Monday, November 23, 2015
So there's this little round basket we use as one of the cats' "toy boxes." It's always full of cat toys of all kinds -- soft, hard, oddly shaped. It isn't a space I'd call "comfortable."
Phoebe, however, has her own idea (surprise, surprise) about comfort and regularly uses it as a cat bed. It's lumpy and small, but she curls herself up inside the basket, on top of the toys, and crashes for hours at a time. This is another example of "I need to stop questioning why cats do what they do." Phoebe agrees.
I think she looks like a pot pie.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
The bond between children and pets is a subject for which I'm particularly passionate. I've written about cats and kids for a few years, and my family is living proof that growing up with pets builds responsibility and nurtures compassion. Who doesn't want more responsible, compassionate people in the world? I know I do.
|An older photo of my two kids with Saffy and Phoebe|
When I attended the Nestlé Purina Better with Pets Summit earlier this month, I was thrilled to learn there would be a panel on the very subject of my passion! I knew they'd be preaching to the choir with me in the audience, but I loved that everyone else in the crowd would hear what I already knew deep within my heart: pets can change kids' lives in many wonderful ways.
The expert panel included:
Jayne Vitale (moderator) -- Director of Outreach/Youth Development Programs at Mutt-i-grees
Stasha Becker -- mom, blogger, dog lover, and Instagrammer
Ilana Reisner -- veterinary and behavior consultant
Charley Bednarsh -- Director of Children's Services, NYC Family Justice Center in Brooklyn
|Becker, Reisner, and Bednarsh (L-R)|
I especially enjoyed hearing about Bednarsh's experiences using dogs as therapy animals for anxious children facing difficult legal situations in court. I've read a lot about pets positively affecting anxiety, depression, and even heart issues. It makes a ton of sense that the legal system would tap into the healing power of animals. I hope this example increases awareness and shows others that pets can have a powerful impact on helping kids (and adults) feel calmer and more stable during times of distress.
In addition to their ability to ease anxiety and improve overall physical and mental health, pets also teach responsibility. Of course, this means adults need to be engaged and make sure children are doing age-appropriate pet-related tasks, and are well-trained in properly handling their pets. For example, a 3-year-old child can scoop food into a dish, but you probably wouldn't want to ask that same child to walk a 100-lb Black Lab or clean a litter box.
Responsible, respectful, pet-loving adults don't just happen -- they have to start somewhere. As adults, it's our obligation to pass these skills, passions, and priorities on to the next generation.
I was compensated to help spread the word about Purina Better With Pets Summit. Catladyland only shares information we think would be of interest to our readers. The opinions are our own.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Our cats are beloved family members, and creating comfortable, safe areas for them in our homes is key. We all want to feel "at home" when we're at home, right? Nobody knows more about getting inside a cat's head, and designing feline-friendly spaces than Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin.
I was super excited to receive a review copy of their newest book, Catify to Satisfy: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home. It's the perfect follow-up to their first collaboration, the New York Times Bestseller, Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You).
|Jackson and Kate, the dynamic duo!|
I want to do cool things for my cats, but I'm someone who becomes easily overwhelmed with the prospect of DIY projects. Plus, I've never really considered myself a handy person. When I get the confidence to try something, I always surprise myself. What he heck? I am kinda handy! "Kinda" is the key word here -- but still, it's a start!
I'll be straight with you. The main reason I'm in love with Catify to Satisfy is that it gives me complete confidence that I can indeed create interesting, fun, and cat-friendly areas in my home. I feel like Martha Stewart when I read this book ... except without the prison background.
|I can do this!|
The book of packed with photos, along with detailed instructions for creating simple design tricks to enrich your cat's environment. Jackson and Kate are the perfect team because he focuses on teaching us about cat behavior and the reasons behind cats' preferences, and then she shows us easy and advanced ways to support the behavior by using our creativity and applying the coolest design hacks. She had me at "hack." I can do "hack"
|Form and function.|
I especially connected with the "Faces in the Nation" sections that feature how real people, inspired by love for their cats, created unique catification projects. Their stories are heartfelt and fun, and they demonstrate the variety of ways we can each put our personal stamp on our passion projects.
|Catification can happen indoors and outdoors.|
Catify to Satisfy is a must-read for anyone who shares their space with a cat. It's educational, inspiration, and a totally fun read.
You, my friends, can win your very own copy of Catify to Satisfy! Here are the details:
- Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.
- Giveaway runs now through midnight Central, November 26, 2015.
- U.S. only.
- Giveaway subject to change.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
'Tis the season for switching on the morning heat. Here in Minnesota, we've lucked out with unseasonably warm fall weather. This time last year we'd already had a few feet of snow on the ground. I'm not complaining one bit about the change!
The cats, however, are like, "What's up with the lack of warm air coming through these holes in the floor?" They live for that blast of morning warmth -- especially Phoebe. As I'm getting out of bed, she stands over the bedroom heat register and lets the air blow up on her. I kind of wish she had a little Marilyn Monroe dress to wear while she stands over the vent. She'd hate it, but I think it'd be adorable. Some like it hot, right?
Friday, November 13, 2015
There's no doubt that the deployed military men and women are heroes. Not only do they sometimes have to leave human children behind, they also must say goodbye to their beloved pets. This is where another kind of hero steps in. The volunteers who work for Dogs on Deployment foster and lovingly care for pets until their humans return from duty.
Even though the name of the nonprofit organization is Dogs on Deployment, the volunteers welcome pets of all kinds into their homes. Military men and women have enough concerns while they're away -- it's a relief to know their pets are in comfortable, loving homes.
I love this video. After a six-month deployment, a soldier is reunited with two very special dogs, and a gorgeous tuxedo cat.
Purina is teaming up with Dogs on Deployment to raise awareness of the need to foster and care for pets of deployed men and women. And guess what? You can make a difference, right there from your computer!
Go to PureLoveforPets.com and answer trivia questions to trigger donations. Purina will donate 25 cents for every correct answer, up to $40,000, to Dogs on Deployment. Really! All you have to do is visit their site and play!
Go ahead ... what are you waiting for?
I was compensated to help spread the word about Dogs on Deployments and Purina Pure Love For Pets. Catladyland only shares information we think would be of interest to our readers. The opinions are our own.
Posted by Angie, Catladyland at 3:19 PM
In general, cats are not particularly fond of rides in carriers. I can speak for my three cats (because they've spoken to me), and say they'd probably rather kiss a sloppy dog face than take a ten-minute ride to the vet.
I can't really blame them. My kitties love their safe, comfortable surroundings, where they can count on comfort from me at most any given time. Then they're whisked away in this traveling box and have no idea what happening, except they're pretty sure they're gonna die.
|Phoebe is not amused.|
My cats have traditional Pet Taxis, which make it hard to comfort them when they're feelings scared on a car ride. Sure, I can poke my fingers through the metal lattice, but it's just not the same thing. My cats don't want my fingers, unless of course they're covered in gravy ... but even still! They want full-handed snuggly comfort from their human!
I just learned about this cool new carrier called The Hatch Pet Carrier, which provides safety and comfort for kitty. You see, there's a Direct Reach, No-Escape feature that allows us to reach in and comfort our kitty with our entire hand! And it's safe -- there's no chance of escape. I'm often tempted to open the carrier just a little, just enough to reach in and lay a hand on my cat, but there's always that chance that kitty will make a run for it. The Direct Reach can be opened or closed, and isn't big enough for escape. Pretty slick, huh?
Here are some of the other notable features of The Hatch Carrier:
- The exterior's made of water-resistant, military-grade, ballistic nylon.
- There's durable, claw-resistant mesh that covers most of three sides.
- It can be carried by hand, over the shoulder, and buckled safely into a car seat.
- It meets the guidelines of most airlines as a carry-on item.
- It packs flat.
Currently, the Hatch Carrier is a Kickstarter campaign that's looking for contributions to move the project along. The plan is to begin mailing them to backers in April of 2016. Any contribution will help (even $10!), and if you donate $129, you'll receive a carrier -- and that's 14% off the expected retail price.
Take a look at their Kickstarter page, where you can learn more about the product and the people who developed it.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
I love New York City and I love pets, so of course I was thrilled for the invitation to return to Nestlé Purina's annual Better With Pets Summit. In past years, the summit was set up in a TED Talks format, but this year included three expert panels, interesting speakers, and some fun hands-on activities. Yeah, that means I had my "hands on" a lot of kittens! Jealous? You should be.
The focus of Better With Pets is the human-pet bond, and how our lives really are better with pets. In particular, this year's event centered around the theme of emotional wellness for pets and the people who love them. The panels and activities supported that idea.
The first panel discussed the question, "Are millennials changing our relationship with cats?" It was an interesting conversation because I'd never really considered any differences. Since millennials tend to wait to start families, their cats are their children, and they also don't blink an eye at spending money on pampering them.
The second panel focused on stress and pets. I've always believed my cats are fuzzy little anti-anxiety "meds." I can't tell you the number of times I've looked to my cats for balance, peace, and relaxation. This panel not only validated what I already knew, they discussed stress in pets, how to recognize it, and how to soothe and prevent stress. One of the panelists noted that some vet clinics are now using cages with horizontal bars instead of vertical ones. This gives the cats unobstructed views, thus keeping them in a calmer state.
The third panel was especially close to my heart. I've always been a huge proponent of nurturing the relationship between kids and cats. Well, that's just what this panel covered. Pets can be great therapy for kids who are stressed or in crisis, and living with pets helps teach kids responsibility and compassion. Yeah, I'm a big fan.
After lunch, we got to experience some cool hands-on exhibits. There were examples of food puzzles, which not only keep pets from wolfing their food, they exercise their brain. My favorite part, of course, was the cat room, which demonstrated healthy environments for kitties. There were many levels or perching spots, hiding places, and toys galore. I could have stayed in that room all day long. I'd probably still be there if I didn't have to catch a cab back to the hotel!
Oh, and how cool is this? Purina announced they will donate $50,000 to The Frank Attla Youth Program, which was developed to help at-risk youth in rural Alaska gain confidence and self-esteem by adding dogs into the school curriculum, and giving them a unique opportunity to create bonds with these dogs by teaching students how to care for them.
All in all, it was another successful Summit! I learned a lot, got to play with kitties, and visited with a whole bunch of my favorite blogger friends. I already can't wait until next year!
Sunday, November 8, 2015
When I was in New York City last week, I stayed with my good friend Tamar of I Have Cat. Do you read her blog? You should -- that's a fact.
Of course, I spent a more-than-fair amount of time with her three cats, Kip, Haddie, and Petie. Two of the kitties were happy to share space with me, and one immediately offered me an eviction notice with his eyeballs.
Here are some photos illustrating my experiences with the three urban pussycats.
|Kip gives me the old cheek smooch.|
|Sweet Haddie goes nose-to-nose with me.|
|Petie? Well, you get the picture.|
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Cosmo has the best peeky-tongue face, and I wish he'd release more showings than his every-so-often-just-to-tease-you offerings. I want to touch the peeky tongue, but am certain it will result in its immediate exit.
At least I have sweet memories ... and about 28374024 photos on my phone. Of course I go nuts on the pics until he retracts the subject.
Here are a couple of the latest ones. No need to thank me -- I know you more than appreciate this peek at the peeky.
|The pensive, peeky-tongue pose.|