Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Toesies Tuesday

Today is the day pup Astrid goes in for her toe amputation, so as to remove the sarcoma on her paw pad. She had the tumor itself removed last week, as many of you already know, but the biopsy that revealed it to be a soft tissue sarcoma also revealed that not all of the margins were removed. Hence the toe amputation today.

That all being said, Astrid's paw has been in a bandage for about a week now. It seems that our days of bandages are not yet over, either. Perhaps that's why this is the Toesies Tuesday shot we're sharing with you today:

It took roughly half a second for the bandage to be covered in hair, 
in case you were wondering.

That there bandage is actually one that I put on Astrid's paw at home. The vet put on the first bandage after the surgery, and it was all pretty and blue. When I raided the first aid aisle at Walgreens to prepare for the at-home bandage changes, though, I found that their bandage selection was not as colorful. Astrid's paw looks like that of a mummy. I guess we know what she'll be dressing up as for Halloween this year.

We again want to thank you all for the love you've been sending Astrid's way! It truly means so much to us.

Needless to say, we cannot wait to have Astrid back home with us tonight and on the road to recovery.

Our Doodle of the Day:

The second round of Astrid vs. Bandage will be airing soon.

Our Tip of the Day:
Yesterday we talked about the importance of understanding and following at-home care instructions after a furbaby has undergone a procedure. Just as important, though, is making sure to follow all instructions prior to a procedure. One of the simple rules is that you should not feed your kitty or pup after 10 pm or so on the night prior to undergoing anesthesia. This is because a cat or dog should have an empty stomach when being anesthetized, in order to prevent issues such as aspiration. They can, however, still drink water. In addition to this, you should talk to your veterinarian about what medications should and should not be given prior to a procedure. In some cases, depending on the situation, your furbaby might need something such as an anti-inflammatory prior to surgery. This might be the case if a growth is being removed and inflammation needs to be at a minimum prior to surgery. In other cases, you might need to hold off on giving other medications, such as if your furbaby is on a pain medication that might be excessive with medications being given on the day of the procedure. For these reasons and more, always discuss with your veterinarian what is expected prior to surgery, so that everything can run as safely and smoothly as possibly during the procedure.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Nurse of the Month

First and foremost, we want to thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts for your outpouring of love and support for Astrid! Tomorrow she will be going in for her toe amputation to remove her sarcoma, and we cannot express how much better it makes us feel to know that you are all sending her such comforting purrs, barks, thoughts, and prayers. Some of you mentioned even having similar experiences with your own furbabies, and that they recovered just fine. That gives us even further optimism, and we thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

We apologize if we are absent or late to visit and comment lately. We are juggling all of Astrid's medication administrations and bandage changes on top of everything else, but we don't mind. That being said, we will be getting back on track soon and plan to visit all of you who have shared your kind words with us. Please do know that we are so, so appreciative to have such wonderful friends as all of you!

Now, today is Mancat Monday.

Evan here wanted everyone to know that he is and will continue to be a magnificent nurse for Astrid. His favorite is to help when we change the bandage on her foot.

We hope you all have a marvelous Monday!

Our Tip of the Day:
If your furbaby has a procedure done, do be sure to always get all at-home care instructions from your veterinarian. Some procedures come with certain rules, you could say. For example, if your furbaby comes home with an incision, bandage removal and/or replacement may need to occur on a certain day thereafter, which may occur at home or at a followup visit. Sometimes a followup appointment will be necessary for suture removal. For a number of procedures, certain medications may go home with you to administer them to your kitty or pup, such as antibiotics, pain medication, or an anti-inflammatory. Some procedures, such as dentals, may have rules for when and what your furbaby can eat. So, do always ensure that you understand what is expected of you and your furbaby after arriving home following a procedure, as recovery continues even after you've left the vet's office.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Pup Update

A certain somebody wanted to share a selfie and an update with you all today as part of The Cat on My Head's Sunday Selfies blog hop.

Astrid's snoozing pretty well lately, for she is on pain and anxiety meds to help her cope with the bandage on her foot that she dislikes so much.

Speaking of which, pup Astrid and I also want to share the latest update on her recent surgery to remove a tumor on her paw pad. We posted about this on Faceook, so many of you already know what we're about to say.
One of the veterinarians at our clinic called me yesterday with the biopsy results for the tumor removed from pup Astrid's paw pad. The vets and myself were all a bit shocked to find out that it is a soft tissue sarcoma. That is a malignant cancer, but, we're thinking we can be optimistic. It has only been classified as a grade I tumor, which is the least serious, you could say. It is often a localized cancer, and as long as all margins of the tumor are removed, the animal can often then be considered cancer free with a good prognosis.

