Posts tagged ‘alone’

2014, December 20

Simple holiday decor ideas that will survive a kitty attack

xmas kitten proof 3

When I first started thinking about holiday decorating at home and at my boyfriend’s, I was a bit concerned about the latter.

As you may have seen from my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts, we have a really cute, but at-times-beyond-hyper kitty, Pixel. Almost nothing is out of reach unless shut behind a cabinet door, and everything is easily turned into a toy. A toy which usually gets destroyed in five minutes or less if we don’t notice in time. And we usually don’t.

I started searching for ideas of Christmas decorating when one has pets around. The tips I found were good, but not fully applicable for our case. We live in an open plan apartment, which means that Pixel can get into and onto anything and everything.

There are no tips out there for leaving a kitty alone with all the holiday decorations up while the owners are at work and out of the house for 10 plus hours.

This whole thing got me thinking. We’d just have to be creative when it came to holiday decorating this year. And I’m sharing below just how we achieved it.

xmas kitten proof 1

Simple holiday decor ideas that will survive a kitty attack:

Keep it simple. And I do mean Simple with a capital “S”!
Go for an easy yet effective design which will still be festive, but won’t grab your cat’s attention too much.
We’re going for the “Hmm, a new thing’s placed there, let’s see what it is. It doesn’t sparkle. I can’t make it move around much. Doesn’t smell interesting. Okay, I’ll go sleep now.” reaction from your cat.

Go with a small fake tree, and place it out of the cat’s reach.
Also, if you have a real pine center piece, only leave it on tables or nightstands when you’re at home, and place them out of reach before leaving the house.
You wouldn’t want your cat nibbling on real pine while you’re at work all day long (it’s toxic if ingested in larger amounts).

For the Christmas tree avoid using tinsel, glittery and breakable ornaments.
I found that using simple clothespin ornaments, plastic or metal balls, or securing the ornaments to the branches with a ribbon works perfectly. You can also use homemade decorations like salt dough ones, dried fruit and cinnamon sticks, nuts and pine cones – these usually won’t get a second glance (especially dried fruit, kitties dislike citrus-y aromas) and even if they do, they’re not expensive to replace.
Add bells, if your cat is afraid of the sound they make; or use them as a precaution so they’ll alert you if the tree is being tampered with.

Place decoration out of reach.
Decorate mantels, shelves, window sills and other areas your cat doesn’t get to. You can safely display holiday photos and Christmas cards you receive, Christmas stockings, and breakable decorations this way.
Hang wintery and Christmas-themed paintings, wreaths and simple garlands on the walls and doors.
Plants on window sills will get a festive feel from some bows over the pots, Christmas themed planters and plant stakes.
Secure Christmas lights by lining the window frame with them for a both indoor and outdoor decoration. Use the “all lights ON” setting instead of letting them twinkle on their own.

Make some jar ornaments, which you can leave even at your cat’s reach.
You can create very cute decorations with jars, using even your favorite glass ornaments, since your cat won’t be able to touch them after you place the lid on. You can even add tea lights to light inside them and place the lid back on once burnt, or go with battery-powered tea lights. If you have snow spray, go ahead and add a few puffs of it into the jars.
Just make sure they’re not someplace they can get knocked off from too easily.

Decorate with throw pillows and blankets.
Fun, Christmas and winter themed pillows and blankets are all around us in stores especially during winter and right before Christmas, and other than give your home a holiday feel, they’re also quite comfy, warm and snuggly.
You can even make your own sweater pillow cases.
The worst your cat will do with these is get all comfy and have a good long sleep on top of them.
Choose some Christmas themed table cloths for the dining area, dishtowels, oven mitts, aprons and refrigerator magnets for the kitchen, towels and fun-shaped soap for the bathroom.

Have pine cones and fruit on tables and counters using Christmas themed bowls and plates for them. Same goes for the cookies! Don’t leave them out overnight or when you leave for work though, if your cat might knock them to the ground. (We’ve fished apples out from under the kitchen cabinet before.)
Christmas themed dishware in general will give a more festive feel to your meal time. If you feel like it, buy a new bowl for your cat, too, to use during the holidays.

Light scented candles, or use aromatherapy oils. There are tons of candles out there you can buy! Scents like cinnamon, pine, apple, oranges, cloves, peppermint and vanilla are all great! You can even make your own natural room scents.
Also, cats usually won’t go near lit candles.

Place Christmas themed books on shelves and on coffee tables.
You surely have a couple of Christmas novels or anthologies laying around, and also craft or cookbooks. The colorful covers will decorate all on their own when placed on shelves with the front cover showing or all the Christmas themed ones placed together, stacked up on coffee tables, and in baskets.

xmas kitten proof 2

Do you guys have pets? How do you decorate so that they don’t destroy everything? Or have they already grown out of that habit?

Hope you enjoyed my tips! ;-)

2011, April 27

Between Lost and Found

When I was about four years old, my uncle lived in Budapest, Hungary. One summer we visited him.
I remember a very long car drive and an even longer queue we had to wait in to get across the border.
I remember the playground, and begging my mom to let me ask for the ice-cream we were about to buy. I always asked for the ice-cream in Kolozsvár, so when presented with the opportunity, I asked for it alright – in Romanian instead of Hungarian.
You should’ve seen the confused look the vendor gave me as before my request I spoke Hungarian perfectly.

What I really wanted to share with you though is the time we went shopping there. I don’t know what the name of it was, but we went to this humongous shopping center. It had everything one could imagine and I had so much fun picking things off the shelf that were interesting enough to catch my attention and which my mom struggled to put back on the shelves as I walked ahead of her.
In one part of the shopping center there was a huge clown in very brightly colored clothes which was making soap bubbles.
I remember that clown as clear as day.

For some reason, the adults (all five of them!) decided to go check something out a few isles down and I was instructed to stay put for a second and watch the clown.
I quickly agreed, I was mesmerized by the sight. I started playing around, jumping from soap bubble to soap bubble, trying to burst as many as I possibly could.
I was having the time of my life!

But, given that I was only four years old, I also had the attention span of a four year old. After a while of staring at that clown and playing, I decided to go after my family. I’ve seen where they were headed when they left, which isle they turned right on and I headed that way.
Three guesses what happened next?
I actually have no recollection of anything past heading towards where I’ve last seen my family. So I don’t exactly recall the extent of it, but I got lost.
I was told someone working there found me and announced over the microphone that X needed to pick up their kid.


As I was sitting here, typing out this memory, I thought of how something like this can apply to my day to day life right now. 
Something I’ve noticed is that there’s not much of a distance between safe and sound.
There’s only a coin toss of a difference between lost and found.
Being left alone happens in a heart beat.
Getting lost is easy.
And I’ve never met anyone who was lost but didn’t want to be found.
The good news is that being found can happen just as quickly and as easily.

And that’s where fear comes in – between lost and found.

The fear we feel while being lost is something that might scare us to no end.
Yet, we fear it even more before taking a chance, before we leap, forgetting to be confident that the net will appear.
I think we just need to remember that feeling of having the time of our life from before we got lost. Then let ourselves feel the fear and leap before we look anyway.
Because as scary as things inevitably are between lost and found, leaping is a risk well worth taking. And that fear is something we’re most likely to forget almost immediately when we’re found.

And so, something else I’ve noticed is more of a realization.

I wasn’t afraid to be by myself back then, between lost and found, four years old, in a shopping center full of strangers.
There’s no reason in the world why it shouldn’t be like that today.

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