The Adventures of Barb Cat

In case you missed it, we are now back down to a one pet household; Poppy passed away after a long and lovely life (really though, hedgies are supposed to live 2-5 years, she was 7.) Barb and Poppy never really interacted, but I imagine Barb is happy being a single child again. ALL the attention, and ALL the toys and treats.

We got her a new toy a bit ago, and she loved it to death within 48 hours. Poor monarch butterfly. BUT LOOK HOW CUTE SHE IS. And how much fun she’s having. I definitely took way too many videos, but seriously it’s so amusing.

Anyway. Long intro short, we love Barb. So when I was given the opportunity to try out a cat backpack from Pet Magasin, I was more than thrilled. Barb loves being outside, but would totally bolt and disappear forever if we let her out on her own. Now, I’d be lying if I said anything along the lines of “BARB LOVES THE BACKPACK AND WE GO ON HIKES ALL THE TIME” ..as much as I’d love for that to be the case, Barb isn’t a fan of being confined in tight spaces.

Photo taken from Amazon

That said, we have gone on a few backyard backpack adventures, plus a trip to the vet where everyone in the office was loving Barb’s fancy new mode of transportation. So much better than a little cat carrier. The backpack has pop-out windows on the side (you can see them in the photo below) plus a few pockets to carry whatever you may need (mine has cat treats and a couple of toys) and can be carried on it’s side if necessary too. It also has a collar clip-in to avoid escapees, and while Barb is anti-collar, I imagine it’s a super useful thing for many other people.

Did you know that taking photos of a cat that doesn’t stay still is just about impossible? #Lambothecarrier

The backpack is pretty large – great for the animals, but a bit cumbersome on my small frame. My only real complaint about the bag is that the zippers aren’t as smooth as I’d like them to be, but just a minor detail when I have a carrier Barb doesn’t hate 🙂

Thanks so much to Pet Magasin for the opportunity to take Barb on more adventures! You can find the backpack on Pet Magasin’s website, or on Amazon.

Happy (?) Monday – 11/21/16

Oh hi, hello there! It’s been a while. Long time no…type?

I don’t know how mom bloggers do it. We had a kitten for 2 weeks (more on that in a sec) and I (almost) didn’t blog at all. Sheesh.

So – despite the title of this post, it’s really not a happy Monday. I’ve been crying on and off since about 5pm, and we are officially back to a 1 cat household. It’s kind of crazy how quickly a person can get attached to a pet. I just have to keep reminding myself that our kitten (Abby) will be happier in a home without a cat that is hissing and swiping at her at every opportunity. But still; heartbroken.

On to happier things!

  1. We had a visitor (one of my bridesmaids) for part of the weekend, and we had a lovely time. Sometimes you just need a night of puzzles, movies, and catching up on life!
  2. It’s Thanksgiving week! I have jury duty on Wednesday (boooo…) but Joe and I are both looking forward to some much needed time back home. It’s been quite a while since we’ve been back! (Well, ‘quite a while’ compared to the every other weekend thing we had been doing.)
  3. Since it’s Thanksgiving week, there are about 3,048 sales…and I am a sucker for sales. Some of my favorites thusfar: the stationery bundle from Oh Hello Friend, 75% off sale items for Fabletics VIP customers, and 15-75% off everything at MochiThings. All good things. Now I just need to watch Anthro to see if the perfect jumpsuit for riding camels and traipsing around Morocco goes on sale further than it already is.
  4. So many good movies are coming out! We saw Arrival this weekend – still working on wrapping my head around that – plus Fantastic Beasts, Moana, and a few others I’m looking forward to. I need to find more time in my life to see everything!
  5. And now for your happy news of the day (because goodness – we could all use some of that) this Grandma that has an additional guest coming to Thanksgiving dinner. Oh, technology.

Hope everyone’s weeks are off to a stellar start!

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And this, my friends, is why you read Amazon reviews.

So I saved my kitty’s life today, what have you accomplished?

One of the specials Amazon had on Prime Day was a set of 3 calming cat collars, which I thought would perfect for our upcoming move. Something to keep Barb from stressing about being in a new house? Sign us up!

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I decided to leave work early today to do some cleaning/packing, and figured it would be the perfect time to test out a collar to see how Barb would react. Welp, about 30 minutes and 3 totes full of shoes later, Barb was flopping around on the ground and making a noise I had never heard before. She may be a weirdo, but I knew that wasn’t a normal thing. The collar managed to get stuck between her jaw and the back of her neck, causing her to choke herself as she tried to ‘fix’ the situation. Not good.

There's a reason I'm not an illustrator :P
There’s a reason I’m not an illustrator 😛

Thankfully after lots panicked, scratch-filled wrestling to try and get a hand on the collar (without hurting Barb even more,) I managed to cut the collar off. Luckily Barb seems to have gotten out of the ordeal injury-free, but I wasn’t quite so lucky. Other than the bazillion scratches, I was shaking so badly – it was a scary situation!

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Her paws had quite a bit of my blood on them at the end of it. Lovely.
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Booooo, collar.

