Daily Archives: October 12, 2006

Ztuff: shameless self-promo

Scroll down and you’d see a category of links under Ztuff. These are the blog toys we’re trying out.

Please note especially item 2, which will subscribe you to our blog feed. Basically, what this does is save you the effort of visiting the blog to check for updates as you will receive any new TEC blog entries via email. Try it?


Cat Litter – To Scoop or Not to Scoop

Well, yeah, while writing about litter bins, I found more and insightful info on the clumping litter controversy which has been swirling in my mind for a few years now. I added it to the TLC archive, check it out for yourself.

Cara was missing for a month

… and I didn’t know! Only this morning did btmao tell me Cara was eating, and this is the first time she’s seen her for a month!

Other than an initial wariness that wasn’t there before, she seemed fine, and let btmao touched her.

Now, Cara, as mentioned before, has been a permanent resident of the Area 1 carpark and was never seen outside of it. But since her injury and subsequent recovery, she has, on occasion, been away from the carpark, and may in fact be gone for a few days. But this is the first time that she’s been away so long.

Given how clean she always looked, unlike Bobby before his adoption, and now Cassie, I’ve always suspected her to have a home away from the carpark. Yup, I do think she’s a free-ranging pet cat. I think that she’s finally encountered motorcyclists who didn’t like her sitting on their bike seats (one neighbour says she destroys the seat), and decided to take matters into their own hands. Her absence is the outcome, and I believe it is the follow-up on her injury.

I an thankful that she’s not more seriously hurt, and that she’s learnt a lesson in the process.

Hope for the hyper adopted kitt, and litter bin etiquette

I sms’d A, Angel’s potential adopter, and asked how she and the cat she adopted from Foster Mum are adapting. Great news: they’re getting along better, and her only gripe is lack of litterbin etiquette.

I asked and found out the cat is a boy and has been named Garfield. So I sounded a friendly cautionary note about obesity. I also offered my commiseration on lack of litterbin etiquette among the slackers and offered our semi-solution for controlling sand-spray – a shield.

Going off topic for a moment, even though there’s conventional wisdom about litter bin choice, we advocate open bins. We do not use covered litterboxes, the seemingly obvious solution, for a few reasons, as succinctly described on this site:

For you, the litter box may rank in importance just below your deodorant; something to keep things smelling fresh that you don’t spend much time thinking about. But the litter pan and cat litter are two of the most important things in your kitten’s life — after his food, of course.

Your kitten has a list of desirable features that have absolutely nothing to do with what you want. He wants plenty of room to move around and dig in, and he wants a clean toilet just like you do.

Hooded or covered boxes

People like hooded litter boxes. Hoods reduce the amount of litter the kitten tracks or kicks outside the box. They also hold in odors and prevent your delicate human eyes from having to watch your kitten use the bathroom. These points translate into disadvantages for your kitten. A covered pan holding in odors may force your kitten to hold his breath while he potties. And if you can’t watch him use the box, you won’t see him strain to pee or find bloody poop. Another problem is that big cats in little covered boxes can’t turn around to cover their poop. That’s why you often see cats scratching the area around the box instead of inside. Later, your cat may just decide that getting into that tiny box is too much trouble and go in front of it.

So, back to topic. Assuming a litterbin tray of 40cm by 80cm, my shield involves 4 pieces of currugated plastic boards (available at Popular for $3.09/pc). I tape them together to make a 3-sided box. A variant design involves 2 more boards for the “roof”.

The box doesn’t solve the problem of tracking (where litter fly as the cat scoots off from the bin), but it sure does help control it somewhat. The box isn’t as ‘sexy’ as an off-the-self hooded litter bin, but it’s cheaper, serves 80% of privacy requirements, is cheeeeeap, and best of all, doesn’t trap odours nor does it prevent you from monitoring kitty’s toilet habits. I will put together detailed instructions if there’s interest.

Macy is ok today

Before we got to Sasha’s, we stopped at Martin’s. Macy was doing phenomenally well – eating her usual share, like yesterday evening, which is to say, A LOT.

What a relief.

Martin, as usual, was his cool “Big Bro” self, patiently waiting on btmao to serve him after she’s dished out enough to placate Marcus and Macy.

Marcus, as usual, is very wary of anyone who’s not a cat or btmao, so I stayed my distance. Even though it’s been a year since Marcus first showed up as the scaredy little kitten, I still feel a strange justified delight that he’s human-wise, even though I’m not in his trusted circle – it’s enough that btmao has his confidence.

No Bella, or Buddy today, but there’s Sasha

Sasha was patiently waiting for btmao, and as usual ate with gusto. I really wonder where she goes on the days she miss her appointments. As I shared with btmao, my theory is, she’s ‘owned’ by someone woh works shifts or irregular hours. When this person doesn’t have to work, she’s kept indoors, and turned out when this person goes to work.

While btmao waited on Sasha, I ventured around looking for Bella, since she ate at the same spot yesterday, but nope, no sign of her.

No sign of Buddy, Sasha’s companion/friend either.