Monday, December 31, 2012

Wee fish ewe...


Every time we think of the New Year, we think of this cartoon, and since it's New Year's Eve, we wanted to share! (It's kind of a bonus Fun Finds, since we found the art on a mug through Zazzle. ;-)
image: zazzle.com


Wishing you a very happy 2013!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

We're RICH - in Awards

Hello everyone, Maxwell here. The Responsible one in the fambly.

Did you know that two weeks before Thanksgiving the critters over at Jan's Funny Farm gave us this award?? It's truly shameful that it's taken us this long to thank them and announce it.
*shakes head sorrowfully*

It's the "Honey I Shrunk The Pig" award, and it recognizes all the hard work and love that goes into running a multi-pet family.  We're not quite sure what that has to do with pigs per se, except that it originated at Kevin Bacon's blog...? Get it, bacon? (yes, we get it Maxie)

Oh but it gets better...or should I say worse.

To highlight our mom's laziness, allow me to point out that Raven, Tux & Snowie over at the Indulged Furries also gave us this award during the Thanksgiving weekend. I may have to change my name if this continues.





And...and...and...

It does. Continue, I mean.

Right after Thanksgiving, the Cherry City Kitties - Harry, Dexter and Tipp - gave us this nip-tastic "Bring on the Nip" award. (Come to think of it, considering how neglectful momma's been, I feel a distinct urge to partake of some nip right now...)


But WAIT! There's MORE!

Livia, Abbit and Ateret over at Musings of a Crazy Cat Lady (they're the cats, not the lady, in case you wondered) were sooo Super Sweet to award us the Super Sweet Blog award that I'm simply speechless.



And...and...and...oh horrors will it never end...?

Faraday: Maxwell's truly overcome. Verklempt, even. He may never show his face in public again.
Which could pose some serious problems at V-E-T time. But I digress.

Anyways...I'm taking over.

Where were we? Oh yes...!
Iza, Ayla & Marley over at Mark's Mews gave us the 2012 Blog of the Year Award...
Then on Dec 4th, Whisppy gave us another star for that same award...
And then on the 9th Nerissa gave us our THIRD star... and on the 13th Jetty gave us out FOURTH star!
[Allie's swooning at all that bling. Seriously!]

:::AHEM:::

May I call your attention to what day it is?
And the name of this award?
Do you see the problem here, Mommy?
Well, do you? *taps paw impatiently*


We're tellin' ya, we're RICH in awards, friendships and goodwill ...even though we may have a poor, slacker typist of a mommy.

Seriously, we couldn't be more thrilled with all these awards.

(Except for the part where our human's a bit lax in the Keeping-Up-With-Things Department!)

Thank you, thank you - and let us know if we can sling a star or two in your direction to finish out your set before the year ends...which is, like, tomorrow. *meaningful look at mommy*


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Our Five Fave Tweets, December 2012

Our monthly series continues...




hey look, Daddy just opened storage closet WHY THANX DAD DON'T MIND IF I DO *dash!* What's this? Next year's Chanukah toyz? SCORE!! *snatch*grab*RUN!*



Dude. You just earned yourself a very boring birthday come next July. On the other paw Momma, U did notice who was BEHAVING HIMSELF




Mother says next time the boys tease me about my weight to tell them, "I'm not fat; I'm just a Buxom Tux."   I...I...don't really get that...




Woot! Sunday Window Whiffies! GERONIMOOOOOOO! OUTTA THE WAY ALLIE! *Mad leap for windowsill* <<<CRASH!!>>> oops.




Faraday. Dood. You gotta wait til Momma OPENS the window before you leap up there. *shakes head* And in the middle of December? Really?




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We're also purrticipating in the Weekend Cat Blogging blog hop...







...and the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop, hosted by Baby Patches, Life with Dogs and Two Little Cavaliers.




Friday, December 28, 2012

"Fun Finds" Friday

Random items I come across and think are cool...often from my forays on Pinterest!
If you have a fun find you'd like to share, send us a shout-out by clicking on the Contact Us tab above.

***


Though it's kind of hard to imagine for those in the northern hemisphere, things are heating up Down Under. And we still recall the unrelenting weeks of 100+ temps we had this summer.

So this find is one we're sure a lot of folks will find pretty cool (ouch, sorry for the pun!).

It's the FroBo freezable water dish that promises to keep water cool for up to 8 hours. Simply place the blue insert in your freezer ahead of time, then pop it into the bowl and fill.

Great idea for a fairly decent price of $24.99, at Amazon.





Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday Trivia: grinning like a Cheshire Cat

Ever wonder where this phrase came from? If you said Alice in Wonderland, well, you'd be...wrong.


image courtesy  Leslie Sigal Javorek, via Creative Commons 3.0

According to language maven Richard Lederer, the phrase predates Lewis Carroll's famous book.

"Charles Ludwidge Dodgson," Lederer writes, "best known to the world as Lewis Carroll, popularized the Cheshire cat in his children-of-all-ages classic, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865). The Cheshire cat in the story gradually faded from Alice's view, its smile being the last part of the animal to vanish.  

To grin like a Cheshire cat goes back before Carroll, and the source could be Cheshire cheeses, which were at one time molded in the form of a cat.

Another theory contends that the cat grins because the former palatine of Cheshire once had regal privileges in England, paying no taxes to the crown."

(confession: we had to go look up palatine. Wikipedia says it means "a historical territory of the Holy Roman Empire, a palatinate administered by a count palatine." Um. Okay. Faraday's still scratching his head on that last explanation!)

________
Sources: Richard Lederer on Jewish World Review and Wikipedia



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday


::::sigh::::

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

'Toon Tuesday - Holiday Edition




Wishing You All a Very Happy Holiday.

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Toon Tuesdays feature cat & dog cartoons made by the peeps over at Shoebox Greetings (a tiny little division of Hallmark) - where our mom works, too!




Monday, December 24, 2012

Wishing You...

From our home to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays!

And today, we share in pictures how we kitties spent ours.
Meowmeowmans asked us to post a photo or two of how we decorate for Chanukah so here are a few pics of that:
Faraday hangs out on mantle with Hanukkiahs
More menorahs - and dreidels!
We kitties got to open our first present on the first night of Chanukah (Dec 8).
There was a package for all of us filled with toys and catnip!
(Allie claimed the pink ones, of course)
Then someone went crazypants over a crinkle ball.
We're not sure but there may have been jazz hands involved.
A fun time was had by all, and then we celebrated again on the 8th night. 
Wowee, was it fun! 

All we can say is that mommy & daddy now aren't the only pilots in the family.
"Up in the aaaaair...."
"...Junior BirdMan!"
"Yes, that's right..."
"...Girlcats fly too!"
Max the Engineer chooses Ground Crew duty
 After that much excitement, a nap was most definitely in order.
***
We hope your holiday is filled with fun times and lasting memories!



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pets on Social Media Infographic

You may have seen this bopping around the internet recently. We're excited to share it because it features a friend of ours, the famous Romeo The Cat. Romeo is well known for his tireless work to raise awareness - and funds! - for animal welfare.

Take a look: not only is it a fun infographic, it's informative, too. Created by SPANA, an international animal charity based in London that is dedicated to looking out for the care of working animals worldwide.



Social Petworking Stars


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday Snacking



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We're also participating in the Weekend Cat Blogging blog hop, hosted this week by Pam & Coco (and Angel Smudge) at Sidewalk Shoes.










Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review: A Christmas Feral

We were recently contacted by author and cat lover Mary Matthews, who asked if we'd review her short story "A Christmas Feral".

We very kindly told her that we don't observe Christmas, but we are strong supporters of TNR and managed feral cat communities... and we thanked her for writing about them!

Mary asked if we'd be willing to review anyway and we told her we would.

"A Christmas Feral" is an ebook short story available for Kindle readers (and apps) on Amazon.com and the price is 99¢.

The story is a riff on the Dickens' classic tale, with Scrooge played by the local magistrate and the ghosts played by various magical cats. The moral of the tale is that a managed cat colony does no harm and may actually do good (e.g. reducing the rodent population, etc).

The tale is sweet, if a bit rough in places. There were a few times where the story suddenly changes direction and could be a bit difficult to follow. And the dialogue can sometimes skip from modern to Dickensia to the Roaring 20's and back.

But the story itself is charming, with chuckle-worthy descriptions of the Scrooge character:
"he didn't RSVP to our wedding until you sent the amended invitations, 'No Gifts Please'."

And what's not to like about a fluffy white deaf cat named Tatiana? As you know, we're suckers for hearing impaired kitties over here.

In all, though the tale feels like it could benefit from one more pass by a good editor, it's a quick read and it's about cats. And most importantly, it shines a light on a very important subject: the plight of feral cats in our communities. And it includes a link to Alley Cat Allies at the end.

At only 24 pages, we feel we can recommend this as an easy lunchtime read.

