Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book Review: Cat World by Desmond Morris

Cat World Copyright Desmond Morris 1996 is a 496 page A to Z Feline Encyclopedia of almost everything interesting, exciting and unique about cats except veteranarian information. I even learned that an ailurophile is a cat lover. The book covers 80 breeds of domestic cat and 36 species of wild cats. The book has so much useful information it is hard to list it all. Every aspect of cat behaviour, every feline term, and famous cat owners are but a few of the bits of information you will glean from this book. I didn't know that Alexander the Great and Napoleon were afraid of cats. Also that Florence Nightengale and Bridget Bardot loved them.
The text includes famous pet cats, fictional cats, legendary cats, important cat owners. Entries on anatomy, behaviour, biology, folklore, history, literature, and art help round out this wonerful work.
The book contains many illustrations and over 150 colour photographs and nearly a thousand entries. This is an indespensible reference for people who are serious about cats.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bloody Tussle

Recently our cat, Nigel, got in a scrap with another cat, or least we think it was a cat. The vet said that the bite marks were too small for a raccoon. Three raccoons were spotted that morning near our home. Nigel was really beat up. He could hardly walk. There were wounds an his tail, his back, his belly and both hind legs. He required 10 stitches, pain killers, antibiotics, and lots of rest. He had to be fed soft cat food exclusively because his anise needed stitches too. It took him 2 weeks to recover from the ordeal. He needed a special cream to put on his wounds every day. He oozed blood for a week all over a special blanket we used for the purpose. All this was going on while we were remodeling our house. Not so purrrfect timing in that way.
This begs the question that is asked over and over. Should we let the cats outside? And the answer is - Yes.  How would you like to not be able to go outside? A house becomes a cage. A home becomes a trap. We all need to connect with the outdoor environment and cats are no different.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cats are Stressed Too

One of our cats, Nigel, was peeing and pooping in odd places, for various reasons; like our schedule; he didn't get to go outside. I wanted to put him down because it seemed like the easy way out, but my wife would have none of it. We took him to the vets to see if there was some physical reason for him to do this, but blood tests and a good physical proved otherwise. They told us that the unwanted urination was most likely behavioral due to stress caused by our other three felines. We think part of it is because he was de-clawed by a previous owner.
They like to bully him, he is so afraid of the other ones that he won't use the litter box, and we have three boxes. If there is a piece of clothing laying on the floor, he will go there. More than once he has urinated on our shoes. A couple of times in the past month he has pooped in front of our toilet. That was nice to wake up to at 5 AM. He was also hiding behind a certain love seat in the rec-room for lengthy periods.
The veterinarian suggested that we try a couple of things to ease his stress: One - we tried a diffuser that has some compounds in it that relax cats. It covers about 750 sqft. when it is plugged into an electrical outlet. The other thing we tried was canned cat food, called CD Stress. It contains some drugs that relax cats and give them a sense of well being. It is also very expensive. I give him a can in the morning when I get up and a can in the evening when I go down.
Nigel seems a lot more relaxed now; he doesn't hide all day, he sits in rooms with the other cats and his bad toilet habits have decreased considerably.
This hasn't come cheap. A case of the CD stress is over $50 and lasts 12 days. The diffuser with the first refill is over $50 and a refill is about $35 and will last about a month. Time will tell if this is a permanent solution but Nigel seems a lot happier and this is cause to celebrate.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Claws Claws Claws Claws

No doubt about it: cats have claws. Cats with claws can destroy thousands of dollars worth of furniture, not to mention what they can do to your arms and legs. But, I am in the camp where I think our feline friends should keep that part of their anatomy. We let our cats out almost every day, so I think they need protection and territory sustaining ability. One our cats was declawed by a previous owner before we rescued him from a very cold winter a few years back. He is very timid and afraid of our other cats. I wonder if it is because of his lack of claws on his front paws.

One solution we found that works to some degree is that we bought furniture made from micro fiber. Our cats seem to hate to stick their claws into it. We recently visited a local furniture store to buy a new chair but they told us that not much of their stuff is made from micro fiber any more. We did find one piece, but my wife didn't like the color.

