Monday, December 28, 2009

Max on ... New Year's Revolutions


I know you think I spelled resolution wrong, but I didn't. I think it's time for a New Year's Revolution and that's the word I meant.

"Resolutions" seem to have lost their umph. To make a New Year's Resolution used to mean something akin to a promise... something that you'd never break.

Now, New Year's Resolutions, such as (1) eat vegetables instead of chocolate, (2) give up smoking, or (3) exercise every day, seem to last until the following Tuesday or in some cases only until the end of the Rose Bowl. They just don't mean what they used to mean.

This year, I challenge you to a New Year's Revolution. Don't choose one of those trite physical promises. Instead, choose a character trait you've been meaning to shape and promise yourself to do something about it this year... either increase or decrease said character trait for the year. Commit yourself to recognizing that you will do well at times and you won't do well at others. It doesn't matter as long as you don't give up.

Are you with me?

Throughout the year, you'll stick with your work on the character trait of your choice and make progress where you can. For example, you know for certain that your food human will feed you every day at a certain time. Invariably, you get nervous about 15 minutes before the appointed time and start meowing about it. A good New Year's Revolution for you could be to work on patience or trust. Give up the meowing and simply wait for the food, secure in knowing that your food human will always feed you.

Personally, my New Year's Revolution is to keep pace with whatever conversation is occurring. You see, I tend to jump ahead and interrupt. My New Year's Revolution is to work on that... waiting my turn in conversations.


Okay... What is your New Year's Revolution?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Max on .... Catmas


Just a short post today to wish all of you a very Merry Catmas. I should say something profound at a time such as this, but I just want to wish the very best to all my critter pals. Wishing you a very .....


happy

><

healthy

><

heavenly

><

hilarious

><

hip

><

hopeful

><

and

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harmonious

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Holiday.


.......................Merry Catmas, Everyone...................


Monday, December 21, 2009

Max on... decorating for Christmas (to tree or not to tree)


Do you know that HH (my food human, Her Highness) has never had a Christmas tree since I entered her life. She was probably wise. I can't pretend outrage on this one. I mean if she brought a tree into the condo, it would have confused me.

I'm not sure what I would do. I suspect I would first try to climb it and if that failed, I would try to chew on the branches.

If you decorated it, you'd just be asking for trouble. I bet I could clean the decorations off a reasonably-sized Christmas tree in a mere 10 minutes. So, I guess HH figured this out for herself and decided to avoid the mess.

She does put smaller decorations out on tables and counters, though. You know, she puts them on the tables, I'm "trained" to stay off. (Yes, I hear you snickering because you think I get up on those tables when she's not home. Of course you're wrong about that. Hee Hee!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Max on...Holiday Frenzy: Does it make you want to hide?

Hi there Critter Pals.... Is the holiday hustle and bustle getting you down? Do you feel all frayed and frenzied?

Take heart.... it'll be over in a week and a half. That tree will probably be in the house for two more weeks. The humans usually leave the tree up until after Christmas but the frantic pace will slow before that.

But let me remind you of the best part of all the events... the one I like the most... One morning. (or evening in some households) those humans will open their presents. Yes, ... papers... and... ribbons.......... everywhere!! Yipee.... Nothing like jumping into piles of crinkly paper and ribbons...

So, take heart. You can make it through the frantic running of the vacuum and the dusting and straightening and the yelling when you try to mess the tidiness to a liveable level again. Your day with the ribbons and the crumpled paper is just around the corner. And, there just might be something special for you under the tree, too.

Happy last week before Christmas to all of you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Are you having fun? Mousey Mouse is... Join in


Tis the season to by jolly. Find something that makes you happy and do it today!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Max on.... JOY!


I am prone to unmitigated joy at times. I express it through head bumps, nosetaps, purring, and rubbing - mostly against human ankles and calves because I am short and can't reach any higher.

I find the most joy in being useful to others. Here are the ways I help and you might want to give these ideas as gifts to those who are important to you.

1. I listen. Whether you're reciting poetry or ranting about someone who "done ya wrong," I am there to lend an ear.

2. I keep your secretes. I don't pass on what you are ranting about. Your purging is safe with me.

3. I am a foot warmer, knee warmer, lap warmer, and you-name-it warmer. I'm your guy to keep you warm.

4. I am a companion. When you walk in the door, I'm a presence to greet you. When you need to talk to yourself, I'm someone to pretend you're talking to in order to keep from looking crazy.

5. I'm amusing. Sometimes I do funny things without intending to. For example, one day, I came running to see HH. I landed on the coffee table full of books and magazines. Instead of sticking the landing, I skidded the length of the coffee table and all the books and magazines ended on the floor at the far end of the table with me on top of the pile. It was not my finest, most graceful moment, but HH got a good laugh out of it.

6. An, I am a comfort when you're feeling blue. I may not always be able to accomplish all my goals, but I do try to make life better for you.....................

Joy

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Max on...What to give your food human for Christmas.


I always want to give Her Highness something nice for Christmas, but alas, I don't have money or a credit card -- I'm a cat, after all. Cats don't have riches.

Not to get too "smaltzy," but she takes pretty good care of me, so I'd like to do something at least once a year to make her happy. I mean, think of how many hours of petting I get every year and think how she never misses -- I mean NEVER misses feeding me. And, she never comes in the front door without calling my name. Man, a little tear is forming in my eye as I write about this.

So, you can readily see why I want to do something special for her. Here are some of the ideas I've come up with. Please add to the list.

1. On Christmas Day, I'm going to wake her up gently by walking up and down her back. That's called a "massage."

2. When I'm writing, I'm going to keep my work area tidy, so HH won't have to clean it up before she works. Mainly this means I'll swish my tail across the puter keys a couple of times to get rid of any sheddings.

3. I'm going to refrain from trying to jam my head into her water glass when she leaves it on the end table unattended.

4. And, I'll definitely curb my behavior of putting my paw on the lip of her glass and trying to tip it over -- although I do love watching the water, or better yet red wine, run over the edge of the table.

5. I'll also sit quietly beside her on nights when she eats her dinner on the couch. Instead of trying to rake a bit off her plate, I'll keep my paws to myself.

6. And... this is a biggie... when I have a hairball or an upset stomach, I will run like crazy to get to the tile in the bathroom or kitchen so HH won't have to clean the carpet.

There! That's my list. I think they are all worthy gifts for HH. What are you going to give your food human for Christmas?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Max on...helping your cat adapt to a new environment

The cat in the novel HH is writing found himself abruptly pulled from his home after the trauma of finding a dead body (yes, her novel is a murder mystery) in the office.

