Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Victoria Beckham Transforms London Department Store Into A Cat Lovers Paradise

After many months of anticipation, Victoria Beckham's new clothing has hit stores, and if you're in London, I suggest you get thee to Harvey Nichols, where you can check out an exclusive preview of the collection, with an extreme feline bent.

Although only a few of the brightly colored, boxy dresses actually feature a cat print, the former Spice Girl has gone kitty crazy - decking out windows of the world-famous store with cat decals, outfitting mannequins with bedazzled cat heads, and tagging kitty stickers on the doors to help promote the line, which is reportedly selling out fast.

Victoria, who doesn't own any cats of her own, but has two French Bulldogs named Scarlet and Coco, says that the pieces were inspired by Emily the Strange, and designed to help bring out her "inner girl."

While many are calling Victoria, Victoria Beckham the British superstar's "cheaper" line, her whimsical cat dresses will still cost you a pretty penny. With prices upwards of £500, or $787 USD, you better tell your kitties to start saving up their litter if they want to be able to afford one!

Click over to Vogue.co.uk for more pictures of the Harvey Nichols cat-transformation!


sassyNpunk Boutique Glitter Kitty Ring

I love our friends at sassyNpunk Boutique! They recently sent me one of their glitter cat silhouette rings to try out, and it's just purrfect! The kitty is laser cut acrylic on an adjustable filigree band, which is cool because you can wear it on any finger you'd like. I love how sparkly and pretty it is - the cat's position looks like Priscilla laying with her paws tucked in (meatloaf style!). It also matches all the glittery nail polishes I've been rocking lately! (Right now I'm wearing Ulta's Ruby Slipper with Pinata-Yada-Yada as a topcoat).

They also sent me some super cute Charmmy Kitty Lollipop Earrings. In case ya didn't know, Charmmy Kitty is Hello Kitty's Persian cat (yes, she has a cat!). She wears a bow on her left ear, and her pendant holds the key to Hello Kitty's jewelry box. The lollipops look so real, I want to eat them up!

I had way too much fun with this photo shoot!

Be sure to check out sassyNpunk for all of your retro and kawaii inspired fashion accessory needs. They produce their own line of jewelry, hair accessories, and gifts, but also stock products by brands such as Tokidoki, Sanrio, Cute Plush, Lime Crime, and more!

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the gorgeous Granny Cat Ring I received over the weekend from Maria at Locketship! Yep, I currently have an embarrassment of riches in the glitter kitty ring department - and I couldn't be happier! :3

Disclosure: I received these items for review and as gifts, but all of the thoughts expressed in this post are my own.


Cat Cupcake Tuesdays

White cats! Gray cats! Orange cats! Black cats! I love the variety represented in this batch of fun cat-cakes by Crumbs and Doilies in London!

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, January 30, 2012

Sarah Loves Cats Journal, Print, and Pocket Mirror Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Sarah Loves Cats Journal, Print, and Pocket Mirror Giveaway! I used Random.org to determine the winner, and it selected Iris, who commented, "Awwww, wonderful! Love them all!"

For information on how to purchase Sarah's contemporary kitty creations, including the items seen above, be sure to stop by her Etsy shop. In addition to scoring some cool cat gear, a percentage of the shop's sales goes to benefit her local cat rescue, Cat Protection Society of NSW Inc.


Shop Miss Ella Cat Heart Necklace and Percy Print Giveaway!

Ella Goodwin is a UK based artist, who creates lovely cat illustrations and contemporary kitty jewelry, which she sells through her online store, Shop Miss Ella. Many of her unique designs - which appear on prints, necklaces, brooches, and even buttons - feature Percy, an adorable squinty-eyed gray kitty who loves to sew and swim!

Over the summer, I featured some of Ella's Mermaid kitty prints, and she told me she draws on inspiration from her two Norwegian Forest cats, Chewbacca and Tiger.

Check out some of my favorite items from her shop below, and read on to see how you can enter to win!

