Thursday, February 25, 2021

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Hello and happy Thursday! If you're like us, you look forward to Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge each week.


Our poetic host always helps us out with a photo prompt. This week's prompt is this bright and busy one here:


In all honestly, I really wanted my poem and illustration to coincide with the winter series of doodles I've been working on. This prompt has absolutely nothing to do with winter, but that's okay. I simply tried my hand at a poem that somehow alluded to this photo but that was also wintry. I also of course threw some kitties in there, because that's a requirement. The result was this silly poem here:


Snow

Everyone wanted to go to the beach.
Well, everyone except for Christine.
The beach simply wasn't her scene.
In truth, Christine found all that sand quite obscene.

Christine had her own plans,
Plans that involved not a single grain of sand.
Her friends pleaded for her to go to the beach with them,
But she politely declined with a shake of her head.

One friend asked, "Where will you go if not to the beach, Christine?"
Another said, "Staying here during the approaching blizzard is just obscene."
At the mention of the snow, a smile spread across Christine's face.
Then she said, "I'll be more than fine, that's a promise I can make."

Though it took some time, Christine's friends finally went on their way.
They left to go enjoy a week of warm and sunny beach days.
It was something else that brought Christine joy, though.
For her, joy did not come from a beach's sand, but instead from snow.

Before long, the predicted snow blew in.
It indeed looked like a blizzard, and Christine loved it.
She first enjoyed watching the snow fly outside the window.
Once a blanket of white covered the ground, she went out to the enjoy that snow.

As Christine bundled up in her boots and coat,
It felt like something at her feet did move and float.
She looked down and could not help but smile.
Prancing around her feet were her cats, Munro and Miles.

"Let me guess," Christine said.
"You two want to play in snow with me, yes?"
The cats answered by meowing and pawing at the door.
They could not contain their excitement as they paced the floor.

Christine opened the door and snow swirled inside,
Which made the cats jump with excitement and Christine smile.
Seeing the moon and stars suspended over the snow in the sky,
Christine thought of something that reminded her of that very night.

Searching through the closet nearby,
What she was looking for finally caught her eye.
It was an umbrella Christine had bought during a sale she could not miss,
And it was an umbrella that depicted her love of snow and nights like this.

Sure, an umbrella might be more fitting for a beach beneath the sun.
In truth, though, Christine found using this umbrella in the snow more fun.
This particular umbrella even matched the snowy scene outside,
And Christine could not wait to give it a try.

And so, ready and rearing to go,
Christine and her cats Munro and Miles ran out into the snow.
They jumped, played, and frolicked to and fro,
They did this for one, two, three hours or so.

Christine could not imagine having this much fun at the beach.
She could not imagine trudging through sand rather than enjoying this snowy scene.
In truth, Christine did not wish to build castles of sand.
She simply wanted a quiet place to build a snowcat and snowman.




***

Now we're ready to participate in Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.


Thimble never fails to have something for which to be thankful. Today, Thimble is grateful that she has adorable toesies.


We're also thankful for this wonderful community, and for friends like all of you.



***

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


1. You don't have to convince me to _________.

2. _________ is causing me stress.

3. Speaking from experience, _________.

4. Over time, my opinion of _________ has changed.




We'll see you tomorrow, friends!



***
Tip of the Day

Can you believe that we're still on the topic of food? As we start to close out our National Cat Health Care Month tips, we're here today to offer a bit of a (lengthy) discussion on food intolerances versus food allergies. There is indeed a difference between the two, and both can affect your kitty and his or her health.

A food intolerance occurs when something found in a food cannot be properly digested in the body. For example, lactose intolerance occurs when a cat is deficient in lactase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down lactose, a milk sugar. Such an intolerance can result in diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues, if the problem food is ingested. Just as with humans, it is indeed possible for cats to be intolerant to foods such as dairy, gluten, soy, corn, and any other number of food ingredients. If your kitty is suffering from diarrhea, vomiting, or other gastrointestinal distress after eating their food, then discontinue the food and discuss the issue with your veterinarian as needed.

