Have You Hugged Your Human Today?

We love our humans, don’t get us wrong…. But they’re not the brightest pets.  Ya know?

Case in point… the girl.  She’s been trying to bake healthier treats for the other humans, but she gets so dispirited when she finds a yummie looking recipe then realizes that it’s high in sugar and calories.

The third time she brought in carrot sticks and growled her way through snack time, M & I decide we HAD to do something.  (Note: carrot sticks are awesome for batting around the office floor.)

M & I climbed up on her desk and instructed her to click away from Facebook (say hi, then tell her to get us some treats) and head to Pinterest.

She wanted to make a banana bread, but she thought her recipe had too much sugar.  Fine… so we Googled and discovered that we could replace the sugar with honey.  Honey is better for our diabetic friends because it “is composed of two simple sugars, glucose and fructose, honey is absorbed in a different manner and therefore causes a slower, more gradual rise in blood sugar.”  And to make matters even easier it can be substituted in equal amounts up to one cup.

Yay, we’d solved the sugar issue!  Now she wanted to eliminate the oil.  Back to Google: Apple sauce can be substituted for oil in equal amounts.  Yay!

We helped her play around with the recipe for a while longer…. lets add some cinnamon and maybe some flaxseed…. yum!  By this time we were worn out and decided to take a nap.  We patted the girl on the head and offered her reassurances that we were sure it would turn out great  (Silly humans!  Always need their paw held.)  and headed to our favorite chair for a well deserved nap.

Disclaimer: We’re not saying this a a “healthy” recipe…. or even “diabetic-friendly”…. we’re just saying this is healthier than we we started and diabetic-friendly-er.

Orange Spice Banana Bread

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You will need:

  • 1 c Honey
  • 3 T Apple Sauce
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 3 Ripe Bananas
  • ¾c Orange Juice
  • 3 c All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 T Flax Seed
  • 1 ½ t Baking Powder
  • 1 ½ t Baking Soda
  • ½ t Salt
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • 1 t Nutmeg
  •  ¼ t Clove
  •  ½ c Nuts
  • ¼ c Raisins

111 Calories Per Serving – 32 Servings

Directions:

Combine honey, apple sauce, vanilla and eggs; mix well.  Stir in bananas and orange juice. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients; add to banana mixture.  Mix until just moistened.  Stir in raisins and ¼ cup nuts.  Pour into two greased 8-in x 4-in loaf pans.

Bake at 300 for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pans to cool completely on a wire rack.

Yield: 2 loaves

Our test-humans liked it too!  Woo Hoo!  YUM!

-M&M

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S’more Adventures

So M & I have been doing a lot of reading lately.  See, our humans have this big festival that they host in the fall and this year M & I are lending a paw.  We’re really excited, we’ve invited all our friends…. But we’ve never hosted a big event like this and we want to make our humans proud… so we turned to the Source of All Knowledge, Google, for advice.  A quick internet search for: “cats + hot air balloons” returned the book ‘Hot Air Henry’ by Mary Calhoun.  Totally pawsome book!  You should read it if you haven’t already.

‘Hot Air Henry’ didn’t offer a lot of help on planning our Balloon Festival, but we now know what to do if one of the balloons should escape.

When we ordered Hot Air Henry from Amazon.com we went ahead and took advantage of the Super Shipper Savings and ordered the second book.  Cross Country Cat, the sequel to Hot Air Henry, didn’t offer us much insight into planning a Balloon Festival.   Oh well, it was a great book anyway and it got me and M hooked on the idea of cross country travel and camping out.

Since we are not allowed outside we’ve been forced to practice our camping skills in the office.  M & I have been turning our kitty tower on its side and using it as a tent.  The Man has been a real pain in the tail about this… he keeps turning it back upright and returning it to the corner.  M suggested that we pretend he is a bear and see how well the bear spray we ordered works.

During our research we discovered that s’mores are a staple of the campers diet.  Other than buying us the marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers, the girl has not been very supportive of our camping efforts.  She totally flew off the handle when she found us using one of her candles and her scissors to roast the marshmallows.  Perhaps it was the defective marshmallows that we left of her desk that was the issue?  I’m not eating them if they’re burnt… I’m just not!

