Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Preventing Common Behavior Problems – What Every Cat Needs, a Guest Post by Nancy Peterson, Cat Programs Manager for The Humane Society of the United States

I adopted my first kitty, Shasta, shortly after moving into my new apartment. The furnishings were bare, so I let Shasta use a decrepit upholstered chair for scratching. It was shredded when we moved two years later. To prevent Shasta from destroying the sofa in the new place, I covered it with a tight-fitting sheet and provided her with a catnip-seasoned scratching post. Once she was using the post consistently, I slowly uncovered the sofa. Mission accomplished.

Nancy's First Cat "Shasta"
Photographer:Nancy Peterson of the HSUS

Your cat has probably scratched something or “misbehaved” from your standpoint, but everything cats do makes perfect sense to them. Tragically, cats who “misbehave” may lose their homes if their owners can’t stop an undesired behavior. Nationwide, 70 percent of cats – community (feral and stray) cats as well as owner-surrendered cats – who enter shelters are put down. However, many common “misbehaviors” can be resolved so that cats won’t be given away, surrendered to an animal shelter, made to live outdoors or abandoned.

For example, scratching is instinctive for cats. They scratch to remove the dead outer layer of their claws, mark their territory, or just to have a good stretch. Your job is to provide them with appropriate items to scratch – like a scratching post or pad. If you don’t give them a suitable object, they will find their own – like Shasta did.

Photographer, Mike McFarland of the HSUS

Many owners plan to have their cats declawed during their spay/neuter surgery and so don’t bother to provide scratching objects prior to the procedure. Guess what? Their cat scratches the furniture because there is no other option. A well-placed scratching pad or post would have saved both the furniture and the cat’s claws.

In July, the American Veterinary Medical Association strengthened its policy on declawing. The procedure is now considered a major surgery that should only be performed to prevent destructive scratching after veterinarians have informed their client about the true nature of the procedure and the possible complications, as well as the many available alternatives.

Really, it’s not hard to train your cat. Just observe. Some cats prefer standing up and scratching vertically on the front of a sofa arm, some horizontally on the top of the sofa arm and other cats are equal opportunity scratchers. The key is making your furniture and other possessions undesirable and providing several desirable scratching opportunities throughout your home. For example, a tall scratching post will be an attention grabber for cats who like scratching vertically. They’ll be able to stand on their hind legs, stretch their body to its full length, and sink their claws into the material covering the post.

The Humane Society of the United States has a Cat Answer Tool and cat care tip sheets that will help you prevent or stop destructive scratching, as well as other behavioral issues. Avoid encouraging any behaviors you don’t like. It’s easier to prevent behaviors than stop them once they’ve become a habit. Here are other tips for having a great relationship with your cat.

Spay or neuter your cat before four months old when kitty hormones kick in and undesirable behaviors may occur – such as spraying urine to mark territory or trying to escape to find a mate. Spaying and neutering will not change your cat’s personality, but may make him or her calmer and less aggressive.

Take your cat to the veterinarian at least yearly for wellness examinations and whenever you notice unusual behavior. For example, you land a new job and your cat stops using the litter box. Your cat isn’t mad because you’re away from home more; he or she is stressed because the routine has been disrupted. There could also be a medical cause for the litter box avoidance, like arthritis or feline lower urinary tract disease. Always have your veterinarian rule out any medical issue that could be causing your cat’s unusual behavior.

Help relieve stress and boredom with toys that your cat can play with independently and kibble dispensers which act as invitations to work for food. Teach your cat to play nicely by playing together.

Photographer Mike McFarland of the HSUS

Give your cat his or her own high place to survey the world. A tall cat tower by the window provides a nice place to hang out above the action where cats feel safe and have a better view. If you don’t choose the place, your cat is likely to find one– such as the kitchen counter or dining room table.

Introduce your cat to other pets in your home very gradually. Imagine if someone you didn’t know showed up at your house with no warning. I bet you’d be upset. Proper introductions between pets are so important to maximize the chance that they will get along or at least learn to tolerate each other.

Adopt a cat if you’re thinking of adding another to your household. Animal shelters and cat rescues can help match your cat’s personality and activity level to a new cat. Kittens are adorable, but their activity level may upset your older cat. A relationship with a veterinarian and shelter or rescue group can help you eliminate unwanted behaviors so your cat remains a cherished family member.

Read a good book about cat care and behavior. Studies have found that people who read even one book that explains normal cat behavior and helps people prevent or resolve unwanted cat behaviors are less likely to surrender their cats to shelters.

There are bound to be some bumps in the road, but thanks to our better understanding of cats, improved veterinary care and indoor lifestyles, we can keep our cats on their best behavior.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Rachael Ray™ Nutrish™ #ShelterCatsAreBeautiful Tour Came To Michigan And I Was There! Part One

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rachael Ray Nutrish.   As always, thank you for reading and supporting our sponsors.

Back on July 29th I blogged about the Shelter Cats Are Beautiful tour that  kicked off with an event in New York City on July 11.

Sixteen cities. One goal 

To capture the TRUE BEAUTY of shelter cats

Millions of cats enter shelters every year, where they're often quickly put into cages. They're scared, confused and sometimes even dirty. A photo is snapped and then quickly shared, to be seen by people looking to adopt. Unfortunately, these photos don't always capture the full beauty and personality of the cats. That's why Rachael Ray™ Nutrish™ is proud to partner with GreaterGood.org® and One Picture Saves a Life™. Together, they traveled across the country taking photos worthy of these loving cats who are simply looking for a second chance.

Rachael Ray Nutrish  took the “Shelter Cats areBeautiful” tour to 16 cities
across the country and offered professional grooming and photography services to
capture the full beauty and personality of cats in need of adoption. The
program  provided shelters with the necessary tips, tools and equipment
to groom and capture the best possible photographs of shelter pets in the future.
This program helped celebrate the launch of Rachael Ray Nutrish‘s new line of
natural food for cats, which is now available in stores nationwide. Rachael is
dedicated to helping animals in need and donates her proceeds from the sale
of Rachael Ray Nutrish to help animal support organizations, which has resulted
in more than $6.5 million in donations to date.

  Friends For The Dearborn Animal Shelter, in Dearborn, Michigan was one of the last stops on the tour. I have been working with them for the past few years helping to promote their adoption events, and when I heard that the Shelter Cats Are Beautiful Tour was going to be stopping there on September 13th, it was a no-brainer that I would attend! I brought my husband with me and he enjoyed it as much as I did.

This was a poster in the room where the session was held
The session was conducted by Miranda Hay who was warm and caring with the cats, knowledgeable, professional and fabulous! I recently contacted Miranda asking her to tell you in HER words how photographing shelter pets became a passion,  and she graciously obliged (at the last minute no less! Thank you Miranda!). The story behind how Miranda began photographing shelter animals is amazing, and I wanted to share that with you.

Miranda Hay and soon-to-be groomed
shelter resident, "Linc"
at Friends For The Dearborn Animal Shelter
Shelter Cats Are Beautiful tour

From Miranda Hay:

Full time I am a flight nurse and I am passionate about helping people when they are sick or injured, but I also have a  strong passion and desire to help animals.

 I started in animal welfare in 2008 when my small rural community in southwestern Indiana began to form their  first Humane Society. I started out as  the Fundraising Coordinator, and after the shelter opened in 2009 I found myself taking on more roles. I became the Volunteer Coordinator, PR/Marketing and Social media Coordinator, board Member, event and community outreach coordinator and became the board President in 2011.

Our shelter was fortunate to become a part of the PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin' in 2010 which allowed is to send 40% of our dog/puppies population to partner shelters in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Through this program we were able to never  euthanize for space or time again. The training and education I received from PetSmart Charities, networking, reading and educating myself about the world of animal sheltering always left me hungry for more. I wanted to  improve our organization, and be the best small shelter we could be. We grew our adoption program and participated in four PetSmart National Adoption events per year with 3 other local shelters, and averaged 125-175 adoptions in a weekend.

