Category Archives: Critter Love

Bars in a Box


notched bar

Although I’m still not finished with my hive, I did make quite a bit of progress this weekend, even with the never-ending deluge we’ve had for the past year.  Actually, I should say “we,” because I couldn’t have managed this part of the project without my sweet hubby!  He’s always so good to help whenever I need an extra pair of hands.


exterior view of lip

If I had used straight pieces of purchased lumber that are the correct width, this project would have been completed much quicker.  Also, it would have made the job easy enough for one person to handle alone.  My scrappy project only cost me a small box of 1-inch screws because I ran out of that size before I finished.  But even if you purchased all of your supplies up front, this would not have to be an expensive project.  Truly, anyone, on any budget, could make these beehives.  They are very simple and affordable to build.


interior view of lip

So, let’s pick up where we left off.  Last week, I notched the ends of my bars so they would hang in the hive box.  Here are exterior and interior views the “lip” I made on the sides of the box by screwing a 1×2 strip about ½-inch above the edge of the top horizontal  board.


The bars fit nicely on the lip and are easy to slide from one end of the hive to the other


View of the end of the hive. You can see the horizontal piece of lumber peeking out th bottom

I made the hive box from the straightest pieces of lumber I could find in my woodpile.  Most of what I have is reclaimed 1×6 fencing.  The boards are actually ½ x 5 ½ inches, which must be taken into account when measuring.  The finished box needed to be 19-19 ½ inches across as the interior measurement and 48-ish inches long as the length.  The depth needs to be just enough to house the brood frames I hope to get from a local beekeeper.  I’ll put in the bottom of the hive when I know for sure what depth I need.  It should be somewhere between 7 and 10 inches.


You can see the lighter colored wood filler on the inside of the hive box.

I made the sides and ends by laying two 4-foot lengths of board on my table horizontally, which created about 11 inches of depth for me to work with. Then, after placing the lip, I attached several short sections of board vertically along the 4-foot length with 1-inch screws.  The screws will hold this old lumber more securely than nails. Having two layers of wood will also help insulate the hive in extreme weather.  The total thickness of the walls of my hive is one inch.

Even with two layers of wood, I still had some drafty little gaps, so I filled the interior holes and gaps with wood filler and sanded it smooth. Wood stain would make it look nicer, but is harmful to the bees, so I just left it plain.  Trust me, the bees will be laying propolis (bee glue) all over the place and remodeling it to their satisfaction anyway. They really don’t care about our sense of interior design.

The 2×4 legs are cut at a 15-degree angle to make the hive sturdy and hard to tip over.  I made the ends of the boards long enough to stick out as far as the bottoms of the legs to prevent me from tripping over them.  I’m a bit of a klutz.  When working out the plans, I could just visualize me moving around to the end of the hive with a comb of honey and accidentally kicking one of the legs causing an uprising of ticked-off bees.  That would really mess up my day!  Ha!

My woodpile is a beautiful mess!  Those cedar limbs will someday become an end-table for my living room.

My woodpile is a beautiful mess! Those cedar limbs will someday become an end-table for my living room.

The hive legs are 30 inches high so the hive will be at a comfortable height for my vertically challenged body to work with.  I stood at my kitchen table, which is about the same height, and pretended to lift a frame from that position.  I didn’t have to bend over to reach the pretend-comb of honey, or lift it too high to get it over the edge of the pretend-hive.  When making your hive, be sure to make the legs at a height that is comfortable for your back and arms to lift and move the bars. Because my bars are 19 inches long and the hive will be 7-10 inches deep, each bar will weigh around 5 pounds when filled with comb and honey.  Remember, these bars must be held out away from your body and moved slowly and evenly when working with the bees.

A shorter bar length and shallower depth would create less weight to work with, but would require even more frequent visits to the hive to keep the bees from running out of room and swarming (leaving the hive).  When deciding on the size of your hive, you’ll need to keep these things in mind.  Your own needs and preferences will be the determining factors in the size of your hive.  For me, using wood from my woodpile was preferable to purchasing the wood, even if it took me a little longer to build.  That may not work for you.  Top Bar hives can be built less than 4 feet long, but I preferred having the equivalent of a brood chamber and 2 supers because that’s the size of my previous vertical hive.  Do a little research before determining the size you build.  While you are surfing the web, you’ll see designs for the straight sided Tanzanian style, like mine, as well the slanted Kenyan style.  I chose the straight side for my first hive for reasons I’ve already mentioned, but you may like the Kenyan better.  Actually, I think the Kenyan design is sleeker, and the pre-made ones I’ve seen for sale on several websites are much prettier than mine. These Top Bar hives are a wonderful choice for an aging back, but most American beekeepers prefer the more common Langstroth style. One is not better than the other, each just has different advantages and disadvantages. To each his own.

