Friday, April 30, 2010

For Cat and Dog Owners

A few weeks back I received an email from a family friend and have been holding it for just the right time to share exerpts of it with you and since I am sleep deprived once again (nope not due to Cody but due to my own Facebook obsession) I have decided today is that day! Some of you may have seen portions of this printed elsewhere, the origination source was not on the email I received so I cannot give the appropriate credit to whomever first wrote this but "THANKS"!! (In the interest of space some items may have been removed) For those who are reading this for the first time, enjoy!!

"Dear Cats and Dogs, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest".


They live here, YOU DON'T
If you don't want their hair on your clothes,
 stay off the furniture, that's why they call it "fur"-niture
I like my pets alot better
than I like most people!
To you, they are animals,
To me, they are adopted sons/daughters
who are short, hairy, walk on all fours
and don't speak clearly"

Have a Great Weekend All!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why Do Cats Cover Their Waste?

"Oh No She Isn't!" Ohhhhhhhh yes I am! I'm going down that road. I'm cranky, slap-happy and tired and was having a miserable time trying to come up with an idea for my "Why Do Cats........?" blog  that I feature on Wednesdays.....soooooooo I was flipping through some info and call it being sleep deprived (YES, Cody is STILL scratching the carpet and door of the bedroom at night, I thought the dilemma was solved but I obviously thought wrong, more on that another time) those that have absolutely no idea what I am referring to in reference to Cody scratching the carpet and door, please refer to my previous blogs.

Ok, back to the pressing question about poo-poo and pee-pee, number 1 and 2, doo-doos, wee-wee or whatever you want to call it, we as cat owners think our cats are superior to dogs on many issues but one that we have always been particularly proud of is the diligence with which they work that litter box! After your cat does his business, if you are!!! He will scratch, push, kick, and work those paws in an attempt to not leave any trace of his most recent deposit clearly visible in the litter box and often he will not even think of exiting the litterbox until it is "just so".

I always read (and thought), that cats did this because they are fastidious by nature, I just found out today in "Pawprints and Purrs" that that is not necessarily the case!

It appears that when a cat is in the wild only "secondary cats bury their waste to protect their trail from predators. The dominant feline will actually display his or her feces prominently. This sends a strong message of dominance."

But, in the world of house cats it is an entirely different story. The cat views YOU as the "dominant animal" and being the polite and sensitive little creatures that our kitties can be they choose to not offend us by leaving their "gifts" exposed for our viewing pleasure. They make it a point to carefully bury their waste so as not to interfere with "what they perceive as the natural order."

One can't help but wonder for those of us who have dogs what THEIR opinion of us must be........

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Cat Website That Is Truly The "Cats' Meow"

Prepare to be "me-wowed!!!!" Ok, right, "me-wowed" is not a word, but in "kitty speak" it is a term that means to be "bowled over, engaged, amazed, thrilled, etc., etc.," and that is exactly how I felt when I stumbled upon the most amazing and comprehensive website for cat lovers I have ever, ever seen.....the name of the site is "Lisa's Cat Lover's" (look for a link at the bottom of this blog).

Looking for cat quotes, cat photos, games, figurines, home decor, rescue organizations, gifts for the cat lover, links to other cat websites? "Lisa's Cat Lover's" is the place to go, trust me, you must check out this site but be warned, set aside an hour or so to allow you to actually sit back and prowl the many delights she has posted here you will be purring with delight as you peruse this website!!

"Lisa's Cat Lovers" is a true labor of love not only from Lisa but from her valued "page members" and many others who have contributed to this award winning gem. Did I say "award winning"? Yep I sure did! Lisa's site has won the "Whiskers N Tails" award, the "I Love Cats Award" and the "Purrfect Site" award, (all coveted awards in the online cat world!) The site is dedicated to two of her now "Angel" kitties "Taz and Mickey"...I was particularly touched by this quote of Lisa's on her site in her dedication to Taz and Mickey because she touched the core of how all of us feel about the best cat friends that we have loved and lost, her words are exactly how I feel and felt about my sorely missed Bobo:

"In loving memory of Taz and Mickey. You were such true and great friends. You comforted me when I cried. You made me smile and laugh. Your purr always warmed my heart. You cuddled with me. You always loved me for who I really am. I will always miss you and remember you with the warmest memories."

