Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday Trivia: Fat Cat

So you're probably all familiar with the phrase "fat cat" --  a phrase used to describe, as Etymology Online put it, "a privileged and rich person".

But where did the saying originate, and how did a cat get dragged into the mess anyway?




The phrase is almost 100 years old, dating back to the 1920's, and its original meaning was purely political in origin, describing someone with deep pockets willing to financially back a political candidate.

It was first seen in print in 1928, authored by F.R. Kent, who wrote:
"These capitalists have what the organisation needs - money to finance the campaign.
These men are needed in political circles as 'Fat Cats'."

So the original use didn't come with the current, somewhat derogatory overtones. Interesting, no?

As to why a cat was tied to such a concept when everyone knows felines are strictly apolitical (except when their vote is being 'bought' by salmon, of course)...?

According to Wiki Answers and Etymology Online, it's simply because 'cat' rhymes with 'fat' - a very typical Roaring 20's kind of slang. Nothing more.

But according to WiseGeek, it's an animal allegory. The cat is seen as a predatory animal, one that controls the behavior of others lower in the food chain. Taken this way, you can see where its meaning can be a bit negative.

It sounds to us like the meaning of  "fat cat" evolved over time.

What do you think?

_____
sources: Wiki Answers, Etymology Online, WiseGeek and English Daily
_____

*** 
Announcing the 2013 BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Awards! 
 Nominations are now open, through 3:00 PM EST Friday, March 8th.


According to BlogPaws, "The “Nose-to-Nose” Awards is the only awards program in which pet bloggers and microbloggers are judged on their expertise, creativity, and performance by a panel of distinguished professionals."

But you are the ones who nominate.

The Awards cover 12 categories:




Best New Blog               Best Blog Photo




There are many wonderful pet bloggers out there who deserve recognition.
We're nominating the blogs we love to read, and we hope you join us in doing the same!
It's one way we can thank them for providing quality content we enjoy reading, day in and day out.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wed: Snowpocalypse Edition

More snow!

"Do I look like I'm having fun, I ask you?!?"

"I distinctly recall there being less of this a few days ago."




Tuesday, February 26, 2013

'Toon Tuesdays

In honor of this being National Engineers' Week and all...

Resistance Is Futile.
...a little geek humor for those electrical engineer types!



Explanation:


Monday, February 25, 2013

World Spay Day: Tuesday 2/26


 
According to the Humane Society of the United States, an estimated 6-8 million homeless cats and dogs enter animal shelters in the U.S. every year. Only about half of these animals are adopted.

That means 3-4 million animals lose their lives on an annual basis in the U.S. alone, due to pet overpopulation. And the HSUS tells us that the majority of these animals who are euthanized are healthy, sweet pets who would have made great companions.


photo: freephotobank.org
And it’s not just in the U.S. – this is a worldwide problem. Globally, pets who are sentenced to roam the streets due to overpopulation are often brutally killed as unwanted pests by local authorities.

Once again, the HSUS:  "In addition to being inhumane, these methods are not an effective long-term solution to street animal overpopulation. They may also accidentally harm the environment or kill other animals in the community.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be this way.

Spay/neuter is a permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for cats, dogs, and rabbits. When we spay or neuter pets, feral cats, and other street animals, we ensure those animals and their offspring will not add to the millions of already suffering animals."

World Spay Day is dedicated to encouraging organizations and individuals in the United States and abroad to support the spay/neuter process to help bring this problem to an end.

Spay/neuter is a simple solution, a simple process, and it can have a profound impact on the animal population. Help reduce the number of animals who suffer and die each year by being a part of the solution— spread the word: promote spay/neuter!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

In Honor of National Engineers' Week

Frequently heard around our home is the saying, "a physicist's job is to ask 'WHY', but an engineer's job is to ask 'HOW'."  We present to you Da Boyz - as kittens - demonstrating that cats have that one quality inherent in every good engineer:
 Curiosity, and a desire to figure out how things work.

[Notice the boys work at it, until "HOW" is figured out.]



To this day, Maxwell will periodically jump up onto the bookcase where the Newton's Cradle is stored...and the "clack-clack-clack" of balls being struck is heard throughout the house as he starts it up again.

Brilliant. (Not that we're prejudiced or anything. Nope. Not one bit.)

