Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Website Want Wednesday

This bath tub, please!

Want, want, want in my future home. I'd love curling up in something like this today, for sure.

Ok, granted, most of my "wants" are just cute pictures I come across and not an actual "wish list" of products to buy, but still... it's nice to dream of having all these things :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tea Tuesday

Look how comfy those boots are ... and that tea (I'm assuming it's tea) is probably twice as nice in front of that fire with books to read!

This week finds me unexpectedly in CT, New Haven to be exact. I decided to visit my cousin and her family. They recently welcomed a new family member, Annah. I'm so excited to meet her! Although I planned on visiting them, I didn't expect to be up here so soon. I originally planned to come on Wednesday, but the forecast had me changing my plans and taking the train up a day early. :)

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Tea Tuesday is reminder to you too, my friends and wanderers that found your way here. Remember that all the good you do won't get done if you're not around. So, take a minute to relax with me at some point today.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dogs On Thursday

My birthday is Monday!! Whoa...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Caturday: Ozzy and other declawed cats...

I had a post all ready to go this weekend about kitty cat number two that stayed with my family, Roo. However, I happen to be house sitting this weekend and was inspired to write about a different cat, one that's been curling up to sleep with me and hold a very valuable lesson.

This is Ozzy and he is adorable! He likes to snuggle, he likes to talk, he has a cute face with big green eyes, he's very social, he was saved from a shelter by his mom, he'll greet you at the door, he's insisting I ignore his mom's orders to not give him wet food and he doesn't always use his litter box.

Yes, at least once or twice a day, Ozzy will go over to the bottom of the steps and go to the bathroom. His mom has even put a litter box there, which Ozzy is usually 6 - 12 inches away from when he continues to go to the bathroom on the floor. There's "cat attract" in the litter, it's a big, kept-clean box with soft litter and yet Ozzy won't use it. You see, Ozzy is declawed and one of the side effects of getting your cat declawed, as some people may or may not know (or acknowledge), is that sometimes they develop litter box issues for whatever reasons - it's painful? it feels funny?

This Ozzy-inspired post is to help educate people that don't know about this issue.

One of the main theories with this side effect of declawing is that your cat's claw is not just a toenail. It is actually closely attached to the bone. So closely adhered that to remove the claw, the last bone of your the cat's foot has to be removed. Look at your own hand. This is not a manicure you're getting done, the surgery on a human would be like removing to the first knuckle on each finger. Keep in mind also that cats need to use this area to walk, balance and dig to go to the bathroom immediately after surgery. This is painful right after surgery and can also affect the nerves, meaning it could be permanently painful or, perhaps, feel weird and tingly like when you hit your "funny bone".

Also keep in mind that when you declaw a new kitten, they're still growing and developing so behavioral issues might not show up immediately. Like a younger person or child, a kitten might spring back from surgery ... but develop problems as they age and their body matures. My grandparents and aunts thought it best I not know they plained on declawing their beautiful kitten. If they had, perhaps I could have warned them of an issue that developed about a year later ... she started peeing not in her litter box!

Going outside the litter box has often been deemed a "behavior problem" and has been noted as one of the behavior problems that can develop. "These behaviors include biting and urinating or defecating in unwanted areas outside of the litter box". Be it painful, an increase in fear (biting is a cat's last and only method to defends its self when you take away its claws) or the cat is in pain and so its hiding, behavioral problems are a side effect of declawing.

Although these problems do not always develop after being declawed, do you really want to risk your super sweet cat turning into a biter or adding the 2x's (or more) daily routine of having to clean up after your cat when it refuses to use the litter box? And I don't care if you've never had a problem with any of these types of issues. The facts are the fact and why make an animal go through that? Oh, and in England declawing is termed "inhumane" and "unnecessary mutilation." And let's keep in mind, this is from the people who are the inventors of things like "Halifax Gibbet" (AKA the guillotine).

There are other options. Much like you'd train your new dog not to chew on the furniture, train your cat to use a scratching post. If they have a favorite spot to nap at or are particularly attracted to one corner of the sofa, try to put a scratching post near by that area. This is not always an easy task, but with time, patience and practice (just like training a new puppy), you can train your kitten/cat.

You can also use deterrents, like spraying your cat's bottom with a water bottle whenever you catch them scratching the furniture or giving a quick clap to startle them into stopping. Then, pick them up and take them to the closet scratching post. You can also use double-sided tape or tin foil on certain surfaces to try to help keep your cat away too.

