Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Woof Woof Wednesday

For the past five or so years, I've either bought or set up little Advent calendars for my furbabies. Pup Astrid's always comes from a shop on Etsy called Meatloaf's Kitchen (we're not sponsored by them, but we are quite happy with their dog treat Advent calendars).


Yesterday pup Astrid got her first Advent treat. Of course, the poor thing had to wait and pose for a photo first.


Doesn't she look thrilled? Don't worry, she got the treat right after this sad shot was snapped.

Happy Wednesday, friends!


***
Doodle of the Day

Today we have our second doodle in our series of iconic Christmas movie homes. The first house doodle, which we shared on Sunday, was inspired by the festively lit house in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Today's house is inspired by none other than the classic one in A Christmas Story. Of course, a little kitty is acting as your tour guide in this series of doodles.




***
Tip of the Day

Yesterday, we mentioned the importance of securing your Christmas tree against any furry climbers in the home. Today, we have another Christmas tree safety tip, this time regarding those light strands and ornaments. As you all certainly already know, always be careful of cords and the dangers they pose, such as if chewed on or if a furbaby becomes tangled in them. If your furbaby only seems interested in the lower branches of the tree, perhaps only place lights on the upper portion. Or, if necessary, do not use lights at all. If you do decorate your tree with lights, always unplug them if left unattended.

The same sort of rules can apply to ornaments, as needed. You can avoid placing them on the lower portion of the tree, or refrain from using them altogether. If glass ornaments might become broken and cause potential injuries, consider using only plastic ones. Also consider the dangers of ornament hooks, or the choking hazards the ornaments themselves might pose. At our house, for these reasons, ornaments are not included on the tree but are instead hung from strands of garland that are attached to the wall, out of certain furbabies' reach. You don't have to throw your festive spirit out the door if you have adventurous and Christmas tree-loving furbabies, you simply have to take necessary precautions.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Tonks Tuesday in a Tree

'Tis the season! What season? The season in which the cats at my house live inside trees, that's what season.

Do you see her in there? That there is a Tonks in a tree. She and Eddy are my primary tree climbers. They're also the only ones who are actually good at climbing trees. And they're also the reason why ornaments hang from garland on the wall rather than from the trees in our house. At our house, ornaments don't survive if they hang from a tree.

Have a very festive Tuesday, friends!


***
Flashback Doodle of the Day

Yesterday's doodle served as an illustration for a poem, but it was also the first in a very short series of doodles I'm working on. This series of doodles will include the iconic houses from a couple of my favorite Christmas movies. Before I share the next doodle in that series tomorrow, I thought I'd share a festive house I drew in the past.

Today's flashback is actually one I created way back at the end of 2017. I don't often share flashbacks from 3 years ago, in no small part because I just no longer relate to my style from 3 years ago. I find that my drawing style finally changed to its somewhat current nature about 2 years ago. This Christmas doodle from 3 years ago, though, was one of the first times I really attempted a house scene, and it was also one of the first times I created something in a style more like what I create these days. So, here's the 3-year-old festive house that segued me into my current drawing style.


I scribbled that up before Tonks and Winky even joined our family. That's how old this one is.



***
Tip of the Day

We seem to be repeating old tips these days. 'Tis the season, it would seem. That being said, over the next few days, we'll be repeating some Christmas safety tips that we gave last year. Actually, I believe we've repeated these festive tips for a couple years now. It's an important topic this time of year, though, so we'll keep going with it.

How about we start with that good ol' Christmas tree? To begin, if you put up a Christmas tree, make sure it is securely in place. This is especially important if you have a kitty or pup who enjoys climbing or otherwise giving the tree lots of attention. You can try putting the tree in a corner of a room, if that helps to keep it safe and upright against furbabies. Moreover, to be extra safe, you can find a way to anchor the tree to the floor, wall, or even a heavy, sturdy piece of furniture. There is also the option of weighing down the base of the tree, such as with weighted bags, as long as they are of a safe and secure sort. Another option, especially if your furbaby is overzealous in their love for the Christmas tree, is to block their access to it altogether, whether that be with baby gates, closed doors, or another means. Whatever it takes, if you put up a Christmas tree in a home with a tree-loving furbaby, do be sure to try and find a way to prevent a fallen tree and potential injuries.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Mancat Monday With a Rhyme on the Side

It's Christmas season, and we happily put our trees up the day after Thanksgiving. There are of course always lots of kitty helpers when it comes to putting up the Christmas trees. Evan is always one of those helpers.




Do you see how Evan is helping to trim the tree? So what if it's a fake tree? He'll trim it anyway.

Evan is doing very well after being diagnosed with a UTI on Saturday. His hind area is still a bit irritated, since the UTI worsened the urinary incontinence he already had and that resulted in him getting what's called urine scald. But, even that has improved since our amazing vet cleaned him up and gave him some antibiotics. Since Evan was due for it in early December, 7-year-old Evan also got his senior bloodwork while he was there. We'll have those results today, which I'm hoping and praying are good.

Thank you all again for your purrs and prayers for my boy Evan! He and I appreciate it more than we could ever express!



***

Now, we are finally sharing our poem for last week's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge, hosted by none other than Angel Sammy.


As always, our host shared a photo prompt to help guide us. The prompt for this poem was this fantastically festive one here:


When I first saw this bright and happy image, the first thing I thought of was the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. It's a tradition in my family to watch this movie after decorating the house for Christmas, which always occurs the day after Thanksgiving, that being Black Friday. This is probably my favorite Christmas movie of all time, and so I decided to somewhat mildly base my poem off of it. For anyone who isn't familiar with the Christmas Vacation movie, it's about a family man named Clark, and the movie essentially portrays how he and his chaotic clan celebrate Christmas. It's full of hijinks and havoc, and I love it. In one segment of the movie, Clark decorates his house with so many lights (25,000 bulbs, according to Clark) that his somewhat senile aunt asks him, "Is your house on fire, Clark?" My poem doesn't follow this same storyline, but it was inspired by it nonetheless.

Anyway, if you'd like to read my poem, which is only a few days late, here it is.


Is Your House on Fire, Clark?

No one loved Christmas more than Clark.
Each year he searched for the perfect tree, near and far.
He waited all year for the chance to deck the halls.
Turning his home into Christmas land was, to him, duty's call.

Finally, after months of unfestive boredom, Christmas was near.
Clark pulled from storage his boxes of lights, ornaments, and reindeer.
The perfect tree was found, chopped, down, and place in his house.
Christmas music filled the home's rooms, nowhere near as quiet as a mouse.

With every room inside the house filled with festive decor,
Clark turned to stringing the outside with lights, and so much more.
He had boxes upon boxes filled with lights to make the house glow,
Each strand boasting roughly a dozen tangled knots or so.

Old Mrs. Jones strolled by, walking her cat,
Because she was a woman who did exactly that.
The cat, named Snot, gave one of Clark's tangled light strands a slap.
By some miracle, the strand had one less knot, just like that.

After a few more cat slaps and a few less knots,
Clark asked Mrs. Jones if he could borrow the quite helpful Snot.
The old woman shrugged and said, "Sure, I guess.
I'll come pick him up later, with my blind old bat of a husband, Wes."

Clark thanked Mrs. Jones and then he and Snot got to work.
They undid roughly a thousand knots, certainly no fewer.
Strand by strand, Clark strung the lights all over the siding and roof,
Of course all the while humming each and every Christmas tune.

After an afternoon of laboring with the endless lights,
Clark asked Snot the cat, "Are you ready for a festive sight?"
The Christmas-addicted man plugged in the lights and was nearly blinded that night.
His house glowed with 25,000 bulbs, if his math was right.

The lights in the rest of the neighborhood may have flickered a time or two,
But Clark did not notice, for the sight of his house was all that he knew.
"We did it, Snot!" Clark said with a laugh.
As he took in the sight, he cheered and clapped.

Right on time, Mrs. Jones returned for her cat.
Snot made his way into the woman's arms and batted at her hat.
Mr. Jones came along, squinted his ancient eyes, and asked, "Is your house on fire, Clark?"
With a smile, Clark replied, "You could say that. My house is aflame with Christmas spark!"




