Happy International Cat Day!

posted in: Nonfiction, Our Work, Woof Trekking, Writing | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Happy International Cat Day! We have two cats that we absolutely adore and celebrate every day, not just on International Cat Day. Mac is the furry mom to Billy, a 9 year old male tabby. You can read more about him here. Billy is the definition of a mellow cat. He loves to sleep and once a day harass Izzy, our crazy Wheaten Terrier.
cat, feline, domestic shorthair
Al is the furry mom to Tyra, a 13 year old female white cat. You can read more about her here. Tyra is not a fan of other animals but loves to cuddle with Al.

We have taken both of them on road trips with us at different times in the past. Check out our book, Woof Trekking: How To Road Trip with Your Pets, where we give advice on how to travel with your favorite cat.

We recently read about a pretty cool cat. The newly elected Prime Minister of New Zealand is Jacinda Ardern and she has an awesome cat named Paddles. Paddles is unique because she has a set of crazy thumbs! She also has her own twitter account which is pretty hilarious.


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Cougar spotted in Mississippi

posted in: Entertainment, Television | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

This clip from a local broadcast in Mississippi had us busting up laughing. Too funny!

Perfect timing by the super cute cat to get her 15 minutes of fame.

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Wordless Wednesday #21 | Billy the Shelf Bum

Wordless Wednesday #21 | Billy the Shelf Bum

posted in: Our Work, Photography, Wordless Wednesday | 6 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

This week’s Wordless Wednesday features Billy, the Most AMAZING Cat, lounging on a shelf, cleared especially for him so that he could bask in the afternoon sunshine. ?

This photo reminds me of the Just So Story by Rudyard Kipling called The Cat That Walked by Himself. It is a must read for all cat lovers; a reminder that you are just one in a long line of humans to be outwitted by the feline species.

If you haven’t read it, you can read it and/or listen to it at the University of South Florida’s Lit 2 Go website. I originally encountered the Kipling classic while perusing Cat Stories (Everyman’s Pocket Classics) at Barnes and Noble.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Billy the Shelf Bum


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Meet Tyra (The Cat Formerly Known as Freak)

Meet Tyra (The Cat Formerly Known as Freak)

posted in: At Home, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Our book, Woof Trekking: How to Road Trip with Your Pets centers around our travels with our two dogs, Izzy and Nana, and Mac’s cat, Billy. We have talked a lot about them, here on our blog.

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However, our family also consists of another cat, Tyra. We have shown her in a couple Wordless Wednesday posts but we have never actually introduced her to our followers. Tyra is Al’s cat. They were made for each other.

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Tyra’s story began in 2004 when we saw a sign for free kittens posted on our community mailbox. At the time we had a retired racing greyhound, Mya. You would think that we would never get a cat with a greyhound already living in the house. Greyhounds are supposed predators and given an opportunity, might rip a baby kitten to pieces, however our’s did not. If anything, Tyra turned out to be more of a problem for Mya than the other way around.

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When we first brought Tyra home, Al had two thoughts 1) what did she get herself into and 2) why wasn’t this kitten normal? Tyra’s original name was not Tyra; her name for about the first year of her life was Freak. Kind of sounds mean, but it’s actually from the most excellent book, Freak the Mighty. However, the name didn’t quite fit her, so we tried other names until finally, Tyra became Tyra. She can also be referred to as TT, the white cat or ‘TY-RA!’, this last one is only used when she is doing something bad.


Tyra has always been wild; this could be due to her questionable paternity. It could have been the cat that lived with her mother or it could have been a feral Tom who roamed the neighborhood. We think she is part feral, mostly due to her territorial-ness and dislike of other animals.


tyra-4

When she was younger, she was very standoffish, she didn’t want to be near any human. She liked Al, but only because she fed her. Tyra would not display any signs of affection until Al and Tyra set out to tackle the real world. When it became just the two of us, she became very affectionate, but that didn’t happen until she was eight years old. Now, since she is twelve, she is even more affectionate.

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Still, Tyra enjoys spending most of her time alone, sunbathing the day away.

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It is perhaps surprising she has lived this long since she has a terrible habit of chewing things, particularly wires. We had to buy cord covers to protect the wires after Tyra chewed Mac’s Super Nintendo power cord and ruined it. (Not bitter. Not bitter at all. ?)

