Helping Feral Kittens

OJ w: Scott

  Happy Day! The first kitten just went to her new home. OJ, the little orange and white female, is going to a good friend and yoga coach, Scott Anderson and his wife Collette. They both adore cats and have moved heaven and earth for them if the need arises (think the feline version of Willie's surgery and year long rehab). I am still all oxytocin-y about the whole thing. Here's Scott and the little girl right before they went home:   In hopes it is helpful to others, here are some things I've done (so far anyway, this adventure is far from over) and some things I've learned along the way: CAPTURING: It was clear early on that taming the kittens so that they let me catch them in the barn was not going to happen. If you want to start socializing kittens when they Read More

The Cycle of Life: Cats at Redstart Farm

calico 6-27

There's good news, and there's bad news. But the bad news is good news. Sort of. And the good news, well... it remains to be seen how it will be cataloged when the chapter is completed. I'll get the first news out of the way now, because its hard for me to write about. Those of you who know me well know that I love cats. I've had at least one cat ever since I've been an almost adult, for over 46 years. One of the best cats I've ever had is Sushi, the cat I got 11 years ago at the Dane County Humane Society. Sushi is fine, don't worry, I'm not working up to tell you that she's died. As a matter of fact, she's never been happier. She's just not at Redstart Farm. Long story short: I'm allergic to cats. A lot. So much so that when I went to the humane society to look for a cat I held Read More

Cat Talk and Cats Talking

If you're in the area, I hope to see you on Thursday night at the Wisconsin Humane  Society for a fund raiser and talk, "Dogs Have Owners, but Cats Have Staff." I don't get asked to talk about feline behavior as much as I'd like to, so this is a special treat for me. I find it interesting that although cat lovers love their cats dearly, in general, as a group, they tend to be less likely to read books about their behavior or go to talks about cat behavior. However, I hear that almost 150 people are signed up, so join me and others to celebrate all things feline. Willie and I were reminded of the importance of reading feline postures and expressions just a few days ago. We were visiting my yoga teacher Scott Anderson, to get some exercises for Willie (more on that later!), and Scott's 2 Read More

Who Should Treat Behavior Problems in Dogs & Cats?

Thanks to those to of you who have commented on this issue. It is such an important one, and I value the conversation we are having. For what it's worth, here's what I think: First off, I think that the most important factors related to who is qualified to treat a behavioral problem is their KNOWLEDGE and ABILITY, not their degrees or credentials. I am not dismissing the value of credentials, believe me, I busted my tail for my Ph.D. and I am very proud of it. I have tremendous respect for others with advanced credentials, and describe some of the vets that I work with as walking on water. I also add CAAB after my name with pride, just as I have tremendous respect for DVMs who are Board Certified in Behavior. But that said, who do you want helping you rehab a rescue dog who growls at Read More