Category Archives: Julia Williams

7 Jobs Cats Do to Earn Their Keep

cat earns keep cy-VBy Julia Williams

Oh sure. The phrase “working cat” might seem to be the best example of an oxymoron, bar none. It’s true that cats are not generally known for their dedication to hard work. They probably think dogs already do enough work to benefit mankind and there’s really no need for them to have a job. Or maybe they just enjoy long catnaps in the sun. Who really knows? Suffice it to say, if you Google “cats with jobs” you won’t find a very long list.

That does not mean, however, that cats are not working at various times throughout their day. You may not realize it, but cats are on the job much more than it would appear to the casual observer. That’s because most of their “work” come naturally to cats. Here are 7 jobs that cats do admirably well.


How many times have you felt unwell and found yourself being nursed back to health by your feline friend? My cats always seem to know when I need the “healing power of the purr” and they stick to me like glue until I am feeling better. I am certain their purrs and loving presence hasten the healing process.


Look, we all need someone to tell our secrets to, and not just the deep dark ones either. The best thing about having a cat for a confidant is that you just know they won’t go running to every cat in the neighborhood saying “Guess what Julia just told me!” You don’t even have to preface telling them your secret with “Now, please don’t tell anyone, but…” Their lips are sealed, no matter how juicy your secret is.

Read More »

EmailGoogle GmailBlogger PostTwitterFacebookGoogle+PinterestShare

How to Get Your Cat to Be More Affectionate

cat affectionate maggieBy Julia Williams

Contrary to what those tired old stereotypes say (cats are aloof; cats want to be left alone; cats don’t bond with people, etc.), many felines are total love bugs. Many cats crave affection from humans and will return the love. However, because every cat is an individual, some will naturally be more affectionate than others. It depends on several factors. Some things simply can’t be changed, such as inborn personality traits and the way they were treated in the past by other humans before you. Luckily, a third factor – the things you do with and for your cat – can absolutely change the level of affection you get from them. It may take time, patience, understanding and determination, but improvements can be made. Here are some things you can do to develop a stronger bond with your cat and encourage them to be more affectionate.

Meet Their Basic Needs

This has to be the very first thing, because when you meet your cat’s needs they are happy. And a happy cat will naturally feel more affectionate toward the humans who are meeting her needs. See how it’s all one big circle? So make sure the litterbox is scooped daily and provide several types of scratching posts, an assortment of cat toys, access to fresh clean water, and a high quality food in the flavors your cat finds palatable.

Read More »

Can “Indoor Only” Cats Be Content?

indoor mickeyBy Julia Williams

It’s been 10 years, but I still remember the look a friend gave me after I expressed dismay that her “poor cats” were never allowed to go outside. At the time, all of my cats, past and present, had the freedom to go out as much as they wanted. I actually thought it was a bit unkind that my friend was depriving her cats of the outdoors, and when I said her cats could never be happy living indoors, that’s when I got “the look.” She vehemently disagreed, and it was clear we’d never see eye to eye.

A lot has changed since then. For starters, I now know that I was dead wrong about indoor-only cats not being happy. Secondly, I’ve changed my practice of allowing my cats unlimited access to the outdoors. It’s a personal decision we all have to make for our own cats. I just came to the conclusion that for me, the risks of allowing them outdoors outweighed the benefits. It’s been proven that indoor cats live longer and healthier lives, and I wanted my feline friends to be with me for as long as possible. However, I worried about their emotional state because I still struggled with the idea that indoor cats could be happy.

What I have found, after years of research and personal experience, is that some indoor cats will be just as happy as they could by having access to the outdoors, and some will not. There is no one size fits all answer; it really depends on several factors.

Read More »

10 Common “Cat” Words and Phrases

cat's meow haven'tBy Julia Williams

When fellow writer Laurie Darroch wrote 10 Dog-Related Terms Used in Conversation, it got my wheels turning. I’d never pondered it before, but I felt certain there would be an equal number of cat-related words and phrases. I was right; I came up with ten off the top of my head (what they were doing on my head is beyond me, but there they were!). All that remained was to prowl the back alleys of the internet for origin information and trivia about the cat terms.

