Share + Give – Cats Advocates of Troy + Purrs in Piqua

This month’s Share + Give is all about cats – which are pretty much my everything. I love hanging out with my cats, talking about my cats, meeting other people’s cats, looking at pictures of cats on Instagram and watching funny cat videos on YouTube. While I love love love cats, I know that overpopulation is a serious problem. There are simply too many cats and not enough crazy cat ladies and gents (me and my husband included) to give them all homes. Always get your cat spayed or neutered, dear readers! If you need a vet in Miami County, I know a guy. 😉

Speaking of cats, Miami County, and cat overpopulation… did you know that Miami County is lucky enough to have not only one TNR organization in our community but two TNR organizations? TNR stands for Trap, Neuter, Return and is a way to control stray and feral cat populations. A female cat can have, on average, two to three litters of kittens a year. If each litter has 6 kittens and the female cat lives to be 10 or 11 years old, she could give birth to 120 to 180 kittens in her lifetime! That’s a really high number and that’s looking at one cat if we take into consideration the female cats of each litter also having 120 to 180 kittens in their lifetime the number gets even bigger and even more out of control. Spaying or neutering is the best way to control cat populations and TNR is the best way to control the population of stray and feral cats.

Purrs in Piqua, started by Tiffany Pontius in March 2015, is a group of volunteers who practice TNR in Piqua. Since April 2015 Purrs has neutered 250 cats, thus preventing thousands of unwanted kittens from being born on the streets of Piqua. Purrs has been able to raise over $7000 since September 2015. 90% of the money raised goes directly to veterinary fees.

Cat Advocates of Troy, founded by Felicia Watson in June 2016, is also a group of dedicated volunteers who practice TNR to control the population of stray and feral cats. In addition to getting cats spayed or neutered, the cats are vaccinated and ear tipped (in order to identify that they have been neutered). After the cats have time to recover, they are then returned to the area in which they were trapped.

I also have to point out how awesome these two organizations names and logos are – Purrs has an ear tipped cat for their logo and Cat Advocates of Troy, or CAT, has a cat in their logo which also spells CAT. It’s almost too purrrfect.

Purrs and CAT are both local organizations, so I’ve had the opportunity to interview both Tiffany and Felicia. In order to better highlight each of these organizations, I will be posting each interview separately later this week. So, you will get to learn more about two TNR organizations and see more pictures of cats. I might also finally remember how to spell neuter correctly… win-win-win.

Since I’m focusing on two organizations this month, I am splitting my donations, $15 towards Cat Advocates of Troy and $15 towards Purrs in Piqua.

Donate to Purrs in Piqua Here

Donate to Cat Advocates of Troy Here

 

I am making my donation in honor of:

  • Lori – my mom, who always talked my dad into keeping the kittens I brought home.
  • Michelle – my friend who loves cats so much she had allergy shots so she can have cats of her own, sans sniffles!
  • Anita – a family friend who shares my family’s love of cats, gardening, and a good bonfire.
  • Taylor – a fellow cat and coffee lover – I love sharing cat stories with Taylor while pulling shots of espresso at Winans!
  • Amanda – my first crazy cat lady internet crush – Amanda is an amazing advocate for women’s reproductive rights and has a bad-ass kitty named Boo Radley.
  • Patty – one of my WGS professors from Ohio University – I knew she was going to be one of my favorite professors when she started a lecture with pictures from I Can Has Cheezburger.

Happy Share + Give 2017!

If you feel like sharing the love by sharing this post on your social channels and/or by giving to Cats Advocates of Troy or Purrs in Piqua in honor of a friend or family member, please use the following hashtags in your post! You don’t have to donate to share the love, just re-tweet or share on FB or regram on Instagram! Let’s see how far we can Share + Give!

