Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Review/Give-Away:" Plan Bea" by Hilary Grossman

Back in October we celebrated the release of the latest book by author Hilary Grossman:



At that time I hadn't read Plan Bea but after having read and reviewed Hilary's first book, (Dangled Carat), I was full of anticipation about Plan Bea. Let's suffice it to say that at that time I had NO IDEA just how crazy I would be about this book! 

I contacted Hilary on Facebook when I just had a few pages left to read, because I could hardly contain my excitement/delight with this book, here is my EXACT message:

OMG I am almost done...just a few more pages...I know the two concepts are totally different (the first book and the second), I loved them both, BUT...I am INSANELY in love with this one! OMG!!! I could NOT put it down!!!!! I read it the past two nights and just have a few more pages to go. I LOVE IT!! You are soooooooo talented! heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon

It is rare for me to write to an author when I have finished a book to tell them how much I loved it, but with Plan Bea, I felt a huge compulsion to do so!


ABOUT PLAN BEA: FROM AMAZON:

Could falling in love allow a cold, stubborn, and selfish woman to open her heart back up to her family? 

Beatrice Buchanan has spent more years than she can remember distancing herself from everyone close to her. She has no relationship with her grandchildren and the only time she speaks to her daughter is during her weekly fifteen-minute commute to the nail salon. When Bea meets Walter on a cruise she realizes there may be more to life than designer clothes and impressing the ladies at her country club. 

We live our entire lives thinking we know those closest to us. But do we ever really? 

On the outside, Annabel O'Conner has it all - the perfect husband, two adorable children, and an amazing job. The only thing missing is her mother's love. When Bea begs her daughter to help plan her wedding, Annabel reluctantly agrees. Little does she know the impact of her decision or the surprise that is in store for her! 

This emotional and honest women's contemporary fiction novel will tug at your heartstrings and the twist ending will shock you. 

When I first agreed to review Plan Bea, I must confess my first thought was "oh great. I have virtually no relationship with my mother and I have to review a book about mother/daughter relationships. How will I ever pull this one off?"

You know the saying "art imitates life?" well, in reference to Plan Bea (except for the fact that my mother never frequented country clubs), it couldn't be more true. I spent my entire life from childhood until a few weeks ago, feeling as if I was not ever loved by my mother.

Let's just suffice it to say that my relationship with my mother, (for me AND my siblings), has been "challenging" to put it mildly. There have been multiple estrangements. Just before I was scheduled to read and review Plan Bea my mother reached out to me, (something she has NEVER, EVER done), and we have since been working on our relationship and things are going quite well.

When I sat down to begin reading Plan Bea I found myself saying "Oh My God" multiple times throughout this book, because there are  so many things about Beatrice Buchanan, that are like my mother.

The feelings that Annabel has about her mother that Hilary conveyed brilliantly, rang true with me, and will resonate with many who have a  mother/daughter relationship that is less than stellar.

Hilary Grossman has a keen understanding of people and what makes them tick. She has a particularly good take on women. Her attention to detail in both the conversations that the characters have, and their nuances is superb. Even simple descriptions like someone twirling their hair around their finger while they are thinking, or clutching a pillow and blankets to their chest, or the annoyance that Annabel feels when she speaks to her mother,  are described in such a way that makes her characters leap from the pages, full of life. The characters that Hilary has so skillfully crafted are believable. They seem so real, so honest, so approachable. They are all characters that we can relate to. It doesn't surprise me, because  Hilary is as honest, real and approachable as the characters she has painstakingly created. Hilary is one of maybe a handful of authors that I actually know, but had never had the honor of meeting in person, until I met her a few weeks ago. She is even more delightful in person than I imagined her as being.


The "Twist":
Let me tell you, I NEVER saw it coming!! I pride myself on being one of those annoying readers who THINKS they can predict an ending to a book (and is often correct). In reference to Plan Bea? I had NO CLUE. Let's just say that the title Plan B is a BRILLIANTLY CLEVER play on words!


There Are Lessons To Be Learned:
When you read Plan Bea.
I learned about myself AND my mother. Sometimes we are so wrapped-up and immersed in our OWN "reality", that we have no idea as to what is truly REAL.  How those we may find it difficult to love often need the most love, how people have reasons for things that they have done. How our parents are flawed, as we are.

