Saturday, May 31, 2014

Animals and People in Bosnia/Serbia need our help due to massive flooding!

From World Vets:
Header from WorldVets

"Massive flooding in Bosnia and Serbia has left millions of animals and people in a dire situation and in desperate need for help.  World Vets is deploying to the region to provide support for animals that have been impacted by this disaster.  Thousands of animals have died from the immediate impact of the floods, but many more livestock and companion animals require urgent assistance. Animals are often not the primary focus during massive disasters and World Vets is committed to bridging this gap and helping them during their greatest time of need.  We depend on your help to provide life saving support for these animals."

Click here to learn more

Friday, May 30, 2014

There’s No Place Like Home: The Importance of Keeping Pet Cats Indoors:A Guest Blog by Nancy Peterson, Cat Programs Manager for The Humane Society of the United States

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), more cats are living the good life – indoors. Since the APPA first began tracking the percentage of cats kept indoors during the daytime, the number has risen from 57% in 2002 to 64% in 2012; in 2002, 68% of cats were kept indoors during the night compared to 76% in 2012. That’s music to my ears.

"Jenny" photo by Nancy Peterson

When I worked as a registered veterinary technician in San Diego, California, good Samaritans often brought in injured cats whom they’d found outdoors. My beloved cat, Stu, was one of them. Young boys on their way to school found him on the side of the road. He had been hit by a car. The boy’s teacher brought him to our veterinary clinic and we were able to repair his broken jaw and other wounds. We called him Student Cat and estimated that he was about 4 months old. I cared for him for several weeks before he got adopted by a nice family. Unfortunately, someone in the family turned out to be allergic to cats and they brought Student Cat back to the clinic. The family was very sad because they’d grown to love him in the four days they’d had him.

When I opened his carrier and picked him up, he started purring immediately. My heart melted and I decided to adopt Student Cat. He’d been through so much and I didn’t want anything else bad to happen to him again. He joined my household of two other stray cats, Buddy, whom I found in the parking lot where the veterinary clinic was located, and Daisy, who was left behind when her family moved.

It’s not surprising that I acquired most of my cats from the street. According to the APPA, more people (35%) get their cats as strays than from any other source. Did you know that stray and feral cats, known collectively as community cats, contribute 80% of the kittens born each year and are the most significant source of cat overpopulation? Did you know that cats can reproduce when they’re only 5 months old? So, in addition to keeping cats safe indoors, it’s very important to spay and neuter them in order that their offspring don’t become part of the overwhelming population of cats being cared for by animal shelters and rescue groups.

Once stray cats join my household, they become indoor cats. I’m convinced that they live much longer and better lives than they would as outdoor cats. None have shown the slightest interest in going outdoors again. Even though my cats live indoors, they all wear safety collars with ID tags just in case something happens. You never know. They could sneak out the door if someone isn’t careful or they could become displaced during a storm. In fact, one day Daisy did sneak out the door to chase an insect. She froze in fear and I did too.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that people who let their cats roam love their cats, and they think it’s cruel to keep cats indoors. Although it wouldn’t be good to keep cats indoors with no way for them to exhibit their natural behaviors, cats who are provided with a stimulating environment can live happy, and safer, lives indoors. Instead of chasing a leaf, they can chase a ping pong ball; instead of climbing a tree (and possibly getting stuck up there), they can climb a carpeted cat tree; instead of relaxing outdoors in the sun, they can get some rays and watch the world go by from their window perch.

"Luna" enjoying the sights outside, photo by Nancy Peterson

Because my cats live indoors, I notice if one suddenly goes to the litter box more often than usual. As soon as I noticed my cat Buddy straining to urinate, I took him to the veterinarian. He had a bladder stone which had to be surgically removed. I might not have noticed Buddy’s problem if he went outdoors and a male cat who can’t urinate will get very sick very fast. He may never have come home and suffered in great pain. Another time I was getting ready for work and Daisy had a seizure. I could have missed that if she was allowed outdoors.

Speaking of safety, an indoor lifestyle for cats also protects them from being hit by a car, mistreated by mean people, being injured by other animals, and having other life-threatening or fatal encounters. Keeping cats indoors also protects birds and wildlife who may fall victim to cats and helps keep the peace between neighbors who don’t appreciate cats using their garden as a litter box, walking on their cars, or upsetting their indoor cat.
"Toby" photo by Nancy Peterson

An indoor lifestyle doesn’t have to mean that your cat never has the opportunity to enjoy being outdoors. I’ve trained one of my current cats, Toby, to “walk” on a harness and leash. As soon as he’s out the door, he munches on a plant and relaxes under a bush. Since he’s not that interested in going outside, I haven’t continued the walks. Why risk getting fleas or other parasites when he can munch on cat grass and relax on his cat tree inside. My other current cats, Luna and Jenny, are on the timid side and would not enjoy the harness and leash.

I really want to build a catio (a screened in patio enclosure attached to the house) for my cats to give them a greater opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in a safe setting. I think we would all enjoy being together in the backyard while I garden. You may want to consider a cat-proof fence for your yard but remember that although it will keep your cat in, it won’t keep out other animals who could harm your cat.

I’m not the only one who hopes you’ll keep your pet cats indoors. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), many other national organizations, animal shelters and rescue groups, veterinarians, and wildlife advocates also recommend keeping cats indoors. The HSUS has lots of good information about adopting a cat, resolving cat behavior issues so you don’t put your cat outdoors as a solution, keeping cats happy indoors, transitioning a cat from living outdoors to indoors, and more.

For decades, The HSUS, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, has promoted the important message of keeping cats indoors.  Nancy Peterson, a registered veterinary technician and award-winning writer, joined The HSUS in 1998 and has served as the Cat Programs Manager since 2005. Nancy’s current family consists of rescue cats Luna, Toby, and Jenny. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Custom Body Pillow Winner!!!

Today is a SUPER EXCITING and LUCKY DAY for one SPECIAL KITTY and their HUMAN!!

Today is the day that I am announcing the WINNER of our Custom Body Pillow Give-Away!!!!

If you aren't the lucky winner, don't worry! Our pal at Custom Body Pillows has offered a 25% DISCOUNT to readers of this blog! VISIT CUSTOM BODY PILLOWS  and all you have to do is enter catchat as the code when you check out! The discount is good through June 6, 2014! AND....if you didn't win, look for ANOTHER CUSTOM BODY PILLOW GIVE-AWAY on Dakota's blog on JUNE 6th!!!

And now............we are proud to announce WHO the lucky winner is!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


UPDATE to ZEN CAT or "GATTO ZEN"! It's really "Cat Spa!"

Remember when I posted this video last Sunday?

When I originally posted it there was music and it was shared by someone else on Facebook. 

THERE IS AN UPDATE!!! After posting this I heard from the person who is the GENIUS behind the above is HE and HIS CAT featured IN the video! He is Yutaka Sao and you can find him, his cat AND more of his videos here!

THANK YOU Yutaka Sao for graciously allowing me to show your video! YOU AND YOUR CAT ARE AMAZING!!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

I long to return to a time when Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30th, a time when Memorial Day was NOT the "official kick-off to summer" in the U.S., a time when it wasn't a reason to consume copious amounts of beer and burgers and frolic with family and friends over the course of a three-day  weekend.

Don't get me wrong, I will be enjoying sunshine, family and the sumptuous taste of a char-grilled burger myself, but it is important that I, and all of us who are Americans, stop and REMEMBER what Memorial Day actually IS and why it is commemorated.

Somewhere through the years, many Americans have lost touch of WHAT significant holidays in our history MEAN.

There is nothing "happy" about Memorial Day. Memorial Day is the day in which we REMEMBER the men and women who DIED while serving our country.

Memorial Day has become lost in the ridiculousness that was created when Congress,  on June 28, 1968 signed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which  officially took effect on January 1, 1971. This act moved holidays such as Memorial Day,  George Washington's birthday (remember him? The "father of our country" whose birthday REALLY IS FEBRUARY 22ND), Labor Day (now celebrated the first Monday in September), and Columbus Day (Columbus Day USED to be on Christopher Columbus's REAL BIRTHDAY, October 12th, but is now celebrated the second Monday of October). The act was officially designed to "increase the number of 3 day weekends for federal employees."

Well, "isn't THAT special?"

Thankfully, July 4, (Independence Day), has remained unscathed.........

