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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Your dog's nose makes quite an impression

A few days ago I posted some information about the dog's sense of smell. It really is quite remarkable and in doing the research I learned that the noses of both dogs and cats have an individual pattern unique to them. Just like human fingerprints! The post also includes a little fun project where you can make your own impression of your dog's nose. So, for those who did not see it, here it is again:



This exerpt from an article written by Stanley Coren, PhD and Sarah Hodgson explains and gives instructions for a fun little project:

Your dog's nose has a pattern of ridges and dimples that, in combination with the outline of its nostril openings, make up a nose print believed to be as individual and unique as a human being's fingerprints. Companies even register nose prints as a way of identifying and helping to locate lost or stolen dogs, a system that is now being used by kennel clubs around the world.

If you want to take a nose print from your dog just for fun, it's quite simple: Wipe your dog's nose with a towel to dry its surface. Pour food coloring onto a paper towel and lightly coat your pet's nose with it. Then hold a pad of paper to her nose, making sure to let the pad's sides curve around to pick up impressions from the sides of the nose, as well. You may have to try a couple of times until you get the right amount of food coloring and the right amount of pressure to produce a print in which the little patterns on the nose are clear. The food coloring is nontoxic and is easily removed. Never use ink or paint, or you may have to explain to your friends why your dog has a green or blue nose.

Have fun!
Nanny



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jess and the Kitty

I thought I would try something different today. There is no music because I haven't figured out how to add that yet but I hope you will enjoy it.

video

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Poop - Cat and Dog Quick Facts

You may have seen cats smell at something and then raise their head with mouth wide open with an expression that looks like disgust. This is called the Flehman Response. There is an organ just inside the mouth behind the top front teeth called Jacobson's Organ. When the cat is making this funny face, they are drawing air in that enables the Jacobson's Organ to open up the ducts connecting to the nasal cavity. 

Another very interesting fact is that every cat's nose pad has unique characteristics and no two cat's nose pads are alike - just like human fingerprints!


The sense of smell is the dog's primary sense. Dogs have 200 million odor-sensitive cells in their noses compared to 5 million for humans. Evidently the dog's nose is also unique like the cat's. This exerpt from an article written by Stanley Coren, PhD and Sarah Hodgson explains and gives instructions for a fun little project:

Your dog's nose has a pattern of ridges and dimples that, in combination with the outline of its nostril openings, make up a nose print believed to be as individual and unique as a human being's fingerprints. Companies even register nose prints as a way of identifying and helping to locate lost or stolen dogs, a system that is now being used by kennel clubs around the world.

If you want to take a nose print from your dog just for fun, it's quite simple: Wipe your dog's nose with a towel to dry its surface. Pour food coloring onto a paper towel and lightly coat your pet's nose with it. Then hold a pad of paper to her nose, making sure to let the pad's sides curve around to pick up impressions from the sides of the nose, as well. You may have to try a couple of times until you get the right amount of food coloring and the right amount of pressure to produce a print in which the little patterns on the nose are clear. The food coloring is nontoxic and is easily removed. Never use ink or paint, or you may have to explain to your friends why your dog has a green or blue nose.

Read more: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/understanding-a-dogs-sense-of-smell.html#ixzz1KkIqDozB
 
That's a great idea! If anyone tries this for their dog or cat I would love to post the prints on my blog!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Meowsings

You know you are a hard-core cat lover when you go to sit in your favourite chair to watch your favourite show, find your cat laying in that chair, and you go sit somewhere else.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Myths and Misconceptions About Cats - Part One

An acquaintance told me that when she was a baby her mother caught the cat trying to suck the breath out of her. "They do that you know. Cats. They will suck a baby's breath".

I see .....

I received some really good feedback on the post I wrote last week about feral cats for Blog the Change. The discussion further highlighted the question "Why are cats seen/treated differently than dogs?" This has inspired me to find answers to that question.

This week I found some interesting studies and articles on misconceptions about cats. The results where interesting and surprising.  The one I want to share today is from something called "Cat-Cow" on a website called experiencefestival.com. I'm starting with this one because it is just so darn silly.  The author clearly knows nothing about cats and, in my opinion, does more to perpetuate the myths and stereotypes. This is the opening paragraph:

"Since cats and dogs are the most common house pets, they are frequently compared and judged. Through these constant comparisons, misconceptions about cats are formed, and people will realize some not-so-attractive qualities about cats. But a cat shouldn’t be compared with a dog, as a dog is an affectionate animal, and requires constant love and attention, whereas a cat has a more independent character. That would be appealing to some people who prefer a pet which isn’t so demanding."

