Category Archives: pets

Your Cat’s Favorite Christmas Present

Works for children too, I hear:

Como In A Box

Como In A Box

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Filed under cat blogging, Holidays, pets

Public Service Announcement: Pet Edition

People, I have to warn you: do not and I repeat do not, under any circumstances, use CostCo’s “Kirkland Signature” brand of flea & tick control! We’ve just had a disastrous experience not even 24 hours after applying the product to our cats.

I’ve used Advantage, Frontline and Revolution on our six cats for years. I didn’t know that CostCo even had its own brand of flea & tick treatment until Mr. Beale and I attended a crafts fair and CostCo had a table set up where they were advertising this stuff and selling memberships. Well, we’ve been CostCo members for years so we thought, “cool, a cheaper flea & tick treatment, what’s not to love?”

Hair loss! And a nasty mess all over the house, that’s what! OMG, this is the worst stuff ever. Almost as soon as we applied the treatment our cats’ hair started falling out. And the stuff doesn’t absorb like other flea products, so it leaves huge greasy stains everywhere — furniture, bedding, you name it. I had to wash the sheets on our bed after Quinn took his afternoon nap on it!

Look:

Quinn's hair started falling out ....

Quinn’s hair started falling out ….

So did Como's ..... finding this stuff EVERYWHERE ....

So did Como’s ….. finding this stuff EVERYWHERE ….

…. and I won’t bore you with photos of my dirty laundry. I’m wishing I’d read the product reviews at Amazon before using this stuff because the reviews are universally negative. I’m so disappointed in CostCo, it appears this product has been poisoning peoples’ pets for over a year, and there they are promoting it at a crafts’ fair? Shame on them.

I’m worried sick that more serious symptoms will appear. Our cats are like our children, and the idea that I’ve actually poisoned my animals has me frantic. I’m going to call the vet as soon as they open and see what they recommend, I might be spending my day giving six cats a bath. :-0

Anyway, it’s too late for me, but save yourselves! Do not use this product!

Quinn in happier times, like, last week.

Quinn in happier times, like, last week.

[UPDATE]:

Just spent about 2 hours on the phone with the vet, CostCo, product manufacturer, Animal Product Services Safety Center, etc. Diagnosis: bathing in Dawn dishwashing liquid.

They are not amused:

Pissed off kitty.

Pissed off kitty.

Misery loves company.

Misery loves company.

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Filed under cat blogging, Housekeeping, pets

The Water Is Wide

CleoFL-3_2

Yesterday we helped our old friend Cleo cross the rainbow bridge. It was a very, very sad day for me, but she went peacefully, at home, thanks to a very compassionate mobile veterinarian who performs at-home euthanasia services.

It was time: an ultrasound last week revealed tumors all through her liver, spleen, and her one remaining kidney. She was in pain, despite doses of Tramadol. She’d stopped eating her regular food and could only manage a few nibbles of ground turkey and sweet potato I cooked for her. So, while we’re sad, we’re grateful we got to spend a final weekend saying our goodbyes and telling her how much we loved her.

I wrote about Cleo here, about how I got her from Nashville’s pound, and our first trip to the beach two weeks later. Cleo was the first dog I actually picked out, and I can’t believe how fast our time together has flown.

We have lots of stories about Cleo, most of them involving food. She was a masterful counter-cleaner, and sneaky, too! One time Mr. Beale was looking for the half dozen Jalapeno bagels we’d bought the day before, and we realized Cleo had eaten them all when we found the plastic sleeve she’d hidden in her bed. Another time I had two New York strip steaks marinating in a dish under a paper towel. When Mr. Beale had the grill ready he lifted the white paper towel and shouted to me, “Hey! Do I get a steak?” — where there had been two steaks, now there was only one! Cleo had snuck one out of the marinade, without disturbing the white paper towel, without leaving so much as a drop of marinade on the counter or floor. If she’s reincarnated as a human she will be the best thief ever.

Cleo loved to swim, but she hated baths. Her favorite thing in the world was to chase squirrels. I imagine she’s with her good buddy Zelda, running through a field chasing squirrels and jumping in a cool, clear pond.

Goodbye, old girl. You were a good dog.