When I read Plan Bea I laughed, I cried, I was angry, I looked closer into myself and my relationship with my own mother, I ran the gamut of emotions. I did NOT want to put this book down, and I have a feeling that even if your own relationship with your mother is "perfect" (Newsflash, NO mother/daughter relationship is!!), you will be as immersed and in love with Plan Bea as I was.

TO PURCHASE:


Barnes & Noble 
Goodreads 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Hilary Grossman loves to find humor in everyday life. She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and high heel shoes. She likens life to a game of dodge ball - she tries to keep as many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. When she isn't writing, blogging, or shoe shopping she is the CFO of a beverage alcohol importer. She lives on the beach in Long Island. 



FOLLOW HILARY!!!


 Instagram


ENTER TO WIN!!! Hilary has generously offered ONE OF OUR READERS WHO IS 18 AND OVER AND WHO RESIDES ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD the chance to win Plan Bea in ebook format. Entering is easy, simply enter on the rafflecopter below. Good luck!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway







In full disclosure:I was not compensated for sharing this info. I received a copy of the manuscript for Plan Bea in exchange for my always honest review. I normally ONLY review books on this blog that feature cats and that still holds true. Hilary Grossman is also a blogger who has a CAT. The fact that I am blessed to know Hilary had no influence on my opinion of Plan Bea whatsoever. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Most Special "Thank You" that Touched my Heart on Thanksgiving

As many of you who read our blogs know, Cody, Dakota  and I make it a point to try and help our local rescues  as much as we possibly can.

While we can't always give our time "in-person" , whenever possible we try to share their important adoption events, etc. on our blogs and our social media.

Another way we choose to help is for the past (at least 3)  holiday seasons we purchased our holiday cards from The Michigan Humane Society . We can't always donate as much monetarily as we would like to, so ordering our holiday cards from Michigan Humane makes us feel that at least we have done SOMETHING. Here is the card we ordered this year (which a number of you will be receiving).


 If you would like to purchase this card as well, and help the animals of Michigan Humane, (click here).

While we also feature the smaller rescues, we devote the majority of our space to Michigan Humane, mostly, because they, and many of the large Humane Societies in other states, often get an unfair rap. Contrary to what many of the smaller rescues would like to believe, the large Humane Societies, do, in fact, want to save the lives of dogs and cats just as the smaller rescues do.  Believe it.  

On Thanksgiving, those who have helped Michigan Humane in one form or another during the past year, received this in their inbox:




Caren,

On behalf of the animals in our care, I want to show you how truly grateful we are for everything you've helped accomplish over the past year.
Thousands of dogs, cats, and other animals will be warm, full, and safe tonight with families who love them – thanks to you!

I hope you’ll take a moment to watch this video showing our thanks for the lifesaving work you make possible every day.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Debby MacDonald
Debby MacDonald
Chief Cruelty Investigator
Michigan Humane Society
www.michiganhumane.org/Thankful




It made me smile and brought tears to my eyes.
It is probably the best gift I will receive 
this holiday season.

You are MOST welcome Michigan Humane!!











Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gratitude and Turkey Talk:Thanksgiving

Today, and every day,
we are thankful for our blessings,
Today, and every day,
we are thankful for YOU!
From our house to yours,
Happy Thanksgiving!!
With Love!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

MICHIGAN HUMANE SOCIETY RESCUES INJURED KITTEN FROM A DETROIT FREEWAY

FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY:in the spirit of Thanksgiving, this makes us smile!!! THANK YOU Michigan Humane!!

MHS is caring for the injured kitten and
 expects him to make a full recovery following surgery

The Michigan Humane Society (MHS) is caring for a kitten that was rescued from a freeway in Detroit. On Thursday, November 19, the MHS Rescue Department received a call from a concerned citizen who saw the tiny kitten hobbling near the median on Eastbound I-94 near Van Dyke.

“I was just driving and out of the corner of my eye, I saw him limping and thought, ‘that’s not a just a piece of paper,” said Raquel Garcia Andersen, the citizen who called the Michigan Humane Society. “I knew that if I didn’t do something to help, I’d be thinking about it for weeks, so I called MHS.”

Two MHS rescue drivers quickly arrived on the scene and, with the help of the caller, were able to locate the frightened kitten.

