Friday Fun: Anakin The 2-Legged Kitten

This little guy is such a cutie and so lucky to have found a good home.  Anakin first appeared with other feral cats coming to eat at a place of business.  After a few attempts, he was caught and brought home.  His vet said Anakin was born without a pelvis or back legs, but his internal organs are normal.  The vet was surprised Anakin’s feline mom had taken care of him, so he’s lucky twice over.

Anakin angles himself over his front legs and holds his torso off the ground to move.  And he can really move!  Apparently, he uses his tail sometimes for support.  Pretty amazing!

He has his own Facebook page.

Anakin playing and meeting Trixie, a resident cat.

Anakin playing.

Keep Your Pets Calm For The 4th Of July

In addition to these suggestions for keeping your pets safe around fireworks, there are a number of things you can try that can help lower your pet’s level of anxiety this 4th of July and during other stressful times.  Check out these products & techniques for keeping your pets calm—some of them might be new to you.


1.  Try calming supplements like:

2.  pheromone products like D.A.P., Feliway, Pet-Ease, etc. and can come in sprays, diffusers, & collars
3.  get an Anxiety Wrap or Thunder Shirt, both of which use pressure to calm your pup—Saffron has a Thunder Shirt and it really makes a difference in all kinds of stressful situations.  We’ve also used a child’s t-shirt that fits our dog Saffron tightly.
4.  cd from Through A Dog’s Ear—specially arranged music developed by psychoacoustic expert Joshua Leeds and veterinary neurologist Susan Wagner, which I know sounds awfully “woo-woo”, but you can find out more about psychoacoustic studies and the field of psychoacoustics.  You can listen to samples(via FullVetted)
5.  try:

6.  see your veterinarian for anti-anxiety medication specifically for your pet

Fireworks & Your Pets’ Safety

Unless they just let their animals roam, most people don’t expect to lose their pets.  So any lost-pet posters you see and any pets you see running loose who clearly have a family, belong to someone who didn’t think their pet would get lost—meaning those pets belong to someone like you and me, someone who thought their pets were safe & protected.  Most of us can probably do more to protect our animals, but this is especially important around holidays with fireworks.

The days following the 4th of July in the U.S. are very busy for animal shelters and tons of lost posters go up for cats and dogs.  Some shelters even stay open for holiday so people can retrieve their pets that escape.

Most cats seem to respond to fireworks by hiding, but they are still at risk for bolting in a panic.  Dogs are also at great risk of escaping, but they may also respond to their fear with destruction or even aggression.

If your pet panics and runs away, this very thorough article has excellent advice, including putting out items scented strongly with your smells and your pet’s like your dirty clothes and your pets bedding or your cat’s litterbox.  Here are more good tips from a pet detective on finding your lost pet. Advice on how to make the most effective posters for your lost pet.  Post lost notices on Craigslist, with newspapers, and on your neighborhood blogs. (Unfortunately, Petfinder no longer has a section for people to post notices of their lost pets.)  Be sure to watch out for scams.

The first step is to keep your pets safe:

  1. don’t take your dog to fireworks shows
  2. keep your pets inside, DO NOT leave them outside, even if you fear they may damage your home
  3. don’t leave your pets alone
  4. if you have to leave them alone, do not leave them where they can destroy things and possibly escape or harm themselves
  5. DO NOT leave them chain or tied anywhere—it can lead to strangulation if you dog panics
  6. make sure your cats & dogs have on their collar & tags, are micro-chipped & that their info. is current
  7. close all exterior doors, windows, and pet doors
  8. take your dog on a long walk early in the day to help expend some energy
  9. if you have a sensitive dog, keep her on a leash at all times while she’s outside for walks or to potty, even if you’re not near a fireworks show and even if you’re in your yard or neighborhood—panicked dogs can jump over tall fences and burst through gates they normally could not get over or through
  10. if fireworks go off unexpectedly and your dog panics, get her to any enclosed space
  11. consider feeding your dog well before evening—food can help make him sleepy
  12. don’t leave matches/fireworks lying around—it could lead to heavy metal poisoning
  13. don’t set off fireworks with dog around—it could lead to burns and serious injury
  14. don’t leave your dog in a car
  15. if your dog is already crate trained she may feel safest in her crate
  16. allow your pets access to the inner-most room of your house, provide blankets to burrow under, etc.
  17. play music or the radio
  18. remember a terrified cat or dog can behave out of character, don’t push their limits

DIY: Cardboard Cat Rocket

Too cute!  I’ve made cat houses out of cardboard, but nothing as nifty as this.  Check out the superb cardboard rocket tutorial at Craftzine from Haley Pierson-Cox, who has her own site, The Zen of Making full of DIY goodness.  There are even carpet squares for each level.  Haley uses actual screws and nuts to hold the rocket together, for the most part, instead of glue, which gives the rocket more structural integrity and avoids exposing your kitty friends to any chemicals in the glue.  I don’t know how much of an issue that is unless your cat eats glue, but I do like how the hardware looks in the final product.  Have fun—your kitty will be over the moon!

You’ll need:

  • 4 cardboard boxes, 20″ x 20″ x 20″ square single-walled cartons
  • 2 carpet squares, 20″ x 20″
  • 68 #10 washers
  • 34 #10 nuts
  • 18 1/2″ #10 screws
  • 16 3/8″ #10 screws
  • Screwdriver, optional
  • Wrench, optional
  • Tape measure
  • Box cutter
  • Long ruler or yardstick
  • Pencil or marker
  • Thumb tack
  • String
  • Drill or awl
  • Duct tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • Bone folder
  • Paint, in your favorite colors – Haley used Crayola Washable Kid’s Paint
  • Paint brushes/sponges