Monday, February 19, 2018

Of Mancats and Motivation

As the title of this post suggests, we have two goodies to share with you all today. First up, we of course have some mancats for you to ogle.


Our mancat Evan sure does love his front door. After all, from that door he can watch over his domain.



Evan isn't the only mancat who enjoys gazing out at the world. Our housemate Toby does, too!


Though we do enjoy the beauty of winter, some days we truly are ready for spring to come and stay. The kitties are especially ready, because they don't appreciate their few and far between window and door sessions.

Have any of our friends been enjoying some lovely weather these days? Any window whiffies going on yet? We sure hope so!


***

Now it's time for the inspiring Sparks blog hop, hosted by Annie of McGuffy's Reader.


Annie created this blog hop as a means for us to share positive thoughts in this often negative world. I'm all about spreading any bit of postivity that I can, so I am so happy that Annie hosts this hop each week.

For this week, I found myself eager to meld another Olympic-inspired doodle with a positive thought. I did my best, and ended up with this:


When you think of it, we all start at the bottom. But, that doesn't mean greatness is not possible. Go for it!

Wishing you all a magnificent, marvelous Monday!




***
Our Tip of the Day:
Our cat health tip for toady is plain and simple. We're here to remind you to make sure that your cat has easy access to fresh water at all times. Water intake is of course crucial to a kitty's health, as it is important for proper functioning of not only organs such as the kidneys, but all systems of the body. So, make sure that your cat has water readily available. Some considerations to make include ensuring that your kitty has water accessible in areas where they are comfortable drinking, such as somewhere that is not too heavy with foot traffic, yet also somewhere that they frequent often. You can of course also offer water bowls in multiple areas of the house, something that is especially important in multi-cat households.

Also make sure that your kitty's water is in a bowl or other drinking vessel that they like. Some cats prefer typical bowls, some cats only want bowls with especially low sides, and some cats might even show a preference for drinking water out of cups or another container with high sides. Also, of course, freshen up that water as often as possible or as needed. Cats can be picky creatures, and some cats might refuse to drink water that is not fresh. In addition, fresh water is also simply healthier overall. To help ensure that water remains as fresh as possible, you could use a water fountain for your kitty. All in all, especially given how important it is for all bodily functions, make sure to give special attention to your kitty's water bowl.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sporty Sunday Selfies

Yesterday we hinted that you'd get to meet a hockey player here on our blog today. And we meant it.


That's right, our very own Thimble is a hockey player!


Though Thimble takes her sport very seriously, the humans here have a bit of a joke surrounding Thimble's athleticism. Ever since she was a kitten, Thimble has been known to whack and slap around anything and everything she can find. If she finds it on the table or a counter, it must get smacked to the floor. If it's on the floor, it must start moving with the aid of her paw. This became such a commonplace thing to witness, that my mom and I started referring to Thimble as a hockey player.

Then, guess what? My mom (Thimble's beloved Gammy, that is) found a hockey puck at a garage sale. Naturally, she bought it for Thimble, who was thrilled. Now she could practice her sport for real!


Oh, and can you see Thimble's audience? Do you see him? Standing on the other side of the door? That's the neighbor's cat. He comes over to visit a lot. He knows we have treats galore over here at our house. Also, he and Thimble enjoy a bit of shameless flirting. This time he watched her practice her hockey skills.


We hope you enjoyed meeting this pro hockey side of Thimble!

Of course, these shots Thimble snapped are our entry into the Sunday Selfies blog hop, hosted by none other than the Kitties Blue of The Cat on My Head.


Happy Sunday, friends!

P.S. We do apologize for the blurry nature of these photos. Thimble simply can't be expected to take quality shots when she's honing in her hockey skills.



***
Our Doodle of the Day:

Our Olympic-inspired doodle for today yet again takes us to the ice.




