Monday, April 16, 2012

Janelle Meets Nessie Part 1

So Dennis and I want to move into a house with our friends Janelle and Chris, but Janelle and Chris have two cute puppies named Nessie and Ally. Nessie is the more aggressive one, so we decided to ask Janelle and Chris to bring Nessie over first so that my cat, Janelle, could meet Nessie. So here is part one of Janelle and Nessie meeting. There's another video that gets a bit more intense and that will be in part two:

Janelle and Nessie Part Two

Monday, April 9, 2012

Janelle Playing !

This is another bit of a flashback! She's so cute!

Not all cats were meant for stardom

Not all cats were meant to be stars. You see those cats in pictures and those commercials and you think, "Hey, my cat is super cute, my cat could do that." Well, I take a lot of amateur pictures of my cat with my cell phone and I think she could be one of those star cats in those commercials and movies, but then today Dennis comes home with those fancy cameras to do a Photo project for class. Taking pictures of our cat for like a postcard or whatever, and she is so disobedient. She doesn't stare at the camera, she always moves, she is so uncooperative.

It's when she isn't trying and when she's just in her most natural state that she is actually the best. But I wonder what it's like for those "stardom" cats, the cats that are born and raised to be stars and the ones that have to spend every moment in the spotlight.

I am okay with my cat just being herself. She doesn't always respond to her name but whenever I need her she is there, and she's always cute. Not all cats were meant to be stars, but my cat is definitely the star in my life, and a lot cuter than any of those other cats on tv.

Monday, April 2, 2012


My cat is obsessed with pens, highlighters, markers, sharpies, pencils and even crayons. She loves to bat at them, try to bite them and chew on them. She usually ends up batting them away from herself and under the couch or inside the couch, it's really cute to watch her do it though. Don't ever actually let your cat bite the actual ink part of any of the aforementioned, or the graphite or crayon parts, because that can't be good for your cat.

She's adorable.

Vacationing Without Your Cat

When you go on a vacation and you leave your cat behind there are some precautions you need to take. You need to make sure that depending on how long you will be gone for there will be someone there to check in on your cats, some cats may be self sufficient, but my cat is very needy and loving. If she goes too long without human contact she will become very sad, and so when vacationing without your cat make sure that you either pay someone or have a friend who is nice enough to come visit your cat and make sure that your cat's food is all right, water is all right and that the litter is okay; as well as the overall well being of your cat, making sure your cat is all happy and content.

Leaving something of yours, like a fluffy sweatshirt that she enjoys laying on or a snuggie so that she'll have something of yours while you are gone to remind her that you'll be back. Leaving your pet with some treats as well is a great thing to do, whether it is hiding the treats around the house or just putting them in the food bowl, it's also a good time to crack out some of that wet food, because while you are gone your pet is going to miss you and she deserves a treat for being such a good cat while you are gone.

Make sure you fill the litter box more so than usual, because since you won't be there to change out the litter she will need more litter as to avoid having to use other furniture to relief themselves on.

When you return home bring your cat back a gift of some sort even if it is just a treat or new toy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hurricane Irene and Janelle

Over the summer Hurricane Irene was a big deal and here's a photo of Janelle during Hurricane Irene and how she reacted during it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


This is a cute web site that I think that cat lovers will really enjoy. How long can you listen to it for? There's a bunch of different themes as well on the side.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Cat Magazines

So, I subscribe to the magazine Cat Fancy. I decided that before I even had a cat I should subscribe to a cat magazine to learn about what it is like to be a cat owner. For only $10 for twelve months I became the proud subscriber to Cat Fancy, which has really not taught me anything that I couldn't have already learned on the internet, but what it has supplied me with is an abundance of spam mail.

I am constantly getting these cat periodicals and cat advertisements in my mail box all on behalf of Cat Fancy, this is like a weekly thing. There's so many booklets I get selling me cat furniture, organic cat food and sometimes I even get these periodicals trying to sell me more cats. Giving me the numbers of breeders and pictures. I even got Christmas cards with pictures of cats on them.

