Thursday, September 29, 2016

September Is Happy Cat Month

September is Happy Cat Month. Do you have a happy cat? Does your cat make you happy? Then celebrate!
Dandy, celebrating Happy Cat Month

Happy, Happy Cat Month!

I'm not sure how I overlooked it, but it has just recently come to my attention that the month of September has been designated as Happy Cat Month. Fortunately, there's still just over 24 hours left in the month for celebrating. (Just between us, this is a holiday I could celebrate every month and every day of the year!)

This is my cat, Dandy, celebrating the occasion by showing off his happy cat face.

I hope he made you smile.

Dandy is no longer with us, he crossed the Rainbow Bridge more than five years ago, but I'm happy to have pictures so I'll never forget his pudgy belly and this funny smile. Actually, as happy as I know he was, he usually had a rather serious look on his face, so I’m very glad to have caught this rare smile with the camera.

Celebrate With Cat Jewelry

So that we can celebrate Happy Cat Month and happy cats when we're away from home or when our cats are no longer with us, I went looking for happy cats that are a bit more, well, portable, and here's what I found and fell in love with.

Isn't this Grey Smiling Cat Brooch adorable? Cat jewelry from KaffeeKatze on Etsy
Gray Cat Brooch from KaffeeKatze on Etsy

Look at that face! Isn't this Grey Smiling Cat Brooch adorable? It's little, about an inch and a half (38 mm) in diameter, so easy to pin on a coat, a collar, or maybe even a purse. I like the idea of pinning this cute cat face on my jacket where people will catch a glimpse of it and smile.

The brooch is handmade by artist KaffeeKatze on Etsy using a clay bead, gray felt, a crystal bead for the ear, and even fishing line for whiskers. Reviews for this item and for all of KaffeeKatze's cat items are excellent - people love this cute kitty!

Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be September to celebrate Happy Cat Month. I hope you'll snuggle with your cat and treat him like he's special to make him happy every day of the year. And even if you don't have a cat, consider ordering this smiling cat face brooch as a gift for yourself or someone else who you know loves happy cats and cat jewelry.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Black Cat Appreciation Day is August 17th

Black Cat Art Doll Couple in honor of Black Cat Appreciation Day
Black Cat Art Doll Couple
by Sandy Mastroni on Etsy
I love that there are so many special days to celebrate cats. Today, August 17, is one of my favorites, Black Cat Appreciation Day. It's the day when cat lovers like myself give special attention to black cats, those felines that sometimes get overlooked in the kitty cat crowd.

Black cats have held a special place throughout history. During the height of the ancient Egyptian civilization, black cats were held in high esteem. Kill one and you'd be killed, too, as doing so was a capital crime. Travel forward in time to the Middle Ages in Europe and the black cat's reputation had switched from goddess to witch or even devil.

Black cats are famous for arched backs and yellow eyes, although many have green eyes and most don't arch their backs any more than their gray, white, orange striped, or other feline counterparts. Their silhouettes, though, do look nice when used in Halloween decor.

Some people count on their black cats to bring them good luck. Others avoid black cats at all costs (especially when the cat happens to cross their path) due to the fear that bad luck and misfortune travel with them.

It is said that black cats are less likely than cats of other colors to be adopted from an animal shelter and if that's true, those who pass up these beautiful animals simply don't know what they're missing. Many owners of black cats (though who really owns a cat, but that's a topic for another day) often report that these distinctive felines are special indeed with the extraordinary ability to keenly sense their owners' moods and feelings even more so than the average cat.

Black Cat With Pumpkin Art Doll for Halloween by Sandy Mastroni on Etsy
Black Cat With Pumpkin Art Doll
by Sandy Mastroni on Etsy
Personally, I've never had the pleasure of living with a solid black cat, but I know for sure that I'd never turn one down based on myth or superstition. And if I had one, I'd treat him to an extra-special treat today, perhaps a massage, to celebrate Black Cat Appreciation Day.

Here are a few articles to check out if you'd like to learn more about black cats.

So tell us, are you owned by a black cat? Know one? Would you choose or pass on a black cat if you were looking for a feline companion? Sylvia and I would love to know.

P.S. I love folk art and have totally fallen in love with the handmade cat dolls that illustrate this article. If you love black cats, or know someone who does, please check out these cat art dolls and their friends on Etsy. There are so many that would make a unique and wonderful addition to a cat collector's wall or shelf. (Note: I receive a commission for purchases made through the cat art doll links in this post.) Thanks for sharing with your cat-loving friends.

Primitive Black Cat Folk Art Doll by Primitivewishfuls on Etsy for Black Cat Appreciation Day
Primitive Black Cat Folk Art Doll
by Primitivewishfuls on Etsy
Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Halloween Hats for Cats

Halloween Hats for Cats presented by

Today's the first day of school in our town. It's Monday and I'm guessing that by, oh, probably Friday the school supply aisles will have given way to Halloween costumes and candy. What does that mean to us? Why, it's time to start shopping for Halloween hats for cats, of course!

People love dressing up their pets in costumes for Halloween. It used to be just dog owners, but now cat owners, too, are on the lookout for the best possible Halloween costumes for their beloved felines. I decided that, rather than a full costume, I'd start by looking for the best Halloween hats. I mean, everyone's heard of The Cat In the Hat, right? Well, who said that cats only like stovepipe hats with stripes?

Thanks to the artisans on Etsy, you'll be able to outfit your cat for weeks in a whole wardrobe of choices of cat hats. It would take until trick-or-treat night to show you all the great hats that are available, so Sylvia and I have narrowed down the selection to a few that we especially like. Ready? Here are five of our favorite Halloween hats for cats. Click on each picture to see it bigger and click on the links for more details. (Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.)

Lion Mane Cat Hat, one of our favorite Halloween hats for cats, it's a whole costume!
Lion Mane Cat Hat
by iheartneedlework on Etsy
We know (of course we do) that all cats believe they are mighty and what mightier cat in the whole feline world than the lion! This lion mane cat hat in bright bronze (or your choice of other colors) is mighty indeed, providing a full, wrap-around mane. The mane/hat features comfortable ear holes and a chin strap, made to order using your cat's measurements. Each "hair" on this mane is attached by hand to the hat. You can be assured that Meredith at iheartneedlework does wonderful work as indicated by the hundreds of excellent customer reviews she has received.

Adorable White Lamb Hat for a Cat, another of our favorite cat hats for Halloween
Lamb Hat for a Cat
by iheartneedlework on Etsy
I know that a lamb isn't very Halloween-ish, but lambs are associated with lions and, well, this cat hat is so darned cute I had to feature it here. Also designed and custom made by Meredith, this adorable white lamb hat (or choose black) with its pink ears is a perfect choice for a cat with a humble, gentle personality. Or for Easter. Or maybe your cat is playing a role in a Christmas manger scene. Or, hey, who says there's anything wrong with a lamb costume for Halloween?

Cat in the Hat hat for a cat. What a great Halloween costume idea for a cat!
Cat in the Hat Hat for a Cat
by ToCraftAHome on Etsy
Speaking of The Cat in the Hat (and we were), everyone will recognize the character your cat is portraying when he wears this crochet version of the hat made famous by Dr. Seuss's best-known character. This simple (and rather tall) stovepipe hat for a cat has comfy ear holes and ties in a bow under your cat's chin. Kate at ToCraftAHome did a great job with this. I would love to see this cat in this hat come by our house on Halloween night. Would that not be the coolest thing ever?

Witch Hat made from felted wool, awesome Halloween hat for a cat.
Felted Wool Witch Hat for a Cat
by ToScarboroughFair on Etsy
Here's a cat hat that's simply purrfect for Halloween, a felted wool witch's hat. This is a great design, beautifully crafted by Amélie who has a long and very distinguished history of creating awesome hats for cats. Be sure to check out Amélie's shop, ToScarboroughFair, if you just can't get enough hats for your cat. Bet she has something you'll love that your cat doesn't have. Yet. (Her cat hats are addictive.)

