Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday PhotoHunt: Cat

Dare writes:

This is feeding time at our house, when we get special treats!  This time, we got tuna, but sometimes we get canned cat food or pouch food.  Everyone comes running, meowing our heads off for the plates to be put on the floor faster!  Once they're down, we all jockey for position.  We eat by pecking order, so Carbon and Rori always get plates first, also Tabby and the twins.  The rest of us get to eat with them or when they're done, unless there are more plates put down for us.  In this picture, Carbon, one of the twins, Starla, and Missy have the plates.  I'm getting ready to ask Starla if I can share a plate with her, and Tabby and the other twin have the cans.  Bit's waiting her turn patiently, and so is Panther.

I love being part of a clowder!  That's what a group of cats is called, and we have 14 in our clowder.  Some of us are fosters, some are outside ferals, and most are forevers.  Regardless, we're all part of the gang!

Are you pawticipating in the Caturday Photo Hunt today?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Dress Up Your Pet Day

Tabby writes:

Today is Dress Up Your Pet Day, so are you dressing up?  I sure am!  Unlike our friend Ava (pictured above), I actually will wear clothes.  I even was a model for a fashion show once!

Of course, I just had to get a new dress for the day!  I got this one at PetSmart.  It has an attached purple tutu and says "Best Friends are Rescued".  Yep, we are!  Mommy let me wear her pretty coral necklace, and Auntie Shawnee let me wear her headband.  I love the flowers!  I also got to use Auntie Shawnee's vanity table!

Every good model needs a great manager, so Heimdall offered to be mine.  I think he may be mixed up on what a manager does, because he acted like a bodyguard most of the time.

See what I mean?  But, hey, at least he rocked the necklace, too!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Taking the Pet Blogger Challenge!

This is the first year we've participated in the Pet Blogger Challenge, and we're glad to have had input from many of you over the last year and few years that we've had this blog.

Here are our answers for the 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge:
1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.

 We've been blogging for about 9 years now.  We first started blogging in our diaries on Catster, then created "Furry Tails of the PDX Pride" after a few years when we realized that cat blogging was a "thing".  We blog about our daily lives around the house, which animal visitors we get in our backyard, the feral cats who come by, and Tabby's tales of being an animal-assisted therapy volunteer with Mommy at a nursing home once a month.

2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?

 Because of Tabby's therapy cat tales series, she and Mommy were speakers for the second time at the NW Pet and Companion Fair (a pet expo).  They talked about/demonstrated how to be a therapy cat team and what training is necessary.

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

We have two favorite posts:  one that shows how smart the ferals are and another that shows what Tabby does when she's out and about.  The first one, about ferals Tigress and Little Niss, shows how Tigress treats Niss as her own kitten, even though she never had kittens of her own.  The second, about Tabby, details a typical visit and reactions when she's doing her therapy cat work.

4. A common theme from last year’s challenge was that many of us wanted to increase the size of our audiences. Whether or not we intend to monetize our blogs, it seems we’d all like to reach more people. It feels good to know that we’re connecting with others, sharing a laugh or supporting a cause, and it’s motivating to see those numbers grow! What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?

We did the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the first time this year.  It's not specific to pet blogs, so it brought a varied new audience.  We found some blogs from it that we really liked, too!  Plus, we were blogging every day, so it was a good routine.

5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)

Our birthday posts when they came around were high-traffic ones, but we really don't know what made Daddy's Lawnmower Monster so irresistible!  It got 321 views!

6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)

We love reading SparkleCat, featuring Summer and also Glogirly.  We love the photography and the stories behind the photos!

7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?

Mommy uses Picasa to edit the photos she takes of us, and we use NetworkedBlogs to post directly to Mommy's Facebook page (and sometimes Tabby's) as well as let our readers know when we have new posts.

8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?

Write from the heart.  If you don't like what you write, redo it until you like it.  Other people's opinions don't matter as much as your own, so do what you love.

9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?

Our goals for our blog for 2016 are the same as the last few years':  chronicling our year in words and photos!

10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?

We would like to know what you like best and don't like about our blog, and what was the most surprising thing we wrote about in the last year.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Therapy Cat Tales: How Tabby Travels on Public Transportation

Tabby writes:

Today's Pet Travel Safety Day, so I'm writing about how I keep safe while traveling on public transportation.  When I'm in the car, I ride on harness & leash or in a carrier like the kitty pictured above.  However, when I go visiting the nursing homes and other places, I usually ride the bus or the MAX light rail train with Mommy.

