Our Harris Home Cats Featured In Magazine Article!

Our household has four fab felines who recently became celebrities with a magazine article all about them!  Yes, Tucker, Stanley, Lucy and Sadie are the star of the show this month.mag spreadFoothills Living Magazine writer Stephanie Hayden asked to interview our four very spoiled furry family members and the cats gave me their blessing to speak on their behalf.  The article is now running in the November issue of Foothills Living Magazine and the kitties would be disappointed if their proud cat mom didn’t share it here in my blog, so take a look and remember to also be thankful for the pets in our lives during this holiday season.  Four cats can be a lot of work, don’t get me wrong, but they give us a lot of laughs and love.  How exactly did we end up with 4 of them, two boys and two girls?!  The answer is here in the short and fun article about our spoiled kitty cats….

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last page picsThat is our kitty story and the kitties are sticking to it!  A big thank you to Stephanie Hayden for writing such a nice article about the fab feline foursome.  They are more than a little impressed with themselves that they are featured in a magazine this month!  Tell us about your precious pets in the comments section because we are also managed moms to our furry kids, too.

Sweet Sadie Makes Four Felines

Some of you know (and some of you don’t know) that we are now a FOUR cat household.  I know, I know….it sounds a little crazy and like we are running a cat farm.  Well, we are not but the little Tortie kitten sweetie that my hubs found made her way into our Harris hearts minutes after we rescued her from the coyote ruled desert that is our neighborhood.  I have waited a while to write this post so that I could report on the successful integration of a 4th cat into a 3 cat household.  Now two months later, I can share that Sadie is fully incorporated into the household and it is pretty peaceful around here for the most part.  I will post my blog article about how to successfully introduce a new cat to your existing cats tomorrow.  But first the story of sweet Sadie, the little kitten who became a Harris cat over the holiday season.  It is truly shocking to find a stray in our neighborhood with all of the coyotes.  It never happens….except to us, I swear! Sadie

First, how we went from two cats to three and then on to Sadie.  Eight years ago we went to the pound to adopt two little boys that our kids named Tucker and Stanley.catsThey have been very good boys for us and pretty easy to care for.  So….when our girl asked for a pet of her own three years ago, we finally heard her case after a full year of her having to prove to us that she was ready for that responsibility.  She chose to rescue a black female because she told us that “everyone walks right past the black cats because they think they are bad luck” and with that statement (that is sad but true) she had me and off we went to the shelter find little Lucy girl.  See the cute kitten pics at this  Lucy’s story link. lex kisses lucy

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Like Humans, Pets Can Have Anaphylactic Allergic Reaction

Manic:  Coming home to see our kitty Lucy’s eye swollen up triple the normal size and watching her become a little lethargic.

Managed:  Decided as a family not to put off medical care, so at 10pm on a Thursday night, I rushed her to the 24 hour emergency pet hospital.  This particular hospital called 1st Pet Veterinary Centers has several Valley locations.  I took Lucy to the Chandler location and they were excellent.

As soon as we arrived, we were given our own private room, which was good for a nervous and aching Lucy girl.  She chose to hide behind the computer as the nurse triaged her condition.  at ER vetThey let us stay in that room until the veterinarian came in and that really helped Lucy to stay calm.  Once the vet came in, I explained to her that little Lucy was battling an eye infection, so earlier in the day I had given her a drop of the eye medicine that our other cat takes when his eye flares up.  To my credit, I had brought the eye drop medicine with me. Once the vet took a look at the type of feline eye drop, she informed that a small percentage of cats are deathly allergic to this type of eye drop.  Lucy was having a serious allergic reaction, so off she went to receive sort of a human (but for felines) Epi pen course of Benadryl and steroids.  She also had her eye flushed out and a battery of tests performed to ensure that her organs weren’t affected by this serious allergic reaction.  Boy, was I glad that I had made the decision to bring her to emergency care.

She was returned to me with a blue cone around her head and with instructions that she be kept away from our two other cats for the next three days.

Poor girl!

Poor girl!

I was also sent home with pain killers and a daily eye ointment and with very strict instructions that she never again be given the offending feline eye drop that she is allergic to….I agreed!

