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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Purr-ifier Makes Cat Stink a Thing of the Past

This is going to sound like a completely made up lie for the sake of this review, but I assure you it's 100% the truth:

One day, as I sat down at the sofa table that serves as a desk in my toddler's bedroom which serves as my office (because I'm fancy), Chauncey (my cat) availed himself of the litter box, which is conveniently (for him - not me) located in the bathroom right next to my office/toddler bedroom.

I'll spare you the details because I like you, but suffice it to say - the smell was bad.

Really bad.

Like, I'm-not-going-to-be-able-to-get-any-work-done bad.


But unfortunately, not getting work done isn't really an option, so as I'm often forced to do, I opened the window and pressed my face against the screen to gasp at the fresh air while I checked my email.

Now, that's not the part that sounds like a lie - I'm sure that's exactly how glamorous you envision my life to be, on the rare occasions when you bother to envision my life.

The part that sounds like a lie, but is true, is that right then I happened to open an email from Purr-ifier, the nice people with an awesome system that's reported to be a "powerful new way to control litter box odor," asking if I'd have any interest in reviewing their product. Nice timing!

"UM, YES PLEASE," I typed while holding my breath, vowing not to burn the litter box down and salt the earth where it stood until I gave Purr-ifier a chance to work its magic.

Not my actual cat.
Not my actual bathroom, either
- no way has it ever been that clean.
When the device arrived, I sent my husband in with his hazmat suit to install it. It was really fast and easy to set up - it just goes right on top of the litter box - aside from the fact that, since the cat's occasional stench prevents us from ever using that bathroom, we'd completely forgotten the only outlet in there is ON THE CEILING.

Because, as I mentioned, we're fancy.

So he draped the cord across the room and up to the ceiling (good thing the cord's nice and long!) and immediately declared the Purr-ifier was... broken.

"What? NO! It can't be!" I exclaimed, holding my sleeve over my nose to protect myself from the air in that general area.

But my husband, being a clever fellow with excellent mechanical skills, quickly discovered the problem - he just couldn't hear it. Yup, the Purr-ifier is SO QUIET, we couldn't even tell it was working!

But soon enough we could definitely tell it was working; we still couldn't hear anything, but we couldn't smell anything either.

It's been glorious.

No more checking email with my face pressed up against the window screen! The down side is I don't have an excuse for not getting any work done, but as a bonus we've gained a bathroom that you can actually use now because it doesn't smell like litter box anymore! I mean, you can use it as long as you don't plan on trying to plug in anything, like a hair dryer or curling iron, since the outlet is in the ceiling and all. But I wasn't planning on doing that anyway.

I'm not that fancy.

I was compensated for this review, but the opinions and new ability to use my upstairs bathroom are MINE, ALL MINE!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Yay, the cat is less annoying now!

I'm here to tell you the story of how cat food helped my sweet, beloved cat become slightly less annoying.

I've already told you about my occasional plans to punt Chauncey cross-country,* and why I was sorry-not-sorry for ignoring him after the baby was born, and that he'll barf at the drop of a hat if he even thinks about maybe getting stressed out.

*Not literally - please don't send me cat-loving hate mail.

Anyway, aside from barfing on the stairs and waking the baby up late at night, he also works vigilantly to irritate me first thing in the morning. For some reason he acts like I'm going to forget to feed him when I wake up, probably because I usually do, so he circles my feet and meows loudly and tries to trip me on my way to the all-important, life-giving coffee maker. It's a gigantic production, during which he acts like he's about two milliseconds from starving to death. Finally I relent and dump a can of food in his dish, and he... walks away.

He doesn't even sniff it.

So annoying.

Enter LUVSOME, a new brand of dog and cat food sold exclusively at Kroger stores. I liked them right away because their logo is cute. JUST KIDDING (although it is cute) - I liked that they've partnered with Best Friends Animal Society. In fact, each time someone - like you, hint hint - uses the hashtag #luvsome on social media, they donate a bowl of LUVSOME food to BFAS! Awesome.

Anyway, the kind folks at LUVSOME sent me a really cool "switch kit" to introduce the food to Chauncey, and I figured it couldn't hurt to try it since the worst thing that could happen is that he'd barf, which he was 100% definitely going to do anyway because he barfs all. the. time.

All he had to do was sniff the can and stay in focus.

Shut my mouth, though, because:
A) He didn't throw up AT ALL during his LUVSOME trial, which is pretty unheard of, and
B) I didn't throw up either, because somehow the wet cat food magically didn't smell like rotten bile, unlike his old food, which come to think of it might explain some of his past barfing, and
C) After whining and begging for his breakfast in the morning, he actually ate it - enthusiastically - instead of just making sure I put it in the bowl and then trotting away.

I would say actually eating the food he begged for and not barfing is a serious win, and a serious improvement in the cat-annoyance category.

But wait, there's more! Because LUVSOME knows you guys love your pets (whether they're being adorable or irritating or out of focus) too, they're going to send fun switch kits to TWO of you lucky pet-loving folks, each with a free coupon for LUVSOME and a $50 Kroger gift card.


To enter, just leave a comment below telling me something about your pet! Make sure to include your email address, and on Friday, 8/29/14 at noon EST I'll pick two winners at random (U.S. residents only - sorry, international friends, maybe you should petition you government and ask them to open some Krogers in your country?) and send an email request for your mailing address. If I don't hear back from you in 24 hours I'll pick an alternate winner. LUVSOME will handle prize fulfillment; Hollow Tree Ventures assumes no responsibility for that junk, because I don't have the prizes, okay? Easy? Easy. Good luck!

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post, but all opinions, weirdly double-jointed thumbs and Chauncey's giant clumps of gray fur are my own. Also, I'm trademarking the phrase, "Wet cat food that magically doesn't smell like rotten bile" in case I start my own pet food company some day.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Toys "R" Us connects me with K'NEX

Announcement: The amazing post you are about to read has been sponsored by K'NEX, insofar as I received cool toys in exchange for telling you about them. All opinions are my own.

Do you remember Lincoln Logs?

Of course you do, unless you were born on some planet other than Earth. They're only one of the greatest toys ever, encouraging kids to use their imagination and building skills - and NO BATTERIES.

That's right - a fantastic toy that does not make any noise.

I think I'm in love.
 photo image005_zps6003e087.jpg

We have a set from when my husband was a kid, but a lot of the pieces are broken or missing - nevertheless, my kids love building stuff over and over with the pieces we do have. My toddler, particularly, likes to build structures and then try to climb inside them.

Come to think of it, I might know how some of those pieces got broken...

Anyway, K'NEX has this Lincoln Logs Redfield Ranch set exclusive to Toys "R" Us, and they generously popped one in the mail to me so we could check it out.

Again, I'm in love.

It's super cute, easy to build, QUIET, and fun to play with. And look at those characters! No more pretending your hands are people with finger legs, walking around your Lincoln Log cabin - this ranch includes a cowboy and horse that are just the right size. It's great for that age level when babyish blocks aren't quite challenging enough, but other building toys are still a wee bit too advanced. And, as if you needed another reason to love it, too...

It comes in its own storage container.

 photo lincolnlogs_zps8063ee30.jpg

Add easy-to-clean-up to the long list of reasons to want this nostalgic, classic toy for your own kids or grandkids, and you just can't miss.

Huge thanks to K'NEX and Toy "R" Us for bringing us these fun toys, and for sending this one to me! Make sure to check out this set - and the other six K'NEX products exclusive to Toys "R" Us - when you're out shopping for the holidays!