Adventures With Albus: Gettysburg College

It’s been a bit since I’ve updated the blog and what better way to get back on track than with a new Adventures with Albus! This past Sunday, my moms and I took the whole gang over to Gettysburg College for some sun and fun.

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It was VERY hot out so we were prepared with plenty of water and walking in the shade as much as possible. The pups got their fun in by chasing a couple of squirrels up trees.

20180701_110948155772524.jpgSomething fun I got to try out on this adventure was the new pet carrier backpack I ordered off Amazon! Let me tell you, this purchase was definitely worth it! I say that very prematurely as Albus has only been in it once and it didn’t go exactly as planned.

He jumped out, effectively trying to hang himself as I was a good cat mom and clipped him in. This was easily fixed since my mom was there and was able to help me get him on the leash. While Albus gets adjusted to the bag, I’m going to go on outings with my moms and the dogs as much as possible to have some extra support.

On the way back to the car, I put him back in the bag because I knew he wouldn’t walk there on his own. He had an accident and let’s just say I’m very glad I had the kitty bath wipes with me! I’m also glad I had enough sense to line the bottom of the backpack with a pee pad just in case. I think this accident was more to the fact that he had to use the bathroom but his litter box was in the car. He was definitely nervous, as he always has been with carriers, but I am confident that he will adjust.

Some good news though, Albus didn’t drool AT ALL when in the car. This is wonderful progress for him in his journey to getting more used to the car. He also didn’t hide and get all mad at me when we got home like he used to, so more progress!!

Honestly, if the backpack carrier doesn’t work out, I won’t be super heartbroken. A little sad, yea sure, since the backpack is fluffing cool! But Albus’ comfort level is more important to me. If anyone has used a carrier like this for their cat, I would love to hear what works for them! I know every cat is different and some cats just like being in carriers…but any advice is welcome!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie ♥

5 Tools For a Happy and Healthy Cat

If you’re a cat mom (or dad) like me, then you know that every cat is different and likes different things. Just like people, a cat’s personality is their own and getting them to change habits can be challenging.

I have mentioned my cat, Oreo, before. She was completely different from Albus. She loved sitting in laps, giving kisses, and chasing a toy in circles until she got too dizzy. Oreo had a very different personality in that she definitely thought she was a dog!

While Albus prefers the company of dogs, he is a cat through and through. He loves to be pampered and only snuggles on his terms. Luckily for me, he enjoys snuggling on my bed so I get plenty of Albus snuggles to keep me satisfied. As I’ve also mentioned before, Albus is very intuitive. If he senses that I’ve had a rough day, he gives me some extra lovins.

Anyway, I’m basing this post on Albus and what tools work to keep him a happy and healthy kitty! (In no particular order)

1. Treat Mouse

Albus LOVES his treat mouse. It’s made by Temptations which is perfect because Albus only eats Temptations treats. I’ve tried other kinds but the only other ones he’s eaten are the Greenie’s treats. My mom got it for him a year or so ago for Christmas. I had to 20180605_1331331100559379.jpgreplace it because Albus kept playing with it after it was empty and lost the head. My mom had bought him a back-up but then he chewed the ears off of that one!

I usually give him the treat mouse before leaving for work in the afternoons. While Albus definitely loves his treats, if I fill the treat mouse completely he will bat it around and eat about half of the treats then leave the rest for later. He’s pretty lazy with it and doesn’t really bat it around too much, but it makes him happy so who am I to deny him!

2. Kitty Bath Wipes

These things are literal life savers. Albus is HORRIBLE about getting in water when it’s not on his terms. Obviously cats groom themselves and Albus is well-practiced in ass licking. But having the bath wipes to help freshen him up like once a week keeps him from getting smelly. He doesn’t mind the wipes until I start going for his tummy so I save that spot for last.