Funny, right? So, after stating that a cat shouldn't be compared with a dog, they go on to compare a cat to a dog with an insult against the cats thrown in ...

"Yes, compared to dogs, cats are a lot less affectionate. They do not run to you with wagging tails when you come home from work to greet you, and in fact, they may even seem indifferent towards you. Therefore cats are misunderstood as being cold and would not make a great pet. But cats are very loving creatures; it is just that they have selected moments when they want to be affectionate, and it is not all the time that they want to be friendly."

I love my cats dearly but, come now, they have a brain the size of a golf ball. How could they possibly be "selecting moments when they want to be affectionate"? Ha ha! Finally, some words of caution about misunderstanding a cat's display of affection ...

"Don’t misunderstand your cat’s rubbing and nestling up your leg as a sign that it’s hungry and wants food or treats. Just because they are not as affectionate as dogs does not mean that they do not appreciate some warmth and affection from their masters. Cats are more quiet creatures, and they rather chill on your lap, table areas or smuggle up next to you when they want to get some rest."

I love it when my cats smuggle up next to me. :)

Love,
Nanny

BTW: in this post I see one myth and 5 misconceptions. Did you spot them?



Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Poop - Cat and Dog Quick Facts

A cat's sense of hearing is better than a dog's but not as good as mice - a very good thing for the mouse, right? People can hear frequencies up to 20000 Hz, dogs to about 45000 Hz, cats to 64000 Hz, and mice up to 95000 Hz. One of the many things I love about cats is there ability to rotate their ears like little salletite dishes to listen in a certain direction. They can actually rotate their ears 180 degrees, one at a time, or both in the same or opposite direction of each other. They can do this because they have 30 sets of muscles controlling their outer ear. They also have remarkable precision in that they can detect high frequency sound waves from sources only 3 inches apart and 3 feet away. Cats can also hear much higher-pitched sounds, up to 64 kHz, or 1.6 octaves above the range of a human, and 1 octave above the range of a dog.

I think we can all agree that a dog or puppy tilting it's head when being spoken to is one of top ten cute things in the world.  There are some practical reasons for this as well. One is they are trying to understand. The other is because of the way their ears are positioned, they must tilt the head so the ears are in an upright position. This way sound waves can enter the ear directly. Unlike the cat, dogs cannot rotate their ears in the direction of  a sound. Sometimes this can also signal a medical problem.  If your dog is constantly tilting its head you should see a vet.  Having said that, and staying on the fun side of things, enjoy the following video.

Love,
Nanny

Amazon Pet Products Draw Winners

Congratulations! The winners are:

Vicky, Bakersfield CA
Kim, Brantford ON
Shannon, Cold Lake AB

Thanks to everyone who participated.

Love,
Nanny

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jess and the Kitty

I'm bored.


I can play with mom's purse if I want to. (cough)


This is a good hidin' place. I'll wait for Mom to come and find me.


Awww. I'm still bored!



C'mon, let's play!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Meowsings

When someone speaks to me in a foreign language, I don't understand what they are saying to me.  How is it then that my cat only uses one word - meow - for everything, and yet I know exactly what they are telling me?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge


Did you know that half of all kids are bitten by a dog and most often by their own dog? Experts agree that dog bites are preventable through education. Non-profit Doggone Safe has announced the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge.  The goal is to educate 50,000 children in one week using the Be a Tree dog bite prevention program for school children. The Challenge will take place during Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 15 -21). Presentations will be free to the schools. You can help by becoming a presenter, donating a Be a Tree teacher kit to an animal shelter, sponsoring a presentation through your business or spreading the word to your local schools. Teach a child – save a dog.

More information: www.doggonesafe.com

Contact: Joan Orr | joanorr@doggonesafe.com |  877-350-3232




Friday, April 15, 2011

Blog The Change For Animals - Feral Cats

Blog the ChangeThis is a topic I am very passionate about. However, in my community there is no organization that cares for these little lost souls so I feel the only thing I can do is to continue to bring awareness and some education whenever and where ever I can.

There is a small group of cats living in a corner of the parking lot where I live, behind another building. This includes 2 kittens about 6 months old. Every day, a neighbour goes out and leaves them food. It must be costing her a small fortune. She has also managed to gain their trust. They rub themselves along her legs and even allow her to pick them up. If anyone else comes around, they run and hide. Watching little kittens out in a six foot snow bank trying to get some of the food she leaves breaks my heart.

You may be as shocked as I was to learn that just one of these cats and its offspring over a 7 year period will produce 430,000 cats! They are not wild animals and therefore do not have the survival instincts to make it on their own. Their life expectancy is 2 to 3 years.

