Newsday Tuesday – Unbelievable Cat News

You really need to check this site out every once in a while. Here, you’ll find the latest news about cats. For example, did you hear about the travelers who tried to smuggle a six-month old kitten onto an airline in their checked luggage? This little fur-gal has a new home with responsible people.

Don’t you love those sweet pictures of newborn babies? Don’t miss the photo of the adorable sleeping baby swaddled with a sleeping kitten. Purr-ecious!! And then there’s the cat who gets almost too much love every day from his doggie housemates. And don’t forget to click and watch the cat who discourages the US mail from being delivered.

http://www.lifewithcats.tv/category/news/

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Mindful Monday – Boudoir Cat Photography

Cats are naturally photogenic. Don’t you love seeing pictures and videos of cats doing all sorts of silly, interesting, intelligent, funny, clever things? But since cats sleep, they say, for sixteen hours a day, the easiest shots of cats are when they’re at rest. I thought it would be fun to share a few photos of cats at rest, chilling, hanging out in their private places. These shots are fairly easy to get because napping is one of the things cats do best.

Here’s a site where a professional photographer shares her work as a kitty-cat boudoir photographer. http://www.boudoirkittycat.com/

Here are a collection of kitty-cat things you might find in the boudoir. This site stopped me for quite a while. I think you’ll enjoy seeing the variety of items created over the years with a cat motif. https://www.pinterest.com/chbrav/cat-in-the-boudoir/

 

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Frivolous Friday – The Sleeping Cat

Cats are reputed to be some of the best nappers around, thus the term catnap. But do they ever get a really good night’s sleep? Do cats hunker down and get some good z’s? It seems as if their sleep is easily interrupted—that a cat only surface-sleeps…as the term indicates, take many, but brief catnaps.

Not so, say the experts. A cat, especially one who feels safe in a quiet home, will fall into a deep sleep at least a couple of times in a twenty-four hour period. Actually cats curl up and appear to be sleeping for hours each day. Some cats will sleep more than others. It’s one of the things cats do best. But they typically do so in short spurts. Cats don’t generally sleep for long periods at a time like humans do.

And cats can have sleep disorders—sleep apnea…even narcolepsy and insomnia. A normal, healthy cat, however, will sleep as many as 16 hours a day. However, as you know, your cat seldom reaches a deep state of sleep. Cats can remain quite alert—or return to an alert state, it seems, instantaneously from a period of sleep. If you watch a sleeping cat, you will sometimes see her ears twitch and her eyes are open slightly. This indicates a light sleep—a snooze, if you will.

A cat that is curled up with her tail or paw over her face, perhaps, her eyes tightly closed, is probably in a deep sleep. You still won’t have to spend several minutes nudging her awake, however. One touch or a sound and she can spring to her feet and appear wide awake.

One of my favorite parts of the day is watching Lily’s early morning stretch. Does your cat do this? Lily sleeps with me–against my leg on top of the covers. When I turn on the bedside lamp, she immediately stands up, stretches her back legs, then her front legs, then yawns. Every morning, the same routine.

Aside from changes in eating habits and behavior, a change in your cat’s sleep pattern can indicate a health issue. Here are a couple of sites with some interesting facts about cats and sleep. https://www.petcarerx.com/article/common-cat-sleep-disorders/893

http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/why-do-cats-sleep-so-much/

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Thoughts for Thursday – How the Cat Grows

A few days ago I felt someone staring at me. I looked up and, of course, it was Lily. She’d crawled into the tunnel in the cat tree and peered out at me as if in some sort of Zen state. I thought she looked cute (well, she always looks cute) and I took a picture.

Then I remembered another time when I took a very similar picture in the very same spot when Lily was just a kitten. It brought back memories. So today I’m sharing the original baby Lily photo I took nearly nine years ago when Lily was a sweet kitten and the picture I took this week of sweet Lily all grown up.

