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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Up Close and Personal

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More Cats as Supermodels

I saw this video posted on BlogPaws today and couldn't resist passing it along.  Cat lovers will definitely love this one!   It is a perfect follow up to my recent post on "The Making of a Supermodel".  Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Making of a Supermodel

Now that Halloween is over, my cats can breathe a sigh of relief.  The costume season is over so I won't be torturing them any longer in an attempt to get that perfect photo to post on my blog for Wordless Wednesday.  You may have seen some of the photos last month of "victims" who endured a short session of unwilling poses in front of my camera.  If you know anything about cats, you could probably tell they weren't "smiling for the camera".  Rather, they all had a somewhat evil gaze that actually added to the costume!

This is not a supermodel.

Help me, I'm melting.......

I am not looking at the camera.

I suspect there are not many  house cats that have acheived the status of supermodel. If you've ever tried to adorn your feline friend in costume, you will quickly understand why. What you don't see behind the lens is the twenty plus photos snapped before a good one is captured.  When I say "good", by no means do I mean perfect or one that Cat Fancy would be knocking down my door for next month's centerfold.  They are either petrified and won't move, staring at the ground as the costume as rendered them motionless or they are trying to flee the scene.  Before digital photography came along, it would have added up to a lot of bad photos and expensive developing costs. 

Below are some photos I took for a pet photo contest I  recently entered.  Two cats  and 30 photos later, I had one shot that  had  Bruce at least looking at the camera and not scowling!  Unfortunately, I didn't win the contest which was a prize of cool Rick Springfield gear but maybe next time. 

Some of the not so good shots......

Aunt Bea is not a Rick Springfield fan.

  This was not on her evening agenda.


I'm outta here.

I'm not saying it is impossible to make your cat into a supermodel, but understand it takes lots of patience and a significant amount of training and time.   In fact, check out this video of some cool Hollywood cats who attended the cat premiere of "Puss In Boots."  These cats are obviously well versed on walking the red carpet with style. 

Now we all know that dressing dogs up in costume is much easier.  Generally they are more willing to participate than our feline friends.  Even though cats are a domesticated species, they still seem to maintain a few wild hairs that make them highly independent and less carefree than their canine counterparts.  For this reason, I believe cats are much less willing to put up with crazy human antics such as dressing them up for holidays.  Like I said before, training cats is not impossible and I challenge you to try if you have the patience and time.  As for me, I will continue to dress them up  much to their dismay in an attempt to get that photo contest winning shot.  Little do they know, I was perusing the clearance costumes at the pet store yesterday in anticipation of next year!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rick Who and Why Am I Wearing a Seashell Necklace?

Bruce posing to help me win a pet photo contest for some awesome Rick Springfield gear! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Tragedy in Ohio

These beautiful beasts are the victims of pathetic stupid human beings.  My heart absolutely aches for them.  It is a horrifying tragedy that innocent animals had to suffer the consequences.  It is time to end the sale, ownership and trade of exotic animals not only in Ohio but everywhere.  They are creatures meant to be wild and free not trophies.  Please support your local legislature to prevent this from happening somewhere else.  Share this blog to spread awareness and memorialize the fallen beasts.  This photo makes me ill and brings tears to my eyes but I felt the photo needed to be reposted as it truly reflects the sheer sadness of the situation. 

ABC 22 / FOX 45 Dayton's News Source's photo.

A Cat and Her Dog

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cats in Toyland

As responsible pet owners, we make a concentrated effort to keep our felines in a healthy state of mind.  Being that they are house cats and don't have run of the neighborhood, we try to keep their environment interesting and enriching.  This involves buying lots of toys and cat furniture and daily visits to the garage for chipmunk watch.  Enriching an animal's environment is extremely important as it improves their daily life and welfare which can reduce stress.  Stress, particularly in cats, can have a significant negative impact on their health which can lead to urinary tract disease and gastrointestinal issues to name a few.  With our most recent feline addition who is a youngster, she plays non stop.  She is a bit of a bully to the others so she doesn't have any buddies, therefore she has become quite good at entertaining herself.  Remember, I mentioned I have bought lots of toys.  I've never counted but I'm sure there are easily 50 or more items that include furry mice, balls with bells,  fluffy balls, crinkle balls, and the list goes on and on. 

