Frivolous Friday – Some of my Favorite Kittens

What a nice way to end the week—with adorable pictures of some sweet kittens.

Enjoy.

 

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Thoughts for Thursday – Tire Shelters for Cats

Say what? Yes, it’s evidently a new concept and quite a good idea for keeping feral cats safe and warm in winter. People rehabilitate old tires and create shelter for homeless cats. Here’s a picture of a kitty tire condo: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1972841336076879&id=180016842026013

And if you really have a lot of old tires and time and you love rubber yard ornaments, you must check out this site. It shows 40 things you can do with tires—for example, make decorative birds, a horse and cart (no kidding), some adorable snails to welcome guests. Seeing is believing: https://www.icreativeideas.com/40-creative-diy-ideas-to-repurpose-old-tire-into-animal-shaped-garden-decor/

Here’s another method of protecting feral cats in winter using Rubbermaid storage bins https://alleycatadvocates.org/communitycat-care-center/creating-winter-shelters/

 

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – More Cats I Know

I continue to collect pictures of cats from friends and take pictures of cats I see out and about. Here are some you might enjoy. This is Tommy. He had a horrendous bout with a mysterious illness a few years ago. It took a while to diagnose it and get him back on track and his humans spent a lot of money in the process, but just look at the results. Tommy is healthy, happy, and he’s still king of the house.

This little cutie is Joy. She lives next door. She’s petite and has only part of a tail. She’s been a little lonely since her longtime Maine coon buddy passed on, but is a bit overwhelmed now by a couple of kittens who have joined the household. Her humans say it has certainly brought out the kitten in Joy to have Annie and Mollie around.

 

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Newsday Tuesday – Book 38 in the Works

Can you believe it? I’ve finished the first draft of Book 38. Spoiler Alert: Book 38 is this year’s Christmas story. In the seven years that I’ve been writing the Klepto Cat Mysteries, I’ve produced two Christmas stories. And are they ever popular! This will be number three.

This book is with beta readers as we speak. Look for it on Amazon sometimes in October. Yes, it still has to go through another few rounds of editing before I hand it off to the editor. Then I do more editing. Next we go through the formatting process for the print book and the ebook.

In the meantime, Bernadette Kazmarski is working on the cover. Presently we’re trying to decide whether to show the inside of the cozy cabin, where Rags and his family are staying in this story, or the outside of it with Rags frolicking in the snow. Decisions! Decisions!

I get pleas from Rags’s fans to hurry and finish the next book. “I can’t wait for the next one,” they say. “When will the next book be out?” Well, typically, over the six and a half years, I’ve produced 6 books per year. This year we’ll top that—not that I’m trying to break any records. No. My goals is simply to keep doing what I love doing, which is to write these stories for you, and to bring you a new book as often as possible. Turns out this year the possibility is seven (or maybe eight) books.

Another spoiler alert: I started Book 39 yesterday—a very interesting and different theme for Rags and his human and animal friends. Yes, I’m able to work on two books simultaneously. Someone asked me the other day how I do that and I suppose it’s from my training as an article-writer. I often had more than one or two articles going at various stages on very different topics for very different publications.

So this is my update. I hope you are all enjoying Book 37, Cats and Caboodle as part of your summer reading.

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Mindful Monday – Chronicling a Cat’s Disease

No worries for those of you who love Rags, the partly fictitious cat in my Klepto at Mystery stories. He isn’t ill, but Lily is. We adopted Lily when she was eight-weeks old. We believe she came to us with kidney disease because the symptoms appeared so early. The diagnosis took a while.

When she was four years, she became seriously ill. We consulted with several veterinarians, including a specialist in New York and, with guidance and mostly natural remedies and a switch to prescription food, we got her on the right track again. That’s when we received the kidney disease diagnosis. For six years now we’ve kept an eye on Lily’s kidney values and we’ve carefully monitored her food—mostly prescription. So far so good until this year. Lily is ten. The numbers are starting to go awry and, for the first time since 2009, she’s losing weight. She’s been vomiting more often. Time to start worrying.

Maybe she was feeding off my emotions at first, or she was simply mad at us because we stuffed her into a carrier and carted her off to the torture chamber (veterinarian) last week, but she seemed lethargic. She started hanging out alone in a different spot and she looked sad. But she never missed a meal—that’s our Lily.

After a couple of days, however, and daily doses of Rescue Remedy and a supplement for kitty kidney patients, Lily is back to being silly and sweet Lily. I know that it will be a series of ups and downs from here on out. And boy am I going to enjoy those ups.

Just now, in fact, Lily and I played a fast game of “chase the straw tip.” She loves chasing after the tip of the straw when I snip it off so the straw fits in my coffee cup. When I saw Lily sort of lounging around looking bored yesterday, I picked up the stuffed animals she had strewn all over the floor and put them away. Minutes later I heard her announcing her arrival with baby lamb, then her little kitty, soon she brought her hedgehog and polar bear. Yes, she was back—she had purpose. This morning, after our romp with the straw tip, she rewarded me with MY little moose, which does not go in her toy box, but it sits on the piano. No stuffed critter in this house is safe from Lily. And that’s okay with me. It’s when she stops decorating the house with her toys that I’ll go into serious worry mode.

