15

Home Alone Feline Edition: This Time it’s Personal

Snoops and Kommando here. And we are not pleased. Our humans have abandoned us. Our human sister and her very loud family came over a couple of days ago. Of course, we hid. When we came out, our humans were gone. That’s not usual. They disappear regularly, but they always come back.

 But it’s been light and dark and light and dark, and they’re still gone. A strange man came in yesterday and fed us. He said they are on vacation. Vacation? Who would need a vacation from us? Apparently they are going to be gone for a few days.

Now we have to think of a way to get even. The question is, should we do something while they’re gone or should we wait until they get back?

Lolcats - hairball - LOL at Funny Cat Memes - Funny cat pictures with words  on them - lol | cat memes | funny cats | funny cat pictures with words on

Maybe a nice hairball.

Fancy cats and dead gifts - Meme by Capra24 :) Memedroid

Or some kind of varmint.

Lolcats - destroy - LOL at Funny Cat Memes - Funny cat pictures with words  on them - lol | cat memes | funny cats | funny cat pictures with words on

Maybe we can take it out on the plants.

LALALALALALA. Not Listening!

We can give them the silent treatment when they get home.

No touch me, im angy - iFunny :)

Or maybe just act really grumpy.

We think that we’ll just look really cute when they get back. Then they’ll feel bad for leaving us alone. (If you have a better idea, please leave it in the comments.)

Memes courtesy of Google Images.

23

Party Time! August 8 is International Cat Day

It’s time to celebrate all things cat! Monday is International Cat Day, so everyone should be celebrating the wonderfulness of us.  Here are some suggestions for ways your human can spoil you on this special day.

Presents

Who doesn’t love a new toy? It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Just something to let you know you’re appreciated. Here are a couple of do-it-yourself ideas:

Wine Corks – Soften the wine cork by boiling it. Make a hole in one end, and insert feathers, pipe cleaners, ribbon, etc. Secure the attachment with epoxy. Let fully dry before use.

Cat Tent – Bend wire hangers into an interesting shape. Pull a t-shirt over the hangers. Glue the bottom and sleeves over. The neck hole leaves an opening for the cat to get in and out of the tent. (Full instructions are here.)

Pom-poms – Loop yarn around your hand multiple times (25-50). Slide the yarn off your hand and tie it around the center with another piece of yarn. Cut the loops and fluff it up. You can attach it to a stick if you’d like.

Catnip

Is it really a party if there isn’t any catnip? You can enjoy it fresh, dried, or in a toy. Maybe you’d even like to try some cool catnip tea. You can try sprinkling some on a favorite climbing tree. We know everyone doesn’t love catnip, but it’s the perfect opportunity for those who do to enjoy a little.

Most elegant cat I have seen ever.

Pictures

Maybe it’s finally the right occasion to have your official portrait taken. What better way to commemorate the day than to have a professional picture. Selfies are nice, but wouldn’t it be pawsome to see yourself captured in all your regal beauty. You can consider letting your human share the spotlight. You’ll have a family keepsake. And the human can pay.

This Cat Eating It's Birthday Cake Is An Actual Cat And Not A Meme

Kitty Cake (More recipes here)

Why should humans be the only ones who get to each cake on special occasions? The one below is super easy. If your human is more talented, you should definitely check out the link above.

Step 1 – Mix drained tuna, shredded chicken, and pureed sweet potato/pumpkin in a large bowl. Add rice flour to get a firm consistency.

Step 2 – Use a cookie/biscuit cutter to make small cakes. Your human can also form them by hand.

Some cats like to have whipped potato frosting. That sounds pretty yucky to us, but we won’t judge you.

Why You Should Massage Your Cat - Stay-N-Play Pet Ranch

Pampering

You should definitely expect extra attention on the holiday. Maybe you’d like an extra-long play session. Or a kitty massage. Your own human can massage you or you might get lucky and they’ll know a professional kitty masseuse (most likely your vet has a name). Maybe you can get a new kitty bed to get ready for the cool weather that will be here before we know it. At the very least, demand some extra pets and rubs.

If your human is interested in some massage basics, you can find them here.

110 Lovely Cat Memes

Go For a Walk

If you’re an adventurous kitty, tell your human that you want to go for a walk. Whether you use a leash, halter, or stroller, International Cat Day is the perfect time to spend some quality kitty/human bonding time exploring the neighborhood. Maybe the human can just spend some time with you on your porch or catio.

Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter – Volunteers of the Burbank Animal  Shelter

Celebrate for a Cause

Maybe you don’t really want/need anything. Talk your human into donating some money in your name to a good cause. There are many cat-related charities that could use help. Or donate supplies to the local shelter. Best of all, if you’re looking for a sibling, it would be a great day to adopt a kitten/cat.

However you decide to celebrate, have a great day!

International Cat Day This Month - Catwatch Newsletter

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

31

The Big Catnap: A Kommando Kitty Thriller – Part 2

The story so far: After Mom’s new catnip was found strewn across the porch in a mess of potting soil and shattered dreams, Kommando Kitty, Purrivate Investigator is on the case. But despite her super sleuthing, she has yet to discover the perpetrator. When last we saw her, what looked like her own fur had just been discovered at the scene of the crime, prompting her partner and sister, Snoops, to go back inside for a nice nap. Now it’s up to our plucky hero to crack the case and clear her name. You can read Part 1 here.

As I watched Snoops slink away, I pushed the doubts from my mind and got ready for the stakeout. I knew the only way to get through to her would be to find the real culprit, since Snoops had never acquired my own unshakable faith in myself, for some reason. I found a nice spot on a window ledge overlooking the porch and settled in.

Something that detective stories never tell you though, is that stakeouts are really, really boring. After the first hour of waiting, my paws started to fall asleep. After the next hour, the rest of me was catching up. After FOUR HOURS (that’s ONE WHOLE CAT in paws, for the mathematically-inclined), I was almost ready to give up hope, but that’s when Lady Luck came a-knocking on my door.

While I was wondering whether the ants on the porch or the hours of the stakeout were crawling by more slowly, I suddenly caught a flash of movement on the sidewalk. A huge, burly young tomcat was stalking up toward the house, practically radiating evil intent [Editor’s Note: the cat in question might weigh seven pounds. Might.] Not wanting things to take an ugly turn, I sprang into action, throwing myself in front of the intruder.

“Stop, in the name of the law!”

Aaah! What’s going on? Who are you?”

“Paying dumb, huh? Well, nobody’s dumber than… wait… uh, hang on…”

“What?”

“Nevermind, I’m asking the questions here! Who are you, and why did you mercilessly destroy Mom’s catnip?”

“I asked first. And I didn’t do anything to any catnip, anyway. Are you okay? You’re acting kinda weird.”

“And you’re acting very suspicious! Wait a minute… Do I know you? You seem familiar.”

“Well, I grew up here…”

“Hang on…” I squinted at the interloper, “you’re my good-for-nothing sister’s kid! Sergeant Stripes!” My sister and I had never seen eye to eye, ever since I’d managed to make it big.

“Hey! Good-for-nothing? You’re not very nice.”

“Don’t play coy with me! You two are trying to frame me for your crimes, that’s why you planted my fur in the catnip pot! She was always jealous of me! Well, it isn’t going to work. Now that I’ve unraveled your nefarious scheme, Mom’s finally going to stop putting food out for you, and I’m going to be back to my usual spot as #1 cat around here! [Editor’s Note: this is a spot Kommando shares with Snoops]

“Uh… I really don’t know what you’re talking about. How long were you laying in that sunpuddle for?”

“I was doing a stakeout! And now I’ve caught you. That means you have to tell me all the bad stuff you did. So stop stalling and spill the beans! Sheesh, haven’t you ever seen any detective movies? How do you explain this?” I finished triumphantly, thrusting the incriminating furs in his face.

“Seen any whats? Look, I’m still not really sure what’s going on, but if you’re mom’s sister, then you should know that she’s been napping in that catnip. That’s probably where that fur came from. Now, can I get back to my snack?”

“So she IS the perpetrator!”

“…look, I’m guessing you and mom don’t get along well, since we haven’t met before, and I think I can see why. But she didn’t knock over the catnip. It’s her favorite new bed, why would she?”

“I’ve never understood why anyone does anything, I’m just a detective. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t do it. Maybe it was a crime of passion.”

“Would you trash your own bed?”

“Well… no. But this is my only lead!”

“…I’m going back to my kibble.” With that, he turned away, with all the inscrutability of an Egyptian sphinx. The statue kind, not the hairless kind. They’re weird. I stared hard at his back, but he didn’t waver. Maybe his story was actually true. It did put me in a bind, though. Who actually did smash the catnip?

So that’s how I ended up sitting under the bed, with a thunderstorm hammering at the windows, trying to figure out what had actually happened. As I lay there frustrated, I heard the rain start to slow. I made my way up to my perch by the window, staring forlornly out at the row of pots sitting below, mocking me. Then, out of nowhere, it hit me.

“Snoops!” I ran toward my partner, elated, “I know who knocked over the catnip!”

“Of course you do, it was your fur in the pot. Are you done playing detective?”

“That wasn’t my fur, it was my sister’s! And I didn’t knock over the pot, it was that big, ugly possum out there!” I exclaimed, pointing at the possum in question.”

“Big, ugly…?” Snoops slowly turned, eyes widening in surprise as she beheld the uninvited guest helping himself to the cat food Mom had put out for my sister and her pack of strays. “…Huh. I’ll bet you’re right. Congrats on cracking the case, detective.”

I purred happily. “I couldn’t have done it alone, partner!” (I just had, but Snoops likes to feel included. She’s a little insecure, and gets jealous easily.)

So that’s the whole story. Mom had to repot the catnip another time, after it got dug out again, and now she’s just started keeping it up on the railing, where it’s harder to get at. To make amends for her false accusation, Snoops gave me a bath. After that, I finally got back to that catnip mouse and my soft, fluffy new bed. Another mystery solved by Kommando Kitty, Purrivate Investigator!

27

The Big Catnap: A Kommando Kitty Thriller

The Cat Detective! | Kittyworks

In honor of our 9th anniversary and 500th post, our human brother has written a noir classic about us:

It was a dark and stormy afternoon. I lounged casually under the bed, where the thunder couldn’t get me. As the rain battered the windows of my bedroom, I turned the facts of the case over in my head. That’s right, I’m Kommando Kitty, purrivate investigator, and at that moment, I was the only thing standing between an audacious villain and an easy life living off their ill-gotten gains (Editor’s Note: nothing, much less anything of value, was stolen).

