Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Purrfect 10: Things To Know About Microchipping Your Cat

We love reading and researching anything and everything about cats, and wanted to find a fun and unique way to share the interesting facts we learn with you! Since top 10 lists are very popular in the blogosphere, we created The Purrfect 10 as a way to present 10 educational or fascinating tidbits about a wide variety of cat-related topics, everything from health issues to cat breeds to famous felines.

There's nothing much more terrifying than the thoughts of a beloved cat or dog going missing. Even indoor pets aren't immune from getting lost because accidents can and do happen to even the most vigilant pet parent. While a tag providing your phone number is great, collars can fall off or be removed, which is what makes the addition of a microchip so important.

In honor of National Chip Your Pet Month, May's edition of The Purrfect 10 features what you need to know about microchipping your cat...

1) A microchip is a small computer chip containing information linking you to your cat. It's about the same size as a grain of rice and comes enclosed in a glass cylinder.

2) Inserting a microchip takes only a few seconds and can be done during a routine vet visit. No surgery or anesthesia is required although if your pet is already under anesthesia for a procedure such as spay/neuter it can be done at the same time.

3) The microchip is inserted subcutaneously (under the skin) between the shoulder blades using a hypodermic needle. It's no more painful than a regular vaccination although the needle is slightly larger.

4) Kittens can be chipped as young as 5 weeks old although the health and stability of the cat is the most important factor in determining when to go ahead with the procedure. Most shelters wait until 8 weeks old (and about 2 pounds) before inserting the chip.

5) Microchips are not tracking devices but rather radio-frequency identification (RFID) implants that provide permanent ID for your pet. They also don't require a power source like GPS. The chip is activated when a shelter or veterinarian waves an RFID scanner across a cat's body where the microchip is embedded. The scanner activates your pet's unique ID number that is used to retrieve a pet parent’s contact information from the pet recovery database.

6) The most important part of a cat's microchipping is registering the device with your contact information so you can be notified when your lost pet is found. At this time, there is not a central database in the U.S. for registering microchips; each manufacturer maintains its own database. Fortunately, microchip scanners display the name of the microchip's manufacturer when the microchip is read. There is also a Universal Pet Microchip Lookup website maintained by the American Animal Hospital Association which identifies the registries a microchip is enrolled with. Remember to keep your contact information up to date whenever you move or change phone numbers. Since more and more shelters today are implanting microchips into every animal that's adopted, make sure your new pet's microchip number is included in your adoption paperwork so you can get it registered in your name.

7) While a microchip is permanent identification, it is not recommended to take the place of a collar and ID tag. When a person sees a cat or dog with tags it's obvious they belong to someone. With a quick phone call your pet is back home where she belongs. A microchip requires that someone take the extra steps to bring the animal to a vet or shelter to be scanned, if they're even aware of microchips in the first place. Wearing both gives your pet the best possible chance of getting home safely.

8) A microchip is designed to last for the entirety of your cat's lifetime because it is composed of biocompatible glass that will not degenerate over time. Since they require no power source and have no moving parts there's nothing that can wear out or need to be replaced. It's still a good idea to ask your vet to scan it during yearly check-ups to ensure that it's functioning as it should.

9) In rare occasions microchips can migrate (although since it's inserted under the skin it can't travel to any major organs), so shelters and vets will scan a lost cat or dog’s entire body to check for a microchip. A microchip will also show up on an x-ray, so that's another way to look for one.

10) Cats that are microchipped are more than 20 times as likely to be returned to their owners!

Is your cat microchipped?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday

Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!

We hope you enjoy our choices.

From the publisher: Blorange tabby Max and ragamuffin Dooley are on the case again. This time a world-famous reality star has been found murdered in her own bed, and it looks like the crime just might be terror-related. The Kenspeckles, stars of the well-known reality show Keeping Up with the Kenspeckles, are in town to film a new season of their show, so the case soon turns into a complete media circus, with the Kenspeckles insisting the entire investigation is filmed for their show. Odelia Poole, Hampton Cove’s premier reporter, teams up with Detective Chase Kingsley to catch the killer, but with cameras filming their every move, and every Kenspeckle a suspect, they’re not making a lot of progress. Good thing Odelia’s cats Max and Dooley can sneak around undetected, tracking leads and hunting clues. But first they have to pacify Shana’s French Bulldog Kane, who just might be in possession of the clue that breaks the case. And they have to outsmart Chase’s black tabby Brutus, who has his own reasons to find the killer. Will Max and Dooley solve the case? Or will Brutus beat them to it? And will Dooley finally get to first tail with Harriet? Find out in Purrfect Revenge, the third installment in the funny cat mystery series The Mysteries of Max.

