Monday, January 31, 2011

Good advice & helpful tabbies

I read something in the Pet Valu Companion magazine that I thought I would share with you.
Many of our pets are struggling with weight gain as they age so any tips to help our pets with this problem is appreciated by me. I only have 1 overweight cat (Sierra) but many of my cat-sitting clients are a little tubby. So this caught my eye.
If your cat or dog is a free-feeder (food on floor all day) but is gaining weight rapidly, you will have to change things up by meal planning twice a day and before 6pm. No free-choice feeding. "OK -That's sort of a no-brainer."

If your dog or cat eats their dry food too quickly, slow him down with a larger bowl. "Didn't know that." He will pick up fewer pieces at a time. This will help give the body's hormonal system more time to work on curbing appetite. In other words, providing time for his stomach to tell his brain he feels full.Very interesting.

Personally, I feed my cats more soft food than dry because I find it satisfies them and they are getting more water that way. Most dry foods are sprayed with fat and is very high in calories. I just feed my cats more often.

I always look forward to my Monday clients. I had a great time with my Fabulous Tabbies today.
They are usually very good boys when I cat-sit them but last night they got into a plant and we had some heavy duty cleaning to do this morning. "We" being the key word as they helped me with the sweeping and the washing of the floor. Tabbies just want to have fun sometimes and they are a great help when it comes to keeping  house. Anyhoo, they are tuckered out from playing with me and hopefully will sleep off some of their energy. These two boys love their windows.
 Can you blame them? Just look out there......lots of birds and squirrels to watch.
I love cat-sitting here. It is so peaceful.
"Be good boys and see you tomorrow"

Now, back home there is work to be done. Remember, I am a bit of a dish lover and now that my dining-room floor is painted, I have to put all the dishes back where they belong. As you know, tabbies are very helpful and love to do house-work. With that in mind, Sierra got right to it and offered a helping paw so we could get this job done fast.
"Thank you my little tubby're a big help"
"HI Mom"
"I know where to look if I need ya"

Hugs,  Deb

Find your sunny spot

It is freezing cold and windy again today. Back to the deep-freeze. I am off to meet a friend for coffee after caring for my 2 fabulous tabby cats. February will be a busy month for me so I am gearing up for the fun. Lots of clients are heading South and will be soaking up the sun.  Speaking of sun, it is just trying to break through and I see that Lily has found her sun spot for the day. If you have bright, sunny windows but do not want the cat on the furniture consider purchasing a kitty window shelf for your cat that can be found at most large pet stores.  There are cats on my sidebar that are in need of a forever home. Scroll to bottom of page. Please take a look and if interested,  contact me. 

Wishing you all a Magnificent Monday.
Hugs, Deb

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hissin' sisters &Tracking trouble

There was a lot of hulabaloo going on on the stairs this morning. Two old senior female cats just spittin' & hissin' and growlin' & then it was over as fast as it started. Beats me...but I do know that Cali ended up with a scratch on her nose and she seems to always be the common denominator when there is a cat-fight in this house. Worst of it is she wears it proudly. She'll never change. I always just let them work it out unless there is one that is trying to get away and gets cornered. Then I step in but mostly it is all verbal and then it stops. I think they need to get whatever is bugging them off their minds so it doesn't go on too long. Cats are just like that. Then all is calm.
Sierra always looks innocent
These two never fight

When I go for my walks with Kane we often come across little paw-prints in the snow. Usually the teeny-weeny ones are from cats. Neighbourhood cats who roam the street. I love those little tracks. But, when I came across these paw-prints last night right where I feed the feral cats it stopped me in my tracks. Oh...oh!
I suspect it is a coyote. I will be contacting someone in one of our local rescues to give me some advice. I went by tonight early and we have a fresh layer of snow on the ground. There were no new tracks from yesterday. No cat tracks, either. The cats are too smart to come out if they smell trouble. I am worried about this. I'll keep you posted.

Hugs, Deb

Cookies with Cali

I was rummaging through my cookie-cutter container this morning. I think I will have lots of help making cookies today.

It's snowing a bit and a little colder today. Good day to stay in (after cat-sitting) and finish up the dining-room and THEN make cookies.  
Wishing you all a relaxing Sunday.

Hugs, Deb

Friday, January 28, 2011

"How's my Kitty?" & "Hello there"

I'm always thinking of ways to enhance my cat-sitting business and today I have added another feature to my services. When my clients travel they can now email me daily for an up-to-date report on how kitty is doing. 
This will be very comforting to people who have left behind a cat that may be shy or has an illness that it is recuperating from. I know I would love to be able to check in whenever I wanted so I think that this will be another great feature to my service. I will answer all emails each evening with that day's report.
This weekend I'll be celebrating a family birthday (our god-daughter, Taylor who is turning sweet 16), getting my dining-room back into order and cat-sitting  fabulous tabbies
My daughter arrived home safely from her vacation and as a mother you always breath better once the plane has landed. Rae-Rae & Joe were so happy to see her. Our weather here is milder with the sun breaking through. I hear out west they are having warm temperatures that are breaking records. A relief. It's around zero here so I think I will catch up on those walks I missed while the temperatures were freezing.

What do you think of all this snow, Riley? 
"Yah, me too"

"Oh, hello there"
You never know who you might meet on your walk. 
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone
Hugs, Deb

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pretty jars & Hugging your cat with your eyes

I love Mason jars. I love how they feel so sturdy and compact. They look cute with just about anything stored in them. This Mason jar had our spaghetti sauce in it tonight and while most bottles would end up in our recycling box, I had a better plan for this one.

How do you communicate with your cat? Looking over at Lily standing on the kitchen stool today, I slowly blinked my eyes and smiled at her. She immediately noticed  and blinked her eyes repeatedly.  We were giving each other a hug with our eyes.  Now, I have a very special relationship with this cat and I think she is more in tune with me than the others but when she does this, it always floors me.

Try this on your kitty ... Sit across from your cat about 2or 3 feet. Have eye contact and smile. Now blink your eyes once slowly and keep staring at the cat. Blink 3 times slowly. Sometimes it works immediately that the cat will blink back. If it doesn't it may still approach you for a pat as this is a very non-threatening gesture. If it doesn't respond the first time, try again the next day.

Others have told me that they communicate through the eyes with their cats. I just love to hear this because I think it is a wonderful way to make your cat feel safe and loved.

                                Huggable Lily

hugs, Deb

The calm (not before the storm...I hope)

I was a happy cat-sitter last week looking after these two little munchkins. Rae-Rae & Joe were 'home alone' while my daughter and her friend travelled to the Dominican Republic for a wedding. Although they missed Allie, they had a good time with me and were (sort of) well-behaved. 
I didn't get pics other than this because these two never stand still while I am there.
These two are perpetual motion
 It was fun spending time with them again. I am busy this week with some of my favorite tabby cats. Will post pics soon.
The weather has finally calmed down and we are not in a deep freeze anymore. Thank God for that. It was a bit too much. You couldn't even go for a walk without freezing. The ferals are back to getting soft food and water with their dry food so they will continue to fatten up and maybe struggle a little less through the rest of the winter. Only 52 days 'til Spring. Yah!
Can't wait to see the tulips.

Hugs, Deb

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Helping spread the word on two homeless cats & Nana's bragging again.

Instead of posting for White Wednesday, I must show you some cats in this post that need a new home. But, first off, I googled to see if eyeballs can really freeze and apparently they can. It has to be EXTREMELY cold because normally our body heat keeps our eyes protected but the liquid in our eyeballs can freeze if the temperature is cold enough. Wow! I'll try to get you an update on how this woman is doing.

I met 3 lovely kitties for the first time on Saturday that I will care for soon. One very friendly and the other 2 still quite feral and only trusting mom & dad. This will be a challenge but I love a challenge with cats. I have all the patience in the world for the feline sort and look forward to (trying) to get to know them and win their hearts.

It's time to fill the cat bag with new toys, treats, fresh nip and all the 'necessities' to clean up after the cats. I have some new stationary for the daily notes and my client book has been updated with all the new additions.
Some of my new cat clients could win first prize ribbons for their beauty. Their gorgeousness could knock you over.I am sure geared up for the February Frenzy. Oh, I also purchased a new cat-hair brush so after cat-sitting I can stop in to Timmy's for a coffee. :)

Please let me introduce 2 very sweet little cats that are in need of a loving home.

Just look at those gorgeous tootsies.
These two cats are being cared for in a foster home in Ottawa. If you are interested here are their bio's.

