Posts Tagged ‘cat’

6 Reasons to Have a Cat.

1. It means you always have really soft fur available for you to sink your face into. At the appropriate, pre-approved times. And given that there is no stretching, lounging, sleeping, sun absorbing, water drinking, speech making or eating to do.

Hello Kitty Cat

Having a cat does not mean you get to do this.

If that is the case, please come back later.

2. It means there’s always someone at home waiting for you. To get their dinner. Meow. now MEOWNOWMEOW

3. It means you’ll always be needed. Er, kneaded. And compensated appropriately in priceless purrs.

4. It means there will always be someone who sees right through your b.s.

5. It means there’s someone who—despite #’s 1-4—is still very, very loving.

6. It means there’s always, always, always at least one intellectually superior being in your home.

Don’t miss: 6 Reasons to Have a Dog.

The Litter Robot: A dog’s point of view.

Let’s be clear: I don’t use litter boxes. I use the good ol’ outdoors. It’s the CATS who insist on indoor toilet facilities. And I’m responsible for maintenance.  CATS as in:

orange CAT




grey CAT



And Litter Robot* as in:

the Litter Robot

The Litter Robot. Cool looking, huh?

Litter Robot with Globe

Today's Litter Robot has a neat globe on the side—to make plus-sized CATS more comfortable.

So, the idea behind the Litter Robot is that the CAT gets in, does what He needs to do, then gets out. No need to waste precious sleepy time by scratching in the litter. The Litter Robot will flush by itself. You see, after a smartly timed interval (altered to suit individual preference), the Litter Robot spins slowly like a cement mixer– thereby covering offenses and creating clumps that empty into the sealed, scent-conscious tray below. Line the tray for even easier cleaning. Convenient? Sure. Smarter than the fork-controlled boxes and much neater looking? You bet. Sanitary? Absolutely—that is, until you’re out of warranty and therefore, according to DUNCAN anyway, out of style.

Almost one day after the year had passed (or three days, give or take), DUNCAN decided He’d outgrown the trend of the Litter Robot, and would prefer porcelain. As in the porcelain tile. On the floor. I’ll spare you photographic evidence, but needless to say, I wasn’t going to clean this up. I didn’t want to be in the middle of it, and have to explain to my mom that it’s not my fault. Not to mention that I don’t get paid enough to clean such disasters. So when mom arrived home, she shouted, then stopped, cleaned the Litter Robot and carried it to the basement.

Which is where the Litter Robot* sits today. A sad relic of an easy 368 days. My mom thinks about giving it away, but who wants it?

*Full disclosure: The Litter Robot we had was two versions prior to the current one. Perhaps things would have been different had we had the Litter Robot with the clear bubble window

Should seniors have pets?


Someone's feeling the love here.

Each year, approximately 500,000 dogs and cats are placed in shelters when their parents die (According to the American Pet Products Association). Abandonment is the #1 reason dogs and cats wind up without homes. So that raises the question: should seniors be allowed to adopt pets that will likely outlive them?

Some shelters say no. The recidivism rate is too high, and the impact on the animals is too great.

Of course, the impact of pets on seniors is great, too. Studies show elderly people with pets are better able to remain emotionally stable during crises than those without, as well as stave off depression and loneliness. AND they’re physically healthier overall. AND pets can help lower people’s blood pressure and cholesterol, thereby reducing doctors’ visits (attention politicians!). Eden Alternative, an experimental elder care philosophy transforming traditional institutions to enlivened environments, has one senior location filled with over 100 birds, dogs, and cats and an outside pen with rabbits and chickens.  They believe that “companionship, the opportunity to give meaningful care to other living things, and the variety and spontaneity that mark an enlivened environment, can succeed where pills and therapies often fail.” And the results look good—over the past five years, they’ve experienced a mortality rate 15 percent lower than traditional nursing homes.

Where do you stand?


