Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sasquatch! II Pet Beds For A Unique And Versatile Accesory

Sasquatch! II Pet Bed

Nobody would dare argue that Nora isn't spoiled. She has a wardrobe to rival my own, complete with Winter wear and fashionable accessories, is sent far more treats than she could ever consume (the amount of treats I donate each month exceed her body weight), and could easily play with a different toy every day for a month. She is one of our two furbabies and we take care of our furry children just as well as we do the humans. That being said, not every pet purchase is a win, especially when dealing with small and medium breed dogs. Manufacturers seem committed to winning your money through novel design (patterns, fabrics, styling) or practical execution, but rarely both. We live in a 2BR condo and Nora had 5 pet beds; 1 for traveling and the car, 1 for the hot Summer months, 1 for 'in between baths', 1 for cold Winter weather, and 1 for luxury and photoshoots. Why can't we have one bed that seamlessly transitions through all of these activities?
Sasquatch! II Pet Bed
At first glance Sasquatch! pet beds are simply another cute novelty product for small breed dogs; modeled after kitschy 'Croc' style shoes, this 2'+ long giant shoe/sandal certainly is unique in appearance. And, with a variety of vibrant prints and interchangeable liners, they're easily attractive to the pet owner who likes to style their pets belongings to match their own. After all, it's hard to top the cute factor of a small dog sleeping in a giant shoe, right? But Sasquatch! is more than just another pretty face in the pet bed industry, they're Yeti and Sasquatch! beds are backed by a lifetime warranty that guarantees the shoe 'base' of this bed will never slide or scuff flooring. That's because it's made from a lightweight, and very durable, odor free, non-toxic, material that resembles the shoes they take after. And, with an entirely removable faux wool lining, the Sasquatch! pet bed can easily be torn down for cleaning or Summer use.
Sasquatch! II Pet Bed
Sasquatch! II Pet Bed
When we first got our Sasquatch! pet bed, for Nora, I was in love with the quirky appeal of a giant shoe bed, but soon found there were many reasons to favor this accessory over others. While having a cream lining is not my preference with pets, it is entirely removable for spot cleaning. Alternate patterns and materials of linings have been produced from time to time but are not sold online at this time. Unfortunately, this lining, which Sasquatch! calls the sock, seems to have shrunk just the smallest bit after removing it and soaking it entirely. Be sure to always air dry this material and only spot treat stains. While the sock easily reattaches to the bed, the top, embroidered, portion occasionally peels down as Nora shuffles about. I've since found myself wondering if/when the company will make replacement liners availible for sale, or in additional colors once again.
Sasquatch! II Pet Bed

As I mentioned, the Sasquatch! pet bed is very versatile; we have had a wild weather stretch this Winter ranging from 'Toss all the blankets on the bed' to 'Sleep on top of the blankets,' and I have been glad for it's transformation. Not only is the bed, without the liner, great for cooling down during warmer Summer months, but the shoe itself makes a great outdoor bed, and can easily be hosed down when needed. When it is cooler, Nora loves to curl up in the toe of the 'shoe' where she is surrounded by the warm sock material and can easily recycle her own heat. I've also noticed this is a particularly favorite spot for her to 'hide' her favorite toys and treats. While Nora can't type for herself, I assure you this is a favorite aspect of hers! Sasquatch! also offers customization options in the form of 'Poppers' that act as little foam tabs with letters, one can easily pop in and out of the holes on the front of these unique shoe beds.
Sasquatch! II Pet Bed
Nora is exactly 6lbs, and a little long for her breed, about 20" nose to tail, but still looks dwarfed by this giant shoe when she is curled up in the toe. She also enjoys the ample space to stretch out and uses the Sasquatch! designed 'rolled' heel as a ledge to rest her head when sleeping. Sasquatch! beds currently come in two sizes/styles the Sasquatch! II and Yeti, and can accommodate most breeds of dogs up to 18lbs, including Yorkies, Dachshunds, Jack Russels, and more. Cats are also particularly fond of curling up in the private toe of this unique bed, so be sure to buy one for each of your pets in a multi-pet home!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cat Bearding Champions!