It all started with an innocuous Mother’s Day present. My sister/assistant (Editor’s note: Snoops is not Kommando’s assistant) and I had gotten mom a giftcard to a local plant nursery, so she could get us some catnip—a little quid pro quo, as we say in the business. Everything was coming up catnip, too. She liked the gift; she bought some catnip plants, and after a bit, she even transplanted them to bigger pots so they’d keep growing. Everyone was happy, then.

That was when the dastardly blackguard struck. One morning, we went outside, and the catnip was crushed! Something, or someone, had seen our innocent plants and decided that they needed to be taken down a peg. Once proud stalks were smashed, smushed, or smooshed. Leaves were torn and ragged, and dirt spilled from the sides of the previously neatly-kept pot. As soon as I saw the scene of the crime, I knew I would be the one who had to find some answers, even if I had a catnip mouse and a soft new bed on top of a cat tree in the window waiting.

“Did you see that dark business earlier today, Snoops? I think they might try to call me back in for this one.”

“…you mean the catnip over there? Mom’s repotting it. She says she thinks it’ll be okay.”

“Of course, I can’t very well sit idly by while some knave gets off scot-free, and they did always say I was the best.”

“…at what?”

And I suppose I won’t have any peace until I’ve apprehended the miscreant. Fine, fine, you’ve convinced me. I’ll do it!” She gave me a long stare, like she was trying to search for hope within the beautiful lines of my face. Finally, she sighed.

“…well, good luck?”

“We won’t need it, partner! Like they say, I’m the best.”

“Oh yay, I get to be a partner.” Snoops had an oddly deadpan tone, but she was clearly thrilled to be working with me again. I just hoped I’d be able to protect her from whoever did this.

The first thing we did was familiarize ourselves with the crime scene. I laid in a sun puddle looking out at the porch where it happened for several hours, but I made little headway. Whoever had done the crime was fiendishly clever.

Next, Snoops and I checked the catnip itself. It was very aromatic around the scene from all the broken leaves and stems. Whoever it was, they’d been thorough. Therefore, my partner and I concluded that we must be equally thorough, but about two hours of closely inspecting the catnip later, and we still had no leads.

“Hey Kommando,” my partner beseeched me.

“Talk to me.”

“Isn’t this your fur in the pot?”

I looked at what she’d found. Sure enough, gray and white fur, with the right length and texture to have come right out of my own luxurious coat. That’s when I knew things were getting dicey. Someone was trying to set me up, and I had to act fast before I was sleeping with the fishies, and I don’t mean the catnip ones.

“I’ve been framed! But who would want me gone? And why? Something isn’t adding up. We need to do a stakeout.”

“You’re not just trying to cover up that you knocked the pot over, are you?”

“…so it comes to this. Betrayed by my own partner. I should have known that when the going got tough, you’d get going. You didn’t grow up on the streets like I did, so you never had to get tough yourself.” (Editor’s Note: Kommando was less than four weeks old when she was found in a suburb. Snoops was adopted from a shelter after having had kittens on the street).

“Uh… okay, I’m just going to go take my nap. Good luck cracking the case, Purrlock.”

“Fine! I didn’t need you anyway, I’ll solve the case myself! And when I’m living on easy street, don’t expect to come crawling back!”

My partner stormed off, probably overcome with jealousy of my good looks and intimidating intellect, as I settled into a good spot where I could survey the porch. I had known from the start that this mystery wouldn’t be an easy one, but the stakes had just gotten a lot higher, with my own reputation on the line.

NEXT WEEK:

Will Purrivate Investigator Kommando Kitty find out who overturned the catnip and clear her name? Will Snoops be able to take her nap without interruption? Will the mysterious perpetrator be brought to justice? Find out, only on Adventures in Cheeseland

17

There Goes the Neighborhood: The Groundhogs’ Bad Season: Part 2

Groundhog Day: Munching Marmots Emerge From the Scientific Shadows - The  New York Times

Where we are: Harold and Madge Groundhog were concerned that their yard was being beautified in preparation of being sold. They were rather fond of their human; they and the other animals pretty much had the run of the place. You can read Part 1 here.

Harold: It’s getting worse. Now the other human, the younger one, is starting to clean up the yard too.

Madge: I know. The sticks are all gone, and the grass is shorter than it’s been in ages.

Harold: And the sidewalks are all clean.

Glastonbury Bittersweet Battlers: Invasive Plants Journal: Wild Grape: A  Mixed Blessing

Madge: Our human is out every weekend, clearing away the weeds. I guess it’s more the way humans like it, but I miss the overgrowth. She got rid of all the grape vines. She said they were “invasive.”

Harold: Just because they were trying to root in the vinyl siding.

Sara Squirrel: Isn’t that like ivy-league? I thought that was high-class for humans.

Madge: Beats me. All I know is that the sun is getting into our home a lot more than it used to. And I don’t really feel safe anymore.

