Saturday, April 30, 2016

Birthday bash, and all that jazz!

Today is quite the fun, exciting day.

For one, it's National Tabby Day! I was so excited when I found out about this wonderful day, as all three of my feline furbabies are tabbies.

And then of course there's the fact that today is the Caturday Art blog hop, hosted by wonderful Athena Cat Goddess Wise Kitty. My contribution for this always fun hop is at the end of this post.

But, I am most excited today to be celebrating another furbaby birthday at our house! Actually, since none of my furbabies seem to be able to tell me their exact dates of birth, it's yet again more like a "maybe" birthday. That being said, my active little lady Eddy (maybe) turns 1 year old today!

Although all my furbabies are still young and active, Eddy is perhaps my most fun-loving furball. She can turn anything and everything into a toy, and does so frequently. She's clever and innovative and just downright ornery. And, she's adorable, if I do say so myself.

Since Eddy is such a fun-loving little lady, she and I decided that, for her birthday, we'd share some fun facts about her. Some of these are little tidbits that we may have shared before, and some we may not have shared yet, and others we just simply can't remember whether or not we've mentioned in the past.

Now, without further ado, the birthday girl would like me to share some trivia about her.

1. Eddy came to me named Daya. I renamed her Eddy because, due to this special needs girl's head tilt, I was told by her rescue group that she tended to spin in circles. An eddy is a whirlpool, and so I named my spinning kitten Eddy. (Eddy still has a head tilt, but she no longer spins in circles.)

2. Prior to deciding on Eddy, I almost named her Dervish. Obviously, though, Eddy won out in the end.

3. Eddy loves her name, especially when it's repeated many times in rapid succession. Calling for Eddy-eddy-eddy-eddy-eddy will bring her running just about every time.

4. Eddy is a mama's girl. She likes this human mama of hers, and that's about it in terms of her preference in humans.

5. Eddy is this mama's only true lap kitty. If I sit down, she'll be in my lap within seconds. Sometimes she thinks of my lap as nothing but a playground, but other times it is the perfect place to curl up and snooze.

6. Believe it or not, active Eddy is the easiest, most complacent of my furbabies during nail trims. This is because all I have to do is wait for her to fall asleep on my lap, at which point she couldn't care less what I do to her.

7. Eddy is a diehard chaser of toes beneath bed sheets. In between toe hunts, though, she loves sleeping on her mama's legs at night.

8. After arriving at my house as a kitten, Eddy most quickly took to her older sister Thimble. Thimble mostly ignored her, preferring the kitten food over the kitten itself. These days, Thimble and Eddy get along like, well, sisters.

9. Eddy loves to snuggle with her big brother, Evan. He's down with that, most of the time.

10. Eddy was at first very much against the idea of living with a dog. Over time, though, Eddy has come to regard cat-loving Astrid as a tolerable frenemy.

11. As many of our regular readers know, getting a still shot of Eddy is like winning a gold medal at the Olympics. It's a sport, and a hard one to win at that.

Happy birthday, Eddy! You mama hopes you have lots of extra fun today!

Now, that brings me to our Caturday Art contribution. Today's art is, of course, for my happy-go-lucky birthday girl. She's a tabby, and it's her birthday, so this piece can serve two purposes on this grand day.

Our Tip of the Day:
If you think it's a fit for you, your family, your schedule, and your finances, please don't rule out special needs animals when considering adopting. Special needs animals are often overlooked by potential adopters, as they are often deemed "imperfect". In some cases, such as when shelters begin to run low on space or resources, this means that these sweet furbabies are euthanized before they ever get the chance to know a life of love. But, these special animals can offer just as much, if not more, love and companionship as any other furbaby. And so, if it seems like a fit for you, please consider saving a life and opening your heart and home to a special needs animal.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Finally Friday

Sometimes, Friday just can't roll around fast enough. Weekends are the perfect time to recoup, and I guess some of us here are in dire need of that...

You know what else we'll be doing tomorrow, besides the aforementioned recouping? Celebrating the first birthday of a certain little girl named Eddy! She can't wait, and neither can her momma!

Happy Friday to all!

