Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Fashion Faux Paws

"I know Geek Glasses are in, but those lenses are larger than my head!"

Everything in moderation, says Allie.

Besides, it's obvious that cat eye glasses are The Rage.
Geek Glasses are so yesterday.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Trivia: Little Cat Feet

There's not much of a mystery surrounding today's phrase. But I love its descriptive qualities so much that I wanted to share it with you.

And I have run into a few people who didn't know its origin, so I quickly grabbed at this as an excuse to post about it!

"Little cat feet" was made famous in the early 20th century by poet Carl Sandburg, when he used those words to describe the quiet manner in which fog can come drifting in over a harbor.

No one models cat feet better than our feline fashionista, Allie

For those of us trapped in winter's Polar Vortex, I argue that the same can be said of snow! (Minus the plows, snowblowers and shovels, of course.)  There's something very sound deadening and silent about a blanket of snow as it falls and envelops the world in white.

And lest I appear to be waxing poetic about the deep freeze that has held those of us in the U.S. and Canada firmly in its grip, just so we're clear: we are SO over it!

We leave you today with Carl Sandburg's Fog, first published in an anthology of modern poetry in 1919:

By Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent hanches
and then moves on."

The oldest cat feet in recorded history? They were found in an archaeological dig in India in 1943, called the Chanhu-Daro Excavations. Click here for a photo of these ancient pawprints!

Bibliographic record: Louis Untermeyer, ed. Modern American Poetry. 1919. Harcourt, Brace and Howe.
Poetry Foundation

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

"...are they dry yet, Mother?"


Wednesday's Waif: Sabrina

Take a look at this gorgeous girl. Doesn't she have the most elegant, patrician nose?

We guarantee she has a personality to match!

"Purrrrleasure to meet you!

My name is Sabrina, and I am a brown, copper female torbie that is looking for her forever friend! I would describe myself as a very friendly, outgoing, yet mellow lady.

First thing you may notice about me is my great colored fur, and yes it feels as soft as it looks! I have very expressive eyes, and a face that could melt butter. I have been described as being laid back, and just going with the flow.

I enjoy meeting new people, and as long as I am with you I will always feel at home. My felineality personality type is Leader of the Band. This means that I do everything in a BIG way. I will enjoy being in the middle of things, and leading the parade!

When your friends come over for game night I say deal me in! I came here to Wayside from another shelter, and am ready to find my forever home.

I hope and dream that home will be with you!

I am a very sweet lady, and I will make it my mission to always make sure you know how much I love you. Whether it will be a leg or hand rub, a snuggle on your lap, or letting you hear it with my awesome purr!

Along with being this loving, sweet, affectionate lady I am also FIV positive. I know that might sound scary at first, but it is not as bad as it sounds.

Being FIV positive means that my immune system is weakened, and it is only transmitted through deep bite wounds.

I can still live a very long and full life, and I would love the chance to enrich your life they way you will enrich mine.

Please come down so we can meet, and I can answer any other questions you may have about FIV. I know when we meet we will become fast friends!


You can meet this amazing kitty in person, at Allie's Alma Mater:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Smug Mug.

Faraday: I's the King of the WURLD!


Toon Tuesdays: Crazy Card Sayings, Part 1

Shoebox "Lists"  

We actually know some of the people who originally said these lines. (heheh)

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

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Extra: Synchronized Napping

Oh noes! Someone forgot to tell The Boyz the Olympics are over!

Surely there are no penalties for practicing the sport outside the Games...?


Happliy-ever-after Tails (err, Tales...)

As you know, we began a new tradition in 2014: each week, we've been featuring adorable, available kitties from both Great Plains SPCA and Wayside Waifs.

So we thought it was high time we shared where some of these kitties are today!

Many of you recall Drew, our marmalade boy with the big heart - and we mean that literally.

He was adopted after just a few weeks of batting those golden baby eyes at the kitten cam, where people the world over could see him snooze and play.

You can learn all about his medical condition here, and read about his forever home here.

