Monday, June 25, 2018

Magical Monday Motivation

Since Evan got to show off his handsome self yesterday, on none other than Cat World Domination Day, he agreed to give up his Mancat Monday post so that another kitty could have a turn here on our blog. And what other kitty will you be seeing today?


Tonks! Just look at those sleepy eyes. This is actually a very rare moment of Tonks caught sitting still. What's more, it's not really a very good shot at all. I barely got this photo snapped before Tonks woke up and was up and running amok again.

I think Eddy may have lost her role as the most difficult kitty to photograph in this house. Kitten Tonks and her kitten sister Winky seem to be allergic to sitting still, especially for the camera. If it came down to a competition between Eddy and the kittens over who could take the blurriest photo, I'm starting to think the kittens would now win. I never would have thought any kitty could take that title from Eddy, but I have been proven wrong.

That all being said, we're now going a bit magical on you. In the post in which we introduced Tonks, her sister Winky (who owns my sister), and her brother Flitwick (who owns my parents), we mentioned how they were all named after characters from Harry Potter. The fantasy genre is well-loved in my family, so furbabies named after random fantasy characters has happened on far more than one occasion. Did you know that my angel Rosie and her brother Sammy were named after characters in The Lord of the Rings?

That being said, for the next few days, in honor of the kittens' magical names, our doodles are going to be a bit, well, magical. We know that certainly not all of our friends are fans of the fantasy genre like we are. It is, after all, sort of like an acquired taste. I acquired it from my dad, in fact, who read fantasy stories to me on the regular as a child. But, we do hope that, even if you aren't a fan of fantasy, you might still find some enjoyment in these doodles.


That's not all. This doodle and overall topic of magic inspired the motivational thought we wanted to share with you all today. Though Annie of McGuffy's Reader is taking a well-deserved blogging break, and her Sparks blog hop is therefore on hiatus, we still feel compelled to share a positive thought. So, today's magical words of wisdom are:

"Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


We hope all of you friends of ours have a magnificent, magical, motivational Monday!




***
Our  Tip of the Day:

Today's summer safety tip for strays and ferals relates to the trap-neuter-release (TNR) practice. TNR is crucial for keeping the feral cat population under control, as well as keeping individual ferals as safe and healthy as possible. This being said, always keep the weather and environment in mind when embarking on a TNR effort.

The summer heat can of course pose an extreme danger to cats being trapped. Potentially fatal overheating or heat stroke can occur if a cat is trapped and left sitting in the trap in the sun. In addition to this, traps are often made of metal, which means that if these traps are sitting on a hot surface, such as asphalt, the trap as well as the cat inside can overheat in this way as well. To combat such issues, try to trap and thereafter keep ferals in the shade. After they are trapped, do not leave the cats sitting out in the sun and heat, but instead transfer them somewhere cool as soon as possible. Also keep in mind the cats' safety when transporting them. For example, as you all surely know, the interior of a car can quickly become like a deadly oven in the summer months, so do not leave any animals, including trapped ferals, inside hot cars.

TNR is of course a very important practice for the safety and well-being of feral cats. That doesn't mean there aren't risks to the cats, though, and that includes the weather. So, if you are assisting in the significant task of trapping ferals, of course always ensure the cats' safety in all weather.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Snapping Selfies and Ruling the World

Well, today sure is an exciting day. First, it is of course the day of selfies. As in, it's time for the Sunday Selfies blog hop, hosted by the Kitties Blue over at The Cat on My Head. Second, it's none other than Cat World Domination Day! This fun day of feline domination was established by Sparkle, and is now continued by Summer.

This here human and a certain mancat around here are perhaps a bit biased, but we're thinking that orange tabbies would make pretty darn good rulers of the world. That's why Evan has this post all under control today. This magnificent mancat of course snapped a stunning selfie to share with the world.


Is that not the face of the cutest world dominator ever? I mean, I guess I might be a tad bit biased. But, that's beside the point.


Happy Cat World Domination Day to all of our feline friends!


smaller Cat World Domination Day graphic




***
Our Tip of the Day:

We have discussed in two past tips the battle that sometimes rages between our furbabies' food and these little things known as ants. As we've all surely seen at some point, ants often flock to easily accessible sources of food. This means that our furbabies' food, which is often at ground level, can make for an easy target. This can be an especially tricky issue when it comes to feeding strays and ferals outdoors. There are, however, some potential solutions.

As we've mentioned in our past ant tips, you can try using chalk or tape to draw a square or circle around outdoor food bowls. Ants will often see this is as a barrier, and will therefore often be unable to make their way into the bowl. Another option is to use something such as baking soda to create a circle or square around the base of outdoor furbabies' food bowls, again so that ants will see this as a barrier and will leave the food alone. Yet another option is to create a moat that ants cannot cross. You can do this by setting strays' and ferals' food bowls in a low dish of water, so that the ants cannot get to the food through the water. Then again, there are also ant-proof bowls on the market. Some of these offer their own moat-like feature, or other features that help keep ants at bay.

So, if you are combating ants in food bowls that you put out for strays and ferals, perhaps do some research and try various options. The important thing is to ensure that whatever ant-proofing method you use does not deter or frighten the furbabies. It is not impossible to keep ants out of strays' and ferals' food, you simply have to use a method that does the job without affecting the furbabies' ability to eat.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Saturday in the Sand

We've been sharing some summertime doodles over the past few days. After all, just because it's been nearly 100°F all week doesn't mean summer can't at least look fun, right?


This here human is not much of a beachgoer. In other words, I haven't truly been to a beach in something like two decades. If I did visit a beach one of these days, though, I would probably spend my time there doing a bit of beach reading. Hence the doodle above!

Really, though, am I the only person who doesn't like sand? The stuff kind of drives me nuts. It's like an invasive species, always ending up anywhere and everywhere. I'm not about that sort of infringement. That's just me, though. We know some of you friends of ours quite like the beach, and that's why we of course couldn't exclude it from our summer doodles.

Of course, our doodle up there is our entry into Athena's Caturday Art blog hop.


Be sure to visit Athena to see all of the masterpieces our friends have created!

Wishing you all a bright and sunny day!




***
Our Tip of the Day:

We're continuing on with our tips on summer safety for outdoor strays and ferals. Today we're moving on to the topic of food. When feeding furbabies outdoors, you of course have to take into consideration the heat of summer. Food can spoil in extreme heat, as you all surely know. Dry food is often the best one to feed strays and ferals on hot days. After all, moist food will spoil far more quickly, and will also quickly dry out in the sun and heat. You can try adding additional water to moist food to keep it from drying out too quickly, but even this method won't be able to combat the heat for long. No matter what type of food you feed to strays and ferals, do try to keep it in a shaded area or under a shaded shelter. What's more, remove old food and offer fresh food as often as is possible and needed.

It's also worth noting that though dry food is easier and safer to feed to outdoor cats in the heat, you still have to take precautions. Not only can dry food lose its freshness and safe status in the heat, but also think of instances such as rainy days. Dry food that gets wet will swell, become unappetizing, and can easily spoil if not cleaned up. So, when feeding dry or even moist food, of course keep in mind not only the heat, but other environmental factors such as rain. All in all, keep those strays and ferals healthy this summer with fresh food that is in the shade and protected from spoilage and other issues as best as possible.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Friendly Fill-Ins

Are you ready for some friendly filling in? After all, it is the day of the Friendly Fill-Ins! In case you missed them yesterday, below are the fill-ins for this week. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. My favorite scent is _________.