That being said, the biopsy revealed that not all of the tumor's margins were removed during Astrid's surgery last week. So, she is going in on Tuesday for a full toe amputation. The vet and I had a long discussion on this, weighing out toe versus limb amputation. Both vets at our clinic, whom I really do trust, are leaning toward just the toe, as the tumor is not considered aggressive, and it is believed that removing the toe will remove the tumor in its entirety. Of course, we will always be watchful thereafter, and if we find anything concerning in the future, it will be checked out and further amputation will occur if needed.

Though no metastasis is believed to have occurred, given the generally localized type and grade of tumor, prior to surgery Astrid will nevertheless have a chest x-ray done. This will help reveal if there are any concerning spots in her lungs, or any other issues going on. She will also have pre-operation bloodwork done, though just last week her bloodwork showed nothing concerning.

There are a couple of reasons this was all so shocking to both the veterinarians and myself. One reason is that Astrid first had a tumor appear on her paw pad two years ago. At that time, it was deemed a benign histiocytoma. After some time, as was expected, the tumor went away on its own. It wasn't until recently that tumor growth began again the area. We assumed it was a histiocytoma again, but took her to the vet to be safe. That was when an inconclusive aspirate was done, and though the veterinarians were thinking it might just be a return of the histiocytoma, they did suggest removal. We moved forward with that, and here we are now.

One more reason we're all a bit shocked by this is that Astrid is only 4 years old. Of course cancer can potentially occur at any age, this type of cancer is far more common in older dogs. It's not impossible for a 4-year-old dog to have sarcoma, it's just less likely.

Though a lot of information was thrown at us, and though having Astrid go under anesthesia yet again is making me a nervous wreck, I feel like I can be optimistic with this situation.

If you have any purrs, barks, thoughts, and prayers to spare, we would certainly appreciate them. Thank you all for being such kind and supportive friends, always!

And thank out, Ann, for this beautiful badge for Astrid!

And thank you to Madi and her mom for making a post for Astrid over at the POTP blog!

We don't know what we'd do without all of you.

Our Doodle of the Day:
Our Tip of the Day:
Never forget the importance of doing routine checks of your furbaby at home. This can include feeling for any lumps and bumps during a petting session, or watching out for any other concerning symptoms. For many types of diseases, whether it be cancer or disease of the kidney, thyroid, heart, intestines, or anything else, early detection is often crucial. Since you spend the most time with your furbaby, and since you know your furbaby best, early detection can often begin with you simply keeping a watchful eye.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Caturday with Cat-o'-Lanterns: The Sequel

Welcome to the weekend! The arrival of the weekend means we get to participate in some of our favorite blog hops, like the Caturday Art blog hop, hosted by lovely Athena.

I believe we mentioned before that we were considering creating yet another Halloween header for our blog. We enjoyed doodling our current one, but we figured it never hurts to have options. And we recently mentioned that we've had cat-o'-lanterns on the mind yet again, which is probably why we are now sharing this:

What do you all think? Should this be our Halloween header now? Let us know which one you prefer – our current haunted house, or the cat-o'-lantern lineup. You all have to see our header each time you visit us, so we want you to pick!

Have a wonderful Caturday!

Our Tip of the Day:
There is sometimes debate over the health benefits of a dry versus a moist food diet for our furbabies. In some cases, dry food can potentially help keep teeth free of tartar and other such issues. This is not a guarantee, however, as animals on a dry food diet can still end up needing dental cleanings. Nevertheless, in some cases, a dry versus a moist food diet can very well affect the teeth. For example, does your furbaby have painful teeth, or no teeth at all? In this case, a moist food diet is often recommended. There are also special diets formulated for dental health, in the case that a cat or dog might benefit from this. Not only are the teeth affected by dry versus moist food, though, but also other parts of the body. Moist food, for example, is obviously high in moisture content, and so it is often recommended in the diet of any furbaby who might benefit from taking in plenty of moisture. This would include animals with kidney disease, as well as those prone to UTIs, crystals, and so forth. It's also important to think of the foods that cats and dogs eat in the wild. They often eat the meat of prey, which is not all that crunchy and which is high in moisture, which might indicate that moist food is more in line with how they would eat in the wild. Of course, though, sometimes it all comes down to the cat or dog's preference. Some cats and dogs refuse to eat dry food, and some refuse to eat moist food. In such cases, we have to take this into consideration and select foods that they will consume, as food intake is of course crucial.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Fun

TGIF! As always, we are starting this fantastic Friday with the Friendly Fill-Ins, hosted by 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader.

This week's fill-ins are just as clever as ever.