Of course, when she discovered that we’d tried to make s’mores in the toaster oven she wasn’t any happier.  Frankly, it’s not our fault that the toaster oven doesn’t come with a s’more setting.  M just cranked it up to ‘broil’ and we curled up for a nice nap expecting to wake to a batch of delicious s’mores.  An hour later the smoke alarm and the girl were both making a ton of racket and M & I had to abandon our nap and the hope of getting any s’mores.

M & I spent the next day pouting and sulking… we were grounded.  Totally not fair!  I mean, we did get one of the nice firemen to sign up for flying lessons, so it wasn’t a total disaster.

Finally the girl took pity on us (M kept giving her Sad Kitten Eyes) and she found us a kitten/office safe recipe for s’mores.

Crockpot S’mores

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You will need:

  • 1 (18.25-oz.) package Devils Food cake mix
  • 1 (3.9-oz.) package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups milk, divided
  • 1 (3.4-oz.) package chocolate cook-and-serve pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

Directions:

Beat cake mix, instant pudding, eggs, sour cream, butter, vanilla and 1 1/4 cups milk at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into a lightly greased 4-qt. slow cooker.

Cook remaining 2 cups milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, just until bubbles appear; remove from heat and add the chocolate cook-and-serve pudding mix.

Pour pudding over the cake batter.  Cover and cook on LOW 3 1/2 hours.

Turn off slow cooker. Sprinkle cake with marshmallows, and chocolate morsels. Let stand 15 minutes or until marshmallows are slightly melted.  Top with crushed graham crackers just before serving.

So, not exactly the same thing as roasting marshmallows over a campfire…. but we did appreciate the girl’s effort.   The office smelled pawsome all day and the scent lured a number of our pilot friends into the office. Hanging out with our friends in the nice air-conditioned office…. M & I realized we really are two very lucky kitties.

– M&M

Wasps Smell Ouchie

As you may already know, M & I have been taking the Ground School offered at our airport.  If we’re going to be the heads of Airport Security & Hospitality we figured it would be professionally beneficial to earn our Pilot’s License (never mind that we’d be able to chase birds better!).

Well…. I was reading out of the Pilot’s Handbook while M was practicing a particularly difficult set of ground traffic control paw signals with one of the wasps that had made its way into the office.  She was directing it to make another go around before landing…. well…. I’m not entirely sure what happened.  Maybe the wasp misunderstood?  Or perhaps M didn’t signal correctly?  At any rate…. the wasp landed on her nose and…. STUNG HER!  Right-on-the-nose!

Totally uncalled for!  I jumped down from my chair and ordered that wasp to land.  Then I ramp-checked him and terminated his authority to fly….. permanently! (91.123)

Obviously, that was the end of studying for the day.  M walked around rubbing her nose and complaining bitterly for quite some time.  I was worried that she might become so discouraged that she would want to quit studying for our Pilot’s Licenses.

To take her mind off the ouchieness of the whole situation I decided to have our human, the girl, whip her up a little treat.

Easy Peasy Peppermint Mocha Frappucinos

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You will need:

  • 1 packet Starbucks Via Mocha Flavored Coffee
  • Nestle Coffeemate – Peppermint Mocha
  • Ice
  • Water

Here is where the directions get a bit vague…. Just throw the ingredients in to your personal preference….. more coffee flavored? Add less water…. More peppermint?  Add more Coffeemate… you get it?   Add enough ice (about 1-1.5 cups cubed) to make it nice and thick. Blend…. YUM!

The girl used her new Oster – My Blend blender, but you could use a regular blender.  We like the Oster – My Blend because we can add all the ingredients to the cup, screw on the blender lid and then it just locks into place in the blender….. once it’s blended you just unlock the cup, flip it over, remove the blender lid and screw on the travel lid!  Much easier and more convent for little paws… and clean up is a snap!  We just give the girl the blender lid and she washes it in the sink!  Easy peasy!  It comes with a nice travel lid so we can drag it around with us and slurp right out of the cup (we are still working on using a straw)!

