Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Imperial Cat Large Mustache Cat Scratcher Giveaway!

Giant Mustache Scratcher

I mustache you a question: Do your kitties fancy getting their claws on some nice corrugated cardboard, or otherwise enjoy indulging in the current mustache trend that's sweeping the nation? If so, then rest assured that your little hipsters will love Imperial Cat's new mustache themed Scratch ‘n Shapes, the latest addition to their fun line of high-quality scratchers. 

Cozy Curl Scratcher

Made in the USA from post consumer recycled materials, Scratch ‘n Shapes are attractive and eco-friendly. The honeycomb texture of the corrugated cardboard imitates natural tree bark so cats instinctively want to sink their claws in, and all Scratch ‘n Shapes come with a bag of organic 'nip to encourage your cat to live their best nine lives yet!

Enter To Win!

Large Mustache Scratcher

Imperial Cat had generously offered one lucky Catsparella reader the chance to win a Large Mustache Scratcher of their very own! 

(Measurements: 9" W x 2.75" H x 23" L)

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 Tuesday, May 7 at 5:00PM EST. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. One entry per person, please.

Good luck, and be sure to check out the Imperial Cat website to browse all of their pawesome products, and to find out where to buy!

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

[Comments are now closed. Thanks for entering!]


Catster Style Recap: April

In addition to my duties on Catsparella, I also write a weekly style column for cat lovers over on Catster. In case you missed it, here's a round-up of my latest posts, covering everything from cat ear headbands and iPhone cases, to 5 items made out of cat hair that you can actually buy on Etsy!

1. Be the Cat of Your Dreams: Wear a Cat-Ears Headband
Animal-ear headbands have exploded in popularity this season, and I keep you on trend in my top 5 picks for spring. 

2. 5 Things Made Out of Cat Hair You Can Actually Buy on Etsy
Not ready to take on cat hair crafting duties of your own? These Etsy artists are willing to do the work for you, and offer jewelry, purses, cat toys, and even "Meowmorials" (seen above), created using actual hair harvested from your kitty.

3. Own a Piece of Your Favorite Internet Celebrity Cat
Find out where to get your paws on the coolest cat merch featuring your favorite internet celebri-kitties like Henri, le Chat Noir, Lil Bub, Grumpy Cat, Oskar the Blind Cat, and Simon's Cat.

4. Our 5 Favorite iPhone Covers for Cat Lovers
I curated a list of some of my favorite feline phone cases around, including this ridiculously adorable Maneki Neko design from ShopJeen.

Previously: Catster Style Recap: March


Cat Cupcake Tuesdays

Kitty Cat Cupcakes

This week's adorable cat cupcakes come to us from Jen from they say a picture is worth a thousand words, who created these cute kitties for her friend Taryn.

Jen says that Taryn adores cats, especially her ginger cat Harold, which inspired her to come up with such a catabulous birthday treat!

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!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

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, Lil Bub enchanted Robert De Niro and charmed the ladies of The View, Charlotte Olympia's cat flats got a punk rock makeover, Fiona shared her pretty in pink cat cupcakes (and the chickens who helped make them), a mischievous kitty got tiny boots to protect his paws in the kitchen, Temptations released a hilarious workout video for cats, Charlie celebrated National Hairball Awareness Day, and I recounted my experience meeting Lil Bub at the Pennsylvania SPCA!

Elsewhere, don't forget to enter for your chance to win an adorable cat note card set from Floof Bug! I'm drawing the lucky winner this coming Tuesday, 4/30!

And finally, I'd like to give a huge thank you to my awesome April sponsors: Tom & Tungsten Custom Pet Portraits, Hey Kitty Kitty, Georgia's Gifts, AmazeCats Personalized Cat Playing Cards, Whoa That's Bright!, Sweet Pickles Designs, and Edgar's Attic Handmade Catnip Toys!

If you've been thinking about advertising on Catsparella, there's still time to book for May!


This week's featured feline has been his dad's constant companion ever since he was rescued as a kitten. Who says man's best friend has to be a dog? 

Charles writes:

Feline Greetings, Catsparella!!! Here is my entry for your Caturday post, my deaf, albino boy....Taiko!! As most of my cats were named after space, Taiko is named after a Chinese Astronaut, a Taikonaut!

He came to me as a tiny kitten at 5am on a Halloween morning 7 years ago. I awoke to a cat fight, grabbed my rifle, and headed outside, as I lived on a large farm at the time and coyotes were a concern.

