Category Archives: Julia Williams

What Are Your Pets Thankful For?

rocky-catpuchino1By Julia Williams

Every year for Thanksgiving, we like to write a little something here about what we’re thankful for. It’s always good to spend some time thinking about gratitude, but this year we decided to turn the Thanksgiving post over to our pets. We know our pets have a lot to be thankful for, and they were more than happy to meow and bark about it!

Rocky Williams: I’m thankful my Warden has such a soft heart that she doesn’t get mad when she finds lick marks in her butter or when she sees me lounging on top of her coffee maker. I’m thankful she doesn’t freak out when she catches me stealing hamburger from a pan on the stove. Most of all, I’m thankful that when I grab a bite of chicken from her plate (right in front of her!), she pretends she doesn’t see me.

Mickey Williams: I’m thankful that my Warden pets me and tells me good morning and good night every single day, which shows me just how much I mean to her. I’m thankful she understands that I don’t like kisses or hugs and she respects my individuality even though she really, really wants to kiss me (because I’m irresistible!).

Annabelle Williams: I’m thankful for the special loving bond I share with my human best friend. I’m thankful she lets me cuddle with her, brushes my fur every day and gives me all the kisses that my brofur Mickey doesn’t want. I’m thankful she will sit on the furthermost edge of her computer chair (even though it’s not the least bit comfortable) rather than make me move, and that she is never “too busy” to give me some loving.
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Can Animals Help Solve Crimes?

crimestoppers lunaBy Julia Williams

We all know that our pets provide a myriad of health benefits along with love and companionship. We also know that our pets greatly enrich our lives and bring us untold joy. But did you know that sometimes, pets can even help the police solve crimes? It’s true!

Veterinary forensics is proving to be quite a valuable asset to help law enforcement determine whodunit. Through veterinary forensics, animals can crack crimes just by doing what comes natural, i.e., shedding, drooling and going potty. So even though they don’t have what you’d call an “active role” in a criminal investigation, animal DNA can put the criminal at the scene and later, behind bars. Even a single dog or cat hair can be enough evidence to incriminate someone!

Here are just a few of the interesting cases I’ve come across.

Snowball the White Cat

The science of analyzing non-human DNA is a relatively new thing. The first case where animal DNA was introduced in court was a murder trial in 1994. White hairs from a suspect’s cat were found on a bloody jacket which linked him to the murder and sent him to prison for 18 years. So I guess you could say that Snowball got the ball rolling for the emerging field of veterinary forensics, which is now taught at many vet schools across the country.
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7 Signs of a Happy Cat

happy cat belalBy Julia Williams

Happy Cat, Happy Life…right? True, that doesn’t have quite the alliterative ring the popular adage Happy Wife, Happy Life has, but it’s still accurate. We cat lovers want our feline friends to be happy, which in turn makes us happy humans. So, how do you know if your cat is happy? Here are a few ways:


Although cats also purr when they are scared, nervous, sick or injured, you can be sure that if your kitty is curled up on your lap and purring away while you pet or brush them, they are content.


Some cats have more to say than others, but most cats will engage in a good gab fest with you now and then. When your feline friend is feeling especially chatty – like she’s telling you the best story ever – she’s saying she is one happy kitty and she enjoys your company. One caveat with this though: some cats are just naturally quiet; when these cats become overly talkative, it can be a sign of unhappiness.
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8 Great Cat-Themed Coloring Books for Adults

By Julia Williams

Would it surprise you to learn that five of the top 25 bestsellers on Amazon today are adult coloring books? Or that the book credited with jump-starting the adult coloring book craze, Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide? If you read the news or spend any time on social media, those two factoids are probably not a revelation. Perhaps you’re even among the legions who enjoy this fun hobby that’s becoming more popular by the day.

Some say coloring – aka Art Therapy – is a wonderful way to relax and that it can reduce stress and anxiety, and even help with depression. Others say coloring provides an accessible creative outlet, a way to be “artsy” even if you can’t draw. I discovered adult coloring books in April, and coloring quickly became my go-to activity whenever I had a minute to spare. Because I love all things feline, my first adult coloring book was a cat-themed one. I’ve since branched out to other designs, but am also collecting the cat coloring books. I wanted to share a few of my favorites here today. (This is by no means a complete list of all the nice cat-themed adult coloring books out there! That would require a novel-length post).
coloring creative
Creative Haven: Creative Cats

Just about every cat person who colors has this enchanting book by artist Marjorie Sarnat. The images are quite detailed and challenging to color, featuring adorable felines amongst flowers, hearts, butterflies, owls, cityscapes and fantasy scenes.  There are over 30 illustrations printed on one side only, which means you can use any medium—even markers – to color them without worrying about bleed through. The pages are also perforated for easy removal.
coloring quilts
Cats & Quilts

Jason Hamilton is a software engineer who likes to draw to unwind after a busy workday. His charming adult coloring book contains 24 cozy illustrations of cats and kittens doing what they do best – napping! Aside from the really sweet images, one thing I especially like about this book is that each illustration appears in two sizes: full page and 4″ x 6″ which is perfect for framing or just trying out a different color scheme. The images are printed on one side only.