Our Tip of the Day:
This tip may be a no-brainer, but before turning on the dryer, always make sure that there are no furbabies inside. Cats especially love to climb into a dryer and sleep in the warmth it provides, and perhaps we've all heard of horror stories that can result from this. Please always check to make sure that no furbabies are snuggled down and sleeping in the dryer prior to using it.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thimble Thursday: My, what big ears you have.

Thimble's most recent photo shoot has her wondering...

"Does this angle make my ears look big?

"And what about my nose?"

We're wishing all of our furiends a lovely Thursday!

Our Tip of the Day:
Did you know that coconut oil has been found to offer many health benefits to dogs and cats? It is often found in pet shampoos, for its ability to support healthy skin and coat. What's more, coconut oil has been said to aid in digestion, support a healthy weight, offer thyroid as well as bone and joint health, prevent hairballs, and even give furbabies an energy boost. It can be found in a number of pet treats for reasons such as these, and can also be used as an ingredient in homemade treats. About 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of furbaby body weight is the approximate recommended amount of cocounut oil to give, should you wish to offer it to your furbaby. Of course, if you have any concerns, consult your veterinarian before giving your furbaby coconut oil.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Strike a Pose


Our Tip of the Day:
How about one more tip for photographing your furbabies? For up-close, clear, sharp pictures of your furbaby, start by getting on the floor with them. Getting down on their level allows you to eliminate the need to use the zoom feature, and allows you to get direct, clear shots of your furbaby's eyes and other beautiful features right at the source. In addition to getting down to their level, for truly sharp images, use the macro feature of your camera when taking close-up shots of your furbaby.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday Treat Time

My pup Astrid was the lucky winner of a grand EINSTEIN PETS treat package. This giveaway was hosted by our furiend Dakota and his mom! When we received the package in the mail the other day, we were ecstatic. It came not only with six bags of treats, but a lovely blue tote bag and two adorable stickers/badges!

Astrid could tell what was in the box right away. She tried to be patient and let her momma snap some shots of her and her loot.

Soon enough, though, she was rifling through the treats, trying to select which one she wanted to try first.

It was no surprise that the first one she was drawn to included peanut butter (as well as turkey bacon and banana)! This lucky winner was selected and opened...

...and poor Astrid waited patiently while her mom snapped even more pictures.

Finally, Astrid got a taste of the goodness.


With a little help from Toby, Astrid went about selecting her next flavor of choice.

Not surprising, the next one she picked out was PB&J.


With six whole flavors of treats sent to us, I told Astrid that we would space out the delicious goodness. What's better than knowing that we have even more deliciousness awaiting us?

"I want more! NOW!"

In a trial of patience, we set aside the rest of the amazing flavors sent to us, and I know Astrid looks forward to trying them out!

Thank you, Dakota and Caren, for hosting the amazing EINSTEIN PETS giveaway! And thank you, EINSTEIN PETS, for creating these amazing treats! Astrid loves them!

Happy Tuesday, everybuddy!

Our Tip of the Day:
Another photography tip? Set up "traps" for your furbabies, to lure them into a photo shoot. Set out a new cardboard box for your cat, or a new toy ball for your dog. When they come in to check out this trap of a treasure, snap away!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Mancat Monday, and a purple dinosaur.

I've mentioned before how my furbabies inherited a Barney the Dinosaur sleeping bag that I had as a child. Sadly, I outgrew the thing long ago, and so my kitties and pup now get to use it as a blankie of their own.

A certain orange mancat in the house is most fond of the cozy Barney blankie.

(Barney's under there somewhere...)

One of Evan's best friends is that purple dinosaur, and he is very proud of it indeed.

Happy Monday to all of our furiends!

Our Tip of the Day:
We're going to continue on the furbaby photography tips for a couple of days. So, for today's tip, when trying to catch a shot of your dog or cat, be patient and keep your camera at the ready, such as at your face or where you can see your furbaby in the LCD picture display. If you have your camera at the ready while waiting for that perfect shot, then you won't startle your furbaby by suddenly bringing up your camera. So, have patience and have your camera at the ready, and you'll catch that perfect shot!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Selfies: Sticks in the Mud

Sometimes, my furbabies are like sticks in the mud. They have their favorite photo shoot poses, and by "favorite" I mean that they practically live and breathe these poses. That being said, our contribution to today's Sunday Selfie blog hop, hosted by our fun furiends over at The Cat on My Head, are all brand new pictures from my furbabies. But, they may look familiar, because my furry sticks in the mud yet again decided to showcase some of their same ol' default poses.

