The Egyptians worshipped felines, as depicted in their intricate hieroglyphics.
Later, cats inspired artists with their majestic demeanour.
Today, cats are inspiring countless fashion trends, which enable cat enthusiasts to accessorize all while demonstrating their love of all things feline. Today, we look at just a few that we have found during our travels!
Behold this lovely brooch (which, alas, was on eBay but has since sold!), this classy cat ring, this mysterious cat charm necklace (Fig. 4.1), and these absolutely ravishing earrings.
No outfit would be complete without matchy-matchy accessories; take your pick from this quirky knit bag (Fig. 5.1), this kitty cat Bic lighter for the smokers out there, this pair of warm-looking earmuffs and mittens, this actually pretty neat infinity scarf, this classy umbrella, these blingy hair pins or this headband, this endearing temporary tattoo, these bandages for those awkward moments when you’re playing with kitty and he goes in for a bite (check out our advice column on what to do if this happens to you!), and of course a CAT phone case for the cat/CAT lovers who are extremely hard on their phones.
I was venturing around the city I call home, checking out the record shops to see what new releases I could find. I happened into City Lights Bookstore, and was sifting through the stacks of albums when I found “The Harmonicats“. I was obviously instantly drawn by the name of the group and their cat-themed album cover, and although I didn’t buy the album, it definitely stuck in my mind.
Hannah Shaw is the woman behind the name Kitten Lady. She has been able to make a career out of fostering neonatal kittens and preparing them for adoption. Initially I was enthralled with “Awwing” and cooing over her Instagram feed; she has rescued so many sweet little kittens and watching the progression of their recovery and rehabilitation is awesome.
As I got a little more curious and started looking around her website, I found so much useful information to help anyone become a kitten saving expert themselves. There is a plethora of information on what to do if you find a litter of kittens and how to take care of them, along with instructional videos. The accessibility of this information makes what she does really great; giving people the tools and knowledge to help is the most important part.
Her website is a one-stop shop for all things orphaned kittens and I highly recommend reading up on her work, or just perusing the adorable little kittens under her care via her Instagram.
Also, if you want to help, check out her shop and pick up one of her shirts (I picked up one of my own) or donate to her cause.
Have you always wanted to go for walks with your feline friend, but aren’t sure where to start? Do you worry that kitty won’t be terribly enthusiastic about being on the end of a leash? Does your cat go ballistic when you even think about putting a harness on him?
Take heart, wayward traveler, we’re here for you. The internet is filled with a plethora of great advice, and here we will provide you with some of the best resources to get you on your way to strutting in style with kitty in toe!
First, here is a list of materials you will need before you begin this ambitious undertaking:
a large, if not jumbo baggie of cat treats (since, according to preparewise.com, “rewarding them will be the only way to keep [your cat] from killing you”)
“Know your cat: think carefully before you decide that walking outdoors is a good option” (refer to our previous advice columns Help! My Cat is a Jerk and Help! My Cat is a Jerk: Biting. If your cat displays any signs of being a jerk, it is recommended to avoid further provocation).
Take it slow: “You can’t just slap a harness or jacket and leash on a cat … the training process involves gradual desensitization” (sounds exactly like something your cat will be into).
“A cat is not a dog: … [it] may bolt, freeze, try to climb up your leg or attempt to hide under the nearest bush” (a walk in the park!)
Wikihow provides a detailed and illustrated step-by-step process; here are some highlights:
Don’t let go: “be prepared for [your cat] to try to run and hide. Keep a firm hold on the leash and stay close” (I’ll never let you go, I love you so, kitty!)
Practice with the leash and harness: “try not to yank or drag the cat along as you go” (Come on, kitty! Don’t just lie there, come on!)
Finally, all kidding aside, adventurecats.org provides an extremely detailed and actually quite practical guide on how to leash train your cat, for the adventurous cat enthusiast. We recommend you check out adventurecats.org on Instagram, as they post some pretty pawesome pictures of cats traveling the globe.
Some cats love to bite. But when kitty’s “love bites” leave you bruised and bleeding, it may have you wondering if it is true love. Especially when the bites come unannounced and unprovoked. In fact, your feline may be the type to lure you with purrs and cuddles, only to lash out with teeth and claws from all directions.
