Wednesday, February 27, 2013

King Street Cats in their Furrever Homes-Nellie


Meet Nellie, a King Street Cats Alumnus!

Her proud Mom (and GREAT volunteer) writes this about her...

"Nellie is a kitten I fostered this summer. She only has one eye
and is the sweetest little girl. My family fell in love with her and we completed her adoption
last month. She is always where I am in our house and loves to watch me on the computer.
I downloaded a screen saver that is a fish tank with swimming fish and bubbles in the water.
She loves watching it. Recently I was passing by the computer room and the screen saver
was on though I didn't activate it. I didn't think anything about it but it kept happening.
Then I actually saw what was going on. Nellie was jumping up on to my desk, then she
pushes the "mouse" which turns on the screen saver and then sits there and "watches the
fish," sometimes she even paws at the fish but mostly just watches them. Too cute!
Yet another clever King Street Cat.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

10 years and Still Purring!

King Street Cats is 10 Years Old!

I, purrsonally, have had the pleasure of volunteering 
at KSC for almost 2.5 years now.
What I love about working with KSC is that I can do a lot
of the volunteer work outside the facility, on my time.
Like this blog.  And Facebook postings.
And the paper-towel procurement.  And website updates.
There are so many different ways to help
that work around your schedule and your talents.
Of course, our biggest need will always be
those great folks who help with the morning and evening
feeding and cleaning slots.
The kitties need to be fed and cleaned up after.
It's the number 1 priority, 
followed closely by adoption counselors who,
as I say, "move the inventory."

Come see what we're all about on March 14th
from 7:00-9:00 PM at Ten Thousand Villages.
The address is 915 King Street, Alexandria, VA  22314.

Questions about the event or ways you can help KSC?
Email us at

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Does Kitty Get SAD?

2 of my kitties, Jake & Moe, soaking the in sun every chance they get!

The winter months can be hard on us with the shorter days and colder temps 
that keep us indoors.  Did you know that Kitty can experience the
same feelings in winter?  Check out this article I found and
learn how to help Kitty this winter.

Does Your Cat Get Depression in Winter? 

Light Therapy Can Help

A typical morning for your cat may involve stretching, purring, or meowing the family awake at the break of dawn. After breakfast, she might retire to her favorite windowsill to bask and groom. But do we really understand our felines? What if they were depressed? Would we understand why? Can we help them overcome the winter blues?
Cats are sensitive to changes in light, more so than people. Less lighting in the fall may cause a decrease in brain chemicals like serotonin. Given the inevitability of rain, snow, and cold weather in the fall, cats are often faced with a change of schedule.

Shorter winter days and cold weather can affect your cat's mood. Kitten at snowy window by Shutterstock

If your cat is indoor/outdoor, he may become depressed during the winter months and shorter days. Even if your feline is indoor-only, lack of sunlight, less exercise during the fall, and longer periods of alone-time all contribute to the telltale symptoms of restlessness and depression of seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

What causes SAD?

SAD in felines, as in people, is influenced by the amount of sunlight that your cat is exposed to. You may notice your cat appearing slower and gloomier during the winter months, yet when April and May arrive, he is more energetic and has a healthier appetite.

Cats may be lethargic and depressed in winter -- just like us. Blue cat at home by Shutterstock

Lack of sunlight reduces the production of melatonin, which in turn leads to depression, drowsiness, and sometimes anxiety. It also results in low levels of serotonin, a hormone that serves as a neurotransmitter; cats may display symptoms of depression, aggression, and mood changes.
Restoring the chemical balance is not done easily, since serotonin cannot be given as a shot or in pill form. Many veterinarians turn to drugs -- the same ones prescribed for humans.
If the idea of giving your cat Prozac or a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) makes your heart ache, then it's a good idea to learn about light therapy, which manipulates your cat’s environment to simulate the brightness of sunlight.

Effy the cat enjoys the Sol Box's light therapy.

Get your cat moving

Is your cat over-anxious or less playful? Or spending most of his days sleeping, or displaying little interest in new foods or toys? Parents sometimes fall into a trap of overfeeding during the winter months, or accustoming themselves to their cat’s lack of enthusiasm.
When exercise decreases, your felines produce fewer endorphins. Guess what? These endorphins are what make him feel good.
If the idea of letting your cat out in the snow doesn’t appeal to you, or if your cat is indoor only, try to schedule regular playtime with him. Giving your cat the benefits of a predictable daily routine will decrease feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and feline aggression.

Schedule playtime with your cat in winter to get him active and cheer him up. Sad Persian by Shutterstock

Using light therapy to treat SAD

Veterinarians often recommend light therapy to treat SAD. These natural, non-invasive, and low-cost treatments can cost less than a yearly supply of kitty Prozac, and they let you maintain control over your pet's emotional highs and lows.
One such option is the Sol Box from Pawsitive Lighting. This is a light therapy box that emits bright-white light therapy. The makers recommend using it for 30 minutes a day.
If you suspect your cat has SAD, get her on a regular playtime schedule, and try light therapy like the kind from Pawsitive Lighting. 

