Friday, April 4, 2014

Cat saved from imminent death, with move of one small paw

A cat's life hung in the balance through circumstances out of it's control.  Did he know his future was in jeopardy?

We hate to hear of cats losing their lives. The small move this cat made, saved his life. 

Read his story below:

In Memory of Barbara

I met Bernard and his traveling companion
 at the park one day, when I noticed his RV parked at the curb on a beautiful day.

My wife, Barbara, and I had been married for over 25 years. We raised a beautiful family together and never let a day go by without saying “I love you”. My wife loved cats. Me personally, I couldn’t see the value of cats. I couldn’t take them on walks, play fetch or other manly things. That aside and being a smart guy, soon after we met, I convinced Barbara I was a great guy when I adopted a cat for her from the local shelter. 

Molly was definitely my wife’s cat. It was a beautiful vision to see my wife curled up in a chair having dozed off from reading a book, and Molly tucked in at her side. Molly was on her lap when we watched TV; watched us from her feeding perch while we ate dinner; and slept near my wife’s feet during the night. My wife spared no expense taking care of Molly. If it made my wife happy, it was all right with me.

I have never been a cat guy, but sometimes I wondered if my wife had to make a choice between me or Molly, how would I fare? When my lovely wife was diagnosed with cancer, I did my part to be supportive and do what I could for her; and she went through all the treatments. Every day I would stay by her side, giving her anything she asked for or needed. Next to her at all times, was Molly. Barbara always had one hand near Molly and she seemed so peaceful when Molly would purr. 

 On a sunny summer day, cancer won and I lost one of the most special parts of my life, and half of my soul. I have never felt so much grief in my life. Family and friends rallied around me for days after her death making sure I had food. When they could find her, they fed Molly and cleaned up after her. Molly was either MIA in the house or she was on top of my wife’s side of the bed. I knew at some point I would have to do something about finding Molly another home or give her to the local pound who would put her to sleep; but this was all I could do for now. 

After the crowd of people dwindled to only visiting occasionally, it was my turn to take care of Molly. It seemed like such an inconvenience in my grieving state. Some days when I really didn’t care, I could hear my wife’s voice reminding me to feed Molly. And I would. But we would just look at each other. My wife used to croon with Molly all the time, but I had never talked to a cat, and I wasn’t starting now. So I fed her in silence. My home was overly silent and sad and Molly was too much of a painful reminder of what I had lost. When I came in the bedroom Molly would look at me and slowly get off the bed and hide somewhere. I didn’t have a connection with Molly, and it never occurred to me that she was grieving too.

One night I was sitting on the couch and overwhelmed in my grief, sobbing for my wife, I felt someone touch my knee just like my wife used to. At first I thought it was the memory of my wife reaching out in some odd way through death to comfort me. I opened my eyes and could barely see through the tears. It was Molly sitting next to me and she had placed her paw on my knee. When I looked at her, I felt her sadness too. Nothing could stop the tears. I held Molly and cried into her fur for the longest time. Something changed in me and I saw Molly differently. Our relationship changed and although we aren’t the close friends she and Barbara were, she and I are kinda buddies. 

I recently sold my home and bought a RV. Molly and I travel around the country doing whatever the day brings. She likes to sit in the passenger seat as I drive, and I talk to her all the time. She doesn’t answer back, but then again Barbara didn’t much either when I was rambling on while I was driving. And that’s all right with me.

Contributed by Bernard J. In Memory of Barbara

Excerpt from: Stress Out for Cats, Dogs and their People ©

Proceeds from Book Sales benefit selected animal rescues and charities.

This book is a collection of real life stories from animal lovers and advocates who have learned something about themselves through the cats and dogs in their care. They have also learned how to better care for their animal companions which can then reduce the stress for both. In these personal stories you might read something that helps you to understand your animal companion’s stress and their needs, or find a way to prevent accidents, injury and some illnesses. We hope to inspire you, educate you and provide solutions to some of your frustrations.
To learn more about the book, and different purchase options, visit the website

Special editions are currently available and support specific charities:

We also ask, that after you have enjoyed reading this book, that you take a minute to go back to Amazon and leave a review. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cats & Dry Food

This morning I received a call from a dear friend who was quite upset because his sweet 5 year old cat had just been diagnosed with cat diabetes. His vet told him that the carbohydrates in cat dry foods have been shown in studies to have detrimental effects on the health of cats and increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is an endocrine (glandular) disorder in which cats either do not produce insulin or are unable to respond to its effects.  As a result, there is too much sugar in the bloodstream, which can damage the kidneys, eyes, skin, and cardiovascular and nervous systems. My friend was following the trend of dry food only for cats without any clue that such a diet could lead to health problems.