What’s her background? I tell people Lily was one of 15 kittens—actually, 16. Once the owner had found homes for all 15 of the kittens, she discovered another kitten hiding in her attic. Now I don’t want to start any rumors. All 16 kittens didn’t come from the same mother cat. There were three mother cats involved—all ferals. Lily and her siblings were born in an abandoned Volkswagen. The others were born in other areas around the property. The kittens were gathered up and moved to the attic of the home and the mothers followed them there. I wonder if each litter stayed together or if the kittens wandered from mother to mother while being fed and cared for.

Surprisingly the owner was able to find homes for all of the kittens within a few hours using Craig’s List. One of my daughters is a friend of the owner and that’s how I got involved. My daughter brought me two kittens one bright spring day and left them with us. We were still mourning the loss of Winfield, our beautiful white odd-eye cat—another rescue. He contracted cancer.

We spent a few hours with the kittens—a calico, which my daughter picked especially for me—and a tiny torbie. We were supposed to choose one of them. We ultimately chose both of them. Then we got a call saying that we had to make a choice as there was someone who wanted whichever kitten was left. So we peered into the carrier where the kittens rested and saw Lily’s eyes staring back at us. Those eyes, it seemed, had a message in them. To us, Lily was saying, “I belong to you. Whether you know it or not, I’m yours and I’ll be yours for as long as I live. I need you and you need me.”

While we made a good decision, we still regret letting the calico go. We could have adopted them both. I just hope she got a loving home as well. I just love a happy ending for a homeless kitten or cat.

 

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – How to Play With Your Cats

One of the cat’s charms is her playfulness. She entertains us with her antics. Cats are easily the most entertaining of all animals according to the popularity of cat videos and photos on the Internet. Sometimes your cat will try to engage you in play. A kitten will leap from a perch and cling to your leg or back with her claws. She might bat at your hand as you type or attack your pony tail, necklace, or (ouch) earrings. Lily still likes to “help” me tie my walking shoes. Or is she trying to prevent me from doing so, hoping I’ll stay home.

There are a multitude of toys on the market for cats. Our cats have a basket-full of tiny stuffed animals, balls, kickers, and other toys. But their favorite toys are more interactive. They love it when we grab one of their wand toys and start wiggling it around for them to chase.

I heard once that you should use your hand for petting, not for a toy. How tempting is it to wriggle your fingers to entice a kitten to play? When the kitten is in your lap, you delight in tickling his tummy and you get a kick out of it when he attacks your hand and begins biting and kicking it. This is also a good way to get scratched or bitten.

So what is recommended for kitten or cat play? A wand toy. You see them in pet stores and even the pet section of your grocery store. I prefer the wand with feathers attached at the end or some other do-dad that’s enticing to a cat. There are some with furry attachments. Cats like these, too. The wand toys I do not like are those with strings attached—a string with an object at the end, for example.

Someone gave us one with a fish on the end of the string as an adoption gift when we brought Sophie home. The first time we exposed her to it, the already skittish feral kitten leaped and got tangled in the string. It frightened her and was kind of a setback in her adjustment here. We got rid of that toy immediately, but find that the wand toys without string are great for cat play.

Here’s a site with ideas for how to play with your cat. Basically, they recommend regular play time. I remember when Max was a growing kitten, every evening before bedtime, he and I would play catch with a soft plastic ball. Often, he’d bat it back to me, so it really became a game of catch.

It is recommended that you play with your cat for ten minutes each day. It’s good for the cat on many levels. Indoor cats, especially, need prompted exercise. Positive interaction between a cat and her human is bonding and good practice on many levels. But it’s important that you use this play time to everyone’s benefit. For example, if you don’t allow the cat to catch the “prey” once in a while (get his paws on the toy you’re wriggling in front of him), he will soon tire of your stupid game. Here are some additional tips.

https://www.softpaws.com/how-to-play-with-your-cat-interactive-is-best/

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Newsday Tuesday – The Delicious Mystery in a Cat’s Eyes

A friend sent me this link featuring the cat’s amazingly interesting and mysterious eyes. I mean, there’s nothing quite like the staring of a cat. Some cats will look at you as if they have a pathway into your soul. What does the rigid stare mean? In our house, most often, it means, “Get off your butt or stop what you’re doing NOW and feed me!” Sometimes it seems to mean, “How dare you sit there with the dog on your lap (or that other cat or your knitting project), when I could be comfortable lying there.” But I like to think that often it means, “I love you. You are my hero. You saved me from certain anguish and I’m so thankful to be here with you. I just love you so much.” Yeah, that’s what we might be saying to the cat, but is that really what she is saying to us?

