DEAR SUN SPOTS: Again this year the Androscoggin Gleaners are looking for volunteers for the summer and fall growing season. For those who are not familiar with us, we are affiliated with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Healthy Androscoggin, and work with local farms to harvest excess produce and put it into the hands of organizations that fill emergency food needs in our community.

We visit our farm partners on a regular basis to harvest for an hour and half to two hours before splitting up the harvest and delivering it to various food access sites in the area such as food pantries, housing facilities, libraries and others. Last year we worked with over eight local farms and donated 8,084 pounds of produce which comprised about 45,379 servings.

If you are interested in helping with this important work, we would love to have you join us. We provide all the training and tools required. Volunteers only need to bring a willing spirit!

Find us on Facebook or contact us at [email protected] if you are interested in joining us or would like more information. — Scott, no town

ANSWER: The work that this organization accomplishes each harvest season is nothing short of amazing. It’s a wonderful thing to be part of. Please get involved if you are able and please help spread the word.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: For Kim in Monmouth regarding cat scratching (May 9 Sun Spots) Feliway Classic Cat Calming Spray works great. Kim can get it through her veterinarian, Amazon, Chewy , and most pet stores. Just spray it on the furniture and the scratching will stop. – Terri, no town


ANSWER: You can order this product as well as diffusers to calm your cat directly from the Feliway website at The 60 ml. container of spray is under $25. The product is based on cat pheromones and the messages your cat leaves and responds to. Even if you don’t have a feline friend, the website information is an interesting read. I learned something new!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Throughout our 40-year marriage, my wife and I have been cat people and have a very easy remedy for cats that scratch furniture.

The best method to deter a cat’s natural instincts is to use a small child-size squirt gun. When you catch your cat in the act of clawing, first say, “No, do not scratch!” If they back away, great.

However, if you say, “No!” and they continue to scratch, squirt one small stream of water toward their body (not their head). Make sure to shout, “No!” and squirt the water at the same time.

After a short time, the cat will learn. If you see the cat coming close to the furniture to scratch it, just pick up the squirt gun and shake it. They should run off. I hope this is helpful. — David, Auburn

ANSWER: My daughter has trained multiple cats in a similar manner. She uses a spray bottle and has been successful in teaching them how to stay off the kitchen counters and more. At least as far as we know … it’s anyone’s guess what they do when no one is around!

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: