Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tips on Keeping Busy as a FS Kitty - Tip #1‏

Hi everyone,

As a half-feral cat now confined to the house, it is sometimes challenging to keep myself busy. I have to be creative. Breaking vases and biting ankles can only keep me entertained for so long, and then I have to find new things to do. Mommy yells when I knock things off shelves. She used to squirt me with water until I knocked the water off the shelf onto her laptop (you should have heard Daddy yell about that one!).

So here's a hint: if your parents have a BBQ and someone brings a 24-pack of Tecate Light, don't let them throw away the box!

More advice will follow on how I keep myself stimulated and fit as a housebound FS kitty.

Tigre "Gatito" Torrance

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Guest Post from Princess Pixie Allspice

Warm and furry greetings,

My name is Pixie, actually, my full name and title is Princess Pixie Allspice - yes, I am really THAT complicated and beautiful - but I answer to Pixie... most of the time. I am from Amman, Jordan, and own a lovely new expat family that you can visit at mom's blog Whale Ears and Other Wonderings . My human family includes my mom and dad, plus two non-fur siblings, and my two litter mates, Pumpkin (mom says his full name is "Pumpkin the Destructo Cat") and Ninja (which is her name as well as her life's calling).

Perhaps I should give you just a bit of our history? Once upon a time, long before my non-fur siblings were born, mom and dad were adopted by two British cats. Misty, who was, I have heard, the biggest blackest sweetest barn cat/panther you'd ever be lucky to meet, and Ramses, a clever Siamese who, like me, was of obvious royal birth. I've seen photos of them on mom's blog and wish I could have met them in real life. We love the toys they left behind for us! Misty and Ramses took care of mom and dad through multiple moves and were blessed with the opportunity to raise mom and dad's babies, from birth until about 8 years old, while living in the US and throughout the time the family lived in Egypt. About the time they started preparing to leave Cairo and move to Jordan, Misty took ill. He had reached quite the advanced age. He weakened gradually and died. Ramses was in a terrible dilemma! He knew that his human family was terribly sad without Misty, and that they really needed him and his love. They were heading into a difficult life transition with the coming move away from the only home the kids had really known, but he was also elderly, and oh so tired himself. He also knew that his brother Misty must be very sad to be alone. He thought about his options, and a few weeks after Misty passed on, Ramses lay down and left to go join him. However, my kids tell me that Misty and Ramses did not leave them completely. They believe they have 'visited', and we've heard about a number of angel sightings. My non-fur sister is quite convinced that Ramses-angel is the one who guided our cat momma to birth us where she did, because he knew our humans needed cats to take care of them, and we'd be just the kittens for the job. We like to believe that too.

Anyway, after a sad and cat-less summer, our family finally moved to Amman. About the time they were settling into their new home, my cat momma was settling into a ledge on the wall in their garden. It was filled with all sorts of lovely plants to hide and play in. We were very happy there at first, and enjoyed watching the birds in the garden and the humans through the house windows. Eventually though, it became very difficult for momma cat to feed us. Street life is hard! The humans noticed and came to our rescue, bringing us inside the house where life is safe, warm, and the food is good and plentiful. We had a few indignities to endure... flea collars, shots, and SURGERY! (ow!) But all of these were easy to bear because mom and dad took us to a nice vet who treated us very kindly. His name is Dr. Ala'a Shehadeh, and he has a gorgeous pet hospital in Amman. You can visit his website , where you will find his email address and phone number so you can contact him with questions, or you can visit him on Facebook .

You can also find information about pet relocation on Dr. Ala's website. From what I can read, it says that they provide "Cat and Dog Relocation (Our Exclusive PetPort Service) " and that they have "Extensive regulatory knowledge for relocating your pet to any global destination, with necessary lab work and microchipping. " I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with that microchipping thing - sounds like it might pinch?? - but if mom thinks it is necessary, I suppose I will endure it. Unfortunately, I cannot give you a review of the relocation service, as we have not used it, but mom says that Dr. Ala'a always answers emails and is very professional and friendly.

We were lucky to be able to adopt a good family as easily as we did, but sometimes cats (and dogs) do not have a feline (or canine) guardian angel to assist them, so, what do they do? I asked mom and she said that not only does the VetZone Facebook site often have announcements for people and pets searching for one another, there is also a very good place in Amman, run by humans for the benefit of orphaned animals, called the Humane Center for Animal Welfare HCAW . They not only bring families together, but they help to educate humans about their animal co-inhabitants of this planet, and provide medical care to the less fortunate creatures who have suffered in the wild, on the streets, or even in zoos or on farms. It sounds like a wonderful and kind place. Mom tells me that she knows of a couple of families that have been brought together with help from HCAW.

Now, the sun is warm, my tummy is full, and I feel a nap coming on. I believe Ninja will share the top perch of the cat tower - as long as I do not chew on her ear too much (Her ears are sooo cute though! It is hard to resist.). Thank you for listening to my story, and please, come visit mom's blog sometime so you can meet my family and keep up with us. Also, if you are lucky enough to be coming to Amman, make sure your family checks out the VetZone and HCAW websites.

Love, delicate kisses, and Princess waves

HRH Pixie

Friday, April 9, 2010

Calling All Pets!

I haven't posted in a while. My mother decided to get into shape and decided to get me into shape too. So I have been tired. Plus...


I'm hoping you will help me by writing in guest posts. Don't worry if you have to get your parents to transcribe for you. Just bark or meow or caw or squeek at them (not sure what fish do, except get eaten by cats).

I did get a nice email from Connie at Whales Ears about her three cats from Amman. She says they will write and tell us about their vet and travel agent (your parents might call them pet shippers but I am far too cute to be "shipped." She has some video of her kitties...I bet they could get her to type for them!

Anyway, tell me about where you are and what it is like there.