#ClubFreshStep Cat bearding Champions
It's no secret I'm a crazy cat lady. When I got married things were rocky from the get go, and I filled my family needs with the adoption of a black and white tuxedo, Truffles. Home all day, having left my 9-5 when I got married, to have a family, this weened too early ball of fluff was my baby. Wherever I went, she went; within the confines of our house, of course. It didn't take long for her to develop a fondness towards me either. Picky as cats can be in personality, Truffles never cared much for my ex-husband, or any other people for that matter. My friends and family would come over and Truffles would sit in the corner, as far out of reach as she could be while still watching, and she'd be labeled antisocial or a 'mean' kitty. To this day I shrug it off. It matters not to me how people perceive her, she's my cat, and my relationship with her is all that matters. And Truffles and I, we're tight.
kitty loveTime Out For Truffles
No, no, I don't go around scheduling photo sessions with my cat- we're not that tight. And, while I do have a pet blog dedicated to her, and our other furry kids, Truffles and I prefer to take selfies in the privacy of our own home. That's right, our bond, when it's just her and I, is strong enough that we took one of the best cat-bearding photos in the contest we entered earlier this year. Sponsored by Fresh Step cat litter, you may recall some photos I had posted and content in relation to this infamous cat-bearding contest, of which the hilarious Instagram entries can be viewed here. Now, I am not a winner. Okay, I don't 'win' contests. Yes, even though I have given away thousands in products on my blog, the number of giveaways I've entered, which I've actually won, are shockingly low. So, when I got an email saying our cat-human hybrid photo had been chosen by a random panel as the best Cat-Bearding shot in the group, I was flabbergasted.
Truffles Hepper Pod
(Seen in the header image.) I'll admit, I really loved the candid nature of our black and white shot, but I never expected it to actually win. Anyone who has ever tried to coax a feline into such a position, while taking a selfie knows this is really a testament to the pet-parent bond. My prize? A $700 Sam's Club gift card (also good at Walmart), and a $300 budget to get pet and family portraits done by a local photographer of my choice. I was immediately nervous about having to put Truffles through the trauma of a professional photo shoot. We live in a small 2BR condo, and having an entire lighting rig, let alone a stranger in her face, was not ideal. Surprisingly, we both sat for about 90 minutes and captured some adorable shots. Of course, no one will ever see Truffles through the lens the way I can capture her in those honest, candid, moments when it's just the two of us.
giant cat food container
So, it goes without saying that I felt the win was tremendously in part due to Truffles; after all, you can't have a human-cat hybrid without a cat, right? So I made certain that Truffles was the first to benefit from our big win, especially after the traumatic photo shoot she had to endure to claim her prize. I marches right into my local Walmart, to the very back, where the pet department was, and placed two 16lb bags of her favorite dry food in our cart. That's over 3 times Truffles body weight in tasty, crunchy, Meow-worthy food. Then I made sure I got her a few gifts that she could enjoy, without watching her waistline, and invested in a Sunny Seat cat bed for our sliding glass window, and several new toys, including a door mounted scratcher. In all, it was about $100, but I didn't even bat a lash- honestly, if the pet selection has been bigger (and our home not already filled with cat-spoiling products) I would have spent far more!



Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Pet Safety Tips

*** I am not a licensed veterinarian, nor should my advice be taken as any more than that from one pet owner to another. All photos below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2013.