***
Tip of the Day

Our final tip for the month of Thanksgiving, and a tip that can relate to all holidays, is to know your veterinary clinic's holiday hours. What's more, since most general veterinary clinics are closed on holidays, make yourself aware of the nearest emergency vet clinic that is open on holidays. Your usual veterinary clinic will likely have a recommendation for an emergency clinic for the hours and days they are closed. Just in case there is an emergency on a holiday, such as if your kitty or pup sneaks some food that is less than good for them, simply do a little research into nearby emergency clinics, know their hours and location, and have a plan in the event that a medical emergency might happen over a holiday.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sunday Selfie With a Sleepy Boy

Thank you all for the purrs and prayers for Evan yesterday! He is doing very well. The vet discovered that Evan has a UTI. The UTI has likely caused his incontinence to worsen, which is why he's been leaking urine nearly every time he sleeps. In turn, it was all that urine leakage, on top of his obsessive licking of the area, that caused the skin near Evan's urethra to become so irritated. Since Evan is not all that cooperative for me when it comes to cleaning him up back there, the vet cleaned him up really well. The vet even shaved away the fur that was catching all the urine from his incontinence so that it wouldn't cause the skin to get further irritated. Evan looks like a little baboon now, but the area already looks so much less irritated, and I'm better able to help him keep it clean and dry now, and that makes me happy. Evan was given some antibiotics and is already acting like he feels much better. He hasn't licked the irritated area even once since we returned home from the vet, and given that he was obsessed with licking the area before, that's already a great sign.

Evan has a selfie to share that he snapped while happily snoozing after returning home from the vet yesterday. He was cuddled up next to his this mom of his, it was pretty dark in the room, and it's just generally not great quality, but it shows how sleepy yet cute he is and so it's the selfie he's sharing.


Happy Sunday, friends!


***

Festive Flashback Doodle of the Day

We'll finally be back on track with our new Christmas doodles tomorrow, which is when we'll finally share our festive poem and its festive doodle for last week's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge. For today, though, we have a festive flashback that relates to yesterday's festive flashback doodle. Like yesterday's doodle, this is one is from last year and includes some Christmas pudding.


***

Tip of the Day

We're continuing our discussion on Thanksgiving food through to the end of November. For today, keep in mind that food safety around pets isn't just related to food preparation and eating. Safety precautions should continue even after you've finished your meal. What are we getting at? We're reminding you to be aware of dishes in the sink and food scraps or wrappers in the trash. Illness and emergencies can result if your furbaby licks off of plates in the sink that contain remnants of dangerous foods, or if they find their way into the trashcan where scraps or bones reside. So, be aware and take precautions to keep your pup or kitty safe from dangerous foods even after the feast is over. Immediately rinse or wash plates and keep the sink clear of dangerous food debris. Also take out the trash if it contains dangerous food items, or keep it securely hidden away from your furbaby.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Mancat Medical Issues and Caturday Art

I'm supposed to be sharing my weekly poem and its illustration today. Both the poem and its doodle have only a couple of small details left to be completed, which I meant to and could have easily finished yesterday. But, I didn't get around to it yesterday because I was too busy fretting over a non-emergency yet still very distracting medical issue that my orange boy Evan is having.

For those who don't know or might not remember, Evan is hind limb paralyzed. That's how he's been for almost his entire 7 years of life. For over a year now, Evan has also had urinary incontinence, very likely related to his hind limb paralysis. For some reason, Evan's incontinence is worse in the cold months, and for the past couple weeks he at the very least leaks urine almost every single time he sleeps. I give him regular baths with a spray shampoo for pets, but he's not terribly tolerant of them, and so his cleanings are often not as thorough as they should be or that I wish I could manage. Evan also simply does not like having his back legs, or other areas back there, messed with very much.

Back to the issue at hand, though. Over the past couple of days, Evan has been obsessively licking the area near his urethra. I also started noticing an odor when Evan licks back there. Evan finally let me get a good look of the area yesterday, and that's when I discovered that the area around his urethra looks incredibly unhealthy right now. Since Evan takes a bit of manhandling to thoroughly handle and bathe, my mom and sister were helping me hold him while I got a good look of the area. While they were both there holding him for me, I tried my best to give him a more thorough yet gentle cleaning in that area, but I'll be the first to admit that the cleaning I gave him most definitely did not fix the issue. My guess is that Evan's constant urine leakage and now constant licking of the area has led to far too moisture and irritation in that area. It looks very raw, very wrong, and very likely infected.

