By Julia Williams
I love all animals, but I have a soft spot for two in particular: cats and rabbits. I’ve had many feline friends over the years, but despite being tempted to have a pet rabbit, I never have. I suppose I haven’t taken the plunge because I’m not certain a rabbit would be a good fit for me. Rabbits can make great pets, but they’re not for everyone.
Last autumn, I started following the exploits of a charming wild rabbit named Mister. I visited Mister’s Facebook page daily to see what he and his “Carrot Lady” were up to. For a wild rabbit, Mister had it made because the Carrot Lady catered to his every need.
The “bunny itch” came back in full force. One day I saw a small gray bunny in my driveway. I ran inside, fetched two carrots and slowly approached the bunny. I gently put the carrots down about three feet in front of it. The bunny hopped right past my delicious offering and disappeared! Harumph!
I saw the bunny a few more times, and the same scene played out: I tried to befriend it with carrots, and was rejected. “Why can’t you be more like Mister?” I asked, but the bunny just scampered away. When winter came, the bunny sightings ceased. This spring, however, the little bunny reappeared. Every day it sat in the middle of my yard, munching on grass. I didn’t offer it any carrots, but I did go outside to talk to it.
By Julia Williams
Last summer on this blog, I wrote about Fun Places for Cat Lovers to visit. One of those was the Kuching Cat Museum in Malaysia, a one-of-a-kind place featuring just about everything cat related you could imagine. As a cat lover, this amazing museum is definitely high on my bucket list. It’s so far away from where I currently live that I doubt I’ll ever get there, but you never know.
Recently I was excited to learn that this museum is not the only one dedicated to the divine feline. Yippee! There are other cat museums! My bucket list was about to get a lot longer. Maybe I could even take a little cat-themed summer vacation.
Unfortunately, my excitement was short lived. Further investigation revealed that only one cat museum was in the United States. Rats. Unless my travel budget grew exponentially, I would not be visiting the aptly-named Cat Museum in Lithuania, nor the Kattenkabinet in Amsterdam.
There was, however, still that one U.S. cat museum I mentioned. It merited a closer look, so naturally I clicked over to their website to check it out. As cat museums go, it actually looks like a pretty cool place for a cat lover (me!) to visit.
By Julia Williams
It’s common knowledge that many twins have their own secret language, which allows them to communicate in a way that no one else can comprehend. What you may not know, however, is that pet bloggers also have a unique vernacular. When I first started reading pet blogs years ago, I often felt like I’d accidentally stumbled into a virtual foreign country where I couldn’t understand a lick of what was being discussed.
Turning to Google was little help, as the words and phrases I came across had not made it into the online urban dictionary. I didn’t want to brand myself as a newbie (even though I was) so I just kept reading. Some of the terms were easy to figure out because they were derivatives of popular animal-related words such as meow, paw and cat. Other times the meaning of a word could be inferred from considering the context.
It hit me the other day that I now use most of these words without even thinking about them. Woot! I am finally fluent in the Secret Language of Pet Bloggers! I decided it would be fun to compile a list, so future newbies to the pet blogging world won’t have to wonder what someone means when they talk about beans, floof, green papers or the flashy beast. Even though some of the words and phrases below have become so commonplace that they show up in online dictionaries, there are many that don’t. So here you go: The Secret Language of Pet Bloggers, decoded. Use it as you wish.
Anipals: animal pals; blogger friends
Backside of Disrespect: when a pet turns his bum to you
Beans: human beings
By Julia Williams
It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this blog that pets are increasingly seen as an integral part of the family unit. In fact, one study found that 81% of the survey respondents considered their pet just as much a part of the family as their spouse or children. Some of us even like to – gasp! – refer to ourselves as a dog mom or cat mom. Even if you’re one who thinks the hallowed title of Mom should be reserved for human offspring, I’m sure you’d agree that including your beloved family pet in your Mother’s Day plans is a nice thing to do – for Mom as well as for your pet. Whether your Mom has human kids, just the furry kind, or both, Mother’s Day is a great family bonding opportunity. Here are some fun ways you can all celebrate this special day together.
1. Spend the day watching family-friendly movies, such as any number of the flicks that feature dogs and cats. It’s true that pets probably don’t care what’s playing on the TV, but can you think of anything more cozy than watching animal movies with a purring cat on your lap or a happy dog by your side? Me neither!
2. If Mom and Fido both love being out on the water, why not take them on a sightseeing day cruise? Believe it or not, there are quite a few dog-friendly cruise lines across the country. We wrote about some of them last year in All Aboard for Dog Friendly Cruises.
3. Serving Mom breakfast in bed is a Mother’s Day tradition for many. While dogs and cats are more of a help than a hindrance in the kitchen, your kids can pitch in to help make the meal. Your pet can participate by carrying in her card, safely attached to their collar, while you bring the feast. Let everyone pile onto the bed to keep her company as she eats; just be sure to have a handful of CANIDAE treats to keep your pet from sampling Mom’s meal!
By Julia Williams
It goes without saying that we all love our pets and they love us back. I don’t think anyone would ever argue about that. Yet we may have a difference of opinion on the appropriate ways to give and receive that love. Some pet owners like to hug their dog or cat, while others say that pets don’t really like or want hugs. (I believe it depends on the pet).
Some people let their pets show their love with copious licks, even smack dab on their mouth. Others, like me, are uncomfortable with the thought of letting a dog or cat’s tongue come into contact with our lips. I do let my cats lick me on my face, but I draw the line at mouth kissing.
Opinions aside, is it really safe to kiss your dog or cat? Are there any health risks to letting your pet give you a wet kiss on your mouth? Considering where dogs and cats often put their mouths, should we be letting them shower us with affectionate licks?
Veterinarian, dog lover and author Dr. Marty Becker admits to kissing his pets, but he also says “I know I probably shouldn’t.” Dr. Becker says veterinarians are divided about the issue of kissing pets. In a veterinary publication, Dr. Christina Winn recommended that vets kiss their clients’ pets as a way to foster better relationships with them (the people, not the pets). Other vets vehemently disagreed, on the grounds that it is actually possible to catch something from kissing your dog or cat. Zoonotic diseases – those that are transmissible from animals to humans – do exist. Nobody disputes that. The difference of opinion is in regard to the risk, i.e., the likelihood of getting a zoonotic disease from kissing your pet.
By Julia Williams
It’s pretty much a given that if you have a cat, you don’t need a special day in April to make you aware of hairballs. Cat owners are, unfortunately, all too familiar with those awful things. I don’t think there’s any sound more wretched than the gagging noise a cat makes that signals a hairball is about to be deposited on your carpet.
That our cats never do the hairball hack on the linoleum is surely proof that they’ve all been carefully trained by someone other than us. (And you thought cats couldn’t be trained. Ha!). Ah yes, there it is…right there in chapter one of the Cat’s Handbook on How to Annoy Your Human.
Now, you might think it’s funny that, some years back, some unknown person declared the last Friday in April to be National Hairball Awareness Day. I would chuckle right along with you, except that hairballs are really no laughing matter. Aside from the carpet cleanup and the likelihood that sooner or later, you’re going to “find” a hairball with your bare foot, frequent hairballs could be a sign of trouble with your cat’s digestive system.
How frequent is too frequent? That depends upon who you ask. Some say even one hairball is one too many. For me, more than one every few months per cat would cause me to take a much more proactive approach. While I’m not sure you can ever completely eliminate hairballs, there are some things you can do to greatly minimize them (more on that later).