black!cat while I was out & he wouldn't be soothed until I came home. They were really upset by my absence when I was in hospital for a few days in December so am slightly dreading going to my cousin's wedding in August because it'll upset them. I do need to get them used to my going away (they're accustomed to my brother doing it but he is not Their Human in the same way I am) but I hate the idea of them being distressed. Ech.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 02-May-13 08:07:50

I suspect he would run a mile rather than paddle in salty water, Zebra.

DH is being dispatched to the pet shop to buy a wood-pellet based litter this morning.

It's sweet that your cats are so attached to you that they miss you when you are away, Zebra. I hadn't realised that cats could get so attached. I have only lived with two cats in my life and neither showed the slightest sign of caring for any of our family, so I thought all cats were like that.

When you next go away, could you leave them each a piece of your clothing to cuddle up to? Perhaps your smell would be a comfort to them.

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 08:13:49

Nope - they're not all like that. Siamese (Balinese) in particular can be quite obsessed with their people. Seniorboy would pine dreadfully if I was away for more than an overnight.

The upside is that it makes them very easy to train. Exclusion from The Presence is so awful to them and all.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 02-May-13 08:29:08

Oh dear, and we have a week's holiday booked in July. How will ToffeeKitten cope? sad

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 08:34:35

Difficult to say. Do you have any friends or relations nearby that could come in to clean trays and put food out etc?

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 08:35:51

PS - I've been known to take my boys on (UK) holiday with me!

ToffeeWhirl Thu 02-May-13 08:52:23

I have just suggested that to DH. The holiday is in the UK, so we could take kitty if the conditions of the flat let allow pets. Will have to check. I seem to remember 'no dogs', but no mention of cats (probably because that is less usual).

How would he cope with a different environment, though? I thought cats hated change?

If he can't come with us, we have lovely neighbours with cats of their own who would be happy to come in, I'm sure (and would probably play with kitty too).

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 09:43:54

Oh My. You are hooked. smile

Best, probably, to judge nearer the time when you have a better idea of his character. I never had any resistance to a Siamese once I assured them that he had no fleas, wouldn't scratch their furniture or carpets (took some with me) and was fully house trained. That said, these were 'pet friendly' establishments who just weren't expecting a cat. Taking a cat with you is not usual.

I've even stayed in hotels with one! (The only downside to those was the continuous progression of hotel staff who wanted an audience (!) or eg the chambermaids coming up with 'Chef just lightly sweated some chicken breast in butter and wondered if he would care for it for supper'. grin )

It's difficult to say. I've never gone away with any but housecats and it's evens whether you're more anxious about them escaping from a house into a completely strange environment or worrying about whether they're eating back at home. I'd only do it with a Siamese (Balinese to you) because they're so fixated on their people that on balance they prefer being with you in a strange place to being without you in somewhere they know.

I think that it might just be best, this time round, to leave him at home if you have reliable neighbours - but I'd try to introduce them at least a couple of times beforehand if you do.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Thu 02-May-13 10:20:21

I am blush. We all are, apart from DS2, who is still holding out, but will now tolerate kitty in his room.

I love the idea of you taking your Siamese to hotels with you and the chef cooking delicacies!

We are going to the Isles of Scilly, so it is a long journey from where we are (Sussex) and I imagine that in itself would be stressful for our kitten. So, on balance, it is probably going to be less stressful for him if we leave him at home. He has met the neighbours once already, but will make sure he has some cuddles with them first. Might pay for someone to come in and feed him and change the litter too, so neighbours don't feel too put upon. I have fed their cats for them in the past.

He has been very playful this morning. He has hugged a toy mouse to death and chased several balls round the floor. Also managed to get into our bedroom (ah ha!) and hide under the bed.

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 10:25:24

Yes. He's only young yet and going over the sea on a ferry (?) might be too much.

Under your bed, eh? (IE - not in open sight.) Clever little cat.

grin

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 10:31:51

PS - it just occurred to me also. By July he'll be getting to 'that age' so is probably best kept at home. Have you booked him into the vet yet?

ToffeeWhirl Thu 02-May-13 11:49:17

Oh god, yes - 'that age'! And Balinese/Siamese develop earlier, apparently. Will have to get him neutered before then.

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 11:56:53

I'd have it done as soon as it's realistic given his weight and development. Have a word with your vet about it?

ToffeeWhirl Thu 02-May-13 15:47:57

Will do, cozie.

Managed to shut him in the downstair's cupboard this afternoon blush. I'd opened the door to get the mop and bucket out, then shut it and gone off to make lunch. I did wonder, in passing, where he'd gone, but presumed he was up in DS2's room enjoying the sun. It was only the rustling of papers from behind the cupboard door that alerted me to him.

He seems to have lost his noisy voice, oddly. I don't know if that's because he's more comfortable here or because he has a sore throat. Do cats even get sore throats? He still miaows, but you can barely hear it.

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 15:56:40

They can get sore throats or throat strain but it might just be that he's calmed down and he'll get his stridency back. Has he had all his initial shots ?

ZebraOwl Thu 02-May-13 17:21:45

I left my jamas on their beds for them when I went into hospital & apparently they spent a lot of their time snuggled up to them & snuffling them.

The change in the weather seems to have them pretty tired: got back from ballet today & for once cats didn't run to the door to meet me. I got a "meow-meow!" when I called hello & when I went upstairs they were languidly snuggling on my bed. They requested I join them & when I did they rearranged themselves to be touching me & then started chirrup-purring: oh. so. cute.

Def sort out getting him snipped (& chipped if he's not already done...) as soon as he can be. Mine were 6 months when they were done as they'd been playing catch-up on the growing front & showing no signs of needing to be done!

Blond!cat has managed to lose his collar somewhere so I'd better be getting his spare...

QueenStromba Thu 02-May-13 18:10:25

Mine silent miaows if we're looking at her at the time. Her most used noise is a prrp noise she makes if she's a bit surprised or is making her presence known. She miaows if she wants food or attention and yowls if it's something important like being stranded on the chest of drawers or in the bath tub.

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 18:18:05

Seniorboy is actually quite quiet for a Siamese and tends to sound off when he wants something - which isn't that often because he usually gets it without asking. He's elderly, though, and seems happy now just to sit with me.

