Monday, July 4, 2011


I wrote in a previous post about the resident Phoebes who have insisted in making my porch their nest site. I have altered my life to accommodate them but I fear something tragic has happened. In June I wrote about our battle for porch rights that they obviously won.

Since then, I have totally left them alone. However, the eggs still have not hatched. That has been over 21 days ago that the 4 eggs appeared and now mom and pop seem to be abandoning the nest.
When ever I go near that corner, one of the Phoebes flies from a nearby tree in apparent distress so I leave.  However, in the cool of the night, no one is on the nest.

Perhaps daddy Phoebe was shooting blanks, perhaps the 100+ heat has hard boiled the eggs, or perhaps my presence put too much stress on the parents. I sure hope it wasn't me but I am feeling the guilt. I'll give it another week.


Second guilt trip is about my cats. I have two, Mickey that I have had for 13 years. I found him as a baby with his eyes still closed. I bottle fed him and gave him enemas as a kitten. He is perhaps the perfect cat. Affectionate but not pushy.

When I moved to Arkansas,  Minnie came to call by climbing up my screen door as a starving stray. By the time the vet and I got her well, I was kind of attached. However, Minnie is not as easy to love as Mickey

For entirely too long , Minnie suffered horrific gas. It was so bad that  she set off my carbon monoxide detectors. That is no exaggeration.  She drove the oxygen right out of the room. Thank God she is better now due to really high priced cat food.  

Minnie is pushy affectionate. She has to be on some part of your body at all times. During her gaseous days, this was not fun.  

Her favorite thing is to lay on the back of the couch behind my head and flicking either her tail or bat a paw softly into my hair. It is like having something crawling in my hair. Drives me nuts.

The other day as I removed her once more from my hair, I realized that I am her main entertainment. She and Mickey play maybe once a week and both cats ignore the dog.

I live in a very small house, they are declawed and can't go outside so I am pretty much all they have. The only toy they respond to is the laser light.

Now they do have a window seat to watch the Hummers at the feeders and Minnie is fascinated by my fish tank but there is no way they can get exercise.

I hit the web for a cat tree in hopes of giving them both something to stimulate them. Surely they will climb all over it and will help with the boredom.  The one below got the best reviews.

Again I mention that I have a small house so finding room for such a thing was not easy but guilt drove me.

All the reviews on the web site swear cats just love this thing. People claimed they were climbing on it as it was being put together. Well it has been up for a week and this is as high as either cat has gone.

Placing cat nip  and  enticing with feathers  has not increased interest.
I could have put a box over a rug and gotten the same results for a lot less money.

 However it is not a total loss for the times she does go to lie there, my hair is free of that crawly feeling. Now if I could just shake these guilt feelings. Maybe leash training them-----



  1. I know how I would solve your problem with the gasseous feline, but then I am not emotionally involved. I have not had the pleasure enjoying the undoubtedly robust aroma of cat aerosols, but I have been around when dogs did it.

    My dad once had some customers over for dinner. The family pet was delighted, and showed its elation by blasting the group for an hour or so. Dad had a hard time convincing the guests that it really was the dog that was responsible.

  2. Well, the cat tree looks great even if they're not using the whole thing. Glad the high priced cat food is working. There's definitely something humorously deadly about pet gas!

  3. Several of my previous dogs have had gaseous emissions, but Luckie has only subjected us to a few.

    However, they, too are near lethal.

    I changed dog food with Luckie, first Pedigree, then Beneful. Neither produced the room odorizers my previous dogs had.

    Happy purified air 4th.

  4. Boy...they've sure got your number, don't they!!!? Spoiled rotten...but we sure love them. Bless their gassy little hearts..

  5. Whoa! Cat farts have to be some of the worst. I just realized that you are not showing up in my Reader, Patti, so I'm going to take you out of the lineup and see if I can add you back in order to fix things. When I see you still needing to be anonymous it reminds me that Blogger is still not fixed for lots of people...