Happy National Engineer's Week!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Three Cats of the Snowpocalypse

Three out of three kitties believe the snow should go.




Allie is not amused.



Friday, February 22, 2013

"Fun Finds" Friday

This is a random gathering of pet-related things we thought you might find interesting. 
(Okay, and a lot of it is from Mommy's snoop time on Pinterest!)

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.

***


One of my coworkers has an adorable dachshund mix puppy - and we thought of cute little Eisley right away when we saw this!

(We do think this would be cuter if a weiner dog modeled it...don't you?)


Sold by What On Earth Catalog, this Hot Dog Leash is only $9.95.

Fun, huh?


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snowmageddon!

Peeps, that is our CAT grass container you see sitting on that table with a foot of snow on it.

And the snow just started about 2 hours ago - THUNDERsnow even - and it's not supposed to let up til midnight.



We are not amused.


Thursday Trivia: Dogs of War

Have you ever heard anyone use the phrase, "the dogs of war"?  It's one of those phrases you're sort of familiar with but can't quite recall where you've heard it before.

Chances are, it was in an English class!

The phrase is actually a truncated version of a famous line from Shaespeare's play Julius Caesar, and the complete line goes like this:

"Cry 'Havoc!' And let slip the dogs of war." (Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1, Line 273, to be precise)

Public Domain from Wikimedia Commons

But did the idea originate from Shakespeare? And if not, where did he get it from?

According to Shakespearean scholar Jonathan Bate, the Bard used a book written in by a first century historian as his main resource when writing Julius Caesar. A mention of the "war dog," by a Greek historian named Plutarch (ca. 96-98 C.E.) most probably influenced Shakespeare's writing.

As far as the cry, "Havoc!" is concerned? According to the UK's Phrases.org site, that was a signal given by English military to forces in the Middle Ages - to send the troops out to pillage.

The site quotes a text by Thomas De Brotherton, the first Earl of Norfolk (early 1300's) in which he wrote: "...when they be brought into the field and cried havoke, then every man to take his part."

So there you have it.
________
sources:
Wikipedia
War dog reference, Plutarch: Life of Aratus, chapter 24. "The Achaeans put a garrison of 400 men in the citadel of Corinth, which was strengthened with 50 dogs, and as many men to keep them."
Phrases.org

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

'Toon Tuesdays - or is it Thursday...?




_____

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, February 18, 2013

Straight Talk: Anesthesia & Your Pet

...and the questions YOU need to ask!

_______________________________________
Monday Medical Dental Health Series: Part 3
Previous:   2/4/13: Overview
                2/11/13: Interview with Dr. Huber, part 1
_______________________________________ 
  
If you've ever had your pets teeth cleaned, you know that feeling of anxiety that comes with knowing your pet is being given anesthesia for this procedure.

Maxwell examines Faraday's teeth up close & personal.
"Dood, you need to start flossing!"
Some people worry less about it, others more. There's always the tale about the friend of a friend who unexpectedly lost their beloved pet from complications due to anesthesia. And it's not just with animals - a friend who volunteers at our local shelter told me one night recently that she lost a very close [human] friend to unexpected complications under anesthesia, too.

I have to admit, my concerns ramped up a while back when a vet tech at our shelter informed me that cats need to be monitored closely as they often stop breathing while sedated.

So I asked our veterinarian about it. You met Dr. Sara Huber last week during part 1 of this interview on dental health. Now she answers my concerns about anesthesia. First up: do cats stop breathing under anesthesia?

Dr. Huber:  Certain drugs that we use to intubate patients can cause what we call a transient apnea. This means that they will hold their breath for several seconds. But in 99% of cases, these patients will spontaneously begin to breathe again on their own.

For the other cases, we will use a bag on our anesthetic machine to administer a few breaths for the patient until their own respiratory center takes over and tells them to breathe again.

In very rare cases, the animal will not breathe on his own. Should that occur, a technician will administer breaths for them throughout the procedure.

I personally have never had a patient that had to be 'bagged' the entire time, but it is a remote possibility. This is just another reason why we have continuous electronic and hand monitoring of the patient throughout the procedure. If a patient does stop breathing for whatever reason, we have many ways to help them return to spontaneous respiration.