So, I called the vet the second I discovered the issue, and though they were not able to see us yesterday, I am taking Evan to the vet this morning. I am hoping and am telling myself they'll be able to fix him up with a thorough cleaning, some antibiotics, and hopefully some sort of cleaning agent that I can safely use at home to keep him clean yet also dry back there. I hope it's as simple as that and that nothing more malignant is going on. Evan is otherwise acting like his normal, cuddly, ornery, hungry self, so I hope we can get this all under control and put it behind us.

Evan's veterinarian and I have had many discussions regarding his incontinence, and we both have thus far decided against medications that are meant to control or prevent incontinence. This is because when cats take those medications, they are far more likely to end up with a urinary blockage, and we certainly don't want that. I'm eager to get the veterinarian's suggestions on keeping Evan clean yet also dry back there, despite his now chronic urinary leakage. I admittedly feel horrible that I did not notice Evan was becoming so irritated in that area, and I now have learned my lesson and will be doing far more thorough checks of him back there, even if he'd rather I didn't.

All the rambling above aside, if you have some purrs and prayers to spare for my boy Evan, both he and I would greatly appreciate it.

Oh, but we will still share a doodle for today's Caturday Art Blog Hop. It's a flashback, and it one of my favorite Christmas doodles from last year that stars an orange boy like my Evan.

After Evan and I get back from the veterinary clinic this morning, I plan on cuddling him on the couch while I finish our weekly poem and its illustration, as well as relax by working on even more of our in-progress Christmas doodles as Evan and I have a Christmas movie marathon.

Happy Caturday, friends!


***
Tip of the Day

As we said yesterday, we have enough Thanksgiving tips to last through the end of the month, so we're continuing them. Do you know what holiday food we haven't yet mentioned? Cranberries! This here human loves cranberries, but are they safe for our kitties and pups? In moderation, plain cranberries can be given as a small treat to a dog or cat who enjoys them. That being said, it is best to steer clear of cranberry sauces and juices, as those contain excess amounts of sugar and other potential additives that might not be the best for your furbaby. Also be careful with special cranberry dishes, in case they contain not only excess sugar but potentially also toxic ingredients such as alcohol. As always, when in doubt, simply don't offer it to your furbaby.

Since we're on the topic of fruits, we'll go ahead and run through a couple of other fruity treat options for your kitty or pup. If fed in moderation, berries such as blueberries and strawberries are healthy for cats and dogs, as are bananas. Apples are also generally a healthy treat option, but only if you are careful to refrain from feeding your furbaby the seeds. That being said, keep in mind that when fruits like apples are made into pies, added ingredients such as sugar are not so healthy for your furbaby. Of course, also remember that fruits like grapes and raisins are toxic to cats and dogs, so never feed those. Even cherries can be dangerous, especially if consumed in large quantities, as cyanide poisoning can result due to the contents of the stem, pit, and even leaves. So, to be safe, don't feed your furbaby cherries, cherry pie, and most certainly not chocolate-covered cherries this holiday season. Ultimately, if you are not certain that a particular fruit or other food is safe for your furbaby, simply don't feed it as a treat.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Friendly Fill-Ins and Photo Fails

We hope all of our friends in the US had a happy Thanksgiving! Now that we're all stuffed, how about we take a break with the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. If you missed the fill-in statements, we'll share them again below. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. Why is _________ so expensive?

2. On holidays, I always have a second serving of _________.

3. I'm eternally grateful for _________.

4. 'Tis the season for _________.


My answers are below in bold.

1. Why is fruit so expensive?
(I love fruit, especially fresh fruit, but a lot of fruit costs a pretty penny. I know it takes expertise and resources to grow fruit, but those price tags are still painful nonetheless.)

2. On holidays, I always have a second serving of cranberries.
(I prefer the jellied cranberry sauce, and I always have more than my fair share of it. That's okay, though, because I'm one of the only members of my family who actually likes cranberries.)

3. I'm eternally grateful for my furry family.
(I'm of course grateful for my humanoid family, but on this here blog about my four-legged furballs, I'll take another opportunity to say how much my kitties and pup mean to me. They mean more to me than I could ever put into words.)

4. 'Tis the season for giving.
(This festive season is the perfect time to give to those in need, and to the ones you love. I'm not sure that I'm necessarily the best gift-giver, but I do enjoy giving gifts regardless.)


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.



