Friday, February 21, 2020

Friendly Fill-Ins With a Rhyme on the Side

First of all, thank you for the birthday wishes you sent pup Astrid's way yesterday! Both she and I appreciate your kindness so very much!

Now, who's ready for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge? If you'd like to participate but 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 am trying to _________.

2. I always _________ when _________.

3. _________ has my seal of approval.

4. I would not recommend _________.


My answers are below in bold. They're kind of all over the place this week, probably because my brain was all over the place. They also include some frighteningly long explanations, and for all of that I apologize profusely.

1. I am trying to get back to regular programming.
(Over the past year or so my work place has gotten a bit extra chaotic, and unfortunately that has bled into my personal life. I used to happily have set times on nearly a daily basis when I'd blog, draw, write, read, and all that jazz. Then things at my work place got off track, and in a domino effect the scheduling of my time off work got off track. I am changing things up at work to make it more manageable again, though, and so now I'm ready to get my personal time back to its regular programming. I want to get back to regularly sticking to a productive and enjoyable schedule of blogging, drawing, writing, reading, and you get the idea. I have some personal projects I'm striving to complete, some of which I've at least hinted at here on our blog, so getting back to a more productive schedule is something I desperately want and need.)

2. I always tell my furbabies goodbye and that I'll be back soon when I leave the house.
(I'm that clingy cat mom and dog mom who tells my furry children that I love them and that I'll be back soon every time I leave home. Every time. Most of the time, the majority of my furbabies are sleeping, eating, playing, or otherwise ignoring me when I'm leaving. That doesn't matter. I go through my whole goodbye spiel every single time no matter what.)

3. Purina Frosty Paws ice cream for dogs has my seal of approval.
(I apologize to all of our kitty friends out there, since this is such a blatant dog answer. Unless any of you kitties would like to give this treat a shot? But, this answer is actually in honor of pup Astrid's birthday yesterday, given that she had a Purina Frosty Paws ice cream cup to celebrate. You see, pup Astrid absolutely loves ice cream, and I was starting to feel bad letting her have human ice cream, even just on special occasions, given all the sugar and other whatnot it contains. Then I found Purina Frosty Paws ice cream cups for dogs. These are certainly still nothing that should be a significant part of a dog's diet, but they're at least a lower sugar, higher protein mock ice cream formulated specifically as a dog treat. It fools Astrid, she loves it, and therefore I love it and feel far less guilty about giving her so-called ice cream every once in a while. For the record, we're not sponsored by Purina, or ice cream, or anything of the sort.)

4. I would not recommend grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
(I just had to throw this one in here, because I seem to relearn this lesson every time I go to the store hungry. If I eat before I go to the store, I tend to stick to my grocery list. If I don't eat before I go grocery shopping, my cart ends up filled with a gazillion things that weren't on my list, and some of those things are down my gullet before I even leave the store parking lot.)


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 we mentioned yesterday, we pushed our poem for Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge back by a day, given that yesterday was all about celebrating pup Astrid's birthday. So, now we have our poem to share today.


Our wonderful host always shares a photo prompt to guide us on our poetic endeavors. This week's prompt is this incredibly intriguing one here:


I really like this photo. I like it so much I shared it with my sister. She also quite liked it, and then she made a random comment about The Chronicles of Narnia series. One thing led to another and my sister and I were suddenly discussing old trucks in forests potentially leading to magical lands like the one found in The Chronicles of Narnia. My sister and I have some really weird and wacky conversations, obviously, and sometimes those lead to really weird, wacky, and insanely long poems like this one here:


Lost and Found

Becky moved to a new house.
Her new neighborhood was quieter than a mouse.
After all, her only neighbors were trees and more trees,
Which spoke only the soft whispering words of the breeze.

Becky moved to her new house with her dog,
A friendly mutt known as Hedgehog.
The canine acquired the name because of his fur,
Which was more or less unruly and a tad bit absurd.

Becky and Hedgehog both greatly enjoyed time outdoors,
And they set out on walks to breathe fresh air and explore.
Living next to a forest was wonderful indeed,
Until you realized all the trees made it impossible to see.

On one spring afternoon, Becky and Hedgehog headed into the forest,
A place that would be enjoyed by any tree enthusiast or florist.
The forest was green from head to toe,
And the sun and shadows put on a lovely light show.

