Monday, December 28, 2015

Cat Quotables-Insomnia

"Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many different ailments, but I have never heard of one who suffered from insomnia."
~Joseph Wood Krutch

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Photo Shoot Outtakes-Stilwell

Okay, I feel like I've saved the best for last.

Stilwell was my first model and I started out with the cutest little hunter's cap on him.


I can practically hear Evelyn back there thinking "What a tool."




 So I switched to the scarf. First, he thought it was a toy, then he got distracted by the other outfits laying around.






I think he's trying a bit hard to pull off the "angelic look."

And then, this happened.

Rawrrr!

Maybe he's trying to impersonate Bumble from the Rudolph TV special.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Photo Shoot Outtakes-Evelyn

Since Evelyn is our only girl kitty, I wanted her in a pretty Christmas dress for her holiday photo. She disagreed.



She doesn't exactly do "lady-like." She then decided she was so embarrassed that she was just going to hide in the cottage.




I don't think her stalker knows what he's about to get himself into.

Finally I thought I was getting some cooperation when she sat under the tree. Unfortunately, she sat there and gave me the stink-eye.





She wouldn't be Evelyn if she didn't have the attitude!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Photo Shoot Outtakes-Lowenstein

Lowenstein is such a doll and looked super cute in his Christmas sweater last year. I was tempted to use it again, but I had this scarf theme going...




Still super cute, right? Then he realized how much fun the little ball on the end of the scarf was. I just had to wait until he was ready to come down from the cottage!




Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Photo Shoot Outtakes-Harvey

I waited until the last minute to get our Christmas cards together, which included waiting until the last minute to take the cats' Christmas pictures. I got some good shots, but there were a lot more crazy ones. Here's what happened when I put the scarf on Harvey.

I'm pretty sure he's plotting my death.
 Harvey can look rather smug at times and I was really going for more of a "cute" look. That turned out to be a challenge.




Then he couldn't decide if he was going to bolt from the room or try for the ultra-closeup.



But he's oh, so handsome, even in the bad shots!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Cat Quotables-Philosophers and Cats

"I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior."
~Hippolyte Taine

Monday, December 7, 2015

Cat Quotables-Spirits Come to Earth

"I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through."
~Jules Verne

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Book Review-Reporting for Duty: True Stories of Wounded Veterans and Their Service Dogs by Tracy Libby

From the publisher:
Reporting for Duty profiles 15 disabled veterans from WWII, Vietnam, both Iraq wars, and Afghanistan. The author, Tracy Libby an author and photographer, sought out veterans with a wide range of physical and emotional challenges with one thing in common: a skilled, reliable, and loyal service dog by their side. The book features how the dogs are selected, trained, and socialized before being matched with their veteran partners and a background on assistance dogs, guide dogs, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) dogs, and emotional-support dogs, as well as the history of canine-assisted therapy.

The book also covers the many service-dog training organizations and the dedicated people who are determined to help those who fought for our nation regain their mobility and independence.

About the author:
Tracy Libby is an award-winning writer and photographer whose work has won multiple awards from the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) and the Alliance of Purebred Dog Writers (APDW). She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Jounalism from the University of Oregon and has been writing about pet care for more than two decades. Her articles have appeared in mainstream magazines, including Dog Fancy, Modern Dog, Dog World, Puppies USA, Dogs USa, and the AKC Gazette, as well as online from Embrace Pet Insurance. She lives in Oregon with her husband, five cats, and five Australian Shepherds. She has been involved in the sport of dogs for nearly three decades, exhibiting her Aussines in agility, conformation, and obedience.

My take on the book:
The book is a hardcover coffee table-style book. Unlike most coffee table books, this had a lot of informative content to go along with the photographs. Each chapter is dedicated to a different type of service dog, the dogs and their veterans are profiled within the chapter. It amazes me what these dogs can do! There are PTSD dogs who can wake a person up when they begin to have a nightmare, or can guide them out of a situation that is raising their anxiety before they even know it's happening.  The bond between dog and veteran shines through in the stories and you can tell how natural the relationship is for both sides.

