Sunday, May 27, 2018

Some Very Sunny Sunday Selfies

We are so very thankful for all the sunshine we've been having, even if it's been making the great outdoors frighteningly hot.


Around here, Evan is the king of sun puddles. They are easily his favorite part of summer.


Evan thinks this mom of his can be a real party pooper, though. You see, she doesn't want him to overheat or get a sunburn, so she sometimes removes him from sun puddles if he's been basking in them for too long. Isn't that terrible? Evan hopes none of his furry friends have such horrible parents as he does.

Well, anyway, Evan's sunny selfies up there are his contribution to the Sunday Selfies blog hop, of course hosted by the Kitties Blue over at The Cat on My Head.


Have a stupendous Sunday, friends!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:

Today's foodie doodle was again inspired by Marg's suggestions that we create a cat and dog doodle. So, we went with this:




***
Our Tip of the Day:
 
Since we're all about foodie doodles these days, we thought we might go for some food tips as well. We've given these tips in the past, but we thought we'd repeat them again. After all, diet is a pretty significant aspect of our furbabies' lives.

Over the next couple of days, we'll give some tips specifically regarding pet food ingredients. As you all surely know, the ingredients that go into a furbaby's food and therefore into their body all play an important role. Let's start today with protein, which is of course a significant part of any diet. Just as with us, our cats and dogs need protein, which can be broken down into amino acids, which can in turn be used to build up new muscles and other tissues. This is why high protein is especially important in a kitten or puppy's diet, as it ensures that they can form the tissues they need to grow into healthy adults.

There are also some other special considerations to make when it comes to protein. For example, furbabies suffering from pancreatitis or diabetes often benefit from high protein diets. On the other hand, a cat with renal disease requires a low protein diet for the health of their kidneys. So, while protein is indeed an important part of any diet, do be sure to do your homework and certainly discuss with your veterinarian what ingredients you should consider for your furbaby's diet in order to keep them healthy.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

A Pup and Her Purritos

Our foodie doodles continue. We are now starting to work on some more of the suggestions you all gave us last Saturday, when we asked what foods you might like us to draw. Today's doodle was inspired by wonderful Marg's suggestion of creating a doodle starring both kitties and pups. We put a bit of a twist on that, and ended up with this strange doodle:

Disclaimer: Fear not. No kitties were eaten or harmed in the making of this doodle.

Our doodle for tomorrow was also inspired by Marg's suggestion, as it again stars a kitty and a pup. We won't give anymore spoilers on this, though. You'll have to visit us tomorrow if you'd like to see it.

If you are looking for some sort of spoiler, though, some of the other suggestions we got lost week and that we have in the works include doodles with a mud pie (can you guess who suggested this one?), pizza, and none other than a taco. We almost used kitty tacos in the doodle we shared today. But, then we opted for purritos instead. Don't worry, though, a taco or two is indeed on the way.

Our doodle up there is of course our entry to Athena's Caturday Art blog hop!


We hope all of you friends of ours have a terrific and tasty day!



***
Our Tip of the Day:

Today's summer tip is a bit of a fun one, but also one relating to food and hydration. What on earth are we talking about? Popsicles! It is possible to make popsicles for your pup or even your kitty. You can mix water with a bit of peanut butter, tuna, berries, or other safe food, and then freeze the mixture in an ice tray or popsicle tray. Once they're frozen, you can let your pup or kitty lick them. You can also place these frozen treats directly in your furbaby's water bowl, perhaps to entice them to drink a bit more (just be sure to remove any food remnants from the popsicle out of the water bowl, so that no spoilage occurs). These frozen goodies can make a great treat on a hot summer day, as they can also help a dog or cat stay cool and hydrated. That being said, do ensure that your pup or kitty does not choke on small pieces of the treat, that chewers don't injure any teeth chomping on the ice, and also that your floors don't end up with melted puddles of left behind treats.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friendly Fill-Ins

It's time for the Friendly Fill-Ins, friends! In case you missed them yesterday, below are the fill-ins for this week. The first two were crafted up by my co-host, Ellen of 15andmeowing. I came up with the second two.


1. It is _________.

2. The best part of last week was _________.

3. Every summer, I _________.

4. Once upon a time, _________.


I filled these in myself, and here's where that led me:


1. It is better to try and fail than to never try at all.
(You never know what you can achieve until you try.)

2. The best part of last week was visiting a new market in town.
(I am always on the lookout for new markets with fresh, healthy foods. Especially since my body has decided to develop some new food sensitivities and intolerances over the past couple of years, I have really cleaned up my diet. That sometimes leaves me with limited options when I go to my usual grocery store, though. That's why, last week, I was incredibly excited to visit a new market in town that offers lots of fresh and healthy food options. The best part is that this new market is the only place in town where I have found fresh medjool dates. Yes, I am the kind of person who gets excited over things like medjool dates, and sweet potatoes, and the fact that watermelon is finally in season.)

3. Every summer, I melt.
(I'm probably being just a tad bit dramatic here. Though autumn is my favorite season, I actually don't mind a little seasonal warmth in the summer. However, when it starts hitting 80°F and 90°F on a daily basis, that's when I start feeling like the watered-down witch in The Wizard of Oz.)

4. Once upon a time, two kittens charmed a little girl.
(If I were to write a cat lady autobiography, that could more or less serve as the first line. My angel Rosie and her brother Sammy were my first ever cats. I remember the day I met them, when I was 4 years old. My mom took me to the shelter, and 8-week-old Rosie reached out and grabbed the bow I was wearing in my hair. I remember laughing and thinking, "This kitty is awesome!" Rosie shared a cage with her brother, who thereafter also started stalking my hair bow. Both charming little kittens went home with us, and the rest is history. Oh, and I still have the hair bow I was wearing on the day I met Rosie and Sammy.)


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.



***

Some of you might know what's next. As happens every Friday on our blog, you now get your fix of Eddy!


