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Cats vs. Christmas Trees – Game On!

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Ahhhh, the holidays. As if there isn’t already enough to deal with, let’s not forget about the ongoing saga of most cat owners: How best to decorate a Christmas tree without the cats using it as their personal playground. To be fair, for a cat a Christmas tree is like a Willy Wonka Cat Toyland: all kinds of little sparkly, shiny, twitching things just begging to be pounced upon, and in a huge tree, no less!!

Personally, it’s not really Christmas without the tree. I have figured out some (not always successful) ways to work around it over the years: using smaller trees with just lights, or placing the tree behind a chair and decorating only the top. Actually, other festive decorations like lighted greenery on the mantel and big snowflakes above the kitchen cabinets make up for compromises in tree decoration and for me it is totally worth it. If it means avoiding a fully decorated tree crashing to the floor at 3 a.m. or emergency vet visits because a cat ate something she wasn’t supposed to, then I’m good.

That said, it still doesn’t really solve your problem. So whether you are new to this or just looking for a new way to have you cat and Christmas tree too, I may have a solution that will. For starters, where better to look for whatever you need than Reddit? One of the best resources out there for stuff you need and didn’t know you needed, I would head there first. Of course, the various cat sub reddits will probably be chock full of great tips, but recently in LPT (Life Pro Tips) I found these gems:

RedditSuggestions

MJG2007 gets my upvote! And a Silver! But as right as he/she is, it is still a little counterintuitive to those of us who love trees. And cats. We will figure out a way, dammit!

And then there is Animal expert Erin Rachel. I stumbled across this very informative YouTube video with lots of great ideas not long ago. Perhaps something here will work for you:

Actually the dried orange and lemon around the bottom of the tree may just have me rethinking my own strategies — I may have to give that a try! Thanks Erin! Hopefully something she suggested may work for you, too. Or maybe you are lucky like _UWotM8 from the Reddit suggestions above and have cats that will just sleep under the tree! Please IG the crap out of that for all of us who can only dream! Whatever road you take, do us all a favor and please report back — we really need to know what works, so we can start our planning for next year now! lol. And have a safe, happy, tree incident free holiday. Cheers!

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Grateful

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As we are double checking shopping lists, Black Friday deals and preparing turkey brine, I am counting my blessings — something I try to do frequently. At the top of the list is always the sweet, fluffy, cute and rambunctious cats I get to spend my days with.

When I first started this business, I remember thinking about how great it would be to give cats a specialized level of care that I thought they would insist upon. My focus was on all the ways I could play, dote, cuddle, and spoil cats that seemed to be missing in most care options. And because I just felt it was obvious and necessary.

The beauty of this is not only do I get to pamper these rascals, but enjoy their company, silliness and unique feline-ness as well. And it really is a privilege. This Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for just that. Of course there are litter boxes and hairballs to be cleaned, and every so often some intermittent fussiness, but although it sounds cliché, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Often times I get asked why I don’t post more about about my cat clients. Actually it is something I have been wanting to do and hope to make a frequent part of these posts in 2020! In the meantime, I will let you get back to your holiday prep, but with my sincerest thanks for being a part of my extended growing family. My cup runneth over! Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours!

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Spoiler Alert: 5 Ways to Spoil, Indulge and Celebrate National Cat Day

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Today is National Cat Day — the second of two (ok three if we factor in Black Cat Day) days that raise awareness for cats. You may recall, International Cat day is August 8th.

According to nationaltoday.com, “National Cat Day reminds us that just when you think your cats have lost interest in you, they’ll turn around and melt your hearts.” Well, that’s every day in my house – and my work, so I consider myself pretty lucky to be graced with so much adorableness!

National Cat Day got it’s start in 2005, created by lifestyle writer Colleen Paige, with the intent “to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of cats that need to be rescued each year and also encourage cat lovers to celebrate the cat(s) in their lives for the unconditional love and companionship they bestow upon us.”

With that in mind, let’s do something special for a cat or four. I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I have shared here, but I’m sure the good ol’ ball of string and a few special treats would be just fine. Honestly, if you have a special way you spoil your kitto, I’d love to know.  In the meantime, here are mine:

1). Donate to a Rescue. There isn’t a cat lover I know who wouldn’t take in several more if they were able, so it goes without saying that rescues are heaven sent. Whether you volunteer your time, support a fundraiser or just contribute to their Amazon wish list, every donation is greatly appreciated. Cozy Cat Cottage and Cat Welfare Association are just two of many great local organizations, so please keep this in mind no matter what day or time of year as the need is always pretty significant. They can’t do it without you!

CheekBrush2). Cheeky Brushing. Thelma just can’t get enough of this, and still has yet to figure out that we have the Catit Self Groomer brush on the wall by the basement. Regardless, no sooner does she finish her dinner than she makes her way to the back hall, outside the laundry room (where we keep the cat food and brushes) for her daily ‘treat’. Lest we forget, her sweet (constant) little meow is sure to remind us. Most cats really love this, so spend a few extra minutes today on one of their favorite indulgences.