An important point to remember: when you see a service dog-of any type-that dog is working. Don't distract the dog by trying to pet it or play with it; it's on duty doing a very important job.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cat Quotables-Love Without Penalties

"Cats know how to obtain food without labor, shelter without confinement, and love without penalties."
~W.L. George

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cat Quotables-Cats and Authors

“Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.”
~Robertson Davies

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cat Quotables-Gloriously Human

"I love them, the are so nice and selfish...cats are gloriously human."
~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

Cat Quotables-Crossing Man and Cat

"If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat."
~Mark Twain

Monday, October 12, 2015

Cat Quotables-A Superior

"The way to get on with a cat is to treat it as an equal-or even better, as the superior it knows itself to be."
~Elizabeth Peters, The Snake, The Crocodile and The Dog

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Our Sweet Heloise

This time last week everything was fine. We had just come home from visiting a friend who sent a new toy to Heloise. She loved it so much all the pictures I took were blurry.


I went to bed that night and next thing I knew, it was 12:30 and Lee was waking me up. "I think something's wrong with Heloise."

Something was most definitely wrong. She was visibly bloated, drooling, and having difficulty breathing. We loaded her up and drove to the emergency vet. When Google Maps tells you the hospital is 15 minutes away, it seems like an eternity. Traffic rules go out the window.

When we arrived they took her back immediately. They knew exactly what was going on. I had suspected as well. It was bloat. I had been terrified of it happening when I had my borzoi, Oscar. I never would have guessed it could happen to a dog the size of Heloise.

They got x-rays and the vet came to get us. She showed us the film and it was the worst possible situation. Heloise's stomach had twisted.

The vet told us we had gotten there in time to surgically repair the torsion, but in a senior dog with kidney problems there were risks. First, the anesthesia would further damage her kidneys. That is if her kidneys could handle the anesthesia at all. Another possible scenario is that she could get in there and find cancer, as that sometimes happens when older dogs have twisted stomachs. They have no explanation as to why bloat happens in the first place, so they're not sure if there's a connection to cancer or not.

We opted to go ahead and let Heloise go gently to the Rainbow Bridge. Lee was devastated. She was his dog; he saved her from the shelter. He said goodbye to her, but couldn't stay in the room during the procedure.

I stayed. I held her and rubbed her ears, which she had always loved. I told her she was a good girl and that soon it wouldn't hurt anymore. She went quickly.

We had Heloise such a short time and there were so many things we hadn't gotten to do yet. This past Saturday was Barktoberfest at a local park and we were planning to take her. We planned to take her to Three Dog Bakery on the Plaza.

But for all the things she didn't get to do, there were lots of things she did do. We took her for frozen custard at Sheridan's.


She got to meet a miniature horse at PetSmart.


She got to warm her old bones in a cozy bed in front of a fire.


She even got to ride shotgun.



I will always cherish the sweet memories we made with this old grandma dog.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cat Quotables-Emotional Honesty

"A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not."
~Ernest Hemingway

Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cat Quotables-Cats Are Nice

"I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwile?"
Death thought about it.
"CATS," he said eventually. "CATS ARE NICE."
~Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

Monday, August 17, 2015

Back Cat Appreciation Day

In honor of Black Cat Appreciation Day, I wanted to share some of my favorite pics of my housepanther, Evelyn. We appreciate her for her beauty and independence.




She, however, does not appreciate being forced to live with dogs.


We love you, Evelyn! You'll always be our kitten!

Cat Quotables-Making Friends

You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats.
~Colonial American Proverb

Monday, August 10, 2015

Cat Quotables- Happily Married

Who cares well for cats will marry as happily as he or she could ever wish.
~French Proverb

Monday, August 3, 2015

Cat Quotables-Learn from Your Cat

Everything I know I learned from my cat: When you're hungry, eat. When you're tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet's, pee on your owner.
~Gary Smith

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cat Quotables-Rats in the Palace

When rats infest the palace, a lame cat is better than the swiftest horse.
~Chinese Proverb

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cat Quotables-Yellow Cat

The sun is silent, there's a cold rain's gonna come on, no one to talk to but my lady's yellow cat.
~From "Yellow Cat" by John Denver
1969

Monday, July 13, 2015

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mai the Malayan Tiger

To celebrate our anniversary last week, we went to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. My favorite animal there by far was Mai, a Malayan Tiger in the Cat Complex. Besides just being a gorgeous big cat, Mai was special because she was missing one of her front legs. She got around just fine, though. I hope I get to go back and see her some day.







