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.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ask Noodles: Dating?

Note from Max: The Great Noodles has done it again. He's addressing your problems in his weekly column. Send your questions to him at TheGreatNoodles@gmail.com. Noodles 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 dating. Enjoy and learn. Here's Noodles..................."



Deer max
whats with the noize outside our window at nite? mom sez dat there are kats out there "dating" (she makes finger quotes when she sez dat). But neither me or my brother make sounds like dat!

katiekat

Katie, thank you for your question. First, I just want to be sure that folks know this is Noodles and not Max. Max is a fantastic writer, but he invited me to participate in his blog as the advice columnist. So, if you have questions of any sort, send them my way at NoodlesTheGreat@gmail.com.

Ok, now to your question… first, cats can be noisy. Outside your home there are a number of factors involved in encouraging noisy cat behavior.

One may be a territorial scuffle. One cat roams onto what another cat considers his “pad” or territory. When this happens, something called a “throw down” or brawl ensues. The two cats argue loudly, puff up to show how massively “built” they are and may even rumble into a physical contest. In the end, one cat is the victor while the other is left to wonder how things went so wrong.

Another may be “dating” as your food human suggests. This is when two cats who hardly know each other “get together” for the evening to make a litter of smaller cats known as kittens. Many times the female cat involved will pair up with multiple other cats causing the father’s of her soon-to-be kittens to be many. When the female cat is “available” and interested in “dating” she puts out what are called pheromones – add to that the fact that she will also make some weird noises which to food humans, sound like she’s sick. To cats, however, she sounds awesome, charming, intelligent and funny… everything a male cat could want in a girlfriend.

The reason both of these factors may be unknown to an indoor cat as yourself are multiple. First, you are indoors and your territory is limited to what you see and have access to. Attempts at expansion would be futile unless you have access to a bulldozer and know how to successfully operate it. Additionally, you share this territory with a familiar feline, your bro. There is no reason for you two to argue over it, however you may get into the occasional spat over a couch cushion or food human lap.

The second factor is that you and your bro are family and are likely “fixed,” that is to say that you have been surgically altered by food humans so that you cannot have kittens. This kind of erases the desire to “get together” with another cat for the purposes of “dating.”

I hope that helps to clear up the confusion!

Best regards,

Noodles

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ask Noodles: The Stray

Note from Max: Wow two Ask Noodles columns in one week. This is a special edition of Ask Noodles because the letter seems particularly urgent. We'll return to our regularly scheduled columns next Tuesday. For this week, here's an extra edition of our favorite advice columnist.........



Hi Regal Kitty

My Mum has been feeding a beautiful orange cat for about 4 weeks now and she would like to entice him into the house to stay. How can she do this? She's worried that when she goes on holiday the GingerBinger will starve.

We live in the city, on a busy road but we have a garden at the back of the house.

I think the GingerBinger is a young cat - not sure if he has recently lost his home as he looks well but that could be down to the 3 meals a day he gets from me!

He is very nervous and won't come anywhere near us but is quite happy to play with Rosie (MedusaJ).

We'll be away for 2 weeks, Rosie will be staying at home and my Dad will be feeding her but there is no chance that he will feed Ginger tho - he's not a cat lover.

I'm sure Ginger will be ok but I'd love to entice him into the house.
Please help she's fretting badly about it.

Thank u MedusaJ


Oooh thank *you* MedusaJ! I’m flattered – compliments will get you everywhere with me. Now, to this pretty boy orange tabby stray…

You have a bit of a sticky situation on your hands. A feral or stray cat is not likely to be immediately comfortable indoors with your food humans, and to be honest, the cat may never truly acclimate to the indoors. I’m thinking he may in fact be feral (but getting by on his devastating good looks) due to how nervous he is around food humans.

Adding to the complexity of your issue is the fact that you want to bring this handsome feline into the home to stay while you will be away on vacation (so he can be cared for and fed). I’d be more comfortable with the experiment if the following steps were taken first:

1. GingerBinger was brought to a veterinary clinic (I know it sounds awful even to me) to be checked out for all things ick. Make sure he hasn’t got pests like fleas, worms, ringworm, etc. The vet should also get Ginger checked out for Fiv and Distemper (two contagious diseases, the first being fatal if caught). Just get him a full check-up and blood work to make sure he’s healthy and won’t be a danger to you, my lovely MedusaJ. Good luck getting his poop for a stool sample test!

