Month: May 2013

Review and Giveaway: Grey Dawn by Clea Simon

Grey_Dawn

I was thrilled when the sixth book in the Dulcie Schwartz mystery series, featuring the Harvard graduate student, along with her kitten Esme and the spirit of her departed cat, Mr. Grey, arrvied in my mailbox. I’m a huge fan of the series, and I’ve learned from reading the first five books that once I got started with Grey Dawn, I would have a hard time putting it down, so I planned accordingly.

In this book, we still find Dulcie working on her doctoral thesis about an incomplete gothic novel written by an unknown author in the 18th century. Dulcie is excited when she discovers what appear to be missing pages of what may have been the manuscript of the novel. She is deeply immersed in thoughts about the novel and its author on the way home one night, when she hears what sounds like a wolf howling, and catches a glimpse of her thesis advisor, looking strangely inhuman in the moonlight. She chalks it up to being so immersed in the dark tale of her gothic novel, and doesn’t give the odd occurrence any more thought until she finds out the next morning that a student was savagely attacked that very night. And the student looks very much like Dulcie.Continue Reading

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Review: One Hot Murder by Lorraine Bartlett

One Hot Murder Lorraine Bartlett

One Hot Murder is the third book in the charming Victoria Square mystery series by Lorraine Bartlett, but in the interest of full disclosure, despite the adorable cover, this is not a cat-themed book. The protagonist, Katie Bonner, shares her apartment with two cats, and they’re mentioned briefly here and there in the book. I will admit that the cute cover reeled me in at the bookstore, and despite the lack of cats in this book, I loved it, and wanted to share it with you. Additionally, I’m a big fan of Lorraine Bartlett, who, writing under the name Lorna Barrett, is also the author of the Booktown Mystery series, featuring Miss Marple the bookstore cat.

From the publisher:

Katie Bonner, the reluctant manager of Artisans Alley in the quaint shopping district of Victoria Square, is no stranger to ambivalence. Things have been going hot and heavy with pizza maker Andy Rust—so much so that Katie has moved in over his pizza parlor. Continue Reading

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Feline Hyperthyroidism: What You Need to Know

 feline_hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a common disease that typically affects middle-aged and older cats.  It is caused by an excess production of thyroid hormones, which are produced by the thyroid gland, located inside the cat’s neck. Thyroid hormones affect nearly all organs, which is why thyroid disease can sometimes cause secondary problems such as hypertension, heart and kidney disease.

Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

For a comprehensive overview on what causes hyperthyroidism, what the symptoms are, and how it is diagnosed and treated, read Hyperthyroidism in Cats.

Treatment Options

Currently, there are three treatment options for hyperthyroidism in cats:Continue Reading

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Making Health Care Decisions for Your Cat in a Crisis

caregiver_crisis_guide

Today marks the third anniversary of the day I had to let Amber go. She died after a sudden, brief illness, most likely a virulent strain of the calici virus, complicated by an underlying heart condition we weren’t aware of at the time.

It was the first time I had lost a cat so suddenly. The cats that went before her had long illnesses – Feebee had lymphoma, Buckley had heart disease – so I not only had time to prepare myself for their eventual passing, I also didn’t have to make medical decisions under pressure. Thankfully, my years of experience in veterinary medicine made the decision making process somewhat easier for me than it might have been for the average cat parent, but it was still incredibly challenging to separate out my emotions and my fear of losing Amber, and to make the best possible decisions for her care.Continue Reading

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Review: Outsmarting Cats by Wendy Christensen

Outsmarting_Cats_Wendy_Christense

When it comes to understanding felines, few people know these lovable, but sometimes frustrating, creatures as well as Wendy Christensen. Wendy spent her entire life with cats, and has gained a deep appreciation of the many sides of feline behavior. She shares her wealth of knowledge in Outsmarting Cats: How to Persuade the Felines in Your Life to Do What You Want.