  6. Poor birdies.If they have abandoned the nest, why do they still stay around? Wouldn't they leave the area?

    Because Minnie was so starved before you got her, perhaps her digestive system was permanently deficient. Do you think that could be why she has trouble digesting food? Will she eat any human food like oatmeal or rice ground up with tuna or fish sauce? I say this in all sincerity... could she use a probiotic? I know I sure do take them now that I'm older.

    If the cats never use the tree, how about converting it to a plant stand? :) It's a lovely corner.

  7. Patti,

    I just don't know what to say on this one, but I am cracking up. I love the picture of the kitty happily sitting on the bottom rung. There is a new t.v. show on about this guy who is a cat whisperer. He says some like the treetops and some like the bushes down low. I would guess that yours are in the latter group?

    Please give up the guilt on the birds. Nature has its way; and Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe are not the ones paying the property taxes.

    I hate the smell of cat poop the most, so I'm just about gagging thinking about a constant barrage of gas. Dog gas is bad enough. Thank goodness that has gotten better. We had a cat that became a huge behavior problem, and when Cary moved in she figured out how to spray on anything that would heat up ... such as floor vents, the top of the dryer, and the stove burners. A few years later, she and I were enemies, and she even pooped on the kitchen counter once. I do not miss her one bit!

    You are such a mom to be loved, and your kitties love showing you that. :>)

    Kathy M.

  8. I'm so sorry....but it surely did tickle my funny bone. :) Have you tried sitting one of the cats up on the top to see what they would do? blessings, marlene

  9. You can always use it for a plant stand....'course my plants would croak and then i'd feel quilt about that...!!


  10. I love how attentive you are to your Phoebes and kitty cats. Such good care. We had tree swallows abandon a nest once, and that was a few days AFTER the chicks had hatched. Bummer. Maybe the Phoebes know that the eggs are not viable. But it is curious that they are hanging around. Maybe a predator has been hunting the yard. Interesting dilemma. Keep us posted.

    Cats are hard to please.

  11. Hi, Patti--I have a question for CLINT. No disrespect intended, but are you SURE it was the dog?

  12. I'm not sure if this pst was meant to crack me up, but it did! The gas and the expensive tree that neither cat is interested in. :D Doesn't it just sum up cats? They do what they want, when they want. :D

  13. I do hope the cat tree does the trick. I wonder though what they really need, if they have each other and you and the house to roam in. You solved the digestive problem, now the stimulation problem. What will you worry about next?

  14. Don't fret about the bird nest you did not do anything that should have caused the nest to be abandoned and since the birds are still around maybe there is still hope the eggs will hatch. Whatever happens it is not your fault.

    You made me laugh as usual when you were telling about Minnie and her gas. Glad the food is taking care of that.

    I didn't spend as much as you did but I bought a toy that was highly recommended and highly rated for cats. None of the cats will have anything to do with it.

    Some cats are playful and like a lot of activity some not so much so. I have one cat that has never played and never gets in any hurry to do anything. My oldest cat is very playful. I think they all find a way of exercising to meet their own needs.

    That is a very nice looking cat tree and I bet you can find a good use for it if the cats don't use it. Maybe in time though they will discover the upper part.

    Hugs for you and nose kisses for the Mickey, Minnie and Mighty.

  15. I am not too happy with either cat this morning. Shadow, the female harlequin has been doing take-out with a bluebird's nest. She has been reprimanded and must stay inside. She sits at the sliding glass door, screaming pitifully. I don't care. Oh, and she also threw up last night on the bed so I am doing laundry this morning.

    Her brother, Spook, has serious skin cancer and we don't know how much longer he will be with us. I try to make him comfortable, but for some reason he decided to throw all of his litter out of the box overnight. This is a cat who walks into the litter box squats, pees, and walks out. He never digs or covers. What got into him last night is beyond me but it's making too much work.

  16. Sorry about the birdies...we had Robins do that this year....??
    As to the sperled cats....yep. Cats have always reminded me of Popeye..."I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam". Glad the odiferous kitty is better on the food....we just call Sunny Bunny Boo Boo head.....Smelly fits.

