Monday, March 31, 2008

Fancy Fliers Part Two: Larry's Story


In part one of the continuing story, "Meet Linda's Birds" I promised to share more about Linda's experiences with her feathered friends. Linda has one of the biggest hearts when it comes to both animals and people. When I am around her, I always feel more light in spirit, so I know she has this magical personality that attracts and comforts furry and feathered beings.

While I have not often been around birds, whenever I visit Florida Wild Veterinary Hospital and have a chance to be with Linda who works as Office Manager at the clinic and have the opportunity to watch how she interacts with their avian clients, it touches my heart to see how she interacts with them with the boundless love and affection that she offers them.

So without further ado, here is the story about Linda's "angel" bird, Larry, a cockatiel who now resides at the Rainbow Bridge.

"I had not planned on bringing Larry home with me but I had grown accustomed to him sitting on my shoulder and putting that little head down for a scratch.  He had been at the office for about 2 months and it seemed only natural that he join my flock.

"As cockatiels usually are, he was feisty, but never really mean or biting.  It was more of a tease to let me know he had a mind of his own.  He made the transition easily and seemed to enjoy his new cage and toys.

"Larry’s story began when his previous owner brought him to our office because he wasn’t doing well and because “he” was a chronic egg layer.  Larry had always been in a cage with other cockatiels so Dr.Holder,DVM, thought the owner was mistaken about just who the egg layer was.  Larry had the male cockatiel features, i.e., bright orange cheeks and the absence of feather barring under the tail.  To satisfy her own mind, the Dr.Holder drew blood for a DNA sexing and it did indeed come back MALE.

"Larry was a very sick little boy and his previous owner surrendered him due to finances.  Once he was well and off medication he was completely back to normal, or so we thought.

"Larry lived happily at my house for about 12 months before I began to notice that things again were not right with him.  I noticed he wasn’t eating or playing as much and he appeared to be losing weight.  He started “swelling” in the lower abdomen just above his vent (anus).   I took him to work with me the next day and the Dr.Holder drew off a very large amount of yellowish fluid from his abdominal area.  He was hospitalized for a couple of days and came home with medication and instructions to keep a close eye on him.

"It wasn’t long before the swelling started again.  Dr. Holder suggested exploratory surgery because she was concerned it might be cancer.  I was reluctant at first but I trusted her explicitly and knew that without the surgery he didn’t have a chance…with it he might. 

"Larry survived the surgery quite well…BUT imagine my surprise when  Dr.Holder told me Larry had cancer of the ovary!  It seems he had both male and female “parts” and that’s why the DNA came back male but “he” actually was capable of laying eggs, although he never laid one while living with me.  The ovary and tumor were removed along with a strange looking growth on the other side of “his” insides.

"The next hurdle was waiting for the pathology report.  Unfortunately it came back malignant with no clear margins, meaning Dr.Holder was unable to get it all.  My heart sank as she told me the results.  This poor sweet creature was doomed and I could do nothing about it.   Dr. Holder advised that I let him be happy as long as I could and I would know “when it’s time”.  So that’s what I decided to do…give him as good a life as I could as long as he had a quality of life. 

"It was just a few short weeks later that the time did indeed come.  Fluid had to be drawn off twice after the surgical procedure was performed and the third incident of swelling was when I decided it just wasn’t fair to keep him hanging on.  He had grown weary and tired and no longer played and enjoyed looking out the window at the outside birds.  He didn’t enjoy hopping up on my finger for a head scratch anymore.  The build up of fluid made him miserable.  Gouging him with needles just to keep him in my life was wrong.

"It was with a heavy heart I made the decision that morning to have him euthanized.  Anyone who has agonized over this decision knows what I’m talking about.  Is it too soon?  Have I waited too long?  Am I playing God?

"I wanted to be with Larry when Dr.Holder performed this final gift of love I could offer Larry, so I opened the incubator and he jumped up to my shoulder and put his head down for one last scratch, something he had not done in weeks.  Was this his way of thanking me for not making him endure the pain any longer?  I try to think that it was.

"I had Larry cremated and he is in a little wooden box beside two other pets that have gone before him.  This special little bird made an imprint on my life and he will always be close to my heart."

Rest sweet, Larry. You were deeply loved and will always live in Linda's heart. You are very much missed.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Silent Sunday: Simon, the RagaMuffin

Simon and Bubby, two RagaMuffin cats, who own Chris, were hanging out on her husband cluttered desk when all of a sudden, Simon discovered the shadow of the ceiling fan. Talk about chasing windmills!


Simon just had to have a "go" with the fan monster.

The RagaMuffin breed make wonderful pets. Intelligent, inquisitve and playful, they are devoted to their humans and also delight in charming  visitors.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Healing Power of Animals: Meet Jeff and Freedom

This morning I received an email from my dear friend, Sheila. I never know what I am going to blog about each day, but I always seem to receive something that strikes my eye and touches my heart. This story is really powerful. Not only does it demonstrate the will to live and thrive in wildlife, but how these miracles can touch the humans who are involved in their rescue.

I hope it moves you the way it did me.

Freedom and Jeff

"Freedom and I have been together 10 years this summer. She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn't open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places. She's my baby.

"When Freedom came in she could not stand. Both wings were broken, her left wing in 4 places. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vets office.  From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in. I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks.

"This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn't stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn't stand in a week. You know you don't want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning. She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn't bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her owl cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then. That was a very good day.

"We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her. I got her used to the glove,and then to jesses, and we started doing education programs for schools in western Washington. We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets even did a show about us.

