Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays, folks!
I'm offline most of the time, but checking in periodically.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

And Then There Were Four

Fluffy lost her battle with Chronic Renal Failure a little after 11:30 this morning. She went peacefully. The last few minutes, she was out of pain.

When I got home from school yesterday afternoon, I saw how changed she was. Her face was different. Her eyes were different. She wasn't Fluffy anymore. She was a ghost.

The dreams I had over the last week were her saying good-bye and begging for release.

I do have a couple of photos of her from yesterday and today, but I prefer to remember her with us, with her spirit engaged.

She will be buried tomorrow, after her grave is dug. I don't believe in digging graves unless I have to. So, I wait until they are needed.

The other cats pretty much ignored her the last few weeks. When I sat down to talk to Fluffy yesterday and last night, they crowded around asking why I was spending time on a ghost. They had said good-bye to her, but I had not.

This morning, when we arrived at the vet's office, she mewed excitedly. It was like she knew she was going home, over the Rainbow Bridge. She wanted to go.

Her gentle spirit will be missed. I've done most of my grieving before this, over her illness. I will probably cry later, but right now, I just have business to attend to. The business of dying.

Sleep in peace, my Flufferdoodle. My Fluffy Bear.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bad Dreams

I've been having bad dreams all week. It's been hard to sleep. Several of the dreams are about Fluffy. I had another one a while ago, and I haven't been able to get back to sleep.

I was turned loose, running for cover, and Fluffy met me on the trail. I called for her to follow me. She was wearing some kind of square thing around her neck, hanging down. When I got to safety, she met me. The "harness" was hanging on by a thin thread, and I removed it.

I can't think of a more poignant dream about the harness of life. Fluffy is ready to go.

I'm at school right now. I've been running past her and doing so much for myself and everyone else, that I haven't had time to concern myself with her more than getting fluids into her every time I'm home. I've been "running past her" and expecting her to keep up or come to find me.

The other cats pile on me when I'm home. They miss me, too. They take my time, and she lays in her bed. I call to her, she looks my way, and then snuggles back into her bed. She comes up to my chair, and climbs into it using her claws, walks across the table beside it, and lays in the cat-tree by the window. She can't climb up into it anymore, to lay in the sun. She doesn't stop for cuddles. They hurt - unless it's her head or tail. She's spent one night on the bed with me in the last two months. Probably, that was her "good-bye" sleep with me, but I mis-read it.

I'll be home with her tonight. I'll take the time to sit with her and talk with her. I need to see that she's ready. I need to say good-bye to her. We have an appointment with her vet for Saturday morning for more fluids. It may just be her time to sleep the long sleep, instead.

I'm a little somber this morning. I'm a little sad. I knew this was coming, but I kept hoping I'd have a little more time with her. Wait till Thanksgiving. Wait till the semester's over. Wait for me. Don't go, little one, don't go.

I'll miss her. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How to Choose the Best Food for Your Cat

Cat's digestive systems aren't designed for carbohydrates or cereals. They just poop it all out and don't get any nutrition from it. It's just a filler. Protein is what they need, and they need it from animal sources. Fish needs to be used sparingly, but most cats love it. Once a week, a taste, that's fine. I found that out the hard way, when my Fluffy got sick. I had them on fish for about a month, and suddenly she dropped half her weight. Her kidneys about shut down, and now she's on life-support. If she makes it, it will be a miracle, but her vet says it's end-stage kidney disease. That's why I say to use beef or chicken, and duck, rabbit, lamb, or venison in a combination with beef or chicken.

Feeding our cats is so different than what we eat, and their dietary needs are so misunderstood by most cat owners. Even me. I've had to learn all this stuff, talking to vets and experimenting with my own cats. It may be cruel to experiment on my cats, but if I can keep someone else from losing their cat, then it's a good thing. Pet food makers are out for the most money off the cheapest ingredients they can use. That's just the story. I don't blame them, cause everybody is out to make a profit in business. But if it causes harm, then I advocate against it.

Most of the pet food producers don't know the harm they do. They look at calories, protein and vitamins, and get people to say that the food is good according to their organization. There is an organization that regulates pet foods specifically. They use research and tell us what is good or bad, but just like all other organizations, they can be influenced by money. The money that supports the organization, most of the time, comes from the producers of the foods. They don't get government money, or money from you and me. So, they are going to say that the foods are good for pets. Only by trial and error can a pet owner know what works for their pet.

I'm here to tell you what really works and what really doesn't. I get paid from you, not from the pet food makers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fluffy Got a Bath

I gave Missy Fluffers a bath the other day. No, I didn't take photos. She did fairly well. I couldn't find the vaseline to put in her eyes, but the shampoo didn't get there, only the rinse water. She doesn't look too good because I used cream rinse to make sure she wouldn't have mats. It didn't work, and didn't rinse out very well. I guess it's a good thing she doesn't groom herself anymore. At least she doesn't have any more fleas!