This got me to thinking about how I would feel if, for some reason, HH and I had to evacuate Home Sweet Home abruptly. I imagine I would not be happy.

I'm not good at sudden change. HH's novel cat (Max is his name too -- how clever of HH) pretty much takes the evacuation in stride, but he has visited at the house they evacuate to; so bold as can be, he walks right in and is good to go.

If HH moved me abruptly, we'd probably evacuate to a motel or something full of the scent of dogs and cats who have gone before. That would just freak me out. Here are some things your food humans and HH can do to make an abrupt change easier on these ol' nerves of ours:

1. As a food human, try not to freak out. When you freak out, we do, too. We pick up on those feeling you have. If you're agitated, we will be too. So keep your angst to yourself if you can. Now, if petting us helps you -- you know by lowering your blood pressure or agitation during the stressful time -- by all means, have at it. I'm of the opinion that there's no such thing as too much petting.

2. Don't forget to pack our things, too. Take our medical records, food, dishes (water and food), leash, litter and litter pan, and toys (don't forget the toys).

3. Be sure to pack at least one comfort item for us. For me, that would be a t-shirt with HH's scent on it or, of course, one of my favorite quits will suffice.

4. Transport us in the carrier. If you are going any distance, it is best to transport us in a carrier. We don't feel very secure if we are rambling around the car or van. Instead, we feel that we are in peril at all times and might start howling. I know food humans find that distracting, so use the carrier and stop occasionally to see if we need water or need to use the litter.

5. When you get to the new destination, introduce us to the new environment one room at a time. For example, HH always starts by putting my litter, my water and food bowl, and me in a bathroom in a new environment. This gives me time to adapt in a small place that is not overwhelming to me. After a few hours or a day, she opens the door, this leaves the option open for me to decide if I want to come out and see the rest of the place or if I feel better staying put in my small environment. If we are staying a while, I usually come out on my own time, sniff the place thoroughly and then settle in.

These are the methods HH uses to move me from spot to spot. What techniques does your food human use when you go to visit others or you go on vacation?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Max on ... murder most foul.

Listen up critter pals. As you know, HH (I call my food human Her Highness for those of you reading my blog for the first time) was writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month. Well, what I didn't tell you is that I had a small part in it.

To set up this excerpt... HH named the main character Angie. Angie has a cat named Max... named after me, of course. So, in this excerpt, fictional Max is sitting on the couch swaying to the music on the CD player as Angie, is working on some writing beside him.

Suddenly, Max hears a thud and jumps to attention.

"What is it boy?" Angie asks.

Max runs to the door to the work area downstairs and Angie follows close on his heels. She pauses. "Down there?" she asks. She looks down at Max as if he should answer.

Finally, after he swats at the door a couple of times, she turns the handle and opens it a crack to see if she can hear what drew his attention.

That's all Max needed. He sticks his paw in the opening and pulls the door open just enough to squeeze through. "No, Max," Angie says "Don't go down there. Remember what happened last time...."


So, critter pals, what does Max find downstairs and does he live to tell about it?

You'll just have to wait for the book to come out to find out the answers to those questions.... Or you can make up your own ending in the comments section.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Max on... Gratitude




It's just another week until Thanksgiving here in the United States, so I thought we better spend a little time making our thankfulness list. Gratitude is an important part of life. So many times, we dwell on what is wrong in our lives. During this time of year, it's refreshing to list the good stuff. So here's my list. Feel free to add to it.


I'm grateful for...

1. Her Highness... without her my life would have been a drag.

2. ...tuna juice.... definitely!

3. ... tape measures.... When HH would drag one on the floor, I jumped and pounced. I'm a cheap date, that's for sure.

4. ... my critter pals.

5 . ...air conditioning... AC is a must for us Florida cats...

6. ... hugs. I do love hugs.

Now, you add to the list.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Max on...The Holidays and Food for Your Pets

Okay, so the holidays are coming, critter pals. You know what that means, don'cha? Yep. It means extra treats. A little turkey under the table is expected and greatly anticipated. Part of a baking powder biscuit that falls on the floor is great for pooches. I know you guys snarf it down. That's for sure.

Us kitties are a little more particular but not all that much more. We're prone to gain weight also. That's the downside of all the holiday eating for food humans and their pets.

In January, with the holidays behind us, we start that New Year's Resolution Diet--just like our food humans do. If we all ate like animals, that yucky diet might not be necessary this year.

I'm not talking about the animals ("anipals" to some of you) that we are. We're domesticated and many of us have taken on the eating habits of our food humans. It is a delicious way to live, but the extras have lead us astray.

No, when I say we should eat like animals, I'm talking about the animals in the wild. Granted, they have to hunt their own food, but have you noticed that our pals are not chubby. No, they are sleek because they only eat what they need for fuel and they run through the woods like the wind.

We could learn a thing or two from them and maybe we'd lower the frequency of feline and canine diabetes and obesity in the process.

Think about it, critter pals, and leave a comment on how you plan to you stay slim during the holidays and any diet and nutrition tips you have for others in 2010. Yay!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Holiday Stress.... it's coming soon....

For all of you humans, the holidays bring on a bit of stress ( for some of you ... alot). The pets in the household are not that different. They feel it too. Here are some stressors to watch for and some of the things you can do for your feline and canine pals.

Many of the upcoming special events, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, include a big family meal with lots of special dishes. In the confusion of the family gathering for each of these events, it's easy for pets to find themselves alone with food that is left out.

Now, I don't want to rain on the parade of my critter pals, but it's all too easy for us kitties to find some turkey bones or a bowl of dressing. And you pups can flash a beautiful orchestrated long look at Uncle Joe or Cousin Charles and elicit a treat or two too many from them. It might be fun while grabbing that wayward bite, but later the tummy ache is not such a good thing.

Stress... HH gets stressed out during the holidays, so why shouldn't I? Some of my stress is naturally derived from picking up on what she's feeling, and part of it is just because our routine changes drastically during the holidays, and I'm not all that fond of change.

Now your pet may like change, but some of us don't like to ride in the car and many of us don't like to visit in other homes. Dogs seem a bit more adaptable on all of these points, but it's wise to watch for stress in them as well.
On the holidays, you might arrange to leave us home so we can stick to our favorite routine.

Decorations are beautiful, but they can be a hazard. If your pet has never encountered a Christmas tree, it may become overly excited or overly curious about the decorations you put up. Sometimes, they'll only assume they are toys and bat at them. Others might un-decorate the tree in quick order. Watch for the curiosity signs and pet-proof your tree.

