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The Cat SitterSM Tribune

Making "Cat Sense"

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Issue Number 5*P.O. Box 232, Roswell, GA 30077*Phone: (770) 594-1010*Fax: (770) 967-4962* June, 1996

1996 Summer Issue

We hope you will enjoy our 1996 Summer Issue
of The Cat Sitter Newsletter

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

1.  The Cat Safe Toy
2.  A Time to Reflect (Deceased Care)
3.  Book reviews
        a.    All My Patients are Under the Bed
        b.    The Cat Who Went to Paris
        c.     A Cat Abroad
        d.     The Cat Who


We want to name our newsletter. So be creative and send us your suggestions. The winner will receive one of our new products - a white mailbox with stenciled cats and hearts. A sure hit with any cat lover. The mailbox was created by Karen Colten, a Cat Sitter TM    customer. We hope to hear from you soon, the deadline for entries is October1st. You can fax us at (770) 640-0336, call us or write.

The Cat Safe Toy?

As we move through the 90s it is becoming increasingly evident that the cat is rapidly taking over the number one position for companion animals in America. This feline popularity has not been a surprise to those who have long adored and cherished our four legged friends. As their numbers grow, so does the demand for cat paraphernalia of all types.

The development of the toy industry for felines has paralleled the growth of the cat as a domesticated pet. The shelves of most pet stores are full of all types of toys to challenge the imagination of our cats, and provide hours of entertainment for both the feline fancier and their furry friends.

But all toys are not created equal. This is an area that cat owners should become familiar with so that when selecting toys they are as "cat safe" as possible. The term "cat safe" implies not that the toy is indestructible, but that in most circumstances it will not come apart in such a way as to harm our pet. Unfortunately, a lot of the toys on the market today are aimed at sales with little regard for the safety of the pet that will eventually enjoy it. Many of the inexpensive toys can easily be disassembled in short order by our cats and the parts easily ingested. This will often cause severe gastric upset or even worse, create a blockage of the gastrointestinal system. An inexpensive toy may become the most expensive investment you make in your cat if surgery is required to relieve the problem.

It is important to remember that a lot of your cat toys are made to be interactive with the owner and not to be left unattended with the cat. Some of the problems that we encounter with our cat is due to improper supervision. It is important to observe our cats interaction with its' new toys. Be an active owner when it comes to your cat and its' toys.

For all the products that are on the market, a playful cat can always find something in the household that holds its interest for hours. An empty paper bag, sometimes laced with fresh catnip, can be an inexpensive toy that entertains for hours. We have all seen a kitten spend the better part of the day playing with a wadded up piece of paper. These are rewarding experiences for our cat, however in every household there are areas of danger. Chewing on that resistant electrical cord can leave our cats with a shock that kills. The rubber band that fell harmlessly to the floor can easily wind up in our playful cats stomach and the all time disaster, the linear foreign body created by thread, yam and string that were left inadvertently around the house is easily swallowed by the cat, often creating a bowel blockage corrected only by surgery

We need to educate ourselves to the "cat safe" toys in the marketplace, and at the same time make sure that our home environment does not supply our

cats with homemade toys that will have a detrimental effect on their health. It should also be pointed out that a wonderful "cat safe" toy in the clutches of the wrong pet will unfortunately become a bad toy.

Stay with cat safe toys, fit the toy to the pet, provide a safe play environment, and remember to always be cat conscious when we try to be "cat safe".

Written By: Dr. Lee Izen, DVM Terrell Mill Animal Hospital

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I was very touched recently when my new boyfriend - like myself, a cat owner and cat lover - invited me to join him to visit his cat's grave site on the anniversary of her death. She lay at rest at Oak Rest Pet Gardens in Gwinnett County. I was moved and impressed that he had taken the time and care to give his beloved pet a proper resting place, and had a place to visit her to pay his respects.

It also touched a raw nerve. My own two cats are healthy but in their teen years now. Although I've thought of their passing on, I've tended to tuck those thoughts away because it is, naturally, an upsetting situation to think about. However, I now suddenly realized how little serious thought - or preparation -I've actually given to my own cats' deaths.

I was a little worried that the visit to the pet cemetery might upset me. It didn' t. It was an entirely comforting and reassuring experience. I did fight back some tears, but only because I was touched by the number of markers and flowers filling the various gardens of the beautiful, landscaped grounds. It was powerful to visually see that pets are every bit as cherished as family members in many households.