Yep, she's really weak. She got on my lap once this past weekend. Only once. She is affectionate, but seems tired. She just wants to sleep and lol around in the sun. It was very warm yesterday and I opened the windows for a while. She got up in the windowsill, then laid in the cat tree - her favorite place - and sunned for a while.

She loves her wet food, and that's probably what's keeping her going. They each get 1/4 can of food a day, spread over 2 feedings. I have to spread it or Beasley gets sick. He still gets sick, but not so much as he does if I give him more at one time.

I don't know if Fluffy will make it this next two weeks until I get home again. I have several friends watching her and the others. There is a vet we can take her to, if we need more fluids.

Like "if" is possible at this point. Of course she needs more fluids...  Poor baby.

I wonder if she was saying goodbye last night, when she got on my lap. She didn't stay very long, just long enough to be uncomfortable. One side is very tender, and the other you can pet without her flinching. She tends to lay on the tender side, possibly protecting it. But it hurts her, so she moves around and seems restless, without being restless, if that makes any sense. She gets comfortable, closes her eyes, and dozes. She still wants to be around all the action.

As long as she wants to stay, I'll help her stay.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Cats Dealing with Death

Cats deal with cat death differently than we do. Dying cats tend to isolate and the other cats tend to "cut the ill one out" of things. Not meanly, but just as a matter of course. The sick one doesn't participate much, and the others fill the void. They just move into the empty space.

Right now, I'm losing one of my cats. Fluffy has CRF (chronic renal failure) and she is dying. We keep giving her fluids, but she isn't strong enough for dialysis. She won't be. She's too far gone. But she's alert, and interested in things going on around her for the most part.

She sleeps in the main room, opening her eyes and gathering comfort from the noises and activity around her. When she wants to be involved, she gets up and gets involved. She even plays a little bit when I bring out the toys.

I give her "baths" with a wash cloth, My vet taught me how to do it, with a corner of a wash cloth dipped in hot/warm water and wrung out so it's only damp. The heat is more important than the wet. I run my fingers with the cloth over an area and then stop. She seems to like it. She doesn't even wash behind me. And it does seem to keep her cleaner.

She came up on the bed last night and got some snuggles. Later, I woke, she was gone and another in her place. They all know she's dying. Even Fluffy knows it, I think. She is slowing down, and just not ready to say good night for the last time yet.

So, my sweet girl is leaving me. I knew they would all leave me eventually. They are all about the same age - about 10-12. It just happened that way. But to have the first one be Missy Flufferdoodle -- it's hard. She's always been so sweet and loving. Kind of stand-offish, but not, and always ready for snuggles and food. She masticates fingers with her kisses. She's always had problems with the mats and grooming herself, but she's always been patient when it was time to groom or cut off the mats, too. And she's always been ready to play. She's never had a problem with the others, and they never had a problem with her. She was just happy to be out of that cage and have a home.

CRF isn't contagious. It has to do with body chemistry and stuff. It's the kidneys having trouble with cleaning the blood. Sometimes it happens because of the breed of cat; sometimes because of weight issues, and Fluffy has been heavy; and it can happen because of heart issues and holding or losing fluids in the blood, like hypertension and heart disease.

Older cats are all at risk for CRF, so if you see any difference in your cat - drinking more or less, weight loss, or anything out of the ordinary, have it checked. The tests aren't expensive, and it could save your cat for years to come. If your cat develops CRF, you, too may have to go through this part - the end-stage of CRF, with your cat.

A soft place to sleep, and gentle handling. Love and comfort. Your cat will tell you when she's done. They always do.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rescinding Website Sale

I've rescinded the sale of the website. I've discovered more copying, and instead of adding more content, I'm pulling it off the internet come the end of the year.

I'll add all the content I've been preparing, and not posting, and make it into a book. I actually have enough content for 3 books, and that may be what I do. I was just getting ready to post about Chronic Renal Failure (Fluffy is affected) when I discovered that my last page was already copied on the internet under another URL.

Whoever this person is who is copying my content, they have succeeded in putting the website out of business. I won't post new content just to have it stolen and posted elsewhere. And my ezine is not any more secure than my pages, since I archive the issues for folks to read who subscribe.

There are measures in place to stop the copying, and I probably have legal recourse, but this is the only way to stop him/her for good. I've changed page names, changed links, and re-written content, but there is a mirror site someplace picking up every change I make as fast as I can make it.

It's hard to let this go. I love the website, and I love what I've been able to contribute. I love helping folks with their cats. But enough is enough.

In one way, it's flattering to be copied.  But when it hurts my website, and my income, I can't continue to allow it to continue.

Monday, August 27, 2012

FLOC Website For Sale

I've put the website up for sale. I'm about to close it down, so if somebody wants to buy it, I'm asking $5K with room for negotiation.
You have to stay with the host to get the content.
All related parked domains are also for sale.

I don't have time for it and it's needing attention.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Got the Page fixed...

I got the Cat Tail Expressions page fixed. It's a little different, since I hadn't saved the original content. When I tried to, my computer was locked up and it wouldn't save. So, I re-created the page, and it's up.

I'm still getting the error on the computer, so maybe it's time to upgrade the OS on the MAC. I don't have the $$ for that, so maybe I'll have to retire the computer? I'd hate to do that!

I'll get the next page up in a few days. I'm working on a book at the same time, on another topic, so I've been pretty busy.

I'll be leaving for college dorm living at the end of the week. I'm older, but I'm still going for it. I've never done a lot of cool stuff, and this is one of them. My cats are going to be cared for while I'm away, and I'll be doing a weekly commute home for snuggles and cuddles.It's just going to be a bit strained for the next two years while I get my degree.

I've got the ezine scheduled to go out on the 30th. I want that next page put up before I finish the ezine. There are some cool things in the ezine this time. I hope you like them!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fed up with Errors!

Right now, I'm pretty fed up. I've been trying to put up a page for several hours. I've lost all my work, even though I saved it to my computer. I got some strange error and I can't even close my browser when I hit that error. It stopped my saving documents to the hard drive, to the flash drives, and everything.

I'm trying to have a good attitude, and I've reported it to support, but I'm pretty unhappy right now. The site has been on life-support for several months, and if this is what I have to deal with from now on, I'll just close it down. I don't need the aggravation.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Your Cat's Tail

Your cat has many emotional temperaments that he shows in his tail movements. I've put up a long-overdue page about cat tail expressions and I hope you will come take a look.

Cats have many ways of using their tails, and they (the tails) show emotional state, interest, and a lot of what a cat may be thinking.  If you can "read" your cat's tail expressions, you stand a much better chance of understanding your cat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Parasite Map Available

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) has redesigned its website for pet owners and now features a set of maps you can check for information on parasite prevalence in a specific area.

If you're only interested in heartworm disease, you can select your state from a drop-down menu on the right side of the home page to see the infection risk for your state. If you'd like more extensive information, you can view the entire U.S. map.

If you choose the second option, you can find out the risk for several different diseases for dogs and cats individually, by state. The maps include infection rates for:

        * Tick borne diseases (Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis)
        * Intestinal parasites (roundworm, hookworm and whipworm)
        * Heartworm

You can also click on a state and see infection rates for individual counties, then hover your mouse over a county to see its name.

According to Dr. Christopher Carpenter, executive director of CAPC, "Our unique parasite prevalence maps provide localized statistics about diseases that affect dogs and cats in consumers' backyards, and we update them monthly."

Courtesy of Dr Becker

Monday, July 09, 2012

When We Get New Cats...

When we get new cats, whether planned or by rescuing them, we have a responsibility to the new cats to care for them, and to our existing kitties so that they know they are not being replaced.

Once these responsibilities are met, and the new cats are calmed down, comfortable and on a similar schedule, then introductions can be made. One nose at a time to another nose. Supervised only, and with protection for each cat. This should be done in neutral territory - not near food bowls or litter boxes. Once kitties have started growling and hissing, separate them and give everyone some time out to calm down. Repeat as necessary.

If a new cat is feral and the existing cats are not, then you have a duty to tame that cat or release it. It should be spayed or neutered before release. If you choose to tame it, I suggest you come to the website for details on how to tame a feral cat. That will ensure that your new cat learns to trust humans and won't try to eat your budgie or your house plants.

Our existing kitties will best be served by play sessions. These let our cats know that we love and value them. I suggest a good, rousing play session of at least 15 minutes, twice a day. Use toys on strings. sticks, or balls. Once your bond is renewed, you can also use the play therapy to help the cats adjust to each other. Play therapy is the best technique to help cats bond.

Give your cat some catnip. However, do not  give catnip to your combined kitty family for at least a week or two after introductions. They need to learn to trust each other before you introduce that element. So, use play therapy for two weeks, then sprinkle catnip around for them. The bonds should be cemented after that.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

WooHoo! Site Update is DONE!

It took a month. It took going over things two and three times. I cut, pasted, filled in, wrote pages, checked all the links, uploaded photos - and it's DONE! The navigation is all new, the look and feel is no longer green, but "Rebel Prince," my winking cat, is still there.

The Website is Done! WooHoo! 

Please visit, check it all out and have a good time!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Web Work

I've been working on the website. Every day, I'm building and updating the pages. I'm averaging about 8 pages a day. It's slow going, but the results are a clean website, with no duplicated content and good links.

All the products are being re-evaluated, and the referral sites are being checked. Some of the links I've had to other websites are no longer good, and one even got taken over by a webmaster posting konji characters only. So, I've been cleaning up all the stuff.

