It's Friday and Phoebe's ready to hit the town. I asked her about her plans and she didn't want to tell me because who wants their mom to crash their party? Eventually she told me she thought she might go to a rave at the pet food outlet down the street. Some local tom figured out a way to get in and has custom claw extensions to open cans of food. I think she might be lying, but when I walked by the place last Friday night, I swear I saw pulsing lights. Then again, I'd just had a couple of margaritas.
Friday, July 22, 2016
Thursday, July 7, 2016
In January, Cosmo and I moved from a 2,000-square foot house to a one-bedroom apartment, with plans of Phoebe joining us in a few months. The move was an adjustment for all of us. One of the biggest changes was the lack of windows in the new place. Our house had a multitude of windows, but the new loft only had two small ones with a large one positioned on top of them. Don't worry about trying to picture what I'm describing -- here's a photo.
|The "before" pic. No lookout perch for kitties.|
My kitties had no easy way of checking out the world beyond our walls, which is one of their favorite hobbies. And I couldn't find a cat tree that provided really high lookout perches that matched the height of my windows. Just to give you some reference, the bottom of the larger window is about 7.5 feet off the ground.
Thankfully, a fellow cat writer connected me to Pet Tree Houses, a Florida-based company that builds exactly what I needed. They took my window measurements and, in a few weeks, sent me a photo of what they'd created. I was blown away!
|Come to Mama!|
It looked huge! I guess it needed to be if I wanted my cats to have a proper view.
The cool thing about Pet Tree Houses is that they're made of all-natural materials. The perches are cedar and the carpet pieces are easily removable for cleaning or replacement. The leaves are silk, but the most unique part, to me, is the trunk. The trunk is a genuine tree trunk, and comes from a rare species of tree found in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. It's dense, durable, and flexible. Perfect!
|Newly unpacked components. Let's hear it for color-coding!|
The tree house's parts arrived in two large boxes. When I unpacked them, everything was carefully labeled and the instructions were easy-to-follow and concise.
|Assembly? Easy peasy! Thanks, Julia!|
My friend Julia, an engineer, came over to help me assemble the tree house. She's an expert at assembling just about anything ... and I am not. She said she was expecting it might be quite the task, but after we dug in, admitted the directions were some of the best she'd ever seen. Everything was expertly labeled and color-coded. Heck, even I could have put it together alone. She followed up with a rave review about the overall quality of the tree.
|Inspector Cosmo's job is never done.|
Of course, Cosmo had to "help" with assembly -- or at least thoroughly inspect everything to make sure we we weren't making any mistakes. You know how we humans are.
|Newly assembled! Yay!|
All told, it took us about two hours to assemble the tree house and only needed a few tools. A screwdriver is necessary, but I recommend a drill for quicker results. Also, your hand will thank you. Not really, but if it could talk, it'd say, "Thanks for using a drill!"
After we placed the tree house in the corner, it was clear the perches were at absolutely ideal levels for maximum kitty lookouts.
|I placed a cat bed on one of the perches. Phoebe approves.|
I was wondering how each of my cats would respond to the giant tree in the corner of the room. Of course I wanted them both to jump from perch to perch, spending hours looking outside, spying on humans and birdies.
|Can you see Cosmo on the right? he's up there!|
Well, my dream partially came true. Phoebe, my little adventurer was all over the place. She raced to the top, hung out on the middle perches, hid among the leaves, scratched like crazy on the rope, and was totally enthralled with the outside view. Cosmo? Well, he was another story. He only made it to the top when I placed him there ... and then he immediately looked for a way to the bottom. He loves the tree house, but is more of a ground dweller, and spends loads of time on the very bottom area, but does venture to the middle sections from time to time.
|Birds! People! Cars!|
While we put the tree house together, a small part of me worried it would look monstrous in my small space, but it really doesn't! It's such a pretty piece of furniture and blends in well with everything else in my living room. Plus it adds a much-needed splash of green to my space.
|Look how nicely it complements my living area!|
When you visit the Pet Tree Houses site, you'll notice they offer models of various sizes, so you don't have to choose one that's super tall.
