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Just Sew Busy

August 30, 2012

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Blogging has really taken a back seat this summer, hasn’t it? Well, it usually does for me. Summers are when I have to cram in all the house projects on top of all the other stuff I do.

We’ve been very busy working on redecorating the living room. I am happy to say that I think i may finally get my curtain drapes done tonight. The boys are very much relieved, as they are the ones who hang the sheets in the windows every night. :S

As always, Livvy likes to join in on the projects. She’s so cute, it’s difficult to boot her out.

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My built-in bookcase projects has slowed considerably. It’s a large project and I’m not the type to do a little here, a little there when I can squeeze things in. I need a big chunk of time to get it all done. I haven’t had any chunks of time lately. Hopefully, next week I’ll dedicate my efforts to it. We are all so tired of seeing the piles of books and boxes around the house!

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Cat Pheromone Spray – Does It Really Work?

August 23, 2012

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We love our pets, right? So why do we turn red-eyed and start foaming at the mouth when the blasted critters destroy the house? Furniture and carpets are MIGHTY expensive. The reason I threw my two previous housecats out of the house was because they scratched, clawed and destroyed everything. That $500 wallpaper in the hallway? It’s in ribbons. The $300 reclining wing chair and $200 love seat? In tatters. Every my fake-suede desk chair is pocked with claw and teeth marks. Why is it so darn difficult for the cats to restrain themselves to the scratching posts?!

Livvy our Tabby-Point Siamese is not nearly as destructive as the tabby cats were, but she is still a champion scratcher. comfort1She’s the one who has marked up my desk chair and she’s starting to eye the new love seat, too. I won’t get the cats declawed, just because I read that cats walk on their tiptoes (their claws) and it’s mean to take that away. So I endure. Barely.

I’ve heard about this cat pheromone stuff, but honestly, I treated the news like it was just another one of those “infomercial” type of products. It sounded too good to be true.

I THINK — I just possibly think!!! — that I have found something that works! It’s called Comfort Zone® with Feliway. A month ago, ComfortZone sent me several samples of their Feliway diffuser and sprayer products. They also included a few cute stuffed animals for Livvy– sweet! I’ve been trying them out for about 3, 4 weeks now. I actually have started to notice a difference in Livvy.

First, we tried the diffuser. It plugs into the electrical outlet and is good for one month. There is no discernible odor.

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It takes a while for the stuff to have an effect. Livvy is by nature a sweet-tempered kitty, but she’d been going through a rough time and had been pretty grumpy all spring and summer. I don’t know if it coincidence or not, but about 2 weeks after I plugged in the diffuser, she’s been so much better!

But the real test came with the spray. I did not want her to shred the love seat. So I saturated the couch with the spray! The directions say that to prevent or stop scratching, spray the Comfort Zone® Feliway once a day over the area. I did it last week.

SHE HAS STOPPED SCRATCHING THE LOVE SEAT!

I’m incredulous. She actually used her scratching post!

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Does she look like her stress levels are down, or what?

Here’s the scoop about the Comfort Zone® with Feliway:

  • Comfort Zone® products not only help reduce scratching, they helps reduce urine marking, spraying and other destructive behavior. The product contains pheromones, the same hormones that your cat makes and rubs all over things when she nuzzles things with her face.
  • Comfort Zone® says that most pet owners see a 96% reduction in urine marking within 4 weeks and 95% reduction in scratching in 7 days.
  • Because the product contains the stress-reducing hormones that cats produce, Comfort Zone® Feliway helps reduce all kinds of stress-related behavior. Besides reducing the scratching-everything-in-site behavior, Comfort Zone® also helps reduce cat spraying, urine marking, frightful hissing, and other stress-related behavioral problems.
  • The spray bottle is small– perfect for traveling. To help calm the pet before a visit to the vet or other car trip, spray the Comfort Zone® Feliway in the carrier about 20 minutes before the cat goes in. It makes the trip much better!
  • Comfort Zone® products are clinically-proven and veterinarian-recommended for helping reduce stress in pets!

Now if you have a dog, don’t despair. Comfort Zone® makes a product for canines, too: Comfort Zone® with D.A.P. for Dogs. Instead of stuffing the dog in one of those Thundershirts, try the D.A.P. stuff first. The spray is great for helping puppies transition to a new home, and helps reduce whining, chewing and other stress-related problems.

You can check out both products at the Comfort Zone® website. Just so you know, I did get some free samples in exchange for this review. I think I got the better end of the deal because the product has saved my love seat.

By the way, about those housecats I threw out of the house… They’re OK so don’t start crying. They became “outdoor” cats and sleep in heated cushy cat cubes in the basement and the garage. They eat canned tuna and get Temptations treats, vet visits, and are regularly furminated. Some days, I envy their posh lifestyle, haha.

