Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mavy, New Business & Veterans Day

The following post was posted on my webstore on November 11th, 2011. I am reposting it here for everyone's reference...

Today, November 11th, 2011 or 11/11/11, would have been my beloved Maverick’s “Mavy” 11th birthday. On June 1st, 2011, he passed away from gastrointestinal cancer. He started showing signs of illness around the 1st of May. In the course of one month, he passed away with me lying beside him, holding him, on the dining room floor.

In honor of Mavy, I am finally doing something I have wanted to do for a long time… start an online pet store for pet products. Maverick is in the store’s banner because I have used the image of all the critters for quite some time now.

The name Paws4Critters I have had since 2000. I attended a business school where we had to work in groups to come up with a hypothetical business. I grouped with other animal lovers, and we came up with a pet store… a dream of mine. I wanted a clever name, and came up with Paws4Critters and the slogan “Pawsing for Critters with 4 Paws”. I was in charge of marketing; so, I came up with all the logo designs and such.

When trying to figure what would make Paws4Critters Pet Stuff different from other online pet stores, I thought long and hard about it. It finally came to me… specialize in American made products. That’s not to say Paws4Critters Pet Stuff will not carry products made in other countries, but we will strive to offer American made products, first.

Paws4Critters Pet Stuff will also offer products which are unique and/or products The Critter Gang likes and approves of.

We are in the early stages of securing contracts with several manufacturers of American made products as well as one American manufacturer whose products are manufactured elsewhere.

Dynamic Accents, Ltd – Made in the USA
Dynamic Accents is an American manufacturer based in Ohio. They make beautiful wood furniture at their facility in the United States. American workers building American made products. They specialize in slide gates, which allow you to section off parts of your home to keep pets and small children in or out of specific areas, end table pet crates, which gives you a functional piece of furniture and keeps your best friend by your favorite chair as well and elevated, single feeder bowls. If you have a large breed dog, you have probably noticed the elevated double feeder bowls in stores. Dynamic Accents offers a single feeder bowl, which is great for those of us who have no use for the elevated double feeder bowl. Believe me, I have looked for elevated single feeder bowls, and they are very difficult to find.

Hugs Pet Products
Hugs Pet Products is not made in the USA. However, I have bought these products for The Critter Gang. They are definitely Critter Gang approved. Hugs Pet Products has some very unique items. Some of their popular items are hollowed out rubberized toys with a sponge-like material in them. These toys are great for pets after exhausting activities. You simply place the toy under gently running water for a short while and place in the freezer. Once frozen, you can give the toy to your dog when (s)he is hot, has just come in from play, just come back from a walk or any other time they need cooling down. I give them to Shasta when she gets overly rambunctious, as well, because she loves them. They are not for power chewers or dogs who enjoy the destruction of a toy. I would suggest monitoring this type of dog with them. Hershey has to be monitored with them because he is an extreme power chewer; I have found nothing he cannot chew through in a very short period of time. They have other products I will be offering as well. They even have another product I would like to try with Shasta… the Tee Bone has a pouch to place a worn, not laundered T-shirt in. The theory is to place the T-shirt in the Tee Bone and your dog will have your scent with him/her at all times. Not sure how this works, but I assume you would have to change the shirt from time to time to put your scent back in it. When I get one for Shasta, I will probably get some cheap undershirt style T-shirts to wear around a bit and place in the Tee Bone.

I have a few others in the works, but I do not want to put their names here until everything is set. When I add another manufacturer, I will make an announcement/introduction blog post.

I will still offer some of the homemade toys I have listed such as the Alley Cat Knapsack©, the Animal Crackers©, the fleece rope toys, the fleece blankets and the handmade jewelry – Rainbow Bridge Pet Remembrance Bracelet, Pet Family Bracelet, Pet ID Bracelet and in some cases other handmade necklaces and some manufactured Swarovski brooches.

Please visit Paws4Critters Pet Stuff, like us and share us with your friends.
Please “like” our fan page on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/Paws4CrittersPetStuff

Please check back as we will be adding new items, regularly.

And, to my dear sweet Mavy… Happy Birthday my beloved Fluff Muffin!
I hope you are with Dad, Copper and Gizzy, my little buddy who is now the face of Paws4Critters Pet Stuff.

Today is also Veterans Day… a great day to open a pet store specializing in American made products! Hope I can make Dad proud.

Happy Birthday, Mavy!
Happy Veterans Day, Daddy and to all our military personnel!
Thanks for stopping by and… BUY AMERICAN whenever possible!

Robyn & The Critter Gang

Since posting this blog, I have added two more American made manufacturers. I am trying to get their products listed as quickly as possible. Please bear with me and check back often.

