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Mom’s Love of Animals Adds Much Joy

May 6, 2016

When your Mom has passed on it’s always a little rough on Mother’s Day. Although as the years go by it does get easier. I am lucky to be able to still enjoy the love and kindness of my “other mom”, my mother-in-law, Shirley.

Shirley is at a point where she needs assistance with living and doesn’t get to go places as much as she used to. So her world involves a lot of reading and television. And the one subject that brings her much joy, as the title states, is her love of animals, in particularly dogs.

I’ve always known she loves dogs and have heard many, many, stories from her and my husband about the “extremely smart” dog, Skeet, they had when my husband was growing up. I think we all believe our childhood pet was the Best. One. Ever.

National Geographic and Animal Planet shows have given Shirley hours of pleasure along with many books on the subject of dogs. We have visited book stores and libraries to search for more and more books which she reads over & over (and she is a very fast reader!) .

Shirley and dog Jet

Shirley with a personal visit from “Jet”.

A nice bonus is that the apartments she lives in sometimes brings in dogs to visit the residents. We have also arranged for a few “personal” dog visits to her room. I’ve seen first hand how much pleasure this brings her and lightens her spirits. Nothing beats petting a real live warm, furry dog and getting sloppy kisses & licks from a wet tongue!

So although I am and always will be a cat lover first, I definitely agree that dogs give you unlimited love and can bring much joy. I am so glad that Shirley still gets a taste of that joy!

 Happy Mother’s Day!

Shirley, Richard and Georgia

Georgia, Shirley and Richard

 

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Keep Your Cat Cool in The Hot Days of Summer! Updated.

August 28, 2015

Cat cooling offUsually the hot days in the Southwest come in late summer. But sometimes a heat wave will surprise us, such as the upcoming week of 100+ temperatures!  I try to believe that outdoor cats are “street wise” and find shady spots to nap out the day hours and know where to find some water to drink.

Meanwhile, as the temperatures rise your indoor cat can be susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke. Cats don’t sweat by panting- they have sweat glands in their paws. On a hot day you might see them grooming more than usual. By licking they leave saliva on their fur and when it evaporates they will cool down. Cats will also seek a cool spot to lie down such as a sink, bathtub, potted plant or tile floor. (Haven’t you seen your cat stretch out completely flat on your kitchen floor?)

Here are a few other tips to help your kitty keep cool:

  • Make “Catsicles”. Put some wet cat food or dry food mixed with water in a plastic cup in the freezer overnight. Pop out and put in your cat’s bowl for a special treat!
  • Keep your cat out of your car if possible. For short trips, bring plenty of cold water for it to drink. Never leave your cat in the car unattended!
  • Brush daily to avoid matting and allow the air to flow through the fur.
  • Refresh the water dish often to keep cool water for your cat.
  • Create cool play such as chasing ice cubes on the floor
  • Keep a shady spot available for your kitty to nap in.

How can you tell if your cat is nearing a heatstroke? Symptoms include agitation, extreme distress, stretching out and panting heavily, vomiting, glazed eyes and drooling. If you notice any of these signs get your cat to a veterinary clinic immediately. Untreated, he could collapse into a coma and die.

If you can’t get to a clinic right away get your cat in a cool environment and keep him calm. Spray or pour water over him very carefully. Cover with wet towels and keep his head wet and cold to protect the brain but do not immerse your cat in water. Get to a vet as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading these reminder tips from Georgia’s Gifts.  We know keeping your cat cool will insure that you’ll both enjoy a safe and happy summer!

Cat with Sunglasses1

 


I’m A Pet Adoption Wimp

June 28, 2014

Today on a hot California Saturday there was a “Mega Adoption Event” in Yucaipa.  It’s a wonderful event sponsored by local adoption, rescue and shelter agencies to try to adopt the numerous rescue animals, plus offering low cost microchips and vaccines for your pets. Having a free day I decided to go ahead and go.

Mega Pet Adoption Event, June 28 & 29, Yucaipa, CA

Mega Pet Adoption Event, June 28 & 29, Yucaipa, CA

My hubby is always a little nervous when I go to these things because I might cave and bring home a new member of the family. He is afraid to upset the balance we have with our sweet Russian Blue who is now the queen of the household since her “sister” cat passed away 2 years ago.

A group of kittens ready for adoption

A group of kittens ready for adoption

 

A few older cats wait patiently for their forever home

A few older cats wait patiently for their forever home

And I have to admit, as much as I love to see the kitties, it also tears at my heartstrings. I want to take them all home!  Even when we go buy supplies at Pet Smart I can only look at the cats for adoptions for a short time as I get very depressed. What a wimp!

 

2 cuties for adoption

2 cuties for adoption

At this event the dogs out-numbered the cats about 4 to 1.  I have to admit some were certainly adorable! Of all the animals there, I think it would be very hard to pick just one.  You would have to find the one that looked you in the eye and made you fall in love!

I adore cats and support TNR, but being so wimpy, I have to help the cat community in other ways, such as donations or spreading information on social media. Plus I have a website that offers gifts and décor for cat lovers.  Are there others out there that feel like I do?  I’m here to testify! Will you join me?

 

 

 


A Story of Life As Told By Enzo, The Dog.

July 3, 2013

Don’t you love it when you read a book that totally captures you and you have trouble putting it down? This is the joy of reading.

Book cover for The Art of Racing in The Rain

I just finished the book, The Art of Racing in The Rain by Garth Stein. As this book was published in 2009 I’m a little “late to the game” as they say, but I believe this is a timeless novel. What makes it special is that it is narrated through the eyes of Enzo, a dog.