"In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair -the whole bit. I missed a lot of work. When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey Wildlife and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.

"Fast forward to November 2000, the day after Thanksgiving, I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone. Yahoo!

"So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill. I hadn't said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don't know how long. That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.


"On a side note: I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them. I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her. His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power coarse through his body. I have so many stories like that.

"I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom's.

Hope you enjoy this.

There is such a strong connection between animals and humans, as we can clearly see from this story. The healing power of love can't be denied.

Do you have any stories about how animals have inspired you or have touched you deeply in your own personal healing? Please leave a comment and let us know.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline: Meet the King!

You may remember the adorable kitten R P Cathouse King Elessar featured last week, Can you say, "awwww?" Kitten Delight . He was just so charming, I could not resist posting his "puss" for all to see.  RP Cathouse's Maine Coons certainly  are the "cat's meow."

I am thrilled to announce that this little guy, who is now 16 weeks old is growing into a magnificent feline, and now shares his heart with his new cat servant, Dazzedelf. He is King of his castle! According to his breeder, this is a match "made to be."


This little guy has gorgeous eyes, and such a soulful expression on his face.


King Elessar has been chosen to receive the honor of Pet of the Week. Let's conCatulate his new owner by leaving a comment.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Handicapped Pets: Inspirational Stories


My name is Farley.

The other day I was thrilled to see this story on the Internet featuring handicapped pets and how their owners are dealing with them in a most amazing way.

I was heartened to read  that there are a growing number of pet lovers who are willing to take the time and put in the effort to keep their committment to their beloved pets who may have become injured or who are dealing with a disabling illness.Oftentimes these conditions  render them unable to ambulate easily or, for that matter, at all. At one time euthanasia may have been their only choice, but now with inventive technology, which at one time was only available to humans, these pets are able to resume rather normal lives. These "aids" for disabled pets are becoming more common and are certainly an option for pet owners who wish to give their furry companions a better quality of life.

Read the fascinating stories about several people and their pets who have overcome some major physical challenges. I do hope you find them as touching as I did.

'SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. (March 25) - When Gary Mikus learned that an incurable nerve disease was starting to paralyze the hind legs of his German shepherd, he immediately dismissed the idea of putting the dog to sleep.

Then he spotted an ad in a pet food store: "Eddie's Wheels For Pets. Help for Handicapped Pets." Now the dog named Bear, which has been Mikus' constant companion for a decade, has a lot of living left to do - much of it in his new pet wheelchair.

"He's healthy in every other way," Mikus said. "Until something tells me otherwise that he's failing, I'll do everything I can to keep him mobile and happy."

A growing number of pet owners are turning to custom-built wheelchairs to restore mobility to furry friends whose legs, hips or backs don't work. The owners' goals are simple: to reward their pets' unconditional love with whatever it takes for the animals to live normally.

The two-wheel carts support the dog's midsection with a padded saddle, and are secured with a shoulder yoke and chest strap. Most dogs have rear-wheel carts to compensate for lame hind legs, though a growing number of front-wheel carts are being ordered for animals with front-leg problems.

Donna Blain's 7-year-old Maltese named Gizmo hopped and hobbled on his deformed front legs before she adopted him a year ago. She ordered his cart after learning the odd gait had damaged his spine and would have required surgery.

Now he wheels himself around for hours on sidewalks, in parks and anywhere he can find treats and praise.

"He's into everything," said Blain, of Woodstock, Conn. "He just wants to live, after all those years of really hobbling and not being able to get where he wanted to be."

Eddie and Leslie Grinnell, founders of Eddie's Wheels, built their first pet wheelchair in 1989 when their 10-year-old Doberman, Buddha, lost the use of her rear legs because of disc disease and spinal problems.

Their veterinarian, impressed by Buddha's revived mobility and vitality, started referring others to the Grinnells. In 1998, they started their own business.

Similar wheelchair makers can be found in Montana, Maryland, Oregon, Washington and elsewhere. Most dog carts start around $250 and can exceed $500 based on the size of the dog, while the cost of wheelchairs for other animals can vary depending on the type and size of animal.

Since launching the business, Eddie's Wheels has shipped carts worldwide - the largest to a 220-pound Saint Bernard in Great Britain - and has made wheelchairs for several cats, a ferret, alpacas, goats, sheep, a rabbit and a possum.

They even keep a supply of tiny wheels on hand for a gerbil or hamster.

Veterinarian Derek Fox, a University of Missouri professor specializing in orthopedic surgery for dogs, cats and other small animals, said pets that once would have been irreversibly crippled are benefiting from a variety of advancements: improved hip and joint replacements, better physical therapy and wheelchairs.

"Even if a treatment is expensive, these are people who say they'll do anything to keep their pet moving, to keep them happy, to keep their quality of life up," he said.

Many of the dogs who need the chairs become disabled from degenerative myelopathy, a neurological disease common in German shepherds, golden retrievers, Labradors and other large sporting breeds. Others, like Corgis and Daschunds, are vulnerable to disc and spine problems that eventually leave them lame.

"Dogs don't understand why this is going on, but they're very accepting: 'Oh, this is the way I am today.' So when we put them in the cart, they're like: 'Oh, now I'm back to normal. I can go where I want," Leslie Grinnell said.

That was the case with Max, an 8-year-old German shepherd whose owners, Gordon and Linda Landry of Granby, said his degenerative myelopathy left him dejected and hobbling behind their other dog, Molly.

