#ShopSmall. Donate Local.

The best part about being a small business in a small town is that when something serious happens or you need help, people pay attention. They ask what they can do. Then they proceed to amaze you.

Since we kicked off our matching pet food drive last month for our adoption partner, Hopalong & Second Chance Rescue, we’ve been humbled by the generosity of our customers. Over the past weeks they’ve helped us donate a mountain of pet food and supplies for the cats and dogs displaced by the fires.

For Hopalong, fostering these pets and finding them new homes is ongoing. It takes time, plus a whole lot of kibble.

So we’re extending our pet food drive through the end of December. We’ll match every $7 bag of Tender & True organic, grain-free food that you purchase from us for Hopalong. This specially priced holistic pet food helps the dogs and cats that need a healthier alternative to other brands.

Because of the fires, the Season of Giving started early this year, well in advance of any jingle bells. For us, it’s become a Season of Gratitude. We are blessed to be among so many animal lovers and rescuers in our community who are willing to do so much.

We’re also deeply appreciative to EVERYONE who recently helped us find a retirement home for our store kitties, Sailor & Grif. They’re now living happily right here in Alameda with their new mom, local textile artisan Jennifer Daley, her husband Andreas, and their cat Tilley.

With Deepest Thanks,

Cynthia Schorle & The Alameda See Spot Run Team

Free Trial Size Bags of Orijen & Acana

Looking for a new kibble to offer your dog? We’ve got Trial Size bags from Orijen and Acanorijen and acana 2a to help you out. These normally sell for $3.99, but we’re offering them at no cost to our valued customers. Come by and get one while supplies last.

Best of Alameda Nomination

Alameda Magazine’s annual Best of Alameda contest continues this month through May 31st. We’re deeply honored to be on the ballot this yeai-pVW5nzB-XLr as the only independent and family-owned store in the Best Pet Store category. Please vote!!!


Everyday Cat Enrichment

We have two store kitties, Sailor and Griffen, pictured here with their heads poking through the opening in their cat tree. These boys enjoy a fantastic lives as indoor cats. It does help that they have each other for company.

cat enrichment

Our two store cats getting into two-headed mischief on their cat tree.

I wanted cats my entire life, but I’m allergic and can’t have them at home (I actually tried to make it work twice!). I saw these two cats on Craigslist and thought they would be perfect store companions for several reasons: they were mature at 4 1/2 years old, so no kitten energy, no kitty training to use a litter box; they were neutered brothers from the same litter; they had never been outside, giving us a better chance of keeping them inside; and they needed a new home. Plus, they came with their own cat tree, litter box, and everything else I needed—all for free!

We had a couple rough months early on with the cats not wanting to be hugged. Griff actually scratched several kids who pushed him too far. I did some research and quickly realized that they needed more “cat enrichment” such as high cat scratching posts from Time for Paws and perches to retreat to, plus better managed social contact.

Sailor and Griffen have quite a following and many people stop in just to see them and pet them.  The boys sleep in the pet room with the rabbit, the guinea pig, and the birds. Yes, I said ‘birds’. I think that keeps everyone on their toes. No one has been injured, or even close to it.

We get a lot of questions from customers about cat behavior and why our store cats seem so easygoing. Based on the behavior work of experts like Pam Johnson-Bennett, we know that many so-called problems are often due to a lack of cat enrichment, which is a fancy way of saying everyday entertainment that uses their natural skills. This can come in the form of food puzzle toys, interactive toys, vertical space, hideaways, and all kinds of scratching objects. Sometimes the best cat deterrent is the only way out. We usually spend the time dressing them up in a cute pirate costume for cat and recreating our favorite movie scenes.

The key is to find the activity or toy that suits your kitty’s preferences. For some cats, it’s a good round of chase with the cat dancer; for others it’s as simple as providing them a comfy window seat so they can enjoy “Cat TV” every day.

Sailor and Griff are quite lucky because our store provides them with a lot of daily stimulation. But even they can be naughty: they have mastered the art of breaking open boxes of dog/cat food samples that have been taped shut with packing tape and they are not picky. Despite this, we love these boys and wouldn’t trade them for anything. They enrich many lives, especially ours.

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