Random Act of Kindness Day

February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day — it’s a day set aside for people to be kind to strangers. According to an article published in Psychology Today, when someone does a kind deed it for someone else it makes both people feel good. It’s a great idea in theory, but you have to do it right. Paying for someone’s latte may only push that person to buy someone else a latte and the act of kindness loses its meaning. We’ve come up with a few random acts of kindness you’ll feel good performing — and you don’t need to spend a lot (or any) money.

  1. garbageTake your neighbor’s garbage to the curb while you’re taking yours. It’s an easy task that no one wants to do — your neighbors will appreciate the gesture.
  2. Offer to go to the grocery store for an elderly neighbor. Going to the grocery store is just a chore for the young and strong — as an elderly person, it can be a struggle. What takes you 20 minutes could take them an hour. Not only are you doing a difficult chore for that person, you’re also giving them time to do other activities.
  3. Help a parent struggling with a stroller. Whether it’s single dad or a mom out on her own for the day, taking care of kids alone can be tough. Even the smallest gesture can make a huge difference in that person’s day.
  4. Help someone who looks lost with directions. The gratitude they’ll feel is immeasurable.
  5. waitressBe a generous tipper. The service industry isn’t for the faint of heart. Waiting tables is a tough job — it’s physical labor and also requires someone to be sharp. And with all that work, they don’t get health insurance, paid vacation, sick days or bonuses. A big tip could mean a lot more than just getting their bills paid.
  6. Send a thank-you note to someone who has improved your life. Take a few minutes to write out how much someone means to you — for someone to hear that you’re grateful that you know him or her is priceless.
  7. Take an hour of your week to spend time with the elderly at a nursing home. Taking time to talk to elderly people could make their day, week or month.
  8. Leave a kind note for your mail carrier or garbage collector. They’re part of what makes our community run — they deserve a little gratitude.
  9. Send a care package to soldiers. Whether they’re on a tour or they’ve just returned, a gift from a stranger to thank them for their service isn’t something they get from every American.
  10. dog-poundTake a bag of pet food, toys or pet beds to your local animal shelter. Homeless dogs and cats need food and comfort. Every little bit of kindness helps keep them from going hungry. If you have extra time, stop in to give a few pets some love.

Being kind isn’t hard — if someone’s having a bad day or a bad year a kind deed from a stranger may be a small action that has a big impact. Start looking out for ways to be kind every day, not just Random Acts of Kindness Day.

10 Things to Brighten Your February

As Punxsutawney Phil informed us, there will be six more weeks of winter. But we don’t need a groundhog to tell us that — in most parts of the country right now, we can see outside our winter that we are in the depths of winter. When it’s this cold and snowy, it’s hard to believe we’ll ever see sunshine again. But we can take action to brighten our winter days. Here are 10 things to brighten your February.

Image and video hosting by HilariousGIFs.com1. That’s a face that is only made when someone smaller and fiercer than you takes your favorite warm spot. Dogs can understand about 250 words and gestures, and this kitty’s gesture is one this pup gets. That kitty needs a cozy pet bed of his own!

 

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2. It’s the only place the snow won’t get to him. Cats love enclosed spaces — it’s because they spend most of the day sleeping and, in the wild, it’s a way to shield themselves from predators. But, surely there’s a more comfortable way to stay protected than a tiny waste basket!

 

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2. You ask for attention from baby goats…. you get attention! They’re certainly lively! They’re the reason we get our morning pep — coffee was discovered when goat herders noticed the goats had a lot of energy after munching on coffee beans.

 

Image and video hosting by HilariousGIFs.com4.It’s not the Easter Bunny, but we’ll take him! Did you know that half of the world’s rabbits live in North America?

 

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5. Wait for it… a big bowl of adorable! Fun fact about African elephants: according to the Smithsonian, their pregnancies last 22 months!

 

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6. If only it were that fun for humans to run around an 8’x12′ room! It’s actually not hard to find pigs with this much enthusiasm — according to biologist Lyall Watson, pigs are born optimists.

 

 

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7. It must be Guinea pig feeding time! Do you know how you can tell a Guinea pig is happy? They purr just like cats!

 

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8. This is what happens when two feet of snow is blocking them from getting outside! These guys are so adorable, it’s no wonder more than a million dogs are named as primary beneficiaries in their owners’ wills.

 

Image and video hosting by HilariousGIFs.com9. This is one sneaky kitten! Cats are clever hunters — while stalking prey, to cut down on noise and to minimize their tracks, their back paws step almost directly in the spot where their front paws stepped.

 

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10. Have you ever seen so much joy from being sprayed with water? This isn’t too much of a surprise — raccoons love water. They almost never build their homes more than 1200 feet from a water source.

We’re counting down the days until we can have that much fun in water — but we have a few months. Until then, we have plenty of indoor time to plan our summer fun… and entertain our precious pets!

Favorite Holiday Gift Ideas For Cats

cat-tunnel-towerThe holidays are right around the corner, and there’s no better way to celebrate than showing your cat how much you love her! Thankfully, cats are easy to please—a few treats, the right toy, and a little attention from you makes for a happy holiday. Here are our favorite holiday gift ideas for cats.

Toys A busy kitty is a happy kitty! In addition to being fun, playing helps cats exercise. It gives them a way to let their inner predators out. Plus, playtime gives you the chance to bond. Work them into a frenzy with a Jaws Laser Collar Pet Toy. Interactive toys like Hide and Seek Pet Toys will keep them going for hours.

CAt-Holiday-Pet-HouseBed Or Pet Cave Winter weather makes kitties want to curl up with you, but they still need a nap spot all their own. Give their snoozing seasonal flair with a Holiday Pet House. You can turn any sofa or chair into their special snuggle area with a quilted pet throw. In addition to being soft, it will protect the furniture from fur and damage.

