Our two year old male Black Bombay cat Tobias, aka Toby is a funny little thing. We adopted him as a kitten from Blackberry Farm rescue shelter after he was born on site to a stray; it was obvious from the very first moment that we met him that he wasn’t raised like other kittens. The poor little boy hadn’t been tucked into a quiet little box with his mother in a warm kitchen and cared for by a loving noisy family, he was raised in a sterile, silent, clinical glass tank for children to run up to and suddenly bang on and squeal at like a caged animal at the zoo. He didn’t have privacy, retreat or security and as a result he’s awfully shy and is always hiding from visitors that he doesn’t know.
When we brought him home for the first time he was just nine weeks old and a weedy little thing, cautious and afraid as he flattened himself to the floor and quickly eyed the room for an escape route before scooting behind the sofa. At the time our daughter was three years old and couldn’t take her eyes off of him. She was young enough to have bags and bags of endless enthusiasm, and old enough to realise that you have to be gentle with kittens, speak softly and move slowly so as not to scare him. From the very first day that he came home Millie took him under her wing and hasn’t stopped tickling, stroking and cuddling him since.
And since we’ve had our second child, ten month old Gabriele, Toby is even more of a baby than ever despite him now being two years old and Millie five. Therefore, Toby takes time to adapt to new things, he likes his life to be just so-so, comfortable, familiar and safe which is exactly what we try to give him. When we have visitors he bolts up the stairs and hides under the bed, and taking him to check-ups at the vets are a task and a half when we drag his scary prison-like carrier out of the shed and try our best to coax him into it once every six months. He likes to sleep in Gabriele’s cot, Millie’s bunk bed, under the clothes airer and anywhere discreet; so we’ve also found toilet times have been an issue for him too.
As we have glass patio doors in our kitchen leading onto the garden it means that unfortunately we don’t have a cat-flap for Toby. To install a cat-flap would mean replacing the glass in the door at a remarkable expense, which in turn would weaken the strength of the door which isn’t a great idea around young children and ball games, as well as it possibly increasing the chance of burglaries through adding an access way to our home. So as we are not in a position to have nor want a cat flap in our home we have to live with the daily inconvenience of Toby’s litter tray. Having an open toilet area in any home is undesirable, especially in a kitchen but we have no other space to put it as Toby likes to be discreet, so we always have the curtains slightly extended to give him a quiet and private corner to use. And the cheeky boy always smears his paws over the glass doors in an attempt to bury thin air, he kicks his littler all over the mat, and the smell of warm egg and fish from his deposits reach our nostrils at the dinner table in two seconds flat. So it’s safe to say we don’t like Toby’s toilet at all.
So you can imagine my excitement when I mumbled on the landline about another smelly deposit in the kitchen, balancing my friend down the phone between my cheek and shoulder stooping with a nappy bag to remove the traitor, and she told me about her ‘Igloo’; which had me digging out my mobile phone and googling their website on the spot to source one of my own there and then. How have I not come across this genius invention before!? She has an Igloo for her persian cats Princess and Prince (I know!!) as she lives in a top storey apartment in town and naturally has to have everything matching, her cats are so spoilt and obviously in place of her not being a mother. I really wouldn’t be surprised if her cat litter is made of diamonds as she always has the best of the best in everything. On the other hand, on planet earth we have two children, a house filled with toys and a smelly litter tray in the kitchen that has me at my wits end. So the thought of having a slice of her extravagance really appealed to me. I found the site on my mobile you can buy an Igloo here shortly after clearing Toby’s triumphant mess and was shocked that the Igloo only cost £35.99 which isn’t extravagant at all! We paid £3.98 more for his scratch post alone from Pet Smart and that’s just a toy not a functioning smelly-hub of activity like his litter tray. Excitedly I ordered the Arctic Blue model and paid using the paypal app on my phone which took all of ten seconds.
And my Igloo arrived a few hours ago by post and I love it! In one fell swoop the Igloo has corrected all of our pet issues and made Toby’s and our lives so much easier. Firstly there is no more mess from him kicking litter about everywhere, the floor, walls and patio doors are now smudge free which saves me cleaning them down everyday – hoorah! I can now pull back my kitchen curtain and see the children playing in the garden properly as Toby feels safer going to the toilet in the Igloo rather than his litter tray because it’s enclosed and discreet. It also has replaceable filters which trap any odours making my kitchen now smell of fruit and baking once again instead of a pub toilet, which is so much nicer when eating dinner and having friends over. From a mothers perspective it’s also much more hygienic around the children as it’s perfectly contained and isolated so that our son Gabriele can’t crawl up to it for a dig and Millie can’t bounce a ball into it when she’s playing. There are disposable card inserts which make changing the litter a zillion times easier than our previous technique of boiling the kettle and bashing the clumps off with a stick into an open carrier bag. It also has a handy little colour-coordinated scoop to lift off any poops and the litter! Oh my goodness, let you tell me about the litter 🙂 We’ve always bought great big sacks of grey, gritty clumping cat litter and sprinkled litter freshener separately over the top to mask the smell which makes a mess like powdery wet concrete and masks nothing at all for odours.
I have been spoilt rotten by the Igloo’s Snow Litter which looks like sparkling diamonds, leaves no odour, no bacteria and doesn’t get stuck to paws – it’s amazing. I think I may have to change Toby’s name to Prince Toby now to suit his new throne. And the bag of Snow Litter is so small it fits under the kitchen cupboard as opposed to out in the shed so I no longer have to go out into the cold to switch his litter tray. As it absorbs the mess I’ve hardly had to use any at all and it says that the bag last about a month which is a week longer than our concrete crunch. I’ve done the same with my Sure anti-persperant and Lenor fabric-conditioner by downsizing to their compact versions as everything seems to be about switching from bulky products to the same concentrated and concise equivalents without compromising on quality nowadays and I wish I discovered this litter sooner. It may appear expensive for the amount that you get, but £5.99 for a 1.5kg pack saves us almost a third on what we were spending before on our bog-standard litter, please excuse the pun, so less really is more! And now I have cupboard space, a clean and fresh kitchen and very little inconvenience for having Toby in our family home.
I cannot recommend the Igloo enough, it’s made such an impact on our daily life and our little Toby absolutely adores it AND it’s one of the very rare things that are made in the UK and not China! I suspect our next trip for a check-up to the vets will run a great deal more smoothly when all I’ll have to do is pop out the litter insert and use Toby’s trusty Igloo as a pet carrier to take him down the road instead of failing to coax him into the cold prison-cell carrier stacked up gathering cobwebs in the shed. From one cat lover and a very happy Toby to all pet owners out there, go and get an Igloo, it’s the best pet product we’ve ever bought and he can’t stop purring and rubbing his adorable little face all over it!
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