Who Else Wants to Go to Greece With Harry?

I have introduced five cats who are lucky enough to be joining Harry on his adventure in Greece. I have a lot more applications to go through. Please take a gander at the following contestants.

Dewey

The next cat co-star is Dewey. You may remember Dewey from Book 1, The Legend of the Pink Diamond. He’s the only co-star who gets to appear in more than one book. Harry needs this lightning-fast, feisty feline to help him maneuver around the Greek Island of Syros. Of course, the cats from the sanctuary will be there to lend a hand, too.

Rosie is the second one that I’ll introduce you to this week. She has an exceptional talent; she can moonwalk, which will come in handy when Harry needs a feline to creep silently on window ledges.

Rosie

Next week, I’ll be bringing more cats along for the ride.

How Do Heatwaves Effect Our Pets?

In this national heatwave that we are all experiencing right now, we must all be mindful of our animals. We need to keep our pets indoors with fresh water and a cool place for them to hang out. You might even add a few ice cubes in their water. It serves two purposes, to cool the water down, and it gives them something to play with.

I researched heatwaves and how they can affect our precious pets. Just as humans can get heatstroke, so can cats and dogs. 

The signs to watch for are:

1. If your dog is panting excessively or your cat is open-mouth breathing or panting

2. If the color of your dog’s or your cat’s gums change to brick-red and blue-purple

3. If your dog or cat is drooling more than usual

4. If your dog or cat is lethargic or if they collapse

5. If your dog or cat is going into seizures

If they are experiencing any of these signs, call your vet immediately.

We also need to be mindful of leaving your animal in a locked car. On a day where the temperature is 90 degrees, the inside of a vehicle can reach 138 degrees! Please do not take your dog or cat out in a car, just to leave him sitting while you do your errands. Think about how you would feel in 138 degrees. 

In a nutshell, we need to be thoughtful and loving towards our pets. After all, they are part of our family.

How to Massage Your Cat

 

A great way to make your cat purr his cares away is to massage him. You know how a good massage lightens your mood and kicks your cares to the curb? Well, it is the same for your cat. You should know a couple of things before you try it. Some cats do not like massages. Don’t worry: he will let you know. Just use your cat speak. Your cat will communicate his wishes to you if you only watch him. There are a few things which you need to avoid.

Do not touch his whiskers

Your cat’s whiskers are very sensitive. They use them for many things. As an example, damaged whiskers can make navigation hard in their surroundings. The least bit of touch (like if their food and/or water bowls are too small for them and their whiskers touch the sides) can cause pain and disorientation.

Do not squeeze

Remember, he is a cat, not a piece of fruit. It would be best if you had a soft touch. You would not squeeze a baby, so don’t squeeze your cat.

Do not massage him if you’re not relaxed

If you are tense, perturbed, rushed, etc, don’t try to massage your cat. Cats are very sensitive and can pick up on your moods. So, if you massage him while you are agitated, he will get agitated, too, and he will not get the full benefit of the massage. (Neither will you, for that matter.)

Do not interrupt him

If he is busy doing something, like grooming himself or sleeping, leave him alone. We all need a little privacy sometimes. He usually will be more receptive if he is relaxed and just laying at your feet (or wherever your cat lays). When he is happy to be with you, that’s the time to share the massage.

Do not massage him right after he eats

Wait about two hours to let his food digest.

Do not push him

If he doesn’t want it, then back off. Give him his space. He will let you know with his body language, how he feels at the moment. Use your cat speak.

Now, we got the don’ts out of the way, let’s dig into the dos.

1) Talk or sing to him to relax him. No one likes to be squealed at, especially when trying to relax.

2) Start with petting him in his favorite place. My cat likes to be scratched behind his ears. So, whether, be it a full body pet or a scratch under the chin, start there to help him relax. Apply gentle pressure. Too soft, and he may not feel the massage, and where’s the benefit in that. (You don’t have to use two hands, one is just fine.)

3) Use your whole hand for the body.

4) Next, the head. Using the palm of your hand, massage in slow, gentle circles.

5) With your fingertips, massage slowly, lightly around the ears. When you have finished the ears, move down to the neck and chin and massage with slow, gentle circles using your fingertips. (Do not press the neck). When the neck is done, then the cheeks and face. Don’t be concerned if he drools or looks a little daze. This tells you that you are on the right track.

6) Next, the forehead. Don’t forget the place just above the eyes. Use your fingertips to massage in circular motions. Remember: softness is the key here.

7) Spend a few seconds to pet your cat, from head to tail, as you would normally, then go back to the gentle touch for his head, body, and tail.

8) Massage the sides of his body, using your full hand. This should be a firm touch, but remember, do not squeeze.

