Saturday, June 30, 2018

Caturday in the Library

As many of you might know, our daily doodles lately have been inspired by some magical ideas. This is largely because, as I've said many times before, I have always enjoyed fantasy. I read fantasy books, I watch fantasy movies and TV, and all that jazz. So, sometimes I get into a magical rut with my creative inspiration. I'm still sort of in that rut, but at that same time, I've also been feeling some especially bookish inspiration. That's probably why I ended up doodling this for today:

Of course, that there furbaby library scene is our entry into Athena's always fun Caturday Art blog hop.

Don't forget to visit Athena so that you can see all of the art our friends have created!

Wishing you all a beautiful day!

Our Tip of the Day:

Is your kitty one of those who likes to play with the toilet paper roll? You know, the kind of kitty who unravels the entire roll, and maybe shreds it a bit, or trails it all throughout the house? If your kitty is any semblance of a toilet paper fiend, we have a plain and simple pet parenting hack for you today. Perhaps the easiest way to combat a furry toilet paper fiend is to turn the roll upside down. I know that to some people this is something like a felony, but turning the roll so that it unravels under rather than over will help ensure that a cat cannot simply walk up, dig at it, and unroll the entire thing with little to no effort. Another option is to try tucking the end of the toilet paper into the roll itself. This way, if your furbaby tries to dig at the toilet paper, it won't immediately start unraveling. Of course, not every cat is intrigued by the concept of toilet paper. If your kitty is, however, then it might be worth it to try tips such as these to prevent torn and strewn toilet paper in your home.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Friendly Fill-Ins and Photo Fails

We're ready for the Friendly Fill-Ins! Are you? In case you missed them yesterday, below are this week's fill-ins. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.

1. Fireworks _________.

2. My favorite 4th of July picnic food is _________.

3. I begin every day with _________.

4. _________ is the best thing since sliced bread.

Want to know how I filled these in?

1. Fireworks are best enjoyed in a safe, controlled environment.
(I appreciate the celebratory concept of fireworks. However, it makes me feel anxious to think of folks shooting them off all over the place, where humans and animals alike could get hurt. I've been hearing fireworks nearly every night in my neighborhood for weeks now, and all I can think of are all of the scared animals, both inside and outside of homes, when those things start booming. I also worry that someone's going to catch something on fire. I only enjoy fireworks when they're scheduled events in safe, controlled environments, with professionals doing the job.)

2. My favorite 4th of July picnic food is apple salad.
(I don't know if this is a common thing or not, but my mom makes an apple salad that contains apples, grapes, raisins, and marshmallows, all mixed into whipped dressing. It's not the healthiest thing ever, but my taste buds love it.)

3. I begin every day with kitty cuddles.
(When I wake up, usually at least one of my cats is on my bed. This is most commonly Evan, as he is always my little shadow. Needless to say, Evan, and any other nearby kitties, get a cuddle session when I first wake up. The next step is of course feeding the hungry felines. Priorities.)

4. Peanut powder is the best thing since sliced bread.
(I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this on here before, and I'm also pretty sure it must sound like a really weird answer. Long story short, while I adore peanut butter and used to eat it literally spoonful after spoonful after spoonful, my GI tract no longer tolerates it. It's mainly the peanut oils that get me, so when I learned of peanut powder, which is peanuts with their oils removed, I was beyond excited to give it a shot. The stuff doesn't have the full magic of real peanut butter, but it does the job well enough for me to enjoy some semblance of peanut butter again. Besides, I mainly use it to make peanut butter banana smoothies, which has quickly become my favorite food.)

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.


You know, it's a good thing that the Pet Photo Fails Blog Hop, hosted by The Cuddlywumps Cat Chronicles, falls on Friday. Why? Because that's the day each week you all get your Eddy fix. And, since Eddy's known for not sitting still for the camera, she has all sorts of bloopers, like these:

Happy Friday, friends!

Our Doodle of the Day:

We hope you're not yet tiring of our weird and random fantasy doodles. I'm honestly really enjoying scribbling these up, so they might go on for a few more days. We hope you don't mind!

