Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Vernal Equinox Say What?

Hello Mr. Sunshine (not my sisteroid, the cat)
Are you hiding in there?

Today is the first day of SPRING. You wouldn't know it around here, though, as it is cold and rainy today. I am bundled up and in my bed by the heater, while Molly is nestled in Sunshine (the cat's) cocoon bed. And Sunshine is somewhere else - probably buried in the covers on Aunt B's bed. We are all hunkered down trying to stay warm and dry.

So how is this SPRING?  Okay, rain equals flowers, April showers and what not. I get it. But we are not talking Springlike showers. We are talking cold. . . lotsa snow in the mountains . . . cold and wet. Like February weather. And it is mid-March.

So while the days DO seem to be getting longer, the ol' weather machine seems to be stuck in WINTER Soltice. All of this is making Phil the Groundhog seem quite the sage, huh?

Nonetheless - Spring is here and we need to don our flower hats and dance to celebrate the (eventual) exit of WINTER.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Can You Teach an Old Cat Something New? #chewyinfluencer

This is my sisteroid Sunshine the Cat. She is pretty set in her ways because she is 15 years old. It's okay. She has earned it. She is generally a pretty tidy cat although she occasionally poops on the floor NEAR her litter box. We aren't sure what is going on. Maybe the box is too high? Maybe she can't recognize when she has to poop? Her timing is off? Or maybe she is simply acting out. We don't know. It really is a minor complaint.

One thing that IS NOT so minor is the litter box odor. This is an ongoing thing and it sometimes drives Mommy to frustration.

The litter/sand that works best is very very pricey. It lasts a long time but at $24-26 a month it gets expensive. For the most part it eliminates the odor completely. But Sunshine pees in ONE SPOT all of the time and even the best stuff will fail after a while. Then there is the stuff sold at all of the stores which is half the price. It works okay but in HALF a month you can tell there is a cat in the house the minute you walk in the door. (** Mommy note: The box is cleaned daily but the litter is changed 1-2 weeks, depending on the odor). At the end of a month, Mommy has replaced the litter so much she has to spend more money for more litter -and it ends up being the same or more than the expensive brand and she is doing twice the work.

As luck would have it, Ms. Natalie from Chewy.com asked me if I would be interested in providing a HOODED and special-system-kind of CAT LITTER BOX to Sunshine to try out. Well I thought long and hard on this (like 2 seconds!) and then told Ms. Natalie that SURE, I think Sunshine would like it.

I didn't KNOW if Sunshine would like it. I just know I DON'T like the smell of the LITTER BOX and I am a D-O-G! We dog's live for STINK. So you KNOW it must be bad if I don't like it. Besides, who doesn't like a little privacy now and then?

It arrived 4 days later. Calling all CATS. . . I, Noodles the Pug is happy to announce the Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System

It is almost as tall as the table. See the underside of the
table at the top of the picture?

It was in a HUGE BOX. Like almost the size of her Kitty Kondo box, which was huge! I refused to go anywhere NEAR that thing - it was so big it scared me! That is why you see NO ANIMALS in this photo. We were all very intimidated.

Molly hiding under the table WAY away from the box
Then Mommy started pulling things out of the box (Some assembly IS required) and we got a little more curious. After a few HBO words, she had it all set up. It isn't difficult but the directions are all pictures and SOMEHUMAN has issues with that.

Mom had to photoshop Sunshine into this photo because she
would not pose. She claimed it was too private

Mommy did NOT think Sunshine would ever use the box. The pellets are large and Sunshine is picky about the texture of her litter. So Mom followed the suggestions in the literature enclosed with the Tidy Cats Breeze and kept the old litter box in place and put the new one near it. She also stopped cleaning the old box with was really really hard on all of us.

Still Sunshine seemed to be ignoring it. Then Mommy took off the hood. Sunshine is, after all, an old cat and the hood made maneuvering around the box difficult. The NEXT day, Mommy noticed paw prints in the pellets and when she pulled out the drawer, there was evidence of pee.

It took a week and a half for Sunshine to begin using the box regularly and Mommy got rid of the old box.

So what is the BREEZE system? Well Tidy Cats developed these pellets that allow the urine to flow through it. The Breeze cat box is three parts:

  • The hood, which we discussed
  • The tray which holds the pellets and had a an open grid in the bottom to allow liquid to flow through and solid waste to collect on top
  • The drawer which hold the pad that collects the urine and makes clean up very easy

Because the pellets do not soak up the urine, there is no ammonia smell. The surface stays relatively dry so the cat is happier AND the pellets are large so they do not go flying all over the room when Sunshine exits the box. Solid waste can easily be scooped up and disposed of.

NOTE: Mommy has a bit of an issue with the abundance of plastic that is tossed into the landfill from using the pads. She would like them to come up with an alternative that would be disposable but also decompose-able. The pellets are clay and will degrade over time. But until there is a reasonable alternative, she will continue to use the Breeze system as Sunshine is happy with it.

