Monday, February 29, 2016

Shelter cat stories: Callie needs a special Sith-friendly home

Callie the shelter cat standing on her cat bed
As many of you know, I write a cat blog for Willamette Humane Society once a week. And that means I walk the halls of the shelter more than once every week. Often, I spend time with the cats waiting for their forever homes in kennels in the adoption wing. But I also meet the cats resting in medical suites, away from the adoption floor.

That's where I met this girl, Callie. And I've been rooting for her ever since.

Callie came to the shelter as a euthanasia request. She had some digestive difficulties, seemed lethargic and wasn't breathing well. Her family did not have the financial means to dig into all of these problems, and they thought Callie's quality of life was poor. So they asked for help in allowing her to get rid of her discomfort.

The staff examined her, and while they did see the difficulties the family saw, the staff also felt like Callie had a little extra spark of something. She was friendly and calm, and she really loved attention. They wanted to work with her.

Callie the cat sees something in the distance

A food change helped to amend Callie's digestive difficulties. But she still had a very weird health problem. From time to time, she'd roll her shoulders back, dip her head down and let out these weird and long breaths from her gut. It sounded, to me, like some sort of howling or coughing. But then someone told me she sounded like Darth Vader, and boy was that accurate. Once I heard that description, I couldn't get it out of my head.

A throat scope confirmed that Callie did not have a tumor or any kind of deformity. But she does have two types of bacteria deep inside her lungs. When those infections flare, her breathing becomes labored.

Her throat was flushed during the scope and medications have helped to keep the infection down. So now, she has no signs of a breathing disorder. But, those infections remain and Callie remains infectious.

Callie is living in a special suite in adoptions, so she can go home right now. She'll need a home with no other cats, as she can give this problem to others. And her family will need to be alert and aware of her health. If she has a flare, she might need surgery, medications or both.

So she is a project cat. And it's hard to find people who can take her.


Callie is chipper and cheerful during her wait. She loves any kind of attention from anyone who spends time with her. And she is feeling so healthy and robust that she's found her inner kitten. Every time I walk by her suite, I see her dodging and diving and running. It's wonderful.

But at the same time, I can't help but wish that Callie could experience life in a real home, with a real family. I just know there's someone out there that could help.

So I'm hoping we can rally as a cat community and network this girl. She is in Salem, Oregon at Willamette Humane Society. Interested parties can read more about her here. And you can use that page to make a donation to sponsor her care. All of those medical tests and things have made Callie pretty expensive. Any help would be appreciated.

Can you help sweet cat? I hope so!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday cat selfie: Half in and half out of the cat bed

Lucy the cat lounging in her cat bed
We all know that cats like to lounge. It's just one of those things they were made for. But blind cat Lucy seems to be taking the lounging thing to a whole new level. Instead of merely reaching out with one foot as she sleeps in her cat bed, she's decided to make a stretch in two directions.

Perfect for a Sunday cat selfie, to share with The Cat On My Head, don't you think?

So here she is, in all of her stretch-tabulous glory.

Lucy stretches her front and back feet in her cat bed

This bed is heated, hence the cord. Maybe it's the heat that makes Lucy feel so liquid?

Lucy the blind cat reaching for the camera

Who knows? But I'm glad she took the time from her busy nap schedule to tap the camera for her selfie. I think she did a good job, don't you? Leave us a note and tell us what you think.

And as always, be sure to visit the other blogs in this hop! You'll be glad you did.



Thursday, February 25, 2016

3 DIY solutions for cat chin acne

Closeup shot of Maggie the cat
Maggie the cat has excellent grooming skills. She devotes several hours every day to licking, chewing and polishing her pretty black-and-white fur. But a few weeks ago, I noticed that she was adding a new move to her grooming routine. Instead of just licking her front foot, swooping it over her head and then moving on, she was licking her back foot and then dig, dig, digging at her chin.

When I pulled up her head to peep at that chin, I could see what was going on. Mags had a nasty case of chin acne. Her entire lower lip was black and crusty, and the edges were swollen and bleeding.