Other fabulous felines who have found a home so far include the marvelous Mindy...

the Glam Miss Monroe...
our sweet little Patches...

and the amazing Pterodactyl the Polydactyl, who was adopted that very day! WOOT!
Finally, we're beyond thrilled that the elegant and rare golden girl, Tiger, found her forever family - especially after having lost her own.

Paws crossed for the rest of our Shelter Sweethearts and Waifs. We know there's someone out there who will find them very soon!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Summer Dreams

We had warm weather once, we remember it.


Sunday's Shelter Sweetheart: Handsome

Look at the sweet expression on this boy's face! Who could resist?
Read on to hear his story:

"Hi there!

They call me "Handsome." Yep, that's my name!

Well, in all modesty, I guess it's true too. At least that's what everyone says. For some silly reason, they all think my crossed eyes are fetching! Or maybe its my silver and gray stripes.

Or maybe it's my lost tail! Yep, I lost my tail! Can't tell you where it went, but it's not back there any more. They say it makes me unique.

But, hey, that's on the surface. What I really matters is what's inside. And what's inside me is lots and lots of love!!! I LOVE people! I love to cuddle and snuggle and have my belly rubbed.

Really, you can pet me just anywhere and I'll be in heaven. You'll know by that great big purr motor I turn on every time someone comes near.

All I want is someone to love! I've been here at Great Plains awhile now, and there are sure a lot of nice people to love here.

My kitty roommates are great friends, too. But I'm hoping every day for some special person to come and take me to my fur-ever home.

Then I'll have my very own human to love the rest of my life--my dream come true. So, if you're looking for someone to love, I hope you'll come out to Independence and say "hello." I have a feeling I could make your dream of someone to love come true too!

Waiting with love,

Handsome is available for adoption today at Great Plains SPCA's Independence Campus - 21001 E 78 Hwy, Independence, MO:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cat Art: Ginger Appreciation

Did you know that February 22 is National Ginger Appreciation Day?

So we wondered what Faraday would look like if he were, say, Wally of the Island Cats...


Yeah, we think Wally does it better, too!

This was done using the clone stamp with a 40% blend and flow setting and a photo of a tabby cat for our source.

For more Caturday Cat Art fun, check out these entries in the Blog Hop here!


Photohunt: Amber

We love how the amber light haloes Maxwell in this backlit shot of both boys from last fall.


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

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fangs on Friday

Since Maxie's getting those pearly whites polished today, it's only fitting he gets to show a little fang:

Dark Fangs attack Momma's leg.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Moments We Cherish Forever #RecipeForMoments

Maxwell: If you were to ask me about the most special moment momma and I have shared, I’d have to say it was the day I made her cry.

I know, that sounds like crazy talk, right? But let me explain.

It happened the moment I laid eyes on her for the first time.

Actually it happened the moment the rescue worker placed me in her arms and she began to quietly sob.

As I patted gently at the tears rolling down her cheeks, that’s when I knew: momma needed healing.

She feared it was too soon, she said. Her heart wasn't ready for another cat.

But I knew better. And I knew I was just the kitty for the job.

You see a blurry photo from a camera phone, but this moment is crystal clear in my kitten heart.

Those first six months were a lot of work for both of us. Not everyone will adopt a deaf cat, especially one as sick as I was. Twice a day she would medicate me. And twice a day, she sealed each ear with a kiss.

I might not have been able to hear her love, but I sure could feel it.

And I loved her back, with head-butts and nuzzles and loud rumbling purrs.
And that became Our Thing. We were doing FaceTime way before any iphone ever had it!

I’m a strapping three year old now, as healthy as can be. I love playing catch with momma and my Flipper. She's pretty good at kitty games for a human.

"Here, momma! Catch!"

But we still begin each morning with our special moments – our very own FaceTime with head-butts and ear kisses.

I love those times, I do. But the moment that will forever be the most special to me is the day I made her cry.


Faraday: Well, I don’t make mommy cry.
I make her laugh.

