Monday, September 8, 2014

National Capital Cat Show 2014 by Harry Shubin

As my readers know, I do a lot of work with my local cat rescue - Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation. This weekend I attended the National Capital Cat Show with my family. To those of you who wonder why a person who is strongly for rescuing animals, went to a cat show...well, read no further than this guest blog post, by Harry Shubin, as to why!


Lost Dog logo
 
Volunteer... Save a Life!
VickieAnnabelleBerta face edited


Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation at the Cat Show?

 Cat Show Logo

  
This past Saturday and Sunday, LDCRF had a small presence at the National Capital Cat Show, sharing space graciously donated by one of our partner vets, Loudoun Cat Care.


     



If you've received an email from me directly, you've seen my signature - "Don't Shop - Adopt!" and you might wonder why LDCRF is not boycotting a "cat show" where cats and kittens will be sold.  There are several reasons, the most important of which is the opportunity to do more than "preach to the choir," in other words, to spread our message about the plight of homeless animals to people who might otherwise not think twice about purchasing a kitten. 
 
Many people who want a purebred cat have their minds made up, and for many reasons believe that a breed is the only cat for them.  Some of those people will not change their minds.  Others have just not yet heard the message.  Still others "know" about homeless cats, but want a Siamese, or a Persian... When I talk to potential adopters at our events, I usually work into the conversation the story of where our cats come from - the euthanasia lists of  various animal "shelters."  I am continually surprised that others are surprised that the cat they are holding would be dead, if not for LDCRF.  Many people who "have" to have a purebred don't realize that many apparent purebreds are available in the local rescues, and in breed-specific rescues.  This is our chance to teach them. 

 
LDCRF's Agnes - an apparent Siamese, recently adopted into a forever home

 Even for rescue folk, there's a lot of reason to attend a cat show.  Not only are there rows upon rows of toys, cat furniture, and fun cat-themed items, there is a lot of information available - information on nutrition and on behavior.  Many times responding to adopters with questions, we refer to the Conscious Cat, a website with a wealth of information on introductions, food, litter and behavior.

     
Author Ingrid King, the face behind the Conscious Cat and a sponsor of the show, with a display of Jackson Galaxy's Spirit Essences remedies for behavioral issues

Besides... where else can you see a cat powdered, and then taken by his paws, turned upside down, and shaken to remove loose powder - or observe someone touch up a cat's fur with paint.  Well, maybe it was make-up...

 
LDCRF's Agnes and Dr. Nefario 
Littermates Gru and Margo have already been adopted at the show!
 
The LDCRF booth at the show, in addition to finding a few cats forever homes, also gives us the opportunity to teach the very important message of spay/neuter.  What could happen if that message went silent?  What kind of cat show would there be in the future?
 
We're going to see cats, Emily. Real cats!" Rose's teeth chattered with excitement. She so well remembered the same visit she had taken as a child, when the Cat Show had come to the United States. "Ooooh, you mean cats like Tigger?" Emily's eyes widened at the thought of a bunch of Tiggers on display. "Nope. Real cats. Living, breathing, purring cats." "Hah! Everybody knows that cats are only in story books. Like unicorns and -- what's 'purring', Mommy?" Rose's smile widened. "You'll see, Pumpkin. You'll soon see. 

 Click this link to read the full story 

Harry Shubin 
Cat Volunteer Coordinator
Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation

Weekly volunteer email used with permission from Harry Shubin.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Special Bobby's Bulletin: Along Came P(H)olly Part 1

No, not this Polly came home with us!

This post is long overdue and it also comes as a surprise - because I did not ever think we would have seven cats at the same time again! But, on May 19, 2014, we brought home PHolly Shubin, the 7th member of our cat clan.

PHolly is our 3rd resident black cat.
First, her name is PHolly -- now you can call her Polly, Holly or PHolly (like Folly) but we pronouce "PHolly" with a silent P...! Essentially the easiest explanation of PHolly's name, is that her name was Polly at Animal Outreach of Cape May (where I volunteer in the summer). We always name our cats after Cape May, and for as long as I can remember, we would eat at Holly's Restaurant in Grasonville, Maryland on the way to the shore. So since Polly & Holly were pretty similar sounding, we decided to create PHolly!

