It's a pleasure to introduce our first Cat of the Week for March, Sebastian.
photo © Sue
Sebastian was one of those "accidental" adoption cases which seem to happen with cats and kittens who see one of those "Suckers for Cats" signs hung over doors, which are invisible to the human eye. Having found a forever home complete with loving humans and other feline playmates, Sebastian is as intelligent as that look in his eyes indicates, and now at seven years old, is still playful as a kitten.
In a strange quirk of fate, Sue had emailed me because I had some problem with her photos of two other tabby cats submitted to the Life With a Tabby Cat Show & Tell. During the course of our email discussions, I mentioned to her that coincidentally, another Sue had submitted Sebastian, the Cat Picture of the Week, and that her description mentioned her husband Mike. Late last night I received her reply. "That's our Sebastian!" She then told me that there is a photo of Mike with a younger Sebastian in the Cat Men Picture Gallery. This job continually amazes and delights me. To quote Disney songwriters Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, It's a Small World After All.
You are invited to read more of Sebastian's story, and if you are blessed with a tabby cat, find out how to submit a story and photos.
Once again, the greeting card from VPI Pet Insurance reminded me of a birthday, and today is Billy's 11th birthday. He was born on March 5, 2003, and we adopted him on July 27th of that year. You can see a number of photos in Billy's Baby Book.
photo © Franny Syufy
The day we brought Billy home, he was a scrawny little guy with an Upper Respiratoy Infection (URI). I rushed him to the vet the next day, and Dr. Dietrich estimated from his teeth that he was a very young kitten. He was astonished when I told him that he had been born on March 5th, as we had adopted him from a cat rescue, and he had been born at the foster's home, and was almost five months old. It's hard to believe that he is now a beautiful, sassy, senior cat. Ironically, though, he has just recently recovered from a URI, brought home by the two kittens we adopted in October 2013. When you look at the photos in Billy's Baby Book, be sure to click on each photo for a larger picture.
Some people complain of being sleep-deprived because of their cats. Others freely share their own beds with as many cats as will fit. How about you? Take this poll and tell the world where your cat sleeps.
photo © Franny Syufy
In my family, our cats sleep in various places and positions during the day. Gaither, our tuxedo kitten, sleeps on this beanbag chair, on one or another of the cat towers throughout the house, or on the back of our leather recliner sofa with Jaspurr during the day. At night, he may be curled up in a corner of the hallway, or on my son's bed with some of the other mail cats. My Jennifur sleeps on my bed with me, on a window-mounted padded bed in our bedroom, or on a footstool below that one. Some nights she does keep me awake with her wandering. Other nights she sleeps quietly at the foot of the bed, or on the pillow next to me. If you are one of those who suffer from cat-related sleep deprivation, be sure to read the companion article, Ways to Avoid Cat-Related Sleep Deprivation.
The Devon Rex is a pixiesh cat, with an elfin look, and wavy coat.
Like other Rex breeds, it originated from a spontaneous genetic mutation in a barn cat litter, resulting in its wavy coat. And like other Rex Breeds, the Devon Rex is considered by some to be a hypoallergenic cat breed. Devons are loyal little cats, chirping and trilling, as it follows you around, telling you about its day. Unlike a lot of cat breeds, the Devon would be happy if you carried him with you wherever you go. The Devon Rex image shown here is "Yoda," pictured at seven months.
Photo © Natalie, breeder Elizabeth Wynters
Throughout the month of March, 2014, Bideawee is running a special "Get Lucky" Promotion in their Manhattan and Westhampton adoption centers.
Throughout the month of March, Bideawee is running a special "Get Lucky" Promotion in their Manhattan and Westhampton adoption centers. This is such a clever and unusual way to grab the attention of potential pet adopters, that it could go viral. You see, every adoptable animal six months or older will be renamed "Lucky," and can be adopted for no fee, so that everyone who adopts one of them truly "Gets Lucky."
Bideawee, which means "stay a while," in Scottish, is one of the country's oldest and most respected animal welfare and pet adoption organizations. Founded in 1903 by Mrs. Flora Kibbe, Bideawee has been providing shelter, care and compassion to homeless animals in helping them to find their forever homes for over 100 years. Bideawee is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 humane animal organization and 100% of Bideawee's funding comes from private sources. Bideawee operates one facility in New York City and two on Long Island, one in Wantagh, and one in Westhampton.