***
Our Tip of the Day:
Today's National Cat Health Care Month tip is all about those litter boxes. Especially if you have multiple cats, make sure that you have enough litter boxes with regard to the number of kitties in the home. It is often recommended that you have as many litter as you have cats, plus one. If there are not enough litter boxes, it is possible that cats might quickly find the litter boxes too filled or dirty, or that there might even be some bullying or battles over use of litter boxes. This could lead some cats to have to hold onto their urine or stool, which in turn could lead to issues such as UTIs or constipation. Or, some cats might simply begin looking for other areas in the house to urinate or defecate outside of the box.
Other litter box issues that might lead to health concerns or unwanted behaviors include litter boxes that are not cleaned enough, litter boxes that are in an area that is too high traffic for some cats' preference, litter boxes that are hidden too far away for certain cats' liking, or litter boxes that contain a type of litter that certain cats simply do not prefer. Obviously, issues such as holding urine or stool, resulting UTIs and constipation, and out-of-box urination and defecation are not ideal. For these reasons, do be sure that the litter box situation is suitable for all cats in the house, so that all the kitties involved can stay as happy and healthy as possible.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Caturday on Ice

Today, we of course have a bit of a doodle to share with you all as part of Athena's Caturday Art blog hop.


We mentioned yesterday how, just for the fun of it, we're doing a series of doodles to coincide with the Winter Olympics that are indeed currently going on. This is the not the usual type of subject matter for my doodles, and, to be honest, I'm not sure I'm all that fond of these athletic doodles. In other words, I kind of don't like how they're turning out. But, I'm making myself get out of my comfort zone and try new things. So, though they leave much to be desired, we'll keep going with these Olympic doodles. That being said, here's another one on ice.


This little hockey player is actually a prequel to some selfies that a certain kitty here snapped for tomorrow. Stay tuned to see a real-life hockey player in action!

Happy Caturday to all of our friends!



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

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

Friday, February 16, 2018

Hello, Friday!

We've almost made it to the weekend, friends! We just have this fun Friday to get through first, but that's fine with us. We always look forward to Friday, in large part because we always enjoy the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by the wonderful Ellen of 15andmeowing and Annie of McGuffy's Reader.


One of our favorite surprises of the week is finding out what we'll get to fill in for Friday. Here's what our clever hosts came up with this week:

1. My Chinese zodiac animal is _________.
2. My zodiac sign is _________.
3. Income tax season _________.
4. In hindsight, _________.

And, here is how I filled these in:

1. My Chinese zodiac animal is the snake.
(I've secretly always wished mine was the tiger, dog, or dragon. To be honest, I'm mildly terrified of snakes, so really anything but that would probably be my preference.)

2. My zodiac sign is Aries.
(I read an article that indicated Aries folk dislike inactivity. I think it actually went as far as to say that Aries dislike staying home and vegging out. If that's the case, then I need another sign, because this isn't going to work out.)

3. Income tax season is when I have to get my mom's help doing my taxes.
(I feel like such an adult.)

4. In hindsight, I should not have gotten Thimble hooked on baby food.
(Back when my Angel Rosie was with me, her favorite treat was baby food. At 21 years of age and suffering from kidney disease, I let Rosie have baby food constantly to help keep her weight up. At that point, I had little baby Thimble as well. Thimble would find me in the kitchen preparing Rosie's baby food, and I would give her a taste. That got her hooked, though, and now the girl is addicted and needs to lose some of that baby food weight. So, we're working on that.)


***

It's that time of the week now. What time of the week? The time of the week when you get your Eddy fix! Not wanting to be left out, Eddy followed Evan and Thimble's examples from this week and opted for some whisker shots.




We hope you all enjoyed our display of whiskers throughout this week!

Happy Friday, friends!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:
 
We decided to go ahead and do fun little doodles in honor of the current Olympics. Around here, we enjoy watching figure skating events, so that led us to this:




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

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

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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

We're excited for another Thursday edition. Just as we always do, we'll start off this wonderful day of the week with the fun Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge, hosted by the handsome Angel Sammy and Teddy.

 

Our hosts have been sharing some stunning photo prompts with us each week to inspire our poems. This week was no different. Just look at this photo our hosts found for us to use this week:


I was raised by a dad who was just as much a fan of sci-fi shows and movies as he was of fantasy books. I grew up watching Star Wars, Star Trek, and Babylon 5 with my dad. That's probably why, when I saw that breathtaking photo above, I wanted to find a way to turn it into some semblance of a rhyming sci-fi tale. Somehow, I also ended up inspired by an old legend completely unrelated to sci-fi. The title of the poem might give it away, for those who know the old legend of which I speak.

I really don't know why I can't manage to truncate these poems. I hope they're not painfully long, but if they are, I take full blame. Anyway, if you want to read my best attempt at a sci-fi rhyme, and a long one at that, then do feel free to read on.


