Month: October 2013

How to Keep Cats Off Counters

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Cats love to be up high. Whether it’s the top of the cat tree or the top of the refrigerator, cats like to survey their territory from elevated vantage points. This is normal behavior for cats and goes back to their wild origins. Cats are hunters and climbing trees allowed them to lie in wait for prey as well as to escape for safety.

Since this love of heights appears to be hardwired even into domestic cats, it’s not surprising that counters and tables are favorites for cats. Since not all cat owners like their cats to have access to these spaces, it’s important to provide outlets for this natural drive. This will go a long way toward preventing “counter surfers” from jumping on counters and tables.Continue Reading

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Benefits of Digestive Enzymes for Cats

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Enzymes are tiny protein molecules that are found in every living cell. They are responsible for vital chemical reactions in your cat’s body, including proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. A lack of enzymes in your cat’s system will result in digestive upsets and a less than optimal immune system.

Benefits of Enzymes

  • Aid in the digestion and absorption of the vitamins and minerals in the cat’s diet
  • Promote normal body weight
  • Support healthy cell growthContinue Reading

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Love Saves the Day by Gwen Cooper Now Available in Paperback

LSTD trade hires cover

Gwen Cooper’s Love Saves the Day is one of the most touching cat books I’ve ever come across. This hauntingly beautiful story about how one small cat can change multiple lives is narrated primarily by Prudence, a brown tabby rescued from a deserted construction site on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Prudence is a keen observer of humans and knows them better than they know themselves at times.

This sweeping novel, with Prudence at the center, covers the music scene of the 1970s in Lower Manhattan, the issue of what happens to pets whose guardians die, the real life event of a building on the Lower East Side that was demolished in 1998 and plays a pivotal role in the story, and a complicated mother daughter relationship that crosses several decades. Cooper weaves all  of these threads into a beautiful, cohesive whole. Click here to read my full review of Love Saves the Day.Continue Reading

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Feline Blood Bank Saves Lives

Feline_Blood_Bank

Cats may need blood transfusions for a variety of reasons, such as trauma, surgery, cancer or infectious diseases. There are currently several animal blood banks in the United States, but due to the unique nature of cats, feline blood products are much harder to come by than their canine counterparts.

In order to be a blood donor, a cat needs to meet several criteria: they must be indoor only, between 1 and 8 years of age, weigh at least 10 pounds, not be on any medication and pass a number of different blood tests, including FeLV/FIV and a complete blood count and chemistry. Unlike dogs, cats must receive type-specific blood, so they must be blood typed. If a cat receives the wrong blood type, it can be life-threatening.Continue Reading

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Review: Lil BUB’s Lil Book: The Extraordinary Life of the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet

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When I first saw the title of Lil BUB’s Lil Book: The Most Extraordinary Life of the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet, I balked a little at the subtitle. I don’t begrudge Lil’ BUB, or any of the other internet cat celebrities their fame, but really, don’t we all think that our own cats are the most amazing cats on the planet? I certainly think Allegra and Ruby are!

But then I opened the book. And unlike the hundreds of images I’d seen of Lil Bub on the internet before then, this little book made me realize that she is, indeed, a very special little cat. And like hundreds of thousands of cat lovers before me (Bub currently has more than 300,000 fans on her Facebook page), I fell in love.Continue Reading

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Veterinary Technicians: The Unsung Heroes of the Veterinary Profession

Veterinary_Technician_Week

When your cat goes to the veterinary hospital, chances are she’s going to spend much more time with veterinary technicians or other veterinary staff members than with the veterinarian. Veterinary technicians are educated in the latest medical advances and skilled at working alongside veterinarians to give cats the best medical care possible.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, Inc. (NAVTA) has designated one week in October as National Veterinary Technician Week. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the veterinary technicians in your cat’s life.

I don’t really care for the term ”technician” with its connotations of working on technical equipment or doing practical work in a laboratory. While vet techs are most definitely skilled professionals, they are so much more than that. Continue Reading

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Review: The Cat, the Mill and the Murder by Leann Sweeney

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Leann Sweeney’s Cats in Trouble series just keeps getting better and better. The series features cat quilter Jillian Hart and her three cats Merlot, Chablis and Chiraz, along with her human friends, who all live in the small town of Mercy, South Carolina.

In The Cat, the Mill and the Murder, the latest installment in the series, Jillian volunteers to help a local animal shelter relocate a colony of feral cats living in an abandoned textile mill. When she visits the mill, she finds a woman who is living there with her “ghost cat” Boots. Jeannie went missing from Mercy, South Carolina, a decade ago, after her daughter’s disappearance. After Jeannie is hurt in an accident and taken to the hospital, a body is found in the mill’s old fireplace. This is only the beginning of a series of long-kept, dark secrets, and Jillian finds herself drawn into yet another investigation.Continue Reading

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Why the Internet Loves Grumpy Cat

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A snowshoe cat named Tardar Cat became an internet sensation when photos of her permanently grumpy expression went viral.