I couldn't find any commotion, and as I shined my 1 million watt flashlight up the nearest tree, I saw what I thought was an opossum, due to the pink eyes staring down at me. As I raised my rifle to dispose of it, it leapt about 20 feet off the tree limb and landed next to me. After it started rubbing against me, I discovered this tiny, white ball of fur at my feet!

Needless to say, he has been my constant companion ever since. The vet told me that poor, deaf Taiko would not have survived out in the wild, and I am so happy to share my life with him!!! 

Nap attack!

Special thanks to Charles for introducing us to his handsome boy this week! Another amusing anecdote he shares: One thing Taiko loves is being vacuumed with my shop vac, being deaf, he doesn't care one bit!

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

This week:
Our 5 Favorite iPhone Covers for Cat Lovers

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!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy National Hairball Awareness Day!

Where's Charlie?

It's the last Friday in April my friends, so you know what that means! It's National Hairball Awareness Day, a time when we "paws" to recognize the hazards of hairballs and take steps to eliminate them, once and fur all!

Once again, FURminator has asked me and several other cat bloggers from across the country to create a project using fur we harvested from our kitties using one of their fine grooming tools. Last year I crafted Katy Perry out of cat hair 
(and won $1,000 for SPAC!), and this year we were tasked with making a mustache out of our cat's excess fluff.

Charlie went all paws in on the challenge, but opted to keep his identity a secret by donning a pair of disguising shades along with his fur 'stache. (Check out the full gallery of incognito kitties over on the Furminator Facebook page!)

Crafting with cat hair isn't all fun and games though, and as we all know, hairballs can be serious business. Since cats groom themselves with their tongues, they naturally ingest loose hair (up to two-thirds!), which can pack together in their stomach to form a hairball. In most cases, the cat will need to throw the hairball up, which is not good for them...or your carpet!

I support National Hairball Awareness Day because my kitties love getting brushed with their FURminator tool (we use this one), which can help reduce shedding and hairballs by up to 90%. Grooming your cat regularly can help prevent hairball issues, and is more effective then using traditional treatments that only address the problem once the hair is already in your cat's belly.

Now that you've got all the facts, me and Charlie would like to wish everyone a very happy National Hairball Awareness Day! After all, it only comes once a year, so grab your kitties and celebrate!

Disclosure: I received FURminator grooming tools in exchange for my participation in this project, however I have been using their brushes for several years and would recommend them anyway. Also, I can't resist a cat hair crafting challenge.


Advertise On Catsparella In May!

May is right around the corner, and what better way to boost your biz than by advertising your kitty related shop, product, blog, or website on Catsparella!

By supporting Catsparella, you'll be gaining exposure & attracting new customers through an award winning cat blog, that welcomes thousands of devoted kitty lovers each month! 

I currently offer three size options (Large, Medium, and Small), that are all highly visible on the right hand side of the page. Also, the ads go up on a rolling basis (not just the 1st of the month), so I can work with whatever timeline fits your schedule!

$60/month (Currently booked through July)

$40/month (Available now)

$20/month (Available now)

Ready to get started? Email me at catsparella@gmail.com for more information, and to reserve your spot today!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Work It Kitty! Cats Get A Hilarious Fitness Routine In New Temptations Clip

Alex Gaudino ft. Taboo "I Don't Wanna Dance" - Work It Kitty

In the past week you've probably witnessed a cat in a shark costume chasing a baby duckling on a Roomba
, and the kitty who gets his kicks by licking the vacuum cleaner hose, but have you seen "Work It Kitty!", the feline fitness tape produced exclusively for cats?

Kate and George, owners of "The Best Little Cat House" cat hotel, came up with the idea after observing one of their charges watching aerobics on TV. After wondering why cats don't have workout videos, the couple set out to make one of their own.

The silly (and endlessly giffable) routine features low impact, cat-friendly moves like the rear leg lift, paw rotation, and a box jumping exercise that even Maru would love.

The fictional feline workout is actually part of a clever ad campaign for Temptations cat treats, featuring the music of Italian DJ Alex Gaudino, featuring Taboo. In addition to the video, there's also a website dedicated to the spirited routine, where you can find bios for each of the cathletes, tips on keeping your cat active, and more digital downloads in the future.

Via Facebook (Temptations Canada) / Work It Kitty!


Anarchy Kitty: Charlotte Olympia's Cat Flats Get A Punk Rock Makeover

Charlotte Olympia Anarchy Kitty Flat

Known for their chic silhouette, exclusive price tag, and celeb status (they've been spotted on Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Anne Hathaway and more), Charlotte Olympia's cat flats have become a covet worthy piece of cat fashion since their debut in Fall 2011.