They say some of the best things that one creates in life are created as a result of having a deep passion for the subject. This website is a true example of that belief. Come on in and pussyfoot around Lisa's site.....I dare you to NOT "feel the love"!!!

"Lisa's Cat Lovers Pages"

Friday, April 23, 2010

Carpet Clawing Dilemma Part 3 And Hopefully Final!!!

Eureka!!! There is progress!! I actually got a good night's sleep last night! Could this battle be over in just three days time? It is looking hopeful! No, I didn't banish Cody to another room behind closed doors, what I did was lay two bedroom pillows on the floor in front of the bedroom door and sweetly slumbered to the "sounds of silence".....not one scratch, thud, whack, jingle or a boom!!!

While soliciting solutions to this ongoing dilemma I learned an interesting fact from my online friend (Jacqui):


I had never heard that before so I did some researching. There were a number of different articles on the topic but "Wikihow" is the one that I chose, here is what they had to say:

"to deter your cat from certain areas such as counters or specific windowsills, adorn the area with fragrant citrus fruit. Cats tend to be repelled by lemons and oranges due to the acidic smell; also, citrus is highly toxic to felines if ingested, so cats naturally avoid it"

The "highly toxic" part does raise a concern so I am not sure if I really would even try this remedy because I wouldn't be able to closely supervise Cody. What I DID do however was I sliced some lemons and put them in a bowl. I called Cody into the kitchen letting him think he was going to get something to eat. Even if we can't find Cody whenever he senses there is food to be consumed he appears from the depths of wherever it is that is his current "haunt". Cody came into the room, saw the bowl on the floor and probably thought it would be a feeding free-for-all....he walked over....sniffed the bowl a few times and promptly walked away. Believe me if it had been something he would readily eat he would have tried.....a nice bowl of plastic bags would have suited him just fine. Sooo I believe that behavior modification tool would work but I seriously doubt I will implement it.

The article also suggested using double sided tape (which my friend Linda suggested first) and flexible rubber spikes which they say are harmless and are made specifically for this use. The theory is cats don't like getting their paws stuck or pricked so they will avoid the areas where these objects are.

Tonight I will implement "Operation Bedroom Pillows" again and hope that this comfy and secure solution will solve the problem, if not, tomorrow I am heading straight to the hardware store and will make a bee-line down the tape aisle!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Carpet Clawing Dilemma (Part 2)

'I LOVE MY CAT, I LOVE MY CAT, I LOVE MY CAT" if I keep saying this then maybe he will be able to leave all of his Nine Lives available in his kitty life bank for future use but believe me he is pussyfooting around on thin ice!!

Thanks to all for your suggestions from the first part of this post, I hope to be implementing some of them soon or should I say not soon enough???

Last night was night 3 of "Operation Aluminum Foil", at first when I went to sleep it was working......then at about 2am "Houdini" struck again......"scratch, scratch, scratch-scratch-scratch!!" I woke up and yelled to my husband "DO SOMETHING WITH HIM!!" Poor Cody and my poor husband. He staggered in a still sleeping blind state (without his glasses) groping in the dark for the furry felon. He grabbed him and put him in the spare bedroom, (yes our vet Dr.Lewis advised against this since cats are nocturnal creatures but sorry Dr.Lewis the room is big and has a litter box and he would be in there for all of 2 hrs til my husband would get up for work and I felt a "time out" was in order and I have a funny little habit of liking to be asleep at 2am.)

4am. My husband gets up for work, feeds Cody and our dog (Dakota), he carefully puts the foil back down outside of the bedroom door in an attempt to not have Cody wake me. My cat is a genius. I am shocked and actually start to fnd it rather humorous as I hear jingling and something hitting the door. Cody had taken his little orange colored plastic "9 Lives" ball  (how ironic and yet appropriate), complete with bells inside of it (for an even more annoying affect) and was swatting it along the aluminum foil barrier my husband had carefully replaced. He was able to swat it hard enough to keep slamming the door, SWAT, JINGLE, SWAT, SLAM, JINGLE, JINGLE........mission accomplished....I was awake...again.........who says cats aren't as smart as dogs?