The Merry Men

The year was 3002.
Life existed on all planets, and even the moon.
The universe housed a great many folk,
Even those with a total of 59 toes.
There were folk with pointy ears and those with ears that flopped,
And those with one, two, three, and four legs on which they walked.
But that's all just backstory,
And we don't want this tale to turn boring.

So, the year was 3002,
And Pinky Mew served as a mechanic on Earth's moon.
Her story takes place on one starry afternoon,
When a fellow demanded Pinky repair his shuttle sooner than soon.

Pinky Mew set out in her little drone,
And not before long she arrived at this fellow's home.
He was a wealthy old bloke living up life in the North Sector,
Until his grand shuttle threw a faulty thermal protector.

On that day the impatient old fellow was hosting a shindig.
He wanted his guests to think him ever so kindred,
But the tour of his land that he had boasted,
It simply could not go on if his shuttle were toasted.

And so Pinky Mew got to work,
Even if the old man was being a bit of a jerk.
He had offered her payment quite generous, after all,
So she figured she might as well not stall.

From her drone Pinky unloaded her bits and bobs,
And set to work on this simple enough job.
But not long thereafter,
There began a bit of a disaster.

In the starry sky above suddenly appeared a spacecraft,
And directly overhead it stalled and hovered its aft.
On the side of the ship read none other than MERRY MEN.
Right then and there, the situation Pinky did understand.
And so did the wealthy old man and his guests,
Who had emerged from his mansion with screams and gasps.

You see, the Merry Men were a galactic band of infamous thieves,
Who sailed throughout the universe's entire reach.
No one knew the thieves' names or appearances,
And stealthily they sailed the skies without interference.

Overhead, the Merry Men's ship opened its cargo door wide,
But something even worse happened at the same time.
The thieves must have set their ship's rays to stun,
For all those below froze, and nothing could be done.

The Merry Men's craft was feared for more reasons than one,
Including that it could easily take that for which it had come.
Into the ship's cargo bay all sorts of things then began floating,
All from the old man's mansion on which he was earlier gloating.

Into the Merry Men's ship beamed commodities of all types,
Even the old man's forks, spoons, and knives.
The ship even took all the sofas and chairs,
And even the old man's socks in all sorts of pairs.

Like a great beast that had completed its feast,
The ship finally closed its maw and headed east.
Pinky and the others could then again move,
For the ship's stun rays had been removed.

"Hey, you!" the old man yelled and pointed at Pinky.
"Go after those thieves right now, immediately!"
After renegotiating the price of this job,
Pinky swiftly patched up the old man's shuttle and in it did hop.

Up, up, and away Pinky did rise,
Lifting the shuttle into the starry skies.
At first she thought she'd have to guess on a path,
But then she caught a glimpse of the Merry Men's ship going past.

Toward Earth itself the Merry Men's ship did soar,
And on its tail Pinky did fly without a question more.
She nearly lost sight of it in the clouds of Earth's atmosphere,
But then she regained their trail when the air did clear.

Whether or not they knew of Pinky's pursuit,
The Merry Men turned on their ship's thrusters and did skedaddle and scoot.
Pinky knew her way around a spacecraft herself, though,
And with but a few adjustments her own speed did grow.

After circling and circling Earth's vast surface,
The Merry Men reached a place for their mysterious purpose.
Their ship they did slow and stalled at a hover,
Above a barren land that was lacking in cover.
Gusts blew the sandy surface around like smoke,
But even through that Pinky could see the sad little desert's folk.

It was then that Pinky realized what the Merry Men had in store,
When they began to open their ship's cargo door.
And then, without further ado,
They began to drop the goods taken from the wealthy old man on the moon.

From the depths of the Merry Men's ship each and every item floated down.
Pinky could see the desert folk shift to smiles from frowns.
Where there before was nothing but sand,
The folk now had sofas and chairs and all things grand.
They cheered and thanked the Merry Men in great waves,
Even as the Merry Men closed up ship and flew away.

Pinky knew what her next step would be,
As she watched the poor desert folk enjoy their new life with great glee.
Back to the moon is where Pinky did sail,
Where the wealthy old man his losses did bewail.

