19

Thunder Katt: Fun with Your Human

We’d like to welcome our cousin Thunder back for this week’s post.

Hello everyone! It’s Thunder, and today I’m going to be giving you ideas on what you and your human companion can do for fun and bonding during the heatwave months of summer!

As some of you may recall, I am a Michigan kitty. In the winter, spring, and fall, this is excellent, because it’s typically cool enough to cuddle and nap all day, and there’s always something on Cat TV! Unfortunately, from about mid-May to mid-September, we have summer. As I discovered, summer is hot, humid, sticky, and gross. This leads to my humans whining that it’s too hot to cuddle (obviously they’re wrong, but have you ever tried correcting a human?) and even to Cat TV being put on pause due to rain storms. It’s an overall sucky season! Thankfully, there are still things to be done to ensure both you and your human are entertained. 

Play hide and seek

This is inspired by my sister, Angel. It works similar to the human kitten version of the game. Basically, while your human is distracted, decide where you’re going to hide (some favorite spots for us include behind the stove, under the sofa, and behind the laundry facilities). Then, when your human is in another room, stealthily position yourself in your spot. It’ll take a couple of minutes before your human realizes it’s game time, so you may be able to get a nap in. Once your human misses you, the fun begins! Watch in amusement as they search for you. Make sure you ignore their calls of “here, kitty!”, and only come out if a litter break is needed or if rare treats are offered. When they find you, simply choose a new spot and start over!

Hunting practice 

Tired of your human losing the best mice you found? Take the off mousing season to practice hunting with them! Our favorite targets are stink bugs, spiders, flies, and moths. The first couple of targets you’ll have to demonstrate how to catch the prey, but after the first 10 or so, give your human a chance (just be sure to be ready to swoop in and make the kill. Humans need a lot of support). Also, make sure they’re not afraid of the target you chose for them. We decided to let Mom go after a huge moth, but apparently she’s terrified of them, so it led to her sitting on the sofa crying while Dad chased and captured it. We thought it was funny. They did not. 

Start a collection together 

You can piggyback off your hunting practice, or you can choose a totally inanimate object to collect together. Some personal choices for us include stink bugs and flies (that’s a pure Thunder K. Katt choice!), pacifiers (human kitten just spits them out, and they’re fun to bat around), hair ties, lip balm tubes, and bath poufs (Onyx is obsessed with them. We just let her be). If your human is actually organized and keeps things tidy, try helping them collect pens, rubber bands, paper, and shopping receipts. Should your human attempt to clean up your collection, simply take it back out and drop it in a more pertinent spot for them (such as their pillow). They’ll catch on eventually, and hopefully start adding pieces of their own. If you need an easy starter, try toy mousies or balls. They’ll think it’s cute and be more likely to participate. 

Do food and beverage tastings 

Apparently humans have a thing called “wine tastings”, and in addition to the wine, there’s often cheese, olives, and nuts. Because wine, olives and nuts are not cat friendly (and we all know cheese is delicious- no sample needed on that), I would advise a slightly different approach. Find a cat friendly food that you normally would avoid, and give it a couple nibbles. I’ve tried lettuce, Angel has tried oatmeal, Onyx tried a quinoa chip, and all of us have tried butternut squash. In return, try offering your human some catnip or silver vine, or even some wet food gravy. Make sure you clean your palate between tastings by using their water glass. And always request extra ice, it helps you stay cool in the heat. 

Lounge

I’ve found that humans tend to lounge under a fan or in front of the air conditioner when they get hot. What a purrfect opportunity to lounge next to them, tummy side up, and allow them to enjoy your company! They won’t complain about you making them hot, you’ll get tummy rubs and attention, and the fan will also cool you off. Please note that some humans are not good at just laying there, so you may have to demonstrate a few times prior to any big successes. 

Invite your human to watch Cat TV 

This is contingent on storms and rain not ruining the cat TV channels (Michigan has been horrible about that this year). The best way to do this is to find the largest window in your house. Choose your spot first (feel free to nudge things around as needed), and create a spot for your human. Once you find a good show, start meowing loudly and often, until a human comes by. At that point, grab them with your paw and pull them towards you and the show. Hopefully you can enjoy a nice bird or squirrel show together. 

Do computer work together 

When your human is on the computer, be it shopping, work, or video watching, join in on the fun! You can plop in front of their screen, sit on the keyboard, play with their mouse, or help organize their desk area. Some kitties prefer to walk back and forth, which is a good option if you need attention and they have a deadline to meet. Some more technology-savvy kitties may be able to operate functions on the computer for their human- I can open new pages, adjust text size, and unmute the volume. If your human gets irritated, I would choose to sit on their wrist while they type or navigate the mouse. Out of the way, but still with your human (this trick was taught by Onyx).

