Monthly Archives: November 2011

Top Ten Reasons to Love a Cat

By Julia Williams

Ah, to love a cat. What’s not to love, really? Well for starters, there are those nights when you get up to use the bathroom and your bare feet step in something squishy. I don’t love my cats all that much in that moment. And then there are those days when they are naughty for no other reason than because they just want to see how red your face can get. But other than that, there are plenty of reasons to love a cat. One that won’t make my list, however, is the oft-used “they give you unconditional love.” I’m pretty sure my cats have at least one condition, which is that they be fed regularly. If I withheld their food for very long, I’m thinking they’d give their love to a neighbor without so much as a backward glance at me. But I digress. Here are my top 10 reasons to love a cat.

10. Cats are such good little helpers around the house. They keep the tub from getting water spots by licking it dry right after you shower. They make sure any crumbs that fall to the floor never need to be swept up. They help you decorate by re-arranging your knickknacks. They keep the coffee table free of clutter, and they make sure your bookshelf is always dusted (with a built in duster no less!).

9. Cats are always willing to give fashion advice. Case in point: the hilarious feline ‘Catfoodbreath’ posted my favorite tweet ever – “I napped on your outfit to keep you from leaving the house looking like someone who didn’t own a cat.” Having a cat also serves as a deterrent to wearing drab black too often. (Black pants are THE biggest fashion faux pas if you have a cat!).

8. Cats are remarkably self cleaning. There are very few good reasons to give your cat a bath, and considering how they react to being submerged in water, it’s not something you should be doing anyway.

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Meet the Latest RPO Winner – Sadie of Beaded Tail Fame!

The sponsor of this blog, CANIDAE Natural Pet Foods, selects one reader every three months to receive a free six month supply of their premium quality pet food. The winner is chosen at random from every new reader who subscribed to the blog via email during the past quarter. The winner gets to pick any formula of CANIDAE dog food or FELIDAE cat food.

The lucky winner from last quarter is Sharla V. of Corvallis, Oregon. Sharla has a beautiful Alaskan Husky named Sadie who will be 11 years old in December. Sharla also has two cats, but has decided that Sadie should be the one to try the CANIDAE food, and has chosen to receive 3 bags of All Life Stages (ALS) and 3 Bags of CANIDAE Beef and Fish.

Some of you may recognize the dog in these photos. That’s because Sadie is often featured on Sharla’s wonderful pet blog called Beaded Tail! I asked Sharla to tell us a little about Sadie, and here is what she said:

“Sadie was rescued by the humane society from a puppy mill in Nebraska when she was just a month old, along with 40 adult dogs and 6 litters of puppies. When my mom heard about these dogs, she went straight to the humane society and put our names on the list of people who wanted to adopt. When the courts finally said the huskies could be adopted, the humane society had raided a Yorkie puppy mill so the huskies were being sent to other shelters to make room. Only two husky puppies stayed behind; one went to a shelter employee and we got Sadie!

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How to Protect Your Pet from Wildlife Predators

By Linda Cole

No matter where we live, we share the land with wildlife. Birds of prey, like hawks and eagles, can pose a danger to cats, small dogs, kittens and puppies. Depending on where you live, coyotes, mountain lions and bears may also be a threat. An attack by a wildlife predator can happen in the blink of an eye. How quickly we react can make a difference, and learning how to protect yourself and your pet is your best weapon.

Most predators are active during sunrise and sunset, but they will hunt anytime. Unless you have a 10 foot fence around your property, wild animals will venture into your yard in search of food. Protect your pets by keeping your yard clean. Keep fruit and nuts picked up under trees, and don’t leave food sitting outside where it can be found by wild animals. Coyotes will eat anything, including fruit, and you don’t want to encourage predators to come into your yard.

Compost piles, thick brush or bushes and wood piles make great hiding places for predators. Situate your compost pile away from the areas used by you and your pet, or keep it in an enclosed area. Keep the area under bird feeders cleaned up. Never leave uneaten pet food outside. Secure trash cans with locking lids so they can’t be tipped over, or keep them in a garage or other outside building. Make sure doors are closed to outside buildings to keep unwanted guests out.

Keep your dog on leash during hikes. A dog running ahead of his owner on a trail may return with a predator hot on his heels. If you meet a predator in your own backyard, or while out hiking or walking your dog, stay calm and never run. Pick up small dogs and cats. A stout walking stick is a good weapon to help fend off an attack.

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Tips for Introducing a New Dog to a Household with Cats

By Langley Cornwell

We have a cat and a dog, and they are best friends. The introduction was easy for us; we rescued the animals together, so they were getting accustomed to us, our home and each other at the same time. It worked beautifully. But what do you do if you already have cats and want to adopt a dog?

