Sincerely Carolina

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An Unplanned Day Turned Wonderful

by caroline

Today did not end up at all how I thought it would, but it turned out wonderfully.

At around the time I hit "Publish" on this morning's blog post, I realized my little kitt-o Cooper was scratching at his ears and holding his head a little funny. Now, I know this might not seem like a big deal, but I have dealt with this before …

Ear mites.

I picked him up and peeked inside his ear and, sure enough, the dirt those little buggers leave behind was evident. It kind of looks like coffee grounds, but it itches like h-e-double hockey sticks. His ear looked red and irritated, and I knew it was something that had to be treated.

Now, this is about the only time where having four cats becomes a (loving) pain in the butt. Because guess what? If one cat has it (ear mites, worms, the sneezes, etc.), then the rest of them probably do, too. Just like a preschool classroom.

So, I set off to our local health foods store where I knew I could score the all-natural ingredients I have used to treat this itchy issue before. Keep in mind: I am not a veterinarian or animal expert. Instead, this is a treatment I read about in one of natural animal care books and discussed with my veterinarian, and it has worked for my crew. I also hate the idea of putting unnecessary chemicals in or on my pets' bodies, so I always try to choose a more natural route if possible.

Health Foods Unlimited proved to be just the arsenal I needed for my ear mite weapons: Mineral oil and an all-natural flea spray. The mineral oil I used to treat their ear mites is a mixture of pure almond oil and Vitamin E. All you do is warm the oil a bit (it should NOT be hot) and squeeze a few drops of it it into the each of the cat's ears, one at a time. Massage the back of the cat's ear gently, allowing the oil to sink in. The massaging helps to bring the icky stuff up from the inner ear and to the outer ear where it can just be wiped away with a cotton ball or tissue. I always wrap my little guys in a blanket, so they don't kick and squirm — it helps make the process easier.

I also spray them down with a Purely Botanical's Flee, Flea! Spray for Cats. I love that the company's motto is, "Have you ever noticed scary warnings on 'through-the-skin' anti-flea products? 'Avoid contact with skin! Wash immediately!'" Have you ever wondered why this warning doesn't also apply to your pet? So have we!" It rids their coats of any pesky pests and makes them smell delicious.

Lastly, I use this handy dandy NaturVet Herbal Flea Spray to spray down their pet beds and all of the areas they like to take a little nap. Thank goodness it was a nice day outside because we opened all of the windows to let everything air out. The sprays smell wonderful, but sometimes all of the different herbs and natural scents that are flowing can get a bit overwhelming.

Again, I'm not a doc, but this is my protocol when the chit-lens get the itchy ear scratchies. I would definitely consult with your vet before trying any at-home remedy.

Before heading home from Health Foods Unlimited, I decided to make a quick stop at its next-door neighbor, Joann Fabrics. I thought it might be the perfect place to stop for a few items I am seeking for a project, and, boy, was I right. I forgot just how much I love this store. Seeing all of the craft-y items reminded me of my sewing days and picking out puffy paint to make t-shirts with my mom. I was completely bedazzled by all of the colors, fabrics, tools, decorations and oodles of other things.

Ah, it was glorious, and I found everything I needed! And I already have a date planned to go back — so much to look at, not enough time!

When I came home, I found that a package had arrived from my sister … a belated Valentine's present! How fun is that? Another perfect example of why Valentine's Day should be every day — wondrous occasions such as these! ;)

I opened the box to find, in true Amanda fashion, Valentines for Dan, me, and, of course, one for each of our cats. But, never to be out done, Amanda had each one of her four cats (yes, we're both cat ladies) write a message to each one of our kitty kids. It's completely nuts-o because she actually impersonates what she believes would be each cat's writing voice, in addition to his or her handwriting. The funniest part, however, is when I say, "George's Valentine was very funny" and she says, "Oh, what did he say? I didn't even read it …" And I thought I was crazy!

Of course, our babies adored their Valentine's messages (as you can see above Emerson wouldn't let go of his) and the toys she sent along.

And Dan and I were oh-so-in-love with the Harry Potter Valentines and gluten-free M&M Chocolate Bark she sent our way. Wonderful sister, isn't she?

So, all in all, it was a different day than I had originally planned, but fabrics, belated Valentine's presents and kitties on the mend made it a productive and fun one.

Ever feel like your day does a complete 180 degree switch on ya? How do you make the best of it?