Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

Meow! I’m Hazel, and I love party treats in fish and chicken flavors! All I need to do is sit next to my empty bowl and look up at my humans with eyes that say, “Please give me treats!”

20151031_143958Soon one of them is shaking the treats container and pouring them into my bowl.

20151030_223748Having my treats every day keeps me from going hungry between breakfast and dinner!

20151030_223639For human responses to this challenge, click here.

Cats and fireworks

Is your cat afraid of fireworks? I watched Hazel’s behavior during a recent thunderstorm with loud claps of thunder, and her only reaction was to move her ears back and look annoyed – the thunder was disturbing her sleep!

I found two short articles online about what to do if your cat is afraid of loud noises. With 4th of July fireworks coming up, I am posting them with their links here:

www.petfireworkfear.co.uk
1. If your cat hides on top of cupboards or under furniture, leave him alone and do not try to coax him out. This ‘bolthole’ is where he will feel most secure. It is important that your pet can access his favourite bolthole at all times.
2. On the evenings you expect fireworks, ensure your cat is safely inside and secure doors, windows and cat flaps.
3. Plugging a Feliway® Diffuser in the room where the cat spends most of her time 48 hours before the festivities will increase her sense of security.
4. Make sure your cat is microchipped. If he does escape, frightened, confused animals can easily get lost.
5. Ensure your cat is provided with a litter tray both before and during the firework season.
6. Draw curtains to reduce the noise from outside and play music or have the TV on to help mask the noise of fireworks.
7. Ignore any fearful behaviour and do not try to comfort your cat. More importantly, do not try to pick him up or restrain him. Fearful cats prefer to be left to cope on their own.
8. Try not to go out while the fireworks are going off. Stay calm and act normally.
9. In multi-cat households, shutting cats in overnight may cause disharmony amongst your pets. A Feliway® Diffuser may help lower inter-cat tension.
10. If you are worried that your pet is taking a long time to recover from the firework festivities, speak to your vet. Your vet may also wish to refer you to a behavioural therapist.

scared-cat-hidinghttp://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/helping-cat-cope-thunder-fireworks-adt.html
Helping your cat cope with loud thunder and fireworks
It’s not uncommon for a cat to be afraid of loud noises, especially thunder and fireworks. They usually display by hiding. A cat suffering from a substantial fear of loud noises may begin to display anxious behavior before the thunder begins. Rain on the roof of the house, bright flashes of light or even the drop in air pressure before a storm may be enough to trigger anxiety. It is important to know what to do when the situation occurs:
Staying calm will help your cat feel safe. You might even try to play with your cat to distract from the noise of thunder of fireworks.
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Make sure your cat has a safe place to seek refuge. Cats typically will run under a bed or under a chair to escape loud noises. Your cat chooses these places because she feels protected and the noise of thunder or fireworks is muffled. If your cat has not already picked out a place, provide one. Try leaving a few kibbles of a favorite Science Diet® cat food in safe place to encourage your cat to go there.
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Try desensitizing your cat to loud noises so the sound becomes normal. This is usually done by playing recorded thunder at a low volume and in short intervals while you monitor your cat’s behavior. This process is long and requires patience, but in the end your cat will be much more comfortable during a storm or near a fireworks display.

Tips & Tricks: Top Toxic Substances for Cats

I am reblogging this article from Katzenworld re substances that are toxic to cats. Very informative!

Katzenworld

Hi everyone today’s advice post comes fromPets Best. Who announces the top toxic substances for Cats. We also have an infographic that can help you on how to keep your cat safehere.

Common household items top the list of toxic substances that send pets in for veterinary visits, according to a new survey released by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC (Pets Best).

Toxins are one of the most frequent pet insurance claims submitted by pet owners partly due to the seemingly innocent nature of many substances that can harm dogs and cats.

cat with vet

Chocolate, headache medicine, grapes and raisins can all cause serious harm to dogs and make up some of the most likely substances to set off an emergency situation, according to the Pets Best survey. Cats are poisoned most often with a common flower, lilies, but also are susceptible to headache medicine, onions, chives and…

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Purrsday Poetry: REMEMBERING HOWARD

I enjoyed this poem very much and was also entranced by the cat’s blue eyes! Wow!