1. Keep calm and _________.
2. _________ disappoints me.
3. _________ is my _________.
4. In retrospect, _________.

And here are the answers my brain worked its way to:

1. Keep calm and cuddle a cat.
(Need I say more?)

2. Holiday Reese's Peanut Butter Cups disappoint me.
(Let's be honest, I had typed out the answer, "Humanity disappoints me." The news these days initially prompted me to write this. Then I decided that today I didn't want to be so down and dark. So, now, here I am expressing my disappointment in holiday candy. Honestly, have any of you had the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup pumpkins? They taste as they should, but they look nothing like a pumpkin. The same goes for the Christmas trees. I once read an entire article on someone's disappointment in the Reese's Christmas trees, and they outright said the candy looked like a turd. I can't say I disagree.)

3. My angel Rosie is my muse.
(I've said this more times than I can even remember. I do have a great many muses and inspirations in my life, but my calico angel Rosie is most definitely one of the biggest. As some of you may already know, Rosie was by my side from the time I was 4 years old until I was 26 years old. I happily spent a lot of time with her, and though we are no longer together on this earth, she still inspires me every day. Though some people I know might not understand understand this, as I grew up with Rosie, she taught me so much about compassion and life in general, and she is my muse in so many ways.)

4. In retrospect, perhaps I would have enjoyed a college major in art, literature, and/or creative writing.
(I have a bachelor of science in animal sciences, which I really do appreciate having. After all, I love animals, and I learned a lot about animal health and behavior, and even worked in veterinary settings for 3 years after college. But, after a while, I got a bit worn down from seeing ailing animals and watching sad goodbyes on a regular basis. I absolutely love animals and appreciate the opportunities I have had to help them, but in the end I felt like that line of work wasn't really my calling. I now work in a chemistry lab. Whats more, though, in addition to spending time with furbabies, my favorite things to do are draw and read and write. I'll admit that some days I do wonder if a major in one of those areas would have been more up my alley.)

Okay, now, what's next? Eddy, of course!

I snapped this shot during a brief Eddy nap. This sort of calm doesn't happen all that often, so I took advantage of the opportunity. That's in part why the shot is dark and not all that great. When Eddy is sitting still, you just go for it and grab the shot.


We thought we'd give you an update on Astrid, after she had the tumor on her paw pad removed on Tuesday. We are still awaiting the biopsy results, but that's not the purpose of this update anyway. To make this brief, let's just say that Astrid's foot has been agitating her ever since she got home, even with her pain and anti-inflammatory meds on board. The poor girl. She wants nothing more than to lick and chew at her affected foot, she panics when wearing the cone the vet sent home with her, she tries to remove any and all bandages and boots we put on her foot, and yesterday she managed to make her way to her incision and remove the majority of her sutures while we were away at work.

So, off to the vet we went to have her patched up. Understandably, the vet said that somehow we need to keep that dreaded cone on this anxious and annoyed pup so that her foot can heal. After doing some brainstorming, the vet gave us some anti-anxiety meds that will help calm Astrid while she's wearing that dreaded cone, and while she heals overall. I was at first worried about giving Astrid the medication, for fear that she would be too sedated. Let me tell you, though, after Astrid woke up at 1 o'clock this morning furiously kicking her foot and doing everything she could to remove her bandage, I am grateful for the anti-anxiety meds. We gave her one, and she is now resting and is the most calm I have seen her since the surgery, even with the cone on. 

All we need is a couple of weeks to get this all healed up, and though it will be a long couple of weeks, we'll get there!


Happy Friday!

Our Doodle of the Day:

Our Tip of the Day:
When we think of carbohydrates, things like pasta and bread may come to mind. But, carbohydrates in other forms are also an important aspect in pet food. In a dog or cat's food, carbohydrates often come from plants or grains, such as corn, rice, oats, or wheat. Just as in humans, carbohydrates can serve as a source of energy and fuel for our furbaby's body. That being said, carbohydrates is one aspect of pet food that may hold different levels of importance for cats and dogs.

Dogs are omnivores, meaning that even in the wild they get their nutrition from both animal and plant sources. For this reason, carbohydrates in the form of plants and grains are of course important in commercial dog food, just as meat products are. 

On the other hand, cats are strict carnivores, and in the wild they gain much of their nutrition and energy from the protein and fat of their prey. This is why plants and grains in commercial cat food is sometimes debated. Some studies indicate that cats in the wild do consume a small percentage of plant and grain carbohydrates, these being from whatever vegetation their prey may have eaten. Regardless, most commercial cat foods do contain carbohydrates from plants and grains, some in far higher percentage than others. This is where reading labels and comparing protein versus carbohydrate levels can be important for cat owners to do.

Not only is it important to consider a cat's strict carnivore ancestry, but it's also important to realize that for cats as well as dogs, a diet with a higher carbohydrate content can potentially lead to digestive concerns, such as diarrhea or flatulence. In addition, just as can be the case with fats and even protein, an excess of carbohydrates in the diet can potentially lead to weight gain. This is all just one more reason why it is so important to research, understand, and discuss with your veterinarian the best diet for your kitty or pup.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

We enjoy so many fun challenges and blog hops each week. One of these is the Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge, hosted by Angel Sammy and Teddy.

