Disaster preparedness for dogs, cats, and other pets

At 10:21 today, I heard the siren.  I normally hear it every Tuesday at noon, but today was different.  It was part of the Great California Shake Out.  That reminded me that we all need to be prepared for an emergency.

Are you and your pets ready for a disaster?  It doesn’t matter if it’s a hurricane, earthquake, tornado or flood.  We all need to be prepared for surviving at home or in the event of an evacuation.


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Simon’s cat: boxes are fun

I didn’t have much to say today. With that, I’ll leave you with Simon’s Cat. These vids are some of my favorites. 🙂 The artist really catches the essence of the cat.

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Tito’s Guide to Cats: Disabilities

MeeMee!

Today, I want to talk about disabilities. I want you to understand that if your pet becomes blind, deaf, or can’t walk anymore, that it doesn’t have to mean euthanasia. Veterinary medicine has come a long way. If surgery is not an option for a pet that can’t walk, there are carts and wheelchairs available. Don’t give up before trying.

You see, humans don’t give up on other humans. Please don’t give up on us. Cats and dogs love their people whether or not they are  disabled. You should love them just the same. Some people say it’s cruel to put a cat or dog in a wheelchair. I say pppptttthhhhhhrrrrppppp! If we aren’t in pain or hungry and we have someone to love us, then we’re happy.

Did you know that an incontinent dog or cat can wear a diaper if you cut a hole for their tail? If you only knew how many animals were abandoned at shelters because of that problem. It’s usually a death sentence as they are the first ones euthanized. If you have a special needs dog or cat, try to explore ALL the options before making a decision. Pets don’t feel sorry for themselves. They just want to be loved and taken care of.

If you are creative, you can make your own. Here are a couple of kitty wheels.

Kitty and the pvc cart. This cat did not completely lose the use of his hind legs. This cart helped him get around and behaved like therapy. He slowly regained the use of his legs. I’m not sure this cart would be good for a kitty with absolutely no use in his/her hind legs.

Scooter, was injured as a kitten and suffered a broken vertebrae and paralysis of his hind quarters. His human is veterinarian, Betsy Kinnon and she saved him after he was rushed in to the vet hospital in shock. This is his first cart. It is made of a plastic box and a part of a three-wheeled planter.

HandicappedPets.com has more ideas for DIY doggie carts. They can be adapted for cats too. You can see them here.

As for Scooter, the clients at the pet hospital donated the money to get him a brand new custom made cart. In addition, Scooter is now a therapy kitty at the local rehab hospital. He has a good life because someone didn’t give up on him and gave him a chance to shine. I know my family would do the same for me. Here’s Scooter in his brand new wheels.  As you can see, he’s wearing a diaper to prevent accidents.

I feel that if you adopt a pet, you are promising to take care of that pet and do what is right. If you can’t do the right thing and take care of them, then don’t adopt. If you find yourself suddenly dealing with a pet disability and you are disabled or going through hard times, then look for help. Many times, a shelter or vet can help place an animal. It’s better than just dumping them at a shelter. There’s a vast amount of resources on the internet, so put it to use. HandicappedPets.com has a lot to offer. They also have free classifies.

One more site to mention is Pets with Disabilities.  This is a small, non profit rescue shelter for disabled pets. They do wonderful work. In addition to listing their own rescues that need adopting, they also permit courtesy listings for disabled dogs and courtesy listings for disabled cats. As this site is non-profit, do give to them if you can.

Mee! That’s all for today. For now, go give your pet some scritchies and think about how much they mean to you.

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Walking around Stern Grove in San Francisco

Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove is located in the Sunset District of San Francisco. It is located along Sloat Avenue between 19th and 34th Avenues.

The park was donated to the city in 1931 by Rosalie Meyer Stern and is named after her husband. Stern Grove is made up of three distinct areas: there is the Concert Meadow, the West Meadow, and Pine Lake Park. At 33 acres in size, it provides a wonderful place to take the dog or just go for a walk or picnic. The park is wheelchair accessible.

