Friday, November 11, 2011

Shift work

"I'm Brin, the cool one."

You know how you read those stories about men having two different families in two different places at the same time? I'm starting to feel a little like one of them.

Bob and Brin (aka "The Strabies") have definitely settled into the ebb and flow of life at Casa de PPCT, especially as it relates to their getting fed and being on the receiving-end of some scritches from the suckers humans. They know we tend to pull our "primary" cats inside when it's getting dark and that Darby (aka "the white devil dog who stops us from being indoor cats like the others") doesn't hang out in the back on his own, so we can pretty much count on seeing their happy, hungry faces within minutes of taxiing Bad Kitty Bo and the gang to the other side of the back door.

That's when the second half of my pet-parent day begins. Bob, especially, expects a little more from us than just a drop-and-dash dry food delivery --- he needs some quality time to go along with it. Brinnie, while being far more laid-back and much less apt to ever want to become a housecat, still appreciates a few sweet nothings being whispered in his ear and a gentle rub around his hindquarters before heading out for his late-night adventures.

"I'm Bob. I like food."
They know the backyard is "safe" - one of the few words, other than their names, that we've taught them. "Safe" means Darby is in the house and they can enjoy the area. Darby would never hurt them, but he loves, loves, loves giving them a good chase which, amazingly enough, they don't appreciate nearly as much as he. We're careful to try and warn them when bringing the Doodlebug out for his evening potty/scope to see if there's any stray cat food bits laying around walk, and they've gotten pretty clear on that routine as well. 

In the meantime, I'm like that double-married dude, with one family in the daylight and another in the moonlight, trying to make sure everyone is getting just enough of what they need that they need not make a big deal out of sharing. Some days it feels every bit as oddly-functionally-dysfunctional as the newspaper accounts I've read, but thus far we're managing to make it work.

Anyone else out there leading a "double" life?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Probably not the review they were looking for

I'm standing in the kitchen near the sink when my husband decides to come over and give me a little kiss on the back of my head. Given that we've been married since back in the days when computers came equipped with floppy disk drives, it's kind of nice that we still do things like exchange little kisses for no particular reason.

Him: "Hey, you're hair smells really nice."

Me: "Thanks. I used the cat detangling spray on it."

Him: "Yeah, right. Sure you did."

Me: "No, I really did."

Him: "Why would you do that?"

Me: "I'm out of hair care products. My hair felt tanglly after I got out of the shower and the bottle was just sitting there on the counter. I looked at the ingredients and didn't see anything that looked too weird, so I figured, why not?"

Him: "Why didn't you just ask me to pick up something for you when I went to the store?"

Me: "Dude, you don't want to go there. Remember when you had to pick out shaving cream for me? You spent, like, twenty minutes reading the backs of the shaving cream stuff to find me the one that wasn't tested on animals. The hair care aisle is like five times bigger than the shaving cream section. I love Bed Head products and Pet Head is the pet side of Bed Head, so really, how different can it be? Plus, I already know it wasn't tested on animals. At least not in the bad kind of way that pisses me off. Anyway, it worked. My hair combed out great and it feels soft and doesn't look frizzy or anything. It's not like the cats were using it --- their hair isn't as tangly as mine was."

Him: "Well, it smells good, anyway."

Me: "Strawberry Yogurt. Says so right on the label."

Him: "Well, I guess you know what you're doing."

Me: "I think as long as you don't see me scratching at the toilet lid, instead of just lifting it up to go to the bathroom, I'm probably safe."

*FTC disclosure - I was given a sample of Pretty Kitty Detangling Spray to review, but I can't imagine this is what they had in mind. Obviously, no money exchanged hands and the opinion expressed here could not possibly be anyone's but mine.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Back from posting oblivion

It's been even longer than I thought since I last posted --- hope there are still some folks left on the other side of this blog :)

I hadn't planned to take a break, but September proved to be my most challenging month of this challenging year, or at least that's what I'm clinging to until something else happens. Now that I'm beyond it (because, trust me when I say I'm well-past over it), I have the beginnings of a plan in place to move forward in my life and can get back some of that elusive "balance" I hear about, including carving out some time to stay in the blogging loop. I won't torture you with the gory details, but if you're truly interested, feel free to drop me a line. I can whine with the best of 'em when properly prodded.

