I’ve never been to Minnesota, but I’ve wanted to go ever since the shopping mecca known as the Mall of America opened. Now I have another reason, a much more compelling one actually, to add this fine state to my travel bucket list – Minneapolis, MN is where the annual Internet Cat Video Festival takes place!
Yes, I heard you say that. This is likely what I also thought the first time I heard about the Internet Cat Video Festival, aka Catvidvest. Now I just say … what a great idea! That, and why didn’t someone think of this sooner? I mean, we all love to watch funny cat videos, right? What could be better than sharing the experience with thousands of other cat people?
Catvidvest is billed as an “offline celebration of online cat videos.” The live festival offers feline fanatics an opportunity to come together to watch a curated collection of cat clips in a social setting. In other words, the Internet Cat Video Festival provides people like me a much- desired way to “be among my people,” i.e., those who adore cats and aren’t afraid to tell it to the world.
Keeping your dog on a routine is important. Canines like to know what’s going to happen throughout the day. I guess that makes it easier for them to plan out their busy schedule of chasing the cat, barking at the mailman and wolfing down their tasty CANIDAE food. The daily walk is an important part of your dog’s routine, but it can become a bit boring if you do the same thing every day. It’s good to spice it up now and then, to make it more fun for both of you.
Change the Pace
Many dogs enjoy getting out for a run, and jogging is a good way to build endurance and burn off calories. However, jogging isn’t for everyone or every dog. You can still mix up your pace and walk faster or slower, and in doing so you establish yourself as the leader by controlling the speed. Quickly changing directions helps to teach your dog to pay attention to you. Mixing up both speed and direction can make a walk even more stimulating.
Have Alternate Routes
A walk is not nearly as interesting when you see the same things day in and day out. Varying your route gives you different sights, smells and sounds that enrich the senses of both you and your dog. A nature trail offers different stimulation than a walk around the neighborhood. If you don’t have a trail close by, you can always drive to a nearby park or trail. When you walk out the door with your dog, he will look to you to see what’s going to happen next. Anticipation is part of the fun.
I met a cat in her early twenties last week. I couldn’t believe it. Even more impressive, Buttercup looked healthy and was completely aware of what was going on. She had that curious feline gleam in her eye; it was apparent that Buttercup was still mentally sharp.
Thanks to modern veterinarian care, cats have a longer lifespan than they used to. In fact, more and more cats are reaching the ages of middle teens all the way through to the early twenties, like Buttercup. When I look into our eight-year-old cat’s eyes, my heart melts. Like most responsible pet owners, we would do anything to keep this little guy healthy and happy, and hope that we have at least ten more good years with him.
But there’s more to it than just keeping your pet physically well. Older cats run the risk of developing feline cognitive dysfunction (FCD) — the feline equivalent of Alzheimer’s disease — if their brains aren’t stimulated enough. The best advice is to start at a young age; it’s essential to keep your cat’s brain active and sharp well before feline cognitive dysfunction has a chance to take hold. The best thing you can do is begin training your cat’s brain early. Studies show that you can slow the advancement of mental deterioration by ensuring your feline friend is physically active and mentally stimulated throughout her life, starting in kittenhood.
With this in mind, here are a few easy tips for keeping your cat’s brain mentally sharp well into her twilight years.
Channeling an active dog’s energy takes some creative thought. It can be challenging to find a good workout for a dog that seems to never run down. Not everyone has the time or desire to run an agility course or participate in other organized dog sports. The good news is there are indoor and outdoor games you can play with your active dog to help him wind down.
It’s not always possible to take your dog outside to run off energy, especially in winter when the cold and snow keeps everyone inside, except for quick duty calls. My dogs have been suffering from cabin fever because of the frigid temps. Active dogs still need exercise to get rid of excess energy, though. Inside games can give your dog a way to use up some energy while you stimulate his mind with some thinking games. You’ll need his favorite CANIDAE treats, and a space where you and your dog can move around without breaking things.
Who’s Got the Treat?
You need at least two people to play this game, and the more the merrier. Show your dog a treat, then start passing it around from one person to the next while he sits and watches. Show him the treat now and then as he follows it around. Don’t get too carried away or your dog will lose interest. After 7 or 8 passes, ask your dog to find the treat. When he discovers who has it, have him sit, lie down or perform any command he knows and give him the treat. If it’s just you and your dog, hide treats around the house for him to find.
Inside Red Light, Green Light
This game can be played with or without music. Move, dance or jump around, encouraging your dog to join in. At some point, freeze in position and give your dog the sit command. Immediately give a treat for complying, then start the game again. Each time you stop, ask him to sit until you start to move again. Instead of jumping around, you can have him follow you around the room or house, walking up and down steps, or anywhere inside or outside until you stop. Treat when he sits, then continue the game.
Ever since I could hold a book, I’ve been a voracious reader. That adoration for the almighty book evolved into a career of working with words, and although I’ve never written a novel, my love affair with words continues to shape every day of my life. I have even succumbed to digital books, and my kindle is now so full I could read a new novel every week for the rest of 2014.
Trolling the vast book offerings on Amazon, one trend simply can’t be ignored: cats are fast becoming some of the most popular authors of our time. Yes…cats. Those furry creatures previously content to sleep the day away, have now become prolific word chasers.
Cats have dipped their paws into many genres including self-help, humor and fiction. One day as I was reflecting on this, I asked myself “What if cats had been writing novels all along? What literary classics written by cats would sit on my shelf next to the timeless tomes of famous novelists?”
This led to pondering some famous first lines of novels, imagining what cats would have written instead. Then I thought, why not make a little quiz for you all, just for fun? See if you can guess which novels these 10 “catified” opening lines are from. To make it easier, the names of the novels are below (scrambled). Answers are at the end – no peeking!
1. He was an old cat who trawled alone in the murky waters off the California Coast. He had gone an excruciatingly long half hour without catching a single fish, and starvation was imminent.
2. All kittens, except one, grow up to be cats who would rather spend their day napping on the couch instead of flying around with fairies in a fantasy world.
3. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a middle aged single woman in possession of a house full of felines, must be a crazy cat lady. Or maybe, she’s just crazy for cats.
4. In a hole in the ground there lived a gopher. This particular gopher had been taunting Fluffy for nigh on thirty days or so with his oozy rodent aroma, which wafted across the grassy meadow on the wind. Fluffy dreamt of nothing but getting that juicy gopher between her teeth, once and for all.
5. Boots McMillen was high on catnip. He was eloquently wasted, lovingly and pugnaciously blitzed on the nip.
Everyone who knows me is well aware that I am a kid at heart. My philosophy is that you’re never too old to play. There’s a time and a place for adult stuff, of course, but I firmly believe that taking time to play keeps us young in our bodies and our minds. Nurturing your inner child is every bit as important as taking care of the adult you.
So it will come as no surprise that I discovered an app called My Talking Pet, and found it utterly hilarious. Yes, it is *very* silly, but so entertaining for your inner child as well as any actual human children you might want to share it with.
The My Talking Pet app is so easy to use, and unless you are one of those humans with no sense of humor, it will make you laugh… a lot. My inner child (I call her Baby Quirky) had more fun with this app than she’s had in a good long while. And trust me when I say, this kid knows how to play!
I downloaded the app on my ipad, but it will also work on your iphone, and there is an Android version now, too. Essentially, you take a photo of your pet, then record anything you want your pet to say. You can change the pitch from low (for doggies) to high (for kitties) or somewhere in between depending on what you fancy their voice to be like. When you’ve finished making your video, you can email it to a friend, save it on your ipad or phone, and even post it on Facebook or your blog (see my videos below!).
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.