We thank Mary for giving us a copy of her short story to review.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday




Tuesday, December 18, 2012

'Toon Tuesday

Um. Speaking of weight loss...
Maybe this 'toon wasn't such a good idea! ;-)

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Toon Tuesdays feature cat & dog cartoons made by the peeps over at Shoebox Greetings (a tiny little division of Hallmark) - where our mom works, too!

(And sometimes, like today, they feature Gingerbread men. Just meowin' )





Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Medical: Obesity Epidemic

October was national pet obesity month – and we missed it.

But it’s such an important topic (dare we say, especially around the holidays?) we felt it was worth discussing.

Dr. Eberhardy with one of his patients
Pet obesity is on the rise. A recently published report on pets seen by a sampling of U.S. clinics since 2007 stated that dog obesity had increased by 37% and cat obesity had increased by 90%.

This, as they say, is epidemic.

So we went to Dr. Eberhardy of Leawood Plaza Animal Hospital to get the 4-1-1 on it.

Dr. E: “Obesity is a big issue, mainly because it causes a cascade of other health problems such as diabetes, fatty liver disease, arthritis. Even urinary tract infections have been tied to some degree to obesity.”

In addition, of course, there are issues with mobility and even self-cleaning if the pet becomes too heavy. Dr. E told us that, in an effort to understand this phenomenon – especially the huge jump in feline obesity – researchers examined cats' eating habits.

Outdoor cats via Creative Commons
Their findings were interesting. An outdoor cat whose diet consists of field mice and other natural prey is rarely overweight. Given that the average adult cat should weigh around 10-11 pounds, he’d require something like 220-280 calories a day to maintain that healthy weight.

So then they calculated the average number of calories in a mouse. (In case you’re wondering, your average field mouse is about 30-35 calories). To get that daily calorie intake, an outdoor cat would need to hunt, catch and then eat between 7 and 8 mice per day. That’s a lot of running around.

Compare that to the indoor cat who needs to do nothing more than saunter up to the food bowl and plant his face into a bottomless mountain of kibble.

The simple fact is that most indoor cats live a sedentary lifestyle.

So what can you do about it? Dr. E says it’s a very simple calculation of calories in vs. calories out. And growing a thick skin when it comes to those pitiful, pleading looks of 'starvation' directed your way. But if you plan to embark on a weight-loss plan for a seriously overweight cat, please consult your veterinarian first.

Weight loss in cats can be deadly, due to a condition called hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease. With cats, it’s critical that the weight come off slowly, in a carefully managed way. You can read more about why this is so important in our post on fatty liver disease from earlier this year.

So that deals with calories in. What about calories out?

Dr. E suggests playtime. Interactive toys such as Neko Flies and Da Bird mimic actual prey in a way cats find fascinating. In fact, often the only calorie-burning limitation is the human factor – you’ll wear out before kitty loses interest! If wand toys aren’t your thing, “you can create your own Stairmaster with a laser pointer and a flight of stairs,” Dr. E suggests.

Your cat may also have a "prey preference". One might be a real mouser. In our home, though, Allie's a "bird-er" and Maxwell's the "bug guy." Test you cat out on different toys that mimic various types of prey to see which kinds they favor. More calories will be burned if you target their particular interests.

You can read more about prey preference and other basic needs for indoor cats at Ohio State University's excellent Indoor Pet Initiative site.
Cat owners can click here, while dog owners will want to check this link out.

___
sources:
Obesity Report
Ohio State University's Indoor Pet Initiative 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pet Obesity Infographic

This is such an important topic - in fact, it's what tomorrow's Monday Medical post is all about.
And after viewing this infographic, we just might have a few surprise bits of info for you, as well as a good discussion on how to combat it.


Infographic via Pet365, an online pet store in the U.K.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Do it for the sake of those

We interrupt our normal posting to let our mom share something with you about the tragedy that struck the U.S. yesterday. Thank you for your understanding...
 ***

G‑d was murdered yesterday. Twenty-seven times over.

This isn’t just creative license on my part. It's something Jewish sages wrote in a commentary on the Bible over two thousand years ago.

They pointed out that the Ten Commandments were inscribed by the Almighty on two stone tablets: the first half inscribed on one and the second half inscribed on the other. Viewed in this order, the first commandment, "I am the Lord your G‑d" corresponds to the sixth commandment, "You shall not murder."

But how does this “murder” the Almighty? Genesis tells us mankind was made in His image. It tells us that Man became a "living soul" (nefesh), and G-d "breathed" into him (ruach), the "breath of life."

