4 Ways To Destress Your Cat

On Today’s episode of LotusLand Cat TV, Ollie and I share how we destress in these stressful times.

I actually share five ways to destress in the video. Well, four-and-a-half. The last one may not be one you’ve prioritized, but it is very helpful.

  1. Music: Calming music played quietly throughout the day works wonders for you and for them.
  2. Hidey-Holes: Create places to hide that are not under the bed or furniture. When they hide under furniture they retreat from the world and from us. They can’t self-soothe, they need our help. Providing tubes or even clean carriers with fresh bedding keeps them integrated and allows you to check on them and stay connected. Also, you want to keep an eye out that they’re not hiding too long as it can indicate illness.
  3. Routine: A fixed routine is as important for them as it is for you. Limit the free-feeding to a little in the afternoon, if that’s a thing in your household. Set meal times in the morning and evening. It helps you structure your day and it helps them feel more grounded and less anxious.
  4. Self-Care: Finally, you need to prioritize your own self-care. It’s like on an airplane when they tell you to place the air mask on your own face before your child’s. If you’re not happy, they won’t be happy. Whatever you have to do to feel better, feel good, feel relaxed, make it a priority. It can be 10 minutes of gardening, meditating, journalling–all of the above. Please, right now, don’t forget to take care of you while you’re taking care of everyone else.
  5. 15-Minute Play Session: This last one is a bonus and it’s not in the video. I’ve found that throwing a 15 minute play session in with your kitty will help them exhaust anxious energy and strengthens your bond.

I’d love to hear how you destress. Anything we can do to help each other right now is a welcomed change from all of the forced isolation and social strife.



LotusLand TV: Help Vivian Find a home.

Vivian is a 7-year-old, healthy, sweet Lynx Point Siamese who has so much love to give.

In September 2020 she will be surrendered, for a second time, to the Southern California Siamese Rescue. Why you ask? No fault of her own.

Cats, particularly Siamese, are very sensitive and form strong emotional attachments to their owners. They get hurt and confused when abandoned. The flip side of that is that once they’re in a forever home, they are forever grateful. Vivian will follow you from room to room, sleep with you and stay by your side. She needs a human who will be there for her as she’s been let down too many times for someone who deserves so much better.

The first time she was surrendered she was the victim of bullying. She’d been viciously attacked by the dog and the resident cat–for five years. The owners stuck her out on their porch, where she stayed by the screen just to be near them. Now, she’ll be abandoned again because her owner, of just 9 months, is now going into assisted living.

The mission of LotusLand TV is to spread the word about cats in need and right now, Vivian needs help. She’s facing a second abandonment of someone she’s grown very fond of and she won’t know why. Vivian needs a special person who will cherish her and love her for the rest of her life and in return they will receive more love than they imagine. Please help us find her a home before she’s surrendered. It is challenging to find a forever home for a cat who “must be only.” Most people who love cats, already have at least one. Additionally, at 7, people can be ageist–just like they can be about us.

Here is the link to the Southern California Siamese Rescue. Vivian is featured right now!


LotusLand TV: Cats Helping Cats Save Lives

Lena, Ollie, Greta and Charlie, all former fosters have gotten together and created a YouTube Channel to tell their awesome stories and help other babies find their forever homes too.

Lena here, I’m running the show!!!! Hahaha! (Mom left her computer because Greta was being bad.) Watch our new video. I helped edit and write, though I gave all the credit to Charlie. He needed to feel important. Hope you all like it! Just watching it helps, but if you want to share it, maybe more people will love cats and then more cats can be saved! Oh, mom’s back. I have to post this right now before she erases it.

You Tube Influencers Have Keen Eye for Racism, But Fall Hard on Sexism


Aba and Preach are comedians with a keen eye for racial inequality. However, their unwillingness to use that same insight to understand the gender imbalance in male/female relationships and society more largely, presents a glaring inconsistency. They complain about double standards that, in their opinion, favor women, presenting their personal and anecdotal perspective as evidence, without ever examining the historical and systemic privileges that favor men and shut out women. Why does this matter? Because they perpetuate a toxic masculinity that, however palatable to most, is the very subtext that feeds the misogyny running in the background of our culture. Unexamined, this perspective drives the narratives that result in discrediting women and marginalizing their opinions and voices. Lauryn Moses and I cannot stay silent about it. This video is the first in a series to call them out and is a response to their first video on the recent revelations regarding Chris D’elia and the barely legal girls he routinely objectified and sought to use.


