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The Cat SitterSM Tribune

Making "Cat Sense"

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Issue Number 12*P.O. Box 232, Roswell, GA 30077*Phone: (770) 594-1010*Fax: (770) 967-4962* July, 2000

Special 10th Aniversary Issue

We hope you will enjoy this special 10th Aniversary Issue of The Cat Sitter Newsletter

              
Read this newsletter from front to back, or go directly to the article of your choice:

Articles

  1. For All the Good Critters

  2. Pet Pride 2000

  3. Can I Remove Cat Odors?

  4. Book Corner

  5. Memory Wall

  6. A Tail of Two Cats

  7. Casey Meets The Cat Tester

  8. Grooming

  9. Rochester, MN E Mail Announcement

  10. Franchises Available

July Marks Our Tenth Year in Business!

This is a special time for us. In July of 1990 Linda Bagne Bartleson opened The Cat Sitter in Roswell, Georgia for business; on July 2 we completed our 10th year. We have had fun and made a lot of friends along the way (both feline and human). To all of you, our staff, our suppliers, the vets and pet stores, the media, and especially our customers, we offer our heartfelt thanks. We could not have done it without you.

A special welcome to our newest staff member, Jennifer Monroe. Jennifer is our Marketing Specialist for the Country Catnip Toys by The Cat Sitter in the Georgia Market.

All existing Atlanta area customers will be receiving a special tenth anniversary gift at the time of their next service. Just another way for Linda Bagne Bartleson, The Cat Sitter, to say thanks.

FOR ALL THE GOOD CRITTERS
           (and the people who love them)

A man was riding his horse down a road, his dog padding along by their side. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that his horse and dog had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He nudged the horse toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?" "This is heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked. "Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open. "Can my friends," gesturing downward towards his horse and dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked. "I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept animals."

The man thought a moment and then turned his horse back toward the road and continued the way he had been going. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. "Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water?" "Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there". The man pointed to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in." "How about my friends here?" the traveler asked. "There should be a bowl and a bucket by the pump."

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl and a bucket beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then gave some to the dog while he filled the bucket for his horse. When they all were satisfied, he led his horse back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them, the dog following faithfully behind.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked. "This is heaven," was the answer. "Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was heaven, too." "Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?" the traveler asked. The man replied, "No. I can see how you might think so, but we're just happy that they screen out the folks who'll leave their best friends behind".

 

 

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        PET PRIDE 2000

Thanks to all of you who visited the Cat Sitter booth at Pet Pride 2000 on May 20 in Rochester’s Eastwood Park. This was the first of what appears likely to be an annual event. It was sponsored by Cumulus, the owner of several local radio stations. Featured at this event were booths for pet boarding and sitting, pet grooming, pet supplies, and local shelters. Informative demonstrations were given by the Olmsted County Canine Unit and Southern Minnesota Canine Search and Rescue.

Winners of the door prizes given by the Cat Sitter were:

     Rose Johnson (Rochester) - Mega Mouse

     Darcy Dingfelder (Rochester) - Loon

     Jim Barnhart (Mazeppa) - Hugable Bear

 

 

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    Can I Remove Cat       Urine/Odor from
          my Home?

                 (Contributed by ServiceMaster Services)

We all know this problem too well and here are some ideas for you to try. First, you need to apply white vinegar and water to the carpet. You can prepare this as a 50-50 solution mix (vinegar and water). Pour mixture onto carpet and blot dry with a clean white towel. Repeat process until all urine is removed. If the urine is on concrete or drywall (such as your basement) a stronger product called acetic acid can be used to clean the concrete floors and walls. This solution is too strong to be used on your carpet therefore the white vinegar which is very diluted in comparison to the acetic acid that can be used on solid surfaces such as concrete.

If the problem is too far gone, you may have to consider replacing the padding under your carpet. This can be easily done by a trained carpet professional or an avid do-it-yourselfer who has some experience in this area. A good tip is to buy a "black light" and scan the area for urine. If you turn all the lights off and turn the black light on, you will be able to see where the cat has urinated because the urine will "fluoresce" (or light up). You may find areas that little Fluffy has had "accidents" that you are unaware of and unfortunately, Fluffy’s accidents leave a stronger odor than Fido’s do.

