February 28, 2010

A Pretty Pair of Playful Parlor Panthers

One of the defining traits of a Card-Carrying Crazy Cat Lady as stated in the club guidelines is "sharing your home with cats in spite of your severe allergy to pet dander". It turns out this is a common trait shared by Cat Lads and Feline Fellas also.

Take Feline Fella Chris, for example. Wife Sharon tells us: "My husband is very allergic to cats but fell in love with a neighborhood black cat who adopted us. After she passed away, he set out to find the perfect black cat that was hypo-allergenic. He determined that to be an American Bombay cat and that we had to have

Meet Kaldi and Bica, also known as "Daddy's girls".

American Bombays, often called "Parlor Panthers", are known for their round, copper-gold eyes. They are small (7 lbs.) with very sleek, short fur coats. But as Sharon continues, "Of course they didn't turn out to be as allergy-free as he thought, but it's too late now. They rule him and the house.

"They LOVE people and are cuddlers. They climb all over Chris and try to fall asleep before he sneezes so much that he has to put them down. Bombays are heat seekers. If you aren't moving around, chances are they're sitting on you soaking up the warmth. They are also burrowers... Ours will heat-soak under the covers for a few hours until they're finally too warm and then come out and cool down by stretching their entire length on the floor. Once they're cool enough they go back into the oven under the covers. It's hysterical.

"The other really funny thing they do is they play fetch. Not only do ours follow you around all day, they will bring in a toy [such as the favored mouse in the portrait], put it down at your feet, look up and meow loudly until you throw it for them. Then just like any puppy would do, they chase it, throw it around and bring it back for you to throw again and again and again. They are great jumpers and can sit upright on their haunches as they wait for a toy to be thrown. They look like little prairie dogs when they do that. The ball with the feather gets this kind of 'anticipation pose' when we throw it to Kaldi."

For more information about the Bombay breed, including shelters that currently have Bombays for adoption, visit this link: Bombays on Petfinder

Thanks for visiting!

February 27, 2010

Prototypes Galore (And a Giveaway Too!)

Here is a peek at what my friend Necchi
and I have been up to:

The ancient sewing machine and I have been abuzz making prototypes for sachets and scented mini pillows with Spring and Mothers Day in mind! I'm told I am in the midst of R and D (research and development)--who knew R and D could be so much fun?

Each kitty is filled with one of my favorite flowers--lavender--and I found great little heart charms to add to each collar. The lavender is heavenly--my art studio smells like Spring!

And now for the GIVEAWAY part!

I need your very important input
as a part of R and D:

If you had to choose, would you prefer a FANCIFUL cat like the one on the left, or a FUR-REAL cat that looked more like an actual cat that you know and love?

Please leave your answer in the Comments section of this post. The giveaway will end Monday night at 7 p.m. I will choose 6 names
(that's SIX lucky winners folks, the odds are in your favor) at random from this post and my Facebook page and each winner will receive one of these prototypes! Bear in mind that there are slight variations in the prototypes and they may vary slightly from the photos...

Please make sure that I have a way to contact you if you are the winner, such as a link to your blog or e-mail address included in the comment.

Also, if you encounter trouble with the Comments feature, please contact me by e-mail at art--you'll find a link under my Profile

Thanks for participating!!!

February 25, 2010

Featured Art Auctions....Cats That Sound Delicious

Whether you describe your tabby as red, orange, ginger, marmalade, cinnamon, apricot, pumpkin or peach, there is no doubt that these lovable redheads of the cat world have a special place in the hearts of their Cat Ladies...

Pictured here are 10 miniature watercolor paintings of ginger cats and their loving cat ladies -- just a few of the 365 Cat Ladies featured in this blog during 2009. All ten are being auctioned off this week on Ebay...it's a great opportunity to collect original artwork at affordable prices, plus you will own a little piece of 365 Cat Lady history! Place your bid today at:


February 23, 2010

Sneak Peek

With spring just around the corner, I've had a sudden burst of creative energy. I've dusted off my vintage 1951 Necchi sewing machine (the Italian version of Singer) and I am cooking up some new ideas.

