Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday Selfie

A certain kitten around here wanted to try her hand paw at snapping a selfie. Since this little kitty isn't usually all that eager to sit still, let alone pose for any semblance of a photo, I handed that camera right on over to her.


Given that little miss Tonks's attention span is rarely intact, there was no time for messing around with camera settings for this one. This was a you-get-what-you-get sort of selfie. This was a spur-of-the-moment type of deal. Then again, isn't that how most things are with kittens?

Tonks hopes you all enjoyed her selfie! She also hopes you all weren't planning on getting used to this. After all, Tonks is a busy girl with things to do and places to be. That's probably why she informed me that I shouldn't expect her to be so willing to snap a selfie on the regular.

Well, at least for this week, Tonks is responsible for our contribution to the Sunday Selfies Blog Hop, hosted by the Kitties Blue over at The Cat on My Head.


Have a stupendous Sunday, friends!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:




***
Our Tip of the Day:

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

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

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Yet Another Caturday in the Library

You guys, it's been something like six days since I last doodled a cat with books. Six days! Can you believe that? That is far too long. So, here you go.


I have decided that I will, yet again, be doing a whole series of doodles starring cats and books. I seem to do this frequently. My favorite things to doodle are, well, cats and books. That means that sometimes I just want to draw kitties and their reads over and over again, and that's when you guys get to see this sort of doodle for days and days on end. As you might have noticed above, my angel Rosie is the first to star in this newest series of bookish doodles.

This bookworm doodle is of course our contribution to Athena's Caturday Art Blog Hop.


Wishing you all a beautiful day, and lots of good books!



***
Our Tip of the Day

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

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

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

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friendly Fill-Ins

Hello, Friday, it's nice to see you again. Who's as excited for Friday as we are? And who's as excited as we are for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge? In case you missed the fill-in statements yesterday, we'll share them again here. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. If it wasn't for _________, I _________.

2. _________ before _________.

3. _________ is my preferred method of communication.

4. You can't buy _________.


And, here's how I fared. My answers are written in bold.

1. If it wasn't for my furbabies, I would feel lost.
(I feel like one of my most fundamental purposes in life is to be the best mom possible to the kitties and pups who make their way to my home and heart. I am not one of those women who has ever been drawn to marriage or raising a family of the human sort. I of course mean absolutely no offense to those who do enjoy such a life, it's just not for me. That is a completely different story, however, when it comes to raising furry babies. Though I wish I could do so, so much more for all of the homeless cats and dogs in the world, I can at the very least give the happiest home that I can to my furbabies. This is one of the greatest things that gives my life purpose and joy.)

2. Sometimes you have to fall before you can rise.
(I've always thought sayings like this were inspirational in a relatable way. It's nice to have little reminders that if you fall or fail, you don't have to stay down or give up. In fact, if you fall or fail, it's most often better to get up and try again, even if that means going a different route.)

3. Writing is my preferred method of communication.
(I'm not the talkative sort, neither in person nor on the phone. I'd much rather write a letter, card, email, text message, blog post, or something along those lines. Not that I have to tell that to any of you poor souls who constantly read my babbling words here on our blog. Anyway, other answers I almost put here were imagery and silence as my favorite forms of communication.)

4. You can't buy love, but you can adopt it.
(My doodle further down in this post relates to this one.)


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.



***

As with every Friday, it's now Eddy's turn to shine. Today, we have a shot of her from a really flattering angle.


See? Aren't Eddy's chest hairs so stunning?

Happy Friday, friends!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:




***
Our Tip of the Day:

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day Extravaganza

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Truth be told, this here human really isn't much of a fan of Valentine's Day. I think I've mentioned this before. I'm the farthest thing from a romantic, and the only time I'm lovey-dovey is when I have something furry and cute in my vicinity. That being said, our Valentine's greetings today are brought to you by none other than my furry Valentines.






Our house panther housemates, Toby and Winky, who own my sister and live with us, are of course also my Valentines.



Yes, the only decent, recent photo I could find of little miss Winky was this Christmas shot. As I scrolled through my photos, trying to find a more recent, good image of Winky to share today, I realized that she is way up there with Eddy in terms of blooper abilities. Hence this last resort Christmas image on Valentine's Day.

Today, on Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for my furry Valentines. They are the loves of my life, and I would be lost without them.




***

We're not done with the Valentine feels just yet. After all, it's a day for rhymes, and we have some semblance of a lovey-dovey rhyme to share today.


Indeed, we are of course participating Angel Sammy and Teddy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge! Each week, our hosts offer a photo prompt to guide our poetic endeavors. This week's image is this mesmerizing one here:


My poem was indeed inspired by this stunning image. I feel like I sort of lost the original subject matter, though. My poem does, however, have some sort of galactic setting, and also some semblance of love. 


A Very Venus Valentine

When Andromeda turned 30 years young,
She was ready to say goodbye to her days of party fun.
Now a mature and grown adult,
Andromeda knew exactly whom to consult.

The young woman pulled out a brochure for a company not quite local,
That being the famed Intergalactic Matchmaking Mogul.
Now at a mature and grown 30 years young,
Andromeda thought it was past time her love life had begun.

The Intergalactic Matchmaking Mogul had a handful of rules,
So that no one treated the process like a fool.
Andromeda had to answer a question, or two, or three.
This was not a matter to treat with any amount of apathy.
The Intergalactic Matchmaking Mogul strove to find matches made in heaven,
And that was certainly nothing to sully or put second.

Andromeda told the Intergalactic Matchmaking Mogul what they needed to know,
Trying to make sure her answers were honest and just so.
She told them she was looking for a companion to snuggle on the couch.
Perhaps, preferably, one who was not much of a grouch.

Andromeda submitted her thoughts on her perfect match made in heaven.
After a short wait, she was contacted by Intergalactic Matchmaking Mogul worker Kevin.
"Miss Andromeda," Kevin did say,
"I believe we have found for you a match perfect in every way.
He is searching for love, and Orion is his name.
There is just but one little catch.
All the way over in Venus is where you will find your match."

A few more details were discussed,
After which Andromeda gushed,
"I'll travel anywhere to meet this match made in heaven.
Thank you for this wonderful news, Kevin!"

And so Andromeda set out on a lengthy trip.
Through colonies of androids, planets, and stars she did zip.
Finally, across the galaxy Venus was in sight,
And that was where Andromeda ended her flight.

The Intergalactic Matchmaking Mogul had class-act customer service,
For on Venus, Andromeda was promptly met by a rep named Jervis.
He greeted her, shook her hand, and did inform,
"Your match made in heaven is waiting for you at a place called Grub Galore."
"Well, then," Andromeda exclaimed, "to there we shall go!"

Jervis escorted Andromeda to the rendezvous spot,
Where servers carried around dishes steaming hot.
Jervis pointed to a table tucked way back in the corner,
Which was currently a table of one, covered in hors d'oeuvres.

"There he is," Jervis said. "That's Orion.
He really, truly is a downright riot.
He's also ready for a home,
A home he can call his very own."

Andromeda watched her Orion as he sat waiting at a table.
Well, more like on the table, which was, thankfully, stable.
Orion was, simply put, a ginger,
With the added touch of fine white whiskers.

Orion's eyes were an electric green,
And on top of the table he began to preen.
He wiped his nose,
Rearranged his purple bow,
And then began to clean his toes.

When he was thoroughly kempt,
Orion dipped into an appetizer of shrimp.
After observing every bit of this,
Andromeda clapped her hands said these words from her lips:
"Orion, you're perfect, and how!"
To that, her match made in heaven looked up and did reply, "Meow."




***

Last but not least, we have for you the fill-in statements for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. Ellen of 15andmeowing is the mastermind behind the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. If it wasn't for _________, I _________.

2. _________ before _________.

3. _________ is my preferred method of communication.

4. You can't buy _________.




We'll see you tomorrow, friends!