The critters are fine (thank dog), other than Weebles' perpetual unhappiness that I've appropriated "her" chair for my writing, studying and general Internetting. We tend to argue about it most afternoons and sometimes I let her win a round, just to keep things interesting.
The Doodlebug is still rocking his short hair, though he's in need of a trim (more of that "balance" thing I'm working on):

Musette continues to be the sweetest little cat on four feet.
Bad Kitty Bo still lives under the impression that he owns the universe, but is kind enough to let the rest of us enjoy the parts he isn't currently using.
And, just for good measure, here's a (bad) shot of Bob the strabie. Some day I'll get a decent picture of him, though it may not be a photo that doesn't include him eating, as that is far and away his favorite thing to do when he and Brin come by. Bob continues to campaign for a more permanent place in our family while avoiding the dog at all costs. He's got a fall sleeping space next to our house, but we'll probably need to do a little better for him once it gets colder, or maybe I should say, if it ever actually does get colder --- where the heck is Fall already?

I'd be remiss without a little a note of thanks to Deb over at Zee & Zoey and to Snoopy's mom for dropping me a line asking where the heck I've been. Sometimes when things seem particularly rough, just knowing that someone thought about you or missed seeing you can change your entire day. So, thank you for that.

More to come soon. Really :) 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rescue Profile: No Paws Left Behind Rescue & Transport

Volunteers Joan Dunham & Cindy Neal
helping secure pets for transport.
Photo courtesy of No Paws Left behind.

Some people spend their lives wondering when “someone” is going to do something to help the homeless pets of Kern County. Then there are people like Teresa Walker, who established No Paws Left Behind Rescue and Transport, a nonprofit organization that pulls pets out of local shelters and transports them to northern California to waiting rescues.

Asked why she has chosen this action to help save pets, Walker said, “I volunteered at the SPCA and worked with two local rescues working to save Kern County shelter dogs. I wasn’t happy with the number of animals I was able to foster, spay/neuter, provide medical care and find loving homes for . The need is so great, and I felt I was not making a difference.  I decided transporting Kern animals to established rescues would allow me to save a larger number of them.”
Thus, No Paws Left Behind was formed. The organization transports pets from Kern County Animal Control as well as shelters in Shafter, Wasco and Delano to established rescues in northern California such as Big Dog Rescue, Wing and a Prayer Rescue, Second Chance Cocker Rescue, Noah’s B’Ark Rescue and the Milo Foundation, just to name a few. No Paws also provides regular transportation for Woods Humane Society in San Luis Obispo. To date, over 200 cats and dogs have been pulled from local shelters and driven up north where they may live in a safe and loving environment while awaiting their forever home. All rescued pets are spayed or neutered before being adopted and receive medical care if necessary.

Every rescue transport is coordinated between the shelters holding the pets, the rescues accepting the pets and the people with No Paws who are doing the driving. Before each transport, the van used by No Paws has to be cleaned and sanitized, as well as all of the kennels used to hold the animals during the drive. This in itself is an all day process. On transport day, the entire trip from Kern County to the Bay Area and back, typically with several stops along the way, takes approximately 15 hours.

Pets awaiting transport to
Northern California rescues.
Photo courtesy of No Paws Left Behind.
Each trip carries around 35-40 animals, though No Paws has transported as many as 54 in one outing. No Paws utilizes a 12-passenger cargo van that has had the seats removed to make room for the kennels needed to secure the animals for their journey.

When asked about the hardest aspect of coordinating the rescue transports, Walker answered, “Making sure everyone is where they need to be, when they need to be   there, so things run smoothly.”

