National Cat Day

Hooray, hooray! It’s National Cat Day!

Oh wait. I’m pretty sure that’s every day at our house. The clowder insists that we celebrate, even if we don’t give them new toys every day. Instead we give them adoration.

Garrus and Charlie observed National Cat Day with an appropriately cute snuggle. Not quite a heart shape but bromance-flavored nonetheless.

When I told Mau it was National Cat Day, this was his response. Typical.

Everyone wanted to bro down for National Cat Day. Note Garrus’ intense side eye.

How will you celebrate National Cat Day? Will there be catnip-filled merrymaking, new toys, and cat tower carousing? Share in the comments!

National Hug Your Hound Day

National Hug Your Hound Day was created by the author and canine behaviorist Ami Moore, the “Dog Whisperer of Chicago”. The holiday is observed annually on the second Sunday of September.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

National Hug Your Hound Day is about “truly observing your dog (from his point of view” in his environment and everyday life”. Like a number of other pet-themed holidays, it focuses on the happiness and health of your pet. Oh yeah, it might also be a perfect excuse to ensure your dog is sufficiently hugged!

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Photo courtesy of Pexels

International Cat Day

Honestly, isn’t this every day at my house? Officially, International Cat Day was created in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and other animal rights groups. So you have an official 24 hours to venerate your Fur Person of the feline persuasion as they likely demand.

You may now pay your respects by kissing the paw. This one only.

Garrus and Charlie are most particular about their regular sunbath treatments and lounging areas.

“All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” Photo courtesy of Pexels

DOGust and Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs

Happy DOGust everyone! And, whew, it is HOT. So obviously it’s time for indoor parties. Do you throw birthday parties for your pets? I have friends who celebrate their dogs’ birthdays. However, if you don’t always know your dog’s birthdate. Thanks to the efforts of the North Shore Animal League and the ASPCA, the month of DOGust and the Universal Birthday for Shelter and Rescue Dogs came into being!

Photo courtesy of Pexels

At a loss at how to throw a DOGust-worthy “pawty”? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. If you’re going to have any outdoor activities, do it early in the morning and in the shade. Dogs can get overheated and sun- or heatstroke.
  2. Offer lots of water to human and canine guests to keep them cool and comfortable.
  3. Don’t forget refreshments. Peanut butter treats would be a good idea, or, for the ambitious, a bone-shaped puppy cake.
  4. Provide splash time in a kiddie pool and lots of toys so everyone can play. If some want to play inside, that’s okay too.
  5. In lieu of presents for your pup, request that guests make a donation to a local shelter or rescue group. This can be cash, supplies, time, or skills!
  6. For party favors, all the canine attendees could get bandanas.
  7. Remember to take plenty of snazzy photos!
  8. Have fun!

Photo courtesy of The Dodo

Pet Photo Day

Clearly we need such a holiday! I couldn’t find the creator of this lighthearted pet holiday but still appreciate the sentiment. Onwards to pet photos!

Garrus really enjoys snoozing on the ottoman. In the afternoon he sunbathes here. This is also one of his favorite visiting spots. I’ve been able to occasionally put him on my lap and give him scritches.

Charlie found himself a sunny spot. This is an excellent dual birdwatching and meditation perch.

Mau chills out on the chair, patiently waiting for a human lap to appear.

Feel free to share your pet photos in the comments!

Siamese Pretty Please

Happy National Siamese Cat Day!

Do you share living space with fur people of the Siamese variety? Do you enjoy their talkativeness? Do their blue eyes enchant you?

Siamese Cats 101

  • They are an Asian or Oriental cat with point coloration, i.e. a light body with darker markings on the face, ears, legs, and tail.
  • These point colors come in a number of varieties including Chocolate, Seal, Lilac, Blue, Red, and Cream. There are also Lynx (striped), Tortie, and Tortie Lynx Points.
  • They also have two body types: the Traditional (Old-Style, Classic) and Modern (Show). The latter sports a slim body, small wedge-shaped head, long straight nose, huge ears, and a whiplike tail.
  • Behaviorally, Siamese cats are intelligent, busy, doglike, highly communicative (they will give you a highly opinionated commentary about everything!), and extroverted. They love attention!
  • Siamese cats are chatterboxes with a distinctive loud, low-pitched meow! They caterwaul too and do not like to be quiet.

