Friday, March 30, 2012

Piper's First Official Vet Visit

Don't get the wrong idea from the post title - Piper has been to the vet before, back in March and April of last year when she had to have her emergency spay and subsequent check up. 

However, this was Piper's first visit to our official vet. Of course, this wasn't a planned vet trip...

Wednesday afternoon my mom noticed Piper was squint and keeping her right eye closed. We try not to be over-reactionary, but we decided to make a vet appointment to get her eye looked out. I made sure I was available to be there when Piper went to the vet, because she is my baby! I always keep a close watch one her, and I was very concerned that something was wrong with her eye.

Piper being examined by Dr. Ellison
 I noticed while Piper was being examined, that one of her whiskers fell out! I love finding their whiskers. I stuck it in the blue folder (okay so I'm a little weird, but didn't you see Catsparella's post with the people who collect whiskers?)

Piper getting a numbing eye drop.
Dr. E taking a closer look at Piper's eyes.
 The vet felt that Piper's eyes were a little inflamed, most likely from another cat and her having a rough play. She wrote down a list of suggested ointments for us to apply to Piper's eye for a day - so it will be cleared up soon! What a relief! 

Piper had the rest of her exam and got her shots, as well as a nail trim and getting a horrible matt removed (poor long haired cats). 

Piper is a very healthy cat - 9.6 pounds! She is now a little shy of two years old. I was glad that Pipes was healthy and doing well, and that her eye was nothing to worry about. She will  be back to her old self in no time.

Meanwhile...I think we may have caught the bloody-pawed culprit...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Review: Forever Paws by Christine Davis

For anyone who has lost a pet, it is known that it is like losing a family member. There aren’t really the right words to say to them that will take the pain away. So when there are no words to be said, why not send a comforting book? Forever Paws by Christine Davis is a book that will comfort the grieving.

People say that cats leave paw prints on your heart. In Christine Davis’ new book, Forever Paws, cats and dogs have forever paws – “a gift that will one day light your way back to the four-legged friend who loves you.”

Forever Paws also talks about animals taking a little piece of your heart on a ribbon, when they leave you. The idea of animals taking a piece of your heart is so true. Every time I have lost a beloved animal, part of my heart leaves with them.  Your heart never truly recovers from the loss.

The beloved pets drink out of the river of tears, a beautiful image to think of, when you’re sad and missing your companion.

In my life, I have lost 3 of my own cats, and 4 fosters. Ashley and Marsh, the first two cats I ever had (they were my dad’s cats before he even married my mom!) and my kitten Parker who I lost to FIP. And then the four foster kittens I lost in June 2011 when they were exposed to VS-FCV, Virulent Strain Feline Calici Virus.

While reading Forever Paws, I was reminded of all of my pets that I have lost. The grief is never completely gone, even when the feelings are stirred up years later. The loss can still feel recent, even if it’s been over 6 years since I lost Parker. I still think about him whenever I see my cats May and Henry curled up. May and Parker were buddies who loved to hang out and play.  And Henry, who we got 3 days after Parker died. Those three days were lonely and left a void in our hearts.

Forever Paws is also illustrated by Christine. The book is full of vibrant colors and has something to smile about on every page.

You can visit Christine’s website at Lighthearted Press. Forever Paws along with Christine’s other books are available for purchase.

I highly recommend Forever Paws if you have lost a beloved cat, or know a friend or family member struggling with the loss of their beloved pet.  

Sandpiper Cat was not compensated for this review, but we were given a free copy of Forever Paws to review. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sandpiper's Anniversary/Bloggiversary ~ 1 year!

Dear Piper,

Miss Piper Puppy! I cannot believe it has been one year since we took you in as our pregnant foster kitty. I had a feeling that you wouldn't be leaving us - but I knew for sure you were as good as ours when you spent every night curled up against my chest.

Piper 3/13/2011 - 40 days pregnant here. Same night she miscarried her kittens.
I was so sad for you, when you miscarried your kittens - it's also been one year since that happened, because you lost your kittens on the first night we got you. I remember waking up at 3 am, to you rustling around in my rooms. I knew right away what was happening. We sat with you for 4 hours while you miscarried the kittens. We cleaned you up and made sure you were comfortable. We grieved with you, and for your kittens.

Mom and dad took you to the vet for your emergency spay. You stayed overnight and I missed you so much. Everyone helped me take great care of you and helped nurse you back to health. Our friends said many comforting things to help us feel better about our and your loss. Our friend Sara even gave us a soft pink blanky and pink collar for you!

Miss Piper on 3/13/2012 with her big ruff!

It's crazy to realize that a year has gone by since I started this blog I can't believe how much you've grown! You are a big, fluffy kitty! Your white ruff blossomed as you got healthier - you look like a Maine Coon. My original icon of you, is from the first few weeks I had you. You don't even look like the same cat any more!

Piper waiting for dad to come home

The face that stole our hearts!

