Thank you so much for helping us while we are away. The kitties really appreciate your time, energy, and love, and so do we!
This is a guide that I’ve been wanting to put together as a handy guide for anyone who might be helping us take care of Reggie and Harley. I hope it is clear, because it is definitely not concise, and I hope not too outrageously tongue-in-cheek.
MEET THE FAMILY
This is Reggie. He is a salty, needy, handsome, and sassy baby. His full name is Reginald von Muffins and he is super cute. We love his little leg spots, his soul patch, nose spots, cutie face, and very expressive eyes. Reggie loves being coddled by Kimm and often asks/demands to be picked up and held like a baby over the shoulder. He’ll stay there and “nurse” which means he’s being a creep and drooling all over our shoulders.
His preferred cardinal sin is envy with a brooding wrath as a close second. He gets jealous and angry when we don’t give him the attention he feels like he deserves – and can be spotted glaring at us when we share smooches and cuddles with each other instead of for his sake.
This calico baby is Harley. She is energetic, loud, nervous, anxious, and so so pretty. Her full name is Harley McFluffhead. Minh’s nickname for her is “jungle kitty” because of her leopard-like spot on her side. Everyone loves her coloring and would love to cuddle her, but she gets really anxious when people ring the outside doorbell – she often hides behind the stove in the crawl space. She’s actually fine and will come out once she gets more familiar with you.
Her preferred cardinal sin is gluttony. Part of the reason why I wanted to put this guide together was so she doesn’t eat herself to death. She often overeats, just because it’s out and will sometimes eat all of Reggie’s food too. She also has spats of intense energy and will bolt around the house at all hours of the day. We like to joke that she’s playing with ghosts.
My name is Minh, aka “Mommy” to the cats and I’m in charge of feeding the monsters. I enjoy lazing around much like the cats and trying to take the best pictures of Reggie and Harley as possible. I’m actually allergic to the cats, which is why the cats are not allowed to sleep in the bedroom – for now. I am incredibly obsessive about being a cat-Mom and I’m a little too extra about their feeding schedule and once PMS-influenced full-on cried for hours because Kimm “did it wrong.” My cardinal sin is sloth.
This is Kimm, aka “Daddy” but just in the cat parenting context. Kimm is in charge of doing litter because of Minh’s allergies. Kimm coddled Reggie to the point that he still thinks he’s a kitten. Kimm is not great at disciplining the cats and has said verbatim, “Bad cats, we don’t love you anymore……Ok, I’m sorry” – which is a not a great way to discipline cats (or anyone) for bad behavior.
Very shortly after moving to Cambridge, one day Minh messaged Kimm and said “we have to go get these kittens from people after work today!” Kimm was skeptical and annoyed, but we drove out to Lynn and adopted the kittens from strangers on Craigslist at the WalMart parking lot in late August of 2015. We never look back since. Our next step as a family is to get a family photograph together one day.
- Kitties are not allowed in the bathroom or bedroom without supervision, it hasn’t gone well in the past – they drank the entire toilet bowl once, we’ve never tried leaving them alone in the bedroom because there are so many things to touch!
- We discourage excessive meowing (for attention, food, cuddles, etc.) so that it doesn’t become a habit
- Kitties are NOT allowed inside the trashcan or playing in the trash – this is seriously an issue for us, they are self-identified trash cats, and love walking in/around the toilet brush area as well
- Please double check the front door! I made the mistake of not checking once and the kitties got out into the stairwell. Reggie managed to find his way back inside our apartment, but Kimm found Harley cowering in fear at the bottom of the stairs.
The kitties are fed wet cat food, Friskies Turkey Gravy Dinner and typically split one can between them a day. This is where Minh gets really anal-retentive about stuff that literally no one else cares about.
- Plastic spoon – this particular plastic spoon has been hand-picked because of its flexibility that other spoons do not have and is ideal for how I feed the cats. Sometimes the kitties will daintily and freaking adorably take the spoon in their little freaking cute mouths to the other room to lick it clean. You can usually find the spoon in the living room / on the carpet / in their sitting boxes on the ground.
- Tupperware – generic tupperware to mix water into their cat food and store for future feedings. There is a clear red top for it. Once most of the food is gone, I leave a little food in the tupperware on the floor – Reggie prefers his food like this. Washing said tupperware between feedings is not super necessary unless you enjoy that sort of thing.