Now, as for a food allergy, this is indeed different than an intolerance. A food allergy occurs when antibodies mount a response to a component in the food the cat is eating. In other words, the cat's immune system determines something in the food to be a harmful allergen, and so initiates an allergic reaction. This typically results in dermatological effects, such as itchy skin, scratching, redness, hair loss, and lesions. It is possible for a cat to have an allergy to any number of proteins that he or she has been exposed to in food. The types of food culprits can include beef, lamb, chicken, and turkey, just to name a couple.

That all being said, it can take time to develop an allergic response, as antibodies seen in allergic reactions only form after exposure to the food allergen at hand.. So, if you start your kitty on a new food, it may be a month or more later when they start developing signs such as itchy skin. For this reason, try to keep track of when you start your kitty on new foods, and also what types of food you have fed them. If a food allergy is expected, a veterinarian will often recommend the cat go on a novel diet, typically a diet containing a protein source to which the kitty has never before been exposed and therefore to which the kitty won't mount an allergic response. This is why it is important to keep track of the foods your kitty eats.

The same is important with regard to food intolerances. Food intolerances are more fast-acting than allergic responses, and symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting are more immediate. In this case also, though, it is still important to keep track of when you start your kitty on new food, or even when you open a new bag of food. Sometimes companies will make even slight changes in a food you've been buying for years, and sometimes those changes mean the introduction of components to which your kitty might be intolerant. So, keep tabs on any and all food going into your cat's body. This way, if need be, you and your veterinarian can determine what might be causing your cat distress, and can find the best options for keeping him or her healthy and happy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Woof Woof Wednesday

Astrid's birthday was on Saturday, and she already showed off the delicious puppy cookies she enjoyed. Now, today, she wanted to show you one more thing she got for her birthday.


No, that's not a real donut, unfortunately. That's actually a squeaky toy, and Astrid loves making that squeaker go.





Fun fact? When Astrid is hungry or needs to use the restroom, instead of going to her bowl or going to the door to let us know what she needs, she instead throws toys at us humans. This donut is now the toy she brings to us and pummels us with when she either wants food or a bathroom break. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Happy Wednesday!



***
Flashback Doodle of the Day

Before February ends, we still have three doodles we want to re-share from last year's dark and somewhat whimsical winter series. We also have two new drawings to still share from this year's series of dark and sort of spooky winter doodles, one which will go along with tomorrow's poem and the other which will be shared for the Caturday Art Blog Hop. That means today will be a flashback doodle, and it's a weird and wacky one.


I used to really dislike gnomes, but now I kind of love them. I think a gnome or two will show up in some of my springtime doodles.



***
Tip of the Day

Since we've been giving a variety of food tips, today we figured we'd give a quick reminder on how to transition your cat to a new food, if needed. If a kitty is transitioned to a new food too quickly, a variety of gastrointestinal issues could possibly result, vomiting and diarrhea included. For this reason, it's generally recommended that you transition from the old food to the new food over a span of seven days or so.

To transition your cat to a new food, you can start by adding a small amount of the new food to the old food on the first day. Then, of course, you add more and more of the new food each day. On the final day of the transition, your kitty's food bowl will contain only the new food. Of course, when changing foods, keep in mind your particular kitty's overall status. If your cat is a finicky eater, whether by nature or due to age or an ailment, you may have to do a slower transition over a longer period of time, in order for them to accept the new food. In other cases, such as if your kitty is having adverse reactions to their current food, a more rapid or immediate transition might be necessary. This is of course something to discuss with your veterinarian. During any transition, of course keep an eye out for any adverse reactions. Alert your veterinarian of any concerns you have, and stop or slow the food transition as needed or as instructed if issues arise.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Tonks Tuesday

Tonks loves sitting on my lap while I watch TV, even if she doesn't understand or agree with what I watch.


During this particular cuddle session, I was watching the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It's a movie in the Harry Potter franchise, starring a vast array of magical creatures. As a fan of fantasy, I quite enjoy the movie and have watched it multiple times, though Tonks firmly believes that the only creatures I need in my life are cats.

Happy Tuesday, friends!


***
Doodle of the Day

We have a couple more doodles to share from this year's sort of dark, sort of spooky winter series, and this is one of them.