Photo Courtesy of Miranda Hay

 Our success grew and grew and it was because of one reason...Marketing. I will say it until I am blue in the face. We are actually "selling" something and what we are selling actually means life or death.

Why do most small shelters lack knowledge in reference to marketing? 
There are several reasons:
lack of funds, experience, training and many more. I embarked on the path of  teaching myself how to market our animals in the best way possible. First, by providing excellent customer service, second, creating a  logo and brand, and third by utilizing social media to the best of my ability.

Photo Courtesy of Miranda Hay

Miranda's most recent photo
of a shelter dog
from a shoot this past weekend

As I grew our Facebook page, I wanted more. I wanted amazing, professional pictures of our adoptable animals that would catch people's attention on social Media and website searches.

  I bought a DSL camera and I researched pet photography and I bought every book on the market. I took a photography class at a local shop,  and a second one at a local college. While  I learned a lot about my camera and how to take pictures of people and objects, no one could tell me how to take pictures of dogs and cats, especially how to photograph them in  a dark shelter, and quickly, so I could photograph 20-30 animals a day.  I was frustrated..

Photo Courtesy of Miranda Hay
On the right is Seth Casteel, photographer On the left is the groomer Jorge Benderski from One Picture Saves A Life

 I attended the HSUS Expo in Nashville in May of 2013 and there I met Seth Casteel and the One Picture Saves a Life team. I knew of his work with Underwater Dogs and his work with shelter pets from my research in pet photography. He was gracious enough to look at some of my pictures and in 5 minutes he gave me all the tips and pointers I had been looking for!

 I went back to the hotel, watched his online tutorial videos and signed up for the workshop in August in Chicago. On my way home I stopped and bought a 50 mm lens and the rest is history! 

I am absolutely in love  with shelter photography  and I love to see how much my pictures make an impact on pets getting adopted, (and very quickly) all because we are marketing them in a positive way!! I was honored to be asked by the GreaterGood.org, Rachel Ray Nutrish and One Picture Saves a Life to join the tour and teach others to take amazing pictures.


Before the Shelter pets can be photographed, they must be groomed. A pet that looks it's best BEFORE being photographed, will look that much better once they are photographed!

PART TWO of The Rachael Ray™ Nutrish™ #ShelterCatsAreBeautiful Tour at  Friends For The Dearborn Animal Shelter, with  grooming and photography tips that were provided by Miranda Hay,  will appear this Wednesday, October 1st! You won't want to miss it!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Preserve Memories of Your Cat or Kitten With A "Purr" Baby's Mementos Book By Elizabeth Parker--Enter to Win!

A few months ago I was chatting on Facebook with my Author friend, Elizabeth Parker, (I have had the pleasure of  reviewing a number of her books), when she asked me to please send her my address again, because she had a special surprise to send to me.

I LOVE SURPRISES!! When the mail arrived I was delighted to discover that Elizabeth had sent me one of her latest creations, The  "Purr" Baby's Mementos Book.

The "Purr" Baby's Mementos Book is a "one-of-a-kind, fill-in-the-blank memento book for your cat." (There is also one for dogs that will be featured on Dakota's blog on Friday, October 10th, it is called the "Fur" Baby's Keepsake Book).

Have you recently brought home a new adult cat or kitten or know someone who did?
Want to record memories of a cat(s) who has been a member of your family for years? The "Purr" Baby's Mementos Book is the purrfect place to keep them!

The "Purr" Baby's Mementos Book is full color, illustrated and is 6x9 inches, (purrfect to stash in your purse, tablet or laptop case to record memories as you experience them! It is a purrfectly transportable size!)

I don't know about you, but for YEARS whenever a friend would bring a new HUMAN baby home, one of my favorite gifts to give the new arrival was a Baby Book. I discovered through the years, that that was one item that was not only cherished and appreciated, but the parents had it for years, and it was an item that most people would never think of.

The "Purr" Baby's Mementos Book is the "feline version" of human baby books!

One of the first things I loved about this book happens to be located on the first page. There is a page where you record "When You Became Our Baby" "When You Became Our Boss," then it goes on to say: "This Book Belongs to the STAFF of:"  and you write your cat's name on that line.

There is plenty of room for photographs and threaded between is a spot for you to paste an envelope with a piece of your cat's fur.

A couple of my favorite pages are listed below: NOTE:I haven't had a chance to insert Cody's photo yet.

There is a place to write down your cat's birthday (if known), a copy of an announcement card, places to record the reactions of friends and family upon meeting the new addition, (or current family member!)  and so much more!

There are pages to record how your cat communicates, when they uttered their FIRST HISS and when they experienced their FIRST KISS (how cute is THAT!?)  You can record their likes, dislikes, reactions to their fur siblings, human siblings, the first words they understood, and so much more!

Most of you are probably like me and remember EXACTLY what the vet said about your new cat or kitten the day you brought him/her in for their first exam.  Record it for posterity!

You will also find pages where you can record your Veterinarian's name, address and phone number. There is a spot where you can notate first vaccinations, the date of the vaccinations, any illnesses as well as the date the cat or kitten was spayed or neutered.

Why should human children have all of the fun? Cat and Kitten Showers (as well as puppy showers) are becoming increasingly more popular, and I say it's about time!!

Ready for this?
The book also comes in either a pink cover (for a girl kitty), or a blue cover (for a boy kitty!) What a clever and fun idea!

  This would make the perfect gift for anyone who has brought home a new cat or kitten recently, or years ago. It would make a catabulous stocking stuffer, Secret Santa gift, Chanukah Gift, Gotcha Day Gift or ANYTIME gift!

 The paperback is approx $15 on Amazon and is also available on Kindle and Nook or at www.elizabethparkerbooks.com,  You can also find Elizabeth on Facebook and Twitter.

From Elizabeth Parker:This book is simply a means to record all memories of your pet, whether it is a baby, adult, senior or, has made their journey toward the rainbow bridge.  Another great feature is that it's perfect for rescued animals as well!


ENTER TO WIN! Elizabeth is offering one of my readers who resides in the U.S. the chance to win a copy of "Purr" Baby's Mementos. (An approx $16 value. My apologies to our International readers). Please enter on the rafflecopter below and NOTE: THERE ARE TWO MANDATORY ENTRY REQUIREMENTS, ONLY TWO!!  GOOD LUCK!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

In full disclosure: I was not compensated for this review/give-away. I was sent a copy of "Purr" Baby's Mementos in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Remember Me Thursday™ 2014...#LightforPets

Today is a most impawtant day. It is the day when we honor the millions of pets who lost their lives without the benefit of a loving home, and shine a light on the millions of healthy pets who are still awaiting adoption.

Animal lovers across the planet will honor these loving babies
 by lighting candles on the exact same day.

I am a rescue kitty.

I was blessed that I had an amazing foster mother and was adopted by my Mom at a young age, but things could have been different.

Today I want to acknowledge animals who weren't as lucky as me and pray for those who are still waiting to be adopted. May they all find loving homes.

Join the Remember Me Thursday™ movement and see how YOU can be involved and a PSA from Jackson Galaxy:

Monday, September 22, 2014

BLACK+DECKER's Cordless Hand Vac 20V MAX* Lithium Pivot Vac Model #: BDH2000PL-Enter to win!

I was ecstatic when I was contacted by the folks at  BLACK+DECKER asking if I would be interested in reviewing their 20V MAX* Lithium Pivot Vac, Model #: BDH2000PL.  My previous hand vac from another manufacturer had coincidentally, recently bit the dust, (pun intended!) and I was in dire need of a new one! It was my lucky day indeed!

