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Caturday: Unusual Cat Behaviors

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Simone (middle) and Wooper (right) would like to take Murjan (left) for a walk.   Happy Caturday! I hope you enjoy the picture of two of our cats trying to take a third for a walk. Beloved Murjan crossed over the rainbow bridge last year, but the picture still makes me smile. And, for Caturday, I hope you enjoy this helpful article I came across recently:  12 Unusual Cat Behaviors to Look Out For – and What They Mean! (msn.com) . For more Caturday posts, click  HERE . Sign up for the MSI Press LLC newsletter Follow MSI Press on  Twitter ,  Face Book , and  Instagram .   Interested in publishing with MSI Press LLC?  Check out information on  how to submit a proposal . Interested in receiving a free copy of this or any MSI Press LLC book  in exchange for  reviewing  a current or forthcoming MSI Press LLC book? Contact editor@msipress.com. Want an  author-signed copy  of this book? Purchase the book at 25% discount (use coupon code FF25) and concurrently send a written request to orders@m

Feral Cats 5: Bobolink

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  his is a series of Caturday posts on the topic of taking in  feral cats .  General information (from previous posts): For a few decades, we have rescued feral cats. In fact, with only one exception, our "domestic" cats have been ferals that we brought inside to join other ferals, already domesticated, as part of a bonded cat family. Right now, we have five cats (alas,  Murjan , the single non-feral cat we had, died from cancer last fall, and Intrepid , closely bonded to Murjan, died three years ago from the same kind of cancer), all of whom get along pretty fabulously. Of course, all of that is easier said than done, and the bonding took time -- lots of it. Here are some of the things we did to create our cat family, some of which is not at all typical of what others have done, but it has worked for us. We don't trap the feral cats at all; we win them over and invite them in. We do this by feeding them a distance from the house and walking away, then moving the dish clo

Cancer Diary: Pets and Cancer (They Know)

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Somehow, some way, it appears that animals know a lot more about death (and when it is coming) than we do.  When Murjan was approaching death , in fact, just the day before, he begged to go out on his leash for a walk. That cat always seemed to think he was actually a dog--and how he loved to go for walks! Saturday's walk was very different from his past walks, however. He kept exploring dark places, especially little cave-like areas, as if looking for a place to take a final rest. He never did that before. That spooked me a little because he seemed to be telling me that he was dying--and he was. He passed away within 24 hours of that walk. So, it should not have been surprising that when Carl was dying, he was surrounded by the cats who loved him. They spent all day and all night of that last 24 hours with him--under the footrest, on the footrest, and lying on him. They clearly knew. Check out MSI Press's books on cancer and related to cancer HERE . For more posts on Carl Leav

Feral Cats and MSI Press Staffers (and Authors) Carl and Betty Lou

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 Murjan, born in Jordan, traveled to the USA when he was just a couple of years old. He is the only domestic cat among the six cats, but he quickly established himself as the alpha cat. He sometimes thinks he is human and likes soft and warm sleeping spots. Other times, he is certain he is a dog, likes to be walked on a leash, and rolls over to have his belly rubbed.  Murjan loves to communicate, especially having night time discussions with his human.  He will even listen to and obey little ones.   For many months,  Happy Cat hung out in the bushes, waiting for the other feral cats to finish eating the food that had kindly been set outside. Then, one day he became very ill, climbed the 17 steps to the Leaver front door, where he fell, exhausted. Betty Lou discovered him there, scooped him up, and took him to the vet. Happy Cat had a serious lung infection. Once healed, it was not safe to let him outside. That did not matter because he was delighted to have found a home and will not ve

A Special Bed for Cats with Arthritis

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  Little Simone , our Himalayan cat, has a significant amount of arthritis, as did Murjan , our late Turksi Van cat (he is so missed!). Of course, cosequin capsules are a daily "treat," However, early on, we came across an orthopedic memory foam bed (just like the ones for people) that both cats have loved. I throw a blank on top to protect the covering although it is washable and because Simone (pictured above) especially loves soft and warmth.  Now that Murjan has passed over the rainbow bridge, Sula , our parish cat (and book writer), who also has advanced arthritis has inherited the second bed. The beds are available from Chewy -- and no, I am not a rep nor do I get anything for an endorsement. I just know how hard it is to make life easier for cats with arthritis. Especially comfort. Simone sleeps very peacefully for hours on this bed.                                     Sign up for the MSI Press LLC newsletter                           Follow MSI Press on  Twitter ,  Fa

Our Wonderful Beta Cat Has Brought Four Shy Cats Out of Their Shells

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  When our alpha cat, Murjan , died, I thought that Happy Cat, Murjan's best pal and truly a pal to all the cats, would take over as alpha, keeping all the remaining six cats in line. That did not happen. Happy Cat earned his name by his mellowness. Our biggest cat at 16 pounds, he is our gentlest.  Integrating cats into healthy cat families and growing happy cat families is indeed tricky business. But it is easier with a beta. Happy Cat has shown us that again and again and again and again. Simone lived under the bed. She had been afraid of her shadow ever since we rescued her from human bullying on the street. Born a stray, she found houses intimidating, but there was safety under the bed. Of course, she would come out to eat, and we would cheer whenever she chose to spend some time in the sun. Then, a couple of years later, along came Happy Cat. While Simone still finds security in being under the bed, she comes out a lot more often and interacts with Happy Cat, the only cat she