Diet plays an important role in pets’ well-being, just as it does ours. For years studies and reports are made on the diet and health of cats. In 1994, an epidemiological investigation reported evidence for an increased risk of obesity in cats fed commercially available, high-carbohydrate, dry-expanded diets as opposed to commercially available, canned, high-fat diets.

Many cat guardians simply feed their cat companions the cheapest or easiest food on the shelf, but is it really safe and cost efficient?   When I started to feed my cat companions a more natural diet, their vet visits decreased. The small amount of time and cost of improving their diets was actually a savings since I was no longer paying high vet bills and lab tests. Their fur has more shine, their bathroom schedule and output is normal and their energy levels are still a lot of fun.

If you are going to feed a commercial cat food, the product name says a lot: “Chicken Cat Food” is far different from “Cat Food with Chicken” in terms of how much chicken the product actually contains.
If the product name reads “Chicken Cat Food,” then it must contain at least 95% of the named ingredient, not including moisture content.  If the product name contains two ingredients (for example “Chicken and Fish Cat Food”), the food has to contain more of whichever one is named first, but together they must add up to 95%.

If the product has "Dinner", “entrĂ©e,” “formula,” or similar in the name, then the product contains less than 95% meat or fish, but more than 25%

Check the ingredients list closely in these cases to make sure you’re feeding your cat what you think you are. The ingredient in the product name may only make up a quarter of the product.

Know what the label means when is says "Meat". You may be surprised to learn what the most common ingredients really are:

Meat: Cleaned flesh from chicken, lamb, turkey, cattle, and related animals that have been slaughtered specifically for animal feed purposes. However, flesh means more than skin. It may include muscle, fat, nerves, blood vessels from the skin, the heart, esophagus, and the tongue.

Meat by-product: Clean, nonflesh parts from the same animals mentioned above. This can include the blood, bone, brain, liver, lungs, liver, kidneys, and emptied stomach and intestines. There are no hooves, hair, horns, or teeth in meat byproducts. Chicken by-products are feather-free.

Beef tallow: A fat made from beef.

Meal: Finely ground tissue.

Bone meal: Finely ground bone from slaughtered feed animals.

Fish meal: Clean, ground undecomposed whole fish or fish pieces. The fish may or may not still contain fish oil.

Ground corn: Chopped or ground corn kernels.

Corn gluten meal: A product that forms after corn syrup or starch is made.

When it comes to pet foods, there are no official definitions for the terms "natural" and "organic." But the two are not the same. "Organic" is about how a food source is grown and processed. The FDA says cat foods flaunting terms such as "premium" or "ultra-premium" are not required to be made of any better or healthier ingredients than a regular complete and balanced cat food.

If your cat is obese or has developed health problems work with your Veterinarian or Animal Naturopath to regain your cat's best health.

Featured Adoptable Pet:


Yuba County Animal Care Services
Olivehurst, CA
compliments of

ASPCA web site, “Cat Care”. web site, “Your Cat’s Eating Habits”.
The Pet Food Institute web site, “Pet Nutrition”.
Web Vet web site, "Understanding Pet Food Labels".
Defend Our Pets web site, “Home Page”.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cat’s ... Just What Good are They?

"The smallest feline is a masterpiece."
~ Leonardo da Vinci

There are so many good reasons to share your home with a cat.

Cats can help to lower your stress. Playing with a cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.  It only takes 15 to 30 minutes with a cat to feel less anxious and less stressed. 

Cats can help you heal faster. People with cat companions tend to be healthier, and go to the doctor less often than non-cat people. Some rehab facilities and hospitals employ "therapy cats", to assist sick people feel more connected and even heal faster.
Cats are good for the heart. Having a cat companion can reduce your risk of heart attack by thirty percent. A recent study by researchers at the University of Minnesota1 found that feline-less people were at higher risk for cardiovascular disease than those with cat companions.  Over the twenty years of one study, people who never shared their home with a cat were 40% more likely to die of a heart attack than those who had.

Cats are good to ward off strokes. People who live with cats have fewer strokes than people who don't. Researchers speculate that cats may have a more calming effect on their people than other animals do. Sitting and stroking a cat then becomes the focus of the person's interest.  We can only hold one thought at time in our mind, so instead of worrying about something stressful - think how soft the cat’s fur is, the soothing sound of their purr and the warmth they offer in your lap.

Cats are good for stretching.  An article in Arthritis Today2 advises people to take a cue from their cat companion. Watch how many times she stretches every day. Each time your cat stretches, attempt to mimic the same long body stretches. Stretch from side to side and stretch each limb.  Although some cat positions may be difficult for a person to duplicate, it can be beneficial to follow the basic ones. Breathe deeply when stretching to also relax your mind and reduce the stress on your body.

Cats are good company.  A UK study3 revealed that cats helped their persons overcome feelings of loneliness. A majority sometimes preferred to share their feelings with their cat rather than a partner or friend. Cats can keep a secret.  They don’t judge us; they just love us.  When I went through several rough bumps in my life, Lancelot heard it all and he kept my secrets. This study also showed that children regarded their cat as a close friend.

Cats are good for a good night’s sleep. Cats are excellent snugglers. In this same UK study more than half of the participants revealed that they enjoyed a better night's sleep with their cat on the bed than they did with their partner in the bed.  These same people also admitted that they would tolerate their cat taking most of the bed covers at night but not their partner doing that. Many people who share their beds with a cat will admit to the contortions they take to get out of bed without disturbing the cat. Only to find that once they are out of bed, their adorable friend is out of bed as well and usually right at their feet.

While we may ponder the many good reasons for cats they may be thinking, “Meow. What good are these humans? They are so distracted all the time; they miss the beauty in the wee things floating all around them. They forget that their music comes from within.  They overlook so many opportunities to see things from various perspectives.  They miss the warmth of a sunbeam streaming through a window, and the chirping of fascinating activity all around them. They can be so frustrating, so self-involved....... wait, do I hear a can opener?”

"Ever consider what they must think of us? 
I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul of chicken, pork, half a cow.
They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!" 
~ Anne Tyler

Excerpt from Stress Out for Cats Dogs and their People
ISBN: 978-0981523897

Published by Self Investment Publishing ©2012
All rights reserved including right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. 

$5 from every book donated to the charity of your choice.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

For some reason we have to remind people every year - HOT CARS KILL

It still amazes me how folks will make sure their air conditioner is full blast when they are in the car, and then think nothing of the rising heat inside that same car on their dog companion when they leave the animal in the locked car for any period of time. Including that "quick" run into the store for one thing. The news channels continue to report the hazards, and then unfortunately also the tragedies of the dogs now ill or dead, that people left in cars while ignoring all the warnings.

Many articles have been written about the dangers, however, one blogger conducted experiment in 2011 on the temperature in a car and reported how hot it actually gets for your dog when:

"You just run into the store to buy one thing"
"You park in the shade"
"You leave the windows cracked open"

Take a moment to read, and be potentially surprised at seeing how fast the temperature rises:
How Hot Is Too Hot for a Dog in the Car?

This year a veterinarian sat in his car for 30 minutes with a thermometer and a video camera.  The doctor explained that even with the windows cracked, the air in the car was still. Just a few minutes in, and already drenched with sweat – a cooling function that dogs don’t have – the doctor was already starting to reflect on the suffering that dogs must experience in the same situation. Read the story and watch hi video here: IT'S TOO HOT IN YOUR CAR

My dog companion gets excited every time I pick up my car keys. He enjoys getting into the car. Regardless of how much I also enjoy him on the drive, he has to stay home on hot days when I can't take him our of the car and into the places I am going into. I would rather have him alive and disappointed, then dead fro the heat and me heartbroken and riddled with guilt.

If you think it is a hot day for you, it is even hotter for dogs and cats.

Before buying a pet, consider saving a life instead - adopt from a shelter. They are not "used" or "less than perfect" animals; they are perfect little furry angels with open hearts looking to share love.

Featured Adoptable Pet:


Yuba County Animal Care Services
Olivehurst, CA
compliments of

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Service Dogs?

Went to the post office today and had my dog, Tigger with me. 

A postal employee behind the counter said "We only allow service dogs in here" When I asked if she wanted me to leave, her response "No, but could you pick him up? I don't like to see little dogs carried, however, under the circumstances, and her polite request I don't mind holding him while inside. 

The man in front of me then said "you should go online and get one of those service dog vests. I responded that my dog is not a "service dog." He went on to say that if my dog gave me emotional support then I could claim he was a service dog. Just the sentence "claim he was.. sounded deceitful. My response was that there is no love like that of a dog or cat, and being with one has many health benefits, including lower blood pressure, helping with depression, etc. , however, that still doesn't make Tigger a dog that should be classified as a "service dog" just so that he could be taken everywhere I go. 

This day, I was running errands and giving him new grass and plants to mark outdoors. It was my attempting to multi-task. Tigger didn't have a personal "need" to be there.