M alternated slurping and resting her nose against the cup for the rest of the afternoon.  I am happy to report that she has fully recovered and is back to studying for her Pilot’s License!  We are on schedule to graduate with the rest of our class in August.  Next step… FLIGHT LESSONS!

If you’re interested in learning to fly too, join us for class!  Festus Airport Ground School Classes – We’d be happy to lend you a paw!

– M&M

Gifts from the Monkey Queen

We are totally excited!  Our human, the girl, has received a gift from the Monkey Queen!  Eeep!  How cool is that?

So we did some Googling (the source of all knowledge) and discovered that she’s not really a monkey (though she is a human…. so that’s kinda the same thing, but without a tail…. sad 😦  no tail) Anyway, 100th Monkey Media is pretty cool even if it isn’t what we were expecting.  Mich (we’re gonna keep calling her the Monkey Queen ’cause we like the way it sounds) is a super social media guru.  She teaches businesses  how to use things like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, e-mail and other social media platforms to better reach their customers.  We’ve been watching her YouTube channel all day… she’s such a funny human! We’ve learned all sorts of great things we’re going to have the girl do for our Airport.  If you aren’t as tech-savvy as me & M, you can have Mich do it all for you!  She teaches classes too, so be sure to like her on Facebook or Twitter (we do!) so you know what she’s up to.

We thought the girl was just goofing off when she was on Facebook, but apparently she was out learning things!  Since she likes and comments on 100th Monkey Media’s page so often she was named the Fan of the Week!  (We’re so proud!)  As the Fan of the Week the Monkey Queen sent her a mystery gift…… It’s a Crystal Growing Kit!!!

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Thanks Mich!  We had a ball helping the girl put together the crystal growing kit!  We tried to get her to follow all the directions, but she insisted on putting the crystals in a jar instead of the display pan that came with it…. perhaps that was a good idea after all…. sometimes we get over excited and eat our craft projects!

If you aren’t already a fan of 100th Monkey Media, you totally should be!

– M&M

Diabetics are not Bugs

Recently we learned that a some of our humans were diabetics.  At first we were terrified!  Mayhem ran straight for our office to grab the flea & tick medicine.  I remained calm though… While M rifled through our supply drawer, flinging toy mice and treats everywhere, I calmly climbed up on the desk and began to Google.  A few moments on the  net and I discovered our error.   I called to M who was balanced on the back of one of our human’s chairs, trying to apply flea & tick medicine to the back of his neck.  Thanks to my quick Googleing, we learned that diabetics are NOT giant ticks.  Whew!  ‘Cause if they were, M and I were doomed!

According to Google (who is all knowing) diabetics have trouble balancing their blood sugar.  If left unchecked it can cause all sorts of health problems (it can even effect cats!).  We contacted our Veterinarian (hug a vet!) right away who suggested that we change our humans kibble and cut out the extra treats.  Blood tests would help us see if our humans would need insulin shots as well.  Unfortunatly, we are not allowed out of the office and we doubted we could get our humans to go to the vet on their own!   So we decided that we would have to start offering our humans healthier food choices.

So we clicked away from Google and went to our second favorite source of all knowledge….. Pinterest!

On Pinterest we saw a number of other humans making salads in jars…. rabbit food is totally healthy!

You will need:

  • a mason jar
  • lettuce (go for organic and get the fancy multi colored kind!)
  • dressing of your choice (watch the sugars!) the girl used raspberry poppyseed
  • blueberries (which fruits are safe for diabetics?  American Diabetes Association)
  • carrots, shredded
  • fetta cheese (blue would be yummie too!)
  • dried cranberries
  • pecans, chopped

Directions:

Dressing first, then the shredded carrots.  The carrots kind of marinate in the dressing and really soak up the flavor.  Next go the berries, then the cheese… you want to keep the lettuce from touching the dressing or it will get slimy (ick), smash in the lettuce and top with a sprinkle of chopped pecan for crunch.

One huge con: we can’t get the jars open by ourselves…. when the girl brings things in plastic we can usually throw them off the desk and the lids pop right off!  The jars are not paw-friendly… but the girl said that the jar did seem keep her salad extra cold.

One human on Pinterest said that these salads would survive six days in the jars.  We can’t vouch for that yet, the girl ate all hers before the six days were up…. We’ll let you know if we can keep her out of them long enough.