In summary, don't forget Fido and Fluffy during these holiday events and always watch out for their safety.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Max... on Halloween

The Arch

I am so excited... my whiskers start twitching uncontrollably at odd times.

"Why?" you ask.

'Tis the season of kids wearing sheets, princess outfits, or monster suits. They come to the door in this the season of the black cat.

Now, I know that I'm not a black cat, but I do admire them during the Halloween season, and I have this habit of pretending that I am one.

I am the Trick or Treat cat for my household. I start early. I practice and I've got the moves down. I could be a black cat if my fur would cooperate.

Two weeks prior to the great night, I start practicing The Arch. It's the classic pose of the black cat. Backlight it with the moon .... and that's the essence of Halloween.

So, on the big night (Halloween) our routine will go something like this:

1. HH (Her Highness) fills a basket with those little candy bars. When the doorbell rings, I sprint to answer it. By the time HH gets to the door with ther basket, I'm...

2. in the stance..... the Trick or Treaters admire me. HH lets them pet me. I melt from the affection.

3. Happily we return to HH's chair to wait for the doorbell to ring again.

It might not sound like excitement to all of you. To me.... I love it.

Happy Holloween to all my critter pals.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Max on.... modern conveniences


There are many modern conveniences that make our feline lives ever so much better. I thought it would be fun to make a list. I'll start ... then you add your favorites as well...

1. Automatic water dispenser... It's always good to know the water bowl will never me empty.

2. Automatic feeding dish... It's equally as comforting to ensure that the food dish is always at the ready.

3. Toys containing catnip... it's always wonderful to disguise catnip in a toy. What an invention!!

Your turn. What are your favorite modern inventions or conveniences.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mousey loves a good book...

There's nothing like sitting under a tree and reading a favorite book.
Ahhhhhhhhhhh.... the good life!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Viva la difference - dogs and cats at play


Ever think about the differences between the likes and dislikes of dogs and the likes and dislikes of cats. WE (the cats) definitely enjoy some of the same things as dogs...like chasing balls, being scratched behind the ears, and sitting on laps.

But there are many joys of being a dog that we don't share, such as playing Frisbee in the park, feeling a 60-mile-per-hour breeze in our ears as we hang our heads out the car window, and jogging on a leash through the park. No need for dogs to fear that we are about to encroach on their favorite canine activities and here's why...

First of all, there aren't enough hours in the day to make room for those activities. We'd have to substitute Frisbee and jogging time for nap time. Fat chance of that happening. We don't give up nap time for anything.

Second, we'd have to increase grooming time appreciably. I can only imagine the mess our fur and feet would incur from jogging through puddles in the park.

And third, even if we wanted to participate in those dog activities, would our food humans comply. After all, they chose us for our in-the-house, no fuss, no mess catness.

If they wanted a dog, they'd have a dog.

Viva la difference..... Am I right?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Doody Calls

Her Highness brought an ad home from lunch the other day. Her friend thought I might want to blog about it. I did chuckle when I saw it.

There’s a company in our town called Doody Calls. You know what they do? Yep, people hire them to pick up the doody in the yard or in whatever area they want tidied up.

I dare say, have we evolved to a state where doody is a profession? On one hand, I suppose it’s grand because as long as we have pets there will be an unlimited supply, ensuring job security. But is it a viable profession…? I mean, when times are tough, such as right now, wouldn’t people just buy a cheap pooper scooper and save the rest of the Doody Call money to go to the movies?

And, what do you think that mother or father has to talk about on career day at school?

I suppose there’s a need for it in areas where people aren’t careful, but isn’t it a bit irresponsible of those food humans who don’t scoop the poop themselves?

And, doesn't it make you wonder who's in charge of the world when a dog can gaze out the window from their air conditioned living room and watch humans picking up their doody for them....?

(Just some of my random thoughts on the topic).

MOL… I’ve heard of it all now. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Max on... Feng Shui (aarrrgh!)

"Feng shui? Oh NOooooooooo!"
Okay kitties. I need your expertise. What is it with this Feng Shui stuff? Her Highness or HH as I fondly call her (that’s my food human, for those of you who don’t know) is into this Feng Shui phase and it is driving me crazy. We’re writers, so naturally books and papers get comfortably piled around the condo. So, what’s so wrong with that?

I applaud the practice of “piling” for several reasons. First, I think it makes us look productive and creative. Second, none of it’s in my way. If a pile of books or paper is sitting in my nap spot, I just knock them off the desk, table or chair. No problem – it takes little effort on my part. And, third, having a few papers and books on the floor just makes my landing more interesting when I jump down from the desk.

But noooooooooo, HH can’t seem to get with the program here. It has something to do with serenity… a calm environment… blah, blah, blah. Well, when we first moved here, we had that Feng Shui environment and there was nothing much for me to rearrange in the wonderful way that only a cat can rearrange.

So, here we are in this battle. There’s a yard sale in a week and a half, and HH is furiously working to gather stacks and boxes and piles of stuff to try to sell to other people, so our environment will be devoid of distractions. So, our days lately go something like this: HH puts a pile of books or fabric or whatever out to be added to the yard sale, and I frantically fling my body onto the pile to save it from a wrongful demise. Then, she brings out another pile and I fling my body on it. But, “aarrrrgh” that leaves the first pile unprotected.

Oh-oh…. I’m losing ground….

Suggestions…..? I’m shedding like crazy over here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Max on... Care and Training of Your Food Human -- Bedroom Access


"How to Train Your Food Human to Make Room for You on the Bed"
If your fondest desire is to snuggle down each night with your food human, here are some tips to help you achieve that goal:

Make it into the room

First you must make it into the bedroom. Many times food humans shut their kitties out of the bedroom at night due to their pesky behaviors, such as attacking feet during the night, pouncing on stomachs, and sleeping on faces. Once you're out critter pals, it's a difficult but not impossible task to get back in. Try some of these tactics:

1. Show that you'll be a good nighttime companion. If you are shut out, request entrance quietly. A soft mournful meow or two from outside the door just might do the trick.

2. Another tactic is to work on the sympathy vote. Park yourself right outside the closed door -- even better sleep plastered up against it -- so when your human opens the door in the morning you will fall into the room. This will show your devotion to your food human. One morning, you just might hear, "He's been such a good kittie all these nights, I think I'll give him a trial back in the bedroom tonight."

3. If nice tactics don't work, get a running start and hurl yourself repeatedly against the door. When your human opens the door, scoot in and quickly scurry under the bed or dresser just out of reach. Stay there until things settle down for the night.

