Archive for the ‘Cat Travel’ Category

Mikan’s First Fun (?) Ride

January 21st, 2013

Our miracle cat, Mikan, has been so healthy and brightening our daily lives together by showing her ever-evolving cat-personality!  She is almost seven months old, and she is not yet in heat.  She had such a physically weak start of her life, so it might take a little bit more to mature physically.  Well, her mom thinks it is just fine, and is even happy about seeing Mikan still a little kitten.  Our vet suggested (and I totally agree) to wait to spay her until she hits a few heat cycles.  In that way, her skeletal system will be able to grow properly with support from adequate natural hormone levels.

Anyhow, Mikan will have a vet visit coming up this week (due to her coughing), and another soon for sure when she is ready for a spay surgery.  Now, I’m thinking how to make her feel comfortable with a car ride to the vet (or at least OK with it).  Only thing I could think of is…yes, you guessed it, positive reinforcement and training!  I wish I don’t need to do all that, but it seems necessary for the benefit to this family as a whole.

Happy cats = happy family.

It was a very sunny Sunday afternoon when we decided to take both cats on a pleasure ride. Mikan always follows Tora around everywhere in the house, so it could be good thing.  Jeffrey and I loaded up Tora and Mimi in my car.  Tora likes being “free” in the car, but we kept Mikan in her carrier where she feels safe with her blankie, with the flap left open so that she could come out if she wants to.  We drove around our neighborhood for about 15 minutes.  At first, Mikan looked nervous in her carrier.  She was watching the scenery passing fast in front of her eyes.  Her eyes were wide open.  Thankfully, her breathing was normal.  On the other hand, Tora was totally chilled and perched on the back shelf near the rear window, and enjoying the view and the movement of the car.

"Sister, just watch me!"

After the ride: "There are lots of space here."









After about five minutes of driving at 15 mph. in our neighborhood, Mikan came out of her carrier and walked toward the window.  I gave her a little treat – she ate it.  Yes, she is a sucker for these crunchy treats.  We did that routine a few more times, and it’s time to go home!  It’s good to stop when it is still positive experience.  I believe that Tora being there with Mikan helped her feeling secure about being in the car.  Tora’s energy was relaxed in the car, and our human energy was good also because we knew it was a fun ride for them.

"Hey Brother, the car ride wasn't that bad, but don't tell mom and dad because I prefer playing with you in the yard."

Who do I thank the most for the first training?  I thank Jeffrey for his safe driving (he hates driving slow, but he was willing 15 m.p.h. for his little girl, Mikan), and mostly, I thank Tora for being a such a confident car-rider!  He is my little big boy.

**Watch how Mikan thanked Tora… 

We continue to dream about days in the future that we could travel with our furry kids for a weeks-long or even a month-long vacation.  So far, so good.  More rides to come.


Acrobatic Cats: Does Your Cat Have a Potential?

November 13th, 2012

Two of my cat-fanatic friends notified me about this crazy cat show called Acro-Cats!  You might say, “Huh?”  Can cats do an acrobatic performance?  Without wasting any time, I booked the tickets right away to see the opening night of the show last night!  Let me tell you about these amazing kitties who are so well-trained to do the performances with about 100 people in front of them!

"Tuna" the cowbell drummer, and her fan!

Yes, she CAN rock!

See it to believe it.  There were about 13 performing cats on the “stage”.  They came out of their cages at the trainers’ command one at a time, and then they did all kinds of acrobatic performances including walking on a set of paralleled bars and on a ball (yes, true), ringing a cowbell, playing a guitar (uh huh), playing the keyboard, and many many more tricks.  All the cats are motivated by food/treats.  They do all these amazing things because they know they will get treats right then if they do certain things – we all know about “operant conditioning (O.C.)”.  Many cat human companions think O.C. is for dogs.  🙂  Cats are simply too intelligent and spiritual to be manipulated by humans, right?  Well, apparently, cats CAN be trained to be members of a rock band.

The Circus Cats group has their own trailer bus and tours all over the U.S.  I thought it was interesting that only two cats in the performing cats are males.  Their Mom, Samantha, said that the girls work harder than the boys.  Now I think about the many cats I encountered, including mine, I may agree with that statement.  I will not tell you more than this because I really want you to see these amazingly intelligent kitties.

Circus Cats Tour Bus

I truly, from the bottom of my heart, enjoyed watching their organic and somewhat naturally chaotic performance – that made it so special and charming.  I full-heartedly recommend you to go to the show here in Austin this week only!!  (

If you happen to go to the show, and buy their clicker-training packet as a souvenir for your kitties, keep me informed!  A trick for success seems to be keeping the cats hungry for a long time before the training.  🙂  Also, our patience will be challenged.  It is always two-way learning with our intelligent furry animals.