We also found this awesome recipe from the Sugar-Free Mom for Personal Sized Baked Oatmeal.  Muffins!  Our humans love muffins!  Check out Sugar-Free Mom’s blog for this and other great sugar-free / human-friendly recipes!

Remember, if you don’t take care of your humans they certainly won’t take care of themselves!  Learn more about how to care for your diabetic human at the American Diabetes Association.

We’d love to hear from you!  Lend us a paw and send us your human / diabetic friendly recipes!

M&M

ModPodge in our Whiskers

Apparently humans can’t drink from water bowls like we do… something about their tongues not being scratchy like our…. poor humans!  We’ve noticed they like to drag around cups with liquid in them…. and straws!  We have been trying to learn to drink from a straw like our humans, but we haven’t quite gotten the hang of it just yet.  When our humans leave their cups unattended we take their straw and add it to our collection so we can practice in our water bowl (we don’t like to drink soda… coffee, yes… soda, no.)  Even though we haven’t made much progress on learning to drink from them yet, we do have great fun playing with the chewed up straws.  Also, it gives our humans lots of fun chasing us around pretending that they didn’t want us to have their straw…. silly humans…. we know that if you didn’t want us to have it, you wouldn’t have left it unattended!  Duh!

The humans’ cups tend to leave little rings of water on our table.  We don’t like the little water rings… it gets on our paws and we have to shake it off and then water gets everywhere! Yuck!  We figured it would be too hard to teach them to drink from a water bowl, so we decided to make them coasters.

You will need:

  • 4×4 tiles (we used some old bathroom tiles)
  • Sectional charts (cut about 4.25 x 4.25 in)
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Clear spray paint
  • Felt (for the bottoms)
  • Hot glue

We had the girl cut the charts into 4.25 x 4.25 squares.

Next she covered the tiles with Mod Podge and and applied the charts to the tiles…. take your time here, smooth all the wrinkles and bubbles out now, because it dries fast!

We tried doing the corners two different ways… When you fold the paper down over the sides you get a little flap that sticks out… first we tried just cutting te flap off, but it left an edge that we worried would eventually peel.  Finally we decided that we liked to just fold the flap over like wrapping a present.  It looks a bit neater, but takes a bit more effort to get to glue down.

Coat the top of the coaster with a coat or two of Mod Podge to seal it.

Once everything dried we applied a coat of clear spray paint to make it shiny.

We cut a piece of felt (slightly less than 4×4) for the bottom so it wouldn’t scratch the table…. Use hot glue to attach the felt.

FYI: do not get the mod podge in your whiskers… it is a nightmare to get out!

M&M

Stop to Eat the Roses

Our humans don’t like to fly on rainy, windy, snowy or hot-hot days…..good thing they were not born birds!  M & I get lonely and board when no one comes to visit, so too keep the girl from rotting her brain on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/FestusAirport – tell her hi!) or trying to give us pedicures (we like our nails sharp, thank you very much) we like to do arts & crafts.  Since we hate to waste kibble-money on anything but kibble and catnip we try to find old things and upcycle them.

Knowing how much we love to craft, some of our humans have started bringing us their old aeronautical charts to use…. we call this Sectional Chart Art!

We saw these roses on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/pin/211880357439410598/) and just had to make them!

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The tutorial on Pinterest said to use hot glue, so we got the girl to glue them together for us, because hot glue is a nightmare to get off our paws!  Later we made some out of newspapers and we just used Elmer’s glue and it worked fine for that.  For anything thicker like scrapbook paper or sectional charts, we’d say you should use the hot glue.

We had a great time batting the little pieces of paper around the office while the girl turned them into roses!

She used bamboo (shish-ka-bob) skewers for the stems and added a bit of blig to the roses by first hot gluing a shiny bead or pearl (those are great to bat around too!) to the non-pointy end of the skewer and then shoving the skewer through the center of the rose.  Next she used floral tape (do NOT grab the roll and run around the office with it, no matter how much fun it looks… it is very hard to reuse once it has fur in it) to wrap the skewer.  Secure the end with a bit of hot glue.  Ta Dah!

– M&M