Modern or Show-Style Seal Point Siamese Cat

Traditional Lilac Point Siamese Cat

I’ve had some exposure to Siamese cats. In middle school, I briefly had a half-Siamese cat but she did not inherit the color-point markings of her mother, a splendid Balinese or long-haired Siamese. Instead Misdemeanor was ink-black without a speck of white anywhere on her. She did, however, inherit the characteristic vocalness and intense inquisitiveness; she had to be into everything, especially all the mischief (hence her name).

Another Siamese cat I knew was a shelter kitten appropriately named Miao. He was feisty (attack all the toys!), demanding, charming, and a handful (he was a kitten, after all, so that was his job). I helped match him to an outgoing family whom he would likely keep on their toes with his antics.

If you have a Siamese cat in your life, be sure to give him or her an extra dose of love and perhaps a treat or new toy today! I’m sure your kitty will thank you vociferously!

Photo credits: Pexel and Pinterest

These splendid fur people are not my own.

St Catrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Or, if you’re a cat lover, you may say St Catrick’s Day! There is no Saint Catrick (to my knowledge) but it’s a fun excuse to have a pet-themed holiday anyway!

Why might this be, you ask? Because today coincides with the feast day of Gertrude of Nivelles, who has become to be regarded as the patron saint of cats. This is a recent development starting in the 1980s. Her association with cats may have sprung from her role as protector against rodents, which dated from the 15th century in Germany, the Netherlands, and northeastern Span.

I don’t have to worry about a rodent problem in my house. Charlie’s got me covered.

Enjoy your weekend!

Time to Get Fabulous!

It’s National Dress Up Your Pet Day! It was created in 2009 by Colleen Paige, a celebrity pet lifestyle expert and animal behaviorist. I have a few friends who dress up their dogs but know only a very few people who can put clothes on their cats without major hissy fights breaking out. I know that here in the Austin area many dog owners dress up their canine companions in all kinds of outfits for the costume contest and parade at the annual Dogtoberfest. Granted, the proceeds of the event go to local animal rescue groups and it is all in fun as well.

As with a number of pet-themed holidays, you, as the pet owner, should take into account your pet’s safety, health, and comfort. Here are a few things to keep in mind for National Dress Up Your Pet Day:

  1. Perfect fit. Don’t put your pet into an outfit that is too small just because it’s cute. The costume should not impede your pet’s movement in anyway. This can injure your pet as well be dangerous. (Example: A Great Dane in an ill-fitting costume can easily trip trying to get out of it, and by doing so hurting itself and others in the process.) Also it’s mean.
  2. Breathe in, breathe out. No costume should impair your pet’s ability to breathe in any way. Ensure their nose and mouth is never covered. Note that brachycephalic pets (i.e. short-headed pets like bulldogs, pugs, Himalayans, Persians, to name a few) are more likely to have breathing difficulties such as brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome.
  3. Hats…optional. Be discerning with accessories. Don’t impair your pet’s ability to see and hear with hats, for example. The same goes for booties. While many find it funny to watch dogs or cats walk funny in booties, the pet does not likely find it so amusing. (It feels extremely odd for them not to feel the ground directly beneath their paws.) If you want your pet to wear booties on a regular basis, you need to desensitize your pet to them first.
  4. Loose bits. All those frills, ruffles, buttons, sequins, and extra ornamentation to the costume may look snazzy but may look like something to chew on to your pet. These small parts can be easily swallowed. Anything loose or dangling that can be chewed or torn off can cause a choking hazard.
  5. Less is more. You don’t have to only buy whole costumes. I know several owners who keep an array of bandannas and sweaters on hand for their dogs. A dog can look just as smart and jaunty with a well-chosen bandanna as he can with a full costume. A friend of mine can put a tie on her cat and he looks absolutely dashing.
  6. Keep watch. Don’t leave your pet unattended in a costume. They could get hurt, stuck, or chew on something they should not.
  7. Special considerations. Trying to put a full costume on a senior pet that has arthritis, for example, may experience pain and will definitely not enjoy the experience. Young pets frequently lack motor coordination skills and could easily get tangled up in a costume. Both senior and young animals may have trouble regulating their body temperatures and thus could overheat.
  8. Quitting time. If your pet becomes unhappy and uneasy while wearing a costume, it’s time to stop. Playing dress up is not worth making your pet stress out.
  9. No coercion. If your pet does not like to wear clothing, as many do not (including cats), do not force your pet to wear costumes. That’s mean and not cool.
  10. Have fun. If your pet does like dressing up and is not at all stressed out by it, by all means, go all out. Have a photo shoot. Set up a fashion show with a catwalk, even if dogs are the only contestants. Take photos with your pet and your friends. Enjoy yourselves!