My Toby has crossed the Rainbow Bridge

“No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat,
and no amount of masking tape can totally remove all his fur
from your couch.”~ Leo Dworkin

My cats - Toby

Just about 7 weeks ago, on the morning of July 31, I knew it was time to say goodbye to my gorgeous boy. For the first time ever, since I adopted him from the shelter on December 13, 2005, Toby didn’t want to be petted and he didn’t want to eat, two of his favorite things. Not long before that day, our vet had told us that his time was getting very near but until that day I was still hoping that he would miraculously rally ’round and get back to normal. Continue reading

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K & H Outdoor Heated Cat Houses

Heated outdoor kitty houseI know, no one wants to think about more heat in the middle of July (has the crazy cat lady lost her mind???). But these outdoor cat shelters are pawsome!! Several of our friends have them (one friend has 3 for her outside kitties!) and they love them! But last fall, procrastinator that I am, I waited until it was already getting cold to think about ordering but most of them were already sold out and none of them were on sale. So this year I started shopping early for winter…

Other than the great recommendations I got from our friends, there are several things that attracted me to these particular cat houses… Continue reading

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The Purrfect Pot of Cat Grass

cat grass

When he goes outside, Odie loves to eat a bit of grass. As do all the other cats, as you probably know. But, since Odie doesn’t go outside very often I’ve purrfected the art of growing a nice pot of cat grass for him. Otherwise, he wants to nibble on the leaves of the ponytail plant or the maidenhair fern…

You can buy little kits for growing cat grass, which kitty will probably love, but it’s not as fun as making a mini cat grass conservatory, or as cost effective as buying seed in bulk! You can grow your cat grass any way you want, making sure, of course, that there are no harmful chemicals, such as pesticides, involved; and other pets (dogs, turtles, Guinea pigs, iguanas, rabbits, birds…) like to eat grass too! So here is my method… Continue reading

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The Cats Find a Cool Shady Spot for Summer

During the hot summer months, the most important things for pets (cats, dogs, rabbits, chickens or whatever little critters you have) outside are shade and water so if your cats are in a cat fence or other outdoor enclosure and can’t go wandering, you must provide them with cool shady places to hide from the sun and plenty of fresh water!

Kyle relaxes under the Batisia

Kyle relaxes under the Batisia

As soon as the weather starts to warm up, my cats abandon their cozy enclosed winter shelters and start hanging out in their open beds and in the gardens under the bushes and other leafy plants…

Toby retreats into the gooseneck loosestrife

Toby retreats into the gooseneck loosestrife

Now that it’s getting hot, Kyle Kitty and the other cats are hiding out all day in their favorite shady cool spots, laying on the cool earth or the straw that I spread out in some areas for them. We are lucky to have a lot of shady bushes and trees, and a couple of old buildings under which the cats can retreat from the elements. The old Cook House gets hot inside but it has a crawl space just big enough for the cats (which is Little Kitty’s favorite place to hide out) and it stays very cool under there even during the hottest summer months.

kitty in the shade

When I first moved here, before I had cats, we just had some trees. Over the years I’ve planted more trees and many shrubs that have grown nicely to provide a lot of shade for humans and critters. Some of my favorites, and the ones that provide nice shade for the cats, are mock orange, batisia, spirea, medium sized ornamental grass, hydrangeas, and gooseneck loosestrife. There are many others, of course, but those are just a few of our favs!

During the summer, I put extra water bowls around the yard near the cats’ favorite shady spots and fill them with fresh cool water every morning. Thick ceramic is the best because it’s not easily broken like glass, it doesn’t leach toxic chemicals and unpleasant odors into the water like plastic, and doesn’t heat up as quickly as stainless steel. And a heavy ceramic bowl, can’t be knocked over very easily.

A few other things to think about and/or remember during the hot summer weather:

  • if you are hot, your pets are even hotter. They can’t take off their coats when the temps rise, turn on the faucet if they are thirsty, or run into an air conditioned building to cool off if they feel the need;
  • never leave any species of pets (or human children…yeah, it happens) in a parked car, not even for a minute in the shade with the windows cracked open. This should be a no brainer but dogs, human kids, and probably also cats in carriers die in parked cars every summer, and the temps in cars can rise to a dangerous degree even during the spring. If you see a pet or kid in a parked car, call the police before it’s too late;
  • enclosed buildings, such as a garage or shed, and dog houses can become like ovens during the summer, even if they are shaded by trees. We have an old barn/garage with 4 open bays and it even gets hotter inside the open areas. This is where Kinny sleeps and eats and usually hangs out but right now he heads for the bushes under the maple trees after his breakfast;
  • don’t make your pets’ only water source a 5 gallon bucket. Yeah, some people do that…and buckets are easily knocked over… I’ve seen it right next door and on many occasions I had to fill up the neighbor dog’s knocked over water bucket because her people were oblivious, in July. Did I mention she was chained?
  • if you feed feral cats that aren’t living near a natural water source, give them extra bowls of water during the summer;
  • if you have cats with long hair, consider getting them shaved for the summer. Especially outdoor cats with long hair. I’ve read where this is not advised, but my Little Kitty, who has long, very thick fur…and hates to be brushed… is cute when she gets her lion cut but what’s more important is it’s obvious that she feels more comfortable after she’s shaved at the beginning of summer (and by winter all her fur has grown back to keep her warm);
  • avoid walking, exercise and outdoor play except early mornings and after it cools down in the evening. If you have to take your dog out mid day, stick to the shade and don’t stay out very long. And remember to scoop the poop…

Check out the following links for more tips and info on keeping your pets safe during warm and hot weather:

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Spay & Neuter Clinic News for April 2014

feral kittensBefore I tell you about all the great things going on during April at some of our local (Charlotte, NC) spay neuter clinics, I want to send out a request to our friends in Australia. Not long ago, someone asked if Purr…fect Fence has a distributor in Australia and I didn’t know so I called and talked with Kevin, one of the awesome customer service guys at Purr…fect Fence. Unfortunately, there are currently no distributors in Australia, but Purr…fect Fence would love to have one so give them a ring if you live in Australia and are interested in becoming a distributor of the Purr…fect Fence outdoor cat enclosures! You will make a lot of kitties and their humans happy!

Now, on with the spay neuter news for April… Continue reading

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