Monday, October 25, 2021

A Strange and Spooky Mancat Monday

It's Mancat Monday. Evan would give you his attention and say hello, but he's quite busy investigating a certain visitor.


Who is this strangely stuffed black cat? Evan is trying to figure that exact thing out.


Good grief. After he figures out this weird friend—if a friend it actually is—Evan will then have to move on to that pumpkin up there with the freakishly friendly face. Evan really wants to know why so much weird stuff keeps showing up at our house this time of the year.

Evan hopes you all have a far less weird Monday than he's having!



***

Now, we are finally sharing the poem and doodle for last week's installment of Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge.


The photo prompt our poetic host shared for this past week was this one here:


As has become the norm, I took some major liberties with this one. To be honest, as I was brainstorming some ideas for this prompt, I also saw this image online:

I've actually been seeing this image floating around a lot lately, probably because I'm a member of a lot of weird and wacky online groups, and I just can't get that witchy kitty imagery out of my head. And so, I tried to make my poem match both Angel Sammy's prompt and that image there. The result was this silly rhyme and illustration here:


The Witching Hour

The witching hour was really quite a busy one.
The witches had so much to do before the rising sun.
Helga needed to stir up a brew or two,
In the cauldron set up by Millie on Moonlight Avenue.

The elder of the witchy crew was a gal named Margot,
Who of all witchy things was quite an advanced pro.
Like all the witches in that busy hour,
Margot had so much to do that she was beginning to feel sour.

In a hurry to get things done,
Back and forth on her broom Margot spun.
She grabbed the spell books and of course the sage,
And don't dare think she would forget the wolfsbane.

So that she and her coven could do their witching hour duties,
Margot flew while other folk slept in their nightcaps and booties.
She brought Helga her potions and Millie her hat,
But there was one thing she had forgotten in all of that.

Though everything else was ready and in place,
There was one furry thing Margot forgot in her rushed race.
Every witch needs a loyal feline familiar,
But Margot forgot to find whiskered friends for the other witches and her.

She stopped her broom and, in truth, cursed just a bit,
But she didn't get far throwing a tantrum or a fit.
As if her witchy wisdom sensed her dilemma,
In front of her a solution was suddenly presented.

Though she had not realized it before,
Margot had stopped just in front of a certain building's door.
By the light of festively placed pumpkin lanterns, she saw where she was at.
She stood in front of the animal shelter, where a witch could indeed find herself a cat.

Just then, Margot saw motion from the corner of her eye,
And then she could not help but turn to the side.
In the animal shelter's window was something nothing short of cute,
Though its meows were certainly anything but mute.

Margot found herself face-to-face with the cutest little kitten,
It was fuzzy and black and with it she was immediately smitten.
The kitten put its cute little paws against the window's glass,
And Margot could not help but try to reach for it even when blocked by that.

And then, suddenly, there was more motion in the window.
Margot could see it all unfold in the frightfully festive lantern's glow.
Behind her new little friend appeared, well, more.
There were suddenly two kittens, then three, and then four and more.

Margot called over Helga, Millie, and the other witches.
Who, like Margot, were immediately smitten.
The witchy gals all began picking out their kittens,
And that was when a little puppy then appeared in their midst.

It was a witch named Annie who cried, "A puppy!"
And just like that the little canine became her familiar so trusty.
There were so many kittens and of course a puppy to take home,
That through the streets with full wagons and strollers the witches did roam.

And that was how Margot and her witches found their best friends,
And how a great many kittens' and a puppy's time in the shelter came to end.
It was fortunate that this tale unfolded in time for the witch's witching hour fun,
But they were grateful for far more reasons than just that one.




***
Tip of the Day

We've been giving all sorts of tips related to pet safety during trick-or-treating and other Halloween festivities. And, today, we have yet another tip related to that. Then again, it is almost Halloween, so perhaps it's permitted.

