Dear Heloise: I just read an article on inserting a microchip under your pet's skin. My parents' cats have the chips as well (they also wear ID collars with bells), and it offers some peace of mind.
However, during my last visit to the vet, I asked to see how the chip worked and what information it contained. When the vet waved the wand over the cat, it showed nothing. It turns out the wand's batteries were dead, and the vet didn't even know it! I just want to warn readers that, unfortunately, this is not a foolproof method of ID. Kristen, Via E-mail
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. It's a good point to check the batteries in all things electronic, including a mouse -- the computer kind that is cordless. Heloise
Dear Heloise: Here's something I discovered (I'm probably not the first, but it made my day). We have three dogs of various fluffiness and a car with velour seats. I vacuum the bejeebers out of the back seat, but still find dog hair.
As a nurse, I use latex gloves all day long. I found that if you rub the upholstery with a latex-gloved hand, the hair balls up. Then you can really pick it up with the vacuum. The results are amazing. Well, thanks for letting me ramble, but now I gotta ramble. Jamie Matthews, Denton, Texas
Dear Friends: Vicky Hoffman of Carlisle, Pa., sent us a picture of her mother, Pauline Bupp, and her pet parakeet.
Here's what she had to say: "The parakeet's name is Tilly. She loves to listen on the phone, eats at the table, talks, comes up to the corner of her cage for a kiss before bedtime and has a large vocabulary, plus quite a few sentences. Everyone in the family loves to help spoil her."
And what a pretty blue parakeet Tilly is, too. Visit my Web site, www.Heloise.com, to see pretty Tilly. Send your unusual, fun pet photo to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I always buy toys for my cats, and they have a multitude of them. But you know what? They like paper grocery bags the best. So now, instead of buying toys, I just give them a bag, and sometimes I cut a hole or two for them to poke their paws in and out. A Cat Lover, Apple Valley, Minn.
Dear Heloise: This is the greatest idea -- my husband came up with it. When going on vacation, feeding the fish was left to neighbors or our sometimes-preoccupied children. We decided to get free weekly pill holders from our druggist and put the correct amount of fish food in each day's little container. This way, the fish are never overfed, and we know if any day was skipped. Judith A. Kuck, Bloomington, Minn.
XSend a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, Fax: (210) HELOISE or E-mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate