Newsday Tuesday – The Mayor is a Cat

catmayorWhile in Alaska, I visited a town whose mayor is a cat. Yes, the mayor of Talkeetna, a small town about halfway between Anchorage and Fairbanks—near Mt. Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley)—is a cat. His name is Stubbs because of his short tail (due to an accident). They say that he was elected mayor because he is so wise. He was evidently a write-in candidate in the local election when he was a mere kitten in 1997. Due to his advanced age (he’s 19 now, and failing), he no longer greets visitors as they meander through the quaint small town. Even with my credentials as an author and cat blogger, I was denied access to him. And I understood. This photo of Stubbs is taken from a postcard. Handsome fellow, isn’t he?

Read more about this unlikely mayor in this story published in the NY Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/cat-mayor-alaska-town-15-years-article-1.1116263

I wondered, are there other mayors of the feline persuasion around the world? Surprisingly (or is it?) yes. In Barnual, Siberia last December, citizens voted a Scottish fold named Barsik into office by over a whopping ninety percent. Read the story: http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/16/europe/siberian-city-cat-mayor/index.html

Petro has taken over as mayor, greeter, postman—you name it—in Carroll Gardens, NY. This is an extraordinarily charming story—a must read!

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/06/nyregion/the-cat-mayor-of-carroll-gardens.html?_r=0

But cats aren’t the only animals that have run for office—check out this site and meet political dogs and even a goat! http://mentalfloss.com/article/31231/4-animals-ran-mayor-and-won

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Mindful Monday – Is it Okay to Leave Your Cat Home Alone?

Peeek-a-Boo

Peeek-a-Boo

You may not know this, but I’ve been traveling again. Just got back from a great week in Alaska. Again, I wrote blogs before leaving and scheduled them to be posted while I was gone. It appears that everything went smoothly. And I’ve come home with a lot of new information, resources, perspective, and stories for those of you who live with and love cats and enjoy reading about them.

I sure missed our cats and I fret some about them when I’m gone—that they’re pining away for us, that they’re worried we aren’t coming back, that they will not be cared for in the way they’re accustomed to. I wonder how much of this is justified.

Cats seem to know when you’re preparing for a trip. Lily and Sophie start the piercing stares as soon as they see the luggage appear. On travel day, we have to check before going out the door to make sure Lily hasn’t snuggled into one of the bags.

We do our best to provide excellent care for the kitties while we’re gone. Ideally, we’d have someone they know and love stay at the house with them. But we haven’t managed that luxury yet. They get their fresh food and water on schedule and someone cleans their litter boxes. Lily gets petted every day, but Sophie hasn’t found the courage to bond with anyone but us, so she misses out on that until we return.

How does your cat react when you return from a trip? I’ve had cats who seemed to punish me for leaving—they’d avoid me for a time. Katy, for example, would sit across the room and stare for anywhere from ten minutes to nearly an hour before she’d allow any petting. Lily marches to a different drummer, however. She’s waiting at the door when we walk in and is eager to get her petting and scratching. She follows me everywhere, helps me unpack, and expresses an interest in the things I bring back, such as this cute little stuffed moose. lilymoose

While some cats seem to see right into our soul, it’s impossible for us to read their mind, but I have to wonder, does it harm a cat to leave them alone for long periods? Well, I did a little research and here’s what I learned: Certainly, you would not leave a cat alone without any human contact for more than a day. Anyone who has had cats for any length of time knows that some illnesses can come on rather quickly. Cats can run out of kibbles, spill their water bowl, or get into a dangerous situation around the house. What if one of these things happens when we’re gone for days and there’s no one checking in on them? Here are three sites I recommend for some great perspective and ideas for when you must leave your cat behind. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2014/01/06/home-alone-pet-cat.aspx#! 

http://www.catchannel.com/experts/marilyn-krieger/do-cats-get-lonely.aspx  

http://www.sheknows.com/pets-and-animals/articles/849147/how-to-leave-your-cat-home-alone

 

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Frivolous Friday – Klepto Cat Mysteries

Cover 1-1 copyI started this blog to promote my first book related to cats, Catscapades, True Cat Tales. I continue it to keep you informed about my subsequent books for cat people—the Klepto Cat Mysteries and to share stories, information, resources, ideas, thoughts, reminiscences, all related to cats. I’m pleased to see our subscriber list growing.

It has been a while since I’ve talked about my books. Until this week, I’ve pretty much shared my experiences, travels, photos, outside of what I spend most of my time doing, which is writing and promoting the Klepto Cat Mysteries.

I just want you to know, I am still writing every chance I get Product Detailsand loving every minute. There are now 18 Klepto Cat Mysteries formatted for your Kindle. Sixteen of the books are also in print—Claws for a Cause being the latest. I’ve vowed to catch up the print books with the ebooks this year. We’re working on it.

I’d love a count from you—how many of the books in the series have you read? Do you prefer the Kindle version or print?

Order Klepto Cat Mysteries here: http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

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Thoughts for Thursday – Cozy Cats

lilylaundryIMG_1994Cozy Mysteries involving cats seem to be the rage these days. Lily7Weeks 034Men, women, and young adults all over the globe enjoy chilling on a summer day with light reading. And what can make even a mystery story more enjoyable than the inclusion of a cat (or 2 or more)? In fact, many readers are petting their own cats while reading the Klepto Cat Mysteries.LilyMayJune2009 008

Along with cozy mysteries, I think of cozy cats. Today, I’d like to share photos of my cats looking cozy, relaxed and carefree.

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – GoPro for Cats

smokey-004Are you one of the growing number of people who keep an eye on their kids or pets while traveling or at work by installing cameras in the home? Yesterday we talked about the dangers of letting your cat outside. But for those cats who roam or who may escape, wouldn’t it be a kick to equip them with a camera and find out what they do all day?

My mother has a cat that cannot be corralled. He leaves the house every morning around eight and returns for supper. Where does he go? What does he do? I’ve always wondered. So in my next Klepto Cat Mystery story, we will find out. That is, I’ll create a story around this theme.

Rags (the klepto cat) and his friend, Dolly, find their way out of the house and are gone for smokeybee-014a few days. Because they return with some evidence, it has become important to find out where they traveled and what they’d been doing. So Deputy Craig Sledge has put out a plea to the community asking for eye witness reports of the cats’ activities, surveillance camera footage, etc.

Unlike some cozy mysteries, I do not typically tell my stories through the cats’ point of view. The mysteries are human-driven from the human point of view. But in this story, readers will be able to follow Rags through the streets, neighborhoods, and businesses and be privy to just what a cat on the run might do, see, and experience.

Of course, this experiment results in clearing up a mystery. I’ll announce when the book (Klepto Cat Mystery number 19) is published. Watch for it in August or September.

In the meantime, have you read the latest Klepto Cat Mystery? It’s Cats in Cahoots. CatsInCahoots-cover-webReaders and reviewers love this light mystery which is loaded with kitty and kid action. https://www.amazon.com/Cats-Cahoots-Klepto-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B01H9N2A9Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467810386&sr=8-1&keywords=cats+in+cahoots+fry

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Newsday Tuesday – Inside Versus Outside Cats

IM000235.JPG

IM000235.JPG

Where do your cats live? I’d always had inside/outside cats until the year I bought Crystal—a Persian. Of course, she would be a totally inside cat. She was too pretty, expensive, and she lacked street smarts.

After losing Crystal to leukemia (before the vaccine was available), I rescued a variety of cats who became inside/outside cats and I lost them to maladies probably only occurring for cats who are allowed to go outside. So years later, when I brought home another purebred cat, I deemed her a total inside kitty and held to that rule for all of the rescues that followed. Let me tell you, I’ve learned that cats do live longer when they don’t have the option of running free in the neighborhood—at least mine do. Before my decision to keep cats inside, my kitties lived to be anywhere from five years to eight at the most. In recent years, I’ve had two cats live to be 18. One huge benefit here in California is that you have 0 or far fewer fleas to deal with when you keep your cats inside.gorgebirdbath

FYI, an outdoor cat’s life expectancy is 4 to 5 years. Inside kitties live an average of 12 to 14 years, statistically.

I’ve never had my inside cats complain or try to dash through an open door—except for one.

Like most of our cats, Dinah came to us from a shelter. She was eight months and accustomed to being outside. In fact, she refused to use a litter box at all. She’d wait until someone let her out, even if it was during a torrential rain storm.

photogeorgeA part of me appreciates the concept of free-range cats. I enjoy seeing a cat in the yard—dancing after a butterfly, curled up on our deck furniture, poking around a flower bed. And I miss having cats with me when I garden. But there are way too many dangers for free-roaming cats. I’m just one of thousands who have lost cats to traffic, owls, coyotes, and various poisons used by neighbors to control gophers. When I see “missing cat” fliers posted throughout the neighborhood, my blood boils. I want to scream, “Keep your cat inside where she’s safe.”

But then that opens another can of worms. What about household dangers? I’ve written articles and posted blogs warning people about some of the dangers inside, as well. Use the search feature at the top of this post to locate pertinent posts. Use keyword “danger.” The most recent, as you may recall, is the May 17, 2016 post. But you’ll also find posts on preparing your home for a kitten, plants and flower danger for cats and kittens, and hazards for cats in your holiday packaging and more. If you’re new to cats or plan to adopt a kitten soon, do yourself a favor and review these posts.

