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

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.