Book Review – ‘Claws: Confessions of Professional Cat Groomer’

The image of a typical cat groomer is one of an aproned individual, armed with combs and clippers and a compliant kitty on the table.

Talk to Anita Kelsey and you’ll learn that nothing is further from the truth. And she has the scars to prove it. Read more of this post


Cats as Emotional Support Animals

emotional-support-cat-768x402It’s no secret that our cats provide us with much-needed comfort and support. But for some people, the need goes a step further.

Emotional support animals (ESAa) are pets that provide companionship to those with emotional and mental disabilities. Organizations such as CertaPet help facilitate the process. According to CertaPet’s website: “For legal purposes, ESAs are considered companions offering mental and emotional support, as well as sometimes being trained to recognize specific symptoms and emotional occurrences.” Read more of this post

Jackson Galaxy: Decoding Cat Behavior

Jackson Galaxy's "My Cat From Hell" is now in its fifth season.

Jackson Galaxy’s “My Cat From Hell” is now in its fifth season.

If you’re like many of us, Saturday nights are spent with Jackson Galaxy as he works his magic with problematic cats. In his annals of cat behavior, our own tiny tigers look like cream puffs.

Several episodes into the fifth season of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell,” we caught up with him. He’d been shuttling between California and San Antonio and took part in the HSUS Animal Care Expo in Florida. He was the keynote speaker there, describing the experience as a privilege … “standing up in front of rescue and shelter professionals to tell them we’ve in a better place.” He said that fewer cats are dying. “It never gets old… seeing a difference, seeing that pay-off is an incredible gift.”

He confirmed it’s the best thing to come out of four-plus seasons of doing the show.

The challenge this season is seen in cat behavior cases that have crossed from the emotional to the physical. Read more of this post

Tune in Jan. 7 for Jackson Galaxy Redux

Fans can't wait for Jackson Galaxy's second season of "My Cat From Hell."

Fans of Jackson Galaxy’s My Cat From Hell have been waiting with baited breath for the return of the series. The three-part miniseries aired last year and was renewed, thanks, in part, to viewer demand.

The new series of six episodes featuring the feline trials and tribulations of 12 families, each with a unique set of issues, is set to debut on Jan. 7 on Animal Planet. Read more of this post

Pulitzer: My problem child

Pulitzer, looking so innocent.

In every multiple cat family, there’s one who can be fingered as a “problem child.” Maybe he’s a bully and picks on the youngest or the most timid. Or maybe she’s the picky eater. Or a door darter.

Or the hoser.

Pulitzer. I’m talkin’ ‘bout you, boy. Read more of this post

Shows aimed at cat lovers entertain, educate

While Jackson Galaxy’s My Cat From Hell has been generating a whole lot of buzz among cat lovers, a few other shows have been devoted exclusively to cats. Dogs are still ahead of cats in the race for pet television viewers. Read more of this post

Jackson Galaxy creates his own planet of admirers

Note: This article was scheduled to be published in Connecticut-based Pets Press newspaper. Unfortunately, efforts to relaunch the paper, last published in January 2010, have failed.

Jackson Galaxy's "My Cat From Hell" has been picked up by Animal Planet for additional epidsodes.

My Cat From Hell is the latest entry in the kitty TV sweepstakes, and the one that’s not afraid to tackle tough problems. Aired on Animal Planet, it’s generating the most buzz among cat professionals and those who are simply cat-centric.

Jackson Galaxy is a tattooed, tough-looking guy; he’s got piercings and a goatee. And occasionally wears a shirt that says “Cat Daddy.” Clients (who were selected by open audition, Galaxy says) on the three shows aired thus far are quick to remark that he’s not what they expected when he walks in with his tricks of the trade stashed in a guitar case – he moonlights as a musician. We spoke to him at length by phone from Los Angeles. He is not one to minced words about himself and his chosen profession. Read more of this post

Enrichment for Animal Behaviorists

IAABC president Marjie Alonso welcomed members and guests.

The 2011 IAABC Conference was amazing. More than 300 International Association of Animal Behavior Consultant members involved in all aspects of animal behavior came together to share their experiences and information and listen to a stellar line-up of experts – the likes of Victoria Stilwell of “It’s Me or the Dog,” Tufts University veterinarian behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Author and Certified Cat Behavior Consultant Pam Johnson Bennett, Dr. Frank McMillan of Best Friends in Utah, Ethologist Myrna Milani, radio show host and animal welfare advocate Steve Dale, and more. They covered such heavy-duty subjects as compulsive behavior, abuse and neglect, equine health,

Dr. Nick Dodman

psychological trauma, animal stress, aggression, and environmental enrichment.

Read more of this post

A Purr-fect Day to Celebrate Cats

They have the good life.

For most of us who are passionate about cats, every day is National Cat Day. However, we can dedicate Oct. 29 as a celebration of all things feline.

National Cat Day was founded in 2005 by Colleen Page, a pet lifestyle expert and animal behaviorist. It calls attention to the number of cats that need to be rescued each year.

Despite the fact that cats outnumber dogs approximately 70 million to 55 million, they still experience second-class citizenship. They are less likely to be claimed from shelters. They are taken to the veterinarian less often. There’s little protection from municipalities because they’re not licensed; hence they’re considered disposable and the end result is a large population of feral cats.

Read more of this post

The black cat: Mystery, myth and symbolism


Good or evil – it depends on the culture

This neighbor cat makes regular passes through our yard. Above: a shot of her one night.

No other kind of cat, whether purebred or moggie, is more steeped in myth and mystery than the black cat. From the basic good luck-bad luck premise to elaborate symbolism associated with different countries, black cats have been a part of the cultural history of the world since the dawn of recorded time.

Without a doubt, the most common association is of witches and black cats as their familiars, along with frogs, birds and snakes. Pagan religions in Europe had witchcraft as their dominant belief and were associated with animals of nature, including cats.

As Christianity became more entrenched, 15th century witch hunts centered around older women who were more likely to live alone and keep cats for companionship. The women became a prime target for blame if some kind of a disaster struck a village, especially if they had a cat that was black, the color of magic and mystery. Stories abound of late night shapeshifting in which felines were injured while doing battle with superstitious humans. In daylight women who had been associated with the cats were found with like injuries.

Read more of this post

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