Wednesday, September 30, 2015

(Back)packing to #Petiquette School #sponsored

This post is sponsored by Febreze ™ and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about #Petiquette but A Tonk's Tail only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Febreze is not responsible for the content of this article. 

Many of you know I write health and science articles for Catster Magazine. And in the past year, I've talked a lot about toxicity with household chemicals such as dryer sheets and some potpourri oils.

So before I agreed to participate in this campaign, I wanted to know a bit more about Febreze. What I found in Procter & Gamble's MSDS* and from veterinary toxicology experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center was refreshing: Febreze is safe for use around pets.

Febreze odor eliminator in 3 forms: car air freshener, aerosol and pump spray

When the product samples arrived, I was happy to learn that Febreze doesn't just mask odor, it actually works to eliminate odor as well.

Being an owner of three cats (and four litterboxes) I try not to become desensitized (or as they call it, noseblind!) to associated odors. And it's not just because it would be offensive to human guests we might have over.

I know that my cats' sense of smell is 16 times more sensitive than my own, meaning those litterboxes are far more offensive to them than they are to any visitor.

Cats have 80 million smell receptors. Humans only have 5 million. Big difference!
So, while it's important to know what I think about this product, it's equally important to know (well, make an educated guess?) what the cats think about it.

How does our home stack up
to the Febreze School of Petiquette?

The folks at Febreze created a Petiquette curriculum to help "noseblind" pet owners consider the myriad ways their own pets - and human guests - might find things a bit more pungent than their tastes would prefer.

Here are just two that Allie, Maxwell & Faraday would like you to know about. Oh, and yes, Febreze sent the curriculum in a school backpack....

Which Allie and Maxwell found fascinating.

Something tells me they're about to send me (back) packing. Back to Scent School, that is.

Look what arrived with the Febreeze - Mommy's vey own school backpack!

Allie: I think we need to stage an intervention, Maxie. You go first.
Maxwell: You mean a Scentervention, Allie? Thank you, thank you, no applause just kibble...
Allie: Just stick to the script, Maxie.

Allie & Max ready to stage a scent-ervention!

Maxwell: Uhhh, Momma. Not to hurt your feelings or anything, but ...

Max tries to gently break it to me

Allie: Oh Maxie, honestly. If you want a job done right, give it to the girlcat. Now listen, Mother...

We appreciate that you clean out our litterboxes daily, considering we don't have opposable thumbs nor the ability to flush on our own. But Maxwell is a rather pungent user --

Allie goes for the tough love approach
Maxwell: Hey!

Allie: The truth sometimes hurts, Maxie. In this case, it hurts my nose. As I was saying, a rather pungent user, and some of us kitties would appreciate a bit more odor control down there.

Febreze Petiquette Lesson #7:
The Boxing Match

"Scoop out your cat’s litter box regularly as needed, and empty, scrub and refill it with fresh kitty litter weekly. Keeping to this schedule will reduce the gross-out factor for your guests while also keeping Socrates in fine fettle. In between cleanings, ensure the area near the litter box smells is odor-free and fresh with Febreze Air Effects. Your philosophical feline will feel right at home."

And I'll go one step further: if our cats are 16 times more sensitive to smell than we are, and if their litterbox is offensive to them, do you think they're going to use it?

One of the top reasons cats are relinquished to shelters is because of "improper elimination."
How much of this is really their fault??
Would the number of shelter cats drop if we simply got this message through to pet owners?

I took the Febreze Air Effects aerosol can down with me to the litter area, and have been using it after I scoop to freshen the area. I like the results. I tend to do it when the cats aren't around to allow the fragrance to dissipate a bit before they are exposed to it.

NOT that it would harm them, but I'm quite sensitive to fragrance and I use almost exclusively fragrance-free products. (Good news, Febreze makes an unscented version for anyone who is also sensitive to fragrance - it's called Febreze Free Nature. And no, they didn't ask me to mention this, I just thought it was worth checking into and wanted to pass it long to you.)

I like it a lot more than what I had been using, which was a basic disinfectant spray.

Febreze Petiquette Lesson #9:
The Great Outdoors

"When Jake’s got to go, he’s got to go! Even if it’s pouring rain and you have guests arriving at any moment. After he comes in from the rain, give your kitchen and areas where guests will gather a few sprays of Febreze Air Effects to eliminate the soggy smell of wet dog and leave behind a light, fresh scent."

Faraday: Who knew our wool rug was named Jake, anyways?

Faraday demonstrates reason #2: Wet Dog Smell - wthout the dog! Woolen throw rugs in humid summer days can really stink!
Faraday: Seriouslies, Mommy. Maybe the rug would like these doggy treats?
Cuz it sure smells like one on a hot, humid summer day!
Faraday's right. We might not have a dog, but sometimes you'd be hard pressed to know it.
During the hottest, most humid days the Midwest can dish out, our 8x10 wool rugs (and we have three of them!) smell like wet dog.

