Friday, June 29, 2018

Just another day in the Momma Kat household #ChewyInfluencer

What is the average day like in our house? Hang on and suit up! Because the fur's about to hit the fan!

EM: Ellie Mae
MK: Momma Kat
BC: Bear Cat
The Boy: Momma's fiance

{Momma gets out of bed and Ellie runs into the bedroom}
MK: Oh, brother.
EM: Momma, did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?
BC: {from the bed Momma just got up from} NO! She got up on the wrong side of LIFE! Hehehehe. I mean ... LOOK at her! Hair all over the place ... challenged in just about every way ... she's lucky she has me to ensure her survival!
{Pause as Bear sees Momma's face}
BC: Err ... not helping?
MK: Bingo.
BC: Well, technically I'm a cat. I'm not SUPPOSED to HELP.
{As Momma walks around getting dressed and getting the day started, Ellie follows closely on her heels meowing up a storm}
MK: We go through this every morning! And I've never left you ...
EM: {sniffling} You went to the Conference ... and then the OTHER Conference ... and ... you weren't here to pet me!

MK: But I always come back, right?
EM: That's not the point! I wanted your lap and you weren't here!!! I have deep, deep scars from neglect.
BC: Nah. Those are from me. I'm the SHARK!
EM: Shut up, Dumbo!
MK: Okay. Back to now. The first thing I do when I get up is try to pet you but you run away and bitch at me! EVERY DAY.
EM: I haven't had a lap for ... for ... like a catillion HOURS and I need a lap! Look at my tail! Isn't my tail pretty?! I'm a pretty girl! And a pretty girl deserves a lap! I need admiration and love ... and your lap and you shoulder ... and lots and lots of love and ... I want to purr for you and do my little dance ... and you were ASLEEP!
MK: Did someone put caffeine in your water bowl ... because you're like this every morning! Ellie, I know that The Boy gave you his lap before he left for work. It wasn't that long ago.
EM: NO! I need YOUR lap! I need YOU to admire me and tell me how pretty my tail is.. I want to climb your shoulder and hang out up there because I love you. I love you more than anything, Momma! You're the bestest thing EVER. And you were SLEEPING!!! What about me? I'm just stuck with ... with ... HIM ...
BC: I have a name, you know.
EM: I'm a NICE cat - if I can't say anything nice, I don't say it at all!
BC: Kiss up. You're only a nice cat to her face.
EM: HMPH. I'm a GOOD cat. You're just the bossy, evil, ugly, step-sister.
BC: HEY! I'm not a girl!
MK: {chuckling} The girl thing is the only thing you're contesting?
EM: Fine. Evil step-brother.
BC: Phht. Don't make me whip out my maleness. 
EM: I couldn't find it anyway.

BC: HEY! But wait a sec ... STEP brother? I can deal with that. As long as we're not actually related ...
EM: Momma! I missed you! 
MK: Ellie, you can always jump in the bed with me - you're there about half the time when I wake up anyway.
EM: Well, today I had to use the little girl's room - but I came running as soon as I heard your alarm go off. 
MK: What's the real reason you weren't there this morning?
EM: {dramatic sigh} You know how Bear lays in bed with you from the time Daddy leaves to the time you get up? Bear said it was his bed and he'd make me into an Ellie-burger if he saw me in bed! I don't want to be an Ellie-burger! I want to love my humans and prance around showing off my floofy tail for years!
BC: I did not! She's making that up!
BC: She is!
MK: You know, that's the thing with being obnoxious ... people will believe a lot of things you've done simply because they know you've done similar stuff.
EM: HA! And he told me that you'd left us here to fend for ourselves!
BC: I didn't do it! Err ...
BC: For real this time! I didn't do either! I SWEAR! Besides, both things she claimed I said were mutually exclusive so only one can be true!
BC: It just so happens that NEITHER is true!
MK: Ellie ...
EM: SEE?!?! I get in trouble for everything around here!
MK: Okay, okay ...
EM: Wait until my Daddy gets home. I'm going to tell him EVERYTHING.
BC: You're going to tell him that you told Momma that you loved her more than anything?

