Winter Solstice Pet Memorial Ceremony
Winter can be a time of isolation and loneliness, especially when you are navigating the holiday season while grieving the loss of an animal companion. We have chosen to use the Winter Solstice as a time of reflection, remember, honoring, and celebrating the pets that we have loved and lost. The practice of gathering with other people who understand the grief of losing a pet can help us feel less alone. This year, we will be hosting our ceremony at 7:00 pm on Friday, December 16th. We will host a display of luminaries, a short program of readings, and some memorial crafts if you would like to create something to remember your pet. There is no cost to participate.
If you send us a submission using the following link, we will create a hand-decorated luminary with the name of your pet(s). Luminaries will be displayed behind St. Francis Integrative Services, which is located in the strip mall adjacent to the main St. Francis Animal Hospital building. You can also choose to submit photos and/or a short statement in honor of your pet if you would like them included in our memorial slideshow.
Click here if you would like to have a luminary created for your pet:
Cause For Paws Holiday Fundraiser
Our annual fundraiser to benefit Cause for Paws is going on now and continues through December 31st. All donations will go directly to help provide preventative and medical care to the cats and kittens within their foster homes. This year, St Francis Animal Hospital will match your donations up to a total of $500!
To make a donation, you may stop by the front desk, call us at 651-645-2808 or email us at email@example.com and we will reach out to you to make a donation over the phone.
For your donation, of any amount, we will place an ornament on our lobby tree. If you’d like a note or a memorial written on the ornament, please let us know. We will also provide a receipt of donation upon request.
Please help us fill our tree with ornaments and provide care for the cats of Cause for Paws.
Cause For Paws is a small, all-volunteer Minnesota nonprofit 501(c)(3) group founded in 1998. Their main focus is to find loving permanent homes for stray and abandoned cats and kittens. All cats in their care are fostered in volunteers’ homes. Their work is funded entirely by donations.
Indoor Enrichment For Cats
We all start to feel cabin fever as the days shorten and it gets harder to get outside. Now imagine being an indoor-only cat who spends their whole lives in an environment that changes relatively little. Here are a few simple ideas for making your kitty’s space more enriching:
- Vertical space! Cats love leaping and climbing, and you can greatly increase the amount of space they have to explore by going up. Cat trees and towers are an easy way to add vertical space. If you don’t have enough floor space for a tower, you can use wall shelving to make high perches.
- Toy rotation: Cats are drawn to novelty. You can keep toys interesting by rotating them out every week or presenting them in unique ways (try putting a toy somewhere unexpected, like inside a box or on top of their cat tree!).
- Interactive feeding: Left to their own devices, cats would have to spend about 8 hours a day working on finding, hunting, and consuming food. Our indoor cats don’t have to work nearly so hard for their meals, but we can try to replicate some of their hunting and foraging behaviors by making their food more challenging to access. Feed your cats in different places every day so that they have to search for their meals. Utilize interactive feeding toys like balls that need to be batted around to dispense their food. Feed small frequent meals throughout the day rather than leaving a dish down for free access.
- Safe outdoor access: “Catios” (patios for cats) allow cats to have access to the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors without the risks of being injured or causing damage to our wild bird populations. Cats can also be trained to go outdoors on a harness and leash. Many kitties will happily spend some time outside, even throughout the winter!
If you are interested in more ideas for keeping your indoor cat healthy, visit the Indoor Cat Initiative.
IVPA Featured Practice
St. Francis Animal Hospital was honored to be the Independent Veterinary Practice Association’s featured practice this month. We think our clinic and our team is pretty special, and we love when others recognize how special we are too!
We will be closed on Saturday, December 24th. We will be open our regular hours (8-12:30) on Saturday, December 31st. Happy Holidays!