Friday, December 31, 2021

Sort of Festive Fill-Ins and Photo Fails

Hello and happy final day of 2021! To celebrate, shall we get right to the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge? Feel free to join in on the fun! 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 had hoped to _________ in 2021 but didn't.

2. A goal I have for 2022 is _________.

3. I'll be _________ when 2021 ends.

4. I hope 2022 brings _________.

My answers are below in bold.

1. I had hoped to publish a book in 2021 but didn't.
(I had a painfully long explanation for this one all typed up, but let's try to make a long story short, shall we? So, I've mentioned multiple times before how I enjoy writing, and that publishing a book is high on my bucket list. I had hoped 2021 would be the year for exactly that. But, alas, a quick and simple writing project has instead turned into a long and wild ride. I'm still on that ride, sometimes barely hanging on, but enjoying it nonetheless like the masochist I am.)

2. A goal I have for 2022 is to publish a book.
(Yeah, I know. Broken record much? But it's going to happen. I've been saying that for years. But, really, it's going to happen. After all, you've got to reach for your dreams, right? Also, I just really like writing. Which is probably why I sometimes just ramble on and on here. My apologies.)

3. I'll be melancholic when 2021 ends.
(This is just sort of default, probably for me and a great many people out there. We've spent 365 days with 2021, and good or bad, it's always strange to see a year become a thing of the past. That said, my melancholy never lasts long. Besides, 2021 has been something else, and a new beginning sounds pretty darn nice right about now. Welcome, 2022. Please be don't be a jerk like your predecessors. Cheers.)

4. I hope 2022 brings peace on Earth and good will to mankind.
(I don't know what else to say. The previous year or two have left a lot to be desired.)

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 more than ready to share some photo shoot outtakes. As a preface to Eddy's bloopers for today, we have this:

Those were the photo shoot props. Or setup. Heck, call it a trap. My plan was to lure Eddy over to the festive little scene with her favorite treats. Because what's cuter than a Godzilla-esque cat storming through a miniature Christmas village?

Anyway. It's when Eddy entered the scene and realized she'd walked into a trap that we in turn captured her escape in the form of bloopers.

Eddy might not have been feeling festive, but we're still going to wish you a Merry Seventh Day of Christmas and of course a Happy New Year's Eve!

We hope the last day of 2021 treats you kindly, and that 2022 brings you happiness, health, and many blessings.


Tip of the Day

We've been discussing care of ferals and strays during the winter months, and over the past few days our discussions have all been about food and water. We do have yet another tip on this specific topic. When it comes to offering food to ferals and strays, try to keep the location and timing of the feedings as consistent as possible. Keeping a predictable feeding schedule and food location can help an outdoor cat know when and where they can find food. Conserving energy is a very important thing for outdoor animals in the winter, and knowing when and where they can successfully venture out for a meal can indeed help ferals and strays save much needed energy, rather than wasting their energy only to find no food present at their feeding station. Therefore, if you feed ferals and strays, keep in mind that it is very beneficial to the animals if you keep their food on a consistent schedule and in the same location.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Merry Sixth Day of Christmas!

Hello and Merry Sixth Day of Christmas, friends! We're so sorry for yet another late post. End-of-year shenanigans are well underway at my workplace, so it's been extra chaotic. Truth be told, I was working on this post after work yesterday, but then I sort of fell asleep well before 8 pm, and then I didn't wake up until it was time to leave for work this morning. Today is my last work day of the year, though, and for that I am beyond grateful. Speaking of being grateful, it is indeed the day of Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.

Of course, as always, Thimble also has a thankful thing or two to share.

Thimble is grateful our Christmas trees stay up until after the first week of January. This is because the the Twelve Days of Christmas span until January 5, and then Christmas season doesn't fully end until after Three Kings Day, which is on January 6. So, Thimble is thankful that she gets to enjoy her trees for at least another week.


Before we share the fill-in statements for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, I'll say that I know today is the day of Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge. Though one of my major goals in the impending new year is to quickly get back to our regular programming that we lost our footing on this year, we are pushing today's poem back a day or two. It will be coming very soon!

Now, how about those 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 had hoped to _________ in 2021 but didn't.

2. A goal I have for 2022 is _________.

3. I'll be _________ when 2021 ends.

4. I hope 2022 brings _________.

We'll see you tomorrow, friends!


Festive Flashback Doodle of the Day

Truth be told, I don't really want to waste one of our new Christmassy doodles on a post going up so late in the day. So, how about this oldie that was technically the illustration to a poem back in 2019? I recently saw an image of a festive horse, and it reminded me of this old doodle.