The magazines do have some cute drawings and some witty things in them, but I don't plan on renewing my subscription. I guess getting a poster of cats is great, but the tips can be found online and so can the pictures - I could do without all the advertisements. I mean, I subscribe to Cosmopolitan, Allure and Glamour as well and those magazines don't send me as much advertising as Cat Fancy.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How old is your cat?

So when we got Janelle the shelter told us that she was 5 years old and gave her the birthday of April 21. We later realized that April 21 was the day that she was brought to the shelter and decided that it'd be better if her birthday was June 10, the day we got her.

Every time we tell someone that our cat is 5, including the vet, the reaction is one of shock and disbelief. Everyone always believes that my cat is only 3 or 4 years old due to the condition of her teeth as well as how lively she is and the way she just looks in general.

Cats can live to be late into their teens (my friend's cat is 20 years old!) and once the cat reaches the age of seven it's time to start feeding him or her different cat food and going to the vet more regularly and consider them "geriatrics."

I realize that it doesn't really matter how old she is, because if she's younger than she really is then that just means there's more time for me to spend with her. I love her and I'll take all the time I can with her.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Cats rub against things. Cats like to rub themselves all over the nicely vacuumed carpet, all over your black shirt, all over your clean clothes. My cat sheds like no other - she is a medium hair cat, but if I go a couple days without brushing her she will shed and rub her cat hair all over the place. Even if I do brush her daily she will still manage to find a way to get her hair on everything.

So, a tip to make sure that your cat doesn't get hair everywhere is to brush your cat everyday. My cat doesn't like when I brush her but is fine with anyone else brushing her.

It's good to just stroke your cat gently, almost like you are petting her. Sometimes you must give a bit more effort and push down, but do not push down to hard. Some cats are very sensitive so you want to see how much your cat can take, my cat likes it a little bit rough.

There are some cats that are short haired and don't need to be brushed daily, my cat is not one of them. Thankfully my cat doesn't have a problem with hair balls, but she does like to lick a lot with that sandpaper tongue of hers. The easiest part of the cat to brush would be the tail, because it's very fluffy. Don't worry to much about brushing the paws and the legs - focus mostly on the back and the belly. The bristles may be painful on the ears and head part of the cat so just avoid those places.

Friday, March 9, 2012

No Scratching the Furniture!

I completely forgot that cats scratching furniture was an issue until the other day Janelle strayed from her two scratching devices and started going at the bed. Most of the time, she is good. And if you don't have a cat that is good then here are some good options.

Cardboard Scratching posts that my cat can just jump on and start scratching are absolutely perfect. They come with cat nip, but I just put the cardboard down on the ground and she just jumped on and went at it. They last quite a while too. Ours has been beat up and we had one upstairs and one downstairs, but now we just have one upstairs and downstairs we have...

A scratching emery board. She doesn't like this one as much but it came with this feather toy that she plays fetch with. The emery board also files down her nails when she scratches into it.

Before we got these two scratching devices Janelle would climb on the sofa and scratch the arms of it as well as the side of the bed, but she really really enjoys the scratching posts and I am sure that this alternative could really help someone out there who has a cat that loves to scratch. Scratching is a normal cat behavior, there's just places that cats shouldn't scratch and so giving them surfaces dedicated to them scratching is great.

The cardboard scratching post was $4 on sale at PetCo and the emery board was a gift.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Memories with Janelle

Here's a good memory, here's a video from June 13, 2011 - this was my third day having her as a pet. Here's me talking about my cat and me :) Lots of information.

How To Clean a Litter Box

How To Clean A Litter Box:

Here are the steps to take in cleaning your cat's litter box, this should be done once a day.

1) Get two plastic bags. They can be grocery bags. Take one plastic bag and put it inside of the other plastic bag. This is so that if the litter rips against the inner plastic bag there is still the outer plastic bag and the litter won't go all over the place.

2) Invest in a scooper that is great at sifting through the litter. You want to use the scooper to dig into the litter and then shake it from side to side so that all the excess litter gets out and all you are left with is the poop and urine clumps.

3) You want to continue to do this until there is no more poop and urine clumps within the litter box.