This girl is notorious for being happy and active and all shades of blurry in photos. We recently had a wonderful window whiffies session, though, during which I was able to snap lots of photos like these ones here.


Just don't get used to this. I haven't managed to get Eddy to sit still for another photo shoot since this one, so I'm sure her photos will be back to wild and blurry soon enough.


Happy Friday to all!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:

We still have a number of foodie doodles to share with you all. This one today is for Eddy.


Eddy loves the fishies in her beloved aquarium. She also loves to steal their food.




***
Our Tip of the Day:

Yesterday, we talked about the safety of our furbabies around various insects and related pesticides. Today, we have another insect topic, but these buggers are more of a nuisance than a danger. What are we talking about? Ants! If you have a feeding station outdoors, either for your own furbabies or for strays and ferals, there is a chance that you've seen some ants helping themselves to the grub. However, you can attempt to keep ants out of the food with the aid of chalk. Using chalk, you can draw a box or circle around the food bowls, as that will often prevent ants from entering that area. Similar techniques could perhaps even be attempted indoors, should the ants make their way inside. You can even use colored tape or something else similar to form an ant barrier around your furbaby's food dishes.

That all being said, remember that pesticides can, in many cases, be dangerous to our furbabies. This includes pesticides aimed towards ants. If you have ants in or out of your house, be cautious when using any form of ant bait or pesticide. Either find safe alternatives, or keep any and all ant traps well out of reach of the furbabies. It is of course always best to err on the side of caution, and to never use any products that could potentially harm your furbaby should they find it.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

It's Thursday again! Isn't it strange how that happens? Anyway, let's go right on ahead and start with the Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge, hosted by Angel Sammy and Teddy.

 

Our hosts provide us with a photo prompt each week, in order to help us on our poetic endeavors. This week's image is this gorgeous one here:


Isn't that just lovely? I wish I could say my poem is as lovely as that image, but my rhyme is really just sort of weird and random. But that's nothing new.

I usually like to explain how I got from the image to my poem. This time around, I'm not entirely sure myself. When I saw that image, the first thing that came to my mind was the song "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. I decided to look up the lyrics, to see if they could help me on my rhyming journey this week. The first lines of the song—"There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold"—only led me to think of a similar quote from Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien's quote goes, "All that is gold does not glitter." I don't really know how to explain my poem's progress from there, because at that point I sort of lost control of the situation.

To be honest, I'm not really happy with this poem. It just didn't go in the direction I hoped. But, I didn't know what or how to change it once I was finished. So, whether I like it or not, here it is:


All That Is Gold

Bobo sat amongst the wildflowers,
Watching the clouds above which him towered.
Clouds and more clouds passed by in Bobo's gaze,
Moving to and fro in the sun's bright blaze.

As Bobo observed that white and fluffy world,
He waited to see something fantastic unfurl.
After all, Bobo really was quite bored that day,
And he was even beginning to feel a bit grey.
Luckily, Bobo was never disappointed by the clouds above.
He once even saw a nebulous dog do the jitterbug!

And so he stared up into the sky,
Watching the events of the clouds go by.
Bobo could not wait to see the land of clouds go about its business.
That day, a castle and its king first went by with great swiftness.

Oh, look, there went an elephant!
It was white and puffy and really not all that elegant.
Then Bobo watched a parade of squirrels.
Those cloud rodents were no less wily than those on a forest floor.

Bobo could not believe what then did happen.
In the sky appeared a giant, fluffy, flying dragon!
The beast was formed of the whitest of clouds,
And no other form dared float in like a shroud.

But something about the dragon made Bobo's heart flitter.
After all, something in its midst did gleam and glitter!
In the sun this beautiful mystery shone.
It was ever so bright and sure to be gold.

Bobo remembered the tales he had heard.
Certainly those stories were not all that absurd.
They all told of how dragons guarded their treasure,
And how such gold could only be won by the bold and the clever.

Bobo, for one, was proud of his courage and wits.
That's why, then and there, he decided to act on his grit.
He sure could use some gold, after all,
And so Bobo got to work without stall.

It was to the house of old man Crumpet that Bobo did run,
As he kept an eye on the clouds and the sun.
Crumpet collected none other than balloons,
And they were known to travel as far as the moon.
Bobo pleaded to borrow one just for the day,
And, thank goodness, old man Crumpet did not say nay.

Bobo set out in the direction the dragon traveled in the sky,
Hoping that this balloon would indeed take him that high.
He soon found out that the balloon would do just fine,
When he was as high as the clouds and traveling a speed of ninety-nine.

Bobo checked each and every cloud he passed,
Looking for the dragon and the gold it had surely amassed.
He traversed through a cloud forest,
And through a cloud garden that flourished.
The cloud mountains were a real chore,
For they went on for twelve miles and more.

In the distance Bobo saw some inhabitants of this cloud land,
But none of them belonged to his mission at hand.
There were some owls swooping here and there,
As well as a racing turtle and a hare.

Suddenly, Bobo then found himself stalled,
When his balloon ran into a cloud which in the sky was sprawled.
It took him a moment to identify his blockade,
Before he realized it was a giant white cat napping midday.
"Um, excuse me, but you're in my way!"
That was what Bobo yelled to the fluffy feline.
He did not want to waste even a little bit of time.

The cloudy cat finally awoke,
But only after Bobo gave it a firm poke.
It stretched and purred and stood,
Seemingly as slowly as it could.

Bobo repeated that he really needed to go about his day,
And asked the purring cloud if it could move out of his way.
The cat instead sat down and licked its paw,
Even its tongue was white and fluffy inside of its maw.

Finally, the cloud cat stopped its bathing charade,
And said, "Hello, my name Maeve."
"I'm Bobo. Nice to meet you. Can you please move?"
Of his words the cat did not seem to approve.

"Why are you in such a hurry?" she asked.
Bobo said, "Because I have a very important task!"
"And what task is that?"
"I seek a dragon. Not a cat!"

