Thursday, June 16, 2011

Coupon for Feline Pine Litter

Recently, I watched Extreme Couponing on TLC and was amazed at how shoppers could spend $2000 worth of groceries, but pay less than $100; one customer, in particular, spent $2300 and left with a gift card of $53!  This morning I have been searching online for coupons to save money on kitty items and found a coupon to save $1.50 on Feline Pine or Feline Pine Scoop Litter.  For those who would like to save money on cat litter, please click the link, print the coupon, and enjoy the savings!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Robin visits, Zanzibar hisses

For his mother's birthday/ Mother's Day gift, Chris bought tickets for his mom, him, and I to go watch the Mariners.  I worried that when Chris' mother Robin arrived that Zanzibar would hiss at her.  I have only seen him hiss at Valentine and that was during the first couple days of her moving in.  Other than that, I've only heard stories of him hissing at company.  Sure enough, when Chris' mom arrived Zanzibar sniffed at her, meowed, and hissed.  No matter what she did to reassure him that everything was okay, he was curious about her.  He would sniff her and then follow-up with a vicious hiss.  He is very territorial, especially when it comes to his cat litter, which unfortunately for guests is located in our only bathroom.  I hoped that after a whole day of us being gone that it would be enough time for him to cool off.  After all, how dare we bring someone into his house? he probably thought to himself.  

The day was a good one.  After gyros at Cafe Neo's, we killed time and shopped at a vintage store before waiting in line for a giveaway of an Ichiro bobblehead.  We drank beer as we watched Felix Hernandez warm up in the bullpen.  
I ate a delicious hot dog.  We toured the highest seat in the stadium.  Although our seats were in the 19th row, we wanted to see if the saying was true: there are no bad seats at Safeco Field.  It's true.  Even at what most people would consider nose-bleed, it wasn't a bad view at all.  We arrived at our seats after the anthem and the ceremonial first pitch.  We watched Rob Dyrdek throw the first pitch.  He was visiting Seattle for a skateboarding event and I was really excited to see him. And, we rallied as Seattle won the game against the Chicago White Sox.

My wish came true when we arrived home and Zanzibar seemed to be getting used to the fact that our company was not going anywhere for the night.  Although he sat on the couch and kept his distance from Robin, I was just glad he wasn't hissing anymore. 
When it came time to sleep, he left her alone and slept in the bedroom with Chris and me.  Meanwhile, Valentine kept Robin company.

The next day Robin left to go back home to Oak Harbor and things were restored at the Galang/Johnson home.  It was Chris, Zanzibar, Valentine, and me, just the way Zanz likes it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kitty Crack

                                                                                                     March 16, 2011
Dear Feline Greenies,

We are writing to let you know that our cat Zanzibar loves your treats.  We very much care about the health and nutrition of our cat and pay close attention to the ingredients that he consumes.  We were happy to find a treat that “contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives” and also helps him reduce tartar and plaque buildup, cleans his teeth, and freshens his breath. 
However, we have noticed some behaviors that make us question what other ingredients may be included in Feline Greenies but is not listed.  The main one is KITTY CRACK.  See, Zanzibar loves the treats so much so that a slight shake of the bag will grab his attention.  As he runs to his bowl, he meows impatiently and sometimes demandingly with a head-butt.  Before we can even put all eight pieces into the bowl, he has already scarfed most of the treats down and hardly without chewing.  When he finishes, he looks up.  His eyes reveal sadness, sadness that there are no more treats and a look of pity for more.  Like an addict with their drugs, my cat is addicted to your treats and he is showing the same signs of addiction.  First is denial.  He doesn’t believe he has eaten all of the treats.  Second is greediness.  He craves for more.  And last, he will do almost anything to feed his addiction.
Here is what happens on a daily basis.  We give him treats in the morning before we head out for work and/or school.  Because of our schedules, we do not always arrive home at the same time.  One of us will give him his second serving of treats.  But, when the second person arrives home, he waits near his bowl and meows.  He is trying to trick that person into believing that he hasn’t already received his serving and go for a third helping of your KITTY CRACK.
As parents we love our children and want them to be happy, but what are we to do should their happiness be harmful to themselves?  By giving him his daily “dosages” of treats, are we enablers to his addiction?  The first step is acknowledging and that is what we have accomplished through writing this letter.  We hope that one day we may be able to have the strength to intervene to break his addiction and rehabilitate him to happiness before KITTY CRACK.
            So, thank you Feline Greenies.  Thanks a freakin’ lot.

                                                                                            Chris and Crystalyn

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Baby Changes Everything

            The popular saying is true.  I can’t say I understand what it is like to be a parent of a child, but I do know what it is like to be a parent of a pet and in some respect, it is quite the same.
            Similar to bringing a new baby home, bringing Valentine home is an adjustment and a learning experience for all of us.  For Zanzibar, there is a feeling of his territory being invaded by a newcomer, hostility toward Valentine, but also a sense of curiosity about her.  He has to learn what it means to share the space that he has known to be his.  For Valentine, it is learning about her environment and its creature comforts, learning about Zanzibar and which of his creature comforts he is willing to share (and not share), and learning about us.  For Chris and me, we are learning about Valentine and the relationship between her and Zanzibar, how to treat our babies with equal amounts of attention and love, and worrying about their health and safety.
            For the most part they seem to get along with only a few moments where we have to break them up and we have lost some sleep over it.  Last night, for example, Zanz and I slept in the living room while Val and Chris slept in the bedroom.  Even though we are restless, we are lucky.  According to PAWS, the “blanket” (or sock) method of introducing cats should be gradual and for most cats, friendships take eight to 12 months to develop.  For some, friendships never occur.  The cats simply live together, attempting to avoid each other at all times.  Because the introduction did not occur as planned, we cannot expect Zanzibar and Valentine to be immediate best friends, but I think that one day they will be.  What I’ve seen is that they can be in the same room and neither one is avoiding each other. 
            In fact, currently both are sleeping on the tower.  Zanz is in the lower cubby while Val is chilling on the top.  It’s peaceful in the apartment, where the only sounds that are heard are the humming of the heater and the computer keys being hit.  It’s quite nice.  My babies are safe, healthy, and happy.  That’s all that matters.  Isn’t that all that parents want for their children?  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The First Meeting

We had been researching how to introduce an old cat to a new cat and from what we have read is that we should do the sock method – bring in the new cat and isolate him/her to their own room, take a sock, rub it on the new cat’s back, let the old cat sniff at it, and vice versa, rubbing a sock on the old cat’s back and letting the new cat sniff at it.  This lets both cats know of each other’s scents.  If the old cat hisses at the sock then the owner(s) should continue to isolate the new cat until he/she no longer does this.
            Well, that is not how the first meeting of Zanzibar and Valentine went down.  When we arrived home, the game plan was for me to run up first and open the door while Chris carried Valentine in the box.  She did NOT like being put back in the box to the point where she was squirming so much that she broke the handle.  When Chris put the box down, Zanzibar was curious and sniffing at it.  All of a sudden, Valentine’s head popped up and surprised Zanzibar.  As we let her roam around the apartment to scope out the place, Zanzibar was hissing at her.
            I’ve never seen Zanzibar hiss at anyone, although I’ve been told that he has hissed at company that has come over and used the bathroom.  That is where his litter box is and he is very protective of it. 
            Now, he was hissing at Valentine because she is in his domain.  She didn’t seem to mind him, though.  When she was near Zanz, she would just run right by him.  Chris and I think it is because she has lived with other cats before.  Zanzibar has not.
            Eventually, they were separated and spent the day apart.  Valentine was in the room while Zanzibar was in the living room.  Occasionally, we would let Valentine out of the room but the minute Zanzibar hissed at her she would go right back in. 
            Because Zanz usually sleeps in our bed but Valentine is currently residing in the bedroom, Chris and I decided that we would take shifts sleeping with the cats.  That first night the girls (Val and I) took the bedroom while the boys (Chris and Zanz) took the living room.  We didn’t want Zanz to feel like he was getting downgraded to just the bedroom and we wanted to Val to feel like she would eventually be getting an upgrade.
            To say the least, it was a very emotional first day for everyone.  I want them to be best friends but I know it is going to take some time.  Zanzibar has to get used to the idea that there is another cat in the house that he has to share the space with, but I want him to know that we love him just the same.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine for my Valentine

I got my Valentine’s Day gift early because Chris said the place to pick up my present is not open on Mondays.  So yesterday after eating lunch at Subway, we drove around while I anxiously guessed where and what he was going to be getting me.  I had an inkling of what it was going to be because we were spending the day to celebrate his birthday (since it was the weekend and I have school on Tuesday) and when I asked him what he would like to do between picking up my gift and having his birthday dinner and playing pool with the guys, he said he just wants to hang out at the apartment.  I said, “Don’t you want to go somewhere?  Do something?”  He said, “No, not really.  I just want to hang out.  Plus, you’ll want to play with your gift.”
            This is what made me think that he was going to get me a kitty cat.  I was beyond excited and so surprised when we did pull up to PAWS.  Unfortunately, the Lynnwood shelter did not have any kittens.  Apparently, it is not kitten season.  That is in the spring and summertime.  I learned something new.
            We went to their sister organization, PAWS Cat City, in Seattle.  They also did not have any kittens because it was not kitten season, but they did have young, female cats that we thought would be good for Zanzibar.  We wanted a young, female cat because we have been researching that female cats and male cats get along.  We didn’t want another male because of territorial issues, but found out two males get along fine.  Two females, however, are extremely territorial.  Again, that was something new that I learned.
            Chris and I visited with Miss Sunshine and we instantly fell in love.  She was soaking up the sun, curled up in her pillow.  The minute we came up to pet her she was purrrrrrring like crazy.  She is very pretty too.  She has similar coloring to Zanzibar.  She is white and black, but with orangey-brown spots and green eyes. 
            We were able to adopt her and bring her home the same day and because they were running a Valentine’s Day deal, we got her for only $20!  I sat with her in the back of the car and opened up the box.  Who knew that cats liked car rides?  She loved it!  The two times that Zanz was in the car, he hated it. 
            During the ride back, we were thinking of new names for her.  I wanted a name that was as good as Zanzibar and that went well when it is being said, but what is a better name than Zanzibar?  I thought Zoë would be a good name.  We went to Fred Meyer to pick her up her own cat litter and toys.  I stayed in the back with her “Googling” African girl names.  Then, it just came to me.  What about Valentine?  She was, after all, my Valentine gift from Chris.  Best Valentine’s Day gift.  Ever.