Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday Selfie

A certain kitten around here wanted to try her hand paw at snapping a selfie. Since this little kitty isn't usually all that eager to sit still, let alone pose for any semblance of a photo, I handed that camera right on over to her.


Given that little miss Tonks's attention span is rarely intact, there was no time for messing around with camera settings for this one. This was a you-get-what-you-get sort of selfie. This was a spur-of-the-moment type of deal. Then again, isn't that how most things are with kittens?

Tonks hopes you all enjoyed her selfie! She also hopes you all weren't planning on getting used to this. After all, Tonks is a busy girl with things to do and places to be. That's probably why she informed me that I shouldn't expect her to be so willing to snap a selfie on the regular.

Well, at least for this week, Tonks is responsible for our contribution to the Sunday Selfies Blog Hop, hosted by the Kitties Blue over at The Cat on My Head.


Have a stupendous Sunday, friends!



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Our Doodle of the Day:




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Our Tip of the Day:

We're still not done with tips for National Cat Health Care Month. Today, we're here to remind you to regularly groom your kitty. Brushing your cat has many benefits, such as removing hair that might otherwise lead to hairballs. Hairballs can not only potentially cause vomiting, but also, in some cases, intestinal blockages, which is certainly something no one wants. In addition, brushing can of course also help prevent painful mats, or remove those that are forming. A well-groomed kitty is a happy and healthy kitty, so keep that brush handy. Regular nail trims would also come into play in this topic of regularly grooming your kitty. Of course, if your kitty does not allow for you to brush him or her or trim his or her nails, then perhaps consider a professional groomer, or asking your veterinarian if they offer grooming services. This is especially important for kitties with issues such as mats or painfully long nails that need addressed.

While we're on this topic, remember that cats are both physically and behaviorally equipped to bathe themselves. Therefore, unless your kitty becomes unusually dirty or for some reason is in dire need of a full bath, putting your kitty in that bathtub for a scrub down is not generally necessary. In fact, bathing your kitty could even lead to dry skin or fur, which is of course not ideal for their comfort or health. So, unless a bath is absolutely called for, leave the regular grooming to brushing, nails trims, and other such tasks that will keep your stay kitty sleek, shiny, healthy, and happy.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Yet Another Caturday in the Library

You guys, it's been something like six days since I last doodled a cat with books. Six days! Can you believe that? That is far too long. So, here you go.


I have decided that I will, yet again, be doing a whole series of doodles starring cats and books. I seem to do this frequently. My favorite things to doodle are, well, cats and books. That means that sometimes I just want to draw kitties and their reads over and over again, and that's when you guys get to see this sort of doodle for days and days on end. As you might have noticed above, my angel Rosie is the first to star in this newest series of bookish doodles.

This bookworm doodle is of course our contribution to Athena's Caturday Art Blog Hop.


Wishing you all a beautiful day, and lots of good books!



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Our Tip of the Day

We have a couple more tips related to this National Cat Health Care Month. These last ones are some random bits and pieces to help keep your kitty as happy and healthy as possible. Today it's all about those ears. Just as with humans, our kitties' ears can get a bit dirty. Wax can accumulate in a cat's ears, and can even become impacted. Your vet will check your cat's ears during their regular exams, but in between those times, if needed, you can help keep your kitty's ears clean at home. The safest thing to do is to ask your veterinarian not only if and how often your kitty needs those ears washed, but also what ear cleanser to use. Many veterinary offices will have pet-friendly ear cleaning solutions available. Some of these simply require that you drip some in the cat's ear and then rub the base of the ear. It can often be as simple and easy as that, if that is something your veterinarian thinks is of benefit to your kitty.

Also related to ear health is allergies. Airborne allergies can lead to itchy ears, just as can food allergies. Ear infections can result from such allergies, or from other potential causes. No matter the reason, always be sure to keep an eye on those ears. Does your kitty hold one or both ears down? Does he or she scratch at them? Are there scabs or hair loss around the ears? Are the ears warm to the touch? Do they have a strange odor to them? Ear infections, or other issues of the ear, can of course manifest in a variety of ways. So, if you have any concerns, do discuss the topic with a veterinarian. If there is an infection, antibiotics for the affected ear or ears will be necessary to treat the infection. Infections in the ear can lead to permanent damage if left untreated, so though it may seem like a small concern, that's not necessarily the case.