The cat seemed quite happy with that answer.
She exclaimed, "You must be looking for Dancer!"
Bobo learned that was the dragon's name.
He thought that really, truly quite strange.

When the cat next asked why he sought the dragon,
Bobo told the truth with great passion.
"Dragons are never wanting for treasure.
I wish to fight for gold without measure."

Maeve the fluffy feline's tail twitched this way and that.
She looked a bit like a perturbed cat.
Bobo did not know if she was mad, sad, or neither.
The cloud cat's thoughts he really could not decipher.

Maeve seemed finished with their chat,
For she began to settle in for another nap.
Before she closed her eyes, though,
Where to find the dragon she did let Bobo know.
The beast named Dancer was just a tad bit north,
And so in that direction Bobo went forth.

Finally, in the distance Bobo caught side of the beast.
He decided that with the gold he won he would first have a feast.
Bobo made sure to hide behind a massive cloud hill,
So that he properly surprise the dragon with his skill.

As he sat with his balloon at a distance, though,
Bobo's curiosity began to grow and grow.
He watched the dragon named Dancer from afar,
Thinking that what he saw was almost bizarre.
The dragon really was aptly named,
For dancing clearly was his game.

Dancer the dragon was just then dancing the tango,
But soon after moved right on into the flamenco.
Dancer was not alone, though.
A solo he was not dancing, no.
Surrounding him were all sorts of friendly clouds.
Around Dancer they were forming quite a crowd.

That was when Bobo realized it was more than just that.
Dancer the dragon was now teaching them all how to tap!
Bobo did not even realize that he had drawn nearer,
But clearly his presence had been made much clearer.

Dancer saw Bobo and waved a hello.
The dragon seemed like sort of a nice fellow.
"Welcome, strange friend!"
That was the greeting that to Bobo the dragon did send.

"Would you like to learn how to jive?
It will make you feel really quite alive!"
At first Bobo shook his head and declined.
But before long the joyous dragon had him dancing that jive.

And you know what?
Bobo realized that he really liked to dance and strut!
Dancer was a great teacher, that was for sure.
He taught Bobo that, for a bad mood, dancing was the best cure.

Bobo had soon forgotten why he had even visited the sky.
That is, until something glimmered and caught his eye.
He could not believe what it was that he saw.
It was right there, above Dancer's fluffy left paw.

You see, Dancer wore none other than his heart on his sleeve.
The truth about it, Bobo could not believe.
Bobo now knew what he saw earlier that day from beneath.
It was Dancer's heart that shone bright and bold,
For it was made of glittering gold.
That was a treasure worth a great deal,
But not one that Bobo would ever dare steal.




***

As is always the case on Thursdays, Thimble is now here to show off her cute self.


The problem here, though, is that Thimble had a bit of a case of a photobomber. Do you see that back there?
 

Toby really wanted to be part of the shot. Thimble wasn't quite sure what to think of that.

Despite the photobombing incident, Thimble is very thankful that she got to enjoy even more window whiffies on a warm day. To be honest, she is also thankful for Toby, and for her other furbsibs. Without them, she would have no pals to boss around play with. And it's her gratitude for her fursibs that Thimble is entering into Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.


All of us here are also so incredibly grateful for all of you. You friends of ours make us so happy, and we would be lost without you all.


***

Last but not least, below are the phrases for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins blog hop challenge. My co-host Ellen of 15andmeowing crafted up the first two, and I came up with the last two.

1. It is _________.

2. The best part of last week was _________.

3. Every summer, I _________.

4. Once upon a time, _________.


That there is our new badge, created by one of Ellen's wonderfully artistic friends! This artist also created the original badge, when Ellen first began this blog hop with Annie of McGuffy's Reader. Jamie created a new badge, since Annie is taking a blogging break and I am co-hosting the hop with Ellen. I simply adore his adorable artistic style. To visit the artist's website, just click here!


Have a beautiful day, friends!




***
Our Tip of the Day:

Today's summer safety tip is to beware the bugs. A variety of bugs begin to make appearances this time of year. That being said, many of those bugs bring with them their own sorts of danger. For example, some spiders, as we've mentioned before, have bites that are toxic. Bees, wasps, and other similar bugs can sting, and this can prove incredibly dangerous for furbabies with severe allergies to these stings. There are also of course mosquitoes, who can harbor those nasty, dangerous heart worms.

That all being said, keep in mind that many bug sprays can also be toxic to furbabies. Spraying in your yard, or near or inside your home, can be dangerous for this reason. If your furbaby licks or comes into contact with certain pesticides, they could become sick and have serious side effects.

There are ways, though, for you to help keep your furbaby safe from insects. For example, keep any water in your yard fresh and clean, as stagnant water attracts mosquitoes as a place for them to lay eggs. To ward off buzzing bees, try to keep plants that attract them away from areas where your furbaby frequents. When you are somewhere unfamiliar, perhaps steer clear of gardens, not only to keep your furbaby safe from toxic plants, but also from bees that might be hanging around the area. Though not always easy, keeping buggers such as spiders out of your home might be easier if you keep doorways and the like regularly cleaned. Ridding doorways of cobwebs, for example, can lead to less arachnid inhabitants.

It is also worth noting that there are some pet-safe insect repellents on the market. Some products can keep bugs away in a more natural manner, such as by using certain scents to which insects are averse. This being said, though, even some of these more natural products can pose risks for furbabies, such as if they contain dangerous essential oils or other potentially toxic ingredients. For this reason, always read product labels, and discuss any concerns with your veterinarian. What's more, should your furbaby become sick due to an insect bite or sting, or due to ingestion of a pesticide, seek veterinary care immediately.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Not So Wordless Wednesday


You all must think I just keep posting the same picture of pup Astrid over and over again. Really, though, the truth is that she insists on posing the same way every single time she sees the camera. Maybe I can get the kitties to teach her some variety.

