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Arnie Meows! We have a shop!

Hi all!

I’m so excited to share this meows with you all!

We’re just launching our STORE!!! We’ll be selling meowmy’s beautiful rendition of us as cartoons, her calligraphy (coming soon) and personalized commissioned work, for those who want it (e-mail meowmy at giovanabier@outlook.com).

10% of our profit on sales will be donated to a charity every quarter.

Please help us spread the meows and thank you for supporting us!

Love always,

Arnie

 

 

 

 

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Cat Vertigo

Hello friends!

As some of you know, our newest family member,  JR, joined our family at the tender age of 15 years old. It’s been a blessing having him in our family, he’s a sweet sweet boy. However, with adopting an older cat, came a lot of new things we had to learn and adapt – from step stool for him to reach higher places to health concerns.

A month or so ago, we noticed JR acting a little bit off at nighttime, he was turning in circles non-stop and it seemed like he couldn’t find a comfortable position. He ended up sleeping in our walk-in closet – which he had never done it before. The next morning, he was very lethargic, refusing to eat even his favorite food and really didn’t get out of the closet (he was near a litter box and a water bowl). We noticed that he was walking in circles, with his head tilted and his eyes were kind of darting everywhere.

We decided to monitor him for another day and if no improvements are shown, we’d take him to the vet. As anyone does in the modern age, we googled his symptoms and it was terrifying – considering JR is old and has liver issues, that could mean that his body was shutting down.

In the next day, he ate a couple of bites of his favorite food (Applaws Tuna, which we only give him as a treat as there are no real nutrients to it); Arnie and Tiger left him alone. But JR was still not himself. Dan called the vet, they’re booked for the whole week. We called the vet again and, luckily, the main vet and owner of the practice picked up the phone. Once we told the doctor what were his symptoms, she told us not to worry as it’s probably just Feline Vestibular Disease, which is very common in senior pets. We had no idea what that meant – is it treatable? is it an issue he’ll have forever? will he get back to normal?

Doctor O was kind enough to explain that FVD is Cat Vertigo – no one knows why it appears and it’ll go away the same way it comes. The only thing we had to watch is if he’s eating a little, drinking some water and using the litter. If not for one or all of those, we should take him to the emergency pet hospital and ask for nausea medicine.

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This is JR not feeling his best

JR is a tough cookie, on the third day, he was his old self – playing, begging for food, chasing Arnie around and, best of all, cuddling with us!

 

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Cuddly JR

Feline Vestibular Disease symptoms:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Abnormal movement of the eyes
  • Tilted head
  • Mewing
  • Leaning to one side
  • Seizure-like episodes
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Walking in circles

We’re so scared when we saw him with the symptoms that we figured we should share – if any of you, friends, feel this way, do not despair – it might be cat vertigo. Below a few resources on FVD:

But remember, always call your vet when anything is off with your fur baby. We always want to be on the safer side of their health.

Lots of Love,

Giovana

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Pet Portaits

Hello friends!

In my search for work-life balance and look for a hobby/passion, I started looking into digitalizing art, which leads me to digitalized pet portraits.

I have to say, this is one of the things I like the best doing as of right now. It’s such a fun way to honor our sweet fur-family and ramp up our decoration!

I’ve used the boys as my inspiration – obviously!

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Arnie in his box
jr-01
Sweet JR
Arnie bowtie - printable
Party Arnie
Tiger-01
Lazy Tiger

If you’re looking for some customized commissioned work, please reach out to us at giovanabier@outlook.com ! We’d love to “cartoonize” your pet and provide you with the artwork that you can print, add in mugs, t-shirts, books…. the possibilities are endless (all for personal use, of course)

Love always,

Gigi and the boys

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Let’s talk about mental health

Disclaimer: I’m not a mental health provider and this post is based on my personal opinions and experiences. If you, or someone you know, is contemplating harming yourself, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Line – 1-800-273-8255

It’s time… it’s enough. Mental health has become an epidemic in the world and in the US. Only this week, we lost two amazing people to death to suicide – the iconic Kate Spade and the larger than life Anthony Bourdain. Every year we lose more and more people because of a stigma of talking about mental health.

So… let’s get to it! Mental health is our body health – it is part of our being. There are so many ways of having mental health issues – from bipolar, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorders, several borderline spectrum disorders, depression and the list can go on.

We live in a society where status and looks mean more than substance. People are more busy portraying their “perfect” life on social media than really living their life at the fullest and cherishing what really matters – spend time with your loved ones and living a life it’s worth living. Our urge, as a society, to live a perfect life, might be making us feel we’re not worth it – make us feel we cannot really share with others our internal struggles and imperfections – as it’ll make our life, a bit less perfect. If we can’t see, we believe it’s not there. Depression does not discriminate, depression does not have a recipe. Since 1999, death by suicide has increased 25% in the USA.

Here is what I want to share with you all – I came from a family with mental disease, several of my family members have depression and treats it with medication. One of my auties and my grandmother attempted suicide. I grew up seeing those struggles around me but I never quite understood. Until I reached my teenage years – I always felt out of place – I was too tall, too brown, too different. I felt that I just did not want to wake up. I felt like my life not worth it. Every time I tried to talk with people – friends or family – I was always shut down “you don’t have depression – you’re your bubbly self. It’s just the hormones”. And I believed it. Afterall, my family and all the adults knew better. It was the hormones…

Until it was not. Today, at age of 31, I still often feel like giving up. I still feel like I wish I just could go to sleep and never wake up. No one wants to talk about that though. People want to talk about how positive, how hardworking, how bubby and eccentric I am. “Such a bubbly person cannot be depressed! Such a doer cannot be depressed.” The truth is – we can! And it’s very hard to overcome it and work through it if people choose to look at your outside and not willing to hear our inside fears and struggles.

