How to Introduce a Kitten to a Dog

I’ve received several requests asking that I share how I introduced Finnegan, our Maine Coon cat to Kiera and Graidy, our two dogs at the time (Wink came after Finn).

First, a little background. When Kiera was a puppy, we had a cat with whom she got along just fine. And Graidy had been tested on cats by his rescue group. So I knew that both dogs, even with high prey drives, stood a good chance of eventually being fine with Finn if introduced properly.

  • I began by introducing each dog separately on loose leash, while I had Cait sit at the other side of the room with Finnegan on her lap. I watched that dog’s body language, as well as Finn’s.
  • Kiera […]

Our Version of “Ma Slapped a Bear”

eyes in dark As I mentioned last week, Cait makes sure Finn is in every night. On a recent night, the time got away from her before she realized that it was dark and Finn was not yet securely locked in the house.

So she started the nightly ritual of calling out while banging on Finn’s food can. Within minutes, he always appears.

But this night, still no Finn after several minutes of banging and calling.

Worried, Cait ran back in the house asking for help. She took the front of the house, and I took the back by the woods, both of us banging and calling. Hurrying, neither of us thought to […]

2016-10-24T09:56:39-04:00October 5th, 2009|.Cait and Me, Finnegan the Coon Cat|11 Comments

Still Here

It’s been a while since Finn, Cait’s Maine Coon mix, has gotten any air time. Let me remedy that. He’s almost 4 years old already! And he is well-loved by both humans and dogs alike around here.


That said, I’m not what you’d call a natural cat lover. And Finn and I have had our moments–   Yep, that’s his handiwork.

feliway before

But I really do love him.  So much so, that I built this fence in part for him so he could be a “safe” outdoor cat.  Since we got him, that has been his deepest wish.  How do I know?  You’d only […]

2016-10-24T09:56:39-04:00September 27th, 2009|Finnegan the Coon Cat|6 Comments

On the Hunt

It’s in the air today, along with the gathering thunder clouds.  Everyone around here is hunting for something.

Our Great Blue Heron is on the hunt for his lunch.


He seldom misses.


He’s snagged himself a nice fish.

Oh, there’s something else fishing there along the side of the pond!


Is it our Fisher (a weasel)?

maine coon

Nope. I’d recognize that fluffy tail anywhere. Looks like Finn’s found some good hunting by the pond too.

Kiera and Wink are hunting for a safe place to get away from the thunder.

2016-10-24T09:56:40-04:00June 14th, 2009|.My Dogs and Me, Finnegan the Coon Cat, Life, Nature|13 Comments

When Life Dumps a Truckload of Manure in Your Driveway

Ever go through one of those times where you wake up in the morning to find a truckload of manure in your driveway? You didn’t order it. You don’t need it. You can’t return it, because the midnight interloper has left no forwarding address. And you’re not going to be able to get your car out of the garage until you get the pile moved.

What’s a person to do?

Why, read a book and plant a garden, of course.

On the book front — as Cait continues to face some of the emotional challenges of becoming a teenager, I’m always looking for ways to help her put it into perspective. I’m a firm believer that learning how to keep one’s balance and […]

All-ee All-ee In Free

–or perhaps more aptly,

All-ee All-ee Out Free

I’m in one of those “if there’s a problem, solve it” modes. With four animals in the house now (outnumbering the humans) I have to admit that I’ve been feeling a little under siege lately. Between worrying about Finn dashing out the door every chance he gets, and dealing with integrating Wink, Cait’s new puppy, into a very established pack, I’ve had my hands full.

But I finally hit on a solution that would help both situations. And it only took a week of hard labor, some sore muscles, and a few recycled materials.

Remember this?


Which, this spring, looked like this?


Add to […]

2016-10-24T09:56:43-04:00September 20th, 2008|.My Dogs and Me, Finnegan the Coon Cat|11 Comments

Longest Day of the Year

The summer solstice is the day of maximum sunlight hours, bringing the longest day and shortest night of the year.

I’d like to think we put it to maximum use.

As usual, Graidy greeted me at 4:50 jumping up on the bed and licking my face until I woke up. Next to me on the floor, was Kiera on her dog bed. Finn was perched on the open window sill, twitching at every birdsong. The furry contingent and I made our way downstairs and outside for the first morning’s call. Then it was back inside for a quick breakfast.

With coffee and computer, I got to work at my little makeshift office outside on the deck.

The Great Debate

Maine Coon Cat

Finnegan gets some outdoor time under a watchful eye.

There’s a great debate raging at our house. When I got Finn for Cait, I made the executive decision that he was going to be an indoor cat. Knowing that the average lifespan of outdoor cats is around four years, and having lost my most favoritest cat in the whole world ever (yep, at around four years old) to a wild animal, I decided that for both Finn’s lifespan and Cait’s emotional well-being, it seemed the only reasonable choice to make. Cait agreed.

But then Finn got out once. And he loved being out. Really, really, really loved being out. And so it was that we discovered […]

2016-10-24T09:56:47-04:00February 3rd, 2008|Finnegan the Coon Cat|36 Comments
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