#shareandgive2017
#thisohiolife
#CatAdvocatesofOhio #PurrsinPiqua #tnr #trapneuterreturn #spayandneuter #straycat #feralcat

Amelia Rabbit – Catblog

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My third and final catblog is all about Amelia! Amelia is our youngest cat and the latest addition to our little family. She’s six years old today, April 26th, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMELIA!!! Edible/Food Smilies

I found Amelia in the park where I worked in Columbus in October 2010. Kenneth and I had just moved to Columbus that summer. It was a really busy time for us: we graduated from Ohio University in June, moved to Columbus the next day, I started a job in July, we got married in August and Kenneth started vet school at OSU in September. So it was definitely the perfect time for a new cat, right? Happy Smilies

For a few weeks at work I kept seeing this cute little brown tabby cat, who was so friendly yet anxious and very hungry… I had to take her home!

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These are my first photos of Amelia. She’s not eating vegan butter; I just needed a container for the kitten food I brought her. (I put the collar on her the day I decided to take her home, Halloween was coming up and I was worried she might be hurt by pranksters if she was “just a stray cat”)

At this point in our cat-parenthood, Kenneth and I were much more aware of the different ways to introduce new cats to the home. Amelia was quarantined in our study until we could take her to the vet for her first check-up and vaccinations (also until Kenneth accepted that we were indeed keeping her and he stopped trying to pawn her off onto his new classmates). 

Livy and Emma got to know Amelia through the crack under the door to the study. They even had meals together! We also only let Amelia out of the study for short periods of time, rather than just letting her roam the apartment all at once. One of my favorite kitty celebrity duos, The ShoKo Show, have a great post about introducing cats if you want more info.

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Amelia, whose full name is Amelia Rabbit Pond, hasn’t grown much since I brought her home. We estimated, and our veterinarian agreed, that she was about six months when we got her. She’s a petite little thing, only weighing seven pounds. This is to her advantage because she likes perching in weird spots for naps, like on the narrowest part of our furniture, or sitting on my or Kenneth’s hip when we’re sleeping in bed.

We named her Amelia, originally after Amelia Earhart, but upon watching Season 5 of Doctor Who, we decided that she is also partly named for Amelia (Amy) Pond. Her middle name is rabbit because of where I met her (garden) and the fact that it looked like she was trying to eat mulch one of the times I visited her outside before bringing her home. She’s skittish also, like a rabbit.

Some of her nicknames are Mealies, Meals-On-Wheels and Mealiers. Don’t ask me why because while I came up with these nicknames I don’t understand them anymore than you do. Silly Smilies

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Amelia has such beautiful markings. She reminds me of her ancestors, the African Wildcat (Felis sylvestris lybica) and falls into three of the four different tabby cat classifications, based on her fur patterns.

At first glance, Amelia looks like the tiger-striped, or mackerel, tabby cat. She has striped rings on her tail, arms and on legs. Some of her stripes though are very broken, her chest is mostly spotted rather than stripped so she fits into the spotted category. Finally, many of Amelia’s hairs are agouti, or ticked. These hairs have different bands of color on them, we can always tell if a cat hair belonged to Amelia!

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Amelia is a strange little cat. When we first brought her home she was scared of EVERYTHING. She was scared of loud noises, new smells and sudden movements. She was scared of us for so long that we have a running joke that she thinks we’re planning on eating her. She’s a furry little ball of anxiety.

But she’s become brave, much braver than Emma or Olivia. Amelia is the first cat to come and sniff any new people that we have to our house (even the maintenance guys at our old apartments). Our cats usually hide when someone they don’t know comes to our home, I was shocked the first time Amelia walked up to a guy looking at our hot water heater and started sniffing his tool box and even his boots. Surprised Smilies

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Amelia is also the most aggressive when it comes to playing. She likes to start tussles with both of her sisters and gets very possessive of her toys. She has a mouse that we have to keep shut away in a drawer because when she has it she growls at anyone who comes near her. We only give it to her to play with for short periods of time – it’s funny how quickly her mood and demeanor change once she has that little green spotted mouse!

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Overall though, Amelia gets along really well with her sisters. She’s very loving and likes to give head licks and kisses, though she usually expects some head licks in return. Emma and Amelia are very close, often cuddling together and giving each other baths. The baths usually end in a cat tussle though, I always wonder what starts their arguments (I know Amelia instigates them, but what does she do to set Emma off?)! Expressive Smilies

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I love it when I see a cuddle puddle of my own cats!

