Monthly Archives: August 2017

Service Cats: Basic Training Continues

MeOWww Everypawdy, me’s back. You give that Raena an inch and she’ll take a mile. MOL  Anyways, we got a lot of questions after our last Service Cat Monday posty with concerns ‘bout li’l ole me. Furst, me wants to fank you all fur your concern; but rest assured, mommy hasn’t cast me aside fur a newer, younger model, namely, RaenaBelle. Me still works every day. Let me get the business outta the way and we’ll meow ‘bout it. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavorial questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

First, we want to follow up a little about last weeks post. For those of you who might have missed that post, mommy’s wheelchair is broken and unusable right now. None the less, Training continues as always. Awnty Kat from Momma Kat and her Bear Cat said, “I assumed part of the training was knowing what to expect (when Raena does one thing … the chair does this) – like how she might sit different if the chair is going forward. I would assume them learning to expect what the chair will do would cut down on anxiety and surprise when the action does happen.” And, she’s not wrong. However, if the chair doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Unfortunately wheelchairs are expensive and most people don’t have a spare. Learning what to do when the chair is broken and can’t be used is just as important as learning how to drive the chair.

 

 Raena lays in the wheelchair

You can see the control panel in this photo. Power button on top,

horn just below and the 2 speed buttons just in front of the joystick.

 

 

Remember, there are quite a few steps that have to occur before the wheelchair, even when working properly, will actually move. Believe it or not, the driving is probably the easiest part. After all, pushing the joystick forward is only one step. Seat position, bracing and turning the chair on and off require multiple steps, especially when we can’t read. The control panel contains 4 buttons positioned closely together, Power, Horn and 2 Speed buttons. We kitties are pretty smart, but reading the names of the buttons is a bit beyond our purview. So, it is necessary for us to prove proficiency in turning the chair on and off every day; as well as sitting properly and allowing mommy to brace us. Each button beeps when pushed. This simple step can often be enough to spook a kitty and make them want to jump down and/or run away. We have to become accustomed to the beeps and to fall back to driving position whether the wheelchair moves or not.

 

 Dezi lays in wheelchair

 

 

In our driving position, we must make sure that our back paw claws aren’t digging into mommy’s naked leg; and that we’re comfortable with where she has placed her hand to brace/hold us in position. And, even tho’ the wheelchair isn’t going to move right now, we must show that we know to bite the joystick and push it after powering the wheelchair on. These are basic steps and the first steps we learn. Each kitty learns at a different speed, however, mommy will often focus our initial Wheelchair Training on these steps for at least a month before ever letting us actually propel the chair forward. We like to remind you all that Training is ongoing and doesn’t take breaks or vacations. The truth is, that even when the chair is working properly, whoever doesn’t drive in the morning will be going thru these steps as Training every day.

 

Raena lays in the wheelchair

 

 

We do take turns driving mommy in the mornings, but it’s not like today is me’s turn and tomorrow is yours. Each day, one of us will take up the Driving position, and that’s who drives. We don’t fight over who gets there first, we just kind of have an unspoken agreement, that whoever does, gets to drive. Of course, that’s after we’ve both proven ourselves proficient in driving. When Raena was first learning to drive, it was up to me to actually drive in the mornings. Even when she would take up the Driving position, mommy would give her some extra loving and then move her to the other leg so me could slip in and take the joystick. The rule is, whoever doesn’t drive the morning routine, gets Wheelchair Training that day. Now that we can both drive equally well, we take turns Training on those initial steps each day. Even sis Lexi, the last year of her life, still had regular Training Sessions. 

 

Lexi lays in wheelchair and Dezi climbs on cat tree

 

 

 

Mommy equates Training to an old human saying, “Once you learn to ride a bike, you’ll never forget.” However, if you don’t ride for a while, you’re most likely to be a bit wobbly. You know the steps, but you’re a bit rusty and may even fall a time or two. However, if you ride every day, you’ll keep getting better. The same is true for us. Just because we learn to drive, doesn’t mean we should stop practicing. Remember, Training is all about Repetition and Rewards. Me will be honest and tell you that it is confusing for us when the wheelchair is broken and our morning routine changes, but because of our continual Training, we adapt. We’ll meow more about that next week. In the meantime, me has a basic Wheelchair lesson to perform today. Me’s going to insist on Training first. Raena begs for treats better than me, so if she trains last, we’ll not only get lots of extra love but we just might get a handful of treats too. 