I originally bought the Necchi second-hand from a sewing machine repair shop 30 years ago (yes, I was 7 at the time); the former owner was a Mrs. Buster of Sacramento, as her name is neatly penciled into the instruction manual. The machine is a workhorse--solidly built with METAL everything (not a plastic part to be found) and it weighs at least a ton.

Recently I've been experimenting with printing my designs onto fabric. Thirty years ago I had a line of soft sculpture cats that I HAND-silk-screened onto muslin--extremely labor intensive, but quite successful. They were sold in handcrafts shops across the country, and one item--a white cat soft sculpture refrigerator magnet--was included in a Tender Vittles giveaway promotion. I can't tell you how many times I visited the cat food aisle that year to pick up a box of Tender Vittles and gaze at my little creation looking back at me from the back of the box!

Now, instead of building separate screens for each color, using photo emulsion, getting each layer perfectly registered and hand-printing each of hundreds of panels, I can simply send the image to my inkjet printer or to an online print-on-demand fabric printer. Sheesh. How times have changed!

Here is a sneak peek at what I printed up yesterday. Any guesses as to what me and my old pal Necchi are going to make with these?

Spay Day USA

Don't delay--neuter or spay! Don't wind up like this Cat Lady who delayed having her she-kitty spayed. These kittens will be adorable for a few weeks until it's time to find homes for them. And, if they in turn are not neutered or spayed, the problem becomes exponential .

Today is Spay Day USA and the Humane Society of the United States would like to raise awareness and help you become a part of the solution to pet overpopulation.

Four million cats and dogs—about one every eight seconds—are put down in U.S. shelters each year. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats and a proven way to reduce the vast numbers of animals who are born only to die prematurely and without a family who loves them. Learn more about why you should spay or neuter your pet.

Visit the Spay Day website today to learn about local events, low-cost spay clinics, trap-neuter-release programs for feral cats and a photo contest.

You can find this design on an assortment of note cards, gifts, and t-shirts in my Cafepress online shop:

February 21, 2010

All Together Now...Addendum

When there are Cat Ladies in the room, look out--it's not often that a Feline Fella/Dog Dude can get a word in edgewise. But Mike has some fascinating facts to add about his beloved brood:

"George Morris [orange cat on guitar] is so skinny, I believe,because when he was x-rayed at the vet they found two beebees and one pellet in his chest. He had been shot three times. He is my
purple heart cat."

"Jenna and Abby came from the humane society in Lancaster, PA, though we live in Maryland."

"Gerald [tabby on Ursula's shoulders] was going to end up in the belly of some King Snake in Missouri. When we visited my friend on his farm, a dog named Elvis chased Gerald about 20 feet into a tree. Her name is Gerald because the farm is in Gerald, MO.

"Abby [in Ursula's lap] likes to butt heads with people. Ursula, being German, uses a phrase, dietze Bock, (it means "bonk the Ram") and Abby bonks us every time.

"Jenna is an aristocat...I think she is really a Russian Blue...from the Tsar's court."

"Blah blah blah... I should stop now. "

Actually, Michael, you may not know this, but there's nothing that makes Cat Ladies swoon more that a Feline Fella or Dog Dude lovingly going on and on about his pets. In fact, legions of Cat Ladies across the country, and perhaps around the world are thinking right now: "That Ursula is one lucky Cat Lady!"

So here's to an inspiring pair of pet people! Thank you to both of you for a happy story full of so many happy endings for some very special friends!

February 20, 2010

All Together Now...!

It's good to have interesting pastimes. Like reading. And guitar playing. Cat Lady Ursula enjoys non-fiction such as veterinary text books and classic cook books (James Beard, Julia Child, Jacques Pepin), and mystery novels too. Feline Fella Mike enjoys playing the songs of his youth on both electric and acoustic guitar, mostly the Beatles, Neil Young, Bob Dylan.

Then there are pastimes like volunteering at the local animal shelter and fostering homeless kitties. The kind of pastimes that can lead to new friends to keep you company while enjoying your other interesting pastimes... Warm, purring, and grateful friends...

Grateful friends Abby and Jenna have been with Ursula and Mike the longest, adopted from a local shelter. Gerald came next. "We found Gerald as a tiny kitten on a friend's farm and took her home," Ursula tells us.