I wanted to write this post to inform pet owners that pets can have severe allergic reactions to meds, insect bites, certain foods, plants and other items that you might not suspect.  If your pet doesn’t look right and doesn’t act like him or herself, don’t put off going to see the vet.  Had we waited, I’m told, Lucy may have gone into anaphylactic shock.  Before they took her back to treat the allergic reaction, I had to sign a form with a checkbox option that included a DNR.  That took me by surprise as she is a healthy 2 1/2 year old kitty and she belongs to my daughter, who asked me several years ago if she could rescue a black cat since “so many people walk right past the black ones” and that touched my heart.  So Lucy came into our lives when I felt like my girl was mature enough to take on a pet.  Lucy has been absolutely wonderful and especially loving to my daughter’s tween gal pals.  Lucy seems to prefer that age group the most.

Baby Lucy even let her human Mama put her in a dress!

Baby Lucy even let her human Mama put her in a dress!

She has grown into a lovely and cuddly cat with her human mom.

She has grown into a lovely and cuddly cat with her human mom.

Yep, this cat would be saved and brought back home tonight no matter what!

Yep, this cat would be saved and brought back home tonight no matter what!


So if I had anything to do with it, this cat would be saved and brought right back home to my girl.  I checked the box that allowed emergency measures to be performed if she were go to into cardiac arrest during the treatments.  It is a very rare occurrence, but the pet owner must check the desired box.  We did return home at 2am and the emergency vet bill wasn’t cheap.  The vet was very good about letting me know the exact costs and getting my permission every step of the way.

I was supposed to go to Flagstaff the next morning for a fun gal pal getaway and to see my son play hockey up North. However, with Lucy’s serious condition, I chose to stay home and care for her around the clock. The first day she was not herself at all, very sluggish and a little out of it.  I made the decision to take her off the painkillers on day 2 because I felt that she didn’t like the drugged feeling and how it was impairing her ability to get around.  I also made a follow up call to our regular vet, even though he hadn’t treated her since we had to go to the emergency clinic due to the after hours time of Lucy’s reaction.  lucy recoveringThat was a smart move because he was able to read the long and very thorough report that the emergency clinic had faxed over to him and break it down for me.  At the time it was all explained to me during the emergency visit, it was close to 2am and I was exhausted and found it hard to focus in just right on every detail that they had told me about Lucy’s condition.  My vet, Dr. Alex MacKenzie at Foothills Animal Hospital called me right back and explained the long emergency vet report to me.  He also asked me to email him photos of Lucy’s eye and told me that if I needed to bring her in the next day, which was a Saturday, to just call the front office and tell them that he said that he would fit us in no matter what.

So the next day came and Lucy’s fun personality had returned.  We were joyful, but her eye still looked pretty bad.

lucy eyeSo after much pondering, because I didn’t want to put her through the stress of another vet visit, we decided at a few minutes before the office closed to go ahead and bring her in to her vet.  They agreed and honored Dr. MacKenzie’s instructions to fit us in, despite the office being overloaded with several pet emergencies. Lucy seemed to immediately know that she was back with her own beloved doctor.  She laid on the exam table and waited for his arrival, letting us pet and soothe her.  Dr. MacKenzie gave her a very soothing eye drop, that seemed to give her instant relief.  I am so thankful to have such a wonderful vet and his staff is also very kind and terrific with animals, like our nervous Lucy, who like most cats, doesn’t love going to the vet.  They did have to secure her in a towel to hold her still, but she does like Dr. MacKenzie and seems to trust him, as much as I do.   He has seen us through the care and passing of our two previous beloved kitties and has been equally attentive and wonderful with the next generation of Harris cats.

So now we wait for her eye to fully recover.  It will take some time because the allergic reaction really took its toll on her poor eye.  I felt like a horrible cat Grandma (my daughter says that I’m the cat Grandma to her Lucy girl) because I had given her our other cat’s eye drop.  However, Dr. MacKenzie told me not to scold myself because there was no way of knowing that she would be allergic and he may have told me to give her that very drop.  That made me feel better.