***
Our Tip of the Day:

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A Pre-Valentine's Day Love Story

Once upon a time, there was a brown-eyed girl. She was always looking ahead, pondering what her future might hold.


What the brown-eyed girl didn't know was that there was a starry-eyed boy out there made just for her.


These two, their love story began when they were young.


And that love story, it continues on to this day, even after all these years. Five years, to be roughly exact.



Well, that tale was short, sweet, and downright cheesy, wasn't it? The real story is far more cut-and-dried than it is flowery. The plain and simple reality is that my parents' cat Trapper loves him some Astrid, and he always has. He loves her smell, he loves sitting with her, and sitting on her. It doesn't matter if said pup wants her personal space, because Trapper is simply not going to allow for that if the pup is around.

In case you were curious, that last less-than-quality photo was a quick shot taken just last night, when Astrid visited my parents' house after her walk. When pup Astrid goes to my parents' house, Trapper always finds her. Always. Whether Astrid likes it or not. Romantic, huh?

Obviously, I had to doodle something up for these lovebirds.




***
Our Tip of the Day:

Our current topic of conversation stems back to the fact that it is National Cat Health Month. Yesterday, in our tip regarding diet, we made a comment on the fact that your kitty's weight will indeed help determine the best diet for them. Today's tip is a continuation of that topic of weight. If your cat is overweight, for example, then portion control is of course important, as is the type of food, frequency of feedings, and other such factors. There are weight loss cat foods on the market, these often focusing on high protein intake, but do be sure to discuss with a veterinarian your kitty's weight and the best diet to help them live a healthy, fit life. Similarly, if a cat is underweight, such as due to an illness, diet can play a large role in increasing their weight and overall health. Again, discuss with a veterinarian what type and quantity of food to feed your cat in order to achieve an optimal weight.

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

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

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Take It Back Tuesday

Just last week, I admitted that I still have difficulty looking at photos of my angel Rosie, because of how I miss making such memories with her. That being said, though, there are a number of photos of my sweet calico angel that I do very often gaze at, because they remind me of the peace and beauty she brought to my life. One such photo is this one here, which our regular readers have probably seen more than once:


For anyone who hasn't heard the story yet, that photo was snapped when, believe it or not, Rosie went on a road trip with my family and me when she was nearly 20 years old. At that time, was Rosie was doing incredibly well, despite her kidney disease. She took medications and received subcutaneous fluids on a daily basis, but she would not allow anyone but my mom and myself to administer such treatments. So, in order to ensure that Rosie remained on the treatments that were keeping her healthy and happy in spite of kidney disease, we risked taking her with us on a road trip to visit my uncle who lives a 10-hour car ride away.

My sweet angel Rosie did wonderfully on that road trip. Though this is certainly not an ideal or recommended way of traveling with a kitty, Rosie remained perfectly content and happy if she could sleep on a lap while we traveled. We obliged her, driving with loads of extra caution for her precious sake.

I felt compelled to share this flashback of my Rosie not only because I so very much enjoy the memory of her, but also because the first doodle in my Valentine's series stars none other than my sweet calico angel. After all, it only felt right to start my doodles of love for none other than one of my very first true loves. So, this one's for my beloved angel Rosie.


Have a beautiful Tuesday, friends!



***
Our Tip of the Day:

We're continuing on with our tips for National Cat Health Month, today's tip being all about diet. As you all certainly know, not all foods are created equal. Always be sure to do your research and read labels, ensuring that you are feeding your kitty food that is as high-quality as possible. Also remember that cats are obligate carnivores, so make sure that their diet largely reflects this. In addition, when it comes to feeding your cat, it is of course important to take a number of other factors into consideration, such as their age and health status. For example, kittens do best on foods formulated for kittens, as these diets will include higher protein and fat content, which helps aid in their growth and development. As your cat ages, consider how their health will affect their dietary needs. For example, does your cat have kidney disease or diabetes? Cats with kidney disease should be on a diet lower in protein, in order to help their kidneys function as well as possible. On the other hand, cats with diabetes are often better regulated when on a diet higher in protein. Other factors that could affect diet include of course food allergies, dermatitis, arthritis, dental disease, and weight, just to name a few. The most important thing is to understand your cat's dietary needs based on their overall health status. Of course, as needed, discuss your kitty's dietary needs with their veterinarian, and make sure you understand what type of food would be best for them.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Mancat Monday Mishaps

Mancat Evan is often so very photogenic.


