Change what you’re doing! It’s mating season

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Today I put two and two together, and I had to hustle. It’s mating season for conures. They are hardly even domesticated, and February marks summer in their homelands. Right now my girls are molting and destroying their toys. They don’t breed, but the girls will still lay a clutch to share with their lady mate.

  • Shorten the available hours on their UV bulb
  • Move all items around inside the cage so it’s not cozy and familiar
  • Night night or cover them earlier in the evening to shorten their hours

I do not want eggs. Look up “egg binding”. *shudder*

Holiday Bonus splurge

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I’m pretty new to my store, and I didn’t realize that this would be happening, BUT IT’S SO COOL!
We have a wicked good stock of products, so it took me about fifteen minutes to decide.
(I’ve been there since November, so did you really think I didn’t window shop at every Shift?)


Felted. Cat. Cave.

Pet Cave – For cats and small dogs

Yue asked for a cave many years ago, and was never satisfied. In fact, my pet rat Little Bastard would use the first one I bought her as his hang out, when he was loose in the house having a romp, and leave his stash in it. I have wondered for years if I could get this right.

Felted caves are in investment. If I got this wrong it would be a hit to my wallet, but I love my Boss and my Boss Boss, and it was risk free. They lurve it. LURRRRRRVE. In fact, every time a new cat would try it, another cat would walk up and start beating them in the head.
As you do.

Now that the initial WOO is over, the cats are enjoying it so much, and their nogs are being spared.

The Yeti is hand wash or machine wash gentle cold, and air dry. I have not tested this yet as no one has vomited on it this week.
This. Week.

Basepaws Cat DNA Health Report semi-update

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I got health reports back for Tommy, Stewart, and Princess Yue. Quite a few markers on her sample came back as inconclusive, so I emailed the Basepaws team and they said they would re-run her sample to see if we can get clear results or else we’ll do a new sample.

I’ve been at work for this past month and hopped back on Yue’s report this evening and it’s showing that her Inconclusive results are now reading In Process. Neat, right?

All of Stewart’s results were cleared, and I think two of Tommy’s were Inconclusive (so I didn’t contact them) and I was comfortable with the results knowing that this is not a clear indicator that the cat will not come down with the disease or disorder. It only means the studied genes show they are at less risk for developing it. IE I know women that fight breast cancer that tested negative for the genes.

I will come back with another update as soon as I find it.


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This is a personal post…sort of pet related.
When everything quieted down, I was hired at a pet supply store. Then seasonal depression kicked in around the time change and got progressively worse each week. I am still working, but waiting for my appointment on Wednesday so I can see about med changes through March.
Our store carries different raw options than weren’t available to me before, but my partner does not want to try them on Tom until we have a savings because his butt stops working here and there when things change. I told him that I have no time to make his food this week, and he said he can make Tom’s food. Here is where I roll my eyes.
I have been making the batches of raw food for 3 years. I don’t trust him. Part of it is my mental health and needing to be in control of things. I am very paranoid when my family is home in the evenings. I’ll get home from work and stress out on Dismal even though he’s putting in a fair amount of effort.
I’m going to sign off. My head is doing some things.
PS – Tommy keeps soothing himself to the cool mist humidifier around bed time. It’s ridiculous.

Now you see me; Now you don’t. – Life and the Emergency Room

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Tommy did it again. He went back to the ER about two weeks ago. His constipation had him again, and we need to work to getting him all set up back at his regular vet and see if there is or isn’t a diagnosis for IBD. He’s been on Miralax for a few years, and it seems like from time to time he backs up too far. He ended up with an enema after x-rays and a prescription for oral lactulose. They also gave him subcutaneous fluids because he was getting dehydrated from the vomiting.

Lucky me. Another $5xx.xx bill for the bub. AS WELL AS pulling $200 out of a hat much earlier than expected. His dad theorized that should Tom have IBD, the pork shoulder I put in his batch of food last time may have been irritating his guts. I had just made a new batch of food the day Tom went to the ER, only I broke a pork bone down in the Instant Pot and just put pork broth into it. Tommy got to eat the rest of the Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein canned turkey until a new order of rabbit came in from Hare-Today in PA. I had just completed a few gig jobs to get ahead on the electric, and suddenly I’m making cat food again.

New dilemma: More money

I start work tomorrow morning at a local pet boutique specializing in more natural foods. I just heard that Lotus is coming out with a raw, so I have some new things to learn and research, as well as being able to keep up with being physical this winter when I would normally be sedentary.

What is Stop and Eat the Flowers going to be doing? I am not sure. This has been sure a flop of a year with personal challenges, and now I am right at the cusp of seasonal depression issues with the DST shortening the evenings – I want to be happy and healthy and get my zeal back. Next month is 1 year since one of my friends died. July of this year another friend died. May I broke my car and rushed my parrot to the vet for surgery. June I bought another car and rushed my guinea pig to the vet over a heart condition, and it was decided to put her down. August, the funeral was finally held for my friend and during that month, Idris (my youngest parrot) was rehomed.

