Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Some Toesies and a Tail on Tuesday

I asked Tonks to strike a pose or two for today. This time around, though, my little calico informed me that she wasn't interested in having her photo taken. That being said, I did steal a photo of some of her toesies and her tail.


When Tonks realized I was sneaking in some shots of her cute little toesies, though, she put an end to that.


Tonks hopes none of you friends of hers have to put up with a human or camera stealing shots of your toesies. Can you believe this here mom of Tonks was so rude? Sheesh.

We hope you all have a terrific Tuesday!



***
Flashback Doodle of the Day

Today's flashback doodle is another one from last year's winter series. This series was nothing like the wacky witchy one I've been sharing over the past few days. The wintry series of doodles from last year was more like this:




***
Tip of the Day

We've discussed helping ferals stay warm and cared for in the winter, such as by offering them even makeshift shelters and putting food out for them. We've also mentioned helping your own kitties or pups remain healthy and happy during the cold winter months, such as by minimizing time their outdoors and offering extra warm places for them to sleep inside the home. But, what role can you play when it comes to others' companion animals, those who are not ferals, but who are also not your own furbabies? The important thing when it comes to this is to be observant, to be aware of an observed companion animal's situation on a cold winter day, and, if necessary, to be a voice for the voiceless.

If you notice someone's pet cat or dog being kept outdoors for an extended, unsafe length of time on a cold winter day, then get the details of the situation and report it. Also report if an animal being abused or neglected in this way is left outside in the cold without shelter in which to stay warm, or while chained up, and so forth. If you believe you are witnessing a stray animal struggling to survive without a home, in the cold winter months or any time of the year, also report this to someone who can help them. In any such cases, get the address where the animal is located, the number of animals affected, details regarding the conditions in which the animal is living, and even get pictures if possible.

In case you ever do find yourself facing a situation of animal abuse or neglect, try to make sure you are aware of whom to call in order to get help for an animal in need. In some locations, cases of animal abuse or neglect are best reported to certain humane organizations. In some places, if you notice animal abuse or neglect, you should call animal control, or law enforcement. What's more, to ensure than an abused or neglected animal is indeed rescued from unsafe conditions, don't just report it, but follow through with any reports you make to ensure that animals suffering abuse or neglect get the help they need.

At this point, we do want to make what we're sure is an obvious clarification. In order to avoid mistakes or misunderstandings, never jump to conclusions without first having the facts, and this of course regards the care of others' furbabies. For example, if you see a dog outside in someone's yard on a cold winter day, don't automatically assume this is a case of abuse or neglect, and don't raise false alarms. In some cases, a dog might of course just be outside on a short bathroom break, perhaps even with their human monitoring them from inside the home. So, before making any reports, always make sure you have observed the situation enough to know the facts and to have formed proper conclusions regarding animal abuse or neglect. If you do ultimately come to the conclusion that an animal is living in unsafe conditions, then do your best to seek help for them.

Monday, January 27, 2020

A Purrfect Fit on Mancat Monday

Evan found himself a box.


It's obviously a purrfect fit.


Wishing you all a marvelous Monday! Find yourself a nice box to snooze in. Evan says it's totally worth it.



***
Doodle of the Day

As mentioned yesterday, we're doing a witchy winter series of doodles. I'm more or less looking at some of the witchy doodles I created during the Halloween season and transplanting them to winter settings. Makes perfect sense, huh?




***
Tip of the Day

Today's tip is one we've mentioned before, but that we're going to mention again for these cold winter days. Though of course living indoors helps keep our furbabies safe and sound during the winter months, it is still important to remember that extra measures can be taken to keep them warm and cozy. This is especially important for young or old furbabies, those with little to no fur, and any cats or dogs whose health is compromised. You can start by putting out additional soft and cozy blankets and beds for them. To take it one step further, there are heated blankets and beds on the market. Of course, be very careful when using anything heated, taking especial care to ensure that no burns or fires result. To be on the safe side, you can look into beds that allow warmth in a non-electrical way. For example, there are pet beds constructed of material that essentially reflects a kitty or pup's body heat back to them, warming them that way. Lastly, also take into consideration the location of blankets and beds. Place your kitty or pup's blankets and beds somewhere that is elevated off of the floor, and away from drafts, doorways, and windows, to ensure that they can remain as warm as possible.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Selfies Upside Down

The other day we shared a silly little photo of Tonks striking a silly little pose. Guess what? Tonks decided to strike a couple more silly poses for you all.