Sometimes, though, even a handsome mancat is not camera-ready.


On the other hand paw, sometimes Evan is ready for that purrfect closeup shot.


Other times, though, that closeup just isn't meant to be.


Yikes. Evan sure hopes he didn't scare you with that slightly nightmarish shot.

Happy Monday, friends!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:

Today, we have the last doodle in our current series inspired by the Harry Potter books, which I have enjoyed since my childhood. For this one, unlike the first of these doodles, I didn't need to create a cat for this book series that, in my opinion, stars far too few cats. Instead, for this doodle, I was inspired by a cat who actually does regularly appear in the books. This cat is named Mrs. Norris, and she is the cat of the caretaker of the magical school of a castle known as Hogwarts. Mrs. Norris herself is quite the fantastic hall monitor, and she often proficiently catches students like Harry Potter when they are where they should not be.




***
Our Tip of the Day:

Today's National Cat Health Month tip is one we already gave recently, but that we'll repeat yet again because it can be very important for your kitty's health. And this tip is to keep up with those preventatives. Typically recommended for monthly administration, different forms of prevention can, of course, prevent a variety of health concerns. For example, flea prevention can help keep your kitty free from flea infestations, flea bites and related dermatitis, bloodborne diseases that can be contracted from fleas, and other issues that arise from a kitty having fleas. Especially depending on your cat's lifestyle, such as if they go outdoors, administering prevention for parasites such as tapeworms and roundworms can also be significant. If infested, various intestinal worms can lead to issues such as diarrhea and weight loss, among others. Also don't forget the concern of heartworms, which can stem from mosquitoes. Heartworms can be a very dangerous parasite that can affect the heart and lungs, so preventing this is of course something significant to consider. Prevention is something to always consider for keeping your kitty happy and healthy. That being said, do always still discuss this with your veterinarian, who can help you determine your kitty's risk for certain parasites, and which preventatives might be best or safest for your kitty.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Not even two weeks ago, it was -20°F here in our corner of the world. Just a week after that, it was nearly 60°F and raining. None of us here know what to make of the weather these days, including Evan.



Soon after we got all that rain, the temperature dropped back down to well below freezing. That's the day the world became an ice rink. Isn't this weather so much fun?

Evan's rainy day selfies are of course his contribution to the Sunday Selfies blog hop, hosted by the Kitties Blue over at The Cat on My Head. Be sure to pay them a visit and see the fabulous selfies snapped by all of our friends!


We hope all of you are staying warm and dry, and enjoying lots of well-deserved naps!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:

Today's doodle is almost the last one in my series inspired by my lifelong enjoyment of the Harry Potter series. My previous doodles in this series were a result of my belief that these books need more cats, and so I gave it more cats. Today's doodle, though, is inspired by one of the actual cat characters already in the books. In the third installment of the Harry Potter series, the bookish character known as Hermione Granger finds herself what is loosely described as a giant, fuzzy orange cat who is a tad bit cantankerous. This cat is named Crookshanks, and I am a huge fan of Crookshanks.


Thankfully, Crookshanks is not the only recurring cat character in the Harry Potter series, and tomorrow's doodle will star one of the other cats who makes frequent appearances in the books. After that, we'll have for you all a couple of Valentine's doodles. This here human is admittedly not really into Valentine's Day, but somehow Valentine's doodles have appeared in my sketchbook regardless.