2. I hope to _________ this weekend.

3. _________ is music to my ears.

4. Home is where _________.


I took my turn to fill these in, and here's how I did:

1. My favorite scent is caramel.
(I had a tough time picking just one scent. I love anything that smells like some sort of baked or yummy goodness. I don't own many candles, but the ones I do have are all pretty much food-scented, my very favorite one being vanilla caramel. I like the scent of vanilla by itself, too, but when you add caramel to it, yum!)

2. I hope to catch up on housework this weekend.
(This seems to be a generally failed plan every weekend.)

3. A cat's purr is music to my ears.
(Duh! My angel Rosie used to sleep on my bed and purr almost every night as I fell asleep. Talk about a purrfect lullaby. Now, Evan, Thimble, and Eddy often take turns, though Evan is my most common lullaby kitty.)

4. Home is where your heart is set in stone.
(I cannot take credit for this one. "Home is where your heart is set in stone" is a lyric from the song "Home" by Gabrielle Aplin, and I have adored that line ever since the first time I heard the song. I feel like it speaks volumes, and expresses how, no matter how far you go, there will always be some place where your heart really belongs. Of course, I almost put the obvious answer of, "Home is where the furbabies are." While that statement is 1000% true, I thought I'd be a little less predictable with this one. Besides, my furbabies are my rock, so I think they easily apply to this lyric anyway.)


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.



***

For the past few weeks, Eddy had been allowing herself to be photographed when sitting still and in focus (gasp!). Don't worry, though. The old Eddy is still alive and well.


Yep, that's more like true Eddy.

Happy Friday, friends!




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Our Doodle of the Day:





***
Our Tip of the Day:

The past couple tips in our summer safety tips for strays and ferals have been all about water. Guess what? Today's tip is about water as well. Since water is such a crucial aspect of survival, especially in the heat of summer, we thought we'd give it one last hoorah. Today, we're specifically talking about water bowls.

Water bowl preference can of course play a part in any cat's life. We've talked before about whisker fatigue, for example, and how this often causes cats to prefer wider bowls, as these won't cause them to bump their whiskers while getting a drink. That being said, though, when it comes to offering water outdoors in the heat, keep in mind how the shape and size of the water bowl can play a part. For example, did you know that evaporation happens more rapidly when water has a large surface area? This is why water in wide, shallow bowls will evaporate relatively quickly in the heat. To combat this, try to offer water in bowls that are narrower and deeper. Of course, do try to ensure that the bowl is not so narrow that it makes drinking impossible or difficult, but also try to ensure that a bowl has a decent chance of combating evaporation.

In addition, consider the material out of which the bowl is made. This one can be a bit tough when it comes to offering water to strays and ferals to hot and sunny days. We've talked before about how stainless steel bowls are often a good choice over plastic bowls, since plastic bowls can get scratched and thereby more easily harbor microbes. But, as you all surely know, metallic surfaces can get pretty darn hot in the summer heat. Especially if a bowl is in the sun or on a hot surface, a metallic bowl might not only cause the water to become uncomfortably warm, but the bowl itself might also become painfully hot to the touch. This is best prevented if the bowl is placed in a cool, shaded area. You can also, if possible and safe, try using sturdy glassware as outdoor bowls. This is of course only reasonable if breakage is unlikely to occur, though, as broken glass is indeed a danger.

In short, take anything and everything possible into consideration when trying to help strays and ferals remain safe in the summer heat. This does indeed include their water bowls. Aim for bowls that will prevent rapid evaporation, but that will also be easy and safe out of which to drink.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Hello and happy Thursday! It's a happy day indeed, for more reasons than one. To begin, we have some rhyming to do. We just love participating in the Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge, hosted by Angel Sammy and Teddy.


Each week, our hosts offer us a fun photo prompt to guide us on our poetic endeavors. The photo for this week is this lovely one here:


As per usual, I'm going to try to offer an explanation as to how that there image led me to the weird and random poem that I scribbled up. Let's see if I can make this one brief. So, this quaint image made me think of nursery rhymes like "Old Mother Hubbard" and "There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe". Don't ask me why seeing this photo made me think of those nursery rhymes, because I really don't know myself. In addition, that image also brought to my mind the children's book The Mitten by Jan Brett. Again, I don't know why. But, those are indeed the stories that came to my mind when I gazed at that charming photo. So, I simply went with that vibe and ended up with this rhyme here:


On the Line

Old Lady Jill lived on a hill,
Just next door to the town's old watermill.
Every day her pail she would seek,
And with it Jill would take a walk to the creek.

Doing the wash was Jill's favorite chore.
Of this task, never did she bore.
She would hang the clothes out on the line,
Where they would dry with the wind and a bit of time.

But doing the wash was not as simple as that.
It was more than just hanging out to dry her dresses and hat.
There was so much more on the line
Than just her coat and mittens that were the color of wine.

Jill could never wait for her clothes to dry.
Just the thought of it made her feel quite spry.
On one particular day, though,
Her usual plans were torn to and fro.

Jill had washed and hung her laundry,
When suddenly her neighbor appeared with a quandary.
Gertrude was her neighbor's name,
And her cows were anything but tame.

The cows escaped Gertrude's field day after day,
And she could not find a way to make them stay.
Jill really wanted to help Gertrude out,
But, at present, that was not what she wanted to think about.

"Let me contemplate this conundrum for at least a while,"
Jill told Gertrude with a most polite smile.
"You see, I really must go now, Gertrude,"
Jill added, hoping she did not come off as rude.

Gertrude frowned and she still looked quite worried.
"But, Jill, why are you in such a hurry?"
Jill did not think Gertrude would understand.
What Jill found grand, Gertrude might consider bland.

"My clothes are out hanging on the line,"
Was how Jill replied as she looked at the time.
"It won't hurt them to dry a bit more,"
Was what Gertrude said rather than head to the door.

To appease her neighbor, Jill served some tea.
She thought she might have to begin to plea.
Of this little visit Jill wished to be set free.
To go out to her clothes hanging on the line,
That was what for which Jill did pine.

After what seemed like a very long eternity,
Gertrude finally stood when the time she did see.
After hours and hours of talking of cows,
Jill was beginning to feel an ache behind her brows.

But she felt far better when Gertrude was finally gone,
For then out to the clothes on the line she could finally abscond.
She hopped, skipped, and jumped to the line,
And was glad to see that she was just in time.

Just as occurred on each and every day,
Dozens of cute and tiny critters came to her clothes line to play.
Jill did not know from where they did come,
Yet every afternoon to the clothes on the line they did jump.

Jill giggled at the sight of her mittens,
In which now perched two cute and tiny little kittens.
And, look, there was a tiny little fox,
Nestled in her favorite pair of purple socks!

There were kittens and foxes and pups of all kinds,
And even a mouse, and a rabbit, and, oh look, a porcupine!
In Jill's mittens and socks and hats they did climb,
Right up there on that sagging clothes line.
They filled the pockets of her many dresses and coats,
And she was pretty sure in one pocket there was even a goat.

