Friday, February 29, 2008

Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline


M00NLTSNTA's beautiful 7 year-old Australian Shepherd has soul.

Just gazing into those loving eyes can capture the heart of any dog lover, don't you agree?

Our "Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline" Pet of the week award is bestowed on this beauty.

Congratulations to both Gigi and M00NLTSNTA.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spooky Things For Horses!


Cow "muffins" are scary objects and need to be carefully watched", according to Breeze, Kim's Quarter Horse Filly.

She really does appear to be giving them a suspicious once over. Her body language says that she is getting into "flight" mode.

Years ago, Snickers,a Thoroughbred/Arabian/Welch Pony mixed breed young horse of mine, suddenly shied when he spied a pile of his own manure during an enjoyable  late afternoon ride. 

All hell broke loose and the bucking bronco show began. You should have seen the shocked expression on my face. I managed to hang on, fortunately.

In retrospect  I suspect that the  shadows which were made by the setting sun must have made his little "pile" very frightening to him.

Do your horses spook at what we think of as innocent objects? Share your experiences by leaving a comment.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Traveling With Pets: Helpful Hints

missy toe 
Missy Toe: Who owns Donna

I am frequently asked,"What is the best way to travel with a cat?"  While some cats do enjoy traveling, in my experience with ours, they are not a part of that elite group of felines.

The moment our cats spy a carrier they become anxious.  No matter what we have done to make their carriers more appealing and inviting, leaving them around the house filled with cozy towels and abundant toys and treats, they are not falling for our rouse.

While they do not  necessarily associate carriers with the dreaded trip to the veterinarian, they know that once they are placed in that soft bag carrier, that the noisy moving monster, the car, is not far behind.

They immediately express their feelings by communicating their displeasure loudly and incessantly, only pausing for a traffic light stop. The soft music we provide is drowned out completely.

Despite their discomfort with travel, cats often have to be transported when moving, or if we as caretakers are involved in breeding and showing  or just welcoming a new kitty into the household

While traveling with felines can be a stressful time for both cats and their caretakers, we can ensure their safety and  make them as comfortable as possible when travel becomes a necessity.

What can we do to make them as comfortable as possible while traveling?  It depends on the mode of transportation we are using.

Driving:  I recommend that kitties are safely enclosed in a carrier, crate or cage. While we may have to listen to the "Hallelujah" chorus for the entire trip,  letting a cat roam free in the car sets up a dangerous situation, not only for the cat, but for the driver as well.

Cats love to explore the interior of the car,  and  can often find themselves situated under the pedals, putting the driver at risk of injuring the cat. If a window must be opened, it is a tempting escape route.

I have frequently seen felines posing attractively in the rear window, soaking up the sun, but this is worrisome to me. A cat loose in the car is inviting tragedy, as far as I am concerned.

Air Travel: Visit my previous entry:  Air Travel With pets: Making it Safer

If you are planning extensive travel with your pets, and are considering  overnight stays, there are many pet friendly hotels and motels that  do welcome our furry families. Visit  Pet Friendly


Scarlette: Who owns Fourhorsegal

For dog lovers: For more information about traveling with your dog, visit's excellent article.

Traveling with a cat or dog does present challenges. With proper preparation the experience can be safe and enjoyable for both humans and pets.

Have you had an interesting travel story? Please leave a comment and tell us about it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Air Travel with Pets: Making it Safer


Jillian: Ragamuffin Kitten

Jillian, a beautiful Ragamuffin kitten was being shipped by air by her breeder to her new owner. At the security check point at the Atlanta Airport, Jillian was removed from her carrier to search it. Since she was frightened by a unfamiliar environment and sounds, she panicked and escaped.. Thankfully, after a huge concerted effort by many people, including Lisa Reber  an animal communicator, who were involved in her rescue, Jillian was found and is now safe and sound in her new home, with her brother. A reward of $600.00 was raised and will now be donated to Ragamuffin Rescue.

But this scenario is not unique. Pets escape or get lost. Delivery may not be on time. And while airlines do their best to ensure the safety of pets that are shipped, these unforeseen events do happen. However there are precautions we can take to minimize the risk.

Be sure, if you are shipping a pet, that you have all the identifying information handy. Flight numbers, the name of the airline and arrival airport are important to have on hand.  Mark your carriers carefully with tags and labels. When I have shipped cats, I have insured them for a "tidy" sum which alerts workers that they are handling precious cargo. The safest way to travel, however, is the have your pet accompany you on your flight in the cabin, itself. Ticket arrangements must be made in advance as only one pet per section is permitted. The airline will also inform you of any pet carrier requirements.

