All Hands on El Gato


I’m not trying to brag when I say we have an exceptionally tolerant cat. My family certainly can’t take the credit, he was like that when we adopted him. I suspect he might have been smuggled into a frat house as a kitten…

Lucky for us, because we’re obnoxious pet owners:




The only thing he doesn’t like is when I was pretend he’s an accordion and I sing “The Famous Person Polka.” He nips at my face and jumps out of my arms.


Our cat also LOVES to be loved. I say that about all cats, whether it’s true or not. With this one, however, it’s really and truly true. He demands two hands petting, thank you, so don’t even think about that coffee. PUT IT DOWN.

This summer, when the kids have a disagreement – let me just say, I really don’t care if they have a disagreement, that’s fine. I’m talking about when they have a disagreement that goes on long enough to impact me – I simply say, “All Hands on El Gato.” We go and find El Gato (not too difficult, he’s usually right there) and everyone puts two hands on him and he’s in HEAVEN with this sudden and lavish attention.

Usually that’s enough to move everyone on with their lives, unless the cat insists we stay there for another hour of petting and he will let us know when our spiritual healing is complete. Since he’s smaller than your average cat, our hands have to overlap, and soon we’re laughing and everyone’s forgotten who killed whom with a platinum sword.


“That’s right, I’m like freaking St. Francis over here. I’m an instrument of peace, yous guys.” (My cat starred in Welcome Back Kotter.)

Pets have one job. Your dog won’t plow a field. Your cat won’t deliver brandy to you in an avalanche. They’re stress relief. Pets are living fidget spinners –  Use em, I say!

At least, I’ll use our cat while I can. I might have three more kid-arguments, tops, before I have to come up with something else.

Moms can’t get too comfy.

Unlike cats… toocomfortable






Congratulations to my sister and brother-in-law on their new bundles of feline joy!


Just the two – she didn’t adopt five cats… I mean, that’s too many cats, right…?

If you have a pathological love of cats, check out the Katzenworld blog.

Like cat fiction? My friend, Debbie Manber Kupfer can fix you up.


Hello Cat Toothpaste, Goodbye Fingers


Presenting the world’s most tolerant cat! From Canada – where else?

If you watched that video, you’re ready to hear all about our cat and his oral hygiene. Fasten your seat belts…

Here he is. Two years old, and already

BLOG cat breath

simple chronic halitosis 😦

So, daring lady I am, I took a look at his chompers: swollen gums and yaller teeth! Oh, the felinity! I was guessing that explained the barfed-up whole kibble, and his rubbing his drooly gums on my glasses every time I sat down. (Cat ownership is Glamorous!)

Knowing a professional cleaning was just not in the cards (besides the cost, which is substantial, your cat is doped up and freaky deaky for a whole day afterwards. It’s a major procedure and he’s just a baby!) – I hit the old laptop for a DIY cat-dentistry solution.  Cat toothpaste.

BLOG well cat

“I’n goink to ki you in yoh sleeth”

Photo from The Well Cat Book by Dr. Terri McGinnis, © 1996

Just a pinch between the cheek and gum, and – wait a second, that’s Skoal.

I did an Amazon search for “cat toothpaste” and because it’s Amazon, and you can get any two words put together, I found it! But, I wanted it NOW. When you make up your mind to brush your cat’s teeth, you’ve got to go ahead and do it, or you will lose heart.

I didn’t even go down the rabbit hole of reading the reviews like I usually do. My kitteh had gum disease and I was going to attack it. I went to my trusted local pet supply store.

hairy king

It’s a really great store, I mean, it’s fantastic. I get all my products there for my very manly mane.

It was as I feared: too much selection! They had “human looking” pastes, gels, brushes and sprays. They had kelp – probably a great idea, but I’m not sure it’s really up my cat’s alley… finally, one of the women who worked there showed me this:

BLOG cat cheese

Hint: it’s cheese

Yes, there’s very little in Wisconsin that can’t be solved with cheese. Of course! Cheese…

In large quantities, cheese isn’t healthy for cats. Or anyone. But, this is a fine powder you just put on your finger and rub on your cat’s gums (which are surprisingly foldy and extensive), and your cat does most of the work by salivating and licking it off with it’s rough tongue – built-in toothbrush!! How’s that for natural remedy?

You may be wondering how that is supposed to get the plaque and tartar off your cat’s teeth. Ideally, the enzymes in the cheese break that stuff down and it falls gracefully away like blossoms from a cherry tree.

But even if it doesn’t, who cares?, says your cat because everyone knows cheese is a natural opioid. (Here’s an article from US Weekly, where I get all of my scientific information. It concludes that everything that’s tasty is as addictive as crack. You know, Science!!)

And here in Wisconsin, we have a lot of pain to kill, which has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of dairy we eat. So welcome to the club, cats! You may lose your teeth, but don’t worry, you’ll be as numb as the rest of us.

Also, don’t be surprised if you see us sprinkling your dental supplement on our popcorn.

…Like great blogs? Here’s one you’ll love by my friend, J.W. Martin. You’ll find me there, too!

BLOG fotr

Zombies a’plenty


What’s In the Freezer?


Spring has sprung! Here in Wisconsin, that means the ground is almost thawed enough to finally bury all of those pets we loved and lost over the winter. Here Lies Sweets, parakeet popsicle…


Priority Package to Heaven!


They’re really cute when they’re alive.

Here’s Swirly the triops who ate all of his brothers, but never bothered the water flea. (We didn’t preserve the water flea – it went down the drain with the triops water.)

Any shelf in our freezer is likely to hold somebody awaiting his final resting place. Or, it could just be meat. Check with me before you help yourself – that’s a house rule.

One of these days, we’ll have a funeral. It will be a happy celebration of life! Not because these poor animals had it so great over here. I mean, little Sweets lived through three freewheeling years with our elderly cat (who was never in the freezer, BTW. I can’t even fit a pizza in that freezer.) but died of a heart attack when we got a younger, feistier cat who could actually move.

It will be a celebration because the kids will get to dig in the mud and know something they buried there will remain. Not forever – we have a terrible muskrat problem, and they dug up each expired pet hermit crab and left claws all over the lawn –  but at least until the kids go to bed.

Our intentions and loving thoughts, however, will remain. And that’s what’s important.

Ashes to ashes –  or muskrats.

Happy Spring, everyone!