Losing Mimi

July 11th, 2012

It was all of a sudden and with 0.1% chance that I thought it could possibly happen.  One of my cats, Mimi, was killed by a coyote or a fox, we don’t know which one.  Mimi was only five years old, raised by us since she was about an eight weeks-old kitten.  She was an inside cat with limited outdoor exposure – only in our backyard which is surrounded by cat-fence.

Beloved Mimi

Apparently, on that day, in the middle of the night, someone opened our outside gate to scope out the house, and scared Mimi who was sleeping in the backyard.  She must have run out of the gate and went to outside.  Then, the gate was closed by the same someone.  She couldn’t get back inside.  I still clearly remember Mimi’s shrieking scream in my bed at 5:56 a.m. on June 26th.  I ran downstairs to the backyard to look for Mimi.  She wasn’t found anywhere inside of the yard or outside the yard.  At the end of the day, my husband and I found half of Mimi in a woodsy area in the field next to our house, about ¼ miles away.

As I saw her remains lying on the ground, I couldn’t breathe properly.  The emotional intensity was so great that I felt it from the core of my guts.  It was as if a powerful tidal wave was rushing up in reverse from my guts to my throat.  It quickly became beyond my control.  I burst into tears, and cried out aloud, “Oh, Mimi.  I’m so sorry, Mimi”.   A lady who lives behind the woods heard my unstoppable loud sobbing, and asked if I was all right.  My husband told her why I was crying.

You all who lost your pets might relate to this pain and sadness.  Each day is a healing process, and it gets a little bit better every day.  I so appreciated the warm and compassionate messages from everyone.  Tora has been less active, and sometimes seems to be looking for his sister in the backyard or in the house.  I am using flower essences (of course!) to ease his emotional down time.  I took a few bottles of flower essences myself, too.

OK, from here, it is practical information.  I was very impressed with the cremation service done by Pet Rest in Pflugerville.  We brought Mimi’s remains to the Emergency Hospital near Central Market South.  They have an affiliation with Pet Rest.  They told us that it would take two weeks to have her ashes back to us.  Here is what I’ve learned.  If you would like your pet’s ashes back, they will arrange an “individual” cremation that your pet is the only animal in the firing chamber.  Otherwise, all remains will go to a mass/public cremation with other animals.  I found out this after we picked up her ashes.  I wouldn’t have minded Mimi’s ashes were mixed with other animals who also deserve lots of love and life acknowledgement, but it is nice to know that all I see in the plastic bag was “genuinely” Mimi.  🙂  Do I sound little silly?

Mimi's Altar with her favorite food bowl

We paid $190 for Mimi’s cremation.  Her ashes came back in ten days in a very nice looking urn with a very sensitively written card.  They were carefully placed in a black velvet sachet with an embroidered white “M” on it.

Mimi will have two other splurges in the near future.  She will be communicating with Sonya Fitzpatrick who is a celebrity animal communicator.  I have read her book, and watched Animal Planet TV shows about her, and I have been wanting her reading on my cats.  Now is the time to do it!

The other splurge will be to have an artist make stained-glass art from a Mimi’s picture as a memorial.  I searched many, many pet memorials online, but nothing really appealed to me until I found the stained-glass artist!

A Family Trip to Sedona - Mimi loved Sedona, but not the car-ride...

Stay tuned for my next report about animal communication session with Sonya!

She was a calm Zen kitty

"I was a kitten before..., I am an angel now."

What Do You Do to Relax Your Cat?

May 24th, 2012

"Don't like!" Paws Down...

As a cat owner, we all know that cats are finicky creatures.  Even in their familiar environment, they might jump up in the air with all fours with a sudden noise, thunder, or even simply a new stuff on the floor!!

I got to say, “Calm down kitty…” just yesterday, when I bought a bunch of crinkly gift tissue papers for Mimi to play with.  She loves tissue paper – I thought she would have more fun with more crisp, better quality papers (in my opinion).  I laid the “super crinkly” new tissue paper on the carpet just in time when she came inside through the cat door.  She immediately stopped and detected a new paper five feet away from her, she lowered her tail down. (Fear degree #1).  Then, she slowly approached the paper (I’m proud of her!)  She sniffed it.  Nothing is happening.  Then, she put her right paw on it.  “CRINK!!”  Mimi FLIPPED OUT, jumping straight up in the air with all fours!!!  What a finicky cat…  Here I have another waste of toys that didn’t work.  Oh, wait, I can still use it for the gift wrapping for humans!   Whew.