Cleo121

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Kittehs ‘n Puppehs

Are you excited for the big game? And by that I do mean Puppy Bowl! I totally am! I’m rooting for Gunther, who reminds me of my own Riley, though Masquerade has that awesome one-blue-one-brown eye thing going. Here’s the starting lineup.

A few readers have asked me for some more kitteh and puppeh blogging. Without further ado:

Riley Thinks Julius Needs More Bediquette

Riley Thinks Julius Needs More Bediquette

Quinn: Assistance Neither Required Nor Desired

Quinn: Assistance Neither Required Nor Desired

Cleo: I Can Haz Another Cushion?

Cleo: I Can Haz Another Cushion?

Cleo is the senior citizen in the house. She’s 14 years old and really doing well since her kidney surgery back in August. I was doing some housecleaning today and had the dog beds piled up so I could mop floors and she thought that looked like the perfect place for her achey bones!

Below is my own version of Puppy Bowl: Chaka and Riley playing in our pathetic snowfall (which is all gone, I might add). You might need some Dramamine before watching the video; hey, I shot it on an iPhone, what can I say:

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Filed under cat blogging, pets

Cute Overload

Have the insulin handy before watching this video because it’s the cutest damn thing you’re going to see all week, bar none:

(h/t, Balloon Juice)

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Filed under pets

Happy Riley-versary

I’m sort of in a lull today, feeling very uninspired and unmotivated. I really don’t feel like I have anything to add to the discourse. That can only mean one thing: time to throw up a cute dog photo! Here ya go:

Riley, Master Sleeper

January 30 marks the one-year anniversary of Riley showing up at our house. He still looks pretty much the same as in his first blog appearance (at the link), except the ‘nads are gone. Sorry, buddy. House rules.

Riley’s had a big year. He’s learned a lot. He goes to doggie day care about once a week or so, and he gets a good report card every time. He gets along with everyone and has charmed the staff.

I’ve spent the past year doing some intensive training; he’s finally learned not to drag me up the street when he’s on the leash. I honestly didn’t think we’d get there, and he still needs lots of time-outs when we’re going somewhere fun, like day care. It’s that stubborn pit bull thing.

But I have to say, I’ve drunk the pit bull Kool-aid. Riley is just the sweetest, gentlest thing ever. All that stuff you hear about how pit bulls “snap” and are unpredictable? Utter bullshit. They’re just stubborn, but the flip side of that is that they’ll stick with you through thick and thin. Check out this story on Spooky, a pit bull who miraculously survived a fire that destroyed his apartment. Just amazing.

Meanwhile Chaka, our Viszla mix, is completely neurotic and psychotic. We’ve got her on Prozac and had to take her to a veterinary behaviorist to address her aggressive behavior. This after spending a fortune on dog trainers. She can’t go to doggie day care or a dog park, because she will rip someone’s face off. But Riley, the sweet, playful pit bull, is banned by ordinance from Metro’s dog parks. Makes no sense whatsoever.

Anyway, I’m reposting this adorable video I took of Riley chasing his tail last summer. I was listening to some Latin dance club music for a work project and Riley got up and started dancing to the music. Cracked me up:

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Filed under pet adoption, pets

Cats & Dogs Together, Oh My!

I blame Obama:

Seriously, I have no great wisdom to impart for the new year, and as I’ve already stated, I could care less about the GOP primary, since we all know who’s going to win. So I thought we could all use some dog and cat blogging.

Here’s a new picture of Oscar, who joined the family last month:

Oscar is the most non-photogenic cat I’ve ever known. He can look so damn cute one minute but as soon as I take a picture his fur is standing on end and his eyes are crossed. I don’t know what’s up with that.

Anyway, he’s doing super well. Gained lots of weight, grown, got his strength back, and has really fit into the family beautifully. Everyone just welcomed him with open paws. I told Mr. Beale we had an Oscar-sized hole in our family and we didn’t even realize it.

Here’s wishing you and yours a Happy New Year. Don’t know what the future has in store for us but it’s bound to be interesting.

