‘The Art of Raising a Kitten’

I have written a book!

After years of newspaper and magazine writing, blog posts, print and online, I have tackled my last frontier – a book, titled “The Art of Raising a Kitten.” I was lucky to be approached by Mallory Crusta of Cliverse Publishing/AllAboutCats for the job, which is pretty amazing considering the hoops people jump through to get published.

I’ve combined my years of research and my own experiences with my beloved felines to provide step-by-step guidance on navigating those early months of kitten care. My friend, holistic veterinarian Jean Hofve, DVM, has shared her expertise on medical issues that may be faced during those critical months. Read more of this post

The Russian [Blue] connection to Ukraine

Feb. 25 – March 11, 2022

Say what you want about Facebook, but it has been instrumental in connecting people all over the world through common interests and passions.

For me, the connection has been through cats in general and specifically Russian Blues. Through my love of Russian Blues, I have met many wonderful people – from Finland, Sweden, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Australia, South Africa, and yes, Russia. Over the years, we’ve shared hundreds of photos, celebrated births, and mourned deaths. Read more of this post

Mollie, Gone Too Soon

As usual, I had writer’s block when writing kitty tributes. Perhaps it’s the final acknowledgement of their passing.

Mollie is gone. We lost her on July 16. Our morning routine was the usual – opened the back door to the deck for kitty viewing, made coffee, emptied the dishwasher, fed her and Sofiya. I went into the office, again as usual, to check email and the news. An hour or so later, I found her flat out on the kitchen floor, limp and breathing rapidly.

I scrambled to throw on some clothes, place her in the carrier, and rushed to the emergency vet in the next town. She let out one or two pitiful cries from the carrier.

Read more of this post

Conquer Your Cat’s Fear of the Vacuum

From FearFreeHappyHomes.com

When I pull out the vacuum, Mollie disappears. Fortunately, our house is large enough that she has plenty of “safe” places to hide – often the linen closet upstairs or inside a kitchen cabinet.

There’s a name for this fear: Zuigerphobia. It’s a specific phobia, which is an irrational, yet excessive fear of a particular object. This type of phobia creates an immediate anxiety response, often causing the person – or pet – to avoid the object whenever possible.

Continue reading here.

A belated tribute to Tekla

Dear Tekla: I’m sorry I haven’t posted about losing you before now. Perhaps it would be acknowledging the finality of loss – or simple procrastination. But leading up to your 18th birthday, April 26, I would be totally remiss for not completing this tribute

Katzenburg’s Tekla of Dvinskaja

Katzenburg’s Tekla of Dvinskaja joined the many Katzenburg kitties bred by the venerable Ingeborg Urcia on Nov. 14. She was 17-1/2 and a host of old kitty ailments finally caught up with her. She was from the very last litter bred by Ingeborg, which included CJ, who was owned by Deb Harvey’s mom. I’ve had nine Russian Blues over some 30 years and Tekla was the longest lived. I do believe she is the very last Katzenburg kitty. Katzenburg kitties are part of so many Russian Blue pedigrees.

Read more of this post

Moving Cats To A New Home: A Step-By-Step Guide

This post originally appeared in AllAboutCats.com.

Whether you’re moving cross town or across the country with your cat, safety and preparation go hand in paw. Stories abound about cats that have escaped during the moving process, so establishing a secure, comfortable location – on both ends of the move – is critical.

Continue reading here.

Feral to Friendly-ish: Cats Coming in from the Cold

Carl and Scooter

This article originally appeared at FearFreeHappyHomes.com.

A major conundrum of the cat world is the profusion of feral cats.

Robin Olson, president of Kitten Associates in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, recently trapped the most beautiful tabby-marked Siamese kitten in her yard. Dubbed Silas Buttonwood, he will be vetted, neutered, fostered, and placed in a loving home.

Silas Buttonwood

He is proving to be a challenge.

“He is a wild animal, but he has the potential to be socialized so he can live with humans,” said Olson. “He needs consistency and trust… I have to respect his wild heart.”

Silas was staying in Olson’s “blue bathroom,” the first stop for her fosters, but was still showing fearful behavior. Olson decided to move Silas from the bathroom to a large cage in her living room where he could get used to household noises and have more attention. Her job was to remain calm and maintain a routine that would help him feel safe.

The transition was tough. At first, Silas refused to eat but changed his mind and was soon resting on his familiar blankie. Olson observed that he likes seeing the other cats and her webcam shows him playing enthusiastically with a Turboscratcher during the night. She said he’s less shut down and is showing “a softer side to his cat nature.” He even responds to his name.

Continue reading at FearFreeHappyHomes.com.


Too old for a kitty?

This article originally appeared in FearFree/Happy Homes.

Eunice Lasala with Ralphie and Alfie.

When you’re a cat lover, age is not a factor. Whether you are 20 or 80, the soft fur and reassuring purr bring endless joy.

So, if you’ve had cats your entire life, the prospect of living without them is unthinkable. But with some forethought and planning, there’s no reason why you should deny yourself the pleasure of their companionship.

It’s been shown that animal companionship goes a long way toward alleviating depression and loneliness, lowering blood pressure, increasing heart attack survival. A study from back in 2003, “Pets and the Aging: Science Supports the Human-Animal Bond,” documented the benefits of interactions between people and pets, even with animal-assisted therapy. Statistics have shown that people with pets who have had heart attacks live longer than those who don’t have pets.

Continue reading here.

Treat your cat to a cave

Mollie in the Cat Cave.

Note: I received a Cat Cave bed in exchange for this review.

It’s no secret that cats love cozy, snug hide-outs and the Cat Cave fits the bill.

I opened the package, fluffed out the bed and both Mollie and Sofiya immediately took turns checking it out. The bed is a perfect size for the average kitty – snug and cozy without being confining. Read more of this post

Home For the Holidays – With Your Cat

Sage ready for travel. (Photo courtesy of Liz Tobey)

This article first appeared on the FearFree/HappyHomes website.

Cats are devoted homebodies. They like their routines and comfy naps in the sun, and if they do go out, it’s for a quick trip to the veterinarian’s office or maybe a secure outing with leash and harness.

However, sometimes you have to take them on a Big Journey. Holidays may be that time – perhaps the pet sitter fell through, special medication is needed, or you don’t want to face a family gathering without purr therapy.

Preparation is key to minimizing stress and making your cat a fear-free traveler. Read more of this post

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