books

Announcing A New Opportunity to Promote MEEEEEE

Today's bloggers drive their own destiny, each following their own siren song.

Today’s bloggers drive their own destiny.
Each pursues their own siren song.

Like many of my readers in the blogosphere, I take advantage of the widgets and websites available today to amass a media world empire in my spare time.  It’s slow work, but each virtual brick I place is one more stone away from everything I need to quit my dang day job.

It’s not that I don’t like working at the public library, where I do my best to be a goddess-like beacon of community love, light and fine-forgiveness.  It’s just that when one is born to write things like the fast-track plan to get your cat on the express escalator to success, well, you understand that it is called “a calling” for a reason.  One can only put off your very own siren song for so long.

Which is a really long-winded way of announcing that Time Management for Cats, the ebook, has its very own site now, thank you WordPress.  I know it can be hopelessly confusing to the uninitiated: What is it, Self Help for Cats, or Time Management for Cats? Just remember: it’s both!  The book is Time Management for Cats. It’s presented to you by the Self Help for Cats Site at WordPress.com.  Thank you for your attention on this matter, and now we return to you to our regular premier cat lifestyle blog programming here at Self Help for Cats.

Categories: blogging, blogs, books, PR, the book | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Party Time at Self Help for Cats

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So the cats won’t stop celebrating since Saturday when we published our first book, Time Management for Cats, at Smashwords.com!  That’s right, I finally overcame Hank’s reluctance about the cover design and just went for it.  After the hours of editing and formatting, the actual upload was easy.

There was a small hiccup with the cover being too small at first, but that seems to be behind us, almost. At the moment, our status into premium retailers like Amazon.com remains pending, but one can get the book right now for $2.99 at Smashwords.com.

It’s a small price to pay for all the fun you will have putting your cat to work the Time Management for Cats way — and celebrating your amazing success! Click here to learn more.

Categories: blogging, blogs, books, cats, the book | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Now is an Extremely Exciting Time to Be a Cat

Now is an Extremely Exciting Time to Be a Cat

All the cats at Self Help for Cats are excited to present our new book, Time Management for Cats, now available at Smashwords!

Categories: books, culture, lifestyle, the book | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

I said soon!!!

I said soon!!!

Emotions are running high as the Self Help for Cats staff work night and day applying the final finishing touches on our first book, Time Management for Cats.

The entire Self Help for Cat organization is happy to nearly have this one done. As you can see, the editor is getting grumpy!

Categories: anxiety, books, cat v. dog, cats, fashion, humor, humour, jobs & careers, products, the book | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Blitzcat: The Cat Who Fought Hitler

book cover of   Blitzcat   by  Robert Westall

 

“A black cat. A nation in danger. A world at war.”

That’s the back cover copy on my copy of Blitzcat, a book about one of the bravest and most loyal warrior cats in all of literature.  This cat didn’t just do her normal cat work of keeping people’s spirits propped up in war-ravaged England. No, little Lord Gort had to cross England looking for her person, changing lives and become a fighter-pilot cat on her way, among her many anti-fascist exploits. 

Although it seems unlikely that a war story based on a cat will end up well, Blitzcat pulls you in faster than a pawful of claws, and soon you will be fully behind the story’s main character, the black cat Lord Gort, who proves that a cat authentically-drawn can carry the central role in a novel narrative.  Bravo to author Robert Westall for giving the world a truly-great feline literary figure for the ages, and for all ages.  Don’t let the Young Adult sticker fool you, Blitzcat is plenty appreciated by young and old alike.

Got a favorite cat in literature?  Drop a comment below so all us cat-loving readers can check it out. 

Categories: books, cats, history, humor, humour, jobs & careers | Tags: , | 9 Comments

Cats in the Doghouse: Crafty Souls Build Pads for Pets

Pads for Pets, the book.

Here’s a book that bears a look, and even a purchase if you happen to be one of those inscrutable do-it-yourselfers.  As for me, building a House of Catitude in all but a virtual sense is well beyond my crafting capacity, but I say, “power (tools) to you” if you find yourself creating, for example, an attractive Zen Cat Bed.

