by Suzanne Fisher
Being owned by a cat takes some getting used to. You have probably heard the saying, “You own a dog, but you feed a cat.” Roughly speaking, this means the ownership part of a relationship with a cat always resides with the cat. Here are some ways you can adjust to your new cat-owned status.
Learn to understand Cat Talk
Acquiring a thorough understanding of Cat Talk requires studying a cat’s body language, as demonstrated by its tail, and becoming familiar with the cat’s facial expressions.
Here are some important things to learn about tail talk:
- When the tip of the tail is moving, it means that the cat is aware of what you are saying and is relaxed with the fact that it can ignore you for as long as you can talk.
- When the cat’s tail movement has taken over one half of the tail, it means that you have just said something disagreeable to the cat.
- If this is followed by the whole tail moving back and forth, it means you would do well to shut up soon.
- If the tail switches back and forth fast, bumping against things with a loud thump, it means it is time for you to not only shut up, but to think about leaving fast.
- When the tail thrashes around and the eyes turn to glare at you, you may as well get your Nikes on and run for your life as you have just offended your feline friend.
Cats have a wide range of facial expressions.
- Mouth open and neck extended means a hair ball is imminent.
- Mouth open and teeth bared often means something stinks and the cat is trying to determine the origin of the stench – better hope it isn’t you.
- The intent stare is a pre-pounce mechanism to mesmerize and disarm prey. This is often seen when your toes move under the bed covers.
- Forehead furrowed means you have said something not quite believable to the cat.
- Once in a great while, the sides of the mouth curve upward in a smile.
Teaching your cat to play Fetch
First, find the cat. Then get you, your cat, and your cat’s favorite wand toy into the same room. Tell the cat that you want it to learn to play Fetch. Ignore comments from the cat such as “Are you possessed?”
Engage your cat in active play with the wand toy. Then throw the toy across the room. Your cat will look at you and then at the toy.
Encourage your cat to go get the toy and bring it to you. Tell the cat that play time is over unless it gets the toy. Direct the cat’s attention to the toy by pointing to it and saying things like, “Go get the toy. Fetch the toy.” Ignore the cat’s unsettling stare which, roughly translated, means “You silly human, what IS your problem?”
Continue to encourage your cat to fetch the toy. Promise your cat treats for getting the toy and bringing it to you. Promise to scratch or rub a favorite spot on the cat if the cat complies. Then go get the toy yourself.
How to Give a Cat a Pill
Successfully giving a cat a pill requires determination and a little advance preparation.
- Fill an eye dropper with water.
- First find the cat. Since cats read our minds, they usually evaporate before we convert the ‘give the cat a pill’ thought to action.
- Place the cat on a chair or bed. Open the cat’s mouth and pop the pill in, getting it on the back of the throat. Ignore the growl coming from the cat.
- Empty the eyedropper filled with water into the cat’s mouth. Ignore the louder growl coming from the cat.
- Hold the cat’s mouth closed and massage the throat until you feel a swallow. Ignore the thrashing around by the cat and the louder growl.
- Pick up the pill from the bed, mash it together and try again, beginning with finding the cat.
- When the pill is ptuied a second time, take the pill yourself. If the pill is an antibiotic, you probably need it at this point to counteract all the cat scratches you have gotten giving your cat a pill.
These simple suggestions will hopefully make your life with your feline friend go more smoothly.
People with allergies or sensitivities often have trouble redecorating their homes with products that do not trigger their health issues. The good news is that when it comes to redecorating or rehabbing a home, there are many newer options for people with allergies or sensitivities to formaldehyde, petroleum, and other volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).
Suggestions for healthy building materials
The building industry, recognizing that many people have problems being around formaldehyde, VOC’s, and petroleum products, has created wonderful solutions for people with allergies or sensitivities:
- Carpets and carpet padding
People with allergies or sensitivities have for years been advised to avoid carpets in their homes. Carpets used to have a very toxic mixture of 4_PfCH (4-phenylcyclohexene), as well as formaldehyde and a host of the toxins. Now you can find carpets made from wool, jute and natural latex that are well tolerated by people with allergies and sensitivities. Some chemical-free brands of carpeting include: Earth Weave, Bloomsburg Carpet, Woolshire and Helios.
