A Better Cat Bowl – Bistro

If you’ve spent any time reading my blog, you’ve likely discovered I’m a sucker for gadgets, making my life easier, and my cats. Today, I bring to you something that combines all three.

For those of you who do read my blog, you may remember back in April I raved and then shortly afterward complained about my purchase of the Wireless Whiskers Auto Diet Feeder. Despite their awful website, for $160, I really expected quality from this cat bowl, and I’m sad to say it’s absolute junk. It cracked less than a month into using it. It’s constantly telling me to reset the clock which takes about 5 minutes due to the poor interface. Top that off with their customer service being absolutely awful and humorously trying to tell me that they were better than Apple, I 100% completely regret this purchase.

Sadly, there’s not another bowl on the market that meets my needs:

– Reduce the amount of time/number of times I spend “feeding the cats”

– Prevent my overweight cat from overeating and in turn throwing up.

– Also prevent that same cat from eating the other cats’ food causing them to get nothing.

Up until yesterday, aside from the awful excuse of a product above, the only options were to let my cats free feed which wouldn’t work solve 2 of the above needs, or spend my days carefully feeding and monitoring the three as I feed them specific amounts making sure they don’t eat each others food.

Now if you read carefully, you’ll notice I said “up until yesterday.” That’s because yesterday, a campaign on Indiegogo popped up for a new and improved “smart” cat bowl called Bistro. Not only does it control how your pet eats, but it also monitors food AND water consumption as well as their weight which is sent to a companion app. For the really creepy pet owners, you can even watch your pet eat from your phone and share it with other fellow cat enthusiasts. If that weren’t futuristic enough for you, this all works, not by clunky collar tags, but by facial recognition. Yes, you read that right.

In less than 24 hours it’s nearly halfway to it’s goal, and right now you can score almost 30% off of one of these bowls if you support the effort.

As an owner of multiple pets, knowing how much or little my pets are eating even when I’m not home is a great idea, and it could alert you to problems and save your pets’ lives.

If you haven’t checked out Bistro, please do.

If you use the link below and choose to support the campaign, I’ll get $15 off my Bistro. {With a new house in the future, all the money helps.}

Click Here to Learn More About Bistro

Check out Bistro and enjoy your day everyone.

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Meet the Cats

Today, I’m back with another post about the rest of the animals in my crazy house. This week it’s the cats’ turn. I meant to post this last week, but I got a bit overwhelmed last week and needed to take a bit of a break.

We’ve always had cats at my house ever since I was born. My house already had dogs, so somehow I ended up acquiring cats. We currently have three, which I now know in hindsight is WAY too many. Given that I’m 22, living at home, and have three cats, I tend to come off as some crazy cat lady, so let me defend myself really quick, because I’m not. I like all animals. If it were possible, I’d probably have three sloths instead because I find them quite amusing and adorable, but I assume they don’t make good pets. I’d have dogs if I didn’t already have two, and I didn’t have to let them out. For my lazy lifestyle, cats just work better. I can leave for a day or two and as long as they have some food and a flushed toilet {more on that in a bit…} they’re okay. They don’t require that much care.

So that brings me to the cats I have now.

abu-mokey-kittens

The oldest is Abu, named after the monkey in Aladdin. He’s around 9 years old. I got him and his “adopted brother”, Mokey, when I was in high school. He could fit in the palm of my hand when I got him. Now he’s a massive 19lbs. Mokey sadly passed away, but Abu is still quite active for a fat cat. He’s got the personality and looks of Garfield usually, but he can be quite silly at times especially when he poses like this.

abu-silly

abu-remi

Back Camera

After Mokey passed away, I felt Abu needed a friend. I found Skyler at a local Petsmart. She was adorable and also quite cuddly and accepting for a kitten. She came home with me a short 30 minutes later. I honestly wondered what I had done when I brought her home. Abu HATED her, and she turned into a completely different cat. It was non-stop growling for about a month until I discovered the Comfort Zone Cat Diffuser, and Abu and Skyler became friends. Abu accepted her, but unfortunately, she never really accepted anyone else in the house. She’s a few years old now, but she still hates every person in the house but me. I almost feel bad for her because she wants the attention so bad, but if anyone gets near her, she screams bloody murder and goes into full on attack mode.