As he tried his new cart for the first time, the dog whimpered at the door to go outside and promptly wheeled his way down the walkway, around the parking lot and past Molly as she peered at him from the Landrys' truck.

"This just amazes me," Linda Landry said as she watched him, laughing at his vigor. "We never get to see him like this anymore. It's like having a younger Max back." '

For people who have disabled pets, or who are considering adopting a "special needs" animal, please visit: Special Needs Pets

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Animals in Arts: Meet Rani Merens, a Special Artist.


Rani Merens, a local artist living in Central Florida, who mainly does portrait painting also has an amazing talent for capturing her subjects personality. It doesn't matter if she is painting humans or animals. Mrs. Merens brings them to life. It seems as if  these animals  could walk out of the canvas to jump into your lap. 

I was talking with Mrs. Merens this morning, and was amused to learn that most people inquire if she paints pets on commission, rather than only doing human portraits. Well of course she does, and thorougly enjoys doing them.

The eyes of this adorable pooch above,certainly speaks to us through the delightful expression on her face. Mrs. Meren's ability to demonstrate her love for animals through her artistic skill is quite unique.


But that skill is not the only unique quality that she brings to her painting.  Overcoming physical disabilities, Mrs. Merens is passionate about her gift. You can learn more about her from the artist's biography.

"Although I studied art in my teens and early 20s, I put it aside when I got married and had a family, dealing with work and kids and a home. I always did everything with an artistic eye, from making elaborate cakes for birthdays and Girl Scouts to making art-to-wear clothes for my children to decorating our home with an artistic flair. I became disabled in my 40s and it wasn't till age 51 that I met up with Sandra Wilson at the DeBary Art League where I have started painting in her Special Needs class. I can barely hold a pen to write, but when I am painting, something just seems to go from my heart through my arm and hand to the brush and to the canvas. It amazes me to watch a painting take form and come alive and to know that it came from me! I hope you enjoy my work. And yes, I do take commissions."


This Bombay cat gazes at us mysteriously.

VSA arts of Florida's mission is to create a society where people with disabilities can learn through, participate and enjoy the arts.  Mrs. Merens' work has been exhibited through this organization.

If you are interested in contacting Mrs. Merens for information or to  commission an artwork, you can reach her at

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Better Living Through Chemistry! The Cat's Meow?

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Trouble: White Oriental Shorthair Neuter: Photo J. Singer

Just to keep everyone updated on the "spraying" issue to which our household has been plagued, I have some news.

After administering an eye stain in a capsule, which will glow day glow green when checked with a black light to both Trouble and Lucyfur, our domestic shorthair spay, we feverishly continued trying to ascertain which of these felonious felines have been the spraying culprits, with only  questionable result. I continued to pull my hair out trying to find out which of the cats were the culprits.

Yesterday morning, Trouble sidled up to the box spring, lifted his his tail and with the force of a fire fighter's mighty hose, let go with a powerful spray, right before my eyes.

After I got over the shock of finally being able to witness the action, I immediately called our veterinarian, who compounded the anti-anxiety drug, Prozac, with which she has had some excellent results.

Of course this drug will take over a week to really take effect, but we are so hoping that this will end this nightmare, once and for all.

Inappropriate elimination is one of the most difficult things to treat. Finding out the cause of the behavior is a major task. So while I have caught him in the act after months of guessing, we still are not out of the woods. We think that Lucyfur is also adding to the problem, and soon she will be given the drug as well.

So I am not throwing my black light away just yet. I daily search under the bed for those glowing green spots that always present on the carpet and under the box spring. Thankfully we have preserved the plastic wrapping in which the new bedding arrived.

I guess it is time for me to ask my doctor for a prescription. The anxiety is making me crazy.

Has anyone else had a problem like this? I sure would love to hear from you to help me with this incredibly difficult and upsetting problem.  Thanks for any feedback.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Ultimate Dog Toy: Jerry's Ball Machine

I was seriously wondering what I was going to blog about this morning, when I received an email from my pal, Linda, who was kind enough to send me this video. I laughed so hard, and just knew that the answer to my question had  been answered. Please enjoy this wonderfully clever dog owner, lamgngo's solution  on how to make a canine's life more interesting.

Here is what lamgngo wrote about the video:

"I built the ball machine because I thought my dog Jerry, might like it and that it would be something fun for me to build. So after two years of on and off work, with many safety features such as IR proximity sensors to protect Jerry and my son from the machine, I finally complete.

Far from being a replacement for me, I was always right there with him enjoying his fun. And with all the troubles that I went through to build the ball machine, I still end up throwing more balls than that the machine could count! According to the computer, he played with the machine by himself only 3 times in his life.

I recently put this video on YouTube to keep alive my earlier memories of him and (hopefully) provide some "humorous distractions" for anyone that might drop by."

Jerry needs no help playing with his ball

Have you ever designed a clever toy for your dog? Leave a comment after watching the video and let us know!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Silent Sunday: Protect Our Horses!


Bam: Kim's beloved Quarter Horse

Kim loves horses and supports the Americans Against Horse Slaughter movement.

Please take a moment to watch  "Anthem", a moving video created by phutc7274. While some of the images are disturbing to watch,  the reality of the cruelty of horse slaughter is presented with candor and honesty.

Thanks, Pamie for creating this video.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Can You Say "Awwwww"? Kitten Delight

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Maine Coon Kitten: R P Cathouse King Elessar

When I saw this photo, all I could say was "awwwww." This little kitten has the most incredible expression on it's face.

