Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rachael Ray™ Nutrish™ Embarks on 16 City Tour to Capture the True Beauty of Shelter Cats! #ShelterCatsAreBeautiful !

"A picture is worth a thousand words"

Rachael Ray™ Nutrish™  knows this and is working hard to find homes for shelter cats by taking photos that showcase their true beauty!

Sixteen cities. One goal 

To capture the TRUE BEAUTY of shelter cats

Millions of cats enter shelters every year, where they're often quickly put into cages. They're scared, confused and sometimes even dirty. A photo is snapped and then quickly shared, to be seen by people looking to adopt. Unfortunately, these photos don't always capture the full beauty and personality of the cats. That's why Rachael Ray™ Nutrish™ is proud to partner with GreaterGood.org® and One Picture Saves a Life™. Together, they will travel across the country taking photos worthy of these loving cats who are simply looking for a second chance.

Rachael Ray Nutrish will take the “Shelter Cats areBeautiful” tour to 16 cities
across the country and offer professional grooming and photography services to
capture the full beauty and personality of cats in need of adoption. The
program will also provide shelters with the necessary tips, tools and equipment
to groom and capture best possible photographs of shelter pets in the future.
This program helps celebrate the launch of Rachael Ray Nutrish‘s new line of
natural food for cats, which is now available in stores nationwide. Rachael is
dedicated to helping animals in need and donates her proceeds from the sale
of Rachael Ray Nutrish to help animal support organizations, which has resulted
in more than $6.5 million in donations to date.

“Unfortunately there are a lot of animals in shelters that need a home, which is
why I started my food for pets, Nutrish, as a way to continuously fund programs
that help animals in need,” said Rachael. “Every year, 8 million scared and
disoriented pets enter the U.S. shelter system hoping for someone to love and
care for them. With our ‘Shelter Cats Are Beautiful’ tour, I’m hoping we help
people see just how beautiful shelter cats are, with the goal of getting these
pets into loving homes more quickly.”

Rachael  kicked off the national tour with an event in New York City on July 11.
Then the “Shelter Cats are Beautiful” tour will continue throughout the summer
rolling through: Bentonville, Buffalo, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver,
Detroit, (As a Nutrish Brand Advocate, I am excited because I happen to work closely with the shelter that will be a part of the tour, and I am going to have an EXCLUSIVE visit there!, Will keep you updated as the tour date draws closer!!) Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Antonio are also a part of this tour.

You can keep  posted on photos of the kitties and exact dates of the tour by visiting the
  Shelter Cats Are Beautiful website!  (If the date and participating shelter for your city isn't there now, it will be posted soon!)

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rachael Ray Nutrish.   As always, thank you for reading and supporting our sponsors.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A most SPECIAL Gotcha Day!! And A Yeowww! Give-Away!

Today is a most special day!!!

Cody is featured
on the Cat Blogosphere
Calendar today!!

Originally I was going to make this entire post a silly one, but due to events that transpired last Friday and Saturday, I am going to begin this with a little bit of mushiness.

Last Friday Cody went to the vet for his annual exam, nothing special, just a normal check-up with a weigh-in (he is too fat, he gained 2 lbs and is 13.8 lbs!!), nail trim and two vaccinations.

I wasn't particularly concerned about the vaccines, (Rabies, Feline Rhino/Calici/Distemper) because Cody had them before and had experienced NO side effects. The vet and I agreed after double-checking his records, that more than likely he would be fine.

That wasn't the case.

My poor boy! About an hour after he got home he vomited (large amounts) a few times in a row, he barely moved and only occasionally would lift his head to look at my husband and I with bleary eyes.  He wouldn't move from the bottom level of his cat tower.

It tore me apart to see Cody the way that he was, but thankfully by noon on Saturday, he was on his way to being back to his food obsessed self!

Those that follow us on Facebook saw the updates that I posted, but for those that missed it, Cody wanted to let everyone know that he is fine and wanted to thank everyone who sent him well wishes. He also wants to thank "Dr.Smiley" for being in close contact on the phone, even though he had a day off on Saturday! We don't know what we would do without him!