All of the work No Paws does to secure new homes for shelter pets is done at no charge to the shelters or rescue groups. The organization relies on donations to their 501(c)3 organization to cover the cost of gas, which typically runs $190 for each round trip.

Interested in lending No Paws Left Behind Rescue and Transport a hand? Head to their website and make a donation towards their next journey. For the cost of a cup of coffee, you can get homeless pets one gallon of gas closer to a forever home.

*Originally written for the Bakersfield Voice

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cell phone cases to sigh for...

Did you know that you can go to Zazzle and make a customized cell phone case featuring your pet?

O.K., maybe you did know. It was news to me, though, which means I spent way too much time checking out these these cool cases.

Not sure I'd ever put my phone down if I was looking into these eyes:

Or this one:
Love this one, too!
How about one with your pet's photo on it?
Or use your phone to deliver a message just by placing it on the table: 
Or bring out your pup's inner rebel:

Sure, they're a little pricier than what you're going to find ready-made, but all the other phones will wish they were as cool as yours!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

C-A-T-P-O-O-P, Part Two

"Worried? Do I look worried to you?"
"O.K., I'm back now. Sorry about that, but I already live with three(!) cats, plus mom gives noms to Bob and Brin, so when I see a cat, I figure the least they can let me do is give it a chase, right?

But, back to my story. There I was, hanging out on the bed with Mom when she reached behind her and got her scissors. Now, I get the scissors a lot - to keep the hair out of my eyes, to get rid of super pesty mats and for when I get into the bad weeds that get wound in my fur, so I wasn't all that worried.

Then I hear a big 'snip' and WOW! I see a huge chunk of my hair in Mom's hand. Then she did it again and again. Holy moley --- Mom's gonna make me bald, just because of some cat poop!

She kept cutting and cutting, and I was getting pretty worried. Mom never went to dog groom school or anything...what if I look like a big ol' dork when she's done? How will I ever face the other dogs again? Or the cats?

Then she said she was done. She opened the door and told me to go find Dad. Man, what was Dad going to think? He said he liked my long hair.

Dad took one look at me and said he
loved it! He kept touching my new, short hair while telling me how soft and fluffy I am now. He said I look bunches smaller and that my cut made my short hair look all bouncy. Hmmmm, maybe this isn't so bad after all.

Of course, you know there had to be one more insult. I had to go to the dog wash. Geez, I didn't even smell like cat poop anymore, but was that good enough? Nope - they had to make me smell like Cucumber Melon, or some other silly scent. I don't even get to smell like a dog.

So, what do you think? Mom says the pictures aren't the best because she's bad with a camera, but they'll have to do for now.

"Guess I should be glad I got to keep my tail and my leg fluff."

"Mom says it looks like I got a body wave in my hair now."
"Mom tried to find a hairy "before" pic for you to see how much she cut off."
"See? I'm not really all white. Down by my skin my hair
is light brown. You can see it lots better now that it's short."

"Yeah, I think I'm going to dry a lot faster
when I fall in the pool next time."
"So, that's my story. The biggest lesson I learned? Sometimes you have go through a little cat poop to make a big change in your life."

Don't forget to check out other great blogs on today's hop!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Trouble is spelled C-A-T-P-O-O-P"

As I mentioned on Facebook the other day, Darby found himself some cat poop the other day...

*tap tap tap*

"Uh, Mom, you said I could tell the story and you'd type what I said."

O.K., Darby. I'll let you tell it.


"Well, I was out for morning patrol and I found me a great pile of cat poop, fresh and everything, like a gift, almost. No way I was letting that go to waste so *bam*, in I jumped, sliding and smushing it all over me. And I did great! I had poop and grass pieces from the corner of my eye all the way down my side in big brown swirls. I was super proud of how well I got it smushed in --- until my folks caught me.

'Darby, why the hell did you do that?' Dad said.

'Because he's a dog,' Mom answered (duh).

'Well, he's not coming near the house like that. We're going to have to hose him off.'

