I agree - sturdy cat trees are essential. I got two fabulous ones from a German company via Zooplus, and they've been great. They're looking a bit "well loved" now, but really good buys.
I think notifications haven't worked for a while alas. I usually just nip back and forth checking "View all Unread Posts " in the Purrs Members Info section at the top left of the screen.
Rosella, just love that piccie.