Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ivan and Boo Are Still At It

We went out of town for one night and a day this week (business). We left the boys plenty of water, and food in two automated feeding bowls which open at sent times to reveal compartments that we previously filled with specific amounts of food. The boys have broken into these feeders in the past and gobbled up all the food so that they were without food for a day or two, but usually the feeders work very well. This trip was no exception.

The night before we left we gave the boys their usual evening chicken strip snack. We asked them, as we normally do, "Do you want some cat cheekin?" Yes, we suddenly acquire speech impediments when speaking to the cats. These impediments disappear if we are speaking to anyone other than the cats. Puzzling! Anyhow, they know what "cat cheekin" is and started meowing madly. We gave them a chicken strip each and they settled in and started chewing. The next morning we got up to finish packing and get going, but we found a suspicious zip loc bag on the floor. We knew immediately that, the night before, that bag had held the package of chicken strips. No, not again - they'd broken into the chicken strips!

There was no sign of actual chicken strips, not even crumbs, or the chicken strip bag anywhere in the apartment. We searched high and low, determined to find it in case it still contained any chicken strips. We didn't want the boys gorging themselves any further and risking a gut impaction or something crazy like that. The bag was simply nowhere to be found. After looking everywhere twice or three times, there was only one place left to look - under the couch. The couch sits only half an inch to an inch off the floor, so the cats cannot get under it. However, with the help of a flashlight, we found the chicken strips bag! Under the couch! Had the little criminals tried to hide the evidence from us? Well, the bag had one small piece of chicken still in it, so we suspect the boys were trying to get that last piece of chicken and inadvertently pushed the bag under the couch.

Now the chicken strips (yes, we bought more) stay in the fridge. By the way, we were shopping in Target today and decided to see if they had any chicken strips like the ones we found at PetSmart (and originally at Trader Joe's). They did! In fact, they have vitamin/supplement fortified chicken strips! They are sold under the brand "Vitality" and are, like all pet-grade chicken breast strips we've found, in the dog section. We bought the variety supplemented with flaxseed oil and vitamins to promote healthy eyes, coat, and skin. Boo has had a little dry skin lately, so this sounded good. We bought the last two bags.

The boys did not ravenously eat these strips the way they did the brand we bought from PetSmart. They ate these strips, but they were not as excited about them as they've been about other brands. But, again, they ate them, so we're happy to continue giving them to the boys. These are $5.99 for a 6 oz (weight) bag. That's pricier than the PetSmart variety, but these are fortified with extra ingredients that are good for the cats, after all.

We'll review the automatic feeders soon. We also bought the boys a little "play station" at Target today, and we'll review that soon, as well.

The orphaned kittens are doing fine. The calico's eyes are fully open and she responds strongly to KittyDaddy (Mr. Aelurophile). Black-and-white-kitten's eyes don't even show signs of opening yet. We are convinced he is at least a week younger (based on conception date) than the calico. We have read that there are often kittens of differing ages in one litter, certainly kittens of different fathers! But little black-and-white continues to guzzle KMR and put on weight. His eyes should open soon.

At least we are pretty certain of their sexes, now, so that we can start trying to think of names for them.

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