Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ivan the Clown

Ivan is the biggest goofball in the world. Look at the fake mustache he painted on himself in this photo! We swear we did not paint it on him. We came home and there it was.

Ivan is also very smart. He quickly learned how to open the doors inside our apartment. We started shutting him and Boo out of the bedroom at night because they tend to jump on our heads at 3am and wake us up. Well, shutting the doors alone wasn't enough - they'd break in! So we have to lock the doors each night!

Because we travel occasionally, we purchased two feeding bowls on timers. These bowls have 5 compartments, and the timers determine when each compartment will open to reveal cat food. The feeders work very well. HOWEVER, the last time we used them, which was over one night, we came home to find Ivan and Boo had broken into one of them! Yes, they had somehow pried the top off of the feeder and were able to get to ALL of the food instead of one day's worth at a time! [We'll review the feeder in a future blog entry.]

Do you see a theme here? Cat burglars!

We recently came across a great cat-related item in the Drs. Foster and Smith pet catalogue. It's something called the "Klaw Kontrol". It's basically a straight jacket for cats! It's like a very snug cat-carrier, though one that leaves the cat's head free. Being snug, it tends to comfort cats. There is a zipper for each front leg, and one for the hind legs. You can unzip one zipper at a time to free one leg at a time and cut the cat's claws! It's a wonderful invention! You can also leave all zippers zipped and administer oral medicine, ear drops, eye drops, etc.

We use it for claw clipping and it is the cat's pajamas! We did spend a couple of days getting our cats accustomed to it - we simply unzipped it so that it was wide open, and we laid it on the floor. After they got somewhat used to it, we started putting cat treats inside it. We also dragged the cats' favorite chase toys across it, so they would feel comfortable walking/running/playing on it. Eventually, we decided to try to attach the collar portion around Ivan's neck (of the two, he's the easiest to handle). We let him sit with it attached, and then we picked him up and gently arranged him inside the "bag" and zipped him up in it. He struggled a bit, but we rewarded him with treats when he was calm. We let him sit in it for a while. Then we let him out. We did that for a couple of days, and then on the third day we zipped Ivan up in it and we cut his claws! He struggled a bit, but with plenty of cat treats when he did NOT struggle, he seemed to get the idea and remained still while we cut his front claws. We waited until the next evening to cut his hind claws.

Boo's experience with the "Klaw Kontrol" was very similar. However, when we first got Boo zipped up in it (which was a little more difficult than zipping Ivan in it, because Boo is bigger), he was a little bit distressed. Ivan sensed this and came over to check it out. He must have quickly recognized that Boo was powerless, because he almost immediately gave Boo a nice WOP right on the nose! Only Ivan would wait for the opportune moment to get a good jab in at his bigger, stronger brother!

Anyhow, the Klaw Kontrol is made of durable but extremely lightweight material. It really is THE answer for us as far as cutting Ivan's and Boo's claws. Perhaps eventually we'll be able to cut their claws without it. REMINDER: be careful not to cut into the quick of your cat's claws, because it hurts!

Here's a close-up of Ivan's self-administered mustache:
Nicely focused on the carpet, eh?

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