Now, Astrid is the last furbaby around here to complete one of the recent Curious as a Cathy Mewsic Moves Me blog hop challenges. This one involves spelling out your name with song titles. Here's how Astrid fared with that!


A:    "All I Want" by Toad the Wet Sprocket
S      "Strange Magic" by Electric Light Orchestra
T:     "Take on Me" by A-ha
R:     "Rebel, Rebel" by David Bowie
I:      "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones
D:     "Dirty Paws" by Of Monsters and Men


Have a most wonderful Wednesday, friends!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:





***
Our Tip of the Day:

You'll probably see this tip from us at least once more this summer, but today we're already mentioning fireworks. These booming celebrations often make appearances during the summer months, such as for Memorial Day and certainly Independence Day. Needless to say, always be cautious with your furbaby around fireworks. First, close proximity to fireworks can lead to burns or other injuries. In addition to this, the sound and sight of nearby fireworks could cause a fear reaction, which could potentially lead to an escaped or lost furbaby.

Speaking of fear of fireworks, it is of course best to keep your furbaby tucked safely indoors when fireworks are being used anywhere nearby outdoors. Even inside, though, it is possible for the sounds and sights of fireworks to frighten a pup or kitty. You can make some attempts to minimize the sight and sound of fireworks, such as by closing windows, closing blinds, playing music, turning on the TV, and distracting your furbaby with some playtime. Some dogs and cats are also calmed by wearing a ThunderShirtⓇ, or even a makeshift one created using a blanket, towel, or a piece of clothing. If your furbaby is still scared, sometimes it is simply best to allow them to hide. In this case, ensure they have somewhere to be and feel safe, such as a safe room or cubby in which to nestle while the fireworks are booming.

Since it is always better to be safe than sorry, in case a fearful furbaby does somehow escape, ensure that they are properly identifiable. For example, make sure they are wearing a tag with your contact information on it. In addition, this is also when up-to-date microchips can be crucial.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Toesies Tuesday

When Thimble realized we hadn't made a Toesies Tuesday post in a while, she simply had to remedy that.


I asked Thimble to give us a little peek of her toe jelly beans, but she said that would have to be a photo shoot for another day. After all, she had a nap scheduled, and you don't just up cancel nap time.

Since she was ready to settle in for a nap and call it a day, Thimble agreed to give Evan and Toby a little bit of time in this post. You see, this here human forgot to share the boys' fun little musical challenge in their Mancat Monday post yesterday. Don't you feel bad that these poor kitties have to deal with such a slacker of a human? Anyway, we're still working on a previous week's Curious as a Cathy Mewsic Moves Me blog hop challenge. We hope no one minds our glacial pace in completing this challenge. For what it's worth, we're having lots of fun with it!

So, this challenge we're working on involves spelling out your name using song titles. Thimble and Eddy have already given it a go. Today, the boys get their turn. Oh, and in case you're wondering, pup Astrid will share hers tomorrow.


E:     "Enter Sandman" by Metallica
V:     "Veronica" by Elvis Costello
A:     "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" by Eric Idle
N:     "Neon Tiger" by The Killers


Evan especially likes his letter V, as Veronica is the name of his auntie. But, we digress. Now, on to Toby.


T:     "Take It on the Run" by REO Speedwagon
O:     "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" by The Beatles
B:     "Back in Black" by AC/DC
Y:     "You Don't Own Me" by Lesley Gore


So, those are the boys' musical monikers. This here human's sister, who happens to be Evan's auntie Veronica and Toby's mom, helped them brainstorm these songs. After all, she is the song guru around here.


We're wishing all of you a terrific Tuesday!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:

Today's foodie doodle was created for Thimble. This little lady cat will only eat one thing as a treat, and that is baby food. Her favorite flavor is ham, and so of course we sort of went with that.





***
Our Tip of the Day:

Today's summer safety tip is about your furbaby's care in the event that you are traveling this summer. We'll begin with if your furbaby is staying behind while you travel, in which case it is important to plan well in advance for their care. If your furbaby would do best being boarded, then be sure to schedule this well ahead of time, to ensure that they can stay at a veterinary or other boarding facility that you trust.

Another option is of course having your furbaby stay home and having a trusted pet-sitter come in to care for them, or to your cat or dog them stay with someone you trust. No matter what route you take for your furbaby's care while you are away from them, be sure that whoever is looking after them has all of the resources and information they might need. Make sure that your furbaby's food is stocked up, as well as their medications, litter, and anything else of importance. Ensure that their caregiver knows the details of their care, including what, when, and how much they are fed, as well as any medication administration instructions they might need. Don't forget other resources a pet-sitter might need, such as any pertinent details of your furbaby's medical history, as well as the contact information for their veterinarian.

Then there are the times that our furbabies travel with us on vacation, and it is also important to plan accordingly in this case as well. To begin, make sure that you pack all that your cat or dog might need. This would include food, treats, water, medications, leash, carrier, and anything that is significant for their daily care. It is of course also important to plan in advance for pet-friendly lodging at your travel destination. Are you staying at a hotel? If so, is that hotel pet-friendly? Or, are you staying with family or friends? If so, do they have a pet-friendly home? Are there other animals at this home, and if so, will it be safe for the animals to interact? Be sure that any such details are ironed out well in advance.

With all of the above planned out, there is then the actual act of traveling with your furbaby. If you are traveling by plane with a pup or kitty, this will of course require you to learn of the airline's requirements, and that you do so with plenty of time to spare. A veterinary visit and a certificate of health may be required by some airlines. Regardless of whether a certificate of health is required, it is important to discuss with a veterinarian whether your furbaby is safe for travel by plane, especially if they are sick, geriatric, or if they do not travel well. If it is by car that you are traveling, ensure that your cat or dog has a cage or seatbelt for safe restraint during travels. Make sure that your furbaby has a chance to eat, drink, and bathroom during long trips. At the same time, make sure that they are safe from escape anytime you stop and open any car doors.

