Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Adventures with Astrid and the Letter U

We're here for another installment in the April A to Z Challenge.

We are indeed still doing the theme All Things Cat, in which we're sharing all sorts of items shaped like, well, cats. Today's letter is U, and we decided that's going to stand for umbrella.

We sure could have used that umbrella yesterday, as it rained all day. The sun has returned today, though, and we hope you're all also enjoying those rays.


And now we have for you another edition of Adventures with Astrid. Today's photo of the pup is far from award-winning. It's actually Astrid providing evidence as to why she has to get a leptospirosis vaccine every single year.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease, and one of the common ways dogs contract it is by drinking water contaminated with the bacteria. The water Astrid is drinking there is the creek that runs through our neighborhood. She also drinks from puddles, the fountain in our back yard, and all that jazz. So, Astrid indeed gets a leptospirosis vaccine every year, because she can't be trusted not to drink from any and every water source she finds.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Tip of the Day

We're here with another spring pet safety tip today. This one is another repeat tip, but it's also one that we think it's worth saying again. And that is, to indeed considering keeping up with those preventatives. As the weather warms and the grass grows green, pests such as fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks will be out and about in full force. We very recently gave a series of tips on buggers such as these, what parasites they can harbor, and what diseases they can pass on to our furbabies. Tapeworms, heartworms, and Lyme disease, for example, can result if your furbaby falls victim to such pests. This can of course affect their health and happiness, and nobody wants that.

So, in short, do considering keeping up with preventatives for your kitties and pups. Discuss the best options with your veterinarian. And, of course, only give your furbaby a preventative that is formulated for their species, as well as their age and weight. Proper prevention indeed plays a part in keeping our furbabies as healthy as possible.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tonks Tuesday and the Letter T

Hello, friends! It's time for the letter T in the April A to Z Challenge.

Our theme is All Things Cat, which means we're sharing items in the shape of cats. Today, for the letter T, we have a tombstone.

That might seem a bit macabre, but it was actually quite fun scribbling that up. I actually drew that one quite some time ago, as in months ago. I believe I'd seen something of that sort in an image online, which is what prompted me to doodle that myself.


Now, it's also of course Tonks Tuesday. The little calico was napping and I didn't have the heart to wake her up, but I think you'll understand why. After all, just look at this.

Tonks hopes seeing her adorably sleeping little face with its cute little nose helped make your Tuesday terrific!

Tip of the Day
Our newest series is going to be on pet safety in the spring. Today's springtime tip is one that we've shared far more than once before, and that is to always be aware and cautious of the plants you have both in your garden and in your house. Some of the springtime plants that can be highly toxic to our furbabies include certain lilies, daffodils, and tulips. The list most certainly does not end there, though.

All of the above is why, before you bring any plants anywhere near your kitty or pup, always do your research and understand any potential toxicity. One good resource for finding out the potential toxicity of plant types is by perusing the ASPCA's extensive information on plants, which you can find by clicking here. In short, to keep your furbaby safe this spring, of course be aware of any and all plants with which they come in contact. And, of course, if you have any concern that your furbaby may have gained access to a toxic plant, seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Mancat Monday and the Letters R and S

Here we are, friends. We yet again missed our weekend posts, and we're yet again late to post today. We're all well, though Evan had a rough weekend with this intestines. We're still working out some kinks with his new medication, cisapride. He'll sometimes still go days without defecating, and then when he does go, it's like an atomic bomb. The atomic bomb dropped this weekend, though now at least Evan is much more comfortable. Also, luckily, he was already scheduled for one of his regular sanitary shaves today, so the baths I tried giving him this weekend will be done much better by his amazing groomer.

All that said, since we were MIA this weekend, we now have two letters to cover today for the April A to Z Challenge.

Our A to Z theme is All Things Cat, which means we're sharing doodles of items in the shapes of cats. On Saturday we missed the letter R, so we'll share it today. We decided that R stands for reading, but more specifically, reading materials.

Obviously there's a book, but how about also a bookshelf?

Now, today's letter is S, and for that we have slippers.

Those slippers were some of my favorite items to scribble up for this challenge. I'm one of those people who's in slippers pretty much every minute of my time at home, so when the idea to doodle up cat slippers popped in my head, I was very excited. Like all of my doodles, this one is far from perfect, but I have to love one that's just plain and simple fun.


Now, we of course have Evan for you on this Mancat Monday. Once he gets home from his grooming today, this orange boy will likely take a nap in the sun. A little something like this...

If you're curious, Evan's aural (ear) hematoma is still present, though it is still slowly improving.