Talk about falling in love instantly!

So this is a little gift of furry joy I share with you today. Please leave a comment after you thoroughly "awwwww" away.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline: It's Spring!

Photos by Kasodi

Romanov Lambs and Sheep

Today heralds in the season of re-birth and hope. I couldn't think of a more delightful way to welcome Spring than this exciting birth announcement!

Yesterday morning, March 20th a blessed event occurred at the Kasodi household. Twin ewe lambs were born! They are Romanov sheep, are born black and will slowly turn to gray at around 6 months-of-age.

Their Daddy Alex, pictured above is most proud of them! Their mom White Moon and yearling brother, Tornado's Core, are happily cuddling with them.

The twin baby lambs have been named Spring Thyme and Faces-the-Wind.

While most people don't consider sheep to be pets, these beautiful Bovidae have been chosen as pets of the week. They are definitely part of the beloved pets of the Kasodi household.
Please join me in sending congratulations to Kasodi and DBDustbuny for a most exciting event, by leaving a comment, and don't be sheepish about it!


Mom: White Moon, with yearling brother: Tornado's Core, cuddling with the twins.

The twin baby lambs have been named Spring Thyme and Faces-the-Wind.

While most people don't consider sheep to be pets, these beautiful Bovidae have been chosen as pets of the week. They are definitely part of the beloved pets of the Kasodi household.

Please join me in sending congratulations to Kasodi and DBDustbuny for a most exciting event, by leaving a comment, and don't be sheepish about it!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Language of Cats: Do we Really Understand Them?

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I wish I had the ability to accurately read our cats' minds. It would make it so much easier if I could just enter into their world for a brief moment in order to  communicate more effectively with them.

Of course anything that I attribute to what they may be thinking is pure speculation. I don't know if I am imagining it, but our mackerel tabby domestic shorthair spay, Lucyfur, appears to be contemplating deeply about something that gives her that "far away" expression on her face. Or she could just be getting ready to nod off for a cat nap. It does get so frustrating at times.

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Our white Oriental Shorthair, Trouble seems to be nervous posing for this photograph. While his tail is in the upright position with a little curve on the top "telling" us that all is right with the world, his facial expression appears to be a bit contrary to his body language.


This "wistful" facial expression that our other Oriental shorthair kitty is displaying, Hush Puppy, Trouble's brother, appears that he is gazing at me with an abundance of love. The look in his eyes speaks to me tenderly, of his affection.

But what do I know? I can only project my own emotions onto my cats and hope that I am getting it right.  He may be trying to tell me that it is dinner time!

How do you communicate with your kitties? Does their body language really give us access into their minds?  At the very least, we cat lovers can share information between ourselves, and purrhaps it will lend credence to what we suspect our cats may be trying to communicate.

Please leave a comment and let's share so we can be more effective in this important aspect of our feline servitude.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pets Campaign for Obama:The Silent Speak.

While this blog is not political in nature, as I watched Senator Obama's incredibly moving speech yesterday morning, I was deeply moved by his words.

Not only a champion fighting to heal the racial and economic wounds that linger in our country, Senator Obama is also dedicated to helping animals in need. In one of his earlier statements,  "I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other, and it's very important that we have a President who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals.", demonstrates his awareness of the plight of unprotected and unwanted animals.

Senator Obama sponsored a bill in the Illinois State Senate to protect horses, and according to The Humane Society Legislative Fund, he has been involved in other pro-animal efforts and has "joined the fight against puppy mills." He has promised his daughters that if he is elected President, he will be presenting them with a dog.

blessthedogs created a cute pets' campaign for Obama video which I thoroughly enjoyed. It also is a vehicle which permits me to express my personal support for Senator Obama while at the same time keeping the focus on pets and animals, which is of course, my mission.

I would like to thank my friend Pamie for sharing the video, and to also thank blessthedogs for her creative touch. All of the dogs and the cat appearing in this video were rescued, or adopted from a shelter.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Help Protect Canadian Seals: Fun Contest!


Even though this blog is devoted to domestic pets, I am aware that the readers who visit Frequently Feline are animal lovers. This is why I have included this entry about the Canadian Seal, and the need for us to protect them.

Lolcat/LolSpeak is a funny language that someone who really is into furry critters invented. This imaginative and fun "pretend" language is spoken by fluffy animals and we should really learn how to communicate with them.

This language is so delightful and popular that the Humane Society of the United States chose to launch a LOLseals Photo Caption Contest.

The contest is designed for fun and enjoyment, and at the same time its mission  is to educate people about the status of Canadian Seals and the need for their protection. Our wildlife is a precious resource which needs to be carefully tended. If we are not careful, between the effects of Global warming and the devastating cruel  hunting of these seals, the species may well become endangered. Read more about protecting seals

Take part in this delightful LOLseals Photo Caption Contest. Rules are posted at this site. Contest ends on March 21, 2008. Win a prize, be recognized and help abolish this torture at the same time. You will be happy that you did!

I am!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mini Horses are Marvelous


Miniature Pinto Mare

While Miniature horses may be small in stature, their hearts are huge. Wonderful pets, these little equines are versatile companions. 

They come in a wide variety of colors and coat patterns, but their common denominator is their petite size, which range from 34'' to 38" measured at the withers.

Miniature horses are often kept as pets, as they are friendly and get along well with people, but they still have all the natural traits of horses and need to be treated as equines. They can be housebroken and will let their owners know when it is time to let them out.