I have recently learned that there are secure rooms in which pet carriers and people can be searched. You must request this room. The handlers will allow you to take the pet out of the carrier, hold the pet and will return the carrier to you after it goes through the scanner  You can then safely return the pet to its carrier.

Mousie Tongue: Siamese Cat

When we moved from New York State to Florida in 2001, I traveled with my Siamese cat, Mousie Tongue by Air. In preparation for our journey, I trained him to be at ease wearing a collar and leash in his carrier. It was fortunate that I had the foresight to do this  as it turned out that our flight was  four days after 9/11. The airline schedules were understandably unpredictable, and security was at an all time high. When they requested me to take him out of his carrier, his collar and leash protected both of us. He was terrified with the crowds and noise and would probably have gotten away from me.

I am so happy that Jillian's story has a happy ending.

Have you traveled with a cat by air? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Diabetes Insipidus in Felines: Trouble Diagnosed

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It has been a long and stressful weekend waiting for our veterinarian to call with the testing results for Trouble, our 8 year-old Oriental Shorthair neuter.

Every time the phone rings, my heart beats  a little faster and it sinks when the call is not from her. We are waiting to learn if Trouble has Diabetes Insipidus, a rare condition which should not be confused with "sugar" Diabetes. It is a disease that prevents the body from conserving water.

For several months Trouble was drinking a huge amount of water and had a ravenous appetite. All previous tests were negative for"sugar" Diabetes or thyroid problems. Dr Holder, our veterinarian thought it advisable to perform a 24 hour water deprivation test. Unfortunately his urine did not concentrate, which pointed in the direction of this rare condition.

Additionally one of the symptoms is incontinence and  possible disturbance of litter box habits. Perhaps Trouble has been trying to tell us something is wrong, and we now suspect that perhaps this is the cause of the recent inappropriate elimination problems with which we have been plagued.


Dr Holder just called. The diagnosis is Diabetes Insipidous. His response to Desmopressin, a hormone that he is lacking naturally, concentrated his urine to normal levels. I am relieved that we finally have a diagnosis which can be treated with an eye drop twice a day.

Since we think that Lucyfur may also have been contributing to the inappropriate elimination event, due to anxiety, she will be treated with an anti-anxiety medication for several weeks, which hopefully will prevent further problems.

The cats will be coming home tomorrow, which is very exciting.

Tune in for future updates. I am hopeful they will all be positive.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Silent Sunday: Breathtaking Horsemanship

It is hard for me to remain silent about this amazing video posted on YouTube by ImproperUsername. The description of this video says it all, however.

"I collected this video from her website and am posting it here to garner it even more admiration. I'd like to see the 'gurus' match the beauty and artistry of the horsemanship shown here by Ms Westfall"

You can visit Stacey's website at for more information about this incredible team.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pet's Names: Are They a Nemesis?

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Trouble: White Oriental Shorthair

Be careful for what you ask.You just might get it.

It makes no difference whether it's a conscious desire or an unconscious wish , the names we give our pets may prove to be troublesome and need careful thought before bestowing them.

For example, this morning my husband was reading to me from a wonderful book, "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. The first agreement," Being impeccable with your word" discusses how the words with which we communicate can either give us a sense of well being, or can be destructive and dangerous.  Ruiz writes, "If we adopt the first agreement, and become impeccable with our word,  any emotional poison will eventually be cleaned from our mind and from our communication in our personal relationships, including with our pet dog or cat."

My husband paused, turned to me and said, "We need to consider re-naming Trouble. We may have inadvertently and without intended malice, named him out of our frustration in response to the physical manifestation of his emotional distress. We may be perpetuating his internal conflict. We need to un-do what has turned out to be prophetic."

I think he is onto something really important here. Have we inadvertently altered Trouble's relationship with his life? Have we damaged his self-esteem?
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Lucyfur, Domestic Shorthair Tabby 

We express our emotions to our pets by the words we say, the tone we use, and the names we give them. So it stands to reason that their monikers can deeply affect them, either negatively or positively. I quickly asked him if naming our Domestic spay, Lucyfur may have not only affected her behavior but the way in which we relate to her. So we will be dropping the "fur" and calling her Lucy. I suspect that our future interactions may change.

So what is our bottom-line motivation for the names we choose for our furry companions? I hadn't given it much thought , but after listening to Mr. Ruiz's words, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be much more careful in the future..

