I never thought I would write a blog post on this subject, let alone the fact that the post be about my personal experience. If you are someone who believes strongly in marriage and family, like me, divorce is something that is unimaginable. When I got married 10 years ago, I never imagined my spouse asking me for a divorce. I thought that being married meant that come what may we get over the hurdles and mountains together and keep going. However, things don't always work out as we imagined they would.
I met my spouse at my workplace at the time. He was actually my boss on a project and was in the midst of purchasing a home with his then long-time girlfriend. I was single and we became friends quite quickly while working together. One evening during an after work cocktail party, he hugged and gently told me in my ear as I was leaving the bar, that he liked me. I was in shock and didn't know what to say, I think I told him he smelled nice. On my way home I didn't know how to place my thoughts in regards to his proclamation. He had a girlfriend, what about her? Did I like him back? The next morning I woke up to an email from him explaining that he is in a happy relationship and he is not sure how these feelings for me came about, but they are there and he is not sure what to do with them. I told him I was not sure what to make of all of it and that he needs to figure out things in his head. I was single after all, with no responsibility, but he had a responsibility to be truthful to his then partner.
As time went by, we became pretty good friends and one day he came into work pretty upset. He pulled me aside and told me that he left his girlfriend and he wanted to try to pursue a relationship with me. Again, I was in shock. Wow, he must really have strong feelings to make that decision, I thought. So, I accepted and we started seeing one another. Low and behold a year later, we decided to get married. I moved into his home a year before our wedding. Things from the beginning were sometimes rocky and his temper would often fly off the handle quite easily. I became uncertain many times about the union, but I always gave him the benefit of the doubt. Knowing that in his heart, he was a kind and generous man. His friends would also always reassure me.
As our years of marriage went on we both changed quite a bit. We got older and started to like different things. We began to argue more often about frivolities. We decided that perhaps solidifying our relationship by having a child would help us. We didn't realize at the time, that kids don't solidify relationships. We underwent 2 in-vitro treatments in the hopes of conceiving, but both were unsuccessful. The time spent together during the second treatment really tore us apart in a big way. Both of us said some things and did some things that really left a mark on the other person. As a result, we both began to bottle up our anger. Mine would come out in nagging sessions and his would either explode in temper tantrums or do the complete opposite and make him extremely distant. At this point I lost my job on top of everything. I was, unfortunately, part of a massive layoff and I was pretty devastated. Luckily, I had a year's severance pay and so I decided to start working as a freelancer. My spouse was very supportive agreed to let me try working from home and so I began getting contracts.
Enter Oreo. Oreo came into our lives during my period of Employment Insurance. Little did I know the effects he would have on my freelancing career. Oreo slowly became part of everything I do and working with him made me so happy. Things with my spouse were still up and down quite a bit and bottled up anger still flew around in different ways. After a few terrible outbursts, I decided to ask my spouse to go and see a marriage counselor. The counseling sessions were difficult at the beginning and he didn't really want to go, but in the end he did a lot of talking which I think was good for him. We decided to work on things as best we could. On my end, things seemed to start getting better. We were arguing less and I was putting more time on my work than ever.
Even though we were arguing less, something else was different. As time went by we got further and further apart. Neither of us wanted to make the first move in approaching the other one and so we just became more distant. The more distant you get, the less you talk, so of course there are no arguments. He had his things, I had mine and we both did things separately. After a while it sort of felt like we were just roommates. In my head, I just kept telling myself "It's a phase, we are married and things will get better when they are meant to get better." I now wish I had looked at things differently.
When the words "I don't love you anymore" were spoken (or texted in our case), my heart exploded. I had so many feelings rushing through myself and I didn't know how to control any of them. I blamed myself for everything and slowly my whole world came crashing down on top of me. At first, I tried to talk with my spouse and ask why he is no longer in love with me. The responses were difficult to hear. I asked if we could work on things and he just kept saying "I don't know". I didn't know what to do. I didn't want a divorce. Days went by with the "I don't know" answer until finally he said the words "I want a divorce". I could see he was not happy but I didn't understand why. I though it was just a phase, the distance between us. For him it was something else. I did a lot of thinking after this and I read some information online. I was determined at the beginning to fix things. I got a book called "Mend The Marriage", and read it hoping to find some strategies. This book blew my mind. Reading that book really helped me to realize all of the mistakes I made during the 10 years we have been together. It made me realize that I need to be a better person. I had been so angry for so many reasons that I kept hidden inside. They would come out in nagging sessions that really hurt my spouse. Regardless of what he did that made me angry, it was my decision to behave in the ways that I did and I needed to take responsibility for that. So that's where I am now.
These past few weeks have been very hard. I am scared. At my age finding a new job that will support me will be extremely difficult. Where will I go? What will I do? I have cried so many tears that I have none left. After it all I take a look around me and I see my pets, my cats. They are my rock, they are my strength. It's amazing how they can sense things. Since this whole ordeal began they have been by my side every moment of the day. They have helped comfort me in so many ways. My cat Onyx has been sleeping in the guest room for the past week or so. It's almost as though she knew I was going to move in there, and I have. Yes, it's so sad and yes, it's so scary but with my pets here with me it seems to take a bit of the hurt away. When I get into bed at night the cats all pile into the room. It's like a big warm hug telling me things will be OK. Yes, I still have hope that maybe my spouse will change his mind, but even if he does not I will be OK.
