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.

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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

Where to put your cat’s ‘stuff’

This article first appeared in Animal Wellness magazine and at animalwellnessmagazine.com.

We all know that cats can be particular, but did you know that his happiness and well-being can be affected by where you position his bowls, bedding, litter box and other items?

Would you want to eat near your toilet? Or sleep in a drafty hallway? Neither would your cat. Where you locate your kitty’s items, from bowls to bedding to litter boxes, can have a profound effect on his happiness and well-being. In a multi-cat family, it can even make or break the harmony in the household. So it’s important to use some forethought when deciding where to situate your cat’s “stuff.”

Continue reading at animalwellnessmagazine.com.

May-December Cats: How to Make the Relationship Work

Sofiya, Tekla, and Mollie range in age from 1 to 16 years old.

This article first appeared in FearFree/HappyHomes.com.

There’s nothing like the joy of a living with a new kitten: the wide-eyed wonder, the playful antics, the unabashed energy. We love our older kitties, but every so often, there’s the siren call of kittenhood.

So how do you integrate a high-energy kitten into a household with a more sedate senior cat (or two)?

There’s no simple answer, but the process can be successful with some forethought and planning.

Read more at FearFree/HappyHomes.com.

Want a pedigree cat? Here’s what to know

Originally posted at FearFreePets.com.

More than 30 years ago, I said to my husband, “Someday I’d like a gray kitty – a Russian Blue.” Armed with an issue of Cat Fancy, he found a breeder in New Jersey and we traveled two-plus hours to pick up Ashley, my first Russian Blue. Thus began a love affair that continues to this day and recently culminated with Sofiya, who hails from the Netherlands.

The question arises: Given all the cats in shelters, what attracts people to a pedigree cat? All cats are wonderful, but there can be good reasons to purchase a cat of a specific breed.

Read more here.

Sofiya Comes Home – Part 2

At Amsterdam Airport. Screenshot from video by Maartje Schoenmaker.

Maartje sent a short video of Sofiya at the airport – Pawel’s flight from Warsaw to Amsterdam was late, so the handoff was quick. Then Pawel messaged me from the plane with a photo that all was well. I spent the afternoon tracking the flight on Flight Tracker. We packed for an epic journey – food, water, various kitty supplies including litter box, some food, an extra blanket for the carrier, paper towels, and cleaner.

We left about 5:30 p.m., allowing at least two hours for the drive and finding our way around the airport; the plane was due in at 8:30, and was even running a little early. Turned out the airport and Terminal 4 was a clear shot. Our research had paid off and we found decent parking right near the terminal. Read more of this post

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