Tortie Shorties Review: It's no secret how much I adore this series and I couldn't be happier about how quickly the stories are being released. This third book takes place in the cut-throat world of reality TV when Shana Kenspeckles is beheaded in her family mansion. There's no shortage of suspects in a house with as much drama as the crazy Kardashian family. Once again Odelia and Chase team up to work the human angle, while kitties Max, Dooley, Harriet and Brutus do a little undercover investigating of their own...and just who do you think ends up with more successful results? Along the way there's trouble in paradise for lovebirds Brutus and Harriet, while Brutus and Max are forced to make an unlikely alliance. It's almost like a mini kitty soap opera and I just can't get enough.

From the publisher: 

A dead mayor.
A wacky aunt.
An uppity millionaire romance author.
And a town full of explosive secrets…

It’s one headache after another for witch and cafĂ© owner Ginger Westbrook.

When Mayor Penelope Ashby rolls her car off a driveway and into the ocean, everyone in the small, sleepy seaside town of Broomfield Bay, Oregon is shocked.
Everyone but Ginger’s Aunt Vivian, who “saw” the grisly death coming long before the unlikable mayor plunged into the Pacific.
But when it’s discovered that the death may not have been an accident, accusations start flying and Ginger and Vivian find themselves smack dab in the middle of a modern-day witch hunt.
Because strange things are afoot in Broomfield Bay this summer, and it will take all of Ginger’s powers – supernatural and otherwise – to keep the small town’s pitchforks and torches at bay.

Tortie Shorties Review: When Mayor Penelope Ashby's car goes off a cliff everyone comments on the treacherous roads surrounding her home, claiming they were an accident waiting to happen. But when it becomes apparent the crash was no accident, her brakes were cut, cafe owner and witch Ginger Westbrook is thrown into the thick of things thanks to the long-running feud between the mayor and her beloved Aunt Viv. Penelope certainly made more than one enemy in town, especially during a meeting of her exclusive book club where members were unwillingly locked in her home all night. When Vivian is arrested and is as nonchalant about it as can be, it's up to Ginger to be the responsible adult and find some answers.

Every character in this new series is so richly drawn and complex, especially newly-separated Ginger reuniting with childhood sweetheart Eddie (and the loads of history between them) to the quirky, carefree Stevie Nicks fanatic Vivian. Of course every good witch needs a cat, who in this case is orange tabby Lindsey Buckingham, and there's even a mysterious broom that plays a key role in the outcome of the story! The ending features a twist I never saw coming, perfectly setting up the second book in the series which can't come soon enough for this reader!

Disclaimer: As members of the Amazon Associates affiliate program, if you click on our links and buy something Mudpie gets a little money for her piggy bank! I bought my copy of Purrfect Revenge, and Ginger of the West was sent to me by the author.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Caturday Art

Visit more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop!

And now our weekly answers for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader!

Mommy's answers:

1. I have googled medical symptoms that have convinced me I'm dying. Who hasn't? Scarier still is googling a cat's symptoms so I try to avoid it.

2. I have bought quite a few things but never sold much on Ebay.

Mudpie's answers:

3. I think Mommy and I should hit the road next year for BlogPaws in Kansas City. I can see the headlines now...Mudpie Takes Missouri!

4. Mommy thinks we'll most likely be watching the festivities from home once again. She says there's not much chance of us going unless the conference comes to the northeast. Party pooper. 

Anyways, we'll most definitely be watching the Nose to Nose Awards tonight curled up on the couch and cheering on all our friends!!! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Unboxing May's Cat Mom CatLadyBox

With Mother's Day in our rear view mirror, it's finally safe to reveal what was in May's Cat Mom's Day CatLadyBox!

Featured Cat Lady Artist Dany Lizeth: The self-taught artist is only 19 years old, and this particular piece was created for her mom who inspired her to start drawing.

CAT MOM Tattoo Shirt (CatLadyBox exclusive): Another pawsomely soft and comfy CLB t-shirt. You better believe I wore this on Mother's Day!

Color-Changing Cat Light: I've gotten every single box since the beginning of CLB, and this is one of my favorite items ever. It's made of silicon which makes it feel really cool to touch, and the warm glow of the light is the purrfect cozy touch to any room. Just a tap turns it off and on (or switches from white light to multi-color) and I can hardly wait to see it light up the room on a cold winter night. Plus it's just too adorable for words!

Gold Trim Cat Trinket Dish (CatLadyBox exclusive): This delicate little dish is just the right size to hold your keys or jewelry, but I love the idea of using it as a cute dish to serve cat treats in too! 

Mom Cattoo & Catnip Daisy cat toys (CatLadyBox exclusives): If Mudpie had a tattoo I definitely think it would honor her Mommy, just like if I ever work up the nerve to get one myself it will be a paw print! 

Not a subscriber yet? Visit CatLadyBox today!

Interested in purchasing individual items from past boxes? You can do that too!