So in a very real way, we each have a spark of the Divine in us. And that spark was snuffed out over and over and over again yesterday.

Rabbi Yanki Tauber, content editor for Chabad.org, first wrote about this in an article after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. His words resonated deeply with me.

File:Candle light, pillar candle.jpg
May we bring light back into the world
in their memory (image: Creative Commons)
And in this time of mourning, as so many are reeling from the shock of the second most deadly school shooting in U.S. history, I share them with you:

 “G‑d was banished from our world yesterday. And then banished again and again….
It's now our job to bring Him back.

With every good deed, with every kind word, with every positive thought, we bring a bit of G‑dliness into our G‑d depleted world.

And if we do it for the sake of those whose lives were snuffed out yesterday, we resurrect something of the divine spark that was their life, in a small but deeply significant way.

It's the least we can do for them.”

Amen.


As we light the menorah candles on this eighth and final night of Chanukah, we pray that a great miracle may happen to us in this day - May it be G-d's will that from this moment on, may we only know of peace.



Saturday PhotoHunt: BELL


Allie's present and accounted for - with "bells" on! (okay, a bell...)

Psst: just for laurence:  she's also trĂ©s "belle", n'est ce pas?



***
Please join us for our final night of the Chanukah Blog Crawl, hosted today by 

 

There's been a different host for each day. Missed any?
Click the badge above to catch up on the excellent posts from each day of the Crawl.
***



We're also purrticipating in the Weekend Cat Blogging blog hop...



...and the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop, hosted by Baby Patches, Life with Dogs and Two Little Cavaliers.


Friday, December 14, 2012

"Fun Finds" Friday

If you have a fun find you'd like us to feature, send us a shout-out by clicking on the Contact Us tab above.

***

Looking for a fun holiday gift idea for the dog lovers in your life? Check out the dogs section sold by Design Zoo.



For instance, this "best friends" dog bone cookie cutter is only $5.75, comes packaged in a modern and elegant box with a grosgrain ribbon. It also comes with cookie recipes (both the human and the doggie kind!).

***
We're participating in a Chanukah Blog Crawl! 

 

There's a different host for each day. 
Click the badge above to see who's hosting each day of the Crawl.

You get a twofer today! Two very talented bloggers have joined today's Crawl.

Be sure to stop by and continue the journey with us at:
Catself: Cat to Self, the Conversation and the pet blog of Author Darlene Arden at PerPETually Speaking.



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jelly Donuts - and a DVD winner

Did you know that there's been a run on jelly donuts this week?
That makes three of my coworkers very, very happy.

Have you met them? 







Bev, the voice of Piddles (the little blue character) is a wonderful person and a huge pet lover. She and I collaborated a few years ago to rescue a feral cat on the 7th floor of a building in the heart of Kansas City.

Gracie ended up becoming the newest member of Bev's family!

(oh yeah, and Bob & Mike - the creators & voices of hoops&yoyo) - they're pretty cool too.

So why, you ask, do I mention donuts today? And what's with the run on jelly donuts this week anyway?

Eating jelly donuts and other fried foods is a holiday tradition during Chanukah. To find out why, hop on over and read Tuesday's posts in the Chanukah Blog Crawl here and here.

Then check out the two awesome stops we have for you today and learn about cool stuff like how communities celebrate Chanukah!
Stop by and say hello at @GizmoGeoDog's blog, Terrier Torrent and then swing by and hang with Chazz the dog and his mom.


***
Last but not least ... congratulations to the winners of the Jingle DVD!

And the winners are....

1. meowmeowmans
2. Christina Boyd
and
3. Laila and Minchie

Concatulations!!! We'll be mailing these out as soon as we receive your snail mail addresses!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

(Sorta) Wordless Wednesday


(I can see we need to work on someone's attitude before he gets his next Chanukah gift....)


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We're participating in a Chanukah Blog Crawl! 

 

There's a different host for each day. 
Click the badge above to see who's hosting each day of the Crawl.

If you'd like to follow along, check out the two stops we have for you today:
at Pumpkinpuddy's site and at Spike the Cat's blog!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

'Toon Tuesdays








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Toon Tuesdays feature cat & dog cartoons made by the peeps over at Shoebox Greetings (a tiny little division of Hallmark) - where our mom works, too!

***
We're participating in a Chanukah Blog Crawl! 

 

There's a different host for each day. 
Click the badge above to see who's hosting each day of the Crawl.