So I wrote this post to let pet owners know that pets can have very serious allergic reactions to all sorts of things.  If you suspect a reaction or notice that your pet is just not right, follow your gut and get your furry friend in to see a vet immediately.  I’m so glad that I did.

And as Lucy continues to recover, she seemed to thank me just last night as she purred loudly (even with that cumbersome cone on her head) and accepted belly rubs and multiple kissed placed squarely on her little head.  snuggly lucy with cone on headBless her kitty heart.  Animals are so innocent, trusting and love us unconditionally.  IMG_5766She was very worth missing my Flagstaff trip. Flag will always be there, but our beloved pets will not.  So pay attention to their well being and follow your pet parent gut when it comes to their health and behavior.  And the icing on the cake for me was when my girl texted me this morning and said, “you are the best Mom ever and thank you for caring for Lucy”….you got it, my love.

I’m looking forward to Lucy looking like this again.  Lucy's pretty eyesShe has beautiful big green eyes. The vet tells me to give it a few more days for her to make a full recovery.  So wait we will and we continue to nurse her back to good health and to be thankful for good veterinarians, 24 hour animal hospitals and our beloved pets.  And I think that her brothers miss her, too.  She will be reunited with them soon.two cute cats
all 3 cats

Honoring The Very Special Violet

My Dad’s dear dog, beautiful Violet passed away yesterday and my heart aches for his loss. Losing a pet is such a difficult loss.  And Violet was very loved….very very very loved and she was very very very loving right back. She was a pampered pooch for sure.  Just look at this awesome pet perch that my Dad hand built for his beloved best friend and for her companion, the other sweet doggie in the house named Dottie.  You can see that Violet very much approved of the custom made porch that enabled her to see her human Dad over the fence when he arrived home from work each day…

violetMy dear Dad is one of the most compassionate men that I have ever met and his love for animals has been a great influence on both myself and my own children.  Visiting my father in Austin in the summers was especially fun for my kids because the dogs were always so loving and playful.  The love they bestowed on the visiting family members was a direct reflection of the love and tenderness that they received from my Pop.  My Father has saved a lot of animals in his day and he has been bitten more than once when he pulled over to rescue injured animals, too.

Today as he mourns the loss of his beautiful Violet, I must also celebrate the life he gave her as her wagging tail, excited jump and big doggie smile always perfectly portrayed.  All could plainly see  just what a happy dog life she lead under his care.  As he was a hero in her life, he remained her protector and comforter as she left this life to cross the rainbow bridge.  The pain and anguish that I know my Father feels is due to the fact that she carried a piece of his heart over that rainbow with her.  Although the heartache that we experience has to eventually come with having a beloved pet, I do wish that kind of joy to every human that is fortunate enough to have a dog like Violet….and to every pet that is lucky enough to have a Dad like my Daddy.

Sending my love to my Dad today and honoring the life of the lovely Violet.  She truly lives on in our hearts.

Happy Update: My Foster Cat Oliver Finds Good Home!

For those of you that have followed the story of the sweet cat, Oliver that I fostered, he once again has found a good home. I want to thank so many of you that asked about him and sent your well wishes and prayers that his human family that had to give him up would have a successful overseas move…and that Ollie the cat would also find a good home.

Picking up Oliver from his family that moved overseas.  A sweet goodbye....but they will get to visit him in his new Cali home in the future.

Picking up Oliver from his family that moved overseas. A bittersweet goodbye….but they will get to visit him in his new Cali home in the future.

