Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chanel, Victoria Beckham Turn to Cats for Inspiration in Latest Collections

I have to admit when I first saw this Catwoman-inspired Chanel ad for Fall 2011, I wasn't entirely sure it was even real. Danish model Freja Beha Erichsen models the cat burgler-esque ensemble, which includes a faux nose and set of whiskers, styled by former French "Vogue" Editor-in-Chief, Carine Roitfeld.

While I always appreciate a good cat fashion shoot, I probably would've preferred to have seen some real domestic cats instead of this weirdness. But I'm not a former "Vogue" editor, so what do I know?

Posh Spice goes "Strange" for her new collection

In other interesting cat fashion news, Grazia is reporting that Victoria Beckham just announced she's working on a lower priced line called "Victoria" for Spring 2012. The confounding part is that she claims the collection is inspired by teen goth cartoon icon Emily the Strange, and will feature "magical prints" such as clouds, moons, and "lots of cats." The kitty prints even have their own names: "Victoria cat" and "Cutey cat."

Currently there aren't any pics of the feline fashions available, but as soon as anything is released, you know I'll be on it!


World's Grumpiest Cat is a Natural Sour Puss

Is this the face of the world's grumpiest cat? British tabloids are currently in a frenzy over the 8-year-old Persian Burmese mix, named Mr. Pip. His owner, Rose Oughton says that (much like myself), he dislikes "noise, bad weather, and especially hates football."

Oughton took the cross-looking kitty to the vet to make sure he wasn't in pain or unhappy, but was assured that his expression is perfectly normal for his breed, and nothing to be concerned about.

She says, "My two daughters are always saying how fed-up he always looks, but he's an affectionate cat really. He is far from being a lap-cat, but we get on OK."


Pork Chop the Cat in Walking for Kisses

Get ready for 0:36 seconds of pure kitty bliss! I could watch this all day.

So sayeth The Daily What: "I like the part where they were walking for kisses."



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Day on Set of the New Fancy Feast "Storybook Wedding" Commercial: Part 1

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Catsparella and Sparklecat live on set in our surprise director's chairs!

I'm just a normal gal who loves cats, and started this blog a year ago as a way to creatively express myself and nurture my obsession with kitties, pop culture, and media. So, to have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel across the country and participate in the Fancy Feast "Storybook Wedding" commercial shoot (the sequel to the ever popular "The Engagement" spot), was nothing short of a dream come true for me. The three days I spent in Los Angeles were a magical whirlwind, and it's no stretch of the imagination to say that Monday was one of the most perfect days I've ever experienced in my life!

I was up bright and early the day of the shoot, not only because to the 3-hour time difference between Princeton and Los Angeles, but also due to my irrepressible excitement about what the day ahead held in store.

I headed down to the lobby of my fabulous hotel at 7:45 in the morning to meet up with Lisa Bickler and Greg Eppich from the public relations firm that represents Fancy Feast, along with fellow cat blogger Janiss Garza of Sparklecat. I've been following Janiss online for awhile now, but had never met her in person, and was looking forward to having the chance to "talk cat" with her in the flesh.

At breakfast, I learned that the cast of the HBO show Entourage was filming at the restaurant in the lobby, and was taken with a sense of Hollywood fancy, that I was in LA now.. and anything could happen!

After an eventful car ride to the set (we literally passed a vehicle that was IN FLAMES on the side of the road), we arrived on-location at Brookfield Farms, a lush and sprawling private estate nestled in the hills of Thousand Oaks, California. Along with pitch perfect weather that couldn't have been scripted to be more amazing, we were greeted by soft mist-making machines that served to enhance the "Enchanted Forest" theme of the all-outdoor shoot.

Decked out in my pretty pink party dress, I felt as if I were about to attend a REAL storybook wedding as I walked past these beautifully appointed chairs, all set up to accommodate guests of Sean and Lisa's upcoming nuptials.

Colin Cowie signing my copy of "Colin Cowie Chic"!

