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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This week we have been talking about cats being used in therapy.  No, you don't lie down on a couch and tell them your life story.  :>)  But, those of you who are animal lovers, particularly cats, know what it's like to be stressed out or down and your cat rubs up against you or snuggles in your lap.  As you run your hands through their fur or listen to them purr, you feel yourself relaxing a little.  They're so warm, so soft, and so loving you unconditionally that you can't help but be comforted.  Normally, dogs have been used as therapy animals, but cats are coming into their own and making their presence more known in this field.  According to studies, the presence of an animal produces positive results in safety, self-esteem and in dealing with loneliness and depression.  This makes a cat the ideal therapy animal for those in nursing homes.  Therapy cats are also valuable when interacting with Alzheimer patients, by stimulating both memory and forgotten emotions.  (They even help this senior with memory and emotions!)

One of my readers shared a website with me.  The webmaster is  .  She writes: cats seem to have an instinct to be there when we need comfort. Whether we are sick, worried about our work, blue over a broken romance, or mourning the loss of a dear friend or loved one, a cat will inevitably show up to share our angst. Feeling a furry body steal into your lap, then give loving licks on your hand or face, purring all the while, is one of the most comforting feelings imaginable.  She also goes on to tell about how a cat helped a little boy who was autistic.  Thinking that a therapy animal might help the boy come out of his shell, the father took him to an animal shelter one day.  Here's what happened next.

"I walked past the cat room into the dog area. Again, I was disappointed that my son just stared around him at everything else, but not at the dogs. They seemed to hold his attention for a few seconds.
As we were leaving, once again we walked past the cat area doors. I figured, "What the heck? It's worth a try. Though I have no idea what he'll find interesting in there." We walked into the cat area, which was significantly smaller than the dog area. As we walked past the cages, there in a corner was a black and white tuxedo cat. Suddenly my four-year old non-verbal son pointed to the cage and said, "Cat!" That was it. That day we took the cat home. My son could not come up with a name for his new friend. My daughter, who has always been very protective of her younger brother tried to help find a name that he could pronounce. Finally, the name Clover was discovered."

You can read the rest of the story at  There are many more links and stories about other therapy cats as well.  Very interesting reading.

I would like to wish all of you the best of this holiday season and pray that your New Year will be peaceful and prosperous!  Our prayers go out to the residents of Newtown, Connecticut.  We share your grief.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The discussion this week on my Social Media posts has been about traveling with your pets, so I thought that I would share some information I found in my insurance magazine.  They brought up many good points to consider.

A growing number of national chains are now priding themselves on their pet-friendliness even going so far as to add special room service menus for cats and "pawdicures" for pampered pooches.  It's wise to call and confirm that the place you want to stay is pro-pet.  You need to know if there is a limit on the number of pets in a room, weight of dogs, not accepting certain breeds, etc.  Websites to search for useful information are:                                                                             

Pet safety should be the main concern in your car.  Use a carrier that will allow your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down.  Frequent stops to help your pet stretch their legs and go potty are also necessary.  And, of course, NEVER leave your pet unattended.

The Humane Society is not in favor of air travel for pets, only unless absolutely necessary.  Airline restrictions vary, so call early to learn the do's and don'ts.  is a link to use for information on this topic.

Camping is a good option for dog lovers because many National Parks will allow a leashed pet on their trails.  Go to and search "dogs allowed".

What to bring?
1.  A recent Certificate of Veterinary Inspection showing your pet is healthy and vaccinations are up to date.
2.  Your vet's phone number in case of emergency.
3.  Bottled water, food, bowls, and a leash.
4.  Plastic bags and clean up supplies.
5.  Favorite toys, a blanket or pet bed.
6.  Your pet's collar, ID tags, and a picture in case the pet is lost.
7.  Medications, including those for car sickness.

A happy pet will allow everyone to have a good time!  Happy traveling!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My question this week was: Are you thankful for your cat and why?  Received some neat answers.  One owner replied that the cat's antics brought her joy.  Oh, my goodness, yes!  I certainly would agree with that one.  Sometimes my two are purrfectly content to sleep and eat.  But, there are other days that you'd swear there are 20 cats in here instead of two because they are EVERYWHERE!  I have to caution my mother sometimes to watch out for them if they're on a rampage because she might get run over!  Into this, into that, chase each other, etc.  Their energy is boundless on those days.  Just recently purchased one of those "red dot" laser lights.  I think I get a bigger kick out of it than the cats!  Just watching them with it keeps me entertained.  And then there's empty boxes.  Got a chuckle out of this because it's so true.

Cats can entertain themselves with the box for hours.  Have to laugh at Sammy.  After we recycle, the first thing he does with the box that held paper is tip it over and crawl in.  Guess he has to see if anything changed!

Another owner told me that she loves her six cats because they are her saving grace.  If your world or you are going crazy, there's nothing more calming than to have a cat on your lap purring and looking at you with sleepy eyes.  You can feel yourself chilling out and have such a warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart.  Sammy can be a terror, but when he lays on my lap at night and looks at me with love in his eyes, my heart just melts.  They are such good companions.  They don't ask for much: food, water, love, and a place to go potty, of course.  What a blessing they can be.  According to research, people with pets tend to live longer.  I can understand why.

Would love to hear your reasons for being thankful for your cat.  Please leave a comment and have a great day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We have been talking about petting your cat.  They determine the how, when, and why of it according to their needs and feelings at the time.  Every cat is different, so what works for my two, may not work for yours.  But, our pet does talk to us and lets us know just exactly how she/he feels or what they want.  I found another picture which me smile.  I know that a lot of people will relate to this and get a chuckle out of it.

All I have to do is get comfortable in my recliner and get thoroughly engrossed with a book and Sammy  jumps up in my lap and starts to clean his fangs on the edge of the book.  If he's not doing that, he's laying on my chest.  I'm doing what the woman is doing and trying to read.  Makes me wonder if he likes the smell of the glue on the binder.  Who knows with him!!

Our next topic is an age-old question.  Do cats feel love?  Some people feel that your cat shows affection because you feed them and take care of them, so it's their "instinct" to buddy up to you.  Anyone who has ever had a cat will disagree with that!  Cats do what pleases them and show affection on their own terms.  If  they don't come when called, they are known as unaffectionate and unlovable.  But, compare this relationship of owner/cat to mother/child.  Most generally, unless a child is in danger, a mother is not going to drop everything and run to the child the minute they call.  Most likely, she will call out "Just a minute".  This DOES NOT MEAN that she doesn't love the child.  So not coming when called is not a sign or test of affection.

We'll explore this more next week.  In the meantime, if you find the information helpful or useful, please share with someone else.  As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I realized after I posted my blog last week that I didn't include a few other ways that Kirby and Sammy like to be petted.  And they were the most important!  Good grief, I must have been having a senior moment.  (Not that I get very many of them, you understand!)  Again, read your kitty's language, but you might find these pleasing to your cat as well.

Both of them like to have the sides of their neck rubbed and scratched.  I take the back of my hand and very gently start at the nose and go back to the neck.  They just lean into that and really purr.  When I'm brushing Kirby, he'll lean into the brush and do that himself.  I guess it's because they have a gland in those areas that secretes their "scent" when they brush up against something.  That's one of the ways that they mark their territory.  The other thing they like is being scratched under their chin.  Sammy likes this when he's laying on my lap.  Silly cat will stretch clear back so I can do that.  Kind of like this little guy.

The funny part is the fact that he's laying on his stomach when he stretches his head back like this!  I swear he's going to bend into a pretzel shape!

Have you ever had your cat just fall over in front of you and flop on their back or walk into the room and see them on their back with paws up?  Here's a clue as to what that means.

Have any questions or comments?  Would love the feedback!  Have a great week.