If I'm being honest, I plan on doing a similar series of doodles come March, but with a springtime twist. It'll probably be a weird, wacky, and perhaps even a bit of a witchy series of springtime doodles. I hope you all don't mind seeing that sort of thing, but those simply are the type of doodles I'm really enjoying scribbling up for the time being.



***
Tip of the Day

We're making these National Cat Health Care Month tips stretch until the end of February. So, today's (incredibly long) tip is another one related to feeding those kitties of yours. In some cases, you might have multiple cats with differing dietary needs. For example, you may have one cat who needs a low-protein kidney diet in a household that also contains other cats in need of higher levels of protein. Or, you might have one cat on a diet for weight loss in a household also with other cats who should not be on a restrictive diet. Or, perhaps you simply have one kitty who steals the other kitty's food. If any of these are the case in your house, there are some possible ways to succeed in feeding your kitties their separate diets.

First, if your cats are of different sizes or have different physical abilities, there is a chance you can take advantage of these traits to separate their feeding stations. For example, if you have a large cat and a kitten needing separate foods, you could cut a hole in an upside box in which the kitten can fit, but not the larger cat. This way, the kitten could be fed its kitten food in the box without the larger cat feasting on the food. You can also try feeding one cat its food on various elevated surfaces, if its housemate cat on a different diet is unable to reach those elevated feeding spots.

Of course, there are many cases in which the above options simply will not work. If this is the case, one primary option is to stick to scheduled feedings of some sort, and to physically separate the cats during these feeding times. First, determine times of the day when you are home and can oversee feeding time, such as morning, lunch, and evening. Then, at feeding time, each cat can be given their specific diet separately under your observation. This can be done in a number of ways. You can simply separate the cats in the same room, if you are able to closely observe them so that no kitty's food is stolen by another. You can also separate the kitty's in the same room while using something such as baby gates to ensure they remain separated while they eat. Another option is, of course, shutting cats in different rooms to each eat their meal on their own. There is also a bowl on the market that can be linked to a certain microchip, and the bowl will only open and allow access to food for a furbaby with that particular microchip.

That all being said, if your cats are used to being free-fed all day and you find yourself needing to transition to scheduled feedings due to differing dietary needs, then do be patient and give this transition some time. A cat will have to get used to going from having access to food 24/7, to eating on a schedule. If need be, such as if your cats are not yet used to eating their meals at a scheduled time, then start this transition by feeding your cats more often, so that they will have more chances to eat their food throughout the day. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns with regard to feeding your kitties, do speak to your veterinarian!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Handsome Mancat Monday

To help you get through this Monday, mancat Evan thought he'd share a shot of his handsome self.

Do you like Evan's smoldering glare? He's been practicing it.

Happy Monday, friends!


***

Flashback Doodle of the Day

We only have a couple more of the doodles to share from last year's dark, spooky winter series. We also only have a couple more to share from the new but similar series I scribbled up this year. For today, here's one of the last doodles from last year's series, and it's yet another witchy one.




***
Tip of the Day

After our tips on offering your kitty fresh water and food, we're now here today to remind you to keep those water and food bowls nice and clean. When it comes to keeping bowls clean, do your best to steer clear of using plastic bowls, as these can most easily harbor bacteria and other microbes, especially in scratches that might be the result of claws or other use and abuse. Rather than plastic, go for bowls that are stainless steel, or even ceramic or glass. Even so, though, it is still important to clean any and all bowls often. Saliva, oils or grease, and other debris from food or the environment can lead to a dirty bowl, so even if you have stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowls, do clean them often. Unclean bowls can lead to issues such as feline acne, or, in worst case scenarios, gastrointestinal or other serious conditions caused by dirty, spoiled remnants in a food or water bowl. So, though we're certain you all already know this, do be sure to keep those food and water bowls spick and span!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Selfies From a Birthday Girl

First, pup Astrid wanted to thank everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday! Second, she wanted to share some photos from her birthday. One of Astrid's favorite parts of her birthday was chowing down on her birthday cookies.


The poor birthday girl was asked to pose with the cookies first. She was patient, mostly.



And then the birthday girl go to scarf those cookies down.



Yum!

Astrid, all the kitties, and this here human wish you a super Sunday!