This is my stroller.  It's specially-made for pets!  People think it's a baby stroller, but the top folds out and the mesh comes up so it's fully enclosed.  We decorate it for holidays, like these heart stickers for last Valentine's Day.

Heimdall also likes riding in the stroller, but usually only around the house after I get back from my visits.  He likes to roll places, mol!  Mommy is training him to go places, too, so he rides the same way I do.  Since Heimdall's in training, he isn't allowed to ride just on harness and leash.  He has to be in the carrier bag as well.  It fits right in the stroller and has mesh so we can see out.

When I go places on the bus, I have to be in the carrier bag also, because the bus rules for both the Vancouver buses (C-Tran) and the Portland public transportation (Tri-Met) say that all pets must be in carriers.  Some bus drivers don't consider the stroller an adequate carrier, so the carrier bag is taken out of the stroller and the stroller is folded down.  On the MAX light rail, I can stay in the stroller because strollers don't have to be folded down.

Animals that participate in animal-assisted therapy have to abide by the rules for pets, not the rules for service animals.  That's because we are still considered pets.  Service animals help only their owner, and with specific tasks for medical and/or psychological reasons.  Emotional support animals are pets but have specific housing regulations and airline regulations.  Therapy animals are pets that are trained with their owner to help other people in a variety of situations.  We can help random people on public transportation, but that is a side-benefit and does not grant us extra legal protection.  We are pets, first and foremost, and then we help people in specific settings like nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and therapists' offices.

These rules and laws help keep me safe on public transportation and out in public in general.  When I'm in my carrier bag, no one can pet me without my humans' approval because my carrier bag is zipped shut.  I also cannot escape from it, so if I get scared I can't run in an emergency.  I prefer to ride in my open stroller like in the Valentine's Day picture, but I also know that my carrier bag is my "safe zone" and ask to climb in it when I'm unsure of a situation or am too tired to visit anymore.

Dogs are another reason I like being safe in my stroller.  This dog actually wanted to hop in my stroller with me!  Another time, a husky actually picked me up.  When my stroller mesh is zipped, they can't get to me.  When it's unzipped, like this picture, my humans keep an eye out for dogs, small children, and other potentially-hazardous situations.  Most dogs get along well with me, but there are always exceptions.  That's why it's good to know the pet's boundaries and monitor the situation.

Safe travels, my friends!  Always follow the rules for pets on public transportation!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy Mew Year, Gotcha Day, and Purrthday!!! Whew!!!

Missy writes:

First of all, Happy Mew Year, everyone!!!!!!!  Purrayers for a year filled with treats, love, happiness, family, warmth, and all good things for you and yours!

Yesterday was my Gotcha Day!  Thanks to those who left messages yesterday.  I like to write a three-in-one post for all three things on New Year's, in case you were wondering why I didn't have a post up yesterday.  It was the annifursary of the day that my humans adopted me, even though I'd adopted them a while before then.  I found them at Mommy's work, a few days after a big parade there (May 17th parade for Norway's constitution day).  The parade was scary, but I realized that there were more people around than I thought.  I wanted some of them to help me find food.  I lived in an industrial area by the Franz bakery, and the bakery employees fed me sometimes, but I was getting very hungry.  I walked down the sidewalk, calling out for help.  Mommy was teaching and the whole class stopped so that she could go find me and see what was wrong!  She picked me up and held me while someone else went to get Daddy, who was inside the building talking with other friends.  They put me in the car and Mommy finished her class.  I escaped when Daddy opened the car door, and it took them a long time to catch me again, because I hid in someone's backyard behind a fence!  Finally, Daddy got me and we all drove to my new home.

It took me a long time to purr for Daddy, but now I purr a lot for him, and sometimes for Mommy, too.  Daddy's my human, though.  When they took me to the vet for the first time, they were thinking that I was a kitten still because of how tiny I am.  Nope, I was 2 1/2 years old at that point!  That's when I got my shots and got checked for diseases.  I was (and still am) a very healthy adult cat, and I sat in the vet's lap when he sat on the floor!

It took a while for my purrents to decide to keep me, but they did.  I bonded with Daddy too much to be adopted out to anyone else!  Besides, I'm a socialized feral, and we make the best snuggle buddies!

The vet had assigned me a purrthday of New Year's Day, and I'm glad, because I get to see the fireworks and hear the cheering on my purrthday!  I like looking at the pretty lights in the sky and on tv!  I'm going to snuggle with Daddy while he plays his computer game now.  Happy Mew Year!