My Editor is Puddy in My Hands

Another late night of editorial production here at Self Help for Cats. Night time is the right time for my clear-eyed copy editor to paw through the first drafts and offer his unique brand of feline value-plus. Not every cat is so devoted to blogging away his “on” hours, but at Self Help for Cats, we are committed, or possibly, we should be.

Categories: blogging, Brody, our moments, synergy | Tags: , , , | 1 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:

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

Oxygen for Kitty

Breathe, kitty, breathe!!

This and other incredible critter pics at:

Categories: cats, news, relationships, synergy, technology | Leave a comment

The House the Cat Would Build

First came the house cat, then came the house designed for the cat.  Progress, no?

Categories: architecture, cats, decorating tips, design, lifestyle, synergy, technology | 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

Bullet Train Borrows Cats’ Ears & More

Retractable Cat-Eared Bullet Train

A futuristic train in Japan will feature air brakes shaped like cat ears that retract like cat nails!  Of course, the retractable-claw cat-ear air brakes are superior to all the brakes people have made without involving cats’ design ideas, proving that cats should be consulted more often in the design-phase process.

What does it mean that a train of the future borrows so heavily from feline technologies?   Is this early evidence that cats are on the cusp of improving our lives Big Time?  

A minor point: Cats take no responsibility to the disco-tights quality of the train’s exterior. For that, I think you can thank manga.

Learn about the cat’s forthcoming bullet train here.

Categories: cats, history, humor, humour, jobs & careers, PR, synergy | Leave a comment

Real Cats Go to Lego Church

Precious sits in Lego church created by Amy Hughs 

Precious enjoys a quiet moment in the Lego church.

Here’s a unique example of a cat-human spiritual collaboration involving the creation of a church made entirely of Legos.  Naturally, Lego artist Amy Hughs’ cats couldn’t wait to get their paws all over the Legos church under construction, contributing their value-added X-factor to the Lilliputian house of God. 

Please go see the pictures of Precious and Anya terrorizing the organ player and lounging in the various vestibules.  It’s a rare glimpse into a world where cats are 13 feet tall.  Their devotion to spending time on this project highlights the cat’s attraction to special and even spiritual places.  If only there were more little nubby churches for them to attend.

In a poignant note, Precious (seen in the picture above) did not live to see the church completed.  That very sad fact seems to make the cat’s connection to the Legos church that much more mysterious and beautiful.

Self Help for Cats is eternally interested in hearing about all cat-human collaborations, in the spiritual realm and beyond.  So if your cat is your spiritual advisor or just is always “helping” you with your projects, we would love to hear about it. 

My thanks to the Ironic Catholic where I learned of this fantasic project. 

Categories: cats, humor, humour, jobs & careers, synergy | Leave a comment

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

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