Maggie has never dealt with this problem before, but apparently, it's pretty common. Just as some people struggle with excess skin oil, some cats have overactive glands on their chins and lips, and the oil those glands excrete can mesh with the food the cats eat and cause big problems.

Maggie the cat has chin acne on her lip
See that black dot by Maggie's nose? That's acne.

Since Maggie's outbreak was so severe, she needed a trip to the doctor for help. There, she had a big-time cleaning and pore extraction (a spa day!), and she had an order for antibiotics on hand. If she didn't get better within a week or two, I'd need to fill that prescription and get her on the road to wellness.

She is much better now, even without the medications. And it occurs to me that the things I'm doing at home might be great things for anyone to do when cat acne strikes. So here are those steps, in no particular order.

Switch bowls

Acne is caused by overactive glands, but bacteria also plays a role. And bacterial colonies thrive in plastic bowls. There are so many cracks and creases and divots in a traditional plastic bowl that it's nearly impossible to get things completely disinfected. When acne hits, all the plastic must go. Maggie now eats exclusively out of stainless steel or glass bowls.

Rub down after meals 

Cats usually take care of their own post-meal cleanup. But, it's hard for a cat to really keep that chin clean. Tiny bits of food can linger, as can speckles of grease and grit. A quick post-meal rubdown with a warm washcloth can remove those irritants and block a breakout before it starts.

Maggie the cat resting after a meal

Nightly polishing 

Wiping a cat's face after meals can help a ton. But many acne-prone cats still struggle with oil production. These cats may need a little extra help in order to keep their pores clean and clear. An evening wash-up with mild soap and water (I use Dr. Bronner's) can help to break up big acne clumps. And in severe cases, you can use a human skin treatment like Clearasil pads to clean things up. But if you go the medication route, talk to your doctor first. Some meds are too harsh for a cat's skin, so you'll need a product your doctor approves of.

I've read a little about a possible link between food additives and acne. And I'll be honest: I tried a few foods with Maggie, just to see what might happen. Unfortunately, Maggie has chosen a specific brand of food and she pretty much refuses to budge from it. That food might be causing her acne, but she doesn't care. She won't eat anything else.

Same goes for fish oil. Supplementing her diet with fish oil might help her skin. But Maggie absolutely hates the taste of salmon, tuna and/or pollock oil. When I add oils to her food, she won't eat.

So instead, I clean her bowls and her face. It's a quick and easy way to help my senior girl look her best.

Any of you have cats with chin acne? What did you try? Love to hear your ideas in the comments.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Keep your dogs safe among the roses

Liam the pug poses in the rose bed
Spring is totally here. Just ask my dogs, or look at my roses. The weather is warm enough that Liam and Sinead both enjoy their daily walks, and everywhere we look, roses are sprouting their leaves.

Roses are a big deal in Oregon, as the climate here is neither too cold in the winter nor too hot in the summer. Anyone with even the merest hint of a green thumb can grow a pretty darn perfect rose. But, it often takes a lot of chemicals to make roses pest free.

Sinead the Boston terrier in the rose bed
I use a systemic fertilizer on my roses about four times per year, and that stuff is pretty toxic to dogs. That's why the roses in the backyard are up high in planters the dogs can't access. And since I'm sure my neighbors use some kind of fertilizer on their roses, I ensure that Liam and Sinead aren't allowed to visit the roses we walk by on our strolls through the neighborhood.

But, I see plenty of people who let their dogs sniff, lick and otherwise pester growing rose bushes. That's flirting with disaster. I've gotten around it in the past by building big pens (see a rant about that here), but this year, I'll probably just use signs.

So this week's Wordless Wednesday comes with a safety reminder: Look for pesticide signs when you have your dogs out and about, and if you don't see those warnings, assume chemicals are in play and keep your dogs away!
Liam and Sinead posing with the roses
See the stink eye? No photo shoot would be complete without it.
Thanks to BlogPaws for hosting this always entertaining blog hop. And please leave me a comment, so I'll know you were here!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

World Spay Day: 3 ways you can celebrate (without a surgery)

This sweet kitty is waiting in a shelter kennel for her home
Think about your cats for a moment. Are all of them spayed or neutered? Every last one of them? Chances are, if you're a responsible pet owner with just one or two cats, you'll answer "yes" to this question. But, there's still a lot you can do to help with pet overpopulation.