I was just checking that Snowy was OK on his shots because I think that strange or croaky vocalization can be an early symptom of cat flu. I reckon, though, that it's much more likely to be just that he's happier now and not being so mouthy.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 02-May-13 19:08:16

Yes, he's had his shots, cozi. I have noticed him sneeze sometimes. Do cats get colds? I asked the vet about the sneezing when I took him for his check up last week because he'd sneezed a few times and she took his temperature, but said it was fine. I think she wasn't worried because he'd had his vaccinations.

Since I last posted, he has done one loud 'waaa' birdy noise, so is capable of it, but then was back to his nearly silent, breathy noises again. I miss him yowling back at me when I call him, like he did last week.

Zebra - your cats sound very affectionate and attached to you. I will get Toffeekitten snipped and chipped. My local vet gives discounts on snipping to encourage it.

Queen - 'prrp' noise is a good description. We need more words for cat noises. My cat doesn't 'miaow'.

cozie - "seems quite happy just to sit with me". Aww.

Had a sneaky nap on DS2's bed this afternoon, whilst DS2 was absorbed with playing Lego. I knew kitty would join me and, sure enough, soon felt a soft nose pressed against my chin.

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 19:16:28

If he's had all his shots and been vetted he should be fine, Toffee. Probably did too much noisemaking recently!

......soon felt a soft nose pressed against my chin......

Yep - Mummy's Boy sure enough.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Thu 02-May-13 19:31:51

<whispers - "I think I might be his substitute Mummy, but don't tell DS2">

wink

ZebraOwl Fri 03-May-13 00:32:11

My cats make my life vastly better (who cares about being too ill to go out when that means cat snuggles all day?!) & I am very lucky they are so affectionate. I went to help at my best friend's Guide Unit tonight & when I got home the cats were sitting on the windowsills in the front room watching for me. It is ridiculously cute, that habit. (But also makes me have The Guilt for having dared to go out. Hem.)

Am v glad to hear you'll be getting Toffeekitten chipped - I honestly think microchipping should be compulsory. Mine seem to want to be indoor cats (which tbh I don't mind in the slightest) but I think having them chipped's still important. Before I got the cats I had a canine overnight visitor who was Lost & we were only able to get him back home because he was microchipped.. It turned out Pepe-the-Dog was staying with a friend of his owner & he - and his son - had suddenly bolted out of the house & away. Pepe ran into the traffic on Shooters Hill & was rescued from underneath a car, where he had come to a terrified stop, by my brother. No joy was had in finding anyone to claim Pepe so he came back here for the night. My poor brother, having crawled under a car & almost been bitten & generally suffered in the rescuing of Pepe found himself promptly abandoned in favour of me. Sadly at the time he was collected from the vet - and I wasn't there, had had to go off to hospital appt - there was as yet no news of his brother. Similarly, when Beautiful Auburn Kitten appeared on my road last year, lost&confused, he got back home (after being missing three days!) thanks to his being microchipped. So yes. Microchipping for all. Well, maybe not so much the humans. Hem.

In Italy a cat sneezing is good luck. My cats are surprisingly obliging about sneezing when I am wishing someone luck, to point I'm wondering if they know about the superstition & are choosing to help me out. With blonde!cat having managed to open a new tab & google something t'other day I'd really not put it past them to have done the research hmm

ToffeeWhirl Fri 03-May-13 10:57:55

Zebra - how cute that your cats sit and look out for you. What sort of cats do you have? I suspect not all cats are like this. I think all of us in our family are benefiting from ToffeeKitten's adoration and desire for cuddles (well, apart from DS2 who remains jealous of him and refers to him as my new baby). I'm so glad I have found a kitten who wants human companionship.

Re: microchipping. When I took kitty to the vet, the receptionist asked me whether I was going to get him microchipped. I wasn't sure at that time because we think he should stay an indoor cat, but she said she has microchipped all her indoor cats, just in case one of them manages to get out one day. The thought of losing ToffeeKitten was so awful that I decided it was better to get him done (and it's quite cheap, anyway).

Glad to know a cat sneezing is good luck! Arf at blonde cat googling!

Kitty fell asleep on the bed with DS1 last night, although I carried him downstairs later. This is so good for DS1 as, hopefully, it is distracting him from his OCD rituals and helping him to relax.

Had to come downstairs last night because DS2 was awake and ill and needing Calpol. Our kitten was fast asleep in his box (still with a hot-water bottle every night) and didn't even come out to chat to me.

Lots of kitten cuddles this morning. Also, he has 'killed' a toy bird. smile

cozietoesie Fri 03-May-13 20:26:01

He didn't stir because even in his sleep he recognized your step and still felt safe.

smile

ZebraOwl Fri 03-May-13 21:11:56

My two are Just Moggy. Their mother's a tortie but the vet thinks they're probably only half brothers - they came from a litter of 6 with three jet black kittens, 2 gingers & My Beautiful Blond Boy.

Poor Mummy Cat has had umpteen litters of kittens (starting much too young) & with this one opted to give birth an a neighbour's attic. Said neighbour's (adult) son (living in said attic) took on caring for mother & litter as didn't want to dump them on an already overloaded shelter & owners not, tbh, interested in the slightest.

So my cats came to me having lived in a dilapidated attic for the first two months of their lives (think their love of sitting in the damp bath after I've showered is because they used to sit in the tins/bowls/pans(etc) down to catch water coming in when it rained!) & only ever seeing the one person. At very irregular intervals. I was amazed how quickly they went from Terrified & Semi-Feral to treating me as New Mummy Cat. Blond!cat was vocal very quickly but when black!cat found his purr much later on I almost cried - he looked so startled at finding himself making That Noise & it had a funny rusty sound to it at first... <sigh>

It is lovely to hear Toffeekitten is bringing you all so much joy - I hope your DS2 comes round to his furry little foster brother soon wink I can see how The Kitten could well help DS1 with managing his OCD behaviours - when my clinical psychologist friend talks about Purr Therapy it is not entirely in jest!

Yay for Kitten Cuddles! Did he bring you the toybird once he had killed it? The Zebra!Cats quite often bring me their "prey" - mostly their toys but fairly early on my brother foolishly left a bag of loose-leaf tea out & they brought me that!

ToffeeWhirl Sat 04-May-13 03:51:06

Oh, that's sweet, cozie. I hope so.

Zebra - your cats sound gorgeous and full of character. I love the image of black cat finding his purr.

Re: Purr Therapy. My son has actually been for 'farm therapy', which is run on a smallholding nearby. Being with the animals and working outside has had a beneficial effect on him.

