Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Black Cat Hat for Dogs

Black Cat Hat For Dogs - All You Need Is Pug, $20.00

Is your pup feeling a little... feline? Then why not jazz up their look with a lovely hand-knit black cat hat?

Etsy seller Jessica Lynne of All You Need Is Pug says, "My pug, James Dean, firmly believes that he is a cat. He often plays with my yarn, attempts to sneak my cats' food, and steals the kitties' jingling toys. Since he likes to behave like one, I thought he might like to look like one, too!"

Felis Catus Pugus

Hmm..if your poochie isn't up for a round of kitty cross-dressing, the shop also sells cat hats and postcards, and at least $1.00 from every purchase goes to The Pug Rescue of New England or The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Interestingly enough, this is not the first picture I've come across of a dog rocking a cat lid lately. I guess this means the takeover has begun!!


Sally Hansen Salon Effects "Kitty, Kitty" Nail Polish Strips

Priscilla remains unimpressed

I've been wanting to try Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail polish strips, the more wallet-friendly version of Minx and Incoco nails, ever since they came out a few months ago! For those who don't know, they're real nail polish strips that you simply peel, apply, and shape, without dealing with the hassle of waiting for your polish to dry. The main draw, however, is that they come in pretty, intricate patterns, that would be difficult for the nail novice to duplicate on her own.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Kitty, Kitty

The kits cost between $8.50 - $10.00 each depending on where you buy them (they're available at Target, Walmart, various drugstores, Amazon, etc.), and each box comes with 16 nail strips in assorted sizes, a cuticle stick, and a mini file/buffer.

Put your paws uppp

I've been super into gold and glitter nail polishes lately, and I am a cat blogger after all, so of course the first design I had to try was the aptly titled golden leopard/cheetah print, "Kitty Kitty"! I'm a pro when it comes to applying nail polish, but I was nervous that they'd be difficult to put on, and I'd end up ruining the whole box. However, I'm pleasantly surprised to report that was not the case at all!

Nails did!

After you select the correct size strip for your nail, you peel the front protective covering off, before removing the back. I found it easy to position each one, as they are sturdy enough to not flop all over the place, or fold over and stick together. After pressing down firmly, the instructions say to gently stretch each one for a perfect fit. In some cases I pulled a little too hard, resulting in either wasting the other half of the strip, or causing it to break off too close to the tip of the nail, which has led to some premature chipping. My advice here is to pull very, very gently and rely on the file to shape the tip, not the pulling. Once they're correctly fitted, the final step is to remove the excess and shape the nail with the included file.

It's nice that you don't have to wait for them to dry like regular polish, although I'd say it probably took me the same amount of time, because I was trying to be really careful. They're supposed to last for up to 10 days, but I've heard that they can keep for even longer (I've only had then on two days so far, so I can't say yet.) When you're ready to take them off, you remove them with nail polish remover, but I'm curious to see how that works, because I usually need dynamite to get off my regular gold glitter polishes!

Overall, I have to say that I LOVE the darn things! They look so awesome, and to be honest, I can't stop looking at my nails! They were way easier than I thought to put on, and now I can't wait to try some other designs, particularly Girl Flower and Cut It Out! I have short nails, so I was able to get two nails done out of most of the strips, so I have plenty left to do at least one more manicure.

I also lurve the idea of wearing them on just a few nails at a time (as seen on The Dainty Squid), instead of as a full set. Besides saving money, it's also a really cute and easy way to make a manicure really pop! Boom!

So what do you think? Have you given them a try? My next nail quest is going to be painting my own cheetah print, using this handy tutorial from Hello Giggles.

*I have no affiliation with Sally Hansen. The strips were a lil' gift from my awesome mom!


Cat Cupcake Tuesdays

Kiss and Bake Up created these lovely cat themed cupcakes for an event at their local Cats Protection League. The box includes pretty fondant flowers, kitties, and an assortment of cat toys, including a scratching post, tiny fishy, and feather wand!

Tiny toys

Have you created or spotted any kitty-themed baked goods (or other foods) lately? If so, please submit your sweet tips for Cat Cupcake Tuesdays to catsparella@gmail.com!


Monday, May 30, 2011

The Origin of Business Cat and Nyan Cat

The long weekend has brought two newfound discoveries my way in the world of popular internet cat culture. First, Abby schooled me on the story behind the real kitty behind the Business Cat meme, and then Rocketboom posted a video explaining the origins of Nyan Cat, everyone's favorite singing pop tart cat who flies through space with rainbows coming out of its rear.