After settling in to the "video village" where we were able to sit, tweet, and snack to our hearts content while watching close-ups of the action on small screens, I got the chance to meet lifestyle guru/celebrity wedding planner Colin Cowie, who was there to manage every detail of the dream affair. Colin was extremely gracious, and even signed a copy of his book, "Colin Cowie Chic" for us to take home as an unexpected treat!

One of the gorgeous silver shaded Dearheart Persian kittens used on the shoot

Of course, I was also beyond thrilled to meet Karen Thomas, the handler who trains all of the Fancy Feast cats. My heart started to pound with excitement when I heard the cats were approaching, and I could hardly contain myself at the first sight of the the two celebri-kitties: Fifteen-week-old silver shaded Dearheart Persians Angelina and Belissima (aka Felicia), who play the role of Sean and Lisa's growing kitten in the commercial.

A dream fulfilled!

While the kittens were getting used to their surroundings, Karen was incredibly sweet, and enthusiastically answered our many questions. Getting to hold and pet the kittens in person was such a thrill for me, and the experience did not disappoint! They were seriously the most precious little creatures I have seen in my life - Just so incredibly beautiful with their black kohl rimmed eyes, pink noses, and rabbity soft pristine white fur. Still babies, they're so small and delicate, and I felt so honored to get the chance to meet them.

Speaking with Karen, I also learned that she is the lucky owner of the "adult" Fancy Feast felines, who are played by two cats named Aladdin (2-years-old) and Phoebe (10-years-old). (Aladdin can be seen running down the stairs to greet Lisa in "The Engagement" commercial). You might also be surprised to know that while not working, the two are just "normal" house kitties who hold a treasured spot in her home as beloved pets. Can you imagine YOUR cats being the official Fancy Feast cats??

As the day progressed, I briefly got the chance to get up close to stars Sean and Lisa (real names: Jacob and Louise!), and was blown away by how incredibly attractive they are in real life. I mean they look amazing in the commercial, of course..but, wow! Lisa looked nothing short of stunning in the wedding gown that was chosen for her (Fancy Feast had fans vote on her gown, earrings, and bouquet), and watching the two film a scene where they shared a kiss after exchanging their vows was a very tender moment, that touched all of us on set. I felt like we were witnessing a real live wedding!

The rest day consisted of more unbelievable weather, breathtaking scenery, and plenty of surprises. In addition to Greg and Lisa, I also felt so fortunate to meet the wonderful Fancy Feast team, representatives from Avrett Free Ginsberg agency, and everyone else from the cast and crew who were nothing but warm and welcoming towards me.

I have so many more details to share, and thought it would be fun to really explain the whole "storybook" day to you, so I'm working on putting together an audio podcast where I will discuss my experience in more detail. You'll also get the chance to hear my exclusive interviews with Colin Cowie and Karen Thomas, so I hope you'll check back, and stay tuned!

In the meantime, mark you calendars because the Fancy Feast "Storybook Wedding" commercial is set to premiere exclusively on the Fancy Feast Facebook page (where they've also been posting even more exclusive pics from the set) on Friday, August 19th, followed by a television and YouTube premiere on August 22nd.

I know it's going to be something special, and I really can't wait to see the finished result!

Disclosure: Fancy Feast covered the cost of my travel and accommodations for this trip. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.


Fair Ivy "Kitty Surprise" Subscription Service & Handmade Catnip Giveaway!

Lucy from Fair Ivy recently contacted me about a cute new service her gift subscription company is offering for cats (and dogs) called Fur Ivy.

Based in Santa Monica, CA, Fair Ivy sends crafty, fun surprise packages to their subscribers around the US every month. Their new branch, Fur Ivy, is specifically for pets, and sends packages filled with healthy treats and US-made toys to the special kitty in your life. The mystery deliveries can be ordered on a monthly basis, and are very eco-friendly and have a bit of an organic feel to them.

Sample surprise yums: Fancy snacks and cutie catnips!