***
Flashback Doodle of the Day

Today's flashback doodle is another weird one from our sort of spooky, dark, and apparently witchy wintry series from last year. 




***
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!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Happy Birthday, Astrid!

I got so distracted with the preparations for Astrid's birthday that I forgot to schedule her birthday post. Shame on me!

So, today, resident pup Astrid turns 8. She is a senior dog, her muzzle is growing whiter every day, and she still acts like a puppy. Will this girl ever act her age? Honestly, though, I'm fine that Astrid doesn't act her age, because seeing her jumping and running around makes me happy. I hope she never loses her intense zest for life.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ASTRID!

Today, Astrid will be indulging in puppy-safe cookies, cake, and ice cream. There's more than enough to go around, so feel free to party with us and to eat up!

Astrid, I hope you have the happiest birthday ever! All of your humans and kitties love you, pup!


***
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.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Friendly Fill-Ins

Welcome to this day called Friday, friends! Today we have the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. Want to join in on the fun? If so, we'll share the fill-in statements again below. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two, and I came up with the second two.


1. I keep hoping _________.

2. Last year at this time, I was _________.

3. _________ is my favorite kind of weather.

4. One random fact I happen to know is _________.


My answers are below in bold.

1. I keep hoping I will manage to fit more than 24 hours into a day.
(I could really use a couple or a few more hours per day. I have this problem where I have a great many things I want to accomplish in life, but then I also have this thing called a full-time job that takes most of the waking hours of my day. Don't get me wrong, because I am very grateful to have a steady job and income. Some days it's just a tad bit overwhelming trying to accomplish my personal goals while also juggling my job. That's why I will continue to hunt for extra hours in the day. If I find a few hours to add to the day, I'll let you all know how and where to get them.)

2. Last year at this time, I was doing the same ol' same ol'.
(I'm a creature of habit, and I'm also an asocial homebody, and so most of my days, weeks, months, and years look very similar. That's how much of a stick-in-the-mud I am, and I'm okay with that.)

3. Autumn is my favorite kind of weather.
(We have something like a foot of snow on the ground right now, and the temperatures have been subzero for many days over the past couple of weeks. Believe it or not, I don't hate winter. But, after shoveling snow and then driving and walking through it, as well as feeling frigid even while wearing countless layers of clothing, I'm really just eager for my favorite autumnal weather. I love the crisp yet cozy weather of autumn, when you're neither too hot nor too cold. I'll accept spring, too, but the extreme heat of the upcoming summer isn't my kind of thing, so I would be glad to pass on that.)

4. One random fact I happen to know is that the constellation Orion includes a red star called Betelgeuse.
(Does that star's name not remind anyone else of the movie Beetlejuice? Anyway, I love astronomy. I enjoy it enough that I took a couple of astronomy courses in college, even though astronomy had absolutely nothing to do with my major. What's more, my favorite constellation in the night sky is Orion. When you're looking at the sky, the star that is Orion's left shoulder looks sort of red, and that's the star Betelgeuse. It's red in tone because it's the type of star that's called a red giant, but I won't get into the details of what that means. In addition to Betelgeuse, Orion also includes the star Rigel, which is actually the brightest star in the Orion constellation. Sadly, we're reaching the end of being able to see Orion in the Northern Hemisphere, at least until November. It's visible in the sky from roughly November to February, and I always feel sad to see it go this time of year. If you're not into astronomy, you are probably bored to death right now. My apologies.)


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.



***

Now, are you ready for your Eddy fix? Believe it or not, Eddy still has a photo or two to share from her relatively recent open window photo shoot. Remember the photo shoot we told you occurred with an open window on a cold winter day, because that's what it takes to distract Eddy for photos? Anyway, in today's photo, Eddy wants you all to see how she loves watching the birds in the trees and sky.


Sometimes, Eddy talks to birds in that adorable chirping-cackling way cats do. I just love when kitties do that.

Happy Friday, friends!



***
Flashback Doodle of the Day

Today we have for you another flashback doodle from last year's dark winter series we shared. We've also been sharing a new series inspired by this one. Tomorrow's doodle will be in honor of pup Astrid's birthday, but after that we'll be back to the spooky winter doodles. Anyway, here's one for today, and apparently it's one I got a bit witchy with.




