Post Holidays

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, or Hanukah, or just some nice family time, whatever you are celebrating. We certainly enjoyed the festivities here. It was wonderful to be home, and to have the whole family together.

After finding the kitties playing in the Christmas tree again last night, I think we will be rushing to take the tree down this year before the kitties do it for us! The kitties also got a new climbing tree for Christmas, but we are waiting to set it up until the tree is gone so we have enough room for it. Hopefully we can get the holiday tree packed up and the cat tree set up over the weekend.

Did your pets get holiday treats? Puck, Bean and Logan have plenty of new toys, Cali has new treats, toys, and a new jacket. We even managed to find my daughter a jacket to match Cali’s. The only thing I can’t figure out is why I find hoods on dog coats so often. They never work!

Hector loves to open presents. She spent most of the afternoon working on this package until all the paper was sufficiently shredded. So far, she has been much less interested in the toys that were inside the package than she was with the package. Next year maybe I’ll just wrap some empty boxes for her.

The lizard didn’t really need much for Christmas, so she got some new greenery for her tank. I just got it set up this morning. I think it makes her tank look nicer, but she hasn’t shown any interest in it at all yet.

Weena is way in the back right hand corner behind the tree trunk.

What did your pet-friends get for the holidays?

Coming up soon on the blog, I’ll be testing out a new litter box with the cats. It’s the TidyCat Breeze litter box. It has a pad system and it supposed to be low litter tracking, so I want to try it out in my laundry room where the extra cat box there is causing some litter mess. I also have some more treat reviews coming, and I still need to get my Pet Fountain review written up. Let me know if there is any kind of product you would like me to check out, or if there is a product you love that I should take a look at.

If anyone is interested in feeding outside birds, I found an article about safe human foods to feed them that you might find valuable:

Purrs, barks, and tweets!



PetSafe Drinking Fountains

Do you use a Pet Fountain for your dog or cat? I started using one a few years ago, and I won’t ever go back to a regular water bowl, especially for my cats.

Bean loves the Fountain!

Years ago, I lost a cat to kidney disease. My vet told me it was very common because most cats don’t drink enough water. I switched to a diet of canned and dry food for my cats so they would get that little bit of extra moisture from the canned food, and I switched to a fountain.

I have two PetSafe fountains that I switch between. One is the Drinkwell Seascape Fountain, shown above with Bean, and the other is the Drinkwell, 2 gallon model. 

PetSafe 2 Gallon

Both fountains work great. I actually use them both and switch off between them. They both work in essentially the same way, they have a filter which circulates the water from the bowl, and then spits it out through the fountain. The 2 gallon model has a spout for the water to come out of, and the Seascape model uses a large ceramic globe or ball that the water comes out of the top and pours down over the sides.  I like to switch between the two fountains to keep the cats interest up. They seem to really like to lick the water off the ceramic globe of the Seascape, but they also enjoying playing with the water from the spout on the two gallon model.

Maintenance is easy. Each fountain contains a foam filter and a carbon filter. It takes me maybe ten minutes total for a thorough cleaning. The process is very similar for both. The foam filter fits around the pump and collects larger debris such as cat hair, and the carbon filter freshens the water. I clean my fountain about once every ten days, and usually change the carbon filter every time. There are times I’ve rinsed the filter and it has looked OK, so I’ve used it for a second cycle. The foam filter is very easy to rinse and reuse. I probably only change my foam filter once every three months. Both types of filters are easily and inexpensively available on Amazon. Here’s the insides of the Seascape fountain:

Seascape Fountain – foam filter and pump
Carbon filter and housing
Carbon filter assembled and attached to foam filter and pump
Ready to add the globe

The Two Gallon fountain is similar inside:



Pump and foam filter


Carbon filter and water intake


Housing goes over the pump and filters – the lever in the middle adjusts water flow
Cap covers the tower

The Seascape is slightly easier to clean, simply because of the material it is made from. We have lots of minerals in our water and they build up quickly on surfaces. I find it easier to clean the ceramic bowl of the Seascape than the plastic of the other fountain. As you can see in the picture above, I definitely get some mineral residue.

During the week, I simply add fresh water to the bowl as the level depletes. The nice thing about the plastic fountain is the bigger capacity. The Seascape fountain holds about 70 ounces, while the other, holds about 2 gallons. I’ve got three cats and a small dog, so the capacity of the Seascape works for me. I don’t mind refilling it daily. When I had my yellow lab, it was definitely helpful to have the larger fountain, and even then, I put out a large water bowl along with the fountain in summer because he would go through a lot of water. Honestly, I found my Lab preferred to just drink out of a bowl most of the time. The cats always seem to prefer the moving water from the fountain.

Aesthetically, I like the look of the Seascape better. The ceramic feels more finished. I also prefer the spherical design of the Seascape better than the spout design of the two gallon model.

Another small detail I like better about the Seascape model is that it is easier to pick up. The two gallon model has straight sides that go right to the floor, so it is harder to get a finger under it to lift it, and the sides are straight. The Seascape is a bit curved at the top of the bowl, so it is easy to pick up. It also feels sturdier than the plastic fountain when I have to move it with water in it.

Overall, I think they are both great fountains. If I had to chose only one, I would chose the Seascape because the capacity is enough for me, and I like the look of it, but if you need the bigger capacity, the Two gallon works just great.

Do you use a fountain for your pets? What features do you like? You can check out these two fountains at or look for them on Amazon.

Holiday Season

Do you include your pets in your holiday festivities? My pets have been involving themselves! Boxes everywhere, and everyone loves them! The cats hide in them, and Hector chews them.

The cats think that putting up the Christmas tree was the best thing we have ever done for them. Little Bean loves to knock the ornaments off the tree, and Puck has been caught trying to climb it more than once. Hector D. Byrd HATES change. She is very thankful the tree is no where near her cage, but she does seem to enjoy holiday music with all the bells.

Cali needs a haircut!

As I started to get a few presents wrapped an under the tree, I realized that none of my packages were going to have pretty bows this year. Bean thinks bows are toys, and I’ve just been finding them all over the house.

We will be home for Christmas, which is perfect because I really prefer to share the holidays with all my pet-babies. Everyone will have presents under the tree. Cali sometimes likes to open her own presents.  Hector definitely enjoys opening gifts.

I don’t usually do anything big/expensive for gifts, unless there is something a pet needs that I was able to time right and purchase for the holidays.  This year, Hector is getting a couple of new toys, Dragon is getting a new vine decoration for her tank, Cali is getting some treats and a toy, and the kitties also have treats and a couple of little toys. Since Bean is new to our house and Bean LOVES to climb, I did splurge a little this Christmas, and got the cats a new cat tree. It’s 72″ tall and has platforms and scratching posts. I think the kitties are going to be very excited!

How are you going to celebrate the holidays with your pets?

The Tree

We finally got the tree up last night. We were afraid to put it up too early with some travel we had, since we didn’t think leaving Bean home alone with the tree would be a good idea.

I’m happy to report that the tree survived it’s first night! Bean and Puck were both very curious about it last night, but they aren’t overly obsessed with it.

Happy Holidays!

The Flight of the Cosmic Hippo

Last night I was lucky enough to see Bela Fleck and the Flecktones in concert. We got to LOTS of concerts, so not that unusual, but it had been a long time since we had seen them. They were the band that taught me to enjoy and appreciate instrumental music. They are all amazing musicians. When we got to the venue, I noticed there were little red hippos all over the stage to celebrate their 30 years together, and their Flight of the Cosmic Hippo album.

Can you see those little guys? So cute! I really wanted a Cosmic Hippo.  I tried to buy one, but it was the last night of the tour, and they were sold out.

Thankfully, we had seats right in the 2nd row. I enjoyed every second of the concert. Being so close, I caught the eye of the various musicians a couple of times and gave them big smiles. I always feel like it is important for the audience to give some energy and appreciation back to the artists on stage, and being in the 2nd row, the pressure was on, but it was easy to stay involved because I was enjoying the show so much.

After the encore, the musicians all took a bow, and I saw Bela reach for the Hippo behind him. I gave him a big smile and walked right up to the stage. He caught my eye, smiled, and threw me the Hippo!!!! Next thing I know, the guy next to me reaches out and grabs it! Oh no! That was MY HIPPO!!!  I looked over at the guy and gave him a sad face, and he gave me the Hippo!

I’m not sure what all that really has to do with pets, other than the fact that the Cosmic Hippo is now living on my desk, and Bean enjoyed cuddling him today.


Really the big news is that Bean went to the vet today for his final kitten shots.  The vet asked me when we were planning to neuter him and I told him I thought it was too early? The vet had forgotten that Bean wasn’t quite 4 months old because he is SO big! How big? Bean was 6.8 lbs! Our Puck, full grown, is only about 7 lbs! Bean gets to wait on being neutered until next year.

I spent some extra time at the vet’s office so that everyone could visit with Bean. The vet techs passed him around and he purred.  He is such a good boy!

Cali also came to the vet today.  She needed her nails trimmed, but I also wanted to have her feet checked because she had been chewing on her feet non-stop. The vet thinks it is her allergies and the dry weather that are making her paws itch, but he also thinks she has an infection now. Cali got a Cytopoint injection for the allergies, and some antibiotics to help with the infection. Hopefully, she should feel better soon.

Apoquel was on my mind, so I brought it up with my vet. I told him I had been seeing some reports of side effects from extended use, but he said he has been using it for a long time and hasn’t seen any problems from it. Considering how itchy and miserable Cali can become, I think I’m going to keep her on it for now, but keep my eyes open for any possible replacements for it.

Cali and Bean are both a bit exhausted after their vet visit. I don’t think it will be too much longer before Bean is bigger than Puck and Cali! I definitely think he will end up being our largest pet when he is done growing!



Snow Day

It has been snowing for well over 40 hours now, and the snow is still coming down. Yesterday and this morning as I work at my desk, all my furry friends are keeping me company. Cali’s open crate is right next to my desk.

When Cali doesn’t have to fight the cats for a spot in the crate, that’s where she will hang out while I’m working.

Logan and Puck often like to snuggle up in or on top of the dog crate. Puck also spends a lot of time on time of the dragon tank as he LOVES her heat lamps. Today, the two cats are hanging out at the extra desk next to mine, just watching everything that is going on.

From this spot, Puck and Logan can watch everything going on around them. They have a view of Hector, Wena the dragon, and me!

Speaking of the Dragon, she’s happily hanging out in her hammock, enjoying her heat lamp, oblivious to the heinous weather going on outside. Smart lizard!

And then there is the one and only Hector D. Byrd. While I’m working, Hector spends her time strutting around, chewing up boxes, and chasing the cats. She also likes to chat at me, especially if I happen to get on the phone.

Unfortunately, Little Bean hasn’t realized that he needs to leave Hector alone yet, so I have to be super careful. I’m working on teaching Hector to “Go Home” which means to go back to her cage. It’s really handy when the cat is being too playful and I can tell Hector to “Go Home” and she heads back out of harms way on her own. Again, I’m always within a couple of feet of them, making sure everyone stays safe.

I keep a folded up towel on one side of my desk, and Bean spends a lot of time there. Yesterday, every time I sat down at my desk, Bean would come over, meow at me, then attempt to climb up my leg. I’d scoop him up and settle him on his towel where he will cuddle up and sleep as long as I’m sitting at my desk. Today, Bean has decided to snuggle up on the chair behind me.

I really love having him snuggle up in the corner of my desk.  It’s nice to be able to reach over and pat him, but it’s also nice to not have him stepping on my keyboard!

Stay warm everyone. Hopefully this snow will end soon!


Innovet Multivitamin

A little over a month ago I received an offer from Innovet to try their new multivitamin at a discounted, pre-order price. I think the deal was 30% off the regular retail price. The vitamin has hemp, probiotics, krill oil, glucosamine, and more. I was a bit intrigued since I had already been supplementing my Morkie, Cali, with many of these things.

Cali has been taking this vitamin once a day for a little over a month now. She seems a little less itchy than she normal, which might be the colder weather. Her hair seems softer, and less oily. Besides skin problems, Cali also has some knee problems.  She may eventually need surgery to correct subluxating patellas on both rear legs, but up to now she has been Ok. The only time I see symptoms are when we go on an extra long walk. Occasionally when she is tired, I’ll notice she has a little trouble jumping on the furniture. With the colder weather, we haven’t been doing long walks, but I also haven’t noticed her having trouble getting onto the furniture lately.  I can’t be 100% positive that the results I’m seeing are from the new vitamin, but I feel good enough about it that I plan to continue using them.

Apoquel has been a required medication for Cali for several years now.  Without it, she scratches herself bald, ends up with hot spots, and often skin infections. Lately I’ve been reading that long term use of Apoquel can suppress the immune system and might not be as healthy as previously believed. I’m hoping that maybe with a combination of high quality diet, and this multivitamin, that maybe I can get Cali off the Apoquel. I plan to talk to my vet about this before changing her dosage of course, but I’m interested to see how she does.

The Multivitamin treats are about an inch long as you can see above, and they are soft chews. Cali seems to enjoy the taste and eats them right away. I do break them in half when I feed them to her, because they are thick and a little hard for her small mouth to chew whole. One thing I noticed is that the suggested use is 2 chews per day for up to 35 lbs. Cali only weighs 11 lbs, so I’ve just been giving her one chew per day. Since I seem to be seeing results, I see no reason to go up to two, but as I wean her off the Apoquel, this might be a good option.

According to the label, this vitamin is supposed to help with Skin & Coat, Hip & Joints, Digestion, Immune support, Heart & Circulation, Cognition & Memory. I just ordered another jar of the supplement, so I’ll update in a couple of months and see if I have noticed any other improvements. Innovet currently has the Multivitamin on sale for $29.50 per jar, with 90 chews per jar. Considering I currently pay about $40 per month for Apoquel, this could be a nice financial savings for me as well as it possibly being healthier for Cali.

The one thing I don’t like about this product is that it is Grain-free. With all the controversy lately over possible ties between Grain-free diets and heart problems, I don’t feed grain-free, but I don’t feel that a Grain-Free vitamin is really going to cause a problem when her regular diet contains grains.

Does anyone else give supplements or vitamins to their pets? What do you use? What do you like or not like? I find that I can sometimes get carried away with supplements, and I’m hoping that this 6-in1 Multivitamin might be a good way for me to consolidate.