Today's rhyme time brings us to the letter R. So, are you ready to meet our R of a someone?

Ruby the Radio DJ

Do you have a favorite song?
It doesn't matter if your tune is short or long.
Whether it be a guitar ballad or a pop jingle,
Or even a famous one-hit single,
Ruby the Radio DJ can put it on the air.
She knows how to treat good music with great care!

Really, please, do not stall.
Give Ruby the Radio DJ a call.
She takes requests night and day,
And any song she will be happy to play.

Are you in the mood for jazz or blues?
Or perhaps one or two country tunes?
Do you prefer rock or pop?
Or maybe even a bit of hip hop?
No matter what music it is that you like,
Ruby will never tell you to take a hike.
She can mix songs of any kind,
For Ruby the Radio DJ is a musical mastermind.

To visit the real Ruby, just click on her name there! And, of course, here is Ruby the Radio DJ's little doodle:

Now, of course, Thimble is here for her time to shine. Literally, as we recently had ourselves a day of lovely sunshine.

Today, of course, the clouds and rain have returned. But, we'll just wait for the next chance we get to bask in the sun.

Thimble wants to share her happy sunny days for Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.

We are all grateful for the sun when it shines. Then again, we're also thankful for the rain that makes things grow. And, as always, we also are so happy to have so much else for which to be thankful, including family and friends like all of you.

We are wishing all of our friends a beautiful day!

Our Tip of the Day:
We've talked about protein and fiber in pet food, and now we're moving on to fat. Fat, like other nutrients, plays important roles for both us humans and our cats and dogs. Fats are yet another source of energy for the body and its cells, they aid in healthy skin and coat, and they are also important for growth overall. In pet foods, some fats can come from the protein source, such as chicken and beef. However, there are also other potential sources of fats in our furbabies' food. Fats can of course come from oils, such as fish oils or plant oils. The important thing is to make sure that your furbaby's food includes good quality fat sources, and in a healthy balance. For example, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which often come from sources such as fish or plant oils or chicken fat, are very beneficial, but most importantly so in proper amounts. Less quality fats and oils would include lard and other similar ingredients, and therefore do be cautious if you see these on a pet food label. Of course, any fats in too large of quantities could lead to health concerns such as obesity, so even healthy fats should not be consumed in an overabundance. As we've said before, try to educate yourself on your cat or dog's health and the best nutrition for them, and of course discuss this with a veterinarian as needed.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday

Thank you all for the purrs, barks, thoughts, and prayers for Astrid! Her surgery yesterday went very well. She had the tumor on her paw pad removed, as well as a quick dental cleaning since she was already under anesthesia. Though we anticipate the biopsy of the tumor to show benign growth, as the vet still believes it is a histiocytoma, we'll know for sure soon.

For now, though, this pup is resting.

The hardest part is that Astrid's walks and other activities will be reduced while her sutured paw heals. We'll be removing her bandage tomorrow, and after that we wait two weeks and then take her in for the removal of her sutures. For these next two weeks, Astrid will have to continue wearing her boot, especially when going outside. Luckily, she is already used to wearing a protective boot on the affected foot, as she has been wearing one since the stubborn tumor first made an appearance many moons ago.

Happy Wednesday!

Our Artsy Fartsy Endeavor of the Day:

Our Tip of the Day:
Our food talk continues today with a little something known as fiber. Fiber is a very important nutrient that, for one, aids in digestion for not only us humans but also kitties and pups. In terms of digestion, fiber can play more than one role. Depending on the circumstances and the particular type of fiber consumed, it can assist with both constipation and diarrhea. That's not all, though, as fiber can also play a beneficial role in weight loss. Fiber can make food more bulky, and in turn can help a kitty or pup feel full, which can then lead to less gorging and therefore aid in weight loss. Still, though, fiber's roles in a cat or dog's health does not end there. Studies have also indicated that high fiber diets can benefit those with diabetes, such as by helping to control blood sugar. For all of these reasons and more, be sure to educate yourself on your furbaby's health and diet, and of course discuss options with your veterinarian.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Toesies Tuesday

I asked Astrid to let me snap a shot of some of her toesies, in honor of the fact that she's having the tumor on her paw pad removed today. After she realized what was going on, though, she refused and kept her paws to herself. Evan stepped up for his puppy sister Astrid, though, and so he has some toesies to share with you today.

We want to thank everyone who has been sending us purrs, barks, thoughts, and prayers for Astrid! The veterinarian is optimistic about the removal, and though we will not know for absolute certain until the biopsy is done, we are pretty sure the tumor is benign. Though I trust our vet's office completely, I know I will be a nervous wreck until Astrid is out of surgery and all is well.