I'm also removing ads and cleaning the "invisible" code that folks don't see, so maybe the pages will load faster.

I have not yet added any new content, but I have some ideas. I want to expand the "elder cat" area, and post some information I've learned from the diabetic cats in my household. Things about diet, exercise, regularity of meals and routine, that may help others.

I still have to re-organize the navigation. It still looks like a mess, and I have not changed anything there. I'll be changing the linking to use something called a "breadcrumb" link at the bottom of the page. Basically it says that you are "here" and gives you links back the way you got there, one page at a time, or you can jump right to the home page.

Using the breadcrumb link should increase the length of visits, which is something that has needed to improve for a long time.  Folks that come to see one page, then "bounce" to another website hurt the statistics of my site, and that has contributed to the poor performance and decreased traffic from the new Google algorithm. This should fix that.

I'm not updating the RSS feed at all right now. I want all the content to be spidered and listed before I update that.

There was a lot of copying of the website across the internet, and instead of requesting the other webmasters to honor my copyright, I've decided to abandon that and change the content on my site. If the other webmasters get caught with duplicate content, then it's on them.

I'm also taking precautions so that my website is not copied again. That's one of the reasons to not update the RSS feed. I'll have the first listing date in search results, and can "prove" copyright a bit better. I'll also be getting a full copy of my site every 6 months from here on out.

The pdf files that were directly accessed by other websites, the files have been either renamed or just removed permanently.

As for my ebook, it is being reworked and will be released in either Kindle or bound form in a few months. It will no longer be offered free, regardless.  I will probably add a lot to it, including drawings, pictures, and sketches, and extend the content to other areas of cat care.

Benign neglect is NOT the way to run a website, and it's my fault that I've let this happen. So, I'm taking responsibility and fixing the problems. I hope my visitors will like the final result.

Stay tuned. I'll reveal the "new, updated" site in a couple of weeks.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Website Re-Evaluation

I've been re-evaluating the website again. I do this every year, about renewal time. This year, however, Google has played some mean games with their algorhythm, and it's hurt me pretty badly.

My traffic, which is the backbone of any website, has dropped to a small fraction of what it should be. It's down to about 30% of what it was just a few weeks ago. That means it isn't getting found, sales aren't made, and no one is asking for counseling.

 I haven't done much to it, or added anything new, for a while now, so part of it is my fault. The poor thing needs some new content, and I could make folks dig a little deeper for information, instead of laying it all out on one looooong page.

If I re-do the site, those issues will be addressed. I've learned a lot in seven years, including what mistakes I made seven years ago.

There are other issues, and I've been working on them, too. Broken product links, for one. I've also learned who I want to work with and who I don't.

Back in 1998, when I first began playing around on the internet, looking into what are called "monetization models" or ways to make money on the internet, I joined up with a few folks who were making it possible.

I've since found better partners - ones who make it easier for me, not who pay me more, although that's always a nice idea. I've partnered with them, and made some strong ties.

How I get paid is through commissions - like any other sales person.

I buy stuff on the internet, and figure it's kind of nice to get a small discount, in the amount of 2%-5% as a commission, when I buy from my internet partners. Some of my partners are a bit more generous, hoping to stimulate sales, I guess.

It sure helps, but I look at the product and how it is used before I recommend anything. And then I try it myself. If I like a product, I'll tell you and give you a link to get it yourself, if you have a need. That's my way. I don't "gush" over stuff very often. I just tell you how it is and how to use it.

If I don't like it, sometimes you hear about it, but most of the time you don't. If I don't like it, I won't give you a link to it. That's just my way. And if I've had a link to it available, I'll pull the link or re-direct it to a better product, instead. It's just easier to not make you think I love something when I don't.

So, that's been my philosophy for a while now, about the website. Sure, I want to give quality information, timely information, and accurate information. I want to give you referrals to places that enhance your experience with your cat.

It's all about the cats, anyway. It's just nice if the website pays for itself, because hosting a website isn't free, and my time is worth something.

 So, I've been re-evaluating again, and wondering if it's worth continuing. Right now, it's a toss-up. On the one hand, yes, the site is paying for itself, but on the other, I'm not making anything for my time.

And if I'm going to spend time on the website, e-mail, counseling, finding products, posting information and sharing updates and notices, I need to get a little something out of it, too. After all, I have 5 cats to support, and I'm barely making ends meet.

Without the website, I can't make ends meet, and I'll probably lose the house - which means the cats will have to find homes someplace else.

So, I'm giving it a month while I work on it, and then I'll give it 6 months to grow my traffic back. If I don't see a marked improvement, I'm taking it down.

I have other things I can be working on, and I don't need the aggravation and worry.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Suspending e-Zine and Planned Site Overhaul

I'm suspending the e-zine for a while. It turns out that the articles I've been using are not "fresh" and are published elsewhere. I am changing the source of articles, and will be taking the time to write fresh articles myself. I've tried to bring in articles that had the same theme by using an article service, but it seems that the articles are published and then re-published over and over. That is not what I want to give my readers. I want fresh articles and information by quality writers and cat experts.

