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Posted in Fur Fun

Do you reap what you sew?

Would you condsider your furrbaby spoiled? Do you think your cat has cornered the market on his or her “Royal Highness-ness?” They are certianly skilled at reading us and manipulating us to their will, but they’ve had eons of practice. The art of the spoiled cat may well have begun in ancient Egypt, where cats were held in such high regard that they were worshipped!

Despite joking that our cat will never go out and “terrible members of society” if we spoiled them a little; we do, as a consequence, have to put up with their bad behavior.

Our cat Momo was a perfect example of this; he was spoiled rotten. He was more demanding than our other cat; but now are we reaping what we have sewn since he taught all his tricks to his brother?

Momo more often than not got what he wanted, and if he didn’t he pretty much beged/pleaded/pawed and harrassed you until you caved. Maybe 1/3 of the time I put my foot down and told him no, and then one might have gotten this look…

“What do you mean “no”?”


Talk about the ultimate guilt trip!

He EXPECTED that he WOULD get what he wanted otherwise he might have resorted to a nip as the ultimate convincer.

I thought he was the ultimate spoiled child until a quick hunt on the internet put my spoiling skills to shame. If Momo only knew what else was available to him!

Are there some “good” ways to spoil your cat?
Well yes actually there are:
1. Caring for your kitty in way that allows bonding time between the two of you.
This of course depends on the cat and the mood of said cat on any one day, but playtime and brushing gives you together and bonding time

2. Treats (in moderation of course)
Who doesn’t love to give your cats treats. You may have to try out some different kinds and flavors to find out what your cat prefers (they can be a bit picky).
*Caution* Make sure to dole out in moderation; cats can be “loved” too much by giving them too much human food or treats which can lead to obesity which is far more harmful than loving.
Also cat grass is a great way to spoil your furbaby, just make sure to water often
(I could never keep it alive very long)

3. Cardboard boxes. Don’t be so quick to toss that cardboard box, there is no limit to how they can be used. Open up the bottom of the boxes and connect them together to make a tunnel or castle which can lead to wonderfully with interactive play; or cut a small hole in the bottom of the box and kitty can view or swat the passing ankle. Cardboard could be the all-time bargain cat toy.

4. Give your kitty an outdoor viewing experience. Perhaps there is there a window where you could make a formal or makeshift perch for a kitty? You can go the deluxe cat tree route or simply reserving part of a desk or other furniture near a window for your kitty’s outdoor gazing pleasure. Placing a bird feeder or bird bath near the window gives the birds tasty, nutritious food and water and your cat will have free entertainment!

There you have it 4 ways to spoil your kitty (in good ways)
So go ahead as spoil your cat (just don’t be suprised when they come to expect the royal treatment)

So how do you spoil your kitty?
Do you think your cat has the corner market on being spoiled?
Comment below (please keep it nice)

Posted in Health

Can you leave your pet home alone?

I just read a response on a comment feed that annoyed me to be very honest.

The response was something like “We left our cat home alone for a week with one visit from a neighbor and he was fine.

Why do people think that because cats are independant to the point they can become an afterthought in your plans? Now I am not suggesting that you take your kitty with you (although many hotels are now pet friendly these days!) but when you plan that vacation don’t make last minute plans for furrbaby, but accomdate them as you would your child that you are not taking along.

Food and Water

Related image

Yes, your cat needs food and water that is obvious, that is a BASIC need. Do you know who much food your furbaby goes through? Don’t take a chance that he or she will run out before you return.

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Companionship


People believe cats are allof. You know your kitty, is he or she? Or does he or she, like my cat, follow you all over the house until I finally settle somewhere, just so they have the opportunity to connect with you…
Remember that they don’t know when you will be back. They don’t have the capacitity to understand that it will be a short while, or a long while before you return or if you’ll ever be back. This can lead to feelings of abandonment if you are not careful. Has your kitty ever ‘punished’ you after you’ve been gone for a while only to ‘forgive’ you after a peroid.
There is an easier way to avoid this, which is to make sure your kitty gets all the love and attention he or she needs while you are gone.

