Saturday, July 31, 2021

Those Were the Days

Hello, friends! I'm popping in to tell you that our Caturday Art Blog Hop contribution and other regular programming will resume tomorrow. Our internet provider is having some sort of malfunction, and everyone in our neighborhood who uses them has been out of internet since yesterday. I can't upload any new drawings or photos, at least not with my lacking technological skill set, and so I'm over here creating this late and lacking post with the data on my phone, which I'm admittedly terrible at using for this sort of thing. Anyway. Let's see if I can't access my blog archives here to at least share a flashback doodle while I wait for our internet provider to fix an issue that they claimed would be fixed hours ago. 

Here we go. How about a flashback to an era before technology could really be a bother.

Those were the days. I didn't exist in those days, but still, weren't those the days?

See you tomorrow, friends!

Friday, July 30, 2021

Friendly Fill-Ins and Photo Fails

Hello and happy Friday, friends! We're ready for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. If you'd like to play along, please do! My co-host Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two fill-in statements, and I came up with the second two.

1. Only someone with a _________ would understand _________.

2. I just started _________.

3. I find it hard to believe that _________.

4. I should probably _________.

My answers are below in bold.

1. Only someone with a cat or dog would understand unconditional love.
(Really, any companion animal can and will show a person what true unconditional love is. Our furry friends don't care who you are, what you look like, what you do for a living, or anything like that. Unconditional love at its finest.) 

2. I just started reading a new book series that I'm thoroughly enjoying.
(It's a fantasy series, because my bookworm of a dad read me fantasy books when I was a child and I never looked back. Actually, this series was recommended to me by none other than my dad. It's called The Uncanny Kingdom series, and it has witches and warlocks and ghosts and all that fantastical jazz. If that's not your sort of thing, definitely steer clear. As for me, though, I'm excited to have a new, long series to read and enjoy.)

3. I find it hard to believe that there are people who don't like animals.
(How is that even possible? I very rarely get along with such people.)

4. I should probably schedule Tonks and Thimble's annual exams very soon.
(Both of these girls aren't due until later in August, but our vet clinic is starting to really schedule out. The vets, vet techs, and all the staff there are great. That means they're getting increasingly popular, which in turn means you have to schedule pretty far ahead sometimes. I don't mind that, but I really should call them in the next couple of days to make sure Tonks and Thimble are seen in August.)

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 none other than Melissa and Mudpie of Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries, & Meows.

As always, our resident blooper queen Eddy is all ready for this event. Today, you get to see a completely uncooperative Eddy, a cat tree that has seen far better days, and a dirty window. Enjoy!

Happy Friday, friends!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

We're sharing one more weird and wacky 2019 doodle that was sort of inspired by the Harry Potter series. So, here's a flying car and its feline passengers.

Tip of the Day

Today's tip in our litter box series is to, if or as needed, go for a DIY litter box. This could simply entail picking out a plastic storage container to use, rather than getting a typical plastic litter box. This method might save you money, as some litter boxes cost a decent amount, and some storage containers are inexpensive. You would especially save money if you already have a safe, sturdy, clean storage container not in use, which could therefore be converted into a litter box. Going for a makeshift litter box is might be a good option if your cat, or even the layout of your home, requires a size of container that is difficult to find in the world of litter boxes. For example, if your cat is on the extra large side, and has trouble maneuvering in even some of the larger litter boxes on the market, you could purchase a giant storage container and convert into a litter box better suited for your cat. If the sides of a storage container are especially tall, potentially hindering a cat's ability to climb in, you can cut away part of one side to create a doorway, as long as you ensure no sharp edges result. 

There might be a number of reasons why the litter boxes you see at the pet store might not work the best for your cat, yourself, of your home. If this is the case, consider what other containers could be used as a DIY litter box. Of course, though, above all else, almost make sure any box you use is safe, and that your kitty approves.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Hello and happy Thursday! We can get to rhyming now, thanks to Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge.

As usual, our host shared a photo prompt to guide us as we get poetic. This week's prompt is this mesmerizing one here:

I love that image. I love any image with books, libraries, and you get the idea. This image did give me an idea for a poem, and though I thought it would be one of my usually long poems, it ended up relatively short for me. If you're curious to read it, here it is:

Laz and the Library

Once upon a time there was a girl named Olive,
Who quite enjoyed gaining this thing called knowledge.
There was nothing more in the world that she liked
Than her beloved library that stood three stories high.

This library held books from floor to ceiling,
Which you could read at a table or even a balcony.
This library's options were endless for what to read,
And for where to sit and which view you wished to see.

What Olive also loved about the library was a certain cool cat.
He oft visited the bookish place with her, this cat named Laz.
The only issue Olive found at the library was that,
Well, on any book she read, this cat named Laz indeed sat.

Olive once began reading a riveting tale
About pirates who in a grand ship did sail.
Then, lo and behold, on the book Laz did sit,
And the cat had not a single qualm about it.

Then Olive began a book about a witch,
And, you guessed it, on it Laz did sit.
So Olive moved on to a book about the stars,
And on that one Laz next did park.

How was Olive supposed to read?
If beneath the cat her book she could not see?
And that is why Olive read so many books at once.
Because when Laz the cool cat sat on one,
The reading of a different book indeed begun.