Have you found  that there is a relationship between the name you gave your pet and their behavior?  Consider the question carefully and leave a comment.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline


Nessie, a Seal Point Snow Shoe Siamese, snuggles with Angus, a white Domestic Shorthair. These two adorable kitties have become  RogueThistle's furry family.

Verbally communicative, these elegant cats often have a great deal to "talk about"  with their human companion.

With this compelling pussycat pose, I think they are demanding to be our Pets of the week, don't you agree?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Americans Against Horse Slaughter: Final Cut



Press Release

For immediate release: February 21, 2008

For more information contact:                                  
Julie Caramante     
Americans Against Horse Slaughter

Horse Owners and Advocates to Converge on Congress

Proponents of federal legislation to ban horse slaughter in the United States are gathering in Washington, D.C. on March 4th and 5th to lobby for the passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (HR.503/S.311).

Calling the event “Americans Against Horse Slaughter Week,” hundreds of people from all parts of the country will press for passage of pending legislation that would place a federal ban on the transport and slaughter of horses for human consumption.

In 2007, the last three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants operating in the U.S. were closed by state laws.  However, horse slaughter plants could open in other states where such laws do not exist.  The closure of the American plants has also resulted in the increased transport of American horses for slaughter to Mexico and Canada.  Recent investigations into the slaughter practices in Mexico have alarmed many.

“Texas and Illinois took action to shut down the plants,” pointed out one of the event organizers, Julie Caramante, “but as a consequence of the failure to pass a federal bill, there has been an increase in horses going to Mexico where slaughter cruelty is much worse.”

The barbarity faced by horses inside Mexican slaughter plants has been documented by a report in the Houston Chronicle and by an undercover video released by the Humane Society of the United States. Horses are repeatedly stabbed in the neck until their spinal cords are severed leaving them quadriplegic. They are then slaughtered while fully conscious.

“It is urgent that we get the federal legislation enacted into law,” said Caramante.  “Every week Congress delays, a thousand more horses face this horrible fate in Mexico and Canada.”

A similar bill, introduced in the Republican controlled 109th Congress, was almost passed in 2006 when the House voted for passage by a wide bipartisan margin of 263-146.  However, the session ended without a Senate vote.

The 110th Congress voted unanimously to let the bill out of committee in the Senate, but it is currently being blocked by Senator Larry Craig of Idaho. Craig was recently admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for improperly using $213,000 of his campaign funds to pay legal expenses related to his arrest for soliciting an undercover officer in a Minneapolis airport
men’s restroom.

Recent actions by the Texas, Illinois and South Dakota legislatures blocked horse slaughter in those states.  “In every case, they heard from tens of thousands of Americans,” said Caramante. She went on to cite a Public Opinion Strategies poll, funded by billionaire philanthropist T. Boone Pickens, which showed that a large majority of Americans want horse slaughter banned.

“Americans don’t want horse slaughter,” Caramante summed up. “Our numbers are growing and more people are joining each day. And those who can’t go to Washington will be calling Congress to finish what the states started. We are not going away.”

For more information on Americans Against Horse Slaughter, please visit:


Watch the HSUS Video: Warning- Disturbing Images

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Magic of Horses: A Special Relationship

Kim and Breeze take a walk 

Even though years have elapsed since I was owned by horses, I still miss being around them. Their magic has indelibly touched my heart. It is painful to be without them, so when I meet horse lovers through the Internet who are blessed to have them in their lives, I can  live through them vicariously and am able to share stories and photographs of their magnificent animals.

Building a relationship with a horse is  process that requires love, patience and commitment. Emotional and intelligent animals, horses  have an amazing ability to remember what we might consider to be the most insignificant event. It takes skill and knowledge about the way  horses think to  become fluent in  their "language"  to effectively communicate with them. But once that solid partnership is established, which includes mutual trust and respect, sprinkled  gently with a sense of  adventure, the rewards in sharing one's life with a horse, in my opinion cannot be equaled.

Kim, a devoted horse owner  who lives out West, spends lots of quality time with her gorgeous Quarter Horse filly, Breeze. She takes her for walks, for rides in her trailer exposing her to new things gradually. This slow and steady ground work builds Breeze's confidence in her as a leader and  cements their special bond. She feels that the more that the more experiences that she and Breeze share before the first time she gets on her back, the more solid their partnership will become. Kim is indeed a very lucky lady, as are all the horses who share her life.

