I Like Plastic

I love to eat plastic. Mom always worries about me choking on it, so she’s quick to throw it away in a covered trash can. But sometimes I find it before she can throw it away and I’ll start munching away. It’s not very nice when she tears it out of my mouth, but she does worry. She thinks I’ll choke on it. Well, low and behold, I started choking on dry cat food today. I was so scared, I started purring (for you humans, the purr is associated with any strong emotion, not just happiness).

aidMom learned a big lesson today. She had taken a pet first aid class taught by someone with the Red Cross, when she worked at an animal shelter. That was close to 10 years ago, and when she heard from my other ma that I was choking (mom was at school when I was choking), she wished she had kept up her certification in that. She realized just how important that class was and how important it is to know what to do for your kitties when they need your help. So, if you’ve never considered becoming certified in pet first aid, you should consider it now. You never know exactly when you might save the life of someone’s pet, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.

You can sign up for classes by visiting the Red Cross website. Do a search for pet first aid classes and register for one. I think it’s such a good idea, I’m purring about it. Because cpr cat isn’t always around to jump into action.

cprcat

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Vote Cat

During the next election, if there’s a cat in any office on your ballot, vote for him or her!

Bachelor Pad

There’s this room in our house that kitties don’t get to go into until we bust through the door or sneak between someone’s legs to get in. The other day, I busted in before the door got closed all the way; thank goodness my ma had her arms full with clean sheets and a comforter or I never would have been able to look around. The room is awesome; I loved it in there. So I was thinking maybe I’d figure out a way to turn it into a Bachelor Pad for me and the boys … except the boys aren’t allowed it. I might let the girls in, though.

So, I was doing some research today on how I’d like it decorated. Here are some things I found. Tell me what you think!

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This one would be great if there were an actual radiator in the room. I’ll settle for it being under the window

hammock

I do love hammocks, and this one looks sooooo comfy!

Fantasy-Furniture-Modern-Pet-Bed

Max might like this one too much. Maybe I shouldn’t get this one!

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A bed under a glass table with a full view of me? Perfect!!!

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Is this one too much?

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I think I’d look good in red.

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I think this one’s a must-have! It has extra space for food and water, with drawers for clean bedding that my servants would have to change every few days. But don’t wash them because I like how my orange fur looks on bedding.

wood-cat-furniture

A nice little cubby hole is always a good addition to any room!

Inspire-Furniture-Your-Pet-Design-from-Atomic-Attic-Image

Any old luggage will do for a bed. That way, I’ll know for sure that my humans won’t ever be able to go anywhere and leave me behind.

Also, there’s a rumor that this toy might be coming to my house. I’ll definitely have to hide it in my Bachelor Pad because I think my little sister, Penny, will freak out and hog it for herself! How selfish is that? I mean, why can’t I hog it?

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This will be so much fun!

Emergency Services

cat freaking outHave you ever thought about what you’d do if there were a disaster in your area? Say a tornado, fire, earthquake or tsunami? I live in California near the coast, so we often worry about earthquakes and possible tsunamis from those earthquakes. We also have fires in California and sometimes those get closer to home than my mom would like (her lungs have been irritated by 2 fires here in Southern California since we moved her almost 2 years ago), so we worry about those, also. And have you ever wondered what kind of emergency kit you should have for your cat? Well, I have some suggestions for you! There are some important things you will need to have on hand, some of which can probably be kept in the trunk of your car (like a bag of cat litter … I hear that’s even useful in winter time if your stroller – er, I mean car – gets stuck in the snow). Other things you’ll want to keep inside in one easily accessible spot (like maybe inside, on top of, or next to the cat carrier). My stroller has a trunk underneath it, and mom’s thinking that’s a good spot to keep my supplies in. I tell her it’ll make my gas mileage go down, but she doesn’t pay attention.

skAnyway, the basic things you definitely need to have in your cat emergency kit are (p.s. if you’re a dog owner, you can find a dog emergency kit checklist here: http://www.redrover.org/disaster-supplies-dogs):

  • sleepypod-outsidersYour cat’s carrier, of course. Have a few pillow cases inside, as well. Pillow cases can be useful for carrying your cat around in if your kitty’s having a hard time. Sometimes, in emergencies, we kind of freak out, and pillow cases may be the best way to get us from a home to a car or some other safe location (because we might freak out even more if we see that carrier come out).
  • Litter box and litter or puppy pee pads (puppy pee pads are less messy than litter, but it might be worth your time to test one out in your cat’s litter box to make sure s/he will actually use it before you rely solely on those in an emergency situation – they’re definitely lighter and easier to store than litter). Also, there are a number of different types of things you can use for litter boxes. There are cheap temporary litter boxes that you can buy that come pre-filled with litter, but you’ll still want to have extra litter or puppy pee pads. There are also foldable litter boxes that are easily stored. You can also use aluminum roasting pans as litter boxes (they’re light-weight and easy to store, as well).

