Planet Cat Will Have to Wait

Planet Cat Will Have to Wait Helping himself to a big dose of Earth’s morning sun rays, Brody faces another day on the planet with his old elan. Apparently, his mission here is not quite yet complete, although Comrade Herman seems to be wrapping things up.  Please excuse the occasional radio silence from SHFC as we find ourselves completely overcome by the activities of kitty end game.

Categories: Brody, Herman | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Why I’m Voting the MA1NE Coon Ticket

Leonard the Lion says Vote Yes for MA1ne Coon


Categories: Brody, Herman, humor, humour, news, politics, PR | Leave a comment

Herman’s Healing Faster Than a Horse!

Can cats break their legs?  They sure can.  And when they do, at least they heal better than dogs and horses.

Understand, I’m always trying to find the bright side of things.  To me, discovering another way in which cats are superior to dogs is a real “silver lining” in all of these weekly vet visits and heeping vet bills.

Yes, my own little Herman Panther broke his right front leg in a cat fight in our new backyard in late June.  Herman has other health issues that suddenly popped up this year as well.  So many in fact that more than one human has said it may be time to pull Herman’s plug, a thought both me and my partner find dastardly.

Herman himself is not at all in favor of it, clearly maintaining a strong will to live and eat, at least most of the time.  It didn’t help that both kitties seemed to get ill from some new food in recent weeks.  We read online the company had some recalls last Spring that were questionably handled, a reminder that you can never be too careful.  Fortunately, both cats are both doing better since going back to the old food.

It’s been a couple of months since his cat fight, but Herman is finally on the mend thanks to the great doctors at Broadway Pet Hospital in Oakland who never gave up on him.  He’s still in his cast and our house remains dismantled of anything he might jump on (which considering I live in cat jungle gym is pretty darn dismantled).  But maybe he’ll get his cast off this month!

Herman may not be healing any faster than a dog as it turns out, but he’s still healing way faster than a horse.

Categories: cat v. dog, cats, health, Herman, humor, humour, products | 1 Comment

Cat Camping Season Officially Opens

Campground Peacock Drops in to Shoot the Breeze

The Kitty Camping Season is officially off and running! The Association of Camping Kitties (ACK) has formally declared July as Cat Camping month.

ACK veterans like Brody and Herman need not be told.  They know it will soon be time, time to hide (aka “pack”) the leashes and break out the kitty barbeque set.

Send your humans to the outdoor store for the squeeter juice and cat GORP and get ready for the wildest, craziest camping trip of your cats’ lives.  It’s been a long, cold, hard winter, and we need some serious sleeping under the stars to try and forget it.

Ahh, the midnight meadow-mouse nature walks, the mornings blending into evenings lazing about in the tent, the visit from the campground peacock…

A Recent Midnight Meadow-Mouse Hike

These camping expeditions really revive kittys’ batteries for another relentless year of cat 9-to-5.

Categories: Brody, cats, Herman, humor, humour, lifestyle, news, outdoors, play, sleep, travel, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Cat Who Cried “MWAOWWWaaaOIIOOW!”

The blood-curdling howl ripped me from dream state, and I awoke knowing someone was doing something horrible to something else out there in the night.  Then it all snapped into place like two Legos and my feet flew out of bed bringing me along running with them.  It was five AM and I had to stop the painful sounds of torture — if not any actual torture itself.  I had to consider, what would the neighbors think?

Sure enough, I had awoken to the horrible sounds of another battle-supreme between the two cats who otherwise can’t get enough (sleep on top) of each other.  The “brothers” who are not related, the boys who fill our days with joys have lately become a troubled duo.  Call them Paul and John, they ain’t getting along, at least not all the time like they used to. Continue reading

Categories: anxiety, Brody, cats, health, Herman, humor, humour, relationships, sleep | 1 Comment

Cat Pee and Human Ingenuity: Some Things Refuse to Be Contained

Seeing as a large segment of my modest readership finds me care of “pooping outside the box” or similar cat search terms, I realize an update on the topic is in order. Let’s just say, it hasn’t been all wrapped-up pretty like a Martha Stewart episode.  Fact is, the Army Corps of Engineers would have a tough time containing my recent cat urine problems, and in case you were wondering, I don’t have an Army Corps of Engineers lying around to work on this urgent matter. What I have is one guy, and I call him Hank.   

Karmically, I believe Hank and I can trace our current problem back to an Abyssinian named Denial.  Continue reading

Categories: Brody, cats, decorating tips, Herman, humor, humour, lifestyle, products, relationships, technology | 2 Comments

Herman the Housecat Overtaken by Holiday Stress

Just because I channel my cats’ self-improvement tips here at Self Help for Cats does not mean my household is beyond having its own seasonal and other feline challenges.  The trouble started a few years back…

When Herman saw Santa Claws out the window on our first Christmas morning at the house where I now live, he went utterly ballistic and turned on his very best friend, Brody.  I had to jump out of bed to separate the fighting madcats with a broom and sweep Herman Panther into another room, closing the door on the devil cat he had become.  Peace on Earth it wasn’t.