EM: Err ... I don't ... I WAS LONELY! 
MK: Thanks.
BC: Keep digging! You're almost to China!
EM: Do you know what it's like to be lonely, Momma? I looked for you all over the house and I couldn't find you! I was sure you'd left me!
MK: We go through this EVERY ...
BC: {to the tune of "Mary had a little lamb"}
Momma has a big fat lamb,
Big fat lamb, big fat lamb.
Momma has a big fat lamb,
Her fur is black as coal.

BC: Everywhere that Momma goes,
Momma goes, Momma goes,
Everywhere that Momma goes,
The lamb is sure to go.
BC: Lamb follows her to bitch her out,
Bitch her out, bitch her out.
Lamb follows her to bitch her out ...
MK: Okay. That's enough. I have to work.
EM: BUT!!!!!
BC: BUT!!!!

MK: Okay, okay ... you both get a few pets, but then I have to work on our blog.
{Momma pets the cats, they wander off, and Momma sits down to work ... until she hears ...}
EM: {arguing with Bear in the other room} I'm Momma's favorite!
BC: NO! I'M Momma's favorite! I'm a Momma's boy! You're not. You're a Daddy's girl! But phht. Good luck with that!
EM: I'm Momma's favorite because I'm a nice cat!
BC: Just the other day you said Momma favors me. OBVIOUSLY. Because I'M her favorite!
EM: Poor little me.
BC: Little?!?! LITTLE?!?! Little for a barge!
EM: No. I just said that Momma favors you in front of Daddy so he'd feel sorry for poor little me.
BC: That's ... err .. DIRTY! That's WRONG! You ... you ... coquette ... umm ... err ... TWO-FACED ... umm ... I'm so mad that I can't even think straight! ... 
EM: Can't think straight? What's your usual excuse? Hahahaha.
BC: Trollop! I KNEW it! You want everyone to feel sorry for you and you play the victim! My Momma's smarter than that!
EM: Well, technically, I fooled her for a couple months ...
BC: I still shudder to think of my name being called so much! You chicane! You duplicitous HUSSY... 
BC: Huh. I've got to give you credit. Sure, you're a woman ... and you can never trust one of those ... but The Boy still believes that you're sweet and innocent!
EM: {batting her eyelashes} I am!

BC: Oooh! Of all the ... hey! Come back here while I'm talking to you.
EM: Whatever. I'm hungry!
BC: That's my food bowl!
EM: Not anymore.
{The sound of crunching lasts a few minutes and then there's silence for about fifteen minutes - with the cats in the other room and Momma working at her computer}
MK: BEAR! Leave your sister alone!
BC: WHAT?!?! How in the ... we're not even in the same room as you!! We didn't even make a sound!
BC: RATS! She's growing more powerful. That's some major voodoo-whodoo. Before long, I won't be able to get away with ...
MK: I'm coming back to open the Chewy box so leave the knife alone!
BC: Phht. My claws and fangs do more damage than some sissy GIRL knife!

MK: And stop being cute!
BC: WHAT?!?! You're not even ... How did you ... Is there a camera in here?! ... HUH?!
MK: When you get in trouble you try to be cute.
EM: She's got your number! You TRY to be cute. Hahahaha. You are not me!

BC: You better stop being mean to me or my Momma will beat you up.
EM: It makes you sound like a sissy to say your Momma will beat me up!
MK: {walking into the room} Okay, okay. Knock it off!
BC: Tell SMELLIE you'd beat her up for being mean to me.
EM: Tell PEAR to bite me!

BC: Tell SMELLIE that Momma might enjoy that.
MK: I was going to open the Chewy box, but I can come back ...
BC and EM: NO!

Disclosure: We received Purina Pro Plan True Nature Natural Chicken & Turkey Entree in Gravy Canned Cat Food (3-oz can, case of 24) - for free in exchange for an honest review. Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat only shares information we believe would be of interest to our readers. The content is ours - neither Purina nor Chewy are responsible for the contents of this post.

MK: All right. Let's see what we got this time! Ooh! Purina Pro Plan True Nature Chicken and Turkey in Gravy. 
{THUNK! as Bear's "faints"}
EM: {rolling her eyes} Good grief!

