Friday, December 15, 2017

Celebrate the Season of Giving with Miranda Lambert and MuttNation

Yesterday we shared some ideas on how to brighten the lives of shelter cats during the Christmas season. We hope it helped everyone find something they can do to give back during this season of giving because that's what it's all about. Today I'd like to tell you a little about a program in my area called Claus for Paws which asks the community to help fulfill the Christmas wish lists of animals waiting for their forever homes.

Each year 3 local rescue groups are chosen to receive donations that are dropped off at specially marked “Claus for Paws” donation crates at local businesses. Cleaning supplies, bedding, food, collars & leashes, toys - all simple wishes that often go unfulfilled or add up to a substantial expense. All items that can easily be donated to make life easier for shelter workers and the precious cargo in their care.

I have an amazing shelter within walking distance of my house, yet Tara and Truffles were adopted from a shelter an hour north of me, and Mudpie from one an hour east. While I love to support these amazing groups as a thank you to them for giving me my sweet girls, it's just not that easy for me to get to them, so these donation crates are so convenient. As luck would have it, Tara and Truffles' shelter was a Claus for Paws recipient last year (as was Sashi's small rescue), and Mudpie's Alma mater is one this year! The program has become a huge success, with nearly 2,500 donated items collected totaling close to $15,000 last year alone!

Here's Mudpie's wonderful vet with a donation bin at his office!

As cat bloggers we always have extra cat stuff around the house, and anything we don't have I have so much fun shopping for. (Most women thrive on clothes and shoe shopping. I find my bliss in bookstores and pet stores.) Choosing just the right items for our doggie friends is more of a challenge though...

Earlier this month I received an email from Petmate® with information about their holiday MuttNation™ Fueled by Miranda Lambert Collection. Every purchase in this line of toys, collars, harnesses and beds helps fund the rescue and adoption programs of MuttNation Foundation. To help shine the spotlight on rescue animals and shelters, Miranda and her mom Bev Lambert founded MuttNation Foundation in 2009 to ensure that as many dogs as possible would have a safe and happy place to call home. All of Miranda’s proceeds from the MuttNation pet collection go directly to the MuttNation Foundation. You can be assured that your giving is going directly to helping homeless dogs find new homes.

New products for 2017 include a vintage styled treat tin, treat toys in the shapes of guitars, cowgirl boots and microphones, an all-American baseball tug toy, stylish bedding, and the cutest collection of Mini Rescue Mutts plush toys based on real rescue stories. The MuttNation collection offers pet lovers a wonderful opportunity to give back to the rescue community while giving love to their own special four-legged family members...or by donating items from the collection to their favorite shelter, which is what we'll be doing!

Petmate is generously sending us these two amazing beds, scheduled to arrive next week, just in time to be delivered to our nearest Claus for Paws donation bin!

We're so happy that in addition to the cat supplies we would automatically be donating, that we'll also be able to provide two beautiful beds that will allow some shelter animals (because there's no reason why they can't be used as cat beds too!) to stay warm this winter.

If you still have some Christmas shopping to do for your four-legged friends, we hope you'll check out what MuttNation has to offer...and our paws are crossed that Miranda comes out with a product line for cats by next Christmas!

This post is sponsored by Petmate and MuttNation. I am being compensated for featuring this content but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. This post also contains Amazon affiliate links.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Purrfect 10: Ways to Brighten the Lives of Shelter Cats This Christmas

We love reading and researching anything and everything about cats, and wanted to find a fun and unique way to share the interesting facts we learn with you! Since top 10 lists are very popular in the blogosphere, we created The Purrfect 10 as a way to present 10 educational or fascinating tidbits about a wide variety of cat-related topics, everything from health issues to cat breeds to famous felines.

Cats love Christmas too, wouldn't you agree? Our precious fur babies may not understand the reasons why we're in such a festive mood but I have no doubt that they're picking up on the fact it's not "business as usual" in our homes.

This got me to thinking about all the kitties still waiting in shelters for their forever homes, and why shouldn't they have the opportunity to enjoy our most joyous of holidays too? These are cats who won't have a Christmas unless someone brings it to them, so this month's edition of The Purrfect 10 features some ideas to help brighten their lives.

1) Play Santa Kitty for your local shelter by bringing them a donation of toys and treats. (Small toys work best so you can buy more, but a few wand toys work great too.) Are you throwing a holiday party this year? Ask your guests to bring a donation in lieu of a hostess gift. Then spend an afternoon socializing with the kitties and playing with their new goodies. I guarantee you'll end the day just as happy as the cats!

2) Let Amazon play Santa for you. Thanks to the wonders of Amazon Prime you can have anything delivered anywhere with no shipping charges, plus they'll include a gift receipt for you too! For instance, Tara and Truffles' Alma mater is a good one hour drive north for me, but I always like to send them a little something at Christmas. Last year during the holidays they put out a call on Facebook for their mascot kitty's special diet food, so we hopped over to Amazon and bought them a bag, and also threw in a case of their favorite wet food and a fun pack of 20 assorted toys. 48 hours later our gift was delivered to their door!