After a fairly thorough check to be sure that Barb didn’t need to go directly to the Vet, I decided to go to Amazon to see if anyone else had similar issues. Sadly what I found was a slew of one-star reviews describing exactly what I had experienced, and in many cases much worse.

From Amazon:

Poor kitties.

Needless to say – Barb will be getting lots of extra lovin’ this weekend, and I will absolutely be reading more than the first 3 Amazon reviews before buying anything else! While I wasn’t planning to spend the evening slathered in Neosporin, I’ll take this over the Vet any day. Plus I just discovered Ellen on our Apple TV which is awfully amusing. (Yes mom, you’re reading that correctly.)

Hopefully your Friday night is a bit calmer than mine has been so far, and happy weekend!

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Review: KitNip Box April 2016

Woah. House buying stress is so real – and we haven’t even been doing housey things for very long. I guess we’ve been busy with lots of other things too, but I had “write kitnip review” written in my planner for 2 Fridays ago, and here we are, on the second to last day of the month. Ah, life. We’ve also been out of paper towels for a week if that gives you any idea of where our minds are at (or aren’t at, really.) So anyway.

After my somewhat “meh” review of January’s KitNip box, the company reached out to me to see if Barb and I would like to give their box another go…and after very little consideration at all (lets be real, Barb is spoiled; the more toys, the better) – I said yes 🙂

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Of course, Barb had to get all up in the box the moment it was opened.

After her initial nosing around in the ‘Royalty’ themed box, Barb didn’t really have much interest in any of the toys – such a stinker. BUT. Here we are 3 weeks later, and she LOVES those little rattle-y balls. Loves them. Especially at 2am (because when else would one want to play with toys?! Hah.) The little bee toy gets batted around too…sometimes. Much to my dismay, she wants nothing to do with the ‘Keep Calm and Purr On’ pouch. I think it’s hilarious – come on, Barb! I actually think it’s just a bit too big for her to really know what to do with it. Unfortunately she doesn’t particularly like the pumpkin hairball aid treats/supplements either, but I think we’ve learned that she just doesn’t like ‘moist’ things. *Shrug* – cats will be cats.

The adorable slippers, handmade emerald ring toy, and handmade crown have pretty much been left untouched, but for all we know she’ll decide they’re the best things on earth in a few months. I would really like her to chew on the slippers though; they’re made of a loofah material and are supposed to help keep teeth clean. Oh well.

I think having multiple cats would make this box a better buy…using Barb as an example: not every cat will like every toy, and when you’re spoiling your kitty with their own subscription box, you don’t want any toys to be ignored, or treats to go to waste!

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Based on what I could find online plus reviews from other bloggers, it looks like this month’s box had an approximate value of $30, which is above the $19.99 purchase price. If you have more than one cat OR have room in your budget for cat-related items OR like giving your kitty toys of the handmade/natural variety, I think this subscription box is definitely the one for you; it seems like KitNip supports smaller companies – many of the toys/brands can be found on Etsy 🙂

Thanks again, KitNip!

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I am wearing my breakfast, AKA it’s a Monday.

Welp, my morning started off with yogurt squirting all over my jacket upon opening it, and then I promptly flung more yogurt all over my leggings when mixing it up. Merp. It’s definitely a Monday.

  1. Despite the yogurt fiasco, my Monday morning has actually been pretty good otherwise. My Club W package was delivered to work – woop woop! This month I chose a 2014 Passarola Vinho Tinto, 2012 Upswell® Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2014 Passarola Vinho Branco. I really need to stop getting so attached to wine bottle labels – there are too many bottles hanging around our house right now. Maybe I’ll start soaking them off and putting them in a journal type thing? Some of my favorites are screenprinted on though. Hmm.
  2. Joe and I went to the outlets this weekend (he needed to finish putting together his Dossin Museum Gala ensemble) and of course a trip to the outlets isn’t complete without something from Kate Spade. I might have a problem. Despite finding a purse I really liked, I ended up just getting a cute wristlet to go with the dress I’m wearing to the gala..assuming I can get it tailored to fit in time.
  3. Someone is coming to fix a bunch of things in our house today! Hooray! Our disposal has been on the fritz for a while now and finally died on Thursday. You don’t realize how vital a disposal is until you’re making Bloody Marys for work (which you and your husband both hate) and the smell just seems to be hanging around the kitchen for hours and hours and hours. Yuck. We also don’t have a working hose thanks to a busted pipe in the basement (found that out the hard way…) so hopefully that will be taken care of too.
  4. Barb is getting better and better (well, usually) about sleeping in our room. It’s like our baby is finally sleeping through the night! Hah. Really though, not being woken up at 4am to incessant meowing is pretty great.
  5. My friends are visiting this weekend! And learning to climb on Saturday! And we’re going to a movie at the Alamo! (…assuming they’re showing something we want to see.) And yay! I’m excited. They haven’t been out since October, so it’ll be fun…even if we won’t have Spring-like weather. Sigh, Michigan.

Hope everyone’s weeks are off to a great start, and apologies to my coworkers if I smell vaguely of dairy for the rest of the day! 😛

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Review: March PurrPacks Subscription Box

After I posted my KitNip review, someone from PurrPacks contacted me asking if I would like to review their box: no extra goodies, no personalization for what Barb likes/doesn’t like (which, to be honest we’re still learning anyways) – just their ‘base model’ box sent for me in exchange for an honest review! Of course I jumped right on the offer, hoping that not every box for cats would be as underwhelming – I thought a comparison of the two could be interesting!

And holy moley. All of the disappointment I experienced with the KitNip box has been surpassed, exceeded, and any other words you can think of that mean I was blown away when our PurrPack box arrived yesterday! While Barb’s name wasn’t written on the front of the box like I’ve seen in other reviewer’s posts, everything on the inside made up for it, and Barb wholeheartedly agrees 😉 (with a couple of small exceptions, but cats are picky – you can’t win ’em all!)

it's like she knew there would be all sorts of goodies inside!
it’s like she knew there would be all sorts of goodies inside!

The second I opened the box, Barb was at my side, curious about what treasures were hidden in the box full of green crinkly paper, and before I could even get a picture, she had taken a toy out and was furiously batting it around our living room. Shortly after getting that first toy out, all but 1 had been taken out of the box (not by me!) and played with.

FullSizeRender-1Hooray for immediate success!

Even though we currently have enough treats to probably survive an apocalypse, I was excited to see more in the box – especially the “Meowgarita” treats…maybe just because that name is so great. Sadly, Barb wants absolutely nothing to do with these treats – I tried everything I could think of to get her to do more than sniff one and walk away, but like I said – you can’t win ’em all.

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There was also a laser pointer in the box, which Joe and I had been contemplating buying since January…and oh my gosh it is the best thing ever. Barb is obsessed with it, and it’s a great way to get her worn out before bed! All hail the laser pointer! The other toys (and Greenies treats) were also all big hits, though I’m not sure Barb quite knows what to do with the light-up, noise making mouse in the rubber ball – not yet at least 😉

Oh! And! There’s a scratcher in the bottom of every box! Barb doesn’t seem to be a huge fan of the scratcher we got her (it kind of looks like that but is blue and smaller) but she’s been scratching away at the one from the box a few times – it hasn’t even been 24 hours, so that’s lovely.

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Final Thoughts:

I know some subscription box reviewers add up the value of the box compared to what the box actually costs, but personally I just care about whether I feel it’s worth it. Something could cost $50, but if it’s not something I need/want/use/enjoy, the value isn’t there for me! This box costs $24.99 a month – and while I think that’s still a little steep for a box o’ cat toys, I do think this box is worth it! The value is there, Barb loves practically everything (I’m going to try to get her to try a Meowgarita. I just can’t get over how great that name is,) and the box had things in it that we wouldn’t have necessarily picked out at a pet store for her! Doesn’t get much better than that.

Thanks so much, PurrPacks!

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Review: KitNip Box

Joe gets the FiveFourClub subscription box, I get Birchbox…so we thought it was only right that Barb got a monthly subscription box of her own, right?

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Wellllll, maybe not. I was super excited to try KitNip Box, because despite the fact that our house is already full of cat toys and treats, new things are always fun and I’ve seen lots of good things come from BarkBoxes (the equivalent for dogs.) So when it arrived – the day we were taking Barb to the vet for a whole slew of uncomfortable things – I was glad we’d have fun things for her to look forward to playing with when we got home! Except…that wasn’t really the case. I did get this box at a discount, but I gotta say, I’d be super disappointed paying full price for what was in the box:

  • all natural cat treats (which we’ve tried a few varieties of, and Barb just doesn’t like them)
  • catnip (okay that’s fine, even though we just bought some)
  • a yoga cats mini calendar (no real use for it, sadly)
  • strawberry toy on a string
  • bandaid (?) toy (what.)

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That’s all. $20 for things you could probably get for $10-$12 at any given pet store/Target. Luckily Barb loved the Band-Aid toy (though I’m still a bit confused as to why a felt band-aid was in the box in the first place,) but I paid less than that for a whole slew of adorable Star Wars toys that she loves just as much. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ What can I say? I like feeling as though I’ve gotten my money’s worth!

If you have money you want to spend on your kitty, and are interested in what was in this box (I think I’d be a little less disappointed if Joe and I hadn’t JUST bought catnip the previous night, or if Barb liked the all-natural/moist treats….) you can use this code to get 15% off your first box: WOC15 

After the mild disappointment of the KitNip Box, I started looking at other monthly boxes aimed at cats, thinking maybe I’d do a comparison to see which is best…but they just all seemed far too expensive for what you were getting. We’ll just stick with being a two-subscription box family, and pick up cute toys as we see them – sorry, Barb! (Though I’ve now done one month of Club W, and wouldn’t mind continuing that box..but that’s a blog post for another time.)

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Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr.

Hopefully everyone is having a fantastic Valentine’s Day! I know mine has been perfect so far!!

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