Crocheted pumpkin cat hat with tendrils, recommended by MyCatSylvia.
Pumpkin Cat Hat with Tendrils
by MissCrocreation on Etsy
To wind down our Halloween Hats for Cats countdown, here's a cute little punkin in a pumpkin hat. This is so seasonal, your cat can wear it from the first hint of fall, through Halloween, and right up to Thanksgiving. Sylvia is particularly fond of this hat because of the pumpkin tendrils. I like it because it looks super-soft and the model reminds me of my cat Peanut.

So, and you know I'm going to ask, which cat hat do you like best? Will you subject treat your cat to a new Halloween hat this year? Please tell us all about it.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Mod Dream Pod Cat Beds

Would your cat like a heated bed that looks like a flying saucer? Check out the Thermo Mod Dream Pod heated cat bed. Recommended by MyCatSylvia.

As autumn approaches, Sylvia and I are looking forward to cooler weather and all the benefits that come with it. For me, that means comfort food. For Sylvia, cooler days mean lots and lots of snuggle time. And yes, I like to snuggle, too. But in this case, with the awesome cat bed that I just found, Sylvia will be happy on her own. Same with her cat friends and I can promise you that no cat could possibly complain about these cat beds. Why? Because they're heated! (Or not. Your choice.)

Check out the Mod Dream Pod cat bed, available with or without a built-in heater. It's shaped like a flying saucer, or a clam, with a shallow bowl-shaped bottom and another bowl for the top. Zip the top and bottom sections together to form a cat pod, or cave, a comfortable place where cats who like a hideout can nap the day away.

But wait, there's more!

I mentioned the heater. Inside the Thermo Mod Dream Pod is a microsuede-covered cushion that zips open to reveal a small, energy-efficient 4-watt heater. Plug 'er in, the cushion will heat up, and kitty-cat will stay warm all day. The heater is designed to increase the surface temperature of the bed about 15 degrees above room temperature when you plug it in then, when your favorite feline curls up in the bed, the heater bumps the temp up to about 102 degrees Fahrenheit, a cat's natural body temperature. Cool! Well, actually warm!

Is the Thermo-Mod Dream Pod Safe?

Yes! The pod with the electric heater has been carefully tested and is perfectly safe. You will need to place the bed near an outlet as the cord is 5 1/2 feet long and using an extension cord is not recommended.

I love the modern look of this cat bed and adore the pretty green color. Note that the heated version of the Mod Dream Pod (called the Thermo Mod Dream Pod) is available in the green and black and the tan and black colors. The unheated version is also available in gray and black.

From reading the reviews, it appears that these beds sold out last winter and were on back order for some time. With that in mind, you might want to go ahead and order your cat's new bed (you know she wants one) sooner rather than later.

The Thermo Mod Dream Pod would be a fabulous gift idea for someone with a new cat or kitten and, of course, your cats should have one, too. Note that the pod is 22 inches wide so if you have a couple of cats who like to snuggle together, they probably wouldn't mind sharing and probably would fit. Watch the video to get a better idea of the size when the cat comes out of the pod. He looks tiny, but he isn't.

(Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.)

Amazon seems to have the best price for these Mod Dream Pod cat beds, but do yourself a favor and compare with what's available on eBay. The price varies by color and, of course, whether or not you choose the heated version. Again based on customer reviews, I'd definitely go with the heated version. Clearly, cats love that feature. 

So tell us, does your cat like to snuggle to keep warm? Would he or she enjoy a heated bed that looks like a flying saucer? Sylvia really wants to know! 

Monday, August 8, 2016

International Cat Day

International Cat Day: Ancient Egyptian Cat with Ankh, Pyramids & Hieroglyphs by Debbie Hart |
Ancient Egyptian Cat with Ankh, Pyramids & Hieroglyphs
by Debbie Hart on Etsy
August 8th is International Cat Day. In honor of the occasion, let's take a brief look at the history of cats and how our relationship with them has evolved through the years.

It's common knowledge that the cat has been domesticated for centuries with some of the earliest evidence, dating back 12,000 years, being unearthed in the Middle East. That's around the time that early man began to settle down and to store surplus grain crops.

Cats that previously had been wild began hanging around grain storage areas in order to take advantage of the mice and other predators that were attracted to the grain. Over time, the more docile felines became members of human households, living indoors, and eventually developed into various breeds of domestic house cats similar to those we know today.