Becky prided herself on her wits,
And she did not intend on letter her or Hedgehog be missed.
She had slipped a compass in the pocket of her vest,
With the knowledge that to get home they simply needed to travel west.

The walk began with sunshine and beauty,
But then it was spring, completely and truly.
A storm brewed up out of seemingly nowhere,
And rain began pouring out of seemingly thin air.

Neither Becky nor Hedgehog were fond of storms,
So they intended to quickly get home and out of this downpour.
Becky pulled out her compass and flipped it open,
But it was at the same time that Hedgehog shook off because he was soaking.
His sudden movement made Becky flinch and gasp,
And as a result the compass flung and flew right out of her grasp.

Becky groaned, "Oh no, where did it go?"
She didn't see it anywhere near her or Hedgehog's toes.
"It couldn't have gone that far," Becky said.
The forest floor was filled with grass, plants, and leaves both live and dead.
The compass could be hidden in plain sight,
Perhaps in a newly formed puddle or beneath a leaf green and bright.

As Becky searched, something suddenly shot out from behind a tree.
It was not the compass, of course not, no indeed.
Rather, it was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed cat,
With a sharp meow and fur of the deepest and sleekest black.

Just like that, the cat turned and ran.
Simply watching it go was not something Hedgehog could stand.
He charged forward and broke off his leash,
Chasing the cat through puddles and soggy leaves.

After a short chase, Hedgehog came to a stop in a clearing.
Rain still poured and thunder tested their hearing.
When Becky caught up, the cat was no longer in sight.
Perhaps Hedgehod had given it too much of a fright.

But something else up ahead could be seen,
That being a quaint old truck swallowed up by the forest's green.
Rain came down heavier and heavier some more.
As a result, into the rundown truck Hedgehog did soar.
Becky could tell the old thing would not and could not run,
But at least it could offer shelter until the return of the sun.

"Make room for me," Becky said to Hedgehog.
She crawled into the truck and squeezed in beside her dog.
Suddenly, there was a flash of light quite frightening.
 Was that a terrifyingly nearby strike of lightning?

The answer to that question seemed a tad bit complex,
Especially since they now seemed to be in a place completely different.
Well, it wasn't that different after all,
But it wasn't out of the same sort of truck that they now did crawl.

Becky and Hedgehog now stood on a dry forest floor.
From the sky, rain no longer did torrentially pour.
They also no longer looked at a truck buried and broken.
It's like it had been completely fixed up in just one quick moment.
The truck was now a lovely sort of ivory,
And it was sparkling clean and really quite shiny.

The sky was a clear one of night,
Shining and twinkling with starlight.
A lamppost also glowed and lit the nearby night,
And in its glow something else then did come into sight.

Suddenly there was a return of the cat,
With its sharp meow and its fur of deep, sleek black.
Then more than a simple meow came out of its head.
"You two look like you need help," the cat quite aptly said.

Becky's eyes widened in something like shock.
The same thing happened for a now whimpering Hedgehog.
Becky stammered, "Who are you? What are you? What's going on?"
She looked around to see their original surroundings were still gone.

"How can I make this simple?" the cat said.
It looked up and pondered as it scratched its head.
"You see," it began, "you left Lost and now you're in Found.
Does that make sense? How does that sound?"

Becky said nothing but a spluttering noise.
The cat said, "I guess you're still confused. Oh boy."
It sighed and tried again.
It spoke slowly as it said,
"You must have lost something.
Perhaps your socks? Your favorite pen? A ring?
A lost something or other is usually what brings folks to Found."
Then the cat pointed and said, "There! What's that on the ground?"

Becky looked down toward her feet.
Something lost sat in the grass there indeed.
"My compass," she said as she reached down and picked it up.
Hedgehog looked from Becky to the cat and let out a shrill yip and a yup.
Becky looked at the compass and let out a quick laugh.
After all this, she had completely forgotten about that.

"See?" the cat said. "That was a perfectly simple explanation.
Your compass disappeared in your land of Lost, and so the land of Found became your destination.
That makes complete and total sense, trust me.
Now, is there anything else that you need?
I'm actually really quite late for an important meeting."

Becky was still more or less shocked and speechless,
But she managed to tell the cat that her only lost item was the compass.
"Wonderful," the cat said with a little clap of its paws.
"I assume you're now ready to go home and be gone."

