Sunday, February 28, 2021

Sunday Selfie

On Friday, Eddy shared some bloopers for the Pet Photo Fails Blog Hop. Those photos came from a recent session at Eddy's favorite window. What's more, believe it or not, that photo shoot resulted in some non-blooper shots. Can you believe that? Resident blooper queen Eddy can actually snap non-bloopers. To prove her success, today Eddy is sharing one of those non-bloopers.

Eddy hopes you all enjoyed seeing her adorable face!

Happy Sunday!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

It's the last day of February, so we're sharing just one final winter doodle. It's a flashback doodle, and it's the one that we also shared on the last day of February last year. That was of course February 29, but we don't have one of those this year, so February 28 will have to do.


Tip of the Day

Yesterday, we gave a lengthy tip on administering oral medications to your kitty. Today, we're here to give a lengthy tip on the ins and outs of transdermal medications. Transdermal medications are those applied to and absorbed through the skin. A number of medications can be given this way, such as methimazole (for the treatment of hyperthyroidism) and even famotidine (Pepcid), just to name a couple. If you will be administering transdermal medication for your kitty, of course read the directions as prescribed by your veterinarian, and discuss with your veterinarian any concerns that you have.

So, transdermal medication has to be applied to, obviously, the skin. It is best applied to skin that is clean, free from as much as hair as possible, and where your kitty cannot easily lick or reach. This makes the pinna (the flap of the ear) an ideal place for applying transdermal medication.

To actually apply the transdermal medication, ensure that you are wearing gloves. As its name suggests, this type of medication does indeed absorb through the skin, and that includes your own skin as well as that of your kitty. If your kitty is on transdermal thyroid medication, for example, using your bare hand to apply it could lead to unwanted effects on your own endocrine system. So, put on disposable gloves, which are sometimes even provided with the prescription.

Next, when you and your kitty are ready and your hand is gloved, place the medication on your gloved finger. Transdermal medication is typically provided in pre-filled syringes, from which you can eject intended dosages. Sometimes it is suggested that you squirt the medication onto your index finger, but, ultimately, place it on whichever digit works best for you and for effective administration. I, personally, find it easiest to use my thumb.

Now, when you have the medication on your gloved finger, apply it to the upper to middle part of the pinna of the ear and rub it in. Again, this medication is easily absorbed through the skin, and so excess being left behind is not ideal. So, rub it in as thoroughly as possible, which of course will also ensure that your kitty is receiving his or her full dosage.

Once you have rubbed the medication in, you can dispose of your glove. For optimum safety, you can clean it off first, such as with soap and water. Then, you can remove it using the aid of a paper towel. Then, the glove and paper towel can be disposed of, of course in a receptacle where it cannot be easily removed by any curious paws or hands. Also be sure that you put away the syringes of medication away somewhere.

All of that being said, of course try to make the medication administration process as comfortable as possible for both your kitty and yourself. You can try to do apply transdermal medications when your kitty is relaxed, as long as you are prepared and are able to safely do so without getting any of the medication on yourself or anywhere else besides your kitty's ear. You can also, of course, use treats as a reward. Just as with oral medication administration, you can use a partner-in-crime if needed, or a blanket or towel to help keep your kitty still and safe. Sometimes it takes trial and error to figure out what works best for you and your kitty, and there's nothing wrong with that!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Caturday Art

Today we're sharing the final drawing in our current sort of dark, sort of spooky winter series. This particular doodle, though, is perhaps a bit more silly. Pup Astrid asked me to throw a dog into this final one, so I indeed gave the doodle's kitties a canine friend, sort of.

I've already moved on to planning a spring series of doodles with this sort of spooky feel and atmosphere, because I just really enjoy this style. There are a lot of other springtime doodles I'm planning, though. Come March, no matter what Mother Nature tells me, it's going to be all spring and warm weather in my sketchbook.

Happy Caturday, friends!

Tip of the Day

We have three days left of National Cat Heath Month. For these last couple of days, we'll be discussing some methods for administering medication to that kitty of yours. We'll be starting today with oral medications. This is going to be a long one, so kudos to anyone who makes it to the end.