4) You take the two plastic bags and tie them up and then throw them on the back porch or go straight to the garbage can and do it that way, just make sure it isn't in the house because that will stink up the house.

5) Wash your hands, I can't stress enough how important it is to wash your hands.

Nine out of ten times your cat will use the litter box immediately after you clean it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cat Litter Annoyance

There needs to be a way for cat litter to be disposed of in a more eco-friendly way as well as a more pocket-friendly way.

As of right now we purchase the PETCo brand cat litter that is refillable and it clumps and it doesn't do much for de-odorizing, but the fact that it clumps is wonderful, but when it is time to clean out her poop and pee for the day with the little scooper - I scoop all the droppings into two plastic bags (grocery store bags usually) and tie it up and then throw it on the back porch.

Eventually the bags will pile up on the back porch and Dennis will take them all out to the dumpster.

There really needs to be a better way to do this. I have heard of flushable litter, but that hasn't gotten many good reviews and I have heard it really messes up the piping. So, it would be great if there was a cat litter out there that would clump as well as decompose itself as in, you could just throw it out into the background and it would all just take care of itself.

I'll look into it and report my findings.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

All she wants to do is meow

Janelle the cat has a new favorite hobby: meowing.

She has always meowed, but lately it is getting a bit ridiculous.

I will be upstairs laying in bed or just upstairs on my laptop and I'll hear from the bottom of the stairs a long MEEEEOWWWWW. I'll scream "WHAT?" and this will just continue. She will meow, meow, meow and meow. I will shake a bag of cat treats which will get her to come upstairs, but after she gets her treat she goes back downstairs and meows.

Another instance is when I leave. When my boyfriend and I just leave for two seconds to maybe go put the laundry in the dryer or washer (less than 100 feet away) we will walk back to the house and hear MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW from the outside. We wonder if when anyone walks by our house when we aren't home that they can just hear her meowing all the time.

Sometimes she will just start meowing randomly and I go downstairs and look and just see her staring back at me.

Sometimes it concerns us, because we are good cat owners. We will be watching a movie and all of a sudden we hear MMEEEEOOWWWW, and we want to go see what's up, and usually she is fine.

The other day last week for a photo project Dennis had to do for class he took pictures of me on the back porch, Janelle was inside, behind the door which has glass so she can see where I am, and she kept meowing. She was staring at us and knew we were right there, but she just kept meowing and meowing and meowing.

When we are opening cans of food or eating it's normal for her to meow and when we come home and she is greeting us or when she is hungry, but this random meowing throughout the day is really getting a bit ridiculous. I can predict though that the reason behind her meowing isn't too serious - she is probably just seeking more attention, even though she always gets attention, but we will see how this progresses.

Here's a video to show you what I mean:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Clipping your cat's nails

Clipping your cats nails can be an extremely difficult process. The first time my boyfriend and roommate tried to clip Janelle's nails they tried wrapping her up in a blanket like a kitty burrito and doing it that way, but she ended up slicing through Dennis' shirt and causing him to bleed. It was not a fun experience. Since then we have figured out a way to make it easier to clip her nails, sometimes she is compliant and sometimes she will still put up a fight, but here's some tips on clipping your cats nails:

You want to make your cat comfortable with you touching her paws. So play with her paws sometimes and practice just holding her hand. Press down on the little pads on her paws so that her nails become visible, make it so she gets comfortable with you holding her paws and knows that she's not in danger.

Make sure you have treats readily available, to try and coax your cat into letting her nails be clipped give her treats between every nail getting clipped.

It is going to be a process, you cannot clip your cat's nails all at once in one sitting unless you have a really relaxed cat, but I know that my cat is not like that at all. Do one paw at a time, and then take a break and then resume.

When you go to do the first clip make sure you don't clip the "quick." The quick is the red part and if you clip that part there will be blood and your cat probably won't trust you the next time you try to clip her nails. So, take her paw and push on the pad so that the nails come out.

Next you want to be fast with this. Take the clippers and as quick as you can clip the nail. She may not be cooperative after the first one, she may start to try to bite your hand or try to scratch you, but offer her a treat and she'll most probably be a bit more compliant, or she'll run away.

The process of clipping the cat's nails will probably take half an hour or more, depending on the cat. If your cat is really skiddish you may need to hold her down, clipping the cat's nails is usually better if there are two people involved. One person holding the cat and giving the cat treats and the other person doing the actual clipping of the nails.

You should clip the cat's nails every week or so. Some people are against clipping nails, but it's better than getting a cat declawed - which is considered amputation!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cleaning your cat: waterless shampoo

Regardless if you have an indoor cat or an outdoor cat, your cat will get dirty. Cats spend a lot of time licking themselves, but their saliva alone cannot kill all the germs that can accumulate on their fur. My roommate Craig would give my cat baths without me knowing, I'd come home and she'd be soaking wet and all sad. He wouldn't use any soap because we don't have any cat-friendly soap.

So, I came across this product called Pet Head and it was waterless shampoo. It was on sale at PetCo for $4, and I was there anyway picking up cat litter and food - so I thought why not try this product!

Even though it is waterless, the cat doesn't like it any better, but it is easier. You squirt a bit into your hand and it comes out as a foam. The type I got was scented as peach and when I put my foam filled hand to Janelle's fur she ran away. It took me about seven squirts and three tries to actually massage the stuff into her fur and have it actually clean her. It says that it is good "between washes," but I think that this could basically be used as a substitute if someone didn't want to wash their cat. It markets itself as being "No Rinse, perfect for frisky cats."

However, if your cat has some claws you may not have as easy a time. Taking care of your cats claws will be the next blog topic of discussion.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cats and Human Food

Cats are not like dogs, and when I first got Janelle I was so over protective. I went to all sorts of cat web sites and looked at all the human food that was dangerous to her and tried to keep her away from it, I soon realized that if she only had one lick or bite of something it wouldn't kill her, but I was rather annoyed when I found out my boyfriend tried giving my cat beer when I was away - but what is more common from Janelle is for her to beg for food.

Whenever someone gets any food, even if she has no interest in it, she will climb up to that person and bat at them relentlessly. She will try to take anything off your plate just so she can bite it, play with it or eventually eat it.

If I go into the kitchen and take out a can of anything she will automatically assume it is a can of cat food for her and starts meowing relentlessly. She will meow and meow and meow when someone is making a tuna sandwich, the trick is to not give her any. She will harass me the most because I am the one who feeds her her own food so she can always try to get me to give her some of my food. That's probably why she is gaining so much weight.

Here are five foods that you should definitely keep your cat away from (knowledge I picked up from various internet searches over the past 8 months):

1) Onions - Onions are very bad for cats, I read on Pet Safety that onions contain a substance that destroys red blood cells and can cause anemia within cats! Garlic also contains that substance, but to a lesser degree.

2) Chocolate - Vet Medicine on talks about the toxicity of chocolate for cats and dogs. And Cat World talks about how chocolate acts as a diuretic to cats and can drain them of their fluids, the caffeine in chocolate can cause their hearts to race very fast and that's not good, and they could go into a coma, have a seizure or even die.

3) Grapes / Raisins - Cats can bat around grapes on the floor and play with them, but if a cat eats a grape or raisin they can get severe kidney damage, according to Cat World.

4) Sugar - Sugar isn't exactly a food, but it is in food. It can lead to obesity in your cat so you should definitely keep your cat away from anything that has a lot of sugar.

5) Dairy Products - As kittens cats can digest milk, but as they get older they can't digest lactose as well. Dennis and I will let Janelle drink the milk from our cereal that is left over, but we try to only let that happen a couple times a week or less. Milk and cheese can cause diarrhea and even vomiting, so maybe now and then give a little bit, but don't make it a habit.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Choosing the right cat food

It may seem simple, you go into PetCo and pick out some cat food that is reasonably priced, but for the longevity of your furry friend it's important to read labels and find out which cat food is the best.