The cat added, "By the way, I'm known to most as Lady Luck.
If you ever find yourself here again, look me up.
Now, both of you, get back in that truck."
Becky and Hedgehog did as the cat did instruct.
They climbed into the lovely ivory truck,
And within moments there was a flash of light and rain falling from above.

Becky and Hedgehog were now back were they began.
Beside the rundown truck and in the pouring rain they now did stand.
Becky looked down to see her compass in her hand.
She wasn't sure there was anything she did currently understand.

Finally, she said, "Well, Hedgehog, let's run on home."
She consulted her compass so that in an aimless manner they did not roam.
They ran through rain and puddles of mud,
Reaching their home just before the onset of a flood.

As they dried off and warmed up inside the house,
The rain and thunder outside sounded nowhere near as quiet as a mouse,
Becky said, "Hedgehog, I think perhaps we should go back there tomorrow, yes?
Perhaps I'll accidentally lose my compass again by that truck in the forest."




***

It's time for you Friday Eddy fix. So, how about yet another series of photos of Eddy chowing down and enjoying the view from the window? Yeah?






Most of those could be considered bloopers, in true Eddy style. Don't worry, though, because Eddy still has plenty of bloopers to share for next week's blooper blog hop. We're never wanting for bloopers around here.

Happy Friday, friends!



***
Tip of the Day

Yesterday, as part of our National Cat Health Care Month series of tips, we mentioned the importance of providing your kitty with fresh, easily accessible water at all times. Similar to this, today we're here to remind you of the importance of ensuring that your kitty is fed fresh food on a regular basis. To begin, as you all certainly know, moist food can spoil if left out for too long. It won't go rancid right away, but if left out for long periods of time, there is a concern for spoilage and consequential gastrointestinal issues if eaten. For this reason, refrigerate any unused portions of moist food (which can be reheated for a short amount of time in the microwave), and do not leave moist food out in your kitty's bowls for too long. While far less likely, it is not impossible for dry food to spoil, not to mention the possibility of it becoming stale, or even ants helping themselves to food that is sitting out. So, try to ensure that uneaten old food is not left at the bottom of a bowl for too long. Also try to make sure that your kitty's dry food is stored in some form of an air-tight container, or at least that the bag is securely sealed.

Continuing on with the importance of fresh food, many cats are indeed picky eaters, which means it is quite possible that some kitties may not eat food that has been sitting out for a certain amount of time. In addition to this, as some cats age, their senses, including smell, start to diminish. Similarly, cats with certain ailments might need food with a fresh, strong odor in order to feel tempted to eat. This is another reason to offer food that is fresh and therefore enticing, so that the kitty will indeed have a desire to eat it.

All of this being said, also keep in mind your individual cat's weight, diet, and overall health. It is of course important to ensure that your kitty has sufficient access to food. Food allowance or scheduling will be different for an underweight cat versus an overweight cat, so all such considerations have to be made. If you have any concerns regarding your cat's food situation, of course discuss this with a veterinarian!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Happy birthday, Astrid!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ASTRID!


Today is indeed pup Astrid's birthday. Well, given that she's a rescue with an unknown origins, today is the day we have chosen to celebrate whenever her real birthday is. Astrid turns 7 today, officially making her a senior dog. Astrid is evidence that age is just a number, though, because this wide-eyed and bushy-tailed girl still acts like a puppy.

Now, who's ready for a birthday bash? Thimble is our resident party planner, and she's inviting all of you to pup Astrid's birthday bash.


Of course, to celebrate her big day, Astrid will get to enjoy some of her favorite things. Don't worry. She's probably willing to share.


Though we're not sponsored, Astrid has a great fondness for cookies made by the owner of the Etsy shop known as DogParkPublishing. Above are the cookies Astrid gets to enjoy today. There are plenty to go around, so help yourself to a cookie or two!

We're not stopping at cookies, though. Pup Astrid is also a huge fan of ice cream. She actually probably enjoys ice cream even more than cookies. So, how about a trip to the ice cream parlor?


Don't worry, though. Astrid knows that some of her furry friends out there might not enjoy car rides as much as she does, so she's offered to bring some ice cream back for everyone.


That is, if the ice cream survives the car ride. And Astrid's tongue.


