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Cats & Christmas: The Evergreen Challenge

cat-in-christmas-tree

Here’s a holiday classic post and a perrenial favorite from Self Help for Cats. Merry merry!

Picture a quiet night by the Christmas tree. You sink into your comfy recliner and think about how nice it is to feel so relaxed, and then, wait, what’s that?  The Christmas tree starts to shake violently, all the baubles banging and clanging. “What the hell?” you blurt!  The tree is absolutely possessed.  Like at any moment it could split open and give birth to the alien.

You stare deeper through the pine needles and the tinsel and something is –staring back!  Then you recognize it.  That’s not the alien glaring back at you;  It’s the very wide eyes of your cat having the closest thing to a back-to-the-wild experience he is ever going to have in your living room. Continue reading

Categories: cats, decorating tips, humor, humour, lifestyle, play, relationships | 4 Comments

Don’t Pet My Vampire

Don't Pet My Vampire

Warning: Dressing your cat up for Halloween may lead to blood loss.

Categories: fashion, halloween, lifestyle, play | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

New Cat Monopoly Piece: A Token Gesture?

imagesThe Monopoly Game adopted a new cat token after a one month popularity contest on the game’s Facebook page.  That’s right: The votes are in, and the iron is out. The kitty charm heralds in a new age of felinity for this classic game of old-fashioned winner-take-all capitalism.

I for one just wish I were more excited that cat won the great Monopoly token debate of 2013 with a sweeping 31 percent of the vote. Kitty handily beat out a helicopter, a toy robot, a diamond ring and a guitar.  But somehow having a little metal cat displace the little metal iron in this perennially-popular board game is not jazzing me like it should.

Maybe I, like some of the Hasbro company officials, am sad to see the iron token go, a classic and long-standing token from some of the game’s earliest editions. I gave my own clothing iron away sometime in the ’90s, but as a Monopoly token the iron was an integral part of the game’s 19th century zeitgeist.  It was one of Monopoly’s few acknowledgments of the working classes (the wheel-barrel notwithstanding); A tiny, token reminder that someone had to starch Mr. Monopoly’s collars.

It’s so like a capitalist to make us choose.  Why create this kind of false scarcity? If the public wants the cat AND the iron, (and the helicopter, and the toy robot, and the diamond ring), I say: Give it to us!

Categories: culture, entertainment, money, news, play | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Help: My cat likes to dress like a fish

pisces cat

Either this cat is the latest knit-bomb victim, or you have a real mer-cat wannabe on your hands. In either case, if your cat enjoys (or at least doesn’t mind) dressing up like a fish or whatever, it seems like good, clean-enough fun to me. Kitty’s just trying to let his freedom fin fly.

I say go for it, Pisces!  You only live like nine times.

Categories: advice, fashion, halloween, life, lifestyle, play, random, relationships, synergy, tips | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Dogs Have Them, So Where Are Our Public Cat Parks?

At the city cat park, cats will meet to "cruise and socialize." Some say the park will "attract" children.

At the city cat park, cats will meet to “cruise and socialize.” Some say the park will “attract” children.

Dog parks, schmog parks.  What about the cat parks, people? In feline-forward Oakland, CA (home base for the entire Self Help for Cats empire), cat-activists are asking  just that. This dog-happy hamlet offers its city-bound canines no less than FIVE DOG PARKS in which to frisk about and catch frisbees. Meanwhile, the local cat population suffers without so much as a sidewalk strip dedicated to their pure, dog-free enjoyment.

This and other inequalities were recently brought to Oakland city leaders’ attention by Chairman Meow, spokes-human of a group that calls itself Ay Gato!, “the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Cat Army’s nonviolence front group.” In a statement apparently read to city council, Chairman Meow said the group envisions, “a cat play area with large sandboxes, bird and rodent habitat, trees for climbing,” etc.

In another statement, these cat visionaries assert: “Building a cat park at Lake Merritt would provide cat owners with a lovely opportunity to teach our cats to swim in the lake and bike the area.  Dogs aren’t even litter trained!”