Roger Raccoon: Me and my friends have been trying to keep it from getting too clean. We’ve dumped the catnip and tomato plants a couple of times.

Ricky Raccoon: Not that you can tell. It gets cleaned up first thing in the morning.

Harold: And they moved some of the stuff inside.

Madge: They keep putting the catnip back down for that new cat to lie in.

Sara Squirrel: Yeah. Those two cats act like they own the place. I thought for sure the inside cats would try to drive them off, but they don’t seem to care.

Pierre Rabbit: I saw the human planting some stuff in front of the house.

Just then a bat flew over. The bats didn’t really like the rest of the animals, but he was curious about what was going on.

Benson: Hey, guys. What’s up?

Madge: We’re worried that the humans are getting the place ready to sell.

Raccoon Will Clean Your House For Treats [VIDEO] | Raccoon funny, Pet  raccoon, Raccoon

Benson: You should see what’s going on inside. Major cleaning. Whole rooms are being cleared out.

Madge: Are they talking about moving?

Benson: I wish. My whole family has been living peacefully in the attic. They stirred everything up; we’re all moving out to the bat house. It’s ridiculous inside.

 Madge: But that’s your home!

Benson: It’s not worth it. The human is afraid of us. Every time she sees a bat, she gets the younger one and he puts us out. We’d rather leave on our own terms.

Guide to game: Rabbit and hare

Pierre: It’s not so bad out here. We have a lot of room, and no one bothers us.

Priscilla Rabbit: Did you hear the humans say anything about selling the house?

Benson: No. That’s not what’s going on. I guess that the other main human died a couple of years ago. They’re just finally getting around to really cleaning everything up. It’s a big house and a big yard.

Harold: Yeah. I guess it would take a lot of energy to get things straightened out.

Benson: The humans who are left said something about the one who’s gone being a pack rat. I don’t really know what that means. I saw pictures. He looks like all the other humans.

Cute Mouse Wallpapers - Top Free Cute Mouse Backgrounds - WallpaperAccess

Harold: Weird. I don’t think we have rats around here. I think they look like big mice.

Mortimer Mouse: Yeah. Kinda. But not so cute.

Harold: Do you know what a pack rat is?

Mortimer: I think it has something to do with the way that some rats hoard things.

Benson: Yeah. That sounds right. They are throwing away a LOT of stuff in the house.

Harold: And a lot of stuff out here.

cat loves bunny | Cat love, Rabbit pictures, Pet bunny

Priscilla: But they attracted those two cats. I don’t really like cats.

Pierre: But as long as they feed the cats, the cats don’t bother us.

Priscilla: Good point.

Roger: If they’re not cleaning to sell, we can probably stop trashing the plants on the porch.

Ricky: Sounds good to me. They’re not growing anything good anyway.

Madge (sighing): I guess that means I have to live with less privacy.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

Benson: I overheard them say something about moving some of the peonies into the space they cleared.

Madge: Ooh! I love peonies. I hope that’s soon.

Benson: I did hear one other thing. There is no plan to clear the back area anytime soon.

Ricky: All right! Block party this weekend!!

My favorite animal in i party hat, how cute!! | Pet raccoon, Dumb animals,  Raccoon funny

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

20

There Goes the Neighborhood: The Groundhogs’ Bad Season

Groundhog Photos and Facts

The groundhog family had been living under the porch of the old farmhouse for generations. It was a pretty nice location: the humans didn’t spend too much time outside, and they never bothered the groundhogs. There was plenty of clover to eat and even an ornamental peach tree to climb.

Life had been particularly good in the past couple of years. Something had happened to the male human, and the female human stopped working in the yard almost entirely. The garden in front of the porch got overgrown, and it was hard to even see under the porch. The groundhogs were thrilled. Nothing bothered them, and they came and went as they pleased.

File:Groundhog on rock.jpg - Wikipedia

But this past spring something changed.

Harold: Hey Madge, you notice that the human seems more active than usual?

Madge: Yeah. She’s been over at the side of the house digging around. She’s talking about putting in a rock garden.

Harold: That would be nice. It would give us someplace to sun.

Madge: That’s true. We wouldn’t have to walk around to the back of the house anymore.

Harold: I hope she doesn’t dig up all the clover.

Madge: I wouldn’t worry about it. It hasn’t happened in the 20 years our family’s lived here.

Harold: Excellent point.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

Indeed, soon enough the human stopped digging up the side of the house. She came back one day with a bunch of plants that she put on the porch.

Madge: Did you see all that gorgeous greenery. It looks pretty yummy.

Harold: It’s awfully close to the house. I’m not going up there to explore.

Madge: I think she’s going to plant some of it in our yard.

Harold: Oooh. That will be nice. The more green, the better.

Nature Notes: Winter is Coming | The Michigan Nature Guy's Blog

However, the human didn’t put the new plants in the yard. She moved them into larger pots and left them on the porch. One morning, the groundhogs heard digging.

Harold: Look, Madge. She’s clearing the part of the yard by the other front porch. Maybe that’s where she’s going to grow our new plants.

Madge: That would be convenient. I wonder if we should figure out a way to tell her where to put the stuff we like best.

Harold: Let’s go explore what’s up there.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

The groundhogs discovered that most of the plants were too high to reach. There were a couple of bushes and some catnip. They also found tomatoes and peppers in pots.

Harold: This is very disappointing. I hope the good stuff is in the pots up top.

Madge: Let’s ask the rabbits to check it out for us. They can jump up there and see.

Safe Wood and Other Plants For Rabbits

The next night, Pierre jumped up on the railing and had a look around. All he could see were herbs. Except, there was one particularly appetizing smell.

Pierre: Bad news, guys. There’s nothing really good up there. Oregano, sage, rosemary. Nothing that’s really going to appeal to anyone.

Harold: Well, rats.

Madge: I hope she finishes putting it in soon. At least we won’t have to worry about having a human out all the time.

Groundhog Trapping & Removal Near Willow Grove, Pennsylvania

The human continued cleaning out the yard. The groundhogs weren’t really paying much attention. One Saturday, they woke up to loud noises a few feet from their nest. They looked out in horror.

Madge: Do something, Harold! She’s digging up right next to our porch! We’re going to lose all our privacy.

Harold: What do you want me to do about it?

Madge: I don’t know. We have to stop this.

violentbaudelaire: A squirrel lunch meeting | Cute squirrel, Cute animals,  Animals wild

Later that day, they heard the humans discussing the work. They were very excited about how much “nicer” it looked and how much better it would be once all of the weeds were gone. The groundhogs decided it was time for a neighborhood meeting.

Harold: We wanted to get everyone together to discuss what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Sara Squirrel: You mean the humans’ “Beautification” project? It’s awful. They’re picking up all the sticks, digging out all the weeds, and cleaning up the sidewalks.

Roger Raccoon: Before we know it, the whole place is going to look like it belongs on the front of one of those sales brochures. Like it was when the humans first moved in.

Pierre: We can’t let that happen. What if this human decides to sell it? No one is ever going to be as easy to manipulate as she is.

Texas family wakes up to raccoon on bathroom sink - ABC7 New York

Roger: That’s true. She lets us pretty much run the place.

Harold: Maybe. But she’s destroying my peace of mind right now. She’s ruining the entrance to our home.

Priscilla Rabbit: She’s bringing in nasty plants too. I thought she had planted some fennel. Super yummy. But when I dug up the bulbs, it was only the plant, not the edible kind. Talk about rude.

Madge: A couple of cats have started hanging around too. You know the neighborhood won’t be safe anymore if they stick around.

Roger: We have to do something before we get beautified out of our happy homes.

Next Week: The animals’ plan and how it works out.

23

Thunder Katt: Alternatives in Dining

Greetings from a hungry kitty! Recently, my human mom was diagnosed with something called “Celiac Disease”. From what I can tell, this means her body doesn’t like her when she eats gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye) and it causes her to be in a lot of pain (which makes her really, really grumpy), and it causes her to be super nauseous and tired.

I thought we were going to have to trade her in at the shelter for a newer model, but she informed me that all she had to do was make some dietary modifications, and she would feel better! (Sadly, there is no cure or medicine for this. The only treatment is dietary changes). So, I decided to tell everyone about different diets that you and your human can try together (please note that I was forced to include some of these by my typist- I would never be able to go meat free or dairy free, but major kudos to those who can)! 

Gluten Free

This is what my household has started following recently. We have cut out all wheat, barley and rye. Our diets now commonly consist of rice, rice flour baked goods (such as bread, desserts, and pizza crust), vegetable pastas, corn tortillas, cheese, meat, and produce. The two tastiest things (aside from the meat and cheese) are the tortillas and pizza crust. This option is good for anyone with gluten allergies or sensitivities, and many people with autoimmune disorders have benefited from this as well. 

Vegetarian

This diet is scary- you completely cut out all meat! Thankfully, you can still have animal products, so dairy and eggs are okay, along with soy-based meat substitutes (found in the frozen section of your local grocery store). Other staples of this diet include nuts, beans and other legumes, pasta, bread, fruits, and vegetables. Although I would never commit to this diet, some Thunder-approved foods include lettuce, grapes, and strawberries. Note to kitties: due to being obligate carnivores, I would not take this diet as your primary- I would use this as a snacking aid or meal side. 

Dairy Free

According to science, all cats should be following this because we can’t break down dairy enzymes. Clearly, Mr Science is wrong, because Angel and I often enjoy cheese and cream cheese without issue. This diet cuts out cow’s milk and cow’s milk products, which includes most types of cheese, creams, sour cream, cream cheese, and butter. There are alternatives out there, such as soy, almond, rice, and oat milk, and you can enjoy juices and broths, along with meats, most treats, produce, and wheat products. This diet is something you can consider trying if your human is lactose intolerant (can’t process dairy enzymes) or vegan (see author’s note at the end). 

Diabetic Diet

This diet focuses on healthy eating habits to help your body regulate it’s insulin production and sugar levels. It cuts out a lot of carbs and sugars, and focuses on proteins and fresh foods. Both cats and humans can suffer from diabetes, so if you are in an affected household, you probably are already familiar with this diet. Some cat-approved foods include grilled or baked poultry, lean red meats, low-fat cheeses and cottage cheese, and select fruits and vegetables (humans can enjoy foods such as onion and garlic, which are harmful to cats). Try to stick to the water-based vegetables, such as lettuce and cucumbers, and the low-sugar fruits, such as bananas, if you and your human choose this diet. 

Soy Free

Soy is a legume that originated in Asia. It is also a common source of food allergy. Soy is commonly used to replace dairy and meats, and can be found in soy milk, vegetarian meat replacements, infant formulas, frozen vegetable mixes, tofu, and many pre-packaged or processed foods. To avoid soy, select fresh meats, dried pasta, beans, and rice, and fresh produce. Watch out for cross contamination (the process by which microscopic amounts of a food are unintentionally transferred to another food), as many plants  and restaurants process soy in the same area they process other products. 

Nut Free

Nuts are one of the most common allergens around. Peanuts are the biggest offender, although tree nut allergies are becoming more common. Cross contamination is really common with nuts, so the best way to avoid nuts is to buy fresh meats and fish, whole wheat breads and flours, and fresh produce, and to create everything at home. Almost all processed foods have the risk of having come in contact with nuts. Thankfully, most cats don’t care about nuts one way or another, so if your human is avoiding nuts, this shouldn’t affect you too much.

Egg Free

Eggs are a bit odd in my opinion. They look like toys, but when you bat one off of the table, it just plops and breaks. And the inside is slimy and weird. But if you cook an egg, it’s hard, and actually really delicious. However, if you’re hung up on how weird they are (or if you’re allergic), there are ways to avoid eggs. Unfortunately, this eliminates almost all prepared sweets, pastas, snacks, breads, and sauces; however, meats and fresh foods, along with some dairy is okay. And if you’re willing to put in the time of making your own foods at home, there are substitutes you can use for eggs, such as applesauce, mashed bananas, buttermilk, and arrowroot powder. 

Whole Food

This diet is becoming more and more popular. It is a way of eating that emphasizes plant foods and cuts out unhealthy items like added sugars and refined grains. It is one of the healthier meal plans out there. Depending on how you do it, this can maintain or lower your body weight, but you and your human are still getting yummy, cat-approved foods! Foods commonly found on this diet are whole grains, fruits and vegetables, chicken and fish, milk, yogurt, legumes, nuts, and seeds. This probably is not a good choice for those with food allergies, who should instead stick to a dietary restriction diet to make sure they avoid their allergens. 

Paleo

This diet sounds like it was created by a wild cat. The point of this diet is to eat what you can get by gathering and hunting – fish and meats, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. Like the whole food diet, this plan cuts out processed foods, but it also cuts out most wheat, as wheat is typically cooked down and processed before serving. This diet also focuses on all meats, such as venison, poultry, and red meats, as opposed to mainly the leaner options. This diet sounds pretty purrfect to me. 

Pescatarian 

This diet is similar to vegetarianism, but their main source of protein includes fish and seafood and it sounds much better to me! The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish are great for your fur and eyes, so definitely mention this diet if your human is looking to cut out most meat but wants to include you. 

Who knew that humans could be so picky? I was shocked when I saw all of these different diets! I have my paws crossed that you found something that works for your household, but at the end of the day, remember this: make sure you get your meat intake, and also make sure that you get your special treats. One human’s intolerance should not ruin everything for you! May you eat well and be merry! 

Purrs and furs,

Thunder K. Katt

Author’s note- according to Mr Google, veganism is a popular diet. I chose not to include this because it has proven to be highly unsafe for cats, who are obligate carnivores and can not safely live off of plant proteins alone. 

10

Bears v Bulls: The Great Tug-of-War

These Photos of Animals Eating Food Will Brighten Your Day

It was time for the annual Everest Financial company picnic. It was a family event, and a highlight of the year. One of the most anticipated events was was the big tug-of-war. Every year, the “big boys” of the firm fought it out for bragging rights. It was always the bulls on one side and the bears on the other. The bulls had been winning for the past few years, but the bears had been practicing.

The bulls were an upbeat bunch. They always looked at the bright side, even when things seemed to go against them. They were optimistic and hopeful for the future. The clients loved them. Oddly, on the years that the bulls won the match, the company usually performed very well.

What Is a Group of Bears Called? | Animals Pickings

On the other hand, the bears were a lot quieter. They had a tendency to try and find the flaws in the bulls’ approach. They were cautious by nature. Some of the customers were afraid of the bears. They thought that the bears were bad luck. In fact, when the bears won the tug-of-war, the company usually performed poorly for some time afterwards.

The big day arrived. It was a beautiful sunny day. The bulls, as usual, were convinced they were going to win.

Herd Bulls | texasminiaturecattle

Jerry: OK, guys! We’re on a winning streak. We have to keep it going.

Louis: I don’t know. I have a weird feeling about today.

Jerry: What do you mean?

Louis: I’ve been hearing rumors.

Jimmy: What kind of rumors?

Louis: That the bears are a lot stronger than last year.

Jimmy: So what? We’re strong too.

Louis: Yeah. But some of the guys haven’t been working out. They’re convinced that we’re going to keep winning forever.

Jerry: Don’t be ridiculous. Of course, we’re going to win.

Angry Bear - JattDiSite.com

The bears came charging onto the field. They did look tough. And mean. Obviously, they meant to win this year.

Barry: Listen up, team. We can do this. Those stupid bulls are way too cocky. It’s time to teach them a lesson.

Theo: Things have been going their way for too long. It’s time for a correction.

Monique: Let’s show them what happens when you get too excited and lose track of common sense.

Meerkat | San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants

A huge crowd had gathered. There was a lot of tension in the air. The judges brought out the rope and laid it on the sand. The animals lined up on their respective sides. The main referee, a huge lion, explained the rules.

Lion: You may wrap the line around your body or hold it in your teeth. If you bite through the rope, the other team wins. The first team to pull the entire other team across the middle line wins. No throwing of dirt or bodily fluids. No poking, hitting, or biting. The judges may disqualify a player or an entire team. No eating opponents or spectators. Are you ready?

How the lion lost its strength: big cats' survival at risk as DNA defences dwindle | Wildlife | The Guardian

The bulls and the bears stepped into position and nodded.

Lion: Go!

Both sides dug in and tried to pull the other off balance. At first, there was a lot of grunting and groaning, but not much movement. The crowd was cheering loudly for the bulls. But Louis had been right; some of the bulls had gotten complacent, thinking that things would always be going their way.

So stubborn .. | Animals, Animals beautiful, Bear

The bears dug in hard and refused to budge. Before long, it was obvious that it was only a matter of time before the bulls collapsed. At first, it was just a couple of them losing their footing. Then they were attacked by horse flies. Soon their entire line was falling apart. The bears waited for an opportune moment.

The wind picked up and started blowing the sand around. It seemed to bother the bulls more than the bears. The bears kept up their pressure. Suddenly, the bulls collapsed. With a giant heave, the bears pulled them across the line and won the game.

Some of the crowd congratulated the bears, but mostly they went back to their picnic. The bears winning might be a bad sign, but there was always next year. And they didn’t want to rile up the bears any further. The last time the crowd upset the bears, they rode the bulls back to the office.

Sorted Food — 5 Top Animal / Food Blogs!

Ed. Note: Apologies to anyone who isn’t familiar with the US stock market. Generally speaking, the bulls are the people who think things are going to get better, and the bears are the ones who think they are going to get worse. At the moment, the bears are on top. A “correction” is what happens when the market starts to slow down after it gets too hot.

Of Bears and Bulls: The Irrationality of People | by Anthony Sassano | Medium

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

16

Cat Games: Beating the Summertime Blues

On Tuesday morning, at 5:13 am Eastern Daylight Time, it  will  be officially summer. All those long summer days with lots of sun puddles sound great, but some times it’s a little too warm for comfort. So we decided to look around and see if we could find some activities that would help us beat the heat. Note: Most of them involve ice and/or water. If you’re not a fan of wet paws, you may want to just lie in front of a fan or air vent.

Why, Oh Why, do Cats Hate Water? | Cat Care of Vinings

Water Park – This one’s for the real water lovers among us. Have your human put a few inches of lukewarm water in the bathtub. They should also put a couple of places for you to sit in the water where you won’t get wet. (An upside-down pot is one idea.) Have them put in a few toys that will float. (Even ice cubes work.) You can bat the toys around and watch them move in the tub. Perfect toy? Floating battery-operated fish.

Ice Cube Bowl – Don’t like the idea of sitting with water all around you? Have your human fill a bowl with water and put some ice cubes in it. You can bat the ice cubes around from the safety of your favorite seat. If your human really wants to get on your good side, they can make the cubes out of chicken broth or tuna juice. The best way is to use an ice cube tray, fill it part of the way with the broth, and add a piece of a treat (or catnip).

Is It Safe To Put Ice In A Cat's Water? | Purr Craze

Fishing Bowl – Really don’t like the idea of touching cold, icky ice? Have your human put a few floating toys in a bowl. Hollow plastic or cork are the best. Ping pong balls are ideal. Make sure the bowl is big enough for you to actually move the toys around.

Fishing/Bobbing for Treats – Have your human fill a rimmed baking sheet or other low pan with a small amount of water. Then they should put a couple of plastic lids on the water. (There should be enough water that the lids float.) Finally, they need to put treats in the lids. You can either scoop the treats out with your paw or “bob” for them with your mouth. If your human doesn’t want to use lids, they can just freeze some broth or tuna juice into cubes and float them on the water, similar to the Ice Cube Bowl above. Once again, make sure there’s enough water for the items to move around freely.

Cats & Toilet Paper: Why Do They Keep Unrolling It? | Hill's Pet

While we were looking around, we also found a few things that won’t help with the heat, but sound like fun.

Toilet Paper Tube Puzzle – Once you’re finished unrolling all of the toilet paper, give the tube to your human. Tell them to put a few pieces of kibble in the tube, then fold the ends over and seal them. Have them put a couple of small holes in the tube, then put the tube on the floor. You can get the kibble out by rolling the tube around the floor.

Pizza Box Search – Don’t let your human throw away their empty pizza box after you’re done sharing. They can put a small toy in there (Something that rolls around would be good.) They close the box, then cut several small holes in the top. You can put your paw through the holes to move the toy around (and maybe get it out.)

Why Does My Cat Eat With His Paw? - Cat Attitudes

Tube Fishing – Don’t let your human throw away the empty paper towel tubes either. They can cut them into different heights and secure them into a box. They put kibble in the tubes, and you have fun fishing the kibble out of the various tubes. (We have a store-bought version of this game, and we really like it.)

Box Forts – Your human can stack a bunch of old boxes and bags together. They need to cut holes in several places so you can crawl around the whole thing.

Catnip, Catnip plant, Heirloom seeds

Rooting Box – Have your human fill a big box with non-toxic stuff like leaves, sticks, grass, and/or river rocks. You can root around in the stuff looking for treats and toys they have hidden. You can even sleep in there if you want.

Kitty Garden – Ask your human to plant some cat grass, catnip, or other cat-friendly plants where you can explore them. There are few things more cooling than lying in cool grass.

Cat Stroller – It’s a great way to see the neighborhood without being in any danger from traffic. Be sure your human uses a stroller that is safe for kitties. You should be able to see and smell, but not get out accidentally. Note: If you are a shy or tense kitty, you may find a stroller is not really much fun. There are a lot of different noises and smells in the world, and it may be overwhelming.

Iz a stroller-- Get strollin'! http://cheezburger.com/9002086656 | Funny  cute cats, Cat stroller, Pets cats

Hopefully, you can find something in this list that you and your human can enjoy together. We’re not really fans of ice or water, but if Mom freezes some tuna juice, we might give it a shot. On the other hand, the rooting box sounds like a lot of fun. Or napping in that sun puddle.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

18

Cat Forum: Cats and Herbs

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando here. We’ve probably told you that our human brother is an outstanding cook – if you’re a human. He’s the one who introduced lentils to the menu. And chickpeas. And lots of dried beans. He also uses a lot of different herbs. Some of them smell good. Others just smell.

My Cat Smells Like Death - Bad Breath and Other Causes

Mom is trying to help. She bought a bunch of herb plants. Some are outside in pots, and some are inside in pots. It looks like a basil jungle under the plant light. Neither one of us is much for plants, so we’ve been avoiding them. But it did make us wonder if there were any herbs we should look out for.

As is the case for flowers and other plants, some herbs are good for us and we need to avoid some.  In the case of herbs that may be beneficial for cats, make sure your vet is on board before taking them medicinally.

Safe (and possibly beneficial) Herbs

Basil – Has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It also relieves anxiety in some kitties.

Calendula – It has anti-inflammatory properties. It might even be able to help speed up wound healing.

Catnip – It is a mood and activity stimulant and can help calm stress and anxiety. It also has anti-itch properties. Note that it is a member of the mint family and can cause vomiting and diarrhea if you overindulge.

Cats & Herbs | Good & Bad Herbs for your Furry Friend - THE SAGE

Cat’s Claw  – It helps with allergic reactions. It might help with your immune system.

Dandelion Root – It has anti-itch properties so it can help alleviate allergies. It also aids digestion and liver detoxification.

Dill – It can calm the stomach. It also alleviates bloating and gas.

Echinacea – It helps support good immune health. If you’re prone to upper respiratory infections (like the human cold), maybe you should ask your vet about it.

Goldenseal – It has antibacterial properties. It may be useful as a natural disinfectant on cuts and scrapes.

Licorice Root – It’s like the cortisone your human uses, so it helps your mucus membranes. It can reduce allergic itchiness, digestive issues (it is particularly soothing to your bowels), and respiratory problems.

Do Cats Like Mint? (Revealed!) | Pests Banned

Mint – It’s a natural pest repellent. It also soothes your skin and helps you relax. But too much can be rough on your tummy.

Parsley – It can help boost your immune system and support good eyesight (it provides vitamins A, C, and K).

Rosemary – It has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It can help with your skin, coat, and eyesight. It also improves digestion.

Thyme – It has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It also provides fiber to your diet.

Valerian – It is a mood and activity stimulant for cats. It can be used as an alternative to catnip or silver vine. Weirdly enough, it usually has the opposite effect on humans. It is also known to boost the immune system.

Witch Hazel – It can be used to treat feline acne. Simply dab your skin once or twice a day.

How to grow and care for chamomile | lovethegarden

Unsafe for Kitties

Chamomile – There are several types of chamomile. German chamomile is safe for cats. However, English, Roman or True chamomile can cause dermatitis, vomiting, diarrhea, and allergic reactions.

Foxglove – It can cause cardiac failure and death.

Garlic – It is extremely toxic. It can cause vomiting, increased heart rate, and damage to your red blood cells leading to hemolytic anemia.

Growing Lemongrass: Best Varieties, Planting Guide, Care, Problems, and  Harvest

Lemongrass – It can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Marijuana – It can cause vomiting, low blood pressure, hypersalivation, and possibly even seizure, coma, and death. No form is safe.

Onions and Chives – They can cause diarrhea, vomiting or an upset stomach and severe damage to the red blood cells. Onion powder is as dangerous as the whole onion.

Oregano – It can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

St. John’s Wort – It can make you more sensitive to the sun, leading to ulcerative or peeling dermatitis.

Tarragon – It can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Catnip and Cats — In Defense of Plants

We’ve decided to leave the herbs to the humans. Although we are going to try to get Mom to move the catnip inside.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images (not us or our plants)

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