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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 10, 2019)
THE ASTORIAN • SATURDAY, AUGUST 10, 2019
Catio: Love for cats has always been a big part of Laughlin’s life
Continued from Page B1
says “Wipe your Paws.”
Regardless of where the cats are on the
catio, they won’t have to deal with the wind.
While Laughlin has the door currently plas-
tic free to let fresh air come through, she has
easy-to-hang plexiglas sheets that she can
put up like clear curtains, attaching them
with wingnuts. She also has some clear
plastic in a roll that she can use for weather
prooﬁ ng. It’s called Flex-O-Glass. It’s a Do
It Best product. It cost about $90 and has
lasted two years.
When she uses this, she secures it with
strips of lath. This holds it ﬁ rmly in place,
so the wind doesn’t tear it.
The feline family
Each of her cats has a story on how and
why they were rescued. But they seem to
have left the tough days behind and are
now just regular house cats, thriving in their
environment and Laughlin’s love and care.
There are “three and three,” Laughlin said,
explaining the male and female numbers.
That day last week, inside the catio, she
hoisted a relaxed brown tabby named Slinky,
held him close and gave and received kitty
kisses. She has another brown tabby, Snig-
glefritz. Black and white LuLu Belle seems
to be the most relaxed around strangers.
There is another black and white who
was in the house that day. His name is Bobo
and Laughlin described him as “pudgy.”
Greyman also stayed in the house as did
The Smooge, a long-haired female who
looks like the cat pictured on Laughlin’s cat
sitting business cards.
Photos by Lynda Layne
Two of the six rescue cats peer out from behind the catio wire and check for their pet mom.
Playing with other cats
For a person so in love with kitties, what
better business than cat sitting? She always
goes to the cats’ houses and doesn’t bring
them home. But when she takes care of
these felines, she combines her skills as a
vet tech with that love.
Recalling when she lived in Oregon,
Laughlin said, “I was a vet tech for seven
and a half years at one place and two years
at another. I went to the Apollo School.”
She said her experience allows her to do ﬂ u-
ids, insulin and pills.
When she cat sits, if a kitty needs to be
administered a pill, she has a system. “I
usually come from behind, pull their mouth
open and use a pill gun.” It works every
time. But it’s not all just medication, feed-
ing or cat box cleaning. There’s also that
“I play and snuggle, whatever they want
to do,” she said. “I usually stay about an
hour. I used to play mousey-mouse with
one of my regulars. There was a big cat
LuLu Belle relaxing while spread out on the “Wipe you Paws” door mat.
tree. The cat would jump on top of it and
I’d throw [toy] mice at him and he’d throw
them back down at me.” She smiled at the
That playful “regular” was from when
she did cat sitting in the Scappoose and St.
Helens area for about eight years. She also
did some goat sitting when she was there.
Someday, when Laughlin retires from
her day job, she wants to do the pet sitting
more as a full-time venture. “I will probably
sit dogs, too. And I’ve done some chicken
Laughlin is one of those people who
stays away from the temptation of animal
shelters. She’d want to bring them all home.
But, “I can work where I do at the clinic
because all the animals are owned.”
She talked about a lady down the street
who is fostering three young kittens. “I
couldn’t foster. I’d want to keep them,” she
Her love for cats has always been a big
part of her life. She laughed when she said
that everywhere she’s worked, “Everyone
always wanted my name at Christmas par-
ties because I was so easy to shop for.” Cat-
themed gifts, of course. “I was known as the
Crazy cat lady.”
Lynda Layne is a contributor for the
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