She continues the story: "About two years ago I started fostering cats and kittens for the Harford County Humane Society (Maryland). George Morris, the orange tabby, was my first foster cat. He was very skinny and his coat was in poor condition. He didn't do well in a shelter environment, so needless to say he grew on us and we adopted him.

"One year and many foster kittens later, Estelle the black kitten came along. I raised her litter of four. The other three were perfect angels and got adopted right away. Estelle is an independent spirit and doesn't like to be carried around. Week after week she resisted adoption until it was clear that she would be ours to keep."

Then there is the story of Sergio, one of 75 dogs seized from a hoarder and then cared for at the shelter where Ursula volunteers. Mike wasn't ready for a dog, wanting to wait until he retired to get one. Ursula continues the story: "The animals had lived in small crates in a filthy house. All the volunteers at the shelter took turns walking the dogs and nursing them back to health. Sergio was the one that stood out to me, because of her terrier pluckiness. She tried hard to hold her own among the mostly bigger dogs. We were not prepared for a dog, I never even had my own dog, but I filled out the paper work for Sergio. My husband couldn't believe it, but he was quickly won over and now the two are inseparable...She's been with us for 3 1/2 years."

May all of YOUR pastimes have such happy endings! Thanks for visiting!

February 19, 2010

More Cat Ladies In The News...

Lucky Cat Lady Karen (Cat Lady No.256) got to" talk cats" this week with none other than beloved actress and pet person Betty White!!

Karen (aka Food Lady to Skeezix the Cat and author of The Cat's Meow blog) interviewed Ms. White after the well-known pet advocate received a lifetime achievement award from P&G Pet Care (Eukanuba/Iams) and the Morris Animal Foundation "for her support and commitment to the veterinary industry and animal health and welfare". Read the entire interview here:


Attention Cat Ladies and Lads! Do you have any news or stories to share? Drop me a line at: art@undertheoaks.net with "365 Cat Lady News" in the subject line.

February 17, 2010

Card-Carrying Cat Lady News

Best wishes to birthday girls Fiona and Keely! These sensational sisters are celebrating their very first birthday today! Their Cat Lady Alison (No. 333) has big plans to commemorate the day--I hope I get go see photos! Here is the original post about Cat Lady No. 333 and the girls: Sisterly Love

It's easy to join the Card-Carrying Crazy Cat Lady Club! The membership kit includes a personalized I.D. Card, a members-only pinback button, Club Guidelines, and Club Creed. Gift memberships may also be purchased--just provide name, city, and hair color of the recipient. ABOUT THE CCCCLC

Attention Cat Ladies and Lads! Do you have any news or stories to share? Send them to art@undertheoaks.net with "365 Cat Lady News" in the subject line.


Featured Art Auction....It's All In Black and White

Is your best buddy a bicolor beauty in black and white?

There are many different bicolor patterns with descriptive names such as patched, pied, particolored, harlequin, magpie, piebald or "white spotted". Specific patterns include:

"cow or moo cat" (random spots like a Holstein)

"mask-and-mantle" (covering eyes with "cape" on back)

"cap-and-saddle" (color on top of head and large spot on back)

Pictured here are 10 miniature watercolor paintings of bicolor cats and their cat ladies that were a part of the 365 Cat Ladies featured in this blog during 2009. All are being auctioned off this week on Ebay...here is your chance to collect original artwork without breaking the bank, plus you will own a little piece of 365 Cat Lady history!

Place your bid today at:


Auction ends the morning of Tuesday Feb 23. Thanks for visiting!

February 16, 2010

One World One Heart...And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to Cat Lady Debbie of South Daytona Florida! Her name was drawn out of the 346 entries I received in my One World One Heart Giveaway. She will receive this limited edition print called "Begonia Max". Thank you to all of the wonderful bloggers and cat lovers from around the world who visited my website and participated in the event!!

Debbie is a freelance writer , photographer, and devoted cat lover and says:

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be the winner of your One World, One Heart Giveaway!

I have a wonderful calico cat named Neko, who is such a joyful companion. She is 9-years-old and I adopted her from the local animal shelter when she was just a kitten. It was love at first sight, but I do believe she chose me first!