For example, the last Tuesday in February is set aside, by the Humane Society International, for spay awareness. Yup, it's World Spay Day! (Catchy as hell, right? Well, maybe not.) And there are three key things you could do today to help mark the occasion. And none of them require heading to the vet with your cat in a box.

Option 1: Talk to a neighbor 

Do you share a street with a herd of cats? And do you hear those cats getting busy every night? If so, you're living next to someone who needs to hear the spay/neuter message. And if you pitch the conversation just right, you might make a difference.

For example, few people like to get accosted by a nosy neighbor who comes running up with advice about what should and should not be done with pets. And few people respond kindly to conversations that start with words like, "If you don't do something, I'll call the police!" or "You don't care about your cats at all!"

A better approach involves doing a little research. Contact your local humane society, and ask about low-cost spay/neuter programs in your community. If you can, pick up flyers from the society, or print out pages online. Then, take those docs with you when you talk, and point out how little it might cost the person to get the problem handled.

Option 2: Make a donation

Some spay/neuter programs rely on grants and other forms of traditional funding. But many rely on nice donations from community members just like you. A donation as small as $30 or $40 could cover the cost of one or more surgeries, and if you can't afford that much, even a tiny amount could help.

If you can't afford to fund a spay/neuter program with money, the facilities that provide these surgeries always need clean towels for cats in recovery. Scour your cupboards and look for those linens. You could help a cat in need.

Tiny kitten waiting for her spay surgery in her kennel

Option 3: Talk it up on social.

There are tons of misconceptions about what spay surgeries are for and how cats can really benefit from having a litter of kittens. These little misconceptions can keep people from scheduling the surgeries their cats need, and that can lead to many more unwanted kittens.

Social media is a great myth-busting tool. And there are all sorts of really clever infographics you can use to help spread the word about spays. I like this one from the RSCPA, for example. Share it, or one like it, and you could save a life!

RSPCA cat neutering advice
Avoid a cat-astrophe - An infographic created by the RSPCA

So go ahead. Celebrate the spay day today. Future cats will thank you!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Dog mast cell tumor test results: 4 things to ask about

Sinead the Boston terrier recovering from a mast cell tumor
Last week, Sinead went in for her mast cell tumor removal surgery. I've decided to call it a "brow lift," as she lost some tissue over her left eye. Her expression is a little more open on that side than it is on the right. See the difference?

Anyway, since that surgery (and if you missed the original post with the gnarly tumor in all its glory, click here), I've been waiting for pathology reports. And I've been so worried about the pathology test, that I started hitting up Dr. Google, just so I'd be prepared.

I came up with 4 key things to ask about. And as a disclaimer: I'm no veterinarian. My words cannot be considered more useful than those a doctor would use. If you're looking for clinical advice, I'm the wrong gal. But, if you're interested in what one reasonable (and worried) person might look for in a pathology report, this blog might help. 

So here's what I asked about, along with Sinead's results.

And (spoiler alert): Sinead's test was pretty much perfect.

Question 1: What were the margins?

Mast cell tumors can have long legs. They can reach down and out into healthy tissue, and that invasion isn't always easy for a surgeon to see. A pathologist measures from the end of the tumor to the edge of the cut that took the tumor out. The bigger the margin, the better.

Sinead's margins were about a millimeter. That's not huge, but it means the whole tumor came out in this surgery.

Question 2: What was the grade?

Mast cell tumors are rated on something called the Patnaik system, which moves from 1 to 3. The higher the grade, the more dangerous the tumor is considered. This was the gold standard of mast cell tumors for years, but its fallen out of fashion with some doctors (more on that in a minute). But in general, no one wants to see a grade 3.

