I probably won’t be around as much for awhile because we had Spenser put to sleep late Saturday night, and things are quite emotional around here. I’ll write more about it all later at some point. Unfortunately, he got worse as the day went on, so we took him to the emergency vet sooner than we expected to for reasons we hadn’t expected.

Now we’ve lost two furbabies in just under four months and three furbabies in just under two years. It’s devastating. The four kitties we have left better not plan on going anywhere anytime soon. Oh my god. Our hearts are so broken.

Spenser getting emergency fluids

I had just posted about Spenser playing nightly with his interactive treat toys when he suddenly stopped eating. The last time he ate was Wednesday morning. And he hasn’t eaten since.

This is his third time since May that he’s had tummy troubles, and it’s his second roughest bout. We’ve tried everything imaginable to get him to eat and have tried to entice him with not only his favorites but also all the things the vets recommend during these times.

We took him to our mobile vet’s office yesterday, and we saw a different vet this time. This one is convinced that it is acid in his tummy that is causing all this drama. So he gave him a shot of Pepcid and gave him fluids. They also did his anal glands to get that out of the way. Mark and I thought he seemed to have a little pep in his step afterwards, but he’s still not eating a thing.

We’re giving him Pepcid twice a day throughout this weekend as directed. When he didn’t eat this morning, I called the vet again, and they suggested forcing baby food into him. So that’s what we’ve been doing every couple of hours. Unfortunately, it hasn’t sparked any interest in him to eat on his own. And adding to that, he’s thrown up water right after drinking it every now and again which can cause dehydration, so that’s something we are also worried to death about. He’s restless and not happy, obviously. If after having food in his belly for a day doesn’t get him to eat on his own by tomorrow, we are heading off to the emergency vet to get X-rays, bloodwork, and so on. He’s 16.5 years-old, so one of these times he’s not going to bounce back. We are very scared and worried for him, of course. It’s like we are staring at him while sitting on pins and needles. One night he was just fine and the next morning he eats his breakfast and then some grass, vomits the grass, and hasn’t been the same since. My poor old man. Please send him some good wishes.

Modern Cat Designs, located in sunny San Diego, California, creates upscale and functional cat furniture that fits into the modern home. Their love for functional cat products has propelled them to deliver to us and our kitty furbabies uncompromising usability along with style. Their products make living with pets look better all the time. Modern Cat Designs sent my kitty furbabies their Litter Box Hider to product review. This Litter Box Hider is touted as an Elegant Litter Box for Classy Kitties! It weighs 45 pounds, comes in the colors Dark Mahogany or Glossy White, and is 21.5 x 18.5 x 20.75 inches. The Litter Box Hider can be used either as its namesake or as a kitty lounge. As you’ll see below, we chose to use this solid piece of furniture as a kitty lounger/kitty hideaway bed for our Sam’s sake since he’s never had something cozy like this he could fit into before. As an FYI, his weight has fluctuated between 16-20 pounds.

Here is a cute photo from the assembly instructions, some pictures from the assembly process, and a few photos of the Litter Box Hider after it was put together:

Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review

And here’s a video where I take a closer look at what we received once it was assembled and show how it can be used as both a litter box hider and as a kitty lounger/kitty hideaway bed:

Included in the package:
- 1 Litter Box Hider

Here is some information about the Litter Box Hider from its website:

Product Description
Our Litter Box Hider is sure to be a hit with your fashion conscious kitty! This designer kitty box is built with high quality materials from top to bottom. Each box features polished chrome accents and a durable, high pressure laminate finish —protecting it in the event of spills. Choose from two stylish finishes: Dark Mahogany or Glossy White.

The top section is quickly removed for easy cleaning. Two hooks are installed inside for holding a litter scoop and waste bag. A vented back panel allows air to pass through.

Quick Assembly
The Litter Hider is a snap to put together and only takes about 15 minutes.

Low Maintenance High Pressure Laminate
We know your cat can’t hit the mark every time! Don’t worry, our high pressure laminate is built to last even if your kitty spills. Wipe up easily with disinfectant and a damp towel.

Scoop Hook
Keep your litter scoop neatly stored inside the box.

Dog-Proof
Deters dogs from getting into your cat’s business.

What Size Litter Pan Will I Need?
The litter box hider fits the standard large size litter pans; it’s perfect for 2 cats. It also fits many common pillow sizes and can double as a kitty lounge!
Front opening: 8″ wide, great for larger cats.
Outside Dimensions: 21.5″ L 18.5″ W 20.75″ H
Inside Dimensions: 20″ L 17″W 17.5″ H

All Orders Leave our Warehouse within 48 Hours.

Features
- Spill resistant finish
- Removable top panel for easy cleaning
- Polished chrome accents
- Scoop hook
- Fits standard large litter pan
- Dog-Proof

Here are some photos and videos of my furbabies enjoying their new Litter Box Hider being used as a kitty lounger/kitty hideaway bed:

Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review
Modern Cat Designs product review

The verdict? We initially were going to use it for what it was named to be, a Litter Box Hider, but on the assembly directions it said it could also be used as a kitty lounge. Immediately I had an aha moment, and I knew that was what I was going to use it for! It is quite sizable and heavy, and I had high hopes that my biggest boy Sam would use it as a cozy hideaway lounger since he really doesn’t have anything like that. It’s been difficult to find things that fit his enormous size. He usually lays on top of things, sure, but cat items that have holes in them for him to curl up into to hide that actually fit him are rare. I’ve always wanted something quite large that would work perfectly, and this did the trick! And, thankfully, he took right to it immediately! The second video was of him hopping in there when it didn’t even have a blanket, and the third was two minutes later with a blanket inside it in which he fell right asleep! I love seeing things for big cats, and I’m glad the idea was planted in my head that this product could be used for that reason too. In fact, I may probably get one in white for our future guest room once we move (there’s going to be a yellow/orange/white color scheme in it, I think). I should also mention, though, that assembly took more than their stated fifteen minutes; Mark needed an hour to put it together, but at least he had a baseball game on in the background! Lastly, Modern Cat Designs has other products for sale too, like a modern cat tower, a mox litter tower, and more. If you purchase any of their products, please let me know what you think!

(Full disclosure – Modern Cat Designs provided this item to us free of charge in exchange for a product review. Thanks!)

Spenser plays with one of his favorite interactive treat toy dispenser thingies!
Spenser plays with one of his favorite interactive treat toy dispenser thingies!
Spenser plays with one of his favorite interactive treat toy dispenser thingies!

Spenser looks forward to playing each and every night with one of his interactive treat dispensing toys. Mark fills it up with some of his favorites, and he sniffs the treats out and has a good time. Sometimes he demands that it be filled twice, and who can say no to that old man? Not us!

The other afternoon I was watching tv when my cell rang and it was Mark. He was asking me to come downstairs now, and there was something in his voice that was urgent. So I hobbled down there to see blood everywhere. Holy hell! He had been cutting the dog’s toenails when blood started gushing all over the place. He had cut one nail too short. There was blood on the floor, on the couch, and on Mark’s hand and leg. He had one of his socks clamped over Spenser’s toenail because blood was still coming out! Meanwhile, the dog somehow had slept through it and was still sleeping through it which was fabulous because he’s been known to throw huge fits during nail clipping time. I took over holding duties while Mark got out our pet first aid kit. Thankfully, within minutes, all was well. The bleeding stopped by the time he even woke up. Whew! Spenser gets his anal glands expressed again early next week, so we’re obviously going to have his toe area checked out too. Now I’m pretty positive that I don’t think that Mark can be trusted with sharp objects around my furbabies. I wish I were kidding.

I’ve watched every season of Big Brother since it started, but I wouldn’t call myself a superfan. I don’t remember who all the players were. I can’t name what players were on what seasons, let alone who won vetos or how many heads of households. I watch it all and promptly forget it all. I do get quite involved while it airs, though! The season with Bunky, in fact, an online friend and I generated enough money from fellow fans to send a banner over the house at the right time that caused quite a stir moments before a live show. Dr. Will even commented that we were “good” which was high praise from the master! So while spending a lot of time watching it, including the live feeds, I’ve come to the obvious realization that I’d be terrible at playing it for the following reasons:

1 – Starting off by stating the obvious, because I suffer from chronic pain in my lower back, I’d be unable to compete in 99.9% of the physical challenges. Also, due to the pain medications I’m on and have been on, my memory is shot to hell, so the idea of my winning mental competitions would be laughable too. For instance, if Mark tells me on Monday that something is happening Thursday, there’s just no way I’ll remember that. If I were in the house, it’d take me like a month to remember anyone’s name. I just wouldn’t remember what happened on what day in the house, who said what, who is mad at whom, how many times anyone has been up on the block, or even what alliances I agreed to be in.

2 – I have perma bitch face. Add to that the fact that I simply cannot hide the way I feel about someone or something because it’s written on my face for all to see, and I’d be screwed.

3 – Nobody in there seems to shower or brush their teeth nearly enough for my liking. I’d be handing people gum or breath mints each time they wanted to chat with me, whether it be about personal stuff, bitching about other houseguests, or talking about game.

4 – Tying into that, that house, like all the previous houses, is disgusting. I cannot believe that there aren’t more house fights about the dirt, filth, clothing on the floor, glasses everywhere, the dirty kitchen, the dirty bathroom, and so on. This season there are ants everywhere. I’d die and would be a super nag about cleaning up after yourself.

5 – I talk like a truck driver, and they’d never be able to show me on tv without a billion bleeps.

6 – If someone uttered that ridiculous phrase “blood on my hands” around me, I just might stab them in the face.

7 – I have raging PMS wherein I hate everyone and everything. I realize I’d be edited to be the biggest bitch when I go in the diary room and talk shit about everyone and how stupid they are. I’m not sure being intensely hated by America would be fun.

8 – I’d never be able to handle being away from my furbabies, and I’d cry constantly. My current cymbalta dose would have to be tripled.

9 – If someone seriously asked me why the show was called Big Brother, I’d just self-evict right then and there because I’d be unable to ever stop talking about how dumb they were.

My furbabies and I have been so fortunate to work with Petmate several times now, so I was very excited when they sent me their new See & Extend Carrier last Spring to product review! Unfortunately, we received it right around when our orange kitty Eva unexpectedly died, and so this review and others were put on hold. We have been using it, and now I’m feeling like I can write some reviews here and there as I have been. Honestly, this one was especially hard for me to do because Eva would have been the perfect kitty model for it due to her coloring and attitude. But as you’ll see, Basia did just fine modeling. She learned from the best.

Thus, this See & Extend Carrier is a secure carrier with an extra side vestibule, which is what drew my eyes to it in the first place! It’s a colorful combination of both navy blue and lime green. The large zip-out mesh vestibule provides pets with extra room and comfort with an extra 9″ of space for him or her to relax, and the carrier’s overall size is 18″ x 11″ x 11″. It also has two tote straps and a padded shoulder strap for easy carrying during travel, a side pocket to stash toys and treats, an interior safety tether, and a top and side access for easy pet entry! Petmate sells lots of other great products for dogs, cats, and birds, like bedding, toys, treats, collars, and feeders, just to name a few.

Here are a few photos of our new See & Extend Carrier:

Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review

And here’s a video where I take a look at what we received:

Included in the package:
- 1 See & Extend Carrier

Here is some more information about what the See & Extend Carrier contains that comes directly from the box itself:

- secure carrier with extra side vestibule
- holds up to 15 pounds, like miniature dachshunds, Pomeranians, shih tzus, and similarly sized dogs and cats
- two tote straps and padded shoulder strap for easy carrying during travel
- large zip-out mesh vestibule for extra pet room and comfort at destination
- vestibule provides 9″ of extra space for pet to relax at destination
- side pocket for toys and treats
- interior safety tether
- removable interior fleece floor for protection
- top and side access for easy pet entry
- see and go coated mesh for safety and comfort
- meets most air travel requirements
- carrier size: 18″ x 11″ x 11″

And in this quick video, we show you all the features that are mentioned above:

Here are some photos and two little videos of Basia modeling our new pet carrier:

Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review
Petmate's See and Extend Pet Carrier product review

The verdict? I really like quite a few things about this See & Extend Carrier from Petmate. First off, I like the colors a lot! It seems that I get sent mostly black and grey carriers to review, so this was definitely pretty, fun, and different! I can imagine that while traveling that the bold and bright lime green would never be able to stray far from your line of vision. I also like the strong mesh that surrounds part of the carrier. I don’t feel that most pets would be able to chew through it easily, so that’s a definite plus with regards to safety. Speaking of such, I also like the sturdy zippers that I feel wouldn’t get loosened while you’re out and about with your pet as well as its interior safety tether just in case they were to. And I think the best part, obviously, is the amazing side vestibule itself! I’m always worried about my furbabies being safe and about what I can do more in that arena, but this is something that can give them extra room and comfort in a snap! So if I can easily provide that to them, then why not, right? My only issue with this carrier is the size limit. I don’t think that it holds fifteen pounds comfortably; I think up to ten pounds is more accurate. If you purchase this product, please let me know what you think!

** Please note that the See & Extend does not have seat belt loops, and the icon and wording on the box was a mistake on Petmate’s part. It has since been corrected and will be fixed going forward, but older versions of the packaging will still have that feature mentioned.

(Full disclosure – Petmate provided this item to us free of charge in exchange for a product review. Thanks!)

happy national ice cream day!

Happy National Ice Cream Day! This is what I just inhaled. Again.

Basia spends a rare moment upstairs

I’m telling you that I’m so glad Basia and I are much closer now! She runs up to me when she sees me, and I get so happy when I hear her little squeaks! Her favorite toy is one that’s shaped like a banana and stuffed with catnip. I put it by her favorite bed, and she’s always rubbing her little head against it. It’s sooo cute! So today she came upstairs to potty since Mark accidentally blocked off an entrance to one of her other boxes, and she actually hung out up here for a moment! She said hi to me twice, went under the master room bed, investigated the toy pile, and thought about going into the guest room but went downstairs instead. This was a huge deal because she never comes up here all that often! Not long after, I was watching the Big Brother live feeds when I heard her chirping above them. I went downstairs to the second floor to see what was going on, and she ran right over to me and squeaked. Of course I just had to get out some treats for her and rub the banana on her tiny head. She was so hyper and cute today which I obviously loved because it allowed us to bond and make up for lost time when she didn’t like me very much.

ch-ch-changes?

July 18, 2014 | View Comments

Sam rests and observes

Sam will probably always be vigilant due to spending his early years outside, but this past week he has impressed me with his cuddling skills! One day he came up here at morning nap time when Lulu wasn’t around and took the spot next to me. He rolled around right into me and snuggled up against me! It reminded me of the time months ago when he shared a pillow with me which is something I wish he’d do again! And at night Pacey always cuddles with me on one side of the bed and now Sam has been getting on the bed again more often. When he goes on the other side of me, I like to joke that I’m in the middle of a kitty sandwich. I like when he stretches out and kicks me in his sleep. I really do. It’s important for this cat to relax and be calm, so I love to see it and feel it when it happens.

not so little anymore

July 16, 2014 | Comments Off

babysitting
babysitting
babysitting
babysitting
babysitting
babysitting
babysitting
babysitting

We babysat last weekend Friday into Saturday, and I think that may have been our last time doing it. It was just physically so difficult for me to manage it, and it isn’t fair for me to dump a lot of her care onto Mark’s shoulders when it isn’t even something he wants to do to begin with. We took her Friday night because she always acts grumpy as hell when we first get her but then wakes up just fine. I don’t know if it was my mood or my perceptions or what, but I just didn’t get the feeling that this time she had all that much fun. And she’s starting to do this thing with her face that her siblings do where they scrunch it up when they’re mad, annoyed, or unhappy, and it’s a look that I can’t help but read as ungrateful. There’s a local lake I never knew about that you only pay $6 to go to that has bunches of stuff to do. It was crowded but not too bad, and it was hot but not too hot. She came with a filthy bathing suit. I couldn’t believe my freaking eyes. I texted her mom about it because I was so grossed out when I should have just shut my mouth without saying anything about it at all. Mark was already going to kmart to look for things for the cooler so he tried to find another suit for her, but they didn’t have anything in her size, so we ended up quickly washing it. Some of the stains were just set in there for life. Ugh. I didn’t want people to think she was dirty because of me. And prior to going I had to face my own bathing suit hell. It was so very depressing. I came across the cute set I wore all those years ago when we went to Mexico and one from way before even that. How did I ever fit into those? Oh my gosh. I still fit into the suit I got a couple of years ago for when I was assigned aquatic physical therapy for my chronic pain in my lower back, so I just wore that, all the while wishing I could still fit into my super cute suit from Mexico. Anyway, she fell asleep for the twenty minute ride back here in the car which meant that she was fighting her nap when we carried her from the car to the bed. Eventually I laid my arms across hers so she’d stop clapping them together and told her to keep her eyes shut so she’d relax. She and I finally did nap together. Then we all played with chalk and bubbles until her mom came for her, with the bubbles being the biggest hit of the day. I already knew that she didn’t like water all that much, but she did okay at the lake. Sitting on my lap in the water was her preferred way of being wet as she wouldn’t sit on the lake floor herself. I was so relieved after she left and my house was put back to normal. I could tell the pets were happier after she was gone too.

That being said, if I were to win millions of dollars, I’d still apply to be a foster parent to babies ages infant to three. I’d definitely need assistance, hence that kind of money would be needed for someone else’s salary. I’d need help driving to therapy appointments, visits, and fun activities. I still read that foster forum at minimum twice a day. I feel so badly for those babies who experience trauma and neglect at such a young age. In my dream world, I would wake up one day and my debilitating chronic pain would be gone, a thing of the past, a distant memory, and I would be able to be a foster parent without even having to win the lottery. But then again, I guess I’d be winning a lottery of a different sort, right?

Speaking of, my pain has been pretty freaking atrocious the past few days, the taking-my-breath-away and leaving-me-alone-to-cry kind. I’m feeling especially worthless. It doesn’t help that Mark is back to yelling at me a lot again, pointing out that he does everything and that I do and contribute nothing. That’s great for my self-esteem. And each time he yells, my pain levels increase. And there are little comments that gut me too, like how he needs to get clothes but doesn’t want to go shopping with me. I thought he used to like my taste, but now I know he thinks I’ve lost my judgment since all I wear are nightgowns now. He also said I slow him down when shopping. I guess that’s true because I’m in such pain that I can only move at a snail’s pace now. Also, the past few days my grief over Eva’s death has been hitting me hard all over again, and I find myself questioning it all once more. She was a beautiful firecracker, and I hope she forgives me for not recognizing before it was too late that she had cancer and was dying. I’ve always prided myself on being overly attentive, so I feel like a giant failure in this regard as well. The house is still very, very quiet and lonely without her giant orange amazing presence.

I guess I’m hoping this weekend that we can get him some new work clothes anyway and me a manicure and pedicure. What is irritating me about having nice nails and fingers now is that I have to stay on top of the color because it’s constantly chipping. One tiny chip looks trashy to me, but it’s so much work to be doing all the freaking time. I try to paint them between manicures, and I totally suck at it. Maybe it’s just my polish choice? Mark’s birthday was Monday, so we should try to celebrate that too, even though his attitude towards me makes me want to smother him with a pillow rather than share a meal with him.


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