Posts Tagged ‘cats’

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - January 11

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $4.97, Was $28.95.

Click http://www.chinaberry.com to see today’s specially-discounted item.

Today (1/11/11) Only. Price goes back up tomorrow (1/12/11).

Shop Now!

Lessons From Feral Kitty

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
The Real FK - Feral Kitty

The Real FK - Feral Kitty

Dear Friends,

I’ve never been a cat person, but all that changed when ‘Feral Kitty’ came on the scene. Over the past year I’ve watched this creature transform from a hissing flash of white fur darting through my yard to a welcoming, purring presence on my doormat. In exchange for some kibble and a lot of space, I’ve learned more about relationships from this feisty tomcat than from a year of couples’ therapy with my ex!

Prior to being Feral Kitty, F.K. lived life as a domesticated cat in training with my grown daughter who had adopted him as a feral kitten. Despite her love for him and all her best efforts, she could not socialize this cat whose feral roots ran deep. No longer willing to put up with scratches on her son’s face, and knowing that no one else would ever adopt this surly, scratching mean machine, she finally gave up trying to change him. She decided to accept his feral nature and set him free — in my yard.

Although the food I left out for him every day would disappear, I didn’t see him for months, nor did I really expect to. I accepted his wildness and supported him in it. And here I am, a year later, in love with my good buddy who greets me at my door step every morning.

It’s funny how when we let go of our own agendas and just love someone unconditionally for who they are (as opposed to who we want them to be!), we end up getting the love we’d hoped for in the first place! It’s such a simple concept, but I think a lot of our resistance has to do with giving up what is actually more just an illusion of control. When we let go and let people be themselves, everybody wins.

Because F.K. is a feral cat, he doesn’t need a litter box or cute little cat toys. He does, however, need food, wide open spaces, and a covered place to sleep each night (underneath my house). F.K.’s happy; I’m happy. He has total freedom, and I don’t have to deal with litter boxes or fleas in my house. How much happier we’d all be if we supported each other in our uniqueness like this. Why do we insist on turning our night owl friend into a morning lark or Mr. Life-of-the-Party into a stay-at-home recluse? We can either accept and support each other’s unique needs or we can release our loved one ‘into the wild,’ but wishing for someone to change his basic makeup rarely has a happy ending.

During the holidays we’ll find ourselves at gatherings with all kinds of ‘unique’ people — the niece who refuses to go to college, the 56-year-old cousin who still isn’t married, or the uncle who dropped out of law school to become a clown. Each of them has the right to live life according to his or her own desires, as long as it’s not harming anyone else (speaking of which, yes, F.K. is neutered!). This holiday season (if not the whole year or the rest of our lives!), my hope is that we can suspend our need to change or control others and just enjoy them for the one-of-a-kind people they are. Who knows what lessons or love might be in store for us by practicing a little more acceptance?

Choose Love, Not Fear

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Recently, I stayed at the house of some friends to take care of their animals while they were on vacation. I was working away when I heard their cat’s cries coming from the garage. The garage is Muffin’s private place where she can eat in peace and not have to worry about the family’s two dogs wanting to sample any of her feline fare. She was now signaling me that she wanted to rejoin ‘the family’ in the light and warmth of the house.

Of course, I happily came to her ‘rescue’ and opened the door for the now nearly frantic cat. Judging by her plaintive cries, I expected her to leap into the house the moment I opened the door. Instead, she stopped crying and just sat there in silence. ‘Come on, Muffin,’ I encouraged her. But it was a no go. So, I shut the door and returned to my work. Within minutes, the cries began again; this time, even more fervent. Once again, I stopped what I was doing and went to open the door. And, once again, Muffin just sat there, motionless, not making a sound. I began feeling annoyed, but not as annoyed as when we had done this dance perhaps another four times. There seemed to be no logic to the steps in this dance. Clearly, the cat wanted to be in the house instead of in the garage. Who wouldn’t? The garage was cold, dark, and musty smelling. The house was warm, cozily lit, and a virtual haven for any self-respecting cat in need of an honest catnap. After the third go-round, it became apparent that Muffin’s reticence was due to her fear of the dogs. Mind you, she lives with these dogs day in and day out; they have never harmed her in any way (well, except for their innocent curiosity regarding those little cans of Tasty Trout Dinner). But the point is these were not wild dogs from the Barrio — they were family.