View the entire article here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Adorable Kitty Body Parts!

Rexy, King Street Cats alum, with insanely irresistible whiskers.

I ran across this article the other day and it was just too cute not to share.  For me, I am a sucker for that little bald spot in front of their ears.  Can't.  Kiss.  It.  Enough.  
Oh, and kissing whiskers.  
My poor's a wonder they don't run away 
from all the love...

I usually don't climb into bed with people and stare at them while they're sleeping. That would be creepy -- and I don't need another restraining order. (Kidding!)
But love my cats' bodies. Sometimes when my cats are zonked out, I curl up beside them and just gaze at their little bodies. They know I'm there because the airplane ears engage just a little, but they don't tell me to leave, so I just lie there and stare for a little while longer. It's sort of meditative. It's also an excellent way to avoid doing anything responsible. I highly recommend cat-gazing.
Yes, I am obsessed with the feline form. Here are five body parts with which I am particularly smitten:

Sweet Saffy, I want to nosedive into your floof.

1. The adorable ear

Phoebe's ears -- they need rubbing.

I enjoy holding a cat ear between my fingers and then rubbing my fingers together. Sometimes when I'm doing that to Phoebe, her eyes roll back into her head in ecstasy. In the winter, the tips of her ears feel slightly chilled, so I'll occasionally place my lips around them and make kissing sounds. I like to believe she enjoys that as much as I do, but she quickly grows weary, so I have a few short seconds of that business before she not-so-politely "asks" me to stop.

2. The wonderful muzzle, snoot, snout, snuzzle, meowzzle, (whatever)

That's one fine meowzzle.

First, I have to say I conducted an informal Facebook poll to determine the official name for this feline body part. According to my friend who works in the veterinary profession, it's called a muzzle. Others threw out words like "nose," "snoot," and "whisker humps" (my humps, my humps, my lovely whisker lumps).
A friend in Lisbon said the Portuguese name for it is focinho, and that it means the same thing for humans and animals alike. Next time someone is irritatingly nosy, I'm going to say, "Keep your focinho out of my business!" Lastly, some suggested "snuzzle" and "meowzzle," which I think are terms originally coined by Snoop Dog (er, Snoop Lion). I've always preferred "snout" because it sounds cute.
Whatever the case, I love that part of my cats. When one of my cats is sleeping, I like to smooth the whiskers back and lay a few smooches on his muzzle/snoot/snout/nose/whisker hump/focinho/snuzzle/meowzzle.

3. The irresistible paw

Fuzzy toes! Cat Paw by Flickr Creative Commons

Oh, sweet kitty paw. Even though you smell like Fritos (and I know you've been clomping through clumps of poo), I swoon at the sight of your pink jellybean pads and floofy patches of toe fluff, which I lovingly refer to as slippers. Who doesn't love kitty paws? Seriously. In general, my cats don't enjoy me fussing with their feet, but when they're sleeping or too tired to care, I'm not ashamed to say I take full advantage.
I find if I stick my finger between the paw pads and scratch, they'll fan their toes and I nearly pass out from a full-on cute attack. Do you know what I'm talking about? Just thinking about that little fuzzy toe fan makes me feel the need to breathe into a paper bag.

4. The heart-stopping nose

Smooch! Nose by Flickr Creative Commons

I realize this is part of the snoutal region; however, I will address it separately because my affection for it is in a different category. Like most other cat body parts, I love to kiss the nose. Sometimes, when one of my cats is purring, I press her nose into my ear because I like the happy rumble, and the wet nose feels cool and comforting. Other times I press her nose in my ear and pretend like she's telling me secrets. And I have to reply out loud, of course. "Really? You don't say! Cosmo did what with the box of tampons?"

5. The amazing belly

You get gravy and I get belly time. Sounds fair to me.

The kitty belly is the promised land for heavy petters. None of my three cats particularly enjoy belly scritches or rubs, but when they permit a few rare moments of tummy-touching, you better believe I'm diving into that fluffy wonderland until I feel the rabbit kick that signals my time is officially over.
With my Cosmo, I've discovered a no-fail key to his tuxie tummy. He's addicted to Lickety Stiks, a lickable cat treat that dispenses liquid magic. If I hold him in my lap, sitting up, he grabs ahold of the Lickety Stik and goes to town. Nothing -- and I mean nothing -- distracts him from the beefy roller-ball. I can run my fingers through the fluffy belly goodness for at least two minutes, which is like two hours in kitty-belly-petting time.

What's your favorite part of your cat's body? Tell us about it in the comments!

**See the entire article here.

**See all the King Street Cats Kitties, and their adorable body parts, 
waiting for adoption here.