Introducing "Dee Dee" a lovely 17 month little girl, looking for her forever home. Such a sweet kitty, so gentle, extremely playful and comical, always on her best behavior, loves to watch everything going on around with those big intense beautiful eyes of hers. She is such a love, and everything she sits on, she sits as if she were sitting in a saddle, paws hanging over each side. If she hears just the chain jingle of the laser pointer, watch out, she's right there, ready for crazy play.

 Introducing "Rosie" this 17 month old delicate darling is looking for her forever home. She is a groomer, will groom any cat that will let her. She comes running to her name, and comes running if she hears you rolling a tin foil ball in your palms. She is petite, pretty,very sweet and very well behaved. She only meows if you look her right in the eye and say her name.

"Aren't they just gorgeous. Contact me please if you are interested in learning more about these 2 lovely cats."

After a head-butt from Lily, I am off to cat-sit.........

but before I go may I just brag once more about my little grand-daughter Riley. This is her in her after-bath froggy blanket. This little girl is a gift.
                                   Riley - 8 months old
Hugs,  Deb

Monday, January 24, 2011

A little about being a Cat-sitter or finding your Niche in life

I have been asked many questions about in-home cat-sitting over the years. I am now in my 16th year of building an in-home cat-sitting service but this year is the first that I am doing it full-time. I am not a doctor or a cat-behaviourist, although I have taken behaviour courses, but I do know cats and can usually help with any problems related to them.  I just love cats and want to spend time with them. I find them fascinating creatures and learn something about them everyday. I guess you would say, I have found my niche in life. I'm doing what I love. I live with 5 of my own and they are all in their senior years now.
My Lily

An in-home cat-sitter is someone who will go to the home and care for the cat or cats while their owner travels. Feeding, watering, litter-box care and play-time with the cat are the obvious duties of a cat-sitter.
 Providing medication may also be needed daily. For instance, I have given insulin shots to many diabetic cats. These are the obvious duties of an in-home cat-sitter. There may be some little extra unexpected things that you will provide for the cat.
Some kitties do not like cat-food from the fridge so I am often microwaving the food to the proper temperature. Some have vitamins sneakily tucked into the soft food. Some are a little pudgy and need to be exercised by rolling a ball 125 times down the hall. *whew* If the cat is lonely after a few days I have stayed  longer, sat and read for awhile, letting the cat have a snooze on my lap. Brushing the cat helps to bond with it and will keep hairballs down while the cat waits for the owner to return.
  I have always run my service where it is tailored to the needs of the cat.

A cat-sitter works 7 days a week. Most people travel and the holiday times such as Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving &  March Break will be the busiest. That being said, the cat-sitter must take holidays at the off-times if your clients need you. You must be willing to go to your client's homes during all weather. A snow-storm or blizzard can't stop you from getting to the cat to feed and water it. I have seen myself out on the road during icy, snowy weather when most people stay home. I just take my time but I get there.

There will be other duties to provide such as bringing in the mail, changing lights and opening and closing curtains. Plants may need a watering and a check on thermostats and air-conditioning units are sometimes necessary. I have also fed their fish, outside birds and believe it or not, feral cats. Yes, a lot of cat-owners also worry and care for the ones that wander onto their property.

So, that's just a bit about becoming an in-home cat-sitter. If you are considering it, I think it is the best job in the world. I can't think of anything I would rather do. You have to love cats unconditionally. I do and always have. You will have to decide if you want to work for a pet-sitting company or start your own service. That's your first step.

More later.
Hugs, Deb

hunkering down one more day

I am tired of this GROUCH called Winter. Kane was waiting for spring to arrive before he went out for his first pee this morning. Seriously, he would  just look out the window and when I opened the door he just sat down and wouldn't go out. I layered up and we went for a walk in -25. Once he gets going he loves it and it was me that ended up with a frozen nose. OK..I'm exaggerating since I had a neck warmer that could be pulled up but you really did need to cover all exposed skin. He, on the other hand, didn't want to come in once we got back home. DOGS!!
I just heard that a woman who skated to work on our famous skating canal in Ottawa FROZE HER EYEBALLS and is now being hospitalized. What!!!

The weather is about to change very quickly. By Tuesday it will be much warmer. Still freezing....but warmer. Argh!