And Mommy did the math to see of it is economical compared with the other litter/sand methods she has tried. We established they run $26 a month on average. The Tidy Cat Breeze System cost break down is like this

The box, lid, scoop, sample of pads and 3.5 lbs of pellets = $44.99 on Chewy.com
A package of 10 pads (one lasts a week or so depending on number of CATS) = $12.10 on Chewy.com
A 7 lb bag of pellets good for 1-2 month before needing replacing = $15.47 on Chewy.com

So in a year (and based on Sunshine's usage only. . . each cat is different) the system will cost a total of $231.67 versus $312.00 for the other litter/sand systems. That is a pretty good savings. The BONUS is NO CAT SMELL!

So Mommy's happy. . . Sunshine is happy . . . and most importantly, I am HAPPY.

Casa de Noodles gives the Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System THIRTY. . . 30. . . hands/paws/claws UP for living up to its hype. We are so much happier without that kitty smell.

** Chewy.com provided us with ONE Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter System to use and evaluate. All opinions and mathematical-ing  are ours and ours alone.We were not paid to say anything.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Lazy Rainy Gray Kinda Friday

THIS is about all of the ambition I have today. It isn't much. Mommy feels the same way. She WENT BACK TO BED this morning (without me)! She never ever does that. I went in there and said "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?" and she never answered. I heard her SNORING, though, so I know she was asleep. I tried ONE TIME to jump on her bed but there is just no way. So I went back to my bed and Lamby by the heater vent.

In the meantime, it was raining and gray outside. That's kind of the way it has been ALL WEEK. The weatherperson (who was totally WRONG last weekend) has predicted rain, rain, and more rain all weekend. Harrrumph! I don't mind rain during the work week but ON THE WEEKEND! Nah.

We're all up and doing our usual day job now. Mommy is at her computer working and I am keeping her company. . . in the RED BED . . . with my eyes closed. But I AM working.

Have a super weekend EVERYPUGGY. Play hard and nap harder.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

New Love NULO #chewyinfluencer

Did I hear a FOOD PACKAGE open?

When I say CHEWY, you say YUM

Oh gosh! I am so tired now. Being a CHEERLEADER for good food is so hard. But I do what I can do to serve MY PUBLIC (you).
Here at Casa de Noodles, we often get the opportunity to try new things thanks to our being a part of the Chewy Influencer team. We are grateful for every day and for every opportunity that comes our way. 

The March Newsletter offered so many wonderful selections. It really was like finding the pot of GOLD at the end of the rainbow. We had a difficult time but finally I decided to try NULO Freestyle Grain-Free Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food. I mean - what could go wrong? The answer is

NOTHING - nothing can go wrong with such a flavorful combination of food. I mean . . . lamb . . . and to pair it with the sweet but tangy flavor of raspberries? Well my mouth is a-watering and it is nowhere near mealtime.

Mommy, my dish is empty

As usual we got the NULO just a day or two after ordering and immediately tried it. Nulo Freeze Dried Raw dog food is comprised of nuggets that weigh NOTHING! It is hard to believe there is so much flavor in something so unimpressive as a nugget. I think that is true of NUGGETS in general, don't you? They are just not impressive. . . unless they are CHICKEN nuggets and those make my taste buds run around the block and back.

Mommy never feeds me enough in an effort to keep my weight down. She gauges a food by how satisfied I act once I quit licking the bowl - which can take quite a while. For the initial taste test, she gave me this much

That is 1/4 cup which is my normal meal portion. She feeds me a half cup of meat a day and this allows room for vegetables, some yogurt and a variety of treats without making me put on weight. It much work because I am a lean and luscious PUG PRINCESS!

First Mommy tried to rehydrate it. Well, tried. It did not work all that well although there was a small amount of tasty sauce with the meal.

The water had not soaked in at all at this point

Nonetheless, I ate like there was no TOMORROW - which for me is a reality because it can be argued that for canines there IS no tomorrow only a long series of TODAYS. Excuse my intellectual musings. Back to NULO. . .

That stuff is UBER tasty and did not make me belch a lot. As I get older, this is something Mommy has to be aware of - my sensitive tummy. There was a little crunch but mostly smooth meaty tasting morsels. It is YUM. 

Since then, I have had the NULO as a food topper rather than a meal. The bag is really small (3.5 ounces is all) and Mommy wanted to make sure we could test it over a good amount of time.

Nutritionally speaking, Nulo Freeze Dried Raw offers some serious good nutrition. It also has a probiotic, GanedenBC30, which promotes healthy gut and digestion. Also a good thing in an older dog (as well as a maturing youngun). It is good food made from real food as you can tell from this ingredient list

Lamb, Lamb Liver, Ground Lamb Bone, Lamb Kidney, Raspberries, Broccoli, Apples, Dried Egg Yolks, Butternut Squash, Green Beans, Blueberries, Carrots, Kale, Spinach, Parsley, Apple Cider Vinegar, Ground Flaxseed, Salt, Dried Kelp, Inulin, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Potassium Chloride, Salmon Oil, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (natural preservative), Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

There's no corn, wheat, soy, and no artificial preservatives or flavors. Nulo Grain-free Freeze Dried dog food is good stuff for the important pooch in your life. I could PUGSONALLY eat it day and night. . . if I were allowed to. . . but I am not. . .

If you are thinking of changing to a raw diet, Nulo Grain-free Freeze Dried Raw is a good way to do so without the mess of actually feeding your pet raw meat.

I give this food FOUR by FOUR by FOUR paws up because I am standing in a mirror that makes it look like there are three of me. . .

** We received free of charge a small bag of Nulo Grain-free Freeze Dried Raw dog food from Chewy.com for the purpose of trying the product and forming an opinion of it. We are never paid for what we write and we are never told what to write. All opinions and observations on A Bowl of Noodles belong to Noodles the Pug.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Rainy Wednesday Never Leaves Me Speechless

I realize for GREEN
Some rain needs to FALL
I think you know what I MEAN
When I stand and loudly BAWL
Rain get away from my SCENE
I just don't like you AT ALL
well. . .
at least . . .
not when . . .
I. . .
want . . .
To lay in a Sun BEAM all day LONG

Monday, March 12, 2018

Auntie B's Birthday By The Beach

It was overly warm and very sunny when MY Mommys decided to treat Auntie B to a beach weekend for her BIG Birthday. It was a perfect idea because like Mommy, Auntie B lives for the beach. They rented a place from Mommy #1's friend's family which is south of Santa Cruz and very close to the beach. Then they cleared their calendars and all was GOOD TO GO.

This is the house - adorable

The only BUMMER was "No Dogs Allowed." Mommy asked if that included PUGS and the owners said yes. That is unfortunate but sometimes these things happen. Mommys were just as sad as me.

The weather decided to CHANGE a lot this month, though and instead of warm sunny weather, the Weather Guy predicted cooler temps and rain through the weekend. That was a bummer but was not really a deterrent to Mommys and Auntie B. After all, a rainy day at the beach is STILL a day at the beach.

So the BIG WEEKEND arrived (this past weekend) and Mommy's car was packed up with food and gear and off they went. I was so sad. This is where I stood most of the weekend - outside Mommy's door. I was hoping she would magically reappear when the door opened. I was wrong.

Mommy? Are you in there?

When Mommys and Auntie B arrived on the coast, it was overcast and cool but not too bad. They unpacked the car and decided to go down to the beach for a walk. Which they did and Mommy said it was a nice walk. About 30 mins in, though, it started to sprinkle and then lightly rain. It wasn't bad and if they'd taken umbrellas they might have kept walking, but they didn't. So after taking lotsa photos, they headed back to the house for hot chocolate and the movie "Coco".

Gray but not ominous. A Soulful Day

The skies sorta cleared around SUNSET so they all headed out to the beach again to catch the sunset. There was an awesome rainbow to the south which Mommy tried to capture on her iPhone camera. It did not come out so good. But she did manage to capture some nice sunset photos - she said it was an inspiring sight.

My Mommys

This is just WOW

The next day was completely DIFFERENT from the day before. Mommy said it dawned clear and bright and by the time they headed to the beach, it was shorts and flip flop temperatures. Neither of which they took.

They spent a long time at the beach (Mommy #1 went to UCSC to visit a friend) and then went back to the house and packed up. They reluctantly left the house as they loved staying there sosososososo much.

Then they drove to Natural Bridges park a little north of downtown Santa Cruz. The bridges fell down a while ago but the coastline vistas are still among the most incredible in the world.

Finally Mommy #2 and Auntie B picked up Mommy #1 from UCSC and they headed back over the hill to home.

I was so HAPPY to see Mommy (Mommy #1 was dropped off at university)! I did not jump up and down like Molly, though. But I did stick to Mommy like the velcro pug I am. I am so glad she is back to cuddle with, sit with, snuggle with, and just BE WITH.

Happy Birthday Auntie B - my present to you was a weekend with MY MOMMYS.

Friday, March 9, 2018

I Helped Martha Stewart

Me, with the inimitable Martha Stewart. . . well, I guess she is actually quite
imitable when you consider SNL. . . but you know what I mean. . . she's COOL

I love FLOWERS and MARTHA Stewart. Really! She is so clever and organized and stuff. So when she CALLED me and asked if I could help her do some FLOWER arranging - well I said SURE. I am a pug who is always up for an adventure.

So I packed my bags and off I went to meet Ms. Stewart. She is just as nice in person as she seems on tv, you know. AND she loves loves loves dogs. She does not have any pugs but she does have Frenchies  and that is close. These are her current dogs

I got through make up and wardrobe and before I knew it we were ON SET. This is where is got fun. On the set are a bunch of flowers and vases and Martha told me to get on a chair by the table and help her CREATE some SPRINGlike arrangements. I was so excited! I mean, who wouldn't be?

And I was a good girl while on set. I did not bark or whine or otherwise act DOGGY. Maybe she will ask me back sometime?

After the segment, as they say in SHOWBIZ, I was allowed to make my own arrangement from the remaining flowers. I am not sure how they look. . .

I tried.

So that is my adventure with Martha Stewart. Have a super weekend where ever you BE.

**Editors note - this is all fiction. We live nowhere near Martha Stewart or NYC or the Today Show