So, friends, grab yourself some cookies, grab yourself some ice cream, and party on with us!

Astrid, all of us humans and kitties in your life wish you the happiest birthday you could ever imagine. Thank you filling our lives with lots of love, energy, entertainment, and chaos. We love you, Astrid!



***

Today, just as every Thursday, is Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop. This time around we are of course endlessly grateful for our birthday pup Astrid. We are thankful for each and every birthday we are blessed to celebrate.




***

We did not forget that tomorrow is the day of the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. So, here are the fill-in statements. Ellen of 15andmeowing crafted up the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. I am trying to _________.

2. I always _________ when _________.

3. _________ has my seal of approval.

4. I would not recommend _________.




We'll see you tomorrow, friends!


P.S. Our weekly poem for Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge will be shared in tomorrow's post, for anyone who might be looking for it or would like to read it.



***
Our Tip of the Day:

Today's tip in our cat health series is plain and simple. We're here to remind you to make sure that your cat has easy access to fresh water at all times. Water intake is of course crucial to a kitty's health, as it is important for proper functioning of not only organs such as the kidneys, but all systems of the body. So, make sure that your cat has water readily available. Some considerations to make include ensuring that your kitty has water accessible in areas where they are comfortable drinking, such as somewhere that is not too heavy with foot traffic, yet also somewhere that they frequent often. You can of course also offer water bowls in multiple areas of the house, something that is often especially important in multi-cat households.

Also make sure that your kitty's water is in a bowl or other drinking vessel that they like. Some cats prefer typical bowls, some cats only want bowls with especially low sides, and some cats might even show a preference for drinking water out of cups or another container with high sides. Also, of course, freshen up that water as often as possible or as needed. Cats can be picky creatures, and some cats might refuse to drink water that is not fresh. In addition, fresh water is also simply healthier overall. To help ensure that water remains as fresh as possible, you could use a water fountain for your kitty. All in all, especially given how important it is for all bodily functions, make sure to give special attention to your kitty's water bowl.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Woof Woof Wednesday

Tomorrow is a certain furry someone's birthday.


Yep. Tomorrow is pup Astrid's birthday. As of tomorrow, Astrid will fall under the category of a senior dog. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Astrid still must feel like a puppy, because she sure acts like one. Either way, today we're all celebrating Astrid's final day as a non-senior citizen.

For the birthday of every furbaby in our house, I doodle up a birthday card starring the birthday baby, or birthday babies. The doodle I'm sharing today is a flashback, and it is indeed Astrid's birthday image from last year.


Tomorrow, we'll of course be having a tad bit of a party for the birthday girl, and you'll see Astrid's birthday card for this year. It'll of course star Astrid enjoying one of her other favorite sweet treats. Can you guess what that sweet treat will be?

For anyone who follows our usual weekly shenanigans, we'll comment on the fact that tomorrow is usually the day we share our poem for Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge. Since tomorrow will be a birthday bash sort of day, though, we'll be sharing our weekly poem and its accompanying illustration on Friday instead, in addition to the usual Friday Friendly Fill-Ins challenge.

Happy Wednesday, friends! Feel free to join us tomorrow for a little birthday bash!



***
Our Tip of the Day:

Today's National Cat Health Care Month tip is all about those litter boxes. Especially if you have multiple cats, make sure that you have enough litter boxes with regard to the number of kitties in the home. It is often recommended that you have as many litter as you have cats, plus one. If there are not enough litter boxes, it is possible that cats might quickly find the litter boxes too filled or dirty, or that there might even be some bullying or battles over use of litter boxes. This could lead some cats to have to hold onto their urine or stool, which in turn could lead to issues such as UTIs or constipation. Or, some cats might simply begin looking for other areas in the house to urinate or defecate outside of the box.

Other litter box issues that might lead to health concerns or unwanted behaviors include litter boxes that are not cleaned enough, litter boxes that are in an area that is too high traffic for some cats' preference, litter boxes that are hidden too far away for certain cats' liking, or litter boxes that contain a type of litter that certain cats simply do not prefer. Obviously, issues such as holding urine or stool, resulting UTIs and constipation, and out-of-box urination and defecation are not ideal. For these reasons, do be sure that the litter box situation is suitable for all cats in the house, so that all the kitties involved can stay as happy and healthy as possible.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Tuesday Troublemaker

Yesterday we shared this photo of Evan:


When we shared that photo, we said it was a depiction of the calm before the storm. You see, Evan was happily snoozing. While snoozing, he was blissfully unaware that he was being snuck up on by one of his pesky little sisters.


