Origins: Tulip

“I’m the Queen, I’m the Queen. Bow down, bow down…”

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Today’s post will be on fur baby #5. As I mentioned in my previous Origins article, Tulip was adopted at the same time as Muffin in December 2016. I specifically went to the shelter to get a black cat, because if you don’t already know I love black cats. I think they are beautiful creatures, especially if they are completely black with no other markings.  The Fort Worth Animal Control Center just happened to be hosting an adoption event that specifically waived the adoption fee for black cats and dogs. Score!

Tulip and Muffin Christmas 2016
You there, Muffin. Do my bidding!

I initially saw Tulip in her cage alongside other cats of various ages. She was cute, but her white socks and whiskers were a superficial deal breaker, pushing me to continue my search for the black cat I wanted. The only other black kittens available were in quarantine status for sulfur Lyme dip treatments that would last until the upcoming week. I didn’t want to wait, and so I Tulip became my new black cat.

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Tulip, Clover, Tiger

She’s known as Queen Tulip, not only for her aristocratic behavior “Out of my way peasant!”, but because of her regal beauty as well. Her lean black body is dressed in white socks front and back. The white whiskers on her face are long and white, giving them a butterfly appearance. Her face is narrow and her yellow eyes are sharp and discerning (judging?). She looks like a miniature version of Tiger.

 

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“Uncle Tiger” and Tulip

From day one she proved to be a kitten of importance.  Jordi my husky-labrador came home with us that same day. The kittens were boxed up in a cardboard cat carrier. Once I let them out Tulip began staking her claim to the house immediately. Although Honey gave her customary stranger danger hiss and swat at the new arrivals, Tulip showed confidence and poise as she walked instead of ran away from her cat elders.

Meeting Jordi, a creature that was ten times her size equally unfazed her. Jordi sniffed at her curiously while she brazenly stood her ground, eventually sniffing back at him before strolling off to explore another part of the house as if to say “I’m bored of this giant beast, what else you got?”. This show of bravado sealed the bond between the two and debuted her as the cat with sass.  Its almost as if she is saying “I’m the queen, I’m the queen. Bow down, bow down.”

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“You there dog, do my bidding!”

Tulip’s bravery has teetered towards recklessness on many occasions. Like many cats, she naughtily jumps on tables, knocks over random items to her own amusement, and tries to slip out the front door when someone arrives or leaves. She is also the reason we do not leave our snack plates or beverages unsupervised, and how the dogs have gotten access to items high on shelves to destroy (Tulip!!!)

Did I mention she’s a spider cat? I discovered the need for super-duty curtain rods after her climbing up and bringing down three different curtains, bending and ruining the aluminum curtain rods.  She loves to climb. She climbs the cat condo, the couches, the high shoulders of the wingback chair, and somehow even manages to scale the top my walk-in shower. She isn’t afraid of anything.

She’s never been particularly affectionate. Although she tolerates appreciates being pet, she’s not into cuddles or patronizing us to allow herself to be carried like a baby (like Honey, PJ, Muffin, and Clover have). She’s quick to shut down any bothersome handling with a dainty “mew” and a swipe from those equally dainty, but razor-sharp claws.

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I can see my kingdom from here!

Aside from Tiger, who takes mess from nobody, Tulip regulates whatever space she’s in.  She hogs the food dish from the other kittens, has taken Honey’s favorite resting spot and refuses to move when Honey approaches and is the first on the scene to instigate any smells of food, sounds of snacks.

But as troublesome as she can be, she is still royalty. She has a lady-like trot when she walks fast. And when she’s ready to rest she doesn’t just lay down, she lounges gracefully. She is a kitty diva and she knows it. Her mew is soft but assertive.

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You there Clover, lick my royal ears!

Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading another Origins article about my pets. We are more than halfway through with the introductions. Keep up with us on my YouTube channel CatsDogsHarmony for more animal stories. Until next time, Keep the harmony.

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The gang’s all here!

Although I go into detail about their personalities in their Origins posts I can give you a quick summary of their alter egos now.

Things are moving right along with my new blog. So far I’ve given the background story of my three adult kitties, interviewed a fellow Pit-bull owner, and posed one of the age-old questions about acts vs. dogs.

Before I get too far along I thought I’d do a summary of all my fur babies at once. I’ve made references to several of the kitties and puppies so far and you’ve probably seen them all in various pictures.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could make a plushie out of your pet?

check out my Petsies affiliate link to find out how…

Now I’ll introduce everyone and give a few quick details about them! In my previous posts I showcased Honey my 14 year old tabby and Tiger my 11 year old black shorthair. There is also PJ another shorthair who is 6; and the kittens: Tulip and Muffin, who are 1 year old litter mates(?) and Clover, my 9 month old black baby.