To get there:

From 19th Avenue, turn West on Sloat. Continue on a few blocks and turn right on Vale. Vale will take you to the gate and drive that leads to the parking lot.

The Concert meadow is where they hold the Stern Grove Festival. Since 1938 there have been free weekly concerts and performances in the amphitheater. It is the nation’s longest-running free, outdoor music festival.

Stern Grove
Amphitheater at Concert Meadow

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Friday night cat blogging

A tad late today, we have been celebrating hubby’s newly found employment after almost 6 months of wandering through the wilderness.
Though we are celebrating, it is with some sober consideration for millions of other Americans who are either still out of work or losing their job.

Big brother watching over naked brother
Taking care of one another

And that’s our lesson for tonight, folks.


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Tito’s Guide to Cats

MeeMee! Communicating with your cat

House cats are almost never vocal with each other. They do talk to their humans though as humans aren’t as good at reading body language and scents. We talk to our people when we want something. We have lots of different sounds we can make.

We can purr, meow, or chirrup. I say MEE! and chirrup and purr. My brother says a lot more. He also makes a clacking sound when he sees birds outside. He says Hmrao a lot. He also yells and says mazuzu whang? I think that is his new name.

There are some forms of body language that are important to know. If we are walking with our tail held high, we are happy. If our pupils are dilated, it means we’re angry or want to play. If you are petting us and our pupils dilate, it’s time to stop.

Our body language says a lot. You can tell if we’re happy or if we’re not happy. Since humans aren’t good at body language, we’ve learned to make the sounds necessary to get what we want. Even the doggies are better at reading our body language than most humans.

Yawning cat

Did you know that if I look at you, close my eyes, and yawn, that I’m NOT bored? It’s a sign of contentment. If you look at me, close your eyes and yawn, I’ll probably come to you right away. Also, I’m sure you noticed that we always run to the one human in the room that doesn’t like cats. That’s because they don’t stare at us. Staring is considered rude in cat society and is frowned upon. For us, staring is a sign of aggression.

Our body and voice language vary from human to human. One meow may sound totally different to another. We vary our language because we have to learn what each human reacts to. Our way of saying “I’m hungry” may sound one way for you and totally different for someone else. You have to pay attention and watch us in order to learn. 

We’re not as indifferent as some people think we are. People think that we ignore and disdain them. It’s not true. Sure, we don’t always get lovey on command, but when we love our humans, we love them.

I’m not a lap kitty. I love my humans, but I’m too nervous to stay on a lap for more than a few seconds. It’s ok. My humans know that for me, sitting on the floor works best. When they do that, I get very lovey.

My last comment is that I’m terrified of shoes. I don’t know why. My humans brought me home from the shelter when I was a kitten and they have NEVER treated me badly or kicked me. When they come home from shopping, I hide under the futon until they change and take their shoes off. Only then do I come out of hiding. My humans understand and take their shoes off right away. They have figured out a lot of my body language. They had to. I don’t say much other than MEE!


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Nerves of Steel

El Caminito Del Rey in Spain is certainly for the stout hearted.

From Wikipedia

El Caminito del Rey (English: The King’s little pathway) is a walkway or via ferrata, now fallen into disrepair, pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Alora in the district of Malaga, Spain. The name is often shortened to Camino del Rey.

In 1901 it became obvious that workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls needed a walkway to cross between the falls, to provide for transport of materials, and for the inspection and maintenance of the channel. Construction of the walkway took four years and it was finished in 1905.

In 1921 King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce  and it became known by its present name.

The walkway is one meter (3 feet and 3 inches) in width, and rises over 100 meters (350 feet) above the river below. It is currently in a highly deteriorated state and there are numerous sections where part of or the entire concrete top has collapsed away. The result is large open air gaps that are bridged only by narrow steel beams or other support fixtures. Very few of the original handrails exist but a Via ferrata safety-wire runs the length of the path. Several people have lost their lives on the walkway in recent years and after two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed both entrances.

Even though the government has closed the trail, climbers still walk the path.
This video is NOT for anyone with acrophobia. I do ok with heights, but this vid makes me a bit queasy.


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