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Saturday, January 25, 2020

BW on Cold Weather

B.W. Huckleberry decided to contribute a selfie this week along with the Kitties Blue at The Cat On My Head for Sunday Selfies. He and his housemates love covering all of my registers in the winter. You’d think it was cold in here. . . it is too!

At least we are out of those frigid temps we had earlier this month. It looks like we’ll be having normal temps for the foreseeable future. And the snow has stopped after three straight days of it.
Yay! I’m thankful that Two-y is no longer outside.

I should give you a couple of updates. First, Two-y went in for his one-year check-up last week and passed muster. He was even a very good boy for his rabies vaccination. His veterinarian commented on his teeth. Because he’s still getting used to being a housecat I haven’t been brushing his teeth and they are very dirty. Guess it’s time to do that now.

Second, I’ve been delinquent in telling you all how Mulberry Spot has been doing. Well, I’m happy to report that he is doing very well. He’s been on the budesonide for quite some time now and has only had one incident of diarrhea. He’s eating very well and not vomiting. I even caught him eating some of Two-y’s food one day and spent the day waiting for him to vomit. But he never did! He’s still on his Ultamino though. I hate the thought of going back to his daily vomiting sessions.

Well, Happy Sunday Selfies!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Second Gotcha Day

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Of course we are joining The Cat On My Head for Sunday Selfies. The highlight today is on Two-y, my newest, and yet not new, family member.

Today is the first anniversary of Two-y’s second gotcha day! Last year at this time he broke my heart standing out in the frigid cold shivering and alternating holding up one paw at a time. I just had to bring him inside. But let’s go back a few years so I can tell you how it all started.

I may have told this story before so I apologize if you’ve heard it but here goes: Two-y showed up one day with three other cats. Two were obviously female because they were a calico and a tortoiseshell. The other two had male characteristics but were black and white tuxies. I could tell right away they were feral because they were extremely wary of me but also very hungry.

I started feeding them on my front porch. As a group they were my third colony. After a couple of weeks, with winter winding down, I decided I should take responsibility for them and get them all neutered. I began the TNR procedures.

I caught them all in a matter of a few days. The females were both full-term in their pregnancies so I set up two very large cages for them to deliver in. They settled in and within a week of each other delivered nine kittens between them. I took the males in to have them neutered and vaccinated. The cat, who would be Two-y, was labeled as Stray number two. After an overnight recovery in my home I released them but continued to feed them regularly.

Stray number one disappeared after a time but Two-y stuck around. There were times when he didn’t show up for food and that always worried me but he eventually returned. Finally, after 11 years, Two-y began to warm up to me. It started when he would touch his nose to my finger before I fed him. Then I started holding my hand over him without him running away. Soon I was able to pet him but I still had the feeling that he wouldn’t appreciate any more.

Then came the frigid temperatures we had last year and I just couldn’t take it anymore. He came up one day shivering violently and constantly picking up one foot after another. That had to be the day. I brought a carrier out and set it beside him with the door open. He didn’t budge so I went ahead and stroked his fur. He still didn’t budge. Something told me that it would be okay to scoot him in so I did it. I put my hand beneath him and moved him gently into the carrier and shut the door.

So once again I set up one of the cages and placed the carrier inside it. He’d already been through enough so I just removed the top of the carrier and placed a towel in the bottom. He eventually moved onto the towel and made himself at home.

We went through my routine for introducing new cats into my family. I took him in for vaccinations, FeLV/FIV testing and fecal check (for intestinal worms) then kept him isolated in the cage for 60 days. Before releasing him into the household I rechecked him for worms and FeLV/FIV. He was clear of both and I moved him into another cage in the living room. Only one of my other cats complained about him but after 60 days of smelling him the rest of them didn’t even seem to notice him.

He spent some time in that cage before I opened the door and he made his way out in his own time. We’re still working out the feeding location and Gooseberry is still not happy but otherwise Two-y is part of the family. Every day he takes another step toward being a normal domestic cat.



Saturday, January 11, 2020

Australian fires


It is difficult to happily blog about my cats or feline health issues you all need to know when Australia is suffering the worst fires in history. Instead I’m just posting the following places where you can donate to to help in the fight against the many losses to the fires.

Go to fundraise.redcross.org.au/ to donate to Australian Red Cross' Disaster Relief and Recovery.

Go to wires.org.au to donate to WIRES, an organization committed to helping the wildlife in Australia.
And from the Late Show with Stephen Colbert:
Australia Red Cross

Country Women's Association of New South Wales

New South Wales State Emergency Service

New Rural Fire Service

WIRES Wildlife Rescue

World Wildlife Fund


And I’m thankful that the U.S. has sent some companies of firefighters and wildlife experts to help in the efforts. Even U.S. zoo veterinarians have volunteered to go if they are needed. The last I heard they have not been called up yet but they are ready to go.

Just to keep up with everyone else let’s join The Kitties Blue at Cat On My Head with a selfie. Miss Misty Meadow, or Meadow for short, believes in really close selfies.




Saturday, January 4, 2020

CATS the movie musical

I'm participating in the Sunday Selfies hosted by the Kitties Blue at Cat On My Head. The selfie is at the bottom of this post.


(WARNING for those of you who haven’t seen the movie yet SPOILERS AHEAD!)

I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews about CATS the movie but I will tell you right up front that I enjoyed it – a lot. I’ll get a couple of negatives out of the way right now. I didn’t like the Mungojerry and Rumpleteaser bit. They hardly sang during the entire piece and when they did they weren’t on key. While I appreciate the changes they made in the movie, it helped those people who didn’t know there was a story to the whole thing, I think there was entirely too much talking though, as opposed to singing.

