Friday, July 3, 2015

Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats Through Their Eyes Review

Cover of Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats Through Their Eyes
Every cat has a story.  Do you ever wonder what your cat's life was like before he claimed you?

Milita was given to my dad, along with her five brothers and sisters, by a friend who could not care for all the cats.  She spent a year being an outdoor cat in the country.  Her life was okay.  My dad made sure she had food and water, and she had plenty of cat companions to keep her company.

When I decided to move from Indiana to Colorado to attend graduate school, my dad knew I wanted a cat and suggested I take Milita with me because she was the friendliest kitty in her litter.  So that's just what I did - I brought her cross-country to Colorado with me, and she's been living like royalty ever since!  Milita has been an indoor-only cat for the past 11 years, and I don't think she misses the outdoors at all.  She enjoys being spoiled, loved, and having her every demand met.

Though I know Milita's story, Carmine's beginnings are a total mystery to me.  I wonder what he experienced in his first four months of life and how he ended up in the PetSmart adoption center where I met him.

The stories of the cats in Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats Through Their Eyes were an eye-opening experience to me.  I could feel the hurt, confusion, and sadness some of the kitties in this book felt when they wound up in shelters or on the streets.  These stories are a testament to how resilient cats really are.

Each cat's rescue story in the book is unique; some made me smile and laugh while others made me cry, but in the end, they all find their forever homes and humans to love them.  I really love that so many of the cats and their humans featured in Rescued have gone on to help other kitties in need.

Among others, Rescued features a library cat, a cat who stars in films, and cats who blog.  Though each story is unique, they all speak to the compassion, care, and love of cat adopters and to the resilience and strength of cats.

One of the stories that touched me most in Rescued was Lucky's tale.  An unknown person poured a caustic substance all over Lucky's body, which resulted in severe burns.  Yet when he was rescued, he showed his gratitude by purring and making biscuits.  Through the love of people around the world, enough money was raised to cover Lucky's surgeries and medical expenses.  I find it really amazing that he was able to move forward and love humans despite his tragic past.  What an inspiration!

Rescued was edited by our blogging colleague, Janiss Garza, creator of the Sparkle Cat blog.  Please be sure to visit her blog; it is fantastic!

A white cat laying in some grass

Rescued Helps Cats in Need

Each author who contributed to Rescued selected a shelter to receive a portion of the book's proceeds for one month.  This month is Browser's month, and he and his human decided to support Paws and Claws Animal Shelter.  Browser found himself a home in the Pine River Library in 2002 and has been living there since.  He enjoys meeting new people and sitting with the children during story time.  You can learn more about him on his blog.  

Rescued is a must-read for any cat lover.  You can purchase Rescued on Amazon in paperback or Kindle edition.  If you pick up a copy, I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats Through Their Eyes free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  Receiving the free book did not influence my opinion in any way.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jewel's Journey

When Jewel's chronic renal failure advanced to the point where she needed subcutaneous fluids on a regular basis, I was terrified.  Some of you might remember me asking all kinds of questions and doubting my ability to give her the fluids die to my severe vision impairment (as in, I have to have something less than an inch from my face to see it).  I think my vet and her office staff also had their concerns about how this was going to work.  But I did research, asked questions, and determined I was going to find a way to give Jewel her fluids because that's what a loving and caring kitty mom does!

It took a bit of trial-and-error, but I persisted, and I figured out a way to give Jewel subcutaneous fluids that worked for us.

In the beginning, Jewel wanted nothing to do with the whole ordeal!  She'd try to run off during the administration, and it was hard for me because I felt guilty about sticking her with that huge needle!  I actually accidentally stuck myself with her needle the first time I gave her the fluids on my own, and wow, did that hurt!!  I always imagined that when I stuck her with the needle, she was cussing me out as she'd let out a loud, "RAOW!!!" every time I had to stick her.  I wouldn't blame her one bit if she was saying HBO words at me.

Though I hated sticking her with that huge needle, I had to put my own feelings of guilt aside to help my little angel.  Though giving her the fluids was tough, I knew it helped her live longer and have a better quality of life while she was here.