Today's tip is to help your kitty or pup get rid of some extra energy by engaging them in some form of activity before any Halloween festivities begin. This way, your furbaby would have less pent up energy and therefore less anxiety or frustration while they are tucked away somewhere safe while you hand out candy or celebrate this spooky holiday in another way. Helping your kitty or pup use up that extra energy of theirs could involve playing a game such as fetch with them, or directing their attention to interactive toys. If your fubaby is one who needs or likes walks, then you can also drain and prevent pent up energy by taking them for a walk prior to trick-or-treat hours. This would again enable them to release some of their energy before being secured in their safe room while you hand out candy. All in all, pent up energy can lead to issues such as anxiety or frustration in a cat or dog. This is why it might be a good idea to take your kitty or pup for a stroll, or to play with them in the house, prior to locking them up somewhere safe and away from the door on Halloween night.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Spooky Sunday Selfies

We're here for a spooky Sunday. Well, as spooky as you can get when there are cute kitties involved.

You all haven't seen our housemate Toby in quite some time, but here he is! He found some pumpkin pals and a stuffed black kitty to hang out with this spooky season.

Toby and all of us here hope you have a festively spooky Sunday, friends!


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Halloween Doodle of the Day

As we've mentioned, from today through Halloween day itself, we're sharing all brand new Halloween doodles. How about a tasty and possibly fatal festive snack on this Sunday?




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Halloween Tip of the Day

Today's Halloween tip is to know your local area's trick-or-treat details in order to be prepared, whether or not you are handing out candy or otherwise joining in on the festivities. Two of the important things to know are when trick-or-treat hours are, and what indicates whether trick-or-treaters should come to your door. Like last year, this year there may be some other special instructions to learn, thanks to pandemic life. It's important to know these Halloween festivity details so that you can have your pup or kitty home from a walk before traffic increases, for example, or to have your black cats and other furbabies safely inside before people begin filling the streets in search of tricks or treats. If you are handing out candy, it's good to know trick-or-treat hours so that you can have your kitty or pup tucked securely away from the door before the first trick-or-treaters arrive. In many areas, a house with its porch light on is one where trick-or-treaters can go for some loot. In the event that you're handing out candy, be sure to only have your porch light on when you're furbaby is in a safe area of the home, again away from the door. If you are not handing out candy, it's of course still important to know the hours and other details of Halloween festivities in your area. This will ensure that you can have your porch light off at the correct hours, in order to avoid knocks at the door or the doorbell ringing and scaring your furbaby needlessly. It's always good to be informed of the details of anything that might affect your furbaby, and that includes Halloween night festivities.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Freaky Flashback Caturday Art

Starting tomorrow, we'll have an entire week, plus one day, of brand new Halloween doodles. For today, we're sharing a number of our favorite Halloween flashbacks. Let's start with a couple of last year's freaky little doodles that I really enjoyed scribbling up.



Shall we travel back to 2019 now, for a few more flashback doodles from then?





We hope your Caturday isn't too creepy, friends!




***
Tip of the Day

Today's tips is another one to help keep anxious or excitable furbabies calm and safe on Halloween night. This tip involves a couple more things you can do in order to help your kitty or pup from becoming scared or agitated when trick-or-treaters are active. For example, if your cat or dog is scared or becomes excited at the sound of the doorbell, then one option is to disconnect it on Halloween night. If you hand out candy on Halloween, you can also use options such as placing the candy dish outside for trick-or-treaters to grab some loot themselves, sitting outside to hand out candy, or simply staying near the door and watching for trick-or-treaters so that they won't need to knock or ring the doorbell. During this year of the pandemic, leaving candy outside and thereby reducing contact with others might even be the recommended form of trick-or-treating in some areas. As we've mentioned in previous tips, there are still ways to enjoy Halloween and its festivities while also keeping your kitty or pup as calm and safe as possible. This might mean taking some extra precautions and finding a method that works for you and your furbaby.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Friendly Fill-Ins

Hello and happy Friday! We're ready for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. Are you? If you'd like to join in on the fun, please don't hesitate to do so! My co-host Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two fill-in statements, and I came up with the second two.


1. My go-to place to purchase _________ is _________.

2. _________ immediately improves my mood.

3. I think _________ is really spooky.

4. I wish I had a magical potion for _________.


My answers are below in bold.

1. My go-to place to purchase cute cat toys is Target.
(I also really enjoy the cat toys my local pet store offers as well as many I find on Etsy, and the ones in the monthly CatLadyBox. That said, especially every holiday season, I always look forward to seeing what cat toys Target has new in stock. There's usually at least one toy that's so cute I have to get one for my kitties, and then also one for myself. What also spurred this answer are the cat scratcher houses that Target has, because those are adorable and my kitties love them.)

