What Dexter taught me about life, love, and family

handsome dexter 2

handsome dexter 2
Compensation was provided for this post by Purina

Sometimes the best moments in life are the ones you don’t see coming. The funny thing is, I’m not a very risky or adventurous person and I’m pretty calculated in my actions and life choices. It’s pretty rare that I make a split-second decision, but a few years back I went with my gut and ended up finding a new best friend and family member.

On a mild fall night in October 2011, my boyfriend (now husband) William and I were driving back from a wedding and were making our way through Oakdale, a small town in California. As we were driving by a factory parking lot, I looked in my rearview mirror to see a little blonde kitten dart behind our car onto a four-lane highway. My heart sunk at the thought of the poor kitten getting hit in oncoming traffic and I knew I had to turn around. I immediately made a U-turn, stopped, and William jumped out of the car to chase the kitten down. The little guy was so scared to see someone coming for him, and he tried to make a quick escape through a chain link fence. Even though the kitten resisted capture and did everything to wiggle through the tight opening of the fence, William returned to the car with the frightened feline in his arms.

baby-dexWe stopped at William’s mom’s house to spend the night and put the kitten in the laundry room, since it was small and cozy and he couldn’t really get lost in there. The little blond tabby immediately started coming out of his shell and showing his personality. I took this photo of him sitting in my mother-in-law’s dog food dish. It was at this point I knew he was a keeper.

This was the first time in my life that I was responsible for a baby kitten inside my home! We gave him a bath and got him acclimated to his new life in our apartment. William and I introduced him to Pixie, my older and skittish black cat, and she was not very happy about her new housemate at first. It took a while for them to bond, let’s just say it was and still is a love/hate relationship.


We decided to name him Dexter (after our love of the TV Show) and I quickly became THAT Mom … you could call me the “Pawparazzi.” I took a billion photos … I mean, just look at that face! We spent all of our free time with him snuggling and playing. I realized that Dexter’s carefree attitude and quirky and curious spirit was bringing a lot of joy, laughter and better communication out of both William and I. He definitely filled a void we didn’t know we were missing. What was cool about it was that this wasn’t “my cat”, he was “our cat” and that little two-bedroom apartment became a home filled with lots of love and happy activity.

A few years have passed and we are now in a house with much more space for Dexter to roam. Even though he’s larger in size, Dexter still very much remains our baby and it’s important to us that he’s healthy. Last year, he concerned us big-time when he navigated under our crawl space and became severely dehydrated. This resulted in a kidney scare and a stint at the animal hospital. Having faced such a critical situation, we knew we needed to take his daily nutrition needs more seriously. Luckily Purina Pro Plan has provided us with healthy formulas that put us at ease knowing he’s getting protein-packed ingredients that support his digestive health.


While we have normally served Dexter the dry variety of Purina Pro Plan, we recently added the wet food into his feeding routine. Dexter was crazy for the wet White Meat Chicken and Vegetable Entrée and couldn’t wait for me to empty it out of the can. What’s nice about the wet food is it’s a great way for him to get added hydration. He hasn’t always been the greatest at drinking from his water bowls throughout the day, and this food is packed full of moisture so I can be more at ease. If your cat is like Dexter and you are looking for ways to get him or her to drink more water, check out this article. There’s some great insights on why your cat might be avoiding the water bowl and what you can do to change up in your environment to help your cat stay hydrated.

dexter eating proplan

As you can tell, Dexter LOVED this this wet food. He licked the entire bowl and even tried to see if any was left in the can. If you are looking for a new, healthy option for your cat, follow this link to Purina Pro Plan’s Wet Cat Food site, where you’ll find a coupon to save on this food. There’s a ton of awesome flavors, proteins, and textures for even the pickiest of eaters, in varieties that include pasta, vegetables, cheese and rice. It’s also nice to know that Purina’s nutrition is backed by a team of over 400 scientists, including nutritionists, behaviorists and veterinarians. Dexter isn’t just a cat, he’s a member of the family, and I’m grateful that Purina provides ingredients that elevate his quality of life.


Yeah, this little guy has my heart and I’m so glad I made the choice to make a U-turn and save him from that busy road. William and I are lucky to call him our own and the love we have for him grows every day. We can’t wait to share many more indelible moments together.

Until next time Swellions!

Alexa (and Dexter)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Purina Pro Plan. The opinions and text are all mine.

