Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Name Thee…

How do we chose our pets names? Is it by their individual personalities? Or do we choose a random adorable sounding word or expression that will add to our affections? Is a common method of choice the old fall back of universally cute names such as fluffy, spot and butch that just seem to ‘fit’ your pets so well? Is there a creative flair when we decide to name our pets with syllabic similarities? This process can be arduous at times, for there are many accounts where the name of the animal, is his name, such as kitty, or sausage (for sausage dogs, ofcourse). And many people seem to find that historical figures seem to embody their animals personalities. There is also the possibility that we humans suffer from wishful thinking, calling our beloved pets Einstein, Hercules and Merlin will not turn them into a genius, a hero, or a magical wise man respectively. I repeat they will not grow into their names, and no matter how often you imagine to find them display characteristics, it is coincidental, not fated.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moggies Away!

Do you have a little stray running around in your back yard? If you do, then I’m sure you find them wonders to behold. Just like any ‘breed’ in life, it’s often the commoners that provide the backbone of life as we know it. Moggies, as we call them in South Africa, are stray cats that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They have a sense of roguishness that compels us helpless humans to fall in love with them. A rough and untamed, or not constructed, spirit that bubbles through these pets personalities is that which attracts us. So the next time you chase away that stray eating your pure-breds food, remind yourself of the horrible plight that these colourful creatures have, the plight of un-appreciation.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oh the rich and idle!

When cats don’t eat, they sleep, when they don’t sleep, they play. What is it that compels all living beings to play? As humans, we add to that equation, namely, work. But if you think about the motivation for work, it is to facilitate the above basic needs and comforts. Animals don’t need to work, except for ‘hunting’ and pets are even more privileged in the sense that they don’t have to strive for their existence at all!
In the scheme of things, pets could be said to be on top of the hierarchy of civilisations, for they are the rich of society, no longer thinking of survival, but thinking of those deeper questions in life, the questions we, as their servants don’t dare to ponder.

Monday, April 27, 2009

How do animals tell time?

Instinct is such a foreign concept for us because we had suppressed our basic inclinations a long time ago for a lack of need. Thus we wonder at the miraculous ability that our pets have to tell time. They often remind us when its dinner time, breakfast and lunch. On weekends they let us sleep in as they know we will resist all efforts to be awoken. Our animals are amazing creatures; they have an innate ability to sense time and the passing of it. We rely on our watches, electrical equipment that determines our lives and our every moment and movement. We have become so dependant that we no longer trust in our own instinct and innate abilities.
Next time you glance at your watch, your alarm go’s off or your cat reminds you that its feeding time, take a note out of their lives and turn off those controlling machines, and just feel life and the passing of time.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Yummy… Dairy!

Why do cats have such a liking for milk? What is it that makes them smell the dairy wherever your are, and rush to get a small lick?
Could it be that the smell of milk so reminds them of their days as kittens that the security and comfort the smell brings is irresistible to a animal renowned for it aloofness and independence. When one amused reader commented on the fact that each morning, when she has her breakfast, cereal with milk or yogurt, her 14 year old cat hastens, from the front garden, or wherever it is she was sleeping, to sit at the foot of her bed and beg ceaselessly for the leftover milk in the cereal bowl.

Watch this space for some hard facts pertaining to cats and their milk fetish - it is not as healthy as you might think!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Foamy Frivolity.

Have you ever wondered about the curios way that dogs love water and cats are repelled by it? The image of a cat cringing while walking on wet grass is priceless, for there is no better example of pure disgust, and I’m sure that each cat owner has at one time or another tried to bathe their dirty felines, only to get numerous gashes and gauges for their efforts. But when a dog gets the opportunity to run by the sea, the first thing he does is head straight for the water, then he robustly plays in the waves. Bath time is an event, one where everyone gets wet and emerges with tolerant smiles.
It is true what they say about dogs and cats, they cannot be more different, at least in this respect.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nature vs. Nurture

Is aggression bred? Or cultivated by circumstances? This question has been pondered for many decades, by many philosophers. One has to agree that there are certain breeds that are inherently more aggressive than others, for example, the pit-bull vs. the poodle. But if a pet grows up in a hostile and unhealthy environment, it is expected that the attention they know, is generated through negative reinforcement and just like any being, they will strive to make their presence known through aggression. Just like any human being, animals are products of their environment and the way they learned how to interact with others, by the way they were treated, formulates the type of relationships they cultivate.
So it is conclusive that while some characteristics are part of your genetic make-up, the emotions and personality traits that we all have can be encouraged to become prominent.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Female Cats and Male Dogs.