He bonded quite a bit with his Daddy too!

From Friday morning til mid Saturday afternoon I was terrified for my boy. Thankfully, he is completely well,  and it made me appreciate this Gotcha Day that much more! The past couple of nights he has snuggled on my chest the way he did as a tiny kitten, and listened to me tell him how much his Dad, Dakota, and I love him, and about how happy I was when I adopted him on July 28, 2007.

Cody and my husband have grown particularly close in the past few months, he is still a "Mama's Boy" but he loves his Daddy more than words can convey. This year I wanted to share one of my favorite photos of Cody and Lenny when Cody was newly adopted:


In honor of Cody's Gotcha Day,  I contacted our furiends at:

and asked if they would be interested in having a give-away in honor of Cody's Gotcha Day. Being the generous and fantastic sports that they are, and the fact that we had featured them a few times already, they readily agreed!

Kitties, are you ready?
We are giving away the

How CLASSY is this packaging?
Purrfect for celebrating
a special occasion

(like a SEVENTH Gotcha Day),
or for just passing the time!

ONE Catnip Cigar would be great
but Kitties!

 Each one is hand stuffed with
 100% organically grown YEOWWW! catnip
 The classiest catnip toy yet!

Wanna hear something cute? Yeowww! Catnip products are made by DuckyWorld! (Oh I LOVE Ducks even more now!)  DuckyWorld works closely with private farmers to grow, manage, and harvest the BEST organically grown catnip on the Earth!!!

 No chemicals or pesticides are used in cultivation, which means Yeowww!® Catnip is completely safe for cats and humans.

From DuckyWorld:Each and every one of our toys is completely filled with our fabulous catnip. 100% stuffed FULL of premium, organically grown catnip. No cotton fillers, no plastic pieces, and certainly none of that cheaper ‘toy grade’ stuff. After all, they are catnip toys – shouldn’t they be filled with catnip? We think so and filling them to the max with Yeowww!® Catnip gives you the best value.

All of our toys are handmade in the USA – something we feel is important to us and our customers. The fabric is high quality cotton twill strong enough to withstand as much scratching, biting, bunny-kicking and slobber a cat can dish out. Each toy is individually stuffed and hand-sewn so people know they are getting a toy with a touch of personality as well as being carefully handcrafted. 

WANT TO WIN A YEOWWW! Catnip Cigar 3 Pack Tin? OF COURSE YOU DO!!!! Our pals at DuckyWorld are offering 5 WINNERS THEIR OWN TIN!!! EASY ENTERING ON THE RAFFLECOPTER BELOW!! GIVE-AWAY IS OPEN WORLD-WIDE! After you enter, be sure to CELEBRATE with us! BE SURE TO WATCH OUR VIDEO UNDER THE RAFFLECOPTER!! (If the Rafflecopter is slow to load, please be patient) Thanks and  GOOD LUCK!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Caturday Art: Studio Emma Kaufmann

It has been a while since Cody and I participated in the Caturday Art Hop, hosted by Athena and Marie,  but we couldn't let another Caturday go by without telling you about a magically mystical portrait that was done for us by:

Emma's Pet Portraits

Click here to visit her website!
When Emma and I connected, she mentioned to me that she had become inspired by one of Cody's cat horoscope posts which led her to create a pastel portrait of "Mystical Cody," I think she was channeling Van Gogh that day!! Emma has named this:

"Starry Starry Cody"

The use of color, the movement, even the detail showing the texture of Cody's fur is just amazing!!!!  Emma captured Cody's signature "stare"  and the clear, green pools that are his eyes. The relaxing purple-pink-gray-lavender hues are peaceful and serene. This is definitely a favorite of mine, and I am blessed to have received it. I am still searching for the perfect frame, the dimensions of this portrait are (18x24), when I find it, it will be hung with pride in my office with the rest of my cat art.

I am beyond grateful to Emma for creating this ethereal portrait that I will cherish always.