House still in disarray but tonight the floor will be finished and then will have to dry. I think next month we will remove the carpet from the spare room and do the same.....paint the floor. I just love painted floors.
The sun gets us through these cold, wintery days.

I hope you are having fun today.
hugs, Deb

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Boredom sets in...

We are into the dead of winter. The last two days have been the coldest this year. We would all most likely hide in our homes if it wasn't for the sun shining.
The cats are so bored because they usually go out on the deck or in the yard at least to do their business. It's just too cold.

If they aren't sleeping they are most likely getting into mischief

I only left the house to feed my daughter's cats while she holidays and feed the ferals. That was enough. My grand-daughter Riley dropped in with her mom & dad and we had some fun looking at books. Tomorrow will be cold but the temperature is rising. Dining-room coming along but not fast enough for me :(
Tonight I am adding more files to my cat-sitting file cabinet.  Business is GOOD!
hugs, Deb

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Coldest day so far this winter

On the coldest day this winter...

Ed and the girls had the right idea. 

My main floor is in chaos. The second coat of paint goes on next and everything from that room is scattered everywhere. The cats are really enjoying this since they love to lie on anything new and if furniture is moved to a new spot, they think it's there to be conquered. Me, I'm going crazy because I have to have order in my life and things have to be where they belong or I go 'bezerk'. "I'm  a busy woman...I can't live in a messy house."

I have had it, it is just so cold here. I believe it is the coldest day so far this winter. The ferals are having to dine on dry food only while this cold-front is here. Everything else freezes within minutes. I am leaving lots of dry food and a variety of types and praying they are coping. I have  homes to visit this weekend but the month of January has been mildly quiet since we have Christmas just behind us. Now, everyone wants to vacation somewhere warm. This is where I get VERY busy. I bet I have more keys collected for February's cat-sitting than most janitors wear on their belts. I wear a key around my neck now that I love. I guess you could say it's my signature key. I purchased two of them from Venus Beadery. You should take a peak at her blog. Her Rosie, a cute little calico who loves to retrieve a ball and play in my purse,  is one of my favorite kitty clients.
Julie dropped in to return my carrier and tell me that little Smudgie is doing just great. She slept with the couple the first night and was happy & playful in the morning. Julie  & her husband are head over heels in love with her already. I knew it. She is just so precious. Julie will send me a photo of her in her new home very soon. There are 3 lovely cats on my previous post that need loving homes. Please take a look if you are contemplating adopting a new kitty.

Stay warm everyone & have a wonderful Sunday
Hugs, Deb

Gearing up for a busy month

You never know how many dishes you have 'til you have to pack them up for whatever reason. I stood in front of my 'bare' dining-room this morning and decided it was time to change things up a bit. It was always too crowded with furniture so my Duncan Phyfe has found a new spot to show off.  I think you can put china cabinets anywhere and they still look great. I can see it better now, too...bonus. I'll be showing you later the results of my men's work.

I was off picking up keys for future cat-sitting jobs in February.(just around the corner...where does the time go?) I am excited about meeting 3 lovely old cats today that I will get to cuddle, care for and get to know better very soon. This is the time of year many people head to warmer climate so my cat-sitting service is busy..busy..busy. I am gearing up for this month because February is sometimes my busiest month. Boy, I love this job. 

I want to help a few rescues in the area that are desperately trying to find good, loving homes for some of their cats in care. I will be featuring some of these cats in the next few posts just to get their little faces out there.

A note from the foster mom, Shelly...

All fixed and vaccinated.
all three are about 7 - 8 months old.
all love other cats and dogs.
all love kids and to play and cuddle.
all friendly, healthy

I would love Lance and Zeus to go together to a family with lots of action going on.
they love to be in the middle of the action. lol

All came from tragedy.
Lance, broken jaw
Zeus, trapped and very afraid from the pound at 8 weeks
pudding, dumped at Hanna's store, prego
will take reasonable  $75
cheaper if the two boys go together

 This is "Pudding"

 This is "Zeus" and "Lance"

another shot of Pudding...

