Mindful Monday – When Cats Eat the Non-edible

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Maybe you’ve heard the term pica describing when a cat eats or chews on plastic or other non-edible items. We’ve touched on this here in this blog. Recently, I came across a report explaining in more depth why a cat licks, chews, or eats plastic. The reasons range from nutritional deficiencies and medical conditions to stress and plain ole curiosity. For some, the sound and maybe the sensation of chewing plastic might remind the cat of the sound and feel of catching prey.

Our tabby Lily likes plastic tape. In fact, I think it’s actually the glue that attracts her and I don’t think that’s a good thing. Originally, I thought Lily was just trying to be helpful when UPS left a package on our doorstep. “Here, Mom, let me help you open that.” But I guess it’s more about her addiction to the smell of glue—perhaps, along with the mouth-feel of the tape.

Sophie swallows ribbon. It doesn’t matter if it’s satin, grosgrain or metallic, she’s a serious ribbon ingester and she has found herself in serious trouble twice because of it.

So what do you do if your cat becomes obsessed with eating plastic, sniffing glue, or ingesting other material cats don’t normally eat?

  • Talk to the vet and rule out medical problems.
  • Increase playtime. Your cat could simply be bored.
  • Provide plenty of toys that help her to use her predator instincts.
  • Keep plastic, ribbon, etc., out of her reach.

There are other habits and fixations cats develop. Wool-sucking (or chewing on fabric) is one, and excessive drooling.

What crazy, uncat-like thing does your cat engage in?

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Frivolous Friday – A Jury of Cats

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today, for those of you who love dogs as well as cats, is National Dog Day. So if you have a dog or meet one in passing, give it an extra pat of affection. And if you don’t have one and have room in your home and heart, consider adopting one who is waiting at a shelter.

I’m doing what they used call jury duty this week. Now it is known as jury service. Same long process. Same long days. Same opportunity to take a peek into the nature of a the human mind. One woman actually got excused from jury duty because she missed her dog, who wasn’t used to be left at home. She swore that she would not be a good juror because she’d be worried about her dog the whole time she was away.

While sitting in the jury box this week, I began to wonder how Rags (the star in my Klepto LilyChairCat Mysteries) or even my own cats, Lily and Sophie, would handle the jury selection and serving process. (I’m a writer—of course I’m going to create a story out of the experience.)

1: How would they handle the waiting that accompanies a day (or more) as a prospective juror or an actual juror?

2: Would they enjoy meeting all the different types of people? A busy courthouse is a good place to people-watch.

3: If cats could talk, how would they respond to questioning? You all know cats. They can be quirky, off-the-wall, unpredictable…can you just imagine a cat being questioned as a potential juror? Lily would be asking, “Can I bring snacks into the jury box with me? Where’s the nearest litter box? Is it okay to bring my bowl of water? I must hydrate.”

4: Would they adhere to the rules—be prompt, remain in the designated area, avoid talking about the case, and stay awake through the proceedings?

5: Would the cat even care about the defendant in a trial or would she be more inclined to seek out the nearest chard of sunlight for a long afternoon nap?

Cats can be eye-witnesses. I’ve had Rags paw the bad guy in two of my 18 stories and he did so with amazing finesse and accuracy.

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Thoughts for Thursday – How to Appease Your Cat

The cat that inspired the book series

The cat that inspired the book series

Yesterday, I shared some of the things I’ve done to upset or otherwise disturb, inconvenience, or bother my cats. Here are some of the things they’ve taught me over the years.

I’ve learned to leave the sliding doors to my closet open a smidge in case one of the cats has slipped inside for a nap or an expedition. I remember to open the blinds in the morning so they don’t have to climb through them for bird-watching. They’ve taught us that when they want attention, they want it NOW and we’d better stop what we’re doing or they’ll cause havoc—dive-bomb the newspaper we’re trying to read, scatter or chew on the manuscript pages I’m working with, trip us as we try to walk away… And as my dad used to say, if you want the best seat in the house, move the cat.

What has your cat taught you?

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – How I Inadvertently Sabotage My Poor Cats

Katy

Sometimes we are our cats’ worst enemy. They probably feel quite unloved when we stuff them in a carrier and haul them to the vet for a lot of poking, prodding, and sticking. And what about those times when we accidentally step on their tail or a paw. Maybe she really does feel worse about it than you do, although that’s debatable. Don’t you just feel awful when that happens? I do.

Well, lately, I’ve made some unforgivable faux pas with poor Lily and Sophie. One busy morning, I neglected to serve Sophie her meal. Bad Mama. Here’s what happened. Sophie let us know a few years ago that she much prefers warm food to food right out of the fridge. She’s trained us to heat up her meal before serving it. Lily has taught us to feed her first—cold, warm, she doesn’t care. But we have to feed her first or she’ll devour Sophie’s breakfast and then mosey over to her own plate. So this particular morning, I put Sophie’s food in the microwave, carried Lily’s food into my office so I could keep an eye on her and I sat down to look at something on the computer. About twenty minutes later, I went into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and there’s Sophie still sitting patiently…waiting for her breakfast to come out of the microwave. Talk about a guilt trip. I felt awful. Poor patient girl…

Lily

This week I inadvertently played a seriously bad joke on the girls. Somehow, I managed to put the cat litter box cover on backwards. I discovered it the next morning—not only was the opening turned to the back of the closet, it was up against the closet wall. There was no way the cats could get inside to take care of business. What was I thinking???

Well, they got the last laugh when I approached the second litter box and found it overflowing with lumps. What a mess. I swear they invited all the neighborhood cats for a water-drinking fiesta and then directed them to the litter box to relieve their full bladders. How could two sweet kitty girls make such a grossly un-dainty mess?

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Newsday Tuesday — How We Relate to Cats Around the World

lil-lilyThese news items are old, but sweet. Yesterday we talked about taking your cat to the vet—preserving her health so she’ll have longevity. I want you to read some of these touching stories. They remind us why we love cats and honor them. http://www.catsinfo.com/catnews.html

I’ll bet you wouldn’t expect to see a link to the US Naval Institute in this Catscapades blog. But here it is—it relates to cats and their history in the military. http://www.usni.org/news-and-features/cats-and-the-sea-services

And for the more hard-hitting news on the plight of the innocent feral cat and those who help them and those who hinder their existence. http://animalalliancenyc.org/feralcats/tnr-news-blogs/community-cats-tnr-news/

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Mindful Monday — Take Your Cat to the Vet Day

SmokeyWPixToday is national take your cat to the vet day. While researching this concept, I found a few surprising facts about our habits and beliefs around preventative and maintenance health practices for our cats.

  • Veterinary visits for cats have declined by thirty percent over the past fifteen years.
  • Despite the fact that there are more pet cats than pet dogs, dogs are seen by veterinarians five times more often than cats are.

It’s speculated that we see cats as being more independent and that we don’t rush to intervene on their behalf. Some of us have grown up with the idea that cats are free agents–plentiful and disposable. Dogs, on the other hand, are more dependent on us–maybe even considered more valuable. Cats come and go in many households. Often, they’re pushed on us by indiscriminate backyard breeders or they’re strays we just start feeding. We come by cats easily—we agree to take them in—but we’re reluctant to spend money on them or go through the hassle of driving a non-compliant cat to the veterinarian.

Some of us believe that cats have fewer health issues. That’s probably because cats canAlyzayBirthday3 078 hide their illnesses better. In fact, what does a cat do when he isn’t feeling well? He stays on the sidelines, hides in the closet or under the porch outside. Often it’s difficult to detect a problem with a cat—especially if the cat makes himself scarce.

Dogs, on the other hand are more in your face and a health issue is easier to detect.