Carpet padding has always contained urethane (a possible carcinogen), rubber (a sensitizer for many people), or a recycled content mix. But now there are brands of non-toxic padding made by DeciBLOK, Nova, U. S. Floors, Nature’s Carpet, and Earth Weave.
Paints have traditionally contained a wide array of VOC’s that offer negative short-term and long-term health effects, and cause many problems for persons with allergies or sensitivities. Now there are paints with low VOCs and even paints with no VOCs. There is a great list of these paints in Apartment Therapy. Not included on the list, but one of the first to put out non-toxic paints, is AFM Safecoat of California.
- Building materials
Plywood is often used to create kitchen islands, cabinets, closet systems, furniture and space-altering areas while redecorating. PureBond is a hardwood plywood made by Columbia Forest Products that has no formaldehyde, and whose glues are soy based.
Air purifiers make a difference in the air in your home
The wonderful air purifiers available today can help you avoid problems from even the greenest redecorating materials. From the little workhorse made by Aireox to the HEPA and carbon air purifiers made by Austin Air and Airpura, having an air purifier can give you clean air to breathe. Check out our fun YouTube video on air purifiers!
From now through the end of the year, use these coupons with your Aireox Air Purifier orders. Just type the coupon in your shopping cart as you are checking out:
- Aireox Room units – to get $20 off, type in Aireox45Savings
- Aireox Car units – to get $20 off, type in Aireox22Savings
There are many ways adding exterior lighting to your home can increase its value. It can offer a measure of security, make walkways easier to see in the dark, and it can allow you to enjoy your back yard when the sun goes down.
Some localities have implemented certain building codes regarding outdoor lighting, so be sure to check with your locality or homeowners association before beginning outdoor lighting projects.
Adding exterior lighting to your home can enhance its appearance
Whether you hire someone to install your outdoor lighting or you do it yourself, there are many ways you can use outdoor lighting to increase the value of your property:
- When your front entrance is well lighted, it offers a warm, welcoming ‘hello’ to your guests. Wall lanterns hung on both sides of the front door are a great addition to any home. You may want to use the yellow or blue bug lights in them to keep the moths out of your home if you use your front door a lot.
- Rear outside entrances can have matching wall lantern lighting. Motion sensor lighting is great for back and side doors. If you also have a garage, you might want to invest in matching wall lantern lighting with motion sensors for it.
- When you have a front porch, recessed lighting or a chain-hung exterior light offers a wonderful look. If you sit on your porch often, you may even want to install a dimmer switch for the lighting.
- If your house has areas that are completely in the dark, it is wise to install motion sensor lighting in those areas. While the motion-sensor lighting may be triggered by the occasional animal, it will also be triggered by anyone who needs to see in those areas, and it will discourage burglars. Motion sensor spotlights that you install under the eaves of your house or ground lights pointing upwards do a great job at highlighting dark areas and accenting your home’s exterior.
- Stairs, driveways, and paths are also areas that need exterior lighting to ensure that your family and guests are safe at all times. Path lights brighten walkways and can also be used to highlight flower beds and other decorative lawn areas like shrubbery or ground cover areas. Post lanterns and lights that you attach to the side of your house and point to the decorative areas are also ways to show their beauty.
- Low-voltage mini lighting can be used to make patios, decks, and porches into lovely outdoor retreat areas. Place them under railings, steps, or benches or drape them artistically over furniture or shrubbery.
- Spotlights in trees are another nice touch.
- Lighting in pools, fountains, and rock-garden ponds can be quite dramatic and beautiful. Use low-voltage LED lights for ambient lighting around a pool and fiber-optic lighting on the floor of the pool for a stunning effect. For even more excitement in your swimming pool, use solar-powered floating lights.
