Remembering the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victims and Some Kindness for Valentine’s Day

Enjoying an absolutely gorgeous day last year in Parkland, Florida, with this stunning horse, Sunny.

While a lovely sentiment and I don’t begrudge anyone who enjoys celebrating the day, for me, Valentine’s Day is not a day I’m prone to embrace. I don’t particularly want or need a specific day to have gifts, flowers, chocolates, etc. bestowed on me, but living a mere minutes away from Parkland, Florida, the city where the horrific shooting took place on February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in which a gunman opened fire and killed seventeen students and staff members and injured seventeen others,  I’ve had a change of heart and perspective.

My heart will forever be tied to these precious souls who lost their lives on February 14, 2018.

It’s difficult not to be reflective and feel a tremendous malaise in the air. Being the anniversary of the incident, it’s on the news all the time and my heart breaks all over again each time I hear something about it, bringing me to tears at the senselessness of it all. I Dan and I were in the vicinity of the shooting a few days before it happened, enjoying the quiet beauty of the day as we watched a horse competition. Parkland is a gorgeous community – peaceful, beautifully landscaped and idyllic in nearly every way. It’s hard to grasp something so evil was living within, grappling to come out in such a violent and premeditated way.

Paying my respects to the shooting victims at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

After the incident, the students rallied, parents rallied, the community rallied, as did the nation and the whole world, trying to make sense of it in the throes of grief. I’m not sure how one ever moves on, but we try. We have to. If nothing else, Valentine’s Day, and really every day, needs to be a reminder that we simply must try harder as people to love. Not the romantic love associated with Valentine’s Day hearts and Cupid’s arrow, but the love that comes from kindness, tolerance, and acceptance. We need to listen more, we need to care more, and we need to love more. We don’t know the shoes or path another walks, but perhaps if we were more invested in the small spec of the world each of us inhabits, many of the tragedies of today could have been avoided had we paid attention to all the little signs that were really big cries for help.

Every creature on this earth serves a purpose. Love, respect, cherish and embrace that purpose.

So give all those in your life you care about an extra hug, kiss, or smile. Pay someone a compliment – maybe even a complete stranger, as you don’t know how perhaps that small act could brighten their day in a moment when they really need it. Be less angry in traffic and more patient waiting in line at the grocery store. Extend that kindness to all living creatures great and small, including our earth that gives us the beautiful world in which we live. Be respectful of nature and be respectful of one another. Life is fleeting for all of us, that much I know for sure, so why not make it one in which every day is Valentine’s Day.

Mia, Peanut, Rolz, and Zeuss Catt Turn 10 Years Old!

Happy 10th Birthday to my precious feline companions, Mia, Peanut, and Rolz!

No, no, no!!! How can it be that 10 years have gone by? Zoey’s sweet little kittens, four of them born on February 12, 2009, are now TEN YEARS OLD!! My goodness, such a blessing and privilege to witness every moment – from their birth (two of them were born on my lap!), to seeing their eyes open for the first time as they took in the amazing world around them (albeit a tiny box in a closet at the moment) and all the other sacred firsts. Their first wobbly steps. Their first taste of cat food. Their first playtime interactions. Their first exploration outside of the closet. Their first hisses and so many more cherished milestone moments. Read more

Dr. Tony Buffington, DVM, Requesting Survey Takers for Feline Home Environmental Study

Jazmine and Kizmet are my poster cats for Dr. Buffington’s Feline Home Environmental Study.

Feline enrichment is a subject dear to my heart. The correlation between providing our feline friends a stimulating and enriching environment befitting their instinctual nature in relation to their happiness, health, and well-being is significant, especially considering most cats now live indoors for their safety.

We humans as their entrusted caretakers provide them with everything they need – food, water, shelter, and more. They no longer need to hunt for survival, which is one of their primary means to release pent up energy and keep their minds and bodies fit and sharp. Without proper environmental enrichment, cats are suspectable to obesity, heart disease, dental disease, gastrointestinal disease, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and diabetes. They can also become bored, which often results in behavioral problems, such as litter box issues. Read more

Super Bowls for a Happy and Healthy Cat!

Jazmine enjoying her dinner in her Dr. Catsby feeding bowl.

Hey everyone! The human is taking a break today, leaving us kitties the responsibly of blogging today, and since it’s Super Bowl Sunday, we thought we’d talk about bowls. We’re not sure why bowls can’t be super on Friday, or Monday, or even Wednesday, because for us, any day with a bowl full of food is a super day. But to be honest, we’d be happy if you put food on a plate, on the floor, or just about anywhere else, if it was something yummy to eat! Our human, she’s a bit more rigid when it comes to eating etiquette, insisting we eat from special, ergonomically correct bowls designed specifically for us kitties!
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Cat Count Camouflage – Hiding in Plain Sight!

Glasses, check. Phone, check. Lunch, check. Purse, check. Keys, check. One, two, three, four, five, six. Six. Six. And then it begins. The mad rush in which I gain an inordinately high number of Fitbit steps first thing in the morning before I leave for work as I look for whichever cat of mine, in my “cat-count-before-I-go-to-work” ritual is missing because I have seven cats, not six. Read more