Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Unique Gifts for Unique Cats

Here’s a site featuring gifts for cats. http://www.starkravingcat.com If your cat likes catnip, you can purchase catnip toys of all kinds—in shapes of hearts, rocket ships, and even cigar-shaped catnip called “joints.” My fave is the cowboy boot catnip toy. Or buy Fluffy a new collar with the lucky Asian kitty dangling from it. As a bonus, this site also offers matching earrings for the female in the home. Does your cat dress up for Halloween? Yup, this site even includes a few costumes for kitty.

I love this story about Simon—a cat who engages in some extreme outdoor sports with his favorite person, JJ. This black cat seems to have all of the necessary accessories for the various activities he engages in, whether it’s strolling along a trail, climbing, riding atop JJ’s pack, kayaking, or scampering in the snow. But he doesn’t have his own sleeping bag. He shares one with JJ. Check out these great shots of Simon doing what he and JJ love best.  http://people.com/pets/handsome-cat-and-climber-duo-camp-across-the-world-in-one-sleeping-bag/v

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Newsday Tuesday – Do You Really Know Your Cat?

When we have a question or need something clarified, we turn to the Internet. If you have a cat you probably have questions about her behavior or her health. You can google keywords and find information on the topic of your concern or you can go online and ask a specific question. Here are a few sites where veterinarians answer pet health questions: https://www.justanswer.com/ (Click on Veterinarians). Here’s a good site for health and behavior issues. https://pets.webmd.com/cats/default.htm This article lists 10 sites for cat owners who have questions: http://www.naturalcatcareblog.com/2011/02/9-useful-sites-for-researching-cat-health-issues/

Want to know why your cat bites her nails, rubs against you, sometimes leave poop uncovered, sniffs your face, stares at you and more? Check out this site: http://www.sheknows.com/pets-and-animals/articles/994845/25-random-cat-behaviors-finally-explained


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Mindful Monday – Cats Riding in Cars

If your cat is like most cats, he hates a car ride. He fights getting into the carrier and he yowls all the way to the vet or the groomer or to your new home when you move. Some have been known to claw their way out of a cardboard carrier during a car ride, then hide under the seat having to be pried out. Cats do not like riding in cars. At least that seems true for most cats. There certainly are some who enjoy or who will tolerate a car ride and I think that’s mostly those cats who are allowed to ride outside of a carrier. An outdoor cat who has the opportunity to explore the inside of a car while it’s parked, often makes a good passenger. And cats that have made friends with the cat carrier are fairly calm during a car ride.

Whether your cat is a happy passenger or a scaredy cat during trips in the car, we really should apply the seatbelt law to him or her. When you take your cat someplace in the carrier, seatbelt the carrier into the front seat of the car. Or sit in the backseat with him (if someone else is driving) so you can reassure him along the way.

Did you know there are restraints made specifically for cats who prefer to run loose in the car? First responders to car accidents and anyone who has been involved in a car accident with a cat in the car will tell you how important it is to restrain your cat.

Not only can a cat be hurt in a crash, many cats escape after an accident and get lost or they’re hit by a car on a busy highway after an accident. A cat can interfere with the operation of the car and cause an accident—especially a kitten who might go exploring under the brake pedal.

Here are tips for keeping your cat safe in the car. https://www.wikihow.com/Keep-a-Cat-Safe-in-the-Car

Check out this article. It features a cat restraint of another kind. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2131&aid=790

Here’s a good site offering tips for traveling with your cat—including finding out what documents you need in order to cross state lines with your cat. https://www.petful.com/travel/car-travel-tips-cats/

Posted in About Cats, Cat resources, Cat Safety | Leave a comment

Frivolous Friday – Capturing the Essence of a Cat

I’ve featured Susan Colla’s animal art here before. I think her pencil drawings of animals—in particular cats—are phenomenal. So much so that I bought one of her originals. Susan seems to know and understand the big cats from the inside out—otherwise, how could she capture them so perfectly?

Susan does with her pencil what some of us can’t even manage with a camera. But a camera doesn’t always capture the essence of a cat. You might see it there as you snap the picture. However, when you look at the result of your photography, that element is missing. When you look into your precious kitty’s eyes, you may feel as though you’re seeing her personality or maybe even into her soul. But most pictures you take of her don’t quite capture that.

If you’re like me, you pick up your phone or camera often throughout the day and snap a picture of your cat doing something cute or comical. And most often you miss the shot you really wanted because the cat walks off or the picture just doesn’t appear as you envisioned it.

A couple of nights ago I picked up my phone camera and shot these photos of our cats. This is Sophie showing her glamorous side. I think this is one of the best shots I’ve taken of Sophie (the tortie). Then I noticed Lily making a shadow. I don’t think I’ve ever snapped a picture of Lily and her shadow before—couldn’t resist and I liked the way it turned out. I hope you enjoy my efforts as well.