We’ve determined a series of steps, with the help of resources from across the internet, to guide you through this cycle of abuse.
Denial and Isolation
Many of us do not want to admit that our dearly beloved pets have become vicious aggressors who, in reality, are taking out their frustrations at being domesticated on their domesticators.
You may say to yourself, “He doesn’t do it that often.” or “He doesn’t bite me that hard.”
Sorry, your cat is a jerk and you’re in denial about it.
Guilt and Avoidance
Once you have subconsciously admitted there is a problem, the next step would be to avoid the issue, by pin-pointing kitty’s biting triggers.
After all, it is your fault that he is biting you.
Behold this extremely detailed and helpful chart for those of us who have trouble interpreting our cats’ body language. It is truly incredible that someone would take the time to painstakingly analyse and score each element of body language postures, and even more incredible that someone would take the time to read it all.
Finally there comes a point in every biting cat owner’s life when you don’t know where to turn. Many sites across the internet direct you to consult your veterinarian, to help you and kitty through this stage.
Does your cat jump on your lap only to shove his butthole in your face? Or perhaps he comes to be petted and suddenly strikes without warning? Are you constantly replacing broken dishes and glassware that kitty has nimbly knocked off the counter/table? Are you unable to leave a plate of food unattended? Does your shredded sofa look like it belongs at the dump? Are you one of those people who “can’t have nice things”?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, then your cat is, for all intents and purposes, a jerk. Sorry.
But there is help!
The internet is a treasure trove of resources and advice for cat owners who seek to curb their felines’ behaviour.
This week, we take a look at advice for those of us struggling with cats who can’t keep off the counter.
B. howcast.com provides us with a helpful video, in which board-certified veterinary behaviourist Dr. E’Lise Christensen, DVM tells us that if our cats are jumping on our counters, it is because our kitchens are dirty, and that the rest of our house is less appealing to cats than the counter, and to improve the house by leaving blankets and treats everywhere.
C. lifehacker.com suggests using “environmental punishers” such as sandpaper (ouch!) or poorly placed cookie sheets which will fall when kitty jumps on them (basically, leave your kitchen counter in disarray).
D. Jackson Galaxy, a self-proclaimed cat whisperer, proposes a motion-activated air blaster, such as StayAway, with an infrared sensor that will detect an animal within 3 feet. This seems like the most practical and financially-viable option one could imagine. Read more about Jackson Galaxy’s fantastic ideas here.
E. For the cat enthusiast/bookworm, there is even literature available. Cats on the Counter: Therapy and Training for Your Cat, by Larry Lachman and Frank Mickadeit (I highly recommend perusing the reviews as they give great insight into the value of this book), offers detailed background information, “fascinating stories, excellent advice, and empathy for both misbehaving pets and their long-suffering people” (Amazon.com).
Stay tuned for the next installment of Help! My Cat is a Jerk where we will look at ways to redirect cats that bite and claw the hand that feeds.
This week we bring you a very special volume of Featured Kitty, to commemorate the prematurely-departed and dearly-missed Darla. Darla, who was Featured Kitty Whiskey‘s betrothed, met her untimely demise three years ago, which put the kibosh on any Kitty Wedding. More on that later, let’s start at the beginning.
Darla engaged in one of her favourite past-times: sleeping.
From what we know of her beginnings, tiny kitten Darla was saved from a vicious goose, which brutally murdered her entire family. Darla was taken by a good samaritan and brought to a local animal hospital (where her future owner was employed), where, due to her irresistible cuteness, she was promptly adopted.
Who could resist this cuteness?
But Darla turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing (underneath that sweet exterior lurks a formidable beast). Oh she liked her pets and her snuggles, but try to go anywhere near her with a brush or a pair of nail clippers and watch out! She would scream so loudly that windows might shatter, and there was always the risk that neighbours would think some horrible animal torture was afoot. And giving her a bath was simply out of the question unless one wanted to end up bitten/clawed to death.
While one might assume Darla was named after a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which, for the record, is one of our favourites), in fact she takes her name from an obscure Third Eye Blind reference (it’s so obscure the details aren’t worth getting into.) But it could just as easily have been from the aforementioned TV series.