Jill brought her tiny friends biscuits and berries and all sorts of treats,
And it was with excitement that Jill they always did greet.
These cute little pals were nothing but sweet,
All the way from their noses to their tiny little feet.

That day, a little squirrel waved at Jill from her favorite hat,
And then gave her a peck on the cheek just like that.
Jill considered these mysterious little critters her best of friends,
With them, as much time as possible she would spend.

Each and every day Jill looked forward to these guests,
Who, to her, were not even remotely pests.
They simply seemed to enjoy occupying her drying clothes.
Intentional or not, the little critters put on such wonderful shows.

And so, every day Jill would wash and hang up her clothes,
And with a bit of impatience she would wait for her tiny friends to show.
She looked forward to their visit every day, every time.
Jill would always be there for her friends on the line.




***

Of course, we did not forget to give you all your Thimble fix today.



And, of course, Thimble and the rest of us did not forget that today we are lucky enough to participate in Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.


We are grateful to live a blessed life, with a safe home in which we can remain cool this summer, with windows out of which to gaze, and with friends like all of you. Every day, we are so thankful for each and every blessing. We know that not all are so lucky, and we purr, woof, and pray for all those in need.

Happy Thursday, friends!



***

Are you all ready for the Friendly Fill-Ins tomorrow? Well, you can't be if we don't share the fill-ins with you! The fill-ins are below. Ellen of 15andmeowing crafted up the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. My favorite scent is _________.

2. I hope to _________ this weekend.

3. _________ is music to my ears.

4. Home is where _________.



We'll see you tomorrow!



***
Our Tip of the Day:

Today's summer safety tip for strays, ferals, and other outdoor furbabies revolves around water. Water is, as you certainly know, incredibly important for all life. It's especially important for staying hydrated and cool in the summer heat. That being said, today we have some quite logical albeit important tips for helping strays, ferals, and other outdoor furbabies stay hydrated this summer.

Not only is it important to keep water in a shaded area or shaded shelter, as we mentioned yesterday, but it's also important to keep fresh water available in abundance. Especially in the summer heat, it is not possible to offer too much water. Strays and ferals may very well drink, and need to drink, far more water in the heat. Not to mention, in the heat, water can evaporate very quickly. For these reasons, try to offer extra bowls of water.

Furthermore, try to keep those bowls of water as fresh and clean as possible. Refill them as often as you can, and clean them as needed. Bugs, leaves, and all sorts of other outdoor debris can find their way into water bowls. Sometimes, cats and other animals may be unable to or unwilling to drink from a bowl that has debris floating in it or that is in another way dirty. In some cases, it's also unhealthy and dangerous to drink water this has been contaminated by certain debris. So, do try to keep those bowls and the water inside them fresh and clean.

For extra chill in that water, and perhaps even to give it a bit tad bit more ability to combat evaporation in the heat, you can also try putting ice cubes in the water bowls that are available to strays and ferals. Of course, do keep in mind the furbabies' preferences when doing this. Some animals will not drink from water that has something floating in it, so if this is the case, then refrain from putting ice cubes in at least some water bowls.

All in all, never forgot that fresh, clean water can of course be crucial to comfort and survival in the summer heat. So, offer lots and lots of water for those strays, ferals, and other outdoor furbabies. What's more, keep an eye on those water bowls, and try to ensure that they remain full and free of debris.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wednesday with the New Kids

We told you all that we'd soon be sharing more pictures of the new kids. In case you missed anything and have no idea what I'm talking about, I have added a cute little calico to my crew, and her name is Tonks. My sister adopted her black lady cat sister, Winky, and since my sister lives me us, so does Winky.

Before I go on, let me just be honest. These kittens are, somehow, even worse than Eddy when it comes to photo shoots. They aren't great at this thing called sitting still. Photos of them are most often frighteningly out of focus. I've decided they may be the kind of cats best captured in video, so I'll work on that.

That all being said, we did sort of manage a couple of photos of the newbies to share with you all. How did I finally snap these photos of the kittens? By having my sister wrestle them and hold them up off the ground until I could get even a half decent shot of each of them.

So, are you ready to see a couple shots of the newbies? Here they are.


That up there is the calico cutie known as Tonks. She is the most likely of the two new kitten sisters to sit still. She's also the most likely to eat all of the food in the house. Tonks the 3-lb kitten shoved Astrid the 70-lb dog off of her food the other day, and ate it right in front of her.


And that up there is Winky. Friends, I don't how many pictures of Winky I'll succeed at sharing. Not only am I pretty much the worst photographer of black cats to have ever walked this earth, but this little black lady cat thinks sitting still is the leading cause of death in kittens. You have no idea how long it took my sister and me to get even this underwhelming shot of her. Winky was not impressed, as you can probably tell.

Now, how about a little update on the integration of these young lady cats into the family? Let's start with what the boys think of them. After a few days of getting used to their insanely high energy levels, Evan now finally enjoys running and playing with the kittens. He's always seemed to enjoy playing with other cats, so I didn't think he'd be a problem. What's more, he is also very good at sternly yet harmlessly telling them when they're getting too rowdy and rambunctious.

As for Toby, he took to the kittens surprisingly quickly. His favorite thing these days is to just sit back and watch them play. I will also add that I think Toby is actually the best furbaby in the house at teaching Tonks and Winky when enough is enough, as he gives very gentle boops anytime they get out of line. Of all of their elders, the kittens heed Toby the best.

Now, what about Thimble? To be honest, she is still not too sure about the whole thing. She does not hide from the kittens, and she often even willingly visits with them (when the kittens are out running and playing, we put up baby gates, and the big kids get to choose whether or not they wish to join the kittens). The problem with Thimble is that she is not really assertive enough, and the kittens literally walk all over her. She does not like that, and I don't really blame her, because they are relentless about it. For some reason, the kittens just don't listen to Thimble when she tells them to back off. She has tried hissing, growling, and whining at them, but, perhaps because she is a small cat who looks a bit like a kitten, they seem to think she is a a playmate or even a plaything. I often have to redirect the kittens in order to give Thimble a much-needed break from them.

And then there's Eddy. Eddy has not had direct access to the kittens yet. Change and unfamiliar things really throw Eddy off and prompt her to go into hiding. She is a very timid, skittish cat, and the new kittens seem to instill a good deal of fear in her. If I'm to be honest, I don't know how she'd react if one of the kittens did to her what they do to Thimble.

The above all being said, Eddy has not even once hissed or growled at the smell or sight of the kittens. She seems to make small yet forward progress with the whole situation every day. She hid for nearly two days straight immediately after the kittens' arrival, but that is not the case anymore. She now watches the kittens from afar, and has even started getting closer and closer to the large cage in which they stay when they cannot be supervised. When the kittens are running amok and playing in the house, I put a baby gate up in my bedroom doorway (my bedroom has always been Eddy's safe haven), so that Eddy can watch the kittens play on the other side of it. Sometimes the kittens even run right up to the baby gate, and while Eddy does not get too close to the gate, she also does not run away. The sight of the kittens no longer immediately makes Eddy hide, but instead seems to finally stir some curiosity in her. I have hope, therefore, that somewhere down the line, she will at least be willing to coexist with the kittens.