They do need access to outdoor areas, and thrive living in a barn environment when they are not interacting with their human caretakers. They make excellent service animals for people with disabilities and are excellent working as guide horses to the blind.

So if you are longing to share your life with a little horse the miniature just may suit your needs. But be forewarned: They generally come with a hefty price tag.

Enjoy this short video of Miniature foals playing, uploaded to You Tube by: selwynjanette

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Silent Sunday

While this little video has been going around for a long time, I was so enchanted with it that I just had to feature it today.

musicaldogsport, who uploaded it to You Tube sure gave viewers a delightful treat making it possible for us to  watch Carolyn Scott & Rookie's outstanding performance.

Not only for dog lovers, they are really amazing!

Enjoy, and do leave a comment!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fancy Fliers: Meet Linda's Birds

Linda and Sam: Male Eclectus

I met Linda Hemby, the Human Resource Director at Florida Wild Veterinary Hospital, many years ago. Over the years we have developed a friendship and often talk about our love for animals.

One of Linda's greatest passions is birds. She has an amazing ability to communicate with them, and they seem to adore her

Since Linda loves to share about her birds, I invited her to contribute a series of articles as a guest writer to talk about her birds and how she became involved with them. Bird lovers who visit this blog will be delighted to read about  her relationship with them. Here is the first of several installments to follow:

Part One:

"I’ve decided that I will never buy another bird because they will now always be a rescue.  I’ve become so passionate about them that I’ve begun to think breeding is wrong.  We’ve taken these beautiful creatures that were meant to be wild and flying free and conformed them to our world and to our rules. 

My husband and I will soon be building a house on 5 acres in Umatilla,Fl., and not only will I have a bird room with walls painted (by me) with tropical motif, but will have an attached aviary that any caged bird would be envious of. 

I’m learning more about foraging, which is what birds were meant to do in the wild.  I plan to have foraging trees in the aviary with as many safe tropical plants as I can, with foraging stations, natural limbs and branches for perching and napping, and hopefully some type of sprinkler system in there for “rain forest” bathing.  Because it’s an aviary there will be fresh air, sunshine and cool breezes for them to enjoy.

Two of the rescues will never be able to fly (due to bad feather condition) but the rest will become fully flighted, so as to be able to enjoy their lives as closely to that of their cousins in South America.

I currently have 6 birds.  My sweet little cockatiel had to be euthanized last week due to cancer.  Their stories will come in installments.

First is Sam.  He is a male Eclectus that is a severe feather plucker.  I’ve had him only a few short months but he has fallen in love with me and sees me as his mate.  I have to be very careful when he’s hormonal because he displays all the mating behaviors when I pick him up.  Those times it is only to give a quick hug and kiss and very quickly transfer him to a play stand with treats.  Otherwise, he tends to get sexually excited. 


I know very little about Sam other than his owners left him at the Daytona Flea Mall with a gentleman that tries to rehome orphaned birds.  Someone Judy (Florida Wild Veterinary Hospital Administrator) knows saw Sam and convinced the man to bring Sam to our office to try and place in a loving home.  Sam is such a sweet, affectionate bird and I was struck by how friendly he was to all the staff, never biting, and always holding on with a death grip when picked up.  He truly wanted to be loved.  (This was during one of his NON- hormonal periods.) 

I have no idea how old Sam is or how to contact the previous owners to get any information on him.  He had a leg band (which Dr. Holder.DVM, removed) and although I couldn’t read all the writing, it appeared to be an old one.

Dr. Holder did blood work on Sam to assure that he was disease free, which is very important to anyone that is bringing a bird into an environment with other birds.  I felt so sorry for him sitting in that cage day after day waiting for someone to look his way even for a brief moment.  He would sit patiently, eagerly accepting any brief encounter with a human.  Being a busy veterinarian’s office, our quality time with in house animals is limited.


It’s easy for me to gravitate to the birds when we get them.  I tried to make time for him every day that I worked.  Finally, on deciding he was probably unadoptable because of his very poor feather condition, I took him home to join my flock.

Sam is jealous of my other birds but I try to give each of them equal, out of cage, one on one time.  Their current bird room has heat and air, T. V. and radio, and huge windows to look out of.  It faces the water so they get plenty of things to gaze at. 

I’m currently involved in planning where they will go if anything happens to me because many of them will out live me.  It’s important that I find them wonderful loving homes while I’m still alive, rather than leaving my family to make that decision after I’m gone."

We will be bringing further stories about Linda's birds in the future. We do hope that you found this article interesting and informative. Thanks, Linda.

For the bird lovers reading this, what is your favorite thing about them and what drew you to them as companions? Leave a comment and share about your passion.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline: Meet Baby- The Ragamuffin


Baby, a Ragamuffin neutered male kitty, who shares his home and heart with Rani and her husband, Steve, loves to pose for the camera, showing off his beauty for all to see. He is well aware that he is "hot" stuff.

This affectionate and human loving breed, the Ragamuffin will instantly steal your heart. He stole mine!

ConCATulations to Baby for being chosen as Pet of the Week.  I am sure that Baby will be thrilled, but he knows that this honor is well deserved.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cats and Purrsonalities:Meet Lucyfur


Some folks really think that a "cat is a cat." This is so far from the truth.

Our three cats have such distinctive purrsonalities. In a short series I will be talking a little bit about each of them.

Lucyfur ( yes I know that I need to call her by a name that doesn't suggest frustrating or negative qualities) is a cat that owns the joint. Since we adopted her as a very small ball of fur from our veterinarian's clinic, she has demonstrated that her word is law, and we had better take her seriously if we know what is good for us!

