Tag Archives: Pets

Fearless Cats


I hope all of our American friends had a great Fourth of July. I know it can be a difficult day for people with pets, but our pets are not normal.

I vacuumed the house in the morning while Chris and Frankie were napping in the Florida room. They weren’t bothered by the noise in the slightest.

Later that evening is when the fireworks started. Judging by the sound, a very close neighbor spent a fortune on fireworks. I think it peaked around 9:30 when there was a continuous stream of loud bangs over our house but all of our cats were napping on our bed like nothing was going on.

How did your pets handle the Fourth of July?

Cat Left Behind with no Food or Water


My wife is vice president for a company that owns several apartment communities in Florida, Virginia and West Virginia. A small, 20-unit apartment in Tampa used to be part of a group of three apartment complexes but two of them sold last month leaving it with no full-time staff to watch over it. Instead, a resident helps out by keeping it clean and by doing light maintenance when needed and the manager comes by once a week to check on it.

While the manager was there on Thursday morning, she checked on an apartment that someone had recently moved out of and found a cat left behind with no food or water. It is scary to think what would have happened if she didn’t show up until Monday.

The resident that helps out said he recognized the cat and knew his name was Patches. He agreed to keep him in his apartment until they could figure out what to do with him.

His finances were tight and couldn’t really afford to keep a pet but agreed to do that after Rose told him she would keep him supplied with food and litter. This would come from her, not the company.

So as we were out for breakfast Thursday morning, Rose got online and ordered wet and dry food, treats, litter, a litter box, a scoop and some catnip toys, which all arrived the next day except for the toys.

It seems like Patches’ new guardian has become exited about having Patches as a companion and I think Patches has found a better home then the one he left. Anyone who is coldhearted enough to leave a cat behind like that must be horrible to live with.

That brings me to a question I have been wondering for a long time. Why do people who care so little about animals get pets? Why would someone just abandon a pet that has been part of the family? Why do people get dogs and then leave them tied up in the back yard? Or beat them for behaving like a dog?

Shortly after Rose placed that order for Patches, we left the restaurant and drove through the parking lot until we reached Petsmart where Rose stopped to let people walk by. I turned away for a second but my attention was brought back to the front when Rose beeped the horn. “Did you see that!?” she yelled. “What the hell is wrong with people?”

All I saw was a young man walking a small dog and two other people. As we drove by Rose opened my window and yelled some words at the man that I won’t repeat here. He then yelled unrepeatable words back. When I asked what happened, Rose told me the guy was pulling the dog’s leash so hard that the dog was flying through the air. Again, why get a pet if you care so little about animals?

Sometimes I am embarrassed to be human. My hope is that scientists will find out that these people belong to some subspecies of humans so I don’t have to be related to them.

We are Evacuating


When Hurricane Irma’s projected path shifted west on Thursday, we decided we should leave. A mandatory evacuation order helped that decision. Some friends said we could stay with them but this morning they told us they decided to evacuate themselves and are heading north, out of the state.

That left us with few options. My wife’s sister Felice’s house is in Evacuation Zone C, which is better than I thought. When Rose told me her sister’s house was in a flood zone, she was referring to her other sister’s house. Nevertheless, Felice has several cats and her mother will also be staying there with her cat which will make things quite uncomfortable if we come with our four cats. Who knows, some kind of cat gang war could erupt.

Instead, Rose got an idea from our Governor and looked into Airbnb. She found a one bedroom duplex in St. Petersburg’s Historic District. It is also in Evacuation Zone C, not perfect but better than Zone A where we are.

airbnb house rental

From Google Street View

As of now (Friday, 5:45 p.m.) my cat carrier has not arrived. If it doesn’t show up, we will have to bring one cat without a carrier because there are no carriers to be found around here. That brings me to my main concern; losing a cat.  If a cat got out the door here, we are pretty sure they would know where home is, but in a strange place, who knows. None of them are microchipped, which I have been wanting to do but never got around to it, and I have no collars with name tags. Actually, I have one collar and a name tag for Frankie IF I can find it. We are just going to have to be very careful when opening the door at the new place.