Most recently, Olympia collaborated with fellow London-based designer Tom Binns, for a punk-inspired collection of accessories, which saw her iconic feline footwear get an edgy new look.

The result is the Anarchy Kitty flat, whose traditional gold stitching has been swapped out with neon pink and green thread, and ears and nose adorned with rebellious safety pin piercings. As StyleBistro puts it, "(the flats have) spent the past six months in their garage, hanging out with older, cooler shoes, learning how to play the bass, and recording two-minute songs with lots of yowls and meows." 

The limited edition collection is in honor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s “Punk: Chaos to Couture” exhibit, opening in NYC next month. The shoes, which will retail for around $800, are sure to be a hot collector's item, and will be available exclusively at Charlotte Olympia stores in London and New York, and on charlotteolympia.com beginning May 2. 

Via StyleBistro / The Backseat Stylers


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mischievous Kitty Gets Heatproof Boots To Protect His Paws In The Kitchen

If I didn't know better, I'd think this was a late April Fools' Day joke, but a UK-based food takeout delivery company recently commissioned a futuristic pair of protective booties for a cat named Mischief, who has a history of burning himself on the stove.

In honor of National Pet Month, Just Eat commissioned the one-of-a-kind pair of shoes (not to be confused with "Kitten Mittons"), after the cat's owner complained about his antics on their Facebook page. The yellow and red heatproof hooves were custom made to fit Mischief's tiny paws, and stay attached with velcro.

His dutiful owner, Jackie Cable, told Metro that although the cat means the world to her, he makes cooking a "nightmare" because he's always getting underfoot. The 3-year-old has reportedly burned his paw pads on the stove at least three times in the past, with one incident even requiring veterinary care.

While it's anyone's guess if the shoes will actually work, Cable remains optimistic. "I can relax in the kitchen when I’m cooking now and I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder to check on him," she says.

View more pics of the crazy contraptions over at The Sun.

Via Metro.co.uk 


Lil Bub Takes Time To Enjoy The View, Meets Robert De Niro

Lil Bub Visits "The View"! 

I'm still riding high off the excitement of meeting Lil Bub on Monday, and have even more news to report on her whirlwind media tour in support Vice's "Lil Bub & Friendz" documentary. Shortly after she and owner Mike Bridavsky made an appearance on The Today Show over the weekend, the tiny tabby and her dude stopped by The View yesterday, where they charmed everyone from Whoopi Goldberg to Barbara Walters.

TMZ reports that after the show, Bub jetted back to the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC, where she snuggled up to festival co-founder, Robert De Niro (check out the adorable pic here). According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar winner specifically requested a meet and greet with the pint sized puss, who is said to be the breakout star of the event.

Even Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck are smitten with Lil Bub!

In response to concern from fans over Bub's hectic schedule over the past few days, Mike took to the permakitten's Facebook page to assure everyone of her well being, writing, "BUB and I would like to assure everyone that BUB is feeling great, getting lots of rest, eating lots of fishes and enjoying the trip. Please understand that her well being is my top priority. Remember that in between the interviews and red carpets (which she loves anyway), she is cuddling, napping, peeing, pooping and being awesome. GOOD JOB BUB."

He also shared that her Meet-And-Greets at Social Tees Animal Rescue in NYC and at the Pennsylvania SPCA in Philly netted $2,400 in donations, and hundreds of pounds of food and litter for felines in need.


Street Pussy T-Shirt Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to all who entered the Street Pussy Limited Edition T-Shirt Giveaway! I used Random.org to determine the winner, and it selected comment #27 belonging to Amy Lynn, who wrote, "Wow!! This is such an awesome giveaway - Thank you!!! I am a huge fan of the Street Pussy artwork and obviously this shirt rocks!"

Congrats, Amy!

Be sure to check out Street Pussy on Tumblr, and follow them on Facebook to check out all of their latest feline street photography!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Floof Bug Cute Cat Note Card Set Giveaway!

Writing Set of 5 Notecards (enter to win below!)

As soon as I saw Kellie Michelle's Floof Bug shop, I knew I was in the right place. It was immediately clear that we shared similar passions in life, for cupcakes, cats, and the color pink!

Acrylic Kitten Pendant

After working as a costume designer for over seven years, Kellie Michelle decided that she needed a change. She left her full-time job to create Floof Bug, and opened her paperie on Etsy. 