So while I, and many of you, are enjoying this time with friends and family, take a moment, STOP and REMEMBER the reason this day exists.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

ZEN CAT or "GATTO ZEN" brought to you by

If this isn't "Easy" I don't know what is. I was sent this extraordinary video via Facebook by my friend Molly D.Campbell, (if you aren't familiar with her blog, Life With the Campbells or Molly D.Campbell, View from the Empty Nest, DO check it out), she is insightful and hilarious......

Now.....back to our "Easy".........

Friday, May 23, 2014

Cat Style Comes to BlogPaws 2014 Thanks to Kate Benjamin of Hauspanther

2014 was definitely the Year of the Cat at the BlogPaws Conference in Lake Las Vegas May 8-10th, thanks to the tireless efforts of Kate Benjamin, who in my humble opinion is the reigning "Queen of Cats", and owner of the popular website Hauspanther,

where her mission is to "spread the word about how good design can enhance the way we live with cats, improving our lives and the lives of our beloved feline companions. By paying attention to the design of objects and environments, we can create living spaces that accommodate the natural instincts of cats – keeping them happy, healthy and well behaved – without compromising our own sense of style and comfort."

Kate Benjamin the reigning "Queen of Cats"

This cat blogger, along with a clowder of others,  ooo'ed and ahhh'ed with delight as we made our way through the 1200 sq ft display of over 150 cat products provided by forty companies! I am proud to say that a number of the companies who had products on display have at one time or another been featured right here, on THIS blog!

The first of those companies is featured above,  Tipsy Nip Organic Catnip Products and the maker of one of Cody's all time faves, The Tickle Pickle!! The video below was showcased on this blog on our review of Tipsy Nip on  October 4, 2011.

Tipsy Nip Organic Catnip Products are made in Vermont. All of their products are made from the best quality materials and ingredients. Their mission is to create healthy toys that make all of the kitties insanely happy. They succeeded with Cody, that is for sure! So much so, that as you can see above, he could smell the nip right through the plastic!

Another company that we have featured (approximately FOUR TIMES!)  is Nekochan Enterprises, the makers of another of Cody's all time favorite toys, the Neko Flies line of cat toys!!! Cody currently has his eye on their new line of Neko Nappers pet houses which are showcased above. It took every ounce of self-control that I could muster, NOT to walk away with that display! Here is a video from the first time we featured Neko Flies, back on

To this day, Cody's Small Kittenator   remains his "toy of choice" in the world of dangle cat toys. He knows the drawer it is stored in and will walk in, stand on his hind legs and loudly demand that it be pulled from it's slumber.

Another product that we have (and Cody LOVES) is the Peek-a-Prize Toy Box (featured in the middle below)

It is impossible to showcase all 150 products that were displayed in the Cat Style Lounge, so here are just a few photos to whet your appetite some more!


Cody has a fabulous cat-scratcher lounge by

A number of you wondered if
Cody found anything in the suitcase
that I posted a week ago

Well, wonder no more!
There was also some CATABULOUS CAT SWAG
**I received a bag that was CAT AND DOG
 since I have a dog as well
also, I separated some things I wanted to donate
Once again I would like to thank Kate Benjamin and BlogPaws for making some cat folks (like me!) super happy!
And now, we would like to make a special announcement, you can pre-order:
Photo Courtesy of Hauspanther
Attention cat lovers! We are thrilled to announce that the new book Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!) co-authored by Jackson Galaxy of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell and Kate Benjamin of Hauspanther is now available for pre-order! For every copy pre-ordered before October 14, 2014, $1 will be donated to organizations dedicated to helping homeless cats. In addition, when you pre-order, you will receive exclusive discounts that you can use at and

Pre-order to Support Cats!

For every copy of Catification pre-ordered, the publisher Tarcher/Penguin will donate $1 to organizations supporting cat welfare. We will be sure to update you once the organizations have been chosen. In order for your pre-order to count toward the donation, please email a copy of your receipt to details at Pre-order your copy now on AmazonBarnes & Noble, from any major bookseller, or visit Indiebound to find a local bookstore in your area.
For bulk orders, please contact 1-800-CEO-READ or

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cat and Toys Interview

I recently had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Katie Luiss when she reached out and asked a number of cat bloggers our opinions about  "How Do You Keep Your Cat Fit and What's Your Cat's Favorite Toy?"