Cats In Ancient Egypt

We know from figures and mummies found in Egyptian archaeological digs that cats were revered by the Ancient Egyptians. Indeed, the goddess Bastet worshiped by that civilization was represented as half woman, half cat. An inscription found in Egypt's Valley of the King reads, "You are the Great Cat, the avenger of the gods, and the judge of words, and the president of the sovereign chiefs and the governor of the holy Circle; you are indeed the Great Cat." Clearly, domestic cats today still hold onto that proclamation as obvious truth and demand to be treated accordingly. (If you don't know what I mean by that, you've never been owned by a cat.)

International Cat's Day: Maneki Neko Lucky Cat Japanese Bobtail Garden Sculpture by Tyber Katz on Etsy |
Maneki Neko Lucky Cat Japanese Bobtail Garden Sculpture
by Tyber Katz on Etsy

Cats Bring Good Luck. Or Bad Luck.

In the Far East, for centuries and even today, figures of cats such as this Japanese Maneki Neko, or Beckoning Cat, are thought of as bearers of abundance and good fortune.

On the other hand, during the Middle Ages in Europe, cats, particularly black cats, were mostly associated with witches and the devil and the evil those characters represented.

Even today many people go out of their way to avoid a black cat and what they perceive as the omen of bad luck and misfortune that these animals represent. That superstition may explain why black cats are least likely to be chosen for adoption by people seeking a feline friend. Sad, but true.

Celebrating International Cat Day

Fortunately these days, cats of all sizes, shapes, and colors happily reside in millions of homes in western civilization. In fact, cats outnumber dogs as pets when we count the total number of each in the United States. For those of us who consider ourselves cat people, our lives would not be complete without one. Or three or four.

On this special holiday as we give our beloved felines extra helpings of respect and recognition, most of those pets will nonchalantly stretch, or perhaps stare at us through squinted eyes with their message that, "Ho hum, I am the Great Cat, and cat's the way it is, human." We'll rub our open hands down their spines, smile, and murmur, "Good kitty." Yes, life is good with cats and that is something to celebrate.

So tell us, how will you and your cat celebrate International Cat Day? Sylvia really wants to know.

International Cat Day: Cat's The Way It Is poster print by Nature's Pals on Etsy |
Cat's The Way It Is 
Poster Print by Nature's Pals on Etsy

(Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Coloring Books for Cat Lovers

If you enjoy adult coloring books and also happen to love cats, then you'll adore these coloring books for cat lovers.

Although I miss the warm snuggles, having a cat that exists only in my head isn't such a bad thing. In fact, there are two specific advantages of this unconventional arrangement that come immediately to mind. First, no kitty litter. But mostly, I can imagine Sylvia being any shape, any size, and any color or combination thereof that my mind can conjure up, any day, any time.

Sort of like the cats you'll find in these coloring books for cat lovers.

I usually imagine Sylvia as a conglomeration of her real-life predecessors: her coat is a patchwork of Peanut's orange and white, Dandy's gray tabby stripes, and Oreo's tuxedo black and white, and she has Dusty's pale blue eyes. Sometimes she looks like Grumpy Cat while other days she's a sweet, happy kitten. When my mind is being particularly creative, she may be wearing a fur coat consisting of colorful paisley patterns, stripes, and polka dot designs similar to what you'll find in the 5-star rated Creative Cats coloring book from Dover.

If you're one of the millions of adults who've fallen head over heels into the adult coloring craze, and especially if you also adore cats, then you'll totally love these coloring books. While many include pictures with intricate designs for the serious enthusiast, others are perfect for children of all ages. The Cool Cats coloring book, designed for ages 6-10, might also be a great choice for senior adults or others who prefer coloring in larger, easier-to-see spaces.

Why order your cat coloring books from Dover? Mostly because you'll get a quality product, but also to take advantage of the Dover Rewards Loyalty Program. You'll earn points with every purchase that you make, points to use later to buy even more coloring books (or whatever your heart desires) from the huge selection on their website.

So tell me, what color is your cat today?

P.S. August 2nd is #NationalColoringBookDay! Find great deals, coupons, and free stuff when you shop for coloring books at Dover Publications.