I still had my blue hair and interviewed for a rock and roll barber shop for the desk, and then later at Carmax for the sales department, and then a friend said I might want to think about changing my hair after four years. So here I am, with silvery steel hair and a new job.

What’s got your allergies? The Test

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“If you didn’t have all those animals in your house, you’d be fine.”

Nah. I got proof this month.
I had allergy testing done as a child, but the process is a little updated, and there is one big thing I wasn’t aware of:


However, you can still use your nasal steroids ie Flonase.


My allergies have been stupid and ridiculous since I moved to Maryland. It wasn’t too bad in Arizona. I would use the Neti with the salts and flush my sinuses out, and maybe take one antihistamine. I also had 4 cats, several guinea pigs, and hay in the house. Since moving to Maryland, I have had constant sniffles, congestion, and take three different antihistamines after trial and error with different single ones. I also just added Flonase 2 months ago. I wash my bedding at least twice a month, as well as pillows, and we have a HEPA running upstairs in my room as well as downstairs in the living room. The guinea pigs and hay are also gone. And still…these things with my face…oof.

My insurance said they would cover 75% of allergy testing before processing goes through. I paid $125, but I might get a partial reimbursement. You never can really tell these days. I stopped all antihistamines on a Wednesday, as my testing was the following Wednesday. Some kinds of acid reflux meds have to be discontinued as well, but not Prilosec, which I take the generic or else things get very unpleasant if discontinued. I was also told to not take any sedatives three days prior. You also have to not use hydro-cortisone.

Friday the itching was intense. I had no hives, but just ready to dig my skin out. Most noticeable areas were shoulders, near the elbow, sides of the torso, inner thighs, and my scalp. It felt like I constantly had bugs in my hair. It was terrible. However, it were to be temporary, as long as I made it to Wednesday. The entire week I felt like I could be irritating myself because I had no protection other than the Neti and Flonase, and wasn’t certain if anything could be my deodorant, or start having a severe reaction to my cats. I was washing my hands more a dozen times a day, and some days I would take two showers.

Tuesday night my eyes started itching pretty bad. Oh no.

Wednesday morning I was ready

Allergy testing is pretty cool. They put the allergen serums on pokey pokey things and press it into your skin. I remember them doing this to my back as a child. There are two controls: One is ragweed, which nearly everyone responds to, and the other is nothing. It’s a neutral.
You then wait fifteen minutes to see which serums initiate swelling (hives) and to what degree.

This is the beginning of two arms

Once your results are final, you get swabbed down with alcohol and then can slather your skin with benadryl gel.

You know what didn’t really react at all? CATS AND DOGS
Har har.
Cockroaches, mice droppings, very few trees, and loads of grasses. Rye grass was off the charts. Timothy hay did show up as a reaction, but not terribly so, and even slightly less was Orchard Grass. I guess that sort of confirms the theory with bunny and guinea pig owners that Orchard Grass may be less threatening to you than feeding/keeping Timothy hay.

My results stay on file for 1 year so that I can start allergy shots (immunotherapy) but I can’t afford it currently. The facility can bill over $5000 to my insurance, and upfront I get to pay out 25% until it processes through my insurance, gets disallowances per contract, and months down the road I might see a check to cover part of my costs. You also have to purchase a sharps container, get a prescription for your needles at the pharmacy as well as an Epi-pen. My initial responsibility is at least $1400.

I am reluctant to say that it would max out my emergency credit card, and we drive and MINI and a Volkswagen, and that would be more irresponsible than purchasing a MINI or a Volkswagen.

Just hermetically seal me in the house. I’ll be fine.

Basepaws Catkit DNA testing update #9 : Health Reports

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We received our first two Catkits in 2017 as a part of running updates and sharing what you can expect.
Our first Health Reports were assigned to Tommy Gargoyle. Princess Yue Pants has not received hers. Stewart was tested as well after he was accepted to participate in their research for his asthma, and has yet to have his Health Report.

This post is going to be IMAGE HEAVY, so we’re doing smaller images, but you can click on them to enlarge.

This is what a Tommy Gargoyle is

This is what a Princess Yue Pants looks like

Please observe:

Check out Tommy’s percentage based on a breed he most closely resembles

Compare Princess Yue Pant’s percentage to the same breed

Cat breeding is not dog breeding. Cats like to breed themselves. Cat genes are spread wide and diluted. Cat genetics are now being explored and analyzed in Basepaws’ database of exceptional cats just like yours. The information and findings are always evolving. This is why you receive lifetime updates, so when you may think you have your cat figured out, you’ll continue learning new things. Basepaws is providing great forwards through the different sections of your report. Check this out:

My bubba has A LOT of polycat. “Celebrate your mutt”

Because of Tommy’s exceptional Mutt status, his breeds he identifies with tend to be around 50% or less.

His general groupings

His summary highlights.
His Health Report is ready. What’s that about?

You receive a Health Report forward

Here’s a snip of the genes tested and result

Today, his total report is 34 pages. Certain breeds get removed and updated and consolidated at different points as they process more proven purebreds to make the database for that breed more distinct. There used to be Turkish Angora and Siamese, but those are down right now. Also, the Persian group changed.

I’ll let you know what comes up for us next.

Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein canned varieties

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I love the cleanprotein concept. Cats are Obligate Carnivores, so instead of going by the simple AAFCO mandates about protein levels in cat food being met, Dr. Elsey’s uses the more digestible animal proteins to attain their protein percentage. I have seen foods use soy and other vegetation to state its a high protein food, when in reality, your cat isn’t meant to eat that.

We received our samples of the kibble in 2017, and it was widely received by our cats, even though our boys aren’t supposed to be on kibble. The girls are still eating it today. I realized that there were several new varieties of canned available now, so I requested whatever they could send me so that we can put up a new review.

He was hoping I would open them

“100% Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, No Fillers or Artificial Preservatives, Non-GMO, For All Life Cycles”

We have a very wet pate. They mean it when they state No Fillers. When you stir it well, you end up with a great stew consistency. Their turkey is the most favored flavor on Chewy, so that will be the one for our short video.

I fed these to my ladies, and they aren’t partial to fish. The ocean whitefish and the salmon are even a bit looser in texture, and Yue tried the ocean whitefish while Amalie tried neither. The salmon was left behind in the dish, unharmed. All other flavors did very well.

They run great sales from time to time on so try some with your regular order.


Some teeth are better than others

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I was discussing oral condition with friends last night, and one interjected that his cat is fed a great diet. I said “no, your cat benefits from being genetically superior”. I was able to satisfy his ego without getting into a big discussion. I don’t have time to argue, and you can feel that you contribute to your cat’s oral health depending on diet, whether kibble, canned, raw, dehydrated, freeze dried. I don’t really care, and I say that in jest. I know my way around a mouth.

Amalie’s teeth dissolve right out of her head. She has a disease that’s not curable, and we do cleanings and extractions. She is on the same diet as Yue. Yue does not have this condition.

Tommy and Stewart have the same diet as well. Tommy used to have me scale his teeth when he was younger with a dental tool. He just has a cruddy, sticky mouth that develops tartar easily. At ages 8, Yue and Tommy went in for a cleaning. Stewart is about to turn 8, and his mouth still looks fantastic at his age. You can see the rear teeth. Tom… *sigh*… this guy has so much tartar on this back teeth two years later, that you can’t see the tooth. He needs a dental cleaning, again. I’m going to try to stave off a visit for a few months by giving him some Zylkene tonight and try to scale his back teeth. He used to let me do it, but now it’s pretty built up, he’s uncomfortable, and we haven’t used the tool in some time.

We could have prevented this by brushing. We will be attempting to “teach an old dog new tricks” after his professional cleaning, with brushing. A proper dental cleaning requires general anesthesia and routinely includes the need for blood work. This starts out at $400. I know that the clinic we use will want to have a Senior Exam visit charge, full Senior blood work, then the dental. I’m looking at about $800, unless I go somewhere else. He hasn’t seen the vet since 2017 because that was the year he was traumatized with all the ER visits, the surgery, the follow ups. I should do the entire thing because he’s ten years old. They will likely also do x-rays to see below the gum line.

I need to find more work. It’s for the fur kids.

Bavarian Cat Toy sacks discontinued

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If you can find these on another site (at a reasonable price), let us know!

Here’s my story:

We started using weighted blankets in our home when the tech was new. They made a ‘chhh chhh chhh’ sound when my cat, Princess Yue Pajama Pants, decided this was the most awesome thing ever, and started trying to kill the weighted blanket. Oh darn. I wanted to redirect her to a cat-appropriate option.

I messaged a few bloggers if they knew of such a toy, and Petsweekly was very familiar with one. SCORE one for the Princess. I did get full disclosure upfront that these things smell horrible for humans. How bad could it be? Yue likes to roll around in July-used undergarments, so that’s up her kink, too.

Since Petsweekly did all the writing, and I’m rusty, take two minutes to check this out:
Bavarian Cat Toys offer Catnip Alternative

We found out that the Bavarian Cat Toys website does not have an online store with stock and were referred to Jeffers
We placed an order with Jeffers two years ago, but this was a bit of a luxury item for the budget, so I had an email that indicated sale items earlier this month, and I went to see what the sacks were priced at.

Affordable. The sacks were 30% off or more.

The next week they were gone from the website. As far as I’ve heard from their customer service, is that they aren’t getting the sacks anymore, but they still have seasonable toys from Bavarian Cat Toys in their catalog.

These are pretty big, they stink, and they have spelt in them in them, so they ‘chhh chhh chhh’ with movement and play. But, if your kitty plays more conservatively, there are still a lot of options that ship free at $49+