Small drama in the life of ToffeeKitten: little bloody pawprints in the bathroom this morning, then more bloody pawprints later on sad. Luckily by then my friend had arrived. She grew up with Siamese and it shows. Kitty took to her right away. He let her check his paw and she thinks there may be something in it, so we bathed it in salt water and are taking him to the vet in the morning.

I have put the new litter down and he has had a snuffle, but is sticking to the old litter so far. Realised I should probably mix some of his old litter in there to make it smell familiar to him, shouldn't I?

Am up at this stupid time because I woke up thirsty after possibly imbibing too much wine at a friend's house this evening. Kitty heard me typing, stretched and yawned at me, then climbed into my lap and went back to sleep. smile

cozietoesie Sat 04-May-13 06:55:38

You could try putting a little of the old litter down but I reckon that that 'snuffle' was him clocking it so you may not need to. He may actually just prefer his current litter - remember we were saying that he would get to show you his preferences by this means. In any case, they'll decide one day to use one tray and then the next day they may use the other. I've never been able to work out on what basis the decision is made when they're both clean and have the same litter.

A little worried about the bloody pawprints (!). You're quite right to get him to the vet - let us know how he gets on. Good that your friend was around: it's always useful to have hands-on experience to call on.

And yes - they do recognize a 'Siamese person'.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Sat 04-May-13 09:38:04

Off to the vets now, cozie. Friend thinks he is a little listless for a kitten too, so best to get him checked out. Will report back!

cozietoesie Sat 04-May-13 09:41:17

Good - let us know how he gets on there.

Sparklingbrook Sat 04-May-13 09:59:29

Aww I hope Toffeekitten's paws are ok.

ZebraOwl Sat 04-May-13 12:43:03

Oh no, poor Toffeekitten sad I really hope he's okay <crosses fingers & holds thumbs>

Am a bit biased, but they really are Exceptionally Pretty Kitties. I have got used to [clusters of] people stopping to coo over them when they're sitting on the living room windowsills. Fewer people taking photos of them than when they were kittens, but it does still happen! Quite a lot of people who regularly walk past the house look out for them: am now used to random people waving as they pass the house. Blond!cat has the showier looks, but black!cat has a gorgeous little face... They both have long-hair-for-shorthairs (as it were) & their coats are all glossy-sleek: shampoo-advert sort of fur grin

My PFCs are also smart: not got doorhandles sussed yet but I suspect that's more about not feeling the need to (upstairs doors you just push/pull & they can do those so can get in to us which is their concern) but they can open cupboards; carry fairly big things; use Google (really, blond!cat, what ARE you up to!?); have hidden my keys to stop me leaving the house; when their food was kept in a box in the kitchen when they were tinies they worked out how to get into the box & then into the food... Good with the old Problem Solving, my kitties. Sadly not "problems" I'd like them to be working on!

Am glad to hear your DS1's being helped by the farm therapy - OCD's such a horrible thing & of course has an impact on the whole family in practical as well as emotional ways which makes it that much harder to deal with.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 04-May-13 17:20:55

Thanks for your thoughts, cozie, sparkling and Zebra.

Update: ToffeeKitten's paws are probably an injury. We still have no idea how it happened confused. Vet said we should leave it to heal naturally, but to go back in a week if it hasn't.

The unexpected thing is that the vet is pretty sure ToffeeKitten has cat flu sad. When I said there were about 20 cats in the breeder's house, he said that it was inevitable that there would be diseases in that many cats and that the kitten probably caught cat flu before he was vaccinated, but the vaccination has suppressed his symptoms. He injected kitty with antibiotics and we tablets to administer.

Am very glad my friend was here as she spotted the signs that something wasn't right. She commented that kitty seemed a bit listless and that he didn't want to play. He has been sneezing a little, as I mentioned before, and his eyes are a bit gummy. This is probably also why he has lost his voice.

My friend is going to show me how to give kitty the tablets this evening.

Zebra - your cats sound beautiful and very smart. smile

cozietoesie Sat 04-May-13 18:41:31

Uh oh - if you recall, cat flu was my thought back on Thursday when we were talking about his voice but I dismissed it when you said he'd been vetted and vaccinated. (I don't like to be too 'get him to the vet' for everything.) I'm sure he'll be OK now.

I have just a vague feeling that there are lots of mini-varieties of cat flu by the way. I'll try and find out. Clearly, you should be letting the breeder know directly so that she can see to her own cats and kittens.

So his paw problem may be an exacerbation of eg that small injury you found a few days back? Myself, I'm thinking it might be over-scratching at the wrong-type-of litter tray because I'm hard put to see how he could have got an injury on both feet at the same time from - say - landing on something such as a hard edge awkwardly when he jumped down inside the house. Luckily, the ABs should help his paws as well.

hope he behaved well at the vet?

smile

PS - might just be a good idea to roam the house and check though to see if you can see any obvious 'accidents in waiting'.

cozietoesie Sat 04-May-13 18:49:31

PPS - best also to tell both the DSs very clearly about Snowy's poor paws so that they know not to play with him. Kids don't always appreciate injury.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 04-May-13 20:56:47

Yes, I do remember you mentioning that, cozie. I asked the vet if I should tell the breeder and he said she probably won't believe it if I tell her, so not to bother. He said vets and breeders never agree on this issue. But presumably she is sending all her kittens out with cat flu as her cats must be carriers.

Is cat flu a terrible thing? I haven't googled it yet. The vet said he'll have it for life and will get it every time he has a cold, a bit like a cold sore flaring up.

Also, if my cat is now a carrier, does that mean he's liable to infect other cats he comes into contact with, or is he only infectious when he has a flare up?

The paw issue is bewildering. I just can't work out how he could have injured himself. The floors are clean and there isn't anything broken lying around. But you are right, I need to get down at kitten view and check everything out.

He was terrified at the vet, poor thing. He was shaking so much that in the end I took him out of his carrier and cuddled him.

Had a lovely nap on the bed with him later and he snuggled up to me.

He is very, very quiet and sleeping a lot. He must feel rough. Am so glad I have the right medicine for him now.

cozietoesie Sat 04-May-13 21:17:53

I would take issue with your vet on this one - you pretty well have to tell the breeder. If you think it's likely to cause issues (and that the breeder might think it's a bad criticism and a refund attempt rather than a concerned heads up) then drop them an email if you can't face the conversation.

