Monday, November 30, 2015

Lounger Wars: Part 2

Allie: You booped me, Maxie? You booped me???
Let's see how you fare with Crouching Girlcat Hidden Whupa$$.

::: ninja cry :::

Maxwell: *counters with a KAPOW to the chin* (ooh, that had to hurt...)

Allie: I didn't want to have to do this, but you asked for it, Maxie...
   :::  Pink Pedi Kitty Crane ::::

Who will win this epic battle?
Stay Tuned....

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Derpy #SundaySelfie

Maxwell doing his best #derpface for today's Sunday Selfie!

Anyone wanna join in?
Momma keeps telling us to stop or our faces will freeze that way. MOL!


We're entering this in the Sunday Selfies blog hop, hosted by the kitties over at The Cat on my Head.

Head on over and see all the other great entries!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Allie's Cameo: More Holiday Previews!

Allie insisted that we share her cameo as well, claiming the holidays couldn't possibly be merry without the presence of a good tuxedo girlcat around.

Frankly, we boyz have learned not to argue with her. But that's okay, cuz we asked mom to include something for the male of the species in the second video.

The tune for this one was written and sung by one of those Shoebox guys our mom knows - Bill's a pretty talented dood!

Okay, this one's for all you mancats out there. Warning: this tune might get your paws tapping a bit!

There are also tons of cool interviews with really talented artists that give you a peek into how they create, like this one:

Finally, we know we've shared this one with you, so feel free to skip it. Even though it was completed weeks ago, our mom still doesn't get tired of watching it. So she made us include it (she's soooo lame).

Stay tuned for more fun! Here's a peek at what our mom will be working on this Monday, called "Snowball Fight"....

The metal arm is holding a string that is attached to the little penguin. It'll "help" him throw his snowballs!

Well, with winter temperatures (and  bit of freezing rain) happening at our home, we're all about that fireplace this weekend - and long, cozy naps.

Stay warm everyone, and have a happy post-Thanksgiving Caturday!


Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Fun: Holiday Previews

Since Thanksgiving's over, it's officially okay to post some of the fun holiday videos our mom has been working on!

(and there might be a feline cameo or two in there.)

Bring on the Cheer!

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Five years ago last month, A Tonk's Tail began.

Some of you have been with us from the beginning, as we took our first fledgling steps on this digital canvas. You were with us when Allie came into our lives, and you were there when we lost Ryker so very suddenly.

Thank you.

You shared our joy as two six month old blue-eyed terrors charmed their way into our lives, and my personal terror they'd be named after elementary particles!

Some of you joined us more recently, and together we've enjoyed moments of mischief and mayhem, of laughter and learning and love.

Thank you.

This year alone we've had the joy of bringing before you 40 Waifs and Shelter Sweeties. Thirty-six of these have found forever families, and we know that a large part of this has been because of you. You cared, and you shared. And we are forever grateful.

We're humbled and amazed at the strength and compassion of the community of animal advocates, a community that spans the globe.

Thank you. 

We want you to know how very thankful we are -- for your friendship, your warm and funny comments, your fellowship and support.

We wouldn't be here if it weren't for you.
So, from all of us to all of you:


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

One Word Wednesday


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

'Toon Tuesdays: Funny But No

Um, no.  Just no.
Dood, that's harsh!

Toon Tuesdays feature animal (and sometimes human) humor created by the peeps over at Shoebox Greetings (a tiny little division of Hallmark) - where our mom works, too!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lounger Wars, Part 1

It's been a while since we shared one of our episodes of Lounger Wars.
Here's our next installment:

Faraday: Maxie, do you sense something....?

Maxwell: you mean, like, disgusted big sister maybe? Uh, no. No. Not at all.

Faraday: That's it, I'm out of here....

Maxwell: *boop* Don't get any ideas, Allie. This is a Mancat Lounger.

Oh Maxie, you shouldn't have done that.

...To Be Continued...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday's Shelter Sweetie: Deanna

"Hello there, human! I'm Deanna. I came to Great Plains as a rescue with 7 (SEVEN!!) newborn babies.

Want to know what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving season?

I got to stay in a lovely foster home while my kids grew big enough to be adopted. And despite all of them being black kitties like me (it's tough for us to find homes, you know), they were all adopted within days.

Now it's my turn to find a forever home."

"I'm a very friendly girl who loves meeting new people. I'm very affectionate and love to be petted. I'm still just a young thing myself, which means I also love to play. Oh, and I'm sure you've noticed -- well, I'm a bit of a looker, if I do say so myself.