One of the changes they made is probably the major change from the Broadway play. When CATS was on the stage the cats actually interacted with the audience in various ways. They’d walk down the aisles and in some instances (at least I heard this) the cats might actually sit in the lap of audience members. The cats even addressed the audience as they went through the story of the cats who want to go to the Heavyside layer.

The movie is a little different in that they can’t interact in that way. Instead they’ve introduced a new character, Victoria. She is a kitten who, throughout the show, is learning the ways of cat society. The main cat, Munkustrap, introduces her to several cats such as Jennyanydots, Skimbleshanks, Asparagus, Bustophur Jones and Macavity, the villain of the show. This kitten even tries to make friends with Grizabella while other cats shun her. This is when Victoria sings the newest song, Beautiful Ghosts. I love this song. It is a wonderful addition to the show.

I also loved the SkimbleShanks number that included a lot of tap dancing and a jaunt on the railroad tracks. Really any dance number makes me happy. I was a little worried about Jennifer Hudson’s portrayal of Grizabella because I’m not a fan of her usual performances but she pulled this off perfectly. She brought out the emotion behind Grizabella’s plight nicely, even making me cry.

I’d never heard Ian McKellen sing before (has he ever had a singing role?) so I was waiting to see how he did. Gus was the perfect role for him. He sang and spoke interchangeably about his life in the theater. Rum Tum Tugger wasn’t quite the same as in the play but still a sexy tomcat performance.

Deuteronomy is normally played as a male cat but in the movie Dame Judi Dench plays “her.” It came off better than I thought. I once knew a cat I named Deuteronomy (long story) so this is probably my favorite character except maybe Munkustrap. Then there’s Mr. Mistoffelees. In the play this character is played as confident and magical. In the movie he’s not so confident, and he has a crush on Victoria.

Even with all the changes CATS the movie is worth a ticket. It was fun and mysterious and magical and depressing and uplifting all in the same movie. I hope you have the chance to enjoy it.

Mulberry Spot is our model today. He was too struck by the sunbeam to sit upright.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Merry Christmas!


Today’s post is short and I hope sweet. I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I also want to say Happy Birthday to me (on Wednesday)! That’s not too self-absorbed is it? Nah, I think it’s okay.

Joining me in this post is Gooseberry. He’s always nearby so easy to catch with a photo. I’m afraid my camera is too big for him to work so I had to take this picture for him. We’re joining Kitties Blue at Cat on myHead (thanks for the Christmas card!) for Sunday Selfies, though it really isn’t a selfie. We’ll just pretend, okay?


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Obesity


We all know by now that obesity is a real problem in the world. But did you know that it’s a problem nearing epidemic proportions (I may be exaggerating) for our pets? It’s not only an aesthetic problem, who wants a tubby pet? It can mean health troubles too.

B.W. Huckleberry is definitely NOT obese though he would like to be
Chubby pets are more prone to diabetes, arthritis, liver disease and pancreatitis. It can be a self-motivating factor as well. The fatter your pet, the more weight he needs to lose, the harder it is to get him to move and thus lose weight.

But wait a minute! Losing weight too quickly can be a bad thing too. Always work with your veterinarian to begin a weight loss program. Incorporate a decrease in food intake, increase in activity and frequent (weekly) weighing sessions for a successful program. But your veterinarian can help you decide what type of food you should be using and how much you should be giving. He/she will also help design a proper exercise regimen. By weighing frequently you will see how much loss (or gain) is happening and if it is too much you can adjust right away.

With dogs it is easy to plan a walking schedule and route in order to get in enough exercise. You can also include play sessions to make it more fun. On bad weather days I used to throw my dog’s toys up the stairs and he get exercise running up and down the stairs. He also had a cadre of tricks we’d go through all the time to keep his mind busy. That’s another side effect of exercise!

For cats you might say, I can’t make my cat exercise! Ah, but you can. Many cats love to play fetch with their favorite toys. That’s one possibility but you might also try using a wand toy. They prefer it when you are involved in some way. Other times you can bring out another favorite toy that they haven’t seen in awhile. I guarantee they’ll be intrigued by it. (Always keep some of their toys hidden in a closet or some other place they can’t get to so the toys seem new when you bring them out.)

Timing is important too. One play session we have is right before their last meal before bedtime. I use a wand toy, moving it up and down the stairs and they all partake in stair running. Then they eat and go to bed. I don’t have much trouble with my cats getting me up in the middle of the night because I tire them out and feed them before bedtime.

As for the variety of diets that purport to be for weight loss, I’ll leave that up to your veterinarian and you to decide. Some are high in fiber, some are low protein and some are even formulated to help your pet metabolize it better. I’m not a nutritionist so I wouldn’t even try to tell you about all of those.

Now, I’m again joining Kitties Blue from The Cat on my Head for Sunday Selfies so here’s the selfie for this week. It is Two-y behaving like a domestic cat instead of a feral. He is starting to fit in more and more every day.
Two-y on the dog's bed. He's B.W.'s father

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Black and White

Every once in awhile I get to looking at some photos and wonder what they'd look like in black and white. I switched the following photos from color to black and white and really like the looks.

This one is of Gooseberry back when he was known as Trucker, his temporary name, until I decided to keep him. He was such a cutey and quite lovable. Still is.


This photo is of Gooseberry again a few years later with the late Lady Butterfly in one of their closer times. They didn't always get along. But when they did it was adorable.

Again this week we're joining The Cat on my Head for Sunday Selfies. Hope these older photos fit in.