Unlike humans, pets can show an enormous amount of unconditional love. No matter what we go through in our lives our pets are always there to comfort us and let us know we are loved. They can make even the toughest situations all that much easier to get through. I don't know what will happen in the coming months but I do know that my pets being there will help to give me the strength to get through anything.
For anyone going through something similar, it's important to stop blaming yourself. Putting blame on yourself or your spouse won't help the situation. Nasty hurtful words may fly during this time that are out of sheer anger. Don't allow those things to put you in a stagnant place. Keep moving and keep pushing ahead. LOVE YOURSELF during this time. Let yourself know that it's OK to make mistakes, be responsible for those mistakes and make changes in a positive way for your future. And if you have pets... let them love you!
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. - Serenity Prayer - Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
During the holiday season, things can get busy. Visits with family and friends are on our daily to-do list and being away from home can be stressful for pet owners. The Arf Pets automatic feeder helps alleviate some of the holiday stress by allowing pet owners to program up to 4 set meals per day.
Dispensing from 2 tbsp to 1 cup per feeding, the Arf Pets automatic feeder is an idea solution for pets of all sizes. Featuring customizable portion control, a 1.4 gallon food capacity and and lcd clock and display, the feeder is easy to program. Additional features include a magnetic lock, keeping paws out of the food and a the ability to record a personal greeting for feeding time.
The Arf Pets automatic feeder runs on batteries or power and is for dry pet food only.
Great for pet parents who are on the go, or for pets who have a tendency of disrupting sleep patterns as a result of searching for food during the night.
The Arf Pets automatic feeder is available through these online retailers:
Also available at Walmart.
*This post has been sponsored by www.camarketing.com
It's the most wonderful time of the year! But what about our pets? Who's to say that they don't have a Holiday wish list too! If your pet could write their own letter to Santa, what would it say? We've imagined what Oreo's letter to Santa would look like!
Dear Santa Claws,
For Christmas I would like toys, a little food dish just for me and FRISKIES treats! I would also like you to give my Mom some FRISKIES treats, because she was a very good girl this year.
P.S. Say "Hi" to Rudolf
Our pets are an important part of our family and they deserve some treats this Holiday season! Whatever their favorites may be, show them some love by offering them something special!
*This post has been sponsored by Purina Canada
Coming from an Italian household, I grew up with Holiday dinners consisting of Lasagna, gnocchi, stuffed pasta and other Italian treats. My husband grew up in a French Canadian (Québecois) household where the staple holiday meals consisted of dishes based from meat and potatoes like Pâté Chinois, Ragout de boulettes and Tourtière. This year I decided to marry the two cultures and create my very own Italian style Pâté Chinois. Keeping the 3 layers of meat, vegetables and a starch, I’ve replaced the traditional ingredients with those of my Italian heritage. With help from Italpasta TOTAL pasta we can guarantee great taste plus all the benefits of high fibre!
400g of lean ground beef
400g of lean ground pork
400g of lean ground veal
4 medium sized bell peppers
1 can (796ml) of Italpasta whole peeled tomatoes
1 jar (540ml) of Italpasta Tomato Basil pasta sauce
1 cup of corn niblets
2 tbsp of Italpasta Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil
6 cups of water
1 tbsp of salt
2 cups of Italpasta Total Elbows pasta
2 tbsp of spaghetti sauce seasoning
2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
Peppers: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (F). Cut the bell peppers in half and remove the stems and seeds. Place the peppers into an oven safe baking dish and drizzle with the 2 tbsp of Olive Oil. Bake in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes (or until peppers are tender).
Meat: In a large pan on medium heat, brown the ground beef, veal and pork. Once evenly browned, add the spaghetti sauce spice and mix well. Using a hand blender, blend the canned tomatoes until they have a smooth texture. Add the tomatoes to the meat mixture. Mix well, turn down the heat and let the meat mixture simmer for 20 minutes. Add the corn niblets and mix well.
Pasta: Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add the tbsp of salt. Cook the pasta until al dente (about 7 minutes). Drain the pasta and mix in 1 cup of the prepared Tomato Basil pasta sauce. Set aside.
In a large oven safe baking dish, line the bottom of the dish with the meat mixture. Add the roasted peppers on top of the meat. Add the Total elbow pasta on top of the peppers. Top with remaining Tomato Basil pasta sauce and garnish with grated mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees (F) for 20 minutes (or until cheese is lightly golden).
This recipe has been brought to you by The Oreo Cat® and ItalPasta. Happy Holidays from our family to yours!
With 40% of the daily reccomended intake of fibre per 85g serving, Italpasta TOTAL pasta has the same great taste you expect from white pasta but with the benefits of high fibre!
*recipe for human consumption only
*This post has been sponsored by Italpasta
This past weekend Oreo had the opportunity to attend a cat festival here in Montreal! A great place for cat lovers of all kinds, Le Salon des artistochats is an annual event in Montreal. Located at the Centre Pierre Charbonneau, this event houses all sort of artisans from in and around the Montreal area. A great place to find the purrfect gift for any cat lover, it is a must see event!
The one and only Salon des Artistochats offers a unique chance to discover a lot of extremely talented local artists and crazy cat lovers. This event houses over 50 artisans selling hundreds of cat-themed goodies made in Quebec: jewelry, clothing, accessories, artwork, pet products and so much more. Oreo was glad to be able to meet and greet with other local feline celebrities and indulge in some cat themed activities. Complete with an appearance by the world famous Atchoum The Cat and his human who held a small conference to speak about Atchoum's condition, hypertrichosis, this weekend was one Oreo will always remember!