Sinead's was a grade 2. That's not wonderful, but it's not bad either.

Question 3: What is the secondary grade?

Many histopath professionals worry about these tumors, and they tend to give most of them grade 2 readings. It's a safe bet. So some professionals have suggested an up/down rule. Either the tumor is of a high grade (bad) or a low grade (good). Up or down. Obviously, you want a reading of low. 

Sinead's was a low grade.
 
Sinead the Boston terrier in the sun

Question 4: What was the mitotic index?

This is a technical term that describes, in essence, how many cells are dividing. Since cancer involves cells growing and dividing at a very fast clip, a high mitotic index points to areas of the body that are changing really fast. And that could point to cancer.

This is sort of the cutting edge of mast cell research (Wanna get geeky? Check out this study.). It's been closely tied to how long a dog lives with a mast cell tumor, regardless of grade. The lower the index, the better.

Sinead's mitotic index was less than 1. You really can't get a better result than that.

So overall, this is a really wonderful report. It's filled with a lot that I can be hopeful about. But, as the pathologist says, mast cell tumors can be sneaky. They can evade detection, and they can change in ways that no one can predict. So are we out of the woods? Not quite.

In a few weeks, I'll take Sinead to a veterinary oncologist for a second opinion. I'll write up more then.

But for now? It's time to celebrate!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday cat selfies: Popoki's photo shoot gets a little crazy

Popoki the cat sleeping on the desk
Popoki the exotic shorthair cat wasn't feeling very chipper this morning. It's cold and wet in Oregon today, and she thought that she might spend her day in cat slug fashion. I was tempted to join in, if I'm being honest.

But, we both really love the Sunday Selfies series from The Cat On My Head, and we hate to miss it. So I rallied, and I had Popoki rally. But it took her a few tries to get things just right.

Popoki the cat takes a bad cat selfie

I think you're a little too close to the camera there, Popoki. And that angle isn't really very flattering. Look at that big chin!

Popoki the cat shows some attitude

Okay, okay. I'm sorry I said anything about your chin. You can turn off the cat attitude now. But let's try a different setup, so you can look as pretty as can be. And the sun just came out. You might have a few minutes of perfect light.

Popoki the cat in a good cat selfie

Whew! That's a great shot. (And I'm glad this whole photo shoot is over. Things got a little dangerous for a minute or two!)

If you love cat selfies, be sure to check out some of the other blogs in this blog hop. People are so creative with their cameras and captions. It's always a good time.


And I'd love for you to leave a comment, so I'll know what you thought of these selfies!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cats and sleep: How your felines could teach you to sleep like a kitty

Popoki in closeup while she is asleep
This week, I've been looking to my cats for sleep inspiration. I need the help. With tax season roaring right up on me, I've been doing more paperwork and math than my poor brain is accustomed to, and worries about Sinead's mast cell tumor surgery and recovery have kept me up on more than one restless night. Per my trusty FitBit, I've been getting about 6 to 7 hours of sleep per night. The app recommends 8 or more.

Now, the cats are under many of the same pressures. They see Sinead in her cone, and they know that something is up with her and her health. And they've had to navigate around the card table in the basement that I'm using to store all my tax stuff. They're under pressure, and yet they still get their sleep every night. And they sleep during the day, too. Even when I'm working.

Popoki the cat sleeping on my desk

How? Wouldn't I like to know. And as much as I've tried to interview them, they're not talking. Now it seems they don't have to.

The awesome folks at 9 Lives pointed me to the cutest website, all about sleep advice as delivered by Morris the Cat. There are some seriously cute videos on this site, and while many of them are simply funny, some come with some decent sleep advice, too.

I watched more than my share of these videos this week when I couldn't sleep. And last week, I shared some spoils from my thank-you for this post with my shelter cat friends. I think Morris would approve.

The shelter cats I tried this food with loved it so much that they were willing to work for it. The only way I got this shot of curious Angel Girl was to lure her close to the camera for a bite of food I had on the end of a craft stick. Worth it, right?

