At long last, Raven’s new furs

As promised, I wanted to share some photos of the progress we’ve made with Raven’s fur regrowth. She’s been on her new diet for 6 weeks and hasn’t had prednisolone for 8 weeks. Fish and chicken seem to be the cause of her allergies and hairloss. She now eats only Pride by Instinct grain-free canned food – Lovebug’s Lamb or Ritzy’s Rabbit. Neither has any fish or chicken ingredients. Despite the food being expensive (and I think there’s a lot of water in the canned food compared to other brands) we’ll keep her on this as long as she continues to improve.

Here are two photos from about 1 year ago when Raven’s hairloss was still “moderate”. It got much worse, and six months ago she didn’t have fur on her lower belly, the inside & outside of her legs from thighs down to her toes, and a big patch of missing fur on her left upper thigh/hip. She bit the fur off of a 3-inch long strip on her front/inner legs from her paw pits to her elbows, and she also lost a good amount of fur from the top of her tail. She looked like a cross between a cat (if she was sitting to hide her belly & legs), an ostrich (bare legs), and an opossum (naked tail). Basically, she looked awful and she must have felt miserable.
Raven hairloss

Raven hairloss

Now she looks significantly better. The fur is growing back on her legs, and you can even see some fur on the underside of her tail. She’s wasn’t cooperating for photos today, so I had to follow her around the kitchen trying to get good photos showing her legs.  It wasn’t easy since she really just wanted to go take a nap!

Raven hairloss

Raven hairloss

Depending on the angle, the fur looks thinner. But here you can see her left upper thigh towards the hip, which used to be completely bald. You can also see she has fur on the last half of her tail.

Raven hairloss

And here’s a discrete photo of her backside.

Raven hairloss

I took a short video showing Raven’s new furs. She lays on my lap like this almost every night and she’s usually completely relaxed. Since this video was taken during the day, she’s a little apprehensive and won’t let me lift her front paws all the way up like I usually can.

Floofy RavenWe have a long way to go until she’s floofy again like she was years ago, but we’ve made progress and most of her skin is covered with a thin layer of 1/2 inch long fur. Hopefully we can keep her allergies under control with diet alone and she’ll continue to improve.

Hey, do any of you kitties let your humans put you on their lap like this? I really enjoy it and Mom gives me a good massage & petting while I get totally relaxed on her lap. CK, how about you? How much blood do you think you’d get from a human who tried to do this to you?

Posted in Random musings | 11 Comments

One less homeless kitty!

A quick good news update. Snowflake, a 7-year old lady cat who we were sponsoring for adoption at a local shelter was adopted the day after Thanksgiving. Maybe she got some turkey leftovers. And hopefully she’ll have a wonderful holiday season while settling into her new forever home.

Snowflake

I hope the three other kitties we are sponsoring find their forever homes soon.

My participation in sponsoring kitties for adoption was prompted by a local businesswoman who is sponsoring all adoptions until the end of the year at the Front Street Animal Shelter in the city of Sacramento, CA. The news of this effort has gone nationwide and the response has been so overwhelming that the city shelter is transferring animals from surrounding municipal and non-profit shelters in order to keep up with demand. Due to the large volume of adoptions, additional businesses have joined the effort and have guaranteed that all adoption fees for animals at the city shelter will be covered. The article in the Miami Herald is actually very interesting. It states that animals who are adopted at a discounted or free event are no more likely to be returned than any other animal.

The shelter I sponsored the kitties at said they did not feel the adoption fee was a barrier to adoption, but if it prompts a potential adopter to give an older or “less adoptable” animal a second look, I’m all for using my donation in that manner.

Posted in Helping Anipals - Charity | 12 Comments

Cozy Mystery Series Rankings

I’ve posted two book reviews recently and wanted to give a quick ranking of the cozy mystery series I read.

Four series are my favorites. The stories have a decent plot that is well-paced, there are no glaring inconsistencies, and they have well developed animal characters that feature prominently in the story. The authors have a writing style I find enjoyable and they don’t commit two of my pet peeves: constantly using short sentences or trying to prove they own a thesaurus.

  • Cat in the Stacks Mystery by Miranda James (I’ve read 6 books),
  • Magical Cats Mystery by Sofie Kelly (8 books),
  • A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery by Ali Brandon  (5 books),
  • A Bookmobile Cat Mystery by Laurie Cass (4 books).

I just read over at Melissa’s Mocha’s Mystery, and Meows that Twice Told Tail (book #6) will be the final book in the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series.  🙁

The next two series are ok, but not my favorites. I like the writing style of both authors, but there are things I dislike about the books and probably won’t continue with them. 

