Tuesday, September 2, 2008


If you have a cat, you've probably noticed that they spend a lot of time sleeping. In fact, cats sleep anywhere from 13 to 16 hours per day, about twice as much as you do. In other words, your kitty spends approximately 2/3 of its life snoozing.
Like humans, cats go through both Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and non-REM sleep, and just like a person, your cat dreams during REM sleep. During REM sleep, you may notice your cat's whiskers twitch, their eyes move behind their eyelids or their paws quiver. The cat's non-REM deep sleep is when the cat's body grows and repairs itself.
Most cats, particularly house cats, do a lot of their sleeping at night, or during the heat of the day. Cats are not really considered "nocturnal", but are "crepuscular", meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk (prime hunting periods). The following poem is a wonderful description of a cat's evening slumber:

A Cat's Prayer
Now I lay me down to sleep,
The king-size bed is soft and deep...
I sleep right in the center groove
My human can hardly move!
I've trapped her legs, she's tucked in tight
And here is where I pass the night
No one disturbs me or dares intrude
Till morning comes and "I want food!"
I sneak up slowly to begin
My nibbles on my human's chin.
She wakes up quickly, I have sharp teeth -
And my claws I will unsheath
For the morning's here and it's time to play
I always seem to get my way.
So thank you Lord for giving me
This human person that I see.
The one who hugs me and holds me tight
And sacrifices her bed at night.
~ Author Unknown ~

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Unlike human eyes, which work best in day light, the cat’s eyes must function well in extremely low light conditions as they are an animal which is predominantly nocturnal. In darkness, cats eyes are able to function in approximately one-sixth of the light needed for human vision. However they are also able to function well in daylight. In low light levels, the cats pupil must be able to open as wide as possible, but also be able to contract to very small size to protect the sensitive retina in bright sunlight. In human eyes, this size variation of the pupil is controlled by a circular muscle, but this limits the amount of size variation. In cats however, the same process is controlled by two, shutter-like muscles, which gives the cat it’s characteristic slit-like pupil in bright light conditions. Also, the size of the cats eye is relatively larger than those found in humans and this enables a larger pupil and therefore more light to enter the eye.
  • Cats cannot see directly beneath their noses. You can test this by offering your kitty a treat. He can smell it, but if you drop it directly beneath his nose, he'll have to root around a bit before finding it.
  • Rumors aside, cats are not colorblind. Their ability to see color is not as enhanced as ours, but they can see some colors.
  • If normal human vision is 20/20, then that of the cat is 20/100. He has keen vision for objects far away, but things up close may appear fuzzy or blurred.
  • Most white blue-eyed cats are deaf (60 - 80%). A white cat with odd-eyes (one blue and one green or gold) may be deaf on the side with the blue eye (30-40%).
  • Cats "kiss" with their eyes. Have you ever noticed your cat gazing at you for a long moment and then slowly blinking her eyes? That's the kitty equivalent of a kiss, and you should feel very flattered. If you want to show your cat you love her, give her a kitty kiss right back. No, not on the nose. Just give her a long stare and slowly blink and see what happens!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Black cats have played a major role for centuries in folklore, superstition, and mythology. Black cats in the middle ages were believed to be witches' familiars, and some people even believed them to be witches incarnate. Many of these old superstitions about black cats exist to this day. Black cats have long been associated with witches and witchcraft to the extent that during October, the Month of Halloween, black cats and witches are favorite icons used for costumes and decor.
Depending on one's area of the world (and the century one lived in), black cats portray either good or bad luck. Here are some examples:
  • In Asia and the U.K., a black cat is considered lucky.
  • In Yorkshire, England, it may be lucky to own a black cat, but it is unlucky TO have one cross your path.
  • To dream of a black cat is lucky.
  • At a funeral procession, meeting up with a black cat is believed to forecast the death of another family member.
  • In 16th century Italy, people believed that if someone was sick he would die if a black cat lay on his bed.
  • In North America, it's considered bad luck if a black cat crosses your path and good luck if a white cat crosses your path.
  • Finding a white hair on a black cat brings good luck. Don't pluck it though, or your luck may turn bad.
  • A strange black cat on a porch brings prosperity to the owner. (Scotland)
  • A black cat seen from behind portends a bad omen.
  • If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.
  • In India it is thought that a reincarnated soul may be "liberated" by throwing a black cat into a fire.
  • In Bengali folklore women could change their soul into a black cat and that any harm brought to the cat would be suffered by the women.
  • The Celts thought black cats were reincarnated beings able to divine the future.
  • German folklore believed that if a black cat jumped on the bed of a sick person it meant death was near.
  • In Finland it was thought that black cats were thought to carry the souls of the dead to the other world.