Well, this is a good day to think about your cat’s health. Is she eating less enthusiastically? Is she drinking a lot of water or showing signs of malaise? Is her coat a bit scruffy? Is she scratching a lot? Does she sleep more than usual? Does she shy away from your touch? When is the last time she had any vaccines or a well check-up?

Intense Beauty

The good news is cats live longer now than they did say twenty years ago. You can expect to enjoy companionship with your cat for seventeen to nineteen years. Their average lifespan used to be twelve to fourteen years. And part of the difference is quality veterinary care. I can tell you that we may have lost our Lily by now—actually more than once—if it wasn’t for our veterinarians. They pulled her through after an awful accident, a team of them kept her alive and got her going in a healthy direction after she started to crash due to her kidney disease, and they’ve managed to keep her healthy despite the disease.

If it’s been a while since your cat has seen a veterinarian, especially if there are symptoms you don’t understand, today is a good day to call and make an appointment.

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Frivolous Friday — Hilarious cat stories

Cover 1-1 copyI couldn’t resist sharing this crazy link with you featuring ordinary cats that have been caught doing some crazy things. Beware, some of them are a tad off color, but most are kind of interesting, thought-provoking, and will cause a chuckle or at least a puzzled look. https://www.buzzfeed.com/lorynbrantz/16-hilarious-cat-stories-that-prove-cats-are-the-weirdest?utm_term=.jnV56vVnpn#.wwp3ZM4lxl

For more interesting, unusual, touching, and unbelievable cat stories, order your copy of my book, Catscapades, True Cat Stories at Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Catscapades-True-Cat-Tales-Patricia/dp/097735766X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471605066&sr=8-1&keywords=catscapades+patricia+Fry or at http://www.matilijapress.com/catscapades.html

You’ll learn more about Lily and the day she chose to live, Gus, the reluctant babysitting cat, an obstinate calico who responded to mind-talk, an engaging Himalayan who responded to a healing, Sammy, the cat who changed a heart, and around 20 more stories. Illustrated with charming cat photos.

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Thoughts for Thursday – How Smart is Your Cat?

pennyholdpawI hope you are taking the time to check out some of the neat sites, interesting resources, updated information, delightful cat stories, etc. that I bring you Monday through Friday.

While conducting research for the blog site this week, I came across a fun quiz. I took it on behalf of Lily. You might want to answer the questions for your cat. In the end, you will find out something about your cat’s IQ. I learned that Lily is pretty much average as far as intelligence goes. But then, maybe if there were different questions posed, she could test higher (or lower).

I’m happy with Lily and Sophie as they fill my world with humor and make me smile.

Here’s the link to the quiz. Let me know how your cat did. http://www.catchannel.com/cat-iq-test.aspx?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CC_NL_2016-08-16%20(1)&

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Cats, Cats, Everywhere

photogeorgeHow much do you like cats? Enough to travel great distances in order to meet one, mingle with hundreds, or be entertained by a troupe of them? Monday, I told you about inns across the US that feature one or more cats as greeters. Some hotels allow you to invite one of their cats into your room for added charm and comfort. But if that isn’t enough cat-action for you, check out some of these options for traveling cat-people.

At last count, there were 495 cats lolling, preening, and frolicking at the Lanai Cat Sanctuary on the Hawaiian Island of Lanai. Evidently people travel from all over to see the cats, which come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and purrsonalities. They’re all spayed/neutered, micro-chipped and they’ve had a health exam. You can enjoy the cats on site and even adopt one to support or to take home. Why are these cats contained in this fashion—free to roam in the spacious enclosure, yet isolated, nonetheless? It’s actually a wonderful place for cats who need homes and it helps to protect the native birds on the island. To learn more, go to http://lanaicatsancturary.org

While, in America, islands of cats seems an odd concept, it’s quite common in some countries. In fact, there are over a dozen cat islands in Japan. On Aoshima Island, for example, over 100 cats prowl and are eager to greet tourists. Check out some amazing photos of this place. http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2015/03/a-visit-to-aoshima-a-cat-island-in-japan/386647/