Tip of the Day

Today's tip on winter feral care is to remember to put water out for ferals and strays you care for. This sounds and often feels impossible, given that water freezes in cold temperatures. However, it is often possible to make water accessible to ferals or strays even in the winter months. Yesterday's tip discussed ways to successfully feed moist food to ferals in the winter, and most of those methods will also work for water. You can start by simply checking the water as often as possible, and removing ice or refreshing the water to ensure that it remains a liquid and not a frozen solid. You can also warm the water bowl, or even put out warm water, to delay its freezing. Other options include putting microwavable heat pads beneath the water bowl, using an electric heated bowl, or using another heat source in the area where the water is kept. With all such options, though, always keep safety in mind, and only choose and use heated products that best prevent burns and fires.

There are a couple of other considerations to make when putting water outside for ferals and strays in the winter months. To begin, try to keep water bowls elevated off of the cold ground as much as possible, to help keep it from freezing rapidly. In addition to this, using a deep bowl inside of a wide bowl will also help it to freeze less rapidly. Another option is to have a source of running water, such as by offering water in some sort of fountain, as moving water does not as easily freeze. And yet another way to help keep water from freezing rapidly in the winter is to put the bowl in the sun.

It also important to note that, as much as is possible, try to avoid putting water near where ferals or strays might sleep. This is because spills can indeed happen, and damp bedding material can make warmth and comfort difficult. So, there are many considerations to make when successfully offering water to ferals and strays in the winter months, but it is indeed possible, and of course also beneficial to them and their health.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Santa Paws Came to Town

Today may be the Fifth Day of Christmas, but on Christmas Day itself the furbabies around here got to open an extra special gift.

Do you know what that is? That's the box from our Secret Santa Paws! The kitties opened it up on Christmas morning, after this here human made them wait for days and days after receiving it. Talk about abuse.

Shall we officially start by sharing who our Secret Santa Paws was? Yes? Okay, we shall.

Do you see that? Our Secret Santa Paws was the one and only, stunning, famous Cathy Keisha, or CK! For years we've been following CK over at her blog, Stunning Keisha. She's a funny, sassy, and of course classy gal, and we were beyond ecstatic to discover that she was the one who sent us such amazing goodies.

Are you ready to see what all Santa CK spoiled us with?

Is that not the cutest stocking? If you can't read it, it says, "Dear Santa, I've been a very good kitty!" And to the right of it is Toby, eating the box like the good kitty he is.

Now, we're actually going to start with pup Astrid. CK and her amazing peep Pattie, also known as The Woman, or TW, were so sweet to send something for the resident canine. We actually had to let Astrid open hers first, in order to get her out of the kitties' hair while they opened their gifts.

While taking Astrid's gift out of the box, this here human accidentally discovered that it squeaks. And boy oh boy did that get Astrid's attention. She loves her a squeaky toy.

Is that not the cutest ice cream cone you've ever seen? It's pretty darn festive, too, and Astrid absolutely loves it! She did think it was pretty darn unfair that I made her impatiently wait and pose with her gift, but soon enough she was off squeaking it and throwing it like the hyperactive pup she is.

Now, on to to the kitties! We hope you're ready for some more bloopers, because certain excited kitties could not sit still for even half a second while they opened their gifts from Santa CK.

As you might be able to see there, Tonks was the first kitty to discover what a purrfect box our gifts arrived in. Here's a closer view of her enjoying the box, in the form of yet another good ol' blurry blooper.

But, back to the actual gifts.

Unlike some years, the kitties weren't about to let me individually photograph each gift. I did manage a couple, though, like this absolutely adorable mermouse that made this here human quite literally laugh out loud.

I often call Evan a mercat because of how he sits with his paralyzed back legs, so seeing this mermouse made me so happy. It also made the kitties very happy, of course.

And I did manage a couple of other individual shots of some big hits.

Not only were the toys a hit, but you better believe the treats were, too. After the kitties tasted them, they chased me around the room during my attempts to limit their intake. Don't worry, though, because I definitely did not succeed at limiting them a whole lot. They're very persuasive. And bossy. And hungry.

Wonderful CK and TW also sent this here human a gorgeous gift.

Every last one of us here is so very grateful to CK and her peep TW. They went above and beyond and sent such amazing gifts that have brought a great deal of joy to the kitties, pup Astrid, and this here human.

Thank you and thank you again, CK and TW! We are so very grateful for you. You are amazing, and of course every shade of stunning!

And thank you to Paula, Truffle, and Brulee of Sweet Purrfections for organizing the Secret Santa Paws exchange! We always look forward to it and appreciate your hard work.

Merry Fifth Day of Christmas to all!


Festive Doodle of the Day

I have finally topped off, scanned, and uploaded a hefty chunk of Christmassy doodles. I of course meant to share all of these leading up to Christmas, but December took a really chaotic turn and so here we are. Luckily, though, when it comes to the Twelve Days of Christmas, Christmas Day itself is just the First Day of Christmas. And so, the season isn't over yet. If you're tired of Christmas, we apologize. Sort of. Anyway. Did you finally get that hippopotamus for Christmas?