Kim and Raven explore the countryside

Have you ever fallen in love with a horse? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Feline Inappropriate Elimination: Battle Plan

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Spraying cats are a nightmare. Trying to ascertain exactly which of our cats are the culprits has been extremely stressful. Since we have not observed any of the cats "marking", getting a handle on who is at fault is next to impossible. While we suspect that  Lucyfur is responsible, it is not impossible that the other two cats are spraying in response. The strangest  part of all  is that they spray only in our bedroom. There has been no trace of marking behavior in any other part of the house. At least that is something positive.
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Dr. Holder just came by for a follow up house call. Since Trouble has to undergo a 24- hour test for Diabetes Insipidus, after a long discussion,  we decided  it would be prudent to have he and Lucyfur boarded at her clinic for a few days while we are working on cleaning up the bedroom. It would be far too easy for one of them to escape with the workers opening and closing the front door.

We are installing brand new matting and carpeting after sealing the cement floor carefully to get rid of any trace urine odor. As it is totally impossible to get rid of the urine stench in our bed, we will be replacing it as well. Hush Puppy will remain at home,carefully  ensconced in the back bedroom until the workers have finished. If we do not see evidence of fresh spraying, at least this may help to rule out one of the cats involved.

It is very quiet here with only one cat. I miss them already and they have only been gone for an hour.

I fervently hope that we will find a solution to this spraying issue. I am hopeful that it is a medical condition which can be resolved appropriate medication and  a whole lot of patience.

I am just so blessed with the great support that my veterinarian and friends have been offering.  It is good not to feel alone.

Monday, February 18, 2008

THE ARISTOCATS -Walt Disney- Special Edition

I can't remember when I was more enchanted with an animated feature. If you love cats and want to experience a fanciful, fabulous film, then the exciting new release of Walt Disney's THE ARISTOCATS, Special Edition is for you. The entire family will be captivated by this new digital release, which contains interactive games and activities, special features and an abundance of amewsing material to explore.

Set in the heart of Paris, Duchess, a pampered high society cat  and her kittens, doted upon by their wealthy caretaker, enjoy the high life.  But the plot thickens. It appears that Madame's butler, Edgar, has an agenda of his own. After overhearing Madame and her attorney making her will, leaving her entire estate to her cats, greedy Edgar decides to take matters into his own hands and get rid of the cats. Since he would be the sole heir should the cats no longer exist, he wraps them up into a basket releasing them into a distant stream, far from their home.

Thus sets the stage for the adventures upon which Duchess and her kittens embark as they attempt to get back to their mansion and mistress.

Of course romance fills the air when the handsome free-spirited Tom cat named Thomas O'Malley appears on the scene. Since O'Malley is very street smart and hangs around with a group of Jazz loving cats, using their wile and resources they join together to  rescue Duchess and her kittens, starting  a journey to return them home.

But just when you think that Duchess and her kittens'  troubles are over, ending with a happy home-coming reunion, Edgar has another evil plot up his sleeve.

What other dangers will Duchess and her kittens have to endure? There is a lot of excitement and surprises ahead.

Of course I won't tell you the rest of the story. I wouldn't want to ruin the ending.

However I strongly recommend that you get a copy of this purrfectly delightful remake of the classic animated movie, THE ARISTOCATS, Special Edition. Containing a spectacular soundtrack which includes the popular favorite, "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat", I know you will be as enchanted with the film as I was.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Silent Sunday: Chatty Cats!

These two communicative kitties have lots to say! Enjoy this hilarious video presented by klaatu42.

Tickled your funny bone? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lesson In Courage: Meet Dominic the Dog

I was deeply moved by the remarkable courage and adapability shown by Dominic, a two-legged Greyhound, in the video presented by diLattinho on YouTube.

It got me wondering how animals are able to adjust quickly to challenges that we humans might consider to be obstacles almost impossible to overcome.

What is it about the human species that stops us from living in the moment with such grace? Is it that the gift of self-reflection which humans possess, which is supposedly absent in animals, creates our fear-based doubts and suffering which hinders our healing?

Is it that animals live fully in the moment, while our analytic minds chatter relentlessly with our endless "what ifs", as we step outside the present and engage in negative projections?

Or is it just simply that animals react from their hard-wired strategy for survival? What do you think?

But no matter the reason for their ability to adjust to adversity, animals are powerful teachers and a source of inspiration and encouragement for me when I am witness to their determination and grace.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline: Mattie

Meet our Pet of the WeekMattie

While many people do not consider horses to be in the "pets" category, the folks that I know who share their lives with horses think of them as both beloved pets and, of course, part of their family.