'Of course we are, since I actually have on decent clothes and managed to dry my hair today so it would look decent tonight,' Mom said.

Mom went in to change clothes and get some shampoo while I hung out in the back yard, drawing flies. She came back out and Dad held my collar while she washed out all my hard work and tried to make me smell like a clean dog. It took a while, but she finally said I was as good as I was going to get and told Dad to let go of me.

Happy!!!! I was happy to finally be free, plus I was wet, which is almost as good as poop, but not quite, so I did what love doing when I'm wet --- I found a spot on the grass and rolled around. Yep, I got more grass in my fur, even if I missed the poop patch this time.

I trotted back to Mom, tail held high. Then I noticed she had "the look". Not the scary look when I know she's mad, but the other one...the one that says she's getting her way, no matter what. She said something about a 'last straw', but that didn't make any sense. It was grass, not straw. Geez, even I know the difference.

She told Dad to go in the house and go back to work. Then she went in and left me in the yard for a few minutes.

When Mom called for me, I came in, like I always do. She asked me to come into the back room. She had the radio on and a nice blanket on the bed for me, so I hopped up and stretched out. I figured we were going to do some 'grooming', since she likes doing it back there, but I was not ready for what happened next.

Mom reached behind her and...

CAT!!!!!! There's a cat out back and I've got to go RIGHT NOW.

I'll have to finish my story tomorrow..."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Bad Kitty Bo says, 
"No one appreciates the importance of having a strong labor force quite like a cat. 
Now, go forth and labor to serve me this Labor Day!"

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Update on the Strabies

It's been about three weeks since Brindle (henceforth known as "Brin") decided to join his buddy, Bob, in campaigning to become the newest members of our family.
"Hi, I'm Brin, and I've decided these peeps are O.K." 
Turns out he is a super sweetheart with a cool, ultra-laid-back personality. All of our cats are pretty nonchalant about his visits, which are beginning to happen while the sun is still up --- unlike Bob, who still has a healthy enough respect for the white devil dog to wait until after sunset to make his appearance (which is why there's no Bob photo yet).
Trying to get a picture of him at his height is almost impossible,
because as soon as I crouch down, he's heading over for pets.
 Brin really enjoys being petted and, despite his super thin frame, he will regularly stop eating to come over and get some scritches. There are times when it seems that the food is a secondary consideration to having a little people company. This is not the case with Bob, who seems to be under the impression that every meal may well be his last. We've toyed with changing Bob's name to "Dyson", but he seems happy enough with Bob the Cat.
"I dig this table. Safe and close to the water hole."
Brin spends some time on one of the outdoor tables nearly every night, just chilling out. It makes our heart happy that he finds it to be a safe place where he can rest for a bit. You'll rarely catch Bob up there, as it's entirely too far from where we drop the food.

We've taken to calling them "The Strabies", a nonsensical word I made up as a contraction of "stray babies". I have no idea how this will ultimately play out. My husband (who also has a nickname - the Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man, because of the softness of his critter-loving heart) has a serious infatuation with Brin and mentioned that we might need to figure out some type of shelter for the winter. A section of yard that is double-fenced allows the Strabies pretty easy access while keeping them safe from dogs (including the Doodlebug) and might be a good spot for a cat house. Fortunately, Southern California winters are a long way from unbearable, and a long time from now. Today, the weather is fine, the Strabies know the yard is all theirs once the sun goes down (with the exception of Darby potty outings, but they've figured out the signs and know how to disappear when they hear his tags jingling), and we're in their corner.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

"There are entirely too many dogs in your Facebook."

Find bunches more dogs (and cats) on the hop!

Monday, August 29, 2011

PPCT's going HollyWOOF!

HollyWOOF swag-bag goodness
With Los Angeles right over the hill, you'd think we'd see our fair share of pet stars here in our fair valley, but no such luck, which is why HollyWOOF is so appealing.