***
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.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

It's Thursday and we're here to rhyme, which is easy to do thanks to Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge.

As always, our host shared a photo prompt to guide our poetic endeavors. And this week's prompt is this mesmerizing image here:


I love this type of imagery. It's not only a forest, which I already adore, but it's also dark, spooky, a bit macabre, and I love it. That being said, I wanted to try to make my poem and its illustration fit into the dark and sort of spooky winter series of doodles I've been working on. So, I used this dark forest imagery, turned it wintry, and ended up with this:


The Figure in the Forest

Kitty and Cat wished to go on a hike on one moonlit night.
The ground was covered in snow, which they actually did like.
They also quite liked taking a journey through the forest.
Most called the forest spooky, but for Kitty and Cat that made it far from boring.

Ready for their adventure,
Into the snowy forest Kitty and Cat did venture.
Unlike their neighbors far and near,
Kitty and Cat quite enjoyed the forest's spooky atmosphere.

The two walked and walked and talked and talked.
At the dark sky and full moon they did not balk.
There was a rustling of wind and a hooting of owls,
But Kitty and Cat's mood was far from foul.

The trees all around cast tall shadows in the snow,
Which swayed and danced as the wind swept them to and fro.
None of the shadows alarmed Kitty and Cat.
That is, until they caught sight of something that did not match.

There was suddenly a long shadow that belonged to no tree.
There was something strange that Kitty and Cat then did see.
Up ahead, there was a figure in the forest,
And the two hoped it was not a thing of horror.

Kitty and Cat ducked behind some trees,
Cautiously peering out to see what they could see.
The strange figure in the forest did not move.
It just stood there, standing in the snow like a statue.

Finally, Kitty and Cat realized they could not hide forever,
And so out from behind their trees they did endeavor.
Tiptoeing closer to the figure,
The two could not help but shiver.

As they approached, the figure in the forest remained still.
Moving toward it took all of Kitty and Cat's courage and will.
When they were within a couple yards of the figure,
The two suddenly felt like they were looking in a mirror.

Laughing, Kitty said,
"Why on earth were we filled with such dread?"
Cat at first could only chuckle and smile,
Then she replied, "This is not a thing of evil, not even a statue.
It's just a figure built out of a snow, and it even looks like me and you!"




***

Next up, we're happily participating in Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.


As always, Thimble is here to give some thanks. And today, Thimble is grateful for sunshine, whenever we manage to get it these days.


Are you friends of ours getting sunshine? Even a little bit of it? We hope you are, and we're sending you warm wishes!


***

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


1. I keep hoping _________.

2. Last year at this time, I was _________.

3. _________ is my favorite kind of weather.

4. One random fact I happen to know is _________.




We'll see you tomorrow, friends!



***
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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Woof Woof Wednesday

A certain pup around here has a birthday this weekend. Despite what her seemingly bored or pouty expression might convey here, she's actually quite excited.

Doesn't Astrid look excited? No? Well, pretend she does. It's hard to look excited when you're pouting in the window. Don't worry, though, because Astrid didn't have to pout for long. She got to go on her walk after this shot was snapped. Let's just say this pup was far more excited to walk through nearly a foot of snow than this here human was.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


***

Flashback Doodle of the Day

Since this is Astrid's day of the week to post, and since her birthday is on Saturday, today we've decided to share her birthday card from last year as a flashback doodle.


This Saturday, on Astrid's birthday, we'll share her birthday card for this year. That will also be the day of the Caturday Art Blog Hop, so you better believe pup Astrid's kitty siblings will be co-starring in her birthday doodle.


***
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. This time of year, especially in extremely cold temperatures, kitties who live or go outdoors could even potentially suffer from frostbite on their ears. This is just one more example of an ailment that can afflict those feline ears. All in all, keep an eye on those ears!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Tonks Tuesday

Not too long ago I shared how Tonks essentially stole from me a blanket I had just taken out of the dryer. Guess what? I never got the blanket back.


That blanket still sits in the same spot where Tonks stole it from me. I do fluff it for her pretty much every day, but I don't get to use it. Perhaps Tonks thinks it's hers because it sort of matches her? Either way, the blanket is no longer mine and I've accepted that.