My next bee post will about building the top cover of the hive, as well as the bottom portion if I’ve located my supplier.  In the meantime, let me know what you’ve found out about bees and Top Bar hives. I love sharing information!


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112 Cuts Closer to the Top

I still need to cut flat ends on each of the 28 bars I made this weekend

Last weekend’s work

We had a very busy birthday weekend, but I did at least manage to finish the bars for my first hive.  If life were running at a normal pace, I would be able to finish this whole project in one weekend.  So please don’t be discouraged by my piecemeal presentation.  If you find yourself with an interrupted weekend and a little lumber, you could easily build a complete hive in a short period of time.  Also, if you have the right equipment, your time investment could be reduced even further.  My tool collection is very basic.  So it does tend to take a little more time for me to complete a project.

Last week, I cut the lengths and “points” on 28 bars.  I plan to make the hive long enough to fit 30 bars, which will be about the same number of frames in three Langstroth supers.  Two of the bars will be replaced with traditional Langstroth frames loaded with foundation sheet and hopefully comb already built.  My bars are 19 inches long so that they are interchangeable with those frames.

mark endmark sideThe bars are shaped with a point for the bees to attach their combs to.  And the ends are shaped so the bars will hang in the hive body the same way as regular frames hang in a Langstroth super.  Using a ruler to measure the cutting lines on the ends of the bars was awkward.   The “lip” of the bar needed to be about ½ inch deep and wide, like the Langstroths.  So I searched my toolbox for something that was about ½ inch wide to use as my marker.  The little wire brush you see in the picture was much easier and quicker to work with than the ruler.


It only took two easy cuts with my trusty little jig on each end of each bar.  That’s 112 cuts in all.  No matter which type of cutting tool you use, this part of the project is going to take you a minute!  I anchored each bar to my fancy cutting stand (an old computer desk frame) and cut in from the end of the bar as I steadied it with my other hand (the one holding the camera).


Then I made the next cut at an angle from the point of the bar to the first cut where the two marked lines intersected.

angle cut

The angle toward the point will encourage the bees to build away from the edge of the hive body and hopefully discourage them from attaching the sides of the comb to the inside of the hive.  If they do, I’ll have to pry it loose every time I move it.  Not an impossible task and one that I will most likely have to do on occasion anyway.  But it will be much easier for me if they don’t make  a habit of attaching all of their combs to the sides of the box every time they build new comb.

Ready to hang

Ready to hang

All 28 of the finished bars now have a lip on each end and are ready for the hive box to be built, which, HOPEFULLY will happen next weekend.  So everyone keep all your fingers and toes crossed to wish me luck! (except when you are walking… that could be dangerous… or funny, depending on your point of view!  HA!)

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Making the Bar(s)

dadant bookTop Bar Hives can be constructed of just about anything that can create a trough-like shape.  There is quite a bit of conflicting information about the best way to construct the hives.  But, from the books, blogs and forums I’ve been combing through, the most practical information has been from Small Scale Beekeeping written by Curtis Gentry for the Peace Corps in 1982 at, and The Practical Beekeeper by Michael Bush at I also have an old version of First Lessons in Beekeeping by C. P. Dadant that I bought years ago with my first hive.

Marking a straight line in the center of a 2x2 deck spindle

Marking a straight line in the center of a 2×2 deck spindle

The Peace Corps book was written several years back and gives a really practical view of how these hives are used in other countries.  You can download and print it for the cost of your paper and ink.  There are tons of practical drawings and it is a very easy read.  Bush‘s website is also very practical and has lots of pictures for those of you who, like me, are visual learners.  He also has a book for sale by the same name.  There is a wealth of information on the website, but if you’d rather have everything in your hand, the book would probably be worth the money.  On his website, he doesn’t try to convince you that “his way is the only way,” but rather gives you his observations about the strengths and weaknesses of each type of beekeeping from his own experience with both horizontal and vertical hives.