When Tyra was younger, she enjoyed chewing on fabrics. Nothing was safe from a hole made by Tyra, some memorable items included a cashmere scarf, a pair of Under Armour leggings and a blanket. She continues to eat things she shouldn’t including Kleenex and toilet paper, but usually just takes one bite and then moves on to other things. Now that she’s getting to be an old lady, she can’t seem to be bothered.

tyra-2

But love is love and Al loves Tyra and Tyra loves Al. ? ?

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Zodiac Gift Guide: Very Virgo

Zodiac Gift Guide: Very Virgo

posted in: Gift Ideas, Home and Garden, Zodiac Signs | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

People born between August 23 and September 22 are Virgos. Virgos are a practical bunch and they are very detail oriented.

Organized Intellectuals

Kindle Oasis

Most Virgos are bookworms and the newest Kindle would be an excellent choice for the voracious reader. If your Virgo already has a Kindle, maybe a subscription to Kindle Unlimited would be a nice present.

Journal with Embossed Bee

Many Virgos love to journal; they want to document their inner lives for future reference and reflection. Maybe even write the next great American novel!

Erin Condren 18 Month Life Planner

A planner is a perfect gift for the Virgo in your life. It is both practical and detail oriented. If your Virgo already has a planner, you could check out our Etsy Sticker Boutique for an awesome selection of planner stickers.

Clean Body, Clean Mind

Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch

A Fitbit is the perfect gift for your active Virgo, the data collected by the Fitbit will give them data that they can then analyze and refer back to.

Mailiya Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones 

A great set of headphones that are sweatproof and noise cancelling would be an excellent choice for your fit Virgo.

Gourmet Food Basket

Is your Virgo a foodie? A gourmet food basket could be the perfect gift to win your way to their heart through their stomach. You could also take your food basket on a fun birthday picnic.

Ozeri Pronto Digital Food Scale

A food scale is practical for the Virgo chef who likes to be as accurate as possible while cooking the perfect meal.

Practical, Precise, Perfection

Craftsman 230-Piece Mechanics Tool Set

If your Virgo is a handyman or woman, a tool set may be a practical gift to help them get their projects done around the house.

Black+Decker MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum

A light, handheld vacuum is a great gift for the Virgo to keep their home or office clean.

PAKULA® Women’s Short Sleeve Keyhole Back Lace Shift Dress 

A classic sun dress appeals to the Virgo woman. Keep it simple because she finds gaudiness appalling.

Virgo the Veterinarian

Virgo is the ruler of animals and veterinarians, according Rex E. Bills’ The Rulership Book.

Blue Buffalo Blue Bones Mini Size Dental Chews 

If you’re still not sure what to get the Virgo in your life but you know they love their dog, then maybe the way to make them happy is by giving them a gift for their favorite doggy.

FELINE GREENIES Dental Cat Treats 

Maybe your Virgo isn’t a dog person but has a lovable feline, then some fantastic treats for their cat might be the most practical gift.

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Woof Trekking Packing Checklist: Cat Basics

Woof Trekking Packing Checklist: Cat Basics

posted in: On the Road, What to Pack, Woof Trekking | 3 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Our latest book, Woof Trekking, is all about how to road trip with your pets. In a previous post, we showed you all the essentials we pack for our dogs. You can check that list out here.

What to Pack for a Woof Trekking Cat

In today’s post we will show you what we pack for Billy, the Most AMAZING cat.

Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan

This litter bin is very similar to the one Billy uses both at home and on Woof Treks. Since it has high sides, it blocks the litter from flying everywhere.

Petlinks Purr-fect Paws Cat Litter Mat

We travel with a mat like this one to catch the kitty litter that gets trapped in Billy’s paws as he exits his restroom. This helps limit the spread of the litter.

Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum

This may seem a little crazy but we travel with a small vacuum to clean up any kitty litter that has escaped from the bin. It also comes in handy if some other mess has happened while we are on the road.


Petmate Ultimate Litter Scoop

This is the exact scooper we use, it is excellent because it had an elongated handle and a wide scoop to handle large loads. ?

woof trekking, pets, road trip, vacation, holiday, travel, travel with pets

10 Gallon Trash Bags

We bring a roll of these trash bags on our Woof Treks because some hotels don’t provide them. This is especially important when disposing of the contents of Billy’s bin.