Astrid went for her more or less permanent pouty puppy pose:

Evan loves him a good window view, which is perhaps why he has such an extensive collection of selfies that all look a lot like this new one:

With the beautiful weather we've been having, Thimble opted for another one of her favorite glow-in-the-sun selfies, which also happens to double as one of her many profile selfies:

And then there's active Eddy, who was only able to provide a drive-by selfie this week:

What about all of our furiends out there? Do you all have your favorite, default poses?

Wishing everybuddy a happy Sunday!


Our Tip of the Day:
How about a little tip for photographing your furbabies? If you know you want a photo shoot with your cat or dog, have a little play session or take them for a walk beforehand. This will make your furbaby not only happy, but also tired and therefore more likely to sit still for a photo shoot.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Caturday Art: The Bright Side of Life

It's Spring, and it's a lovely day, and it's time for the Caturday Art blog hop, hosted by our furiend Athena Cat Goddess Wise Kitty. So, I thought I'd leave this here:

We hope everybuddy out there has plenty of reasons to look on the bright side of life. Have a beautiful Caturday, furiends!


Our Tip of the Day:
We all know how much our kitties (and even our pups) love Squirrel TV and Bird TV. That's why today's tip is a reminder to, if possible, keep an abundance of bird and squirrel feeders in your yard for your furbabies' entertainment. And don't forget about bird baths and bird houses! What's more, if possible, put these nearest to the best, most popular window(s) in the house, so that your furbabies won't have to miss a thing. This kind of view is especially beneficial to indoor cats, as it can keep them stimulated, happy, and far from bored.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Festive Friday

A new season means a new bow on Atrid's collar. She loves showing off her springtime flower.

Sometimes she even gets a little help showing it off.

Thanks, Toby. You're a great photobomber assistant.

The other three feline furbabies would have helped Astrid show off her bow as well, but they were too busy enjoying the Spring scenery elsewhere...


Happy Friday!

Our Tip of the Day:
Remember that, like us, cats and dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies. Open windows and walks outside can spur symptoms for them just as they can for us. Keep an eye out for signs such as frequent scratching or licking, bald or hot spots, rubbing at the eyes, redness of the eyes, redness or rashes on the skin, and sneezing or even coughing. If your furbaby shows any such signs, or any other signs indicative of potential allergies, consult your veterinarian. There are medications, such as antihistamines, that cats and dogs can take to help alleviate their allergy symptoms. But, it's of course best to consult a veterinarian regarding what medications are best suited for your furbaby and their allergies.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thimble Thursday: Model Material

I'm sure we've all had those times when we catch our furbaby in the cutest or most hilarious position, but, by the time we get the camera ready, said furbaby has grown bored and moved on to another important task.

I recently caught my girl Thimble sitting so prettily in the lights created by the sun coming through my front door. I begged her to stay put and scurried off to fetch my camera. By the time I returned with the camera, got the lens cover off, and turned the camera on, Thimble was - believe it or not - still patiently waiting in the same spot!

And Thimble just kept waiting and posing while I snapped shot after shot! Now, today, on none other than Thimble Thursday, my little lady wanted to show off just how pretty and patient of a model she was for her momma. So, here are just a few more of the shots from that photo shoot. (This is just a tiny sampling. Let's be honest, I'm shamelessly addicted to Thimble and her adorable face, so there are dozens of shots from this same sitting.)

We want to wish all of our furiends a wonderful Thursday!

Our Tip of the Day:
To help keep your home smelling fresh and to keep your kitty happy and willing to use the litter box, be sure to scoop it at least once a day. It's also advisable, if possible, to completely empty out the litter box and scrub it clean once a week, or every two weeks. This helps to eliminate odors that get trapped in the plastic of the litter box, which can potentially cause a lingering smell that can be unpleasant for both you and your kitty. Another litter box tip is, if you have more than one kitty, to use a litter specifically designed for use in multicat households. Always remember that a clean litter box means a happy cat!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Pinocchio

Sometimes I call my pup Astrid by the name of Pinocchio.

