I named him Jerry

I don’t know what possessed me;
he wasn’t the gray childhood cartoon
I sympathized with but a golden-black
idol glowing by the streetlamp moon.
Maybe it was his marble-green eyes
he looked at me, through me
from the abyss.

Un-curious,
his stereotype seemed inappropriate,
only ever regarded me once
at a bus stop. He already sat
centered atop a metal black bench, eyes
un-wavered from the spot I vacated.
As I approached; no

arched back or hisses; simply turned
midnight marbles as if to ask, “Are you
waiting, too?” Without answer, he
lifted one paw, pat my arm and leapt
forward, a jingle of bells as he landed
at my feet, once more flashed eerily
green light on my being before the turn

no more lights, as if the street itself turned
tar black. Melted into the cavernous night,
a light mew–good bye. A light shown,
finally the bus; boarded, but out the window
I saw no green eyes. On faith, I waved
into the night. “Good night, Jerry”
hoping he would catch my farewell.

-Shelly Leung

cat poem I named him Jerry

 

Cats Sleep Anywhere

Cats sleep, anywhere,
Any table, any chair
Top of piano, window-ledge,
In the middle, on the edge,
Open drawer, empty shoe,
Anybody’s lap will do,
Fitted in a cardboard box,
In the cupboard, with your frocks-
Anywhere! They don’t care!
Cats sleep anywhere.

Eleanor Farjeon (13 February 1881 – 5 June 1965

Eleanor Farjeon (13 February 1881 – 5 June 1965) was an English author of children’s stories and plays, poetry, biography, history and satire.

cat sleeping

5 Christmas Safety Tips for Your Cat

Christmas is a joyous occasion full of laughter, food, and gifts for you and your frisky feline. However, if you don’t take some safety precautions you could wind up in the emergency veterinary clinic with your cat. Many of the food and decorations that make the holiday so much fun for us can actually be harmful to our pet. For your sake here are 5 tips on keeping your kitty safe this Christmas.

christmas cats presents tojo and nelly cat tales

Keep The People Food For The People

  • Rich, fatty foods, like gravy or grease, can cause problems such as an upset stomach.
  • Alcohol can cause serious intoxication in pets, and many pets are attracted to the sweet taste of drinks, especially eggnog. Be sure to clean up and rinse all glasses after Christmas parties.
  • Chocolate, coffee, and tea all contain components called methylxanthines that are dangerous to animals. Chocolate is especially a problem because pets love its flavor. Unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolate are the worst culprits, but all chocolate, fudge and other candy should be placed out of your pet’s reach.

christmas cats presents tojo and tojo cat stories

Keep Holiday Plants Away

We all like making our homes more festive for the holidays. We enjoy the green foliage and colorful flowers of plants. Unfortunately, many of the plants we have in our homes during the holidays can be poisonous to pets. Never let your cat chew or eat any of these holiday plants:

• Holly    • Mistletoe    • Poinsettias    • Hibiscus

Please place these plants well out of your pet’s reach, or use imitation holiday plants.

christmas cats presents tojo and nelly cat stories

Careful With Gifts!

Edible items should never be left under the tree, as the smell can be very tempting and your cat could try to tear into the package. Make sure to remove ribbons or ties before you present gifts to your pet. If played with and swallowed, yarn, ribbon, or string on gifts can cause intestinal obstruction, requiring surgery.

Batteries for toys or other gifts can be toxic and cause intestinal obstruction. Keep in a safe place until they are ready to be inserted in the gift.

christmas cats presents

Secure The Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is one of the most enticing places for a cat during the holiday. If you are lucky, your cat may just want to lie on the tree skirt underneath the tree and look at all the lights. If you are unlucky, you may find your cat mimicking your tree topper! To ensure that your tree stays in place in the event that you kitty decides to climb, place your Christmas tree in a stable stand, and attach it securely to a window or wall. And make sure your cat is always supervised when in a room with a tree.

Tinsel’s shininess is attractive. When eaten, it can cause blockages, which often require surgery to remove. This year, think about leaving it off the tree all together.
Chewing on electrical cords can cause problems ranging from burned mouths, to electrical shock to death by electrocution. Unplug decorative lights when you’re not there.
Place ornaments that are shiny, or could be swallowed or broken, high up on your tree. Larger, less intriguing ornaments can go near the bottom.

christmas cats presents tojo nelly cat tales

Give Your Kitty a Pet Safe Present!