2. Time spent with my kitties and pup immediately improves my mood.
(Do I really need to explain this one?)

3. I think paranormal activity is really spooky.
(I could have capitalized my answer here, as the actual movie called Paranormal Activity is probably the scariest I've personally ever watched. Though I enjoy watching scary movies, I'm generally not all that creeped out by slasher films with serial killers and that sort of thing. But when it comes to paranormal activity, like demons and the like, that actually does freak me out. Which is why the movie Paranormal Activity truly gives me the chills.)

4. I wish I had a magical potion for time.
(I'm always on the lookout for ways to create more time in a day, and so that's what I'm getting at with this answer. If I could drink a magical potion that would add an extra hour or two in the day, or that would make time around me freeze for just awhile, that would be awesome.)


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.



***

Are you ready for your Eddy fix? Since we're saving our newest Halloween photo shoots for next week, we're here to share some flashbacks today. In true Eddy style, they're of course a bit blurry.


That giant jack-o'-lantern lives in my bedroom. For these photos, I sat the pumpkin on my bed next to Eddy's favorite bed and her favorite basket full of blankets. She was not impressed.


Remember how we said these are a bit blurry? If you didn't believe us before, here you go.


Have a frightfully fantastic Friday, friends!



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Flashback Doodle of the Day




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Tip of the Day

Yesterday we mentioned keeping your kitty or pup in a safe area of the home, away from the door, in order to avoid any escapes out the front door during Halloween night festivities. Today, we're offering some additional methods you might be able to use to help keep a furbaby as safe, happy, and comfortable as possible on Halloween night. These tips are the most beneficial to furbabies who are scared of the doorbell, knocks at the door, and any other noises and happenings that Halloween might bring with it.

To begin, you can help make a nervous or uncertain furbaby feel more secure during the hustle and bustle of trick-or-treaters by closing windows and drawing blinds or curtains, to mask some of the sights and sounds of the spooky festivities. In addition, you can play music or turn on the TV or a movie to help further drown out sounds that might alarm a kitty or pup. Some furbabies might even be distracted by some treats, or by a play session with you or an interactive toy. In some cases, a cat or dog with higher levels of anxiety might benefit from the use of calming products like a pheromone spray or diffuser, or even a Thundershirt or similar makeshift item to make them feel secure. Or, some cats and dogs would simply do well to have access to a safe hiding place in a safe area of the home, where they can ride out Halloween night. The important thing is to consider your particular kitty or pup's personality and behaviors, and then determine what distractions or other techniques might best help them feel safe and secure on Halloween night.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

This and That Thursday

Hello, friends! We're unfortunately just popping in quickly today, and late. Things at my workplace have been especially crazy this week, and so my intended post for today had some delays. One main arena in which I failed was my doodle for my poem for Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge. It's almost complete, but I haven't gotten to pull out my art markers in a number of days due to my full-time job, and so it's not totally ready to be posted today. I'd like to share the poem and doodle together, and so it will be shared sometime in the next few days.

The above said, we have hired a new employee at my workplace. As I mentioned a few weeks back, one of my previous co-workers put in his two weeks' notice and has since left us because he was offered an amazing opportunity in another state. He was a great and very hardworking co-worker, and so when he left our already skeleton crew was really pushed to its limits. My newly hired co-worker will have quite a bit of training to do before he's ready to really dive into the nitty-gritty work, but at least we're in a more promising place now than we've been for the past few weeks. Long, extra work hours should soon no longer exist, and I'm looking forward to the time I can finally again put toward art, blogging, and my other favorite hobbies.

Am I rambling? I think I'm rambling. To make this long story longer, today's post is a different one than we intended because I've been working late and therefore didn't get everything done for our blog that I wanted to. That said, since I should have a calm weekend to work on art and my blog, and since my possibly favorite holiday is coming up at the end of this month, during the upcoming week leading up to Halloween, we'll be having an entire week of properly scheduled posts with new doodles and new Halloweeny furbaby photos every single day. Though I've been sharing a lot of flashback Halloween doodles lately, much to my chagrin, I actually have a number of new Halloween doodles almost or completely done. I just haven't done the final touches, scanned, or uploaded them. And so, with those new doodles and the results of some Halloween photo shoots I managed with the furbabies this past weekend, next week on our blog will be all things freshly Halloween every single day. I'm excited, but maybe that's just because I adore this spooky season.

