Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V is for...

We are getting close to wrapping up the A to Z Challenge. That makes me a bit sad. This has been my first year participating, and I've been having a blast.

But, the challenge isn't over just yet. We're only at the letter V, after all. V, another letter that doesn't have a whole lot to offer in terms of critters. There are things like vultures, though, and aren't those just adorable? No? Well, that's probably why I didn't draw one.


That is supposed to be a vole. I realized after finishing it, though, that it sort of looks more like a miniature bear than a rodent. Nevertheless, today V is for Vole!


Oh, and Astrid wanted her usual Wednesday shot today. Of course, she went for the pouty puppy pose again.


Happy Wednesday!



***
Our Tip of the Day:
Could your pup or kitty benefit from having their teeth brushed, but they won't allow you to? Try wiping a bit of pet-safe toothpaste on their favorite toy. For example, put some toothpaste on your pup's favorite chew bone or ball. This may not be quite as easy with kitties, but it is not impossible, especially if you know of a toy that your kitty enjoys chewing on or carrying around. Fresh breath is possible!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for...Yum! (#ChewyInfluencer)

Goodness, the end of the alphabet sure can throw you for a loop. Today, the A to Z Challenge brings us to the letter U, and I yet again had to beg the internet to give me some options. I'll be honest, I really wanted to draw a unicorn for this. But, since I'm trying to stick to "real" animals (can't unicorns be real?!?), I told myself that was a no-go. There was also the option of an umbrella fish, but I wasn't too keen on that idea. No offense to the umbrella fish, of course.

Don't worry, though, I finally came to a decision when the internet reminded me of the existence of this little critter:


That's a Ulysses butterfly, a large swallowtail native to countries such as Australia. I've always loved swallowtail butterflies, so I was quite grateful that the world wide web was able to help me realize that I could draw one for the ornery letter U.


Now, though, butterflies aside, it's pup Astrid's turn to review some goodies as part of Chewy.com's Blogger Outreach Program. As we've said before, Astrid is a picky pup. She always has a number of small bags of dry food open at a time, as she'll go on a hunger strike if she has to eat only one kind of food for too long. That's probably why when I saw Cesar® dry food on the list of goodies for this month, I was ecstatic.


When we started giving hungry Astrid more moist food a while back, to help balance out her hunger strikes on dry food, we learned that she loves Cesar® moist food. Speaking of which, this bag of dry food just so happened to come with a box of 24 trays of their moist food, in 4 of Astrid's favorite flavors.



Seriously, how awesome is that? Already knowing that Astrid loves Cesar® moist food (just as long as she doesn't have to eat the same flavor twice in a row), I went right on with testing her out on the dry food for the first time. 


I picked a flavor that she's always loved in the moist variety, that being filet mignon. This dry version also has vegetable garnish, as they call it. The first ingredient is indeed beef, but it does also contain a variety of other ingredients, including by-products and dyes. I'm not the biggest fan of additives such as dyes and the like, but let's be honest, Astrid doesn't really give me the option to be all that picky when selecting a food she might actually eat. 

Another pro is that the kibbles are relatively small, which Astrid always prefers. After all, chewing isn't her favorite thing in the world. Right, Astrid?


As a completely off topic side note, that there happy face is the one Astrid has plastered on her face at least 90% of the time. So, don't believe all of the pouty puppy poses she always saves for the camera and which get posted here on our blog, because they're all show. She's usually all smiles just like that you see up there!

And, as another side note, we had a reader ask a while back about Astrid's boot you see there in that picture, but we forgot to address it until now. For those who have been following us a while, you might remember that last year Astrid had a benign tumor growing on a paw pad of her right hind leg. It's a type of tumor that will go away on its own over time, and also given the tricky location of it, Astrid's vet and we decided to go that route rather than surgery. It took longer than expected for the tumor to resolve itself, but after roughly a year, it did. That being said, within a month, it came back again. It did not grow as large this time, it does not seem to bother her, and she has no issue wearing a boot on that foot during walks and such, so that's how we're currently handling it. Her vet will be reassessing it in the near future, though, and we'll keep you posted.

Back on track, though, who wants to know if Astrid liked the Cesar® dry food?


Guess what?


She did! So much so that I couldn't manage any semblance of a decent shot of her scarfing it down. The best part is that when we mix in some of these kibbles with her other bags of food, she'll usually eat the whole bowl then. That's a rarity for her.

Though I didn't get any shots of it, she also loves the moist food, as expected. That's 4 paws up for CesarⓇ food!


(Disclaimer: As members of the Chewy.com Blogger Outreach Program, we received the Cesar® filet mignon dry food and moist food variety pack in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own. We only review products that we believe will be of interest to our readers, and we never recommend a product that we do not believe in.)


Whew, that was a long one, wasn't it? If you're still reading, kudos to you!




***
Our Tip of the Day:
Especially this time of year, when the days are hot, be aware of the effects the weather can have on your pup or kitty's food. For example, don't store food out in your garage if it becomes hot out there this time of year. Also, when you order food online, always try to make sure that it won't sit for long out on your porch in the sun and heat. If you are home when ordered food arrives, feel the box and the food containers, to hopefully ensure that they did not reach an elevated temperature on the delivery truck. Of course, this could also potentially occur even with food that was purchased at a store, as even the store's delivery trucks or warehouses could become overheated. This is all important due to the fact that exposure to heat could potentially cause food to spoil, and you might not always realize spoilage immediately upon opening a can or a bag of the food, which means your furbaby could potentially ingest spoiled food before you realize it. What's more, ingestion of spoiled food could have consequences such as vomiting, diarrhea, or even something as severe as pancreatitis. So, long story short, please do not store your furbaby's food in a hot area, and be sure to always do at least a quick examination of your furbaby's food before feeding it. And don't be afraid to do a sniff test, as sometimes spoilage is first evident by odor rather than appearance. And, of course, if you are ever concerned that your furbaby ingested spoiled food or is showing symptoms of such an event, consult a veterinarian.

Monday, April 24, 2017

T is for...

The letter of the day is T! At least, according to the A to Z Challenge it is. So, what animal did we add to our A to Z Menagerie today?


A turtle, of course. Do we have any turtle friends out there?


Now, for the mancat part of this Monday, Evan just wanted to remind you guys of his nose freckles.


Just because, well, they're ridiculously adorable.


Don't you just want to kiss them? This here momma of Evan's sure does!

Happy Monday!



***
Our Tip of the Day:
Don't forget to always monitor the status of freckles or other pigmentation on your furbaby, just as you would for yourself. It is not uncommon for kitties and even pups to have freckles, such as on the nose, lips, and eyelids, and especially in furbabies of lighter colors, such as white and orange. It is also not uncommon for furbabies to acquire more freckles over time, as they age. That being said, never hesitate to contact a veterinarian if you notice any abnormal or concerning changes to freckles or other pigmentation on your furbaby. If a freckle makes an alarming change in color, for example, or if it suddenly becomes raised or bleeds, then a veterinarian should be consulted. Animals can get skin cancer and other similar dermatological maladies just like we can, so it is always wise to keep an eye out for any related changes to their skin. As always, better safe than sorry!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Bookish Sunday

We recently heard that today, April 23rd, is World Book Day. We also found it referred to as World Book and Copyright Day, and World Book Night. No matter what it's called, if it has to do with books, we're all in.

Evan had already asked if he could star in a selfie this week for the fantastic Sunday Selfies blog hop hosted by The Cat on My Head, since Thimble got to be the star last week. Being World Book Day, I asked if he could maybe snap a shot in the library. How do you think he did?


Now, for those who don't know, little lady cat Thimble is our resident librarian. She loves her library, and her books, and she's not always all that keen on sharing them. That's probably why, when she found Evan posing for pictures in her bookish domain, she wasn't pleased.

I did ask Thimble if she wanted to snap a selfie in the library, too. But, let's be honest, she was too miffed and so all she gave me was this:


To make it up to Thimble, though, I told her I'd doodle something just for in honor of World Book Day. I hope she likes it, and that she can forgive me my misdeeds.


Happy reading!

Don't forget to visit the Kitties Blue for the Sunday Selfie blog hop!


Wishing everybuddy a stupendous Sunday!