HollyWOOF creates super-swanky gift bags full of some of the coolest pet products around and gives them away to dog-loving celebrities like Kristen Bell, Betty White, Kellan Lutz, Kate Beckinsale, Oprah Winfrey, Kathy Griffin, Katherine Heigl, Mario Lopez,  Olivia Wilde, Justin Timberlake and bunches of other famous-type folks so they can indulge their dogs in a manner befitting their celeb-pet status. And guess what --- the Doodlebug got a few items, too!

We'll be sharing our thoughts about some of these nifty products over the next couple of weeks. Darby can hardly wait to get his teeth into some of the treats (though he has asked to put off the grooming items for as long as possible)!

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy National Dog Day!

Yep, it's our day!

On behalf of National Dog Day, my wishes for fellow dog owners:

  • May the hair on your clothes not exceed the amount of hair on your head.

  • May you find a free corner of your bed on which to sleep.

  • May your pet food bill not exceed your grocery bill.

  • May your dog not roll in anything that smells worse than you.

  • May you always remember that anything can be cleaned with the right number of paper towels.

Happy National Dog Day!

On behalf of those dog (and cat) owners on the east coast, please be safe this weekend. For information about pet (and people) evacuation, rescue and shelter during Hurricane Irene, please check out the Hurricane Irene 2011 Animal Rescue Resource Page on Facebook and share with others who may need this info. For horse owners, the Facebook page Horse Evacuations East has been established. Us west coast bloggers are sending out good vibes that you all remain safe.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The emergence of Mr. Hyde

There's no way to sugarcoat it: The Doodlebug has gone rogue.

My goofy, doofy mess of a boy has always had some issues. He has an unnaturally high sensitivity to any number of sounds, doesn't like being hugged and, generally, tends to find the world to be a bit too big for his liking. For the most part his issues are a bit annoying, but within the confines of our day-to-day life, no biggie. Until this past weekend, when he decided to add one more to his list: snapping.

Yes, my floppy dog snapped at someone. Actually, two "someones". Both times, they were people who were in our home who he was not familiar with, and on both occasions it happened when they reached out to pet him while I wasn't looking. To say that I'm appalled is an understatement. I've known Darby to many things over his six years but I've never, ever been concerned about him hurting someone --- and definitely not someone identified as a "friend". We've had people over many times before, both singularly and in groups and although he has been tentative with folks he didn't know, he has never behaved this poorly.

I'm taking it very hard, especially as a blogger who reads about the adventures of other, seemingly perfect pups who appear to glide around society like a southern belle at a perpetual debutante ball. I know Darby will never be one of those dogs, but he can't be this dog, either.

I've spent the past couple of days turning it over in my head. Is it because something changed in his doodle brain now that I'm home all the time? Is he picking up on my frustration with a recurring medical condition I have and trying to take it out on someone else? Did he sneak into the living room after we went to bed and watch part of Cujo (obviously missing the end) and think he's a role model?

After a short period of self-flagellation, which is almost as productive as it sounds, I've decided the trigger  doesn't matter nearly as much as rewiring his funky little brain so it doesn't happen again. For now, the little dude will have his security blanket leash attached to him when anyone who isn't positively bomb-proof comes over. For Darby, the leash has thus far been the equivalent of a Thundershirt, so we'll start there and work his way back to being the dog we expect him to be.

It goes without saying that if anyone else wants to 'fess up about a less-than-wonderful issue your dog has, you'll never find a more sympathetic audience than this corner of the blogosphere...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Product review: Darby & the Lickety Stik

My dog is about the simple pleasures in life. Chase a cat, see it run. Bark at the delivery truck, watch it leave. Obey a limited number of basic commands, get something yummy in return. Darby is not a deep-thinking, complex creature, which is one of the reasons I shall never have the pleasure of seeing a Nina Ottosson toy being used in this household. 

I mention this only because we got a sample of the Lickety Stik, a treat that dispenses a chicken-flavored liquid when a dog licks the bottle, which operates on the same theory as your average roll-on deodorant bottle. It's designed to be an all natural treat, packaged in convenient way to carry and low in calories (one calorie per ten licks). 