***
Our Tip of the Day:

Yesterday, our first tip for National Cat Health Month was to make sure your kitty is examined by a veterinarian at least once a year. Today, our tip is to also remember to be diligent of your kitty's health in between vet visits. You know your kitty best, and you spend lots of time by his or her side. So, do be sure to do frequent observations and checks of their actions, behaviors, and overall health and happiness. For example, keep an eye on how much your kitty is eating and drinking, and make note of any changes in their food or water intake. In addition, check that litter box and take note of any changes there, such as the amount of urine or feces, or even the odor. Or, has your kitty become less active, or more active? What about the way they walk? Are they walking abnormally, such as favoring a foot? Do they still jump as often and as well as they used to? What about their vocalizations? Is your kitty more vocal than he or she used to be? Less vocal? Has the sound of their voice changed? Is your kitty hiding more often? Has he or she become more aggressive, or less tolerant of being petted or held? These are all just examples of things that you, as your kitty's companion, should keep an eye on regularly. Any such changes, even subtle ones, could be indicative of disease, injury, or any number of issues. So, do be sure to make observations such as these, and report any concerns, no matter how big or how small, to your veterinarian.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

In the Company of Cats

Earlier this week, I started a series of doodles related to the Harry Potter books. As a lifelong fan of fantasy, the Harry Potter series was of course a large part of my childhood. That being said, since I am also a lifelong fan of cats, I've always thought that this series of books should star far more cats. Honestly, the magical students in the Harry Potter are allowed to have a magical pet at school, such as a cat, so why on earth do more kids not have cats in these books? This is what prompted my series of doodles, in which I have scribbled up some of the characters with none other than cats.

That being said, today's doodle doesn't really have to be Harry Potter specific. It does indeed include a wizard, who could be Harry Potter's magical mentor of a wizard known as Dumbledore. But, I have met lots of wizards in my reading career. So, this doodle could really be dedicated to any of those wizards. The main reasoning behind this doodle is the simple fact that I've always thought the wizards I've met could all use a hearty dose of cats.


Have a magical day, friends!





***
Our Tip of the Day:

February is not only Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and Pet Dental Health Care Month, but also National Cat Health Month. We've already given tips on the first two, so now we're of course moving on to some tips for keeping those kitties healthy. Our first such tip is to take your cat to the veterinarian for a checkup on an annual basis at the least. In general, a health check is recommended at least every 6 to 12 months. More regular vet visits are of course recommended for any cats with known illnesses, such as kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and cancer, among others.

Visits with the veterinarian do not always just simply mean a quick exam, though. Depending on your furbaby's health, lifestyle, and any other important factors, you will of course have to take into consideration vaccinations, bloodwork, urinalyses, fecal exams, and so forth. Your veterinarian will be able to discuss and offer recommendations on how and when to proceed with these. For example, discuss with your veterinarian your cat's risk for certain illnesses, and discuss any related vaccinations. When it comes to bloodwork and urinalyses, these are often recommended at least yearly for seniors cats, such as those who have reached 6 or 7 years of age. This could allow for early detection of certain diseases. More frequent bloodwork is, of course, recommended for those with known kidney disease, diabetes, and a variety of other diseases.

The long and short of this tip is that your cat should be seen by a veterinarian at least once a year, or more frequently if needed. A veterinarian's exam, as well as bloodwork and other tests, can help reveal any issues that might be arising, whether or not your kitty is showing any signs of illness. Cats are professionals at hiding disease, so exams and tests could, quite literally, be lifesavers.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Friendly Fill-Ins

TGIF! I'm sure many of us look forward to Friday for a great many reasons. One of those reasons is the Friendly Fill-Ins, of course! In case you missed the fill-in statements yesterday, I'll share them again here. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. I want to make _________.

2. My _________ are _________.

3. A day in my life always includes _________.

4. Good things happen to those who _________.


I took a turn to answer these myself. My filled in answers are in bold.

1. I want to make art.
(I tried to think of some specific answers to this, but most of them just stemmed back to this basic answer anyway. Drawing, crafting, and even arts such as writing are near and dear to my heart. All of these things are not only ways that I decompress and relax, but they're also one of the major ways I relate to the world around me. I'm a homebody who really just doesn't like to go out and do all that much. I'd rather stay home and cuddle with my furbabies, which I've discovered allows me to live various experiences simply by doodling them or writing them while sitting on my couch. Does that make even a lick of sense?