Litter

Cats are fisidious about their box, some more so than others. Imagine having to use the toilet that has not been flushed for several days. Besides the fact that they will step in it, it won’t smell too nice either!
If your cat is very picky about their box, he or she could go to the bathroom in other places in the house in retaliation. This can then lead to the cat using the same place as a bathroom spot. So don’t risk it, make sure you have someone who is willing to keep your cat’s box clean.

Boarding

I feel I would feel remiss if I didn’t talk about boarding your furrbaby.
“Oh I could never board by baby because…..” [fill in the blank here]
You know I felt that way too but when we decided to replace all the flooring in our condo, and our usual cat sitter wasn’t available, the only other real option was to board him.
It was actually much easier than I expected, the hard part was cutting the motherly apron-strings. He did great! We decided to board at a vet office that we had previously used with one of our cats. They explained that they pumped a pheromone in to the room to make sure their boarders are nice and calm and to make the experience as pleasant as possible. The also have kennel staff that come in after close to feed, scoop litter and play with the boarders. Our kitty came through with flying colors, much to the relief of his mom and it was very reasonably priced too!

So next time you plan that vacation, don’t leave out your furbaby in your plans. Make sure their needs are accomodated too. Whether it’s at home with a cat sitter, or with a boarder, I promise you’re kitty will be much happier while you are gone, and will welcome you back with a loving purr when your return instead of a snub.

Let me know what you think (Please keep it kind)
Would you consider boarding? Have you boarded a furbaby before? How did it go?
How does your kitty do when you go away? Is there a ‘punishment’ period when you return?

Posted in lessons

How to wash a cat in 12 steps

Cats in general hate baths, there are always exceptions, you run in to the occassional cat that loves water but more often than not I would not expect this reaction.

Cats for the most part take care of cleaning themselves; with regular burshing it is possible that bathing may not be neccessary. There are occassions that a bath is neccessary; if your cat gets in to something, drags a tail in the cat box, or has excessive sheeding and/or dandriff may be some reasons you might feel a bath is neccessary.

Sometimes my cat just smells or the coat starts to get a bit dull and a bath is neccessary; generally I give my cat a bath twice a year.

Here is a step by step guide to giving your cat a bath

  1. Gather all the equipment you will need. Cat shampoo or baby shampoo, a cup and towels (the more the better!). Regular shampoos for people are usually too harsh for feline skin and may cause irritation.
  2. Fill the bathtub to about 2 inches BEFORE you bring the cat in the room
  3. Bring the cat in the room and shut the door so he/she doesn’t escape
  4. Place the cat in the tub and begin getting the fur wet using your hands or cup. Make sure NOT to get water in the cat’s ears
  5. Start with a little shampoo (you can always add more). If you use too much shampoo you will be rinsing forever
  6. Make sure to soap the belly front paws and haunches
  7. Rinse the cat well using your hands or cup making sure to rinse the belly legs and hunches making sure all the shampoo is reinsed out (again being careful not to get water in the ears)
  8. Let the water out of the tub
  9. When the water is almost gone you can start carefully ‘wringing’ out the cat by gently squeezing the water out of the legs and tail
  10. After you’ve removed as much water as possible, wrap a towel around the cat and begin towel drying.
  11. Flip over and/or exchange towels to dry the cat off as much as possible.
  12. Release the cat to lick his damp fur and give you lots of dirty looks.

There you have it! How to bathe your cat

Have you bathed your cat?

Was it easier or harder than you expected?

Comment below

Posted in Fur Fun

The long way home

Momo has always loved car rides, and I have no idea where this love came from.

We were looking to adopt a purebred Siamese cat and found one in foster care in Madison, Wisconsin; we lived just west of Grand Rapids, Mi about a 6 hour drive. When we were ready to load Momo up, my husband held the carrier up to Mo’s level, pointed to Momo, pointed to the carrier, and I swear the look on Momo’s face was “Anything has got to be better than this place” and he willingly walked into the carrier and in to our lives. Ever since he has loved car rides. He barely made a peep the 6 hour drive back to Michigan.

