The Instagram Plant+Pet Fan Club

A life surrounded by my cats and my plants warrants that obsession to be taken elsewhere. For me – that’s Instagram. I love IG, aside from the endless drooling and longing at the number of gorgeous plants out there. Initially I never expected their to be such a vast interior plant fan club in all parts of the world. I’ve realized there’s not only a plant club, but a pets and plants fun club. Yes I just invented that club, and now I need to go make it a thing.

I invited some of the lovely P&P fan club members on Instagram to share their lovely pets and lovely plants with me us. Some also included their wisdom about cohabiting with furry friends – that’s a freebie. Follow them and you be will rewarded daily with pretty pictures and plant tips.

Anna // @Urbangreenplant

Anna, like myself, has various plants of different troxity levels, all of which her four cats can care less about. While Anna’s feed is primarily about indoor gardening, she also shares tips on outdoor plants and, of course, her fabulous cats. Her favorite plant picks:
Boston Fern and Parlor Palm Plant: Non-toxic and my cats don’t bother with these besides a sniff.
Spider Plant, Ponytail Plant, Money Tree: All are non-toxic but my cats can’t help but chew on these. I keep these plants high, hanging or out of reach areas.
Bird of Paradise, Peace Lily, Hawaiian Schefflera, Snake Plant: Though these have a low toxicity, they don’t bother these guys at all. Also, I think what helps is that these are usually big floor plants, to them it’s like trees.

Anna // @littleandlush 

I am one of 22K fans of Anna’s stark minimal plant photos on IG.
This is her cat Agnes, with a pet safe (hybrid) fern “Asplenium Austral Gem.”
A few months ago Anna introduced a plant I fell in love with, a PINK variegated Tradescantia, which made her insta-famous. One of my favorite plants, Wandering Jews come in several gorgeous variegated varieties, plus they’re 100% cat safe. Add in Agnes, and I can’t even deal.

Alina // @alina.fassakhova

Usha, Alina’s curious tuxedo cat is often seen in her gorgeous photos eyeing her houseplants. A painter, Alina photographs her NYC loft and artwork amongst her ever-growing urban jungle. Does Usha eat every plant in sight? Alina said she’s really a good cat, only eating spider plants and seems to have a natural sense of what is poisonous and what isn’t. But we all know cats aren’t perfect – Alina mentioned Usha shakes stems, branches and tears off leaves, when attention is needed now. How could anyone ignore her- look at that face!

Erin // @leighkiyoko

We did need a dog in this feed, and what better a pup than Luna, Erin’s salt and pepper fuzzball. Erin’s IG feed is full of her botanical adventures and drool-worthy outfits, but Luna is too cute for words. Erin shared some of her wisdom for the upcoming season and pet safe remedies: “When I brought some of my houseplants indoors for the cooler months, I immediately noticed pesky gnats flying around. To battle the flies, I always crumble up Mosquito Dunks, a natural pesticide (BTI) that won’t harm Luna if she decides to dig her nose in the soil, sniff around and potentially lick it up.”

Brittany // @ihavethisthingwithurbanjungles


Brittany’s feed shares the best of Instagram’s lux indoor jungles, lounging pets and superb sunlight. For instant-Instagram-inspriration, look no further than her hundreds of perfect photos from plant collectors like us.

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Thank you to everyone who submitted photos and advice. I’ll be doing another installment soon!

XOXO Anastasia  //  Leaf+Paw

A Tropicool Cat Oasis 🌴🌞

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

See?

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.

 

Henrietta the Hedgehog

Henrietta and Simon are my two African Pygmy hedgehog rescues, both from owners who could no longer care for them. Henrietta was previously used just for breeding, and she was adopted November 2015.

Henrietta the Hedgehog

Many people ask why I have a hedgehog, honestly wondering what do they do? Since they are nocturnal they sleep during the day, but develop the habit of their owners. Henrietta comes to greet me in the morning and continues to pop out of her igloo through the day, typically spending a few hours on my lap daily while I write blog posts. She is free to roam the house and use the refrigerator as she pleases.

Hedgehog yawn!

Henrietta is my first hedgehog and I had done A TON of research before adopting her in November 2014. Hedgies are considered exotic pets, so ultimately have needs (such as a heat requirement) to keep them comfortable, so my house is nothing short of a sauna. And both of my hedgies are, luckily, litter trained. Their favorite snacks include giant disgusting meal worms, but Henrietta had taken a liking to veggies and apples. Hedgehogs’ primary diets are actually high quality cat food – it being the most nutritious.

Henrietta the Hedgehog

I wanted to talk about Henrietta’s journey, because I began this blog post weeks ago and didn’t have the heart to finish it. She passed away last Monday and her death was one of the most heartbreaking I have experienced. In July 2015, I noticed a lump under her arm – after a few tests it was determined she had an aggressive form of breast cancer. It is unfortunately common in  hedgehogs and, considering she may have been bred to young, was inevitable. With a poor prognosis of only a few weeks to live, I don’t think she would be with me long. I had the lump removed by the vet and, contrary to science, she healed up just fine in a month.

Months passed and she lived a healthy life, running on her wheel and around the house in a Sonic-like manner. The tumor returned in September and she underwent another surgery. I knew this would be the last operation. It was incredibly stressful on me and a bit too much for her little potato body, but she recovered. Even though I knew the cancer would come back, I didn’t know how long until it would resurface. I was just amazed at how determined this little animal was.Hedgehog birthday party hat

In March Henrietta celebrated her 3rd birthday, which is incredible. She had defied all odds and our vet was in shock that she has made it so far. For six months or so she had been on a pain medication to ease any discomfort, and you wold have never guessed she was ill. Most days she would sit on my lap, sleeping while I worked at home, she enjoyed video game nights snuggling on the couch, loved running around with our cats, had a fetish for my new perfumes, and above all, made me smile everyday.

Henrietta the Hedgehog

I loved hedgehogs for years. Upon befriending a real one, I was just over the moon. Whether it was my childhood love for hedgehogs or just that I adore animals, I loved her more than anything. I’ve lost family members and I have had pets pass away, but nothing was more heart wrenching than saying goodbye to her. The cancer had been back for some months now, growing steadily. This last weekend the cancer escalated rapidly and I knew it was time. Suddenly she stopped eating and drinking and I had to have her peacefully leave, without pain.

Our vet, who had done all of her surgeries, put her down last Monday afternoon. I asked to have her brought her back in the room for me to say goodbye. Paleface, lightheaded, and through heaving sobs, I said my last goodbye to my dear little friend.  I couldn’t breathe and the pain was incredibly strong, but I felt the closure we both needed. A piece of me is missing and I know nothing but her can replace it.  I know it will take time but the grieving process has not been easy. Every morning I  still wake up and say hello to her, expecting her to wobble out of her igloo and greet me.