Photo credit: BCWR/PA Wire
Shrek and Smurf will need a great deal of expensive medical attention as they recover from the toxins absorbed from the marker into their skin. These babies (and they are only babies!) deserve the same chance at life, love, and health as any other kitten.

Gwen Cooper of Homer’s Heroes is taking up a collection for Shrek and Smurf’s rehabilitation and eventual rehoming.  Right now BCWR has vet bills in excess of $6000–we’re hoping to raise a small piece of that.  Click here to donate now!

To counter the cruelty, we’re celebrating the kindness of adopting. It’s National Tabby Day and our friend Sandy Robin is doing a book-signing for her new book. There will be a party and adoption event at Bidewee and Mayor’s Alliance. If you’re in the NYC area, you’re invited! We got a review copy of Making the Most of All Nine Lives: The Extraordinary Life of Buffy the Cat.

It’s an adorable mix of photos of Buffy, a photogenic and cooperative tabby taken by his cat dad, a retired dentist. The images are not photoshopped but skillfully staged with clever captions by Sandy Robins. Find out more about Buffy and his book at his official website Buffy The Cat


We always have a choice to shift from cruelty to kindness. April is the ASPCA Cruelty Prevention Month but let’s make it every month.

Cats make us smile every day and deserve to be celebrated for simply being their amazing selves.  If haven’t entered our funny cat caption contest, leave your clever comment at our caption contest post.



Welcome to our Feline Earth Day and Passover Extravaganza.

We love double holidays or triple. The more the merrier and we’re celebrating with lots of fun cat photos. We’re big a tree-hugging, earth-loving bunch and love celebrating the joys, mysteries and wonder of our precious planet every day. Loving the Earth is about respect and honor or as our cats might say: don’t poop where you eat. Honoring doesn’t mean going all crunchy granola and wearing vegan shoes (nothing wrong with walking your talk) but simply by treating our planet with the respect and awareness of her finite resources.


Pick up litter someone careless left behind. We’re a disposible-loving nation and in the U.S. every year, the average person throws out about 4.6 pounds of garbage every day. The numbers are adding up and according to the World Bank, global waste is estimated to triple by 2100. A stinky situation which made us think about cat litter.

Did you know used clumping clay cat litter won’t biodegrade in the landfill, at least not in our lifetime ? Or that so-called flushable cat litter can clog sewer systems? There doesn’t seem to be an ideal solution but we’re exploring some new options. Going green or eco-friendly is not easy but whoever can come up with a new litter solution deserves a Nobel Prize.

feline earth day
Merlin of Cat Wisdom 101 says, ” Do you recycle?”.

If you can recycle, reduce, reuse, replenish or restore.  Watch and improve your carbon footprint. Click to calculate yours. The U.S. average for 2 persons is 53. I thought we scored well with a 28 but the world average is 11!

Odin celebrates Earth Day literally with a dirt bath.



Merlin in his younger days enjoyed rolling in the dirt.


And former feral Domino continues his love affair with Mother Nature.



We usually feature vintage or other black cat art on Fridays and couldn’t resist going green by tweaking an antique Steinlen poster.


Domino loves all kinds of fish. Happy Pesach to our Jewish readers. Of our four cats, only Odin is Jewish, or at least that what my Jewish husband claims.

On a more serious note: to our Jewish readers who would like to feed their cat Kosher for Passover, we compiled a list of Passover Cat Food.

How are your celebrating your Feline Earth Day?


Mancat Monday: The Best Or Worst Gift Ever.

It’s Mondays with Merlin with some help today from my fur bros. Domino and Odin, the best mancat pals a cat could ask for. When Layla got back from Florida, the first signs of spring had sprung and the boys abandoned me to spend most of the day on the porch or garden. It’s still not warm enough for me to me out for more than a few minutes because I have zero body fat. My auntie Sarah stopped by for a visit and was shocked to see how skinny I’d become and frankly, everyone is shocked I’m still alive.

There is a Finnish word my grandmother said I have bundles of and that’s sisu. It’s a dogged determination against all odds to persevere. The only food I want now is raw and I’m ravenous for it day and night. No, I will not go gently into the night. It’s driving everyone to re-examine what is best at a time when everyone is feeling their worst. My feline comrades look concerned at me at times with me flailing with blind (literally) determination to get from point A to B blind. They know. Cats have an intuitive sense about life and death. We don’t fear either but live in the moment as best we can.

Domino was out sunning himself on the big chair overlooking the burial mound. It was Gris Gris’ old chair by his grave and you could say Domino he looked mournful but let’s not anthropomorphize shall we? Okay, if we are going to go there, I could say his gaze is like “Blue Steel” from the film Zoolander. Domino gets points for surviving another winter. A big deal when you consider he spent 7 winters outdoors as a feral. We all survived but the toll was great. Sadness laced with anxiety and anger has crept into every crevice of our old house in anticipation of my demise. The humans would call it grace under fire BUT…blessed spring is here and I clearly have unfinished business.