About Emma:
This London City Chick swapped life in the fast lane for the slow pace of Baltimore, USA fourteen years ago. She  swapped crumpets for crab cakes and incessant rain for the Ravens and has never been happier!

Her pet portrait blog is Emma's Pet Portraits, she works in pastel or watercolor or other mediums on request.

Emma has also penned a hilarious book for the first year after giving birth called Cocktails at Naptime Cocktails at Naptime - A Woefully Inadequate Guide to Early Motherhood.

Click here for more info

Friday, July 25, 2014

To the #CatCave Cody!!

It's not every day that I receive an email from companies located  in Lithuania or the UK,  so when I first received an email from Kivikis.com asking if I wanted to have Cody try their Cat Cave, to say I was leery was an understatement. After a few emails back and forth to check their validity, I agreed, and  I am THRILLED that I did. From the moment the Cat Cave arrived it became an immediate favorite of Cody's.

Before I tell you about the Cat Cave, let me say that there are similar products on the market, (one of them, The Cat Ball,   I reviewed back in January of 2012, which in it's genre is the ORIGINAL), you can read  that review here.

The Cat Cave isn't passing itself off as the above mentioned  product. The glaring difference is the other product is open on BOTH ends and is shaped differently.The Cat Cave has only one opening and to me, resembles a giant, comfy EGG. Another difference is the Cat Cave is made of a super comfy, non-scratchy 100% ORGANIC FELTED WOOL.

From the Kivikis Shop On Etsy:

My name is kivikis ;)))
I'm an artist, interested in media arts and graphic design. Currently studying about wool felting.
I glad to see you and Welcome to my small shop.
For a long time I've played with the idea of working with wool and I've read hundreds of articles and books about felt wool craft. With small steps starting from that idea I've begin to practice and make different small items for my friends and family. I loved it! And I became more and more addicted to this job. After found out about Etsy, I decided to take the next step to open a shop here.
From then I've tried to become better with my craft every day. From felting, stitching, photographing and shipping,
 I   put all my effort and skills in building YOUR PERSONAL 100% HANDMADE item.
All products are shipped from Lithuania.

The shop is named after Kivikis, "actor, model fitter"

Photo courtesy of: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/170686283/cat-bed-house-cave-nap-cocoon-from?ref=listing-7
Because wool  has a "natural, self-cleaning aspect", it is only necessary to occasionally wipe the Cat Cave to clean it. But if you want to clean it, here is a charming video that shows you how.

The Cat Caves vary in shape because they are made by hand so each one will be a little bit different.

My only complaint when the Cat Cave arrived was that it wasn't wrapped inside the box that it was placed in, my suggestion would be to at least wrap it in plastic or something instead of just placing it in a box. That being said, the TRUE TEST?

Right here!
I can count on one hand the number of products that Cody has INSTANTLY taken to without my having to cajole him with treats or catnip. THIS WAS ONE OF THEM.  The day the bed arrived, Cody was suffering from one of his MANY allergy flare-ups. I put the Cat Cave in my office and walked away figuring it would take Cody WEEKS to try it out at all. I was WRONG. I returned approx a half hour later and there he was.

The Cat Cave has remained a favorite since the day it arrived. I couldn't be happier. If Cody is happy, then I AM HAPPY!

Where you can find the Cat Cave:

I received no compensation for featuring the Cat Cave.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book:Dangled Carat, ( GEM of a book) by Hilary Grossman gets a new look!

We are proud to announce and share in the excitement that Author Hilary Grossman is experiencing with the release of the NEW COVER for her hugely successful book: Dangled Carat! It was unveiled today and it is sparkling and shimmering! See for yourself!


You can also follow Hilary on her blog:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#NutrishforCats Prize Pack Winner!!!

Thanks to all of you who entered our

We are excited to announce the LUCKY WINNER!!

If you aren't listed as the winner, you can still take advantage of getting a


Visit the  website to check out ALL OF THE FLAVORS of dry and wet food 

Also, if you would like the recipe for:

And now for the
a Rafflecopter giveaway


For those who don't know,
Oui Oui is the:
"Sweet Pea Tabby"
behind Twinkletoe Tails
Click here to visit! 

Keep your eyes open for our special post on July 29th  about Rachael's latest initiative: Shelter Cats Are Beautiful! Mom and I are so excited we can't stop purring!!!!  Proceeds for Nutrish for Dogs and Nutrish for Cats, as always, are given to Rachael's Rescue. Find out more at rachaelsrescue.org

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rachael Ray Nutrish. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  As always, thank you for reading and supporting our sponsors.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cat Show! The International Cat Association (TICA)

There will be hundreds of cats in attendance

Adoptable Cats will be there too!

Photo Courtesy of  http://www.glcatconsortium.com/

Suburban Collection Showplace
 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi, MI 48374

Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 4pm
$4 per person--all ages
$5 parking fee
 Cats from all over the world will compete in six separate divisions for titles, regional, and international awards. It’s cats galore as the hall fills with fantastic and unusual felines. 7 rings running continuously each day! Lots of vendors for those feline products as well!

Come and see breeds such as the curly Cornish Rex, the wild-looking Bengals and Savannahs, the folded eared Scottish Folds and many, many more breeds - plus a lot of vendors of cat-related products and gifts!

Judges will hail from all over the world, including Russia and Brazil!

Want to show your pedigreed or mixed breed cat?

Please go to www.GLCatConsortium.com before July 27 to enter!
For show information: Show Information: www.GLCatConsortium.org or ToledoShow@AOL.com

Monday, July 21, 2014

Meow, Purr, Hiss – Understanding Talkative Cats By: Nancy Peterson, Cat Programs Manager for The Humane Society of the United States

 One day, Kathy, a client of the veterinary clinic where I worked as a registered veterinary technician, called to confirm our lunch date for the next day. During the call she says, “By the way, a long-haired tri-color cat has been meowing at my door for days. I think her family moved and left her behind.” I immediately asked, “Do you mean a long-haired calico?” I’d been saying for at least a year that my next cat would be a long-haired calico. Could this be her?

When I arrived, the cat was crying at Kathy’s door. “Isn’t Meow Meow beautiful?” Kathy said. That’s what Kathy called the cat because she was very talkative. Poor kitty, she really wanted to get inside. After lunch, I got a better look at her and because the veterinarian I worked for was an angel and often helped homeless cats, I thought it would be okay to bring Meow Meow to the clinic.

Although it was my day off, I drove Meow Meow to the clinic. She didn’t make a peep in the car. After one of the veterinarians examined her and drew blood to test her for feline leukemia, I vaccinated her and gave her a flea bath. She was a great little patient. I was starting to fall in love. “Okay, Meow Meow,” I told her as I prepared to leave for the day, “If your feline leukemia test is negative, I’m going to take you home and introduce you to my cat, Buddy.”

"Daisy" Photo Courtesy of The HSUS

That was the beginning of my wonderful relationship with Meow Meow. Although I renamed her Daisy, she stayed true to her original name, and the house became very quiet when she died at 19 years of age.

You may not know that the meow is rarely used between cats. They rely more on body language and scents than vocalization to communicate with each other, although vocalizations may be used as well. Even we humans understand that a growl, hiss or scream means a cat is stressed. He or she could be saying, “I’m upset because I see a cat outside the window,” “I’m afraid because I don’t like having my nails clipped” or “I’m in pain when you touch me there.”

However, recognizing the meaning of cat body language on its own is not something that most people have mastered. Many are bitten or scratched for failing to take heed of the twitching skin, swishing tail, and grabbing paw that may indicate that a cat is getting upset. That’s because people communicate primarily through verbal language. Leave it to our clever cats to crack the code to effectively communicate with us.

Joelyne King's Cat, NarniaPhotographer: Meredith Lee

 Our cats have mastered the art of meow. I’m sure you’ve learned to recognize what your cat’s different meows mean – wake up, feed me, open the bedroom door and so on – depending on the volume, duration and intensity.