IAMS Proactive Health Original Adult Dry Cat Food

Billy’s food, the only kind he likes so this is what he gets. He hasn’t gone grain free like the dogs because the food makes him sick. ?

Snapware 10-Cup Airtight Rectangle Food Storage Container

This the type of container we use to bring Billy’s food on the road with us. It has a slim profile so it is easy to pack.


LoveOurHome Cool Pet Cat Bowl

On the road, Billy uses a small bowl like this to eat out of. It is great because it is small enough to be stored in the food container and act as a scoop. If you are only traveling with a cat, then these bowls would also be great as a water bowl.

Whisker Lickin’s Cat Treats

We always remember to bring along Billy’s favorite treats. They are good as a yummy snack when we get to the room and also come in handy if he needs to be lured out of somewhere he ought not be. They were a lifesaver when he snuck under the bed of a hotel, read the whole story here.

Cat Harness and Leash

Billy wears a harness and leash at all times on Woof Treks. The harness also has a tag on it that has information about his microchip; if he ever escapes (knock on wood), people will have a way to contact us. The harness and leash help to secure him to a person in the car. In the room, it allows for him to be easily found. The previous story also explains why we keep the leash on him in the room.

We hope you enjoyed this post. Stay tuned for more posts about what to pack on your Woof Trek!

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Wordless Wednesday #12: The Arctic Kitty in Her Natural Habitat

Wordless Wednesday #12: The Arctic Kitty in Her Natural Habitat

posted in: Our Work, Photography, Wordless Wednesday | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

wordless wednesday 12


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Woof Trekking Hotel Safety: Who’s Hiding Under the Bed?

Woof Trekking Hotel Safety: Who’s Hiding Under the Bed?

posted in: On the Road, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Today’s post is an adaptation of a chapter from our new book, Woof Trekking.

woof trekking, pets, road trip, vacation, holiday, travel, travel with pets

Most hotels put their beds on metal boxes so nothing can go under the bed. For the most part they work, except occasionally at the head of the bed.

Sometimes the box ends before it touches the wall and leaves a cat/small dog-sized hole to crawl into. If you aren’t paying attention, your pet can end up under the bed and you can’t really get them out without a lot of time and/or coercion.

It would be wise to also take some of the extra pillows (you could use towels as an alternative) and create a blockade in front of any holes. We learned about this the hard way.

During our first Woof Trek, we would remove the leash from Billy’s harness when we arrived at the hotel. One night, we were not really paying attention and Billy found a hole we had missed at the foot of the bed.

Hotel Safety with Pets Hiding Under the Bed 1

We tried to grab his hind end but he slipped through and ended up inside the box spring!

Hotel Safety with Pets Hiding Under the Bed 2

We tried to lure him out by calling him and shaking his treat container, but he wouldn’t come.


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We finally gave up as Billy enjoyed lording his newfound power over Mac. She left some treats by the entrance to his newfound Kat Kave.

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Eventually, Billy got bored and came out from under the bed to take the bait.

Hotel Safety with Pets Hiding Under the Bed 5

Hearing the sound of his munching, we grabbed him, put the leash back on him, and blocked the entrance to his Kat Kave.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this adaptation from our book, Woof Trekking.

P.S. We highly recommend investing in a cat harness and leash.

woof trekking, pets, road trip, vacation, holiday, travel, travel with pets

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Zodiac Gift Guide: Leo the Lion

Zodiac Gift Guide: Leo the Lion

posted in: Gift Ideas, Home and Garden, Our Work, Zodiac Signs | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Leo reigns from July 22 – August 22. This fixed fire sign is ruled by the Sun, and like the Sun, Leos shine strong and bright. The colors associated with Leo are warm: red, orange, and gold, so when choosing a gift, consider these colors first. All things gilded and extravagant are especially favored by Leos.

Leo Constellation

Leos tend to be confident and never shy from the spotlight, consequently their fashion choices are often bold. They don’t mind people staring at them, in fact, they love being the life of the party. Similarly, they never back down from a fight, as they are the most brave and courageous of all the zodiac signs.