Angel Girl the shelter cat gets close to the camera

Did you know that 9Lives always uses a rescue cat for Morris? And did you know that the company has paired with the ASPCA to feed homeless cats? Just use the hashtag #MorrisFeeds on Twitter, and the company sends out a donation.
 
So go ahead. Check out these awesome videos on the Live Well & Prospurr website. And then consider adding a few cans of 9Lives to your shopping cart to donate to your local animal shelter. You'll be so glad you did that you'll probably sleep a little better tonight!

Disclaimer: 9Lives sent me cat food and cat toys in return for this post. All of the opinions are my own. Rest assured that I only discuss programs I think provide real value. 

And as an aside, I do not have Sinead's pathology report back yet. When I do, I'll post on this page. I promise!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Dogs and daffodils

Liam the pug and his daffodils
Looking at this picture of Liam the pug surrounded by blooming daffodils, you'd have no idea that it's only February. But somehow, spring has arrived about 6 weeks early in Oregon. All of my bulbs have growth on them, and many are blooming.

It's perfect for a Wordless Wednesday post, as hosted by BlogPaws!

Liam the pug and Sinead the Boston terrier among the flowers

Both Liam and Sinead felt like getting in on the photo shoot action, although Liam really didn't want to leave his sunny spot behind and come up a little closer to the camera. It may be warmer than it should be, but it's still a little too cold for this pug.

Sinead the Boston terrier wearing a cone standing by flowers

And Sinead had to suffer the indignity of wearing her party hat/cone during the entire photo shoot. She is still recovering from her mast cell tumor surgery, and her doctor wants her to wear that cone almost all the time, until her stitches dissolve or come out. So you'll probably see a lot of cone shots in the future.

Liam the pug and Sinead the Boston terrier look unhappy

Why do these two dogs look so unhappy? Because I just reminded them that these flowers, while pretty, are also dangerous for dogs. The Pet Poison Helpline says that daffodil flowers, stems and bulbs are packed with substances that can make little pets pretty sick. So while these flowers are nice to look at, they shouldn't be eaten. I think Liam and Sinead had other plans I am foiling.

Thanks for the visit, and be sure to leave me a note so I'll know you were here! And be sure to visit the other blogs in this week's hop. You'll love them!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dog mast cell surgery recovery: Treats, toys and snuggles all help

Sinead the Boston terrier resting with her toy
Sinead the Boston terrier made it home safe and sound after her mast cell tumor surgery yesterday. She's spent most of her time since she returned home sitting on the couch, on my lap or in her bed. She doesn't seem too eager to do much else, and I can't say I blame her.

As some of you may remember, Sinead's mast cell tumor was right above her eye, packed in tight in tissues that help her to blink and squint. The tumor itself wasn't very big, but it was in a delicate spot, and all of it had to come out.

A closeup of Sinead's mast cell tumor

My hand isn't a very useful reference, but I think this tumor was something like 0.5mm across. That's teeny, but the surgeon couldn't just take out the tumor and leave the rest. Mast cells don't work like that.

From what I understand, these tumors have deep fingers that dig down and out. The bit you might be able to see peeping out above the skin might be only a tiny fraction of the entire body of the tumor. And leaving bits of that stuff behind could allow it to grow back in time.

Typically, surgeons like to take something like 3-5mm all the way out and all the way down to get every bit of the tumor. If mine did that, Sinead wouldn't be able to blink. So he couldn't get every scrap, but he did take out quite a bit. Here's what she looks like now.

Sinead's eye after mast cell surgery

She has three little stitches right above her eye, and her eyelid is a little tighter and more taught than it once was. She can still close her eye all the way and blink properly (I checked), but he did take out quite a bit of tissue from her little head.

The head has a ton of nerve endings, and I would imagine that this thing hurts like crazy. If left unattended, Sinead will pull and rub and tear at her eye and her stitches. So she wears the party hat almost all the time, unless she is on my lap.

