21

Cat Forum: Cats and the Heat

35+] Summer Cat Wallpaper Images on WallpaperSafari

Greetings fellow felines. We’re here to talk about the heat. You would think that with as much as we all love to curl up with an electric blanket in the cooler weather that summer would be a breeze for us cats. After all, we do adore sun puddles. But there’s warm, and then there’s the ridiculous heat that comes around this time of year.

It’s time to call out your primordial cat and make sure you’re following your instincts regarding the heat. This is no time to go “doggo” and start exercising with your human.

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Conserve your energy. Sleep when it’s hot; prowl when it’s cooler. Nothing interesting happens in the heat of the day anyway – everything else is avoiding the sun too. It’s the perfect excuse for taking longer naps.

Sleep someplace cool. Tile floors are great in the summer. They stay cooler and don’t retain heat. Sinks work well if you want to avoid being stepped on. Try to avoid the rooms with big, open windows that let in a lot of sun. You don’t want to sleep in those intense sun puddles either.

Cat Drinking Fountain

Groom yourself. As the saliva dries, it will help cool you down,

Hydrate. Drink water whenever you get the chance. You’re thirstier in the heat, and drinking cool water will help you cool down.

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You also need to talk to your human about things they can do to help you deal with the heat:

Make ice toys. We like to play with ice cubes. They slide nicely and are fun to pounce on. They also help to keep our paws cool. (In case you didn’t know, paws are where we gain and lose heat.)

Cooling mats. If your house is really hot, or if you get overheated easily, a cooling mat is a great idea. Your human can buy one or make their own out of freezer blocks and a thick blanket (don’t let them get the really cold stuff next to your fur/skin). In an emergency, a package of frozen vegetables will work.

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Wet towel. If you’re feeling extra warm, your human can help by wetting your fur with a towel or their hands. It will feel really good as the water evaporates. At the least, dampening your paws will offer quick relief.

Brushing. Our fur coat helps to regulate our temperatures, but loose furs just make us hot. Getting brushed daily helps keep us as cool as possible.

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Watch for signs of overheating. Heavy panting and loss of energy are early signs that we are too hot. Agitation, rapid breathing, skin that is hot to the touch, drooling and vomiting may be signs of heatstroke and are a medical emergency. You need to see a vet.

Multiple sources of water. It is a good idea to have lots of water available in extremely hot weather. Adding ice cubes can help keep it cool. It is especially important to have water available outside this time of year.

Most interesting cat in the attic. : MostInterestingCats

Provide sunscreen. It’s best if you stay inside between 11 am and 3 pm when the sun is the strongest. If you need to be outside, your human can provide sunscreen (feline variety, not human) if you are one of our pale-colored or sparsely-furred kin. Your ears and nose are particularly susceptible to getting burnt. Warning sign that requires a trip to the vet for an outdoor or indoor/outdoor cat: crusty, scaly, or sore-looking skin.

Keep poorly ventilated rooms closed. This isn’t a good time of year to be exploring the attic or the space behind the refrigerator. If you do get caught someplace hot, make sure you drink plenty of water when you get out. And let your human know if you don’t feel well.

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Finally, talk to your humans about helping any stray/feral cats who may be around. If possible, offer a shady spot and fresh water. Plastic bowls are better than metal ones because they don’t get as hot and won’t burn if the cat touches it. (Metal is also not recommended in the winter because the cat’s tongue can freeze to it.)

Now that you know how to stay comfy, have a pawsome summer! And send your human out for a mouse-sicle to enjoy.

Cat Facts: 5 Amazing Ways Your Cat Stays Cool In The Summer - CatTime

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

26

How a Cool Cat Stays Warm

You may remember Thunder, the most outspoken of the kitties who own our human sister and her family. She’s back to offer her tips for surviving the winter as we live through its unending stay.

Hello everyone, Thunder here! To those who may not know, I’m a Michigan kitty, and that means we have yucky, cold weather for a good part of the year. After watching my humans freeze (that lack of fur must suck!), I decided to share some tips on how to stay warm, no matter what the temperature!

