North America’s first Cat Café in NYC April 24-27, 2014


Cat Cafe Purina ONE NYC

I know that my readers are from across the country – even outside the United States. Normally I don’t post things that are “area specific”, however I think this is too cool not to share with readers. Even though this specific event is being held in New York City I hope that people from around the country might take this fabulous idea and run with it and create one in their town.

Have you ever heard of a Cat Café? They are popular in Asia and Europe. A Cat Café is café set up in a cat theme AND with actual cats. Patrons generally pay of nominal cover fee and can interact and play with the cats. Think of it as “rent-a-cat” in a café setting.

Initially I thought this was an odd idea. When I want to play with cats I can go to my local animal shelter. They usually welcome people coming in to socialize with the animals. But then I got to thinking about it more and it sounds like a lot of fun. I wouldn’t mind sitting down to enjoy a “cat’achino” and playing with adorable cats. It actually sounds fun. I think this is a great idea for people who love cats but who are not allowed to own any due to rental agreements or an allergic family member.

Purina ONE is bringing the first Cat Café to North America. It’s located in New York City and will be open from April 24th to April 27th (2014). I asked if this was going to be a permanent attraction but I was told it’s only for a limited time.

Cat Cafe

Why a Cat Café? Purina ONE hopes this will help to encourage conversation about cat health among cat owners and cat lovers alike. What a better way to have such a discussion then over a cup of coffee surrounded by cats.

Patrons of the Cat Café by Purina ONE will be spending time with adoptable cats from North Shore Animal League America and learning about cats, cat health and the Purina ONE 28 Day Challenge.

I LOVE that they are using adoptable cats in the café. I hope that all the beautiful cats find their “forever homes” thanks to the Cat Café. This is why I hope the idea takes off here in the United States, in hopes that it can be a way to help find homes for cats (and perhaps even dogs) that are found in overpopulated shelters across the country.

What is the Purina ONE 28 Day Challenge? The Purina ONE 28 Day Challenge is an easy, meaningful way to make a difference in your cat’s health; by switching to Purina ONE dry formulas for 28 days, cat owners should see visible differences in their cat’s health, like bright eyes, shiny coats, healthy energy levels, etc. It’s simple to do, just switch your cat’s food to a Purina ONE dry formula and go to www.purinaONE.com/OneSmartChange to track your cat’s progress. You can even find a coupon on the site to help get you started.

Cat Cafe New York City


The Cat Café by Purina ONE is located at 168 Bowery, New York, NY 10002. They are open from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM daily.

Complimentary coffee beverages and snacks will be offered for patrons who stop by.

There will be several speakers throughout the duration of the Cat Café by Purina ONE to focus on different aspects of cat health, behavior and their own personal experiences with cats. The schedule includes:

  • Thursday, April 24
    • 11:30 a.m.: Carrie Ann Inaba will share her experience with the 28 Day Challenge.
    • 5:30 p.m.: Dr. Deb Greco, Purina Veterinarian, will discuss how cat owners can confirm their cat’s health every day.
  • Friday, April 25
    • 11:30 a.m.: Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., Certified Animal Behaviorist, will discuss cat behavior and communication as a window into cat health.
    • 5:30 p.m.: Linda Griggs, Artist, will discuss how cat health inspired her to design the cat structures within the Cat Café.
  • Saturday, April 26
    • 11:30 a.m.: Christina Travalja, Shelter Director, will discuss the benefits of cat adoption and maintaining a happy, healthy cat once at home & Dorit Shevach-Shani, Feline Behaviorist with North Shore Animal League America, will discuss how to acclimate a newly adopted feline to unfamiliar surroundings.
    • Noon – 4 p.m.: NSALA Cat adoption event.
    • 5:30 p.m.: Valerie Shaff, Photographer, will discuss how she highlights the beautiful signs of health in the cats she photographs.
  • Sunday, April 27
    • Adopted cats are picked up to go to their forever homes.

If you would like to learn more please visit www.PurinaONE.com/CatCafe.

You can also check it out “virtually” with streaming video found at http://new.livestream.com/PurinaONE/CatCafe.

If you happen to be in the NYC area this week and have the opportunity to stop by the Cat Café by Purina ONE I would LOVE to hear about your experience. Please feel free to comment and tell me about it.

What do you think of the Cat Café idea? Does it sound like a place you would visit? What about a Dog Café or Small Pet Café? Do you think it’s a unique way to encourage adoptions?

NYC Cat Cafe Purina ONE


*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers and to encourage pet adoption.

