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As you may know, my junior pet sitters are obsessed with crafts, DIY, and anything that makes a giant mess. Me...not so much. I pick up poop all day, so I'm okay with not making a mess at home. When they want to get their inner-Picasso on, I try to find the least invasive-to-my-life project that will also satisfy their artistic yearnings. I'm a great mother in other ways. Swear. So when the junior pet sitters learned that we had the chance to check out a new natural cat food with our favorite black cat, they jumped at the chance to "add a little something special" to the whole she-bang, and it just SCREAMED Halloween!
As a professional pet sitter, I'm often asked for pet food recommendations. That means we're always on the prowl for nutritious, natural pet food. I went on a mission to find one of our favorite clients, Jacopo, a new quality food. We love browsing our local PetSmart for the best in pet nutrition because there is such a variety to choose from. When we went with Jacopo in mind, we discovered Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food, sold exclusively at PetSmart. I love exclusivity, but I'm going to fill you in on it, anyway. 'Cause I'm nice like that.
discovering the variety purina muse® natural cat food has to offer
I'm a firm believer in rotational feeding for cats and dogs, so I was on the hunt for a cat food that offered a lot of "recipes" and options. I found Purina Muse, and was totally impressed with the giant array of cans and clear tubs in the cat food section at PetSmart. In fact, I kind-of felt a bit overwhelmed and impressed. Who knew?
Purina Muse offers over 30 recipes. What choices! With Purina Muse, you don't have to choose between nutrition and food that tastes great. Your cat can have both when you choose Muse. There were so many wonderful options that I had to reel-it-in and focus. You might benefit from my discipline...the food falls into five main categories, all of which include the essential nutrients cats need to thrive, and most of which are grain-free:
• in chowder (clear tub)
• in broth (clear tub)
• with toppers (clear tub)
• paté (can)
• in gravy (can)
My mind was blown when I started to consider the options. I don't know that I've ever seen such a great variety in natural cat food. There was chicken with tomato and carrot, turkey and spinach, sea bass and herring, tuna and tilapia with a baby clam topper, and ocean whitefish with an anchovy topper, just to name a few. Don't tell anyone, but I was getting a bit hungry, myself, just checking out the different options. Perhaps I should have had lunch, first. Never shop hungry. I selected a few different kinds to try so we could find out which would become Jacopo's favorites. I especially love the clear tubs that the broth and chowder varieties come in. You can see right through the package so that you know exactly what you're getting. That works. Oh, and–added bonus points for Purina Muse–the packaging is recyclable.
What's best about Purina Muse?
• all recipes are made with real fish or poultry
• there are no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
• the recipes are 100% complete and balanced for adult cats
• there are thirty different recipes, twenty-four of which are grain-free
Naturally, we had to design a custom Halloween plate for Jacopo, our classic black cat Halloween muse. Because kids. Because crafts. Once we chose a few varieties for Jacopo to try, we set out to find the supplies we'd need to create our Halloween gift for him.
diy ceramic cat dish with sharpie embellishment
When my junior pet sitters, Porter and Campbell, were looking to get their creative on, I freaked a little, and then figured it out. They especially love to make things for our clients around the holidays, so something of that genre made sense to satisfy their monstrous craft-craving. I can sometimes be a bit of a disaster when it comes to creating anything too elaborate. When the kids asked me if they could make something Halloween-themed for Jacopo, a simple project a friend told me about came to mind as the perfect option: a ceramic-cat-dish-decorated-with-Sharpie-pens-and-baked-in-the-oven-to-set-the-design. Easy peasy, right? RIGHT? Looking for some support, here!
Let's make this!
THE DISH: In order to avoid whisker fatigue, it is important to provide cats with a shallow food dish. We poked around at a couple of local stores and found the perfect saucer-like, plain white dish at IKEA. It had a smooth surface for the kids to decorate on, was shallow, and was the perfect size. Since they were only a couple of dollars a piece, we purchased a few extras for future creations (or do-overs).
THE SHARPIES: We wanted to create something fun for Jacopo for Halloween, so we chose a simple orange and black color palette. Sharpies come in just about any color you can imagine, so this project would work great for any holiday or occasion.
Wash and thoroughly dry your dish before decorating.
Decorate your plate. The only limitation in design is your creativity! In keeping with the Halloween spirit, my son, Porter, created a spooky graveyard scene with a black cat, and my daughter, Campbell, created a jack-o-lantern face. They had a lot of fun embellishing their dishes and added Jacopo's name for that personal touch. BOO!
After you're done with your masterpiece, let the design dry completely.
By baking the decorated dishes, the Sharpie designs become permanent. There are quite a few suggestions and theories out there regarding Sharpie design and ceramics. What works best is hotly debated by those in the crafting scene. We tried a few different methods (good thing we had extras) and found the way that we achieved the best results:
• put the dish on a baking sheet in a cold oven
• set the oven to 450° and set a timer for 30 minutes
• once the timer goes off, turn the oven off, but leave the dish in the oven until it is completely cool
• once cooled, the plate can be washed (though ours have held up nicely in the dishwasher, you may wish to hand wash, just to be safe)
Trust me, if I can pull this off, you can, too. The kids had a blast decorating their plates with Jacopo in mind.
the taste test
With our Halloween-inspired custom plates in hand, we ventured off to find our muse. We knew just where to go.
As you know, I'm a professional pet sitter, and Jacopo is a pretty awesome cat client of mine. His uplifting personality never fails to put a smile on my face. He's always up for some fun, and he was eager to try Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food.
He dug right in to the whitefish with anchovy topper. In fact, he devoured the whole portion, although he'd already eaten breakfast. He licked his plate clean, then looked under and around the plate end even tried to move it to see if there might just be a morsel he left behind. It was quite clear that he gave the taste a paws-up review. I loved introducing him to a healthy, natural food option, and his mom, Lisa, was thrilled, too. We had a great laugh together about how crazy Jacopo was about it. She is eager to let Jacopo try the other varieties, but we decided it best not to stuff him until he popped on the first go-around. I wouldn't be surprised if Lisa switches Jacopo and his siblings over to Purina Muse permanently. Jacopo and Lisa loved the custom plates the kids made, too, though I think Jacopo liked them better with a full plate of food covering the design.
feed your feline muse a great-tasting, natural food
Natural has never been so delicious. Put Purina Muse to the test with our clean plate guarantee! Be sure to check out all of the thirty varieties at PetSmart and let us know which one is your favorite...er...your cat's favorite!
How is your cat your muse?