In modern society, black cats are one of the most difficult color variations of cats to adopt out from shelters, as people may be still cautious from the superstition surrounding the black feline. It is also important to keep all cats indoors during Halloween (especially, if they are black in color), as black cats have been known to disappear or be stolen around Halloween! Even with all the folklore and superstitions, black cats are lovely creatures and make wonderful pets!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Have you ever wondered how the term the "Cats Pajamas" originated? Well, here is what I found..
1) Cats Pajamas - 1920s lingo describing someone (something) who is great, incredible, special or the best at what they do. Usually indicating stylishness or innovation. During the 1920's, pajamas were a relatively new fashion and the term "cat" was beginning to be used as a term to describe the outgoing and unconventional jazz-age flappers by the 1920 hipsters. Also, the term "cats pajamas" may be used to describe another person who is genial and fun to be with.
So next time you find someone who is stylish, hip, fun or cool, why not say, "Wow, you're the cats pajamas!"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


My cats Fern and Autumn love catnip! So what is the secret ingredient that makes them want to sniff, lick, chew, rub and roll around? Catnip is a member of the mint family and is related to spearmint, basil and oregano. The secret ingredient in catnip is a compound called "Nepetalactone" that is believed to cause the cat's sudden and humorous behaviour response to the essential oil which the cats pick-up through their olfactory and oral receptors. Most cats are genetically predisposed to respond to catnip and young cats under the age of three months are indifferent to catnip. Catnip sensitivity is also inherited, so not all cats may respond.

Catnip is sold in fresh form (as plants) and dried form (in bulk or inside toys). Dried catnip should be kept in the freezer to preserve its potency. Typically, cats recover from their catnip "buzz" within 30 minutes to 2 hours, and can continue interacting with catnip toys and/or plants through out the day and night! My cats love all forms of catnip!

Interestingly enough, catnip tea is also supposed to have a mild soothing effect on nerves and digestion for humans! So, buy a plant today...it grows great in San Diego gardens and provides benefits for both you and your cats!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Microchips are a useful method for permanent identification of pets. A microchip is a tiny computer chip about the size of a grain of rice that is inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades of the cat. The chip contains an identification number for the animal. The microchip system also has a scanner device and an online database which stores personal information about the pet's residence.

If the pet gets lost, the pet can be scanned at a shelter or veterinarian clinic, and the information connected to that identification number registration is revealed, such as name and phone number of the pet's residence. It is important that owners check their microchip manufacturer's database to make sure that their owner information is current. This can be completed on-line through the microchip manufacturer's website.

If your pet gets accidently lost, microchipping ensures a much better chance of your pet being found and returned! It is recommended that all pets be microchipped and that their owner's register their pets!

Also, on your annual visit to your veterinarian, the veterinarian office can test the microchip to determine if it is working and that the information in the database is current. The veterinarian can also provide information on the microchip manufacturer, so that you can update your owner information on the database.

Microchipping - ensuring a safer world for pets!

Monday, July 21, 2008


Some families send holiday cards showing a picture of their entire family, but in our household there is always a cat on the greeting card! Every year a holiday card is created with one of our cute furry bodies next to a Christmas garland, pillow or tree! Hopefully, our cards inspire the recipients to donate to one of the many charities that support non-cruelty and life preservation for many of our animal friends that may not be as lucky as we are to have a good home! Even if you can't have your own pet, there are many ways to support animals in shelters and to donate to the care and improvement of their lives! If you are interested, here are some organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives and treatment of animals:

The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) - http://www.aspca.org/

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) - http://www.peta.org/
Or any of your local Humane Societies and Animal Shelters!
Holiday Greetings! Best Wishes! Fern and Autumn