Monday, February 28, 2022

Mancat Monday

A certain mancat named Evan is tired today.

Why is poor Evan so tired? One reason is that he had to go to the vet on Friday because his intestines seem a bit off. While there he was diagnosed with colitis, and so now he's getting the antibiotic called metronidazole. It's already helping his symptoms clear up, but it tastes something along the lines of horrendous, so Evan's not a happy camper.

Evan hopes your Monday tastes better than his!


Doodle of the Day


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.

To begin, 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. You can also cut off the fingers of a disposable glove and use them individually, or you can purchase what are called finger cots.

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.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Sunday Selfie

Today's selfie is a bright and shiny glamour shot from a certain little tabby girl.

Thimble does not appreciate that teddy bear back there photobombing her. She says to ignore him and just focus on her cute face.

Happy Sunday!

Doodle of the Day

Today's doodle is a new winter one that was actually meant to be an illustration for our weekly poem from two weeks ago. We didn't get it scanned and uploaded until now, though, so here it is.

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.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Caturday Art

I'm (finally) scanning a bunch of my new doodles today. That is, once my scanner finishes the updates that it's taking its sweet time on. For today, we'll share one last flashback winter doodle that I scribbled up a couple years ago. Part of me wonders if I already re-shared this one this year, but I also kind of don't think I didn't. Either way, here's a weird little something leading up to all the new doodles we'll finally be sharing starting tomorrow.

Happy Caturday, friends!

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.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Friendly Fill-Ins and Photo Fails

Hello and happy Friday, friends! We're ready for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. Are you? Feel free to join in on the fun! My amazing co-host Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two fill-in statements, and I came up with the first two.

1. _________ is the _________est I have ever been.

2. I really hate going to _________.

3. While most people _________, I _________.

4. I'm glad that _________ was invented.

My answers are below in bold.

1. At home with my furbabies is the happiest I have ever been.
(You bet I managed to use this kind of answer for yet another fill-in. I tried to think of a single, distinctive moment to use as an answer for this one, but I kept coming back to this really simple answer instead. As a kid and now as an adult, I'm never happier than when I'm at home with my kitties and pups.)

2. I really hate going to the DMV (the Department of Motor Vehicles).
(I was going to put a more obvious answer, like the dentist. Then I though of simply putting the store, since I generally loathe shopping in person. But then I tried to think of a more obscure errand that really makes me cringe, and what came to my mind were the times I've had to go to the DMV for license renewals and the like. That said, I always laugh when I think of how much myself and probably many others find little to no joy in visiting the DMV, because it reminds me of a show I once watched. As a teenager, I watched this show called Reaper. In it, a guy had some deal with the devil where he had to collect souls that had escaped Hell and return them to Hell in these little vessels. In order to return these captured escapees to the real Hell, the guy had to first transfer them to Hell on Earth. That was, he had to take them to the DMV.)

3. While most people enjoy going on vacation, I enjoy staycations.
(Like with #1 above, I've given this answer before. I just really don't like traveling and being away from home and my furbabies.)

4. I'm glad that online grocery shopping was invented.
(Maybe this makes me lazy, but I do essentially all of my grocery shopping online now. Well, I mostly use apps on my phone, but same difference, I guess. I used to always go out and do my grocery shopping after work on weekdays or on the weekends, but I honestly never enjoyed it. In addition, one of the last times I went myself, it was mid-pandemic. I remember it had been a particularly frustrating day at work, and I ended up essentially leaving the store empty-handed with the workers telling me that most of what I was looking for had flown off the shelves earlier that day. Soon after that, I downloaded the Instacart app and started having my groceries delivered to my house, usually early in the day, right around when I'd been told the shelves are stocked. I still sometimes have to order from different stores, because at least in my area, supply and demand is still a mess and stores are having trouble getting and keeping things in stock. Anyway, all that rambling to say that I now I do my non-grocery as well as my grocery shopping online, and I'm not mad about it.)

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. After all, you easily get bloopers when your mom asks you to pose for the camera, and you instead opt to do the exact opposite.

Happy Friday, friends!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

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.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Hello and happy Thursday, friends! Today, we're ready to rhyme, which is easy to do thanks to Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge.

As always, our poetic host shared a photo prompt to help guide us. This week's prompt is this image here:

I find quaint little shops like this very endearing. I also find them very dangerous, because the goods that some shops offer can be very tempting. My poem has a little something to do with that, in one way or another.

Impulse Buy

There's this thing they call an impulse buy,
Something which I always thought a silly little lie.
That is, until I visited the new shop in town,
A shop which I thought I'd greet with nothing but a frown.