The idea behind the surprise package service came about when the founders realized they never got anything fun in the mail any more, and wanted to create a way to spice up their daily trip to the mailbox!

Fair Ivy currently has four gift subscription packages available for Teens, Women, Men, and Pets.

At the moment, you can get a 1-month subscription for cats at $18/month (a cute idea for someone in your life who's just gotten a cat or kitten perhaps), or up to six months for $14/month.

Enter to Win!

Penguin or Eggplant?

Lucy has offered one Catsparella reader an adorable sample from her surprise kitty packages in the form of some way cute catnip! A lucky winner and their kitty will have their choice of one handmade Penguin Catnip Toy OR one handmade Eggplant Catnip Toy.

To enter, leave a comment on this post with your name and some way to contact you (email, link back to your blog or profile, twitter, etc.), plus which catnip you'd choose if you won (Penguin OR Eggplant).
The winner be will chosen in a random drawing next Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 at 5:00PM EST. This contest is open to US readers only (sorry!), one entry per person, please.

Good luck to all, and make sure to stop by Fair Ivy to learn more about their subscription packages, and like them on Facebook for updates on all of their latest offers!

(If you have any trouble entering a comment, please email me at

[Comments are now closed.]


Feline Fashion Shoot at Caboodle Ranch Cat Sanctuary

(Click images to enlarge)

As if we could love cat lady turned fashion photographer Kristiina Wilson any more, now she's back with another amazing feline-themed shoot at the Caboodle Ranch Cat Sanctuary in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Founded in 2003 by Craig Grant, Caboodle Ranch is a 30 acre non-profit rescue sanctuary described as a "cat sized village" for homeless kitties. Hundreds of wayward felines are able to roam free, while Craig and his staff, along with countless volunteers ensure their happiness and well-being. Cats are not up for adoption, rather they are free to live their lives out at the permanent cat sanctuary.

The gorgeous shoot features model Aiden, and was done for a German mag called "Kinki."

aidencats from Kristiina Wilson on Vimeo.

Check out this exclusive behind-the-scenes video, and click here to see more pics from the shoot on Kristiina's site!

It's the LAST day to help us get nominated for Best Cat Blog at the 2011 Petties Pet Blog Awards! Please click HERE for details on how to vote!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's Caturday!

Welcome back for another edition of Caturday, where we wrap up all the week's latest cat news and get to know some of your amazing kitties!

This week we recapped all the ways black cats bring good luck, enjoyed hot dudes with kittens, indulged in some Nyan Cat cupcakes, got an update on the little pink kitten (she's not pink anymore!), and got super excited when the new Puss in Boots movie trailer finally hit the web!

I also talked about my love for The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, finally got an iPhone, and revealed that I'm flying to Los Angeles (tomorrow!) to be on the set of the new Fancy Feast commercial next week!

A few reminders: Animal Planet's "Cats 101" is covering the newest and rarest breeds for season 4, so if you or someone you know owns, or has a story about one of these breeds, let us know!

Also, I'd love you 4ever if you helped me get nominated for Best Cat Blog at the 2011 Petties Pet Blog Awards! Voting is open until this coming Wednesday, June 29th, and the top four vote getting finalists will be announced on July 5th! For info on how to vote: Click here.

Now on to the real business of the day...CATS!

Christine and Skittles, the "Mama's Boy"

This week, Christine wrote in to say she'd like to introduce us to her three little (not so little anymore) kittens, Skittles, Deathpaw and Buffy.

Now, how could I ever refuse a proposal like that? Each member of this terrific trio of cats not only has their own unique personality, but they also have some pretty sweet names too! I'll let Christine share the rest of their stories with you, below!

Read on for more!


Skittles is the eldest child, the big brother of the family. He earned his name because he is sweet as candy, but a wee bit skittish around most people.

He is a definite Mama’s boy. He loves cuddle time on the couch, bed and our favourite chair by the window.