Rumor has it that I was a needy kitten. Of course we all know that's just a bunch of libel, slander and smack talk.

Needy? Nah. I can't help it that mommy required loads of paw-on training when I first arrived. (She’s coming along quite nicely, by the way.)

And the nickname "ankle-biter" is, of course, nothing more than rumor-mongering and muckraking.

Who knows what lurks under the covers in the middle of the night anyway, I ask you? There are three kitties in this home, and until there is DNA evidence to the contrary, it's Innocent until Proven Guilty, I say!

But I digress.

As I mentioned before, Mommy's coming along nicely. She's become an expert Cuddler, and knows all the best places for scritches.

We do all sorts of stuff together, like read and snuggle. And her opposable thumbs come in real handy when I need my fireplace lit!

I leave it to Maxie to handle the more difficult training, though. Like trying to properly train her to watch BirdTV.

She's hopeless at chittering at birds. She has noooo rhythm. Kinda like Elaine in Seinfeld.
But that's okay. I just bop her one when she does it wrong!


Allie: Mother and I have more of a working relationship.

I figure it's a nice change of pace for her. I mean, she and Maxie are all mushy, and Faraday, well.... Let's just say The Brat is High Maintenance and leave it at that, shall we?

It’s refreshing to be outside with her, supervising her work. (Well, someone has to do it, and we all know I'm the Responsible cat in the household.)

Of course, it's a lot of hard work for a girlcat like me, but I'm up for it.

Whether it's ensuring she rakes all the leaves into acceptable piles over the fall and winter months, or making sure the catnip in planted in straight, even rows, I'm the girlcat for the job.

I also take Perimeter Sweeps very seriously. Securing the home against all intruders is paramount, and I walk alongside her to ensure everything is properly sniffed and Investigated.

I do enjoy my time with Mother.
However, my special moments are more the father-daughter kind.
Every girlcat needs a daddy to love! (But not mine. He’s already taken.)

And as a feline who’s always fashionable, he also benefits from my sensational sense of style.

Speaking of which:
Oh daddy dear... the 80’s called. They want their sweater back.


Our story is a part of the #RecipeForMoments blog hop hosted by BlogPaws.

What's your story? 

Link up below to share your story of that special human/animal bond you and your pet share. What do you think your pet feels in your special moments?

Five random U.S. winners who link up their blog post will win a Nature’s Recipe® lightweight collar camera to capture special moments from their pet’s point of view. See BlogPaws for official rules and details.


FTC Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Nature’s Recipe® on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Nature’s Recipe for Moments on behalf of Nature’s Recipe, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Nature’s Recipe is not responsible for the content of this article.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a girlcat who loved her morning lap time with Dad.
Until one day...

...when a pesky younger brother decided to SIT on her FACE!

 Oh, we know how this tale ends.

And we wouldn't exactly call it "happily ever after"...


Wednesday's Waif: Pterodactyl the Polydactyl

Pterodactyl's right ear was damaged during his reckless youth so it does whatever it wants to do, sometimes making him look like a grumpy guy. But he is an absolute softie! He adores affection and kept anxiously looking at me the last time I was in his room, as if he was worried I'd stop petting him!

"Hello my future family!
My name is Pteredactyl, and I am so happy you took the time to read a little more about me!

I am a grey, black male tabby with an expressive face, and eyes, and like Dr. Pepper I am one of a kind! I am so unique that they had to give me a name as original as I am.

I am a polydactyl feline (which means that I have some extra toes!).  I also have no teeth, and I'm FIV positive. I know that may sound like a lot of things, but all make me the most interesting cat in the world.

I am a very sweet guy that loves a good petting session. I will show you all my affection with some awesome head butts, chin rubs, and a purr that will make any day feel like a Saturday. My felineaity is private investigator, which means that I will always keep an eye on you, and our home.

I am a mellow cat who stays out of trouble, and will always keep your secrets. I came here to Wayside from another shelter, and I am ready to find my forever home, and am hoping that home will be with you!