This is all out war!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Carpet Clawing Dilemma

Usually I devote my Wednesday blog to "Why does my cat....?" well today due to a HUGE issue I am having with my cat Cody I am reaching out to my loyal readers to help me with my current clawing dilemma, "How can I make my cat stop relentlessly scratching the carpet outside our bedroom door in an attempt to wake either me or my husband?" I need help with this issue and BAD. Rather than researching this on my own I am reaching out to YOU! HELP!!

To answer the question I know I am going to hear, noooooo Cody cannot sleep in the bedroom with us. Nope I am not some mean, uncaring, Kitty Mama....quite the contrary. There is nothing more that I love than a cat curled up peacefully snoring at the foot of our bed, or next to me on the bed as my peaceful first cat, Bobo used to do.

Cody is another story altogether. The bedroom door CANNOT be left open at night. If it is, Cody comes in and first starts to knead with an urgency of a farmer trying to get his cow to give up that very last drop of milk, he doesn't knead a pillow or blanket, his object of choice is my leg.....and it is annoying! After he finishes that tribal ritual he heads over to my printer where he proceeds to turn it on and off repeatedly (yes I have unplugged it), if he detects that it is unplugged he heads to the computer keyboard and pounds the keys, knocks papers, pens, anything he can find onto the floor. As a result of this nighttime exuberancy he has been banned from the bedroom.

Now, every morning he will scratch, rip, tear and claw the carpet outside the bedroom door in an attempt to wake my husband and I, as if he is digging a hole to China. I know that cats have an internal alarm clock and there are many times he has saved my husband from being late to work but even after my husband feeds him in the morning (he gets up first) and considerately shuts the bedroom door to keep our "boys" from disturbing me, Cody decides it is HIS mission to help me start my day.

 I had read that cats HATE the feel of aluminum foil under their paws (it used to work with Bobo to keep him and his fur off of our chairs) The past 2 nights I have lined the carpet with aluminum foil, brilliant solution....or so I thought. The first night it worked....this morning....he was at it again, happily prancing on top of the aluminum foil, pushing it aside with a demonic urgency and was scratching, ripping and tearing, AGAIN!

HEEELLLPPP!!! I love my cat, I love how fearless he is (most of the time) but I also would love to preserve our hallway carpet and I would LOVE not being woken up at 4am EVERY MORNING. So, I appeal to YOU my cherished readers to help me solve this problem, all suggestions welcome....except for some nasty ones that some random cat haters out there (who surf blogs just to spew their negativity and venom) are bound to leave thinking their cruel and abusive (but sadly pitiful) attempt at humor is funny and the suggestion of declawing, I do not believe in it!

My sleep deprived self looks forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Zack's "Precious" Message....

It is hard enough to lose a pet when it passes of old age, it is another thing entirely to have your pet die suddenly at the still vital age of 7, which is how old Zack Flewelling's cat "Precious" was when it died suddenly just a few weeks ago.

Zack Flewelling, age 12 of Clarkston, possesses caring and sensitivity at his young age that many much older than he will ever attain.

Back track to approx. April 11thth when Zack's Dad Jerry was relaxing at home while his wife (Jennifer) and kids ran to the store.  He noticed Precious meowing more than usual, not in a "feed me" kind of way, it was more like a "low growling". When Jerry went to scoop her up "she was like water, there was nothing to her, she was totally limp and very cold but aware."

They rushed her to the vet where they discovered that Precious was in renal failure. The vet also wanted to know if Precious had gotten into any rat poisoning or "was there anything else she could have ingested"?