Now, for the background on how PHolly came to live in our house...

When we adopted Bobby in December from Cape May, NJ, we knew he had a brother Charlie and two sisters, Polly and Meredith (who had previously been adopted). We felt bad separating Bobby from Charlie and Polly, but we were not planning on taking anyone other than Bobby.

But in the months we had Bobby, we realized that he was still quite a kitten and really didn't have anyone to play with. Despite having four other cats, they were a few years older than him and not as active. Bobby is a bursting ball of energy and the other cats could not keep up with him.

Bobby was lonely and had energy that bounced off the walls. His high activity level was the biggest motivating factor to bring home his sister (why not Charlie, you ask? Because he is bonded to anoter cat there, Marmie and they are a pair).

So when we took a trip up to Cape May in May for a 3 day weekend, we went to Animal Outreach to volunteer & visit - not expecting to bring PHolly home, because mom wasn't convinced.


On the ferry with PHolly.

But dad and I were convinced that PHolly needed to come home with us, and she was in good health, so we decided to take her home. Of course this was the day we were leaving and we were not expecting to bring her home. But even so, dad had an emergency carrier in the car and we popped her in it and off to Virginia she went!

To be continued...
In the car!


Monday, July 21, 2014

(P)review: Catification - Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!) by Jackson Galaxy & Kate Benjamin

You might not (yet) be able to find a definition of "Catification" on dictionary.com, but one place that you will for sure be able to find the term defined is in Jackson Galaxy & Kate Benjamin's new book Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!)



Currently in the works, Catification is scheduled to be published on October 14, 2014. This new book, is sure to be at the top of every cat lover's wishlist. Who wouldn't want to know how to design your house to cater not only to your likes and preferences, but also be able to make your cat's desires a priority. 



Animal Planet's My Cat From Hell star Jackson Galaxy and Hauspanther's Kate Benjamin tell their know-all tips on how to catify your home for you and your cat. 



In the opening words by Jackson, he specifically explains that Catification is more than a design book -- "this book symbolizes cat love...the maturation of us as humans...a celebration [of] a home that proudly advertises that you care about your own comfort as well as that of your animal companions." 



This fantastic, colorful book includes 15 DIY projects that are perfect for cat lovers who want to create their own cat towers, kitty hammocks and much more. This book is purrfect for the cat lover in your life, you and your cat and even new cat parents.



Pre-ordering Catification will allow you to learn how you can help your cats live a long life by keeping them indoors, while still giving them everything they need to thrive. "Ultimately, if your cat is happier, you will be happier, too, and the bond between you will deepen."



For every copy of Catificaiton preordered, Tarcher/Penguin will donate $1 fore very copy pre-ordered to FixNation.orgPre-order your copy before Oct 14th and receive exclusive discounts toward both Hauspanther.com and store.jacksongalaxy.com.


Just e-mail your electronic receipt or an image of your paper receipt to CATIFICATIONBOOK@GMAIL.COM to make sure your pre-order is recorded – and to receive your discount codes
Pre-order your copy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indiebound!


Receiving a copy of the book galley at no charge did not influence this article or anything Sandpiper Cat Blog says. Sandpiper Cat Blog was not compensated for the review. All our opinions are honest & our own.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Reflecting upon Sabrina, A Year Later


It is hard to believe it has been a year since my sweet Sabrina passed away from FIP/Lymphoma. I wrote a post last year after Sabrina died which you can read here.

Everyone who has loved a cat knows the pain of loss. I've been asked why do we love cats when eventually (an often too soon) it seems that we have to let go. I was actually surprised when someone asked me this question, because I never really thought about it that way.


So why do I have cats? For the company? The occasional affection? No, I have cats because I want to give them the best life possible, a life that may not have been previously available for them. That is why I rescue my cats. Even though I know I won't have them my whole life, the years that we share together are irreplaceable and more than I could ask for.