Let’s facilitate talking honestly and openly about mental health – the same way we talk about any other diseases – let’s be open, sincere and share our experiences. Let’s cherish our victories and pull each other up when we need. Let’s live a life full of kindness, empathy, and sincerity. Let’s live a real life.

It’s time for us to start celebrating our imperfections, it’s time for us to start to listen to people – what they’re really saying and not what we want to hear. It’s time for us to really care and ask questions. It’s time for us to be there for each other. It’s time for us to see with our hearts and not only our judgmental mind. In the end, we’ll figure out we have more in common than we imagined.

Just last week, I took the leap and started therapy. It’s not easy to open up and be raw – but I’m sure this journey will be worth it. And if you’re out there, feeling alone and misunderstood, know that you’re not alone and we can get through this together. Mental health is human health. Let’s talk about it.

Disclaimer: I’m not a mental health provider and this post is based on my personal opinions and experiences. If you, or someone you know, is contemplating harming yourself, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Line – 1-800-273-8255

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The tale of a new brofur

 

Hello Friends!!

We know it’s been a while… staff is studying for a certification that she does not think she’ll pass on the first run – but she’s doing her due diligence by studying a lot! So… apologies in advance as this will be a LONG POST!!

I’m here to tell a tale – our new tale of expanding our family!!

For those who do not know – we adopted JR a little bit one month ago! Mom always wanted a girl cat to be mama’s girl – as Tiger and I are daddy’s boys – and this was not her time!!

This is the tale of our new brofur, so tells us the staff:

Lady and dude staff went to their weekly visit to Just Cats – thank you Nicole so they bring us gifts very often – and they met their new “store cat” (a little background here – since Just Cats opened, they have been hosting adoptable cuties, also, part of the sales profit goes to a new organization every month), and this was JR. JR is an elderly kitty whose previous guardian lost his battle to cancer – after 15 years of a loving life, he found himself homeless 🙁

Dude staff walks in and… boom! JR looks at him as if they know each other – he cannot take his eyes out of dad! (dad’s boy)!!!! It’s like he was saying – thank you for finding me. Then meowmy sat on the floor… and JR went for the cuddle… does this sounds familiar?? THAT’S WHAT I DID WHEN I MET THEM!!! It’s like it was meant to be:

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Happy cat 😺 #adoptables

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So… the staff was hooked! They came back home and talked about the pros and cons. With JR being old, it’s a bit challenging due health issues – when they met him he was skin and bones 🙁 but the pros – JR is loving and he deserves the best home and the best pawrents/staff in the world for his few remaining years. So the deal was done. The following day, staff went to pick him up.

When I was added to the family, we were living in a studio. Now, we have an extra room! So that’s where JR base camp is – the office!!

At first, he was scared and would hiss at his shadow. After a while, he grew to be super confident in the office, but not interest at all to go outside. His life is pretty good – meowmy works and studies from the office every day, meowmy and dad takes a turn on sleeping in the office to give him company – so he cannot complain! Tiger and I, on other hands, really miss tanning in the office, so we always wanted to get back in.

Staff, innocently and ignorantly enough, allowed us to get in the office. They also encourage JR to go outside – he’d be out for a few minutes and ran back in the office.

Things were going well, there was always a little hissing but nothing out of control – we’d sniff each other even!

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Love in in the air!!!!

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Us three sleeping in the same room!

But, the thing is, we’d barge in JR base camp and then the door would close and we’d be separate – I think in his mind, we’re invading his space. One day, he got so upset that I was sleeping in the bed that he went after me – I ran under meowmy’s legs and she got the fury! She got some vampurr bite on her legs and some scratches – was not pretty! (She did say that she was glad was her leg and not me 😺)

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With that, staff realized that their loose approach to getting us together was not working for JR – nor Tiger as he tends to hide all the time. They sat down, got a nice glass of wine, Jackson Galaxy book (Thank you, Gretchen, and Basil, for sending it to us!) and made an action plan:

Goal: get all the cats to tolerate each other

Pain points: Tiger afraid of JR, JR aggression when cats are on his territory

Positive Ponts: all of them did interact nicely together for short period of times, they can eat near and I’m relentless

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The first step of the plan: Change the office door for a screened door and cover the bottom, start feeding time on each side of the door, slowly remove the visual barrier.

Disclaimer – we live in a rental and the office has a very stupid door – so staff needed to look for a cheap, rental friendly solution. After much research, staff came upon this blog The Lovely Side which took us to PetHelp – instead of buying an $80+ dollars door, remove the stupid door and replace with the screened door, we made a “door” with shelving liner! Staff went to Home Depot and it was less than $30! All we used was 3 6ft tall shelving liner, a couple of zip ties and two hooks.

We think it was so GENIOUS this workaround and we wish more people were sharing this – it’s cheap, easy and works as it should.

As you can tell, staff already started moving the towel up – we can eat looking at each other which is a big step!

Step two is room swaps: we’ll do that every now and then – we know we need to be more diligent on that! Tiger is always so happy to go to the office and go to his patrol spot at the window. I want to be friends so I want to be where JR is. JR will walk around the house for 10 minutes and demand to be back in the office. We’re moving with baby steps.

I think that step number 3 would be supervised play time NOT in the office. And once we get this once figure out, we’ll all be best friends tolerating each other! I can’t wait for this to happen!

We’ll keep you update on the improvements we make! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for daily updates.

This is #arniemeows of the day.

Thank you so much for supporting us and reading all the way to the end!

If you have any tips or experience introducing an old cat to two young ones, please let us know in the comments section below.

Love always,

Arnie Bug