***

And now it's time for the Pet Photo Fails! Blog Hop, hosted by Mudpie and Melissa of Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries, & Meows!


Our blooper queen Eddy of course has some bloopers to share. These come from one of Eddy's recent photo shoots, in which she showed how much she loves to snuggle with Evan in bed. Some of Eddy's favorite bloopers involve every part of her being in focus, except for her head. The blurry head is one of her specialties. See?



Happy Friday, friends!



***
Festive Flashback Doodle of the Day

With Thanksgiving behind us, we are now all about Christmas around here. Our Christmas decorations are going up today, Christmas music is playing at our house 24/7, Christmas movies are constantly playing on our TV, and all that festive jazz. To kick off this Christmas season, we thought we'd share the Christmas card we scribbled up for last year.


We've been working on this year's Christmas card, as well as a plethora of other new Christmas doodles. Our first new Christmas drawing for 2020 will be shared tomorrow, which will also serve as the illustration for our weekly poem for Angel Sammy's poetry challenge.



***
Tip of the Day

We had enough Thanksgiving tips to go all the way through the end of November, so the Thanksgiving tips will continue on for a couple more days. If you're anything like us, though, you have lots of leftovers that make these tips still relevant. So, let's talk more about food!

We've previously mentioned sweet potatoes and green beans, and how these vegetables are safe when fed plain, but are best left out of your furbaby's diet if prepared in a casserole or with other added ingredients. Today, we're here to remind you of some of the other vegetables that could make for nice Thanksgiving treats for your pup or kitty, of course as long as they are fed plain. One common and nutritious vegetable is carrots. This orange vegetable can provide a large variety of beneficial nutrients, such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and others. Other veggies that are generally safe as a snack for a kitty or pup include broccoli, celery, cucumbers, spinach, and peas. So, if your pup or kitty wants to be included in the Thanksgiving feast, go for a safe and healthy option, such as a plain vegetables. Of course, though, even when it comes to veggies, it is still best to feed them to your kitty or pup in moderation. And, as you've heard us say many times now, always be aware of any ingredients that are added to foods prior to feeding them to your furbaby. If a veggie dish has been topped with onion, garlic, excess salt, or other similar seasonings, then it is no longer an ideal or safe treat for your kitty or pup.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

We're having technical difficulties again, with Google refusing our attempts to upload the new Thanksgiving doodle we want to share today. But, instead of continuing to fight with Google on Thanksgiving morning, we're going into our archives to reshare the Thanksgiving doodle we shared in 2018. It stars my angel Rosie, a guest of a turkey, and a giant Santa float from a parade that looks very different this year thanks to a certain pandemic.


Again, to our friends in the USA, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

To our friends in the rest of the world, HAPPY THURSDAY!

Wishing you all many blessings and lots of festive fun this time of the year!

On this day of thanks, and on every day of the year, we truly have so much for which to be grateful. We are grateful for our family, those still with us and those who watch over us. We are also grateful for our health, for the roof over our heads, and for the food on our table. We are grateful for this beautiful, festive season, even if it does look a bit different this year.

We are also beyond thankful for this wonderful community of friends. Without all of you, we would be lost. Thank you for helping give us so much for which to be thankful, friends! Wishing you all many blessings, today and every day!




***

We usually share our poem for Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge on of course Thursdays, but this week we're going to share it on Saturday. That post will include our first Christmas poem and first new Christmas doodle of 2020. 



***

We didn't forget about tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. We'll share the fill-in statements below. Ellen of 15andmeowing crafted up the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. Why is _________ so expensive?

2. On holidays, I always have a second serving of _________.

3. I'm eternally grateful for _________.

4. 'Tis the season for _________.





***
Tip of the Day

Surely I'm not the only one who always feasts on the classic green bean casserole for the holidays? If green bean casserole is on your Thanksgiving table, keep in mind what all ingredients are used to make it before you let your furbaby try some. A lot of green bean casseroles involve potentially dangerous ingredients, especially after you add the classic mushroom soup and onions on top. The onions themselves are of course a hazard, as are added sodium and other ingredients that sneak their way in there. For this reason, it is likely best to hold off on sharing green bean casserole with your kitty or pup. That being said, though, if you have plain green beans to serve, those can make a great and nutritious treat for that furbaby in your life!