I felt guilty for not giving more thought to my own cats' final preparations. Not to be crude, but, as my boyfriend pointed out the other alternatives are pretty dim. You may choose to bury your pet in your backyard, but the day will eventually come when you no longer own your home. What happens if the new owners decide to dig up the backyard for a pool? And where do you bury your pet when you live in an apartment complex? You may choose to cremate your pet. How would you feel if you accidentally spilled the ashes, or if there were destroyed by a fire or other catastrophe? And what happens to your pet if you choose to leave him or her with your veterinarian, however well respected?

Deceased Pet Care Memorial Gardens is family owned and has operated two pet cemeteries since 1972 - the premiere Oak Rest Pet Gardens in Gwinnett County and Loving Pet Care Cemetery in Douglas County. For a reasonable fee, you may choose a burial site in one of several different gardens on the 10 acre landscaped grounds. The fee includes the removal of your pet from your clinic, a casket and granite marker with your pet's name and the burial itself. You can also arrange for a formal burial service with the funeral director. Plots can be reserved in advance, ensuring at least some peace of mind at an otherwise emotional time.

The office at Oak Rest also includes a chapel, crematory, and showroom. On my visit, I saw many markers customized with additional thoughtful engravings and touching photographs. The gardens were beautiful and well maintained, set amidst peaceful hills and pastures. A pretty gazebo was lined with the photographs and names of many loved pets. There was even a special "police" garden for police officers' canine partners

During my visit, it became clear that this was the only option that was truly comforting to me and respec to my cats. They've been my "babies" for a large part of my life. They are truly loved, pampered and spoiled rotten, and I'm proud of that. They deserve the same treatment after they pass on as they received during their lives. As for my new boyfriend - well, only time will tell - but this is one heck of an impressive beginning.

Deceased Pet Care Memorial Gardens: (770) 457-7659. Written By: Pam Ricciardi


* REMINDER: We now offer extended visits - 45 minutes or I hour. Please contact Linda Bagne Bartleson for price information. *FOR YOUR INFORMATION: Pets Monthly is a free paper from the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The paper comes out once a month. The July issue will include an interview with Linda Bagne Bartleson, as well as coverage on The Cat SitterTM.

* WELCOME -to Mary Fitzhenry and Devona Byrge. Mary has accepted the position of Sales and Marketing for the Cat SitterTM. Devona is the Administrative Assistant to Linda, and will be cat sitting part-time. Frankie Lockwood, a customer of several years, will be cat sitting part-time as well.

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My name is Karen and (like other cat lovers) I believe my cat is an amazing, special enigma. The love of my life is named Freelance, and he is a 10 year old Tabby with an attitude. We are new to the Cat Sitter as of Spring 1996. During my first visit with Linda, we started talking about reading and she suggested that I share some of my favorite books with you:

    "All My Patients Are Under The Bed, Memoirs of a Cat Doctor",
         by   Dr. Louis J. Camuti

This book is the story of a cat vet in New York City who still (as of 1980) was making house calls! The old adage that "Truth is Stranger than Fiction" truly applies to this book, which is an entertaining, endearing collection of memories that any cat lover will enjoy, and relate to in some cases! No, I do not receive royalties for endorsing this book, I just have a compulsive love of cats and desire to share that which relates.

"The Cat Who Went To Paris" and
"A Cat Abroad",
by Peter Gethers

The Cat Who Went To Paris is the first book which introduces the reader to the author, Peter Gethers, who (horrors!) is NOT a cat lover! He "becomes owned"' by a Scottish Fold named Norton. A Cat Abroad follows the further adventures overseas of Peter and Norton. They are wonderful books that made me long to pull up stakes and move with Freelance to Provence to live the good life...

    "The Cat Who... ", Series by Lilian Jackson Braun

At my last count there were about 16 books in the series. They are fiction, with the primary characters being Jim Qwilleran (newspaperman) and Koko and YumYum (Seal Point Siamese). To say any more would take the fun out of reading this "mind candy" They are generally murder mysteries with a feline bend - needless to say, the hero is a cat. In order they are:

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
Ate Danish Modern
Turned On and Off
Saw Red
Played Post Office
Knew Shakespeare
Sniffed Glue
Went Underground
Talked to Ghosts
Lived High
Knew a Cardinal
Moved a Mountain
Wasn't There
Went Into the Closet


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