Once your in, how to train your human how to allow you, in all your cat glory, to stay in:

1. Each night when your human lets you in, quickly find a spot at the end of the bed and out of the way. Curl up and go to sleep. Despite your urge to pawty all night, this is your only opportunity to prove to your human that your being in the room will be no trouble. Restrain that pawty urge.

2. Inch your way a little closer to your human over a series of nights. Eventually, curl up behind the knees or at the small of the back. Research from the Max Institute for the Research of Human Behavior has shown that humans like a little non-intrusive, warm pressure at those points. It seems to be quite reinforcing to humans. If you handle this right you just might seal the bedroom deal for yourself and ensure that your human invites you in each night.

Don'ts of Nighttime Behavior:

1. Raise a ruckus.

2. Use any part of your human as a scratching post.

3. Howl or groan (purrs are allowed)

4. Run about the room.

Sweet Dreams... feel free to share you comments.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Max's Book of the Month: Dewey by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter


Critter pals, I have just finished the best book. It's Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat who Touched the World. The story is told through the eyes of Vicki Myron, the librarian.

The book is charming, endearing, and all cat. I, for one, love the fact that Dewey was a cat and remained all cat throughout this true story. Myron with Bret Witter told the story of Dewey and, in the telling, remained true to Dewey. If you read the book, you'll know what I mean.

I don't want to say too much because I want you to enjoy the story for yourself, but Myron finds a kitten in the return book slot at the Spencer Iowa Public Library one cold morning. "Dewey wins the heart of not only the librarian... but the patrons of the library." And he goes on to become known to and win the hearts of people from the town of Spencer, the state, the country, and even wins international fame.

This book chronicles his life. He's not extraordinary, it's just that he's extraordinary at being a cat. He does us proud, fellow kitties. For example, Dewey only likes to play with balls that contain catnip. When a special child brings him a gift of a ball with not one nip of catnip in sight, Myron prays that he'll get excited about the present so the child will not be hurt. Dewey, of course, intuitively rises to the occasion and not only plays with the ball, but tosses and chases it to exhaustion.

This is a story beyond cathood. It tells of the importance of relationships and how one small critter could change the lives of those around him.

I'm going to break out and give my first 4-paw rating to this wonderful book. There is a full version of this non-fiction book as well as a 40-page version for young readers. Enjoy this great read.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mousey Mouse spends the day boating.

Mousey's off to have a great day. You have one too.
(drawing by Fred Latimer)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Max on... Care and Training of Your Food Human -- "Feed Me" (part 2)

Who has my treat?
Part 1 of my "Feed Me" series was all about how to get food into your bowl at the exact moment that you want it. Did the techniques work?

In Part 2, we're going to address non-bowl food or food commonly known as the elusive snack or treat. Personally, if I had my way, I'd beg for and scarf down all the threats I could eek out of Her Highness. However, I've found gluttonous behavior to be counterproductive.

Essentially, if you make too much of a "pig" (no offense pig pals out there) of yourself, your food human will notice, become concerned and cut you off from treats, snacks and, in extreme cases, a portion of your regular food. So, having all the treats you want might bring momentary satisfaction...but you have to consider the consequences.

Another thing you must consider when overdoing the treats is your health. I know we don't like to think of that in the frenzy of the snack moment, but restraint is required for two reasons:

1. Obesity in cats is very dangerous. It can lead to diabetes, thyroid conditions, lethargy, heart problems... just about all the things that happen to humans when they overindulge can happen to us. So moderation is the key.

2. Obesity can also lead to the vet telling your food human to cut out the snacks altogether. So, a tip on how to train your food human to keep on giving you snacks is to make sure you don't overindulge. I know it takes some powerful restraint, but keep a handle on it yourself so they don't cut off your snacks.

Some of you might have the opposite problem. Maybe your food humans don't remember to give you the occasional treat often enough. Here are a couple of tips on how to keep the treats coming on a regular basis:

1. Tricks..., choose a little routine of tricks and practice the routine so you have your performance perfected. Next time your food human gives you a treat, thank him/her by quickly running through your little performance. My guess is that they'll be so surprised and pleased that they'll give you another. If they do, run through the routine again. This will embed in their brains the connection between the performance and the treats. Next time you feel as if it has been too long since you've had a treat, throw in a free performance when they are looking at you. It might help them remember that you need a treat.

2. Routinely, do something your human wants. When they pat the couch, jump up immediately and snuggle into their side. Do it over and over and over every time they pat the couch. Then one day, don't do it. They'll probably haul out the old bag of treats in order to "re-teach" you the routine they "think" you forgot.

3. If your food human is going away and wants to shut you in one part of the house, make 'em work for it. I know they can pick you up and carry you there, but they can't if you're ready for that maneuver and stay one quick jump ahead of them. Yep.... make 'em haul out the treats to get you into the "going away" room. Don't overuse this. Just use it when you're really hankering for a treat.

Okay, hope I've started some thinking on your part. Leave some suggestions of your own to share with the rest of the readers.

Have a happy, treat-filled day!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ask Noodles - Training Humans

A note from Max: What a great article Noodles has written to answer Cheriswan's question . In fact the question itself led me to start my weekly column on Thursdays on Training Humans. Enjoy Noodles' writing and great advice. And remember to send your questions to Noodles by email . Here's his address: TheGreatNoodles@gmail.com. And now, without further ado, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Noodles:





Hai Noodles!

I am an older rescue kitteh (actually I wuz 3 or 4 at the time) and when I wuz living at the dump (quite a cool place to visit, but very crowded with siteseers and other kittehs) I didn't learn the "cute" kitteh behaviors that seem to enhrall hoomans. Iz there a book or sumpfin to learn this stuff or should I keep trying to train my mom? Iz there a class she can take?

Thanks!

@cheriswan (Twitter)
cheriswan@hotmail.com
Sent from my iPod

Hello Cheriswan!

Training humans can be a very laborious and time-consuming process, but if you stick with it and keep your patience it can really pay off big! Keep in mind as you begin that not all humans are created equal, some will take to regular training sessions better than others. The key is persistence and patience.

When it comes to endearing them to you, this is one of the more basic tricks to get through to them. First, be sure you have a very soft fluffy coat (if you are hairless the task can be somewhat more complicated, but certainly not impossible). Be sure to clean your face in direct view of the humans. They just can't get over the whole "lick your paw, rub face" move... they find it overly adorable. Follow that up with some foot licking (be sure to spread your toes apart wide!) and you will no doubt unlock their feeble minds. Beware! Do not lick your bum in front of them and certainly not in excess! They find that to be rude. Also, do not sit on their laps and lick your bum... this is apparently extremely offensive.

