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Saturday, December 27, 2014

The "Gifts" of Christmas From Your Cat--Entertainment

The first two gifts we talked about were Affection and Happiness. Please refer to the previous blogs if you haven't read them yet. We'll conclude with Entertainment, although, these are not the only gifts. There are many more. Each cat is different and brings its own special gifts to you. Of course, the gifts described in this blog are all connected. As these creatures show their affection, it makes you happier. They keep you entertained which makes you laugh which makes you happier!

#Gift 3--Entertainment

First of all, we know that cats have cattitude!

Second, you NEVER know what to expect next!

That's the reason they are so entertaining. Mine can be perfectly calm; the next minute, they're jumping over each other, playing with something, or peeking out from behind a corner. Their expressions can be hilarious, especially if we don't do what they think we should do!

These expressions, these entertaining moments can happen at any time during the day or night. They might involve other animals.

Of course, that also includes other cats!

They definitely will involve you sometimes!

This could go on and on as you well know. I think you get the idea! Tell us about some of the things your cat(s) do that make you laugh. Would love to hear some cute stories!

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The "Gifts" of Christmas From Your Cat--Happiness

In the last two weeks, we've taken a look at the 14 ways that cats show their affection. Admittedly, some of them seem a little weird to us, such as spraying, scratching, and sticking their butts in our faces! If you haven't read the last two blogs, check them out to see why this is a form of affection.

#Gift 2--Happiness

They MAKE US FEEL HAPPIER. They are such great companions and love us with unconditional love 365 days a year. Psychologists at Miami University have found that people who own pets are more conscientious, more social, have better self-esteem, and healthier relationship types. Pet owners, especially those with dogs, can get more exercise and reduce stress. Animals help us heal; many are used as therapy animals. 63% of pet owners consider their pets to be family members. So how can animals make us feel better and happier?

 They can grab our attention which distracts and relaxes us.

These cats are also offering social support which reduces stress, as well as, physical contact with another living thing which is good for mind and body.

Here are other examples of how supportive they can be. Or, at least, they think that they are!

How do your cats make you happy? I know when I have a cat in my lap, or sometimes two, things just seem to be better. I'm not nearly as stressed out. It's very comforting.

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Gifts of Christmas From Your Cat--Affection, Part 2

Last time we discussed cats showing their affection by purring, rolling, bunting, scratching, kneading, gifting, and playing. There are seven more ways they do this.

Gift #1--Affection

Cats Love with Sleeping. As sleep champs, felines typically sleep up to 16 hours a day. Because they are most vulnerable during sleep, the place your cat chooses to snooze must be a secure and trusted location. There is no greater loving compliment than a cat choosing your lap for a favorite sleep spot.

Cats Love with their Eyes. A kitty’s eyes are proportionately very large—if human’s eyes were the same proportion, our eyes would be eight inches across! As such, cat eyes are important assets for survival, yet extremely vulnerable. Cats that place their faces and wide open eyes near a human express great trust and love. A slow “eye blink” from across the room is considered a cat kiss.

Cats Love with their Tails. In a similar fashion, the “elevator butt” pose invites you to give special attention. Simply scratch her/him above the tail. Cats also signal their love when they approach you with the tail held straight up, and the end slightly tipped over. Kittens use this to greet their mother—and adult cats continue to treat their favorite humans like a beloved mom, with tails flagged high in respect.

Cats Love with Meowing. Cats rarely meow at other cats. Kitty uses these vocalizations specifically to interact with their people. Do you make a point to talk with those you dislike? Neither do cats! Even when kitties pester you with lots of meows, they're interacting with you out of love.

Cats Love with Grooming. Cats spend an enormous amount of time self-grooming. They also groom each other, but shared grooming behaviors only happen between friendly cats. Kitties that groom their human by licking your skin or hair, or even nibbling or sucking on your clothing, indicates great affection. This spreads familiar scent and helps mark you as an important part of their family group.

Cats Love with Spraying. Say it ain’t so! But it’s true—if your cat has decided to baptize your bed or other belongings with urine, you should consider it a back-handed compliment. Cats use their own scent to calm themselves down. Kitties feeling upset over separation anxiety or other issues often target areas that smell the most like their beloved owners…such as the bed.  (Not posting a picture for this one.)

Cats Love with their Butts.  This is another “back handed compliment” that cats offer to only their most trusted, beloved people. Because kitties identify each other by scent, butt-sniffing is the equivalent to a very personal hand shake. When your cat jumps on your lap and presents their tail in your face, the invitation is obvious—not that you need to sniff.  (No picture for this one either)

Yes, cats DO show affection. Many people think cats are too independent to do that, but they just don't realize how many ways affection can be shown. Here is a video clip for you to enjoy.

If you think cats don't love their owners, watch this!

Again, would love to hear from my readers about the ways your cat shows affection. Next week, we'll talk about another gift our pets give us.

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The "Gifts" of Christmas From Your Cat

One of the first things on your mind at this time of year is a gift. Whether it's for family, a friend, the office, the school, etc., you know you need to buy gifts. Let's take a look at the gifts that your cat can give you, not only at this time of year, but all 365 days of the year. The amazing part of this is that these are given freely and unconditionally. How special is that!

Gift #1 is Affection.

I read an article about 14 ways your cat shows love. Not going to do all of that here because you would be reading way too long! Will touch on 7 of these and go into more detail about them some other time.

Cats Love with Purrs. Their purrs can mean a variety of things, from delight to expressions of concern. And kitty purrs range from soft and subtle to Mack-truck loud. (Kirby) When your cat purrs in your presence, you can be sure they're expressing their love for you. Then there's Grumpy Cat!

Cats Love with Rolling. When kitty throws itself on the ground at your feet, and rolls around, consider this a loving greeting and a solicitation for attention. Presenting the tummy in this fashion places the cat in a vulnerable posture. So cats generally reserve the rolling around for people they truly love. (When mine do this, it's always out of reach so I have to go to them!)

Cats Love with Bunting. When a cat cheek-rubs you, head-bumps your face, or pushes against you, they leave their scented signature. These behaviors, termed bunting, are expressions of affection cats display to other cats, dogs-and their most favorite people.

 Cats Love with Scratching. ( OMG! Say it isn't so!) Just as with the spraying, cat scratching leaves both scented and visual marks of ownership. Pay attention to where your cat scratches the most. The areas most important to kitty often are related to those places associated with the owner, like a favorite chair where you sit.

Cats Love with Kneading. Kneading behaviors—front paw treading on soft surfaces—hearken back to kittenhood. Kitten paws knead against the mother cat’s breasts to induce milk to be released. Adult cats continue the behavior when they’re feeling most relaxed and content and loved, and that’s often when being petted on the owner’s lap. Kneading is an obvious expression of adoration.

Cats Love with Gifting. Mighty hunter cats that catch everything from toys to bugs, mice or frogs, often share the bounty with those they love. Kitties who present you with this bounty deserve praise. They wouldn’t bring these special gifts if they didn’t love you.

Cats Love with Playing. Kittens play out of pure enjoyment, and many never outgrow playtime. Some cats may actually control the interaction of petting by moving just out of reach—so YOU must go to THEM. Their most favorite playmate typically is a trusted, beloved companion.

Next time we'll look at the other seven ways your cats can show affection. One of them will really shock you! Tell us how your kitties show affection to you. We need some "Awwwww!" moments.

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.