What about when a cat avoids eye-contact? Is he feeling guilty about something? Maybe he’s been secretly chewing on your favorite plant or he brought in a lizard and knows it’s hiding under your bed or he missed the litter box accidentally.

We all know that a cat can see in the near darkness. And they don’t seem to understand that we can’t. So when you get up in the middle of the night and try to navigate the house without turning on a light, if you’re like most seasoned cat people you’ve learned to shuffle your way slowly to the bathroom, lest you step on or trip over an trusting cat.

So what do the cat’s expressive eyes tell us? If you’ve lived with your cat for any length of time, you probably recognize how the pupil can change from a mere slit to a large round ball of black inside her eye depending on her level of fear or joy. Here’s a link that discusses the cat’s eyes and helps you to understand what your cat is telling you.

http://www.catster.com/cat-behavior/cat-pupils-heres-what-your-cats-eyes-are-telling-you

 

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Mindful Monday – Let’s Talk Water and Cats

Here in parts of Southern California, we’re experiencing severe drought. But the cats who live in this state don’t much care. Most domestic cats don’t typically drink a lot of water and that’s not necessarily a good thing. In the wild, cats get the water they need from eating live prey. Many of our housecats, however, live on kibbles and, if they’re not catching prey, they may not be getting enough water.

What’s the big deal? Lack of proper hydration can lead to kidney disease in cats. What’s the solution? Provide plenty of fresh, clean water for your cats. Some professionals recommend adding a little low sodium chicken broth to entice your cat to drink more water. However, I’d be concerned about the onion and garlic often present in prepackaged broth.

Use wide water bowls so the cat doesn’t feel whisker-stress—the discomfort of whiskers rubbing against the sides of the bowl. Some cats are more sensitive to whisker stress than others.

Provide several water bowls throughout the cat’s territory (inside or outside the house). We have a cat with kidney disease—it was diagnosed when she was quite young, so she may have been born with it. She loves water. She probably loves water more than she loves food. So she has a fountain where the water runs freely for her enjoyment and three additional water bowls positioned throughout the house. Plus, we have our morning and evening routines where she gets to drink out of the spigot.

Some cats are sensitive to the material in the bowl itself. We had a cat develop chin acne from his plastic water bowl. Some cats play in their water and manage to tip a tipsy bowl. We use heavy pottery bowls that do not easily tip. Here’s a site offering additional tips for getting your cat to drink more water.

https://www.cathealth.com/tips/2468-tips-for-helping-your-cat-drink-more

What kind of water should you give your cat? Here’s a wake-up call for cat owners. And here’s a story showing that “my bad.” When we had a soft water unit put into our house, we also installed a water filter system. You don’t want to drink this chemically treated water or give it to your cats. I used the filtered water for my African violets and a couple of them started to die. I attributed their failure to the filtered water and decided, if it’s not good for the violets, it must not be good for the cats, so I continued to give them tap water from the one spigot in our house that was not part of the water softening system. After reading the following article, I’m not sure I’ve done the right thing. I suggest you read it. It’s enlightening,

http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/water-water-everywhere-but-whats-a-cat-to-drink/

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Frivolous Friday – New Klepto Cat Mystery! Book 27 is out!!!

It’s true. Those of you who have been eager to read Book 27 are in for a treat this weekend. You can order the print version of Secrets, Trickery, and Meows today at Amazon.com. The Kindle version will follow soon.

Here’s the description for Book 27.

Rags ups his game when he discovers clues to a 70-year-old crime.

