New Twitter Name...

I interrupt this blog for a brief public service annoucement...

My new twitter name has changed from ginabeana to cassalvarez. Follow Me. Please. It's lonely over at my new account. : )

We will now continue with manohmanny already in progress.



So I’ve been doing some thinking about this little blog of mine. I miss blogging, but I feel like all the Manny stories I have is a repeat of something I have already posted. So, time for a lil reinvention. Nothing drastic. In addition to writing about Manny, I think I will include more posts about me and my daily adventures. I live in the boroughs of NYC. I see crazy happenings all the time – I should be able to find something in my day to write about. Let’s call it a switch from a blog about my cat to a “life blog” as Kim would call it. Speaking of Kim, she’s having a Homemade Holiday Sweets Giveaway over at her blog. Even though it will lessen my chances of winning, I encourage you to enter. I’ve been on the receiving end of her homemade goodies and they are seriously. good.

See? Goood Stuff.

And not to exclude Manny, I caught Manny picking out my Christmas gift the other day.

Uh huh. The boy's got good taste.


Dear Manny,

Dear Manny,

I heart you Manny, I really do. You are a big mush when you want to be and your grooming habits are impeccable. You are a connoisseur of kicking back and you come when you’re called – how could a person not love that?! I love how you show me your belly when I get home from work. It's OK that you showing me your belly leads to rabbit kicks to my arms. I don’t mind your mood swings or the occasional hair balls you leave on the floor for my bare feet to find (OK, maybe I mind a little). I don’t even mind your cries for food every time I walk in the kitchen. But I have something to tell you, sweet Manny. I need to get this off of my chest:

I have a crush! It’s true – I can’t help it! I didn't want it to happen. I don't even know when it happened. It wasn't planned. Although miles and miles separate my crush and me (how far is it from NYC to Chicago?) – I still can’t help oohing and awing over him. I can’t help staring at his pictures or giggling at his you tube videos. Siiiigh.

He’s just so different from you. He’s dark; he loves going for walks; doesn’t mind a little vacuuming; and takes lounging to a whole new level. A seriously whole new level. I’m not saying he’s better than you, just different. His name? Data. Yes, he’s a cat.

Alas, he belongs to Kim, but I can’t help loving him, too. Click on the links, you'll see what I mean.

don't worry -you'll always be my Mannicotti Biscotti.



This blog inspired by Kim's blog post entitled, How to Make Your Cat Jealous.



But we already knew that.

Manny pulls out the high-pitched cry talked about in the below article when he hears anything remotely similar to a can opener or when he's ready for us to go to bed. Feel free to discuss your thoughts on article. Does your cat own you?


If you've ever wondered who's in control, you or your cat, a new study points to the obvious. It's your cat.

Household cats exercise this control with a certain type of urgent-sounding, high-pitched meow, according to the findings.

This meow is actually a purr mixed with a high-pitched cry. While people usually think of cat purring as a sign of happiness, some cats make this purr-cry sound when they want to be fed. The study showed that humans find these mixed calls annoying and difficult to ignore.

"The embedding of a cry within a call that we normally associate with contentment is quite a subtle means of eliciting a response," said Karen McComb of the University of Sussex. "Solicitation purring is probably more acceptable to humans than overt meowing, which is likely to get cats ejected from the bedroom."

They know us

Previous research has shown similarities between cat cries and human infant cries.
McComb suggests that the purr-cry may subtly take advantage of humans' sensitivity to cries they associate with nurturing offspring. Also, including the cry within the purr could make the sound "less harmonic and thus more difficult to habituate to," she said.

McComb got the idea for the study from her experience with her own cat, who would consistently wake her up in the mornings with a very insistent purr. After speaking with other cat owners, she learned that some of their cats also made the same type of call. As a scientist who studies vocal communication in mammals, she decided to investigate the manipulative meow.

Tough to test

Setting up the experiments wasn't easy. While the felines used purr-cries around their familiar owners, they were not eager to make the same cries in front of strangers. So McComb and her team trained cat owners to record their pets' cries - capturing the sounds made by cats when they were seeking food and when they were not. In all, the team collected recordings from 10 different cats.

The researchers then played the cries back for 50 human participants, not all of whom owned cats. They found that humans, even if they had never had a cat themselves, judged the purrs recorded while cats were actively seeking food - the purrs with an embedded, high-pitched cry - as more urgent and less pleasant than those made in other contexts.