I'm not a cat flu expert. I did, many years ago, have a cat with cat flu when I was very much younger and very distressing the full blown thing is. You might wish to start a new thread on the specific topic so that you can catch the eye of some or all of the vets who post here ? They might not be reading this particular thread because it's long.

The paw issue is indeed bewildering. As I said above, I'd be very sure to talk individually to both the DSs and impress upon them the need for care of Snowy's poor paws. And that they need to be careful, for the family's sake, not to leave anything lying around.

Poor kitty. He'll likely be sleepy with the infection and the ABs. Here's hoping he wakes up more cheerful tomorrow. Let us know.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 04-May-13 21:55:49

Yes, I think you are right, but the breeder is not going to take it well, is she? The vet said she is bound to deny that it's come from her, but there's nowhere else it could have come from. Hadn't thought of a refund attempt and wouldn't dream of asking.

How awful that full-blown cat flu is so distressing. Was your cat OK once he/she had recovered?

I don't think the boys will have anything to do with Snowy's paws. DS2 and the kitten stay as far away as possible from each other (in fact, kitty now runs away if DS2 comes in the room. He is loud and boisterous and obviously frightens the kitten). DS1 only cuddles him. I don't think we'll ever know the cause. The messiest room in the house is DS2's bedroom, which is often littered with Lego and small toys. Maybe he trod on something in there? confused

Kitty is sleeping on my friend's lap at the moment. He took to her straight away. We are going to attempt to give him his pill in a minute.

cozietoesie Sat 04-May-13 22:06:04

She may not take it well at all - but all the breeders I've personally dealt with would have wanted to know, for the sake of their 'babies' at least. As above, drop her a gentle email if you can't face a conversation. Maybe it just didn't come directly from her (who knows how infection can spread) but it will do no harm for her to have had a heads up.

Yes - the kit who had cat flu recovered fully. Not nice though.

Your friend probably speaks Siamese which Snowy will likely understand!

Good luck on the pill. I'm sure you've seen the old joke about it - but I post a version here for anyone who hasn't. smile

how to give a cat a pill

ToffeeWhirl Sat 04-May-13 22:32:43

I like the joke grin. My friend was a bloody expert though. She made kitty open his mouth, popped in the pill and massaged his chin until it was gone. Very impressive. She has hidden talents I never knew about! I am going to have a go tomorrow.

Yes, she definitely speaks Siamese smile.

Will email breeder. You are right - she should know.

cozietoesie Sat 04-May-13 22:37:17

If you can get Snowy to tolerate taking pills when he's a kit then you have a fighting chance for later years - so learn fast while she's with you. If you leave it too late, then you're doomed. Even the vet acknowledges that Seniorboy is a lost cause and gives him shots or liquid.

smile

cozietoesie Sat 04-May-13 23:35:31

Here's a link. There's lots more info out there though.

cat flu

ZebraOwl Sun 05-May-13 09:15:25

Oh Toffee, I'm so sorry to hear Snowy has cat flu. Glad you've decided to e-mail the breeder about it: I think cozie's absolutely right about it being the right thing to do. I hope she listens to you & gets appropriate treatment for the felines still living with her & contacts the owners of Snowy's peer group (am assuming multiple litters of same age if 20 cats in house?) to let them know they need to get their kittens to the vet to get them checked out.

What a good thing you got him to the vet & now know what's going on & what you need to do to care for him. (Including having an idea of how to get his tablets into him, good luck with that one mon chou...)

The Blue Cross information page on Cat Flu is (like all their stuff, really) good, I think, if you're wanting to Read More.

I really REALLY hope that Snowy recovers both well & quickly. Sounds a bit as though what he wants most (as distinct from needs like medicine & lots of fluid etc) is cuddles from you. So it is vital you do lots and LOTS of snuggling with the kitten. It's a tough job, but I'm confident you're up to it... wink

ToffeeWhirl Sun 05-May-13 11:03:44

Managed to give Snowy his pill myself this morning, supervised by my expert friend smile. Now know how to do it.

Thanks for the get well wishes and links. Snowy is still very quiet and listless, but he is eating better this morning. Am following your good advice, Zebra, and administering LOTS AND LOTS of cuddles grin.

cozietoesie Sun 05-May-13 11:06:07

The infection, the ABs and the cat flu are a lot for a little system so I'm not surprised he's a little quiet and subdued. If he's eating, drinking and using his tray, those are good signs.

How are his paws? (If you've had a chance to look.)

Poor little mite.

ZebraOwl Sun 05-May-13 11:32:53

Glad he's eating better, at least - not surprised he's quiet-listless, though: poor boy must be feeling rather rougher than the idiomatic socks, bless him. Cuddles from you will be helping by making him feel safe & comfortable. V important.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 05-May-13 16:38:58

My friend has just left. She definitely speaks Siamese. She has given kitty lots of cuddles (he adored her I am not jealous or anything ) and showed me how to play with him by putting my hand under the sofa cover and moving it around. He perked up for that, but wasn't feeling energetic enough to pounce.

In between cuddles, he is sitting in pools of sunlight, dozing. He hasn't eaten again, but, to be honest, he ate quite a lot this morning.

His paws have stopped bleeding and we have managed to distract him from biting them and starting it off again.

Will have to administer his pill all on my own this evening <worries>.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 05-May-13 16:39:19

Oh, and put some pics of poorly kitten on my profile.

cozietoesie Sun 05-May-13 16:48:04

Aw he is poorly, isn't he? To be expected for a day or two but you should see an improvement by this evening, maybe - or tomorrow morning at any rate.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 05-May-13 16:49:46

I hope so. My friend noted that he was trying to be playful once or twice (nibbling on her hand and patting her with his paw) and said that was a good sign.

cozietoesie Sun 05-May-13 17:01:36

It is.

You have to watch for the 'Dying Duck in a Thunderstorm' bit which might come before he forgets to not enjoy life. They can be actors at times.

smile

cozietoesie Sun 05-May-13 17:58:48

PS - if he's really languid, take him to bed with you in one or other of the rooms. That will cheer him up enormously and some good, safe sleep can make a lot of difference when they're poorly. (It's Bank Holiday tomorrow so you can do that tomorrow as well - and tell DH that it's a necessary task!)

