Top Seven (7) Must Know Tips For New Kitten Owners

1.  Isolation…For health and safety, NEVER simply place a new cat into your home without a vet visit, to test for communicable diseases, and to provide basic shots FIRST!  For example, if you’re rescuing a stray, there might be ringworm or communicable parasites which are not visible initially, and you don’t want to infect your healthy kitties.  Our rule is, first stop is the vet’s; then, spay or neuter as soon as possible.  That covers all the bases. If finances are an issue, most counties now offer free/reduced cost spay and neuter programs, through local rescues or animal shelters, for certain income categories.

2.  Privacy…Be aware that a new home can be quite intimidating to a kitty!  Providing a small private space makes the new one feel more secure, so the best-case scenario is to provide a private room initially, equipped with a cardboard box turned on the side with flaps slightly open, as a special retreat.  Cats REQUIRE a feeling of total security in a new environment!  (This is why some cats may spend their whole first week under a bed.)

3.  Litter Arrangements…Introduce the kitty to its litter box right away.  Even a small kitten will naturally want to hide its own waste, so just gently place him or her into the litter box with fresh, clean litter and the kitten will take care of the rest.  For multiple cat homes, go with the “cats plus one” rule, in which you have one litter box for each pet, plus one additional litter box.  A covered model is preferable to open litter boxes.  I was a bit worried that my cats wouldn’t go for this, but no worries, they took right to it, and it helps with “litter containment.”  After years of using regular clay litter, I switched to scoopable–WAY better!  Scoop both morning and evening to maintain maximum freshness.

4.  Play time…Is all the time!…Your cat needs to hone its reflexes, build muscle, and sharpen its claws, and your furniture and carpet can become prime candidates if you do not make time for play time, AND provide a legal scratching station.  An old, clean sock or one of the millions of cat toys available will make for a fun bonding experience for you and your new pet–and don’t forget the catnip!!  I like to throw “catnip parties” for my cats every few days.  I sprinkle it on their scratching post, inside their “hidey boxes,” and on their windowsill perch, and they dive right in.  To get them interested in a new scratching post, gently rub their paws on it–the scent glands will leave attractive smells!

5.  CLIMB!  CLIMB!…Cats are climbers!  Kitties prefer high vantage points.  (Unfortunately, our cats prefer to use our $2,000 tower speakers which tend to wobble precariously whenever they leap from them).  Your cat will thank you for investing in a cat tower or a shelf system.  Picture a series of three or more  short boards marching up a wall, using simple shelf brackets–inexpensive and easy to put up.  For in-spurr-ation, check out the book series, “A Cat’s House,” loaded with colorful ROOMS full of cat-friendly furnishings.  These people made their whole house cat friendly, and insanely colorful as well!  This isn’t for everybody, but you can always adapt a couple of ideas to delight your kitty.  You can also easily add a padded window perch (from any pet store, or order online); there are even “indoor-outdoor” perches, that provide a secure outdoor access as well.

6.  “Use the Brush, Luke”…”Proper hygiene is an important part of a cat’s overall health,” say most experts.  Self grooming occurs in the first month of life, so don’t worry if your tiny kitten doesn’t clean itself right away; you can use a clean, damp cloth with just water to gently blot away debris.  And introduce brushing right away–it’s a cat favorite!  Brushing is bonding; our kitties come running when we even pick up the brush.  Bathing is  a different story entirely–some cats jump right into the shower with their people (not our cats!!!).  If you’re starting with a kitten, you may be able to acclimate it to regular baths.  Sometimes a bath is the only answer to a flea-infested newly adopted stray cat or kitten.  If you’re not able to bathe the cat, your vet probably offers this service.  And, a note on flea prevention:  ask your vet about the most effective products to use; avoid supermarket products!

7.  Oversee Pet Interactions…Slowly introduce new pets to each other by a gradual process.  (This is where the private room comes in.)  After a period of tine  in isolation–allowing the established residents to scent the  newbie through a closed door, I like to shift the new kitty to a large crate I use a dog crate for this), and place it in the center of things. This allows closer encounters, securely.  After about a week of increased exposure, I’ll supervise full introduction to the household.  But I NEVER leave them unsupervised until I’m absolutely certain that everybody is friendly and adjusted.  Inter-species introductions are a bit more sensitive, of course.

Adopting a pet is only the first step!  We’ve had multiple pets–cats and dogs–for years, and we’re always learning something new.  And here’s a “PS” to the “Top 7″– selecting the best possible food for your cat.  I always recommend “Whole Dog Journal”–even to cat owners!!!  This publication accepts NO commercial pet food advertising, and provides an annual list of recommended foods, which applies to manufacturers of both dog AND cat foods.  And, check out “” for more food recommendations and industry updates (it’s an eye-opener).


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Miss Klaw-de-dah Kitty and the Gumbo Gator – Finale

Read Part I Here.

Read Part II Here.