Hugs, Deb

Friday, January 21, 2011

Emotional ride

Little Smudgie left tonight. I watched them get into the car; Julie taking her time making sure the carrier was safely placed on the passenger seat and then they were gone. I came upstairs, removed the dishes and the litter box from the spare room and put her toys into a basket. I started to cry when I closed off the light. It never gets easier. She is gone but to a good home. A home that will be the best she can get. Forever. It's never easy to rescue a cat with the intent to rehome it because unless the new home is that same day you are bound to fall in love. I know I do. I told her she was leaving today and I think she knew. I put some time aside this afternoon just to spend with her.  When Julie walked in tonight I just knew this was a great fit. Julie lost her cat of many years to illness last summer and was now ready to open her heart to another and Smudgie will just be perfect. I will keep you posted when I hear how they are doing.

Please spay or neuter your cat. Our shelters are full to the brim and so many never get a second chance to find a loving home.

Hugs, Deb

A helping paw

How to pick up your spirits......Add daisies.

Today i emptied my dining-room to get it ready for the floor to be painted tomorrow. I had a lot of help.

Tissue paper is so comfy

 There were many paws to hold down paper, furry bodies to keep the boxes steady and the odd pat on the head from an admiring cat from atop the dining-room table. This is a job and a half with all the dishes in the cabinets. I have been waiting a while to have this last little improvement done so I was happy to do it. The cats had a great time.
We had to decide carpet or paint and we went with paint because of the animals. Carpets do not fair well in a home with 5 cats and a dog. I will put a centre carpet under the dining-room table when we are done and that will be it. I am slowly adding more calming colors to the room and discarding anything I do not LOVE. This is a promise to myself this surround myself with only the objects that I love and the colours that make me feel calm & collected. The cats are lucky that I love brown, beige & white :) The cats helped until the sun came out. That takes priority.
I have some new cat-sitting clients to meet this weekend and today is my last day with Smudgie. This morning I awoke to find her standing on me and I said "mornin' Smudgie" and she immediately started to purr.  This is never easy for me to let go of a cat because I 'fall in love' immediately but I am so happy for her. She will get all the love and attention that an only cat would get. She has her suitcase packed and she waits anxiously for Julie to arrive. Julie is a wonderful lady and now she will have the sweetest cat on earth.  "All the best to them"

I have been so busy with other 'stuff' that I have not posted very much about my cat-sitting clients. I will have some fun pictures for you as soon as things settle down to normal again.

hugs, Deb

Thursday, January 20, 2011

She's Adopted!

So many beautiful names were posted to me for the little Calico cat. I had planned to call her Georgia but then I liked Abigail too. Callie was suggested but we already have a Cali and she would have out-right fainted if I had named her that. Patches was one of our past calico's names and Maggie was suggested and although I love the name, I just could not call her that. Too soon! And there were more great names but before I had to actually NAME HER...................she was adopted!!

A friend of mine has come forward and claimed to have fallen in love with her photos. She just recently lost her cat at a senior age to an illness and was thinking of rescuing another cat when she saw this little calico. I am 'over the moon' about this adoption because I know this girl loves cats the same as I do and this will be a lasting and loving home. Her and her husband are excited and anxious to pick her up tomorrow so tonight is my last night to enjoy her. I know she will be loved more than words can express. I am so happy for her! Her new name is Smudgie and she will live with Julie, her husband and their little dog.   "Isn't life grand!"
Hugs, Deb & Smudgie

Thankful Thursday

Little no-name has settled in to her room and seems to really dig it here. I'm thankful for that. I was contacted yesterday by the family who I had hoped would adopt her but the timing is wrong for them. I spoke to a rescue yesterday and their foster homes are full so she will wait here for that special somebody to at least give her a trial run only to discover that she is a captivating, perfect little cat. She has an 'old soul' at the tender age of 1. Again, thankful.
Isn't she lovely
Her little nose is healing nicely.

For my dish-loving friends.....
With the chaos of Christmas, my daughter forgot one of my gifts at home that morning. She knows I love dishes and I was delighted with the creme & sugar bowls that she gave me. Here is the plate that I opened just last weekend from her. So pretty! I love seasonal dishes and this to me is not so much Christmas but more a Winter plate. Gorgeous red cardinals on a pretty creme plate.

 Love, love, love it. "Thank you, Jess & Mike"

I am still hoping to find the right name for this little cat. Please let me know what YOU think her name should be. I have received many fabulous names so it will be difficult to choose.

Now for some 'cute'...

hugs, Deb