“He was curled up in a ball in the median and so I grabbed my cat grabber to safely secure him,” said Amanda Boots, MHS rescue driver. “He ended up going underneath the car behind me, but I was able to secure him and get him safely in the rescue van.”

Photo Credit: Raquel Garcia Andersen


“The rescue team was so fast and efficient,” said Garcia Andersen. “It was like a SWAT team. I’m just really relieved that the kitten was rescued and is safe.”

At the shelter, the kitten was seen by an MHS veterinarian, and it was determined that he had a severely fractured front leg. The kitten will need to have the leg amputated, but is expected to make a full recovery and live a long and happy life.




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. To learn more, visit Michigan Humane's website



Monday, November 23, 2015

Book Review/Give-Away: CATS ON THE JOB By Lisa Rogak

50 Fabulous Felines who Purr, Mouse, and Even
Sing for Their Supper


Hi every furry! It's Cody and today I decided to steal this book from Mom, help Mom with this review, because I needed to get this book away from her before she gets any ideas love this book!

Well, MOM is the one who LOVES this book, I don't understand why Mom agreed to review it. After all, I am a kitty with a job. I BLOG, isn't that a job? What does Mom need with a book that features 50 other kitties that have jobs? Isn't MY job good enough? From how Mom was smiling when she read this book, apparently, I need to send out my resume and find new work!

FROM LISA ROGAK:
"It's impossible to force a cat to do anything; an old saying is that you have to make the cat think it's his own idea, whereas a dog is typically so eager to please that he'll do your bidding regardless of the task. Simply put, cats are more discriminating about where they choose to spend their energies." 


FROM THE PUBLISHER
"Around the world, there are cats earning their keep. Some are mousers, like Princess, a black cat who works at Mill Ridge Farm’s stables. Some are circus performers, like Tuna and her furry friends in The Amazing Acro-Cats. And some are even politicians, like Mayor Stubbs, an orange tabby who holds office in Talkeetna, Alaska."

"In Lisa Rogak’s Cats on the Job, we meet these and other whiskered workers who keep their human colleagues company from 9 to 5-with the occasional break for a nap or a belly rub-and make every day at the office better."

While Mom and I were familiar with a number of kitties featured in this book, (we get around ya know!), there were a number of cats we were not familiar with that had an impact on us, and it is some of those kitties that we want to share with you today!

Crossing Guard Cat Sable
Photo: Monti Franckowiak


Crossing Guard Cat- a black cat named Sable was a crossing guard cat and took his duties protecting children coming to and fro from school quite seriously! "Safety patrol students regarded Sable as part of the team, and unlike some of his two-legged coworkers, he always showed up on time for his job."

Diabetic Alert Cat
Photo: Lauren Campbell/Caters News Agency


Diabetic Alert Cat-Pippa who was able to detect when Mia's blood sugar dropped to dangerous levels and alerted Mia's parents.(More than once!!)

Writer's Muse Cat
Photo: Eleanor Garvey


Writer's Muse Cat-"Writers and cats have long been associated with each other, serving as companion and inspiration. Writers both famous and obscure have worked with cats on their shoulders and laps." (Just like my blogging pals!)

Computer Ketzel
Photo: Sivan Cotel


Composer Cat-Ketzel which Mom featured on the blog a few days ago.


Roommate 2
Photo: Tokyo Cat Guardian


MY FAVORITE STORY OF ALL:

Roommate Cat-"Japanese culture highly reveres cats, but many landlords prohibit renters from keeping a cat on the premises, which means that many cats languish in shelters and are left without a job to do. Tokyo Cat Guardian is a Japanese rescue group that's addressing both problems by contracting a number of its feline residents out to live as roommates in apartments throughout the city. In other words, rent an apartment and automatically get a cat as a roommate! The plan accomplishes two objectives:It helps landlords to rent their apartments faster, and tenants don't have to buy anything special for their new feline roommate, since everything is already included." Mom and I particularly LOVE this idea!

"Existing apartments are renovated to make them more habitable for the feline roommate, adding elevated catwalks and built-in cat trees and towers."

"If the human roommate decides to leave the apartment at the end of the lease, she or he has the option of leaving the feline roommate behind in the apartment or adopting and bringing him along to a new residence, in which case, another cat from Tokyo Cat Guardian moves in to take on the job of roommate."