She's eating fine, playing well and she took a little walk this morning. So she's on the mend, with the help of treats and toys and pain meds. But now we wait for the histopath report. I'll need to see just how much nasty stuff was left behind before I can make decisions with her vet about next steps.

Sinead in her party hat

Overall, I'm pleased with how well my brave little girl is doing. And I am impressed with her surgery. But waiting for that report is hard. Very hard.

Thanks to all of you who have written comments here, on Facebook and on Instagram. Sinead and I appreciate it so much. And we'll keep you posted on that report!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Feeling a love hangover? Why not celebrate Anipal Appreciation Day!

Liam the pug and Sinead the Boston terrier sharing a bed
We can't all be spry and chipper like Liam the pug--especially on the Monday after a big holiday. Most of us, and I put myself deeply in this category, would rather spend a day like today curled up with a cup of tea and a few hundred episodes of Seinfeld. Few of us want to do something as productive as WRITING, especially pet blog writing.

When I feel at a loss for what to say, or I am struggling to harness any kind of creativity at all, I look to my fellow pet bloggers for inspiration. Without fail, I'll walk away from a browsing session with a few great ideas and a renewed sense of vigor.

I owe these other bloggers a deep debt of love and gratitude, and that's what today is all about.


Anipal Appreciation Day, started by the fabulously named Piglove blog, is designed to help pet bloggers recognize one another publicly. We get our thanks out of the way, and you get to check out some new blogs you may not have heard of before.

Here are a few of my go-to inspirations, just for this special day.

Animal Shelter Volunteer Life is packed to the gills with fabulous photos of cats up for adoption at a shelter in Connecticut. I write a similar blog for Willamette Humane Society, and I can tell you it's hard to come up with new photos, new captions and new ways to tell a cat story--and I only write once per week! I admire the creativity of this blog so much, and it never fails to inspire me.

The Hailey and Zaphod Chronicles details the doings of two really special dogs and the person who cares for them. The best thing about this blog? The photo captions. I almost always get a giggle when I read the text underneath the photos. And the shots are really well composed, too.

Barking from the Bayou floors me every time with awesome Photoshop work. The pets on this blog hold press conferences, drive boats, wear costumes and otherwise do non-pet things, all through some sneaky computer work. It's very inspiring, and it reminds me that I need to do some of that myself!

Popoki the cat turns her frown upside down

So if you need a little help (like Popoki) in turning a frown upside down, check out these blogs. And consider writing up your own thank-you notes, too! Trust me: It feels good to share the love.

Check back tomorrow for a recap of Sinead's mast cell tumor surgery. I'm hoping to have good news to share!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday cat selfie: Cats and dogs in love

Lucy the cat posing nicely for her selfie
Let me admit something: I am in love with my iPhone. Lucy the blind cat has always been hard to photograph, simply because she doesn't like the noise of a camera or the bulk of a tablet. The iPhone has really been wonderful, because she can't feel it invading her space and I can mute it so it doesn't make any sounds at all. That means she'll hold still, looking right at me, for these pretty and detailed selfies. I am not usually a techno fan, but this might be my favorite cat tool ever!

So we worked a little this morning on special selfies for the blog hop for The Cat on My Head, and Lucy held these poses despite two very major distractions. Here's one.

Liam the pug standing by Lucy the blind cat

Liam the pug knows that most photography sessions involve treats. So he came right over to check things out when I started shooting. And where Liam goes, someone else follows.

Lucy the blind cat and Sinead the Boston terrier
Yup, Sinead the Boston terrier decided to get in on the action, too. I thought about shooing them away, and then I thought of something. It is Valentine's day, after all, and these are the two creatures Lucy loves most in the world. It's fitting that they should be in her portrait on this day of love, right?

So here's Lucy with her dog bookends. Doesn't she look happy?

Lucy the blind cat with her pug and her Boston terrier
Be sure to leave me a note, so I'll know you were here. And check back later for news about Sinead's mast cell tumor. Her surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning. I'll update the page as soon as I know anything!