MK: Oh, for the love ... No. It's chicken and turkey.
BC: {with one eye open} No tasty whole chicken?
MK: It doesn't say ... but I'm guessing not.
BC: The only chicken I'll eat are of the tasty and whole variety.
MK: You had chicken last ... uh oh.
BC: I KNEW it tasted like chicken! You tricked me!
MK: Anyway. Chewy says, "Purina Pro Plan True Nature Natural Chicken and Turkey EntrĂ©e is high-quality nutrition from real chicken and turkey, optimized for lean muscle, strength, and energy to help your cat excel from the inside out." 

BC: Wait wait wait ... GRAVY?! You had me at "gravy." I'll make an exception for this tasty, non-whole chicken. Its say it's high in protein, grain-free and includes Omega-6 fatty acids. 
EM: Phht. Like you need FATTY anything!
BC: Oh, shut up! It also says the food does not contain any added artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

MK: Ready to try it?
EM: Hurry, Momma! I'm STARVING.
MK: Open a can ...

MK: Nice chunks! Not quite as much gravy as you two usually like though ...

BC: Gimme!! Gimme!! GIMME!!!
EM: Please give it to me, Momma!
MK: Okay, you two. Here are your plates.
{The cats chow down}

EM: Nummy ... YUM! Good job with ordering Momma!
BC: {to himself} KISS UP!
MK: You didn't quite finish your plate, Ellie.
EM: It was nummy yummy, but I got full!
MK: Okay.
EM: {walking away from her plate} Time to sharpen my claws!
BC: Five ... four ... three ... two ... and she's GONE! Hello, Smellie's precious food! I'm sure she won't mind if I just sample a few bits ...
{Bear looks both ways then eats from Ellie's plate}
The Boy: BEAR! That's Ellie's plate! Eat your own food!
BC: She's so fat ...
{Bear sees The Boy's face}
BC: Okay.
The Boy: That's what I THOUGHT! HA! He listens to me!
The Boy: Time for bed!
BC: Too bad. Hehehehehe.
{The Boy leaves the room to go to bed and Bear goes back to eating off Ellie's plate}
BC: This food DEFINITELY tastes better from her plate!
MK: Looks like everyone's happy!
EM: HEY! I'm not happy! Bear's eating my wet food treat!
MK: Then eat from his plate!
BC: HEY! She can't eat from MY plate!
MK: Oh, for ... As I've said before, Chewy is easy to love: they have a wide selection of QUALITY pet products, freshness is guaranteed, and they offer fast shipping and easy returns on all orders. With orders over $49, one to two day shipping is FREE! After hearing so many bloggers talk about Chewy's fast shipping, I was eager to see the difference for myself ... and sure enough! FAST! Much faster than any other seller I've encountered. Though my favorite part is 24/7 customer service. How many times have I been up late at night shopping for cat supplies, had a question, but couldn't ask it because chat wasn't available?
EM: She's ignoring us now?
BC: Sheesh. What's HER problem? You'd think we were pains in her butt!

Interested in trying Purina Pro Plan True Nature Natural Chicken & Turkey Entree in Gravy Canned Cat Food (3-oz can, case of 24) Go visit Chewy and order a pack for your favorite feline!

Wonder what we've thought about the other products we've reviewed as part of the Influencer program? To find our past reviews you may follow this tag:#ChewyInfluencer

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Momma did WHAT to Ellie?!? #ChewyInfluencer

The Boy: Momma's fiance
EM: Ellie Mae
MK: Momma Kat
BC: Bear Cat

{The Boy walks in the front door to find Bear on the table next to where Momma works and Ellie waiting for him at the front door}
The Boy: I'm ...
EM: Daddy! Daddy! You wouldn't believe what Momma did to me!
MK: Wait a ... what did I do to you?
EM: You call me Ellie Belly like I'm mostly belly! I'm not fat!
BC: Not fat ... for a MOOSE.
MK: Bear! You're not helping. Ellie, it's a term of endearment. 
BC: Yeah! Like how I call Momma, "Doughnut butt." I mean, her butt IS pretty big, but ...
EM: And Momma favors Bear ...
BC: Well, OBVIOUSLY ... I mean, I'm me and you're ... YOU.