The ears are just one of the many parts of your kitty that can affect their overall health and happiness. So, keep an eye on those ears!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friendly Fill-Ins

Hello, Friday, it's nice to see you again. Who's as excited for Friday as we are? And who's as excited as we are for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge? In case you missed the fill-in statements yesterday, we'll share them again here. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. If it wasn't for _________, I _________.

2. _________ before _________.

3. _________ is my preferred method of communication.

4. You can't buy _________.


And, here's how I fared. My answers are written in bold.

1. If it wasn't for my furbabies, I would feel lost.
(I feel like one of my most fundamental purposes in life is to be the best mom possible to the kitties and pups who make their way to my home and heart. I am not one of those women who has ever been drawn to marriage or raising a family of the human sort. I of course mean absolutely no offense to those who do enjoy such a life, it's just not for me. That is a completely different story, however, when it comes to raising furry babies. Though I wish I could do so, so much more for all of the homeless cats and dogs in the world, I can at the very least give the happiest home that I can to my furbabies. This is one of the greatest things that gives my life purpose and joy.)

2. Sometimes you have to fall before you can rise.
(I've always thought sayings like this were inspirational in a relatable way. It's nice to have little reminders that if you fall or fail, you don't have to stay down or give up. In fact, if you fall or fail, it's most often better to get up and try again, even if that means going a different route.)

3. Writing is my preferred method of communication.
(I'm not the talkative sort, neither in person nor on the phone. I'd much rather write a letter, card, email, text message, blog post, or something along those lines. Not that I have to tell that to any of you poor souls who constantly read my babbling words here on our blog. Anyway, other answers I almost put here were imagery and silence as my favorite forms of communication.)

4. You can't buy love, but you can adopt it.
(My doodle further down in this post relates to this one.)


Now it's your turn!
To add your link to the Friendly Fill-Ins Linky list, just click HERE!
You can also click on the badge below to add your link.


You are also welcome to complete the fill-ins in the comments below,
or in the comments on Ellen's blog, 15andmeowing.



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As with every Friday, it's now Eddy's turn to shine. Today, we have a shot of her from a really flattering angle.


See? Aren't Eddy's chest hairs so stunning?

Happy Friday, friends!



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Our Doodle of the Day:




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Our Tip of the Day:

We're still in National Cat Health Care Month, so we're not done with this topic just yet. We've previously mentioned using interactive toys to keep your cat active, as well as to help control their eating habits. These types of toys can also play a large role in another aspect of a cat's life, though, and that is with regard to mental stimulation. Just as with us humans, cats' minds need to be exercised just like their bodies do. Without mental stimulation, a cat can become unhappy and can act out, such as with unwanted or even dangerous behaviors, like aggression. Toys and games are just one way that you can help keep your cat's mind active and healthy.

Another method for giving your cat's mind a workout is to ensure they have a good view out of at least one window, but preferably many windows throughout the house. Watching birds, squirrels, and other wildlife, as well as people and even cars, can give your cat something to watch and something to stimulate their mind. Cats are natural predators, so of course having a view of birds and squirrels, for example, is something that they often greatly enjoy. You can put furniture, a cat tree, or even a box near a window, or even a secure screen door, where your cat can perch and watch out.

Also, don't forget the wonders that a TV or computer can work. Some cats greatly enjoy watching movement on the television, such as if they can see on the screen other animals and wildlife just like they might see out the window. The computer is also great for this. Some websites even have games or screensavers designed specifically for cats' enjoyment. Of course, do be careful that the TV or computer and any related parts and pieces are safe for your kitty, and that your kitty is safe for them.

There are many ways you can ensure that your kitty has proper mental stimulation. So, to keep your kitty happy and healthy all around, try to find their favorite means of engaging that mind of theirs.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day Extravaganza

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Truth be told, this here human really isn't much of a fan of Valentine's Day. I think I've mentioned this before. I'm the farthest thing from a romantic, and the only time I'm lovey-dovey is when I have something furry and cute in my vicinity. That being said, our Valentine's greetings today are brought to you by none other than my furry Valentines.






Our house panther housemates, Toby and Winky, who own my sister and live with us, are of course also my Valentines.



Yes, the only decent, recent photo I could find of little miss Winky was this Christmas shot. As I scrolled through my photos, trying to find a more recent, good image of Winky to share today, I realized that she is way up there with Eddy in terms of blooper abilities. Hence this last resort Christmas image on Valentine's Day.

Today, on Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for my furry Valentines. They are the loves of my life, and I would be lost without them.




***

We're not done with the Valentine feels just yet. After all, it's a day for rhymes, and we have some semblance of a lovey-dovey rhyme to share today.


Indeed, we are of course participating Angel Sammy and Teddy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge! Each week, our hosts offer a photo prompt to guide our poetic endeavors. This week's image is this mesmerizing one here:


My poem was indeed inspired by this stunning image. I feel like I sort of lost the original subject matter, though. My poem does, however, have some sort of galactic setting, and also some semblance of love. 


A Very Venus Valentine

When Andromeda turned 30 years young,
She was ready to say goodbye to her days of party fun.
Now a mature and grown adult,
Andromeda knew exactly whom to consult.

The young woman pulled out a brochure for a company not quite local,
That being the famed Intergalactic Matchmaking Mogul.
Now at a mature and grown 30 years young,
Andromeda thought it was past time her love life had begun.

The Intergalactic Matchmaking Mogul had a handful of rules,
So that no one treated the process like a fool.
Andromeda had to answer a question, or two, or three.
This was not a matter to treat with any amount of apathy.
The Intergalactic Matchmaking Mogul strove to find matches made in heaven,
And that was certainly nothing to sully or put second.

Andromeda told the Intergalactic Matchmaking Mogul what they needed to know,
Trying to make sure her answers were honest and just so.
She told them she was looking for a companion to snuggle on the couch.
Perhaps, preferably, one who was not much of a grouch.

Andromeda submitted her thoughts on her perfect match made in heaven.
After a short wait, she was contacted by Intergalactic Matchmaking Mogul worker Kevin.
"Miss Andromeda," Kevin did say,
"I believe we have found for you a match perfect in every way.
He is searching for love, and Orion is his name.
There is just but one little catch.
All the way over in Venus is where you will find your match."

A few more details were discussed,
After which Andromeda gushed,
"I'll travel anywhere to meet this match made in heaven.
Thank you for this wonderful news, Kevin!"

And so Andromeda set out on a lengthy trip.
Through colonies of androids, planets, and stars she did zip.
Finally, across the galaxy Venus was in sight,
And that was where Andromeda ended her flight.

The Intergalactic Matchmaking Mogul had class-act customer service,
For on Venus, Andromeda was promptly met by a rep named Jervis.
He greeted her, shook her hand, and did inform,
"Your match made in heaven is waiting for you at a place called Grub Galore."
"Well, then," Andromeda exclaimed, "to there we shall go!"

Jervis escorted Andromeda to the rendezvous spot,
Where servers carried around dishes steaming hot.
Jervis pointed to a table tucked way back in the corner,
Which was currently a table of one, covered in hors d'oeuvres.

"There he is," Jervis said. "That's Orion.
He really, truly is a downright riot.
He's also ready for a home,
A home he can call his very own."

Andromeda watched her Orion as he sat waiting at a table.
Well, more like on the table, which was, thankfully, stable.
Orion was, simply put, a ginger,
With the added touch of fine white whiskers.

Orion's eyes were an electric green,
And on top of the table he began to preen.
He wiped his nose,
Rearranged his purple bow,
And then began to clean his toes.

When he was thoroughly kempt,
Orion dipped into an appetizer of shrimp.
After observing every bit of this,
Andromeda clapped her hands said these words from her lips:
"Orion, you're perfect, and how!"
To that, her match made in heaven looked up and did reply, "Meow."




***

Last but not least, we have for you the fill-in statements for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. Ellen of 15andmeowing is the mastermind behind the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. If it wasn't for _________, I _________.

2. _________ before _________.

3. _________ is my preferred method of communication.

4. You can't buy _________.




We'll see you tomorrow, friends!



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Our Tip of the Day:

As a continuation of our National Cat Health Month tips, and also related to our tips from the past two days, we have a bit more (more like a lot more) to say on food and weight management for those kitties in your life. We've already discussed selecting a proper diet for weight management, as well as initiating activity and playtime to aid in any needed weight loss. Today, to add on to that, we're going to give a couple of tips that could potentially help keep certain feline food fiends healthy and fit.

The following tips will most relate to those cats who scarf down their food. Eating fast can, to put it simply, lead a cat to immediately desiring more food, even after just eating, and can thereby lead to weight gain if they indeed attain that second or even third serving. Another negative side to rapid eating is that a cat can also regurgitate or vomit food that they gobbled up too quickly, and excess vomiting is of course less than ideal. To help reduce these issues related to rapid eating, there are a couple of tricks you could try.

To begin, you could of course try one of those famous treat-dispensing toys. Making your cat work for their food in this way can help them to eat slower, as they will not be able to scarf down a serving so quickly. It will also prompt activity on their part, which will keep their little body moving and burning extra calories even while eating.

Another trick to help slow down those quick eaters is to simply use a plate rather than a bowl. Food served on a plate is not as easily scarfed, since they will not have the sides of a bowl to help keep the food in place and easily inhaled into their mouth. Another similar method would simply involve feeding your cat their food directly on the floor, from which they will again have to be careful and diligent about picking up and eating the morsels. In this same line of thought, you could try putting something such as a ping pong ball or golf ball in your cat's bowl or plate with their food. The kitty will then have to eat around the ball, and that will thereby help slow their eating. There are also bowls on the market that serve this same purpose, such as bowls that have partitions around which a cat has to more carefully eat their food.

The above are all just some simple tricks that could potentially help slow a cat's eating. Helping a food-focused cat eat in a slower, more controlled, less manic way can help them realize that they are full after eating, so that they can perhaps refrain from immediately begging for more food after inhaling their meal. Of course, that being said, do be aware and mindful of your cat's response to these methods. If they are unable to figure out how to reach their meal in a food dispenser, or if they seem unable or unwilling to eat from a certain bowl or plate, then reassess the methods you could use to slow their eating, or discuss other options with a veterinarian.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A Pre-Valentine's Day Love Story

Once upon a time, there was a brown-eyed girl. She was always looking ahead, pondering what her future might hold.


What the brown-eyed girl didn't know was that there was a starry-eyed boy out there made just for her.


These two, their love story began when they were young.


And that love story, it continues on to this day, even after all these years. Five years, to be roughly exact.



Well, that tale was short, sweet, and downright cheesy, wasn't it? The real story is far more cut-and-dried than it is flowery. The plain and simple reality is that my parents' cat Trapper loves him some Astrid, and he always has. He loves her smell, he loves sitting with her, and sitting on her. It doesn't matter if said pup wants her personal space, because Trapper is simply not going to allow for that if the pup is around.

In case you were curious, that last less-than-quality photo was a quick shot taken just last night, when Astrid visited my parents' house after her walk. When pup Astrid goes to my parents' house, Trapper always finds her. Always. Whether Astrid likes it or not. Romantic, huh?

Obviously, I had to doodle something up for these lovebirds.




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Our Tip of the Day:

Our current topic of conversation stems back to the fact that it is National Cat Health Month. Yesterday, in our tip regarding diet, we made a comment on the fact that your kitty's weight will indeed help determine the best diet for them. Today's tip is a continuation of that topic of weight. If your cat is overweight, for example, then portion control is of course important, as is the type of food, frequency of feedings, and other such factors. There are weight loss cat foods on the market, these often focusing on high protein intake, but do be sure to discuss with a veterinarian your kitty's weight and the best diet to help them live a healthy, fit life. Similarly, if a cat is underweight, such as due to an illness, diet can play a large role in increasing their weight and overall health. Again, discuss with a veterinarian what type and quantity of food to feed your cat in order to achieve an optimal weight.

Moving on from diet, though, we'll now briefly discuss activity level. We'll primarily discuss this in terms of overweight cats, as activity level indeed affects this greatly. So, especially if your cat is overweight, engage them in various activities and games each day. You can grab a toy and play chase or catch with them. Wand toys, as you all certainly know, are often great at getting cats up and moving. You can also enlist the help of more advanced interactive toys, which can keep your cat busy without you having to do all the work. Anything that is safe yet that also keeps your kitty's interest and prompts them to move around and participate in daily activity can be a great benefit to their body condition and overall health.

The above being said, if your cat is in any way ill or injured, such as with asthma or an injury, do be sure to discuss with a veterinarian what types of activity are safe for them. Diet and activity level will both of course play a large roll in keeping your cat's weight in a healthy range, but not all diets and activity levels are suited for all cats. So, if your cat is overweight, or even underweight, perhaps do some research, discuss your individual kitty's condition with a veterinarian, and then remain motivated and optimistic about getting your kitty healthy and fit.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Take It Back Tuesday

Just last week, I admitted that I still have difficulty looking at photos of my angel Rosie, because of how I miss making such memories with her. That being said, though, there are a number of photos of my sweet calico angel that I do very often gaze at, because they remind me of the peace and beauty she brought to my life. One such photo is this one here, which our regular readers have probably seen more than once:


For anyone who hasn't heard the story yet, that photo was snapped when, believe it or not, Rosie went on a road trip with my family and me when she was nearly 20 years old. At that time, was Rosie was doing incredibly well, despite her kidney disease. She took medications and received subcutaneous fluids on a daily basis, but she would not allow anyone but my mom and myself to administer such treatments. So, in order to ensure that Rosie remained on the treatments that were keeping her healthy and happy in spite of kidney disease, we risked taking her with us on a road trip to visit my uncle who lives a 10-hour car ride away.

My sweet angel Rosie did wonderfully on that road trip. Though this is certainly not an ideal or recommended way of traveling with a kitty, Rosie remained perfectly content and happy if she could sleep on a lap while we traveled. We obliged her, driving with loads of extra caution for her precious sake.

I felt compelled to share this flashback of my Rosie not only because I so very much enjoy the memory of her, but also because the first doodle in my Valentine's series stars none other than my sweet calico angel. After all, it only felt right to start my doodles of love for none other than one of my very first true loves. So, this one's for my beloved angel Rosie.


Have a beautiful Tuesday, friends!



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Our Tip of the Day:

We're continuing on with our tips for National Cat Health Month, today's tip being all about diet. As you all certainly know, not all foods are created equal. Always be sure to do your research and read labels, ensuring that you are feeding your kitty food that is as high-quality as possible. Also remember that cats are obligate carnivores, so make sure that their diet largely reflects this. In addition, when it comes to feeding your cat, it is of course important to take a number of other factors into consideration, such as their age and health status. For example, kittens do best on foods formulated for kittens, as these diets will include higher protein and fat content, which helps aid in their growth and development. As your cat ages, consider how their health will affect their dietary needs. For example, does your cat have kidney disease or diabetes? Cats with kidney disease should be on a diet lower in protein, in order to help their kidneys function as well as possible. On the other hand, cats with diabetes are often better regulated when on a diet higher in protein. Other factors that could affect diet include of course food allergies, dermatitis, arthritis, dental disease, and weight, just to name a few. The most important thing is to understand your cat's dietary needs based on their overall health status. Of course, as needed, discuss your kitty's dietary needs with their veterinarian, and make sure you understand what type of food would be best for them.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Mancat Monday Mishaps

Mancat Evan is often so very photogenic.


Sometimes, though, even a handsome mancat is not camera-ready.


On the other hand paw, sometimes Evan is ready for that purrfect closeup shot.


Other times, though, that closeup just isn't meant to be.


Yikes. Evan sure hopes he didn't scare you with that slightly nightmarish shot.

Happy Monday, friends!



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Our Doodle of the Day:

Today, we have the last doodle in our current series inspired by the Harry Potter books, which I have enjoyed since my childhood. For this one, unlike the first of these doodles, I didn't need to create a cat for this book series that, in my opinion, stars far too few cats. Instead, for this doodle, I was inspired by a cat who actually does regularly appear in the books. This cat is named Mrs. Norris, and she is the cat of the caretaker of the magical school of a castle known as Hogwarts. Mrs. Norris herself is quite the fantastic hall monitor, and she often proficiently catches students like Harry Potter when they are where they should not be.




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Our Tip of the Day:

Today's National Cat Health Month tip is one we already gave recently, but that we'll repeat yet again because it can be very important for your kitty's health. And this tip is to keep up with those preventatives. Typically recommended for monthly administration, different forms of prevention can, of course, prevent a variety of health concerns. For example, flea prevention can help keep your kitty free from flea infestations, flea bites and related dermatitis, bloodborne diseases that can be contracted from fleas, and other issues that arise from a kitty having fleas. Especially depending on your cat's lifestyle, such as if they go outdoors, administering prevention for parasites such as tapeworms and roundworms can also be significant. If infested, various intestinal worms can lead to issues such as diarrhea and weight loss, among others. Also don't forget the concern of heartworms, which can stem from mosquitoes. Heartworms can be a very dangerous parasite that can affect the heart and lungs, so preventing this is of course something significant to consider. Prevention is something to always consider for keeping your kitty happy and healthy. That being said, do always still discuss this with your veterinarian, who can help you determine your kitty's risk for certain parasites, and which preventatives might be best or safest for your kitty.