Sometimes, at home, he would seemed to get cabin fever that was always resolved by taking him for a car ride to, well, anywhere or nowhere he really didn’t care!

Even after he lost his sight, he still loved car rides. I don’t know if it is the hum of the engine or the noise of the wheels gliding across the asphalt, he just loved to go.
He would sit in his carrier double tucked just enjoying the day and the time away from home.

I think perhaps his favorite time was when we were going into Grand Rapids so he could get chemo therapy for his cancer. It was a 45 min drive each way, and summer construction often made it longer. He seemed to just relish the fact that he got to be in the car a long, long time and he wanted to soak in every moment.

Now after months of going back and fourth we headed to the vet one last time; this will be Momo’s last ride; he is headed for the rainbow bridge.

I hope in heaven they have endless car rides because I know he would love that. Perhaps he could teach his sister, who is already there, to love them too.

Posted in Fur Fun

Oh, to be owned by a Siamese- 5 truths

I have on more than one occassion have told someone that I have a Siamese cat and their reaction is something along the lines of “oh, aren’t they mean?”

I really wonder where this comes from since we have had 2 Siamese, one female and one male, and neither have been mean.

So here are 5 suprising facts about the Siamese breed.

They are extremely vocal.
Both our Siamese were very loud and very vocal. It was a source of frustration sometimes when they won’t stop!! My husband and I often will joke that “You will get their opinion whether you wanted it or not”. I have also on more than one occasion been on the phone with someone that doesn’t know I don’t have children and the cat is yelling in the background. The person on the other end says something to the effect of “Oh, is that your baby!?”
“No, that’s my cat”

Snickerdoodle

Siamese kittens are born with completely white fur.
We got Snickerdoodle when she was 6 months old, and at the time her points had developed and her mask was partial, but her body was pretty much still all white. In time her mask came in the rest of the way and her body became a beautiful coffee color.
Siamese point markings come in four colors; seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac. The gene which determines their coloring is heat sensitive, so the colors only develop on the cooler areas of their bodies. The heat sensitive gene also limits the amount of pigment in their eyes, and that’s why they have their very distinctive blue eye color.

Siamese cats own their people. Their people do not own them.
Oh my goodness yes! Hence the saying ‘Dogs have owners, cats have staff’ Both our Siamese have claimed my husband I have no idea why. It wasn’t until we got Snickers (our tabby) that I finally had a cat claim me.
A Siamese will decide for itself who it will own. They can be very picky about who they choose and it’s not always the person who adopted them in the first place. They can remain affectionate with all family members (Momo and I had our mommie/son time), but will select a person who will be their closest companion. Once they choose a companion they are very loyal.

Siamese can be trained because they are highly intelligent.
It’s very common for Siamese to be trained. They can learn tricks, fetch and retrieve items (Snickerdoodle loved milk rings). We also started her on harness and lead training as soon as we got her so she would willingly walk on a leash. Some have gone so far as to describe the Siamese as like a dog, but “without all of the work”.
Snickerdoodle was as smart as they come. She figured out how to manipulate her parents and you could always tell when the little wheels in her head were turning trying to figure out which action would get herself in to the most trouble (usually when she was bored).
We got Momo when he was a little older so he didn’t have the advantage of training at a very young age, and he’s also more drama than intellegence. That being said he also has figured out how to manipulate his parents and has sufficiently taught it to his brother to do the same. (No we didn’t have both Siamese at the same time)

There you have it, 5 interesting facts about Siamese. Which suprised you the most? Was there anything you hadn’t heard before? Comment below!

CREDIT: I borrowed much of the information from: https://kittentoob.com/20-things-didnt-know-siamese-cats/

Posted in lessons

How do you ‘get over’ the death of your furrbaby?

Two words. YOU DON’T

BUT time will lessen the pain.

