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Today is National Hairball Awareness Day! Wanna Win a Furminator?

April 30, 2010

Brewskie Butt with FurminatorYay! Today is National Hairball Awareness Day! Not only that, it is also the day that I announce my first ever contest on this blog!

The good folks at Furminator, Inc. are givin’ me a brand new Cat Deluxe Furminator to give out as a contest prize.

Thanks guys!

So, I have thought long and hard about how to do my contest.

I want to do somethin’ unique and fun. I considered doin’ somethin’ like havin’ folks tell their worst hairball story, or their most unique place that they had left a hairball. But, I really, didn’t want to read all those, er, indelicate stories.

Then I thought about doin’ a measurin’ contest, but I found that my good furriend Sparkle the Designer Cat had already done that.

So I decided to do somethin’ that would allow my furriends to tell a little bit about themselves that didn’t gross everyone out.

I read I Rescued a Human Today this week after someone posted it on my Facebook page, and I thought, I’d like to hear about how my pals rescued their humans.

So here’s my contest. I want you to tell me about how you rescued your human in the comments on this post. How did you find yer human, and how did you change their life around? How have you made yours a better human by havin’ you in their life?

Your story doesn’t hafta be real long. Just give us the highlights.

The critter with the most interesting and/or touching story will win a Cat Deluxe Furminator AND they will also get to have a guest post here on my blog. Sound cool?

You have until May 13, 2010 to tell yer story in the comments. I will announce the winner here on my blog on Friday, May 14.

You don’t hafta be a cat to share your story or win the prize. The prize is fur cats, though, so if you are not a cat, please tell us about the cat to whom you plan to give the prize.

I can’t wait to read yer stories!

In the meantime, here are some more tips from Furminator, Inc. about dealing with hairballs and such:

A Closer Looks At Cats: Wellness, Aging, Instincts & Hairballs

In observation of National Hairball Awareness Day (April 30th), we’re taking a closer look at the cat: feline wellness, aging, instincts and the dreaded hairball! *Provided by FURminator, Inc.

Did you know?:

  • When a cat coughs up a hairball, it is actually choking. This hacking can be dangerous and can cause death in some cases. Cats will over-groom themselves, especially in the spring during peak shedding season. To reduce the amount of hair ingested, and the corresponding hack that follows, many veterinarians recommend the FURminator deLuxe deShedding Tool for cats; it’s a safe, natural and holistic way to lessen the amount of hair cats ingest.
  • Cats have primal instincts and the location of their water bowl can prove it. In the wild a cat would never drag its kill to a watering hole to eat and drink at the same time. House cats have inherited this same instinct. Owners should keep a cat’s water bowl in a separate location than their food bowl. Cats will drink more water (and this increase will help their system clean itself of ingested hair).
  • A cat’s age can affect how they shed. As a kitten matures their coat changes in several ways – texture, thickness, curl and coloring. This transition may take up to two years depending on the breed. Once a kitten’s coat has matured they will begin to shed more by dropping their “kitten coat”. Consult with a veterinarian or groomer on when a cat’s grooming needs change.
  • Keep cats active to stay healthy; they’re athletes at heart. A healthy cat can jump as much as seven times its height and yet 21 percent of cats are considered obese or overweight by their veterinarians. Interactive toys with feathers on the end will encourage cats to leap, stretch and stay active. Keeping cats active will help them maintain a healthy skin and coat, as well as increase balance and coordination.

Hope you have a hairball free day today!

Just meowin’.

The Brew

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16 Comments
  1. April 30, 2010 10:21 am

    My story isn’t really that special, but one day, like most days, I was sitting all bored in the stinky pet store when a Girl and her mom walked in. You could tell just by looking at her (I could see back then) that the Girl was hoping against hope she would find something here, that she’d been looking and looking for a friend. It was nearing her birthday, she’d just bought her first home, and it was big and empty and lonely. When she saw me, she tried to contain her excitement; I wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. But she asked to hold me and as soon as her hands touched me and she cuddled me to her chest, I knew I had her! I made sure to do that chihuahua-shiver and look at her with my ginormous sad eyes.

    She didn’t let me go all the while she was picking out accessories and some food bowls and all those things dogs need. On our way home (home!) she did leave me in the car for a minute and when she came out, I was warbling like crazy, and she knew right then I expected to go EVERYWHERE with her. …And I pretty much do!

    This time of year marks our 8th year together. We’ve been through a lot–cats, dogs, eye surgeries, massage school, career changes, home changes–but one thing we know is we have each other. Whenever the going gets tough, the Girl looks at me and says, “Well, Maximus, it’s just you and me.”

    You may be saying, “Maximus, you have little short hairs! Why are you even entering a cat Furminator contest?” Well, it’s because of those two kitties living with us now. I’m hoping maybe being Furminated will distract them from pouncing on me all the time. Oh dog!
    …Sorry this is such a long story. I can’t tell a short story to save my life! BOL!

  2. Sampson Thunderpaws permalink
    April 30, 2010 2:35 pm

    First – Mem (my mama) could really, really use a furminator because I am a purebred Maine Coon Cat and I have long, gorgeous fur that I love to shed in the spring and sometimes in the summer and a little in the fall and maybe just a wee bit in the winter. Ans since I live in the house all the time, that adds up to a whole lot of fur – just meowin’.

    Here is how I got my mama, Mem. I lived with my Pa in a nice house and we were buds. I wanted to go out and he opened the door for me. I wanted in and he opened the door and gave me something to eat. I stayed out all night and he yelled at me and gave me something to eat. We had a very good time together then Mem moved in across the street and that ended! I didn’t like her at all and when Pa said “Sam, Mem is coming over”, I’d wait until she came in the door then stick my nose up in the air and go into the basement and sulk. Even though she brought me lots of treats and toys and tried to make nice, I was having no part of her and her interruptions to my life with Pa. They would go out on Saturday mornings and she would come over and eat dinner and watch TV ALL THE TIME cutting into our male bonding. Hurrumph! Then Pa got real sick and he went forever away and I was alone in the house and stinky Mem came and fed me but she wouldn’t let me out to play. Just because I didn’t outrun a car ONE TIME and have a crippled leg now doesn’t mean I should be kept in all the time like a sissy girl cat! I stayed by myself in the house for a couple of weeks and then I was forced to move across the street to a room in Mem’s house. I could see that there were two other cats in the house but I couldn’t get out of the room to get to them. I was really lonely and I WANTED TO GO OUTSIDE! so I cried and cried. After a couple of days I figured out that the other cats were pretty happy with their house even though they didn’t ever go outside. The stripey cat was little but at least he was a dude cat. The patchwork cat was girly and I scared her because even the little stripy cat scared her and I am BIG. Finally Mem let me explore her house sometimes and I decided to stay with her. I discovered that I like to be brushed and brushed and brushed even though I used to get lion haircuts with my Pa. So now I am in charge of Mem and the two other cats, and it is a pretty good life, but I still miss Pa. And Mem could really use a furminator because that girly cat sheds!

    Sampson Thunderpaws, esq.

  3. April 30, 2010 4:07 pm

    @Maximus–Whadya mean that’s not a special story??? That is a very special story if ya ask me! I am so glad that you were able to make yer Girl’s life so special. BTW–I am a short hair kitty too, and I luv to be furminated. People think short hair kitties don’t have underfur, but we seriously do, and we need furminated just like long haired kitties do.

    @Sampson–What a neat story! I am so sorry you lost yer Pa, but glad you were able to make his life full when ya had him. Now, it sounds like you are bringin’ joy to yer Mem, even if it was a rough transition. Thx fur sharing yer story!

    The Brew

  4. April 30, 2010 4:42 pm

    Hai. My name is Jigsaw. Well, my full name is actually Jigsaw Puzzle. Mom and Dad named me after the patterns in my furz.

