Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday!

Happy Friday, everybuddy! We'll get this party started with the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by our good friends over at 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader.


Here are the fantastic fill-ins our hosts created for us this week:

1. In the Spring, I look forward to _________.
2. I would love to have a _________ party.
3. Few know this about me, but _________.
4. No one _________.

And here are my attempts at filling in those there fill-ins:

1. In the Spring, I look forward to outdoor adventures.
(I love being outdoors. Come Spring, when the weather warms up, I love to go out and walk pup Astrid longer and farther, to go on little mini hikes, to enjoy bike rides, and even to mow. Yes, I actually like to mow. Of course, especially for the kitties' sake, come Spring we also love bringing the outdoors in with lots of window whiffies.)

2. I would love to have a murder mystery party.
(I'm not really one for parties. I am far more fond of just small family gatherings in celebration of a special event, just keeping it simple. I won't lie, I'm a bit on the antisocial side. But, that being said, I've always thought it might be a bit fun to have a party where the guests have to solve a mock murder mystery case, like a life-size game of Clue. I know it sounds a bit morbid, but I've heard about these sorts of parties and always found the idea intriguing. Of course, I would want it to all be in good fun.)

3. Few know this about me, but I used to keep roly poly bugs as pets.
(When I was a kid, I loved roly poly bugs. I would go searching for them in the yard and driveway, make a little home for them in a box full of grass and plants, and of course name them. I remember one particular roly poly that really stuck out to me, as it seemed far more interactive than others, and so he quickly became a favorite. His name was George. I'm still quite fond of roly poly bugs, but at this point in life I've at least learned to let them live in their natural habitat and enjoy life as bugs should.)

4. No one is youer than you.
(Though I know this isn't the exact quote, this is close to a sentiment Dr. Seuss once brilliantly made. I've always loved those words of his. It may be a prime example of grammatical incorrectness, but I can forgive that for a thought so profound.)


Okay now, who's ready for Eddy? I tried with all my might this week to get a picture of her gazing out her favorite window. It's the window above my bed, and she climbs the headboard post to get to it. She does this often, but when I grab the camera, she decides that photographic evidence is simply intolerable. This week was no different.


See? All I got was her escape from the camera.


And off she goes.

Do any of our furiends hate getting caught by the camera? Eddy says she surely can't be the only furbaby who turns shy around the pawparazzi.

Happy Friday to all!


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Our Doodle of the Day:



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Our Tip of the Day:
It's Spring, and it's also still National Poison Prevention Week. So, let's give a couple more safety tips for the upcoming warm months. Nobody likes being bit by bugs, but please do avoid putting bug spray on your furbaby. Chemicals found in these sprays can indeed be toxic to dogs and cats, such as if ingested or sometimes inhaled. Even be careful of commercial bug sprays that claim to be all natural or organic, as some of these may contain ingredients such as garlic, which is indeed toxic to the furbabies in our lives. For a truly all natural bug repellent, you can perhaps try using herbs or herbal sprays that are safe and believed to repel bugs, such as basil and mint. Another warm weather poison tip relates to sunscreen. Dogs and cats can indeed get sun burn and other related skin conditions, and to combat this they can indeed benefit from sunscreen. However, while some sunscreens are safe, others may contain ingredients that could cause your pup or kitty stomach upset or other symptoms if ingested. For this reason, look into using pet-friendly sunscreen, and ask your veterinarian what to look for in terms of safe sun protection for your pup or kitty. Don't worry, though, as it is indeed possible to safely enjoy the warm weather with your furbabies!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Model Toes

Sometimes I get a bit nostalgic, maybe a tad bit sentimental. And sometimes, this leads me to compulsive actions, like buying things to feed into my sentiments. I'm such a sucker.

During one of my recent moments of nostalgia, moments which of course most often involve the furbabies in my life, I felt compelled to find something that I could wear to represent both the cats and dogs who have been in my life. Among my favorite sayings are any of the variations relating how our animals leave paw prints on our hearts. So, I went in search of something to represent that.

