Hug/Scratch/Love Your Cat

You know how we always criticize the greeting card companies for creating holidays? It ain’t just them. Purina has declared today “Hug Your Cat Day”.  If you can’t celebrate today, someone else has declared the same thing for 24 May. I don’t know about you, but hugging my cats isn’t something they like me to do. Perhaps they ought to rename it “Scratch Your Cat” day. Scritches are always welcome! (Every day is ‘Scratch the Cat’ and ‘Rub the Tum’ day in this house.)

If you’ve followed this blog for a month, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that we have two kittens in the house.  That hasn’t happened in eight years and I’d forgotten just how rambunctious they can be. Purrs & kisses wake me up in the dead of night; there are 3-ring binders in odd places in my office to block them from getting into the snakes’ nest of cables behind my desk; and we’ve had to hide all sorts of things in cupboards because they’ve figured out how to climb up to the counters. (I’m waiting for the traditional opening of the lower cabinet doors. That ought to happen within a month.)

Hiding things also means protecting them. That means some of my herbs and all of my essential oils. Most herbs won’t hurt a cat but unlike dogs, they can’t metabolize essential oils at all and the last thing I want is for one of them to lick a stray drop on a bottle and poison themselves.

They’re not allowed into the greater outdoors so I don’t have to worry about fleas or ticks, thank goodness.  If they did go into the woods, this herby person would be using the commercial flea & tick preparations formulated specifically for cats – I don’t know of anything herbal that deters ticks. There are some herbs/essential oils that may help with fleas but again, I wouldn’t apply them directly to the cat’s skin. If you want to try the herbal route, soak some cotton braid of a length appropriate for your pet in a combination of rosemary & rose geranium essential oils. Hang it up to dry and then use the braid as a collar for your dog or cat, fixing the ends with sewn-on Velcro or a clasp off an old collar. You can also scatter powdered pennyroyal around their sleeping area, or sprinkle it on your carpeting & vacuum after 30 minutes or so. (Pennyroyal essential oil can be toxic – even to humans. Use the herb, please.)

One thing Maks & Misha do is make me slow down. I can’t help but stop what I’m doing to watch them play, or sleep all piled together (Misha with his tongue sticking out).  No matter what, they bring a smile to my face … they’re so cute. Our 13 year old, Belette is even getting used to them – she’s only taken a couple of swipes this week and allows them to touch noses.  That makes me smile, too. I don’t ever expect her to cuddle up with them (I’d probably have a heart attack if she did), but as long as they don’t get into any spitting matches, things are good.

I need to stop now so I can finish my preparations for this weekend. I’ll be peddling my wares here. Will I see you there? If not, give your pet a hug (or a scritch) from me.