November 22, 2013 | Comments Off
I saw the Breathe Free Litterbox Mate online, knew I wanted to test it out, and was happy to get one sent over to review. Breathe Free Litterbox Mate is the only litter pad in the world with triple action odor control that eliminates urine odor, fecal odor, and bacteria growth! Its pads are filled with an inert organic mineral from Mother Earth that has a unique chemistry that actually absorbs moisture and selective gases, such as ammonia. It is safe and gentle to use for neutralizing and eliminating harmful levels of ammonia and other odors in the litter box. Breathe Free Litterbox Mate essentially is Mother Nature’s answer to litter box odor! See, bacteria and ammonia can have its harmful effects on you, your pet, and your family. Ammonia is the leading cause of upper respiratory infections in cats. High levels of ammonia are known to cause serious issues to respiratory tracts in both humans and animals, and it can also lead to low-weight gain and increased rates of pneumonia. Removing clumps from your cat’s litter box does not clean it. Bacteria inside the box feed off of your cat’s excretions, rapidly multiplying and releasing ammonia gases. The bacteria left behind after scooping is still in the litterbox – until you use Breathe Free Litterbox Mate, that is.
Here are two photos of the Breathe Free Litterbox Mate:
Here’s a video where I take a closer look at the Breathe Free Litterbox Mate:
Included in the package:
- 1 Breathe Free Litterbox Mate, single pad
Here is some information about the Breathe Free Litterbox Mate from its website:
How does Breathe Free Litterbox Mate™ eliminate litter box odor?
The pads are filled with an organic mineral that works to adsorb moisture and selective gases, such as ammonia.
Is Breathe Free Litterbox Mate™ safe for all cats?
Yes, it is safe and gentle. In fact, the odor eliminating minerals make litter boxes a non-toxic environment for cats.
Which kind of cat litter can be used with the Breathe Free Litterbox Mate™ pads?
Any kind! Our pads supplement any type of cat litter; however, we find the pads work best with standard clay or sand clumping cat litter.
Can I use Breathe Free Litterbox Mate™ pads in any type of litter box?
Yes. The pads fit inside most standard-sized litter boxes.
Why won’t my Breathe Free Litterbox Mate™ pad stick to the bottom of the litter box?
In order for the pad to adhere properly to a litter box, the litter box must be COMPLETELY CLEAN. We recommend that you throw away any used litter, then carefully wipe the box clean with soap and water or multi-purpose cleaner. Once the bottom of the box is dry, you can adhere the pad to the box by pulling off the tape covers on the bottom of the pad.
How much cat litter should I pour on top of the Breathe Free Litterbox Mate™ pad?
Pour 3-4 inches of cat litter over the pad once it is properly adhered to the box.
Why does my cat pull at the sides of my Breathe Free Litterbox Mate™ pad? Is this normal?
It is normal for cat litter to get pushed around and lay uneven inside the litter box. However, our testing shows that if 3-4 inches of cat litter lay atop the pad, cats are less likely to notice it and/or scratch at it. It’s important that enough litter is poured over the pad so it does not become dislodged.
Are the minerals inside Breathe Free Litterbox Mate™ flushable?
No! Do not flush the spent minerals down the toilet.
What should I do with my used Breathe Free Litterbox Mate™ pad after 30 days?
Carefully throw away the used cat litter, and remove the pad from the bottom of the box. You can throw the entire pad away, or snip the edges and sprinkle the nitrogen-rich minerals over your plants, grass, or garden! Breathe Free Litterbox Mate™ has a neutral pH of approximately 7.5.
How long does each Breathe Free Litterbox Mate™ pad last?
We’ve designed each pad to last approximately 30 days. Length of time may depend on how many cats are using the same litter box and pad. We recommend you have a new pad ready and waiting BEFORE that 30 day period ends. You don’t want a smelly litter box again!
Here are two photos of the Breathe Free Litterbox Mate, one of it being placed into a litterbox and one of it after it is covered in litter:
And here is a video of Mark putting the Breathe Free Litterbox Mate into a new litterbox:
The verdict? I like that Breathe Free Litterbox Mate uses natural minerals to neutralize and eliminate the ammonia odors & smells found in litterboxes. It’s nice to know that they are completely safe for all animals and humans and that after the pads are exhausted (around 30 days) that you can snip off the edges and pour the minerals in a garden as a natural fertilizer. As an FYI – it definitely did keep the smells at bay for us, so I recommend getting a package and trying it out for yourself, especially if you’re using litter with a strong scent to cover up smells, as that can sometimes lead to litterbox issues! If you purchase this product, please let me know what you think!
(Full disclosure – Breathe Free Litterbox Mate provided this item to us free of charge in exchange for a product review. Thanks!)
