#Saveshelteranimals

This is Ferrari. He is 10 years old, has arthritis and one front tooth.

We adopted him last may (2015) from the Cats Protection League here in Wellington, NZ. He had been in the shelter with about 30 other cats for a year before we adopted him. He ended up at the shelter because his previous family had a baby and got a puppy and he just couldn’t handle the commotion so the family decided to give him up, along with his sister. His sister was adopted by one of the shelter volunteers but Ferrari remained there for 12 months.

The first time we met him, Callum wanted to pick him up.ย He got a little turned off the idea when Ferarri hissed at him…. not to worry, after a few treats and getting into one of the volunteers lunches Ferrariย was back to his smoochy self.

We weren’t in the position to get a cat just yet, as we wanted to make sure we had settled into our new flat before we bought a kitty home. So we went back to visit the next week and our cute black kitty was still there. We wandered around, got scratched a couple of times by the other felines and concluded that we still really wanted to get to know Ferrari some more.

On the third visit- we were ready- and so was he! When he saw us come into the shelter he came running! At that point we knew he was the cat for us so we adopted him and took him home. He hid for a couple of hours under our fish tank cabinet, but when he smelled the corn beef we had made for dinner he was out and about doing his best to get some morsels.

We absolutely adore him, he is such a funny little guy. We call him Squish on the daily as he is ‘a big boy’ (I took him to the vet and she said he isn’t ‘fat’ he is just big…he weighed 5.7kg!!!). He needed a check up to make sure that the medication he is on for his arthritis aren’t causing and liver or kidney problems- which thankfully,ย he got a clean bill of health.

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His favourite thing by a mile is food. He LOVES food. I got him some ‘light’ biscuits which we call ‘skinny bitch biscuits’ which he despises. He will only eat them if we mix them in with his meat or he is desperate. He will pick out all the other biscuits (he gets a mix of ‘old man’ biscuits and dental bikkies) and leave the light ones behind.

He Meows. A LOT. We meow back and have chats about food. Not that we are crazy cat people or anything….

If you are interested in adopting a cat in NZ, I would recommend the Cats Protection League as your first port of call as they are mostly older cats that have had to be given up for one reason or another and super duper deserving of new homes. Check out the website here.

I’m sure he will feature more than once here on Livelikewewantto ๐Ÿ˜€

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#Catnipnotjustforcats

Three months ago we purchased a catnip seedling from a market in the Hawkes Bay. Since then it has quadrupled in size and looks to be going to seed. We were worried Ferarri might devour the whole thing when we planted it but he tends to only eat a leaf or two here and there. I don’t know if you have ever had the pleasure of smelling fresh catnip but it smells like lemon and mint which is why it is also known as catmint.

My partner Callum brews beer (check out @Eco_Brewer on twitter) and is hoping to build a successful business over the next few years. He wanted to make a beer with catnip so asked me to grab some and steep it in some hot water to see how strong the flavour was. I put two leaves into some boiled water and left it for about 10 minutes.
The result: It smelled amazing and tasted similar to green tea. Turns out it is very good for humans ๐Ÿ™‚
I thought I’d look into the top 5 health benefits of catnip when used by humans.

1. Relaxation: Catnip has been known to make cats feel ‘high’ but once the madness has ended (the crazy eyes, excessive rolling around on the floor, chasing things that don’t exist) the catnip acts as a sedative. It is a great stress reliever in humans – catnip tea is handy if you have trouble sleeping or suffer from anxiety.

2. Digestion: Catnip has soothing properties that help aid digestion. Give it a go if you have bad flatulence, discomfort or bloating.

3. Injuries: Ever been for a run and you come home with a sore ankle? Try rubbing some catnip over the sore area as it has been known to help reduce swelling, or have a catnip tea.

4. Insect repellent: Catnip is apparently very good at repelling insects- mainly mosquitoes. I have actually noticed that ever since we planted the catnip there have been less sightings of the little blood sucking monsters!
I found this recipe on ehow.com for catnip oil which can be used as insect repellent (click here for the original post)
-Dry the catnip by securing several cuttings with twine and hanging upside down.
-Combine catnip and olive oil in a clean mason jar and secure lid. Use approximately 1/4 oz. dried catnip to 1 cup oil.
-Leave the sealed jar in a sunny window for several weeks.
-Strain the catnip from the infused oil, and discard the dried catnip.
-Store the strained catnip essential oil in a clean jar.

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5. Headache relief: Catnip has been proven to aid in the relief of headaches and migraines. Just rub a little catnip oil on your temples or have a catnip tea ๐Ÿ™‚ I get headaches quite often so I will definitely give this a go instead of turning to nurofen!