I've also come to realize that it's through art that I cope. I'll admit that I often still have trouble looking at photos of my angel Rosie, because they portray such raw moments that I miss. I have no trouble, however, drawing my sweet Rosie, and writing stories about her. I still feel very close to my angel Rosie, of course in large part because of all of the memories that we share, but also because I will always enjoy creating various forms of art that are heavily inspired by her. In fact, I have been planning a very lengthy series of doodles that involve my calico angel, among at least one other project I'm working on that she's inspired.

Whew! That was a wordy answer, wasn't it?)

2. My furbabies are the best friends I could ever ask for.
(Nothing says unconditional love like a whiskered face, a wet nose, and all that furry jazz.)

3. A day in my life always includes furry cuddles.
(The first and last thing I do every day is cuddle some furry cuties. I also do this countless times throughout the day, whether the furbabies like it or not.)

4. Good things happen to those who do their best.
(Perfection isn't always the answer. In fact, is it ever the answer? This is something I've had to learn for myself over the years. Sometimes, all it takes is doing your best, and things will fall into place.)


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.


***

Who's ready for their Eddy fix? This girl decided to allow for both blurry and sort of non-blurry photos to be snapped of her recently. She's all about variety like that.




Happy Friday, friends!



***
Our Doodle of the Day:

Let me just preface today's doodle by openly admitting that it's weird and wacky. Then again, that's really not all that unusual for me, is it? I think this doodle might need a tad bit more of an explanation, though, because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense on its own.

Just like me, my sister is a fan of Harry Potter. What's more, today happens to be my sister's birthday, and so today's doodle is the birthday card I made for her. Speaking of birthdays, in the Harry Potter books, one of Harry's first happy moments is when the character known as Hagrid gives Harry a less than aesthetic yet nonetheless thoughtful, homemade birthday cake. Now, this character Hagrid happens to be a big, fuzzy, half-giant wizard whose magical wand moonlights as a pink umbrella. Makes perfect sense, right? Can you see why I enjoy books like Harry Potter? Because they're just as weird and wacky as me. 

Oh my goodness, one of these days I'll stay on topic. Maybe. Except probably not. Anyway, long story short, for my sister, today's doodle stars pup Astrid as a giant Hagrid with none other than a birthday cake. Couldn't I have just said that to begin with? Obviously not. Here you go.


Happy birthday to this here human's sister, who is mom to Toby and Winky, and co-mom to pup Astrid!

On one last rambling note, remember how earlier this week I started a series of doodles based on Harry Potter, in which I set out to remedy the fact that this book series needs more cats? Well, after a battle with a malfunctioning scanner that now finally works, I will be sharing the last two doodles in that series over the weekend. I do apologize for all of the weird and wacky doodles I'm throwing your way. I just can't help myself, it would seem.



***
Our Tip of the Day:

Yesterday we discussed symptoms you might notice if your furbaby is suffering from any number of dental issues or diseases. Our tip for today is a bit of a long one, and it will wrap up our dental tips. We'll start with the recommendation of, of course, taking your furbaby to be seen by a veterinarian if you notice any dental concerns. Your veterinarian can take a look in your cat or dog's mouth to get a basic idea of what might be going on. They might be able to see a broken tooth, an abscess or infected tooth, gingivitis or other gum disease, or masses growing within the mouth. Of course, a simple exam may not reveal everything, and when dental disease is noted or suspected, it might very well be recommended that the animal go under anesthesia for a more thorough dental exam, dental x-rays, dental cleaning, or extractions.

If a dental procedure is recommended, of course discuss the necessary details, options, and plans with the veterinarian. Make sure that both you and your veterinarian are on the same page. If your furbaby has other existing diseases, such as those of the kidney or heart and lungs, of course discuss with your veterinarian if or how it is best to safely proceed with a procedure.