Thank You Note Card Set

Her collection consists of beautiful stationery, cards, accessories, prints, and girly gifts that come from her love of all things cute. A self proclaimed cat lady, she even has a character named Lulu Lolli, a fluffy white diva of a feline, who was inspired by her real life cat of the same name!

Glass Cat Pendant

With her glimmering green eyes, long lashes, and fabulous white fur, Lulu reminds me of a kawaii version of French Kitty. And just like her namesake, this posh feline lives a glamorous life filled with luxury and sweet treats. ♥ 

Enter To Win!

Writing Set of 5 Note Cards

Kellie Michelle had generously offered one lucky Catsparella reader the chance to win an adorable note card set of their own!

The cute card writing set includes:

5 linen note cards
5 colorful envelopes
5 pink cat seals
Boxed with raffia ribbon for extra girly cuteness!

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 Tuesday, April 30 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 Floof Bug Etsy shopwebsite, and Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all of their latest designs!

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

Comments are now closed. Thanks for entering!


Cat Cupcake Tuesdays

This week's pretty in pink cat cupcakes come to us from Fiona of I Used to be Scared of Cats, who writes:

I love your blog and especially your Cupcake Tuesday feature, it definitely inspired me to get my bake on this weekend and I thought I'd share :)

I used this cupcake recipe and this buttercream frosting recipe from Glorious Eats.

Decorating was pretty simple, mini M&Ms for the eyes and nose, raspberries for the ears, licorice for the whiskers and a little flower candy (because I couldn't help myself :P)

They were fun to make and delicious to eat, although I did feel a little guilty for chomping into their cute faces!

P.S. I included a pic of the chickens at my house because I got to use their eggs!

Special thanks to Fiona for sharing her adorable cupcakes (and chickens!) with us this week! I thought her idea of using raspberries for the ears was purrfect!

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, April 22, 2013

I Met Lil Bub!

Me and Lil Bub

Today, I joined hundreds of other cat lovers at the Pennsylvania SPCA in Philadelphia for the chance to get up close and personal with celebri-kitty, Lil Bub. I've never met an internet famous cat before, so going in I was a little bit nervous, and didn't know what to expect.

The crowd was a diverse mix of age and gender, but one characteristic that everyone shared was a pure, unadulterated love for Bub. Many of the people I chatted with in line took the day off of work to meet her, and when asked what makes her so special, one grown man replied, "because she's f*cking awesome." 

Got my Lil Bub "YES" pin!

While waiting in line, we were instructed to sanitize our hands, and given adorable "YES" pins (cuz Grumpy Cat says, "NO", get it?), along with a postcard promoting her upcoming book, due out in September. Fans could purchase Lil Bub merch, including tees, totes, buttons, and posters (30% of the profits price were donated to the shelter), and were also encouraged to leave donations of money or food, toys, and litter, in exchange for the chance to meet, kiss, and take a picture with her Bubness.

The whole experience kinda felt like being at a concert, and after waiting over an hour for the chance to see her (I got there way early), we were escorted to a private room where was stationed. When I walked in, she was calmly seated on a soft green knit blanket, just chillin' and doing her own thing. 

We were allowed to pet her and take pictures  - the only rule was that she didn't like being touched behind the ears. They had a little ribbon that they were wiggling around trying to get her attention, but in typical cat fashion she just looked up and smiled when she felt like it. Her dude, Mike Bridavsky, was also there keeping a close watch over her. I got the chance to chat with him for a few minutes, and he couldn't have been nicer.

Looking good, Bub!

What really struck me about the whole experience wasn't how tiny or soft she was, but witnessing firsthand the happiness that she brings into people's lives. I saw men exiting the meeting room with huge grins on their faces, and a woman clutching her chest and exclaiming, "She's just perfect!" You would think they had just met a rockstar, not a tiny, toothless cat who they follow on the internet. 

Bub was in town as part of her East Coast tour for the release of her new documentary, "Lil Bub & Friendz", which debuted last week at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC (check out the trailer and screening times here). I viewed it over the weekend in preparation for meeting her, and found it unexpectedly moving. In addition to being an examination of internet cat culture (mostly in terms of videos), it also provides a closer look into Bub's life, including her medical conditions, and the story of the family who found her in their shed as a kitten. It also gives fans the chance to observe the deep bond that she shares with Mike, who says she is like his daughter.

Watching the documentary and meeting Bub in person today has really given me a deeper understanding about what makes her such an extraordinary cat. She truly is a living, breathing miracle, and nearly two years after landing on Earth, it's clear that her mission is far from done. Long live Lil Bub!