Once you have the plain sight bathing in place, you can up your game with a little leg rubbing. Basically, this involves "marking" them with your scent to say that you own them. They apparently interpret this as "I love you and think you're the bestest!" This can earn mad points and you mark your property in the process. Two birds one stone.

A third, and very effective, move is the always adorable, stretch, yawn, curl, snooze. Humans love when we stretch, our little expressions apparently become irresistible. If you can work in some twitching into your snooze routine, this is especially effective. I think this all stems from their busy lives... they hardly nap at all! No doubt they are jealous of our snoozing and much like watching a good movie, I suspect the sight of such luxurious and precise napping functions as a natural endorphin.

Use these three steps and you should be well on your way. I'd also like to point out that Max was inspired by your question and has decided to write regular "train your human" topical articles! Be sure to share your best tips and tricks. Together we can properly train and manipulate our human counterparts.

Enjoy!

Noodles

Katku #2: Happiness




today, I can choose
happy, medium or sad
my choice, a soft purr
~~

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Max on... Care and Training of Your Food Human -- "Feed Me" (part 1)

Note from Max: I am starting a new column today. There is much for all of us to learn from each other on the topic of training your human/staff. I thought I'd cover it all in one article, but there is just too much information. Therefore, after this first column, the Thursday column will address various facets of training Her Highness, fat boy, food human, staff purson, or whatever unique and quirky name you have given that person who THINKS he or she is in charge of your household. Feel free to comment at the end of each column. The more points of view the better....

A Full Bowl

Are you having trouble gaining the attention of your food human at that exact moment when your tummy starts to rumble? Do you take a quick happy trip to your dish only to face disappointment? Do you follow your food human (who happens to be carrying a plate with a tuna-fishy sandwich on it) to the couch fully expecting her/him to share the worderful fishyness of it with you only to hear, "Get down. People food."?

If so, listen up. this week we are going to begin retraining those humans on how this "food thing" is going to work from here on...

Before implementing any program, you must understand the psyche of the human. A brazen demand for food just won't work and often will result in a quick trip to time out. So, listen up pretty furry critter pals: it's important to plan ahead.

Stephen Goldmeir reported on results he found in Current Biology of a study conducted by Karen McComb at the University of Sussex. The results indicated that the combined purr-cry of a hungry cat triggers nurturing instincts in human beings. The study also showed that even humans who don't have cats responded to the high frequency purr-cries by a sense of urgency.

The significance of this finding is that it seems full-blown bellowing doesn't work and is down-right annoying, so we should cut out that action. Fainting with your head draped over the empty food dish also does not work. It will reap only chuckles from you food human and an occasional pitiful photo-op.

So, for best results, practice the slightly high frequency purring-crying sound. When practicing, watch the reaction of your food human. You'll know when you reach just the right amount of subtle urgency.

Don't overdo it. This is an important point. In order to communicate to your food human that he/she has understood you correctly, you must reward them the instant they put food in the dish. Your reward will take two forms:

First, the moment the first bite of food hits the dish, cease the purr-cry. For some reason, the cessation of the urgent sound coming from you is ever so rewarding to them.

Second, take a bite of food and then spend 15 seconds or so applying ankle rubs, nosetaps and head bumps to your food human. The food humans eat up this action and will remember the behavior chain (purr-cry, food to dish, end of purr-cry) that leads to those wonderful head bumps, nosetaps, ankle rubs, etc.

It may take a few repeats of this whole procedure before they learn to put food in your dish the instant you start the purr-cry. Be patient and remember that food humans are not always the quick studies that we are. But, it works, so it's worth taking the time to train them correctly.

Yes, with a persistent, low-key application of this new technique, you'll turn the "Feed Me Frenzy" into "Food Dish Delight" in no time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mousey Mouse is Back


Good News Kitties: After sending Fred Latimer your comments about his drawing of the little mouse waiting for the mail, he has sent more pictures of Mousie Mouse. In fact, for the delight of the kitties, I have 118 pictures of the little guy.

Fred drew the pictures years ago for his children. He put one 3 x 5 card in their lunch boxes daily. What a great treat for those children. And now, I'll be posting them from time to time for your enjoyment... Thanks Fred.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ask Noodles - Keeping your Cat Happy During a Move

A note from Max: Thanks to Noodles for another great column. This is a fate we all face from time to time, and it's good to have some advice on it. If you have a question for The Great Noodles, send it to him at TheGreatNoodles@gmail.com All questions are welcome.... from critters or humans. And now, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Noodles........



Help! We're moving again and my little princess, Miss Poofy shows signs of anxiety and confusion. She sees me packing our belongings and planning our move in 2 weeks. I fear that maybe Miss Poofy thinks we will be leaving her behind. She doesn't speak human, and I don't speak cat. How can I help and reassure her that she is coming with us? Obviously we would NEVER leave our Miss Poofy behind.

Thank you,
Miss Poofy's HuMommy

(twitter username for my cat: MissPoofy)

Miss Poofy’s mom! I’m so sorry for my delay on this. Sometimes I have quite the backlog, and sometimes I simply nap too much… Anyhow, that aside, I hope that your move went smoothly and the stress Miss Poofy endured throughout is now becoming a distant memory.

Lindsey (my sis) and I moved long distance from WAAAAY up north in Michigan all the way down here to Central Florida. It can be quite confusing. At first, all the boxes look fun. All the recesses of kitchen appliances, dishes and knick knacks to spelunk into and put cat hair on made the house so much fun! Not to mention the killer games of “King of the Boxes” you can play with your siblings.

Then, the big scary movers show up and trample through your house, removing all but a few items. This is often followed by a wrestling match with your humans who cram a pill in your mouth, stuff you into a box, and as you become drowsy you notice we’re all leaving the now empty home.



Two pics of us at our hotel here in Florida the day before we moved into our new apartment. In the distance you can see a pet store... so we knew it would be ok :)

I will say this about moving. It is change. Big change. And us cats are terrible at change. We fuss, cry, hide and carry on because we want everything to be about us all the time… always. Moving seems like it’s more about you humans than anything else. But that aside, I assure you we have no idea what’s going on… just that things are changing and that’s AWFUL unless the change involves more kibble and catnip.

Here’s my quick guide to moving with your favorite feline:

1. Get your pet’s medical and vaccination records and put them in one easy to find place.
If you need to stay at a hotel or get pulled over, you may be asked for these documents. Check with your vet before you leave to make sure you have all the records and permits you need. Also, when you get to your new home, you’ll have everything you need to set up with a new vet.