If a dental procedure is scheduled, make sure that you understand all preparations for it. Give your kitty or pup any prescribed pre-op medications, such as antibiotics, if applicable. Just as we recently discussed in one of our spay/neuter tips, also be sure to pull your furbaby's food at 10 pm or so the night before the surgery, or whenever you are instructed to do so, in order to reduce the risk of aspiration while under anesthesia.

Also make sure you understand all post-op care. For example, give antibiotics, pain killers, or other medications as instructed. Some dental work, such as tooth extractions, requires that your furbaby go off of dry food and exclusively eat moist food for at least a couple or a few days after the procedure. Be sure that you understand if this is required, so that your furbaby can recover and heal as quickly and efficiently as possible. After dental work is performed, also make sure that you understand if your veterinarian recommends at-home care from then on out, such as brushing your cat or dog's teeth or applying certain oral medications on a regular basis to help prevent future concerns.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

We're here to do our usual Thursday thing. That means we'll start by sharing a bit of a rhyme.


Each week, we participate in Angel Sammy and Teddy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge. And, each week, our hosts provide us with a photo prompt to guide us. This week's prompt is this image here:


I really took some liberties with this one. I saw that image, and the first thing that came to my mind was the inspirational phrase, "Take the leap." I don't fully know how that phrase then led my fingers to type out the random poem below, but it did.


Take the Leap

Ruby Blue was a quaint little girl,
Making friends with every beetle, bunny, and squirrel.
Her habits often made her the brunt of jokes,
But those jokes never even once got her goat.

On one fine, bright, and sunny day,
Ruby Blue, just as usual, went out to play.
She was accompanied by her pup of a pal named Griffin,
As well as her furry feline who answered to only Pippin.

As Ruby Blue frolicked amongst the forest trees,
She stopped in her tracks when she saw Griffin himself freeze.
His ears perked up and his nose lifted in the air,
And then headlong into the bushes he did run and tear.

"Griffin, what on earth are you doing?" Ruby Blue asked,
As she climbed into the bushes, which happened to have thorns like tacks.
Pippin also trotted over to have a look,
But he stayed way back, so that on his fur no thorns would hook.

"What is it?" Ruby Blue asked a persistent Griffin.
The dog was sniffing, sniffing, and then again sniffing.
Stepping closer, and getting to know a few more thorns,
Ruby Blue saw a bluebird resting on the forest floor.

The girl gently picked the bird up in her palm,
And it let out a shrill chirp that was far from calm.
"Oh, no." These sad words were by Ruby Blue spoken.
"You must have fallen, because your poor little wing is broken."

Pippin himself let out a chirp much like a bird.
"Now, now," Ruby Blue told him, "don't you utter a single hungry word.
This feathered fellow is our friend,
And to no one's plate will he be sent."

Ruby Blue then told Griffin and Pippin to come along,
And they followed her as she hummed a little song.
Through the forest they walked and skipped,
Until they reached the little town of Plum Pick.

Straight to the office of Doc Tock, that's where Ruby Blue headed.
But, they were first stopped by bully Billy and his buds, as expected.
"What have you there?" Billy the bothersome boy pestered.
"I have a new friend, if you must know," Ruby Blue answered.

Looking down at what Ruby Blue safely cradled in her hand,
Billy the bully scoffed and laughed where he did stand.
His buddies didn't seem to understand why their friend laughed,
But they nonetheless and obediently giggled and spat.

Billy asked, "Why even worry about a bird with a broken wing?
After all, don't you already have enough broken things?"
Billy pointed to Griffin and Pippin and continued his speech.
"Your dog doesn't even have eyes with which to see,
And your cat has but three measly feet."

Ruby Blue shrugged and said, "I guess you just wouldn't understand.
There is more than just a broken wing to this bird in my hand.
For the so-called broken, I will take the leap,
Even if that makes me some sort of black sheep."