I walked into that shop one fine day, though,
And I did not frown even a little bit, no.
The walls and shelves were filled with this, that, and the other.
You could buy yourself eggs and cheese, or a brand new shirt and a toaster cover.
There were cute and quirky little things to be enjoyed by a child or grandmother.

Did I need to buy that vase over there?
No, but now on the shelf in my home I give it a stare.
It sits right next to that new set of books I bought at that same little shop.
My cats even joined my new items on the shelf with a hop,
And then they gave the new vase a firm little pop.

So back to the store I went,
And back home with three whole new vases I was sent.
I even grabbed all sorts of plants the shop had,
Even though a green thumb is the last thing I have.
And did I need that antique phone that doesn't even work?
No, but I still smiled as it was handed over to me by the clerk.

Somehow, I found myself back at that store yet again the next day.
"I just need a gallon of milk," to myself I did say.
I indeed came home with that gallon of milk,
And also with a lovely little globe that I bought with barely any guilt.

There's this thing they call an impulse buy,
And I guess now I know why.
Impulse led me to leave the shop today with cat food and bread,
And with all these books I won't read and perfume I won't use even once before I'm dead.

As was the case last week, unfortunately I didn't get my illustration for this poem scanned and uploaded. This here flashback doodle I found only just barely has anything to do with the poem above, but it's better than nothing. I'll get all of our backlogged new doodles scanned and uploaded today or tomorrow, so that they can finally see the light of day.


Now, it's most certainly time to give some thanks. Brian makes that easy with his Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.

As always, Thimble is here today to express her gratitude. What's this tabby girl thankful for today?

Thimble is again grateful for sunshine, whenever we can find it. It's not sunny today, as we're having us another snowstorm. But, earlier this week we indeed did have some glorious sunshine. We also had us a heat wave with thunderstorms, because what's winter for?


Last but not least, we're here to share 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. _________ is the _________est I have ever been.

2. I really hate going to _________.

3. While most people _________, I _________.

4. I'm glad that _________ was invented.

We'll see you tomorrow, friends!

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.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Woof Woof Wednesday in Winter Wonderland

We've had snowstorms three out of the past four weeks, with another brewing right now. The snowstorms always hit us on Wednesdays and Thursdays, for whatever reason Mother Nature has. That said, you know who loves a good snowstorm? This girl:

Pup Astrid loves snow. She loves running in it, digging in it, rolling in it, and even napping in it. That's why the photo above is just one of many we have of Astrid enjoying our many snowstorms from this month. She'll be happily sharing more of her snowy shenanigans over the next week or two.

Warm wishes!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

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.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Tonks Tuesday

A certain little calico is here to say hello!

Tonks hopes you all have some sunshine to bask in. Happy Tuesday, friends!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

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!

Monday, February 21, 2022

Mancat Monday

That glowing thing in the sky has actually made an appearance for the past two days, and Evan is basking in its glory.

Don't get too used to it, though, Evan. We're expecting lots of clouds and something along the lines of another half a foot of snow later this week. 'Tis the season.

Happy Monday, friends!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

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.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Birthday Bash!

A certain furry someone has some special sort of selfies to share today.

Do you see that?

Do you see what that treat Astrid has says?

That's right. It's pup Astrid's birthday today! But she's not stopping at just that cake cookie.

Astrid's also enjoying herself some birthday ice cream, both the plushy and real kind.

What's more, all of you are invited to pup Astrid's birthday bash! Help yourself to some cookies, cake, and ice cream!

How old is Astrid turning today? She's turning 9. That boggles my mind. This big girl does not act her age. When people see her running and jumping and having a great time on walks, I often get asked how old she is. When I tell them her age, I get looks of shock and comments like, "I would have guessed she was 2." Astrid's muzzle may be slowly but surely going white, but this girl moves and acts like a puppy. I even sometimes tell the hyperactive girl to act her age. She does not. And I'm honestly glad she doesn't listen to me.

Astrid, I hope you have the best birthday ever! You bring me and everyone who knows you so much joy and laughter. Your humans and kitties love you so much, Astrid!

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.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Bizarre Birthday Caturday Art

My grandma is visiting us today for a belated celebration for my sister's birthday. My sister's actual birthday was on February 8, and on that day I gave her a sort of special doodle. It was actually a revamped recreation of a doodle I scribbled up for her something like 4 or 5 years ago, and that recreation is this wacky little something here:

I scribbled up this particular doodle for my sister for a variety of reasons. One reason is that, like myself, my sister is a fan of the Harry Potter series and other fantastical things. Also, my sister has been asking me to create for her a series of marching bookmarks, one for each of her furbabies. My sister and I technically co-own pup Astrid, and she is also mom to black kitties Toby and Winky, and so those are the three magical furbabies in this doodle. You can probably guess, but to create the bookmarks my sister requested, I took a print of this doodle and cut it down to make three bookmarks, one with the pup and one with each kitty. So that's that.