Rags leads his family to a missing cat and, despite serious challenges, saves her from certain death. A friendship develops and Rags drags Lucy into the discovery of the century. Everyone’s on edge when strange threats appear out of nowhere and they’re baffled by the appearance of exquisite vintage jewelry. When Savannah and her sister-in-law, Holly, can’t leave well enough alone, they, along with Rags and Lucy, become tangled in a web of mystery and suspense. But there are more questions than answers as the case and the clues seem to follow the Iveys back to California. Who blew up the Airbnb the Iveys had rented in Colorado? Who took the stash of exquisite jewelry from the obvious hiding place? Is the man Savannah suspects behind the blatant crimes or is it someone she is yet to meet? This story will entertain, amuse, and tantalize you.

https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Trickery-Meows-Klepto-Mystery/dp/0999472410/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516970510&sr=8-1&keywords=secrets%2C+trickery%2C+and+meows

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Thoughts for Thursday – Your Cat’s Hidey Place

Does your cat have a favorite hiding place? Does she like to crawl into an empty box, a gift bag or an ordinary grocery bag? Cats seem to enjoy cat trees with tunnels and hidey holes. I guess that’s why there are so many cat trees and jungle gyms with a place for the cat to hide or hang out.

In our home, we often drape blankets or sheets over furniture for our cats enjoyment—especially when it’s chilly and we’re going to be gone for a while. Our scaredy cats—those who hide from visitors—even feel secure inside the tents and will stay cozied down inside even while a stranger is sitting right next to them on the sofa.

In fact, that seems to be the key to why cats love boxes, bags, and other small cubbies. They feel secure and safe.

Do you ever create a cardboard box house for your cat? We like to turn a large box upside down, cut doors and windows in it and leave it out for the cats to explore. Especially when there are two cats—one goes inside and bats and teases the one who’s outside. Then they trade places. Around the holidays this year, we received something in a large box. This time, I set it on the side and left a few sheets of packing paper in it. Sophie immediately took it over. She shredded the paper, making herself a bed and began hanging out in the box every afternoon. Cute.

I saw an adorable video on the Internet the other day showing a large cat trying to crawl into a very small box. Finally, he put one paw in it and laid down with look of satisfaction. Here’s a site that try to explain why a cat ignores the gift or surprise inside a box or paper bag and immediately dives inside. https://www.wired.com/2015/02/whats-up-with-cats-and-boxes/

. There are collections of videos showing cats in a variety of small spaces. Here are a few: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rDCdqeTD0o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J11uu8L8FTY

https://www.thedodo.com/cats-whose-boxes-are-too-small-1071685972.html

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Cats Know How to Get Attention

How does your cat vie for your attention? If you have more than one cat, you might get more attention than you want sometimes. You sit down and they leap into your lap or curl up at your feet. You go to bed and one lays across your feet while another one might decide to share your pillow. And what about when you’re trying to manage a task?

In our household, when I’m trying to prepare a meal or grab a snack, my ability to move around the kitchen is often hampered by a Velcro cat. Lily tries to adhere herself to my ankles making it challenging to take a step without stepping on a kitty toe.

This week, as I attempted to proof the print version of book 27 of the Klepto Cat Mystery series, Lily showed up and plopped herself down right in the middle of the project. Yes, cats can certainly hinder productivity. Sometimes when I’m eating, Lily will claw at my hand. She begs like a dog—but maybe with a little more finesse. She doesn’t drool, bark, or whine.

How does your cat vie for your attention? Does she crawl right in the middle of your project? It can really get annoying when you’re trying to put a puzzle together or organize receipts for your taxes! Max-kitty used to delight in swatting my pen off my desk. It was like a mission to him. I’m sure I saw a kitty smirk each time after he’d bat the pen onto the floor and a grin when it went into the trash basket.

It’s getting colder. In chilly weather I will curl up in the evening with a blanket. This seems to be an open invitation to any cat around. “Mom’s got a blankie, let’s dive under it and get cozy.” No complaints here. I enjoy cuddling with my cats.

How does your cat try to get your attention?

 

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