When the doctor left the room Jennifer's eyes spotted a bulletin board with a sign that said "DANGER! Easter Lilies are toxic to cats and dogs" Her heart sunk. They had had an Easter Lily plant on their table for a week now which they had paid no mind because Precious ate the houseplants "all the time". Jennifer called Jerry at home and had him photograph the Easter Lily with his cell phone. Sure enough, many leaves were gone and there were teeth marks in them, Precious had "eaten it, and alot of it".

The Flewellings and the vet tried everything but there was nothing that could save Precious, she passed early the following morning.

Speaking to Zack who is devastated by the loss of his dear "Precious", there is no hint of anger, just a young man with a thoughtfulness and depth beyond his years. When asking Zack what the message was that he wanted to relay about Precious he said "I wanted an article to be put in the paper to let people know that plants do not come with "warnings" like other dangerous things do", he continued, "there are many poisonous plants out there, Easter Lilies and tomato plants", just to name a few.

Zack is right, there are literally hundreds of plants that are poisonous to both cats and dogs and on most lists these plants are not identified by a photo which makes it that much harder to know which plants are safe and which are not.

Zack said that "his mission now is to spread the word to other cat owners (and dog owners as well) that plants should come with a warning", (as well they should, or they can be researched online or researched at the library or bookstores to find out if they are toxic to animals). Zack would "love to spare anyone else the pain" that he is experiencing after having lost his beloved and dear cat, Precious,  by making them aware that toxic plants exist and to keep them away from cats and dogs.

Zack's cat may have been named "Precious" but Zack, with his unselfishness and caring for others by wanting this message relayed for the safety of their pets, is quite "Precious" himself.

****NOTE:if you suspect your animal may have ingested a poisonous plant or other poisonous item the symptoms can range from seizures and foaming at the mouth to vomiting and coma. DO NOT WAIT FOR SYMPTOMS TO APPEAR. Immediate medical attention is necessary.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cats And Furballs

Cat owners are more than familiar with the gutteral choking, hacking, clicking and downright strange sound that a cat makes when it is in the midst of trying to dislodge a furball. Frankly to me it can be a  disgusting sound, and a frightening sound for those who have their first cat and aren't used to hearing it.

A "furball" is fur that a cat accumulates from swallowing when it cleans itself and it forms a "ball" or from my experience a long clump of fur that resembles a turd more than it resembles an actual ball.

Ways to avoid a cat having furballs are:

1) Brush daily-imperative if you own a long haired cat, short-haired cats, not so much.

2) Feed hairball formula cat food or treats to your cat, they claim to have vitamins and nutrients that help prevent furballs (if anyone can fill me in on why that is the case I would appreciate it! I don't understand how vitamins and nutrients can prevent furballs from forming when the cat is ingesting fur to begin with)

3) Another tip sent to me from a dear friend that she saw in "First" Magazine some months back is "mix 1 tsp petroleum jelly into his/her food twice a week. (Hint:you can apply the jelly to one of the cats' paws if they don't like it in their dinner.) The natural oils coat the fur in the stomach, helping to lubricate the strands so they can easily pass through the cats' digestive system"

Tip number 3 makes alot of sense because when the vet prescribes a furball medication the base ingredient of the medication almost has a petroleum jelly "look" to it, except for the dark brown color of the meds.

To me the most digusting and annoying thing about a furball other than the sound the cat makes when dislodging it, is that invariably the cat navigates its' way to wherever YOU are making you the "lucky" spectator and receiver of his "offering".

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why Do Cats Gravitate To Those Who Don't Want Them Near?

We all know someone who is allergic to cats or just doesn't care for them and sure enough when the person visits your home who does the cat go to? B-I-N-G-O........the one or two people in the room that frankly wish the cat would have nothing to do with them.

In the case of my current cat, Cody, this really isn't true. Cody is a "people" cat. He thinks that everyone who enters our home is there to see HIM. He is curious, social, loving and  brave and will proudly march into the room and greet whomever has just entered. He doesn't seem to have the internal radar that most cats have of scoping out the person who doesn't want him near them, he goes to those who love cats as well as those who are on Team Dog.

Most cats will however go to individuals who could care less about them. Why? When I researched the subject I found that most cats are uncomfortable being stared at, the more people in a room who are staring at him the more vulnerable and uncomfortable the cat becomes. As a means of keeping himself safe the cat will gravitate to the one individual (or individuals) who are not paying attention to him, that becomes a respite from those who are pawing all over him.

So the next time you have friends over who are allergic to cats or just don't like them, encourage them to pretend that they do, it is almost a sure-fire guarantee the cat will then choose to have nothing to do with them....unless of course you come to our home and meet Cody!

Monday, April 12, 2010

"The Standing Cat"

Up until this past week I thought my cat was one of the most talented cats on the planet, that is until I ran into the video of "The Standing Cat", for those who haven't seen this yet here is the link, enjoy!!!!!!!

 My cat can perch precariously on the very tippy top of a chair (and with his pot belly that never ceases to amaze me) but STAND on his hind legs and for a long period of time? Noooo way!!!!!!
After seeing this video all over Facebook, television, etc. I was curious as to just who this cat with the sturdy gams is and I was able to paw up some information.

French journalist Aude Baron has offered the following info which I found on

"The cat's name is Rocky. He is 2 years old and his owners are French (Daisy and Yann). Rocky used to stand up because he couldn't see the birds through the windows, and wanted to, so he stood up. Why does he raise his leg in the middle of the video? Probably because there was a bird outside, according to Daisy, or maybe a dog wandering around. Rocky hates dogs. He doesn't stand up too often anymore because Daisy and Yann moved their stuff, so now Rocky can see everything without having to go bipedal. He's also able to sit on his bottom like a human" (which my cat Cody can do as well)

So, that is the story behind the video.................HAPPY MONDAY!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Feline Fun Facts

Happy Friday All!!

Here are some interesting cat facts that I found for this week:

"A Cat's brain is more similar to a human's brain than that of a dog"
-Maybe those who are so staunchly anti-cat feel intimidated?
-I am thinking that this is why cats seem so much more discriminating than dogs
-wonder if this is where the phrase "you are being "catty" comes from? You never hear anyone say you are being "doggie"!!

"A Cat will almost never meow at another Cat. Cats use this sound for humans"
-Cats communicate when they are hungry, they greet us with a meow and  even seem to have a "questioning" tone....we will find out more about what these "meows" mean in a future blog.

"A Cat can sprint at about 31 miles per hour"
-I remember witnessing this myself for the first time when I was taking my first cat (Bobo) for a walk on his leash. (yes, on a leash!) We had ventured to another part of the apartment complex that we lived in that he was unfamiliar with.  He decided he had had enough of our "walk" and began dragging me to more familiar territory. I lost hold of the leash and witnessed him speeding  with the acceleration of a Puma or Cheetah in the wild back to our front door. We often forget that our cats have inherited fleetness of foot from their feline ancestors in the wild.

Be sure to check back next Friday for more Feline Fun Facts!

Have a "Purrrrrrrfect" Weekend!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?

Wondering why cats have whiskers? What purpose do they serve?

The definition of “Whiskers” by “”….”whiskers or vibrissae serve as delicate sense organs of touch and are the equivalent to our fingertips. These whiskers are sensitive to vibrations in air currents:as the air moves, the whiskers vibrate, and cats use messages in these vibrations to sense their presence, size and shape of nearby objects without seeing or touching them” The article goes on to say that “whiskers are richly supplied with nerve endings…..they allow your cat to sense even the smallest changes in environment, such as air currents, changes in air pressure, temperature or wind direction”

Think whiskers are just on the cat’s face? Think again. Cats have small clusters of whiskers located high on their cheeks, above the eyes (for protection) and on the back of their front legs.

Whiskers are kind of the GPS navigators in the cat world. They help them to see in the dark (and you thought that cats see better than us in the dark! Wrong!!) It is their whiskers that help them to navigate, they help them judge the width of spaces for them to enter…..amazingly the length of whiskers are determined by genetics and if you have a fat cat his whiskers can lose this important function.