When is it time to call the Professionals in? That depends on you. We suggest to get your carpet professionally treated as soon as the accident has occurred. Urine will create spots as well as odors on carpets. The spot will spread up the fibers from the backing, as well as outward from the initial point of urine saturation. The resulting spot will range from yellow, brown, to red. Fresh urine can be very effectively treated with ServiceMaster products that neutralize the problem. The contents of the urine (medicines, medical dyes and/or food dyes) and the exposure of time on the fibers to the urine will effect the degree of success attained while treating the urine stains. If upholstery has been soiled by urine we suggest calling a professional immediately.

After the extraction has been performed, preferably by a truck mounted extraction unit, the carpet surface and backing need to be neutralized. This is a two-part system that we perform. The first step neutralizes the acidity and the second step is the odor shield. At this time, a professional can tell you if the padding needs to be replaced. In extreme cases the wood sub-floor may need to be replaced if the wood has absorbed the urine.

If you have any questions, please log on to our web site, www.allabouthome.com or you can reach us by phone at 770-537-6858 or 706-348-6893. Outside Georgia, call 1-800-WE-Serve.

       BOOK CORNER

Animal Angels, by Stephanie Laland, is a collection to true stories about acts of kindness shown to humans and other creatures by animals. If you have ever assumed that animals act only on instinct, this book will convince you differently. Stories range from the rescue of a baby rabbit from a blackbird by two robins, the routing of a burglar by a genuine "guard cat", and .a collies arousal of his companion from insulin shock - enough for him to call 911. These stories will amaze you. The book is a must read for all but it is especially appropriate for animal lovers.

 

Men will be just to men when they are kind to animals.

--Henry Bergh

    THE MEMORY WALL

 An activity that is rapidly growing in popularity is the creation of Memory Books. These are photo albums that tell a story or commemorate an event. In our home, we have established a Memory Wall. Let me explain.

When we lost Cassius several years ago at the relatively young age of 13, we needed a way to deal with our loss, and to remember the impact he had on us. We picked several of our favorite pictures of him and put them in a special frame that could hold a number of pictures. While this did not fill the void he left behind, it helped us remember the good times we had with him and his gentle spirit. This past year has been a time of saying goodbye to three very special cats at our house. They now have their place on the wall, too.

Tessie passed away Sept. 1, 1999 at the age of 18 1/2. She was a beautiful long haired tortoise shell. She looked a lot like Skid, a kitty I sit for. She came from my mother’s farm giving her a special link to my family. She was always full of energy and was happiest when she was ‘hanging out’ with Zachary.

Zachary, our patriarch, passed away Feb. 14, 2000, at 20 1/2. In a way that was fitting, because I will always remember him as a special love in my life. He was our top cat for the longest time and was a real live wire in his in his youth. He had a memorable meow, which sounded like ‘NOW’ and that’s what he usually meant when making a request!

Ibu Ku’ching, which means ‘mother cat’, was a Siamese that was abandoned and came to us in a very pregnant state. She passed away Feb. 17, 2000. We are not sure how old she was, but her health was never great as she evidently spent at least one Minnesota winter outdoors. She loved attention and food (not necessarily in that order!) and lived up to the Siamese reputation of being quite a talker. Her two boys, Hans and Franz, are wonderful reminders of her.

While we miss them all greatly, the Memory Wall helps us remember each of our faithful friends in a special way. They will never be forgotten.

 

          A Tail of Two Cats
   (or, An Exercise in Futility)

 One night, around 3:00 a.m., I woke up to a scuffling noise in my bedroom. When I turned on the light, I discovered that my female cat, Moneypenny, was just settling herself into the sheepskin-covered cat bed that I had purchased for my male cat, James Bond. The scuffling noise arose from James Bond’s attempt to oust Moneypenny from his bed. Naturally, I felt sorry for James, and after several "soothing" maneuvers, I promised him that I’d solve this "problem" the next day. Finally he "agreed" to sleep the rest of the night curled up by my side, while Moneypenny snored peacefully in his bed.