Green bag allows a technician to breathe for your pet
(this unit from shopmedvet.com)
As I mentioned last week, we tailor our anesthesia protocols for each patient, taking into account such things as their age, any underlying disease, or tendency toward respiratory distress.

The entire time he's under anesthesia your pet’s breathing, pulse, oxygen level, and heart activity is being monitored, and a blood pressure is taken every 3-5 minutes.

This way we know we’ve taken every possible precaution to keep your pet safe and healthy while anesthetized. And this is standard procedure in most veterinary practices.

A Tonk's Tail: We've heard that cats have more trouble coming out from under anesthesia than dogs do. We've also heard that some breeds are more prone to respiratory distress than others.
Do you do anything differently in these situations?

DH: I think it's far more important to base our care on an individual basis rather than a breed basis. Yes, some dog and cat breeds may have shortened nasal passages. Of course we take that into account, but any veterinarian will tell you that it's far more important to know an animal's specific medical history and current state of health.
Champion Persian (GNU Free License)

During recovery, all animals are monitored by a technician for any distress and a veterinarian is always nearby to address any emergent issues.

Every anesthetic procedure comes with some degree of inherent risk (and by the way, this goes for human beings as well!). So I emphasize again the importance of pre-anesthetic testing and continuous monitoring to give your pet the best chance for a routine procedure and a healthy recovery.

The only cat I've ever seen lost to complications post-anesthesia was a cat whose owner refused to give permission for a pre-dental blood screening.

Thankfully, our practice refuses to perform a procedure like this without a full blood panel. These tests tell you so much, and give warning for conditions that can be life-threatening where anesthesia is concerned. 

ATT: Are there any actions a pet owner should take prior to a dental cleaning?

DH:  I would say that before you agree to any procedure, you should have a detailed discussion with your vet.

If your veterinarian does not offer up the following information, here are several important questions that I think should be raised:
  1. What pre-anesthetic blood testing do you perform prior to the procedure?
  2. What monitoring equipment is used during and post procedure?
  3. Will the doctor be present for the entire procedure?
  4. Do you have dental radiography?
    This is a very important question! Dental x-rays can help diagnose suspected disease definitively and often will uncover disease we did not know was present. It can also help the doctor to assure that the entire root was removed after an extraction - an invaluable tool.
  5. What kind of home care do you recommend following the procedure?
ATT: Do you have any last words of advice you'd like to leave us with?

Quite the under bite! (Photo: public domain)
DH: The longer you wait to get a dental procedure done, the higher the risk your pet will need to have other procedures such as teeth extractions. These will ultimately end up costing you more money and causing your pet more pain.

So I would strongly advise all pet owners to heed the recommendations of their veterinarian and have routine dental cleanings performed on their pets.

I understand that they can often be somewhat expensive, but truthfully it saves the pet a lot of possible pain and illness down the road.

Many thanks to Dr. Sara Huber for her time answering these questions on pet dental health!

__________
Additional sources:

Understanding Anesthesia in Cats
Pet Meds Online: Cat Health
Trupanion Breed Guide Health Concerns

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Our Five Fave Tweets: February 2013

The monthly series continues...



No we don't mind if U move our litter box to the guest bedroom, lock us in & then use loud stinky machines downstairs in *our* home... SAID NO CAT EVER.



No I do NOT want you to make my paws dance Gangnam Style.
Not now.
Not EVER.



"But she overslept" is no excuse for biting Mom on the chin at 5 AM! And purring while you do it does NOT make it OK, Faraday.





*disgruntled look* I do NOT have a Jiggle Belly & U do NOT need 2 tell the world that you're rubbing it. :::surreptitiously sucks in tummy:::




It'll be FUN, she said. You'll make MOVIES, she said. ALL the cats are doing it, she said. GET this camera OFF my collar or you're new TOY is history in 3...2...


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Playing with Paper Camera

So there's this new app on mom's phone...and she just had to play with it...

"peekaboo!"

Friday, February 15, 2013

Nonconformist Kitty Refuses to Conform

Have you seen this one?
This Russian Blue boy is very modest. He'll allow you your privacy until you come to the door.
Of course he's also a bit of a nonconformist in the "knock-knock" department.


Seen on Huffington Post this afternoon!