Happy Tuesday!



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Flashback Doodle of the Day

Yesterday we shared the first doodle in our newest series. It's a winter series with doodles that are dark, gothic, spooky, and other such synonyms. This new series is based on an old series from last year, and we're still working on sharing all of those old doodles as flashbacks. So, today, we have yet another one of those flashback doodles from last year to share.




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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.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Thoughts on Monday

Want to know mancat Evan's thoughts on Monday?

That's Evan thought on this thing called Monday. How about you?

Though it may be Monday, we hope you all have a magnificent day!


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Doodle of the Day

We're finally sharing the first doodle in our newest series. It's sort of a gothic or spooky winter series, which I've really been enjoying scribbling up. This new series was pretty heavily inspired by a similar series of doodles from last year, and we're still sharing flashbacks from that older series. They'll probably all look alike, but that's because it's a style I really enjoy, and so that's that. Anyway. Here's the first doodle in the newest series.


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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.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day!

Though this here human isn't a big fan of Valentine's Day, mancat Evan wanted to share some handsome shots of himself today. In honor of this day of love, Evan chose a couple of his favorite, most irresistible shots and poses to share with you all.


Just look at Evan glowing! How about another pose?


Isn't he so handsome?


Oh. Yikes. That one's a bit more intense, perhaps even a tad bit scary. Regardless, isn't Evan so manly? Isn't he such a hunk? This here human thinks so. And no, I'm not biased.


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!



Those are flashback Valentine doodles from 2019 and 2020, respectively. Like the furry pals in the doodles, we hope you all have good friends and tasty food to make your day extra special!


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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.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

A Cute Couple's Caturday Art

I decided to change our plans a bit and share a spiffed up flashback doodle for this week's Caturday Art. I was going to share the first doodle in our new winter series today, but then I decided I'd go ahead and share a Valentine's Day doodle from last year for this Caturday before Valentine's Day. I didn't scribble up any new Valentine doodles this year. Like I mentioned yesterday, Valentine's Day really just isn't my favorite holiday. Also, I was too excited to work on our newest series of winter doodles to stop and scribble up any Valentine doodles. So, anyway, today and tomorrow we'll share flashback Valentine's Day doodles from last year in order to be a tad bit festive.

Now, let's start with the plain and simple doodle we shared last Valentine's Day, which was this one here:

Why was this the doodle we scribbled up for Valentine's Day last year? Because at our house, mancat Toby has always had a huge crush on pup Astrid. Whether Astrid wants it or not, Toby showers her with all sorts of love. He rubs on her, he licks her, and if she tries to get away, he chases her and then loves on her some more. That's why we're sharing this flashback doodle of the cute couple in honor of Valentine's Day tomorrow. What's more, we found some fun effects to apply to it for today's pre-Valentine's Day Caturday Art Blog Hop. So, let's share those other versions of this doodle now.

We'll start with some simple filters I found to apply to the Valentine's Day doodle. I don't do much digital art, so I went a bit wild experimenting, but at the same time the alterations are certainly nothing fancy whatsoever.




After playing around with filters, I thought I might try to find some Valentine frames to use on the doodle. Again, they're nothing even remotely fancy, but I had fun playing around with them.



Next up, we found some animated effects to apply to this Valentine. Want to see them?

How about this flashy one?

And how about another flashy one?


Was that a wild array of Valentine shenanigans or what? I'm not sure how I feel about those animated versions of the doodle, as they're a tad bit dizzying. Believe it or not, I tried a few other animated effects that were even more dizzying than these. Since it hurt for me to look at those, though, I didn't think it right to make you look at them. Anyway. I hope you enjoyed the flashback Valentine doodle in some way, shape, or form.

On Monday, we'll share the first doodle in our newest series. As I mentioned a couple times this past week, our newest series is going to include somewhat gothic winter doodles. These were inspired by a similar series of doodles I scribbled up last year, and which we've been sharing as flashback doodles. I've really been enjoying creating this newer version of them, as they're of a style I really enjoy drawing.

Anyway. Happy Caturday! And happy Valentine's Day weekend!


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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.