Dear Heloise: In the winter, we fill empty hanging flowerpots with birdseed and hang them in the trees. Many of these pots have attached drain trays, so the seed will not fall through and rainwater will drain.
When ready to fill them with seed, I use a 32-ounce juice container with a screw-on lid. I fill the container, carry it to the trees and fill up the pots. G. Hall, Erie, Pa.
Speaking of feeding birds in the winter, don't forget their water. It's very important to keep the birdbath full in winter as well as in the summer months.
It's wonderful to see birds all year-round, but we have to do our part to keep them healthy. Heloise
Dear Readers: Silvia Cappiello sent a photo of her black-and-white "big fat cat," Sammy. He is only 2 years old. The photo shows him lying on his back, playing with his favorite toy, which is attached to a string.
Visit my Web site, www.Hel-oise.com, to see a really chubby cat. Send your favorite, unusual pet photo to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I enjoyed your mother's column and now your column. I wanted to write you about our pet, Wally. This is our third pug dog, and each has become family and so special.
I had an old-fashioned flatiron with a handle by my door that I used as a doorstop when the door was open. When Wally wanted out, he would go to the door, put his foot on the handle of the iron and shake it to make a noise.
Our daughter bought a hotel desk bell to replace the iron, and sure enough, Wally started to ring the bell. Friends and visitors are surprised when they hear the bell and see him standing at the door, waiting for someone to let him out. Donna, via e-mail
Many animals (dogs, cats, birds) are pretty darn smart, and they seem to train us more than we train them! Heloise
Do you have a problem giving your cat a pill? Cats are pretty smart -- they seem to know when pills are hidden in all sorts of food and actually spit them out.
A proven way to give them a pill is to insert it into a ball of hairball lubricant. This is what you give cats when they have a problem with hairballs. They seem to love the gel and gobble it up, and the pill stays put. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I bathe my puppy in the sink with a rubber bathmat placed in it. It prevents her from sliding around, making her bath more pleasant for both of us. Rene L., via e-mail
Dear Readers: Thinking about getting an aquarium for your children?
Don't buy expensive fish -- little guppies are the perfect "starter" fish. They are hardy and are very enjoyable to watch. When children learn more about taking care of them, different species of fish can be introduced. Heloise
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