Thursday, July 9, 2020

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Welcome to Thursday! As is always the case on this penultimate day of the work week, we're ready to rhyme. It is, after all, the day of Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge.

As always, our host shared a photo prompt to guide us. This week's prompt is this lovely image here.

Growing up, I always enjoyed watching the Disney movie Mulan, and this photo prompt immediately made me think of a scene or two from that animated film. The original, animated Mulan came out when I was roughly 9 years old, and I watched it more times than I could count. For those who don't know, the movie Mulan is more or less about a young Chinese woman who pretends to be a man in order to take her aged, injured father's place when he is essentially drafted into the Chinese army following the invasion of the Huns. Mulan thereafter learns to fight, saves the day, and is ultimately found out and then proves herself a hero regardless of her gender. As a kid, and even to do this day, I think I was just really glad to finally see a leading lady in a Disney movie do more than just seek a prince and wear pretty dresses.

Now, moving on from the rambling above. This week's photo prompt indeed made me think of Mulan, and so my poem ended up being very vaguely based off of that sort of concept. And now I'll just stop there and let you read the poem, should you wish.

A Book by Its Cover

In the ancient times of an ancient place,
Some sought a life filled with fortune and grace,
Complete with pretty dresses and a beautifully painted face.
Others sought to lead a life of great talent and skill,
In which they could achieve a great many cheers and thrills.

In that ancient place of those ancient days of old,
There was a young boy who wished for the latter, truth be told.
He wanted to grow strong and bold and swing a sword.
This boy decided he would seek that life on one fine day when he felt bored.

With a pep in his step he walked through the streets,
Nodding and smiling at everyone he did meet.
He passed women with lively faces and dressed in silks of all colors,
A bright life filled with pretty things being what they most preferred.
As for the boy, he had great plans ahead for his own life.
He would be a warrior so that he would know no strife.

His dreams having been in place for a great many years,
The boy knew exactly where he was headed as he smiled ear to ear.
He stopped at a quaint little shop at the end of a quiet street.
He knocked on the door and was surprised at what he did meet.

Above the door sat a sign that always made the boy smile.
THE SWORD MASTER'S LAIR was written so boldly it could be read from a mile.
When on that day the boy did knock at that sword master's door,
He was met by something surprisingly small, whiskered, and orange.

A cat with a long tail is what stood on the other side of the entrance.
It looked at the boy with eyes that clearly questioned his presence.
Pointing up at the sign swaying in the wind above the door,
The boy said, "I need to speak with the sword master. Please. I implore."

The cat shook its head and chuffed,
But then it nodded for the boy to follow with a huff.
The boy was led by the cat through the tiny shop and out the back door.
They entered a quaint garden in which the wind did soar.

When he saw a blade nearby, the boy's heart made an excited leap.
It was a glistening sword leaning against a blossoming cherry tree.
From behind the tree then appeared a woman.
She wore hair and a gown that were simple yet pretty looking.
The orange cat rubbed against the woman's legs beneath her garb.
She picked up the feline so that it no longer stood on the grass of the yard.

"Hello," the boy said to the woman with a grin on his face.
"Might you be able to show me to the sword master who runs this place?"
The woman raised an eyebrow as she petted the cat in her arms.
The boy could not tell if the woman was happy or perhaps wished him harm.

After a painfully long silence, the woman finally spoke.
"Why do you want to see the sword master of all folk?"
"I want to learn to be a warrior," the boy answered, his words eager.
He added, "I wish to ask the sword master to be my teacher."

The woman stared at him, shrugged, and then sighed.
She walked over to the sword by the tree, picked it up, and said, "Fine."
"You mean you'll introduce me to the sword master?" the boy asked her.
"I mean I'll teach you," she said, "because I am the sword master."

"What?" the boy could not help but splutter.
"You're the sword master? But, well, you're—"
She finished his sentence, saying, "A girl?"
She swung the sword this way and that in a twirl.

The sword cut through the air with a swoosh and a swish.
The boy cleared his throat, feeling like a waterless fish.
The woman said, "You can be anything you want, from a butcher to a drummer.
If it's a warrior you wish to be, start by learning not to judge a book by its cover."

In case you're curious, in her namesake movie, Mulan had a small red dragon as a sidekick. Obviously, that sidekick had to become an orange cat in this case. Because obviously.


Another great thing about Thursday is that it's a great day to give thanks. This is especially the case thanks to Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.

As always, Thimble is here to share some gratitude. Today, she's thankful for sunshine that makes glamour shots possible.

Thimble and all of us here wish you lots of sunshine, but we also hope it's not too hot for you. Sometimes there's a fine balance when it comes to the joys of sunshine.


Last but not least, we have the fill-in 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. When this pandemic is over, I _________.

2. I have zero interest in _________.

3. I always look forward to _________.

4. _________ is the bane of my existence.

Did you know?

We're going to somewhat repeat a bit of trivia we've mentioned before. So, did you know that in both Chinese and Japanese culture, cats are often seen as good luck? Especially in Japanese culture, black cats are seen as lucky, and crossing a black cat's path is seen as a good omen. Japanese culture and somewhat Chinese culture also have the Maneki-neko, which is the figure of a cat with its right paw raised as if waving. This Maneki-neko is translated as "beckoning cat", and it's a sign of good luck, so much so that it's often simply known as the "lucky cat".

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Woof Woof Wednesday

It's Woof Woof Wednesday here on our blog. That means only one thing. It means you get a dose of pup Astrid.

Astrid didn't want you all to forget what she looked like pouting in the window, so she of course snapped that sort of shot for today. She hopes you enjoy!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

Today's flashback doodle is one I scribbled up last summer just for pup Astrid.

I honestly can't remember the exact reason why I scribbled up a doodle of Astrid with pies last summer, but I did. Astrid does love her some pie, so I guess it's fitting enough. Sort of.

Did you know?

You are all probably fully aware that green eyes are very common in cats. Cats can also have amber eyes and blue eyes. What about dogs, though? Can dogs have green eyes? The most common eye color in dogs is brown, with quite a few breeds also having blue eyes, especially pale blue. Like cats, dogs can also have amber eyes. But, what about green eyes? When it comes to green eyes in dogs, it's said there is only one purebred dog who can have green eyes, and that is the American Pit Bull Terrier. All other dogs with green eyes are mixed breeds, and even then, green eyes are relatively rare in dogs. One mixed breed most likely to have green eyes is the Pomeranian Husky, or the Pomsky. When it comes to green eyes, there are a few dogs out there with them, but cats still take the prize for those green eyes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A Tonks, Toesies, and Tongue Outtakes Tuesday

The title of today's post is a mouthful, but it's the title for a reason. Why? Because today you get Tonks, her toesies, and her tongue. Oh, and you get all these in the form of outtakes.

My Google Drive even took my stored photos from this session to create an animation. See?

Tonks hopes you enjoyed seeing her, her toesies, and her tongue today! She sure enjoyed sharing them.

Happy Tuesday to all!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

Today I'm sharing yet another flashback doodle. I've mentioned over the past few days that I'm giving my wrist and hand a bit of a rest since I recently developed carpal/cubital tunnel syndrome, but rest assured that I'm still slowly but surely working on new doodles. I'll get some of those finished up and start sharing them in the next week or two, depending on how well my hand cooperates. For today, though, does anyone remember these sunbathing kitties from last year?

Tip of the Day

In a recent post we mentioned how cats will chew on their claws to remove the old, outer layer of them. They especially do this with the claws on their back feet. In part because cats more heavily groom their back claws in this manner, you might not need to trim their back claws as often as you trim their front claws. It is often recommended that a cat's front claws be trimmed every 10 to 14 days. When it comes to their back claws, though, you might be able to go much longer without trimming them. Some professionals recommend more like every 30 days when it comes to trimming a cat's back claws, but each cat will vary. Some cats may almost never need their back claws trimmed for them, while others might actually need them trimmed every 2 weeks or so. Older or sick cats, for example, might not groom as often and therefore might not tend to their own back claws much. All in all, try to trim your cat's front claws every 10 to 14 days, and at the same time check the back claws and carefully trim them if needed.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Mancat Monday

Evan was hoping to enjoy some peace and quiet in his favorite sun puddle at the front door. So much for that, though, because his siblings are simply too loud and distracting at the back of the house.

Can't a mancat enjoy some peace and quiet around here? Sheesh. Siblings. Can't live with them, and, well, can't live with them.

Have a magnificent Monday!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

Today's flashback doodle from last year takes us to a silly little laundry room. Of course, there's a kitty there to help.