(Unfortunately, my cats Brody and Herman would tear the bejesus out of this framed-sisal station, its contemplative stone garden and living wheat grasses — first assassinating the greens and then spreading soil and sisal to my living room’s four winds.)

But just because Herman and Brody would destroy the Zen Cat Bed in no time doesn’t preclude some other cats from getting their zen on, doing the cat lotus posture there and such. Probably, the Zen Cat Bed just needs minor tweaking to be a place to chill and not where to lose one’s cat mind in such a destructive fashion.

But believe me, the last thing I want is to sound overly critical of this delightful book of projects.  There truly are some attractive ideas in Pads for Pets: Fabulous Projects for your Furry, Feathered, and ‘Phibious Friends (Chronicle Books, 2003), from simple stuff to the architecturally complex. Although I must point out, clearly the emphasis in this field has been on dogs and doghouses, and you can guess how we feel about that here at Self Help for Cats. (Hint – we aren’t purring.)

As the dog section is by far the most developed in the book, the dyed in the wool cat DIYer may need to borrow from the canine or goldfish sections to really find a project they can sink their glue gun into.  For example, I would actually even consider making my cats an Orphan Sock Bed – sort of a rag rug made of stuffed single socks, presumably the match of lost socks. 

Wouldn’t it feel great to finally rid oneself of the uselessness of those odd single socks for such a cool sock bed?! That is, until one of the matching socks turned up.  I’d have to make a whole other sock bed then, just to set things straight.  It could get ugly actually, and even snowball what with the likelihood of further bed-sock matches later developing. So you understand why it’s better if I never got started down that path, right?

Even if I happen to be a complete crafting catastrophe, that certainly doesn’t mean Pads for Pets doesn’t have some ideas you’ll really dig.  There’s a whole section about throwing a dog party, what with hats, a cake, party games, etc., and I don’t see why you can’t adopt that right over to cats, you know?  Why not, I ask?  Why the heck not?

(I’ll tell you why not, because probably a room full of cats made angry by their elasticized party hats with pieces of cake spread all about on plates – well, that just doesn’t sound like a good situation.)

Clearly, the creative nutkins behind this utterly original book have their hearts totally in the right place, in their left ribcage that is, and beating strong for a good cause.  Book sales help PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support), an organization all about animals helping people in their time of need.  And what’s the point of helping yourself if you can’t, in the end, turn around and help someone else?  Remember that, kitties! 

***

Pads for Pets is by Elizabeth Quinn with Pets Are Wonderful Support (P.A.W.S.).  Photographs by Frankie Frankeny.

Categories: books, Brody, cats, decorating tips, Herman, humor, humour | 2 Comments

Cat as Dumbbell: Catflexing by Stephanie Jackson

Catflexing, a book by Stephanie Jackson

Need to tone up? Is your cat bored? Then does cat fitness trainer Stephanie Jackson ever have the plan for you! Catflexing: A Catlover’s Guide to Weight Training, Aerobics & Stretching (Ten Speed Press, 1997) is the only program I’ve seen that provides essential bodily maintenance for the human while simultaneously inventing a whole new brand of “quality time” with the cat.

Kudos to Stephanie Jackson for this pioneering effort that shows how even something as painful and counterintuitive as stretching and exercise can be improved upon if you just manage to involve a cat.  Girl is onto something here, and you can see she’s enjoying herself.  When was the last time the gal in the tights was smiling wide doing her crunches? Well, do a crunch with a cat on your abdomen and just try NOT to smile, okay?

In fact, the whole book made me feel good, and I didn’t even try one of these exercises yet.  I smiled just reading it and looking at the wonderful pictures of Stephanie doing lunges with her cat on her shoulders, Stephanie doing pushups with the cat lying on her back, Stephanie using the cat as a dumbbell. 