ToffeeWhirl Sun 05-May-13 19:29:18

cozie - funny you should say that, as I have just woken up from a long nap with him in DS2's bed. He slept on me. When I woke up, I stroked him and he patted me with his paw whenever I stopped. Have left him up there, sleeping, but will have to move him soon or DS2 - already jealous - will think he has literally been replaced!

Arf at the 'Dying Duck' bit. Will watch out for that.

cozietoesie Sun 05-May-13 19:31:25

Leave him to sleep as long as you can - very good for invalids.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Sun 05-May-13 20:00:17

Haven't had the heart to move him yet.

Sparklingbrook Sun 05-May-13 20:01:30

Aww Toffee sounds like you are doing really well at being kitty nurse. smile He sounds like a good patient.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 05-May-13 23:11:29

I hope so, Sparkling.

Managed to give him his pill - no problem.

He spent this evening on the sofa being cuddled by first DH, then DS1. Took him upstairs to sleep with DS1, but he perked up and started exploring. He even managed a squawk. He has just polished off a 70g tin of Applaws chicken food for kittens smile. He's back on my lap now, licking his lips.

Will give him some more cuddles, then pop him to bed with his hot-water bottle (my friend laughed at me about that blush). Am hoping he'll start showing more signs of recovery tomorrow.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 05-May-13 23:12:29

Oh, and no sign of blood in his pawpads. They seem to have scabbed over already.

ZebraOwl Mon 06-May-13 00:04:16

That's all sounding very positive grin

I hope his recovery's now a nice consistent improvement one, but try not to worry if it's a bit wigglier than that as he is busy trying to do All The Growing as well as combat the Lurgy.

Snowy's (still feels weird writing that!) bedtime hot-water bottle sounds like a lovely thing: must be quite comforting for him as well as just being comfy! Will be helping him feel better too, I'd guess, if he has the muscle &/or joint pain that's a common feature of cat flu.

Mr Snowy (that feels less weird wink) is very lucky to have joined your family: you are obviously very focused on his welfare & will put yourself out to do what's best for him - eg not just leaving the vet trip til after the weekend. Yay you, really flowers

ToffeeWhirl Mon 06-May-13 00:31:31

That's nice of you to say, Zebra smile. I hope we're doing all right. We just want to make sure he's happy and healthy. We are very aware of our responsibility in having him and also want the boys to understand how to care for a pet.

We are having trouble with the Snowy name too. It doesn't really fit his elegant appearance. When I call him, I still call him Baby.

He has just had another snack and used the litter tray. Now he's back on my lap for a last cuddle before bed. He is trying to chat, but it's more of a rasp. His hot-water bottle is in the box and I have put Vicks in a mug of hot water on a very high-up shelf to help unblock his nose (that came from one of the helpful links above).

Just noticed DH has put a photo of kitty on his Facebook page. That's hilarious. He is such a cynic, usually. He must be really smitten.

grin

ZebraOwl Mon 06-May-13 02:41:53

Well it certainly sounds like you're setting a brilliant example for your sons on the Responsible Pet Ownership front smile

Maybe his name wants lengthening out into Lord/Earl/Duke/Count/Baron Snowy of PlaceOfChoice to match his appearance? wink

Maybe you should share the pic your DH has put up to ensure EVERYONE knows he's Smitten With The Kitten as am sure your FB friends can't get enough kittenpics smile

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 06:33:23

Well done Mr S. When they turn the corner (which it sounds as if he's done) they usually do it pretty fast. Kittens heal quite quickly most of the time. Hope he's made further improvements by this morning.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 06-May-13 10:15:18

DH and I like the Lord/Earl Snowy idea. I think the ideal name will come to us one day.

Kitty has polished off another tin of chicken this morning. He has found a new way to pass the time whilst he convalesces (new pic downloaded).

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 11:15:04

He's reading Strachey at 15 weeks?? Blimey - one erudite cat!

Sounds a lot improved this morning, Toffee.

smile

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 11:15:57

It's come to me. I think that's his name.

smile

ZebraOwl Mon 06-May-13 11:19:01

That picture is EPIC. I have a pic of blond!cat checking Twitter & both of them Making Friends with assorted of my many many books, but having to selfie means no reading!pics. They have both squiggled in for a read though - and both seem to show extra affection for my ballet books, too. Or maybe I just have an awful lot of ballet books. No, no, that can't be it, no.

Sounds as though His Snowiness (have I just made him some kind of feline pontiff?!?) is on the mend, which is awesome news: yay! grin

ZebraOwl Mon 06-May-13 11:39:17

giggles

Obviously I know who Strachey is but to me Strachey is always where I lived in my first year. And indeed where Emma Thompson lived in her final year & had [a] waterfight[s] on the roof with Hugh Laurie.

Weirdly, though, "A new English teaching fund worth £1.125 million has been established at Newnham College, Cambridge thanks to one of the world's best-loved and most successful musicals – Cats." Press Release About Feline-Funded Studies No College Cat (fairly sure there was one Back In The Day) but plenty of local cats liked to come & help students revise in the gardens. Thankfully the ducklings who appeared in the fountain one year managed to survive the local feline presence. They did have to be helped out of the pond by the porters & gardeners, though: a plank was put into the fountain so Mummy Duck could march her babies up it.

Strachey is a very dignified name though. Sir S does look like quite the intellectual, too, so it's very apt.

ZebraOwl Mon 06-May-13 11:40:10

Curses, forgot about the blasted * = bold thing. Again. Gah.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 06-May-13 14:07:37

Maybe we should call him Kitten Strachey, cozie. grin

Interesting to hear that your cats are such great readers too, Zebrawink. That's funny about the feline-funded studies. And I love the image of the ducklings marching out of the pond, eyed hungrily by the local moggies.

<pops over to Gifted and Talented threads to boast of discuss PFBCat's advanced reading skills>

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 14:12:57

Kitten Strachey!!!

grin

QueenStromba Mon 06-May-13 15:17:25

He must be feeling better if he's eating 70g of food in a sitting. My 15 year old normally takes 4-5 hours to eat that much food.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 06-May-13 17:46:00

Oh good, Queen, that makes me feel better.

He was clearly asking for food this evening, so I gave him part of a tin of Lily's Organic Kitten food, which was all I could get from the shops today. He has pushed it around the bowl, then left it - just like a fussy toddler. I'm sure if it was his normal chicken he would have eaten it. He has nibbled on a few biscuits though.