 

 Dezi lays in wheelchair

 

 

Me’s gonna wrap it up now. Fanks again fur your questions, and keep ‘em comin’. And ‘member, you can ketch up on our Training Tips by clicking the links below.

 

Till the next time…………………………………………..Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

 

Service Cats

 

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

Stop Kitty’s Begging     Calling For Help Options Pt. 1

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent      DNA Doesn’t Change      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning     Wheelchair Training

Blest Sunday: Rain Dancing & Blessings

Mmrrrrr Hiss, Stop it Raena, it’s time fur Blest Sunday.

 

 Dezi looks up at Raena atop the Liberty cat tree

 

 

          C’mon sissy, I’s just wanna play. Meowin’ of blessings, look ‘round. We’re so blest to have so much to play with.

 

We are Raena. But, you know blessings aren’t all ‘bout the material things.

 

Raena plays with remote mouse

 

 

          ‘Course I’s know that sissy, but still, it’s nice to have ‘em. But, I’s also know that we’re blest to have such a pawsum mommy. Did we not have fun this weekend? Even tho’ mommy woke up feelin’ sicker than a dog, she made time fur us. 

 

 Dezi walks outside in her harness on a leash

 

 

Yep Raena, she sure did. We had asked ifin she would take us fur a stroll but mommy did even better. Well, sort of. Me got all harnessed up, and thinkin’ me was goin’ fur a stroll furst, me went straight over to the stroller. To me’s sur-purrise, mommy snatched me up in her arms and took me outside. She even let me touch me’s paws to the grass. We were lolly-gaggin’ (wastin’ time) ‘round when all of a sudden mommy realized she had left the camera in the house. Did you know we could hear you meowin’ at the door all the way on the other side of the ‘pawrtment complex?

  

          I’s wanted to be with you and mommy sissy. What did you x’pect me to do, wait mine’s turn patiently?

 

Kittens Raena, you could see us every minute. Anyways, realizin’ we didn’t have the camera, but seein’ that me was really enjoyin’ the great outdoors, mommy said, “It’s okay Dezi, we don’t have to have photos of everythin’, all the time.” So, we just kept walkin’ ‘round. Till that is, mommy got tired of hearin’ you mewin’ at the door like a little lost kitten. 

 

 Raena walks towards the woods on her harness

 

 

          Well sissy, I’s figgered ya’ll had been out there purrlenty long enuff that surely it was mine’s turn. I’s couldn’t wait to get outside and put mine’s paws on the grass. We even stopped off at the mailboxes to check the mail. And, that’s when it happened. Mine’s nice long leisurely stroll got cut short. In mere seconds the birds stopped singin’ and the skies turned black as night. The heavens opened up and let the flood waters fall. Oh MeOW, I’s headed straight fur the pawrkin’ lot to dance in the rain. Mommy was yellin’ somethin’ I’s couldn’t quite make out thru all the noise of the storm. And then, befur I’s could get mine’s paw in the puddle on the sidewalk, mommy snatched me up and took off runnin’ towards our ‘pawrtment.

 

 Dezi looks outside from the cat tree

 

 

Yep Raena, ya’ll looked so funny. Mommy can’t actually run to save her life, so ya’ll were doin’ more like a quick hobble. Mommy’s head was lookin’ down as much as she can bend her head, and you were starin’ straight up pawin’ at the air.

 

          Oh sissy, it was so much fun. Till we got back inside that is. I’s was soaked. All mine’s fur was wet. It took hours fur me to dry off. And, you were no help, hidin’ out unner the bed. 

 

How many times does me have to tell ya’, Me’s Not HIDIN’, me’s purrtectin’ mommy and you from spiders and other creepy crawlers.

 

 Raena eats treats on cat tree

 

 

          Yeah, sure. Whatever you say sissy. I’s just happy we got some special time with mommy. We are indeed blest.

 

We most certainly are Raena. And, one of our angels sent some green papers fur mommy to get somethin’ special fur all of us. We sure did purreciate it. We’ll tell ya’ all ‘bout that shoppin’ trip later.

 

          Hey sissy, did you see the card mommy got from another bloggin’ angel? She had been blest by somepawdy and wanted to pass it along. We furgot to ask ‘bout name droppin’, but she knows who she is, and we’re sendin’ fanky fanks and hugs your way. 

