Geek cats; for the love of Dyson and OzPet

The Coonie Cats – or “the fluffies” as they are also known, among many other nicknames and epithets [or would that be epitaphs?  Comes close, sometimes, given their behaviour] are doing well.  Aoife has put all the weight back on since her long, scary illness, and then some.  She’s having another growth spurt at the moment, even though she just turned one, when most domestic cats have finished growing, and is looking pretty impressive.  Except for all the patches where she was shaved for tests etc; they are growing back slowly so she still looks like a sheep attacked by a particularly inept shearer.  Those patches will take a long time to catch up with the rest of her coat, which is excessively long and luxurious.

The fur is a bit of a problem at the moment, actually; both Coonies are shedding a tad more than usual in preparation for summer, and during their wrestling matches and re-enactments of the Battle Of Agincourt around the dog-kennel, the fur flies like snow.  Thank heavens for having bought a Dyson hoover though; that was the day I truly knew I had Grown Up, spending over $800 on a hoover?  We got one of the psychedelic purple and green turbo numbers and it is almost a pleasure to use and see clear paths through the snow fluff. 

The Dyson doesn’t really help when it comes to our clothes, which are covered in drifts of fluff as soon as we dress.  Since most of my clothes are of the black and jersey type, this is somewhat unsightly.  Lint rollers and clothes brushes stand zero chance against the Maine Coon silky fluff.  I find the masking/sticky tape trick the most effective; I wrap broad sticky tape the whole way up and around my hand, sticky side out,  and attack the garment in question, shifting the tape “mitten” around as sections become overloaded. It took me six hands of tape to de-fluff a black polar fleece jacket … which Aoife then decided to pull off it’s hanger and make into a bed.  Sigh.

. . . . . . . . . .

They are great companions. Both of them shadow me during the day and just hang out wherever I happen to be, which is very cute.  They’re particularly “in my face” when the laptop or iPod/music is involved, which just goes to show they take after their Mama and Daddy in being total geeks.  Right now, as I type this, both fluffies are sitting on my desk, curled up around me and the laptop in various attitudes of adoration .. that would be adoration of the Vaio, not me.  I am there simply as a cushion, Ruadhàn particularly likes to sit on my lap, resting up against my torso with his face smooshed into my [not insignificant] boobs, with his front paws wrapped around my bicep.  Sickeningly cute. 

My parents have labelled them “the Geek Cats” [yep, another nickname but probably preferable to the GrandCats] for their predilection for curling up on me and the laptop when I’m working … and in Ruadhàn’s case, deliberately [deliberately, I say!] whapping the F1 or power keys.  Little shite.  Aoife seems to prefer the qwwwssdddddddd approach which isn’t quite so disruptive.

  . . . . . . . . . .

The er, excretions of cats and disposal thereof is a significant issue in every indoor-cat owner’s life.  I’ve tried several different types of litter and never been happy with any of them.  Tracking the stuff outside the litter box, “matter” getting stuck in paws and tails, the smell [and there is nothing quite so bad as cat pee, it makes your eyes water and throat burn], and especially the sheer un-environmentally friendliness of it.  I mean, bagging up huge amounts of litter and cat poo/pee in plastic bags and popping it into the garbage bin?  Eeeeeuuuuuuccchhhhh.  None of it works really well as compost, no matter how carefully you strain bits out, or what the bags say about “recyclable”.  Recyclable as what?  Bio-chemical warfare?

Then I discovered OzPet Litter.  It’s compressed pellets of wood shavings left over from wood-chipping, carpentry etc that would otherwise be discarded.  The pellets absorb all liquid and break down into fine stuff that looks – and acts – just like potting mix.  Loads of essential minerals and good stuff in there, hee, although you DO remove the solids every day, v. important [I flush the cats’, same as ours!].  The special litter tray comes with a sieve insert through which the wetter fine stuff drops – that you can either discard or mix with a couple bucketfuls of water to dilute the ammonia and put that on your garden too.  Not, repeat not, vegetable gardens though.  Apparently native shrubs and trees in particular love OzPet after the cats are done with it, and the bits of the garden I’ve experimented with, and even the patches underneath trees where grass refuses to grow, are responding well.

Recycling AND garden friendly, and no plastic baggies, yay.  Oh, and it absorbs all the gag-inducing odours.  Brilliant.  For more information, the OzPet site is here.

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  • Katie  On Friday 2 November 2007 at 10:11 am

    I am with you on the litter thing – I hate having to clean it out and chuck it in a bag in the bin – it’s so gross. I’ve tried so many different types – crystals, clay, clumping, sand, some sort of Dr Harry biodegradable thing – and the ONLY litter Puddy uses is the Homebrand clay one, which is like 15L for $5. So while I love that it’s cheap, it’s a little more nasty than others. If it means she’ll use the litter, then I’ll deal.

    I need to hire someone to clean the litter for me. 😀

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