 

 

The doggie crew is made up of Jordi, a 2 year old Husky/Labrador mix; Biscuit, a 2 year old  Pit Bull mix; and Koba (rhymes with boba!) She is a 1 year old German Shepherd mix.

 

 

Although I go into detail about their personalities in their Origins posts I can give you a quick summary of their alter egos now.

Honey: The Matriarch

Tiger: The Rogue

PJ: The Teddy Bear

Tulip: The Queen

Muffin: The Scaredy-Cat

Clover: My Baby

Jordi: The Goofball

Biscuit: The Big Baby

Koba: Nervous Nelly

Well this is a quick run down of my babies. Subscribe to keep up to date on more of their stories.

I look forward to your comments and I hope you check me out on my other social media platforms. YouTube. Instagram. Twitter. All under the name Catsdogsharmony.

Until Next time, try to keep the harmony!

 

Origins: PJ (Pepper Junior)

“He followed me home ma, really!” This is the jist of what my son told me about the mystery cat I randomly met in my living room one day.

“He followed me home ma, really!” This is pretty much what my son told me about the mystery cat I randomly met in my living room one day.20161118_082823

Imagine, you walk into your living room after a long day’s work. There’s a stray cat peacefully sprawled over the top of your recliner. This is how I met PJ. He looked so comfortable and relaxed, as if he really belonged there. I approached him and asked who he was (because this of course is a perfectly normal thing to do when you meet someone new, even if that someone is a cat). He meowed back confidently, and it was love at first sight.

PJ aka Sticker aka Pepper Junior aka Fat cat is hands down (or paws down) the most affectionate cat I’ve ever had. Well there, was Pepper…

Ok, I really don’t like to talk about it but there has to be some history given, so I’ll make it quick:

Pepper was Honey’s litter-mate. He was the most affectionate cat I’d met before. He would head butt for attention, leap into your lap, then literally stretch his paws one each over your shoulder while resting his chin on your shoulder. He was the best. Pepper began urinating uncontrollably all over the place, including our clothes and I didn’t know what to do about it. I should’ve taken him to the vet, but instead I dropped him off at the shelter. Its the most regrettable thing I’ve done, and I fell very sad every time I think about it. I should have tried to help. I only hope he found a loving home that was able to give him the care he needed. Now that my dirty secret is out, I hope to never speak of it again. Back on to the story of Pepper Junior…
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I’m sorry Pepper. I miss you.

Now that the truth has been told, lets get back to PJ. PJ came to us in 2012. If I had to guess, I’d say he was 3-6 months old, still a kitten but old enough to have survived on the streets for however long he was out there.

I took PJ to the vet after being with us for a week and one of the first things they check for at these exams are microchips. PJ had none, so if he did have an owner, he wasn’t registered to any. PJ got his nip-and-tuck (my cheeky way of calling a spay/nueter procedure), all his shots and vaccines and was officially ours.

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Unlike Tiger, PJ has never really been interested in going outside. I mean, if I leave the door wide open for any period of time, he’ll probably meander over and find his way out the door. He’s never been an escape artist though. Actually, when I lived in my former apartments, the few times he did get out he got confused and went to the wrong door. My neighbors would call the number on his tag and I’d have to go get him. I thought cats could smell their way home?

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I don’t know you guys. It doesn’t seem safe out there…

PJ went through some of the same initiation as Tiger, with the hissing and claw bearing. But PJ is more introverted and mild mannered, so even though Tiger was compelled to show he was the Alpha-cat with some minor bullying, PJ settled in fairly quickly.

Being my son Jason’s cat, PJ would mostly sleep in his room. This in itself was an act of love, because if you saw how gross my son kept his room back then…well, I digress.

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That son of mine, being the teenager he was began spending more and more time out with his friends. He played with PJ and showed him attention, but when my son wasn’t around PJ looked lonely. I mean he actually looked like he missed my son. When my son moved out years later, PJ began to get weepy eyes. Now all cats will have some tearing of the eye ducts, but PJ’s seemed to be more emotional. When my son comes to visit, there is a look of recognition in PJ’s eyes as he smells his boy. And when Jason leaves, PJ walks around meowing for him and the wetness in his eyes begin again.

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Jason, is that…you?

Now that my son has been living away from PJ for a couple of years, PJ has taken the kittens under his paw for mentoring and companionship. When he’s in the mood, he’ll play with them. He gives and receives baths from them. He and Muffin have been seen snuggled up often. They have the same quiet and intentional demeanor. And of course when he wants close human companionship, he volunteers to be Keiko’s sleep buddy.

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You comfy Keiko?

PJ friendliness is appreciated by all. Even Honey doesn’t mind him hanging around. He isn’t super pushy with the leg rubs and lap jumps, but when he senses a good vibe about someone, he’ll give them a chance to make the first move. If all is well, he just might just get comfortable with them.