 

 Dezi lays on cat tree and looks down

 

 

We have the bestest furiends in the universe Raena. Fank you all fur bein’ our furiends and pawrt of our furmily. We’d like to remind you all to take a minute today and every day to give thanks fur the blessings in your lives. Each new day brings new blessings ifin we’ll just stop and see ‘em. We’re linkin’ up with the Kitties Blue fur Sunday Selfies too. C’mon Raena, let’s go play. 

 

Till the next time………………………………………..Be Blest!!!

 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue 

Raena: Navy Blue

 

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

Chatting Cats: Closed Doors & Belly Rubs

Hey, is anypawdy out there? It’s me RaenaBelle. Can you believe it’s already Furiday? We got some great questions on our Service Cat Monday posty this week. We can’t wait to meow more ‘bout it. So, be sure and tune in each Monday, as we share Trainin’ Tips, Tricks and Techniques fur trainin’ your little fur balls. Mommy says we should’a took a poll after Wednesday’s posty. We were sur-purrised how many of ya’ aren’t accompanied to the bathroom by your kitties. And sissy and I’s was shocked to hear how many closed doors some of you kitties encounter. 

 

 Dezi and Raena lay together on the floor

 

 

          What are you meowin’ ‘bout now Raena? 

 

I’s meowin’ ‘bout the closed doors and purrivacy some of our furiends have. 

 

          Don’t be meowin’ ‘bout that Raena, mommy might get some crazy ideas that she can shut us out. One closed door is one too many. 

 

 

 Closed door clip art

 

 

I’s sooooooo agree sissy. I’s never even seen what’s behind that closed door in the bedroom. Does it go somewhere? Is there a window fur squirrel tv in there? Maybe mommy’s hidin’ another kitty in there?. 

 

          No, Raena. There ain’t nuffin’ that x’citin’ behind that there door. It’s just a closet where mommy hangs her good clothes and stores things we don’t use everyday.

 

A closet sissy? I’s never seen a closet. Why would mommy wanna keep us out? 

 

 Open door clip art

 

 

 

 

          Me doesn’t know Raena. Me’s actually ran in befur when mommy’s opened the door, but she always ketches me befur me gets too far in and puts me back out. Ya’ gotta be fast and stealthy to get one over on mommy. 

 

Well, I’s gonna purractice mine’s stealthy so the next time mommy opens that door, I’s can run passed her and check it out.

 

 

 Dezi bathes paw while laying on Yeowww nip toy

 

 

          (Dezi licks her paw and wipes her face as she meows sarcastically) Yeah, you do that Raena.

 

Hey sissy, who was that lady that came over yesfurday? Did you hear her askin’ mommy ifin we were skittish? What did she mean by that? What does skittish mean, sissy?

 

Dezi sniffs nip toys

 

 

          She’s a nurse that comes out twice a year. Mommy’s never unnerstood why she has to have a nurse come out that does the same thing as her case manager. She asks the same questions and writes the same repurrt. Mommy just thinks it’s kind’a crazy to have two peeps doin’ the same job, and a big waste of tax payer dollars. But, that’s how it goes when you’re dealin’ with the government. Me has no idea why she thought we were skittish. We both came out and gave her a good sniff over befur ploppin’ down and playin’. 

 

 Raena lays belly up on the floor

 

 

You did lay it on a bit thick sissy. Rollin’ ‘round on the nip toys and showin’ off. 

 

 Dezi rolls around on nip toys

 

 

          Well at least me didn’t go all belly up and beg fur tummy rubs, like some kitty. Me can’t believe you let that lady rub your belly.

 

 Raena lays belly up on the floor

 

 

I’s didn’t do that sissy. It was hot, and I’s was just tryin’ to cool off. Besides, I’s have so much fur, she never even touched me. Meowin’ of, do you think it’s cool enuff fur mommy to take us fur a stroll this weekend? 

 

          Who knows? But, it never hurts to ask.  

 

 Dezi and Raena playing on floor

 

 

Well, let’s go ask then. I’s’ll race ya’. Ready…Set…(Raena zooms down the hall towards mommy and meows over her shoulder) GO!!! 

 

Till the next time………………………………………….Be Blest!!!