There are also a lot of cats kept at Ernest Hemmingway’s estate home in Key West, Florida—around 50 of them. And they’re all, reportedly, descendants of Hemmingway’s own Snowball, a 6-toed Maine coon cat. To learn more about this tourist opportunity go to: http://hemingwayhome.com/cats/

In New York, Marty, Squinkles, and Spot are eager to greet guests to the Meow Parlour. There are eight cats total at this—New York’s first cat café. They rotate cats there from acat cafe rescue organization known as KittyKind. Be prepared to leave your shoes at the door—they don’t want anyone inadvertently stepping on a kitty’s tail. The café is not free, however, guests pay $4 for half hour or $30 for the maximum of five hours for the pleasure of hanging out with the cats. And you’ll probably need reservations. There’s a second cat parlour in New York called Meow Parlour Patisserie and I understand it’s free.

There’s also a cat cafe in San Diego that comes with a whole lot of rules to protect the cats.

The concept of Cat Cafés seems to have started in Tokyo, where there are more than 100 of them. So if you’re traveling in that direction, be sure to have the Cat Café experience.

Want to be entertained by cats? Visit the Moscow Cats Theater in Russia. There are around 200 cats performing all nature of acrobatics, drama, and magic. http://www.kuklachev.ru/eng/about/

pznbt-1249560349Here’s something most of us have never seen—a Cat Boat Sanctuary. It was established for stray and homeless cats in the 1960s in Amsterdam as a way to protect the cats as well as keep them from annoying wildlife and residents. Over time, they’ve had to buy larger and larger boats and I suspect there are more than one boat today. Check it out here: http://depoezenboot.nl/en

 

 

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Newsday Tuesday – What’s New in the Klepto Cat Mystery Factory?

CatsInCahoots-cover-webI know, I know, I promised I’d share information and resources for places you can get your cat fix while traveling. And I will. Only there are some exciting things going on with the Klepto Cat Mysteries and I wanted to share that today. Tomorrow, I’ll introduce you to cats all over the world who are eager to make your acquaintance.

All Klepto Cat Books are in Print!

So what’s going on in the Klepto Cat Mystery Factory? We have now caught up the print books with the ebooks. Yes, it’s true. There are not as many of you who read the Klepto Cat Mysteries from the old-fashioned book. Many, many, countless more of you—around 3,000 per month, to be exact—are reading my stories from their Kindle or other reader. Sales for the print book are in the 50- to 100-book range most months. But we sure want to accommodate all readers and I appreciate each and every one of you. I especially love it when you post a review of the books at amazon.com. To those of you who have; Thank you. To those of you who haven’t, I invite you to.

There are now 18 Klepto Cat Mysteries published in print and for your Kindle (or other ereader). The last two books in the series were published in print over the weekend. That’s A MEOWvelous Witness and Cats in Cahoots. Learn more about these stories and place your orders:

A MEOWvelous Witness: https://www.amazon.com/MEOWvelous-Witness-Klepto-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B01FGE25SE/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471351361&sr=1-3&keywords=klepto+cat+mysteries#nav-subna

Cats in Cahoots Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Cats-Cahoots-Klepto-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B01H9N2A9Y/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471351244&sr=1-2&keywords=klepto+cat+mysteries#nav-subnav

Cats in Cahoots Print: https://www.amazon.com/Cats-Cahoots-Klepto-Cat-Mystery/dp/0997519045/ref=sr_1_19?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471351288&sr=1-19&keywords=klepto+cat+mysteries

(Sorry, as of this posting, Amazon hasn’t put the print and ebook together on one page—soon, I hope.)

Order your Klepto Cat Mystery of choice this week and I’ll send you a set of note cards (to US addresses only). Contact me here through “comments” or at my facebook page KleptoCatMysteries or here: PLFry620@yahoo.com

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