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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Tips for Holiday Travel with Pets

Tips for Holiday Travel with Pets

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

With the holidays coming up, many of you will be traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house. Pet lovers may be taking their precious pups and furry felines on the road with them, perhaps for the first time. If you are new to the ways of Woof Trekking (road tripping with your pets), this may cause some anxiety for both the humans and the pets. But have no fear, we are here to help.
holiday-travel-with-pets-2
We have been traveling with our two dogs, Izzy and Nana, and one cat, Billy, for four years. We have gained a lot of knowledge to share with you. If you are new to our blog, you can take a look at our previous woof trekking posts here. We have also written a book about our experience with traveling with our cat and two dogs. You can get your copy on Amazon and Kobo.
woof trekking, pets, road trip, vacation, holiday, travel, travel with pets
You may be surprised that we travel with our cat, however Billy is a pretty chill cat who does fairly well on the road. If you want to take your cat with you (or a skittish dog for that matter), taking them on short, little trips to see how they handle going in the car is a good idea. We actually have two cats, but Tyra doesn’t travel well and prefers to stay home and be kenneled.

We have previously talked about what to pack for both your dogs and your cats. Some important items include: food, bowls, and kitty litter box.

Safety is very important while traveling with your pets and we have some tips to keep everyone safe. First of all safety in the car is very important, both of our dogs wear car harnesses so they can be buckled in. Billy also wears a harness so he too can be buckled up while riding in a human’s lap. You can read more about car harnesses here.


Some dogs and cats travel really well on the road and have no problems. Nana is one of these dogs. She loves car rides and watching the world pass by. Izzy is the opposite, she loves getting into the car but as soon as it starts moving, she becomes anxious and starts to whine. When we travel, we give her Dramamine, per the recommendation of our vet, and it takes the edge off. (Always talk to your vet before giving your pet medication.) Billy on the other hand gets motion sick in the car. He also gets Dramamine to help him deal with this. You can read more about Anxiety and Motion Sickness here.
pacific coast highway 9
The last point we would like to make is about hotel safety. Some hotels are better than others but all should be inspected before letting your pets loose. We have found some interesting objects hidden under the bed. Our biggest tip is to get down on your hands and knees with a flashlight to clear the floor of any dropped pills and other foreign objects.

Go forth and don’t be afraid to take your pets on the road with you. If you want to read more about our travels, get a copy of our book. Bringing your pets on your travels will make your adventures even more memorable!

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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.


Hotel Safety with Pets Hiding Under the Bed 3

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.

Hotel Safety with Pets Hiding Under the Bed 4

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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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: Rest Stops, Apps, and a $14.5 Million Price Tag

Woof Trekking: Rest Stops, Apps, and a $14.5 Million Price Tag

posted in: On the Road, Travel, 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

When Woof Trekkking, some people can drive for hours and hours without stopping to use the restroom. These people must have bladders of steel. Our family does not, probably because we like to stay well hydrated while on the road.

Sometimes when you are driving along, nature can call rather abruptly and adamantly. You feel relieved when you see a rest stop is near on the roadside sign. You only have to wait a couple more minutes and then as you approach, you see it is barricaded and closed. Oh no!

We recently discovered that there is an app called USA Rest Stops that can be downloaded for free for both Apple and Android users. It relies on reporting from users, a lot like the Gas Buddy App.

Another cool app is called Trucker Path. From the name, you can tell that the app is geared more toward truckers, however, it could also be helpful to you on your Woof Trek. Besides weigh stations and large vehicle parking availability, the app also includes rest stop locations and gas stations with current prices (like Love’s and Pilot). It is also available for Android through Amazon.

As an alternative, most states have a list of rest areas online that can be found with a bit of Googling. Some sites also list whether each rest area is open or closed. If a rest stop isn’t nearby, there are always those golden arches available, as well as other restaurants or gas stations.