    foldable litterbox

    Foldable litter box

  • Waste bags, like dog waste bags, for used litter.
  • Enough dry cat food for one week. Check with your local emergency kit store such as a surplus store; some of them will vacuum pack the food your cat’s used to eating for a small fee. Keeping things as similar as possible during an emergency makes a big difference, so ensuring your kitty can eat the food s/he’s used to can make a big difference …. especially if your kitty is on a special diet. But make sure you rotate the food, so that you don’t find yourself in an emergency situation with overly expired kitty food your cat won’t and/or shouldn’t eat.
  • Enough canned food for one week. Make sure to also bring along a can opener. Sometimes those pop-top cans break and you won’t be able to get them open without a can opener. Also, some cats are fed just canned food, so for those kitties, you can skip the dry food supply, but I would recommend adding a few extra cans of cat food just for safety’s sake.
  • 1280px-Anheuser-Busch_canned_drinking_waterEnough water for one week. There are a bunch of options for water. You can buy bottled water and rotate them out to ensure they don’t expire. There are also water pouches you can buy at emergency stores (REI comes to mind for these types of water pouches, but you can find them online, too). There are also cans of water, like soda cans only with water that are supposed to have a 50 year shelf life. I know some people worry about the plastic water container thing, so these might be a good option.
  • Towels and/or some other form of bedding. Make sure the bedding isn’t too big or cumbersome, though. Remember, you want all of your supplies to fit in one storage bin or cat carrier. If you have more than that, you’re taking too much.
  • Any medications your cat may be taking along with labeled bottles and dosage information printed on the label.
  • Current copies of veterinary records along with vaccine information in a waterproof container like a Ziploc bag.
  • Phone numbers of your veterinarian, relatives and friends (I know you have those in your cell phone, but you should write them down on paper in case something happens to your cell phone). An additional phone number for you to write down is for the Animal Poison Control Center (they may charge money for the phone call, though): 888-426-4465.
  • cathotelA list of pet friendly hotels not only in your area but also outside of your area. Red Cross Emergency centers often can’t allow pets, so having a backup list of other places to go (like hotels, friends or relatives) can help you keep your kitties with you.
  • Have a flashlight with extra batteries and/or emergency glow sticks.
  • Instructions for the care of your cat in case you have to leave us with someone else in a pinch.

 

Some optional items might include:

  • cfaPet first aid book
  • Pet first aid kit (you can find these on the internet)
  • Toys. If you don’t have room for toys, you know us cats: an empty box, wadded up paper or an empty toilet paper roll work just fine, too. And you can usually find paper and/or empty toilet paper rolls anywhere (in terms of toilet paper rolls, you should have a roll of toilet paper in your own emergency kit, so you can even wad up a bit of toilet paper for us to play with).
  • Temporary ID tags in case our original one falls off
  • Additional ID tags with additional contact information in case something happens to your cell phone. You can use the phone number of a relative or friend, but be sure to check with them first to make sure they’re ok with being a backup contact person in case of emergency.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I guess I passed out and wasn’t awake for the actual New Year. I think someone must have spiked my milk. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my New Year’s photo. I was hoping to have one professionally done at the stroke of midnight, but instead I got this one taken. I think Max, the Siamese kitty, was the one who stuck the hat on my head. I heard that Salem busted out in a long, happy laugh to see me in a New Year’s hat. I was going to wear a tuxedo, but…. well, here’s my photo.

Camping, camping, camping!

It finally happened; we finally got to go camping. The weather warmed up enough for us to head out. Max said he was super busy, though, and couldn’t come along. Penny almost came in his place, but decided not to at the last minute. We were disappointed that Max couldn’t go, because he was the one who was supposed to bring the tuna we were going to grill. The rest of the food part didn’t really work out well, either. Salem had eaten all the Greenies by the time we got out to our camp site and we made Penny drink the case of milk I was going to bring because she’s funny when she’s drunk. By the time we took down our tent and came home from our camp site, Max came running down the stairs at home, saying he was ready to go! But Max, we already went camping. So now we have to go again and bring Max along with us. I’ll have to post a video of that camping trip, but in the meantime, here’s a video of this one!

Darned the cold weather!

 

 

 

 

 

doofs

Ready for Camping

Darned that cold weather. Me and the boys are ready for our next camping trip, but that cold weather has prevented us from actually getting out and doing it. We’re so ready. Hopefully, videos will be coming soon of our adventures in our tent!

Holiday Travels with Your Cat, Part 1

2012-11-13_09-42-30_HDRAs an early Christmas gift, a good friend of mine bought a tent for me and the boys (Max and Salem) … ok, maybe she bought it for the girls, too, but we didn’t invite them on our first camping trip (and they have to bring some pretty good bribes if they want to come on the next trip, like some cat grass or nip). Today, my good friend wanted details about that first camping trip, but I wanted to wait on giving said details because that was just a trial run. The boys and I are planning to go again, but next time we’re bringing supplies. I’m supposed to bring the 12-pack of milk, Max is supposed to bring the tuna we’re going to bar-b-que, and Salem’s going to bring the Greenies we’re going to roast over the fire (like you humans do marshmallows). That’s the camping trip I’m going to post about. And I plan on taking lots of pictures.