I'm a firm believer in the plant to pet to baby process. That is, if a couple can't come together on a watering schedule for a ficus, they're likely not ready to tackle the feeding needs of a nursing baby. Once we'd mastered our 'greens' Jay and I moved onto growing our family through the adoption of a tiny pup. We already had Truffles, the troubled step-child, and had painstakingly worked through her introduction process with Jay, and were ready to experience pet parenting on a larger scale. As it turns out, Nora, our toy Morkie (Maltese + Yorkie) is very much like a cat (minus the whole 'have to carry her downstairs to go potty' bit). In fact, we call Nora our 'Fluffy Kitty' because, well, you can see how wild her hair gets when we let it grow out. But I digress; just over a year old now, adult Nora has given us many lessons on pet care from a short person's perspective. Here is a little of what we've learned, in hopes it will help keep you and your furry ones safe through the upcoming seasons.
It's not something everyone likes to discuss, but there are a myriad of pests waiting to irritate your furry pet member; the first one being allergens. Yes, pets suffer from seasonal allergies just as much as humans! Be sure to keep a clean yard with raked leaves and short grass to cut down on skin irritants and consult with a vet if you see your furbaby scratching too much. And don't forget to safe gaurd your home against unwanted pests of another kind; just because it is getting colder does not mean you can skip a month of flea and tick prevention. In fact, you are more likely to encounter an increased number of pests inside your home during these cooler months, so be sure to keep an alert eye for spiders and other creepy crawlies your child may consider a plaything! Fall is also known for snakes- for those of you who live in the more rural parts of our wonderful country, so never let your pups play unattended in the wild!

For those concerned about excess shedding that often comes with Fall and Winter months, be sure to brush your pet daily. This will naturally trap the hair/fur which would have fallen anyway, and cut down on allergens for human family members as well.
Many pet parents love to dress their pets up for the holidays- but clothing your pet is not just a frivolous  endeavor. We recently shaved Nora for the Summer and were careful to keep the majority of her covered during long excursions outside. Why would we do this in 75F Southern California weather? Don't forget that your pup had skin, which can just as easily become burned by the sun, as humans. Smaller dogs, such as toy and teacup breeds often have thinner skin which can easily become irritated with continual exposure to the direct sun. Naturally, the other reason to dress your dog smart is to ward against the cooler weather. While you may think your dog looks silly, they'll be sure to thank you for the extra warmth on their next walk. (And make sure you both have something bright/reflective on when walking at dusk or night!)

Believe it or not, Fall is one of the busiest times of year for lost pet reports- With increased brush ans fallen foliage, a dog can easily get excited by a sqwaking duck or running squirrel. Once a dog has taken off with it's leash, or wriggled out of it's collar/leash, it can quickly get lost in the cover of Fall. Be sure that your pet is microchipped, and fitted with the right size harness for walks. A harness will not only ensure a more comfortable walk for your and your pooch, but also cut down on accidental runs and excited adventures.
Believe it or not, many pets are actually less active during the hot Summer months when the scorching heat is a deterrent for playful activities. It's important to make sure your pets, especially those that rely on outdoor time have a chance to burn off that extra energy, and get some quality play time outdoors before the weather starts to turn. Fall is also a great time to brush up on training and tricks- many dogs get a little rusty over the lazy Summer and benefit from the positive reinforcement of a refresher course.

Additionally, both you and your pet are sure to be delighted by all the festivities and decorations of Fall and Winter events. When decorating your home make sure that the decorations are at a safe level, and do not include any small parts that a pup or kitty may be inspired to gnaw off. Additionally, be mindful of lights low to the ground that may become a tangle or suffocation issue for your pets or others'.
So many pet owners think dehydration is a thing of warmer months. The truth is, hydration should be top priority no matter the time of year. During the Winter it is important to keep an eye on your pets drinking habits and encourage any lack of hydration with added drops of chicken broth, or even a warm bowl. If your have a pet that spends the majority of it's time outdoors be sure to keep an eye on their water source and ensure there is fresh drinking water. Water may freeze overnight, rendering your per without a drink, or worse, attempting to drink chunks of ice that could become choking hazards.
Okay, we don't literally expect you to feng shui your cat- but it is important to remember to treat all family members with equal love and attention. Often we get caught up in our people festivities and forget to spend time with our furry kids as well. Don't encourage any Fall tantrums or behavioral issues with lack of attention; your pets will likely have it hard enough adjusting to the changes of extra guests and entertaining as it is!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Thundershirt: ThunderToy + ThunderTreat Review + Giveaway

*** We received a product sample from Thundershirt for the purpose of this review. No further compensation was provided. All photos contained below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2013.
ThunderTreat

