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What do costumes, candy, candles, cords, and commotion have in common? All are potential hazards for your cats during the Halloween season.

Costumes: Dressing your cat as Snow White may be enjoyed more by you than your pal. Keep in mind that the costume should in no way constrict movement, seeing, hearing, breathing, or meowing. Check for dangling pieces that may be chewed off and swallowed. It should be non-toxic and non-flammable. Simple costumes like a t-shirt or hat are best. Consider doing a dress rehearsal. If the cat resists being put in the attire or tries to tear it off, forget it. Your cat should always be supervised if dressed in a costume. Your witch outfit may spook your cat. A dress rehearsal may also help your cat get accustomed to the disguise.

assorted colorful candies

Candy: Halloween candy should be kept in the cupboard or in covered containers. The shiny wrappers are interesting to cats. I have to select a high cupboard out of the reach of Chauncey as he chews through any package left in sight or paw’s reach within minutes. He also knows how to open the pantry door, so that is off-limits for the candy stash. Contact your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)426-4435 if your cat gets into candy that is chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol. Foil wrappers may cause an intestinal obstruction if ingested.

cat-sniffing-candle-190x190

Candles: This time of the year we love the aroma of apple spice and pumpkin harvest candles. Candles light our jack-o’-lanterns. Cats are drawn to candles like moths to a porch light. Curious cats can knock over pumpkins and candles and start a fire or get burned. Cats may get singed when they swish their tail through the flame or get too close with their whiskers. Never leave candles and cats alone–even if you think the candles are out of reach. They probably are not. Since flameless candles are available in a myriad of sizes, shapes, and aromas, I have replaced traditional candles with flameless candles.

Photo Credit Donna Donald

Photo Credit Donna Donald

Cords: Halloween decorations with wires and cords should be kept out of the reach of your cats to avoid cuts and burns or electrocution. Dangling, snake-like, and thin cords attract a cat’s attention. These are just the kind of cords you will find on Halloween lights. Cats can also be strangled if caught up in a jumble of tangled cords. Take time to tape, wind up, or hide cords. Use cord protectors. Unplug lights when not in use. Whenever the routine changes, Chauncey and Grace take notice. Earlier this month when I decorated the Halloween tree, they wanted to be in the middle of the lights and ornaments.

witch in scary halloween concept

Commotion: Ringing door bells, frequent knocking, strange voices, and masquerades can scare cats. Changing the home to accommodate holiday decorations is disturbing. Consider moving your cats to a safe haven during trick-or-treat time or a party. If you have house guests, let them know about the off-limits room or put a sign on it. I take Grace and Chauncey to the master suite a half hour before I expect the first goblins at my door. I set up extra food along with a couple of their favorite toys. They are safe and comfortable giving me peace of mind that they will not bolt out of the house when I hand out KitKats.

Halloween can be fun for the whole family. Please take to heart these simple precautions and have a safe Halloween.

Blessings!

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What do costumes, candy, candles, cords, and commotion have in common? All are potential hazards for your cats during the Halloween season.

Costumes: Dressing your cat as Snow White may be enjoyed more by you than your pal. Keep in mind that the costume should in no way constrict movement, seeing, hearing, breathing, or meowing. Check for dangling pieces that may be chewed off and swallowed. It should be non-toxic and non-flammable. Simple costumes like a t-shirt or hat are best. Consider doing a dress rehearsal. If the cat resists being put in the attire or tries to tear it off, forget it. Your cat should always be supervised if dressed in a costume. Your witch outfit may spook your cat. A dress rehearsal may also help your cat get accustomed to the disguise.

assorted colorful candies

Candy: Halloween candy should be kept in the cupboard or in covered containers. The shiny wrappers are interesting to cats. I have to select a high cupboard out of the reach of Chauncey as he chews through any package left in sight or paw’s reach within minutes. He also knows how to open the pantry door, so that is off-limits for the candy stash. Contact your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)426-4435 if your cat gets into candy that is chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol. Foil wrappers may cause an intestinal obstruction if ingested.

cat-sniffing-candle-190x190

Candles: This time of the year we love the aroma of apple spice and pumpkin harvest candles. Candles light our jack-o’-lanterns. Cats are drawn to candles like moths to a porch light. Curious cats can knock over pumpkins and candles and start a fire or get burned. Cats may get singed when they swish their tail through the flame or get too close with their whiskers. Never leave candles and cats alone–even if you think the candles are out of reach. They probably are not. Since flameless candles are available in a myriad of sizes, shapes, and aromas, I have replaced traditional candles with flameless candles.