"Does this angle make my nose look big?"

Yikes. I imagine this would have been more like Hitchcock's vision of Pinocchio.

Happy Wednesday!

Our Tip of the Day:
Some people say that if a dog's nose is dry and/or warm, that the dog is likely sick. This is actually a myth. The moistness and temperature of a dog's nose can fluctuate greatly throughout the day. If a dog's nose is dry, it cannot automatically be assumed the dog is sick. That's not to say the dog's nose can't be an indication of sickness, though. Type of moisture or discharge from the nose can be useful in determining whether a dog is ailing or not. If a dog's nose moisture suddenly turns from the typical clear, thin, cold wetness to a thicker, mucus-like discharge, that could be cause for concern. Also keep an eye out for any discoloration of your dog's nasal discharge, or if it becomes unusually crusty. If you have any concerns regarding your dog's nasal discharge and health, consult your veterinarian. Sometimes, the nose does know!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

An evening with cats.

I recently learned that the video feature on my new camera is much better than that of my old one. (Don't get too excited, though, because I'm certainly no film producer, and I have zero skills in proper movie lighting or directing wayward actors.)

Now, I intended for this to be Eddy's post for the week.

I thought I'd get a video of little Eddy playing with her beloved track ball toy. But I thought wrong. She was just as coy for video as she was for this picture.

So, I instead parked myself on the floor after dinner and just started taking video of what a night in with my kitties is like, in hopes that they'd all provide sightings of themselves and their escapades. They obliged.

(Be careful with your volume at the end of this one. Although I managed to spare you the sound of my voice by keeping from talking in this, I couldn't keep my cell phone from ringing in the last couple seconds. If you're not expecting it, and if you have the volume up, it could be a cruel joke.)

I know that life can get pretty busy, and this video is a lengthy six and a half minutes. If you don't have time to watch it all, I completely understand. But feel free to watch as much as you'd like to get a taste of my kitties' shenanigans.

Oh, and you'll see in this video that I did after all get evidence of Eddy's love for the track ball toy. If you want to zoom to where Eddy gives a preview of the concert she puts on for me every night at 3 o'clock in the morning, go to the 3:45 mark of the video, with an enthusiastic encore at 4:15.

Wishing all of our furiends a terrific Tuesday!

Our Tip of the Day:
In the wild, cats are nocturnal. They hunt at night. Many of our domesticated kitties may carry this nocturnal behavior with them. That's why you may know your cat to prowl the house at night, attack your feet under the covers while you try to sleep (there's nothing like a good hunt under the cover of darkness!). and perhaps beg for food and attention in the wee hours of the morning. If you hope to curb some of your kitty's nocturnal behavior, try promoting nighttime snoozies by putting out additional warm and cozy sleep areas for them before you go to bed. Also try playing with kitty before bedtime, to help tire them out as well as to hopefully satiate their hunting fix for the night. And perhaps your kitty would benefit from eating its biggest meal just before bed, rather than first thing in the morning, which can put kitty in the habit of waking you up earlier and earlier for food each morning.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mancat Monday and Whatnot

We'll start this post off with none other than Mancat Monday! Today, my mancat Evan wants to showcase his skills as a chameleon. Thanks to these skills of his, I sometimes lose him in the floor...

Forget Waldo. Where's Evan?

Oh, whew, there he is.

 So, how would you rate Evan's skills as a chameleon?

Thank you to all those who wished me luck in yesterday's art fair! For anybuddy who doesn't know or doesn't remember, the art fair benefited my local area's rescue group known as Hospice Hearts, which works to foster and adopt out animals no longer able to be cared for by their ailing or aging owners, or whose owners have passed away. It's a great organization, and the art fair benefiting it was a lot of fun! Given the number of both vendors and shoppers, I'd say the event was successful all around. I myself enjoyed seeing what all the other crafters brought to benefit the good cause. It's amazing how creative and talented people are! I hope the rescue group makes this a tradition.

Now, here's where I make the announcement that I've hinted at in the last two posts...

