- Halloween candy is toxic for cats and dogs. Make sure to keep candy out of your pet’s reach.
- Keep your pets, especially black cats, in the house on Halloween night. This is the worst night of the year for cats and dogs being injured or killed by humans.
- When answering the door, keep your pets confined away from door so they can’t get out. Give your cats and dogs a safe place to hide away from the front door and costumed kids so they don’t get spooked.
- Keep glowsticks and candles out of your pet’s reach. These commonly go inside pumpkins and can injure cats and dogs. Keep lit jack-o-lanterns away from your pets.
- Keep fall decorations such as carved pumpkins, fall corn cobs, and haybales away from your pets.
- Keep electronic decorations off the floor and anywhere that your cats and dogs can get to. Some pets are attracted to the new object and chewing on these can cause choking, battery burns, or electrical shock hazards.
- Dressing your pet up in a costume is fun, but make sure you take the costume off immediately after showing your friends or taking the photo. Costumes can shift and create leg, tail and face injury to pets by restricting their movements. Also, if your cat or dog decides to chew the costume off, it can cause stomach blockages.
- Make sure your cats and dogs wear a collar with a current ID tag while you are having friends over or answering the door for trick or treaters. ID tags are the only way others can help return your pets to you if they get out.
Petey on the Job
Petey walked to his first day of work reflecting on how fast the time had gone. Before graduating from CAT-U he was offered a job with Structures Done Right. Now only 5 days after graduating, Petey was on his way to shadow one of the foremen of the company.
He found the office for Structures Done Right easily, and was greeted by a blue-eyed Persian at the front desk, “Hi, can I help you?” she asked flirtatiously.
“I am Petey. This is my first day here. I am supposed to meet Mr. Levy here. Is he in?”
“Yes, he will be right up.”
The Persian picked up the phone and hit a few buttons, spoke to Mr. Levy and then hung up the phone.
Petey looked at the photos of buildings under construction that hung on the wall.
Mr. Levy appeared a few minutes later. He was a sleek built Siamese with piercing green eyes. “Good morning, Petey. Are you ready to get to work?”
“Yes, sir, Mr. Levy.”
“Great, well, let’s go.”
Petey followed Mr. Levy out the door and down the block.
Mr. Levy explained as they walked, “Today we will be helping with the construction on the Furville Tower downtown. Have you seen it?”
“I saw it when they were just starting to put up the frame work, but that was a while ago.”
“They have the exterior frame up and are working on the support structures on the inside of the building now. Soon they will be putting up the walls.”
Mr. Levy led Petey through the fenced off area, and handed him a yellow hard hat.
After introducing Petey to the crew, Mr. Levy said, “Ok, the first thing we have to do is finish getting the corner supports on. Take these nails and the support joints are over there.” Mr. Levy pointed to a stack of thick corner brackets.
The crew grabbed the nails and headed off.
Petey said, “Um.. Mr. Levy, I don’t think those nails are long enough to go through the bracket and the wood.”
“What? Nonsense. I have been using the same materials for every building. I have been doing this for 8 years. “
Petey nodded and quickly looked back to the crew that was working. He realized that he shouldn’t have corrected his boss. I am just so excited; I couldn’t help it. I know they need the three-inch nails not the two-inch nails.
As Petey stood in silence certain that Mr. Levy hated him already, the crew members attempted to attach the corner bracket to the structure.
They each hammered four nails into the bracket, but when they let go, the brackets fell to the ground.
Petey smiled to himself seeing that the nail had barely penetrated the wood.
Mr. Levy glanced around, before calling the crew over. “What’s going on?”
“The nails aren’t long enough,” a buff brown cat responded.
Mr. Levy snatched the nails from the out stretched paw, and muttered, “Who mixed the two-inch nails with the three-inch nails?”
The crew members shrugged and shifted uncomfortably.
Petey saw that the bucket of nails had the number 2 on one side and number 3 on the other, which caused the confusion. But after earlier, Petey kept his mouth shut.
Mr. Levy dug through the bucket and said, “We are going to have to sort these out. Here everyone take a handful.”
Petey and the crew grabbed the nails and quickly separated the two- and three-inch nails.
Once the crew was back to work, Petey grabbed some extra buckets, and a marker. He marked out the second number on each of the buckets, so that it was clear what length nail went in each. He then carefully sorted the nails into their new buckets.
Mr. Levy watched Petey work without objection. “Thank you, Petey. Nice initiative.”
Petey beamed at the praise.
After lunch, Mr. Levy was explaining how the crew was going to start putting up the stucco walls.
Petey listened intently as he watched the crew prepare to hoist a large sheet of stucco up against the frame.
Petey waited for Mr. Levy to pause, before he said, “Mr. Levy, they need more support on that stucco sheet, or it will break before they get it flush to the wall.”
Mr. Levy, followed Petey’s gaze and was about to respond, when the sheet snapped in half and fell back to the ground. The crew members scrambled to avoid being hit, and all escaped unharmed.
“Good eye, Petey. Why don’t you go help them?”
Petey nodded with a smile and walked over to the crew. He explained, “You need an extra support in the middle of the sheet, otherwise it creates too much pressure. The pressure is what caused the first sheet to break.”
The rest of the afternoon passed quickly, as Petey assisted the crew with placing the stucco sheets along the frame. The crew members all respected Petey and by the end of the day were asking for his help over Mr. Levy’s.
Petey couldn’t believe, it was already quitting time.
“Bye, Mr. Levy, thank you,” Petey called as he walked out of the fenced yard.
“See you in the morning, Petey. You did excellent today. You will be surveying your own construction site in no time.”
Petey smiled and walked home. He could not wait to tell his siblings about his adventures. I like this job a lot. I can’t wait to go back tomorrow.
I’m excited to announce that my next book, Megan’s Journal is now on Amazon!!
Here is a preview of Megan’s Journal:
Many readers have asked,
“How did Megan know how to care for her kittens at the various stages of
Megan’s Journal documents her munchkin’s grown from helpless one-day-old
kittens to very active six-month-olds. It includes antidotes of their many
playful antics along with Megan’s internet research on kitten development. It
also follows Megan’s personal growth as she proves to her parents that she can
handle the responsibility of a pet. Megan learns that there is much more to
having a pet than just petting and playing with them. Megan doesn’t mind the
endless cycle of feeding schedules, vet visits, homework, household chores, and
pet sitting jobs because she loves her kittens with all her heart!
Megan’s Journal includes over 30 color photos of the author’s real life
kittens that inspired her Megan’s World book series.
Gizmo and the Rodeo
Two-year-old, Gizmo had graduated from CAT-U last Saturday. Now only one week later, he was headed to his first rodeo with All City Rodeo.
Gizmo saw the arena ahead and ran to greet his new boss.
“Good Morning, Mr. Buck.”
“Hello there, Gizmo. Are you ready for your first rodeo?” Mr. Buck responded.
“Yes, sir,” Gizmo said puffing out his grey chest in excitement.
Mr. Buck led Gizmo and the others through the crowded arena to the riders area.
After talking with the cat at the registration table, Mr. Buck returned with the riding times for each of them.
Gizmo’s eyes lit up as he saw he was scheduled to ride in two different events. The Buck-off event, where he had to hold onto the bucking bull for as long as possible. The Barrel Race where he would ride a horse through the barrel maze as fast as he could.
“The Buck-off is coming up soon, we need to get you a number, Gizmo,” Mr. Buck said breaking into Gizmo’s thoughts.
Gizmo followed Mr. Buck through the crowd to the edge of the arena. A pudgy black cat was holding vests and passed them out as each rider approached. Gizmo was given the number 5 vest, which meant he would ride 5th in each event.
“That’s good, I can watch the first few rides,” Gizmo told Mr. Buck excitedly.
“Yes, it is never good to be the first one in the event.”
Gizmo stood at the railing at watched as the Buck-off started.
The first cat didn’t last 2 seconds out of the gate.
The second cat lasted 5 seconds.