If you adopt a cat who is already declawed and having litter box troubles, clean up the spots you find immediately! Just because you can't smell it, doesn't mean your cat won't and this will attract them back to the spot to go to the bathroom again. I hear this "recipe" works great (also this website is awesome - lucky australian cats!). You can also try...

- keeping the cat confined in a small bathroom or even large dog crate for a little while to try to "re-train" them to use the litter box (sometimes in a big, new house it's easier to pee on the soft, comfy floor next to them then try to find the litter box down two stair cases in the scary basement)
- increasing the number of litter boxes around the home (perhaps your one smells like your current cat and your new cat is nervous about using it)
- putting a litter box where the cat is going to the bathroom and slowly over a week or two, move it gradually back to its original location
- seeing a veterinarian about getting behavioral medications
- try different litter types, especially with declawed cats. Sometimes softer, finer litter will feel less odd/painful when they have to dig. Also, you can try using shredded newspaper. It doesn't do much to cover up smell, but it does work with some declawed cats with sensitive feet because they just need to gently push some paper aside instead of having to dig to go to the bathroom
- doing what Ozzy's mom does - put a huge chunk of plastic down where the cat goes to the bathroom and simply keeping on top of cleaning up any messes

I hope this week's post helps some cats and their owners out!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dogs On Thursday

Dear birthday genie,
it's still my birthday week!
I'll take one of these please...
and make her super good.
K? Thanks!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tea Tuesday

Today might call for something more like hot chocolate and kahlua...

As of yesterday, I'm 27. Whoa!

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Tea Tuesday is reminder to you too, my friends and wanderers that found your way here. Remember that all the good you do won't get done if you're not around or if you aren't properly taking care of yourself.
So, please, take a minute to relax with me at some point today.

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's my birthday!

It's my birthday & I'm trying to raise funds for the rescue, Joa's Arc. This rescue helps special needs animals (3 legs, neurological issues, eye deformities, broken bones, partially paralyzed, etc) in shelters that couldn't usually help them due to their limited space and funds. Joa's Arc raises money for the surgeries these animals need, network to find them safety and even foster when necessary - it is a wonderful cause and organization!

Please consider donating to Joa's Arc for my special day or just to give yourself the warm fuzzy feeling of a good deed. Snail Mail address for checks and links for paypal (or FirstGiving) in the right tab here: Joa's Arc web blog

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Website Want Wednesday

Do I even need to say it?

I want this awesome, amazingly incredible tree house for my kids me!!!

Caturday: Diamond Needs A Home

You might have seen this post on the Joa's Arc blog about trapping kitties in South Jersey. I was there that day and while trapping cats, we happened to catch this one absolutely beautiful girl ... long and lanky, she looked young: not a kitten, not an adult cat - but somewhere in between, that "awkward" stage that even cats experience. She was a brown and orange tabby (a "torbi" - a tabby, torti cat), the colors swirled around on her coat. I watched her creep up to the trap and the food inside slowly ... I was so excited when we caught her! That's when I saw her up close too and when I discovered she was even cuter... big eyes and a cute, little face. I gave her an exceptionally pretty name, as she deserved - Diamond.

Off the kitties went to be fixed the day after being trapped and while they were recovering, my friend Joan called me to say that Diamond was so cute, recovering well ... and did I want her ear tipped? Oh, Joan!!! I told her I would try to convince my mom about letting me try to socialize Diamond as she seemed like she was right on the edge of being friendly. My mom had gone trapping with us and had seen where the cats came from, she was more than happy for me to intake Diamond and see if we could find her a home instead of putting her back outside. When Joan called me back to see how the talk with my mom went, she informed me that Diamond was recovering in one of my loaned out carriers - that Joan sure knows a sucker (me) when she sees one, I guess.

I picked little Diamond up the next day and originally set her up on the porch in a cage. I figured I would give her a day or two to see if she was able to be worked with to be adopted out or if she was too scared/feral, in which case I decided we'd make her a barn cat since two sadly passed away during 2010 - Irish Momma of the garage cats and Tuxedo Cat of the back barn cats.

Needless to say with this post, Diamond is ready for a home! I think she'll need some time to open up in a home, but I can pick her up, I can love her, she purrs and she's playing all the time now. She's still caged and doesn't seek me out, but she's definitely not feral. She's beautiful and adorable and I think would make someone a wonderful cat if they were willing to put a little time into gaining her trust. She's already spayed, got her vaccinations and did I mention she's adorable?

