Kept By Cats

1
16 Harmful Foods That Cats Should Not Eat
2
Are Scented Candle Fumes Toxic to Cats?
3
Jingle Free Sleep
4
Emergency Care for Holiday Pet Toxins
5
Winter Shelter for Outdoor Cat
6
In the Mood for Christmas Family Dysfunction? Read Kringle!
7
#Mold Poisoning… It’s Deadly
8
My Billy Mumy Cat
9
Sweating with Fury
10
The Scary Boot Chronicles – Conclusion

16 Harmful Foods That Cats Should Not Eat

Please welcome Linda Butts from Pawesometalk.com who asked to share her infographic on 16 Harmful Foods That Cats Should Not Eat.

The following common food items should not be fed (intentionally or unintentionally) to cats. This list is, of course, incomplete because we can not possibly list everything your cat should not eat.

Read More

Are Scented Candle Fumes Toxic to Cats?

This article was previously published in the Purrington Post. It is focused on cats, however quite obviously the deadly toxins from candles applies to not only cats, but dogs, birds, ferrets…humans! Please read and share. Super important Need To Know stuff here.

The Appeal of Scented Candles

Who of us haven’t indulged in the pleasure of scented candles in the home? They can infuse a room with delicious fragrance, or add a romantic ambiance to a meal and of course make bath time more relaxing and luxurious.  Sales of scented candles have soared in recent years as they have come to represent the ultimate expression of ‘me’ time.

As such, scented candles are a favorite indulgence of many households, but did you know that their fumes are as toxic as cigarettes? Burning low quality commercial candles in your home can cause serious illness to you, your family and your pets.

candlecat2

The Dangers

The problem is that most commercial candles are made of paraffin which comes from petroleum, and therefore it’s neither sustainable nor environmentally-friendly. Paraffin is the final residue left from refining crude oil. It’s made from the sludge in the bottom of a barrel of oil which is then bleached by adding dioxin and other poisonous chemicals and then texturized with a chemical called acrolyn. And afterwards, stearic acid, a byproduct of the meatpacking slaughterhouses, is added as a hardener. Read More

Jingle Free Sleep

Flashback to October, 2013

Last Sunday morning my husband Ray complained that our tabby kitten had kept him awake.

Not because Dori loves to chew our toes and has an impressive bite for such tiny teeth. Rather, the bell on her collar jingled non-stop throughout the night.

The same bell she’s worn since May.

I’ve been married a long time. I knew better than to suggest the giant chocolate bar he ate an hour before bedtime could have been a contributing factor to his insomnia.

And true — Dori loves to jingle. She has developed a hippy-hop-jog type-of-walk to make the bell accompany her every step. She doesn’t simply walk into a room. She prances. She gallops!

There are times when I am forced to search the house to find my other cats, but never Dori. If I listen, a sweet tinkling tone will tell me she’s upstairs in my office or the cat apartment, or maybe in the sun room playing with her toys.

At Ray’s request I removed Dori’s collar at bedtime. I’m all about keeping the mood in my house relatively calm — as calm as I can with six furry drama queens in residence. Notice I didn’t include my giant chocolate bar-eating husband as the seventh.

Again. I’ve been married a long time.

So now Dori is jingle-free from 10:00 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Initially she freaked out. She pranced, she whirled, she galloped, she leaped tall cat trees at a single bound — all without sound.

In clear distress, she ran to me as if to ask whether something was wrong with her. I showed her the collar and shook it so she could hear the bell. And then I placed the collar by her breakfast bowl, ready to be slipped over her head in the morning.

But then…

Sometime in the night, long after my dear husband was fast asleep, I heard the sweet soft tinkling tone of a jingle bell being swatted by a tiny paw across the kitchen floor.

The sound continued far into the night.

Winter Shelter for Outdoor Cat

Meet Noah, a year-and-a-half-old ex-stray (as of this past summer) who needs a house for the winter.

noah-watchesMeet Ray, my charming husband who truly cares about Noah having a warm house this winter. Ray has self-taught carpentry skillz that have benefitted stray cats for a couple dozen years.
ray-cuts-carpet-pad

We had an old dog house, used for years by other strays, and we had a huge roll of carpet padding. Ray cut the padding to fit the top of the dog house, and taped it into place.
carpet-pad-taped-to-roof

Next, the padding was used to … um… pad the bottom of the house, along with the sides. I added Noah’s bed. Read More

In the Mood for Christmas Family Dysfunction? Read Kringle!

I wrote KRINGLE for you adults who secretly read your kid’s Harry Potter and Twilight books. Adults crave magical fantasy too! Please click the book cover to read Chapter One, and let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy.

KRINGLE is available on Amazon.com in both print and for Kindle.

Kringle 600x906 300 dpi

CLICK TO READ CHAPTER ONE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Mold Poisoning… It’s Deadly

In 2012 I lost my beloved cats, Nicholas and Cookie, to severe mold in the air handlers of my home.

Nicholas farewell

Nicholas could not breathe through his nose, only his mouth. His face had swollen due to the severe amount of pus inside his head. He was euthanized on February 20, 2012.

Cookie-1

Cookie on November 6, 2012, on his way to the vet to be euthanized.

This is what Nicholas and Cookie looked like twelve months before mold entered our home and took their lives:

Nick and Cookie

In 2012 we had a duct cleaning company scour our air handlers and ducts, and they released live bacteria that was to eat the mold. It didn’t occur to me to have it rechecked until, in the summer of 2015, when Dori and Peaches both came down with “colds from hell.”  I too was suffering from the effect of mold. Turns out I’m highly allergic to it. In 2012 I was continually foggy-brained, and aching in every joint. I wanted to sleep all the time.

Mold in air duct

Mold in my ceiling air ducts…in fact, mold was in every single duct in the house.

The foggy-brained part is what kept me from recognizing my symptoms again in 2015. It took Dori giving an eerily familiar cough that reminded me of Cookie that had me running the girls to the vet, and calling in the same company as in 2012 to check my air handlers.Mold in air handler

The mold was back, and this time it was Terminator Mold. But instead of cleaning like they did in 2012, this time the crew was a bit more investigative as to WHY we had mold…and they discovered the duct tape around the mains had softened and pulled apart, allowing attic debris into the blowers (I always wondered why I had so damn much dust). They also found the seams were allowing cold air to seep out, creating dampness.

Mold thrives on Darkness, Warmth, Oxygen, and Moisture.

It appears we had won the Mold Lottery.

DSC_0006

Mold on the walls of the air handler.

DSC_0032

Mold on the insulation wrapping the mains.

DSC_0038

267

Filters are changed every month. We thought they were dirty. We didn’t realize the dirt was mold.

DSC_0018

To destroy the mold, the company we called vacuumed every duct . It took hours — all day in fact — and was horrifically noisy. But it had to be done.

DSC_0019

Every duct was also cleaned with a bleach solvent.

DSC_0034

Then the mains had to be resealed using duct butter that hardened like plastic.

DSC_0039

Despite the hot attic temperature, the duct butter will not melt and allow moisture into the ducts.

DSC_0024

We have two air handlers. In each a UV light was installed. Mold cannot grow under UV lighted conditions.

Thankfully, this time there is a Happy Ending. Peaches and Dori were saved.

Peaches and Dori

Don’t think mold can’t happen to you. Mold is more rampant than I ever believed possible. Our home was 7 years old when we had mold in 2012. I read that mold is more prevalent in newer homes due to construction rush. Duct tape isn’t good enough to seal your air handlers. Make sure its duct butter, and before you buy, have your home inspected.

The life you save could be your own.

Cookie-2

 For more information, start with Mold Blogger.

So…tell me. Have you ever had mold in your home? Have you ever had your home inspected? Please leave a comment below.

My Billy Mumy Cat

Opie - Pizza deliveryRemember the 1961 Twilight Zone episode starring six-year-old Billy Mumy? Bill was a child actor in the sixties, with one of his most famous roles as Will Robinson in Lost In Space.

For me, his most memorable role was as Anthony Freemont, a little boy in Peakesville, Ohio who made the rest of the world disappear because it displeased him. No one can make Anthony mad. If they do, they will be sent into the cornfield.

You don’t need Stephen King’s imagination to know what that means.

Anthony is described in the plot summary as a monster. A mutant with godlike mental powers that include mind-reading. Everyone is under his rule. Even his parents. Children and adults both tiptoe nervously around him, constantly reassuring him how everything he does is “good.”

I saw this episode during a Twilight Zone marathon a couple weeks ago, and it struck me that I’m living with my very own Billy Mumy.

His name is Opie. He’s eight-years-old with a handsome face, ginger fur and golden green eyes.

Opie: Public Enemy Number One.

But like the opening narration for Twilight Zone’s “It’s A Good Life” states… When you look into those eyes, you’d better think happy thoughts. Because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge.

Billy… I mean, Opie, came to us as a three-month-old kitten, running amok in my yard among the raccoons and fox. He fell into place easily among the Wonderpurr Gang, and made fast friends with Barney.

Barney had insecurity issues and the devil in Herman took advantage by picking on Barney. It wasn’t until Opie joined the family and befriended Barney that things shifted out of Herman’s favor.

Opie read Herman like a book and taught Barney not to be afraid of him. In return for these lessons, Barney taught Opie how to spray stuff that he didn’t like.

This is how Opie evolved into Billy Mumy. I mean, Anthony Freemont—the Twilight Zone kid.

Barney has moved on, but his lessons on retaliation for things that displease him are still going strong. For a while, everything displeased Opie. The only kick he got was giving Herman a hard time. Then Peaches moved in and Opie fell in love and lightened up.

IMG_1079

So much so that he allowed her son, Jack, to move in after Jack had something bad happen to him and became very sick. Opie took Jack under his wing and today they are more than brofurs…they’re in a serious bromance.

Hugs4

Then along came Dori, and Opie was done. She charmed the dickens out of him, and entertained him mostly by hounding Herman for attention.

BWlLWB6IMAATtW8

I feared the worst when Frank moved in a year later, but nope. Frank was tired of brawling and wanted a quiet, easy life. He let Opie be The Boss and was content to kiss his ginger ass.

IMG_1078

Around here, Opie is known as The Watcher. He watches everything, mostly from a floor basket where he blends in so often you’re not aware you’re being watched.

But you are.

All the time.

Like Santa Claus, Opie sees you when you’re sleeping; he knows when you’re awake. He also know when you’re opening cans of Fancy Feast and there will be hell to pay if you feed him last.

Emotionally Secure

Our newest – Candy – sized up the situation right away and made googly eyes at Opie. He now thinks the sun rises and sets on Candy.

We’ve had two-years-worth of Opie Joy. Then Jesse got a hole chewed into his butt, and his recoop time demanded he take refuge in Ray’s office. Opie set up camp outside the door. I was deluded into thinking he wouldn’t mind having Jesse recover inside a room that wasn’t being used.

I was wrong. But I didn’t know that yet. So I invited Nikolas inside to escape the dangerous heatwave that had settled over our town. Nik is Dori’s dad. He’s a nice guy. Never causes trouble.

IMG_9202

But.

Frank doesn’t like Nikolas. Frank also doesn’t like Jesse. And when I gave in to my delusion that everyone was going to behave like one big happy family…

All Hell Broke Loose!

Enter Billy Mumy cat.

His pal, Frank, wasn’t happy that Nik and Jesse were indoors, so Opie soaked the office door. He then soaked the cat bedding. He then soaked a wall or two. A rug or three. The bag of dog food for the raccoons. Nothing was considered beyond being soaked.

I quickly ran out of cat pee cleaner and patience.

As I write this Opie has entered my office and is gazing at me with his lovely golden green eyes. He’s really gorgeous. I mean, this cat has the most awesome orange fur I’ve ever seen on any cat in the entire wor–

Okay, the asshole just left.

Where was I?

Oh – just ran out of cat pee cleaner and patience.

Once Jesse was healed, he and Nik were escorted back outside with profuse apologies and a new garage fan. Still, the spraying has not quite stopped.

I made the Cardinal Sin of forgetting that Nik had slept on a cushy pet bed whilst enjoying his air conditioned suite in Ray’s office. This past weekend I put the bed down for someone else to enjoy. The next morning it was soaked.

I washed it. Twice! Put it down and again it was soaked.

I washed it again. Twice! And this time I covered it with a layer of Downy dryer sheets and a thick towel folded in half with another layer of Downy dryer sheets in between the layer.

I then put Opie on the bed and rubbed him all over it to get his personal stink ground in.

So far so good.

Good Opie! That’s real good!

If you’re interested, here is a clip from the Twilight Zone episode, It’s A Good Life.

Do you have a Billy Mumy cat at your house? A cat that holds you hostage with threat of bad behavior? I would love to hear how your cat rules your roost.

Thanks so much for leaving a comment, and have a Wonderpurr Day!

Kim

 

Sweating with Fury

Underpants - Janeson Keeley quote

Had fun yesterday morning. Nearly hit neighbor’s puppy. Then its twin chased my car to the busy road. Had to turn around, go back, ring doorbell. They were home – garage door open with several cars in driveway, but they couldn’t be bothered to answer bell. I rang like I was kinda furious.

Maybe that’s why they didn’t answer. Hm.

Chased the dogs down. Put one over the stoopid tiny makeshift fence while its twin joyfully showed me how they got out by getting back in — the “gate” is tipped and they can jump it.

I’m now sweating through my underwear and still need to take Peaches to the vet for a severe respiratory infection. My POS van has no air. So window is down (only one works and it’s not on the driver side) and while I drive to the vet, I write furious anonymous notes to put in their mail box.

I threaten to leave dog carcass on their front doorstep after I find it dead on the road. I tell them next time I will just load the dogs into my car and take them to the pound. Better they get euthanized than suffer at their lousy hands. I tell them there is a dog fighting ring in the neighborhood. I tell them to answer their effing doorbell!

This is not the first time I’ve had to stop to put their dogs back in their yard. These people have a reputation for not taking care of their pets.

I’m burning with fury by the time I get to the vet because my underwear is now sweaty.

I get meds for Peaches and meds for Noah, my feral stray who also has a respiratory infection. I forget all about my fury while in their air conditioning.

But I remember on the way home since I’m again sweaty. I think sweat brings out the manic animal crusader in me.

cat-woman-1115933_1280

This time I write the note in my head and decide to not mention dead carcass and pound. I decide if I see the pups again on the road, I will call Animal Control. My luck someone would see me popping the pups into my car and accuse me of being a dog-napper.

Back home I pour strong coffee and turn down the air conditioning. Noah ate his medication cuz I hid it inside sardines.

Still writing note in my head.

I’m proud of myself for removing the swearwords from this post.

Have a sweat-free day!

Kim

Drinking all day

The Scary Boot Chronicles – Conclusion

053The Scary Boot is gone. So are the crutches. So is my doctor…as he gave me ‘the boot’ and said I’m good to go. I don’t need to come back unless something dire happens.

He didn’t define dire.

He probably should have.

To me, dire is going a whole weekend without chocolate…or pizza.

However, I still need to keep my foot wrapped like a mummy because internal swelling will reoccur for over the next year. Yay!

Also, my foot doesn’t bend well at the toes. I told my doctor this and he asked why I needed to bend my toes. He had me there. I guess I don’t…except when I walk, I limp. And I hate limping. A lot!

Limping brings to mind a reoccurring nightmare of me being chased by photographers in Walmart while I’m wearing my favorite writing pants–covered in cat hair–with my hair huge with humidity, no make-up, and … I’m limping because I’m wearing one sneaker and one high heel.

In reality, I’m in pain. It’s traveling from my foot up through my knees and hips into my spine and up to my neck.

Yep. Limping is a pain in the neck.

Also, if I’m on my feet too much–like unexpectedly walking around a small town art fair with my husband and Bestie when we thought we were going to a weekend Farmer’s Market, but the Market had been replaced by the fair–I’ve noticed my left foot feels squishy. Not frog swishy, but like the bones are being stepped on and splaying. It feels weird. And it hurts.

Did I mention I’m still hurting? Not getting much sympathy here at home what with Ray being a guy and my cats being cats. You gotta know what I mean.

I’m also chronically tired. So much so, that a “good night’s rest” leaves me exhausted. I ripped a page from Grandma’s book and started to go to bed around 8pm because I have to get up at 6am to feed the Wonderpurr Gang, the Wonderpurr stray cats, along with the Wonderpurr Raccoons. They gather in the kitchen and on the back porch by 6 am – seven days a week. I can’t sleep knowing they are waiting for me, thus, I thought going to bed super early would help me feel rested.

It doesn’t.

Here I am, going on two months after surgery, and I’m still sooo tired. I did go to the doctor to have blood drawn, thinking it could be anemia or my thryoid, but nope. I’m healthy.

Damn it!

My nurse practitioner put me on Lexapro. She thought my symptoms sounded like depression.

Yeah! I’m depressed, all right. I’m depressed that I’m limping, with aching feet, aching knees, hips, can’t sleep in late on Saturday like everyone else cuz I have a herd of cats and raccoons all waiting for me to cater to them…blah blah blah, and I’m so tired I can’t stay awake to watch the news.

But I’m a glass half-full kind of girl, so to put a positive spin on this hiccup on my Life Road, my husband, Ray, has taken over shoveling litter boxes, mopping floors, and miscellaneous stuff I usually do, but currently am not in the best of physical ability to do them.

I’m blessed to have him take care of me…even though he puts his own sweet spin on the chores and does them differently than how I do them. While I’m grateful for his help, my cats are somewhat out of sorts since Ray lines up their food dishes side by side when he feeds them, not follow them around the kitchen, sun room and living room while they pick out just the right place to dine…like I do.

I keep telling my cats… See how great you have it when I’m around? Better take good care of me. Look how rough life will be if Daddy is in charge.

IMG_7469

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2011-2017. Wonderpurr Life Publishing.