Oh, and we can't forget about pup Astrid. The long and short of it is that pup Astrid loves cats. The kittens had never seen a dog before her, and so they were very unsure of her at first. They are far more accepting of her now, though, and that makes Astrid very happy. That being said, Astrid does not get any unsupervised time with the kittens, as they do excite her, and a 3-lb kitten is no match for a friendly yet excited 70-lb dog.

So, we're still very slowly but surely integrating the kittens into the family. Primarily because I need to ease Eddy into this, we may still be working at this for many more weeks. I'm okay with that, though. I can have patience, especially if it means we might eventually have one big, mostly happy family.

Wish us luck! And, we're wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday!



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Our Doodle of the Day:





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Our Tip of the Day;

We are working through a series of tips on how to keep strays, ferals, and other outdoor furbabies safe and sound in the summer heat. We began this series of tips yesterday by discussing the importance of offering shaded areas, where outdoor cats or even dogs can stay cool. In this same line of thought, today we want to remind you to put necessities for outdoor furbabies in said shade. Whether you have shaded areas beneath trees or bushes, a table that offers shade, a summer shelter that offers shade, or something else similar, be sure that you place food and water in those shaded areas. This will ensure that animals outdoors can have food and water that is as cool and fresh as possible, and that they can eat and drink out of the sun.

In addition, try to offer somewhere comfortable for strays, ferals, and outdoor furbabies to rest in their shaded area. For example, you can place bedding or even a chair in the shade, so that strays and ferals can get comfortable while also remaining as cool as possible. Then again, keep in mind that many furbabies will not want to sleep on blankets or other potentially insulating material in the heat. So, also take this into consideration, and make sure that shaded shelter truly allows for cool and cozy safety and relaxation. All in all, in the hot summer months, don't just offer shade to strays and ferals, but also food, water, and other necessities in that shade.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Taste Test Tuesday (#ChewyInfluencer)

This here human finally got her act together and helped the furabies test out some new foods as part of the Chewy.com Blogger Outreach Program. Since the squeaky wheel gets the oil, pup Astrid got to try hers out first. After all, she found the Chewy box and pummeled it until her new food was freed from its confines. Clearly, I've got this whole parenting thing well under control.

So, what did Astrid find in that Chewy box when she thrashed and ripped it to shreds? She found Holistic SelectⓇ Adult Health Lamb Meal Recipe dry dog food.


If I'm to be completely honest, I almost didn't select this food for Astrid, as I wasn't too sure about it being lamb meal recipe. But, since Astrid typically enjoys lamb recipes, I figured I'd give it a go. After all, pup Astrid is just as finicky—if not more finicky—than the most finicky cats with whom I've shared my life. She is 70 lbs, and we have to buy her food bags in sizes better suited for toy breeds, as that is how quickly she gets bored of a food. She currently has something like five bags of different types of food going, most of which she currently won't even eat because, well, she's bored of them. But, I digress.

Besides it being a lamb recipe, one of the pros of this food for Astrid in particular is the size of the kibble.


Astrid is not a fan of this thing called chewing. Her teeth have been checked and checked again, and they've even been cleaned and polished. Still, though, she does not want to use those chompers to chew food. We would put her on a largely moist food diet, if it wasn't for the fact that that leads to some pretty gruesome side effects out in the yard that is her bathroom. So, we try to work around her distaste for chewing by searching for foods that come in small kibble size. Luckily, this Holistic SelectⓇ food meets that requirement.

Some other perks of this food include that it contains no meat or poultry by-products, no wheat or wheat gluten, and no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. It is also formulated with digestive health in mind, and contains prebiotics and probiotics, natural fiber, live yogurt cultures, and digestive enzymes. Given that Astrid's digestive tract is not always the happiest environment, these factors were all certainly a plus.


I was pleased when Astrid showed interest in this new food as I photographed it. Any food that catches her attention is a good sign. After all, if the smell or sight of a food does not appeal to her, Astrid will give it the cold shoulder and throw it to the wolves, so to speak.


But the important question is, did Astrid eat the Holistic SelectⓇ Adult Health Lamb Meal Recipe dry food? The answer is yes, and no. She ate the first bowl, and even a bit of the second bowl. After that, she would no longer touch it. She has continued to refuse to eat it ever since those first two meals of it. To be honest, this isn't all that rare for Astrid. Some foods she takes to much better, and in those cases will sometimes actually make it through an entire 4-lb bag before tiring of the food. Sadly, though, Holistic SelectⓇ is not one of those foods.


(Disclaimer: As members of the Chewy.com Blogger Outreach Program, we received Holistic SelectⓇ Adult Health Lamb Meal Recipe dry dog food in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own. We only review products that we believe will be of interest to our readers, and we never recommend a product that we do not believe in.)


Finicky Astrid hopes you all have a tasty Tuesday!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:

Since we're struggling a bit to enjoy the heat of these 90°F days we're having, we thought we'd start a series of tips to make summer look fun.


Who's up for a game of beach volleyball?




***
Our Tip of the Day:

Not too long ago, we gave some tips all about summer safety for our furbabies. Given that we're currently in a heat wave, we feel compelled to give even more summer tips. These tips, however, will be more focused on how to help stray, feral, or other outdoor furbabies remain safe and healthy in the heat of summer.

Let's begin with a simple yet crucial way to help strays and ferals stay cool in the summer. And that is, please try to ensure they always have access to shade. Staying out of the sun is crucial for preventing overheating, heat stroke, sunburn, and all other such dangers. For this reason, try to make sure that strays and ferals in your area have somewhere shaded to stay in the heat of the day. This can be as simple as natural shade in a safe area, such as beneath trees or bushes that are away from the street and other dangers. Access to the area beneath a deck can also allow for shade, as well as areas beneath outdoor tables and other similar objects. You can even place a giant umbrella outside, under which strays and ferals can keep cool on hot and sunny days.

If you're feeling crafty or handy, you can even build a summer shelter. Then again, you can also purchase one, as there are many options available on the market. The important thing about any summer shelter for strays and ferals is that it should remain shaded but also cool, such as by being open and airy. Do not use an enclosed shelter that will insulate heat, like those better suited for winter weather, as a stray or feral would of course not be able to use such a shelter in order to stay cool on a hot summer day. So, to help those furbabies outdoors stay cool this summer, please ensure they have somewhere shaded to chill out!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Mancat Monday

Today is Mancat Monday. So, guess who's here to say hello?


Evan is here to say howdy to all of you friends of ours! He is of course sending his greetings from his sunny door.

Speaking of that sun, we have a bit of a sunny thought to share with you all today. Though Annie of McGuffy's Reader is taking a well-deserved blogging break, and therefore her Sparks blog hop is on hiatus, we still feel compelled to share some inspiring words with you all today. The thought we have for you today is this one right here:

"Keep your sunny side up."


I first saw that sentiment on a little art card years ago. What's more, to be honest, that little piece of art contained a drawing much like the one I doodled up there. Since I first saw it years ago, that image and its sentiment has always stuck with me. So, I figured, why not share it with all of you?

We hope you all have a happy, sunny Monday!




