Sunday, January 25, 2015


We had an outdoor mat to prevent anyone from tracking dirt and grime into our house. That poor old mat was retired after many years of use. In its retirement, a trimmed down version catches bits of straw as a welcome mat in front of our cat shelter.

I'd been putting off purchasing a new one mainly because I couldn't make up my mind what exactly to buy. Artie solved that problem by coming home one day with a new front door mat. When I saw it I had to smile it was so appropriate. Made of coir it has a terrific saying emblazoned on it. For those of you who don't know what coir is describes it as: Coir is a product of the coconut tree, Cocos nucifera, and it is sometimes known as coco fiber. The substance is extracted from the hairy husk of coconuts, and used to create a variety of products such as mats, carpets, upholstery stuffing, and brushes. Coir, pronounced KOY-er, is a very coarse, stiff fiber, and it is also extremely resistant to rot and salt water, making it an ideal material for situations in which other fibers would decay.

How do you like our mat?

When spring comes my next project is to clean and paint the front door step after we have the porch itself resurfaced and a new fence complete with gate installed. I can't wait.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Mom's been very busy with her feral colony lately so I volunteered to step in and guest post for her. I decided to write about my favorite subject - the best places to sleep.

I have quite a few favorite spots to catch my Zzz. Artie's bed is a great place to nap during the day although I generally will take my early morning beauty rest on Mom's recliner until she wakes up then I move to Artie's bed. The foot of the bed is the best spot. Artie prepares it with my red and black quilted mat. It's my very own special place in his room.

When the sun is nice and bright during the late morning I will follow it around Mom's bedroom. I can relax on a big fluffy seat cushion on Mom's old-fashioned ladder-back chair moving to various spots on Mom's bed as the sun moves about the room. If Annie has the sunny spot I'll just stand over her until she decides to move - that's always a lot of fun, I just love to upset Annie. Of course, the most comfy spot on Mom's bed is where I can rest my head on her pillow. Sometimes I'll just lounge on one of the blankets Mom sewed especially for me. She does exactly what Artie does and spreads it out nicely at the foot of the bed.

My head on Mom's pillow.
After Artie comes home from work I'll rest on my reclining cardboard scratcher or relax on the couch. After all it's evening. Evening is family time and I like to spend time with mine. But the place I consider the best where I really can't wait to sleep is (you guessed it) my Mom's lap.

Family time resting on the couch.

Mom's lap - the best spot of all!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Russia has a hero cat. Masha the cat is a long-haired communal cat who is fed and cared for by her neighbors in the Russian town of  Obninsk. Masha became a hero when she found a 2 1/2 months old baby boy abandoned in a stairwell.

She curled up with the little fellow keeping him warm until one of the neighbors found them. Paramedics were called to take charge of the baby who was in good health, well-cared for, clothed with extra diapers left with him. When the paramedics left for the hospital, Masha ran after their vehicle.

What a wonderful story to find in the news especially with all the terrible events happening lately. Bravo Masha for providing a bright spot and a story with a happy ending to read about.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Kai the Shar-pei has undergone surgery to correct his eyelash issue and is doing well. This adorable guy was abandoned by a woman in Ayr railway station Scotland January 2 after an online adoption deal ended in an unexpected way.

The woman left him there after the seller took off with a partial payment handed over as security while she took the dog for a get-acquainted walk. The seller hopped in his car and drove away with the half-payment. Instead of handling the situation responsibly, the woman told a railway employee she was tying the pooch up and leaving him. She proceeded to do just that leaving Kai with all his worldly belongings behind. 

What bothers me is this woman insists she did nothing wrong! Since when is it OK to just tie up any dog (yours or someone else's) and leave them. Did she not think it might be better to have a station manager call the police or call the police herself, or contact the SPCA, or bring him to SPCA herself? The law considers this abandonment and under Scottish law she is subject to being banned from pet ownership for a period of time or for life. I believe this is fitting in her case.

No amount of talk can convince me this wasn't a heartless, callous thing to do. It doesn't matter if she was scammed - she abandoned a living breathing creature to an unknown fate. To my mind pets go into the same category as any humans who cannot fend for themselves - would she walk away from them too? 

I did a bit of research before starting this post in order to find out about Gumtree, the internet site where Kai was listed for sale. Apparently Gumtree is a free classifieds. That brings me to my next point - why would you adopt a dog from a site such as Gumtree or Craigslist or any such site. That's what all the national SPCAs, The Humane Society, any of the other large organizations and the many smaller rescue groups are for.

Think this out before you look for a pet. Go to the rescue groups, the SPCA or any legitimate organization to adopt a pet. There is an even happier postscript to this story. Aside from successful eye surgery, Kai has been adopted! Once he is healed, he will head off to his new forever home.

Kai the Shar-pei with his belongings.

Friday, January 9, 2015


As if the abandonment of Kai the Shar Pei wasn't enough we also have another incident of treats from China sickening and killing dogs. The latest wave of pet illness and deaths has prompted Petco to remove all Chinese product from their shelves. Petco will carry only treats made in the United States, Australia, New Zealand or South America. PetSmart announced its decision to discontinue the sale of Chinese-made treats removing all such product from its shelves by March.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is  currently investigating reports that the Chinese-made product sold at Petco as well as other pet stores are responsible for illness in over 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, 3 people and the deaths of about 1,000 dogs. The treats suspected are the jerky-type treats containing duck, sweet potato, yams and dried fruits ingredients.