Tonks hopes you all enjoyed her upside down selfies. She did have to ask this mom of hers for a little help snapping them, since she was, after all, upside down. And Tonks would have faced the camera, but she sort of got all turned around.

Warm wishes!




***
Doodle of the Day

I mentioned yesterday that, to go with the spooky winter doodles I've been scribbling up, I decided to create some that star a witch and her kitty familiars. Back in October I shared a Halloween series of doodles starring such a witch and her kitty familiars. So, I decided recreate some of those doodles in a winter setting. It just seemed like the thing to do. Here's the first weird and wacky witchy winter doodle:




***
Tip of the Day

Are you ready for an insanely long tip? Yes? Good. Because that's what we have for you today. Yesterday, we discussed the presence of parasites even in the winter, and the resulting importance of preventatives. During this discussion, we talked about how mice can carry parasites, and so how mice in the home can lead to the risk of parasites in our furbabies. Parasites are not the only way mice can affect our furbabies, though. As we mentioned yesterday, mice can often find ways into homes during the winter months, as they are seeking warm places to stay. As a result, some people move forward with ways of eradicating mice in the home. When it comes to such methods, always consider how they can affect our furbabies. For example, the common wooden snap traps can obviously cause pain and injury. If a curious paw or nose finds the traps, such as if lured by the scent of peanut butter or cheese on the trap, it can snap closed and cause damage to little paws and noses.

As an alternative to the wooden and metal snap traps, there are mouse traps that are considered safer. One option includes plastic snap traps that do not contain metal that can easily break or otherwise harm a cat or dog paw. There are also sticky traps, which do not contain the danger of snapping parts, but these do of course contain adhesives, which can cause risks such as stuck paws or fur, or the dangerous consumption of adhesive material. If you are looking to spare the life of the mouse, you can also consider various live traps, or catch-and-release traps.

No matter what kind of trap you use, if you use them, always put them somewhere that your furbaby cannot reach. This might mean putting traps in cabinets that you ensure your furbaby cannot open. Sometimes traps can also be placed under boxes or containers constructed to allow a mouse access, but to block a furbaby's access to the trap beneath. In other cases, traps could be placed in rooms or areas of the home where your furbaby cannot access, such as rooms with closed doors, attics, crawl spaces, and so forth. This of course goes for the more dangerous traps, but also even the safer ones. This is because no mouse trap poses zero risk, and a curious kitty or pup might try to get a mouse even in a trap. While cats are of course classically known as being mouse hunters, it is still perhaps ideal for them not to regularly play with or consume mice, such as to avoid parasites, choking, and so forth. As a side note, when I worked at a cat clinic, a cat once came in with a mouse head lodged in its throat. This is why you hear me mention to perhaps avoid allowing your cats to catch mice, in order to prevent dangers such as this.

Of course, this lengthy discussion on mice in the home would not be complete without mentioning the danger of rodenticides. Rodenticides can contain incredibly toxic ingredients, such as anticoagulants. This means if a kitty or pup manages to come in contact with or consume the rodenticide itself, or even if they find a mouse who has come in contact with or consumed the rodenticide, serious side effects can occur. For this reason, simply avoid using rodenticides. This is for the safety of your furbaby, and also for the safety of ferals, strays, and wildlife who can also be affected by the serious side effects of rodenticides.

