I just got home from a run. It’s finally summer in Chicago (and feels like it – hot and muggy!), which means that I’m spending a lot of time outside getting my fitness on, which is a nice switch from the gym. Don’t get me wrong, I love my gym and the classes I take there, but the freedom of being outside is a huge bonus for me when I can take advantage of it.
Of course, the first thing that happens when I walk in the door is having my kitties – Meow and Roar – greet me. They may be cats, but they are definitely a part of my family, and we treat them as such – within reason, of course. I get my workout in, and I make sure to get a workout in for them, too. It may seem like this is how they spend all day every day when I’m hard at work, but I make sure to give them plenty of playtime – and they do plenty of running and chasing and mock wrestling themselves.
Today’s run was great. I managed to get out before the true heat and humidity set in – it’s already almost 80 but was in the low 60s when I started out – which is important for me. I don’t sweat, so I need to be careful in the summer to stay well hydrated and not get overheated. My kitties? The same holds true for them. Although they’re indoor cats for a number of reasons (when you work at an animal shelter as long as I did, your cats will never venture outside again), it’s still important that they always have access to fresh water. That’s one of Little Miss’s tasks. Each morning, she’s in charge of filling their food bowl and changing out their water.
My kitties are like me in so many ways that it sort of makes me giggle. When I’m out running errands and have been on the go, you may or may not find me popping into a grocery bag to eat a banana or apple or orange before I get home. I’ve never been able to make it home with a full loaf of fresh bread when it’s hot from the oven at the store. I just can’t resist ripping right into it. Meow and Roar? Oh, I’ve learned the hard way that they’re exactly the same.
Last week, I was running errands at Meijer and picked up some new cat food for them since Little Miss had just informed me that morning that we were out – again. I love that Meijer’s pet section really calls out the healthy foods for cats (and dogs, of course). I care about what I eat and what my family eats as part of our healthy lifestyles, and the same holds true for Meow and Roar. Their food is always grain free – and their current favorite is Purina® Beyond® that not only has no corn, no soy, and no wheat but also has some amazing flavors.
Well, it’s possible that I spent a little too much time at the gym that day before running my errands at Meijer. I had time to drop off my shopping at home before running back out again to play chauffeur with the wee ones. When I got back? I had forgotten that Meow and Roar are as impatient when it comes to new food as I am on the way home from the grocery store. I walked into the house to find the two of them enjoying the Purina® Beyond® dry cat food that I’d bought for them. Their food bowl had plenty of food left in it, but they couldn’t wait.
I thought it was sort of cute – especially that they each opened their own bag and were munching rather than arguing over who got the next bite from the same bag. Then again, had they not made small, neat holes in the bottom of the bag that resulted in no spilling of cat food all over my floor, I might have felt a little differently. Tell me I’m not the only one whose cats like to self-service when it comes to food. This is why all food is always stored in a locked cabinet. Except when I’m in a rush and forget. Oops!
Fortunately, even with all their hijinks I think they’re pretty cute, and I want them to stick around with me for a long time. They’re already almost 10 years old, which is definitely starting to get into middle age for cats. They don’t run around all the time the way they did as kittens, but I do my best to maintain healthy lifestyles for them as much as I can.
One of the most frequent health issues for older cats is teeth problems. They get infected, fall out, need to be pulled, etc. With Meow and Roar getting into middle age, healthy lifestyles for them means starting to brush their teeth better. I don’t actually brush their teeth, but I did pick up a new cat toy with catnip to attract them that is a plaque removing toy. They love it. Silly me, I only bought one, but apparently I need to head back to Meijer to pick up a second one. Meow and Roar get along like best buds all the time. Fighting over a toy? This is a first in our house, but at least it’s for a good reason.
I’m figuring out more and more about cats as they head into middle age (like the need to take care of their teeth in a creative way). Just like people, cats come in all shapes and sizes. Roar may be svelte and Meow a little more solid, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t both fairly fit. They love chasing a laser light, and the wee ones play with them every single day. I’m convinced that one day, they’ll figure out that the light isn’t real and give up on it, but it hasn’t happened yet!
My personal favorite though is when the weather isn’t so great outside. That’s when I turn to my indoor workouts. Most of the time, I head to the gym for a class, but on days when my schedule is a little overfilled, I’ll either head to the basement and do some video game dancing or just turn on some music and enjoy. Meow and Roar think it’s hilarious and will weave in and out of my feet while I’m trying to dance. Apparently they think they’re dancing, too?
Once we’re done with our workouts, it’s time to fuel up. Since I tend to do my workout in the morning, I have a protein smoothie for breakfast almost every day. It’s quick and easy to make, and I love that it gets me not just the protein I need but also some fruit and veggie servings since I add them to my smoothie.
Meow and Roar? After their workout, they get their own fuel. Sometimes they head to their food bowls to enjoy some of that Purina® Beyond® dry food, but I also picked up some Purina® Beyond® grain free salmon and turkey wet food.
As soon as they hear that can crack open, they’re at my feet waiting for me to place their bowls on the ground for them to dig in.
I love that my cats get healthy lifestyles and how important they are. Roar, in particular, is always concerned that I don’t get enough sleep. He knows as well as I do that without sleeping enough, I don’t have the energy the next day to do all I need to do. When he decides it’s bedtime, he’ll stand by the stairs and meow at me until I follow him up to bed. Seriously cute, right?
I do love Meow and Roar, but things aren’t always super smooth. With the wee ones in the house, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to discover that they have a collection of stuffed animals. While Meow and Roar have their own cat toys, they also do their best to co-opt the wee ones’ toys sometimes. Though the wee ones don’t always mind, when our cats play with them too much, they start to get chew marks and holes. The wee ones are not amused. Poor mouse, right?
Good news? I found a natural way to prevent Meow and Roar from ruining the wee ones’ stuffed animals. I noticed while cleaning one day that Roar detests the scent of melaleuca (tea tree oil). It isn’t harmful and doesn’t stain our stuffed animals. I placed about 15 drops of the tea tree oil into a spray bottle and then filled it with water to dilute it. I sprayed the stuffed animals I didn’t want Meow and Roar to touch, and I have yet to discover Meow walking down the stairs with a stuffed animal “baby” in his mouth since. Everyone is happy.
Especially Meow and Roar. They may not have their stuffed animal babies, but they are in love with Purina® Beyond® dry cat food. They don’t care if it’s the ocean whitefish and egg, salmon and whole brown rice; chicken and whole oat; or superfood blend with herring, egg, and sweet potato recipe. Bonus? There are mPerks discounts at Meijer now through June 23, 2015 where you can save up to $10. You can save $1 on any bag of Purina® Beyond® Dog Treats, $2 on any bag Purina® Beyond® Dry Dog, $2 on any bag Purina® Beyond® Dry Cat, and there are also buy some get some offers. Buy 2 Purina® Beyond® Purees Save $2, buy 2 Purina® Beyond® Wet Dog 13 oz and Save $2, or buy 4 Purina® Beyond® wet cat 3 oz and Save $1. As much food as my cats eat, I know I can always use the savings.