We recently had to put our beloved Momo to sleep, I talk about it in the ‘euthenasia-a change in perspective‘ blog. So with the topic fresh on my mind, here are a few tips to help you through the loss of you furrbaby.

There are a few things you can do to help yourself through the process.

1. Be kind to yourself.
You are mourning a family member.
Eating healthy food will give your body the energy it needs, and exercise releases endorphins that can improve your mood. Besides that just say do what feels right. If it means ball in up and crying your eyes out, do that. If you have someone that is just a good listener, just talking about the good times can be theraputic. Whatever you have to do to move yourself through the grief and out the other side.

2. Hold a funeral
For Snickerdoodle we were actually temporarily living away from home so we had her cremated. Then when we came home we had a funeral which consisted of burying most of her ashes in the garden and crying a lot. I would have loved to say how much we loved her, and how much of an awsome cat she was (and maybe we did) and how much we would miss her but it’s tough to cry and talk at the same time.

3. Consider getting another cat. When you are ready, (and only when you are ready.)
When our beloved Snickerdoodle passed away it was rough. She was our baby girl, our beloved daughter and we missed everything about her.
Within a couple of months the emptiness started to get to me and I was missing having a furrball around. I wasn’t looking to replace her but I needed a cat in my life; my husband on the other hand took longer. Snickerdoodle was a daddy’s little girl through and through and they were thick as thieves so understandably it took him longer to work through the grieving proccess. I had to be patient and respect the fact that he was still grieving and not ready to welcome a new life in to our family. It took about 4 months before he could start thinking about a new daughter, and when we were ready, we welcomed our son Momo.

Remember that grief is a PROCESS! There is no way to rush through it, no way to short cut it (as much as we would love to I’m sure). Yes it’s painful, yes it’s hard, but pushing you’re feelings down, ingoring them and not adressing the grief is worse. Do the work, be kind to yourself in the process, and remember with time things will get better.

Our Forever Pet
There’s something missing in our home.
We feel it day and night.
We know it will take time and strength
Before things feel quite right.

But just for now, we need to mourn,
Our hearts-they need to mend.
Though some may say it’s “just a pet”
We know we’ve lost a friend.

You’ve brought such laughter to our home,
and richness to our day…
A constant friend through joy or loss
With gentle loving ways.

Companion, pal and confidante,
A friend we won’t forget,
You’ll live for always in our hearts,
Our sweet forever pet.

Author Unknown

Posted in Fur Fun

Who is Smarter?

The age old question who is smarter cats or dogs?

I know, I know I am treading on some dangerous territory here. Dog owners would say “Isn’t it obviouse dogs are smarter!” and Cat owners would say “It is cats, of course!”

From mere observation, it may be difficult to tell because dogs are people pleasers. All they want out of life is to be your BFF. Cats, on the other hand, can range from craving attention, begging for it even (depending on the cat) to being aloof. So on the surface the comparision may seem like apples and oranges.

Well suprisingly dogs come out on top for intellegence (sorry cats) and here’s why. Neurons, the basic information processing units and cerebral cortex of the brain (the crinkly outer layer), were studied in both cats and dogs because this area puts stimuli together to drive decision making and problem solving.

Suprisingly dogs had twice as many neurons as cats!

But are neurons the only way to measure intellegence? hmm a bit tough to say.

Researchers have found that dogs have the intellegence of a human 2 year old. They are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures, can count up to five and can perform simple mathematical calculations. They also have advanced memory skills, are able to read and react appropriately to human body language such as gesturing and pointing, understand human voice commands and can act in deceiption. They can also be trained to do all sorts of tricks and tasks.

Not bad, cats what do you bring to the table?

It turns out that cats have a brain structure that’s similar to other intelligent animals, including humans. It may come as a surprise to learn that your little cat’s brain structure is about 90 percent similar to yours!

And according to Psychology Today, a cat’s cerebral cortex – where rational decision making and complex problem solving takes place – has around 300 million neurons. The cerebral cortex is involved in the planning of action, overall interpretation of language and is also responsible for storing both short- and long-term memory, which is why your cat gives you the stink eye when you pull out your suitcase. Your cat also tends to learn best by doing. Not only that, but cats also possess more nerve cells in the visual areas of their brain than humans and most other mammals.