Business Cat IRL

First up, did you know that Business Cat is really a Brooklyn-based kitty named Emilio? Through KnowYourMeme, I found his official website that includes his back story, as well as personalized Business Cat messages you can send to all your friends!

Emilio was adopted from BARC shelter in May 2010, and his infamous tie-wearing photograph was a result of a Christmas gift gone awry. Apparently, the professional kitty wasn't a big fan of his new neck wear (purchased from our friend WhiskerKisses' Etsy shop!), and they were only able to get a few snaps of him wearing it by shining a laser pointer behind the camera (ha!).

No one knows exactly who created the first Business Cat image, but one thing for sure is that Emilio's first Christmas present will never be forgotten!

Next up, Nyan Cat was originally drawn by PRguitmarman, but the story behind the infectious song, involving a virtual Japanese pop star, is a bit more complicated. Check out the video for the full scoop!

And finally, I also wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to Morgan, the breakout star of the "Kids React to Viral Videos" YouTube series, littlest cat lady, and (hopefully) future Catsparella reader (Thanks, Sarah!).

We first admired her cat loving performance in "Kids React to Keyboard Cat," and she was at it again yesterday in their latest video, "Kids React to Nyan Cat." While most of the other children groaned and rolled their eyes at the clip, sweet little Morgan cooed over it, told the interviewer that she could continue watching the video until she died, and declared that she would name the trippy gray kitty Rapunzel.

Morgan, we salute you!


GhostKitties Giveaway Winner!

Thank you again so much to everyone who entered the GhostKitties giveaway! I used Random.org to pick the winner, and it selected comment #8, belonging to Kerry!

Kerry commented, "Oh my...hard choice...I have 6 living...and my angel babies total 6...all very special in their own way. Twanger Bear (T'beara) probably had the most personality. All black big boy. Got his name as a kitten as he would take a run through the house and than slide in the hall Twanging off one wall to the other like a pin ball...and he was such a roly poly he looked like a small black bear...big broad face...and he was always smiling. I lost him in '86 and I still think of him...and his memory makes me smile."

Congrats, Kerry! I will be in touch with you shortly!

If you're interested in ordering a custom made GhostKitties memorial doll of your own, please check out their online shop and Facebook page for more information.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's Caturday!

It's Caturday, and another week has come and gone. This week, Maru, the world's favorite cat turned four, I went on a strolling adventure and recapped the first season of "My Cat From Hell", Katy Perry visited a cat cafe in Tokyo, and we all learned about Natalie's beautiful tribute tattoo to her cat, Bucky. I also kicked off a new giveaway for a custom made GhostKitties Memorial Doll, and you still have until Sunday night to enter! I have to say that the designer and I have been deeply touched by all of the comments everyone has shared so far, and I wish I could have dolls made for all of you!

In other news, I'm excited to announce that I officially registered for BlogPaws 2011! The 3rd annual pet bloggers and social media conference is being held from August 25 - 27th in Tysons Corner, VA (near Washington, D.C.), and if any fellow pet bloggers are going, please let me know so we can plan to meet up!

"His name is Cash, and he's awesome."

This week's featured Caturday feline is a gorgeous black house panther named Cash, but his owner Kaelie usually calls him Zoot!

She sez: "He's a chiller, he loves to boat (you know when they tuck their little paw under and sail the sofa seas?) on jeans, if you set a pair of jeans anywhere he will find them and turn them into a perch. He's got one hockey tooth, because sometimes he's an idiot."

(I'm just going to let everyone ruminate on the term "boat" for a minute..!!!)

Cash & Kaelie. I love how he looks like a little bear!

Kaelie also tells me that Cash is "the best animal that ever lived," and who am I to argue with that? I have a deep affinity for black cats myself, and admit to being completely smitten with this guy as well.

Special thanks to Kaelie for sharing her Zoot with us this week! You can also check out her blog here.

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


Friday, May 27, 2011

All Dressed Up With No Place To Go

If you're still at work, I give you permission to go home right meow! Enjoy the long weekend, and I'll be back tomorrow with an all-new Caturday post!

Image via Meine Katze


The $1,000 Cat Dress and Handbag

Tsumori Chisato Woven Silk Dress from Satine, Los Angeles - $1,530.00

If you were ever invited to the Academy Awards of cat ladies, this is what you might wear. My favorite thing about this dress is that the larger than life sequined black kitty looks like it's hugging you! Its "arms" wrap all the way around like a belt!

