Funny Farmer Felines Interview

unnamedHello Friends Furry and Otherwise,
Tucker here. The Tribe of Five is honored to be interviewed by the Funny Farmer Felines.  We had a great time. Hop on over and learn a little more about each of us.

Thank you Funny Farmer Felines:
Your Friend,
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The Three Feline Rules Regarding Furniture

Hello Friends,
Alberto here. The recent purchase of a sofa at our house brought up some misunderstandings between the felines and the humans in our home. It occurred to me that many of my feline readers may be experiencing some of these misunderstandings in their own homes.

The female human announced the sofa was for her and our male human to “sit comfortably” and watch the big black moving picture thingy in the living room. What she failed to recognize is that there are feline rules regarding furniture and other areas of the home that must be obeyed.

Rule # 1 –What’s Yours is Ours

a living room with two sofas
The new sofa arrived and the female human snapped a photo after it was situated. Note that the fur protection, i.e., blankets and throws are not in appearance yet…and they always magically disappear when other humans come to visit).

We were quite happy to have this extra space to relax on and wasted no time checking it out.

 

 

Rule # 2 – Your Comfort is Of No Concern To Us

Siamese and Black and White cat sleeping togewther
We immediately took possession of the new sofa (as well as the old one). We so enjoy the blankets the female human puts on them for our comfort. I am purrrticularly pleased with the long part of the new sofa as I like to stretch myself out as far as I can and this area accommodates me quite well. We are thrilled with the extra room we now have, each sofa accommodates two cats, much more comfy than our former,  cramped situation!

 

 

 

 

The female human is always griping about not File Apr 17, 3 50 37 PMhaving a comfy place to sit but since she’s always that last one home there is no spot for her. The male human, if he’s lucky, squeezes himself in on one side of the new couch and the female human is left with the chair. Now if any humans are reading this and wondering, “Why don’t they just move the cats?” you are obviously not owned by felines and attempting to explain this phenomena to you would be fruitless.

 

 

 

Rule # 3 –Any Place We want to Lounge Is Our Space (if It fits we sit)

a siamese cat and black and white cat sitting in a sinkThe female human often points to areas of the house saying things like, “Keep off the counter”, “You are not allowed on the dining room table”, blah, blah, blah.  We find this quite amusing and wonder when she’s ever going to give up this sham that we have boundaries.  I’ve included photos of us in a few of the places she’s designated as “off limits”. Siamese Cat in a baskekt

 

 

 

In conclusion, new furniture, old furniture or for that matter, any place in the house, belongs to the felines in residence and not the humans.  Sometimes the humans  will cruelly close doors in an attempt to keep us out of places. There is Siamese cat staring through a glass dooralways a work around for this. The female human tries to keep me out of her downstairs office but thankfully she has glass doors so a pitiful expression and much howling always does the trick (if the door is not glass, no worries, just implement the howling).

Siamese cat sitting on dining room table

 

 

I hope my feline friends have found these rules helpful and that my human readers will finally come to the inevitable  conclusion that cats will lounge where cats want to lounge, it’s how we roll.

 

Your friend,
Alberto
File Apr 17, 3 51 06 PM

Oliver and Alberto Get Fearless

Alberto Opines on the Trip Prep

AlHeadOliver and I (Alberto) will be co-authoring this post as we each have a lot to say about the topic. Neither of us had been to the “place of white coats” for a number of months but the female human believes in  this thing she calls a “wellness exam” which means she takes us to the place of the white coats for no reason whatsoever (if we’re well, why do they have to examine us?).  We’ve learned in our short lives that this visit is not such a pleasant thing. However,  Tucker, the Alpha of the Tribe of Five has visited there recently and has always arrived home  “fearless”  

The day came and we were bundled up in the carrier, shoved into the back of the noisy moving machine and off we went. While we howled in the back seat, the female human spoke in a soothing voice, telling us this would be a “fearless” visit (there’s that word again).