I would visit her at the shelter every day after work because she was only 3 weeks old when I met her, not old enough to bring home for a few weeks. I would stay for as long as possible and play and cuddle with her. One day the shelter called and said Neko had stopped eating and was losing weight. They were so worried about her that they thought it would be best if they let me bring her home even though she was still so little. I think she missed me when I wasn't at the shelter and wanted to be with her new human friend, because as soon as I got her home she started eating like a pig!

Neko means the world to me and she is such a comfort to have around. She seems to understand that I have a hearing disability because she will come and tell me when someone is at the front door, and even lets me know when the postal carrier has dropped off the mail. She's an amazing, intelligent cat and I don't know what I'd do without her.

Thanks for visiting!

Didn't win? Don't feel bad...The Begonia Max print is currently available for sale in my Etsy Shop; it comes matted and ready to frame in a standard 16 x 20" frame.

I'm offering a 10% rebate plus FREE SHIPPING on this print until the end of the week. Just enter the code MAX in the notes to seller when checking out and the 10% discount and shipping will be refunded through Paypal.


February 15, 2010

Sweethearts and Hissy Fits...Update

Cat Lady Karen commissioned this portrait as a Valentine's-move-in gift for her sweetheart Ali. The two combined households and cats this past weekend. Her hope was for the gift to be "a sort of omen for the happy, well-adjusted family that we will become!"

On Valentines Day Karen was happy to report: "Right after blueberry pancakes Ali opened the gift ...Needless to say he was just over the moon about it. We then walked around the apartment speculating about where it should go. The cats are doing okay so far - although we're minimizing conflict with separate water/food/litter/toys/cat trees, etc. for now, and we're keeping them separate at night time. Fingers crossed!"

Readers offered their own suggestions for introducing new cats to each other:

Cat Lady Barbara: Keep them separate for awhile and then slowly introduce them...or, put them all together and let them work it out. That's what I have done and they usually work it out.

Cat Lady Sarah (Cat Lady No, 61, pictured): Better to keep them separate for awhile, then switch rooms so they can get used to the other's smell without the pressure of the other cat actually being in the room.

Cat Lady Lauren: It is sometimes good to wipe down the cats with the same towel back and forth so they smell like each other and therefore feel more comfortable around each other.

Cat Lady Kelly: What we do, is we handle the new kitty in front of the others and introduce them to each other. We also will rub and pet on the oldies and then rub their scent off on the newie. That combines the regular scent
with the new scent.

Any more suggestions? Share them in the Comments at the end of this post. Thanks!

February 14, 2010

Friendly Reminder...One World One Heart Giveaway Ends Tomorrow Evening!

Time is running out to enter the One World One Heart Giveaway. It ends tomorrow (Monday) at 7:00 p,m, PST when one name will be drawn at random . That lucky person will receive this matted limited edition print (value $60.00).

I've been thrilled to receive visits and comments from 300+ bloggers from around the world over the past three weeks, with the vast majority of them also being Cat Ladies!

For more information and instructions on how to enter, please follow this link to the original blog post: One World One Heart Giveaway

Sweethearts and Hissy Fits

Tuxedo cat Squeaky and terrific tabby Pandora can tell you: it's a little scary to take the big plunge and move in together. Questions arise such as: Just who gets to sit on the top perch of the scratching post? Will there be separate water bowls? What if the other cat looks at me funny and my claws accidentally slip out?

Sweethearts Cat Lady Karen and Feline Fella Ali, on the other hand, are quite ready to take the next big step. Karen explains: "We have decided to merge our households this Valentine's Day weekend. The most complex and stressful aspect for us has been figuring out how to successfully transition from 2 homes with 2 solo cats to one pair of cats !

"While Ali's cat Pandora, and my cat Squeaky, are on their own the most loving and docile cats you can imagine, our early attempts at acquainting them (via afternoon play dates) resulted in the usually timid Squeaky perched on the kitchen counter hissing.

"Since then, we've done research and made endless inquiries to vets and other cat-knowledgeable folks to figure out the best strategy for ensuring a successful meeting and providing for a peaceful home for both cats and people in the future. We think we're ready!"

