Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday Cat Quiz

At this time of year, everyone is writing articles about keeping kids, pets and even ourselves safe during the holidays. I'm sure we all know how to do that by now, right? Since this blog is about cats, here is a little True-False quiz you can take to see how well you've been paying attention to your cat's holiday well-being:

Answer these as True or False:

1. It's OK to let your cat drink water from the Christmas tree stand.

2. Fragile ornaments should only be used near the top of the tree, if used at all.

3. Any decorations involving candles should be watched carefully and flames extinguished if you leave the room, including when you go to bed for the night.

4. Cats love tinsel, so be sure to hang it everywhere.

5. Cats never bother electrical cords, so don't worry about running as many as you want behind the furniture.

6. If the house gets crowded and full of excitement as you and your friends or family celebrate, most cats can become stressed and may escape outside, so keep them in a quieter room during parties and family gatherings.

7. If the cat does slip outside, be sure there is some ID on the collar in case of loss, theft or accident.

Check your answers here, at the bottom of the page:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We Finished the Book!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to my new book, Our Amazing Cats. The stories are wonderful...amusing, heartwarming, fun to read. And it came in under the wire, too! Just in time for Black Friday shopping, and plenty of time for holiday gifting.

Visit the blog if you want to see more about it:

It's now available at!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Music For Pets to Relax By

Once considered laughable, playing music for our pets now has some real evidence to back up the claims that it helps them to relax. Actual studies have been done to see what effects different types of music can have on various animals. Most studies have focused on dogs and cats in shelters, where it's easier to get some data due to the numbers, but we certainly can do our own "tests" at home to see what our furry housemates like.

I discovered the value of music during my early shelter and rescue years when I had to transport many or a few animals to the veterinary office for their intake exams, spay/neuters, and medical care. Sometimes even a solitary rescue could be nerve wracking with all the howling. To drown out the noise, I turned the radio on loud just to calm myself down by listening to my favorite music to relax by - classical symphonic melodies. To my surprise (and delight), it settled the cats down, too. The dogs we picked up didn't seem to mind one way or the other, but I knew other shelters that held more dogs than we did had a problem with barking. They, too, found that music helped diminish the dogs' stress, lowering the noise level.

Currently, our cat Gus has to live alone because he has FIV, the dreaded immune disease that has no cure and can spread to the other cats. Because he's alone, he's lonely, too. He can see the other cats from time to time as they come by to "visit" with him through the screen door, but he misses being able to interact with others. I spend as much time as I can with him, at least twice a day, but he cries when I have to leave.

A couple months ago, I obtained a radio and set it up near his room, tuned to the local classical station. It has made a big difference in his mental state, allowing him to be more relaxed. He still would prefer to be out with everyone else, but he is less stressed overall, is eating normally without vomiting every day, and seems to sleep better. He loves to quietly sit by me, instead of pacing about as he did before we got the radio.

Interestingly, I have learned what kinds of music Gus likes best. As I expected, his favorites are the melodic classics, including Beethoven, Schubert and Schuman, etc., but he becomes annoyed and agitated during the evening programming if the station plays jazz. The more "jazzy" it is, the more he complains. So I just turn it off and he can enjoy the silence for a few hours.

So go ahead and play a radio, mp3 player or whatever you have, to help your pet find some inner peace. This might be most useful when you have to be gone, to help them handle separation anxiety, if that's an issue, or just to help them pass the time till you get back.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Don't Forget the Noms

Wow, I can't believe I haven't had time to keep up with this blog this year! I'll try to do better!

For now, I'd like to share a video made by my new friend, Mary B. She took me up on my pack of kitty pictures I listed on and added her own creativity and made this really cute video. Take a look and leave a comment if you can. I think she did a nice job!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fluffy is Now Gus!

Thanks to everyone who helped with Fluffy's new name contest. The name "Gus" received the most votes, short for Asparagus, although Augustus picked up a few votes, too, which I added in because the nickname is the same... Gus. Jean wins my ebook, 7 Steps to 9 Lives, for her winning entry, which I have emailed to her.  (You can see it on my web site here: 7 Steps to 9

Everyone who submitted a name also wins! I will be sending my report, 7 Feline Mysteries, to you if you sent in one of these names...

Here is the voting breakdown:

Arlo - 3 votes
Asparagus - 8
Augustus - 3
Denali - 1
Fluffers - 4
Fluffy - 2
Leon Blanco / White Lion - 5
LuvDuv - 2
Muffy - 1
Shah - 1
Snow Bear - 2
Snow Boy - 1
White Knight - 1

When Fluffy/Gus is ready, I will take a new picture of him. I haven't told him yet, but I'll do that tomorrow and see what he thinks.

Thanks everyone!

P.S. - If you would like to read an article about naming pets, visit:

Friday, February 03, 2012

Fluffy Just Arrived!

Another successful rescue! Fluffy was found by a very kind rescuer in Missouri just before Christmas and appeared to be sick and injured. Sure enough, he had some sores and was in a pretty debilitated condition. The veterinarian there tested and treated him with antibiotics, and he was found to be positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus... or, FIV. Because he was debilitated, he could not be neutered or vaccinated. It was too risky and will have to be done later.

He's come a long way in just over a month, but he's not 100% yet. Speaking of coming a long way, he did, indeed, make quite a journey to get from that shelter to mine. There is more room here, so he can recover more easily in his own space. He will still need to be isolated for a while, and possibly always, but if another FIV kitty comes along, he could have a roommate.

 Welcome, Fluffy, to your new home! He just arrived 24 hours ago, so he's still settling in.

I've been calling him Fluffers, as Fluffy seems a little feminine for this big boy, but I'm open to name ideas if you'd like to send them in!

He's a very affectionate kitty and loves to be cuddled and petted. Tomorrow I will find out if he likes catnip!

We're holding a little contest to see if Fluffy needs a new name. Just use the poll on the right side of the page, check a name you think might fit him, and click Vote. On Feb. 28 we'll see which name brings in the most votes and that will be Fluffy's (new?) name. The winner will get my book, 7 Steps to 9 Lives. If you would like to add a name to the list, please put it into the Comments, below, before the contest ends. This poll will go for one week, with the name announced on Feb. 28. Thank you!

Update: Two more names just came in, too late to add to the list on the right, but I'm going to include them anyway, because I like them! How about "Muffy?"  Or, "Denali?" If you want to vote for either of those names, just put it into the comments below this post. There are two votes for Gus in there already, and one each for Muffy and Denali, so let me know how you wish to vote.

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