Leo Constellation Astrology Gold Foil Art Print

Famous Leos include: Jennifer Lopez, Viola Davis, Mick Jagger, Donnie Wahlberg, and Amelia Earhart. Scroll down to view the 10 carefully chosen gifts for Leos below!

Jewelry for Leos: Gold is Best

 


Alex and Ani II Expandable Wire Bangle Bracelet, 7.25″

Jane Stone Best Selling Newest Fashion Necklace Vintage Openwork Bib Statement Jewelry

Books For Leos: Fellow Leo Authors


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One & Two


My Life & Work – An Autobiography of Henry Ford


Clothes For Leos: Bold Choices For the Win


Lilly Pulitzer Women’s Marlowe Boat-Neck Shift Dress

The Mountain Undercover Kittens T-Shirt

Home Decor for Leos: Gusto for Glitz


Red Tree Chair Tree Of Life Chair Set

3 Pillar Candle Holder with Crystal Dangles

For Leo Pets: Social Butterflies Love Attention


Lion Mane Dog Costume

Binmer(TM) Summer Pet Shirt

For more gift ideas, check out our post: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas by Zodiac Sign:

zodiac featured image 2

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Cat Poetry from our Poetry Collection “Two by Two”:  Poem 31. Domestic

Cat Poetry from our Poetry Collection “Two by Two”: Poem 31. Domestic

posted in: Our Work, Poetry | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Today’s post is an excerpt from our collection of poetry, Two by Two: Into the White. It is available for purchase for just 99 cents on Amazon!

31. domestic

rounded mountain back
dip of concave shoulder blades

swish, swish, flick
periscope tail never wags

soft paws, rough tongue
white chin, green eyes

eighteen claws, twenty-three whiskers
lick, lick, lick, never done

stripes and spots standing on end
watching, listening

crouched down low to the brown
brown carpet of earth

among the tall grass
of dining chair legs

The Inspiration

cat, feline, domestic shorthair

The inspiration for this poem was Billy, the Most AMAZING Cat!. We’ve been family for nearly eight years now and I have spent a lot of time just observing his movements. That might sound creepy to some extroverts, but to introverts, observing is our number one hobby. The introduction to the “nature” section of Two by Two reads as follows:

dogs and deserts and domestic shorthairs
dancing on the mother earth

daring to do, to live, to be
while we admire and provide rationale

I think that really captures why we love animals so much. This poem is a vignette of Bill as he goes about his business. He doesn’t worry about how others perceive him. He doesn’t second guess himself. He just is.

A great lesson for us humans.

2x2 End of Post Feature

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Woof Trekking Dispatch #2: Pacific Coast Highway and Carmel-by-the-Sea, July 2012

Woof Trekking Dispatch #2: Pacific Coast Highway and Carmel-by-the-Sea, July 2012

posted in: Dispatches, On the Road, Travel, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

After we departed Los Angeles, we decided to jump on the famous Pacific Coast Highway (aka PCH) to head north up the coast. This stretch of highway is 147 miles long and runs right next to the ocean, providing some extremely scenic views.

TWITTER PCH WOOF TREKKING

Our first look at the PCH started in Santa Monica, pictured below.

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As we drove along, we watched waves crashing and people frolicking on the beach. We drove as far north San Luis Obispo before we had to drive inland to our hotel in Paso Robles. (La Quinta Inn and Suites Paso Robles – it is one of the nicest La Quintas we have visited in the country! Very spacious rooms and artisanal lotions/soaps in the bathroom!)

First thing the next day, we stopped by Hearst Castle, but there was no way we could go since we had the dogs with us. (The only animals allowed on tours are service animals.) That being said we did stop by, get some brochures and used the facilities in alternating shifts. After that, we stopped by Elephant Seal Vista Point about 5 miles down the road.

pacific coast highway, california
The seals blend right in with their surroundings.
pacific coast highway, california
Do you spy the seals?


One thing to know about traveling along the PCH is that in some of the more rural areas, gas stations are few and far between. So if you plan to take a road trip along this scenic highway, be sure to get gas when it is available. We nearly ran out of gas, mostly because we were kind of balking at the price. California has some of the most expensive gas in the country.

pacific coast highway, california

It’s better to buy expensive gas than run out of gas, pull off the highway and have to call for emergency roadside assistance. You can use GasBuddy or Trucker Path, an app we mentioned in Tuesday’s post, to find gas near you (including the price).