Toy Chest  #1
But despite this never ending toy chest to choose from, she often finds something else to entertain herself.  I'm not saying she never pulls stuff out of the chest to play with, but when she does it never seems to be as interesting to her.  Her most recent "toy of choice" is drinking straws.  Yep, that's right.  I have become a bit of a Diet Coke fan so it is not uncommon to have a fast food restaurant cup on the counter waiting to be recycled. So my counter surfing cat identified her new toy and off she went.  She flings them up in the air, carries them around, and bats them across the floor.  We have laminate floors so they really fly  across the floor and make an unusual sound when they move.   

"Tornado" Tonks and her new toy.

Drinking straws are not the only cat selected entertainment device.  Wine bottle corks, cherry tomatoes, pimento peppers, rolled up plastic bags, and milk jug rings are also popular toys for them.  Did I mention I have counter surfing cats?  I don't know how many dried up cherry tomatoes I found under the furniture last winter!   Which brings me to the next subject.......the long lost toys under the furniture. 

Toy Chest #2

This is fun??

I am not a "Suzy Homemaker"  but I do try to make an effort and do a deep clean of the house every so often.  It doesn't take long to have ginormous dust bunnies in the corners when you have a house full of cats.  This usually includes vacuuming under the furniture as this is a favorite dust bunny hang out.  Before I vacuum under things, I have to check for toys so I don't choke the vacuum with mice, milk jug rings or whatever else is lost under there.  On occasion, I will see a cat, with a longing look in their eye, gazing under the furniture This a clue that it might be time to do a sweep with the yard stick.  I'm amazed at the pile that can collect under there. 

The long lost toys (and flameless candle that became a toy) under the china cabinet.

Seems that  Harry missed them.

Even thought the cats will choose their own sometimes unusual toys, I will continue be a doting owner and buy them what I think will excite them and enrich their lives.  They never cease to amaze me with their cleverness and antics.  It proves that if you have cats, you don't have to spend a lot of money to offer them toys.  Of course, safety comes first so you have to take this into consideration if you are looking for home made toys.  Think outside the toy box, you might be surprised at what they will consider the best toy ever! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bring 'Em Home for the Holidays

This week is the kick off for Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH). IH4TH is a joint effort between Helen Woodward Animal Center and Iams with a goal to find homes for 1.5 million orphaned animals between now and January 3rd, 2012. This might sound impossible but for the past 12 years, this collaboration has resulted in over 5.7 million families adopting an animal from a shelter, rescue or adoption center.   Last year alone, 1,125,667 animals were adopted.  This is not small potatoes.  This is saving lives. 

The man behind the magic is Mike Arms, President of Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego, CA.  Mike founded the IH4TH in 1999 with 14 shelters in the San Diego area who together adopted 2,563 animals who all went home with Iams food.  Today, there are over 3700 organizations globally that are participating in this adoption drive to save lives.  The success of this program is credited to the thousands of volunteers and  workers who dedicate their time to find homes for millions of animals. 

This week I attended the employee kick off event at P&G Pet Care that included a wonderful video presented by Mr. Arms which was dedicated to the canine heroes of 9/11.  A fact I didn't know is that over half of the search and rescue dogs used during that tragedy were adopted from shelters.  In addition, the first annual Mike Arms/Iams  'Hero' Award was presented to the Austin Humane Society for their efforts in coordinating disaster relief for displaced animals during the recent Texas wildfires.  This award is given by "Iams to a person or animal organization that exemplifies the commitment and passion for the lives of orphaned animals similar to what Mike Arms has been doing for so many years."  Frances Jonon from the Austin Humane Society graciously accepted the plaque and the $5000 award for their organization. 

