26 August 2012

Cat Postcards: Mainzer cats swimming fun

Mainzer Postcard Cats at Dentist

 We went to a postcard show today and found lots of great postcards featuring cats. The first one we'll share is by Alfred Mainzer who created a lot of pictures of cats in "human" situations. We thought this one was cute with all the kitties wearing swim suits. Look in the top-left corner, there's a black kitty swimming with his tail out of the water! Click the picture for a big version.

22 August 2012

Anipal treasure hunt. Can you help us get this stamp?

Monaco Feline Exposition stamp 2012 Mom likes postage stamps, especially stamps with cats. We saw this 2012 Feline Exhibition postage stamp from Monaco and we'd love to get one. We're hoping our anipals can put their paws together and help us. Maybe this could be something fun where we send a U.S. stamp to someone and we could get this stamp in return. We'd really like the stamp to be unused, but even a used one without too much postal cancellation ink all over it would be ok. If anyone has any idea about how we could get this stamp, please leave a comment or contact us on Twitter @IndulgedFurries.

21 August 2012

Old Postcards of Cats

We like finding old pictures of cats. Here are two old postcards mom found at a stamp show. We were drawn to this one because the big black kitty looks like me! It's titled "Lost" and the poor little chick is in the midst of a clowder of cats. Did you know the term for a group of cats is a clowder? Click on the image to make it bigger. 
Cat Postcard Lost
Cat Postcard Two's Company

 This one is from 1909. I think the second puppy could fit under the umbrella if they all snuggled together.

20 August 2012

I'm photogenic even when wet.

Bentley getting an indoor winter bath
In the winter I get a bath inside. Even though I don't like baths, I must admit mom is very good at giving them. The water is always warm and it's like a water massage against my skin. I was a little disappointed in Dad taking photos instead of helping me escape. But he helped me get a tiny bit of satisfaction when he took this unflattering photo of her backside while she was drying my backside!
Bentley drying after bath
This post was inspired by Bear. I sympathize with you Bear!

Indulged Hamsters: amuse-busche

Hamster's amuse-busche
An amuse-busche (french for a bite-sized appetizer) isn't just for humans dining in a fancy restaurant. In the Indulged Furry home, even the hamsters get the occasional  tasty bite, selected by the chef. Tonight, Tux and Snowy are getting small bits of roasted chicken, fresh carrot, and cooked basmati rice.

19 August 2012

Raven and the Hamsters

I set up the hamster play area, but Raven thought it would be better if she occupied the fort while the Snowy and Tux stayed out in their balls.
Raven and Snowy
Raven and Tux
When it was the hamsters' turn to use their playland, she took a little too much interest in Tux. No hamsters and no cats were harmed in the making of this video...but the video ends abruptly because Raven was about to pounce on Tux and I had to grab her. She ignores the hamsters in their cages and avoids them when they're in their balls, but it's just too tempting to try to catch one when they're loose in their playland!

Raven was annoyed that she had to stay in "kitty prison" behind a closed door on the other side of the house for about 30 minutes while Tux and Snowy each spent time in their playland.

18 August 2012

Hairballs again! Trying Feline Greenies Smartbites Hairball Control treats

Despite being brushed daily, Raven has been getting too many hairballs again. I got some Tomyln Laxatone Natural, which is a plant oil and fish oil based gel that helps ingested hair pass through the digestive system. I like the natural ingredients and Raven likes the taste. Unfortunately, she doesn't "love" it and sometimes she doesn't want to eat it. I don't want it to be an unpleasant experience where I have to squish it in her mouth, so I thought I'd try something else. Raven eating GreeniesSmartbite hairball treats
I got some Feline Greenies Smartbites  hairball control treats. The first three ingredients are chicken meal, brewers rice, and wheat. I feed a higher protein, grain-free diet and I don't consider the Greenies ingredients to be the healthiest for a cat. These aren't something I'd want to give every day, but if they help prevent Raven from getting hairballs, I'm willing to give them once or twice a week during July & August when she tends to have the most problems with hairballs. The active ingredient is petrolatum, which helps hair pass through the digestive system. They also contain some fibers that are supposed to help keep the digestive system moving.

Raven is not a treat eater, so there's always a good chance she will sniff them and walk away. To my surprise, Raven really likes these treats.  I put them in a bowl next to her food and let her discover them for herself. When I checked her bowl later, they were gone!

The instructions say to feed 12 treats all at once. The treats are small and there are enough pieces for 14 servings.  Since I'm also using the Laxatone Natural the package will last at least a month. Here are two photos of the treats. They're a little smaller than a dime, with a crunchy green outer later and a yellowish inner layer. The photos aren't very good, but you get the idea.
Greenies Smartbites hairball control treats Greenies Smartbites hairball control treats
Hopefully the brushing, Laxatone Natural, and Greenies treats will help control Raven's hairballs. If nothing else, she'll enjoy getting a little treat every week!