For today, though, here's a thankful Thimble.


Can you tell what she's grateful for?


In case you can't tell in these award-winning photos, Thimble is playing with a catnip ghost toy. These are actually photos from last year. I would do a new photo shoot with this ghost, but after a year of abuse, he's looking all shades of rough.



Can you guess who else loves this ghost?


Evan!


Obviously, these are more photos from last year. The ghost is almost in shreds now. He's a fan favorite, after all.


It looks like today both Thimble and Evan are participating in Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!




***

Last but not least, let's share the fill-in statements for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. My co-host Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two fill-in statements, and I came up with the second two.


1. My go-to place to purchase _________ is _________.

2. _________ immediately improves my mood.

3. I think _________ is really spooky.

4. I wish I had a magical potion for _________.




We'll see you tomorrow, friends!



***
Flashback Doodle of the Day


***
Tip of the Day

Today's Halloween tip is one we're sure you all know, and it's to practice proper door safety. We mention this regularly. This is of course most relevant if you are handing out candy on Halloween night, or if you are hosting a Halloween party with a number of arriving guests. Knocks on the door, the doorbell, children or adults in strange costumes, and all of the hustle and bustle of Halloween can scare some furbabies. On the other hand, some cats or dogs might enjoy guests, and so they might be attracted to the door on Halloween. Either way, if you have increased traffic at the door on Halloween, there is always the chance that your kitty or pup could escape if proper precautions are not taken. This is why it is important to practice proper door safety, so that you can avoid escapes.

There are of course a number of options for keeping a cat or dog from escaping out a busy door on Halloween. First, you can set up a safe room for your cat or dog and keep them in there during the Halloween festivities, so that they have no ability to escape from the house when people show up at the front door. Depending on how your house is set up and how determined your kitty or pup is to reach the door, you can also put up baby gates or pet gates to keep a cat or dog in an area of the house away from the door. If your furbaby is leash trained, and as long as the leash is securely held, your kitty or pup can also be kept safe in the house by attaching them to their leash, with of course someone or something holding said leash. You best know your furbaby as well as the setup of your home, so use whatever method is the safest, most surefire way of keeping your kitty or pup from escaping out a busy door on nights like Halloween.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Costume Party with Pup Astrid

Who remembers Astrid's costume from last Halloween? It's her costume from every year, actually.


I'm never sure whether she's a dragon or a dinosaur, but either way, that's Astrid's go-to Halloween costume. Once we found one she didn't mind wearing, we stuck to it year after year.


Astrid's grandma may or may not have had to alter the costume multiple times due to Astrid's, well, weight gain. Don't tell her I told you that. Please.


Oh, and the costume has a head piece that goes with it, complete with teeth and all, but Astrid says she is most definitely not wearing that. Ever.


We hope you're all having a wonderful Wednesday!



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Flashback Doodle of the Day

This flashback is all the way from 2018. It was one of the very first times I ever drew a cat-o'-lantern. This was also actually an illustration for a poem I scribbled up called "Sleepy Howl".




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Halloween Tip of the Day

Just yesterday, we gave the tip to avoid walking your pup or kitty on Halloween during trick-or-treat hours, in order to avoid the increased foot and road traffic that could lead to dangerous situations. On the other hand, today's tip involves some ideas for staying safe should you and your furbaby find yourselves out and about on Halloween night. If you're out on a walk on Halloween night, or any night for that matter, be sure to take a flashlight, as well your cell phone in case of emergency. At the same time, though, don't be distracted by using your phone instead of observing your surroundings. What's more, ensure that your furbaby's leash and collar include reflectors, and that you yourself are wearing reflectors in some way, so that both of you can remain seen and safe.

Another important factor if walking with your furbaby on Halloween night is to know where it might be safest to walk. Obviously, dark alleys are not the way to go, but you also want to ensure that you don't end up with a scared furbaby on the busiest trick-or-treating street. So, if you must head out for a stroll with your furbaby during trick-or-treat hours, think ahead about what route you should take. As we previously hinted, it should be a safe, well-lit area, but also one that won't be hustling and bustling with trick-or-treaters. This is especially important if the pup or kitty being walked is skittish or aggressive in any way. All in all, think ahead and make plans for where you can most safely take a walk with your furbaby should you need to go out on Halloween night.

