Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Maru's Udderly Adorable New Pal

Stop the internet and let me off! I'm not sure anything will ever top the day when Maru met a plush cow, "smelled her buttocks and ear," and immediately became friends with her.

Via Maru's blog (here and here)


How To Train Your Human

Heidi Shaulis is a New Jersey-based artist who specializes in creating oil paintings of cats and other creatures. Her main source of inspiration comes her own kitty, a super handsome black and white Tuxedo cat named Charlie (@thepurrmeister). All of this information hit very close to home, because I also live in NJ, am inspired by my own Tuxie kitty named Priscilla, and have a black cat named Charlie, too!

At my request, Heidi sent over some pictures of the real life Charlie catching some zzzz's in his favorite spot and looking super cozy cuddled up in her shabby chic sheets! I picked out a few of my favorite pieces of Heidi's artwork here, or you can check out her Etsy shop for the full range of prints, cards, and original paintings.


Revolutionary Baking Mold Ups The Ante On Cat Themed Sweet Treats

Silicon Cat Tray - $17.95

I've recently encountered a few images (seen here and here) of some absolutely delightful mini-cat cakes - and as a blogger, I couldn't sit idle without knowing exactly where they came from. It turns out, the sweet treats were made with the help of a silicon cat tray by Muji, the Japanese retailer known for its clean, minimalist designs.

From sponge cake to chocolate, to fancy French madeleines - and even ice cubes! - this is the ultimate kitchen tool to make all of my your cat cooking dreams come true.

Luckily (for a change), you don't have to leave the country to get your paws on the adorable mold. Muji has two stores located in Manhattan, plus you can order it online through their website for $17.95.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Backwards Kitten Photography Book Gives A Furry New Point Of View

Photographer Arne Svenson is no stranger at taking ordinary objects and aiming his lens to expose them in a whole new light. His fascinating 2011 book "Chewed" took a look into the world of discarded pet toys, while his latest project gives us a new perspective on some of the cutest little creatures on earth.

Svenson's upcoming book, "Strays," features vivid photographs of over 75 six-week-old kittens with their faces turned away from the camera. He tells Today: "A lot of my work has to do with taking something recognizable and looking at it in a different way,” he said. “The typical way of photographing kittens is to have them looking at you with their big eyes. By having them turn their head, I was able to show an autonomous being that is not just there to entertain us.”

Svenson used garish fabrics he purchased at the Salvation Army to make interesting backdrops, and "borrowed" his feline models from Animalkind, Inc., a cat rescue organization located in Hudson, NY. It took two years and hundreds of takes to get just the right shots for the book, which is scheduled for release in August. He even ended up adopting one of the kittens, which he named Monkey.

“When I tell people that I am taking portraits of kittens looking backwards there is usually stunned silence,” says Svenson. “But then they see the photos and find themselves moved. I think it has to do with the fact that you have to think. When you look at a photo of a kitten looking at you, you react to its cuteness, but as soon as its head turns away, you can build your own emotions into it.”

"Strays" will be released on August 15, 2012 and is available now for pre-order on Amazon. Click over to Svenson's website to get a preview of more images in the series, along with a look at some of his other work.


The Cattiest Of Cat Sweaters

New York Fashion Week was disappointingly void of feline fashions this year, save for the appearance of the Opening Ceremony x Glamour embroidered cat sweater making its way around the city. Luckily, Spanish designer Miguel Adrover made up for the omission in a fantastic way, with the inclusion of this sock puppet inspired cat sweater at his Fall 2012 presentation.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate this look totally pawesome!


Cat Cupcake Tuesdays

This week's featured cupcakes come to us from Elaine, who created these colorful orange kitties out of fondant! It never ceases to amaze me the creative ways people come up with to put a cat on a cupcake!

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!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Am A Cat Person (And So Are You)

When I arrived at Target at 7am to wait in line for the Jason Wu collection to go on sale the morning of Super Bowl Sunday, I only had one goal in mind: Get a Milu the cat shirt, tote, and scarf.
A long line had steadily formed, and when the doors finally opened an hour later, I made a dash for the accessories department and grabbed the tote emblazoned with a black cat on the front. With it barely in my grasp, I turned and raced across the aisle to the clothing section to find some cat t-shirts to try on before they were all snatched up.

My sense of relief at getting a tote and shirt was short lived, before it hit me like a thunderbolt that I hadn't seen the scarf. I raced back over to the accessories rack, but no more than three minutes later, it was completely picked clean. My heart sank as I made my way to the fitting room to try on the shirts.

Outside, I encountered a young woman standing in front of a shopping cart, holding up the cat scarf to examine it. I uncharacteristically approached her, and in a feline fashion induced frenzy blurted out, "I'll trade you a shirt for that scarf!"

She thought about it for a moment, nodding her head and giving me a sad look. The woman next to her, who appeared to be her mom, delivered the final, crushing blow: "Sorry, we're cat people."

Admittedly, it took everything in me not to shout back "If you only knew!" - which I didn't, because I am (mostly) a sane person and, um - it was just a scarf. I certainly couldn't begrudge them for liking cats, and in retrospect, I probably should've just given them my business card and chalked it up to marketing experience.

In the end, my cat lady karma paid off and I eventually got a scarf (which I proudly wear every day to show that I am a cat person) thanks to Janine and Cree. While at the time I beat myself up for not being able to get one for myself, it honestly means that much more because it came from the hands of fellow cat lovers and friends.

I don't need anyone to tell me there are all kinds of cat people in this world, but a heartwarming video like this helps to remind us we're not alone (even if it that means we all want to wear the same scarf). However, if eating ice cream in my pajamas is all it takes to earn the "crazy cat lady" moniker these days - then count me in!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

It's Caturday!

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

This week, we spiced things up with cat paw salt and pepper shakers, created even more feline inspired fashion sets, discovered a mysterious vintage cat corn nomming device, catified our walls with a cool kitty stencil, admired chocolate cat bon bons from Japan, virtually breaded our kitties with the help of new iPhone app, got nostalgic with Lisa Frank inspired cat art, and had a good laugh thanks to the feline comedians of The Shelter Pet Project.

Elsewhere, Hank the cat announced his run for United States Senate, Taylor Swift shared a personal kitty moment with Ellen, and Stephen Colbert defended his love of kittens to Nancy Pelosi.


This week's featured felines come to us from Susan, who tells us the tale of Grommet, Monkey, and Perci - a sassy 19-year-old Jersey Girl who still likes to keep up with the latest trends!

Susan writes:

This is the story of Perci and Grommet. They were brother and sister, and littermates (I say were because I lost Grommet last March at age 18). They were feral kittens living in a huge cat colony where I worked, and one day I captured them from the wild when they were barely a month old. Normally, I wouldn't take a kitten so young from its momma, but it was January and freezing, and I didn't think they would make it. Grommet was an easy snare - all I had to do was wave a stick, and even though he was practically a newborn - he pounced! He was super friendly and took to me instantly.

Grommet and Perci

Grommet was the best cat ever! He used to love to suck on strings, or fringe on a blanket or a pillow. He would make this funny sucking sound and his paws would start kneading like mad. Grommet loved Perci, and she adored him too. He would cuddle next to her so she could lick his ears or he would start kneading her tummy.

Perci was a little harder to catch because she hissed and spit, but today she is a gentle little girl - but spunky! At 19, she still chases a laser light and plays with her toys. I don't know exactly when, but Perci went deaf and you can bang pots and pans right next to her while she sleeps or when she isn't looking and she doesn't even flinch. This deafness has resulted in a super loud meow! After Grommet died, Perci started howling at random. You can hear her anywhere in the house and sometimes from the outside of the house! It's hard to describe the sound - it's almost like a baby cry. Usually you will hear one of my sons yell from the other room, "Shut up, Perci!"

When I caught Perci and Grommet, I also caught three other kittens. I knew I wanted Grommet, and the others I found homes for. I even tried to find a home for Perci, but she wasn't the cutest of the bunch and no one wanted her. In retrospect, I'm happy about that because she's fantastic. Over the 19 years I've had Perci and Grommet they have moved with me six times! Sometimes they were indoor cats and sometimes outdoor cats, it depended on where we lived. Grommet got along with all the cats in the neighborhood, and we used to call him the "welcoming committee" because he was so friendly. Perci not so much - she's kicked some serious butt in her time.