Long story short, inspired by the art fair and by Hospice Hearts and all animal rescue groups alike, I am now selling my drawings as well as my mixed media art online, and each month a portion of proceeds from all purchases will be donated to an animal rescue group or shelter. For at least the remainder of April, if not a bit longer, I will be donating proceeds to Hospice Hearts. After that I will select another group, and will do the same each month. I'm always open to suggestions from all you furiends as to which groups will receive proceeds each month!

While preparing for the art fair, I tried to double time it and create enough art for both that event as well as for my online art benefit. I managed to create enough to have some beginning stock in two separate Etsy shops:

DoodleDownloads - This shop started out with just instant downloads of my drawings .Then I decided to add physical art prints as well. Eventually, essentially all the drawings that I share on this blog will end up as both instant downloads and prints in this online store. Perhaps needless to say, the majority of the art here stars furry critters, and with it I hope to help out some precious animals in need.

TrashToTreasuresArt - This shop is home to my mixed media art endeavors. Of course most of this art also stars furbabies, and I hope to help out some furbabies with it.

Please, though, feel no obligation to visit or make purchases at the above shops. I know that not everyone has the same interests, and so art may not be everyone's thing. And I know that sometimes money is tight and making purchases or donations is simply just not an option. That's all perfectly fine, so please feel no obligation to visit the above shops or purchase anything.

Our Tip of the Day:
How about one more tip about animal rescues? As I'm sure you all know, if you're able to, it's always a wonderful experience to find some way to help out animal rescue groups and shelters in their endeavors to care for homeless animals. Most rescues and shelters are nonprofit organizations, and so they largely thrive on donations and on the time and efforts given by selfless volunteers. Whether it be fostering an animal, volunteering at the facility, donating money or goods, spreading the word, or any other means of assisting with the cause, every little bit counts.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Selfies

Before we unveil our selfies for this week, let me first apologize for our absence at some of our furiends' blogs lately. This human has been getting her hands dirty (literally) and running around like a chicken with its head cut off (not so literally, luckily) in preparation for the art fair that is finally taking place today, to benefit our local area's animal rescue group known as Hospice Hearts. I'm not complaining, though, because I love me some art, just as much as I love me some animal rescue!

So, I'll be at the art fair today, and I'm very excited. That being said, excuse my absence from the blogging world for just a bit longer. It's nothing personal, I promise!

And, one more thing before we move on to our selfie...Those of you who read our post from yesterday might remember my saying that I'd hoped to make a bit of an announcement today regarding my art and this benefit. Well, I'm going to build up a tad bit more suspense and make this announcement tomorrow instead. I hope you can forgive me.

Now, on to today's Sunday Selfie blog hop, hosted by the always pawesome The Cat on My Head. As if I haven't already talked all of your ears off about the art fair, today's selfie even has to do with it! This is thanks to Thimble. My little lady cat loves to help her mom do anything and everything, but one of her absolute most favorite times to be a helping hand paw is during arts and crafts time. Needless to say, my girl Thimble was bubbling over with excitement when she recently caught me compiling and organizing some of my mixed media art for the fair. She even decided to immortalize the moment with some selfies...

"Silly Mom, you started arts and crafts without me. No worries, I'm here to help now!"

"Let me just inspect these, make sure everything looks to be in order."

"Well, everything does look to be in order. But, more importantly, these need to be tested for the cozy factor. Let me see...Yep, they're perfect for sitting on! Good job, Mom!"

Wishing everybuddy a beautiful Sunday!


Our Tip of the Day:
When looking into adopting a dog or cat, please don't forget all of the older, senior furbabies who are out there in need of forever homes! Sadly, older animals are often overlooked in favor of the younger adoptables. However, older animals often have already gathered experiences and wisdom that can make them perfect companions. If they're lucky, older animals have already learned how to bond and positively interact with humans. In addition, older animals are often already housebroken or litter trained, and in some cases are also already trained in a number of other categories. And, older animals, being past the stages of kittenhood and adolescence, are often more subdued and accustomed to times of rest and relaxation, making them perfect companions for anyone with a more sedentary or quiet lifestyle. Of course, as with any adoption, it is important to take all factors into consideration, including your living arrangements and schedule. But, if possible, please consider sharing your life with an older animal in need of a much deserved forever home!