That there doodle is a flashback from 2019, and I'm fairly certain I already re-shared it in the past few weeks. But, the true illustration for the above poem is actually a recreation of this one, but I'll be sharing that new one on Saturday. I meant to have it done for today, but I've had to work quite a few extra hours at work this week, so Saturday is when you will see that new doodle instead. The crazy work week is also why this post is going up so late today, but I digress.


Now it's of course time to give thanks, which is easy to do with Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.

On this hot summer day, Thimble is grateful that she used her adorable face to beg for some window whiffies.

She'd be even more grateful if the window wasn't only just barely open, but she's thankful nonetheless.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!


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

1. Only someone with a _________ would understand _________.

2. I just started _________.

3. I find it hard to believe that _________.

4. I should probably _________.

We'll see you tomorrow, friends!

Tip of the Day

Believe it or not, we still have a couple tips left in our litter box series. Today's tip is to consider regularly replacing litter boxes as they grow old and overused. Some cat care professionals recommend brand new litter boxes on a yearly basis. At the very least, do take note of how old your cat's litter box is and what shape it's in, and replace it as needed.

There are a couple of considerations to make when deciding whether or when to replace a litter box. First, keep in mind that plastic litter boxes can become adorned with scrapes and scratches from cat claws, and those scratches on plastic litter boxes can ultimately harbor a variety of microbes. This can, of course, ultimately lead to potentially unsanitary conditions within the litter box. In addition to that, ammonia and other components of excrement can potentially leach into the plastic of litter boxes over time. This can make lingering odors, such as that of urine, more or less permanent, which could very well be unpleasant to those sharp noises of our kitties. The aforementioned are just two reasons why regularly replacing old litter boxes may indeed be a good idea. As we've said before, maintaining a fresh, clean litter box can be crucial to sharing your home with a happy, healthy feline.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Woof Woof Wednesday

Pup Astrid is here with an obligatory window shot, albeit from a different window than usual.

Don't mind the torn and disheveled screen on that window. The sweet and sassy neighbor cat sort of ripped it out of place, and I'm waiting on the necessary tool to arrive for me to attach a new screen.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

Here's another weird 2019 doodle that I scribbled up with the Harry Potter series in mind. In this one, Astrid is playing the part of a character who goes by the name of Hagrid. He has a magical umbrella, and Astrid thought she'd take it for a spin.

Tip of the Day

Can you believe we're still talking about that litter box? Today's tip in our litter box series is to take your own health and safety into consideration when scooping that box. For example, do you have asthma? Or, does dust from the litter box bother you in any way? If so, wear a mask when scooping, or at least be sure to blow your nose as soon as you are finished scooping the litter. Another safety precaution is to wear disposable gloves when scooping the litter box. Extra safety precautions are especially something to take into consideration if you are pregnant or in any way at risk for toxoplasmosis. Another reason to wear gloves when scooping the litter box is if your cat has giardia or any other parasites that can be passed on to you or the other furbabies in your life. Especially if you don't wear gloves when scooping the litter, then of course thoroughly wash your hands after you've finished with the chore. It is of course important to make sure that the litter box is a safe and sanitary place for our kitties, but it's also important to ensure it's the same for ourselves. After all, our kitties depend on us to remain healthy and able to care for them!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Tonks Tuesday

Sorry for the late post this morning! I simply didn't get this post scheduled before picking Evan up from the vet yesterday (the poor boy spent the day there because he was withholding the urine they needed), and after I got home with my momma's boy I spent the rest of the evening cuddling him. So, we have a late post. But, we also have a boy who's feeling a bit better. Thank you all for the purrs and prayers for Evan yesterday! He indeed has another UTI, so now he's on antibiotics and is on the mend.

Now, how about your fix of a little calico named Tonks?

Have a terrific Tuesday, friends!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

Here's another weird doodle I scribbled up back in 2019, inspired by the Harry Potter series that I grew up reading and watching.

Tip of the Day

We're still making our way through our tips on litter boxes. Today's tip is a quick and simple one, and it's to use the times you scoop and clean the litter box wisely. In other words, use your litter scooping time to be observant of your kitty's urine and feces. Are there any changes to the urine or stool volume or frequency? Is it a different color? Is there blood or mucus in it? Is the stool especially hard, or especially soft or runny? What about the odor? Excrement never smells particularly nice, but is there any new change in its smell? Try to always be observant of these types of things when you're scooping your cat's litter box. After all, some diseases will have symptoms that show up in the litter box, and so it is indeed important to make sure you are regularly checking to make sure all is well in that box. Of course, if you do notice anything concerning while scooping the litter box, do not hesitate to make a call to your veterinarian.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Mancat Monday

Some poor boy is going to the dreaded V-E-T today.

Nothing all that major is going on. Evan has had urinary incontinence for a couple of years, and a couple of times he has ended up with a UTI. As Evan's veterinarian has mentioned multiple times, UTIs can be very common not only in cats who are paralyzed like Evan, but also those with urinary incontinence. Evan has both of those going against him.