Katie writes the blog:

You can also connect with Katie on:

She primarily writes about cat toys (reviews, etc) and has recently started a blogger interview series.
I was proud to be featured on her blog yesterday, you can read the interview here!

Thanks Katie!
It was a pleasure!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Custom Body Pillows are the Cat's Meow! World-Wide Give-Away!

To say I was completely thrilled is an understatement when I was contacted by Custom Body Pillows asking if I would like my own free personal keepsake pillow in exchange for an honest review on my site! I was ecstatic! I had seen them featured on one of my favorite blogs and was honored to be offered the same opportunity!

Custom Body Pillows are unique, and make an incredible gift for housewarmings, weddings, graduations, new babies, they are a thoughtful and unique gift that is pretty much suitable for nearly any event, or for any person that you can think of! . They aren't a gift that will be tossed into another room and forgotten, your custom designed pillow will become a cherished keepsake for years to come!

The process couldn't be easier, if I could do it, anyone can!

From the Custom Body Pillow website:
Simply upload your own high resolution photograph and we will transform it into a wonderful body pillow.
We do not recommend using photographs taken from a cell phone.

Images are digitally printed onto silky smooth satin. The image is permanent. It will never crack or fade and colors will never wash out.

For the back side of the pillow, you can choose from a variety of materials and colors.

The back side of the pillow is the black pillow above. It is soft and cushy!!!!!

I chose a photo of a painting that was done of Cody and Dakota because I wanted them both to be included on the pillow.
This is the photo I chose.
 It is a photo of a painting that was done for me by Ashley Beech Reid.

I was also one of the first people to use a cell phone photo (of course), instead of using a photo from a digital camera and trust me, there is no way that anyone could tell the difference when they see how gorgeous my pillow is! The process of choosing your photo and uploading it onto their website is as easy as 1-2-3!!

You decide upon the style and size pillow that you would like, the pillow that I received was a CUSHION pillow, also known as a Half-Size pillow. Don't let the name fool you, there is NOTHING small about this! It measures 21"x18" and sells for $69 (plus shipping and handling+tax if applicable. When it arrived I was SHOCKED by how large it was, I never expected it to be such an impressive size) The FULL size measures 42"x20" and sells for $119.00. Pillows are made 100% in the USA.  ORDER WILL BE SHIPPED IN 10-15 BUSINESS DAYS. EXPRESS SHIPPING AVAILABLE. To order your pillow click here.

I have done MANY product reviews on this blog and this is one of my FAVORITES BY FAR.  My pillow surpassed ALL of my expectations, the quality is superior, and the "magic" that was worked with the cell phone photo that I used, (remember, that is NOT recommended!)  was a miracle!

Our kind friend at Custom Body Pillows is offering a WORLD-WIDE GIVE-AWAY! ONE LUCKY READER LOCATED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD will win a Half-size pillow (valued at $69), with the photo of their choice displayed on it! (IF WINNER IS AN INTERNATIONAL WINNER THEY MUST PAY SHIPPING)  EASY ENTRY ON THE RAFFLECOPTER BELOW WITH ONLY ONE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT! (But you CAN earn EXTRA ENTRIES!!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In full disclosure:we were not compensated for this review/give-away. We were sent a Half-size pillow in exchange for our honest review. In no way did the free pillow influence our positive review.

Friday, May 16, 2014


There are millions of pet owners in Michigan, and almost every single one of them thinks that theirs is the most adorable pet. For years, Michiganders have grappled with the uncertainty of not knowing the true answer to this question. Arguments have been had. Families have been torn apart in the search. But never fear. The Michigan Humane Society (MHS) is holding its 2014 Pet Photo Contest, so you can help determine who will win the title of Michigan’s Most Adorable Pet, while helping homeless animals. And, for a limited time, the $25 entry fee per photo will be discounted to just $20! For contest details, the list of prizes, and to enter a pet photo, visit contest.