Massages

This is a very literal you scratch my back, I scratch yours situation. Approach your human wanting pets. After an appropriate amount of petting (make sure not to sit down and get comfortable), either jump on and off of them really fast, keep walking back and forth across them, or stand (don’t sit) on a pressure point and purr (you can toss in some head bonks if wanted). Keep up this pattern until they’re satisfied with their cat massage, or until you find something better to do. An added benefit for you is the likelihood of loose, itchy furs being removed during the petting process. Don’t be alarmed if your human yelps a little during their massage- it’s the tension leaving them. 

Hopefully you and your human can have an enjoyable summer together! Stay safe, stay cool, and enjoy the time with your human. Don’t let the rain get you down, and keep your furs cool and brushed. And remember, cuddle weather will be back before you know it! 

Furs and purrs,

Thunder K. Katt

ass

26

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.

26 Cats Who Are Getting Cozy In The ... Sink? – Meowingtons

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.

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

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.

Caturday Pootie Diary: Fur Couture

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.

Catster Quiz: Is Your Cat a Hot Mess? - Catster

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.

24

Notes from Snoops and Kommando Kitty

Greetings from Snoops and Kommando Kitty. It’s been a while since we’ve written a post ourselves, so we thought we’d share some thoughts. It’s been really hot here, and the house doesn’t have air conditioning, so there won’t be anything too exciting.

Our human brother finished our catio a few weeks ago. We were just getting used to it when the heat set in. Mom has refused to install a fan, so it’s a little humid at the moment. Now we need to get them to reroute the traffic. It’s pretty quiet most of the time, but there’s something called “rush hour” when cars use the road.

Cat TV hasn’t been as interesting as we hoped. Mom doesn’t have a bird feeder in the summer because she can’t keep the squirrels out long enough for the birds to get to the food. We don’t really understand why she can’t just feed the squirrels. They’re fun to watch too. We have seen a couple of hummingbirds. Maybe we could get her a book on how to attract really interesting stuff. Perhaps a wildebeest.

Mom seems to be a little on edge lately. We’ve been trying to help her watch videos to relax, but she has really bad taste (they’re all about humans). Then she gets upset when we stop the video or stand in front of it to keep her from seeing what is going on. Maybe we should get our own Netflix account. That way we could find the good stuff for her.

Our human nephew is getting bigger – and louder. We’ve never been around small humans before and hope that Mom doesn’t intend to make any permanent additions to the household. There doesn’t seem to be a mute button on him the way there is on the computer and television.

We’re rather disappointed. We keep hearing about cicadas, but still haven’t seen any. The ants that have gotten into the house are boring. The humans saw recipes online, so they must be good for snacking. They don’t let any other insects in here to chase, but there’s supposed to be a lot of cicadas so maybe a few can sneak in.

Our human brother has been cleaning out the pantry. He says he’s going to make it easier for Snoops to catch any mice that get in there. We’re looking forward to whatever he comes up with. In the meantime, he’s unearthed some treats that got buried. We’ve decided that he can be pretty useful, and we should keep him around.

 

Have you guys been shedding extra this year? We got rid of our winter fur a few weeks ago, but the heat wave seems to have released a new bunch. We don’t really mind, but Mom says that fur in her face is more annoying in the humidity than the rest of the year. Like we said, she’s seemed a little grumpy lately. (Probably the heat.)

That’s it for us. Hope everyone’s having a good summer so far. Purrs and head rubs.

 

5

Cat Forum: The Toys of Summer

Moderator: Welcome back fellow mammals. Today we are once again joined by Super Snooper (SS) and Kommando Kitty (KK) to discuss a subject near to every cat’s heart: cat toys.

KK: Thank you for having us here today. I would just like to clarify today’s discussion will involve several matters related to summer, not just toys.

Moderator: But the focus will be on toys.

SS: Actually, that will be the first topic of several. We would also like to talk about vacations and grooming.

Moderator: My script says that we are going to talk about toys. So let’s get started. How are summer toys different from winter toys?

SS: They are a lot more active.

KK: And easier to catch. Those mice are fun, but they have too many places to hide. (Aside to SS: It would be easier if Mom cleaned more often. SS nods.)

Moderator: Could you be a little more specific?

KK: I think you know we live in an old farm house. It’s really cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Dad says that’s because we have old windows downstairs.

SS: He keeps saying he should fix them, but we really don’t want him to. You should see all the cool toys that fly and crawl in during the summer.

Moderator: You mean you have insects as toys in the summer? (grimaces)

KK: What’s wrong with that? You wouldn’t want them flying all over your house would you? Besides you’re the one who wanted to talk about toys.

Moderator: (knows he’s beaten) So what type of insects are we talking about?

SS: Well, the best are moths. They fly around enough so we get a lot of exercise chasing them.

KK: And they taste good. Nice and crunchy.

SS: Junebugs aren’t bad, but they’re a little slow.

KK: The humans seem to find them disgusting. If they see one, they get rid of it before we get to play much.

