Monday, April 30, 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"My Pet Counts" Postcard Blitz - TODAY!

Because the FDA and the media continue to report only "17 confirmed deaths" from contaminated pet food, a My Pet Counts postcard blitz is taking place today in conjunction with the Keep Our Pets Safe march, to let the authorities know we cannot accept how they are grossly minimizing this disaster.

If you have lost a pet, or your pet has become ill due to tainted food, PLEASE join this effort! Your postcards MUST BE MAILED TODAY so they will arrive all at once and have maximum impact.

Here's what to do:

-- Mail a postcard (NOT a letter) for each affected pet to the following addresses.
-- Use the words "My Pet Counts"; keep it brief; no anger, profanity or rudeness. Just tug at their heartstrings and let them see your grief. Use your pet's name.


Marcia K. Larkins, D.V.M.
FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine
7519 Standish Place HFV-7
Rockville, MD 20855

Senator Richard Durbin
309 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Your state senators: you can find their addresses

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Anderson Cooper
c/o CNN
One CNN Center
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-2762

You might also send postcards to other national media who are seriously underreporting this issue - MSNBC, NBC, CBS, Fox etc.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fed Up Friday

As I was preparing to post an article here about how cat food is prepared and what actually goes into it, I read on the Cat Blogosphere about yesterday's additional recalls. Enough is enough! I no longer feel safe feeding my babies ANY commercial food of any kind, and I'm developing serious concerns about what I might be feeding myself and my family.

Thank goodness I feed my kitties primarily homemade cat food. But I have been adding some (supposedly) high quality commercial food to it in order to give them a variety of taste and nutrients. I've switched from one food to another as the recalls expand, and most recently have been giving them canned and dry Spa Select. Now all canned Spa Select has been recalled. No doubt if I switch to another brand, it will eventually be recalled as well.

There needs to be an organized effort to penalize the pet food industry for what essentially comes down to poisoning for profit. I don't have the knowledge to undertake such an effort, but merely refunding us for the affected cat food we have on hand and being reimbursed for veterinarian bills is like punishing a mass murderer with a scolding.

Whether or not you have been purchasing food that has subsequently been recalled, I urge everyone to read the article, Cat Food Uncovered, by Sarah Hartwell, who works for UK's Cats Protection and also adopts and cares for aged cats. It's lengthy, but I think it will make clear why I decided to start making my own cat food. Even if a particular cat food is not contaminated with substances such as melamine, I believe that, at best, what goes into commercial foods is disgusting and, at worst, all commercial foods are harming our pets.

Cat Food Uncovered discusses the pet food industries in the United States, the UK, Canada, Australia and other countries and covers such topics as:

- Where Does Cat Food Come From? - The Rendering Process
- Where Do The Ingredients Come From?
- Pet Food Regulatory Bodies
- Pet Food Labeling
- How is Canned Food and Kibble Made?
- The 'Not-So-Hidden' Ingredients
- Meat Based and Plant Based Ingredients
- Colors, Flavors, Preservatives and Other Additives (such as foreign bodies, road kill, racehorses, zoo animals and euthanized pets)
- Diet-Related Problems
- How is Cat Food Tested?
- Fungal and Bacterial Contaminants
- Hormones, Antibiotics and Euthanasia Chemicals
- Prion Disease

Monday, April 23, 2007

Auction Winners!

I, Lucy, official Artsy Catsy Spokemodel, Pink Lady and Auctioneer, announce the winners of my very first auction, the Pink Auction for Lilly Lu:

The Pink I Love Cats Keychain goes to .... Merlin & Dobby's mom, Sadie!

The Pink Cell Phone Charm goes to .... Tocchet, Lemieux and Ariel's mom, Ann!

The Pink Bookmark goes to .... Monica (who plans to play with it when her mom Tracy isn't looking)!

The Pink Cat Toy goes to .... well ... Oscar the Puppy Cat and his mom, Kim, were bidding against each other. Oscar, your mom won fair & square. Now, you two must work it out and play nicely together! :-)

The Pink Fleece Blanket goes to .... Sanjee!

The Pink Ponytail Band goes to .... Finnegan & Buddy!

Everybody please email your mailing address to me and I'll email you back with payment instructions. Then I can prance down to the post office to mail your pink things to you, and also mail a $142 check to Lilly Lu!

Now, go check out yesterday's good news about Lilly Lu from Mu Shue!! She's getting better and will soon be back in the pink again! And thanks to all of you kind and generous kitties & moms, hopefully Mama Laura can soon get out of the red with Lilly's vet bills!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Pink Auction for Lilly Lu

Artsy Catsy is auctioning the following items to help pay Lilly Lu's vet bills. Please leave your bids in the comments. The auction will end at midnight Monday (Eastern time).