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Amelia is easily offended by strong odors. And by strong odors I mean things that most people enjoy the smell of, like lemons, honey and lotion. She’s so offended by the smell of my lip balm (Burt’s Bees lip balm! Animal Smilies) that she makes a face every time she sees the yellow tube in my hand. It doesn’t even have to be opened!

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Amelia is by far the most photogenic cat I’ve ever had the pleasure of photographing (Emma is the least photogenic, whenever you try to get her to look at you she comes to you instead). Amelia stays super still and will let me get close to her for detailed macro shots of her whiskers, nose and tongue. She also makes some of the most ridiculous faces – which I try to capture!

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So. Much. Sass!

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Amelia is the cuddler in our family – she loves to snuggle or just lay on top of us, which is what she is doing to Kenneth’s arm in the above picture. Amelia usually spends part of the night sleeping on my chest or Kenneth’s, or on one of our hips. She also likes to sit on the couch and cuddle, but like Emma, you almost always have to get a pillow for her to sit on first.

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This girl loves sleeping in clean laundry! If she gets to a pile of warm, freshly dried clothes before I can fold them, she’ll tunnel into the basket and make herself a little nest.

She loves sleeping on our clothes so much that I made her a sweater bed out of one of my old sweaters. I followed the directions I found in Mother Earth News for The Purr-fect Homemade Cat Bed. It was pretty easy to put together and when I posted a photo of Amelia on it on Twitter, Mother Earth News asked if they could publish a photo of her in their next issue!

A Comfy, Cozy Cat Nap
The instructions from Elizabeth Atia in The Purr-fect Homemade Cat Bed (Country Lore, October/November 2014) were so easy to follow. I only made a few changes, using an old long-sleeved shirt instead of a sweater, and substituting polyfill stuffing in the arms of the shirt (the outer edge of the bed). All the bed needed was a little catnip to entice Amelia to curl up. It’s been less than a week since I made it, and it has already become a popular napping spot!

Courtney Denning Cincinnati, Ohio

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I like to make cat toys out of old clothes, like socks with holes in the toe or tights that I no longer wear. If they have catnip in them, Amelia is usually the first cat to play with them and they’re pretty slobbery when she’s done.

I wrote a blog post for the Mother Earth News Blog on how to make the socktopi (socktopus, like octopus) that Amelia is sitting with in the above photo. They’re made from old socks and stuffed with a little catnip and polyfil stuffing – Amelia adores them!

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Amelia and Olivia are our catnip and cat grass fiends! They love anything green so I like to treat them with fresh and dried catnip and the occasional blade of cat grass (also known as wheat grass). They both go crazy for the ‘nip!

Amelia is our only cat with known food allergies. She can’t have seafood, if she does she breaks out with a huge pimple-like bump on her chin. We have to be careful when picking out new wet cat foods for them or treats to make sure fish and other sea creatures aren’t in the ingredient list. Amelia, obviously, doesn’t understand her food limitations and is the biggest beggar when it comes to fish! Animal Smilies

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This photo says so much about our three cats. Amelia is being weird picking up a bite of food at a time and chewing it over the carpet instead of the bowl. Emma is getting ready to steal from Amelia’s bowl. Olivia has been caught mid-lick or begging cry and has a strange expression on her face. That’s the power of three people! Three little furry weirdos who I love so much!

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The above photo is one of my favorite activities – snuggling with my girls. This usually only happens in winter, when our apartment is cold, so I know part of why they’re all sitting with me is because they’re cold. But I don’t care – it’s one of the few reasons that makes winter not so bad! Look at how sweet they look!

And here’s a final photo of our little Amelia – weirding out for no apparent reason but looking adorable while doing it. Silly Smilies

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Emma Fox – Catblog

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It’s time for my second catblog, dedicated to our middle fur-child, Emma Fox. Her full name is Emma Fox Ninja Toothless Night Fury, but she’ll answer to Emma. A few of her many nicknames include Lemma, Emma Lemma and Donks/Donkus.