- Microwave – where uneaten food is kept in the tupperware, mostly so kitties don’t break in and feed themselves throughout the day. This may seem really gross, unsanitary, and dangerous, but I did quite a bit of research into feeding kitties and they are perfectly fine eating what we would consider spoiled food – think Big Cats in the Wild, they eat decomposing meat often, their stomachs are made for it!
- Water – our kitties do not drink water like most pets do. After lots of research, felines get most of their moisture through what they eat, so Minh mixes additional water into their wet food. Please feel free to try leaving out a bowl of water for Reggie and Harley – they usually don’t drink much from a bowl.
Incredibly Tedious and Almost Unnecessary Procedure
- Spoon out all the food from a fresh can into the tupperware.
- Gets as much of the bits from the sides out of the can by going around the can and pushing it to the bottom with the spoon. It makes a cool sound and is quite meditative.
- Crush the food into smaller bits inside the tupperware.
- Fill the can with approximately 1/3 of water.
- Tipping the can at an angle over the tupperware, I continue to clean the can with the spoon and water, to make sure the can is as clean as possible – to reduce food waste and prep the can for recycling!
- Stir cat food and water mixture until the consistency is close to oatmeal or applesauce-like.
- Spoon out 2.5 heaping spoons per bowl.
- Call over the kitties if they aren’t waiting near your feet.
- This step is non-negotiable: ask the kitties to “Sit” and “Quiet” if necessary – Harley enjoys shouting when she’s about to be fed / when she’s hungry / when she wants to be pet / when she wants attention / when she feels like it, and we discourage it especially during food time. If Harley shouts before you set down the food, Reggie may glare at her, but repeat and ask them to “Sit and Quiet” before setting down their food. They know the drill and we have asked other sitters to do the same.
- Put any uneaten food with the spoon and top on the tupperware inside the microwave until next time.
- Repeat as necessary – when I’m at home, this can mean feeding 3 or 4 times a day to make sure both cats are eating appropriate amounts. Again, this insanity is due to Harley binge eating all the food when no one is looking, thus leaving Reggie hungry, which can lead to getting woken up too early on Saturday mornings by a crying Reggie baby.
For the purposes of lovely, amazing, and beautiful kitty-sitters – please feel free to disregard all of this and do what feels right to you!
- Feeding twice a day is perfect, maybe spoon out 4 spoonfuls instead of just two
- Err on the side of underfeeding them instead of overfeeding them, they will be ok! Like their Big Cat siblings out in the wild, they can manage a few days with less food. Harley may cry like she’s dying of starvation, but she’s being dramatic. If they finish all their food before you leave, it’s ok to give them an extra spoon of food, but don’t be tricked by their cute freaking faces!
- Don’t feel like cleaning out the can? No worries! Feel free to leave cans on the counter or in the recycling bags in the bathroom (see previous note about kitties in the bathroom) and not the trash!
PLAYING WITH KITTIES
Harley and Reggie are fairly self-sufficient when it comes to play. They enjoy playing with each other, wrestling (which is super cute to get to see), racing each other around the house – they like to vault themselves on top of the kitchen cabinets, staring out the window, terrorizing insects that make it inside, sleeping, trying to tip over the trashcan, etc.
Harley also entertains herself when she’s in her zoom-mode – she bounces off the walls and skitters around the apartment just for fun. Reggie sort of just watches her, and sometimes joins in.
We also have a kitty fabric/fishing wand and laser pointer if you’d like to try and get them into hunting play time. Reggie enjoys the fabric/fishing wand more than Harley, and Harley is better suited at chasing the laser pointer. They have specific lure techniques or movement patterns that they enjoy – Kimm has been discouraged before – but feel free to experiment!
Please keep in mind to hide the toys once you’re done playing with them – they have chewed up their first fabric wand when we left it out before.
Other than that, the cats will be generally curious about you as person who will give them love, attention, and cuddles. A suggestion is to sit in the living room on the couch for a little bit and see who comes over. They are both quite needy babies and will request you pay them all the attentions!
HEAT & COLD WEATHER
We leave the thermostat on at 66 degrees-ish and the kitties don’t seem too cold, but if you are cold, feel free to turn it up!
If the temperature in Cambridge gets
into the below freezing range, can you please check the bathroom sink to make sure that it doesn’t freeze? We have to leave the door closed so kitties don’t help themselves to toilet paper and toilet water, but then no heat can get in there – and we had the pipes freeze on us one year!
THANK YOU, THAT SHOULD BE IT!
Please feel free to give us a call or text if you have any questions! We hope you have fun and enjoy our babies. We are definitely very biased, but they are the best cats ever 😉