All around, Evan has been in very good spirits and in a very good mood lately. He had a couple rough months there with some of his health issues, but especially with the help of some adjustments to his meds, he's been much, much more like himself lately. That's not saying he likes the meds, but they sure do help him.

Happy Monday, friends!

Tip of the Day

We have one more tip in our Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month series. This tip is another way you can help contribute toward the prevention of animal cruelty and neglect, and that is by assisting in the mission and work of shelters, rescues, and humane organizations. The more resources these organizations have, the more animals they can rescue from cruelty, neglect, and other similar situations. To do this, you can volunteer your time, make monetary donations, or donate goods that aid humane organizations in rescuing and caring for animals in their program. You can also help by spreading the word about the work they do and the animals they are rescuing or adopting out.

Of course, do your research to ensure that a particular organization is indeed humane and that their mission matches your beliefs. The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, and various local shelters and rescues are examples of those that you can potentially volunteer with or donate to in order to help prevent animal cruelty and promote the adoption of homeless animals. Again, though, do your research on legitimate and trustworthy organizations that truly do help animals in need. Any little bit that you can offer to such organizations can help them rescue more animals, including those subjected to cruelty and neglect. Any little bit truly counts, and any little bit can help keep kitties and pups safe and ready for their forever homes.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Friendly Fill-Ins, Distracted Eddy, and the Letter Q

Hello, friends! We're ready for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, and we'd love for you to join us. My amazing co-host Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two fill-ins, and I came up with the second two.

1. A remake of _________ would be fun.

2. My favorite cartoon character is _________.

3. I wish I had better _________ skills so that I could _________.

4. I'm proud of the progress I've made with _________.

My answers are below in bold. Most of them are accompanied by needlessly long explanations. My apologies.

1. A remake of The Lord of the Rings would be fun.
(I know they've made a new TV series revolving around Tolkien's world and that sort of thing, but I'd love to see The Lord of the Rings movies redone. I enjoyed them for what they were when they first came out, but as a huge fan of Tolkien's books, I'd love to see it redone with a few of the details more true to the original story. This is probably just because my love for Tolkien's world started when I was essentially a toddler, when my dad read The Hobbit to my sister and myself as a bedtime story. That said, I'd also love to see The Hobbit movies remade. I couldn't even make it through all of those, because they were just simply not faithful to my beloved book.)

2. My favorite cartoon character is Garfield.
(Garfield is a cat, and an orange one at that, so he's always been a favorite of mine. I've also always loved Garfield's canine pal Odie, as well as Snoopy.)

3. I wish I had better graphic art and design skills so that I could create, edit, and format all sorts of things.
(I really struggled to word this answer, for whatever reason. I love to draw, and I draw by hand. I use paper, pencils, pens, markers, and that sort of thing. I'll never stop doing that. That said, I'd love to have more ability to graphically enhance certain art I draw, create various digital images with my drawings, et cetera. I also would like to be way better at formatting documents and other print products. Really, I just feel like I could do so much more with my drawn and written creative works if I was more technologically savvy.)

4. I'm proud of the progress I've made with my art.
(I guess I'll follow up my graphic art comment by saying that I am proud of how I've grown with my hand drawn art. As I said above, I'll never stop drawing by hand. I'm far from perfect at it, but at least in a lot of regards, I believe I have improved over the years. I've developed my own style, and that's something I'm proud of. Lately I've also been experimenting with various ways to make even my cartoon style sometimes look a tad bit more realistic. You'll be seeing a variety of new drawings very soon, though some of them are are very weird and wacky in subject matter.)

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, we of course have the next installment in the April A to Z Challenge.

Our alphabetical theme is All Things Cat, and so we're sharing all sorts of things in the shape of cats. Today we've reached the letter Q. For this one, we went a bit abstract, and so Q stands for question. The following is the best I managed for that.

I mentioned my art in the fill-ins above, and it still feels weird to be sharing such simple drawings this whole month. I'm used to drawing scenes of a sort, and I honestly can't wait to get back to sharing those types of drawings. So, you'll indeed be seeing some new scene drawings soon.


Last but absolutely not least, we have for you your Eddy fix. Eddy would like to apologize for being a bit distracted today. She simply couldn't look at the camera today, because there were squirrels and birds to spy on outside the window.

Have a fantastic Friday, friends!

Tip of the Day

As part of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, we are continuing our series of tips regarding this topic. Yesterday we mentioned some of the unfortunate forms of cruelty and neglect, and mentioned the importance of recognizing animal cruelty when you witness it. Today, we are giving some brief tips on what to do if you do witness animal cruelty.

