Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gary, Fuzzy and The Leash

Any number of e-mails arrive daily asking if I'd be interested in trying this dog product or that cat product. I don't do a lot of product reviews but if something catches my eye because I think it might be useful, I will agree. One press release that arrived had several products in it before Christmas. One product caught my eye but not for the reason the publicist or manufacturer might have thought.

The Kinn™ Kangaroo Leash with Super Soft Fleece Handle, Shock Absorber leash and a Kache™ Poop Bag Dispenser made of the highest quality nylon webbing, making it even softer to the touch. It is described as a six foot leash for dogs up to 90 lbs. Cat owners could also use it with a harness. I don't have a dog at this time but I have a few trusted friends who will test dog products for me.

When I saw the leash and read about the super soft fleece handle I had one of those lightbulb moments. My friend, Gary Rohde is disabled. He has limited mobility in his hands and an active rescue dog, Fuzzy, who is taken for walks at least twice a day. Holding a regular leash when you have that sort of disability can become a fairly painful experience. I asked Gary if he'd like to test the leash for me. He readily agreed. I asked the publicist to send it to him instead of me, since he would test it. 

Here's his report now that he has been using it for several weeks:

When I first opened the box up it was a little confusing because the pooper bag dispenser was zip-tied to the shock absorber, extremely tight, so it was difficult to cut off.  So, either attach it someplace else, like on the handle or there has to be a better way without using a zip tie. Use something with a little more give that the person can get a scissors in to separate it from the leash. That is my only real complaint, except that the pouch can only carry one pooper bag and that would be a small one for a small dog’s output.  There is a little pocket in the back for a key or cash. I could only wish that it had Velcro on the pocket.

The handle I found absolutely superb, the fur is absolutely easy on your hand and wrist making it the perfect leash for someone who has weakening extremities. It slides to fit my hand when walking Fuzzy who weighs 25 lbs.
The leash is very solid. The one I tested is grey which tends to disappear from sight when walking my dog at night on a dark street. I’d love to see it in a color that would be more visible after dark, or add something to it that would be visible, perhaps reflective.
The shock absorber does its job. It’s where the dog’s collar is hooked to the leash, it's a little rubber washer. When Fuzzy took off a little faster than I was prepared for, it did its job and didn’t choke him, nor did it hurt my hand.

I recommend it not only for people who have normal use of hands and wrist, but I highly recommend it for people who have hand and wrist issues like mine. It’s very solidly made. Construction of the leash is excellent, no issues with that at all.  It’s not falling apart. Even in a rainstorm, it didn’t split, it was fine. It didn’t shred or separate. The seams are all tight. Far better to buy a leash that’s well-made and will last. It exceeded my expectations.

Thank you very much! Fuzzy enjoys the leash and I enjoy the soft handle. It helps my sore hands when taking Fuzzy for a walk.


Thank you, Gary, for a most comprehensive review. Obviously, he and Fuzzy give it thumbs and paws up!

The Leash Retails for $29.95  and at as well as select boutiques and Veterinary clinics.

Note: I received no compensation for this review, nor did Gary Rohde. He was sent a leash for review.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Alley Cat Rescue's Guide to Managing Community Cats by Louise Holton

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At last there is a comprehensive, authoritative book for people who help feral cats. Alley Cat Rescue's Guide to Managing Community Cats by Louise Holton with a Foreword by Roger Tabor.

Holton is no newcomer to helping feral cats. She has founded two international cat advocacy organizations in the U.S., including Alley Cat Allies with Becky Robinson, and then went on on her own to found Alley Cat Rescue. Louise Holton is my go-to person for issues regarding community cats. Holton helped pioneer TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) in the U.S., bringing her experience of working with feral cats from her home country of South Africa. She has assisted over 40,000 cats of the past four decades, has presented at many conferences and symposiums and won awards for writing about feral cats.

Louise Holton and Dennis

What I love about this book is that it covers such a range of topics that are so easily understood because of her ability to explain them clearly, making this a practical guide for everyone from people who work with feral/community cats to city and county officials. Veterinarians, too, will find this guide interesting and helpful.

The really heartbreaking issue is that people throw cats away as if they weren't living, breathing, sentient beings, often dumping their pets into an established colony of feral cats where they will face competition for food, space, be attacked by other cats who haven't been vaccinated and will badly injure these former house pets who are left to find for themselves. If a cat disappears, the owners are less likely than dog owners to look for them, believing that they are "independent." They are independent hunters but not independent creatures. Domestic cats are dependent upon their owners for food, love, companionship and safety. 
Kittens Eating

For entirely too long, cats have been blamed for the diminishing bird population. Holton supplies her readers with the  scientific information dispelling the misinformation that has led too many places to ban TNR which is completely humane and proven to be effective. Yes, the misinformation continues. I urge you to read this book for the truth as well as how to handle the cats, the importance of spay/neuter of companion cats as well as feral or community cats. She includes health issues and a plethora of information as well as true stories about cats. 