Thank you so much for helping! As of noon today, Lilly still won't eat and her Mama Laura must force-feed her with a syringe in order to give the 3 liver medications she's taking time to work. Lilly is so very sick, and her vet bills so far are almost $900.
I Love Cats Keychain
Created with 49-strand beading wire for durability, and a sturdy clasp to hook it to a purse, belt etc.
Cell Phone Charm
Beaded Bookmark

Cat Toy

36" Fleece Blanket Ponytail Band

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fashion Friday Auction for Lilly Lu

Oops. I'm running late getting photos and bidding instructions up, but Rocky is up and about tonight and he promised to do it for me tomorrow morning. This CEO stuff is too hard! I'm going back to being the Spokesmodel!! ~~Lucy

Hello from Lucy! Rocky still isn't feeling well, so he has put me in charge of organizing an event to help my fellow Pink Lady Lilly Lu. As we Pink Ladies say, "All for one and one for all!" Lilly is having a very difficult time. She has serious liver and kidney problems, and if medicine doesn't help her liver within 48 hours, it will be even more serious and her Mama Laura will have to decide whether or not to put Lilly through a liver biopsy.

So I'm planning a special Pink Fashion Auction to help pay Lilly Lu's vet bills so she can get all the care she needs. I've checked Artsy Catsy headquarters for everything pink. I found lots of pink beads, so the human artists are making some pink bookmarks, cell phone charms and KEY CHAINS. We'll have photos of them on our blog by tonight.

Then I looked through my own things, and I want to contribute my very own Pink Lady headband/collar/toy.. Here I am modeling it as both a collar and a toy ... and humans can wear it too: And I'm going to give up my pink blanket for the auction, too. It's only been used for one day, and my mom has washed it, so it's as good as new.

I'll keep perusing for pink, and we'll post pictures and bidding instructions later today, so please come back and see me. In the meantime, Pink Lady Tara is having a commentathon to help Lilly Lu, and has posted a beautiful message on her blog, so please visit her today!

If any other kitties are having events for Lilly Lu, please let me know so we can all link to each other!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Please feel better, Lilly Lu!

We love you and miss you, Lilly Lu!
Please get well soon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Abandoned Kittens Need Homes!

Our sister Vickie in Sellersburg, Indiana rescued these 3 adorable kittens and they need homes. They were found abandoned in a wood pile behind Old Hickory Pit BBQ in Louisville, KY. There has been no sign of their mother.
And there is another feral mother with a litter of 7 even smaller kittens that she's trying to capture from the same location. The kittens' eyes are not yet open. The mother has obviously never had contact with people, and her tail is gone, probably burned from the fire pits behind the restaurant. A number of cats have died at this location because cats climb into the fire pits to get warm, but then they often can't get back out. They also get killed or injured when the wood is chopped. Metro Louisville Rescue will pick up the kittens, but they said they would have to euthanize them immediately due to the large number of kittens they already have.
These three are fat little sweeties, so their mom did take good care of them. Vickie is trying to capture both of the mom cats so she can have them spayed, even if she has to return them to where she found them.
But these beautiful babies, and the ones yet to be rescued, need furever homes! If anyone in the cat blogosphere could adopt them, or if you know of a no-kill shelter or other organization in the Louisville area that would take them and their mother cats without euthanizing them, PLEASE let us know! Vickie already has 11 rescued cats and can't possibly keep these 3 kittens or the 7 yet to be rescued, or their mothers, no matter how much she'd like to!
~~ Sharolyn & Suzanne

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Take a Break Tuesday

While Rocky is out sick, we're taking a break at Artsy Catsy to give our toes & tummies & other overworked body parts a Tuesday rest! Our Catministrative Assistant, Callie, has climbed up on her desk to get off her floofy feet for awhile:
Our Spokesmodel Lucy has cancelled all her photo shoots so she can curl up her legs and get some beauty rest: Somber, our Official Corporate Bookend, is giving Casey, our Corporate Controller, a much-needed shoulder massage: And our Vice President and Corporate Mouthpiece, Fracas, has just plain gone belly-up:Even in our European Division, FredBaby and Holly Golightly are taking it easy Italian-style:Our CEO Rocky is recovering nicely, comfortably hospitalized in a private room (his mom's bedroom), where he is being pampered and spoiled rotten and given Temptations four times a day when he takes his antibiotics and has his ears medicated. Other than being covered in goopy, greasy hair, his ears look much better! So we guess that means we'll have to get off our foofy behinds soon and get back to work.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Yo Adrian, this stinks!