Have your human get a bed warmer (and make sure they leave it on)! Mom got one for Christmas, and it’s guaranteed to warm paws and tummies even on the coldest nights. Share your bed with more than one person? Sunbeam makes one with dual sided controls, so everyone can be comfortable! 

Curl up on any available fabric. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a 24/7 bed warmer, any fabric will do. This includes blankets, towels, clothing, and the sofa, amongst many other options. While they may not radiate heat, they’ll act as a soft and cozy insulation. 

Sit near the heating vent. If it’s on a wall, sit right up against it. If it’s on the floor, lay directly on top of it. This may not be the most comfortable option, so kitties with sensitive furs, be careful if choosing this option. Don’t worry if your human complains at you- how often have they allowed your food dish to run out?

Cuddle up with your humans. Humans heaters have two benefits- they’re extra warm, and in cold weather, they don’t like to move much; this means disturbances should be at a low. Make sure they’re wearing comfortable sweats, or even a blanket for the maximum experience. 

Utilize your furry siblings. Much like your humans, your cat (or dog) siblings are a direct heat source- and fur is bound to be more comfortable than skin! However, if your siblings are like mine, and seem to think social distancing applies to cats as well as humans, it’s best to avoid this measure.

Grab any available sun spot. Sun spots may be less common in these months, so if a sun spot appears, grab it (bonus points if the sun spot falls on a nice soft blanket or bed).

Try to spend the majority of your time in the warmest room in the house. Most humans seem to heat one or two rooms more than the others. In our case, it’s the kitchen, and the Human Kitten’s room. Plan your day so you spend most of it in the warmest spot. 

Showers may be wet and tedious- but the steam will make a nice warm pocket of air that you can lounge in for a couple of minutes. Just make sure you don’t sit in the actual tub until it’s dry- unless you’re a water loving kitty. 

Dryers are warm and rumbly when in use- make sure that your human keeps the top of the drying machine warm, and take a 45 minute nap when it’s in use. It’ll even stay warm for a couple of minutes afterwards, so there won’t be a rush for you to find a new spot right away. 

Image result for cat with toys meme

Humans have to cover their paws when they go outside. While these paw covers are great to play in, and possibly even hide your favorite mousie in, they track in all sorts of goop from the (not so) great outdoors. This includes clots of snow and ice. Not only are they cold, but they’re also wet! What a horrible combination! As we all know, humans are a bit clueless, so try to keep their shoe tray clear (an occasional toy or furball is fine). You also may need to put some of your larger, bulkier toys just inside the door frame- when they trip, or jump to avoid them, not only will you get some entertainment, but it’ll also remind your human to remove their gross paw coverings. After all, a warm house starts with a dry house. 

Bulk up- the larger you are, the warmer you tend to be. Your humans spend hours away each day, working hard for money. That money is made for you. And what better expenditure than cat food? Eat as much as you desire- any extra winter fluff will fall off when cat TV returns in the spring and you can chase the birds and squirrels again. 

Winter is brutal- remember that your happiness is top purrority. Stay inside if at all possible, and stay safe and warm. Nap often, and remember cat approved weather is on the way.

Furs and purrs,

Thunder K. Katt

19

Can Demons Possess a Car?

Yes, I’m finally back. (And those of you who didn’t realize I was missing should not expect any chocolate eggs this year. The Easter Bunny and I are long-time BFFs, and he knows these things.)

I’m concerned about my car. It seems to have developed a bad attitude, at best. And possibly an alternative personality. You may recall that I got my Hyundai Elantra about a year ago. It was wonderful to drive, especially following the car with bad tires and no heat.

The first sign came late last year, after one of the early snows. In our part of Michigan, winter generally starts deceptively gentle with a couple of light snowfalls. After one of these, my car required a little extra effort to get out of its parking place at work. I figured I had just parked the front tires on ice and didn’t worry about it.

The evil side came out a few weeks later. We have a long, wide driveway and a broken snowblower. And lots of ice. One day, I turned into the driveway and stopped. Rather, the car stopped. Right at the entrance to the driveway. (It did have the courtesy to get off the road.)

The usual tricks of rocking back and forth or swearing did nothing. Finally, I asked my son to get it to move. (It must be somewhere in the male gene, because he did it.) While he was working to move it, my daughter came home. She had to wait in the road to be able to get in. (There are advantages to living off the beaten path – she wasn’t an impediment to lots of traffic.)

Her car had been having no trouble in the ice and snow. When she pulled in that day, her car got stuck. I think my car laughed. Not too long after that, the fuel line in my daughter’s car sprung a leak. Coincidence? I think not.

Pulling out one day, my car got stuck on the ice again. My son brought out the kitty litter, and I was good to go. The cats did not appreciate him using the good stuff.

Pretty soon, the kitty litter stopped working. I’m sure the car decided that we’d solved the ice problem.

Next trick was to get a tire caught in the frozen snow at the edge of the driveway. Like much of the country, it’s been really cold here. Unlike much of the country, we really haven’t been drowned in snow. We don’t have the huge snowdrifts that scream out, “Stop! You’d be an idiot to drive here!” So, all of a sudden, I no longer knew how to back out of the driveway. Then we’d shovel, kitty litter, try to move the car, swear, and repeat. A lot. I don’t generally swear, and now I remember why –there aren’t that many words and they’re worthless for fixing the problem.

My husband works in maintenance at a school district. He brought home some incredibly hideous carpet to put under the wheels when the car gets stuck. I’m not sure whether it’s the traction or the car cringing from the pattern, but it works.

It appeared that the car was running out of tricks. I thought maybe we were good to go.

Then apparently it realized that its real enemy wasn’t me, it was my son. He was the one who kept rescuing me. So it started turning into snowbanks when he left his friends’ houses. Nothing serious. Wouldn’t want to harm its good looks. Just enough to require digging out.

The car was designed in Korea and built here. I know it’s been tested in snow and ice.

I think that I have somehow offended the Snow Queen. I wonder if an ice cream cake would be a good peace offering?

4

Next Year I’m Hibernating

I just got in from helping my husband and son push my car into the garage. At least the starter had the decency to die on the driveway. I wouldn’t have needed to help except our driveway is still icy, and the guys couldn’t get enough traction to get the car over the bump at the front of the garage.

(My husband would never have expected me to be much help before I started working as a stocker. Add to list of negatives from job: people expect you to use the muscles you have toned.)

The three of us were able to move the car, but not over the bump. I slipped on the ice and fell on my knees. We decided to try a running start. Ever tried to run on ice? It’s pretty humorous to watch; not so much to do.

I was ready to quit. Today was supposed to be the day that I recovered from a very physical week at work. (I’m going to try to get certified to drive the hi-lo so I don’t have to use a hand-jack to get the pallets off the truck. The ramp has a major bump. You may remember me talking about how uncoordinated I am; wish me – and the guy training me – luck.)

Unfortunately, my multi-talented husband, who is going to the work, has an aversion to working outside in the winter. Something about the possibility of the weatherman being right and needing to do it in either rainy or cold weather tomorrow. Those of you who live in the north know the next step:

Shovel! But we’re not talking about regular push the shovel into the snow, lift, and throw to the side. No – this mess has been accumulating for a couple of months. Our snow-blower broke. In the city, this would have required either an immediate repair or resorting to the shovel. However, our mail is delivered to a box on the road and there are no sidewalks. Since the only ones we might hurt is ourselves, the township doesn’t care.

And imagine how much motivation any of us had to go out and clear the driveway. It was dark all the time, cold, snowy, and windy. They cleared a path from the driveway to the house. (Nice three-car garage, not attached to the house. I like it like that. I have a certain paranoia that if it was attached, the critters that call it home might find their way into the house.)

The kids are agile enough to get to the front of the house where the bus picks them up. I’ve only gotten stuck a couple of times. And my husband has a four-wheel drive truck. So laziness ruled.