All in all, mice in the home is not an ideal situation, for reasons including health and safety. Mice can carry disease and parasites, and can potentially and dangerously chew on wires and cabling in the walls or other areas of the home. That being said, though, only use mice prevention methods in your home that are guaranteed to be safe for your furbaby. Find and block entry points for mice in your home, garage, and so forth. If need be, only put out traps that are as hidden and safe as possible. You know your home and furbaby best, so proceed accordingly.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Caturday Art

I am admittedly still in the mood to draw up some sort of spooky winter doodles. These doodles are probably all starting to blend together, but this type of doodling is what's really inspiring me these days. Halloween doodles have always been my favorite to scribble up, followed by Christmas ones, so these slightly spooky doodles with a winter setting are really making me look forward to every drawing session. So, indeed, here's another one.


I've learned that in order to truly look forward to and enjoy my time with my sketchbook, I have to allow myself to doodle what I'm inspired to doodle. In years past I would find myself drawing what I thought was more common or normal or whatever you might call it, but then I'd lose sight of my muse. To keep hold of that muse, I now know that I just need to draw what I feel inspired to draw. For now, that's wacky winter doodles. Can you believe that I even have a couple of winter doodles coming up that star a witch and her cat familiars? I'll admit that probably sounds good and weird, but I'm rather excited about these doodles nonetheless. I hope you all enjoy them in some way, shape, or form.

Warm wishes, friends!




***
Tip of the Day

Today's winter tip is to, despite the fact that it's winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, still keep in mind parasites and their prevention. If you live somewhere that is warm or temperate even during this time of the year, of course certainly do consider keeping up with those parasite preventatives for your furbabies. The same, though, goes even for those who don't live somewhere consistently warm in the winter. Some winter days are not as cold as others, and parasites such as mosquitoes and fleas can survive and make reappearances when the temperatures rise. Sometimes, some parasites even make their way into our homes and survive winter climates by hanging out in the warm comfort of our heated houses. With this in mind, don't forget that mosquitoes can carry heartworms, and fleas can cause bloodborne diseases, as well as can carry tapeworms, all of which can cause dangerous side effects. For all such reasons, do think about the benefits of keeping up with parasite prevention for your furbabies all year round.

One more note we want to make regards none other than mice. This time of year, mice might find ways to enter our homes, garages, sheds, and so forth, in search of a warm place to stay. What's more, mice can carry parasites such as fleas, tapeworms, and roundworms. This means, especially if your furbaby gets near or even eats a mouse inside the home, or anywhere else, they are at risk such parasites. This is yet another reason to keep up with parasite prevention for your furbaby, no matter what time of year it is.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Friendly Fill-Ins

Hello and happy Friday! It's time for the Friendly Fill-Ins. If you'd like to give them a go but missed the fill-in statements yesterday, I'll share them again below. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. I am particular about _________.

2. My _________ is _________.

3. _________ is a moment I will never forget.

4. Have you ever heard of _________?


My answers are below in bold.

1. I am particular about the texture of food.
(I try not to be a picky eater, but when it comes to texture, I am admittedly and unfortunately picky. Except for when it comes to spicy dishes, flavor isn't often what drives me away from a food. It's almost always texture. My weird food texture issues are why I can't stand to eat the likes of mushrooms, olives, sauteed onions, Thanksgiving stuffing, and whatever the slimy mess is that's the result of me trying to cook rice.)

2. My priority is my furbabies.
(They are always my priority. I'm certainly not a perfect cat mom or dog mom, but at the end of the day, the health and happiness of my kitties and pup is my main focus. I want them to have the best life possible, because they deserve it.)

3. Meeting my angel Rosie for the first time is a moment I will never forget.
(I was 4 years old when my parents adopted calico Rosie and her tuxedo brother Sammy. My mom and I were the first two to meet them. My dad was at work and my sister, who is one year older than me, was at kindergarten. My mom took me with her when she found out a local veterinary clinic had two kittens needing adopted, as our family was looking to adopt two kittens. My 4-year-old self was too short to see into the topmost cage the kittens were in, but I was wearing a red ribbon in my hair, and Rosie reached through the bars of their cage and grabbed it. I certainly don't remember everything from when I was 4 years old, but I remember that moment. I still have that red ribbon. I keep it in my angel Rosie's keepsake box.)