EM: ... even though he's ornery, cantankerous, and downright rude! I'm a NICE cat! 
BC: Nice ... for biting. Nice ... for beating up. Hahahahahaha.
MK: Bear!
BC: I was just kidding ... err ... mostly.
EM: SEE?!?! He's mean to me and he can't do anything wrong and I get in trouble for everything!
BC: Phht. Momma and I have been together for twelve years ... she knows better. After six months, I was grounded for the rest of my nine lives.
EM: You say that like it's a good thing!
BC: It is! It means she can't do anything to me no matter what I do! I'm just the cute hemorrhoid she can't get rid of.
The Boy: There's nothing CUTE about a hemorrhoid. They're very painful ...
The Boy: Huh. Just like you.
BC: I'm the SHARK! Naaaah NAH. Naaaah NAH. N-AH N-AH N-AH ...
The Boy: I suddenly have to use the bathroom.
{The Boy runs back to the bathroom and slams the door}
EM: I know in your mind NICE and CAT are opposites. An oxymoron.
BC: HEY! No one talks about my Momma that way.
EM: What?
BC: You called Momma an oxen-moron! I mean ... she's not perfect ... and she's big ... but that seems a little harsh ...
EM: SEE?!?! He's mean to everyone and he can't do anything wrong and I get in trouble for everything!

MK: Ellie, what did you get in trouble for?
EM: Umm ... err ... but Bear didn't get in trouble and he does bad stuff.
BC: Not as bad as I'll do to you later.
MK: I'm just confused because you haven't described anything new.
{The Boy walks back into the room}
EM: I can't even think about what you did. It's traumatic. 
EM: I don't want to talk about it. It ... {sniff sniff} hurts too {sniff sniff} much.
MK: Oh, for crying ...
The Boy: Tell me what she did!
EM: I'll fight the pain ... I was thinking of today when she pushed me off her lap.
The Boy: Why did you push my sweet Ellie-girl off your lap?!
MK: I didn't push her off my lap. But I love how the cats are YOUR cats when they're good.
BC: Phht. Because if she couldn't have me in her lap, she didn't want any cat to be there.

MK: Bear. You're not helping.
BC: Phht. I'm a CAT ... I'm not supposed to help!
The Boy: You pushed her off your lap?
MK: NO! She was sitting on one of my legs and purring wildly. Somehow she lost her footing.
EM: I was pushed!
BC: Then stop being a pushOVER. Hahahahaha.
{Silence as Bear looks at Momma}
BC: Not helping?
EM: So I did a belly flop to the floor!
BC: Thank goodness you have so much padding there!
MK: You left out the part where your back claws dug into my inner thigh as you struggled to get your balance.
EM: Everything's about you! I was just being a sweet girl and you pushed me off your lap!
MK: I did not!
EM: And that's not even the WORST part!
BC: You farted?
EM: NO ...
BC: Momma farted? I didn't hear the foghorn ... How are we still aliv ...

EM: STOP INTERRUPTING ME! I meant the worst part was Momma chasing me around because she wanted to be sure I was okay. The faster I ran, the more determined she was. I'm going to have nightmares! She chased me around like a cackling donkey with a serious mental health issue.
BC: I know that beast! Every time Momma almost steps on my tail or walks into me, she's like a crazy-pants afterward chasing me around. It's enough to make you think she might filet you and put you in a bun like a hot dog.
EM: But we're cats!
BC: FINE! Put us in a bun like a hot cat!
BC: Huh. That doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
EM: And ... and ... then Bear jumped me and something tiny was poking me ... and I couldn't get him off me! I was sure I was going to die by small cuts.
BC: HMPH. My equipment is not small. Nothing about me is small!
{The Boy snickers}
BC: That sounded better in my head!
MK: Bear ... you were POKING Ellie?!? With what exactly?
BC: It's unmentionable.
EM: HA! I told you it was so small it's unmentionable.
BC: HEY! Are we referring to my male-goodness?
EM: I'm not sure there's anything good about your male-ness. But I was talking about your claw. It was poking me.
BC: Wait ... wait ... WAIT! Is that this month's Chewy box in your grabby hands?

