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Coping with the Loss of a Pet

Posted February 20th, 2022 by daniel

Our pets are special to us. They bring joy and laughter, provide comfort and companionship, and can even give us encouragement and inspiration to keep on keeping on. These attributes and others make them family members. So, when our pets pass over the rainbow bridge, it can be a devastating blow to the whole family.

Sadly, though, dealing with the passing of a pet is part of having a pet. And, if children are going through the grieving process, it can be even more of a struggle. But there are ways to make coping with the loss a bit easier to do.

Dealing with the Loss of a Pet

Because losing a pet can be especially difficult, don’t think that you have to simply move on as nothing happened. Here are some ways to help cope with the loss of a pet.

  • If children are in your family, take time to explain the loss of the pet in terms they can understand. Death is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Also, let them know that being sad is normal and that you are grieving, too.
  • Grieve. It’s ok to take time to grieve and acknowledge the various emotions that go with loss. It’s unrealistic to expect household members to nonchalantly act as though things will continue as they were before.
  • Consider having a ceremony or service to honor your pet. If you have children, let them be involved in the planning of the service, as it can help bring closure and peace.
  • If you have other pets, be sure to keep their schedule(s). Be sure your other pets are eating and that you spend some extra time with them. It is not uncommon for other pets in a household to notice when one of their own is no longer with them.
  • Take time to reflect. Some people find it helpful to journal the journey of the pet’s loss or record favorite memories. Others find just looking at pictures helps out. Whatever it is that helps you smile and remember the happy moments- make time to do it.
  • Look for ways to calm yourself. Be it yoga, reading, hiking, meditation, etc., find something that helps you slow down.
  • Don’t feel foolish for needing outside support. Whether a pet support group or talking to a therapist, talking to someone as you work through your feelings will make the process a bit easier. A few organizations to check out are Lap of Love and the Rainbow Bridge; for a national database of pet grieving organizations, check out Red Rover.
  • Write a Thank You card to your pet and talk about your favorite memories, how much he/she will be missed and what you are most grateful for.
  • Don’t feel like you have to get rid of your pet’s things immediately. Do this at your own pace -not someone else’s.
  • Develop a new routine. Consider a new walking trail or route, pick up a new hobby, etc., whatever it is that helps you heal and brings you joy – as well as helps keep your mind a bit occupied.

The grieving process is different for everybody. For some, it might only be a matter of hours, while for others, it might be days/weeks. Regardless of the amount of time, don’t be ashamed of it. If you need to cry- then cry. It’s ok to grieve- and remember, you aren’t alone in your loss.

Cats and Superstitions from around the Globe

Posted October 21st, 2021 by daniel

Whether you are a cat person or not, chances are that you have heard any number of superstitions and sayings about cats. Some of them are silly and some can sound a bit sinister, but no matter the thought, cats have long been a part of cultural references. In fact, of all the animals in creation, there is likely more folklore, myths, mysteries, stories, and “beliefs” associated with cats than any other animal. After all, no one talks about dogs having nine lives!

So, given the month of October and all the lore often associated with it, we thought it would be fun to share some of the many superstitions and says having to do with cats.

Cat Superstitions from Around the World

  1. In the Netherlands, cats are believed to be gossips who will tell all your secrets. Hence, people, there are not inclined to whisper secrets to their feline housemates.
  2. If a cat suddenly starts grooming themselves, for no apparent reason, the Japanese believe that you are soon to have unexpected company. In America, some cat lovers believe that if a cat starts cleaning its whiskers that it is a sign that a visit from clergy is imminent. Hmmm…. these clues could be useful!
  3. In Indonesia, it is believed that a wet cat can make it rain. So, if the weather is especially dry a farmer or gardener might pour water over a cat to encourage rain.
  4. In Italy, it is believed that hearing a cat sneeze means that money is heading your way.
  5. Many Amish believe that putting a cat in a baby cradle means a baby is on the way: however if that cat jumps out then conception could a long time. In connection with this, according to Pennsylvania German tradition, if a single woman feeds a cat from her shoe then she will get married.
  6. Cats in the United Kingdom – Irish lore has it that if you kill a cat, you will have 17 years of bad luck; the Welsh as well as the French, believe that if a woman steps on a cat’s tail she will remain single that year; and in other parts of the U. K., it is thought that if you chase a cat you will be cursed with bad luck- forever.
  7. Also, in Japan, it is believed that black cats can heal sick children, and guard against evil, that light cats bring silver to your home while dark-colored cats will bring gold into your home.
  8. In Colonial America days, it was believed that if a cat sat with its back to the fire then there was going to be a cold snap soon. Also during the time, the colonists believed that if a cat washed her face in front of several people then the first person the cat looks at afterward would be the next one married.
  9. French peasants believed that a black cat could find a buried treasure as long as this specific process occurred: Find an intersection where 6 roads connected, then turn the cat loose and follow them… stop- treasure. A second French superstition is that if you find a single white hair on a black cat you will have good luck.
  10. Sailors believed that if a cat was thrown overboard a terrible storm would come. Their wives, however, believed that keeping a black would bring good luck and protect their husbands at sea.

Cats are a favorite pet for many people and as such there will always be stories and folklore associated with them. But no matter the scenario, cat lovers will continue to cherish their furry friends and spoil them, while being entertained by them for decades to come. And, should you find yourself with questions regarding your feline friend(s), be sure to talk to your veterinarian or give us a call- especially if you are looking for someone to help out with cat sitting!

How to Introduce New Cats to Existing One

Posted July 16th, 2021 by daniel

Do you already have a cat, but plan on getting a second one? Then you need to plan ahead. Remember cats, by nature, are quite territorial and might not readily welcome a newcomer. After all, they have established routines, preferred places to sit or rest, toys that are just theirs, and their own litter box – introducing a new cat is sure to upset the balance – especially if care is not given to do it properly. So, here are some tips to help your existing cat and the new cat get along.

Introducing Your New Cat to Your Existing One

Perhaps the biggest thing you can do, before even bringing home your new cat, is to plan. Go ahead and purchase a second litter box- possibly even a third, get food bowls specifically for the second cat, and most importantly, set up an area just for the new cat so that they can begin establishing a space for themselves. This last part is perhaps the most crucial in the introduction process!

 Keep them separate!

Because cats are territorial, your existing cat will not take kindly to an interloper! Be sure the new cat’s space is a room where the door can be closed! When you bring home your new cat, put them in their space and close the door when you leave. Take time to play with both cats separately, and after a few days where the cats get used to smelling the other cat on you, you can swap the bedding of the first cat with that of the second cat’s as this will get them more accustomed to their new housemate.

Do not even think about introducing the cats until they are both calm and showing a relaxed demeanor. The new cat should be exploring their own space and the resident cat’s behavior should be as it was before the new cat was brought home.

Visual “Contact”

When you feel like they have become accustomed to smelling each other from a distance, it is time to let them meet. Do this by bringing the first cat to the door of the room where the new cat is living. Open the door enough for them to see each other but not for your first furbaby to enter. If both cats remain calm – great! – reward them each with a treat. But there is an excessive amount of hissing or other forms of agitation, they aren’t ready to interact Close the door and try again in a few days. It might take a few visual introductions before your cats see eye to eye.

Face to Face

Once the visual introductions are going well, you can try removing barriers you have in place and let them be in the same space – though you will want to stay nearby to step in if it looks like things getting dicey. If behaviors such as swatting, hissing, laid-back ears, growling or even a change in posture occur, the cats are not yet ready to interact. Again, it might take several tries before they are happy to be around each other.

Even after your cats have become ‘friends’ it is important that each cat have their own space to sleep and hang out. After all, everybody needs a place to call their own!

Your existing cat and your new one can become friends and playmates. But you do need to do your part to help smooth out the process. Using these tips can make it easier for everyone! Have any other tips? We would love to hear about them!