Happy Tuesday to all!

Our Doodle of the Day:

Our Tip of the Day:
Continuing on with our discussion on protein yesterday, today's tip is about how protein in pet food plays a role in food allergies. Food allergies are often in response to a particular protein in a cat or dog's food. Such a food allergy typically manifests as itchy skin, sores on the skin, hair loss, and other dermatological issues. This type of food allergy will develop after an animal has already previously been exposed to a certain type of protein found in food, as it is the resulting antibodies that lead to the allergic reaction. This is why, in order to help treat or prevent food allergies, a novel protein diet is often recommended. In other words, if an animal has food allergies, it is often suggested that they be put on a type of food made with a protein to which they have never before been exposed. This might be duck, venison, rabbit, or another novel protein. In many cases, this will help to alleviate the symptoms of food allergies. Of course, though, it is always best to discuss these options with a veterinarian!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mancat Monday

Evan wanted to star in our Mancat Monday post. After all, he is a handsome mancat. So, he found himself a nice sun puddle, struck a pose, and then, well, got photobombed.

The other mancat around here, housemate Toby, simply couldn't let himself be left out. So, he wiggled himself in behind Evan and joined in on this Mancat Monday shot.

Are there any other professional photobombers out there? Or victims of photobombing?

We're wishing all of you a happy Monday!

Oh, but before we go, mancats Evan and Toby wanted to ask all of you friends of ours if you could perhaps continue sending pup Astrid purrs, barks, and prayers. Tomorrow she will be undergoing surgery for the removal of the growth on her paw pad. We anticipate an uneventful, successful surgery, but positive thoughts can work wonders.

Our Artsy Fartsy Endeavor of the Day:

Here's another experimental doodle that will soon become a pin.

Our Tip of the Day:
This week we're going to offer a couple of tips on pet food ingredients. As you all surely know, the ingredients that go into our furbaby's food and therefore into their body all play an important role. For example, protein is a significant part of any diet. Just as with us, our cats and dogs need protein, which can be broken down into amino acids, which can in turn be used to build up new muscles and other tissues. This is why high protein is especially important in a kitten or puppy's diet, as it ensures that they can form the tissues they need to grow into healthy adults. There are also some other special considerations to make when it comes to protein. For example, furbabies suffering from pancreatitis or diabetes often benefit from high protein diets. On the other hand, a cat with renal disease requires a low protein diet for the health of their kidneys. So, while protein is indeed an important part of any diet, do be sure to do your homework and discuss with your veterinarian what ingredients you should look for in your furbaby's diet in order to keep them healthy.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday Selfie

Resident model Thimble decided that she wanted to star in our selfie for this week's Sunday Selfies blog hop, hosted by the fantastic Kitties Blue of The Cat on My Head.

This time around, Thimble couldn't decide if she wanted to showcase her big eyes, her adorable nose, or her whiskers. So, she decided to simply show them all off in one selfie. How do you think she did?

Thimble hopes all of her friends enjoyed seeing her bold and beautiful eyes, her cute little nose, and her wonderful whiskers. Now we can't wait to see the selfies you all have snapped!

Happy Sunday

(P.S. Many of you have said that you really like our previous pumpkin header. Don't worry! It will be our header once again after Halloween. Also, we're thinking we might make a similar one especially for Halloween. Perhaps one starring some cat-o'-lanterns?)

Our Artsy Fartsy Endeavor of the Day:

Just as with the past few years, I'll be having fun at lots of arts and craft fairs this holiday season. The first art fair is next weekend, which means I've been preparing by doodling up lots of new experiments. These two pins made out of upcycled cardboard are a couple of those experiments.

Our Tip of the Day:
We have talked about looking for behavioral signs of an ailing furbaby, such as aggression and a change in vocalization. To go with these, also keep an eye out for other potential behavioral symptoms. For example, is your usually social cat or dog suddenly hiding more? Hiding can mean discomfort or pain. There are other altered behaviors to look out for as well, even ones such as standing in corners or spinning in circles. Another serious symptom is head pressing, which is when a dog or cat might firmly press their head against walls or against your leg. These can be signs of neurological disorders, cognitive dysfunction, or other similar ailments. So, never forget to always be aware of both your furbaby's physical and behavioral status, as both can give an indication as to your cat or dog's health.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Caturday at the Haunted House

We love Halloween. Well, that is, this here human loves Halloween. Pup Astrid does like that it means sweets. Not that she gets any sweets, but she does get lots of Halloween puppy cookies from the local pet store. The kitties, well, they don't care about sweets, and they get locked in the back of the house with Astrid during the trick-or-treat festivities on Halloween night. The kitties do, however, enjoy trying to help decorate the house for Halloween, and then trying to get to all of the decorations that this mom of theirs puts out of their reach. So, I guess even the furbabies around here enjoy Halloween for their own special reasons. But I digress.

