Caturday Intermew with Renegade Parenting Expert, Heather Shumaker!

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Happy Caturday!!

Today I’m so purry to share my intermew with Heather Shumaker, Renegade Parenting Expert, about her book, It’s OK to Go Up the Slide: Renegade Rules for Raising Confident and Creative Kids.

While the book is full of great tips for raising mini-hoomans, you can also learn a lot about raising confident and creative kitties!

Enjoy!

It's OK to Go Up the Slide book cover

amazon.com

Hazel: Meows, Heather! Thanks for chatting with me today! What got you interested in writing?

Heather: I’ve been writing and wanting to be a writer since I was four. It’s a lifelong love.

Hazel: What is renegade parenting?

Heather: Renegade parenting means looking at things differently, and questioning standard parenting “truths” we take for granted. For example, “don’t talk to strangers” “share your toys” and “do your homework.” It’s renegade because it goes against the commonly accepted culture, but really renegade parenting is all about “Good, Basic, Universal Child Development Principles That Work.” It’s all backed up in research and is based on a foundation of respect for young children.  Kids have very different needs from adults, and adults don’t always understand that.

Hazel: Where did you get the idea to write about renegade parenting?

Heather: The inspiration came from an unorthodox preschool I attended as a child. My mother also taught there for 40 years. The school helps kids cope with their big feelings and welcomes their play – even rough-and-tumble play like giving kids boxing gloves and letting them get physical. This school, the School for Young Children, is a place where kids feel respected and learn skills that are essential to life: conflict mediation and expressing feelings appropriately.

Hazel: How might renegade parenting be applied to kitties? (If you have kitties or pets this would be a good place to chat about them!)

Heather: I think kitties would like my chapters on rough-and-tumble play.  Some people call it puppy play, but you might prefer “kitty play.”

Hazel: I do!

funny-cats-fighting-box

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Heather: All social and intelligent mammals do it when they’re young – playful wrestling and rolling around.  The more social and intelligent the species, the more they do it. It’s very good for the brain and great for social relationships – developing trust, impulse control, flexibility in thinking, and friendships. Unfortunately, many adult humans forget that and try to stop physical play between kids: “get your hands off each other!”

Hazel: Right! Or paws! What in your eyes is the biggest problem parents don’t know they have?

Heather: Parents don’t realize how afraid they are. This fear causes them to stunt children’s healthy development in so many ways. Fear drives homework assignments in kindergarten. Fear drives loss of recess. Fear keeps kids from playing outside and interacting with the world, taking healthy risks, even experiencing basic emotions like sadness, anger and jealousy. Kids have a lot to learn in the early years, and they learn life best through play and experience.

Hazel: How do you strike a balance between having kids learn on their own and giving them a structure to learn from others?

Heather: For young kids (up to age 8) most learning is done through play. True play has to be child-led and child-initiated. That’s how children process the world. Very little structured learning is needed in these early years, since young children learn through modeling (how to use a fork, say hello, hold a book). In fact, many lessons we try to teach kids don’t work at young ages. For example, we drill the calendar in preschool classrooms despite the fact that human development typically doesn’t develop the capacity to understand long periods of time until age 7. It’s a waste of their time. Kids are desperate for unstructured time when they can think their own thoughts and follow their own play ideas.

Hazel: What are you working on next?

Heather: I’m working on something different.  A ghost story adventure for 8-12 year-olds!

Hazel: Sounds pawesome! Can’t wait to read it! Thanks, Heather!!

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And thank YOU reader for reading!!

Headbonks!

Hazel

Caturday Intermew with Poptart!

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Happy Caturday, Everypawdy!

Well, not quite Caturday! But our guest today has an auction that ends tomorrow, March 7th, so I wanted to share our stimulating chat today so you can get a chance to bid if you like!

Meet Poptart!

Hazel: Hi Poptart! What inspired that cute name of yours?

Poptart: Oh the little humans in the house! At first my name was J. Lo when I was at the shelter and that was changed very fast mol.

Hazel: Mol!! J. Lo is an excellent name for a kitty. How did you find your forever home?

Poptart: My people really wanted a kitty to help one of the little humans cope with the loss of Mama who went to the Rainbow Bridge. She would sleep with the little boy human and he was so very sad so they saw me and I just insisted they pick me and for the longest time I slept wif him and helped him heal from his sadness.

Hazel: Aww, that’s so sweet, I did a lot of healing for my humans too. What’s a funny cat thing you do?

Poptart: I used to play hockey with my mousie toys but now I think my funny is how I run down the hall when mommy gets ready to feed me my special food and I meow and run at the same time and it sounds like me ow ow ow ow ow and then before she puts the food down I meow and roll back and forth on my back till she is done putting it down for me!

Hazel: Haha you’re an athletic kitty! You’re also in Dancing with the Stars, Kittyland Edition! What kind of dance do you like?

Poptart: I like to dance to all sorts of music actually! But our last song, “A Thousand Years,” by Christina Perri, was chosen because of my love for Bob and I thought it was just the purrfect song for us!

Hazel: Which charity are you dancing for?

Poptart: The charity is Forgotten Felines of Maine and their mission is this:

Forgotten Felines of Maine is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to:

  • Educating the public about free-roaming cats by providing literature and advice on caring for feral, stray, homeless and abandoned cats.
  • Assisting in humanely reducing cat overpopulation with Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) programs.
  • Providing access to spay/neuter services and helping to place adoptable cats in loving homes.

Hazel: You also have an auction going on right meow, which ends March 7th. Can you tell me more about that?

Poptart: The auction page is for all paws in need, not just kitties, and it is to help with medical bills. We have a private account that is specific for the auctions. I have lots going on this time. This auction is for ME this time to help defray the cost of my bills because I had to have all my teeth removed due to my stomatitis. We have custom painted glasses from Chunkie Crafts and a blanket from Prince Pan Pan and one from Mothwing and kitty toys from Hallman Crafts I really do not want to leave anyone out. Mew can visit the page it is called Poptart Power of the Paw Auctions for those in need.

Hazel: What advice do you have for bright young kitties hoping to make a difference?

Poptart: Please be kind to one another first and foremost! Also if you think there is something wrong, please check it out right away! Also my rule of thumb is this Every Paw Matters!

Hazel: If you could say only one thing to a potential new or existing friend, what would you like them to know?

Poptart: I am an equal opportunity kitty! Ebbery animal or eben humans can come to my page! I am a Happy Kitty just trying to spread the love and also help out any way that I can.

Hazel: Thanks Poptart!

And thank YOU readers for reading!

Sandpaper kisses,

Hazel

Caturday Intermew with Ukraine Peace Ambassador Charlie!

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Happy Caturday!

I am so excited to present my intermew with my new furriend, Charlie, who is here to share his message of peace from war-torn Ukraine!

Charlie 2

Hazel: Meows, Charlie! Thanks for chatting with us today! How did you find your forever home?

Charlie: Here is my little story. Some nasty breeder told that I’m no good for the shows and wanted to do something awful with me, but mommy found out and said that all shows are, pardon, bullshit and she wants me as a family member not some show puppet! So here I am!

Hazel: Wow, good for her! What are some funny dog things you do with your family?

Charlie: I love to do many funny things, for example play with my ball or chase a puller. I have my favourite toy, a woofsome doggy, so as soon as mommy wakes up, I put it on her belly and woof so that she throws it to me!

Hazel: Aww, you’re so cute! How have you enjoyed your new life as a Social Media Pet?

Charlie: Well, I had no idea that I’m a Social Media Pet! I just love meeting new friends, especially from other countries, so me and Mommy thought that it would be cool to share our story and learn about others!

Charlie 3

Hazel: I love new furriends too! Do you live in Ukraine now? What’s it like?

Charlie: I live in Ukraine, and we have everything here: seas, lakes, rivers, mountains, forests! But some stupid politicians started an awful war, and now people are killing each other for nothing and my heart breaks because of this!