Thanks for reading!

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Lots of Houses For Sale Lately

August 11, 2012

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With the better weather, we’ve been traveling around town and out of town more frequently. As I travel, I usually take in the local flavor of the places we go, paying attention to house architecture (gives me a good idea of when the town was founded, or when it went through a period of prosperity), businesses, cleanliness of the town, and — most of all — whether there are many homes for sale. Here in Upstate New York, small communities tend to suffer economically more than the national average, as we have extremely high taxes and living costs from the get-go. When the nation’s economy suffers, it usually compounds the community problems around here. Taxes are exorbitantly high, and lots and lots of people are poking For Sale signs in their lawns and hiring Dallas movers to take them away. But even in far-away places like the Midwest and West, property values are starting to decline and taxes are increasing. Some of my pals out west are looking into those “we buy houses Dallas” companies to sell their homes fast and get out of a declining neighborhood.

I personally cannot fathom how you guys out west and down south do it…. It’s just so hot down there, even with the lower taxes and better property values. Here in New York State, the climate is wonderful most of the time (except July). What you all pay for first class heat and air probably equals that to what we pay in taxes here, right?

Anyway, I’m seeing lots of For Sale signs up now. Part of it has to do with the season (people rarely put their homes up for sale in the winter around here), but part of it has to do with the massive migration out of the state for greener (and less expensive) pastures. It’s sad that people must leave their homes because they can no longer afford the cost of their government and public schools….

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Tame the Savage Beast: Do Cat Pheromones Work?

July 12, 2012

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As we all know, Livvy the Tabby-Point Siamese is a pretty tame little gal. I’ve made sure that her upbringing was as stress-free as possible, as I believe that stressed-out cats become angry cats, and I didn’t want a biter or a scratcher in the house. Still, despite my best efforts, Livvy is still a bit spooked by traffic noises, super-low airplanes (WHY do they do that?!), strangers, and oversized Uncle Sam hats.

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I’d heard of something called “cat pheromones” and “dog pheromones” dispensers that supposedly help calm the critters. I thought nothing more of it until Comfort Zone contacted me and asked if I wanted a free sample to try out their product and if I wanted to offer a free coupon to you guys. Seeing we are all a bunch of crazy pet owners, I said YES!

So I’m going to get my Feliway Comfort Zone product and see if it works! You have to wait 30 to 90 days until you really know if it works, so it’ll be a while before I can present my results. However, if you guys want to check out the coupon, you can do so here: petcomfortzone.com.

I know many of you have feral cats, and these cats can be a tad jumpy. I am very curious to see if the product works. Livvy is mild already, so I don’t know if the affect will be as dramatic for a crazy feral beast. If you do try such a product yourself, let me know!

Also, the company has a Facebook page and they are having a CoolCat Sweepstakes. They have weekly prizes but the grand prize is a FOUR night getaway for two PLUS a cat or dog to one of the country’s most pet-friendly travel destinations in Key West, Florida! Um, YEAH. What could be more perfect than a vacay with the hubs and my cat in Key West. Wow.

Have any of you guys tried the pheromone thing?

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Cricket Bug

June 5, 2012

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Gee, Livvy gets all the air time on this blog. Well, she’s MY companion, and the other cat and the dogs and the bird are the kids’ pets. Funny how all the pets love the Mom, though. They are all nuts about me. I suppose it’s because I am the “meal ticket.”

Here’s our cutie Yorkie, Cricket. We sometimes call him Cricket Bug. He’s as cute as one in a rug!

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Yorkies are adorable, but they are, um, energetic. That’s an understatement. They are MANIACAL. But they are so cute and they are never mean or ornery. Always sweet and perky. They do tend to get constipation, however, which is why Cricket Bug there is wrapped in a towel after a long, long sitz bath. We’re all glad that’s over, especially my daughter who did most of the grunt work. To prevent constipation in small dogs, give them a teaspoon of canned fresh pumpkin a day. Yeah. I gotta get that.

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Fuzzy Masters the Art of Relaxation

May 30, 2012

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Can this cat relax or what?

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All she did was rub his shoulders, and he melts into a bag o’ fluff.

I don’t often talk about Fuzzy because he’s an outdoor cat and because he hasn’t hung out around the house very much during the day, until recently. Our other outdoor cat, Milo, died about a year ago and since then, Fuzzy hangs out with us more often. Fuzzy and Milo hated each other. They barely tolerated each other’s presence on the property, and we always had to have two separate beds and foods in separate locations. But since Milo is gone, Fuzzy is oddly lonely! I think he liked the excitement. :-p

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Fun Stuff: Electroplating a Quarter

May 29, 2012

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Renovations will have to wait. We’ve spent the better part of the week with science lab experiments for my son’s science course and beating back the weeds to cultivate a garden. More on that later. For now, I wanted to share a neat little experiment we did. Since wiring the house, the boys and I have had lots of fun with electrical gadgets. We rigged up a way to electroplate a quarter. His lab assignment was to electroplate a spoon using a lantern battery. I didn’t have any extra spoons and we had no lantern battery, so we decided to use a quarter and an old cell phone charger power adapter. Fun!

At first we tried a DC battery, but that didn’t have enough juice.

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We also didn’t have a strip of copper, so we just bundled a bunch of old leftover copper wiring from when we wired the kitchen electric. If you look carefully in the photo, the quarter is bubbling. We’d cut off the adapter end of the power adapter and spliced the wires. We then taped one wire to the quarter with black electrical tape and connected the other end of the wire to the copper wires.

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The quarter was electroplated with the copper! The wiring looks dull because the copper hopped from the wires to the quarter.

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You can see that the area that held the tape didn’t get plated.

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Recipe:
White vinegar
Table salt
Power source
Copper strip or wires
Quarter
Black electrical tape

I wonder what’s next. I do know there are more electricity experiments coming up. Fun!

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Review of Adams Flea & Tick Spot On for Cats

May 22, 2012

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I don’t often talk of him because he’s the shy, retiring type– our “outdoor” cat, Fuzzy. Fuzzy is all tabby, so he never comes in the house. We do have a nice little apartment for him in the basement, however, which is where he stays during the night. Because he is an outdoor cat, I can’t have him in the house. I am horribly allergic to fleas. I swell up and my glands go beserk. Fuzzy is a very affectionate cat, though, so he loves to sit on our laps and sleep on our fabric-covered patio furniture. A part of me dies when he does that… I envision a brigade of razor-teethed fleas marching from his fur onto our clothing. It’s not that I don’t want to cuddle him, it’s just that I know he has fleas and ticks just from his exploits in the tall grasses (and from befriending raccoons).

We’ve tried Frontline, which is “OK.” It’s pretty expensive and the applicator stinks. I usually wind up with more on my hands than on the cat. And Fuzzy has this vicious aversion to ANYTHING that remotely resembles a vet tool.

Well, the folks from Adams have seen my pitiful position, and took mercy on me. They sent me their new Adams Flea & Tick Spot On for Cats. It has a fancy applicator. Fuzzy is blissfully unaware what’s about to happen! Muahahhaa!!

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It’s wonderfully easy to do. I was actually amazed at how easy. I am the kind of person who *hates* giving cats any kind of vet care– pills, meds, grabbing them by the scruff and stuffing them in carriers– it just goes against my sensibilities. But I actually thought the applicator tool was pretty easy.

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You pop the plastic liquid tube into the plastic applicator. No need to tear the tube open, no scissors, nothing. Just put it in.

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Then, bend the applicator top over. The action will snap open the tube! I loved this. I didn’t get ONE DROP on my hands.

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That’s it. Now go rub and squeeze the stuff on the back of the cat’s neck.

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Fuzzy thought nothing of it, he figured I was just scritching his neck like I usually do. I couldn’t believe that he didn’t run away! I was even able to take a PHOTO while doing it. Unbelievable. If you have feral cats or outdoor cats, you know what I mean– these cats don’t like NOTHING. They’ll run away of they even suspect you of trying to help them. But the applicator has this small lip that probably feels pretty good, like a back massager. What cat ever ran away from a massage?

All done!

The Adams Flea & Tick Spot On for Cats says it kills fleas (YAY), deer ticks (YAY), flea eggs, flea larvae, and mosquitos. It also has a natural coat conditioner. The application must be repeated every 30 days. Don’t do this more than once a month, and MAKE SURE you get the proper potency according to your cat’s weight. There’s Adams Spot On for dogs, too.

It’s also affordable. I saw a 3-month supply of liquid tube refills on sale at Wayfair for $10. Walmart carries this stuff, as does Petco and others.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the product. And Fuzzy is, too, because now he can snuggle all he wants without me grimacing at him.

Note: I received a free sample of this product for this review. My opinion on the product is 100% mine. It is not intended to substitute any professional advice or opinions from your pet’s veterinarian. Before applying this product to your pet, consult your vet. Never apply this product to weakened, sick, or very young cats. Thanks for reading!

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Find the Kitty Friday: Spring Cleaning

April 27, 2012

3 Comments

I love hard work. I could watch it ALL DAY!

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Wordless Wednesday: Feeling Like Hercules

April 25, 2012

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herculeaneffort

I came to the computer this morning and saw this.

*snort* !!!

Have a great week, friends.

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