4. Have you ever heard of the cat who faded away because they could see the bottom of their food bowl?
(A certain black cat named Winky told me the story of a cat like this. Do you think I should believe her?)


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.



***

Your Eddy fix on this Friday comes in the form of photos turned into an animation. Google creates these animations for me sometimes since I store my photos in the Google Drive. Today's animated photos go along with one of the images I shared of Eddy last week, when you saw how she and Evan like to keep me company in bed at night. Because the photos were taken at night, the lighting is completely artificial and atrocious. But, the photos contain cats, so there's that.

As a bit more explanation, Eddy loves Evan. He is the only cat Eddy actually likes. That being said, she also sort of trolls him. For example, Eddy loves to wake Evan up when he's sleeping, such as by poking him or sometimes outright slapping him. In the photos you'll see in the animation below, Eddy was caught reaching out to a snoozing Evan, who remained blissfully unaware of Eddy's attempt to disrupt his sleep.


Do you see what Eddy tried to do there? That was actually a very mild version of what she does to Evan nearly every night. She likes to wait until Evan's snoozing, and then she pokes, slaps, and sometimes even pounces him. Evan is usually pretty good at ignoring her, but if he's in a certain mood he will fight for his right to sleep.

Warm wishes to all!



***
Flashback Doodle of the Day

Earlier this week I shared some flashback doodles inspired by my angel Rosie. I realized I had one more wintry doodle in the same realm as those other doodles, though this one isn't in that exact same series of doodles. So, here's yet another flashback doodle inspired by my angel Rosie and the friendship she always offered me.




***
Tip of the Day

We've given a variety of tips regarding today's topic, but we're going to compile them and mention them again today. Today's tip is to keep a close eye on your kitty or pup's water bowl and food bowl during the cold winter months. What do we mean by this? To begin, make sure the water bowl remains full and fresh. To keep warm on cold winter days, we of course run the furnace, or turn on heaters or the fireplace. This is of course crucial for helping our furbabies and ourselves remain warm when it's cold, but this can also lead to increased evaporation of water. This is just one reason to regularly check on your furbaby's water bowl, even on, or especially on, cold winter days. In addition, the furnace and other heat sources can lead to dryness, such as of your kitty or pup's coat and skin. This is another reason why it is crucial to ensure they have sufficient fresh water, as they very well may drink more in order to remain moisturized and comfortable in the dry winter air.

The food bowl might also be affected by the cold weather in the winter. This concept more heavily relates to furbabies who live outdoors or who spend time outdoors in the winter, such as ferals, strays, or those who go outdoors to use the restroom or go on walks. Those who spend time in the cold will often eat more in the winter. This is because when the body breaks down consumed food, it produces energy and heat, which can be crucial for helping a furbaby remain warm in the cold. Therefore, if your furbaby spends time outdoors, keep an eye on their food intake. They may require more food in the winter in order to remain warm and comfortable. Of course, if you have any concerns regarding your furbaby's diet, weight, and overall food and water intake, then do discuss this with your veterinarian.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

We want to begin this post by honoring Millie of 15andmeowing, who gained his angel wings early this week.


Our purrs, woofs, prayers, and thoughts are with Ellen and her entire family. Millie is the 5th kitty they've said goodbye to over the past year. We pray that the rest of 2020 brings Ellen and her entire family nothing but health and happiness. Please visit Ellen at 15andmeowing to share your condolences and good thoughts.



***

It's Thursday, which means we're here to rhyme. It is, after all, the day of Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge.


Each week, our host shares a photo prompt to guide our attempts at poetry. This week's image is this daunting one here:


I always try to incorporate animals, most often cats, into my poems. That's perhaps why the image above first brought to my mind Unsinkable Sam. We've mentioned this amazing kitty on our blog a couple times before. In short, Unsinkable Sam was a World War II era tuxedo cat who survived the sinking of three ships before being retired to land. I didn't want to sully Unsinkable Sam's story by trying to retell it in a poem, so I instead decided to let Unsinkable Sam more loosely inspire my poem this week. And so that's where this came from:


Lucky Louie

Once upon a time there was a ship in the night.
It drifted at sea as it waited for daylight.
However, the sun threatened to never peek over the horizon.
Instead, storm clouds rolled in and the sea's waves started rising.

The sea began to lash and bash against the ship.
The sea was relentless as it thrashed and whipped.
The waves gained strength as they rolled and foamed.
Overhead, more and more angry clouds formed and domed.

It became a dire situation requiring all hands on deck.
Someone shouted, "The storm rolled in so fast. What the heck!"
One member of the crew was a man named George,
Who grabbed the ship's railing to keep from being tossed overboard.

Watching the frothing waves rise higher and higher,
George realized the situation was now more than dire.
"I'm going to fetch Louie!" George did shout.
"During the last storm, his luck helped us out."

There was another member of the crew named Peter.
Unlike George, this Peter was far from a believer.
Peter said, "Good grief, George, what good will that do?
You know you're delusional, don't you?
You put far too much faith in that cat.
Besides, how can he be a lucky cat when he's unlucky black?"
George only shook his head and said, "I've never heard words as stupid as that."

George then did what he had said he would do.
He ran into the ship's cabin where slept the crew.
The only one snoozing at this time was none other than Louie,
Who woke up with frazzled whiskers and a grunt somewhat moody.

"We need your help, Louie!" George said as he scooped up the cat.
"You're our lucky charm, and we need good luck, that's a fact!"
Louie the black cat nearly fell back asleep in George's arms.
That all changed, though, when on the deck thunder sounded like an alarm.

Louie looked all about and a yawn burst from his mouth.
He watched as more storm clouds rolled in from the south.
Then a wave splashed onto the ship and got his black fur wet,
Which Louie immediately took that as an unforgivable threat.
He shook it off and looked at the sea with a growl,
And then he looked up at the grumbling sky with a scowl.

There was a roll of thunder and a flash of lightning,
And a then few more waves reached heights beyond frightening.
Then, suddenly, the clouds overhead began to part.
To either side of the sky overhead they did dart.
Then, in a similar way the crashing waves also did part.
Like the clouds overhead, to either side of the ship they did retreat in a dart.

The ship's path was now perfectly clear.
There was no threat of danger and no need to fear.
"Now what did I tell you, Peter?" George said.
He gave Louie a pet and a pat on the head.
Peter turned his head, surely in shame.
Anyone who would deny Louie to be lucky was really quite lame.

George said, "Louie has more than proven himself our lucky cat.
There's clearly nothing unlucky about a fantastic feline of black."
Indeed, this was neither the first nor last time Louie brought luck to the ship.
For this reason and more, he was happily welcomed on every sea trip.
He was the only member of the ship's crew allowed to sleep on duty,
Because he was the one and only Lucky Louie.




***

Thimble is of course now ready to share some Thankfuls on this Thursday.


In case you can't tell from that there photo, some of Thimble's favorite things are her beloved window, the warm and cozy sunshine, and belly rubs. She's always grateful to have any or all of those wonderful things. And don't worry, because directly after this photo was taken Thimble got the belly rub she wanted. I'm always happy to oblige that request.


As always, we're also always so very thankful for all of you friends of ours!



***

And now we have for you the statements for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. I am particular about _________.

2. My _________ is _________.

3. _________ is a moment I will never forget.

4. Have you ever heard of _________?




We'll see you tomorrow, friends!



***

Tip of the Day

Though we're more than a tad bit late in the season to give this tip, we're going to give it nonetheless. Today's tip relates to the furnace, and we want to remind you to have a professional inspect your furnace before use every year, or as needed. An inspection could help detect any issues that might make running the furnace a risk. This in turn of course gives you the chance to have any necessary repairs or replacements made, so that neither your furbaby nor yourself are put in unnecessary danger.

Also relating to the furnace, don't forget to replace the filter regularly. A clean filter not only allows the furnace to run optimally, but also helps eliminate allergens, dust, and other such debris from the air. Ensuring ideal air quality with a clean furnace/air filter is something to especially take into consideration if your furbaby, or yourself, has asthma or other respiratory issues. The furnace plays a crucial role for your furbaby and yourself on cold winter days, so don't forget to give it the care and attention it needs.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Woof Woof Wednesday

Today's photo of pup Astrid could very well be considered a blooper. It's blurry, it's overexposed, it's seasonally confused, and all that awesome jazz. But, it's currently the only one I have at my disposal to show you what I want to show you. You see, I realized recently that I don't think I've ever, or at least that I've only rarely, shown you guys Astrid's 3-toed foot. Wanna see it?


As some of you might remember, back in October of 2017, Astrid had to have the outer toe of her back right foot removed due to a cancerous growth. Astrid never seems to notice that she's missing a toe on the foot, and her ambulation didn't change one bit after her toe was removed. This could be because, for some harmless congenital reasons, Astrid's back right leg is slightly shorter than her back left leg. Therefore, her weight goes on the inner part of that foot when Astrid walks, which means losing the outermost toe didn't bother her at all. She hardly used that toe anyway.

For those who might now be wondering, Astrid has been cancer-free since October of 2017. That makes this here mom of hers very, very happy. So many of you purred, woofed, prayed, and sent good thoughts her way back in those worrisome days. Clearly, you all helped her get back to 100%. We thank you for that!

Oh, and do you see the cat-o'-lantern pillow hanging out in that blurry photo of Astrid and her 3-toed foot? Can you believe that cat-o'-lantern is present despite the fact that this photo was snapped on Christmas Day? I've told you I'm quite the fan of Halloween, and that means that certain Halloween decor simply never gets put away at my house. That cat-o'-lantern pillow my mom sewed for me is one piece of decor that will always be out and about in my house all year round.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!



***
Flashback Doodle of the Day

This will be the fourth day in a row we've shared a flashback doodle from last winter. This is because I pulled a muscle in my neck and shoulder and had to put aside my sketchbook for a few days. I'm right as rain now, though, and our usual schedule of 5 new doodles and 2 flashback doodles per week should resume tomorrow.

As for today's flashback doodle, it stars pup Astrid and a kitty cup. Remember the flashback doodle we shared last week of Winky enjoying a hot drink from a cat mug? Well, it would seem pup Astrid borrowed that mug to have a warm drink herself.




***
Tip of the Day

As you all certainly know, cats often seek out heat. Those pups out there sometimes do, too. For this reason, when it's cold this winter, monitor your furbaby around any sort of heat source. This of course goes for fireplaces, which should be sufficiently blocked so that kitties and pups can't directly access it or end up with burns. But, this also goes for various space heaters, radiators, and even floor or wall registers for the furnace. Especially if your cat or dog is known to park themselves incredibly close to, or even on top of, such heat sources, be sure to keep a very close eye on them when heaters are being used, or when the furnace is running. If they are near a heat source, check on them regularly, and feel them to make sure that they, and their fur, are not getting dangerously hot. Depending on the kind of heat produced by various heat sources, burns and other injuries can occur if a kitty or pup sleeps on or near it. If needed, such as if your kitty or pup insists on keeping a heater or furnace register company, consider blocking direct access to them. For example, there are safe, fire-proof covers for furnace registers on the floor or wall. When it comes to space heaters, if needed, place them in areas where your kitty or pup does not have access. In other cases, you might be able to find a way to safely block direct access to heaters and radiators, so that your furbaby can enjoy the heat without the risk of burns. Of course we want our furbabies to stay warm in the winter, but it is also important to ensure that your kitty or pup does not end up with burns or other injuries.