We hope you all enjoy this weird and wacky doodle! Happy Caturday!

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.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Friendly Fill-Ins

We had a winter storm yesterday that involved lots of ice. Our internet was struggling through that, but it's all better now and so here we finally are!

It's Friday, in case you haven't noticed, and so we're ready for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. Please 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. It's about time _________.

2. An anecdote I like to tell is _________.

3. I wish there was a way to _________ without _________.

4. Too many people take _________ for granted.

My answers are below in bold.

1. It's about time winter hit us.
(In my area, it's a local joke that it's not really winter until February. Especially for the past decade or two, February has been the month when our area gets slammed with winter storms. It happens almost every year. In the past two weeks, we've had two big winter storms, and apparently we're expecting another one next week.)

2. An anecdote I like to tell is the time that an incredibly sick Rosie fought me tooth and nail to take her meds.
(My calico angel Rosie once had pancreatitis so bad that her bilirubin and other liver values ended up literally off the charts. The vet even said that her values were "contradictory to life". Rosie was tough and stubborn, though, and not only did she survive that ordeal, but while hospitalized at the cat clinic where I worked at the time, frail Rosie would full force fight me to take her meds. After one such battle, I thought I'd actually succeeded at getting one of the pills down her, but when I checked on Rosie a couple hours later, she looked me right in the face as she spit that pill out. She'd been holding it in her mouth for hours just to spit it out at me. I never succeeded at getting her to take that pill.)

3. I wish there was a way to enjoy winter without ice.
(I think snow can be absolutely beautiful, but I could really do without the ice. Not only can it more easily take out power and internet lines, but it's simply just a nightmare to drive and walk on. We had a large amount of snow a couple of weeks ago, and for days on end it would melt during the day and then freeze into an ice rink at night. Then yesterday we just straight up had us a little ice storm. Can you just chill out on the ice, Mother Nature? No pun intended.)

4. Too many people take everything for granted.
(I couldn't pick what to put here. People often take freedom, their health, the health of their loved ones, the kindness of others, and all sorts of things for granted. And I'm not just calling out others on this, because I'm guilty as well. You don't know what you have until it's gone, and that goes for almost anything. So, I'll just sum it up and say that people too often take anything and everything in life for granted.)

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.


Ready for your Eddy fix? Yeah? Good. Here's the pretty little lady in all of her stunning glory.

Don't let the sun behind the unfolded pile of laundry fool you. It's barely double digit temperatures outside, and the ground is covered in ice and snow. Eddy will just stay snuggled up inside on her favorite blanket, thank you very much.

Happy Friday, friends!

Flashback Doodle of the Day

Given the white covering on the ground outside, I felt compelled to share a good and snowy doodle today. Since none of my new doodles are majorly snowy, I went for this silly flashback doodle:

I remember when I scribbled that up a couple of years ago. It was actually inspired by the book The Mitten by Jan Brett, which I read all the time during the winter as a child.

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.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Thoroughly Poetic Thankful Thimble Thursday

Hello and happy Thursday, friends! We're all ready to rhyme for Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge.

So, because of life and other reasons, I fell behind on poems again. That said, this week, my poem combines the past three photo prompts. Those photo prompts are these images right here:

I definitely took some liberties to make the poem work with all three of those prompts, but what's new. The poem is probably painfully long, and I can't promise that it's good or that it even makes sense, but if you'd like to read it, here it is.

Midge and Madge's Magical Library

Lucy's parents dropped a bomb on her one winter day,
By telling her that with her old great-aunts Midge and Madge she would stay.
After all, her parents had a business trip they had to attend,
And so to Midge and Madge's she was going to be sent.

Lucy could count on one hand the number of times she'd met her great-aunts.
She had only once visited their house, which she was certain many ghosts did haunt.
The memory in her young mind told her that Midge and Madge's house was old.
It was also a mansion in which Lucy got lost the one time she got too bold.

"Can't I stay with my friend Sally?" Lucy asked her parents.
The answer was no, and so to her great-aunts Midge and Madge they went.
Like she remembered, the house was big, old, and rickety.
She was at least glad that she was greeted by a number of colorful kitties.

Lucy stood in the cold, drifting snow,
The cats circling her like little dancers on their toes.
Her parents and her had arrived at the creepy old place under a full moon,
Which did nothing to lighten Lucy's somber mood.

Whether because of their age or their old dresses that must have weighed them down,
Great-aunts Midge and Madge took an eternity to appear and greet Lucy, who tried not to frown.
The cats ran back and forth from the old ladies to the girl,
And just like that, Lucy's parents bid them farewell and headed out the door.