He does not have one party animal bone in his body. He hates company! At the first sign of them Skittles will hit the stairs running and will hide out under mommy’s bed till the last of them are gone before re-joining the main floor action.

Skittles has a severe case of social anxiety, so much so that many friends and even a few family doubt his existence. Though we have had him for seven years he has bestowed only a rare few humans the privilege of his presence.



Deathpaw remains actively in touch with his inner kitten. He refuses to grow up and loves to play, play, play, with everything and everyone. His favourite game is fetch. He loves to fetch pipe cleaners and will continually bring them back to you till you fall asleep from boredom or he gets distracted by something he might be missing in another part of house.

Deathpaw loves to be the centre of attention, and will do whatever it takes to get you to notice him. Those that enter our house had best love cats because if they don’t Deathpaw will sense it, and he will make it his personal mission to change that unflattering opinion before the end of the visit.

During his college days on campus with his big bro Ryan, Deathpaw earned the reputation as a master Mouser. Subsequently he earned the name.



Buffy is our little princess! She loves to be primped and pampered. She especially enjoys having her fur combed, and her chin scratched.

Her favourite place to relax is on the back deck where she can soak up the sun, watch the birds, and enjoy a quiet afternoon nap in one of the many cozy chairs out there. She may look and act likes a girly girl but she’s one tough cookie. She’s a survivor. Buffy’s life wasn’t always so comfortable.

Before becoming a member of our family she was a stray struggling day by day on the mean streets of Newmarket. Our little princess proved she could take care of herself, and be tough when she had too. Hence she was named after another tough cookie, the Slayer!


Skittles sounds a lot like another cat I know *cough-Priscilla-cough.* While she's been a member of our family for 10 years now, a sighting of her is rare if anyone besides me or my parents is around. Deathpaw has possibly the most bad-ass name of any Caturday cat so far, and his loving personality reminds me a lot of Charlie (who's also really into those horizontal scratchers). And then there's Buffy, the second Caturday feline named after one of my favorite TV show characters of all time! I guess great, cat-loving minds think alike!

Special thanks to Christine for sharing her tale of "The Three Little" kittens with us this week! They're all purrfectly adorable, and I'm sure make her life a lot of fun! To learn more about Christine and visit her "ranting/raving point" for all she remains actively passionate about, you can check out her blog here.

Catsparella fan, baby do! checking himself out online

One final Caturday note! We got a look at the cutie-pie known as baby do! this week wearing a tiny hat made out of his own fur; Apparently he liked seeing himself online, and sent me this adorable little note!

"hi catsparella! i just got a chance to check out your blog! i love that you posted my photo! i do look pretty cool, even if boys don't wear fascinators! my mama rocks and likes me to be festive as often as possible. sometimes i'm just too busy, other times, i go with the flow. xo baby do!"

Want to see your cat(s) on Catsparella? I'm always taking submissions for my weekly Caturday post! Email your best kitty pics to, and include your cat's name and anything else you'd like to share! I can't wait to hear from you!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Catsparella Goes Hollywood for Fancy Feast's "Storybook Wedding" Shoot!

Fancy Feast - "The Engagement"

The moment I saw Fancy Feast's "The Engagement" commercial back in February, I knew it was something special. In recent months, Fancy Feast unveiled their plans to do a sequel for the popular clip, even enlisting celeb party planner Colin Cowie to help plan Sean and Lisa's dream wedding. As a fan of the original commercial (and a lifelong devotee of the Fancy Feast cat), I was intrigued by the whole affair, and did a post sharing my excitement about the upcoming nuptials here.

So you can imagine my shock last week, when the Fancy Feast team gave me a call (on my old phone), and invited to fly me out to Los Angeles to be on the set of the "Storybook Wedding" commercial shoot!

I don't know if it's some "The Secret" magic or what, but it looks like my burning desire to visit the West Coast has finally materialized in the most exciting way possible!