Mermaid Cat Necklace

Cat Buttons

Enter To Win!

Ella has generously offered one lucky Catsparella reader the chance to win the 8x10 Percy's Tricycle Print and the Cat Sweetheart Cameo Necklace shown in the picture above! (word has it she'll be throwing in some postcards, too!)

To enter, leave a comment on this post with your name and some way for me to contact you if you win (email, link back to your blog or profile, Twitter, etc.).
The winner be will chosen in a random drawing next Monday, February 6th at 5:00PM EST. This giveaway is open to everyone, so our international friends can participate, too! One entry per person, please.

Good luck, and be sure to check out Shop Miss Ella for more designs, and like her page on Facebook for all of the latest items and news on her shop!

(If you have trouble entering a comment, please email me at catsparella@gmail.com.)

[Comments are now closed. Thanks for entering!]


Cool DIY Cat Knee Tights

Jen Lula, of the fiercely fabulous Jen Loves Kev blog, recently created some purrfect DIY kitty tights that I just had to share!

Inspired by designer Rachel Antonoff's Fall 2011 Lookbook, Lula created the tights for herself and her adorable baby daughter Rowan, using tape, a marker, some cardstock, and paint!

The look is also a nice alternative if you can't afford to shell out $30 for the cat-kneed WOWCH leggings I recently blogged about on Catster.

Ready to get started? Check out Jen Loves Kev for the full list of illustrated instructions on how to make your own pair of purrfect kitty legwear, and please be sure to let me know if you are working on any cool kitty DIY projects of your own!


"I Want To Draw A Cat For You" Creator Scores Big on ABC's Shark Tank

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

I find the ABC show Shark Tank to be fascinating, because unlike many reality tv shows, the results are immediate, and the stakes are very real. In case you haven't seen it, the show pits five extremely wealthy investors against budding entrepreneurs who are given a short period of time to present the pitch of their lives. The panel of sharks then evaluates and negotiates investment proposals, usually resulting in deals, or in more cases than not, broken hearts and dashed dreams. As a disclaimer at the beginning of every episode states, all of the money that the sharks invest is their own.

In the latest episode of the show, four entrepreneurs were thrown into the shark tank, but only one emerged victorious. What are the odds that out of a magician, a (not very good) salesman, and the creator of a cargo management system for pick-up trucks, the victor would be a web developer with a side business of drawing cat pictures out of his home in Evanston, Ill.?

Armed with a brilliant idea, some Sharpies, and an infectious video (good luck getting his jingle out of your head), Steve Gadlin has turned his small business, I Want To Draw A Cat For You, into a surprise internet sensation. For $9.95, he'll draw you any kind of cat you'd like, and mail it to your house.

Gadlin, who has already drawn and sold over 1,500 cats to date, was interested in receiving $10,000 for a 25% stake in his company. He told the sharks that he was an ideas guy, and that not only would they be buying the "cat business," but also his infinite well of creative ideas, which he executes under his company, Blewt!.

Steve drew me a cat who is blogging while eating a cheeseburger, while another cat wearing sunglasses bakes some cupcakes in the other room

Steve drew me and one very lucky Catsparella reader our own cats back in May, and I was very curious to see how the sharks would react to his pitch. Some of them can be very extremely harsh, so I couldn't imagine what they would have to say about a business model based on drawing stick figure cats and selling them over the internet.

To my (let's be honest) shock and absolute delight, the investors loved Steve's presentation and saw great potential in his idea. Most surprising of all, Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire investor Mark Cuban offered Steve $25,000 for a 33% stake in his company, which Steve accepted with the caveat that Cuban would draw 1 in 1,000 cats.

Huge congratulations go out to Steve on scoring this extraordinary opportunity! We wish him the best of luck on his new partnership, and can't wait to see what the next year has in store. His story of cat-repreneurship is an inspiring one, and should serve as a reminder to all of us to never give up on our dreams, no matter how weird or silly they may seem!

