Monday, February 27, 2012

Our Five Fave Tweets: February, 2012

Since most of you only know us through blogging...
And since this blog sprang from our presence in the twitterverse...

We're happy to present to you a new monthly series:

Our Five Fave Tweets!

*drum roll pleeeez* 

not to name names but SOMEONE *koff-Mommy-koff* forgot 2 lift the shades today. Birdwatching SERIOUSLY curtailed. Am SO Mistreated.

pay no attention to lump under sheets AM CONDUCTING DEEP-COVER INVESTIGATION expect full report soon on whether or not bedbugs really exist

'SCUSE me? Person leaves home & informs me I'm 'In Charge'. Exactly who does she think is in charge when she's In Residence anyway?

*prim voice* Pardon me, but has this water bowl been decanted? No? *SPLAT!* If you want something done right, you simply MUST do it yourself.

*standing at bow of ship, paws outflung* I AM THE KING OF THE WORRRLD! okay so maybe it's a closet shelf instead of a ship. i'm still king.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Somber Saturday

Hello all,

As many of you know, our good friends from Sebastian the Sensitive Soul lost all their belongings in a tragic fire that swept through their apartment complex this past Thursday.

Thankfully they all made it out safely, but with just the clothes on their back. They're going to have to start over now, and they have nothing.

Some have asked how it happened. Initial thoughts are that the fire began in a crawl space under the complex, then moved into the gas lines. Residual gas in the lines further fueled the fire. One of the worst culprits that night was the wind, which turned the fire into an inferno. Shawnee fire chief John Mattox said that the winds made this into one of the toughest fires he has ever battled in his career.

Kathi's sweet CJ at Mission MedVet
Thankfully, no human life was lost, but some people did lose family members: to our knowledge, two cats and a dog were lost. The dog was owned by Sebastian's next door neighbor and one of the cats was owned by Kathi, a friend that Amy & I both volunteer with at Wayside Waifs.

Kathi in particular is facing a rough time - she had not yet purchased renter's insurance, she lost her beloved 14 year old kitty, Cosmo, and her other kitty, CJ, is at Mission MedVet with severe burns.

(Kathi also volunteers for the Red Cross in crisis situations...and ironically, they called to ask her to volunteer -- at her own crisis -- not knowing it was her home that was going up in flames!)

There are two ChipIn widgets in the right sidebar, one for Amy & one for Kathi. We aren't sure why Kathi's isn't refreshing, but we've been assured that the money is going directly into her PayPal account. If you are able, please consider helping out financially.

The outpouring of love, care & concern has been amazing to watch and we want you all to know how deeply this has moved Amy and Kathi. We know Amy & Sebastian will tell you this in greater detail - and in their own words - as soon as they are able. Kathi is just beginning to venture beyond facebook in social media and does not have a blog, but please know that she will see every word of encouragement written in comments here, on twitter, facebook and on other blogs.

Sebastian's mom, Amy, with Faraday

For now, please know that your words, your thoughts, your prayers are coveted.  You continue to be an incredible emotional support to them all as they go through this -- and that is a gift beyond measure.

UPDATE: Just talked to Kathi - CJ is off the IV fluids now but not eating as well today. He was snippy at first but then she said he warmed up to her & let her pet him. Pawprayers for CJ!

This post is part of the Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop co-hosted by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs, and Confessions of the Plume. Click the image below to see a list of the other entries:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fearless Friday

We're calling this post fearless Friday because it's The Day After.

The Day After what, you might ask?

The Day After Tragedy.

Amy & Allie
You see, last night, one of our most dear friends in Real Life and in the blogosphere  - Sebastian the Sensitive Soul - lost everything in a dreadful fire. Everything except the things most cherished and most important in this life: our loved ones.

And that's why we're calling today Fearless Friday, in honor of Sebastian and Amy and their family, who awoke this morning to face the day after a tragedy so fearlessly.

Some of their dear friends on twitter have begun a ChipIn account for them, just to help them get back on their feet (you know, insurance companies sometimes take a while to respond, but people still have to eat - we're funny like that).

And please hold a dear mutual friend of ours close in your hearts, thoughts and prayers today...she wasn't so lucky. Kathi lost her beloved kitty in last night's fire ... as well as all her earthly possessions.

Our hearts go out to her. *pawhugs* 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Maxwell: Hey Allie! Heads up!

Maxwell: CHAAARGE! Allie: *shriek!*

Allie: Why that little - ! I'll get him in a PINK hold!
Allie: You're supposed to be the nice brother!

Maxwell: Not TODAY!

Allie: Have you had enough of the Pink Paw yet, Max? Well, have you?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

TNR Tuesday: Part 1 of 5

For the next 5 weeks, we'll be cross-posting a series of articles on a feral cat situation in and near Canton, Ohio to help spread the word.
Our "guest blogger" is BZ TAT, an artist and former counselor/therapist who is the founder of Okey's Promise, an outreach through public art designed to create awareness about the connections between animal maltreatment, child abuse and domestic violence.
The original posts can be found at the Okey's Promise blog.