I have a few weeks coming up where my time is not as committed, and I will be writing articles and re-working the website. My hosting company has undergone a major interface upgrade, which adds a lot of functionality to the site if I choose to use it. I have not done much during this time except wait and watch, since I've been so time-committed.

However, with my upcoming "free time" I will include some of the upgrades in a site overhaul. As a result, I'm looking for original photos, with your permission to publish them, and comments from readers.

This is an important time for For the Love of Cats, and your input is needed.

If you are willing to contribute an article about cats, please send it by commenting with your e-mail address. Remember that any submitted article must reflect a love of cats, and if you are expert in some aspect, please include that.

I am sending this same article to my current subscribers, so please don't unsubscribe if you subscribe to the ezine and the blog. It may seem redundant, but I want to be sure that all my readers get this information, and not everyone subscribes to the ezine.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

I Surrender!

I tried a cat food for my cats with diabetes, and I'm VERY unhappy with the results, after 2 bags of food. I even signed up for their "bottomless bowl" service, and had them set it up for 3 weeks, which was a closer interval than their website offered. At $40 a bag, I'm very unhappy with the food.

Firstly, my cats are always interested in what I put in their bowls. It doesn't matter which bowl, either. If I put something in a cat food bowl, all of them come to check it out. Not so with this stuff. They could care less. They truly only eat it because there is nothing else available.

Second, it gave everyone gas. The methane in the house is so strong, that if someone smokes near the house - say on the porch - I'm afraid the place will blow. It's truly bad. None of the cats can sit on my lap for long without getting pushed off. This damages the relationship with the cats and myself. And they are pushing each other away, too. Even they hate the smell!

Thirdly, there is a lot of diarrhea. The poop is not well formed, but is soft, instead. It looks like poop, not puddles, and it stinks to high-heaven! MAN! Each time a cat uses the litter box, the entire house smells for a while. If one of them runs away and doesn't cover it, then the smell stays around until I go cover it. This means that either I have to get self-cleaning boxes (three of them) or I go cover the poop in the box. I cover the poop.

Fourth, since there is SO much poop (twice as much as before) I am cleaning the litter boxes more often. This isn't such a bad thing, since the litter actually lasts longer when I pull the urine faster, but it does seem to be more work for me. The cats are really having trouble with all the clumps in the box, which never seemed to be such an issue before.

Fifth, the size of the food bag is a mere 8 pounds. For the price, I can get a 16 pound bag of another food and save $8. That food has no vegetables, grains, fillers or other stuff, either! And, I don't have to have a product shipped, but can go get it at the store here in town. That saves greenhouse gases, since I already pass the store that carries it twice a week on my way to and from school.

So, I'm quitting the cat food and I won't be "promoting" or "selling" it anymore. That's another thing. They came to me, asking me to try the food and to promote it to my readers. It seemed like good food, in smaller doses. But I have NEVER received a marketing report, or sales journal, so I don't know if any of my readers ever purchased it. Consequently, I don't know if I'm owed commissions or not, and I don't care at this point. While money is money, my cat's health is more important.

I just want nothing else to do with this company. When I question something, I'm not really given a solution. A company like that is like one of the global business shape-shifters of today. They can't be trusted. Yeah, there are laws that say this or that, and legal departments are all over any statement made by anyone at a company - but a question needs a clear answer, not a double-speak answer.

If you have a company with a product you would like me to try, don't be put off by this. Send me a trial or sample and your write-up. I'll give it a try. If I like it, I'll pass that on to my readers. But if your company is all balled up with attorneys and legal-speak, don't come to me. Pet people are pretty straightforward folks. We want clear communication and answers to questions. I try to eliminate all that marketing and legal-speak when I talk with my readers, but sometimes, even I get balled up in it.

And sometimes, it takes a larger test to really see how a company will deal with you. That's what happened here. The cat food is made in the USA, but it isn't good for my cats. Maybe it doesn't have the threat of Chinese ingredients, but it still isn't good for my cats. And my experience with the company is not that good. I will say that every e-mail has gotten a prompt response. But the words are all doublespeak.

Oh well, ENOUGH! I hope my cats have not been done any permanent damage by this food - kidneys and liver and so on. I'll nurse them back to health and toss this food in the garbage.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Vet Programs for Students

The Feds have a program for vets and vet students that is newly available. Check their website for more information. This is for 2012!

Cat Doings Around the Web - Ohio, USA

I found an interesting blog from Cleveland, Ohio. Below are some extracted bits...

