Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Niko, is now Luna

Greetings Animal Lovers,
As you all read last week I have recently adopted a new rambunctious kitten, who ended up being a girl even after being constantly referred to as "he" by the woman I adopted her from.  Assuming the woman wouldn't feed me information she didn't know for fact, the first couple days I called the cat Niko. The personality of this kitten was so wild, something I had never experienced before with any of my cats (which by chance happen to be all boys).  She hikes her back up, with all hair sticking straight up running sideways when she sees her reflection.  Territorial behavior I assume, which is more apparent in female cats than males.  For this reason among others, I googled how to tell if your kitten is boy or girl and came across a video that proved very helpful.  I wanted to share it with my readers in case you all were having second thoughts about what you were told was the sex of your kitten.  Hope it helps!

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Addition: Part Two

Greetings Animal Lovers, and welcome back to an extended post dedicated to bringing the new kitten in your home.  As I mentioned I've recently helped rescue an abandoned kitty, and I wanted to share some of the techniques I used to make her feel comfortable and well taken care of.  After developing the proper feeding pattern, I mentioned it's important to remove fleas and bathe your kitten with Dawn dish soap.

After that: Potty training your kitten is probably the second most essential task to complete, right after developing a feeding pattern.  It has never proved too difficult, but does take some patience and undivided attention.  In order to avoid smelly accidents on your brand new carpet you should place your kitten inside the litter box at least once an hour, in addition to a few minutes after it wakes up and after it eats.  I found it beneficial to scratch in the litter myself to show her how it's done.  Cats have a direct instinct to dig so once they realize what to do with the litter its pretty much smooth sailing.  For the first couple weeks, after your kitten uses the litter box, you may want to take him/her out and cover up the droppings yourself.  Although your kitten will scratch to cover it themselves they tend to either completely miss or end up scratching in their own poop; this just gets the mess on their paws making more work for you later. Make sure the litter box is not in secluded or hard to find places while your kitten is young.  Its important that they know exactly where it is without having to walk far to get there.

Finally: We can focus on recreation time for your little one.  Its good to release their energy during playtime to avoid bad behavior when your away.  I find it very unnecessary to purchase bunches of kitten toys, because they always end up finding interest in simple things you probably have laying around your house.  I tied a fishing buoy to a shoe string and my kitten loves it.  Cutting a Mardi Gras necklace so that it's just a string of beads will also keep kitty entertained, especially on tile floors.  Other things I've noticed kittens like are socks, small stuffed animals, graduation tassels or any type of small ball.  Greater than all these things however are on our bodies.  I've found my kitten loves to chase my legs while I'm walking, fingers while I'm typing, and my hair while I'm laying down.

My new addition enjoying her homemade toy

Last: After your kitten has reached 10 weeks you want to take them to the vet for the usual vaccines and shots.  Places like the ASPCA and Humane Society offer kitten packages that include the necessary boosters.  Also spaying or neutering your kitten should be done to prevent multiplying.  A healthy kitten is a happy one, although this will likely be the most expensive task, it proves most beneficial for a long living cat.

New Addition

Greetings Animal Lovers,
On Thanksgiving Day I was approached by a neighbor who clearly knew how passionate I am about animals.  She had rescued two kittens from the street and asked would I take one, and in true animal lover fashion I couldn't pass up the chance to save an innocent life.  For the purpose of this post I wanted to highlight some tips and techniques someone could and should use when taking in a kitten, especially if he/she is under the age of 8 weeks (as mine is).

First things first: You need to find out the level of eating your kitten has accomplished.  Many times kittens are taken away from their mothers too soon, not knowing how to eat whole cat food whether it be wet or dry.  If this is the case, sticking your finger inside kitty's mouth will result in them trying to suckle your finger.  If this occurs you should purchase cat milk replacer, which can be bottle or bowl fed depending on how young the kitten.  If your kitten doesn't have the urge to suckle you can go right to feeding it wet cat food, which can also be accomplished for younger kittens by mixing in the milk replacer.  This is what I found beneficial for my nearly weaned kitten.  Once the kitten gets used to wet food, you can start mixing in dry food (which is way cheaper), or try soaking dry food in a little water to soften it up.  Sooner or later you'll be able to feed kitty majority dry food, with the wet serving as a treat or once a day occurrence.
Provides the nutrients kitty would normally receive from mother's milk

Next: When rescuing animals from outdoors or unclean environments, you will almost always encounter the flea problem.  A lot of times the kitten is too young for flea treatment, or even the flea collar so the only option is to give kitty a Dawn dish liquid bath. I learned from calling the ASPCA that Dawn original kills fleas after 2.5 minutes of the application.  BINGO! We all know cats don't like water, so this task could prove difficult, however kittens are so small their a lot easier to get clean.  Make sure all areas of the body get a fair amount of Dawn, especially the face which you will find the fleas flea to during the bath.  Scrub the skin of the kitten in order to lather up the soap, don't forget the butt which often is smelly in young cats.  On top of killing fleas the bath is cleaning your kitten, so don't forget their ears and underside. Try your best to remove all fleas with your fingers during and after the bath, they should be dead but its probable that some survived the wrath.  

Try not to take too long during the bathing process, and use warm water so kitty doesn't fall into hypothermia.  After thoroughly rinsing him/her I found the blow dryer (on a low setting) was very beneficial to the drying process.  Keeping your kitten wrapped up in a dry towel after the bath will soothe and help keep it warm.  

