October 9, 2014 | Comments Off
Sam champions Fire Prevention Day! Make sure to check that all of your various fire safety items are in good working order and that you have an exit plan should a fire start in your house. If you haven’t done those things, it’s never too late to start. Your furbabies will thank you!
October 8, 2014 | Comments Off
My chronic pain has been kicking my ass for days now. Sheesh. It’s never a walk in the park, but some days are much more intense than others, and I’m in the midst of some of those days right now. It started late Friday night/early Saturday morning when the pain woke me up out of my sleep. That’s never a good thing. Then a few hours later I awoke to find Lulu sleeping on my legs which is something she rarely, thankfully, does. That certainly didn’t help me out any, as you can imagine. And at night I take Trazadone to help me sleep, but it’s as if that’s not kicking in fully lately, and I’m just up and hurting unnecessarily longer. I guess I need to start taking two of those if that trend keeps up. My pain pills aren’t working on days like these either which really sucks. So, yeah, I’m struggling.
The other night just as I was about to fall asleep, Basia decided she wanted to play all night long. My sound machine was just out of my reach, so I heard her each of the times she decided to chirp and play. The other three kitties were tucked into bed all around me and were happily snoozing – and I was jealous.
Two nights ago we watched videos of our passed pets, and it really is a fantastic thing to have these photos and videos like we do. It’s just wonderful. What’s not wonderful is how terribly sad I am. I miss them all so much, and I cry everyday. I imagine I always will. Speaking of, last year we reviewed several Halloween costumes, and this year we were approached by the same company to review some more. Mark wanted me to decline because he’s too sad to do it without Spenser. Besides, I’m not sure if they were even aware that we lost our dog model. If they want just cats reviewing their costumes, maybe we can work together next year. And, surprisingly, Mark ended up buying a pumpkin dress for our girl kitties and a pumpkin shirt that lights up for our boy kitties! At the same time, though, it makes me sad because we used to always tell Eva she had a pumpkin in her belly because she had such a big tummy.
When I really hurt like this, I again think about phasing out product reviews and only updating this site every other week if at all. Everything but watching tv seems highly overwhelming.
I’ve noticed that since Spenser died that I have no reason to go to the first floor anymore unless I decide to straighten up after the cleaner leaves each week, though I’m less motivated to do even that these days. I only went down there to put him outside to potty and then to carry him back upstairs. He’d put his cute front paws on the first step, and I’d kiss both of his ears before picking him up. That was our little routine.
So a few weeks ago Mark hurt his back after he pitched for four innings. He couldn’t just stick with being an umpire. He had to get back in the game, and he’s been paying the price ever since. He claims he knows his limits now and will only pitch for so many innings and run so far and so on. Sigh. Last year he really, really hurt himself and got that shitty diagnosis, but he thought four innings was taking it slow enough. Why can’t he just stick to umpiring and stop tempting fate? He loves that stupid game so much. Ugh.
And I decided to stop babysitting entirely. Though we had plans last weekend to take her to this kid’s fall festival thing, I decided I didn’t want to pay the price for it for two days afterwards with so much pain, no matter how badly my insides were screaming baby! So I gave her mom all the toys we had for her here and also got rid of all the other stuff we no longer had use for, like the changing table and bumbo. Giving away things for free on Craigslist was a ridiculous hassle. People would email and then not reply back or reply a bunch, stop, and then be surprised when I ended up giving the stuff away to someone else.
October 6, 2014 | Comments Off
More blasts from the past in pictures Mark has been scanning. Look at how tiny Spenser, Kip, and Pacey once were! Check out how pretty Becca was in her diaper!
October 3, 2014 | Comments Off
The Elevation Modular Cat Tower System from Contempo Cat looked to be so attractive, functional, and fun, so I was more than thrilled when the opportunity presented itself for my furbabies to product review one! The Elevation Modular Cat Tower System consists of two different pieces. The first piece involves the various wooden climbing components that come from Contempo Cat in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and options that can be put together to create a stunning contemporary cat tower! Contempo Cat sells bridges (short and long), steps, shelves, feeders, pepper platforms (carpeted and non-carpeted), and other platforms (wall, corner, and standard). Additionally, these wooden climbing components are made in Birch-Ply and can be ordered unfinished, in clear lacquer, in white lacquer, or in espresso stain. This also means that if you get them unfinished that you could paint or stain them whatever you choose. Thus, there are literally hundreds of possible configurations and looks with the different climbers and colors available to you, so all you have to really do is look at your space and their components and imagine! Now the second two things you’ll need, aside from these wooden climbing components, are a “Stolmen Post” and “mounting fixtures” from IKEA that you can get in their store or online. These are the items that Contempo Cat’s wooden climbing components need to attach to. They have you buy them yourself because it’s cheaper for you that way! Contempo Cat outlines everything you need and why directly at their site. It’s super easy!
