Monday, August 18, 2014

Cat Internet Festival and Lil BUB: How I Was Swept into a Catnado


Last week was a total catnado, but in a totally great way -- not in the way that cats were falling from the sky and chomping people. This catnado landed at the 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival in Minneapolis, and then jumped to the Feline Rescue fundraiser staring the one-and-only Lil BUB!

So many cool T-shirts!


















The video festival is in my city, and it's the original one ... that means it's in my backyard and it's extra-super-cool. I was chosen as a juror again this year, so it was fun to see which ones made it to the reel and which one was picked to receive the glorious Golden Kitty award (it was this video)!

Catified!


















As usual, the people-watching was spectacular and the attendees seemed to be elated just to be in the company of other feline fanciers. Cat lovers tend to connect most often online, so to be in a group of close to 10,000 all at once was pure nirvana.

With my friend Kelley from Feline Rescue



















My friends at Feline Rescue had a booth again this year, and -- surprise -- the Cat Engineer guys stopped to take photos with their adoring fans. Have you seen their cat-yodeling video? You must!

What the AWESOME?



















I ran into some blogger friends as well. It's always a treat to see Joanne from Tiniest Tiger, Paris from CatTipper/DogTipper, Debbie from Glogirly and Alana from Cat in the Fridge. Speaking of Alana, her team from CATastrophes (recently picked up by Animalist.com) was there interviewing kitty-cat devotees about their cat's super power ... if they had one besides their obvious awesomeness.

Alana, me, Joanne and Paris















The hour-long reel was well worth the wait, and it was absolutely insane (in the best possible way) to sit among thousands of other cat lovers and laugh, smile and "awwww!" together. I think we generated enough positive energy to keep the whole city of Minneapolis lit up for at least a few days. Hey -- that was our super power!

A powerful crowd!



















The next day, my husband and I volunteered to help at the Feline Rescue fundraiser, which included a meet-and-greet with Lil BUB herself! The event was ticketed and limited to 200 participants because Mike Bridavsky is a top-notch guy and looks after BUB's well-being -- even the magical BUB can only take so much activity. Have I mentioned how great of a guy Mike is?

Look how CUTE she is! Yay, us!





















The money from from the fundraiser was split in half between Feline Rescue and BUB's fund (which benefits animals with special needs) and people were excited and more than willing to donate in exchange for a photo (and perhaps a little top-of-the-head kiss) with the little sweetheart.

She signed it all by herself. Kidding.

























My husband John helped by keeping the line moving and taking BUB photos of the participants using their own cameras. And that guy did a bang-up job! He squatted, chatted and snapped photos for over three hours. He said it was all worth it to be able to see the joy on everyone's faces as they interacted with the famous cat.

My favorite cat guy.



















Overall, it was two days of complete craziness and pure elation; however at the end of it all, I fell into bed feeling a little catatonic (haha).

If you weren't able to make the fundraiser, and would like to help Feline Rescue, take a look at their donation page and wish list. Something as simple as paper towels or plastic bags will make a huge difference in their day-to-day operation. 



Friday, August 15, 2014

Waking Up to Cat Butt


In the past, I've written about how Cosmo hogs my pillow at night. I often wake up with my head balanced on a tiny triangular edge. I'm not sure how he manages to scoot my head over without my knowledge. He must do it slowly and methodically.

This morning he outdid himself. As soon as I woke up, I knew I had to snap a quick pic of our positioning. The quality's not the best, but you'll get the idea. I cropped out my morning face. You're welcome. Also, you'll notice his butt is in my face. Who doesn't love waking up to cat butt?


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

5 Reasons Why Cosmo's Belly is a Slice of Heaven


Cosmo doesn't like to have his belly rubbed, but that doesn't stop me from diving in from time to time.



