I ended up at one of my favorite marketplaces, which just so happens to be Etsy.com. Shopping from home sure is fantastic, isn't it? While perusing and favoriting about a gazillion different items on Etsy, I did find something that genuinely caught my eye. It's cute little something. It's a simple, shiny, sparkly necklace, and it happily portrays those nostalgic thoughts I'd been having of late.

Of course, I ordered it. It arrived. And, unsurprisingly, Thimble helped me photograph it.


It's just a simple little necklace, but it really spoke to me. To me, at least, one of the paws on this pretty little heart is most like a dog's paw, and the other is most like a cat's paw. I loved this, as both dogs and cats have left paw prints on my heart.


This little necklace, posing there with Thimble's adorable little toesies, was created by the artist behind the shop called HoneySweetJewelry. Now, this is not an endorsement and we are not being compensated for this. I simply purchased this lovely little necklace from that lovely little shop, and wanted to share the artist's work because I think it is such a simple yet beautiful style.


I'm not the only one who is fond of this necklace. Thimble quite likes it as well. She thinks it looks wonderful next to her toesies.


And, well, it looks like Thimble also thinks it makes a fantastic toy.


Oh, okay, getting in a few whacks there, Thimble?


And a few tastes as well?


Well, thank you for being such a lovely model, Thimble. Now, can I have my necklace back? Please? Pretty please with sugar on top?

Would you like a little fun fact? Today's photos were taken on the kitties' nice and hairy cat tree. Why? Because the cat tree has raised edges, and it was therefore the only surface from which Thimble could not easily slap the necklace straight to the floor. You gotta do what you gotta do.

And, of course, we're participating in Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop. I myself am so very thankful for each and every paw print on my heart, past and present. Thimble and the rest of the gang, they're thankful for their nice and hairy cat tree, and for their mom's goods and gadgets that they can slap and whap and strew about the house.


Of course, we're all also so very thankful for all of you!



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Our Doodle of the Day:
 




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Our Tip of the Day:
This week is National Poison Prevention Week. Over time, we have given a few or so tips on items that are poisonous to the furbabies in our lives. There are dangerous foods like grapes, raisins, onion, garlic, chocolate, and alcohol, just to name a few. There are toxic plants, such as lilies, daffodils, and tulips. And don't forget all those other dangerous substances and chemicals around the house, such as a variety of human medications, household cleaners, paints, and of course infamous antifreeze. But did you know that there are even products specifically manufactured for our furbabies that can still have a potential for being toxic to them? One way this is possible is if you purchase medications, such as flea prevention or deworming treatments, that are not specifically prescribed by your veterinarian or that are not purchased at a veterinary office, as the production and dispensing of the medication may not be properly regulated in such cases. On the other hand, it is also possible for your furbaby to be poisoned by veterinary products if they are not carefully or properly administered. To help combat any such emergencies, always ensure that you fully understand the dosage and other details of a medicine that the veterinarian prescribes for your cat or dog. The world may seem full of dangers, but poison prevention is possible with a little care and caution.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Guess What Wednesday

Guess what? It's Wednesday, and Astrid has yet another nosy shot to share with you!



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Our Doodle of the Day:




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Our Tip of the Day:
Spring truly is in the air now! That means open windows, more outdoor play time, longer walks, and all that fun jazz. All that being said, though, in case of a furbaby escapee out in this wonderful weather, please make sure that your dog or cat has identification, such as in the form of a collar and a microchip. Also make sure that the information provided on such identification, such as your phone number and address, is up-to-date. Additionally, in the case of the microchip, don't forget to keep up with renewal fees, and with making sure that all pertinent information is correct in the online database, so that the return of a lost furbaby might not be impossible or delayed. No one likes to even consider the thought of their furbaby getting loose or lost, so make sure that all bases are covered, so that they can be identified and returned to you!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Food Topper Tuesday (#ChewyInfluencer)

Today, Astrid will be sharing a review as part of Chewy.com's Blogger Outreach Program. First, though, this mom of hers will give a small preface.