2. Collar and tag your felines with contact information.
I never wear a collar around the house, but I do have a chip. Still, if we’re on the road, we’re better off with a collar in the event we slip out of the car at a hotel or stop. A collar says to a person, “I own a human and here is their number. Can you call them for me please?”

3. Bring along some travel litter boxes.
My sis and I will hold our pee all the way till the hotel. We tried once getting out and going at a truck stop, but that was terrifying. Have a box handy for the trip that you can use and throw out at the hotel. You can get disposable litter bins at your local pet and grocery store. Super handy. Just don’t dump ‘em out in the back seat accidentally like our human did!

4. Keep us in a crate!
While we love to sit on your lap, if we aren’t used to travelling, we’re better off buckled up and secure. This is not just for our safety in the event of an accident, but also for yours. You don’t want to find me napping under your break pedal do you?

5. Ask your vet about tranquilizer options.
If it’ll be a long trip, consider taking a kitty sleeping pill. This can help you get through the long drive and rather than caterwauling the whole time, you can nap and dream of delicious mice.

6. When you get to the hotel, make sure your human puts out food, water and litter.
This is your critical peepee, poopoo and chow time. Also, hide under the bed to worry your humans into thinking you escaped the hotel room. They love that one.

7. When you get to your new home, stay in a small room until all the ruckus is over.
Those movers will be back and they’ll have to get those boxes back into place. It’s best not to watch ‘cause some of them are big, they sweat a lot and are noisy.

I know I’m too late to help you with your move, but perhaps your question can help another feline have a less stressful move to their new home.

Please send Miss Poofy my best wishes in her new home. I hope she’s found the best sunbeam locations already. J

Best Wishes,

Noodles

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's Hurricane Season: Is your human prepared?

I took this one during the hurricane in 2004

Okay, it's time to make a list and send your human out the door for supplies. There's a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico and a couple more on the way. So, I lived through the hurricanes that blew through here in 2004 and 2005. I know to take them seriously. The weather channel is saying to have a plan.


I took this one after the hurricane in 2004.

So, here are some things to pass along to your humans. Don't stop meowing until they accomplish the list.

1. Be sure you know what to do in case of hurricane. Do you stay put and put up shutters etc. or do you evacuate? If you evacuate, are you taking the pets with you..... you betcha you are. If it's not safe for you to stay in the house, it's not safe for them.

2. If you're gonna hunker down at home, fill the bathtub with water for flushing etc. And, fill jugs of water for drinking.

3. Shopping....

I'm starting the list....you add to it in the comments section.

batteries

cat and dog food

bottled water

cat and dog food

medications

cat and dog food

extra health supplies

cat and dog food

first aid kit

cat and dog food

canned goods humans can eat out of the can

cat and dog food

crackers, etc. things that won't spoil

cat and dog food

flashlights

cat and dog food


Stay safe my critter pals!!!



oh and ...litter.... get lots of litter!!!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Max... on body language...


How do you communicate with your food humans? Do they know what you mean when you're rolling on the floor or yowling at the top of you lungs? If you're with the same food humans for long enough you can develop a communication system through body language that conveys your meaning and you won't have to fuss so much with the meowing -- sometimes those meows just don't work.

Here are some of my favorites.

1. Her Highness knows I want to be held and squeezed when I sit on the coffee table in front of her and tilt my head.

2. Her Highness knows I want some food when I stretch out by my bowl, look skinny as if I'm about to faint. (Doesn't always work, but gets her attention)

3. Her Highness knows she better get up when I throw myself onto her chest.

4. Her Highness knows she better pay attention to me when I walk in front of her "Lassie Style" and lead her about the house.


What signals do you use to communicate with your food humans? Which ones work and which ones don't?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ask Noodles - Raw Food Diet?

A note from Max: Here's a great article from The Great Noodles. If you have questions, please send them to his email at TheGreatNoodles@gmail.com. It makes no difference, Noodles will answer questions from critters and their humans. Now, without further ado, Heeeeeeeere's Noodles....



Dear Noodles,

My name is Sam the Tabby. I'm almost 15 but still look like a kitten in the face. I have some thyroid issues so I take pills everyday that my humanz try to sneak in my food. Otherwise, I'm a pretty healthy kitty.

My mom has been reading about a movement of humanz that make their own cat food and that a raw diet is very good for us cats. But she's afraid to tamper with me, because I'm a little older. Do you know anything about the raw food diet? What are your thoughts?

Love and fishes you handsome kitty!
Sammy
@SamTheCatRocks (on Twitter)


Hey Sammy! Thanks for the question. This is a toughie for sure.

As I was growing up, I lived with constant medical problems. At one point, my vets told my human to have me put down! Shocking, now that you see me in all my pudgy and happy glory. I had ulcers throughout my digestive system, and nearly every morning on her way to work, my food human dropped me off at the vet (because I was bleeding or some other sort of mess).

We went on like this for quite a while, and my food human did the best she could to make my life better. Even, for a time, making my food from scratch. The problem for me though, is that I’m a huge weirdo and don’t like anything but kibble. Her efforts were useless on me.

These days I’m on prescription food for urinary crystals. My food human was uncertain of this diet full of chemicals and fillers. Upon a recommendation from a close friend following my dental surgery (I wasn’t eating so well), she tried Evo cat food. This stuff is supposed to be specially formulated with no fillers and as close to our natural diet as you can get in a kibble. I loved the stuff and it got me through my surgery recovery last winter, I even vomited less… way less (and vomiting is totally my thing).

But my food human worried. What if not having the prescription food caused a relapse and another painful hospitalization? She didn’t want to take the risk and slowly moved me back onto the prescription Hills diet.

I’m blabbing on about all of this for a number of reasons. First, each feline has their own dietary needs so it seems. I, for one, won’t eat anything that isn’t shaped like bunny poo, and that doesn’t come out of a crinkly bag. Add to that the need for me to keep my crystals at bay. I’m getting too old to risk illness. If you don’t require a special diet however, that Evo brand tasted great… as close to the raw/natural diet as I’ve seen.

If your situation allows for some flexibility in diet, I’d recommend asking your food human to discuss the diet with your veterinarian. This way all your bases are covered. Oh and another thing, the raw diet, homemade from scratch can be quite the chore for your food humans. Make sure they look into it sufficiently… us felines require some wacky things in our diets which can be hard to find.

Of course I’m all for making them do more for us. So if they’re up for it and you get the green light from your doc, I say go for it and dominate your food humans!!

Wishing you the best in your digestive adventure,

Noodles

PS: As a heads up, you’ll probably get the poops at first if you start the new diet.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

It's Official the Web is Obsessed with Us Kitties


Did you see the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (the 8/7/09 issue to be exact)? It has a long article by Benjamin Svetkey about us kitties. The article tells how YouTube viewers are obsessed with us. If you are a kitty and are on YouTube, you're a star.

It's only a matter of time before we rule Twitter as well. Here are some highlights from the article. For full impact, get a copy and have your food human read it to you.

1. Nora, a wonderful tabby, plays piano. Her videos have received over 20,000,000 hits. Wow!

2. The article also says that we (again, kitties on YouTube) are becoming a "full-blown pop culture craze." As a kitty, I don't really understand this "culture craze" stuff, but I'm pretty sure it's a good thing.

3. The article concludes that the kitties are far in the lead -- ahead of other species, (like dogs HEE HEE -- apologies to all my canine pals. Max loves ya).

Reasons for those conclusions...

The article says our popularity stems from the fact that we are cute, we are like infants, and we are intelligent. Do you agree?

* Do you have a favorite YouTube video? Comments welcome from felines and canines....


A Note from Max: Special thanks to my pal Elliot. He's a fine pooch and is my main source for this article and for information from the entertainment world. And thanks, too, to his food human, my Aunt Penny, who forked over the money for the magazine.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ask Noodles - Nightime Activities

A note from Max: Noodles has done it again and with a tight schedule this time. He's written another great column. Enjoy and learn. If you have a question for The Great Noodles, send it to him at TheGreatNoodles@gmail.com. Questions from critters and humans welcome.



hello, noodles.

i've got a weird problem for you to solve.

for the last few nights, my furbrother has spent the whole night chewing on slave1's hair. he doesn't hurt her, but it wakes her up over and over again. she's tried changing his food (he barfed) and exercising him a lot just before bed (he barfed). she even changed her shampoo to something that smells vile, in the hope that it would keep him away, but it didn't.

the vet says all his 'numbers' are ok, whatever that means, but staff1 is still worried.

staff1 needs her beauty sleep. no sleep + sticky hair makes her grumpy.

can you help us?

thank you,
quark


Hey buddy! Sounds like your staff is getting harried (har har) – and that’s never good! A happy staff makes a happy home, so let’s see if we can come up with something. Sounds like they’re doing a lot of things right, even if they don’t seem to be the key.

By the way you describe the situation, it sounds like this behavior is somewhat new to the household. Given that, your household staff are doing the right thing in trying to rule out potential health problems such as intestinal obstructions, diabetes, or anemia.

It sounds like your furbrother has Pica, a condition that can also occur in humans if you can believe it!

Assuming all of the vet tests comes back as A-ok, your next avenue of exploration may be dietary (I understand your adventures in that arena have been less than helpful). If it’s related to diet, your brother may be seeking out more fiber. Rather than change his food, your staff might consider adding catnip, grass or sprouts to his daily routine. This may satisfy his need and free your staff to focus on more pleasant grooming products (for everyone’s sake!).

If the behavior continues, your staff may consider attempting to curb the behavior, by way of flavor. The stinky shampoo maybe stinky to your staff and intoxicating to us (we’re weird like that). Instead, suggest she try applying bitter apple. I’ve also heard that felines, such as you and I, are not fond of citrus scents/flavors, so that may be another deterrent to consider.

Should that also fail there are a few other options. Just like training staff to respond to our cries for food, or goofy behaviors for pettings, felines can also be trained. Your staff may consider a brisk tap to the nose followed by a firm “no!” when the behavior begins. If your bro persists your staff can get into more escalated responses such as “time out” or loud unpleasant sounds (these almost always come from a jar or can full of pennies shaken vigorously). That won’t work at night though when staff is trying to sleep.

So my final suggestion is one that I do not take lightly. My personal staff or food humans don’t let us sleep with them. I guess we’re too nutty, all the toe biting and smothering with our glorious big bellies turned them off long ago. On the one hand, we’d love to be in there with them, on the other… we get to get into all kinds of shenanigans when their door is closed!

I hope that your staff find some relief soon. I’m sending them lovely sleepy thoughts in hopes that they’ll catch up on their Zzzz’s very soon. As a feline, I know that sleep is a precious gift and anything less than 23 hours is unacceptable!

Warmest regards,

Noodles

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Waiting for the Mail



This wonderful drawing is by a friend of a friend of Her Highness. His name is Fred Latimer and he's super at drawing kitties and mice.... Thought you'd like to see it.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A great read for the weekend: The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse by Leann Sweeney


I was initially drawn to The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse by the title. Silly me... because it was about a cat and a quilt, I thought it was about me.

Not so, and I'm glad of it, because I wouldn't want to go through the harrowing experiences of those kitties. Imagine fellow kitties... being stolen or just having some stranger come into your house and chase you around a bit. That's what happened to Chablis, Syrah and Merlot...

The corpse? You'll have to read the book to find out who ends up as a corpse and who discovers the corpse. Of course, as in any good mystery, the only one who knows who done it, is a cat and he's not spillin' the beans and neither will I.

Leann Sweeney has written a delightful story about Jillian and her cats. I love it because Jillian makes quilts and you all know how I do love my quilts and everybody elses. They all live in a small town where everybody seems to know everything about everybody else..... except who the killer is. The book is packed with a long list of engaging characters, each with his/her own quirks to delight the readers.

On my scale of 4 paws, I give this 3.6 paws. It moves, it's fun to read, it's exciting, and it's about cats and quilts. What more could you want when lounging in the hammock on a summer day?

Enjoy.

For more information about this book, go to:
http://www.leannsweeney.com/



Monday, July 27, 2009

Ask Noodles: Kitten Trouble

A Note from Max:

Hi: Noodles isn't able to tweet today because he's staying with us while his food humans are out of town. Her Highness won't let him on the computer. But, I'll let him know about your comments and he'll be back home in a couple days, so you can leave comments on the blog and he'll be glad to respond when he can.

Also, he's in need of question for future columns, so please send your questions in an email to Noodles at thegreatnoodles@gmail.com. Enjoy his column....


Dear Noodles,

The house next door to me got 2 kittens earlier this year, and they are pests! They come into my garden, lie in my favorite napping spots and even come into my house if the hoomans leave a door open! Now, I'm a pretty laid-back cat, so I try to get on with them - but Noodles, I'm worried that they'll try to move in with my hoomans and then where will I be? I don't want to get vicious because they're not bad kids, but what can I do to show them that there's only room for one cat in this house?

Purrs,

Morris (@morriscat)

Morris, it seems you have a classic case of “Nermal V. Garfield” happening. See article, “Nermal” in the Wikia (Entertainment) website: http://garfield.wikia.com/wiki/Nermal
.

I quote:

“Nermal is the cute gray kitten who flaunts his cuteness (the cutest kitten in the world, he says), which annoys Garfield immensely, he also has a very sarcastic attitude, usually resulting in Garfield trying to ship Nermal to Abu Dhabi. Often comes in unannounced, much to Garfield's chagrin, particularly by waking him up…”

Sound familiar? While this “Nermal” situation is a nuisance, no doubt about it, take it in stride. If I’ve learned anything from the Garfield Sunday morning funnies and Saturday morning cartoons, it’s that while Nermal is adorable (as are these squeaky new kittens likely to be), the long term affections and friendship between Garfield (the striped orange cat) and his owner has created a very strong bond.

Additionally, while kittens are cute and able to win over the affections of food humans, they are neither clever enough, nor do they have as fully developed and charming personality as those of us who have “been around for a while” do. And that is a huge advantage. We know where to be and when to be for ear rubbings, we know how to whine just right to get what we want, and we know that while kittens are cute, they’re a lot more trouble than a well-seasoned adult feline.

Try to resist the urge to stomp these new kittens and also try not to ship them off to Abu Dhabi, as their food humans will likely tell your food humans that something is amiss and then you’ll be in real hot water.

Instead, be the amazing feline that you are. Purr louder than you have ever before, rub on your owner’s legs to tell them they’re yours, and by all means, adopt a kitten-like “mew” to gain some of that kitten affection for yourself. I’ve done it, and I’m not ashamed to say I stole my sister’s cute “mew” because it got her so much attention! And you know what? It works every time!

Good luck Morris, keep us posted on your progress!

All good things,

Noodles


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Max on .......Crazy Talk

Do food humans listen to themselves? I think not. Here are some of the comments I've caught Her Highness make, and I consider her one of the "intelligent" ones.

1. Since I'm the only pet in the household, isn't it a little strange for her to look at a little pile I've left on the floor and say to me, "Did you do that?" Duh? Really? Who else?

2. Picture this: We're at the vet. Her Highness has me in an unbreakable wrestling hold,... and she coos in my ear, "I love ya, Max. This won't hurt a bit," then they stick the thermometer you know where.

3. Her Highness throws the ball. I run and bat it around a bit,and then I walk back to her. She starts with this, "Go get the ball, Max. Bring it here, baby." You've got to be kidding. You go get it.

4. Her Highness plops some cat food in my dish and says to me, "There. Doesn't that look great?" Are you kidding? The food tastes great, but the appearance of cat food is not all that different than the pile I left on the floor in #1. Would it kill her to dress it up a bit -- maybe a sprig of parsley or something?

It's all crazy talk to me. Feel free to add your examples in the comments section. Have a great day.

Loves ya,

Max

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ask Noodles: Keeping your Breath Minty Fresh

Note from Max: If you have a question for Noodles, send it to him at TheGreatNoodles@gmail.com. He will will entertain questions in any area, from how to train your food human or where's the best place to keep your catnip stash to questions from your food humans on how to handle things in their lives. Today's question is about that topic we avoic: bad breath. Read on and learn what you can do to conquer this problem once and for all. Here's Noodles..................."


Hi TheGreatNoodles

I'm very embarrassed to admit this but my breath is awful. Everytime I open my mouth creatures pass out! What can I do to make my breath smell sweeter?

MedusaJ

Hello darling, let me first say that I know what it is to be stinky in the mouth. My food humans were never fans of my kitten kisses, and if I was taking a cat bath… they wanted nothing to do with me. My personal stink problem came from years of dental issues. My food human tried in vain to brush my teeth clean again and again, but the plaque was too set in and my gums too raw.

Last winter, I decided to take the plunge and get my teeth cleaned and rotten ones pulled (after my vet pointed out that my teeth were in terrible shape and likely infected). Believe me, I am nothing if not stoic! It turned out that one of my fangs was so bad, the infection was nearly into my wee little brain. I lost a number of teeth, including one of my super fangs, but it was worth it. After a couple of days I felt a lot better and even started playing more. My food humans were surprised so was I… I had no idea I was in that much pain.



Me after surgery with a purple bandage over my IV arm. I was high as a kite that night!



Me just 2 days after my extractions and I’m already feeling better!

My dentist gave me an enzyme mouthwash to help prevent plaque build up, they also recommended frequent brushing (I use a kids glittery toothbrush and poultry flavored toothpaste), and weekly applications of oraVet plaque prevention gel.

Since my food human has been keeping up with the brushings (I’m really laid back and let my food humans get away with murder), my breath has remained clean. Dental work for us felines is EXPENSIVE! The blood work alone was $250… I won’t go into what the extractions & cleaning cost. Plus, the older you are the more risky it is, so cleaning isn’t for everyone.

While dental problems are the usual culprit of halitosis, other issues can be at work including disease and digestive problems. If a dental cleaning does not solve the problem visit your vet to get a full check-up to rule out anything serious.

Products to help dental-related halitosis:

· Biotene Therapeutic Mouthwash

· Enzymatic Toothpaste Dentifric Enzymatique (Poultry Flavour)

· OraVet Gel

· Dental Treats

· Dental Food

· Sparkly Glitter Kids Toothbrush


Me today with my Elvis pucker (thanks to my missing fang).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Max on...simple pleasures.

I've been thinking lately how complicated life gets sometimes with all the food humans worrying about health care and the economy, and I thought that we could help out by listing our simple pleasures, so they can see that we are attemtping to bring back the Zen...

Here are some of mine. Add yours and let's see how long the list will get.

Simple Pleasures
sun puddles
a good brushing
a sturdy lap
tipping over a glass of water without getting my head stuck in it
a scratch behind the ear
a hug until I squeak
an uninterrupted nap
What are your simple pleasures...?

...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thin is In.


I went through a chubby period in my life. Here's a picture Her Highness took. I turned away from the camera in protest of having my chubbiness recorded for posterity, but she took it anyway.

Anyhooooooooooooooooo.... here's a little poem I wrote back then. See if you can identify with it:

Ode to the Battle of the Bulge

Two cals, a carb, and a good and bad fat

Went on a journey to find a fat cat.

The fat cat was busy, he couldn't be bothered.

So, they set out again to find another.


They came to my house, these demons of mine.

They asked to stay, and knew I wouldn't decline.

I couldn't say "no." So, I took them right in.

Now, I don't know when I'll ever be thin.