It looks like the storm will be at its worst around Sunday evening here so we decided to wait until Saturday morning to leave. We probably could wait until the afternoon but there seems no point in delaying further.

I think we will return when things die down a little, possibly Monday afternoon, I don’t know. I am almost afraid to come home because I don’t know what we will find. Everything could be fine or there could be minor damage or even major damage. Looting is also possible in a neighborhood where everyone is gone. Fortunately, we don’t have much that people would want.

I will try to post again from my phone if I can. If I can’t I may update you on Chris’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Thank you all for your concern and wish us luck.

Cold Weekend, Warm Bed


We don’t get cold weather very often in the Tampa Bay area, but when we do, it’s during the weekend. Saturday morning started out at 70 degrees but dropped all day until Sunday morning when it was 36. It was cold Sunday too and currently, at 8 a.m. Monday morning, it is 41 degrees, but it will improve throughout the work week, of course.

We have an old heater and don’t trust it so we leave it off at night, which means our bed has extra blankets on it to keep us warm. That does not go unnoticed by our cats who congregated there most of the weekend.

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Where do your pets go on a cold day?

Photo Friday: Three’s a Crowd


I was sitting at the computer the other day when I felt a cat jump on my chair behind me. I was busy writing so I didn’t bother to look to see who it was, I just scooted up a bit and continued writing. A short time later I felt like I was being pushed off my chair, so I got up to see what was going on and this is what I saw.

cats Chris and Floki on my computer chair

In case you can’t tell by the backside, that’s Chris with his face in the sunbeam and, of course, that is Floki behind him. Does anyone else have pets that take over their chairs?

Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day


Today  is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day so I thought I would remember the pets that have come before.

This is our St. Bernard, Bruno, and I believe that is me in the chair. My parents gave Bruno away when I was very young. I remember being very sad when the station wagon drove away with him. Years later I was told they worried about having him around small children but, what they didn’t know, was that my sister and I would get on his back like a horse and he didn’t seem to mind. Although, being 2 years old, perhaps I wasn’t seeing it correctly.

Bruno the St. Bernard

Our next dog was a Basset Hound named Caesar. He was a great dog but he would howl during the day when nobody was home. One day, shortly after moving to a new house, the police showed up at our door because of a complaint from a neighbor. So we had to say goodbye to another pet. Cesar went to live with my grandparents. We also had another Basset Hound named Samantha. Her and Cesar escaped one day while we were not home. Cesar came back but Samantha did not.

Basset Hound Cesar

Around 1976, a friend of my dad’s had a stray Doberman hanging around his neighborhood. They captured her and Dad brought her home. I’m not sure who named her Natasha but we just called her Tasha. She took to me right away and was with me for ten years before she died. She was the best dog ever.

This is not a good picture of her but it is the oldest. Check out the ancient microwave.

Tasha the doberman

 

Tasha was all about the food as this next picture (from around 1982) shows in more than one way.

Doberman Tasha

 

When I met my wife, Rose, in 1999, her son, Nick, had a cat named Sneakers. He got his name because he was found behind a bar called Sneakers. He loved Nick but he could be “bipolar” when it came to other people.

cat Sneakers

 

Vinny was a stray that came looking for food around Thanksgiving. It was unusually cold at that time so we decided to take him in. Except for Chris, Vinny was the friendlies cat ever. He was known for lying on the feet of strangers.

cat vinny

 

Princess was a feral kitten around 2002. Her mother disappeared, and a neighbor of my mother-in-law had all these kittens they were trying to home. My wife felt bad for for the kitten that was missing most of her tail, so we adopted her along with about a hundred fleas.

cat Princess

 

Abbey and Alex came to us in 2005. We adopted them from Petsmart. We chose Alex but couldn’t leave his sister Abbey behind. I’m glad we took both. Alex was very friendly and Abbey was shy but very affection to me.