So, long story short, we love Halloween, and now we have finally (finally!) completed a doodle that will very soon serve as the Halloween header for this little blog of ours.

For all we know, our header will change multiple times before Halloween, since creating Halloween doodles is one of this here human's favorites. Anyway, we're sharing this haunted doodle today as part of Athena's Caturday Art blog hop. Do be sure to visit her to see the art of all of our friends!

Happy Caturday!

Our Tip of the Day:
Yesterday we talked about how it is just as important to watch for behavioral symptoms as it is to keep an eye on physical symptoms in our furbabies. Yesterday's example of this was aggression, such as if a previously friendly furbaby begins to show uncharacteristic hissing or growling. In addition to that, today we want to remind you that even your kitty or pup's vocalizations can be indicative of potential health concerns. For example, has your cat or dog become more talkative than usual? Or perhaps less talkative? A cat or dog in pain might become less talkative as well as less active altogether. On the other hand, sometimes cats and dogs suffering from cognitive dysfunction will begin to meow or bark more, including at strange times, such as in the middle of the night. Also listen for changes in the sound of your furbaby's voice. For example, those with something such as an obstructed airway or even congestive heart failure might begin sounding different, such as with a higher pitch to their meows or barks, or perhaps even quieter or muted. You know your furbaby best, and therefore you know their normal vocalizations. If you think your furbaby's vocalization has changed in an alarming way, do be sure to consult a veterinarian.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday Fun Time

Happy Friday to all! As always, we're starting our Friday off with the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by our wonderful friends over at 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader.

I was quite excited to see some festive, fall time fill-ins from our hosts this week!

1. October is the perfect time to _________.
2. Halloween _________.
3. Every October, I _________.
4. My experience with the supernatural world is _________.

I did my best to do these proud.

1. October is the perfect time to enjoy nature.
(I love autumn, especially October, for its cool weather, beautiful foliage, and overall atmosphere. Being outdoors is something I really enjoy, but I am not a fan of either extreme heat or extreme cold. That's probably why generally moderate October is just about my favorite month of the year.)

2. Halloween nearly tops my list of favorite holidays.
(Christmas and Halloween are my two favorite holidays. I probably like Christmas just a tad bit more than Halloween, but it really is a close one.)

3. Every October, I carve a jack-o'-lantern (or two, or three).
(One of the things I look most forward to about October and Halloween is that it's jack-o'-lantern season. I honestly can't really explain why I love them so much, but I really do.)

4. My experience with the supernatural world is elusive.
(I had a lot of trouble finding the right word to put here. I'm still not sure that's even the right one. While I enjoy books, movies, and TV shows about the supernatural, it's something that I'll admit I don't fully understand in the real world. I am a religious person, and to that extent I do believe in things that I know I will never fully understand.)

Guess what? It's time for your Eddy fix!

Eddy heard that Thimble got to share some bright and shiny shots yesterday, so Eddy was certain she had to do the same today.

I don't know what that's about. Eddy wanted to show off her sunshine, tongue, and blurry skills all in one shot. It doesn't help that her mom here couldn't manage to get the camera set up for a decent shot.

Have a beautiful day!

Our Doodle of the Day:

Our Tip of the Day:
We've been giving tips on symptoms of an ailing furbaby, but so far have primarily focused on the physical signs. It's not just our furbabies' bodies that can be affected by pain and illness, though, but also their mentality and their behavior. One example of this is aggression. If a previously docile cat or dog suddenly begins showing signs of aggression, such as uncharacteristic hissing or growling, that could certainly be a cause for concern. Pain or discomfort, which could stem from ailments such as arthritis or cancer, could potentially cause even a friendly cat or dog to act out, so if you notice any uncharacteristic signs of aggression, do be sure to have this checked out.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Thursday may be a full day, but it's also a fun day. The first part of the fun we'll share is the Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge, hosted by Angel Sammy and Teddy.

We are of course continuing on with our usual theme. So, with this week bringing us to the letter Q, we will now introduce you to a certain someone.

Quint the Quilter

Whether it be winter, spring, summer, or fall,
Quint will make you a quilt fairer than them all.
He can make it any colors and any pattern.
Quint the Quilter can even make a quilt that looks like Saturn!

Always stitching up those borders and blocks,
Quint loves to quilt around the clock.
His quilts are his pride and joy.
Quint the Quilter even makes quilts out of corduroy!

Are you in need of a quilt that is warm and cozy?
Would you like your quilt blue or something more rosy?
Or perhaps you like purple, yellow, red, or green?
You can choose any of those, and everything in between!