Felines in this video include:
Retardo, Emma la maine coon, Alaric, The Oreo Cat
Be sure to join us next year!
For more information please visit: www.artistochats.com
Pets don’t just make life better. They make it bigger. Together, we can do the same for them while helping to improve their lives, even as they age.
Many of us feel anxious as we think about our pets getting older. Age can bring many factors such as Arthritis and ill health. As our pets get older they become more susceptible to health issues and require more visits to the vet. There are many things we as owners can do to help our pets age gracefully.
Just because your cat is a senior, does not mean they are no longer interested in playing. In fact, playtime is even more important in older cats as it helps cardiovascular health. Keeping you senior cat active can help eliminate things like obesity and depression. Taking time daily to play with your pets, regardless of their age is one of the most important steps in keeping a happy and healthy pet. Health checkups should be done on a regular basis to ensure your senior cat has the best quality of life given their age. Feeding older pets the right foods for their age group is also another important part of keeping them healthy and fit. Keeping our older pets happy and healthy is also important for our younger pets! Ensuring they're playmates and role models are with them for as long as possible.
October is Pet Wellness Month. It is the time for us as owners to be reminded that preventative care is the easiest way to help our pets live longer and healthier lives. This month, Purina wants to celebrate the everyday moments and milestones pet owners have with their older pets and help empower them with information and the advanced nutrition they need to improve the lives of their pets.
* This post has been sponsored by Purina Canada
One of the things I dislike most about leaving home is not being around my cats. Whenever I have to be away for work, on family visits or other occasions that take me away from home, all I can think about are my feline family. When Pawbo contacted me to do a review, I was excited to try their product for these very reasons. Pawbo is an interactive pet camera that includes 720p HD live video, 130° wide-angle lens, and 4x digital zoom. These features help to capture and record your pets directly from your mobile device. Pawbo also includes a microphone feature that allows you to talk to your pets through the speakers included on the device. A handy treat dispenser allows you to treat your pets to tasty morcels with the touch of a button. Pawbo also includes a playground feature that uses various interactive toys as well as a laser feature.
The Pawbo device comes neatly packed in a stylish box that doubles as a stand for the device once plugged in. Activating the Pawbo is easy. Once you download and install the free Pawbo plus app from the app store, it will prompt you with steps to connect the Pawbo to your mobile device. You can connect up to 5 mobile devices to the Pawbo.
Using the Pawbo app is easy even if you are not tech savvy! Within seconds of installation, the fun begins!
Pawbo's integrated treat dispenser includes a rotating treat dish with 9 individual compartments for treats. This is obviously Oreo's favorite feature. It only took moments for him to try and eat the device after realizing that the Pawbo held treats. Both Oreo and Onyx reacted instantly to my voice through the device. They walked right up to it wondering where I was. Again, once I dispensed treats, the two of them sat directly in front of the Pawbo for the next half hour waiting for more!
I did try out the laser feature, but I was a little bit concerned at the fact that both Oreo and Onyx seemed more interested in looking directly at the laser than the spot it makes on the floor. As a result, I decided to avoid this feature. I had stationed my Pawbo low to the ground as I thought it cute to see Oreo and Onyx walk right up to the camera. If you are going to be using the laser feature often, I would suggest stationing the Pawbo high up and away from your pet's eye level. There were a few times where the talk feature as well as the treat dispenser did not work when prompted through the app. This may or may not have been due to a Network connection. All in all however, the features work very well. I really enjoy the fact that you can record video and take snapshots directly from the Pawbo. Once recorded, you can save video and photo directly to your camera roll to share via Social Media.
I also want to mention that having this device in the house while you are away is a great security feature. You can see what is going on in your home with the touch of a button. My husband and I really appreciate the fact that our home feels safer with the Pawbo.
To sum up my review, I give Pawbo 4.5 stars (leaving out a .5 for the laser which I am not crazy about). For anyone who works long hours away from their pets, this device is a must! It is a proven fact that pets help to alleviate stress. Being able to take time out of your work day to interact with your pets, even from a mobile device, can definitely help eliminate a certain amount of stress. The price point for the device is fair ($199) considering the superior quality of the design. All in all, I would definitely recommend the Pawbo to anyone who misses their pets when they are away!
Pawbo website: www.pawbo.com
Buy Pawbo on Amazon
This post has been sponsored by Pawbo
On August 25th, 2013 Oreo stepped into my life, or rather into my house! Brought through the door Inside of a cardboard box large enough to be his mansion, Oreo was no bigger than the palm of my hand. I have to admit that I was a little nervous as I has never seen a cat so small and disheveled. Along with Oreo came his sister, Patches. The two were complete opposites. Oreo was quiet and shy and Patches was feisty, vocal and very affectionate. The plan had been to bring the two for care at my local shelter. We have an amazing shelter in our City that does wonderful work and has a beautiful space for all the animals they care for. Once I laid eyes on the two of them however, I could not allow myself to bring them to the shelter, no matter how great a place it was. That's where the journey began.
We decided the best thing to do was to foster the two babies until we could find them a forever home. Neither I nor my husband had ever cared for kittens so young, so we had a lot to learn very fast. Even with the lack of immediate knowledge, it was easy to see that the kittens had a parasite. Their bellies were swollen and the amount of waste that came out of them was enough to boggle the mind. The cutest part of all this was feeding time. If you've ever fed a baby kitten with a bottle, you'll know what I mean! It's the cutest thing ever! At first there was no alarm in regards to the kids having a parasite. It's pretty common in stray kittens and is generally easily treatable. Luckily they had no other ailments and seemed otherwise healthy. Patches got over the parasite in no time. She was really tough for such a tiny thing and she steamrollered over everything in her path. At first, Oreo seemed to be doing alright but one morning he took a turn for the worse and shook us up more than we've ever been shook in our whole lives.
One morning when I got up to feed the kittens, Oreo was passed out. My heart sank like never before in my life. Listening carefully through his baby fluff, I could hear a little heartbeat. I knew that I had to do something then and there to help him. So I decided to use my own breath to help him start breathing again. After a few tries, Oreo snorted and then let out a tiny meow. He was breathing again! Once I got him breathing again I packed up the two babies and we headed to the vet. Thankfully, even though it was not yet opening hours, a nurse let us in and immediately began caring for Oreo. Patches and I waited the whole day as the technicians and doctors got Oreo back up on his feet again. Safely back home, we decided Oreo was no longer a foster kitten. He was our kitten and we were his humans. We spent the next 4 weeks caring for him around the clock while he faught the parasite that was ailing him.
During this time, Patches took it upon herself to groom Oreo and became quite the little mother figure. With all of us working together, Oreo got better and started becoming his wacky little self. After six weeks, Patches was adopted by a family friend who fell completely in love with her photo on Facebook. She went to a great home and is still living a happy, loving and healthy life! As for Oreo, you all know what came next!
Oreo has changed my life forever. From the moment he was brought through the door in his box mansion to this very moment today, he makes everyday a new adventure. Oreo is my fluffy son and my best friend. I want to thank him for filling my life with importance, happiness and love. Happy Birthday Oreo!
There are many celebratory days during the year to celebrate those we love. Mother's Day, Father's Day, Sibling's Day and others are on the list. For me, one of the most important celebratory days of the year is International Cat Day. My cats are my best friends. They are always there for me when I need them most and they provide me with the most unconditional love any living creature could offer. All of these things and more combined make it a purrfect reason to celebrate my cats on this special day of the year. All 365 days, our pets are doing something special for us. Whether it's that look they give you when you wake up in the morning helping you to face the day, the cute things that warm your heart and make you smile, the unexpected things that make you laugh, or the excitement they show when you walk in the door after a long day at work. Our pets are always working hard doing things for us and helping our daily mental state. They rise us up when we are down and comfort us like no other can.
For all of these reasons and more, it's important for me to thank my cats on National Cat Day. This day is all about them and everything they do for me all 365 days of the year.
Today is International Cat Day. Thank you to all of the cats for being your wonderfully purrfect little fluffy selves. You make each day of our lives just a little bit brighter and a little more filled with love.
Celebrate YOUR cat(s) today!
I will have to take a trip back to the vet today. This time not for Sunshine, but for Oreo. When I got up this morning he was limping and as I got closer I realized that his left back paw has a bloody claw. I don't know what he did but it must hurt real bad. I tried my best to clean it up a little bit by putting his paw in some lukewarm salt water. Oreo of course freaked out and gave my husband and I his two cents on the whole ordeal by giving us some nice gashes with his front claws. Of course, we don't mind... it builds character.
I am just concerned about the wound being infected. After cleaning it off Oreo sat scrunched up into a corner like a child who got a time-out. I feel so badly for him. I am pretty confident that it will be something that will heal easily. If he has to take anti-biotics I am not too concerned as it's super easy to get Oreo to take pills. Just put them in a spoon with a little olive oil and he eats it right up like a cat treat. Never a dull moment in this house! More updates on my little man once we see the vet! Our appointment is at 2:20pm ❤️
Sunshine and I went back to the vet yesterday for another follow up. She had some blood work done to check the status of the infection. The results show that although the infection is still present, it is getting better. We will continue her antibiotics for another two weeks. Sunshine will also have daily fluids for the next 4 weeks to help completely clear things out. What remains is to try and get her to eat her Kidney Formula once again, however, it has not proved itself to be easy. I have tried every brand and she just won't eat it. Her doctor did say that he is more concerned with having her actually eat at this point, so to keep allowing her what she wants. I bought another bag of Kidney Formula yesterday, one that she has not had in over a year, I will give it a try. Sometimes going back to the old brand after some time works. We will see what the verdict is. I know that she will eventually get tired of the supermarket brand as well and I will have to find something else regardless. Thankfully there is one food that is always fool proof for her. She loves the "Chef's Dinner" Friskies wet food. I know it's not the best choice given her condition, but we'd rather she eats than not eat. I guess if I was in my 90's I might be picky too!
We will be going back for more tests at the end of August to see where we stand at that point. All in all things are better and I am so glad. She is in much better spirits and she is still playing and being her cute self. Last evening she even came and hoped in bed with me and asked for food. That's a great sign. Luckily she does not seem bothered at all by the fluids so continuing should not be a problem. The only thing that worries me in that regard is the fact that she vomits afterwards every time. I spoke to the vet about it and mentioned that if you offer her food right after she vomits, she will eat it. Seeing that she eats again right after, her doctor is not to heavily concerned about that for now. As long as she keeps eating she will be able to keep her strength up to fight off the rest of the infection.