How about coming over to meet me? We can be home in time for Thanksgiving!"

"Being around people is where I'm meant to be and I'd love to find a forever home today. The people here are nice and take good care of us, but it's just not the same as a real home.

I'm just an all around fun and interesting lady.....and beautiful to boot! What more could you ask for?

Come visit me soon!


Deanna is available at the Merriam Campus of Great Plains SPCA, today.


Sniffy #SundaySelfie

Faraday demonstrates his nose's prowess...

Wonder what kind of peemail he just received?


We're entering this in the Sunday Selfies blog hop, hosted by the kitties over at The Cat on my Head.

Head on over and see all the other great entries!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Scuffle, Part 2

Remember this expression, from yesterday's Fangs on Friday?
Here's what followed:

Dood, we're not sure we'd mess with a glare like that.
Watch your back, just in case, 'k?


Friday, November 20, 2015

'Ready to Rumble' Fangs?

Oh Maxie, that expression bodes, it does....

But hey, maybe Allie is just complimenting you on your impressive display of fangs?

Nah, we didn't think so either.
Stay tuned for the aftermath, tomorrow....


Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Grass is Greener Inside #petgrass #ad

Remember this forlorn face last Sunday?

This post is sponsored by Pet Grass and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping create awareness about the launch of Whisker Greens but A Tonk's Tail only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Pet Grass is not responsible for the content of this article.

Allie loves her grass. And she's devastated each winter when it dies off and she's left without.
But then this lovely package arrived a week ago.

Max is ready to dive into the package ot Pet Grass
Maxwell: Hmmm, what's this I see? A kitty diving in? Don't mind if I do!
Maxwell, the ever-helpful kitty, immediately offered to assist. Can you see Allie glaring?
Inside was a clear plastic bag filled with three lush Whisker Greens™ from Pet Grass®.

Allie wonders WHEN she'll get to sample!
Allie: Mother, WHY is there plastic between me and all that lovely green goodness?!??

Every package Pet Grass sends you is certified organic wheatgrass, and sold in packs of three.

Faraday: Mommy check it out!  You can SUBSCRIBE us!
Faraday wanted to bring to my attention that you could subscribe to receive fresh grass each month. Or week. Or...

You might have noticed this as an ingredient in your favorite health food smoothie bar. There's a reason people like adding wheatgrass to those smoothies: these plants contains great nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and antioxidants. That same mix of nutrients make Pet Grass a healthy snack for kitties, too!

Licking liips in anticipation
Maxwell: Um, yeahhh. Can't wait to dig in!

The wheatgrass will stay green and fresh for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator - or if your home is like ours, your kitties will want you to leave it out as a decorative and delicious plant around the home.
If you have only one cat, I'd refrigerate them and bring each plant out one at a time, because wheatgrass most definitely has a limited shelf life! I learned that when growing my own a few years back.

Maxie chomps down on the YUMMY grass
In 3...2... (cue shriek from girlcat)
It's also really yummy. According to three kitties in our home. But don't worry, they won't have to fight Marty for them. The thought of a green smoothie makes him, uh, rather green....

Allie runs in to defend her grass from stinky brothers.
Allie: MAXIE! Step AWAY from my GRASS!
Faraday: I count three plants, Allie. One for EACH of us.
Whisker Greens plants all their wheatgrass by hand in real soil to provide the maximum benefits of this nutritional resource. Then these little seeded pots are shipped to your home at just the right stage of development.

Maxie's fixated on this grass
Seriously delish, Momma!

Test Drive Your Own 
& Save 10%

If you want to try some out for yourself (okay, or for your cats if you're not into green smoothies!) you can buy a Whisker Greens 3 Pack for $24.99. And Pet Grass is offering A Tonk's Tail readers a 10% discount on a one-time purchase. Just use promo code tonk10 at checkout.

And if your cat digs in like ours have and you want to keep them in healthy greens all winter long, you can join the Pet Grass subscription service for $22.49 per delivery. You decide when the product ships – weekly, every two weeks, every 3 weeks or once per month.

Whisker Greens Pet Grass is a recently launched company, new to the pet industry.
Want to say hello? Follow them socially!


#TBT Throwback Thursday

Bad cell phone photo of the boyz as babies.

Bookends! Dood, you totally grew into those ears. 


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wordless Epic Battle!