At this very moment there is a 5.2lb Morkie snuggled, wet nose to my skin, beneath my arm as I type. It's no secret that our kids have fur, okay Nora- some of them have legit 'hair' too. But being a pet parent isn't all fluffy snuggles and wet kisses; it's hard work. While babies eventually develop verbal communication skills, we spend the life of our pets playing charades. Just this morning Jay questioned why the dog wouldn't drink her water; I promptly asked if he would down a bottle of water while he was crossing his legs, waiting to pee. Raising pets; feline, canine, or otherwise, takes a tremendous amount of patience. It can be easy to allow frustration to get in the way of a healthy relationship, but the rewards are often even greater.
Last November, you may recall, I had the chance to try out a unique pet therapy device, known as the Thundershirt. Our feral adoptie, Frankie, was positive for a feline autoimmune deficiency, and often experienced extreme anxiety. He would 'self soothe' by grooming himself constantly, until this disturbed his daily eating habits and digestion. Thundershirts, produced for both dogs and cats, are designed in multiple sizes, with the inspiration of a mother's soothing, swaddled, embrace. The concept is for the animal to associate high stress situations (thunder, fireworks, separation) with the soothing, soft, pressure of the Thundershirt wrap. We tried the Thundershirt on all three, four-legged, animals in our home, with especially noticeable success on Frankie. Not only did he groom much less with the Thundershirt on, he was less skittish when it came to quick movements and new people.
A month ago, Thundershirt reached out again with a new addition to their brand, ThunderTreats, and the companion ThunderToy, for canines. While the ThunderToy comes in 2 sizes (small: less than 25lbs, and large: more than 25lbs), Nora just tips the scale at 5lbs, and does not have the jaw expansion to play with either. This was a bummer, as the ThunderToy, chew toy for dogs, has a specially designed, hatched, stuffer that actually holds the unique triangle ThunderTreats in place for a delayed release. Thankfully, the unique blend of ThunderTreats were not too big for Nora to sample- and boy did she sample!
ThunderTreat
calming dog treats
When it comes to food, Nora is a picky eater. We do not feed her human food, and she has never had wet food- literal treats are her 'treat'. We permit her to chew on anything from rawhide and bacon flavored chews to traditional biscuits, so long as her tiny jaw can handle it; but she usually turns her nose up. This time her nose was turned up, but in the direction of the bag of ThunderTreats. These bite sized triangular biscuits are 3x the size of her little bites kibble, but crumble easy enough chew. Made with a unique blend of soothing chamomile and lavender, they have a lite herbal aroma and are intended to slowly calm your pup over time. ThunderTreats are also made, and exclusively sold, in the USA, and entirely wheat, corn, and soy free.
ThunderTreat
ThunderTreat
Nora knew these treats were for her, immediately. Before I'd even broken the seal on the zipper pouch, she was sniffing and licking the bag. Naturally, I made her sit, and wait, a solid 15 seconds before presenting the first ThunderTreat to her. With 3 swift chomps the triangle was gone, and my pup was attentively staring back up at me. Like most treats, these are not intended to be your pup's sole dietary source of 'food,' so I was certain to limit her portion to a suggested serving.....But the bag did end up on the table during the photo-shoot, and Nora did help herself to an extra before I caught wind of her covert snacking.

ThunderTreats can be purchased separately, or you may receive a complimentary 4oz bag with your ThunderToy purchase. I've found that ThunderTreats stuff nicely into the puppy size Kong we use for Nora; and keep her engaged for a decent period of time. I can't speak to the immediate effects of the chamomile and lavender, but having a treat on hand to occupy your pup is always a great idea for travel, and stressful situations. Why not give ThunderTreats a try?