Since cats are drawn to their favorite perching areas, this behavior is part of their communication regarding their status in the household.The loftier preferential spots nail the claim.

Lucyfur's favorite hang out place is on top of our TV in our bedroom. It is one of the highest spots with a strategic view. Neither of our two other cats dare vie for it as she guards it diligently while the others five her the "evil eye" to express their jealousy.lucyowns

Another desirable location is the bathtub rim. She will sit with me while I am playing "mermaid", keeping me company while I am engaged in my daily ablutions. I think that the expression on her face and the position of her paw graphically demonstrates her possessiveness. But on the other hand she could be saying, "get out of that tub already and feed me . . . NOW!"

She does keep us laughing though. If there is a teeny crawl space she will find it . . . if there is a new piece of furniture she will claim it . . . and when a visitor arrives she is the first one to investigate and mark her new "property" liberally using her facial pheromones.

While she is extremely affectionate, at the same time her habit of chewing on my fingers can be quite painful. But that deep rumbling purr, accompanied with a plethora of kisses freely given, gives her that distinctive and unique purrsonality which we adore. She is a keeper!

What kinds of purrsonality traits do your kitties display? Leave a comment and tell us about them.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Picture is Worth . . .


My husband and I have been fighting the "Flu" for over a week now.  Sneezing and coughing, exhausted and aching, my energy is about tapped out. So is his.

So this morning, with my imagination and creative juices at a standstill, and wondering about what to blog, I found this photograph in my email box.

It felt so purrfect in its ability to describe precisely how I am feeling, and convey my condition to my readers! And as a bonus, maybe our kitties will get a little insight into my physical condition as well and appreciate me a little more.

So while I generally don't use "stock" photographs, this one just grabbed my attention.

Maybe I am over identifying with this sad looking feline, but I don't think so!  Her little puss says it all.

Our cats are beginning to scatter around the house every time I  sneeze. Their sensitive ears must be overloaded But you would think they would be a little more compassionate, especially considering that I am always there for them when they are under the weather.

Time to clean another litter box and serve up a meal.  Sick time does not apply to a cat servant, right? 

I really am trying not to feel sorry for myself . . . but you would think that one of my furry friends would show enough interest to take care of me.

Don't you agree? Leave a comment directed to our cats telling them just how you feel. Thank you!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Horse Slaughter: Vs. Humane Euthanasia


Bam- Kim's beloved equine companion

Those of us who love horses and who are involved in the fight to abolish horse slaughter and the transportation of horses outside the United States destined for slaughter plants are painfully aware of the myths that the pro-slaughter group promote. One of them is their frequently used argument that there is no need to ban horse slaughter as it is a form of humane euthanasia. According to, this is far from the truth.

Excerpted from the site:

"Myth: There is no need for a ban because slaughter is humane euthanasia.

Fact: Horse slaughter is a far cry from humane euthanasia. "Euthanasia" means a gentle, painless death provided in order to prevent suffering. Horse slaughter is a death fraught with terror, pain, and suffering. Horses are shipped for more than 24 hours at a time in crowded double-decker cattle trucks without food, water, or rest.

Pregnant mares, foals, injured horses, and even blind horses must endure the journey. Once they arrive, their suffering intensifies—undercover footage obtained by The Humane Society of the United States demonstrates that fully conscious horses are shackled and hoisted by the rear leg and have their throats slit. Because horses are skittish by nature, it is particularly difficult to align them correctly and ensure the captive bolt stun gun renders them unconscious. Unwanted horses should be humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian when no other option exists, rather than placed on a truck, cruelly transported, and then butchered. Most horse owners already use humane euthanasia for their older or ill horses. "

But many people continue to believe that the practice of horse slaughter is a form of humane euthanasia. This nasty form of propaganda continues to be one of the biggest lies surrounding the cruel and heartless practice.There are even equine veterinarians  to continue to perpetuate this myth. Do they really believe it to be an accurate statement? But sadly to say, in my own experience in talking with several equine practitioners, this was the case.  I just don't understand how they can justify this argument. Don't they have eyes?

There is nothing humane about horse slaughter. The humane euthanasia of critically injured or terminally ill horses is done with care and concern by responsible horse owners.

I found an extremely compelling video that graphically dispels the myth that slaughter is a form of humane euthanasia. While it is difficult to view, it serves as further ammunition for those involved in the fight to end the practice of horse slaughter and the transport of horses destined to be slaughtered outside the United States.

dougsgirl63, a self-professed animal caretaker and "house mouse"  made the video and uploaded it to YouTube on February 27, 2008. This is what she wrote about it.

"This video I made today with intentions on it heading to Washington to show my Senators and Reps the truth about what all is involved in horse slaughter.The pro slaughter side will make you believe that horse slaughter is humane euthanasia...It is not.....In this video i have footage of everything that happens to our American horses on their journey to the slaughter house and at the end it will show you what "IS" humane euthanasia."

I highly commend her for making this video and her courage for sharing it. I do hope that folks will take the time to watch it and pass it along to friends who are also involved in the support of the passage of S.311 and HR 503.

For more information about strategies and what you can do to help, visit:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Vacationing With Your Pet! A Fun Idea


Photograph of Ginger: the Canine Concierge at The Muse New York.

One of the things that are of concern to pet owners when planning a vacation is to consider what types of arrangements are available for their pets.