Finally, Muffin made a run for it and settled down on an easy chair in the family room. The dogs hardly even acknowledged her entrance, and I thought, ‘All that time wasted on an irrational fear!’

I can’t tell you how many times I experienced the ‘Muffin Dance’ this past week. There was the woman in my support group who had been complaining about her job since I joined the group six months ago. The scenario seemed all too familiar to me: to remain in the cold garage and complain about it or to take some action that would enable her to experience light and warmth. Amazingly, like Muffin, this woman chose to stay in the garage. Her wild dogs came in the form of ‘not being able to deal with rejection right now,’ which might occur if she were to look for another job.

With the New Year approaching, I began exploring the musty garage experiences in my own life. What ‘wild dogs’ are holding me back in fear? And, more importantly, what choices will I make in response to my fears? What thoughts will I choose to enter my mind? What thoughts will I choose to release? And, more importantly, what action will I take in hopes of enhancing my life experience? I can choose to be a victim in the dark or I can choose to live abundantly in the light. One thing I know for sure is that when doors open before me in 2010, I’m leaping inside at the first opportunity.

Out of the Mouths of Babes - Meow 101

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Gus Gus and Willow Berman ("Husband and Wife"). Kitten is hiding.

At Dinner one of my girls was speaking in a strange made-up language. When I asked her what she was doing, she said:

“I’m speaking “cat english” so our cats can understand me better.”  - Sakura, age 7

You and your little one will have a blast when you join this group of adorable toddlers as they explore the farmyard. Come along on their delightful and joyful journey as they try to discover just which animal says ”boo.” ”Does a pig say boo? Oh, no! A pig says oink! And a pig goes grunt as it sqwuffles in the mud. Oink, oink! Grunt, grunt!” Could it be the cow? The dog? How about the horse or the mouse?

You’ll be smiling right along with the children and the animals as you moo, whoo, buzz, and cheep your way to the surprise at the end when the mystery is revealed and you find out that it is you who says ”boo”!

Review by Tina Elliott

Drama Trauma Flower Essence for Pets - 4th of July & Beyond

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Who wants a quiet 4th of July? Do thunderstorms frighten your pets?  Going on summer vacation with your pets? Does Your Pet Need a Little Extra Help?

Just like people, some animals suffer from anxiety, depression, fear, and panic attacks. Although our pets can’t talk to us, we don’t have to be psychic to know when something is going on with them. Now, there is help for them when they sometimes so desperately need it.

Flower essences are remedies that work on a subtle energy level, much in the same, rather mysterious way that aromatherapy or homeopathy works. Hard to explain, but powerful nonetheless. They were developed in the 1930s and have been used for generations with people to help ease moments of tremendous shock, fear, or trauma. Now we can bring that same help to our animals thanks to Meg Harrison. A horse trainer for 20 years, Meg discovered the value of flower essences when she saw unexpected progress after giving essences to ”damaged” horses. Fast forward to today, and Meg is at the forefront of this modality, with animal care specialists and behaviorists, shelters, and Best Friends Sanctuary asking for her blends by name. Dogs, cats, horses, birds — virtually any creature can benefit from the appropriate flower essence blend.

Drama-Trauma is especially good for cats, but works for other animals as well. Use this blend if your pet suffers from anxiety, fear/panic, stress, inattentiveness, and if he/she has drama queen tendencies. This blend eases the ride on life’s rollercoaster and is very similar to the Rescue® Remedy blend sold for people.

Made especially for animals, these flower essences have proven to help soothe, comfort, encourage focus, and generally enhance the emotional well-being of your furry, feathery, or scaly pal. Packaged in a handy spray bottle, each blend can be administered by adding it to the water bowl (it is ok if other pets share the water bowl), spraying directly onto the animal, or by spraying your hands, then petting the animal. Please use the bottle within 3 months after opening.

Review by Ann Ruethling

Available on our sister site, Isabella: Drama Trauma Flower Essence for Pets.