Another possible solution that I came across while visiting a pet store was these little plastic boots that just go over the claws. I don't know if they would stay on very well, but it may offer a solution to someone who wants to investigate further.

It is always prudent to have your cat's claws cut once every four months. I say four months because you can put it on your calendar at the beginning a each season to remember it easily. You can do it yourself with a pair of reasonably priced feline nail clippers, or for a modest charge the vet will do it. The vet may even do it as a free service while you are having a regular veterinary visit.

So, if you and claws can get along, God bless you; if not, de-clawing is an option and God will still bless you.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Viral Felines

The Internet is not only the information highway, it's fast becoming the major source of entertainment for many people. Many surfers of the web have found a favourite past time in watching the antics of cats. I read of a cat that had a perfect black moustache called Stash. The owners put him on U-tube hoping that their pet would go viral. I didn't hear anything so I guess he didn't make the grade. You can't force a cat to go viral on the web. It is so hard to get shots of your cat doing those fantastic things that they are famous for. After all, they are not paid actors. Try calling your cat to come to you. "Yeah, take a number and I'll get back to you." We had a cat once named Mario. She was named after the character in the Super Mario game because she had a moustache. She used to fetch balls and drop them at your feet. That was before the days of U-tube and video camera in every one's phone. How the times have changed. Our entertainment is more on a personal level even though we seem to be getting less social in person. So meet a friend in person, have a cup of coffee and talk about whatever especially cats.

Monday, May 19, 2014

gods and God

 In Egypt cats were worshipped for centuries. So were beetles and frogs, so that's not saying much. There are even remains of mummified cats today along with an assortment of other mummified animals. Cats do posses a certain elegance and mystic about them that sets them apart form other animals. The qualities that they have make them perfect house pets. All you have to do is feed them, and give them a clean litter box. After that they pretty much take care of themselves. In fact if you try to get a cat to come to you it's like they say, "take a number and I'll get back to you." Even so, they are adorable and I love holding a furry purry in my lap, but I draw the line at worshipping them. I don't think we should worship the creature but we should give our devotion to the creator who made heaven and earth and all that is in it.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Book Review: How to Pet a Cat

How to Pet a Cat, The Complete Hands-On Guide by Peter Farrow
This book is about how to overcome your cat's Tactile Deficiency (TD) caused by neglect (lack of proper petting), and I mean the proper ways to pet a cat so that it is completely satisfied. The book describes how to recognize TD and use various stroking methods such as the blades, the occiput, drubbing, the socket, jowling, ruffing, puddling, the swipple and many others to give your feline the love it needs. Apparently, more than 90% of all cats suffer in silence from the lack of a satisfying tactile relationship with their owners (servants). So don't ignore your pet and get to it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Moving Experience

Sorry it has been a while. We've been busy trying to sell our house.
We've been wondering how to move our four cats when we relocate. We have only two cat carriers and four cats. My mother-in-law has two cat carriers so maybe we can borrow them. Moving can be a traumatic experience for our feline friends. It literally turns their cosy world into chaos. Moving is traumatic enough for some people and it can be difficult knowing that your pets don't understand what's going on.
The last time we moved was 25 years ago. We put the cats in a bedroom in our new house before the move happened. Water, food and a litter box rounded out their essentials. A familiar blanket was included. We closed the bedroom door and put a sign on it: "Cats - Keep Door Closed". When I opened the door after everything was moved in, the scaredy cats climbed the walls. Poor things, but it didn't take them long to settle in and adjust to their new and better home.
I picked up a business card on the last visit to the vets that advertised a pet taxi. They even offer long distance commutes. They have a kennel service too. Since we may be moving as much as 100 km (60 miles) or more, this alternative maybe better. It may be easier on us, but our pets might be even more traumatized by the moving experience if we do that.
We could have one of us take the cats on ahead, and prepare the new house for the movers, while one of us stays behind and cleans up after the moving company and answers any questions. Since we have only one car, this arrangement may be costly to rent a vehicle, or else drive back and forth a bit. We'll see how it goes.