The scent definitely attracted Darby to come over and see what I had for him, but that's about where the fun ended. He took a couple of licks, then became frustrated that he couldn't bite the roller ball and eat whatever food was attached to the scent. This is not a dog who will work for the promise of something vaguely food-like. He's a put-up-or-shut-up kind of dog, and not being one who embraces a challenge, the Doodlebug quickly lost interest and walked away.

I'm sure there are dogs who might get a charge from a product like this, but the Doodle isn't one of them. If you think yours might be, or if you're looking for a treat that you can use with little caloric build-up, check out Lickety Stik.

FTC Disclosure: I received a sample of this product for review. No other compensation was given, and all opinions are strictly my own.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My 7 links: The Tripbase Blog Post project

Thanks to Grouchy Puppy for including me in Tripbase's My 7 Links Blog Post Project. Even after spending a whole day thinking about it I'm having a hard time picking the seven links, but I'll do my best. I've also included a few gratuitous pics to break things up.

Most Beautiful Post: 
I have a hard time viewing my posts in relation to their "beauty", but I am fond of the way this one came out:

Most Popular Post:  
I like this category, because my stats made it easy. Here's the winner, hands-down:

Most Controversial Post:
I don't do much controversy, mostly because there are other writers and bloggers who are far more passionate and articulate about controversial topics than I, so I try and stick to what I think I can handle, blog-wise. Here's my offering for this category:

Most Helpful Post:
I can't honestly say whether my posts have been helpful, but I like this post because it tried:
Post Whose Success Surprised Me:
This was an easy choice, since I didn't have any idea it would resonate the way it did for some of my fellow bloggers:

Post That Didn't Get the Attention it Deserved:
My big ego might be tempted to say "too many to list", but I chose this one because I thought it was a fun piece that I thought would get some sympathetic responses:

Post I'm Most Proud Of:
Another difficult category, since there are days when I'm just proud I managed to get on the keyboard and made words. I'll go with this one:

Whew, glad that part's over! Now all that's left is to nominate five other bloggers to take part:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dog Signs

Just a few gems I found lounging about on the Internet.

If you enjoy silliness like this, links to cool blog posts 
and pet fun, join me on Facebook!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Close encounter of the third kind

For nearly two years my husband and I have kept an eye on the two neighborhood wandering cats, "Bob" and "Brindle". Since we don't know their names, we made names up so we can talk about them. Even Darby knows who we're referring to, evidenced by his sudden alert posture if we go on about them when we're hanging in the back yard.

Bob has been the friendliest feline con artist we've met in years, finding his way to the patio when the white devil dog is safely indoors for the evening. though he's always happy for a food handout, he also truly seems to love the company of some friendly humans. He knows his "name" and will respond to it. He has all the earmarks of being an owned cat, even if relegated to the outdoors 24/7. He's neutered, in good flesh, by all appearances free of fleas and loves people. His happy dance is so beguiling that we can almost overlook what an unrepentant pest he can be during those moments when we just want to chill out on the patio on a summer night.

Brindle has always been another matter. Though he seems to make his way through life by living in Bob's draft, he has never been keen on making our acquaintance up close and personal, and it's always bothered us. Brindle is much thinner than Bob and we worry for his health and, as cat lovers, we take pride in being able to win over the trust of our feline friends. though he, too has learned the name we've bestowed on him, Brindle has never felt the need to thank us for our concern, until this week.

I'm not sure what it was that made this week different from all the others, but Brindle has finally decided to make contact. He will now come to the porch (even without Bob, which is big) and hang with us, even allowing us to pet him, though not as readily as his fellow traveler. He is indeed thinner than Bob, though he is neutered (whew --- we were sweating that one for a while when we couldn't get close enough to tell) and appears in generally decent health.