Posted in Artists and Cats, Cat Photography | Leave a comment

Thoughts for Thursday – What’s Happening With the Klepto Cat?

I often have people tell me they’ve read all of the Klepto Cat books and they want to go back and do it again. I wonder how many fans have actually re-read the entire series. For those of you who haven’t kept up, I’ve written and produced 25 Klepto Cat Mysteries since that day in June of 2012 when I started writing the first one, Catnapped. Catnapped was published in June of 2013. Since then, I’ve averaged 6 books per year. Have I kept up that pace this year? I can assure you that I will.

Book 25, A CATalyst for Clues, was published in print and as an ebook late last month. Once the audio book is ready for publication, I’ll introduce A CATalyst for Clues through promotional efforts. And soon to follow will be the book I’m working on now—A Perilous PURRsuit. You can expect to see that book on the market for your reading pleasure sometime next month—a nice holiday gift for you.

In the meantime, the two cats I patterned Rags after continue to inspire and enlighten me. Smokey is my mother’s cat. As you can see, Rags looks like Smokey and he shares some of Smokey’s purrsonality. Smokey is an in-charge guy—always looking for a handout and a hand to pet him. He also likes a good ride on Mama’s walker or anything else with wheels. Except the car. Unlike Rags, he’s not crazy about a car ride. He’s an adventuresome cat—always on the prowl for some excitement. And he has a lot of friends.

Lily is my cat. She inspired the klepto aspect of Rags because she carries things around in her mouth. I’m not sure if she’s bringing me gifts, trying to replicate a hunting instinct, or redecorating the house to suit her. But she spends time each evening and morning taking her stuffed toys out of the cat toy box and dropping them here and there around the house. She has claimed some of my small stuffed bears and cats and she sometimes brings me my slippers.

The only thing Smokey carries into the house are birds, lizards, and the like. Gifts for my mother, I presume.

It’s been interesting coming up with plots for the Klepto Cat Mysteries, but these two cats certainly provide inspiration.

For those of you who have read my stories, thank you. I’ve certainly enjoyed bringing them to you. Visit my Klepto Cat Mystery website. It’s quite artistic. You’ll find out more about me and each of the books, plus we’ve included a list of things you’ll learn by reading these books. http://www.KleptoCatMysteries.com



Posted in Living With Cats, New Klepto Cat Mystery, Writing about cats | Leave a comment

Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – The Most Common Cat in America

Did you know that as many as 95 percent of cats in the US are domestic short-haired or domestic shorthair cats? If you have a short-haired cat of unknown descent in any color or coat pattern, she is probably a domestic shorthair (also known as an alley cat or housecat. In the UK, it’s moggie).

The domestic short-haired cat is not to be confused with the recognized breed shorthairs, such as the British shorthair, American shorthair, exotic shorthair. The domestic shorthair is not a recognized breed, but sort of a catchall phrase for short-haired cats of unknown ancestry in the US.

Did you know that you can still show your domestic shorthaired cat in cat shows? Most shows have a domestic or household cat category. While many domestic shorthairs are fairly ordinary in body style and color, they can have an extraordinary personality. Some of them are exquisitely marked. They generally love to hunt, they require little grooming, they’re smarter than many breeds of cats, they’re loyal, and all of them have beautiful souls.

Learn more about the domestic shorthair here: https://catappy.com/domestic-shorthair-cat-facts


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Newsday Tuesday – Big Cats on the Loose

Occasionally there will be a report of an exotic big cat on the loose—a tiger or lion, for example. It happened here locally in California some years ago—and the end result is usually a death sentence for the animal. In the case near our city, evidently someone was keeping tigers illegally and when it escaped, rather than report it or help in the cat’s recover, the owner went into hiding. When the cat was found, it was killed. I believe the owners were eventually found and heavily fined.

Sometimes we hear about a circus animal escaping and causing havoc in neighborhoods. These creatures aren’t accustomed to freedom and all that goes with it and most often are shot for the safety of citizens and their pets. Here’s the story of a very recent escape and the sad ending: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-strange-and-deadly-saga-of-15-circus-cats%e2%80%99-final-week-in-america/ar-AAt1PxH?li=BBnbcA1&srcref=rss

Did you know that there are hundreds of exotic big cats living legally—with permits—throughout the United States and authorities don’t know how many are being kept in basements and backyards without permits. Here’s an interesting list of those that were registered in 2011 and 2014. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-rQZK2lBPese4Lyq4mcS_g75Zjc_l0YxYo5wD6f_IOo/edit#gid=4

Who would keep or try to keep a tiger in their backyard? You might be surprised. A baby tiger was confiscated just recently when someone tried to smuggle it across the Mexican border into San Diego.

How does this impact the rest of us? Here’s a site where you can read about this, as it documents some of the over 700 big cat attacks in the US occurring since 1990. https://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-attacks

Whew, this is a dismal topic, but one you may want to explore in case you want to get behind a movement to ban ownership of exotic big cats by anyone other than a zoo or put stiffer restrictions on these cats being brought into the US, for example. The sad thing about the current regulations is that evidently no one is monitoring the care and safety measures for these cats and some of them do escape into a world they do not understand.

