It’s Zaturday – Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog!

Ziggy here. Mommy said that this week was Thanksgiving. Zorro isn’t sure that he likes Thanksgiving, because Mommy and Daddy left us alone for several hours. Mommy says Thanksgiving is a time for people to think about all the things they’re thankful for.

Zorro and I have a bunch of stuff to be thankful for too. We’re thankful for a nice soft bed to sleep in.

We’re thankful for the yummy kitty food they make for us. (The other day, Mommy turned her back, and Zorro snuck up there and stole some right out of the bowl. He’s usually a good kitty, but he said he couldn’t resist fresh, homemade kitty food.)

We’re thankful that we have two fun places to stay. In Florida, Daddy’s always there, and it’s fun having him around.  There are lots of big windows we can look out. (Mommy calls them sliding glass doors.)   Our cat condo is there, too.

In North Carolina, we get to see Grandma and Aunt Kim. We have our catio there, too. We both love sitting out there and watching the birds and squirrels. But Mommy said it’s wintertime now and it might be too cold for us to use our catio when we go back at Christmastime. I think I’ll be able to handle it, though, because I have a lot of fur. See how fluffy I am?

Zorro gets cold easier than I do, so when it’s cold, he usually stays inside and snuggles under a blanket.

I’m also thankful that I have a buddy like Zorro. He’s so much fun. We chase each other all over the house. He’s also great to snuggle with.

Cats cuddling

We’re thankful for the sunshine and our toys and a bunch of other stuff. But most of all, we’re thankful for a Mommy and Daddy who love us.

Pampering Your Good Old Buddy: Tips for Friends of Senior Dogs

By guest blogger, Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends.

Photo by Jean Alves from Pexels

Playtime, pampering, and plenty of snuggles should only grow more important as your dog ages. Your best friend deserves the best treats and attention as she enters her twilight years, and, of course, you’re the one she turns to when she needs tender care. Ensuring your good old buddy is as happy and healthy as possible is easy with a few adjustments.

It’s playtime!

Playtime is still an important part of your dog’s life, even as she ages. Conditions such as arthritis, decreased stamina, and dental issues are common in older dogs, but that doesn’t mean you should cease healthy activity. A simple change in pace for how you approach playtime could make all the difference.

Low-impact games are a great activity to keep your dog’s senses tuned and her mind sharp. A good game of tug will help her rekindle her youth and prey drive (just be sure to take any dental issues into account before beginning), and keep her happy by letting her win.

Other activities like leisurely walking, short games of backyard fetch, and hide and seek are all ways to keep your pup happy and healthy into her gray years.

Treat yourself (and your dog)

Is your dog a good dog? Of course, she is. One way to pamper your pup and keep her spoiled into old age is through healthy, easy-to-enjoy treats. When choosing a dog treat for an older dog, there are several things to consider. Does your dog have dietary restrictions, or does she have dental issues that would make harder treats more difficult to eat? What kinds of ingredients does this company use? What do the reviews from other pet owners say?

There are plenty of options that especially support the health of senior dogs. And, just like with human vitamins and supplements, you can find treats to help with any number of ailments, including poor eyesight or arthritis. You can also make your own treats! Just be sure to use healthy ingredients and steer clear of any allergens. According to the American Kennel Club, however, your dog’s caloric requirement may drop with age, so pay attention to that and to any advice your vet has to offer.

Medication and veterinary bills don’t have to be stressful

No doubt as your pet gets older, she will need some form of medication, be it vitamins for her bones or pills for arthritis. She’ll also need semi-annual visits to the veterinarian. Both of these can prove a bit challenging.

One thing is for certain: You need to be sure to be gentle when you administer her medication. Some methods for giving your fussy friend the pills she needs (even when she refuses) include cutting the pills up into smaller doses, using pill pockets, and mixing the medication in with her meals. You should also wash your hands (to get rid of the scent of the medication) and open the pill bottle when she’s not paying attention so she can’t associate the noise with the experience.

Paying for quality veterinary care doesn’t have to be a hassle. When you foresee more vet bills in your future, a great way to offset costs is through pet insurance. And it’s actually easy to find a policy that has no or limited age restrictions. A basic policy can cover the vet visit, medications and even procedures, leaving you with only a small deductible.

Remember . . .

Taking care of your older pup is easy as long as you remember the most important thing: This is your best friend, your partner in crime, and she is always worth the extra effort.

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Thank you, Jessica, for all the great info. For resources, stories and some cute animal pics, you can visit Jessica’s website, Our Best Friends.

It’s Zaturday – Natural-Born Hunters

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Zorro here. Cats are natural-born hunters. Even if our humans feed us really well, we can’t resist trying to catch little animals when we have the chance.

Photo by Lukas Jirovsky from FreeImages

Ziggy and I don’t get much opportunity to hunt since we’re indoor kitties, but we still have that instinct. There are lots of lizards in Florida, and they’re always hanging out on the windows or right outside the sliding glass doors. The first time Ziggy saw a lizard on the window, he almost gave himself a concussion. I think the lizard was smarter than Ziggy, because he at least knew we couldn’t go through the glass.

In North Carolina, sometimes little mice get into the house. That’s when we really go crazy. They’re round and fluffy and run really fast, which makes them so much fun to play with. But they’re a little bit too fast. I’ve only been able to catch one, and Ziggy hasn’t caught any. I’ve caught several moths, though. They don’t have much taste, but I eat them anyway. I’ll even climb the walls of the catio to catch anything that flies in.

When cats bring home their prey, humans think that we’re bringing them presents. But that’s not true. We’re trying to teach them how to hunt so they can fend for themselves. We sometimes catch lizards and mice for Mommy, but she hasn’t gotten the hang of how to hunt yet. Any time we do catch something, like when I caught that mouse, Mommy takes it away from us so she can “rescue” it and put it back outside.

We have a bird feeder outside our catio in North Carolina. Last month, we were in the catio and a bird flew in. Ziggy caught it and it started making a bunch of noise. The next thing we knew, Mommy came flying out there screaming like the house was on fire. I didn’t know what was wrong with her. Ziggy ran back into the house through the cat door, and Mommy chased him, still screaming. (She’s too big to fit through the cat door, so she had to go the long way around.)

Mommy finally tackled Ziggy in Grandma’s living room and got the bird away from him. Then Mommy and Aunt Kim put the bird in a little box and took it outside. A little while later, Aunt Kim said the bird had flown away, and Mommy was really happy. That’s totally not the way it’s supposed to be done. We’re trying hard to teach Mommy how to hunt, but she just doesn’t seem to be getting it.

I guess we’ll just have to keep working at it.

It’s Zaturday – Freedom!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Ziggy here. Look what Mommy and Aunt Kim built for us! I wasn’t sure what it was at first. I looked at it, then looked at Mommy.

What am I supposed to do this this?

Then she told me it’s a pet door. Learning to use it was kind of tricky, but I mastered it pretty fast. Okay, so Mommy had to push me through it once or twice before I got the hang of it. But once I figured out that the little door moved so easily, I was hooked. I went out…

And came back in…

And went back out…

Zorro didn’t want anything to do with it at first. Mommy had to hold the door open for him. He’s using it on his own now, but he’s still not sure about it. He goes in and out reeeeally slow.

This is the only way in. I’ve got to do it.
Hmm. I pushed the door with my nose and it moved. A good sign!
Yay! Halfway there!
I’m in! No, wait. My tail is still out.

Zorro and I are so happy with our new pet door. Now we’re free to go between the house and our catio any time we want. Thank you, Mommy and Aunt Kim!

It’s Zaturday – Special Kitty Food!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Zorro here. Mommy and Aunt Kim did something really special for us. They made us some cat food. I mean, look at all this good stuff they ground up—chicken breasts, roast and liver.

They made it in Aunt Kim’s kitchen. Since we stay on Grandma’s side of the house, we couldn’t see them. But we could hear them, so we knew something was going on. We waited and waited and waited.

Finally, Mommy came over with a big bowl of fresh ground chicken with liver and a tiny bit of vegetables. Oh, man, it smelled so good. I couldn’t wait for her to put some in our dishes and put them down on the floor. I even stood up for it.

For the next few minutes, all you could hear was smacking. Ziggy eats faster than I do, but he’s a pretty polite kitty. Instead of chasing me away from my dish so he can eat the rest of my dinner, he stands there and stares at me. It was a little weird at first, but now I’m used to it. I usually leave him a few scraps to clean up.

Grandma was worried about us eating raw meat, but Mommy said it’s healthy for cats, because that’s how we eat in the wild. When we catch mice, we don’t cook them before we eat them. Besides, before Mommy and Aunt Kim grind up the meat, they put it in boiling water for a couple of minutes to kill any bad stuff. They’re also going to get vitamins to put in our food, so that we’re getting everything we need.

We think Mommy and Aunt Kim must love us and our cousins a lot to spend all that time making us yummy kitty food.

It’s Zaturday – Happy October 31st!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Ziggy here. Mommy says today is Halloween. Mommy thinks Halloween is a creepy holiday, so she celebrates the fall season instead. Fall in North Carolina is prettier than it is in Florida, because the leaves turn cool colors. Zorro and I like to sit in the catio and look out at the back yard. Right now, the leaves are falling. Every time the wind blows, a bunch more land on the ground.

Halloween is a day that a lot of people decorate with scary stuff. Zorro doesn’t like scary stuff, because he’s a scaredy cat. I guess I don’t really like scary stuff either. There are lots of pictures of black cats around right now, because we’re supposed to be scary, too. But I don’t think we look scary. Do you?

We’re not scary. We’re sweet and affectionate and cuddly…well, Zorro is more cuddly than I am. Another way to say that is that he’s more needy than I am. Cats are supposed to be independent, but he always wants to be with someone. When Grandma takes a nap, he’s right there on her blanket.

When Mommy’s writing, he gets up in her lap.

 

When Mommy and Daddy have to leave us, he’s reeeally pathetic. He cries at the door, then curls up and goes to sleep. He’s no fun at all. It’s a good thing that Mommy and Daddy don’t leave us very often.

Zorro and I are going to sign off now with our own version of a Halloween picture—a black cat with fall leaves outside our catio.

It’s Zaturday – It’s Adopt-a-Dog Month!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog!

Zorro here. Ziggy and I heard Mommy say that October is Adopt-A-Dog Month. October is almost over, and so far, Mommy and Daddy haven’t adopted any dogs. I guess that means it’s going to still be just Ziggy and me.

We’re not sure how we would feel about having a dog for a brother. If he didn’t chase us, it might be okay. Before Ziggy and I came along, Mommy and Daddy did adopt some dogs, two sisters named Bailey and Morgan. They were kind of little, like us.

Hearing all the stuff about Adopt-A-Dog month, Ziggy and I were feeling really left out. We were wondering why there wasn’t an Adopt-A-Cat month, and Mommy said there is! It’s June.

I’m an adopted kitty. Mommy got me from the Humane Society in North Carolina. They took good care of me, but I was in a cage for what felt like FOREVER. I was so happy when Mommy finally adopted me.

Ziggy never had to stay in a cage. He showed up at our Uncle Keith’s house, and Uncle Keith gave him to Mommy. I guess that’s sort of like being adopted. I’m really glad Ziggy came, because he’s my best buddy. We have lots of fun playing together and chasing each other all over the house. We lick each other a lot, and we sleep together, too. That’s especially nice in the wintertime, because Ziggy’s got long hair and he’s nice and warm!

I’m glad people make months where they talk about adopting cats and dogs. I think all pets should have good homes.

It’s Zaturday – Happy Sweetest Day!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Ziggy here. Zorro and I just got all excited. We heard that today is Sweetest Day. We were sure the day was all about us, because we’re the sweetest! I mean, see how sweet I look.

Zorro looks pretty sweet, too.

Mommy agreed that we’re sweet, but she said Sweetest Day isn’t just about cats. She said it’s a day to do something sweet for someone you care about. Hmm, I wonder what Zorro and I could do to be sweet to Mommy and Daddy.

Maybe I should behave myself and stay off the table today. That’s going to be hard, though, because it’s my favorite place to be.

Zorro says he’s going to curl up on Mommy’s lap and keep her company.

Mommy said that for Sweetest Day, people give candy and chocolate to those they care about. Zorro and I aren’t interested in that (unless they make some that’s tuna flavored). But we came up with some other ways Mommy and Daddy can be sweet to us. They could add more catnip to our toy. We both LOVE catnip!

Or they could just spend the whole day giving us attention.

Yep, cats definitely needed to be included in Sweetest Day. We could even have our own day—Sweetest Cat Day. Hmm, I guess we could call it Sweetest Pet Day and share it with the dogs. What do you think?