  17. Hi Patti, here I am back for round three of leaving a message. The TechnoGod does not love me. About that gaseous cat...we don't love them because they do what we want them to do...and why is the most affectionate animal the one with gas or bad breath?? Dianne

  18. I'm sorry but I must admit that reading about your gassy kitty setting off the detector made me laugh outloud.... Glad you don't have that problem any longer.

    Sounds like you just have a couple of lazy kitties... Maybe sometime --they will 'want' to get some exercise... (Like me---SOMETIME!!!! ha)

    Sorry about the birdies... Not sure what is going on. Don't believe the eggs will hatch if Mama hasn't been sitting on them..... Keep us posted.

    Have a great 4th...

  19. Clint,
    The deceptive thing about pet gas is that it is silent.
    I have always thought that people with gas problems them selves, should own a dog because of that silent nature. It is easy to hang it on them.

    The funny part is they are in no way embarrassed. They are just glad to get rid of it and seem a bit proud.

    I tried a ton of different foods, Halo was the only one to work. It is worth the price.

    They do work us and aren't even aware that they are. We are so easy.

    You said a mouth full.
    I could comment on your post since you have the embedded comment form by not checking off the box the keeps me signed on to Google. It is just as easy to post as anonymous. Don't know why I am not on your Reader. I haven't checked my Reader lately since I just go down my blog list looking for new posts.I noticed some people just didn't show up. Ain't it fun?

    I found Halo foods work wonders on her. No gas. It took a lot of trial and error to get there. I am sure you are right and that her severe starvation was the cause.

    Oregon gifts.
    Glad you were tickled. I was going for that. You are maybe right and I just have a bush baby that is afraid of heights.
    Yikes, spraying is worse than gas. Gas eventually goes away.

    Stichin by the Lake,
    Oh good, that was my intent.
    I did try putting them in various upper levels only to have the leap straight to the floor. They didn't even use the stairs.

    Blue Ridge Boomer,
    That is an idea. Bet if I put plants there, they would climb up to eat them.

    Oh how awful that you were faced with live abandonment. That would kill me. Maybe these eggs just didn't get fertilized or the heat fried them.

    Ha- that is basically what I mentioned to Clint. Dogs are great scape goats for bad gas.

    LLCool Joe,
    Oh good Joey. That is what I was going for. 99% of the time, my posts are meant to be light and hopefully funny by poking fun at myself. Thanks.

    What they need is what I need and that is to sit down with out being lovingly mauled all the time. I was trying to give them a distraction. Not this time.

    I haven't given up yet. Hopefully they will in time use it a little higher than floor level. I bought one of those cubes once and it took months for them to use that.

    I am so sorry that one of your cats has cancer. It is so hard when our pets age or are ill.
    Hope the Harl didn't deplete the nest. It is hard enough getting Bluebirds to nest and survive.

    Linda in NM
    Don't ya love it when they flick that tail at you like they are flipping you off? I guess that is half their charm.

    You are so right. Also works with dogs with the muddiest feet needing to jump up on you. Maybe it is pay back for that neutering thing.

    For a while there it was so darn hot (100+)every day and the nest is right near the roof. I know it was too hot for mom and maybe for the eggs also. It is like they keep coming back hoping for the best. In a week or so, I will remove the nest. Sigh.

  20. We need a new cat tree the last one ...over 6 ft high and 3ft wide .. was demolished by them ...but it took several weeks and letting them feel I was not forcing the issue before half of ours fell in love with all different parts of it ...including the very top.
    We have every shape and size of cat ...many who want to laze for 23 out of 24 hours of the day and others who chase round the whole place for at least 12 hours. The lazer light is the ONLY thing that motivates them all ...well not China who has decided that if she just lies there it will pass within paw distance and then lol Never feel guilty over cats long as they are fed cats will do what THEY want to do. xx

  21. My cats don't play with my hair but since I keep my hair cut very short, there's not much to play with even if they had a notion. The youngest one does, from time to time, sleep on the pillow just above my head like a furry night-cap, but it's a bit warm in the summer time.