When choosing a holiday gift for your special friend, be sure it’s safe – no small pieces that could come off and be swallowed. Choose healthy holiday treats for your pet and give them in moderation.

The holidays are a time of great fun and excitement for everyone. With a little planning and by following these precautions, it can be a safe and fun time for your cat as well.

Cat Stories: I found Snickers in a tree

“Snickers! Snickers!” “Oh man! Where is he?” I cried. “Mom did you see Snickers?” I asked. “No,” she said. “I’ve told you a million times to keep the door closed and now the cat is out again,” she said, as she rolled her eyes in disgust. I really didn’t know what she was talking about, she never tells me to close the door and I didn’t have the door open this day, but she did have her bedroom window open and I bet Snickers jumped out of her window. “Now go outside and find him, and hurry up because dinner is almost ready!” she said.

cat stories

 

So I left out, fearing Snickers was gone forever. He had never been gone this long before and I tried everything. I put food in his bowl on the front porch, jingled his favorite toys and even wound up they toy mouse that made mom yell at Snickers all night, and nothing. I went over to Frank’s house. Sometimes Snickers liked to run through Frank’s yard and tease his dog Tiger. Sometimes I liked to tease Tiger too, it’s funny when she gets mad and barks all crazy. I surpassed the front door. I mean Frank is my best friend he doesn’t care if I’m in his yard. I wondered the back yard and as soon as I turned the corner of his basement door I heard a growl. “Huh,” I thought. “Tigers never loose,” so I kept going.

All of a sudden, I felt heat swelter from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head, my eyes opened so wide I could feel my eye lashes almost touch my forehead. There was Tiger, no chain, no collar and a look of revenge on her face. “NOOOO!” I yelled as I dashed the opposite direction. She was hot on my tail, nipping at the back of my paint legs. Not only did I lose Snickers, but I might lose my life too! I grabbed a hold of a tree and climbed as fast and as high as I could, while Tiger looked up trying to figure out how to get up the tree. “Oh please, I hope she can’t climb, I don’t want him to catch us,” “Us?” I thought. “Wait a minute… huh?” I looked to my left… “Snickers!” Snickers must have been teasing Tiger and she chased him up the tree. She jumped in my arms. “Yes!” I thought. Then I looked down. Tiger was still there, she killed two birds with one stone; well a boy and a cat with one stone.

cat on tree

Now I’m stuck in a tree, with Snickers, a revengeful dog and an irritated mother at home. SNAP! “AAAHH!” The tree branch snapped, I held on to Snickers as tight as possible, grabbed another branch with my loose hand. I could still see Tiger, now she had her head cocked to the side in confusion. Worse just got worse! I had to do something and quick because my hand was hurting and slipping; I knew if I survived my hand would sting forever, but who cares right now? I let go! I heard Snickers let out the biggest fear filled “Meeeooow,” ever known to man! Tiger scrambled away, I fell on my bottom, but it didn’t hurt.

I was still alive. I looked up. I turns out I didn’t climb high at all, it felt like I climbed twenty feet, but it was only five. I looked at Tiger, she looked at me, and Snickers looked at both of us. Snickers and I took off running! I heard Tigers feet scramble on the ground as she struggled to start running. We raced across the street, slammed through the door and quickly locked it. Fell to the floor searching for just a smidge of air. Snickers looked at me then jumped in the window sill to watch Tiger. After catching by breath, I grabbed Snickers and went to my room. My hand was still stinging and my pants were ripped, but I found Snickers. That’s all that matters.

Piper’s Cold Winter Rescue

piper cat storiesWinter can be a beautiful time of year . . . snowmen, icicles, trees hanging heavy with piles of glittering snowflakes . . But, along with all that beauty comes cold, sometimes frigid weather. The average temperature in Finlay, Ohio in January is about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. That may not seem like the coldest place to be in the winter but, when you are stuck in a wet, icy drainpipe with no blanket and no food for a few days . . . then it probably seems like the coldest place on earth.

Susan Orians was passing by Donnell Middle School in Finlay, Ohio on a Wednesday evening in January of 2014 when she heard a noise coming from the downspout on the school’s wall. Upon closer inspection she realized it was the faint meowing of a cat. Susan went home and returned with tuna to try and coax the cat out. Other bystanders had gathered and they also tried to help free the crying cat. One helpful bystander even tried a cellphone app that meowed. But, nothing could lure the cold, scared little kitty out. Finally, the small group of would-be rescuers made the decision to contact the school first thing in the morning. The concerned group disbanded but not before vowing to return the next day and try and help with the rescue.