IG: @misslaurynmoses @punt_on_point_media Twitter: @amypunt

Remember Charleston Root Out Racism


Five years ago a young man walked into historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina and joined a small group of parishioners for Bible Study. Everyone bowed their heads to pray and closed their eyes. He pulled out an automatic weapon and opened fire, killing nine people. He intended to start a race war. Sitting in prison, now on death row, he does not regret his actions. A race war did not ensue. His ignorance and cowardice, fueled by an online community of racist, violent, white supremacists, reveal where true evil in our society resides. Most notably, it is a close cousin to the police violence we see leveled at black bodies with alarming regularity. The Emanuel AME community is still reeling from this shooting and for many, the loss feels as acute as it did July 17, 2015. They don’t close their eyes during prayer at Emanuel AME anymore and family members struggle to forgive. We mustn’t forget their loss or ever lose sight of their pain. We must remember if we’re ever going to root out this evil. Today I speak with Documentary Filmmaker Moriah Hall whose film, No Sanctuary journeys through the aftermath of the shooting and explores why we forget and why empathy seems so elusive. What can you do about it? Below are links to the actions you can take to send the message to governments, corporations and your community that you remember all of those lost to senseless violence fueled by racism. Sign a Petition: https://www.change.org/t/justice-for-… https://www.justiceforall2030.org/pet… https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/j… https://blacklivesmatter.com/petitions/ https://www.purewow.com/news/petition… http://chng.it/qCznBzVgtL Donate: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/solu… https://civilrights.org https://action.justiceforbreonna.org/… https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_… ActBlue is a platform for people to contribute to Democratic campaigns and other causes like Black Lives Matter. It passes along donations to organizations that use its fundraising platform — it doesn’t pocket the money itself. Support black owned shops online: https://www.etsy.com/featured/blackow… https://webuyblack.com More info on that: https://nymag.com/strategist/article/…

#blacklivesmatter #racialjustice #freedom #racism #education

Dispatches From Lockdown Episode 3

Dispatches from Lockdown–CA Edition. What the hell is going on in California and I take the Pass the Toothbrush Challenge!

Ollie & Lena–A Love Story

The premier of LotusLand TV, a Punt On Point Media production. LotusLand TV is a channel dedicated to raising awareness about the rescue and fostering of cats. Saving a life, changes your own. The love you give to a cat, he returns 7-fold.



Dispatches from Lockdown–CA Edition. Americans refusal to know things is why we are now number one in the world for confirmed coronavirus cases. #coronavirus, #coronavirusoutbreak, #WearMasks , #stopgathering

Dispatches From Lockdown–CA Edition

Coronavirus, Where Does This End?

I live in California and voted for Senator Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday, a day before Los Angeles announced a State of Emergency after the first case of the Covid-19 infection was confirmed in Los Angeles County. I texted my husband immediately, the worst was now inevitable.

I’ve been following the outbreak online since January 25th when I first heard about it.

Occasionally I travel the Los Angeles area as a freelance makeup artist for a department store cosmetics line. On January 25th, I worked at Nordstrom in Arcadia near the Santa Anita Racetrack. During the Chinese Lunar New Year, this Nordstrom celebrates with dragons, acrobats and traditional Chinese drums. It’s a spectacular site and one I was thrilled to witness this year.

It was then that I first heard of a mysterious virus that had shut down Wuhan, China. One of my customers, a medical student and Chinese National, had decided against traveling home for the Lunar New Year on January 8th. While the Communist Party had downplayed the outbreak, even lying about its existence, the first recorded case of the mysterious virus was on December 8th. She said, somewhat conspiratorially, “That means, the virus has been spreading throughout the country rampantly. Now hospitals are overwhelmed, and trust me, it’s already here.”

She was right, the problem was so much more serious than the Chinese government had said. On January 23rd China locked down all travel in and out of the country and quarantined Wuhan, the largest quarantine in human history.

That night I returned home and started learning everything I could about China, the virus and the possible cause or causes of the outbreak. Knowing it could already be in the U.S. at this point, having had more than a month to arrive, it would only be a matter of days or weeks before cases here emerged.

In this country, we’re used to enjoying the benefits of continental isolation, no land wars, no epidemics and certainly no pandemics in recent memory.

I obsessively began washing my hands, limiting my time in large gatherings and trying like mad to get my husband to understand the emergency. You see, whenever he gets sick, I get sick. Like most Americans at that time might, he just laughed, until he got irritated and then he finally got mad when, on March 3rd after voting, we went to lunch at a Subway that had no public restroom and he refused to return home to wash his hands before we ate. Home was a mere five minutes away. No, he wanted to eat his sandwich then go to Starbuck’s for his regular afternoon coffee.

“What is washing our hands going to do? Tell me?” He snapped.

I looked at him like he’d lost his mind. I had no words. I repeated his question in hopes he might understand the absurdity of it. Having lost patience myself I then said, “Scientists, infectious disease experts and doctors are telling everyone to wash their hands! Hands are the leading cause of disease transmission! We just came from standing in line for 2 hours and then using a touch screen voting machine that over half of the L.A. population has used!” A little hyperbole was in order. He then touched his sandwich with two fingers as he picked it up. A Subway worker, a woman in her forties, watched this exchange and ran out to our table with a handful of alcohol-based hand wipes.

“Thank you,” I said relieved.

My husband put down his sandwich and picked up the wipes. “There, are you happy now?” He asked.

“I am,” I said. “I’m not trying to control you, I’m trying not to get sick.”

Needless to say, lunch was a little tense.

The next day Los Angeles, with one case confirmed in Los Angeles County, declared a State of Emergency. I texted my husband immediately. He didn’t respond to it, but when he returned home, before saying anything else he exclaimed, “I washed my hands as much as I could today and used a paper towel to open every door.”

“Thank you, honey. I love you.”

See, dear reader, I’m not one to say, “I told you so.”

To be fair to my husband, I am and have often been an alarmist at times.

I tell this story not to embarrass him, but because his response was like most people’s response has been and still is. A poll taken by NBC and The Wall Street Journal showed that “47 percent say they aren’t too worried or aren’t worried at all.” 60 percent say it’s about to get much worse. Because it is. If you’re paying attention, it is.

In this country, we’re used to enjoying the benefits of continental isolation, no land wars, no epidemics and certainly no pandemics in recent memory. Sure, the Sars virus, a close cousin to Covid-19, could get you very sick and kill you, but it was only transmissible through direct contact with an infected person already exhibiting symptoms. Avoidable, yeah?

A Chinese funeral worker reported that an estimated 60 percent of the bodies they were cremating were untested and had come from private residences.

Zooming in With Simone Gao

“The flu will kill more people faster this year,” my husband had said.

“There’s no evidence to support that,” I said. No one knew the true potential of the virus and China has been lying about its death toll from the beginning. A funeral worker reported that an estimated 60 percent of the bodies they were cremating were untested and had come from private residences. That’s potentially a death toll 10 times higher than what the The Communist Party reported to the World Health Organization.

I suspect the City of Los Angeles had waited to call a State of Emergency until after Super Tuesday so that everyone would vote. Right now, California is galvanized, excited, angry, focused. This was the largest turn out of voters in anyone’s memory. It’s critical we don’t lose that moment. So, I don’t blame them. The greater good is getting this President out of office and morale is everything. What is it that Spock said to Kirk just before he stepped into a radiation-filled chamber to save the universe? “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.”

Which is easy to say in a movie. They brought Spock back to life. So, I don’t mean to trivialize the risks of this. Additionally, I have no proof that the case wasn’t confirmed the morning of March 9th, or even the night of March 8th after the polls closed. I just don’t believe in coincidences or perfect timing of things, particularly not in government.

Broadly speaking, California’s response has been more immediate than the federal government’s, but without a unified national response, it’s just band aids on a gaping wound. Republicans are still tweeting that people should go out to restaurants, with their families.

There’s a lot of concerns with the economy here, because people are scared to go out. But I will just say, one of the things you can do, if you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in, get in easily. Let’s not hurt the working people in this country that are relying on wages and tips to keep their small business going.

Devin Nunes, California Republican Congressman

Alex Jones is selling vitamins that will “prevent you from getting the coronavirus.”

Because of Donald’s travel ban, international airports were packed with thousands of Americans trying to make it home over the weekend.

St. Patrick’s day, a busy bar day in Chicago, saw lines of people waiting to get into bars all across the city.

So while many of us hunker down in 29 states as schools, bars, restaurants and places of worship close, the pandemic whips across our nation unseen and unchecked.

America is still a country of cowboys and religious fanatics; neither archetype is known for its measured responses in a crisis.

These are heavy times. In my neighborhood right now, grocery store shelves are empty, everyday. The employees are exhausted and to add insult to injury, shoppers unleash on them regularly if they can’t get what they want.

Elsewhere there are lines around the block at gun stores nationwide.

Panic makes hoarders. Hoarding creates shortages. And in the case of guns, it’s life-threatening. America is still a country of cowboys and religious fanatics; neither archetype is known for its measured responses in a crisis. All of this could have been avoided had The Donald not disassembled the CDC, hired his cronies to head it and then lied about the seriousness of the outbreak. Oh, and most critically, if he’d provided tests for every American his precious Stock Market might not be in a free fall. Tests create surety. Markets like surety. People still go out and buy things when they know they’re not sick and those who are are staying home.

Where does it end?

Biden, I think. If Donald doesn’t succeed in stealing the presidency again.

It’s Just a Cat

A friend said goodbye to her cat today. Cancer, she said. “I will be the responsible pet owner and take care of her before she suffers.” Her voice broke, uncharacteristically. She’s tough, but that’s how it is. “It’s just that she doesn’t understand.” And that’s the hardest part for any of us. It’s more humane. You always have to look at the quality of life factor and measure that against treatment outcomes. 

“She’s, you know, she’s a sweet cat,” she managed. My friend, not one to overstate things, what she really meant was, she shared our home, made me laugh, took up residency in our lives, was just the right amount of dependency, and for no good reason at all, loved me.

Cats love. It might start with food, but they bond to the one who provides it and the result is love. They need affection, touch, just as we do. And for the most part, they remain kittens in need of their mother when they live with us. The drive for affection is much stronger when their physical needs are met, just like ours.

Saying goodbye never gets any easier. My friend’s husband took off work to take the cat away because the last time she did it and that’s a hard thing to do again when you know what you’re in for.

My husband collected the ashes of my beloved Chloe, because he knew I’d walk in there and, in front of God and everyone else, start weeping. The day I said goodbye to her I wept so hard in the exam room the vet didn’t want me to drive. Well, these things don’t embarrass me. I cry. I don’t care who sees me or what they think. It just never occurs to me that it matters. Though, perhaps it should.

A soul cat, those only come along once in a lifetime. You don’t plan it, can’t look for it. You must take them on their terms. Is it like that with dog people? Do dog people feel a soul connection to their four-legged friends? I knew someone who, each time her dog died, went to the same breeder to get as close an approximation of her former dog as possible. She even gave him the same name. When we met she was on Charlie number three. I saw a newscast from f a woman who cloned her dog for $50,000. She said he remembered some things she’d taught him, going to the refrigerator, opening it, returning with her favorite beverage, for example. But his personality was different, similar but not the same. Is that a dog person version of what I mean?

Not that I believe in souls. I don’t not believe in them, just don’t know that there’s any hard evidence to support the idea. Nevertheless, I think of it as a kind of expression. Soulmate. Sure, I get it. There’s no better way to describe the connection when it happens.


Cats bond, even if their owners don’t understand it, and many owners don’t. I foster. Cats are abandoned, surrendered and euthanized far more than dogs. Kittens are euthanized more frequently than that. Don’t blame the “kill” shelters. By law they must take every animal. Do something about it. Adopt. Foster. Give them money to expand. Cats don’t present well in shelters. They sit in their litter and won’t respond when you come. They’re terrified and probably grieving. They’ll bite and be labeled as unadoptable. They’re not.

Take Ollie. A six-year-old scaredy cat who sprayed all over his house and bit when overstimulated. Just about anything set him off. Neighborhood cats wandering through the front yard. Spray. Raccoons in the garbage. Spray. Possums slinking through the bushes on the side of the house. Spray. After four years his owners took him to the vet who told them it would only get worse.

In a last ditch effort to save him, they brought in Mirian, a feline behaviorist and owner of Lily’s Haven Rescue. To their surprise and delight, he began improving. So they changed their carpets. It set him back. They made an appointment to euthanize him on a Monday.

Mirian, far from her vision of some land with small structures to rehome unwanteds like Ollie, made a Hail Mary pass. She put out a call on Facebook. But when a cat sprays, well, you do the math. Hundreds of shares, but no takers. 

I took him. Mirian and I brought him to my vet who, after blood tests and a physical exam declared him as healthy an adult cat as he’d ever seen. I brought him home and held my breath. I have two resident cats and am fostering a feral kitten.

That first night he keened. I don’t mean meowed. I mean he sounded like a human mother who’d lost her child. He wailed. It went on for an hour before I realized he wasn’t going to stop. I made a bed in the bathtub and lay down. He stopped crying immediately, came to me, pressed his whole body against me, and stayed like that for as long as I, and my chronic neck pain, could last, a couple of hours.

The following day he refused to eat. The next day, the same. If he didn’t eat within the next day, we’d start to lose him. At this point some of you might ask, why not give him fluoxetine, a type of animal Prozac. It can turn a cat around. My resident senior takes it for extreme anxiety. He’s a pretty happy guy now.

When a cat isn’t food motivated, is traumatized, and isn’t eating, you don’t want to do anything that will further traumatize him. I tried to squirt some fluoxetine in his mouth. He bit me.

Cats grieve. Vets will say they don’t; but I’ve seen perfectly healthy cats stop eating at the loss of a companion or owner. After blood tests and exams and x-rays, healthy. But still, the animal won’t eat. Within a matter of days, they’re gone. How does a vet explain that?

Am I preaching? Do I sound preachy? Have you stopped reading? Well, for those of you who haven’t, perhaps you understand; they’re not just cats. They’re unique beings with singular personalities and preferences. While they can manifest aberrant behaviors that all fall within the realm of “cat,” when scared or threatened, the key to their mental health is as individual as our own. Unlike dogs, they don’t want to please us, making dogs far easier in many ways to help. But like us, cats want to be loved. They have sympathetic nervous systems similar to our own. When they feel safe, you will unlock their love and when you do, it’s like experiencing a kind of magic.

Safety is the key, and the key to that is patience. I mean patience of a kind you’ve yet to know. My whole life I’ve been an angular, impatient, irritable person. My work with cats has changed me, forced me to be compassionate when it’s counterintuitive, make sacrifices no human should make and wait longer than my interest holds.

Why have I done this? I need to be a better person for myself, my spouse and everyone else.

And, I know, each cat I save and help place within a loving home, is not just good for the animal. I’m not in this just to save the animals. I’m in this to save us. To bring more love to humanity. Animals love with a capacity far greater than our own and offer a kind of unconditional companionship unrivaled by other humans. Many times, so much so, that they can even save their owners’ lives.

When suicide beckoned, a long time ago and I shut out all human contact, Chloe and Charlie called me back from the edge every time. They pulled me to life because they needed me exactly the right amount. Mental illness makes you selfish. Human need will overwhelm you, but animals? They’re the ticket back to sanity. 

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Animals meet us where we are without judgement and ask for relatively very little. And the animals you rescue are, in fact, grateful. They know they’ve got it better than where they were and they recognize that you are the reason.

How’s Ollie? you ask. Not spraying. Not once. And though Mirian said he’s the toughest case she’s ever seen, he’s making progress every day. I do exactly as she says. I never trust my own instincts because I’m out of my depth with him. He bit me six times. Never broken skin…I’ve learned his limits and by giving him more of what he loves and learning his warning signals, that’s stopped. Many cats bite when pushed to their limits. It doesn’t mean they are always going to bite. It’s not like they get a taste for flesh and that’s it, they’re hooked. They hiss, scratch and bite when pushed to their extreme limits. And most of the time they’ll warn you before it happens. They’re wild animals. When you live with one, you must respect the wild in them. And when you do, they’ll give you the domestic.

What’s more, remarkably, he and my youngster, a nine-month old calico, have made the first steps toward friendship.