Fearless Kittens: Are They Made or Born?


This article was originally published on the Fear Free Happy Homes website.


It’s a little bit of both. These tips can help you choose the one who’s just right for you.

Stories abound about kittens who are adopted into new homes, then promptly disappear for days at a time, coming out only at night to eat and use the litter box. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to improve your chances of bringing home a confident, outgoing kitten who will be comfortable in any home or situation.

Read the rest of the story on the Fear Free Happy Homes website.


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

Celica Blue and Lymphoma: Round 3

Keeping me company in the home office.

Keeping me company in the home office.

Is it possible that a cat with a normal appetite and energy level, and blood work all in normal values is sick?

Celica Blue has been diagnosed with lymphoma, a common, but nasty blood cancer, but the only time she showed signs of illness were the symptoms – a single vomiting episode, lethargy, and abdominal pain – that sent us to the ER that fateful Monday evening almost a month ago. Radiographs, needle aspirate, and ultrasound confirmed that the mass in her abdomen was lymphoma. Read more of this post

Celica Blue and Lymphoma: Two Weeks In


Two weeks ago today we discovered Celica Blue has lymphoma, a disease totally unexpected in such a young cat.

Since then, living with the disease has become the new normal. 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

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

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

‘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

Vet check assuages guilt

I admit it. I’m a procrastinator. But I also have issues with money and was burned by the Recession. There was a load of household expenses and car repairs, adding to recuperation from bouts of unemployment.

So when I kept reading about cat owners being less likely to take their cats for regular check-ups, I raised my hand in guilt. But, I reasoned, I keep a sharp eye on them, feed them a high quality diet, maul them regularly in search of lumps or bumps, and keep them securely inside.

However the time had come. I bit the bullet and made an appointment for all three, stuffed them into their carriers, and made the three trips down to the car. Read more of this post

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