Friendly Fill Ins # 89

Hello Folks Alberto Here,
Friday is becoming one of our favorite days with The Tribe of Five and there is always some quibbling about who gets to opine. I’m the lucky winner this week. I hope you enjoy my responses and, as always, I encourage my fellow bloggers to join the blog hop with our friends, 15andmeowing or McGuffy’s Reader.

And of course, you’re always welcome to do the fill ins in the comments on our blog.

‘Hope you enjoy my mewsical mewsings this week.
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Alberto
Siamese cat with blue eyes

Here are the fill ins:

1. I have never been able to _____________________.

2. I wish I could still ___________________.

3.  ____ is my ideal winter night.
4.                      and                      .

 

Here are my answers:

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1. I have never been able to understand why the male human insists on changing his guitar strings upstairs and not in his music room. What’s a cat to do when those tantalizing strings bounce back and forth in front of me? This is a form of feline torture.

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2. I wish I could still sneak into the the male human’s music room but he has figured out a way to lock the doors so I can’t get in. And alas, all my sad expressions do not convince him to let me in.

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3.  Strumming a few tunes with my human is my ideal winter night.
4.Oliver and I are quite the mewsicians!

 

 

 

 

Friendly Fill Ins, Week 88

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Jasmine Here,
Welcome friends. I’m excited that I get to do the Friday Fill Ins this week. It’s been snowy and cold at our house. Thank goodness the humans provide wheat grass for us to nibble on and to add a bit of color in this white world.

As always, if you are a blogger, we encourage you to go to McGuffy’s Reader and join the Fill Ins blog hop or, feel free to do the fill ins in the comments of this blog. Have a purrrfect Friday (I love the weekends as the humans don’t have to go to that place they call “work” and they spend lots of time with us.)

Purrs & Head Bonks,
Jasmine (The Tribe of Five Diva)

Siamese cat with tiara

begging squirrel

 

 

1. I would like to ask the big fat squirrel who mooches off of us at the upstairs bird feeder why he has such an attitude if the bird seed is all gone? (Take a look at this photo, what an attitude!)

 

 

 

 

2 My favorite fast food restaurant is any place that serves pizza. All of the Tribe of Five love a nice lick of pizza sauce. 

TuckerMusic

 

3. If I could go to any concert of someone still performing, it would be wherever David Teie is playing his Music for Cats  The female human bought us some of his music and we loved it. You can read about us opining about it on our website . When we go to the place with white coats, they have nice cat music too. Music is good for kitties. 

 

4. My Winter pastime is usually sitting at the window and checking out the creatures who come by looking for food because what happens outside our windows is like cable TV.  

Oliver and Alberto Get Fearless

Alberto Opines on the Preparation

AlHeadOliver and I (Alberto) will be co-authoring this post as we each have a lot to say about the topic. Neither of us had been to the “place of white coats” for a number of months but the female human believes in this thing she calls a “wellness exam”. This means she takes us to the place of the white coats for no reason whatsoever. It boggles this kitty’s mind, if we’re well, why do we need an exam, especially since we’ve learned in our short lives that this visit to the place of white coats is not such a pleasant experience.

The day arrived and we were bundled up in our carrier and shoved into the back of the noisy moving machine. While we howled in the back seat, the female human spoke in a soothing voice, telling us this would be a “fearless” visit (there’s that word again). What  in the heck did she mean?

Oliver Opines on the Arrival

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I was in the middle of a chorus of one the favorite song of my people, when the female human turned off the moving machine. The next thing we knew she was pulling the carrier out and walking toward a building. She opened the big door and we we found ourselves inside a place we’d never been before.PendoreilleVet

The first thing I noticed (when she moved the carrier so we could see) was that there were two signs, one said “Dogs” and the other said “Cats”. Hmm, very interesting.  As we are a feline only family, I wondered who these “dogs” were and when they would show up. Thankfully, we were never subjected to these dog creatures.cat area at Pend Oreille Veterinary Service

 

There were no smells to help me sniff out any information. The place was quiet and “smell-less”. Okay, so far so good. The female human roamed around to visit the “dog” area and then wandered over to the”cat” area where she inspected all the feline goodies for sale and made herself a cup of coffee. Nice she could entertain herself while we remained captives of our carrier.

She did finally offer us some cat treats but neither of us were in the mood to snack, nor did we want to indicate any approval of this situation we were in.