Here's wishing Karen and Ali the happiest of Valentines Days with many more to come. May everyone's loving households be hissy-fit free today and always!!

When Karen isn't mediating cats, she creates beautiful stoneware pottery. Be sure to visit Karen's pottery studio at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/karenrobertspottery/

Do you have any tips for bringing new cats together into a new household? Leave your suggestions in the comments at the end of this post.

February 12, 2010

The Results are In! Feline Fellas Dominate!

Our Very Scientific Poll asked: Does the guy in your life prefer cats or dogs? A total of 58 readers responded and 36 (62 percent) said their guy is a Feline Fella. Nine readers (15 percent) live with a Dog Dude and 12 readers (20 percent) said that their guy likes both. One responded that none of the above apply...

Readers were invited to leave a comment at the end of the post and one name was drawn at random
to win his/her choice of any one refrigerator magnet from my Cafepress online shop !

The winner was Cat Lady Jo!!! She said, "I have voted, my husband much prefers dogs and tries to get my cat/kitten to sit and wait like a dog - they just ignore him!"

Jo lives in Australia with her Dog Dude, Charlie Cat, new kitten Ruby, and two Dobermans: Brenin and Gaia. Stop by and say "hi" at her blog: Stop...Have A Chat!

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Would you like a Custom Dog Dude or Feline Fella Portrait? ...A one-of-a-kind and very affordable gift for any animal lover...For pricing and options, please visit my Etsy online gallery by clicking here: CUSTOM PET PEOPLE PORTRAITS

February 11, 2010

A Birthday Surprise!

There is nothing more fun than being in on a Top Secret Birthday Surprise, so I was VERY excited when Skeezix the Cat and his Food Lady asked me to create a portrait of Daisy the Curly Cat for her birthday! Daisy is a famous and talented cat who writes one of the most popular blogs in the entire Pet Blogosphere. She is an adorable dilute calico Devon Rex cat who has the most stylish and extensive wardrobe of any cat I've ever seen, and she loves pink! Daisy has beautiful curly whiskers, and she shares her home and adventures with the handsome rascalcat Harley who occasionally engages in a bit of sibling rivalry...

It was very hard to decide which of Daisy's beautiful outfits to use for the portrait, but Skeezix and the Food Lady narrowed it down to three. I went with the Pink Lady outfit because that poodle skirt is just so darn cute!

Yesterday was Daisy's birthday and you can read all about what she thought of her surprise here: The Best Present, Ever. You can also see a photo of Daisy actually wearing the poodle skirt! I am SO honored that the Food Lady and Skeezix chose me to make this special gift, and SO delighted that Daisy and her Mommeh liked it!
(Get well soon, Food Lady!)

Thanks for visiting!

February 10, 2010

The Great Backyard Bird Count is This Weekend

Looking to spend some quality time with your favorite feline this weekend? There's probably nothing he or she would enjoy more than learning the finer points of bird watching.

So get out the binoculars and prime the outdoor bird feeders with seed and suet in preparation for the Great Backyard Bird Count which takes place this weekend, starting Friday.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent.

Anyone can p
articipate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds. Click here to learn How To Participate

My "Birdbrain" collection features a series of fanciful felines enjoying the beauty of nature. A great assortment of gift items, home decor and apparel can be found here: BIRDBRAINS

February 9, 2010

Crazy For Calicoes...Art Auction on Ebay

Did you know that the state cat of Maryland is the calico cat? According to the state website:"Effective October 1, 2001, the calico cat became the official cat of Maryland (Chapter 194, Acts of 2001; Code State Government Article, sec. 13-317). Its colors of orange, black, and white are shared with the Baltimore oriole (State bird) and the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly (State insect).

"Calico is not a breed of cat, but an unusual coloring occurring across many breeds, including Domestic Short-hair, Persian, and Manx. Virtually all calico cats are female."

Pictured here are 10 miniature watercolor paintings of calico cat ladies that were a part of the 365 Cat Ladies featured in this blog during 2009. All are being auctioned off this week on Ebay...here is your chance to collect original artwork without breaking the bank, plus you will own a little piece of 365 Cat Lady history!

Place your bid today at:


Auction ends the morning of Tuesday Feb 16. Thanks for visiting!