Looking around, Lucy's eyes met with this, that, and the other.
The house was filled with cobwebs and all sorts of things even older than her mother.
Books, vases, and trinkets galore filled shelves of wood clearly meant for splinters.
How was a girl to entertain herself in a vintage place like this during the winter?

Lucy felt like she was now living in an antique store.
Honestly, was that ancient telephone over there used by the dinosaurs?
What about that dilapidated set of dusty old books?
Even those bottles over there seemed old by their rough look. 

When the wind blew outside, the old house moaned and groaned.
Given how slow they walked, so must have Midge and Madge's bones.
Even so, both old women smiled and showed Lucy to her room.
The girl had to admit that her great-aunts were not really filled with terror or gloom.

Before long, Lucy had to admit that she was already growing bored.
There wasn't much for a young girl do in a creepy old house with snow outdoors.
She started games of chase and hide-and-seek with her great-aunts' cats,
But it took only a matter of moments before the felines stopped for a nap.

When Midge and Madge noticed the girl was already finding their manor a bore,
They stopped their household chores and directed her to a particular door.
Barely even peeking inside, she discovered it was the home's dusty old library.
With a sigh, Lucy said, "Thanks, but I don't really like to read, you see."
With a gasp, Midge said, "Reading takes you places, young girl."
To which Madge added, "Books, well, they unlock so many doors."

To Midge and Madge, that seemed to settle that.
As they shuffled away, Lucy was again left alone with the cats.
The felines in question then sprung up from their naps,
And they began leading the girl down the halls like walking maps.

Following the cats down this hallway and then that one,
Lucy was soon enough ushered into that very room with books numbering infinity plus one.
"Didn't I just say I wasn't interested in the library?" to her feline chaperones she said,
Though she quickly forgave the cats as they nudged her with their heads.

One of the furry little guys jumped up on the nearest bookshelf,
And onto the floor flew dust and a book with a key on its cover, with the active cat's help.
With a sigh, Lucy picked the book up off the floor,
Opening it randomly to page ninety-four.

The couple of lines that she read spoke something about a secret garden,
Something Lucy couldn't even fathom with the ground outside so frozen and hardened.
Just as she was about to close the book,
The door at he back of the library rumbled and shook.

"Is someone there?" Lucy called out.
No one answered, not even when she repeated her question in a shout.
Worried that a great-aunt or cat might be stuck on the other side,
Lucy walked over and opened the door big and wide.

Her eyes bugged out of her head at what she saw,
And she had to close her mouth after the drop of her jaw.
The cats around her mewed and purred,
All while she stared at the scene ahead, which seemed beyond absurd.

This can't be right, she thought, no.
The windows on the library's wall revealed that outside was snow and more snow.
The door she had opened on the same wall, though, greeted her with green grass,
Beyond which stood a wall covered in so much green it was as if winter were a thing of the past.

Then, the key on the front of the book she still held suddenly glowed.
She thought, This can't be happening, can it? No.
Surely I've just died of boredom and moved on to a new land?
Surely not in Midge and Madge's creepy old house do I still stand?

When she touched the key strangely glowing on the book,
It came right off as if snatched up by a hook.
Vines on the stone wall ahead then moved, shifted, and revealed a door.
Golden light flowed out from it, and through its keyhole far off the floor.

Cats nudged the girl's hand holding the key,
And then nudged her ankles and the back of her knees.
With the cats' urging, she inched closer to that seemingly magical door.
It's not like the cats were someone she could or would ignore.

Soon enough, Lucy was sliding the still glowing key into the keyhole on the door,
Thinking that this big old house certainly no longer seemed like a bore.
Turning the key, she heard the lock disengage with a clink and a clunk.
Then she swung open the door, and the adventure had just begun.

I have a confession to make, though it might already be obvious. That's not the illustration for this poem. That's an old doodle from a couple of years ago. In truth, today's poem actually has three illustrations, one related to each photo prompt. But when I went to upload those illustrations here, they weren't where they were supposed to be. That either means I didn't remember to scan them, or that I just didn't remember to transfer the scanned files to where I could access them when finishing up this post. So, for today you get that flashback doodle that only sort of relates to the poem. We'll share the actual illustrations for this poem over the next few days.


And now we're here to give thanks for Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.

Thimble is of course here to share some gratitude, as always. So, what's this tabby girl thankful for today?

Thimble is grateful for the sun, though we might not see it again for awhile. We're expecting another snowstorm today, so Thimble got in her sun while she could.


Last but certainly not least, we'll now share 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. It's about time _________.

2. An anecdote I like to tell is _________.

3. I wish there was a way to _________ without _________.

4. Too many people take _________ for granted.

We'll see you tomorrow, friends!

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!