I mentioned in a recent Friendly Fill-Ins challenge that these days I've really been enjoying the song "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas", and so I felt compelled to doodle this up. Now I kind of want this hippo to make cameos in our doodles year round, because I really enjoyed scribbling him up. And now I also need to name him. Any suggestions?

Tip of the Day

Yesterday we discussed feeding feral and stray cats outdoors in the cold winter months. As we mentioned yesterday, dry food is a good option in the winter, as it will not freeze like moist food. However, moist food still has its benefits, and so today we're here to give some tips on how to feed moist food outdoors in the cold months with at least some success. To begin, you can resort to putting moist food out only when you know the cat or cats you feed are present, so that they will be able to eat it immediately, giving it little to no time to freeze. Sometimes, though, you might not know when a feral or stray cat will show up for a meal. In such cases, there are ways to potentially offer moist food to ferals and strays, without the moist food freezing rapidly.

To begin, you can simply check on the status of moist food as often as possible, and warm or replace food that has become frozen. What's more, a source of heat will obviously help keep moist food from freezing at a fast rate, although you of course have to ensure that this source of heat is safe. This could mean doing something as simple as warming the bowl in which you put the moist food, or warming the moist food itself, to a safe temperature. There are also both electric and non-electric heat sources that can work for keeping bowls and their contents warm. For example, there are microwavable or otherwise warmable heating pads that can be placed under bowls to help prevent the rapid freezing of moist food that is fed to outdoor cats in the winter. There are also electric heated bowls that could keep moist food warm enough to prevent freezing. Other options of course include using a more extensive heat source within an entire feeding station or shelter, details which we will further discuss in upcoming tips. One important detail, though, as we mentioned just a few moments ago, is ensure that any heat source you use is safe and that it will not cause burns or fires. Always do your research before using any item that entails electricity and heating, and choose and use accordingly and wisely.

The last note to make here is that you should still of course make sure that moist food is not spoiling, such as if it manages to get too warm or sits out for too long. If a heated bowl or heat pad causes moist food to remain warm for long periods of time, do be sure to remove any uneaten food prior to spoilage. It might be cold outside during the winter months, but depending on the methods you use and the duration of time that outdoor cats' moist food is sitting out, it is always best to be aware of the potential for gastrointestinal or other issues that could result from the consumption of spoiled food.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Merry Fourth Day of Christmas!

Today we're supposed to be sharing all the wonderful things our Secret Santa Paws gifted us, but we have a change of plans and will share that tomorrow instead. Why? Because try as I might, I could not get my computer at home to upload all of the photos we snapped on Christmas morning as the furbabies opened their gifts from their Secret Santa Paws. Perhaps it's because there's something like 150 photos I'm trying to upload and go through. Maybe. So, today I'm uploading them using the incredibly fast internet at my workplace, and then we can finally share the festive fun tomorrow. Stay tuned for that!

So, for this Fourth Day of Christmas, we have a festive Tonks.

That is Tonks yet again resting on a pile of freshly laundered blankets, of course next to the Christmas tree. She loves napping on Blanket Mountain, so I often let her indulge before putting the blankets away. At least she's festive while she snoozes on the laundry.

Merry Fourth Day of Christmas!

Festive Flashback Doodle of the Day

Tip of the Day

We've started a series of tips on how you can assist strays and ferals during the cold winter months. Today's tip regards feeding strays and ferals, and it is to make sure you understand the pros and cons of feeding dry versus moist food during the winter months. Dry food often takes more energy than moist food to digest, and animals need to conserve as much energy as possible to stay warm in the winter. However, that being said, moist food that is not immediately eaten can freeze during the winter months due to its high moisture content. For this reason, it is typically best to ensure that dry food is offered to strays and ferals in the winter months, as it will not freeze and therefore will be readily available even after sitting out for some time. All in all, though, it is possible and often beneficial to feed both dry and moist food to outdoor strays and ferals. Tomorrow we will further discuss how to successfully feed moist food to strays and ferals in the winter.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Merry Third Day of Christmas!

Given that we're only at the beginning of the Twelve Days of Christmas, we still have lots of festive fun to share with you all. That said, Evan saw that Toby posed in a selfie with Santa yesterday. Even though said Santa isn't faring too well, Evan wanted to pose with him as well.

Evan also hopes you like the bowtie he's wearing. He said that if you do, you better save this photo. Why? Because that bowtie lasted on him for maybe 15 seconds, at most, and he will likely never wear one again. Ever.

Merry Third Day of Christmas!

P.S. Stay tuned tomorrow to see what we got from our stunning Secret Santa Paws this year!

Festive Flashback Doodle of the Day

Tip of the Day

Today's tip is one that can affect our indoor furbabies, and most certainly any strays and ferals you might feed outside. During the cold winter months, it can be beneficial to increase the amount of food you feed to the furbabies in your life. This is because animals typically eat more in the cold months in order to produce more energy and heat for their bodies. This is why you might see your kitty or pup heading toward the food bowl more often than usual in the winter months. Then again, eating more food to stay warm is something that far more affects outdoor animals than indoor animals, since the latter are able to maintain their body heat far more easily. And, of course, if you have any concerns about how much your furbaby is eating or should eat, any time of the year, discuss this with your veterinarian.

When it comes to outdoor strays and ferals, if you are accustomed to offering them food outside, perhaps do consider feeding them larger quantities of food, or feeding them more often, during the cold winter months. Their bodies use that extra food to stay warm. Over the next few days we'll be giving more detailed tips not only on feeding strays and ferals, but also offering them assistance in other ways.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Merry Second Day of Christmas!

We had a lovely Christmas over here in our corner of the world, and we hope you all did as well. The only problem is that, well, Santa had a little accident at our house.

Poor old fella. Toby feels terrible for him.

We hope Santa fared better at your houses, friends. But, don't think that's the last you'll be seeing of the man in red or of festive furbabies here on our blog. When it comes to those famous Twelve Days of Christmas, Christmas Day was just the first. We've still got a festive ways to go, and we're more than fine with that.

Merry Second Day of Christmas!

Festive Flashback Doodle of the Day

Tip of the Day

Did your kitty or pup get new toys for Christmas? We're thinking many of them probably did. Now that all such new Christmas gifts have been opened and are being enjoyed, consider going through your furbaby's toy stash, pulling out the ones they don't use, and donating them to a shelter or rescue. Many shelters will accept such toys as long as they are clean, as well as easily cleaned, and in good condition. Of course, it is nonetheless always best to do your research regarding an individual shelter or rescue's requirements for donations. Donating toys that your kitty or pup has accumulated but does not use not only keeps your furbaby's toy stash at manageable levels, but also of course benefits shelter kitties and pups who are awaiting their forever homes. This might also go for unopened cans of food your furbaby will not eat, and even clean blankets they do not use. Christmas is indeed the season of giving, and even though the 25th of December has passed, that spirit of giving does not need to come to an end.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Meowy Christmas and Happy Howlidays!

We wish all of our friends out there a merry Christmas, happy holidays, and all of the warm wishes and winter blessings you could ever ask for. Thank you all for making this community the amazing and inviting place it is. Peace, joy, and good tidings to all!

Now, go enjoy yourself a festive cookie or two. Maybe one that looks like a little man. Because nothing says Christmas more than that.

Whether or not you're in a Christmas-induced sugar coma, also be sure to rest, relax, and take a nap. Perhaps under the Christmas tree?

And of course also take time to reflect on the blessings and beauty of this day.

Also, definitely keep on spending the day snacking on all the treats you could hope for. Maybe festively feast by an abused Christmas tree, or a stocking, or something festive like that.

Tonks hopes you all also take time today to enjoy the Christmas tree from its innards, but I don't know how many humans out there really want that happening. But, Tonks says to do it anyway.

And, if it tickles your fancy, don you now your festive apparel.

From all of us to all of you...



Tip of the Day

Christmas is often a time of remembrance, a time when memories find their way into our minds. This can sometimes make this time of year a bittersweet one, as we remember our loved ones, both human and furry, who are no longer with us. Today's tip is to of course remember lost loved ones with fondness during the beautiful holiday season, but also to find ways to include lost loved ones in the festivities, if this is something that would benefit you. There are a number of ways to keep lost furbabies' or other family members' memories alive and well during the holiday season, such as by hanging an ornament dedicated to them. One example of this includes picture frame ornaments, in which you can obviously place a photo of a lost loved one. Another example are ornaments sculpted or painted in the likeness of a lost loved one, and this of course includes ornaments made to resemble kitties or pups who have gained their angel wings.

In addition to memorial ornaments, you can also set up memorial stations in your house for lost loved ones. This memorial area can be a place where you set up photos of a lost kitty, pup, or human family member who is no longer with you. What's more, to maintain their memory and inclusion during the holidays, you can add festive decorations to the memorial area you have set up for them. You can festively light up the memorial station with lights or candles, as long as this is done in a safe manner. There are plenty of other options for using festive yet respectful decor to include a lost loved one in the holiday spirit.

Just one more of many options for keeping a lost loved one's memory alive and well during this holiday season is to make a donation or other gift in their memory. When it comes to an angel kitty or pup, you can donate goods to a shelter or rescue in their memory. You can also sponsor, or even foster or adopt, an animal in their honor. Though remembering lost loved ones during the holiday season can be a bittersweet thing, there are many ways in which to maintain a lost loved one's memory and include them in the festivities.