Monthly Finds: January 2014

Hello readers! I know this one is pretty late, but for the few months that passed, there wasn’t anything particularly interesting that I found, so I accumulated the little things I got to put in one post.

Books:

I haven’t been reading much lately, and I don’t feel motivated enough to do that nowadays. These phases come and go, but I did get some of what I like to call “Pleasure Reads”, short and quirky things I would read for the fun of it, not a serious novel or anything.

If you’re not aware of the blog Hyperbole and a Half” by Allie Brosh, then you’ve been living under a rock. Best blog to read when you’re feeling down because it’s just so funny and entertaining. At one point, I read almost all the posts that I ran out of things to read….so I ordered the book.

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Haven’t read it yet, just skimmed through the pages and some of them were familiar which kinda bummed me out because I was hoping for new content, but I did find unfamiliar comics here and there so I won’t complain.

Next ones are all kitty-related. Two of them are by Yasmine Surovec which is the mastermind behind the cute Cat vs. Human comics. I bought her second “Cat vs. Human” collection of comics and “I See Kitty”, a children’s book for my 2 year-old cousin who is infatuated with cats, in hopes of fuelling her love of felines. The story is so adorable I cannot wait to read it to her!

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The third one is the all popular “How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You” by The Oatmeal. I’ve read many of The Oatmeal’s comics over the internetz, and decided I’d buy this one it’s related to cats-duh! It’s quite fun to read, and I finished it in one sitting with a bowl of Rice Krispies when I had a hard time falling asleep :P Plus, it has a summary poster of “the evil cat plotting to kill you” inside woot woot! Must hang it somewhere strategically and freak the heck out of visitors. Maybe in the bathroom, and then I’ll let Tiny stick out his paws from under the door while they do their business lol!

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Shoes & Accessories:

Other than books, I got some pretty things while on my trip to Dubai last week or so. These dainty little lace pumps from New Look -absolutely love their shoes, and some rings I found here and there in Forever 21 -which is 100 times much better than the ones here in AD imo ._. They are pretty simple, but I wanted to collect small rings to stack them up on my fingerrrsss :D

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Makeup:
Not very unique or special, but I needed a new bronzer and blush and I got some great ones! Bronzer is Hoola from Benefit which is perfect, and the blusher is a nice pink peach from Sephora. Also got a brush for my loose setting powder.
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For Kitty:

Since I let Tiny roam around outside everyday, I got worried he might catch some fleas or ticks. He is fully vaccinated from the cold and rabies and such, but those pests sound like a huge hassle to get rid of and I do not want them in our house. I looked around for preventive products and found two, the Bio Spot Flea/Tick Control for 6 months, and Dr. Mercola Natural Flea and Tick Defense, an organic daily spray that is supposed to “confuse” fleas and ticks when they smell it, thus preventing them from recognising a potential host and going into the pet’s skin. Yes, I got two, and I’m so glad I did. The first one kills AND prevents, but can only be used once every month. The second organic one is only preventive, and I don’t know whether it could kill them IF they already exist, and can be used daily if needed.

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The Bio Spot formula was great, easy to use and apply and the instructions were clear. However, it is OILY, and it left the patch of hair that was exposed to it weird and oily and not dry from the product on Tiny’s fur for three days until I decided to wash it with shampoo and water (water alone did not work). Let’s just say I’m not anticipating next month’s dose xD Luckily, Tiny didn’t have any fleas or ticks, but I hope it does its work and keeps them away too!

The Dr. Mercola one smelled nasty, which was very disappointing because they mentioned it smelled good :( And seeing Cinnamon in the contents got me excited (I love Cinnamon) but it smelled like cloves… which I do not like at all and was NOT in the contents…
I am one to cuddle the crap out of my cat, so his smell is very important to me tyvm lol! However, if you prefer natural and organic remedies and don’t mind the smell of cloves, then you should try it! I can’t recommend it as I’ve only used it once, but look into other people’s reviews.

That’s all folks! Thanks for reading and get ready to head back to school/college because it starts tomorrow. Eep.

– Reem AlHashmi

FURminator Review

Hello everyone! Long time no post. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I finally got my hands on a Furminator brush after many failed purchases and attempts to rid me of my cat’s shedding problem. This post goes to everyone who’s thinking of getting one but is too hesitant to spend such a big amount of money on a hair brush for their pets! Before I start reviewing it, I’d just like to point out that I will be in no way biased and “over-recommend” this product just for the heck of it. I’ll tell you exactly how it worked for me, and provide pros and cons, and you be the judge :)

So being a person who’s 102% conscious about where she spends her money and on what, the idea of purchasing an almost 300 AED shedding comb for Tiny was completely out of the question. But after about a year and a half switching between different types of combs- the slicker brush, deshedding comb and a flea comb- that were almost useless, I decided to give it a go, but that I’d find myself a bargain ;)

After looking through amazon, I found an awesome deal of only 110 AED (including shipping fees from the US to Abu Dhabi) for a long-hair small sized Furminator comb for cats. (It couldn’t deliver straight to the UAE, so I had to use a US address and then had Aramex deliver it to Abu Dhabi. The cost above includes all of these expenses, so it would’ve been around 70 AED only if it wasn’t for the extra shipping :’) Much better than 300 AED!!)

I chose the long hair option because Tiny is a cross between a shorthair and a Persian according to his vet, and his hair is a about 2-inches long, and a small comb to make it easier for me to get into sensitive areas like his face or paws, as I’ve had one of the big slicker brushes and found it hard to brush these areas because of it’s size.

Now on to the brush itself, I can honestly say I was pretty impressed and wasn’t disappointed at all. A couple of brushes with a Furminator do go a long way!

Pros:
1) It’s teeth were designed differently that any slicker brush (which I thought otherwise previously..) and it kinda works like a rake, I’m not kidding lol. You can actually feel the brush pull the dead hairs out!
2) The teeth really dig in the coat, to catch a lot of the dead hairs not just from the top of the coat, but from inside. My slicker brush had long teeth, but it just wouldn’t dig in the coat properly, so it only caught the dead hair from the top, and left me with a horrible inner coat of dead hair madness!
3) This one is pretty obvious if you know a little about Furminators. It is easy to get the dead hair out of the brush from the handy button :P I used to wash my slicker brush to get most of the hair out because it was hard to pull it out by hand (and sometimes, it would bend the teeth, yikes!) so this was a much appreciated feature xD

Cons:
1) Of course, with every item, it has it’s cons, because it isn’t perfect. What I found a little bothersome with the brush is that when I managed to go through his whole coat, it would leave a lot of stray hairs at the top, something that I haven’t experienced with the slicker brush (Probably because it didn’t do such a good job lol) I guess it’s more of an expected effect than an actual problem with the brush. When he’d shake his head or when I’d pat his coat, it would drop a lot of dead hairs that weren’t caught by the brush. Does that make sense? :P However, I guess a good bath is the solution to this problem.
2) You must be careful when brushing your pet as the teeth are quite stiff and pointy, and I’ve had a lot of panicky moments where I was afraid I had cut him. So make sure you’re a little careful :) It’s not in any way like a shaving tool, but just a little consciousness while brushing is required.

In the end, I give this product a 7/10 because it wasn’t a marketing lie, it really does work like they said it would. Here’s a picture of all the hairs I’ve gathered just for this post:

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IMG_5861Placed my hand beside it so you can see the approximate size lol.

I would have been able to get rid of 100% of Tiny’s dead hair if he was a lot more cooperative, since he hates his grooming sessions :’) I constantly have to entice him with treats to get him brushed. I am working on training him to get used to it though, so wish me luck!

Thanks for reading folks, and as always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me :)
Have a nice long weekend and happy National Day! <3

– Reem AlHashmi

Trips to the Vet

Trips to the vet are almost always a pleasure for me, but the complete opposite for Tiny. The entire car ride to and from the vet stresses him out so much, he cries non-stop. And because he has Herpes (which isn’t contagious to humans btw), I get stressed out too because he might get an ulcer or his eyes would get red. So that part puts me on-edge too. But other than that, I really do enjoy paying the vet a visit xD

Mainly because I get to meet the different animals and their owners. I mean yeah sure, theres a lot of animal lovers/owners wandering around school and malls and in the general public, but they don’t show that “animal lover” side in them, because their pets aren’t around. But when it’s at an animal clinic, you get to see how they interact with their pets, “up-close and personal”.

One time I came in for Tiny’s check up way back when he contracted Ringworm *worst experience yet  :(* and I got to meet a young woman with her two puppies, Lugi, a Pomeranian, and Shakira, a Pekingese (Wonderful name, right?)  They were such obedient pups, and Lugi literally jumped up the seat to wait next to his owner in the waiting area. How cute is that?

Another time where I was waiting for my turn again, one of the vet’s assistants came in holding a black and white cat (who looked like he had his you-know-whats cut off xD) and he had the most beautiful pair of green eyes, and a glamorous mustache :D Like hitler lol. I love them cats with mustaches.

And it’s not just the owners and their pets, sometimes it’s Tiny and other pets as well. A million possibilities go on in my head when I see a cat meowing and suddenly Tiny stares at him with those big dilated eyes like they aren’t just dilated enough from that car ride alone :P I always wonder what they’re trying to tell each other. Another incident was when Tiny (crying most of the trip as usual) suddenly goes quiet, like he fell asleep in that carrier. And I get a little worried, so I peep down to check on him and see him pissed off, fur standing up like hedgehog spines, staring right at a cute little oblivious puppy xD

Another reason why I enjoy these trips is because I get a chance to look at all the supplies and adoptable pets I will most likely never get :’) They have this big poster with numbers and pictures and contacts of rescued or fostered animals just waiting for a good home to take them in, and I love seeing them :( The same thing goes to the supplies. Even before I owned a pet I used to just stop by the pet supplies section and just contemplate all the animal food, toys, leashes, equipment and products. I don’t know why I do that but I really enjoy looking at all the possibilities and varieties they offer. Plus you never know, one day you’ll have a friend who’s in need for a pet and who could’ve been on that same poster or for a remedy on those shelves ;) At least that’s what I like to tell myself

Okay so I just realized I pointed out all the unrelated reasons to going to a veterinary clinic…
Oh well. In case you were wondering, I go to the Australian Vet in Khalifa City A, with a very helpful and friendly staff and their prices are much cheaper than other alternatives.

Anyway, just wanted to update my blog because I hate not writing often and I just came back from a vet trip tonight. Vaccinated Tiny against Rabies, Flu/Colds and worms. Eck :P

Thanks for reading! If you have anything you want me to write more about, let me know :)

– Reem AlHashmi

Owning Wild Animals

In today’s post, I would love to open the subject of owning wild animals. I’m sure many of you own your little pet monkeys, or have a relative that owns a cheetah cub or know a friend who happens to have a pet snake. It’s rapidly becoming very common in the UAE and other GCC countries, and as much as they can be irresistibly cute and fun to own as pets, many people do not acknowledge the danger it poses on both owners and animals :(

**I would really hope to enlighten readers with the information I’m about to provide, and I ask you to really give it some thought before disagreeing or turning away.**

On the animals:

1) You’re taking them away from their homes, their natural habitats. Just imagine a baby lion cub taken away from its mama, you don’t know how they get from Africa straight to your homes, so it’s possible that that’s the case. Not only are they separated from their mothers who instinctively know how to provide the best care for them when they’re young, but their whole environment changes into something completely different. That also means their diet is also altered. Some of you might say “But I walk my lion..”, “I take my chimp to our huge farm every week”, “I feed my cheetah the best kind of meat there is!”. No matter how you try, the human alternatives owners try to provide will never compare to the actual wild. A huge fenced cage isn’t going to provide the open space for a leopard to run in, frozen chicken and meat can easily be favored over by the thrill of hunting real prey, and trees in farms or homes will never be anything like the ones monkeys climb on in the jungles and forests.

2) Medical Challenges. Your local veterinarian will most likely not be able to diagnose your animal when it suddenly falls ill, and even when it does, it’s incredibly expensive. These wild animals can also get sick from the different climate/environment they’re introduced to, and unfortunately, some of these animals die. I’ve heard a close relative of mine owned a baby cheetah who used his claws as defense from a child who kept on harassing it, and it was taken to an irresponsible vet who de-clawed* it and boom. It died.

3) Contribution to Animal Extinction. Ever had this particular animal you’ve always fantasized of seeing or holding? My list could go on forever: Pandas, Koalas, Tigers and Pandas, and did I mention more pandas? xD Even though they’re not owned as pets since they’re already extremely endangered, the more you adopt a wild animal species, the greater the risk of it becoming endangered and then later on, extinct in the future. Think about it, no more big cats, wolves, chimps. Not in your local zoo nor anywhere allowing outside access. Meeting your dream animal would be impossible. You don’t want to contribute to adorable animals dying out forever right? I hope not :P

And on the owners themselves:

1) They’re wild. You don’t say, right? They’re called “wild” for a reason! They’re built for the tough life, growing up to be independent, and in some cases, hunters. Even if you raised your wild animal from a young age, and it has grown up with you and in your environment, it will still preserve some behavioral aspects and instincts that it needs for..well, the wild. It will hurt you, your kids and other loved ones. If domesticated animals are capable of doing that from time to time, then what do you think wild ones would do?

2) They’re not affectionate. Different than the first point. Wild animals are not used to human contact, and no matter how many kisses and hugs you give, its possible that it doesn’t have the darndest idea of what you’re doing to it xD A leopard won’t randomly come lie next to you in bed or sleep on your lap or anything. It just doesn’t happen :o

3) Again, they are hell expensive to own and care for.

In the end, there are solutions to every situation. And in this case, we can leave it to the domestic animals to provide for our need for a loving pet :)

“God made the cat in order to give man the pleasure of caressing the tiger.” – Fernand Mery

The meaning of this quote is quite obvious. A cat is capable of filling in the role of a tiger raised as a pet. Domestic animals are basically the tame versions of their wild ancestors. Domestication was a process carried on through thousands of years, so let’s give our ancestors some respect and make use of their idea!!
Want a tiger? Get a cat. Want a wolf? Get a puppy. There’s also hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, and even birds who will love you more than a wild animal would, so love them back! Do your research, find the pet that wins your heart and please adopt from shelters and kennels before resorting to pet shops and pet stores. I will provide a list of shelters that provide a great range of animals at the bottom of this post, so please have a look at it if you’re thinking about getting a pet :)

Honestly, I know this sounds overly-dramatic, but one single pet can change your life. …but make sure that pet is domesticated xD I hope this post benefited you in a way, and if you were supporting the ownership of wild animals, I hope I was able to change your mind if not a little bit. Please spread the word & share with your friends and family. Be the voice of the wild animals and help fight against this act!

Thanks for reading! :)

– Reem AlHashmi

*De-clawing is the removal of a cat’s fingernails. Ouch.

Adopt your pet from these options:
Feline Friends (Abu Dhabi), Feline Friends (Dubai), Animal Action Abu DhabiAbu Dhabi Animal Shelter, K9 Friends

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