3). Extra Playtime. Right now, Buttons is probably sleeping. But make no mistake, not long after she awakes and gets a good strrreeettch she will be in the mood for one of our games. I wrote about one of our favorite pastimes here, but she also loves chasing and hiding little sparkly pom poms & other toys. Do your cat the ultimate favor: pause Netflix, leave the clean up for later and spend some extra time with them, whatever their silly little playtime wishes.

4). Fire up YouTube. Have you guys figured this one out yet? Not only is YouTube fun for watching cat videos, but also entertaining your cat. Yup. Several channels have music and television specifically designed to keep your cat occupied and / or cradle them to sleep! I know, right? This video in particular, has lots of great feedback and most swear by how effective it is at putting their cat to sleep. I have yet to try it with the girls, but it almost worked on me, so that counts, right? And when they wake up, treat them to:

WeezyBreakfast5). Breakfast in Bed. Ahem. Need I say more? Ok, I will admit this is truly not something I would really do, other than like this one time. But a little special indulgence now & then is a necessary thing, right? Now I am curious: How do you spoil your cats? And to all the cats out there — thank you for providing all of us mom’s and dad’s the pleasure of your company! We are celebrating you. And your bed hogging / 3 am playtime / never a dull moment part of our lives!

 

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International Cat Day 08•08•19

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Move over rabbits. Step aside dogs. Today we celebrate lovable felines everywhere! As we all know, we live in a cat’s world, which means everyday is cat day, and that is how it should be.  ; ) Tomorrow they will be just as ready for undivided attention and adoration because, why not? That in mind, here are 8 cool cat things that represent the multifaceted feline and our obsession with all things cat.

1). Cat Day(s). It’s great to have a day to celebrate cats – whether to raise awareness or just remind people how wonderful cats are. Or should I say days? Actually there are three – February 22 (Cat Day), August 8 (International Cat Day) and October 29 (National Cat Day). For the record, International Dog Day is Monday, August 26th. But go ahead and celebrate cats that day, too. They wouldn’t have it any other way! ; )

2). Cat People. Omg if we don’t give huge recognition to the folks who are selflessly dedicated to finding these cute fur balls furever homes, then we are missing the point. Let’s start with a round of applause for Cat Welfare and Cozy Cat Cottage, two really great rescue organizations that make such a huge difference in the lives of so many cats. Thank you isn’t really enough, so how about we dig in our pockets and find some extra coin to help them keep doing what they do. Volunteering also helps, as does adoption. We also appreciate all of the vet techs who’s often thankless efforts keep our kittos safe and healthy!

3). Cat Memes. Cat person or not, we can all agree that cat memes are some of the best out there. And they’re universal – everyone gets the joke and appreciates the humor. They will catch you every time on Facebook or Instagram as it’s constantly entertaining to scroll through, especially when you need a little pick me up. In fact, here is a list of the 100 funniest cat memes ever. Have fun.

4). Cat Food. Ok everyone, stop multitasking and listen up – this is something you need in your cats life. We all want our cats to be healthy and happy, right? Well, even though we try to do the best with their diets, sometimes even name brand, grain free pet foods miss the mark. Remember how some of these trusted products have been causing health issues recently? Great news — there’s a better option! Pet Wants Powell is a pet food company dedicated to “small batch, slow cooked, all natural pet food.” Yes, you did hear me right. And they deliver!! We have Shawn and Rebecca Moore to thank for this cat life saver, so give it a try and drop me a note on your results. I honestly just found out about it myself, so I will be reporting back as well.

5). Cat Beds. Most every cat has at least one – the quintessential spot they covet for comfort and surveying their surroundings — but do they have this one? Call me crazy but ever since it showed up in an Insta Ad I’ve been mesmerized! It’s the Marshmallow Cat Bed — have you seen it, too? Oh my goodness it looks soooo cozy – almost hypnotic. I find myself getting sleepy every time I see it! Anyway, I normally wouldn’t promote something sight unseen, but Butters the Bean seemed really happy in this YouTube video, so I think it’s worth a try. That said, if you are looking for a way to pamper your own cat or need a great gift idea for the cat person who has everything, I would say done and done!

6). Cat Cafe. If I told you that say, on your lunch hour you could enjoy a lovely coffee, some Pattycake baked goods and an adorable assortment of affectionate and playful cats for a mere $10 fee, how long would it take you to make a reservation with Eat Purr Love Cat Cafe? I know, right? Having a bad day? Not anymore. It is a proven fact that petting and playing with cats lowers stress, reduces blood pressure and releases endorphins. So go. Oh and did I mention they have Yogatos (Yoga + Cats), too? See you there!

7). Cat Clothes. And accessories. Cat lovers wear their hearts on their sleeves – literally. You can spot a cat person a mile away because they often keep several cat fashion items in their wardrobe, and love those most. While this applies to women more than men, there’s a plethora of options from blouses, to jewelry and even cute handbags. How adorable is this cardigan from Modcloth? Of course, we can also tell each other apart by the random cat fur that becomes part of our attire, but more often than not it doesn’t matter how many pairs of cat socks we have because there is no such thing as too many!

8). Cat Sitter. That’s me, of course!! I’m not above a little shameless self promotion because I really do work hard trying to increase the quality of cat lives, one cat at a time. Here’s the thing: as I have learned about cats through all the wonderful ones I have met, I really appreciate their uniqueness. But one thing that they all have in common is a love of comfort, and that is where I come in. Finding the ‘sweet spot’ in the thing that makes one cat happy from the next is really my jam, and sometimes keeps me up at night (in a good way!). Happy to tell you alllll about it, but set aside some time if you don’t mind ; )

So there you have it. This is really just the tip of the iceberg – I know there are so many more cat related things that I haven’t covered. Which is why it is so good that we still have one more day this year – National Cat Day on October 29th – to profess our love. And of course, there’s tomorrow, Saturday…..

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The Scoop on Catnip & Organic Catnip Pillows!

catoncatnipNow that June is winding down, I thought I would end the month on a playful note: Catnip. All cats in favor, raise your paws!  Here are some fun facts, along with a great local resource for some organic goodies!

Catnip1You probably have seen catnip and not even realized it! A very pretty perennial with gray / green foliage and lavender flowers (Yessss – that one!) it’s ancestry traces to the Mint family – which is why you have most likely also heard it referred to as ‘catmint’.

Cats enjoy catnip by either ‘smelling’ (stuffed in a toy) or eating, which will provide two completely different reactions.

When cats play with catnip filled toys, the organic compound nepetalactone binds with their olfactory receptors and in turn stimulates sensory neurons (in other words, the smell drives them crazy), creating the urge to rub their faces against the toy, roll around and salivate. This usually lasts about 10-15 minutes. However, eating catnip actually has a calming effect, which is why it is sometimes used as an anti-anxiety aid for vet visits or travel by placing a little bit in their food.

Only cats who carry the gene will react to it, and even then cat sensitivity is not developed until your cats are at least six months old, so catnip has no effect on kittens.

It is really important to think of catnip as a special treat, and provide it in small doses infrequently. Too much can make a cat ill, and overexposure can lessen the response in cats. In fact, once the stimulating sensory experience fades, he / she won’t be able to enjoy it again until at least another 30+ minutes pass.

Finally, did you know that not all toys that contain catnip are good for cats? In fact, some add a poly fill or stuffing along with the catnip which can be dangerous if the toy is ripped open and it is ingested. Be sure to carefully inspect the toys and supervise playtime. Ideally, fresh catnip is best, but for sure hard to find and it is doubtful most toys use it.

However, if you live around Columbus, Ohio, I have a great resource for you! Janet Courtright, aka ‘Silly Grandma’, hand sews organically grown catnip into cute little pillows that your cats will love! I met Janet recently through a client who gifted me with a few of her pillows. Not only is Janet passionate about cats, her enthusiasm is contagious, which is why I am so excited to introduce you!

Each pillow sells for $2.50 (a bargain!), and comes in a variety of patterns and colors. To make sure they stand up to hours of playtime – Sharps – Janet’s sweet, 18 lb. part Main Coon is her product tester and CEO!

CatnipPillowsYou can find the pillows at The Vet Clinic in Worthington (if you are lucky – they are popular and sell out quickly so call ahead). Or better yet, meet her at one of the following Farmer’s Markets (look for the Golden Harvest Honey tent):

Upper Arlington – Wednesdays 4:00 – 7:00  •  2850 Tremont Road / in the Northram Park parking lot

  • Reynoldsburg – Thursdays 4:00 – 7:00  •  1520 Davidson Drive / Huber Park
  • Canal Winchester – Saturdays 9:00 – 12:00  •  36 S. High Street / The square with the fountains.

Her patterns vary, and she makes special, limited edition holiday pillows along with some really fun Ohio State designs. Super cute, they also make great gifts so be sure to stock up for all of the cat lovers in your life!

 

JCUAMarketHope you get a chance to meet her and try her pillows, and learned a thing or two about catnip. You just never know when this info may come in handy! (Full disclosure: I was not aware that catnip acted as a sedative when cats eat it, so this enlightened me, and provided some ideas for future use ; )

Do you have a catnip story / tip / fact? Do tell! Drop a comment below or on Facebook, and please share this post so more cats can enjoy the fruits of Janet’s labor of love!