The group has an open Facebook page, so you too could become a member at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/436048206462448

Categories: architecture, cat v. dog, cats, culture, design, entertainment, humor, humour, life, lifestyle, musings, news, our moments, outdoors, play, politics, PR, random, relationships, synergy, travel | Leave a comment

Cat Camping Season Officially Opens

Campground Peacock Drops in to Shoot the Breeze

The Kitty Camping Season is officially off and running! The Association of Camping Kitties (ACK) has formally declared July as Cat Camping month.

ACK veterans like Brody and Herman need not be told.  They know it will soon be time, time to hide (aka “pack”) the leashes and break out the kitty barbeque set.

Send your humans to the outdoor store for the squeeter juice and cat GORP and get ready for the wildest, craziest camping trip of your cats’ lives.  It’s been a long, cold, hard winter, and we need some serious sleeping under the stars to try and forget it.

Ahh, the midnight meadow-mouse nature walks, the mornings blending into evenings lazing about in the tent, the visit from the campground peacock…

A Recent Midnight Meadow-Mouse Hike

These camping expeditions really revive kittys’ batteries for another relentless year of cat 9-to-5.

Categories: Brody, cats, Herman, humor, humour, lifestyle, news, outdoors, play, sleep, travel, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Party Time at the Cat Wig Zone

 Cat in Blue Wig

These cat fashionistas know when to work and when to party — and it’s time to party if you can’t tell!  The latest catreprenuerial concept to hit the big time has a lot to celebrate headed into the new year looking sexy and feeling on top of the world.  With top role models like these. watch out Victoria’s Cat’s Secrets!

Categories: cats, decorating tips, jobs & careers, lifestyle, money, play, products, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Herman the Housecat Overtaken by Holiday Stress

Just because I channel my cats’ self-improvement tips here at Self Help for Cats does not mean my household is beyond having its own seasonal and other feline challenges.  The trouble started a few years back…

When Herman saw Santa Claws out the window on our first Christmas morning at the house where I now live, he went utterly ballistic and turned on his very best friend, Brody.  I had to jump out of bed to separate the fighting madcats with a broom and sweep Herman Panther into another room, closing the door on the devil cat he had become.  Peace on Earth it wasn’t.

Herman, we have since learned, was suffering from his first case of displaced aggression. He saw a cat outside (ever since known by the name Santa Claws) and got so upset and confused, he failed to regonize the friend he sleeps on top of every day of the year.  Continue reading

Categories: Brody, cats, Herman, play, relationships | 1 Comment

Theater and Cats DO Mix!

Those serious Sioux City thespians are leading the way to a whole new vision in cat-theater futures.  The Sioux City Journal reports today that if you bring a can of cat food to the theater for the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, it’s as good as a ticket.  Proceeds go to the local humane society. 

You can bring other cat stuff as well to serve as your admission price, just don’t bring your cat — contemporary theater for now remains wholly unprepared for cat-inclusive audiences and will need to surmount obvious technological barriers before that dream is realized.

Categories: cats, humor, humour, lifestyle, money, news, play, PR, relationships, synergy, theater | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Best Jazz Album Name Ever

Mike SternDo I need to tell you how great to have a cat actually playing guitar on the cover of Who Let the Cats Out?  Cats are a lot more musical than we imagine, if they can just calm down and not run out of the room when someone starts to teach them. 

Mike Stern’s Who Let the Cats Out is clearly among the great jazz album names that include cats in the name.  I’m not entirely familiar with all the cat jazz album titles in the world, so make sure to remind me with comments of the many I will probably miss.

I like that Who Let the Cats Out is both a funny riff and so very true.  Because we all heard Who Let the Dogs Out, but the truth is dogs that get let out are far easier to find than cats who get let out. An out cat can’t hardly be found if he wants to be, which he usually doesn’t.

Naturally, Who Let the Cats Out is a jazz album. If cats were a musical genre, they would be jazz.  And if cats played music, they’d play jazz.  My cat Brody plays the keyboard, and it’s improvisation at a very pure level.  No technique, knowledge, or musical score can impede him when he starts tickling the ivories.

Categories: Brody, cats, humor, humour, lifestyle, play, products, synergy | 2 Comments

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