Colin Cowie and Oprah [Via]

On Sunday morning I will be boarding a plane from New Jersey to LAX, stay overnight at an amazing hotel in Beverly Hills, and cover the event live on Monday, June 27th! I've also been told that I *might* get the chance to meet Colin Cowie (he's been on Oprah, you guys! Proximity!) AND possibly have the chance to fulfill my lifelong dream of meeting the Fancy Feast cats!

Now, I can neither confirm nor deny rumors I have cleared a Persian cat-shaped space in my suitcase for any stowaways (BREAKING NEWS: Woman tries to smuggle Fancy Feast kitten back to NJ!), but I do hope you will join me on Monday to get my exclusive, behind-the-scenes updates on the second biggest wedding of the year (the first being The Royal Wedding, of course).

To make sure you don't miss a second of the live action, follow me on Facebook ( and Twitter (@catsparella); I also plan on posting about my journey, and knowing me, it's going to be eventful (this from the girl who got food-poisoning within the first 12 hours of her dream trip to Japan).

Fancy Feast will also be on Facebook ( and Twitter (@FancyFeast ) providing updates, along with @colincowie and @sparklecat, so no detail of this furry blessed event will go undocumented.

Before I go, tell me, do you have any questions about the shoot, or anything else you'd like me to ask? You know that finding out if Sean is REALLY a cat guy is at the top of my list!

Stay tuned, kitties!

Disclosure: Fancy Feast is paying all of my travel and accommodation expenses for this trip. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Best Cat Apps for iPhone

Well, it finally happened. My ancient pink Motorola Razr took a trip over the rainbow bridge last week, and was quickly upgraded to an Apple iPhone.

Razr, we had a lot of good times together, and I'll always look back on those memories fondly. Remember how excited I was when we first met? You were always there for me during those important phone calls, and even forgave me that time I was walking outside, got startled by a spider, and dropped you on your pretty pink head.

Even when your back fell off last year and I taped you up, you kept on trucking, right up until the very end, when the simple act of sending a text message nearly drained your entire battery.

Admittedly, it was a bit spiteful of you to leave me now since the iPhone 5 is coming out in just a few short months, but it's ok. I forgive you, and hope you don't take how quickly and enthusiastically you were replaced as a sign of disrespect. It's just that me and iPhone 4 hit it off right away, and it just gets along SO well with my other friends, especially my bestie: MacBook!

Plus, I think you can appreciate that a phone that stop being manufactured in 2007 is not very app friendly, and as a blogger of cat culture, I have to stay up to date on these things. I mean, who else is going to report on the latest Talking Tom news, or inform the masses of the Kitty Wigs iPhone application?


Yes, friends. That was just my long-winded way of saying, "I finally got an iPhone!"

And with the way my brain operates, the first thought I had after the contract was signed was this: CAT APPS! There are, of course zillions on the market, and a cursory search of "cat" in the Apple app store produces an overwhelming, endless list that I cannot even to begin to explore on my own.

So for our purposes, this list is mainly focused on the most popular, interesting, and (sometimes) free cat apps for your phone. Note that it's not in any particular order, and I haven't tried all of these apps myself (yet), so check out the reviews, and use your discretion before buying them. Also, I hope to do more posts on this topic (or add updates) in the future, so please leave any recommendations and/or glaring omissions in the comments!

Now, without further ado: On to the cats apps!

CatPaint - Davander Mobile Corporation, $0.99

CatPaint promises that you can easily add a slew of kitties - 8 to choose from in all - to any image. It was brought to the forefront last year by songstress' Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, when the latter tweeted this image of the two palling around, with the caption, "Hanging out with @katyperry is super fun except for the herd of domestic cats that follow her around."

Since then, the app has added laser beams coming out of cat's eyes as an bonus feature, and has been adopted by other celebrity users such as James Franco and Kat Von D.

Kitty Wigs - Julie Jackson, $0.99

Kitty Wigs comes from Julie Jackson (love her!), creator and author of "Glamourpuss: The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs." The cute, photo enhancing app allows you to place multi-colored wigs and funky glasses on yourself, the cat, or dog of your choice.