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Billy was not a fan of some of the more curvy sections of the PCH. So if your pet is inclined to motion sickness, you may want to skip the Pacific Coast Highway or other winding roads whenever possible. See our post Woof Trekking: Anxiety and Motion Sickness for more.

pacific coast highway, california
The Bixby Creek Bridge, an extremely photogenic bridge along the PCH.

 

After driving for a couple of hours, we came to the artist enclave of Carmel-by-the-Sea. This quaint little town is about 330 miles north of Los Angeles and 120 miles south of San Francisco. Following the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, a group of artists left the destroyed city and migrated to Carmel-by-the-Sea, thus establishing the small sea-side town as a now well-known hub for art and culture.

This was the perfect stop for us to hop out and stretch our legs. It was the first trip to the ocean for both Nana and Izzy.

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Nana thought it was just ok. ?

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Contrastingly, Izzy thought it was SUPER FUN!!! ?  She loved romping around in the surf.

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We already cover our car seats with towels (so it’s easy to clean up unexpected messes), but we also had the foresight to bring a couple extra towels, so we could wipe off Izzy’s sticky paws.

woof trekking, pets, road trip, vacation, holiday, travel, travel with pets

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Buckle Up for Safety: Woof Trekking, Car Harnesses, and Booster Seats

Buckle Up for Safety: Woof Trekking, Car Harnesses, and Booster Seats

posted in: On the Road, Travel, Woof Trekking | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Safety is of the utmost importance while Woof Trekking. Accidents can happen, and it is best to have preventive measures in place. Some people let their animals roam freely in the car while they are driving, but we do not. All of our pets wear harnesses and are buckled in while the car is moving. Today’s post is an adaptation of a chapter from our new book, Woof Trekking.

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When we Woof Trek, Billy wears a harness and leash at all times. The harness goes around his neck, then under his arms, and ends up around his chest. We use his leash to tether him to the seatbelt of the human holding him. He spends most of the car ride asleep on a pillow in someone’s lap, since he takes Dramamine for motion sickness (read more in our article Woof Trekking: Anxiety and Motion Sickness).
cat, booster seat, car sick, car sickness, pets, pet,

We tried using an inflatable car seat (pictured above) for him that could be buckled into an empty seat, with the hope that looking out the window might ease his motion sickness. However, he didn’t actually look out the window that often, so we gave it up. The other downside of the seat for us was that it took up too much space, especially since he still preferred sitting with a human. That being said, it may be the right solution for you, so feel free to give it a whirl.

The specific model that we purchased in 2012 has since been discontinued, however there are plenty of alternatives available today.

Pet booster seats were featured on a recent episode of the show Lucky Dog (part of the CBS Dream Team… It’s EPIC!) shown on Saturday Mornings. All Woof Trekkers will enjoy this show, and FYI, it won a Daytime Emmy this May for “Outstanding Special Class Series.”

Nana and Izzy wear car harnesses that allow them to be buckled into a seat. We currently use the Canine Friendly brand. We previously used EZ Rider, but after viewing the 2013 Harness Results from the Center for Pet Safety, we decided to upgrade.

dog, pet, car harness, safety, buckle up
Nana and Izzy sporting the EZ rider harnesses from Petsmart before the upgrade.

Nana does not really like to be buckled in since it impedes her ability to look out the windows. Still, she allows us to buckle her in, even if it is a bit begrudgingly. She either sits or lays down in her seat depending on her mood. Izzy does not like to be buckled in either, but for the opposite reason of Nana. Izzy would much rather sit in a person’s lap while driving.

dog, pet, car harness, safety, buckle up
Nana sporting her sturdier Canine Friendly Harness. It has metal buckles and overall, the harness seems to be made of stronger materials.

For the most part the dog harnesses work well at keeping the dogs safe and secure. But as the old adage goes, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” If a noise startles Izzy during the trip, she will squirm and fight her way out of her harness and rampage to the nearest lap. But we always get her back to her seat, or on a few rare occasions, buckled in with the nearest human.

woof trekking, pets, road trip, vacation, holiday, travel, travel with pets

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