If you're interested in seeing how the entire deal played out, you can watch the full episode of Shark Tank here, or if you would like to buy one of Steve's drawings before he becomes a full blown cat magnate, you can do so at his website, iwanttodrawacatforyou.com.


Saturday, January 28, 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, two animated cat films earned Academy Award nominations, we met a tiny kitten with a prosthetic leg and a fat cat with a face on its belly, Kellie Pickler unveiled her charitable cat sweater for the ASPCA, a sleepy kitten startled himself awake, a naughty kitty sent out a salacious Valentine's Day card, someone played the purrfect cat text prank, Ryoma the cosplaying kitty stayed cute, we drooled over a unique origami cat necklace, and I had some fun experimenting with even more feline inspired fashion sets!

Also, don't forget to enter for your chance to win a darling kitty print, journal, and pocket mirror from Sarah Loves Cats! I'm drawing the lucky winner this Monday 1/30, so get those paws tapping, and don't delay!

Tee Tee

This week's featured feline is one undercover lover!

Erin writes, "It's Tee Tee. She loves being made into any bed in the house."

Special thanks to Erin for sharing her beautiful Tee Tee with us this week! I love her unique markings, and her gorgeous green peepers. No makeup in the world can compete with natural cat eyeliner!

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 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, January 27, 2012

Ryoma the Cosplaying Kitty Thinks Pink

It's been awhile since we last checked in on Ryoma, Japan's other most adorable Scottish Fold, but it was totally worth the wait. Ryoma and his brother Marron have been busy ushering in the new year with some even cuter outfits that will make you "AWW" so hard, you'll have to cover your mouth if you're in public.

I am so obsessed with this cat!


Origami Kitty Cat Necklace

Origami Cat Necklace - Bottica.com, $177.50

French design duo Claire & Arnaud took their passion for the Japanese art of origami, and turned it into a beautiful line of animal-inspired jewelry that will far outlast its paper counterpart.


Purrfect Cat Facts Texting Prank

(Click here to see the larger version)

A year's subscription to a service that delivers "cat facts" to your phone every hour, on the hour? Sounds great to me! Unfortunately, Reddit user frackyou's little cousin didn't think so. When he posted his number on Facebook saying he was bored, his older relative couldn't help but pull the "purrfect prank" on him.

In other news, would anyone like to help me fund this in real life?


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Woman Didn't Quit Her Job To Launch Cat Clothing Line, Despite Reports


There's a story floating around various international news outlets this week, about a woman named Melanie Manson, who quit her day job to pursue a career in cat fashion. Manson confirms through her Facebook account that while the story about her leaving her career as a successful makeup artist may make for a great headline, it simply isn't true.

That's not to say, however, that the fashion line doesn't exist.

Melanie, who lives in Los Angeles with her two Sphynx cats, Smeagol and Zizzles, is the founder of Sphynx Cat Wear. The company was created out of a need to find comfortable and functional clothing for hairless breeds such as the Sphynx, Peterbald, and Cornish Rex. Founded in 2010, the concept is described as "not about playing dress up," but as a way to keep these cats "warm, dry, and safe."

Despite their utilitarian function, Melanie's hip creations are far from being unflattering. Designs like the Pink Lemonade Reversible Sundress, New Yorker herringbone tunic, and the sporty Sphynx U tank, would proudly be worn by creatures of all stripes, humans included. (I'm wondering if I can get the "By The Sea" top in my own size? It would look great with some skinny jeans and sparkly flats - just sayin'.)

Unfortunately, all of the articles that were so quick to point out Manson's career choice, neglected to mention the name of the company that is her supposed lifeblood. If you're looking for information on how to order some naked cat fashions of your own, you can visit the official Sphynx Cat Wear online store at sphynxcatwear.com.


