Caturday Art – Fall Color Collage

Raven surrounded by fall colors

The Chinese pistache trees in our yard have beautiful fall colors. Last week the leaves were red/orange and this week the remaining leaves are turning yellow. Mom was going to share photos of the trees saying how much we enjoy fall because of the cooler weather and beautiful fall colors. But fall also brings wimpy sunpuddles that move past me too quickly as I’m napping.

Then, on Thanksgiving afternoon while she was preparing dinner, I decided to be a tiny bit naughty. I don’t usually get up on the dinner table but it had been made longer for guests so it needed investigating. I approved of the situation and left the table long before dinner was served.

Raven on the Thanksgiving table cloth

This photo inspired her to try to create something similar to a photo she saw on the BZ Dog’s blog last week. They are two gorgeous Golden Retrievers whose mom is a talented trainer and photographer.

For Caturday art, Mom envisioned a photo of me on the tablecloth blending into the colorful tree leaves in the background. But since she lacks any artistic skill or photo editing software, she settled for creating this collage. Mom likes the collage, but readily admits it’s a good thing she has a steady job as an analyst because if she had to be an artist, we’d all be in trouble.

Join Caturday Art Blog Hop hosted by Athena and Marie and have some fun!

Posted in PhotoHunt, Caturday Art, Selfies | 15 Comments

Poinsettias aren’t very dangerous to pets. And a few holiday safety tips.

Pointsettia plantIn the U.S., Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, and that means poinsettias are starting to appear in stores.

Did you know that toxicity of poinsettias has been greatly exaggerated and this plant doesn’t pose much danger to your pets?

It’s true, and here are several reliable sources of information to put your mind at ease that you can safely have a poinsettia in your home without endangering the life of your pet.

This article from is excellent and explains the risks of various plants commonly used for winter decor.

Specifically, about poinsettias:

The poinsettia plant’s brightly colored leaves contain a sap that is irritating to the tissues of the mouth and esophagus. If the leaves are ingested, they will often cause nausea and vomiting, but it would take a large amount of the plant’s material to cause poisoning, and most animals and children will not eat such a large enough amount because of the irritating taste and feel from the sap.

Here are a few more references about the relative safety of poinsettia plants:

If you have a pet that will chew on nasty-tasting plants, poinsettias may not be appropriate for your home. But if you enjoy poinsettias you can have them in your home without worrying that your pet will eat them and become seriously ill.

Your pet-loving friends might not know that there are plants they should be more concerned about. Lillies (common at Easter), Holly, and mistletoe are more dangerous to pets and should be placed in pet-safe locations.

Charlie Brown ThanksgivingOn a tastier holiday note: Turkey day is almost here! Although Raven won’t eat turkey (she prefers chicken), a little treat of Thanksgiving food probably won’t hurt your healthy pet. Remember, it’s a treat, not a meal, and many foods are completely are off-limits (see lists here and here).

A few other holiday safety tips for you and your pet are:

  • Remind your guests not to feed your pets.
  • Make sure your pets can’t get into your guests’ bags & purses which may have candy, sugar free gum/candies with xylitol, medications, marijuana, or other hazardous items.
  • Keep an eye on your pet to make sure they don’t steal food, bones, or get into the sweets & candies that are around the house. And remember to secure the trash.
  • If your pet doesn’t appreciate the festivities, provide them with a quiet, safe location where they can relax away from the noise and intruders.

I hope everyone who celebrates has a Happy Thanksgiving and safe holiday season.

Posted in Health | 21 Comments

Swishy belly is normal, and it has a name.

In the last post, Mom pointed out that I have a bit of a swishy belly, as seen here. Usually my swishy belly is camouflaged by fur but it’s visible now because of my hair loss.

Raven on the heater vent - bare tummy

Being the protective and curious type, Mom thought maybe we should check with the vet to be sure this is normal. None of her other kitties, not even the  …. um …. pudgy ones (Smokey and Eddie Bear) …. had a swishy belly. And maybe this was related to the fur loss on my belly.

First she checked with Dr. Google and was reassured that many cats have this type of swishy belly and there’s even a phrase for it – the primordial pouch. The primordial pouch is a flap of loose skin on the belly just in front of the hind legs. It’s believed to be a way for kitties to escape damage from a “bunny kick” by another cat during a fight. The bit of extra fat in that area also helps protect the internal organs and the loose skin allows kitty to stretch it’s back legs fully backwards.

The best description we found of the primordial pouch is here.  It describes mine to a T. Loose skin and fat which feels like a half-full water balloon. Since Raven’s pouch includes the last set of nipples on both sides of her belly, I gave it a thorough exam by gently feeling all the tissue. It was soft and warm (yeah, that was kind-of neat) but most important, it was smooth and I didn’t feel any lumps or bumps that would warrant a call to the real Dr. Vet.

So, it’s normal to have a swishy belly, just don’t let your swishy belly get too pudgy. And of course, if your swishy belly is new or your parents suspect something is wrong, don’t hesitate to ask your vet for advice (your real vet, not Dr. Google).

Posted in Health | 19 Comments

Two of my favorite winter napping spots

When the weather becomes colder and the house heat is turned on, one of my favorite place to nap is on top of a heater vent. I have vents in two rooms that are surrounded by carpeting and are very kitty-friendly. I’m big enough to cover the entire vent, but sometimes I leave a little space for warm air to get to Mom & Dad. Raven on the heater vent

Don’t be shocked, but the photo below shows why it’s important that I have first claim to the heater vent. My hairloss issue was pretty dramatic this year, with most of my lower belly, thighs, and the underside of my tail being defurred. Those parts get a little chilly, especially if I’m sitting on the colder wood floors, so it’s nice to be able to warm up on the heater vent. By the way, we’re still not sure what triggered my hairloss. But I am getting some hair regrowth and maybe in spring my belly will be furry and it won’t look like I’ve nursed kittens. I’m not overweight, I just have a bit of a swishy belly.

Raven on the heater vent - bare tummy

My accommodations are even better in the front room. Mom makes a toasty warm kitty cave over the vent using my blanket and the window perch as a roof.

Raven heater cave

I can go to the back of my cave like I did in this photo, or I can scooch forward and get cooler air if I start getting too warm.

Raven heater cave

I hope all of you have warm spots where you stay comfy and cozy during the colder months.

Posted in Cat antics | 18 Comments

A new box

I found a new box the other day. I don’t think it was intended for my use, but it looked interesting so I tried it out. It wasn’t quite as roomy as some of the other boxes I’ve had, but it worked well to sit in and do a little grooming. Then I nestled in for a bit of a rest.
Raven sitting in egg carton

Raven sitting in egg carton
Raven sitting in egg carton

Raven sitting in egg carton

Posted in Cat antics | 20 Comments