 

Raena: Navy Blue 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue

 

 

 

Luvs and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

RaenaBelle and Deztinee

Chatting Cats: Who Needs Privacy

(Dezi hears rumbling and the pitter patter of rain drops falling through the vent hood on the oven and starts to head back towards the bedroom. Mommy sees her and calmly says

 

 Dezi lays atop the liberty cat tree

 

 

     Dezi, honey, please stay up here with me and Raena. 

 

 Raena lounges on perch and watches the rain out the front door

 

(Raena jumps up on the small perch sitting in front of the door and looks out. She turns back and begins to mew)

Sissy, it’s okay, it’s not a full blown storm, just a few rain drops. You know how much mommy hates it when you hide out under the bed all day. 

 

          Me’s not hidin’ Raena!!! Me’s checkin’ fur spiders and other varmints to keep you and mommy safe.

 

 Raena lays on small perch and looks out at the rain

 

 

Well, don’t you think you’d have found them already? Ya’ know, ifin there was anythin’ to find? You’s been under the bed most of the week. 

 

Dezi lays atop the Liberty cat tree

 

 

          You never know Raena. Somethin’ could’a crawled in just now. And you know what a fraidy cat mommy is when it comes to spiders and other varmints.

 

 

Yep, mommy’s fraidy meter is off the charts when she sees those creepy crawlers. Hey, do you ‘member the other day when we were readin’ one of our furiends bloggys? You know the one, Bear cat and his new sisfur Ellie May?

 

          Yeah, what ‘bout it?

 

 Raena lays on shower bench and watches mommy pour litter in litter boxes

 

 

Well, you know how they were meowin’ ‘bout closed bathroom doors and how they wanted to be in there with their mommy to “watch”. I’s can’t believe she actually closed the door on them. Mommy better not get any ideas ’bout tryin’ that here. Anyways, you told them, their mommy was lucky that all they wanted to do was watch. Just what did you mean by that?

 

 Dezi lays in house of Liberty cat tree

 

 

          You know what me meant Raena. You take the cake when it comes to watchin’ mommy in the bathroom. Mommy’s always jokin’ ‘bout how she’s not had any bathroom purrivacy in well over 40 years. Most peeps with kitties can relate to that. But you take it another step further. 

 

I’s just tryin’ to be helpful sissy. You know, we’re Service Cats. It’s our job to help mommy with everythin’ so she can keep livin’ independently.

 

Dezi looks down from atop the liberty cat tree

 

 

          Yes Raena, we are Service Cats, and it is our job to help mommy. But trust me when me says, mommy doesn’t need your help to wipe her purrivates. 

 

Says who, sissy, you? Mommy helps us sometimes, I’s just tryin’ to return the favor.

 

          Oh Raena. Don’t you think ifin mommy needed your help, she wouldn’t be sayin’ things like, “RaenaBelle, get your paw out from under my hoohah”, or “Raena, leave my toilet paper alone.

 

 Raena lays on shower bench

 

 

She’s just tryin’ to be brave sissy. She always pats mine’s head and paws when I’s help. 

 

          Raena, she ain’t pettin’ you, she’s tryin’ to shoo you away. Anyways, me was tryin’ to tell awnty Kat, that she was lucky that all Bear and Ellie wanna do is watch. Even mommy says she’s never seen a kitty so enthralled in the purrocess that they stick their paws up there to try to help their human clean up. Who knew you’d go from unrollin’ the toilet paper to tryin’ to use it? You sure are a funny kitty sometimes. 

 

I’s gonna go tell mommy that you’re makin’ fun of me sissy. We’ll see then who gets the last laugh.

 

 Dezi plays

 

          Me’s not makin’ fun of ya’ Raena. Me’s tryin’ to help teach you what you’s s’posed to help with and not. C’mon, let’s go play befur the thunder boomers come back thru.

 

Raena bats the track ball whie looking down at her collar bells

 

 

I’s right behind ya’ sissy. Let’s see ifin mommy will give us some silvervine or nip to roll ‘round in.

 

Till the next time………………………………………………….Be Blest!!!

 

Raena: Navy Blue

Dezi: Vibrant Blue

Mommy A: Black

 

 

 

Luvs and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

RaenaBelle and Deztinee

Service Cats: What’s Going On With the Wheelchair

Hey, is anypawdy out there? It’s me, RaenaBelle. That’s right, I’s here fur this weeks Service Cat Monday cuz it’s mostly ‘bout me. Let me get that business stuffs outta the way and we’ll get right to it. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur translator and reader ease. Our Trainin’ posts aren’t meant to be a step by step training manual but rather, Tips/Tricks/Techniques that mommy has used/developed throughout her many years of training animals, cats in purrticular. Training is all about Repetition and Rewards and takes time. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease leave them in the comments section or send us an email. Ifin askin’ about behavioral issues, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clicking the links below. 