Update on vet costs: Total to date: $662.66
Donations received to date: $2120.21
Funds remaining: $1457.55
Donation Link: www.paypal.me/TModugno
Thank you so much for all your continued support. More updates to follow.
Tina & the cats
I am so glad to say that this past week Sunshine has been doing much better! The antibiotics really seem to be helping and she has slowly been getting back to her old self. She's been playing every evening before dinner and she has been more active and chatty. We're still experiencing a few problems as far as food digestion goes. Sunshine is still throwing up daily, but I have a feeling it may just be a result of the medication. Regardless of the vomiting, she has been eating more normally. The vomiting does not seem to bother her either because if offered food once again right after, she will eat. I am so happy and so relieved that she seems to have pulled through for the time being. I will be going back to the vet for another checkup at the end of next week. Sunshine will have some tests done once again to see if the infection has completely cleared. Since being ill, we've been allowing her to eat whatever she desires, but I imagine she will need to return to her Kidney formula in order to keep her condition stable. We will cross that bridge when we come to it. I am more concerned about her putting on a few more pounds at the moment, so I will continue to allow her to eat what she wants until her next veterinary appointment. Hopefully things will look better and we will move forward with the next steps.
Sunshine and I visited the vet once again today for a quick follow up. She did gain a little bit of weight back in the past few days which is great news. She is still on daily fluids as well as her antibiotic. She has still be very finicky as far as eating goes which makes things a little difficult. She will not touch her kidney formula food so we've been feeding her a supermarket brand that she likes. It's not the best thing, but it's more important that she eats at this point. So we've given her whatever she fancies in the last few days. She will have to go back for more testing in 2 - 3 weeks time.
Although she is still slower than her usual self, she did play a little yesterday evening which is also a great news. Normally she loves to play, so when she turns her nose up at a good round of slapping the toy on the string we know there is something really wrong. You can tell that she is still very tired and very weak, but she did do her best to slap the toy around a few times regardless. She seems happy and she does not seem to be in any pain. She just seems more tired than anything else. Rest is always best when you are ill however, so hopefully the extra sleep will help her to fight the infection. Oreo continues to watch over her and stays close by. He watches while we give Sunshine her fluids and he gets upset when I give her the antibiotic pill. He does not like to see her being handled and will actually sit at my feet and cry while nibbling at my ankles. I've also caught him stealing kisses. Normally Sunshine would not be adamant, but she's allowed Oreo a few smooches and nose boops without hesitation. He is such a good little brother. We will take it one day at a time until her next appointment and see where we stand at that point.
It is times like these that we can see the true magic of the internet and the true kindness of humanity. Since posting about Sunshine earlier this week, I am truly touched by the outpouring of love and generosity from the online community. Losing a pet is probably the single hardest thing a fur parent can go through in their lifetime. I want to thank you all for helping to make Sunshine's final journey a comfortable one. The donations received in the last 2 days have totaled $2120.21. These funds have been set aside and will go to further care for Sunshine during her retirement.
Since starting her treatment of antibiotics, she seems to be slowly feeling slightly better. She has been very talkative even though she does not move around a lot. She has been sitting in her favorite spots in the sun with her brother Oreo always not to far away watching over her. She has stared eating a little bit, not as much as we had hoped, but a little is better than nothing. I will be returning with her to the vet for follow up testing in a few weeks. The most important thing right now is for the infection to clear. If we are able to get that far, then Sunshine will be able to enjoy the rest of her retirement more comfortably. We already know that given the stage of her kidney disease, deterioration is liable to come quite quickly. Having the infection present will speed up that process even more. We are crossing our fingers that she has enough strength to fight the infection. I will say that throughout her lifetime, Sunshine has always been a trooper. Since she was very young, she has overcome many an obstacle and came out the other side with flying colors. I am hoping that she still has some of that fight left in her.
A little about Sunshine:
Sunshine was adopted from the Montreal SPCA in June of 2000. A couple months shy of a year old, Sunshine was badly nourished, bony, small and needed extra special care. I instantly fell in love with her when she sashayed out from her hiding spot behind the litter box. Hiding from everyone that walked up to her cage, except me, I knew right away we were meant to be together.
Sunshine had a rough start when she first came to stay with me. Two weeks after bringing her home, Sunshine had a miscarriage on my bed in the middle of the night. I had no idea that she was even pregnant as she was so tiny. I rushed her to the animal hospital in Ville Saint-Laurent at 3am only to be told that they could not admit her as she was from the SPCA. The two of us were sent home. Scared, disappointed and very tired, I phoned the SPCA and left them a message as to the events that had passed. When they received my message a few hours later, they phoned back and told me to bring her in immediately. The SPCA kept Sunshine for a total of 5 days. They wanted to be sure that the miscarriage was properly handled, and they spayed her afterwards. I visited her every day that she was in care and prayed that she would safely come back home to me. Well... she did! She has been my ray of sunshine since the moment that I met her. Through the years, she has been my very best friend.
Always appreciative of kisses and cuddles and always ready to support me when I am feeling down, Sunshine is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Together we moved from apartment to apartment over 8 times until our final move to our wonderful home with her Cat Daddy. Sunshine adores her dad and welcomes as many cuddles and kisses from him as well. She is the only one in our little cat family that actually gives you a hug back. If you've ever had the privilege of getting a kitty hug, you know that it is one of the most marvelous things in the world!
