About Leaf & Paw

Creating an Urban Jungle

I’m Anastasia, a cat and animal lover, blogger, indoor plant parent, landscape designer, and anything-black-and-white enthusiast. I live with my husband, three cats, small animal zoo, and over 100 houseplants in New York.

Urban Jungle with Cats

As an animal-lover and plant hoarder, I created Leaf & Paw to provide information, inspiration, and thoughts about my two favorite things. You’ll find information about toxic and non-toxic houseplants for pets, plant care and animal wellness and animal welfare (I like animals a lot).

As Seen In….

Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast with Maria Failla: Pet Safe Plants, 2021

Animal Wellness Magazine, 2021

Pet-toxic holiday plants, Penn-Live News, 2021

Plant Whisperers, Pilea.com, 2019

PLANTAHOUSE Magazine, 2019

Bonkers4Memes on IG

The Cats.

Meet Harlequinn.

Harlequinn, our all-black cat, came to us a few days before Halloween in 2011. Obviously lost, she stared at us through our window for a few hours, meowing at an unbearable pitch and we chose to take her in. Immediately passing out on the couch, we decided to keep her. Harlequinn did give us both a fright after eating a certain plant and is actually my inspiration for this blog. Like most cats, Harlequinn likes eating stringy plants and palm trees, meowing loudly at 4am, my husband better than me for some reason, and catnip.

Urban Jungle Bloggers

Meet Harvey.

Harvey was adopted in 2013 at the SPCA. She immediately fell into my lap and purred like a small motor and I knew she needed to come home with me. Harvey actually loves when I pick up my camera and is more accommodating than Harlequinn, which is why she appears in more photos. Almost always, Harvey enjoys her picture taken, anything filled with catnip, hugging/terrorizing her sister, snuggles and Yeowww bananas.

Meet Krusty

Krusty was a 2023 foster fail. She arrived at my house a crusty, sneezing, snotty and dehydrated six week old kitten and little by little she regained her strength and has become the high-maintenance teenager she is today. Her hobbies are scaring her parents from behind doors, terrorizing Harvey, cleaning my husband’s beard, and stealing loaves of bread.

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19 replies
  1. I absolutely love your blog. We share our home with four cats and three dogs. Plus an assortment of plants. My largest fiddleleaf is eight feet tall, and our cats love sleeping in the huge flower pot. You are so right cats love all the tall plants, a mini jungle!

  2. So sorry about Henrietta. A vet friend in another city in Québec lost a Siamese to breast cancer – remember that they have multiple breasts, so they suffer terribly.

    My Livia is a very small pure black stray with green eyes, perfectly healthy now as far as I can tell. She is so small that we thought she was a half-grown kitten, but the my vet (here in Montréal) told us she was 2. I love plants too, and have just brought home a new peperomia with leaves that look like bunches of green beans.

    We are all SO sick of the winter this year!

  3. So sweet we had a black and white kitty ride home 25 miles in the wheel well of our car on September 20,2019. She was maybe 4 weeks old. We took care of her and at 1 yrs old we gave her to our cousin who has 8 cats and 2 or 3 dogs. She is taking special care with kitty to get her used to her clan but it’s been 5 weeks now and Binx is only touching noses. Is it normal to be taking so long for her to adjust. Thanks for your feedback on the rubber plant

  4. My very first monstera and I’m seeing a node and wondering whether i should try propogating. my whole plant have 6 leaves.. and seeing 1 node from the newest leaf. should i go for it? what would happen to the mother leaf and will it grow back from where i did the cutting.

    1. Hi Mary, I would wait until your plant is more mature. You’re plant will benefit from propagation when there are more leaves, just propagating with 6 leaves won’t hurt the plant, but more leaves, I’d say 12+ is ideal. If you do propagate, the mother plant will just pump out new leaves horizontal from where you cut.

  5. Hi
    I changed the soil of my monstera 1 month back since it was potted in just coco peat when i got it.. changed to monstera potting mix and after a month am seeing roots growing out of drain holes. what should i do? and another problem am worried about is leaves yellowing.. it had 4 leaves when i got it and it grew 2 more but the oldest & smallest ones yellowed first (one by one) and fell off and now the varigated older one is beginning to change colour on its edges, its going to start yellowing am sure.. what could i do? its been in the same spot getting bright indirect light and i water like once a week when the soil goes dry.. waiting for your reply..

    1. Hi Masha, The change in soil may have shocked him a bit, which is why some leaves have yellowed. Coco peat holds water differently than soil so you may be overwatering too. The roots growing out of the bottom isn’t an issue – the leaves yellowing is and sounds like overwatering. Let him dry out and really monitor the soil moisture before you water, water when only quite dry. You can also remove those yellow leaves, those won’t come back. Also running a humidifier will help those edges from crisping.

  6. I discovered your blog today and I’m loving it!!! (I’m very new in this “having plants” universe :B). Also: I looove Parks and Recreation 🙂 Have a great week!

  7. Great blog, lovely pets. I have two cats, one husband and too many houseplants. I’ve learnt a lot about tradescantia today, which has massively helped with my school gardening club, so thank you. Your hedgehog photos are gorgeous but I am totally in love with Harvey.

  8. Hi there!

    This is Veronica from IG Publishing.

    I’ve been browsing through your blog on leafandpaw.com and I’ve been quite impressed with the content I’ve seen.

    Given the quality of your blog, I’m reaching out to see if you accept guest posts? We believe a collaboration could be mutually beneficial and quite interesting for both parties.

    We are ready and equipped to tailor our articles to fit within your publishing guidelines. Our team of experienced writers is committed to creating content that we are confident you and your readers will appreciate.

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  9. Omgsh, this blog is just what I’ve been looking for! I have two cats and didn’t think I could have any indoor plants because my cats nibble everything (literally everything)- but now I see that plants and cats can coexist! Thank you for this blog- I’m excited to explore more

  10. Hello! I have been following your how to care for Tradescantia blog after purchasing my first one, I’m excited to see it grow! I currently have a three year old anthurium which I love dearly and I am hoping for some advice. It is currently doing very well it puts up new flowers all the time. However I am concerned with its size, its grown a little taller and produced a lot more leaved since I’ve had it but I’m wondering when its time for a larger pot? Also, the roots are pretty thin, dry and brown. I don’t water it often, and sometimes forget to but whenever I see it getting droopy I soak it and let it dry out again. the soil its in is well draining I keep it in orchid bark, is that too well draining? thank you for any advice you have!

    1. Hi Celeste! So a couple things: I would add some peat moss or sphagnum moss to the pot, that’ll help with moisture. They also need to stay slightly moist at all times, so the drying out and soaking is definitely stressing her out. If I were you I would unpot and trim any dry brittle roots, leaving only plump healthy ones (be gentle!), repot adding some moss and water. She may loose some leaves after the repot but that should be much better for her overall. Thanks for reading and keep me posted!

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