Friday, May 31, 2013

A Crisis Averted!

As many of you know, Cody suffers from allergies.  He is on a veterinary diet, but I am inclined to think, and the vet will be revisiting this, that his allergies are in fact, seasonal and not diet related. Approximately every three months Cody breaks out in miserable "hot spots", red, oozing patches on the top of his head, just above his ears.

If you look at Cody's head
you will see the "evil hot spot"

When Cody has a flare up the vet begins a course of Prednisolone which  often involves approx. 10 days of pills.

In our household, I am the "piller." My husband does not know how, nor is he comfortable "pilling" a cat. **Note:this is particularly upsetting because Cody is easier to "pill" than any cat I have ever seen. You simply trick him with food, grab him and plop the pill in his mouth. Cody is food-obsessed and it works like a charm, EVERY TIME.

A week or so before BlogPaws, I was obsessed with Cody's head, knowing it was nearing time for him to have another flare-up. I was on the alert.  My husband was a wreck. He kept telling me to "quit putting this out in the Universe." Every time poor Cody just passed within my view, I would say "Let me look at your head!" Two nights before I was to leave for BlogPaws it happened. The evil "hot spot" appeared. I promptly went into maniac mode.

I paged my vet, who, being the angel that he is, promptly returned my call. I began crying and shrieking  "Cody is having another flare-up, I am scheduled to leave for a conference in the next two days and my husband cannot pill a cat! What am I going to do?" I had missed last years conference due to a kidney stone attack and there was no way I was going to miss the conference two years in a row.

Vet to the rescue! He had me bring Cody in first thing in the morning. While waiting, I noticed changes that had been made to their remodeled facility.

I couldn't tell you if the Feliway worked, because Cody is quite good at the vet and always has been. I did like the effort on the part of our vet to make their environment more comforting to the cats that visit that are much higher strung than Cody. Cody has thankfully always been a "take things in stride" kind of cat, mostly if there is food involved!

While I waited for the vet to enter the exam room, I  surveyed the new "cat friendly" decor: was time to test it out with Cody who wasn't impressed with the "new digs" at all! 

It was mean Mama who put him up on the ledge, he did NOT go there willingly!

Cody wanted NONE of this new "cat-friendly" exam room. He disliked it so much that he actively sought out the comfort of his PTU.

Before shooting this video Cody DID get back in the PTU because I had left the PTU door open! After unceremoniously "dumping" him on the table, I locked the PTU door to prevent a re-entry!

But Cody wasn't going to give up!

"I know I can get in here!"
"It has to open, I know it has to!"
"Now where did that latch go?"
"They got me...I'm trapped"
And then we got him!
Thankfully all turned out well, Cody was given a steroid shot (which normally we don't use, but due to my husband not being able to "pill" him, we had no choice.)

Cody returned home,  I left for BlogPaws the following morning in TEARS because I had never left home with one of my pets not being well.  I was even more upset than I would have been leaving under normal circumstances.

Cody's Dad did a great job on "head patrol." I called numerous times a day for updates, and aside from a few terrifying  "I'm not sure how his head is" reports, when I returned home he was completely healed!

A Crisis Averted!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

#BlogPaws Bits and Bites

 On my way to BlogPaws 2013 I felt as if I was floating among the clouds. 


 Loved the room key!

View from my hotel room

I was proud to be "in charge' of the Newbies Group
 for the third year in a row!
 The Newbies Group in prior years 
had only about 2 tables at the Newbies Friday morning breakfast,
 this year there was a whopping EIGHT! 
Reconnecting with my fellow blogging friends,  such as Terry Frum from Brian's Home and meeting (FINALLY) for the FIRST TIME the "as-nice-in-person-as-she-is-online" Christine Michaels, of Riverfront Cats and Pawsitively Humane.

As well as one of my most favorite people in the world,
 Carol Bryant of BlogPaws/Pet360:

 Kiril from the Opinionated Pussycat (which frankly should be MY name, but I digress).

 as well as many other bloggers who I don't  have photos with,
  I do not dare list them by name, for fear of leaving SOMEONE out!

On the Dog Front:
(due to Dakota's blog)
I was honored to be sponsored,
and will be having an on-going
partnership with
 Rachael Ray NUTRISH

There were sessions that I loved:
Such as:
Intro to Google Analytics
by Blerina Sanocki
Sr.Acct Mgr. Google

in a nutshell, if you are NOT on Google+
you NEED to be!
Changes are coming soon!

The Professional Product Review
by Rose Hamilton of Pet360
Carol Bryant of BlogPaws/Pet360
Rebecca Pollard of Pet360
and PetSmart's Jeff Davis

Key advice when working with a brand
 or when you are HOPING to work with a brand,
 "ALWAYS do MORE than what is expected!

There was:
VIP Influencer Marketing
by Susan Getgood of BlogHer

one of my favorites:
The Key to Marketing with Social Media
by rising star Kimanzi Constable
Before selling 80,000 books online
he delivered BREAD, YES BREAD!


There were cats, dogs, ferrets, chickens
 even a dog who wanted to be a FELINE!

Charles the Monarch
channels his inner feline
with his "Lion" cut

And...because I'm a "tell it like it is" kinda gal:
This was the first BlogPaws where I attended as both a cat AND a dog blogger which gave me a rather unique perspective.  Frankly I don't think people should even be divided  as Cat vs. Dog, but in the pet blogging world that seems to be the case.

I think that Deb Barnes of Zee & Zoey, summed it up the best when writing about what BlogPaws means to her: " But that’s not what BlogPaws is to me. To me, it is a sister and brotherhood of devoted, passionate, talented, creative, and incredible people who inspire others, whether it be through serious and informative blogging, to a humorous and funny blogging, to organizations devoted to rescue and adoptions, to every niche you can imagine to help the creatures of the world, both great and small, to be the best that we can be. We care and our role is important. In that regard, everyone is a hero and everyone is a rock star."

Which leads me to some "Bits and Bites" that I am still digesting
What I learned socially at BlogPaws 2013

That I am thankful that I have a cat AND a dog blog, which enabled me to connect with people who represent both, and enabled me to expand my conference experience by not being limited to interacting with one small group.

That people have their own agendas.

That the conference will be as good as YOU make it.
For this conference I didn't feel a compulsion to attend every session, my focus was more on connecting with fellow bloggers and enjoying their company. The "social" part of BlogPaws 2013 for me was the most rewarding and provided memories and interactions that I will cherish for a lifetime.

That sometimes people don't want to see or spend time with you, as much as you want to see and spend time with them.
  I won't lie, this bothered me and some others, more than I care to admit, but such is life. You have an event with over 500 people, you can't possibly connect with all 500. For every person that might not want to interact with you socially, there will be many more who will.  Don't define yourself by the acceptance or perceived non-acceptance of your peers. You matter, no matter what. Your contribution through the writing of your blog(s), MATTERS, no matter what.

Which leads me to a great quote that I found tonight:
“Without realizing it, we fill important places in each other’s lives. It’s that way with the guy at the corner grocery, the mechanic at the local garage, the family doctor, teachers, neighbors, coworkers. Good people who are always “there,” who can be relied upon in small, important ways. People who teach us, bless us, encourage us, support us, uplift us in the dailiness of life. We never tell them. I don’t know why, but we don’t.
And, of course, we fill that role ourselves. There are those who depend on us, watch us, learn from us, take from us. And we never know.
You may never have proof of your importance, but you are more important than you think. There are always those who couldn’t do without you. The rub is that you don’t always know who.”
― Robert FulghumAll I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten


I learned that the joy of making a new friend whether it is orchestrated by planetary alignment, chance, or some other mystery that has come into play, it is one of the sweetest gifts ever! 