If you know someone looking for a kitty, let them know Diamond is one special girl in need of a home!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Website Want Wednesday

How adorable is this sweater?! I love it!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tea Tuesday

Dreaming of sunny days, cleansed air and gorgeous rainbows today. Any happy thoughts on your mind?

Ah! And today is 1/11/11 - does that mean we can make wishes all day long?? :)

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Tea Tuesday is reminder to you too, my friends and wanderers that found your way here. Remember that all the good you do won't get done if you're not around. So, take a minute to relax with me at some point today.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Caturday: Mea

2011 - a new year! A chance to start over, change, evolve... and 2011 is going to include an introduction to my cats for Caturday posts on this blog. Although I could certainly list these munchkins by age since I've had almost all of them since they were a kitten, they've come into my life at different points, so that's why they're in this order ... and that means that we're starting with Mea!

When working at the veterinary clinic in high school, there was a kitten that was injured when her foot got stuck in her cage door. She pulled and pulled on it all night long, so when she was found and freed, the little kitten was dragging her previously stuck paw around. Amputation was of course considered, but there was an opportunity for me here ... a small, adorable animal in need of some extra care!

I quickly called up my mom and said there was a kitten in need and, since it was a Sunday, there was no one working who could help her unless I did with her okay. After getting my mom's approval to foster the kitten for a few weeks, we could give her leg some extra effort - a hot pink soft splint was put on the damaged leg and she went into foster care with me. It didn't take my family long to fall head over heels in love with this kitten with a hot pink splint who ran all over the place and played with our Golden Retriever, Honey Dew.

Two weeks past, the splint was removed ... and the kitten was using her foot again! As we had hoped, the nerves in that foot had not been dead, but severely injured and the soft splint had allowed her to get used to using her leg again properly. For the next week or so after the splint came off, we still had to flip the kitten's toes out from under her paw, she was still dragging them a bit, but she seemed to be completely recovered! The kitten wasn't going anywhere either, we adopted her and so began our little kitty crowd. An appropriate name for the kitten now staying? "Mea" which is latin for "mine" in English.

She has green eyes, four white paws, three yellow/orange tabby legs and one leg (the leg she was supposed to use) that is orange tabby on the back and black on the front half. Coincidentally, I found out two more kittens were found where Mea was (in the woods somewhere local) and they were adopted together. The woman who adopted them sent me a picture when they were about a year old ... the one looked just like Mea only she was dilute (lighter colors - gray where Mea's black was) and the other looked like a mirror imagine of Mea, the other cat having the opposite black leg than Mea. It was too weird ... undeniable they are sisters in my opinion!

It has been more than a decade since Mea joined our family and she continues to thrive in our home with all four legs. She is known for her antics like begging for attention and then quickly changing her mind, smacking you and running away. Mea also likes to torment the dogs by, say, sitting on the table and smacking them as they walk by or sitting on a chair and sticking her paws through the back of the chair, so she's protected, and smacking the dogs from there. Look at the picture below and you'll see another common Mea trick ... she'll find an empty seat at the table and peak her little eyes up to survey the options. Should you leave a piece of food for her at the edge of the table, Mea will peak her eyes up, sink back down and then a paw will come up to slowly sweep the food on to the chair with her. Bad, bad, bad ... but soooo cute!

As my first saved and kept kitty, Mea's one of the paw prints I have tattooed on my foot to forever remember her and how much I love the good work I've done. I joke all the time that the squished up, apprehensive, little, bitchy (she was hissing and trying to fight me the whole time I got her inked prints) paw print on my foot is that of the inked paw of my inside, "friendly" cat Mea. The other print is big, relaxed, friendly, laid back ... my "feral" garage cat Buddy.

I can't imagine not having her...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dogs On Thursday

Dogs on Thursday - a weekly reminder about dogs/why I love them. Enjoy...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Website Want Wednesday

Where in the world can I find this?!

the dark black, the silver ribcage, the heart, ... and it's a corset!!

I think my brain exploded when I first saw this.

Want it, want it, want it!!

But, in all seriousness, has anyone ever seen this while browsing online??? My birthday's coming up ::nudge, nudge, wink, wink::

Saturday, January 1, 2011