The third and fourth cat each only lasted 4 seconds.
“Wow, this looks hard,” Gizmo muttered under his breath. He climbed onto the bull, who right now stood calmly in the slot. Gizmo dug in claws into the saddle cloth as far as they would go. He took a deep breath preparing himself for what was to come.
“Ready?” a voice asked him.
Gizmo nodded and clenched the saddle cloth tighter.
The gate flew open and the bull now bucked and twisted down the arena. Gizmo held on, not feeling at all off balance by the bucks. The bull then turned to go back up the arena. He did a series of mini bucks followed by a big buck that caught Gizmo by surprise. The buck caused Gizmo to slide down the right side of the bull. Gizmo quickly righted himself on the saddle and was digging all four feet back into the saddle pad, when the bull did another big buck sending Gizmo hurdling over the bull’s head and onto the sand below. Gizmo managed to land on his feet and get up the railing before the bull trampled him.
“The longest ride so far, Gizmo rode for 10 seconds,” the announcer’s voice boomed over the loudspeakers.
“Yeah, good going Gizmo!”
Gizmo looked in the direction of the cheers, and saw his three siblings in the stands. He waved to them and continued on his way back to Mr. Buck.
“Good ride, Gizmo,” Mr. Buck praised, “I think you have won this event. There are only two more riders. The rider after you barely made it out of the gate.”
Gizmo nodded, trying to hide his excitement. He turned to face the arena, so Mr. Buck wouldn’t see the huge smile that Gizmo couldn’t keep off his face.
Gizmo stood at the railing watching the last two riders in a daze. He couldn’t believe his ears, when the announcer called, “Gizmo has won the Buck-off event today. Come to the staging area and claim your ribbon, Gizmo.”
Mr. Buck patted Gizmo on the shoulder, “Good going, son.”
“Thanks,” Gizmo beamed and hurried off to collect his ribbon.
Gizmo showed off his blue ribbon to Mr. Buck, before handing it to his siblings to hold. Gizmo went back to his spot along the railing and started mentally preparing for the barrel race.
It wasn’t long before the first cat and horse team wove through the barrels. They took several turns too tight and knocked over three barrels by the end of the run.
The next two riders also knocked over the third barrel, but otherwise had a good ride.
The fourth rider made it through without knocking any barrels over, and his time was fast at 1 minute 7 seconds.
Gizmo mounted his horse and clutched the saddle pad. When the gate opened the horse lunged forward in a gallop. Gizmo swayed momentarily in the saddle, before steadying himself and concentrating on the barrels.
Gizmo leaned and nudged his horse around barrel after barrel. After making it passed the third barrel without knocking it over, Gizmo let a breath out.
“Almost there,” he muttered to his horse.
A few barrels later, Gizmo and his horse made it through all the barrels in a clean run.
“Gizmo has a clean run with the time of 1 minute 9 seconds,” the announcer’s voice says.
“Drat,” Gizmo says as he makes his way back to Mr. Buck.
“Good ride, Gizmo,” Mr. Buck praises.
“I was too slow,” Gizmo complains.
“You can’t expect to win every event. You did great for your first show with us.”
Gizmo’s face brightened. “Does that mean I can ride again next weekend?”
“Yes, I already have you signed up for three events.”
Gizmo felt better, knowing he hadn’t blown his dream job after only one day.
Gizmo collected his red second place ribbon a while later.
As the arena was emptying out, and the crew was starting to clean up, Gizmo found Mr. Buck. “Thanks for letting me ride today. I learned a lot and will be ready to go again next weekend.”
“Great, see you for practice on Monday.”
“Bye,” Gizmo called as he hurried out the arena door to find his siblings.
“Good job, Gizmo,” they all cheered at once.
All the way home, Gizmo told his three siblings about his day.
Many dogs experience separation anxiety when left alone. They will often whine, bark, cry, howl, chew, dig, scratch at the door, soil the house or destroy your home and yard. We often unintentionally train our dogs to behave this way because whenever they throw this kind of tantrum when we leave, we quickly come back to reassure them, give them attention or even a bone or biscuit. If you do this, your dog will soon learn that he can control you with emotional blackmail.