Note: I have read that if you have liver or kidney issues it is best not to consume catnip and if pregnant it can induce early labour.

Let me know if you have used catnip before to help with health issues- I’d love to hear about it ๐Ÿ™‚

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#DrinkOatsInsteadofDairy

Let’s talk about Cows. I love cows. Their long luscious eyelashes and patterned coats make my heart feel warm. The way they stick together and the love they have for their young is something to adore.
I did however have a run in with a cow at our school fair when I was about 11- it was a ‘guess how much the cow weighs’ competition and I found out that it weighed 425kg because, well, it stepped on my foot and broke my toe! I remember mum telling me off for saying ‘it bloody hurts!!’ while dad carried me to the car! Anyway, long story short I ended up with a black toenail, crutches and a couple of weeks off school ๐Ÿ˜€ Truth be told I didn’t win the competition….!
But that is not what this post is about..
I have wondered for a while now why humans continue to drink cow’s milk- no other adult animal drinks milk after they are able to feed themselves on solid food. So why do we?
Yes, milk has many great qualities (the biggest draw card is that it supports strong bones due to the calcium content) but do we really need it? I stopped drinking dairy milk after many years of suffering tummy aches, vomiting and headaches. Since quitting dairy milk I have rarely experienced these ailments. I’ll admit, I eat cheese every now and then and won’t say no to a blob of yoghurt with a piece of cake but I can live with that. My incredibly practical boyfriend even makes cheese from time to time which is pretty rad!
I looked into some other options because I enjoy a milky smoothie for brekky every morning (as juice is too sugary). We tried Almond milk for a few weeks, but found it was costing nearly $5 (if we couldn’t get it on special) a litre!!! A LITRE! That is more expensive than petrol! We could handle almond milk but after looking closer at the packaging we realised that there was a bit more to it than just almonds and water. In fact some companies added lime (mineral- not the fruit) to it to increase the calcium levels.
We then switched to Oat milk, but this too was far to expensive. So I looked up how to make it ourselves and what’dya know- it is so cheap to make! We used 1/2 a cup of oats (40g) to a litre of water which costs about 15cents. When you compare $5 to 15c a litre it is easy to decide which is more affordable and healthier (no additives).
You should give it a go and let me know what you think!
This is how we make ours:
1. Soak 1/2 cup oats in water (enough to cover the oats) for about 15 minutes. Strain and oats and pop into a blender with about a cup of water and blend. If you like it with a little bit of sweetness, add a teaspoon of honey to the blender. Then, strain in a fine sieve and discard the grainy leftovers.
2. Use a muslin bag or something similar and strain the milk through that to get it really smooth.
3. Add a litre of water to a jug and mix in the oat mixture. Pop into the fridge and use within 2-3 days.

The oat milk won’t be exactly the same as store bought, but it is pretty close. I use a cup of oat milk, with a banana and handful of fresh mango, and 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds for a morning smoothie! Try it ๐Ÿ˜€

I worked out that if we do this for the whole year we could save approximately $760!

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#Dontletdreamsjustbedreams

My partner used this hashtag a couple of days and when I first read it, I thought he had worded it wrong. But when I read it over again (a couple of times!) I realized that he meant ‘make your dreams a reality.’

I’ve always dreamed of living a simpler life, away from all the corporate drama that goes with living in a busy city. I grew up in a small city surrounded by farmland, rugged coastline and native bush. Moving to a big city to complete my final year of uni was a shock to my system (and absolutely terrifying!) and for the first few years I regretted my decision and longed to move back to a more ‘relaxing’ city.

Four years on….I love this city! I nabbed a wicked job, got myself a beautiful human who I now call my boyfriend and adopted an elderly cat with one front tooth. I have been thinking a lot lately about what I want the next couple of years to look like and what I want to achieve on a personal level.

The first steps to #makingmydreamscometrue is saving money. I agree 100% that money doesn’t buy happiness, but it buys holidays and houses so it’s pretty darn important! My goal for this year is to save $17,000NZD ($3000 goes towards our two week holiday to Tonga) and the rest towards a house deposit. My partner will aim to do the same, so we will have $30,000 saved by this time next year. Providing it goes to plan, we could have a 10% deposit on a $300,000 home. The thing is, we want to build, which means we could potentially get a grant from the government (up to $20,000) but I think we earn too much money to be eligible so we wont rely on that!

Whether we buy a cheap little do-er-upper (just to get on the property ladder and get some equity behind us) or just dive into building we are going to need to change our spending habits and rely a lot more on what we can produce ourselves.

Follow us on our journey to #makingourdreamsareality!

 

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