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the New Addition post, which will help guide you in completing the necessary steps to making your kitten comfortable in it's new home!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Man's Best Friend

Greetings Animal Lovers,
Everyone knows that dogs are a man's best friend.  Ever wonder if the reverse was true as well? I know I love my pets, each and every one of them provide me with a sense of understanding and connection but I've always questioned whether I'm just as valuable to them.  Browsing for a video illustrating a pet's emotion towards humans, I came across this pretty convincing clip. By the looks of it I'd say dogs, at least, feel the same sense of belonging with their human. In my case the loyalty is often overlooked with accidents indoors or messes caused by rough housing.  All in all this video takes me (and I'd assume any dog owner) to a warm place of appreciation and gratitude.  I couldn't help but chose it to make a statement about a dog's emotions toward their owner.  Enjoy :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dotty Has Dots

Greetings Animal Lovers, 
Meet Dotty.  She has recently been labeled the Cat of The Week by, and is currently  living in a foster home affiliated with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.  Unfortunately this 4 year old domestic shorthair was brought to the shelter when her owner became extremely ill and passed, leaving Dotty behind with no owner or care.  Although the circumstances were not deliberate or intentional this kitty has been left abandoned without the loving and caring parent she's used to. Dotty is looking for a nice quiet home without too much commotion.   She's been described as extremely sweet, and loves to lounge around and take in her surroundings.  Currently, Dotty is available to adopt for only $19, because she's been in the Humane Society's care for more than thirty days.  She's spayed, house trained and waiting for a loving parent to come give her a happy home again.  Help spread the word and get Dotty a new home. Remember she has a $19 adoption fee and she's fixed, she also has a microchip which will identify her owner's information in the case she gets lost.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

To Mom:

Greetings Animal Lovers,
Today I've decided to deem this post an apology to my mother, whose patience and lenience was constantly tested while I was a child.  I can remember conveniently finding dogs and kittens around the neighborhood that I begged to keep and promised to take care of.  Surprisingly enough Mom allowed me the freedom to take in animals, and even purchased their necessities.  In the meantime every animal I desired contributed to a house of chaos and unwanted smells and messes, not just from my friends and I, but my pets as well.  Although sworn into having full responsibility for the animals, I had to be repeatedly reminded of chores that needed to be done and proper ways to do them.  I swear for eight years my mom had to remind me to clean out the cat box, which I account for her having such a keen sense of smell.  I had a fish tank full of fish that often began to smell a week after changing the water, I always had to be told when it was time and reminded the procedure of doing it correctly.  

There were countless times when the duo of my cat and dog together caused haywire around our household on a regular.  Despite the fact that they were playing they often chased each other full speed and when caught, inevitably tussled into knocking things over.  Whether glass was being broken or rugs were being stained with spilled drinks, my pets never failed to let their appearance be known.  I had a bunny when I was 11 that would poop and pee everywhere when I let it out to play.  I was pretty good for cleaning it up, but too many times I had to be shown where I missed a few pebbles.  My dog would always track in the house whether he walked through dirt or not.  I could probably go on for essays about burdens that my animals brought upon my mom, and it is for this I am giving my apologies. 

I am truly sorry for the unwanted smells of cat urine that steamed through your guest bathroom.  I'm sorry for the need of warnings to your company to be cautious of small pellets on the floor, or aware that my dog would awkwardly sniff them just once 'then he knows ya'.  I'm sorry for the messes and spills that I half-assed cleaned up but most of all I'm sorry for Taz and Zeus breaking your crystal wreath.  You really stuck it out for me while I lived there and now that I'm gone I hope your enjoying your peaceful and pet free abode.
Your Daughter 

18 Year Old Charged With Cruelty

Greetings Animal Lovers,
In true fashion I've found myself hung up and analyzing a recent article I browsed last week online.  On Friday, October 26 the ASPCA reported to their blog that on Tuesday, October 23 they had arrested a Queens woman over neglect.  By woman, they're referring to 18 year old Crystal Lashley who allegedly neglected a six year old German Shepherd mix.  The dog, named Briana was tied up so long outside that her collar became embedded.  Over time, if a collar is too tight around a dog's neck their skin will slowly begin to grow over and around it.  Once the skin reattaches itself on the surface of the collar facing away from the dog, your end result will be a collar embedded in the skin of the animal. Cutting the skin open and removing the collar is the only method for appropriate healing. When Crystal signed over the animal on August 21 she was signing to the responsibility of whatever condition Briana was found to be in, which was confirmed as an embedded collar, underweight, infested with fleas and dehydrated.  Crystal was charged with a single count of misdemeanor cruelty, and will face a possible year in jail and/or $1,000 in fines if convicted.

Embedded Collar (in this case rope)
The response I have to this case runs along the lines of is Crystal the only one to blame for the cruelty of the animal.  There is no doubt that she should be charged, claiming ownership of Briana deems her responsible to make sure the dog receives adequate care, but an 18 year old girl certainly doesn't live alone.  The dog was found tied to a tree outside of a home that was not owned by Crystal.  The article didn't specify but I would assume an 18 year old girl still lived with parent(s) or guardian(s) that would know better than to allow a collar to be embedded into the neck of an animal.  The completed process takes an estimated 5-8 weeks. Whether or not the people she lived with were her parents or friends, there were other people who could have prevented the situation from occurring, by simply calling attention to it.  The ignorance spreads across the entire household and I believe its unfair to just punish one person.
The wound of a embedded collar removal

I by no means am expressing everyone in the house be charged the same as Crystal, but I do believe she is not the only one to blame.  In my lens justice has not been completely served for Briana and her permanent wound around her neck.  When I was 18 I was a full time student and part time worker, luckily I had a sensible enough parent to help care for my dog, who in reality was viewed as the family dog even though he technically belonged to me.