The Tiniest Tiger Asks, “Are You Bee Friendly?”

Friends, I am so relieved when I survey my habitat surroundings and things are a little messy! When the yard, trees and shrubs are too tidy, I can’t help but worry.

I worry because there are many creatures that live in the shrubs, grass and trees and when things are manicured and groomed too much, our small Friends lose their habitats!

And it is not just the mowing and the trimming that I am talking about.  I am worried about the use of pesticides to keep lawns greener than green! Is it really so bad for the grass to be dotted with dandelions and other interesting plants?

Honeybees are responsible for every third bite on your dinner plate!

Did you know that more than fifty billion honeybees have died within the last year in the United States due to Colony Collapse Disorder?

Bees are social creatures but they are also very smart. When they become sick, they do not return to their colony so as not to infect the other bees. But when all the bees are sick and do not return the queen bee is left alone in the hive. She is then helpless and she too perishes.

But what is making our honeybees sick?  I found the answers from our Friends at The Honeybee Conservancy.

A scientific study in 2005 showed that three-quarters of the 66 different pesticides found in one hive were toxic to bees.  But even worse, the combination of the toxins increased the poison as much as by 1000 times. This same study found 121 different pesticides in 887 samples of bees, wax, pollen and hives.  Scientists believe that pesticides are the reason for Colony Collapse Disorder.

The Honeybee Conservancy told me that our bees are harvesting pollen laced with lethal poison and feeding it to their young. Many of these systemic pesticides are from a family of highly toxic chemicals called neonicotinoids. Bees exposed to these chemicals exhibit symptoms similar to humans afflicted with Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s.

Spraying Pesticides- Mosquito Fogging

Another thing that makes my fur stand up is mosquito fogging across municipalities. I am not a scientist as you know, I am Gracey, The Tiniest Tiger, but don’t you think if this poison cloud they disperse all over the land is killing mosquitoes, that it is also killing our honeybees, butterflies, fireflies and countless other beneficial insects?   Don’t you think it is also harming our feral cousins, and quite honestly all creatures both big and small and humans too?

West Nile Virus is listed as a “rare disease” by the Office of Rare Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. According to the  Center for Disease Control in 2008 there were 1030 humans infected with West Nile Virus, 20 fatal cases, in the entire country.  Each year 200,000 people are hospitalized for the flu and 36,000 of them die.  There is not an epidemic of West Nile Virus in our country yet cities are spraying toxic pesticides all over the population and millions of people and animals are suffering from pesticide poisoning each year. Our health is put at a much higher risk of harm from mosquito fogging than it is from West Nile Virus.

Tiny Timmy- Spokescat living with neurological damage from toxins

Tiny Timmy, Spokescat living with neurological damage from toxins

Our Friend Tiny Timmy has been working super hard to let us know about the harmful chemicals in over the counter flea and tick medications for both cats and dogs.  In addition to the chemicals well meaning pet parents place on their pets, there are all the other chemicals within and around your household that you may or may not think about being harmful to you and your pets!

Tiny Timmy told me that in the first study of its kind, the

Environmental Working Group found that:

“Just as children ingest pollutants in tap water, play on lawns with pesticide residues, or breathe in an array of indoor air contaminants, so do their pets. But with their compressed lifespan, developing and aging seven or more times faster than children, pets also develop health problems from exposures much more rapidly.”

Tiny Timmy has posted an Official List of Toxins Killing Animals. I urge you to take a look at this list to help protect you and your loved ones.

And while you are thinking about habitat safety, you might want to check out The Cat Fancier’s Association list of Plants that are Toxic to Cats.

Friends, I know this is a super serious topic.

On this beautiful Sunday I ask you to take a moment and think about your habitat and what you can do to help the honeybees and all living creatures both big and small.  Here is what we are doing at my habitat.

~We do not spray our lawn and gardens~

~We are planting indigenous plants that beneficial insects like our honeybees need.

~We are letting parts of our yard go wild with wildflowers, shrubs, and grasses so wildlife can thrive

To learn more about what you can do go to The Honeybee Conservancy’s Act Now page.

Thank you for reading this extra serious and extra long post from me.  Thank you for being my Friend.  I would love to hear what you are doing to help out our honeybees and all living creatures both big and small.

Wishing you all a peaceful Sunday.


The Tiniest Tiger’s Winky Wion Toy! Worth the Wait!

Friends, I understand that my parents have a lot of different things to do to maintain our habitat. And I really do appreciate everything they do to keep me safe and comfortable, but yesterday, I would have appreciated them even more if they would have realized how important it was for them to open the mail for me!

Can you imagine how excited I was when I saw the envelope addressed to me, Gracey, The Tiniest Tiger from my Friend Winky?  Oh boy, I just couldn’t wait to see my new toys that I won from the auction Tiny Timmy sponsored  to help our Friend Myron Wood.

But I had to wait.  I had to wait all afternoon and into the early evening.  In fact, I had to wait until after the sun room was locked at the 8:00 pm curfew.  I kept trying to tell them  to open the mail, but they would look at my Chow Bowl (Code Green) and then check my Drinkwell Water Fountain which was flowing free and clear, then they would just pet my head or scratch me behind my ears. Sometimes, I don’t understand how they are able to get along in the world when it takes them so long to understand the simplest of things. ~sigh~

My mom decided that maybe I would like a treat. And to be honest, that wasn’t a bad idea.  So she placed a couple of my Hill’s Prescription Diet Hypoallergenic Treats in a Treat Toy. The package says it is a fun toy that dispenses treats. It also says that is is mentally and physically satisfying.

You know what I find mentally and physically satisfying?  When my mom dispenses the treats directly to my mouth!  Now I know there are many of my cousins that like these contraptions. But I don’t understand why we need to complicate the snack process.

See, there are my treats, inside the treat toy. Then they put the toy together and I am supposed to use my paws to knock the treats out of the toy.   I voiced my refusal to participate and collapsed on the floor feeling weak from their lack of understanding that I wanted them to open the mail!

After about 1000 hours,  my mom sees the package from Winky and she says “Oh Gracey, look you got a package from Winky!”  ~Finally~   She opens the package and places not one but two toys on the counter!  TWO!

Winky Wocotpus & Winky Wion

This was so exciting to see a Winky Woctopus and a Winky Wion.  I couldn’t wait to play with my new toys.  My mom gave me the Winky Woctopus first.

It was love at first sniff.  Mom tried to take it back from me and I took a swipe at her. I know I should not have done that, but I had to wait all day to play with my new Winky toys.   My parents laughed when I growled at my dad when he tried to take Winky Woctopus away from me.  He worries too much.  He thought that I might bite off the eyes and choke, but Winky thought of everything and the eyes are sewn on snug as can be.

Winky told me his mom buys special safety eyes-the kind they put in teddy bears and kids toys. …the eyes have a post on them, and they come with these little nuts that you push on, they are like zip ties… once you get them past the first ridge, there is no turning back!!

My mom mentioned saving the Winky Wion because he is so cute and special.  But I snagged it with my back feet.  I am not giving up my Winky Toys.

Thank you Winky and Winky’s Mom for making such great and fun toys!

Bobcat-Sled Team

Bobcat-Sled Team.

Friends, practicing my Snow Leopard skills caught the attention of our Bobcat-Sled Team. Here I am with the team celebrating the end of winter with a few runs. My sled-mates are Tiny Timmy, Mango Cat, & Winter Meow. Catching the action is Mousie Kitteh, as photographer. Can you see me? Happy Saturday, Friends!