A few years ago an older gentleman in my neighbourhood was threatened with fines for taking care of some feral cats (Full Article ). My city doesn't have a cat control bylaw so the SPCA isn't funded to pick up stray cats. They do except about 2000 cats each year. 1200 of them are destroyed and the rest adopted. The reason the number is so high for euthanizing is that these cats are not adoptable. The kittens are as they can be taught socialization and some cats that are strays can be because they already have lived with people and therefore are socialized.

Some municipalities have taken the lead by implementing a "trap, spay/neuter, vaccinate, release" program which is mostly education and encouragement for kind hearted folks who would take it upon themselves to do the work and assume financial responsibility for the cost. We already have an organization called the SPCA that receives municipal funding and also that fundraises. Why isn't at least some of that money allocated to care for these cats?

I am encouraged by more forward thinking I have read about recently and that is to add the element of relocation. One municipality actually has a trailer on municipal property for cats to live in after they have been spayed/neutered/vaccinated.  Another private organization is asking local farmers to donate vacant barns. It is comforting to know that these little guys have a safe, dry place out of the elements.

I will never forget a cat I saw last summer. She was pregnant. We were having the worst heat wave in years with temperatures reaching 40C with the humidity or 104F. Even if you could catch some shade it didn't really help. This cat was walking down our driveway bawling so desperately. I know enough about cats to know she was on the verge of heat stroke so I called the SPCA. I only managed to get out "there is a cat outside my building" when the lady cut me off with "we can't take in any cats right now". (This happened only a couple of months after they had rescued nearly 100 cats and kittens from someone's home.) I explained the cat was pregnant and about to go into heat stroke. She gave me some tips on how to help the cat and sent me on my way. I never saw that cat again and can only hope that she survived.

I wonder what would have happened if I had said "I have a pregnant dog outside my apartment and I think she is going to have heat stroke"?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Poop - Cat and Dog Quick Facts

The Maine Coon is the oldest breed of cat that is native to North America. There is much legend around the origins of this cat. It is agreed upon that it first appeared in Maine (hence the name) but then the theories are divided. Folks used to believe that a domestic tabby mated with a racoon. Silly, but with their stalky build and bushy tail, there is a resemblance. Another theory is that they were named for Captain Coon (hence the second half of the name) who introduced the cats from Europe. Lastly the most glamorous story is that they hail from the six cats that Marie Antoinette sent to Maine from France. Regardless, these gorgeous cats have risen in popularity to become #2 on the list of favourite breeds. They are very large cats and very smart. They have very good use of their paws and can scoop things up and put them in their mouths. Some have even been known to stretch up and turn a door knob to get out!







The Canadian Eskimo Dog is the oldest purebred dog in North America. The first dogs arrived approximately 1100 - 1200 AD with the migrating Thule Inituit in the Canadian arctic. They were a vital member of the Inituit community for centuries. They haul sleds - pulling up to twice their own body weight - through the worst weather conditions. They are excellent hunting dogs, good trackers and protectors against other predators. They have a very thick coat and can survive on very little food. When southern influences begain encroaching on this remote region they brought modern devices such as the snowmobile and the dogs became less important. Around 1950 there were about 20,000 dogs. By the 1970's they were considered to be on the verge of extinction. Today there are less than 300 registered Canadian Eskimo Dogs. For more information about the dogs and how the breed is being revived visit Canadian Eskimo Dog Club of Canada

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jess and the Kitty


I like lookin out the window and rememberin when I was a kitten ...


Look how cute I was! It took a while to grow into those ears. I kinda looked like a bat.



This is Spencer's baby. I still have this toy and take it with me where ever I go.



Loved rollin around on the floor - still do.



I remember this blanket - so comfy. Good memories.



Enough daydreamin. It's a beautiful spring day and I'm takin my baby outside to play.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Free Draw!

Enter for your chance to win awesome pet products from Animal Planet. The line debued in Canada on March 31st in 70 Home Outfitters locations across Canada. They have a wide range of affordable pet products and are sharing 3 of them with Nanny McFur so I can hold a draw for my readers.



First Prize: Animal Planet Portable Zip-Up Pet Bed ($14.99)
Portable Zip-Up Pet Beds: Fashionable, compact and durable, these easily transportable pet beds zip up quickly and feature comfortable shoulder straps for easy carrying. With a handy outside zip pocket, stylish graphics and attractive colors, they are perfect for the fashion-conscious pet owner. Features an ultra soft, removable and washable cover.



Inside view










Second Prize: Animal Planet Pet Bed ($14.99)
This ultra-soft bed is made especially for large pets so they can have a place of their own. Perfect for big dogs, pet bed has a removable cover for easy cleaning. 100% polyester. Measures 28" W x 34" L. Machine wash. Imported.











