Q. How can I keep my guest bedding fresh? Should the bed be made or should I store the linens in the closet?
A. Any linens that go too long without use, whether in a closet or on a bed, will begin to go “stale” – getting stiff around the edges or creases, and taking on a less-than-clean scent. It is best to remake the guest bed, even if no one has visited, at least every two months, changing the sheets and laundering them. Proper storage will also keep your sheets in mint condition.
When your guests leave, it’s a good idea to make up their beds as soon as you can — they look better, and you never know when you’ll have to put them to good use.
Q. Should I let my cat outdoors?
A. Cats can get cabin fever, but those that roam freely are at risk of being hit by cars, getting hurt in fights, and contracting diseases such as rabies. Despite these dangers, cats can benefit from outdoor play. It offers an outlet for pent-up energy, reduces boredom, and prevents behavior problems. They should be allowed outside only under supervision, says Katherine Miller, director of applied science and research for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The key is to let the cat outside under controlled conditions. Walking a cat on a leash may seem silly at first, but it’s a safe way to let your pet go outdoors. At a quiet time when the pet is calm, put a cat harness and leash on indoors, so your kitty can get used to it. Then pick up the animal and carry it outside (so your cat knows it needs you to go out). You can walk your cat or just let it explore safely on the leash. Go slowly — the sights, smells, and sounds may be intimidating at first. Even with the leash, be sure your cat always wears an ID tag, in case it ever gets free.