Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cats Let Us Know When They're Done

Last weekend I was at The Cat Connection in Dallas for a Texts from Mittens event. Stevie, the store cat, wasn't shy and I was excited to make friends with her. She followed me around and supervised (of course) as I set up. She rooted out the bags of catnip in my purse, and stretched herself across my table. Stevie was quite the hostess.

At one point, I couldn't handle it anymore and had to pick her up. She was friendly enough and didn't resist my enthusiastic snuggles and baby talk.

Then, like most cats, she told me in no uncertain terms she was finished with our little getting-to-know-you session. Mostly she told me with her teeth.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Texas Cat Rump

Last weekend I was in Texas for a couple of Texts from Mittens events, and stayed with my longtime friend. She lives with two cats -- because what friend of mine wouldn't be owned by a cat or 12?

Miles is a sturdy tabby with oodles of personality. He often sat with his striped rump sticking out from behind the window blinds. He'd watch birds and whatever struck his feline fancy. Whenever I saw him loafed in that position, I couldn't help but laugh, and had to snap a pic.

I give you, Rump-o-Miles!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cat-Shaped Jackals in My Kitchen

The jackals have gathered while Phoebe enjoys a snack. If the natural order of things remains uninterrupted, they will descend upon her within seconds ... that is, if their laser-eyed glares haven't sent the entire room into flames.

Do you have cat-shaped jackals at your house?

Friday, May 8, 2015

CatConLA is Almost Here!

Hey! CatConLA is right around the corner, and I'm excited to co-present a session called "Humor ... With Cats" with New York Times bestselling author, Francesco Marciuliano. You probably know him best from his hysterical book, I Could Pee On This: And Other Poems by Cats.

Guess who else is going to be there? Lil Bub herself, as well as Simon from Simon's Cat, and many more cool people and cats. Plus, there will be tons of vendors will super-cool cat stuff to sell. You know you need more super-cool cat stuff, right?

I hope to see some of you there! And if you can't make it, please share with your friends in the LA area.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Book Review! Purr Prints of the Heart

I consider Deborah Barnes a good friend in the cat blogging world -- heck, she's just a good friend! She has a gift for heartfelt storytelling. This is something that doesn't come especially naturally to me, so I respect her gifts in a big way.

You may remember her first book, The Chronicles of Zee and Zoey, an inspirational tale that's written from Deborah's point of view. She made me cry. OK, it's not that hard to do -- I'm a sucker for those coffee commercials where the soldier comes back and surprises his family. Oh, and anything animal-related ... obviously.

Deb and I at the 2011 Cat Writers' Association conference. Yes, she's always in spots!

I was excited and grabbed an extra box of tissues when she sent me a copy of her newest book, Purr Prints of the Heart: A Cat's Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond. Seriously -- even the title makes me tear up a little. Thanks, Deb! This book is another sweet story, but this time told in the voice of Mr. Jazz, Deb's beloved ragdoll cat who came to her as a sick little kitten. Throughout the chapters, Mr. Jazz shares the day-to-day ups and downs of his life in Deborah's home. I loved reading about his relationships with the other animals in the household. In my mind, I saw everything play out like a Disney movie, but without the Lady and the Tramp-style spaghetti kisses.

More gorgeous cover art from Deb.

Mr. Jazz relates his story from the time he joins the family until the day he passes over the Rainbow Bridge at age 15. What's unique about this book is the look at illness and death from a cat's point of view. We see it as his beloved animal friends pass, and as he moves through sickness into his final days of life. It's beautiful, and will certainly strike a chord for anyone who's lost a much-loved pet.

Purr Prints made me smile just as much as it sent me to tears. It perfectly captures the wide range of beautiful emotions we all feel during a lifetime. And the grief guide in the back of the book is a solid way to end the story. Again, carefully and thoughtfully written.

Mr. Jazz at his tip-top!

This book is a wonderful gift for any cat lover, but especially one who's recently lost a pet. My cats are ages 10, 12 and 13. They're older than any cat with which I've shared my life. I can't imagine the pain and grief I'll feel when they pass, but I'm grateful to have this book close at hand. I know it will help guide me through the healing process. And make my cry again.

Give your kitties an extra hug today.

You can buy Purr Prints of the Heart on Amazon by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Every Bed is a Cat Bed

I recently stayed with some friends in Iowa while I was in town for a Texts from Mittens book signing. They share their home with a handsome cat named Tate and a busy Corgi named Oreo. Here's my cat lady confession: I'm a sucker for Corgis. I've always adored their short legs and fluffy butts. I'd never spent time with one until Oreo ... and then the dog-shaped clouds parted and the Corgi angels played their harps. And they chewed on them and growled, looking incredibly adorable.

As you know, cats rule the home, no matter how many other animals (or humans) are present. Tate represents this beautifully in the below photo. You can just see the look of entitlement on his face as he completely jacks Oreo's bed.

Like this is surprising to you, right?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cat Moms -- Win a Mother's Day Surprise from #TidyCats and Catladyland! #Sponsored

I'm a mom to both kids and cats, and totally get how important mothering is for both felines and humans. They both need care, love, and attention, right? Scooping litter boxes and changing diapers are not that much different, but clumped poop in a litter box is a bit easier to deal with than loose poop in a diaper. I wish diapers somehow clumped baby poop -- that'd be cool, and a total gold mine. I digress.

I'm a proud cat mom! 

What I'm trying to express is that moms everywhere deserve major props for being all-around awesome. Consequently, Mother's Day is coming up here in the U.S., and many of us are thinking about gifts and goodies we'd like to give our moms, or other strong female figures who've influenced and cared for us.

Phoebe: "Happy Mother's Day. Feed me."

Do you think your cats are gearing up to give you something special? Like maybe they'll move from the rug to the hard surface before coughing up a hairball? That's be a nice surprise! Thanks, kitty!

Mom knows all the coolest hairstyles.

Really now, listen up -- Tidy Cats and Catladyland know cat moms deserve recognition, and we've partnered to give ten of them a special Mother's Day gift "bouquet" surprise. I can't tell you what it is, so don't even ask. What kind of surprise would that be? A bad one. The surprise will be delivered to your home, even! Woo!

Moms can be embarrassing sometimes.

Here are the details -- you must follow the instructions in order to qualify for the giveaway.

Comment on this post with your first name and last initial, your cat or cats' names, and -- most importantly --  tell us why you love being a cat mom.


If you win, we need to be able to contact you, and don't want you to have to leave your personal email address in a comment. Solution! After you've commented on the post, click on the Rafflecopter widget below, and, in the same line, leave your first name, last initial, and email address. That way we can match that with entry with your comment. Easy peasy!

Giveaway runs May 1, 2015 - 11:59 CDT May 5, 2015
U.S. only
One entry per person

is post was sponsored by Purina Tidy Cats. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Tidy Cats, but Catladyland only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Purina Tidy Cats is not responsible for the content of this article.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Stretchy-toe Tease

I was totally busted admiring Phoebe's stretchy toes. What does she expect? Stretchy toes are total magnets. It's all her fault for having such cute feet. Look at her face -- she's such a tease.

Stretchy-toe tease.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Kitty Cat Pumpkin Patch

First of all, would you look at Phoebe? Just look at her with one little paw sticking out and one covering her face. Don't you just want to bury your face and take a nice long huff? Yeah, I thought so. Me too.

Next, I'd like to draw your attention to the orange fur that's positioned on her haunch. It's super soft and totally adorable. It's her "pumpkin patch".  Really -- I'm pretty sure that's the official name for such a spot. You can probably look it up somewhere.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Prepare Your Pet for a Disaster -- Here's How #FoodShelterLove

This post was sponsored by Hill's®. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill's® Food, Shelter, and Love™ program, but Catladyland only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill's Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

I admit it: I don't have an evacuation plan for the humans or felines in my family. We live in the upper Midwest, where there's moderate danger for tornadoes, but that's the only type of natural disaster we may face here. I'm not saying tornadoes aren't a worry -- a few times we've all gathered in the lower-level bathroom with the kids and cats, listening to that awful-sounding tornado alarm wailing outside. Thankfully, we've never been affected by such a disaster, but part of an entire neighborhood 20 minutes from my house was leveled by a twister, and there were human and animal deaths. So yeah, I need to take this kind of thing more seriously than I do.

I want to keep my human and feline kids safe!

FEMA's National Pet Disaster Preparedness Day is May 9, so this is perfect timing for me to get my act together! In addition your emergency kit for the people in your home, Hill's® recommends the following seven tips to ensure your pet's safety in an emergency.

  • Make sure your pet has an up-to-date ID collar or microchip.
  • Prepare a "Pet Emergency Go-Kit" that includes the following: a first aid kit and guide book; a three-day supply of pet food in a waterproof container; bottled water; safety harness and leash; waste clean-up supplies; medications and medical records; a contact list of veterinarians and pet care organizations; information on your pet's behavioral issues and feeding routine; comfort toys and a blanket.
  • Display a pet rescue decal on your front door so first responders will know a pet lives in the home. Include veterinarian contact information.
  • Learn where your pets like to hide so you can more easily find them during an emergency.
  • Research locations you can take your pets in you have to evacuate. Keep in mind some emergency shelters only allow humans. Look into hotels and motels that are pet-friendly and identify friends and family who agree to help you.
  • Carry a photo of your pets in case of separation.
  • If you must evacuate, consider taking carriers and crates so your pets will be safe and contained. 
We leave a carrier out so our cats won't be afraid of them.

During a disaster, animal shelter staff are already overwhelmed when disaster strikes in their area. In addition to the animals they're responsible for keeping safe and healthy, they often find themselves a haven for pets who've been separated from their people.

In 2013, Hill's created a first-of-its-kind disaster relief program aimed specifically at animal shelters. It's called Hill's Disaster Relief Network, ad it's an extension of their Food, Shelter & Love program. Since its inception, the network has delivered free food (like Science Diet Adult Optimal Care) to 50 shelters and veterinary clinics across the country in response to 11 major incidents, including the floods in Colorado, fires in Idaho and Arizona, tornadoes in Oklahoma and Kansas, the fertilizer plant explosion in Waco, TX. Most recently they've provided relief during the mudslides in Washington and tornadoes in the central south regions of the US.

The program is poised to respond in a moment's notice to provide healthy nutrition to shelter animals affected by disaster -- both the ones originally living at the shelter, as well as the pets who are anxiously waiting to reunite with their people.

Hill's Media Tour to talk about disaster preparedness kicks off May 7. This is good news because the more educated we can be when it comes to preparing for tragic events, the better we can keep the ourselves and our pets safe and healthy.

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