Cats and dogs can live together in harmony, even if you bring them into the household at different times. Much of their long-term relationship depends on the manner in which they are introduced to one another. As long as you are patient and mindful of each animal’s natural tendencies, the transition should be fairly peaceful.

The initial meeting of an adult cat and a puppy

If you have an adult cat that has no experience with dogs, introducing her to a rambunctious puppy requires extra care. Keep these tips in mind:

•  Put the pup on a leash during their first encounter. Keep the leash loose enough for the dog to behave naturally, but make sure you are in control of the meeting.
•  Allow the dog and cat to sniff each other – it’s an important aspect of their initial meeting.
•  Try not to overreact to hissing, growling or barking, which are typical ways for new animals to communicate. Be ready to separate the animals if the hostility escalates.
•  Puppies are naturally energetic; their overzealous behavior can trigger a quick and serious attack from a wary cat. Stay alert.

If none of these tips work, separate the animals with a crate, baby gate or in rooms with an adjoining door where they can sniff each other under the door. Keep them separate for a few days, allowing them time to become acquainted without coming into full contact with one another.

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Dog Heroes That Saved Lives and Property

Shana

By Linda Cole

The bravery and loyalty of dogs fills the pages of history with unselfish acts of heroism. Dog heroes can be mixed breed and purebred, but the one thing they all have in common is a steadfast devotion to their owner. It can be argued that dogs act purely on instinct, but I think they also act on love and recognize when the people they love are in danger. Many dog heroes were rescued themselves by their owner.

Shana, a half wolf/half German Shepherd, was rescued as a sickly two week old pup. In 2006, she was 7 years old and weighed 160 pounds, which came in handy when she saved her owners, 81 year old Norman and Eve Fertig. The couple had been tending to animals on the Enchanted Forest Wildlife Sanctuary in Alden, N.Y. when a sudden winter storm hit in early December. The storm knocked down huge trees at the sanctuary, trapping the Fertigs between two buildings. It also knocked out the electricity.

Temperatures plunged to freezing, and Norman and Eve were trapped outside without warm clothes or shelter. What Shana did next amazed the couple and firemen who made it to the sanctuary the next morning to check on the couple. Shana began to dig through the snow and dirt under the fallen trees and kept digging until she had a ditch dug all the way to the house. She returned to Eve, grabbed her sleeve and slid the 86 pound woman onto her back. Norman grabbed Eve’s legs and Shana pulled both of them through the ditch to their home. Safely inside, she then laid across the couple to keep them warm through the night. From start to finish, it took Shana almost 8 hours to dig a trench 200 ft. long. She was given an award that’s usually only given to humans – the Citizens for Humane Animal Treatment’s Hero’s Award for bravery.

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Maneki Neko, the “Lucky Cat” of Japan

By Julia Williams

As good luck charms go, the Maneki Neko is perhaps the cutest one of all. Of course, as a cat lover I am probably biased, but still – the friendly feline known around the globe as Maneki Neko is pretty darn adorable, don’t you think? Chances are, you’ve seen one of these little cat statues sitting at the entrance of your favorite Japanese or Chinese restaurant, or some other place of business. You might even have one displayed in your home. But while that sweet, smiling cat beckoning you with an upright paw might look modern, the Maneki Neko is actually an age-old custom that dates back several centuries, to Japan’s Edo Period (1603 to 1868).

What is the Maneki Neko?

The Maneki Neko is a popular Japanese sculpture that’s believed to bring good luck. Maneki Neko means “Beckoning Cat,” and it’s often called that and other names including Welcoming Cat, Lucky Cat of Japan, Money Cat, Fortune Cat and Prosperity Cat. The cat figurine, typically made of ceramic, is often placed by the front door of businesses and homes to welcome guests and attract wealth. Though the Maneki Neko originated in Japan, it’s now found worldwide and is a popular collector’s item.

Although I’ve seen many different interpretations of the Maneki Neko – including one that bears a striking resemblance to another Japanese icon, Hello Kitty! – they usually always have a red collar and red ears. Some have a bell on their collar, while others have a koban (a gold coin from the Edo Period.) Many also carry a scroll bearing the message “Please come in. You are welcome!”

Maneki Neko Symbolism

There are two versions of Maneki Neko, each with a different meaning. With its left paw raised, Maneki Neko welcomes customers and guests; with its right paw raised, Maneki Neko invites good luck and money. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with displaying both versions to cover all the bases!

Opinions differ on whether the Maneki Neko is a male or female, but most agree that the cat is a Japanese Bobtail. This ancient breed comes in many different colors, but the original Maneki Neko statues were calico, or mi-ke which means “three fur.”

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