My Family and Other Animals - Guest post featuring cats and dogs

Lat week we were introduced to Colette and her decision to get a puppy at the same time as having  a baby. It was a lovely story and I really enjoyed the puppy and baby pictures - I hope you did too. This week I feature a blogger that not only added a cat to their family post children, but then threw a puppy into the mix too! Let's see how that worked out for Natalie, this week's guest poster from PlutoniumSox

"When I had my eldest daughter, we were a two-dog family. Much as I adored the dogs, I had always had cats as a child and the house seemed somewhat empty without one. So, as time went by, I managed to wear my husband down and he eventually agreed I could get a cat.

Well, within minutes I was online looking at all the rescue sites. We needed a very specific character of cat who would cope with our eclectic family life. Not many felines will put up with two small children and two large dogs. But as it happened, there was one. Luckily, I didn’t care what our family cat looked like. It was all about temperament and personality, both of which Jamer had in droves.

I never thought I’d get a pedigree cat, but Jamer was available for rehoming via the Cats Protection League as she was being bullied by the other cats in her house. And rescue cat was the only breed I was interested in, so she fitted the bill.

As soon as we brought her home, we realised that Jamer was a tiny cat with a massive personality. Whatever we were doing, she was there. She’d chase the sca-elextric, pop bubbles with the children, climb doors and fall off furniture. She was the boss of both dogs and slept where she wanted – even if it meant one of the dogs sleeping on the floor because she was in their bed and wouldn’t budge up.

Sadly not long after we got Jamer, our dog Soxa passed away. After a few months as a one dog, one cat family, I decided it was time for another dog. My husband and I were at loggerheads over this decision because I was insistent that it had to be a rescue and he wanted a puppy because he was worried about getting an older dog with young children.

So, we compromised. I did my research and realised there were hundreds of puppies in rescue shelters. It’s easier to get a puppy from a breed specific rescue, as there tend to be more of them there. We had a chat about it and decided we wanted a staffy. It wasn’t long before I found a 16 week old staffy cross called Millie at the Boxer and Bully Saviours rescue organisation.

We popped in to see her on the way back from a week’s holiday and it wasn’t long before she joined us in our home and Millie became Bubbles. Things have been difficult since then, my husband broke his leg badly in a motorbike accident, so instead of both of us taking responsibility for exercising our young terror, it was just me.

But despite it all, she has turned out wonderfully. She’s happy, bouncy and full of life. And most of all, she’s loyal to a fault. Last year I entered a 50-mile ultra-marathon. She trained with me every morning, with long runs at the weekends. And she still seemed to have plenty of energy.

I started to wonder if she might manage to run the race with me. I contacted the organisers and they were happy for her to join me. So, on a cold, damp October morning we set out across the Gower countryside. My husband agreed to meet me at the 30-mile mark so he could take Bubbles home if she was tired. But she wasn’t ready to stop. We eventually arrived at the finish after midnight, both totally exhausted but happy.

We sadly lost Jamer last year when she was hit by a car out on the road. We’re not ready for another cat yet because she was such a character, there will never be another Jamer. One day in the future there will be another cat in the Plutonium Sox household, but for now there’s just a large Jamer-shaped hole."

Oh I'm so sad such a fabulous cat is no more, and I totally understand how she cannot be replaced. It took us three years to get another border terrier after our last one died. But I do hope another awesome cat wriggles it's way into your life soon, it sounds like your family flourishes with the patter of tiny feet about the place.

If you've enjoyed this post (and who wouldn't!) you can follow Natalie all over social media or on her blog. 


Gorgeous Retro Floral Party Goodies

If you are organising a party I may have found the perfect website for the supplies! Just up the road from me (by chance) is the Party Bag and Supplies company.

While DD is now too old for me to need their party bags (though being able to buy ready filled themed party bags is a pretty cool idea! and prices start at £1 each) no one is ever too old for a party.

The site is really easy to search and browse and they have excellent selections of themed sets of paper plates, napkins, cups, table cloths, balloons and gifts.

So whether you opt for a cartoon style kids party, an animal theme or something more grown up there will be something for your celebration. Search by simple colour, including gold or silver (great for wedding anniversaries) or by theme, the A-Z of kids party themes has a lot more than 26 options from Angry Birds, through Disney to Zootropolis! A party set of 8 place settings with a Zootropolis theme is only £10.

But while I did love all the kids themed things it was the more retro things I decided to try out, and I was not disappointed. I chose items from the Truly Scrumptious party selection, and I was impressed not only by their beauty but by the quality too. I especially loved the easily put together cake stand with reversible tiers. I regret not getting doilies too! But I was pleased I chose tiny cake flags for decoration.

The fact that our set included decorated floral cake cases too, just forced DD and I to bake some cakes to show it all off to it's full potential. I can't help thinking that it would make a delightful Alice in Wonderland party, all we needed was a dormouse in a teapot.

I really liked the idea of using these paper plates for a summer party and will be using them at festivals too I think (no washing up!) and of course I shall be using the pretty bunting whenever I can.

You can browse the vast range of products at the Party Bags and Supplies website and if you follow them on twitter, you might even get a discount code. 💰

Disclosure : I was sent the set of paper tableware for the purposes of the review but all the opinions and words are my own.


Do not tell me about mouldy giraffes

I am fed up with hearing about Sophie the sodding giraffe.

Sophie the Giraffe is not trying to kill your kids, your bad hygiene is.

Sophie Giraffe Teething Toy

Toys that get damp inside, either from use in the bath or through sucking by a toddler are going to grow mould. And before you all jump on me, no of course I'm not the perfect housewife with a spotless house, but when a plughole in my house is stuffed up with congealed soap and pubic hairs I don't alert the media. Nor do I return the sink to Bathroom World and complain.

hair and soap in a dirty plughole

Now I'm sure this lady who discovered the horror that mould had grown inside her child's favourite chew toy didn't immediately grab the phone and ring the BBC, I'm sure she just intended it as a reminder to her online chums that they should clean the toys in their homes and keep an eye on what babies and toddlers chew on. (see how I haven't read every article so I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt over this)

Just like when I found DD, as a crawling baby, chewing on a well gnawed plastic dog's bone and reminded people that babies crawl and that dogs leave spit slimey toys laying about (thus winning the 'no shit Sherlock' award of the week). I guess that the media were just having a slow news day, probably all the wars had stopped or something.

Really, I am bored of reading about Sophie.

If you have toys that can get water (or baby dribble) inside them, you should wash them inside and out regularly. Use some water with sterilising fluid in, squeeze the toy under the water a few times to ensure water ingress, then give it a good shake, leave it for 10 minutes, empty and repeat. Empty and leave the toy to air dry. You should do this at least once a month, more often if you have the time.

Now excuse me, I have plugholes to clean.