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PJ is my only adult cat that is comfortable around the dogs. He’s cautious, but courageous. With personalities like his, ,it makes it easier to achieve a sense of harmony in the house.

PJ Trivia:

  • He doesn’t like table scraps or even cat treats
  • His favorite wet food is Friskies Shreds, Beef in Gravy
  • Cat nip has no affect on him
  • He is the loudest of all the cats
  • He once got stuck on the roof of our duplex

That’s all for now. This completes my Adult cat biographies. I’m going in order from oldest/ most residence to youngest/least residence. Can you guess who will be the subject of my next Origins?

Thank you for reading my blog. Please consider subscribing, and sharing. Stay tuned for my next blog update.

Check out my YouTube channel, Instagram, and twitter: catsdogsharmony,

Until next time, try to keep the harmony.

PJ
PJ! (Pepper Jr.)

Origins: Honey

Honey’s personality can be described as either introvert or antisocial.

I promised to post a litter box cleaning tutorial next, but in the middle of recording my phone battery dropped to 5%  so I couldn’t finish it. I’ll make another attempt another day when my battery is full. In the meantime  I thought I’d post an origins series giving a little background info on each of my animals…

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I’m starting with Honey, who is the oldest. Honey aka Honeybun aka HoneyBunny is a multi-colored short hair tabby mix. She is mostly orange with browns, tans, and blacks throughout her fur. She has yellow eyes. She is 14 yrs old. I adopted her from the Michigan Humane Society back in  2004. I had just separated from my son’s father and divorce was eminent. There were other things going on at that time and I was very depressed. I had heard that pets can ease loneliness and depression, so I decided to get one.

My mom had actually adopted a kitten for my younger sister several months earlier (Chewy!) and she was very sweet and lovable.  Cats are much lower maintenance than dogs, so I thought a cat would be a good choice for me.

Honey’s shelter name was Wendy. She was caged with her litter mate (Peter Pan), who I ended up adopting alongside her. I personally think pets should be adopted in pairs so as not to be lonely, and to have someone to play with.  I wouldn’t, however, suggest adopting more animals that you know you can take care of. Honey and Pepper were best of friends and got along very well. For reasons I won’t go into here, Pepper was ultimately taken back to the shelter several years later. Honey was alone for less than a year before I adopted Tiger. She has adapted fairly well to the other additions to the family.

Honey’s personality can be described as either introvert or antisocial. She doesn’t really like people or other cats. She prefers solitude over being out in the open. She likes affection and purrs and drools when being pet, but is annoyed at being picked up. Even as a kitten Honey would hiss and spit at attempts at being handled.  She has bit me only a few times, and it was usually associated with being scared (around a loud noise or commotion) or being bathed.

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Honey tolerates being around Tiger and PJ,who are adult cats like her, but is easily vexed by the kittens. She will hiss at them or bop them on the head for good measure as if to say “Get outta my face you whipper-snappers”.Since getting my raised multi-feeders she has to eat in close proximity with the other cats and has no problems.

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She mostly avoids my daughter who at the age of 11 is still sometimes very loud and rambunctious, but will snuggle with her when she is asleep. Honey also likes to sleep with me from time to time. Honey tolerates the dogs from a distance, but hisses when they get too close.

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Scratches from Honey are common, but only because her claws are perpetually out. She has been skittish since kitten-hood and doesn’t trust being picked up, so she tends to scramble against the person picking her up with claws spread in attempts to hold on. Even when she jumps on laps her claws are passively out to keep from slipping.  Cats normally extend their claws  only when climbing, scratching(therapeutically) or fighting. The worst scratches I’ve received from Honey were during bath time  . She does NOT like being bathed.

As a senior cat Honey’s mews have become softer and softer. Now when she opens her mouth her “meows” are virtually silent. Her mouth opens, but nothing comes out.  The only time you really hear Honey is when she is locked in a room and wants to be let out, or is locked outside and wants to be let in. She is also pretty vocal at breakfast and dinner where her voice can be distinguished among the many mews in the kitty choir. as the food dishes are being set down. Because she is so skittish, Honey also makes “self-motivational” mews  and chirps before jumping on the bed or sofa as if to tell herself “I can make it! I can make it!”

Over the years Honey has lived up to my expectations. She has given me her own brand of love and affection and emotional support. She makes me a happy cat mom. She has been with me through many changes in my life. I’ve know her through 2 states, 2 marriages, many jobs and residences, and the birth of my daughter.

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I hope you enjoy the pics of Honey.  I also have pics of her as a kitten on another device that I will post when I can.  Until next time, may there be as much harmony in your life as possible.

