Makin’ Biscuits Book

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.

hearts

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.

Why My Cats Like Daylight Saving and When March Roars in Like a Lion!

Peanut is more like a lamb than a lion in personality, but she gives it her all for this blog post!

Considering we’re not even two weeks into March yet and the northeast has already been hit with flooding, severe winds, brutal temperatures, and now a major snowstorm, this month has no doubt roared in as a lion. We’ve had chilly temperatures here in Florida, ranging from 50 – 70 degrees and when you’re a cat, that can mean only one thing:

It’s window whiffing season!!

Will today be our lucky day?

I don’t know about your house, but at ours, there’s not much better than an open window that allows for the intoxicating smells of the outdoors to come wafting indoors! As soon as the cats hear the window being opened, they are drawn to it like a magnet and if they’re lucky, they might happen upon a visiting bird or squirrel!

Score! It is our lucky day!! A squirrel sighting!

I love being able to open the windows because cats can easily get bored of the same old, same old routine, especially if they’ve been cooped up all winter with no open windows. If it’s safe for you to open your windows, it’s a great way to provide some stimulation and enrichment for your cat, as they are wild by nature and this gives them a wonderful opportunity to take in all the sights and smells around them.

And don’t forget, it’s Daylight Saving today, so our clocks need to be set one hour ahead, which means more time for window whiffing! Whoo Hoo! Have a great Sunday everyone and stay safe and warm! Hopefully, our friend the lamb will be here sooner than later!

More sunlight equals more window whiffing! Whoo Hoo indeed!

My Cat Brings Me Hearts and Valentine’s Gift Ideas

Zee is precious in every way – even his nose is heart shaped!

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it got me to thinking of hearts. The heart is a universal symbol of love and in our house, that translates to our kitties, too. Especially for our sweet Zee who takes it to the extreme. He likes to show his love for Dan and me by bringing us dead gifts. Being that he’s an indoor cat, rather than the unsavory variety, such as a dead mouse or bird, he brings us dead toys. In particular, a stuffed plush heart that he will drop at strategic places throughout the house to show his love. Read more

When it Comes to Blending In, Cats are Masters of Disguise!

Not only do Peanut, Mia, and Rolz look alike at first glance, but when they’re on top of a leopard bedspread, they look like they could be pillows instead of cats!

I don’t know about you, but whenever I leave the house, I do a cat “head-count.” With my vision still blurry, this presents even more of a challenge than normal when I go to work in the morning, as my cats are quite the masters of disguise and sometimes they don’t cooperate when I call them! Usually, I can find most of them rather quickly, as they tend to hang out in the same spot, but sometimes one of them will be in a place that just eludes me. Read more