Since the most wonderful time of the year can also be the
time of the year, especially for cats, we're continuing our focus
on safety – with an article on how to make sure "O Christmas Tree" doesn't
turn into "Oh,
Oh, Kitty" and a handy checklist of common holiday dangers – but
we also realize
that cats know better than any of us that you've got to have fun, too.
To that end,
we include Fancy's reviews of gift-worthy items, Dr. Schelling's take
on why cats so often seek out the one non-cat lover in the room, and other diversions
and curiosities. Happy Furry Holidays to everyone!
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE FROM YOUR CAT
(AND VICE VERSA):
A Christmas tree with all its trimmings is a sight to behold. But your
cat may do more than behold it. In addition, all those ornaments, lights,
evergreen needles, and other parts of the Christmas tree display are potential hazards
to any curious cats in the vicinity. This article explains
(and a few optional extra-insurance measures) to take that will help facilitate
a peaceful coexistence between fir tree
TO KEEP YOUR CAT OFF THE CHRISTMAS TREE >>
CHECKLIST: COMMON HOLIDAY HAZARDS
From artificial snow to mistletoe, from low-hanging ornaments to high-fat gravy,
holidays and special occasions introduce a plethora of potential dangers
to your vulnerable feline.
The good news is that you can dramatically reduce the risk of mishaps
through proactive measures. Refer to this list – perhaps post it on the refrigerator
or a handy place – to keep the holidays as safe and merry
Full article: CHECKLIST OF POTENTIAL
HOLIDAY HAZARD TO PETS >>
some of Fancy's recommended gifts for the discerning cat.
Or is this her wish list for Santa Claws?
BIRD: Who can resist the quavering feathers of Da Bird? Not
I. Blue ones,
brown ones, yellow ones . . . fluttering by me – I must give chase!
This "bird" is my favorite because I can catch it over and over!
CANDY CANE: Straight up with a twist! The Catnip Candy Cane
is the purrfect remedy after an exhaustive morning of cleaning
and preening and looking fine. It all starts with a good pawing
around with the Cane, a little purr-elation, maybe a cute rollover
maneuver as the nip kicks in, then over to the living room window
for a restful snooze in the afternoon sun.
SPRAY: I adore the scintillating aroma from this mysterious
formulation as it wakes my whiskers and tickles my nose.
It brings out the "play" in me . . . and my buddy cats.
PAW UPHOLSTERED BUMPER BED: When you sink into this bed
purrrr, purrrr – it's like sleeping on a fluffy cumulus cloud. It's super-comfy.
The borders that hold you in and also serve as a headrest
add to the bed's snugability. You don't just snooze in this bed;
you luxuriate! It's beautiful, too. Recommended for all cats who
like the good life; that is, all cats.
VIEW SCRATCHING STATION: My humans like the sleek design
and elegant wood base of my new Purrfect View, but I'm not
so shallow – I see far beyond its surface beauty. This intriguing complex
has extra-tall posts so I can stretch all the way out as I slooowly,
sinuously pull my claws down its luxurious length. And there's
a dandy perch at every level. So whether my mood is to be way
up high and on top of the world, or at window height for surveying
my domain, or playing hide-and-seek down below – I always
have the most Purrfect seat in the house.
CAT STAINLESS STEEL DISH: This bowl is so artistic, so sublime,
that only a poem can properly express my furry love . . .
. . . Ode to Fat Cat
by Fancy C. Schelling
Mirror, mirror in my bowl,
Yes, that's right, I'm beautiful!
Can't stop staring, love your shine.
Gorgeous alone – with a meal you're divine!
Hey Bowl, who are you calling fat?
I may be a handful but I'm not all that.
Wait, perhaps I spoke too soon;
You have a feature that makes me swoon.
Your contoured surface takes off pounds –
From this angle, I'm sleek, not round.
a poem about – or from – your cat? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where's your MySpace page?
– Laptop Cat
It's right here: http://www.myspace.com/fancyheadofficecat!
Got a question for Fancy? Her email is email@example.com
ASK DR. SCHELLING
Dear Dr. Schelling,
My brother-in-law George is coming to visit us again for the holidays. He doesn't much care for cats (I know – it baffles us, too). All our other guests are enamored with our big Maine Coon mix, Mason, but kitty always goes right to George. Why?
– Hostess to the humans, servant to the cat
Mason may appreciate George's passivity.
a kitty's abode is invaded by – from his standpoint – strangers, even
a normally outgoing ambassador-type feline
may become timid and overwhelmed. A roomful of well-intentioned guests
saying "Here, Mason," waving
wand toys, and offering treats may be a
bit much for any but the most easy-going and tolerant cat.
see George's disinterest as a welcome contrast to all the solicitations. From Mason's point of view, George
is displaying proper protocol and respect by letting kitty establish a
connection at his own pace. Cats generally
like that; they want to be in charge; they want to be the ones who decide how fast
or slow a relationship
will develop, and what things will be done
So Mason chooses George as a target because he's able to sniff and check
out George at his own leisure, without interference or pressure.
Granted, cats also like to be pampered, so after a while, if George doesn't respond
at all to Mason's overtures, Mason
will likely move on to the cat appreciators in the vicinity, to receive
the expected adoration and attention.
But Mason may also like the challenge of winning George over, of stealthily
recruiting George into his domain. And in time he may succeed. Cats have a way of working their magic on skeptics.
In fact, some people are reluctant to be friendly with cats because they
don't understand cats, or they had a frightening
experience with a cat long ago. Still others may avoid cats because subconsciously
they're afraid of being
hurt; relationships with animals bring immense joy and incalculable rewards
but also occasionally produce deep
sadness – such as when a beloved companion is lost. But given time, a
cat, with his powers of snuggling, playful interaction, keeping humans guessing, and – the ace in hole – purring,
may turn the most cat-averse person into a convert.
If George really doesn't want Mason to bother him, then gently redirect kitty to a more cat-friendly part of the house,
to be fair to both cat and human. However, if George is merely playing hard to get, keep a watchful eye, but
see how things play out.
topics would you like to see covered in future issues of the Mewsletter?
Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
CAT QUIZ: Are calico cats always female?
Almost always: Over
99.99 percent of calico cats are female.
Why? Because of genetics. The color of a cat's coat is a physical characteristic
related to gender. Female cats carry two X
while male cats carry an X and a Y chromosome.
The codes for black and orange color coats are found in the X chromosomes,
so when two X chromosomes (one coded for black,
the other for orange) come together you get a cute little female
In rare cases,
a male cat can be a calico. The male calico will have
an extra chromosome, resulting in an XXY pattern. Most male calico
cats are sterile and cannot reproduce.