Here are photos of what Contempo Cat sent us from their Elevation Modular Cat Tower system:
And here’s a video where I take a closer look at what we received:
Here is some additional information about Contempo Cat from its website:
For your Cat, cat furniture and products need to be functional, but for us humans, they need to have an aesthetic quality as well.
We strive to achieve both of these qualities in our products. While we are quite proud of our designs, as a company, we are non-pretentious and strive to offer products at a reachable price point for most people. No quotes from great architects about “minimal design” or “harmonizing the realm of man and animal.” We just make good looking products at good looking prices!
Here are a few photos of the assembly process and of the tower itself after it was installed:
And here are some fun photos and videos of my furbabies enjoying their new Elevation Modular Cat Tower System from Contempo Cat:
The verdict? This Elevation Modular Cat Tower System from Contempo Cat is very attractive, and I can see it working well in all types of places and spaces. I think it obviously could work well in tight spaces too because of its height factor. Additionally, the various steps and platforms can be painted and/or stained to match any kind of environment, so that makes the possibilities endless. Also, as I always mention, Mark hates putting things together, but this project actually didn’t take him too long. The items needed from IKEA came just a few days later after I ordered them online, and the rest was history! And, overall, it’s just great for cats to do a variety of things on! They can rest, hang out, nap, observe, play, eat treats off of, and eat catnip from – to name the things mine did. Sam, our biggest cat, took a shine to it the most, which just makes us laugh the hardest. He’s so big, but he goes down the steps like a master! Lulu won’t go near it, and Pacey likes it if there are things to do on it. We know that if our orange dynamo Eva were still alive that she’d be spending a lot of her time at the very top of this while looking down at us and making her little duck noises; this would be right up her alley. Contempo Cat also sells feeders, climbing systems, beds, cat trees, and litter box enclosures. If you purchase any of their Elevation Modular Cat Tower System products, please let me know what you think!
(Full disclosure – Contempo Cat provided their items to us free of charge in exchange for a product review. I purchased the necessary IKEA items. Thanks!)
October 2, 2014 | Comments Off
I always think it’s so adorable whenever Pacey stretches out one of his front paws like that. It’s like he’s at the height of relaxation or something. My poor man, though, has dirty ears now – like filthy ears that need cleaned at least once a week. The pads we use end up being covered in such crud too that it’s unbelievable! When he was a kitten at one of his first kitten exams, we were told that he was going to have bad teeth. Thankfully that never ended up happening and/or it corrected itself naturally, and this problem is definitely better than what that would have ended up being like for sure. And earlier today he was being cute with his brother. I kept hearing a thud, thud, thud noise coming from the floor below, but there wasn’t any arguing. A few minutes later the same thing was happening, so I went to go see what the boys were doing because I knew they were the ones involved. They were in the cat tower: Sam was in the top part and Pacey was in the hooded portion, and they were just beating on each other. Haha! I couldn’t believe it went on for so long without one of them getting annoyed!
September 30, 2014 | Comments Off
I’ve never seen Basia sleep here by herself before or since, so I’m glad I have a picture of it. She does love to sit on this chair with someone, though. She’s never happier than when Mark sits there on the weekends with his iPhone or a laptop and a cup of coffee. She rubs her forehead against his beard a billion times and settles onto his chest until he gets up next. This past Sunday my back wasn’t too horrible, so I sat there with them, and she even happily moved to my lap for a bit when he got up for a few minutes! She’s such a daddy’s girl, so it was a huge moment indeed.
September 28, 2014 | Comments Off
Sometimes I just never know if the kitties are going to like what I get them or not. This cube, though, is a definite hit, thankfully. They lay on it, sit on it, buff their little pads on it, use it as a step to get up to the dresser, and crawl through the hole that’s in the center of it! I bought it for them as a Christmas gift, and they haven’t gotten sick of it yet! Yay!
September 26, 2014 | Comments Off
Here’s a great article I found about pet myths that I thought I’d include here that might give you a few interesting things to think about as the weekend approaches!
1. Cats always land on their feet.
Yes, cats are agile. They can jump high and twist their bodies like grand acrobats, often landing feet first. But cats falling from great heights—even if they land feet first—can suffer severe injuries or death. Keep your cats safe by making sure that all windows have secure screens.
2. Cats are aloof.
Cats may seem aloof, but they can also be cuddly and extremely sensitive to your moods. An aloof cat is often a nervous cat that is unsure of his surroundings. Fortunately, that behavior can be solved with patience and kindness. We have to earn their trust. Once we’ve gained that trust, we will have a friend for life.