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New Grooming Service at PetSmart – Pet Expressions


Espn 1

Espn before being groomed.

We have a dog named Espn (pronounced Es-pin). He’s named after the sports channel ESPN. Can you guess which family member named him? LOL! If I had my way his name would have been Obi, as in Obi Wan from Star Wars. We already have cats named Anakin and Padmé.

Espn was adopted from our local animal shelter. All of his brothers and sisters were brown with short hair. Espn was the only puppy who was white with longer hair and a pudgy belly. He looked like a Panda. We let our son pick out any puppy he wanted and he chose Espn.

I still remember the man at the shelter who told us NOT to adopt Espn because he would need to be groomed often and that could be expensive.

We wouldn’t trade Espn for any other dog in this world. We love him dearly – but – the man wasn’t kidding about the grooming issue. Espn needs to be groomed every other month.

We were told Espn was part Maltese, part Rat Terrier. We jokingly refer to him as the “hairy rat dog”. LOL!

Espn has been going to PetSmart to get groomed since he was a few months old and had his first puppy grooming. Since then he’s being faithfully going to PetSmart to be groomed every other month (in the winter months we extend it a bit longer). We used to get him trimmed. Now we get him shaved because he looks better and it lasts longer.

Espn 2

Espn before going to PetSmart today to be groomed

I love taking Espn to PetSmart to get groomed because they offer so many services including brushing your dog’s teeth, clipping their nails (or filing them down), wash, trim, shave… anything you need to get your pup looking their best. Not only that the people who work in the grooming salon have always been wonderful to work with and they take great care of Epsn, even if he’s not happy to be there.

Another thing I love about taking Espn to PetSmart to get groomed is that they are open early and have weekend hours. Today for example I was able to drop him off at 7:30 AM. They opened at 7:00 AM. They are open from 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM Monday through Saturday, and 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM on Sundays (check your local store for their hours). That means I can get Espn groomed whenever it’s convenient for me.

Grooming time ranges from 2-3 hours usually.

PetSmart has added a new grooming service to their menu – one that is sure to be a hit with many customers. It’s called Pet Expressions.


The new Pet Expressions service includes chalking, stenciling and feathering – a safe, creative way to show off dogs’ personalities with temporary fur color accents and accessories.

The three core services of Pet Expressions build on the popularity of human-inspired trends. Everyone from celebrities to kids’ classmates has been spotted with decorative feathers or streaks of color in his or her hair.

  • Chalking: This colorful, non-toxic product has a composition similar to sidewalk chalk that can be easily washed out of a dog’s fur. Available in a variety of hues, a typical application will last from one to six days and is best for dogs with longer fur. Prices range from $2 for a streak and $6-15 for custom ears, tails or other areas.
  • Stenciling: This pet-safe, temporary color is sprayed onto shorter fur in fun shapes such as stars, hearts and paw prints that will change with seasonal trends. They are easily removed with soap and water. Prices are $4 for one stencil, $6 for two and $8 for three.
  • Feathers: Similar to a human’s hair extension, these ethically sourced feathers are handmade into designs in the U.S. and affixed into dogs’ fur to withstand brushing or bathing. Prices are $10 for one feather and $18 for two.

Pet Expressions will be available at almost all grooming salons in PetSmart stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Trained PetSmart groomers can help select the style, colors and placement of chalk, stencils or feathers that will show up best on dogs’ fur. All dogs must be 12 weeks or older, and is currently only available for dogs. Pet parents can share their pets’ experience with Pet Expressions with hashtag #petexpressions.

I took Espn in earlier today for a much needed grooming. We held off getting him groomed because we normally get him shaved and we didn’t want to shave him with the bitterly cold winter we were having.

Espn was washed and conditioned, had his nails trimmed and he was shaved (yeah!). He looks like an entirely new dog. I prefer him this way.

I also had Espn try out the new Pet Expressions service. We had him “tattooed” as our groomer called it. He was chalked using stencils that I selected from a book. I opted for a football because my husband is a huge football fan and a star. I was hoping the football would have been done in brown and I requested the star to be done in blue, but she might not have heard me because it was a bit chaotic because Espn was fighting me (he didn’t want to get groomed). It’s OK. The football is blue (my hubby is a huge Dallas Cowboys fan) and the stars are a neon orange (I’m surprised they could get the orange so bright like that).


Bright, neon orange stars


Espn’s football stencil

I asked if the chalk would come off on the furniture. I was told it shouldn’t but if it did just wipe it off with a little water.

A smidgen of chalk came off on my son on the ride home from the groomer. He simply dusted it off his jacket like he would regular chalk dust. It didn’t leave a mark or a stain.

I’m not sure how long the chalk will last. I’m assuming a few days as long as he doesn’t get wet.

Some people might question why you would want to add color or stencil images on your dog. It’s the same reason why people like to dress their pet up. It’s just something fun to do. Plus it’s only temporary and it’s not harmful and it’s non-toxic.

I think stenciling or chalking your dog would be fun to do for the holidays (red, and blue on a white dog for the 4th of July, green and red for Christmas, a heart for Valentines Day, a shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day…). It would be fun to have your dog where your favorite teams colors (they have sports balls stencils). Or maybe chalk your dog to match your wedding colors if you are having your pet be a part of your special day.

The services are not expensive. Chalking stars at $2.00 and the stencils start at $4.00. Feathering is a bit more ($10) because it’s more involved. With five cats I don’t think putting feathers on my dog is a good idea. LOL!

Espn #PetExpressions

The flash from the camera washed out the stars a bit. He looks so much better after he’s been groomed.

You can see a lot of examples of Pet Expressions on PetSmart’s Pinterest page.

Please remember that regular grooming leads to a happier and healthier pet, plus happier pet owners. You local PetSmart groomers can evaluate your dog and help address issues like matted fur, problem nails, bad breath, skin problems and shedding.

For more information about salon services, or find a PetSmart groomer near you, visit pets.petsmart.com/services/grooming.

You can also visit www.PetSmart.com. Look for PetSmart on the various social media sites and don’t forget to check out the hashtag #PetExpressions to see other people’s pets.

Espn is much happier now that he's groomed.

Espn is much happier now that he’s groomed.


*I received a free salon service in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.


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March 30th is Take a Walk in the Park Day (giveaway ends 4/8/14)



Did you know that March 30th (tomorrow) is Take a Walk in the Park Day? Sadly my family and I won’t be able to participate due to a prior family commitment upstate, not to mention it’s going to be cold and it’s suppose to rain. That’s OK though. Once the weather is nicer my family will be spending a lot of time at local parks. We LOVE walking around local parks. Two of our favorites have lakes that we walk around. They are long walks (one is 3 miles around) but well worth it. It provides us with plenty of fresh air, exercise and uninterrupted time as a family (it’s not always easy to text and walk).

I know there is someone else in my family who loves to take long walks in the park – our dog Espn. Normally we walk him around our condo complex but from time to time he loves to go to a park to walk around for a change of pace and scenery.

When you are heading out to a local park to take your family and your dog on a long walk you’ll need to bring along some essentials.

Petmate sent my family – or should I say our dog Espn (pronounced Es-pin) some must have products to make a walk in the park more enjoyable for him.

The #1 thing you need to take your pet to the park is a leash. Most states that I am aware of have leash laws. Not only are they in place for the safety of your pet (you wouldn’t want him/her to run in the road and get hit by a car) but also for the safety of others. Even if you have the world’s sweetest dog ANY dog – big or small – has the potential to hurt, or even kill someone. Last year 32 people were killed by dog attacks. Eighteen of those deaths were children and fourteen were adult victims.

Petmate leash

Petmate has a great portable retractable leash. It fits in the palm of your hand and it’s small enough to tuck inside your tote bag, pocket or the glove compartment in your car.

It even has a wrist strap for extra safety. I can’t tell you how many times our other leash slipped out of my hands when walking Espn. I like knowing that even if I accidently drop the leash I’ll still have control of it because of the strap.

There is also a finger “control” that can lock the leash in place allowing your dog to go a certain distance away from you rather than the entire 10′ that the leash extends to. It’s also ideal for dogs up to 40 pounds.

The leash is also light weight which I like. Our other one is big and bulky.

Another must have product when taking your pet out to the park (or on a walk) is doggie poop bags and a handy dispenser.

I received a dispenser and some doggie poop bags from Petmate. This dispenser is unique in the fact that it comes with a strap to easily fit around any leash. With our other dispenser I had to use a hair rubber band to attach it to the handle of the leash. Over time the rubber band wears out and snaps and I have to keep replacing it.

Petmate leash and dispenser

Just like people, dogs get thirsty too. You want to make sure that your dog has plenty of clean, fresh water. Please don’t let your pup drink from a lake or puddle. You don’t know what bacteria or diseases could be lurking in the water. Plus you have to take into consideration that wild animals drink from them too and there is no telling what they could be exposing your dog to. It’s best to bring a bottle of fresh water and serve it to your dog when he/she is thirsty.

Petmate’s travel bowl is a great way to serve water (or even food) to your pet. It’s made from silicon and collapses when not in use. When you are ready to use it simply pop it opened and it expends to a 3 cup size.

There is even a little tab on it that you can use to attach it to your belt or backpack from easy accessibility. It’s also flat enough to pop into a backpack or tote bag or even your car’s glove compartment.

I always keep a bowl in my car and my husband’s car. You never know when the urge to take Espn out will hit and we always want to make sure we’re prepared. Plus I like to have a bowl handy for when I take our dog to the groomer. He’s always thirty when he leaves and I like to give him a drink of water before hoping in the car to head back home.

Petmate Bowl

One other nifty product that I hadn’t really thought of before is a clean place for your dog to rest and protect it from the elements. Petmate has a portable pop-up “pup tent”. It comes with it’s own tote bag to make it easy to carry with you.

The tent is made out of coated plastic mesh to allow for air flow and ventilation. It’s also made with a heavy duty, water resistant canvas.

The tent pops up easily. It’s getting it to fold back down to it’s original form and tuck it back inside the tote bag that is a bit tricky. We opened the tent up in our home to check it out but we have yet to get it to fit back inside the tote bag. I’m sure once we figure it out it won’t be an issue anymore.

Petmate pop up tent

In the mean time our dog and most of our cats have been enjoying the tent in our living room. We’re thinking of putting it out on the balcony when the weather is warmer. Our pets love to hang out on the balcony and it will be nice to provide them with a shady spot.

There is even a hoop and button on the opened end that you can roll up allowing your pet free access to it (unless they don’t mind walking through the open flap – my dog doesn’t but the cats prefer it opened).

Hoop and button

Petmate offers plenty of other pet products including products for cats and birds. They carry bedding, toys, treats and more.

For more information visit www.Petmate.com. You can also find the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Petmate would like to offer a lucky reader the same products reviewed here ($100 value). Thank you Petmate.

This giveaway is open to continental US residents only and will end on April 8, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win these Petmate products for your dog?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirements (I do check) or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Don’t Be “Grumpy” – Help Your Cat Celebrate Grumpy Cat’s 2nd Birthday with Friskies Party Mix (giveaway ends 3/31/14)


Grumpy Cat's 2nd Birtda7

Are you familiar with the super adorable Grumpy Cat? I’m sure you have seen images of her across the Internet including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Her not-so-happy face has appeared in memes, demotivational posters and more.

Grump Cat is celebrating her second birthday. Normally birthdays are fun to celebrate (unless you get to be my age – then we try and forget about them – ha ha). Not for Grumpy Cat. She’s still a bit on the grumpy side.

Friskies wants to turn her frown upside down by sharing fun photos with Grumpy Cat in honor of her birthday.

Friskies Party Mix is hosing a fun photo sweepstakes on Instagram where they are trying to collect a million frowns in honor of the birthday girl, Grumpy Cat. There are prizes to be won too!

The sweepstakes runs from March 18th – April 7th, 2014. Simply share a photo of your cat, or you with your cat, making your best Grumpy Cat face. Then upload the photo to the Friskies Instagram page and tag it with the hashtag #1MMGrumpyFrowns.

One grand prize winner will win a trip with a guest to New York City (3 days, 2 nights) to attend Grumpy Cat’s birthday party on April 29th. Ten runners up will win a plush Grumpy Cat toy and 50 second prize winners will receive a package of Friskies Party Mix.

For more information or to check out the entries visit the Friskies Party Mix landing page. There are plenty of adorable Grumpy Cat wannabes out there.

I looked at photos of my cats that I have on my computer and none of them are really grumpy looking. I’ll have to keep an eye out for any Grumpy Cat looks for any of my five cats.


To help you celebrate Grumpy Cat’s second birthday I also have a fun giveaway for a lucky reader. One reader will receive;

  • 5 Birthday Hats
  • 4 Frowns on a Stick (for humans)
  • 2 Frowns on a Stick (for cats)
  • 1 Grumpy Cat Plush
  • 1 Cat Collar and tag (for Grumpy Cat plush – or your cat!)
  • 1 Grumpy Cat Birthday Poster
  • 2 Bags of Friskies Party Mix featuring Grumpy Cat

Thanks Friskies!

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on March 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and wish Grumpy Cat a happy birthday.

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I will be receiving a free party kit in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Attention Pet Owners


Pet Medication

Do you own any pets? Do any of those pets require medication?

When it comes to pet medications and how super expensive they can be, I know all about it.

Our cat Velcro has Diabetes. He requires insulin shots twice a day, every day. I also have to check his blood sugar levels with a glucometer. The insulin is not that pricey (compared to other things), it’s the syringes that add up. He uses 60 every 30 days. You can’t reuse them.

Velcro’s Diabetes is cheap compared to our other cat, Bella, and her severe asthma and heart condition.

There is nothing that can be done right now for her heart. She has three leaky valves. There is really nothing anyone can do but luckily it shouldn’t cause anymore health issues.

Bella’s severe asthma is very costly. She requires steroid pills for her seasonal allergies (approx. $75 for 100 pills). She also has to take a daily inhaler (Flovent) at a cost of $214 and an emergency inhaler (Albuteral) which costs me around $60. I give them to her through a cat nebulizer called an AeroKat.



I won’t even mention the THOUSANDS we’ve spent in the past two years on vet bills, emergency vet visits and tests.

I’m not kidding when I say I blog to pay for my pets. It’s true! Most of the money I earn from my blog pays for my pet’s vet bills and medications. I wish I could do more fun things with the money but at least I do have a way of paying for them. Without my blog we couldn’t afford the vet bills and medications. :-(

Did you know that Rite Aid can help you save up 15% on pet medications? Unfortunately it’s only currently available in a few states – VA, NC, CT, DE, IN, MD, NH, OR, PA and RI. I hope they set up something for New York soon.

In addition to being able to save money you can also earn 25 wellness+ points for every pet medication prescription that is filled. You can turn the wellness+ points into great rewards such as gift certificates, magazine subscriptions, gym membership, health screening and more.

All you need to do is sign up through Rite Aid’s RX Savings Program and have your veterinarian write down your pet’s medications (prescriptions) and bring it in to your local Rite Aid pharmacy.

To learn more and to find a list of all the Rite Aid locations where Pet Meds are available and what meds are available here: Rite Aid Pet Meds.

Do you have a pet who requires medication? Feel free to share your thoughts.



*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the benefit of my site readers and their pets. Any opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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National Spay Day – Help Pets Live Healthier, Longer Lives!


Dog and cat

Did you know that today, February 25, 2014, is National Spay Day? Actually February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month.

All of our pets are spayed and neutered. As soon as they are old enough we get them fixed. I would never “not” have a pet that hasn’t been fixed. Not only do I want to ensure there are not accidental births (the shelters are already overcrowded) it’s also healthier for your pet. Spaying and neutering is known to help decrease pet health issues, such as cancer, and help your pet live a happier and healthier life by your side.

To help spread the word about Nationa Spay Day, Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest and fastest growing pet care franchise, has some interesting facts to share with you about the importance of having your pet spayed or neutered.
Benefits of Spaying/Neutering Your Pet

Help Fido Live a Healthy Life:

There are great health benefits for spaying and neutering; pets who are spayed or neutered live longer lives. It is estimated that neutered males lives approximately 18% longer, and spayed females about 23% longer. Spaying and neutering reduces the risk of certain types of cancers, such as uterine cancer in females and testicular or prostate cancer in males.

Help the Cause:

In the United States alone, there are an estimated 6 – 8 million pets that are homeless and wind up in shelters every year. Sadly, not even half of these pets are adopted and the rest are euthanized; most of them would have made fantastic pets for a loving family. By spaying or neutering your pet, you are ensuring that you are not adding to this statistic.

It Is Well Worth the Cost:

Many people feel that the cost of spaying and neutering is cost prohibitive, but there are local shelters and rescue groups who help families by providing low-cost spay and neuter clinics. The costs of not spaying or neutering your animal can wind up costing much more in the long run if your pet has behavior issues (such as urine marking or destructiveness), or if your dog winds up with cancer.

Myth Busted:

There are many myths about how spaying and neutering your dogs can change their behavior in ways that parents don’t want. A few myths about what will happen if you spay and neuter are your dog will become less protective, they will get fat and lazy, their personality will change, or they will feel like “less of a dog.” These thoughts are false and belief in these myths perpetuates the number of homeless animals there are in the United States.

Promote Better Behavior:

When you have a dog that is not neutered, they are more likely to roam, can have higher instances of dog bites because of the amount of      testosterone in their bodies and can display behaviors like urine marking, excessive barking and mounting. Many of these behaviors can cause dogs to wind up in shelters due to behavior problems that get out of control.

Is your dog or cat spayed or neutered? If not, what are you waiting for? Please consider getting it done ASAP if possible.



*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this because I believe strongly about spaying/neutering animals.

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