I was also thrilled that the product I received was from BLACK+DECKER. This is a company that I grew up with! To me the BLACK+DECKER name is synonymous with being trustworthy, having high quality products  and they are a leader in their field.

From their website: Since 1910, BLACK+DECKER has been setting the standard for innovation and design of power tools, outdoor yard care equipment, and home products. The inventor of the first portable electric drill with pistol grip and trigger switch, BLACK+DECKER has evolved from a small machine shop in Baltimore, Maryland to a global manufacturing powerhouse with a broad line of quality products used in and around the home. When home owners have work to get done, they trust that BLACK+DECKER's products will do the job efficiently and reliably.

Black+Decker Cordless Hand Vac 20V MAX* Lithium Pivot Vac Model #: BDH2000PL

When my cordless hand vac arrived I was instantly pleased with the ease of set up. Why? There was virtually NO set-up other than charging the Vac in the charger base that comes with the product.

Key Features
  • Lithium technology
  • Exclusive pivoting design
  • High performance motor
  • Cyclonic action
  • 3-stage filtration
  • Wide mouth design
  • Convenient charging base
  • Translucent bagless dirt bowl
  • Removable washable dirt bowl and filters
  • Filter flicker

  • Strong suction & fade free power
  • Reaches dust from any angle
  • Powers strong. long lasting suction
  • Keeps filter clean and power strong
  • Reduces clogging and provides clean air exhaust
  • Effortlessly scoops up large debris
  • No loose items to misplace
  • Convenient charging base allows for wall and table charging locations
  • Easy to see dirt and easy to empty for thorough hygienic clean-up
  • Loosens embedded debris

The 20V MAX Lithium Pivot Vac is serious power in a small package that’s great for the car, house, apartment, or anywhere in between. With a nozzle that pivots to any angle, this is a great option for any hard-to-reach areas.

 BLACK+DECKER's all-purpose 20V MAX* Lithium Pivot Vac has strong and consistent suction provided by the 20V MAX* Lithium Ion battery. The Pivot is not only powerful, but it's also compact and can be stored within easy reach to any mess. A distinctive pivoting nose feature enables easy cleaning for those hard to reach areas, such as under cupboards, above tall shelves, and in between couch cushions.

How Did It Work For Me?

I attempted to shoot a video of how great it picked up tracked litter in the bathroom that I share with Cody (where his litter box is located), but it came out too dark to give you an accurate visual.

I love that the Pivot Vac is sturdy, light weight, all of the accessories are within reach because they are built-in to the unit.

It is super easy to use, after an initial charging period of no more than 24 hrs you are ready to go! Once it is charged, you can just re-charge it by placing the unit on the handy charging base that is included (ensuing charges won't take as long if you charge it periodically).

It is powerful and does what it promises to do!

The Cordless Hand Vac 20V MAX* Lithium Pivot Vac is also perfect for picking up a bevy of items that land on my kitchen floor such as spilled, dry coffee, kibble, crumbs, you name it, it often accidentally lands on the floor!

It is ideal for cleaning my couch and upholstered chairs as well!

I couldn't be happier!

Since my photos and video were much too dark to post, please view the video that I am sharing with you directly from BLACK+DECKER. (My apologies that the video shows a dog and not a cat!! Trust me, it works great picking up cat fur too!)

 Accessories include:
Onboard crevice tool
Onboard brush
Charging base with tool storage

Cleaning and Emptying The Filter Is A Breeze!

  • open bowl and empty canister
  • push release button on nozzle, rotate down, slide nozzle off
  • Remove pleated filter and tap to remove dirt
  • Wash filter, pre-filter and bowl for deep clean

BLACK+DECKER recommends "for best performance, clean often"

Where to find the 20V MAXLithium Pivot Vac
Model #: BDH2000PL, Price: $79.99
Retail: Available now at Amazon.com, Lowes.com, WalMart.com, Sears.com, Target.com and Target stores.

Enter to Win!

