21 December 2009

Cats are carnivores

When Psipsina arrived with the kittens it was all a bit overwhelming at first. How on earth do you take care of a queen and her litter??
Well, first you get out a dish of milk. Then you go to the corner shop and buy a can of cat food. And then some more, perhaps in different flavours. Then you start thinking that any old cat food might not be the best, so you start researching for better, then for 'the best' cat food. You surely want the best for your furbabies.
The first 'premium' food I bought was from the vet shop: "organic chicken and brown rice" somehow sounded good and healthy (I did find it a bit odd though that the 'sales' floor at this particular local vet 'shop' occupies three times the space of the treatment rooms.)
I found more and better info online; it soon occurred to me that 'grain free' food made more sense for a cat. There is not much of that around but I tracked down some Swedish wet food, and some Canadian dry kibble. By then the kittens had started eating some solid food too, and everybody seemed happy enough with what I gave them. They always wolfed it down in seconds rather than minutes. All seemed fine to me, and it never occurred to me, not with a single thought, to feed them anything else.

05 December 2009

Clicker training for cats?

Even as a kid, I didn't think teaching tricks to cats was anything unusual - I just gave it a go, and they certainly took to it (and they were 'just' street cats too). So I obviously I was eager to try my hand at training my new bunch of cats too!
Almost 30 years later and positive training (also known as operant conditioning) has become more widely know, and the internet makes it all easily accessible - it only took me a bit of digging to unearth a wealth of information and support on clicker training (a totally new concept to me, but it just so makes sense) and indeed on clicker training cats (see my links list).
Oh how fascinating and exciting this all is.
Bring on the clickers! (of course I ordered one today!)

Snow in London!

02 November 2009

Me and cats

I'm new to living with cats - sort of: As a 10year old growing up in Athens, Greece I used to feed an army of strays in the backyard, and even teaching tricks to some. We also had a dog (Ajax, my very best friend), a tank with goldfish, a couple of turtles, and changing guests of injured birds my father picked up at his rural work locations and brought home for me to look after until healed (this included a falcon who used to happily sit on my head and eat meat chunks off my hand for several months)
Then we moved, then I left the country... and managed to convince myself for the next 20 years that my lifestyle did not allow space for any pets and that I could live without any animals around me.

And then, the cats arrived! They have been endless joy since and I feel so lucky for having been chosen, and although slightly overwhelmed at first, even the thought of giving any of them away just breaks my heart so I'm now all set up for a life with 4 cats!

01 November 2009

One night in September

One night in late summer the bedroom window rattled, and a cat jumped in. Half asleep, half startled and a bit annoyed I put on the light to find out what was going on. Eventually, I found the cat and 3 newborn kittens nestling in the linen drawer under my bed. [gasp!...] Life has never been the same again!
The furry gang has brought endless joy and smiles to my life. I have started this blog to satisfy my urge to share my cat stories, enthusiasm and love, but also to share what I've learned and am learning every day about cats, from cats, with cats...