Grand Daddy Gator was tiredly resting his freshly cleared-out gnarly head in the soft sand; his bitten-off tail was twitching slowly back and forth.  He was exhausted from his peppery sneeze attack, which had lasted the better part of an hour.  But he was hungrier than ever, and starting to feel mean again, now that all the cayenne pepper had worn off.  His eyes were still red.  He had not stopped feeling sorry for himself for a single minute of the whole three-hour wait.  Nor had he truly repented of trying to eat Miss Klaw-de-dah.  And the longer he waited there, with his snout still mashed shut and immoveable with the seventeen times of winding with that nasty black electrical tape, the more his tail  stub twitched, and the angrier he became.  So, when the little kitty finally stood before him, right within reach—if only he could have opened his poor starving jaws—he would have snapped her up in a split second. Continue reading

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Miss Klaw-de-dah Kitty and the Gumbo Gator – A Short Story – Part II

Miss Kitty even had a little fishing song that she would murmur softly, that went “dad-daddy-craw-daddies…” in a little purry hum, just to alleviate any crawfish suspicions, and she hummed it now.  But her bright kitty eyes, as she hummed and sang, never stopped slanting across every inch of the still, sparkly bayou waters.  Her curvy tail never stopped twitching.  And today, for some reason, she felt moved to purr a little extra prayer:  “Dear Lord, please keep me safe!  Amen.”

(As always, please take a moment to support this blog by checking out my cat and dog art at

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Miss Klaw-de-dah Kitty and the Gumbo Gator – A Short Story

Please be sure to support this blog by checking out my cat and dog art at


Miss Klaw-de-dah Kitty made just about the best Creole gumbo anybody, man or beast, had ever tasted.  It was full of crawfish that she preferred to call “craw-daddies,” because it made them sound less serious and more delicious.  Miss Kitty did not use a net, but snapped them up her own self, with sharp, tidy, efficient little claws.  And these particular craw-daddies were fresh, too, right out of the peaceful waters of the little bayou (which everyone called “Miss Kitty’s Bayou) that flowed conveniently to the end of the path leading down from Miss Kitty’s own tidy back yard. Continue reading

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Another Day in the LIfe of the Not-So-Crazy Cat Lady

Praying For A Miracle

Praying For A Miracle

I think that most–if not all!–Not-So-Crazy Cat Ladies really GET Philippians 4:6…”Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

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Introducing the “Not-So-Crazy” Cat Lady

Not So Crazy Cat Lady Art

The “Not-So-Crazy” Cat Lady

Meet my heroine, the “Not-So-Crazy” Cat Lady©…as she debuts in this first painting in my new series.

As always, please be sure to check out my art at


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The Many Lives of Midnight Louie


Smudgie grown up
Smudgie Grown Up

Whether you read for creative inspiration or simple relaxation, I’m pretty sure you’d fall in love with Midnight Louie!

Back in 1992, Carole Nelson Douglas, insired by her own original, real-life Midnight Louie, a sleek, well-muscled totally “noir” former street cat, wrote the first book in her murders-investigated-and-solved-by-kitty series, CatnapThe second volume, Pussyfoot, was succeeded by an alphabetized list of titles–Cat on a Blue Monday, Cat in a Crimson Hazeand continues with the current offering, Cat in a White Tie and TailsThe series unfolds in Las Vegas…purrfect!  (Even Elvis gets into the act.) Continue reading

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A Tale of Two Kitties (Plus Two)

In the Tunnel O'Cats

Uncle SMudgie Babysitting

It all started at the beginning of summer…Black and white kitty, the neighborhood “stud”–in every sense of the word–got a poor feral mom pregnant again! Our neighbors, dear peopple in their eighties, had undertaken what many younger folks would never try: to trap and neuter several feral cats, while feeding and watching over the kitty mom and her daughter. Stud-boy was actually trapped once, but escaped. Continue reading

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Book review: Tales from a Dog Catcher

Our Precious

An unpretentious volume that you might pass by, if you saw it on the library shelf, this is one of those wonderful discoveries that you will instantly want to add to your animal tales collection! Author Lisa Duffy-Korpics offers a heart-warming-and-rending collection of chapters on special cats, dogs (and other creatures) she saved–or lost–while working as an animal control officer. I found myself devouring each story, connecting with Lisa in each joyful and successful or frustrating encounter. I’ve always wanted to be an animal rescue super-hero, able to leap in and make things RIGHT for every animal on earth. Lisa’s stories are a real-life version of this dream, but grounded in stark reality. Sometimes, all you can do is try your best, and cry afterwards. As when we saved our Precious, it was too little, too late, but at least we got to love her. I loved this book!! Every good thing counts.


If you would like to order this book, click here.

As always, please be sure to check out my art at


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Losing Precious

Almost Christmas…Precious had fully claimed her household space (my husband’s former spot on the left side of the sofa!) and we were making plans, as usual, for a small family get-together.

But suddenly, something just wasn’t right.

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