Snow Day

It has been snowing for well over 40 hours now, and the snow is still coming down. Yesterday and this morning as I work at my desk, all my furry friends are keeping me company. Cali’s open crate is right next to my desk.

When Cali doesn’t have to fight the cats for a spot in the crate, that’s where she will hang out while I’m working.

Logan and Puck often like to snuggle up in or on top of the dog crate. Puck also spends a lot of time on time of the dragon tank as he LOVES her heat lamps. Today, the two cats are hanging out at the extra desk next to mine, just watching everything that is going on.

From this spot, Puck and Logan can watch everything going on around them. They have a view of Hector, Wena the dragon, and me!

Speaking of the Dragon, she’s happily hanging out in her hammock, enjoying her heat lamp, oblivious to the heinous weather going on outside. Smart lizard!

And then there is the one and only Hector D. Byrd. While I’m working, Hector spends her time strutting around, chewing up boxes, and chasing the cats. She also likes to chat at me, especially if I happen to get on the phone.

Unfortunately, Little Bean hasn’t realized that he needs to leave Hector alone yet, so I have to be super careful. I’m working on teaching Hector to “Go Home” which means to go back to her cage. It’s really handy when the cat is being too playful and I can tell Hector to “Go Home” and she heads back out of harms way on her own. Again, I’m always within a couple of feet of them, making sure everyone stays safe.

I keep a folded up towel on one side of my desk, and Bean spends a lot of time there. Yesterday, every time I sat down at my desk, Bean would come over, meow at me, then attempt to climb up my leg. I’d scoop him up and settle him on his towel where he will cuddle up and sleep as long as I’m sitting at my desk. Today, Bean has decided to snuggle up on the chair behind me.

I really love having him snuggle up in the corner of my desk.  It’s nice to be able to reach over and pat him, but it’s also nice to not have him stepping on my keyboard!

Stay warm everyone. Hopefully this snow will end soon!

 

Innovet Multivitamin

A little over a month ago I received an offer from Innovet to try their new multivitamin at a discounted, pre-order price. I think the deal was 30% off the regular retail price. The vitamin has hemp, probiotics, krill oil, glucosamine, and more. I was a bit intrigued since I had already been supplementing my Morkie, Cali, with many of these things.

Cali has been taking this vitamin once a day for a little over a month now. She seems a little less itchy than she normal, which might be the colder weather. Her hair seems softer, and less oily. Besides skin problems, Cali also has some knee problems.  She may eventually need surgery to correct subluxating patellas on both rear legs, but up to now she has been Ok. The only time I see symptoms are when we go on an extra long walk. Occasionally when she is tired, I’ll notice she has a little trouble jumping on the furniture. With the colder weather, we haven’t been doing long walks, but I also haven’t noticed her having trouble getting onto the furniture lately.  I can’t be 100% positive that the results I’m seeing are from the new vitamin, but I feel good enough about it that I plan to continue using them.

Apoquel has been a required medication for Cali for several years now.  Without it, she scratches herself bald, ends up with hot spots, and often skin infections. Lately I’ve been reading that long term use of Apoquel can suppress the immune system and might not be as healthy as previously believed. I’m hoping that maybe with a combination of high quality diet, and this multivitamin, that maybe I can get Cali off the Apoquel. I plan to talk to my vet about this before changing her dosage of course, but I’m interested to see how she does.

The Multivitamin treats are about an inch long as you can see above, and they are soft chews. Cali seems to enjoy the taste and eats them right away. I do break them in half when I feed them to her, because they are thick and a little hard for her small mouth to chew whole. One thing I noticed is that the suggested use is 2 chews per day for up to 35 lbs. Cali only weighs 11 lbs, so I’ve just been giving her one chew per day. Since I seem to be seeing results, I see no reason to go up to two, but as I wean her off the Apoquel, this might be a good option.

According to the label, this vitamin is supposed to help with Skin & Coat, Hip & Joints, Digestion, Immune support, Heart & Circulation, Cognition & Memory. I just ordered another jar of the supplement, so I’ll update in a couple of months and see if I have noticed any other improvements. Innovet currently has the Multivitamin on sale for $29.50 per jar, with 90 chews per jar. Considering I currently pay about $40 per month for Apoquel, this could be a nice financial savings for me as well as it possibly being healthier for Cali.

The one thing I don’t like about this product is that it is Grain-free. With all the controversy lately over possible ties between Grain-free diets and heart problems, I don’t feed grain-free, but I don’t feel that a Grain-Free vitamin is really going to cause a problem when her regular diet contains grains.

Does anyone else give supplements or vitamins to their pets? What do you use? What do you like or not like? I find that I can sometimes get carried away with supplements, and I’m hoping that this 6-in1 Multivitamin might be a good way for me to consolidate.

 

 

My Dilemma

The Female

 

A few years ago we adopted two cats from a shelter. My son fell in love with the gorgeous, long-haired male cat, but he was part of a bonded pair and had to be adopted with his female friend.