***
Our Tip of the Day:

Today's tip regarding bringing home a new furbaby is about microchips. If you adopt a furbaby from a shelter or rescue, they sometimes will have already implanted a microchip in your new kitty or pup. If this is the case, ensure that you know how to register the microchip with your information, and that you of course actually do so. If a cat or dog adopted from a shelter or rescue does not have a microchip placed, then do consider having one placed by your veterinarian, and, again, properly registering it.

In the case that you directly rescue a furbaby without a third party, such as if the cat or dog is found as a stray, then first have it microchip scanned at a local shelter, rescue group, or veterinary office that has a microchip scanner. This can help ensure that the furbaby does not belong to someone who is looking for them. In the event that no owner is found and you choose to adopt the furbaby, then, again, certainly consider having a microchip implanted, and register it with your contact information.

Also be sure that you understand the renewal process of your furbaby's microchip. Many microchips require yearly renewal, but again, be sure to you do your research on the exact microchip that is implanted in your cat or dog. Also make sure that your information, as well as that of your furbaby, is updated as needed in the microchip company's records. If you move, update the address attached to your furbaby's microchip. The same goes for if you have a change of phone number, of any other detail that corresponds with the microchip.

Implanting and keeping a microchip updated can help ensure that, should your furbaby get lost, a microchip scan would still lead back them to you. Today's tip was technically part of our series about adopting a new furbaby, but microchips are relevant and important for any and all furbabies. No one wants to think about what could happen should their furbaby escape and get lost. Should that ever happen, though, a microchip would give them a far better chance of returning to you.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Selfie for the Father Figure

We were going to share with you some selfies of the new kids today. But, then we remembered that today is Father's Day! Not that the kittens couldn't share some selfies for Father's Day, but one of the older furbabies, who really adores her grandpa, really wanted to share a selfie in honor of him.

The furbabies around here don't have a dad, but their grandpa is one of their most favorite people (I'm going to say this while pretending that Eddy doesn't hide from her grandpa every time he shows up at the door). So, to wish her grandpa a happy Father's Day, none other than Thimble snapped a selfie just for him. Grandpa has been known to ooh and aww over Thimble, and to tell her she's cute and pretty. Thimble knew, therefore, that her grandpa would just love to see an up close and personal glamour shot of her today for Father's Day.


There. Now Thimble's grandpa can ooh and aww over this Father's Day selfie that was snapped just for him. Enjoy, Grandpa!

All of the furbabies here wish their grandpa a happy Father's Day! Of course, this here human is wishing her dad a very happy Father's Day as well!

We are also wishing all of the dads out there a blessed Father's Day! Whether your kids have four legs or two, whether they're furry or humanoid, happy Father's Day to you!



P.S. Don't worry, you'll get to see some new pictures of the kittens soon!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:


You might have already guessed that this is the doodle this here human scribbled up for her dad. My dad loves to grill. Now, though, don't let this doodle fool you. He really is quite a master with the grill, and he does not allow any meals on the grill to suffer tragedy such as in that doodle above.




***
Our Tip of the Day:

We've talked about helping a new furbaby get used to resident cats and dogs, as well as children. In addition to all of that, of course also take into consideration a new furbaby's comfort and safety when you have guests over. Especially if the new cat, or new dog, is still getting acquainted with their new home, perhaps ensure they are somewhere safe, quiet, and secluded during a visit with guests. This way, they will not feel even more scared or try to escape when unfamiliar people enter their still new and unfamiliar surroundings. Of course, keeping a furbaby safe when guests come over is important whether the furbaby is new or a longtime resident.

Keep all of this in mind especially if you adopt a new cat or dog around a busy holiday, such as Christmas or Halloween. Knocks on the door, the doorbell ringing may, and guests coming and going may very well be more common during these times of the year. In addition, this also goes for if you are having home renovations done, or if any maintenance workers are frequently coming and going, or anything else of this sort. If visitors will be frequenting like this, and if a new furbaby is present and still acclimating to their new life, certainly take this into consideration and plan accordingly. Not only have a safe area ready for a new furbaby to spend their time, but, as needed, inform guests of your new furbaby and how this might affect their visit. The comfort and safety of a new furbaby in any situation is crucial to them adapting to a happy life in their new home. Again, though, take such care and precautions for any furbabies!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Eddy and the New Additions

Today's doodle is all about Eddy and her thoughts on the new kittens in our home, those kittens being Tonks and Winky. Can you catch Eddy's vibes in this doodle?


To be honest, I knew Eddy would be the most difficult furbaby in the home to help acclimate to the newest additions. She is not a fan of strange people, strange cats, change, anything unfamiliar, and, well, you get the idea. So, Eddy was and still is taking the longest to come to terms with Tonks and Winky's entrance into our home.

Don't count Eddy out yet, though. Though it's slow, she is making progress. Eddy went from hiding under my bed for a couple of days, to finally now at least being willing to stare at the kittens from a very, very safe distance. Unlike the other cats and pup Astrid, though, she still will not even remotely approach the kittens. But, she is making progress, slowly but surely, and I'll take it.

We're doing this in a step-wise fashion, and we'll do that as long as it takes. I don't mind if Eddy does not want to be best friends with the kittens, but I'd like her to at least accept their existence. I have hope that we'll get there.

Wishing you all a beautiful day!





***
Our Tip of the Day:

Over the past couple of days, we've discussed how to introduce a new cat to a resident cat or dog. On a similar note, also be sure to properly introduce any children to a new pet. Nervous or shy cats, or cats who are simply not used to children, may need to first get used to the idea of a small child before making any direct contact with them. Just as how cats and dogs will likely need time to get used to each other's presence, the same could very well go for a new furbaby and children. Allow a new kitty or pup the proper time and patience to first smell and see a child from afar, to observe them from a safe distance. Over time, a new furbaby will become more accustomed to a child's presence and antics. With the proper time and patience, it is possible that a new cat or dog will learn to enjoy the child's company, or at least to peacefully coexist with the child.

What's more, it is very important that the a child understands how to be gentle with and kind to an animal. Teach a child to give a cat or dog space as needed. In addition, of course also show a child how to nicely pet a cat or dog, and thoroughly teach them how it is never okay to pull on tails or anything of the sort. Such lessons go for all children, no matter their age, and both those that reside in the home with the new furbaby and those who are visiting your home

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friendly Fill-Ins

It's time to fill in some fill-ins! In case you missed the Friendly Fill-Ins statements yesterday, here they are. Ellen of 15andmeowing crafted up the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. My favorite Disney character is _________.

2. If I could stay any age for life, I would choose to be age _________.

3. _________ is my secret talent.

4. Life is like a _________.


I of course took a turn to fill these in. Here are mine!

1. My favorite Disney character is Gus Gus.
(I've always thought this cute and innocent little mouse from Cinderella was pretty darn cute. What's more, and what really helped solidify this answer of mine, was that at my grade school, there was a Gus Gus doll that would take a turn going home with each kindergartener for a week. My sister was in kindergarten just one year before me, and her turn with Gus Gus fell on the week when we were moving to a new house. I remember helping her keep track of Gus Gus, and nearly losing him a couple of times. In case you were wondering, some of my runners-up to this fill-in were Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Ariel as well as Flounder from The Little Mermaid, Merida from Brave, and something like 101 Dalmatians, just to name a few.)