Had a nap on the sofa with him this afternoon, remembering cozie's instructions. He was quite playful for a few minutes, nibbling on my fingers and batting me with his paws, but as soon as I closed my eyes, he tucked his head under my chin and went to sleep. Goodness - I wish children were as easy as he is!

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 17:52:39

Ha! Just wait until he wants to go for a snooze and you don't.

grin

ToffeeWhirl Mon 06-May-13 18:17:37

Uh oh. You mean maybe he is just being easy because he's not well....?

He is still climbing on the table, by the way. I say "No" firmly and lift him off and he does it again and again and again. My friend banged the table as well, so I have tried that, but it makes no difference. Will he learn eventually?

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 18:28:45

Taking liberties - you have to nip that in the bud.

The next time he does it, say 'NO TABLE'. 'BAD BOY' in your firm voice, lift him off and put him straight outside the kitchen door and shut it. Leave him there for at least 15/20 minutes, ignoring caterwauling then eventually let him in and behave as usual - no special stroking for being shut out. And repeat.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 06-May-13 18:33:22

That's tough love, cozie! 15 - 20 minutes? And shouldn't I be labelling his behaviour, not him? wink

ToffeeWhirl Mon 06-May-13 18:38:36

OK, have just done it. I think he was just trying to get to me, but he needs to know that he can't take a shortcut across our table.

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 18:40:37

I'd say that length of time. You've got to mean it - and show that there are consequences to actions. If you're lily livered about it, he'll probably make your life difficult and, importantly, he won't be any happier. I've always run the house with very few rules for cats - but rigid enforcement of the few there are. And all the cats have been happy as sandboys.

smile

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 18:42:12

Well done. If you're succeeding, he'll sit outside the door and yowl - which is a good sign. Means he will associate exclusion with his action.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 06-May-13 18:50:42

Well, he's trotted upstairs to sleep on DS2's bed instead blush. Am not sure he's very upset! Mind you, he can't yowl at the moment anyway.

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 18:56:15

Sounds like he has you taped, Toffee. smile (I'm assuming by the way that you heard him go up and didn't actually follow him up to see that he was OK?? Now is your opportunity to fess up.)

That's OK. Just let him go up, open the door after the time and do nothing. No going up for special strokes, just let him come down in his own time and behave as normal. Then repeat next time he tries it.

ZebraOwl Mon 06-May-13 19:16:45

Kitten Strachey = a name of pure genius.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 06-May-13 19:17:10

No, no, I promise I didn't follow him!

Turns out he went upstairs and found DH, who gave him a cuddle (knowing nothing about the new disciplinary measures). Kitty tried to drink from DH's wine glass, then trotted upstairs for more cuddles with DS1.

I will stick at it though. He will still learn that he loses cuddles with me if he goes on the table and I don't suppose he'll like that. DH is very supportive about this (lots of muttering about how we should have done this with the children a long time ago).

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 19:21:46

Read QS's latest post on her thread and take heart for not letting the DCs undermine you! (Rice sat outside the door during her exclusion.)

ZebraOwl Mon 06-May-13 20:37:52

Sadly it simply doesn't work on my cats. Having had them 11 months & kept going with it. They get shut out & howl for me. After 20-30 minutes I open the door & back to what I was about, not acknowledging them. They go STRAIGHT back to what they were removed for. I can spend hours of my day doing this. They are bloody clever cats, but they honestly seem unable to connect the dots. (Or maybe my brother's not been as strict as me so they're thinking I too might bend. <sigh>)

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 20:47:05

Hmm. I'll reassess when I'm waiting for sleep tonight. I've never had a Siamese it didn't work for and even the non-Siamese have heeded (although the Lodger was wont to have the occasional try when I wasn't around for a while, feisty blighter that he was.) Maybe I'm doing something else that I'm not thinking about.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 06-May-13 23:05:46

Eventually, I found kitty in a new spot, tucked away underneath DS1's desk behind a pile of old electrical equipment. When I called him, he refused to come. I could swear he was ignoring me. Then, when he did finally come out, I gave him his pill, so that only confirmed his poor opinion of me.

However, several cuddles later, he seems to have relented. smile

I will persist with the 'no table' rule enforcement, as I really don't want him strolling over our table during dinner time.

Maybe your cats are simply too clever to conform, Zebra?

What other rules do you enforce, cozie?

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 23:21:18

No biting, no scratching in unauthorized places. That's about it.

smile

cozietoesie Mon 06-May-13 23:25:07

PS - I know you had a pill to give him tonight which complicates matters but don't worry normally if you get the cold shoulder. Just act normally once the door is open and they'll get fed up with their huff.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 06-May-13 23:40:48

They really do get the huff then? How funny. I wasn't sure if I was reading too much into it, but it has happened to me twice now.

Your rules sound good.

ZebraOwl Tue 07-May-13 02:13:17

Non-conformist cats: another thing to blame Cromwell for...? wink

They just don't seem to understand at all. Ditto, when they accidentally claw (they don't do it in a Meaning To Hurt way) they don't understand it's cause&effect with us obviously being in pain & ceasing to interact with them. Again, have been consistent with them from start & they have stopped any deliberate swiping & chomping (which was only ever really directed at my brother, who thus spent a while referring to blond!cat as Mr Chompy) as a result of that. It's almost as though they think it can't hurt because they don't MEAN it to hurt. Ech. There are some things they know not to do but will do if we're not there: walking on kitchen surfaces being a prime example. We tried to work out if we could keep them out of the kitchen but it's the only sensible place for their bowls & tray to be & they won't use the tray if it's moved, either, as we discovered the night we'd to keep kitchen shut & put bowls & tray in hall. They were both frantic first thing wanting to use the tray but not feeling they could because it wasn't in The Right Place. They keep their back legs crossed when the kitchen floor gets washed (& is drying) too.

My black!cat doesn't get huffy with me, just worries he's upset me. Blond!cat does an excellent stroppy face but never really gets in a hufty with me, but will sulk quite epically at my brother. They do also both spurn my brother as soon as I appear, which I feel a little bad about even though they are my cats. Ahem.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 07-May-13 11:35:13

It's smart of them that they will walk on kitchen surfaces if you're not there, Zebra. I suspect our kitten will do the same. Interesting too that they won't use the litter tray if it's in the wrong place as that was exactly what happened when I tried putting the covered litter tray upstairs in DS1's bedroom one night, so kitty could sleep there. He refused to use it, but then looked desperately for it downstairs in the kitchen and kept patting at the floor to see if it was litter.