When we brought Janelle home from the shelter they gave us a bag of "Science Diet" cat food. We noticed that she was going to the bathroom a lot and then we read the label. Science Diet claims to be number one recommended by vets, but it contains stuff that isn't good for cats. The first ingredient is chicken byproduct. The word "byproduct" in itself suggests that it would be something gross. What is chicken byproduct? Chicken byproduct is the heads,bones, feet, lungs, intestines, liver, etc. It is basically the stuff that we humans choose not to eat. The stuff is really just a filler for cats and doesn't have any true benefits for them. Another ingredient that Science Diet includes is corn, it may not be "common knowledge," but cat owners that are educated about the well being of their cats would know that corn is not something that cats should be consuming. It's just not healthy and it makes the cats go to the bathroom more.

The pet stores have all sorts of different cat food for those who need to lose weight, those with hairball issues, etc. I did a lot of searching at PetCo to find the perfect fit for my cat. The L.I.D brand (Limited Ingredient Diet) was a good one for a little while, my cat liked it a lot, but it was a bit expensive. Blue Buffalo claims to be the best with all natural products, but it is so expensive.

I choose Purina One Beyond. All the ingredients are natural and even the packaging is made out of recycled materials. A six pound bag can go for around $13 which is a really great deal. The flavor of choice that my cat loves the most is the Salmon flavor. It has brown rice as well which is good for cats and the first ingredient is salmon, real salmon, not any chicken byproduct or corn meal. Here is the list of ingredients in its entirety, taken from the web site:

"Salmon, chicken meal, whole brown rice, soybean meal, whole barley, whole oat meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), soy protein isolate, brewers dried yeast, dried egg product, dried beet pulp, natural flavor, fish oil, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, whole cranberries, caramel color, dried tomatoes, dried spinach, salt, potassium chloride, taurine, choline chloride, calcium phosphate, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite."

Always make sure to feed the cat the right amount. A cat that is 5 to 9 pounds should get 1/3 - 2/3 a cup twice a day, whereas a cat that is over 10 pounds can handle 1/2 cup to an entire cup twice a day. Make sure to always measure it out and to not just assume, luckily the shelter gave me a measuring cup so that I can make sure she eats the appropriate amount. She has gained some weight, but that's probably due to the treats she gets and when she gets human food (We will discuss cats and human food in the next blog post).

Monday, January 30, 2012

Janelle's First Trip to The Vet

At the end of July Dennis and I decided that it was time to make an appointment for Janelle to see the vet. This would be the first time we had ever taken Janelle to the vet, and this would be my first time every going to a vet's office in my entire life so it was an experience for all of us.

We woke up for the 10 a.m. appointment and put Janelle in the new carrier we had bought her. She seemed calm sitting inside of it, until we brought it outside. I can only imagine what was going through her head. Did she think we were giving her back to the humane society? I sat in the backseat with her as she meowed the whole way and tried to paw her way out of the metal bars.

When we arrived at the vet's office we signed in and I realized that we had left all of Janelle's paperwork at home - so Dennis drove all the way back home to get the paper work while we waited for the vet. There was a resident cat walking around licking itself and a man had brought his dog in. Janelle meowed and seemed scared, she wouldn't even eat any of the treats I tried to give her.

Dennis got back with the paperwork and then the vet's assistant saw us.

We took her out of the carrier and she seemed scared and worried. The vet assistant put Janelle on a scale, it read 10 pounds. When we first got her she was 8 pounds, and Dennis was worried that Janelle was underweight, but the assistant assured us that she was just the right weight.

I requested that the vet trim her nails, but when trimming Janelle's nails she can be vicious. The vet assistant wrote "CAUTION!" on the paperwork.

When the vet came out he looked at Janelle all over, but he couldn't give us a reason why she was grinding her teeth other than her tooth decay at the back of her mouth.

He went to clip her nails and we were expecting this to be a show - we were expecting Janelle to fight the way she does when we try to clip her nails. To our surprise, Janelle was more than compliant and she just let him clip away. The vet said it was because she was uneasy in a new surrounding and vulnerable.