The only sign Evan usually shows when he has a UTI is increased urinary incontinence. He'll urinate in his sleep much more often, and often with much more volume of urine. He'll also more or less constantly drip urine when his incontinence is at its worst or has turned into a UTI. All of that also leads Evan to be very difficult to keep clean and dry on his paralyzed rear end, which means he needs constant sanitary shaves and all that good stuff. Evan is displaying all of those signs again, and so he's going in today to have his urine checked again. If he doesn't have a UTI, then he's just having a bit of a flareup with his urinary incontinence, which has happened before and is totally fine. If he does come back as having another UTI, he'll get some trusty antibiotics and all the extra cuddles he could ever want. Well, he'll get the cuddles regardless.

Evan's not thrilled about being dragged to the vet yet again, but he still wishes you all a magnificent Monday!


Flashback Doodle of the Day

For this reason and that, this time in 2019, I shared some doodles inspired by the Harry Potter series. I grew up when that book series was new and incredibly popular. As a child who loved to read, especially fantasy books, I was all for it. I still enjoy reading the books and watching the movies. Anyway, after reading and watching the Harry Potter series again recently, I decided to share a couple of my favorite old Harry Potter doodles I scribbled up in 2019. Like this one, with a kitty on her way to learn all sorts of magic.

Tip of the Day

Today's tip in our litter box series is all about cleaning that litter box. A clean litter box is very important for keeping your cat healthy and happy. Cats are very clean and particular creatures, and so a dirty box might drive them away from using it. That is why an unclean litter box is one of the primary reasons why some cats begin urinating or defecating outside of the box.

So, as you all certainly know, be sure to scoop the litter box, or boxes, regularly. Scooping once a day is recommended, but more often, if possible, is of course even better. Twice or three times a day helps keep the litter box odors at a minimum, and of course helps your kitty stay healthy, happy, and with somewhere clean to use the restroom. You may also need to alter the number of times per day you scoop based on the bathroom habits of your particular cat, or cats. Some cats only go once a day, and so once a day scooping would likely suffice. For cats who go more frequently, though, more frequent scooping is of course a better option.

Cleaning a litter box doesn't just stop at scooping it, though. Doing a full clean of the box, which involves disposing of the old, dirty litter and scrubbing the box down, is also recommended on a regular basis. The frequency of a full litter box clean might vary, depending on your particular cat's bathroom habits, and even depending on which professional you might ask about this topic. If possible, try doing a full clean of the litter box once a week, to keep the box squeaky clean and your kitty healthy and happy. If that's not possible, perhaps at least try for once a month. After disposing of the old litter in the box, you can scrub it down with a safe cleaner. This might be warm water with dish soap, vinegar and water, baking soda and water, or another pet-friendly cleaner that you are certain will not leave behind any harsh or hazardous chemicals. Once the litter box is dried, you can add fresh litter, and even a bit of baking soda or other pet-safe deodorizer.

Litter box cleaning may not be a desirable chore, but it's a crucial one. To prevent your kitty from avoiding the litter box, or from simply having to suffer the discomfort of using a smelly bathroom, be sure to keep the box nice and clean. So, do at least daily scooping, and roughly weekly scrubbing, and your kitty will likely be very happy with you.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Merry Christmas in July!

It's Christmas in July! Is that truly a real thing? I don't know, but here we are. To celebrate this confusing day, Evan is sharing a selfie from when he snoopervised me scribbling up the Christmas in July doodle we shared with our equally Christmas in July poem on Thursday. See?

As for today, we have a completely different Christmas in July doodle to share. Want to see it? Even if you don't want to see it, here it is anyway.

Merry Christmas in July, friends!

Tip of the Day

We're still in the midst of our series of tips on the topic of litter boxes. Today's tip in this realm of things is one that we might not always think on too much, and that's the litter scoop. You'd think a scoop is a scoop, but sometimes one scoop simply might work better than another. Depending on the type of litter you use, your particular furbaby's litter box habits, and other such factors, be sure to select a litter scoop that removes as much of the piles of urine, feces, and affected litter as possible. If too much of these bits of debris are left behind when you scoop, that can lead to lingering smells and less sanitary conditions. This could in turn mean that the litter box will need to be cleaned more frequently than might be expected. For the above reasons, when selecting a litter scoop, consider factors such as the number and spacing of the grates on the scoop.

In addition, you also might want to consider the material out of which the scoop is made. If there's a chance your litter scoop might get bunged up, for example, perhaps go for a metal scoop. This is because plastic scoops are far more likely to end up with scratches on their surface, and such scratches could harbor microbes, especially when used in an environment such as that of a litter box. So, don't forget to give even that scoop a bit of extra consideration and attention. Every little detail could potentially affect our kitties and their health and happiness, and that even includes the litter scoop, which helps keep that litter box as clean and sanitary as possible.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Christmas Eve in July Caturday Art

This is actually the Christmas in July doodle I scribbled up last year. Does anyone remember it? It's personally my favorite Christmas in July doodle I've ever scribbled up. I even like it better than the new one I scribbled up for tomorrow, the actual day of Christmas in July. That's probably because this one is the most traditionally Christmassy.

Truth be told, I'm not all that much a fan of drawing Christmas in July doodles. I love drawing Christmas doodles, but I'm not a big fan of summer, beachy things, and you get the idea. So, trying to draw festive versions of those things is not my favorite. Even so, we'll be back tomorrow with this year's brand new Christmas in July doodle.

Happy Caturday, friends! We hope it's a festive one.