Oliver Opines on the Arrival

OllieHead
I was in the middle of a good, long howl when the female human turned off the moving machine. The next thing we knew she was pulling the carrier out and walking toward a building. She opened the big door and we were inside. PendoreilleVet

The first thing I noticed (when she moved the carrier so we could see) was that there were two signs, one said “Dogs” and the other said “Cats”. Hmm, very interesting.  As we are a feline only family, I wondered who these “dogs” were and when they would show up. cat area at Pend Oreille Veterinary Service

 

Unfortunately, there were no smells to help me sniff out any information. The place was quiet and “smell-less”. Okay, so far so good. The female human roamed around to visit the “dog” area and then she went to the “cat” area where she inspected all the feline goodies for sale while we remained captives of our carrier.

The human had some coffee andcatwaitingarea offered us some cat treats but neither of us were in the mood to snack.

 

 

AlHeadAlberto Opines on the Exam

Soon we heard footsteps and the next thing we knew we were being carried into a room. AlDocAndVetTEchOh horror, what was going to happen to us now? Much to my surprise, the female human unzipped the carrier and invited us to come out and inspect the room. Well, well, that was interesting. I sniffed around a bit and then jumped up on the silver table to check out what was up there. The place was nice, no bad smells at all. As a matter of fact, there was a pleasant smell, kind of relaxing. I”m a climbing feline so I hopped up on the counter and checked out the cabinets. I discovered  a jar with a bunch of feathers. Boy this place was all decked out for felines. Curiosity satisfied, I decided I’d lounge on the silver table. and wait to see what was next. The door opened and a very nice lady named Marsy came in. She talked to me asking permission before she stroked my fur (I do appreciate polite and respectful humans).    I took quite a fancy to her and found no  need to run to my female human and hide myself under her coat. Soon, another lady arrived  (the human Alberto from FelineOpines looks lovingly at vet tech at Pend Oreille Veterinary Servicecalled her Dr. Ponsness) and this lady was respectful and very nice as well. Although both Marsy and the Doctor poked me a little and put a silver thing on me and listened to my chest (who knew, had no idea there was anything to listen to in there), they talked to me and petted me and I was quite calm. At one point, I even forgot my human was there as I cuddled up to Marsy.   When they were done, they let me continue to hang out on the counter and watch what they were doing with Oliver. All in all, an extemely pleasant experience.

 

 

OllieHeadOliver Opines on the Exam

 

Oliver from the Tribe of Five with Dr. Ponsness at Pend Oreille Veterinary ServiceI had no interest in hanging out on the silver table but I did wander around and inspect the place, sniffing table legs, trash cans, etc. Nothing but calming smells so when Dr. Ponsness picked me up and talked to me and petted me, I was a happy camper. She and Marsy  made me feel right at home, even if they did poke and Oliver napping in the exam room at Pend Oreille Veterinary Serviceprod a bit (there was the insertion of something called a thermometer that I found objectionable but it only lasted a few seconds and, in their defense, they did apologize beforehand).   When they were done, I was allowed to wander around the room again and explore. I was so relaxed and happy, I actually took a quick cat nap while my human chatted with the doctor.

 

After my brief respite, I did some more exploring. Marsy grabbed one of the big feathers from the jar, waved it above me Oliver plays with a feather at Pend Oreille Veterinary Serviceand  we began playing.
I attacked that feather with a vengeance.  I was quite fierce and I’m sure I made her a bit afraid with my aggressive moves. I hope she knows I’m a good cat and would never hurt anyone.

I must say all in all this visit was good (except for the part where they told my human I needed to lose weight) and if the female human insists on taking us again I won’t even howl on the way over!

The Human Opines

Alberto and Oliver allowed me some space to tell you about my experience at  Pend Oreille Veterinary Service. They have employed fearless practices for a while but their new facility is completely dedicated to the concept of a fearless veterinary experience , from the beautiful and comfortable lobby to the exam rooms, surgery suite and every other part of the hospital.

fearless vet visits for cats

 

 

 

Dr. Ponsness took me on a tour of the building and I was impressed. The surgery and kennels are strategically arranged so that they are not right next to the examining rooms.  Examining areas are dedicated for canine and feline patients and the imaging/consulting room is set up like a human doctor’s office so the people as well as the pets are comfortable.