I am still learning about how to effectively relax cats in general, but here are some techniques that I know work for many cats (it may not work for ALL cats).

1)    Relax YOURSELF – When you’re anxious, panicky, or anxious, your cat is totally “in-tune” with it.

2)    Communicate with a Cat – Talk gently to your cat about what’s going on, and that it is just a temporary situation (whatever it is happening).  Then, send your cat an image of calm and peace, ensuring that everything will be the same as usual soon.  According to my animal communication teacher, animals communicate with images!  Meow.

3)    Play Sessions – It might sound counter-intuitive, but cats are craving for “intelligent things” to do.  Playing that consists of chasing and hunting something moving is totally stimulating to them, and that’s what they are hard-wired in their biology.  Believe or not, the play relaxes them.  I have seen many shelter cats who were so nervous and fearful they were sitting in back of their cage box; they came out of the box to play within 10-15 min. of our volunteers’ patient encouragement.

4)    Flower Essences – Natural vibrational energy in the flower water soften and re-balance cat’s emotional state.  I will talk more in-depth about it in a future blog!

5)    Lavender Hydrosol Spray – This is a new addition to my practice.  I tested it with a handful of my clients.  Their cats like it.  Spray it on the cat’s bedding, inside of a cat carrier, and any areas that a cat needs calming effect (i.e., inside the car).  Do NOT use essential oils because they are toxic to cats.

6)    Giving Treats – It’s best given when a cat already calmed down.  Please remember to praise them verbally, too!

Every cat I encounter in the shelter, through cat sitting, and consultations teaches me a lot about how he/she wants to be treated.  I do my best to use my abilities to interpret their messages as correctly as possible.  Will I ever learn “purr-fect” techniques?  No cat has given me the answer yet.

So Glad We Made the Family Trip!

December 21st, 2010

I am so glad that we made the family trip to Sedona with two cats! I’ve dreamed of car travel with Tora and Mimi for a long time – now, we did it without anybody being traumatized by the trip, including humans. Whew! Mimi was nervous and scared in the car and at the hotel on the way to Sedona, but once we got settled in at the rental home in Sedona, Mimi’s adjustment to a new environment was smoother and faster than I expected. Both cats’ complete adjustment took about five to seven days. Read the rest of this entry »

Leaving Sedona – Home Sweet Home, yet?

December 21st, 2010

The day of departure – We are on the road, again!  Tora was so excited in the car – that he meowed for a solid one hour and a half after we left the rental home.  To me, he seemed like he was singing a series of a songs.  To my husband, Jeffrey, Tora seemed like he was telling of all the things that happened in Sedona as a travel summary.  Regardless what’s really going on with Tora’s psyche, listening to seems-like- endless meows required beyond-human patience in our part.  Read the rest of this entry »

Second Week in Sedona – Home Is Where the Heart Is!

December 21st, 2010

Tora and Mimi seemed much more relaxed in week two.  Tora and Mimi each found their favorite blanket on their favorite sofas, and they kept those locations every day for their morning and afternoon naps.  We found them sleeping on the exact spots when we returned from a day trip in the late afternoon.  They sometimes swapped their spots for variety. Read the rest of this entry »

First Week in Sedona – Both Cats Did Their Best!

December 21st, 2010

It had been so interesting to observe my own cats in a totally different environment.  I found it fascinating that Mimi and Tora did the best they could to make themselves comfortable in our rental home.  I truly appreciated their efforts.  Here are my observations of my cats’ behaviors in the first week.

    Read the rest of this entry »

Day Two – Are We There Yet?

December 21st, 2010

We left Las Cruces, NM around 7:30am heading to our final destination of Sedona, AZ.  The planned traveling time was about 8 hours.  As soon as we all sat inside the car, my husband and I took deep breaths, visualizing a happy trip with two kitties. 

Mimi – Leaving La Quinta in Las Cruces Mimi took her little deep breath as well, and then went right under my passenger seat.  I felt Mimi’s movement under my butt (yes, I did). Read the rest of this entry »

Trip Day One – Tora at the Wheel!

December 15th, 2010

We started out the departure day as normally as possible considering our cats’ breakfast and litterbox routine in the morning.  We left home at 8:30am with a super-packed trunk of my red Honda Accord.  There is an opening in the car from the trunk to the back seats for skis, so we utilized the opening as a “cat-go-through-to-the-litterbox”.  We placed the litterbox in the trunk.  Wow, there were so many things we had to bring for cats! Read the rest of this entry »