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20 September 2011

Glass ornament versions of us

Glass cat ornaments

When Mom & Dad were on summer vacation they went to an art show and found some glass ornament versions of us. Each ornament is made of solid glass and is about the size of a fuzzy mouse toy. The colors of our features aren't quite right, but we think they're cute anyway.


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18 September 2011

Sammi and Raven were not "less adoptable" to us.

In honor of Petfinders "Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet" week (Sept 17-25) , I thought I'd tell the story about how we were chosen by Sammi and Raven.

Sammi and Raven would have been considered "less adoptable" pets. Sammi recently had her front paw amputated and she was 10 years old. Raven is a black cat, and they have some of the lowest adoption rates in shelters.

Maybe Sammi sensed we would give her a loving, stable home because when we entered the cat adoption room, she made a bee-line for her soon-to-be dad. I was busy trying to extract another cat from my purse, and out of the corner of my eye saw a cat come across the room, jump to the couch cushions, then stand on the back of the couch in front of her soon-to-be dad for petting. When I turned to pay more attention to the kitty who had endeared herself to her dad, I realized she was missing a front leg. Oh well, the bond between kitty and dad had already formed, so despite any missing parts, she would be one of the new members of our family.

And that cat I was busy trying to extract out of my purse, well, that was Raven. Within a couple minutes of entering the adoption room, there was a beautiful black cat trying to crawl into my purse. I had to laugh because the cat was bigger than my purse, but determined to get into it. Maybe she thought I wouldn't notice 10 pounds of furriness falling out of my purse and she would sneak home with us. I picked kitty up and put her on my lap, where she quickly curled up, purred, buried her head, and settled in for a nap. She made it clear that I had been chosen to be her mom and she was the newest member of the Indulged Furries' home.

Sammi

Raven

Sammi and Raven have brought endless joy to our lives. Never for a moment have we regretted adopting "less adoptable" pets. For us, they were purrfectly adoptable and have made our family complete.

17 September 2011

Mom's busy day with dogs

Sheriff K9 AskoMom went to the Grand Opening of a local pet supply store. She had a 20% off coupon for her entire purchase, but the real reason she went is she saw that  Sacramento County Sheriff K9 Asko was going to be there. We like to support our Sheriff's K9s because they help keep their partners and our community safe. By going to the events that they appear at, we can let them know that we value the service they provide to our community. And we get to pet police dogs!

Sheriff K9 Asko

K9 Asko showed his focus and good training to the public. He was very focused on his squeaky toy and behaved nicely while everyone petted him and took photos. Asko is trained in pursuit and weapon detection.

Asko was supposed to be the Sheriff K9 star of the day, but then K9 Clint showed up wearing a badge on his collar.

 

Sheriff K9 Clint


Clint was blinded in his right eye (an accident with a stick) but his partner said he is very good at pursuit. Clint only needs one good eye to see and chase the  bad guys! He is also trained in weapons detection. Clint was very friendly and enjoyed getting full-body hugs and burying his head against my legs so he could get a double-sided neck scratch. Clint was very fond of his chew toy and wanted me to play tug with him. Sorry Clint, but I don't think so! He was very vocal and made lots of little growls as he played with his chew toy.


Miniature poodle service dog named BrieThen we met Brie. She was curled up on a table and at first I thought she was a stuffed toy. But Brie is also a working dog. She doesn't pursue bad guys or sniff out weapons like Asko or Clint, but she has a job that's just as important. She's a hearing assistance dog. Brie is a miniature poodle and travels everywhere with her owner. Today they were out educating the public and helping raise funds to improve a local dog park.

Finally, I'm always happy to see Golden Retrievers. These guys were from a local rescue. The big guy laying down sounded interesting. He's just 4 years old and is good with cats.  I'm always tempted to bring another Golden RetrieversGolden into our family, but we weren't prepared to adopt anyone today. The dog facing the photo is 8 years old and very sweet, but not a good match for a family with cats.

Raven and Sammi weren't forgotten on our trip to see the dogs. We brought home several cans of cat food and a few new toys. They got their goodies after I went and washed all the dog smell off me!

16 September 2011

Crinkle Paper Insurance Pays Off

Sammi's crinkle paper almost gone


Sammi: I'm very sad.
Mom: Why are you sad?

Sammi: My crinkle paper pile is very small.
Mom: How did that happen?

Sammi: I'm not sure. I think the barf monster stole it.
Mom: When did that happen?

Sammi: Sometime earlier today.
Mom: We'll have to investigate.