Darla and Whiskey were a match made in heaven. Their engagement lasted more than two years, and it was a wonderful time. Whiskey was so excited he went so far as to send Darla a very generous gift, pictured below. Darla was beside herself, as you can see in the photo.
With over 1,400 pins, the pinboard had outgrown itself and it was time to expand: and thus, Cat-O-Log was born.
Tragically, these two lovebirds never got to meet in purrson, as Darla succumbed to a severe and brief illness, before reaching her eleventh year. However, Darla’s spirit lives on, through the pinboard and cat-o-log blog she helped inspire.
And now, the many sides of Darla:
She looks simply dashing in red.
We’re not sure what she’s looking at but it seems pretty serious.
One of Darla’s favourite poses was the “fake standing up pose”. She would lie on the couch in such a way that if you took an aerial view photo she appeared to be standing up.
With safety and preparedness in mind, we bring you a helpful guide to setting up your very own (Crazy) Cat Lady Emergency/First Aid Kit. You never know when disaster may strike, and you want to be ready for any pawtential catastrophe.
To avoid being shunned by non-cat folk, be sure to have a lint removing device handy at all times.
Maybe you have a job interview and kitty decided to sleep on your best pantsuit/cardigan that you thoughtfully laid out the night before. Perhaps you are entertaining and need to quickly and efficiently remove a cat’s worth of fur from the furniture before anyone arrives.
Whatever the case may be, choosing the right lint roller for you (amazingly, there does not appear to be an overview of available reusable lint brushes, so stay tuned for an upcoming post right here on this blog!) is paramount.
Sometimes we can get carried away playing with our feline friend (especially kittens, who are unbearably cute and provide hours of entertainment with their uncoordinated antics; but beware, because they are more likely to carry the bacterium B. henselae), and accidents happen!
Other times, you meet a cat who is just a jerk, and will swat/bite/scratch you at any available opportunity, or will even go so far as to lull you into a false sense of security by sitting on your lap and purring, demanding pets, and will then proceed to suddenly strike out without warning.
Proper wound care is important, and disinfecting cat scratches is vital in the fight against cat scratch fever, a preventable yet potentially quite serious disease. This is why any crazy cat lady emergency/first aid kit should include an assortment of bandages (refer to Fig. 2.1 above) as well as an antiseptic to clean and disinfect (Fig 2.2, above).
Snacks for Emeowgencies
Imagine you’re on a roadtrip with kitty, your car breaks down and suddenly you are stranded in the middle of Utah with nothing but sheer rock and tumbleweeds for miles. Poor kitty hasn’t eaten in at least two hours and his blood sugar levels are dropping dangerously low! Thank heavens you remembered to bring along a packet of cat treats, like the ones illustrated below, to keep those hunger pangs at bay, and ensure kitty doesn’t wither away to nothing on the I70.
Natural disasters happen every day. Floods, hurricanes, typhoons – to name a few. Not to mention freak accidents like plane crashes into the ocean, or sinking ships.
Make sure kitty is secure at all times with his own personal Cat Buoyancy Aid, in case you’re too incapacitated to clutch him in your arms (and tread water at the same time? I think not!).
If your feline friends are anything like mine, they become panting, drooling, crying, barfing, bowel-emptying messes anytime they have to go in the car. Even the shortest car ride can result in having to drive with every window down just to make it to the destination without have to barf yourself.
I recently moved to another city and had to prepare my cats for a 2.5 hour car ride. I wanted to find a product that would help us all make it in one piece. I did a little shopping and ended up purchasing a product called Licks Pill-Free Cat ZEN™ Calming Aid
All I had to do was squirt one packet of the liquid on my cats paw about 45 minutes before we had to load them up in the car. The cat licks the liquid off its paw and the effects should last about 4-6 hours.
From my personal experience, the results worked out great. One of my two cats only meowed a bit the entire ride, no messes. The other cat (Whiskey – see our Featured Kitty article for more information!) did pant and barfed once. This is not too bad considering his past. Overall, I was very satisfied with this product and would definitely use it again.
Have you ever lived through a catastrophe or emeowgency? What items did you find indispensable for survival? Comment below with your ideas, we’d love to hear from you!