 

 Raena in tiger kitty holster

 

 

It’s been a while since we’ve written about my training efforts, and we’ve gotten a few questions lately asking how my driving is going. So, we thought we’d take today to talk a bit about it. But, keep those questions coming, we’re really enjoying the topics ya’ll are throwing at us. The last time we posted about my driving lessons, I was doing pretty good, but not yet driving too far. You can read parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 by clicking the links below titled, Raena and the Wheelchair. Of course mommy’s continued to train me even tho’ we’ve not written any posts about it. Remember, Training is all about Repetition and Rewards. And remember, we can’t stress enough, Training doesn’t take a day off.

 

Raena lays in the wheelchair

 

Here’s our question for today. “What do you do when you’re training a kitty to use a piece of equipment, and that equipment breaks?” Yep, mommy’s wheelchair broke. Seems a motor is out and the chair will do nothing more than go around and around in circles. I certainly can’t drive that. Mommy can’t even drive it, so what’s she supposed to do? Thankfully, because mommy and me didn’t take a day off, I’s can drive the wheelchair quite well now. Anyways, the first thing one must do is get a replacement or repair as soon as possible. But, anyone who has ever worked with Medicare knows that soon takes on a whole new meaning.

 

Raena laying in wheelchair

 

 

Mommy called a repairman as soon as the chair broke. He’s a new one to us, but looks like he’s going to be a good one. He came out the very next day to check it out. Mommy’s current chair has been a piece of junk since the day she got it, and he explained it’s because the chair’s about the cheapest one on the market. After looking it over and getting some information from it, he informed mommy that Medicare won’t pay to repair it, so we have to go through the channels and get a new one. So, we have an appointment today with mommy’s doctor for the evaluation to get the paperwork started.

 

 Raena lays in the wheelchair

 

In the meantime, mommy will continue to work with me on things like turning the chair on and off and sitting and standing properly when driving. Even though the chair doesn’t move, I will continue to learn to bite the joystick and hold. It’ll go something like this: Mommy and me will sit in the wheelchair and I’ll position myself on her right leg next to the joystick. Mommy will say, “On”, and I will stand with my front paws on the arm of the chair and push the power button. I might just press the horn too. Ya’ know, just for good measure. And then mommy will say, “Let’s go”, and I’ll bite down on the joystick and push it forward. We won’t be going anywhere, because mommy will have slipped her hand up and turned the chair off. After about a minute, mommy will slip her hand back up to that power button and turn the chair back on, and then say to me, “Off”. And, naturally, I will put my paw back on that power button and turn the chair off. We’ll repeat this scenario for about 15 minutes once a day. Of course, I will get lots of extra love after each step and at the end of the Training session. 

 

 Raena lays in wheelchair

 

It is a bit confusing to me that we’re not actually moving, but, these initial steps are more important than the actual driving. And, as long as mommy’s happy, I feel good about it and want to continue to please mommy each and every time. And hopefully, we’ll have a new chair sooner than later. So, even if the piece of equipment is broken, there are Training steps you can continue with. Always remember, Training is ongoing for life.

 

Dezi lays in the wheelchair

We can’t have a Service Cat posty without a foto of sis Dezi too.

 

Well, I’s gonna call it a wrap for today so we can get ready to go. I’s gotta help mommy find the raincoat fur mine’s stroller since it’s stormin’ outside. ‘Member to leave your questions or topics in the comments section. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, just click the links below to get caught up.

 

Till the next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!

 

 

 

Luvs and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

RaenaBelle and Deztinee 

 

Service Cats

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

Stop Kitty’s Begging     Calling For Help Options Pt. 1

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent      DNA Doesn’t Change      Fighting or Porsturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning

Marvelous is Marvelous

Tails of a Persian Tabby

Adventures in Cheeseland

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Zee & Zoey's Cat Chronicles

Cat behavior, feline-humor bond, cat responsibility.

Hot Rod Cowgirl

Riding Through Life One Horse At A Time...Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling Up Anyway!

Mitsubachicats Featherston Homestead

Cats, family, life and faith as I experience them, not necessarily in that order

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