Celebrating a Happy Halloween

Ashton: The head peep may have packed her bags and skipped town to go to the Cat Writers Association/BarkWorld conference, but we didn’t forget.

Ashton, Halloween 2014

Pierre: Lucky for us, in my entire life, there has only been one trick-or-treater who came to the door here, so we won’t have to work Aunt O. too hard answering the door. And we won’t have to hide from people knocking on the door.

Pierre_Halloween_2014_smNewton: Why do you think they don’t come here? I love visitors, and I would like it if we had people coming to the door tonight!

Ashton: You’re weird, Newton.

Newton: You’re one to talk, miss hides-from-everybody. You don’t know what you’re missing out on.

Pierre: *sigh* You two are acting like a couple of kittens.

Newton: At least Aunt O. won’t try to put costumes on us for Halloween photos.

Pierre: Thank goodness. It’s better if we just have our photos taken for Halloween without all of the extra fuss. No costumes, no silly Photoshop tricks, Just cats, the way it should be.

Newton: Darn right. Have a safe and Halloween, everyone!

Newton wearing Groucho Marx glasses

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Halloween Safety for Cats

How can you keep your kitty safe this Halloween? Depending on how much trick-or-treating happens in your neighborhood and how much you love to decorate for the holiday, these tips can help:

Keep your indoor-outdoor cat inside, at least for the evening. If you have lots of scary strangers walking up the front walk in costumes over and over, it increases the likelihood of your outdoor cat being frightened and going missing or having an accident happen.

Make sure your cat has ID. Since your kitty won’t carry an ID card, both a collar and microchip are suggested to make sure that if trick-or-treaters or Halloween revelers spook your cat and she ends up lost, someone can help her get home safely.

Cat in a bag hiding from jack-o-lantern

Make a quiet spot away from the front door’s constant ringing and opening. You may want to play some soothing music in the room to help cover the doorbell noises for the anxious cat. If your cat is really anxious about the doorbell and door, consider sitting on your porch to hand out candy so that the bell isn’t causing such agitation.

IMG_1031Be careful with Halloween decor. It’s not manufactured to be a safe cat toy and may have unhealthy components or pieces that are easily torn off by a playful cat, such as gauzy fake spiderwebs, which can cause blockages if ingested. Don’t forget that a candle inside a jack-o-lantern is still an open flame and can be dangerous if knocked down. Consider using a battery-powered, artificial candle instead.

Watch out for Halloween toys that weren’t meant for cats and might be a hazard. Glow sticks, enjoyed by children instead of flashlights while trick-or-treating, can be toxic.

If you’re going to dress kitty up in a costume, even just for photos, do it safely. If your cat isn’t used to wearing clothes, watch for signs of distress and don’t overdo it if your kitty gets upset. Be sure that the costume isn’t too tight for your cat to draw a deep breath and doesn’t obscure your cat’s vision.

Don’t share Halloween candy with your cat. If you have a cat like Ashton who will eat almost anything, whether it’s species-appropriate or not, make sure that candy is stored out of reach or in a sealed container.


Cat in Bag image courtesy pyxopotamus on Flickr
Pumpkin Cat image courtesy libbydorazione on Flickr

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National Cat Day

national_cat_day_xsIt’s holiday time! We aren’t talking about that orange-and-black trick-or-treat nonsense. We’re celebrating a much more important day today: National Cat Day!

It’s true that every day is cat day, especially on the internet. And super-especially at our house.

Newton snoozes on his back

But it isn’t that way for every cat everywhere. National Cat Day was was founded in 2005 to celebrate the cats in our lives for the unconditional love and companionship they bestow upon us.

Pierre gets scritches

National Cat Day is also to also recognize the number of cats that need to be rescued each year. Here at our blog and around the blogosphere, we know how many cats are in shelters and need homes, but the general public doesn’t, so let’s remember to share that information so that on next year’s National Cat Day, more cats can say that they’re living the good life, too.

Ashton in cuddly bed


The head peep is attending BarkWorld/MeowWorld Social Media & Pet Blogging conference for the next few days, where she’ll get to learn more about blogging, photography, and even video. (You’ve seen her video skills around here before. She needs all the help she can get.) While she’s hanging out with other bloggers, we are going to be hanging out with Aunt Orvis.

This means a couple things things: We get lots of treats! It also means that we won’t be able to visit and comment until after she’s back. Don’t worry, we aren’t going silent. We have blog posts scheduled to go live while she is away. Also, since Plush Ashton is going with her, you’ll be able to keep up with Plush Ashton’s adventures on our Facebook page and Twitter account.