Summer is a time for travels for some people, and perhaps even their furbabies. Whether you leave your furbaby home or take them with you, always plan well in advance. Always keep in mind your furbaby's health and happiness, and discuss any concerns with a veterinarian.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Mancat Monday

The two mancats around here, that being Evan and Toby of course, love their pup Astrid. One of their favorite things about her seems to be her smell.


Pardon the quality of this photo, as it was snapped on a camera phone. But, anyway. What you're seeing in that there photo are Toby and Evan thoroughly enjoying Astrid's harness and leash. When I return home from a walk with Astrid, the boys usually intercept me as I remove her harness and leash. I then have to surrender the harness and leash to Toby and Evan, so that they can get their fix. They roll in Astrid's harness and leash, take big whiffs of them, drag them around, and just all around have a grand time with them.

The relationship between the furbabies at our house makes me smile. Don't get me wrong. There are certainly moments of disagreements and discord between the fursibs around here. But, for the most part, I just love watching them all interact. All of the cats just love pup Astrid to pieces. Well, except Eddy, who leaves it at tolerating the dog's existence. The other kitties, though, don't care one bit that Astrid's a dog. They love her no matter her species, and they follow her around, rub on her, and, for some reason, seem to enjoy rolling in her ears.

Astrid, for the most part, just lets the kitties have their way with her. It has always amazed me how terrified Astrid is of other dogs, but how she wants to meet every cat she sees. My parents have 11 cats, and not even a single one of them hide from Astrid. She is so great with cats, that even the ones who loathed the sight of her at first now tolerate her just fine. Oh, and some of my parents' cats also love to have their way with Astrid's harness and leash when she's at their house. Astrid must smell pretty darn good to the kitties in her life.

The fondness the kitties and pup Astrid have for each other, regardless of the classic inimical interactions often expected between these two species, got me thinking about an inspiring quote I've heard before. Though the Sparks blog hop is currently on hiatus, while host Annie of McGuffy's Reader takes a well-deserved blogging break, I figured I would still share this inspiring quote today.

"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wishing all of you a lovely, love-filled day!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:

Our foodie doodles continue.


Today's doodle was created in honor or housemate Toby's love for strawberries. Over the next couple of days, our foodie doodles will be ones crafted up specifically for the furbabies around here. After that, we'll be tackling more of the suggestions you all gave us for foodie doodles. We're looking forward to drawing lots of foodie furbabies!




***
Our Tip of the Day:

Today's summer safety tip is to be careful around water. Summer often means swimming in pools, or visiting lakes or other bodies of waters. If your dog or cat is with you when you visit the pool or any body of water, always be cautious and keep an eye on them. Though many animals have the instinct to swim when in water, that does not mean they cannot drown in certain situations. So, as needed, block access to pools so that your cat or dog cannot access the water, especially when not closely monitored or when they are not used to being in or near water. If you take your pup or kitty to visit a lake, to go on a boat ride, or to participate in any other similar water activity, keep them near you, such as safe on a leash. In addition to this, you can get flotation devices specifically designed for furbabies. This can come in handy especially for furbabies who are new to water, or if you have any concern for their safety when around water. After all, what do we always say? It's always better to be safe than sorry! So, if your summer plans with your furbaby include some watery ones, plan ahead for their safety.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Selfies

Hello and happy Sunday, friends! Today is the day of the selfie. That is, it's time for us to participate in the Sunday Selfies blog hop, hosted by the Kitties Blue over at The Cat on My Head.


A certain mancat around here stepped up to snap some selfies this week. That mancat is none other than Evan!


Pardon Evan if he was a tad bit distracted for these selfies.


Window whiffies are a very important matter of business.

We hope all of you friends of ours are having a stupendous and sunny Sunday!


***
Our Doodle of the Day:

We're continuing our series of foodie doodles. Yesterday, when we asked what foods you might like to see us doodle, the fabulous Lone Star Cats suggested bacon. We thought that was a mighty fine idea.


We're working on doodles for the other suggestions we received as well!




***
Our Tip of the Day:

Summer can be a fun time of the year. For example, there is often a barbecue or two to be had during the summer months. That being said, keep in mind that events such as barbecues may not be the safest place for our pups or kitties. A hot grill in itself can pose risks, of course including burns. Then there are the foods that are often served at barbecues, many of which could be toxic to cats and dogs. For example, onions, or dishes containing onion, can be hazardous. Don't forget some of the other dangerous foods that might be found at barbecues, including alcohol, chocolate, garlic, and grapes and raisins, just to name a few. A dog or cat can find themselves in dangerous situations if they are not closely monitored or if they are underfoot at events such as barbecues. For this reason, it might be best to keep your pups or kitties somewhere safe and out of the way during a barbecue or other similar summer events. As we always say, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Donut of a Doodle

We mentioned yesterday that we're doing a series of doodles revolving around food. Don't worry, though, all of these doodles will also have furry stars! See?


What kinds of foods might you all like to see us doodle up? We're always open to suggestions!

Our donut doodle up there is indeed our contribution to Athena's Caturday Art blog hop.


Happy Caturday to one and all!




***
Our Tip of the Day:

Today's summer safety tip is a bit of a grooming reminder. While it is of course more than okay to regularly trim nails, brush, or even lightly trim your cat's or dog's coat, keep in mind that shaving them in the summer can have negative effects. Just as our cats and dogs need their coat to stay warm in the winter, they also need it to remain cool in the summer. This is because cat and dog coats not only insulate warmth in the winter, but that furry coat also insulates cool air in the summer.

That's not all, though. Remember our discussion on sunburn yesterday? Well, shaving our furry cats and dogs can cause their skin to be more exposed to the sun, which of course can result in sunburn during these hot, sunny months. Sunburn, as we said yesterday, can lead to painful skin issues as well as potential skin cancer, and no one wants that.