The facility was designed by a veterinary architect and when I asked Dr. Ponsness what surprises she encountered during the planning and construction she responded that she was taken aback when the architect suggested the specialized HVAC system.  It turns out, that HVAC system is pivotal in the fearless and state of the art aspects of the practice. It provides climate controlled areas such as the surgery suite which has negative pressure. Negative pressure is critical in controlling germs and assisting with healing. The HVAC provides climate controlled areas to fit the needs and purposes of each area of the practice and controls smells that often cause concerns in animals when they are visiting the vet.

Pheromones and soothing music are offered in exam rooms, and, as Oliver and Alberto noted, treats and toys to keep the felines amused while they wait. Every space has been planned with comfort, calmness and efficiency for the animal and human clients.

I saw some of the feline and canine patients relaxing in their comfy “hospital crates”, the surgery suite was state of the art and quite impressive,. The  lack of “medicine” smells thanks to the HVAC system serves to keep pets calm and also helps the household stay calm when pets arrive home from their visit. In the past, our felines were welcomed home from the vet with hisses, swats and angry “fuzzy tails” because the medicine smell scared the other cats. That does not happen now.

I’ve been bringing my felines to Pend Oreille Veterinary Service for years to see Dr. Ponsness and Dr. Smart. My fur kids receive the best of care and I would have argued with anyone who would have said even better care could be provided there , until we made our first fearless visit to the new facility.

I cannot stress enough the importance of taking your fur kids to a practice that uses fearless methodology. Even if your vet does not have a facility designed by a veterinary architecht, there are many methods they can employ to provide you and your felines with fearless visits.

Tucker, the Tribe of Five Alpha recently had two overnight stays at the new facility and I was amazed at how balanced and calm our 14-yer old guy was when we brought him home. Normally, it takes a few days for him to bounce back from an overnight at the vets, but not this time. He was his old sassy self as soon as we unzipped the door of the carrier. and sashayed into the living room  to reclaim his favorite chair.

The Tribe of Five all had wellness exams recently and all responded in a relaxed, unstressed manner. Five felines with diverse personalities all responding positively to their vet visit speaks volumes.

fearless vet visit oliver from feline opinesAnd one last note, the fearless vet visit is a blessing to the worried pet parents as well. I no longer have to face taking them to the vet with fear and trepidation (and feeling like the meanest person on the planet).

Are your fur kids fearless? If not, I urge you to find a fearless practice in your area.

 

 

Oliver’s Concession Speech

img_1390Dear Friends,
While I always thought getting a kitten into the White House was a bit of a stretch, my running mate Olive, from Three Chatty Cats and I were always hopeful. We do hope that there will be a “First Feline” in Washington who will take our needs and concerns under advisement.

The Kitty Cat Party will rise again and in the meantime, untitledthanks for your support and today, be sure and thank a veteran for their service!

Your Friend,
Oliver

 

veteransday

Our Very Own Catio-Part 2

Hello All,

Oliver here. I recently brought to the attention of the female human that we had not completed our Catio report. She reminded me that we had to wait quite a while for the second part of our purchase so I guess I’ll have to cut her a little slack.  The good news is, part two arrived and Alberto and I (and even Jasmine) got to take it for a “test drive” on the upstairs deck. (If you’r wondering why :I said “even Jasmine”, you can learn more about her story here.

If you haven’t read the first part of our catio post, I’d recommend you do, as this post will then make more sense to you.  But, back to my report, we couldn’t see what awaited us in the new box.

Oliver the cat inspects the cation tunnelAs soon as the box was on the floor, I appointed myself inspect-purrr. I couldn’t tell much from sitting on it and, since I can’t read, I figured I’d wait for the humans to take out whatever was inside for me to inspect. Evidently the female human didn’t appreciate my sitting on the box so she made the male human hold it up so you can read the information on the front. The Fun Run Safety Enclosure for cats

Things finally got interesting when they opened the thing up. There was a bag with a “netty” thing in it. When the humans unhooked the side thingies it popped open. Alberto and I ran under the dining room table and waited until we felt it was safe to resume our inspection.  I must say I’m amazed that the entire “fun run” flattened out so well to fit in that box.

By this time, a small crowd had gathered. Tucker, our Alpha, strolled over in his usual stately manner but when he realized no treats were involved in this operation, he strolled back to his comfortable perch on the chair. Alberto, my brother, is just as curious as I am so he made sure to give the tunnel his full attention and purrrsonal inspection. Lily sniffed, walked around it and then dismissed it as something that didn’t interest her.

The humans moved some of their stuff out of the way and set the tunnel up to check out the size and to see what we felines thought about the whole thing. Their plan was to fit the tunnel into the door of our Happy Habitat catio tent to allow us access from the house to the outside.

Alberto the Siamese checks out the catio extensionAl and I took great care in checking everything out, as you can see from the photos.

Oliver checks out the catio tunnel

We  gave the “Fun Tunnel” a paws up and waited with anticipation for the humans to put it outside for a real testing.

the kittens test the catio tunnel outsideThis weekend was the day. The female human moved some of the furniture on the deck to make room for our set up. Everything , was ready quickly with our Happy Habitat tent and the tunnel. It took her a little time to coax us into the thing but pretty soon we figured out that this was pretty cool habitat and provided  even more room for us to roam around on the deck.

We love the cat furniture the human added and Alberto and I spent several hours watching birds and squirrels at the feeder, and, when we tired of that, we stretched out for a snooze in the fresh air. All in all it was quite an adventure. Tucker came by but when the female human invited him into the tunnel he turned around and hustled back to his inside perch.

Jasmine (Tucker’s sister who is still afraid to come out of the bedroom, was lovingly carried to the catio and she spent some time in kittens in the Happy Habitat enjoying the out doors fear freethe tunnel. She never was comfortable enough to walk into the Happy Habitat but the human thinks it’s only a matter of time until she’s ready to do that.

All in all, we give this new addition to our outside experience two paws up. The humans like it because they can set it up quickly and easily and, since it’s portable, they can let us enjoy the upstairs deck, the front porch or garden or even the downstairs patio with the water fall and pond. So, we may not be true traveling kitties but we feel like we’re having a vacation when we’re outside in our catio! The female human loves it too because we can enjoy the outside without giving her a heart attack by jumping up on the edge of the deck (yes, one of us plunged over 35 feet down into the ravine-twice and someone else took a dive from the first to the second floor in the house) Tucker blames his incidents on his bad depth perception due to his cross eyes. I have no excuse except that I was just an irresponsible kitten. The female human cannot sit comfortably on the upstairs deck any more unless we are all safely in our catio. Fear free living isn’t just for the felines, it applies to the humans too!

Have your humans check this out. If they do, I’d recommend that they hang a bird feeder somewhere close so you can enjoy the show.

Your Friend,
Oliver the kitten's siganture

!

 

Amelia’s Story-Part 3

Judgments Made
It was about a week after Amelia was at the shelter that I saw a Facebook post that sent me into a tailspin. There was that beautiful Tabby face that I loved and a story of a “heartless

AmeliaYells+_Flowers

Amelia being silly

person who adopted her and callously brought her back to the shelter”. The write up said, “I thought I had a forever home…”

My throat closed up, tears flowed and I felt as though someone had punched me in the gut. I had enough guilt as it was. I had done everything I could to help Amelia find her perfect home and yet, I trusted that with the letter I wrote, the shelter would write that she was a wonderful, loving feline who would do best in a one cat family.

Misunderstandings Resolved
Fortunately I know the folks at the shelter and I often volunteer there. I sent an email to the shelter director and received an immediate call back. To make a long story short, the individual who posted the information about Amelia had not read the letter I sent, nor did they have any of the backstory. They had fallen in love with Amelia and went into “protector mode” making an erroneous judgment about her return.

I fully understand the passion and compassion of the wonderful folks at our shelter and I didn’t want to know who wrote the post, I just wanted to ensure that Amelia’s story was known so that the chances of finding her a suitable forever home were increased.