I do not know how much longer this home will be blessed with her ginger fluff. What I do know if that I will take each day as a gift and be thankful that she has spent 18 years beside me. Thanks to everyone who has offered us a generous donation to help us with her care. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful group of angels to watch over us. You have all come to my rescue whenever I have needed it and I vow that I will continue to do my best to bring each and every one of you a laugh and a smile daily.
I will continue to update my blog with current events and concerning Sunshine's retirement. My little Granny thanks you all and says "Meow".
We had some bad news yesterday concerning our little granny Sunshine. She has a severe kidney infection and needs to undergo treatment. Seeing as she is 18, I do not want to leave her in intensive care at the veterinary clinic, as they had suggested to do. I fear it would make her extremely stressed out and hinder the situation more than help it. She is at home and we will be doing our best to keep her comfortable. The vet said in all honestly that she should be prescribed many more medications, but at her age it's understood that the most important thing is to keep her comfortable. We know that she is in the final stages of the disease, and we are crossing our fingers hoping the infection clears so she can enjoy what time she has left peacefully. I am heartbroken, of course, but we knew this time was coming. I will do my very best to keep her happy for the remainder of her stay on this planet.
We've started treatment with daily fluids under the skin as well as antibiotics. The course of the treatment is 4 weeks, however we have no idea of knowing if she will make it that far. Our hope is that we will begin to see some improvement in the next few days, enough so that she can remain comfortable for the time she has left. The situation, however, is equally able to deteriorate quite quickly. She was quite talkative last evening as a result of the appetite stimulant. I find it makes her behave strangely. For the time being she is sitting quietly in her spot in the sun. The appetite stimulant has helped her to eat a little so far. We are allowing her to eat whatever she likes at this point. I want to sincerely thank all of those who have donated for Sunshine's final care. I am so grateful to have such wonderful support.
I will be keeping the donation link up (via PayPal) in this blog post if any of you would like to help with ensuring Sunshine's comfort for her final days.
I have no idea what the final cost of all this will be. Yesterday alone was $449.02 and I know we will be back at the vet sooner over later. I will be adding any additional veterinary bills to this blog post as we move forward.
Prayers are equally as appreciated. I will miss her so much ❤️
Thank you all for your continued support,
drawing by Emma Dougherty-Park
As a Canadian pet owner, how do you stay true to your roots 365 days a year?
Whether it be transportation, weather, cottage life or outdoor activities, there are many things that make being a Canadian pet person unique.
I have mentioned before how my cats make my life better and bring me comfort and joy through dark times. Canadian winters can be quite trying on many individuals, the dark and the cold can often lead to depression and anxiety. Extreme weather and temperatures can sometimes leave us confined to our homes for days. Having my cats around me helps me to feel less alone during the cold winter months. They help to ward off depression and keep me active indoors. Talking with other like minded cat owners through social media keeps me connected to the world without even leaving my home.
In honor of Canada 150
From June 19 - July 14, Purina wants to celebrate pet owners from coast-to-coast with an Ode to Canadian Pet People and a chance to win a trip anywhere in Canada (valued at $5K) plus a year's supply of Purina pet food!
How to enter
1) SHARE a photo on social media in front of an iconic Canadian landscape or simply sharing your love of all things Canada! Be sure to include #PetPeopleCA and tagging @PurinaCanada
2) SUBMIT your photo on Purina Canada's website: http://puri.na/2qASOgH
Pets don’t just make life better. They make it bigger. Together, we can do the same for them.
The companionship that a pet offers is a great way to help reduce stress and anxiety. They can be a great source of comfort and motivation for their owners. In many ways, pets can help us to live mentally healthier lives.
PETS AND DEPRESSION
Pets are a great motivator for people. Dogs help encourage owners to get exercise, and this can be highly beneficial for those suffering from depression. Pets also have a calming effect, just by stroking, sitting next to or playing with a pet gives us a chance to relax and calm our minds. Caring for a pet also gives your day purpose, reward, a sense of achievement and helps you feel valuable and needed.
PETS AND SOCIALIZING
Walking a dog will often lead to conversations with other dog owners and this helps owners to stay socially connected and less withdrawn. Having a pet can give you a commonality with another person and thus provide a good conversation starter. Who does not love talking about their cat? It has been proven that people who have more social relationships and friendships tend to be mentally healthier.
PETS AND LONELINESS
A pet is great companion. They give owners company, a sense of security and someone to share their daily routine with. Pets can be especially valuable company for elderly people who are living alone.
PETS AND CHILDREN WITH ADHD
Children with ADHD can benefit from working with and keeping a pet. Taking charge of jobs such as feeding, walking and bathing, help children learn responsibility. Playing with a pet is an excellent way to release excess energy. Children can walk with a dog or run around with a kitten, making them more relaxed at night. Fresh air and good circulation from exercise increases oxygen-filled blood flow to the brain, therefore increasing the ability to concentrate. A pet is a great listener, offers unconditional love and will not criticize a child for having too much energy. This can greatly aid a child's self-confidence.
PETS AND AUTISM
Sensory issues are common among children with autism. Sensory integration activities are designed to help them get used to the way something feels against their skin or how it smells or sounds. Dogs and horses have both been used for this purpose. Children with autism often find it calming to work with animals. They help to reduce stereotyped behavior, lessen sensory sensitivity, and increase the desire and ability to connect socially with others.
