Forever Home Pet Rescue Inc

Forever Home Pet Rescue Inc

Forever Home Pet Rescue Inc

Forever Home Pet Rescue Inc

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At Forever Home Pet Rescue our mission is to find loving forever homes to homeless, abandoned and neglected pets while providing education and ongoing support to adopters and the community

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Forever Home Pet Rescue Inc
Forever Home Pet Rescue Inc
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Forever Home Pet Rescue Inc
DID YOU KNOW.... March 17th is St Gertrude’s Day?

Saint Gertrude of Nivelles: The Patron Saint of Cats

You might think of March 17 as St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s also the feast day of a lesser-known saint: Gertrude of Nivelles, patron saint of cats. At least that's what the internet says, even if the Roman Catholic Church has never made it official.

Gertrude of Nivelles was born around 626 in present-day Belgium into a well-connected noble family. But she didn’t stick to the script that most noble women were made to follow in her era: When she was 10, Gertrude reportedly refused—loudly and angrily—to be married to the son of a duke. In fact, she insisted that she would never marry at all.

When her father died, Gertrude and her mother, Itta, moved to Nivelles (south of present-day Brussels) to set up a monastery, where she became an abbess. She became known for her devotion to scholarly and charitable works, and for taking care of orphans, widows, and pilgrims. She was also visited by spiritual visions and said to know most of the Bible by heart. But her ascetic lifestyle, which included long periods without food or sleep, took a toll on her health, and she resigned as abbess in 656 at the age of 30. She died three years later, and St. Patrick himself is said to have watched over her on her deathbed.

Because of her reputation for hospitality, Gertrude was originally the patron saint of travelers and the recently dead (who were seen as making their own form of journey) as well as gardeners and the mentally ill. But as the centuries wore on, she also became associated with rodents. The link may have involved early Christian beliefs: Gertrude was known to pray for the souls of those in purgatory, and medieval artists often portrayed those souls as mice. Gertrude’s iconography—the items in a painting or statue that told illiterate people who the saint was—always included mice or rats at her feet, climbing up her robes, or climbing the crozier that symbolized her role as an abbess.

The connection between Gertrude and rodents became solidified as veneration of her spread throughout northern Europe, and little silver or gold statues of mice were left at a shrine to her in Cologne as late as 1822. By then, she had become the saint one asked to intercede in the case of a rodent infestation; it was said that the water from her abbey’s well would chase away rats and mice.

In the past few decades, faithful Catholics (and cat lovers) have made the leap from associating Gertrude with warding off mice to associating her with cats. The idea seems to have started in the 1980s, more than 1300 years after she lived. Some sources say the first publication to link Gertrude and cats was a 1981 catalog, Metropolitan Cats, put out by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Since then, the idea that Gertrude is the patron of cats—and cat owners—has spread. As saint expert Thomas J. Craughwell explains it, “St. Gertrude … is invoked against mice and rats, which has led cat lovers to assume that Gertrude was a cat person, and so the ideal patron of their favorite pet.” There are now many icons and paintings of her with a cat.

Although the Vatican can make a saint’s patronage official, it has never done so with Saint Gertrude and cats. But most patron saints have been assigned their duties by popular tradition rather than by official recognition. So, if you want to get a medal of St. Gertrude to hang around your cat’s neck, go right ahead.

BY VALERIE DEBENEDETTE
MARCH 17, 2017
Forever Home Pet Rescue Inc
Forever Home Pet Rescue Inc
The world is going through hard times..... but a little laughter makes it better
Forever Home Pet Rescue Inc
Forever Home Pet Rescue Inc
***CARING FOR YOUR AGEING CAT***

Cats who are well cared for can live up to and beyond 20 years. It is important to know and understand your cat’s needs as it grows older. From the age of seven your cat is entering into its’ senior years and will be going through changes in metabolism and exercise levels.

COMMON SIGNS OF AGING IN CATS
Weight loss is common in older cats and this could be due to Diabetes or Thyroid problems. Kidney problems can also develop and can be life threatening. Cancers can develop resulting in strange growths and sudden or continued weight loss.

Senior cats can also develop cognitive behavioural dysfunction, which is similar to Alzheimers disease which affects humans, so care and understanding are essential for your cat to stay as healthy and happy as possible in their twilight years.

They may experience joint stiffness and Arthritis, particularly in the colder weather so more care and gentle handling will be necessary and possibly medication for pain management.

Dental disease and gum disease generally affect older cats and you may not notice the signs. If your cat is taking longer to eat or appears to be “wrestling” with its’ food have your vet check it out.

Their hearing and vision along with co-ordination may deteriorate with age. (If they seem to ignore you when you call or speak to them they may not just be exhibiting “stubborn” behavior)

GENERAL CAT CARE FOR OLDER CATS
Their bedding and general area should draught free, warm and as close to the ground as possible for example a trampoline type bed which is off the ground but not too high for them to climb up on. Keep them indoors (or if outside keep them contained so they are safe and have shelter and warmth).

A good idea is a “Heat Pad” which can be heated up in a microwave oven and holds its’ heat for 8-10 hours. Place this under the cats’ blanket and they will be nice and warm for the day and night.

NUTRITION FOR OLDER CATS
Nutrition is a very important factor in the good health of your aging cat. The cats’ dietary needs will change from the age of about seven years. A good nutritious diet followed from early life and adjusted accordingly with your cats’ age and activity levels will ensure maximum quality of life.

VET CHECKS FOR OLDER CATS
Regular Vet checks are essential for the whole of your cats’ life. You should always make sure that all vaccinations and worming programs are kept up to date. Spot on Worming and Flea treatments are available and administered monthly.

Vaccinations and a general check up (including a dental check) should be done yearly until the age of around seven years. After that it is highly recommended to have your cat health checked every six months, as cats are very good at hiding pain and some symptoms of disease that the trained eye of a Vet can quickly pick up. Blood tests can be carried out at this time and any concerns you may have can be discussed with your Vet.

HEALTH INSURANCE FOR YOU CAT
It is true that as your cat gets older, the more it will cost you to maintain a good quality of life for your beloved best friend. Nowadays Pet Health Insurance is available, so for a small monthly fee you can claim many Vet expenses that may be incurred.

This is highly recommended to ease the financial burden as Vet fees and some testing procedures, scans and ultra sounds can cost up to $2000.00 each!

Medications, special diets and supplements can all add up, so while your cat is young and healthy you should be preparing for the time when their needs change and the costs to maintain them will rise.

Caring for your ageing cat takes a little more time and effort, but if you lay the foundations early, whilst they are young and active, you will reap the rewards of having them around for a long time to enjoy their special companionship.

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