Archives for category: cats

Iggy, the creator of many a Catku

My cat has his own Facebook page. When he’s online, he tends toward writing about his feelings and experiences in Haiku form. In honour of a true full “spring/summer” day, complete with the window left open for over 24 hours, following are some examples of his work.

a spring-time sleep

full of cat-nip and water

tomorrow, I dance

morning, late rising

no sun today just the clouds

resting in my nest

Mother: ticka-tick

Tick Tick Tick. Typing so much

As I sleep, so sound.

crunch of my pellets

listen: the traffic goes by

out there, in the sun

I was in the sun

but it has shifted away

warmth stays in my fur

the other eye winks

 

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

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a bit of green everyday

Cats have been a part of my daily life for 14 years now.  During most of this time I have thought of them as little carnivores, little super predators.   While it is true that they rely on meat for their sustenance, they love plants too.  They love green stuff like fresh green blades of oats which are sometimes referred to as ‘cat grass’.   Most people know that cats love catnip.  Cats also respond to other herbs too such as valerian, which will excite them, and chamomile, which will generally calm them down.

For many years I was hesitant to experiment with herbs for cats because I felt that it was naïve to think that cats metabolize herbal remedies in the same way that humans do.  Just look at the way catnip excites cats, while it relaxes humans.  Or the monoterpenes in citrus, called limonene, and in pine, called pinene, are toxic to cats and not to humans.   Other common essential oils used on humans have proved to be lethal to cats.  And, years ago when I tried some of the very safest remedies such as flower essences on my cat, he seemed more annoyed than anything that I was using these calming essences on him.  I gave up on the idea.

Eventually, I tried again and I looked into many different books on herbs for pets.  Many of them are mostly written for dog owners.  After discovering a book called Herbs for Pets: The natural way to enhance your pet’s life by Gregory L. Tilford and Mary L. Wulff, I began to experiment more with herbs for my cats.

One of the most impressive things that my cats have taught me this year is that they love herbal tea.  I make up one day’s worth of nutritive herbal tea made with nettles, red clover, burdock, dandelion and a very small amount of licorice and I mix it with their wet canned food.  They love the tea so much that they will lick up all of the tea before starting in on the canned bits.  When they take their tea, they seem to have stronger constitutions, they seem to be in better moods.  My oldest cat seems less frail and he has a better temperament.  I have read about the benefits of herbal remedies for years now, but these furry little guys have taught me so much about the importance of herbal tea.

If you want to experiment with herbs for cats, be sure to pick up at least 3 good books on the subject and talk to someone who knows more about this than you do.   My local library has dozens of books on this topic.  Take notes and pursue inconsistencies in the information in these books.  It is best to trust people who have practiced for a long period of time.  Be aware that there are many popular books written by people who write well and have collected all of their information from other books.  These books are generally not the best place to collect information because they are not necessarily backed by practice.

Finally, if you are making something for your cat, even if it is a nutritive tea, remember that they only require a very small dose.  A typical dose for humans is made for someone who is 150 pounds.  A cat is usually less than a tenth that size.   My cats are getting 1-2 tablespoons a day of tea and this seems to be enough.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

cat bun. i can not get enough of that little face!

A couple weeks ago, an acquaintance pulled out a glossy long landscape photo of exquisite mushrooms.  While looking at these giant puffballs, I realized that these photos are now a very rare thing.  The world has gone digital; we are able to see images on screens more often than images on paper.  Sometimes I wonder if I am doing things right, storing all of my favourite photos on my computer.  It may save on space, but is it going to be accessible in the future?  And as my brother stated this week, it is simply more satisfying to flip through a photo album than to click through one.  I agree.

Don’t get me wrong, digital photography has made it easy for everyone to be a better photographer.  We can now take as many photos as we like, and experiment a lot more.  There is not so much waste, as you don’t have to develop an entire roll of film in order to see if one photo turned out.

My DIY idea of the day is to consider good old fashioned photo development.  Yes, I can still keep a digital archive, but it is not so difficult to select photos that I like, edit them and take them to a photo developer.  I can even do all of this online and pick them up within an hour!  It is rare that I actually do this final step, but I am going to make a greater effort to do just this.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

snow painting in herbal pigments

A friend of mine remarked to me a couple of months ago that Arcade Fire’s music is very marchy.  Sometimes when I am listening to them on my Ipod, I test this comment and try to march a little.  Unfortunately, I can usually march along to their music.  This does not really matter to me.  I still like them, even if I am marching to it!  I think this a positive thing to do in March, I have a hunch that there is an Arcade Fire song for any day in March, no matter the weather.  So, get out there and try it!

Coming up in March (the month) in fleurbain:

Resto reviews of three places you really shouldn’t miss in three very different Montreal neighbourhoods (Downtown, St Henri, and The Village).

Herbalism, recipes, photography, cartoons, an art review…

Felted DIY Nesting Bowls and Slippers (it’s still cold outside, baby!)

In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8th, a three-part feature on Canadian Women in The Arts.

Simple herbs for cats… this isn’t your Grandcat’s catnip!

A new web feature: Online Featured Artist. Every Month we will share a new artist with you in this online Gallery, with images of their work, links to their websites, and other cool info about them. Submission requirements will be announced shortly…

A heart-wrenching, mind-boggling, gut-churning anecdotal tale about Professionalism In The Arts.

A Snow Painting and book-making creativity spa workshop! Bringing the web to real life, yet again. Also, we will officially announce our new service: Customised Workshops.

March looks like both a lion and lamb month, so join us as we gear up for Spring!

Tammy Schmidt and Natasha Henderson, Montreal

just another photo of my cat

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

I love you!

Compu-Kitty

 photo of Iggy by Natasha Henderson, Montreal

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