Tip of the Day

Today's (overly lengthy) tip in our litter box series is about selecting the type of litter. There are many, many kinds of litter out there. There's clay litter, corn litter, wheat litter, pine litter, litter made out of recycled paper,  and even litter crystals, just to name a few. There are even choices such as scented versus non-scented litter, litter for single-cat versus multicat homes, and clumping versus non-clumping litter. The options for litter seem to be endless, which can make the task of choosing one a tad bit of daunting.

So, let's go over some of the factors that will help you select a litter. To begin, first and foremost, let's go ahead and repeat ourselves like the broken record that we are—ultimately, your kitty will have the final say on what type of litter you buy. Cats can be very picky, particular creatures. Some have texture preferences, some have scent preferences, and some have any number of other preferences. If your cat doesn't like the litter you choose, they might avoid the litter box, which is in large part why they ultimately get to choose their litter.

The above being said, what are some of the main factors that might go into choosing the right litter for your kitty? Consider, of course, the type of material out of which a litter is made. For example, clay litter is often one of the dustiest, which may not be ideal for a cat or person with asthma. Also consider whether your cat has any other sensitivities or allergies. To give you an example, I once tried my angel cat Rosie on pine litter. Little did I know, pine was not a substrate Rosie's body tolerated well, and she ended up with hot spots that required steroid and antibiotic treatment. So, especially if you are trying a new type of litter, always keep an eye on your kitty to make sure they do not have an adverse reaction, and also that they do not start avoiding the litter box.

There are plenty of other random yet important factors to take into consideration when choosing litter, though. Do you have multiple cats? If so, perhaps look for a litter that is formulated for multicat homes. Does your kitty leave quite the stinkers in the litter box, and so you've chosen a scented litter? If this is the case and your cat uses the litter with no issues, then that's great. But, do keep in mind that cats' noses are far better than ours, and some cats might not like fragrance in their litter. Your cat might very well let you know if they do not like scented litter by avoiding the box, in which case you'll get the hint.

We're not done with this discourse quite yet. As we touched upon earlier, some cats have texture preferences. Since litter touches their paws, such texture preferences can of course play a large role in what type of litter your cat might use. For example, some cats prefer fine litter, and will not touch litter that is more coarse. I will also add here that I have some family members with cats who do not like litter at all, and so they use pee pads in litter boxes, which works great for those particular cats. Then again, my own Evan, in large part due to his hind limb paralysis, is towel trained rather than litter trained. So, litter texture can be a significant consideration for some cats, and in such cases there may indeed be some trial and error required. In such cases, just be patient, and you and your cat will find a litter, or even a litter alternative, that suits everyone involved.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Friendly Fill-Ins

Welcome to Friday, friends! Would you like to join us for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge? You're certainly more than welcome to! My co-host Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two fill-in statements, and I came up with the second two.

1. I will never stop _________.

2. It was a relief to _________.

3. _________ made me feel proud of myself.

4. _________ grosses me out.

My answers are below in bold.

1. I will never stop sharing my life with furry friends.
(I will never willingly not have furbabies. I can't even imagine life without animals.)

2. It was a relief to find out that Sawyer and Bridget are both back home.
(Kitties Sawyer of The Cat on My Head and Bridget of 15andmeowing were both lost until very recently. Early this week Ellen shared that Bridget was trapped and back home after an outdoor adventure that lasted a few days, and just this Wednesday Sawyer's mom Janet shared that he was back home after 24 days on an elusive walkabout outside. I know I was not the only one beyond ecstatic to find out that both of them were both back home where they belong.)

3. Buying my house made me feel proud of myself.
(I bought my house back in 2015, when I was 25 years old. I actually bought it just 3 days before my 26th birthday, so I was only just barely still 25, but I digress. It's a humble home, but it's mine. I'm proud of being a homeowner for a variety of reasons, one of the main ones being that since childhood, I wanted to own a house that I had full control over in which to care for my animals. That's one of the biggest reasons why I started doing odd jobs for neighbors at age 10, quickly moving on to babysitting and pet-sitting, saving all the money I could as early as I could. Even back then, as a kid, I wanted my own space, but mostly to provide a safe home for my furry children.)

4. Human phlebotomy grosses me out.
(A human's blood being drawn is one of the only medical procedures that really grosses me out. I can and have watched human surgeries, and as a former veterinary assistant, I have assisted in animal blood draws as well as surgeries of all sorts. None of that bothers me in the least. But watching a needle go into a human's vein? I cannot watch that. When I have my blood drawn, I have to lie down and look away. As long as I do that, I'm fine. But if I see it happening, I just might puke or pass out.)

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.


Your Eddy fix for today comes in the form of yet another festive flashback from last year's Christmas in July festivities. Also in true Eddy form, these flashbacks are blurry. She is, after all, the resident blooper queen.

Happy Friday, friends!

Festive Flashback Doodle of the Day

How about one last Christmas in July flashback doodle from 2018?

Tip of the Day

We're continuing on with our litter box tips today by discussing location. When deciding where to put litter boxes in your home, there are a variety of considerations to make. For example, you cat likely won't want to do their business in a high traffic area, where there are many distractions and little to no privacy. At the same time, though, many cats will also likely not want to be hidden away in an small, enclosed area, such as a small closet. Placing a litter box in a small, enclosed area such as a small closet will likely trap the smell, which some cats are averse to. What's more, using the litter box is one way in which cats often instinctively believe they are making a territorial display, and so hiding away the litter box, where no one can see them do their business, might lead to out-of-box behavior for territorial reasons.