Monday, July 6, 2015

Cat Quotables-Calico Cats and Weather

If the tail of a sleeping calico cat is turned to the north or east, a storm is approaching. If it is turned to the south or the west, fair weather is ahead.
~Old Wives' Tale

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Multiple Pet Day

We are a multiple pet household and we're proud to celebrate Multiple Pet Day!

Sometimes our pets barely tolerate each other.

Yaz is NOT comfortable with his back to the cats.

Sometimes they are each other's best buddies.

Bromance.

But they are always family!



Thanks to Emma over at My GBGV Life for letting us know about Multiple Pet Day!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cat Quotables-Practical Creatures

The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself. Of course he wants care and shelter. You don't buy love for nothing. Like all pure creatures, cats are practical.
~William S. Burroughs

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Max: The Movie

Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures present, a Sunswept Entertainment production, a Boaz Yakin movie, "Max". The film opens nationwide on June 26, 2015, and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Max has been rated PG by the MPAA for action, violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements.


From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures comes "Max", a family action adventure from writer/director Boaz Yakin ("Remember the Titans", "Now You See Me").

A precision-trained military dog, Max serves on the frontlines in Afghanistan alongside his handler, U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott. But when things go terribly wrong on maneuvers, Kyle is mortally wounded and Max, traumatized by the loss of his best friend, is unable to remain in service.

Shipped stateside, the only human he seems willing to connect with is Kyle's teenage brother, Justin, so Max is adopted by Kyle's family, essentially saving his life. But Justin has issues of his own, such as living up to his father's expectations for him; he isn't interested in taking responsibility for his brother's troubled dog. However, Max may be Justin's only chance to discover what really happened to his brother that day on the front, and with the help of a tough-talking young teen, Carmen, who has a way with dogs, Justin begins to appreciate his canine companion.

Justin's growing trust in Max helps the four-legged veteran revert back to his heroic self, and as the pair race against time to unravel the mystery, they find more excitement-and danger-than they bargained for. But they each might also find an unlikely new best friend...in each other.

"Max" stars Josh Wiggins ("Hellion") as Justin Wincott, Lauren Graham ("Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", TV's "Parenthood") as his mom, Pamela, and Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church ("Sideways") as his dad, Ray.

Check out the "Max" trailer:




One of the underlying themes of the film is PTSD and June happens to be PTSD Awareness Month.



Want some more fun? Tell us why your pet is your hero! Share your photos and stories using the hashtags #HeroPet and #MaxMovie on social media for a chance to be featured on the official MAX pages!

Follow Max on Facebook at http://facebook.com/Maxmovie and on Instagram @MaxMovie. #MaxMovie

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Book Review-Avalon by Vanessa Morgan

Avalon by Vanessa Morgan is one of the most moving books I have read. It centers on the author and her cat and the immeasurable bond they shared. Ms. Morgan found the stray Turkish Van cat and the love was instant.

Avalon was the kind of cat who needed an exclusive relationship with his human and repaid that respect with unending love. Ms. Morgan gave Avalon everything he required, even when it may have seemed unusual. He was the center of her world, and she, his. With her, Avalon was affectionate and loyal while other people only saw his insecurities expressed as destructive behavior.

While reading Avalon's story, the emotion between them was palpable. Maybe it was because I was reading it on the anniversary of losing my heart cat, but I connected with Ms. Morgan and her love for Avalon instantly. It made me feel like the relationship I had with Sebastian wasn't so different. Someone else had that with their cat as well.

I shed some tears as I read Avalon, but they were so worth it to get a glimpse of this special cat and his immense ability to love his human. It is well written and I would happily read Ms. Morgan's other books. I would highly recommend this book to all cat lovers. In fact, I'm going to suggest it as a book for my Twitter book club, ReadPawty.

You can learn more about the author, Vanessa Morgan, at her websites:



You can buy Avalon here:

I received an electronic copy of the book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts expressed in this review were honest and in no way were influenced by the author.