This is the first of a series of guest posts on nearly everything under the sun, intersecting with the wonderful, wild, wild world of animals.

Kicking off the series is this post by Thea van Diepen, the Kitten Psychologist, a fellow wordsmith/language geek/multipotentialite.

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Messy GothShe waves at you from under half-combed hair so greasy you want to believe it’s just wet. There are actual smears of dirt on her face–which you realize as you manufacture an expression approaching nausea more than the intended pleasant greeting is not nearly so aesthetically pleasing as Hollywood would have you believe–and when she opens her mouth to speak to you, it smells like something died in there. Several times.

Would you let this woman take care of your pets? Continue reading

Do you get spooked by things that go bump in the night—and in the daytime, too? You know, the kinds that/who hang out with your furry friends in your private little corner of the world?

Aside from horror stories of pet sitters t(h)rashing homes or losing pets or even home invasions and peeping Toms and Tammies, is the thought of some random stranger getting 24/7 access to your property unsettling in general, Rockwell-style? Do you feel that way or is there someone else living with you who does? Are you or is your co-occupant socially anxious or selective? (As an introvert, I totally get you!) At the risk of sounding a bit like a hypocrite, I’d probably get a bit nervous letting someone go in and out of my place with my belongings and pets while I’m away, so the last thing I want for you is to feel uneasy.

In-home services by far provide the best peace of mind and the ultimate convenience for pet parents and homeowners, but to some folks, having others come to their personal space to provide services is just the polar opposite of putting their mind at ease. If you resemble that remark, what do you do in situations like this? Continue reading

As a pet care provider offering primarily overnight pet sitting/house sitting services to business and vacation travelers, as well as one of many pet industry insiders attending cross-country professional conferences at least once a year, the one common denominator we all have is the frequent travel prepping. Stuffing suitcases and backpacks isn’t something most people look forward to with a bushy, wagging tail (as it’s a pain in the tail!), but here are some ways to make it easier, faster, and not to mention cheaper! Maximize what you bring along while minimizing weight and space at the same time. Continue reading

‘Tis the season to celebrate the animal kingdom! Christmas music through the ages makes references to animals in the titles and/or the lyrics. Here’s a compilation of classical/traditional and popular Christmas pieces and tunes, courtesy of fellow musician/cat lady/blogging partner, Meri Dolevski-Lewis, in our joint cybercorner of the world, The Freethinkers. (Note: edits are mine.) Continue reading

It’s the holidays, and you’ve got a hankering for a getaway or even a pretty bad case of cabin fever. But maybe you’ve already blown your budget on a Black Friday mad shopping dash or you simply don’t have the slightest idea on what to do. Look no farther than your own backyard for some low-cost or no-cost festive fun 24/7/365—or 366 in a leap year, which happens to be just two months away at the time of this post! Continue reading

Christmas dogs and cat

The holidays are upon us. Stuffing, parties, tree lights, camera, action!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to break out a few of your favorite things, but some of them aren’t safe for your furry kids. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up singing the blues instead of some Christmas carols and pop tunes!

Just like Santa, you’ll do well by checking the below list twice—or more—for your own and your furry family’s well-being and enjoyment this season. Continue reading

Morrissey and kitty
The more you ignore me, the closer I get: totally kitty behavior. Vegan and feline fancier Morrissey totally gets it.

 

Surprisingly, cats are popular choices for pets, even more so than dogs, probably because of their independent, low-maintenance nature. However, for the uninitiated, cat care isn’t exactly easy-peasy as cats have special needs, thanks to their quirky personality. Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or a longtime pet parent bringing a kitty home for the first time, here are tips to make the transition much smoother for you and your feline friend. Continue reading

Cats just love doing their own thing, whenever, wherever, all by themselves. Everything seems to be on their own terms. They may be independent, self-sufficient, and can land and stand on all fours, but obviously, they can’t pick up the phone to call you to come over, fix themselves some chow, get their own water, and clean up their own mess.

You probably think that you can save more than a few bucks by having cat sitting visits every other day or longer, but don’t dare break Murphy’s Law. Anything can and do happen within the 24-hour period. Unless your cat is one of the video game characters with unlimited tries and 1-ups, he or she only has one life per lifetime.

Game over. Period. Continue reading

10 Random Geekified Facts on Pet Breeds

Fun, reliable pet sitting and house sitting
Pico “Piccolo” declares and celebrates the Chiweenie Heritage Month.

Fun, reliable pet sitting and house sitting.

I enjoy a great deal of cross-cultural/linguistic/literary geekery, especially when paired with the animal kingdom.

That said, I’ve compiled a few fun facts on that intersection. Impress your fellow critter lovers with this trivia list of artful doggery! Continue reading

Cat TP

Keeping our living space clean is one of those duties that we pet owners especially can’t avoid. You can use any old products to clean, but typical products don’t clean well or are even harmful. Adding more harmful stuff to get things extra clean definitely won’t help matters.

My friend and I previously worked in facilities that required some hazmat training. When you work at a factory or for some other type of company where your job involves working with chemicals, the company is legally mandated to post warnings in the form of very detailed manuals—some of which are as thick as phone books—of all the ingredients in those chemicals and all the possible resulting symptoms from their use. The chemicals in home-use cleaning products are the exact same ones that require regulation and warnings in factories. However, there is no such warning requirement placed on chemical manufacturers who sell their products for home use.

Considering the cumulative effect of toxic chemicals seeping into your system when you spend all your time cleaning with typical cleaners and using typical hygienic or grooming products for you and your pets, it only makes perfect sense to switch to natural products, especially if you have four- and/or two-legged kids scampering about in your home. Continue reading