For seniors forced to give up their pets due to cost: Help-A-Pet provides financial aid to seniors who need assistance with veterinary costs. Pet Peace of Mind helps hospice patients hang on to their pets. There are pet food banks throughout the country. And the Humane Society has a fantastic list of other financial resources to assist with pet ownership.

For shelters resistant to allowing seniors to adopt: The Pets for the Elderly Foundation and Purina’s “Pets for Seniors” programs pay adoption fees to qualified shelters when they allow seniors to adopt pets.

Part-time pets: Pets on Wheels has volunteer organizations throughout the country, bringing pets to people and senior residences.

Pet trusts: A legal agreement arranging for the care of your pets in the event of your disability or death. Check out the ASPCA primer on pet trusts for more information. (Even better, win one of 5 Pet Trust certificates from Pet News and Views: Win A Pet Trust for Your Pets.)


Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published a study in May of 1999
Between Pets and People: The Importance of Animal Companionship

National Institute of Health Technology Assessment Workshop: Health Benefits of Pets

My cat Annie.

Truth be told, our CATS are Duncan and Alfalfa—but I’m sure they’d dig Annie. Adorable Annie lives with this guy who, um, tapes his dancing. And how he does it. In one of his smoothest moves, the “Elaine” from Seinfeld, you can see a feisty feline in the corner. This is Annie.

Annie has lots of videos herself—some, rather revealing. Of particular note:

•  Fetish—Annie opens the closet to her feelings on (for) shoes.

•  Stealth—As the co-star in this keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller, Annie shines and delights. Headline star: Cardboard Box.

•  Junkie—Ala “Intervention” but sans the human element, Annie reveals her truth: a Valerian root addiction.

Practice—A flick that will leave you speechless, except for cheering Annie on to the World Cup.

Party like a dog.


dogs and cats get their birthday party on

I promise not to be a birthday dogzilla.

Though I need no excuse to eat, my mom needs an excuse to have people over. So I’m getting a birthday party this year. Bark!


First up: invitations. And there’s no shortage of options. In fact, the pet party invite industry appears to have exploded. I‘m hoping to get me some edible cards, too.

Step two: venue. Our backyard? The local dog park? The barking bakery room? Undecided as yet. Perhaps you have other ideas?

Next, activities. A puppy pool is a must. I’m vying to bob for biscuits, but mom says that may not be fair. (Huh?) A ball bin will be a hoot. And paw painting with food coloring? I can’t wait. Johann the dog has a great list of party games, too. Though peeps should be naturally entertained by us pups, mom’s considering hiring a photographer or a sketch artist. The Original Butt Sketch Artist would be ideal, all things considered.

designed dog party hat

Birthday suits? Bah. Customize this chien chapeau 15 different ways.


And FOOD. Oh boy oh boyohboyohboy. Cookies, cakes–you can make your own or order from a bakery– but this is important. As in, the sole reason for having a party. In fact, if you want to skip all the other stuff and just give me a bunch of food, I’m cool with that.

Since my toy chest is overflowing (though not literally, because toys tend to be on the floor rather than in the chest), I’ll request that any gifts go to a local shelter. See? I share. Just not food.

Last, but not least, are favors. We like the dog bowl favors— you can have them personalized with all the names of your partygoers.

Other resources:

Invitations and party hats from dogbirthdayparty
Tail-wagging celebrations

A case for bipartisanship.

Democats, Repupicans– it’s time we work together. No more “This is my food” or “I’m going to pee all over you.” Hath not we all have four legs? Most of us, anyway?

We should unite in our goal. WE MUST ALL EAT. As much as we can. As fast as we can. And, preferably, out of a can. (That stuff’s better; I know you agree.)

So let’s agree on our strengths. Cats: You are clever. Wise. Flexible. And able to get where I can’t reach. Dogs: We have sharp teeth. Read: We can pierce cans if you just get them to us. Okay? Deal?

Either we move forward together with our furry friends, or not at all. (Okay, that’s not true; I’m going for my walks with or without you. Just please, get me those cans, okay?)





Do you celebrate your pet’s birthday?

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