Dieting, loosing weight, getting fit – they all take top billing when it comes to many of us humans and our furry friends who are waging a losing battle against the battle of the fat bulge. battling the bulge. That leads us to take note of Dena Harris’ recent book, Does This Collar Make My Butt Look Big? A Diet Book for Cats.
Cats and dogs are fat, and just like us humans they are getting fatter by the year. A pet survey at National Pet Obesity Prevention’s website says:
- 52.5% of US Dogs Overweight or Obese or approximately 36.7 million
- 58.3% of US Cats Overweight or Obese or approximately 43.2 million
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says 69.2% of Americans are overweight. It appears our furry friends are sharing more than our laps. They are getting heavier right along with us humans.
No surprise, then, that dieting, is big business. Most of us have tried one or more of the most common ones.
Maybe they worked? Maybe they didn’t? Maybe we shed the pounds and kept them off, but then they slowly crept back on, leading us to think, ‘Maybe there’s a better plan, a better way?’
We try new gimmicks, new diets, new fads? We are desperate to find out what will, and what will not, work.
Dena Harris takes a look at some of these tried and true diets in a bit of a spoof, adapting some of our more common diets, some of which I’ve tried myself, for me, not my cats.
We all love tubby kitties. A fat cat is believed to be a happy cat. However, the fat cat might not be so happy? His health may be taking a real hit from that expanded girth.
Does This Collar Make My Butt Look Big? is an illustrated diet book for cats, providing weight-loss tips and tricks for our feline buddies. She does send-ups of diet and fitness trends including the South Beach Diet, the Zone, Raw food, toxin cleanses, Jillian Michaels, and Weight Watchers.
The cat humorist takes a look into the struggle the felines of every shape and size take on to get fit. Some of the features included in this whimsical, funny book are:
- An introductory quiz determining what type of diet suits the cat’s purrsonality type.
- Eating tips based on blood type.
- Raw and living food recommendations.
- Suggestions for avoiding toxic treats.
- Exercise lying down.
- Success stories from fellow cats.
- Ask Flabby Tabby column for troubleshooting.
That should give readers a good idea of the fun and whimsical look at helping your favorite puddy cat lose weight.
With delightful illustrations by Ann Boyajian, we ponder deep questions like:
- Can you imagine climbing the feline food pyramid?
- Do you think a comatose cat can exercise and lose weight?
- Hang a hot kitty calendar near-by so you are reminded what you want to look like.
- Take before and after pictures, so you can see how many kitty pounds you’ve shed.
- Keep your short and long-term goals separate, if you can stay awake to remember what they were.
- Keep portable healthy snacks on hand.
For those of us that have taken on more than one diet, all this sounds all to familiar.
What makes this book so special is that Dena Harris brings the humor out in all of our diet fads, and takes it to a catatonic level.
As we think about ways to take on the weight battle once again, make this a must read this month. Published by Ten Speed Press, the 6×7 hardcover book, is available at Amazon and other bookstores. Find out how in less time that it takes to cough up a hairball, you too can be fit, feline and fabulous!
Do you have an overweight kitty? Have you tried to put your cat on a diet? Or have you shared your dieting goals with one or more of your feline friends? Please share your thoughts on the book & the dieting – fads or tried and true.
Static electricity in cat’s fur is real, and when we reach out to pet our precious Fluffy, we are greeted with shocks from static electricity. It isn’t pleasant for our felines, nor for us.
As the winter drags on and on, the air gets drier. The dryer the air, the more prone we are to static electricity. We can see it, feel it, and hear it.
Our heating systems combined with the cold air fuel the situation, and that’s why it seems like February and March are prime time for the electricity to fly.
We could make this a humorous post, and perhaps at one point Paws will, but for today, let’s take a serious look at how we can make our furry friends just a little more comfortable, and give us humans, a reprieve from those shocks when we reach out to give our cats their daily dose of loving pets.
Static electricity comes from dry air. When your cat rubs against blankets, couches, carpets and other household items, static accumulates on their fur. The most common sign of static electricity is getting an electric shock when touching them. However, their fur can stand up or just not lay down smoothly like it normally should. That’s how Paws’ kitty family looks. Our Siamese brother, Linus, looks like he’s got wet hair, and when we reach out to him, we can just hear the electric charge.
Where does this electric charge come from? At this point, we look to science for answers, because electricity is pretty complicated stuff. On Ask.com, we find this description.’Static electricity is an imbalance of electric charges within or on the surface of a material. The charge remains until it is able to move away by means of an electric current or electrical discharge.’ What that means is when we reach out to pet our cats, the electric charge comes charging towards our hand.
When we think of electricity, we usually think about current electricity, which flows through wires or other conductors and transmits energy for our washers, dryers, and modern conveniences in our homes.