3. Interchangeable Wand Toy

This is the greatest toy I’ve ever bough for Albus and I’ve bought him a lot of toys to try. Albus can be quite picky and gets bored easily. He doesn’t like going after the same toy

day after day. The metal clasp makes changing the ends very easy, so every few days I switch the end piece to keep him interested and active. Since he likes treats so much, I try to get him to exercise a little to balance it out. Albus has some serious hops and takes no prisoners. I found this gem at a PETSMART. He’s also really weird though and sometimes just prefers to chase and chew on the stick part of the toy.

4. Kitty Tunnel

Albus’ favorite spot to play is inside his tunnel. I actually need to get him a new one because the one he has now is all torn up! He goes into what I call his ninja stealth kitty mode to hunt his prey. This helps him get enough stimulation, which cats typically thrive for in order to keep their hunter instincts alive.

5. Revolution Flea, Tick, and Heartworm

Since Albus likes going outside and going on adventures, it is important to think about what the dangers are for a kitty traipsing through the wilderness. Before I officially adopted Albus, he got a very bad case of fleas. So bad that it had resulted in worms. When I officially claimed him as mine and took over his care, I went through a lot of time and money to get him the care that he needed to make him healthy.

Revolution is different because it goes above and beyond your average flea and tick protector. This topical medicine also protects against heartworm. For that reason, it requires a vet’s prescription. It’s also a little pricier due to needing a prescription and the added protection from heartworm. But in my opinion, it’s definitely worth it to have peace of mind when out adventuring.

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Like I said, every cat is different and have routines and tools that work for them. I obviously have more than five tools that I use for Albus, these are just the ones that are the most prominent in his routine. For example, I got Albus pet insurance in case anything particularly unfortunate were to befall him.

It’s going to be interesting to see how I can transform to van life with a cat and still keep his life engaging and active despite living in such a small space. Of course, he will be going outside A LOT more than he is now so that, I hope, will help from both of us from feeling too cramped up.

I would love to hear from my fellow cat parents what works for their fur babies! I’m always interested in hearing what works for others, especially those who also have adventurous kitties! Also, if you’re a vanlifer who is traveling with a pet, drop a comment below! I am trying to do as much research as possible on ways to make a traveling lifestyle easier on pets so that Albus can be as happy and healthy as he would be in a house!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥

Blogging Is Hard?!

Goooooood morning!!

I was thinking as I woke up (way too early) that I have been blogging for a little over a month! That, for me, is pretty crazy. I had been thinking about starting a blog for a while. Then one day I said, “Screw it!” and here I am. It also dawned on me this morning that in the first month of blogging, I haven’t been the most organized of bloggers. Through research and simply just viewing other blogs, they seem to have some sort of posting schedule. I obviously know that not every blog does this, but it seems that having a structured release schedule could help with collecting loyal followers. A main goal of mine with this blog is to create content that people actually WANT to read and WANT to come back for more every week.

With that being said…I will now be posting blogs on Tuesdays and Thursdays! As today is Thursday, this will count as today’s blog. I may let out the occasional Sunday (except not this Sunday as it is my 16-hour day at work) post as I want to provide as much content as possible.

Which leads me to my next point. I NEED YOUR HELP! I absolutely love feedback and hearing from people! I would love it if you could comment below on this post and let me know what kind of content you would like to see! I am open to pretty much anything and am always looking for new, fun ideas.

In addition to content ideas, I am very open to guest blogging. This goes both ways, meaning that I am open to having a guest blogger on Just a Girl and Her Cat and I am open to guest blogging on your site!

Something I’ve learned in my first month of blogging; it’s a lot harder than it looks! Part of the reason I want your input on the kind of content you’d like to see is that it’s hard coming up with that shit on your own!! Thinking of  topics and content on a regular basis is a bit more than I expected. I obviously have several great idea, it’s just hard sometimes to pull it all together in a cohesive post. If any of my fellow bloggers have any advice for me, I’m all ears!!! Constructive criticism is a part of life and I am no stranger to it. I take every bit of criticism in every part of my life and use it to drive me forward into a better person, blogger, cat mom, etc.

I have a HUGE passion for writing and want to reach as many people as possible! So please comment and share my blog! I have also attached a follow-by-email widget along the side. You do not need to create a WordPress account in order to follow! Simply enter your email and you will get notified when I upload a post! Easy-peasy!

I apologize for the short post but this topic, I felt, required a quick and to-the-point kind of approach!

 

Follow me on Instagram (caitiep08) and Snapchat (caitiep15)!! If you take just a peek at my Instagram, you will see that I fill it with mostly pictures of Albus! I hope to continue filling it with beautiful pictures of our adventures this summer! Check it out!

*Side Note: I revamped the look of the site! Let me know what you think in the comments!!

Until next time…

Love always,

Caitie♥

Adventures With Albus: Devils Den

Yesterday I was quite nervous about the weather. It was supposed to thunderstorm later in the afternoon. I picked up a hosting shift at my second, part-time, job but I also really wanted to get Albus outside for a while. While I was working, the sky was bright but cloudy and the wind picked up at times. However, I was fortunate and there was no rain! I worked briefly from 12-2:30pm, only getting a couple of hours in due to it being slow. So I went home, made myself some lunch, and got Albus ready!

Getting Albus into the car is always the hardest part of our outings. He is still nervous and I think when I picked him up I pressed on his bladder because he peed on me. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, so I wasn’t really phased. I got Albus in the car and

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turned on the A/C then went inside to change. I set up a little litter box for him in the back of my car. I’m happy to say he used it… took a nice big shit as soon as we left the driveway.

I sprayed the pheromone spray that I have mentioned in a previous blog. I didn’t notice a huge change in his behavior in the car so I’m not sure that it lessened his stress at all. However, since I paid like $20 for it, I’ll keep using it to see if it works over time.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on why cats struggle so much with the car. Kind of like harness training, training a cat to ride in the car should really be done from the start while they’re young. Unfortunately I skipped that step when I was harness training baby Albus. That is also the case with anyone who adopts an older cat. Albus’s behavior is anxiety based as opposed to motion sickness. He has never gotten sick in the car, just peed himself occasionally. His drooling is also a behavior that points to anxiety. My goal is to get Albus out and in the car more and more, especially over the summer, to show him that the car isn’t a bad place. So hopefully his anxiety goes down after having the car be put into his semi-regular routine. His vet has prescribed him Prozac to try to help with that, but Albus is a horrible pill taker. My mom actually suggested just last night after I mentioned the Prozac that it is available in liquid form for humans. My plan is to discuss this possibility with my vet. I’ve mentioned it before, but Albus is my biggest concern when preparing for van life. I think he will be fine as he has adjusted to several new apartments in the past. However, this will be a lot smaller and mobile. That is why I plan to make my van the most cat-friendly van on the planet. My design for the van will revolve around him and his needs first to make sure he is comfortable in our tiny home.

So back to the adventure. Living in Gettysburg, there are a number of places that are quite close to take Albus. Yesterday I decided on Devils Den. Devils Den is basically a bunch of really big rocks that was the spot of something important during the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War. Not exactly sure what that important something was but if it is of interest to you… google it.

If I was to have any advice for someone trying to get their cat to be an outdoorsy cat it would be to be patient. Albus loves being outside, yes, but he hasn’t really ventured outside the yard and surrounding immediate areas or truck stops on a couple of long road trips. So when I take Albus to a new place, he is very cautious of his surroundings and sometimes takes a bit to get the courage to explore. After lounging on the rocks for a while, Albus decided to explore and eventually settled on some grass to graze on.

 

Where we stopped in the video is where we sat for the following 15 minutes because some people walked by and he just wasn’t quite sure about them. Like I said… patience is the key. While he may sometimes act like a dog, he isn’t and takes a while to get comfortable exploring new places. We went at his pace and I sat and relaxed when he decided to lay down for a bit. He is very much the boss on our outings and I have absolutely no shame in that.

While we were sitting in a more grassy area, several people asked if they could pet him and showered him with compliments of his beauty and soft fur. I think the extra head scratches made him feel a little more comfortable as he soon got up to explore after the people left.

All in all it was a very good day. Yes, Albus was stressed out a bit in the beginning, but this is a process. Before, he used to be mad at me and hide somewhere in my room the rest of the night. Last night, he disappeared for about an hour then came out to snuggle and receive head scratches.

Keep an eye out for my review of Sons of Anarchy coming out either later today or tomorrow morning! If you like Adventures With Albus, give it a star! I also love getting feedback, so don’t by shy to drop a comment below! Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥

Adventures With Albus: The Pet Store

Hello fellow humans! This is the start of a blog series, Adventures with Albus. Whenever Albus and I go out and about, I plan to share that with you! I’m currently trying to show him that the car isn’t so bad and that we don’t just always go to the vet when we get in the car. Today’s venture first took us to the pet store for cat food and some flea and tick stuffs.

He wasn’t too sure about the store at first so he found a nice little cubby hole to hide in for a bit. However, his smart Ravenclaw of a momma had an idea.

Once in the shopping cart, he was much more relaxed and seemed to enjoy looking around the store as I got what I needed. The store employees and other shoppers gave him lots of lovins as well while we were shopping so he definitely enjoyed the extra head scratches. I also ended up buying him a new catnip toy for stressing him out a bit by taking him in the car. He is currently laying on my floor all nice and kitty high.

This particular pet store had some kitties looking to be adopted, so I rolled Albus up to them. They came up to greet him, but Albus gave them a little hiss and so I rolled on. He gets along with dogs much better seeing as how he grew up with four of them around and the only other cat in his life thought she was a dog. The one kitty in the store was interested and did not find Albus’ attempt at hissing manliness intimidating; we’ll have to work on that!

That leads us into our next stop, which was to my sister, Cassie’s house. She lives there with her boyfriend Brian and their cat Renly. They’ve had Renly for a little while now, so I thought I would pop in and finally introduce Albus to his cousin. Renly didn’t interact well with Lexi, my sister’s dog that lives with me at my mom’s house, so I was curious to see how he would react to a cat. I didn’t document that part of our day too well, only capturing a video of Renly’s reaction to meeting Albus; which was not too pleasant and resulted in some scratches for Brian. I’d share the video, but my sleepyhead of a sister didn’t have pants on so I’ll spare her this time. Though I can’t say the same for those following me on Snapchat! (Follow me: caitiep15)

Part of why Renly reacted so poorly, I think, is because my sister is dragging her ass on getting him snipped! (sorry, Sestra!) I think if he lost his balls, he would be a lot more chill, like Albus. Anyway, Brian put Renly upstairs in their room so Albus could check the downstairs out since he had never been there before. Albus sniffed around and sensed that there was a fully intact male cat around. He got a little grouchy and started deep growling so I figured it was time to go. We said our goodbyes and headed home.

Not too crazy of an adventure for today, but I want to start getting Albus in the car more and more so gotta start somewhere, right?!

Also! If anyone is wondering what harness I have for Albus, it is called the Kitty Holster! My mom heard of it on the show My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet. It was highly recommended by the show’s host, Jackson Galaxy. My mom wanted me to try it out since Albus is a pretty good escape artist. She ordered it for him as a birthday present a couple of years ago and it is amazing! It is very nearly escape proof. Albus has wriggled his way out of it a couple of times since he’s had it, but it takes a lot of effort and he doesn’t even try that often because he enjoys being outside.

I made the decision to harness train Albus almost immediately after I adopted him and it is the best decision I have ever made as a cat mom. When Oreo was around, she did not like her harness and would kitty army crawl around in it instead of walking normal. I didn’t try putting a harness on her until much later into her life. Albus runs, jumps, and scurries around in his harness with no problem. He even uses the litter box in it if he has to.

That’s all for today as it is time to binge watch Sons of Anarchy, so until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥

Once you get a cat…you never go back

Therapeutic companionship at it’s best…meet Albus!

Few statements have ever been so true. My trusty companion is this guy! Meet the other half of Just a Girl and Her Cat, Albus!

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Albus, however, is not my first cat. I had a cat, Oreo, for 11 years before having to make the incredibly hard decision to put her down. She had a tumor wrapped up in her belly and she was suffering with very few treatment options. She was my first cat…the one who got me to truly love these wonderful creatures.

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I rescued Oreo as a teeny tiny kitty when our dog found her in our neighbor’s tree in 2005. She was a small little fluff that was very sick. We nursed her back to health and then my mom wanted to TAKE HER TO THE SHELTER!!! I simply could not let that stand. So what did my 13-year-old self do? I cried…for about 3 days. I cried for my mom to let me keep this little baby kitty that we had saved. Needless to say, it worked. My mom loved Oreo. Probably mostly because Oreo secretly wanted to be a dog and thus acted like one. She was the worst beggar out of her and my moms’ numerous dogs! She never missed meal time, human or otherwise! She was also notorious for stealing whole peices of chicken from people’s plates.

I met Albus as a newly born kitten when a roommate’s cat had kittens. This was August of 2012. He would follow me around in the mornings as I got ready for class and he’d be waiting for me when I came back. So basically, he chose me. Oreo was still living at my moms’ house because that was her home and she would be more comfortable with the dogs she grew up with around. Long story short, I took a break from college shortly after adopting Albus and took him home to meet his sister. Oreo and Albus didn’t quite hit it off at first. He was a rambunctious little kitten while she was proper lady who had put her rough play days behind her. However, as Albus chilled the fuck out a little bit and realized he had a bunch of dogs he can play with when Momma wasn’t home, their relationship got better.

I am a huge fan of having a pet as a therapeutic companion. That is what I considered Oreo and what I currently consider Albus. He isn’t just a pet to me. He is my fur child (if someone asks if I have a kid, I usually say yes!) and he is my confidant. He’s the one who snuggles me when I cry and the one who lays with me as I vent aimlessly about life. Albus and I have had many fun adventures together and I hope to have those adventures get so much bigger in the future.

Believe it or not, cats provide several health benefits to us humans! Some of those benefits are as follows (Source):

  • Reduction in stress and anxiety
  • Boost in immunity
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decrease risk for stroke, heart attack and heart disease

The list goes on and on. I can’t technically speak to the medical benefits, but Albus has certainly been a huge part of lessening my stress and anxiety.

This has been especially true these last few months. He greets me at the door every night after work and is usually right there when I wake up in the morning. He is very attentive as well. He knows when I need a little extra lovins and is happy to provide. He also lets me know when he wants some alone time. For example, I know that when he is laying on the top of his cat tree, he doesn’t like to be pet or bothered. Since moving back into my moms’ house, we have settled into a routine that works well for us.

I won’t say that Albus doesn’t have his asshole habits, because he certainly does. His most annoying one is eating/chewing through phone charger cords. He loves the shit out of phone cords. If I had to guess, he’s cost me around 15 or so cords. So while he definitely is an asshole sometimes, his strengths far outweigh his weaknesses.

I have three main self-care components and spending time with Albus is right in that number one spot. Nothing is better to me than laying in bed with him sprawled out next to me purring up a storm!

My other two self-care components are gaming and singing in the shower. Which, even when I am doing either of those, Albus is never far from me. He has easy access to the downstairs of the house through a cat door in the stairway door, so he goes down to visit my moms and the dogs quite often. I spend a considerable amount of time down there with them as well, however, the upstairs is my home base for now and where I feel most comfortable.

More on that to come so…until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