Tonks has been known to wriggle under blankets. Sometimes she does so to have a nice, warm snooze. Other times she does it to sneak up on one of her furry siblings.


For whatever reason, Evan may very well be Tonks' favorite furry sibling to troll.


She finds his tail and and back legs irresistible.


Evan is not impressed.


Since I save my photos to Google Drive, Google even created an animation of the events for me. See?


Tonks hopes all of you have siblings that you can have fun trolling. Evan, on the other hand, hopes that none of you have have such a rude sibling.

Happy Tuesday to all!



***
Flashback Doodle of the Day

Cats and books are two of my favorite things. That's why I plan on starting yet another new series of doodles starring cats and books. Until that new series of doodles comes into existence, I thought I'd share some of the cat and book doodles I scribbled up last year. We'll start with this one:




***
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.

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Calm Before the Storm

Evan is here today to show you all the calm before the storm.


You are indeed seeing Evan snoozing in a sea of blankets on the couch. Relaxation doesn't always last long at our house, though. A certain little sister of Evan's showed up during the nap you see him taking above. That little sister stirred up the storm that broke Evan's calm. If you're hoping to see the storm that shattered Evan's calm, you'll have to wait until tomorrow. To be continued.

Evan and all of us here hope you have a magnificent Monday!



***
Doodle of the Day




***
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 likely 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!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sunday Selfies

Tonks agreed to snap some selfies for today. Well, it's more like I forced her to. She wasn't totally into it, perhaps because I woke her up from a nap. She refused to look at the camera and didn't allow for any redos. So, what we have for you today are shots of the side of the little calico's face in which the camera decided it only needed to focus on her whiskers. At least Tonks is still adorable.



Happy Sunday to all of you!




***
Doodle of the Day


For whatever reason, I got in my head the image of a girl and her kitties reading a good book in the middle of the street on a winter night. That doesn't sound like all that safe of a scenario, but I doodled it up anyway. I don't have much more explanation than that for this one.



***
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.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Red Truck Caturday Art

I've been missing scribbling up all the red trucks I doodled during the Christmas season. That's why I decided to try my hand at drawing a red truck in a winter scene, but without blatant Christmas vibes. I did my best, and here's the result:


We're sending warm wishes to all of you!




***
Tip of the Day

As a continuation of our National Cat Health Month tips, 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 effect of 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 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.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Friendly Fill-Ins on Valentine's Day

We made it to Friday, friends. Do we get an award for that? We should get an award. At the very least, we have the fun Friendly Fill-Ins today. In case you need a refresher on what the fill-in statements are this week, I'll share them below. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. I always carry _________ with me.

2. I would love to know why _________?

3. I express my love in the form of _________.

4. _________ makes me feel like the luckiest individual alive.


My answers are below in bold. Some of my answers have distressingly long explanations. Feel free to skip the long-winded explanations if you're short on time. It's amazing how much more I have to say when typing than when having a conversation with an actual human being standing in front of me.

1. I always carry lip balm with me.
(I have stubbornly dry lips. No matter how much water I drink or how much I moisturize my lips, they still just like to be dry. And I can't stand chapped lips. So, I always have lip moisturizer with me. I actually most often use just straight up petroleum jelly on my lips, because that has proven to work best for me. I also get hives from certain other types of lip balms, so it's generally just good ol' petroleum jelly that I carry with me.) 

2. I would love to know why Toby will eat the dog's canned food, but not canned cat food of the exact same brand and flavor?
(Lately we are struggling with 16-lb Toby stealing 80-lb Astrid's food while she's trying to eat it. The brand she eats has identical flavors in a cat variety, so we got that for Toby. No luck. He refuses the cat version and still steals the dog's. Why, Toby?)

3. I express my love in the form of gifts.
(I know that giving gifts probably seems like such a superficial way of expressing love. It is very superficial. I'll honestly admit, though, that I have never been one to easily express love verbally or physically. I am not a hugger, I am not touchy-feely, you get the idea. This isn't from any sort of dark or depressing past. I had a wonderful childhood with a mother who loves to give hugs. I'm simply more like my dad, though, and have a deep desire for personal space. So, giving gifts, even in the form of giving my time or help, is how I've learned to show love and appreciation to those in my life. All of the above being said, I will absolutely hug and love on cats, dogs, and any other willing furbabies at every chance I get. I am completely different around animals than I am around people.)

