August 31, 2010

News From World Headquarters

Tomorrow is SEPTEMBER FIRST, you say?
Surely you are mistaken.

As you may already know, I took some time off from doing custom portraits
during July and August in order to work on some special projects.

In June I made a list of 10-12 things I wanted to accomplish during the wealth of free time that I envisioned over the eight weeks.
Realizing last week that August was slipping by at breakneck speed, I thought it might be a good idea to check the list. I discovered that only two items could be crossed off. Does it count that quite a few projects were HALF finished? {{sigh}}

In the mean time, thank you to everyone who has written to me regarding custom orders. Although I have not been able to respond to everyone yet, I will start doing so tomorrow. It may take me a day or two to respond to everyone, as I have a business meeting in Portland tomorrow [see Very Exciting News below], but rest assured that if you have sent me an Etsy convo or an email, I have already added your name to my list for portraits.

I will start adding listings for custom portraits to my Etsy shop tomorrow but if you don't see what you want, just write to me and I'll make a custom listing for you over the next few days.

Very Exciting News: Tomorrow I have a special opportunity to meet with a number of buyers from the Portland area (thank you Etsy!) in the hopes of establishing some wholesale accounts!

A gal might get a bit overwhelmed under such circumstances, but lucky for me, my studio assistant Buttonwillow was at my side today helping with a photo shoot. She loves to arrange the merchandise in creative ways and takes her job very seriously...

This one needs to go over to the left just a smidge, don't you think?

Okay. Picture Purrfect!

Thanks for visiting!

August 24, 2010

And the Winners Are...

Three names were drawn at random and each has won a matted print of their choice from my Etsy shop in the Go Green Garden Cat Giveaway:

Canadian Cat Lady Catherine
chose this print and tells us a little bit about herself...

"My cat's name is Banjo and he is one big boy ~ 18 lbs (he used to be 30 lbs!) My goal for when I retire, in about 10 years, is to foster kitties for the SPCA. But for now, it's one husband, one son, one cat! " Her passions include cats, birds (and most other animals) crafting, writing and photography and blogging. You can find out more about Catherine at her lovely blog Corner of Cat's Mind.

Cat Lady Curator ALSO chose Bird Brain No. 4! If you are wondering about her web name, it might have something to do with the fact that for the past 4 years she has mixed her love of art history and pets in her fascinating blog The Pet Museum!

"I live with my artist husband, and our pets: an English setter and my two cats Bac' (say: Botch - it's Italian) and Elizabeth (named after a super-feisty grandmother). Bac' and Elizabeth will do anything, ANYTHING for freeze-dried chicken treats. Elizabeth and the dog are best friends, though his idea of kissing her is to stick her head in his mouth... I am a big believer in Etsy and in independent films and bookstores."

And last but not least, Crazy Cat Lady Carm was our third winner! She chose this orange tuxedo garden cat print. Carm, aka Cat Lady No. 217, is (no surprise) a Leo, and is currently celebrating her birthmonth (Cat Ladies of a certain age have earned the privilege of celebrating a birthMONTH instead of a birthDAY)...

She is passionate about her seven kitties and Maine Coon cats, her grandkids, growing sunflowers, music, and serving as a docent at the Buffalo Zoo. You can follow all of her exploits on her wonderful blog Crazy Cat Lady Carm.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the giveaway and contributed such great garden cat stories and gardening tips!!

August 22, 2010

Go Green Garden Cat Giveaway Ends Tonight

There is still time to enter the Go Green Garden Cat Giveaway if you haven't already. It ends tonight at 11 p.m. PST.

Enter for a chance to win one of THREE prizes in the August giveaway: your choice of a Garden Cat Print from my Etsy shop (or your choice of any other matted print in the shop of equal value [$12.50])! Just leave a comment at the end of this link: GIVEAWAY with your own favorite tip for a green garden OR tell us what your cat's favorite garden activity is.

Be sure to check out
the other great suggestions and garden cat stories while you are there. Here are a few examples:

Crazy Cat Lady Carm says: "This year we planted our little metal fire pit/container with parsley and basil--our town made it illegal to have recreational fires... Randy loves to make homemade pesto. We planted some Russian giant sunflowers- they are well over 8 feet tall. It's just so much fun and entertainment to see how big they will get! I feel like Jack and the Beanstalk!"

Cat Lady Catherine says: "I don't use any chemicals in my garden since I have rabbits and birds that always come to visit and with my cat munching on the catmint and chasing butterflies ~ I want to make sure everyone in my garden stays happy and healthy! Except the ants... I wish they would take a hike!"

Cat Lady Emily says:
"Catherine, try crushed (pulverized) eggshell for the ants! It’s a trick mom taught me... they get hurt on it and it deters them plus the plants like the nutrients."

Thanks for participating! Details for the giveaway are at this link:

August 17, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Some great gardening ideas have already been shared in the Go Green Garden Cat Giveaway!