Katzenworld

Hi everyone,

Following on from the poem Wanda please find below the latest entry from author Abbie Johnson Taylor

REMEMBERING HOWARD

What a name for a cat, I thought
when Mother suggested it,
but I was only seven or eight
so what did I know, right?

A gray kitten with tiger stripes,
we thought she was a male.
After the vet told us otherwise,
Mother said it didn’t matter.

With such a sweet disposition,
Howard was my favorite.
When Mother wasn’t around,
or when she was mad,
Howard absorbed my tears,
soothed me with her gentle purr.

Even when I was an adult, she was there,
listening to my troubles,
not judging, not advising.
One of those cats with nine lives,
she lived to be twenty and will be missed.

cat pinterest 2

About the author:
Abbie-1

Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of a novel and two poetry collections. She is currently working on…

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Bedroom habits

Each of my cats had a different attitude toward sleeping with people.  Kirry, my childhood cat, didn’t get to spend all night in someone’s bed, because my parents put both of our pets (a cat and a dog) in the garage,where they each had their own bed. I don’t know what Kirry thought of this arrangement, as he would try to swipe Corky (the dog) with his claws every time he came near.

But even though he had to spend the night in the garage, he would still be sleeping either with me or my brother until my parents came to get him.

Kirry was the only cat I’ve had that liked to sleep UNDER the covers! He would burrow under the blankets and sheet and crawl alongside me, usually settling down somewhere around my legs. Sometimes, he’d sleep on my chest or even put his head on the pillow!  He would also purr in contentment and knead whichever body part he was next to with his paws.

When Fernando (my first husband) visited me at my parents’ house, he was sleeping very comfortably one night and Kirry jumped on the bed. As usual he burrowed under the covers, and started to knead Fernando’s back. Fernando moved forward a little bit to accommodate him,but Kirry pushed up against his back again and started kneading with his paws! Fernando moved again. This happened several times until finally Fernando was at the edge of the bed! He got up and looked with exasperation down at Kirry lying in his place!

Kirry was contently lying now in the center of the bed, with his head on the pillow and purring loudly.

Kirry loved sleeping on beds so much that it was difficult to change the sheets! I would pick him up and put him on the floor, then begin putting on the bottom sheet. He jumped back on the bed. I took him off again and started to lay the top sheet. I was lucky if I was able to get it smooth and even before he jumped on the bed again! No matter how many times I picked him up and took him off the bed – putting on the blankets, putting on the bedspread – he insisted on being on the bed and jumped right up on it again each and every time!

*******

Joia, Fernando’s and my cat, came to us as a kitten. She was always very skittish, very afraid of people. She did sleep with us, but usually on the corner of the bed – she NEVER got under the covers! If I tried to put her there, she’d try to bite me and jump off the bed. She did love to sleep on our laps.

JoiaShe had a particular fondness for corduroy – if one of us was wearing corduroy pants, she would jump on the corduroy lap and settle down! She’d still get on one of our laps if we were wearing other clothes, but the corduroy was her favorite. She never slept on bare skin, for which I am glad!

Joia, like my other cats, did like to play with feet and toes that moved under the blankets. This was fine except in the summer, when the covers are so thin they don’t protect our skin from claws and teeth!

******

Hazel also has her own special sleeping habits. At night, my husband and I usually read in bed for awhile before turning off the lap. Hazel lurks in the hallway, on the stairs, or in another room until she’s pretty confident we’re asleep – we’re lying still and we’re not talking. Then and only then she jumps up on the bed. It’s when she is searching for a nesting place on the bed that she begins purring. Her preferred place to settle down is between my legs. If I’m lying with my legs together, she’ll stand on them and meow at me, until I open them wide enough for her to nest. She then fits herself into the space I’ve made for her – either curled up in a ball, or stretched down the length of my legs, and continues to purr until she falls asleep.