Cats and Cancer

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  A couple of months ago, in a Cancer Diary post, we shared the ways in which cats get cancer. When our first two cats, Intrepid and, pictured above, Murjan, came down with cancer (small cell lymphoma), one of which died within four months and the other which lived an additional 2.5 years, we were in shock. We were aware that cats could get cancer because of our experience with MSI Press author, Sula , parish cat at Old Mission.  But then it really hit home and in big numbers.   First, Intrepid and Murjan .  Then, two other cats have since been diagnosed with cancer.  Happy Cat beat skin cancer, after only one round of freezing it off his nose.  Snyezhka is now a one-year cancer survivor at the Animal Cancer Center in Monterey, Califonia, where she sees Dr. Teri Arteaga, who is also Sula's vet oncologist.  That totals 2/3 of our 6 cats! Different cancers, different cat backgrounds (all are adopted street cats), different cat breeds. No idea of causes, either, but clearly no cat i

Feral Cats 4: Wooper, the Odd Duck, er, Cat

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  This is a series of Caturday posts on the topic of taking in  feral cats .  General information (from pervious posts): For a few decades, we have rescued feral cats. In fact, with only one exception, our "domestic" cats have been ferals that we brought inside to join other ferals, already domesticated, as part of a bonded cat family. Right now, we have five cats (alas,  Murjan , the single non-feral cat we had, died from cancer last fall), all of whom get along pretty fabulously. Of course, all of that is easier said than done, and the bonding took time -- lots of it. Here are some of the things we did to create our cat family, some of which is not at all typical of what others have done, but it has worked for us. We don't trap the feral cats at all; we win them over and invite them in. We do this by feeding them a distance from the house and walking away, then moving the dish closer and closer to the house and walking less and less far away, until they are eating at ou

Feral Cat 6: Jack, A Caturday Case for Those "Untamable" Wild Street Cats

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  This is a series of Caturday posts on the topic of taking in  feral cats .  General information (from previous posts): For a few decades, we have rescued feral cats. In fact, with only one exception, our "domestic" cats have been ferals that we brought inside to join other ferals, already domesticated, as part of a bonded cat family. Right now, we have five cats (alas,  Murjan , the single non-feral cat we had, died from cancer last fall, and  Intrepid , closely bonded to Murjan, died three years ago from the same kind of cancer, and, most recently, Snyezhka , who had been valiantly fighting three kinds of cancer, died from a saddle thrombus, probably related to her chemotherapy but, of course, no one is going to suggest that and it really does not matter since knowing exactly what caused the reason for her death won't bring her back). All five of our feral cats get along pretty fabulously -- and they also got along well with the three predecessors. Of course, all of th

Cancer Diary: Cats with Cancer

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  Personal experience from the editor: When three of our six cats were diagnosed with cancer, it was at a late stage. (The number is normal; 50% of cats over the age of 10 end up with cancer.) Even talented feline oncologists cannot turn the clock back. They can try to stop the clock, but sometimes the damage is too great.  We lost Intrepid to cancer three years ago (and wrote a book about him). He survived only a month of chemotherapy; he was diagnosed too late, and several important organs were in the process of failure: kidneys, pancreas, stomach. His older "brother" (not biological) who came from Jordan as well was diagnosed at the same time.  Murjan  managed to survive three years on chemotherapy, but by the time he died last Sunday, he was on seven medicines, periodic hydration, and down to 5 pounds (from 16). He fought valiantly, but ultimately the cancer won. Likewise, our young Lynx Siamese cat, Snyezhka, has breast cancer, diagnosed at stage 4, treated with surgery,

Caturday: Dealing with Decisions That We Don't Get to Make, A Cat Obituary, or The Story of Snyezhka

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  Our beloved 12-year-old cat, Snyezhka , a Siamese mix whom we rescued from a life on the street when she was 1-2 years old, pulling her from a fight with two tom cats that she seemed to be winning in spite of unfair odds, has appeared in Caturday posts before. So, if you want to see more information about her -- and more pictures -- just click on the link. Snyezhka went from street cat to lap cat not immediately but gradually, with time, gaining confidence in her relationships with the humans and other felines in our house. She immediately recognized Happy Cat because he had been rescued from the street before she was, and they had bonded. That helped her to blend into the family (of six cats and three people) fairly quickly. She became my lap cat, always snuggling up to me even when there was not a lap available. Clearly, she loved her family. She had no desire to go back on the street nor to take even a step outdoors when a door was left accidentally open although she loved sitting