I'm glad to report that our kitten is definitely on the mend. He has eaten the last tin of chicken and DH has been instructed to buy more supplies on his way back from work. Kitty (Strachey?) is actually quite skittish this morning and has been running up and down the stairs and playing with paper and cat toys. His voice is coming back too, very gradually. Mostly, it's still a whisper, but now and again a proper bird-like chirrup pops out. When we took him to the vet, he was so upset he managed to make more noise than usual and everyone thought we had a duck in the carrier blush.

His paws seem to have healed up completely too. I don't think I will ever find out how they happened. It's a puzzle. He does prefer the new litter though, which is much finer and softer than the previous one, so I will swap to that.

DS1's OCD is very bad today, but the kitten is providing a welcome distraction, plus unconditional love and cuddles.

smile

ZebraOwl Tue 07-May-13 11:50:17

Oh yes, they wait til they're alone in the house to Wreak Havoc. And have an excellent look of studied innocence for when I get home: "The bathroom bin has been pulled over? How can THAT have happened?! Maybe we have a goblin problem..." (etc)

WRT The Tray Must Be In The Correct Place I wonder if that's because mine learned to use an area rather than a tray, really: it was like a smallish baking tray for 6 kittens & MummyCat & prolly not changed often enough (due to guy working 3 jobs & thus not being in to do so, he wasn't being deliberately rubbish!) so I think they're more focused on Toilet Location than Toilet Itself. Ho-hum.

Glad to hear Kitten Strachey (please PLEASE call him this, it is so very splendid) is going so much better - hope his pride wasn't too badly dented by being mistaken for a duck at the vet's!

TBH if paws stay healed & doesn't turn into recurring problem I think you don't need to worry your head over how it happened - just keep on top of minimising potential hazards eg no bits of Lego left lying about.

Sorry DS1's struggling today - was he thrown off by the Bank Holiday and/or weather change? I know people with OCD can be made very anxious by change & the feelings of uncertainty it brings. I'm glad that The Kitten is helping, though: hopefully DS1 will quite quickly reach the point of knowing to use kittentime as a coping strategy & learn to find Strachey/Snowy when he begins to be troubled by thoughts/behaviours to prevent an escalation.

My cats are sad&cross because they know I am off to class presently. You'd think with them having chewed many hospital letters and with them being Ballet Cats they would understand the importance of my going to (week)daily class, but apparently not. Oh dear. Really they would like me to stay at home ALWAYS. At home and mostly on my bed, in fact. Prefer that to them being all spurny-standoffish though!

ToffeeWhirl Tue 07-May-13 12:17:15

Yes, DS1 has been thrown by recent events, you're right, Zebra. He had a meeting with a friend which went horribly wrong the other day, plus it has been a Bank Holiday weekend and we have had my friend staying, so all his normal routines were changed. He finds that all very stressful. I have given him the day off home ed today and prescribed kitten cuddles instead.

We rather like the Kitten Strachey name too. I think it might stick, although we will have to be tactful about DS2's chosen name.

It's amazing that your cats recognise the signs of when you are going to class. I think you are right and they would much rather you stayed in bed with them always. Which sounds quite appealing in many ways.

smile

ZebraOwl Tue 07-May-13 16:44:59

Hope that a quiet day & plenty of kittentime helps your DS1 recover from stresses of weekend.

Oooh, yes, need to be careful namewise, esp with your DS2 not being such a fan of The Kitten.

I go to the same class Mon-Fri unless I'm stuck at the hospital instead (boo) or not going to manage afternoon class & then company class + rehearsal on Wednesday nights, so I suppose the cats see it as part of the household routine. The cats absolutely hate my rucksack as they think it takes me away from my proper (ie snuggling with them) place. They both try to clobber it when they think I'm not watching & blond!cat likes to sit on it when I come in, presumably to show it who's boss while I head up to my room. Am sure he is waving graciously back there as I carrying the ruckie upstairs. It is very cute when he curls his tail round my neck though!

Better let blond!cat back into my room again: he was evicted for Ungentlemanly Conduct. He didn't mean to hurt me when he dug his claws into my back & shoulder & neck to keep his balance, but my ridiculously fragile skin stands no chance against his claws. Blood on my clothes. Again. <sigh>

ToffeeWhirl Tue 07-May-13 22:34:08

I think kittentime has helped, zebra smile.

Your cats sound quite a handful! I hope kitty's soft paws don't also turn into ferocious talons as he grows up <frets>.

Kitten Strachey has been sleeping in pools of sunlight for most of the day. Once DS2 arrived back home and reclaimed his room, in his usual noisy fashion, kitty slinked downstairs and, apart from a few cuddles with me, has been mostly sleeping in his box. He may also be a little annoyed with me for giving him another pill this evening, even though I always give him a cat biscuit afterwards.

ZebraOwl Tue 07-May-13 22:55:39

Glad kittentime has been helping your DS1 - hope that he's able to sleep well tonight & has a better day tomorrow. OCD is a hellish thing (which is why I get VERY cross when people do that ridiculous "oh, I'm so OCD!" thing because they alphabetise their CDs <stabs, stabbily>) so I really do hope your DS1 is able to beat it.

Well it's certainly never dull! Mine've used their claws in the same way since always so you might well be okay. Mostly they are all softy-softy paddy-paws, but every now & then it's The Claws. Ech.

Am sure Kitten Strachey will forgive you the tablets if there's a cat biscuit to be had. Mine'll take a worming tablet if it's in with treats.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 08-May-13 19:29:56

Thanks, Zebra. DS says that it really helps him to have kitty to cuddle at bedtime. We are pushing for CBT intervention for him, so we are hoping that Purr Therapy combined with CBT will do the trick.

Kitten Strachey is improving every day smile. I bought him a new cat toy today [besotted owner emoticon] and he loved it. Pictures downloaded!

cozietoesie Wed 08-May-13 19:35:30

Now just love that new photo - what a great turnaround!

smile

Corygal Wed 08-May-13 19:39:47

Terribly beautiful pix. Mr Strachey obviously loves your DS to bits. grin

cozietoesie Wed 08-May-13 19:42:11

That's the great thing about love from a cat - it's uncomplicated. Just right for DS.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Wed 08-May-13 19:58:15

Yes, it's so good to see his improvement. He still doesn't play for long, but he's definitely feeling more inclined and couldn't resist the new toy.