3) Use Amazon Smile when shopping at so a portion of your purchase is donated to your favorite rescue or shelter. Simply access and select a shelter from their list, then shop as you normally would. Every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation of 0.5% of the purchase price. (I was recently asked to write a guest blog for Place for Cats in NYC with my cat books recommendations using the rescue's Amazon Smile links.)

4) Create an Amazon Wish List for your shelter and share it with your friends and followers on social media. A local couple did this recently as a surprise for our shelter and ended up donating a whopping 32 cases of wet cat food and a box of miscellaneous toys and treats!

5) Do you enjoy DIY projects? Throw a crafting party to make bunches of cat toys and blankets, or even cat trees, scratching posts and wall shelves to "catify" the shelter. Everything can be donated to the cats or sold with proceeds earmarked for your shelter.

6) Is your cat getting a new bed or cat tree for Christmas? If their old one is still in good shape consider donating it to your favorite rescue!

7) Winter gets cold and cats love to snuggle in blankets. If you have any used but still in good condition blankies around your house, toss them in the washing machine and donate them. Towels work too!

8) All cats love to scratch, but for shelter cats, having a scratch pad can be especially beneficial. Scratching stretches muscles and helps alleviate stress and anxiety, and cats who learn to scratch in an appropriate place are less likely to be declawed or returned. Unfortunately, enrichment items like scratchers can be expensive and aren't always in the budget, which is why Imperial Cat started their Scratch 'n Bits program in 2009. Made from pieces of cardboard left over during the manufacturing process, Scratch 'n Bits vary in size and shape and can be shipped by the case to the shelter of your choice.

9) Grab a bunch of Christmas stockings at the dollar store, one for each cat cage (or dog kennel!) Ask the shelter to encourage visitors to stuff the stockings with toys and other goodies.When the animal is adopted their stocking can go home with them!

10) Foster a cat or kitten for Christmas. Have you ever read the book A Dog Named Christmas by Greg Kincaid? In the story a shelter seeks temporary homes for its dogs during the days leading to Christmas in an effort to clear the shelter for the holidays when there is not enough staff available to care for the animals. This not only alleviates the pressure on shelter workers but also gives the cat or dog a sneak peek of what Christmas in their forever home will be like...and who knows, maybe you'll end up discovering you can't live without each other! Wouldn't that be the greatest Christmas gift of all?

We can all do something to shower shelter animals with love and gifts at a time when they might otherwise be forgotten. After all, shelter cats love Christmas too!

Have you done something special for your favorite shelter this holiday season? 
Tell us about it!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Our Secret Paws Package Is On It's Way!

Okay, Mommy. I'm done shopping for my Secret Paws* and everything is in this bag. (Darn, that toy really looks like fun. Wish I'd bought one for myself too. I wonder if Mommy would notice if I slipped her credit card out of her wallet again...) I'm gonna need you to help me with the wrapping.

I wanna use this paper and these labels. And make sure they know everything is from Mudpie!

Did you get everything to fit? Holy cats, this box is stuffed!

Good job, Mommy! Have fun at the post office...and please don't wake me when you get back home. I'm exhausted...

Our Secret Paws package is winging it's way to it's recipients as we speak! I sure hope my friends enjoy everything I picked out for them!

* Secret Paws is a Secret Santa gift exchange for us kitties who have a blog in the Cat Blogosphere

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cat Coloring Books Make Purrfect Christmas Gifts (with Giveaway!)

When I was a little girl I was obsessed with coloring. Any visitor to my house, friend or family member, had to color with me. It was a rule.

One Christmas I received a 'Twas the Night Before Christmas coloring book from my aunt and uncle. It was so big I could only work on it at the dining room table. Each year in December I worked on one page and my mom dated it when I was done. I still have that book too...a cherished piece of my childhood filled with so many memories.

Coloring is cool again and more popular than ever...for adults! It's finally being recognized as the amazing stress reliever it is, as well as a creative outlet for children of all ages.

The best news? Cat coloring books are among the most popular, and they make pawsome Christmas gifts! Here's some of our favorite cat coloring books of the year...and there's a giveaway at the end too!

To me, there's nothing much cuter than cats paired with food. (Or cats named after food, hence Mudpie and Truffles.) This book is filled with hysterical images of cats cavorting in the kitchen and pretending to be a variety of gourmet foods: tucked inside a taco, popping out of a pie, chilling with an ice cream cone on their head. It's impossible to thumb through this book without grinning from ear to ear...and feeling a little hungry!