First and foremost, if you witness animal cruelty, report it as soon as possible. You can report it to the police, including calling 911 if you believe it is an emergency at hand. You can also call your local animal control, humane society, or other organization that can offer help in the face of animal cruelty. If your local area does not offer help for animal cruelty, then call the Humane Society of the United States or other similar organization to see what can possibly be done.

What's more, if you do have animal cruelty to report, make sure that you have all the details and any evidence possible. Knowing the location, date, time, and of course the nature of the witnessed cruelty can be important for expediting the report and actions taken by police or other organizations. Try to tell them what types of animals and how many are involved, as well as details on any perpetrators you've seen. If possible, use that cell phone of yours to grab photos or video of any cruelty you are witnessing. Evidence in this form can really help to expedite the resolution of the issue.

When it comes to reporting animal cruelty, be persistent. Animals do not have the voice with which to speak up for themselves, so we must do it for them. If you are witnessing cruelty, be persistent in contacting those who can help, and follow up to ensure that there is resolution. Give the police, animal control, the humane society, or whoever is helping your contact information, so that they can contact you if needed. All in all, we must be the voice for the voiceless, so if you witness any form of animal cruelty or neglect, do all that you can to safely seek aid for the victim(s).

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Thankful Thimble Thursday and the Letter P

Hello, friends! We're ready for another installment in the April A to Z Challenge, today with the letter P.

As we've mentioned many times now, our alphabetical theme is All Things Cat. That means we're sharing all sorts of random items, but in the shape of cats. Today, for the letter P, we have paper and a pencil.

That was one of my favorite of this month's doodles to scribble up, mostly because I had a fun time trying to figure out how to draw a cat-shaped pencil. It's far from perfect, that's for sure, but it was fun.


Now, Thimble is of course here for Angel Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.

Today is one of those days when Thimble is plain and simply grateful for her adorable little face. And I don't blame her. Honestly, look at this thing.

Thimble says you're free to give that nose a kiss. She'll also accept a chin scratch. Really, Thimble just loves attention and cuddles, so have at it.


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

1. A remake of _________ would be fun.

2. My favorite cartoon character is _________.

3. I wish I had better _________ skills so that I could _________.

4. I'm proud of the progress I've made with _________.

We'll see you tomorrow, friends!

Tip of the Day
April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. For this reason, we're going to have a bit of a series of tips on how to recognize potential cases of cruelty, as well as what we can do to help. Today, we're going to start by giving a simple overview of what cruelty can look like. First, of course physical abuse toward an animal is cruelty. Neglect is another form of cruelty, and can include situations such as when an animal is left outdoors in extreme or unlivable conditions with no shelter, food, or water. In a similar line of thought is hoarding, which can include too large of an animal population for the space provided, extremely unsanitary conditions, and lack of nutritional, medical, and other basic care for the animals. Another example of neglect and cruelty to animals is abandoning an animal, such as in a vacated home or outdoors. Other examples of cruelty to animals include leaving an animal alone in a hot, or even cold, car, as well as any form of dog fighting.

There are, sadly, a great many examples of animal cruelty and neglect. Since animals can't speak for themselves, it is of course important that we all be aware of what cruelty is, and what forms it can take. Our vigilance and diligence may be the only way for some innocent, helpless animals out there to receive the help and care they need. So, do make sure that you are aware of the sad yet true facts of animal cruelty and neglect. This way, you can know it when you see it, and can thereby seek help for the afflicted animal or animals. Tomorrow, we will discuss some of the ways we can address situations of cruelty and neglect that we might witness.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Adventures with Astrid, Feathered Friends, and the Letter O

Hello and happy Wednesday, friends! We're ready for another day in the April A to Z Challenge, this time with the letter O.

Our A to Z theme is All Things Cat, for which I'm sharing drawings of all sorts of cat-shaped items. Today, for the letter O, we have for you none other than an orange.

I thought through a lot of options for the letter O. Do you know how orange won out? When I sat down to draw out the letter O, an orange was the only of the options I really felt like scribbling up. So, an orange it was.


Of course, Astrid also has for you a little adventure today. In particular, she wants you all to meet some friends she made on a recent walk.

Do you see those feathered friends of ours up there in that photo? How about now?

Those geese in the upper righthand corner of that photo squawked away at us during this photo shoot. The funny part is that Astrid and I were already walking through this little park when the geese swooped in and landed ahead of us, only to then scold us for being too close. I told the geese that we just needed to walk by quickly, and Astrid is a good girl who is very non-reactive to even giant birds like geese, so we were able to pass by peacefully. Well, peacefully on our part. The geese were plenty loud about our invasion of space.