Photo Credit Donna Donald

Photo Credit Donna Donald

Cords: Halloween decorations with wires and cords should be kept out of the reach of your cats to avoid cuts and burns or electrocution. Dangling, snake-like, and thin cords attract a cat’s attention. These are just the kind of cords you will find on Halloween lights. Cats can also be strangled if caught up in a jumble of tangled cords. Take time to tape, wind up, or hide cords. Use cord protectors. Unplug lights when not in use. Whenever the routine changes, Chauncey and Grace take notice. Earlier this month when I decorated the Halloween tree, they wanted to be in the middle of the lights and ornaments.

witch in scary halloween concept

Commotion: Ringing door bells, frequent knocking, strange voices, and masquerades can scare cats. Changing the home to accommodate holiday decorations is disturbing. Consider moving your cats to a safe haven during trick-or-treat time or a party. If you have house guests, let them know about the off-limits room or put a sign on it. I take Grace and Chauncey to the master suite a half hour before I expect the first goblins at my door. I set up extra food along with a couple of their favorite toys. They are safe and comfortable giving me peace of mind that they will not bolt out of the house when I hand out KitKats.

Halloween can be fun for the whole family. Please take to heart these simple precautions and have a safe Halloween.

Blessings!

AAC2012RoundLogo2B

The Adopt A Cat Foundation in Lake Park, FL will have its 7th Annual Spa’cat’ti Dinner on Saturday, October 18, 2014. It will be held from 5:00-9:00 p.m. at the Moose Lodge located at 3600 RCA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
The evening of entertainment includes music, dancing, silent auction, raffles and prizes. Adult tickets are available for $25.00 and children 12 and under for $10.00 at the Adopt A Cat thrift store at 804 US Highway 1, Lake Park or at the door.

Adopt A Cat Foundation, Inc. is a 501-C-3 non-profit organization in Palm Beach County, committed to finding loving homes for over 200 homeless, abandoned, ill and injured cats/kittens every day for the past twenty-five years. Founded by animal rescue veteran, Inga Hanley, the Foundation operates solely from donations and support from its volunteers.

I visit the thrift store several times a month and never fail to find a treasure. The latest was a hardback book to add to my Jan Karon collection: In the Company of Others. Support a worthy cause and come to the Spa’cat’ti Dinner and be in the company of other feline lovers!

For more information, visit Adopt A Cat.

Blessings!


Today is Tiger Day. Thousands of school children will celebrate annual Tiger Day in Vladivostok, Russia to promote appreciation and conservation of one of the world’s most iconic and endangered species. Children in at least thirteen countries from China to Kenya, will join the celebration via video messages presented by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Over the past century, the worldwide population of wild tigers has plunged from 100,000 to as few as 3,000, primarily due to rampant poaching and habitat loss. “Tiger Day offers a unique opportunity to alert people to the grave threats tigers face, and what has to be done to save them from extinction,” said Masha Vorontsova, Director of IFAW Russia. “Tiger Day is a holiday for all, which reminds us that the future of tigers is in our own hands.” The tiger celebration was first held in Vladivostok in 2000 and is now celebrated in villages and towns throughout the Primorsky region, a small corner of the Russian Far East that is home to the world’s last 300-400 Amur (Siberian) tigers.

This Tiger Day falls during an especially significant year for tiger conservation. 2010 is the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese zodiac and the UN International Year of Biodiversity. In November, Russia will host a Global Tiger Summit for leaders of tiger range countries and others to announce new plans with specific commitments and time-lines to save these critically-endangered wild animals.

IFAW works on the front lines of tiger protection. Ranger teams have reduced the poaching of tigers and their prey in protected reserves of the Russian Far East. IFAW has also trained and equipped a third of India’s anti-poaching force. Through campaigns in China and Asia, IFAW is working to close down the international black market for tiger body parts that fuels tiger poaching. The organization is also pioneering new methods for rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and injured wild tigers, with the goal of returning them to the wild. For further information, visit IFAW.

Tiger graphic is provided by Bush Warriors and may be shared.

Bountiful Blessings!

Little Callie

In celebration of Labor Day, I pay tribute to those who work tirelessly for animals in shelters, sanctuaries, rescue groups and hospitals.

Not in Vain by Emily Dickinson

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Little Callie is a senior kitty estimated to be over ten years old. She is cared for at Best Friends.

Bountiful Blessings!

A friend sent me the Ten Commandments for Pet Ownership. My understanding is that the commandments were originally written for dogs by Stan Rawlinson, but you will soon see they work for cats as well.

A Pet’s Ten Commandments
1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however, you treat me, I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can’t bear to watch. Don’t make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God’s critters. Now please pass this on to other pet owners. We do not have to wait for Heaven, to be surrounded by hope, love, and joyfulness. It is here on earth and has four legs!

Bountiful Blessings!

I recently blogged about the amount of pet hair that flies around my house in the form of tumbleweeds! This week I discovered a positive use for Lexie Lee’s hair and mine for that matter—Hair for Oil Spills Program. The organization, Matter of Trust, collaborates with hair salons to collect hair to make hair mats and hair booms (hair stuffed in nylon stockings). These items are shipped to oil spill areas and used to soak up oil. For example, the mats are put in oiled bird and mammal cages.

Phi McCrory, a hair stylist, got the idea while watching coverage on the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. He noticed the fur on the Alaskan otters completely soaked with oil. He tested how much oil he could collect with the hair clippings from his salon. Later he invented the hair mat.