A static electric charge is created whenever two surfaces contact and separate, and at least one of the surfaces has a high resistance to electrical current (and is therefore an electrical insulator). The shock occurs when the charge hits the neutral source.
Where static electricity comes from is a common question we find as we go searching on the internet. We find an interesting take at Ask a Scientist at Cornell University. Each week they answer questions submitted from people around the world. The column has extended from the Ithaca Journal, now having its own website. Not surprisingly, one of the questions they were asked was about static electricity.
The article points out that everything contains tiny electrically charged particles: negatively charged electrons and positively charged protons. These particles, invisible to the eyes, are usually confined within objects. However, some electrons can move around more easily.
If we remember school science classes, we were taught that negative and positive charges (electrons and protons) are attracted to each other, especially when they’re close together, But negative charges, electrons, standing alone repel each other. So objects normally have the same numbers of electrons and protons, being what’s called electrically neutral or uncharged.
The article states,
‘But some objects are more “greedy” for electrons than other objects.’
We quote Ask A Scientist here because they describe what happens to create static electricity so well. ‘When two different objects touch each other or are rubbed together (like a comb and your hair or a brush and your cat’s hair or different kinds of clothing in a clothes dryer), electrons can be “stolen” by the “electron-greedy” object from the other object. One object now has too many electrons (the comb or brush) and is negatively charged, while the other has too few electrons and is positively charged (the hair). The “crackles” you often hear when rubbing objects together are sparks made by rubbed-off electrons jumping back onto the object they came from to try to make both objects neutral again. But lots of the rubbed off electrons can’t make it back, so the objects stay electrically charged…at least for a while. This is static electricity.’
In winter, air is dry, whereas in summer, there’s a lot more humidity in the air. The humidity or water makes it easier for electrons to move from one place to another. They search out objects with fewer electrons and stay put. Because they are not floating around looking for a home, there’s a lot less static electricity. In winter, they can’t find that home, and in their outward search, we hear, feel and see the sparks.
Now we know where static electricity comes from, how do we prevent our felines and us humans from getting shocked.
- The best answer is to put more moisture in the air, by running a humidifier. It’s safe for us, and it’s safe for our cats.
- Another answer we find is wetting our hands before petting our cat. Again, that won’t hurt us or the cats.
- Pet wipes could be a possibility because they have been tested as claiming to be safe for your feline.
- Other suggestions are more questionable. Wiping your cat with a dryer sheet or putting fabric softener on your cat could get exposed to toxins that could lead to serious health issues. Paws would recommend staying away from these, and sticking with safe ways to add moisture to our environment.
Are your cats full of static electricity this winter? What’s your funniest story about static electricity? Have you ever pulled a blanket off your cat, only to find his fur is sticking out like toothpicks? Do you use a humidifier to help your human skin as well as your cat’s fur stay manageable during the cold winter months? Please share your thoughts and your stories.
Wordless Wednesday: Maine Coon Cats, a true favorite in the Cat Fancy and in the general public.
Why do you think the Maine Coon Cat is so popular? Have you ever owned a Maine Coon Cat? Please weigh in with your tales of delight? My very first cat was a Maine Coon mix? Indeed she was a special kitty, one I’ll never forget.
If your cat could become an Olympian, what sport would he pursue?
As the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 draws to a close today, Paws pondered that question.
At a year and a half years old, Lenny is full of vim and vinegar.
He loves to stop from a dead run and skate across the floor. There’s no doubt, speed skating would be a perfect fit.
Clyde, is a tuxedo scardey cat. He loves to hide in high places, especially the tall curio in the living room. He has no problem jumping down those six feet. Because he doesn’t seem to be afraid of heights, we’d enter him in ski jumping.
My Pink Collar is no tiny gal, and she is a master at guarding her food. We’d make her a goalie on the women’s hockey team.
Little Yellow, also Paws, still plays and has his fun, but he likes to direct the rest. He’s a good leader, and we’d put him on the men’s bobsled team, maybe with the other kitties as his team.As for Linus, he’s full of charm and wit. We’d even call him a bit stylist. No sport seems to fit. But we’ll bet he could hold his own with Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, who did commentary for NBC for the Shochi Winter Olympics. We hard that The duo are leaving they’ll be heading to Los Angeles, where they’ll critique fashion at the Oscars for Access Hollywood. If Linus can’t stack up with them, perhaps he could fill in for NBC Sports Commentator Bob Costas. Linus’ only red eye is when the camera gets him dead on.
It’s only two years before the summer games will be here. Track and field, some of the short sprints – can’t you just see you favorite feline sprinting to the finish line.
If your cat could be an Olympian, what sport do you think he would excel at? Please weigh in on this discussion for some fun.