Hazel: Can you tell us a little bit about the situation there?

Charlie: So I’ve mentioned that there is a war in Ukraine! More than 20,000 people killed and about 500,000 animals strayed by the war! I try to draw attention to this problem, because people should know the truth about Ukraine!

Hazel: Oh wow! What needs to happen in Ukraine before you can experience peace?

Charlie: People just have to stop supporting all the politicians who ignite the war! There is too much propaganda and people often are told lies! My mommy has a lot of Russian friends and no one wants the war, neither Russians nor Ukrainians! So instead of listening to the TV lies, people should talk to each other, see what’s really happening and try to find out who really benefits from this war, because some politicians turned it into a tool for making money!

Hazel: Interesting, if you could say only one thing to a new or existing follower, what would you like them to know?

Charlie: Paws for peace! Nothing else matters!

Charlie

Hazel: What a great message! Thanks, Charlie! 

And thank YOU reader for reading!

Hazel Fluffypants

Birthday Intermew with Scratchz Padz!

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Happy Almost Caturday, Furriends!

Today we have a very special intermew from Edward David Alexander! You may know him as Scratchz Padz, he makes all those beautiful RIP images we see when one of our kitty friends crosses the Rainbow Bridge, including this recent homage to the late Sir Houdini.

Sir Houdini

You can check out his work on his many pages here, and be sure to wish him a Happy Birthday! He’s celebrating his 54th!

Hazel: You’re the artist behind all those beautiful RIP signs we see on Facebook! How did you get started?

EDA: I got my start in pro art as a young man, so before I was even 18, back in the mid 1970’s as a pro tattooist. How I started on the Facebook RIPs…well I was friends with the old RIP maker before he passed, and the first online RIP I did ever make and post was for brother Paul N when he passed. I didn’t know that at the time, brother Paul was teaching me to take his place.

Hazel: Do you have kitties of your own? What are their names, and what are they like?

EDA: Yes, I have currently 3 gal kitties & they do have their own Facebook pages: Sweety & Cat Friends of CCC and Ginny & MoMo (hyperlinked above).

Hazel: What have you learned from helping so many people heal from their loss?

EDA: Oh yeah, ask the tough stuff! Well, to be totally honest, I am not sure what I have learned but this: that few words are best, to have a firm hand and strong heart, and to use my empathic powers.

Hazel: You were told in 2011 you only had 2-15 months left, how has that changed your perspective, and what kept you going?

EDA: You have to do what you love and love what you do.

Hazel: What would you say to humans who are still recovering from a pet loss?

EDA: There are always the basic same stages to this: first is shock, then sadness, then emptiness…there is no time limit to these as each person is different and heals differently.

Hazel: Who’s waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge?

EDA: I am sure every cat I have ever had is there waiting. After 54 of me loving and having cats, the list is to long to put here, but all cats go to the Rainbow Bridge or heaven to wait for us.

Hazel: What would you like future readers to know about you and your work?

EDA: It has been a 50+ year dream of mine to share and give to world my art work. It is the best and last gift I have to give to the world. Thank you, Hazel Fluffypants, for choosing this human to interview, and I hope I did well answering! 🙂

Thanks Scratchz! And Happy Birthday!!

A cordial purr,

Hazel Fluffypants

August Intermew Blitz with Artemis Moonshadow!

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Day 19 of my August Intermew Blitz! Meet Artemis Moonshadow!

Advice?

My advice would be to post lots of awesome and cute photos and videos to grab people’s attention.

Inspiration?

My biggest inspiration is all the animals who need homes. I feel that if we could only make pages for all the animals, they would find families

Entertainment?

I love any books by Anne Rice. TV? I like Grey’s Anatomy, The Walking Dead, and Buffy. Plays? I love Rent and Mamma Mia!

Politics?

I feel that one day cats will be the main pet of choice. And maybe even overtake the humans

Dream Date?

