The Counterfeiter-Catching Cat #1

 

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The Counterfeirter Catching Cat by Alannah Rogers is the first book of the Beatrice Young Cozy Mystery Series. It takes place in the small town of Ashbrook, population 2000, where everybody knows everyone’s business, even their deepest, darkest secrets.

Beatrice is a divorced 40+ year-old with two cats, Hamish, a Maine Coon who has the nose of a detective, and Lucky, a sweet, black shorthair. Bee loves a good mystery and is reported to be married to her cats.

Bee is the owner of The Cozy Cat Cafe where she first learns of the counterfeiting ring. She, along with Hamish and Lucky, jumps into the action. The threesome start their slouthing and help the sheriff uncover, not only a counterfeiting ring, but a disappearance which turns into a murder. The town’s grapevine lights up like wildfire. Who is behind the counterfeiting? Who killed Jordan White?

Alannah Rogers kept my attention with her amatuer detecting and Hamish’s antics. The reason I only gave her 4 out of 5 stars is that I didn’t get to know Lucky as well as Hamish. I hope to learn more about Lucky in the next book.

What You Need to Know About Your Cat and Christmas Trees

I posted this last year at this time and I feel that it is an important lesson, so I am posting it again.

I was astonished to learn the statistics regarding Christmas trees.  According to National Christmas Tree Association,  there are approximately 350 million Christmas trees planted by farmers in the U.S. alone.  Of those 350 million, 25-30 million are sold.  These numbers pale compared to people who buy artificial trees, which amounts to 80% of those who decorate Christmas trees.

You may be wondering what Christmas trees have to do with your cat.

The obvious answer is that if your cat is prone to climbing, or as I like to put it, be a “tree baby” (pun intended), there is a chance for injury.  There are other reasons, too.

  1. The sap from the tree is toxic to your cat.  The sap can be found not only on the tree and needles themselves, but the water that the tree stands in.  
  2. Along with pine poisoning, comes the threat of the pesticides and fertilizers used in growing the tree, and chemicals that are used to enhance the look of it.  These can cause kidney and/or  liver failure, muscle weakness, labored breathing and digestive issues.  
  3. There is another danger with the needles of the tree.  These needles could easily become lodged in the cat’s throat, or rip her intestines, etc. 
  4. Then, you have the ornamentation of the tree.  Tinsel and those shiny bulbs look like cat toys and are a huge temptation for the cat.  If she chews on the tinsel, chances are that she will swallow it and it may wrap itself around the cat’s intestines.  Some of the ornaments used on the tree are made from breakable material and can cause damage to the cat’s paws if stepped on and, of course, cut internal organs if swallowed.

Unfortunately, with the exception of the sap poisoning, artificial trees have the same dangers as do their live counterparts.

Solution: Raise your tree off the ground and out of reach of your little ones.  You may think that it takes away from the beauty of the season, but better that than spending hundreds of dollars towards vet bills.

Have a happy and safe holiday!

National Christmas Tree Association

Boston CBS Local

Pets on Mom.ME

How to Fill your Cat’s Stocking for $20 or Less

I don’t know about you, but my cats are my family, and as such they deserve nice gifts for the joy they give me all year round.   Now, I could go all out and spend too much money for things that they have no interest in, or I can use my imagination and a $20 bill.

First, I will start off my saying that, like children, if you put all of the new toys out to play with on Christmas morning,  chances are they will become get bored with them by Christmas night.  My advice is to hold back, only giving them a few toys at one time, until they get bored with them.  Then, pick them up and replace them with some of the new toys that you have in reserve.  That way, it’s Christmas all over again.

Some of the toys you can pick up in the local pet shop.  However, they usually jack the prices sky high to cover their overhead.  That being the case, the only time that I go into the pet shop is to look, not buy.

Your next option is the Internet.  Now, there are a lot of places out there that charge just as much as the pet shop does, but if you scour the pet outlets on the Net, chances are you will find deals.  Two stores that I shop at are Amazon, and Chewy .

