E is for Ewok

E is for Ewok.

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No, not that kind of Ewok…..this kind!

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This is my Persian cat, Ewok. She’ll be 5 years old tomorrow. Plenty of studies have shown that pets are good for your mental health. They reduce tension and can improve your mood (except when they pee on something). Research has shown that spending just 20 minutes with your pet can lower cortisol, the stress hormone, levels and elevate serotonin. Interaction with animals is even a form of therapy in some cases. I am thankful every day that I have Ewok. She does so much for me. When I am at my worst and am sure everyone in my life would better off if I were gone, I think of Ewok. She is the only one I know wouldn’t be better off. I am her person. She needs me.

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Ewok keeps me company. Spending time with her makes me feel better. Petting her, playing with her or listening to her purr gives me something besides my inner monologue to focus on. Also, she needs me. As much as she’d like to think she was a ferocious little beast that could take care of herself, she can’t. She needs me, her little world revolves around me. It’s nice to be needed. Ewok is going to want me around and love me regardless of my mood, whether or not I got that grant for my research and despite my eating the whole chocolate cake. Pet love is unconditional, that’s a reason to keep going.

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Rooaarrrr from the ferocious beast! …or maybe just a sleepy kitty yawn.

Ewok helps me sleep. I love listening to her purring. Cats purr at a frequency of 25Hz, the same frequency that is used to help heal wounds faster in humans (reference). The rhythmic sound Ewok makes often helps me sleep. When I’m tossing and turning or my mind is racing, I put her beside my pillow and focus on the sound she is making. This usually helps me drift off. I’m assuming her purring means she is content which means I am doing something right. This gives me a peaceful feeling, allowing me to sleep. How do I get her to stay? I’m lucky she just likes to sleep with me every night. Unfortunately her favourite spot to sleep is on my face. So if I want her to stay, I have to wait until she is sleepy and then I can position her like putty.

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Ewok keeps me active. No, I don’t take her for walks. Ewok is a bit of a princess. She doesn’t like it when the wind ruffles her fur. Ewok and I do yoga together. Yes, you read that last sentence right. Yoga. Every time I do a workout video, I get out my yoga mat and I have to get Ewok’s mat out for her too. If I don’t workout often enough, she starts to remind me to get to it. Let me explain….. I do workout videos at home for which I use a yoga mat. I would start my workout and Ewok would be there……batting my ponytail as I did sit-ups, climbing under me as I did push-ups and weaving in and out of my legs as I did squats. Not to mention scratching my mat to pieces! She was driving me nuts and making it impossible to workout at home. One day I got fed up with her antics and her scratching, so I got out another mat, only half hoping she’d stay on the old one and leave me alone. To my surprise, she did! She loves that ridiculous hot pink mat! Without me in the way she was free to scratch and roll and contort herself all over it. So now we workout together. Me on my mat, Ewok on hers. If I haven’t worked out in a while she’ll head over to where I keep the mats and start scratching her pink one. Hey Mum, workout time!

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Ewok gives me purpose. She injects some humor in among the darkness. I’m not in a smiling mood at the moment, but here I am writing a post about Ewok and her ridiculous yoga mat and its already making me feel a little lighter. She sometimes inspires creativity too. I’ve made treats or toys for her in the past. I even make cartoon versions of her sometimes. I know it seems insignificant, but anything to distract me from the over-thinking and getting into that negative snowballing effect helps.

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Ewok as a unikitty!

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Ewok and I as steampunk superheroes. She makes a great sidekick.

For one reason or another, not everyone can have a pet. That doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the interaction. I’m sure you have friends or relatives with pets that you can visit. If you are open to a little more commitment, you can also volunteer to walk neighbourhood dogs or work at the local animal shelter. For a less committed interaction try a bird feeder in the backyard or even going to the zoo could provide a nice distraction.

Do you have a pet, or wish you had one? What kind of animal do you wish you could interact with more often?

For more Ewok, visit “Meet Ewok” in my top menu.

Several Sides of Smooshy

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This is Cartoon Craziness Week 4! Again, thanks to the hosts for coming up with such a fun challenge! 🙂 The theme this week is Kids and Pets.

I loved the theme this week. It gave me an excuse to draw cartoons of my cat and babble on about her! Haha. My kid/pet is a Silver Persian named Ewok. She is more affectionately known as “Smooshy” because of her flat little face. She’s four years old is a complete quirky joy. So here are several sides of smooshy….

many sides of Ewok

Sitting Staring Smooshy. I always wonder what is going through her little kitty head when she sits there staring at me. She always does this at bedtime. She sits and stares at me lying in bed for a while before she jumps up and lies on my face.

Stumped Smooshy. She loves to scamper after her ball, but when it stops she stops, stands beside it and looks at me like “mommy, why’d it stop?!” My mom’s cat, Ruby, plays fetch…she thinks she’s a dog. It’s a lot of fun though. Alas, Ewok is not getting the fetch concept.

Shoulder Smooshy. When Hubby picks her up for a cuddle, she peers over his shoulder all sleepy-eyed while he strokes/scratches her.

Semi-psycho Smooshy. This is what she does when she’s a little riled up and trying to attack something. She gets down low in front with her butt up in the air and wiggles it. Eventually she decides to pounce, often missing her target. She’s a clumsy little kitty.

Psycho-Smoosh. This is Ewok full of energy darting around the apart like a bat out of hell. She’s leaping over chairs, skidding across the floor and making funny chirping sounds. It usually ends with her overshooting her jump onto the CD stand or crashing into something. Good thing her face can’t get any flatter!

Sustenance Smooshy. When we are eating at the table, Ewok sits beside one of us on the floor and gently reaches up to tap her slipper paw on someone’s thigh. I imagine she’s saying “Hello. I’m here. I’m cute. Feed me.” She usually gets a treat as long as she doesn’t use claws when she taps.

Spiral Smooshy. When relaxing, she contorts herself into all sorts of crazy positions. I can’t imagine how they could be comfortable, but she seems to be perfectly happy. My favourite one is when she twists to expose her little pink belly…lol. I wonder if she knows she’s pink underneath all that fluff.

Scurrying Smooshy. This is what she looks like on the balcony. Ewok hates having the wind blow her fur! Whenever a gust of wind blows, she runs for shelter with her belly almost rubbing the ground, lol. It’s funny to see.

And here is the real Smooshy, just for fun!

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