Also, one last note we want to make is to watch your furbaby closely when walking them on Halloween, as well as on the following days. Trick-or-treaters might leave behind candy, candy wrappers, parts of costumes, or other unsafe goods. So, do keep an eye on that furbaby and make sure nothing unsafe makes it to their mouth when walking during the Halloween season, and year round.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Thoughts from Tonks

Does anyone remember when Tonks read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with me last year?


And do you remember the review she gave of it?





I guess that got her point across. This here human has to disagree, though, because I quite enjoy this book. Has anyone else read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Do you agree with Tonks's review of it?

Happy Tuesday, friends!



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Flashback Doodle of the Day



***

Tip of the Day

We're 19 days in, and our Halloween tips are still going. After all, we have 31 of them to get through! And, indeed, we have another Halloween-inspired tip for you today.

Yesterday, we mentioned the importance of keeping black cats, and of course all furbabies, indoors on Halloween to prevent them from becoming victims of tricks and pranks. Today's tip is similar, and it is to avoid going on a walk with your dog, or even your kitty, during trick-or-treat hours. This is for a number of reasons, including the obvious one that foot traffic, and even potentially car traffic, will be increased during trick-or-treat hours. This is something that could pose a risk especially for skittish dogs or cats, as they might become frightened of the Halloween hustle and bustle. What's more, not only will more people be out and about on Halloween night, making extra traffic and noise, but many of them will be dressed in strange and potentially frightening costumes. These factors could lead a nervous dog or cat to panic, and to potentially get loose and lost. Of course, increased traffic could also lead to accidents and injuries, such as if a nervous or excited dog or cat gets loose and makes their way into the street. All in all, it is important to always take into consideration your furbaby's safety, which might very well mean house arrest during those trick-or-treat hours on Halloween night.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Mischief on Mancat Monday

Evan had another altercation with our pesky visitor.


Apparently Evan really is just fed up with being haunted by this fellow. Can you really blame him?


Evan hopes your Monday is off to a less haunted start than his!



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Flashback doodle of the Day


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Tip of the Day

We know we don't have to tell you wonderful folk that all of those superstitions about unlucky black cats simply aren't true. That being said, there are unfortunately those out there who do believe such things. There are also, sadly, people out there who might even think to play unjust tricks on black cats on or around Halloween. This is why today we are here to remind you to ensure that your sweet and innocent black cats, and all of your furbabies, are safe inside on and around Halloween. Even if you live in what is believed to be a safe neighborhood, please do keep your black cats, and all of your furbabies, inside and under close observation during the Halloween season. This will help ensure that they don't fall victim to the tricks and pranks of any callous or superstitious people out there. As always, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Spooky Guest Sunday Selfie

We've already shown off a skeleton that hangs out in our little library here at our house. Did you know, though, that two skeletons have taken up residence at our house? And one of them even snapped a selfie.


Mr. Skeleton, whose name is actually Jack, is taking part in our Halloween book club, which you might notice in that there photo. Should he read The Legend of Sleep Hollow first, or The Halloween Tree? He's still weighing those options.


Even if they're a bit distracted, the kitties do indeed keep a close eye on this gruesome guest. In case you're curious, seemingly headless Thimble is eating in that there photo, and Winky has stolen and is snoozing on pup Astrid's leash.

Happy Sunday, friends!




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Flashback Doodle of the Day



***

Tip of the Day

Today's Halloween tip is about bats. Bats may be a staple in Halloween lore and decor, but the reality is that they are one of the primary carriers of rabies. What's more, bats leave very small bites that might go unnoticed, especially on kitties or pups with fur that can hide such minuscule bite marks. For such reasons, do be aware and cautious of the presence of bats, such as if you and your furbaby are walking through a park with trees near nightfall.

Bats are not always found outside, though. Bats can sometimes find their way into buildings, including attics or other areas of homes. If you live in a house or apartment where bats are discovered, keep your furbaby away (and also, of course, try to keep yourself safe), and certainly do not allow your furbaby to chase or play with any bats. A bat can bite quickly and without notice, and rabies could potentially be transferred that quickly if the bat at hand is infected with it. If a bat is unable to be safely escorted out through a window, or in another safe means that does not require direct handling, then contact animal control or another relevant organization for the safe removal of bats.