Piper, you are so much more than a companion to me, you're my inspiration! I would never have started this blog without you, or would it have reached the success that it has mounted to. So thank you for coming into my life, thank you for helping me reach the success that I could have only dreamed of.

Come on mom! How many pictures are you going to take before we're done.
I love you Piper! Thanks to everyone who has helped me with my blog! It would not be the same blog without my readers!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cat and Crow: Book review & giveaway

All children’s books are not created equal. Excellent children’s books are hard to come by, particularly the rare and few outstanding children’s books that feature cats. Growing up, there was always a cat book in reach. I sure wish Cat and Crow had been one of them!

Giveaway includes a copy of the book, a Cassie bookmark and a few other bookmarks.

Cat and Crow by Lisa Fleming is one of those exceptional cat stories. Based on a true story, Cat and Crow features a cat named Cassie and crow named Moses.  Cassie and Moses don’t have the typical cat and bird relationship, they have an amazing friendship!

A clip on YouTube showing Cassie and Moses interacting drew Lisa to contact Ann and Wally Collito about writing a book on their unusual story. The clip can be viewed here.

After watching the video, the book became even more vivid to me. It is really an amazing phenomenon that the cat and crow could put aside their primary instincts to hurt each other, and feed each other!

Featured in the February 20, 2012 Time Magazine, an article about the science behind animal friendships, mentions Cat and Crow!

“[Animals] use a lot of cues such as the size and fitness of potential pretty to determine if it’s worth trying to go for a kill. (This might help explain the popular online clip of a cat that seems to befriend a crow – a very large and very smart bird that would not succumb easily.)” –Time Magazine, Animal Friendships.

Cat and Crow can be purchased online at Barnes and Nobles here.

The book is visually appealing, with beautiful illustrations done by Anne Marie Dominik-Harris. The back of the book features pictures of the Collitos and real life pictures of Cassie and Moses. There are also clips of news articles featuring Cassie and Moses and fun facts about Crows and Cats.

Please make sure that you friend Cat and Crow Children’s Book on their Facebook page.

And very exciting, Lisa has given me a copy of Cat and Crow with some fun bookmarks to giveaway! So please enter the giveaway by commenting on this post. Please leave your email so I can contact you if you win. Anonymous entries will be ignored.

Winner will be chosen Friday March 23, 2012 at 4 pm EST! Enter and check out the Cat and Crow Facebook page!
This giveaway was approved by Henry: the official Sandpiper Cat  Giveaway approver.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ella Goodwin Cat Brooch Giveaway!

*Winner was comment #10 Lost in Arkansas! Enjoy your new Brooch!

 I start my day on the computer and end my day on the computer.  I’m always on Facebook, email, my blog – and one of my favorite online sites to buy things – Etsy.  I've come across many excellent sellers on Etsy, and spent many a paycheck there!

My friend Stephanie at Catsparella is always turning me on to cat product Etsy sellers. The most recent seller she posted about was Shop Miss Ella, by illustrator Ella Goodwin
And of course, this necklace is what won me over. I purchased it and wore it the moment it came! Ella packaged it in a beautiful wrapping paper and included her business card (great business woman!). 

Ella Goodwin's career path started off in costume making which led to embroidery which led to having to learn digital embroidery, she said. She then gained an interest in digital, did a degree in Animation followed by a Masters in Animation. After making lots of animated sites, she was brought right back to using traditional methods instead of computers. She adds she does a lot of finishing digitally still. Ella is now focusing on hand illustration particularly for children's narrative. 

Ella also did PGCert in teaching for Higher Education and she teaches illustration and graphic design part time as well as working as a digital technician at her local art school part time. 

On her funky designs, Ella says, "I guess I do fit a lot in, my brain gets filled up quickly with whimsical worlds and has to be emptied as frequently as possible!"

Tiger with a cute pink cat-toy.

Tiger and Chewbacca in their preferred bed.
Ella has two uber fluffy tabbies, as she puts it, named Tiger and Chewbacca. They prefer to sleep in an old cardboard box instead of their posh fluffy beds under the heater.

Ella’s father has a cat named Persephone, who is her inspiration for all of her Percy the Cat images.
Persephone looking relaxed!

She has kindly offered to do a giveaway of the Cat Brooch! Ella is located in the UK – so the giveaway is open to anyone! She has also offered a coupon ‘PERCYLOVE’ which gives a 20% discount on all items in her Etsy shop.

You can find Ella on Facebook here! Fan her and then leave a comment on my blog with your email so I have a way to contact you. Anonymous entries will be ignored.

The winner will be chosen on Friday March 9, at 3 PM EST. Good luck!
Brooch Ella is giving away!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tiniest Tiger Bag Winner!

Con-cat-ulations to Kaye S. Zigrang, with comment #13 who said, "Thanks so much! My 2 black kitties (Neo and Baby) really want this!"

Check your email inbox for an email coming soon!

-Sandpiper and Rachel