Friday, July 20, 2018

A BLACK CAT is Just a CAT

I took this picture of Lilith, a black cat fou...
I took this picture of Lilith, a black cat found as a kitten in a supermarket parking lot
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When my old cat died, I decided to pick one out of the Humane Society.  They had named the first cat I saw “Batman”, and I fell in love with him on sight.

But when I brought him home, I discovered he didn’t quite have the courage of the comic book hero. I made some mistakes which resulted in a month-long struggle to coax him out of his hiding place to join the family.

I renamed him Bear, and he is a wonderful cat, but my guests seem a little uncomfortable when he comes into the room.  After all, he is completely black.

He is a black cat and some people are afraid of Black Cats…

The Black Cat in History

Historically, black cats have been associated with omens, bad luck and, well...evil.

The poor unfortunate kitties have been used in rituals and were supposedly the "familiars" of witches. Anarchism has used the symbol of the black cat, as has Wicca, the modern day expression of Witchcraft.  Superstition has associated bad luck with having a black cat cross your path.

All-in-all, the black cat has been getting some really bad press for centuries, and all of that is not easily overcome in just a few short lines of this article.

Scaredy Cat

A very highly sensitive cat, our new black Bear was far more scared of us than we were of him, and we made a number of mistakes in the first hour of his introduction that practically destroyed our chances for introducing him to our home.

The process of first finding Bear where he had hidden in the house and gradually coaxing him out of his hiding place to join the family was long and agonizing. It took over a month, and I had almost despaired that we would ever acclimate him.

Patience won out, though…

Superstition Dispelled

Since then, Bear has been rolling around on my lap enjoying his daily pettings, sleeping in my bed, yowling at the females he sees from his perch in the kitchen window and just generally bringing a lot of joy to our lives.

He is here to dispel the notion that a black cat means bad luck.  He is one of the sweetest cats you'll ever meet, and there's absolutely *nothing* scary about him. And I can tell you for a fact that no bad luck is connected with Bear.  He's crossed my path innumerable times, and so far I haven't experienced anything one might think of as "bad luck".

I have to say, though, that on Halloween night he seems to be scared of his own black shadow. But I try to keep him calmed down and happy to be where he is...in my lap purring as loud as he can!

Copyright 2006 John Young




Thursday, July 19, 2018

Significant Facts about PET ADOPTIONS

Dog at animal shelter
Dog at an animal shelter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Have you ever thought about going through the available options for pet adoptions? Pet lovers need not worry about finding the right furry companion for them. They are available everywhere, even on the cyberspace. But you must remember that owning pets entails lots of responsibilities. Here are some notes that can guide you before you decide on becoming a full-fledged pet owner.

1. Adopting is less expensive than buying a pet. The cost will depend on the type of adoption center where you will be getting the pets. There are some places, just to give you a sample of how much it would cost, you could get a puppy for $150. If you opt to buy this, the prices usually range from $300 up to $600. Your expenses don’t stop there. You have to pay for the puppy’s vaccinations for its first years which may be about $150 up to $300. Other health tests must also be accomplished to ensure your pet’s health. This will cost you about $50 up to $200.

2. You are confident that you are getting a healthy animal as a pet. When you opt to adopt a puppy, the case is usually like this. The animal shelter will assure you that it already has gone through thorough examinations. And what are these? First, your puppy’s fleas have already been treated. You just have to maintain that in order to keep your companion well groomed. Health examinations for the puppy have already been done by the center and they make sure that before you get the animal, it has passed all tests. This assures you that you are getting a healthy pup.

If it is already suitable, when the animal is on its right age, the center will also provide its needed vaccinations. They also test the pups for parvovirus and some also do some testing for heartworm. Heartworm, distemper, and parvo-influenza are considered terminal diseases for dogs. So you have to make sure that your pet has gone through tests for these and passed them all.

And this situation applies to all animals in your chosen shelter. They are all being given attention and proper funding to look out for their health.

3. When you are in the process of adopting a pet, you will be assisted by the center’s staff so that they can match you with the right animal. And this process is also extremely important. This is like helping you find the perfect partner or the additional family member who would be accepted by the family. If you’d like to get a dog, there are many kinds of dogs not only in terms of the breed but also with the attitude.


You will find purebred and cross-bred dogs of different sizes and personalities. There are those that are shy and others with extremely high energy. You will be asked by the center if you are the type of person who loves sports and may want to bring the pet on your running sessions. Or are you the type who just wants to stay home after a stressful day and be comforted by the fact that you are no longer alone.

Pet adoptions can be fun as well as challenging. But you have to be responsible for the pet’s well-being after you have left the shelter. So make sure that you have thought about it really hard and you are ready to commit to the idea that you will be answerable to whatever will happen to your chosen pet once you have taken it home.



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

CANINE HYDROTHERAPY: Choosing The Right Therapist

Beagle swimming
Beagle swimming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dogs are like people in so many ways: they need to be touched, loved, and appreciated; they need exercise, proper nutrition, and good care; and sometimes they get the same diseases, like arthritis.

It's been found that one of the best treatments for humans suffering from arthritis and other joint diseases is water aerobics, a form of hydrotherapy. It should be no surprise that dogs benefit similarly from the support and warmth of hydrotherapeutic pools, especially since most dogs enjoy water so much anyway.

While a few years ago canine hydrotherapy was looked upon as a little odd, to say the least, today canine hydrotherapy facilities are growing much more common. Veterinarians are as likely today to prescribe canine hydrotherapy for hip dysplasia and other canine joint problems as they are to prescribe medications. 

How Does It Work?

Canine hydrotherapy is very simple. Special pools with powerful jets are provided for the dogs. The Jets are set up so that the dog can swim against a current, building its muscles and strengthening the ligaments around weak or damaged joints. Generally, the canine hydrotherapist enters the water with the dog, helping guide him into exercising the right parts of his body, calming him and remaining close by in case the dog grows distressed.