To begin, if your kitty is prescribed a medication in the form of a pill, tablet, or capsule, there are a number of methods for attempting administration. If possible, and if your kitty is open to the idea, you can use pill pockets or another form of treat in which to hide the medication, and then your kitty might simply eat it up that way. Sometimes pills, tablets, or capsules can also be hidden in a bowl of canned food. If it is small enough, the entire pill can be left intact and hidden whole in the food. Or, some pills can be crushed and then stirred in and masked by the moist food. That being said, some pills, tablets, and capsules are not as effective or sometimes not truly safe to crush and expose in this way, so always ask your veterinarian first regarding this method. 

If a kitty will not voluntarily ingest a pill in the above ways, though, then you may very well have to manually pill your cat. First and foremost, be gentle with this method, and make sure your kitty is as comfortable as possible, and of course not harmed. It's also important to ensure that you are not bitten. One of the best methods for pilling a cat involves placing your hand over the cat's head and more or less using their cheekbones as a handle. This way, you can gently tilt your kitty's head back, and they will often then open their mouth on their own. As long as you do it safely, you can also place the tip of a finger on the incisors (not the canines!) of the lower jaw in order to help open the mouth. When your kitty's mouth is open, you can carefully place the pill inside, trying to get it as far back on the tongue as is possible and safe. You can try doing this with the pill plain, or put it in a small treat to better mask it. When the pill is inside the mouth, close your kitty's mouth and gently hold it shut. Sometimes, if needed, blowing on their nose or gently rubbing their throat will prompt them to swallow the pill.

There are also pilling devices on the market. I personally do not prefer to use these, but for kitties who need it, you can try this method. When using a pilling device, you can use the same methods as indicated above for opening your kitty's mouth, and then use the device to place the pill as far back on the tongue as possible.

For kitties who simply do not tolerate being pilled, there is also the chance that the pill can be suspended in a liquid form. Do discuss this with your veterinarian, though, as this method is not effective with all medications. If the medication at hand is able to be given in liquid form, though, sometimes you can do this yourself, simply by crushing the pill and dissolving it in water or a safe broth or gravy. Other times, pharmacies can prepare a liquid solution for you. For tips on the administration of liquid medications, see below.

Next up, we have liquid oral medications. With these, you use the appropriate syringe or dropper to pull up the prescribed dosage. If your kitty does not sense it and refuse to eat it, you can sometimes mix liquid medication in moist food. If your kitty will not eat food laced with medication, though, then squirting it directly into their mouth is your likeliest option. It is typically recommended that liquid medications be injected into the pocket of space that is between the cheek and the teeth. As needed, you can use the methods indicated above for opening your kitty's mouth for easier administration of the liquid medication. However, do not tilt your kitty's head back when administering liquid medications, as aspiration is possible.

What's more, keep in mind that larger quantities of liquid medications, such as over 0.5 or 1.0 mL of medication, may need to be injected into the mouth in multiple rounds. This is because squirting larger quantities of liquid into your kitty's mouth could be dangerous, such as by potentially leading to aspiration. So, depending on the dosage prescribed, it might be safest to squirt in half or so of the liquid, allowing your kitty to swallow that, and then squirting the rest into the mouth.

Other tips include using having a partner-in-crime to help you administer your kitty's medication. One person can hold the kitty, for example, while the other gives the medication. Whether you are by yourself or have help, you can also use the help of a towel or blanket. You can wrap the kitty in this, to keep them and their legs still during the process.

If you have trouble giving your kitty oral medications, even when using methods such as those discussed above, of course discuss this with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian might be able to suggest other options for medication administration. We will be discussing transdermal medications and subcutaneous injections over the next two days, so if either of those are a solution your veterinarian proposes, we'll be sharing tips on those as well.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Friendly Fill-Ins and Photo Fails

Happy Friday! We're going to get right into the Friendly Fill-Ins Challenge. If you'd like to join us, please do! Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two fill-in statements, 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.

My answers are below in bold, and they're accompanied by my obnoxiously long and rambling explanations. Feel free to skip the boring parts.