Sammi: But that will take time and my crinkle paper is almost gone. I'm sure I had immediate replacement protection in my insurance policy.
Mom: I'll need time to review your claim.

Sammi: And there were some Friskies kibbles on it too.
Mom: No there weren't. Besides, your insurance policy only covered crinkle paper.

Sammi: Are you sure?
Mom: Yes. Kibble replacement was extra. You had basic coverage.

Sammi: Ok. Can I have more crinkle paper, please.
Mom: Your claim number is CPR3. It will be processed soon.

Sammi: How soon? I miss my crinkle paper.
Mom: Very soon.

Sammi: Are you done reviewing my claim yet?
Mom: Yes, your claim has been approved. New crinkle paper has been provided.

Sammi: Thanks for processing my claim so quickly. Are you sure I didn't have kibble replacement?
Mom: Yes, I'm sure. And you're welcome.

Sammi with more crinkle paper

15 September 2011

Thankful Thursday

Sammi in pink chairWe are the first to admit that we have a lot to be thankful for. While many cats don't have a home or anyone to care for them, we know that from the day we were adopted until the moment we go to the Spirit World, we will be loved. We have a mom & dad who provide us a safe indoor home with everything we could need or even dream of wanting. We have a pantry full of good food, boxes full of toys, more perches & beds than we can count, and we even have our very own cat-sized arm chair.

Raven in pink chair

We have the luxury of spending time sharing silly stories, but we also have the privilege of getting really good veterinary care and being able to share what we learn with others.

The only thing required of us is that we mind our kitty manners. Mom always says we're "indulged" not "spoiled".  That means we have to be cooperative when being groomed or having our pawdicures, we must always use the litter box (unless we're sick), and we must not scratch the human furniture. Sammi and I are not allowed to fight and we must share everything in the house. That's not a lot to ask of us considering all we get in return. Since our caretakers indulged us, we indulge them in return. We bring joy and liveliness to our home and make them laugh.

In these difficult times when so many people are having trouble caring for themselves and their families, we know we are very fortunate to have such wonderful lives. We hope you also have a lot to be thankful for.

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10 September 2011

Raven gets her middle name

Raven covered in cobwebRaven Charlotte


All the kitties in the Indulged Furries family have middle name that reflect some part of their purrsonality. Mom & Dad have had a hard time coming up with my middle name but they've finally found it!  Charlotte, for Charlotte's Web.  I have the unique talent of finding dust bunnies and spider webs. Mom and I have a contest to see who can find the dust bunnies first. She gets most of them with her weekly cleaning, but I can always find some in the corners beneath the cabinets and I love to eat them! And just about every time I come in from exploring the garage I have spider web on me. This morning I came in and was covered in sticky spider web. Dad cleaned it off my whiskers, then presented me to mom with spider web still clinging onto the side of my head and neck.

Raven Charlotte. I think that's a purrfect name for me.

06 September 2011

September is Preparedness Month

Be PreparedThere have been a lot of natural disasters lately. It's frightening to think of having to deal with something like a tornado or storm flood, and many of us try to make ourselves feel safe by thinking "Oh, that will never happen to me". But you never know when some sort of emergency will happen. It could be a large-scale natural disaster or a local issue. Whatever the emergency, the key to dealing with the situation is to be prepared, and that includes having a plan to care for your pets.

There are several websites that have good information about preparing for an emergency if you have pets. A good place to start is the printable checklist of basic items at   Ready.Gov There are some really good tips here. I never thought to have a photo of me and my pet together to document ownership!

FEMA - the Federal Emergency Management Agency Notice the first thing FEMA says: If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND!

A printable PDF of the Petfinder Disaster Preparedness Kit Checklist . Here's the regular web page with the same information.

A printable PDF of the Humane Society  disaster planning checklist is another resource.  They also have a page with more general emergency preparedness information about sheltering in place and neighbors helping neighbors.

The ASPCA has a comprehensive disaster preparedness page with information for birds, reptiles, and small animals like hamsters.

If all the information seems overwhelming, just start with the basics. Preparing even a little bit is better than not preparing at all. Having a plastic storage container with a week's worth of food, water, clean-up supplies (poop bags, litter), a few toys, a plastic tarp, and a blanket will be a great resource in an emergency.  When you have that prepared, use the lists on those websites and add a few more items.

Remember to keep some extra food and water on hand at all times, and make sure to buy fresh and use the older items.  If your pet requires medication, try to have an extra week or two on hand.  Um...you can do all this for you too! Remember the airplane warnings - put your oxygen mask on before helping your child. If you aren't safe and prepared for yourself, it's harder for you to help your pet.