Herman, we have since learned, was suffering from his first case of displaced aggression. He saw a cat outside (ever since known by the name Santa Claws) and got so upset and confused, he failed to regonize the friend he sleeps on top of every day of the year.  Continue reading

Categories: Brody, cats, Herman, play, relationships | 1 Comment

LAX Cat Fingerprinting: A Simple Hoax or Sign of the Times?

Cat airline travel, formerly a feline right of passage, may soon go the way of the Hindenberg, if what the lady from Southwest says is true.

In a recent phone conversation with my partner Hank, the Southwest lady said the airlines are “straying away” from companion animal travel on their passenger planes.  I swear, that’s what she said and that’s the words she used.

This news comes as a major shock to me.  It just can’t be true.  How are Brody and Herman ever going to see Niagara Falls, the Big Apple, and the remnants of the Berlin Wall if they can’t fly?

Anyway, maybe it’s not true, because I just read another story about how incredibly misinformed some airline employees are about cats and travel.  In fact, as it turns, one new worker was actually telling folks they would have to get their cat fingerprinted if it traveled through Los Angeles International Airport.  Read about it here.

Well, I obviously need to get to the bottom of this one.  How about you, do you find that the airlines are “straying away” from pet travel, or has your little kitten been wracking up the free flyer miles no problem visiting a hot little Persian they met in Miami?

I’d love to hear what the real story is for jet-setting kitties, and the people who pack for them.

Categories: Brody, cats, Herman, humor, humour, lifestyle, news, travel | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Sleeping with The Panther

Since last winter, Herman Panther has taken to sleeping in Hank’s arms like a lover.  Now, I don’t want you to think that I mind, because I don’t mind at all.  Seeing as how I tend to be mistaken in my sleep for a mild cyclone, I’m perfectly happy letting two of my boys have at the comfort of each other’s arms. That way I’m free to twist the sheets into rope and send the blankets into 14 directions and generally get the sleep that I need unencumbered. 

Unfortunately, my spot on the door-side of the bed puts me directly in the path of the sleek but leaden-weighted Herman Panther, a place that seems predetermined to be his springboard on and off the bed. 

Imagine me, deep in sleep, in my stormy lullaby-land, unconscious, unknowing, unable to anticipate my 16-pound bowling ball on claws bounding off my belly like it’s the trampoline launch at the cat gymnast olympics.  Or equally astonishing, awakening to the scrabbling ascent over my protruding hip at he claws his way up, over, and into the valley between me and Hank.

Let’s just say I could do without these sudden awakenings. But there is little that can be done, short of building a fence on my side of the bed, which is an idea I just now had that might work.  But short of that, his only other route is to cut across my pillow, painfully yanking my hair with each step. Or sometimes, he’s cut across my face, and I awaken with scratched cheeks.  Yes, I don’t mind Panther sleeping with Hank, it’s just his getting in and out of bed that causes issues.

However, once he makes it to his target, let’s call it “warm-body Hank,” a bit of magic occurs that kind of changes everything.  This is how it works:  Herman mills around in the vicinity of Hank’s neck looking especially clueless and waiting for “it” to happen.  Then, suddenly, he’s drawn in under the covers right in the perfect spot next to warm-body Hank.  It happens so fast, it’s amazing!  It would take the cat about a year to find that spot himself, believe me.

Now Herman’s sleeping head rests on Hank’s big manly bicep, and Hank’s other arm gently embraces the happy black cat.   Through the night they sleep thus, man and cat and other cat (at feet), and woman slash cyclone slash trampoline.  Now, what was it I was complaining about?

Categories: cats, Herman, humor, humour, lifestyle, relationships, sleep | 3 Comments

Teaching the Cat to Meow

The latest news here is that I’ve started to give my cat Herman Panther meowing lessons.  I realize that because his older “brother” Brody rarely utters a normal meow, Herman never learned how to properly talk Cat. Instead, he learned to squawk from the crows who sit on the phone line outside our second-story window. With them he shares a glossy-black exterior, a mucho-mysterioso stare, and unfortunately an extensive crowing vocabulary.

After years of listening to him speak his own brand of squawk-talk, a tongue that impresses demand even at a whisper, I realized that providing Herman with a more melodic meow model, a sweeter sound to copy, would be smart.  Unfortunately, Herman seems to have moved on from his “picking up noises” stage in life.  What with the cat pushing a whole ten years, it’s another case of horrible timing on my part.

I’m just getting started, though, and I have a plan: I plan to catch him when he’s half asleep and plant the seeds of cat song into his fertile serenader’s spirit by singing meows to him.  I will be relentless, and one day, if I’m lucky I will be rewarded with those two familiar feline syllables.  

Barring that, I might also be satisfied with at least a more melodious squawk.

Categories: Brody, cats, Herman, humor, humour, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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