How brilliant is THAT?


If you loved the above examples of kitties that are featured in Cats on the Job you will LOVE this book as Mom and I did! Simply put, Cats on the Job,  is PURRFECT! From the photographs, to the compilation of cats with jobs that are entertaining, informative and in many cases, touching, this is a book you will want to keep out on the coffee table to read whenever you want a smile! It's also a stupendous book to purchase for your cat loving friends!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Rogak is author of The Dogs of War, Dogs of Courage, One Big Happy Family, and the New York Times bestselling Angry Optimist:The Life and Times of Jon Stewart, and is editor of the New York Times bestselling Barack Obama in His Own Words. She lives in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

TO PURCHASE:



  • 7.52 x 9.07 inches, 208 pages
  • Includes 115 color photographs throughout


  • ISBN:9781250072375
    Ebook ISBN: 9781466883994

    AVAILABLE ON:


    ENTER TO WIN!!!! Lisa has generously offered a give-away to my readers who are 18 and over and who reside in the U.S. TWO lucky people (or kitties!) will each win a copy! (An approx. $17 value) Winning is easy! Just enter on the Rafflecopter below! GOOD LUCK!! a Rafflecopter giveaway






    In full disclosure: I was not compensated for this review/give-away (not even with kibble!) Mom was sent a copy of Cats on the Job (which I stole), in exchange for my ALWAYS honest review!






    Friday, November 20, 2015

    Children's Book:KETZEL the CAT who COMPOSED by Lesle'a Newman, "Based on the true story of a very talented cat"

    "We are surrounded by miracles if you can only perceive them"

    "Moshe was a composer.
    Every morning he composed himself
    by sitting very still.
    He listened outside himself
    and listened inside himself,
    just as his teacher had taught him
    when he was a little boy.
    When he was done listening,
    Moshe turned all the wonderful sounds he heard
    into beautiful music"


    Moshe Cotel is a composer who lives in a noisy building on a noisy street in a noisy city. One day as he strolls down the street he finds a little kitten. (Which he names "Ketzel"  which is "Kitten in Yiddish.")  He takes her home, telling her they will “make beautiful music together.” Truer words were never spoken. One day, Ketzel strolls down Moshe’s piano keyboard, Moshe writes down what he hears, enters the composition into a contest, and the rest is history! Based on a true story, Ketzel will delight both cat lovers and music lovers alike!

    Why Lesle'a Newman wrote this book
    I first learned of Ketzel’s story in a note that my Rabbi wrote for our synagogue’s monthly newsletter. Curious, I researched Ketzel’s story and found out many interesting things about her: she had six toes on each foot, and lived to be nineteen years old. She attended a performance of her composition and even received a royalty check! I am a cat-lover and a music-lover and as soon as I learned Ketzel’s story, I knew I would write a children’s book about her.

    The REAL "Ketzel"
    FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY: It is an enormous pleasure to present this beautiful and endearing story to you today. From the moment I gazed at the cover, I knew that this book was going to be special.

    KETZEL the CAT who COMPOSED by Lesle'a Newman  is a wonderful tribute to a most amazing and remarkable friendship. 

    The illustrations by Amy June Bates are gorgeous, and for me evoked a European "old world" feeling, They are the perfect companion to this delightful book that exudes charm from every page.

    Not only will children learn about the touching, sweet, TRUE and  incredible relationship between a composer and his cat, but they will learn that sometimes the things that seem the most impossible to accomplish, are easier to accomplish than we think, if we just "compose" ourselves, listen, and be open to all that is inside and outside of  us.

    It teaches children that sometimes the most beautiful things, (in this case, music), can be created by the most unlikely of sources!

    Be sure to add this one to your holiday gift list!

    Picture book format/hardcover. 40 pages


    age range:
    5 yrs - 8 yrs
    grade range:
    Kindergarten - Grade 3

    PURCHASE ON:

    Lesle'a and Princess Sheba Darling

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:LESLE'A NEWMAN is the author of more than sixty books   for readers of all ages, including The Best Cat in the World, illustrated by Ronald Himler, and Hachiko Waits, illustrated by Machiyo Kodaira, as well as several other books about cats and dogs. She is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Cat Writer's Association and the Dog Writer's Association. Her awards are too numerous to list! She lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

    ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:AMY JUNE BATES has illustrated more than forty books for children, including Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan and The Dog Who Belonged to No One by Amy Hest. Her work has been honored by the Society of Illustrators. Amy June Bates lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.



