Happy Mew Year Day!

Cats, being the superior and irrepressibly clever beings they are, have their own version of New Year’s Day. The holiday of Happy Mew Year for Cats Day (yes, on January 2 rather on January 1) was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy of wellcat.com to celebrate felines in all their wondrousness.

Many pet-related holidays are created in the spirit of fun but many of these festivities raise awareness about the millions of shelter animals as well as the numerous aspects involved in pet ownership. How can you best celebrate Happy Mew Year Day? Here are suggestions that I’m sure my little pounce of cats would approve of:

  1. Love your pets. Give them scritches behind their ears or wherever they like to be pet most. Snuggle with them. Tell them how handsome (or pretty), good, adorable, and loved they are. Boudicca loves it when humans babble at her. I routinely give all three of my cats kisses on their foreheads; Boudicca now presents her head for smooches during lap time.
  2. Play with your pets. Some pets are self-entertaining and content that way, but regularly engaging with your pet in a hearty play session keeps their paws and mind active. Get creative! Yesterday Charlie, in his eternal quest for a playmate, ended up pestering Garrus, Boudicca, and me all day. With Aaron’s help, Charlie chased the elusive red dot and batted around his favorite fuzzy toys. Much frisky squeaking abounded! We had to tire him out so he wouldn’t drive Boudicca bonkers.
  3. Ensure that your pets have a healthy diet. This goes such a long way in terms of their dental and overall health. Occasional treats, of course, are greatly appreciated.
  4. Groom your pets. Yes, this includes trimming their nails (a tricky task with some cats), checking their teeth, and other maintenance. Boudicca loves it when we brush her, which is a good thing, since she needs to be brushed regularly. (Her fine fur sheds easily.) Garrus doesn’t seem to mind being brushed and Charlie likes it because it’s a form of attention.
  5. Adopt or foster a pet. Looking to add a furry companion to your household? Rather than shopping for one from a breeder, considering looking at a shelter or animal rescue group first. If you are looking for a particular breed, that breed might well be there! Giving a loving furever home to a cat (or dog, ferret, rabbit, guinea pig, or whichever pet you choose) is a commendable act of generosity and kindness!

Happy Mew Year Day!

Happy Cat Lovers’ Month!

According to Catster and the Humane Society of the United States, December is officially Cat Lovers’ Month! To all fellow ailurophiles, enjoy the month! Love on your fur people!

Do you like cats but cannot own one? Here are some ways that you (and fellow cat owners alike) can celebrate Cat Lovers’ Month:

  1. Volunteer to love on and socialize cats at your local animal shelter.
  2. Help out at an adoption event.
  3. Foster a cat in need of a home.
  4. Donate money and/or much-needed supplies to a shelter or rescue organization.
  5. Offer to cat sit for a friend or family member and ensure that their fur people are well cared for in their owner’s absence.
  6. Teach children (and adults!) how to gently and appropriately interact with cats, and by extension, animals in general. Basic pet etiquette is important for everyone to learn, and this knowledge benefits humans and pets alike in countless ways.

There are numerous ways you can demonstrate kindness, compassion, and charity without breaking the bank. These gestures can be big or small. What can you do on behalf of cats?

World Kindness Day

Today is World Kindness Day! The world certainly could use more kindness, compassion, and altruism, especially toward ourselves and to others. On that note, here are a few different ways you can demonstrate genuine acts of kindness toward animals, and by extension, your community:

  1. Care for pets. Learning how to gently and correctly handle pets is a crucial part of being a responsible pet ownership. It’s important that children know how to properly approach and handle pets for a number of reasons. Caring for a pet can also help children (as well as adults) develop a sense of empathy, compassion, and responsibility.
  2. Take your pet shopping to pick out toys, food, or other supplies for the animals at your local animal shelter.
  3. Put together a gift basket for somebody from your pet. Bonus points: make a paw-printed card to go with it. (Make sure it’s made with non-toxic ink or water-based paint.)
  4. Foster a shelter animal.
  5. If you have a sick or elderly friend or neighbor, offer to walk their dog or otherwise take care of their pet. If the owner has transportation issues, offer to help them transport their pet to the vet if they need it.
  6. Volunteer at and visit an animal shelter, rescue organization, or sanctuary.
  7. Walk or run a 5K that benefits a pet or wildlife charity organization.
  8. Foster a military pet on behalf of a service man or woman while they are serving abroad.
  9. Learn how to report animal cruelty. Depending on the state, police departments may handle these investigations while elsewhere it falls under the jurisdiction of animal control or municipal agencies.
  10. Visit the zoo or aquarium. These organizations care deeply for the animals in their care and work hard to conserve endangered species.
  11. Plant a butterfly garden.
  12. Choose cruelty-free products.
  13. Donate to a spay/neuter program in your area to help reduce the feral cat population in your area.
  14. Leave wild animals in their natural homes. If you see or find an injured or obviously sick animal, or suspect a baby animal has been abandoned, contact your local wildlife rehabilitation organization to learn what to do next (if anything).
  15. When out on a walk in the woods, by a stream, or on a beach, pick up plastic rings, bottles, and other litter that can harm animals.