As she walked around Billy, Ruby Blue continued her reply.
"Just so you known, Griffin can see, just not with his eyes.
And as for Pippin, he can run faster than any of you guys."
She had but one last thing to tell the bully boys before her goodbye.
She said, "I believe this little bird still has places to fly."

At their destination, Doc Tock examined the bird and set its broken wing.
He said, "With a little TLC, he'll be good as new by the end of this spring."
And so Ruby Blue took the bluebird home and gave him lots of rest and snacks.
She learned that his favorite treat of all was none other than gnats.

By the time the end of spring had arrived,
Ruby Blue had named her bird friend Clive.
When Doc Tock saw the bluebird one last time,
He told Ruby Blue that Clive was very likely ready to fly.

With that, out set Ruby Blue, Griffin, Pippin, and Clive.
They walked through the forest, where the flowers and trees were well and alive.
When they reached a bright and green area of that tree-filled land,
Ruby Blue held Clive in the palm of her hand.

She gave the bird a smile as she sat him down on a low branch,
And he shook out his feathers and moved his little feet in a dance.
"Go ahead, test out those wings," Ruby Blue did excitedly say.
Clive whistled his own happy hooray.

The bluebird spread his wings and gave out a chirp,
But then he froze in place up there on his perch.
He gazed to the ground below,
And then lowered his wings so that beneath them no wind would flow.

"Don't be afraid," Ruby Blue told the bird. "Take the leap!"
At first, not a single sound came out of Clive's beak.
"I might fall," he then seemed to tweet in a sad little cry.
Ruby Blue smiled and said, "I like to think you will fly."

At first Clive merely cocked his head at the thought,
But then he decided that, when it came to being afraid, he would not.
He stood tall, spread his wings, and took the leap.
It was as he skillfully soared through the air that he did sing and tweet.

Of course, Clive flew in to visit Ruby Blue each and every day.
With Pippin and Griffin, he would often have fun and play.
Clive's flights took him here, there, and everywhere,
But he never forgot those who showed him great care.




***

As with every Thursday, it's now time for Thimble and her thankfuls. To be honest, Thimble and I are both thankful for the same thing this week. And that is, this face!



Does this face make your heart melt or what? It sure leads to some melting of the heart of this mom of Thimble's. Perhaps this is a bit of an unorthodox thankful for Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop? Either way, excuse while I sit here and stare all starry-eyed at this adorable face..


Of course, though I really am thankful for my girl Thimble and her sweet little face, we are indeed thankful for a great deal more. We are thankful for our warm home and meals, and for our family and friends. This means we are of course, undoubtedly, thankful for all of you and the friendship with which you gift us.



***

Last but not least, we are here to help you prep for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. Below are the statements for you to fill in, if you would like to join in on the fun. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. I want to make _________.

2. My _________ are _________.

3. A day in my life always includes _________.

4. Good things happen to those who _________.




We'll see you tomorrow, friends!



***
Our Tip of the Day:

As part of our series of tips for National Pet Dental Health Month, today we'll be discussing some of the symptoms to look out for related to dental disease. First up, of course, is halitosis, or bad breath. This can signify any number of issues, including an infected tooth or gum disease. Of course, bad breath can also come with certain diseases, such as oral cancer or even kidney disease. For these reasons and more, never ignore abnormally rank breath in your cat or dog. Moving on from bad breath, though, if your kitty or pup is suffering from certain dental issues, they may also of course have a decreased appetite, or seem pained or have difficulties when eating. In some dental cases, you also might notice blood or excess drool coming from their mouth. There is also the chance you might visibly notice broken teeth, loose teeth, discolored teeth, or even tartar buildup. Also don't forget that the teeth are in close proximity to and therefore often linked to the eyes and nasal cavity, and so discharge from either of these can also potentially signify an oral concern. All in all, if you smell, see, or in any way notice concerns relating to your furbaby's mouth, or any part of their body, do be sure to have them examined by a veterinarian. Dental health can even be linked to heart health and other systems of the body, so this is again one of those cases in which it is always better to be safe than sorry.