So, though it might sound reasonable to shave your furbaby down to the skin to help them stay cool in the summer, that is actually not the best of ideas. Let them keep their coats this summer, so that they can insulate cool air and have some protection against those sunny rays. Regularly brushing and trimming up that coat is more than fine, but don't take their coat away altogether. Of course, if you have questions on this topic of grooming and coat and skin care in the summer, do discuss it with your veterinarian.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friendly Fill-Ins

Who's ready for the Friendly Fill-Ins? As we mentioned last week, Annie of McGuffy's Reader is taking a much-needed and very well-deserved blogging break. So, I am excited to be serving as the co-host to Ellen of 15andmeowing.

In case you missed the fill-ins yesterday, here they are again. Ellen crafted up the first two, and I came up with the last two.

1. Happiness is _________.

2. Ten years ago, I _________.

3. _________ is the best medicine.

4. Most people don't know that I _________.


And here are my completed fill-ins, with a solid dose of my usual rambling as well.

1. Happiness is sometimes a choice.
(In some cases, due to certain circumstances, I understand that happiness may not always come easy. However, in other cases, I really do believe happiness is something we can choose. I know far too many people who are unhappy because their house isn't big enough for their taste, because they don't have their dream job, or because something else in their life isn't exactly how they want it. In those cases, I think you simply have to realize how blessed you are for all that you do have, and then choose to be happy for those blessings.)

2. Ten years ago, I was counting down the semesters until I was finished with college.
(Ten years ago, I was finishing up my freshman year of college. In grade school and all the way through college, I always put extreme pressure on myself to get perfect grades. I was the only one putting that pressure on myself, but because of it I spent all of my school years ridden with self-induced stress. That's probably why I could not wait until my days of homework and exams were over.)

3. A purring cat is the best medicine.
(Best. Cure. Ever.)

4. Most people don't know that I was home-schooled for three years.
(I went to kindergarten at a local private school. Then, for first, second, and third grades, I was home-schooled. Then I went back to the same private school for fourth grade, and stayed in a traditional school setting for the rest of my schooling days. I've actually never asked my parents why they chose to home-school myself and my sister for three years. I remember my mom and sometimes my dad teaching us at home, and taking us on field trips to all sorts of museums and other educational programs. It was a unique experience.)


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 over at Ellen's blog, 15andmeowing.



***

Don't worry, we didn't forget to give you your Friday dose of Eddy. We have a couple more miraculously non-blurry shots of Eddy, snapped while she was enjoying some window whiffies.



Eddy doesn't just have that lovely shot of her to share, though. Just like Thimble did yesterday, today Eddy is partaking in a fun little musical challenge. We are very late to the Curious as a Cathy Mewsic Moves Me blog hop, but we recently learned of one of these on our friend Stunning CK's blog. The one she recently shared involved the simple task of spelling out your name using song titles. All of the furbabies around here decided to have fun with this, with the help of their music-loving Auntie (aka, this here human's sister). So, here is what Eddy and her Auntie came up with for Eddy's name!

E:    "Edelweiss" from the musical/movie "The Sound of Music"
D:    "Dancing Queen" by ABBA
D:    "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult
Y:    "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones


Eddy and all of us here hope that you all have a fabulous Friday!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:

Our newest series of doodles is all about food. Because, well, food.




***
Our Tip of the Day:
 
Today's summer safety tip is all about sunburn. Just like us humans, our furbabies can get sunburned. This can happen during time outdoors, or even by sunbathing in windows or doors. And, just as with humans, sunburn can result in skin cancer in our cats and dogs. This is why it is incredibly important to be aware of this and to take precautions.

Keep in mind that cats and dogs with little to no fur are of course more susceptible to sunburn. In addition to this, those with light fur and skin, such as those that are white or orange coats, are also more susceptible. That doesn't mean furbabies of other colors are not at risk, though. In addition, the areas of the body most likely to get sunburn are the ears, nose, and belly, as in most furbabies these areas have less hair coverage. Again, though, this doesn't mean sunburn or skin cancer cannot occur elsewhere on the body.

What are the signs of sunburn in your furbaby? They are very similar to those in humans. A cat or dog with sunburn will typically develop pink or red skin, which is often inflamed as well. The sunburn is often painful, and the affected skin can also become dry and flaky. Hair loss can also occur around the sunburned area. These are all signs to be aware of, but they are also things that you want to try to prevent from happening in the first place.

So, what can you do to protect your furbabies from sunburn and potential resulting skin cancer? You can of course minimize their time in direct sunlight, whether that be while outside or while sunbathing in a window or door. You can opt for outdoor activities when the sun is not at its peak, as well as opting for shade when outdoors. When it comes to indoor furbabies, you can close doors and curtains to help protect against sunburn during the sun's prime time of the day. In addition to this, there are certain window types and window covers that can help block UV light. These could certainly be useful for frequented windows and doors, but this also of course may not guarantee full protection against sunburn or resulting skin cancer.

Finally, another option for sun protection is, of course, sunscreen. This is especially important for furbabies who frequently go outdoors in the summer sun, or even for those who frequently sunbathe indoors. There is pet-safe sunscreen available on the market. Many sunscreens designed for humans can contain ingredients that are potentially toxic to cats and dogs, so it is indeed important that you look for products formulated especially for your kitty or pup. What's more, as we always say, if you have any questions at all regarding sunburn and skin cancer in your kitty or pup, be sure to discuss this with your veterinarian.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Welcome to Thursday, friends! What a wonderful day of the week this is. It means we're so, so close to the weekend. It also means that it's time for the Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge, hosted by Angel Sammy and Teddy.


Each week, our hosts share an image for us to use as inspiration for our poem. This week's image is this cute and quaint one here:


I have always been so intrigued by the concept of a tiny house. The idea of minimalism and living more stress-free sure is appealing. The only problem is that I couldn't fit all of my kitties and pup in there, so that would pose a huge problem. That being said, it was not altogether the size of the house in that there photograph that inspired my poem this week.