    In full disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of KETZEL the CAT who COMPOSED by Lesle'a Newman, in exchange for my always honest review.








    Monday, November 16, 2015

    #AdoptASeniorPetMonth :Caring for Your Senior Pet: 4 Tips from Pet Sitters International

    FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY:Pet Sitters International, the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, offers important advice for pet owners with senior pets. When they sent us this information, we felt it was important to share with all of you! Cody will be nine years old in 2016 and is now a Senior (so hard for me to believe!!), and this information is important for me as well! We have posted some of our opinions/tidbits sprinkled throughout this post. Cody and I received no compensation for sharing this information.





    While November is recognized as Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month, pet parents of senior pets know that these special pets are worth celebrating year round.  Often overlooked at shelters, senior animals actually make great pets that offer unique benefits and lots of love. As pets age, they need our care even more—and pet parents must be committed to recognizing the signs of aging and monitoring their pets’ health and well-being.

    Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, offers these quick tips for pet parents to help ensure their senior pets remain as happy and healthy as possible:
    Don’t miss regular veterinary checkups.  Veterinarians suggest twice-yearly checkups for senior pets. Many diseases or health issues can be treated if caught early at a veterinary visit. These regular checkups allow pet parents to discuss any changes they may have seen in their pet/s with the veterinarian and to learn more about warning signs they should be aware of. 

    Do focus on your pet’s dental health. Adequate dental care is important for cats and dogs at each stage of their lives, but especially important for senior pets. The American Veterinary Medical Association warns that periodontal disease can result in kidney, liver and heart muscle changes; and recommends that pet parents regular brush their pet’s teeth and have the pet’s teeth and gums checked at least once a year by their veterinarian.

    Pet First Aid & CPCR Instructor Denise Fleck whose upcoming book on senior pets,The Autumn & Winter of Your Pet:  Make Those Senior Years Golden, is set to be released next month, (I had the pleasure of reviewing her first aid kit and book) . It reminds pet owners that age is often nothing but a number, so it’s important to become familiar with pet’s individual health and situation.
    “A great way to better know the dog or cat in your care is to do a regular head-to-tail check-up (even twice weekly as our pets age) to really get acquainted with your furry friend's body.  Besides looking for the lump or bump, the human touch can feel like a soothing massage to a senior's stiff joints,” Fleck advises.

    Don’t forgo your pet’s exercise routine. Physical and mental exercise is critically important for senior dogs and cats. Senior cats can benefit from interactive toys and food puzzles to keep them entertained and to burn excess calories. (Sorry about the quality of the video below, but it was filmed in 2011 when Cody first reviewed this amazing treat/food dispenser.) Bat-A-Rat can be purchased here.  (No we were NOT compensated for mentioning this, this dispenser fits with the subject and since Cody has been using this for almost five years and we love this product, we wanted to show it to you again!!)






    Do use only a professional pet sitter experienced in caring for senior pets. If long hours at work keep you away from home (or if you are traveling for work or pleasure), the services of a professional pet sitter can be used to ensure your senior pet can maintain a healthy routine, including its regular exercise schedule. PSI provides pet owners with access to the largest online directory of professional pet sitters free-of-charge and recommends that pet owners ask seven important questions before selecting a professional pet sitter.
    “Just as some people are ‘dog people’ and others are ‘cat’ or ‘bird’ people, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to finding the right pet sitter to meet the specific needs of you and your pet,” explains PSI President Patti J. Moran. “Pet owners should inquire about a potential pet sitter’s experience with senior pets and any specific training they’ve had, such as Pet First Aid & CPR or PSI’s Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting Program.”
    To learn more about PSI or the professional pet-sitting industry, visit petsit.com. To find a pet sitter to care for your senior pet, visit petsit.com/locate


    Founded in 1994 by Patti J. Moran, Pet Sitters International (PSI) is the world's largest educational association for professional pet sitters with nearly 7,000 member businesses in the United States, Canada and more than 15 additional countries. PSI provides current and prospective pet sitters with access to vital business and educational resources to build and grow their professional pet-sitting businesses. For pet owners, PSI offers the largest online directory of professional pet sitters at petsit.com/locate.