I won't lie, Astrid is a difficult dog to feed. She gets bored of food very, very easily. When my angel kitty Rosie was geriatric, as in 20 or so years old, she also was a picky eater. She had kidney disease, on top of arthritis and a number of other age-related quirks. Astrid, somehow, is more picky than my geriatric Rosie was even on her worst days. Astrid is nearly 70 lbs, so you'd think we could buy her giant bags of dog food and be done with it. But, no, we have to buy the smallest bags we can, because she gets tired of food that quickly. To be honest, we usually have 3 or 4 small bags of food going for her at a time, of a variety of brands and flavors, so that we can mix and match and hopefully entice her to eat at least one of them.

Vet checks have proven that nothing is medically wrong with pup Astrid. She's just picky. Very, very picky. She'd rather eat cat food or the beef and chicken the humans are having for supper than work her way through a bowl of dog food. Astrid also much prefers moist food, but her intestines don't allow for that to be her sole diet. That, and even certain flavors of moist food will send Astrid running off to find better grub elsewhere.

So, that all being said, when I saw that Chewy.com was offering Halo Purely for Pets­® Mix 'n Mores™ food toppers, I thought, Why not?


Given that she is most often a huge fan of beef, that's the flavor I chose for Astrid. They also come in a variety of other flavors. These food toppers are freeze-dried and made with limited ingredients, with whole beef as the first ingredient. They contain no grain and no artificial ingredients. So far, so good!


These food toppers are also decently soft, which was great to see. Astrid does not prefer hard or crunchy kibbles. That could in part be why she is such a picky eater. Then again, that never stops her from chowing down on the kitties' dry food, so I could be wrong. (As a side note, we have tried watering Astrid's dry food down. She is never quite sure what to make of this, though. More often than not, she just leaves it to get all soggy and thoroughly gross. And, as I mentioned earlier, her intestines can't seem to handle a purely moist food diet. Astrid is a tad bit of a conundrum. But I digress.)

Anyway, as always, Astrid knew what I was up to the second I started photographing these food topper treats.


I always like to see her intrigued by what I'm doing in this sort of situation. If she doesn't like the sight or smell of what I'm cooking up for her in the kitchen, she'll happily up and leave. So, when she sticks around to give something new like this a shot, I do a little happy dance.


I first wanted to give the food topper to Astrid as a plain treat. I wanted her to know what they tasted like by themselves. This way, if she liked them, I hoped she might be enticed to eat them on her food, and to then perhaps even eat the food itself! Then again, if she didn't like them, I wouldn't put them on her food, as she already has enough trouble convincing herself to eat it as is.

Now, the big question is, what did Astrid think of the Halo Purely for Pets® Mix 'n Mores™ food toppers?


Yum! That's what she thought. I'll admit, Astrid didn't totally inhale these treats like she does her absolute favorites, but she still eagerly ate all of them I had to offer. So, then I moved on to the next test.


I put some on her food. After all, these are food toppers. Astrid did indeed eat them in this case, too. She also ate some of her food with them. She didn't necessarily eat all of her food, but she rarely does that anyway. And these food toppers do sometimes remind her that food can be yummy, and sometimes she'll actually eat a whole bowl of food with their help.

So, all in all, especially from the standpoint of a picky pup like Astrid, the Halo Purely for Pets® Mix 'n Mores™ food toppers gets 4 paws up!


(Disclaimer: As members of the Chewy.com Blogger Outreach Program, we received Halo Purely for Pets® Mix 'n Mores™ food toppers 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.)


Wishing everybuddy a tasty Tuesday!