A few months after Grommet died, we got Monkey. He is only two and still has a lot of kitten in him, but Perci isn't having it. Right from the start she laid down the law and Monkey knows she is the queen. At 19, she's given him some serious beatings, so he knows who's boss!

It will be a year in March that Grommet is gone and I know Perci misses him as I do. Unfortunately, Perci is dying and I probably won't have her much longer. Last month I took her to the vet and we got the bad news that she is in the beginning stages of kidney failure. Despite her diagnosis, she is a trooper. She still gets around, still looks for attention and still has spunk left in her. We just hope for the best for her.

We've been having a lot of fun with pictures of Perci 'In-Bread', too. Since I put her picture online, she has been on the front page of the Herald Sun website (that's a big newspaper in Australia) and on a main page of Fox 4 news in Kansas City. I have also googled her and she shows up on many blogs and websites, and was even featured in a cat breading segment on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"! I love the attention she's getting, and think it is the perfect tribute to her life and a nice little legacy to leave behind.

Special thanks to Susan for taking the time to share the story of Perci, Grommet, and Monkey with us this week! While I'm saddened to hear of Perci's recent health issues, I'm glad to know she's still soldiering on, and enjoying her favorite activities. We're sending lots of love and healing purrs her way, and thank her for being such a shining example to senior kitties everywhere!

p.s. Looking for even more Catsparella? Check out my weekly columns over on Catster!

This week:

Want to see your cat(s) on Catsparella? I'm always taking submissions for my weekly Caturday post! Just 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, February 24, 2012

5 Pet-Friendly Moving Tips Presented By Cats In Boxes

I've partnered with Apartment Guide to serve as an Official Apartment Guide Pet Blogger! As an official blogger, I will be sharing articles filled with tips for living on a budget. This month, we're focusing our “How-To Guide for Living on a Budget” program on DIY projects and how-to tips.

Over the summer, I posted a delightful (if I do say so myself) video showing a bunch of very lucky of kitties exploring their new home for the first time. The post elicited comments on some of your own interesting moving experience, ranging from positive ("After a day of sniffing and investigating, they felt right at home!"), to one poor kitty who got so spooked by movers, she ended up in the HVAC duct for eight (of her owner's) tear-filled hours.

I was browsing through the Apartment Guide Blog and Moving Today website for tips on how to make your move with cats go as smoothly as possible, and found several articles dealing with finding the right pet-friendly apartment, to making sure everyone feels right at home in your new space.

Read on for more!

1. Write your pet's resume to help you rent an apartment: It's a pain to write up my own list of qualifications, and now I have to write one up for my cats, too? Actually, putting together a formal document of your pet's veterinary records, along with letters of recommendation (!) is not a bad idea, and could potentially help convince a wary landlord that you are a far more responsible pet owner than the crazy cat lady in Apt 2B.

2. Finding a pet-friendly apartment: Success! The landlord is convinced, but will you and your cat be happy in your new digs? Before signing the lease, consider if there are any sunny windows to nap in, and if you want to be the one lugging that 50 lb. bag of litter up three flights of stairs!

3. The do's and don's of moving pets: Ok, so you found your new apartment - but how are you going to get your cat (who is terrified of even stepping paw out of the house) transported there safely? Talk to your vet before you go - especially if it's a long journey - to make sure kitty is up for the trip, and be sure to have a sturdy carrier your cat will feel safe in. It's also important to have up-to-date ID tags just in case, and if your cat is microchipped, make sure to have those records updated, too.

4. How to help your pet adjust to a new home: As seen in the "Mean Kitty" moving video I mentioned earlier, one of the best things you can do to help acclimate your cat(s) to their new surroundings is to make sure everything is set up before they're introduced to the space. That way, they will be able to freely roam around, and getting a whiff of some of those familiar "smells" from home will go a long way in easing any stress or anxiety that may have come along with the move.

5. Stylish homes for your pet: As stressful as moving can be, one of the more enjoyable aspects is getting a fresh start when it comes to interior design. Once you've settled in, make you cat feel special by purchasing them a posh new bed, or discourage them from scratching up your brand new couch with an elegant scratching post of their very own.


Whether you're living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide offers how-to tips for making the most of a space for you and your pet on a budget on and

Like Apartment Guide on Facebook at, follow them on Twitter@AptGuide, and "circle" them on Google+ for real-time tips and updates on making the most of your space and living on a budget.

Disclosure: Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. have partnered with bloggers like me as Official Apartment Guide Bloggers. As part of this program, I have received compensation. They have not told me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


Everybody Wants To Be A Cat: Feline Inspired Fashion Sets Pt. III

This time I used accessories involving mice, fishies, feathers, and a brightly colored raincoat to help emulate some super cute kitties - including Maru! And what would the world's favorite Scottish Fold be without his boxes, which I included in the form of some stylish white suitcases - purrfect for napping on!

Mechanical Animals? DIY Animatronic Cat Ears

Last year, we got a peek at Necomimi - a conceptual brainwave reading device, equipped with a pair of cat ears programmed to react based on how you're feeling. For example, eating a cupcake might make the ears perk up with delight, while watching "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" might make them bow in shame. However, if you're like me and would prefer NOT to have the electrical activity of your brain monitored for the sake of questionable (albeit cute) fun, Instuctables user abetusk has come up with a way to replicate the device at home, using a controller to move the ears, instead of relying on those pesky things we call emotions.

Abetusk says, "I wanted to build something that wasn't too expensive and was easy enough to be done in a sitting or two. I picked out some cheap servo motors, some craft supplies, spent a weekend or two developing code to control the servo's from a microcontroller and after much trial and error, I built some kitty ears that I think are pretty decent."

If you have a soldering iron, AVR Programmer, and some black and white craft fur taking up space in your closet, step-by-step instructions for the project can be found here.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Shelter Pet Project Turns Cats Into Little Comedians

(Click images to enlarge)
"Every morning my human shaves off his face fur, he's funny like that." - Tuck, adopted 05-04-11

The Shelter Pet Project is a public service ad campaign focused on spreading the word that pets in shelters are wonderful and lovable. In keeping with their motto, "A person is the best thing to happen to a shelter pet," they do a fantastic job of coming up with creative advertisements that give a cat or dog's humorous perspective on the "odd" behaviors of their human owners (In case you missed it, definitely check out this hilarious commercial from a few months back of a cat expressing its feelings about a sandbox.)

The campaign recently released a new line of funny and heartwarming print ads that have already begun appearing on billboards and bus shelters around Los Angeles. The cat ads are targeted at a male demographic, and work towards battling stereotypes by poking fun at them (One ad in particular features a cat discussing how he was "embarrassed" at first to be adopted by a single guy). I've included a few of my favorites examples here (pups, too!) and you can check out two more over at

"I've never understood why my human won't leave the house without her leash. I think she's afraid of getting lost. But it's ok. I kind of like showing her around." - Harper, adopted 08-18-09

"At first I was embarrassed. Me, a cat, living with a single guy. But when I watch him pick something up with his hands and eat it, I can't help but love him." - Maru, adopted 01-10-10

"Sometimes my human doesn't wear pants at home. It's a riot." - Colby, adopted 06-18-11


C'mon Get Happy Cat!

Happy Cat

My favorite thing about the art of Brooklyn-based textile designer Martha Moore Porter is the sense of nostalgia her work stirs up within me. I was instantly drawn to her "Happy Cat" illustration (above) because of its fluorescent pink hue - bringing me right back to my childhood when the shade topped my list of favorite colors. Growing up in the 80s, I also had my fair share of charm necklaces and brightly colored stickers (albums full, in fact), which are also represented in her work.

Martha calls "Happy Cat" - who shares its name with the popular I Can Has Cheezburger mascot - "optimistic by nature," which is surprising, considering it was painted during Hurricane Irene.

If you'd like to check out more of Martha's work, you can do so on Flickr and Tumblr, and she also has an Etsy shop where she stocks more goodies like stationary and stickers.