    Friday, November 13, 2015

    CATIFY TO SATISFY: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin, Enter to Win!

    "Design Your Way to Feline Bliss!!"

    FROM THE PUBLISHER:Animal Planet host JACKSON GALAXY, and cat design wizard KATE BENJAMIN, of Hauspanther.com, , with their #1 New York Times bestseller Catification, showed cat lovers across the nation that it's possible to create cat-friendly but also chic homes! The DIY projects and design ideas from the book inspired a community-what Galaxy and Benjamin have dubbed the Catification Nation.

    Ideas and inspiration
    for creating
    the ultimate
    cat-centric pad!!

    Now, melding the inspired ideas from that community together with Galaxy and Benjamin's expertise CATIFY TO SATISFY:Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home (Tarcher Perigee paperback; on sale Nov 17, 2015) offers 20+ new projects and more design tricks to help cat guardians address everyday cat care issues.  Whether you have a feline friend who likes to pee everywhere BUT his litter box, a cat who wants to cocoon in the most inconvenient places, or you just want to create an attractive as well as safe outdoor space for your kitty, CATIFY TO SATISFY walks you through the basics with gorgeous full-color photographs, how-tos from Benjamin and the Catification Nation, and insights from Galaxy on decoding your furry friends!

    FROM JACKSON GALAXY AND KATE BENJAMIN: One thing that makes us giddy is seeing projects that were directly inspired by ideas in the first book, which you'll find throughout the chapters. 

    FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY: My initial impression of Catify to Satisfy is that I am LOVING that there is a heavy focus on cat behavior, the "whys" behind what cats do.  "Jackson takes you deeper into the world of thinking, feeling and living like a cat, more than ever before." These tips are in the "Jackson Talks About" sections found in each chapter.

    Also in each chapter you will find "Kate's Pro Tips"  that will help you as you start planning your projects, "as well as tips and tricks from cat guardians whose Catification trials, errors and ultimate successes can help get you to the feline promised land with less frustration."


    Excerpted from CATIFY TO SATISFY: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly
    Home by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin, with the permission of Tarcher
    Perigee/Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright Jackson Galaxy
    and Kate Benjamin © 2015. Photo credit (Jeff Newton)
    For Peter Cohen in the photo above, "animals are family."  In 1995, when he first started catifying his home in Goleta, California, he never imagined that twenty years later he'd still be adding catwalks and passageways-and more cats."

    FROM CHAPTER 4:CAT SUPERHIGHWAYS:
    NAVIGATING THE VERTICAL WORLD
    Excerpted from CATIFY TO SATISFY: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly
    Home by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin, with the permission of Tarcher
    Perigee/Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright Jackson Galaxy
    and Kate Benjamin © 2015. Photo credit (Maggie Swanson)
    FROM CHAPTER TWO:SCRATCHING SOLUTIONS

    Excerpted from CATIFY TO SATISFY: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly
    Home by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin, with the permission of Tarcher
    Perigee/Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright Jackson Galaxy
    and Kate Benjamin © 2015. Photo credit (Lisanne Bouwman)

    This Chapter focuses on topics such as:
    • The mark of ownership
    • Why Does My Cat Scratch on the Sofa?
    • Scratching and YOUR Cat
    • Materials for Cat Scratchers
    • The Angle YOUR Cat prefers to scratch
    • Step-by-step instructions on how to make your own Scratchers



    There is even a chapter titled "Let's talk about litter boxes" and in this chapter you will find info such as where to put the litterbox, how many boxes you should have, types of litter boxes and I was thrilled to read that like me, Jackson DOES NOT LIKE AUTOMATIC SELF-CLEANING LITTER BOXES. Why? because "monitoring your cat's waste is a crucial part of parenting." You will not be alerted to a possible health problem with an automatic self-cleaning box. I agree with Jackson when he says "on a more personal, pet peeve level-I don't like them because they are just a symbol of lazy guardianship. Spend a few minutes a day and SCOOP THE BOX."