SS: Spiders aren’t any good. They’re not poisonous around here, but they spent a lot of time just sitting there.

KK: Flies are good. They’re really fast.

Moderator: So what do you do when you don’t have any bugs around?

KK: We sleep a lot.

SS: He means for entertainment.

KK: I sleep for entertainment.

SS: We watch a lot of Cat TV. The birds and squirrels are fun. And the little chipmunks run around a lot. We don’t go out, and mom won’t let them in the house, so we have to watch.

KK: There are big, humungous rodents out there too. We saw them on human TV at the beginning of February, but they’re on Cat TV every day. Mostly they wander around and eat. But they run really fast sometimes too.

SS: I don’t want to play with them. They have big teeth.

Moderator: Anything else?

SS: Well, since you asked. The humans are talking about leaving us alone for a week with someone coming to visit daily. What are we supposed to do without the humans to entertain us?

KK: I hear there are places where we can go for vacation too.

SS: Yeah, great. I was in a place like that before the humans adopted me. They’re full of big, smelly, noisy dogs.

KK: We could go with them.

SS: They could stay here.

Moderator: Well, enough of that. I think it’s time…..

SS: One more thing – I don’t want Mom to brush me all the time.

KK: But it feels good. And makes you shiny and smooth.

SS: I like my fur just the way it is, thank you very much.

Moderator: Before we close, I think you two have a big announcement to make.

SS: That’s right. Big changes are coming to the blog. We’ll still be around, but we’ll have more friends. More animals, fewer humans. Whispers: I don’t think the Moderator’s contract has been renewed.

KK: Mom’s even looking for a new theme. She’s says there doesn’t seem to be a lot to choose from for our type of blog. (Don’t worry. She’ll be around too.)

SS: So come back next time, and we’ll tell you all about it.

Snoops and Kommando Sleeping

2

Nothing Says Last Day of Summer Like Trim-a-Tree

According to my calculations (which should be double-checked), there are 95 days until Christmas. It’s almost time to start nagging my family for suggestions, so I get them by December15th if I’m lucky. Otherwise, it’s fall to me. Our burning bushes have just begun to burn, the weather’s getting cooler, and we have less roadkill because the genetic pool of the animal world has finally been downsized to those who understand why their parents told them not to play in the road.

Not so in the retail world. A point of pride at Ralph’s is that we are always the first with new merchandise for the season. I’m not sure how it’s tallied, so I’m guessing that’s like being the most famous. Statistics can be used to prove anything, but should be limited to those who know how to use them safely. For example, last year summer got an early start. So we opened our garden center two weeks early. (I know this because it was part of a presentation later in the year.) It’s that kind of thinking makes Ralph rich. Of course, this year summer decided to visit us on it’s vacation from other spots, so we had an end-of-season sale like you wouldn’t believe.

Halloween candy has been out for weeks. Of course, everyone knows that’s just a cover for us to buy it for ourselves now and buy the “real” Halloween candy on October 30. It’s the beginning of “The Holidays” when we’re allowed to eat what we want because it’s only once a year. The Holidays used to be between Christmas and New Year’s, then we pushed the start back to Thanksgiving. Now we’re moving in on Halloween. Maybe we could do like the bears – eat everything in sight for a couple of months then sleep it off til spring. It would beat slogging around in the ice and snow. I bet I’m not the only one who wished they could lose a couple of pounds overnight.

But everything pales in comparison with Christmas. I know some of you still associate Christmas with the Nativity, but you probably still give thanks on Thanksgiving too. It was over 80 degrees and humid yesterday, but as I walked through the back end of the store on my way out, there it was… the first Trim-a-Tree box (artificial tree with its own decorations). I had been expecting something since the big toy sale a couple of weeks ago. By Monday, there will be more. Pretty soon it will be an invasion waiting for Halloween.

The small stuff will start sneaking in soon. Things like cards and ribbon. Sparklely sweaters and Santa boxers. On November 1, the big stuff will make its appearance. We’ll have trees, door decorations, fake greenery, blow-up Santas, tinsel, and all that other stuff the Whos put up in Whoville. Part-time Christmas music between Halloween and Thanksgiving then All Christmas All the Time. People will complain it’s too early, but they’ll start looking and slowly start buying. Those people who have everything up by the middle of November must have bought it somewhere.

The big sales were traditionally the day after Thanksgiving. It’s still a big day, but unless you want to stand in line and fight for the 5 HDTVs that will be available at 4a, you might as well sleep in. December has become one huge rotating sale. Best of all, the stuff that we convinced you was must-have at the beginning of November is on sale in the middle of December. By a couple of days before Christmas, almost everything has been marked down. (No, this does not give you permission to wait until December 23 to remember you have to give your wife a present without a cord.)

My advice? Eat as much Halloween candy as possible. With a little luck, you’ll hibernate until the whole thing is over.