All of the above being said, consider where in your home might work best for a box to be both away from heavy traffic, yet close enough to the goings-on for your kitty to still feel included. Dedicated litter box rooms, corners of bedrooms or living rooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, or even large closets with their doors kept open, can all make for good litter box areas. It really depends on how your home is set up, and where your kitty might feel most comfortable. Just as we've mentioned before, though, it also might simply come down to your cat's preference. Perhaps your cat enjoys using the restroom right in front of you, or perhaps your cat actually prefers to go in a closed closet. In the end, if your cat displays a preference for litter box placement, try your best to stick with that.

We'll also now mention that, when selecting litter box location, also take into consideration how many cats you have. In homes with many cats, it is often ideal to spread litter boxes throughout the house, as best as possible. This is especially the case if there is any bullying amongst your cats. If all of the boxes are in one room, a bullied or timid cat might prefer to steer clear of using the restroom with other cats nearby, and therefore might begin out-of-box behavior elsewhere in the house. They even might simply hold their urine, which can lead to a variety of medical issues. So, especially in multicat homes, do consider the number of and comfort of all cats when deciding how few and far between to place the litter boxes. Then again, this consideration also might be important for even a single cat who is geriatric or has issues with mobility. For such a kitty, having multiple litter box options, in areas of the house where they most often hang out, can help them more easily urinate and defecate when and where needed.

There sure are a lot of considerations to make when it comes to that litter box. You of course have to choose a type of box, as well as how many. Once you have that settled, it's all about deciding where to place the litter boxes in your home. Fear not, though, as you and your kitty, or kitties, will figure it out. If nothing else, trial and error will often lead your kitty to letting you know what he or she prefers.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Hello and happy Thursday! We're here to rhyme, which is easy to do thanks to Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge.

We actually have two poems to share today. Why? Because I realized that after not completing my poem prior to Thursday last week, I forget to ever share it. So, this week we're sharing the poem for this week's photo prompt as well as the poem for last week's photo prompt. They're both equally weird poems, so you have been warned. 

Let's start with the photo prompt our poetic host shared for this week.

That desert looks a bit hot, and very sandy. In truth, I've been in a Christmas in July sort of mood, so I decided to take this image that route. So, here's that strangely festive poem:

Merry Christmas in Whenever

It was a desert,
To be quite curt.
It was hot and full of sand,
And cacti filled the land.

It was hard to know what month it was.
There was always sand on the ground and hot sun above.
That did not change once throughout the year.
After all, it was the desert, did you hear?

A traveler journeyed that way,
Wandering the desert on yet another hot and sunny day.
He stopped outside the desert's one, lone building,
Hoping inside he could do some resting and chilling.

Was the building a saloon?
Inside would he find a drink and meal to have at noon?
He also needed somewhere to sleep that night.
If he was lucky, the building would have a bed in sight.

The traveler walked through the building's doors,
So that out in the heat and sand he was no more.
He at least found exactly what he needed,
This building being a catchall with beds, food, and drink.

On the counter of the place sat the resident cat,
Who immediately claimed the traveling man's hat.
He had all but set it down on the bar,
And in it sat the cat, whose name was apparently Star.

An old man appeared behind the counter,
And the traveler asked him, "Is it December?
I quite honestly can't remember."
The man behind the counter replied, "Does it matter one beat?
Every day is the same in this land of sand and cacti and heat."

The traveler shrugged and said, "I heard Christmas music in another town."
The old man behind the counter looked at him with a frown.
He mused, "Could it be December, then?
In this never-ending desert I never know the what or the when.
Are they celebrating Christmas in July?
Or did December's Christmas sneak up as a surprise?"

Suddenly whistling Christmas tunes himself,
The old man began pulling out boxes from the counter's shelves.
The cat only then left the traveler's hat.
After all, boxes were best friends to a cat.

"What's in those boxes?" the traveler asked.
The old man opened one and pulled out a different sort of hat.
It was bright and red and really quite festive.
Then he pulled out ornaments, wreaths, and even more in the Christmas collection.
"If it's Christmas in any way,
We simply have to celebrate," the old man did say.

And so the man behind the counter, the traveler, and even the cat set to work.
Into a festive place the building was soon turned.
When they were done, inside and out the place was shining with festivity.
Really, it looked nothing if not Christmassy

The traveler said, "Merry Christmas, I guess I should say."
Then he scratched his head and his thoughts did delay.
"But is it really Merry Christmas in December?
Or is it Merry Christmas in July, because I simply can't remember?"

"We're in the desert," the old man said.
Then he gave a scratch of his head.
"I never get right the month in this hot and sandy place, not ever.
And so, I guess, Merry Christmas in Whenever!"

Now we'll move on to the poem for last week that I ultimately forgot to share. The prompt for that one was this fun image here:

For whatever reason, when I saw that bouncy image I thought of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. Technically and truthfully, my favorite character from Winnie the Pooh is Eeyore, because I'm over here rooting for the underdog. But, I also quite enjoy Tigger. So, I vaguely wrote a poem about those two, sort of, also trying to intersperse in there a few of those two characters' famous quotes. Anyway, here's the strange thing.