Each of these Cat Ladies plants a little something extra for their non-human friends when out tilling the soil:

Cat Lady Kim: "Using flats one would see at a plant/hardware store for purchasing plants, add soil and "cat grass" (wheat grass and/or cat nip seeds) and grow for your cats on back patio and to bring indoors! Mine love it!!!"

Cat Lady Mimi: "Only hardy plants do well in our Pacific NW yard. We grow blueberries, raspberries, plums and figs. And a generous helping of butterfly-friendly plants like rosemary, monarda, and other mints; we have a chemical free garden."

Cat Lady Layla: "I plant catnip in my herb garden every year and my cats all enjoy the health benefits of greens from the garden but usually prefer weeds. We never add any pesticides and allow about half and acre to go wild."

Enter today for a chance to win one of THREE prizes in the August giveaway: your cho
ice of a Garden Cat Print from my Etsy shop (or your choice of any other matted print in the shop of equal value [$12.50])! Just leave a comment at the end of this link: GIVEAWAY with your favorite tip for a green garden OR tell us what your cat's favorite garden activity is. Be sure to check out the other great suggestions while you are there!Thanks for participating!

August 16, 2010

Go Green Garden Cat Giveaway

With a lot of attention focused on the health of our oceans lately, it's good to remember that what we do right here at home can help keep our oceans healthy. The Nature Conservancy suggests that creating an organic square foot garden can help the environment in numerous ways, including keeping unwanted chemicals out of our seafood!

"Lately there’s been a tremendous surge in interest in eating locally. There are Slow Food groups popping up all over the globe, books about eating food sourced
within 100 milesfarmers markets becoming more common and trendy.

"But what’s better than going to a farmers market and filling your cloth bags with your local farmer’s latest and greatest veggie? Well, how about stepping out on your porch or into your yard and picking some bright, juicy, delicious, home-grown tomatoes or some fragrant basil?...Square foot gardening can be done anywhere you have 6 to 8 hours of sun daily."

For more information, visit their link "Go Chemical-Free with a Square Foot Garden"

Got your gardening gloves on? That means it's time to celebrate the joys of gardening with a GIVEAWAY!

Just leave a comment at the end of this post with your favorite tip for a green garden OR tell us what your cat's favorite garden activity is. Your name will be entered to win one of THREE prizes: your choice of a Garden Cat Print from my Etsy shop (or your choice of any other matted print in the shop of equal value [$12.50])!

Giveaway ends Sunday, August 22 at 11 p.m. PST. Three names will be drawn at random and each will receive their choice of one matted print. Open to gardeners and feline fanatics world-wide!

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

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

Thanks for participating!

August 14, 2010

Remembering Old Friends--Tuxedo Gus

It's common knowledge among feline fanatics that tuxedo cats are something special, but when a tuxedo cat comes with its own built-in bow tie, you know resistance is futile.

Cat Lady Carrie can tell you all about that first-hand. It's a tale of survival, and a tale of commitment and love.

As a volunteer at the Good Mews Animal Shelter nine years ago, a fellow volunteer introduced Carrie to "the frowziest little mop of black fur. They began to explain how he was the only survivor from his litter. All of them had been attacked by some sort of animal. He had sustained an injury to his back legs but had pulled through his ordeal! My heart melted, of course, and I knew he had to be with me."

Little Gus came to live with Carrie, her feline fella Brian, and Teeny--the one cat they had at the time. Gus turned out to be a special needs cat who faced some extreme challenges, including life and death battles over the years, but the nurturing love and devotion of Carrie and Brian always pulled him through.

"Despite his health issues, Gus grew into the most handsome boy. He had fur like black velvet…thick and so soft, the longest white whiskers you have ever seen and the cutest built-in white bow tie, shirt and shoes. Early on, he even managed to start walking on his back legs. He sort of scuffled around clumsily, but was able to use them nonetheless. He was so full of quirky personality! He would lumber over to the sofa every night and stretch one paw up to let us know that he was ready to be lifted up for a cuddle. He would lie on his back tucked into his dad’s or my armpit enjoying hours of chin scratching purring non-stop. He loved tuna juice and treats. His favorite toys were milk jug tabs and the plastic safety wrap on dip and sour cream containers."

As you can see, Gus's feline family grew over the years.
And it was with great sadness that the whole clan said goodbye to Gus a few weeks ago.

"We still can’t quite grasp the fact that he is gone. Life will never be the same without his happy spirit rumbling and bumbling around in our lives. But we are quite sure that Gus now has angel wings and strong legs and a perfect plumbing system. He is rolling around on endless miles of soft carpeting purring his days away."

"Never underestimate the power of the purr."

Read Carrie's full-length tribute to Gus in her blog post: GUS: The Purring Little Engine That Could but be sure to have a hanky or two handy.