AACKHHK!! My human is tryin' to strangle me!! Yeah, she calls it chin squiggles to make up for squirting toxic waste down my throat (she calls it antibiotics) and squeezing rancid slime in my ears (she calls it medicinal ointment). But there's only one way she can make it up to me for this mistreatment:
Yeah, yeah, I know I have to do this so my ears will get better, but I don't have to LIKE it, do I? She says the inside of my ears look like blue cauliflower, and abusing me like this twice a day will keep them from getting worse. Other than doing a kangaroo impersonation and leaping all over the house after she dumps stuff in my orifices, and then boxing my cat staff in frustration, I'm trying to put up with it.
And I try to look on the bright side. I'm a tough guy like my namesake, Rocky Balboa, so I guess it's only fitting that I have cauliflower ears. But much more of this abuse and, Yo Adrian, this Italian Stallion is outta this house of torture and headin' to Italy to live with Tiffany, Fred & Holly!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Rocky's Lucky Friday the 13th!

We're home from the vet trip, and the good news is Rocky doesn't have cancer! He has glandular hyperplasia, and secondary bacterial and yeast infections. The vet explained that cats who produce too much ear wax are very prone to develop this condition. We know several of our kitty friends have said they produce too much ear wax, and Rocky says to tell you to LOVE those ear cleanings as much as you love Temptations so your ears won't get like his!! (He's resting right now, after an exhausting two days.)
Unfortunately, the damage to his ears can't be reversed, and this is a chronic condition that will require lifetime treatment. But we're just so happy it wasn't cancer, because the type of cancer that typically occurs in cases like this is basal cell carcinoma and it isn't treatable when it's in a cat's ears.
Now he gets Animax in his ears twice daily for ten days and antibiotics (Clavamox) for ten days. After that, he gets his ears cleaned twice a week forever with a prescription earwash called T8 Keto.
His 160 mile roundtrip today wasn't nearly as frightening to him as his short trip to the vet yesterday. He moaned only for 40 miles, then settled down for short naps in his covered carrier for the rest of the trip. And the vet's exam room has a high window ledge overlooking a courtyard that he could look out when he wasn't being examined. Even with an interesting view, he looks a bit worried:
Oh, and while he was there, good CEO that he is, Rocky sold an Artsy Catsy cell phone charm to the vet! What a guy! Even when he's sick, he's still our beloved hard-driving Cat Executive Officer!
Thank you all so very, very much for your caring words and support! Cat families are the best families in the world!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Vet Update from Rocky's Mom

Poor Rocky had a traumatic vet visit, and he has an even more traumatic one coming up tomorrow. And I'm furious! I've been battling problems with Rocky's ears for a couple of years now. He's seen 3 different vets in our city, and I've gotten diagnoses of everything from bacterial infection to ear discoloration because he produces too much ear wax. We solved the ear wax problem, but lately his ears have become worse and developed black nodules.

The vet today essentially told me, "His ears are full of tumors. They may or may not be malignant. No way to tell. Nothing we can do but give him ear ointment for inflammation (Animax). It'll get worse, but might not kill him. I've seen this before." I asked her what causes this and what the condition is called, and she said, "I have no idea what causes it and I don't know what it's called."

Yes, she actually said those things to me!!! So I called a competent vet in Indianapolis, who said the vet here, in spite of her rotten bedside manner, could be right, in which case it's a glandular condition that white cats who produce too much ear wax are prone to get. But it could also be cancer, and she couldn't believe the vet here didn't do x-rays or a biopsy.

So tomorrow I'm driving Rocky 80 miles to have further testing by a vet who actually knows what she's doing. He's a tough guy at home, but the poor little fellow is absolutely terrified of riding in a car. He doesn't even need a carrier because he goes almost comatose and curls up in a quivering fetal position and won't move.

Please keep us in your thoughts and Rocky could use lots of soothing purrs to comfort him during his 80 mile trip and biopsy at the vet. I feel terrible now for posting something humorous about this below. It breaks my heart to have to put my otherwise fearless baby boy through this, and I'm so worried about the test results.

~~ Sharolyn

13 Reasons Not to Go to The Vet

Sharolyn: C’mon Rocky, it’s time to go to the vet.
Rocky: WHAT? I don’t think so!
Sharolyn: Now, Rocky, it’s for your own good. We’ve solved your excessive ear wax problem by putting fish oil in your food, but now the skin on the inside of your ears is turning black and developing hard nodules.
Rocky: Maybe I LIKE hard nodules in my ears, you ever think of that? Put that stupid cage back in the basement, ‘cause I’m giving you 13 good reasons why I shouldn’t go to the vet:

1) I’m the Artsy Catsy CEO (Cat Executive Officer) and as The Decider, if I decide I don't want to go to the vet, that’s that!

2) If it ain't broke, don't fix it! So what if I have black skin and bumps in my ears? I say as long as I can still hear, leave 'em alone!!

3) You like being able to hear, right? Well, take me to the vet and I’ll scream so loud I’ll break your eardrums!

4) You look nice with skin on your arms and hands. Take me to the vet and it’s bye-bye skin!