  • A Southern Ladies Mystery by Miranda James  is a spin-off from the Cat in the Stacks Mystery, but I didn’t enjoy it as much I hoped and stopped after the second book (there are three now). Unlike her Cat in the Stacks Mystery series where the cat Diesel is interesting and well integrated into the story, I don’t think the cat and dog in this series are developed or integrated as well as they could be.  
  • Bad Luck Cat Mystery by Kay Finch (2 books). I like Hitchcock the cat, but I get annoyed with the main character’s rudeness. I read cozy mysteries to escape the incivility of everyday life and don’t want to follow a character who is unbelievably rude. Also, the stories have some inconsistencies in the characters or their motivations. This might improve as the series continues, but it may be a flaw in the writing & editing process.

The next one was a dud for me.

  • A Nick and Nora Mystery by T.C. LoTempio. I read the first book and thought there were a lot of missed opportunities for the author to show that her main character actually liked her cat. I haven’t read any other books in this series. 

Finally, a good book, but the cat wasn’t a prominent character, despite the cover image. 

  • A Brewing Trouble Mystery by Joyce Tremel. I read Tangled Up in Brew after winning it in a giveaway. I entered the giveaway because the book features a cat prominently on the cover, but the cat doesn’t have much of a presence in the book. I enjoyed the mystery and the writing style but I read other series where the animal is an interesting character that is more prominently featured that I probably won’t continue with this one. The second book also features the cat on the cover, but I don’t know if kitty is prominent in the story.

 

p.s. Raven said she’s ready for her close-up photos, so the next post will show her newly grown furs. Besides, I have nothing else to share and stall for time while her fur grows!

Posted in Book review | 13 Comments

Two Cozy Mystery Book Reviews

Paws And Effect book coverPaws And Effect is the eighth book in A Magical Cats Mystery series by Sofie Kelly. Kathleen, with the help of her magical cats Owen and Hercules, are determined to clear the name of Kathleen’s boyfriend Marcus who is suspected of murdering a college friend.

I’ve enjoyed all the previous books in this series, and this one is no different. The mystery moves at a good pace, I enjoy the writing style, and all the characters – both human and feline – are engaging.

Sophie Kelly also writes Second Chance Cat Mysteries under the name Sofie Ryan, so I’ll have to check those out.

Black Cat Crossing book coverThe Black Cat Knocks on Wood is the second book in A Bad Luck Cat Mystery series by Kay Finch. In typical cozy mystery fashion, Sabrina and her black cat Hitchcock are tangled up in the murder of a local business woman.

I didn’t like this book as much as the first book in the series. The mystery is fairly easy to figure out and Hitchcock the black cat is a great character who plays a prominent role in the story. I disliked Sabrina’s rudeness and only 30 pages in I had to decide to keep reading despite how off-putting I found her behavior. Fortunately, it got a bit better. I thought some of the underlying themes needed more consistency: her reasons for being involved in solving the murder kept changing, and her anti-rodeo animal welfare opinion versus toting (literally) Hitchcock around town on a hot summer day or having him in a harness for hours seemed contradictory. I like Hitchcock’s personality, but I’ll probably wait to read some reviews of the third book before deciding if I continue reading this series.

Posted in Book review | 9 Comments

National Adoption Day (for humans)

National Adoption Day is intended to bring attention to children in foster care who need permanent homes, but we thought we’d share some cats in our area of Northern California who need to find forever homes.

Sandy is a 4-year old boy who was rescued from a feral colony. But he’s not feral, he’s a love bug. He’s best pals with Sasha, a 2 year-old guy who needed major ear surgery to clear up an infection.

SandySasha

 

 

 

 

Pepper is a 9 year-old male who would love to be your house panther. And Snowflake is a 7-year old laid back gal who enjoys a good brushing.

PepperSnowflake

 

 

 

We chose to sponsor the adoption fee for these kitties because they are adults or because they may be overlooked because of their color or missing parts. Both of our recent adoptions were “less adoptable”.  Sammi was 10 years old with only 3 legs, and Raven was a 4 year-old black kitty, but both of them have been wonderful additions to our family.

These kitties, like so many others, need homes. If you can’t adopt any more (like us….Raven enjoys being an only since Sammi passed away), maybe you can help your local shelter with some volunteer time, a bag of food, some toys, or by volunteering some other talent you have that could help them in their mission to help homeless animals.

And if you’re inclined to help humans, I know the local childrens’ charities are grateful for any support or volunteer talents you can offer. We participate in our local Children’s Home holiday gift drive that helps ensure local foster children have a fun Christmas and don’t feel forgotten.

p.s. I know I promised to share photos of Raven’s fur growing back, but I’m stalling so she has time to grow some more furs to show off!

Posted in Helping Anipals - Charity | 16 Comments