This book was first published in 2004. This second, revised edition was published in March of this year, and contains updated information as well as a comprehensive resource listing for everything from cat safe cleaners to cat furniture. Just like the original, this book addresses behavioral challenges ranging from aggression to litter box problems to scratching. The new, expanded edition also includes the latest scientific information on cats, high-tech solutions to feline behavior problems, a new section on TNR (trap, neuter, release) and fostering cats, and lots of new photos and illustrations.

Wendy’s focus is on nurturing the best possible relationshipContinue Reading

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Best Interactive Cat Toys

Allegra with Neko Flies Kattipede

Interactive toys are a great way to keep your cats stimulated both mentally and physically, and a great way for both you and your cats to get in on the fun.

Interactive toys fall into two categories: toys that your cats can play with on their own, and toys that are designed for joint play for cat and human. I introduced you to Interactive Puzzle Toys for Smart Cats a couple of months ago.

Interactive toys provide fun for cat and human

Toys such as feather teasers,wand toys or fishing pole type toys can provide hours of fun for you and for kitty. Playing with your cat is not only fun, it also increases the bond between the two of you. Here are some of my, and Allegra and Ruby’s, favorites:Continue Reading

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Meet Leann Sweeney, Author of the Cats in Trouble Series

The_Cat_the_Mill_and_the_Murder_Leann_Sweeney

I’ve been enjoying the Cats in Trouble series, featuring cat quilter Jillian Hart, who settled in the small town of Grace, South Carolina with her three cats, since the very first book. The latest in the series, The Cat, The Mill and the Murder, was just released yesterday.

In this installment in the delightful series, Jillian volunteers to help a local animal shelter relocate a colony of feral cats living in an abandoned textile mill. She never expects to find a woman living there, too. The woman, who went missing from Mercy, South Carolina, a decade ago, refuses to leave the mill or abandon Boots, her cat who died years ago. After the woman is hurt in an accident and is taken away, those who’ve come to town to help repurpose the mill make a terrible discovery, and Jillian tries to unearth a long-kept and dark secret with the help of a mysterious new feline friend.

Look for a review of The Cat, The Mill and The Murder on The Conscious Cat soon.Continue Reading

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Chronic Diarrhea in Cats: Causes, Diagnosis & Treatments

brown_tabby_cat

Chronic diarrhea is probably one of the most frustrating conditions, both for the affected cat, and for her guardian. Diarrhea is considered chronic if symptoms persist for longer than three weeks, but any time your cat has diarrhea for more than a day or two, a visit to your veterinarian is indicated, especially if your cat is not eating or drinking water and/or is vomiting as well. Chronic vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration, and, if left untreated, can become life threatening.

Common Causes of Chronic Gastrointestinal Disease in Cats

Causes for chronic intestinal disease can vary, and include

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Review: The Cat Whisperer by Mieshelle Nagelschneider

The_Cat_Whisperer_Mieshelle_Nagelschneider

It is heartening to me that we’re seeing more and more books on feline behavior that provide solid, actionable information for cat guardians. Far too many cats are surrendered to shelters, or worse, released into the wild to fend for themselves, because of behavior problems that often aren’t all that hard to fix. In The Cat Whisperer: Why Cats Do What They Do – and How to Get Them To Do What You Want, Mieshelle Nagelschneider explains cat behavior and provides easy-to-follow solutions to common behavior problems.Continue Reading

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Ruby’s Reflections: The Art of Lap Sitting

lap_cat

Hi everyone, it’s Ruby! I thought I’d present a tutorial I developed for how to make the most of your time on your human’s lap. Mom says I’m the best little lap sitter, and I’m constantly purr-fecting my technique!

1. Begin by looking up at your human with a pitiful expression on your face. You know you can jump on your human’s lap anytime you please, but it’s more effective to make your human think they have to coax you up. It works like a charm 99% of the time with Mom. The other 1% (hey, are you impressed with my math skills!) I just jump up anyway.

2. Once you’re on your human’s lap, you can either simply curl up and go to sleep, or you can Continue Reading

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