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Dear Heloise: To track the growth of our puppy, we photograph him next to a teddy bear as a point of comparison once per month. This would work well if you have an overweight pet too, to monitor weight loss. We get a kick out of seeing the changes in our pup. — Kelsey W. in Ore.


Pet Pal

Dear Readers: We were SWAMPED with wonderful cat photos following our column on International Cat Day! Nora G. sent a pic of her beautiful and loving Amore. When he was young, he was nicknamed "the apprentice" because he'd sit next to any workman in the house and watch, as though he was learning. To see Amore and our other Pet Pals, visit — Heloise


Mug Cake Snack

Dear Heloise: I enjoy reading your column in the New Orleans Advocate. I have a hint for those of us who live alone and want a treat sometimes. Regular cake mix can be used for a "mug cake" with good results.

I mix 1/2 cup of any dry cake mix with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water in a soup mug. I stir until the lumps break up, then microwave it for 1 minute to 1 minute and 15 seconds. I let it sit for about 5 minutes, and I have a quick, sweet treat!

If I want a bit of frosting, I drizzle syrup or honey over the top. I have also sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top with delicious results.

I put the unused mix in an airtight container until I need it. One cake mix can make about five treats! — Therese W., New Orleans


Cats and Lemons Don't Mix

Dear Heloise: I know how to keep cats away. I scatter orange or lemon peelings over the area where I want the cats to leave.

The cats will sniff but not eat the citrus, and they won't come back. I replace the orange peels as they dry up. This does not harm any pets, birds or the outdoor area. — Ellen F., via email


Quarantine Jean

Dear Heloise: Our family loves jigsaw puzzles! During the quarantine my daughter put a plastic tub full of used puzzles on the porch and invited the neighbors to borrow or trade. Kind of like a free little library for puzzles instead of books!

One more hint I have to share! I keep used toothbrushes in every bathroom, laundry room and even sewing room! You never know when you'll need it to clean a tiny area, sink faucet, spot clean clothing, etc. The uses are unlimited! — Jean, via email


Super Scoop

Dear Heloise: With regard to large liquid laundry soap containers: by cutting a slice off them and leaving the handle, they make good feed scoops for dogs, horses, cattle, etc. — Virginia E., via email

Readers, be sure to clean, rinse and thoroughly dry the container before using. — Heloise


Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.


King Features Syndicate

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