Living Columns & Blogs


DEAR HELOISE: I am getting a new kitten and wondered if you have any hints for litter-box training?

Yvette in New Mexico

DEAR YVETTE: I do have some hints for you!

Litter-box training is simple, and most kittens pick it up right away.

Before you bring your kitten home, make sure you already have a litter box and litter. Set up the box where you want it. As soon as you bring home the kitten, put her into the litter box (you can even scratch her paw in the litter). This is your way of showing her where she needs to go and where the box is located.

Then the first few days or even the first week your new kitten is home, watch her carefully. If you see her scratching in a corner, pick her up and put her in the litter box. Your kitten will soon get the hang of it.

DEAR READERS: Ron and Barbara Bowman in Raymond, N.H., sent in a photo of their Persian cat, Bailey, posing on a pedestal. Ron and Barbara say that he loves looking outside and keeps them busy grooming him. To see Bailey’s picture, go to my website,, and click on “Pets.”

DEAR HELOISE: I recently purchased some milk that leaked a little in the trunk of my car, and it reeks something awful due to the Texas heat. What do you recommend I clean it with?

Christy E., via email

DEAR CHRISTY: Well, let’s see what we can do, but you are asking a lot! Our Texas heat can reach over 100 degrees inside a car in nothing flat.

First, be sure to clean the spot well with soap and water, rinse, then wipe with full-strength vinegar and let dry. Leave the trunk open! Next, use baking soda. Sprinkle it (a boxful) over the area and rub it in with your hands. Leave on for a few days, and then vacuum out the baking soda (and hopefully the smell!). If any smell remains, repeat the process.

I use baking soda for so many things. Order my baking-soda pamphlet. To receive one, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Your experience is a good reminder to put all containers in plastic bags, just in case!

DEAR HELOISE: I was doing some deep cleaning in my bathroom that required being on my knees. It hurt so bad! I grabbed a roll of paper towels and used it to kneel on. It gave my knees the padding they needed and helped me get through the rest of my cleaning.

Giselle, via email

DEAR HELOISE: My favorite hint for my friends is to never pack separate his and her bags when traveling together. Pack several complete outfits in each other’s bags. One lady on a cruise never received her luggage and had to wear her husband’s clothes and buy clothes at each port. (Heloise here: Doesn’t sound too bad to me!)

Save receipts. If this happens to you – losing your luggage and having to buy new clothes – you might be able to make an insurance claim.

Amy H., Garden Grove