2. Also have the vet check for a computer chip. Maybe this boy already has a home! My great uncle was taken in TWICE by people in his neighborhood who figured his daily visits indicated he was homeless! (this was long before computer chips)

3. You have at least 1 full week to work with him indoors while you’re home so that you can observe his comfort level, his behavior and keep a watchful eye that you aren’t getting manhandled by him when the Food Humans aren’t looking. This way if things go south… say, he sprays all over your walls, trashes your carpets & couches, stalks the family as prey, pees and poos outside the box… etc., you can save your home and yourself before it gets too out of control.


4. You put up signs outside that you’ve found, and taken in this lovely boy. Just in case his family has been looking for him. It’s possible he became disoriented outside and has been living on the streets for several weeks and this will give his human family a chance to find him if he does have one.

Something to consider: Us cats are crazy resourceful, and one with such handsome stripes as his, likely has a few homes he goes to for snacks. I believe he’ll be ok if you can’t bring him inside – and if you’re really worried, perhaps there’s a neighbor who would be willing to put out some snacks while you’re away (since your pop is not interested).

Good luck! And if you decide to give this a try, keep us posted on his progress!

Warmest purrs,

Noodles

For more information check out these links:

Taming a Stray:

http://www.indyferal.org/index.php?page=tame1

The Top Seven Ways to Wake Up Your Human

1. Tap your human gently on the nose with your soft paw.

2. Meow quietly in your human's ear.

3. Walk around your human on the bed, gently rocking him/her awake.

4. Walk gently up your human's sleeping body until nose-to-nose.

5. Pounce on your human's toes under the covers. Dig in gently with your claws.

6. Lean in close to your human's ear and let out a "Yeeeeeeeeeooooooooow" at full volume.

7. Get a running start, fly through the air, and land on your human's stomach.


Do you have other, better ways? Leave a comment.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ask Noodles: Fish?


Note from Max: "I am so please to present the second Ask Noodles column. He's be addressing your problems weekly. Send your questions to him at TheGreatNoodles@gmail.com. Noodles 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 FISH. A topic near and dear to all of us. Here's Noodles................... "



From @EmmyTheCat
“I love tuna, but now dey say it is overfished & unsustainable & I can't have it. What should I eat now?”

Emmy, this is a big concern for all cats and food humans alike!


“Only 10 percent of all large fish—both open ocean species including tuna, swordfish, marlin and the large groundfish such as cod, halibut, skates and flounder—are left in the sea, according to research published in today's issue of the scientific journal Nature.”
(National Geographic May 15th 2003)


That right there is a scary quote, I don’t care who you are! Also consider the plight of King Salmon. Normal catches by food humans used to be around 250k fish per year. Contrast that with the startling low number of 66k salmon which returned to spawn last year! This shocking drop in King Salmon population caused the US to ban the commercial King Salmon fishing season. This was of course very difficult on the over 2k food humans who fish salmon for a living. Also, very difficult for us felines. Happily the Chinook Salmon appear to be doing very well.

Concern with overfishing has lead to farming of fish (if you can believe it, like they grow on trees or something!). This is a controversial solution as large populations of farm-raised fish can pollute the wild population and may spread disease as well as poor genetics. It has also been implied that farm raised fish, such as Salmon, may contain carcinogens thanks in part to their synthetic diet.

So what’s a responsible cat or food human to do? Happily the Environmental Defense Fund is kind enough to provide guidance. They rate seafood by Eco-Best to Eco-Worst which will help you next time you’re contemplating your kitty snacks or your food humans ponder sushi or other seafood delights. You can find their seafood guide online at: http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=1521

They even have a printable guide to keep with you when you’re on the go. I know I’m going to keep mine tucked into my belly roll next time I’m out!
I hope this helps – if all us cats and food humans are careful about what we consume, kittens for years to come will be able to enjoy the wonder and delight that is our wild fish and ocean populations.

To learn more, visit: http://www.babelgum.com/endoftheline


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Max's Picture of the Week: OHHHHH- Possum


My little friend at the boardwalk at the beach. Baby Opossum.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Website of the Month: Cool Cat Sites

Max at his desk working on his many writing projects

My pick for July's Website of the Month is CoolCatSites.net. I give it four paws on a scale of five because it covers such a range of topics.

