More thoughts on Lux

Lux is a prime example of how easily cats can be misuderstood.

Lux is a prime example of how easily cats can be misunderstood.

The saga of Lux, the cat who held his people hostage in their bedroom and forced them to call 911, has been plastered all over the news world wide. It’s been analyzed ad infinitum, as cat experts are collectively rolling their eyes and wringing their hands.

While we can point out what caused the cat to react dramatically – the 7-month-old baby pulled his tail and Lee Palmer, the father, kicked the cat in a knee-jerk reaction – the family is/was woefully lacking in understanding feline dynamics – like many households that adopt a cute fluffy cat, subject it to all sorts of chaos, then wonder why it acts up. Read more of this post

Challenges for kitty caregivers

Tekla chows down!

Tekla chows down!

There’s a lot of news in the wonderful world of felines, much of it confirming my philosophy that less is more. The choices faced by pet caregivers go far beyond which food to feed and the annual checkup with its obligatory “shots.”

Diabetes in cats

Two new articles on diabetes in cats confirm a single take-away: dry food is its biggest culprit. Eliminating it is the single best thing you can do to manage the disease. Read more of this post

CritterZone: A product review

The CritterZone wall unit.

The CritterZone wall unit.

Note: From time to time I receive swell products to review and report my observations (and those of the felines) objectively. I received no compensation for evaluating the CritterZone.

I was skeptical that a device about the size of a pound of butter could dispel the odors in 22-year-old carpeting that had seen the likes of dozen cats. Read more of this post

Photographer to the shelter pets

Note: A version of the story originally appeared in the Branford Eagle (


Sally Anderson Bruce (Photo by Mary Johnson)

What do CEOs and shelter pets have in common?

Sally Andersen-Bruce knows the answer because she’s worked with both. Bruce is the shelter pet and stamp photographer whose portraits of aforementioned shelter pets have graced the US mail since 2002.

Andersen-Bruce discussed her experiences at an event sponsored by the Branford (Conn.) Compassion Club and the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter. Attendees talked about their pets while sipping wine and dining on hors d’oeurvres to the piano jazz of Lori Fogler-Nicholson, and viewing the animal portraits in the rotunda. Read more of this post

When claw clipping is a challenge

Clip my claws? No way!

Clip my claws? No way!

Mollie is 4 years old. A chunky, muscular little girl. She’s well behaved, uses her litter box faithfully, and makes liberal use of her scratchers.

Therein lies the rub.

We all know that cats scratch as a type of feline manicure. The act of scratching removes the outer sheath of claw, resulting in a perfectly honed instrument of terror.

She was probably about 8 weeks old when we make her acquaintance in the shelter. Just in the course of figuring out her temperament, I attempted clipping her claws. Even at that young age, her hate of the procedure was quickly apparent. I didn’t push it, not wanting to damage the budding relationship.

Suffice to say, it never got any easier. Read more of this post

Another Natura recall

NaturaproductsNatura Pet Foods issued a profusely apologetic recall of all its dry foods today. The affected brands are Innova, EVO, California Natural, HealthWise, Karma, and Mother Nature.

The company took consumers into its corporate arms and announced that the recall was the result “a single positive Salmonella test by the FDA on product manufactured April 3.”  They are very sad and disappointed and truly sorry.

The announcement came directly from the manufacturer (which was bought by Procter & Gamble in 2010) and it was not made on a Friday, a/k/a the Friday night dump and run that has become popular with manufacturers issuing recalls. Some credit is due there, I suppose. Read more of this post

‘Cats in the Castle’ benefit for cat rescue organization

I was asked to speak at “Cats in the Castle” a wine-tasting benefit for Catales (Connecticut Association to Assure Love & End Suffering).


Cats in the Castle talk (Photos by Mary Johnson)

Thank you for having me here tonight. It’s a privilege to talk about my favorite subject.

My passion is cats. It’s a passion that most of us here tonight share. We can’t imagine our lives without a warm, purring creature at our side, in our lap, on our desk, or under our covers.

But there’s a flip side: Too often cats are considered disposable. And as a result, there’s a need for places like Catales – Connecticut Association to Assure Love & End Suffering. Read more of this post


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