I am very happy to report that I just returned home from a road trip to beautiful California where Oliver was adopted by one of my favorite family members.  He was such a good boy on the road trip, only meowing a little bit and sleeping quietly most of the 6-hour car ride from Phoenix to Cali.  Here he is in his carrier and he was nestled between my daughter and her friend, who gave him lots of attention as we made our way West.  Ollie on tripOnce we arrived, Oliver was quick to befriend his new Mom, who had a brand new cat tree all ready for his very anticipated arrival….
cat tree Ollie
We enjoyed some play time with Oliver after the car ride in from Phoenix.  Before we left to go have some fun in the sun now that Oliver was all moved into his new digs, my girl had to steal some cat kisses because Oliver is one affectionate guy!  So we helped move him in and then we enjoyed a few days of California sun before we came back to see how Oliver was doing a few days later. 
ollie kisses
cali 2014on bikesAfter several days on the beach with bike rides, good food and a little wine time for us traveling Moms, we got to see Oliver once more before we headed back to Phoenix.  We found him happily settling into his new life as a California cat and he allowed my girl to give him kisses before we said goodbye….and the best news is that we will get to keep up with him since he went to our California relatives!
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Several big thank yous are in order…to Jamie, who fostered Oliver and showered him with love the week before we could head to California.   Jamie and her husband, Steve have fostered many homeless cats and found amazing furever homes for all of them.  I also want to thank “Team Oliver” which consisted of my daughter, my gal pal Julie and her son, Andy who accompanied me to California to help transport this cool cat to his new home.

And to Oliver’s new mom, my sweet niece who is already giving him a great home with lots of love and companionship. And finally to Oliver’s previous family, who had to give him up due to their overseas move….his time with you, Sunnev and your beautiful girls and your loving late husband, made him even more tender than when I first found him.

And last but not least, a big thank you to Bobby from my awesome newsroom who also offered to take Oliver. He is one blessed cat and he is also a sweetheart, too.

Remember Oliver the Cool Cat? He Needs A Home Again

oliver in his new homeFor those of you that have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember the incredibly sweet boy, Oliver that I found literally meowing at my front door step last year.  I brought him in and my family and friends marveled at how unbelivelably sweet and social he is to everyone, more so than your typical cat.  Through posting on this blog, I discovered that Oliver (our chosen name for him) had been left in the night when the renters who housed him left him behind when they moved away suddenly.  That broke my heart.

So I had him examined (very healthy check-up) and the vet also couldn’t get over what a sweet personality this cat possessed. So I went ahead and had him neutered, micro-chipped and immunized.  The vet was disappointed that his previous owners had not done any of those health items for Oliver.  Oliver was in good hands now, so our family decided that we would take him home and be his foster family.  We had Ollie the cool cat for a little over a month.Ollie reunionollie meWe were just about set to keep him since we had fallen in love with him, but one of our cats (we already have three cats!) just couldn’t accept him and ended up attacking poor Oliver, who just couldn’t understand why they all couldn’t be feline friends!

At about that time, Oliver’s and our prayers for a home were answered when the beautiful Chang family came to meet him. All five family members fell in love with him and quickly decided to take him in.  We were thrilled and the family kept us posted with pictures and good reports about how well and how quickly Oliver adjusted to his new humans.  He especially loved the youngest daughter.Ollie with lil one

To my sadness and shock, several months later the family let me know that Chris Chang, the beloved husband and father died suddenly last September 11th from a massive heart attack.   He was only 44 and this has been such a shock and a huge loss.  At his funeral I was especially touched by stories of the many animals Chris had saved and housed as a child, teenager and adult.  Oliver would be his last rescue.  Chris is missed by so many as he was truly a good man, husband, father, friend and a friend to animals in need. My heart remains broken over his loss.

Yesterday his beautiful wife, Sunnev let me know that she and her girls are relocating back to her home in Norway in a few weeks so that she can be with all of her family and try life there for a few months.  She is unable to take Oliver and we are both desperate to find a home for this truly special boy.  She had a friend that had agreed to take Oliver a few weeks ago, but his situation changed and he can no longer adopt Oliver.  If I could take him, I sure would.  I certainly tried and Ollie did great here, it was my other cats who just couldn’t adjust.

Please email me at [email protected] if you would like to meet Oliver and consider taking him home with you.  He is now two years old and is a great companion who is super affectionate and absolutely loves people.  At Chris’ reception at the Chang home after the funeral, I observed a great number of guests asking about Oliver because he was jumping in laps and just wanted to be a part of the event.  So unusual for a cat.  Oliver is truly a unique soul and would love to finally find his permanant home.  Please let me know if you are intersted or know someone who would like the cool cat, Oliver to be their new pet.  He is a nice sweet boy that is 100% litter trained.  He is great with other cats and with children.  photo1 (43)Truly a dream boy cat who has been a survivor as he searches for his forever home, yet again.