I’d love to have dinner with Sarah Michelle Gellar. We would eat steak at a fancy steak restaurant

Mistakes?

Not to break things. Or eat off people’s plates. Taught me to have manners.

Conclusion?

Have fun and love all animals.

Thanks, Artemis!

August Intermew Blitz with Black Lotus!

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Day 10 of my August Intermew Blitz! Meet Black Lotus!

Advice?

It help to have many friend in real life first. It also good to be unique and not generic cat.

Inspiration?

Probably Lil Bub, who overcome much adversity to be where she is today.

Entertainment?

Books are useless to me unless they are big enough for me to lay on when they are laid flat on surface. For the other entertainments, I enjoy when they have stuff like martial arts, Chinese black magic, all that kind of thing.

Politics?

The Black Lotus empire grows, but the power of all other lotuses grows as well… Maybe feline power will shape things to come in the world at large, but LOTUS POWER will be BEST POWER. It would do the world well to realize this.

Dream Date?

I would love to have dinner with someone with long fingernails who can pet me while I eat, it doesn’t matter who. I am not particular about location of feeding, but unfortunately my diet is very restricted to special food to combat diarrhea. Every other catfood I try cause very bad things to happen.

Mistakes?

I am the BLACK LOTUS, I do not make mistakes!

Conclusion?

The Black Lotus does appreciate all followers, and sends beneficent welcome to all new friends!

Thanks, Black Lotus!

August Intermew Blitz with Daisy the Cat!

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Day 9 of my August Intermew Blitz! Meet Daisy the Cat!

Advice?

Not sure, but never fool a human! Just be inspiring.

Inspiration?

My mum! She loves me so much that we sleep together every night because she has a strong attachment to me. But my biggest inspiration must be the vets, because they do good jobs even if I dislike going to the vet, but I am very patient.

Entertainment?

Milo and Otis, Homeward Bound Journey, Garfield…Anything to do with cats! Jacqueline Wilson cat stories too.

Politics?

Good to have the rise of feline power and that humans will start respecting us more!

Dream Date?

Tuna definitely. It’s my favourite food. With my mum that’s for sure. But aside from that, any famous cat.

Mistakes?

Not to scratch carpets by my grandparents – they hate that. I learnt when I should be shooed away for that reason. My mum loves me so much she likes to pick me up five times a day, and instead of getting out of her hands I stay with her because I feel for her as she doesn’t have many friends of her own.

Conclusion?

MEOW!

Thanks, Daisy!

August Intermew Blitz with Sophia the Three Legged Kitty!

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Day 6 of my August Intermew Blitz! Meet Sophia the Three Legged Kitty!

Advice?

Just to be very sweet and sincere! Always be kind. Appreciate and love your fans!

Inspiration?

Homer the blind cat! He was a very strong kitty that overcame being blind and lived a normal, happy life!! The momma also loved his book!

Entertainment?

For books I’d say Homer’s Odyssey (I love Homer the Blind cat!!). I also love horror movies. I like to sit next to the momma and daddy and watch scary movies! As for TV, I watch whatever the momma likes, like the Walking Dead and Once Upon a Time!

Politics?

I think the rise of [cat power] is great!! I think more kitties will get homes! Two of my sisters and I were strays at one point so hopefully the rise in power will make people want to adopt more!!

Dream Date?

Hmm… Maybe Tara the cat. Kitty food or chicken! Preferably at my house! I don’t like to leave my house.

Mistakes?

Do NOT trust cars!! I trusted cars once and I lost my leggie! They are evil!!!! The momma keeps telling me that they aren’t all evil but I don’t believe her!

Conclusion?

Hm…I would say just that I love all of my followers!!!! (Heart Symbol)

Thanks, Sophia!

August Intermew Blitz with Audry’s Cats!

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Day 5 of my August Intermew Blitz! Meet Audry’s Cats!

Advice?

My advice is NIKE. Just do it! The crew and I have had so much fun interacting with folks…you get to meet people from all over the world. You get to see how kitties live all over the world. You get to swap ideas. Share stories. Help one another. It really is worth it ♡

Inspiration?