Dexter’s Backyard Jungle Adventure


Compensation was provided for this post by Purina

Did you know Purina Pro Plan has proclaimed June 15 is National “Take Your Cat on an Adventure” Day? If there’s one thing my tabby cat, Dexter, loves more than food, it’s having his own adventure in our backyard. As soon as I open the door, Dexter is always there to make amad dash outside. Our backyard is filled with everything he loves: a variety of trees, lots of grass, and tons of gardening supplies and fun DIY projects. Dexter definitely is the king of this backyard jungle.
Dexter’s favorite thing to do in the backyard is roll around in the grass.  It’s like he’s swimming in a bathtub filled with very potent catnip. Talk about an ultimate sensory overload!
Dexter doesn’t limit his passion for grass just to rolling in it…he sometimes goes in for the taste test.  Weeding is definitely an outdoor chore I need help with and I’m happy to put this guy to work and pay him in food. Haha!dexter-eating-proplan
Speaking of food,  I decided to treat Dexter to a little picnic outside with his favorite meal – Purina Pro Plan.  The yummy morsels definitely give him the fuel he needed for several more hours of play. Lately, he’s needed more energy to keep up with a feisty new backyard visitor.
A couple months back we got a new puppy named Lazer and he’s definitely kept Dexter on his toes (or should I say paws?). While the two  aren’t BFF’s, Dexter is intrigued by his playful personality and is always up for a little pouncing action.dexter-pounce-new
It’s actually quite hilarious to watch Dexter get into pounce mode.  He lays flat like a snake on the ground and literally becomes “Lazer-focused”.  His eyes and ears are at high alert and his backside starts to twitch.  Meanwhile, Lazer usually is hopping around and taunting Dexter to come and get him.  It’s insanely cute to watch.dexter-and-lazer-playing
It was very hard to capture these two in action. They moved SO fast! The general vibe can be conveyed in the two photos above.  It’s pretty obvious they are the definition of a love/hate relationship.
After all that heart-pumping action, Dexter hopped up into Dad’s chair for some relaxation. Luckily, Lazer still can’t jump high enough to reach the seat.  I know Dexter is in his element outdoors and William and I like to give him supervised playtime whenever we can.  Seeing him happy makes us happy and we love that he has safe space to roam and make his own.

Remember to mark June 15 on your calendars and celebrate your cat with a special adventure.Visit www.mygreatcatadventure.com to see other great cat adventures and learn more. Whether it’s taking him on a walk, hosting a kitty play date, or buying a new toy, it’s a reminder to keep our cats healthy and active!

Until next time Swellions!
Alexa (and Dexter)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Purina Pro Plan. The opinions and text are all mine.


Dexter’s DinnerTime Routine

Alexa 7

Alexa 1
Compensation was provided for this post by Purina via studioD.

After a long work day, it’s always a welcome surprise to find my tabby cat, Dexter, meowing at me as soon as I walk in the door. I would like to think he’s saying, “Hey Mom! I missed you and my day was boring without you,” but I always know he has a hidden agenda, and I’m guessing you’ve already figured it out: F-O-O-D! Yep, this cat has a one-track mind.

William and I don’t immediately give into these hungry cries. See, Dexter is the most playful and cuddly right before he’s fed, so we like to take full advantage of these sweet moments. It’s the only time he purrs and actually lets us hold him.

Before feeding time, we like to break out the cat toys, and of course, the beloved laser pointer. Dexter LOVES chasing the big red dot. He scales the walls, runs in circles, and knocks the covers off the bed playing with that thing; he’s obsessed.

Alexa 2Just look at that intensity! MUST. CATCH. RED. DOT.

Alexa 3Next up is some cuddles with Dad. There’s even a neck and ear massage. Wow, this is the life.

Alexa 4(10 seconds later) This ear rub is wearing out its welcome. I think this little guy has waited long enough for his evening meal.

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William starts rustling the  Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend bag and Dexter, immediately intrigued, comes to investigate.

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It was in this moment that he started purring REALLY loudly.  Dexter’s doesn’t purr very often, so this is kind of a big deal.

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Dexter ate a little handful out of William’s hand and Dexter devoured the crunchy pieces. It was such a sweet moment and so loving. They’ve always had such a strong bond. I know that William is Dexter’s person. I love watching them together.
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After William’s handful was done, Dexter decided he needed more. He even pushed over the bag with his paw. This cat knows what he likes!
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Of course, I poured my little guy some more of the Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend.  He immediately smelled the aroma and rushed over to munch down the meaty and tender pieces.  This food is loaded with protein, with chicken being the main ingredient. It also has Vitamin A and omega fatty acids to help his skin and coat and to promote healthy vision. Last year, Dexter had some kidney issues, so I was very relieved there are probiotics in this formula that are beneficial for his digestive tract. It’s important to us that he’s getting the best quality food!

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After Dexter chowed down, he took time to enjoy a sunset in the windowsill. What’s better than checking out all the activity going on outdoors? This guy sure knows how to unwind after a meal.

If you’re looking for a new nutritious and tasty meal for your cat, do me a favor and click here to learn more about Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend.  Now that I’ve seen Dexter’s response to it, I know I’ll be making it my new cat food choice and part of both his morning and evening routines.

Until next time, Swellions,
Alexa (and Dexter)

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Purina using complimentary products. The opinions and text are all mine.