Talking Tom Cat - Outfit7, Free

I'll be the first to admit that when I saw some of these videos of a cat that repeats what you say and responds to your touch on YouTube, they freaked me out (Ok, they still do). But, Talking Tom still deserves a mention for being one of the most popular applications in the app store, and in fact, Talking Tom Cat 2 is currently in the ranks of the top 25 free apps.

It's also worth noting that this week it was announced the maker of the app, Outfit7, signed a deal with Hollywood agent William Morris in hopes of creating books, toys, and more based on the creepy character - He's not going away anytime soon!

Simon's Cat in 'Purrfect Pitch' - Simon's Cat Ltd, $0.99

Fans of the British comic about a misbehaving moggy, rejoice! This app is one part musical, and one part game: You can compose your own songs and watch as Simon's Cat sings them back, or play the game to have Simon's Cat test your ability to follow his lead in a series of musical challenges.

Nyan Cat: Lost In Space - Istom Games Kft., $0.99

It's still not entirely clear to me what the game is all about, but this "addictive" app has stellar reviews, and features Nyan Cat's doppelganger, Tac Nayn (aka Tac-9), which seems like it would make it worth the 99 cent price tag alone!

Friskies Wonderland Quest II & Friskies Call A Cat - Nestle Purina Petcare co, Free

These two free apps by the cat food giant, the first by any cat food company in general, aim to engage the pet owner, instead of the pet. Studies have even shown that they not only help improve sales, but also have a positive impact on perceived taste of Friskies cat food among consumers (really, people?).

Wonderland Quest II is a multi-level game where you must find the hidden game pieces before time runs out, and the recently released Call-A-Cat, reproduces the sound of a popping cat food can, shaking bag of treats, birds chirping, and more, to keep your kitty amused and confused for hours minutes?

MewMew Tower - B3 United Inc., $0.99

MewMew Tower is a Japanese game that challenges you to stack as many cats on top of each other as possible, forming a caterwauling tower high in the sky! I first learned about this fun app while doing a Cat Cupcake Tuesdays post back in March, when I found someone who had created cat cupcakes, inspired by the game!

Cat Translator - Brain Bender Consulting, $0.99

Cat Translator was created as an "entertaining and useful tool to help you learn Catspeak so that you can better understand and communicate with your cats." The app comes with a library of English phrases that are translated into meows, that play out loud.

Instructions warn against "confusing or stressing out your cat by playing the "angry" phrases while they are nearby." 10% of the proceeds from Cat Translator downloads are donated to Kansas City animal shelters and spay/neuter clinics.

Cat Piano - George Talusan, $0.99

Create you own meow-velous musical numbers using this app that is exactly what its name implies. One intrepid user even recreated Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream," in part, by using the iPad version of the app.

Hipstamatic - Synthetic Corp, $1.99

"Digital Photography Never Looked So Analog." While technically not cat related, the popular photography app is worth a mention for spawning its own single serving Tumblr site: hipstamaticat, where users submit pics of their own cats taken under the app's various old-timey lenses. Here, Priscilla got the Hipstamatic treatment with the default John S lens and Ina's 1969 film.

Instagram - Burbn, Inc., Free

Another similar photography app that's gaining traction in the blogging community is Instagram. The joyously free and easy to use app allows you to take pictures and then pass them through an array of different filters to change the mood and feel of the pic. I took this picture of Charlie and applied one of the filters, and kinda love the dreamy results! The application also enables you to create a profile, post and share your pics Tumblr style (or through Facebook and Twitter), and follow other users updates.

In addition, there's also a companion site,, where you can view an endless stream of cat photos taken with Instagram, at your leisure.

Image via Pusheen the Cat

So help me out, you guys. What are your favorite apps? (don't say Words With Friends!)

Typed from my iPhone (just kidding).

Click here to help us get nominated for Best Cat Blog at The Petties 2011 Pet Blog Awards! Voting ends June 29th!



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