Monday, April 30, 2018

Um, Jack, this is not for you...

Despite my overwhelming love for my boy, not everything is for or about him.. but don't tell him that.

Muffin did very well on her dental. She still has all of her teeth. I swear dental health has more to do with genetics than anything else... Jack has shown no other signs of shivering. I remember him doing it once before in the past, but I don't remember when. Just when I was convinced he was shivering he stopped. The vet said it could be any number of things but chances are that he was just old and as such is prone to being cold - like us humans. But I am keeping an eye on him.

So .. the photo above.. um.. yeah, about that.

If all goes well you should be seeing that basket again tomorrow.. Wish me luck

Friday, April 27, 2018

Why yes, I am paranoid, but I have reason to be

My darling Jack is coming up on sixteen, he is prone to urinary crystals, he has blocked three times, and he is now hypothyroid. So when I sat next to him yesterday afternoon and he appeared to be shivering I just about panicked. Nothing good comes from a shivering cat.

I watched him for a few minutes to be sure he was doing it and then decided to snuggle him to try to give him some of my body heat. Still, he shivered.

So, I got up and found my thermometers. I have two for cats and I didn't know if they both worked so I bought both of them to him and attempted to get a reading. He was NOT a fan. The first one read 98.0 (normal is 101ish) so I wondered if it had a good battery, so I took a second reading with the other. He was even less of a fan this time it was 97.5.

Now I'm taking stock. I thought of getting a glucose reading (and I so should have because the vet did and charged me $10 for it) but I was distracted and didn't do it. I got him some treats. He ate several of them but left bits behind - which is not like him. I thought I would break out a can of cat food, something he rarely can resist. He was very happy to have it and dug right in, but stopped after about four bites.

He was eating. He was interactive. He was happy but he was shivering. I had a low reading on two thermometers. I could sit and watch him or I could take him to the vet for a once over. Because of his age and health issues, I chose the latter. If it had been Muffin or Eli I probably would have chosen to watch instead.

We get to the vet and he is active and his charming self.  Their reading on him was also 98, so I opted to have the vet give him a once over. She didn't see anything glaring and gave me options to give pain meds in case he was in pain (she didn't see signs of it during the exam but it could be an option) do blood work to see if his kidneys were shutting down (but if they were shutting down to the point he would be shivering he wouldn't be as interactive) or bring him home and monitor. I opted for the later.

He got home, he DEMANDED more cat food (which I gave him) (and he ate most of it) and did a walk around the house to make sure all was okay at the house and then he went off to bed to sleep off all of the 'back door intrusions'.  Sorry buddy, but I'd rather be safe than sorry (at least now I know my thermometers are working)

Muffin is going to the vet today for a dental.. wish us luck

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A guest review of Weruva Cat food with Stilwell #ChewyInfluencer

This month's Blogger Influencer Program (where they send me a product in exchange for an honest review) offerings included Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Cat Food Pouches. Since I was going to Kansas for BlogPaws I thought I would send this month's selections to my friend Amy for her kitties to try. Stillwell offered to be our "guinea cat"; he so generously offered to take one for the team 😻

This box of food pouches came in a rainbow of colors so that it made for a fun photo. There are six different flavors and two pouches of each. If you like to feed a rotation diet, this would be perfect. The ingredient list is not bad. They aren't free of plant-based ingredients, but they are minor. They also have fish as an ingredient in a number of the pouches, so if you have a kitty that is sensitive, then this is not for you.

But, how does it taste?

Lowenstein showed up during the taste testing and poor Stilwell had to share. He was not amused to have to share his snack and in the end, they licked the plate clean. I'd say it was easily four paws up.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Blogging conference: When did Travelin Jack talk to Cupcake?

The conference ended last night and the cat ladies sat around chatting for way too long in the lobby of the hotel. No one wanted to wrap it up and call it a night because most everyone was headed home in the morning. It was so nice to spend time with other advocates of cats - each in their own individual way and it is was so nice to honor that and talk and learn and listen.  I am very sad that it is over but I am so looking forward to going home..

I will not be headed there right away. I packed a few extra days to spend time with Lisa and Amy and Harvey and Lowenstein and Evelyn and Stilwell and Maxwell and Faraday and Allie. It is a shame we aren't all closer together and could someone please get on inventing the transporter, please.

But sometime during the past few days, it has become painfully apparent that Travelin Jack spent a little time with Cupcake and they must have talked about the awesome things that usually come in Starbucks cups (aka whipped cream)

Jack then thought a wardrobe change was appropriate since the sponsorship we received from Chewy doesn't include the rest of the trip, but I didn't bring his purple collar so I offered him my tiger eye bracelet. He wanted to show it off on the monster cat bed that our friend Amy Jo offered us because she thought her puppy might chew on it.

A fond farewell to all our old friends and our new ones. May you all have safe journies home and may we all be together again soon.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Blogging conference: day two

It is way too late, and I am way too tired, but I thought I would check in with you all and let you know I'm still kicking. 🐱 There is something uniquely special about hanging out with people who get you, who are into the same things you are. Tonight a number of the cat bloggers went out to eat at a local BBQ joint and had a wonderful time talking about cats and blogging and the things we have learned and vendors of products we have met.

I am really enjoying being here, even if the furry hoard at home is giving me major guilt trips for not being at their beck and call

Seriously, how did I ever leave the house?
and yes, that is snow back there. it is still coming down according to the Catman

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Blogging conference: day one

Travelin Jack is exhausted. He had a very full day today; meeting brands, being social, being cute, and catching up with other blogging friends. While we arrived on Tuesday, one night of sleep in a strange bed does not quite make up for the exhaustion that comes from traveling. Make note, if you want to go to a blogging conference show up early so you can be well rested so you can hit the ground running.

We got lots of swag and wonderfully enough most of it we can use. The question becomes just how much of it is going to fit in our suitcase to make it home - we'll see

We have met some new friends and found some exciting new products and have interesting things to share with you in the upcoming weeks. You can check out my Twitter feed, Facebook page, and Instagram account to see some of what we have been up to.

(Technically this is not a sponsored post, but since I was sponsored to get here, I wanted to put in the disclaimer anyway)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Travelin Jack is heading to #BlogPaws with @Chewy

I'm flying out tomorrow to Kansas to meet up with other cat people and to attend BlogPaws. For their tenth anniversary they have partnered up with Chewy™ and in doing so they offered a sponsorship opportunity to a number of bloggers to go and blog and talk about the conference on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. (Amy, you will be proud, Grammarly reminded me to use the Oxford comma)

Technically, this is not a sponsored post because it isn't required, but I wanted to share what I am up to and what is going to be coming up. I've been trying to spend a lot of time snuggling the kitties because I'll be away for a while, but I am pretty sure they have no idea what is going on.. although I think they are starting to figure it out

I've been to BlogPaws before and I'm going again! Join me!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Cat Owner Questions: What is this black lump in my cat's ear?

Several of my cats are prone to getting these types of black bumps in their ears. I have had a vet look at them several times and each time I was told I didn't need to worry about it but they never really explained to me what they were and what I could do to prevent or get rid of them.

So just what are these black growths in my cat's ears and what can I do about it?

These small black or purple bumps or growths are usually just a cyst. They form over the cerumen glands in the cat's ear that produce cerumen aka "ear wax" to help keep the ear cleaned out. Sometimes those glands become impacted and the gland keeps producing wax which produces those little bumps you will see.

Why do cats (and us humans) even have earwax/cerumen? Earwax has several important jobs. First, it protects and moisturizes the skin of ear canal, preventing dry, itchy ears. Second, it contains special chemicals that fight off infections that could hurt the skin inside the ear canal. Finally, it acts as a shield between the outside world and the eardrum. When dust, dirt, and other things enter your ear, the earwax traps them so they can't travel any further.¹

What can you do about the cysts? Getting an ear cleaner and cleaning out your cat's ear on a routine schedule can help. If regular cleanings don't help, or if you decide to do nothing - because admit it cleaning cat ears is no fun - the cysts can start to block the cat's ear and causing excessive wax build up or even blocking the ear altogether. If they get bad, your vet might prescribe a medicated product for their ears. Jack had one that was causing him to rub his head a lot and the vet prescribed me an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal ointment (Maxi-Otic) that cleared them up pretty quickly.

So you don't really need to worry about finding one or two, but you'll want to keep an eye on it. If you want to clean your cat's ears it should help but if it doesn't and they keep showing up you will want to talk to your vet at your cat's next checkup.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The post about raw fed cat poop

Momma is gonna talk about my poop again, isn't she?

The other day I gave my cats a couple of cans of wet food as a treat. I do this from time to time, mostly because we have failed to thaw out enough raw food, but also because I pretend it is a little nutritional insurance. We do not know everything about nutrition and even less about feline nutrition, so feeding many different sources of protein and different recipes gives a little bit of coverage nutritionally, just in case.

and my cats adore it. They go insane when they hear a can pop and act like kids do when there is birthday cake.

When I do, there is some evidence of it in the litter box. but never so clearly as what I scooped the other day. I got three perfect examples of poop from when they ate raw food morphing into poop from when they ate canned. Raw food produces stool that is very dry, crumbles easily, doesn't pick up much litter and barely smells. Canned food produces stools that are wetter, smellier and bulkier. Just look:

Even if they could prove to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that raw food held no nutritional benefits for cats over canned, I would still feed it for the poop. There is never a stink bomb in my house, there is far less stool produced because most of the food is utilized by the body, and I use less litter because it doesn't stick to the stool and I don't throw it away.

Since I have seen first hand the dramatic improvement in cats when being fed raw including diabetic cats with reduced glucose levels, cats with uncontrollable diarrhea clearing up almost overnight, cats with urinary crystals no longer suffering, not sure there is anything that would get me from feeding raw.

Monday, April 9, 2018

You bought this for me, right?

We bought a new rug for the living room and we put it down late last week. I have seen Fleurp sitting in the middle of it several times, often grooming herself as if she believes the center decoration highlights her awesomeness.

I think I agree with her.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

A box is a box is a box

Muffin has always loved a box. No box was safe from her investigations in years past but lately, it has been harder and harder for her to get in and out of them because of her arthritis.

When I ordered something online the other day I put the empty box with the recycling to be taken out later and Muffin loved it. I have caught her sitting in it several times. I would leave it there, but I know as soon as I decide to do that she won't use it anymore 🐱

Although, I will make it a point to store other boxes like this in the future.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Let Sleeping Cats Lie #lifewithcats

I walked in on this the other day and I decided to go find someplace else to sit so they could continue their nap.
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