2. If I could stay any age for life, I would choose to be age 29.
(I'm currently 29, and I kind of like this age. I finally feel old enough to have a tad bit of life experience and knowledge. But, hey, maybe I'll like being 30 or 40 or 50 even better.)

3. Attracting mosquitoes is my secret talent.
(I couldn't figure out what to put for my own fill-in, and when I asked my sister to help me out, she offered this. My scent, or perhaps my flavor, seems to attract mosquitoes without fail. This has been the case since I was a small child. My dad always tells me that if he brings me along to a summer outing, he doesn't have to worry about mosquitoes, because they'll all just swarm to me. Thanks, Dad.)

4. Life is like a camera.
(Have you ever heard this one? I don't remember where I first stumbled upon it and I can't find a source, but it goes like this: Life is a like a camera. Focus on what's important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives. If things don't work out, take another shot.)


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.



***

We didn't forget to give you your Friday Eddy fix!


Eddy is turning into Astrid with her window watching déjà vu shots. This is indeed a new shot of Eddy, but in the exact same window and in the exact same pose as her other recent shots. I'll try to coax Eddy into snapping some new shots. That is, if she will even agree to sit still in the first place.

Happy Friday, friends!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:

We're doing things a tad bit backwards. Today's doodle is Thimble's take on the new kittens in the family. Tomorrow you'll see Eddy's doodled up opinion of the kittens.




***
Our Tip of the Day:

Yesterday we gave some tips on how to introduce a new cat to a resident cat. Today, we'll give a bit of an idea on what you can do to get a new cat used to a resident dog, or vice versa. Getting a cat and a dog acquainted with each other can, in some ways, mimic the methods used to introduce two cats to each other. For example, just as with two cats, you can start introducing a cat and dog to each other by getting them used to each other's scent. This can include blocking their view of and access to each other, while allowing them to smell each other through a door. You can also swap pieces of their bedding, so that they become used to each other's scent this way.

Once the new cat is used to their surroundings and to the scent of the resident dog, or vice versa, you can begin introducing the cat and dog to the sight of each other. This can be done through a baby gate, through a screen, or safely from across the room. As needed, you can keep the dog on a leash to ensure a safe introduction. Also try to ensure that the cat is able to be safely restrained, should signs of aggression arise. These first meet-and-greets are likely best done from a distance, with each furbaby being distracted and rewarded for good behavior with treats or toys. This exercise can be repeated for however many days it takes for the cat and dog to act non-aggressive or calm in each other's presence. As progress is made, you can slowly start to decrease the distance between the cat and dog.

Over time, a cat and dog can learn to become friends, to tolerate each other, or simply to ignore each other. Allow for the proper patience and time to get the furbabies safely acquainted. Until they are used to and safe around each other, ensure that their time together is supervised. Even if the cat and dog grow well acquainted and tolerant of each, though, still ensure that each furbaby has their own space to be alone as needed. For example, have cat trees or other similar areas to which the cat can retreat, and a bed or crate for the dog to go should they wish.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Are you ready to rhyme? We sure are! We always enjoy participating in Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday Challenge.


Each week, our host gives us a photo prompt to help spark our poetic imagination. This week's beautiful image is this one here:


I'm pretty sure I've included forests and toadstools in far more than one poem and doodle already, but that's because I love the fanciful concept of them. Given my fondness for the subject matter, I was very excited to see this image for this week's poetry challenge. That being said, this week's poem of mine is pretty darn similar to some of the other ones I've written, and that's even not just in terms of the forests and toadstools I've driven into the ground. When an idea gets in my head, it sort of gets stuck in there, and then I use it until it gets unappetizingly stale. But, I hope you don't mind.


Finnigan in the Forest

Finnigan and Fiona were the best of friends.
The played together each day from beginning to end.
They may or may not have been a traditional pair.
Finnigan was a cat of black, and Fiona a girl with red hair.
Their differences mattered not one bit, though,
For they were the dearest of friends even so.

Once upon a summer, it was a beautiful day,
So Fiona opened her window to let in the sun's rays.
Finnigan sat by her side and gazed out at the world,
Which is where he quickly caught sight of a wily squirrel.
When the squirrel ran toward the forest and its trees,
Finnigan was behind it faster than a breeze.

"Finnigan, come back!" Fiona cried from the window.
But, in his excitement, Finnigan the cat did not slow.
The cat chased the squirrel across grass greener than green,
Into the forest where trees were all that could be seen.

After a wild and rampant game of tag,
The squirrel disappeared with a zig and a zag.
Finnigan pranced and peered through the trees,
Hoping that the squirrel he would yet again see.
Instead, something else came into his sight.
It was none other than a bright and shiny light!

The light glowed like a golden orb,
And Finnigan's attention it did absorb.
A light was just as well as a squirrel,
Especially when it spun around in a whirl.

And so there was Finnigan, chasing the light,
Running after the orb that shone so sparkly and bright.
When the shiny plaything sped off through the trees,
Finnigan made sure that he did not freeze.
He would not lose sight of the moving glow,
Lest he miss out on a mighty fun light show.

Finnigan followed the gleam of the light as it floated,
Keeping up with it being his only true motive.
The cat jotted and trotted to keep pace with the light,
Until it finally slowed and halted its flight.

When Finnigan stopped and glanced about,
He saw that all around him toadstools did sprout.
That was not all Finnigan noticed, though.
There were now dozens of little lights that did glow!

Finnigan could not help but test a toadstool out,
By jumping upon it to see how high he could bounce.
The cat on the toadstool must have been quite a scene.
Who needed a silly old trampoline?

When Finnigan was done with his acrobatic fun,
One of the lights approached him, shining like the sun.
Finnigan could not help but give it a light little boop,
After which the orb spun around in a frenzied swoop.

"Ouch!" came from the bright little light.
Hearing that word gave Finnigan a bit of a fright.
Have you ever heard a light speak?
Finnigan suddenly found himself feeling quite meek.

The radiant glow did not stop there.
These were the next words it did share:
"Now, now, don't be a scaredy-cat.
But also don't you dare give me another tap.
 I'm really not all that scary.
See, I'm just a harmless fairy!"

Indeed, the light was suddenly a light no more.
It was a tiny little creature, and on wings it did soar.
Finnigan was tempted to go on another chase.
After all, winged critters were some of his favorite to race!

Instead, Finnigan gave a polite hello.
"Meow," he said to the fairy, who still did glow.
"It's a pleasure to meet you," was the fairy's reply.
"We live just over yonder," it added, "if you'd like to stop by."

Finnigan thought that sounded like all sorts of fun,
And so after the fairy he did run.
They passed more trees, and them some more,
Until they reached a glittering gold door.

The fairy opened the door and invited Finnigan inside,
After which his eyes grew wider than wide.
The fairy land was something to behold.
There were more toadstools, waterfalls, and even a castle of gold!

Just then, Finnigan realized something important.
How could he have been so sordid?
The fairy land he could not yet attend.
After all, how could he go on an adventure without his best friend?

Finnigan told the fairy he would return soon,
And then turned around and through the forest did zoom.
He found Fiona in their yard, calling his name.
The sight of the poor little girl filled him with shame.