$1,000 raffle for cats
Caroline's Kids Cat Sanctuary is again raffling $1,000. Tickets at are $5 each or six for $25 for the Friday, April 27, drawing at the shelter, 7394 Morley Road, Concord Township. The last $1,000 raffle netted $3,215 for the care of 250 cats. The group also hosts a Polka for Pussycats event from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at the Kirtlander Party Center, 9270 Chillicothe Road, featuring sideboards, a cake walk, German food and music by Ralph Szubski, the Accordion Man. Tickets are $42; call 440-449-3496.

Cleveland cats
Residents of the Broadway and Slavic Village neighborhoods, ZIP code 44105 in Cleveland, can get owned and stray cats neutered for free through the Public Animal Welfare Society. Call 216-739-0705 to schedule a surgery. Details: 440-442-7297,

Feral cats
Euclid Beach Feral Cat Project volunteers in Cleveland's North Collinwood neighborhood have captured more than 640 cats and kittens since April 2009. Most were taken to the Cleveland Animal Protective League for adoption. More than 100 feral cats were vaccinated, neutered and returned to small shelters, where they're fed daily. More volunteers and donations are needed to continue the progress;

Cats in Medina County
Save Ohio Strays, based in Wadsworth, offers vaccinated, neutered cats for $9.99. Details:, 440-567-3585.

Low-income pet owners and stray-cat caregivers can have dogs and cats neutered by PetFix Northeast Ohio for $30 to $70 each in the PetFix mobile clinic, which visits humane societies, rescue groups and pounds in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Portage and Trumbull counties. The nonprofit group has neutered nearly 22,000 pets since January 2006. Details:, 216-536-0930.


U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Rep. Dennis Kucinich continue to prod the Food and Drug Administration to step up its search for toxins in dog treats made in China.

"I'm urging the FDA to expedite this testing, and to complete the 153 tests still pending as soon as possible. I will continue to press the FDA on this issue because Ohio consumers shouldn't have to worry about the safety of their pets' food," Brown said in a news release.

The FDA began testing chicken jerky treats in 2007, after receiving the first reports of sickened dogs. Since then, about 600 dogs have become ill or died of kidney or liver failure after eating treats from China, according to reports submitted to the FDA. The agency has issued three warnings about the treats, but has never ordered a recall because a contaminant has not been identified. "


Yep, lots of interesting stuff available in Ohio! Does anyone else have stuff from another state?

Why I Recommend Twice-a-Year Vet Visits for Kitties

By Dr. Becker

Why I Recommend Twice-a-Year Vet Visits for Kitties
I encourage semi-annual vet checkups for cats for a number of reasons, including:
  • Your kitty's health can change quickly, and especially if your pet is older. I frequently see senior cats with normal kidney enzymes in January who have elevated kidney enzymes 6 months later. The earlier I detect a problem, the more successful I am at slowing, stalling or reversing a disease process.
  • If your cat has a health problem brewing, the earlier it is found and treated, the better the chance for a full recovery. Because I take a proactive approach to your pet's well being, I'm able to address a developing issue before it turns into full-blown disease. But I can't do that unless I see your kitty regularly.
  • Unfortunately, many cats these days are overweight or obese. I have found getting a too-heavy cat back in shape is more successful when the owner and I work together toward a weight loss goal. And since good nutrition is the foundation of good health, even for kitties at optimum weight I find it extremely beneficial to regularly review diets and nutritional supplements and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Many indoor cats never get out of the house except for trips to the vet. More frequent trips can sometimes reduce the amount of stress your kitty feels at each visit.
  • In addition to regular professional checkups, I also recommend you perform routine at-home wellness exams on your cat. This will help you learn what's normal for your pet, and therefore, what's not normal.

How You Can Ease Your Cat's Vet Visit Phobia

Suggestions offered in the “AAFP/ISFM Feline-Friendly Handling Guidelines”ii include:
  • Perform 'rehearsal visits' to the veterinary clinic to help get kitty accustomed to trips in the car and the clinic environment. This includes loading your cat into her carrier and traveling around the block in the car.
  • Do mock vet exams at home to familiarize your cat with human handling. Do things like handle your pet's paws, inspect her ears, clip her nails, open and inspect the inside of her mouth, move your hands over her legs and body, and comb or brush her coat. If you do this regularly your cat will be less stressed when faced with the real thing at the vet's office.
  • Get your cat used to his carrier. If the only time your cat sees the carrier is for vet visits you can't blame him for panicking. Put your cat in his carrier with a few treats for 5 minutes a day for a week prior to the visit. Even consider feeding your cat in the crate, leaving the door open to encourage exploration on his own.
  • Leave the carrier out for a week prior to the vet visit so your cat can inspect it.
  • The morning of the appointment find him well in advance of the time of your vet appointment and encourage him to enter the carrier on his own. Put an item with a familiar scent in the carrier, like his bedding or a toy he's fond of.
    Consider administering homeopathy and Bach Flower Essences prior to the visit. There are several remedies including Bach Rescue Remedyiii and homeopathic Aconitum that can reduce anxiety and fear.
  • Stay cool. Keep in mind your kitty can sense your anxiety and stress, so remain calm. Stay positive and proceed at your cat's pace. Be aware of his response to what's happening, and use treats and other rewards to encourage desired behavior.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Help for Cats That Freak Out at the Vet's Office

