Sadly, my newsletter provider service is not working this month. All efforts and attempts to create and send this month's newsletter, The Kitty Times, have failed. Even the text-only version refused to send out to all of you on my list. I sent in several support requests but never got a response. So my only recourse is to simply publish the letter here, on my blog. This way it's also available to everyone!
So here is the May 7 edition for you (sorry, a couple days late):
First up, here are the holidays for May:
National Pet Month. (US)
Responsible Animal Guardian Month.
Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by Pet Cancer
Awareness and the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research.
Chip Your Pet Month.
National Pet Week--1st week of May
Be Kind to Animals Week--1st week of May
National Professional Pet Sitters Week
1st full week: American Humane’s Be Kind to Animals Week.
This week-long event has been celebrated since 1915. Always the first full
week of May.
May 1-7, 2016: National Pet Week. Always held the first full week of May by the
American Veterinary Medical Association.
May 3: National Specially Abled Pets Day
May 3: National Disabled Pets Day
Endangered Species Day - May 18, 2018 (Third Friday in May) There are big cats on that list!
May 8: National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day.
May 30 - Hug Your Cat Day! Some say May 3 others May 15. As for me, every day is Hug Your Cat Day!
And here are a few June holidays to get you started, since the newsletter comes out on the 7th.
June 4: Another Hug Your Cat Day!
June 3-9: Pet Appreciation Week. First full week in June.
June 9: World Pet Memorial Day.
This is a very cute and very short video of an adorable kitty who makes quite
a face when she smells something interesting on her person's hand!
This site is dedicated to sharing stories, videos, photos and anything
else about our fabulous furry feline friends. Feel free to explore their
many stories, share ideas and stories and ask questions about your cat.
Big Cats LOVE Catnip Too!
I love watching the big cats go crazy for catnip, just like our
little tigers at home!
Pets Paint at Best Friends Animal Society
In between playtime, walks and training, animals at Best Friends
Animal Sanctuary engage in activities that enrich their lives, and
they create amazing works of art in the process. With a smattering
of animal-safe paint, they're making their world a little more beautiful,
and helping to find their forever homes in the process.
They are doing this project as a fundraiser, too, and you can purchase
some of the artwork. However, some of it is available for a free download
also. I picked up some new wallpaper of kitty pawprints for my screen
HEALTH AND BEHAVIOR LINKS:
Do you know the signs of stress in your cat? Most cat people recognize
when their beloved pet is under stress, but many do not. Share the
information in this article with friends and others you know who may
not be offering the best care to their cats simply because they don't
realize their cat is under stress. Too many cats are punished for behavior
they can't help because their owners don't know the signs or how to help
them. There is good info on this site for dogs, too.
A warning about bobcat fever!
Worried about pet food safety? Report Problems to the FDA!
Shelter feed links:
Share the #TruthAboutCats with your friends:
Disaster preparedness tips.
My disaster preparedness page for animals and people: ccadrt.1hwy.com
I just added more new links for the hurricane season.
Need help with your vet bills? This site offers some good information.
Past issues are stored at this link, if you would like to see them, and hope it works.
My email links:
hipaws @ hotmail.com
felinehelpline @ live.com
catsgalore4 @ hotmail.com
Just as a side note, I've also obtained a new domain, just in case something
weird happens to my old stand-by, the problemcat.com. Anything is possible
right now as I am in the process of reorganizing everything since my husband
passed away just before Christmas. We were partners in all the business ventures
we had going on the internet and now I must change the names and settings on
the many accounts we had set up.
The new site is called MyProblemCat.com
For now, it redirects to TheProblemCat.com, but I hope to relaunch it this
coming year with a new look.
See you next month!
RJ Peters, the Cat Lady
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Guest post by Rosalie Schultz
There has been a lot of criticism recently of people who allow cats to roam outdoors. Books such as Peter Marra's Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer do make a point. Roaming cats are clearly responsible for the deaths of many birds and members of other valuable wildlife species.
This new emphasis on the harm done by outdoor cats flies in the face of a lot of trap/neuter/release programs that have been started around the U.S. as a way of putting feral cats to work controlling rodent populations. I myself was the guardian of a feral colony in Chicago. When my neighbor complained about the presence of roaming cats in her yard, I oriented several of the cats to greater domesticity. But it's very hard to re-condition alley cats to be satisfied staying indoors all the time. My cats still use a pet door to spend some time in my yard almost every day. Attempts at blocking off that pet door led to ferocious clawing, squalls, bad temper, and persistent, destructive efforts at escape.
However, I have felt a little less guilty about allowing my cats to continue some roaming behavior after I read an excerpt from Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. In an early chapter of that 1859 ground-breaking work, Darwin says:
The murder of humble-bees in any district depends in a great degree on the number of field-mice, which destroy their combs and nests... Now the number of mice is largely dependent, as every one knows, on the number of cats; and Mr. Newman says, “Near villages and small towns I have found the nests of humble-bees more numerous than elsewhere, which I attribute to the number of cats that destroy the mice.” Hence it is quite credible that the presence of a feline animal in large numbers in a district might determine, through the intervention first of mice and then of bees, the frequency of certain flowers in that district! (Darwin and others of that era referred to bumblebees as “humble-bees.”)
Researching this matter a little further, I found a lot of people in the Victorian era had made a similar association between the presence of sufficient numbers of roaming cats and the flourishing of their gardens. In the rather sexist terms of that era, people would lament the scarcity of “old maids.” That's because old maids were famous for keeping cats. No old maids, no cats. No roaming cats and the rodent population exploded. An exploding rodent population meant the destruction of bees' nests and therefore a failure of flowers and crops to be sufficiently cross-pollinated.
I don't seriously think that an insufficiency of feral cats is behind the collapse of bee populations around the world. However, in helping to control rodent populations, feral cats might at least play a small role in helping bees survive to do their vital work.
Incidentally, my cats DO control the rodent population. They kill not only mice, but large rats. People have doubted that cats will tackle hefty rats, but I can attest that my cats are lethal to even the biggest neighborhood rats.
However, after having had my conscience salved a little by reading Darwin's affirmation of the need for roaming cats, I was still left with the fact that my cats were killing as many as 3-4 birds a week that they caught around my bird-feeders. But I might have finally come up with an effective way of greatly reducing the risk to birds.
Nothing I commonly saw recommended worked. No bell collars, colorful clown collars, or typical fences, prevented my cats from catching birds unaware. But – Eureka! I have found an answer that seems to have cut down bird fatalities at my bird-feeders by about 90%. The answer is milk crates!
I collected a number of milk crates, the kind that have the open lattice-work bases. I kept in place the low wire fence I had put around the area under my bird-feeders. But inside that “compound,” I upended a dozen or more milk crates. The wire fence by itself did almost nothing to slow down my cats' attacks. But the cats absolutely cannot negotiate on top of or around the massed milk crates. However, the birds can easily perch on top of the plastic cross-pieces on these crate bottoms. And they can easily forage between the crates for dropped birdseed. These crates can be moved in seconds so that I can gain access to the bird-feeders to regularly re-fill and clean them.
Below is a picture of the crates I've positioned under my feeder. Given a little more time, I can collect or buy a more attractive array of crates, possibly even creating a tiered, multi-colored effect with them. Without getting too kitschy, I might also use the crates' plastic lattice-work as supports for real or artificial flowers. By decorating the crates with flowers, I would be making it even more difficult for the cats to negotiate their surfaces, and I'd be making a colorful display that would attract more birds and make the arrangement more visually appealing to neighbors. A person could exercise no end of creativity grouping milk crates into attractive landscape structures.