Yes, you all know I’m a cat person, but no one can help but fall in love with Enzo. With his humor and love he leads us through the life and dreams of his owner, Denny, making us both laugh and cry with his heartwarming insight.

Being a TV & video watching dog, he once viewed a documentary from Mongolia that said when a dog is finished with his lifetimes as a dog, his next incarnation will be as a man. So Enzo is trying to learn and remember as much as he can as he believes he will become a man in his next life and he wants to be ready.  Along the way he offers us many wise lessons that he has learned, such as “That which you manifest is before you”.  This is to remind us to take charge of our life and not to feel like we are a victim of circumstance or fate.

Denny is a race car driver and there are many references about racing, but it is woven into the storyline, never becoming a distraction. There seems to be a long coming movie in the works for 2014 starring Patrick Dempsey. He is a good choice for the main character and I hope the producers do justice to the book and not make it a Disney type movie.

This is such a wonderful book and I highly recommend reading it. (warning, you will need tissues at times, especially at the end).  It will affect you on many levels, least of all touching on our secret longing for our pets to have the ability to talk to us!


Cats Get Cake Top Honors!

May 17, 2013
Miniature Porcelain Cats as Cake Topper for Wedding

Miniature Porcelain Cats as Cake Topper for Wedding

I recently learned that some of our beautiful porcelain miniature kitties we carry received top honors as a wedding cake topper for one of our customers. What higher praise is that!

Seven separate cakes with one that showcased the cats.

Seven separate cakes with one that showcased the cats.

The very unique wedding cake was one in a grouping of seven cakes elegantly arranged in a metal stand. The bride and her father actually made the cakes themselves.

It was so kind for the new couple to share these photos with us. And they also relayed this story to us which is bittersweet.  “The four kitties represented the cats we had between us. Sadly, in the last nine months, three of them have gone over the rainbow bridge (the orange one most recently). The tuxedo cat is still with us and doing well in her new home.”

We wish the couple many happy years ahead and many more cats to love!

Cutting the Cat Cake

Cutting the “Cat Cake”

Do you have a special life story about a cat product you’d like to share? It can be one from our website, Georgia’s Gifts, or not related to it at all. We just love the stories- cat lovers are a community!


Do You Remember Orangey The Cat?

April 27, 2013

A few nights ago I watched the 1957 movie The Incredible Shrinking Man which is one of my old-time favorites.  If you have not seen it, there is a scene where the shrinking man is small enough to live in a doll house.  This works out okay until his cat gets left inside the large house with everyone else out for the evening. I think you can guess what happens next. (Don’t worry, after a great “cat & mouse” battle the man gets away).

Orangey looking fierce in The Incredible Shrinking Man

Orangey looking fierce in The Incredible Shrinking Man

I started wondering about the cat in the movie and decided to do some research. Turns out this orange tabby is an award-winning feline actor!  He is the only double-winner of the Patsy Award, the animal kingdom’s equivalent of the Oscar. (PATSY stands for Picture Animal Top Star of the Year).  Orangey won his first award for his debut in the 1951 movie Rhubard, playing a baseball team-owning cat.

Movie poster for Rhubarb featuring Orangey the Cat.

Movie poster for Rhubarb featuring Orangey the Cat.

Orangey won his second Patsy ten years later playing “Cat” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  His role was a homeless feline who visits Holly Golightly (played by Audrey Hepburn).  Here is a great You Tube video by Alex DeCosta showing all the clips from the movie that feature Orangey the Cat. It might be hard to believe but I had not seen this movie so the ending clips with “Cat” and Holly in the rain brought on some tears.

Scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's with Orangey the Cat.

Scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Orangey.

Orangey was trained by the famous animal trainer Frank Inn, known for many famous critter actors including Arnold the Pig on Green Acres and Higgins the Dog on Petticoat Junction.  As a single cat can only master a few tricks, Frank trained a crew of look-alikes to work as a group under the Orangey name. This is a common procedure for cat actors.

In his 15 year career Orangey the Cat also appeared in Gigot, Village of the Giants and had a recurring role as “Minerva the Cat” in the TV series, Our Miss Brooks.  You’ll now find Orangey properly memorialized at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills with other successful actors.

Next time I see Orangey in a movie I’ll definitely pay more attention to this veteran actor! Which is your favorite role by Orangey the Cat? We’d love to hear your comments.


Springtime Cat Shedding

March 27, 2013

All of a sudden I’m seeing little tufts of grey hair here & there on the carpet.  Following them like a trail of crumbs from Hansel & Gretel they lead me to my Dessa’s favorite sleeping places. Now I know! It’s spring and the time for cats to shed their winter coat.

Shedding is normal and healthy for cats. It helps them get rid of dead and loose hair which can irritate their skin. Being a Russian Blue our cat has a thick, dense double coat of fur.  She has a lot of fur to shed!  (This can also mean a lot of hairballs).

We know it’s time to step up the brushing and grooming to help her out.  Some cats love this attention and Dessa tolerates it fairly well when she is in a mellow mood. It’s also a good “bonding” time but when she has had enough she definitely lets us know!  After a brushing her coat feels so soft and sleek when you stroke her.  And I bet she feels refreshed.

Cat hair

A thick pile of cat fur. A couple of days brushing.

"This smells familiar!"

“This smells familiar!”

Some people make good use of this fur.  They might spin it into a soft yarn for knitting or crocheting. Or transform it into handicrafts as seen in the book, Crafting with Cat Hair.  We use the fur and hair from other animals for miscellaneous things so is this so different?  It’s your call!

There’s no items made of cat hair/fur at Georgia’s Gifts, but we have whimsical gifts & decor for cat lovers everywhere. We invite you to check us out!