If you'd like to follow along, we have two stops for you today!
Meandering Moodys (@danapixie) and Hey... It's Jet Here


Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Medical: Pet Safety for Chanukah

Welcome to today's stop at the Chanukah Blog Crawl! 

 


Pet Safety for Chanukah

There are a lot of articles and blog posts circulating right now about pet-proofing your home for Christmas. It got me to wondering: for those of us who observe a different holiday, is there any need for concern?

Turns out there are a few things folks can consider when preparing for the Festival of Lights.
Here are our Top Five Tips to Pet-Proof your home for Chanukah:

1.  Consider trading your Hanukkiah for an electric model

photo courtesy CarbonNYC on flickr
At least temporarily.

I love the warm glow of real candles and have a nice collection of hanukkiahs (the 9-branch Chanukah menorah). So for me, swapping out for the electric version is difficult. It feels like it violates the season. And technically, you should be using either oil or wax candles to honor the miracle of Chanukah.

But I now have three very active cats (two of them barely out of kittenhood). One of them in particular (that would be you, Faraday) does a passing impression of Tarzan, and the fire hazard is just too great.

So I'll be screwing in a new electric bulb each of the eight nights instead of lighting up all over the house.

When Ryker was alive, it wasn't such a big deal; he was a laid-back kind of a guy and just so long as I monitored him and the menorah while the candles were lit, all was well. And we'll get there with these guys as they mellow with age. But for the next few years, we'll probably err on the side of caution.

We did live on the wild side Saturday night and light the first candle, but there were 3 humans carefully monitoring the situation while 3 cats opened shredded their Chanukah toys.

2.  Holiday foods can be hazardous to your pet's health.


our latkes (regular, sweet & purple potatoes) before frying
One of the best things about Chanukah is the food. Loads of yummy, fried food.

The problem with these tasty treats is that their recipes often call for ingredients that are not good for cats and dogs.

Latkes are one such food item: they can contain onions and sometimes garlic or garlic powder. To learn more about the dangers of these foods to your pet, you can read our Medical Monday article on onions by clicking here.

And if you're curious about exactly what latkes are and why we eat them at this time of year, you're in luck! Tomorrow's stops on the Chanukah Crawl are for Tasty Tuesday, and you can read all about east coast vs. west coast latke-making at the blogs of @danapixie and Hey...It's Jet Here (see links to their blogs at the end of this post),


3.  Tinsel: it's not just for Christmas any more.


Chanukah is considered to be pretty kid-centric and as such, there are many sites that sell - yes - Chanukah garland.

Those metallic little dreidels and magen davids are just cat-nomming (and choking) size.

If you plan to decorate with tinselly garland, make sure it's out of reach of your four-legged tree-swingers, too.




4.  All that glitters is not gold...but it is nommy!

One of the most iconic traditions of Chanukah is the game Spin the Dreidel. You'll be able to read more about the dreidel itself - and the origins of the game - at Pumpkinpuddy's blog on Wednesday. For now, suffice it to say that the winner takes the gelt (Yiddish for money).

In 1920's America, the tradition of giving gelt took a delicious turn. Now, kids everywhere vie for shiny, foil-wrapped pieces of chocolatey goodness in the shape of coins. 

Unfortunately, chocolate is not good for kitties or puppies. And of course, shiny as they are, they can become pet magnets. The gelt strewn about my home in various candy dishes will probably get a boost - up out of the way of enterprising paws - this year.

5.  Kittens and puppies don't make good Chanukah gifts either.

photo courtesy exfordy on flickr
A fellow blogger posted last year about the sad trend that occurs at this time of year: giving kittens and puppies as Christmas gifts. I would imagine that trend pops up at Chanukah time, too.

Pets should never, ever EVER be an impulse purchase, and the person on the receiving end of such a gift really needs to be involved, as this involves not only the personality of the person receiving the pet but the personality of the animal itself. 

This is so important that the ASPCA recently instituted a program called Meet Your Match, which assesses the personalities of both person and cat and attempts to guide adopters into finding the perfect match for them.


That's it for my Top 5 for Chanukah-proofing your home. No matter what holiday you celebrate, may it be merry...and safe...this year.



Please join us for 8 nights of fun, inspiration and information during the Chanukah Blog Crawl.

 
There's a different host for each day. 
Click the badge above to see who's hosting each day of the Crawl.

If you'd like to follow along, click here to read yesterday's post on menorahs by Gromek the Cat To-ra.
There are two stops for the Crawl tomorrow! Meandering Moodys (@danapixie) and Hey... It's Jet Here.