Needless to say both bring some very valuable skills! .

I think that both are intellegent…. at being their species. Like I said dogs greatest desire in life is to be your BFF! They want to please you, help you and be man’s best friend. Needless to say that is NOT the end goal of a cat.

Cats on the other-hand seem more content with companionship. “I’m here for you” would be their motto and are content to just be there, in whatever shape or fashion that might present itself. Whether it is laying across your lap, or sleeping near you their end game is different than a dog’s.

That being said, don’t count cats out; they are no dummies! (Except perhaps my cat Tinkerbelle, but I digress)
Cats are actually pretty good problem solvers if they want it badly enough.

Also one cat can learn from other cats in the household. (Not just kittens learning from mom)
I met our cat Snickers when he was living with a client of mine and, when she could no longer care for him, I asked if I could adopt him. It worked out well since he already had known me for about a year.
Our other cat Momo on the other hand at first was not too keen on no longer being an only child and getting 100% of the attention, but once they became friends, Momo taught Snickers several things (And not neccessarily thing we wanted him to learn)

  1. Most human food is delicious. (He wasn’t and still isn’t a big people food eating cat but he now likes to sample)
  2. Laps are warm and cuddly (He was’t really a lap cat either but by Momo’s example he found the joy of a nice lap)
  3. If you harrass mom or dad long enough they will eventually cave and give you what you want. (Snickers is no longer a ‘quiet’ cat; he is more than willing to tell you (or demand) what he wants, certianly a Siamese trait!)

There you have it! Dogs definately have their strengths in intellegence but so do cats. So what does your cat do that makes them intellegent? Do they have a special skill or trick or just a funny way of doing something?
Comment below!

Posted in lessons

Euthanasia- a change in perspective

Momo the baby boy

I have always said “I don’t believe in euthanasia, it is playing God.” and “I could never give the order to kill my cat” but at the same time I recognized the need to not allow you baby to suffer. They seem mutually exclusive, well yes and no.

Snickerdoodle as a kitten

Our first cat Snickerdoodle when down fast (just 18 hrs). All her systems shut down and we’re not quite sure why; she was 11.5 yrs old. The only forwarning I had was she loved going for walks on her harness; the month prior to her death she would BEG me to take her for a walk, then one day she quit asking. I should have been suspicious but what was I going to say? “I’m bringing her to the vet because she doesn’t want to go for a walk?” Odd.

I am forever grateful that she died peacefully without help at the animal hospital. The vet called that morning and said “I think we need to help her so she doesn’t suffer”. Just as I was going in to my montra about how I didn’t believe in it, she passed away. I didn’t have to say the word, or give permission, she did it on her own. My only regret is I wish I had been there telling her I loved her. (but I digress)

Now with the end of Momo’s life on the horizon we again are faced with the fact that we will probably have to use euthanasia to end his suffering. I still don’t believe in it and I feel like we are playing God, but he has cancer in his nose. We did all we could but we didn’t catch it soon enough and while we made a good effort, the chemo only knocked it back for a time before the cancer came roaring back with a vengence.

We were getting 3 weeks of no symptoms. When it was down to 2, my husband said we need to stop the chemo, it’s getting expensive. I thought ‘If we get another 2 weeks symptom free I will fight for Mo to get at least 1 more dose of Chemo and when we aren’t getting 2 weeks anymore then it will be time to stop.’ I didn’t get my chance, in a 1.5 weeks the symptoms came roaring back.

He did pretty well for a while; he was pretty loud when he breathed but besides that he was (for the most part) his usually demanding self; until yesterday.
When I got up in the morning he seemed to be ok, I had been hand feeding him because he wasn’t eating willingly on his own.
Our Homeowners Association was having elections that day and I volunteered to sit at the ballot box and help hand out ballots. I was able to get a break around 1pm and came home to get some lunch and do some other things around the house.
To my shock Mo was stumbling around like a severe drunk, he couldn’t stand up for very long and fell over when he tried to walk; (we think he has a stroke) I knew in my heart this was it.