So please do let Quint know just exactly what you prefer.
There is not a single color, pattern, or stitch from which Quint will deter.
Before you know it your quilt will be stitched up and done.
After all, Quint the Quilter's quilting is second to none!

To visit the real Quint, just click there on his name! And, here is Quint the Quilter's little doodle:

Now, of course, it is Thimble's turn to star in this Thursday post. Just like last week, Thimble wanted to show off just how bright and shiny and happy she is on warm autumn days.

Is that blinding enough for you? Thimble is very thankful for the blinding, bright, beautiful sunshine. She's also very grateful for her beloved library, where this photo shoot took place.

Of course, Thimble is entering all of her thankfuls into Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop. Just like Thimble, we are all of us here thankful for sunshine and good books. We're also always so grateful for family and friends, like all of you!

Happy Thursday to all!

Our Tip of the Day:
Today's tip involves knowing how to determine your furbaby's respiration rate and heart rate. This is important because these can give indications as to your furbaby's health and well-being. Respiratory rate can be determined by watching the rising and falling of your cat or dog's chest, and counting the respirations. A cat's normal at-rest respiration rate is approximately 20 to 30 breaths per minute, whereas a dog's is approximately 10 to 30 breaths per minute. This can vary depending on their size, and toy breed dogs, for example, can sometimes have a resting respiration rate up to 40 breaths per minute. Also keep an eye out for open-mouth breathing in cats, and abnormal or distressed panting in dogs.

Moving on to heart rate, you can try to check this by feeling for it beneath the front limbs or the inner thigh, or even by using a stethoscope. At-rest heart rates for cats falls approximately in a 110 to 130 beats per minute range, and for dogs it is 70 to 180 beats per minute, with toy breeds possibly having a rate slightly higher than that.

Rates above and below the normal ranges can of course be cause for concern, and can of course be caused by any number of ailments. Elevated respiration and heart rates can be caused by pain, a variety of diseases, such as hyperthyroidism, and ingestion of various toxins. A low respiration and/or heart rate can, on the other hand, be caused by other forms of toxins, such as sedating agents. Organ failure, depending on the type and situation, can also cause either high or low respiration and heart rates. As always, if you have any concern, do consult a veterinarian!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

(Don't let Astrid fool you. Her food bowl is full and just a couple feet away from where she's pouting in this photo. It just doesn't contain kitty food, and so she deemed it a bust.)

Our Doodle of the Day:

Our Tip of the Day:
Today's health and symptom tip is with regard to your kitty or pup's legs. Obviously, as you all certainly know, difficulty walking or an inability to walk, especially as a new and sudden symptom, is a serious cause for concern. Limping, staggering, trembling legs, or any form of limb weakness can be a sign of any number of issues. A sprain, break, or other injury, as well as ailments such as arthritis, could of course be the reason. But, there are also a plethora of other potential reasons for abnormal ambulation. Seizures or epilepsy, stroke, or a blood clot can affect the legs in any number of ways. There is also the potential for limb weakness and therefore difficulty walking when an animal is suffering from kidney disease, diabetes, diseases of the thyroid, or cancer, just to name a few. Even an inner ear abnormality or a neurological disorder could lead to side effects such as vertigo, which can in turn cause trembling legs, staggering, and other forms of instability when walking. Of course, if you have any concerns with your furbaby's legs and ambulation, be sure to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tabby Tuesday

As many of you probably already know, Thimble is our resident model. She loves the camera. Then again, it loves her just the same. That being said, Thimble is almost always a willing and eager participant in photo shoots. This time around, she agreed to strike a pose for Tabby Tuesday.

Thimble is quite proud of the classic tabby "M" on her cute little brow. Here, would you like a nice little side shot of it, too?

We want to wish a happy Tuesday to all of our friends, tabby and not tabby!

Our Doodle of the Day:

Our Tip of the Day:
Today's tip is yet another reminder on how to keep an eye out for signs of an ailing furbaby. This tip focuses on the mouth. A cat or dog's mouth can give some relatively obvious signs that something is amiss. For example, if a furbaby shows an unwillingness or inability to chew or eat, this is clearly a sign that something is off, especially for furbabies who are typically more ravenous eaters. Other signs to watch out for include if a previously tidy eater begins having food or excess saliva falling from their mouth, either during or after eating. Such an issue could arise from infected, fractured, or otherwise damaged teeth, as well as a mass in the mouth or even painful gums. And don't forget about that breath, as foul breath could indicate an infection in the mouth or any number of other issues. Any such oral symptoms could of course arise from diseases or injuries directly related to the mouth, but they could also be a sign that something is amiss elsewhere in the body. In cats, for example, kidney disease can lead to characteristic malodorous breath. So, whether it be a bad breath, difficulty eating, or any other abnormality, do be sure to consult a veterinarian with any concerns about your furbaby.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Mancat Monday

It's Mancat Monday! You know what that means? It means that, well, it's time for some mancats!