Chocolate Cat Bon Bons

In the battle between cuteness and chocolate, I'm sorry to say that chocolate always wins. Sorry little guys, get in my belly!

These intricately designed kitty bon bons are from a line called Animal Chocolat by Japanese sweet seller Goncharoff.

Via Flickr / Epicute

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stephen Colbert Angered Over Nancy Pelosi's Anti-Kitten Claims

(Click here to watch if video doesn't load)

Stephen Colbert is no stranger to having cats on the set of his satirical Comedy Central show, and delighted audience members last night with a glimpse of two of his fluffiest guests yet.

The host aired House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's anti-PAC spoof ad, before responding to her allegation that he doesn't like kittens. Pelosi's spot also admonished Colbert's practice of secretly collecting money from special interest groups for the Colbert Super PAC, and directed viewers to the Stop Colbert Facebook page, which in truth is dedicated to the 2012 Disclose Act - aimed at getting unlimited, secret donations out of politics.

"What stings is Pelosi's charge that I dont like kittens - would someone who didn't like kittens have one in each hand?" he questioned, before revealing the two tiny balls of fur hidden under his desk.

After giving the two a quick kiss and cuddle, he continued, "These are no mere props purchased right before the show. These are my beloved pets, Whiskers and.. Other Whiskers. I love these two little kittens and I will continue to do so until the moment they become cats."


Taylor Swift Brings Meredith's "Cat Fail" To Ellen

The odd (non) couple of Taylor Swift and Zac Efron recently visited The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about their new movie "The Lorax" - and inevitably, the topic of conversation turned to Swift's Scottish Fold kitten, Meredith.

In the clip seen here, Taylor talks about how alongside career highlights of receiving a standing ovation at the Grammys and singing with her idol James Taylor, getting a cat was one of the top five moments of her life. The singer-turned-cat-lady also shared a video (above), showing the adorable kitten taking an unexpected tumble off the couch.

Hopefully, DeGeneres' own cats weren't at home watching the interview, or else their egos may have ended up a bit bruised. The animal loving host repeatedly gushed about Meredith being the cutest cat she's ever seen - joking that she often questions her kitties as to why they aren't as cute!

Efron, Swift, and DeGeneres chat as Meredith appears on screen in the background


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Catify Any Surface With The Allover Cat Stencil

A little while ago I did a post about some covet-worthy kitty wallpaper that I fantasized about hanging in my dream cat office. While that dream is still alive and well, I also recently stumbled across another solution (via @KittyLitMag), purrfect for if you're interested in saving some money, customizing your color scheme, and going the DIY route.

The Cats, Cats and More Cats! Allover Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils measures in at 24" x 31.5" and promises easy application with acrylic or latex paint, stencil creams, fabric paint or glaze. The site also offers allover stenciling tips and video tutorials to help get you on your way to allover feline bliss. At under 40 bucks, the price is right - and unlike expensive wallpaper - if you hate it (doubtful) or mess up (possible), you can always paint right over it and start again.


Spare Your Cat's Dignity With The Bread It iPhone App


My cats pretty much declared breading as dead, but one intrepid app designer/loyal boyfriend figured out a way to bring the magic of in-bread cats to those of us whose kitties are unwilling to participate.

Sal tells me his girlfriend told him about breading, and how she couldn't get the cats to sit still long enough to get a slice to stay on their heads. Being the awesome guy that he is, he decided to make her an iPhone app for Valentine's Day, so she could virtually torture bread her kitties to her heart's content!


Now, the app is available for anyone who doesn't feel like wasting a perfectly good slice of bread for the sake on an internet meme. After reading that I had similar troubles, Sal sent me the BreadIt app to try for myself. It features ten different breading options - including whole wheat, raisin and different shapes - and after selecting your material, you can drag, pinch and rotate the bread until you get the purrfect fit. The best part is you don't even have to stick with cats - you can pick whatever picture you'd like, so you can have the pleasure of breading your friends and family, too!

The BreadIt app is available for purchase now in the iTunes Store for 99 cents - and as for Sal, he's currently under consideration to receive a Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of cats all around the world.



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