Tuesday, January 4, 2011


A friend of mine recently pointed out that even though I keep chickens and lust after goats and dairy cattle, my family has not one domesticated animal. No dog to play catch with, no cat to snuggle with on cold nights. I laughed but indeed, if we were a "real" homestead, it would be odd to see all the farm animals and not hear so much as one bark or meow. That comment got me thinking...and thinking....and thinking.....and soon, I was pretty much convinced that we needed a cat. Someone for the kids to stroke and torture with bits of yarn and floss from my stash, someone to eat crickets and purr in my lap when I read in the evenings. Yes. A kitty of our very own.

K and I went to the shelter to have a looksie. I had NO intentions of actually bringing something home but one kitty in particular snuggled into her lap, wrapped his paws around her arm and started purring like an engine. She begged, I caved, and after the adoption fee was paid, we brought him home. And my little K, the namer of things, decided to call him Twitch. Upon arrival, Twitch sniffed the couch cautiously a few times, leapt into the air and hightailed it to the master bedroom where he has been hiding ever since. 

Wiggly Cat

I know our new pet will come out in his own time and that he's just adjusting to his new surroundings. He went from dumpster, to shelter, to foster, to shelter and finally home with us. I'd be a little scared and confused too! While he's figuring things out, it is our job to make him as comfortable as possible. I've bought the same brand of food he was eating at the shelter to avoid intestinal upsets and bought the same brand of litter too. Luckily, the shelter was using an eco-friendly brand of litter made of pine shavings and ground corn so I wouldn't have to transition Twitch from clay to pine. 

K and Twitch
What's the difference, you ask? Who cares what your cat poops in as long as it keeps the stink down right? WRONG! Clay litters are a serious environmental hazard. Clay is mined in the most damaging of ways. Plus, the chemicals and perfumes in most clay litters, namely silica and sodium bentonite, have been linked to all sorts of kitty health problems including diarrhea, vomiting, kidney problems, and respiratory problems. Not only is the cat ingesting these poisonous dusts and granules when they groom, they are inhaling it when they scratch around. And we're inhaling it too every time we change or scoop the litter.No thank you!

There are several affordable, available and environmentally conscious cat litters on the market today. These varieties are made from pine, corn, wheat and even recycled newspapers. The brand we use, Feline Pine, has a clumping formula out that uses guar beans to get that sought after clumping action.And an added bonus? Pine is a natural ammonia neutralizer so the box smells fresh and clean without harsh perfumes. Well....as fresh and clean as a cat box can smell I suppose. And, pine litter weighs a FRACTION of what clay litters do so no more throwing your back out to change the box!

As soon as Twitch emerges from bedroom, he'll  be happy to find a clean, soft, environmentally sound place in which to poo. Some kitty kibble, fresh water and a hand to scratch you...a cat really can't ask for much more.

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Winners will be announced Friday. Good luck!


  1. We use feline pine for the bunny, but i don't think it is the clumping formula. Bunny poop is fairly simple to deal with, it is the pee that can smell and is voluminous. It is pretty awesome.

  2. Enter me yet again.

    And yet again I have been educated on litter. We have a cat but she uses the flower bed as her litter box and my 15-year old lab cleans it up. Completely disgusting.

  3. Ew Kim! We had a dog back in the day who loved "kitty cookies." Oh so gross!

  4. Steph...way to go, adopting a pre-owned kitty! Treat him gently, give him lots of treats, and before you know it, he'll figure out that you mean him no harm and that a relationship with you benefits him! He's a gorgeous colour! We tamed a wild kitten this fall...I almost brought her back to the woods where she was living but persevered and now she's the most loveable thing I've ever had. Thanks for the Christmas pic! Will get a note off to you one of these days...promise!

  5. Aw adorable!! I am so jealous! Until we have a real home to call our home (we are renting and moving frequently at the moment) we just can't justify getting an animal. Enjoy all those furry precious moments! xo m.