Saturday, March 29, 2014

Cat Poop Dilemma

One of the downsides of having kitties in my house is that if I don't handle their poo-poo and pee-pee accordingly, my house will smell like a horse barn, which is not a good smell. In fact, it's beyond disgusting.

I have no experience of keeping indoor cats or whatsoever before this, so I had to learn from scratch, just like how mothers would learn how to handle their firstborns.

After searching high and low, experimenting around with different brands of cat litters, I've found the solution to getting rid of the smell completely. I swear that there is no cat poop smell at all in my house. But first, I'll share what I've tried so far in my effort to trying to get rid of the smell.

The first time I asked Num, the lovely lady who owns the pet shop that I go to, to suggest me a good brand of cat litter, she suggested me Ever Clean Cat Litter. It is manufactured by the same company that makes Clorox bleach, but don't let that scare you away just yet! A box costs about RM60 for 11.3kg.

It really works in getting rid of the smell COMPLETELY, but cleaning my litter trays were a nightmare. The sand stuck to the trays almost like cement, and cleaning was almost impossible! I had two separate trays for each cat, because I had to keep them in two different cages (I will explain below why I separated them when they were young). So...

After finishing the whole box, I never bothered to buy Ever Clean again for a while. I switched from one brand to another, hoping that I will find my match, while my house was disgustingly fumed by the smell of cat urine.

It wasn't long before I gave up on scooping their poop. I just change the whole box with fresh sand every two to three days or so, but that wasn't cost-effective, and of course, even that, didn't help getting rid of the smell. By this time, I have also tried lining the tray with baking soda powder, and leaving a tiny piece of sponge soaked with vinegar into the litter box, which didn't help at all.

I googled around a lot for a solution too. A forum suggested that the brand Arm And Hammer works wonderfully on smell issues, even when mixed with other brands of cat litter. Unfortunately, Arm and Hammer is not available in Malaysia. 

So I went back to using Ever Clean, but this time, I mix it with Purina TidyCats cat litter, and Heaven answered my prayers! :D

Costs about RM12 for a bag of 5kg.

I've tried mixing Ever Clean with a few other brands, but by far, TidyCats 24/7 performance works the best. I pour in the whole bag of TidyCats, and mix it with about two cups (500g) of Ever Clean sand into a tray which I've lined with a huge garbage bag. I scoop the tray daily, and once a week, I change the whole thing with fresh litter sand. Using the plastic bag as a base saves a lot of time when I clean the tray. No more nonsense such as baking soda powder or vinegar-soaked sponges!

It's been two months and there is no allergic reaction or whatsoever from my kitties. 

Now, here's another story. The night that I picked up both of my boys, I noticed that Pine had a habit of suckling on Charlie's... willy. -_-U

But the reason why he did so was only because he was too hungry, and he was looking for his mommy to feed him. He also did the same thing whenever he was going to sleep. At first, I thought that it was a normal thing that kitties just do, so I let them be, but on the third day, I began to realise that Charlie had zero energy. He could only walk a step or two before he would lay back onto his side. He didn't want to play either. When I picked him up, he just laid flat on my palm. It was obvious that he was not well. At that moment I figured that Charlie wasn't getting enough sleep, because Pine kept clutching on to his willy! Poor Charlie! 

I got Pine into a separate cage, so that he could break his habit, and Charlie could get his much-needed rest. It's okay for them to be placed together now though. I only keep them in the cage during night time when I go to sleep, or when I'm at work. At other times, they're allowed to run freely around the house. My housemate is also kind enough to help me to look after them. She fills their bowls, and let them out of the cage when she's around. Another reason why I have to keep them in from time to time because I have another housemate who is really scared of cats, but Charlie loves her so much... -_-U

Am I going to turn this blog into another cat-blog? o.O

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Charlie and Pine

I have kitties!

I've always LOVED cats since I was a little girl. Back at home, there were times when we've kept cats and kittens, but none of them stayed forever. My mother is not a cat person.  my father doesn't like cats at all. But whenever we had any at home, mom would be the one who would feed them, and I rarely did... -_-U

I remember that we had a few cats when I was around four or five, but no strong memory of them tho. One thing for sure, I provoked a cat once hard enough that I got a deep scratch on my left hand, and the scar is still right there; very faded.