The Boy: It was on the porch.
BC: Huh. You ARE good for something.
The Boy: Thank you ... 
{Pause as he thinks}
The Boy: I think.
BC: I suppose you're going to expect a tip.
The Boy: That's really nice ... but not really ... last time you gave me a tip ...
BC: My tip - LEAVE. ME. ALONE. 
MK: Bear! That's not nice! He was kind enough to bring the Chewy box in. You can thank him.
BC: Phht. It's his job to be the errand boy. You don't have to thank someone for doing his job! I don't expect thanks for keeping all of you in line! But do I expect endless waves of appreciation?
BC: Hmmm. I mean, it would be nice to get a "thank you" every so often. I don't get ANY appreciation!
EM: Thank you for being a jerk!
BC: Umm ...
MK: No more name calling! 
BC: Whatever you say, Doughnut Butt.
EM: SEE! He's rude! And all you did was love him. I mean ... you pushed me off your lap ... but what's HIS excuse?
MK: {sigh}. It never ends.
BC: Why are you nattering on when we've got food to try?
MK: I only said THREE words! That's not nattering! You're the one that won't shut up!
BC:  I'm ready for work, Momma!
MK: Like the other day when you and Ellie robbed me blind of treats - but I didn't get one usable picture before I realized the con.
BC: Phht. I don't work for my food. I'm so tabby-licious that it falls at my paws.

EM: Sitting on it doesn't count.
BC:  You would know. Hot pot. Meet meddle.
EM: I think you mean, "Pot. Meet KETTLE."
BC: Phht. I'm hot ... you meddle.
EM: If you're going to use a colloquialism, at least get it right!
BC: Phht. Saying a colloquialism as everyone else says it is not very imaginative. I mean, if copying is all the intelligence you can muster ... true intelligence is coming up with one's own!
EM: You could just admit that you got it wrong instead of trying to make excuses.
BC: Phht. I'm never WRONG. WRONG is for peasants and stupid women-folk.
BC: Too far?
*** What did get from Chewy this month? And how does the story end? We'll post the rest of the dialogue on here five minutes after this half ***

MK: Just a bit. I need to take pictures of what we got this month from Chewy.
BC: Are you done yet?
MK: Bear, I haven't even gotten my camera out yet.
BC: Are you done now?
MK: I haven't even opened the box yet!
BC: Well ... DO SOMETHING instead of talking and making excuses!

Disclosure: We received Instinct by Nature's Variety Grain-Free Minced Recipe with Real Tuna Wet Cat Food Cups (3.5-oz, case of 12) - for free in exchange for an honest review. Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat only shares information we believe would be of interest to our readers. The content is ours - neither Nature's Variety nor Chewy are responsible for the contents of this post.

MK: This month, our first product to try is Instinct by Nature's Variety Grain-Free Minced Recipe with Real Tuna Wet Cat Food Cups. Chewy says, "Guided by the belief in raw, this recipe unlocks your cat’s ability to thrive. It’s thoughtfully balanced with wholesome foods, like real tuna plus fruits and vegetables, with a delicious minced texture in a savory gravy. The result is a tasty, high animal protein diet that promotes maximum digestibility, strong muscles, and a healthy coat and skin." The food also doesn't contain any grains, potato, wheat, corn, soy, by-product meal or artificial colors and/or preservatives. And I always feel better with high protein foods for you two.
BC: The best way to ruin tuna?! Use the words "wholesome" and "fruits and vegetables." Are you done yet?

{Momma snaps away with the camera}
MK: Yeah, the fruits and vegetables part is a little sketchy - as we've said before, cats are obligate carnivores that don't require fruits and vegetables for balanced nutrition - but it doesn't really hurt either.
BC: Are you done yet? I'm wasting away!

MK: I'm taking pictures as fast as I can.
{Momma snaps away with the camera}
BC: No. You're blabbing on about the food instead of giving it to us! NO TIP FOR YOU!!! The service in this joint is really getting incompetent. There goes the neighborhood!!! It should be about ME! MEMEMEMEMEMEME! FEED ME! Scoop my litter box! Pet me! Play with me! And don't make me wait! Are you done NOW?! 
EM: Be patient!!! And get out of the way of the pictures, DUMBASS!

MK: Almost done ...
{Momma snaps away with the camera}
BC: Whenever you please, woman!
{Momma snaps away with the camera}
MK: One close up ...
{Momma snaps away with the camera}

MK: Okay. That's enough.
BC: It's about time!!!
MK: Let's try this!
{Momma opens one of the cups and portions the contents on two plates - one for each cat}
MK: I know you two prefer two proteins in your wet food ... and this just has tuna. Plus, it didn't come in a variety pack of flavors - so we have twelve of the same thing. It might take a while to get it all eaten since you and Ellie don't like the same thing over and over. Now to take a few pictures ...
{Momma snaps away with the camera}

MK: Look at that rich gravy! The chunks are pretty big ... and sure enough! You can see the greens! 
BC: {AHEM!} I'm down here! I can't see anything! Get with it, woman! FOOD. NOW. Stop describing it and GIVE IT TO ME!
MK: Okay ... okay! 
MK: {setting down Bear's plate} Here you go, Bear.
{Pause as Bear sniffs}
MK: {setting down Ellie's plate} Here you go, Ellie.
EM: Oooh! TUNA! I LOVE tuna! I LOVE gravy! YUM!

{The cats are too busy to notice Momma taking pictures as they continue to scarf down the new food}
BC: Nomnomnomnomnom ...

EM: OOH! This is ... nomnom ... GOOD! ... nomnom ... vegetables ... nomnom ... or ... nomnom ... not.

{Pause as Momma watches the cats chow down}
MK: Looks like everyone's happy!
{Pause as Momma sees both cats finish eating}
MK: Not quite a clean plate ... but a hit nonetheless. 
MK: As I've said before, Chewy is easy to love: they have a wide selection of QUALITY pet products, freshness is guaranteed, and they offer fast shipping and easy returns on all orders. With orders over $49, one to two day shipping is FREE! After hearing so many bloggers talk about Chewy's fast shipping, I was eager to see the difference for myself ... and sure enough! FAST! Much faster than any other seller I've encountered. Though my favorite part is 24/7 customer service. How many times have I been up late at night shopping for cat supplies, had a question, but couldn't ask it because chat wasn't available?
{An hour passes}
{Momma walks into the bedroom where she finds Bear passed out on the bed, snoring}

MK: Look! He must've tired himself out!
The Boy: Being obnoxious.
The Boy: He is awfully cute ...
MK: ... when he's sleeping.
The Boy: One ALMOST can't remember that he's a pain in the butt while he's awake.
MK: Almost.
BC: {opening one eye} One more word and you'll have a real pain in your butt. My shark never sleeps.
The Boy: We'll just give His Royal Sharkiness some peace and quiet. 

Interested in trying Instinct by Nature's Variety Grain-Free Minced Recipe with Real Tuna Wet Cat Food Cups (3.5-oz, case of 12)? Go visit Chewy and order a pack for your favorite feline!

Wonder what we've thought about the other products we've reviewed as part of the Influencer program? To find our past reviews you may follow this tag:#ChewyInfluencer

Friday, June 22, 2018

So your cats are bored. Now what?

Disclosure: We received two Art of Paws cat shelves for free in exchange for an honest review. Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat only shares information we believe would be of interest to our readers. The content is ours - Art of Paws is not responsible for the contents of this post.

If you missed the first post in our series about boredom in cats, you may find it here: Are your cats bored?

The problem.

When cats are bored, they create their own adventures - most of which aren't appreciated by the people they live with. So you finally admit that, after investigating his behavior, your cat might be bored. What do you do? There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Feline boredom is not a "one and done," kind of thing. But armed with patience and a little creativity, you can find what interests your cat.

We can understand our cats better by thinking in terms of ourselves. Of course, anthropomorphism can always lead us astray. We're not cats and they can't talk to us (though I'd argue they talk to us in showing they're bored) - so all we can do is speculate.

Do all humans do the same thing to relieve boredom? If you ask fifty people what helps them relieve boredom, you'll get fifty solutions. Yes, some might look a bit alike. Two people might love to travel - but one might prefer to see new things and discover the world they don't know and the second might just revel in luxurious accommodations and the world they know. Two people might mention cars - but for one of them, it might be about building them - while the second person might enjoy driving them. Entertainment has infinite variation (music, books on tape, computer, television). What we do to alleviate boredom often changes over our lifetime and from time to time without justification. About six months ago, I started working jigsaw puzzles. I spend most of my free time doing that. But at different times of my life, I've used logic puzzles, and reading the news, computer game and reading books. I can't isolate what exactly precipitated the change. Cats are similar. Bear LOVED spending time on his cat tree for ten years - but he all of a sudden stopped sleeping on it. At first, I was alarmed - thought something might be wrong. The vet couldn't find anything wrong with him. But now, he has a couple cat beds that are his favorite. He's also back to sitting in his window which he didn't do for a good six months. My point is that what works is dynamic and might change without cause (that we can see anyway).

Many people want to reduce cats to the sum of their instincts - but this underestimates them. I don't believe that instincts are the only things that drive their behavior. I don't think cats' behaviors are solely explained by instinct. So the answer to boredom has to be about more than just instincts as well. Bear's always been a "meet me at the front door" kind of cat. But I recently got home from a Conference and he stubbornly refused to come out and let me greet him. If history is any indication, his instinct is to connect with me. But in this case, he didn't. It's almost like he over-rode his instincts to his own end (showing his displeasure at me being gone). Another good example with Bear is his tendency to sit on the table next to where I work and just stare at me. He doesn't want to be petted (and he'll bite if you try) and not necessarily even attention, he doesn't want food or to play (tried both). So his instincts don't explain his behavior. He just wants to.

Us humans tend to approach the problem in bored felines un-creatively. We buy them a cat tree - and if that doesn't work, we figure they weren't really that bored. But just like humans with their multitude of solutions, cats are the same way. To find the solution to a feline's boredom, you must try products with different functions - different textures. Just like us, they have their preferences (some people prefer a soft bed - others more firm; some people prefer silk sheets but others won't use them; some people like recliners while other prefer a couch; and we all vary in what human "toys" we prefer). Don't be afraid to fail until you find the solution that speaks to your cat. Remember, feline boredom means the cat is making his own adventures - it behooves you and the cat to get to the bottom of the issue. 

Another thing I've learned ... cats can surprise us. There have been solutions I was sure my cats would love - like the Art of Paws cat shelves - and they didn't. Same thing with toys - I've bought several thinking the cats would LOVE them - but no. And it works the other way too - sometimes they prefer things that surprise me. Anyone who's bought a cat a fancy toy knows the milk ring or the box can warrant more attention than the product itself. So if you're stumped in trying to find the solutions to your cat's boredom, try everything and anything. They will surprise you. And like humans, the variation in what interests them is huge. Trial and error. Not being afraid to fail. Working to make our cats happy and healthy.

We shared this graphic in our last post (Are your cats bored?- but we're using it as a launching point to specifics. Let's take a closer look at our options.

~~~Perches - for the view and climbing. [vertical space AND to trigger instincts]~~~
*** Scratching posts (vertical or horizontal; scratching surface of carpet, sisal, or cardboard), 
window shelves or towel-covered window sills, 
cat trees, 
*** Cat shelving units (you may even make you own with carpeted shelves, cut PVC tubing, old bookshelves), like the Art of Paws cat shelves.
*** Windows (with bird feeders in view).
*** Elevated cat walks, bridges, and flaps.
*** Cat appropriate TV programs (like birds).

*** Food puzzles.
*** Catnip.
*** Wand toys.
*** Motorized toys.
*** Laser pointer.
*** Boxes, paper bags, packing paper, sheets.
*** Think simple! My cats go nuts chasing my hand under the covers!
*** To keep Bear entertained, I ventured into homemade toys. You may read the details here: Claws and Fangs at Play (homemade edition) (the pictures are old and not up to current standards - but you get the basic idea).
*** There are a ton of screensavers and computer programs out there that you can set up for your cat.

~~~Catios, netted in enclosures, harness and leash training~~~

Our experience.

Hmm ... what's this? With no one around, I should see what's up. ESPECIALLY before Bear shows up and claims it.

EM: What it is?
BC: Beats me. Doesn't smell like food ..

BC: Where did this come from?
EM: Momma said we'd love it. She can't wait to put it together!
BC: MOMMA'S putting it together? Is 911 on speed dial?
BC: I bet you tonight's wet food treat that we won't see it before the end of our nine lives.
EM: I'll just call the ambulance now.

Momma said I'll enjoy this ... but where are the tuna?!

The shelf was pretty easy to install. A drill and screwdriver are required - everything else is included with the shelf. The beauty of the dark wood surprised me ... these shelves are high quality.

First, you mark the wall through the three holes in the back of the shelf - this allows you to make sure the shelf will be even. The part of the shelf attached to the wall is pretty thick - and the holes are small. We struggled to mark the wall through the holes themselvea. Next, drill a hole in the wall, hammer a plug into the hole, and then screw the shelf to the wall. I was relieved to not have to worry about the locations of the studs to mount the shelf.

Originally, we got one shelf and one cat stair to try out. We had problems mounting the stair (it wasn't as stable as I would've liked for our thirteen pound kitties). We removed it from the wall and Art Of Paws was kind enough to send us a second shelf to use instead.

Below is the final set-up after removing the stair and mounting another shelf. As you can see, this set-up allows multiple ways up to the first shelf. I know my cats each jump a little differently - so I wanted to give them a couple options based on their preferences (Ellie likes jumping from hard surfaces like the cat tree platform; Bear prefers soft surfaces like the couch).

Our thoughts.

I was SO incredibly excited to try the cat shelves because Bear's always loved to climb.

I was sure he'd LOVE them. Especially as a way to get away from his sister - who's not a climber.  He stopped climbing to the top of the cat tree about a year ago, but the vet couldn't find any explanation. I was hoping the shelves might re-ignite his love of climbing and looking down on us lowly and adoring servants. But case in point to what I talked about above - Bear surprised me by not showing much interest in the shelves without encouragement (read: TREATS). I'm going to keep working with them and try to increase their interest in the shelves - toys, treats - it might just be a matter of showing them how to climb the shelves. At the very least, I'm going to keep the shelves. They are gorgeous - and if I can't get the cats to use them, I will find photographs or other things to store on them (which means Bear will probably be interested in the shelves when he thinks they're off limits). Finding the solution to feline boredom is trial and error. Some boredom-relievers might require more "training" than others. You can't just set something out and expect your cats to be interested.  Plus, you must give yourself permission to fail and get right back up again and try something else. So far, these shelves haven't worked for us. That's okay. 

I was impressed that the shelves held solid for both my thirteen pound cats. I was afraid I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving them up - but with what I've seen so far, there's no need to worry.

As I said in our last post on boredom - Bear acts out when he's bored. The more forbidden the activity, the more likely he is attempt it. If he's not supposed to be there - you'd better believe he'll find a way. He seems to love to prove that he can. 

Ellie is harder to read. She doesn't act out - but she'd run from lap to lap all day long if she could. She doesn't strike me as being bored - but I think I just need to take a closer look at the signs.

What did the cats think?
What's up here?!? Oh, PLEASE let it be tasty whole chickens ...

Wait until Momma sees me up here! She'll have a heart attack.

Off with their heads! Hmm ... COOL!!

I see Paris ... I see France ... I see Momma's doughnut-sized underpants. Hahehe.

The Male Princess surveys his kingdom and looks down on the peasants! Now I just need a tiara!

WHOA ... I'm pretty far up! Umm ... note to self ... DO NOT look down!

BC: Ooooh! Look at the view! I can see the desert from here! No, wait. That's my litter box
BC: Ooh! A great buffalo! No ... a barn! Oh. It's just Smellie.
EM: Come down here and say that to my face!
BC: Ummm ... this spot is looking even better than before.

[Sounds of record warping] Wait a ... I'm ALLOWED to be up here?! I don't THINK so! I'm not giving anyone the satisfaction!

Hmph. TAKE THAT! I'm going to climb where I'm not allowed to! The fridge? Bookcase? Closet?

Ummm ... Momma?!?

EM: HELP ... Momma?!? MOMMA?!? GET ME DOWN!!! 
EM: Err ... Momma? Your lap looks like it needs me.

Your turn.

Tell us what you think! Do your cats show signs of boredom? Have you tried to find a solution? How easy was it to find something that works? If you're interested in this product, the Art of Paws Cat Shelf can be bought through their page and is available on Amazon.