Monopoly Rules for Cat Token

Seen on Facebook this morning:

From website medium-large.com

"Fun Find" Friday


Maybe we'd classify this as a "Healthy Deal" instead:



Click here to see the Groupon deal. We assume it's for U.S. residents only?

We've never had a discount plan, opting instead for pet insurance, so we'd love to hear your thoughts on whether or not you think this kind of a plan is a good deal.

Oh, and speaking of vets...Faraday has a Public Service Announcement:


HELP!
I've been starved for the last 12 hours, forcibly shoved into a PTU* and abandoned at the V-E-T!!

Call the FBI! CIA! SPCA! Hawaii Five-O! Starsky & Hutch! Cagney & Lacey! Mulder & Scully!



Dood. You'll survive. I did last week. It's just a teeth cleaning....

*PTU: Prisoner Transport Unit, aka Cat Carrier.









Thursday, February 14, 2013

Caught Red-Pawed!

video

So we boyz wanna know: should Allie get flowers today or should Mommy...?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What say you: Cool or Creepy?

So we were surfing facebook while mom is at work (don't tell us you don't do the same!).

And we come across this.

Photo copyright © 2013, SayWhat Creations

The artist will post a link where you can purchase this on her facebook page, SayWhat Creations, later today. She assured everyone that yes, it was from a plaster made of her own adorable kitten's nose, but the mold literally takes 2 seconds to set, so no harm was done in the creation of this pendant.

So...cool or creepy? And would you buy? Polling beings in the comments section...now.


(Almost) Wordless Wednesday



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

'Toon Tuesdays

Last week, Molly Bradenburg, author of The Truth About Cats, gave us an idea of what our world would look like if cats designed our living spaces.

Here, she enlightens us on how dogs can help your design aesthetic:






Be sure to click through to see all the illustrations!  Look for the arrows on the left in the black bar.

Mowzers! "Add drama to a static space" is our fave. What's yours?



Monday, February 11, 2013

Straight Talk: a DVM Goes Dental

_______________________________________
Monday Medical Dental Health Series: Part 2
Previous:    2/4/13: Overview
Next week: 2/11/13: Interview with Dr. Huber, part 2
_______________________________________ 


Dr. Huber with one of her patients
Meet Dr. Sara Huber of Leawood Plaza Animal Hospital, the practice that keeps our herd so robustly healthy. This woman is passionate about her charges.

And when we mentioned recently that we had some questions about pets and dental health, it was clear that this is a subject she's also pretty keen on!

A Tonk's Tail: Do you have any pet peeves about the way most pet owners view dental health?

Dr. Huber: Actually, I have two! The first one is the idea that our pets don't really feel or respond to dental pain to the same degree that humans do.

This could not be more false.

Studies performed in the 90's showed that pets react to the same level of stimulation and have the same physiological responses to pain as humans. Cats will instinctively mask pain to avoid predation (a survival tool from their days in the wild), so it may appear as if they are not in pain when they in fact feel quite a bit of discomfort.

If you see a lesion in a pet’s mouth that may cause pain, address it. It is remarkable how many people will say that they notice a tremendous improvement in their pet's attitude and behavior after addressing dental problems.

ATT: You mentioned a second peeve?

DH: Yes. It's when I hear, "he only has mild tartar buildup, its not a big deal."

Tartar build-up (tanakawho, Creative Commons 2.0)
I often hear pet owners state that a pet has terrible breath but only mild tartar buildup so they don't feel a dental procedure is necessary quite yet. The problem is that by the time you begin to see build-up on the tooth, you’re often seeing just the tip of the iceberg.

Teeth that do not appear diseased can have disease under the gum line that goes all the way to the root. This can only be found by a combination of gentle probing deep below the gum line during the oral exam and cleaning process. 

This physical exam, combined with radiographs (x-rays) can reveal disease to the root and even the surrounding bone.

It’s important to remember that tartar builds up because of the presence of bacteria in the mouth. When the gums and/or roots are diseased, this can then allow a direct route for bacteria to access the rest of the body.

ATT: Which leads to the next question: Can dental disease negatively impact overall health?

DH: In a word, YES.