For whatever reason, when looking at that image above, some of my dad's stories from his childhood came to my mind. My dad grew up as the oldest of five boys. All of them were, well, boys. My dad's childhood tales can get really, really interesting. Between him and his brothers, a lot of things went on in their childhood home. They were a rambunctious litter of kids, to which their mother will attest. My dad's two youngest brothers, those being twins, were especially well-known in their small town for their antics.

Where am I going with this? Well, my dad and his brothers grew up in a small house, in a small town, on Martin Street. For some reason, hearing the words "the house on Martin Street" whenever my dad or his brothers start telling childhood stories has always sparked my imagination. I can only imagine all the shenanigans that went down in that house on Martin Street. I've certainly heard the stories, and it must have been something else.

Anyway, enough rambling. I very, very loosely based my poem this week on the concept of that house on Martin Street. If you would like to know a little more about my version of the house on Martin Street, feel free to read on.


The House on Martin Street

It was minuscule and meek,
That strange house on Martin Street.
The house was dwarfed by surrounding trees,
And looked as if it might blow away in the breeze.

No one in town could make heads or tails of the house,
In part because it seemed that it might only fit a mouse.
The townsfolk knew an old woman lived inside,
And that with her a big grey dog also did reside.
Sometimes passersby also saw one, two, three cats, and more.
A great big goat even stood guard beside the door.

In truth, the townsfolk thought the woman a witch,
And passing by that house on Martin Street made folk twitch.
No one ever paid a visit to the old lady's tiny home,
Especially not with its creepy family of garden gnomes.

One day, though, that all changed,
After the postman thought he had the mail arranged.
But some folk a block over received the old lady's post,
And learned that apparently her name was Gertrude Toast.

 The false mail recipients were a family of seven,
And included a young girl aged eleven.
Her name was Katie and she had four brothers,
As well as a busy father and an even busier mother.
None of them wanted to take the old lady her mail.
After all, what if she was a witch and turned them into a snail!

Finally, Katie stepped up to the plate.
She figured she'd get it over with and not wait.
So the girl grabbed the old lady's parcel,
And hoped this venture would not prove harmful.

 Katie soon stood in front of that house on Martin Street,
Which currently left her unable to move her feet.
Weeds grew all throughout the tiny home's yard,
Blocking the garden that the little gnomes did guard.

 Taking one step and then another,
Katie decided she should have left this task for her brothers.
But it was no use pondering that anymore,
For Katie had already reached the door.

Katie had forgotten one thing about that house on Martin Street,
And that was the goat who then met her with a bleat.
The goat was loud and incredibly large,
And Katie began to worry it would charge.

But about that Katie did not have to worry,
For right then the front door opened in a hurry.
A tiny old lady stood in the doorway,
And at first nothing did she say.

The old woman, with hair grey and crazy,
Finally opened her mouth and greeted Katie.
She said, "Well, hello there."
Then she pointed to the goat whom at Katie did stare.
"Oh, I see you've met Pierre."

Pierre the giant goat again did bleat,
And then sat himself at the old woman's feet.
The old woman said, "Pierre wouldn't hurt a fly.
He is actually really quite shy."

Katie was not so convinced,
But that she was not about to admit.
Instead, Katie told the old lady,
"We received some of your mail today."
The girl offered the letter to its rightful owner,
And then suddenly smelled a pleasant odor.

The old woman thanked Katie and then said with delight,
"Please, do come inside!"
Katie thought that a frightening offer.
At least, until the old woman did proffer,
"I just baked chocolate chip cookies.
Please, come inside for some of the goodies."

Cookies, that's what Katie had earlier smelled.
Her stomach certainly now felt compelled.
The little old lady did seem quite nice,
Even if her tiny house could only fit mice.
Surely the old woman was not a murderous witch.
Surely paying her home a visit would go without hitch.

And so Katie agreed to go inside,
Which made the old woman smile and go wide-eyed.
Katie followed the old lady through the door,
And could not help but ask, "I'm sorry, but is that a squirrel?"
The bushy-tailed critter perched on the old woman's shoulder,
Which Katie noticed as she had drawn closer.

The squirrel was not the only surprise.
There was so much to see, Katie could not believe her eyes.
Surely this could not be the same house,
That from the street looked only fit for a mouse.
No, this house was breathtaking and grand,
With enough room for hundreds of people to stand.

As if she had read Katie's awestruck mind,
The old woman said, with a smile quite kind,
"Never judge a book by its cover.
Otherwise, you'll never know what's inside to discover."

But was it all just a trick of the eye?
Was the the old woman really a witch in disguise?
But Katie kept those thoughts discreet.
After all, there were still cookies to eat.

On the way to the kitchen they walked through a hall,
Where there were dozens of photos hung upon the wall.
"Those are of my husband Paul,"
Was how the old lady explained them all.
"Is he here?" Katie asked.
The reply was, "No, he has long since passed."

The next stop was the aromatic kitchen,
Where upon the counter sat three cats with tails twitching.
The old lady said, "Oh, good, the cats did their job.
They were told to keep the cookies away from the dog."
Indeed, on the floor pouted a big grey hound,
Who gazed up at the felines with a hefty frown.

The old woman handed Katie a plate with cookies of great mass,
And then poured her some milk in a very tall glass.
"Thank you," Katie said in earnest,
For sometimes her manners sure could flourish.

While Katie ate, the old woman talked.
The stories she had to share numbered a lot.
She had grown up on Martin Street, Katie learned.
Anytime she left, she always returned.

The old woman told countless tales of her childhood,
Of the people she'd met and the places she'd stood.
The old woman even mentioned the day she'd met Pierre,
And also the squirrel, whose name was Bear.

By the time Katie had emptied her plate,
The day was beginning to grow really quite late.
And so Katie and the old woman made their way to the door,
With the dog and the cats dancing at their feet on the floor.

"Will you come back again?" the old woman asked.
Katie replied, "That's an offer on which I cannot pass."
And Katie kept that promise day after day,
Visiting her old friend every time she passed by that way.
Pierre was of course always the first to greet her with a bleat,
And, of course, there were always cookies ready to eat.


Guess what? Every single animal in that poem and doodle actually existed at the real house on Martin Street. My dad grew up with many cats, including Gus, Winnie, and White Socks, all of whom I have heard many stories. There was also a Weimaraner pup named Rowdy, to whom my dad and grandpa were very close. And guess what? There was also indeed Pierre the goat! I have heard lots and lots of stories about Pierre. And where does the squirrel come in? That was inspired by the baby squirrel my twin uncles apparently found and brought home one day.


***

As with every Thursday, Thimble is now here to grace you with her presence, and also of course to participate in Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.




In addition to yet more window whiffies and sunshine, do you know what else Thimble is thankful for? She's thankful for more fun musical endeavors that we learned about from our friend Stunning CK. We have never before participated in the Curious as a Cathy Mewsic Moves Me blog hop (shame on us!), but we sure were intrigued by a recent one that we saw on CK's blog. For this one, all you have to do is use song titles to spell out your name.

Thimble of course wanted to partake in this fun. You know, Thimble really is into music. Thimble's Auntie (this here human's sister) currently lives with us, and she has a keyboard. Thimble is known to stomp all over said keyboard, using the power button to turn it on, and then playing tunes for us all to hear. Given their shared love for music, Thimble asked her Auntie to help out with this fun musical challenge. Here's what Thimble and Auntie came up with!

T:     "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John
H:     "Help!" by The Beatles
I:       "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor
M:     "Mellow Yellow" by Donovan
B:      "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
L:      "Let My Love Open the Door" by Pete Townshend
E:      "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor

The other furbabies around here are also working on this, of course with Auntie's help. Feel free to have fun with this yourself!

We are wishing all of you friends of ours a happy Thursday! We are so thankful for all of you!


***

Last but not least, below are the phrases for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. I am currently Ellen's co-host, while Annie of McGuffy's Reader takes a break from blogging. Many prayers to Annie! The first two fill-ins below are from the mind of Ellen over at 15andmeowing, and I came up with the last two.

1. Happiness is _________.

2. Ten years ago, I _________.

3. _________ is the best medicine.

4. Most people don't know that I _________.






***
Our Tip of the Day:

We spent the last two days addressing how to keep your furbaby cool and safe should they be spending time outdoors in the heat. Of course, staying cool indoors in the summer is far more ideal. That being said, though, extra care may still have to be used to keep some cats and dogs comfortable even when inside the home during the summer months. This is especially the case for those furbabies who have certain traits that might make it more difficult for them to stay cool even indoors. For example, on hot days, it is especially important to monitor the condition of cat or dogs with long or thick coats, those who are overweight, those with flat faces (such as Persian cats and Bulldogs), and those who are geriatric, sick, or for another reason may have difficulty regulating their body temperature.

So, how can you ensure that your furbaby remains cool and comfortable inside the home, even when it's sweltering outdoors? First, of course, you can run the air conditioning. Ensure that the unit's filter is regularly replaced. Also make sure that the vents throughout the house are open and unblocked, so that cool air can easily make its way throughout the home. In addition to the air conditioning, you can set up fans to help keep air moving and to keep your kitty or pup comfortable.

Some furbabies may even opt for lying on smooth, cool surfaces in order to stay cool. For example, hardwood or tile floors stay far more cool than carpet, and so you might find a kitty or pup sprawled out on the hard floor during the summer months. In this same line of thought, there are also cooling mats specifically designed for pets. These mats offer a cool surface on which to relax, and they can be placed on the floor, on furniture, or potentially even outdoors in order to keep that furbaby of yours cool.

Even if your furbaby is spending hot summer days inside, it is still important to monitor them and to ensure that they are staying cool. Then again, especially for those with short or no fur, it is also important to make sure that the air conditioning or fans are not too cool for them. As you all certainly know, keep an eye on those furbabies, and then make adjustments as needed to keep them happy and healthy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Not So Wordless Wednesday

If you were hoping for yet another shot of a pouty puppy gazing out the window, you're in luck.


Happy Wednesday, friends!


***
Our Doodle of the Day:

When I shared my doodle of Evan as a mercat on Monday, I mentioned that today you'd be seeing a mermaid pup. So, with pup Astrid as my victim model, here it is:


Weird, huh?



***
Our Tip of the Day:

As a followup to yesterday's tip on how to keep your furbaby cool if they are outdoors in the heat, we're here today to specifically talk about those walks you and your furbaby might take this summer. Especially on those days with extreme heat, it is safest to either limit or cut out walks, or to take them only when the day is at its coolest. For example, a very early morning walk or a late evening walk would be far safer than a walk in the middle of the day, when the sun is at its highest and hottest. If a walk or bathroom break outdoors is necessary for your pup or kitty on a hot day, do consider taking a water bottle along to help keep your furbaby hydrated and cool.

It's not just the heat of the air that you have to consider with regard to summer walks, though. Pavement can reach literally burning hot temperatures in the summer sun. While us humans typically wear shoes to protect our feet, paw pads are exposed and can indeed be burned during exposure to hot pavement. If touching the pavement with your own hand leads you to conclude that it's burning hot, then indeed take that into consideration. This is one reason why it is incredibly important to plan walks and outdoor adventures accordingly during the summer months. If your pup or kitty does need to go outdoors in the extreme heat, and especially if the pavement feels hot to you, then try to avoid the pavement and instead head straight for the grass. Or, for those furbabies who will tolerate it, protective booties can be placed on the feet to keep them safe against the hot pavement.

In the summer, just as always, it's always better to be safe than sorry. That might mean skipping a walk on a scorcher or a day, or changing your walking schedule so that your furbaby is outdoors only when it is cooler. Always do what is best for your furbaby's health and safety.