Third Prize: Animal Planet Fleece Pet Blanket ($9.99)
Made from an ultra soft fleece material, this dog and cat blanket keeps your pet warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather. With its whimsical pawprint design, this extra large 63" L x 59" W blanket is perfect for the couch or inside your car or RV. Also helps to keep pet hair off furniture and upholstery




 Simply click on the "Contact" tab and fill in the form. One entry per person please. Please include your name and mailing address, so that if you win a prize, it can be shipped to your home.

Draw will be held Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Winners will be posted on my site.

Good luck to all!
Nanny

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Meowsings

As cat owners, we learn very early on that we can no longer lay our clothes out on the bed in the morning. I am very certain that if I were to place a dime on a king-size bed, my cat would lay on it.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Does a cat always land on its feet?

Almost always. But that doesn't mean they will live to meow about it.  Cats are remarkably designed to be highly skilled at many things, jumping (up or down) is one of them. They have a very flexible bone structure and what they call the "righting reflex".  They learn this at a very early age beginning at 3-4 weeks. The fluid in the middle ear tells them to turn their head the right way and the body begins to follow. They can turn the front and back parts of their body in different directions at the same time and they use this to bring themselves into an upright position. Finally, they can increase drag which slows down their fall. This "terminal velocity" is what I found most interesting. A falling cat's terminal velocity is 100 km/h (60mph). A falling man in free fall reaches 210 km/h (130 mph).  So what is no longer a safe distance to fall? I copied the following from Pet Education.com

If cats fall a larger distance such as two or more floors, even though they can right themselves, their legs and feet can no longer absorb all of the shock. Their heads may hit the ground and they often bruise their chin and may fracture some teeth. Falls of four or more floors cause the cat to hit the ground at maximum velocity and thus acquire a multitude of injuries including a ruptured diaphragm, torn liver and fractured bones.


I found this video to be really cool because it shows a cat falling in slow motion with an x-ray view of the cat landing (safely).





Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Poop - Cat and Dog Quick Facts



Our little pet's skelton is nearly identical to the big cats (lion, jaguar, etc.) and they have more bones than we do. They have on average 244 bones.  Humans have 206.  The scientists say "on average" because the number can range from 230 to 290 depending mostly on how many are in the tail which can range from 19 to 28 in most cats.







Did you know that some dogs have been bred to dig? Scotties, Dachshunds, Jack Russell Terriers, for example, are dogs that have been bred to "go to ground" or actually dig through the ground to get to prey. The Jack Russel was bred for getting the fox to come out of it's hole. These hunting dogs were also bred to bark.  To have one of these breeds as a family pet rather than a working dog takes a lot of patience and special training to work with nature and still coexist peacefully with the dog.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jess and the Kitty

Yes, Mom. Spencer will be good while you are out. Don't Worry. (This is my best innocent face - pretty good, huh?)


Alone at last! Just loggin into Mom's facebook account. Let's see what kind of trouble I can get her into. Tee Hee. 


Look! She left the lid up. Now's my chance to try getting a drink from here.

Oh, wow! That was disgusting. Think I'll just lay here for a while.

Spencer was such a good boy when you were out but, Mom ... Mommmm ...  can't breathe.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Meowsings

There are numerous competitions for dogs such as agility competitions but you never hear of anything like that for cats.

I've got an idea. How about a litter flinging contest - the farthest from the box wins!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Joys of Having a Pet

We all know that having a pet has many physical and psychological benefits, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded does it?  Here are just a few:

  • Pets improve your mood
  • Pets help reduce blood pressure
  • Dogs especially get you out doing some exercise
  • Pets help reduce stress
  • They keep you from feeling lonely
  • People with cats are 30 to 40% less likely to die from cardiovasacular disease
  • People with pets make fewer visits to the doctor
I don't know what my life would be like without my pets. They bring me a lot of joy. I consider it an honour and priveledge to have them in my care.

I found this poem that describes the very special place animals have when they leave us and how they are rewarded in heaven:


PET HEAVEN

It's hard to lose a pet you love -
You miss it very much.
You'd like to hold it close again
And feel its furry touch.

But there's a place in heaven
For our special animal friends...
Day and night, there's angel light
and love that never ends.

God knows each dog and kitty cat,
And calls them by their names.
He fills up all their water bowls
And plays their favorite games.

The angels give them lots of hugs
And tickle all their tummies.
They teach them to do awesome tricks,
Then give them tasty yummies.

So may this furry angel friend
Remind you, 24/7
Your pet is happy, safe and sound,
In God's arms up in heaven.

J.S. Jackson