The adorable Sue of the popular blog,  The Island Cats and I both live in Michigan, (approx a half hour apart), but we had to travel to Virginia to meet for the first time! We discovered before we left Michigan for BlogPaws, that we would be sharing the same flight home, seated right next to each other! I had a great time getting to know Sue on our way to the airport and as we soared home above the clouds! We also learned that we are born the SAME YEAR EXACTLY A WEEK APART! How is THAT for planetary alignment?

the view flying home to Michigan!

 I look forward to re-connecting with Sue
 in MICHIGAN one day soon!

So there you have it, BlogPaws Bits and Bites. Thankfully, The "bits" far outweighed the "bites." If you are on the fence about attending a BlogPaws Conference, by all means GO, it will be an experience that you will NOT regret! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

No Cats, just honoring our country:""God Bless The U.S.A"

I apologize to those who might have stopped by hoping to see Cody or some other cute cats. Today is Memorial Day in the U.S., and I wanted to celebrate by sharing one of my favorite songs about my beautiful country.

Thanks to all who came before and to those who are currently fighting to help ensure that the rights and freedoms we enjoy as Americans will remain forever.

"God Bless The U.S.A"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

BlogPaws, Pet360 and World Vets team up to help Oklahoma, YOU can help too!

BlogPaws, Pet360 and World Vets are teaming up using our Blogger Disaster Response Network (BDRN) to step up for Oklahoma. We’ve all seen the images of devastation and we believe as a team we can make a big difference. The largest need at the moment is cash. BlogPaws is reaching out to the BDRN and all the sponsors of the 2013 conference to pledge a commitment for Oklahoma. This donation will go to the World Vets who are assessing the needs on site to make the best decision on where the money will go – based on their work in past disasters.

Donations will be collected by World Vets here through 11:59 PM Tuesday, May 28th. The collective donation will be announced when the money is ready for delivery. Your help, coming together in a communal way, can make a huge difference overall!

#BlogPaws Cuisine-Semi-Wordy Wednesday

Here it is Wednesday and I STILL haven't recovered from the whirlwind that was BlogPaws 2013!
I have some things I want to write about, but want to process everything in my mind, and organize my notes and thoughts first.

Being a "foodie", I found the meals at BlogPaws 2013 to be quite pleasing to the palate! My husband often teases me,  saying that I can remember every meal I have ever eaten and can provide the dates and times that the meals were consumed. For those who have seen me that comes as no surprise!

So, feast your eyes on some of the bounty that was at BlogPaws 2013! Kudos to the Sheraton Premiere At Tysons Corner!

The culinary delights began
at the Nutrish
(who was my sponsor)
private dinner Wednesday night.
Super delicious Tiramisu!!

One of our delicious lunches!
This is just a sampling
of what we had to choose from
on the buffet table.
Garlic bread, salad,
chicken, sausage
and ravioli
A BlogPaws tradition!!
The Nose-to-Nose Awards Dinner
Turkey, stuffing,
Mashed potatoes in a Martini glass!
There were toppings such as chives, mushrooms,
and garlic to "top" your potatoes!
I found the Thanksgiving cuisine
to be a an unusual but brilliant choice.
One, for the symbolism of giving thanks...
Thanks to the BlogPaws and Pet360 team
for all of their hard work making
this conference a success!
Two, giving thanks for being
lucky enough to
spend an amazing few days
with some of the BEST people on the planet,
Who DOESN'T like

Monday, May 20, 2013

Meditation Monday

Happy Monday all! It's Cody! Mom is back from the BlogPaws 2013 Conference and OMC is she ever EXHAUSTED! You wouldn't BELIEVE what it took for me to get her to put up a blog post! She had a CATABULOUS time at the conference and can barely keep from cat-napping at her computer, so I thought I would help her out.

I signed into her Facebook account and discovered this peaceful video from Mom's friend Denyse.  It is from Shorty the Cat on Facebook. When I saw this I thought it was purrfect for Mom, and anyone else who might be as exhausted as Mom is.



Friday, May 17, 2013

Book Feature: Tiger In My Soup, Written by Kashmira Sheth, Illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler

A sister and brother battle it out in this story of imagination, reading and tigers!!

When a boy is left in the care of his older sister, he begs her to read to him his favorite book about tigers, but she's too absorbed in her own reading to pay him any attention. She won't be distracted, even when the boy finds a ravenous tiger hiding in his soup!

His sister misses all the action, only after the steamy beast is slain does she return to the table with her brother and finally agree to read to him. But is the tiger really gone?

Jeffrey Ebbeler's bright and exciting illustrations bring the action to life while Kashmira Sheth's fun and entertaining story reinforces a strong love of books and reading.

Kashmira Sheth is the author of many acclaimed picture books and novels, including Monsoon Afternoon and My Dadima Wears a Sari. She teaches creative writing at Pine Manor College. Born in India, Sheth lives in Wisconsin and can be found online at

Jeffrey Ebbeler, a graduate of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, has been creating art for children for almost a decade. His books include Snowday for Mouse; April Fool; Phyllis; and Jingle Bells. He lives in Ohio and can be found online at

ISBN: 978-1-56145-696-3

Ages 4-8

Peachtree Publishers

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

My #Hallmark Mother's Day Moment...."When you care enough to send the VERY best!"

My husband always picks out the BEST Mother's Day cards
 from Cody and Dakota.  Here is the card I received from Cody this year:

I am certain that we ALL can relate to that!
Now for the description on the back of the card:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!

I originally featured this photo in 2012,
 but since it is one of my favorites, you are seeing it again!!

I love this sentiment that was expressed by Ann Adamus of the blog Zoolatry, (who also made the graphic below). Since I have no "birth" children of my own, I feel that  she sums it up purrfectly!!

"There are all kinds of Mothers ... Foster Moms and Adopter Moms.  Auntie Moms, GrandMoms.  StepMoms and Other-Mothers.  Neighbor-Moms, Friend-Moms.  Sometimes even Dads are Moms!  At one time or another, nearly every creature on earth takes on the loving and caring role of being a mom.  This weekend say thanks, give a hug, share a kiss ~ with all the moms you know.  It's their special day!"

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Animal Disaster Preparedness Day- By Hilary Grossman

FROM CAT CHAT- Animal Disaster Preparedness Day  2013 was May 8th. When thinking of the chances of a disaster happening to US, we often turn blind eyes and ears thinking that there is NO WAY that this will ever happen to any of us. Well, disasters CAN and DO happen.

When thinking of the importance of conveying this message, my thoughts immediately turned to Hilary Grossman of the blog Feeling Beachie who not only LIVED, but is STILL living the horrors of Hurricane Sandy. I thought it only fitting that Hilary be my guest blogger today, she can  convey the importance of Animal Disaster Preparedness better than I ever could. I am honored to feature Hilary's post:

I originally posted this on November 17, 2012 eighteen days after Hurricane Sandy slammed the beach community that I call home.  Let’s face it, life is so unpredictable.  We never know what tomorrow will bring... We get spoiled.  We never think that a disaster will happen to us or to our pets.  But sadly, sometimes they do. Two years ago I sat at a village meeting about hurricane preparedness.   I barely paid attention, after all, no bad storm would hit us, I naively thought.  But then, later that year as Hurricane Irene approached, we had to evacuate our home for the first time, along with our cat, Alex, who just had his tail amputated.  As a pet owner, I never thought prior about what would happen if a disaster hit.  But I quickly learned you have to be prepared for everything.  We left our home with not only Alex’s necessities (food, litter box, litter locker, medicine, bowls, and important papers) but also blankets and toys that smelled like home to help comfort him in an unfamiliar environment. Despite sharing a house with two dogs, he did great.  I am sure his evacuation was so successful because we properly prepared his “refugee room” to be as home like as possible.  We made it through Irene unscathed.  Unfortunately the year after we wouldn’t be so lucky.....  I learned the hard way, you really have to prepare in advance for a disaster because even though you think you understand what a situation may be like, until you live it you never really know...