If your cat adopts a new vocalizing behavior, it may mean he or she is in some sort of pain. On the other hand, if your talkative cat stops vocalizing, it may also mean something hurts. It’s best to contact your veterinarian because cats often hide signs of illness until they’re seriously ill, and any change in behavior may be an early sign of a medical problem.

If your cat is new to your home or has just gone through a change – such as a person or other animal moving in or out – and she has just started talking, be patient. Yelling at your cat may scare him or her. If your cat thinks of your yelling as positive attention, he or she may continue to be noisy. If you ignore the chatter, it will probably stop on its own. If it doesn’t, contact your veterinarian.

Joelyne King's Cat, NarniaPhotographer: Meredith Lee

After the death or departure of a person or animal in your cat’s life, he or she may vocalize to express grief. This can be a normal part of the grieving process. The best thing you can do is keep your cat’s normal schedule the same (or as close to it as possible) and spend some extra time cuddling and playing during quiet moments. With time, the vocalizing should subside. If your cat does not return to his or her normal self, consult your veterinarian to make sure there is no underlying medical problem.

As cats age, their hearing may diminish. Daisy gradually became deaf in her older years and I didn’t understand that her frequent yowling meant that she could no longer hear. It’s not unusual for cats to vocalize if they suffer from arthritis and other painful ailments or senility. It’s easy to chalk up the talk to aging, but something more serious could be going on. Again, contacting your veterinarian is the best course of action.
Oriental breeds, such as Siamese cats, are known to be very talkative. If your cat has a pointed face and a long, lean body, chances are he or she has some Oriental heritage and “talking” is just a character trait. If your cat’s chatter bothers you, avoid giving attention when he or she talks, because that will only encourage the vocal behavior. Instead, give attention during quiet moments.

Cats may talk because they want your attention. If you talk back, feeding, petting or even picking him or her up and temporarily putting  them in another room – assuming your cat likes to be picked up – encourages the chatter. I know it can be hard to ignore a talkative cat, but you need to ignore the behavior in order to discourage it. Only pay attention to your cat when he or she is quiet: pour on the love, have playtime, or once in a while, reward with a treat. This will teach your cat which behaviors you would like to continue.

How often do you talk to your cat? To learn more about chatty cats, read “The Cat’s Meow: Understanding Your Feline Friend.”

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Winners on Wednesday!

Thanks to all who entered our give-away for the book: My Best Little Buddy: 17 Years of Love & Friendship With Tiger: by Tom Templeman:

It is now our pleasure to announce the
a Rafflecopter giveaway




Be sure to email 
your complete mailing address to:
cgittleman at mi dot rr dot com

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cats! Grab your food bowls, it's DINNER TIME Somewhere! #nutrishforcats Enter to win!

Kitties!!!!! I am purring with excitement about the goodies that I have to share with you today! As many of you know, I am one of a clowder of Ambassacats for NEW NUTRISH FOR CATS! That makes me purr with pride!

Our family has been a Nutrish family since Nutrish for Dogs first appeared on the market in 2008. My Sheltie brother Dakota has been eating it ever since, he is also a proud Ambassadog for the Nutrish brand!! (Dakota was eating Nutrish long before he had a blog, his blog didn't begin until 2011 and mine started in 2009). I had felt left out for quite some time, until Rachael Ray announced that she  had created Nutrish for Cats!

For the last month or so I was lounging around staring out the window and  sunning myself, and I began wondering when I would hear from Mission Control at Nutrish to let me know when my next  mission would be. I began pacing with anticipation! I wanted to share all of the goodness that is Nutrish for Cats with my kitty furiends!!  Kitties, I didn't have to wait long! One day when I was purrticularly hungry I heard a knock at the door. Look what arrived!

I wondered out loud, WHAT COULD THIS BE? This was one of MANY times that I wished I had thumbs to open this!  I KNEW it had to be good! I ran to get Mom and she helped me open the box, it was like CHRISTMAS  Chanukah in JULY!!!!  (what do you expect, I'm a Jewish kitty!!!)