Much to our dismay today. The sad thing is that it has finally started to warm up. The ice is starting to melt, so there’s a layer of water and slush over it. The only thing that makes ice more slippery? Water on top of it.

We got out our earth-digging shovels, our regular shovel, and a pick-ax sort of thing. We chipped somewhere in the neighborhood of a yard back,  and more or less the width of the car. Depth ranged from slush to about three inches down.

Time to try again. I got the middle of the car since I figured the wheels were what needed moving and they are both stronger than me. And there was no ice anywhere near the middle.

Success!

While my husband opened the hood, I took the snow shovel to the end of the driveway. I figured I could break up a little slush and loose ice while I was down there picking up the mail. At least that was my intention.

About halfway down, I lost my footing on the wet ice. Fell flat on my back. Felt like a turtle staring at the sky – it was too slippery to get up. I felt ridiculous, but I had to call for help. Finally my son heard me and gave me a hand. I’d had enough – wet knees, wet bottom. It was time to go in.

I’d hit my head and my back. A couple of days ago, I aggravated my frostbite trying to get my car turned around in a snowbank. I figure that if winter last much longer, I’ll have an excuse to go to the South Pacific and recover.

3

Just Askin’

As the snow piles up, the wind chill drops, and my brain slowly freezes:

Why do I have so much trouble rooting for a team when I don’t like the coach? Last night, I could not convince myself to root for Michigan State over Stanford although they are instate and part of the Big Ten. Mark Dantonio is just one of my least favorite coaches ever (yes, I know he is very successful). I have no trouble at all rooting for the basketball team under Tom Izzo, who I love. (Note to those who don’t know: I’m a Michigan alum.)

Why can’t they seem to clear the roads around here quickly enough to avoid ice on them two or three days later? It’s not like we’re in one of those places getting storm after storm.

Speaking of icy roads – why do people think that if they are behind a timid driver, they can intimidate them into going faster by riding on their bumper?

If the roads are too bad to go to work, why do people feel the need to go shopping?

Why are my feelings hurt by my new hedgehog taking time to socialize? He’s got quills, but I must appear huge to him and probably smell weird too.

Why do I keep asking for books as gifts when I know I don’t have time to read them? Am I the only one who feels guilty about having a pile lying around the house?

Am I the only one who has to ask herself  ‘is someone laying something  or is it lying on its own’ before they feel comfortable with a sentence like the last one?

Why does auto-correct insist it knows better then I do what I want to say? People who understand grammar usually know it’s an incorrect usage and no one else cares. (And it never fixes the lay/lie type issues I do have trouble with.)

Do people set themselves up for failure when they promise to go to the gym/start a new diet January 1? At least half of the country has rotten weather that time of year and it’s dark and/or gloomy the majority of the time. Who really thinks about wearing a bikini? (Men thinking about the SI models do not count.)

Wouldn’t it have been nice if the early Christians had decided to take over Midsummer rather than the Winter Solstice? Then we could just hibernate between December and March. Unless you actually like ice and snow. (Sorry Down Under – this is my fantasy. It probably wouldn’t work so well for you.)

Do I have the only cat who gets cold feet and wants to warm them on me? When we go to bed, she lies in my arms until she gets warm and then she lays on top of the comforter by my feet.

Do stores that run perpetual sales realize that eventually sales stop being an event and become business as usual (as well as a joke to most consumers)?

What’s the correct response when a customer asks whether a product is any good, and I don’t like it? “Yeech” just doesn’t seem appropriate. Maybe “Depends. How well do your tastebuds work?”

Do they really have to direct the smells from the bakery over to my department? Cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip cookies baking always make me hungry.

Why is it the hungrier I get, the less I want to spend time cooking? Delayed gratification is definitely not a strong suit for me.

Finally – why did the (full-size) snow plow decide it would be a good idea to block the road just as I was getting to the intersection this morning? He wasn’t actually plowing, he seemed to be taking a break.