Naughty Kitty Sends Salacious Valentine's Day Card

The Etsy seller behind Dancing Color Ceramics is my kind of lady. I was working on putting together my Valentine's Day gift guide, when I came across her Sexy Kitty Valentine Card that was too hilarious not to share, especially considering its "colorful" backstory:

"You’ve got to see this one to believe it! My kitty, Peanut, likes to use the computer when she thinks I’m not watching (I included a picture of her waiting there for me to leave.) Next thing I know, she’s emailed my friend’s cat, Bon Bon, & invited him over. I was really embarrassed when I saw the picture she’d sent him. But she does look kind of cute, & we agree that this would make a great Valentine’s for your loved one, feline or human."

Peanut au naturel

Peanut, Charlie says you can come up and see him anytime!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Island of Lost Kitty Toys


I had fully intended to write a post about Charlie's new obsession - a bright green plastic spring - but recent developments have turned this into a post of another sort, about what happens to cat toys when they go to die.

Truth be told, I first received the spring over the summer at BlogPaws in a goodie bag, thoughtfully prepared by our friends at Curlz and Swirlz... and Coffee Cats n' Yarn. Among cat food, a cool wooden top (also a big hit), and assorted other cat distractions, Charlie's paws down favorite gift was the tiny lime colored coil, simple in nature and measuring no more than two inches in length.

"Springy," as he (yes, HE) is affectionately known has been MIA for quite awhile, along with Charlie's other favorite toy, "Witchy" - an orange ball with a bell inside, with a black witch's hat on its head and one eye still stuck on its face. Although he has tons of other beautiful, high quality (and non-missing) toys, this weekend I decided to go on a a quest to seek out his old pals, who were probably nestled away somewhere, just out of paws reach.

Flashlight and hot pink yardstick in hand, I flatted myself out on the floor and made my first stop: under the stove. Lo and behold, among the dust bunnies and wayward fur mice, the little green coil emerged (Witchy is still on the lam).

Charlie played with that coil all week, for HOURS on end, chasing it in circles and adorably toting it around in his mouth - and I spent no less than half of that time back on the floor, fishing it out from under appliances and pieces of furniture. Barricades were made; "Why are there tin foil boxes lined up in front of the stove?" some may have wondered, but no matter what I tried, that damn spring kept finding itself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I planned on writing a post about Springy today, focusing on why Charlie is so obsessed with it, and asking, "Is your cat obsessed with something, too?" But as of yesterday, Springy has gone missing again - and I fear that this time it's for good.

My favorite theory is that Priscilla is hiding him in her furry tummy pouch, just to make Charlie's life a little bit more miserable - but maybe like socks, cat toys like Springy and Witchy have their own secret portal under the stove or the couch, where they go to retire when they've had enough. An island, where they're allowed to bask in the sun alongside all of the other missing mice, milk rings, and hair elastics, secure in the knowledge that they lived a good life being the favorite toy of a little black cat in New Jersey who loved them so.


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

Last month's feline inspired fashion sets garnered so much positive feedback, that I decided to hit up Polyvore to give it another a try. The idea is that you don't have to dress entirely in cat apparel to be inspired by the beauty of your cat's natural colors and patterns. Just pick a color scheme, throw in a few well-placed feline accessories for fun - and in no time your inner (kitty) fashion goddess will be clawing her way out into the open!

Ginger Tabby
Ginger Tabby by catsparella

Siamese Cat

Russian Blue

(Click on each set for details on where to buy)


Sleepy Kitten Startles Himself Awake

This poor guy can barely keep his eyes open, and his pesky human bed isn't offering much help! Can anyone else vouch that there's nothing better than a sleepy black kitten in the sunshine? They get so warm, and I just want to cuddle and love on them forever!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Update: Kellie Pickler's Charitable "Kitty Crooner" Cat Sweater Revealed!

Last week, I broke the news that country crooner Kellie Pickler designed a cat shirt for charity, and now ~*hot off the presses*~ comes an official press release, ominously titled, "Cat-Loving Crooner Kellie Pickler Helps Design Sweater That Will Have Feline Fashionistas Saying "Me-Wow." (I'll be the judge of that!)