***
Our Tip of the Day:
Do you have a paper chewing furbaby? Chewing and ripping paper products may simply be fun for some furbabies, and it can be the result of a dog or cat's instinct to gnaw on and rip at prey in the wild. On the other hand, this behavior may be a sign of boredom, anxiety, or, in extreme cases, something along the lines of a nutrient deficiency. Especially for those pups and kitties with an excessive habit of it, chewing on paper may not be an ideal behavior. There is the potential for intestinal blockage, such as if large quantities of paper are consumed by your furbaby. And of course there is also the concern of your pup or kitty consuming accompanying staples, paper clips, tape, and so forth. Not to mention that this behavior could lead to the loss of important documents, such as tax forms, or even damage to favorite books. For the safety of your furbaby, as well as your paper goods, perhaps try to train your furbaby from the beginning that chewing on paper, cardboard, and other such items is not allowed. Redirect this sort of chewing behavior by offering them proper chew toys instead, and by giving positive reinforcement when they obey. Also avoid offering paper goods, such as napkins or cardboard tubes, as play toys, as this might only spur them to treat all such items as toys. Of course, if you have any concern that paper chewing is anything more than just a fun hobby and is instead s a medical concern, please consult your veterinarian.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

S is for...

The A to Z Challenge sure is flying by. We're already at the letter S. A common letter, there were options aplenty for animals that we could add to our doodled A to Z Menagerie today. The furbabies around here, though, had a particular request. Remember all of their window whiffies they showed off this week? If not, we can give you a bit of a summary.

Evan took to gazing out the open window on Monday:


Pup Astrid enjoyed some fresh air on Wednesday:


Thimble had a grand time peeping out the open window on Thursday:


And even Eddy sat still enough on Friday to enjoy a few whiffs:


Well, when it comes to all those window whiffies, there's a certain little critter outdoors that always sparks these furbabies' interest the most. What's more, they wanted that animal to be part of our A to Z Menagerie. So, here it is!


Squirrel! Seriously, who doesn't love Squirrel TV? We sure love it around here!

This little guy is entering Athena's Caturday Art blog hop for us.


Happy Caturday to all!



***
Our Tip of the Day:
When feeding the outdoor stars of Squirrel TV, keep in mind that they need quality, safe food, just like our furbabies and ourselves. If you plan on feeding wildlife, such as squirrels, it might be wise to do some research first, to ensure that the foods you choose are truly safe for them. For example, did you know that peanuts are really not all that healthy for squirrels? Raw peanuts can be inflicted with toxic mold, and overconsumption of peanuts in general can lead to bone disease in squirrels. In addition to peanuts, sunflower seeds in large quantities can have detrimental effects on squirrels. Of course our furbabies and even us humans enjoy watching the wildlife, but it is important that we not be the cause of their demise. That's not to say that you can't put out some snacks for them, but please do your research first so that they can eat well and thrive!

Friday, April 21, 2017

R is for...

We've reached another fun Friday! Where to begin? Let's start off with our R of a doodle for the A to Z Challenge. There were quite a few critters to choose from with this letter. I picked one of my favorites.


A raccoon! Though I rarely see them in real life (I see more foxes in my yard at night than raccoons, and far more possums than either of those, but such is life), I still love these ring-tailed cuties.


Now, on to our next Friday favorite. That is, of course, the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader!


Here are this week's fantastic fill-ins:

1. The most interesting museum I've been to is _________.
2. The most interesting historical place I have been to is _________.
3. _________ is back!
4. I was surprised _________.

And here are my best attempts at answering them:

1. The most interesting museum I've been to is the Super Museum in Metropolis, Illinois.
(I live in Illinois, and while on a statewide road trip a little over a year ago, my family stopped at this Superman-inspired museum. I posted a couple of pictures of it back then, like the one below of Astrid gazing out of the car at the superhero haven. Outside of the museum is a giant statue of Superman, also seen below. I've never been a huge fan of Superman, or any particular superhero franchise for that matter, but this museum was certainly interesting nonetheless.)



2. The most interesting historical place I have been to is Ford's Theater, and Petersen House.
(I visited these back in 8th grade, when my class took a week-long trip to Washington, D.C. On one of the days, we visited Ford's Theater, where Abraham Lincoln was shot. After being wounded, he was taken across the street to Petersen House, and he died in one of the rooms there. We visited that very room as well. Hailing from the state where Lincoln began his political career, I have always been intrigued by him and his story.)

3. Hicks is back!
(For those who don't know or don't remember, there is a feral cat who has lived in my neighborhood for years. He is a handsome, clearly unneutered male, and I call him Hicks. Hicks will not allow me to touch him, but over time he has let me get closer and closer to him. I feed him every day, and I love hanging out in the backyard near him, in hopes that I can gain his trust. Over the winter, though, Hicks disappeared. He has disappeared for spells in the past, but this one lasted months, from January until just about 2 weeks ago. I was ecstatic when I went outside that morning to find him waiting in his usual spot, eager for me to fill the food bowls. Below is a shot of Hicks I've shared before, showing him curled up in the kiddie playhouse I have set up for him.)


4. I was surprised to learn that Eddy likes strawberries.
(My active lady cat Eddy loves her dry food, and that's it. No moist food, no treats, no human food. Except, apparently, strawberries. Housemate Toby has always shown an affinity for strawberries as well, but just recently Eddy suddenly started going crazy for them as well.)

Speaking of Eddy, who's ready for their weekly fix of this little lady?


Look at her! She's sitting still! That's what window whiffies will do to a girl.


*sniff sniff sniff* Window whiffies for the win!

A happy Friday to all!


***
Our Tip of the Day:
Always keep in mind the type of wildlife in your area, and how it might affect your furbabies. While wildlife often has much beauty and many benefits to offer, it can also pose a threat to our furbabies. Some species of wildlife, even those such as rabbits, can pass diseases on to our kitties or pups. What's more, there is also the risk of wildlife physically harming our furbabies if confronted. Do you live in the country, where coyotes often roam and seek prey? Are you located in an area with mountain lions and the like? These such animals can harm or even kill cats or dogs they find outdoors. Even if you live in the city, there is wildlife that could do serious harm to your furbabies. Raccoons, for example, may very well attack if threatened or cornered, and a full-grown raccoon can even potentially kill a small dog or cat. Even large birds of prey can make off with a small pet. It is important to keep these such factors in mind when leaving your furbaby outside, when letting them out to use the restroom, or even when walking with them, especially if in the dark. Always be aware of your area and what it has to offer, therefore, and keep an eye on your furbaby and take all precautions possible.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Q is for...

There's no denying it, I wasn't particularly looking forward to the letter Q in the A to Z Challenge. We've been adding all sorts of animals and critters to our A to Z Menagerie, but then we came to Q. I like myself a good challenge, but what on earth was I going to do with the letter Q? I had thought of a quail, and was certain that would become the newest addition to our alphabetical menagerie today. But, when I recently sat down to draw that Q of a bird, and I just wasn't feeling it.

So, what was an alphabetical doodler to do then? Consult the world wide web, of course! I searched for animals that begin with the letter Q. The list was short, no matter where I looked, there's no doubt about that. But, that doesn't mean the trusty internet left me empty-handed. Those Q animals are out there, even if I had never heard of half of them before.

Speaking of animals I had never before heard of, can anyone guess what this is?


Any guesses? Anyone? It's a quokka! That's right, a quokka, which just so happens to be an Australian marsupial, much like a smaller version of a kangaroo. Despite having already drawn a kangaroo for the letter K, I saw a picture of a quokka and knew I simply had to draw the little cutie. So, there you have it. Q is for Quokka!


Okay, Thimble's been patient, but now she's making it clear that it's her turn. After all, Thursdays are supposed be none other than Thimble Thursday posts, thank you very much. So, what has the little model been up to?


Enjoying window whiffies! What better way to spend the day than that?


Of course, Thimble had to take a break from the window in order to give her whiskers a proper sunbath. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Thimble is adding her gratitude for window whiffies and sunlit whiskers to Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.


We have so very much to be thankful for, including all of you!



***
Our Tip of the Day:
Don't forget to change your home's air filter! This time of year, when dust and pollen and all sorts of allergens are running rampant, it's important that a fresh and clean home filtration system is in check. This is especially crucial for furbabies as well as people with airborne allergies and asthma, as the air filter can play a significant role in removing respiratory aggressors from the environment. So, in order to help both the four-legged and two-legged household residents breathe easy, make sure that your air is being filtered well.