Adopt a Less-Adoptable Pet Week

Ashton: Hi, my name is Ashton is and I’m a less-adoptable cat.

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Newton: Hi, Ashton!

Ashton: I’m lucky. I have a home, even though I don’t look perfect on the outside. But there are lots of other cats who are less-adoptable who are looking for homes. And they’re having a hard time finding one.

Newton: Why are they having hard times finding homes? I didn’t have a hard time finding a home.

Ashton: You were a cute, fuzzy kitten with bright eyes who looked healthy, Newton.

Newton: I was, wasn’t I? I still am pretty cute.

Newton on hardwood floorAshton: *sigh*  Not everyone is like that. Lots of cats who need homes adults, or even seniors. Other cats have medical problems that make humans not want to adopt them. What would have happened to me trying to get adopted without two good eyes?

Newton: And don’t forget that you’re a chicken, too.

Ashton: Chicken? is it snack time?

Newton: No, I mean you’re a fraidy cat.

Ashton: Well… that’s true. And that would make me a less-adoptable cat, too. Lots of cats who are afraid of strangers have a hard time getting adopted, too. Just because a kitty is timid doesn’t mean that we won’t love to snuggle with you all night every night. But people don’t want to take that chance. They want cats like you who love strangers.

Newton: Of course they want cats like me. Who wouldn’t?

Ashton: *tail twitch* That means they don’t want to adopt black cats, either.

Newton: What do you mean? Some of my best friends have been black cats!

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Ashton: Black cats take longer to get adopted than any other color. Some humans are superstitious about them, and others think they don’t show up well in selfies. Can you imagine?

Newton: Cats aren’t just for selfies. Cats are for companionship! How do we explain this to the humans?

Ashton: That’s what Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week is about. It’s to remind people that all kinds of cats are good companions, and that if you’re going to adopt, look at the cats who aren’t as likely to be adopted, too.

Newton: Do you think people are getting the message?

Ashton: I don’t know. It’s not like we can adopt more cats here now to test it out. But since we aren’t going to adopt right now, we’re spreading the word. If our readers aren’t going to adopt, we hope they will spread the word about Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week, too, and hopefully it will lead to more cats who are old, have medical issues, are a little bit different, or maybe are a little bit shy to find the homes they deserve.

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Meowing Like a Pirate

Pierre: Do I really have to get dressed up for this holiday? I don’t do dress-up.

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Ashton: Take that thing off, Pierre. I’m the pirate around here. I don’t even need an eye patch!

Ashton_winks01_smAhoy! It’s One-Eyed Ashton of the Cat Tree, here to plunder your hearts. (Especially you, Mr. Jinx!)

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National Perscription Drug Take Back Day is September 27th

We’re bringing back a post from last spring because it’s relevant again now. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is coming in just over a week, and we want to be sure you’re ready. So dig out those leftover pills you could never get into your hard to pill cat. There’s a safe way to dispose of them near you! You can find locations that will be accepting prescription drugs, no questions asked, on September 27th by checking the National Take Back Initiative Collection Site Search or by calling 1-800-882-9539.

There are a lot of ways that you shouldn’t dispose of things.

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Flushing your unused medications down the toilet or drain is a bad idea. The US Geological Survey has already found levels of drugs such as antibiotics, hormones, and contraceptives in 80% of the rivers and streams tested in part of a nationwide study. Additional studies have shown that fish and other wildlife can be adversely affected by medications, even when they are expired.

Instead of flushing medications, check to see if there are drug take-back events in your area one of the following ways:

  • Call your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service to ask whether a drug take-back program is available in your community. Some counties hold periodic household hazardous waste collection days, where over-the-counter and prescription drugs are accepted at a set location.
    Ask your pharmacist whether he or she knows of any medicine disposal programs in your area.
  • Find a local, independent pharmacy in your area who participates in drug disposal through disposemymeds.com.
  • Check the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s web site for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Event information.
  • Ask your veterinarian. They may be willing to include unused medications originally purchased through them in shipments to their medical waste company.

If there aren’t any drug take-back events in your area, you can purchase special postage-paid packages from your local pharmacy that send medications back to a medical waste company. Some medications are ineligible for this program so read the fine print before you purchase.

The same guidelines can be used for disposal of human medications, though your veterinarian is unlikely to be willing to take back unused human medication. Keeping our groundwater safe is everybody’s responsibility!

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Wordless Wednesday: Flashing Some Fang Edition

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Taste Test Tuesday: Turkey Liver Munchies from Primal

Pierre: This month, our friends at Chewy offered to let us try out freeze-dried liver munchies from Primal Pet Foods. We were pretty excited about these because they’re made of only one thing: freeze dried turkey liver. No vegetables, no fillers, no added salt or sugar, no chemicals that cats can’t pronounce. I like how that sounds!

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Pierre: So let’s get on with the important part, the tasting!

Ashton: Hey, that looks like a really big piece. Aren’t you going to share?   

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Pierre: These turkey liver pieces are freeze-dried as-is, so they are different sizes, and some of them are pretty big.

Ashton: I’ll take the big ones!

Pierre: I think the big ones are meant for dogs. But don’t worry, they are easy to break up with human fingers. And when I got a large piece, it was easy to bite into and chew up. As a freeze-dried meat, it kind of crumbles, so it can make a little bit of a mess when you break it into smaller pieces. Don’t forget to be tidy and lick the crumbs off the floor.

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Ashton: Is it finally my turn to taste one?