It’s no secret that the internet loves cats. Currently, the reigning queen of internet cat stars is Grumpy Cat, a one-year-old mixed breed cat with a facial expression that makes her look like she’s permanently grumpy. Just last week, Grumpy Cat won the Golden Kitty, awarded to the best internet cat video at the Walker Center Internet Cat Video Festival in Minneapolis, MN.

How Grumpy Cat Went Viral

Grumpy Cat’s owners had no idea what was in store for them when they posted a photo of the cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, on social network Reddit in September of 2012. Since viewers suggested that the original photo was probably photoshopped, Tardar’s owners posted a series of videos on YouTube. They quickly went viral, and a meme was born.

What is the appeal of Grumpy Cat?

It’s almost impossible not to laugh at Grumpy Cat’s expression. As her internet fame grew, people came up with increasingly funny memes using the small cat’s face. One of the most popular Grumpy Cat meme is the one that is captioned to say, “I had fun once. It was awful.”

Grumpy Cat’s Empire

As of the writing of this article, Grumpy Cat has more than a million Facebook fans and Twitter followers. She has a merchandise ranging from apps to t-shirts, mugs, magnets and more. She even has a line of coffee drinks named Grumpucchino™. She has a book out, and she signed a movie deal.

The real Grumpy Cat

Tardar’s owners aren’t exactly sure what breed Tardar is. She looks like a snowshoe or a Ragdoll, but her parents were a calico and a grey tabby. Her small size and grumpy face are due to feline dwarfism, which may also be the reason why she wobbles a bit on her hindlegs when she walks. She is said to have a very sweet personality.

Tardar is a calm and mellow cat who travels well, but Tardar’s owners try to limit her public appearances. They make sure that these public sessions are short, and that Tardar isn’t handled by too many people. According to her owners, she lives the life of a normal pet cat. She plays, hides and acts like a normal cat. Photo sessions are kept short and limited to about once a week.

There’s no telling what makes a cat so popular on the internet, but it’s hard not to love this grumpy looking little cat.

Photo via Grumpy Cat’s Facebook page.

This article was originally published on Answers.com and is republished with permission.

 

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Review: The Elegance of the Cat by Tamsin Pickeral and Astrid Harrisson

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Stunning. Spectacular. Striking. Those are only a few of the words I’d use to describe The Elegance of the Cat. The photos alone are absolutely incredible, and capture cats in their multi-faceted beauty.

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The combination of award winning photographer Astrid Harrisson’s photos and a richly detailed narrativeContinue Reading

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Gracie’s Story: It Takes a Village to Rescue a Cat

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Every cat has a story of how she came to be with her human, and even though there are common themes – a cat finds us, we are ready to adopt a new family member, we see a cat online that tugs at our heart strings – every one of those stories is as unique as the cat and the human involved.

Sometimes, it takes more than one person to rescue a cat. In Gracie’s case, it took the proverbial village. Her story is remarkable for its “six degrees of separation” synchronicity, involving this site, Jackson Galaxy, and our friends Robin Olson of Covered in Cat Hair and Dorian Wagner of Your Daily Cute.Continue Reading

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What Being a Cat Lady Really Means

cat-lady

The term “cat lady” has gotten a bad reputation. It brings up images of a lonely old spinster living a secluded life, with only her cats for companionship. Worse yet, it makes you think of news stories about hoarders who live in squalid conditions with hundreds of cats. Often combined with the word “crazy,” the pejorative nature of the label leaves a bad taste, even when used with humorous self-deprecation.

The term “cat lady” is a stereotype, whether it’s used in conjunction with the word “crazy” or on its own, and like all stereotypes, it is overly simplified and based on assumptions. I consider myself a cat lady, and I’m far from crazy. Many of my friends are cat ladies, and they aren’t crazy, either.

So what does being a cat lady really mean?

It means loving cats, and appreciating them for the unique and fascinating creatures they are.

It means educating yourself and others about cat health and nutrition to ensure a happy, healthy life for the cats in your care. Cats don’t require much, but they do require us to be their advocated when it comes to their health and well-being.

It means understanding feline behavior. Behavioral problems are the main reason why cats are returned to shelters, and many of these issues are easily corrected when life is viewed from the cat’s point of view. Thinking like a cat isn’t all that difficult, and understanding a cat’s behavior, enhances the bond between cat and human.

It means caring for cats – and this doesn’t just mean caring for our own pet cats, but caring for cats in our communities. It means supporting local shelters and rescue groups. This can be done through volunteering: fostering, visiting shelter cats and socializing them, assisting at adoption events, and more. This can also be done through donating money or supplies.

It means understanding and supporting TNR (trap-neuter-return) programs and policies, and educating others about the plight of free roaming cats.

Cat ladies are as varied as the cats they love. They’re single or married. They’re grandmothers, mothers and daughters. They’re writers, lawyers, doctors, waitresses, retail sales clerks, and secretaries. They’re wealthy, comfortably off or barely scraping by. They may not have much in common, but they will recognize each other when they meet. What unites them is their unabiding and unapologetic love for cats.

And that’s what being a cat lady really means.

This article was originally published on Answers.com and is republished with permission.

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