“It’s just too difficult to determine a winner,” said Michael Robbins, MHS Chief Marketing Officer. “We get so many adorable and heartwarming submissions that it’s impossible for us to decide. That’s why we’re leaving this choice to Michigan’s pet owners. Best of all, it will help MHS change animal lives.”

photo contest 2014
All pet owners are welcome to enter a photo of their pet in the contest. A minimum $25 (or $20 for a limited time) donation is required, and the first 250 entrants will automatically receive a spot in MHS’ 2015 Pet Calendar. Contest participants can email friends and family to support their campaign by voting with a donation; each dollar will represent one vote. The candidate with the most votes by 10:59 p.m. on Monday, June 16, 2014 will be named Michigan’s Most Adorable Pet. All pets whose campaigns raise at least $312 – enough to change the lives of two animals in need – will be featured on the MHS website as a member of the 2014 Honor Roll.

In addition to earning the title of Michigan’s Most Adorable Pet, the winner will also receive a special “pet of the month” placement in the MHS 2015 Pet Calendar, a personalized brick paver to be placed on the grounds of the MHS Berman Center for Animal Care in Westland, a 15 percent discount on veterinary care for one year at any MHS veterinary center, and an MHS prize pack. Great prizes will also be awarded for second and third place.
The Michigan Humane Society is the largest and oldest animal welfare organization in the state. MHS works to end companion animal homelessness, provide the highest quality service and compassion to the animals entrusted to our care, and to be a leader in promoting humane values.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

National Straw Hat Day Cat-Style

Straw Hat
I wear it when it’s hot,
I wear it even if it’s not.
‘Tis my favorite hat
I always wear it when I go out.
When I am in the sea,
Or even when I am not
I will always be seen
With my favorite hat.

When I wear my favorite red vest
Together with my favorite blue shorts
My favorite hat will look its best
Though it’s still good with any clothes.
I am my hat,
My hat is me.
If I am to be without my hat,
Then who would I be?
Until the rightful day
That my promise be fulfilled
I shall keep it safe
On the top of my head.

---Lawrence Basallote

Do you know that today is Straw Hat Day? I didn't, until I got an email from my furiend Ann Adamus from the blog, Zoolatry, inviting everyone to pawticipate!

Here is info about Straw Hat Day directly from Ann:
"As "bestest" we can figure out, Straw Hat Day has been celebrated for about a gazillion-bazillion years mebbee (well, at least since like the 1920s) ...
when the men put away their wooly winter hats and donned their summer straw chapeau in honor of the warm weather!
(and who isn't ready to welcome warm weather this year?)
And no reason at all that the ladies can't do the same!
Around the pet blogosphere, Straw Hat Day has been celebrated since furever."
Stop on over to the Tabby Cat Club and check out all of the CATS in STRAW HATS!!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Children's Book Week Pawesome #Giveaway from Stanley and Katrina with an Incredible Prize for the Group of Your Choice (Ends 5/18/14) #CBW14

One of the things that we are proud of at Cat Chat With Caren and Cody, is that along with a bevy of information that we share with you, we also offer you a vast assortment of books that we feel you will enjoy!

Back in December I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Stanley & Katrina: The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets 

Who are Stanley & Katrina?

"Katrina is an eight -year-old grey tabby cat who loves her toy mouse. Stanley is a three-year-old black Labrador/Rottweiler mix who does his best to ignore Katrina. Morty, a bunny, assists in narration of their story."



Dear Teachers/Parents/Librarians/Principals/Superintendents/PTA Representives and Others: 

Stanley & Katrina's paws are dancing because they are offering their Virtual Author Visit Package Giveaway for the second year in a row, as a part of the paw-some Children's Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop.

All of the details are below. Scroll down to view the Rafflecopter entry form or click here to enter now, and then take a look at the Kid Lit Giveaway Hop hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews & Youth Literature Reviews for many more children's book giveaways going on this week. 

Thank you..

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and visiting, today.

Prize: One winner will receive a 20 minute virtual author visit with Neighbor Girl (of Stanley&Katrina) via Skype or Google+ Hangouts for the group of their choice (classroom, family, homeschool group, etc.) AND a Kindle copy of The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets for every member of the group.* If the winner is located within the US, they will also receive one print and signed copy of The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets
*Group size is a max of 30 individuals for this prize. 
Contest Ends: May 18, 11:59 pm 2014, EST 
Open: Internationally, please note that Neighbor Girl only speaks English. 
How to Enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. 
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest. This giveaway is sponsored by Stanley & Katrina and is hosted and managed by Cool Mom/Christine. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send an email to StanleyandKatrina(at)gmail(dot)com.