For some folks, leaving their beloved fur kids home is not the option they wish to choose. But what kinds of alternatives are available?  What about taking your pet along with you on your trip?

Some questions do come to mind when considering this option. Is it preferable to have your pet travel with you? Is it better to leave your pet in a boarding facility or to hire a pet sitter?

These decisions of course are up to us as pet slaves, but purrsonally, if I had my "druthers", I would feel more comfortable having my cats accompany me. Being close to them,  knowing exactly what they are doing would be less stressful for me, and more than likely less stressful for my kitties. They do miss us when we are gone!

So while mulling over the idea of bringing my cats on vacation with us, my next step was to begin researching "pet friendly" facilities.

During this quest,  I discovered the Kimpton hotel chain which affords pet friendly accommodations in major locations across North America.

Pioneers in the field of Pet Friendly hotels they were the first group which opened their doors to pets in the early 1980s  The amenities that they offer to pets in addition to excellent lodging for their human caretakers rings the bell.

It was indeed refreshing to find lodging where not only is my pet welcome, but will be pampered.  I was very happy to find a pet friendly "home away from home" where we could enjoy travel and at the same time enjoy our feline company. I view it as a wonderful win-win situation.

I was so impressed with this leading Pet Friendly hotel chain that offers fabulous facilities for our pets that I offered to do a feature about them on my blog. I do hope that it is helpful to folks who are considering this option.

At the same time it is also helpful in making the decision whether to travel with your pet to compare the cost of boarding or hiring a pet sitter to visit your home several times a day.

Bear in mind, however, at the same time, it is equally important to remember the emotional impact on our furry companions when we get those suitcases out  and suddenly disappear, leaving  Fluffy or Fido in a strange environment or with a caretaker at home.

So if you have decided that bringing your pet with you when you travel is your best option, why not explore the Kimpton Hotel web site.

For further information,  check out the pet packages offered. 

Have you ever traveled with your pets? What were your experiences. Please share by leaving a comment.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Silent Sunday

This little video will charm the hearts of all cat lovers out there! simonscat, who uploaded it YouTube sure has fabulous insight into the mind of a feline.

Thanks Candy, for sharing it with me!



Saturday, March 8, 2008

Finding The Right Veterinarian


Dr Erin Holder, DVM and our cat Hush Puppy

When my husband and I moved from New York state to Florida, one of the biggest challenges with which we were faced was finding a good local veterinarian. With the huge abundance of hanging shingles in our neighborhood coupled with advertisements galore in our local newspapers, how were we going to make the right choice in getting the best practioner for our cats?

We checked with friends to get referrals, but after after a few visits to a few of these local veterinarians, it became obvious that the scope of their practices were quite limited. Having cats with chronic conditions necessitated our finding someone who could handle them without having to send us to specialists on a regular basis.

So what exactly were we looking for? We were looking for someone who could perform not only yearly checkups and administer vaccinations. We wanted someone who could provide veterinary care for their life stages and any medical issues which our cats might encounter.

In addition to a practitioner who can provide excellent care, here are some additional things to consider when looking for the "right" veterinarian for you.

  • Is the clinic clean and organized?
  • Are the waiting rooms inviting?
  • Does the clinic provide separate waiting rooms for cats and dogs? Is the staff friendly and helpful?
  • Do the technicians answer your questions and get demonstrate interest and concern for your pet?
  • Is the administrative staff friendly? The best veterinarian in the world counts on the supportive staff to be able to provide the most appropriate care for your pet.

Since most cats don't enjoy traveling if you are owned by felines is there a house call veterinarian available in your area? While the house call cost will generally exceed one which is clinic based, often this is well worth the added expense. When we were searching for a veterinarian, we wanted to find one who was mobile as well as having clinic hours.

Our cats are much happier not having to travel for routine visits so this convenient service is very valuable to us . . .   less stress for the cats, and an opportunity for the veterinarian to observe their behavior and interactions in our home.


I am happy to say that after a considerable search  we found a skilled, caring and committed veterinarian, Dr. Erin Holder,DVM of Florida Wild Veterinary Clinic, in DeLand, Florida, whose practice exceeds all the above requirements. In fact, when I come back as a cat in my next lifetime, I dearly hope that she is still in practice.

Taking the time to research thoroughly, visiting clinics and talking with the staff, will give you an idea of the kind of services that are offered.  Since your veterinarian will be the second most important person in your pets' lives, making the right choice is critical.

Visit finding the right veterinarian for more information and resources.

What kinds of experiences have you had in locating an exceptional veterinarian? Please share them with us by leaving a comment.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline: Meet Butch


This photograph was so appealing to me. Seems like this adorable Pit Bull, Butch, who owns Laurentha  must be having a wonderful dream. I just love the smile on his face.

I do wonder what he is dreaming about, though. What do you all think?

Mr. Butch is Pet of the Week on Frequently Feline. Since he shares his home with several kitties, I am sure he is comfortable with his appearance here!

Congratulations to both Laurentha and Butch!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Horse Has Opinion? What Else Could it be?

I often wonder exactly what horses are thinking! Or are they actually involved in thought or attempting to scope out their environment and learn about the proximity of others of the same species?

I am sure we could come up with many "translations" of Kim's Quarter Horse  Bam's facial expression, but in reality she may just be trying to get a better "whiff" of an odor left by one of her equine companions.

While it appears that Bam is turning up her nose or laughing, this behavior is called the flehmen response (from the German, meaning to curl the upper lip). Horses, felines and other mammals draw their lips back to facilitate the transfer of pheromones and scents into another of their organs, called the Jacobson's Organ.