Besides hair salons, Matter of Trust is also encouraging one time donors to participate. Individuals can donate their hair or their pets’ hair. Teachers and classrooms can also be donors. The Matter of Trust has teacher and student materials you can download. There is also an oil spill flyer for posting.

The following tips are recommended if you decide to collect hair:
• Line a designated hair collection box with plastic
• Any length of hair is fine
• Every type of head hair including straight, curly, dyed, permed or straightened is fine
• Shampooed hair is preferred
• Fur, horse hair and wool is accepted
• Pet hair does not need to be shampooed, just not filthy
• Include hair only and not other garbage
• Tie the bag shut and tape the box

Washed nylon stockings, even with runs, are also needed. Put these in a separate bag.

After you go online and register (no charge), Matter of Trust will inform you where to mail the parcel. Full information about the program including a YouTube video is available at Matter of Trust.

Bountiful Blessings!

If you have been hoping to add a new fur baby to your family, this weekend may be the purrfect time. PETCO stores around the country are hosting National Pet Adoption events sponsored by Hill’s Science Diet. Representatives from Hill’s will be on hand in the majority of stores to offer product demonstrations. In addition, Hill’s Science Diet is providing an informational guide “The Guide to Lifelong Health” and a $10 off product offer as a gift for customers who adopt during the adoption weekend.

The National Pet Adoption events will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 20 and 21. You will have a chance to meet many adoptable pets, learn about area animal shelters and inquire about the best ways to care for your new pet. You can check PETCO for the store nearest you as well as the specific events planned for your area store. For example, a PETCO near me is offering low-cost vaccinations by licensed veterinarians along with heartworm and feline leukemia testing on Saturday morning.

Sounds like a great weekend outing! Who knows—there just may be a little fur bundle of joy waiting to go to your forever home!

Bountiful Blessings!

 I was in the Publix Supermarket earlier today. Checkout posters gave consumers information about donating money to the Haiti Relief & Development Fund. The cashier asked if I would like to donate. The process was simple—the amount was just added on to the bill. The money will be channeled through the American Red Cross to Haiti.

A student in one of my university classes this week was too distraught to complete her mid-term exam. She had been frantically trying to reach her father and sister in Haiti, but to no avail. My heart was breaking for her. She reminded me of my next door neighbor years ago. Four excruciating days passed before she made contact with her daughter in Miami following Hurricane Andrew.

So during moments like this, we wonder what we can do to help. This disaster is close to home as I have had many students over the years from Haiti. Everyone, including humans and animals, is in my thoughts and prayers.

According to ConsumerSearch, “so far, animal relief organizations like the Humane Society and the ASPCA are not making large appeals for Haiti’s animal population. As with Hurricane Katrina, it may be a few days before animals’ agencies can start rescue operations and get personnel and supplies into the area. The International Fund for Animal Welfare is on alert, noting that humanitarian efforts need to be well underway before animal rescue efforts can begin in earnest.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has the following information posted today: “AVMA is closely monitoring the early response in Haiti to determine if and how we and others involved in animal welfare and health may assist in the Haiti response and recovery efforts. As always with disasters like this, the humanitarian rescue efforts will be the focus in Haiti for the first week or so. However, veterinarians are on standby to assist with the tragedy.”

If you have any information regarding Haiti animal relief, please pass the information along.

Bountiful Blessings!

This time last year I shared the Best Friends Animal Society Christmas gifts I gave my family members. Their site features pictures and bios of animals that you can sponsor through monetary donations. A donation helps to provide food, vitamins, medical care and a safe warm place to sleep. I had fun perusing the dogs and cats and matching an animal up to the gift recipients and giving a donation in their names. Well, it is time for an update on how everyone’s donation for a special animal turned out.

The first to find a home right after Christmas last year was my brother-in-law’s dog Trisha. The beautiful chocolate lab went to a home with a lake in Arizona. Sad news followed shortly after that as my mother’s cat Toes passed away from lymphoma. However, Best Friends extended the invitation to adopt another pet since the year had not passed by. My sister’s dog Sophie was adopted this summer. She was so happy to receive the update email from Best Friends and also picked out another pet to sponsor.

My sister-in-law’s cat was quite a star this year as she was selected to be on the Purrty Dozen campaign–Fighting Their Way Home. This campaign included twelve cats that the caregivers at Best Friends most wanted to see adopted over the coming year. Lois had been waiting seven years for a home. Marketing Lois was intense as she was on a wine label and coffee bag. Best Friends illustrator Marc Brown created a portrait of Lois that was featured in their magazine. The story has a happy ending as Lois was the ninth cat to be adopted this past November. Last update I have from Best Friends is that ten of the twelve Purrty Dozen have been adopted. Luna and George are still Fighting Their Way Home.

As for the Mohr family sponsors, three of the six animals are now in their forever homes. I am holding wishful thoughts for my brothers’ animals Homer and Basil. I hope they will be home for the holidays along with Luna and George from the Purrty Dozen. If you would like additional information, visit Best Friends.

Bountiful Blessings!

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