Monday, June 27, 2011

$47.25 [SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber]

The SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber, a gift from Santa to Lola for Christmas 2010. 

Lola is the alpha animal of the clan.  She rules the roost.  And her second favorite pastime -- her first being eating all the food -- is sitting on a cat tree or cat condo, sharpening her razor claws and surveying her vast empire.

If you have a multiple animal household, giving the cat(s) a means to demonstrate the hierarchy will enable everyone to live in relative peace.  A cat tree allows for this:  the dominant cat will always be on top, and the dogs can't climb it.  And it's also a great way for indoor cats to get exercise and to get their scratchin' on someplace other than your furniture or rugs.  This amazing "customer photo" from Amazon obviously taken by a crazy person features 5 of the customer's 17 cats in a clear hierarchy:

$0.02 [Sad Post]

A poem in rememberence of Kitty, who my dear friend Charlotte knew to give the nomen, The Duchess.

The Naming Of Cats by T. S. Eliot

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey--
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter--
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.


I dreamt she was in my bed last night.  My enthusiasm for this blog, which was supposed to be lighthearted and fun, has waned since Kitty's death.  I am picking up her ashes from the veterinarian this week.  I'd like to take the time to mourn her -- to properly write about her and get together some photos -- so that I can go back to writing sunnily about dog ice cube trays and cat stairs here.  My two cents for now is that I would give a million dollars just to hold her and kiss her boney little head again.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

$0.02 [Tick]

I was sitting on the couch early this morning, finishing up something for work and absentmindedly petting Betelgeuse. And then I made a discovery under her arm.

A tick.

Yes, a tick.

In Brooklyn.

First stop, Confirmed the tick is indeed a tick. Learned the basics of tick removal. Learned the horrors of leaving behind the head and also the symptoms of Lyme disease. Oh, the Internet, with its image search results, wiki hows, wiki how nots, youtube videos, pet MD, my-dog-had-a-tick-and-then-died message boards, etc.

Close laptop. Back to reality. My dog has a parasite the size of a pencil eraser on her armpit. I need to remove it and then I need to go to work.

I texted my veterinarian (a pro of being pals with your vet). Should I bring her in or just remove it with tweezers? "You can do it. Grab it as close to the head as possible and pull slowly." Do I need to keep the tick or anything? "Nope. Just make sure it's dead."

I sanitized a pair of tweezers and prepared a cup of soapy water. Pulled the tick off (along with his stupid little tick head) and drowned him. We went to the park for a celebratory game of fetch, and I was only ever so slightly late for work, mostly because of the fetch.

My two cents: Flea and tick medicine every month, even in Brooklyn, folks!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

$12.22 [Dog Breath]

Tropiclean Fresh Breath Clean Teeth Gel

Lulu smiles constantly. She has the most perfect little teeth, but her breath is kickin'. A look deep into the recesses of her mouth reveals plaque and tartar build-up on the back molars, which my veterinarian speculates is the most likely wellspring of stink.

I tried dental chews. She loved them, but they did nothing for her breath, and the dental chews themselves stink in their own right.

The toothbrush was also a no-go. She will let you grab her tongue and touch her teeth, but tooth-brushing crosses the threshold of allowable time in Lulu's mouth.

So with strikes one and two, the Tropiclean Fresh Breath Clean Teeth Gel seemed like a good option. I just apply the gel directly to the icky secret back teeth once in the evening and go on my merry way. It's only been a few days, but I think it's starting to work. Her breath, while still not "fresh," no longer makes me scrunch up my face in disgust. And I like that it's holistic and natural while still effective. I'll update this post in a few weeks with a breath progress report.

$12.22 for a smile that smells as good as it looks.

(Please disregard my terrible voice. Yes, it always sounds like that.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

$17.99 [Freezy Pups Kit]

Freezy Pups Kit for Dogs.  I bought this glorified ice cube tray from a local pet store on May 6 to celebrate our Cinco de Mayo adoption of Lulu.  I know what you're thinking, but I was overcome with celebratory impulses and my love of things shaped like bones.

It makes frozen treats (or just ice) shaped like little bones.  The kit comes with four sample flavors: White Cheddar Cheese, Banana Honey, Sweet Potato 'n Maple, and Chicken Soup.  You can buy replacement mixes or just make your own.

During Brooklyn's recent heat wave, Betelgeuse and Lulu cooled off with Chicken Soup-flavored freezy pups, which went over pretty well.  The downside is that both dogs kept taking the freezy pups from their bowls and bringing them up on the couch, which, like most things the dogs do, is gross. 

$17.99 for a delicious, frozen treat for your doggie friends.  But unless you're swayed by the whole bone-shape thing, save your money and just use chicken stock and your regular ice-cube tray.

$10.17 [Safari Cat Shedding Comb]

Safari Cat Shedding Comb, Wood Handle.  This comb comes highly recommended by my brother, W, the cat whisperer, as tested and appoved by Future Cat.  Future Cat is a sweet, big, and nervous long-haired male cat.  His fur is super soft but often can be oily, which leads to occasional matting.

Enter the Safari Cat Shedding Comb (pictured above).  W reports that Future Cat loves this comb.  It breaks up and removes mats, but the smooth, rounded teeth massage him and are gentle on the skin.  "He will let you brush him for as long as you want with this thing."

I may look into it for Lola.  The Safari Cat Shedding Comb experience sounds almost spa-like, which would definitely beat chasing Lola around the apartment with the Furminator, and at 1/3 of the cost.

$10.17 for soft de-matted fur, a kitty massage for a nervous cat and fewer hairballs.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

$250.00 [Cremation]

Cremation - Individual 0-24 lbs., June 6, 2011

This is a difficult post to write, but Kitty passed away early Monday morning, June 6, 2011.  Cause of death unknown.  She died in my arms on the way to the emergency vet.  Kitty is, and will continue to be, missed.  She's in kitty heaven now, eating pizza and popcorn, and probably cuddling with my grandmother.  She was the best Kitty.  I'm going to miss her signature cuddles and those muppet feet.

$250.00 so that she will be cremated alone, instead of in a group, and so that her remains will be returned to me.  If you think this is over the top, please also know that I'm still considering having a funeral service at the Regency Forest Pet Funeral Home.  These are hard times.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

$35.00 [Tri-Core Pillow]

Tri-Core Pillow, Standard Size. I bought this pillow at the advice of my physical therapist for my pain in the neck.

About the product, from the vendor website: "The unique, trapezoid center gently cradles your head and supports the neck in its natural position."

About the product, from my real life: "The unique, trapezoid center gently cradles your cat in their favorite ball-like sleeping position."  In fact, there has not been a night in recent memory when I have not awoken with my head on the outer rim of the Tri-Core Pillow and Lola or Kitty curled up in the trapezoid center.  And fur balls further reveal that Kitty has been taking naps in the pillow when I'm at work.

I sort of love this, of course, but $35.00 was for a pillow, not a cat bed.

June 13, 2011 update:  Woke up to Lulu in the trapezoid center.  This is getting ridiculous.