Hello, people and Happy New Year. Our human mom, Beth, is very very busy, so we wanted to help her out by writing a blog post to tell you about the amazing thing we got for Christmas this year. We’re not exactly sure what it is, but mom acted really excited when she opened it, so we know it must be pretty special. (And no, we no longer speak like those Cheezburger Cats. We are 5 years old and have learned proper grammar!)
Anyway, Christmas Eve, Mom came home and started talking really loudly when she saw a big box at the front door. She said stuff like, “Wow. He didn’t use plastic tape or plastic label covers. This is great.” We don’t know what those things are, but we know our mom doesn’t like plastic. And we love boxes, so we started to get excited too.
Mom cut open the top with her keys and was even more excited when she looked inside. She said there was cardboard, twine, paper tape, and only a little plastic…… Read the rest
Several months ago, blogger EcoCatLady left a comment on this blog about how she had avoided buying new plastic when her kitties needed a climbing tree by figuring out how to build one herself with all secondhand materials. She wrote:
My most recent success was that I wanted to get my kids (meaning kids of the feline variety) a scratching/climbing kitty tree for Christmas. I initially was going to buy one, and I found them online pretty cheap… but the more I researched, the more I discovered that anything which cost under $400 was made from plastic PVC pipe. So instead of bringing more plastic crap into the world, I made a kitty tree from scrap lumber I had in my garage and some carpet scraps that I got on FreeCycle. I know in the broad scheme of things it’s not much, but it’s something… and something I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about before reading Beth’s blog.
Being the mom of a couple of fun-deprived kitty… Read the rest
The text message I sent my sister Friday night was, “OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There was a rat in our toilet bowl tonight!”
You know the urban legend about rats and snakes and other critters swimming up through the sewer pipes into your toilet? It’s not an urban legend. Not where rats are concerned, anyway.
This story gets pretty gross, so be warned.
We buy Swheatscoop cat litter. It comes in a paper bag, not plastic, and it’s made from wheat, so it’s compostable and flushable. Our cats love it. In fact, they love it a little too much.
[2016 Update: Today, we use Integrity cat litter. Swheatscoop switched to a plastic bag.]
Which is why ever since this incident in 2008, we’ve kept the bag out of reach of little critters.
Wheat litter is flushable (as long as your cats don’t have toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that kills sea otters, which ours don’t) but even still, sometimes… Read the rest
Our cats have always eaten their homemade food out of nice ceramic dishes that we got for free or almost free at a yard sale. (Arya is practicing her scary Halloween demon kitty face.)
But apparently, not all cats are so lucky. Michael came home last Friday and told me his workmate’s cat had developed acne, and that her vet said she should stop feeding him from a plastic bowl. Huh? I mean, I’ve heard a lot of negative things about plastic, but that was a really new one for me.
So I Googled “cat acne plastic,” and guess what: it’s conventional wisdom (although I haven’t found a definitive source) that cats can develop acne on their chins from eating out of plastic bowls. (Dogs, too! Google “dog acne plastic.”)
Dirty Plastic Bowls
According to The Spruce:
Plastic food dishes have long been suspected as a culprit in chin acne. Plastic is a magnet for bacteria and dirt that work their way into scratches and… Read the rest
Looking for natural flea treatments for cats without toxic chemicals.
Discussing plastic-free sunscreen, dog poop solutions, plastic newspaper bags, buying berries, and more. All accompanied by the cutest green pug ever.
Many of you have seen Chris Jordan’s recent heartbreaking photos of dead albatross chicks on Midway Atoll with bellies full of plastic.
And perhaps you have seen, or at least heard how sea turtles eat plastic (PDF), mistaking it for the jelly fish upon which they usually dine. (Photo courtesy of Seaturtle.org.)
Most recently, beached whales have been found with plastic in their bellies.
People see these images or read these stories, maybe feel sad for a minute, and then go on about their lives. Albatrosses and sea turtles are creatures most of us don’t encounter on a daily basis. Their fate is sad, but it doesn’t directly affect us. Well, I want to show some photos and relate a story from the Terry-Stoler household that brings the issue of harm to animals a little closer to home.
My cat eats plastic. I’ve said this before. Arya eats big holes in polyester fleece blankets:
You should have seen how she went for the polyester … Read the rest
I hear people bemoaning the high cost of “going green.” And while organic food does cost more than its chemical-laden counterpart, I’m here to tell you that it’s easier to spend more for healthy food when you save money in other ways. We can skip many of the green cleaners, deodorizers, and personal care products, most of which are fairly expensive. To that end, baking soda is our friend. (Ha! I rhymed.)
What’s so great about baking soda?
1) It’s cheap. On Safeway.com, a 1 lb box is $1.40. But I save money and packaging by buying it from the bulk bin at my local natural foods store, filling up my own reusable cloth bag. That way, it’s only 89¢/lb!
2) It’s simple. One of the ways I try to protect my health and that of the planet is to buy products that contain the lowest number of different ingredients possible. Baking soda is just about as simple as you can get.
3) It’s non-toxic. Need I say more?… Read the rest
Arya loves SwheatScoop cat litter. She loves to rip open the bag, spread the litter across the kitchen floor, and then lie in it and take a nap. Why confine such an awesome substance to her litter box?
Soots on the other hand, will have almost nothing to do with it. To avoid grossing you out, I provide the following black and white representation of what Soots thinks of SwheatScoop:
I wanted to love Swheatscoop natural clumping, flushable cat litter. I really did. Especially because it’s the only flushable* litter that comes in a paper bag rather than plastic. [2016 update: Swheatscoop has switched to a plastic bag. We now use Integrity cat litter instead.] Even the boxed litters have plastic bags inside.
*For those who weren’t here for the beginning of the cat litter story, we feel comfortable flushing their poop because they are indoor cats that have tested negative for toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that kills sea otters.
We tried… Read the rest
This is the amount of waste we have been generating each week to feed our cats since they came to live with us in December of last year. 21 BPA-lined cans to be recycled, as well as a cardboard case covered in plastic wrap. The cans never made it to my tally. While I avoid canned foods for us because of the BPA issue, I don’t include them in the tally because it’s impossible to separate out the weight of metal vs. plastic. Still, regardless of the plastic lining, this is a lot of waste. Yes, the cans can be recycled. But imagine how much energy could be saved if we could avoid the cans altogether!
(Our cats could never tolerate dry food.)
So, I went in search of homemade cat food recipes. I found all kinds of conflicting opinions. There are those who insist cats must eat raw meat to be healthy. And there are those who feel that cooked meat and grains are fine. Not wanting to short-change my pets, I called the Nutrition Clinic at the U.C. Davis Veterinary Medical… Read the rest