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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rescue - Joplin

The tornado that hit Joplin, MO created such havoc and tragedy but so many heartwarming stories are coming out of that mess. Here’s the story of a dog that saved a dog:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Cat's Meow, a book review

I read a good book this week. “The Complete Cat’s Meow: everything you need to know about caring for your cat” by Darlene Arden is written with a light, engaging style that feels as if the author is talking directly to you. It is an excellent cat care guide but even more it is a totally readable book. What I mean by that is you could use it simply as a guide book referring to it only in need or you could read it cover to cover just like a storybook. I recommend reading it through to get all the information the author can offer.

What I really liked about this book is the way it follows the needs of a cat in a chronological fashion from kittenhood to the adult. The author has done her research talking with breeders, veterinarians, behaviorists, nutritionists and trainers to get the best information out there for the cat owner. As a veterinary technician I am especially impressed with the way she discussed vaccines and the diseases they protect against. I liked the section that dealt with many of the diseases that affect cats although she did leave out one condition, hyperthyroidism. I may have to blog on that in the future since my own cat Lady suffers from that condition. Arden also included a section on many of the more popular and the less well-known cat breeds using information garnered from people who know the breeds best. Most interestingly she included mixed breed cats among the breeds, definitely a plus in my opinion.

The author takes us on a journey that includes choosing a kitten, introducing a new cat/kitten, cat behavior & nutrition, a list of feline diseases and ways to train a cat. Though she uses the example of raising pedigreed cats she treats it in a way that is useful for the person who is raising mixed breeds and rescues. Included in the center of the book is a selection of full-color prints of lovely cats. In the back of the book is a good list of references including a list of sources for shopping for cat toys and supplies, a list of websites that provide information about cat care and finally an index that is easily explored.

I read a lot of cat books but keep very few, this one, however, will be staying on my bookshelf. “The Complete Cat’s Meow” is a great addition to any cat book library.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ghost cats

B.W. Huckleberry

I’m proud of the fact that all of my present cats are ex-ferals or the offspring of them because it took a lot of work and dedication to work with them. Yet I miss something that only traditional, domestic cats can give. Whenever I have visitors my cats all disappear, well except for a couple of brave souls who venture down after a time. When I had normal house cats, way back when, they were always present for visitors and even tried to force themselves on people.

Lando Calrissian was one who refused to be ignored. If someone didn’t pick him up he’d jump up in front of them expecting them to catch him. I don’t have to tell you that he startled many people that way. Lando’s brother, Zeit Geist, made his presence known in a different way. You see, Zeiter had muscular dystrophy so he couldn’t jump but if you sat down he’d be on your lap, glued to you as quickly as he could. If you remained standing he’d glue himself to your feet so you couldn’t move.

Haberdasher remained a little aloof but he did accept the occasional petting, waving his tail haughtily in the air. Baryshnikat was more of a show off. He liked to be in the middle of everything so if you brought anything with you he’d be in or on it. He was usually the first to find visiting coats and boots too. Gabrielle’s Galaxy was the lone hold out. She never lowered herself to accept visitors. No one was worth her time. But she did have to be in the room just out of reach in order to see what was happening.

Now in most cases no one even sees the cats I have now. If they stay for any length of time they might see Mewdy Blue or his brother Question as they come downstairs to investigate. And once in awhile Fargo will peer down the stairs and maybe even slink into the room but you’d never touch him. No, my cats are like ghosts that leave only their toys behind to attest to their presence.