Here are 5 reasons why I love about Cosmo's glorious tum-tum:
  1. His ever-growing, jiggly "jungle pouch. I smile when I see it swing when he runs.
  2. His "panties," that seem softer and fluffier than the other parts of his belly.
  3. His visible man-nipples. I also love how my son gets grossed out whenever I say "man-nipples."
  4. It smells so nice -- it's a fabulous huffing zone; however, danger is imminent when I go there. He's not shy with the rabbit-kicks to the face.
  5. The rumble of his purr through his ribcage when I rest my head upon it. Again, I ignore the imminent danger.

What do you love best about your cat's belly?


Monday, August 11, 2014

It's a Whiskerslist Calendar AND Book Giveaway!


Friends and comrades who reside with me here in Cathumorland, this is a very cool day for all of us. You may have heard the 2015 whiskerslist boxed calendar was released last week, and it's the truth!

























The calendar is a companion to my book, whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, that was released last October. Maybe some of you have read it -- or even own your very own copy (lucky you).

If you're completely unfamiliar in the ways of whiskerslist, please allow me to sum it up for you: It's a parody book, which means it takes something that really exists (craigslist), puts a spin on it (cats) and hopefully makes you laugh. In the calendar, you'll notice a few favorites from the book, but most are brand new pages of pure feline silliness. Oh, there's also a whiskerslist site where you (um, your cats) can create their own ads and comment on existing ones. Haven't visited? Go ahead, click over!

























So whiskerslist is like the cats' version of craigslist. Imagine what cats would post on a site like whiskerslist: personals, lost and found, for sale/wanted, services, discussions, rants and raves ... but with cat themes. And like craigslist, some of the ads are a little offbeat and sometimes edgy. I'd probably give the book and calendar PG-13 ratings.

A page from the book.
























As a way to celebrate the calendar's release, I'd like to give away TWO whiskerslist calendars and TWO copies of the whiskerslist book -- all signed (I'll contact you for inscription details).

How's that? Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. After you click to enter, you'll be asked for your name, mailing address and email address. No one sees this information but me -- promise! Please remember to place all the information on the same line. If you enter before including all the info, Rafflecopter won't allow you to edit your entry. Just leave me a comment on this post and I'll make sure you're entered.

Good luck!

WINNERS BELOW: Esther and Judy each won a book, and Kristin and Kelly each won a calendar!

Congrats!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 8, 2014

Helping Your Cat Go from Overweight to #PerfectWeight


What we choose to feed our cats is a personal preference. We all want the best for our fuzz-butts and make cat-food decisions based on many factors, including budget, research, convenience or special needs. Catladyland is not here to tell you what or how to feed your cats; however, from time to time, we're happy to present options we feel good about, knowing you will make the best decision for you and your cat.

A couple of weeks ago we took our Phoebe to the vet for her annual checkup. She's always been a petite little girl, weighing close to 7-pounds at most vet visits. Despite her slight build, she's been queen bee around our house for all nine of her years.

We were totally surprised when the vet told us she'd put on a some weight, and should probably lose a little of it. What? We see her every day, and it happened gradually -- we never even noticed. Well, it appears we're not alone. According to a recent survey by the Association for Pet Obesity and Prevention, only 11% of parents of overweight pets realize their pets are overweight.

Who are you calling overweight??






















Dr. Ashley Gallagher, vet at the Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington D.C. says, "If you can't see your pet's ribs or feel them while placing your hands on the side of their chest, they are probably overweight." I tried this with Phoebe, and, sure enough, she was a little pudgy. "Pudge" sounds way too much like "fudge," don't you think? Not fair!

I digress! Here's more of what Dr. Gallagher has to say about identifying your pet as overweight.



Hill's® Science Diet® Perfect Weight cat food offers a breakthrough blend that helps burn calories, no matter how healthy your pet is -- and weight loss is ensured within ten weeks. Where can I get food like that?! Plus, the food includes prebiotocs for gentle digestion, and is 100% precisely balanced nutrition. These are good things!



























Over 70% of dogs and cats lost weight within ten weeks when feed Perfect Weight food. You might remember Ethel, the little cutie I wrote about last month. Cat weight-loss can be hard, but she lost 11% of her weight! I know my Phoebe doesn't need to lose that much weight, but I love reading about success stories like that. When cats are at a healthy weight, their life expectancy is increased and they're more active and playful. Phoebe needs to be around a long time -- who else will tell everybody what to do?

It's a brand new Ethel!























Ethel's mom, Shawn Teets of Indianapolis, Indiana said, "Knowing the reputation of Hill's Pet nutrition, I felt good feeding it to her. I was very pleased for Ethel to be chosen for the program, and am quite happy with her results." Well done, Shawn and Ethel! Here's to a long life of good health and lots of play!





This post is sponsored by Hill's. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight Food, but Catladyland only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. 




Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Can't Shake the Stare


Last week on Catster.com I wrote about how Cosmo is my furry little stalker. I swear I can't go anywhere alone, but that's OK because I love that he loves me so much.

Yesterday I decided to take a break and read on our back deck. It was sunny, but not too hot -- just a perfect kind of day. About five minutes into my mini getaway, I sensed I was being watched. You know that feeling, right? You can almost feel the glare pierce right through you. I looked around -- there were no neighbors in their yards or peeking at me through their windows. I went back to reading.

The feeling just didn't go away, so I stood up and decided to go inside for a drink of water. When I turned around, this is who I saw:



























So desperate! So pleading! No wonder I couldn't shake that stare -- could you?

Monday, August 4, 2014

If You've Ever Wondered About the Way My Brain Works When I'm Writing, Wonder No More


I'm on tour! Doesn't that sound exciting? It is, but I'm touring from the comfort of my office chair. You see, my talented author-friend, Kristy Abbott invited me to join The Writing Process Blog Tour.

What in the world is The Writing Process Blog Tour?

Don't get sassy -- I'm about to explain it to you. It's a way for bloggers to share their own writing process and current projects with readers, as well as introduce them to a couple of fabulous authors they might not be reading ... which they should.











The idea also intrigued me because on this blog I mostly write about my cats, cat products and and other feline-related topics. I rarely write about myself, and haven't for a few years. When I began Catladyland (then Eclectic Catladyland) in 2009, I wrote about neurotic self, my cats and lots of musing on silly things that pop into my mind. Shortly after that, I switched exclusively to writing about cats. Why? I enjoyed it and felt like I'd found a solid audience -- it was that simple.

This post offers a little insight into me, myself and I, although I promise to bring up cats now and again because how can I describe anything I do without their inclusion? Impossible, I tell you!

On to the Writing Process Blog Tour, which includes four questions:


What am I working on?

I work on a variety of projects every day. I'm a regular columnist for Catster.com, so most every day I'm working on something for that site. I also pick up freelance opportunities for other sites pretty regularly -- they're usually cat-related. Surprise. My first book, whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds came out last year, and I'm gearing up for some fall promotion in conjunction with the companion calendar that will be released very soon. I'm also working on a secret project! That's right, it's secret and it's incredibly cool. Wait and see. Oh, and I've started some writing that has nothing to do with cats. WHAT? It's true. I will share some of it soon.

I also write this blog, and the sites for Texts from Mittens and whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, as well as maintain the daily social media for all three. I stay busy.

I work. Cosmo cleans his butt.































How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I've always loved writing parodies and designing worlds where cats do people things. When I can combine both of those -- like in whiskerslist -- I'm a happy girl. The same goes for Mittens. It amuses me to no end to concoct that perfect mixture of human and cat characteristics for Mittens. It really has to be just the right combination for it to be funny and outlandish, yet still be sort-of in the realm of what a cat really might think or do. So I think that's maybe what's different: I like to create worlds where cats are still cats, but possess human characteristics as well.


Why do you write what you do?

Because I feel happy when I do it.

Need inspiration? Take a shower. Then feed me.































How does your writing process work?