Product Photo Review - Cozy Cat Hot Water Bottle

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

This nice letter and oh-so-cute photo was sent in to us by one of our treasured Chinaberry customers.

Prevent a Litter: Fix Your Critter

Friday, March 20th, 2009


This morning my 3 cats watched with anticipation as I filled their food bowls. Today is the 1-year anniversary of the day Stanley, my 2-year-old dog, found the litter of kittens with their mother in the bushes in my backyard.

That morning I was in the house when I heard Stanley barking in the yard.  It was his “there is an animal that doesn’t belong in the yard” bark.  A momma cat had evidently moved her litter of 3 kittens into a box in the bushes. The stray momma cat has since been spayed, the 3 kittens, Dominic, Harvey, and Fluffy, have been neutered, micro-chipped, and now live with me.

My intention was to foster them and find them good homes. I tried for months, with ads in the paper, signs around town, etc., but there were no takers. The shelters were overflowing, and I could not bring myself to turn them into animal control. Of course they are now “my boys,” and you could not take them from me if you tried. This is, however, a reminder of the importance of spaying and neutering.

Each spring animal shelters all over the country fill up quickly due to the number of cats and kittens that are turned in.  The Humane Society of the United States estimates that each year approximately 2 million cats and kittens are brought into shelters. Approximately 70% of these relinquished kitties are euthanized each year. Since most do not have ID collars or microchips, their owners cannot be located. The cats that do not make it into a shelter become strays. An un-spayed female cat, her mate, and all of their offspring can produce 11,000 kittens in just 5 years!

The solution to the cat over-population problem is simple. It begins with every cat owner being responsible enough to get their cats fixed. This is just as important for indoor-only cats.  No one can guarantee that the cat will never make a break for it and make it outside where they will encounter un-fixed cats.There are also many behavioral and health benefits to spaying and neutering.

There aren’t enough homes for them all. Please spay and neuter your pets and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

A Home for Cats

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

If you’re a cat-lover like I am, you just have to check out this video of a great cats’ house, created by home owner Bob Walker.

You can also “visit” The Cats’ House own website: www.thecatshouse.com.

Henry the Three-Legged Cat Helps Sick Children and Wounded Veterans

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
Henry, the Three Legged Cat

Henry, the Three-Legged Cat

I ran across this inspiring article about our favorite three-legged cat, Henry. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Henry the three-legged cat’s ‘Just Me Project’ extends his healing paw to children and wounded veterans

San Diego Pets: A Lifestyle Magazine for Pet Lovers
DECEMBER 2008–JANUARY 2009
By Nicole Sours Larson

A homeless mountain kitten, Henry was taken in by a family staying with Cathy Conheim and Donna Brooks at their Julian home after the family was burnt out by the Cedar Fire. When he showed up with a dangerously dangling left front leg and needed an emergency amputation, no one would have imagined the transformative effect he would have on so many lives.

Conheim and Brooks, confirmed dog lovers, had not planned to adopt Henry, but he came into their lives at a time of great loss and grief. Henry, like many pets, filled an unrealized void. Kind-hearted animal lovers, rather than euthanize the trusting kitten they chose to pay for Henry’s life-saving surgery and promised to find him an indoor home. Henry rapidly wormed his way into their respect and affections and inspired them to publish his story to benefit other injured and disadvantaged animals. Now, having raised more than $50,000 in four years through sales of his books and other publications to support animals and animal welfare organizations, Henry has become spokescat for a new crusade, partnering with his poodle sister, Dollydog.

Henry’s Just Me Project taps into the powerful human animal bond to extend the three-legged cat’s healing message of overcoming obstacles to help both ailing children and their siblings as well as wounded war veterans and their families.

Conheim, a psychotherapist and Henry’s “cat scribe,” and Brooks, a retired physician, thought they disliked, even hated, cats until Henry took over their lives. The La Jolla residents began to comprehend the power of Henry’s story once they received an overwhelming response to Conheim’s initial email sent to 20 of their friends detailing the indomitable kitten’s tale of survival and triumph. That email boomeranged around the world. (more…)