Long, drawn-out farewells can create separation anxiety problems by first exciting your dog and then making the isolation more obvious when you’re gone. Just when he gets all worked up and ready to play, suddenly you disappear. With all this energy, your dog will either try his best to get you to come back or he will have to vent his energy in some other way. Since he can’t build model airplanes or invite his buddies over for a hand of poker, he does doggy things – like chew, dig and bark.
Perhaps it is not separation anxiety after all! We often think our dog is destructive because he is angry and spiteful that we left him, but he could actually be just trying to have some fun since there is nothing else to do. He may be relieved to be able to do those things he normally can’t do when you’re home. He may be thinking, “Thank goodness the owner is finally leaving! Now I can chase the cat, dig up the tomatoes, get in the trash, and bark at the neighbors. They never let me do those things when they’re home.”
Some dogs with separation anxiety are stressed, nervous and insecure when they are left alone. They express this nervous energy in typical dog fashion – chewing, digging, barking and house soiling.
To prevent separation anxiety, dogs need to feel happy, secure, and comfortable when you’re away. It’s important to give them things to do while you’re gone. Provide them with lots of toys, such as a Kong stuffed with treats, and chew bones. Often another companion pet can help alleviate the boredom.
Another way to prevent separation anxiety is to set aside scheduled time periods to give your dog undivided attention, play and exercise. A happy, well-exercised dog will usually sleep contentedly during the day while you are gone. Be sure that one of the scheduled play sessions occurs before you must leave for the day. Give your dog a chance to settle down before you leave and don’t make a big deal of your departure – just leave without any emotion or commotion.
If your dog is already experiencing separation anxiety, then gradually accustom him to your leaving. Practice leaving and returning several times a day until he gets used to your departures and realizes that you are not abandoning him forever. Gradually leave for longer and longer periods of time, but start out by leaving for just 5 minutes and returning again.
Misty the Exterminator
Two-year-old, Misty, the gray tabby, had graduated from CAT-U a few weeks ago. Now, she was excited to start her job with Pest Trackers. This was her dream job. She was so excited; she could hardly sleep Sunday night.
The next morning, she bounced into the kitchen full of energy despite the early hour. Her brothers staggered into the kitchen and they each started getting breakfast.
Misty chattered excitedly to her three brothers about her job. They too were starting jobs today, but they seemed much more relaxed.
Misty finished breakfast first and raced out the door calling, “See you tonight.”
She got to Pest Trackers 10 minutes before 8 a.m. She didn’t mind being the first one there. It was much better than being late.
A few minutes later, her boss, Mr. Tux arrived along with some other employees. Mr. Tux introduced Misty to the other workers, before sending the others to their first job.
“Now, Misty, you will have your own job list today. I will be going with you this week, just to make sure you are comfortable,” Mr. Tux explained.
“Do you have any questions before we get going?”
“No, thank you.”
With that, Mr. Tux handed Misty her job list for the day. She scanned it quickly seeing that there were 5 appointments set up for her.
“Let’s go,” Misty said.
She and Mr. Tux gathered the equipment she would need and walked to the first appointment.
A delicately build calico answered Misty’s knock on the cat condo door.
Misty and Mr. Tux were ushered inside as Cally explained, “I have ants in the condo and I cannot get rid of them no matter how much I clean. I have no idea how they are getting in. I don’t want my kittens getting bitten, though.”
As if on cue four tiny kittens scampered through the room around the corner and back down the hall.
Misty smiled as she replied, “Show me where the ants are, please. I will figure out where they are coming from.”
Cally smiled and led Misty and Mr. Tux to the utility room at the back of the condo. Cally pointed to the back corner of the room, where Misty saw the line of ants marching across the floor.
“I will look into this, and let you know what I find,” Misty replied.
Cally nodded, “Thank you.” She then left the room to find her kittens.
Misty checked the room thoroughly. Next she checked the kitchen along the same wall. Mr. Tux stood back and observed Misty’s work.