We had a gut feeling that we shouldn’t add two cats at one time because of Logan, our older female cat., but we thought we would give it a try. The female cat was pretty awful. She hated people, and loved cables. She had a nervous habit of eating cables, and in our technology-filled home, this was a disaster! I lost count of how many phone and watch charging cables we had to replace.

The male cat was gorgeous!

He was a big giant of a cat, and we all loved him, but he was a bully.  He chased our Logan, and also the female cat he was supposed to be bonded with.

For almost a year, we tried to get the three cats to get along. We didn’t need them to be best friends, but we did need them to stop fighting. Eventually, Logan got so nervous that she started urinating all over the house. We worked with a vet, we medicated, we used hormone scent diffusers and special collars. Nothing seemed to help. As much as we hated to admit defeat, we talked to the shelter where we got the cats, and we brought them back. It was awful. I felt better when I called the next day to check on them and they had already been adopted again!

Since then, my son and I have been desperately wanting another long haired cat. We rescued a kitten that we were told was a Maine Coon Mix. Puck is an awesome cat, but he’s short haired and only 7 lbs.  We don’t think there is a whole lot of Maine Coon there.

We love our Puck, but we are still searching for our long haired cat.  I’ve been watching rescues for quite awhile, and I never seem to be able to find a long haired male kitten. We’d really like a Maine Coon with their dog-like personalities, and there are some in rescues, but not kittens. With our cranky older lady, Logan, we are afraid to add any more adult cats to the mix, and she seems to get along best with male cats.

I started looking to breeders. Maine Coon kittens are even hard to find from breeders! Many that I spoke with have all the kittens in a litter reserved before they are even born!

The Dilemma – Eventually, I found a breeder that has two male kittens that will be available in a few weeks.  What to do?!?!? In some ways, I hate the thought of buying a cat from a breeder, but I also don’t think we can find the right fit at a rescue this time. I know there will be more rescue pets in my future, and there have been plenty in the past, maybe we buy a kitten? What would you do?

Rescue Story

The Many Faces of Cali

It’s always more fun to have a post with pictures, so even though this isn’t a post about Cali, I’ve got some older pictures of her from my daughter, that I thought I’d share.

Life has been busy as usual, and I hadn’t had time to catch up with my friend Stacy until a few days ago.  She is an amazingly big-hearted animal lover and I hope she won’t mind if I share a short version of her latest adventure.

Stacy took a trip to New Orleans, and while there she spotted a tiny black kitten alone on the streets. Twenty-four hours later, kitten was still there. Being the animal lover that she is, she took the kitten back to her hotel to get it some food and water. She thought about taking it to a shelter, but realized that a plain looking black kitten might not have very good chances of being adopted.

Next idea, she decides to bring it home with her and take it to a No-Kill shelter at home.  She buys a carrier, pays the airline fees, and brings the tiny kitten home, yes, home. Of course once the kitten made that journey with her, there was no way she was going to bring it to a shelter.  Lucky kitten!  Thank you Stacy for being her hero!

 

What’s Hector D. Byrd Up to Now?

We often call our cat, Puck, Pucky-Boo-Boo, or even just Boo-Boo. I have no idea where it came from, but it stuck. Right at this moment, my beautiful grey parrot is marching around on the floor calling “Hector Boo Boo, Hector Boo Boo” She must be jealous or something, we have never called her “Hector Boo-Boo!”

She’s very proud of herself, when I laughed at her, she started laughing too! Of course soon after she headed back to her box construction, well destuction project.

Munk the Cat

Munk-Y Cat

I am a big believer in Adopt Don’t Shop, but here’s a little twist… the pet you think you want, may not necessarily be the right pet for you. My advice? Go looking for a new friend with an open mind. We no longer have Munk the cat, unfortunately he passed away a few years ago, but I will never forget his story.

Our whole family went to the local humane society to adopt a new kitten. We went into the cat room and played with the loose cat that was wandering around, and we looked for kittens. Unfortunately, no kittens were available for adoption that day. We continued to pat the adult cat that was loose in the room while we looked at the other adult cats that were there. Sadly, none of them caught our eye.

We hung out in a corner of the room for a minute to talk, should we wait until next weekend and check back? Should we try other shelters? As we talked, we all took turns patting the loose cat. The kids were disappointed, but it seemed the right kitten wasn’t there for us that day, so we headed for the door.

Slowly, we headed for the parking lot, then I stopped. My family turned to look at me. “Everything OK,” my husband asked. “Why don’t we think about adopting that cat that was loose?” was my reply. We all patted him, he followed us around the room. If we wanted a friendly, out-going cat, that guy was awesome.

We turned and went back in. The family went to see the cat again, and I went to the desk for an application. Sadly, another family was already at the desk filling out an application for Gunther, the cat we decided we wanted. The woman at the desk told me they always pick the best family for each animal and not the first family and she encouraged me to fill out the application anyway. As I stood there writing away, I heard the other people fighting about the cat. It was a Grandma, a Mom, and a boy. Grandma wanted to adopt a pet for the boy. The boy wanted a dog, the Mom said he could have a cat. Boy started screaming and yelling that he didn’t want a “Stupid” cat.

