Hasty Life & Shopping Lessons

Amanda Bar

I (and this blog) am quite familiar with the occassional impulsive shopping splurge, but the story that follows goes beyond even that - I would call this a moment of shopping insanity. 

The seeds of this little tale were sown about two months ago, when a co-worker asked if I'd be interested in adopting a baby rat.  I told her no at the time, but having had pet rats in the past I started to think that perhaps the idea of expanding my animal family (I already own a cat) might be a desirable idea.  However, I was smart enough to keep myself away from pet stores until I was firmly set on bringing in another living being into my home.

Rats (2)  Smart enough, that is, until I decided to go rat browsing with my sister.  Browsing being the key word here, as I made it quite clear that I did not intend to buy.  Once that cute little fuzzy creature was placed in my hands, however, and the store clerk advised me that I'd be saving it from a "short life as imminent snake food" I went into an insane frenzy of pet supply shopping.  I spent $99 on two rats, one aquarium & topper, and various rat food & toys.  What can I say?  I was emotionally blackmailed into the purchase.

Obviously I was not in my right mind, because the minute I walked into my house with this gigantic rat terrarium I realized that I had made a horrible and expensive mistake.  I had no place to put these rats without seriously rearranging my furniture, and more importantly I wasn't in an emotional state to deal with familiarizing myself with two new family members.  I had a serious case of buyers remorse that I have never experienced before - most likely because these were living creatures I had involved in my mess.  A half hour later I went back to the pet store, tail between my legs, and handed the rats back without so much as asking for a refund (the rats themselves were only $3 a piece, anyways).

I plan on taking back all of the supplies and toys in a few days when the shame of my irresponsibility dies down, but as for the aquarium (the most expensive purchase at $39.99) there is a no-refund policy and I simply have to suck up that expense as a pricey life lesson.  It's easy to get sucked into hasty decisions when something small and adorable is squirming in your hands, but take it from me: don't do it!  Think on it and make sure you're ready, because unlike a piece of furniture a pet deserves an owner who can devote their time to welcoming them into a home.

I feel bad for my wallet, but worse for my rat friends.

Posted by Amanda Conwell on | | Comments (0)

Saving Furniture While Sparing Your Pet

Amanda Bar

I’ve been the owner of a cat for the past five years, and having grown up with a sister who worked at a veterinary clinic I am well aware of the general opinion that most vets have of declawing.  For those who don’t know, declawing isn’t a matter of simply removing the nails – you’re actually surgically amputating the last bone from your cat’s toes (and yeesh, just typing that out makes me uncomfortable).  I’ve never considered declawing my cat, but as a homeowner and, more to the point, a furniture owner the thought has recently crossed my mind.

My cat has recently gone to town on the arm of my suede sofa (purchased brand-new from my brother-in-law), and though I don’t think I’d ever be able to bring myself to the point where I value the condition of my furniture over the condition of my pet, I still want to preserve what remains of my sofa.  I headed over to PetSmart this weekend and dropped $40 on a scratching pad and a “Stick Paws” pack – more than I cared to spend, but worth it to save a $300 sofa investment.

Tootles (my cat) immediately took to the scratch pad which I positioned directly in front of the sofa, but frankly I’m more interested in catching her with the Sticky Paws scratch guards.  The scratch guards appear to be nothing more than double-sided strips of sticky tape that you adhere to the problem areas on your furniture.  When you cat goes to scratch the idea is that their paws will adhere (mildly!) to the tape, resulting in a generally unpleasant experience for the clawing kitty.  I don’t know if this particular solution will prove worth the cost (you also have to replace the strips regularly), but I’m willing to give anything a try over declawing.

Does any other pet owner have similar problems, and possibly helpful suggestions?  I've heard there are a variety of other methods I could try including sprays that discourage cats from scratching, but I'm hesitant to dench my furniture in unknown liquids.

Posted by Amanda Conwell on | | Comments (2)

This, that, and cats (again)

Img_0515 If you might be tired of hearing about cat issues, then I'm tired of writing about them.  I didn't think we had another issue, even...but since I woke up to a new post concerning Tootles, I suppose we do.  Needless to say (since it has been mentioned) the cat litter box has been moved to a more out of the way location, complete with a modesty screen (see picture).  I'm pretty good at cleaning it once a day or once every other day, and if a whiff of poop is detected that simply means she has gone "boom-boom" again and it hasn't been covered properly with litter.  Fascinating reading material, I'm sure.  But when living with any type of animal, there is only so much that can be done in regards to their toilet procedures. 

I was told recently that my entertainment center wouldn't be complete without an Xbox, but seeing as I have yet to play my PS2 buying a new gaming system is the last thing on my mind.  Also, whenever I think about an Xbox the only games I can picture are 1) Halo, and 2) Dead Rising.  Being a girl-gamer who's not a particular fan of shooting games (being that I am a chicken), I have no interest in Halo; being that Dead Rising is basically a video game-version of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead, I'm dying to have it.  But seeing as the Xbox is around $280, I really have no intention of buying it.  The one draw (that being Dead Rising) is a good one, but when I'm too scared to even play the game...what's the point?  I've also been thinking: if anyone would buy an Xbox in this household, that would be Bridget.  When I was flipping the thought of buying a Playstation around in my head a few months back, she was the one to suggest I go for an Xbox instead.  Bridget has also been the one to whimper and swoon at the thought of buying Rock Band for my PS2, so we'll have to see - because while she talks it up, I have no interest or intent on buying it on my own.  Guitar Hero already frustrates the heck out of me.  But what are your guys thoughts about this?  Since I own the system, should I buy (all) the games?

Posted by Amanda Conwell on | | Comments (4)

Smelly cat, smelly cat, what have they been feeding you?

You didn't think that was the end of our cat issues, did you?

Amanda kindly moved the litter box and newly-purchased litter box screen out of the living room and into the spare bedroom, which we have now as a media room.

The door to this room directly faces my bedroom door. And what I didn't expect was that every time I walked to my room, I'd get a big 'ol whiff of cat poo.

It wasn't bad every day. Just like... every three days my eyes would water. I mentioned it to Amanda, thinking maybe it was something to do with how often the box is cleaned? I don't know these cat things. I only know dog things. And then my brother visited Friday night and said, "It smells like poop" when he went in the hallway.

You bet your sweet buns that I ran out to Publix that next morning for some deodorizers!

To be fair to Amanda, she did say a few days ago that she would buy some plug-in air freshener refills. But I couldn't wait a day longer. I was already out doing Publix shopping, and there was a buy-one-get-one free sale on Glade refills (we already had some plugs) and I also picked up some Febreze air spray.

I'm relieved to say that it worked. I plugged them in yesterday, and no more cat poo smell near my room! Sure it stinks (pun intended) to have to spend money every so often now for air fresheners, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do to avoid cat poo.

Posted by Bridget Carey on | | Comments (1)

The cat fight/catfight has been broken up

Hurray! This morning Amanda and I have talked through our concerns about her cat and I'm happy to say we came to a compromise. When it came to the cat's litter box, she had it in the living room because she said there wasn't room in her bathroom. It was an eyesore, so she said she'd get a screen to cover it.

Problem is, she bought a screen that I thought was terrible to put in our living room by our fireplace, and she didn't ask me before she bought it. It's cute, just more for a bathroom than by the fireplace. But the compromise was that we'll put the kitty litter in the den/library room so it is out of the living room. I don't know why we didn't think of this sooner.

And as for my need to clean, we'll just split the costs of cleaning supplies (specifically, the Swiffer wet pads). No need for maids and I don't have to feel that I'm bearing the burden of buying all the cleaning supplies.

Amanda's mom is visiting today. I won't be able to see her because I'm working, but I'm sure Amanda will have some shopping adventures with her.

[And if you couldn't tell, Amanda and I are now IN TECHNICOLOR! to help you tell our posts apart.]

Posted by Bridget Carey on | | Comments (3)

Bridget makes kittens cry.

So Bridget makes a post about the woes of living with a pet (something few Americans have to deal with, since NOBODY owns animals nowadays), and I have to console a weeping Tootles whose only crime is continuing to do what she's always been doing.  Perhaps Bridget should consider what I have to spend to keep up with her idiocentricities. 

Toots_in_sinkI just made an online purchase of $35 on a cat-screen so that the litter box does not offend dear Bridget's sight.  I even purchased (as stated previously) a hidden litter scoop at a slightly extra-cost ($7).  And now Bridget is suggesting that I find another way to give Tootles water, such as a kitty water fountain, even though for the past three years she's only ever insisted on drinking from the sink (and for the record, I tried the kitty fountain already).  I even offered to pay for my parent's cleaning lady to swing by once every two weeks (~$60).  I'm trying to be considerate of her feelings, while at the same time thinking she's a complete nut.

Hopefully my mother (who is visiting tomorrow, finally) can either offer a solution or otherwise assuage Bridget's OCD-impulses.  And yes, Bridget, I know: "I don't have OCD!"  I don't know how many times I have to lick the countertops in order for her to believe that it's clean by all health-department standards.  What germs there are are unavoidable!!  The cat is going NOWHERE, I tell you!

Speaking of Mommy - this brings up another topic: begging!  I love it when my mother visits/I visit my mother, because not only does she have a better style-sense than I do, but she also can be wheedled into buying me several pricey items.  Never underestimate the high-pitched power of the whine!  Hopefully her visit will provide Bridget & I with an area rug for the living room - one on which I'm sure Tootles can't wait to rub her butt on.

Posted by Amanda Conwell on | | Comments (8)

And Tootles makes three

Toots Moved my cat into the house today, and I was more excited about Bridget's reaction than my cat's.  Bridget is a borderline germaphobe, and was raised with an unusual adversity to felines.  But also, there is the concern over the added expense of an animal in the house (which, of course, I'd be responsible for).  A bag of Meow Mix isn't a big expense every now and then, but having the opportunity to purchase all new cat-goodies is a big temptation for me.  I've already browsed E-Bay looking at $45 cat bowls (kitty couture - who knew?!) and self-cleaning litter boxes.

But even I have to hesitate before clicking that delightful "Buy Now" button...because I know Tootles (my cat) doesn't really appreciate any of this.  What she appreciates is the simple equation of: her claws + my new sofa. Maybe I'm just underestimating Tootles' ability to enjoy some luxury in life, but I still haven't been able to get her to sleep in that velvet pink cat-bed I purchased for her two years ago.

In the end I opted for a demure PetsCo purchase of $22 for a plain old plastic food dish and litter box...but wouldn't it be nicer if it were rhinestone-encrusted ??  This missed opportunity will haunt me in my dreams, I'm sure of it.

Posted by Amanda Conwell on | | Comments (3)

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