(Artwork by Susan Colla) (Tiger photo taken at a big cat sanctuary in Southern CA)

Posted in About Cats, Exotic Cats | Leave a comment

Mindful Monday – Animal Behaviorists

Friday, we talked about children and cats and I introduced you to Pamela Johnson-Bennett’s book, Cat Wise. I thought you’d like to know more about this author. She’s a cat behaviorist and starred in the UK Animal Planet TV series, Psycho Cat. She has ten books, including Think Like a Cat, Cat vs Cat, Starting From Scratch, Hiss and Tell. And her site is full of useful tips and help with any issues you may be having with your cat. For example, she offers hints and helps for people with cats that knock things off the tables, play too aggressively, carries food away from his dish, has litter box problems, etc. She offers ideas for feeding multiple cats in the household different diets, calming tension between cats in the household and so much more. Check out her site here: http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/

Amy Shojai is also an animal behaviorist. She writes and answers questions about issues with both cats and dogs. Sign up for her newsletter and learn more about Amy, her work and her books here: http://shojai.com/amy-intro-page/

And, of course, there’s Jackson Galaxy of Animal Planet’s Cats From Hell. See what he’s been up to here: http://jacksongalaxy.com/

Have you ever had a cat psychic for a problem with your cat? I have—but that’s another story for another time. I heard of this same animal psychic counseling a dog in this area. The gal has several animals and one of her small dogs was acting up or sad or something. So she called the psychic, who told the dog owner that the dog was upset about a scarf. The psychic was confused, but said, that the dog had told her all the other dogs get scarves, but not him and he’s angry. He wants a scarf, too.

Turns out that a groomer comes in and grooms the dogs once a month or so and, for some reason, the groomer ties doggie bandanas around the necks of all the other dogs—but not this one small dog. Now isn’t that something? Makes you look at your dog in a little different light, doesn’t it? Do they really get their feelings hurt that easily?

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Frivolous Friday – How Safe and Sane is a Cat for a Child?

Most of us with cats have had cats all of our lives. We had cats in the household as a child and when our own children were growing up. Is this a good idea? Shouldn’t we oust the cat when a new baby comes into the home? Won’t toddlers harm a cat? Will a cat hurt the children or make them sick? Here’s a site that covers all of your fears and may support your common sense ideas on this topic. http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/cats-and-children-10-things-every-parent-should-know/

Basically, the 10 points at this site boil down to the fact that we were right all along—it’s good for kids to grow up with cats. Cats can be an emotionally healthy aspect of childhood. According to Pam Johnson-Bennett, author of Cat Wise, there are ways to prepare a cat for the arrival of a new baby. She suggests wearing baby powder and other scents that will be prevalent in your home even before the baby arrives, so your cat will be accustomed to the scents. Decorate the nursery early so the cat will get used to the furniture.

I know of more than one cat who decided that the nursery was set up for him or her and began sleeping in the baby’s bed. You probably don’t want to encourage that. Ms. Johnson-Bennett suggests creating a cat-friendly, no-kid zone for the cat so he and the baby each have their domain. She provides good advice for introducing cats to older children, as well. One thing she stresses is to teach by example. Children will treat the cat like you do and relate to the cat as you do. So make sure your message of compassion, caring, and gentleness come through in your daily interaction with your cat. And do not expect the child to take care of the animal. Sure, you can encourage them to help and you should. But it is not fair to the cat, nor is it reasonable to expect a small child to take full responsibility.


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Thoughts for Thursday – Help Firemen Save Your Pets

I’ve covered this topic in this blog before. In case you missed it—did you know that oxygen masks for people don’t fit animals? So when a dog or a cat is overcome by smoke in the event of a fire, for example, human oxygen masks often fail in an attempt to resuscitate the animal. That’s why many humane organizations and other animal activists throughout the world have worked to  raise funds for special masks for large and small pets.

Here’s a story out of Taylor, Pennsylvania. This fire department had received a donation of oxygen masks for animals the day before a particularly devastating house fire in that city. Because of this, they were able to save all five cats they rescued. Unfortunately, the family dog didn’t survive.

To learn more about the need for oxygen masks for pets and how to participate in supplying them to your local fire department, go to: http://www.petoxygenmasks.org/

As you will see, they provide three different sizes and shapes of oxygen masks to include those for even the smallest of pets, such as birds, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, and more.

Here’s another site you can use to make sure your local firefighters have the equipment it takes to keep your pets safe in case of a fire: https://www.invisiblefence.com/why-invisible-fence/project-breathe

Here’s an interesting site listing many fire departments that have received donations of oxygen masks. http://petoxygenmask.blogspot.com/2010/12/departments-that-received-pet-oxygen.html

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