A blind cat’s video story – meet Pinocchio

We love it when customers send photos of their cats playing with our toys. And we love hearing about cats who have special needs or situations.

In April we got this photo from Shawn of her cat Gomez playing with a Cat Faeries As-purr-agus Catnip Toy. Isn’t he cute?

Last week we heard from Shawn again who wanted to tell us about a video featuring two of her cats: Jiminy, and Pinocchio who is blind. Watching them in action, watching them grow up, and seeing how beautifully Pinocchio progresses without eyesight will delight your heart. Love and the vibe of a playful kitten could cure anything! Here’s what Shawn told us:

Aloha! Thank you for your message about the bunnies! Yes, Pinocchio (no eyes), and his “seeing eye” brother, Jiminy, have lots of fun with the toys (as do my 7 other kitties)!

Enjoy this short of video of Pinocchio and Jiminy’s story. They are both two now, and I have been blessed with them since they were kittens.

Shawn (full time rescue mommy and professional violinist)

We asked Shawn to tell us more about living with a blind cat and this is what she had to say:

He is adorable! He definitely has a very heightened sense of smell, which leads him to completely sniff us all over each time we come home. His hearing is absolutely amazing. He hears moths when we can’t even see them. He knows each of the other kitties’ smells and sounds, and he can tell who my husband and I are by our footsteps.

Pinocchio delights us and impresses us every day with his ability to navigate around things, up cat trees; he runs up our flight of stairs at full speed, sometimes forgetting to stop, so he climbs a few extras in the air!

He is very vocal, which is his way for feedback, whether it is to call for his little brother or to find out where mommy is. He is fearless. Most amazing is how he knows how to jump on our bed and off again-truly jumping blindly. He has figured out the distance of everything. He goes into our courtyard and knows his way around. His whiskers help him to not bang into things (except on occasion :)). He also found the kitty door on his own with NO encouragement and figured out how to go in and out by himself.

People may wonder about the litter box. He has NEVER had an accident. I showed him where the kitty box was ONCE and he hasn’t missed it ever. He “covers” but sometimes doesn’t cover all the way! He tries really hard though!

He was shown where the food and water was, and knows right where to go. I even have an extra bowl of water on my night stand for one of my kitties, and he knows how to get to that one. I never showed him.

He can hear the wings of a bird and know exactly where they are. He hasn’t caught a bird but he has caught moths, geckos, and katydids. He will listen intently to a moth and know exactly where it is even though we don’t know it is there. If he smells a gecko, he will be drawn to that area for hours.

Most of my kitties are “misfits”. The sadness I feel for him is unknown to him. He is so, so happy and well adjusted. I was scared at first, and still get anxious when I see him climb or run too fast. But, like people, he has adapted better than seeing kitties. He loves LOVES to snuggle up close. He teaches me something valuable every day about living even though he has a disability. Even as a feline, he has learned to use his other senses remarkably well. I feel pure love from this soul who has changed our world. :)

So friends, don’t let a disability stop you from loving a blind cat, a cat with 3 legs, or a cat who’s an elder. Cats are miracles that purr and meow! Feeling the love today, thank you Shawn!

Do you have a special or unusual cat that you want to tell us about for our newsletter? A video would be fun, but it’s certainly not necessary. Send a message to catfaeries@catfaeries.com and put My Special Cat in the subject line.

Do cats get depressed? They do – how you can help.


(Bizarro is one of our favorite comic strips!)

 
 

The recent suicide of comic genius Robin Williams has gotten a lot people talking about depression and keeping a closer eye on friends and relations who suffer from depression. But what about our cats, do they sometimes get depressed?

Well, they do. Generally feline depression can be overcome fairly quickly. So many things can trigger it. A death in the family (and that can be family with two feet and no tail, or four feet and a tail) is a big one. Cats can mourn anywhere from a few hours or days, to weeks into months. Any big changes to the home can be a trigger. If your cat feels neglected depression can set in.

Many years ago when we brought Torti home, our other tortoiseshell cat Tasha, let out a cry that was more like a wail a heartbreaking sound that we’d never heard before or ever heard again. It was as if she thought she was being replaced with another cat that looked like her, but was younger. It took loving work, but Tasha snapped out of it a week later and the two girls became inseparable until they both crossed The Rainbow Bridge.

Here are some of the warning signs that Kitty is depressed:

  • Not eating at all or eating much less than usual is number one.
  • Not grooming is probably the second sign that something is wrong (either depression or illness)
  • Hiding. Not engaging with you or the other cats.
  • Your cat could start to sleep noticeably more.
  • Your cat could become very quiet, not meowing, or purring.
  • On the flip side of that your cat could start to yowl which is comparable to us sobbing.
  • Walking with tail and head down, whiskers seem to droop,
  • They may become aggressive towards you or others in the home. They might hiss or bite, or swat.
  • They might stop using the litter box for either pooping or peeing, perhaps even both.
  • The cat may use the litter box but might not bury their droppings.
  • Loss of interest in toys, and affection from you.

Here is how Cat Faeries can help you to help your depressed cat.

A Ball of Twine, a calming music CD created just for cats to be played while you are not at home. The composer has studied the effects of sound on the brain, heart, and cells of the body so this music is truly medicinal.

Comfort Zone with Feliway – Diffusers can be installed in the room or rooms that this cat spends the most time in. That pheromone was intended to stop cats from peeing outside of the box but when it was created in the late 1990’s it was discovered that it calms cats and snaps them out of funks.

Catnip Mist can be sprayed on your cat’s bedding or favorite resting or hiding places. Most cats find the aroma of catnip hard to resist!

Our flower essence formulas. So many good ones to choose from: Moves and Changes, Calm and Serene, Multi Cat Household, Past Abuse, Forget Me Not (for mourning). One formula can go into the food and/or water bowl while another one is lovingly massaged on the cat’s head and ears.

Cat Saved From California Wildfire – How You Can Help Save Cats Caught in Fires

A few years ago we posted an article about how you can help fire fighters save cats caught in fires by donating specially sized oxygen masks for animals (we’ve posted a link to that at the bottom.

Here’s a photo from our local newspaper featuring a fire in the town of Weed, in Northern California (you can imagine the jokes that town gets!) of a fireman holding a cat he found during the big wildfire several days ago, after one of many homes burnt.

The cat looks a lot like our Madeline who was born in that region and came from a shelter 40 miles away! A cousin? Maybe! A big salute to fire fighters!


(from Fast-moving wildfire ‘the most horrible thing’ to ever hit Weed at SFGate.com)

“That fire was coming in here pretty good,” said Zach Curren, a firefighter from Napa, who worked the blaze near Angel Valley Road. “But we managed to stop it right there,” he said, pointing to a long, white ranch home with a crew of firefighters spraying down a smoldering roof.

In his arms he held a gray cat he had just found hiding under a pile of clothes in a house across the street from the smoking home. The neighborhood was deserted except for fire crews, and as the whoosh of hoses and grinding of engines filled the air, the cat shivered.

“Poor thing’s scared to death,” Curren murmured. “A lot of people were, too.”


About two years ago we posted an article to our blog about how you can help firefighters help cats by donating specially sized oxygen masks for animals.



This photo is from a video that is an extremely moving collage of fire fighters rescuing cats from fires. The music is great! You’ll need much tissue!

You can watch all of the video on our blog post on the oxygen masks.

A customer of ours told us about Mara DiGrazia, a veterinarian on Long Island. “She has donated hundreds of animal-sized oxygen masks to numerous fire departments throughout Long Island so they can dispense oxygen properly to animals who are rescued from fires. Without those masks, sadly many beloved animals die even though firefighters heroically rescue them from the flames of the fire because they couldn’t receive life-saving oxygen properly. This is something that makes perfect sense yet I never thought about until I heard Mara was doing it.”

Here’s our blog post – Your local fire department needs specially sized oxygen masks for animals to save the lives of animals. How you can help!

Last year we donated two of these oxygen masks to our closest fire house. One is cat sized, and one is dog sized.

Here’s a link to where you can buy animal oxygen masks to donate to your local fire department – Wag’N O2 Fur Life® Program – The Pet Oxygen Mask Initiative

Can your cat predict an earthquake?

As many of you know we are work and live in San Francisco. As a native your cat faerie has been through countless earthquakes, most minor, but some quite major like the 1989 Loma Prieta quake which happened during a World’s Series game played at SF’s Candlestick Park.

Saturday night at 3:20 am there was a 6.0 (some reports say 6.1 but who’s counting!) earthquake centered in Napa which is one of the vital valleys of our wine country. Some 60 miles or an hour away by car it woke us up and we felt every dramatic wave and shake. Fortunately for us not even one can of cat food toppled over!

Do animals know before that an earthquake is coming?

After the devastating earthquake in Kobe, Japan a Japanese university began to study animals and earthquakes. Can they predict them? How far in advance do they feel that something is coming? Your cat faerie was part of that study and answered the many pages long questionnaire.

For us personally before this most recent quake, the cats were fine, no out of the ordinary behavior. But we suspect that cats being cats would only alert us or act strangely if a quake would be serious and affect our home or immediate area – which this one did not. Napa on the other hand got hit very hard.

But our bunnies were a different story. For the 3 days leading up to this earthquake several of them were fighting. Rabbits being animals that burrow underground might be more sensitive to the earth’s movement than cats or dogs.

The Save A Bunny rabbit rescue in Mill Valley (in Marin County and about 20 minutes closer to Napa than we are) reported that night their bunnies were thumping in unison – they knew something was coming and were thumping to alert everyone around them.

We’ve been told that African Gray parrots will hang upside down their cages prior to an earthquake.

Jim Berkland, a now retired geologist, has been predicting earthquakes for years. He uses lunar phases, and tides, and most interesting, he observes animals.

What he has observed is a spike in missing cats and dogs on posters and in newspapers a few weeks before a big quake, for example the horrible Northridge quake of 1994. Cats and dogs will sense something is coming so if they have access to outside, they often run off.

We found a really good story about Jim and his predictions written in January of 2014. It’s a great read, we know you’ll enjoy it. Interestingly Jim still lives in Northern California, in Glen Ellen which is the Sonoma side of the wine country. It looks like he isn’t leaving anytime soon! We aren’t either!

Sonoma Index-Tribune – Ready for the Big One

Being safe during an earthquake:

  • As soon as you feel an earthquake stand in the frame of the nearest doorway. Door frames are structurally very strong and if something falls it probably won’t hit your head. Don’t stand near a refrigerator or anything else that can topple over.
  • As soon as you can turn off your gas! Don’t know how? Learn this week. Also this week, strap your water heater so that it can’t tip over.
  • Aftershocks can occur minutes, hours, days, or weeks later. Some aftershocks can be as strong as the actual quake, but usually they are less so.
  • It’s not always safe to be outside – chimneys can fall, buildings can collapse, glass windows can pop out of their frames sending dangerous shards flying. If the building you are in seems unstable go outside but stand in the center of the street.
  • This week look over your emergency food and water stash. Discard anything with old expiration dates and replenish. Have flash lights and batteries. Maxi pads make great bandages because they are so absorbent, just wrap medical tape around them. Keep a large jar of cayenne pepper – it stops bleeding in seconds when poured on a gash. (really!)
  • Keep your emergency items in plastic garbage cans with the lid on securely. If something falls on it, the contents will probably not get broken. They also won’t get damaged by water.
  • You can buy emergency kits for your car from The American Red Cross. You never know when you might need it for yourself or your passengers, or another injured person you may encounter.
  • Don’t ditch your land line! In the event of an earthquake and so many other disasters where the power can go out that cell phone is not going to work. You want an old school phone that goes into a wall jack. Have a land line for emergencies and you’ll be the first to be able to call out for help, or to let friends and relatives know that you are safe.

Here’s a presentation titled “Earthquake Prediction and Animals” that describes the behavior of all sort of animals and even insects before a major earthquake. It’s really fascinating!

People love to ask us Californians, “What does it feel like?” The first thing is what you hear, which can sound like a loud crack or like a Mack truck hit your house. A split second later it’s like a giant grabbed your house and is shaking it. It might also feel like a long steady roll. You’ll probably hear the rattle of drinking glasses and plates clanging. Pictures on the wall start to sway or even bounce, a chair might dance across the floor. You might hear or see things fall over.

Have any of your cats or other animals warned you of earthquakes or any severe natural disaster, like a life threatening storm? We’d love to know for a follow up to this article.