The "Kitty Crooner" sweater, which is available for pre-order now through the ASPCA Online Store for $35 with a 1/27 ship date, was designed by Pickler in conjunction with designer Geren Ford and Fresh Step Cat Litter. It is described as an "oatmeal heather-colored tunic sweater with green sequin embellishments...celebrating Kellie Pickler's country roots and giving wearers a modern vintage look."

It's worth noting that "celebrating" her "country roots" is code for a cat playing a banjo next to a jug of moonshine.

I'm going to reserve judgement, if only because Kellie is cool and I am down with cat fashion going mainstream to benefit the ASPCA - however, I will just say that in the eventuality that a Catsparella charity sweater is released to benefit all of the homeless cats in the world, it will definitely be sans musical instrument (I can't promise the same about the sequins, though).

100% of the proceeds from the top are going to the ASPCA as part of February's Cat Appreciation Month initiative, and Fresh Step will also be donating $1 (up to $100,000) for every fan who posts a picture of themselves wearing their favorite piece of "cat-centric clothing" on the brand's Facebook page through March 15th.

Will you be pre-ordering?

Update: Megan pointed out the "Kitty Crooner's" similarity to another famous, musical feline! Behold, the original Banjo Cat!


Two Animated Cat Films Capture Oscar Noms

Cats are finally starting to earn the respect they deserve in Hollywood, as evidenced by today's announcement that not one, but two cat-related films are nominated for Academy Awards in the category of Best Animated Feature Film.

The thieving felines of "A Cat in Paris" and "Puss In Boots" will be duking it out against fellow nominees, "Rango," "Chico & Rita," and "Kung Fu Panda 2." Two pussycats can surely take down a chameleon, but as for a panda? I'm not so sure.

"A Cat in Paris" ("Une vie de chat") is a French export, about a cat named Dino who leads a double life. By day, he is a child's pet, but by night he's a dangerous thief. I haven't seen the film yet, and couldn't find much information about a possible release date, but hopefully the Oscar buzz will kick start the film's availability.

"Puss in Boots" is the high-profile spin-off of the Shrek series, released by DreamWorks Animation Studio in October. The film went on to top the box office, grossing an impressive $492 million as of January 2012, and is set to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on February 24th.

For what it's worth, it wasn't animated - but my favorite cat film of 2011 is still "Miss Minoes"!


Cat Cupcake Tuesdays

These marvelous cat cupcakes from Charly's Bakery in Cape Town, South Africa had me at "wicked chocolate."

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, January 23, 2012

Sarah Loves Cats Journal, Print, and Pocket Mirror Giveaway!

Sarah of Sarah Loves Cats is no stranger to Catsparella. Her cat Oliver had his very own Caturday feature last month, and the feline loving Aussie has been a favorite of mine since I discovered her cat art themed blog, The Purr Diaries, last year.

The self-proclaimed "certified cat lady," who lives in Sydney with her boyfriend and her two fur babies Bosco and Oliver, has channelled her passion for all things feline into beautiful, original artwork, which she turns into prints, pocket mirrors, greetings cards, and more.

In addition to creating modern cat goods for fellow kitty lovers, she also decided to put her creativity towards a good cause. Sarah tells me that she is donating 20 - 30% of the proceeds from all of the sales in the Sarah Loves Cats shop to benefit her local cat shelter, Cat Protection Society of NSW Inc.

Enter To Win!

Sarah has generously offered one lucky Catsparella reader the chance to win the adorable journal, print, and pocket mirror pictured above!

To enter, leave a comment on this post with your name and some way for me to contact you if you win (email, link back to your blog or profile, Twitter, etc.).
The winner be will chosen in a random drawing next Monday, January 30th at 5:00PM EST. This giveaway is open to everyone, so our international friends can participate, too! One entry per person, please.

Good luck, and be sure to check out the Sarah Loves Cats Etsy shop for more modern kitty art, and like her page on Facebook for all of the latest items and news on her shop!

(If you have trouble entering a comment, please email me at catsparella@gmail.com.)

[Comments are now closed. Thanks for entering!]


Cat With A Face On Its Belly

One Japanese family discovered a great surprise when their cat's unusual markings - a second face on its abdomen - were revealed in a photograph. The kitty's owner, Ishii Yachiyo Sakado Sone, tells Yomiuri Online that the male cat's name is Myakotan, and that he was picked up by her son at the canal several years ago.

Does your kitty have any cool markings?

Via Yomiuri Online / ilove.cat / Image by Sakado


Rescued Kitten Gains New Life With Prosthetic Leg

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

Braveheart the kitten and his sister have been given a remarkable second chance at life, thanks to the kind folks at Almost Home Adoptions, a non-profit cat rescue located in Westminster, Colo.

The pair were found tangled in a rosebush after being abandoned by their mother. Braveheart's umbilical cord was wrapped so tightly around his legs, that his hind paw had to be amputated and fitted with a prosthesis. The incredible bionic kitty and his sis are now doing much better, however more surgery may be required for his leg. Understandably, the procedures are costing the rescue thousands of dollars, and they are accepting donations to help defray the cost.

Braveheart's foster dad tells 9 News, "Never give up, they can always be saved. I think it feels awesome. It feels like when you look at them where they've been and they probably wouldn't have been here without people like Almost Home Adoptions."

If you would like to learn more, or make a donation to Almost Home Adoptions, you can visit their website at almosthomeadoptions.com.


Via 9 News


Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's Caturday!

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

This week, the cat was a hat, Karl Lagerfeld ate got a kitten, Hello Kitty inspired a dental clinic, and Kellie Pickler designed a cat sweater. Elsewhere, we examined a feline fence post, the world of cat whisker collections, a tiny kitten agility course, a climbing kitten iPhone case, and a miracle for some of the very special kitties at Tabby's Place!

I also want to take a moment to welcome my newest sponsor, Em and Sprout! Lindsey of Em and Sprout creates adorable kitty (and non-kitty) themed items, including creative t-shirts, tote bags, and her highly coveted kitty shoes, which are a must have for cat ladies everywhere!


This week's featured feline is a flat faced fellow who looks just as handsome in a bow-tie and bowler hat, as he does just chillin' au naturel!

Janna writes:

"Here are some photos of our Exotic Shorthair, Chester. He's a retired breeder and the cattery was selling him for $75 (plus his airfare from Nashville). It's the best $75 my husband and I ever spent!

Check out mah sweet view, ladies!

You wouldn’t know it from the photos but he’s small. He has the cobby body of an Exotic and now is a little more than 8lbs. He loves people, watching the cars on the West Side Highway, and mushing fleecy blankets (which he does on average of 3 times a day).

Sooo cute!

I’ve shared dozens of photos and a few videos I made for my husband (who worked insane hours the past few months) with my Facebook friends - he’s quite photogenic (and so cute!)

Sir Chester at your service, Madame

I never heard of the breed until a couple of years ago when a vendor told me about the smoosh-faced kitten he was getting. I had been sharing news of this vendor’s audio purchases with my husband, as both are audiophiles, so it was natural for me to also tell him about other news, such as the kitten. I shared a link to the Wikipedia Exotic page with my husband and he fell hard. He loves all animals but my parents cats always ran and hid when we visited, and as a couple, we had a rabbit for 12 years.

Best buds

I was very surprised when he began looking on line for an adult cat to adopt – especially because he has bad allergies and asthma. But after a year of searching for an adult Exotic (who wasn’t already reserved after making inquiries), we adopted Chester in June. Best of all, my husband isn’t allergic to Chester (we don’t know why).

I like to call Chester my miracle boy because I never imagined having a cat of my own as an adult. On top of that, he has such a loving and devoted disposition that it was worth the wait for him to come into our home."

Special thanks to Janna for sharing her handsome Chester with us this week! It may have taken awhile for him to come into her life, but just like Vanessa Williams once sang, he went and ~*saved the best for last*~ !

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 accepting submissions for my weekly Caturday post! Just 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!



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