Mike Arms, Frances Jonon and Michel Brousset (Iams)

Another partner in this years effort is the Ryan Newman Foundation.  Nascar driver Ryan and his wife Krissie are avid supporters of spay/neuter and animal adoption.  They were supposed to attend the kick off event but Ryan was a bit busy with his driving schedule.  (I'm not a Nascar fan but it would have been cool to meet them!)   They did have a great video of them sharing their support of IH4TH with one of their many adopted dogs hanging out with them in the kitchen of their North Carolina home. 

You don't have to adopt an animal to participate in IH4TH as there are several other ways you can become involved.  You can volunteer at your local shelter, give a donation (food or money) to your local shelter,  "Like" Iams on Facebook to donate food, "Share" Iams Facebook with friends and family, and/or buy a bag of specially marked Iams who then donates food to a shelter.  Saving all these animals is a community effort.  The workers and volunteers at animal adoption organizations cannot do it alone.  They need our help to support and care for these animals and help find them loving homes.  Your efforts will be saving lives by reducing euthanasia of orphans.  What better holiday gift to yourself than knowing you made a difference in a creature's life!

Let the adoptions begin!!

For more information
Iams Facebook page--Get up to date information, adoption announcements, and holiday cards
Iams Home 4 The Holidays--Learn more about how you can help the effort
Helen Woodward Home 4 The Holidays
Adopt Your Next Pet!--Browse through and see all the orphans waiting for their forever home

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Extreme Makeover-Animal Style

As a member of the veterinary community, I have made an effort over the years to support the local animal adoption agencies.  This has ranged from serving on boards of directors to hands on animal care to attending fundraising events.  I recently had an opportunity  to help out a local shelter in a more extreme manner by joining forces with fellow employees from P&G Pet Care to do a shelter makeover.  Now this wasn't quite like the popular TV show with the handsome Ty Penningtion rather it was Extreme Makeover:  Shelter Edition.  We didn't tear down the structure and build a new one in 8 hours or send the staff on an all expense paid vaction  but we did make huge positive impact on the facility  with our many efforts.   P&G has sponsored a makeover of an animal adoption facility in Southwest Ohio yearly for the past 4 years.  P&G donates a matching contribution of $25,000 and lots of volunteers who do a one day face lift of the facility.  The volunteers are all employees of the Pet Care division who take time away from their busy day job to improve the lives of the animals coming through the facility, help increase adoptions by making it a pleasant environment for potential adopters and improve the work environment for the staff and volunteers who tirelessly care for the orphans who need lifesaving help.  The  lucky recipient this year was Humane Society of Greater Dayton (HSGD) in Dayton, Ohio.

Paws for a Cause 2011 got underway bright and early on a beautiful September morning.  We lucked out as the weather earlier in the week was cold and rainy and the forecast for the next day was rain.  Overall, there were about 175 P&G Pet Care employees that descended on the scene to offer up their talents and makeover the building of 17 years.  Projects for the day included painting wall murals, landscaping, installation of agility equipment in the dog parks, cleaning around the exterior of the building, and installation of a patio and new cabinetry inside.  It was really amazing to watch the transformation of the site throughout the day.  Everyone was clearly on a personal mission to ensure the work was completed before the day ended.    Of course, there were lots of folks taking breaks to stop and visit the adoptable dogs and cats.  After all, the animals were the reason we were there.

The mission of HSGD is "building loving relationships between people and pets."  I think this syncs up well with the mission of P&G Pet Care which is "to enhance the health and well-being of more dogs and cats."  Together we can enhance the lives of both people and animals by joining forces to promote pet adoption through shelters and then maintain their health with exceptional nutrition once they are adopted.  We are a pet passionate group of people.  Events like this bring out that passion and help remind us why we are in the animal business.  We came away with the satisfaction that we contributed to the community and made a difference in the lives of people and the animals.  A day of sweat and sore muscles the next is little price to pay to help the orphans needing homes. 

Adopt from your local shelter or rescue, you will be saving a life.  

The troops are arriving.



The patio project

Take me home!
The new agility course.

One of the many artists.

Hangin' with the dogs