So I guess it boiles down to quality of life, or at least for me it does.
When he was just a heavy, loud breather and at the same time was still his usual bratty self, he had quality of life. When he still enjoyed sleeping with dad, screaming loudly that he found his toys, then refused to give them up; he still had quality of life. He didn’t seem to be in pain, it was just more difficult to breathe.

But now with him stumbling around, refusing to eat or drink (even when being hand fed), not able to enjoy any of his favorite things, and is not himself, it is time.

I told him several times ‘When you’re ready to go, when you’re tired and don’t have any more fight in you, let us know and we will honor that.’

It is time.

Posted in Fur Fun

Oh Kitty Kick Sticks I love thee, let me count the ways..

First of all this is not a paid endorsement, my cats have the funniest reactions to them, so I thought I’d blog about it.

What is a Kitty Kick Stick?

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What are Kitty Kick Sticks?

Kitty Kick Sticks are a great healthy kitty toy that is a treat for the senses. They are individually handmade in the USA with soft cotton fabric and 100% organic catnip inside. I know right?!
They also come in a variety of sizes and fabrics

Sounds great! Where can I buy them?

It has been a while since I bought the ones for our cats, but I found them on Etsy and Amazon. (links at the end)

What does your cat do with a Kitty Kick Stick?

My cat looks like he’s loving it to death (literally!)
He loves it with a bite, a chew, a gnaw, a few really good hind feet kicks, and a face rub for good measure. He’s not much of a player, and when he does it is about as lazy as possible, but the Kick Sticks he will play with for quite a while; it is his favorite toy.

My other cat likes to pick it up and carry it around like a prized possession hollering so everyone in the area knows what he found, and it is very hard to take it away when it’s time to put it up for a while.

So there you have it!

I hope you’ll check them out, my cats love ’em!

Etsy

Amazon

Posted in In a Cat's View

A Kitty’s world

Imagine with me, just for a moment, that you are dropped on an alien planet. You don’t know the language, you don’t know why the heck they are doing the weirdo stuff they do, and all you can do is study them day and night to try and figure it all out.

Yes, it seems a bit ridiculous but this is how I see the world through my cat’s eyes. We do some really weird stuff in their opinion. We have no fur and what little fur we do have we get it very wet! We take off on a whim without them knowing when we will be back, we (UGH!) kiss them, and yes they sometimes they seem to understand what we say, but remember they are studying us ALL. THE. TIME. It is all they do (when they are awake and not try and get something out of us of course)

So there has to be a life lesson here right? Is there something we can learn from our furry friends? Sure!

PATIENCE IS A VERTUE: When I take Momo for a ride (which he LOVES) he doesn’t know where we are going or when we will get there, or when his cat box will become available again, but yet he waits while we drive, or while I quick run in somewhere; I get back and he is waiting very patiently for me to return, for me to let him out of his carrier. He is a very patient boy.

LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST: Have you ever seen a cat play? They don’t do after it half-hearted (well ok Snickers would) but with full gusto! Whatever you do go at it with gusto, with everything you got, throw youself in to it! As Nike said “Just do it”

MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT: Sure they sleep A LOT but, when they are awake they never turn down an offer to play, to harrass the parents, or have some good chow. They live in the here and now, and only in the here and now. I have read story after story of how animals after terrible abuse are still willing to trust and love their new parents. How? They don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow, only what is here, now and currently in front of their nose. Which leads to the next point…

FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE WRONGED YOU: Life is to short to hold a grudge, surround yourself with those who love you, and accept you for who you are, weird parts and all. The ones that get on your nerves because they know you too well, the ones that know how to push your buttons but all in good fun. Whether that is blood or adopted surround yourself with those who will support you in the good times and the bad.

So there you have it, lessons from your furry friend. I guess the lessons can go both ways, can’t it.