Once, when I was about nine years old, a female, pregnant cat just appeared at our door one day asking to be fed. my mom fed her, and let her stay until she gave birth to three little fur balls. They stayed until the kittens were big enough and one day my mom gave them away. I was too young to be responsible towards the cats anyway, so...

We never had a cat again until I was about twelve. When Ella-Meow found my house, she was a big kitten. She was the cat that stayed with me the longest so far. Ella-Meow grew up in house, being from a kitten who wasn't picky with her lunch and dinner and everything in between, to a cat that insisted to eat only fish and rice. The fish had to be deboned and mixed thoroughly with rice, or she won't touch it. Try to feed her anything else than that, and she would purge it out ten minutes later.

She learned to do all of her kitty business outside of the house, but I have no idea where she did it, because I never see any evidence anywhere, and none of the neighbours ever complained! My mom fed her everyday, and my father, who doesn't really like to touch cats, occasionally played with her. I guess she won his heart.

She had her own attitude, which made me think that sometimes she forgot that she was a cat... Once, I quietly followed her into the toilet, just to find her trying to use the toilet bowl like how a human would, and when she noticed that I was watching, she yelled at me! Uhh... Sorry for peeking...

They say that if a cat loves her owner, she would go away from the house to spend her last hours. After almost seven years staying with us, one day, Ella Meow just walked out of the door and never came back. my mom prepared her food, expecting her to come home for her dinner, but she never did. We tried to look for her, but no luck. Until today, I don't know what happened to her, but I know she's in a better place up Above.

It's been about eight years since I've kept any cats with me. I never thought I would either considering that I'm now living in a flat. I have no space for a cat to run around and jump and play and learn. I don't know how to train a cat to use its litter tray. It's almost impossible. Almost...

I found Charlie and Pine about six months ago. That night, I went out for dinner at about 8.00pm and it was raining. I heard their little voice from under the stairs and saw them. At that point I thought that their mom might have gone out to find food and will return soon. By about 11.00pm, while it was still raining, I arrived home to find that the kittens were still there, stranded, starving, dirty, and cold.  One was so hungry, that he was trying to feed himself by attaching his mouth to the other's stomach. The mom never came back for them... If you touch a kitten when it is still very, very young, the mom will probably reject it. I guess that is what happened to these poor little babies. One was so hungry, that he was trying to feed himself by attaching his mouth to the other's stomach. I stayed with them for almost an hour, not knowing what to do with them. I couldn't take them home, but I know I really cannot leave them either.

I knew there was no way I could go to sleep knowing that I'm letting two innocent kittens to starve in the cold right under my floor. I took my rice-cooker's box, lined it with some cloth, went down and took them in. They stayed silently in the bathroom while I ran to the nearest 7-11 to get some food for them.

Long story short, they've survived their toughest night. I've been keeping them for half a year now, and along the way, they've grown so much bigger, they've been vaccinated, and they're actively, happily running around the house. They respond to my voice, and I didn't even have to teach them how to use their litter tray. They just knew.

Above all, they are a part of me now.

The first three months, both of them pretty much imitated each other's behaviours, but as they grow up, they began to develop their own unique personalities.

Pine is such a tough macho boy; aways own his own doing his own things and only snuggles in the mornings when he wants breakfast. Charlie is more like a... bimbo? LOL! He forgets a lot of things easily! Like, he doesn't get it if I clap my hands really loud, it means that I'm not happy that he is on my PC desk, but Pine will jump of it immediately!

They used to just doze off on my lap when they were really small with their tummies exposed up, but as they both grow up, only Charlie still likes to sleep that way, while Pine will feel intimidated the moment I try to make him lay on my lap.

Physically, Pine grows to become more muscular and short-haired, while Charlie has long fur and his body feels like a long-shaped balloon that's filled up with water.

I have tonnes of kitty pictures in my phone, but these are just some of it! :D

Charlie, a few days after being rescued. I named him Charlie because he likes to bite my finger!

Feeling much better and energetic!


Gulp, gulp, gulp!

I'm sexy like this, baby.


Sometimes they prefer sleeping on mommy's shoulder

Soft kitty, warm kitty... OK let's agree that we all have had enough of that song!

On the way to their first vaccination.

New bed! Also, they've grown bigger!

Aren't we just yummy??
Twerk it!
 I have no idea what the hell were they doing...

They've come a long, long way since the day they were rescued.

I wuv you, mommy.

And I love you too. :)