There has been a lot of research done on this particular topic in both human and veterinary medicine. While it has been difficult to demonstrate a direct cause and effect relationship between periodontal health and systemic health, the evidence suggests that this is the case.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, via Creative Commons 2.0
There have been numerous studies that show an association between oral health and systemic health. If you think about dental disease and what causes it, this makes perfect sense.

Periodontal disease (or disease of the underlying support structures of the tooth) is caused by plaque (bacteria). This plaque becomes mineralized and causes calculus.

As time passes, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) develops and bacteria gain access to the underlying structures of the tooth. This can cause bone loss and damage to the root.

There are numerous blood vessels associate with the teeth and gums. As dental disease progresses, the bacteria associated with the disease can gain access to the blood vessels and circulate through the system.

Research suggests that this can cause disease in the heart, kidneys, liver, and other body systems. Veterinarians will often give animals an injectable form of antibiotic while under anesthesia for a dental cleaning and send pets home on antibiotics to help prevent the spread of harmful oral pathogens.

ATT: Let’s talk for a minute about older pets and dental health. Are there risks associated with age?

DH: I often have clients that have come from other vets tell me that their vets tell them "my cat is too old for anesthesia and the risks outweigh the benefits of the dental procedure." I then ask them to list the specific risks they’re concerned about and any supporting documentation... and they do not have an answer for me.

I guess you could say I have a third pet peeve:  AGE IS NOT A DISEASE!

While it is true that older animals metabolize anesthesia differently than younger animals, age does not preclude a pet from undergoing anesthetic procedures.

Every pet that goes under anesthesia at our clinic (from infant to geriatric) must have a pre-anesthetic blood panel performed. This will often unmask underlying disease that should be addressed before performing anesthesia.

All pets also have a pre-anesthetic ECG (electrical tracing of the heart) to rule out any problems with heart rate or rhythm that might not be heard on a normal physical exam.

Kitty's Pearly Whites (photo: Klauden, Wikimedia Commons)
We tailor our anesthesia protocols for each particular patient, taking into account age, underlying disease, respiratory compromise, etc.

And while under anesthesia, all animals have a continuous ECG, a pulse oximeter reading (oxygenation of the blood), a respiratory monitor, and a blood pressure taken every 3-5 minutes.

This ensures that we have taken every possible measure to keep each pet safe and healthy while under anesthesia. When a pet is recovering they are monitored by a technician for any distress and a veterinarian is always nearby to address any emergent issues.


DH: This brings me to another fact I’d like to discuss: Senior ailments can actually be compounded by dental issues.

Many senior pets suffer from illnesses such as arthritis, kidney dysfunction, liver disease, cancer, etc. that will affect their appetite and attitude. As I mentioned before, dental disease can often cause significant oral pain and can interfere with an animal’s ability and desire to eat.

Consuming a significant quantity of quality calories and protein is essential for a cat that has a systemic disease. If the cat has oral pain, it is often not willing to eat and this will have a negative effect on their ability to fight disease.

Once dental disease is addressed, the painful stimulus in the mouth is removed and the cat will often show a marked increase in food consumption and improvement in their particular disease.

I cannot prove this as being a direct cause an effect relationship but I have seen many senior cats with severe periodontal disease come in with significantly elevated liver enzymes. After their dental cleaning, these enzymes will often be markedly reduced (if not normal).


Next Week: What questions to ask
your vet before a dental procedure


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dog Snorz on Cat Pillows

Recently we were contacted by Steven over at Dog SnorZ about reviewing their products...and a special Valentine's Day offer. (scroll to the end of this post to see offer)


When I asked about their company, Steven told me,
"Today, most pet owners treat their dogs or cats as their children. A majority of those let their pet sleep or cuddle in the bed. Dog SnorZ embraces this wonderful trend by with a line of pillowcases, designed specifically for People who Love their Pets. The pillowcases feature hilarious phrases and cartoons that tell it exactly like it is. The humans may own the home, but the dog - or the cats, in your case - rule the roost."

Did he have us pegged or what?

I have to tell you, what totally sold me on these pillowcases was the new design coming out soon:
"50 Shades of Calico". I just died laughing when I saw that one! Click here to see a sneak peek on their facebook page.

Since it wasn't available yet, Steven and his wife Erica sent us these designs to review:


Complete truth, especially where Maxwell is concerned. Something about this sweet boy's purr is incredibly comforting.

But wait - it's like Steven & Erica knew my cats when they designed these. Look at the other half to this set:


Total Faraday all the way, wouldn't you say?


I was very impressed with the quality of these pillowcases. They're 100% cotton, 330 thread count, with a very nice feel to them. This may seem silly, but they also were sized so that they slid easily over my pillows (and not all pillowcases do).

They sent us a second set, as well. Not sure if you can tell, but Faraday might just approve of the sentiment on this set, too...?



Did I say "50 Shades of Calico" sold me? Well it did, but what really won me over was what I found on their web site:

"We believe passionately about giving back....
 We launched in October 2012, and since launch we have provided support and donations to Whisker City shelter for cats; The Lola Project, which trains PTSD Service Dogs; and Forget Me Not Animal Shelter. We have also supported World Concern and Children International.

In 2013 we will continue to give back and will continue to donate at least 10% of our profits to the wonderful organizations that help animals and children in need."


Now that's the kind of company I can support with my business.

And there's still time for U.S. residents to order a set of these fun pillowcases for your Valentine on Amazon.com - but just barely.

I checked with Steven and Erica and they said that standard shipping is USPS Priority mail 2-3 day delivery, so if you order before 3:00PM PST tomorrow, Monday 2/11, your order should arrive by (or on) Thursday -Valentine’s Day.

Steven did want to emphasize that his big concern is possible delay by the postal service. And that's something that would be out of his hands. He hates disappointing his customers, so please be aware that Steven and Erica are going to hold up their end of the deal - and the rest is up to the good ol' USPS.

Best of all...
if you use promo code "tonktail", you'll get 20% off your order!
(Promo code good through the end of March.)

Be sure to tell them Faraday sent you.  ;-)
___________________________

Many thanks to Dog SnorZ for the pillowcases. Dog SnorZ graciously gave both sets to us to review, but all opinions are strictly our own. We received no compensation other than the pillowcases for this review.



February Flashbacks

Chest flies with only 5 pound weights? Whatta WIMP!
Yes, that's Ryker, helping snoopervise a workout session. Mommy wants you to know she's now up to 10 pound weights for chest flies - HA!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saturday Doubleheader: "Who Let the Dogs Out!"

*gasp* Did someone say DOGS?

Yep. We had heard that Tillman had a show on The Hallmark Channel, but we'd never watched it. In fact, we've seen Tillman on twitter but we've never before seen him skateboard.

But Friday, all that changed. The episode that caught our collective eye was the one featuring BlowPaws 2012. Many of our friends attend BlogPaws, and in fact, we're sending mom as our representative for the very first time this May to BlogPaws 2013!

So we told Mommy she'd better watch - yanno, so she'd know what to wear at the conference so she didn't embarrass us or anything.


Holy cat! What a fun show! We had never seen Tillman do his thing - and can that dog ride a mean skateboard or what. Color us kitties impressed!

And we absolutely loved seeing some of our friends being interviewed about the conference - and loved being able to glimpse a bit of what the conference will be like. We're excited we'll be represented out there this year and expect our mom to learn loads of cool stuff that she can then put to good use on our behalf.

Mom was especially pleased to see the segment on brushing your pet's teeth since this is so important - and since February is Pet Dental Health Month.

(If you are on the fence about whether or not it's important to clean your pet's teeth, you won't want to miss the first of a new 2-part post coming this Monday, right here, as veterinarian Dr. Sara Huber talks about the dangers of dental disease in older pets...and whether or not they truly feel dental pain like humans do.)

At this point, we discovered this lovely contest being hosted by Tillman over on his blog: they're giving away a 3-night hotel package and a BlogPaws Conference pass to all pet bloggers who post about the show and contest before 11:59 PM (EST) tomorrow. Count us in!

Anyone care to join us?



***
Purrs for Sammy from Animal Shelter Volunteer Life - he's at the emergency vet right now....
(Saturday 7 PM CST)




Saturday Photohunt: Promise

The promise of:
a Rumble. 
In 3...2...



***



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










Friday, February 8, 2013

"Fun Finds" Friday



 This is a random gathering of pet-related things we thought you might find interesting. 
(Okay, and a lot of it is from Mommy's snoop time on Pinterest!)