Pets don’t just make life better. They make it BIGGER! Those of us who have a pet to share our life with know how much they can change everything! From the day that they walk into our lives, every moment all of a sudden seems a little bit brighter. They offer us a love like no one else can, completely unconditional. They are there for us in our deepest hours of need; they listen to us, comfort us, keep our secrets and are our best friends. When Oreo came into my life, everything changed almost instantly. This tiny little sick fluff ball who needed me, I mean REALLY genuinely NEEDED me, suddenly became my reason for being. Knowing that he needed me made me feel important and like I had a purpose.
From a very young age I suffered from extreme anxiety and panic attacks. During my teenage years I developed OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and spent most of my early adulthood battling with both this and depression. Sometimes it seemed they had taken over my whole being and I was incapable of connecting with the rest of the world. I would often be alone, play alone, read alone and think alone even though I was always surrounded by people. I did't like large groups, events, parties and most of the time preferred to stay at home. Then we got a family dog. That was my first taste of what having a four legged best friend was all about and how it could change things entirely. When I moved out of my family’s house to my first apartment, the first thing I did was go to my local SPCA to adopt a cat. I found Sunshine and instantly fell in love. Knowing that she would be there waiting for me when I got home from work each day made all the difference. Slowly I began to feel OK to want to stay home and watch movies alone with my cat. I started to realize that those were the things that made me truly happy. She needed me and I needed her. Now a few months shy of 40 years old, I still occasionally suffer with anxiety, OCD and depression that can often be quite mentally exhausting. I still have problems with large groups and one of the reasons I can no longer work in offices is due to my anxiety and fear or having a panic attack in front of others.
A huge aspect of how Oreo helped me to deal with these issues is with social media. As a more introverted person, I am not generally known to show outward feelings or interact with people. Oreo becoming popular on social media helped me to come out of my shell. I started to feel important and to feel needed by people who follow Oreo’s accounts. When messages from Oreo’s followers started pouring in thanking me for making them smile that day, it really made my heart feel good. It made me feel like I was making a difference somehow. Feeling that helps me to ward off depression, anxiety and helps me to be a stronger person. Being surrounded by Oreo and the other cats also keeps me feeling important and needed. I am able to concentrate on them rather than on anxious feelings. Sure, I still have OCD and I still would rather stay home, but I am OK with that! Having my feline family gives me all the support and contentment I need. It makes me a happier person and in turn it helps me to make others happy, and that’s a BIG thing!
Mental illness of any form, be it OCD or others is NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT. We all have had moments of depression, or feeling like we've lost control. I am not ashamed of who I am. I am proud of who I am today and all of you out there should be proud of who you are too! Mental illness is no joke, but regardless, it should be celebrated instead of hidden. It takes an extremely strong individual to deal with any type of mental illness. This month is Mental Health Month. It is time to be proud of who you are and show it off! Be mindful this month of those who suffer with mental illness and let them know they are loved just the way they are! We really are not all that different after all!
Pet's don't just make life better, they make it BIGGER! Together, we can do the same for them!
To better understand mental health issues and their effects please visit: www.cmha.ca
This post is part of the LIVE BIG campaign and has been sponsored by Purina Canada
Additional resources: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/pets-and-mental-health
Making your pet happy can be done in many different ways! One of those ways is making a special tasty treat just for them! Quick and easy, our Kitty Crunchies are sure to make your cat's day purrfect!
2 cans of Fancy Feast ( or 1 can of Friskies ) - We used Fancy Feast "Cheddar Delights"
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of oats
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 420° (F). Place the flour and oats in a food processor and pulse a few times until uniform. Add the 2 cans of Fancy Feast (or 1 can of Friskies), the egg and the olive oil. Process about 10 seconds or until a rough dough forms (it will look like cookie dough). Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Using a teaspoon, spoon the cookie dough onto the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes, turning the cookies over half way through. Let cool and serve to your cat!
*this recipe makes quite a few treats! You can freeze them to preserve freshness!
For more fun cat treat recipes check out Oreo's cookbook "The Kitty Chef: Easy Family recipes!
Il y as différentes façons de rendre votre animal heureux! L'une de ces façons est de faire un gatterie spécialement pour eux! Rapide et facile, nos "Kitty Crunchies" vont faire plaisir à votre chat!
2 canettes de Fancy Feast (ou 1 canette de Friskies) - Nous avons utilisé Fancy Feast "Cheddar Delights"
1 tasse de farine tout usage
1 tasse d'avoine
1 c. À soupe d'huile d'olive
Préchauffer le four à 420 ° (F). Placez la farine et l'avoine dans un robot culinaire et appuyez quelques fois jusqu'à l'uniforme. Ajoutez les 2 boîtes de Fancy Feast (ou 1 boîte de Friskies), l'oeuf et l'huile d'olive. Traiter environ 10 secondes ou jusqu'à former une pâte rugueuse (elle ressemblera à une pâte à biscuits). Liner un bac à pâtisserie avec du papier parchemin. À l'aide d'une cuillère à café, cuire la pâte à biscuits sur la plaque à pâtisserie. Cuire au four pendant 8 minutes, en tournant les biscuits à mi-chemin. Laissez refroidir et servir à votre chat!
*Cette recette fait quelques gâteries! Vous pouvez les congeler pour préserver la fraîcheur!