    I've not had any problems with cat flatulence, but I commiserate with you nonetheless, having lived with a very small dog whose 'toots' could drive you completely out of the house.

  22. Patti - I think the cat gym will be a perfect plant stand when your guilt dissipates. Or - put some fragile curios on it, and the cats will probably go wild to knock them off. I hope the birds aren't a lost cause. Let us know. Happy 4th!

  23. I never bought any cat trees for my girls and they didn't seem to miss them. They climbed on all my furniture, though.

  24. Patti, I got such a kick out of this post! I've dealt with a few gassy cats in my life but I'm telling you nothing is worse than the two gassy parrots that a neighbor owns and that we've taken care of for the past two weeks. I'd clean up after a cat any day! Hope your kitty's problem is solved. You know, I used to get all kinds of fancy toys for my cats until I realized that they like ordinary things. Our year old cat Sweet Pea loves playing fetch with wadded up grocery receipts. Four year old Maggie loves paper bags. We do have a tall cat tree we bought about ten years ago when Gus was young and athletic. He won't have anything to do with it now, but the two younger cats venture on it from time to time. I've found cats don't do well with surprises and are terrible ungrateful for pricey gifts. Maybe with time they'll discover its wonders. If not, as others have said, it would make a lovely plant shelf!

  25. Funny how cats are like children - you buy them the expensive, fancy toy and they play with the box! Maybe point the laser lights at it? Like a spotlight?! HAHA! You will have to update us on the birds. That's kind of sad, but not your fault.

  26. Oh Patti, relieve yourself from room for it in your life; we all do the best we can.

    Nature is taking care of the birds and gosh, the kitties will become involved in their new plaything! Personally I love it so perhaps I should come down and crawl all over it?

  27. Sorry about the eggs, Patti. You are such a wonderful person to be so considerate of their nesting.

    Gosh! I've never heard of a gaseous cat before. I'm sorry I had to giggle... just a little bit.

  28. OMG you kept me laughing through out this entire post about your kitty...not with the birds. lol
    I doubt you had anything to do with the guess is the heat.
    I too feel guilty about my Tinkerbell being declawed and not have entertainment except for watching the kitties outside from the back door. Been thinking about keeping one of them and making her inside for Tink but not sure that is such a good idea either.
    Maybe in time they will enjoy their new toy.
    Have a wonderful guilt free week

  29. Oh my gosh, I'm still laughing! Thanks, Patti, for the laugh before I go to bed. Maybe I'll sleep better now. LOL! I haven't noticed my Stormy having gas problems...yet. She's a strange one, tho. Not a lap cat at all unless she decides once in a while to jump up and be petted, but she'll curl up beside me to sleep at night. And what is aggravating is when she pats my mouth with her stinky paws too early in the mornings for me to get up and feed her. But I love her. Your calico (I love calicos!) is so pretty!

  30. LOL, LOL...Minnie---I remember her gaseous period...I'm glad that is at least better than it was....Give the two kitties a little more time---They may go higher, in time!
    I wonder about those Phoebe's....It does seem strange that they are not sitting on the eggs--But, maybe their gestation period and egg-behavior is different than other species....!

  31. Isn't it amazing all the things we women can find to feel guilty about? We just know deep in our dark hearts that we are the only ones holding up the entire world.

  32. Tough not to feel guilty. We had a baby deer bleating from Sunday through Wednesday last week at all hours of the day or night. I have decided it is quiet now because mom finally returned and not the alternative.

    Yikes on the gaseous kitty kitty. That would be rough.

  33. You should have NO GUILT. I can't imagine if you had two legged kids around. LOL Because they really know how to make a person feel guilty about such little things. You sound like a right nice Mommy to me. So hold your head up high and feel no more guilt. You're doing a good job. Could be the birds first try at nesting, perhaps they'll get the hang of it next time.