4. My furry family makes me feel like the luckiest individual alive.
(Of course, my human family makes me feel lucky, too. But, my furbabies make me feel extra special. My kitties and pup all express their love in such sweet and special ways, and I love it. I love when they choose my lap, and when they come find me just to cuddle. Many of my furbabies follow me everywhere when I'm home. They don't even make me go to the bathroom alone. Isn't that sweet of them? Privacy is a thing of the past, but I love my furbabies for that.)


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.



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Are you ready for you Friday Eddy fix? Today she wanted you all to see how much she enjoys her favorite treats. She often gets these for the purpose of getting her to sit halfway still for the camera. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.



Don't worry, Eddy will be getting lots of extra treats today for Valentine's Day.


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Speaking of Valentine's Day,

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!


Our Valentine's doodle above stars Astrid and Toby. Why? Because they're the primary love story at our house. Toby absolutely loves to shower pup Astrid with affection. She's not so into it, but she's a good dog and tolerates his advances. I'm not sure how much of a love story it really is if it's so one-sided, but there you have it anyway.

We hope your day is filled with love and lots of sweet treats!



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Tip of the Day

Today's National Cat Health Month tip is in honor of Valentine's Day. On this day of love, be sure to keep your furbaby's health in mind. For example, Valentine's Day often includes gifts in the form of chocolate or flowers, and it also might include a little alcohol and the like. All such items can be dangerous to our furbabies, though. As you all certainly know, keep chocolate, alcohol, any potentially hazardous food items, and lilies or any questionable plants well out of your furbaby's reach. Also consider items such as wrappers, ribbons, balloons, and cellophane. All of these can pose risks such as choking, intestinal perforation or obstruction, and other potential dangers. So, also keep these items out of your furbaby's reach. We're sure none of these tips are anything new to you animal lovers, but do still keep all such considerations in mind on days like Valentine's Day, and every day.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Happy Thursday! It's the day of Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge, which means we're ready to rhyme.


Our host always shares a photo prompt to guide us on our poetic endeavors. This week's prompt is this intriguing image here:


Since Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and since as a result I've been scribbling up some doodles revolving around sweet treats, I went that direction with this image. That seems like a strange topic to pick for an image of this nature, but I tried to make it work. I don't know if the result makes all that much sense, but here's my poem nonetheless.


Barnyard Bakery

There once were two best friends named Ruby Sue and Daisy Mae.
Ruby Sue was a human gal and Daisy Mae a tabby cat of grey.
Ruby Sue was an independent woman, you could say.
Equally set in her ways was furry and whiskered Daisy Mae.

The two gals lived happily together in the country,
In a cottage somewhat quaint and a tad bit funky.
They spent their time working and napping and reading and snoozing.
Some days, Daisy Mae would leave Ruby Sue worried.
After all, the little tabby had a penchant for sneaking out the door in a hurry.

One day, Ruby Sue was keeping a very close eye on Daisy Mae the escape artist.
After lunch, Daisy Mae brought Ruby Sue a ribbon of scarlet.
The tabby cat dropped the ribbon at the woman's feet.
Then, tilting her head forward, she let out a meow to speak.

"You want this ribbon in your hair?" Ruby Sue asked.
Daisy Mae's reply came in the form of the chirps and purrs of a happy cat.
Ruby Sue did exactly as Daisy Mae wished,
Tying the scarlet bow atop the cat's head with a couple quick twists.

Ruby Sue smiled and told Daisy Mae, "You sure look pretty."
In front of the woman now pranced a very happy and confident kitty.
Ruby Sue was soon thrown for a loop, though,
And it was Daisy Mae who made her feel just so.

It happened when Ruby Sue went to fetch the mail.
When she opened the door, what ran past her was a cat with a striped grey tail.
"Daisy Mae, you get back here!" she shouted.
"I told you that you're not allowed on any more outings!"

Ruby Sue ran after Daisy Mae in hopes of catching her,
But Daisy Mae proved much, much faster.
Ruby Sue shouted, "I don't like it when you leave!
Daisy Mae, you get back here and stay with me!"

Daisy Mae simply did not obey.
They ran through plains and fields with bales of hay.
A building suddenly appeared in the distance,
And Daisy Mae ran toward it with great persistence.
The building looked like it belonged in a tiny town with a population of 1.
It was dilapidated, secluded, and creepy, and then some.

As they approached, Ruby Sue saw that the building was an old barn.
Time and weather had done the thing great, grave harm.
As Daisy approached its door,
Ruby Sue felt a great deal of horror.
She shouted, "Good grief, Daisy Mae, don't you see?
This is the kind of place where people get murdered in the movies."

Ignoring Ruby Sue, Daisy Mae slipped inside.
Ruby Sue followed with a dreadful sigh.
Compared to the exterior, the interior of the place was really quite swell.
It was rustic and quaint, and full of delectable smells

On one wall hung a sign that read, Barnyard Bakery.
There was another sign that Ruby Sue then did see.
It was a menu advertising all sorts of baked goods,
From chocolate chip cookies to cakes with perfectly romantic looks.

Ruby Sue soon caught sight of Daisy Mae sitting at a table with another cat.
This other feline had a built-in tuxedo of white and black.
An old woman then suddenly appeared.
She said, "Oh, hello there, dear.
Is that adorable grey tabby your cat?
She's visited a couple times and formed a friendship with my boy Jack."
The tuxedo cat mewed at the sound of his name,
And then he and Daisy Mae ran off in a chase of a game.

"What would you like to eat?" the old woman asked.
"It's on the house, especially for a friend of a friend of my cat."
Ruby Sue thought that the old woman didn't look like a murderer.
She thought that, perhaps, she actually could trust her.
And from the inside, this place didn't look or smell like a death trap.
In fact, it appeared the complete opposite of that.

After scanning the menu that offered all sorts of delicious makes,
Ruby Sue finally asked for a cupcake.
The old woman retrieved a cupcake from a glass-covered shelf.
She also grabbed a slice of cake that she then began to eat herself.

At a table together, the old woman and Ruby ate their cakes.
The cats, of course, also got their tastes.
Ruby Sue found the old woman and herself having a delightful conversation,
All while Daisy Mae and Jack partook in all sorts of wild races.

Though Ruby Sue was not happy with Daisy Mae for escaping,
She couldn't imagine never again eating this delicious cupcake,
Or never again having with the old woman such a lovely conversation.
That's probably why thereafter Ruby Sue and Daisy Mae returned again and again.
At the Barnyard Bakery, they all feasted on sweets as a group of hungry and happy friends




***

Thimble is now here to share a Thankful or two.


Thimble is always grateful for her window views. She's also thankful to be inside where it's warm on this snowy day. We purr and pray for all the homeless kitties and other animals and folks who are living outside on these cold days.




***

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


1. I always carry _________ with me.

2. I would love to know why _________?

3. I express my love in the form of _________.

4. _________ makes me feel like the luckiest individual alive.




We'll see you tomorrow, friends!



***
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.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Woof Woof Wednesday

Pup Astrid's photos for today might look like repeats. That's because she's yet again posing in the window. She's also still wearing her new Valentine's bow on her collar, which she showed off last week. These photos are truly not repeats, though. They're just déjà vu shots from a stick-in-the-mud sort of pup.



Astrid also wanted to share a flashback shot starring her Valentine's bow from last year. Does anyone remember this pretty floral bow of hers?


Happy Wednesday, friends!



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Flashback Valentine's Doodle of the Day

My intention was to share only brand new Valentine's doodles this week. I'm going against that today, though, and sharing a flashback doodle. This is simply because work has been a bit crazy lately and so I didn't get today's doodle done in time to post it here. I looked back at past doodles for something suitable for Valentine's Day, and I found one from 2018. It was inspired by a certain little romantic animated movie.




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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.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Tabby Tuesday

It's Tabby Tuesday, and do you remember what Evan promised you all yesterday? He promised to show you all his stunning tabby stripes today. Evan's not one to break promises, so here you go.



Is anyone else showing off their tabby stripes today? Or are you showing off your toesies? Your tummy? No matter what you're showing off, have a happy Tuesday!



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Valentine's Doodle of the Day




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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 beneficial. 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.