Emma is nearly seven years old, her birthday is next month on April 2nd. We’ve had her since she was around six months old and she’s definitely our smartest, bravest and most food-motivated cat.

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Since Emma was already several months old when we adopted her, I don’t have any photos of her as an itteh bitteh kitteh. These are some of her earliest pics though. Her ears were waaay too big for her little head and she was super scrawny.

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I met Emma by accident. I had an appointment at OU’s Student Health Center and on my way into the building I ran into two student doctors. They had found this little black kitten under someone’s car while getting lunch on Court Street. The owner of the car had a cat carrier with her (who doesn’t keep an extra cat carrier in one’s car? Winking ) but couldn’t take the kitten with her. So these two students, who were both new to the area, had this kitten and didn’t know what to do with her. At the time Kenneth was a volunteer with the Athens County Humane Society so I offered to take the kitten after my appointment and help find her a home. I didn’t realize at the time that I wouldn’t be able to give her up.

Very cool coincidence with this story: one of the student doctors ended up being a doctor I saw in Columbus, she even remembered Emma when we put two and two together! Small world! Nature Smilies

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It didn’t take long for Emma to weasel her way into our hearts, despite her fleas and ears full of mites. After the initial shock of me bringing home another cat, Kenneth tried to find someone to adopt her. The search lasted about a week before he too was hooked.

I love the above photo of Emma. When she eats, she likes to put the front of her chest into the food dish. She’s done this since I first brought her home and still does it today.

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Emma was obsessed with Olivia. As soon as we introduced them Emma was Livy’s shadow; always wanting to play, cuddle or lick Livy. I don’t think Olivia knew what to make of Emma, but she tolerated her well after she got used to her.

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Emma has always been a very affectionate, cuddly cat. But only on her terms. If you want Emma to sit on the couch with you, you must have a pillow for her to sit on. Neck rubs are a must, or she might lose interest after a few minutes… well she still might lose interest, but you have a better chance of her staying with a neck rub. Emma will then reward you with the deepest, sweetest purring and the goofy, open air kneading characteristic of a very happy cat.

For the first few years of her life, Emma almost exclusively slept on Kenneth’s pillow. This wasn’t a big deal when she was a kitten, but as she grew, she took up more space and Kenneth didn’t have the heart to scooch her over. For a while Kenneth had either no pillow or just a corner of his pillow at night.

Now Emma prefers to sleep somewhere on the bed at night, sometimes in Livy’s spot at my feet (it does not go over well with Livy), usually though she’s at Kenneth’s feet or his side. She likes to give kisses when we’re in bed and is fascinated with smelling people’s hair (Livy loves to smell coats, I guess we all have our “thing”). No matter where she is, if you give Emma a good neck rub, she’ll be your best buddy for life. love smileys

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Emma is definitely Kenneth’s cat. Despite the fact that I brought her home and convinced Kenneth to let her stay… she is entirely his baby. She can get away with just about anything when it comes to Kenneth too.

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Emma is our little bobcat. She was born in Athens, Ohio and we adopted her during our senior year at Ohio University.

Doesn’t she look cute in this baby OU t-shirt?

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Just like Livy with her extra long spine and cataracts in her eyes, Emma has some unique physical attributes as well. We joke that Livy stole a lumbar vertebra from Emma because Emma only has six (cats are supposed to have seven and Olivia has eight)! These are the things you find out about your pets when you’re married to a veterinarian! Happy Smilies

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Emma’s eyes are also a little strange. We’re not sure if it’s an actual medical condition, but one of her pupils is usually more dilated and appears larger than the other pupil. You can see in the above photo that her right pupil is bigger than her left. This usually gives Emma a funny look in her eyes in photos, you really have to look for it in person.

One of Emma’s most adorable quirks is her “backwards” tail. Her tail always tips towards her head, like a little shepherd’s crook. She’s been known to knock things off low tables with her tail, usually on to her head.