Here’s what I found:


This noun refers to a person who does the same thing as someone else, i.e., they imitate another person’s behavior, style or practices. It’s a curious term, given that cats are not exactly notorious for imitative behavior. The first known written evidence of the word was in Constance Cary Harrison’s 1887 quasi-memoir Bar Harbor Days: “Our boys say you are a copy cat, if you write in anything that’s been already printed.” It’s thought that the term was probably used in speech long before this, but the origin is unknown. Today, the word is often linked to illegal acts, i.e., a copycat criminal.


This expression dates back to Shakespeare’s time, when theatergoers would make a raucous shout or a shrill sound with a whistle to express disapproval of the bad acting. It’s thought that the name originated because the sounds were similar to that of an angry cat. Nowadays, a catcall is used to describe men who harass women by whistling at them or making lewd comments when they walk past them.

Read More »

Rescue Tales (and Tails!) That Warm the Heart

By Julia Williams

I always have a great time helping to choose the winners for each CANIDAE photo contest. I mean, come on – who wouldn’t enjoy looking at a bunch of photos of adorable pets? The hard part for me is when I have to get down to the business of choosing my favorites. It was even more difficult with this contest, because the theme was rescued pets. So there was the usual menagerie of cute photos, but also heart-tugging stories of how the pets found their forever home.

The #CANIDAEfureverhome Contest, as it was called, received hundreds of submissions. How could we possibly declare one of these beloved pets the winner? They are ALL winners, because they were rescued, and they now have a wonderful home with people who adore them!

Nevertheless, the CANIDAE pet loving panel hunkered down and picked their favorites. I wanted to share their photos and stories here, and a few of the finalists too. I truly wish I could share every one of the touching rescue tales we received because, as I said, all of the pets win by getting adopted!

Dog Winner Chosen by CANIDAE: Macy
Macy is a 2.5 year old shepherd/collie/mystery rescue from Washington state. She was on her way to the shelter when I found her at 12 weeks. She had already had 3 families that couldn’t handle her energy, but that is what makes her the best hiking/running/adventure partner I could ask for.



Cat Winner Chosen by CANIDAE: Boots
contest Boots
You can see in this picture by her ear clip that Boots was originally a true born feral. I finally lured her and her sister inside, but Boots has become my savior and hero during some difficult times the last 2 years. I can do more to her than my other cats like toe rubs, belly rubs and much more. She saved my life.







Read More »

Bad Kitty Confessions: Is There Anything This Cat Won’t Do?

By Rocky Williams. Feline Guest Blogger

bad kitty davidI’m sure you’ve heard that saying “A leopard can’t change his spots” that refers to humans who can’t change their nature. Well, the same is true for naughty house cats. Once a bad kitty, always a bad kitty; I’m living proof of that. In fact, my Warden says “Bad Kitty!” to me so often that sometimes I forget my real name is Rocky. I’m not ashamed though. I wear my naughtiness like a badge.

I don’t really try to be a bad kitty, it’s just who I am. Most of the time when I do bad things, I don’t even think about it. For instance, if I see some tasty looking morsel of food, I just grab it. Who has time to meow nicely to ask for it? And what if the answer was no? If I take it without asking, I get what I want! You can’t argue with that end result.

The only downside to being a bad kitty is that not every human would put up with me. At least that’s what the Warden keeps saying. She’s still worried something will happen to her and no one will adopt me. I think she’s just trying to scare me into being good, but I can’t change my spots, now can I?

I’ve been keeping a diary confessional. I’m thinking, maybe if I record all of my many bad kitty accomplishments, someone will give me an award. You, perhaps? Take a look:

Dear Diary: Today was awesome. It was dairy day! First, I found a glass of unattended milk on the counter and lapped it right up. Then the Warden put whipped cream on her latte and turned toward the fridge. When she turned back around and saw me, she burst out laughing. I was like, “What?” Apparently, a cat with a whipped cream mustache is funny.

Dear Diary: Today I was lounging on the Warden’s lap when I heard footsteps on the deck. I hightailed it for my safe spot and in the process, my nails left a long, deep gash on her leg. Oops. She was not amused. That will heal, right? Darn that UPS man!

Read More »