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.

***
Puppy Paininis anyone?



Bed Bath & Beyond offers this Doggie Biscuit Maker Kit for order online. 
It's priced at $29.99 and comes with six different shaped biscuit cutters plus a decorating kit.
Our kitties would be green with envy -- if they were the kind of cats who actually liked treats!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday Trivia: Don't get your back up!

Who knew this phrase was animal-related?


Yup, kinda self-explanatory. And we have good ol' language maven Richard Lederer to thank for this one too.

"When a cat is attacked by a dog or other animals," he writes, "it aggressively arches its back, a response that suggested the phrase to get one's back up to describe humans aroused into anger."

__________
Source: Richard Lederer, host of "A Way With Words," on KPBS, San Diego Public Radio
Image courtesy Shoeboxblog.com. Used with permission.
__________

(We'd appreciate your kind thoughts tomorrow, as Maxwell goes in to have his teeth cleaned...!)


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Late afternoon sunlight snoozing session. Bounced a white card into Maxwell's face for a soft light to accent his beautiful eyes. A golden day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

'Toon Tuesdays

Cartoonist Molly Bradenburg, author of The Truth About Cats recently posted this ideabook in the "Fun Houzz" section of houzz.com entitled "If Cats Could Design."





(click the arrows on the left size of the black bar to scroll through all images)

Oh yeah. We can see our crew really going for some of these ideas!

Next Tuesday:  "If dogs could design"...!


Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Medical: Pet Dental Health Month

As you may have already heard, February is Pet Dental Health Month.

Did you know that many experts believe dental disease is the number one disease seen by veterinarians? Almost all adult dogs and cats have some form of it.

Inflamed gums around fang & molars from plaque
Photo: Marco d'Itri via Creative Commons 2.0
Over 75% of cats who have their teeth cleaned suffer from tooth resorption and over 80% of dogs over age 5 have periodontal disease. And tartar buildup is common to both.

Why cats are prone to tooth resorption while dogs are more impacted by periodontal disease is a mystery.

Tooth resorption sounds almost like an autoimmune disease: the cat’s own cells attack and wear away at his tooth until it is destroyed. The cause is unknown.

Periodontal disease in pets is the same as it is in humans: inflammation around the tooth where the gums pull away and form infected pockets that begin to break down the bone and connective tissue that holds teeth in place.

Needless to say…both are bad for your pet!

There’s this odd phenomenon that occurs when talking about tooth care – and it happens to both humans and pets. People tend to place less importance on dental care than they do basic medical care.

Why is this so? It’s odd, but we tend to forget that our mouth is connected to our body. Most people don’t consider that bacteria thriving in tooth decay can enter the bloodstream and infect critical organs such as the heart, liver or kidneys.

That’s true both for people and for pets.

In older cats especially, oral infections can have a damaging impact on the kidneys. And by the way, renal failure (kidney disease)? It's irreversible. Unlike humans, dialysis is not readily available as a treatment option for failing kidneys, and it's very difficult to administer. And though there have been successful kidney transplants in cats, it's expensive and comes with its own set of complications. Bottom line: help keep your cat's kidneys healthy by keeping his teeth healthy.


Good dental care isn’t that difficult if approached properly, and Dr. Jean Hofve of Little Big Cat has outlined a good five-step plan to get your cat used to daily brushing that works – if you commit to sticking with it. And there are additives you can put in your pet's drinking water that help fight plaque and are Veterinary Oral Health Care approved.

In addition, annual (and depending on the breed, sometimes twice-annual) professional cleaning can work to prevent major dental catastrophes down the line as your pet ages.

Have you ever scheduled a dental cleaning for your pet? Now might be an excellent time to do so, as many veterinarians offer discounts on routine cleaning during February, in honor of Pet Dental Heath Month.

Ours does, and Faraday and Maxwell both have appointments this month.


Next week: One DVM goes
dental (that's dental, not mental!)

over your pets and their teeth. 

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Sources:

Little Big Cat: Dentistry for Cats
Animal Medical Center: Dentistry
Trupanion Insurance: Breeds that commonly suffer Respiratory Distress
Ped Meds Online: Tonkinese Health Issues
Underlying Causes of Tooth Resorption
National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research: on peridontitis