The book is only $15.99 in soft cover 235 pages.  Buy it for yourself but it also makes a wonderful gift for anyone who cares about cats. It is invaluable.  

Here's a link to the book at Amazon:

For more information about Louise Holton go to:

Ear Tip Photo courtesy of Maggie Funkhouser

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Puppy Bowl XII

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It's that time of year again. It's no secret that I'm no sports fan but who can resist The Puppy Bowl? The Puppy Bowl, while entertaining, has a purpose: It's a platform for pet adoption and includes a roster of adoptable puppies from shelters and rescues across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. This year Pedigree Brand food for dogs and Animal Planet have teamed up to let everyone knows what it takes to be a "Puplete" (puppy athlete).  

Here is one of a series of videos "What Dogs It Take To Be a Puppy Bowl Puppy?" at this Sunday's Puppy Bowl.  You can view all of the videos, running 15 seconds each, here:

For cat lovers, cameras in the Puppy Bowl SHEBA skybox will capture cuddly kittens four times throughout the game!

Don't forget to tune in to the Puppy Bowl on Sunday, February 7th, from 3 to 5 p.m. ET/PT.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Dream Big - Part 3

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Welcome to the third and final edition of Morris the Cat's advice column, revealing need-to-know information on how to release your inner cat and get the best night's sleep of your life. 

As an iconic spokescat and star of over 50 9Lives cat food commercials from the 1970s onward, Morris has a prolific career envied by many of the Internet cat sensations of today. The secret to his longevity? Well, for one, the fact that he eats 9Lives. But more importantly, he has a disciplined sleep regimen – racking up about 140 hours per week!

Morris wants to teach YOU the tricks of the trade and give you all the tools you need, so he's hosting a giveaway on his Live Well & Prospurr site [] to win a Morris-shaped plush bed that's big enough for you AND your cat to snuggle up on.

Dear Morris,

My cat and I are BFFs. We do everything together – play, eat, snuggle – we make a purrfect team. But in the bedroom, I prefer to have my space. My cat, on the other hand, thinks there's no better place to sleep than right on my head! Why does she do this? I'm not all that fun when I'm sleeping.


Tired Tails

Dear Tired Tails,

You have been bestowed a great honor. As cats, we don't always wear our hearts on our paws, but one tell-tail sign we love and trust you is when we choose to make YOU our bed. Plus, you're warm. And getting our warmth from you helps us to conserve our own energy for more important things like eating. The rhythm of your breath also creates a calming effect and the curve of your face, stomach, or legs perfectly forms to our bodies. Basically, you're like a waterbed, heated blanket, and memory foam all in one! So the next time your cat goes to curl up on you, think of it as a compliment and drift off to sleep knowing you are loved... and you're very comfortable.

Thank you, Morris the Cat, for your wonderful nighttime tips! See the rest of them here [ and For more info on Morris' mission to help cats and humans live well – including his initiative to donate one million 9Lives meals to rescue kitties – check out his Live Well & Prospurr website []. And while you're there, enter to win the limited-edition, human-sized Morris the Cat plush bed along with a year's supply of 9Lives!

NOTE: I received no monetary compensation for this 3-Part Post.  Because of my Journalistic Ethics, I have asked 9-Lives to send the food they wanted to send me, to The Metrowest Humane Society, one of my my local cat shelters. The feed wet food to the cats in the shelter and feed dry food to outdoor Feral Cat Colonies. Aimee and I are delighted that 9 Lives is helping local kitties. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dream Big - Part 2

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Hi everyone!  I'm back with iconic 9Lives cat food spokescat Morris, giving advice to we poor humans so we can learn to sleep like a cat. Well, cats do sleep up to 140 hours a week – that's 3.5 times your typical 9-5.

To help on your quest to catch more Zzzs, Morris is also giving readers the chance to win a super-cool, human-sized bed in the shape of Morris himself... because who doesn't sleep better when snuggling up with a cat? Just go to his Live Well & Prospurr website [] to enter and check out his video with more sleeping tips.

Dear Morris,

I'm a cat but as you know, even animals have 'spirit animals.' Mine is an owl – a night owl to be exact. I love to play "catch the speck of dust" or "chase your tail in the middle of the bed" into the wee hours of the morning. My humans have no idea what they're missing out on. They just lay there snoring and swat at me when I come too close. How can I make them see that daytime is lame, and the real party happens under stars (the stick-on, glow-in-the-dark kind)?