Even though my family only had Sabrina in our lives for a few short years (2009-2013), it was more than I could have asked for. It is hard to write this without a steady flow of tears, because a year later my loss is still raw and emotional. Especially because I again and am in Cape May and feel the same sort of disbelief that I was not there to give Sabrina pats goodbye.

I hope you know that your legacy continues on, within all the black cats we help. We help them because of you.

I will always love you, Sabrina, and you will always hold a special place in my heart.

Love,
Rachel



~Sabrina~ forever in our hearts.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: PetBox

The Children's TV show "Blue's Clues" was certainly spot on when they said that the mail never fails to make me want to wag my tail! I love getting packages and so does Piper. And now with the new PetBox service, my pets can get a monthly subscription box delivered straight to our front door.

PetBox is a new subscription box for both cats and dogs, that offers premium pet goodies. You can pick out the goodies or choose a surprise box where the items are picked for you. Toys and treats are customized  by dog or cat size.

All of PetBox's products are made in the United States, which is a fantastic feature that is a great reason to purchase with this company. PetBox ships your order out in 2 business days, which is super fast!

PetBox is also working to help feed rescue animals, with each box purchase. PetBox has teamed up with BOGO Bowl to deliver a huge shipment of dog & cat food to rescue shelters that are picked by PetBox fans.

Every Friday PetBox sends out a request for nominations and votes via social media to determine which animal shelter  or rescue will receive the donation of cat or dog food. This is done through a variety of online platforms, where users nominate and vote on a shelter or rescue using the #PetBoxFridays tag. On the following Monday, the donation is sent directly to the chosen organization.


Our  PetBox was filled with items for Piper and her buddies by the wonderful people at  PetBox. The box is a bright blue with animal outlines that will stand out among other dull brown packaging. Inside it contained Furminator Shed Control Cloths, Kitty Wipes, Trick Treat Cat Toy, Slurp'n Fresh Oral Hygiene Solution, RedBarn Naturals Beefa Palooza food and From the Field Catnip Essential Oil Spray.

Great to spray on cat toys.

Premium grain free cat food, boasts beef as first ingredient! 

These are great for use at home, on the go or traveling! 

Add straight to water, results in 2 days.

Releases treats when cat tugs on the ball! Great interaction for your pets when you're out of the house.
There is a lot of flexibility in choosing a PetBox subscription. This option is great for commitment-o-phobes who may not want to subscribe for more than a few months at a time.  PetBox offers a 12 month plan at $29/month,  6 months $35/month, 3 months $37/month and lastly a month-to-month plan for $39/month.

Piper and I personally recommend  PetBox for you and your feline (or pup) companions, as who doesn't like a box of treats, toys and surprises? We also think that  PetBox subscriptions would make an excellent present for those finicky about their pet supplies!

Both paws up for  PetBox!

Follow PetBox on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use #PetBoxFridays to nominate an animal shelter or rescue of your choice, to help them win a food donation!

In compensation for our review, we received a free PetBox. Receiving the free box did not influence our review of the product. All opinions are our own and we only tell the truth here. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Review/Giveaway & Coupon: Whimsily Ever After Cat Toys

It's no secret that Piper loves a good cat nip toy. Even little Bobby goes crazy for pure cat nip, straight from the source. For Valentine's Day, I featured Whimsily Ever After's cat nip macaron cat toys on the 3rd Annual Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Cat Lovers.


Today I am featuring the mastermind behind Whimsily Ever After, Shelley Rinker, and her beautiful creations. Shelley makes all of her toys in Ventura, California. The winner of the giveaway will be able to pick a cat toy of their choosing up to $15. Shelley also has kindly offered a 15% off coupon, find all information below.