    Here iz how I came to rescue them:

    I was owtside, and bein’ a cat and all, I don’t know how long I lived owtside. But this one day, I caught me a birdie, and then I saw the man working outside. At da time, I had a bad sore on my side, and it needed to be healed. I think I must have been around humans before, cuz I wasn’t scared.
    I marched right up to the man, and set my birdie down on the ground by his feets. Then I gave him my very best ‘meow.’ He noticed my sore, and picked me up. He thot sumone had shot at me wif a BB gun & he was furry mads.
    About then, my birdie woke up, and flew away. I wuz furry upset, cuz my dinner got away, but I was still a kitten, not quite all growed up, (the v-e-t said about 8 months old), so I guess I didn’t grab da birdie da rite way to make it dead. I scolded the man for lettin my dinner get away.
    Next thing I know, I haz a small litter box, and a crate in the garage. They kept me in there a couple of days, and would not let me owtside again. They tried to find out if anyone had losted me, but no one had ever seen me before.
    Then, they took me to the v-e-t for a checkup, sum tests and shots, and to get my side fixed up. The v-e-t- said it wuz not a BB hole, but I had been in a fight wif anodder kitteh, and it wuz a ruptured abcess. She fixed it all up.

    Since all my tests came back sayin I wuz healthy, I wuz now allowed to go into da howse to meet da odder kittehs. There were 4 of them. It took a while for us to get used to each odder, but is pretty ok now.

    Now, you want to know how I ‘saved’ my humans: well, it turns owt one of da kittehs already there wuz having sum health problems, and da v-e-t did all kinds of tests, and nothin’ seemed to be wrong, but she wuz gettin sick alla time anyhow. After I had been in da howse about 8 months, dat kitteh went to da Rainbow Bridge in da middle of da night one day.
    Da humans, (the man who took me in & his lady–now I call them ‘mom’ and ‘dad’), were furry, furry, sad and upset.

    I took it upon myself to give them lots of lap time and purrs and helped them feel better that they still had 4 kittehs, and I wuz furry grateful that I had a furreffur home and don’t have to hunt for my dinner anymores. I still purr to them every nite, and if mom’s eyes get leaky again over missing the Soot cat, I climb in her lap and sing to her.

    **sorry..I not so good at short stories, either.**

  5. April 30, 2010 7:06 pm

    Wow Jigsaw! That is a fabulous story! I am so glad that you were there to help yer humans deal with that very sad loss. Sorry that you lost the birdie, too, but it looks like you got a lot more good things outa that deal. *High Paw*

    The Brew

  6. May 1, 2010 2:57 am

    What a clever idea for a contest my friend, we’ll come back and check out more stories as they get posted!

  7. May 11, 2010 10:40 am

    My name is Wiley and here is my story.

    Short version: I’m originally from eastern KY. My human discovered me on PetFinder.org and agreed to welcome me into her life having never met me. I travelled as the lone feline w/ several canines via an ‘underground railroad’ of wonderful pet rescue transporters to a Wendy’s parking lot, just off of I-65 in Indianapolis, where I first laid eyes on my human and she took me home to eastern Illinois.

    Long version: The weekend after Thanksgiving 2006, my human was surfing on PetFinder.org. She was very, very sad b/c Jazz, her 20-year old Siamese and favorite pal, had gone to Rainbow Bridge the previous October. She was merely browsing the photos as she wasn’t yet ready to join another cat’s world hoped to again someday. Then it happened…she came upon a photo of moi`, striking an irresistibly handsome, coy pose and was stunned at how much I resembled Jazz! In fact, I could’ve been his son, if not for that neuter job he’d had years before.

    While my human is smart enough to know -looking- like another cat by no means indicates I would have the same personality or that we’d have the same connection, she was still captivated by my photo and story. When she was still looking at and thinking of me a week later, she decided to learn more about me…I’m a native of eastern Kentucky and my bio was posted on Petfinder.org after I’d been caught in a live trap and no one claimed me. My human was reluctant to inquire about me as she lived in eastern Illinois and figured I’d find a home w/ someone in my native state, plus it was near the holidays and she’d be travelling, but I didn’t…my human submitted an application for me and spoke w/ my foster family who so kindly worked to make travel arrangements for my transport to my human.

    We met on a Sunday. I travelled very well in her car and settled into her home pretty quickly. She was still taking time to get to know me as I was her, so the first night, I slept in the guest room on a plush blanket she provided for me. The next day, my human had surgery (another reason she was reluctant to ask about/get me) and came home that night to recover. She looked pathetic, awkwardly resting on the couch with her heavily-bandaged leg propped up and lots of medicine/other essentials w/in reach so she wouldn’t have to walk to get anything. While we’d just met, I wanted to help her, so after she fell asleep, I gently curled up my nine pounds on her on her chest and purred in her ear to comfort her. She awoke a few hours later to find me and in that moment, gratefully realized fate had a hand in us finding each other. Now we both have our quirks and irks that we’ve grown to tolerate and love…four years later, we cannot imagine life w/ out each other!

  8. May 11, 2010 10:52 am

    Wiley here again. Forgot to mention that I’ve got a few health issues (my vet tells me how lucky I am to have found my human who will foot the bill for all of them!), one of which is hairballs. I L-O-V-E to be brushed, in fact, will RUN to the brush when my human waves it at me, so I get brushed at least 2x/day. I’m a Siamese mix, so I have short but very thick fur that I love to clean, too…despite all the brushing, I still manage to swallow a lot of my fur and that does not agree w/ my tummy, so I cough up a hairball more than I’d like (don’t worry, my human checked w/ the vet who says there’s no underlying health issue causing this, just my hair). So, I’m hoping, hoping, hoping to win a Furminator for my human – I know, she’s already won the world by having me, but I’d like to give her a little something for putting up w/ my hairballs. By the way, I’m named for Wiley Coyote of Looney Toons fame b/c of my many mis-fired antics, so…that’s all, folks!

  9. May 12, 2010 12:58 pm

    Wow, Wiley! That is quite a story, pal! That was so sweet of you to curl up to yer human when she was hurtin’ and schtuff! So glad you guys found each other!

    The Brew

  10. Janet Vandenabeele permalink
    May 12, 2010 7:46 pm

    My name is Possum and I was born on the streets of Detroit. Some nice person took me in, but she had to move someplace that didn’t allow cats, so she turned me back out on the street. It wasn’t too bad, lots of other stray kitties and lots of restaurants and big old trash cans and an empty house or two and some underporches when the houses had people and I couldn’t sneak in anymore. But you had to be real smart, and not run out into that big big road behind the street. And of course, Mama Nature had her way and you ended up with kitties every now and then, and there was that one mean human who always “took care of them” and then you had more kitties …

    Anyway, my human got real sick and lost her job. Her hubby hurt his shoulder and lost his job, too. They lost their nice house in the suburbs, whatever those are. They weren’t as talented as me about living on the streets, so they got into one of the empty houses … the same house where I had lived for a few months! One day, they came to see their new home. My owner was thinking about a kitty she had as a teenager and I musta had a psychic hookup, because that kitty looked just like me (human’s note: Possum is a dilute tortie and white with a very distinctive face that makes her look just like her name). So, sensing VICTORY, I ran out from the porch where I was sleeping and right up to my human. They couldn’t take me in right away, but that was OK, the weather was still pretty warm for autumn.

    But right after that, I got attacked by another cat and hurt my leg. I stopped going to the restaurant dumpster. I got a little skinny, so my human started feeding me regularly. The human promised when she got some money that was coming she’d take me in and get me fixed (I didn’t think I was broken, but you know humans …) and have my sore looked at and my ears de-bugged. Then one day, it was really warm for December but also really windy. I wasn’t feeling too good, but I was hungry, so I jumped into the trash can across the street. I heard my human coming outside, and jumped out of the can to greet her. She gave me some food and said she’d see me when she got home. So I sat on the welcome mat, but it was so windy I was blowing away! I dug my claws in and when my human came home, she had a tear in her eye and said she was taking me inside right away. I went a little nuts, because there were already 4 kitties there and I growled like a jaguar and shook the windows even though I only weighed about 5 pounds. I promptly discovered this quiet warm place way up high but near the human food. They called it the “fridgerdator” and nicely left a box on top of it for me.

    After a few weeks, I decided to come down and by then, that extra money showed up so my human hauled me off to the vets who fixed me all up, put a chip in my back and everything. No more weird howling (why did I do that?) and no more kitties. Anyway, I came home and after a few years, decided not to try to escape anymore. I don’t need to go back out on those mean old streets since there’s a nice window that gets all the sunshine and it is MINE! I’m still not too certain about some of those other kitties, and the one I liked the best went to the Rainbow Bridge place, and I got really sick and almost went there, too, but I decided NO WAY, I’m staying here with my people who love me and feed me and won’t let me go outside anymore. I kinda act like a possum sometimes, but hey, that’s my name and you gotta love me!

  11. May 12, 2010 8:13 pm

    Wow, Possum! You have a great story too! What adventures you have had! So glad that you and yer human and those other kitties found a way to get along and make a home together!

    The Brew

  12. May 13, 2010 7:41 am

    there is two kitties who does live upstairs in this same house as me.
    I never gets to play with them cuz of this silly gate at the bottom of the steps.
    They get upstairs, I get the downstairs.

    anyway, I heards the story a few times. It was a while before I came.
    M&D and Buddy(the parrot, thats another story!) went to wisc for the weekend.
    It was late at night and when they pulled in they could see by the woodpile, eyes and more eyes, everywhere eyes.
    Turns out in morning, they could see it was a LOT of baby kitties.
    They looked hungry!
    So momma decided to rescue them.
    She managed to get two of the babies before the wild momma cat took the rest and ran away with them. :(((
    Cubby and DeeDee has stayed with momma ever since…….

    But that long fur is a mess everywhere, and they always have upset tummies from it…

    momma missed them in her lap during the day but now thats my job *S*..
    they get to curl up with her every night tho…

  13. May 13, 2010 7:49 am

    Wow, Huntyr! Sounds like yer mum was rescued herself by a great crowd of critters. Know what ya mean about that mess of fur. We have 2 long haired kitties here, as well as myself and the Slick cat, who are short haired kits. I do think I would be messin’ with that gate thingy though.

    The Brew

  14. May 13, 2010 9:52 am

    I met my mom at the shelter. I had been given up by my last family and she was a volunteer there. She became a volunteer because she was lonely and bored. She had moved to a new city and didn’t know anybody. I was in a “hug room” by myself and one night she came in to visit with me. She sat down on the floor and I crawled right up in her lap! We both needed love so it was a perfect match! We cuddled together like that for about an hour, until it was time for her to leave. A couple of days later she came back and told me that I was going home with her! I was so happy and I could tell she was too. We went home together that night after her volunteer shift and have been our own little family ever since. Whenever she gets lonely or is feeling homesick, I sit on her lap and purr, letting her know that she isn’t alone anymore. She takes good care of me too. I have tummy issues that have caused me to barf on the floor a few times, but because she takes special care of me, my sensitive stomach is under control now. Mom still volunteers with the kitties at the shelter, but she says that I am her favorite. It’s okay with me that she cuddles those other kitties-they need the love and she always comes home and cuddles with me!

  15. May 13, 2010 6:07 pm

    So glad that you and yer mom found each other Sebastian. I know you have really been the Cat’s Meow fur her! When ya gonna start yer own blog, dude?

    The Brew

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