Misty then went outside and around the condo. She searched along the back wall of the condo where the utility room was. It didn’t take Misty long to find a large ant mound several feet from the wall of the condo. Misty sat still as she watched the line of ants marching from their mound to the condo. The ants showed her how they could slip between a tiny crack in the siding.
“I found where they are getting in. Look,” Misty called to Mr. Tux.
She pointed where the ants were filing into the small opening.
“Good job, Misty. You figured that out fast.”
Misty beamed at the praise, before going inside and asking Cally to come out to the back of the house.
“The ants are getting in through this small opening in the wall. This is the back wall of your utility room. I am going to put Ant-X on the mound. The chemical will not harm you or your kittens. I am also going to spray a little along the inner wall of the utility room. You will need to get the siding hole patched as well,” Misty explained.
Cally nodded. “Thank you, Misty. I can’t believe how quickly you figured out where they were coming from.”
Misty smiled. “Let me finish up here, and we will get out of your way.”
Cally retreated back inside the condo.
Misty sprayed the mound and then the exterior of the condo. Mr. Tux followed her back inside, where she sprayed the utility room wall.
Once she was finished, and had placed the canister of spray out on the porch, she handed Cally the invoice.
Cally said, “Thank you, Misty. I will definitely call you again.” Cally handed Misty a check and held the front door for her and Mr. Tux.
Once Misty and Mr. Tux were down the block, Mr. Tux praised, “You were so poised with the customer, and finished your work efficiently. I am very impressed.”
Misty and Mr. Tux arrived at the next job on the schedule. Misty’s next three jobs were routine maintain spraying of the yard and home. While Misty still enjoyed this work, she was delighted that her last job of the day was tracking where the cockroaches were coming from. Tracking and finding bugs was her favorite.
By the end of the day, Mr. Tux was so impressed with Misty, that he told her, “You obviously don’t need me tagging along with you. You will be on your own tomorrow to complete the jobs. You can always call me if you run into a problem.”
“Thank you, Mr. Tux, this has been the best day.”
Misty waved bye and headed home to tell her brothers of her success.
Megan’s Journal Kitten Growth and Development Release Video
Visit Amazon to learn more and purchase your copy today!!
I’m Teaching Creative Writing Classes!!
Classes will be held at the Rosemeade Recreation Center at 1330 E Rosemeade Pkwy, Carrollton, TX 75007.
These class will encourage your child or teen to use their imagination and teach them the necessary elements for creating a great story. Your young author will learn the pieces making up the beginning, middle, and end of a story. There are no wrong answers in this class, just the possibility of coming up with the next best-selling story.
Young Authors: Mommy and Me
With the parent’s help, students will be encouraged to fill in the blanks to create a story as well as create a story behind a photograph.
No Class 11/28. Registration includes parent and one child.
Class # 170650-70 at Rosemeade Recreation Center For 4-6 year olds and their parent. This is a four week class starting 10/3/19 from 4:30pm to 5pm
Class # 170650-80 at Rosemeade Recreation Center For 4-6 years old and their parent. This is a four week class starting 11/7/19 from 4:30pm to 5pm
Your authors learn about outlining, generating story ideas, and writing in different genres.
No Class 11/28.
Class # 170655-70 at Rosemeade Recreation Center 7-12 year olds. This is a six week class starting 10/3/19 from 5pm to 6pm.
Teenage authors learn about outlining, generating story ideas, and writing in different genres.
No Class 11/28.
Class # 170660-70 at Rosemeade Recreation Center 13-18 year olds. This is a six week class starting 10/3/19 from 6pm to 7pm.
Lucky’s Big Backyard
I will never forget the morning my mom carried me outside, explaining, “You are going to get to stay in the backyard now, Lucky. You will have so much more room to hop and play.”
What? Outside? I have been indoors in a rabbit hutch my whole life. I don’t know how to defend myself outside.
Mom sat down on the patio with me in her lap. The sun was already high in the sky. A thousand strange smells filled my nose. I sat nervously not about to move from the security of Mom’s lap. My ears flattened against my back to shield them from a loud thumping and clanging noise that went past the other side of the fence.
