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Cardboard keeps cat litter in box

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Dear Heloise: When your CAT STEPS FROM THE LITTER BOX, pieces of litter almost always stick to its feet and end up on the floor or carpet around the litter box. To help prevent scattered litter and for a quick cleanup, simply place a cardboard "flat" from a case of soft drinks on the floor up against the opening of the litter box. Your cat will have to step into the cardboard flat on his way in and out of the litter box. The litter will stay in the flat, and you can simply pick it up and empty it into the garbage.

Best of all, it's free, and you can replace it with another one as needed. — Debbie Russell, Decatur, Ala.

As long as your cat continues to use the cardboard flat, this can save on cleanup. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: My cat, Lilly, is quite amusing. When I'm sitting on the couch, she will come and encourage me to get up by first staring at me, then turning and running, so that I come along with her.

She wants me to comb her, and the only place she will allow this is in front of the washing machine, so I follow her, and she flops on the floor. — Leni Cornell, New Springfield, Ohio

She is a cutie! Send your pet photo to Heloise/Pet Photo, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279.

Did you know that if you put a birdbath in your bird's cage, there is something you should add to the water? Which of the following do you think it is?

1. A marble or small rock

2. Shower sponge

3. A goldfish

Well, if you guessed No. 1, then you are No. 1! Sometimes birds won't use a birdbath unless they can tell how deep the water is, and by putting a marble or small rock in the bottom, they are able to gauge the depth. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: Our pet dog likes to accompany us on vacation trips. Being far from home, his instinctive homing sense would not lead him back to our beach house should he become separated from us.

I make a tag with our vacation phone number and city name and place it along with his other tags (permanent home tag, rabies and dog license) on his collar. After experimentation, the best tag I've come up with is made from a key tag (cardboard with metal frame). I use indelible ink and cover the tag with two layers of clean, waterproof tape. Even after multiple ocean swims, the phone number is easily legible. — Bosco's Mom, Falls Church, Va.

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