In recent weeks, numerous friends have brought to my attention concerns about the way feral cats are treated in my community. The city of Canton, OH has one of the most draconian animal control policies around, and many friends have asked me to get involved in the process of making change.

Okey stray cat
"Okey" Artwork by BZTAT

“Just think, had someone called Animal Control on Okey, she would never have become the star that she is,” one friend posted on my Facebook wall.

A friend from California sent me this message: “Vicki, this is going on right in your own backyard – isn’t there something you can do?”

How could I not get involved?

Here is the situation.

The city has a contract with an individual to perform Animal Control Officer duties. This individual reportedly takes complaints from the community regarding nuisance animals, including feral cats and assorted wildlife (skunks, raccoons, etc.) and he removes them from the location of the complaint. Wildlife apparently are relocated and released back into the wild where they will be less of a nuisance. Feral cats are taken to the Humane Society and euthanized. A handful of kittens and adoptable cats are rehabbed and placed for adoption, but unsocialized cats are deemed “ill” and destroyed.

Aside from the ineffective and inhumane  method of dealing with the animal control problem, there are also complaints  about inappropriate and inhumane treatment of animals by the individual in the role of Animal Control Officer. There is a personnel issue here – complaints from the community that the officer is doing his job in an inhumane manner – in addition to the problematic policy in place.

Alley Cat Allies, Best Friends Animal Society, ASPCA, Found Animals Foundation, and every other major animal welfare organization in the United States advocate for TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) as the most humane and the most effective means of controlling feral cat problems. Neutering and providing basic vet care to feral cats typically reduces the nuisance behaviors that cause problems, and returning a neutered cat to it’s previous location leads to a reduction of non-neutered cats entering the area. Progressive cities are instituting TNR programs and seeing great benefit.

With all of this in mind, I accompanied my friends to the City Council meeting on Monday, February 6, 2012. Ten other advocates and I spoke at the meeting to implore our City Council to consider: 1) discontinuing the current contract, and 2) developing a TNR program for the city.

Surprisingly, we encountered interested and open minds on the Council. They continued the current contract for a shortened period of time (90 days), however, they also agreed to work with advocates to develop alternatives to the current method of animal control.

Although I am concerned that the city contracted with an individual who has active complaints of animal maltreatment from the community against him, I did receive personal assurances from 4 council persons that the complaints would be investigated immediately.

I will keep you posted on the progress of the effort in this space. What follows are the remarks that I shared in the Public Speaks portion of the City Council meeting on February 6, 2012.

My name is Vicki Boatright. I speak to you as a counselor, as an advocate for children and as an advocate for animals. I also speak to you as an artist who has personally contributed to the redevelopment of Downtown Canton with 2 murals depicting the bond that exists between animals and human beings. I am currently working on a third public art project along the same theme with funds provided to me by my community.
In my 20 year career as as a counselor with children, I saw clearly that there is a link between the maltreatment of animals and violence towards children. Considerable clinical research backs up my own observations. When animals are treated poorly, children are often treated poorly as well.
As a counselor, I worked with parents, teachers and other child advocates to help children develop empathy and wise methods of problem solving. My objection to the renewal of a contract for very inhumane and ineffective feral cat control practice follows that trajectory of my purposes.
I believe that we must set an example for our children in our actions and in our public policies.
Trap-neuter-release has been proven to be the most effective, efficient and humane method of managing feral cat problems. Trap and euthanize programs have been proven to be ineffective, inefficient and inhumane. We should not even be having this conversation.
We often talk of attracting young professionals to Canton as a place to make their home. With the documented rise of pet ownership among young professionals, progressive cities are working to become more animal friendly communities. What is Canton doing? Killing cats. As a result of this contract renewal issue, pet writers across the country have already begun to black-list Canton as a very pet-unfriendly community. Yes, we are on their radar. I first heard of it from a writer in California.
This issue is not simply about whether or not to appease some bleeding heart animal rights activists. This issue is about how we as a community demonstrate the empathy and the wise problem-solving that we desire our children to embrace. It is about the economics of making this city a place where people want to live. I urge you to stop this ineffective and cruel practice of killing cats today, and show our children what empathy and wise problem solving really means. Thank you.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February: Pet Dental Health Month


So here we are, halfway through the month and Mother feels it's High Time we discussed Pet Dental Health Month!
I'm the one doing the discussion because, as you can see, Faraday and Maxwell are nowhere to be seen.

That's because unlike me *preen* they don't have healthy pink gums. *smiles wide for the camera* See? Did I mention they're a healthy PINK, my fave color? *squee!*

Me, having my teeth brushed by Gramma
(see the PINK toothbrush? *giggle!*)


While Allie may love the fact her gums are PINK, I'm just happy they're healthy. She falls squarely into the category of most cats, who don't face oral heath issues until their middle years (7 is the median age for plaque buildup, gingivitis and the beginning of periodontal disease in most cats).

But there are some who aren't so lucky. Some kitties experience gingivitis at a very young age.  Gingivitis is a fancy label for inflammation of the gums (or "gingivae" - thus the name gingivitis).