Oliver the fab foster cat....one of the most loving kitties our family had ever met!

Oliver the fab foster cat….one of the most loving kitties our family had ever met!

I close this by sending blessings and prayers to sweet Sunnev and her three daughters as they continue their healing from the loss of a husband and a daddy and I wish them happiness in this new chapter.  I am hopeful that I can help them place Oliver before they depart on June 20th.


Weekly Pet Pic: My Three Comfy Cats!

Being a cat in our manic managed Harris home is a pretty good gig for these three cat cuties and they don’t seem to have anything manic going in in their lives, even though their humans run around manic a lot!  I could go for being one of my cats for a day.  See why….Sleeping cat cuties

And later that day, I walked in to see Stanley quite comfortable and well cared for (my daughter must have been by earlier)….
Stan under covers
Are your pets this pampered?  I’m guessing they are!  Send your cute pet pics our way because we love to publish them every weekend to wish you and your furry family members a great day.  Remember to rest up like your pets do before you jump into another busy week.  Email your pet pics to [email protected]

Happy Sunday!

Mom Knows Best All Natural Home & Food Tips

When my morning show producer told me that our next show was Mother’s Day themed and that the hosts were bringing their Moms to help co-host, I knew I couldn’t have my mother join us on camera since she lives 2,000 miles away, so I did the next best thing — I showed her picture and some of her best all natural and organic tips when it comes to good clean living and eating.  So take a look to see an all natural way to repel indoor insects, her power toast recipe that my teenager likes that will satisfy your craving for sugar and bread, but with all whole and healthy ingredients instead and much more. Mom also taught me a cool citrus trick to get a good amount of fresh squeezed lime in your homemade margaritas and more.  And wait until you see her unique and very thoughtful pet tip that gives back to nature.  Take a look as I proudly show off some of my mom’s best healthy home tips.  Thanks Mom!  Happy Mother’s Day this weekend.  You are very loved 🙂

Weekly Pet Pic: Two Cool Cats & One Nice Dog!

This week’s pet pics come from two of our managedmoms.com readers.  First up, meet cool cat #1 who is named Tabitha. She and sweet dog, Emmy became fast friends when Tabitha joined the family a few months ago.  This was sent in by Jennifer and we love that this cat chose a canine couch and that the sweet dog doesn’t seem to mind at all…

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Next, check out this curious kitty who prefers a big tall tree for her perfect perch place!  This pretty picture was sent to us by our reader, Lynne and we love it….

cat in tree

Thank you to both Jennifer and to Lynne for sending in these fun pet pics.  Send us your pet photos to [email protected]  We love to share them every weekend to celebrate our furry friendly family members.

Weekly Pet Pics: Lucy Turns 2 & Gets Baked Birthday Cat Cake!

Manic:  My daughter reminding me that I can’t forget her annual tradition of having a birthday party for her cat…add that to our hectic schedule!

Managed:  My girl finding a recipe online for a cat cake made of tuna, cheese, flour and more and then baked to fit a feline’s fancy on her 2nd birthday!  So Lucy’s 2nd birthday party was underway with my tween doing most of the work to keep our manic schedule managed enough to fit in time for a cat’s celebration.  Lucy the cat seemed to enjoy her birthday bash.  Here are some fun party pictures and the cat cake recipe for any of you that may be interested in baking a treat when your kitty’s big day rolls around.

The Pet Pics:

The Birthday girl who turned 2, then and now…


 And it is always fun to look back at baby pictures on a birthday…

Lucy's baby picsLucy is lucky enough to have not only found a human mama who adores her, but also a tireless tween girl who even bakes her a cat cake….

There are three cakes so that Lucy's "siblings" our two  much older boy cats can have their cake and eat it, too!

There are three cakes so that Lucy’s “siblings” our two much older boy cats can have their cake and eat it, too!

 Lucy spots her birthday goodies….

lucy spots bdayAnd it looks like Lucy loves her cake… [Read more…]