Merry Christmas!

ThenightbeforeChristmas

A Visit from St. Nicholas
BY CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Dealing with hairballs

Useful product suggestions in this article. See below. I use some of these products.

 

Not Having a Ball
Dec 01,2015
by: Sandy Robins

Hairballs are an unwanted bonus of cat ownership. Cats shed and ingest hair as part of their self-grooming routines. Fortunately, there are lots of different weapons of attack to fight the shedding hair wars that collectively will benefit retail store coffers.

Prevention Through Grooming

Hair is essentially indigestible to cats and can build up in the gut, eventually resulting in that rather unpleasant hairball surprise on the living room carpet,” said Dr. Adelia Ritchie, CEO and founder of DERMagic Skin Care for Animals, Inc.

“To prevent or reduce the occurrence of these events—in addition to daily brushing—bathing cats can help to remove loose hairs and dander that would otherwise contribute to hairball formation,” Ritchie said. “Because cats can be sensitive to chemicals and perfumes, and even some essential oils, I created a special organic shampoo bar that is safe on all cats and kittens too.”

The DERMagic Rosemary Shampoo Bar for Felines is an all-purpose gentle deep fur cleanser with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

“Our special feline formula also helps reduce flakiness and regenerate healthy soft skin and fur. Using a shampoo bar allows the cat owner to hold the cat with one hand, while creating a thick, rich, easily-rinsed lather with the other. This helps make bathing a cat an easy, relaxing experience,” she said.

According to Rikki Mor, founder and owner of Groom Genie, “Plenty of people mistakenly believe that because cats are such terrific self-groomers, they don’t need additional grooming by their humans. But grooming a cat is extremely helpful in removing excess hair, distributing oils, stimulating the skin and more. Of course, the first challenge with cat grooming is making sure the cat will let you groom him!”

“We have had excellent customer feedback that often the Groom Genie is the only brush their cats will tolerate and even enjoy,” Mor said. “Our secret is in the different lengths of bristles, which detangle and remove the hair without pulling. Cats seem to like the feel of the bristles on their skin too. Plus, the handle-less shape of the brush enables a grooming session that’s more like petting.”

There are two sizes with the Teeny Groom Genie, which are 2.75-inch by 4-inch in size, designed specifically for cats.

The Andis Company has a comprehensive line of professional grooming tools for home use as part of its Premium Pet Tools line. The 7.5 steel comb has wide and narrow teeth for working different areas of the coat. It helps remove tangles, mats, loose hair and dirt.

The Premium soft-tooth slicker brush has bent wire bristles that remove undercoat and prevent matting. It stimulates hair follicles to promote growth and healthier hair. The range also includes a large pin brush, a two-sided brush and a large firm slicker brush for cat owners to add to their toolbox. The Andis grooming team cautions about the use of de-shedding tools. because if not used properly, they can damage a cat’s very delicate skin.

There is also a variety of self-grooming accessories for cats such as Omega Paw’s Arch Groomer, a free-standing, hands-free grooming arch that is covered with rubber nibs inside and out for cats to rub up against to remove loose hair.

The Catit Design Senses Massage Center, which is part of the Catit line of interactive cat products from Rolf C. Hagen, Inc., is a self-grooming rubber massage unit that appeals to a cat’s sense of touch by offering a variety of textures that provide a luxurious pampering experience. The ripple massager provides intense rubbing pleasure to a feline’s head, neck and face, and the body stroke groomers on the product offer easy-access and an intense massage, removing loose hair in the process. It comes with a sachet of catnip to attract feline attention to the unit.

Foods, Treats and Remedies

Perrigo Animal Health have two products in its anti-hairball arsenal that specifically target hairball control, namely its Sentry Hairball Relief Gel in a malt flavor which comes in a 4.4 ounce tube and its Sentry Hairball Chewables in a chicken flavor which comes in a 2.5 ounce pouch.