Yes, this is truly a classic in the cat-human canon.  Stephanie and her co-authors, Bad and Masi, can count themselves among the spiritual midwives of the Self Help for Cats movement. If anyone knows how to contact Stephanie Jackson, I would be thrilled to interview her here on Self Help for Cats, to learn more about how her spark for synergy originally ignited, and to update us on her latest good works. 

Categories: books, cats, humor, humour, synergy | 2 Comments

Cats in Film 1: The Third Man and the Second Cat

Like any proper self-improvement program, the book Self Help for Cats of course has lots of successful cats populating its page, you know, good examples and role models, that sort of thing. Unfortunately, the images generated in Hollywood and other popular folklore aren’t always the “good role model” we want for our cats.

Cats in film are a fascinating bunch, and while I briefly cover cats in film in my book, I only just recently discovered a new example of a clever cat role, this in the classic black-and-white post-war drama, The Third Man. Unfortunately, upon second viewing of the cat’s pivotal performance, the scene wherein Kitty uncovers that Orson Welles’ character is alive, well, I smelled a fish.

There was something about the shot where the cat looks up and connects with the audience – it just didn’t match. And thanks to the magic of DVD, I discovered that they slipped in a second cat for that one shot! The pattern on the second cat’s face is clearly different from the kitty in all the other scenes. I could not hardly believe it! I had discovered that there was a second cat in The Third Man.

So here I am wondering about The Second Cat these many years since the film was made. I have my theories, of course, all of them inspired by the gritty intriguing underworld of post-war Vienna… probably the first cat is out running an illegal catnip ring after faking his own death. I’m open to other conspiracies and even factual accounts, as well, dear readers.

Have you any cats in film you want to share with Self Help for Cats? Together we can be vigilant watchdogs of cats’ public image, if you can forgive my using the “d” word there.

Categories: books, cats, film, humor, humour, the book | 2 Comments

Cats Versus Windmills: This Spin Job Needs a Quixote

Cats are back in the headlines, this time taking fall-guy status in the Great Windmill-Bird Debate of ’07.   It’s enough to make you want to pull a Quixote on whatever windmill executive came up with this latest spin of anti-cat PR. 

Okay, cats have a song bird problem, it’s true.  The problem is, there is something undeniably attractive about slaughtering little singers who can’t help but give themselves away with the essence of what makes them song birds, their lovely little voices. 

But the main problem is not the song, the bird, or the cat.  These three are but an innocent catastrophe waiting to happen, set into motion by nature herself, and diverted into a force 90 million housecats strong by none other than the species voted most likely to change the planet’s climate this century.

It’s hard enough we have to blame ourselves for how bad things have gotten around old Earth here, and it only makes it worse when we shift responsibility to the creatures we keep.  I’m telling you, cats are blameless — the blood they spill is all on us.

Personally, I don’t mind curbing my little killer’s freedom by keeping him inside so I don’t have to handle the guilt that comes along with the dead bodies on my doormat.  I keep my cats inside as well, you’ll be glad to know.

As for Mr. Windmill PR spin executive, shame on you for using cats to take the heat off your clean-energy industry.   That’s about as useful as Quixote busting a cap in some windmill’s backside, although not nearly as entertaining and literarily significant.

Categories: books, humor, humour, news, PR | 1 Comment

A Bad Cat a Day

Bad Cat Calendar The year may be almost a third over, but you still have time to enjoy the daily brilliance of the Bad Cat Page a Day Calendar by Jim Edgar.  If you haven’t seen it, Jim’s My Cat Hates You website has won the hearts and hilarious photographs of thousands of cats around the world.  In Jim we find the cat-human collaboration doing some of its finest work, even allowing him to go so far as to quit his day job. 

Every day is a little better with one of the 365 “not so pretty kitties and cats gone bad” on the Bad Cats desk calendar.  And that’s what Self Help for Cats is all about. Helping cats to help themselves to help everyone, so we can evolve, folks.

Don’t miss Jim’s site at Mycathatesyou.com.

Categories: books, cats, humor, humour, products | 1 Comment

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