Plants & Pets – The Accidental Garden

I grow quite a few garden plants from seed at this time of year. This makes space in front of sunny windows the go-to spot when my light table is covered with sprouts. Quite a few of my larger plants have ended up grouped in a spare room for a month or two. Without planning to, I created an accidental garden.

Hans, one of our cats, likes hanging out in the accidental garden too.  At first, I didn’t know he was there, and then I felt eyes watching me. Surprise!

Quick Tip & Pets – Cat Scratch Mat


My cats Rusty…


and Hans, love to sharpen their claws. This is not a good thing if it involves furniture or rugs. I’ve found a bit of catnip, a fibrous doormat, and a box of some kind makes a quick, easily moved, cat scratch mat.


Place the mat over something that will give it some height.


In our case we used a wooden box. Sprinkle the area that has a bit of a bend with catnip you’ve finely ground. The catnip sinks into the fibers. To stir this up for easier smell appeal my cats sharpen their claws against the swell of the mat against the box. Voilà  the perfect cat scratch toy, and better yet, it is about a third of the price what a store-bought mat will cost you.

Pets & Phun – Too Cute!

Burnt Sienna - Too Cute

Too Cute! I was glad I had my camera on hand when I found my cat Rusty snuggled up with two stuffed animals. He is a Maine Coon Cat, and his fur is a blend of many colors including burnt sienna, the color for today’s Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola.

Speaking of too cute…if you are the parent of young children, or have grandchildren over for sleepovers, look for the show Too Cute! on Animal Planet. The adorable baby animals and soothing narration elicits many “ahhhhs and ohhhhs,” at my house.


Pets & Quick Tip – Cat Toy Refresher


At this time of year, those of us with pets often think of them at Christmas, and purchase or make them a new toy. My pets have several catnip-stuffed toys I have crafted for them over the years. After several weeks of play, the smell and volatile oils of the catnip begins to diminish.


To remedy this, and refresh the toy with new catnip pizazz, I place the toy in a bag with a few sprigs of catnip and shake it up, also smooshing the catnip and toys together a few times, while in the bag, between my palms.


My cats are very appreciative of the little bit of additional catnip applied to the toy.

You can grow your own catnip and dry it to use all winter, or easily purchase catnip in pet stores or supermarkets.

Pets – Grumpy People and Pets


Rusty, our Maine Coon Cat, is a beautiful animal…but unfortunately when he isn’t hiding from the ringing of the doorbell or other “intrusive” noises, he is rather grumpy.


My grandsons, even though they’ve received nothing but hissing and growls from Rusty, can’t seem to give up on him. Sweet boys…they create toys for him out of pipe-cleaners and talk to him with soft voices, precious overtures in hopes of making friends with him. Rusty’s response…well the old cliche a picture says a thousand words is the perfect explanation.


Oh dear…it’s sad but true, you are never going to please some pets, just as you won’t please some people. Love them…but get over attempting to make them happy and move on. Happy Thursday to You!

Paths & Pets – Paths of Joy/ Cat Grass

A path in life that often leads to joy for many people is having a pet. I have two cats…one a large, very large, Maine Coon Cat. The other, a golden/orange tabby, is named Hans. I want to keep them as healthy as possible through what I hope are very long lives. When the younger cat begin biting the leaves of my philodendrons I knew he might be craving greens. Philodendrons are a definite danger to animals. Ingesting them can poison their system.


Available alongside flower and vegetable seed packets at this time is oat grass, or as it is sometimes labeled, cat grass. I sowed the seed thickly in three four inch plastic pots. Covered with plastic wrap, it sprouted in a matter of days. I placed a pot alongside the cat’s dishes, and was pleased when they seemed to appreciate my efforts.


I consider the photo below evidence of a successful endeavor!


After the plant is nibbled down, I replace it with another pot and place the “mowed” grass in a sunny window to hopefully recover. Here is a link explaining the “science” behind a cats need for greens.

Pet MD/Why Do Cats Eat Greens

Pets and Plants – Impromptu Cat Toy

catnip and rusty 005

Rusty, our Maine Coon Cat, has been featured in other posts. Today I am adding a photograph of Rusty with a very impromptu cat toy I made for him. I had a few cardboard spools left over from wire-edged ribbon, so I rolled those on the floor hoping he would chase them. I only received a look of disdain for my efforts, but then…aha… I had a brilliant idea.

catnip and rusty 010

I went outside and pulled a sprig of catnip from the almost dormant plant and placed it inside the cardboard spool. You can just see the tip of the plant in the photograph below.  Ecstasy! Rusty had a patch of sun and a beautiful fragrance to loll in all at the same time. This small bit of recycled cardboard and a hardy piece of catnip made for a blissful afternoon for the cat.

catnip and rusty 009