I gave her some treats for being a good sport about it and then we left. On the car ride home we stopped to pick Janelle up some wet food for being such a good sport. Let's hope the next vet appointment goes just as well.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Things That Go CHOMP In The Night

Janelle loves sleeping in bed with her mommy and daddy every night, but the only downside is the routine that she picked up, luckily she has not done this so much lately, but the first few months we had her were filled with chomps in the night.

It was like our very own personal alarm clock - except far too early. We would be sleeping and all of a sudden we would hear "CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP" in our face. The sound of teeth grinding and chomping coming from Janelle was annoying. For two months straight I would get up at 3:30 a.m. and walk her down to her food dish which had food in it and watch her eat - maybe she was scared to go down and eat alone in a new home, or maybe she was just training me to do everything I can to make her happy.

It got annoying and we thought it would stop if we brought the food upstairs. At 3:30 she'd start to chomp in our faces and we'd just throw her off the bed and direct her toward her food.

We realized that it wasn't just her saying that she was hungry, but it was her way of getting our attention. Some people have cats who will just go about their day and hide under the bed, sleep, and not really interact much with humans, but Janelle is more like a small dog always wanting to be the center of attention and needing constant reassurance that she's loved, but what can you expect from a shelter cat?

She's so loving that we don't mind the chomping much anymore. We'll occasionally lock her out of the room but then she will just paw at the door and meow outside of it - further proof that maybe we don't own our cats, but our cats own us.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome Home Janelle

Hi, I'm Nikky Raney and this is going to be a blog about my cat, Janelle. Before I just dive into talking about my cat I am going to make this post an introduction to my cat and me. So, here is the story of how it all happened:

My boyfriend, Dennis, and I had moved into our very own apartment in May of 2011 - the only downside was that his fraternity brother, Craig, would also be living with us. At the end of the month Craig had the idea that we should go to the Bangor Humane Society and look at cats. I had previously thrown out the idea that I wanted a cat, because I had never had a pet before and I love cats, but I didn't think it would actually happen. Dennis knew this was a disaster waiting to happen since Craig and I could never agree on anything.

When we arrived at the Humane Society it was not yet open, so we had to wait another hour for it to open. While we waited there was a fenced area where the cats could go and sit on a ledge or play around. The three of us went to look at the cats and there was one that I really liked. Dennis took a picture of the cat on his cell phone, and that cat was a 5-year-old named Janelle.

When the Humane Society finally opened I rushed in and saw Janelle. I started playing with her and immediately felt like we had a connection. Whenever another cat tried to come near me Janelle would hiss and attack that cat. I felt like she was meant to be my cat.

Craig was not so keen on Janelle. Craig found a gray cat named Phoebe which we found out had been moved from the open cat area for being too aggressive. Craig wanted Phoebe and I wanted Janelle. Neither of us had asked the landlord for permission to get a cat yet, so we ended up leaving without either cat.

I couldn't stop thinking about Janelle and how much I wanted her to be my cat. There were other people there that were holding her once I left and I was sad thinking that I would never see her again.

June 7 was my 21st birthday and Dennis and I were in New Hampshire celebrating with my parents. Dennis told me that for my birthday I could have a cat, and that he had agreed with Craig that I would be getting the cat for my birthday. I was so excited and I thought about finally being able to have Janelle. My boyfriend insisted that Janelle would not be there when we got back so I shouldn't get my hopes too high up.

We returned to Maine and on June 9 we went to Petco to buy all the essentials for having a cat including a litter box and litter. While we were there we saw two kittens that were for sale, but I insisted that I wanted to go to the Humane Society and get Janelle.

On June 10 Dennis got home from work at around 5 p.m. and the Humane Society was closing at 6. When we got to the Humane Society I ran in and there she was. In a cage that was right at the front desk was Janelle, my cat. There was a sign on her cage that said "Name Your Own Price!" and that alone made Dennis happy.

I didn't even look at any other cat. The man remembered me from the few weeks prior and he gave me paperwork to fill out. Janelle was put in a cardboard carrier as she waited to be brought home. The video attached is the car ride home:

We knew that life with Janelle would be full of surprises.