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

Happy 10th Birthday to My Beautiful Zoey!

Happy 10th Birthday to my beautiful leopard kitty!

My sweet Zoey was born on April 9, 2008 and it’s so hard to believe that 10 years have zoomed by so quickly. Zoey is the love of my life and I adore every bone in her quirky little body. She’s the ultimate yin and yang of her own self. She’s both sweet and snarly. Aloof but loving. And quiet when she wants to be left alone, but alarmingly loud when she wants attention, normally about 5:00 a.m.

Happy birthday my darling girl. For your special day, I thought I’d share a photo montage from the day we first got you to present.

Zoey came into our lives on June 14, 2008. She was a tiny thing and practically fit into the palm of my hand back then. This was her first picture in our home.

On 2/12/2009 Zoey had a litter of kittens. We kept 3 of them – Mia, Peanut, and Rolz. The 4th – Zeuss Catt moved on to Boston. These kittens have forever changed our lives and Zoey was an incredibly proud and loving mama.

In 2010 Zoey had enough of motherhood and looked forward to moments in our backyard when we’d bring her out on a leash to explore the world.

In 2011 Zoey matured into a beautiful cat with a gorgeous coat that mimicked that of a leopard in the wild.

When Zee and Zoey first met in 2008, it was love at first sight. Zee is the father of Zoey’s kittens and years later in 2012, they were still madly in love.

2013 – Zoey is a true sun goddess. If there is a sliver of sunshine to be found, she will find it.

All the cats love to nap in the guest bedroom that has a window view. This was 2014 and a bittersweet moment – Zoey shares the space with her now grown kittens, as well as Harley who unexpectedly passed on a few months later.

One of my all-time favorite pictures. This was 2015 – Zoey has been sleeping on my lap when I sit on the couch ever since she’s been a young cat. This rare moment was the whole gang sharing the couch with me – Zee, Zoey, Mia, Peanut, Rolz, Kizmet, and Jazmine.

2016 – Zee and Zoey still remain a couple in love.

Zoey loves Christmas, typically enjoying a nap under the tree. This is her with Zee, Mia, and Rolz in 2017.

2018 – my girl has matured into such a beautiful cat. How can it be that 10 years have gone by?

Thank you for letting me share my trip down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I did!

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.

Wishes for a Safe and Happy Easter from Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles

Happy Easter from all of us at Zee & Zoey’s!

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic this Easter. I remember years ago, when my kids were young, how we’d have a house full of company. My brother, Dave, and his wife, Kathy, would visit from up North and they’d bring their 3 kids, as well as Kathy’s parents. My Mom lived nearby and we also had a revolving door of resident cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and more. We’d spend the time coloring eggs, swimming, going for walks, going to the beach, grilling outside, and whatever else we could think of.

No matter the event, there was always one of my cats helping out. This was Jazz along with my youngest son, Joe, and my niece, Allison back in 2000.

It was hectic and crazy and all kinds of nutty, but it was also wonderful. It seems everyone is all grown up now – my kids are long since moved out, Dave and Kathy’s kids are all in college, and the extended family I now share with Dan are also all grown up and we normally don’t see them around Easter. I’ll still be celebrating the day – thankfully my boys both live near me, as well as my Mom, and they’ll be coming by for dinner, but it’s a much quieter time now.

My sons, Chris and Joe, back in 1998 when we were in the backyard preparing for an Easter egg hunt. Also with us is Bailey and Bandit – no matter what we were doing, we always had a parade of dogs following us!

The cats will probably be the only ones crazy – typically signified by jumping up on the counter while I’m trying to cook, or on the dining room table while we’re trying to eat (insert feigned shock that the cats do this – “oh my goodness, I’ve never seen them do that before!”). And of course, if Chris brings his dog, that will also cause some nutty behavior with my cats, along with a few nose swats, hisses, and general displeasure from one or two of them.

Cats on the table? I don’t see any cats on the table…

It doesn’t mean we won’t have a good time, or that I’m unhappy, it’s just different, that’s all. I guess I had imagined by this point in my life I’d have grandchildren as opposed to grandpets, but as long as I have love in my life, that’s all that matters, and I’m surrounded by lots of that – both in human and fur form!

Easter is a calmer time now and instead of a house full of kids, we celebrate with a house full of furbabies!

And much as my cats might appear to be annoyed by the company, deep down they’re not. Zee and Peanut revel in the attention (obsessively so) and Rolz and Jazmine have quite cleverly figured out that having a dog in the house increases the chances of treats and snacks happening more frequently.

Keep Easter safe for your cats by avoiding dangerous temptations such as curling ribbon, cellophane grass, chocolate, and Easter lilies.

What kind of day will you all be having? Whatever you’re doing, I hope it’s a day filled with blessings. And don’t forget how curious our feline friends can be  – Easter is a wonderful time but there can be many things dangerous to cats. Curling ribbons and cellophane grasses if ingested could become entangled in their intestines, causing them to twist and close off requiring dangerous surgery. Chocolate is highly toxic to cats and so are those beautiful Easter lilies we are all familiar with. And if a cat eats a small toy or decoration, they could possibly choke on it, so really the best thing to do is keep these types of temptations away from your cat. To be safe, keep both the phone number of your veterinarian and the pet poison helpline programmed on your phone in case of emergencies (poison helpline is 855-764-7661).