A Tropicool Cat Oasis ūüĆīūüĆě

While this will be a short post, it’s one I feel obligated to share because: cats. Everybody loves cats. My two favorite things happened: I took adorable photos of my mittens yesterday AND it’s #monsteramonday. Not to mention,¬†Urban Jungle Bloggers’ feed is all about Tropicool Summer. What’s more tropical/cool then cats relaxing in the sun?

Urban Jungle Bloggers

Harvey and Harlequinn were all sssuuunndaazzee on Sunday, enjoying the warm sunshine. As some of you may know, I love the Urban Jungle Bloggers features that they put out every month. For Tropicool, I visualized a whole scene of  a styled shoot, with beach umbrellas and margaritas. Really, these photos are way more truthful to my Sunday mood in reality.

Urban Jungle Bloggers


If you own a cat (or dog, I’m sure this doesn’t just apply to cats…), have you noticed they enjoy your houseplants as much as you do? Yes, they are jungle-y, and they can be fun to eat. But since acquiring more houseplants, my cats seek them out, nap beneath them, and enjoy their company. That’s also why, despite this being a pet-friendly blog, I suggest incorporating large leaf plants in your home. I know they can be dangerous if ingested, but I never have had a problem with either kitty eating my Monstera or Rubber Tree.

Monstera Pet Safe

The best cat-friendly plant placement.

I keep my medium-sized lush plants on petals a lot of the time, especially my palm, which cats love to eat. My Monstera and Rubber trees are in floor planters near windows.

Palm tree : Leaf and Paw

I typically move everyone to the porch in summer where the humidity is high and put comfy cat-friendly cushions on my wicker chairs. The plants love the moisture in the air and the kitties love the sun, heat, and general sauna atmosphere, despite being covered in fur.

Sometimes the rug is just fine, and Harvey lays there like a garden slug. Not the most flattering angle but cute nonetheless. She really needs to go on a diet…

Cats and Plants

I always look for ways to make my indoors even more outdoors (sans bugs). If you have been collecting pet-friendly plants, it’s a nice idea to create small garden-like areas for them to explore. During one of my first Leaf and Paw photoshoots in my house, I left my plants like this for a few days and the cats loved it:

Especially for indoor cats, the greenery, increased oxygen, and air cleaning effects plants have are all beneficial to keeping them healthy. A bunch of fresh catnip in a pretty pot helps, too. Speaking of which, I actually like this article from The Spruce.

Not a plant mom yet? Check out this blog for pet friendly plants to get you started, you’ll be happy you did! Soon, you can have you own tropicool oasis.


Supporter of 

Wicker chair: Vintage (found in FOUND), Cushion: Pier One Imports.


10 (More) Planters for Animal Lovers

Back in February, when I first started this blog, I featured this post about animal planters.¬†It’s been a few months and, now that it’s summer, I found a whole slew of planters that I adore. Plus, with all of the weddings, parties, brunches, and general celebrations, everyone needs a good gift list for that person who loves leaves and paws.

Ceramic Cat Planter from GailCCceramics on Etsy, $144.

I’ve been following Gail on Instagram for a while because her handmade planter are THE most adorable thing I have ever seen. The little face! The whiskers! This ceramic floof would love to be on your bookcase holding your, of course, pet friendly plant. Buy this adorableness from Etsy.

Mint Dinosaur Planter from Naomi Nickerson, $25.

I have to say, there aren’t enough dinosaur planters. Search on etsy and tons of those cut-into plastic dinosaurs come up, which is not what I was looking for. Given the underwhelming amount of ceramic dinosaurs, I was happy to find this amigo made by hand. I also found Nicki on IG and she has other pastel planters that are perfect for prehistoric and present-day animal lovers. Purchase Minty the Dinosaur on her website.

Animal Menagerie Planters from West Elm, $24-30.

Need an office mate? Pick Tallulah the bird, Larry the llama, Lenore the lion or Lips the chicken; those are officially unofficially their names. Pick a new friend at West Elm.

Felt Fox Planter from theyarnkitchen on Etsy, $26.

Hark! A felt planter?! It does exist. With a touch of hygge and minimalism, these artists capture the happy fox with an atypical medium.  Find the Italian etsy shop, theYarnKitchen here.

Fluffy by The Blob House on Amazon, $45

Fluffy may or may not be related to Kyle, Gru’s pet from Despicable Me.¬†Am I the only one who see’s a resemblance? Find Fluffy on Amazon for under $50 and let him greet your guests for brunch.

Doggie Hanging Planter by noemarin on Etsy, $31

Cute face? Check. A hanging planter? Check. Under $50? Bring this puppy home today. 

Puffy Hedgehog Planter by TheMintyMountain, $34

If there is one person you look up on IG today, it’s Emma Jo’s account. Take a peek of her precious little creations, cats, and works in progress. ¬†Her shop is on etsy only, and includes many other rose cheeked aminals of the like.

