Popovich’s Cat Circus

There are some who may say this is cruel, but I don’t see why rescuing cats from the shelter and training them is a bad thing. Plus, this guy lets his cat eat from the dinner table, his pets are definitely part of his family, so I don’t think there’s any cruelty to animals going on here. Anyway, enjoy!

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The Mean Kitty Song

I love this song!

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The art of tick removal

Here’s an unpleasant task that almost every pet owner will have to do at some point: removing a tick from their beloved cat or dog (or any animal that goes outdoors and plays in trees, grass, and underbrush). I remember the first time my dog, Zoe, got a tick. My husband and I cornered her on her bed and came at her with a match and some tweezers. We had no idea what we were doing. Luckily, there is the internet, and I have now fully studied and mastered the art of tick removal. By the way, apparently, the match trick can actually cause quite a bit of harm, as it often causes the tick to regurgitate all that nasty stuff inside it, which is not a great thing since ticks can carry Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Fever, and many other illnesses.

From my studies in the art of tick removal at the prestigious Internet University, I have learned that it is best to remove the tick without trying to cause it any major discomfort. When a tick gets mad (ie: burned with the hot end of a match, smothered in petroleum jelly, etc.), it tends to release extra saliva and possibly even to vomit. Not too appealing to either me or my dogs.

So, there is no easy way to make that little sucker (no pun intended) let go of his own accord. He is on and he is not going anywhere without a fight. The most important thing is to remove the FULL tick. You do not want to leave his head or mandibles lodged in your pets flesh. And how does one go about this? There are several tools available to aid you in this crusade. We will discuss a few of them.

Tweezers. Good, old-fashioned tweezers. Everybody’s got them and they are occasionally easy to find. So grab a pair of tweezers, grasp the tick by his head, and pull up in one smooth and straight motion. Do not grasp him by the body, or you risk leaving the head/mandibles behind. Also, do not twist as you are pulling. Sounds simple enough, but to complicate matters, allow me to point out that tweezers can sometimes squeeze our little tick buddy, causing him to, you guessed it- vomit. Dang. I thought we were trying to avoid that.

Enter the Tick Twister and Ticked Off. These are two products made specifically for removing ticks.

Tick TwisterThe Original TICKED OFF

Both of these products are placed under the tick such that it can be removed without squeezing it. They also remove the tick without leaving the head or mandibles lodged inside your pet’s skin.

Watch this video about using the Tick Twister:

The tick twister comes in two sizes- one for small ticks and one for large ticks. Ticks, however, can be QUITE small, and many users have commented that it was difficult to get very small ticks caught between the tines. Thus, Ticked off can be a good option for smaller ticks.

Ticks can be very dangerous, so be sure to check your pets frequently. Be sure to check between your pet’s toes and in and on their ears. If you do find a tick, it is important to remove it immediately, using one of the safe methods described above. You may want to consider a tick prevention product, as well. Also, if your pet has lots of ticks, you might want to try a tick bath, as opposed to removing them all individually. Additionally, it is not a bad idea to keep the tick in a plastic bag so that if your dog begins showing any signs of illness, you can have the tick tested for Lyme disease or other diseases.

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The best cat video ever: a compilation

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DIY: Pom Pom Dog Toy

Pom-Pom Ball Toy 6

My friend, Michelle, is essentially the Martha Stewart of Pets.  When I went to visit her for Christmas, I saw all of these adorable pet toys and she casually stated, “I made those.”  I was impressed.  Some of them even had squeekies in them!  She sent me the link to one of the toys she made, called the fleece pom pom ball.  See the instructions here.

One day, I will make one of these for my dogs and when I do, I will post my results on the blog. If any of you make a pom pom ball, please share your experience and pictures!  We would love to see them!

Michelle’s tips:

Once I wrap it around the cardboard, I tie it in several bundles though, not one like it says on the website, and then combine the bundles.  Otherwise, the fleece pieces fall out too easily.

