Monday, May 30, 2016

Unboxing May's CatLadyBox

On Mother's Day morning cat moms across the country were tearing into their special edition's what they found inside!!!

Featured Cat Lady Artist Artistic Side of Life: This print was inspired by artist Maya Mladenovic's kitten Mimi, who is making Maya see the world through her eyes. I love the retro look.

World's Best Cat Mom Mug (CatLadyBox exclusive): Yes, I know I am!

Mother of the World's Cutest Cat Shirt (CatLadyBox exclusive): Again, I know I am! On a side note, CatLadyBox shirts are *so* ridiculously soft and comfy!

Shining Star Cat Earrings: I don't have pierced ears so these little darlings will probably be some lucky friend's Christmas gift!

And for Miss Mudpie:

It seems like each month one of Mudpie's goodies is a huge hit and the other isn't. In May's box she got an adorable Happy Flower by Loopies which truly sent her "loopy" the first time she played with it. In some boxes there was a grouchy face flower too. The Catnip Heart by Imperial Cat hasn't been played with a ton yet but I figure any day now she'll put it out and think, "Where did this come from???"

Not a subscriber yet? Visit CatLadyBox today!

Disclosure: I'm not being compensated in any way for this review. I am a proud CatLadyBox subscriber!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

What Part of No #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

Many, many thanks to all of you for the purrs and prayers you sent to my Grandpa this week. He's back home and doing as well as can be expected for someone who had his carotid artery cleaned out. Yuck.

Mommy and I are just plain pooped out from helping to take care of him and fighting 90 degree heat so we're planning to get as much rest this holiday weekend as possible.

When she told me it was time to take my selfie for the week, this was my reaction...

We're joining our friends at The Cat on My Head for the Sunday Selfies blog hop.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Be Your Cat's Advocate, #AskYourVet About Kidney Disease Screening

Sebastian`s life was hard from the very beginning.

For years my mom and I would watch him across the street and our hearts would break seeing him out in every form of inclement weather. Not wanting to start trouble with the neighbors we kept our mouths shut. Then his family moved away and left him in the care of the elderly couple next door. Finally things seemed to be looking up for him until the wife passed away and a caretaker moved in with the husband. Once again Sebastian was pushed outside and we feared shelter-bound, so little by little we started inviting him into our home.

It wasn't easy turning a cat who had practically never seen the inside of a house into a housecat but we did it and for three years he was a cherished member of our family.

Then during the summer of 1996 we started noticing he was spending more time by his water bowl and the litter pan needed to be cleaned more often. Naively we chalked it up to the summer heat but by late September there was no improvement. A visit to the vet confirmed our worst fears: Sebastian`s kidneys were failing and nothing could be done. We were sent home with instructions on how to administer sub-q fluids to prevent dehydration for what little time he had left.

On January 8, 1997, just over three months after diagnosis, Sebastian was gone.

Image courtesy of IDEXX

Tragically there's not a single thing about Sebastian's story that's uncommon. Kidney disease is a leading cause of death for cats, just as heart disease is for humans. Over 1 in 3 cats are likely to develop kidney disease in their lifetime, and as they age the likelihood of developing it increases. In fact, more than half of cats over 15 are afflicted.  Since cats hide illness so well they typically show no symptoms (such as drinking and urinating more than normal) until their kidneys have lost most of their function - permanently.

Now IDEXX SDMA™, a breakthrough new test that screens for chronic kidney disease, can detect this serious disease months to years earlier, when there is still time to do something about it. This is great news for cats, as IDEXX SDMA™ can detect kidney disease when much of a pet's kidney function is still intact, giving you and your veterinarian the chance to take action and give your pet the best shot for a healthy, happy, long life - even with kidney disease.

The IDEXX SDMA test is available to all veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada. Even better, 2 in 5 veterinarians in the U.S. are already including IDEXX SDMA in their routine testing, almost always at no added cost. If your veterinary hospital is not doing so, just ask your veterinarian to send your pet’s samples to IDEXX’s Reference Laboratories.