12 August 2012

Good news update about our neighbor kitty

Last week I shared how Tyler, the big kitty on the left, was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is one of the most common diseases of older cats. Today I went to visit and see how he's doing. His mom had very good news. The medication and prescription food are working very well. After having lost over 12 pounds (he was 25 pounds) before being diagnosed, his thyroid hormone levels are near normal and he had gained 1/2 pound. He actually needs less medication and the vet agreed that the prescription food was not necessary. The prescription food was a concern for his mom because it's very expensive and she has a difficult time making sure Tyler and Tippy don't eat each other's food.Tyler has a little way to go before he's healthy, but he's on the road to recovery.  He'll need to take medicine to control his thyroid hormone levels for the rest of his life, but hopefully he will do well and be my favorite, big, extra-toed kitty neighbor for a long time.

11 August 2012

This was a promising day, until...kitty bath!

Raven wet after bath
Raven asks, "What did I do to deserve a bath? The vet said I have healthy skin and fur, so why are you getting it wet? It's been a year since my last bath and I thought I was doing quite well grooming myself. I've even left some hairballs for you this week.

Mom: Exactly, Raven. An occasional bath helps keep your skin and coat healthy. More importantly, the bath will help get rid of some loose fur so you don't eat it while grooming and end up with more hairballs.  Don't worry, you'll be dry soon.

07 August 2012

Raven's Healthy kitty checkup

RavenAbout a week ago I went to the vet for my annual check-up.  I'm a very good patient and the only time I squirm is when the vet takes my temperature. The vet looked at my eyes, ears, teeth and felt all around my tummy. He also listened to my heart and lungs. He asked about the foods I eat and how my litter habits are. Everything checked out a-okay, but I do have a few minor things we need to stay on top of.  First on the list was my annual rabies vaccine. The vet is very good at giving shots, and I barely felt it.

We also talked about how often I get hairballs. If you remember, April 27 was Hairball Awareness Day, and mom prepared by brushing me a lot. I've had only three hairballs since then, but that's still too much. It's not good for my tummy to always be full of wads of fur and hairballs can cause serious medical problems. The vet combed me a little bit and said I have very healthy skin and a shiny coat. Then he suggested mom try some hairball prevention & treatment goo to help any hair I ingest slide through my system. She got Tomyln Laxatone Natural flavor, and to her surprise, I like the taste of it! I'm a very picky eater and I don't eat any treats so mom thought she'd have to smush it in my mouth. But I licked it off her finger.  She gives it to me 3 times a week and she's happy I enjoy eating it like a treat.

Next we talked about my broken tooth. I had a broken canine tooth when mom & dad adopted me and the vet said it's still ok. Eventually it will start to die and may get infected and then it will have to be pulled. But it's not giving me any problems so we'll just keep watching it for now. We joked a bit about getting a root canal. They do that for animals just like for humans. The vet said it's expensive and we could do it "if we had more money than sense".  We've had this vet for a long time, so he knows Mom would break out the credit card for whatever was in my best interest, but I don't think I need cosmetic dentistry. I think my broken tooth gives me extra character, and a little street cred (if I were ever allowed outside). That being said, if the vet said it was too risky to pull my tooth (broken bone or rupture into my nasal/sinus cavity), we would consider a root canal. Maybe I could get a gold cap to complement my gold eyes.

I'm a very lucky kitty to be healthy and I don't have to go to the vet for another year.

06 August 2012

Disappointing news about our neighbor kitty

Tyler and TippyA couple weeks ago my neighbor met me out front for a chat. Tyler, on the left, and Tippy are very friendly cats who I enjoy visiting and taking care of when their owner is away. As you can see, Tyler is a BIG boy. He's 25 pounds of love.  I'm sure he could lose a few pounds, but he's naturally a very large cat. His head is about the size of a softball. His sister Tippy is about 13 pounds and has the brightest blue eyes and softest fur you can imagine.

Unfortunately, she told me that Tyler was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. We have experience with hyperthyroidism, because our diabetic cat had it too. What was very sad to me is that she didn't realize Tyler had lost nearly half his body weight. She also said he was eating ravenously. I'm still befuddled by her not realizing something was wrong, as I wouldn't think it hard to notice that a 25 pound cat is now almost as light as his sister. Both weight loss and increased appetite are classic signs of hyperthyroidism. Putting my frustrations at her lack of attention aside, I talked with her about Tyler's medications and diet. The vet put him on a prescription diet, which the owner doesn't like because the food is very expensive and it's hard for her to keep Tippy and the dog from eating it. I gave her lots of information from a well-respected vet about the shortcomings of this prescription food so that she could talk to her vet about going back to regular food.

It's been a couple weeks since Tyler started medication, so I want to check in on him. He will be lucky to not have any long-term consequences from his high thyroid levels and weight loss. He's such a big love-bug. I'm hoping his condition has stabilized and he's doing well.

One of the reasons I write about my pets' health conditions is the hope that it will help another owner with their pet. I'm always encouraging people to be mindful of their pet's condition and behaviors. It's easy to watch their eating, peeing, pooping, activity levels, and keep tabs on their weight. When you notice something has changed, give your vet a call and ask if a check-up is needed. Getting early treatment for many diseases is usually cheaper than dealing with a severely ill pet, and early treatment may prevent long-term health consequences.