In fact, Pet Tree Houses is giving Catladyland readers a 10% discount on the purchase of a tree house. Use code CLL10 at checkout (offer expires 9/30/16). Deal!
I'm incredibly pleased with my Pet Tree House. It's clear a lot of time, thought, and care were put into its design an construction. It's truly a work of art, and now my cats can be nosey neighbors!
Monday, June 27, 2016
If you're reading this, I'm assuming you know about the healing power of pets. We've all felt it when we've been physically ill, sad, or even suffered from anxiety or depression. I've spent most of my adult life wrestling with anxiety and my cats have been there for me every step of the way. Their warm presence and healing purrs should be certified by the FDA. In fact, studies show spending time with a pet reduces pain, anxiety, depression, and fatigue for people with a wide range of health issues, and even those living in long-term care facilities. Makes sense, right?
|Photo courtesy of Purina.|
Purina knows pets, and I know -- based on the amount of time I've spent at Purina events -- they care deeply about the human-animal bond. I wasn't at all surprised to learn they'd partnered with St. Louis Children's Hospital to create the Purina Family Pet Center. What began as a request from a patient, turned into a significant piece of healing and joy for the children staying at the hospital. Purina enthusiastically donated $450,000 toward the construction and staffing of the 300-square-foot center, which makes it possible for a child's pet to visit them, something unheard of in most hospitals. In fact, this is the first center of its kind in the region, and the fourth in the world!
|Nina Leigh Krueger, Purina president. Photo courtesy of Purina.|
"At Purina, we believe that people and pets are better together, and our friends at St. Louis Children's Hospital clearly share our belief, said Nina Leigh Krueger, Purina president. Our goal for the Purina Family Pet Center is to bring joy and comfort to children and their families by helping them reunite with their pets during their stay."
I hope other hospitals and long-term care facilities follow Purina's lead and create similar centers to bring patients and pets together. Modern medicine can work wonders, and the ability to connect with a beloved family pet brings immeasurable comfort to families on the healing journey.
I was compensated to help spread the word about The partnership between St. Louis Children's Hospital and the Purina Family Pet Center. Catladyland only shares information we think would be of interest to our readers. The opinions are our own.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Phoebe is curled up on my pillow -- how could I possibly move her? I'd be a complete monster! Plus, she's in such a vulnerable position so I can fully examine the "pumpkin patch" on her haunch. Do you see it? It's bunny-soft and the color of fresh pumpkin pie. I might or might not want to take a slight nibble out of that patch. Don't lie -- you do too. Nom, nom, nom.
Friday, June 17, 2016
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets: Pet Obesity Prevention Awareness and Prevention ... and Giveaway! #PurinaPartner
We all want our pets to be happy, healthy, and live long lives as our beloved companions. When they become overweight or obese, their chances of living this kind of life are diminished. According to the Pet Obesity Prevention Association, more than half the dogs and cats in the United States are considered overweight or obese. I don't know about you, but I was blown away by that number. My Saffy has struggled with her weight on and off throughout her 15 years. With the help of her vet and a change in diet and exercise habits, she finally leveled off at a healthy size. And we discovered she likes to walk outside on a leash and harness! In fact, she now believes she's the wild huntress of the neighborhood, and all chipmunks cower in fear of her majestic ways. We let her go ahead and believe that. It's a small thing.
|The huntress burns off calories AND intimidates chipmunks!|
Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management formulas help pet owners properly assess their pet's weight and offers healthy living tips so we can enjoy a long, happy life with our fuzzy pals. Here are three easy steps to determine if your pet's weight is healthy.
|Same goes for cats! Click for larger image.|
Should you discover your pet has a little extra -- um -- fluff, it's good to know it's easily managed with a low calorie, low fat diet and the right amount of healthy habits. Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management formulas are low in calories and fat, high in protein, provide natural fiber, and promote urinary health.
The proper amount of food, reduced treats, combined with regular exercise is the best way to keep your pets lean and mean (in a good way, that is). Even if your cat is lazy by nature, find that special something that gives him a spring in his step and go for it!
|Sometimes homemade toys get the most action.|
Is your kitty in need a little help getting on the road to a healthy weight? Well, this is your chance to try Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management formulas ... free! That's right, friends -- it's a giveaway. Here are the details:
Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) coupon for up to $60 worth of free Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diet canned or dry food (must be redeemed at authorized veterinary clinics).
The coupons can only be redeemed in the U.S.; however, anyone can enter and donate the coupon to a U.S. shelter or friend.
To qualify, enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. You can score additional entries, too!
Best of luck!
I was compensated to help spread the word about Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management formula. Catladyland only shares information we think would be of interest to our readers. The opinions are our own.
Friday, June 10, 2016
This, my friends, is what you call a text-book "belly trap." Look for the signs:
- Ridiculously luxurious belly exposed
- Over-the-top adorable pose
- Eyes appear "on alert"
- Back feet relaxed, yet prepared to rabbit-kick a human's face completely off
Take note of this very important information -- it could save your face. And don't say I never gave you anything.
Monday, June 6, 2016
Ah, Cosmo ... my curious little cabinet kitty. Of my three, he's the one who can't walk past an open cabinet or closet door without sticking his nose -- and sometimes his body -- in to explore the contents. He might think he's on some kind of expedition of the highest order, but I have to laugh when I open the cabinet door and find him simply sitting in the dark. And the, if course, he pretends like he's complete invisible. Because cats are brave explorers and have super powers.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Can the litter box area really be a nice place? I mean it's a practical place -- cats visit to do their "business," and then they leave, hopefully without tracking too much litter along the way. When Tidy Cats® asked if Cosmo would like a Littervention in his bathroom space, I thought, "Why not?" We humans like our bathrooms to look pleasant and offer functionality, so why not give the same opportunity to our kitties? We accepted the Littervention! Spring cleaning is the perfect time for such a thing, after all.
I live in a small loft, and Cosmo's litter box is located in my bedroom. It's a plain little corner of my room ... nothing fancy. I suppose it should be fancier -- he is a tuxedo cat.
Tidy Cats® needed some information so they could send me products that would fit with my decor, space, and needs. I'm glad they asked about my biggest peeve, which is the whole litter-tracking situation. The little mat Cosmo was using wasn't doing its job. Sometimes when I stepped out of my bed, it felt like I'd set foot on a beach. If only, right?
When the box arrived from Tidy Cats®, I was blown away! So many cool objects tucked inside, including toys, scratchers, and all sorts of fun and interesting goodies. I couldn't wait to go to town transforming the area!
They sent us a jug of Tidy Cats® LightWeight 4-in-1 Strength Litter and a new litter box with a pretty wicker basket in which to place it. And let me tell you about the mat! It's covered with deep holes that catch that litter. I know it catches it because I see it sitting inside those soft little craters and not so much on my bedroom floor.
And the Litter Genie. Can I just talk about the Litter Genie for a moment? If you've never used one, you're missing out. No longer do I need to make the daily walk down the hall with my bag o' clumps. Sure, I'll miss the regular chats with the neighbors while holding said bag o' clumps, but the tradeoff is well worth it, my friends.
I personalized Cosmo's corner by hanging an extraordinarily handsome photo of him above his box ... because why not?
The Litter Genie arrived with a handy scoop that's stored on the side of the in-"Genie-us" (pushing it?) contraption. And they sent adorable rubber gloves with cleaning supplies! The cute gloves make me want to clean (probably).
Speaking of cleaning, did you know that some toys can go in the top rack of your dishwasher? Many dishwashers even have handy little baskets to hold small objects. And once they're clean, store them in little baskets or boxes. Soon they'll be scattered again, but they will at least have a home!
Of course Cosmo didn't do a thing to help me with his own Littervention. As usual, he sat on the sidelines and supervised. That's his specialty, you know.
Here's how it looks integrated into my bedroom. Pretty cool, huh? The makeover gives his litter box corner a more fun and attractive look -- plus, the Litter Genie! Cosmo and I are both pleased with the outcome.
Would you like to win your very own Littervention from Tidy Cats®? Well, it's your lucky day, friends! Here's how it all goes down:
One (1) lucky reader will receive a prize package that includes a litter box, toys, litter, a scratching post, toys, and more! The package can only be shipped to U.S. addresses; however, anyone can enter and donate the kit to a U.S. shelter.
To qualify you must complete the mandatory areas in the Rafflecopter widget below (there are opportunities for additional entries!) and comment on this blog post with your biggest litter box peeve.
Best of luck!
Monday, May 16, 2016
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
This post is sponsored by Hill's Food, Shelter & Love® Initiative and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping promote National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.
Pets are precious family members and we want to keep them safe and healthy. No one wants to imagine what might happen if personally affected by disaster, but being prepared for such an event can sometimes make the difference between life and death. I know I'm sounding dramatic, but this time it's prudent to pay attention to my drama. Later you can go back to poking fun at my histrionics regarding whether or not I remembered to pull my red leggings out of the load of whites that's now in the washing machine.
|I can't imagine being separated from this guy.|
I live in Minnesota, where we have a tornado season. Within 25 miles of where I sit right now, an entire neighbor hood was leveled in 2008. I hope I never have to live through that kind of devastation.
Animal shelters especially feel the impact following disasters. Because people can become separated from their pets, shelters are often faced with caring for the animals until they're reunited with their families. This can be a highly stressful situation for many shelters who are already struggling to house and care for its residents. Thankfully, Hill's Disaster Relief Network is positioned to to quickly respond with shipments of pet food to post-disaster communities. Hill's created this first-of-its-kind national network in 2013 as an expansion of its Food, Shelter & Love® program
|Photo courtesy of Hill's Pet Nutrition.|
In the last three years, Hill's delivered free pet food to more than 60 different shelters and vet clinics across the country in response to 25 major incidents. That's some significant relief!
FEMA National Pet Disaster Preparedness Day is May 14, so now is the perfect time for you to take some steps to ensure your pet's safety during an emergency.
Hill's recommends the following seven tips:
- Make sure your pet can be identified with current information on a microchip or collar ID tag.
- Prepare a "Pet Emergency To-Go Kit" which should include first aid supplies and guidebook; a three-day supply of pet food in a waterproof container; bottled water; a safety harness and leash; waste clean-up supplies, medications and medical records; a contact list of vets and pet care organizations; information on your pet's feeding routine and behavioral issues; comfort toys and a blanket.
- Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window (include vet contact information).
- Learn the places where your pet likes to hide when frightened.
- Identify locations you can take your pet in the case of an evacuation. Not all disaster shelters accept pets, so check with friends or relatives and scout out pet-friendly hotels.
- Carry a photo of your pet in the case of separation.
- If you need to evacuate, consider the safety of a pet carrier.
So you can remember all of this, here's a handy infographic you can save and print.
|Phoebe's excited about helping me with my emergency plan. Can't you tell?|
Hill's mission is based on four pillars: volunteer, donate, choose, and adopt. They've provided over $230 million worth of nutritious food to nearly 1,000 shelters, and they're ready to spring into action 365 days a year. What a commitment!
I would hate to think about becoming separated from my cats after a devastating event -- and I don't have a plan. Now I feel like I have some practical instructions for disaster preparedness. I hope I never have to use them, but I'll be ready.
You can connect with Hill's on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hill’s® Pet Nutrition, Inc. The opinions and text are all mine.