West Paw Design (from their site) - Made in the USA
West Paw Design manufactures the highest quality dog and cat toys and bedding available, made in beautiful Bozeman, Montana, in the good ol’ U.S. of A. We are a small but mighty company dedicated not only to creating safe, fun, and durable products for your pet, but also to making a contribution to the greater picture. We believe in only the best for your pet!

Katie's Bumpers (from their site) - Made in the USA
  • Katie's Bumpers were designed with both humans and dogs in mind.
  • Katie's Bumpers are fun and cool and unique.
  • Katie's Bumpers are safe for everyone. All of the designs on the bumpers are molded into the non-toxic vinyl as part of the manufacturing process. It is not painted on and therefore will not come off in your dog's mouth.
  • Whether you are a serious dog trainer doing land or water work or you have a dog that loves to fetch, Katie's Bumpers are great.
  • They are easy for you and your dog to see in just about any setting or weather condition.
  • They have just the right amount of weight for a good toss.
  • When they roll on the ground or on the water, everyone can find them.
  • We have tested them in pools, in the ocean, lakes and reservoirs and every dog has gotten their new patterned bumper.
  • They are easy to wash. You can throw them in the sink and use a little soap and water to get the day's dirt off, or throw them in the dishwasher.
Paws4Critters - Made in America, Texas, that is.
These items will still be available. If you do not see them, please do not hesitate to ask.

Rainbow Bridge Pet Remembrance Bracelets are made to order bracelets that offer comfort and reminds us of our beloved pets that have gone before us. Available for both dogs and cats.
Alley Cat Knapsacks & Animal Crackers are Paws4Critters cat toy designs and are handmade by Paws4Critters in America.
Fleece Rope dog tugs/chews are Paws4Critters dog toys handmade by Paws4Critters in America.

Thanks & always paws 4 critters with 4 paws!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All in the Family

I am writing this blog because I have promised people I would while trying to explain the relationships between some of the cats I have rescued.

Devil (recovering from surgery to his eye to correct an old injury)
Devil is the resident male tom cat believed to be a Maine Coon mix. He is descended from a feral that used to come around circa 1999-2001. He is estimated to be between 9 & 11 years old. He was born outside and lived there until January 2011 when I took him in, had him neutered and had surgery done to correct an eye injury he acquired in a fight circa 2009.

Mama Kitty
Mama Kitty is the long haired black and white mother cat that belonged to my neighbor’s wife’s aunt. When the aunt went into a nursing home, she gave the cat to her niece. Mama Kitty lived outside and was pregnant when she got here. Her kittens were all shorthaired, unlike their mother. It is believed she has some sort of Oriental breed like Siamese, Himalayan, etc, as most of her kittens have the Oriental points like those breeds.

Now, having set those two, I will try to explain the relationship between all the kittens I & the dogs have rescued from the backyard, under the house and/or deck, or wherever they may have wandered or been left by their mother.

  1. Mama Kitty is the mother of Dusty & Sandy, as well as the mother of Harley & Jake’s mother, whom she was pregnant with when she arrived at my neighbor’s house.
  2. Devil is the father of Dusty & Sandy.
  3. Dusty & Sandy are siblings but from different litters, approx 6 months apart.
  4. Harley & Jake’s mother is the ½ sister of Dusty & Sandy, which makes Harley & Jake their nephews.
  5. Harley & Jake are, therefore, the grandsons of Mama Kitty.
  6. Bonnie’s mother is Mama Kitty.
  7. Bonnie’s father is Jake. (Note: This is why I call Bonnie a Penguin Siamese. She looks like a pure bred Siamese, but her parents are both black and white. She is my poster pet for people who go to the shelter/rescue or find a stray and say... "it must be a pure bred ______")
Are you still with me? OK, now it’s about to get complicated!

  1. So… Bonnie is the great granddaughter of her mother because her father is her mother’s grandson. Bonnie’s grandmother (the mother of her father) is also her ½ sister, which makes her father, Jake, and his brother, Harley, who is also her uncle, her nephews.
  2. Bonnie is also the ½ sister of Dusty & Sandy, but they are also her ½ great uncle & aunt (and she is their ½ great niece) because her grandmother is their ½ sister and her father is their ½ nephew.
Still following?

  1. Bonnie is, then, her own ½ grand aunt & ½ grand niece.
Got all that?!

  1. Jake the younger, it is assumed, is somehow related to this group because he resembles Jake the elder in facial structure and body build, as well as having the spots like Dusty. Interestingly, Mama Kitty took Bonnie’s siblings after the dog’s “rescued” her from under the deck and left. All of Mama Kitty’s offspring that I was not able to catch left the immediate area as well, However, they continue to stop by from time to time with another feral, Bobby, who I have been feeding for over a year. They are all feral now, and I see them from time to time near the van where I feed them.
Jake the Elder
Sandy & Bonnie
Dusty & Sandy
Jake the Younger
And that, folks, is the reason we should not keep it all in the family!
Robyn & The Critter Gang