Haha, that's funny. It really differs all the time and is based on the type of project on which I'm working. I do have a crap-load of notebooks, though. I always have an empty regular-size (college-ruled, of course) one and a small one (in case I want to carry it in my purse) handy. For everything: freelance pieces as well as books, I usually brainstorm in the notebook first, and come up with some main points of a loose plan. I love my notebooks -- they are my brain splattered all over paper. Ew. That sounds kind of gross.

I'm also a professional daydreamer. This used to be an issue when I was in school, but now serves me in magnificent ways. My daydreams often lead to my best ideas. My favorite times to daydream are while showering, driving and vacuuming -- that's the truth. I'm not even trying to be funny with the vacuuming part. That vacuum cleaner has helped me develop the best ideas -- and bonus: my carpets are clean!

When I feel stuck, I stare at my cats and rub their ears. They're my fuzzy little muses, and constantly inspire me. Plus I think that rubbing their ears kind of works like rubbing a magic lamp. Sometimes good ideas just appear!

My portion of the tour has now come to an end. Get your T-Shirt here.



Now meet my talented friends!

Amy Shojai has been reinventing herself for years. She's a certified animal behavior consultant, and the award-winning author of 27 best-selling pet books that cover furry babies to old fogies, first aid to natural healing, and behavior/training to Chicken Soup-icity. She created the Puppies.about.com site as the Puppies Expert, and was the Cat Behavior Expert at Cats. And you'll find her half-hour Pet Peeves radio show here. Amy has been featured as an expert in hundreds of print venues, including the New York Times, Reader's Digest and Family Circle, as well as well as national radio and TV networks such as CNN, Animal Planet's Dogs 101 and Cats 101. She's been a consultant to the pet products industry and a host/program consultant for select "furry" TV projects.

Amy is also a musician, actor and playwright, and brings her unique pet-centric viewpoint to public appearances and performances, audio books (hers and others), writer of webinars, conference keynote/seminars and THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Learn more about Amy when you visit her site.

Deborah Barnes currently resides in the tropical paradise of South Florida and was inspired to write The Chronicles of Zee and Zoey -- a Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary as a result of the lessons learned from her family of seven cats after her life took a downward turn in 2009 when she was unexpectedly laid off at 48 years of age.

She is also the creator of the award-winning blog Zee and Zoey's Chronicle Connection, that not only continues to follow the everyday journey she shares with her cats (including her newest additions, a rescue kitten named Kizmet that she adopted from Pet Supermarket, and a feral Maine Coon kitten named Jazmine that was rescued from an abandoned farmhouse), but covers topics from the humorous behavior of cats to the very serious subjects on pet responsibility. Her current circle of works has brought her where she is today -- a serious cat advocate and Secretary of Pawsitively Humane Nonprofit organization in Miami, Florida, whose mission is to create public awareness and reduce the number of animals on the street and in shelters through an extensive educational campaign.

Learn more about Deborah when you visit her site.





Friday, August 1, 2014

Standoff in Boxville


Earlier this week we made a Costco run, and you know what that means: BOXES! It also means a little bit of drama in our house. Phoebe is usually the first one to snag the box, and Saffy or Cosmo better not come near it. Well, that's what initially happened, and then Phoebe walked in to find Saffy had jacked the giant box. They looked to my husband to intervene. He wasn't about to get involved.





























Then Phoebe gave Saff the smelliest stink-eye ever. I mean, I'm sure the neighbors could smell the stink. It was a total standoff. Saffy held Phoebe's gaze for about a half a minute, then I think the stink got to her.












And here's how the story ends. Of course. Like always. Phoebe is the reigning queen of the Costco box. But don't worry about Saffy -- there's no shortage of boxes at my house.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pre-Order Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin's Catification Book and Help Cats


I've been excited about Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin's upcoming book Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylist Home for Your Cat (and You!) for quite some time. I'm always looking for ways to appease my kitties and create more comfortable, fun and interesting spaces in my home for them. I was thrilled when I received my advance copy in the mail recently, and immediately set off to see how I could further catify my home. It seemed the actual book was all Saffy needed.

Catladyland's catification tip: Place book on sofa and watch cat enjoy surface.






