YOU are your cat's best advocate. Ask your veterinarian for the IDEXX SDMA™ kidney screening test at your next appointment!

Follow the Pet Health Network on Facebook to learn more about IDEXX SDMA

Have you had experience with feline kidney disease?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pet Health Network®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Purrs for My Grandpa Please

Meows from Mudpie!

Could I ask you all to purr for my Grandpa today? He's having surgery and I'm really worried about him. He and Mommy need to be at the hospital by 6am (GASP!) and I'll most likely be alone for much of the day.

Here's the thing about my Grandpa...he was never much of a "cat guy" until Mommy adopted Tara and then Truffles...and boy oh boy does he ever love me!

Please keep him in your thoughts today. I'll update everyone when I can.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How Do Resident Cats Feel About Foster Kittens? Mudpie Gets Answers!

Meows from Mudpie!

Since moving into my forever home with Mommy I've continued the tradition of interviewing the fictional felines that live inside the cozy mysteries we love so much. I've decided to expand on the idea with a series of cutting edge interviews with real live cats that have amazing stories to tell!

Every now and then Mommy says that if life ever calms down for us she would love to be a kitten foster mom. Now I understand how important it is for families to help these little tots just starting out in life, but I'm still left with a very important question: How would fostering kittens affect me?

I decided to ask my friends Shadow and Frosty from about their lives now that foster kittens have come into their home, and we invite you to visit their blog today to read kitten Ninja's post, A Day in the Life of a Foster Kittten.

Mudpie: Welcome Shadow and Frosty! Thank you so much for taking some time to chat with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourselves and how you came to live with your humans?

Frosty: Thank you for having us, we are more than happy to share our story with others. Obviously, I’m Frosty and this is my sister Shadow

Shadow: Everyone gets us confused! We look so alike, sometimes; even our humans have trouble telling us apart. I’m the more beautiful one! My fur is sleeker; I’m also shyer than Frosty. She has such a big personality and she likes things a certain way.

F: Our humans have been with us for about 6 years. It’s actually a funny story because when they came to the RSPCA (the local animal welfare shelter in Australia) it’s was the girl human who wanted two kittens, the boy human thought one would be enough. Luckily, he was a smart man and realised that two cats are always better than one.

S: He actually picked out Frosty first because she was more active, she ran right up to the cage and started trying to play with him. I was just waking up from a sleep and was more quiet. I can also be really shy and there were just so many people around!

F: Yeah, and because they were getting two kittens the shelter staff let them take me from Shadow and put me in a room with the humans and some other kittens to see who I would get on with the best. They didn’t think it through because it was scary and I missed Shadow.

S: They wised up pretty quickly, because before you know it we were in a cage together and off we went and we’ve been together ever since.

I understand life has changed for you in recent months thanks to the addition of foster kittens to your home. How did that happen and did you have any say in the matter???

F: We didn’t have a say at all. One day, the humans came home with 3 kittens. We were really worried at first, because we weren’t sure what was happening. All we knew is that we had to share our food bowls, our toys and our best sleeping spots. I thought we were being replaced, but over time we have learnt the kittens come and go but we stay.

S: The worst bit was when the humans came home from work we couldn’t sit with them on the couch without the kittens coming up to us. All they wanted to do was jump on my tail. I have slowly gotten used to it and now I just claim my spot with the humans.

Do you have regular contact with the kittens and if so, what impact has this had on your daily lives?

S: Do we have regular contact? Yes, yes we do. We have to teach them how to be a cat in a human world. The down side of having the kittens is obviously sharing things. The humans try and help by putting our food ‘up’ but the kitten food tastes better. We have had to share litter trays and they just leave it such a MESS! I know they’re young, but come on.

F: I know! At night we all sleep in the laundry together. Luckily there are some spots up high that the kittens can’t get to, because otherwise it would just be too hard. What impact has this had on me? I’ve gotten stressed, mostly at the start. sometimes it gets a bit too much, Kittens have so much energy and we teach them when we’ve had enough and just want some alone time. The humans pick up on it and making sure I get enough alone time which is good. They give us a room all to ourselves for the day which helps us relax and reduces our stress.

Did you have to rearrange your home for their arrival?

S: Nothing much had to change; the biggest change was the extra litter containers. Now we have them in every room in the house. It’s convenient for us too, but we didn’t mind just having the containers in the bathroom. The kittens are small though; they’re still learning and can’t always make it to the bathroom when they’re that small.

F: Having the extra containers was a change of convenience. The other fun change was that we get more toys now and I have to say, I’m starting to feel like a kitten again. Watching them running and playing really makes me want to play too and I’m loving it!

You don't have to share your toys and treats with them do you???

F: That’s the worst part! We have to share everything. Luckily, when they come to us they are pretty small so can’t get up on to all the best bits of the cat tower that let you see out the window. Towards the end they learn to climb onto our secret spots which is annoying. Always climbing up to the top of the tower but then it’s not long until we get new small kittens and we have our high spots back.

S: Yes, we have to share, but having the kittens means we get more toys because the humans see us playing with them. The kittens also wreck all the toys really quickly so the humans are buying new ones all the time. I heard them say that they just buy the cheap ones because the kittens are so rough with the feather wands and the mice.

F: Yeah, that’s true. Some of our toys are really good and you can tell they’re quality toys. The kittens haven’t been able to break them, but the things like small balls, toys and wands we get new and different ones all the time!

What should humans (and their cats) take into consideration before applying to become a foster family?

S: I think space is a big one. You need to make sure any cats (or dogs) that you already have need to be able to have their own space. Frosty and I love being able to have some time out in the bedroom without the kittens and if we didn’t have that it would be way too stressful.

F: I think humans should make sure to keep a “fostering free” space for us to help with stress, plus some one on one time. We’ve gotten used to it now and can see that these kittens come and go, and we will always be here. But at the beginning we weren’t sure what was happening and it really helped when we had quality one on one time with the humans.

What would become of these kittens if there weren't nice foster families available to them?

F: If there weren’t any foster carers the kittens would just sit at the shelter all day. If they’re lucky there will be volunteers coming in and playing with them, but otherwise they would be alone all day every day until they were old enough to be adopted. That’s a hard life.

S: What makes it even harder is if the kittens don’t get used to humans when they’re young when they get adopted they may not have a good experience or the owners might bring them back because they’re too shy or scared or not snuggly enough. That’s why I tolerate having the kittens at home, because I know it’s like as we were both foster kittens once ourselves. Having foster parents is the best thing for them.

What comes next? How long will these babies be with you, and will more be arriving once they're gone?

S: We always have kittens now, Kittens, kittens, kittens. The humans say that it’s because it’s kitten season and the RSPCA sometimes gets as many as 75 kittens a day! – and that’s just one centre! So many kittens need a loving foster family. Luckily, our humans don’t take 75 kittens home to foster!

F: You never know how long the kittens will be with us. Sometimes they are very quick just one or two weeks and they are gone. It doesn’t give you much time to get used to them. Other times they are so small when they come and they have a lot of growing to do, those ones we can have for up to 8 weeks. You see, they need to be a certain weight before they can be de-sexed and adopted out like we were. Sometimes it’s hard for the kittens to gain weight because they might be sick and so then the humans have to give them medicine to make them better. It all adds time.

Would you care to turn the keyboard over to the wee ones for some final thoughts?

S: They’re really busy running around at the moment… it’s that time of day. Once they stop running they’ll fall asleep. I can hear them chanting “fun fun fun fun fun fun” as they run past.


Thanks so much for the insight, Shadow and Frosty! Now click on over to meet baby Ninja in his post A Day in the Life of a Foster Kitten