caught on film

December 15, 2014 | View Comments

Mark caught Basia playing the other morning! He heard her but stayed back because she usually always stops whenever she sees the camera, and he said she even continued to knock it all the way down to the first floor! We both watched this on our phones a billion times because it’s so unlike her and so incredibly cute. She’s been so spunky and extra squeaky lately too! Is she being super adorable for Santa’s sake?

The American Veterinary Medical Association has provided holiday tips to ensure the well-being of our pets through all the holiday festivities, so I thought I’d share them here:

1 – Can winter decorations be hazardous to our pets? Yes. The holidays bring lots of seasonal home decorations, such as candles, decorated trees, and potpourri. Pet owners are urged to make sure pets are not left alone in decorated rooms to avoid potential dangerous situations.
2 – Is it okay to place my holiday plants anywhere around the house? No. Some holiday favorites such as Mistletoe, Holly, and Lilies are actually harmful to pets. These plants should be kept out of pets’ reach.
3 – Should I be mindful of the excess holiday food in my home? Yes. One of the main challenges that comes along with the holiday season is the excess of food. It is encouraged that you keep “people food” in places that cannot be accessed by your pets. As your guests if they can do the same.
4 – Can my pet enjoy the same holiday treats that I do? No. Pet owners are urged to keep human treats away from pets, specifically treats that contain chocolate, Xylitol, grapes/raisins, onions, or other foods that are toxic for pets.
5 – Is tinsel specifically hazardous to cats? Yes. Tinsel’s shine can easily attract the attention of a curious cat, and there are serious medical consequences if ingested. It is suggested that cat owners leave tinsel off of the tree.
6 – Can pet behavior change among house guests? Yes. The holidays tend to bring lots of family and friends together in one place. Some pets get scared or excited around crowds or when they see new faces. It’s advised that pets are placed in a separate room while guests are visiting. This can also help with Tips 3 & 4, in keeping your pet away from harmful holiday foods!

begone with this wind

December 11, 2014 | View Comments

Sam doesn't like the wind, so he's sticking right by my side!

Sam didn’t like the wind we had yesterday, so he stuck right by my side alllll day long. In fact, it started the night before when he came to bed with me and curled up next to me. I had my arm around him for a bit, and then I turned back on my side to spoon Pacey. Normally this is acceptable. Well, Sam was just not having it when the wind was wild. He stood back up, meowed inches from my face, and waited for me to hold him again. It wasn’t normally how I like to sleep, but my back was cooperating, and both my furry little men were happy because they each were touching parts of me. When Sam spent the entirety of yesterday in bed with me, I worried he was sick, but today I haven’t seen him except for at lunch, so the only thing he’s sick of now is me. He used me as his wind protector of sorts, and I hope we get to do it again soon because he is an excellent cuddler.

I found a timely article to share that gives tips on how to decorate a cat-friendly home for the holidays!

Decorating your home for the holidays is one of the most enjoyable parts of the season. From the shining lights to the smell of your tree, nothing feels like the holidays more so than a bright and festive home.

That is until your cat knocks over the tree, breaks all the snow globes, and causes a power outage in a Christmas lights snafu. Let’s skip all that this year and just keep the enjoyable parts shall we? As you start to decorate your home for the holidays, it is very important to keep your cats’ safety (and yours) as the top priority.

It is still easy to make your home beautiful as you celebrate a pet-friendly season. Here are some essential tips to help keep your holiday and Christmas decorations safe for your cats.

6 Essential Tips For Holiday Decorating That is Safe For Cats:

Only Use Cat-Friendly Holiday Decor and Avoid Tinsel Altogether
It would make a cute picture for your next internet sensation, but tinsel can be dangerous to pets and should be avoided. While your cat may find the shiny string irresistible, the string can become trapped inside of your cat’s intestines, which could require surgery or potentially be fatal if not caught early enough. Resist the urge to hang tinsel on the tree and use cat-friendly holiday decorations instead.

Beware of Holiday Plants and Christmas Trees That Can Be Toxic to Cats
Mistletoe, Holly, Poinsettias, Lilies, and pine needles can all pose a danger to your pets. Take a look at the Pet Poison Helpline for a full list of holiday plants that are toxic. While Christmas trees are not always toxic, live trees are often chemically treated to help them last longer in your home. These chemicals then wind up in the water at the base of your tree and are toxic to pets who drink the water.