Pierre: Go ahead. I had my taste. It was pawesome.

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Pierre: Don’t take the whole finger, Ashton!

Ashton_pierre_primal_turkey_liver_treat_02_smNewton: Now for me, right?

Ashton: Hey! Over here. More for me. I’m turning on the cute, see?

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Ashton: Mine!

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Newton: I was starting to think that I wasn’t going to get any. Yum!

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Pierre: We gave Primal freeze-dried liver munchies twelve enthusiastic paws up! And the head peep did, too, because it’s a healthy, species-appropriate treat that we all agreed on.


FTC Disclosure: We received these treats for free from Chewy.com. This didn’t influence what we say; all opinions expressed on this site are our own.

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A Work of Art

Newton: A while back, we supported the crowdfunding for Tiny Timmy’s Dirty Flea Soap, and we have been eagerly waiting for a painting as our incentive for our support. The package from the wonderful artist Sheala Bacon has arrived, and I can’t wait to see my painting!

Newton examines watercolor

Newton: Wait a minute!  I don’t think this resembles me very much. There must be a mistake.

Ashton: That’s because it isn’t a painting of you. Sometimes it’s not all about you, Newton. It’s a painting of me!

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Ashton: I love my painting, Sheala. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to have it up on the wall where everyone can admire it.

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A Houseguest Is Among Us

Newton: It wasn’t just a rumor. There’s a really a houseguest here. And he’s great! I think all houseguests are pretty great. They are fun to watch, they will feed me from the breakfast table, and when they go out, I love to check out what they brought for me in their suitcases. Maybe they wear me out a little, but it’s totally worth it to have so much entertainment from somebody new around here.

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I haven’t seen much of Pierre since our houseguest got here. He’s been spending a lot of time trying to blend in with the clothes in the closet.

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And Ashton… well, I haven’t seen her except after dark. She’s hiding so far in the back of the closet that even I can’t see her.

So I had better run. I need to go look cute to see if maybe I can get an extra treat or two for it.

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I hope everykitty has a great weekend. I know I’m going to. With everyone’s routine messed up, it’s my big chance to be the center of attention, the way I deserve!

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Coyotes and Outdoor Cats Don’t Mix

Coyote_sign_02_smA sign recently appeared in our neighborhood that made us sad. One of our neighbors lost their cat to a coyote and wanted to warn everybody else so that it didn’t happen to them, too.

Lots of people think of coyotes as creatures who live on the prairies, and they remember them as part of wild west tales. Maybe you think of coyotes as desert-dwellers because you remember the coyote who never quite caught the road runner in the cartoons. That used to be true.

Coyoyte_range_02a_xsLSince the 1700s, coyotes have expanded their range first to the west and then eastward until they are found in all of the continental United States from eastern Alaska through New England and all the way south into Mexico and Panama.  Coyotes aren’t confined to rural areas any more, either. We live close enough to Walt Disney World to hear the fireworks at night, but we have had coyotes kill cats within a few hundred yards of our house.

Coyotes eat nearly anything. They will hunt rabbits, mice, or livestock. Coyotes are opportunistic hunters, and will kill cats, small dogs, and other pets.  They will also eat fruit and berries. This makes them hardy survivors, and difficult to eradicate.

Since coyotes have established themselves in areas through natural range expansion rather than being introduced the way that dumped exotic pet animals are, they aren’t considered non-native introduced species. However, they travel long distances and don’t have any natural predators, which means that they colonize new areas quickly. Coyotes are more aggressive in January during mating season and in late April and early May, when most litters are born.

Coyote_arizonaWhat can you do to keep your cat safe from coyotes in your area?

  • Keep your cat indoors from dusk until dawn.
  • If your cat demands access to the outdoors at night, consider a sturdy, coyote-proof catio.
  • Feed your cat indoors, or feed outdoors during the day so that food isn’t left out at night. This may be an important consideration for the timing of feedings for TNR colonies.
  • In treeless or open areas, you can provide “cat posts” which are 4×4 posts at least ten or twelve feet high with a platform on top which a cat can scale but a coyote can’t.
  • Never feed coyotes, and cut off food sources to make your neighborhood less attractive to them. This includes:
    • Securing your trash containers from being tipped over or opened
    • Picking up fruit or berries that fall on the ground
    • Covering compost
    • Hanging bird feeders out of reach of coyotes and not overfilling them to prevent spills

Only you can decide whether visits to the outdoors are worth the risk to your cat, but take the threat of coyotes seriously if they are preying in your area.


Coyote range map and Coyote photo thanks to Wikimedia Commons

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Wordless Wednesday: Newton was Here Edition

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Houseguest Rumors

Pierre: Hey, Ashton, did you hear the latest rumor?

Ashton: You mean about the Great Chicken Shortage of 2014? I checked Snopes and it’s an urban myth, thank Cod.

Pierre: No, not that one. I’m talking about our houseguest.

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Ashton: I noticed the head peep was doing some extra house cleaning, but I thought that was about the coffee she spilled everywhere last week. You should have seen Newton run when he got hit by flying coffee.

Pierre: This is a houseguest situation for sure. I helped make the guest bed. I always help make beds.

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Ashton: So what do we do about this?

Pierre: Same thing we always do, Ashton. Hide in the closet or under the bed while Newton follows the visitor around like a puppy.

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Ashton: You heard Pierre, friends. We may not be able to read and comment very much over the next week because the head peep’s father is visiting. I’ll try to visit some of you while he’s making sleeping noises, if I can. 

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