But in all seriousness, the book is so cool! It begins by helping the reader understand their cats and their needs. This is important because it totally guides the catification process. Most all felines are alike in some respects; however, each cat is an individual with his or her own likes, dislikes, comforts and experiences. These are all aspects needed to take into account, and the Catification book helps us understand all of this. Throughout the book, cat-style maven Kate and Cat-Daddy Jackson offer tips and observations, which I loved. It really felt like they were sitting beside me, looking through pages together.



























I enjoyed the reader-submitted catification projects because they each reflected a personal style and assured me all the projects are not super time-consuming or involved. You see, I'm not super-handy, and honestly, neither is my husband. There are definitely some ideas that would make Handy Andys (and Andreas) drool, but are also some really simple ones like placing basic shelves on the wall to help cats gain height. I think most of us can handle that -- I believe I can safely swing a hammer. I just realized how violent that "swing a hammer" phrase sounds. I promise to swing softly ... maybe with some Fleet Foxes playing in the background.




















Catification is scheduled for publication October 14, but you can pre-order it! And there's a benefit to your awesome pre-order: For each pre-order, Tarcher / Penguin will donate $1 to FixNation.org! That means you get a great book, and you contribute to an organization committed to helping bring pet overpopulation to an end. Plus, your pre-order scores you discounts toward purchases on Kate's Hauspanther site, as well as Jackson Galaxy's own site. Email your digital receipt or a photo-image of your paper receipt to catification@gmail.com to receive your discount codes.

Pre-order your copy of Catification on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, or from your favorite bookseller!

Speaking of Jackson Galaxy, he will be a guest on our good friends' blog radio show, Pets Teach Us So Much tomorrow, July 31 at 6:00 PM, ET. He'll be discussing the One Picture Saves a Life Project and the free event at North Shore Animal League America in Port Washington, NY on Sunday, August 3. Be sure and tune in!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Whiskerslist Online Book-Signing Event This Week Only!


If you  regularly read Catladyland, you know I wrote a book called whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds. It's a parody humor book based on the idea of cats having their own version of craigslist. Silly? Of course, but if you don't like ridiculous humor, you probably shouldn't read most anything I write.

The companion whiskerslist calendar is scheduled for release on August 1, and I'm tickled to share it with you. It's a 2015 page-a-day box calendar -- so every day you can read a weird ad "written" by a cat! There are a few favorites from the book in the calendar's pages, but most of it is comprised of brand new ads for personals, sale/wanted, community, rants/raves/hisses, discussions and more. It's really fun and a little edgy, like the book. You can pre-order the calendar online or from your favorite book seller.

A page from the new calendar.


























To celebrate the coming release of the book, I'd like to offer a great deal on the whiskerslist book:

From July 28, 2014 -- August 1, 2014, I'm hosting an online book-signing event! You'll have the opportunity to purchase a signed copy of whiskerslist for $16 ($12.95 + the US cost of media mail/please contact me for international rates). I'll sign the book however you'd like (think ahead to the holidays), and include a Texts from Mittens postcard that you can use as a bookmark, hang on the fridge, use as a tiny litter box liner, whatever.

The whiskerslist book cover. "Casual encounters? Are your neutered?"























So this whole deal is kind of like attending a bookstore book-signing event -- except you can do it all in your jammies, from in front of the computer. Easy-peasy. Sure, you'll pay a small amount of shipping, but you're saving on gas, right?

Sweet, desperate Hector from the book.























Here's how it works:

  • Email me (do not comment here) with your name and mailing address, and indicate how you'd like to pay: catladyland@gmail.com.
  • Payment is available via Paypal (catladyland@gmail.com), or check (book will be mailed after check clears).
  • Again, the cost is the retail price of $12.95, plus $3.05 for media-mail shipping = $16 even. Please contact me for international shipping rates.
  • You receive the book and postcard!

Thanks so much, and I'll let you know when the calendar's released and we'll host a fun giveaway to celebrate. 

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