Thanks for Noticing Me

There once was a creature orange and bouncing.
He was bright and striped and a funny and feline sort of thing.
He bopped and jumped everywhere he went,
His energy never even slightly dwindling or spent.

And there once was a creature grey and gloomy.
He was sad, cynical, and something you might call doomy.
Have you ever stumbled upon the word lugubrious?
This sad, grey creature depicted that word in a way quite duteous.

There once was a time the bouncing orange one came along,
Singing and whistling a happy, bubbly, bouncing sort of song.
He hopped and skipped right into the path of the sad, grey thing,
Who never once in his life did hop, skip, whistle, or sing.

The one who bounced and sang did say,
"Well, hello there on this fine, happy day!"
The lugubrious fellow did shake his head.
"I guess the day could be worse," he then said.

All seemed fine until the morose one went on, saying sadly,
"I'm not sure how the day could be worse, but I suppose it could be."
The orange one bounced and bounced and bounced, racing.
He stopped only to say, "Oh, stop that gloomy roomynation!"

Again bouncing, and bouncing, and bouncing,
The bright and striped and orange one continued, nearly pouncing,
"You need a friend, so let's be friends, forever.
Your friendship would be the best present ever."

The lugubrious one looked as if a raincloud appeared overhead,
Until he just might have smiled a little, and then he said,
"A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.
Having a friend like you might just sort of pique my interest."

The striped one of course bounced in reply.
Then he said, "There's no need to say ta-ta for now or goodbye.
Come on! Let's do some bouncing, friend, huh?"
"Thanks for noticing me," the grey one said, with only a little grump.


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

Thimble's going to begin by quickly saying that she's grateful for the idea of Christmas in July, which makes these hot summer days at least a bit more bearable. In honor of Christmas in July, Thimble is sharing a flashback of the Christmas tree kitty bed that always sits on the table in our library. Because what else would you put on a table?

This here human and the resident furbabies are grateful for lots of things, of course including festive fun and Christmas in July. But do you know what we're most thankful for right now? That two of our online feline friends who had found themselves lost are now both back at home where they belong. Sawyer of The Cat on My Head was missing from home for 24 or so days, but his Mom Janet posted yesterday that he was finally home. We were beyond ecstatic to learn that! And Bridget of 15andmeowing was on a walkabout for a few days as well, but she's also home safe as of this early this week. Welcome home, Sawyer and Bridget! Now stay there please!


And now we have for you 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 will never stop _________.

2. It was a relief to _________.

3. _________ made me feel proud of myself.

4. _________ grosses me out.

We'll see you tomorrow, friends!

Tip of the Day

As we mentioned yesterday, we're doing a series of tips dedicated to none other than the litter box. Yesterday, we talked about choosing a type of litter box. Today, we're going to talk about the number of litter boxes you might need.

We're going to begin this discussion with a bit of an equation:

(# of cats) + 1 = (# of litter boxes)

That up there is the general rule for how many litter boxes a home should have, for the comfort of the kitties living there. Since we're a broken record, we'll say it again: the number of litter boxes should equal the number of cats, plus one. This general rule helps ensure that all of the cats in a home have plenty of options, something that is especially important in a multicat home. Finding a clean litter box, and not being bullied out of it, is more easily done when there is a sufficient number of boxes. As for single cat homes, the equation above still typically applies. Why? One reasons is that some cats don't like to urinate and defecate in the same box. Another reason is that, again, it gives them more options for a clean box, and can thereby reduce potential out-of-box behaviors.

Now that we have that little equation out of the way, we'll also mention that it's possible that not all of the litter boxes in a home should be or will be the same type. For example, do you have one cat who likes covered boxes, and another cat who prefers uncovered boxes? If so, then you should probably have litter boxes of both of those types. This ensures that each cat has a choice that suits their preferences. So, it's not only important to ensure that there are enough litter boxes, but that the boxes suit the needs of all cats present in the home.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Woof Woof Wednesday with a Festive Friend

Yesterday, Tonks shared a flashback photo from last year's Christmas in July festivities. Today, Astrid is doing the same thing. Does anyone remember this festive friend Astrid posed with last year?

Santa Sloth is actually a cat kicker toy. These days, he's looking a little worse for the wear. He's been kicked, scratched, chewed on, puked on, and even peed on. He's lost some of his color and pizzazz from having been roughed up and cleaned up so many times, but he's still our festive friend nonetheless.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, friends!

Festive Flashback Doodle of the Day

Today we have for you yet another old Christmas in July doodle from way back in 2018.

Tip of the Day

Just yesterday we started a series of tips on litter boxes. We'll be continuing that series tomorrow, because on this Woof Woof Wednesday we have a tip inspired by our canine friends. If you ask our humble opinion, having kitties and a pup in the same home can be a wonderful thing. It's even better when they all get along. Sometimes, though, the biggest trick is getting a pup to leave the kitty food alone. There are some methods to try, though, if you find yourself in such a situation.

First, you can try placing the cat food somewhere the dog cannot reach, but of course where the cat can reach it. You can try a counter, cat tree, or shelf, for example, as a cat can often climb to these heights, while a dog typically remains land-bound. Another option is to get some form of sturdy box, setting it upside down on the floor, cutting a hole in it through which a cat can fit but not a dog, and feeding your cat within. There's even a chance that some pieces of furniture would allow for this form of feeding. Of course, this technique primarily works for larger dogs, as small dogs might still be able to access cat food with this method.

A more fail-safe way to feed a cat without a dog's intervention is by feeding them in separate rooms. You can keep the cat's food in a room where the dog does not have access, even if just during feeding time. You can also keep the cat's food in a room that is permanently closed off to the dog, but where the kitty can visit by way of something such as a kitty door. One more similar option is to feed the kitty in a separate room where the door is left ajar, but is kept that way with some sort of door attachment. There are such products available on the market, that allow for a door to remain stuck ajar, so that a cat can pass through, but not a larger dog. You can even rig your own sort of setup, such as by using certain types of brackets, just as long as the setup is still safe for the furbabies. Again, though, these last couple of options will work best if the dog is larger and therefore cannot squeeze through to reach the cat food.

It is more than possible to have both cats and dogs living under the same roof. Once you get past the introductions and everyone is one big happy family, sometimes the main issue then becomes keeping the dogs out of the cat food. This is an important thing to do, though, as eating food not intended for their species can potentially result in gastrointestinal distress. So, if you have both cats and dogs, and food thieves run rampant, simply think on what type of feeding method would work best for you, your furbabies, and your overall home setup. It may take some trial and error, but it is doable.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Tonks Tuesday with a Festive Flashback

Last year, the furbabies here at our house shared a series of festive summer photos for Christmas in July. I had honestly completely forgotten about that until Google Photos showed me this memory from last year:

Tonks was feeling festive today, and since I have failed to help the furbabies snap any new Christmas in July photos this year, the calico wanted to share this flashback. That is her in the warm summer sunshine, stealing resting on some freshly laundered blankets that I made the mistake of setting down, and she's of course surrounded by festive pillows that stay out at our house year round.

Tonks hopes she helped you feel festive on this hot summer day!

Festive Flashback Doodle of the Day

How about a really old Christmas in July doodle from all the way back in 2018?

Tip of the Day

We've given tips here and there on cats and their litter boxes. The litter box plays such a crucial role in not only your cat's daily life, but also their health and happiness. That's why we've decided to do an entire, comprehensive series of tips on that box of litter.

The first tip in this series is all about selecting the type of litter box. You wouldn't think a litter box could come in all that many varieties, but the litter box aisle at the pet store begs to differ. Litter boxes come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and configurations. That means there are a lot of considerations to make when selecting that litter box.

So, let's start with size. Is your cat of the larger variety? Especially in the case of a large cat, it is important to make sure the litter box is big enough. Out-of-box behavior, even if in the form of accidental misses, can occur if the box is too small for the cat. Sometimes, you'll even need to make sure to get a box that is not only large enough but that also has tall enough sides. Some cats are more prone to raising their rear end when urinating, for example, which would mean that a box with tall sides is a far more ideal option.

The above being said, also take into consideration if your cat is small. If you have a petite cat or a kitten, you might at least have to start with a small box. Being able to climb over the edge of the box in order to get inside is of course important. A kitten might very well outgrow their first litter box, but when they're small, they of course need to be able to comfortably climb into the litter box. In truth, though, no matter the size of your cat, stick to whatever size of box they seem to prefer and do well with. Some cats might be large, but also might prefer and do just fine with a small box. Take any such preferences your cat has into consideration.

There are also different shapes of cat litter boxes. There are rectangles, squares, circles, ovals, and even some triangular ones that can fit into corners. When selecting the shape of the litter box, you can base your decision on concepts such as how the shape might affect your furbaby's ability to get comfortable when in the box, or how the shape might affect the way it fits in your home. Then again, as mentioned above, your cat might reveal a preference for litter box shape, and if so, go with that.

Next up is an oft debated litter box detail. And that is, do you get a covered box? Or, do you get an uncovered box? Let's go right ahead and touch upon the fact that, ultimately, the cat gets to pick. Some cats prefer a box that is covered, such as for the sake of privacy. Other cats do not like covered boxes. That being said, covered boxes can harbor smells far more easily than uncovered boxes. Imagine walking into a portable toilet, one in which all of the smells just sit and fester. No one enjoys using a portable toilet, and that might be how some cats feel about a covered litter box. Again, though, the truth of the matter is that the cat should get to pick what kind of toilet they use. If your cat will not enter or use a covered box, but will willingly urinate or defecate in an uncovered box, then an uncovered box it is. If your cat urinates or defecates outside of an uncovered box, but will willingly go into a covered box and use it, then no matter what your thoughts on this topic are, your cat just gave you their answer.

So, when it comes to selecting the type of litter box your cat will use, of course take into consideration their size, whether the box will harbor smells, and other such details. That being said, though, just like us, our cats often have preferences and opinions on various matters. The litter box might very well be one of these matters. That's why, when it comes to any of the details of the litter box, if your cat shows a preference, take note of that and run with it.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Mancat Monday

If you were hoping to see a handsome mancat on this Mancat Monday, you're in luck. Just look at this orange hunk.

Evan wishes you all a magnificent Monday!