Who can spot the nip nanner in that picture up there?

Mancats Evan and Toby sure know how to find a cozy sun puddle. And these boys hope all of you friends of ours have some sun puddles of your own!

Oh, and we have randomly selected a winner for the magnet we posted a picture of on Friday. And the winners are the Trout Talkin Tabbies (Da Tabbies o Trout Towne)!

Happy Monday, everybuddy!

Our Doodle of the Day:


Our Tip of the Day:
Currently, our tips focus on looking for signs that would clue you in that your furbaby is ill or in pain. Today, we're talking about how a cat or dog's ears can offer such cues. Keep an eye on how your furbaby is holding their ears, especially compared to how they typically hold them. For example, does your furbaby usually hold their ears up high and perky, but now they're low and droopy? There is a chance that low or drooping ears could indicate that a cat or dog is in pain or not feeling well. It is worth noting here that the same goes for the tail, as a low and drooping tail on a cat or dog whose tail is usually raised and perky could be a cause for concern. Back to the ears, also of course keep an eye out for just one ear being held differently, or twitching or shaking of the ears, as these could all be signs of something such as an ear infection, or even a mass or other such issue. An odor from one or both ears, or visible debris in the ear, could also indicate concerns such as these. Any number of of your cat or dog's body parts could give an indication as to their health, so always do your best to be observant.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday Selfies

Our Sunday Selfies blog hop hosts, the Kitties Blue of The Cat on My Head, are today honoring sweet Phoebe of 15andmeowing, who gained her wings this past Monday.

Evan also wanted to honor Phoebe, and so he snapped some bright and shiny shots in memory of our angel friend.

The Rainbow Bridge has welcomed many new angels lately. We are sending our purrs and prayers to all those who have had to say goodbye to loved ones.


We want to wish all our friends a happy October!

Our Doodle of the Day:

Our Tip of the Day:
To continue with our theme of how to recognize signs or symptoms of disease, today we're talking about the eyes. The eyes can offer many signs in an ailing cat or dog. Check for abnormal dilation of the pupil in one or both eyes, as this could point to anything from neurological disorders to pain. Another sign of pain or other ailment is the third eyelids, which will sometimes become and stay visible in an ailing animal. Also check for characteristics such as dull eyes, a glassy-eyed expression, squinted eyes, or eyes that are sunken in. There are also issues such as nystagmus, which is when the eyes move rapidly from side to side, which could indicate a variety of neurological disorders. Of course also always keep an eye out for discharge from the eyes, such as yellow or green discharge, which can point to something such as a corneal abrasion, ocular infection, or upper respiratory infection. We'll go ahead and lump the nose in here as well, as a similar discharge from the nose can obviously point to problems arising in your furbaby's body as well. Sickness can manifest in many ways in our furbabies, so don't forget to keep an eye out for symptoms such as these.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Caturday with Cat-o'-Lanterns

Today is one of those days when I share with you a somewhat strange little doodle. Sometimes ideas just pop in my head, and then I go with it, and then I stare at it wondering why my brain works the way it does. Anyway, though this piece may be a bit odd, here are some cat-o'-lanterns for you nonetheless.

As is perhaps obvious, I am already excited for Halloween. I have always enjoyed this spooky holiday, probably at least in part because it falls in my favorite season. Carving jack-o'-lanterns is one of my favorite Halloween festivities, and when I mixed that with my love for kitties, the above doodle happened.

Now, of course, do be sure to visit Athena for the Caturday Art blog hop and see all of the amazing art that all of our friends have to offer!

We are wishing all of our friends a happy Caturday!

Our Tip of the Day:
We all strive to keep our kitties and pups happy and healthy. In order to do this, it is important to recognize signs and symptoms of an ailing furbaby, so that we can catch things early and do our best to keep them feeling their best. This is why our next series of tips will be about how to recognize and understand some of the signs that might mean your furbaby is sick.

We'll start today with one of the first signs that a cat or dog is sick, and that is the coat and skin. In a sick animal, you might see a shift from soft and sleek fur to that which is instead dry and dull. Oftentimes, the fur will even become "feathered" in appearance, with it sticking together and sticking out in clumps. This is a sign of dehydration. In addition, the skin may become dry and dander may become prevalent. Also due to dehydration, the skin may lose elasticity and may have a more sagging appearance. Such issues often arise because the skin and coat are some of the first parts of the body to be neglected if ill, since the body will instead be focusing its attention on maintaining other more vital organs of the body. For example, cats with ailing kidneys or a faulty thyroid will often have lackluster skin and coat since their body is focusing on keeping the ailing organs functioning. So, do be sure to keep tabs on that fur, as it can say a lot about how your furbaby is feeling.