    Kate's Pro Tip in this chapter :Easy Litter Catcher----she suggests using perforated decking tiles that can be bought from flooring supply stores or online, and they come in a wide variety of colors. All you have to do is vacuum up the litter that falls under the tiles, and if necessary wash in the sink or with a hose. Brilliant!!

    Catify to Satisfy is Superb!!!


    I didn't think it would be possible but Catify To Satisfy has surpassed by leaps and cat superhighways the first book, Catification. Catify to Satisfy has information that is beneficial to every type of cat owner from the owner who just acquired his/her first cat, to the life-long cat owner who has had multiple cats for years. It is 240-something pages long and is printed on high quality paper. It is just gorgeous!

    The photos are incredible, there is so much information that I must sit down and read it again and again. It is the kind of resource that won't be left on a shelf collecting dust, this should be kept out so that you can make periodic checks of your environment and make adjustments when necessary/needed or just to be creative!

    IMPORTANT!  Cody and I want to make sure everyone knows that they need BOTH books!
    The second book doesn't replace the first. All of the important concepts are introduced in the first book, and then are expanded and built upon in the second!! Think of it as your own "Catification" resource center!! Right at the tip of your paws!!

    FROM JACKSON AND KATE: We've been honored to help guide you deeper into your home to uncover the treasures that were waiting for both you and your cats. Keep checking back at www.catificationnation.com for what comes next. As for the larger world of cats, and making that world better for all of them, go to www.jacksongalaxyfoundation.org. Compassion begins at home; it should never end there. 

    Until we catify again, here's to you and your cats!

    Jackson and Kate



    THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING!!!!

    Catify to Satisfy would make the purrfect gift for your cat loving friends and family who are looking to design their way to feline bliss!! "Catify to Satisfy shows how a little creativity can go a long way in keeping your home stylish and your cats happy and healthy!!"


    ABOUT THE AUTHORS

    Jackson Galaxy is a cat behaviorist and the host of Animal Planet's hit show My Cat from Hell. He is also the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Catification, and another of Jackson's books that we had the honor of reviewing: Cat Daddy:What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean.

    Recently, Jackson established The Jackson Galaxy Foundation. The Foundation focuses on programs that drive innovation in care and housing of sheltered animals, promotes improved shelter design and construction, and provides "Elevation through Education"-increased knowledge that inspires and empowers animal advocates to effect real change and raise the status of rescued animals.

    Kate Benjamin is the founder of the popular cat design website Hauspanther.com and the co-author of Catification. She makes frequent guest appearances on My Cat from Hell, helping Jackson Galaxy create stylish cat-friendly environments.


    GIVE-AWAY!!! The publisher has generously agreed to a give-away!! If you are 18 and over and reside in the U.S., you can enter to win a copy of Catify to Satisfy:Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin. (A $21,95 value!!) THERE WILL BE TWO WINNERS! Entering is easy, simply enter on the rafflecopter below. Good luck!
    a Rafflecopter giveaway







    I was not compensated for this review/give-away. I was sent a copy of Catify to Satisfy in exchange for my always honest review. I have also admired many of my blogging friends who weren't tongue-tied like me, when presented with a chance to interview Jackson Galaxy. I was afforded that chance a few years ago, along with a number of other bloggers. I am the ONLY one who didn't grab the opportunity because to me, Jackson has "rock star status", and for once, I was actually too shy! I HAVE had the pleasure numerous times of being in the company of the fabulous Kate Benjamin whom I also hold in high esteem. I consider Kate to be a friend, and her support of me numerous times in my blogging career has touched me more than she will ever know.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2015

    Part 2:The Purina #BetterWithPets Summit 2015: Cats and This and That! #Sponsored

    This is a sponsored post, written by me on behalf of  Nestle Purina®  I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the  2015 Better With Pets Summit.  Cat Chat With Caren and Cody only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers.





    Welcome back and thank you for joining me for Part 2 of The Purina #BetterWithPets Summit 2015 Cats and This and That! If you missed Part 1 you can  click here to catch up!

    After the morning panel sessions and a delicious lunch, there were a number of interactive exhibits for us to explore, but I am embarrassed to say, that I only made it around to a few. Soon you will see the reason why.