Posted By: Dr. Becker on March 21 2012

Those of you reading here today who share your lives with a cat know taking Tiger for vet visits can be an upsetting experience for both of you.
In fact, many kitties are so distressed by vet visits their owners decide it's more harmful than helpful to subject their pet to routine wellness exams.
According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP)i:
In the United States, there are 86 million owned cats and 78 million owned dogs
Almost twice as many cats than dogs never visit the veterinarian
Of the cats that do visit the veterinarian, they average 26% fewer visits than dogs
  • 41% of cat owners visit the veterinarian only for vaccinations (which is the worst reason for routine vet visits)
  • 39% of cat owners say they would only take their cat to the veterinarian if the cat was sick
  • 60% of cat owners report that their cat hates going to the veterinarian
  • 38% of cat owners report that they get stressed just thinking about bringing their cat to the practice
The result, of course, is too many cats are not seen by a veterinarian until they become sick. And because kitties are excellent at hiding discomfort and illness, often a disease process is quite advanced before the cat parent even knows there's a problem.

Making Veterinary Practices More Feline Friendly

To help provide solutions to the problem of declining feline vet visits, the AAFP has created a "Cat Friendly Practice" initiative aimed at veterinary clinics. The goal of the initiative is to help vet practices become more welcoming places for cats, and more accommodating to their unique needs. Hopefully this will ultimately encourage more cat owners to bring their pets to the vet for routine wellness checkups. In order to be designated a "Cat Friendly Practice," a vet clinic must have at least one DVM on staff who belongs to the AAFP. The clinic must also comply with a 10-item checklist covering the following areas:
  1. Staff Training & Continuing Education / Client Communications
  2. Veterinary Practice / Waiting Room
  3. Feline Handling & Interaction with Clients
  4. Examination Room & Clinical Records
  5. Wards Facilities
  6. Pain Management / Operating Room & Anesthesia
  7. Surgical Equipment & Dentistry
  8. Diagnostic Imaging & Laboratory Facilities
  9. Treatment / Health & Safety
  10. Preventative Care by Life Stages
The staff submits their completed checklist for review, and if the AAFP approves, the clinic receives the "Cat Friendly Practice" designation.
The vet office then receives marketing materials to promote its cat-friendly status to the community, and is listed in a Cat Friendly Practice online database.
According to the AAFP, there are actually two levels a veterinary practice can qualify for. "Silver Standard" status means the practice has met the standard criteria to be a Cat Friendly Practice. "Gold Standard" status is awarded to vet practices that have implemented an optimum level of cat-friendly criteria.

More tomorrow....

Monday, March 19, 2012

Feral Cat Population Programs (TNR)

New York is trying to clear up homeless cats

Another New York Post

Northwest Ohio has another view

North Dakota SCRAPS (love that name!)

The Local College Press and the Cat Coalition in Billerica Mass., have a new take on helping kitties

If you can help any of these (or your local organization), please donate or help them to trap the cats. The overpopulation of feral cats is a problem all across the country, as more cats go homeless because their owners have to move or downsize. This is not to catch and place the unfortunate cats - just to spay and neuter them. Some placement programs may also be involved for the kittens, but usually the adult cats are left to live feral.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Salmonella in Cat Food
The official announcement is here...

Iams Renal Feline Formula and Iams Veterinary Renal Feline Formula. Lot numbers are listed here...

Product Name
Lot Code
UPC Code
Iams Veterinary Formulas
Feline Renal 5.5 lbs
0 19014 21405 1
Iams Veterinary Formulas
Feline Renal 5.5 lbs
0 19014 21405 1

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Diabetes in cats

My Missy Fluffs has come to have diabetes. She was a bit on the pudgy side when I rescued her, having lived in a cage for the first 2 years of her life. I've slimmed her down with exercise, but she's always had a very healthy appetite.

Recently, she began drinking a lot of water. I knew something was up, and then she vomited all over my house - got several rooms, and there were no hairballs in it. So, time to change the food and start monitoring her.

The monitoring isn't so bad, really, just a prick in her ear and take a drop of blood on my glucose meter. The same ones used for people can be used on cats. Just be sure you are looking at the correct range of blood values.

For food, the crunchies are hard to eliminate. Bugsy still eats nothing but crunchies, and the others supplement caloric intake with free-feeding all day. I'm getting some special food, Young Again Pet Food, Cat, Diabetic formula...

I'm also using some Instinct dehydrated raw food and adding some vitamins. That makes up a kind of gruel when mixed with hot water (thereby cooking the meat). They look at me like "what is this?" instead of eating it.