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

A Forever Home for Bruno

October is Adopt-A-Dog Month. You’re used to seeing my cats on here, but in honor of this month-long celebration, I’m devoting this post to dogs. A number of years ago, I found myself having to find homes for four abandoned dogs. Fortunately, the story had a happy ending…for everyone. (I originally shared this on Roxanne Rustand’s blog, Faith, Family and Four-Footed Friends, a Life in the Country.)

A Forever Home for Bruno

I am amazed and heartbroken over how many pets are just discarded.

Shortly before my husband and I were to leave for the holidays, a tenant moved out of one of our rental properties and abandoned five dogs—a black lab named Jackson, a lab/cur mix named Bruno and a dachshund mix with two puppies. The dachshund disappeared; the neighbors suspect the tenant came back for her. People advised me to call Animal Control for the other four. But in our county, as in most others, animals brought to Animal Control have a few hours to a few days, usually on the lower end of that range. I’m way too tender-hearted to carry good dogs to their death. So I enlisted the help of a friend and we googled rescue groups and sent dozens of emails asking for help.

Over the next few days, neighbors gave the dogs food we provided, and rescues responded asking for information and pictures. I went out armed with my digital camera, unsure how the two larger dogs would respond to a stranger. I needn’t have worried. They rushed toward me, tails wagging. Once sure they were friendly, I handed my neighbor the camera and sat down to pet them. Bruno immediately pushed me backwards and attempted to plant a sloppy kiss on my face. I went home with some great photos.

The puppies were easy to place. (Who can resist those sweet faces?) The larger dogs weren’t. It was the week before Christmas, and with many rescue foster families traveling for the holidays, there was no room. (Sorta reminds me of another Christmas story.)

Soon we were down to three days until we were to leave, and Bruno and Jackson were still homeless. My boss had lost an older lab and decided to take Jackson. Bruno and Jackson grew up together and were inseparable, so I asked if we could keep them together one more day while we tried to place Bruno. I would have taken him myself, but I live in a condo where I’m allowed two pets. I have a dog and three cats, all rescues. (One plus three equals two, right?)

My boss told his family about Bruno, and his wife said to make sure he gets a home. When he told her that was out of his control, she said, “Then lie to me!” She promised to distribute Bruno’s pictures around the school where she teaches. By lunchtime, a family had agreed to take him. By the end of the afternoon, both Bruno and Jackson were on their way to their new homes with their first scheduled play date lined up.

Bruno now has a home on ten acres with a loving family, other dogs and cows. He’s living the good life.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds more like him who aren’t that lucky. Calling Animal Control is quick and easy. Contacting rescues involves time and effort. But nothing beats the feeling of knowing some sweet dog or cat has found a forever home and you had a hand in it.

 

Image by Please Don’t sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay

It’s Zaturday – Kitty Songs!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Zorro here. When Mommy was little, she read a book called Jenny Lind and Her Listening Cat. It was about a famous singer who used to sing to her cat when she was a young girl. One day, the window was open, and someone really important heard her. They told someone else really important, and eventually, Jenny ended up singing all over the world.

Mommy likes to sing, too, and she sometimes sings to me and Ziggy. She says she doesn’t sing nearly as well as Jenny Lind, but I think she sounds just fine. When Mommy sings to me, she sings songs like “Rock-a-bye Baby.” I like it when she holds me and sings to me.

Mommy calls me her baby. I guess I am sort of like a baby, because I really miss her when she’s gone. Last month, she went to North Carolina and didn’t take us with her. She told us we couldn’t go that time, because she and Aunt Kim were going to be going somewhere on an airplane. I hope they don’t take any more airplane rides, because it seemed like she was gone FOREVER!

When she finally came home, I was so happy, I gave her kisses on her face. I felt like I couldn’t get close enough to her. After she went to bed, I snuggled and snuggled. And kneaded. Mommy doesn’t like it when I knead, because she says my claws hurt her. But I couldn’t help it. When I’m really happy, I knead. And I was really, REALLY happy.

Staying with Daddy is different from having Mommy around, but he takes good care of us. He sometimes sings to us, too, but he doesn’t sing sweet songs like Mommy. He makes up silly ones.

We love Mommy, and we love Daddy. But we’re happiest when we’re with both of them at the same time.