November 20, 2013 | Comments Off
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November 15, 2013 | Comments Off
Last Sunday Mark & I had a nice day out together. I can’t even tell you the last time that happened as I usually only leave the house to go see a doctor, to go get my hair done, or to go on other little run-of-the-mill errands. So, yeah, it was long overdue, and we actually didn’t even fight once, if you can believe that! One of the things that we did was visit that second cat retirement home/sanctuary that I’ve been talking about going to for months now. But because of my back pain and Mark having other things to do, we never got around to going. This place is absolutely gorgeous and ridiculously clean. I mean, it is beyond amazing, but I do have a major issue with it – and that is that their main goal is adopting your cat out. My main goal is to find a beautiful place for them to stay at and to be cared for at permanently. And as much as I would love for them to stay in this gorgeous facility – they have multiple overhead walkways that take the cats to various fenced-in outside areas – that’s just not their goal there. So why would I give them $15,000 to care for my cat when someone could come in and adopt the cat two days later? That couple could divorce or that person could lose their job, and my cat could end up on Craigslist or dumped outside. That person could have no long-term plan of care for my cat like I did, which would be completely horrifying! So I press forward. I found two more possible places to check out. They are not that close, so we are going to take an overnight trip to look at them. The only real way Mark is going to do this is if I agree to go to a hockey game with him while we are out there, so that’s what we are going to do! One is ridiculously expensive, but it sounds so amazing and so beautiful. It has a full-time vet and a full-time pharmacist right there on-site. The second has an enclosed outdoor area for the cats right on a lake. Both places are only about twenty minutes from each other, so we’re going to take a look at both of them at some point in January while the cleaner spends the night here to babysit the furbabies for us again. Then I’ll have to make an appointment to see the lawyer to get everything written down legally so that there will be no confusion and so that everyone understands their part in it. The cleaner will be responsible for taking the pets to the location we choose and so on. I also want to make an appointment to see a different kind of lawyer to talk about my whole business idea. I did end up sending my video to Bethenny. It wasn’t the best video ever. I was looking down. Ugh. I didn’t know where to look as it was my first time using Skype and it was my first time making a video in general on Mark’s computer. Then Mark came along and wanted to know what the mailbox icon was for – and just clicked it with no regard to what I was doing. It automatically sent the video off to her. I just died. We probably could have scrambled and shut down the computer to stop it from sending, but the video wasn’t too heinous, despite the fact that I wasn’t looking directly into the center of the screen. I do think it’s a neat idea, but we probably aren’t going to pursue it right now since more pressing things have come up. There could be some chemical issues with it, and we don’t really want to dump a lot of money into the research right now when we obviously need to set aside the money for a one-story. And that’s become an even bigger goal right now because Mark has a broken back. Yeah, you read that right.
He was having back pain for about four weeks. I think at the fifth week was when he went to the primary care doctor who said that he believed it was a herniated disc and that he should see an orthopedic specialist. Well, the orthopedic specialist said he literally has a broken back. At the L4 there is a pars fracture and at the L4/L5 he has spondylolisthesis. I give up on life. I mean, this is absolutely horrible. The doctor said it could get worse, and it is possible that he can get fusion surgery. He’s not recommended to bend or lift things. It is so crazy that I can’t even begin to tell you how horrible the whole thing is. Of course, he goes back and forth and says amazingly rude comments like, “Isn’t your back pain enough for us to deal with?” which shows me how out-of-touch and clearly lacking in empathy he can be. Then he says things like how he handles pain better than I do, even though I haven’t seen a glimmer of that once. In general he is always so mean and nasty when he can’t have his free time to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it. He was already, as you know, irritated that he had to come home and do the litter and such. And now these things cause him pain, so he is even nastier towards me because I can’t do them for him. It’s like he sees it as I won’t do these things, like I am miraculously supposed to now be all better and do everything so that he doesn’t have to. He’s come home every day lately and been so mean to me. He jumps down my throat over every little thing and glares at me. I understand that it’s the pain talking because I’ve so obviously been there and am still there. But this isn’t going to work out unless he tries to communicate better. Shit, I’ve been saying that nonstop for the past sixteen years. But it’s even more imperative now. He’s going to physical therapy soon. I’m hoping that will really help him. When he does the stretching around here, he says that it really helps. That’s a good sign. I know from my own experience that simple stretching and simple swimming and such just absolutely killed me, so the fact that it doesn’t bother him is a plus, right? I have to be hopeful that his condition will improve. If he can’t play baseball, if he can’t ride his bike, if he can’t do the simplest tasks, he will not survive it – and I will not survive it either. I honestly don’t think that will be able to live together like that. We barely are able to live together now with my condition the way that it is. I’m really worried about our future now. I hope this is something he will be able to work with and improve upon. While there is still a chance of that, some of the things the doctor said to him are pretty scary. I don’t know what to do. For a long time I’ve felt like we’re not going to make it, and this doesn’t do anything to change that. I know his attitude. I know how horrible it gets. And when he is so horrible, it affects me worse. I notice that I take more pain pills when he is yelling and screaming at me about things. I am who he takes things out on. He has a tendency to look at the negative in every situation first, to yell first, to say no first. Then he thinks about things and calms down. But since he’s been in pain, he hasn’t calmed down. How many times before this have I said that I’m tired of being his emotional punching bag? But I also understand pain all too well too.
The mobile vet came by, and she saw Eva, Basia, and Pacey. It seems as if Eva’s abscess has gotten even smaller, so that means that we’re officially putting off the scan at the vet’s suggestion which is all a great relief! I’m glad this is nothing to really worry about. She even thinks at the next appointment that it could be basically gone! She also drained Eva’s anal glands which were full, and we made an appointment for her to come back in four weeks for Eva & Lulu. We decided that every four weeks we are going to have that done just as a preventative measure, and the vet agreed with me. Pacey’s second urine test unfortunately yielded the same results as the first one, and he does have stage one kidney disease. This obviously makes me very sad. Also, Basia got her old lady exam. We talked about her issues that she has with missing jumps and needing a taller litter box for her, and it turns out that she has arthritis in her left leg. My poor girl! Now she takes a glucosamine supplement that’s sprinkled onto her wet food. She has no problems with that which is great. But unfortunately her urine sample came back with bad news. She has stage two kidney disease. I’m really, really saddened by this and for Mark especially because she is his baby. Right now there’s not too much to get too concerned about. I’m not googling anything because I don’t want to freak myself out, but the vet said that we should basically do the same thing so far in treating Basia that we do with Pacey. This means that she is getting the supplements and extra wet food too. I was annoyed with Mark when he was standing here when the vet called with the test results for the cats. I could tell that he initially wasn’t upset that she was sick but he was upset that it was another cat that needed to be given medication twice daily and that more money had to be spent monthly. As I said above, his initial knee-jerk reactions about everything are usually negative until he comes around, softens, and changes his mind. But it’s that initial yelling he does that makes it so hard to want to tell him anything or to want to be around him even. Ugh. Anyway, the main thing that we need to look out for with Pacey & Basia is the vomiting. When they start doing a lot of it, that is when we need to change what we are doing with their treatment.
That’s about it. I pretty much was slapped in the face this week with a whole bunch of news that I just didn’t want to hear. I was hoping things would eventually get easier for me and for my family, but it doesn’t look like that is in the cards for us. It’s pretty unfortunate, it’s pretty sad, and it’s pretty overwhelming. The one thing that I have managed to do that’s keeping a smile on my face is re-watch episodes of NYC Prep on Netflix and Rich Girls on YouTube. Those kids are so out-of-touch with reality that all I can do is just laugh and wish I had just a bit of the money they do. I mean, could you imagine? I actually really think that money would make all the difference for us. We could get that one-story. We could hire extra help. And so on.
November 13, 2013 | Comments Off
Julinka offers handmade products for you and your pet and is located in Hamburg, Germany. They place great value on materials that are natural, organic, and toxic free. I was excited when they agreed to send my furbabies some items to review because we’ve never gotten cat toys like these before! For example, there is organic valerian in two of their cat toys, ostrich feathers on two, and organic buckwheat hulls in one! Aside from the fun toys, we also received one of their ceramic, hand-painted, and dishwasher safe bowls that is very dainty and pretty. Julinka lets you customize a lot of their products, and they also sell cat beds, dog beds, kitten sets, puppy sets, cat scratchers & furniture, cat feeders & bowls, dog feeders & bowls, dog toys, and even more cat toys than talked about here!
Here are some photos of what Julinka sent us:
Here’s a video where I take a closer look at the package:
Included in the package:
- 1 Hug Me – the crinkly valerian toy
- 1 Jet – the racy bird
- 1 MJAM MJAM bowl, painted with “furbabies” & a heart
- 1 CooCoo – the fishing rod cat toy with real ostrich feathers
Here is some information about Julinka from its website:
It all started when we, Julia Kuhl (graphic designer) and Kathinka Eckardt (journalist), met whilst working for a Hamburg-based magazine. Both of us had recently adopted a cat, and so we were faced with the usual purchases. Disappointed, we gave up the search for Cat Trees & Co in lack of good design. And so the idea was born to start Julinka. The name itself was quickly found and the first designs for toys, cat trees, and litter houses were not long in coming. And while you browse in our shop, new designs for you and your pet are in the making. Let us surprise you!
Here are photos & videos of my furbabies playing with their new Hug Me:
Here are photos & videos of them playing with the Jet:
Here they are enjoying their new MJAM MJAM bowl:
And here they are playing with the CooCoo:
The verdict? These products were new & different, which I appreciated. Some of my cats did as well, but not all of them. I feel like I say that a lot about Lulu & Basia – what fussy little old ladies! Other than those two, though, the other kitties really enjoyed their new toys. Eva, especially, went absolutely crazy for the toys with valerian in them while Pacey was just mesmerized by the ostrich feathers! And everyone really liked their new bowl that said “furbabies” on it next to a lovely heart, even the beagle! Julinka has so many great items to check out, so be sure to stop by their site. And, if you purchase any of their products, please let me know what you think!
(Full disclosure – Julinka provided these items to us free of charge in exchange for a product review. Thanks!)
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