All About Cats

I am learning all the time what cats need and how I can make sure they have a happy and healthy life with me.  So I thought I would share some things I’ve been learning recently (yes my blog might become cat focused for the foreseeable future, but it is all part of my adventures in life).

Diet

I have decided to use the food recommended by the vets I take Merry and Pippin to and that is Hill’s Vets Essentials Kitten Food. Both of them seem to enjoy it and I gradually moved them over from Whiskas (what they were being fed by the family I got them from) and on to this dry food only on the advice of the vet.

Treats

This is where I give myself some flexibility with what I give them. I like to make sure they are good for cats, but I also want them to enjoy them and know they are different from the everyday food. I use a mix of Dreamies, M&S chewy treats, and any other chewy/soft sticks or shapes I can find and are reputable. I keep them in a jar and the kittens know where it is and what it sounds like. I use it to call them to me a lot (and reward them for it). I also give them tuna and fish I cook every so often – always on their own plate, never from mine – as a very special treat.

Toys

I am just starting to rotate their toys as I am aware that they will become bored of the same ones around after a few weeks. I also buy some new toys every month as Merry has a tendency to chew the feathers off the toys and I know that is the part they enjoy the most. I have also found that simple things such as boxes and the inside cardboard of toilet rolls can be just as much fun as anything I buy specifically for them as they are lights and can be chewed and thrown around. I keep a couple of stick toys out of sight as they tend to go a bit crazy for these and only bring them out for special treats or when guests are around and want to play without the risk of getting scratched.

Water

One of the first things I bought after I got them was a water fountain as it was very hot and I didn’t think they were drinking enough. I have also positioned it so they can watch the room while they drink. Pippin has taken to dipping a paw in and then cleaning his face (he also likes the bath tub for some reason).  I want to keep them off the kitchen counters so do not encourage drinking from the taps.

Outside

I’ve been taking them outside every so often as they enjoy eating grass and catching spiders. I’m keeping them as indoor cats, but I need to be more consistent with taking them into the garden on the leads so they know it is a regular thing. I am going to up my training and start taking them through the garage, rather than the front door, so if I ever decide get cat flaps installed they would already know the route to the garden. I need to get another litter tray as now they are getting bigger, so is their business, and find occasionally if I have been out longer than normal one of them will have dirty and smelly paw. So as they are extremely clean creatures I need to make sure I provide them the space so they do not get put off using the trays.

Sleeping

They like to sleep a lot. I have bought them beds that are on either side of my bed as they like to be up high or under the bed out of sight. I also keep the carriers in the front room, without the doors on, for them to hide in. I don’t think my house has that many hiding places, so I am trying to provide these for them. However they will also fall asleep in the middle of the room on the carpet or on the sofa arm, so I think they are okay.

I’m a bit paranoid at the moment about learning everything I can about how to make Merry and Pippin have happy, healthy lives. I worry that keeping them indoors or restricting the outside time is not a good thing to door, but everyone I talk to seems to have a different opinion. I’m happy if I know I can make the time to take them outside every day for 15 minutes. It would cause me a lot of stress and worry to let them roam freely.

Adventures in Coffee… September Hasbean

Nicaragua Finca Limoncillo Pulped Natural Red Pacamara

I like this coffee. It is an interesting one. I find it quite light, but smooth at the same time. Usually lighter coffees for me have more acidity. More acidity tends to come through in the espresso, but that could just be because it is a more intense brew. This is lovely as French press making it perfect for waking up with and for a later afternoon drink.

I don’t think I have has a Pacamara varietal coffee before and am intrigued by the description on the website(http://www.hasbean.co.uk/blogs/articles/9853842-pacamaras):

“It’s a varietal that’s confused and bemused me for quite a while, and one I’ve spent a bit of time researching and tasting”

“So pacamara is a hybrid of two quite different varietals”

“it was in a laboratory,Inside the Genetic Department of the Salvadoran Institute for Coffee Research (ISIC) back in 1958. There was a coffee breeding program using lots of varietals, these two of many. One of these experiments was crossing the above Pacas and maragogype varietals.”

“But in conclusion, the two of these varietals coming together create something far bigger and more interesting than the sum of its parts, that makes this one of the most interesting varietals.”

As I said I found this coffee and the description intriguing. I noticed the beans were bigger than normal, but did not really think anything of it until I started to read up about it. This was definitely a coffee I would probably not have picked up if I had had to choose myself, but that is what I love about the subscription!

No In My Mug on this one unfortunately.

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Adventures in Coffee… August Hasbean

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Guatemala Fina San Sebastian Washed Bourbon

I loved this coffee and was super sad when I finished the packet from August. This is what I love in a coffee – bold, smooth, dark – I do tend to love a Guatemala coffee. I think it must be where and how it is grown. You always get some of the soil taste in what you grow and I think this is what I love so much.

The coffee details tell me this is grown in volcanic soil at about 1500 metres above sea level. The farm this came from is long established and is in its 4th generation of the same family. I love knowing this about the coffee I’m drinking.  I love that Hasbean go to visit the farm from where they get their coffee and in this video there is a fantastic interview with the farmer.

The flavours that were expected were raisins and dark chocolate. It was a clean taste with a deep aroma. I enjoyed this as a French press, being a big more gritty and oily, then as a cone pour over, for a cleaner taste, and also in espresso form for an intense hit of deep, dark flavour.

Adventures in Coffee… July Hasnean

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Ethiopia Mormora Coffee Plantation Fully washed Hierloom Varietals

Ethopia is the birth place of coffee and is indigenous to the country. This is something I did not know

I can’t say this was a favourite. It was an okay coffee, but did not have the taste I am after from a good cup of coffee. It was quite light. For me the lime and acidity was stronger than the chocolate flavours and that is not my favourite kind of flavour.

I didn’t really get the sweetness coming through. They compare it to the chocolate lime sweet you can get, which I quite like, but didn’t get that here. I preferred it with milk as it made it a bit smoother. I didn’t enjoy the espresso as it was too intense for me.

I do love trying all these different coffees from all different countries. I feel I am learning more and more, but that it doesn’t come across in my posts. So it is a goal of mine to improve the way I write about coffee.

Bullet Journal

I’ve started bullet journaling in the last month and really like it. I kept looking at different ways to journal and nothing seemed to work for me. I love lists and this suits that love down to a tee.

I have a key and can add to it as I see fit. I use a monthly view to plan my time, as well as monthly to-do list to keep me organised.

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I then use a daily list of thoughts, ideas, tasks and anything else I want.

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It is a great way to get my thoughts out without having to be structured. It also keeps things all in the same place and will be somewhere I can look back and review. I can also include goals in here if I choose to.

I am using my Moleskine Hobbit journal at the moment and it feels nice to put it to good consistent use, rather than for blog things only.

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