Most of the time we need to stop at rest stops for the human bladders amongst us. The dogs don’t get out every single time we stop. Izzy and Nana are on opposite ends of the spectrum: Nana can hold it forever, while Izzy can always squeeze out a few drops. Most rest stops have dog designated areas and many of these areas also provide small bags for pet waste. They are usually quite dependable to be free of holes. We like to take a couple each time we run into one of these stands. This way, we are always prepared. That being said, we always bring a good supply of waste bags with us, too.

One quirk about Nana is that when we are on a Woof Trek she enjoys marking her territory. She pees on significant places like prominent rocks and tree trunks. It’s like a big flashing sign, “NANA WAS HERE!”

If we have been driving for an extended period of time, everyone gets out to stretch their legs and investigate the new surroundings. There are some nice rest areas across the US. One of our favorites is in west Texas, Ward County West/East Bound and no wonder… According to the local Texas news, it came with a $14.5 million price tag! ? ? ?

 

Other nice rest areas are located in tandem with State Welcome Centers, where you can also pick up maps and brochures. One of our favorite examples of such a rest stop-welcome center combo was in Mississippi (pictured below).

rest stop

 

We hope this information helps you on your next Woof Trek!

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Woof Trekking: Anxiety and Motion Sickness (100th Post!!!)

Woof Trekking: Anxiety and Motion Sickness (100th Post!!!)

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

First, we want to mention that this post is our 100th post on zydoyle.com! Can you believe it? We wanted to start a blog for a very long time, and we are so glad that on 12/31/2014, we finally took the plunge. Thank you all for reading our posts. We look forward to what the future has to bring! Now, on to today’s post, which is an adaptation of a chapter from our new book, Woof Trekking.

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Note: If your pets get anxiety or motion sickness when traveling, check with your veterinarian prior to giving them any medications.

Anxiety and motion sickness can be a big challenge when bringing pets on a road trip, aka Woof Trekking. Before you take your pets on a Woof Trek, we suggest taking several trips in the car around town a few weeks in advance. Then you can gauge your pet’s car riding personality. “Get your pet geared up by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car,” says the ASPCA in their great article, “Travel Safety Tips.”

When it comes to how well our pets handle Woof Trekking, they are all over the spectrum.

The Pro

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Nana has no problems on the road. She absolutely loves riding in the car. She is very good at controlling her body through twists and turns by leaning against the centrifugal force. She will crane her neck to watch the road through the front windshield. We are convinced that if she somehow acquired the necessary skills, she could drive to the park herself.

The Lightweight

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Billy, in general is very good in the car, but he does have one big problem. He gets motion sick. In the past, Billy has received a half tablet of Dramamine (Meclizine Version) on the first couple mornings of the Woof Trek, at the advice of our veterinarian.

It makes Billy pretty drowsy. We only give it to him the first couple days, because after that, he tends to have adjusted to life on the highway. The Dramamine works, but only up to a point. If the road winds back and forth, he can still get sick.

We recently changed veterinarians and he suggested switching to Dramamine (Dimenhydrinate Version) or Benadryl to help Billy with his motion sickness, but we have not yet tried either of these options. Talk with your veterinarian to decide what solutions may be appropriate if your pet is prone to motion sickness.

The Wild Card

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Izzy can get a bit anxious in the car, especially on the first day. She pants and can whine on occasion, but eventually she settles down. Like Billy, she has received Dramamine (Meclizine Version), per the advice our previous veterinarian, to help cope with this. We give her the pill about an hour before we leave, and she becomes much more mellow and less stressed. Again, we only give it for the first couple days because after that, she has adjusted to our new schedule.

ohanafamily

You might ask, if Izzy is so stressed, why not just leave her at home? We tried once in 2013. Everyone was kenneled while we attended a funeral. We were gone for four days. Nana did fine. Billy gave Mac the cold shoulder for about a week, but was otherwise fine. But while we were gone, Izzy went on a hunger strike. She can be quite sensitive and is very social. It was the first time we had ever left her behind, and it is likely to be the last. She is the type who could expire from a broken heart. So now, we never leave her behind. We are her ohana and we won’t ever forget her.

WT End of Post Feature


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