This gorgeous Thoroughbred and  former racehorse named Mattsbrotherrobert was rescued from the hands of killer buyers, with the help of contributions from the Friends of Twilight, by Jo Deibel's organization, Angels Acres Horse Haven Rescue . Please visit Jo's site to learn more about the fabulous work she is doing in the field of horse rescue and what you can do to help.

Meet our Pet of the Week, affectionately named, Mattie.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Amore The Feline Way : Happy Valentine's Day

Are you thinking about that special "someone" today but are at a loss for the right words to express your affection with passion?

After extensive research we found some excellent answers to your questions. Just take a moment to watch this informative video from Planet's TV, made by Bonnie Rogers, Brandon James and Daniel Wolfert. CPOC.

If you faithfully follow the suggestions made by this very romantically adept kitty, you will win the heart of your beloved.

We wish you a  purrfect Valentine's day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Purrsidential Catidate! Meet Lazarus

Lazzy2002 Hat and Glasses

DBDustbuny's black and white Domestic shorthair kitty, Lazarus, has been quite active in politics lately. As a result,  last night he issued the stunning announcement of his plans to throw his hat into the ring to run for Purrsident. Of course he has chosen the DemoCATic party.

During an interview following this surprising turn of events, Lazarus remarked,  "While I was extremely flattered by the RePUPlican party's invitation to join their platform, we felines must rally together in order to form a strong and united front."

Lazarus  jumped onto the campaign trail this morning with a whirlwind schedule planned. His staff is looking forward to a landslide victory next week on  Supurr Mewsday.

With his remarkable campaign promise,  "A cat in every lap", we think he stands an excellent chance to defeat his competitors, don't you agree?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dogged Determination: Politics and Pooches


Beagle Hound: Courtesy Wikipedia

We have been hounded with media coverage about both the Presidential primaries, and the 132nd annual Westminster Dog Show, presently underway in Madison Square Garden.

For the first time since 1939, a Beagle took the top honor in the Hound group after defeating 25 other dogs. Almost three years old, a little pooch named Uno is making history and is on his way to hopefully win the coveted Best In Show award.

According to an interesting article at, the top contenders for the highest office in the Country, have at least one dog. Presently, Mr. Barack Obama is the exception, but dog lovers who may be supporting his platform have no cause for concern. One of his campaign promises, if elected is to get a dog for his daughters.

Hillary Clinton shares her home with Seamus, a Labrador Retriever, while John McCain is owned by two pooches, a Springer Spaniel named Sam and a mixed breed, Coco.

If there are "no coincidences" as many people believe, I am wondering if Uno's historic win is a metaphor for the need for change in our country. Since Uno represents "the dog for the people", perhaps his victory over the "fancier" breeds is an omen of positive things to come.

Uno may be onto something prophetically. Since the Beagle Hound is "the people's dog",

Monday, February 11, 2008

Where Are The Cats? Home Coming Approaches

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Poor Hush Puppy. I feel for the little guy. He must be feeling  dreadfully insecure and wondering whatever in the world is going on in what he perceived to be his  safe and structured environment until just a few days ago. When I am out of sight, he yowls loudly for me with plaintive sounds that breaks my heart.

For the past several  days, his brother, Trouble and "sister", Lucyfur have been hospitalized at Florida Wild Veterinary Hospital,  giving  Dr. Holder an opportunity to assess any medical cause for their bout with inappropriate urination all over the furniture in our bedroom. Hush Puppy has been totally bereft without his pals. The good news is that we can rule him out as one of the culprits participating  in this most unpleasant mystery.

Thus far we have learned that Lucyfur has developed Struvite Crystals in her bladder which can be controlled with diet and medication. Trouble is producing extremely dilute urine which is indicative of a medical problem. A cat's urine should be concentrated. Coupled with this and his  voracious appetite and thirst may be pointing in the direction a possible diagnosis of Diabetes. We are eagerly awaiting the results of blood tests taken on Saturday.

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Hush Puppy will be overjoyed to see his pals when we pick them up this afternoon to bring them home. We hope that their separation has not caused further stress and that their reunion will be without further upset.

It has  been really disconcerting for us with Trouble and Lucyfur being absent. Having only one kitty around the house seemed incredibly odd. Living with three cats seems so much more "homey."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Silent Sunday: Clydesdale Horses-Part 2

Just a week ago. the  New York Giants Football team pulled off the biggest upset in Super Bowl history. Once again they reclaimed their Champion status.

Last Sunday I shared my favorite  Budweiser Clydesdale commercial. However,  The  2008  presentation aired during that game exceeded my greatest expectations.

So without further ado: Presenting The Budweiser Rocky Horse SuperBowl Commercial .

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Kittens: You Just Have to Love Them!


Photo by: Thaxt 7 of his two grey and white Domestic shorthair kittens

What is it exactly about kittens that make them so appealing to us? Surprisingly, even people who don't particularly love cats find themselves captivated by them.

Whenever I encounter any kitten, I instantly fall in love. What grabs at my heartstrings is that special quality which these little balls of fluff possess. They bravely and unabashedly play with almost anything in their reach, their imaginations going a mile-a-minute in directions that always amazes me.

And if those antics are not sufficiently compelling kittens instantly become expert mountaineers, as they adeptly scale what is our equivalent to Mt. Everest, whenever lofty potential "prey" catches their eye. When a kitten is on a mission, watch out!
Photo by Kneadstoknow: Lucyfur, brown mackerel tabby, 3 months-of-age

My body has often been covered with the unmistakable evidence of feisty kitten play. My arms and hands, covered with scratches and love bites, only give testament to my love for these little critters. These infantile pussycat predators are incredibly armed with razor sharp baby claws and teeth. It is a good thing that with patience and an understanding of feline behavior, kittens have the capacity to learn that rough housing with a human is not a good idea.

So what if they decide to use me as their purrsonal scratching post and ladder! All too soon, as they mature into adult cats, these "endearing" interactions will quickly fade. Unless my three cats are particularly intrigued with a new and interesting toy, it has been my experience that they would much rather curl up beside me to take a nap. Their furry bodies rise and fall rhythmically as they sleep, only occasionally opening an eye to remind me that it is time for me to pet them.

Photo by Thaxt 7 of his orange tabby Domestic shorthair kitten

If I had my druthers, I would opt for kittens to remain kittens for a much longer period of time. Observing their incredible zest for life, coupled with their insatiable curiosity is the most delightful form of entertainment for me. It sure beats television.

Have you ever had the joy of being owned by a kitten or two? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline: Meet Venus

Venus, a two month-old Pug-Jack Russell mix is the sweetest eye candy, don't you agree?  

This fabulous female puppy was given as a birthday present to her human "mom", Jessy. Of course, Venus is a gift that will keep on giving for many happy years to come.

Do you wonder which of these two new friends celebrated more happily?

Let's wish Jessy a belated happy birthday, joining her in her delight with the new addition to her heart and home.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Is it Trouble or Hush Puppy? Spraying Part Deux

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Yesterday afternoon, cat in carrier, armed with Lucyfur's  favorite non-grain foods, a washcloth impregnated with my scent and an abundance of tender-loving care, off we went to my Veterinarian's clinic. Dr. Holder and I both thought it prudent and logical to leave Lucyfur at the clinic to be observed and if needed, rendered immediate treatment.

Arriving home, I carefully used a special product that Dr. Holder provided me, to  neutralize the pungent odor that  lingered like a heavy cloud  in our bedroom. After I completed this arduous task, while the scent was not completely absent, the bedroom was a much more tolerable place in which to sleep. I carefully added Feliway spray to the areas in which we assumed Lucyfur had left her eau-de-chat calling card and took some time to relax.

I fed Trouble and Hush Puppy, and spent time playing with them, hanging out watching TV, both of  them glued to my hip. I was optimistic that we had found our culprit, who was doing quite well, "screaming for her supper", according to the positive phone call I received from Dr. Holder last night.

However, upon arising this morning, much to my shock and horror, a very familiar odor wafted its way to my nostrils, accompanied by a visible wet spot appearing on the carpet at the foot of our bed.

It seems that one of the other cats is either marking his territory in response to  the remaining scent left by Lucyfur, or we have another cat who has a medical problem which is coming to light. And to make it even more problematic is that Lucyfur may not have been spraying feline at all.

After a lengthy conversation with Dr. Holder this morning, we both remain in the dark. Trouble has an appointment this coming Saturday morning to evaluate any medical condition. Unfortunately we may be dealing with both a behavioral problem as well as bladder crystals.

I suspect that some kind of dark karma is following me, since this is a brand new issue for me in all the time I have lived with cats.

The expression, "when the student is ready, the teacher appears." comes to mind as I try to get some control over this situation.

And of course the next step is to separate Trouble and Hush Puppy so we can accurately assess  which of these two  are trying valiantly  to send us an urgent message.

But I suspect that it is Trouble who is the kitty communicator, since Hush Puppy has been cuddled under the blankets all morning, while his brother, Trouble sniffed the carpet carefully and roamed around the bedroom.

I sure hope we get a handle on this problem very soon. Inappropriate cat urination is one of the most difficult behavioral issues to resolve.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

For the Birds: Wet Your Whistle!

The bird "people" I have met, both in real life and on the Internet, are extraordinarily enthusiastic about their pets. Rivaling cat and dog lovers, I find that bird owners are an amazingly eager group of fans.

I have always been  fascinated with Cockatiels and Cockatoos . Most people don't know this about me! I have even been occasionally tempted to bring one into our home, but I think I will stick with just cats.

My veterinarian has a resident rescue Cockatoo, named Pollak. He serves as the receptionist's assistant and while he is not ready to answer their telephone quite yet, he is always eager to greet clients and does a good job of making folks feel at home.


Spike,(above) is an 18 year old Cockatiel who belongs to Kim and her husband, Kirk. She adores his antics and often brags about  his spicy personality. I think Spike is quite the handsome guy! He shares his home with a menagerie of several varieties of critters, and gets along well with all of them.

Cockatiels love to talk and have an uncanny ability to imitate the human voice.  They also are adept at whistling, as demonstrated by this video created by Blackwhite810. I wonder if this little guy might do well to take music lessons to further his career. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Let us Spray! What is Going on?

In the 44 years I have shared my heart and home with felines, I have been owned by only one intact Russian Blue male who sprayed. This happened once! Algernon was was in the middle of a show career as an adult. He was 14 months old and had never displayed a proclivity to spray. Of course, he was neutered the next day. I would far prefer to show a cat in Premiership classes ( for neutered cats) than have my house reek of cat urine. Neutering was an instant cure. There was never another episode of this undesirable behavior.

Now I am in a total quandary. We have three cats. They are all altered and indoor cats. Trouble, our 8 year old white Oriental shorthair is slightly neurotic so is presently under treatment with the anti-anxiety drug, Buspar. He tends to over-groom, pulling out large chunks of fur, resulting in a motley appearance. His disposition is very sweet and always easy to handle. His favorite past time beside eating is being doted upon with love.

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Our lilac-point Oriental shorthair, Hush Puppy, also 8 years-of-age, is the gentlest of cats and loves to play with toys. His favorite activity is crawling under the covers with me, or to sit on my hip while we watch TV. Although he is the shiest of the three, Hush Puppy's purrs can be heard from quite a distance. He loves to bask on the hammock in front of the window in our bedroom, soaking up the sunshine while he naps. His rank in the hierarchy of our feline residents is the bottom of the totem pole.first pictures 111

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Lucyfur is the youngster at three years old, in our house. Spayed and microchipped at three months-of-age, she was adopted from our Veterinarian's clinic. Lucyfur has a very strong personality. The word, "determined" comes to mind, in describing her disposition. While she is an affectionate kitty, when she makes up her mind to pursue a project, nothing in the world gets in her way. We think she is the dominant cat in our household, and strongly suspect that she is the culprit in our recent dilemma.

All of a sudden last week, we discovered that one of the cats was spraying the side of the bed, mattress, box spring and its metal frame. The carpet under the bed is impregnated with the pungent stench of cat urine. Our eyes water upon entering the room. We don't have a clue about what is causing this sudden aberrant behavior.

There is nothing new going on in our home. Schedules have not changed. We continue to have regular playtime with the cats and their favorite interactive toys. There have been no variations in feeding schedules or food. Our veterinarian examined the cats this morning so we now await anxiously for urine test results.

We are aware how deeply territorial cats are in nature. Since there have been a few noisy stray cats roaming the neighborhood recently, it is possible that this has triggered territorial marking behavior. Every window in the house is now closed.

And yet the spraying continues in spite of our using a pheromone product designed alleviate this behavior. We are at our wit's end with frustration, and truly hope that the cause is medical.

Update: Veterinary results of urine test: Struvite Crystals (FLUTD) which requires dietary change to higher protein, low carbohydrate ( no grain) food.

Thanks to everyone for the excellent comments and suggestions offered. It really is crucial to check for possible medical problems that may be the cause of inappropriate feline elimination behaviors.

I am so relieved that this is not territorial behavior raising its ugly head. I will post an update following her course of treatment, and results of her follow up exam in two weeks.

Monday, February 4, 2008

People Training: From Lucyfur the Cat's Perspective


Calling all cats! We MUST join stick together to spread the "people training" gospel, or we might give our humans the idea that training is meant for us. Little do they know that this is not the case!

All purrceptive cats are aware that people train rather easily. The most efficacious  method is to pretend to defer to them as the boss.  This is the most essential rule that must be upheld, otherwise the jig is up!

They have been educated not to offer food under the table while they are eating. But looking up at them lovingly, with a "starving" expression on our face, with our pleading eyes for which we are famous, often inspires them to leave the dining area and offer us treats away from the table.  This is a most effective strategy with visitors as these particular humans are generally more sympathetic to our requests for a snack, and want to make a good impression as the "good guys."

One of the most important aspects in human training is to school them to respond to  our innocent demands to be fed early in the morning. When it is not granted quickly enough, we must take immediate action. Humans hate to have their slumber interrupted, so what works for me is to barrage them with incessant "meowing", accompanied with paw prodding.If these methods fail, immediately  escalate to hair chewing. This method rarely fails. Humans learn quickly that their desire for extended sleep will be rewarded immediately with silence, once they perform the difficult, but habit forming act of acquiescence to our requests.

As every cat is aware, similarly to our furless caretakers, we have our food preferences. Quite understandably, given the state of the economy in our country so I am told,  humans often forget that our appetites will only be satiated by our chosen variety of brands and flavors.  They often have lapses in memory and  mistakenly grab items on sale off supermarket shelves, due to their misconception that all cat food is basically identical. We must educate them that even though they think they are saving money, by our constant refusal of  unacceptable food offerings which are generally discarded to the trash bin, it is much more economical in the long run, to serve up our highly desirable brands.  Starving us in an attempt to win what may be perceived as a power struggle is, after all, potentially dangerous to our health and I am certain that humans wish us no harm.

I have highlighted just a few of the more common areas in training your human. I am highly interested in learning what additional  aspects of instruction are important to you in your relationship with your caretaker. Please let me know and I will do my best to provide accurate and fool-proof tips.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Silent Sunday: Presenting the Clydesdale Horses

Not much to say today. . . feeling rather uncommunicative and somewhat blue.  

So today seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to share my favorite Budweiser commercial. After all, it is Super Bowl Sunday.

I hope that you will find this inspirational moment with these spectacular Clydesdales as enjoyable to you as it is to me.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cat Toys: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


The carpets around my house are beginning to resemble an ancient burial ground for prehistoric cat toys. Strewn hither and yon, I am considering hiring an anthropologist to help discover their origin.

Now I realize that a few of these tattered toys amazingly remain my cats' favorites, but as I  run across fragments of eyes, pieces of ears and stumps of tails that were at one time part of what I considered to be attractive playthings,  it is difficult for me to understand what keeps these skeletons so alluring to my cats.  I have to admit that I sometimes dispose of them, much to their chagrin.

As I wander through my house, I am aghast at the number of little furry or feathered bodies which were at one time recognizable, tossed aloft and deftly chased with enthusiasm by my pussycat predators. I had forgotten about most of them, but I suspect  my cats stash them away for a rainy day, leaving them scattered around randomly in almost every room for their convenience.

It seems that the bathroom is the storage spot in which my cats prefer to hide their "loot". I discovered these two bandits this morning apparently gloating over the bodies of their kill.

These adorable "Rosie  Rats" won't last long, sadly to say. Within a week or two, my three hunters will annihilate  these pristine furry critters, tailoring them to fit their needs.

Now I ask you what should a kitty mom do to keep them happy?  I far prefer the appearance of these adorable little guys to the worn out remains that they seem to adore. Am I being selfish?

Of course my kitty gifts really should be unconditional. I guess I will just have to continuously restock their supply as the toys fall apart from their constant use. It  must mean that I have hit the jackpot in finding toys that they most enjoy.

Do your cats appear to favor their older "used up" toys over the newer, more attractive and appealing variety?  Please leave a comment and share your cat toy experiences.

Friday, February 1, 2008

"Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline", Goes Live!

Since many folks have been emailing me with fantastic photos of their pets, this morning while I was looking at them, I had a "light bulb" moment.

Every Friday, our special feature will be  "Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline."

All pets owners and their pets are invited to participate in the fun. 

To give your pet their turn in the spotlight. Please email your photographs, the name and age of your pet with  a brief description to

Today's apaws goes to Donna's black and white Domestic Shorthair kitty, Pirate.

What I loved particularly about this photo, is the charming Cheshire Cat grin on his face. It  makes me wonder just about what he is thinking. It  is highly possible that  Pirate is definitely scheming up some kind of kitty plot which could be delightful or . . . just the opposite.

Help Donna and leave a comment letting her know what  you suspect might be on Pirate's mind.  I am sure she will be happy to receive your feedback!