I have admired several kitty celebrity personalities over the years from Morris to N2. I figured if they can do it I can do it! I wanted to start Audrys Cats to promote helping cats in need as well as marketing the cat nip toys we hand make ♡

Entertainment?

We don’t watch TV. However we like movies. Family classes for us! We enjoy reading. We read the bible; history and science books. Craft books. The Daily News. The crew likes to be read to ♡

Politics?

I believe [cat power] always been there. I mean look at history. Even the Egyptians favored cats over dogs ♡

Dream Date?

Ellen. PBJ. Some small local business. She is a great pet advocate and seems like a down to earth person. I like to support local businesses. I’m not into fancy food ♡

Mistakes?

I’ve made plenty of mistakes over the years. One of my biggest is not following my heart. I’ve wanted to work with animals all my I life. Instead I’ve been pushed into every other direction. I’m now putting my credits together to be able to become a vet tech. I Will work for souls who appreciate what I do for them instead of those who complain about everything ♡

Conclusion?

People often ask me why I help the sick; starving; forgotten feline. I say:”what if it were you…” Matthew 25:40

Thanks!

August Intermew Blitz with Zamboni the Cat!

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Day 4 of my August Intermew Blitz! Meet Zamboni the Cat!

Advice?

On da web, wut yew do iz start visiting other pages cuz dem iz awsum and intraduce yerself. Dem iz so kind and shares da page BUT yew got to amember to pay it forward and share too, and share da new frenz as dem comes to yew!! Itz also important to visit yer frenz pages too and acknawledge da comments and posts made on yer page! Be nice and don’t be meen cuz dere iz enuff meenness in da werld already!

Inspiration?

Dere iz so many inspiring furbabies who haz had to overcome different things and we luv so many, so mine can’t pick just one… awl mine frenz iz awsum and has awl inspired mine in one way or another!

Entertainment?

Oh mine luvs anything with da cat in it Dr. Seuss Cat in The Hat is good! Mine luvs watching da aminal shows speshally with da lions and birds in! oh, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof iz da classic Who duzint luv Garfield, and Puss In Boots? Oh and we iz looking forward to Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever movie

Politics?

Da rise of feline power… hazint we had it awl along? Mine thought we iz da king of da beests Da werld run by cats… awsum…. no more homeless or hurt furbabies… yes, a vision worth striving fer!

Dream Date?

Mine wud luv to have dinner with… OH…. since da Christmas iz coming… Santa Claws! Oh, wait datz Santa CLAUS! Yes! Tell himz wut mine wants fer da Christmas and to find out fer shur if himz iz real! Mine believes himz iz real but mine will take da pikchers to prove it once and fer awl. Not meet himz at da North Pole tho, cuz datz too cold. Maybe himz and da reindeerz can pick mine up and we dine on da tropical beech sumware… oh yes, dat wud be nice!! No snow, no cold…. uh huh!

Mistakes?

Mine haz made many mistakes and sumtimes mine lerns frum dem! Never climb 40 feet up da tree cuz it iz hard to come down again without da bumps and bruises Never wander off into da snow wen yew haz never seen snow before… yew end up getting stuck down a hill in da snowbank until da hoomins finds yew Never go snooping in da open closet under da stairs cuz da hoomins close da door and not know yew iz in dere Never crawl onto a storage container dat iz close to da shelf cuz yew get stuck and look like da flattened kitty wen da hoomins heerz da meows and finds yew in dat closet Never find da opening in da laundry room and start walking along da rafters cuz den yew find da drop ceiling and think itz stable but itz not and yew fall thru da seeling onto da couch below Never take a turn in dat same opening and walk on top of da duct work cuz it makes da banging sounds and freeks da hoomins out hehehe… okay, dat one wuz da good mistake

Conclusion?

We iz awl different in different ways and itz our differences dat make us yewneek and who we iz.

Thanks, Zamboni!