Sandpiper Cat Blog: Did you know you always wanted to be involved with designing toys, let alone your own toys?
Whimsily Ever After: I actually learned designing toys was an option after high school. I had a crazy turn of events junior year that opened up my eyes  to the toy industry. The super condensed version is: I signed up for a fashion design class which turned into a doll fashion designing class, that turned into winning a competition and have my design produced and debuted  at the International New York Toy Fair. While in NY, I along with the doll designer, did a signing of a special release of the first 500 dolls at FAO Schwarz. That was my introduction into the world of toys; so when I found out senior year that Otis College of Art and Design was offering a new Toy Design Degree I signed up, and off I went. After getting my Bachelors of Fine Arts, I went on to designing toys for a handful of well-known toy companies.
The doll Shelley designed, Gene/Sparkling Seduction.

SCB: How did you decide to make cat toys? What was the first cat toy you made?
WEA: After working 13 years in children's toys I was at the point where I delegated a lot of the "Making" to other people and toys were manufactured in China, and with the bottom line being everything the quality and the cost would bump heads. I am a very hands-on person - making [things] is what makes me happy. So after a lot of planning I bit the bullet and started Whimsily Ever After as a place for me to "Make" again. As the mom of two wonderful kitties, I felt that their time had come to get some design love. The first cat toy I made was just a run of the mill mouse. Right after I finished it I realized that there wasn't much humor in a mouse and immediately thought my cats  (and I) would enjoy a more "human food" toy and the idea for the cheeseburger was born.  The S'mores and Macaron followed very soon after, since they are favorite treats of mine.




SCB: What is the inspiration behind your name "Whimsily Ever After"?
WEA: I created Whimsily Ever After as an idea  of taking time and enjoying the fun  that should be part of every day. The purpose of Whimsily Ever After is to hopefully inject a little lighthearted quality fun into people's lives. When I hear the phrase "Happily Ever After" I think  of a Prince and Princess fairly tale, like an unattainable goal. Personally living Whimsily Ever After sounds like way more fun than happily. 


Piper tasting her macarons for the first time.

SCB: What is your favorite part about making cat toys?
WEA: My favorite part is the very end result. I LOVE it when my customers send in videos and photos of their cats going crazy "opening" their new toys. Or when a customer emails me that they almost couldn't get the toy out of the shipping package because their cat was stuffing their head into the box and wouldn't get out of the way! That brings me so much joy; I like to imagine that part as I make each toy.



SCB: Who are your kitty muses?
WEA: My kitty muses are all cats I come in contact with, but mostly my two kitties Pebbles and Mika. I adopted Pebbles back in May of 2001. I was looking for a pure white cat and instead I locked eyes with Pebbles (an almost everything but white) tortie calico. It was love at first sight. I was taking her in for some kitten shots a month later and there was Mika, a skittish gray tabby  that needed a safe and loving home. All pets are awesome for their love, loyalty and the joy that they bring all of us every single day. I'm just trying to make toys that give a little payback to them and trick their humans into taking a timeout to play with them, making take a few photos of their cat biting into a macaron or sushi toy!




SCB: What do you think your cats would say when they get a new one of your creations?
WEA: "Oh jeeze, not another one...OK I'll humor you and pretend to love it for the next 20 minutes so you get all your photo taking out  of your system." 

Hahaha! No I hope that isn't what they say, but they are basically my guinea pigs. My kitties teach me a lot because they both like to play with their toys so differently. Mika does full on nosedives into the toys and seems to get stoned out after a few minutes. Pebbles is a licker, she will grab a toy with her front paws and just lick and lick and lick for at least ten minutes. Because of her, I am working on a set of toys with anti-pill fleece that can withstand the licking from a cat's brush-like tongue. My Valentine's Macarons are the first toys I have released in this fabric. 



*******

Sandpiper Cat Blog enjoyed interviewing Shelley and learning all about how her creations came to be. The winner of the giveaway will get to pick one of Shelley's creations (of a value up to $15).

Everyone can get a taste of "Whimsily Ever After" by using the coupon code "SANDPIPER15" to receive 15% off a purchase.  Coupon expires April 30, 2014.

And now for our giveaway! 

Rules:

  • Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below
  • Open to United States & International (yay!!)
  • Winner will be contacted by email
  • Giveaway to run from Monday March 10, 2014 12 am EST to Monday March 17, 2014 12 am EST.
  • Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway