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Archive for November, 2011

Dr. Marty Becker of Vetstreet.com received a recent plea from a homeowner: “My cat is always jumping up on tables and kitchen counters. When I think about where those paws have been, I know he needs to stay on the ground. What can I do?”

Dr. Becker blames the cat’s counter-top mountaineering as part of the animal’s predatory disposition to seek high ground. Perhaps, the doctor added, it was the homeowner’s fault for leaving water trickling from the tap, storing food in open containers or by not providing an adequate climbing roost for tabby.

Decorating disasters

Photo by Leather Revive

Photo by Leather Revive

Practically everyone who has owned a cat knows that even if you have a nifty, carpeted climbing tree, kitty may still prefer to attach itself to the side of a beloved piece of furniture and turn it into a fez tassel. What’s a homeowner to do, encase a favorite chair in vinyl siding?

Pets and furniture aids

Photo by Drs. Foster and Smith

Photo by Drs. Foster and Smith

Before you introduce your lil’ kitty to the neighbor’s pit bull, consider cat-training products like the Scat Mat, a $70 water-resistant pad that emits unpleasant but harmless electrostatic charges to any intruder. Of course, you’ll have to turn it off before Aunt Gertie plops down for the afternoon soaps. Get all the details from Doctors Foster and Smith.

But wait, there’s more!

Photo by Drs. Foster and Smith

Photo by Drs. Foster and Smith

Doctors Foster and Smith also retail the Sofa Scram mat that keeps Fluffy off of your favorite napping chariot. The battery-powered sofa mat ($30) emits a nasty alarm that sends kitty racing for a dark corner under your bed.

You tattle tale, you

Photo by SafeHome Products

Photo by SafeHome Products

The Tattle Tale Vibration System runs on a 9V battery. You set the device on your kitchen counter, your couch, or your unstable atomic stockpile, and it emits a loud alarm when disturbed by a furry paw. Either the cat scampers, or you do, alerted to its presence in your personal Area 51. Check it out at Safe Home Products.

Beat decorating stress

Photo by Kitten Cannon

Photo by Kitten Cannon

If all else fails,  release any residual feline resentments with a visit to Kitten Cannon. Then find your cat under the bed and cuddle with it on an approved piece of furniture.

Winter tour: American places, historical names and architecture

Are you curious about how your neighborhood got its name? Recently The Street ran a piece on famous neighborhoods in large American cities. San Francisco’s “Tenderloin” got its name, according to the article, because the police that patrolled this rough and tumble center of prostitution and mayhem deserved combat pay. Consequently, the cops could afford to buy tenderloin steaks for supper.

Hell’s own kitchen

Photo by Chris Brady

Photo by Chris Brady

Hell’s Kitchen owned the notoriety of tolerating such ugly gang activity in the 1950s that it became a model neighborhood for Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. The Street says the name arose following a dialogue between New York cops, one of whom said that place was hell itself. The other officer said hell was mild when compared to the neighborhood, and dubbed it Hell’s Kitchen. The area has been gentrified, but the row-house architecture here can’t compare with the stunning preservation of the Brooklyn brownstones.

How did you get the smut eye?

Photo by Deep Fried Kudzu

Photo by Deep Fried Kudzu

I lived in Alabama, but never made it over to Smuteye over in Bullock County. The official Smuteye website claims the name came from practice of the town’s “men folk”, who stood around an open fire in winter, downing moonshine. Their wives–shockingly enough–would guess what they had been doing from the layer of fresh smut on their faces. The local architecture: shot-gun style homes.

Town of happy endings

Photo by Tim Kiser

Photo by Tim Kiser

This typical Midwest architecture doesn’t suggest anything out of the ordinary about the Minnesota town of Climax, population 264. The town was named after a popular 19th Century chewing tobacco, Climax Cut Plug. So quit your grinning.

Make no Buttz about it

Photo by Ponderings over the Pond

Photo by Ponderings over the Pond

Miss the turn to Hope and you end up in Buttzville. Turns out the local architecture looks a lot like it does in the rest of rural New Jersey. But before you go getting ideas, the village of 4,387 people was named after founder Michael Robert Buttz, a grist mill operator. No doubt, the town name sparks considerable low country humor. The town is just a shout away from the Pequest River, which makes the terrain here strictly bottom county.

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)

    Ben

  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.