- For your grill area, be sure to install a recessed spotlight that is pointed at your grill so you can easily see what you are cooking at night.
For the do-it-yourselfers who are not electricians, there are wonderful solar choices for post lanterns and pathway lights as well as other fixtures for adding exterior lighting.
by Suzanne Fisher
Most of us live anywhere but in the moment. We make lists for the future, we relive the past, we daydream about what we want, and we plan our lives out. Thus we often fail to take note of what is happening in this very moment in time, so when it comes time to remember what happened, we sometimes find it tough to do.
In today’s busy, busy world, we are confronted with an overload of sights, sounds, ideas, work, play, and everything in between, making it hard to grab hold of concepts and keep them firmly affixed in our minds. Translation: we forget things, sometimes important things. That is where a few tricks can come in handy to help you enhance your memory:
- Paying attention in the moment can be as simple as noting the sound of a bird’s song, the color of a friend’s eyes, the way someone looked at us, the license plate on the vehicle in front of us, or the sign we are passing on the interstate. When we daydream, we fail to attach ourselves to the Now, so we forget what is happening around us. So connect with the Now and record at least five things that are happening in this very moment in time. There is an interesting 12-step maxim that says when we have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, we are messing all over today. Learn to live today as if you own it and want all the goodness from it.
- Word association can help – associate whatever you want to remember with a specific word and repeat it over and over to yourself. So can making lists and notes to yourself. Busy people use whatever tricks work to help them remember important things, events and people.
- Too much of a good thing is just that – too much. Alcohol, drugs and even food can cause memory problems. Moderation is the key here.
- Conversely, too little of a good thing can also cause memory problems. Skipping meals creates havoc with your memory. Hunger slows down memory and other brain functions.
- Too little sleep can also affect memory and, strangely enough, too much sleep can impair it also. Get a recommended 8 hours a night to enhance your memory powers.
- Drink at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. Your brain is 75% water. When you are dehydrated (and most of us are to a degree), water is pulled from the brain to help other systems like the circulatory system. This impairs the brain’s functioning including the ability to remember things.
- Find something that challenges your brain to do every day. Your brain is like a muscle in that the more you exercise it, the more flexible it gets.
- You might want to try yoga and meditation. A recent study showed that yoga and meditation enhanced the memory of pre-Alzheimer’s patients more than crossword puzzles and other brain challenges.
You can retain a good memory for years to come with a little effort using these memory tips. A world renowned chemist, Charles Harold Fisher, had a sharp mind right up until his death at 104 because he did chemical formularies, drank enough water to hydrate his brain, and ate a healthy diet every day of his life.
by Suzanne Fisher
The life cycle of the flea
Adult fleas live about three to four months. During that time they steadily lay little white eggs in your carpets and on your pet. These eggs look like dandruff or salt crystals. The larvae that hatch from these eggs feed on tiny bits of dried blood (flea Dirt) that fall off when your pet grooms itself or is combed.
by Suzanne Fisher
The pictures are the first thing we women look at (yes, looks DO matter, but not the way you might think). Pictures are your first line of connection on a dating site. Please put your best face (and body) forward. These ten suggestions are guaranteed to help you meet more women!
by S. Suzanne Fisher
Amino acids are the raw nutrients needed to manufacture neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are used to relay, amplify and modulate electrical signals between a neuron and another cell. The three major categories of substances that act as neurotransmitters are:
- amino acids (primarily glutamic acid, GABA, aspartic acid & glycine),
- peptides (vasopressin, somatostatin, neurotensin, etc.) and
- monoamines (norepinephrine, dopamine & serotonin) plus acetylcholine.
by Suzanne Fisher
Few people look in the mirror nowadays and like what they see. Most folks would like to shed a few (or many) pounds. The challenge for people interested in weight loss tips is in finding those tips that are a healthy way to lose weight. Continue Reading →