I always have to change positions or get up to go to the bathroom during the night. Her nesting place disturbed, Hazel gets up and jumps off the bed. Sometimes she comes back, sometimes not.

If we are both lying on our side when she comes in, she will climb up my husband’s hips and torso and settle herself next to his chest. But since Dale moves around a lot in his sleep, while I don’t, she generally prefers sleeping between my legs. And yes, sometimes she kneads me with her paws – right on the crotch!

She also enjoys sleeping on the recliner when one of us is sitting there, especially if we have a blanket over our legs. She likes to sleep on the actual chair rather than our legs, so she jumps up and pushes our legs aside so she can squeeze in between them, then starts to purr!

20150520_165727

Hazel: our first month

I started this story in Jan. 2014, a month after we got Hazel. I didn’t realize I never published it! So, here it is:

I was a bit worried when Hazel continued to be skittish when we approached her. Sometimes she was playing “hard to get” but other times it was clear that she was just scared. A friend of mine got a new dog about 6 months ago, and she said it took him 2 months to get used to her household of 3 people and 3 other dogs. He wouldn’t bark – just make a barking gesture. But then one day, they heard him bark for the first time.

Although she purrs a lot when we pet her, Hazel doesn’t vocalize the way my other cats did. Maybe she doesn’t feel confident about meowing yet.I  read that Manx cats are known for vocalizing, so maybe that’s not what other cats do.

But Hazel isn’t like any other cat: that’s what makes her delightful and a source of surprise for us!

For example, she likes belly rubs. Most cats I know will turn over to expose their underside when I pet them, so I think they want to have their belly rubbed. But – it happens every time – within a second or two they are trying to bite me! Not Hazel – she really does like it when we pet her belly and will enjoy it for half a minute or so.

Another thing she does is sit by the dining room table when we’re eating and look up at us like a beggar, just like a dog! The difference is that when we offer her a tiny scrap, she sniffs it but doesn’t eat it. After examining it, she resumes the beggar look!

Hazel in her beggar position!

Hazel in her beggar position!

Hazel likes to be near us, just not necessarily with us. She wants to know what we’re doing but doesn’t want us to call the shots. She’s got “cat-titude” as those who know “torties” claim. At night she sleeps near the foot of the bed, but jumps off the bed and leaves after awhile. Eventually she comes back and finds a bent leg to lie next to.

She also runs back and forth a lot more than I remember my other cats doing. They all did some of this – they needed the exercise. But she seemed to be set off by one of us approaching her. In fact, when we read her papers that the shelter gave to us, it was recorded that she HAD been adopted before – last April, but she was returned because she was “too active.” Is this what they meant?

Then a couple of weeks ago I was at a family wedding, and talked to a cousin I rarely see. She’s had many cats in her lifetime, as well as dogs. She currently has two or more cats. I told her about how Hazel runs away from us, then seeks us out, then runs away again.

“Cats, just like dogs, like to play chase,” she said. I had never known that! Most likely, she’s trying to get us to chase her. So I play along with her – sometimes. I tire of this game far sooner than she does. But if she’s still feeling frisky, she’ll play with one of her catnip toys.

She’s starting to vocalize more and more! At the beginning, we never heard her meow. When she wanted something from us, she’d just sit there and stare at us. She still does that but she is now meowing – a very small one – when she wants food or wants us to play chase.

This morning was the first time she meowed to get us to play chase. After breakfast, we were upstairs again and she appeared at the top of the stairs and meowed that small meow of hers. As I made a gesture to approach her, she took off down the stairs and when I got down the stairway, she was hiding under a table! When she saw me, she took off again, this time into the sun room. I couldn’t find her because she had hidden behind a stack of bins, or at least I think that’s where she was.

This, and the fact that she crawled up and slept next to my chest early this morning, make me believe she is really acclimated to the house and trusts us now. She has been spending more time sleeping with us, but that is probably also because the weather is extremely cold here now.

Last night she even let me take a video of her while she was on my lap and Dale was petting her.

Bliss!

Bliss!

She is a source of entertainment and comfort for us and it’s great to have a cat in the house again! It’s been too long!