This Juvenile Onset Gingivitis can begin to occur in some kitties as young as 3-5 months, or when their permanent teeth begin to come in.

This isn't gingivitis as we normally understand it. It's not caused by plaque building up over time; instead, this form of gingivitis is caused by an oversensitivity to the new teeth coming in.

Sometimes the inflammation is made worse if the kitten has had a history of upper respiratory infection (either URV or Bordetellosis, a disease that rescue groups and shelters are most susceptible to and work hard to control).

This more aggravated form of inflammation is known as Stomatitis/Gingivitis, where the inflammation erupts into blisters.

 Don't assume - ask.

It's common for pet owners to not consider a dental checkup for their cat until its well into its adult life - though we are happy to see an increasing number of veterinarians including this in standard practice for wellness checks even for kittens. We advocate for dental screenings during the first year.

Whether or not your vet is in the habit of checking for gum disease in young cats, the welfare of your baby is in your hands.

So ask your vet to do a thorough examination of your kitty's gums.

The good news is that there are several opportunities to do this during the first year - what with all the booster shots your new baby should be getting!

That's what we did with Maxwell and Faraday. As both boys are oriental breeds, they are more prone to sensitive and inflamed gums than most. And sure enough, they both have it.

Faraday's gums are less inflamed than Maxwell's - and that is probably due to the many ear and upper respiratory infections Maxie suffered as a rescue kitten.

Poor Maxie had his first tooth cleaning at around 9 months - at which point he lost all of his milk teeth. Yep, all 12 front teeth had to be extracted, because the surrounding gums were so sensitive and inflamed that they were causing him a great deal of pain.

The good news is that Max is doing much better now. It took five months of aggressive treatment before we conquered his many ear and upper respiratory infections, but beat them we did.

He's on a grain-free diet and an aggressive form of oral hygiene. And his oral health has improved.

How do you fight
in young cats?

The good folks at Manhattan Cat Specialists ( a great blog to follow, too, if you aren't already) have the following advice for cats with juvenile onset gingivitis:

"It has been found that it is imperative to eliminate plaque in these cats.
To do this requires:
  • regular dental cleaning and polishing by your veterinarian.
  • daily home care, including daily brushing.
  • good nutrition, using a diet designed to control plaque.
  • use of a plaque-reducing water additive that has the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal."

And that's what we're doing with Maxie. Every 6 months, the boyz get their teeth cleaned. Check with your vet, as many offer a discount during the month of February to promote Pet Dental Health month.

(In fact, the boyz are both going in before the month is out to have theirs cleaned.) We have an additive that we add to their water on a daily basis. We feed the boyz a completely grain-free diet.

And Max gets Biotene, an antisceptic oral gel that is packed with an enzyme that is antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial, applied to his gums on a regular basis.

(Faraday won't begin his application until after his teeth are cleaned, but then he'll join the ranks of the "terminally oppressed by Mom" as I hunt them down and faithfully apply the gel!)

Unfortunately, even with this intensive care, the disease will progress in some young cats. And in that case, the pain becomes so unbearable for the cat that full tooth extraction is the only way to calm the inflammation. It's almost as if the gums have begun to react in an autoimmune manner and refuse all treatment to reduce sensitivity.

Though this sounds drastic, many cats can and do live their whole lives without any teeth at all. Please visit Mario's blog, Mario's Meowsings, to read a firsthand tale of how a kitty can lead a wonderful (and pain-free) life, tooth-free.

And please have your kitty's dental health checked out by your vet. 

It's never too early to start. And they're never too young to need it!

We're participating in this weekend's Weekend Cat Blog,
which is being hosted this week at PaulChen's foodblog.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm Da King of Da WURRRLD!

(or at least the guest bathroom shower)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In Honor Of Valentine's Day...

"Be Mine. Mrawwwwwr...."

Also our entry into this week's PHOTOHUNT .

This week's Photo Hunt Theme is "point" - Maxie's a Blue Point Siamese.  >^..^<

Monday, February 13, 2012

Our Five Fave Tweets: January, 2012

Since most of you only know us through blogging...
And since this blog sprang from our presence in the twitterverse...

We're happy to present to you a new monthly series:

Our Five Fave Tweets!

*drum roll pleeeez* 


Ryker: Faraday's a chip off the ol' litterbox: devious, manipulative, sneak--- err, I mean brilliant, clever & debonair. Yeah, that.


Pawesome Continental Breakfast this AM. As a result, we've decided to let you keep your AAA rating, Mommy.


FaRADaY: Human Conditioning #4536721: Walked across Mommy's face several times between 2 & 3 AM. Am happy to report she woke up to Attend Me 3 times.


Mommy sez Allie's suffering from PMS: Pestered by Maxwell Syndrome


FaRADaY: Mommy just said I inherited Ryker's Sense of Entitlement. COOL AN INHERITANCE! Would that by chance come with any WAND TOYS???

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sunpuddle Saturday Snooze

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday Symmetry

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Hanging Around in High Places!

(my "Glam" pose - how'd I do?)