    Earlier in the day I was ECSTATIC to finally meet Author, Blogger and successful business person, Hilary Grossman from the blog Feeling Beachie! Hilary was one of the first bloggers I had met online, but we had yet to meet in person. I can't begin to tell you what a thrill it was to not only meet Hilary, but to get to spend some time with her. Hilary is everything that I imagined her to  be, and more!  Beautiful, sweet, funny, intelligent, and it felt as if I had known her my entire life.

    Hilary Goodman and I
    **Note to self:
    NEVER stand next to a hot, beautiful woman
    after recently turning 60.
    It just makes you look that much OLDER!! 

    When Hilary and I had left the dog exhibit, we ran into my favorite Purina employee, and while chatting with him, he asked "Have you been to the Cat room?" Our ears perked up, "CAT ROOM???!!" That was it, we were off!! The Cat Room later became the reason why I only got around to a few exhibits, I spent practically the entire rest of my time there, as did many others. Here are some photos of Hilary having what appears to be a serious conversation with some new friends, and of course, playing with a KITTEN!!! Ohhhh Kittens!!!! The "ooohs and ahhs", the "ohhhs" and human purrs filled the room, the stress levels of all of us were reduced to ZERO. If this wasn't a shot in the arm for our emotional wellness, I don't know what would be!


     If Purina needed to herd some cats/cat bloggers, or if they needed to do a head count, if they checked The Cat Room it would be a pretty safe bet that is where they would find the majority of us (at least those bloggers who focus on cats!)! There were some dog bloggers who were quite smitten as well!

    Upper left and bottom right, Elizabeth Keene from Chronicles of Cardigan
    Top row second from left:Deb Barnes from Zee & Zoey
    Directly beneath Elizabeth: Janiss Garza from Sparkle Cat
    Fat lady with black cat:ME!
    Far right:Kimberly Dickerson from Saving More Than Me
    The Cat Room was an environment with cat-friendly furniture, cat toys, cat grass, cat ramps, houses, all designed to enrich the lives of cats! So, how many cats were there? I was told 30, all were different ages, but I am not quite sure I saw 30 cats, but there WERE lots of them! The cats were all owned by Cindy and Bob Ruggiero of Cybercat Exotics. They can be seen in the photo below with some of their cats.


    Orange cat:Harley
    Tabby Cat: River
    I don't know the white or black cat's name! Ooops!

    Once we brushed the cat fur from our clothes (or not!), we made our way back to the main conference area to listen to the keynote speaker, and learned about THE FRANK ATTLA YOUTH PROGRAM.





    One of many things that makes me proud to be affiliated with Purina and why I CHOOSE to promote Purina, is that Purina has extensive support programs and partnerships with organizations around the country, all rooted in their "shared belief that people and pets are better together." Purina truly cares about people AND their pets, which is evident in everything that they do. I am honored and proud to represent a company with those values.

    "Purina supports many other incredible programs, including the Rescue Bank, Leader Dogs for the Blind, Petfinder Foundation, Adopt-a-Pet, Support Dogs, Dogs on Deployment, the St.Louis Children's Hospital, and innovative shelter organizations all over the country."

    Thank you Purina for inviting me to attend
    the Better With Pets Summit (2015) !!

    I was sad to leave "the city that never sleeps", New York is the only place I have been where I don't stick out like a sore thumb with my loud laughter and bravado...I just blend right in! Here are a few parting shots, one from the night before I left when I went out to dinner with my niece, (which was fabulous!!), the other two were shot from my Super Shuttle the next morning.


    The photo on the far right
    looked like my own
    Abbey Road!!!



    Don't worry! Purina didn't forget Cody!!! He received a pawtastic goodie bag from Purina (and since the bag was primarily cat-oriented, since this event would be featured on Cody's blog), they were kind enough to put in some dog treats for Dakota too! The gift bag made up for the scent of cats that were all over my shoes that Cody was obsessed with when I first got home. Thanks Purina for all of the pawtastic goodies!!


    Please join us Monday, November 16th for the final post in this series. Monday's post will explore an aspect of the Better With Pets Summit that I found to be the most significant and meaningful, to ME! (Let's hope I can zero in on just one!) Hope to see you then!!! 


    About Nestlé Purina PetCare
    Nestlé Purina PetCare Company is a global leader in the pet care industry. NestléPurina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.


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