And thanks as always to our wonderful hosts of this blog hop. I love seeing all of the cute cat photos!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Show your dog some love on Valentine's day: Tasty dinner ideas

Pug and Boston terrier ready for Valentine's day
The average person spends about $150 on Valentine's day, and most of that money goes to conventional human things like champagne, chocolate and flowers. But the unconventional dog people (and I include myself here, wholeheartedly) plan to spend at least some of our love day allowance on our pets.

On Sunday, Liam and Sinead will get some new toys, some great treats and some extra snuggle time. Given all the stress in this household right now, and Sinead's big surgery coming up on Monday, I figured we could all use a little pampering.

But dogs can't live on treats, snuggles and toys alone. They also need food. And I have a very special treat planned for Sunday's dinner.

Liam the pug whispering in Sinead the Boston terrier's ears
"Did you hear that? We're getting something special!"
A few weeks ago, I got a big box of samples from Evanger's. And I've been saving out a few cans of something special, just for occasions like this. I'm pretty excited about this product. So much so that I am writing a review of the food, even though I wasn't asked to do so.

This product falls under Evanger's grain-free, hand-packed line. These are products made up of very large chunks of meat, packed into cans by hand and then processed to perfection. There's a whole line of flavors to try, including sardines, hunks of beef and chicken thighs. The photos of these meals on the outside of the cans are absolutely mouthwatering. And unlike some other products which have great photos and disappointing contents, Evanger's lives up to its marketing promises. Here's a shot of the stuff at the bottom of the sardines can.

Big chunks of meat from a can of dog food

That's one big chunk of fish on a fork. And if you look closely, you'll see that chunk still has its fins and scales. And the gravy has real bits of peas and carrots.


Some of these products could be used as a daily meal. They're nutritionally complete, easy to digest and super palatable, so serving them up every day would be a snap. But some are made for supplemental feeding only. Those are products best used for a treat or a special meal. And there's one more reason you might use a product like this.

Sinead the Boston terrier with a can of dog food
"We're not going to talk about THAT again, are we?"
Dogs that don't feel well due to surgeries or other illnesses can go off food altogether. When Sinead comes home from her lump removal on Monday, for example, she might not feel like noshing on her dinner. She might hurt a little too much to eat. Really tasty food could tempt her to start snacking again, and that could put her on the road to wellness. So I'm happy to have products like this around the house. You never know when your pup needs a little incentive.

If you want to know a little more about the products in this Evanger's line, click here. You'll find out calorie counts, fat content and a ton more. This website is pretty informative.

But meanwhile, know that the dogs of Welcome to the Menagerie think these meals are awesome. And we're thankful for the opportunity to sample them!

Liam the pug dressed up for valentines day

Disclosure: I was sent samples of this dog food to try, but I wasn't asked to write a review. I did so simply because I like this food so much that I thought others should know about it. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I believe provide real value. This disclosure comes in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Happy and playful cat Popoki

Popoki the cat upside down in her cat house
It's been a bit of a tough week at Welcome to the Menagerie. Earlier this week, I found out that Sinead the Boston terrier has a mast cell tumor above her eye, and I'm waiting for/dreading Monday's surgery to remove it. (Read more about that issue here.)

In the midst of the sadness and worry, Popoki has been a real comfort. She's a silly and sweet girl, and she's been really trying to cheer everyone up by ramping up the antics. Here's just one example for today's Wordless Wednesday from BlogPaws. See how silly she gets in this catnip house scratcher?

Popoki the cat looks like she is counting her toes
Counting my toes. One, two, three...
Popoki the cat looks like she is falling asleep
These soft eyes mean "I love you."
If she can't cheer me up, she moves on to the dogs. If you look closely at this photo, you'll see that Popoki is trying to tap Sinead on her little head. Sinead isn't playing along, but I still think this is adorable.
Popoki the cat is trying to play with Sinead the Boston terrier
On Tuesday, I'll write up the results from Sinead's surgery. And I'm hoping to have her pathology report back later in the week. Thanks, in advance, to all of you who have reached out with words of support. It means a lot!

And now, back to the blog hop. Enjoy!