Promptly after breakfast the next day, I trotted downstairs to the garage to find a box that would serve as a bed for Moneypenny. I spent some time taping down the flaps of the box with duct tape and lining it with an old quilt. Then I carried Moneypenny to her new sleeping quarters, explaining as I settled her into the softness of the old quilt that this was to be her very own bed. I even placed Moneypenny’s new bed next to James’. All cat owners know what happened next – Moneypenny refused to have anything to do with "her" new bed.

After an interval of muttering about "cats’ ingratitude" and "waste of time", I decided that the next day I would buy another sheepskin-lined cat bed that would be just like James Bond’s. I knew I was giving in to the "cat pressure", but I thought the peace I’d have would be worth it.

That night, as I came into the bedroom, I discovered both cats curled up together in James Bond’s bed. The box lined with the old quilt for Moneypenny sat empty next to the sleeping cats.

 

By Jean Sund

"Casey" Meets The Cat Tester

By Ms. Barbara Baldwin

Recently, I went to visit my Grandson. He expressed a desire to own a cat, so, when his mom came home from work, we rode to the adoption center in Lenoir City, TN. Upon arriving, we noticed several cats in cages and my daughter saw one she thought was very pretty. I picked him up and he growled. I told her this one was not a good one. My grandson had picked up another kitty and asked me if that one was ok. I picked that one up and it was very scared, so I told him that was not a good one either. He finally picked up Casey and said, "Nana test this one for me?" I did, and Casey came home with us and now lives very happily in Lenoir City, TN.

 

 

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    New Rochester, MN    

       EMail Address
     rochcats@rconnect.com

You can now make your initial contact with The Cat Sitter in Rochester via email, as well as by phone. The answering service will continue to be used for requesting service. The answering service will be checked three times a day for messages, and calls received by 7:00 p.m. will be returned that day.

Alternately, you may now use email to make your initial contact for service.

Email messages will be checked daily, and messages received by 7:00 p.m. will be answered that day.

When using email, please indicate how the message should be answered, i.e., email or telephone.

Phone: (507) 367-2500

Fax: (507) 367-2529

E Mail: rochcats@rconnect.com

P.O. Box 116

Oronoco, MN 55960

     Weekending Cats

                         By Dr. Mark Wenner, D.V.M

                             Cascade Animal Hospital

A very common question that we are asked is, "Can I safely leave my cat unattended for a few days on the weekend?" Hopefully those who are receiving this newsletter already know the answer. NO!

What are the dangers of leaving a cat home unattended for more than a regular workday? How about mischief? Even the most laid back cat is going to be active at some point in the day. Typically they tailor their sleep/play cycles to when you are around. If left unattended and to their own means for fun some very bad things can happen.

Male cats are at risk of developing a urethral obstruction if they get a urinary tract infection (FUS) and if this happens when you are gone for the weekend they could be in grave danger of becoming extremely ill. You may think that this rarely happens, but we see at least three (3) cases where this exact thing happens each year. If only someone had checked in on kitty and checked the food bowl as well as the litter box.

How about the cats that pig out on all the extra food that is put in the bowl to tide them over? Cats are not dogs and they cannot go through feast and famine without throwing their metabolism into a panic. Overweight cats are especially prone to fatty liver syndrome. This can be brought on in 24 hours in some cases. This disorder causes the cats’ fat stores to be dumped into the liver and overwhelming its ability to convert the fat to energy. Cats can become deathly ill if this is not corrected quickly.

These are just a few of the things that we see each year when cats are left unattended even by the most well-intentioned and loving owner. So, next time you need to leave for a long weekend, please either board your cat or hire a cat sitter to check in on your feline friend and avoid the risks.

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  GROOMING

AAs told to Pat Davitt by Kathy Slesinski

 Grooming? Is it something left to the cat to take care of, something for the do-it-yourself crowd, or is it something that is best left to a professional? The answer to any of these questions depends on the specific circumstances surrounding the question.