Tsumori Chisato Shoulder Bag from Satine, Los Angeles - $1,340.00

How perfect is this bag? Simple, elegant, even Marc Jacobs-y, perhaps? The interior is an adorable white with black polka dots, and it's one of the finest examples of undercover cat lady fashion I've seen yet. Who needs rent money when you have the cat purse of your dreams?

(Thanks for the tip, Tanya!)


Our Cat Drawings Are Done!

Earlier this month, I had a giveaway for a custom cat drawing by Steve Gadlin of I Want To Draw A Cat For You. For $9.95, he'll draw a picture of any kind of cats you want and send it to your house. The winners were my pals The Island Cats, three blogging kitties named Wally, Ernie, and Zoey! Naturally, they wanted Steve to draw them a picture of three cats on an island, doing island things!

For my drawing, I took your suggestions and got a cat wearing sunglasses baking cupcakes, and another cat blogging away on a laptop while eating a cheeseburger (an homage, if you will, to the grandaddy of popular cat blogs.)

Congrats again to The Island Cats, and thank you to Steve for making all of our cat drawing dreams come true!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Highbrow Kitty Videobomb

Cats! Always showing up where they don't belong.


Fancy Feast Wants You and Colin Cowie To Plan Their Dream Cat Wedding

"I like cats!"

If you thought "The Engagement" was the end of the Fancy Feast wedding saga, you were wrong. Very wrong. The heartwarming clip has already enjoyed over 1 million views on YouTube, a rare feat for a cat food commercial, and was also rated by Nielsen as the "most-liked" commercial for the month of March.

To further the story line, they have enlisted the help of celebrity party planner Colin Cowie, in what surely is his most prestigious gig to date, to help orchestrate the "Storybook Wedding" of Sean and Lisa's consumers dreams.

From now through June 12th, you can visit the Fancy Feast Facebook page to vote for your favorite dress, earrings, and bouquet options for Lisa to wear to the affair. By voting, you can also enter to win some particularly swanky prizes such as a $10,000 NYC shopping spree, $20,000 florist credit, or a $25,000 jewelry prize package.

Overall, I would have liked to have seen a little more diversity in the options. Were some Persian-shaped diamond earrings, or a subtle cat print dress too much to ask for? Maybe Colin needs to consult my post about planning your dream cat wedding for some pointers.

Dress options:
I can't decide between option one and two. I love the top of one, but the skirt on two is so cute and frilly and fun. Decisions!

Earrings options:
I'm intrigued by what's going on in the first pair (I would hate to lay on them the wrong way), but I would probably go with pair number two.

Bouquet options:
I like one and three equally, so it's hard to say. It really depends on the dress.

According to a press release I received, the top choices will be featured in the new Fancy Feast "Storybook Wedding" commercial, slated to debut in August. The fact that a cat food commercial is turning into event advertising is kind of weird and exciting, but also raises a few questions for me, such as:

- Is the kitten going to be in the wedding? I mean, it has to be, right? ...right?!?

- Who is going to watch the cat during the honeymoon? Lisa's parents? (I don't think their cat is going to like that very much!) A cat-sitter?

- What's the cat's name? (I have an obsession with knowing cat's names.) Maybe we should be voting on that!

- Is the cat even real? Every time I watch the commercial, I think more and more that it looks like a little stuffed cat-bot.

UPDATE: Thanks to Marcia, we have confirmed the kitten is indeed real. :) Her name is Marlene, and you can see more pictures of her here!

Kitten or cat-bot? Marlene!

I can only hope that the answers to these questions and more will be revealed when we get a peek at the storybook wedding this summer.

Tell me, what options would you vote for?


Katy Perry Tours Tokyo, Visits Cat Cafe While Doing So

Prolific cat tweeter Katy Perry, currently in Japan for the latest leg of her California Dreams tour, put her sushi eraser set down long enough yesterday to stop at one of Tokyo's famed cat cafes.

The famous ailurophile tweeted, "Just hanging @ the cat cafe in tokyo w/my besties @miamoretti & @shannonwoodward #kittens&coffee #normal."

Katy Perry, I can haz your life?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"My Cat From Hell" Season 1 Wrap-Up

The final episode of "My Cat From Hell" aired this past Saturday night, and after all the hours I spent recapping "Must Love Cats" it seemed hardly fair that I still hadn't given the new Animal Planet hit its own virtual ink, especially since I loved it just as much as its "cuddlier" predecessor.