Here are just a few toys that are on the cheaper side and your cat is sure to love them just as much, if not more, than the expensive play things.

You can find anything at all at Amazon.  

 

These are great. My cats will sneak up on them, pounce and run around, holding the mouse by its tail.

Hartz Just For Cats Frenzy Toys

 

 

 

These are great for cats that love their catnip.  They are refillable so your cat will have hours of fun.

Feather Mouse

 

 

 

 

 

Every cat loves their feather wand.  I can’t wait to try this!

 

Cat Toy Variety Pack with Feather Wand

 

 

Chewy is also a great place for cats.  Here are just a few of their toys.

 

These are going to be in Mimi’s stocking for sure!

Colorful Springs Cat Toy

 

 

 

 

 

This little mouse squeaks at your cat.

Play-N-Squeak MouseHunter

 

 

 

I haven’t tried this one yet, but the reviews are out and 95% of the cats that tried it absolutely flipped over it.

Cat Dancers

 

As you can see, cat toys don’t have to break you this Christmas.  These are just a few of the best loved toys.  There are so much more out there to try.

Then there are toys that you can make with a little imagition and a lot of love. I suggest that you watch your cat play. Do they like to stalk, pounce and jump high in the air, like my Mimi? Or are they lazy cats who only grab the toy from where they lay and chew on it, like my BoBo?

For cats like Mimi, a ping pong ball works great to help get their energy out. Bounce it and see them go for it. The higher you bounce the ball the higher they will jump. Another good one is a lazor pointer. Now you can get them from any pet store, but why not use your flashlight on your cell phone (assuming you have a cell). A substitute for a ball is a cork. I keep several on hand just in case she gets too rambunctus and it goes under the stove or refrigerator. I had both of the appliances replaced last year and was slightly embarrassed when the installer found all of the corks that had gotten away from the cat.

BoBo is a bit different. He’s older and has always been a lazy hunter. For these types of felines, you need to be resourceful. You may be able to entice them with a feather attached to a stick, straw or anything that is tubular in shape. Bo even goes after the lazor, but only if you point it right in front of him. Just as long as he doesn’t have to get up, he’ll play.

Help your cat have a merry Catmas!

Until next time, let’s play!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are You Thankful For?

Like the rest of America, Harry the Wonder Cat is counting his blessings today:

  1. Food
  2. Food
  3. Food

Who says cats are single-minded?

Happy Thanksgiving,

Harry and the Gang

Why Not a Kitten for a Present

I wrote this article a few years ago,  but I feel so strongly about the subject that I post it every holiday season.

It’s that time of year again. The time for decorations, Christmas trees, Santa Claus and presents. It’s the time for parents to make their child’s’ fantasies come true. It is so tempting for ‘Santa’ to give their darling a little kitten. They are so cute and cuddly and, it is thought that, as the child grows, so can the kitten.

However, we must remember that a kitten is not a toy. They are living beings, with needs that can only be met by a true knowledge of what it takes to be a good guardian. The excitement of waking up Christmas morning to a brand new furry kitten, will soon wear off when the child is charged with caring for Fifi. Chances are, it will take no time at all before he will grow tired of feeding her and cleaning the litter box. Then it falls to the parent to take care of the needs.

A cat (as with any pet) is a full-time responsibility that can last for 20 years or more. In that time, Johnny or Janey will probably go their separate ways, leaving the cat behind. That’s all well and good for the humans, but for the cats, who have grown to depend on their people for love and attention, it can be traumatic and certainly is unfair.

In my opinion, one of the main reasons not to get a kitten as a present is that, in order to meet the demand, some pet stores, etc. receive their supply from disreputable breeders and kitten mills.

A kitten mill is a place where cats are bred in tight quarters with no medical attention, until they are no longer able to breed. When that day comes, they either are tragically killed or  sold, spreading diseases. When they are kept alive to be given away, the kitten has a higher chance of being unhealthy, costing more money and possible heartache in the long run.

So, the next time you take your child into the pet store to gaze at the cute little furry things in the window, remember, they are not toys , so look, but don’t give in to the temptation of taking one home.