The kind folks at  BLACK+DECKER are offering a give-away of the SAME MODEL HAND VAC that I received! (The Cordless Hand Vac 20V MAX* Lithium Pivot Vac Model #: BDH2000PL). This give-away is for the U.S. ONLY and there will be one winner! Easy entry on the rafflecopter below. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 Year Limited Warranty on all vacuums

*With respect to 20V MAX, maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20V, nominal voltage is 18V.

In Full Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review/give-away. I was sent the 20V MAXLithium Pivot Vac in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, September 19, 2014

International Talk (Meow) Like A Pirate Day!!!

Create your own picture



The first one below was created by our dear furiend Mr.Puddy   for Cody to use on his first Pirate Day!

The next photo was made for us by our furiends at Cat Wisdom 101 and it was made back in 2011!! It is also one of our faves!

Then, last year MOM got into the act!!!! If you ask me, she looks better as a Pirate!! She should walk around like this EVERY DAY!!

We be so glad you stopped by on International Talk (Meow) Like a Pirate Day! We be goin' t' have so much fun goin' around visitin' all o' you! Can't wait t' see what fun you be havin' today! Are thar certain games that you like t' play today? Tell us about them! Love, Cody and Caren
Pirate Comments & Graphics
~Magickal Graphics~

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Help!! I'm Being Stalked By My Cat!! #sponsored

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rachael Ray Nutrish.   As always, thank you for reading and supporting our sponsors.

Help!! I'm Being Stalked!!

Imagine if you will, you have just finished enjoying a delicious dinner with your husband. Your cat and dog have been fed their favorite food, they have had their after-dinner "treat" and now you are ready to relax.  Try as you might, you can't. There is a nagging, gnawing feeling that you are being watched.

You shrug it off, labeling it as unnecessary paranoia. You make your way into the bathroom to leave a deposit in your human litter box before resuming your evening activities. You sense that you aren't alone. You imagine that you hear the nearly silent sound of cat paws making their way across the cold, stark, bathroom floor tiles.

You CANNOT shake the feeling that you are being watched.

You are..............

Help!! I'm Being Stalked By My Cat!!

Allow me to explain. It all started innocently enough. After Cody had become ill after his vaccines a few months back, he seems to have taken a drink from the Fountain of Youth!  My I-won't-budge-unless-there-is-food-involved cat  has evolved into a mean,  NOT-SO-LEAN,  gray-striped playing machine! He strikes after dinner each and every night and he CANNOT get enough. His toy of choice is his Neko Fly, his playmate of choice? ME!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Cody with all of my heart and cherish my time with him. I am WELL aware of the fact that being a responsible pet parent involves more than just feeding healthy and tasty food, regular veterinary check ups and providing a safe and loving environment. I KNOW that being the best pet parent that I can be involves active, one-on-one play time with my cat. I know all of this and it is all true. Playtime is a MUST

I take my responsibilities as a pet parent seriously, and helping to ensure that my cat is a HAPPY CAT who KNOWS that he is loved, is serious business to me. But...even I deserve a break!

We all know that cats have an innate sense of time that makes them furry, four-legged alarm clocks that know the PRECISE time that events that are important to them, (such as eating!) are supposed to take place. Cody is no different. He  is keenly aware of my routine, and if I do NOT make an appearance in the bedroom (his preferred area of play), when he  KNOWS I am supposed to required to appear, he will stoically maintain his vigil. He will sit, in the dark, ALONE...lurking...waiting...watching. His opaque-green eyes wide with anticipation. If I am in the bathroom that is attached to the bedroom, he will stalk me there. I am not permitted out of his range of vision UNTIL I PLAY.

Cody has a definite ritual involved in his play. He knows where "toy" (his name for his Neko  Fly toy), is kept. He will stand on his hind legs by the dresser drawer and meow for his furry pal to make an appearance. He will "warm-up" and get limber by doing a cobra stretch,  rolling and languishing on the carpet. Then, the fun begins! I sing a couple of songs while he plays, (which I spared your having to hear on the video below)

 Be sure to watch his moves ALL the way through, especially the last few frames!

