Why You Need This Seamless Cat Box

Behold, the ModKat Flip Litter Box. This litter box has been a game-changer for me and my apartment. I don’t typically blog about cat boxes, but being happy in my environment is a big help when trying to keep my depression in line and be able to relax when I get home and having a gross smelling cat box did not help.

I have a male cat (previously two male cats, but Tango sadly had to be put down on February 28th – he was 19 years old) who pees very high in any litter box I’ve ever owned. Previously I used a hooded corner box and thought that’d be great: the hood would help with the smell/cat litter dust, give my cat privacy, and I wouldn’t have to see him do his business (at the time, the litter box was in my living room). That was great and all until one day I thought I was losing my mind. I had scooped out the litter box, took out the trash, sprayed Lysol in my apartment, and opened up all the windows but it still smelled like cat pee.

An hour after sniffing around on things that my cat could possibly have peed on, I removed the hood on the cat box and was super grossed out by what I saw. There was a small pool or build-up of cat urine along the edge of the seam where the hood of the cat box latched onto the hood. It was disgusting. I grabbed some cleaning tools and went to work but I found myself having to do this as frequently as I cleaned his box, which made it a huge pain in the ass.

Finally, I decided to find a seamless cat box – a cat box with high sides that doesn’t trap in urine but also has a top to it so he can have some privacy (and, let’s be honest, to keep cat litter dust from going everywhere). I looked at a few top-entry ones but they didn’t seem big enough for my gigantic cat and I wasn’t sure he’d like it (plus they were expensive, so that was a gamble). I found the ModKat Flip Litter Box and it seemed perfect. I bought it a year and a half ago and haven’t had to replace it!

The box comes with liners; when I purchased it they only had cardboard liners that were a few inches deep and that clearly didn’t help with my cat’s love of peeing a foot high. Since they came with the box, I tried using one, but urine got between the box and the liner and that was gross. Now it looks like the box comes with a tarp liner (if you’ve used an IKEA bag, it’s the same kind of material) and seems to cover most of the box. I haven’t used that kind of liner, so I don’t know how well it works but since it comes with the box it’s worth a shot. It’d be easier to change out the litter completely and have the life of the box last much longer.

Obviously when your cat digs around the litter box, he’ll scratch into the plastic and over time that creates claw marks where bacteria and urine can have a party. That makes it more difficult to fully clean and get rid of the smells. That’s why a liner can be helpful. However, the plastic this cat box is made out of is more durable than cat boxes I’ve picked up in brick and mortar stores and although there are scratches at the bottom, I’m still able to get them cleaned without breaking a sweat trying to scrub as hard as possible.

The box also has a removeable magnetic flip lid (hence the word “flip” in the product title). I keep the lid on, but folded halfway back so my cat has more room when he’s using the box. It’s extremely easy to lift and snap off from the back of the box when you’re trying to clean out all of the litter (there’s ample room for a daily scooping with the lid halfway back). There are three snap points on the back of the box and a small magnet at the midpoint and front of both sides of the box so the lid stays in place.

There’s a place for the scoop that comes with it to stay on the side of the box, but I use a bigger scoop so it’s just there in case the one I use breaks or something.

Long story short: this is a box that finally puts an end to cat pee getting trapped in the place between the base and hood of most hooded cat boxes, it has plenty of room for your cat to feel comfortable, and it’s durable.

Note: This post includes affiliate product links, meaning I make a small commission if you happen to buy the product but you pay the same regardless.


Tweaking the Zen Habits Approach

If you’ve read my previous post, you know I’m applying the Zen Habits approach to my morning routine. As a quick recap, my morning routine didn’t exist and I wanted to change that. The hardest part of my routine was starting it since I already knew what I needed to do during my routine. So, with my Zen Habits book by Leo Babauta in hand, I begun the very slow process of building up to the morning routine I wanted to implement. The baby step I was working on was to be on my feet by 5am.

Since my last post, I’ve only failed to be on my feet by 5am once, meaning I had to pay my friend $80 per our accountability terms. That sucked, and has so far been enough to keep me going strong. Though I noticed something that happened halfway through my first week of doing this teeny tiny first step – the follow-through on the rest of my routine wasn’t guaranteed. At all. In fact, it crumbled the more I kept at it.

Some days were great – I’d be on my feet downstairs by 5am and after sending the accountability selfie (totally a thing) to my friend, I’d immediately feed my cats and then myself since I was already downstairs. But a growing number of days lately has had me rushing back upstairs to hide in bed, sometimes not leaving myself enough time to eat or even shower before having to leave for work. Definitely not the point of starting my day at 5am with this small step.

Even though I’ve been doing good at this small step, it’s not bringing me much satisfaction if it’s harming other aspects of my life/routine. I’m trying to build a solid foundation but I feel like I’m cheating by doing it then forgetting why I’m doing it in the first place.

Right now I’ve worked up through chapter 23 in Zen Habits and I feel one of my issues is that I’m forgetting what I’ve already done in the previous day’s mission/exercise. I also read ahead at one point, which threw me off. So in lieu of a traditional Habit Sprint, I thought I’d take the time to do over the missions from the past 10 days (11 including today’s) that I haven’t been keeping in mind. Here they are: Continue reading

Using the Zen Habits approach with my morning routine

A couple of years ago, there was a Kickstarter launched by the awesome Leo Babauta of the blog Zen Habits (which I HIGHLY recommend you start reading regularly if you don’t already) to fund a book entitled Zen Habits: Mastering the Art of Change. I funded it to receive a copy, along with 8,210 other backers. I received both a digital and hard copy of the book and it was great. I read through it the first time to get a feel for the book rather than working on the exercises, however, because I was going through a rough breakup and wasn’t ready to pump up my self-improvement just yet. I’ve read it a few times and have slapped on sticky flags (which I love) at the parts that spoke the most to me, some of which I quote to my sobriety clients to help them with their struggles (there are some wonderful analogies in this book).

Zen Habits book
My slightly beat-up copy of the book

This time, however, I’m ready to make a change (well, many changes, but I’ll just start with one for now). There aren’t many positive routines in my life right now and I’ve always had trouble establishing good habits (thankfully breaking a bad one, though difficult, was doable for me). What I’m hoping to accomplish through the Zen Habits method is to create a morning routine that gets me out of bed by 5am and out of the door by 7am so I can be on time for work, which starts at 8am. There are a lot of elements to my morning routine and I’ve written out the very bare minimum on an index card, laminated it, and used a dry erase marker to check things off as I do them, but it doesn’t matter if I do everything in my routine if I don’t start it on time.

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I’ll be back soon, don’t worry

Cropped Wig

I bought a blue wig for Halloween (I’m going as my Pokemon Go avatar….don’t judge), and I’m pretty sure I’ve found my alternate persona.

Now that I’ve got your attention…an update on the things that have been going on in my life!

I’ve been super busy lately, but mostly just dealing with the chaos in my own mind. Depression and anxiety are beasts for sure, and mine ebb and flow at the worst possible moments. Right now I’m coming down from a big explosion of both twirling like tornadoes at once. I tried getting parts of my brain zapped by an electromagnet (doesn’t hurt, don’t worry) through a therapy called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for 12 weeks and was starting to see improvements during the last week, but the doctors didn’t submit a request to continue treatment! So, I acted like a child and didn’t go to my last three sessions because if they didn’t believe in helping me, I didn’t want their help. I know, I know, super mature. My psychiatrist also changed my meds based on emotional outbursts I was having, but I was having them after my TMS approach was changed and they went away after the approach was changed again (in the last week of treatment), before I had my meds changed. So now I’m a bit worried that they got changed to treat something I’m not even dealing with.

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My Sticky Flag Love Affair

Sticky Tabs in Books

Yeah, It’s Pretty Bad.

I don’t know how or when I started but I know I can’t stop. I’m obsessed with sticky flags and use them for every tidbit I find useful or interesting as I’m reading a book. The sad thing is that I actually do reference these flags later on, otherwise I’d probably just get rid of them after I finished reading the book (or at least that’s what I like to tell myself). There are too many little morsels of knowhow for me to write down and still salvage some of my sanity, so I keep the sticky flags in place.

There isn’t a color system for them, though the particularly helpful chapters or larger sections of text are marked by a sticky flag coming from the top of the book as opposed to the side, which is reserved for smaller pieces of information.

A sentence here, a paragraph there; on and on I go, sticking my sticky flags to and fro.

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When your social life is killing your self-improvement

Joshua Earle

I’d like to think that I’m a good friend. I help my friends out with their issues, problems, predicaments, what have you, and I try to put them first whenever possible. But when I have pressing issues, problems, and predicaments of my own, I’ve noticed I start to help others a whole lot more than I should. I’m talking about filling up my schedule with things I’ve suggested doing for others rather than focusing on myself.

I’m either avoiding my own issues by helping others and convincing myself it’s not wrong of me to be doing that “because look at all the good I’m doing!” or I’m trying to stop feeling helpless by helping others when I can’t figure out how to help myself.

I’m using my social life to kill my self-improvement.

I don’t just try to help people with their problems, either. I make their problems my problems. That’s a big no-no.

Here are 5 ways to tell if you’re using your social life to kill your self-improvement (and what you should do about it)

1. You find yourself asking why you agreed to go to social obligations you really don’t want to go to or be a part of.

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Tips For Getting Sober

I have a drinking problem. Although I’ve been sober since September 4th, 2013, I still say that I have a drinking problem because it’s something I struggle with everyday. I wouldn’t call myself an alcoholic: I didn’t drink everyday, didn’t try to hide it, I didn’t drink at work or get fired due to my drinking, and I didn’t have a  physical dependency on it. But for all I know, I might just still be in denial of how serious my situation was. My drinking problem was that once I started, I never stopped when it was appropriate. I drank until I blacked out and wouldn’t stop there. I’d make terrible decisions without knowing it until I came out of my blacked out stupor. However, the worst part of my drinking was the aftermath.

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Post Round-up

What is sure to become a weekly thing, here’s the first edition of a Post Round-up where I share three articles I’ve come across in my travels on the internet. For each post I’ll let you know why I’m sharing it and what I took away from it, as well as of course linking to it so you can read it on your own. If you have any thoughts on the posts/blogs/articles I share, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section! The images seen here are those used in the respective post.


For those with work/career related dilemmas: An Open Letter to People Who Don’t Know What They Want to Do

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Why Hello There

My name is Taylor and I’m a 23 year old girl who struggles with depression, anxiety, and PTSD*. I have a full time job, am pursuing a BA in communication and media, support myself and live alone with two cats.

My Furbabies, Jynxx and Tango

I love to be productive and feel absolutely miserable when I don’t get things done. That isn’t to say, however, that I’m automatically programmed to be a superhero and have the natural instinct to tackle things on my to-do lists.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

I often find myself procrastinating or sitting around doing absolutely nothing instead of the important things I need to get done. I have the motivation: I want to do these things since doing them will only benefit me. Then what’s stopping me from acting on my motivation? Why can’t I just get up and do it?

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