Abbey

Abbey

cat Alex

Alex

Tigger was adopted by my Mother-in-law in 2006 but the shelter wanted him back because his brother was too dependent on him. We tried to talk her into taking his brother but she was not ready for two cats at that time. We took them both instead.

Tigger was another very friendly cat. His brother, Flash, was the opposite. He wasn’t mean but he was very shy. He would come to me for attention, and surprisingly my mother too when she came to visit, but he was not very people friendly. When we first got them, Tigger would suck on Flash’s belly like he was nursing. After awhile, Flash put a stop to it.

cats Tigger and Flash

Tigger and brother Flash

cats on bed

Princess, Tigger, Abbey and Flash, Jan 28, 2007

Clockwise from left: Abbey, Flash, Alex and Tigger

Clockwise from left: Abbey, Flash, Alex and Tigger

We miss all of them but at least we have happy memories.

Oh, I forgot to mention that this day was started by  Deborah Barnes from The Chronicles of Zee and Zoey in memory her Mr. Jazz.  

International Homeless Animals’ Day


Feral Cat Collage

The International Society for Animal Rights, according to their website, “conceived and began International Homeless Animals’ Day (IHAD) in 1992… Animal protection organizations and concerned individuals from around the world come together on the third Saturday of August each year to raise awareness about the pet overpopulation epidemic.”

I have volunteered at three animal shelters and fed several feral cats at my last place of employment. I see so many good people who work hard to get animals fixed and to take care of the ones living, whether in a shelter or a colony. These people are helping to keep the problem from getting worse, but to really help make sure that all domestic animals are taken care of, many more like-minded people are needed to either volunteer or contribute financially.

Forget Cat Food, We Want Steak


At dinnertime in our house, Chris is, surprisingly, our best behaved cat. Last night I was cooking steak and they all lined up waiting for it to be done because they know I am a sucker and will give them some.

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Frankie is the worst. He will just steal a big chunk of meat off my plate and eat it with no remorse.

cats eating steakcats eating steak

Puck is a little better than Frankie but Puck is all about food, always has been. That is part of the reason we named him Puck. Think Wolfgang.

Chris, and to some degree Puck, are dainty eaters when it comes to meat. They don’t like large chunks so I have to make sure they have little pieces. It is like I am feeding babies instead of full-grown carnivores.

Frankie could live in the wild and probably did. He has no trouble scarfing down big chunks of steak.

3 cats eating steak

Yes, we have spoiled our pets and created beggars and thieves, but why not? We don’t have to worry about them going to college and getting a good job or a nice woman. They are only with us for a short time so why not spoil them?

Can Earthing Benefit Your Pets?


I believe the concept of Earthing was introduced in a book called Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! I have not yet read the book but I read several articles about the subject and watched a documentary called Grounded. As best as I understand it, when we are disconnected from the Earth, like we are in our homes or while wearing most shoes, we build up free radicals in our bodies that cause inflammation. That leads to a long list of other health problems. By taking our shoes off and touching the Earth for 30 to 60 minutes a day, we allow a free exchange of electrons that can neutralize these free radicals and restore health. Even just standing on unpainted concrete, like a driveway or sidewalk, will allow an exchange of electrons.

I had been wearing minimalist shoes for over a year but decided I needed to get as close to barefoot as possible. The best option I could find was a pair of traditional moccasins that only had a single layer of leather for the sole.  The leather, once worn in, conducts electricity and is the perfect compromise between shoes and barefoot walking. Plus, they are very light and allow my feet to move freely in them. The only problem was that I had to learn to walk like humans are supposed to, by landing each step less on the heel and more toward the balls of my feet. Striking the heel on a hard surface like I was used to with sneakers, or even the minimalist shoes, was somewhat painful.