Images on television don’t prepare you....

You had a very difficult day.  Nothing seemed to go your way.  You are tired, you are cranky, and you are stressed.  You are so looking forward to relaxing.  You want a break.  Scratch that.  You NEED a break! You put on some comfy clothes and perhaps grab a snack or maybe a glass of wine.  You sit yourself down on your couch remote control in hand.  You aim it at the television and let out a quiet sigh of relief.  Finally you are going to get the break you deserve.

Your favorite TV show is not on.  Instead every channel you select is featuring coverage of a tragic event - brush fire, school shooting, earthquake or hurricane.  You pause and watch.   You feel terrible for those affected.  You vow to make a contribution to help.  Maybe you end up doing it.  Maybe you don’t.  You sympathize with those affected and you feel like you understand their plight.  But do you?

I can tell you first hand, you don’t.  No matter how much you think you can relate to the heart ache and devastation you see on television you can’t until you lived through a catastrophe, like Hurricane Sandy. Trust me, I know…. And I hope that you never have to know….

Images on television don’t prepare you for how helpless you feel as you watch your brother-in-law’s home, the home you evacuated to, fill with over a foot of ocean and bay water within moments.  The images don’t prepare you for the panic and desperation your feel as you and your nieces help your sister-in-law elevate her antique chairs to try to protect them from the gushing water before you all move to another room to try and save her clothing that was on the bottom of her closet.  Keep in mind that all this is happening while the wall to wall carpet begins to sway in the waves.

Images on television don’t prepare you for the fear you feel as you and your husband get into your sister-in-law’s car, because his car was destroyed by the flood, to venture to your home to access your damages.  You know you will find major damages when you get there, but you don’t know how severe they will be, and you are afraid.  You pray that you will find your home where you left it.

As you drive you see images out of a television report.  You see down trees, missing roofs, pieces of boardwalk on people’s front lawn, and sand filling the streets.  While these images are similar to what you have seen previously on television from past catastrophes these images are different.  They are from your home town.   You know the people affected and your heart hurts.

Images on television don’t prepare you for the moment you arrive in front of your own home. If you are lucky your home is still standing.  Your breath hitches in your throat as you slowly open your front door, fearful of what you will find inside.  And when you walk in you wish you could walk right out.  Ocean in your den…. Major flooding in your basement….. Loss of property… Structural damage…. The list goes on and on.

Images on television don’t prepare you for the emotions you feel as you find your friends and neighbors.  You are relieved to see they are physically alright.  You are heartbroken to see that their homes are as devastated as is yours, or maybe even worse.  You hug each other.  You cry.  And sometimes you even find a reason to laugh.

Images on television stop after the major event is over.  It isn’t their fault. No one wants to see old news.  Images on television don’t show the aftermath…. 

No one knows how your days and nights are spent cleaning up and throwing out all your destroyed belongings, in the cold and the dark, as your basement ceiling collapses on your head.  You are covered in dirt, muck, and sometimes sewage.  You feel filthy, but you can’t bear to take a cold shower on a New York November day, so you don’t.   You forget the basic necessities; you forget to take your medicine and brush your teeth.  Day turns to night and back to day again. You lose track of the hours and the days as you try to help your neighbors and friends who are in the same or worse condition as you are.  You share necessities – flash lights, batteries, bottle water, garbage bags, and even a car.  And if someone miraculously has a cell phone that works, you share that too…

You realize who your friends really are, and you see people’s true colors.  Some shock you in a good way, some in a bad way.  Regardless, you know you will never forget these moments, although you really want to.