Sentry Hairball Relief gel helps relieve the constipation, dry cough and vomiting associated with hairballs. This product uses the company’s proprietary Petromalt technology and acts as an intestinal lubricant that helps prevent the formation of hairballs and eases the passage of hair that is ingested. It is safe and effective for cats and kittens over four weeks of age.

Sentry Hairball Chewables are also an effective intestinal lubricant that helps combat vomiting associated with hairballs. The company advises that cat owners feed one or two pieces daily as a treat reward after brushing their cat’s coat. The treat formula contains no added salt or artificial colors.

According to Chanda D. Leary-Coutu, senior manager, marketing communications for Wellness Natural Pet Food, the company recently released a new cat food formula to combat hairballs.

“Our new Wellness Natural Hairball Control recipe is made with a precise blend of fiber that helps move hair and already-formed hairballs through the cats’ digestive track,” Leary-Coutu said. “The natural recipe includes wholesome, savory protein sources cats love like deboned chicken and turkey, and also includes vitamins and minerals to support skin and coat health, resulting in fewer stray hairs being ingested.”

“Similarly, our new grain-free Wellness TruFood CocoChia Bakes are treats with salmon, coconut oil that contain a healthy dose of coconut oil and chia seeds, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics. These tasty treats are great for a cat’s skin and coat while helping promote digestive health,” she said.

These morsels are a colorful slow-baked snack. They contain antioxidant-rich ingredients like beets and spinach formulated to keep cats happy and healthy—and hopefully hairball free.

 

Too much fur? Brushing helps.

Even if it feels as though there is still a ton of fur after brushing, brushing does help.

How can that be?

There’s a build-up of shed fur which you’re picking away at. You’re like a miner excavating a tunnel.  Can’t clear away all those rocks in one day!

Don’t give up hope! Eventually you’ll brush away the built-up fur that has been sticking to your cat with the help of friction and body oil.

Then all you need to do is keep up the maintenance.

You can do it yourself or you can call a cat groomer.  Either way works.

You know what doesn’t work? Sitting around wishing that Fluffy wasn’t so  fluffy.

It takes action to get a reaction.

 

Holistic cat grooming?

Holistic has come to be synonymous with “good”, “healthy”, “gentle” and “non-toxic”. It has become a moral word, since the pursuit of health and a natural life has become a religious quest for quite a few people living in the wealthier countries such as the United States.

The dictionary does not define “holistic” in moral terms. It is an approach or a goal. That’s all.

“Relating to or concerned with complete systems rather than with individual parts”

Some viruses affect our body’s “complete system” and even sicken people who touch our body. Does that make them better than viruses that affect only one part of our body?  Whether holistic is good or bad depends on context. That is why the word holistic is, in fact, a neutral term and is neither good nor bad.

What is holistic cat grooming?

What I think owners want when they ask for holistic grooming is thoughtful grooming.  They want me to notice their cat’s behavior, skin condition and fur condition. They want me to choose shampoos with care, so that I don’t use a shampoo that will strip most of the oil from their cat’s fur if a gentler one would do. They want me to handle their cat with an awareness of health issues like arthritis.

Another term to describe this sort of grooming is “skilled grooming.” This is the sort of grooming that educated, caring groomers have been providing ever since grooming became a profession.

There have always been bad groomers, the ones who care only for speed or for money, use products that are too hard on the fur or the skin, carelessly handle pets so that grooming becomes very uncomfortable, and so on.  Their problem isn’t that they are not holistic. It’s that they are insensitive.

Being a “holistic” groomer is a fad. Being a skilled groomer is not a fad, because doing a good job is never going to go out of style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas and cats

Catbyfireside

I love Christmas. What a special time to feel cozy with your cat in front of a fireplace or beside the Christmas tree.

Of course, Christmas is not just for holiday fun.  This holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger surrounded by humble animals and by love.  Christmas is based on an enduring story of peace and generosity that gives strength to so many people who crave spiritual nourishment.

The Nativity, William Bell Scott. Courtesy National Galleries of Scotland

The Nativity, William Bell Scott. National Galleries of Scotland