Over time, Jewel laid on the floor and allowed me to give her the subcutaneous fluids without much fuss.  I think she knew that they were good for her.  She also knew that when we were done, she'd get treats - her favorite thing!  Sometimes she'd get so excited about the treats that she'd try to run off before I was done holding her little hole shut so she wouldn't leak her fluids.  We developed a nice routine that worked for both of us, and I think she appreciated all the care she was given.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cat Safety Tips for the Fourth of July

White kitten snuggled in a blanket
Independence Day is a fun day full of cook-outs, family get-togethers, celebrations, and fireworks for Americans.  Unfortunately, though, July 4th may not be fun for your cat.  The loud noises, unusual smells, and strangers in their homes causes many kitties stress.  Therefore, as you plan your 4th of July celebration this year, please use these tips to help reduce your cat's stress and keep him safe during the holiday.

Give Your Cat a Sanctuary

If you're planning on having a get-together at your home, create a sanctuary for your cat in a bedroom.  Put your kitty's favorite beds and toys in the room as well as her litter box, food, and water.  Leavining the door to the sanctuary shut ensures that your cat doesn't accidentally escape outdoors when guests enter or exit your home.  

If your cat gets stressed by visitors, play some soft music for her to help distract her from what's going on outside the bedroom door.  Be sure to check on your kitty every so often to make sure she is doing okay.  If possible, engage your cat in a few interactive play sessions throughout the day to help relieve her stress as well.

If your cat gets stressed during fireworks, try distracting her with interactive play, soft music, or by just sitting with her and talking quietly.

Remember that outdoor kitties get stressed by fireworks, too.  If your kitty typically stays outdoors, you may want to consider bringing her into the house for Independence Day celebrations.  It's unfortunate, but not everyone is kind to felines, and some people might even try to shoot fireworks off near your cat.

If you care for feral felines, provide them with a safe place to hide outdoors.  Put some empty boxes out with towels in the bottoms so they have somewhere comfortable to hide out during the fireworks. 

Update ID and Microchip Information

White cat
If you're planning to have guests to your home, make sure they all know to watch for your kitty when they enter and exit your home.  Don't forget to be mindful of your cat when you go to and from your grill as well.  

Cats are sneaky and can scoot past even the most vigilant cat owner.  That's why it's important to keep the information on your kitty's ID tag and microchip up-to-date.  I include my cat's name, phone number, and the phrase, "Indoor cat," on Carmine and Milita's ID tags.  You can update your companion's microchip information on the Internet.  Just go to your microchip company's website, log in, and update your address and phone number as needed.  

People Food

In general, it's not a good idea to indulge your furry companion with people food.  However, if you want to share just a bite of your hamburger or hot dog with your kitty, make sure it has no seasoning or topping on or in it.  Jewel always enjoyed having a bite of plain hot dog or hamburger, but Carmine and Milita don't care for either.  

There are many people foods toxic to cats you should be aware of.  For instance, onions, garlic, lemon, avocado, and chocolate are poisonous to cats.  Please refer to our Toxic Foods for Cats Part 1 and Part 2 for more detailed lists.

Onions on a cutting board

Additionally, remember to keep alcoholic drinks out of your companion's reach.  According to the ASPCA, if a pet ingests an alcoholic drink, he may become intoxicated and severely depressed, weak, or go into a coma.  Death may also occur from respiratory distress in serious cases.

Remember to throw away all meat bags, packaging, tin foil, and plastic wrap.  These items are tempting to cats and may lead to intestinal obstruction if ingested.  

Sunscreen and Insect Repellent

Don't use any insect repellent or sunscreen on your cat that isn't indicated for use on pets.  Ingestion of human sunscreen may lead to drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and excessive thirst.  Neurological problems can arise from using insect repellent containing DEET on pets.  You can easily find pet-safe sunscreen and insect repellent by doing a search on the Internet. 

Glow Jewelry and Glowsticks

Keep all glow jewelry and glowsticks away from your pet.  If chewed and ingested, glow jewelry and sticks can cause irritation and possible gastrointestinal obstruction if large enough pieces are swallowed.    