I have 6 toes on both my front paws, and the regular 5 toes on both my back paws. Having these extra toes makes me look like I am wearing mittens on my front paws!
There are a lot of myths out there about FIV positive felines,  but it simply means that my immune system is compromised. The only way this can be passed to other cats is through deep bite wounds. And since I have no teeth, well, that's not going to happen!

I can eat dry food just fine if I have to, but would much prefer soft food (besides, I hear that's better for a kitty anyway).

I know all this sounds like a lot, but I know once you come down and see this face, and all the love that I have to give you it will all be worth it!

I am a loving kitty looking for that person who will complete me, and I will spend the rest of my days making sure you know how much you mean to me!


You can meet this amazing kitty in person, at Allie's Alma Mater:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

'Toon Tuesdays: blame it on...


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, February 17, 2014

Monday Medical: Can your cat get the stomach flu?

Zoonosis is the transmission of disease from animal to human.

Reverse zoonosis is a relatively new concept, and - as the term suggests - is the transmission of disease from human to animal.

We've heard a lot about this in the past few years.

Especially the fact that our pets can indeed catch the flu from us. Certain strains of influenza, most notably types H1N1 (also known as the swine flu) and H5N1, have been documented in dogs, cats, ferrets -- even a cheetah.

The cheetah: one of several animals known
to have caught disease from mankind.
Photo: Tom Rafferty
A little over a week ago, I came down with the stomach flu. As many of you know, stomach flu is technically not an influenza. And flu vaccines do not inoculate against it.

It's a virus. A norovirus, to be exact, in over half of the cases. Including mine.

(The remainder of all 'stomach flus' are caused by food-borne parasites or bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control - see link at bottom.)

So I began to wonder: do I need to worry about the cats getting this? Not only would it be terribly unpleasant for them, following around a vomiting cat all evening isn't much fun for me either!

Turns out there is cause for concern.

The first warning flag was when I learned that noroviruses belong to the virus family Caliciviridae. About now, any of you who work in a veterinary environment, or who volunteer or work in shelter environments are sitting up just a bit straighter, aren't you? I certainly did!

We see cats with calicivirus all the time. In fact, it's pretty contagious. Our shelter's policy is no free-roaming for any cat who's contracted the virus, since they can still "shed" it - meaning other cats can catch it - even after they're symptom-free. (They do eventually get their "get out of jail free" card back, in about a month.)

One of the staff at Wayside Waifs even joked with me about it, telling me I needed to carry around my own kennel card: "no roaming for 2 weeks"! That's the amount of time a human can continue to shed the stomach virus even after recovery. Oh joy, my husband says....

So norovirus is in the calici family, eh? I dug a bit further.

It seems several studies have been conducted since 2004 searching for indications that norovirus in humans is found in animals and vice versa. Then I came across this: in the January 27, 2010 edition of the magazine Veterinarian Microbiology, authors Koenig, Thiel and Wolf write:

"The close genetic relationship of noroviruses and sapoviruses found in animals and humans has raised the question whether these viruses have a zoonotic potential. ... Detection of human noroviruses in animals as well as simultaneous presence of animal and human viruses in bivalve molluscs suggest a risk of transmission. Furthermore, antibodies against animal noroviruses were detected in humans as well as antibodies against human noroviruses in swine."

No cases have been confirmed, but the above was cause enough for me to be extra careful around the felines in my family as well as the humans!

Faraday: Stay away from me, please, Mommy!
(photo taken well before I was sick, so he's safe :-)


CDC on norovirus
Avian H5N1 influenza in cats, Science, October 2004.
2009 Confirmed results: H1N1, USDA.
Zoonotic aspects of infections with noroviruses and sapoviruses, Veterinary Microbiology, January 2010.

Noroviruses and Sapoviruses in man and farm animals, Deutche tierarztliche Wochenschrift, August, 2004.
Animal Noroviruses, Veterinary Journal, London, England, October, 2008.

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, February 16, 2014

Sepia-tone Sunday

I got my eye on you, Mister Mouse.