When I made it to the counter the employee was very nice, and pointed out where one of their displays was discolored because a dog had peed on it the day before. It startled an elderly patron who was standing in front of the display looking at the items, who then jumped, accidentally knocking over the display, which nearly hit the dog and caused her to fall into other people in line, which saved her from landing on the ground, which for someone of her advanced age could have been injurious. 

I have friends who have specialty trained service dogs who become invisible when they are in a retail establishment. They could never pee on a display, attempt to trip a waiter (saw this last week) or bother another shopper or diner. I love my animals, and to me, they are family. Love me, love my four pawed kids. However, there are times and places they don't need to be - for their well being and safety as well. 

It bothers me that people buy fake vests for dogs that are not trained to handle all the circumstances they may encounter in a store or restaurant. Last month, a friends daughter, a waitress at a local chain restaurant, was bit by a Chihuahua "service dog," when she attempted to clear the table. Without warning, the "service dog" leapt from the the person's lap across the table and came at her. Plates went flying, other diners were hit, food all over the floor resulting in 8 stitches and loss of time from work for her, and minor injuries for the other diners. The "service dogs" over is liable for the medicals costs for those injured, and the restaurant now has a big sign - "no dogs, including service dogs." ( I have a feeling ADA will be in touch with them for persons with disabilities with well-trained service dogs.) One small dog = a big problem. I know I'll hear from folks who disagree with me, and that's ok. 

My friends know I seldom go on rants like this. I'm looking at recent incidents where people and dogs were both in harms way because of the choice of a human. I cannot control other people or the environment when I am out in public. Keeping my dog safe requires me to be extra alert. Many times, I know my little guy is safer and he naps better at home.

I'm not saying that dogs should always be left at home. I am suggesting that honesty is in order, and respect for genuine service dogs.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Puppy Mill Mom

I’ve spent my life in a two by three box

Wire all around me, the doors have locks

My hair is matted, my feet are flat.

I’ve never known love, not even a pat.

My eyes are dim, my belly is round,

My callous pads have never touched ground.

I sleep in my urine and feces at night,

Squinting my eyes in morning’s bright light

Food and water they give me are old and stale.

This prison I live in is worse than a jail.

My life is a breeder in some puppy mill

The back woods of nowhere up on a hill.

I don’t see a vet and haven’t had shots.

My captors are cruel keeping me in a box.

My litters of puppies born all in a row.

What happens to them, I’ll never know.

They are taken from me at one month old,

Off to some pet store they are sold,

Just to provide for some persons greed,

Without one thought to what comes of me.

 by Ellen Bishop
 Excerpt from Stress Out for Cats, Dogs and their People (c)2012, page 31
All rights reserved

"Anyone who believes that money can't buy happiness, has never paid an adoption fee."

Featured Adoptable Pet:


Yuba County Animal Care Services
Olivehurst, CA
compliments of

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Keep your cats and dogs safe this Halloween

It's that time of year again where all sorts of goblins and witches wander the street in search of things sweet. Some of these are two legged and many are accompanied by their four legged friends.

This is also the time you front door will be opened again and again during the evening. This can increase the chances of your dogs and cats running out. Keep an eye on their whereabouts, or better yet, keep them safe in another room away from the front door.

 Safety is important to both humans and animals. Some people include their animal companions in their costumes; other cats and dogs can be seen wandering alone hoping for a handout. (Remember chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs.)

 Reconsider if you are planning on taking your dog out trick or treating. (See chapter “Jades Halloween Adventure”)

If you do, be extra diligent in watching your surroundings and keep them on a shorter than usual leash. Make sure they have their tags on and something reflective helps them to be seen. People are accustomed to seeing children; they can easily overlook a small dog walking beside you.

If you do take your pet out wearing a costume, make sure it fits well enough so they can walk, have clear field of vision, and that they are comfortable in it. If they struggle to get it off, or whine while wearing it - it is a sign they don't like it, no matter how cute you think they look. Make sure there are no little pieces they can chew on and swallow. Ties and ribbons can pull loose and get caught around their necks or legs causing them to trip. Some plastic costumes hold in your dog’s body heat and can make them pant harder than usual.

Make sure your dog is well ventilated and well hydrated. Be prepared to stop when they need a potty break and remember to take potty bags. No one wants to bring home the unwanted smelly dog poop on their feet.

Be safe - All of you - Happy Halloween.

excerpt, chapter SAFETY, p. 163, Stress Out for Cats, Dogs & their People.
(c) All rights reserved.