AlHeadAlberto Opines on the Exam

Soon we heard footsteps and the next thing we knew we were whisked into a room. AlDocAndVetTEchOh horror, what was going to happen to us now? Much to my surprise, the female human unzipped the carrier and invited us to come out and inspect the room. Well, well, that was interesting. I sniffed around a bit and then jumped up on the silver table to check that area out. The place was nice, no bad smells at all. As a matter of fact, there was a pleasant smell, kind of relaxing and music that this feline found especially calming. I’m a climbing feline so I hopped up on the counter and checked out the cabinets. To my delight, I discovered a jar with a bunch of feathers. Boy this place was all decked out for felines. Curiosity satisfied, I decided I’d lounge on the silver table. and wait to see what was next. The door opened and a very nice lady named Marsy came in. She talked to me asking permission before she stroked my fur (I do appreciate polite and respectful humans).   I took quite a fancy to her and found no need to run to my female human and hide myself under her coat. Soon, another lady arrived  (the human Alberto from FelineOpines looks lovingly at vet tech at Pend Oreille Veterinary Servicecalled her Dr. Ponsness) and this lady (although wearing the dreaded white coat) was respectful and very nice as well. Although both Marsy and the Doctor poked me a little and put a silver thing on me and listened to my chest (who knew, I had no idea there was anything to listen to in there), they talked to me and petted me the entire time.  I was feeling quite loved and calm. At one point, I even forgot my human was there as I cuddled up to Marsy.   When they were done, they let me continue to hang out on the counter and watch what they were doing with Oliver. All in all, an extremely pleasant experience.

OllieHeadOliver Opines on the Exam

 

Oliver from the Tribe of Five with Dr. Ponsness at Pend Oreille Veterinary ServiceI had no interest in hanging out on the silver table but I did wander around and inspect the place, sniffing table legs, trash cans, etc. Nothing but calming smells so when Dr. Ponsness picked me up, talked to me and petted me, I was a happy camper. She and Marsy  made me feel right at home, even if they did poke and Oliver napping in the exam room at Pend Oreille Veterinary Serviceprod a bit (there was the insertion of something called a thermometer that I found objectionable but it only lasted a few seconds and, in their defense, they did apologize beforehand).   When they were done, I was allowed to wander around the room again and explore. I was so relaxed and happy, I actually took a quick cat nap while my human chatted with the doctor.

 

After my brief respite, I did some more exploring. Marsy grabbed one of the big feathers from the jar, waved it above me Oliver plays with a feather at Pend Oreille Veterinary Serviceand we began playing. I attacked that feather with a vengeance.  I was quite fierce and I’m sure I made her a bit afraid with my aggressive moves. I hope she knows I’m a good cat and would never hurt anyone.

I must say all in all this visit was good (except for the part where they told my human I needed to lose weight) and if the female human insists on taking us again I won’t even howl on the way over (at least, not much).

The Human Opines

Alberto and Oliver allowed me some space to tell you about my experience at  Pend Oreille Veterinary Service. They have employed fear free practices for a number of years (before the term “fear free” was coined.) When they designed and built their new facility, they devoted themselves to a complete fearless experience, from the beautiful and comfortable lobby to the exam rooms, surgery suite and every other part of the hospital.

fearless vet visits for cats

 

Dr. Ponsness took me on a tour of the building and I was impressed. The surgery and kennels are strategically arranged so that they are not  next to the examining rooms.  Examining areas are dedicated for canine and feline patients and the imaging/consulting room is set up like a human doctor’s office so the people as well as the pets are comfortable.

The facility was designed by a veterinary architect and when I asked Dr. Ponsness what surprises they encountered during the planning and construction of the new building, she responded that she was taken aback when the architect suggested the specialized HVAC system.  It turns out, that HVAC system is pivotal in the fearless and state of the art medical aspects of the practice. It provides climate controlled areas such as the surgery suite which has negative pressure. Negative pressure is critical in controlling germs and assisting with healing. The HVAC provides climate controlled areas to fit the needs and purposes of each area of the practice and controls smells that often cause concerns in animals when they are visiting the vet.

Pheromones and soothing music are offered in exam rooms, and, as Oliver and Alberto noted, treats and toys are available to keep the felines amused while they wait. Every space has been planned with comfort, calmness and efficiency for the animal and human clients.

I saw some of the feline and canine patients relaxing in their comfy “hospital crates” and the tour of the surgery suite was very impressive,. The  lack of “medicine” smells thanks to the HVAC system serves to keep pets calm and also helps the household stay calm when pets arrive home from their visit. In the past, our felines were welcomed home from the vet with hisses, swats and angry “fuzzy tails”. This time, because there was no “veterinary smells” the other three Tribe members were calm and curious and not a hiss was heard.

I’ve been bringing my felines to Pend Oreille Veterinary Service for years to see Dr. Ponsness and Dr. Smart. My fur kids receive the best of care and I would have argued with anyone who said better care could be provided there , until we made our first fearless visit to the new facility, that is.

I cannot stress enough the importance of taking your fur kids to a practice that uses fearless methodology. Even if your vet does not have a facility designed by a veterinary architecht, there are many methods they can employ to provide you and your felines with fearless visits.

Tucker, the Tribe of Five Alpha recently had two overnight stays at the new facility and I was amazed at how balanced and calm our 14-yer old guy was when we brought him home. Normally, it takes a few days for him to bounce back from an overnight at the vets, but not this time. He was his old sassy self as soon as we unzipped the door of the carrier and sashayed into the living room to reclaim his favorite chair.

The Tribe of Five all had wellness exams recently and all responded in a relaxed, unstressed manner. Five felines with diverse personalities all responding positively to their vet visit speaks volumes.

fearless vet visit oliver from feline opinesAnd one last note, the fearless vet visit is a blessing to the worried pet parents as well. I no longer have to face taking them to the vet with fear and trepidation (and feeling like the meanest person on the planet).

Are your fur kids fearless? If not, I urge you to find a fearless practice in your area.

 

 

Walk Through the Web Wednesday 11/16

siamese cat in black and white with blue eyes, Alberto, Feline Opines

Hello World,
Alberto here. I’ve been purrrusing the internet looking for new and unusual feline themed stories and have some great ones for you this week.  As next week is what the humans refer to as a “holiday” my purrsonal assistant may not be available to post my regular Wednesday feature. We will post an original photo and send Howl-iday wishes though.
In the meantime, enjoy this week’s features.
Your Friend,
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Feature Shoot – Pounce by Seth Casteel

kitten flying through the air for the book "Pounce"The human photographer Seth Casteel, is known for his books, Underwater Dogs and Underwater Puppies and has now turned his attention to shelter kittens.  He captures some special shelter kittens with names like , Chicken, FruityPebble, Fuzzbucket, Doodlebug, and Jennifer, in mid-flight pounce. This wonderful human is highlighting the fact that there are between 30 and 40 million stray cats in the US. An estimated 1.4 million are euthanized in shelters, unable to find safe and loving homes. This book illustrates the joy of kittens and the fact that there are many cats and kittens who need forever homes in shelters all across the country. Every one of us in #TheTribeOfFive were adopted and we are all for anything that helps other felines find forever homes too.

Evening Standard – 10 adorable photographs of London’s most famous pub cats

black English pub catAs my regular readers know, this working feline loves stories about other working cats. This is a pictorial tribute to felines that work in “Boozers” as the English refer to the establishments also known as pubs. I think working in a pub would be quite interesting and I wonder, do they get tips like the human bartenders do?

 

Mental Floss – 11 Brilliant Gifts for the Cat In Your Life

tabby kittens with Christmas hatsThe #TribeOfFive is pretty spoiled and we have lots of great toys and feline themed items. As a matter of fact, number 8 on the list is something we already have (and have reviewed), Music for Cats (we recommend it highly). There were many on this list that I found appealing but I finally decided the KitNipBox was my favorite. It works on so many levels, we felines get a gift a month and a portion of the monthly cost is donated to animal welfare organizations. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

What Do You Give The Cat Owner Who Has Everything?  Katzenworld

Orange tabby with meowlingual cat meow translator‘Lest you think I’m completely selfish, I am also interested in what gifts are best for feline-loving humans. Our friends at Katzenworld and their guest poster, Mike James (who describes himself as a tech-obsessed, cat-loving content writer working with Best VPN) provide some excellent choices for your favorite humans this Christmas. I purrrused the list and can’t decide what I like best, the remote cat toys or the Meowlingual, cat translator. While it would be pawsome to have red dots and other kitty delights moving around the house while the humans are at work, it would be very handy for my humans to have a Meowlingual translator too. Just think, I could sit on the computer keyboard and dictate my Walk Through the Web Wednesday posts to my purrsonal assistant!