How to talk to your vet about tough subjects, part two of two

In part two we give you some phrases that you can use to approach your doctors with intelligence and a firm hand, while remaining respectful. It’s a tricky juggling act, but it can be done with great results for everyone including a doctor who could learn a new trick, from you! (If you didn’t see the first part here’s How to talk to your vet about tough subjects, part one of two)

I just read a book…
“I just read a really interesting book about _____________. I learned many fascinating things which I think will really help me/my cat. I bought you a copy which is yours to keep and make notes in. If we don’t have time today to discuss some of the key points I’d like to set up an appointment or phone time. Would you have your front desk contact me when you’ve had a chance to read the book?”

Requesting tests
“I’ve read that sometimes basic testing isn’t enough to get to the root cause of many illnesses or diseases. After doing a bit of research I learned that testing for _____________ can be beneficial and shed light. Would you please order this test for me/my cat.”

If the doctor balks at about ordering the tests, don’t give up.
“Would you explain to me is detail why you feel it’s not valuable to test for ________?” I found many references between _______ and _____ so I’d really like to pursue advance testing, this week.”

If the doctor says “We only test for conditions that we can fix.”
Yes, that was once said to your cat faerie. Her comeback was:
“Well, I enjoy hunting for treatments and resources, I love turning over rocks and seeing what’s under them. So let’s go ahead and run the test, see some numbers, and I can do some research. Even if I come up with nothing at least we tried. I am paying for the test after all.”

The doctor does not know about alternative therapies, or thinks they are weird or don’t work.
We saved the toughest for last. Doctors paid a premium for their training and it’s very dear to them. So anything that wasn’t in their curriculum is often mysterious, threatening, and viewed as weird, not effective, or maybe even dangerous. They could have had instructors who warned them that alternative treatments are bad.

“I know that __________ isn’t your thing, but I’ve read good things about it, and I have a friend who used ___________________ and it worked out really well. Would you consider:

  • Reading this book
  • Reading this website or forum
  • Reading this report
  • Calling this clinic/specialist (provide name and phone number, or email) for some advice
  • Transfer a copy of my/my cat’s file to a practitioner that I found so they can review the history. I’ll have you copied on results.

If you seek the advice of another doctor or specialist, keep your vet in the loop by forwarding test results, treatment and progress for the file. If you doctor or vet knows you’ve sought out other directions, but kept him/her informed they won’t feel slighted, and everyone will benefit. It’s very possible that your doctor/vet will be impressed and learn a new modality. We’ve seen this happen first hand! We let a very skeptical, eye rolling veterinarian sit in on a session with an animal chiropractor. He was so impressed that not only did he study veterinary chiropractic he went on to become an instructor!

We often get emails from people who say: “My vet is really great. I wish I could find an MD as wonderful of my vet!” Cat Faeries is always here to help your cat AND you. Your cat faerie recently stuck gold here when she found her new MD from this list. You can search by state for doctors who are hip to diet + health which is hard to find: http://lowcarbdoctors.blogspot.com

Coming soon! Food allergy testing for cats and dogs! It’s easy! It’s effective and affordable.

Cats often need baby food, learn which is using GMO’s!

From time to time your vet will recommend that your cat be fed baby food for a period of time. Usually the cat has been sick and is vulnerable to toxins and stresses to the body.

Gerber is using GMO ingredients, and ingredients doused with the herbicide Roundup. If these ingredients harm babies they are likely to harm our cats.

Our sources tell us that Beechnut is not using GMO’s or ingredients which have had Roundup (or similar) applied to them. At this time Beechnut would be the ideal choice for any cat who is sick or being fussy.

One of the many reasons to avoid feeding cats GMO food is that these modified foods have shown to compromise kidneys. I don’t think we need to point out that renal failure is a common occurrence in cats. It’s something we cat lovers try to prevent. GMO’s also harm the liver.

Note: Both brands removed onion powder from their foods a long time ago in response to mothers protesting that if it’s bad for cats, it would be bad for babies.

CALL Gerber and give them an earful. Available 24/7: 800-284-9488

Here is a really good article about GMO’s and why they are so bad:

http://melisann.hubpages.com/hub/What-Genetically-Modified-Foods-Do-to-Our-Bodies