1. You don't have to convince me to take a nap.
(I used to never be a napping kind of person. Now I am, though, apparently. Sometimes I even take unintentional naps. I guess adulthood does that to a person. Oh, and the kitties apparently love when I nap, because I usually wake up covered in cats.)

2. Work is causing me stress.
(Is this not the case for everyone, though? Just like anyone with a job, I feel stressed sometimes. I was going to put something else as my answer, but if I'm being honest, work is my biggest stressor in life right now. Because of the nature of what we do, my workplace has gotten even busier than usual during the pandemic. And now we're also entering our typical busy season, so that's happening. I am certainly grateful to have a job and steady income, but this aspect of adulthood is certainly not always the most fun. Luckily, my workplace is not the most strict. Because of that, I've been able to start setting some boundaries with my work. For the past year or so, it had become habit for me to work decently later than our technical closing time most evenings, but now I'm no longer doing that, which has reduced my work-related stress.)

3. Speaking from experience, don't forget to put the lid back on the tub of cat treats.
(The other day, I came home from work only to realize that I had clearly, albeit accidentally, left the lid off of the cat treats after doling treats out that morning. When I got home, the treat tub was on the floor, on its side, and it was empty. The tub had been roughly half full that morning. The kitties could not have reached the treats on the shelf, but unfortunately the giant dog in the house could. My best guess is that pup Astrid removed the open treat bin from its shelf, and I don't doubt that Evan probably helped her eat them thereafter. That must have been a hefty snack, and quite a sight.)

4. Over time, my opinion of social media has changed.
(Social media sites really started gaining traction when I was in high school or thereabouts, and back then it seemed like an intriguing and promising idea. I still think social media does have some beneficial uses, but over the years I also have more solidly come to the opinion that it can be very toxic. This of course depends on the situation and the individuals involved, but I have seen some stories and instances of social media doing major harm. I'm also of the belief that social media simply allows for petty, superficial, and sometimes just ludicrous interactions to occur. This of course is not always the case, and it's also just my opinion. But, I've honestly become quite annoyed with how social media is used these days and so there are now only a couple forms of it that I willingly use.)

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.


And now it's time for the Pet Photo Fails! Blog Hop, hosted by Mudpie and Melissa of Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries, & Meows!

Not surprisingly, our resident blooper queen Eddy has plenty of outtakes to share. For today, we chose a couple of the bloopers from a recent photo shoot, which yet again took place at Eddy's favorite window. Enjoy!

I love when Eddy shows off her adorable little snaggletooth! Sure, that snaggletooth may look blurry and of low quality in these bloopers, but I still love it.

Happy Friday, friends!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

February is nearing its end, and for us that means our winter doodles are nearing their end. Tomorrow we'll share our last new doodle in this year's dark and spooky winter series. For today, though, it's another weird little doodle we shared around this time last year. On Wednesday we shared a flashback doodle that included a gnome in a typical sort of sense, but today's flashback involves a gnome of a different sort.

Tip of the Day

Yesterday, as part of National Cat Health Month, our tip involved food allergies. Keep in mind, though, that cats can of course be allergic to any number of things, not just food. Symptoms such as itchy skin, hair loss, rashes, and so forth can also result from seasonal and airborne allergies, allergies to fleas, and any number of other allergens. A cat can even be allergic to fragrances and other components in items such as cat litter or laundry detergent.

That all being said, if your kitty has dermatological or even respiratory signs of allergies, try to pinpoint when it started, and discuss this with your veterinarian as needed. Keep track of if your cat displays symptoms year-round, or if the symptoms are new. Does your cat have scabs or bites on their skin? Is he or she on monthly preventatives for fleas? Did you start using a new kind of cat litter? What about a new kind of laundry detergent with which you've cleaned blankets and bedding? Think back to even weeks or months ago, as allergies can take time to manifest. If the onset of symptoms can be tracked down to exposure to a new litter or other removable or remediable environmental factor, then it might be an easy fix. If your kitty is diagnosed as having seasonal or airborne allergies, though, then you can discuss with your veterinarian what might be done to help your kitty stay as itch-free and comfortable as possible.

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:


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.


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.


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!

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.

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.