Pour autre recettes comme celle-ci, consultez notre livre de recettes "The Kitty Chef: recettes familiale faciles"!
This post has been sponsored by Purina Canada
The Oreo Cat is featured on the EllenTube facebook page today for his "Jump Like Mario" video!
For the whole month of March - PET PORTRAIT SALE TO SUPPORT PEP! THE PET EDUCATION PROJECT
PEP! The Pet Education Project (a 501(c)3 organization) is an education and outreach program that teaches the core responsibilities of pet ownership. Striving to foster humane habits in children and adults, their mission is to help reduce pet overpopulation, abuse, neglect, and euthanasia.
All portraits are digital. Images can be printed on Posters, Canvas, Bags, Pillows, Mugs etc. Fees for Printing solutions are separate cost and will vary on products chosen. High Resolution files emailed to the buyer. For more information or to place an order and send us your pet's photo, please contact us at: email@example.com
Cost per portrait (single pet): $35.00 (each additional pet is $25) - Donation per portrait $10
All artwork displayed on this page was created by Tina Modugno ©
We had a great interview with Pet Radio Show all about The Oreo Cat's new cookbook "The Kitty Chef: Easy Family Recipes". You can listen here: http://bit.ly/CookingWIthOreoCat
INSPIRED BY NATURE, BASED IN SCIENCE, LOVED BY CATS.
The NoBowl Feeding System is the world's first indoor hunting system that changes the way cats everywhere eat their food. A set of five NoBowls replaces the food bowl and allows your cat to hunt in a natural and healthy way!
Benefits of the NoBowl include:
For cats, hunting is part of what brain scientists call "The Seeking Circuit." In the seeking circuit, the brain releases dopamine, which heightens their arousal and creates a great feeling of anticipation... like a child on Christmas morning. The small meal completes the cycle and leaves your cat feeling satisfied and complete... the presents are open. Cats need to engage in the seeking circuit many times a day to be mentally and physically healthy.
Eating from a bowl denies them this natural cycle entirely, yet the need to hunt remains instinctual.
Toys engage cats in the seeking circuit, putting them in a heightened state of arousal. However, the circuit is not completed by the food reward. This leaves them in the heightened state of arousal without the satisfaction of completion (Let’s be honest, nobody likes being in a heightened state of arousal without the satisfaction of completion).
In nature, cats hunt and engage this seeking circuit between 9-20 times a day, 24 hours a day. Cats spend an average of 6 hours a day seeking their food, which provides them with the majority of their daily exercise. This goes on day and night. Now you know why your cat might wake you up to eat in the middle of the night! When we remove the opportunity to hunt, we deny their natural instincts and disrupt their natural rhythms. This can lead to physical, behavioral and mental problems.
The NoBowl Feeding System mimics the natural cycle of the hunt by engaging the natural seeking circuit and completing it with the satisfaction of a food reward. In addition, the NoBowl Skin provides the tactile sensation cats want, so that they can engage their teeth, claws and paws in the hunt.
Once transitioned onto the system, your cat will hunt, find their meal, and then play with it to get the food reward. Satisfied with this healthy portion, your cat will groom and rest until hunger motivates the next hunt... just like in nature.
To order & learn how to get started visit: http://bit.ly/NoBowlCatvocate
PEP! The Pet Education Project is an education and outreach program that teaches the core responsibilities of pet ownership. They strive to foster humane habits in children and citizens of their community in order to reduce pet overpopulation, abuse, neglect, and euthanasia. PEP! has traveled across the US giving PEP talks in schools and teaching kids how to be animal heroes. Now they need YOUR help to WIN 10,000 for their outreach programs! You can help by VOTING for PEP! everyday until Feb 21st!
To learn more about PEP! and how you can help visit: www.ilovepep.org
Be My Valentine?
If there is anyone in my life who deserves something special on Valentine's Day, it's my cats! My cats are the ones responsible for making me smile and laugh each day. From that brush up on my leg when I get out of bed every morning to the soft purring under the covers at night, their love is unconditional. Valentine's Day does not just have to be one day a year, it can be every day of the year! Do something to make everyday as special to your pets as they are to you!
The Oreo Cat© and Purina Canada
We are proud to announce that The Oreo Cat© is once again part of the Purina Pet People Ambassador Program for 2017! At the core of the program this year is Live Big! Purina is constantly taking BIG steps to make BIG differences in pets’ lives. From creating safe and innovative pet food formulas that support cognitive health, to caring about the safety and welfare of pets. This year, as part of our participation in Live Big, we will share with you all of the things we intend to do to make our pet's lives the BIGGEST and the best that they can be!
What makes your pet smile?
Although a smile may seem small many of us know that it’s a BIG thing. Making someone smile can be like magic to many. As part of how we will Live Big this year, smiles are on my daily to-do list. Whether it’s by cuddling, playing their favorite game, giving them their favorite meal or brushing them in that special spot, my vow to my cats is to make them smile each and every day. Pets don’t just make life better. They make it bigger. Together, we can do the same for them. So to my four fluffy Valentines ~ I love you 💘
The Oreo Cat© is part of the Purina Pet People Ambassador Program. This post has been sponsored by Purina Canada.
Download your FREE The Oreo Cat© Printable Valentine's cards! When you give one of these to your special someone, they'll think you're PURRFECT!
Tina Modugno is a children’s illustrator from Canada. Tina loves all animals, kids books and cartoons! She currently resides in Quebec with her husband and four cats!