I've written about Chinese-made pet treats before. Be very diligent and go over all the fine-print on packaging before buying any pet treats. Unless I'm completely convinced the treats are made in the U.S.A. I will not purchase them. In fact, I've purchased several pet cookbooks instead so I can bake treats at home for Annie. She prefers the home-made cookies and I have the added advantage of knowing exactly what ingredients are in them.

My heart goes out to all those who lost their pets because of this situation. Write your representatives in government to get stricter controls on food products from foreign countries not only for our pets but for ourselves. Pet stores and pet food companies need to step up policing of the products they present to the public by knowing more about the companies from which they purchase ingredients or finished products.

And kudos to Petco, PetSmart and any other pet-product supplier who chooses product responsibly.

                                              Courtesy Webweaver.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


It's early in the New Year but some things never change. An adorable Shar Pei mix named Kai was abandoned at a railway station in Ayr Scotland January 2 tied up and left along with a suitcase containing his possessions.

Why do people continue to do this? It's just a terrible way to treat a pet. If you can take the time to abandon your charge you can take the time to bring the pet to an animal shelter. I guess the owner (I'd shutter to refer to him/her as a pet parent) didn't think of the cruelty involved or that their act of abandonment constitutes a crime. Maybe they should put themselves in this poor dog's position and try to imagine what it would be like to be tied up and left with no way to take care of yourself.

This story has been widely reported in the news and offers of adoption have come in to the Glasgow SPCA from all over the world. The poor guy might need eye surgery for a condition that causes his eyelashes to go under the eyelids touching his eyeballs.

Let's hope he finds a good loving home very soon.

Kai the abandoned Shar Pei
Kai and belongings.  (courtesy SPCA)

Monday, January 5, 2015


As the kitten drama continued to unfold, Porch Guy came and went keeping to his own unpredictable schedule. To tell his tale I have to skip forward to when we TNRd the kittens. We managed to trap Mom as well but we didn't get Porch Guy who disappeared a few days before the surgery date.

I became worried when he didn't show up for more than four days. Finally when I was practically at my wits' end, there was Porchie sitting on my doorstep waiting for a meal. I tried again to trap him but he decided to pass up the sardines in the trap leaving without his dinner.

I gave up on trapping him because he wouldn't eat unless the food was in the open. Of course, he continued his pattern of not showing up for days at a time. Thanksgiving Day I opened my front door and there he was waiting for his dinner. By now I had decided he most likely was the father of the kittens. After dinner he curled up on the front porch mat for a snooze. Convinced he'd show up regularly I was a bit relieved and already planning how to catch him.

That calm didn't last long. After Thanksgiving, Porch Guy was gone for more than 2 weeks. Frantic, upset and totally saddened, I contemplated his loss, convinced something terrible happened to him and we'd never see him again when one sunny mid-December morning I opened the front door and there he was waiting for his meal.

This time he was different - one ear appeared ripped.  After taking a good look, he appeared to have been ear-tipped! I've tried to locate the person responsible for his TNR but so far I've not been able to. And Porch Guy - he's doing fine, still showing up on his own unpredictable schedule for his meals. Here are his recent photos.

That handsome face!
Can you see the ear-tip?

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Over the past few holiday seasons I've been switching over to electronic greeting cards. E-cards are an easy way to send photos to friends and family.

There are plenty of sites to choose from with major card companies such as American Greetings, Blue Mountain and Hallmark showing an online presence. Artie likes e-cards. I was surprised to discover e-cards on the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) website. 

Of all the websites I've explored my favorite e-card site is Jacquie Lawson e-cards. My friend Fran introduced me to this site and it's been my go-to site for all kinds of e-cards ever since.  There's a small fee to become a member but once you join you can send unlimited cards for the length of your membership.

Why do I like this site so much? A significant amount of cards feature dogs and cats.  Also the artwork is beautiful with great music and best of all I can attach pictures of Annie and Orphée along with my written notes.

Here are the two photos with appropriately festive captions I attached to this year's holiday notes.

Annie dreaming of dog bones.

Orphee waiting for Santa.

Friday, January 2, 2015


As I said yesterday, I'd think about my New Year's resolutions today. 

Some are no-brainers:
  • Take better care of myself.
  • Get chores and errands done in a timely fashion.

Some are for fun and relaxation:
  • Read an article or some book of interest everyday just for the joy of it.
  • Take a break by viewing a favorite film or TV show. 

But there are two resolutions I consider the most important for 2015. I resolve to focus more on the care and well-being of Annie, Orphee and the ferals. Finally, I'm going to spend more time on my blog instead of allowing it to slip into the background as I did in the final part of 2014. It will be interesting to see how my resolutions turn out.

Yeah, wake me up next New Year's Eve and tell me how you did!

Thursday, January 1, 2015


We celebrated the New Year with a quiet New Year's Eve dinner then we settled in to await the ball drop from our comfy vantage point in front of the TV.  

New Year's Day is Annie's official birthday. Since her adoption around April or May 2003 (I never can remember) with her age placed at 3 months by the foster veterinary hospital and at 5 months by me (based on the loss of her last baby tooth after adoption) January 1st became her official birthday making Annie 12 years old today.

2014 brought with it a flurry of veterinary visits mostly follow-up for different medical issues along with the promise of even less visits in the future. Hopefully 2015 will be a year full of health, happiness and positive changes for us all. May both our babies be with us for another year and may their health remain on an even keel.

May this year bring you all the best life has to offer.  That's my wish today. And New Year's Resolutions? I've resolved to think about them January 2nd.

Courtesy Webweaver