Saturday, May 22, 2010

Good news!

Happily, I spoke too soon yesterday when I blogged about the possible loss of our little white feral cat. Today, to my surprise, she appeared again in the yard, hidden among the trees and undergrowth near the feeding station.

I have no idea where she was for two days, but she's back! It's possible that someone else in the neighborhood is leaving out food. As a matter of fact it's probable, because there is another white female, larger but otherwise almost identical down to the gray patches between her ears, who only comes to our feeding station a few times a week. She clearly has a food source somewhere else. Maybe our little girl found it.

All that matters is that she's back, and she's well. Whew!

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Grief is the price we pay for love"

For months now, a little white female cat has been a member of the small feral colony that we care for in our neighborhood. She took up residence in the insulated house we left outside in the winter, and soon called our backyard home. We have gotten used to seeing her every day, showing up in the morning for breakfast without fail, playing with leaves and bees in the yard, and waiting for her favorite companion, Franklin, the gray and white "Outdoor King." Although Franklin was quite a bruiser when we first met him, he mellowed a lot after he was neutered, and soon she followed him everywhere and gave him playful swats with her paw while he was eating.

We felt like she was our own, and were frustrated that we could never get too close to her. Lately, though, she had gotten to the point where she would relax on the roof of her little backyard house even if we were sitting out on the back deck. We watched her play with the catnip toys we left outside for her.

For two days now, we haven't seen her at all. This is extremely unusual. Franklin has been by for his daily meals, but his little friend has not been by his side. We haven't seen her in the house, and she hasn't shown up for her food. It's only been two days, but we're very worried.

I hope the explanation is a good one; maybe she has just found food somewhere else, or maybe someone even managed to bring her inside. I just hope she's alright. I walked all around the neighborhood looking for her today, but found nothing. Of course I can't just walk into other people's yards, so I couldn't cover every inch of the area.

It's hard when one of them disappears without notice. You often never find out what happened to them. What you do know is that you've lost a little piece of your heart.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Important Info for Pet Guardians

This email has been going around the Internet for a while.  Included in it is a link to more complete information from

Please share this with all the pet guardians you know and ask them to do the same - the information you take a few minutes to share might prevent the senseless loss of other pets .


Please   tell  every dog or cat guardian you know.. Even if   you don't have a pet,  please pass this to those   who do. 
Over the weekend,   the doting  guardian of two young lab mixes  purchased Cocoa Mulch   fromTarget to  use in their  garden . The dogs loved the way   it smelled and it  was advertised to  keep cats away from  their garden.  Their dog  (Calypso) decided the mulch smelled good   enough  to eat and devoured a large  helping.   She vomited a few  times which was typical  when  she eats something  new but wasn't acting lethargic in any  way.  The  next day, Mom woke up and took    Calypso out for her morning  walk . Half way   through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly.   

Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the  label,   upon further investigation on the company's web  site, this product is HIGHLY toxic to   dogs  and cats 

Cocoa Mulch is  manufactured by Hershey's,  and they claim that "It is true  that studies have shown that 50%  of the dogs that eat Cocoa  Mulch can suffer  physical  harm  to a variety of   degrees (depending on each individual dog).    However, 98% of all dogs won't eat    it."
*Snopes site gives  the following   information: *   

Cocoa Mulch,  which is sold by Home  Depot, Foreman's   Garden Supply and other Garden supply   stores contains a  lethal ingredient called  'Theobromine'. It  is lethal to dogs and  cats. It  smells like  chocolate and it really  attracts dogs.  They will ingest this stuff  and  die. Several deaths  already occurred in the last  2-3 weeks.

Theobromine is in all chocolate,  especially dark or baker's  chocolate which is  toxic to  dogs. Cocoa bean  shells contain potentially toxic quantities of Theobromine,   a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline.   A dog that  ingested a lethal quantity of garden   mulch made from cacao bean  shells  developed  severe convulsions   and died 17 hours later. Analysis  of the stomach  contents and  the ingested cacao bean  shells  revealed the presence of lethal  amounts of  theobromine.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Animals that really could talk

There's no need to page Doctor Doolittle for this case. Here are the amazing, true stories of four animals that could speak for themselves.

Read the story from CNN here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

We need your help to update Our Place to Paws!

Hello friends!  It's time to update our website at, but we don't have enough photo and essay entries.  Do you have a photo of a pet or of wildlife that you'd like to submit?  Send it to OurPlacetoPaws (at), substituting the (at) for the @ sign of course.  You could win an Our Place to Paws T-shirt!

What about a little poem or essay about cats, dogs, or Cats vs. Dogs?  Send it in, and we'll consider it for our summer essay contest!  Again, a T-shirt could be yours.

We look forward to receiving your entries.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Getting up close....

Franklin, also known as "The Outdoor King," let me get pretty close to him today.  He was snoozing in a part of our yard that is covered with underbrush and trees.  When I realized he was letting me get close, I returned to the house to retrieve my camera.  I've been wanting to get a good picture of Franklin for a while, because I've been worried about the discharge from his eyes.  With feral cats, of course, you can't pick them up and give them medication.   It's also traumatic for them to be trapped and taken to a veterinarian.  Unless they very obviously need medical care, you generally are forced to let them heal on their own from whatever injuries or problems they might have.  Thankfully, they are often more resilient than household cats.

With the help of these pictures, I can find out from The Cat Connection whether or not Franklin's eye discharge is a sign of infection.  If it is, we need to do something.  Debbie, who helped me capture and vaccinate/neuter Franklin about a year ago, said we might be able to slip some antibiotics into his food.

Wish us luck!  Here are the pics I finally was able to get of our boy.