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?