Cat-TowerScratching Post/Play Gym Even if your cats do not have claws, they instinctively feel the need to stretch and scratch. Give them a place to do that while they climb and explore with a play gym. In homes with more than one feline, the 4-Ft. Multilevel Cat Tower with Scratchers is essential. It ensures that every cat gets room to play and scratch. Give them three levels of fun with a Cat Tunnel Tower. A Complete Cat Play Gym has a sisal post and two dangling toys for them to swat at.

No matter what you decided to give your cat for the holidays, make sure to also include the present of your time. While your pet may seem very independent, even the coolest kitty likes a cozy lap to sit in from time to time. Give them some attention, and they will be purring in no time.

4 Ways to Handle Pets During Thanksgiving

Dog-and-CatThanksgiving is for family and friends — and, of course, our pets are part of the family, but with all the people and food, we forget holidays get a little tricky with our animals. Here are a 4 ways to handle pets during Thanksgiving.

Guests vs. Pets When you invite people into your home, you’re also inviting their difficulties. Make sure to tell your guests ahead of time that you have pets so you can address any issues:

Avoiding Allergies If you have a guest who has an allergy to your dog or cat, putting your pet in the next room may not be enough to prevent an allergic reaction. To be polite and cautious consider giving your pets a bath before the big holiday or take them to be groomed. Also, be sure to give your house a good cleaning as well as change your air filters — dander and pet hair land in places we don’t think about and, as pet owners, we don’t really notice. As an extra measure of precaution, stock the medicine cabinet with over-the-counter allergy medication.

petcaveAnimal Animosity As pet owners we can’t imagine why someone doesn’t like dogs or cats — especially your sweet Snowball or friendly Fido — but not everyone wants a furry friend, least of all at the Thanksgiving table. If you have guests who don’t like animals, set up a special room for your dog or cat. Make it cozy with a bed, toys and food and water. This makes guests comfortable as well as your pets.

Dinner Denial With a mountain of food on the table, there’s no place your dog or cat wants to be more than under the table waiting for feast fallout. As much as you would like to give your pet a morsel of holiday goodness, try to refrain — especially if it’s raw. Raw turkey is infamous for carrying salmonella — we know it can make humans very sick, but it can land pets in the emergency room, too. Other foods we think are harmless can cause illness in your pet as well. Food like bread dough can cause an upset stomach and chocolate may result in a trip to the vet. Don’t take any chances with your pets on Thanksgiving. If you feel like they’re being left out of the festivities, get them special treats made for pets.

dog-and-catFeast Fatigue Old friends and family are familiar to you, but new faces may cause excitement for your pet. Before the guests arrive, take your dogs on a walk to get out all of the energy before the dinner madness starts. If your pets get tired out before your hosting duties begin, they’ll be less likely to disrupt dinner or add to the holiday commotion.

We’re with our pets morning, noon and night, so it’s easy to forget they need special attention when guests arrive. Between the holiday shopping and the party preparations, take a little time out to think about your pets for the holiday.

April Fool’s Day: 5 of Recent History’s Great Pranks

People all over the world go all out to trick people on April Fool?s Day every year. One of the best and most elaborate pranks of all time was a British news segment about the Spaghetti Harvest in Switzerland that was broadcast in 1957. It takes a lot to fool anyone, but to really trick someone on April Fool’s Day like that takes some intelligence. Here are 5 of recent history’s great pranks:

1986?Moving the Eiffel Tower

Parisians were up in arms over an announcement that the Eiffel Tower would be moved to Euro Disney. French newspaper Le Parisien said it was part of the 1992 Summer Olympic bid plan ? the site of the Eiffel Tower would become part of the world stage. To the relief of Parisians, moving the Eiffel Tower was a joke, but, to their disappointment, the erection of Euro Disney was not a joke and the Olympic bid went to Barcelona.

1997?The Great Comics Switcheroonie

The funny papers got even funnier when readers opened the newspapers to find the comics jumbled ? the characters had out-comic-strip experiences. Garfield and Jon were staying at the Bumsteads?s house (Blondie), Luann was babysitting Trixie from Hi and Lois, and Elizabeth and Michael in For Better or For Worse were speaking suspiciously like Mother Goose and Grimm. It was all part of a very elaborate hoax from the comic strip authors ? they all got together and traded comics to write. It?s now referred to as the Great Comics Switcheroonie.

2000 Snoozing Fish

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) threatened to subvert a fishing tournament in Texas by putting the fish to sleep. PETA announced they would fill the lake with tranquilizers before the tournament so the fish would nap rather than bite. Tournament organizers took the threat seriously and assigned officers to the lake to keep PETA members from carrying out the plan. Shockingly, PETA organizers admitted the idea was a hoax.

2010 Pet Sounds

The geeks at Google appealed to the furry side of British search engine users. Google.co.uk unveiled an application that would allow pet owners to understand meowing, barking, squeaks and what have you. The Google Translate for Animals claimed to convert animal noises to English. Brits figured out the application was too good to be true and now settle on guessing what Snowball is meowing about and what?s behind Rover?s woof.

2013 Virgin’s Glass Bottom Plane

Richard Branson has been dazzling people with his innovative ideas through his Virgin brand for more than 40 years. From record stores to orbital launch vehicles, nothing seems to be too outrageous for Virgin to try ? except for, maybe, the glass-bottomed plane. The fake announcement was made on April Fool?s Day 2013. They called it ?Little Red? offering flights over Britain and hopes for flights abroad. Flights through Virgin Air are still possible, but expect to look down and see neutral colored carpet rather than vibrant greens of the British Isles when you fly.