coloring fancyCreative Fancy Cats  

This book by artist Gina Trowler has 30 eclectic illustrations to color, including cats in sunglasses, a Puss In Boots-style character, cats chasing butterflies, befriending a bird and peeking out from baskets. Some of the images are intricately detailed with tiny spaces that require concentration and a steady hand (as well as fine tip markers!) while others offer a more relaxed approach. The images are printed on one side only.

coloring mindfulCats: Coloring for Mindfulness

I am totally in love with the playfully quirky style of this book by Paris illustrators Aurelie Castex and Claire Laude. You’ll find all sorts of detailed scenes featuring cats as Matryoshkas (Russian nesting dolls), cats playing, dancing, dressing up and just generally getting into mischief – just like a feline! The 60 whimsical illustrations are printed on both sides of the page; this creates some really cute double-page spreads, but it’s also a drawback if you like to color with markers, as they will bleed through the paper. The book’s cover is more luxurious than most, something between a hardback and a paperback with a nice feel and look.coloring mimi

Mimi Vang Olsen Cats Coloring Book

Renowned artist Mimi Vang Olsen travels the world meeting cats and creating folksy pet portraits that capture each feline’s unique purrsonality. This delightful coloring book features 22 reproductions of her original cat-themed works of art. On the inside front and back cover are small color photos of the artwork, so you can color the images to match Mimi’s or do them entirely different. The paper is nice and thick, and the icoloring chatsmages are printed on one side only.

Art Therapie: Chats

This adorable little cat coloring from France is smaller than most at approximately 5 ½” x 8″. But what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with 60 wonderful cat-inspired illustrations. It’s the perfect size book to take along to get your cat coloring fix while you wait in the doctor’s office etc.

coloring ruthDesigns for Coloring: Cats

Originally published in 1990 (long before the adult coloring book trend!), this book by artist Ruth Heller is geared more toward children. However, cat lovers of all ages will enjoy coloring the images which feature housecats as well as jungle cats like a lion and leopard. One downside is that many of the images appear more than once, either magnified into a super close-up shot or reduced to form a quartet on the page. Still, it’s really cute and the images are printed on only one side of the page, so I still give the book two paw’s up.

coloring grumpyGrumpy Cat

No list of cat coloring books would be complete without a mention of one of the most famous real-life felines, the surly but loveable Grumpy Cat. This book is also geared towards children, but hey – it’s Grumpy Cat! Which means it’s going to be funny as well as fun to color.

All of the above cat coloring books are available on Amazon, where you can get more detailed information as well as see some sample pages. And if you like to color kitty pics, you might want to join the Cat Colorings group on Facebook to share your colorings with other cat lovers!

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7 Tips to Stop Your Cats from Fighting

cat fight moreshethBy Julia Williams

If you have more than one cat, there may come a time when you have to deal with feline conflict. You can’t just ignore the fighting and hope that your cats will work it out themselves – they usually won’t. Here are 7 tips to help you keep the peace in a multi-cat home.

Identify the Cause

Be aware that a full-on fight – where the fur flies and the claws come out – is actually a late stage in a progression of more subtle signs of feline disagreement. It’s likely that tension has been building for awhile, but it can be easy to miss until it escalates to actual fighting.

Cats may fight for a number of reasons; sometimes the cause is apparent and other times it can take some keen observation and diligent detective work to figure it out. It could be turf tiffs, redirected aggression, jealousy, boredom, bullying, hormones or a new cat in the house. Cats might also fight as a byproduct of stress, such as a move to a new home or a change in their routine.

Regardless of what you think might be causing the behavior change, it’s always wise to start with a visit to your vet to rule out any medical problems. When two cats who have always gotten along suddenly start fighting, there could be an underlying medical issue.
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6 Things Kids Need to Know About Living with Cats

kids and cats TinaBy Julia Williams

Children can form a loving relationship with the family cat that will enrich their lives in so many ways. A close bond between cat and child won’t happen by accident though. As the parent and responsible pet owner, you need to do your part to make sure your children know what to expect when living with a cat. You also need to be sure that the home environment is both kid-safe and cat-safe. Here are six important things children need to know about living with cats.

Cats are Not Toys

In a child’s eyes, a cute, fluffy cat may resemble that stuffed animal she plays with and takes to bed at night. They need to be taught that cats are not inanimate toys but living beings with daily needs that need to be met, including food, water, grooming and cleaning up after them. Children also need to understand that animals experience pain, fear, love and many other emotions, and need to be treated kindly at all times. Your kids might think it’s fun to put doll clothes on the cat and lug her around like a baby, but not all cats will like this. Forcing a cat to do things it finds frightening or objectionable will hinder bonding and may even lead to your cat avoiding the child at all costs.

Learn to Read the Cat’s Body Language

Understanding what the cat is trying to convey through body language is such an important thing for children to learn. As individual beings, cats have different likes and dislikes, and varying degrees of tolerance. What all cats have in common, however, is that they will give off warning signals before resorting to biting or scratching to get away when they’ve had enough petting or don’t want further interaction with you. Kids – and parents – just need to know what that tail, eyes, ears, whiskers and legs are “saying.” My article, How to Read the Body Language of Cats, will give you detailed information.
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