9) The shoulders need some attention, too. It would be best if you first used gentle, circular motions, followed by a soft, but firm, rub down. Include his back and sides.

10) Now, go back to using the gentle circular motion to rub him from shoulders to tail. Be very careful around his tail. Some cat’s hips and tail are sensitive.

11) If your cat allows you to touch his belly, go ahead. Now is the time, since he is nice and relaxed. Caution: This area is very sensitive, so even if he will let you rub it, do not rub too hard. A very light touch with your fingertips is called for here. Do it while you are working another part of his body, for example, his shoulders.

12) The very last step of the massage is his tail. Like his whiskers, his tail is sensitive. Starting at the rump, use a slow, gentle touch until you reach the end of his tail. Then pet him as usual for a minute or two.

If he’s whips his tail to and fro, stop. He is probably overstimulated.

This may sound like a long process, but once you and your cat get into it, it seems to end too soon. For more info: Video on massaging your cat

We give our deepest thanks to:

Cat Behavior Associates

Wiki

Petfinder

 

What Benefits Do Cats Bring To Us?

2nd Day

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” ~ Charles Dickens

 

Some may think, “We don’t own cats, they own us”, while others think, “Cats are just animals, for goodness sake! ” Those that think the latter, have never been owned by a cat. True, cats are animals, BUT a cat’s nature is such that he will be owned by no one…least of all you! So, I like to think of the relationship I have with my cats as being guardian and cat, not necessarily in that order. I take care of my cats, but as they are not possessions,  they do NOT owe me anything. As long as I remember this fact, we’ll live in harmony. That being said, I will tell you the benefits that my cats bring to me.
For the past 20 years, there have been at least two cats in my household. Why two, you may ask? Some cats are needy and tend to get bossy about your attention.  They want to be the only one in your life.  In other words, the world revolves around them. If I am writing, there is a 99% chance that the cat will try to get my attention, usually by standing on my keyboard. Every time Monkeyface, who was my first cat, felt a little neglected, he would get into the toilet paper, as a form of protest. Then, when I finally came out of my office, toilet paper would be strewn from one end of the house to the other and Monkey would be looking innocently up at me. It was not fun cleaning up, and the expense was got outrageous, but I loved him anyway.

That’s when Tiffany Marie came onto the scene. The two cats had fun together. They would chase each other through the house, playing with their toys (usually fighting over who owns them). Because Monkeyface was a 25 pound furball who didn’t like confrontation, Tiff, a 10 pound Siamese, usually won. Sometimes Tiff, (my ‘living on the edge cat’), would instigate an antic for which she knew, in the end, Monkey would take the blame.   I swear, on these occasions, I saw her sit back, snickering, like a bad little kid. So, I had my hands full most of the time, but at least they stayed off of my keyboard.

The most important benefit, to me, was the companionship that my cats bring the me. When I would kick back at night, listening to some soft music,  they would sit quietly, just being content to lay next to me and purr away the day’s cares.  Whenever I was ill, they would take turns laying beside me and purr. (Everyone who knows anything about cats, know that their purr can heal.)  Other times, when I was upset, they would know just what to do. Tiff would come to me and touch her nose to mine, while Monkey just sat there and purred.  On the other hand, there were nights when I would be watching a mystery on the television, and invariably at the part when the killer was stalking the girl (who was wearing 7″ high heels and trying to run in them) through a darkened house, my cats would chase each other through the room like a flash and scare me to death; but it was all good.  I love them and I know that they love me.  But I digress.
It’s is thought by some in the medical field that people can often benefit from being a companion to either a cat or a dog in a host of ways. Below are just a few:

  1. Pets can help to lower a person’s cholesterol
  2. Reduce stress, therefore decrease blood pressure
  3. They can even predict seizures and episodes of hypoglycemia
  4. They have extraordinary powers to help a person’s emotional well being.  Just petting a cat and hearing it purr, has a calming effect on both you and your cat.

Why, I have even heard of one cat saving his guardians life when he detected a carbon dioxide leak in the house.  He woke his person and insisted that she get out of the house by banging himself against the glass door.  In the end, both cat and guardian were safe, and it was all on account of “Super Cat”.

I sure know that my life has been enriched by the love my cats. The benefits are countless. They make me laugh, they give me solace when I’m feeling blue, and most important of all, they are there when I need a friend. It is for these reasons, that I couldn’t live without my cats. Everyone knows that, as long as you have the companionship and love of a cat, the rest will come easy. 

If you are thinking of adopting a pet, don’t think that a dog is the only choice; look into having a cat. Choose wisely; when adopting that special pet, make sure they fit your lifestyle. I will touch on adopting a pet later.

Thanks to : Doctors Forster and Smith