No wonder Faraday brought it the doggie treats!

Faraday: Seriouslies, Mommy!  A little nose consideration, pleez!
I mean, could a little odor eliminator one in a while hurt, Mommy?
Febreze definitely helped minimize that wet-dog smell.

He figures that's the reason why Febreeze sent us the dog biscuits, maybe?
But wait til I'm out of the room. I like what it does to kill odors but I'm not really into fragrances. 'k?

Finally, and not exactly on the Petiquette list:

here's one reason why: Marty LOVES to cook. And cooking smells hover in the air for HOURS.
On any given day, Marty's cooking. And I'm cleaning. And the smells linger - often for hours.
I'm also using Febreze in my kitchen - especially in the trash - to manage food odors.

Message received: trash can spritzed!
Trash can spritzed!
Maxwell seems to approve.

Maxwell sniffs appreciatively at the lack of trash can odor in the air :-)
*snif-f-f-f* Ahhh, now that's more like it!

Want to learn more about the Febreze School of Petiquette? You can follow them socially!

*MSDS = material safety data sheet - a document companies are required to publish about their products' chemical makeup

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

'Toon Tuesdays


Toon Tuesdays feature animal (and sometimes human) humor created by the peeps over at Shoebox Greetings (a tiny little division of Hallmark) - where our mom works, too!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ask a Stupid Question Day

Allie: Wait...isn't that every day when living with bratty brothers?
I'm so confused....

Maxwell delivers the perfect raspberry  #bluepointsiamese

That's for lumping me in with Faraday, Allie. 


Check out last night's eclipse! 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday's Shelter Sweetie: Kali

"Hullo humans,
You sure are big. And kinda scary."

"At least you seem tons and tons larger than li'l ol 6-month-old me.

I might be a bit skittish and try to hide when you first come meet me, but please don't let that put you off. I'm really a very sweet little girl, and I'm hoping to find a home that's a bit quiet and where someone nice like you might be willing to go slow as I get used to my new home."

"I dream of having a nice, safe, warm place of my own someday, with a nice lap to cuddle up in. Would that be your home, maybe?

Shy purrs,

Kali is available today at the Merriam Campus of Great Plains SPCA!


Great White Housepanther #SundaySelfie

Narrator: *whispers* The Nat Geo crew is downwind of the Great White Housepanther and has caught him unaware....

Faraday: Seriouslies, Mommy. I see you lurking behind the pepper plant.


We're entering this in the Sunday Selfies blog hop, hosted by the kitties over at The Cat on my Head.

Head on over and see all the other great entries!


Saturday, September 26, 2015

{52 Snapshots} Week 39: Shadow + Cat Art

These were shot in deep shadow in our front room. All I did was raise the luminance.

I love the sepia cast they have to them. So dramatic and mysterious, in a film noir kind of way.

And I do wonder what they're both thinking...!


We're participating in both the Caturday Cat Art Hop hosted by Athena at this link here, and also the {52 Snapshots of Life} themed photo challenge, hosted by the Lazy Pit Bull!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday's Fashion Faux Paws

Allie: The Fashionable Feline knows sleeping with one's paws crossed is considered Very Refined.

Tuxedo cat crossing her paws daintily

Boycats needn't attempt.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pawesome Treats from Chewy! graciously gave us the scratcher and bag of treats to review but we were not compensated for writing this post in any other way. All opinions are our own.

Allie: Ahhhh, this Catit bench scratcher (with catnip) is just what the doctor ordered to help me relax after a hard day's work.
Faraday: *scoffing snort* Work?!? What work??
Allie: Keeping one eye out for you, Brat, is exhausting. trust me on that.

Faraday: Well, while Allie's sleeping I'll just help myself to the nommy freeze dried whitefish from Grandma Lucy.

Seriouslies, who knew my Grandma loved me so much?
And who knew her name was Lucy?

Maxwell: Dood, that's not your Grandma.
But whoever has such a pawesome gramma scored big time. Did you see the flakiness in these pieces???

Faraday: Don't get any ideas there, Maxie...
*increases chewing*
Whooops...get back here. You're mine, not Maxie's! that's what I'm talkin' about. Nomm-m-m-m....

In case you couldn't tell, the August goodies from were a huge hit.
Thanks, Chewy!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday's Waif: Lucky

"Hi there! I'm Lucky, and that's what you'll be, too, if you take me home. I'm a gorgeous, four year old tortie girlcat who knows how to enjoy the finer things in life, like ear scratches and feather wands."

"I also like to relax in a nice, dark hiding place, which is why they call me a "private investigator." I adore attention and give lots of head butts, kisses, and purrs, but I prefer not to have my back or tail touched, thanks. (Hey, would you like it if I grabbed your tail?)

I need a home with no kids under 5 years old. Older kids are fine if they understand that sometimes a kitty needs a little personal space.

I'll need some time to adjust to my new home, too, but once I'm comfortable, we'll be best buds in no time. I promise I'm worth a little patience and time! Come meet me soon, okay?


Lucky is available at Allie's Alma Mater, Wayside Waifs.


More "Gratitude"

Allie: Since Monday was World Gratitude Day, I thought it would be appropriate to show my pink toys how grateful I am for them.



...what do you mean "that's not a hug or a kiss," Mother?
I saw no rules that say you can't do that with claws and teeth bared.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

'Toon Tuesdays: If Faraday were a dog

(She even looks like Allie!)


Toon Tuesdays feature animal (and sometimes human) humor created by the peeps over at Shoebox Greetings (a tiny little division of Hallmark) - where our mom works, too!

Monday, September 21, 2015

#MountainArtwear: Wear a Cat for a Good Cause #sponsored

This post is sponsored by The Mountain® and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. We are being compensated for helping promote the Russo Rescue Collection, but A Tonk's Tail only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. The Mountain is not responsible for the content of this article.  

It was at BlogPaws that I first saw this tee - and fell in love with it. There's something about Dean Russo's artwork that I find hugely compelling. Not only did I love the design, but I also liked how the shirt fit as well. I knew I had to have it.

Abyssynian cat tee from The Mountain
Faraday 'helps' me model the Abyssinian tee
And then I heard that the company that makes these tees - The Mountain® - has created a line of Russo designs with animal rescue in mind. Win-win! That's a match-up I'll happily share with others.

Allie approves!
The Feline Fashionista says the Levi's are okay with the Russo
 Rescue Collection, but the Sketchers have to go. Yes, ma'am.
A portion of every purchase from The Mountain’s Russo Rescue Collection goes to Best Friends Animal Society.

Best Friends isn’t “just” an animal sanctuary that helps homeless pets find forever families.

Their organization partners locally with shelters across the U.S. in support of such programs as spay/neuter and TNR.

To be honest, I’m not really the kind of person who will buy a product just because a portion of its proceeds goes to help a cat find his forever family.

If the product isn’t high quality or something that appeals to me, I’d rather just donate the money directly to organizations like Best Friends.

That’s not a problem here. There’s a whole lot about these shirts that I like, starting with the fact they’re 100% cotton and printed in the USA using environmentally responsible inks.

I’m going off on a brief tangent here but please bear with me – I’m doing it to make a point, I promise.

Many of you know that we just returned from a much-needed vacation to Cape Cod. At the end of a day filled with biking, hiking and kayaking, we’d go into P-Town each evening for a nice dinner and to shop. You know me: a really cute cat tee hanging in a shop window called my name.

Of course I went in and bought it. Adorable design, but seriously, The Most Uncomfortable Tee EVER. Rough fabric, and an iron-on design that feels like plastic. Ugh. Nothing at all like my Dean Russo Aby Tee from The Mountain. What gives?

Modeling Abyssinian tee from The Mountain with Faraday
Faraday: "Yes, Mommy, I'll help you model the Russo tee. But be quick about it. There are bugs to catch, you know."
I went snooping. Guess what I found.

From The Mountain’s “about us” page, “Most screenprinters use solvent based inks made primarily of plastic (petroleum) that have a rough feel and contain toxic phthalates.” Eww, that describes the other shirt to a ...wait for it... ‘T’.

Sorry, bad pun I know. But totally true. You’ll not find that on any item made by The Mountain.

Faraday's ready for the modeling gig to be over (but he likes the tee!)
Environmentally friendly. Soft. Gorgeous. The Trifecta of Tees.
And one annoyed Tonk ready to end the modeling gig. Like, now, please.

Again, from their site: “The Mountain® uses only environmentally friendly water-based inks and dyes. … The Mountain® products are Oekotex 100% certified (one of the highest qualifications worldwide). This guarantees our shirts are free of chemicals harmful to your body.”

Faraday: Totally selling this tee from The Mountain!
Faraday: "I'm totally selling this shirt. #amIright?"

Did I Mention Discount?

I’ve already grabbed another one for myself. You can, too. The best part? The Mountain has offered us a generous 25% discount. Just use the promo code MTNPETS when you check out. And if you don’t see something in the Russo Rescue Collection that appeals, the code is good site-wide.

Here are the links for your shopping pleasure.
Just don’t blame me for next month’s VISA bill!  ;-)

The Russo Rescue Collection
The Dean Russo Collection
The Complete Catalog

How about a chance to Win Big?

Register to WIN a years' worth of t-shirts from The Mountain!

The Mountain is sponsoring an awesomely big giveaway: one lucky person will win the chance to select up to 5 t-shirts each month for his or her family. That's a total of 60 t-shirts over the course of a year!

Would you like to be that person? What are you waiting for?
Sign up now, using the Rafflecopter widget, below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Let the folks at The Mountain know you support companies that support animal rescue. Follow them socially!