I wish I knew how to explain what it's like for cat lovers when a cat who has nothing to gain by crossing the trust bridge decides to do so, but I'm sure anyone who has ever won over a wary animal knows exactly what I mean. I'm sorry I have no photos to share, but since they only come around at night after the dog is safely indoors I haven't wanted to violate their delicate sensibilities this early into our new arrangement. I'll be sure to grab a few as soon as I think they'll tolerate it. For now, it's enough that they've decided to tolerate me.

Happy Hopping!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Dog Torturer

"Yes, I know it's your favorite toy, Darby...
That's why I took it!"
It's time for the Wordless Wednesday blog hop! 
Check out some of the other terrific photos in this week's hop!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Focused or free association - how do you blog?

Gratuitous baby Darby photo. Just in case :)

Reading this wonderful post at Something Wagging This Way Comes reminded me of a few thoughts that have been tumbling around my brain of late.

I love writing about my critters and their various personalities, but there are about 27 other companion-animal things I like writing about, too. Do I need one blog about my pets, one for animal welfare issues, one about pet products and services that I may or may not use, one about pet-themed products for people and one for everything I couldn't manage to pigeonhole into any of the other blogs? Or is it cool that I sort of free-associate my blog with whatever pet-related theme that happens to pop into my head, leaving it to the reader to decide what is relevant or interesting, and trust that if they see something that isn't their cup of tea, they'll still check back in the future?

If you were to come to my house, the one theme you'd see is that there isn't one. The whole place is a mish-mash of styles, textures and colors, but to me it just looks like my house, a reflection of things we found cool enough to keep around, enjoying them for what they are, rather than for how well they fit together. Can my blog be like my house and still be an engaging blog? I know there are a bunch of people who say "no", that a blog must focus on a particular niche, but isn't blogging about companion animals a niche? It's not like I'm moving from pet themes to recounting last night's episode of True Blood, but it's also not as though every click on my blog guarantees you a story about the Doodlebug and his feline cohabitants, even if I think all things pet-related ultimately relate back to them.

I'm curious to hear the thoughts of my fellow bloggers. How focused is your focus?

Monday, August 8, 2011

World Cat Day

Today is the third annual World Cat Day, a day when we cat lovers celebrate the strange and special wonder of felines.

I wish I could properly express how it is that cats have beguiled me for so many decades, but I think it's something that people either get or they don't, like Star Wars or Lady Gaga. Roger Caras once likened having a kitten to sharing your home with an alien --- not sure why that analogy stuck with me for so long, but it's always held a ring of truth to me. Mostly, I'm knocked out that a creature who, in general, is twelve to fifteen times smaller than humans manages to trust us while remaining true to the essence of who they are as individuals.

Cats are more emotionally complex than most people believe them to be, more social than their stereotype and more amenable to the hectic schedule of a busy family than their canine counterparts. Oh, and they poop in a box, which is a heck of a lot more convenient than having to go walkies out in the rain or snow.

So Happy World Cat Day to you and yours, from my feline family:  
Bad Kitty Bo
 None of whom are under the impression that Cat Day only takes place once a year.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kona's Chips delight the Doodlebug

I have no idea why Darby is such an unrepentant spazz about the delivery trucks that roll through the neighborhood. Most of the time they're bringing something for him. This week, one of their stops included these awesome treats from Kona's Chips for Darby, courtesy of a drawing I won on DogTipper.

Three flavors of chippity goodness for the Doodlebug!
I love that these are made in the USA and that each one of them is exactly what they say they are --- just the meat, with no fillers or preservatives. Though they are dried, the chips are pliant and easy to break into smaller pieces, which helps because more than a few of these "chips" are HUGE!
No, this is not an optical illusion. Some really are this big!
The Doodlebug is not much of a model, especially when food is involved.
"When do I get one?"

"It's not funny to torture the dog
just so you can get a picture..."


Still nomming out. 

Gone but not forgotten...

Needless to say, Darby loves, loves, loves these treats! Thanks to DogTipper for the great giveaway and to Kona's Chips for making such awesome treats.

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