Cat Behavior

Cat Writers’ Association 24th Conference, a New Presidential Beginning, and Purrs for My Eye Surgery

Sure…my luggage might have a few love scratches and frays from my cats, but as long as the contents are less than 50 pounds, I don’t care!

Hey everyone! I had wanted to do a recap of my experience attending the 24th annual Cat Writers’ Conference and Awards Banquet last June 7 – 9 in Houston, TX. From start to finish it was a perfect alignment of the sun, moon, and stars. I remembered to pack my razor and phone charger. I had pre-TSA check-in at the airport. My luggage was less than 50 pounds and my hair was uncharacteristically cooperative during my stay. Read more

May is National Pet Month: Why Pets are Good For Your Heart and Soul Year Round

As the Project Manager for the military department, I dig in – whether stepping in to help production on the floor – or managing tedious contracts and paperwork in my office to ensure all our orders get out on time.

I work for a manufacturing company, managing the shipment of products for our military department. It’s both a physically and mentally challenging job, with lots of critical deadlines that have to be met, and when I leave for the day I’m already exhausted. My drive home is stressful – the traffic crawls and the roads are not equipped for the heavy flow of drivers, meaning sometimes you have to wait for several light cycles to turn green before you can even move forward from one intersection to the next. My point being, I’m completely drained by the time I walk in the door and all I want to do is grab a glass of wine and put on my comfy sweatpants. Read more

A Temporary Moment of Panic in the Zee & Zoey Cat House!

It is her! How dare she leave us!

Doesn’t she know we need to be fed dinner in 8 hours? We might starve between now and then!

Guys. Seriously. No need to panic. I promise I’ll be home in plenty of time to feed you dinner. I’m just taking a break today to be with your human Grandma. As a Christmas gift, I promised her an early morning out for breakfast followed by a day at the beach. You do realize you nap all day long anyhow, so it’s not like much will change in your world with me gone for a few hours…

Hmmm….she does make a good point! Zzzzz….snore….zzzzz….

Hope everyone has a great Sunday and wonderful upcoming week!

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It’s a Blog Hop!

10 Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Cat Happy, Healthy, and Fit with Exercise

Believe it or not, a cat spends the majority of her day napping in order to reserve energy for her hunting and survival skills.

Cats are notorious nappers, sleeping nearly 16 hours a day. We humans might consider it lazy or excessive, but the truth is, that’s how they’re wired. Cats are natural born predators and need to reserve their energy to keep their hunting skills sharp. That’s why they’re instinctively more active around dawn or dusk, a term known as crepuscular, as frequently exhibited by those random bursts of energy our cats can have. But because the majority of pet cats live in an environment in which their basic feeding needs are catered to, requiring little to no hunting skills, the need to expel energy is even more important for them to stay fit and healthy. Read more

Feline Good! A New Concept in Reading With Gwen Cooper’s “Curl Up With a Cat Tale” Series

I love cats. I love to read. A book about cats, I’m just about in Heaven. Unfortunately, finding time to read is challenging, so I rarely have the opportunity to enjoy a good cat story. That is until now. A dear friend of mine and New York Times bestselling author, Gwen Cooper of Homer’s Odyssey, has come up with an ingenious concept for those of us wanting a quick kitty fix of quality, entertaining, and compelling writing with her “Curl Up With a Cat Tale” series.

Featuring 10 short stories about her much-beloved fur family – from her early days when she was a novice cat lady in training to her current status in which she and her cats are household names – each story is independent of one another. They are available monthly for $3.99 apiece on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, or Kobo or you can pay a one-time subscription fee of $14.99 and receive all 10 stories in the series at 60% off. Subscribers will automatically receive their new story the first week of each month and stories are delivered in PDF, ePub, and Mobi formats so they may be read on any desktop or laptop computer, e-reader, mobile phone, tablet, and/or printed out on paper for a hard copy.

Short story cover photo courtesy of Gwen Cooper.

I was privy to an advanced sneak peek at the first story “I Choo-Choo-Choose You!” about Scarlett – a pint-sized white mitted and bibbed tabby rescue kitten with a strong mind of her own. For Gwen, it was love at first sight. For Scarlett, not so much. The story itself was only about 30 pages, but even though it was short, it was still written with Gwen’s trademark wit, honesty, and heart, and best of all, I was able to fit the time into my busy schedule to read it. Gwen has an easy-going nature to her writing and she is quick to make fun of the irony of it all. Scarlett was Gwen’s first official adopted cat and in her mind, she and Scarlett would become instant best friends. She rescued Scarlett. She would be a hero!

Gwen armed herself, as only a cat lover can, with every bit of cat paraphernalia she could find to amuse and impress her newly adopted furry roommate. Never mind Gwen lived in a tiny apartment, and never mind that a kitten can actually amuse themselves with little more than a wadded up piece of paper, but Gwen insisted in her heart she knew what her little Scarlett would want. Which in essence, amounted to a kitten-sized army of indifference to Gwen’s carefully chosen efforts.  

Scarlett back in 2008 – she was a pretty little kitty with a mega-sized personality! Photo courtesy of Gwen Cooper.

I loved this so much because so many of us as cat lovers can relate. We love cats, but there’s always that one cat you can’t pet, or the cat that hides from you, or the cat that completely ignores you. We pretend we don’t mind, but deep down it hurts. A cat that doesn’t like me? How can that be? As someone who has been studying cat behavior for the past several years, I now realize (as Gwen has also learned) that it’s not necessarily personal. All cats are wired differently and it’s how we respect their inner boundaries that make the difference to the feline-human relationship.

By the end of the story, that point is proven. All the unused toys. All the indifference. All the misdirected aggressive behavior (including a very odd hair-biting habit). Gwen’s relationship with Scarlett might not have been the one she first imagined, but that didn’t mean Scarlett didn’t love her or appreciate her companionship. Once that understanding is reached, the human-feline bond takes on a different perspective. Cats show affection in ways that aren’t always associated with physical attention and Scarlett taught Gwen that some relationships with our feline friends require patience and understanding.

I really enjoyed the story – my only complaint is a very simple one – I wanted more! Gwen is a fantastic writer. She’s colorful, humorous, self-deprecatingly honest, compelling, and more. It’s a brief read, but it’s still an engaging page-turner, each and every one of them! If you’d like to read about Gwen’s up and down adventures with Scarlett or to read all the sure-to-be-great upcoming stories in the series, please click here for purchasing details.

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Full disclosure: I was not compensated for this review. Gwen and I are both members of the Cat Writers’ Association and have become friends over the years. Gwen provided the foreword for my 3-time award-winning book, Makin’ Biscuits – Weird Cat Habits and the Even Weirder Habits of the Humans Who Love Them and my decision to do this review is because I love Gwen’s writing style. I also fell in love with the unique concept of the series and felt it relevant to my readers. 

Christine Michaels of Riverfront Cats and me hanging out with Gwen back in 2013 when she was in Miami for a book signing event.