If you always have a collar and ID tag on your pet, you've already started preparing.

For medical history, I have a folder of each pet's medical information. This is something I do as a regular part of caring for my pets, not specifically for emergency planning. In it I keep records of their vet visits, lab tests, and other important information like their microchip information. I leave the folder out for the pet sitter, but it would be something I'd grab in an emergency. On the front of the folder I have their photo and a one-page summary of all the important information. Here's an example of Bentley's health summary. When he was older he had a lot of health issues and it was important that anyone who was caring for him knew exactly what to do for him.

After reading the Ready.gov information, one thing I need to change is to have photos of both me and my husband with the pets. Right now, all I have is photos of the pets in their medical history folder.

If there's an emergency, you can be calm and know that you're prepared. Grab your pet, your supplies, and keep everyone safe. 

With just a little planning and effort, you can do a lot to be prepared for an emergency - not just for your pet, but for you  too. It can even be kind-of fun to shop for emergency supplies. When else do you get to buy those space-age-foil-blankets and glow-sticks?! And this is a perfect excuse to buy freeze-dried treats for your pet. They'll be great in your emergency supply container.

Adopt a less adoptable pet week Sept 17-25.

Petfinder has designated September 17 - 25 as "Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week. I think everyone has their own idea of what type of pet is "less adoptable" but less adoptable pets are often those who have special needs because of a physical or medical condition, are black, or are seniors.  I think those are some of the best pets, and we've adopted three of them!

We adopted Sammi, a three-legged, 10-year old cat from our local SPCA. She is an absolute joy and we've learned a lot about the needs of a three-legged cat by providing a safe and comfortable home for Sammi.

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We also adopted Raven, a black cat, from our local SPCA. She is one of the most fun cats I've had the pleasure of having in our family. Yes, it is difficult to get good photographs of her, but she's absolutely beautiful in real life and I'm honored she chose us when we visited the SPCA.  She's kept us on our toes with her fun kitty antics.



We adopted our Golden Retriever Bentley when he was 9 years old.  That's getting fairly old for a Golden Retriever, but little did we know he would share 7 wonderful years with us. That's right, he lived to 17 years old! You can read some of our tips for living with a senior dog on our website.



If you're considering adopting a pet, please don't overlook the "less adoptable" pets. The special-needs, dark colored, funny-looking, or senior pets make great pets if you have the time to learn about their special needs and the ability to provide the little extra care or attention they may need. Not only do you save the life of a special animal, you'll probably learn more about yourself, about the pet, and about others by caring for a special animal.

04 September 2011

Just another sunny Sunday

Sammi enjoying the sun


Sammi enjoying the sun


Sammi enjoying the sun

03 September 2011

Sammi sharing with Raven

Sammi and Raven together

I don't know what's gotten into my sister Sammi, but I like it. She usually guards her crinkle paper and doesn't let me stay on it, but today she was nice to me. I was resting on her crinkle paper and she got down from the couch and didn't chase me off. Even if she doesn't physically chase me off, she'll usually face me and give me alpha-kitty looks until I'm intimidated and leave. But tonight she plopped down just a few inches away from me with her back towards me. She was nice and let me share her crinkle paper until I felt like leaving. Maybe it's the tummy full of duck meat that's making her happy and lazy.

01 September 2011

Cooking duck for Sammi

Every few weeks I cook duck meat for Sammi.  It takes about 1-1/2 hours start to finish, but it seems to be helping her allergies to be on a duck & pea diet and she needs the extra meat in addition to the dry food to keep her digestive system happy.

First, I roast the meat, let it cool and drain. Duck meat is very fatty! I cook two breasts and two legs for each batch of food.

Duck breasts and legs

Next, I remove the skin and as much fat as I can.

skinnless duck meat

Then I cut the breast meat into chunks and pull the meat off the leg bones. It's surprisingly difficult to get the meat off the bone!

chopped duck meat

It all goes into a food processor...

meat in the food processor

and I add some of the roasting juice. You can see how fatty the juice is. I add only the bottom, dark liquid, not the fatty liquid.

adding roasting juice

It goes for a whirl in the food processor until it's finely chopped and starts forming clumps.ground meat

Then I package the meat in plastic wrap. Sammi eats 2-3 ounces of duck meat each day. I put enough meat for about 2 days in each packet. This batch made 8 packets of food.

3-day servings

I store the packets in the freezer and thaw each packet as needed in the refrigerator. Each batch makes enough duck meat for about 2 weeks and costs about $25.

freezer storage

And the most important step - Sammi gets to eat her duck meat.

Sammi eating duck meat