Disclosure: I receive a discount on my CatLadyBox subscription as a thank you for my monthly review. Regardless of compensation received, we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Decade of Tortitude: The Magic & Mystique Of My Heart Cats

Throughout the spring of 2007 I found myself visiting the PetSmart adoption center whenever I drove by. It seems unfathomable to me now, but at that point I'd been a little over a year without a cat and I was feeling the urge to bring a new fur baby into my life. My tuxedo beauty Sashi had gone through a long illness prior to her passing and I needed the time to heal.

I had my heart set on either a Siamese or a tortoiseshell. My mom was urging me towards a tortie, and while I wouldn't have turned my back on any cat that I felt a connection to, I found that I was leaning more and more in that direction.

On May 15th I walked into PetSmart and saw a cat named Kelly (who would soon become Tara). I audibly gasped at the sight of her. My mom was waiting for me in the car so I ran out to get her. She told me later that the look on my face told her that I'd found "the one". Mom went into the store with me and was also instantly smitten.

I filled out her adoption application the next day, was approved the day after that, and brought her home on May 20th. I remember standing in line at PetSmart that afternoon picking up a few last minute items for her, and while waiting I noticed a couple young men standing at the cages admiring her. I was so excited I just wanted to shout out, "Be careful around my cat!!!"

I didn't know it at the time, but life changed for me that day. I've known people through the years who've adopted the same breed of dog over and over and always wondered in the back of my mind why they didn't want a little variety in their life. Now I'm that girl when it comes to torties.

Typically when I embark on a new adventure in my life my research-oriented mind kicks in and I read everything I can get my hands on about the topic. After 30 years of living with cats prior to Tara I didn't think a tortie was any different than any other cat. Boy, was I ever wrong! Their uniqueness extends far beyond their color, and most people don't understand how special a tortie is until they bring one into their lives. Tara's feistiness caught me completely off guard and before long I was scouring the web for anything I could find about the cat I had given my heart to. These are some of the fun facts that I learned:

1) Due to genetics, approximately only 1 in 3,000 torties is male. When a male tortie is produced it's the result of a genetic mutation. These males are typically sterile.

2) The distinctive colors that make up a tortie's brindled coat include black, brown, red, chocolate, cinnamon, and amber. Dilute torties have lighter colors like lilac and cream, while one with a lot of black is referred to as a chocolate tortie. (Which is how Truffles and Mudpie earned their names.) A torbie has tortie colors intertwined with a tabby pattern. A calico has tortie coat colors with added white sections. They are white, but with solid red and brown patches. In the United Kingdom, what we refer to as a calico is called a tortoiseshell and white cat.

3) A tortoiseshell is not a breed, it is a coat pattern. Persians, Cornish Rex, and the Japanese Bobtail are just a few of the many breeds that can produce a tortoiseshell coat, both long and short-haired.

4) Torties are often mentioned in folklore. In the United States they're referred to as "money cats".  In Scotland and Ireland it's seen as good luck when a tortie comes into your home, but that goes without saying! An old English wives tale says you can cure warts by rubbing them with a male tortie's tail, and Japanese fisherman believe bringing a tortie onto their boat protects them from storms and ghosts. The Khmers of Southeast Asia even developed an explanation as to the origins of a tortie: they came from "the menstrual blood of a young goddess born of a lotus flower during a magical ritual".

With the exception of the 6 weeks after Tara passed away before I adopted Truffles, and the month after I lost Truffles so unexpectedly before finding Mudpie, I've lived with a tortie for ten years now, and in that time they've become the cats of my heart. Even my father, who more or less "put up with" my mom's (and subsequently my) cat obsession, became a cat lover thanks to my "girls". A few days after bringing Tara home he told my mom in private that she was "a really nice looking cat". He stayed by my side in the emergency room the night I had to let Truffles go and my heart was shattered into a million pieces. The day I told him I'd chosen Mudpie his first question was if she was a tortie, and she has stolen his heart like no other cat before her. That's a testament to their magic.

On more than one occasion I've heard shelter workers say that torties tend to be overlooked by prospective pet parents. They're victims of that silly black cat stigma, and so much is said about "tortitude" that leads people to believe they're difficult. It breaks my heart that people don't know what they're missing out on.

What makes a tortoiseshell cat pure purr-fection (in my eyes)? Everything from their exquisite beauty to their fun and playful personalities. Tortitude is real...but that's what makes them so unique and special! They are also the most loving cats I've ever had the pleasure of living with. Tara, Truffles and Mudpie have all become exceptionally attached to me in ways I haven't experienced with other cats. They've all been very vocal cats too...and there is nothing more fun than chatting with a tortie! They just have so much to say, and they're not afraid to say it either! One of my greatest regrets is never having had the opportunity to get Truffles' adorable little voice on video. We just didn't have enough time, but I've already made sure not to make the same mistake with Mudpie.

Over the past 10 years I've discovered that torties spark a great deal of passion among their devotees. We can't imagine life without these magnificent little creatures and can barely remember a time before they ran our lives. I can say from personal experience that once you "go tortie" there's no going back. Tortitude has made my days brighter and filled my heart and home with love and laughter.