“It’s just the garbage truck, Lucky. It’s alright. Come on, I will walk you around,” Mom said, placing me on the ground.
Mom stood up and took a few steps. I sat frozen in place for a moment, before deciding that it was better to follow her than stay by myself.
I hopped at Mom’s heels. As we left the patio, I froze again. Suddenly, I was next to a big body of water that stretched the length of the yard.
“Hop around the pool, Lucky. It’s not warm enough to swim yet,” Mom called.
I gave the pool a cautious glance and sniffed at the water as I crept to the edge. Nope. I am not going swimming.
I stayed along the flowerbed edge as I followed Mom around the pool.
As a branch brushed off Mom’s legs, it swung back into my face.
Pesky thing. I will get this off the path.
I easily chewed through the tomato plant branch, and was about to spit it out when, I realized this tastes delicious.
I watched Mom just up ahead of me as I munched on the branch. I then grabbed another branch as I hopped to catch up with Mom.
As I stopped at her feet, I noticed a small feathered creature walking under the brush just in front of where Mom and I stopped.
I stretched as long as I could to get a sniff of the new creature. Just as I was getting a whiff, the creature flapped and got itself up on the fence. I jumped in surprise and darted behind Mom’s legs.
“It’s ok, Lucky. It is just a bird,” Mom explained.
As I recovered from my scare, I grabbed a mouthful of the nearby bush. Hey, this bush is good too. I like this variety of treats. Maybe this yard won’t be bad.
We continued on around the pool. As Mom walked across the grass, to check on a spot by the fence, I took a mouthful of grass and a few slow hops on the grass.
The grass was soft and the sun was warm; the combination made me happy. I ran in a quick circle before frisking across the grass.
This is fun!
Mom and I continued across the grass, until we came to a big mound of dirt. Mom carefully stepped around it, but I sniffed it. As soon as I put my nose to it, dozens of tiny moving creatures came out of the dirt and crawled toward me.
I hopped back in surprise.
Mom knelt down next to me, “Leave the ants alone, Lucky. Let’s make sure none of them are on you.”
Mom brushed me off carefully, and then we continued back to the patio where we started.
“I am going to bring your food and water dish out here. I will be right back,” Mom told me.
I watched her disappear through the door to the house.
Who needs that old food dish when I have a whole yard of fresh greens.
I frisked off the patio and wandered through flower bed after flower bed, sampling each plant as I went.
As Mom reappeared from the house, I reached the grass on the backside of the pool, and I was frisking happily from one end to the other.
“You like it out here, don’t you, Lucky?” Mom asked.
I did another happy frisk and dashed, in response to show her my answer.
As I neared the bush again, the bird had returned. This time I was able to sniff him, and he eyed me without flying away.
I grabbed a mouthful of leaves and chewed thoughtfully. This yard isn’t scary any more. Now I have a new birdy friend, and all the fresh greens I can eat. I will like living outside.
Mom stayed outside with me awhile longer, but when she went inside, I barely noticed. I was flopped in the dirt next to the tomato plant. It’s shade was the perfect spot for an afternoon nap.
Yes, outside life is the life for me.
Why do cats drop their toys into their water dish?
Misty has always taken her toys or post it notes from my desk and dropped them in her water dish. She then attracts her brothers attentions and all five cats will attempt to fish the toy or piece of paper from the dish with their paws splashing water on the floor.
I was curious what instinct made Misty want to take her toys or my post it notes to the water dish, so I started looking into it.
I was surprised to find there wasn’t one definite answer. Scientists are guessing at why cats take toys to their water dish. There are several theories. One is that cats are using their fishing/hunting instinct by putting the toy in the water and pawing at it. Another theory is that cats view their food and water dishes as a safe place. Since domestic cats don’t have a ‘nest’, they use their food and water dishes as a safe hiding place for their ‘catch’. A third theory is that the cat is trying to teach it’s human to hunt/fish by showing off their skills.