This sort of exercise is called isokinetic – it isolates particular muscular movements to help retrain weak muscles. The number of treatments needed depends on the dog and the problem. If the hydrotherapy is recommended for a short-term condition, like rebuilding strength or recovering from surgery, it can be as few as three sessions. For a dog with a chronic illness, the hydrotherapy may be long-term or even ongoing for the rest of his life.

What Should I Look For?

The canine hydrotherapy pool should be warm but not hot; ideally, somewhere around 92 degrees is best. Therapists should work closely with your dog's veterinarian so they know what to treat for your pet. An individual plan should be developed for your dog intended to optimize wellness, with consideration given to muscle development, conditioning, general fitness, and relaxation.

Common reasons for the use of canine hydrotherapy include pre or post-surgical conditioning; dysplasia or arthritis; obesity; cardiovascular workouts for older dogs; stroke reconditioning; and pain management, usually secondary to a joint disease.

How Do I Know Who To Use?

In Britain, the Canine Hydrotherapy Association was formed in 2000. They maintain standards and further the knowledge and use of good practice in hydrotherapy.


Not every hydrotherapist is a member. You can also find a good canine hydrotherapist by asking about the experience the therapist has had with dogs. Have they bred or shown dogs? Run kennels? Did they ever work in a veterinary capacity? 

Canine hydrotherapy is a new-enough industry that there are no schools or degrees. Your best bet: let your dog choose. If the dog likes the therapist, if he's willing to work with the therapist and cooperates in his treatment, then you have a good canine hydrotherapist for your dog.


Monday, July 16, 2018

The Temperament Of CATS

Ti-Rat, Montreal born red cat, showing his cla...
Ti-Rat, Montreal born red cat, showing his claws with pride. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Perhaps you imagined yourself as a sleek young woman like Selena Kyle. But is a cat the right pet for you? To decide, you must have an idea what to expect from a cat. You must be familiar with the temperament of cats.

First of all, a domestic cat is a highly intelligent and fiercely independent creature. It can never be placed on a leash the way dogs are. Cats do things they want to do and when they want to do it. They will demand the things they want, such as food and play. And they will also make it clear when they want to be left alone. Thus, the owner of a cat cannot expect his pet to do “work” for him.

Different breeds of cats have different personalities. Some cats are quiet while others like to meow all the time. Can you tolerate a cat who meows almost every hour? Some cats are fussy and choosy about the food you give them while others will eat just about anything. Can you afford the kind of food that your cat prefers? Some cats don’t mind being surrounded and petted by strange people while others will wield their claws if they face a person they haven’t met before. Does your house accept many strangers or are you alone most of the time? And some cats love to climb and curl on the lap of their masters. But others prefer to be left alone, watching TV or listening to the radio. Are you a cat owner who likes to cuddle all the time?

You will know when your cat is trying to get your attention. It will endlessly meow at you or it will follow you around or it will rub its body against your leg. You will also know if your cat is comfortable or scared by lifting up your cat. If the body is loose, then your cat is relaxed. If the body is tight, then something is scaring the daylights out of it.

Cats like to sleep. And the specific personality and breed of the cat will determine where the cat chooses to sleep. Some like to be in secluded places where no one can disturb them. They like to lie in high cupboards and similar places. Other breeds of cats like to sleep in places where everyone is converging. These cats like to be noticed. So they sleep at the center of the foyer, in the middle of the stairs and even on the couch, especially when there are guests.

Cats like to sharpen their claws. It is their nature, similar to wild cats such as lions, tigers, panthers, and cheetahs. This may irritate the owner, especially if the cat chooses to sharpen its claws on the couch. The owner may consider giving the cat a scratching post. The cat can be taught to scratch its claws on this post.





Friday, July 13, 2018

Should OUTSIDE CATS Use A COLLAR

Alfie Cat
Photo  by Dawko 
Most cat owners find themselves in a quandary over whether or not to use a cat collar on their outdoor cats. The debate still reigns over the pros and cons of outfitting an outside cat with a collar, but many veterinarians and cat experts agree that collars are the best way to go. However, before you decide, take a look at these pros and cons:

Pros:

• Cat collars can hold identification and registration tags. This is critical in case your outdoor cat becomes lost or is picked up by a concerned individual. Also, collars can hold bells or other noise generating items to scare away potential prey.

• Many cat collars are equipped with reflective material. Whether the collar is made completely out of reflective material or only contains a small strip, this will help your cat to become more visible in the dark. Cats, especially those of dark color, can become invisible at night, which is a potentially dangerous situation.

Cons:

• Cat collars can easily snag and cause your cat to become hung or stuck on branches, fences, or anything else in the great outdoors. Some cats have actually been strangled when their collar has gotten caught and cut off the animal’s air supply.

• Your cat may not be comfortable wearing a collar or the collar may be too heavy for the animal.

Given these pros and cons, consider choosing a collar that will maximize the positives and minimize the negatives. For example, there are many collars on the market that are specially designed to break away or unclasp when the cat is hung. These collars are considered strangle-proof and release when approximately seven pounds of pressure is applied. This way, the cat can break him — or herself free from any snare.

Furthermore, there are many different types of collars on the market. Bring your feline friend with you to the local pet-friendly pet store and try on several different types of collars until you find one that best fits. Avoid choosing a harness for outdoor cats unless you plan on walking the cat on a leash. If this is the case, only allow your cat to wear a harness while supervised, as most are not snare-proof.

On a whole, collars are encouraged on cats that spend their time outside and inside. In addition to providing visibility to your animal, the collar will hold valuable identification information that will protect your cat and assist you in finding your pet.