Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday Photohunt: FLASH!

This is our entry in today's Saturday Photohunt, hosted by Sandi at the Whistlestop Cafe.

What a camera flash does to Maxwell's eyes. To read why, see Monday's post!

We're also participating in Weekend Cat Blogging #368 hosted today by Judi, Jules & Vincent.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Epic Advertising FAIL!

Okay peeps, I HAVE CAT just broke the news about a new ad campaign by the Lung Cancer Alliance.
Tell us what you think.

 Okay, now we'll tell you what we think.

I've worked in advertising, marketing and PR for a gazillion many years. This is a sterling example of a creative concept gone wrong.

It's the kind of idea an eager intern would come up with, not knowing any better. Usually somewhere along the line, someone older and wiser stops a campaign like this by explaining to said intern the difference between delivering the unexpected and delivering offensive content.

This campaign crosses the line by offending major segments of the population: people who are older, people who see themselves as hip, people who have tattoos. (If you care to be further offended, you can see the rest of the campaign at

I understand the desire to deliver the unexpected. Done well (oh, and isn't THAT a key ingredient!) it can be incredibly effective. In fact, making people go "huh?!?!" is my most favorite kind of creative treatment. Take a look at an ad my former agency designed and you'll see what I mean. It crashes together two completely unrelated ideas to get your attention and make a point. It even *gasp!* uses a stereotype, but (IMO, at least) not in an offensive way.

Again, we'd like to hear from you. Tell us what you think. Did the Lung Cancer Alliance go too far?

If so, please tell the Lung Cancer Alliance that their ad agency failed them in a major way when they delivered such an offensive creative treatment for their latest ad campaign. Ask them to pull the campaign immediately. An organization that does good, like the Alliance, cannot afford bad publicity.

You can tweet them at @LCAorg or email them at

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Write a Post, Feed a Dog!

As the family SpokesCat for shelter animals, I am excited to announce our participation in Pedigree's "Write a Post, Help a Dog" Blog Hop! This year marks the third year in a row that Pedigree has committed to donate a 17 pound bag of food for every blog that participates by writing about their commitment to helping homeless dogs find forever homes.

Pedigree understand that over 4 million dogs are made homeless each year, and they want to help. So in December of 2011, they entered into partmership with Rescue Bank, a national food distribution network, to help bring food to hungry shelter dogs in America.

How can you help? Easy!
Just write a blog post telling everyone about Pedigree's program, and a 17 pound bag will be donated to needy pups. 

Here's how to participate:  

  1. Write a blog post mentioning Pedigree's commitment to helping homeless dogs find loving forever families.
  2. Next, link your blog post to the Pedigree Blog Hop.
  3. Then feel free to browse through all the great posts already participating - and be sure to enter yourself into the giveaways that some of the bloggers are hosting.
  4. Have fun, and feel good about the fact you have done something to help! 

Many thanks to Pedigree for their generosity in partnering with Rescue Bank to feed hungry shelter dogs nationwide!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Please don’t forget to keep nominating your favorite blogs for a Pettie Award and the chance to win $10K for a rescue or shelter of your choice. Nominations close on June 29th and you can vote once a day until then!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

'Toon Tuesdays

They just ooze Hollywood ennui, don't they?
(Not nearly as exciting as Real Housecats of the Blogosphere, though...right Katie?)


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!

Please don’t forget to keep nominating your favorite blogs for a Pettie Award and the chance to win $10K for a rescue or shelter of your choice. Nominations close on June 29th and you can vote once a day until then!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Medical Issues: why do pets' eyes glow?

Okay, this isn't technically a medical "issue" - but hey, it's a cool topic!

If you’ve taken many pictures of your dog, cat or ferret, then you’ve seen it: laser eyes!

It’s a phenomenon specific to only a handful of animals; other species like rabbits, guinea pigs – even humans – just don’t genetically have that "special glow."

Those that do are gifted with a unique surface in the eye behind the retina called the tapetum lucidum. This special surface is composed of 15 layers of glittery cells that combine to create a single reflective layer to capture and enhance light.

Any light that gets past the retina is bounced back at it, giving the photoreceptors in the retina more data - and a second chance - to resolve the image.

Basically it functions a bit like nature’s very own night vision goggles! Cool, huh?

Why do Siamese eyes
glow red instead of green?

I had never really paid any attention to the color of the boys' eyes when they glowed until someone mentioned this to me. The claim was that Siamese eyes glowed red while all other breeds glowed green.

Of course, I had to test this empirically. So out came the camera.

Test Subject One: Allie

Yep, green!

Test Subject Two: Faraday

Look! Red eyes!

Test Subject Three: Maxwell

Seriously red eyes! We were shocked at how red, in fact.
(This photo undoctored)

Of course, that begs the question, what causes this?

Contrary to what Wikipedia states (you do know Wikipedia can be wrong, don't you?) Siamese cats do have that cool night vision layer behind their retinas. But unlike other breeds, there is a hereditary abnormality in Siamese that weakens the tapetum lucidum. So a Siamese cat probably won't see as well in the dark as other kitties.

Since Faraday is a Tonkinese (a blend of Siamese and Burmese), you'll notice his eyes are less red than Maxwell's. He probably sees better at night that Maxie.

So there you have it.
Cats: cool, built-in night vision goggles.
What's not to love?

article sources:

"Hereditary abnormality in tapetum lucidum of the Siamese cats. A histochemical and quantitative study,"  Histochemistry, 1982;75(1):1-9. Published by National Institute of Health's PubMed site 

"Why do animals' eyes glow in the dark?" - NPR

"How Stuff Works" 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"I'm Furry & I Know It" promo video for TNR

An Israeli TNR group contacted us last weekend with a link to this video and asked us to share. We think they're wonderful for promoting Trap/Neuter/Return in Israel - a country with a huge feral cat population.

Kudos to Tel Aviv - we hear that city is supporting TNR now too!!

This is a parody to the song "I'm Sexy & I  Know It" (full disclosure: contains mild profanity).

(Note: comment moderation has been turned on, as TNR often attracts flame comments. So please be patient if your comment isn't immediately visible. Thanks!)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The People vs. Faraday

Allie: I call the toilet paper holder as witness...

"You can clearly see the wounds inflicted, Your Honor"

"I was framed, I tell you! Framed!"

Friday, June 22, 2012

Allie Observes International Box Day, too!

Being the gracious girl that I am, I allowed Maxwell to show you his boxes first. Though I am oldest. And etiquette states that girls traditionally should go first. Not that I'm complaining.


Obviously, we saved the Best for last!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Maxwell Observes International Box Day

You might have noticed we missed International Box Day.
That would be because Someone is Out of Town and not monitoring our blog with the attention we have come to expect from her.

So I asked Papa to help me observe International Box Day without her.

He did pretty good, if I do say so myself!

Kitteh levitation: doin' it right!

Who needs flying carpets when you have a flying BOX?

"Kansas City Air Traffic,
this is Flying Box Maxwell, do you copy?

My "male model" look


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Momma, seriously, you need to go shopping. And...really. Batteries???

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

'Toon Tuesdays


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, June 18, 2012

While You Were Out...

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Medical Mondays for an Important Announcement:

Mommy has abandoned us.

Yeah, we woke up to find the big black thing she puts her clothes in, sitting by the front door.

Then she kissed us all and left us.
All alone. With Papa.

Oh dear, oh dear *fret*fret*
Do you think Daddy knows how to do mani/pedis while she's gone???

Here's where Mommy's working this week: at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Bellagio Caesars Palace Night August 2005

She says they have this wonderful garden:

Gartenanlage 2 Bellagio Vegas

And they're working with this great act, called Team iLuminate.
You might remember them if you're a fan of the TV show, "America's Got Talent." They were the finalists last year!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Our Five Fave Tweets: June 2012

Momma! WHY do you keep telling me I have MOXIE??? "My Maxie has Moxie," she sez. I'd rather have treats.

*hurt look*  bb-b-but Mommy, you SAID "pee-mail" ....

*prim voice* CAT MATH: the area of the bed is directly proportional to the square of the circumference of me, Max & Faraday.  In other words, IT'S OURS.

Due to the fact there are 3 kitties and only 2 humans in our (demoCATic) home, we hold the Majority. WE HAVE JUST PASSED A RESOLUTION: canned food only!

*mumbles past mouthful of cheese* mmmfffwha-? Top layer of your salad not for MEEEE? *sniff* Who knew humans could be so selfish....

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday Photohunt: Ripple

Today's Photohunt is dedicated to Sebastian the Sensitive Soul who lost his valiant battle last night.

His loss has rippled through the community of animal lovers, bloggers, facebook friends and twitter peeps.

Webster's defines the ripple effect as a gradually spreading influence. That perfectly describes Sebastian's life, first as a Waif at Wayside, as a beloved animal companion to Amy and Lee, and then as an influential personality who made many a friend and touched many a life in social media. will be missed.

If you would like to send a card to Amy & Lee on the loss of their beloved baby, please email us and we will send you their address. Our email is ryker (at) atonkstail (dot) com.

Friday, June 15, 2012

They match my eyes!

Maxwell, inspecting the hydrangeas

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Faraday: "So I said to the guy, I said..."      Maxwell: *yawwwwwn*

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

'Toon Tuesdays


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, June 11, 2012

Monday Medical Issues: Heartworms

Just a few days ago, a fellow shelter volunteer posted that she’d taken her cats in for their annual exams, only to find out that one of them tested positive for heartworm antibodies.

She posted this news as a warning to friends and fellow volunteers: when choosing flea medication, be sure to choose a brand that will protect your cat from heartworms as well.

Copyright American Heartworm Society
Here in the Midwest, heartworm in cats is on the rise.

Just a few years ago, it was unheard of to think a cat was susceptible to heartworms.

In fact had you asked me back then, I would have (mistakenly) voiced the opinion that heartworms are a canine
disease – not feline.

I could not have been more wrong.

I feel for my friend and fellow volunteer. I had the very same scare with Allie last summer. I was never more shocked than when I heard my vet tell me he wanted to test Allie for heartworms. 

Fortunately for us, Allie tested negative. The poor girl got preventive medication slapped on her so fast she didn’t know what hit her! Unfortunately for my friend, her kitty is already infected.

Heartworms are a lot more serious in cats and small dog breeds than they are in large dogs. And unfortunately for us cat owners, there is no treatment that will get rid of them. And heartworm medication for dogs is fatal to cats. So for kitties, this is a disease with no cure. All  a vet can do is treat the symptoms in your cat for as long as the heartworm lives.

The reason it's so dangerous in cats and very small dogs is because of the stress the heartworm places on the animal’s body. A heartworm will take up residence in the heart and pulmonary system, where it will grow to full size and reside for roughly three years before its life cycle ends. During that time, a cat or small dog will often exhibit asthma-like breathing problems.

At its time of death, the heartworm then sheds a protein that places additional stress on the animal’s system, which can lead to heart failure.
Often there is no warning: the only symptom is sudden death.

Dogs and cats are infected with heartworms by being bitten by a mosquito. Before you say, “but my cat is indoor-only!” let me share with you the single statement that made me into a believer: it only takes one.

Yes, my cats are indoor-only. But despite the care I take with keeping the doors shut (after all, I wouldn’t want the cats to get out now, would I?) there is invariably the mosquito or three that manage to get into the house during the summer. And with the mild winter we’ve had this year, I spotted our first mosquitos back in February.

My friend’s vet gave her the same information our vet gave me when examining Allie: heartworms in cats is on the rise. Both vets testified to having treated more cats for heartworm in 2011 than they did dogs.  We assume this is mainly because people aren’t used to treating their indoor cats with heartworm preventive medication and so the cats aren't protected

Fortunately, protection is simple and effective – and since the medication is combined with flea and tick medication,  you’re still dealing with the application of a single monthly dose.

If you have any questions about heartworm please don’t hesitate to seek more information from your vet.  And remember: never ever ever give heartworm medication meant for a dog to your cat – it can be fatal!