And yes, there is as much mutual adoration between eldest son and Kitten as there is distrust between youngest and Kitten. I don't think the latter will change until the youngest settles down a little and becomes quieter and less boisterous.

ZebraOwl Wed 08-May-13 23:58:17

There may possibly have been some actual flailing over The Cute. Tricky to do that while (admittedly quite half-heartedly) stretching. Hem.

CBT is (as am sure you know!) the best treatment for OCD, so I really hope that your DS1 is able to start CBT ASAP (this all seems a bit acronym heavy, suddenly) & that it works well for him. OCD can be so hard to deal with for both the sufferer & their family: especially the question of habit vs compulsion. Don't be afraid to advocate for your needs as well as DS1's either - nor to make sure you feel engaged with his treatment too. Not in the sense of demanding to know everything he says, just in the sense of feeling you are able to support him through the process as much & as well as possible. Yes. Am very glad that Kitten Strachey is helping him deal with bedtimes in a better way - or rather, the way in which anxiety & compulsions will manifest at that time. Hopefully he will sleep better if he's less troubled by intrusive thoughts at bedtime & thus just feel better in himself generally.

Suspect you're prolly right that DS2 & kitten's relationship will be predicated on the former's bounciness levels - as KS gets more used to him he'll prolly cope a bit better too. Hopefully DS2 will warm to KS a bit more once he realises that there is definitely no usurping going on there, too wink

Am very glad Kitten Strachey's doing so much better - you must be so relieved!

ToffeeWhirl Thu 09-May-13 13:45:34

DS1 has had CBT twice, but we are pushing for a third time and hopefully with someone experienced with OCD sufferers this time. Am fed up with letter writing, phoning and arguing, but we will get somewhere in the end. DS1 really needs CBT with ERP for his OCD! (Very acronym heavy and hilarious when I'm trying to explain to concerned family).

Kitten Strachey is the most wonderful therapy for us all. DS1 fell asleep on his bed with him this morning, whilst I was nattering with a friend, and it was sweet to see them curled up together.

He still doesn't have his voice back (DH says he will be the perfect cat if it never comes back hmm), and he is still not very playful, but he is eating well and seems happy enough in himself.

cozietoesie Thu 09-May-13 13:49:27

The kitten time (and eventually cat time) will soak up any stress from DS1 - experienced it myself. It will really be good for him.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Thu 09-May-13 14:19:37

That's good to know, cozie. It is not exaggerating to say that the kitten feels like a healing presence in the house.

smile

ZebraOwl Fri 10-May-13 00:25:40

headdesk Yes, someone who's got experience treating people - indeed, not just people generally, children (& adolescents) specifically, because of their different needs. Is your GP any good at advocating for you[r DS1]? I am lucky to have The Best GP In The World Ever who has me on The Best Possible Treatments not The Cheapest (happily they sometimes coincide!) & will refer me as required & then chase referrals etc. (Which reminds me, I rather need to ask her to contact the RNOH because they're ignoring me. And if that's cos they can't do a cartilage graft to repair my knee I'd quite like to know that. Because that means having to start thinking about replacement joints. Which means thinking about stopping dancing. And possibly giving in to The Wheelchair. Bleurgh.)

Anyway, my ramble aside, a good GP can make a HUGE amount of difference when it comes to accessing care pathways. Do you have anyone who could help chivvy them along - I know DS1's home-schooled, but if he was previously educated outside the home is there someone there who could provide you with a supporting statement? Sorry if you are already Doing All The Things, am just wishing v hard I could help. Have you got anyone near you who offers cost-reduced treatment while you wait for the NHS stuff to fall into place? (Assuming you can't afford to go private. Not in a horrid way, just I know - having psychologist friends - that it is expensive. Not in terms of what you get, obviously, but in terms of absolute amount of expenditure, if that makes sense?)

Purr Therapy is wonderful. My cats are very attentive when I am More Ill Than Usual, too: if I've got to be stuck in bed I'd rather be stuck there with the cats for company. I've not needed to use my crutches since I've had the cats (well, I've not used them, anyway, hem) & they've never seen me use my wheelchair (not that I ever use it in the house, would be a nightmare, much easier to bum-shuffle!) & am not sure how they'd react. Well, am pretty sure with the wheelchair they'd be delighted to be able to snuggle with me all the time, bit worried they'd twine about the crutches & blond!cat would jump up to try to grab my hands. Ech. Think that (assuming it's not done as an emergency, which, y'know, I'd really rather not!) before my next knee surgery (or hips/ankles/other-thing-requiring-crutches) I'll have to use my crutches round the house to get the cats used to them while it won't be quite such a hazard to me! The cats are such darlings when I am upset, too: they snuggle extra-close & are super-purry & stroke me & blink-kiss & nose-boop. They have both wiped away my tears with their paws, too. Am so glad that Kitten Strachey's a happifying presence in your home & hope he brings you all much joy smile

ZebraOwl Fri 10-May-13 00:26:23

Caught again by the Asterisks Of Doom. Gah.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 10-May-13 10:18:13

Thanks for your advice and concern, Zebra. We are seeing DS's psychiatrist on Monday, but have been advised to go back to the GP if we're not happy with her actions. A letter from an NHS consultant is also in the post to her to urge her to take urgent action. Private treatment is not an option, for various reasons.

I hope you get the treatment you need as quickly as possible so that you can continue dancing. I'm glad your cats bring you so much happiness and are so comforting when you're sad.

Kitten Strachey is very hungry this morning. He's eaten two tins of Applaws chicken and lapped up some kitten milk. That must be a good sign.

smile

cozietoesie Fri 10-May-13 10:27:28

Is he more bouncy?

smile

ToffeeWhirl Fri 10-May-13 10:59:02

No, definitely not bouncy. It's lovely that we are able to give him endless cuddles without him wriggling off, but I do worry that he should be showing more energy. Maybe this is simply the sort of cat that he is or maybe he's still in recovery. I have no complaints, if so, I just want to be sure that he's ok.

Am sure, however, that he would not be eating so well if he wasn't on the mend.

cozietoesie Fri 10-May-13 11:18:06

I think he's probably still in recovery (and yes - the eating and drinking well is a good sign) but you have a point about his temperament. He's not only adjusting to the household but he's growing up very quickly at this stage. Remember that Siamese (Balinese) are great people cats - mine have always been much more inclined to cuddle and seek love than to play. (Forbye they have madcap moments.)

smile

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