Our shelter director (one of the best in the country) is passionate in her stance that people should not judge these situations without all the facts.  She was wonderful and the situation was sorted in the best manner for Amelia.

Happy Endings
It was several weeks later that I learned that Amelia had been adopted. I felt as though a ten ton weight had been taken away from my chest. I cried (again) but this time they were tears of thankfulness and joy.

The Emotional After Effects
I cannot tell you the emotional baggage that comes with returning an animal to the

IllieKitten_1

Oliver

shelter. Last summer we fostered two kittens and when we decided we wanted to bring

AlKitten_1

Alberto

them into our home, it was hard filling out the forms and checking
the box that asks, “Have you ever returned an animal to the shelter?” Even though I know and work with the folks at our shelter
even though we received nothing but love and encouragement from the shelter,  I still felt like a pariah, a horrible person who didn’t deserve to adopt cats-ever.

Lesson Learned: The Shelter is Your Friend
I pray that no one ever finds themselves in the same situation we had with Amelia. If you do, and have employed every resource available, think of your shelter as your ally, not your enemy. I mentioned that we have a top class shelter and I do not exaggerate.  I would never have taken Amelia back to the shelter if they were not a “no-kill” facility and if they weren’t dedicated to see animals in their care find appropriate forever homes.  At the end of the day, it’s about the animal and any fear or pride or anguish we felt in the decision to return her was for her best interest and the best interest of our fur kids at home.

I am pleased to tell you that our shelter has recently implemented a program called “Home to Home” and it’s specific purpose is to give people who can no longer keep their pets the opportunity to find new, loving homes without having to drop pets off at the shelter. Pets go from one home into another.  Had this been in place when we had Amelia, I could have been a part of helping her find a new home.

Lesson Learned: Closure is Important
That brings me to another point.  Although I am thrilled that Amelia has a new home, I have no idea where she went. I don’t know if her new family received the letter and health records I sent with her. I will never rid myself completely of the sadness of losing Amelia but I believe, had I known where she went and that she’s happy I could completely put those feelings to rest.

Final Thoughts
As you can see, the happy ending I promised did happen. We still miss Amelia but I choose to believe she is happy and enjoying her new home. We still deal with the repercussions of

JazCloseUp_LR

Jasmine

that experience. Jasmine has not fully integrated back into the household but having the kittens come and “visit” her has helped resocialize her. We are also working regularly to bring Lily together with Jasmine.

I will be doing the happy dance the day we open the bedroom door and Jasmine struts down the hallway and enjoys the company of the other felines and all the places she used to love to sit and sleep and play.

Amelia’s story changed us.  Before we fostered, we felt we didn’t have the right to adopt anymore and the fear of finding ourselves in another “Amelia” situation terrified us. I still continue to assess what happened with Amelia, watching episodes of “My Cat From Hell” and wondering, “Would that have worked with Amelia?, Should we have done that with Amelia?” I doubt I’ll ever stop trying to figure out what happened and how we might have been able to fix it and keep Amelia in our home.

I wanted to tell you Amelia’s story because I know we are not the only people who have found ourselves in this painful situation. I wanted to tell you Amelia’s story to offer hope to those who have been or will be in our situation. Returning an animal to the shelter does not make you a horrible person, nor does it make the animal horrible. Returning an animal to the shelter is a “dirty little secret” that many are afraid to share. In fact, some shelters and rescue organizations will not allow you adopt if you have ever returned an animal. All too often, people are too quick to judge and censure those in these situations. Granted, there are far too many people who treat animals like possessions, tossing them away when they “don’t fit, people who are not willing to invest the time, money and heart it takes to help an animal fit into their household. But for those of us who have moved heaven and earth to keep an animal in our homes, we beat ourselves up enough, we don’t need any help.

imageWe bring animals into our homes with the intent of offering them love and a forever home.  Love isn’t always enough and forever isn’t always forever. Despite the heartache of Amelia’s story, we believe that the journey of love and adoption of an animal is a risk we will always be willing to take.

 

Follow Up To Amelia’s Story