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Our sweet little Emma also has asthma. Kenneth and I noticed she had these strange coughing fits when he was a student in vet school. At first we thought she was trying to cough up a hairball, but she never did. She’d just have this hoarse cough and tilt her head from side to side. Our veterinarian in Columbus diagnosed Emma with feline asthma and gave us a prescription inhaler and steroids.  Now, Emma only needs to use her steroids or inhaler a few days a year.

If you’ve never seen a feline asthma attack before, there are a plethora of videos on YouTube. This poor cat looks a lot like Emma with his asthma attack.

Always ask your veterinarian if you suspect something is wrong with your pet, don’t use my blog or YouTube to diagnose. Employment/Work Smilies

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Emma is our little glutton. She loves to eat and will go to great lengths to get food… or annoy us until we give her food. I’ve caught her on multiple occasions face first in the food bag or container, one of her favorite tricks is to get into the container, then shove as much food in her face (much like a chipmunk or hamster would) so that when we catch her she can spit the food out and eat it at her leisure.

When feeling hungry Emma will cry at us to feed her. If we don’t give into her pitiful wails, she will knock items off of tables, often while staring us in the face. She will lick the blinds (one of her most annoying habits!), run her paws on doors, the dryer, really any flat upright surface she can find (she loves to do it on the food container, she’s also used Kenneth’s binders for school). I remember vividly the first time Emma decided to no longer ask, but demand to be fed. Kenneth and I were sleeping in on a Saturday morning when all of a sudden a very bright light flooded our bedroom. Emma had climbed up onto our clothes hamper and pulled down the blanket we were using as a makeshift curtain. We haven’t slept through the night since. Sad Smilies

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Emma is the first cat to figure out a new food puzzle (we’re not sure if it’s because she’s the smartest or most dedicated, I have a feeling the other two are just a tad lazy), and the first cat to eat someone else’s, including her own, vomit. The weirdest thing about Emma’s voracious appetite? She is rarely interested in human food. She just really loves cat food.

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Emma and Olivia, best buds for life.

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Until I bring home a third cat! Emma and Amelia adore each other. Shortly after Amelia was introduced to our little family I’d find the two of them curled up together, arms around each other, licking each others faces. Our cuddle bear Emma finally found a friend who wants to snuggle as much as she does. love smileys

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Emma is the most adorable napper. She loves to sprawl out on her belly in the sun. First she’ll take a bath, lying on her back, then she’ll pass out, legs splayed, white spot on her belly unabashedly displayed.

She also likes to sleep on her face. It must be comfortable, but we’re a little unsure how she breathes.

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This is Emma, our middle fur-child who will not, under any circumstances be ignored.

She’s sweet, sassy and cuddly like a teddy bear – I love her so much! We’re so lucky that my path crossed hers when it did!

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Olivia Bear – Catblog

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Hello readers – it’s been a while! I learned recently that my absence on the blog and social media as of late has been noticed, mostly because I haven’t been posting very many cat photos. I’ve been working extra hours so the cats and I have not been hanging out as much as I would like to, which means fewer pics and fewer posts.

Since my fans have spoken, I have decided to write three cat blogs, one for each of my lovely furry beasts. We’ll start with Olivia, she’s the oldest and the bossiest so she’s usually first anyway. Winking

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This is one of my first photos of Olivia and one of my favorites of her as a kitten. ♥

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I adopted Olivia Bear (full name Olivia Bear Grace Brunson) as a very teeny tiny kitten from the Miami County Animal Shelter in the summer of 2008. She was so small she could sit in the palm of your hand! My Mom’s cat, Toby, quickly became her “manny” (male nanny). They were inseparable – he even chewed off her whiskers like a mother cat would to keep their babies close (see how short they are in the above photo?).

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When Kenneth and I moved into our first apartment together in Athens, Olivia came with us. For a few months it was just the three of us… until I brought home another kitten whom we named Emma.

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Olivia was a small kitten, but she grew into a huge, long cat! She’s nearly three feet when she stretches out on the flour. Part of this length is due to an extra vertebra in her back; she has eight lumbar vertebra instead of the usual seven! She also has very long back legs, which makes her gait more closely resemble that of a racoon rather than a cat. One of her many nicknames is Livy Long Cat.

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Olivia has some of the longest whiskers I have ever seen on a cat. They droop down, making her look a little walrus-y.

Her fur is super silky and smooth. When she was a kitten a lot of people thought she would have long fur. She’s technically a domestic short-hair cat, but her fur is longer than Emma and Amelia’s. Her fur has always smelled like fresh baby powder.

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Olivia also has Y-suture congenital cataracts. We noticed she had it when she was little, the Y-shaped dots would appear in her eyes in photos with a flash. From what we can tell it doesn’t affect her vision and she takes really cool photos!

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Olivia is my shadow. She is usually in or near whatever room I am in and we snuggle together on the couch almost every night. When she was little she could sleep under the shelf on this desk at my parents’ house. She was so confused when she got older and couldn’t get under there anymore!

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When Olivia lived at my parents house, she wore plastic nail caps. They covered her claws so she wouldn’t scratch up the furniture. For a while my friends on Facebook thought I was painting her nails!

The nail caps were a pain to put on so we stopped using them. Now we regularly trim everyone’s claws and let them run their nails on their cardboard scratching post and cat tree.

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Olivia loves string. All types of string, yarn, ribbon, rubber bands, hair ties… if it’s thin and string-like she will try to eat it. She’s been successful a few times and Kenneth found Livy made garland in the litterbox a few days after she ate my string. Now we’re always careful about leaving anything long and stringy out where she can get to it.

She loves to watch me sew – she knows the sound of my sewing tin where I keep needles and other supplies and will come running when she hears it. Livy can sit, entranced, for hours while I work on a project.

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Olivia has impeccable fashion sense and is always dressed in her classic black and white tuxedo. She sometimes adds accessories.

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Livy is full of sass. I named her for Mariska Hargitay’s character, Detective Olivia Benson, on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. It was and still is one of my favorite television shows, and Olivia Benson is a bad ass!

While her name is Olivia, we often call her by one of her many, many nicknames. These include: Livy, Liv, Lou, Lou Lou Bear, Boo Bear, Beetles, Beats, Beetle Bop… There are probably more nicknames that she has had over the years but I can’t remember them all!

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Did you know that Olivia is famous? I submitted a picture of her as a kitten to icanhascheezburger.com and she was included in the Teh Itteh Bitteh Book of Kittehs and a calendar.

Fame has not changed her, she was spoiled, sassy and entitled before the book was published. Silly Smilies

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Olivia loves to eat. She especially loves human food, like my gluten-free baked goods. I can’t keep her away from cookies, bread, muffins and cupcakes. Cats are not supposed to be able to taste sweet flavors, but Olivia’s desire for treats like these make us wonder.

We do allow her to have popcorn. She started eating it when she was very little (what, your cats don’t eat popcorn? Silly Smilies) and still loves it. She sits in the kitchen when we start making the popcorn, impatiently waiting for her share. We give her just the soft parts, she’ll spit out pieces if they have kernels in them. She LOVES popcorn!

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She also loves catnip! We give her and Amelia both fresh and dried catnip(Emma has never gotten into catnip; she says “drugs are bad”). And they go crazy, as cats do. 🙂

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This is an example of Livy being my little shadow. I was printing our wedding invitations and laying them out to dry before stacking them together. She decided to sprawl out and take a nap on them. I love it when her and Emma spread out and sleep like this. They look so vulnerable and sweet, it shows me that they feel safe with us, and that they’re comfortable.

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Olivia is the first animal that has truly been “mine.” She was our first foray into adult pet ownership and she got us ready to be able to also care for Emma and Amelia. Olivia is mine, but I’m also hers. We share a special bond, she knows when I’m sad and need love and I can tell when she needs attention and wants to play or just wants a belly rub.

She’s my sweet little girl whom I love dearly!

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