Whisker Stress

peachesupcloseWhat is “Whisker Stress?”

Of all the animals that have whiskers, few seem as interesting as the cat. Maybe this is why some people have been drawn to clipping them off. If they just want to see what happens, I have a better way of figuring out what whiskers mean to your cat.

You don’t hear about dog whiskers being cut off, and I’m pretty sure no one is going after rat whiskers. But cats certainly have well designed and attractive ones. There are a lot of articles online that describe and explain them, and people should read these to appreciate their value to the cat.

Please read this article for an overview on what whisker stress is, why it exists and some things you can do to help your cat. Just visit this blog by my friend, Darlene Arden:   PerPETuallyspeaking.

One thing I did as a kid that instantly gave me a better understanding and appreciation of these “feelers” was to “try them on.” Anyone who has cats knows they shed hair, and whiskers are shed, too, as they are a specialized type of hair. When you find one somewhere, save it, and the next one. Rinse them in water or alcohol or something if you think they’re “dirty,” then put these two whiskers lightly into the corners of your mouth, root first. Now close your eyes and just feel your surroundings. You can feel subtle air currents, anything that comes close to you, and definitely if anything touches one. In fact, just touch one yourself. Try different weights of touch, from just barely to pretty strongly. Imagine if they are attached. You would not enjoy having them pulled on or pulled out.

Look at the whisker. Note that it is tapered. The thicker end is attached, by its follicle, to the extraordinarily sensitive lip area, and it narrows to almost nothing at the outer end. Feel it. It’s fairly thick at the base and very thin at the end. Try bending it. Brush one against your skin, your lip, your face.

Once you see and feel all the things that whiskers do, just imagine how much your cat depends on them. My blind cat kept hers pointed forward any time she was on the move, as they served her much like a blind person’s white cane.

Why would anyone want to take this special, often crucial, sense away from an animal?

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A Catscapade Tale

By Patricia Fry

I’ve met, written about, and shared my home with some amazing cats over the years. This is the story of one such cat.

Have you ever noticed that the cat who is scheduled to go to the vet, to the groomer, or to be boarded, is nowhere to be found when it’s time to leave? Any other day, you can walk up to her and pet her or pick her up. But if you have a plan that involves a ride in the car, the cat darts under the bed. Right? Why? How do they know? Maybe this story will shed some light on the mystery.

It was not on Daisy’s agenda that hot summer day to see the groomer. She, no doubt, planned a day of lolling on the linoleum floor watching birds through the window. She didn’t know about her appointment with the groomer…or did she? She’d certainly made herself scarce all morning.

I’d lugged the heavy wire cat carrier from the garage and discreetly placed it just outside the back door. Rule number one: Don’t let the cat see the carrier or you’ll never get her near it. “Oh, there you are, girl. Come to Mama,” I crooned as I casually walked into the back bedroom where she lay curled up on a bed.

She looked up at me with sheer terror in her eyes and quickly disappeared under the bed. “How does she know?” I wondered. I probed the darkness with my hands where only dust bunnies and frightened cats go. But Daisy avoided capture.

When she thought the coast was clear, she crept out from under the far side of the bed and slunk down the hallway toward the kitchen. The gig was up—there was no place else where she could hide out of my range. This is going to be easy, I thought. But, in true feline style, the cagey cat outsmarted me again. Hugging her belly to the floor, she scurried into the living room. I knew better than to chase her, but I followed her just in time to see her silky tail disappear under a corner table. I scratched my head in disbelief. The little scamp had managed to position herself a scant few inches from my longest reach.

Obviously, this wasn’t working. And I knew full well that a cat that doesn’t want to be caught is usually a cat that won’t have to go to the groomer. Then I remembered something I’d read recently about using mind talk with animals. Could I communicate with Daisy through thoughts like J. Allen Boone had done with a dog and even ants and a gnat in his book, Kinship With All Life? Could I actually convince her to adopt my point of view? My options were few. What did I have to lose except, perhaps, a measure of dignity?

After bringing the wire carrier in, setting it in plain sight and opening the little door, I implemented my plan. I sprawled out on the floor and looked through the dimness under the table into Daisy’s large sea-green eyes. She stared back and I immediately began creating mind pictures. I visualized the plump calico standing up and walking toward the carrier, which sat empty a few feet away from me. I envisioned her stepping into the carrier then my closing the door and latching it behind her. I pictured the two of us going by car to the groomer where she would be lavished with attention. And then I created images of picking her up from the groomer and bringing her home flea-free, mat-free and just feeling wonderfully comfortable.

To my amazement, the moment I completed this mind-video, Daisy stood up, walked toward the carrier and, without hesitation, stepped inside. I lay there stunned as she moved to the back of the carrier and turned around until her tail was free of the little wooden door. Then she sat down and looked at me as if to say, “Well, close the door and let’s get on with it.”

Did I actually communicate through those mind pictures so Daisy understood? Did she choose to go to the groomer that day? Or was her compliance a fluke? I guess we’ll never know. But I can tell you that I’ve witnessed numerous incidents since that day to indicate that we can communicate with our cats. I’m sure you have, too. Now if we’d just learn to listen to what they have to say…

Patricia Fry is the author of the Klepto Cat Mystery series, cozy mysteries involving cats. The main cat character is Rags, an ordinary cat with some extraordinary habits. He can’t keep his paws off other people’s things and sometimes what he takes turns out to be a clue in the current mystery. Number 13 in the series is our first Christmas story—A Picture-Purrfect Christmas. It’s harrowing and it’s touching. Reviewers warn to have a box of tissues handy for the heart-warming ending. Available in print and for your Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Purrfect-Christmas-Klepto-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B016BBY2GY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1448630793&sr=1-1&keywords=a+picture-purrfect+christmas

(For ages 18 to 118).

To read a review of Catscapades, visit:

http://theproblemcat.com/misc/catscapades.html

 

We received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that we would mention it on our blog. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will be good for our readers.

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Robot cats by Hasbro offer companionship for seniors

I can’t tell you how many cats I’ve rescued from homes where their senior owners passed away and the families were either unable or unwilling to deal with “Mom’s cats.” Worse, many seniors are forced to give up their beloved pets when they must move to assisted living or a nursing home. Sometimes this is required even when they move in with their children, who may not appreciate or have room for Mom’s cat.

Now there is a great option: robotic cats. No messy litter box. No trips to the vet. No pet food costs. No hair balls on the bed. And while it can be difficult to accept the fact that sometimes one’s memory can fail, it won’t harm the Robo Cat if it misses too many meals.

This is a cat you can truly “put on the shelf till you’re ready to play with it.” Real cats require regular and consistent care and attention, which often proves to be a major challenge to the very young as well as older folks.

Children have been playing with stuffed toy cats and other animals for years. Now it’s Grandma’s and Grandpa’s turn!

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Enjoy our new products and help the cats, too!

Tap or click this Zazzle page link to find fun products featuring some of the cats here, and help generate a little help to keep them in food, litter and vet care:


create & buy custom products at Zazzle

Thanks for visiting our new project page!

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Two New Books, Just Published!

I’ve been busy this year with books and have managed to make two of them available on Kindle, and one ebook is now in print format. I also created a “blank book” for people who like to keep diaries or journals, called Some Incredibly Important Notes To Myself.  This can be used to journal about your cats, too.

You can see all the cat books listed on the Book List page (click Book List above), but for your convenience, here is a “quick list” of all the links:

Some Incredibly Important Notes to Myself   (a blank book for journaling about anything)

Making Cat Ownership Fun and Simple  (a transcript of an interview)

Moving With Pets  (newly formatted for Kindle)

Cat Lady Collection  (newly formatted for print)

Our Amazing Cats

Our Amazing Cats, Vol. 2

How to Make Your Cat Adore You

7 Steps to 9 Lives

 

 

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Our Amazing Cats, Volume 2 is now available!

We did it! Thanks to a great group of authors, Volume 2 is now available for sale. You can see it, and purchase it, at these links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484163443

https://www.createspace.com/4252359

Thanks to everyone for encouraging and supporting this project.

Volume 1 is available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1480292559

and here: https://www.createspace.com/4056027

 

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Announcing Next Amazing Cats Book!

Created in response to popular demand, Our Amazing Cats, Vol. 2 is now completed and on its way to the printer, soon to be published! Expected launch date is May 15, 2013.

Please drop by for further information and the expected announcement that it’s available at Amazon.com.

Thanks to the contributing authors, this book will be just as popular as Volume One!

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Get “Our Amazing Cats” – Now Available!

This short story collection isn’t just about entertainment; it also shows how people’s lives can be enriched by the companionship of cats. Some of them are about extreme sorrow after losing a very special feline friend…never “just a cat.” Others are humorous, and though one might smile reading them, the underlying message is still about the bond of friendship that is unique to cats. Three more tales with happy endings prove that perseverance really can save the day, as it did for Baxter, Ciego and Stubby. (Get it Here.)

The cats in these stories didn’t make headlines and weren’t mentioned on the 10 o’clock news, but their lives have been no less amazing, inspiring, adventurous and humorous than their famous counterparts, nor less deserving of attention.

Read about Twister, the cat that literally dragged a rock across Alaska (OK, not all at once), and the predicaments she got into.

“The Cat That Shopped For a New Home” teaches us that strays aren’t homeless because they want to be, but more importantly, they don’t have to be.

As everyone knows, cats have a singular ability to find the one person in the room who dislikes cats. Be sure to read what Goldie did to Aunt Marie!

Then keep a tissue handy as you read about Radar, Beaster and Karlos, all especially poignant tales of kitty love – and loss.

While some of these short tales are heartwarming – or heartbreaking – they demonstrate the depth of the bond that often forms between us and the cats who come into our lives.

Our celebrity author is Stu Bykofsky, a well known journalist at the Philadelphia Daily News. He has a book of his own, published at the same time, called Cats Are Supermodels. We are honored to have his contribution to our book, and I’m honored to be mentioned in his. See his link on the right, under Recommended Reading.

Another experienced author graciously contributed to Our Amazing Cats: Nancy Dutton, a Colorado writer whose poetry book also appears on the right side of this page.

Using advanced desktop publishing services available at Amazon.com, this book went from inspiration to completion in less than 6 months. “Our Amazing Cats” is currently available Here.

~R.J. Peters, Editor and Author

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