Since moving a few months ago I have not been walking on the Earth much and lately I have been thinking about ways that I could get out more. Suddenly I realised that our cats get outside to touch the Earth even less than I do. I have always felt it was good for pets to get outside where they could run around and breathe fresh air and now I have another reason to get them out. I am sure that if connecting to the Earth can help people it could help pets too, perhaps even more so for inside only cats that never have contact with the ground.

Unfortunately, getting my cats outside has always been difficult. Busy traffic near our last home and rules against outside cats where I live now keep our pets inside. It also doesn’t help that Frankie is a runner and I fear he will go to far and get lost if let out without his harness, but finding time to “walk” all of our cats is difficult.

Bad Cat Chris outside

Cat Frankie outside

Going forward I will try let Frankie and Puck outside more often for walks on the harness. That will help me get out more too. Hopefully Puck can get over his nervousness because I want him to get outside as well. Chris doesn’t need a harness but I plan to spend more time letting him eat grass before making him go inside. In addition, I may pick up an earthing mat to use in the home. It is a mat that connects to the grounding plug in your home or to a wire that leads outside into the ground. It might be helpful when I sit at the computer with all the EMF radiation around me, then the cats could lay on it when I am not using it. I read that pets are naturally attracted to it.

What do you think? Does anyone have any experience with Earthing?

A Gift Arrives


We adopted Chris in late 2009 from a shelter named Sav-R-Cats in Surfside, South Carolina (near Myrtle Beach). I met Chris while I was volunteering for Sav-R-Cats and worked with Shirley and Linda who are not only still there, but still keep up with Chris and his shenanigans. They decided to send Chris, Frankie and Puck a gift which arrived the other day.

Cats inspecting packageFrankie and Puck were interested right away, Chris was off doing his own thing and was not aware something new was in the house. As soon as I opened it, the two of them were inspecting the contents.

Cats inspecting package

Soon Chris sensed something was up and was there in an instant to lend a paw in the inspection process.
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Even the box itself was thoroughly checked out.Cats inspecting package

Inside the box were some lovely, handmade blankets, two with a gold cat and one with a black cat. One each for Chris, Frankie and Puck.cat blankets

But there was something else in the box.20150212_Cats_0960

Cats inspecting package

The blankets were already a great gift but there were also toys in the box.

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Some of the toys were labeled “Loony Loops” and “Springs.” There was a toy called a “Hexbug,” which looked interesting but I decided to save that for later. The first one I took out was a spring which Chris immediately started chasing around the house.

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They loved the blankets too.

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There was also an envelope.EnvelopeInside was a nice card and note from Shirley, Linda and the cats at the shelter.

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Sadly, many of the cats on the note were Chris’s shelter mates in 2009 and are still there. There is Ace, Ralph, Jack, Jerry and Yoda, Cole, Carter, Sarah and Alinda. I took Pictures back then for Petfinder and remember some of those names, like Jerry and Yoda.

cats Yoda and Jerry

Yoda and Jerry at Sav-r-Cats, dated October 3, 2009.

These two cats are best friends and must be adopted together, which may have made it more difficult for them. They have lived a good part of their lives in a shelter (Jerry since 2006) and could possibly die there without ever knowing a good home. Of course, they are treated well at the shelter but I would love to see these two and the other “old timers” find a loving home to live out their remaining days.

Another cat that I remember on the card is Sarah. It seems the males are more likely to be long-timers at a shelter but not always.

Sarah, Sav-r-cats

Sarah, dated November 11, 2009

There is also Jack, who reminds me of our departed cat Tigger.

Jack, photo taken October 3, 2009.

Jack, photo taken October 3, 2009.

Not on the card is Hope, who I photographed in early 2010.

Hope, dated February 11, 2010.

Hope, dated February 11, 2010.

If anyone lives near Myrtle Beach, or know someone who does, and would like to help a cat or two that have been in a shelter too long, please contact Sav-R.Cats.com or check out their Petfinder page.

Update: It turns out that Hope was adopted so that is good news.