The distraught old man asked Pinky what came of his precious goods,
For without them, he claimed, his life did not mean what it should.
To that Pinky did but shrug and went on her way.
She figured he might get over it, perhaps, someday.




***

As always, it is now Thimble's turn to star in this Thursday post. When she learned that Evan got to show off his whiskers earlier this week, Thimble decided she wanted to do the same.




Who else likes to flash those whiskers for the camera? That sure is a favorite of the furbabies around here.

Now, of course we did not forget that today is also the day of Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.


Thimble and all of us here are thankful for the lovely sun we've been having. We even had some semblance of warmth outside yesterday. What's more, we are beyond grateful for our wonderful family and amazing friends, of course meaning all of you.

We hope all of you friends of ours have a beautiful, blessed day!



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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Wordy Valentine's Wednesday

Guess what? We have a smiling Astrid to (finally) show you all today!


That there shot was a candid one snapped by my sister on her phone. I am still trying to get Astrid to pose for a happy, pretty, smiley photo shoot when I have my favorite camera in hand. But, for now, I think this will do. So, now you know what Astrid usually looks like. Despite her usual posts on this blog, she does not look like a pouty puppy all the time. Usually, she is smiling just like she is doing in the picture above.

Oh, and can you tell what she's lying on it that photo? It's a coffee table. A glass-top coffee table. That is one of Astrid's naughty habits. Despite our lessons stating otherwise, she seems to think coffee tables are just the perfect height for her 70-lb body to use as stepping stools and resting places. The above photo was snapped at my parents' house, when Astrid was there visiting them, chillaxing on their coffee table (Grandma and Grandpa can't seem to say "no" to their granddog). I also have a coffee table at my house that Astrid likes to grace with her presence. When I catch Astrid on it, I always tell her that she is not a table dancer and that she needs to pursue other avenues in life. She refuses to believe that. She's a work-in-progress. But then again, so am I.


Now, of course, we wouldn't leave without wishing you all a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! Of course, our doodle for today is all about this day of love. We'll get to it shortly.

First, though, last week we shared a doodle starring Astrid and a mancat named Trapper, who is madly in love with Astrid. We reminded you all that Trapper is my parents' cat, and he also happens to be one of Thimble and housemate Toby's litter mates. The other boy in that litter of four is none other than Talon.


To put it simply, Talon is an awesome cat. He loves everyone, and he loves everything, and he is simply the epitome of unconditional love. He will give a stranger the same buoyant and happy welcome that he gives his own human mom and dad. He truly loves every person he meets, every cat he meets, every dog he meets, and everything in between.

Needless to say, just like his brother Trapper, Talon absolutely loves pup Astrid. And that leads us to our Valentine's Day doodle.


These four sibling kitties—Thimble, Toby, Trapper and Talon—were all raised around Astrid. They adored her the second they met her, when they were just 3 weeks old. Nothing has changed since then, and they all still love her something fierce to this day. And isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about?

Much love to all of you friends of ours!



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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tabby Tuesday

Hello, friends! We've been sharing a variety of Tuesday posts lately, but we don't think we've done any recent Tuesdays dedicated to the Tabby. So, today we're of course doing a Tabby Tuesday post for you all. Thimble is the tabby of the day, and she decided to show you all her lovely tabby cheek stripes.


Who else has some tabby stripes to show off? We bet there are other stunning stripes out there amongst you friends of ours!

On another note, Thimble is a little worried that this shot makes her ear look a tad bit big. Does it? Do any of you friends of ours have, well, ears of an unusual size? Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow? Okay, we'll stop there.

Whether it be a Tabby Tuesday, Toesies Tuesday, Tummy Tuesday, Tortie Tuesday, or just a plain ol' Tuesday, we hope it's a great one for you!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:




***
Our Tip of the Day:
In yesterday's tip on diet, we made a comment on the fact that weight will indeed help determine the best diet for you kitty. Today's tip is a continuation of that topic of weight. If your cat is overweight, for example, then portion control is of course important, as is the type of food. There are weight loss cat foods on the market, these often focusing on high protein intake, but do be sure to discuss with a veterinarian your kitty's weight and the best diet to help them live a healthy, fit life. Similarly, if a kitty is underweight, such as following an illness, diet will play a large role in increasing their weight and overall health. Again, discuss with a veterinarian what type and quantity of food to feed your cat in order to assist in their weight.

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

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