When the school received Susan’s call early Thursday morning they quickly contacted the Hancock County Humane Society. Employees and volunteers of the humane society arrived on the scene and began working to save the cat.

A hole was cut in to the downspout then food and catnip were placed in to try and entice the cat out. After some time had passed with no sign of the cat, a camera was placed in to the downspout. They soon discovered that the cat was too big to fit through the downspout and gain freedom. After exhausting all their efforts, workers left the scene around 8:30pm on Thursday evening but vowed to return the next morning with a solution to save the poor feline. Early Friday morning the workers returned to the school and began digging out the buried portion of the drainage pipe. By 10am on Thursday, the cat was finally freed from the pipe.

The orange male cat was very muddy and emaciated. He was quickly taken to the local veterinarian where he was found to be suffering from hypothermia. Upon further inspection, the poor cat was found to have a broken leg and other injuries that indicated more trauma than what the drainpipe could have done. Though he was battered and beaten, he was expected to make a full recovery.

The loyal group of volunteers who helped rescue the stranded cat decided to name him “Piper” in reference to his time spent stuck in the drainpipe. They learned that Piper most likely crawled into the pipe through a drainage basin located on a nearby street. Most likely hiding from whatever threat had injured him in the first place.

The positive side of Piper’s story is that his rescue made headlines and garnered much attention. Many people came forward with requests to adopt the cat and give him a forever home. Happily, Piper won’t need to worry about being caught out in the cold, harsh winter any more.

Bumper Book of Seven Cat Tales Makes Ideal Christmas Present for 4-8Yr Olds

THU, DEC 04, 2014 11:45 CET -The ever popular children’s eBook series Tojo and Nelly’s Cat Tales has been catapulted into a print edition, just in time to make children’s stockings this Christmas. The bumper print edition of the seven books is available on Amazon along with a special festive story: A Fairly Talented Christmas .

cat stories bumper book

Created by Maria Merrett and penned by Tamara Forge, the bumper books make the perfect Christmas present for little ones aged approximately four to eight years old. The books are inspired by the pet cats of the series’ creator, giving them a truly lifelike feel and allowing children to fully immerse themselves in the world of curious kitties Tojo and Nelly.

Merrett, who also published the eight children’s books , says, “After releasing the eBook versions of Tojo and Nelly last year, we really wanted the stories to be more accessible and so decided to launch in print. There is nothing like reading a good bedtime story to your child the old fashioned way, so I’m sure the bumper print edition is going to be even more successful.”

Each paperback book is beautifully illustrated by Nanuli Burduli, with charming images of Tojo, Nelly and all their feline and canine friends who feature in their adventures. The books were also edited by professionals Joy Watford and Emmily Rhodes before it was translated into print, to ensure the print version of the series was absolutely faultless. Each of the first seven books is available in paperback for £6.26, with the special Christmas tale on offer for £6.10.

The bumper edition of the series, featuring all seven paperback books, is being sold at £23.84 which offers savings of almost 50% compared to buying the books separately. Toddlers and children can delve into the feline world with Tojo Meets Nelly, A Purrfect Reunion, Wookie the Wonderer, The Princess and the Pirate, Be Brave, Benson, Klaus and the Cat-astrophe and Old Madam Mischief all crammed into the bargain bumper edition.

Highlights of the series are plentiful, with the first book describing Tojo’s first introduction to Nelly, the new cat. The story is charming and playful, but also helps small children grasp important issues like change, rivalry, and eventually enduring friendship. In the third book of the series, the two cats team up to help their pal, Wookie the dog, through an identity crisis, whilst the last book in the current series sees the feline duo help an elderly cat to have a day of wicked fun and frolics.

Maria added, “The books are a great gift whether it’s for your son or daughter, grandchild, nephew, niece or friend’s child. The Christmas story is a great stocking filler or if you want your child to read more regularly then the bumper pack is the best option.”

To find out more, visit http://tojoandnellyscattales.com or purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/

PIPER – the orange cat

Winter can be a beautiful time of year . . . snowmen, icicles, trees hanging heavy with piles of glittering snowflakes . . But, along with all that beauty comes cold, sometimes frigid weather. The average temperature in Finlay, Ohio in January is about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. That may not seem like the coldest place to be in the winter but, when you are stuck in a wet, icy drainpipe with no blanket and no food for a few days . . . then it probably seems like the coldest place on earth.

Susan Orians was passing by Donnell Middle School in Finlay, Ohio on a Wednesday evening in January of 2014 when she heard a noise coming from the downspout on the school’s wall. Upon closer inspection she realized it was the faint meowing of a cat. Susan went home and returned with tuna to try and coax the cat out. Other bystanders had gathered and they also tried to help free the crying cat. One helpful bystander even tried a cellphone app that meowed. But, nothing could lure the cold, scared little kitty out. Finally, the small group of would-be rescuers made the decision to contact the school first thing in the morning. The concerned group disbanded but not before vowing to return the next day and try and help with the rescue.

When the school received Susan’s call early Thursday morning they quickly contacted the Hancock County Humane Society. Employees and volunteers of the humane society arrived on the scene and began working to save the cat.

PIPER cat storiesA hole was cut in to the downspout then food and catnip were placed in to try and entice the cat out. After some time had passed with no sign of the cat, a camera was placed in to the downspout. They soon discovered that the cat was too big to fit through the downspout and gain freedom. After exhausting all their efforts, workers left the scene around 8:30pm on Thursday evening but vowed to return the next morning with a solution to save the poor feline. Early Friday morning the workers returned to the school and began digging out the buried portion of the drainage pipe. By 10am on Thursday, the cat was finally freed from the pipe.

The orange male cat was very muddy and emaciated. He was quickly taken to the local veterinarian where he was found to be suffering from hypothermia. Upon further inspection, the poor cat was found to have a broken leg and other injuries that indicated more trauma than what the drainpipe could have done. Though he was battered and beaten, he was expected to make a full recovery.

The loyal group of volunteers who helped rescue the stranded cat decided to name him “Piper” in reference to his time spent stuck in the drainpipe. They learned that Piper most likely crawled into the pipe through a drainage basin located on a nearby street. Most likely hiding from whatever threat had injured him in the first place.

The positive side of Piper’s story is that his rescue made headlines and garnered much attention. Many people came forward with requests to adopt the cat and give him a forever home. Happily, Piper won’t need to worry about being caught out in the cold, harsh winter any more.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for your Cat

Thanksgiving is a day where we gather our friends and family together to give thanks for what we have, and we celebrate with a plethora of delicious food. However, while we enjoy our meal, our cats have a high risk of becoming injured or ill due to all of the tasty treats and decorations they can get into around the holidays. Your cat won’t be so thankful if they eat some meat bones or a toxic (to them) decoration. We know you are thankful for the companionship of your cats, but now it is time for you to learn how to keep your kitty safe during this time of thanks. Read through our tips and tricks to keep your cat safe, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

cat stories

1. No Candles!

Although candles are lovely, cats are attracted to the flickering flame and could burn themselves or knock them over and start a fire. Unless your cat is locked up tight in another area of the house, do not have real candles lit in your home. Instead opt for LED candles- they are very realistic, and not dangerous like a real flame can be.

2. Avoid Table Scraps

As much as we would love to give our kitties some stuffing, turkey skin, or other tasty Thanksgiving treats, certain human foods are extremely toxic to cats and should be avoided no matter what. Below are some of the most toxic foods that should be avoided:

  • Sage is a tasty herb that is frequently used in Thanksgiving cooking, but it and many other herbs can cause intestinal upset in our pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects many different herbs, and with the exception of cat nip, cats should not have excess to any fresh or dried herbs.
  • Bread Dough According to the ASPCA, when raw bread dough is ingested by our pets, their body heat causes the dough to rise and expand in their stomach. This can then cause vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, resulting in life-threatening illness that will need emergency surgery.
  • Fatty Foods Any amount of rich, fatty, or unfamiliar foods (such as meat fat, skins, and gravies) can cause intestinal issues; large quantities can cause a condition called pancreatitis, a medical condition that can be very painful and life-threatening if left untreated.
  • Bones can cut or obstruct your cat’s internal organs and should never be fed to them. They can also splinter and become stuck in the cat’s throat or further down its digestive tract.
  • Onions:  Onions and onion powder will attack your cat’s red blood cells, causing your cat to develop anemia.
  • Grapes and Raisins contain a toxin that causes kidney failure in cats.

3. Feed your Cat a Special Thanksgiving Meal

As previously mentioned, traditional Thanksgiving meals are loaded with ingredients that can make cats very ill. If you want your kitty to join in the celebration, prepare their own turkey dinner ahead of time with a slice or two of skinless turkey breast and a small spoonful of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling).