A Typical Morning

Fresh water sources are a MUST.  Pets have to stay hydrated for health just the same as us. I keep several bowls on tap  just for the dogs…

A regular routine of feedings, watering, and nature breaks not only help facilitate easier pet management for the owner, but also offers structure and comfort to the fur babies as well.

Before the dogs came, I had my kitties on a fairly simple feeding schedule of breakfast and supper. Playtime was and still is sporadic. The older cats appreciate their quiet and space, and the kittens are more social and proactive about their playtime.

Now that the pups are a part of the family, my feeding and play schedule has become more uniform. This predictability lets the pups know what to expect from me and keeps everybody at ease. Hungry pets are not happy pets. (I know how that feels!)

Here is a breakdown of the morning routine:

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I keep my dry cat food in an airtight bucket with a screw-top lid. Keeps it fresh and pest free. I think I got this one at the pet store, but they also sell them at places like Home Depot and Lowes.  I find this much more durable than the food storage containers that are actually marketed for pet food.  I purchased the scoop separately in the pet food aisle.

On lean days (when I’m out of canned wet food), each cat gets 1/2 cup dry food for breakfast, and again later for supper. On feast days I typically split 1 can of wet in half and add to each cat’s dry dish.  3 cans stretch for 6 cats making a satisfying serving with little leftover.  The few bites left are nibbled on throughout the day by the kittens (or sometimes a naughty dog). The raised feeders I use for my cats are great for my cats posture, and make it very convenient to multi-feed.

While the cats are getting served breakfast, the doggies are out back for the their morning nature call and a run around the yard.   I also do doggie duty around this time before bringing them in to eat. Normally the dogs each get about 1 cup dry kibble and 1/2 cup canned food, unless I’m out of it, then they get about 2 cups dry.  Sometimes I add a little low sodium broth as a flavorful treat. This week on a whim I got a 2 lb package of hamburger meat to doctor up the kibble.  I have a goal to fatten up my newest rescue dog Biscuit who was very underweight when I adopted him last month. (I could see his ribs).  I don’t actually want him fat, but I want to get him in a healthy weight range for his breed. He’s a bully mix.  He got about 1/3 lb hamburger as his portion between yesterday and today.

An associate at Pet Smart recommended feeding him puppy chow since it has a higher fat content. Supposedly dogs can eat puppy food up to 3 years without it affecting their weight adversely.  I’m also using a supplement called Missing Link , Ultimate Canine Skin and Coat. I’m hoping this will help with bald spots that he has. The recommended serving of this is 3 Tbs. As you can see in the living room (aka Pupplyand)  I like to keep the dog’s food bowls somewhat distant  from each other to minimize food-survival-aggression and I never feed them unsupervised.

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Fresh water sources are a MUST.  Pets have to stay hydrated for health just the same as us. I keep several bowls on tap  just for the dogs, a couple to share with the cats, and I have a filtered fountain just for the cats. I keep the cats water out of reach of the dogs since they don’t drink as “pretty” as the cats do and tend to leave dirt and food debris in the water bowls. I top off the water bowls and fountain daily and disinfect it with bleach at least every 2 weeks, and I switch out the filters every other month. Carrying a pitcher to each bowl is much easier than trying to balance a bowl full of water across the room. I read somewhere that cats/dogs don’t actually like their water source near their food source so I keep designated water bowls away from where they eat. I think that would irk me to smell my food every time I wanted drink of water too.

The whole morning process takes about 30 minutes, unless I’m preparing a  feast for the dogs that require cooking or heating up water. (I’m trying out a new product from Wholesome Homemade that is a “just add water” freeze dried type meal that takes about 10 minutes to re-hydrate. I plan on doing a review on this sometime in the future.

Find the review here:

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That’s it! That’s how I keep the harmony in the morning with my kitties and puppies.  Questions? Comments? Concerns? Constructive criticism? Please let me know and share this blog if you like my content.

NEXT POST… THE ART OF CLEANING THE CAT BOX (its a nasty job, but somebody’s gotta do it…sadly its usually me.)

First blog post

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Hello world! This is Kenya the rescue mom coming to you with my very first blog post. Yay! I am a cat mom of 6 and a dog mom of 3 (and kid mom of 2). The purpose of this blog is to share my life raising my fur babies together and to find ways to balance the harmony in a household of felines, canines, and humans.

I would ultimately like to include anecdotes and advocating, entertainment and experiences, and tips and advice on how I affordably manage and care for my pets.

I’m not a professional in any way, shape, or form. I’m not a trainer or animal behaviorist. I don’t have a vet degree or training in caring for animals.  I’m a regular layperson that LOVES her cats and dogs and am here to share what has worked (or hasn’t) for me.

Thanks for reading my blog and I look forward to seeing you for the next  edition.