When the team re-synthesised the recorded purrs to remove the embedded cry, leaving all else unchanged, the human subjects' urgency ratings for those calls decreased significantly.
McComb said she thinks this cry occurs at a low level in cats' normal purring, "but we think that cats learn to dramatically exaggerate it when it proves effective in generating a response from humans." In fact, not all cats use this form of purring at all, she said, noting that it seems to most often develop in cats that have a one-on-one relationship with their owners rather than those living in large households, where their purrs might be overlooked.

The results were published in the July 14 issue of the journal Current Biology.



As promised.

Oh and just for kicks - here is a picture of my Orchid.

It's dead now. Well, I'm not sure if it's totally dead. The flowers fell off but the leaves are nice and green.



Hi Everyone! So sorry for the long time no write. I know some of you have been worried about Manny because of the lack ‘o blogs, but he is doing great. Life got difficult there for awhile and I needed a little blogging break. We are all fine and happy, but I had to focus on life and give it it’s fair share of attention.

Manny is doing really well. He has adjusted to his new home beautifully. The stairs are his new playground – he likes to race me up and down, and beats me every time. It’s getting really competitive, I must admit. He fights dirty. Manny likes to cut in front of me; and I know some day I will get to the bottom of the stairs before he does, but I think it’s going to contain a nasty spill (me) and I’ll most likely not land on all four feet.

Manny’s getting more vocal. I like to greet him in a high pitch (no idea why) voice when I come home from work, and he likes to match it. He’s probably telling me to take it down a couple of notches, but I like to pretend he’s actually answering me, when I squeak out “and how was YOUR day!”.

The other day The Husband managed to brush enough fur off of Manny to make another cat. I have no idea where Manny is storing all this fur. He enjoys depositing some of it when he finds a discarded shirt on the floor. It’s my fault, I still haven’t learned to pick up my clothes off the floor on a regular basis. It’s been a problem since childhood, right Mom. So instead of my Mom telling me to pick the clothes off my floor, now I find Manny laying all over my sweat shirt or gym clothes. As a reward for being lazy, I get a shirt (probably a black shirt) with orange fur all over it. YAY! So, I’m taking matters into my own hands. No, I did not become neat. I got the BISSELL PET HAIR ERASER. Or as The Husband likes to call it, THE PET ERASER. He thinks it’s funny.

He’s been the target of my camera lately. I love interrupting his nap time(s) with my camera. He hates the camera and flinches whenever I pull it out. I’ll post some of them soon. Yeah, I know I’ve said that before, but I will! Promise.


I’m thinking that it would be great to hear from some of my readers. If anyone is interesting in being a “guest blogger” and posting a story or two about your beloved cat, let me know! Perhaps it will clear some of this blogger’s block I’ve been having. Email me at mannyed924@hotmail.com if you would like to share a story on Man Oh Manny!


oh yeah....

Alrighty....I think I owe you all an update. I hope no one was holding their breathe waiting...I could be in big trouble.

So, I think I left it that we were waiting for Manny's test results. I received a message with the test results about a week and half later. He tested negative for both FIV and Feline Bartonella. But. The lab was unable to test for FeLV because the vet didn't take enought blood to test for all three tests.

*&%^!!! Whaaa?

The vet then asked on the message she left for me if I could bring Manny back in for more blood work.

@%$^*!! Whaaaaa?

My favorite part of the message: the vet said I wouldn't have to pay for the test (that I already paid for) since they didn't take enough blood to actually run the test. Um, gee, thanks.

Let's rewind a little bit shall we. I already took him two weeks in a row (one of those days being Valentine's Day) to the Vet and now they want me to bring him back for a third time. Do they know how hard it is to get a Manny in a cat carrier?!

Luckily this was all said on a message and not "in person" because it gave me some time to think about my next move. Ah, who am I kidding, it gave me enough time to rant and rave and then think about my next move. I was beyond relieved that he tested negative for two of the tests but was worried about the one outstanding test. I figured my options were to either 1.) wrestling Manny back in the carrier for a third time in one month for more blood work or 2.) hold off on the test; and ask the vet about the next step.

After discussing it with The Husband we decided to go with option #2 and the vet was okay with that choice. She said the next step was to try out Clinda-guard, an antibiotic, orally for 10 days and to bring him back after we were done to see if the medicine helped his gums out. If there is no indication that the medicine helped at all, we will go back and test for FeLV.

So that's where we are at now. Administering anything orally to a cat is pretty complicated. We got away with it for ohhh, about one day. Now we are just adding it to his Fancy Feast and are keeping our fingers crossed that it will be good enough.

Other than having his Fancy Feast spiked with medicine, Manny is doing well. He likes to talk to me when I get home from work and he likes to be thisclosetome when we go to bed. He spends most of his time purring away, and that's how I like it.

'Til next time...



For some, V-Day could be short for Valentine’s Day. For others, namely Manny, it probably means Vet Day.

Manny was back at the V-E-T on Saturday. Yup, I took my beloved cat to the vet on Valentine’s Day. For blood work. I suck. But as I explained to Manny, it was for his own good so we can figure out what is and what isn’t causing his gum issues. He is being tested for FeLV; FIV; and Feline Bartonella. He has tested negative for FeLV; FIV before but I don’t think he’s ever had the Bartonella test done. Apparently there is a link between Bartonella and oral disease. We should know the results within the next few days.

I hated seeing him get blood work done. I was such a baby and started tearing up when they laid him on his side and pulled out his back paw inorder to find a vein. I guess this is a prime example of why I could/should never be a Vet. Or a Doctor. Or a Nurse. Manny handled it way better than I did and the Vet called him a Champ.

Upon recommendations from my previous Vet, I had been mixing Science Diet Oral Care with his regular food. The Oral Care food has big chunks of dry food goodness that is suppose to help a cat break up plaque and tartar. I decided to take out all those chunks from his food in case it was aggravating his gums. I think he appreciated the gesture. He’s not really digging the Agua Dent no matter how much I dilute it so I’ll probably just have to give up on that option. He also gets to have his Fancy Feast more often. Lucky guy. He doesn't have a problem with that one at all.

When we got back from the Vet he ate a little and camped out in his hideout for the better part of the day. He did come out later on, purring and rubbing against my leg for some pets. I do like his forgiving nature. I'm lucky he didn't pack his bags and find another home having to go to the Vet two Saturdays in a row.

So, we’ll take it one step at a time to see what’s going on with his gums. Stay tuned.


New Vet City

We took Manny out on a lil excursion last Saturday. We frolicked in the park; chased after birds – ahh, ok, we went to the vet. It really wasn’t time for his annual vet visit, but since I moved, it’s been on my mind to get some recommendations on a good vet in the new ‘hood. We finally secured a good recommendation, did some quick research and made an appointment with a local vet about a 5 min. car ride away.

I also made the mistake of teasing Manny about the upcoming vet visit. He was prepared come Saturday morning and he put up a good fight about getting into his cat carrier. Although, I must note that he calmed down a lot quicker than usual after he was inside the carrier. Note to self: don’t utter the word vet, even in jest.

I was pretty happy with the new Vet. When she saw Manny she said, “oh, this office loves orange cats”. Insert beaming pet owner face right about here. I loved hearing that, and I’m sure Manny thought it was cool, too. She also told me she used to have an orange cat named Manny, short for Manouri, a greek cheese, and got a kick out of hearing that my Manny was short for Manicotti. There is just something about orange cats named after ethnic foods that really makes me smile.

Aside from that, the Vet gave Manny a really thorough check up. She told me some cool facts about orange cats that I never knew. For instance, the little black mark on Manny’s nose and on the inside of his lips are common for Orange cats as they get older. I guess you can call them age spots, just don’t tell Manny that.

Then we looked inside his mouth and found some trouble. She was able to get Manny to open his mouth really wide and we saw some gum bleeding going on and some plaque buildup which concerned the Vet. I was immediately alarmed because my former Vet never really alluded to this and Manny just saw him in September. I take Manny to the Vet very regularly to keep him updated on his required shots and for checkups. About two years ago my former Vet just told me that Manny had some redness on his gums and to try using a dry food geared to oral care for cats. He was never able to open Manny’s mouth as wide or for as long as the new vet did. She suggested that I get Manny’s records from the old vet so she could take a look and decide the best course of action. She told me about CET Aqua Dent. It’s a odorless, colorless, additive that you can put in your pet’s water. So I bought and put some in his water bowl. So because it's ordorless and colorless, Manny knows something is up with his water because he’s stopped drinking water after I put in the stuff. I switched out the Agua Dent water to see if he goes back to drinking. He’s always been a good water drinker. The Vet even mentioned that he’s well hydrated. So, I’m keeping a close eye on his drinking habits (that sounds funny) and will discuss treatment options for his gums with Vet after she reviews his medical records.

Manny doesn’t seem to be in any pain and he has a good appetite so I don’t think his gums are bothering him too too much. I do, however, want to get his gum situation in check. He’s a pretty healthy cat otherwise. When we got home from the vet, Manny sat on the couch and watched TV with me, so luckily, he forgives me for the vet visit.