By Julia Williams
I’m not fond of all of the hoopla that surrounds Valentine’s Day. I ignore the stores’ nonstop pleas to “spend, spend, spend” to show my love, because I know I’ve already done that, many times throughout the year. This day does, however, inspire me to reflect on the love I feel for my three Furry Valentines (Annabelle, Mickey and Rocky) and for the others who’ve crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the special bonds that take place between people and their pets – specifically, what is it that makes us bond more strongly with some pets than others? I’ve genuinely loved all of the eleven cats and one dog that have shared my home, but I’ve bonded with three of them on a much deeper level.
I can think of several reasons why a certain pet might capture our heart so profoundly. A strong bond can develop as a result of how they interact with us, or grow deeper because of how they positively impact our life. Sometimes, though, a strong bond is there from the moment we lay eyes upon an animal. I can completely understand the first two; it’s the last one I grapple with, because “love at first sight” defies rational explanation. I’ve had this phenomenon happen with both a person and a cat, and it’s difficult to put into words. There’s a feeling of familiarity, as though you’ve known them your entire life. Like steel is drawn to a magnet or a moth is drawn to the flame, there’s a forceful pull that’s hard to resist.
By Julia Williams
When we posted Fun Songs for Dog Lovers a few weeks ago, some kitties got their knickers twisted because they were feeling left out. How dare we compile a list of must-listen songs about dogs, yet not mention any songs about cats. Well…okay, I lied. Everyone knows kitties don’t wear knickers so they can’t very well get them twisted. But some feline fanatics did want to see a list of cat songs. Never one to deny the kitties their due, herewith I present a few of my favorite songs about cats. Enjoy!
“Kitty Cat Dance” is one of the funniest videos I have ever seen. It’s a compilation of great cat photos and video snippets, accompanied by a “song” that basically consists of “Cat. I’m a kitty cat, and I dance dance dance, and I dance dance dance” followed by “Cat. I’m a kitty cat, and I meow meow meow, and I meow meow meow.” There are quite a few different versions of this song on Youtube, but I think (not 100% sure) the original one was “Kitty Cat Song” by Steve Ibsen. It’s also very amusing, but in my opinion the Kitty Cat Dance video is better. Another version I like is “Cat, I’m a Kitty Cat.” It doesn’t really matter to me who made the first one – they’re all funny, and I laugh my butt off every time I watch them.
“I Love the Cat Life” is another hilarious gem of a song about cats that I like to watch when I need a little laugh pick-me-up. Cat lovers will surely see the humor in the video of the naughty kitty doing things like scratching on the brand new couch. I crack up when the cute cat sings “I make you feed me, when I go Meoooooow, Meow…” and “I love the cat life, cuz’ when it’s raining you make the dog stay out.”
By Linda Cole
Finding the right dog for your lifestyle is difficult if you don’t know what a specific breed’s characteristics are. We see well trained dogs in movies and TV commercials, and think maybe that dog breed would be a great pet, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the right breed for you. A dog show gives you the opportunity to see different breeds up close and personal, making a difficult and important decision a little less of a gamble.
Dog shows give you a venue where you can talk with responsible breeders who raise purebred dogs. They know their dog breed inside and out, and are your best source of information. Breeders can tell you about a dog’s personality and breed characteristics which helps you decide if a dog breed will fit into a certain lifestyle. A Border Collie, Pointer or any dog from the working group is perfect for an active family who loves getting outside with their dog, but they may not fit into a lifestyle that includes small children or small pets, like cats. Someone looking for a small dog thinking the dog’s smaller size would be perfect can be surprised by a Terrier who digs up their flower garden or spends the day yapping at the neighbor’s outside cat.
By Suzanne Alicie
As a pet owner, you know that animals are entertaining, comforting and fun to have around, but did you realize that a pet is also a great teaching tool? There are several ways you can use your pet to help teach your children, either as a home schooling parent or just basic behavioral lessons.
Pets can be used to teach your children responsibility. Knowing that they are responsible for feeding, watering and giving attention to the pet will help your child establish a routine, and maintain day-to-day chores.
Pets can be used to teach children how to be kind, to protect those who are weaker than others, and basic empathy and compassion. Many times children who are used to playing with adults and other kids their age may not have any idea how gentle they need to be when playing with their pet. Sure, some dogs can take being tackled, but most run the risk of being harmed if a child plays too rough. Teaching your child to adapt their behavior in order to accommodate and respect the difference in stature, ability and personality will carry over to their interactions with other children and adults.
By Julia Williams
Does your pet go bonkers for treats? When the treats come out, do they immediately transform into half-starved wild beasts that practically maul you to get at the goods? Does the sight of the treats make them act like their last meal was at least a century ago, and they need those treats RIGHT NOW and not a moment later? Do you not dare offer the treats with your bare hand, lest you find it missing a finger? Do treats make your pets prance madly around you and implore with soulful eyes that could melt the hardest heart, let alone an animal lover like yourself?
Well…do they? Or are my cats the only creatures who exhibit such “to die for” love for their treats? I sure hope not. That would make me feel odder than I already do as the Crazy Cat Lady (CCL) who prefers feline friends over many of the two-leggers I know. Please tell me I’m not the only pet owner who gets a kick out of doling out the treats, precisely because of the over-the-top reaction this elicits.
My cats love their treats so much, sometimes it seems as though if they didn’t get them, they’d throw their sparkle balls and catnip toys into their little kitty suitcases and go live at the neighbor’s house. I feed my cats two square meals a day, and although they do make quite a racket when I’m dishing out their FELIDAE canned food, it’s nothing compared to the wake-the-dead meowing that ensues at treat time. I was talking on the phone one time while getting out the treat canister, and the person on the other end thought I had turned my home into a cat sanctuary because it sounded like 300 cats instead of just three!
By Linda Cole
Owning a pet is a responsibility in more ways than one, and pet care cost will depend on whether you have a cat or dog, more than one pet, or certain breeds of dogs. The cost is not only financial, but emotional as well. It’s important to make sure you can afford to share your home with a pet because it can be costly, especially during times of economic downturns or emergency vet visits. Both are examples of unexpected circumstances that can wreck a household budget. For some, getting a pet can turn into an expense they aren’t prepared for.
Food costs will vary depending on if you’re feeding a dog, cat or multiple pets. The breed and size of a dog will make a difference on a household budget too. But just because a dog is big doesn’t necessarily mean he has a big appetite. Siberian Huskies, for example, are very thrifty eaters. I had two Huskies at the same time, and my little Terrier mixes ate more than my Huskies. When it comes to food, it’s been my experience that choosing a premium quality pet food like CANIDAE or FELIDAE is a wise investment. This is partly because the pet won’t need to eat as much food to be full and get adequate nutrition. Also, a healthier diet means a healthier pet overall.