I know a few people expressed to me they weren't thrilled with the title of the show because of its negative connotations, but I really want to stress that cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy is AWESOME, and the show isn't as much about cats spawned by a dark feline overlord, as much as it is about wayward cat owners who just needed Galaxy's helping, (cat)tooed hand to guide them in the right direction.

The show is interesting on many levels, and although Charlie and Priscilla are far from hellish, I still picked up a lot of great tips on cat behavior, and how to better interact with them. For example, did you know a great non-verbal way to communicate with your cats is to soften your eyes and slowly blink at them? Also, cats can be "bush dwellers" or "tree dwellers," and if you have a kitty that's always in hiding, it may be time to help boost their confidence by providing daily playtime along with high up spaces where they can observe from above, instead of living their lives under the bed in fear.

The three, hour long episodes of the show featured seven problem cats belonging to six different couples.

Here's the breakdown:

Cats helped: 7 (Bear, Lulu, Sully, Avery, Fifi, Duff, and Minibar)

Relationships saved: 6

Girlfriends From Hell: 1

Boyfriends From Hell: 4

Number of couples saying, "He's not what I expected" after meeting Jackson: 6

Call me a little slow on the uptake, but it took me at least one commercial break into the first episode before it dawned on me what was going on with Jackson's guitar case. Was he going to play the cats into submission? Answer: No, it's where he ingeniously keeps all his cat supplies!

Most improved cat guardian: Matt from Episode 1

Matt, a bona fide cat hater, transforms into a cat enthusiast, who even takes one of the cats out for a walk on a pink leash. At the end of the episode, he also refers to his girlfriend Sarah's kitty as "my cat," and after realizing he's done so, points it out to Jackson while giving him a high five.

(Click here if video has trouble loading.)

Most improved cat: Formally feral tuxedo cat Minibar proved that there's hope even in the most seemingly hopeless situation.

If you missed any episodes of the show, you can download them now on iTunes and Amazon for $1.99 each.

Follow Jackson Galaxy on Facebook, and check out more clips and tips, like this one about how to properly play with your cat, here.

While Animal Planet recently confirmed another six-episode run of "Must Love Cats," it's still too early to say if "My Cat From Hell" will be returning, but my prediction is that we're in store for a whole lot more of Jackson Galaxy's patented brand of kitty rehab.

In the meantime, if you'd like to help speed along the decision process, click here to let Animal Planet know how you feel!

Tell me, are you a fan of the show?

July 2011 Update! The show has been renewed for another six episodes, and will return to Animal Planet in "early 2012."


Pretty Persian Parfait and Japan L.A. "Kittens & Ice Cream" Art Show

I love Miss Kika! Her gorgeous, girly designs range from sweet to sexy, but what else would you expect from a self-described "Bubblegum Geisha from a land of candies and rainbows"?

Her latest creation, "Pretty Persian Parfait", will be available for sale as a 16x20" giclee canvas print at the "Kittens & Ice Cream" art show, taking place on June 4th at Japan L.A. Part of the proceeds of art sales from the event will go to Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue & Support!

For those lucky enough to be in the Los Angeles area, the feline themed bash is in honor of the pop culture shop's 5-year-anniversary, and will feature over 40 artists and designers making cat-related art, clothing, jewelry, and more!

(Did you hear that? It's the sound of me furiously buying a plane ticket!)

If this isn't my dream cat event, I'm not sure what is! From the Japan L.A. Blog:

  • The first 50 guests will get a free gift bag with any $10 purchase.
  • Hello Kitty will be here for you to take photos with!
  • Grilled Cheese Truck serving up delicious sandwiches like their "cheesy mac & rib"!
  • Lake Street Creamery Truck serving yummy ice-cream, like their Donut flavor and Pancake Breakfast (pancake flavored ice-cream, maple syrup, bits of real bacon, sprinkled with ground peaberry coffee).
  • Sapporo Beer if you are over 21 with valid ID (Party is All Ages)

They're also having a costume contest and will have prizes for Most Outrageous Cat Lover Outfit, Best Cat Outfit (dress like an actual cat), and Most Creative Cat Outfit.

If any of you end up going, I demand a full-report!


This Guy Can Rescue My Cat Anytime

Tree surgeon Andrew Parrot rescued Bess the cat after she spent 12 days stuck up a 100-foot tree.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Maru Turns Four!

Happy Birthday, Maru! In honor of the famous feline's 4th birthday on May 24th, his owner put together this fabulous video compilation of Maru's greatest hits of 2010.



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