Princess seems to love it. Beasley will eventually put his nose to the bowl, Fluffy and Queenie just go hungry, and poor little Bugsie doesn't know what to do with it.

I'm currently feeding the Lamb formula, and will switch to the Venison later this week. I find it takes 3 mini-patties per feeding for 5 cats. I could probably do 5 of the patties, but right now this is working. Once they are all eating it, I will increase.

I'm adding a taurine supplement, since there is no taurine listed in the ingredients on the label. Cats must have that added to their food. Since the food is used for both cats and dogs, there are no additives of any kind. Pretty good stuff, actually!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Some new internships for veterinary students!

Veterinary Medicine Student Internships –

Thursday, February 02, 2012

There was a dog food recall today!

The US Government published a dog food recall today:

Advanced Animal Nutrition Recalls Dog Power Dry Dog Food

Click on the link to get the lot numbers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Dogfood Recall - Cargill Foods...

Monday, January 09, 2012

What Does a Cat Whisperer Do?

A cat whisperer - or cat trainer - can help with a troubled cat and human relationship. We can help the cat to adjust to changes around the home.

This includes helping a cat to accept other cats or dogs, a new baby, spouse, or partner. We can help the cat to feel comfortable in a new home, including a feral or rescue cat. Not that the cat will like it, but we can help the owner (or foster home) to make the cat more comfortable by their actions.

I work with shelters, foster families, folks who want to feed the feral cats in the neighborhood, and new parents; to help their cats feel more comfortable, adjust to the vagaries of life, and be more friendly.

There are times when a cat will mark it's territory, or bite and scratch for no apparent reason. I work with the humans to identify the issues, and adjust the cat's behavior accordingly.

Some cats seem hopeless and helpless. There is no bad cat. There is no hopeless cat. All the cat wants is to feel safe and eat it's fill. It wants to sleep in the sun and chase mice or birds. We, as humans, can help cats to feel safe and secure, to chase toys instead of live animals, and we do that by our actions.

I also talk a lot about a cat's diet. A cat has to eat healthy food and since we tend to keep cats in our homes, that means we have to provide that healthy food. Not all cat food is good for cats. I test foods, read labels, and keep on top of the additives and recalls that affect our furry friends. If I find something you, the owner, needs to know about, I pass it on as fast as I can.

I hope I can build trust with you, and you will learn to rely on me a little bit.

Best purrs and scratches...

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Holidays are Over!

Thank goodness the holidays are over! Still a little lingering stuff to handle, like putting the Christmas decorations away, and taking down the Christmas cards from my display. But for the most part, stuff is all done. No leftovers in the fridge, no food to tempt me.

The cats are also on a diet. I realized I was feeding them 1/2 can a day plus dry food. I had to cut them back to 1/4 can a day, and sometimes, that means 1/8 of a can in the morning, and the rest at night.

The bad part about this is that Princess doesn't need to be on a diet. I wish I could get her to eat better. She continues to lose weight, and her bones are sticking out. There is nothing to be done, but make her comfortable. She sometimes has a little pain, a creaking in her joints, and she gets irritable with the other cats. Any of the other cats. She just wants what she wants when she wants it, too. She cuddles a bit, on my lap. She can be really insistent about that...

Beasley is the greatest complainer, of course. He wants all the food in the house in his bowl. He will eat his and everyone elses' food, if I let him. At least he's stopped vomiting up his food as soon as he's eaten. He is keeping it down.

I wormed them a few weeks ago, then added some edible diatomaceous earth to their food for a week after that. Any little worms left in their guts were shredded and no longer exist.

The fleas are also much better - more due to the cold weather than any action on my part. I still comb regularly and administer the flea drops. I haven't had to spray, but come spring, if the carpet isn't all out of here, there will be another infestation.

Otherwise, Queenie is a little distant, but she checks in with me at least once a day - right in my face, getting snuggles. Bugs is cuddly and filling out her personality a little more. She was so two-dimensional for so long, it's nice to see her realize that she's more than enough cat for anyone. And Fluffy, who never liked to see a brush or comb, is now coming to me and asking for them! She loves to sit on my lap as long as she can, and get mommy-time.

Beasley has been relegated to the top of the chair, and pouts a lot. But he knows he's my boy. At bedtime, he has dibs on the "next to the pillow" spot and gets to even put his nose on the pillow if he wants to.

The birds are coming by regularly, and I changed the seed mix so we get some really nice little songbirds, now. I have to put up another suet cake today. The cats need a few perches in front of the window. There just doesn't seem to be enough seating for them all.

Well, Happy New Year, friends. I hope your holidays were good, and your cats were healthy through it all. I miss tinsel. I never liked angel hair, so I went to tinsel. But it isn't safe for them. Ah, well... One day, maybe. If I ever get down to only one cat and can keep track of him or her enough to keep it out of the tree.