  34. Angie,
    I am sure you are right. I will give them time and if nothing else, they really do love that bottom rung.

    Ha, Pet gas really is in a class of it's own isn't it? My hair is short but they still love to annoy me by playing in it.

    Fragile curios is perfect. I have a cute little fox family they love to abuse.

    I was mainly trying to occupy them so they would leave me alone. That is where the guilt comes in. Not a good motive.

    Dr. Kathy,
    You are so right. Minnie just loves it if I leave my water bottle cap where she can reach it. I hear it sliding around the living room at night. Simple is better.

    Lynda G,
    They did have more fun with the bindings on the package. Should have suspected something then.

    I have been tempted myself if I thought it would hold me. We do tend to put what we think as neat upon them.Thanks, I'll be patient.

    Ha ha, you are laughing because you have not been cooped up with one. They put humans to shame.

    Grandma Yellow Hair,
    I think you ought to keep one kitty. Even if Tink fights with it, it is something to do while you are at work. I'll bet however they would get along great. Hope you do.

    Yikes, I too hate that when the sand box paws find my face. Don't they realize where their paws have been:)) Thanks about Minnie.

    I did check the hatching period and they are way past that. I am thinking the extreme heat may have bearing. When it is 100+ in the shade, I wonder what it is right up against the roof?
    I will give the cats time. At least they enjoy part of it.

    I am laughing because you are so right. We do seem to think we should make everything better.

    Oh my, that bleating deer would have broken my heart. Nature sometimes is really cruel.

    I know, moms are supposed to lay on the guilt trips, I would be the one suffering if it were kids.
    I am pretty sure this is the same pair that nested there last year and successfully fledged. I am thinking the heat has had an effect.

  35. Wow! Feline toxic emissions and reneck sex! These posts rocked my laughometer! Discard the guilt.Your local fauna, tame and wild are obviously well loved!

  36. Oh you had me laughing again. Darn those cats. Minnie has you just where she wants you.

    My birds have revisited, and we have eggs again. This is the second batch this summer. I also wish to reclaim my porch.

  37. Cats are remarkable creatures. We had cats for a long time, but two of them were killed by a car, one had cancer in her mouth and suffered a lot and the last one died of old age. He was 19. He was a lovely tomcat. We found him and two of his sisters when they were about 10 days old so we had to feed them by hand every 2 hours, also during the night. They were very much attached to us and walked with us to the end of the street, where they waited until we returned.Each time one of them died I was devastated.

  38. Give them a few weeks and they should be crawling all over that thing, otherwise you may have to pick them up and set them on the top. The birds eggs may be hard inside that happens, I once had a baby bird die in a bird house I put up, talk about guilt. I put it by a tree to shade it but the tree died and it was in full sun. it was 115 that week. I even put a sun shade over the bird house but it didn't help. Sometimes we can only do what we can do.

    What cat food are you getting? My cats don't seem to like the regular stuff, I think they are cutting back on the nutrition of the pet food these days.

  39. Declawed cats CLIMBING a cat tree?? That will not happen, my friend.

    Yes, they may jump up there, but the fun of a cat tree (from a cat's point of view) one would suppose to be clawing and climbing it, don't you think?

    Nevertheless, the tree looks really good and Minnie got off your hair. LOL!

  40. LC,
    Thanks and glad your meter got set off.

    Retired English Teacher,
    You are so right. Wrapped right around her paw.
    Lucky you with fledging. I still have unfertile eggs.

    Reader Wil,
    I went thru the same think with Micky with the regular feedings. When their eyes open, you are their momma.
    Losing a pet is just awful.

    Linda Starr,
    I sure hope so. The food I found is Halo for Indoor cats. It is pricy but Minnie is sweet smelling on it. Worth the price.

    Actually this is specially built for declawed cats as the perches are staggered for easy access. They also are supposed to like getting up high to look down on the world with their superior attitudes. I have hopes that in time---.

  41. O a Phoebe is a BIRD..! There was I thinking of a hippie-dippie character from friends and all the while you meant a feathered friend!