Have a happy play day with your pooch!!

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LAspca free and discounted spay days for Feral Cats

Hello, I received this email from the LAspca and wanted to pass it on.  This is for feral cats.

“Just to pass this on: SAF is hosting a FREE Spay Day on January 24th, exclusive to people trapping in Jefferson Parish. If you have colonies in JP, with priority given to the West Bank , take advantage of the great deal below. If you didn’t have a chance to sign up for our Satur-Spay, or if you still have a desperate need for FREE S/N services, call SAF immediately.

The Spay Jefferson program, through Southern Animal Foundation, will be hosting a FREE feral cat spay/neuter day for those trapping Jefferson Parish colonies. The s/n day will be Sunday, Jan. 24th at the SAF Annex building,
1829 Magazine St. This is an appointment only event, so please call 975-7387 to reserve your spaces. When calling, leave a message and please specify the TNR event on the 24th. Please feel free to forward this info
to those people that are trapping in Jefferson Parish only. We are making this day available with a generous donation from a private donor, and it is specifically for TNR of JP cats. I’ll be booking approximately 60-70 cats.

**Please note – priority will be given to those that can trap on the Westbank of JP. There is a real need in 70072 and 70094 zip codes and very few trappers hit that area.**

Specifics:
–All cats must be in traps.
–All cats will be ear tipped.
–Drop off time will be 7:30-9:30 AM; pick up same day between 5-6 PM.
–Address/zip codes will be recorded for Spay Jefferson data submitted to the parish;

the JPAS has recognized a need in the Marrero, Westwego, Waggaman, Avondale, and Bridge City areas based on cats coming into shelter; for that reason, we are making them priority.

We also have about 5 spots left for the LA/SPCA Satur-Spay on the 30th (no parish preference given.) First come, first served to any professional trapper or caretaker with proof of government assistance. Call 762-3306 if you’d like these last spots.

Heather J. Rigney
Disaster Preparedness Coordinator
Feral Cat Coordinator
Louisiana SPCA
Phone: 504-368-5191 ext 205
Fax: 504-368-5108
heather@la-spca.org

http://www.la-spca.org/dedication/events/howling_success/HS_2009.htm

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You found a feral cat, what should you do?

Maybe you just moved into a new house, or you noticed a feral cat behind your favorite restaurant.  Either way, you found it- maybe many of them.  What now?  You can’t just walk away and leave them to fend for themselves- but what can you do?  For anyone who cares deeply about animals, it is difficult to turn away from an animal so clearly in need.  Luckily, you really don’t need to.  There are many steps that you can take to help these feral cats.

If they are in your yard or neighborhood, you can leave food and water each day and create cat shelters for them so that they stay warm and dry.  Some organizations provide free cat food for feral cat colonies.  The very most IMPORTANT thing that you can do, is to arrange to trap, neuter, and release (TNR) them.  This ensures that your feral cats will not continue to breed.  Many organizations offer free or discounted sterilization for feral cats.

Depending on where you live, there may be several feral cat organizations in existence that will be able to care for the cats if you simply tell them where the cats are.  Please keep in mind that if you call animal control or an animal shelter, a feral cat will be put to sleep.  Feral cats are considered un-adoptable.  This is not entirely true, however.  Depending on the history of the cat, some may come to be fairly tame.  It takes a great deal of dedication and patience, but if you show the cat that you will not harm it, they will sometimes become friendly.  They may never behave as warmly as your pet cat, but they will enjoy being near you and grant you an occasional nuzzle from time to time.  Kittens are much easier to tame than adult cats, but in my limited experience, I have found that adult cats can be semi-tamed as well.

Future articles will discuss these options in more detail.

If you are caring for feral cats and you have questions, do not hesitate to contact us at nolapetsource@gmail.com.  Additionally, please feel free to share your comments and ask questions via the comment section beneath these posts.