You'll also want to check out Carrie's fun and delightful hand-crafted sculptures, ornaments and cake-toppers in her Etsy Shop: The Snippets. Fifteen percent of her profits go straight to spaying/neutering/rescuing cats in Kentucky!

August 5, 2010

Scotty's Big Rescue... Part 3

Last week Paddy the Library cat told us a little more about his rescued friend Scotty . Today Paddy tells us a little more about Scotty's special heritage:

Scotty Burns (That’s his fancy name!) is a Scottish Fold cat.

These are special cats with big, round, “owl” eyes. Some of them have ears folded forward and some have straight ears but they all have the traits of the Scottish Fold: mellow and loving with a sweet, wide-eyed expression.

All Scottish Fold cats trace their ancestry back to Susie, a white, folded-ear cat found in 1961 on Mr. Ross’s farm in Scotland. These cats with folded ears must be bred to a straight ear Scottish Fold.Because the folded ear is desirable to more people, a non-reputable breeder will breed two “Folds” together.This can create hardened cartilage and result in a stiff tail and arthritis-like symptoms throughout the body that shorten life and cause constant pain.We have, at our house, another Scottish Fold rescue that suffers from this condition.I will tell you about our Robert Burns [Robbie] sometime!

Scotty and Robbie sense a kinship, and we can often find Scotty sitting or sleeping near Robbie who is getting old and doesn’t feel well [pictured here].

I have been enjoying again some books by Peter Gethers about his Scottish Fold cat, Norton.You might like them too: The Cat Who Went To Paris, A Cat Abroad, and The Cat Who’ll Live Forever. True stories and so much fun to read!

So, that is some of what I’ve been thinking about this summer. Hope you are having some summer fun too!

Paddy The Library Cat is a featured columnist here at 365 Cat Ladies and Friends. He is the Library Cat at Pacelli High School in Wisconsin. You may leave messages for him in the Comments section below this post. Thanks for visiting!

August 2, 2010

Purr Therapy For All


Artificial Intelligence meets
ic Purr Therapy...
Introducing Purr-Bot, model 6500

The benefits of sharing space with a purring cat have been well documented. A rumbling cat has been proved to consistently induce good health and cheerful thoughts and feelings in human subjects of all ages. Sadly, many members of society suffer from cat allergies and have been deprived of the delightful benefits of Purr Therapy.

Until now.

Purr-bot 6500 is 100 percent free of dander, dust, and fur and comes with multiple cool dials and gizmos to regulate the intensity of your Purr Therapy. From Mild Hum to Thunderous Rumble, you will instantly reap the benefits of this allergen-free Cat in a Can. Meow box is optional; Head-butting model coming soon...


Purr-Bot is available as a matted print in my Etsy Shop. For more information, click on this link: Purr-Bot 6500

August 1, 2010

The Bluebird of Happiness

Both Buttonwillow and I have whiled away many happy hours watching birds. Bluebirds can be seen in Oregon, but alas, they usually stay on the other side of the Cascade mountains, so we are still waiting to add "bluebird" to our sightings lists...

One of my happiest memories is that of becoming a Bluebird when I was seven. A Bluebird was the junior version of a Camp Fire Girl. When we were young, my little sister and I mostly had home-made clothes and once or twice a year we would get to pick out a store-bought dress from Sears & Roebucks or J.C. Penneys. I'll always remember the thrill of the day my Mom took me to Buffums, the department store where RICH people shopped. There we bought an official red and blue Bluebird vest and a jaunty blue cap with the bluebird insignia on it, both of which I treasured for my entire two-year hitch as a Bluebird.

There was also a sparkling glass display case at Buffums filled with accessories and treasures adorned with the bluebird insignia, but those would have to wait for birthdays or Christmastime. At some point I acquired a beautiful little enamel bluebird pin which I proudly wore on m
y vest, and which I happily rediscovered just a few years ago, stashed away in an old jewelry box.

Another happy memory is my very first theater experience: a Bluebird troop field trip to a small theater house to see a matinee of the play "The Bluebird". It was originally written in the early 1900s by Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard, Count Maeterlinck, and involves a brother and sister, a fairy, a bluebird, and some profound ideas about happiness and the pursuit of it, which my Mom had to explain to me afterward.

Thanks to her explanation, I still know that my happiness does not depend on whether or not I ever actually see a bluebird. Happiness is all of the beautiful birds I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy watching in the pursuit of some day catching a glimpse of a bluebird. Better yet, happiness was g
etting to BE a Bluebird, and still being one in my memories and in my heart.

But try telling that to Buttonwillow. She's convinced that simply eating a bluebird might be the true road to happiness. Sigh.

One of my favorite parts of being a Bluebird was getting to do Arts and Crafts almost every week. And I'm still at it! Here is one of my latest glass pendant designs featuring you-know-what! It's available in my Etsy Shop at this link: Bluebird of Happiness Pendant.