(the carpet was vacuumed immediately after these photos were taken - and I saw all the cardboard scratcher detritus Allie had made!  :-)


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

'Toon Tuesdays: Overheard at Hallmark


Toon Tuesdays feature animal (and sometimes human) humor created by the peeps over at Shoebox Greetings (a tiny little division of Hallmark) - where our mom works, too!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Are Millennials Changing Our Relationship with Cats? #spon

As I mentioned last Sunday, I attended Purina's Better With Pets Summit in early November.

The most interesting moments for me were the two discussion panels. Here are my notes from the one on Millennial cat owners. I thought it was interesting stuff. I hope you enjoy.

The discussion panel was made up of Dr. Hal Herzog, moderator; Sandra Lyn, Purina Behaviorist; Christina Ha, co-founder NYC's Meow Parlour Cat Café and Mikel Delgado, Cat Behaviorist & researcher.
Cats & Millennials: moderator Hal Herzog Ph.D., Sandra Lyn & Mikel Delgado behaviorists
& Christina Ha, NYC Cat Café. Photo copyright ©2015 Nesté Purina. Used with permission.

"Are Millennials changing
  our relationship with cats?"

The panel was moderated by Dr. Hal Herzog, a professor of psychology whose research focuses on human-animal interactions.

The panelists included Purina Behaviorist Sandra Lyn; Christina Ha, co-founder of NYC's first permanent Cat Café, Meow Parlour; and Mikel Delgado, a cat behaviorist and Ph.D. candidate at UC-Berkeley.

Dr. Herzog began by stating that cats are particularly popular as pets among Millennials, with 33% owning one. In fact, Millennials will soon be the largest segment of the population owning cats.

One thing to note, he said, was that expectations are greater among Millennials, because they are hyper-social. (Hyper-social is that always-connected state of being, through mobile devices and on social media.)

Millennial with cat. Photo by depositphotos.

Millennials as a generation have higher expectations on everything - that's the lens through which they live their lives. Google the words "Millenial expectations" and you'll get more than 800,000 results - studies with headlines like "Millennials: a Generation with Unrealistic Expectations." (ouch! harsh, dude!)

The panel's point was that this trait can have an impact on a Millennial's relationship with a cat, too.

Millennials and their
expectations of cats

Christina Ha described how Millennials react to cats when they first enter the café. "Millennials have a lot of expectations, they think cats will immediately come running up to you when you come in. They're more impatient about wanting gratification. On the flip side, if they fall in love, they fall in love very hard and very fast." 

"We spend a lot of time talking to customers about their own cats. People love sharing their stories about their cats, and surprisingly some of them aren't what we would consider to be a cat person."

Huh? Then why are they in a cat café?
Here's what she meant by that.

"You can usually tell if someone's a cat person [by their actions]. If they come in, pick up a cat toy and start poking a cat with it…? Not a cat person. We’ll then ask them, 'hey, do you like being poked by something???'"

Then the lightbulb goes off.

She spends a lot of time explaining things to these cat owners who aren't really cat people yet.
Things like:
"A real cat person can [come in and] soon be covered in cats.
That's because they don't make eye contact with cats. They let the cats come to them."
"No two cats are the same. Have expectations of your cat that are realistic.
And accept him for who he is."

Their reaction?  "OMIGOD, I've been playing with my cat wrong for years!"

About that internet
cat phenomenon

So are the ever-connected, hyper-social Millennials the only generation that benefits from the internet cat phenomenon?

Herzog says no. Regardless of age, with cat videos "even if you don't own a cat you still benefit from cats in your life." Sandra Lyn agreed. "When we get upset and go into a corner and turn on YouTube to watch cat videos, we feel better," she said. No argument there.

Social media may be changing what defines a cat person, too.

Mikel Delgado believes one reason cat videos have such internet appeal is because cats are a little harder to read than dogs. "We can kind of try to fill in the blanks of what's going on in their mind," she said.

There's a stereotype that cat people tend to be less extroverted than dog people, but her "fill in the blanks" observation implies that a 'cat person' could be defined as anyone drawn to the subtlety of cats' behavior.

Anyone wanna guess what's going on in his mind?

 The Cat-Human Relationship

It isn't just about what we get out of it, Sandra Lyn warned.
It's about what the cat gets out of this. Both parties need to benefit.

She went on to say that there is still a lot of opportunity to do research around cat cognition and social behavior. And there is room for a lot of education on what we do know.

