Albert Update

Albie recently had his annual exam at the vet, and everything checked out okay. Not knowing his age or medical history, we have been extra cautious since adopting him, but the vet said everything looked good. He’s still 7-10 years old, 33 lb (down 3lb since this summer), and vitals are strong. He hasn’t had any problems with his arthritic leg in months and losing weight has helped.

We’ve had him on the green bean diet – instead of 1/2 cup of food 2x day, he gets 1/4 cup food and 1/4 cup french cut unsalted green beans 2x day. And let me tell you, Albie loves his green beans! He’s actually a big fruit and veggie eater. He likes kale, carrots, bananas, granny smith apples, blueberries, corn, black beans, peas… basically whatever fruit or veggie we are eating (except grapes, raisins, and onions), he can try.

When I had the cats at the vet last month, she suggested giving them cooked pumpkin as a treat. She said to buy a small pumpkin, cut it in half, and remove seeds. Then, cook on a pizza stone for 30 minutes at 350. Let cool and cut the pumpkin into cubes (smaller for cats, bigger for dog), and use the cubes as treats. She said that her dogs love it. I will be trying this soon as the weather cools and pumpkins are more readily available.

So back to Albie and his clean bill of health – we’re thrilled! The 2 year anniversary of his adoption is coming up in 10 days, and while a dog is SO much more work than cats, we couldn’t be happier with our decision to adopt him. He is a joyful, happy, and energetic little guy, and he’s a blessing in our lives.

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Cuddlebugs

Puppy Party

Albie went to his first puppy party yesterday, and we all had a lot of fun!  He got a pretty new bandana with his name on it and his first taste of puppy cake, which he LOVED!  You can see the surprise on my face when he ate the whole thing in one bite!  He wasn’t too sure about all of the other dogs (all kinds ranging from an Italian Greyhound to a German Shep) and people (young and old), but he did enjoy being off of his leash, marking his territory, and the CAKE!  We’ll have to plan something special (involving cake, of course) for his 2 year anniversary (since we adopted him) next month.  And I do want to keep socializing him.  I think it is good for him to have friends other than Duke & Carter 🙂

The Clean Up

Last night, 5 days after we took away the Litter Kwitter and returned the litterbox, I finally finished cleaning the bathroom. 

WHAT.A.MESS.

I thought not having to scoop litter would be worth the time and trouble of potty training the cats, but I have to admit, I do not mind having the litterbox back at all.  LK warns that it is a messy process, but I’m not sure messy begins to describe it…  gross and filthy are more accurate. 

And I still haven’t been able to get the ring off the inside of the toilet (from the flushable litter and kitty waste)…  any tips to clean the toilet bowl? 

It was an interesting experience, and I’m sure we will try it again someday, but for now, I’m glad to have my guest bathroom back.  The cats are back to using their litterbox in the laundry room, and we can continue to focus on their diet. 

As for their diet, no major changes there.  They are still eating (and loving) their new Taste of the Wild food.  They’ve been on the new food and new portion (1/4 cup less each cat/each day) for 2 weeks now, and they never seem full.  Hopefully in another couple of weeks, their tummies will adjust.  If not, I will look into adding fillers, such as celery or peas.

Back to the Box

The Litter Kwitter ring has been removed…  the litterbox is back in the laundry room…   and I’m going to spend the rest of the morning cleaning the bathroom.  Ideally, not having to clean a litterbox and having toilet-trained cats is appealing, but the process is the messiest, grossest thing I have ever done!!

Priorities

D&C’s weight gains over the last couple of years has all of us concerned, and I think that needs to be our priority right now.  We need to focus on switching and decreasing food, cutting out treats (except fresh vegetables), and increasing exercise.  With the boys best interest in mind, we have decided to put toilet training on hold and return their litterbox.  I think they’ll adjust to the transition just fine, and if Duke wants to continue using the toilet on his own, we will support that while making the litterbox available for Carter.

I will continue to blog our feline and K9 adventures, and I plan on revisiting toilet training after the cats have had a few months to adjust to their new diet and hopefully lose some weight.  Plus, I have an extremely busy work schedule this Fall with travel and events, and I will not be able to give their toilet training the supervision it requires.  I think mid-November is a good time frame to assess their weight loss and my schedule and consider returning to toilet training.

Alley Cat Advocates

In honor of Duke & Carter’s clean bills of health at the vet this week, I’ve made a donation to Alley Cat Advocates.  Their  mission is to provide for the humane treatment of unowned cats in our community. Alley Cat’s efforts focus almost exclusively on directing a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program in the safest, most efficient, and cost-effective way possible.  You can find them on the web at  www.alleycatadvocates.org