Don’t bother buying a mood ring for your cat to rate whether they are having a good day or bad. First, they have no fingers to put the ring on (surprise!) and second the position of their whiskers will give you this vital information. Kitty is feeling loved? The whiskers will point forward and down. Aggression? The whiskers will point forward and up. Your favorite cat is having a really, really bad day and is angry or finds his safety threatened? The whiskers will lay flattened back against the cheeks and he will take on more of a stalking posture.

Yes whiskers do add flair to your kitty’s appearance but they are also an essential component to his safety and ultimately his survival!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Cat Chat" Changes!!

I am super excited that I will now be blogging three days a week (sometimes more) but look for new blogs every Monday, Wednesday and on The Oakland Press website.

I was doing some thinking about what I would like to accomplish with this blog and the main objective is I want it to be YOURS!!! I want to hear from YOU, your stories, questions, concerns, fun things that you have observed or discovered about your cat or cats in general!!

I wanted to offer a little structure to "Cat Chat" so starting one week from today,  Monday will be "Mewsday!!!" which translates to "Cats in the news!" I will offer stories that I find about cats who have made the news and feel free to share whatever you may dig up with your own paws!

Wednesday will be "Why" in "why does my cat?...........".........where I will find answers to whatever questions you may have about your cherished cat or a cat that is dear to someone in your life.

Friday will be "Feline Fact Day" facts, informative facts, trivia, info about the many breeds of cats that exist, things that none of us may know or some of us may know that we will share with each other!!!

Sooooo remember this is YOUR blog as much as it is mine and I care about hearing from you!!!
When you comment please comment directly through the blog page.....your news, stories, questions or facts will be read and featured in upcoming blogs.

Thanks for reading!! I look forward to hearing from all of you!! "Meeeeeeeeeeeow!!!!!"

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Need To Knead

Nope your cat is not readying bread or pizza dough for baking, practicing for a position as a kitty masseuse or applying CPR when he or she alternately pushes out and pulls in with their front paws with a glazed expression on their face, your cat is performing the act of "kneading" and there are a few theories as to why this behavior exists.

According to Wikipedia one theory is that kneading may have an origin that goes waaaay back to the cats' wild ancestors when they used to have to smash down grass or foliage to make a nest to rest in.

Another more commonly known theory is the cat is returning to a "happier place", kitten-hood, where it used to knead it's Mama's teats in order to extract milk. If you study the cats face while it is kneading you may sense a degree of urgency as he kneads as in "feed me now"! Some cats are more subtle and have an expression of sheer kitty nirvana on their faces as they knead. Some feel that cats knead from being weaned too early from their Mama's and some feel it is a result of being weaned too late!

Other cats (unfortunately in the case of my cat) according to Wikipedia "have been observed to exhibit sexual movements, not unlike a dog "humping" a human leg" which can be accompanied by kneading and suckling. Not so much fun when they choose YOU as the object of their affection.

No matter what the reason please don't disturb your cat's trance-like state when it is kneading. Your cat is kneading because it is content, because it views you or the blanket, pillow, stuffed animal or whatever object it chooses to knead on as a maternal figure and just like us  cats enjoy the security and comfort of a little motherly love.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Cody!!!

You are my chubby gray snuggle bug, my fearless, food-crazed, fun feline!! You patiently put up with your “ Sheltie brother” Dakota, allowing him to sniff you in places no respectable cat should be sniffed, you are his playmate and nemesis all rolled into one!! I love how you watch his antics with an expression of feline superiority on your face, a look of “what’s up with this guy?” You are a firm believer of “dogs drool, cats rule!!”

You march to your own drummer, the word “no” virtually means nothing to you, if you want it you are going to get it, no ifs ands and buts about it!

From the time you were a tiny kit you just couldn’t get close enough pushing your tiny little body into my neck, my own furry little boa! You don’t realize that now you are 13lbs….you STILL have to get just as close as you possibly can and I love it.

You are our little congenial cat, all who enter our home you think are here for YOU!

Don’t change dear Cody, your Dad, Dakota and I love you more than you can imagine!!

Have a happy, happy, kitty treat filled, toy mouse chasing, Sheltie teasing, sun lazing, fun filled birthday!!!!!