Have a wonderful day, friends!

Tip of the Day

The last parasite we'll be discussing in this parasitic series of tips is Toxoplasma gondii, which causes the disease known as toxoplasmosis. Though different animals can be affected, including cats, dogs, and humans, cats are the most prevalent. A cat can get toxoplasmosis from eating the infected muscle or organs of an animal, such as by eating a mouse or uncooked meat. The parasite can thereafter be passed through the cat's feces, and then other cats, dogs, or humans can acquire the disease after coming into contact with and ingesting such fecal matter.

Some cats with toxoplasmosis will display symptoms such as fever, lethargy, respiratory distress, or neurological disturbances. Symptoms are most often seen in cats who are immunocompromised, such as young kittens or the geriatric and sick. In most cases, though, especially in grown, healthy cats, no symptoms are noticed. It is even possible for a cat to indeed have toxoplasmosis for years, but to simply never display symptoms. This can also be the case in other animals, including humans. That being said, developing babies in utero can be at high risk for toxoplasmosis. This is why it is often recommended that women refrain from scooping their cat's litter box when pregnant.

To help prevent the transmission of toxoplasmosis, you can keep your kitty indoors, where they are less likely to come into contact with the feces of an infected animal or to ingest infected tissue from prey. Also ensure that any meat you feed your cat is cooked. Also keep all litter boxes scooped and cleaned. To protect yourself, always wash your hands well after scooping the litter box. Accidental transmission can occur simply from a person scooping the litter, not thoroughly washing their hands, and then touching their mouths or food. Dogs can also acquire toxoplasmosis by ingesting fecal matter, so keep your dogs away the litter box and fecal material they might find outdoors.

We're sure you all know this by now, but if you notice any concerning symptoms in your kitty, of course always have them examined by a veterinarian. Any questions or concerns regarding your cat's risk for diseases such as toxoplasmosis can of course be discussed with your vet as well. Even diseases such as toxoplasmosis, which often give off no symptoms at all, can be lethal in a compromised, untreated furbaby. So, as always, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Tonks Tuesday and the Letter N

Hello and welcome to another installment of the April A to Z Challenge!

Our alphabetical theme is All Things Cat, for which I'm sharing drawings of cat-shaped objects. Today we've reached the letter N, and what I scribbled up is a bit random. After all, today, N stands for nimbus clouds. The short description of nimbus clouds is that they're typically grey and result in rain or snow. The clouds I drew are more of the cumulonimbus variety, but either way, here you go.

Sharing potential rain clouds is apt enough today, as we're indeed expecting some rain and all that jazz. We hope you're all staying dry, though!


Now, it's still of course Tonks Tuesday. Today, the little calico is keeping an eye out for those raindrops. She loves watching anything and everything that moves outside, rain included.

Tonks and all of us here wish you a terrific Tuesday!

Tip of the Day
We're still in the midst of our tips on parasites that can affect our furbabies. Our previous tip related to Giardia, and the parasite of today is very similar to this. Today's parasite is coccidia, which is another single-celled protozoa that can infect the intestinal tract. Coccidia is similiar to Giardia in more than just that regard, though. Just like Giardia, coccidia most commonly causes diarrhea, and is passed in the feces. It is also possible for a furbaby to become infected with coccidia if they ingest an infected rodent.

Also just like with Giardia, sometimes a cat or dog will show no signs of infection even if they have coccidia in their intestinal tract. Young kittens or puppies, geriatric furbabies, and those otherwise medically compromised are at the highest risk. In compromised cats and dogs, diarrhea caused by coccidia infection can lead to dehydration and other complications, which can be life-threatening.

Like the broken record that we are, we're of course reminding you again to keep an eye on your furbaby when outdoors, and to keep their environment as sanitary as possible. As we said earlier, ingesting the feces of another animal infected with coccidia can lead to infection. Also ingesting debris or water near where such animal defecated could lead to an infection with coccidia.

And, again, if your furbaby has diarrhea, seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Take a fecal sample to the appointment, so that your veterinarian can do a test for coccidia and other parasites. When a diagnosis is made, discuss with the veterinarian the treatment options. Give prescribed medications, which may include antibiotics, probiotics, or another, and do so for as long as the veterinarian prescribes. Stopping medications early, even if symptoms subside, can result in a recurrence. Then again, if a treatment plan is not working, discuss that with your veterinarian as well. Diarrhea, among any number of symptoms, is not to be taken lightly, so do your best to stay on top of it.