I finished the application, and the woman at the desk asked to talk to our whole family in the other room. We went with her and she went over our application with us. She told us that she thought we were a much better match for the cat than the other family, and she put him in a carrier for us.

Part of me felt bad for taking the cat from that other family, but I just knew this cat was going to be a perfect fit in our home, and he was. Maybe our taking him gave the other family a chance to figure out what kind of pet they really wanted.

Munk ended up being a super special cat. He loved everyone in the family. He would go sleep on my son’s bed at night, and then when my husband went to bed, Munk would move and come sleep on his feet. Munk taught us that adopting an adult cat could be even more awesome than adopting a kitten. We didn’t have to hope the kitten would grow up and be a good fit with our family. We had a ready-to-go cat that was already perfect.

PoochPack

As you may be able to guess, I’m kind of obsessed with all things pet. I saw a FaceBook ad a couple of weeks ago for “PoochPack.” Sounds cute, the items looked to be good quality, and I could try it out for just the cost of shipping. OK, I’m in!

I paid my $4.95 shipping, and within 3 days, my bright red package arrived. Cali and I were excited, new dog stuff! Well, our PoochPack consisted of one toy. I guess I didn’t read the small print well enough. I thought we got a sample box like the one they wanted me to subscribe to each month, but this is just a single toy.

The tugging bone looks fine. It seems to be well made, but I was a little disappointed that there weren’t treats or any of the other things I saw in an actual PoochPack. Guess I learned my lesson!

The stitching seems sturdy, the rope seems to be high quality, and the little rubber bone is cute.

Although my furry friend, Puck, would like to keep this for himself, we have decided to do a give away!

Give Away Details – share this blog with your pet loving friends, Like our Facebook Page, subscribe to my Instagram, PetMomma.co, and follow me on Twitter: @PetmommaC. Finally, leave me a comment here on the blog about what you like and what else you might like to see here. I’ll pick a winner by the end of October to receive this tug toy.

Hector D. Byrd Arrives

If you haven’t read Hector Part 1, it’s just a little background on my history with birds.  The important thing to know is that my husband talked me out of rescuing a little Lovebird because he knew it would just fuel my fire for a bigger parrot. He figured we should skip the little parrot part and just get the bird I actually wanted.  I appreciated that!

The other important thing to know is that Hector is a girl. Both sexes of African Greys look the same, so the only way to tell the difference is with a blood test, or if the bird lays eggs. Hector was named before she laid her first egg, but she’s quite proud of her name, and didn’t want it changed.

Silly me thought it would be hard finding the right bird to add to our house. I start doing some research on bird rescues to see what was out there. My husband thought he was being funny and posted to Twitter about his decision to talk me out of a Lovebird and into an African Grey. The post was something about how he thought he might regret the decision, but it seemed like the right choice at the time. Be careful what you wish for!

The universe has a funny way of reacting to things some times, and the husband’s Tweet lead to a friend joking about how we should adopt the old Ambrosia Software parrot, Hector. Next thing you know, the guy that took Hector in when Ambrosia no longer wanted an office parrot was reaching out to my husband. John Magnus Champlin, from Ambrosia, had been working with Hector for a few years, and gave her a great start on moving from being an office ornament to actually figuring out how to be a pet. While John loved and cared for Hector, he also felt that he wasn’t a “bird guy” and hoped to find her a forever home someday.

My husband Dave runs The Mac Observer, Inc., a website about all things Apple. John loved the idea that Hector could move to another Tech home after being the Ambrosia mascot. So at 21 years old, Hector moved from New York to New Hampshire and became the new mascot for The Mac Observer.

John is a super caring guy, and insisted on driving Hector to us to help ease her transition. On the drive, John stopped for gas. It was a nice day, so he took Hector’s carrier out of the car for a little air. John says, “If I remember right they recognized the Ambrosia logo stickers and some other Apple related thing on my car and it spawned a conversation. They didn’t realize I was associated with the company. When they saw the bird and realized it was actually *the* Captain Hector it blew some minds.”

And Hector made her way to New Hampshire. She loves my husband, she loves my son, me? she tolerates. I’m the one who researches parrot diet, makes her homemade food with organic grains and fresh veggies, buys her toys, cleans her cage, and gives her the most attention, but she loves the boys. It’s OK, she mostly doesn’t bite me, and I love her.

When Hector first came to us, she rarely wanted to leave her cage although she would climb up on top to hang out and liked having her cage door open. She was super nervous about anything new.  If I bought a new toy, I had to hang it across the room for a couple of days, then slowly bring it closer to her cage. After a week, I could usually hang the new toy on the outside of her cage and then move it in after another couple of days. She is not a bird that likes change.

After five years with us, I’m happy to report that Hector is much more comfortable here, finally! She doesn’t really fly even though she could, but she loves to climb down from her cage and stroll around the house.  She chases the cats and looks for anything cardboard to chew up. While she has always talked and whistled, she is talking more than ever lately. I think she has finally realized that we are her forever people and she doesn’t have to move again. Maybe she’ll even learn to like me some day!