To learn more about Lil Bub, visit her website at lilbub.com.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

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, Grumpy Cat, Lil Bub, and Henri, le Chat Noir became published authors, my kitties reviewed Miaow.ie, the cat video toy for 21st century felines, Jacki shared her hilarious and heartwarming bachelorette (catchelorette) party cake, we checked out some cool reader pics and posted updates on The Catsparella Store, and Around The World In 80 Cats visited Taipei, where they recently unveiled a half million dollar "Cat Overpass" in Houtong!

Elsewhere, there's still time to enter for your chance to win a limited edition tee from Street Pussy! I'm drawing the lucky winner this coming Tuesday, 4/23!

Also, I want to give a shout-out to Christie from Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society for inviting me to attend their Paws for Celebration event last night in East Brunswick, NJ! The company (and food!) were top notch, and I had a wonderful time! The rescue had a terrific year, and found forever homes for 154 cats in 2012. I'll be writing more about the awesome work they do later this week!

And finally, it is with great difficulty that I write this (literally, because the screen keeps going dark every two seconds, ughhh), but after five years and nearly 2,000 posts, my beloved laptop has decided that it's time to retire from the cat blogging game. It probably seems silly to be so sad about a machine, but I have a tendency to get emotionally attached to things, and it was my first laptop, and the computer I started Catsparella on almost three years ago. I'm going to pick up a replacement as soon as I finish writing this (I'm not quitting blogging, just mourning my dead Mac), but first, let's have a toast to the good times. It only seems fitting that she went out on a Caturday.

~*RIP MacBook 2008 - 2013*~


This week's featured feline is a pretty ginger rescue kitten, and her beautiful stepsisters!

Sara writes:

Frankie is a 10-month-old rescue kitten from Buffalo, NY! She always sleeps with her tounge out!

She is our little devil, the last one in the litter that no one wanted because she was all covered in dirt and sadly full of parasites. A little bit of soap and a lot of medication from the vet, and she was as good as new. She loves rolling in her Sunday paper, stealing q-tips, and she can't sneak attack her stepsisters enough!

Kitty and Penny

My other two rescue cats are Kitty (gray) and Penny (black). Penny was named after penguins since they both wear the same outfit, and was adopted from our local pet shelter just last year. Her hobbies include harassing her people parents for water from the tub faucet every time they use the bathroom, and hogging the cable box for warmth.

Kitty is our little diva. She likes to lay on you a certain way and will wait until you have that blanket just right before she will grace you with her presence. After years of being jealous, Kitty finally found a friend in her buddy Frankie, and loves rolling around in hourly wrestling matches with her.

Special thanks to Sara for sharing her lovely ladies with us this week!

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

This week:
Own a Piece of Your Favorite Internet Celebrity Cat

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!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Around The World In 80 Cats #29: Taipei

Cat Overpass

On March 30, officials in the Houtong area of New Taipei City’s Ruifang District, (aka "Cat Town"), unveiled a 200 foot long feline-friendly indoor overpass, constructed in the shape of a cat's body and tail. The ambitious project cost the city over half a million dollars, and took eight months to complete.

Exterior shot - Can you see the cat?

Interior view

According to the Taipei Times, Houtong has become a popular tourist destination in the past few years because of its large cat population and feline-friendly atmosphere. When the city recently underwent renovations, officials felt that a cat upgrade was in order. The purpose of the bridge is to benefit tourists and cats, who will now be able to walk, relax, and interact with each other side by side in the new structure.

Even before the bridge was conceived, the town featured a cat-themed train station, souvenir stands, and over 100 friendly roaming felines, happy to pose for pictures.

The images in this post were found on the New Taipei City Tourism Facebook page, taken during the bridge's unveiling. Not only do they include the overpass itself, but also some neat surprises you might encounter around Cat Town, including these cool, feline appointed buses!

While explaining the inspiration behind the overpass, city official Chen Ching-fang told the Times, “We must take the cats’ needs into consideration because they have become an important part of the town.” 

She also added that she hoped the bridge would "reflect the harmonious coexistence of the town’s residents and the cats, as well as promote animal protection."

Check out more pics here and here, and read more about Houtong cat village at China Tour Advisors and TripAdvisor.

Via Taipei Times / Images: Facebook (新北旅客) 

Previously: Around the World in 80 Cats #1 - 28

Know of any cat-themed travel destinations, or have any cool kitty vacation pics to share? Drop me a line at catsparella@gmail.com!



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