Normally two cats is the magic number in our house. With only one, they tend to imitate the dogs. Two gives them a cat role model and someone to play with.

BUT… my former roommates cats ended up getting together and having A LOT of kittens. I’m not even sure what the final number was, but I ended up falling in love with one of the first four. I didn’t need another cat. I just figured I could provide a better life for him than he’d have gotten anywhere else, and I already had 2 so honestly what was one more… Apparently that one more is the magic number that makes you seem like a crazy cat lady.

chase-remi-kitten

 

In any event, I brought Chase home. Again, Abu hated him, and Skyler was confused. This time I was prepared with those diffusers though and the process went much more smoothly. Now two years later, they are all best friends. Abu has someone to cuddle with at night. Skyler has someone to run around the house with. Surprisingly, his favorite friends happen to be the dogs in the house, and now I’m not entirely sure he understands he’s a cat. He’s chewed up a number of shoes and other things in the house. He plays fetch. He sits and speaks on command. He even sits on the sofa just like the dogs and watches the birds with them.

abu-chase

all-three

So now you know the cats who have thankfully become one big happy family, so I guess I have to explain my reference to a flushed toilet earlier in this post. This is usually the part that solidifies everyone’s idea that I’m a crazy cat lady….I toilet trained my cats. Yes, I know that it’s weird. I myself still find it weird to be woken up in the middle of the night to a cat in my bathroom, but the practicality of it all outweighs the weirdness in my opinion.

Vets advise that the rule of thumb for litter boxes is 1 box per cat + 1. Well in my case, that’s a total of 4 boxes. My cats stay in my room when I’m not home, and my room is large, but not large enough for 4 litter boxes. Not to mention, can you imagine how much of a chore it would be to keep 4 of them clean! I obviously didn’t stick to that rule. They happily shared one massive box that I kept in my bathroom. Twice every day, I had to clean out the box. If I was particularly motivated, I took the old litter outside. Otherwise it went in a litter trash can until I felt like taking it out. When I wasn’t cleaning the box, I was sweeping up litter because Chase thought he needed to dig his way to China. My life, needless to say became dominated by that litter box, and I hated it.

I had heard about toilet training cat before and actually considered training one of my previous cats, but we decided against it because at the time, it would have involved my parents’ bathroom which is also accessible from our family room. I imagined someone waking up in the middle of the night or worse a guest not realizing the litter and being pretty annoyed at me so I decided against it. Things were different now though. The cats’ used my personal bathroom, and I was a bit more understanding considering I was the one dealing with the litter chaos. On a whim, I took the plunge into what ended up being one of the most worthwhile but frustrating projects I’ve ever undertaken.

Morning, day, and night, I found myself potty-potty training cats. {It’s still so freaking weird to say…} The package said it could be done in 8 weeks. I’m here to say that’s a flat out lie. Maybe it’s different with just one cat, but I’ve lost track of how long it’s been since I started. I’m on the very last step of the kit (just the seat part that held the different trays), and I really don’t see that ending any time soon. Given our downstairs kitchen sink {that we never use} or a bath mat, they still would rather use them, but I try to look at the bright side of things. I’m always mindful of what is on my bathroom floor so that it doesn’t become a place to pee or poop so now it’s always tidy. I’m not making weekly trips to Petsmart or lugging almost half my weight in cat litter up and down the stairs all the time. The money I save on cat litter can now be put to use buying them better food and other things. I’m not spending my days with litter pieces stuck between my toes. I don’t have to scoop a litter box twice a day or more, and I don’t have to see one either. A simple toilet flush is a lot easier especially when I have to ask someone to watch them when I’m gone.

So there’s my little rant on toilet training. Is it weird? Yes, totally. It makes me look like an insane crazy cat lady, but do I regret doing it? Absolutely not, because I know I’m not crazy, I’m just a lazy pet owner, and I have saved myself a lot of time and money. The convenience of it is has been so worth it.

 

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Meet the Dogs

Today is the last day of my Spring Break, and in true blogger fashion, I’ve been enjoying the morning cuddled up on the sofa with a cup of coffee and my iPad. I had planned to have today’s post be the first in a series about my room renovations, but truthfully, my room is still covered in a layer of dust from patching holes, and I’ve yet to tackle the mess. In it’s place is another post, this time introducing two of the craziest members of my household.

For as long as I can remember, my family always had animals. My parents took in a stray cat, Kitty, before I was born, and six months after I was born, they adopted a Chocolate Lab/German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) mix, Tucker, who became my “brother” as I’m an only child. I had a lot of memories with those two growing up. At one point I held a wedding ceremony where I “married” Tucker wearing a toy ring and veil, and poor Kitty tolerated all of my antics every day including playing dress up. Tucker made it to 14 years old; Kitty, the cat who my parents were advised to put down before I was born, made it to 23!

Over the years, I had many other pets. Fish, hermit crabs, cats, and of course lots of dogs. One even made it on to the local news as my university’s mascot complete with her own basketball jersey! Tucker, didn’t know it, but he paved the way for a long line of GSPs in the family. My dad fell in love with the breed. He claimed it was the best because they were bred to hunt all day and were still great family pets. They also had cool traits like super short hair, big lungs for running, and webbed toes for swimming. Of course, they also came with a TON of energy.

{We currently have two dogs AND three cats, but in an effort to not support the idea that I”m some crazy cat lady, I’m going to start with the dogs this time.}

Dexter

Dexter meeting kittens for the first time.

Dexter was the first of our GSPs. One lovely day as my dad was reading the local newspaper he ran across the local animal shelter’s Pet of the Week – a 2-year old purebred GSP. Later that day, my mom and I ventured to the shelter to see him. After 2 seconds of hearing his non-stop barking, we walked away and found another dog that was a little less quiet, Skeeter. We brought my dad back later to look at Skeeter, but he fell in love with Dexter as he passed. $16 dollars later, we had Dexter going home with us. Imagine our surprise when he didn’t make a sound at home for weeks. He was a fantastic dog, a little goofy, but fantastic, but at 7 years old, he went into organ failure, and we had no choice but to put him down. Shortly after he was gone, we decided we needed another dog in the house.

RemiPup

@ 8 weeks old

Meet Remington, the quirky, energetic one of the bunch. He came to us all the way from Ohio, and I’m sad to say that at 8 weeks old, this dog had spent more time on a plane than I have in 22 years. He was flown to us in a roundabout way from Chicago to Dallas to Baltimore in what seemed like the longest flight ever. I’m sure he was pretty terrified as well. Now he’s a bit larger at around 70lbs, but he still thinks he’s a puppy and loves to sit in laps. If he had his choice, he’d spend all day chasing tennis balls outside. He’s a bit obsessed.

German Shorthaired Pointer

Remington @ 3 years old

About a year after we got Remington, we found a listing for another GSP on Craigslist in North Carolina. Her name was Zoey and she was a year older than Remington. At the time, Remington was becoming a bit too much for our elderly rescued Chesapeake Bay Retriever, so we figured a playmate more his own age would be better. She’s a little clumsy. Tripping up the stairs and walking into walks are specialities of hers, but she’s the most lovable dog ever. Just like Remington, she also doesn’t understand that she’s 80+lbs. She also needs to be in your lap at all times.

Zoey

Zoey

From the day we brought Zoey home, the two of them have become best buds and go everywhere together. They make my life crazy, and they wake me up barking at deer and whatever else wanders onto our property, but at the end of it all, I love them dearly.

ZoeyRemiYoung

When we first brought Zoey home.

ZoeyRemiSnow

Playing in the Snow

Next week, be ready to meet the other 3 critters in the house. I’m off to enjoy the last few hours of Spring Break before I have to return to work.

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