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Check for local animal support services

By on December 29, 2013

Dear Sara:

We found a stray cat. I’d like to keep him, but I can’t afford any vet bills right now. I feel irresponsible for taking him in, but I couldn’t leave him outside in the heat to starve or die. Should I just turn him in to the Humane Society? I’m afraid they will think he’s my pet and that I caused his current state of health. — Kelly, New York

Dear Kelly:

I would call animal control, the Humane Society or your local animal rescue and tell them the situation. I’m sure they won’t judge you, because you’re trying to help. It could be a missing pet, so they will check to see if the cat is microchipped or if there is an owner looking for it. If not, and if the pet is adoptable, many animal rescues have support services to help defray the cost of veterinary care. Some have food support services, too. If you can’t afford the cat long-term, maybe you can foster the cat until it gets a permanent home. These agencies can help guide you. The important thing is that it’s off the streets and now it needs to get the care it deserves.

Dear Sara:

We are renting from family, living in the basement. Unfortunately, whenever there is heavy rain, our apartment floods. It’s doesn’t damage anything we own, and our landlords come down and help clean up. Honestly, I don’t mind when it happens, except the mildew smell. Is there anything that helps get rid of it? — Rachel, Canada

Dear Rachel:

I’m not an expert on basements, but here are my thoughts: Your landlord should waterproof your basement, check for the leaks and cracks and make sure there’s some sort of cross-ventilation. I hope the landlord is cleaning up with bleach, hydrogen peroxide or vinegar and water and not just mopping up the floodwater. You need to get the dampness out, so run a dehumidifier. He or you should have insurance to cover this. Please look into this.

Dear Sara:

Zote vs. Fels-Naptha? The Wal-Mart near us carries both of them. I think the Fels-Naptha is about 5 ounces and Zote is 14, but they’re the same price. Does it matter which one I use in my laundry recipe? Do you prefer one over the other? — Nishu, California

Dear Nishu:

I use Fels-Naptha more often because I can find it easily in my store. But Zote has the pretty color (comes in pink and white) and a nice scent. The Zote bar is bigger, so you will get more homemade laundry soap overall. You can find Zote flakes, which will save you from having to grate the bar, too. Zote has an optical brightener in it. I can’t say I prefer one over the other, but I tend to use Charlie’s Soap more than anything else lately. You might like Castile soap more than Zote or Fels-Naptha. All of these products are inexpensive, so I suggest you try each one and discover your own preference.

photo by robinsonsmay

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