There you have it! An inside peek into what has become an early evening ritual for me (whether I want it to be or not!), and a new found obsession/passion for Cody.

If that is all that it takes to help keep Cody happy and healthy, then I am one lucky pet parent. The sense of fulfillment and peace that he brings to me and the hours of love and laughs are worth sacrificing fifteen or twenty minutes an evening, don't you agree?

Help!! I'm Being Stalked By My Cat!!

and I wouldn't have it any other way!

What are the daily rituals that you share with YOUR cat(s)? Are they rituals that are your choice or based on your cat insisting that things be a certain way?  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Communicate with your cat (and dog)

What is your cat trying to say?

Understand how to listen to & communicate with your pet
An evening with animal communicator Lisa Turek
September 17 at Birmingham Country Club

 Many pet owners say they talk to their  cats all the time.  Pet owners will find out on from animal communicator Lisa Turek who will answer the question, What do Fluffy & Fido really mean?  How to listen to and understand your pet at 5 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 17  at Birmingham Country Club.  The program is being offered by The Cat Practice veterinary hospital in Birmingham.

Turek says she is able to hold conversations with living and deceased animals by connecting with their spirits.  She says this is unlike a psychic who reads minds or predicts the future.  To connect with a pet, Turek needs a photo or description. She has used her abilities to help owners modify their pet’s behavior, locate lost pets, find out if sick pets are in pain, and to connect with pets that have passed on.  “I’m like the telephone,” she says.  “I’m the go between connecting the animal and the person.”

Turek says that animals understand much more than people think, are sensitive to human energy and emotions, and are intelligent in ways that people are not.  She says that pets communicate in mental pictures so pet owners should form images in their minds of positive behaviors and what they want their pet to carry out instead of thinking about negative behaviors and what their pet might do. 

Cindy Houlihan, DVM, of The Cat Practice, which is offering the program, always talks with her feline patients.  Houlihan began consulting with Turek years ago to get her advice on reducing patient stress.  Today, before every procedure, Houlihan and the other veterinarians and veterinary technicians at The Cat Practice, explain to their patients what is going to happen to them when they are getting a shot, having blood drawn, getting an x-ray or going to sleep for surgery.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

“Pets worry just like humans and want to know what’s happening to them,” Houlihan says.  “They also have a lot to say to us.  It’s not really a mystery – you just have to train yourself to listen.  Even our most skeptical staff members have been doing this.  The results are amazing.”

Cat owners notice how cats respond to Houlihan's bedside manner and ask how she does it.  The last time Turek was invited to speak, hundreds of pet owners showed up.

“Anyone can learn to communicate with their pet,” says Turek who offers personal consultations and weekend workshops.  “The more positive energy you send out, the more you are inviting your pet to have a conversation.  You just have to learn to listen to what they say to you.”

To register for What do Fluffy & Fido really mean?  How to listen to and understand your pet, call 248-540-3390 or go to www.thecatpracticepc.com.  Donation of $10 per person includes light refreshments and goes to the Rufus Memorial Feline Fund for homeless cats and cats in need.  Sorry, no refunds.   Cat owners whose cats are patients of The Cat Practice get two free registrations.  Please leave pets at home.  Business attire requested.  Birmingham Country Club is at 1750 Saxon Drive in Birmingham, Michigan.

About Lisa Turek
Turek has been communicating with animals for 15 years.  She lives in northern Michigan with her husband, dog and three cats.  

About The Cat Practice
The Cat Practice, opened in 1981, is Michigan’s first cats-only veterinary hospital.  The Cat Practice provides advanced preventive and medical care with an emphasis on early detection to help cats live longer, better and healthier lives.  Located at 875 South Worth in Birmingham, Michigan, The Cat Practice cares for feline purebred and mixed breeds from around southeastern Michigan.  For information go to www.thecatpracticepc.com or call 248-540-3390.