Sequin the Unicorn by coceramicstudio on Etsy, $40

Sequin the Unicorn is one of the more majestic planters on this list. With her head held high, she’ll protect your succulents with pride and sparkle. Find her on Etsy.

Tiny Sloth Planter by cumbucachic on Etsy, $38

I have no words. The cuteness is overwhelming. Please buy this tiny sloth on Etsy this instant.

Dachshund Planter by fruitflypie on Etsy, $50

Hot diggity dog. This planter is straight out of the 70s and would look best in your white living room, outfitted with a mid-century modern coffee table, giant fiddle leaf fig, alongside a large book about interiors, naturally. Buy this pup.

Why you should visit a Botanical Garden.

Although somewhat unrelated to my subject of pets + plants, this is something that needs to be said. If you love plants – collect them, tend to them, obsessed with them, you need to visit a botanical garden. Many of the plants in your house and garden center are smaller versions of giant plants from different places all over the world, many reaching multiple feet in height.

Monstera : Leaf & Paw
I was in awe of this GIANT Godzilla size Monstera.

There are also a billion varieties of houseplants, like certain orchids, that are unfit for homes, but thrive in conservatories. The only way you would be able to experience exotic and rare plants like these is in a botanical garden.

Insanely impressive orchid.* Note: not official genus.

While in Massachusetts, I specifically sought out the Smith College Conservatory in South Hampton. The air was humid and warm, and had a calming scent of earth and dew.

Botanic Garden : Leaf & Paw
Let’s go!

In all, it contained several rooms which housed plants of specific origin and habitat. Like a goofy tourist, I wandered room to room, camera in hand, more excited than a toddler on Christmas morning.

The Succulent House, also known as Phi Delta.

Being in New York, I don’t see many cacti, actually none, in a backyard. I have a few in my house, but our winters can be brutal. Yeah, we have lush green plants here, but I love a good rustic cactus, or better, lots of little friends.

Cacti - Leaf and Paw
Cactus Army or Cactus Party?

They were all grouped like this, like a tiny cactus army. It became more landscapey in the middle, with these larger cacti like this weird fellow. He definitely makes the artsy-plant-of-the-year list.

He’s neat.

As an individual who loves orchids, despite their hatred for me, I was in paradise. Plus, I didn’t need to take care of them, only to watch them never bloom for me again out of spite.

These tiny orchids smelled amazing!

This one even smiled at me. Or is that a wink? I don’t know.

Orchid: Leaf and Paw
I see a closed-eye smile with two big ears on either side. A happy orchid, nonetheless.

Speaking of spite, I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago about THIS:


I know from the many comments I received that I am not the only one who struggles with ferns. Especially maidenhair ferns, these picky little devils will succumb to the darkness no matter how much love I give. Here is one in the conservatory, on a bloody door, just growing rampant, with no care or help.


Can I just say that visiting this botanical garden also prompted me to save all  my chore money up and buy my own greenhouse. This year. I must, I just must. Look at those wiinnnnddoowws.

Arched windows bring me weak at the knees.

The highlight? The monstera. It’s obvious how much I love my Monstera, Monty, and I lost it when I saw this mama version. I posed, too, like a huge dork.

Monstera: Leaf and Paw.
People were staring at me like I was some kind of weirdo. Doesn’t everyone pose with giant leaves? If not, they should.

The only thing that would have made this experience better? Cats. Can someone open a cat/plant garden? Never mind, I will.

This leaf was bigger than my head.

My favorite part? Well, the monstera, yes, but it was actually the guessing game. All of my houseplant knowledge was put to the test. I learned so much more too, especially about different varieties, and how owning a green house is now a must. Did I mention I want a greenhouse?

Staghorn Fern: Leaf and Paw
Massive Staghorn Fern, mounted.

Unless you have ample funds to travel to Africa and Asia frequently, a botanical garden is really eye-opening. Considering most of the houseplants you and I own are from either of those countries, it was really cool to see them actual size. The conditions were perfect in the greenhouses, obviously, but dear lord, it was a sauna. I don’t recommend keeping a house 95 degrees and at 110% humidity to make your Monstera happy, unless you’d be happy at that ungodly temperature, too.

Botanical Garden : Leaf and Paw
Dorky photo number onebillion.

I did make some changes, though. When I got home I moved everyone around, focusing on what plants need more light, or humidity. I noticed Monty pushed out more leaves after seeing more sun, and my peperomias looked extra variegated after moving them into a shadier area. This is why I encourage every plant lover to find their nearest, or farthest, botanical garden and just spend the day. It’s amazing how much I info I absorbed and how much I actually knew about the plants I have.

Botanical Garden : Leaf and Paw

Personally, I can’t wait to go to another….any recommendations?