3. Declawing a cat is akin to trimming his nails.
Declawing involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. It is a painful operation, and many veterinarians refuse to do it. Plus, if your cat goes outdoors, he’ll be defenseless. Clip your cats’ nails; don’t declaw them. Teach your cat to use a scratching post, not the sofa, and praise him each time he does. If he attempts to scratch the furniture, gently spray him with water. You can also put bubble wrap around the area your cat wants to scratch. One or two pops will keep him away from the furniture.
4. Cats can live on a vegan diet.
This myth is dangerous. Cats are natural hunters and carnivores. They rely on taurine, an amino acid found in meat that is essential for normal heart muscle function and vision. A taurine-free diet can result in blindness and heart problems.
5. Cats can’t be trained.
At the ASPCA in New York City, a cat was taught to turn pages of a book and to toss a ball. You can teach your cat to use a scratching post and a litter box. You can even teach your cat tricks. You need a clicker, treats, and lots of praise. Cats respond negatively to punishment. So be positive and patient.
6. A female cat or dog needs to have a litter before it is spayed.
Belief in this major misconception brings more cats and dogs into an overcrowded world. Spaying reduces risks of mammary gland tumors and ovarian and uterine cancers. It also helps cats and dogs live longer healthier lives.
7. Dogs wag their tails when they’re happy.
Okay, this is partially true. A wagging tail usually means a dog is happy. But it can also mean that the dog is agitated, tense, frightened, or feeling aggressive. To understand your dog’s mood, you must look at the whole package. Are his ears upright, or pointed back and low to his head? Upright means he is listening. Low to his head means he may be ready to attack. You should never approach a dog you don’t know without asking his owner if the dog is friendly.
8. Letting your dog out alone in the yard is enough exercise.
Ever spy on a dog left alone in a yard? Chances are high that he will just lie down and go to sleep. Dogs need you to interact with them, to throw them a ball, and to take them on long walks.
9. A dry nose means a dog is ill.
Many of us believe that a cool wet nose on a dog means the dog is healthy, and that a dry nose means he’s sick. Not true! A dry nose can be caused by poor air circulation in a room, or even just by the dog sitting in the sun. A dog’s nose can change from dry to wet and back to dry several times a day.
10. Using food to train a dog results in an overweight dog.
Dogs respond well to rewards and praise. The trick is not to overfeed your dog. Take a small handful of the food from your dog’s daily diet—about 10-15 pieces of dry food—and give him one small piece for each task he completes. If you choose to give your dog a treat instead, break that treat into halves or quarters, and give him one small piece each time he accomplishes the task. As much as dogs like food, they like spending time with you even more. So each time your dog (or cat) looks at you with those soulful eyes, give him attention instead of food. He will be a healthier and happier pet.
September 25, 2014 | Comments Off
Well, there are tons of pictures Mark has to scan, and he is slowly but surely doing it in the evenings between doing other things. Here are some that he’s gotten to so far that are from many, many years ago. Wow, they bring such a smile to our faces!
September 23, 2014 | Comments Off
My poor little Lulu was turned into a kitty pincushion by that vet who checked out Pacey’s sneezing issues. She’s the one who came back to get Lulu’s blood, but she just couldn’t get any blood out of my girl. She first tried the back legs in several spots, then tried her neck in several spots, and then finally tried one of her front legs which is where she hit the jackpot. It makes me very uncomfortable whenever any of them use the neck, and I am from now on going to ask that to be a “last resort” kind of thing. Besides, who would even think of dealing with the neck when the front leg hadn’t even been tried yet? I mean, really. Anyway, I was going to let Mark handle the whole blood draw thing because I got Lulu’s urine sample at 4:00am, and I was super grungy from not showering after a few days due to my back pain and I didn’t want to be seen all gross like that. Well, after what is normally a two second thing ended up taking more than ten minutes, I went down there. I saw Mark pacing with a worried look on his face because the process wasn’t going well. But Lulu, despite some verbal complaining, was a champ! I know that if Eva were still with us that she would have drawn their blood and Basia would not stand for any of that at all either. I mean, it was just ridiculous. So Lulu was definitely rewarded with lots of treats afterwards several times during the day! Mark later asked me if she had any water to drink. I was thinking the vet was worried about her water intake or something. When I asked him why, he said he wanted to know if it was shooting out of all the holes they had poked into her. Um, not funny. Anyway, we got her test results back, and she took to her two weeks on the thyroid medicine well. Now the place she will go to for her radiation stuff is reviewing her records, and they will get back to us about setting up a time for her appointment. I’m trying not to get too nervous about it. Looking at her adorably crossed paws in this photo helps some!
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