Keep Candles, Breakables, and Sharp Decor Out of Cats’ Reach
If you think your feline companions love to knock over your favorite things on purpose, know that the holidays can be much worse. A knack for knocking over your favorite vase gives way to a gravitational pull towards far worse items. Lit candles, snow globes, glass ornaments—nothing is safe from your kitty’s paws. Since the holidays just wouldn’t be the same with a burnt down house and a bunch of broken trimmings, it is best to steer clear of these dangerous decorations and opt for cat-friendly holiday decor instead.

Unplug Christmas Lights When You’re Not at Home
Rather than live out a scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation, keep your lights unplugged when you’re not home. This will minimize the risk to your cats as well as other pets and children. Even when you are home, keep the electrical cords up off the floor and use cord protectors if possible.

Anchoring Your Christmas Tree Will Make It Safer For Cats
Have cats that like to climb and potentially can knock over your tree? Consider anchoring your tree to the ceiling or the wall. You may even wish to forgo the big tree for something smaller that can be displayed on a table instead. While it may be impossible to keep your cats from showing off their expert climbing skills, an anchored tree will at least keep things upright.

Beware of Ribbons and Other Trimmings That Are Not Safe For Cats
Ribbons, yarn, and strings on presents can present the same problem as tinsel. They can get caught up in the intestines and bunch together, which may require surgery to remove them. Keep your wrapping simple and pet-friendly if your gifts are in areas where your cats can get at them. If you absolutely need gifts that are wrapped to rival Pinterest, keep a bunch of holiday themed cat toys on hand. Distracting your cats with cat-friendly toys is a lifesaver over the holidays.

With some pre-planning and creativity, not only can you make a beautiful holiday home, but also one that is safe for your cats to enjoy during this very merry season.

our purple tree

December 7, 2014 | View Comments

Purple Christmas Tree 2014
Purple Christmas Tree 2014
Purple Christmas Tree 2014
Purple Christmas Tree 2014
Purple Christmas Tree 2014

So here’s our purple tree! This weekend was a horrible one, and I think that was due to the fact that Mark made everything tougher than it needed to be. See, I cancelled our morning plans on Saturday, but that still meant that we needed to get our smaller tree and that our cleaner would be getting our groceries. I was hurting a ton, hence the canceling of the morning plans, so I thought Mark could get the tree stuff himself. Going by himself annoyed him, and then he decided he might as well get the groceries too while he was out. I tried putting my foot down about that because I knew he’d be really hurting after doing all that extra bending, reaching, lifting, and so on. I then tried to suggest that the cleaner could just get the tree and decorations herself too. At this point, he was simply having none of it and just wanted to blame me. It was like we were stuck in miscommunication hell. So, as I predicted, he came back from Target barely able to move but completely able to yell. And they didn’t even have anything in purple, but what he did get was cute. After he realized that he bought the wrong ornament hooks, he went to a different store and there they had everything in the purple shade I go crazy for. Our cleaner came over and put up our tree while we both slept. She is amazing, and we are so lucky she is in our lives. Mark, unfortunately, is hurting worse than he needs to be today and is still mad at me. I just don’t get it. And I’m still in boatloads of pain myself. But at least I think my tree looks cute, and my kitties are each taking turns hanging out underneath it!

My furbabies were recently asked if they wanted to product review a new cat treat called Delightibles, and they insisted I send along our address so we could get some! Delightibles treats are just the right size and texture for cats, with a crispy outside shell and a creamy, soft center that they find irresistible. Delightibles come in salmon, chicken, tuna, beef, dairy, and turkey flavors and are sold at Walmart and Walmart Canada. All Delightibles cat treats are made in the USA with delicious, wholesome ingredients. They are headquartered in beautiful Eagle, Idaho with the treats manufactured in Springville, Utah. They take pride in their work, and they stand behind each product. If customers are not 100% satisfied, they can return their treats to their local retailer for a full refund. And let’s just say that we won’t be making any returns!

Here are a few photos of our new Delightibles treats:

Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review

And here is a video where I take a closer look at what we received:

Included in the package:
- 1 bag of salmon flavor
- 1 bag of chicken flavor
- 1 bag of tuna flavor

Here is some information about Delightibles straight from its FAQ page:

What are Delightibles Cat Treats?
Delightibles are gourmet treats made with wholesome ingredients. Each treat is just the right size for your cat, with a crispy outside shell and a soft center that cats find irresistible. Shake the bag to your cat’s delight.

Delightibles are made in the USA and free of artificial preservatives like BHA and BHT. They contain antioxidants and natural flavors. Delightibles are available in a variety of flavors including Chicken, Turkey, Tuna, Salmon, Beef, and Dairy. So when your cat craves a treat, give her a healthy one she’ll love. Give her Delightibles today!

Will my cat love them?
Cats can have refined tastes… okay we’ll say it. They can be picky! It’s not always easy to find a healthy treat your cat will love. Delightibles treats are just the right size and texture for your cat, with a crispy outside shell and a creamy, soft center that cats find irresistible. And with 6 different flavors, you’re sure to find one that is “purrfect” for your cat.

Does Delightibles use natural ingredients?
Delightibles are free of artificial preservatives like BHA and BHT. They’re also free of wheat and soy – ingredients that that may be of concern for your cat. Delightibles treats are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages. They also contain natural antioxidants and natural flavors.

Where are Delightibles made?
Delightibles are proudly made in the USA, atop the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Springville, Utah. We support products made in the USA, and we hope you do too!

Where can I buy Delightibles Cat Treats?
Delightibles is currently available at Walmart and Walmart Canada.

What if my cat doesn’t like Delightibles? Can I get my money back?
Yes, you can return the product to your local retailer for a full refund. Of course, we’re pretty sure your cat will love them and that won’t be necessary.

Here are some photos and videos of my furbabies enjoying their new Delightibles treats:

Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review
Delightibles product review

The verdict? We haven’t given the furbabies new treats in awhile, and three out of our four definitely appreciated the new Delightibles we received, so much so that they were even willing to eat straight from Mark’s hand for some! The soft center is something different, and they definitely approved! Basia is our pickiest treat eater, so her not liking them didn’t totally surprise me; in fact, she went something like eight or nine years rejecting all treats entirely before finally eating some. Anyway, they were eating these just as quickly as we put them out, and the demand was great for all three flavors we had – salmon, chicken, and tuna! I’d like to try the other flavors soon too since these were met with such a positive reception. If you purchase these products, please let me know what you think!

(full disclosure – the opinions in this article are my own. i do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do i have any official relationship with them. i have a relationship with gigasavvy, for whom i create original editorial content.)

Unlike me, a lot of people like to take trips to see others during the holidays, so I thought I’d include this post I found about traveling with your cat:

If you plan to take a trip and want your furry friend to come along, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the experience enjoyable for both you and your cat.

Be prepared
The best ways to ensure your cat’s safety and well-being are to have the following items available:
- Cat carrier – secures your cat while in transit. Be ready for resistance, though, if your cat has never been in a carrier before. If time allows, set out the carrier in your house and occasionally leave treats inside. This will help your cat associate positive thoughts with the carrier.
- Identification tags – make sure the information on your cat’s tags is current and includes phone numbers where you can be reached during your trip. For additional peace of mind, consider a permanent identification microchip for your cat.
- Wipes or paper towels – in case your pet gets motion sickness, be sure to have a way to clean up the cat, the carrier, and any other soiled belongings.
- Portable litter box – invest in a portable or travel litter box.
- Toys – to keep your cat entertained, be sure to pack his or her favorite toys. If you forget your cat’s favorite stuffed mouse, he or she may turn to your friend’s furniture for scratching and chewing.
- Vaccinations – keep a list of your cat’s current vaccinations handy.
- Food, water, and treats

Before departing, you may also want to research and write down information about veterinary offices near your destination. This may seem unnecessary but will be of great help in an emergency.

If staying with friends or family, let them know your pet will be with you. This will give them an opportunity to “cat-proof” the house. If staying at a hotel, make sure you choose a “pet-friendly” establishment. You should never attempt to take a pet to a hotel that does not allow animals.

Car travel
While driving, never allow your cat to roam; keep him or her inside the carrier while the car is in motion. If the trip will be lengthy, travel with a large enough carrier that will allow you to offer food and water inside when you stop for breaks. A larger carrier will also give your cat enough room to walk around and even allow you to provide access to a small litter box inside the crate.

Are you and your cat driving cross country? Most states require a health certificate when crossing state lines via car, so consult your veterinarian about the need for a health certificate.

If you have to stop while you’re on the road and must leave your cat in the car, use good judgment and remember how quickly cars can become overheated. NEVER leave your cat alone in the car for more than a few minutes, especially during extreme temperatures. This could be very dangerous and even deadly.

Plane travel
Alert the airline about your four-legged flight companion when you make flight arrangements. Most airlines require that cats be at least 8 weeks old and may request updated copies of vaccinations and a health certificate issued by your veterinarian. Although some airlines may allow your pet to ride with you in the passenger compartment as a carry on, other airlines will insist the cat travel in the cargo area.

If your cat will ride as a passenger, you may need to purchase an additional ticket. You may also need to ensure that your cat is in an airline-approved pet carrier that will fit underneath a passenger seat.

If your cat must be placed in cargo, make sure his or her carrier allows for some standing and offers sufficient ventilation. A leak-proof bottom is also a necessity in case of any accidents that may occur during the flight. Clearly label the carrier with your name, home and cell phone numbers, and final destination information. If traveling overseas, check with airlines regarding international pet regulations. Because it can pose a health risk to your cat to be sedated during travel, discuss the need for tranquilization with your veterinarian.

At your destination
Once you and your pet arrive at your destination, make your cat feel at home. Set out food and water, show your cat where the litter box is, and pamper, love and scratch your cat until he or she is purring contentedly. Although your cat may be a little standoffish at first, he or she will eventually become accustomed to the new surroundings and may even enjoy the change of scenery.

santa made an early stop

December 3, 2014 | Comments Off

Pacey and his bed from Santa

The weather has been crazy. A few days ago I even had the air conditioner on. More often than not, though, it’s been chilly, so I wanted to get Pacey another self-heating bed for Christmas but not actually wait that long to give it to him. Anyway, I guess I was in a pain pill-induced haze because I thought for sure I had ordered a self-heating bed, but unfortunately it came with a plug. Ugh. I’m too crazy nervous for that kind of thing, though I did plug it in for two days until my self-heating pads arrived. Pacey fell madly in love with it and one time never even got out of it to come to bed with me! In fact, I think he wanted us to serve him his meals in it too, and I almost did before I realized just how insane that would be. I think he’s slightly less in love now because it just doesn’t get as warm with just the pad. The thing is that I don’t want to leave it plugged in all the time because what if something happened with it and he burned himself? No thank you!

you’ve picked a fine time

December 2, 2014 | Comments Off

I watch a lot of television when I’m not sleeping, as they are the only two activities that keep me semi-sane, occupy me from the chronic pain, and prevent me from hurling myself off the roof. I’m quite annoyed because a lot of shows I got into have already been cancelled! Sure, some were better than others, but it just doesn’t seem fair. Selfie, A to Z, Bad Judge, and Manhattan Love Story are all gone, but thankfully Hulu is airing the unseen episodes of Selfie. Apparently Red Band Society was just pulled, so I’m not sure if it’s coming back or not. The biggest blow to me was the loss of Utopia, though. I had set that up to be my next Big Brother of sorts, which I consider to be a disabled person’s dream come true. It was a 24 hour thing so it was always on, there was always conflict, there were forums to go with it, and it just distracted the brain mindlessly. Sigh. I seriously mourned it for a solid two weeks. Now thankfully I’ve found the ridiculous The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE). Though the seasons are sort of short, there are thirteen of them and they are taped and aired only two weeks apart, I think I read. Currently I’m on season two. Some of these women have shocking faces, though, with the fake teeth, cheeks, lips, and crazily enormous boobs. They are almost hard to look at. And, speaking of, I need to view it with the subtitles on. But so far, so good! It’s doing its job of entertaining me until I need the next pain pill.

In other irritating news, the ad network I got the most money from, BlogPaws, decided to close its doors. I think the email said they wanted to focus more on sponsorship opportunities, which I don’t partake in because I like to do product reviews in my own time in my own way. I’ve never had a complaint with them, so I must be doing something right with them. Actually, I want to slow down and stop doing them once a week and go to doing them once every other week or maybe just once a month. We will see. My pain has been very, very challenging to deal with the last few days, so doing anything seems overwhelming right now. Also irritating is that I finally got around to doing the latest iPad update, and it totally sucks! This is probably why I didn’t do it for so long, because my intuition was telling me not to bother. I can’t use the editor I’ve used for years and years. My cut and paste feature now doesn’t work well. I really could go on and on. I’d like to roll it back!

I didn’t put up one of those Thanksgiving/grateful posts because it has been such a difficult year. Two of our beloved pets died. Eva and Spenser are never far from my mind. Neither are Kip nor Becca, to be fair. I’ve spent a lot of time this year feeling crushed over their deaths. Not to mention that I’m always in varying degrees of pain now that just wears me down, and it sucks that I feel like a shell of my former self. I no longer have a career, and I no longer contribute as I once did to my family. It’s been tough both physically and emotionally, and it’s hard to find the gratitude in that. Of course, I know things can get worse, as they did when Mark’s back started affecting him, and now he’s lined up to get fusion surgery! Gah! It’s really just hard and difficult tacked upon hard and difficult. He and I need to pull together more instead of being so angry. Both of us being in constant pain now makes it hard to do that, though. I’m trying. I’m also going to try to be more positive in the New Year, though I will still always be very aware of my losses and difficulties, obviously. I just need to focus on different things, different outcomes. Hopefully Mark’s back surgery turns out perfectly. Ideally then we can get Lulu and Pacey that little sister I want for them after Mark is better. And then maybe within two years we will finally move into that one-story (I feel like I’m always saying it’ll be two years and then two more years and then…).

Let’s see. What else? My brother read what I wrote about him after he bailed on us for the painting job, and he became quite angry that I mentioned him. In fact, he sent me a series of hateful texts that I wish I had saved because I’d like to recall them a bit more clearly. He said something along the lines like I can’t possibly have any real readers, how you guys must be losers, and Mark should leave me for the things I say about him here. Then he acted like I said something to him about my relationship with Mark that Mark doesn’t know. I laughed because I had written a whole post about it once when I was mad. Whatever. If he didn’t want me to write about him screwing over his sick sister, he shouldn’t have screwed over his sick sister. I’ve blocked any incoming texts and emails because I don’t need the added stress as it only increases my pain levels. But, in good news, I finally convinced Mark to allow our cleaner to do all of our grocery shopping for us! He doesn’t like asking people to do things whereas I don’t mind, especially when we are paying them for the service afterwards. And, he and I argued over the Christmas tree this year. He isn’t capable of getting out our usual big one, and I’m not sure I’m emotionally ready to see it and it with the ornaments of the pets we’ve lost this year. I mentioned getting a smaller tree and decorating it all in purple. Either way, the cleaner would help us put it up. He really understood that he needed the help for this, but he sort of wanted the other tree. He didn’t bring up any sentimental reasons for wanting it, and I knew it’d be especially difficult to put up, even with the help. Eventually he came around to my way of thinking, as he usually always does. For some reason I’m drawn to purple decorations this year, so we shall see how it goes!

get it, girl

November 30, 2014 | Comments Off

Over the years Basia has been a tricky one to get to play. First off, she’s our resident old lady, so she just doesn’t play very often. When she actually does, she’s usually very slow and uncoordinated which makes playtime very cute. Anyway, we’ve recently found out that she is quite fond of these new toys we just bought, and she really, really likes it when I swing its tail in front of her. Now 99.9% of the time, whenever she has played, she will immediately stop as soon as she sees us point our camera phones in her direction. It’s like she wants no evidence around of the fact that she knows how to have fun. Ha! But tonight her love for this toy won out over all else, even after she saw me with my phone and heard the sound of the video turning on. I’m so, so glad that I caught this moment in time!


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