7 Sounds That Cats Make And What They Mean

gray kitten talking into a microphoneWhile I’m on the subject of translating “cat-speak” if you don’t have a Meowlingual cat translator, you can still learn how to understand a bit of feline talk.  You will be able to discern the difference between the trill, the bip, the yowl, the chatter and other feline expressions after reading this post by Care2. At our house, every one of #TheTribeOfFinve has some Siamese heritage and that means some are quite “yakky”. Sometimes it’s almost like a feline symphony at our place!

 

Mewsical

Hello World,
Alberto here (but you can call me Al, all my friends do). Today I wanted to write about the AlGuitar4strange fixation the male human has for this thing he calls a gee-tar. The male human has a very nice mewsic room downstairs (which, by the way none of the Tribe are invited to visit) but he often brings the gee-tar upstairs and strums it while he sits on the sofa.

I find this behavior a bit rude. The firm, unwritten rules of our household state that “when a human sits on any piece of furniture, said human will make their lap available to any feline who may be so inclined to sit on said lap.”

I am not a cat who easily takes no for an answer so I figured I’d hop on top of the human and get a closer look at this gee-tar thingy that he found more interesting than me. At first glance, I was not impressed.

Evidently the female human is not impressed with the gee-tar because she often complains about the male human “twanging” on the thing when she’s attempting to watch the moving images in the big flat box in the living room.

But I digress. So there I was, checking out this thing when I heard some noises coming from it. Hmm,  the male human runs his fingers along the string things and noises come AlGuitar_1out. The male human uses a bright-colored teardrop shaped cat toy he refers to as a “pick”. What a shame that humans don’t have the sharp teeth and claws we felines possess, they would never need to bother with the “pick.”

The male human did not pick up on my polite hint that I needed his attention so I decided to focus some more attention on his gee-tar.

As I came in closer, I noticed that the string things moved when he plucked at them. Could this be some wonderful new cat toy? Is it possible that the human brought this thing upstairs for my amusement and edification?  Hmm, maybe I was a bit to fast to jump to judgment.

 

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I thought, In light of this new information I must show the human my appreciation.  I leaned in closer preparing to help him coax a noise from the string things on his gee-tar. This could be quite a bonding moment, I thought. If I get this right I can help him compose a tune that he could play to accompany Tucker when he stands outside the bedroom of the humans and sings the song of his people in the wee hours of the morning.  (That’s just how I am, a cat that cares about everyone in his tribe, human and feline.)

I leaned in, lifted my lips back and got one of those string things in my mouth. Just as I was getting ready to pull it, I found myself unceremoniously dumped off the humans lap and onto the floor. Can you believe it? The human does not honor the code of the house and make room for me on his lap and then, when I am attempting to assist him, he dumps me on the floor.

It took me a few moments to recover from the indignity but I am a jovial fellow and prefer not to let conflict into my life. After giving myself a good wash, I hopped into the chair where the female human was sitting. She understands the rules of the house quite well and petted me and told me what a handsom guy I am. Finally, after receiving enough affirmations to renew my self-confidence, I twitched my tail, jumped off her lap and sashayed off to the dining room window to check for birds and squirrels.

Your friend,
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Music for Cats – The Tribe of Five Weigh In

Hello Folks,

The felines felt that they went above and beyond the call in their social media duties so have tasked me to post their first impressions with the new Music For Cats album.

From a human point of view I’d say that I was very pleasantly surprised, but rather than have you read my second-hand observations, best to go to the source. They’ve provided their thoughts and videos as well.
Enjoy!

Music for Cats

 Our human heard about the Music For Cats Kickstarter campaign and when she read about the composer and the science behind the music, she had to pre-order the album.

This album is the result of two years of research born from David Teie’s theory on the fundamental nature music appreciation by mammals. There’s a lot more scientific stuff that’s beyond the mind of this feline but the humans seemed to understand and were quite impressed.

The female human set up the wireless speaker and played this compilation of kitty concertos for us. We’ll be reporting in soon about our reactions. In the meantime, have your humans play you a sample from the Music for Cats website.

Your Friend,

Tucker.