5) Your Jeep looks nice with upholstery on its seats. Take me to the vet and it’s bye-bye upholstery!

6) Maybe I’m growing black ears so I can join the Tuxedo Gang, you ever think of that?

7) Maybe I’m just putting on a black suit as befits an important executive!

8) Take me to the vet and I’ll put the bitey on you, so you’ll have to go to the human vet!

9) Take me to the vet and I’ll resign and you’ll have to run this company!

10) If you take me to the vet, I’ll sue you for cruelty to animals!

11) If you take me to the vet, I’ll never use the litter pan again!

12) If you take me to the vet, I’ll pee on you!!

13) If you take me to the vet, I'll ... I'll …… owwwww, my ears hurt! What’s the matter with you? Why haven’t you taken me to the vet?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tail-less Tuxie & CEO Toes Tuesday

Before Rocky takes over the blog again, LittleGirl and I are posting a picture of us basking in sun in the upstairs human litter box room. That's me, Oscar, on the left, staring at LittleGirl's tail, wondering how she maneuvers with that thing dragging behind her ... because I don't have one.
Rocky here. Every time I try to take a quick snooze, some insubordinate staff member messes with my blog and wakes me up with all that keyboard pawing! You two give me that mouse and get back to work!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

We wish all our kitty and bean friends an eggstra-happy Easter! And kitties ... may lots of leftovers fall off the table and into your mouths!!

~~ Rocky, Fracas, Callie, Lucy and everybody at Artsy Catsy

Friday, April 6, 2007

Formerly Feral Friday

Rocky is a blog hog!! You'd think this entire company is all about Rocky! Well, anybody with any sense at all knows that a company's most valuable assets are it's employees. So today the cat staff has booted Rocky's big behind off our blog so you can meet some of us other formerly ferals!

We first present Ivan, our meezer Information Technology Director, and Bitsy, our Director of Corporate Espionage:
Ivan came to Artsy Catsy from a poor excuse for a pet shop, that was closed down by city officials. He had been adopted out to a family who returned him because they said he had "distemper" and was mean and grumpy. From the day we brought him home, he has been the sweetest, most loving meezer in the world and hey, this cat knows his way around a computer!

Bitsy was adopted when she was a tiny kitty in our backyard by Ugly, a former feral who lived outside with us for several years. Ugly raised Bitsy as if he were her mother, and you can see a portrait of them here. They were inseparable, but Bitsy would allow no human contact whatsoever until Ugly passed over the Rainbow Bridge. The humans spent weeks trying to console her until she finally let them bring her inside. She had to be separated from all the other cats, until the day we brought Ivan home, and they immediately became best friends. .....
..... Next, we present Blackie Bear, another former feral who lived outside with us for two years before he decided to come inside:
Blackie Bear is a fierce former tomcat who loves humans but is still aggressive with the cat staff, so he became our Safety & Security Manager. His office is located in our upstairs art studio, where he can overlook the entire household and perform important security tasks such as checking paintbrushes for dirty bombs. .....

..... Finally, we present Oscar, our Maintenance Manx. He came from a litter of kittens found in the fireplace wood in our backyard:
The Artsy Catsy humans found furever homes for Oscar's mom and littermates, but since Oscar was the only manx in the litter, he was concerned that not everyone would appreciate him as a tailless wonder, so he decided to stay on as our maintenance guy. And he does a great job ... except when he loses his balance and falls off his chair or in the human litter pan! .....
..... So there, Rocky! You're not the only cat in the woodpile!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Write a Book Wednesday

Okay, I think all of us blogging cats should start compiling our memoirs because it could make us wealthy! This is Dewey, a rescued cat who lived for 19 years in a library in a small town in Iowa, and his life story has sold for about $1.25 million to Grand Central Publishing!You can read about it Wednesday's New York Times at "Iowa Library’s Cat Has a Rich Second Life as a Biography". So, I don't know about you, but I'm starting a journal: "The Story of Rocky's Life Which is Worth Lots of Money."

$1.25 million would by TONS of nip!!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sneak Out Sunday!

The humans worked in the yard today, and since we're no April Fools, Lucy and I sneaked outside to help! First, while Lucy sanded the picnic table so the humans could give it a fresh coat of paint, I examined the old catalpa tree and informed them that it needs a tree surgeon:

Well, that was enough work for the day, so I took a grass gobbling break while Lucy pretended she was a kite when the wind blew her off the picnic table:
Then we both visited our pet cemetery to pay our respects to Ralphie, one of our wonderful meezers, and to Dustbunny, my best bunny pal in the whole world:
When the humans starting making 'go inside' noises, I posed with the dandelions and Lucy struck a pose on the Stonehenge bench, thinking a little cuteness might keep us outside a while longer: But noooo, they made us go inside and ruined the rest of our day ... pffftt ... well, until dinner at least.