But my friend’s inquiry about that first camping trip got me thinking … the Holidays are coming up and lots of you humans go travelling during this time. Sometimes you bring us, your cats (or pets), sometimes you don’t. So I thought I’d post a 3-part series about travelling with, or without, your pets from a cat’s point of view. Today’s topic will be on cat-carriers, the next part will be on airlines (and other types of travel, like cars, trains and buses, but mostly on airlines), and the 3rd part will be on leaving your pets behind while you travel.

So, today, to start, I just want to talk about carriers. Carriers range from horrible to the one that works the best for you and your kitty (not all cats travel the same, so not all cats will be comfortable in the same type of carrier). To find the one that works best for your kitty, it’s a good idea to buy the one you like well ahead of time, then take your kitty on short trial runs in the car with their new carrier. You know your kitty best and will be able to determine if that particular carrier is sturdy enough for longer trips. If it’s not, return it and get a different carrier (hint: put some sort of protection, like a puppy pee pad, on the bottom of the carrier so that if your kitty has an accident, it won’t absorb into whatever material the carrier is made out of; puppy pee pads can also come in handy for us kitties while we’re in our carriers because some of us get scared poopless when we travel, like my sister, Penny – also, check with the store you buy the carrier from ahead of time to see what their return policy is).

IMG195Horrible cat carriers are the cardboard ones, like the ones they give you at an animal shelter or rescue for temporary use to get your new kitty home. Just because we like to play and sleep in cardboard boxes doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for us to travel in one. I mean, heck, the couch is no match for us, why do you silly humans expect a cardboard box to withstand our destructive efforts of getting out of the darned things and killing everyone involved in making us travel in the first place? Now, on that note, I must say that some cats actually do like to travel (most of us don’t). For instance, I love going on short car rides (after an hour, 2 hours max, I’ve had enough). Car rides, to me, mean long stroller rides at the end of it or returning home from a stroller ride to go zipping around the house like a mad man. I’ve gone on fun outings often enough that I don’t associate my carrier with travelling any great distance or the vet. In any case, forget the cardboard carriers. Just don’t use them!

airlineapprovedmeshcarrierOther kinds of carrier have mesh windows (like the ones pictured). Some might think us kitties could easily break out of these. That might be true for some kitties in some mesh carriers. However, the mesh is generally tough enough that we can’t get out of them. Some of these types of carriers can be airline-approved. And while they have semi-rigid shells, they tend to be somewhat flexible to squish under an airline seat (and you bet that this squishing will probably make most of us a bit nervous). You can find these type of carriers at places like Pet Food Express, Wal-Mart, on Amazon.com, wayfair.com or wag.com.

Then there are the rigid, plastic types of carriers, some of which are also airline-approved. While the carriers with mesh windows typically come with some sort of soft bedding inside, these hard, plastic carriers don’t. So, to make them more comfortable for us, you’ll want to put some secure bedding on the bottom (which helps us feel more secure because we’re not sliding around as much – we can actually gain some traction around corners or over bumps, which makes travel a bit less stressful). These types of carriers are pretty safe to take us traveling in, although if we’re determined enough, we can break out of these, as well. Yes indeed, it has happened before. You know those little latches on the door? A smart cat can figure out how to work those! Don’t put anything past a highly motived, determined cat. These types of carriers you can find almost anywhere. Sometimes you can even find them at your local shelters – they occasionally sell them when they have too many (granted, that doesn’t happen a lot, but sometimes they get more of them donated than they know what to do with). And shelters typically sell them for less than you can find them at any store. Other places you can go are Pet Food Express, Target, Wal-Mart, or online.

sleepypod-outsidersRecently, I saw a video for a type of carrier called the Sleepypod. I’ve never tried one out before, but it’s an ingenious idea. It’s basically a really comfy bed you can turn into a carrier. And, in case you weren’t aware, the more we use our carrier as a bed or sleeping spot, the more we play around it, the more fun it is for us, the more likely we are to be less stressed out on trips. So, for any carrier you get or have, leave it out somewhere for your kitty to sleep in. We don’t normally associat one of our favorite sleeping spots or play spots with a trip to the vet or moving or travelling for the Holidays, so when you go somewhere with us in our bed, we’ll be more comfortable overall (that still doesn’t mean we won’t freak out).So if you decide to get something like a Sleepypod, be sure to leave it out as a bed for us to sleep in with the top of it right next to it or nearby. That way, we won’t associate the top coming out of storage with a trip in the car.

Here’s a video of the Sleepypod. I am in no way advertising for them or suggesting that this is the carrier for you, and I do apologize for the cheesy advertising aspect of the video, but I thought you might like to see how it works.

Until tomorrow when we talk about airlines. Yikes!

(P.S. There’s a cooler and, to me, more informative video about the Sleepypod here).