Cutting a 45 degree angle with my circle saw

Cutting a 45 degree angle with my circle saw

Since I’d had the vertical Langstroth hive before, I had a frame of reference to build from when reading this “new” information.  If you’ve never kept bees, and you find all the conflicting ideas on the web confusing, I would recommend using these two references as your starting point.  And, even if you don’t intend to have a vertical hive, any beginner’s beekeeping book, or web information, would be of great help.  The two methods are, at their core, basically the same.  You are managing this tiny creature’s needs so that it will be mutually beneficial.  The Langstroth method is more economical in a commercial situation, and the Top Bar is a little better suited for the backyard individual.

Follow the line with the 45 mark, not the 0 mark

Follow the line with the 45 mark, not the 0 mark

I intended to have a completed hive ready to photograph for this blog, but my weekend didn’t go as planned.  I suppose that’s to be expected though, since “life happens,” right?  At least I did manage to get started on my beehive project.  After going through my woodpile, I decided that I would use some 2×2 pieces of lumber I got from someone’s leftover deck project to make the bars for my hive.  The lumber was treated, but has been out in the weather for a couple of years, so I think it should be safe for the bees.  I know the wild bumbles around here don’t have any problems building their nests in our shed.  We used treated lumber, some of it new, and it hasn’t slowed them down one bit.

I still need to cut flat ends on each of the 28 bars I made this weekend

I still need to cut flat ends on each of the 28 bars I made this weekend so they will hang neatly in the hive chamber

My bars are not as perfect as the ones I saw on the internet.  I don’t own a table saw, so I had to do the best I could with my small circle saw.  I figured if the people over in Africa and Asia could make their hives out of whatever they could find, my slightly imperfect angles shouldn’t make that much of a difference.  The “point” on each my bars follow a line down the center of the bar and are pretty straight.  So I think the slightly uneven angles on each side of the point shouldn’t make that much difference when the bees are building their combs.  From what I’ve read and experienced, bees are just like us and do whatever they dang well please anyway!  I’m going to use a couple of pre-fab frames with sheet comb to encourage them to make their combs straight using the method described on Bush’s website as well as other sites and forums.  I plan on keeping those combs in the brood and won’t be extracting wax and honey from them, so it isn’t important to me that those particular combs be completely built by the bees.

I’ve debated back and forth over whether to build straight (Tanzanian) or angled (Kenyan) sides on my hives.  Since the Langstroth hives are more readily available, and I’ll be working with local beekeepers who use them, my first hive will be shaped and sized like theirs.  The straight sides will be more interchangeable if I run into trouble and need to swap out a few frames of brood.  Squared shapes are also easier to build than angled shapes.  If I can manage to build two hives before spring swarming season gets here, I’d like to try attracting a wild swarm to a Kenyan hive as well.  I’ll keep you posted as I go along.

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“Top” Bees

Sorry I missed posting this past weekend!  My granddaughters kept me pretty busy and I’ve spent most of my spare time lately brushing up on beekeeping.  I kept a hive several years ago and had to give my hive away when life got too hectic to take proper care of them.  Now that our little burbstead is taking shape, I’ve been longing for the little buzzers again.  My short arms and aging back, however, caused me to dismiss the idea of beekeeping because of the heavy lifting involved.  A super full of honey weighs around 90 pounds and must be moved slowly and smoothly to prevent alarming the bees.  That fearless feat of strength is one I am no longer capable of, and as I get older the prospect grows even dimmer.  Luckily, I live in an area that still has a fair number of wild pollinators, so I can still garden.  But that number is dwindling every year.

The dramatic nationwide decline in our bee population has even made the cover of Time magazine, so you are probably already aware of the dire consequences of losing these amazing insects.  If they disappear, life as we know it will soon follow.  The desire to help protect this vital resource coupled with my own personal affinity for the little critters has led me to the discovery of a practical way to resume beekeeping.  It’s not a “new and improved” method.  Rather, it is an ancient method that is still practiced in other parts of the world.  The Top Bar Hive method doesn’t require lifting anything more than one rack of honeycomb at a time.  The management of these hives is only slightly different from the traditional Langstroth hive that most of us are used to seeing.  With both methods you must manipulate the brood (bee nursery) and honey combs to keep the hive strong and productive.  With the Langstroth, you move an entire super (box) of combs each time you make a change.  In the Top Bar,  you have only one, stationary “box,” so you’re only managing (moving) one bar of honeycomb at a time.  Because you are making small adjustments, they must be made more frequently than you would with the Langstroth, so managing the bees this way as a business might not be practical.  But since I only want a few hives in my back yard, and I already know that I enjoy working with bees, the Top Bar method sounds like a dream come true to me!

BEEstuffPurchasing constructed hives is quite expensive no matter which type of setup you choose.  But with the Top Bar hives, it’s ridiculously easy to build one yourself.  There are several different plans on the internet for building these hives and just as many arguments for which one is best.  At this point, I think I’ll build one each of the Kenyan and Tanzanian type hives and let experience help me decide which I prefer.  I hope to finish both hives this weekend and will publish photos of my efforts in my next post.

Looks like I’ll have to pull my old equipment from the shelf and dust it off.   (I’m just buzzing with excitement!)

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Wait for it….

Waiting for me to say they can steal the treat from Sasha

Waiting for me to say they can steal the treat from Sasha

“Wait” is another useful command for your fur-baby to learn.  In addition to building your human/dog vocabulary, it reinforces your alpha status in the pack.  In the wild, waiting for the alphas to finish eating before the remainder of the pack can dine is a natural and acceptable behavior.  Pack leaders will often choose who eats next as well.  Training your dog to wait until you say it’s OK to eat will strengthen your bond because it clearly defines the pack’s hierarchy.  This show of strength and order will provide a sense of security that your dog instinctively needs.  In your dog’s mind, her pack is only as strong, secure and loving as it’s leader (alpha), and that leader must be you.


Sadie has wiggled closer and is losing her resolve

The mechanism of training to “wait” or “stay” is not difficult.  Simply place light pressure on the puppy/dog’s face as if pushing them back and state your chosen command word(s).  You can use whatever word or short phrase that suits you, just be consistent with its use.  Remember, both of you are learning a new language and the meaning of each word/phrase needs to be clear and memorable for both of you.  There are many ways to help your dog understand your meaning.



For example, you can command “stay” while gently pushing her nose (or head) down, and then begin to back away.  The instant she moves from that position, say “no” (or make whatever “no” sound/phrase you’ve chosen to convey that meaning) and put her back exactly where she started and repeat the process.  Or, you could place a treat in front of her and command her to “wait” until you give a signal that it’s OK to take it.  Just make sure she doesn’t snap up the treat until she’s waited at least a few seconds.  You can use your hands or a leash to make your meaning clear.


Finally! Yum!!

You also need to be mindful of your expression, tone of voice, and body language when training your dog because these are the most important components of a dog’s language.  They don’t use words to communicate to each other.  Growls, grunts, whines, teeth, wiggling tails or bodies, pawing the ground, touching with their nose, and a million facial expressions, are their language.  If you already have a dog, he or she has probably already taught you several “words” in their language.  This was no accident.  You have been purposely trained.  She sits by the door and you know she wants to go out to potty.  He shoves his head under your hand and you know he wants to be petted.  Her eyes widen, ears perk forward, mouth opens with her tongue out, tail wags and you know you are loved.  When you smile, words are not necessary for her to hear, “I love you.”

When teaching a new command, repeat the process as many times as it takes for her to understand the connection between her actions and your command.  Always praise her lavishly when she gets it right so that she will know she’s made the right connection.  Once you are successful, repeat the command several times (with praises and maybe treats), then again later that day, and daily for several days until you’re sure she’s really “got it.”  Your voice tone, body language, and facial expression need to be firm, but not harsh.  You want her to understand that this event is important without making her think you are angry.  And you must be consistent in your expectations.

furry sausage on the floor

furry sausage on the floor

Our pack, which includes two cats, know they get a treat after our supper.  However, they are not allowed to stay underfoot or beg at the table during the meal.  They must “go lay down” which means “leave the dining area and wait for us to call you back for your treat.”  They understand that this is expected and don’t usually have to be told.  With the exception of Sadie.  Once she hears a fork touch a plate, she will often sneak back into the room and lay down behind my chair (where I can’t see her) with her head on her paws.  When I turn around to look at her, her ears perk up, her facial expression becomes questioning, and her tail  begins wagging slowly.  “May I stay here, please?”  When I stare at her without expression, she shifts her eyes to the side.  Eye contact without positive expression is considered an aggressive or dominating behavior in the doggie world.  She remains in place (still hopeful) but shifts her gaze away from me to tell me that she is not challenging my authority.  I can say the phrase, “go lay down,” or simply continue my gaze and lift my hand toward the living room.  Either way, she understands that she must leave the room.  Please understand, this is only a pack rule at my house.  If you enjoy feeding your pup under the table, then do so joyfully.  I’ve heard of one lady who has a baby’s high-chair at the table that she has trained her dog to sit quietly in it during their meal time.  The dog is fed spoonfuls during the meal in much the same way as you would a child.  It works for her and makes everyone happy.  Remember, it’s your pack and your rules.

Recently, we had family over for supper and Sadie had quietly deposited her sneaky self behind my chair.  The humans at the table were discussing the “go lay down” rule when she was spotted by my sister.  The moment she heard her name, her little head popped up like a gopher out of its hole.  Busted!  She starts to leave, but freezes when I look at her.  She sits down, shifts her gaze, and wags her tail slowly.  Too darn cute!  Everyone is begging me to let her stay.  Geez!   I can’t help but smile.  No words necessary.  She reads my smile as an agreement for her to stay and quickly plops down and places her head on her curly little paws with her tail wagging so fast I expect it to carry her upward like a helicopter.  In less than thirty seconds, two more critters appear out of nowhere.  Candy, who is extremely submissive, whines during her entrance and lays nearby without being told, old tail thumping loudly on the floor.  And Sasha makes it her mission to rub every leg under the table (kitty language for, “You belong to me now!  Bwahahah!).   Don’t bother looking for Ziggy.  He hates crowds.

They all behaved nicely and were treated with dessert.  But, just as I expected, the next day they were all there (even Zig) when Don and I sat down to eat supper.  The rule had been broken.  Candy was a bit hesitant and stood in the doorway whining.  She likes rules and is uncomfortable without them.  But she also wanted to stay in the room with the others.  “OK (smile),you can stay (they understand that word), but you have to “lay down” (another command) and be good.  They behaved well, so I guess we’ve modified the rule.  The only difficulty we had was with Ziggy.  He kept prodding us with his foot and “meowing” for food.  After a few days of ignoring his food request and making the “no” sound he responds to, he finally gave up.

There are as many thoughts on dog training there are dogs.  It’s been my experience that there is no one perfect way to train.  Each creature has its own personality (human, dog, cat, or other).  You and your little buddy will have your own unique relationship and will develop your own mutual language.  If you approach the training of your pack with the love, respect, and patience of a good leader, you will succeed.

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Sadie Mae

Sweet little Sadie Mae has been a part of our family for about four years now.  It’s hard to remember what life was like without her.

sadie's mona lisa smile

When Candy and I stopped traveling around in my little RV, Candy had to start spending her days with my two cats.  Do you remember the scene in the movie “Lady and the Tramp” where those two Siamese rascals tormented poor Lady?  Well, Ziggy and Sasha weren’t quite that bad (almost though, they were used to the house all to themselves), but let’s just say Candy definitely needed a buddy.

That guilty look on Zig's face is because he had just bitten Candy's foot!

That guilty look on Zig’s face is because he had just bitten Candy’s foot!

After several unsuccessful trips to the pound,  I looked on a pet finder website and found a woman who needed to find a good home for a little stray that had wandered into her yard and deposited a litter of puppies.  The puppies were easy enough to find homes for, but not as many folks want an adult dog.  We emailed questions back and forth… “spayed, healthy, housebroken, tolerates cats, etc.”  She sounded perfect, so we agreed to meet in a park near the nice lady’s home.

Sadie and Ziggy are "best-est" friends

Sadie and Ziggy are “best-est” friends

The final, and most important, test would be to see how well this little dog would get along with Candy.  At least 80% of the dogs who meet Candy try to bully her.  She’s been bitten and chased on numerous occasions, even by very tiny dogs.  I didn’t want to create any problems with our new addition.

After the two hour trip, Candy and I approached our new friends.  The pups touched noses and immediately began walking side by side.  Dogs usually go through a “sniffing ritual” when first meeting, but these two acted as though they were old friends and didn’t even bother.  I was amazed!  Needless to say, I loaded Sadie (called Ginger then) in my truck and happily headed home.

it warms my heart to watch  them walk together like this.

it warms my heart to watch them walk together like this.


Ms Cheryl had the little stray “all cleaned up” when I got her, so I didn’t know how long and beautiful her coat would be.

Having Sadie around has been such a blessing.  She’s energetic, funny, smart, and eager to please, as most terriers are.  But, in true “terror-ior” fashion, she believes she’s much bigger and ferocious than she actually is, and is extremely protective of every member in her pack.  Her meeting with Candy was not the norm for her, as we found out later when meeting other dogs in the park.  Large and small, friendly and aggressive, she threatened to chew the ankles of all who dared to come too close.  Walking in the park wasn’t exactly a walk in the park, with our little soldier in tow.

Training a dog not to do, what every fiber of their being demands they do, requires confidence and patience on the part of the trainer.  Most dogs are eager to please their pack leader, so it is possible.  But you must always take into account the temperament of the breed you are working with when trying to modify a particular behavior.  Many of the small breeds are “yap-py” (my technical term for barks-a-lot  🙂 ), and terriers can be quite aggressive as well.  After all, they were bred to chase long-toothed, sharp-clawed critters (rats) that were often bigger than they were, down into said critters deep, dark hole and rip it to shreds, along with all it’s ugly cousins!

She wouldn't look at the camera till I said, "Want a cookie?"  That's what we call treats at our house.

She wouldn’t look at the camera till I said, “Want a cookie?” That’s what we call treats at our house.

Every time a dog approached us in the park, I would stoop down and hold Sadie’s mouth shut (without hurting her) while firmly telling her “No!”   If she continued barking when I released her muzzle, I would repeat the physical and verbal commands.  At the end of the first exhausting trip, we did see some improvement.  But she quickly resumed the undesirable behavior on the next trip.  With each visit to the park, we saw a small decrease in the time it would take for her barking to subside.  She is much better now, but still makes a muffled, choked, whin-y-bark-y sound through her tightly clenched teeth.  She wants to bark so-o-o-o-o badly!  Poor baby!  I don’t expect her to be able to ignore her breeding, but I do expect her to obey me.  And my little sweetheart does…  as much as puppily possible.

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Mr. Ziggy


A fat and happy boy

Mr. Ziggy is Sasha’s brother.  He exited the lady’s attic where he was born several weeks later than Sasha.  An adventurer, he is not.  It takes a long time for him to warm up to even very calm strangers and is much too nervous to tolerate children.  When the grands come over for the weekend, he rarely leaves the safety of the kennel.

Thanksgiving at our house 028

Ziggy and Sasha like to curl up together.

Often, when an animal is that fearful, they will display aggressive behaviors, such as hissing or growling and will swat or snap at anyone who gets too close for their comfort.  Amazingly, although Zig is obviously uncomfortable with strangers, he has never attempted to defend himself.  Even when the girls corner him in the kennel to pet him, he doesn’t act aggressively.  He just tries to melt into whatever surface he’s lying on until he spots an “escape hole” he can dive through.


Ziggy is often found resting next to Sadie

Recently I picked him up and carried him to the living room for my brother and sisters to see to prove that actually he existed.  He was fine till we got to the living room and saw all those strangers staring at him.  He only wiggled for two seconds before giving up and wetting himself.  “Poor Ziggy.” as my youngest granddaughter says, “He has issues.”  He is the quintessential “scared-y-cat.”

This is a frequent sight.  Zig and Sadie are best-est friends!

This is a frequent sight. Zig and Sadie are best-est friends!

He is also the most loving kitty ever.  One of his non-Zig nicknames is “lover boy.”  For those few of us with which he feels comfortable, he is an avid “biscuit maker.”  When he looks at you with those huge orange eyes half-closed and tenderly pats your cheek with his soft paw, you can just feel love oozing from him.  He is also the most affectionate with the dogs.  He actually enjoys sleeping and playing with them.  It cracks me up to see him and Sadie playing chase.  First there’s a white blur followed by a black blur, then a black blur followed by a white blur.  On and on they go till they’re completely exhausted.

Ziggy was "making biscuits" on Candy's shoulder till he heard the camera click

Ziggy was “making biscuits” on Candy’s shoulder till he heard the camera click

Like humans, animals all have different wants and needs.  Ziggy and Sasha are from the same litter and have been raised in the same loving environment, but are completely different personality types.  Each fur-baby’s needs must be met on their terms.  Since cat’s aren’t “pack” oriented the way dogs are, they should be provided with a personal space, preferably high off the ground.  When building the Critter Castle, I provided several “safety zones” for the Zigmiester.  His favorite spot is in the outdoor kennel room.  One of the levels is high off the ground, inaccessible to the dogs, and just tight enough to be cozy.  Zigster spends most of his day on that quiet shelf.

Mr. Ziggy is the perfect Southern Gentleman.  He answers to all his silly nicknames.

Mr. Ziggy is the perfect Southern Gentleman, and answers to all his silly nicknames.


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