Yours truly,
Hyper Harry

Dear Hyper Harry,

Sadly, this is a case you may not win. Humans need their sleep at night. You get to spend all day snoozing and they only get a few precious hours when the sun goes down. Your humans can, however, make sure that they understand why it is you're pouncing about and provide things to make nighttime more fun. For instance, your humans could consider getting a kitty condo or put out bags or boxes for you to explore. For extra credit, they can hide treats around the house so you can go on a midnight scavenger hunt. Or, if you're really lucky, they'll bring home a kitty best friend for you to play with whenever you please. Other cats might be up at night because they get hungry, in which case their humans could try an automatic food dispenser to provide small meals throughout the night. Remember, the more you let your humans sleep at night, the more energy they'll have to play with you during the day!

Kitty hugs,

Thank you for the awesome nighttime tips, Morris! Read Morris' first advice column here []. Plus, don't forget to check back for the last installment of "Dear Morris," and in the meantime, check out his website [] to see how you can live as well as a cat and enter the giveaway!

NOTE: I received no monetary compensation for this 3-Part Post.  Because of my Journalistic Ethics, I have asked 9-Lives to send the food they wanted to send me, to The Metrowest Humane Society, one of my my local cat shelters. The feed wet food to the cats in the shelter and feed dry food to outdoor Feral Cat Colonies. Aimee and I are delighted that 9 Lives is helping local kitties. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dream Big - Part 1

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It's not exactly a secret that I have insomnia. Sadly, I'm not the only one with the problem. There are an awful lot of us who are sleep-deprived. I'm always hoping for more of it and I do try to make the most out of what little sleep I get. 

I was watching my cat, Aimee, Power Napping and had a thought... why not ask someone who's truly an expert on the subject; someone who spends more time snoozing than most of us spend at work? I'm talking, of course, about Morris the Cat. If you're wondering why I didn't just ask Aimee, it's simple: Aimee doesn't talk to the Press even when the Press is her Mama.

For those of you who don't know him – or who've let sleep deprivation cloud your memory – Morris is the iconic spokescat for 9Lives cat food and has starred in over 50 commercials. When he's not in front of the camera or dining on 9Lives, you can bet he's napping in his trailer, uh, carrying case.

He's taken time out of his busy schedule to answer some reader questions about the very iimportant issue of sleep. What's more, he's offering fans the chance to win a Morris-shaped, human-sized plush bed AND a year's supply of 9Lives cat food. Just go to his Live Well & Prospurr website [] to enter. Since Morris has a lot to say, I've divided this into a 3-part blog post.

Dear Morris,

I've been experiencing difficulties with falling asleep, tossing and turning once my head hits the pillow. I don't get it because I feel tired all day at work; then I come home, brush my teeth, flip on the TV, and just... lie there. I'm hoping I can learn from the expert. Morris, what am I doing wrong?

Sleepless in San Fur-nando

Dear Sleepless in San Fur-nando,

Your case, unfortunately, is not at all uncommon. When you're going all day long at the speed of a cheetah, it's no wonder your mind darts around like a red laser dot at bedtime. Luckily, as a cat, I spend up to 140 hours per week sleeping and I can tell you there is hope! For starters, I notice you mentioned turning on the TV before bed. Cats don't watch TV – this is partly because the majority of us can't speak English that well, but mostly because it interferes with our snooze time. Scientifically speaking, the 'glow' emitted by an electronic screen enters the brain and slows the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep. So next time you want to turn on the tube before bed, try counting sheep instead – or better yet, mice!

Kitty hugs,

There you have it! After getting a good night's rest, tune back in for the next edition of "Dear Morris" and don't forget to check out his Live Well & Prospurr website [ to enter the giveaway and learn how you can help Morris feed hungry kitties with just the click of a mouse.

NOTE: I received no monetary compensation for this 3-Part Post.  Because of my Journalistic Ethics, I have asked 9-Lives to send the food they wanted to send me, to The Metrowest Humane Society, one of my my local cat shelters. The feed wet food to the cats in the shelter and feed dry food to outdoor Feral Cat Colonies. Aimee and I are delighted that 9 Lives is helping local kitties. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Just a Perfect Friendship

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This is a bit of a departure for us but it serves as a reminder: wild animals are not house pets! Thanks to the our friends at HooplaHa, we can share a special story with you that points this out.

Less than a year old, little Morgan the Bobcat was found, of all places, in a room at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in California. One of the workers had brought her across the border and realized she was too much to handle so he left her in a room. The story quickly spread and actress Morgan Fairchild took it upon herself to find a place for the little Wildcat, hence the Bobcat's name, Morgan. She quickly found her a home at The Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota. Meanwhile, Shalico, a Canadian Lynx, was also bought as a pet by a college student whose father said this was not a pet. She, too, quickly found a new home at The Wildcat Sanctuary.

Since both wildcats were young at the time, the workers decided to introduce them. Cats of different species don't often co-mingle but this turned out to be the exception, especially since they were young. It was love at first sight and they soon became inseparable. A happy ending to what might of been a disaster.  Here's a video of Morgan and Shalico, perfect friends forever.