4. Keep the Garbage in the Can!

Cats are highly skilled at finding food enticing foods, and although they are not as likely to get into the garbage as a dog is, you still should take care when disposing of leftover foods and packaging. When disposing of any leftovers, it is best to double-bag them and put it in your garbage can outside.

On top of food, items such as aluminum foil, wax paper, plastic wrap, tooth picks, skewers, used silverware, and strings that have been in contact with meat or other foods. Your cat won’t know this shouldn’t be eaten because it smells like food, and once ingested these items can cause damage or intestinal blockages.

5. Give Your Cat Extra Love

When you have a crowd at your home, your cats may feel neglected- particularly if your cat is very social or attached to you. If you can, try to set aside 10-15 minutes to spend some quality time with your cat before and during your party. Your cat will be more relaxed after getting some much needed attention from you, and you can enjoy your friends and family without feeling guilty for neglecting your kitty.

6. Give your Cat a Safe Place

While some cats thoroughly enjoy visitors, many cats do not, and in fact, may try to get as far away from new people as possible. For those cats, it would be best to confine them while you have guests in your home. Be sure to provide litter box, fresh water, toys and bedding for your cat. Make sure all windows are secure, but if your cat loves to look out windows, keep the blinds and curtains open so they can see outside. If feasible, set up a nice bed at the window so they can feel comfortable. You can also set up a stereo and play soothing music, or keep the television on low volume.

7. For the Extra Stressed Cat

An overly-nervous cat may need to have a little help calming down and feeling at ease with other people roaming around their home. Many cats are able to calm down with the help of natural remedies; however some cats need a light sedative. If you think your cat may need something to “take the edge off” while there are guests at your home, please call your veterinarian for assistance.

Mario’s Smile Won them Over

cat storiesIn 2011, a married couple had just made the agonizing decision to put their long-time cat companion to sleep due to health issues. Their house seemed quiet, empty and lonely without the sweet “meow” of their loving fur-daughter, Misty. They decided to make a trip to the local Humane Society to see what cats might be looking for homes. They walked in to the cat room at the Humane Society and were greeted with about 15 cats walking, lounging, playing and napping. Immediately a black cat walked up to the gentleman (Don) and started rubbing against his leg’s, purring as loudly as he could.

Don’s wife was busy eyeing up a calico kitty named Princess who was busy ignoring all the visitors in the cat room. Don told his wife that he was certain the black kitty was “the one” and was ready to sign the adoption papers that day. His wife, however, talked him in to waiting a few days. She explained that she didn’t want to rush the decision, especially after losing their dear Misty such a short time ago. Don agreed to come back to the shelter in a few days and see if they felt the same connection to the black cat.

Don and his wife returned to the shelter two days in a row and each time they entered the cat room the black kitty walked right up to Don and began purring and rubbing against his legs. By the third visit, both Don and his wife were convinced that the black kitty was meant to come home to live with them. They could no longer deny that the cat had a very strong connection to them and needed to become their new companion.

After signing the adoption papers and placing the cat in a carrier, the couple was on their way home when they decided to stop at their vet’s office to make sure the feline didn’t have any known health issues. They had already decided on the name “Mario” and, so, introduced him to the staff at the vet clinic as such. Don and his wife were retired and lived on a fixed income so they were happy when the vet declared Mario to be a healthy cat except for one issue . . . he needed to have his teeth cleaned. The vet estimated that Mario might need one tooth pulled during the cleaning and also informed the couple that Mario had an active infection in his mouth (probably due to needing a cleaning).

The couple scheduled Mario’s teeth cleaning straight-away and all went as expected except that Mario developed another infection after it was done. The vet prescribed antibiotics to clear it up, however, one infection lead to another . . . then another . . . then another! Several rounds of antibiotics later and their vet finally referred Mario to an Animal Dentist about 50 miles from where they lived. The dentist diagnosed Mario with stomotitus and said that he needed to have all of his teeth pulled over a 5 month period. The couple was devastated!

After all of the surgeries were completed the total they spent on Mario’s teeth was over $10,000! They had to dip in to their retirement fund to cover the cost.

The silver lining?

Mario’s wonderful family doesn’t regret for one moment adopting the black kitty and bringing him in to their lives. They consider his adoption to be the best decision they have ever made. Mario now uses his story as a teaching tool on Twitter and encourages other feline pals to see an animal dentist whenever he hears they have infections that never clear up. Stomotitis is a very serious desease and can eventually cause death or very serious health problems. Mario was one very lucky cat to find such a loving family!