Weeks pass and life returns to normal that is for most people, but not you.  You are a person who was hit hard.  You may be staying with friends or you may be struggling to stay at home.  Regardless you still are struggling….  You feel a wide mix of emotions.  You are sad and angry that you have to endure this.  You are jealous that others are going about their life as normal.  But you are also thankful that you are okay, and you know that in the future, one day too your life will return to normal….you just hope it happens soon.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy 2nd Blogoversary Sammy & Pam! Also: The Mystery Of David's Bridge by Pamela June Kimmell

OH MY CAT today is a special day! Today is the SECOND blog-oversary of my buddy Sammy's blog:  One Spoiled Cat!
Sammy's blog banner was used
Isn't he just too adorable?

Many of you who read my blog are familiar with Sammy and his Mom (Pam)! You know that on Tuesdays,  Sammy has a fun feature called Tuesday Teaser.  This is where Sammy posts pictures from various vacations that his Mom and  Dad have taken, and he  has his readers guess where they think the photos were taken. Mom and I NEVER guess correctly, but it is so much fun to see  try to cheat, when we see everyone else's answers!

Right now Sammy is having a Jammie contest, in honor of his PJ pawty which is on his blog today!

Sammy and his Mom are incredibly caring, thoughtful and fun, and my Mom and I consider them to be two of  our dearest and incredibly special furiends!

I have featured Sammy's talented Mom, (Pam) on Cat Chat before, because she happens to be a talented artist and author!!

I am happy to tell all of you mystery lovers out there that Pam's book: The Mystery of David's Bridge is now available on KINDLE!!!

Did you know that Pam
PAINTED this beautiful cover?
YEP she DID!!
Here is a description of Pam's book, as seen pilfered from

Bailey Ferrol is a young private investigator in a very small Virginia town where most people think a P.I. just might be rather bored and starved for some intrigue. David's Bridge isn't your typical small town though. The large estates surrounded by iron gates can't hold the secrets kept within. Bailey's job to do background investigations for an open position on one of the large horse estates turns into something decidedly sinister. It also puts a touch of romance into her life in an unexpected way. Small towns sometimes have big secrets to hide and Bailey finds that out and more in this entertaining mystery read.

We are hoping that Sammy's Mom sells A LOT of books, so go on over and check it out. While you're at it, don't forget to wish Sammy and Pam the HAPPIEST of Blog-o-versaries!!

We Love You Pam & Sam!!!
Cody & Caren

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Be Kind To Animals Week!!!

Hi every furry it's Cody! See that photo? Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! I think it is great that a week is devoted to being kind to animals but I think that kindness should be shown to animals EVERY DAY!
Photo courtesy of
There are many ways that every one can be kind to animals for now I am going to talk about how my Mom and Dad are kind to animals!

Mom rescued my Grandpa Bobo when he was a stray kitty. She found him in a blizzard and he ended up living with Mom for 18 years!

Mom adopted me from an adoption event at Petco back in 2007. She gave me a furever home and I know I am one lucky kitty!

Mom keeps me up-to-date on vet visits and vaccinations.

Daddy feeds me a delicious (grain-free) breakfast and Mom feeds me a (grain-free) dinner. Mom also makes sure that I have a few snacks throughout the day.

I have comfy beds to sleep in, windows to sunbathe in, kisses and cuddles and a home where I KNOW I am loved!

Mom and Dad try to keep items that could be harmful to me, away from me! Some of these are:


Just to name a few!

Mom tries to donate to various animal causes throughout the year and to kitties around the blog-o-sphere that she reads about that are in need.

Once or twice a year Mom goes through my toys and donates lightly-used toys toys that I never play with, to kitties that are less fortunate.

See those toys in the bag in the photo above?
Also the scratcher?
Mom donated those to the kitty above
and some other kitties!
They are having a great time!

I know that many of you have humans who do all sorts of things that show kindness  to animals, I would love hearing about them in the comments! Give me a meow-out!!


Friday, May 3, 2013

Lovin' on Daddy

Daddy is feeling much better now! He had his bandages removed 2 days ago. He is still supposed to not lift anything heavy and he is supposed to take it easy. His stitches will be taken out next week! I am giving him kisses to show him how much I love him!

Love, Cody