Keep Fireworks Away from Your Cat

Fireworks in the sky
It may seem obvious, but having lit fireworks around your furry friend could lead to her getting burned.  It's also important to keep unlit fireworks out of your cat's reach because some fireworks contain toxic substances, such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals, according to the ASPCA.  

Matches and Lighter Fluid

According to the ASPCA, some matches contain chlorates, which may cause breathing difficulties and blood cell damage.  In severe cases, kidney disease may also occur.  Lighter fluid can cause skin irritation if any is accidentally spilled on your cat's coat.  Ingestion of lighter fluid can lead to gastrointestinal distress and central nervous system depression.  When lighter fluid is inhaled, breathing difficulties and aspiration pneumonia may result.  

Insect Coils, Citronella Candles, and Oil Products

Keep insect coils, citronella candles, and oil products out of your cat's reach.  Ingestion of such products may lead to gastrointestinal distress and central nervous system depression, according to the ASPCA.  Inhaling oils may result in pneumonia aspiration.  

Orange cat with its head tilted

Medication and Anxiety-Relieving Products

If you know your kitty gets stressed or anxious when fireworks go off, talk to your veterinarian before the Independence Day celebrations begin.  Your vet will be able to recommend a medication or other product to reduce your cat's stress.  Never give your cat medication without talking with your veterinarian first.  Many human medications are toxic to pets. 

Rescue Remedy or Comfort Zone/Feliway diffusers may help keep your cat calm during fireworks.  If you choose to use a diffuser, plug it in a day or two ahead of time so it has time to disperse throughout the house.  

You can reduce the noise and bright light from the fireworks by closing your windows, shutting your blinds, and turning on the television or radio to a channel that plays soft music.  

Using these tips will help you and your furry friend have a safe and happy Independence Day.  

Do you have any Independence Day plans?  Please share with us in the comments!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Opt to Adopt Hop


Denver, CO

Hop is a rare orange female kitty looking for her forever home.  Isn't she adorable?  Hop hadn't been around humans much before she found her way to MaxFund.  Therefore, she needs a human companion who understands that building trust with her will be a slow process that takes baby steps.  She is worth it!

Hop loves to play, especially with feather wand toys.  She isn't a lap cat and may never be one, but she really enjoys the company of people.  Once she gets to know you, she'll follow you around and sit near you to keep you company.  

Hop would do best in a quiet home without children or dogs.  She gets along with other cats okay.  She is already spayed, up-to-date on her vaccinations, and litter box trained.  Please stop by MaxFund, located at 720 W. 10th Avenue in Denver, CO to visit with this gorgeous ginger ladycat.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mancat Monday

Hi everyone, it's mes, Carmine!

Lita has hogged the blog the past two Mondays now.  Mes didn't want to complain because hers no felt good, but mes thought it was about time mes got a turn!

Do you remember last Thursday when the Mom told you how mes was a good mancat companion for Jewel during hers illness?  Mes not only helped Jewel, mes watches out for the Mom and Lita, too.

It has been very hot here lately - in the 90s and near 100 some days, and the air conditioning in our apartment doesn't work very well (it doesn't work well for anyone above the third floor, everyone says here).

The heat makes the Mom feel very sick and makes hers hurt, which mes no likes.  Hers would like to get a window air conditioner one of these days, especially as wes get older ourselves.

Anyways, the Mom was so hot on Saturday hers could not sleeps.  Then as hers laid in bed, hers got a very bad muscle spasm in hers foot.  Hers says this happens a lot when it is too hot.

Hers tried to be a brave Mom, but hers said the pain was awful!  Hers came out to the living room and tried to wait for the spasm to go aways.  Hers was in so much pain that hers kept yelling "Owww!"  Every time hers yelled, mes put my front paws on the couch so hers could pet my head, and then mes would jump up and sit on hers and meow and purr.  Mes was very worried about the Mom!

The spasm went away after a whiles, but mes sat on a box nearby just in case hers needed mes again.

The Mom says mes is the bestest mancat in the world, and hers says hers is lucky mes chose hers as my human.

Mes hope yous all had a good weekend!