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)

18

Snoops and Kommando: We’re Being Overrun!

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We have some rather annoying news.

Kommando: Remember a couple of weeks ago when you heard from Gypsy Katt, our basement-dwelling cousin?

Snoops: She’s still here. And not ready to go anywhere soon. She comes out to say hello to our human sister, but isn’t getting near enough to any of the humans to be put in a carrier.

Kommando: We don’t see her either, but we know she’s there. We can hear her. And smell her.

Snoops: She doesn’t smell bad.

Kommando: No. Just like strange cat.

Snoops: But that’s not the big news. Now we have an outside visitor too. And it looks a lot like Kommando.

Kommando: No way. I’m much more beautiful.

Snoops: Our human sister thought you had escaped the first time she saw that cat.

Kommando: You notice she’s wearing glasses now, right?

Snoops: I guess. But they got a couple of pictures of the visitor. (Top and bottom of the page.) And that cat does look a lot like you.

Kommando: But dirtier and without my beautiful markings. It definitely needs to be brushed. And probably bathed.

Snoops: I’ve seen that cat around before.

For Cats Only on Twitter: "What is your cat's favorite hiding place? #cats  #Nigel #forcatsonly #catmemes #Memes #funnycats #funniest  https://t.co/dwVLrWLjNS" / Twitter

Kommando: Yeah, for at least a couple of years. But she always disappeared before Mom could feed her or get a closer look.

Snoops: She’s been coming back for almost two weeks now. Every day, almost. A couple of times she even waited for Mom to feed her.

Kommando: I wonder if the field mouse population is decreasing. Maybe that’s why she’s hungry.

Snoops: I don’t know. She talks a lot, but I don’t really understand what she’s saying. She was here every day, then disappeared. I thought she was gone again.

Funny Raccoon Stealing Cat Food Picture | Cute funny animals, Funny animal  pictures, Funny animal memes

Kommando: Mom thinks a raccoon got into the food one night and scared the kitty away for a couple of days.

Snoops: She was back today and hung around for quite a while. I think she might be settling in.

Kommando: I hope not. What if she starts eating our food? We might starve.

Snoops: We’re not going to starve. Mom won’t let that happen.

Kommando: Maybe that cat will try to come in and wreck our happy home.

Snoops: She runs whenever one of the humans tries to approach her.

Kommando: I don’t know. I don’t like it. We have a strange cat downstairs, and we have a strange cat outside. Pretty soon we’re going to be outnumbered.

Snoops: You do have a point. Right now, we have two cats and two humans. Four cats and two humans sounds like a definite downgrade. We better talk to Mom about it.

Ed. Note – No one has gotten close enough to know the gender of the cat. We call it “she” for convenience – “it” seems kind of rude. Kommando just appeared at the window well one day. It is possible that this cat is related to her.

Memes courtesy of Google Images.

14

No Mow May: Sheep Going For the Green

How to Keep Animals Cool in Hot Weather | Livestock Solutions from OLE

Ed. Note: We are pleased to welcome Snoops’ and Kommando’s human brother to the ranks of our contributors:

Alonso was not a happy sheep.  As he walked dusty New Mexican streets with the hot May sun beating down on him, he wondered if he and his brothers had even made the right choice coming this year.  In past years, they had done quite well for themselves.  Every season, they would be shorn in the spring, and then they’d pile into their battered Jeep for the trip North.  There, they got by taking care of people’s lawns—not only was it a free meal, but they normally even managed to send something home to help the rest of the family.  But in recent years there was less work every season.

Coachella Valley on Twitter: "A bighorn ram headbutts a barrel cactus to  break through the skin and spines to get to the water rich pulp inside.  Bighorn sheep can go for months

Lush, green, delicious lawns were becoming less and less common, as rains were becoming more sporadic.  Where sprinklers had once flowed freely all day every day, there were bare trickles of water into sparse patches of grass.  And that was if there was any lawn at all!  Last year, they’d come calling on a well-to-do tortoise who had always been very generous, only to find his yard not a swathe of green, but a wide, sandy space filled mostly with rocks and gravel.  The only bits of green were a few cacti.  Alonso’s littlest brother Francisco had tried eating a cactus once.  His review was, “Ith nah vehy tathty.”

Lambs learn to eat Dalmatian toadflax by watching Mom at pasture potluck

But the latest news was even more ludicrous than the cacti.  He, Emiliano, Sancho, and Francisco had gotten into town a few days ago, and had been overjoyed when they saw a yard practically overgrown by shoulder-high grass, but the bear living there had turned them away, simply saying that he was “letting it go this year.”  Initially, they had figured he was just grumpy and out of sorts from having just woken up, but the next house was even worse.

Why Do Cats Lay In The Sun?

That home also had a large, verdant lawn, but when he’d offered their services to the cat who answered the door, she had also declined!  When Alonso asked why, the cat had replied, “It’s No Mow May!”  Alonso had started to ask just what that meant, but that was when his brothers showed up, back from another bust.  They’d trotted up to Alonso, startling the cat.  “Just how many of you are there?!  One, two… threeeee…”  Then the darn cat had just fallen asleep right on her front porch.

As the flagging flock fled that latest absurdity, Alonso turned to Emiliano, who’d been in charge of the other two as they hunted for work, since he was the second-eldest.  “We finally find some decent lawns, and nobody’s biting, least of all us!  That cat said something about ‘No Mow May,’ do you have any idea what that means?”

Felted Bumblebee Sheep – League of NH Craftsmen

“We got that too,” Emiliano replied, “Something about bees, I think, but all I know for certain is that it’s hot, we’re hungry, we’re a long way from home, and Abuela isn’t going to be able to buy a new hat this year.  We’re in a bad spot.”  He looked glumly at his older brother.

Just then, a rattlesnake passing by stopped and slithered over.  “Sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear you fellows speaking among yourselves.  You sound like you’re in quite the sticky situation, but I think I might be able to assuage it.  I’m running late right now, but if you meet with my assistant, then she should be able to help you out.  Tell her Simon sent you.”

Cute Sheep Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

Alonso didn’t know what to make of the stranger, but it wasn’t like they had any better options, and, judging from the diamonds he was wearing, the snake was at least well-off enough to back up his offer.  Maybe running into him was a stroke of serendipity.  “Alright, we’ll take what we can get, at this point.  Where do we go?”

“Start off to the Southern edge of town, and keep going until you see the windmills—you can’t miss it!”  With that, the snake was slithering off as swiftly as he’d arrived.

A windmill and a lovely sheep named Susan... 🌱🐑 🌱 💢 Nominated 💢 stock  photo bbe0d3de-e8f7-4408-9bfa-707db6c854ff

“Thanks!”  Alonso called after him.

“…I think,” Sancho murmured.

With renewed purpose, the four brothers walked off to the South.  Even if they weren’t quite sure about the details, it was still the best lead they’d gotten since they’d hit town.

“Who do you suppose that snake was, anyway?” Sancho asked.

Snakes with hats. Say no more. | Cute reptiles, Cute little animals, Baby  animals pictures

“Probably some wealthy suburbanite.  I just hope all this walking is worth it.  Anyone who lives this far out ought to have a huge yard, right?”  Alonso replied.

“I guess that makes sense.  Gosh, I’m so hungry even the cacti are starting to not look so bad.”

Francisco chimed in, “The middle is actually pretty juicy!”

Feeding cactus to livestock - dry areas could profit - All About Feed

Alonso cut him off.  “Don’t even think about it; Mama isn’t here to pick the needles out of your tongue.”  As they crested a hill, they suddenly saw what the snake had clearly been talking about.  Before them, they saw a luxurious expanse of grass, speckled with small ponds and, just as promised, a couple of small windmills.

The vision of paradise before them invigorated the tired sheep, and they broke into a run, heading for the windmills at full tilt.  As they neared it, a gopher came hurrying out of a building on the grounds.  “Excuse me, can I help you gentlemen?”  she asked.

All four of them skidded to a stop.  Alonso began tentatively, “Um, Simon sent us?  We’re lawn-care specialists…”  He was doing his best to be courteous, but his stomach was rumbling at the sight of so much green, and his brothers were practically drooling.

Sheep Take Over Golf Course in England, Act As Greenskeepers

“Oh, wonderful!  We need a team to take care of the green for us!  And if Simon thought you looked like a good match, we really just need to do some quick interviews and sign some papers…  Do any of you have experience working on a golf course?”

A few hours later, the brothers gathered around one of the ponds and looked proudly at each other in their matching visors.  They were so stuffed they could hardly move.  “You know what,” Emiliano said, “Not only do we all have fancy new hats, but I’ll bet the one Abuela gets this year will put ours to shame!”

the moon's wife on Twitter: "instead of getting into a pointless argument  on the internet, why don't you look at these pictures of sheep wearing hats  https://t.co/BmwdN2OipO" / Twitter
Pictures courtesy of Google Images.
23

Gypsy Katt: Basement Dweller

Hello. My name is Gypsy K. Katt. You have met my sisters Thunder, Onyx, and Angel. We were all invited to spend a few days at Snoops’ and Kommando’s house before Easter. I really didn’t want to come. I forced the humans to make a second trip when I hid during the first one. They were not pleased.

Hiding Cat Meme | Funny cat memes, Dry cat food, Cat memes

When they finally got me over here, I was really unhappy. You see, I spend most of my time alone at home, and I really wasn’t interested in making a bunch of new friends. As soon as I got here, I raced downstairs and found a safe spot to hang out. The humans were really nice. They brought me food and water. They even gave me a litter box. Angel kept me company for a while.

Actually, life was pretty good. The basement in this house has a walkout into the yard, so there is a HUGE Cat TV screen. The humans came down a few times, but I hid. Snoops discovered me and wasn’t very happy. But she left me alone, so we’ve compromised on live and let live. She does take some of my food once in a while, but I’m doing OK. I don’t see much of her anymore.

My humans picked up my furry siblings after a few days, but I was nowhere to be found. No one was too worried – I was eating, drinking, and using the litter box. Since I like high spots, my human grandma (Cat) figured I was hiding in the (unfinished) ceiling. It was still too cold in the basement for the humans to hang out down there, so they left me pretty much alone. They figured I’d come out on my own in a few days.

They were wrong.

About a week later, my human Mom came over. I heard her in the bathroom and cried to her. I just wanted to say hi. When she came downstairs, I was nowhere to be found. I had definitely made myself at home. The same thing happened the next time they visited. I really love them, but having all this space to myself is so cool!

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

Last weekend, the humans forgot to feed me one day. So I had to forage. (I didn’t want to starve.) I went upstairs to share the kibble. Rats! The humans were at the dining room table and saw me! Had to retreat. Came back a few minutes later to look out the front door. Nice view. But my door-wall downstairs is better.

I saw Kommando. She watched me, a little fluffed up, but didn’t say anything. I left as soon as the humans started to come near. Close call! I’m getting pretty settled in to my new lair. Kommando’s human brother came down later to see if he could talk to me. He got the picture at the top of the page. That’s the last anyone’s seen of me.

I’ve heard them talking. Now that it’s warming up, Cat’s planning to spend more time downstairs to get close to me. I’m not sure what to do. On the one paw, I do miss human companionship. But on another paw, I really like all the freedom here. I’ve been here a little over a month and it’s definitely home-away-from-home.

Maybe I can get a human to move into my new space.

Memes courtesy of Google Images.

15

Mittens and the Science Fair – Part 3

Catnip: It's Not Just for Fluffy! - Farmers' Almanac

Where we are: Mittens had been studying different ways to grow catnip and was accepted to present at the Scientific Cat science fair in hopes of winning a college scholarship. A few days before the fair, a classmate’s mother had tried to destroy her plants. Mittens has been trying to salvage something to present at the fair. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here

Why cats love boxes so much

Mittens was very excited. She thought that she had found a way to still compete at the fair. Some of her plants had survived being sprayed by Mrs. Lynxette, and were looking fairly strong by Friday. She packed everything in boxes and went to the auditorium where they were holding the fair.

Registrar: Hello. What is your name?

Mittens: I’m Mittens McIntyre. And I have a project about growing catnip.

The Registrar looked at her list.

Wallpaper cat, cat, look, table, grey, background, work, coffee, legs, fluffy, red, pair, head, office, mug, evil images for desktop, section кошки - download

Registrar: Yes, here you are. You’re in Booth #12. You’ll be competing in the Nature category. Good luck!

Mittens took her plants and charts and found her spot. Just then her mother came in.

Mittens: Mama, look! This is my table. Will you help me set things up please?

Mama: Of course. What did you finally decided to do?

Mittens: I brought all of my plants, even the dead ones. I’m going to show how which nutrients made plants strong enough to survive the attack. I have “before” and “after” pictures.

Mama: That’s a great idea!

Reader's Digest | 20 Houseplants Poisonous to Cats | Plants That Are Toxic to Cats

Mittens: Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to show that some of them will probably recover more slowly than others. I just have to hope that what I have is enough. I also can’t show whether there will be any lasting effects.

Mama: I’m sure you’ll do well.

Mittens finished setting up, and they went home for the night. Early the next morning, they were back at the auditorium for the judging. Mittens was very nervous; she had never spoken in front of a large crowd before. And she had been forced to rewrite her entire presentation.

When she got up to speak, she saw a group of her friends and teachers near the front of the audience. She smiled bravely.

How to speak cat. - Modkat

Mittens: Hello, everyone. When I started this project, I intended to present a number of catnip plants that had been grown in various types of soil with different nutrients as well as plants that had been grown in water. I was going to show how the different growing environments impacted the health of the plants. Unfortunately, a few days ago there was an accident at my lab.

Mittens saw a commotion at the back of the auditorium. She hoped she was dreaming. Or having a nightmare. Mrs. Lynxette was trying to get to the stage. She was arguing with the security staff. One of the senior members of Scientific Cat magazine went to speak with her. Soon Mrs. Lynxette was escorted from the room.

Mittens continued speaking about how her plants had been attacked. She explained which plants had survived the attack and which had not. She had charts, graphs, and pictures of everything. After a few minutes, she sat down to loud applause.

Group shot of a pack of kitties ❤ #grouppicture #kittens #cats #adorablecats | Cats, Cute cats, Cute cat memes

After the presentations, she met her friends.

Twyla: Pawsome presentation, Mittens! You did a great job.

Suzy: You made it look easy.

Ms. Minx: Congratulations! No one would ever guess that you almost dropped out.

Mittens: Did Todd bring his mother here?

Ms. Minx: No. He came by himself. Then she showed up. He left when she did. He feels terrible.

Mittens: It’s OK. I feel bad for him. She’s very passionate about catnip.

Ms. Minx: You don’t have to worry about her anymore. They banned her from the auditorium. She refused to pay to get in and pushed some of the security staff.

Mittens: Goodness!

Twyla: I hope she learns something from all this. Catnip was not the problem.

Ms. Minx: We better get back to our seats. They’re going to announce the winners. Good luck, Mittens!

Man Comes Home To Find Cat Waiting In His House But He Doesn't Own a Cat - Love Meow

Mittens went back to her seat and waited nervously. She waved to her mother. They finally got to her group. Mr. Katz, one of the senior editors, was speaking.

Mr. Katz: We had an excellent group of young scientists competing in the Nature category. We also had a little excitement during their presentations. We want to offer our appreciation to Mittens McIntyre for even making it here today. It sounds like it was quite an adventure.

Mittens smiled. She just wanted to know if she had won.

Mr. Katz: It was an incredibly hard decision, and we’d like to thank all our participants. The winner is Peaches Murphy for her study of feral cat migration. Congratulations!

Unsubmitted_Images disappointed cat Memes & GIFs - Imgflip

Mittens felt numb as Peaches took the stage and received her scholarship. It was so unfair. But she smiled and clapped. The Scientific Cat executives were standing at the side of the stage looking at her. After the presentations were complete, one of them approached Mittens.

Ms. Pixie: Mittens, we all feel terrible about what happened to your project. Even with the accident, you were very close to winning. We think that you have a lot of potential and would like to help you. We’d like to offer you a work-study with Scientific Cat. You’d work for us, and in return we’ll pay for your education here at the local college.

Mittens was speechless. She was going to college!

Online School for Cats Soon to be a Reality - Learning Liftoff

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

History in the (Re)Making

History, Historical Fiction and everything in between

Writing, football, humour

Football, lancashire life, and passion for nonleague.

mike's HUMOR

injecting hope & humor - he who laughs, lasts!!

Wandering Cat Studio

Cats and crafts and craziness

We Like Cats & Kittens

Cats, cats, cats and kittens! We like cats! If you like them as well please share our page! Thank You!

The Chester Chronicles

A do-nothing cat.

Catwoods Porch Party

~ CATS, art, nature, animals, science, weather. Painter at heart ~

Bad Cat Chris

The Baddest Cat You'll Ever Love

Homestead Prowlers

Celebrating the humorous behavior of cats

Flavors by Parween Khan

Food. Travel. Lifestyle

15andmeowing.com

Daily adventures of living with a bunch of cats

Unclearer

Enjoyable Information. Focused or Not.

Expression, Healing and Words

Just enough love to make it interesting.

Idyllic

Positive mindset, Faith, and Health