I hope those readers who live in the area, and can find a place in your home and your heart, will head over to one of the event facilities and select a Lucky cat or Lucky dog, to enrich both your lives.
Today it is my pleasure to announce my new position with Pet Healthy Holdings, LLC, manufacturer of Perfect Litter and other pet products. My position as Cats Expert will include responding to Ask Franny questions, either in a blog or video.
image © Pet Healthy Holdings, LLC
In addition, the blog will include weekly articles on topics indluding cat health, behavior, cat food, cat litter, cat care, and more. As on About.com, I will not give specific advice on cat health issues, but will offer general information on various diseases and other medical conditions.
This job will not affect my position with About.com in any way. My intent is to continue with my work here as long as possible. Thanks to my loyal readers, forum members, and your cats, my work here has always given me great pleasure.
I am not a veterinary professional. My knowledge of medical conditions of cats is limited to personal experience supplemented by lengthy research; the investment in veterinary textbooks, dictionaries, and manuals; and a distance learning veterinary assistant course I took several years ago. Having disclosed that information, it is particularly gratifying to receive occasional emails thanking me for helpful information in the topic of feline health. Feline hepatic lipidosis, aka fatty liver disease is often the subject of these emails.
Symptoms of fatty liver disease include inappetance, anorexia, rapid weight loss, and vomiting, symptoms that also may occur in several other diseases (listed below). Because rapid weight loss is associated with fatty liver disease, this condition can also "piggyback" into the other diseases. Fortunately fatty liver disease, if diagnosed in time, can be completely reversed.
Photo Credit: © Franny Syufy
My cat Shannon, who lived to 19 years, was in danger of fatty liver syndrome, on top of CRF and FIV. Thankfully, by working as a team with our veterinarian, we were able to divert this additional burden to his health by feeding him a liquid gruel of baby food meat (no onions), canned cat food, and low sodium chicken broth. I used a plastic basting syringe to feed him, very slowly.
Associated Feline Diseases:
- Feline Hyperthyroidism
- CRF (chronic renal failure)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Syndrome)
- Inflammation of the Pancreas
Milo is the fourth and last Cat Picture of the Week for February, 2014, and it's hard to believe that we're already almost two months into 2014.
photo © Guest, Bazzi4
Milo and his brother, Stormi, were just a few months old when they were adopted, and now they are two, and just as happy as they can be in their forever home. Although no more white cats will be featured this year, you may still submit yours to the White Cats Show & Tell Gallery. And March will feature tabby cats, so if you have a tabby, submit his or her photo and story to the Life With a Tabby Cat Show and Tell.
In some areas of the U.S. and elsewhere, it may be time in the next few weeks to plant flowers outdoors. Many of these flowers may be toxic to cats.
Photo Credit: © iStock Photo / Linda Steward
One of the least emphasized reasons for keeping cats indoors is the opportunity for culinary sampling of flowers and plants that might be toxic to them, in varying degrees. With some plants, such as hydrangeous, stomach pains, vomiting, and weakness may be the only results, but for other plants, such as some lilies, even death can result.
Pictures shown in the linked article depict some of the more popular plants toxic to cats. This is not an exhaustive list - for that, see the ASPCA's Toxic Plants List. If, like me, you enjoy picking flowers from your garden to use indoors in vases, keep in mind when planting them to plant plenty of flowers safe for cats.
More Gardening on About.com:
The years and this month have passed so quickly, that I may have forgotten the date, except that I received two Happy Birthday cards from VPI Pet Insurance. I invite you to read my Diary: The Great Kitten Search for the details of how I found the J-Boys. The Diary links to a rather primitive accounting of the kittens before and after we adopted them.
photo © Franny Syufy
Click on photo for larger view
Today is my oldest cats' 12th birthday, which makes them about 64 years old in human years, according to the cats' age chart. Jaspurr and Joey are still as close as ever, although they still have little "alpha cat" tussels now and then. Although Jaspurr has alway been bigger and more dominant, Joey was the first-born of the litter and Jaspurr was last. Perhaps Joey remembers this and reminds Jaspurr now and then, by exerting his dominance. Last night I watched Joey "go ballistic," racing from the dining room through the living room, wheeling around the corner and down the hall to my son's bedroom, which is shared by all the male cats. No one who saw that would ever believe this was a twelve year old cat.
Please join me in wishing Jaspurr and Joey Happy Birthday! Coincidentally, today also marks the start of my 17th year as About.com's Cats expert.