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Tasty Tuesday: Grandma Lucy’s Freeze-Dried Chicken

We hadn’t heard of Grandma Lucy’s before our friends at Chewy offered us the opportunity to review them. When the roasted chicken freeze-dried treats arrived, Pierre couldn’t wait to get started trying them out.

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One of the things we didn’t realize even through the window on the front of the bag is that these treats are really big. They’re “pet treats” and meant for either cats or dogs, so they’re on the large side.

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This isn’t a problem. Just get your human to break them up for you. They were kind of stiff and didn’t come apart easily, probably due to Grandma Lucy’s roasting and freeze-drying process. But if you bend them along the grain of the meat instead of across the grain, they snap apart without too much effort.

Newton: Enough looking at the food. It’s time for eating!

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Ashton: Me first! I want one of the big pieces!

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Newton: You always go first because if you don’t, you steal everybody else’s, Ashton.

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The harder texture meant that Pierre especially didn’t want to eat really big pieces. He preferred they be chunked up into small bits. Otherwise, he would gnaw on the large piece and give up. The rest of us ate any size piece you would give us, because it’s chicken and nothing but chicken. We like when there aren’t any ingredients we can’t pronounce on the label.

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The treats are made in the USA, and not just “made in the USA” with ingredients from China, either. The ingredients (all one of them) are originated right here in the US from hormone and antibiotic free meats, so we felt confident about eating these treats.

Newton: Sorry, everyone. You’re going to have to go to Chewy and get your own. I like these so much that this bag is all mine!

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We give these roasted chicken freeze-dried treats a big paws up.


FTC Disclosure: We received these treats for free in exchange for our review, but it did not influence anything we say. All posts on our blog reflect our unbiased opinions.

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Undercover Kitty

Has anyone seen Pierre?

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Pierre: I’m an undercover kitty. I like to hide under the covers, waiting for unsuspecting Newton or Ashton to walk by, then I pounce!

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Pierre: You can put that sheet down now. Really.

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Light, Please

Newton doesn’t sleep in the bed. He has his own bed, and he prefers that.

He also prefers that the bedside light be turned off promptly. Otherwise, he has to use The Look to ask for it to be switched off.

Newton: It’s time. Do you mind? Trying to sleep over here.

Newton is ready for bedGoodnight, Newton!

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The Hobo Cat Symbol

Did you know that  hobos used the symbol of the cat?

Hobos were migratory workers, traveling from place to place in search of menial work on farms, factories, or for individuals. They caught free rides on freight trains to get from place to place as they traveled across the United States.

Hobo Cat Symbol-National Cryptological MuseumIt was a dangerous way to live, with hostile railroad guards, fast-moving trains, and inhospitable local residents who didn’t trust the hobos who passed through. To help each other know whether the town they were entering was hospitable or contained hazards, the hobos created pictographs that they would write with chalk or coal to warm each other of potential dangers or points of interest nearby. A symbol would be left on a tree, fence post, or mailbox post to provide information about the people who lived there.

One of the symbols in the hobo code is a cat, which meant that a kind woman lives here. The symbol of the cat must have given comfort to the hobo who encountered it the way that the cats who live in our homes comfort us today.


References

Hobos, Clarendon Hills Historical Society
Looking for a sign: Hobo Communication in the Depression, NSA Cryptologic Museum virtual tour
Hobo Cat image from National Cytological Museum exhibit courtesy ideonexus.

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Wordless Wednesday: Newton’s Ambitious Bucket List Edition

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We’re excited to announce the winners of our Jackson Galaxy Petmate giveaway: Dezi and Lexi.

We hope you’ll enjoy your Jackson Galaxy toys as much as we do!

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Feline Firebomb

Newton: Check this out, this can of Mike’s Harder has a picture of our buddy Waffles on it.

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You don’t suppose that the picture on the can is there to tell you what’s inside, do you?

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Don’t worry, buddy, I’ll wait right here with you until we can find someone with opposable thumbs to pop the top and let you out.

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Tale of a Naughty Tail

Pierre: There’s nothing finer than rolling around on an unmade bed.

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Hey, did you hear that? I heard something…

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Watch me work my slinky-like spine as I look for the source of what I heard.

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Wait… I think I see it! It’s a naughty tail. And it’s telling me to do bad things.

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I’d better punish it FAST before something bad happens.

** CHOMP **

Ouch!

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Maybe that was the naughty thing that the tail was telling me to do after all…


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Pierre says
“Get Your Own!”

Have you entered the giveaway for items from the Jackson Galaxy Petmate collection and a copy of Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!)?

This is the last day! But it’s not too late! Enter today!

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