This is no ordinary coloring book. It also features the true "tail" of Instagram's @smokeyfromtheblock and the experiences of author Laura King as a feral cat caretaker in Harlem. The illustrations are beautiful, the story is heartwarming, and the TNR message so incredibly important. The NYC Feral Cat Initiative, a program of the Mayor's Alliance for New York City's Animals will receive a portion of the profits. I love this book so much that I bought a second copy for my Secret Paws this Christmas!

While this book seems to be geared towards children, I think the pictures are intricate enough for adults to enjoy too. Plus it's the perfect size for stocking stuffers and to keep in your purse or glove compartment.

The purrfect book for anyone who loves cats and Christmas. These kitties are helping Santa get ready for the big day!

Each illustration in this book depicts house cats engaging in a mixture of human-like behavior such as enjoying ice cream cones, chilling in front of "Catflix", playing video games and having a pizza party, as well as kitty activities such as playing in laundry baskets, hanging with their human and napping anywhere and everywhere. Many of the drawings are accompanied by popular cat quotes from Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway and Garfield creator Jim Davis. Embrace your inner slug...these lazy cats are!

Oskar may be blind, but that doesn't prevent him from going on giant epic adventures with his brother Klaus! A portion of each sale goes directly to Milo's Sanctuary, Inc. for special needs cats.

World-travelling adventure cat KeeKee the calico stars in her very own coloring book, featuring scenes from her award-winning book series.

Giveaway: 3 winners will be chosen to receive a copy of Cooking with Cats! (Open to US and Canadian residents.) To enter simply fill out the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Make Your Holidays POP With A $150 Pop Your Pup Gift Card

This post is sponsored by Pop Your Pup

Earlier this year we were super excited to have the opportunity to introduce you to Pop Your Pup, a company that creates one-of-a-kind products of your pet in pop art. When they contacted us last month asking to collaborate with us again on a MASSIVE holiday giveaway, Mudpie could barely contain her purr! 

To refresh everyone's memory, Pop Your Pup offers shirts and wrapped canvas using a favorite photo of your pet that is easily uploaded to their site. The customization process is so much fun because Pop Your Pup has tons of choices for the background of your piece, from a wide variety of solid colors to flowers to pop culture slogans to fun themes like tacos, ice cream cones and candy skulls.

The holiday season brought with it a whole new batch of backgrounds including Christmas trees, reindeer and winter hats. This time around we chose the snowman background, not only because as proud Vermonters we love the snow, but also because it's more wintry than "Christmassy" and therefore can be left hanging on the wall longer! 

Once your selections have been made a link to your proof will be emailed to you within 1 business day. Crazy fast, right? Every order is created by an in-house artist with no photo filter apps or gimmicks. You work one on one with a real artist who will make your fur baby truly POP! Plus they offer unlimited revisions until you are 100% happy with your pop art! Products are not printed or shipped until it is viewed and approved by you. Once everything is finalized the printing teams goes to work and your order will be printed and shipped out within 1-2 business days from your approval. In our case no revisions were necessary as the proof that showed up in my inbox was just perfect, and in no time at all a tracking number arrived in my inbox.

The canvas arrived at my door just after Thanksgiving as I was putting the finishing touches on my Christmas decorating. Since I chose the small canvas this time I've been moving it around the house quite a bit in search of the purrfect spot. It started out in the main hall hanging alongside two of my favorite kitty Christmas signs, but then I decided it needed a place of honor all it's own in the living room.

Do you remember me saying that all of my Christmas decor right down to every ornament on my tree is cat-related? Well something with a generic cat on it is great, but something with your own cat on it is pure purrfection, and I can't guarantee that you won't still find it hanging in the same spot come the fourth of July!

If you're ready to proudly show off your fur baby on a shirt or hang her portrait on the wall, check out Pop Your Pup at their web page, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And for your chance to win a $150 Pop Your Pup gift card simply fill out the Rafflecopter below. (US residents only please.) Now that's gonna be one fun shopping spree for the lucky winner!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is sponsored by Pop Your Pup. I am being compensated for spreading the word about Pop Your Pup's customized pet artwork and wearables as part of their holiday program for bloggers, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Pop Your Pup is not responsible for the content of this article.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Frosty Tortie #CaturdayArt

(Created with PicMonkey's Snowflake effect, then LunaPic's Frost & Snowflake border)

Visit more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop!

And now our weekly answers (answered by Mommy) for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader!

1. The best part of last week was the packages that were delivered. My poor UPS man and mail carrier. My CatLadyBox came, my packages from Olive & Rye's Small Business Caturday sale, fun review goodies from Chewy, some stuff from World Market that I ordered on Black Friday. Phew!

2. The worst part of last week was a nagging headache on Tuesday and Wednesday that ended up making me feel nauseous.

3. Continued decluttering is a Winter project that I will be working on. (How ironic given my answer to #1.)

4. A holiday gift that I always buy for someone is a box of chocolates. Not very original but who doesn't love chocolate?