One Time Out For Truffles reader will win a ThunderToy and ThunderTreats prize bundle in their size of choice.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Guide To Choosing a New Fish: Beta Fish

Beta Fish Shopping

Every now and than I get a little bored. As bad as it sounds, it sometimes feels as though I don't have enough things to care for in my life. Maybe it's because I was an only child, or perhaps the simple fact that our 'pets,' when I was growing up, never stuck around more than a few months. I have an attachment to living things and caring for them, whether they walk on 2 feet, 4 feet, or rely on fins to get around. Sabrina (10) has a dwarf bunny and a rather precocious adult cat, and of course, here at our house, we have Truffles (the cat who lives life as a dog) and Nora (the awkward but adorable Morkie). I know it's Sabrina's job to drag home injured and wayward animals, but it's usually me pleading for a new family member at the pet store. I've been campaigning for a hammy (hamster) for months, though the upkeep and smell of small rodent pets has kept that idea at bay, and recently decided to make the plunge with a different kind of pet.
Choosing the right pet for your family can seem like a dubious chore. Even within a species (dog, cat, fish, bird, etc), there are many variants to consider (size, age, temperament, upkeep). In college my home had a working saltwater tank with some rather expensive fish; but I was hardly their caretaker. The truth is, the thought of caring for my own fish was a bit overwhelming at first. Sure they swim around in the designated area of a tank, and are relatively easy to feed, but maintaining a safe liquid habitat, and cleaning said habitat without disrupting the fish is a whole other story. Then there's the actual fish. Choose an expensive fish, and it likely will need more advanced care (larger tank, aeration, fresh foliage), choose a more affordable fish and you may be bringing Mr.Scales back in a Ziploc baggy floating backside. Furry or finned I have no desire to be responsible for the demise of an animal, and fish have always been something a little foreign to me.
Beta Fish Pet
Recently I discovered a new Beta tank designed to be self cleaning; well, as much as a tank can be. This No Clean Aquarium operates with a gravity driven fill system that pushes dirty water at the base of the tank up through a tube and out a spout at the top, when fresh filtered water is poured in. (More on the tank itself in a future post.) This method of external (hands free) cleaning gave me the confidence to invest in a Beta, one of the least fussy varieties of finned pets. Beta fish live in freshwater surroundings and do not require aerated water (this means pump free tanks); they simply rise to the surface for air as needed. They're your traditional starter fish, but have a few particularities that require one fish per habitat. Beta fish also come in a variety of colors and fin sizes which often range in cost from $4-$20. Thankfully there was a very helpful young woman working at the pet store we frequent who was happy to answer all of our never-ending questions and set us up with the necessary supplies. I let Sabrina (10) pick out the Beta she liked best, and it was no surprise she once again proved she had expensive taste, selecting the most flashy (and lively) fish on the Beta display.
Beta Water Conditioner
As it turns out Beta fish love to 'lounge' on plants; creating a sort of hammock from existing leaves and foliage, so we were certain to pick out a few strands of living green to decorate our fish's new home. There are also many types of Beta fish food, specific for the gender, and coloring. Different formulas of fish food will have varied reactions with the scales and coloring of your Beta, so always ask for advice when not sure. These particular fish should be fed once a day, but can also survive up to a week on extended pellets of compressed food. Most importantly, though Betas require the least amount of habitat preparation, they do need chlorine free, filtered water. Be sure to invest in some Water Conditioner drops to pre-treat your tank's water, and allow the water and the fish to sit out at room temperature for a few hours before introducing the two in the new habitat.
No Clean Aquarium
Beta fish should have a natural light cycle; this means your fish tank should be placed where it will receive plenty of natural light (but not in the sun's heat), or outfitted with a simple LED tank light. If you are going the light route, be sure to make sure it is not in danger of being submerged in water, and turn it on and off with your regular sleep and wake cycle each day. Color changing LED lights can be bought at a local pet store to add extra personalization to your tank and decor. While you can decorate your tank as you wish, it's best to keep in mind basic safety flags when choosing decor that is not manufactured specifically for tanks. Avoid painted items that may flake or erode in water, do not over-clutter the tank with items the fish may become caught or snagged in, and always cover the basin of your tank with an even array or rocks (river rocks shown). We wanted to go with a Spongebob theme for our tank, but only the smallest decorations would fit. Most Beta tanks are on the efficient (Space saving side), as Betas do not require much room to thrive in.
Halfmoon Male Beta Fish
I'm happy to report our newest family member is thriving in his new habitat, this Half Moon Male Beta has beautiful dual-tone colors, and was promptly named 'Gary' (as in the snail) on the ride home from the pet store. We feed him every night (with the furry kids), and clean his tank once a week (by refilling with filtered water). I have to admit, the No Clean Aquarium has really helped make the entire process much easier for me, and I highly recommend looking into it for any family considering a new Beta. (Again, more on the tank and it's unique filtering process in a future post.) I was initially a bit worried about how the cat would take to the fish, but the tank is quite sturdy (thanks to it's tall and skinny structure), and Gary serves more as a beacon of entertainment than a possible late night snack. But Nora (dog) and Truffles (cat) will sit for hours watching him swim back and forth, almost as transfixed as Sabrina. Gary may not be a very hands on type of pet, but he's a welcome part of our family none-the-less.

Does your family have a fish? Are you thinking of adopting one?


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Feline Summer? Put Up All 4 With @CatCrib Giveaway

***I received a sample product from Cat Crib to facilitate my review. Regardless, all opinions are original and all images contained there in are property of Time Out Truffles Blog 2013.

It has been a while since my last pet post, and for that, I am sorry. The intent has been to keep pet content to the Pet Blog, here, but the first half of this year has sufficiently kicked my blogger bum. In any case, I am happy to report I have resumed regular blogging on the Pet Blog, and all interested in such content should subscribe now for 3-4 pet related posts a week. Now, on to today's foray into animal merchandising. Any feline owner knows that one does not simply own a cat; the cat owns you. Try to argue otherwise, but when we really take a look at this human to feline relationship it's astounding there aren't more 'Crazy Cat Ladies.' At this very moment in time there is a fine layer of fur floating whimsically across my laptop keypad, and a catnip mouse beneath my feet. Don't get me wrong, we love our pup just as much as the cat; but poor 5lb Nora is no match for our 4.8lb Tuxedo cat. No, I'm not talking turf wars, I'm referring to freedom and mobility. Felines have the prowess to scale the tallest furniture, and wriggle between the most unlikely of cracks.
Some of you may recall a little post I did a month or so back about the strange pet sightings we've had in our home. The very first day we moved in I found Ms. Truffles sitting atop the kitchen counter alongside a pot. Some things are simply inevitable in our home. If there is an open box on the floor, there will be a cat in it. If you leave your laptop open long enough, without your hands at work, there will be a cat on the keyboard (and sometimes while you're typing too). And if Momma, me in this case, has a favorite spot to sit or relax, Truffles will curl up to replace her in her absence. For a while, and still from time to time, Truffles treated our printer as a daybed, lounging with all fours flailing off the sides, lazily staring out the window. The obvious solution would be to provide the cat her own designated space to look out the window; unfortunately for us, the printer is located directly next to a quite expensive cat tree. Much like toddlers, however, cats don't want what they are given; they are much too independent to be told where they should lounge!
Cat Crib
Seating is fairly limited in our 2 bedroom condo, which makes me glad to know that Truffles will sufficiently lounge wherever. Unfortunately, when anyone takes interest in the dining room table, she immediately has to be amidst the action, and sitting on one of our four dining chairs. When I am home Truffles is usually not far away, and this can become a problem when guests arrive. I'm embarrassed to admit our furry kids have almost as much furniture as the humans, and I simply cannot invest more space for them. So, when I discovered the space saving Cat Crib I instantly wanted one for our home. This unique hammock of sorts is affordable and discreet, fitting under nearly any chair or side table (anything with 4 legs). It attaches with 4 grip lined straps that feed through buckles and Velcro to secure around each leg of your table/chair. Cats, finicky creatures by nature, tend to need small 'safe' spaces they can lounge in, while feeling safe. The hammock space can be adjusted to provide optimal privacy and support for any feline, and is entirely fuss free- it's machine washable!
Cat Crib
The exterior of the Cat Crib is a tough and easy to clean Nylon material that comes in an assortment of design friendly colors, with a black fleece lining for comfort. Upon unpacking I immediately knew I wanted to place the Cat Crib under one of our dining chairs, though the chair base is more of a trapezoid than uniform square, and the chair's rungs are at varied heights. At first the straps kept slipping, until I realized I was not placing the buckle on the outer rim of the chair leg, and one of the straps was inside out (the rubber grip should be hugging your chair's leg). Truffles is just under 5lbs, as an adult, and on the small side of felines, so I knew instantly I needed to reread the directions when the Cat Crib was slipping with a 5lb cat! Once all of that was sorted (installation is a breeze if you read the directions properly), I knew my next chore would be gaining Truffle's interest. It's not easy guiding a cat to a new lounging location when they already have so many awesome favorites!
cat hammock furniture
To introduce Truffles to the Cat Crib I placed the dining room chair by her favorite bird watching window (the porch), and slinked back into the shadows to watch. It didn't take long for her to begin sniffing and marking (rubbing her whiskers) the chair and Cat Crib, though she was hesitant at first. After a good 10 minutes of 'will she or won't she' Truffles hopped into the suspended cat hammock. She didn't waste time sprawling out in approval, her tail swaying in content over the edge. A few times I saw her eyes grow heavy, and her head dangle sleepily over the side, a cheesy "I'm chasing mice in my head" grin on her face. In all, we're very pleased with the construction and durability of this pet furniture. It's virtually undetectable with the chair pushed into our dining area, and provides Truffles a safe and quiet place to retreat when guests come over and the house get's hectic. Now, if only we could keep the dog from climbing in it!






One Time Out Truffles follower will win a Cat Crib in their color of choice!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cats And Strawberries- A Connection To Catnip?

strawberry catnip
We're baaaaack! Okay, I had to take some time away from the Pet Blog due to a myriad of health issues and an influx of work on the main blog. In any case, I hope to get back to blogging over here regularly (3-4 posts a week), and re-starting the Pet Pals blogger/reader goodie swap program. In the mean time I thought today's topic would be a perfect way to break back into pet blogging. You see, about a month back, during Spring Break, Sabrina (10) and I spent a day at the local Pick-Your-Own farm. We brought back a modest 5lbs of hand picked strawberries, carefully arranged in clear produce containers. When we arrived Sabrina had placed her bag, with 2 containers of strawberries on the floor by the foot of the couch where she usually sits. We promptly became distracted by the concept of fresh strawberry smoothies, and headed to the nearby kitchen to wash and slice a few cups.
Now, I'm fairly observant, in the sense I have the motherly tingle- I know when something is amiss. Somehow my ears picked up the faint rustling of plastic somewhere in the room over. I was sure it was one of the four legged children, but whom, and why? I allowed this sound to go on for a few minutes, until the rustling became more intense and constant and I was driven to investigate. What I saw when I came around the corner was borderline obscene. Truffles was throwing her entire body onto the strawberry containers and rubbing like a bear on a tree. Now I know cats like to 'mark' their pheromone by nuzzling their whiskers, but I had never seen a cat take to an inanimate object like this; especially a fixed one! We all had a good laugh as this continued for a good 20 minutes until I tired and removed the berries from her range, but I was left quite curious as to what had sparked this catnip like behavior.
You see, cats are carnivores and cannot digest fruits as well as protein; therefor her intent was far from consuming these red berries. I did a little research online to see if I was alone in this traumatic experience, and it turned out I certainly was not. One forum guest recalled a tale of waking in the middle of the night to find her cat had pulled strawberry scraps out of the trash to simply smash and roll in them. While there were many tales of strawberry shenanigans, in particular, there were several accounts of leaf laden veggies and fruits in general. Carrots (click here for fan photo) seem to frequently cause a bit of commotion too, though no scientific reasoning can be provided as to why. The only actual 'scientific' note I could find was a remark that tigers in captivity often have toys soaked with a natural strawberry scent to encourage playfulness. Whatever the case, it certainly is amusing, and slightly awkward. Does your cat got ba-n-an-a-s for any strange human food or non-edible object it prefers to play with rather than eat?