If asked to describe our cats’ characteristics, one behavior common to all descriptions is grooming. After eating, before snoozing, in the midst of play and at many other times our cats will stop to clean, straighten, fluff, or add that last touch that will make things just perfect. Grooming is such an inbred part of our cats that we might not notice when a problem crops up.

There are many reasons that a cat may stop grooming completely or may not groom effectively. A cat that has put on a bit of extra weight may have difficulty reaching everywhere. Older cats may not be as limber and also have difficulty reaching everywhere. Sometimes the chemical makeup of an older cat’s saliva will change and it will loose its effectiveness as a ‘cleaner’. In that case, while the grooming may reach everywhere, it will not completely effective. Longhaired breeds may just have difficulty keeping up with the demands of their special coats.

It is reasonably easy to tell if there are grooming problems afoot without having to follow our cats around all day taking notes on their grooming practices. An oily, lusterless coat may be the sign of a problem. An accumulation of dandruff-like flakes along the back and at the base of the tail may also be a sign of grooming problems. Another key indicator is the presence of mats in the coat. Mats are initially detected on the chest or stomach and will feel like very small burrs in the fur. Mats are most likely to be found on longhaired breeds but shorthaired breeds are also capable of getting mats.

Matted fur is a serious problem. Mats begin small and if left untreated continue to grow larger. Some of the hair underneath the mat dies as it continues to grow. With growth comes a pulling of the skin around the mat. Initially, the pulling of the skin is uncomfortable and may inhibit some of our cats’ activities. As the mat is left untreated, open sores frequently result, leading to painful infection. At this stage, the untreated mat is a particularly big health risk to older cats, as their resistance is particularly low.

These grooming problems are not unrelated. An older cat may stop grooming some areas just because they are too difficult to reach. The fur that is not groomed becomes oily and begins to collect dirt. This fur is particularly prone to the development of mats.

The real solution to these grooming problems is to begin grooming long before there are any signs that problems are occurring. Ideally, when our cats adopt us, we will begin a regular, mutual ‘therapy’ session. The cats learn about being groomed very quickly and most come to like it, many will come to demand it on a par with their demands for food! The benefit for us? Grooming will become the most peaceful, stress-reducing time most of us will spend during our hectic days. Grooming is a phenomenal way to create special bonds between cat and human.

Of course, not all of us are blessed with the insight to start an active grooming program early in our cats’ lives. Adult cats can be ‘taught’ to enjoy grooming too. They should be groomed weekly at an absolute minimum. Ideally, for maximum benefit, grooming should be a daily affair.

Those cats that balk at being groomed by their human companions should be taken to a professional groomer. For those that do not like to travel, the groomer should come to visit them.

Professional groomers have a great deal of experience and have developed many techniques for helping our cats with grooming problems with out adding stress to the cats. Senior cats that may present problems beyond our abilities are particularly good candidates for the professional groomer. Senior cats generally receive nail clips because their inactivity and lack of scratching tends to allow their nails to become too long. Long nails can cause difficulty, sometimes injury, by snagging on carpets and upholstery.

There are instances where our cats simply refuse grooming, either doing it themselves or having someone do it for them. The recommendation in that case is the lion-cut. Some cats do not care for the lion-cut, feeling somewhat embarrassed at the lack of a full coat. Most however seem to really enjoy the change.

So, let’s ask again. Grooming? Is it something left to the cat to take care of, something for the do-it-yourself crowd, or is it something that is best left to a professional? The answer is easy, "It all depends." After all, isn’t that just like a cat!

 

For True Cat Lovers Only

"The Cat Sitter" Franchises Available

The Cat Sitter is offering franchises nationwide, and has a particularly attractive opportunity in the Roswell, Alpharetta area in North Georgia. This franchise is an established, proven and successful business, having been founded in 1990 by Linda Bagne Bartleson, the original "Cat Sitter". This opportunity exists only because Mindy, The Cat Sitter’s daughter has been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and needs her mommy full time.

This is a chance to do what you love in your own business with flexible hours.

 

Contact The Cat Sitter, phone 770-594-1010.

 

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