Our Tip of the Day:

Does your kitty every try to help you when you're using the computer? Does he or she make a bed out of the keyboard? Does your kitty take your computer chair right out from under you? If you truly need to use your computer, but also want to let your kitty hang out with you, try putting a cardboard box next to your work space. You could put it on the computer desk, at your feet, on a chair beside you, or anywhere near where you're working. As you all know, many cats live for boxes, and so that might be tempting enough to draw them away from the computer, so that you can properly do your work alongside a happy kitty. Of course, if your cat is not a box cat, near your work space you could instead set up for them a cat bed, a blanket, a piece of your clothing, or anything else they might enjoy. Believe it or not, it might be possible to have a happy kitty, and to also use your computer.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

We've reached Thursday! Some of you might know what that means. And that is, the Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge, hosted by Angel Sammy and Teddy.

Each week, our hosts give us a photo prompt to guide our poetic endeavors. This week's photo really spurs the imagination. See?

I've mentioned here on our blog how my dad instilled in me a love for the fantasy genre. He read fantasy stories to me when I was a child, which led me to continue that habit as I grew older. But do you know what else he instilled in me? A joy for classic science fiction. That's probably why that image up there immediately brought to my mind many, many science fiction novels I've read.

One of my all-time favorite science fiction novels is The Beast Master by Andre Norton. I probably enjoy this one so much because some of the main characters are animals. I could go on, but I guess I should probably get to the point. Long story short, when I saw the above image, with its science fiction feel and the furry friends it includes, I felt inspired to try and scribble up something like this:

The Cat Lady of Mars

Marnie made the move to Mars,
Her travels taking her through the stars.
Don't ask Marnie how it all was possible,
For all she knew was that science made it plausible.

It came down to the fact that times were changing.
Earth was loyal but no longer sustaining.
After all, humans were a rampant bunch,
And so into space they made the plunge.

But that is all just backstory,
And that is nothing if not boring.
So, now, where were we?
Oh, yes, Marnie had flown into the starry sea.

On her adventure, Marnie was not alone.
She was not about to leave her cats at her Earthen home!
On the spacecraft they rode beside her,
Leaving on the seats their sleek black fur.
They napped and remained politely silent,
Marnie's purring companions, Lyra and Orion.

It took time, Marnie had to admit,
To traverse the colossal galactic abyss.
She ate, slept, and read her books,
On occasion stopping to gaze out the window and have a look.
The stars appeared one in the same,
But she knew that each one had a name. 

The total duration Marnie did not know,
But, finally, out the window she could see Mars below.
The spacecraft made the descent to land,
Making a whirlwind out of the planet's sand.

Marnie, Lyra, and Orion were about to embark
On a fresh, brand spanking new start.
After all, now they were on Mars!
They had just traveled through the stars!

Marnie knew their new home was nowhere near the port.
The next leg would not be short.
That mattered not one bit, though.
The walk would get them acquainted to this land they did not know.

So Marnie, Lyra, and Orion set out,
And the new land they began to scout.
Marnie never imagined Mars could be so beautiful,
But, indeed, the surroundings were more than suitable.

The traveled across the sands of Mars,
Often gazing up at the sky full of stars.
But the land had just as much to boast,
Complete with tiny seas and their sandy coasts.

Their walk was far shorter than the flight through space,
And before they knew it, their new home was staring them in the face.
Their new home was a house quite humble,
But that did not make Marnie nor her cats grumble.
For, just look around!
All about them beauty did abound.

In their very own front yard was a sparkling lake,
Which was surrounded by trees that in the wind did awake.
From their front yard you could even see Earth in the sky,
Just beyond the horizon, if you squinted your eyes.
Not to mention that the stars still dazzled.
Neither Marnie nor Lyra and Orion felt even remotely frazzled.

But that was just the beginning of their tale.
After all, life on Mars was never stale.
Every day, Marnie, Lyra, and Orion would sit by their lake.
Of course, with them a snack they would always take.
For Marnie it was cookies or crackers,
Or even some walnuts, with the help of a nutcracker.
Lyra and Orion oft snacked on tuna or cod.
Did you know that even on Mars those could be caught?

But this is where the story gets better.
After all, there on the lake there appeared a beggar.
This little visitor looked much like Lyra and Orion,
Except, this cat was purple and had a mane like a lion!
Though her two cats were not all that thrilled,
Marnie made sure that for the beggar some tuna was spilled.

After that, day after day, more visitors would appear.
These Martian felines were special right up to their ears.
While some were clearly like any old cat,
Others were really quite intriguing to look at.
There were tabbies of brown, orange, and pink,
And others that were as metallic as a kitchen sink!

Every day, Marnie brought enough tuna to the lake for them all,
Though Lyra and Orion thought all the fish belonged in their maws.
Before long, Marnie had lost count of her new friends.
Marnie's yard was where all Martian cats' time was spent.

Her feline family grew so large,
Marnie had to build a second house bigger than a barge!
In their new home the Martian cats lived happily ever after,
Oft bringing Marnie a great deal of laughter.

And so that is the tale we've told you today,
Of how Marnie and her two cats flew to Mars to stay.
After their flight through a universe of stars,
Marnie became the Cat Lady of Mars.


We scarcely let a Thursday go by without giving you all a dose of Thimble. So, are you ready for some cuteness?

You can blame Thimble's photographer for cutting off her ears and whiskers and for simply being a terrible photographer.

It is also, of course, time for Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.

Thimble is grateful for warm weather and sun puddles, and for the front door window where she can enjoy said warmth and sun puddles. More importantly, we are so very thankful for all of our family and friends, which of course includes all of you. We appreciate each and every one of you!


Last but not least, it's time to prepare for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins, which you can find below. Ellen of 15andmeowing crafted up the first two, and I came up with the second two.

1. Fireworks _________.

2. My favorite 4th of July picnic food is _________.

3. I begin every day with _________.

4. _________ is the best thing since sliced bread.

We'll see you tomorrow, friends!

Our Tip of the Day:

Yesterday we gave the pet parenting hack of using rubber gloves to remove furbaby hair from sofas, car interiors, and so forth. We failed to mention another option, and so we'll go ahead and do that today. If your clothing, bedding, or similar item is covered in pet hair and you're looking for a quick fix, you can try tossing it in the dryer with a dryer sheet. The anti-static nature of dyer sheets will help keep the hair from sticking to the clothing, bedding, or whatever item is in question. The hair will instead make its way to the lint trap. You could also try just rubbing a dryer sheet on the hairy item, as that sometimes will also help remove hair with the aid of its anti-static nature.

That all being said, though, please do keep those dryer sheets out of your furbaby's reach. This is because dryer sheets often contain potentially toxic components. So, keep those dryer sheets well hidden, and find and toss stray dryer sheets before dispersing the laundry. Of course, if you have any concern for your furbaby's safety, then simply refrain from using this method altogether.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

Can you guess what we have for you today? Huh? Can you? Do you think it might be yet another pouty puppy in the window? Guess what? It is!

Astrid, my dear pup, you're going to bore our friends with your repeat pose. Can you perhaps learn some variety? Please?

Well, anyway, we hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

Our Doodle of the Day:

We're still working on our whimsical, magical, weird, and random series of doodles. Obviously, this is another one of that sort.

Our Tip of the Day:

Do you have furbaby hair on your sofa? What about in your car? Surely not on your clothes? Our pet parenting life hack for today is to keep some rubber gloves on hand. Why? Because, aside from the more commonly used lint roller or piece of tape, rubber gloves can be a reusable tool for removing furbaby hair from surfaces such as sofas and car interiors. You just put on a rubber glove and run it over the hairy sofa or other surface. The rubber glove will help lift the hair from the surface, and the hair will instead stick to the glove. When you're done using the glove to remove furbaby hair from your furniture, one easy way to get said hair off of the glove is by submerging the glove in water. The hair will float off of the glove, and then you can dip the hair out of the water and toss it. So, if you're looking for a quick, easy, reusable tool for removing your furbaby's hair from your furniture, consider giving the rubber glove trick a try.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tasty Tuesday (#ChewyInfluencer)

Last week, pup Astrid got to share her thoughts on some new food as part of the Blogger Outreach Program. Today, it's the finicky felines' turn. The kittens, Tonks and Winky, even helped with this one. (Let's be honest, the kittens technically weren't invited to this food review for the big kitties, but they just sort of showed up anyway. For further details, read on.)

So, what did the kitties try out this month?

The finicky felines around here tested out PurinaⓇ Pro PlanⓇ True Nature™ adult cat food. This food comes in multiple flavors, but since the kitties around here tend to lean toward chicken, we of course went with the natural chicken and liver recipe. It's made with real chicken and liver, is grain-free, and contains no added artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Even better? This food is of the paté variety. This is a must for the kitties around here, as they don't want chunks, morsels, or anything of that sort in their food. (Well, at least the big kitties don't. The kittens, mainly Tonks, don't seem to care. Food is food for the kittens, and they'll inhale it all.)

So, given that this is adult cat food, the big kids tried it out.

Though Evan is not usually the most picky kitty in the household, he walked up, sniffed the food, and then immediately walked away. The reason this is so strange is that he is the only one who did this. Typically the least picky, Evan was the most picky on this particular day.

Toby and Thimble both made a meal of the PurinaⓇ Pro PlanⓇ True Nature™ chicken and liver food. Though the cats' levels of pickiness seem to change day-by-day, Thimble is often the most picky, with Toby as a close second. (Well, to be honest, Eddy is the most picky. She won't touch even a single canned food that exists in this universe, though, so I didn't even know whether to count her vote.)

Now, can you guess who else showed up to the party and tasted the food?

Perhaps you can't tell in that blur, but up there you're seeing Tonks literally inhaling the PurinaⓇ Pro PlanⓇ True Nature™ food. Honestly, do you see her mouth? It's wide open and the food is practically flying into her gullet.

And she kept at it until the bowl was empty. It's like she hadn't just eaten an entire bowl of canned kitten food.

Though I didn't get photographic evidence, Tonks's sister Winky also had a taste. She enjoyed it, too, but nowhere near as much as Tonks did. I think Tonks may be my first evet non-picky kitty. Perhaps she'll prove me wrong when she ages more, but at present, she has shown no signs of being prejudiced towards any foods.

So, especially in a house of typically finicky felines, the PurinaⓇ Pro PlanⓇ True Nature™ food didn't do too badly for itself.

(Disclaimer: As members of the Blogger Outreach Program, we received PurinaⓇ Pro PlanⓇ True Nature™ adult cat food in chicken and liver 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.)

Wishing you all a tasty Tuesday!

Our Doodle of the Day:

As we mentioned yesterday, around here we're the type who like us some fantasy. That's why it would seem that little bits of magic will be making its way into our doodles over the next few days. We hope you don't mind.

Our Tip of the Day:

We've decided to do a series of tips on life hacks for pet parents, especially cat parents. These hacks may be all sorts of random, and some of them may even be repeats of tips from the past. But, we hope these might offer some pet parenting tips for saving money, saving space, saving time, and, of course, keeping your furbaby happy and healthy.

Today's hack is about those windows, which may or may not be open during the warm summer months. We're here today to ask if you know that there is window screen tape on the market. Did you know that? If you are in need of a quick or temporary fix for a torn window screen, especially if there is any chance that the window might be opened and a furbaby potentially escape, then perhaps look into having window screen tape on hand. This tape can be applied to a tear in a window screen, and is meant not only to hold it together, but is also made to look like part of the screen. Of course, this is likely not mean to be a permanent fix, and may not be able to hold up to a determined furbaby. It is of course still wise to only open windows when they are safe and when the furbaby is supervised, but it might not hurt to have window screen tape on hand in case an emergency quick fix is needed.

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!

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!

Our Doodle of the Day:

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 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 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!