But Fiona seemed filled only with relief,
And she wrapped Finnigan in a hug that was not even remotely brief.
When the girl finally had her fill,
Finnigan tugged at her dress with great thrill.

Fiona could tell Finnigan had something to share,
And so through the forest together they did tear.
The toadstools were the first stop they made,
And like trampolines on them they played.

Finnigan could not wait to continue, though.
After all, those toadstools were just the start of the show.
He urged Fiona to follow him further,
His excitement now turning to fervor.

Finally, ahead, they both saw the golden door,
Behind which there was so much in store.
Fiona turned the knob and entered the fairy land,
With its toadstools and waterfalls and castle so grand.

Fiona gasped, laughed, and jumped for joy.
For bringing her here, she deemed Finnigan a good boy.
Into the fairy land skipped Fiona and Finnigan.
Little did they know, their journey was only just about to begin.




***

Those of you who visit us often might know whom you'll be seeing now. Thursday is the day when a certain lady cat shows off her adorable self. Of whom do we speak? Thimble!


Thimble is very thankful for the sun we finally saw yesterday. We haven't seen the sun much these days, because we've been having us some pretty nasty storms lately. There has been a lot of pouring rain, flooding, lightning, and thunder. A tornado even touched down at the edge of our town earlier this week. While we are very thankful that we are all safe and sound, we are sending our purrs, woofs, and prayers to those affected. Luckily, no one was injured in this tornado, but some homes sure were.


In addition to being thankful for the sun and the fact that no one was injured in this week's storms, we are of course also so very grateful for each and every one of you.



***

Last but not least, we have the Friendly Fill-Ins statements for tomorrow! Ellen of 15andmeowing was the mastermind behind the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. My favorite Disney character is _________.

2. If I could stay any age for life, I would choose to be age _________.

3. _________ is my secret talent.

4. Life is like a _________.




We'll see you tomorrow!



***
Our Tip of the Day:

Today's tip is going to be a bit of a long one, because it's all about how to introduce cats to each other, such as when bringing a new cat home. To be honest, the circumstances and methods of cat introductions can vary, especially depending on the cats involved. Some cats love other cats, some are not fond of other cats, and some are anywhere in between. Just like humans, every cat is different, and every cat has its preferences for who and what is around them. That being said, below we will indeed discuss some of the steps that can be taken to help properly introduce cats to each other.

Let's begin by saying that, though it is certainly not a cure-all for cat introductions, you can give Feliway a try. For long-term use (such as approximately 30 or so days), you can invest in a Feliway diffuser (refills can be purchased for these diffusers). There is also Feliway spray on the market, though a spray's effects do not last nearly as long as a diffuser's. If you are using a Feliway diffuser, it is often recommended that you plug it in roughly 2 weeks prior to an event such as bringing home a new cat, so that the pheromones are already in the home prior to the change.

Moving on, as we already mentioned in a previous tip, of course have somewhere safe for the new kitty to stay once they arrive at their new home. For example, a spare bedroom or a bathroom can make a safe area for a new cat. At this point, it is often best to have a sturdy barrier between the cats, something through which they cannot see each other, such as a door. This way, the cats can smell each other without having to take in the sight of a strange cat. Getting used to the scent of a new cat can be a crucial step before visual contact is made. If safe and feasible, you can even swap the cats' bedding, so that they learn the other's scent this way.

During the aforementioned non-visual olfactory meet-and-greet, there may indeed be hissing or growling. When this hissing and growling is only mild or nonexistent, at that point you try to start allowing the cats to see each other. Of course, using some sort of barrier is still advised, to ensure that no fights occur at the sight of each other. You can use a safe and sturdy baby gate, for example, or even a screen door. If there is hissing, growling, or other signs of aggression, stop the session and give both cats a break from seeing each other. You can repeat this exercise for short spurts, perhaps even multiple times a day, until the aggression diminishes.

The next phase of the introduction is of course best begun only when previous signs of aggression have significantly decreased or disappeared. When the sight of each other no longer spurs hissing, growling, or other aggression, then you can start considering allowing a more direct meet-and-greet. Of course, only do this with heavy supervision. In other words, as you allow the cats to enter the same proximity, without any barrier between them, be very, very watchful. Look for any and all cues that aggression might occur, and if that is the case, stop the session and separate the cats as needed, and then try again when both cats are calm. As a side note, in the potential case of a cat fight, have on hand something safe, such as a towel, that could help you break up the fight.

It may very well take time and lots of patience to get cats used to each other. No matter what phase of introduction you're at, continue safe meet-and-greet sessions as often as is possible and plausible, even if these are best kept brief at first. Getting new cats used to each may indeed take a lot of repetitive exercises such as those listed above. The main yet simple thing to keep in mind is that this will likely take time and patience. Forcing cats to meet in a hasty manner can lead to any number of issues, including aggression or even litter box aversion. While I wish I could say there is a textbook method that guarantees easy, successful cat introductions, that's simply not the case. Just remember to be patient, do not force it, help the cats get to know each other on their own terms and timeline, and closely monitor them until they are well acquainted and have learned to safely like, tolerate, or ignore each other.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Nearly Wordless Wednesday


Is that cozy, Astrid? Really? Talk about a lip lift.




***
Our Doodle of the Day:





***
Our Tip of the Day:

We are still discussing the ins and outs of bringing home a new cat or dog. Today's tip in this series offers some ideas on how to get a new furbaby acclimated to their new family and home. Especially when it comes to shy kitties or pups, be sure to be patient in helping them get to know you. In order to allow a shy or nervous cat or dog to learn to trust you or other family members, frequently visit with them or sit with them, and perhaps even give them an item or two of your clothing. Offer them food and sit with them while they eat, or offer them treats or toys if that does not stress them. Talk to them soothingly, or even read them a book. Make such visits with them are calm, and always watch for cues that a furbaby is feeling nervous or stressed. Over time, if you remain patient and calm, a new furbaby who is nervous or shy can indeed learn to trust you.

It is not just you or other family members that a new furbaby will have to grow accustomed to, though. Every home and family has its own set of sights and sounds to which a new cat or dog will have to become acclimated. Think of the typical goings-on of your household, and, as needed, help your new furbaby become used to the new sights and sounds by slowly and calmly introducing them to new stimuli. Just as a couple of examples, some furbabies may have to get used to the sound of garbage bags or the sight of an open umbrella. Of course, don't bombard a new cat or dog with new sights and sounds all at once, but, as always, have patience and help them to acclimate to these things slowly over time.

That all being said, introducing a new cat or dog to other animals takes especial care and patience. Slow and proper introductions are of course best for both new and resident cats and dogs. We will further discuss these topics in the very near future.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Tuesday Tale of Tails

Remember on Sunday, when we introduced you to these cuties?




In case you missed it, these three siblings have joined our family. Tonks the calico is my newest furbaby. Little black lady cat Winky was taken in by my sister, and since my sister lives with me, Winky lives with us as well. Tabby boy Flitwick owns my parents, and though he doesn't live with us, he visits often for play dates with his sisters.

Now, we mentioned on Sunday that there is a story to go with these little cuties, and we'll tell you that story now. Let's begin with this shocker that may or may not be worthy of The Jerry Springer Show: Tonks, Winky, and Flitwick are, believe it or not, the younger siblings of Thimble and her brothers Toby, Trapper, and Talon. Did you see that one coming?

Let's rewind. My grandmother found 3-week-old Thimble and her brothers in a bucket four years ago, after her neighbor had placed them there upon finding them under his patio. My grandma had previously caught glimpses of a cat who had clearly been nursing in the area around that time, but had not seen her in a while. So, it was assumed something had happened to her, and Thimble and her brothers were then adopted into our family.

Fast forward a few months, and the cat, Thimble and her brothers' mother, showed up again. After that, she showed up regularly. My grandma named her Big Foot. What's more, every few months, Big Foot would show up either pregnant or accompanied by her newest kitten(s). My grandma always fed Big Foot and her kittens and gave them shelter, but was never able to catch or trap Big Foot. She was the epitome of feral, and was smart and unwilling to cooperate to boot. In addition to this, my grandma lives in a very small town. In that tiny town, there is no animal control, there is no animal shelter, there are no rescue groups, and so there were certainly no groups to assist in TNR for a feral kitty like Big Foot.

So, Big Foot would show up pregnant or with kittens, and my grandma would put out food for them and give them shelter in the yard. That became the norm. As a side note, don't worry, though my grandma could not get her hands on Big Foot at that point in time, she was always able to get her hands on the kittens and find them homes when they were old enough. You'll see proof of this shortly.

Then, guess what? When Big Foot brought this newest litter of kittens around, this being the litter including Tonks, Winky, and Flitwick (and a fourth calico sister who was adopted by my grandma's nice neighbor lady), Big Foot finally proved to be more open to human intervention. Though my grandma could still not handle or really touch Big Foot, she was finally able to coax her and the kittens into a fenced-in enclosure in her yard.

Now, let's make the last part of this story short. When Tonks, Winky, Flitwick, and their other calico sister were old enough, my grandma managed to get Big Foot coaxed into a carrier with some food. She was then taken to the vet and is now, finally, spayed. Big Foot will no longer have to worry about raising kittens in the wild. She is still mostly feral, but she usually stays safe in my grandma's yard, and her last litter of kittens all have homes with us and my grandma's neighbor.

Want to see a recent picture of Big Foot, the mother of Thimble, Toby, Trapper, Talon, Tonks, Winky, and Flitwick? Here she is:


If I ever had any doubt that Big Foot is the mother to Thimble and her brothers, this negates it. Thimble may not look like her, but Toby looks incredibly similar to her, especially in the face. Talon also looks like his mom Big Foot.

How about this? Below are some shots of not only Toby and Talon, but all of the kittens that Big Foot brought to my grandmother's property over the past few years, and who have all found homes.

Toby, who owns my sister and lives with us, looks a lot like his mama cat Big Foot. To be honest, this is not the best shot of Toby to show off his similarities to his mama. If I can find a better one to show you all a side-by-side of look-alike Toby and his mama cat, I will certainly do so.

Talon, who owns my parents, looks like his mama cat as well.

 Trapper, who also owns my parents, is one of the few tabbies Big Foot produced.

Thimble! This girl, the only girl in the litter also consisting of Toby, Talon, and Trapper, is another one of the very few known tabbies birthed by Big Foot.

 This is Andi. She was found as a kitten by my grandmother. As far as we know, she is actually the oldest of Big Foot's offspring, as she appeared right around the same time my grandma first began sighting Big Foot roughly 5 years ago. Therefore, she is actually older than Thimble and her brothers. Andi lives indoors with my grandma.

This lady cat here is Little Feet. She arrived in my grandmother's yard as a kitten roughly 2 years ago, of course following Big Foot. This girl is still pretty much feral. She does not seem too fond of humans, at all, but my grandma was able to get her caught, and she now lives as a barn cat on the property of a family friend.

 This is Cassidy. He appeared as a kitten alongside Pocahontas (see below) just over a year ago. Big Foot brought them to my grandmother's yard, and they stayed in that area for many months. When my grandmother finally got the kittens caught, Cassidy soon after displayed an extreme hatred for living indoors. He now happily lives in my grandmother's yard, with his mom Big Foot, where my grandma feeds and shelters him, and where he often follows her around.

Pocahontas (aka, Pokey), after being caught by my grandmother, proved to be a very shy yet docile and sweet kitty. She now lives with my twin uncles, indoors, just one town over from me.

And here is a group shot of Tonks, Winky, Flitwick, and their other calico sister. As far as we know, Tonks and her tricolor sister were the only calicoes ever born to Big Foot. Flitwick was her third and final tabby, that we know of.


While I am so grateful that Big Foot brought me my Thimble and now Tonks, and also brought Toby, Talon, Trapper, Winky, and Flitwick into my immediate family, I am equally glad that she finally allowed herself to be caught and spayed. She has been producing kittens in the wild for somewhere around 5 years. I can only imagine how taxing those years must have been for her. For years, attempts at catching her were unsuccessful. Now, though, she can live a happy life without the worries of motherhood.

So, there was the long-winded origin story of Tonks, Winky, and Flitwick. Did you make it this far? I sure can get pretty long-winded. My apologies.

Also, on another note, I am working on getting some newer photos of the kittens. Let's just say they are no better than Eddy when it comes to sitting still for the camera.

Happy Tuesday, friends!



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Our Doodle of the Day:

Our newest series of doodles will involve the big kids around here expressing their thoughts on the arrival of the kittens. That being said, we are still in the very early introductory stages between the kittens and the older furbabies. Just one reason for this is that the kittens have been treated for coccidia, which is transferable by way of feces, the litter box, and all that jazz. No direct contact will be made until we are certain that the kittens are clear of this intestinal parasite.

So, for now, the kittens are secluded to their own area, but the big kids can see them, and they can see the big kids. For the furbabies in our household, this is working well. All of the big kids know that the babies are present in the house, and are now being given time to adjust to that fact. The older furbabies all have mixed reviews on the fact that kittens have invaded the home turf. Today, Evan and Toby thought they'd let you know their thoughts.





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Our Tip of the Day:

Today's tip on bringing a new furbaby into the home is to have a safe area for them to spend their introductory days. Depending on your situation and living space, this can take on many forms. If you are bringing a social, calm cat into a home with no other animals, there is a chance that they might have free roam of the home right off the bat. However, in many cases, such as if they are nervous or if there are other animals in the home, it is far more wise and safe to give a new furbaby a particular safe area where they can go when first beginning their life at their new home. This safe area could be a bedroom, a bathroom, a spacious cage or similar setup in a safe and quiet room, or something else along these lines.

What's more, consider what this safe area should contain. It should of course have the new furbaby's food, water, litter box, toys, a bed or blanket, and other necessities and comforts. Especially when it comes to nervous or shy furbabies, it is also crucial to ensure that a new kitty or pup has an area where they can feel secure or even hidden. If their safe area does not include anywhere for them to feel secure and hidden, consider giving them some options, even simply by cutting holes in upside-down cardboard boxes.

All in all, you have to consider what a new furbaby is coming home to. Do you live with a large family? Are there other animals? Is the new cat or dog shy? Consider all of these factors, and then decide where and how to keep your new furbaby safe while they are first learning the ropes at their new home.