It was a Nutrish for Cats Sample Kit !!!!
How pawsome is that fish wrapping paper on the top left?
The jars on the right had brown rice for Mom so that she could make a delish dinner for she and Dad (Dinner for Two),  and a cat nip toy for me!!!
Oh how I knew I was going to LOVE my  SAMPLING KIT!!
I knew I had to start washing my paws so that I could jump right in!
Everything was packaged in that pawsome shopping bag that you see to the right above!  Mom was disappointed that I didn't play with the toy or the bag much:

 True to form, I was much more interested in the FOOD than I was in the bag OR the toy, but we all know I am all about the FOOD! Especially when it is Nutrish For Cats that we're talkin' about!!!   The heck with cat toys and empty paper bags, just GIVE ME MY NUTRISH FOR CATS!

allow your cat to eat directly from a bag
The above shot lasted about 5 seconds
Cody was closely supervised!!!

I LOVE the Natural Dry Cat Food! 
I received the Real Salmon and Brown Rice recipe dry food. Real chicken or salmon is always the number one ingredient in every bag of Rachael Ray Nutrish® for Cats. There’s no ground corn, wheat or soy. And there’s never any by-products artificial flavors or artificial preservatives. Just wholesome whole grains and veggies plus the vitamins, minerals and taurine that we kitties need to be healthy and happy.

I LOVE the Natural Wet Cat Food
I received 3 different flavors (I think the Chicken  Purrcata is my fave!)  that were all inspired by recipes from Rachael's kitchen, these delicious recipes are made with simple, natural ingredients like real chicken or fish. There are no grains or anything artificial either — just essential vitamins and minerals for a tasty food your cat will love. Nutrish® for Cats is available where you shop for your family’s groceries. 

Before I was purrmitted to eat my Lip Smackin' Sardine & Mackerel that has
delicious chunks of sardines and mackerel in an irresistible sauce with added vitamins, minerals and taurine, Mom said that this was a special day and I had to wear my bow tie for the occasion.

Because I received the Real Salmon and Brown Rice bag of dry food, Mission Control provided my Mom with a recipe to make for she and Dad that also featured REAL SALMON AND BROWN RICE! It was called the SMOKY MAPLE GLAZED SALMON SUPPER and you can find the recipe HERE!!!  

Watching Mom prepare for, and then make the recipe was when the show REALLY started!! Mom considers herself to be a good cook, she really is, but she rarely follows recipes to the letter. Mom was nervous because 2 different stores didn't have watercress, she bought the wrong size carrots, she dumped (yes, I said DUMPED), too many peas into the frying pan, AND the brainiac forgot that Mission Control had sent her brown rice, so she used HER OWN!  Oh, the recipe also calls for the skin to be REMOVED from the salmon (before cooking!), what did Mom do? She left it on!!! Well guess what, Dad said that this was the BEST salmon that Mom has EVER MADE!! Mom said that even minus the watercress and the skin being on the salmon (the skin developed an amazing, delicious, crispy, maple yumminess!) that the dish was FANTASTIC!! This one is a keeper! Check out the photos!!!!

Ok, Mom said because this dish came out so perfectly and the flavor was to die for, she wants you to see a GOOD photo of the plated meal!

If all of the above isn't enough to make you hungry I don't know what is!!! I don't know about you but I am going to hop on over to the website to check out ALL OF THE FLAVORS of dry and wet food , you can too!!!  Also:

Mission Control at Nutrish
gave me a special link
 for you to get a special coupon
and TRY  Nutrish for Cats!


THERE IS ALSO A GIVE-AWAY!!!!! ONE LUCKY READER WHO RESIDES IN THE U.S.A  will win a Nutrish prize pack!!!!! There are only TWO mandatory entries required on the rafflecopter below, GOOD LUCK!!!!:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep your eyes open for our special post on July 29th  about Rachael's latest initiative: Shelter Cats Are Beautiful! Mom and I are so excited we can't stop purring!!!!  Proceeds for Nutrish for Dogs and Nutrish for Cats, as always, are given to Rachael's Rescue. Find out more at rachaelsrescue.org

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rachael Ray Nutrish. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  As always, thank you for reading and supporting our sponsors.