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Filed under cat blogging, pets

Riley’s New Toy

Riley’s got a new toy. As you can see, he adores it:

I think Riley is pretty freaking adorable, but that’s just me …

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Filed under pets

Life Of Riley, Update

Riley Jo, aka, Nibblet

I realized I haven’t done an update on the new pup in a while. As you may recall, someone dumped a 5-month-old AmStaff (pit bull) in my neighborhood at the end of January. After hanging around the neighbor’s house for a few days (we thought he was their dog), he come over to our place. We took him in, thinking it would be temporary, since we’re pretty full up in the animal department. But we grew attached to him quickly and when the pit bull rescue found an adoptive family for him in March, we told them, no thanks! We think we’ll keep him!

I’m so glad we did! I admit I was apprehensive at first, not knowing anything about pit bulls. But he’s turned into a real lover! Of course, he’s strong and he’s also a puppy, which means he’s still learning what he’s capable of. The past few months have been all about Riley learning self-control. There was an incident early on when Chaka started something over dinner she couldn’t finish, getting $350 in stitches for her trouble.

But Riley is 10 months old now and has grown into a real gem. We’ve been working with a trainer since day one, and Riley has learned self-discipline, while Chaka still struggles to control herself. He’s learned to listen to me, and when playtime gets a little too rough for my comfort and I tell him “that’s enough,” he turns around and walks away. He’s learned that stay means STAY — he’s not perfect on that one, but he’s getting it. He’ll sit and wait in front of his bowl of food until I say “okay” before diving in to eat. He’s learned to wait for “okay” before going through doors and gates.

One day back in May we had a tree-trimming crew out at the house. I kept the dogs in my office with me, as they were going nuts with all the tree trimming commotion. When I was sure they had left I let the dogs out. Chaka and Riley bolted down the stairs and around the side of the house and to my horror I heard men shouting — the tree trimmers were still there! Crap! And they’d probably left the back gate open! Double crap! I ran out there and I was right. Chaka had bolted through the open gate into the yard but not Riley. There he was, two feet from two strange men — one holding a long pruning hook — waiting for me to give him permission. He was wagging his tail and just itching to join Chaka in the yard and greet the strangers but he wouldn’t go through an open gate without Mom’s permission. I was so proud of him!

Playtime!

He plays well with everyone, and the doggie day care says he’s matured beautifully, obeying all the house rules. He goes there once a week. They tell me he barks for attention, a bad habit I’m sure he’s picked up from Chaka, whose barking has become a huge problem at our house. Riley doesn’t bark so much as … chirp. It’s the funniest thing to hear, but we don’t hear it too often at home. Mostly his favorite thing is to play chase around the wisteria with Chaka, and of course tug-of-war. The two of them get along famously, despite the incident with the stitches. They are best of buds. On days that Riley goes to day care, Chaka misses him terribly and the reunion is always fun to see.

Chaka, on the other hand, has been kicked out of doggie day care for aggressive behavior and being a bully. Last time we all went to the dog park she kept seeking out the submissive dogs and being an ass. We had to leave … not because of the pit bull, but because of the supposedly more docile mixed breed. Sheesh.

Riley: Master Sleeper

Riley is a master sleeper. He’s like the stereotypical kid who would sleep through nuclear warfare. It’s the funniest thing trying to roust him for evening potty and to go upstairs for the night. It’s like he’s saying, “Mooooom ….. five more minutes! Please?”

Again, I didn’t know much about pit bulls except what one hears — they’re aggressive, no they’re angels, no there’s something in their breeding and they’ll just “snap,” no any dog can be like that if they’re mistreated, blah blah. What the hell do I know, right? So we’ve just been really diligent with the training and the loving and the socializing. He’s just the cutest thing in the world, and I’m so glad we kept him!

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Filed under pets

Stressed Out And Grumpy

So, Nashville is in the throes of a 13-year cicada bloom, and normally these weird little critters wouldn’t bother me except my dogs love to eat them, and apparently they are 100% pure protein, which to a dog is like being on a five-day crack binge so I’m going nuts.

Just imagine: an 8-month-old pitbull on a five day crack binge. There simply are no words. Riley has been in timeout three times today.

I mean, Jesus.

I think I know how the parents of two-year-olds feel. Well, no, actually, I don’t. You can’t lock your toddler in a wire crate and grab a glass of wine while he howls in the other room.

Can you?

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Filed under Nashville, pets