I have witnessed my cats engaging in this activity often when I am introducing a new food. Initially I thought that it was a negative comment about the product, but in reality it is giving them a higher degree of information. And I took it purrsonally for such a long time.

But don't you think that this is a funny face? If I didn't know better, I would be tempted to think that she might have been commenting on the recent Presidential Primaries!

Have you observed your pets displaying a flehmen response? What did you think it meant? Leave a comment and let us know.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cats and Babies: Peaceful Co-existence


People frequently ask me  if it is safe to have a cat at home when a new baby arrives.

Cats and babies can be great pals and in fact many cats adore infants, as this photograph illustrates.

That being said,  learning more about prudent precautions, becoming informed about the fascinating myths that surround the relationship between infants and felines, will help in creating a safe and secure situation for them both.

I found an excellent article on this topic that covers all of the above. Feel free to pass this information along to friends who will find it useful.

Cats and Babies: Fact vs. Myth

by Cathleen Chance Vecchiato

Doesn't this baby and kitty look "blissed" out? I sure think so!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

End Horse Slaughter Now: Please Help!

Kim and Breeze: Happy horse keeping

Horses are one of our most popular companions. We need to put an end to the slaughter of these magnificent animals. We need your help!

Tuesday March 4, and Wednesday, March 5, approximately 80  FOB's (Fans of Barbaro) will be gathering in Washington, D.C. to lobby for the passage of S. 311 and H.R.503. This is a powerful group and one which has done an amazing amount of work to help all horses

These two bills must be passed in order to finally end horse slaughter once- and for- all. The transportation of horses outside the United States destined to be slaughtered for meat for human consumption in foreign countries must be stopped. The doors to the foreign based horse slaughter plants in the United States have finally shut and we also must close the pipeline of horses being shipped outside our country destined for slaughter. We must have these bills finally passed so that our beloved horses will be protected from the acts of cruelty to which they are being subjected in plants outside the U.S. borders.

You can help! All you need to do is pick up your phone and call the Capitol Switchboard at: 1-800-828-0498 and ask to be connected to your Senators and Representative's extensions. This is a toll free number.

If you wish to call your Senators or Representatives directly, here are their contact links.
U.S. Senate:

House Of Representatives:

You just have to say that you are calling about S.311 when you talk with your Senator's aides in their office, or when you are talking with your State Representative, tell them you are asking them to support H.R.503. Let them know that you are strongly against horse slaughter, and leave a message for your Senator or Representative that you want them to support/ co-sponsor these bills.

It only takes but a few minutes to make these calls.  Your voice does count! You can help our horses be safe and protected.

Please share this crucial information with your horse loving friends. Collectively we are a powerful group.Together we can make a difference!

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Spraying Episodes Abate: Update

first pictures 106 
Something is catching the cats' attention! 

We are not sure that all of the spraying problems have stopped, but there sure has been a fantastic improvement. I thought that I might have found one little spot where I caught a whiff of that all to well know odor of cat pee, and I thoroughly cleaned the area, just in case it was fresh.

We had suspected that an outside "stranger" tom cat, who was roaming our neighborhood, yowling and calling for a mate, may have initiated the spraying  behavior. Thankfully this traveling salesman has vacated the area and no further sounds or threats have been made. Thus the need for defensive action to protect territories is no longer needed.

We also isolated who we suspected might have been the main spraying culprit, as opposed to "peeing" on the bed. Trouble, renamed "Hubble" (for now) to end any negative associations with his name, was isolated to measure his fluid intake. Alone in the bedroom, his  marking "deposits" on the new plastic covered mattress was all the evidence we needed.

Just to be sure we isolated Puppy and Lucy separately, with no further inappropriate elimination. Lucy is being treated with Amytryptaline which seems to be calming to her. She has no more evidence of crystals either.


"Hubble" has calmed down significantly. He is doing well on  Desmopressin to treat his Diabetes Insipidus,and Amytryptaline to relieve anxiety. His water intake has decreased and his urine appears to be concentrating. Dr. Holder will be testing him tomorrow to monitor his progress.

Hush Puppy is doing great. With the decreasing domination behavior by "Hubble", he is much more relaxed and not as nervous.

We are optimistic that this stressful time has come to an end.  Inappropriate elimination is a very complex and difficult problem to deal with. It takes patience and a good deal of detective work, and the support of skilled veterinary care.

More news will be posted as time progresses. We are thankfully beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Silent Sunday: Lion the Lover

This  heart warming video uploaded to YouTube by elawwalani, is an incredible tribute to the love and trust that is possible between a lion and his keeper

After being  rescued six years ago by his keeper, this African lion is enjoying life, safely  residing in a sanctuary in Cali, Columbia.

I am sure that you will be as deeply moved as I was.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Maternity is Bliss: Mare With Foal

Foaling season is upon us again.

I have seen many amazing photographs of mares with their babies, but this one unique picture stole my heart. Thanks to BarnGoddess2 for sharing this very unusual pose of a new mom and her baby, with us.

This mom really looks a bit "tuckered" out, don't you think? But maternity seems rather blissful to me, judging by the look on her face.

There is nothing more miraculous than watching a new foal come into the world. Horse lovers will become addicted to following their favorite mare's progress in their pregnancy and delivery times by visiting

One can join chats and message boards through this web site where sharing excitement and joy is welcomed.

But don't say I did not warn you! One can spend hours waiting for the arrival of a baby!