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Mindful Monday – Feeding Cats

In our household, feeding cats used to be a slam dunk. I’d sprinkle kibbles into a bowl—job done.

lily-001Then Lily came to live with us. I couldn’t bear to serve this tiny tabby dry kibbles, so I found a store that carried cans of kitten food and started her on that. As she grew, she discovered the kibbles bowl and was pleased to help herself. But I continued feeding her canned food, as well.

When she was diagnosed with kidney disease at a young age, the veterinarian recommended a new diet of prescription kibbles and also canned food. And we had an awful time making the switch. After calling in other veterinarians, including a holistic vet in Connecticut, and trying a lot of techniques, appetite enhancers, and other formulas, Lily began eating the prescribed food. For the most part, she’s an enthusiastic eater. But she eats better if I’m with her. Sometimes it’s okay if I’m just sitting in the room. Other times, she won’t eat unless I’m actually down on the floor with her.

I’ve never had a cat do that before. Have you? In fact, Sophie won’t eat her meals unless lily-with-treats-030everyone is sitting still, preferably somewhere else in the house where she can’t see or hear us. But Lily will frequently stop eating, until I accompany her to her dish, get down on my hands and knees and coax her to take a bite. As long as I sit there with her, she’ll eat. Is she spoiled or what?

What are some of your cats’ unusual eating styles?

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Frivolous Friday – Silly Cats

frypay11I don’t suppose cats know when they look silly, but I’m pretty surelilymax they don’t like to be laughed at. Lily seems to respond when I smile at her—which is often. I smile when she enters the room or when I find her in the room I’m entering. I smile when she looks at me and when I see her play, roll around on the floor, or race across the room to attack Sophie cat. Actually, I smile a lot more when there’s a cat in the house or when I see one when I’m out and about.

CatfaceIMG_1972But some of Lily’s and Sophie’s antics can make me break out in LilyEarhuge guffaws. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite chuckle-producing photos of my girls as well as some others I’ve collected. I’d like to see some of your funny cat photos, as well.

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Thoughts for Thursday – Should You Let Sleeping Cats Lie?

easter2010-023Don’t you just love the sight of a peacefully sleeping cat? Boy do they know how to relax. But they can come to attention and be fully alert at the drop of a hat or a shoe or even a pencil. They appear to sleep soundly, but do they really? Is their perfectly cozy body a facade for a bundle of nerves programmed to explode at the tiniest disturbance?

Lily loves to curl up with me most mornings as I write. I love that she just seems to melt into my lap. She’s completely at ease. When I must disturb her for some reason, however, I simply move and she leaps off my lap fully awake and alert.

When she wakes up on her own, however, I notice that she stretches and yawns before ever taking a step. Cats seem to be natural yogis. Ever notice that? We could learn a lot from them about taking better care of our bodies.

The fact is that cats sleep approximately sixteen hours per day. That’s according to the lily2experts. And cats do dream. So when you see your sleeping kitty’s whiskers and paws twitch, she may well be dreaming of a hunting or a play episode. I found this interesting: even during sleep, 70 percent of a cats’ senses are still keen. That’s one reason why they can wake up so quickly upon smelling a certain scent or hearing something. Here’s more about sleeping cats for those of you who want a better understanding of your cat. http://cats.about.com/od/amyshojai/a/understanding-your-sleepy-cat.htm and here: http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cat-behavior-five-facts-sleep

Here’s a fun site showing 25 different sleeping-cat positions. I guarantee you’ll smile—maybe even laugh out loud. https://www.buzzfeed.com/paws/awkward-cat-sleeping-positions/?utm_term=.thP05515R6#.uhK6mmQmRy

 

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – So You Think Your Cat’s Smart!

Miss Bella has good taste

Miss Bella has good taste

Kitty Lover News lists the 10 smartest cat breeds—among them are the Siamese, Abyssinian, Bengal, Singapura, Tonkinese, and Cornish Rex.

We’ve all had smart cats and we’ve all seen our cats do what we consider smart things—either because they figured out how to do it or they just happened to do it accidentally. But here are some cats caught doing some pretty clever things. According to Dr. Berit Brogaard, Cats have a greater capacity for complex problem-solving than dogs do. She says that dogs clearly have a higher social IQ than cats but cats can solve harder cognitive problems, if indeed they feel like it. Here’s a fascinating article that describes the differences in the brains of cats versus dogs.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-superhuman-mind/201302/how-smart-is-your-cat-1

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