Thursday, August 23, 2012

Caution! Watch where you point that laser...

And now a lesson in the dangers of mixing one laser pointer, one cat and ESPN.

This is Lucy. She loves chasing her laser pointer.

She's the kind of kitty who will chase her laser pointer pretty much anywhere. If it goes up the wall, she'll leap to grab it. Run it along the ceiling and she'll jump up to the highest point in the room and chirp at the shiny red beam as it passes overhead, just waiting to pounce when it comes down to an easier vantage point within her reach.

So it's my fault really. I learned the hard way that using a laser pointer while distracted can be almost as dangerous as texting and driving. You see, I had turned on ESPN to get scores and catch some highlights from the day's baseball and preseason football games at the same time that I was making Lucy chase all over the room after her laser pointer.

What I didn't realize was that I had become too enthralled with the television and my focus wasn't on the task at hand -- Lucy's bloodlust for that pesky laser beam. I guess my hand had gotten lazy and I inadvertently run the laser pointer through my personal space more than once. The wake up call came courtesy of Lucy's paws and claws converging on my bare ankle. The sharp intrusion of pain took my eyes and everything else off the TV, I shuddered and yelped which made Lucy jump back. She turned to me, acknowledging what her actions had done to my warm, exposed flesh...and her expression had precisely zero sympathy in it. If anything, she was admonishing me for not paying enough attention to her and, frankly, judging by her fuzzy little cat face, she thought I deserved it.

Lesson learned. But now I was ready to challenge her. I was convinced she didn't have the guts to do it again, even if I was eyeballing her the entire time. So I pointed the laser at my leg again...

Does this cat look like she's about to hesitate to leap at me once more? Exactly. So I pointed it back across the room to save myself from another pouncing. Lucy went bounding after it...and I decided to check the scores on my phone when play time was over.

Friday, August 10, 2012

This Week in Cat-Speak

Ever wonder what cats are really thinking?

"It never fails, I finally get comfortable and then the dang phone rings"

"I don't always have glowing laser beams for eyes...but when I do, I vaporize anyone taking a picture of me"

"Beer then liquor...never sicker...ooooof" 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dogs and Cats Living Together! Mass Hysteria!!

Nah, it's just another late afternoon visit with Ruby and Salsa.

Have a seat on the couch to watch some TV around here, and you may soon find it getting a little crowded. Ruby (seated in my lap) and Salsa (lying next to us) both live with another dog, two turtles, a horned lizard, and one fish...and while not everybody wanted to check out what was happening on the tube, Ruby and Salsa love to spend time together and enjoy each other's company. It doesn't really matter what's on, as long as Ruby is the center of attention and Salsa is having her back rubbed. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Simon vs. the Sprinkler!

Being a puppy is a very tough job. So many new things to sniff, taste, and inspect.

But there are many dangers in this large world as well...and this little puppy was confronted, face to face, with his true nemesis on a warm Tuesday afternoon when he happened upon a grassy knoll where there lived one dormant lawn sprinkler. It sat there under the midday sun, lying in wait for an unsuspecting puppy such as our wee Simon, pictured above prior to the incident.

I had accompanied little Simon to this fateful patch of green, and he had set forth with his typical follies of rolling in its volume, his face rubbing against the ticklish tips. Tongue whirligigging in his tiny mouth with glee. Simon had squirmed towards the snakish menace rather inadvertently, but it turns out I was the true instigator of the affair. I had carelessly stepped on the length of the hose with my shoe, impelling a dormant plashet of water from within to burst out of the sprinkler's ominously quiet head with a momentary splash that was over before it even had time to begin.

This negligible and insignificant expulsion of liquid turned out to be an unmistakable declaration of war!

The time for foolishness had ceased. Simon leapt to all fours and began BARKING at the dangerous sprinkler head with all of his courage and heart! No such malice will befall this puppy today. No sir! Simon barked and barked and then barked some more! Hopping back and forth ready for attack, but unsure whether this creature of the wet was ready for the furious vengeance of this furry vindicator. So, of course, I did the one and only thing that anyone in this situation would have done.

I stepped on the hose again.

That was it. Simon would have no more of this churlish insolence. He gave that sprinkler a good barking-to! Running from, then toward, then from...and then TOWARD AGAIN, brave little Simon announced his intentions to act as protector of this neighborhood from the sprinkler's cool and sudden expectorations. The willowy monster just lying there in silence before the next spritz (courtesy of Moi) would send Simon into more fantastic fits of spunk. His little tongue wagging fierce in between those high-pitched puppy yaps of his.

Eventually, Simon prevailed. The sprinkler had given up (i.e. there was no more water left trapped in the hose, no matter how much I stepped on it), and thus our gallant puppy won the day. We ventured back home, where we regaled his beloved friend Blue Fuzzy Man with tales of Simon's temerity and the sprinkler's cowardice in the face of such steadfast valiance. It truly was a marvelous day!

92 6pm??

It is HOT OUT. Keep your pets cool with some of these helpful hints from the ASPCA!


We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger, ASPCA experts warn.  
"Most people love to spend the warmer days enjoying the outdoors with friends and family, but it is important to remember that some activities can be dangerous for our pets," said Dr. Camille DeClementi, Senior Toxicologist at the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center. "By following a few simple rules, it is easy to keep your pet safe while still having fun in the sun."
Take these simple precautions, provided by ASPCA experts, to help prevent your pet from overheating. And if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get help from your veterinarian immediately. 
Visit the Vet 
A visit to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up is a must. Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren't on year-round preventive medication. Do parasites bug your animal companions? Ask your doctor to recommend a safe flea and tick control program. 
Made in the Shade 
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it's hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot. 
Know the Warning Signs 
Symptoms of  overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. 
No Parking! 
Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. "On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke," says Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. Also, leaving pets unattended in cars in extreme weather is illegal in several states. 
Make a Safe Splash 
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset. 
Screen Test 
"During warmer months, the ASPCA sees an increase in injured animals as a result of High-Rise Syndrome, which occurs when pets-mostly cats-fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured," says Dr. Murray. "Pet owners need to know that this is completely preventable if they take simple precautions." Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured. 
Summer Style 
Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs' coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
Street Smarts 
When the temperature is very high, don't let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch's body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum. 
Avoid Chemicals 
Commonly used flea and tick products, rodenticides (mouse and rat baits), and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. When walking your dog, steer clear of areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. Keep citronella candles, oil products and insect coils out of pets' reach as well. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance. 
Party Animals 
Taking Fido to a backyard barbeque or party? Remember that the food and drink offered to guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.
Fireworks Aren't Very Pet-riotic 
Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma to curious pets, and even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, arsenic and other heavy metals. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pet of the Week: Moxie

Age: 5
Breed: Mix
Gender: Female

Moxie likes to sleep a lot, but the only thing she likes more than sleeping is eating. Here she is doing the former, and this photo was probably taken after doing the latter. Moxie can often be found sleeping on Dad's pants or any other clothing items he was foolish enough to leave lying on the bed when he went to work. She has a brother named Dexter who she loves very much. The two of them can usually be found chasing one another around the house or drinking from the tub faucet. She likes watching TV on Dad's lap, except when there's football on because then he's usually screaming at it with Mom and that's just too much noise and chaos for this easy-going kitty.

Moxie's two favorite foods are cheese and whipped cream.