05 August 2012

First a rabbit, now kittens. When will mom learn?

RavenMy mom loves animals. Her love of animals means she wants to add another furry to our family, but she can't figure out what would be best for all of us. A couple years ago she got a chinchilla. I thought it was dinner! Don't worry, it wasn't harmed, but it had to go back to the store. About a year ago she tried to add another adult cat, but I was terrified of him. Realizing another adult cat wasn't an option, a couple months ago, mom decided it would be nice to get a rabbit. I met the rabbit and was ok with it, but they didn't adopt it because dad is seriously allergic to the hay that rabbits eat every day. And since rabbits need lots of time out of their cage, mom didn't think we could give a rabbit a happy life.

Ok, no chinchilla, no adult cat, and no rabbit. We're not ready for a new dog so mom and dad think a kitten would be an option. They talked to my vet, who said a kitten would be non-threatening and I'd get used to it.

Through a neighbor, mom contacted a man who had some kittens. Turns out he's a cattle rancher whose cat had kittens. After a couple short chats on the phone, he came over with three kittens. As soon as she arrived, mom & dad had a bad feeling. He thought we'd come to his truck and choose a kitten from the carrier. Mom said no, please bring them in. He brought the kittens in, but left his dog out in the truck with the windows down a few inches, insisting adamantly that the dog would be ok. Mom said we could put the dog in the laundry room, but he refused. Mom knew she wanted to keep this visit short - because she wasn't getting a good feeling about the situation and was concerned about the dog.

While mom & dad checked out the kittens, I looked and hissed. Then I went into a different room, came back to see if the fluffy little nightmares were still there, saw them and hissed again. I wasn't mean to them and I wasn't afraid of them, but I didn't want any of them in my house.

Mom and dad decided the kittens were too young and had not been properly socialized. The man was what mom calls "old school cattle rancher".  During the interactions with this man she never got a feeling that the kittens were important to him. Putting all the information together she realized his cattle are his main concern. He said his female cat got pregnant and after allowing her to raise the kittens for 6-8 weeks in a spare bedroom, the kittens had to go. Some kittens were given away two weeks ago, and mom knows that's too young to take kittens from their mom & littermates. They should stay together for at least 8 weeks, and 12 weeks is even better. He had 3 kittens left and as far as he was concerned, they were weaned and had overstayed their welcome in his house.

Mom thanked him for bringing the kittens over but said she didn't want to take any of them. The man was a bit surprised and tried to convince her to take one. They were ready to go! He told her it could be left in the bathroom all day with food, water, a litter box and it would be fine. Mom has a different idea about how kittens should be raised and kept saying no, these kittens wouldn't work for our family. On his way back to his truck she said she'd call him if she knew any friends who wanted a kitten, but the man said no, "they're going to the shelter today." Mom knows unsocialized kittens don't have a good chance in the shelter, but there wasn't anything she could do about that. She didn't even suggest to him that he get his female cat spayed because she knew it would fall on deaf ears. After all, his vet comes only when one of the cows needs serious care, so why would he bother spaying his cat?!  ARGH!!!!

This 15-minute nightmare of invading kittens cane to an end, and I escaped another attempt to add to our furry family. I love that mom has a big heart for animals and wants to give another furry a loving home. I also appreciate that she won't add anyone to the family who will upset me or be a bad match for our family. But I hope I'm finally able to convince her that I'm the only furry she needs (the hamsters don't count) and I'd be happy to be the most indulged cat ever!

04 August 2012

Hamster stretches

Tux woke up and did a few good stretches before starting his evening. The front paw wave and back leg extension prepared him for running in his ball.

02 August 2012

A new hamster joined our family

Snowy HamsterA while ago I shared how Mom almost adopted a rabbit for our home. She bought all the supplies in preparation for getting the rabbit, then realized it wouldn't be healthy for Dad to have hay in the house. He is very allergic to grasses and the hay dust would make him sick.

So, everything had to be returned to the pet supply store. While making a return, they saw some really cute hamsters. Knowing Dad can live with hamsters, they thought that might be a better addition to our family.  They went back the next day at lunch to look at the hamsters again, but all the hammies were sleeping.  So, they went back after dinner hoping the hammies would be awake and they could find out if any of them were as friendly as they were cute.

Mom & Dad talked to an employee at the store and said they were looking for a friendly hamster. Our hamster Tux is nice and likes being petted, but he doesn't like being held. The employee said the big, cute hamsters are all very friendly, but if we want a friendly hamster, the best one they have is a female they have in back. She was brought in after having a litter of hamsters and the owner didn't want her anymore. Mom asked to see that hamster.

The hamster is white with red eyes. She's very friendly and enjoyed crawling around in mom's hands and arms. Mom & Dad decided to adopt her and bring her into the Indulged Furries family.

They got her a big cage, a ball, and some hide-out places. We already have food and treats for Tux.

Snowy's cageThis is Snowy's cage. It has 6 levels and lots of place to explore. Snowy doesn't think it's big enough and she has to come out every night to explore the house in her ball.