That's when they launched into the real meat of their discussion:
What conventional wisdom do we need to overturn, what attitudes need to change in order to make cats' lives better?

The most important thing to understand about cats is they're not small humans. They have species-specific needs. They are predators but they are also prey, so they need to feel safe.

Let me repeat that: They are predators but they are also prey.

We need to see things from our cats' point of view. To them, we are the predator. We are so much bigger. We are apex. In their minds, they are our (potential) prey.

And our homes are not their natural habitat.

Is Allie looking at a photo of her natural habitat, while sitting in mine?

What changes can we make in our environment, then, to ensure they feel safe in it?

Honestly, if you're a passionate cat owner, chances are you know a cat needs vertical space, and you know it's important for them to have exercise and mental stimulation. But have you ever thought about why they may need it?

The way we maneuver through our own homes, the bursts of laughter (or yelling) that come about through the natural course of life...

All these things, from our cats' perspective, can feel threatening. Unsafe.

It's not just physical changes we should be considering, but also mental. Changes we need to make in our attitudes and actions. One really good example is how terrified Faraday is of plastic trash bags (sorry kid, I'm so outing you). So I adapt. I make sure I don't open one with a sharp click of my wrist that makes such a frightening noise when he's around. I try to make sure my home feels more like a library than a three-ring circus.

And every time I set aside time in my schedule to play with them, I'm engaging them in an action that instills confidence and promotes greater comfort in this foreign environment they now call home. 

Myth Busting

Are cats naturally standoffish and aloof, or are they simply scared and uncomfortable with their surroundings?  As we now know, it's the latter.

And just like humans, cats don't all share the same temperament. So what might be mild discomfort in one cat could manifest as very scared in another cat.

This is why it's so important to provide physical and environmental enrichment.

Faraday's preferred enrichment: TOYS.

Sandra Lyn said we need to make sure cats are comfortable in their environment and that they have some control over it. 

She emphasized that if you can, start socializing a cat early -- between 2 to 7 weeks of age. You're preparing them for an environment that is not their natural one.

And it's a lifelong process, she stated. You never stop socializing a cat. It's a constant drumbeat of reassurance: it's okay, you're safe.

Is my cat doing
this on purpose?

Sandra Lyn gets a lot of questions about whether a cat's behavior is "done with intention."
Her answer? No. It’s simply not true that a cat would "act out" like a child in his "terrible twos."

But sadly, there’s not much research about cat cognitive abilities and social behavior, so we tend to infer a lot of our own social prejudice onto their behavior.

Remember, she said, they have a shorter 'domestication evolution' history. We’re asking them to cope in their new environment, and a lot of what people see as intent is a coping mechanism. There's no intention behind it, no malice. 

Cat café owner Christina Ha added, "you can't shove a super shy cat into a public situation and force them to adapt. You must create an environment that is safe. And that can sometimes take a really long time. But it's worth it."

Back to those Millennials

"Our hope,"  Delgado adds "is that cat cafés might change social interactions." The majority of the people who frequent cat cafés are Millennials because of social sharing about them. And that provides a huge opportunity to educate.

"On social," Christina said, "we can provide very concise information. Helpful tidbits like this Facebook post: 'don't forget to play with your cat for at least fifteen minutes each day. It relieves boredom and helps make them feel more relaxed and confident.' "

"We think cats are upset with us or we're not good enough for them, but social media is an opportunity for us to educate people on misinformation people have about cats. And answer questions, such as 'Is this cat happy or stressed?' 'Is this idiosyncratic behavior or is it normal?'

"Not preachy, just facts. We can do this through social media. We can learn in a very fun way."
Lyn agreed. "Bite sized information is important. How can we get that info 'just in time', to the public. Kind of like vitamins."

The good news? Studies have indicated Millennials focus more attention on their cats than previous generations, and they're more willing to spend money on their healthcare than older generations, too.

Mikel Delgado ended the discussion with this:  "There's a myth that cats are low maintenance. That's not true. But what you have to consider is... maintenance is not a bad thing. Like any relationship, cats give back to you what you give to them."

This post is sponsored by Nestlé Purina Pet Care. We are being compensated for writing this #BetterWithPets article, but regardless of the payment received, A Tonk's Tail only shares content we feel our readers will benefit from. Our posts always reflect our honest and unbiased opinions. Nestlé Purina is not responsible for the content of this article.

You can find Nestlé Purina Pet Care at these links: