Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Fashion Faux Paws

Today's fashion faux paw is as plain as the nose on your face.
And, as you humans have much larger noses than mine (and, well, let's face it: they're not nearly as adorable as my little pink one), I fail to see how anyone could miss it.

True Fashionistas watch the Kitten Bowl, not the Super Bowl.

 From 11 AM - 8 PM, CST, February 2nd. Only on The Hallmark Channel.

I rest my case. 

(for more adorable videos, visit the Kitten Bowl page here!)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Trivia: In a pig's eye!

In the past year, a few shelters in our city have housed the occasional potbellied pig - at least until its owner was located. (can you microchip a pig? we assume so.)

That gave us the idea for today's phrase: "In a pig's eye!"

Surprisingly to us, this phrase did not trace its roots back to a pig - nor any animal, in fact. Except for the human animal.

Portrait of a Saxon Princess, by Lucas
Cranach the Elder, 1517. Public Domain

The Oxford English Dictionary pins the origin of this phrase back to a word used in the late 14th century.

“Piga” was the Saxon word for “girl” and “pigsney” an endearment used for a beloved girl or sweetheart.

Probably the oldest use in print dates back to Chaucer’s “Miller’s Tale” in 1390:

“Hir shoes were laced on hir legges hye; She was a prymerole, a piggesnye, For any lord to leggen in his bedde.”

Later, though, the OED tells us the term began to be used in a derogatory fashion. And by the mid-1800’s its use was almost exclusively associated with an exclamation of derision and disbelief – the same as it is today.

We traced its first use in print based on the modern definition to a former soldier named J. Jacob Oswandel, who fought in the Mexican-American War. In his 1847 memoir, entitled “Notes on the Mexican War,” he wrote:

“Nicholas P. Trist, Commissioner, is on his way to negotiate with the Mexican government to make peace. How are you peace—peace in a pig's eye.”

Baby Potbellied pig - eyeing you!  Photo: Marianne Perdomo



Chaucer Miller's Tale, line 3268, c 1390.

The Oxford English Dictionary 

Word Origins
Online Etymology Dictionary
The Stack Exchange - English Questions

Thursday Extra: Drew's Happy Ever After

Remember Drew? Our adorable little marmalade boy with a big heart? (Quite literally)

We thought you'd love seeing him in his new home.
Watching "Horton Hears a Who" with his new girl.

Photo used with permission.

Can I get a squee?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Bully.

Would you like to see why we couldn't adopt Drew?

"I'm the Boss of You, Allie!"

"Uh, okay, so maybe not."

"Sheesh! I was just kidding!"

Next: (not for the faint of heart) The Standoff, in Living Color. (Before Allie turned the tide)

[Allie wasn't really trapped into a corner. The cat tree was just below her, and the cats frequently jump down into its upper level from just that position. And Faraday is not allowed this behavior normally. We stop him if we're home to see it. ]

Wednesday's Waif: Diamond

Who's black and white and adorable all over?


"I'm a very handsome, soft, short-haired boy with one of the cutest faces around, or so I've been told. I was roaming the streets as a stray kitty, but fortunately a nice lady took me in.

She couldn't keep me, so she did a wonderful thing by bringing me here to Wayside, where I can receive food, shelter and love while I wait for my forever person or people to come in and fall in love with me.

My rescuer says I'm an independent, friendly kitty who likes to be petted. However, I can be a little swatty and nippy on occasion, so it would be best if I'm adopted by an experienced owner who is willing to work with me on my kitty manners.

When they did my Felineality test here at Wayside, they said I'm a Secret Admirer. That means I tend to be timid in new situations, but I do love people. When you're home, I will want to be with you, and when you're away, I'll be thinking of you.

I may never be the bravest cat around, but I could be one of the most loving. If you're looking for a cute boy kitty to share your life with, please ask for me, Diamond!

Love, Diamond"

Don't you think Diamonds are a human's best friend?
This Diamond is available for adoption today, at Wayside Waifs!

Would you like to see this boy in action?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

'Toon Tuesdays: Polar Bear?

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, January 27, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Pet Food Recall

The FDA just published this information today on their Pet Food Recalls page (see link at bottom):

"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 25, 2014 -

PMI Nutrition, LLC (PMI), Arden Hills, Minn., has initiated a voluntary recall of its 20 lb. bags of Red Flannel® Cat Formula cat food for possible Salmonella contamination.

There have been no reports of illness related to this product to date. This recall is being issued out of an abundance of caution after routine testing by the FDA Detroit District Office identified possible Salmonella contamination.

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. 

Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers. 

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.

If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. 

Red Flannel® Cat Food was manufactured by a third-party manufacturer for PMI.

The product was sold through dealers to customers distributed in the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

The lot number is printed on the lower back side of the bag in a white box on the right-hand side.

The lot number will be preceded by a time stamp that will be unique to each bag.

The lot number and best-by date impacted by this recall are as follows:
  • Best by 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A (lot number) 

The UPC code for the recalled product is: 7 42869 00058 5.

No other products/lot numbers are affected by this recall. Customers should immediately discontinue use of and return impacted product to their dealer for a full refund or replacement. We continue to work with impacted dealers and distributors to trace the bags.

For more information on the recall, customers can contact the customer service line for PMI products at 1-800-332-4738. Customer service representatives will be available Sunday, Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST and Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST."



FDA Animal & Veterinary: Recalls

Maxwell's Top Video Pick, January 2014

Being rather science- and engineering-minded, Maxwell is excited to present the following for your viewing pleasure:

An Engineer's Guide to Cats 2.0 - The Sequel.

Maxie particularly appreciates Oscar's attempts to master time travel and wonders if he might not be interested in collaborating with such noted Experimentalists as Nissy and his brethren....?

We're particularly fond of this crew of engineers as they live and work just down the highway a stretch. Why, they're practically neighbors and all!

Fire Destroys Cat Rescue, Funds Needed

On Friday, January 24th, many heard the news of a fire that swept through a Mansfield, Ohio shelter. It killed three cats at the STOP Rescue Shelter (STOP stands for Stop The Overpopulation of Pets). Currently 42 cats are in intensive care at a veterinary clinic, and it is uncertain if all of them will survive.

One thing we do know: this nonprofit shelter has rehomed cats in need for over 25 years in Ohio, saving many that were considered unadoptable.  And now STOP is the one in need.

Can you help?

Clicking on the image below will take you to GoFundMe's Disastery Recovery Fund - a Certified Charity.

In many cases GoFundMe sites are not tax deductible, so if you prefer to give directly to the shelter, you can mail your check to:

Stop The Overpopulation of Pets Inc. 
1152 Lexington Ave. 
Mansfield, OH 44907 
Phone: 419 774-1738 
(afternoons or evenings) 

Any amount will help. You will receive the undying thanks of everyone associated with STOP.

You have our most sincere thanks, as well.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Silhouette

Sunday's Shelter Sweetheart: Lynette

"Mature Girlcat seeks Warm Home"

Do you think being a bit older is a bad thing? Just think of all the experience Lynette has had: purring, cuddling, rubbing against your legs, keeping you warm at night.

Younger kitties are highly overrated!

"I'm Lynette, a beautiful lady, mellow with maturity.

Up until now, I've led a wonderful life as a cherished pet in a loving home. I know what characteristics a feline needs to be a true companion, and I have that personality and wisdom to share. I am somewhat shy and timid, but that's only natural with all the changes I've been through.

You see, the human I've been with my whole 13 years has fallen too ill to care for me, and I've been a bit sad and bewildered to find myself in a shelter. But through it all, the love I have in my heart has never faltered. Not one bit.

I'm sweet and loving and not afraid to show my affection. And I know that once I'm in my new forever home, I will finally be able to completely relax and show you just what a wonderful kitty I truly am. All I really need is someone to love again.

Won't you please give me my second chance? I may never be the bravest kitty in the world, but I may very well be the most loving companion a person can have.

Waiting with love,

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Photohunt: Vast + Cat Art Hop

Maxwell's reaction to the vastness of the Universe.
And a bonus Fangs photo.

For more Saturday Photohunt fun, check out these entries by other bloggers here!
And for the Caturday Cat Art Blog Hop, we show you how this vastness completely blows Maxwell's mind!

 For more Caturday Cat Art fun, check out these entries by other bloggers at Athena's new hop HERE!

Our hearts go out to Tonya at the loss of her beloved baby:

 Holding you close in our hearts at this time
Prancer Pie is loved and never forgotten.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fangs on Friday

A new series of photos for 2014, inspired by our Fearless Feline, Maxwell. 

Allie: "Just to be clear, Fangs on Friday is not a Boys' Club."


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday Trivia: Cat-eyed

Well, oddly enough this one stumped us!

The definition was easy enough to track down. Noah Webster states it originated from a cat's famed ability to see in low light, or almost-dark conditions. And believe it or not, that was the earliest reference in print that we could find, only dating back to 1828.

We have to thank for a brief reference to an origin date of around 1605, but the site didn't bother to explain to us why they chose that date, nor give us any specifics on where it was used.

Try as we might, the earliest use of this phrase in print that we could find (other than in a dictionary or reference book) is from Arthur Stringer’s The Prairie Wife, written in 1915.

And we know it was in use prior to that!

We suspect our inability to track this one down might stem from the fact that it is so ubiquitous.

Faraday, being "cat-eyed" about it all.

Oh, and no, cats cannot see "in the dark." They need some form of light, however weak, to make out objects. And cats like Faraday and Maxwell don't see as well in the dark as Allie does!


Webster, Noah. Entry for 'Cat-Eyed'. Noah Webster's American Dictionary. 1828.
Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Giving the Derivation, Source, Or Origin of Common Phrases, Allusions, and Words that Have a Tale to Tell, by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer. Cassell, 1895.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday


Wednesday's Waif: The Glamorous Miss Monroe

We cannot wait for you to hear what our Miss Monroe has to say for herself!
Isn't she a stunner?

"Well helloooo, dahlings. My name is Monroe, as in Marilyn Monroe.

Simply put, I am an amazing princess. I have gawgeous, black fur with a bit of white under my chin and striking golden eyes.

OK....I'll just say it..... I am the most beautiful cat here.

I am a great lap cat with the cutest, petite frame. I also love to play!! So you are probably wondering why I have been here more than 190 days.   *sigh* furever person just hasn't stopped in for a visit yet. You see, I am a friendly cat, but when I sense you aren't the right human for me, I can be a bit nippy. I also don't like having my paws or tail touched. A beauty queen needs her space you know. With this in mind, I would prefer an adult-only home, where I can live like the queen I was intended to be.

So come on in and meet me.....perhaps, you are the one I have been waiting to love.....and we will live happily ever after.

'Give a girl the right human, and she can conquer the world.'

 - Monroe"

Monroe is currently at Allie's Alma mater:

Would you like to see this glam girl in action? Here's her video!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

'Toon Tuesdays: Going Through Withdrawal

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, January 20, 2014

Monday Medical: 2014 research news

In December, the Winn Feline Foundation awarded five new grants for 2014. Two of them we’re terribly excited about, as they focus on research to find a cure for FIP – feline infectious peritonitis.

These grants aim to find both a cure and a vaccine.
Photo: @Doug88888

The first is funding given to Dr. Neils Pederson of the University of California, Davis for his continuing research into the use of first-generation anti-corona viral drugs as a potential way to safely and effectively treat cats with FIP.

The second is awarded to Dr. Rebecca P. Wilkes of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, who plans to study the use of stem cell therapy in an attempt to guide a cat’s own body at a cellular level to inhibit coronavirus replication. Since feline coronavirus develops into fatal FIP, the endgame is to eradicate the deadly disease.

This is good news, and we hope these grants yield successful therapies both to inoculate cats against FIP, and to successfully restore them to health.

We’re proud that a local favorite of ours, the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine, was awarded the remaining three grants!

This new study may help kittens like this one
who suffer feline asthma. Photo: Eirik Newth
First up for them is a grant awarded to Dr. Carol Reinero, Associate Professor and Director of the Comparative Internal Medicine Laboratory. She will study the potential benefits of the drug maropitant as a safe and effective alternative treatment for pet cats with asthma.

Many cats, including our own contributing veterinarian, Dr. Sara Huber of Leawood Plaza Animal Hospital, have cats who suffer from chronic airway inflammation.

Not only can asthma decrease a cat’s quality of life, it can become life threatening, so we’re thrilled to hear of this new endeavor.

The University of Missouri’s second grant is shared between Dr. Leslie Lyons and Dr. Nicholas Dodman of Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

This grant enables these doctors to study the repetitive searching, suckling, chewing and ingestion of non-food items, such as the habit many Siamese and Birman cats have of sucking wool.

It is their hope that they can determine if "wool sucking" has a genetic basis in cats, and if it is in the same genetic area of interest as that in Dobermans exhibiting a similar oral compulsion.

What is it that causes some cats to have a wool fetish?
This grant aims to find out. Photo: juliemacnam

The final grant awarded to the University of Missouri is a Genome Sequencing Initiative that aims to wholly sequence 9 cats. These cats have been identified as having certain different genetic disease traits.

The hope is that sequencing these cats will provide better insights into markers for these diseases found in the average house cat.

We extend our most sincere hopes that this research, funded by the Winn Feline Foundation, will result in happier, healthier cats in 2014 and beyond.

Monday Medical Disclaimer: 
I am not a veterinarian, and the information provided here is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional veterinary care. Nor should it be used to self-diagnose for your pet. This information is for educational purposes and to provide you with reputable documentation you can use to pose informed questions of your own to the veterinarian of your choice.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Faraday: You going DOWN bro!

Maxwell: Not without a fight! YEEEAAAAAAGHHHHH!

Sunday's Shelter Sweetheart

Did you know black cats are 5 times more likely to be euthanized than other cats? That's so unfair when you consider black cats are some of the most friendly and social on the planet!
Look at this beautiful girl - won't you give her a home?

"I'm a frisky, friendly girl who's waited far too long to find her true forever home. My friends here at Great Plains don't understand how such a sweet, fun, loving girl can be here so long. I guess people don't notice me or pass me by because of my black coat. But it's soft and shiny and so pretty, and I have the cutest little face and most expressive eyes. 

I just don't think I'm lacking in the beauty department. Do you? I'm for sure not lacking in the heart department. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE people! When you come to see me, I'll jump right down to greet you. I love to be petted and to cuddle and snuggle. 

And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to play, too! I enjoy rambunctious wand games with the volunteers, and I like to get the other kitties here to play chase. My favorite game of all, though, is hide and seek. I just love to hide in paper bags or boxes and play jack-in-the box when someone comes by! 

I was adopted once this past summer. But the people had a big husky dog and some small children who really scared me. I would probably do all right with a cat friendly dog and bigger kids who are respectful to kitties. 

It might take me a few days to adjust, but I promise that once I get to know you, I'll be the best kitty ever! Because I'll be yours!!! I sure hope you'll come soon to meet me. I have lots of fun here and get lots of love, but what I really long for is that special person or family to call my own! 

Love and purrs, Midnight"

Midnight is available for adoption at the Great Plains SPCA Merriam Campus, today!

Would you like to see this sweet girl in action? Here's her video!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Our 1st Caturday Blog Hop: Drew

There's a new Saturday Blog Hop in town, and we thought we'd join in. Hosted by Athena, it's called the Caturday Art Blog Hop. Our first entry is in honor of a little boy-cat who has crossed over to visit us here on Earth for a relatively short time.

But he intends to pack as much fun and love as possible into the time he has here. All he needs now is a family to adopt so that he can begin his journey.

Meet Drew, available for adoption at Wayside Waifs.

About the art: this was actually a screen grab from a video I took this past week, so it's very low resolution. We envision Drew as being a little angel kitty passing through for a brief while to bring a load of kittenish joy to some very lucky human. He comes with one purple platypus stuffie he takes with him everywhere.

For more Caturday Art fun, check out these entries by other bloggers here!

Saturday Photohunt: Ripple

As you saw last Wednesday, Maxwell absolutely loves water.
Here, he waits for the water droplet to make a ripple in the sink....
(oh and a bonus "fangs" shot, too ;-)


For more Saturday Photohunt fun, check out these entries by other bloggers here!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fangs on Friday

A new series for 2014, inspired by our very own Fang-y Feline, Maxwell.

Faraday: "Did you catch them on camera? Look, Max: I've got fangs TOO!"
Maxwell: "uh...where again?"

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Allie likes trees too.


Please note how I'm artistically out of focus so your attention is drawn to the tree? [I suppose it wouldn't be very tasteful to point out that Faraday hogged the limelight in his post, would it?]

Happy New Year, Trees!

At sunset last night, Tu B'Shvat began. 

That's the Jewish New Year for trees (kind of the Jewish Arbor Day).

Happy New Year, Trees!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday's Waif: Chestnut

Baby it's cold outside. 
Wouldn't you like a cat to snuggle up with, to keep warm?

"Hello, My name is Chestnut. 

I'm currently living in a foster home so I can enjoy living with a family until my forever family comes along. 

My foster Mom says I'm a very special girl. I'm polydactyl on all four feet (that just means I have extra toes), I'm bob-tailed, and I'm a torbie. Foster Mom says I'm full of tortitude! 

I've been a little misunderstood in the past. Foster Mom has spent a lot of time with me so she can figure out the kind of family I need. You see, I have boundaries. 

Not everybody understands that. When I first moved into my foster home, I was nervous. Foster Mom learned that I needed extra time to relax and learn to trust. 

Things are much better now. I enjoy my time with my foster family and love just hanging out with them. An experienced cat owner will give me plenty of time to get to know them and will go slow with me. 

Because of my boundaries, I need to be in a home without children. I need to be an only pet as well. 

I really like Foster Mom, but I'm at my most relaxed with Foster Dad, so Foster Mom thinks I prefer men. I'm not very talkative, but I tend to growl and grumble a lot. 

Because of that, Foster Dad calls me Gretchen the Growldactyl. The growling doesn't necessarily mean I'm upset; it's just how I communicate sometimes. 

When I'm being petted I can purr up a storm, too! If you're looking for a unique cat to share your life, I'd be thrilled to have you come meet me! 

Love, Chestnut"

Chestnut is in a foster home right now, and will be adopted out from there.
She's staying with Harvey over at Sebastian the Sensitive Soul,
and is looking for her forever home, thanks to Allie's Alma mater:

Would you like to see this sweet girl in action? Here's her video!

Blog the Change: Compassion Fatigue

We are participating in today's Blog the Change for Animals. Thanks for joining us!

Blog the Change


For those of you who aren't familiar with Compassion Fatigue, it's what can happen when a caregiver (of humans or animals) focuses on others without taking care of themselves.

A few years ago, Wayside Waifs flew in an expert on Compassion Fatigue. I know it's not the same as being there, but the presenter, Jana Svoboda, has also written about it on her blog, and there's some really helpful information there.

Here's how she describes CF:

"Animal shelter workers and other workers in fields where needs outweigh resources, and where empathy is a crucial part of the call to service are at high risk for compassion fatigue.

"Like burnout, CF can suck the joy out of doing important work. But while one can burn out at any job, compassion fatigue is associated with jobs in which the worker is exposed to suffering and trauma.

"Also known as secondary traumatic stress or vicarious trauma, one doesn't have to be the victim of life's precariousness to feel the effects of witnessing it. "

She goes on to talk about something she calls the Troublesome Trifecta that we need to be aware of, and manage for our own mental and emotional health.  This Trifecta a combination of three traits: what she has labeled Big Radar (the ability to take in everything), Big Sensitivity (you just feel everything in a big way) and Big Brains (the need to analyze everything).

If this sounds like it describes you, read on:

The Trifecta can be a double-sided coin when you're engaged in a mission to help save the lives of animals. On the plus side of that coin you'll find a deep empathy, curiosity and creativity. On the other side, however, is the ability to be wounded deeply, feeling overwhelmed and not feeling adequate to meet the needs of your particular calling.

As Jana says, "It's important, beautiful, essential we don't give it up learning how to navigate these beautiful, dangerous waters."  Finding balance in our own lives every day will allow us to avoid Compassion Fatigue, and will in the long run, be better for those sweet animals we so long to help.

I know this is a short Blog the Change for Animal post, and it redirects you to another site, but I feel this is important. And I hope passing this info along can help someone else as much as Jana's lecture helped me.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wednesday's Waif: Bobbi Jo

Baby it's cold outside. 
Wouldn't you like a cat to snuggle up with, to keep warm?

Meet Bobbi Jo, a rare and sassy Orange girl, awaiting her forever home at Allie's Alma mater:

Check out her video! Better yet, come check her out in person!

Tuesday Twofer

So Momma was going through and cleaning up some old SD cards, tossing unusable photos --

Waaaaitaminit. Let's talk about the concept that any photo of me is unusable...? 

*eyeroll* Aaaaanyway, she found a few and had to post. Anyone want to suggest a caption for Faraday's picture? I can think of a few things....

 Unretouched (except to crop). Aren't Maxie's eyes amazing?

This one's screaming for a caption. Any suggestions?