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Our Doodle of the Day:




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Our Tip of the Day:
When a cat or dog prefers cycling through new foods rather than eating the same old thing, that is referred to as neophilia. Neophilic animals like things that are novel, new, not tried before, or at least not recently. In some animals, this is simply just the way they are, as some cats and dogs simply get bored of a certain food or toy more easily than others. Cats are often especially known for displaying neophilia, and oftentimes keep their people guessing as to what type of food might be acceptable. In some cases, though, neophilia can indeed be a cause for concern. Especially if your furbaby begins showing increased habits of neophilia, such as if they suddenly start acting bored of the food they've always enjoyed and instead start to prefer only new varieties, it might be time for a date with the vet. This is of course especially the case if you are noticing other simultaneous symptoms, such as weight loss, lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea. In some cases, a cat or dog who does not feel well might start refusing to eat their old, usual food because they might associate it with feeling unwell. Other times, if an animal does not feel well, it might only be new and exciting foods that can really spur them to want to eat. For reasons such as these, if your cat or dog begins displaying new or increased signs of neophilia, it might very well be wise to have them seen by their veterinarian. While some animals simply like plenty of variety, others might have an underlying condition sparking their desire for new, novel foods. It's always better to be safe than sorry, so be sure to phone up the vet if you have any concerns with your furbaby's dietary preferences.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Special Mancat Monday

I've noted before how I am extremely fond of and drawn to special needs animals. There's something about the strength and courage that these special little creatures exude that just speaks to me.

There are days that I might feel down and out because of a long day at work, because I get out my phone to find that its battery has died, or because I'm thirsty and open the fridge to find that my only gallon of milk has spoiled. You know, the petty things in life. Then I look down at my boy Evan, who, though hind limb paralyzed, never fails to run to the door to greet me with the happiest of meows, and who spends his evenings running around and having the time of his life without a second thought regarding his unusual circumstances. Talk about a lesson on those lemons that life throws at you. Is it any wonder that Evan is my hero?

Though he certainly lives life to the fullest, I would be lying if I said that Evan's special needs don't leave him with the occasional struggle. It's the way Evan handles these struggles, though, that speaks volumes to me. Because of his paralysis, he can't jump, but instead of giving up, he uncomplainingly uses stools and other elevating maneuvers to get wherever he pleases. Then there are times like a couple months back, when Evan obviously rolled his hind limbs over something sharp or abrasive, and so ended up with some open sores on his underside.


Evan, never one to complain, didn't say much of anything about it. I only noticed the sores when he was snoozing with them exposed. I discovered them and felt like crying, worried that he had cut himself on a loose floorboard or some other area in the home that I neglected. Evan, on the other hand, kept on running and playing and snoozing like he never knew a bother in the world. Luckily, these sores appeared right around the time of his annual visit to the vet's office, and so of course I showed them to the vet.


I have learned over the years that Evan simply does not tolerate bandages being put on him. Nope, he does not tolerate that at all. His vet knows this, and so to help the sores heal, rather than bandage them, she gave him an injection of antibiotic and sent me home with a special cleanser.


Evan, the good boy he is, let me clean his wounds and took it like a champ. While I would look at his sores and coddle and cuddle him when they looked raw and red, he would act like they didn't even exist. Meanwhile, I found any and every area of the home that might even just possibly abrade Evan's exposed underside and fixed them or covered them up with rugs. After lots of such redecorating and wound cleansing, guess what? Evan's sore are just about all healed up now!


See? Actually, it's sort of hard to see here, as Evan curled his legs to hide that permanent bald spot he's had since kittenhood. But his sores are indeed nearly all healed up, with no rawness or bleeding to note, and that makes this momma one happy lady.

It never ceases to amaze me the strength and courage the animals around us display, especially those with special needs. I feel like I could observe these amazing creatures for my entire lifetime, and still never stop learning from them. They're just that amazing, our furbabies are.

Well, now that you got a fix of our musings on this Monday, we're wishing you all a marvelous day!


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Our Doodle of the Day:

 


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Our Tip of the Day:
I have given tips before about please considering adopting a special needs animal. They are so often passed over at shelters for being "imperfect", despite the fact that they have so much love and life to give. As I'm sure most of you know, though, before adopting a special needs animal, do consider their particular situation and whether you, your family, and your home can cater to that. Special needs come in many forms, such as in the form of various diseases, blindness, deafness, paralysis, and even behavioral conditions such as anxiety and aggression. When considering the adoption of a special needs animal, take into account your personal lifestyle, your work hours, how often you are home and and how long you might be away from home, the size and age range of your family, and even such things as the layout of your home. Some special needs might not work well with a large family or one with small children, some special needs might best thrive in the company of someone who rarely leaves home, and so on and so forth. So, while it is wonderful and compassionate to consider adopting a special needs animal, it is also not something to simply jump into without any forethought or planning. Don't worry, though, because even if you conclude that you are not reasonably able to adopt a special needs animal, that doesn't mean you can't help them! You can still donate your time, resources, or even simply some good thoughts and prayers to help a special needs animal on their journey to a forever home.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Lazy Sunday Selfies

We sure do love Sundays. Who wouldn't? Just one of the reasons we are so very fond of this first day of the week is that it means it's time for the Sunday Selfies blog hop, hosted by our good pals over at The Cat on My Head.


Last week, Thimble had the day all to herself. Perhaps that's why this time around, Evan asked if he could have Sunday all to himself. After all, sharing isn't always all that it's cracked up to be. So, Evan's turn for selfies it is.

To be honest, though Evan volunteered, he admitted that he didn't want to go all out this time around. He wanted this to be a lazy Sunday, which means lazy selfies.


Evan stayed in bed for his selfies this week. It was a freshly made bed, after all, and that's the best of the best.


See, though, he told me that he could still take perfectly decent selfies even from bed.


Look at that, he even managed a close up!

We hope all of our furiends are enjoying a lazy Sunday full of snoozies and sun puddles!


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Our Doodle of the Day:



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Our Tip of the Day:
Do you have any spring break or summer trips planned? If you will be going away and your furbaby won't be traveling with you, don't forget to plan well ahead with regard to their care. Especially this time of year, when vacations are common, nabbing a trusted pet-sitter or a spot at a reputable boarding facility can sometimes be more difficult. For this reason, as soon as you know that you will be going away from home, give a call to a trusted pet-sitter or boarding facility so as to schedule your furbaby's stay well in advance. You don't want to find yourself scrambling last minute to find someone to care for your beloved furbaby, so it is always wise to put scheduling pet care at the top of your to-do list for any vacation.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

March Magic

Around here, we love us some magic. I've mentioned before how I am a big fan of the fantasy genre, in terms of books, movies, and television shows. I believe I've also mentioned before how I can thank my dad for this. He grew up with a love for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Then, he read The Hobbit to my sister and me when we were children, and of course also hand drew a map of Tolkien's Middle-earth and hung it from the wall of our childhood playroom. You know, just the usual.

In summary, I love fantasy. Perhaps that's why I've been in the mood to draw some whimsical doodles of late. At the same time, though, despite the cold temperatures and snow falling from the sky in mid-March, I've also been hankering to draw some Spring pieces. So, when I couldn't decide whether to make our contribution to Athena's always fun Caturday Art blog hop more on the magical side or more in tune with Spring, I ended up just meeting in the middle.
 

We hope everybuddy is having a magical March!

To see the lovely art created by many of our furiends, be sure to visit Athena today!

http://www.athenacatgoddess.com/2017/03/caturdayart-thick-oil-paint-effect.html



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Our Tip of the Day:
Though for many of us it may not seem like it quite yet, Spring is just around the corner. If you have some Spring cleaning planned, don't forget your furbaby's goods in those plans for tidying up. Consider the items that your furbaby uses frequently, and make sure that these items are cleaned and freshened up. For example, does your furbaby have a favorite pet bed? And has this pet bed been run through the wash recently? If not, have at it! The same goes for blankets or other bedding used by your furbaby, and even items such as your furbaby's clothing, collar, and leash can get dirty and need the help of a little soap and water. Also don't forget to consider the cleanliness of your furbaby's toys. Cloth toys may need a turn in the wash, and chew toys may benefit from a soapy soak and a good rinse to potentially remove bacteria or other debris passed along from your furbaby's mouth. And does your furbaby have one of those food dispensing toys? Crumbs and other debris can end up stuck in such toys, and old food and the like can spoil, and nobody wants to have filth or the likes of microbial growth in their toys. Of course, cleaning up after your furbaby is a year round duty, but Spring cleaning is a good time to take note of items that might be forgotten but which also might be in need of some care.