Festive Flashback Doodle of the Day

We'll be sharing a new Christmas in July doodle to go along with this week's equally Christmas in July poem for the Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge. Then we'll be sharing another festive summer doodle this upcoming weekend for the Caturday Art Blog Hop. It may be be 90°F outside, but we can still feel festive, right? Leading up to those upcoming new festive summer doodles, we've been sharing Christmas in July doodles from years past, like this one from 2019.

Tip of the Day

Do you want or need to monitor your furbaby, even when you aren't with them? Items such as baby monitors don't have to be used for only children of the human sort. Baby monitors, security cameras, and similar products can be used for our furbabies as well. Depending on what type of monitoring you need, you can look into monitoring devices that allow you to hear, see, or locate your furbaby. For example, there are monitors and cameras that you can place in your home that allow you to view your furbaby and what they're up to, even if you're away from home, such as by using the internet, apps, or other similar means. There are even devices on the market that can be attached to your furbaby's collar and that take video of what they've been up to. Another method of keeping track of your furbaby includes more or less putting some form of tracking device on them. For example, there are GPS or other similar devices that can go on your furbaby's collar. This is something that might come most in handy if you have a dog or cat who goes outdoors.

All in all, if you want or need to keep an especially close watch on your pup or kitty, such as when you're away from home, there are ways to do this. You might wish to keep an eye on a new puppy or kitten, a sick or geriatric furbaby, a cat or dog with separation anxiety, or something else along those lines. In such cases, determine whether monitoring, such as when you're away from home, might be beneficial, and then research the best types of monitoring systems for your particular situation.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Bright and Shiny Sunday Selfie

Thimble thought she'd share a bright and shiny selfie today, and so here it is.

Happy Sunday, friends!

Festive Flashback Doodle of the Day

Tip of the Day

As you probably know, it's not always that easy to get still and calm photos of the kitties and pups in our lives. That said, there are some ways to at least attempt to get your furbaby to sit still for a photo shoot or to get them to look at the camera. You can try the technique of getting on their level, such as sitting on the floor with the camera if that is where your kitty or pup is playing or spending time. It may take lots of patience and sitting and waiting for a moment to snap a shot, but it is often doable. You can also situate yourself where your kitty or pup is sleeping, as a sleeping furbaby is a still furbaby.

Then again, you can also try distraction techniques. As you can probably guess, and as you have likely tried on an occasion or two, you can grab one of your kitty or pup's favorite treats or toys and hold that up or sit it on top of your camera. If this grabs your furbaby's attention, then you might very well have a split-second chance to snap a shot while they are gazing at the goods. If you're really eager to get a photo or two of your furbaby and you're having trouble getting them to cooperate while also manning the camera, you can also try to recruit a second pair of hands, such as to hold the furbaby or to help better distract them. 

Sometimes, photographing our furbabies is simply not the easiest task. But, we all love having photographs of our furbabies to forever hold those memories. So, sometimes you simply have to find the photo shoot technique that works best for your furbaby. Whether it be waiting to photograph them while they're sleeping or grabbing their attention with treats, find what works best and have the camera at the ready.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Cardinal Caturday Art

Our contribution for Athena's Caturday Art Blog Hop this week is a doodle I scribbled up for my mom's birthday this past week. It was the first birthday she's celebrated since the passing of her mother. Her mother, my grandmother, loved cardinal birds, and my mom has often quoted the saying that goes, "Cardinals appear when angels are near." Have you ever heard that quote? Anyway, mixing that cardinal concept with my mom's love for cats, I scribbled up this basic little doodle for her:

Happy Caturday!

Tip of the Day

Yesterday's tip mentioned using your old clothes to make a bed for your furbaby. Today's tip is another random way you could perhaps use your old clothes for your furbaby. Don't expect any rocket science, because we're simply talking about using your old clothes to make your furbaby some, well, clothes. Of course, this will only apply to furbabies who tolerate or enjoy wearing clothes, or those who might need them due to issues such as impaired thermoregulation. So, a simple and cheap way to put your furbaby in clothes is to select one of your old shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, or other similar item that will fit your furbaby. You can cut the clothing item's arms off, and trim up any other areas so that it better fits your furbaby. This will, of course, largely depend on your furbaby's size. For example, a large dog could wear larger revamped shirts, whereas a small dog or cat could potentially use shirts in a child's size, or larger clothes that have been cut down. Even old baby onesies could be used for small animals.

It might even be worth it to note that, in some instances, using your old clothes, or even typical pet clothing, could possibly help protect healing sores. For example, clothes could potentially be used to block a furbaby's access to a healing surgical incision or other lesion on their abdomen, sides, or back. This being said, always discuss any such treatments with your veterinarian. Some wounds should not be covered up because they need air to properly heal. So, never cover lesions with any sort of pet clothing, bandage, or wrapping without first discussing this with your veterinarian.

All in all, before you toss out your old clothes, take into consideration if there is any use your furbaby might get out of them. After all, as we've mentioned, your old clothes could be used as blankets or sleeping spots for your furbaby, they could be used to make a pet bed, pieces of them could be used to make toys, or, as mentioned today, they could be used to create clothes for your furbaby. Just as with a number of everyday items, our old clothes could potentially be used in any number of ways for the benefit of our furbabies. After all, kitties and pups often find comfort in the scent of their people, and so they surely wouldn't mind using your clothes once you're done with them.