One of the things that first caught my attention is that it has artwork right up front. All the artwork depicts beautiful cats. That's a plus. A bigger plus is if you buy one of the pieces of art, 50% of the price goes to a cat charity or rescue endeavor. The main charity is Best Friends Animal Rescue, but you can recommend where you want a portion of the money to go. That's cool!

It has a comprehensive bookstore of books about, for and by cats, and many many articles on topics from psychology of the feline to those personal issues we don't like to talk about, such as missing the litter box. You just may find the solution to your problems there.

Another positive about this website is that it leads to another website called Cool Pet Sites. This one will meet the needs of all you non-felines.

Check out my pick for July. You might find just what you need there.... The address of the website is http://www.coolcatsites.net/.

Enjoy!

...................nosetaps,
...................................Max

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ask Noodles: Stressed Job Hunter

Note from Max: "I am so please to present the Ask Noodles column. He'll be addressing your problems weekly. Send your questions to him at TheGreatNoodles@gmail.com. Noodles will entertain questions in any area, from how to train your human or where's the best place to keep your catnip stash to questions from your humans on how to handle things in their lives. Today's question is from the latter category. Without further ado, here's Noodles................... "





Dear Noodles,

I need your advice on a job-related matter. I am at a very stressful job that has affected my health. I have been looking for another job, but with no luck. There is enough money in my account for me to be unemployed for awhile while looking for another job.

My question is this: would it be wise to take the risk and be unemployed for awhile, or do I risk my physical and mental health by staying at a job that is making me sick?

Thanks!

Stressed Job Hunter


Well Stressed Job Hunter, times are tough.

My food humans have been talking about it too! They’ve been desperately trying to sock away this stuff they call “money” which I gather to be very important as they spend some of that stuff on me. They’ve even mentioned that if things go bad they’ll be munching on doggie kibble to get by! Can you believe it?? Soo crazy!

Right now things are tight for a lot of people and companies. Your particular situation will really depend on where you live and what your area has to offer in the way of jobs. Other humans that I know are being asked to do more than ever within the work day… with layoffs (is that the right word?) employers are seeking workers who can “do it all” and do it for the same pay.

The cautious, nap happy side of me recommends waiting it out for several more months and re-evaluating things at that time. I suggest something like a personal six-month timeline. During those six months you will work hard to make sure that if you make a jump you can do it comfortably. Sock away all the green stuff you can (and check the local papers and online job listings daily just in case a great opportunity comes along), gather letters of recommendation from co-workers and managers (you may want to sign up with http://www.linkedin.com/
), tighten up and update your resume, also consider continuing education towards a field of work that interests you.

Having at least 9 months (a year would be even better) worth of money in the bank will give you the liquidity you may need to jump ship. Don’t forget all the expenses you will have and may have… medical insurance (consider smaller self-employed focused insurance companies… Assurant.com
is one, you can google more), groceries, credit card debt, taxes, car insurance/registration, mortgage/rent, car repairs, kibble and catnip, etc.

At the end of your 6 months, evaluate your financial strength, the local and national economy (has it improved? Is it worse?), and the regional job offerings. If things seem to be aligning well, you may feel comfortable taking the jump. A word of caution, however, statistically those who are employed, fair better than those who are unemployed when seeking a new job.

I hope that things work out and that your local economy will open up and present you with a positive new direction to follow.

All good things,

Noodles


Ask Noodles Column : Submit your question to Noodles at TheGreatNoodles@gmail.com

By submitting your question, you grant Noodles & Max the Quilt Cat permission to publish it. Your name and email address will never be included or distributed. Due to the large number of naps that Noodles takes daily, there is no guarantee that he can get to all the letters, although he’ll try.

Noodles offers his feline opinions on a variety of subjects. He is a cat, and cannot be expected to know everything, even if he thinks so. His responses and opinions are strictly for entertainment. Should you find that the advice is good, then hooray for Noodles. If you disapprove or find it to be poor, keep in mind, he is a cat.

Noodles, Max and their food humans are not responsible for the outcome or results of following Noodle’s advice in any given situation. Readers & submitters are completely responsible for their actions and neither Noodles or Max (or their food humans) accepts any liability for any situation in your life past, present or future.