It is a known fact that Women are automatically associated with cats, and Men are linked to dogs for is the old adage not, dog is man’s best friend, and everyone knows of the old cat lady, sitting in her apartment block, content with her circumstances. Why is it though, that the sexes are categorized with these animals? Is it the obtuseness of dogs that makes us automatically associate them with men? Is it the independence and haughty attitude of cats that remind us of women? Personality though, seems to be a major factor in this referendum, as the animals basic and stereotypical characteristics are what we link with the assumed characteristics of the sexes. Usually these are not positive associations but if you chose to believe it, you can think that men and dogs are considered as loyal and women and cats are independent and strong willed.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Time to leave the nest!

Would cats choose to keep their offspring with them, or does independence = the boot?
This question would plague many a cat owner if they had to truly think about it. We often have to sell or give kittens away. And this should bring this question to mind. Our initial instinct, as human beings is to deny the possibility that animals need to keep their children close, like us, so we believe that like a wild animal, they will kick the kids from the nest. Is this just a comfortable belief though? There have been many cases of cats that get to keep their kittens and the mother and child is just as close as any other human relationship you can think of, to the point that they still sleep together after 12 years. Now, with cases such as that, we have to reconsider the emotional trauma we inflict on our pets when we forcibly remove their babies.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Hygienic!

Keeping your house clean with animals can be a daunting job but we have to maintain a hygienic environment at home for our health, and this is amplified by the inclusion of animals as a dirty house can lead to a number of illnesses for both parties.
Here are a few handy tips when dealing with a few pesky problems.
• When dealing with pet hair, its always good to vacuum as often as possible, spray furniture with a mixture of fabric softener and water or sprinkle your furniture with a bit of baking soda, to make the hair come off easier.
• Use ammonia free detergents as they will not encourage pets to spray and mark their territory.
• Potty train your pet at a young age.
• Groom your pet regularly and make sure that they are tick, flea and worm free,
• There are numerous odour removers and stain removers on the market that are specifically designed to get rid of pet related problems.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to keep your pet Warm

The arrival of winter brings many small tasks into consideration, tasks that involve warming up ourselves and our pets, and staying disease free!
There are many ways to do this, one common one is the incorporation of heaters into our living spaces. But, with the amount of energy these machines consume, we are forced to think up alternatives, so we cover ourselves and our pets in extra blankets, we close all the windows and doors to keep heat in and we all congregate in one room, laying close and feeding off body heat.

There is a new product on the line that seems to offer an alternative to these methods though, and that is a infrared light that hooks into the ceiling, offering your pets a wonderful cosy red spotlight that only heats their bodies, and not the room. The infrared light is also known for its healing properties, as it reduces pain and inflammation. For more info consult the April issue of Animal Talk.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Do animals have a sense of humour?

Notice how your cat hides behind the curtain and jumps out at you, when you at your most relaxed, only to scare you out of your skin! Afterwards, she will prance around the room with her tail held high and this scheming glint in her eye. When she purposely wakes you an hour earlier on weekends for no particular reason as her food bowl is full, and just trots contentedly away as you scowl at her back you know she is giggling at your disgruntled glare. Dogs will fetch the stick you through them only to refuse to give it up, all the while watching you struggle and attempt to retrieve the stick to no avail. As soon as you give up, he will drop it at your feet and give you an oh so innocent look. Thus it is obvious that your pets have a sense of humour, whether it be sadistic of teasing, they amuse themselves often at our expense.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Blogging your pets

It is not surprising to note how the cyberpet space has flourished with the onset of networking websites such as Facebook. We feel a certain elation when we see others share our passion for our pets as it assures us we are not totally obsessed and abnormal. But as with any other hobby, this can lead into a certain fanaticism that can be detrimental not only to your personal life, but your pets’ welfare too.
When you get so absorbed into the cyberspace network that you accidentally forget your pets meal time or you obsess about the best dog cushion to buy and neglect to brush your friend it might be the best course of action to start turning to your companion for love and fun, rather than to your PC and the pet blog spot. Rather send us your stories and share with a growing pet-loving community than do it alone!