Tip of the Day

Kitties may enjoy helping us do all sorts of chores, but always keep in mind if those chores pose dangers to a cat or other furbaby. Doing laundry, for example, can pose a variety of risks to a cat or dog. Detergents, dryer sheets, bleach, and other similar materials used to clean clothes can all be toxic or otherwise caustic to a furbaby. Of course, the laundry machines themselves are also their own sorts of hazards. When it comes to doing laundry, keep all detergents and the like tucked safely out of your cat or dog's reach. If it's possible to block a furbaby's access to the washer and dryer, do so. If that's not an option, try to always keep the washer and dryer closed so that no animals can climb inside. The dryer is especially tempting to kitties, for example, because of the warmth it can provide. Even if you usually keep the machines closed, a sneaky, stealthy cat could still perhaps manage to get inside the dryer or even washer when you're in the midst of doing laundry. So, check, double check, and triple check that no animal is inside the dyer or washer before using it. All in all, when doing any chore around the house, keep an eye on your kitty or pup and make sure they cannot get to anything that might harm them.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Sideways Sunday Selfie

Tonks told me that she doesn't get to star in our weekly selfies often enough. So, she is our selfie star today. The only problem is that this calico forgot to sit upright for her selfie, and so you have a sideways Tonks to enjoy today.

We didn't think you all would mind a sideways selfie, especially not from a calico cutie like this. Oh, and can you see the tiny little freckles on the bottom of Tonks' nose? I'm curious how many freckles Tonks will acquire over time. So far she just has those couple of tiny ones, and I plan on keeping tally of her freckles as she ages. I try to do the same for my orange boy Evan.

Happy Sunday, friends!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

As I mentioned a couple times this past week, we're going to share more flashback doodles than usual over the next week or two, simply because I recently developed carpal/cubital tunnel syndrome and need to rest my wrist and hand for just a bit. The rest and brace I wear are already helping, so we'll be back to our usual doodle schedule soon enough. Anyway, how about we continue on with sharing the flashback homey doodles I scribbled up roughly this time last year? Today we'll visit the bathroom in the quaint and quirky little home I drew last year, because why not?


Did you know?

How about some freckle trivia today? Did you know that, in both humans and cats, a freckle is also called a lentigo? And did you know that the plural form of lentigo is lentigines? Did you know that when it comes to cats, freckles are most commonly seen in orange cats? Freckles can also occur in any other cat with genes for orange fur, including calicoes, tortoiseshells, and even flame point cats. These freckles can be black or a variety of shades of brown. They can especially appear on the nose, lips, and eyelids, and they can grow in number as the cat ages. Generally, these freckles are completely harmless, but of course discuss them with a veterinarian if you see any abnormal changes in the color or texture of your cat's freckles.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy Independence Day!


To all of our friends in the United States of America, we wish you a happy and safe Independence Day!

To all of our friends outside of the USA, we hope your weekend is wonderful!

Tip of the Day

We're doing a bit of a repeat tip today, since it is, after all, the day of fireworks. On this 4th of July, there are ways to help keep your furbaby calm and safe during the often booming festivities. While those fireworks go off outside, close all window and doors, as well as blinds and curtains. This will help keep out the sights and sounds of the fireworks. You can further drown it out by putting on a movie or some music, and turning up the volume enough to mask the sounds of the fireworks. Just make sure it's not so loud that it is uncomfortable for your kitty or pup's sensitive ears.

What else can you do to help keep a nervous dog or cat calm during the fireworks shows? To begin, you can try to distract them. Start a game inside with them, such as fetch or hide-and-seek. You can also offer some treats or a special meal, perhaps their favorite snack. Sometimes simply talking to them can help, or even reading a book out loud to them.

Still, there are a few more potential ways to help a cat or dog feel as calm as possible while fireworks are set off this time of year. You can use a ThunderShirt, which, as many of you know, may help reduce anxiety in dogs and cats. You can also fashion something makeshift yet similar, using a blanket, towel, or even one of your shirts. If nothing else, simply provide a scared or anxious furbaby somewhere safe to hide inside the home. Ensure that they have somewhere to retreat that is pet-friendly, whether that be under a bed, behind a couch, or in another nook or cranny. You can also offer them boxes or something similar in which to settle down, if that helps your furbaby feel safe.

Lastly, in the unfortunate event of an escape or other emergency, ensure that your cat or dog has identification on them. Of course try to ensure that they are safe indoors and unable to get out of the house, but should they escape, it is best to be prepared. Many animals are uncertain of the sights and sounds of fireworks, and so if they find themselves outdoors on days like today, they might very well run and hide. This is why it is so important that, today and every day, your furbaby have an updated microchip and/or an identification tag to help them find their way back home. Of course no one wants to think of their furbaby escaping and getting lost, but it is always best to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Friendly Fill-Ins

Happy Friday! We'll get right to the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. If you'd like to participate but 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. My plans for the weekend include _________.

2. I _________ fireworks.

3. I'm grateful I have the freedom to _________.

4. _________ make(s) a house a home.

My answers are below in bold, accompanied by their usual long, tiresome explanations.

1. My plans for the weekend include a whole lot of blissful nothing.
(I love nothing more than having a weekend with little to no plans. I just want to stay home and relax with my kitties and pup, and that's exactly what I'll be doing this weekend. I also want to get caught back up on blogging and visiting you friends of ours, work on some art, write, read, and all that jazz. I'm still trying to rest my hand a bit since it decided to up and develop carpal/cubital tunnel syndrome, but I also really can't help but try to do all my usual things. I have today off as well as the rest of the weekend, so I'm beyond happy. There will be a couple dog walks in there, and probably a mowing session, but I can handle that if the rest of the weekend is full of a whole lot of nothingness. Oh, and there will be a pizza and ice cream party with my parents and sister tomorrow for Independence Day, which I won't complain about one bit.)

2. I have a love-hate relationship with fireworks.
(I sort of appreciate the celebratory concept of fireworks, and I think they're pretty to watch from afar. Beyond that, though, I'm not a big fan of fireworks. They're loud, dangerous, potential fire hazards, are too often used irresponsibly, and they scare animals, both domestic and wild. I'm lucky that not a single furbaby in my house is scared of fireworks, but I know that's certainly not the case for all animals. My heart breaks for animals, both in homes and outdoors, who are afraid of all the fireworks that constantly go off this time of year. I also feel bad for soldiers or anyone with PTSD that is triggered by fireworks.)

3. I'm grateful I have the freedom to think for myself.
(I'm grateful I have the freedom to think my own thoughts. I'm grateful I have the freedom to speak my thoughts. I'm grateful I can express my thoughts and beliefs in ways that are meaningful to me, such as through art and writing. Sort of in line with this, one of my greatest fears in life is the potential for developing dementia or Alzheimer's when I grow old. In saying this I mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone who suffers from such ailments. My grandma has dementia, bordering on Alzheimer's, and seeing it firsthand makes it all the more a devastating and terrifying disease. Losing the ability to remember, losing the ability to have one's usual thoughts, losing the ability to fully express oneself—those are thoughts that plain and simply terrify me. My prayers are with all those who are affected by dementia or Alzheimer's.)

4. Furbabies make a house a home.
(My house would not be a home without my kitties and pup. I'm certain I'm not the only one who thinks this, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one who will give this same answer for this fill-in.)

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.


Now, how about your Friday Eddy fix? As seems to always be the case when it comes to photos of Eddy, today's shot is nothing even remotely high quality. With this one, I mainly wanted to show off Eddy's eye color. I love her eyes. They're an aquamarine sort of color, and I'm always trying to snap shots that justify them. I don't know that this shot really does that, but here's Eddy's pretty eye nonetheless.

Do you see Evan in the background there? Eddy and Evan were giving me their usual morning cuddles before I got up for work. I love these cuddle sessions.

Have a fantastic Friday!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

Both my new doodles and flashback doodles have mostly been in home settings lately. I've scribbled up lots of calm and cozy imagery, so how about something a bit more bright today? Let's go for this colorful kitchen that showed up in my sketchbook last year. Remember this one?

Tip of the Day

Just as humans can develop dementia or Alzheimer's disease, cats and dogs can develop cognitive dysfunction. Given that this mostly affects older animals, it's sometimes more descriptively called senior pet cognitive dysfunction. As pets age, their brains essentially age with them. This means that their cognitive function can ultimately decline, just as humans' can. In the veterinary and pet education world, signs and symptoms that can result from senior pet cognitive dysfunction have come to be remembered using the acronym DISHA. The areas of an animal's life that can affected by cognitive decline are, as indicated with the acronym DISHA, disorientation, interactions, sleep-wake cycle changes, house soiling, and activity level. In other words, a cat or dog with cognitive dysfunction might act lost or confused, might interact with animals and people in ways abnormal to them, might not sleep or wake at times normal to them, might urinate or defecate inside the house despite being house trained, and might either become less active or more active in a potentially restless manner.

As your furbaby ages, keep an eye on their overall activity and behaviors. You know your furry companion better than anyone, so you are the most likely to notice any changes in the way they act or feel. If you start seeing signs of cognitive decline in your aging cat or dog, discuss this with your veterinarian. There are some medications and even diets that have been used to potentially help treat senior pet cognitive dysfunction. It might not always be easy to see our furbabies age, but it is our obligation to care for them and to help them age as gracefully and safely as possible.