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Frivolous Friday – Try Leaving Home Without It

First an announcement: Book 37–Cats and Caboodle–is ready for you to read on your ebook devise. Available now at amazon. ENJOY!!!

One day last week I walked into my bedroom and found Sophie having a euphoric moment with a blouse I’d just taken off. She was rolling around on the bed with my blouse clutched in her paws thoroughly enjoying herself. Of course, I grabbed my camera. As you can see I didn’t get the sweet moment I’d witnessed, but only the caught-in-the-headlights version. Cute, nonetheless.

This reminded me of the value in leaving an article of your freshly worn clothing out for your cats when you’re going to be gone for any length of time. When we do that, we return to find the t-shirt or pjs mildly disturbed, which means the cats were taking advantage of the offering by pawing at it, sleeping on it, wrestling around with it, or just sniffing it once in a while. For cats with any level of separation anxiety this can be comforting.

In our household, I’m not sure our cats miss us because they love us as much as they worry when we leave that we won’t be back in time for their next meal.

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Thoughts for Thursday – Props for Photographing Your Pets

Last week I posted a close up of Lily on my facebook page and people seemed to love it. She is a pretty girl. But she and Sophie aren’t always easy to photograph. Some of my favorite pictures of my cats and other cats involve a prop. It doesn’t take much—an unusual basket, an ornate chair, the piano, a vase of flowers, cat motif pieces, a window, another cat…

I’ve taken pictures of our cats exploring the dishwasher and refrigerator, getting to know various ceramic cats and cats created from other materials. Check out this blanket of cats as a backdrop for Sophie.

Bring in a box and your cats will react. In fact bring in anything different to the room and get your camera ready. The curiosity of a cat is definitely to a photographer’s advantage. Sometimes you can predict what a cat will do, thus set up a photo op. Does your cat go crazy for running water, for example? Maybe she has a tortoise friend she greets every morning or she typically crawls into the cat food cabinet and poses with a bag of kibbles as a reminder to feed her. Don’t let another day go by without documenting some of these interesting shots. Your cat may end up going viral on the Internet or you’ll simply have a cute photo to show off to friends and relatives. A photo similar to this one showing Lily with the alphabet blocks won a spot on Workman’s Cat-a-Day Calendar one year.

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Silly Lily

Today I’m simply sharing photos of Lily in awkward, cute, funny, crazy, silly poses. Like most cats, she can imitate a pretzel, fall asleep in the most unlikely positions, become a wet noodle or strike a

The Party is Over

goofy pose. An alert photographer can catch some interesting cat moods and actions. While I’ve caught a few fun shots of Lily, usually she’s in and out of the mode or mood before I can find my camera or phone and click.

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Newsday Tuesday – Cat News From Around the World

You might not realize how much is being written about cats—not only on the Internet, but in scientific journals, and other magazines. Here’s a story describing how a researcher strapped video cameras onto 16 cats and turned them loose to see how they behave when no one is watching. Some of their findings were expected, but many were not. For example, cats vocalize less when they’re not around humans and their vocalization changes from that we typically hear when we’re with them. Cats are more alert when they’re roaming–they don’t nap so often. When the same cat ventures into his own yard where his human is puttering or lounging, he will relax and often take a nap. Read more about what happens when cats are on their own. It’s a sort of birds-eye view we don’t often get to see. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/05/researchers-strapped-video-cameras-16-cats-and-let-them-do-their-thing-here-s-what-they

Have you heard of the horrible parasite Toxoplasma gondii—or Toxo? There’s been a breakthrough in the studies of this parasite and how and why it uses cats to reproduce. Part of the good news here is that researchers know so much about this parasite now that they no longer need to use cats in their research. Yes, scientists believe they’ve isolated the piece of information they needed in order to understand and take action against it. Now to start eradicating this parasite and the danger it brings to people and pets.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/07/groundbreaking-parasite-study-good-news-cats/593779/

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Mindful Monday – 79 at 79 (New Klepto Cat Mystery)

No I’m not here to blog about some crazy mathematic equation today. These numbers relate to an accomplishment of mine—actually two accomplishments. I just published my 79th book after just turning 79 years old. I don’t know if we need a moment of silence here or a round of cheers. I’ll accept either.

The 79th book is the 37th in the Klepto Cat Mystery series, which I began writing 7 years ago. Did you notice all the 7s in that statistic? Number 37 is a fun story about too many cats. Here’s the description for Cats and Caboodle.

Rags wears many hats in this action-packed mystery.

While he bravely serves as a therapy cat for street pets and helps to heal a potentially dangerous family issue, Rags’s most important role in this story is untangling a messy cat mystery. Cats seem to be coming out of the woodwork at the Kaiser Inn. No one knows where they’re coming from or where they’re going. Even Caroline, the cat psychic, is puzzled, until the circus comes to town. Follow along with this fascinating tale and thrill at all the CATfusion and kitty-cat fun.

The print version is available at Amazon.com and the ebook will follow probably in ten days or two weeks.

Don’t you love the cover? It’s another Bernadette Kazmarski original!

 

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