Then the box arrived. A special delivery. We knew it was coming but it came early.  We’re used to parcels and boxes arriving. After 5 years of testing hundreds of cat products and reviewing hundreds of cat books, we know the drill. This new box lay unopened until yesterday. When Layla asked my dad, who it was from, he went all silent like guys do when they know but rather not tell. You don’t have to be a mind reader to know this would not be a new catnip toy.

Layla carefully opened the box from PawPods and found another box but not just any box but a eco-friendly burial casket. Casket? Like a coffin a box to bury the dead in or the other meaning of casket (n.) small and often ornate box for holding jewels or other valuables. Holy Bastet and curl my whiskers, but this is either the worst gift in the world or the best. I stayed upstairs and wasn’t privy to the unveiling. Cats don’t care for fancy things. Simple and natural is our mantra. I trust Layla to consider what’s best for me and I know she honors every hair on my 21-year-old body.


Odin our #1 products tester, heard the rip of a box opening and showed up in Pavlov’s dog fashion thinking catnip, catnip, catnip, treats, treats, treats. It almost doesn’t matter what the item is if the box it came in suits him. Odin has never met a box he didn’t like. The PawPod is silky smooth and surprisingly sturdy considering it’s made of bio-degradable bamboo and rice husks. The lid snaps on nice and tight but easily removed if you need to make any last minute changes. You could take a marker and doodle on it or paint a design.

The great thing about having it before we need it is having the time to prepare and make it special. Layla is thinking of doing a mandala design on top and finding the softest silk to wrap me in. Sounds rather spiffy already. Pet loss rituals and memorials are healing for everyone connected to the pet.

Doing some prep in advance is like a dress rehearsal to rein in stress and inform more meaningful choices.

Odin sniffed and immediately jumped into the box containing the PawPod. As soon as Layla removed it, he had a moment of confusion but read Layla’s mind about the real purpose and lost interest. Okaaaay, no catnip, no treats, no toys. I’m out of here. There was an odd moment of knowing we were all in sync and it was all okay.



Humans can be so judgmental but cats never are. We accept your fashion choices, weird habits and poor decisions. Cats think life and death are natural, unpredictable and a divine mystery. Dear humans, we get it.

Talking about death, funerals, or grieving can be awkward or creepypants uncomfortable. But like all fear-based emotions, they ease once the conversation starts and action is taken, like right meow. Planning ahead, whether providing for your pet in your will, prepping supplies for a funeral, memorial or burial can bring peace of mind.


If this post resonates with you, let us know in a comment and/or share.


See you next week for another Mondays With Merlin.

Love always,


Special thanks to PawPods for the gift. Best or worst gift? In my infinite wisdom I have deemed it the BEST gift ever for anyone with a pet in deep decline. Pawpods also make urns for cremation. Not all states in the U.S. allow pet owners to bury their pets in the backyard so check you state regulations. Pawpods make cute little fish pods and they are keen on stopping the practice of flushing goldfish and other aquatics being down the toilet. Not only is it disrespectful for a child’s early experience of pet loss but goldfish are now considered an invasive species.

FTC discaimer. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% feline and true.

Special paws taps to Domino, Odin and Nou Nou for their friendship and acceptance for what is. Oh yeah, my mom could use a hug and it’s my dad’s birthday today!



A short and sweet Hip Hoppy Happy Easter Cats and Bunnies –vintage style. I made these cards from antique images with an added modern twist. Enjoy, Pinn and share. We’re also joining a blog hop with friends Come along and visit.

Hip hoppy_easter_cat


Of course, you don’t need a reminder to keep deadly lilies and tulips aways from cats but just in case, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Not to mention sky-high vet bills on a holiday. Need to learn more? Read the award-winning article about toxic lilies by veterinarian, Dr. Letrisa Miller and have a hoppy Easter cats kind of holiday.




Happy Spring from all of us at Cat Wisdom 101.

Welcome to the first Mondays With Merlin of the new season. First, allow me to do a short spring fling happy dance, again.



With Layla gone most of last week at Global Pet Expo in Florida, I was not happy and only spoke to her on the phone once! We do communicate mind-to-mind and frankly I was more worried about her than she was about me. She had the moldy hotel room from hell which made her sick, changed to a better room the next day and went non-stop with back-to-back appointments with pet brands, pr agency tours, media lunchs and parties. With miles of pet product booths in over a million square feet means a lot of walking and her red suede driving shoes worked their magic. Ditto a nightly soak in the Jacuzzi but she will be adding useful new tip to her Pet Expo or any convention for that matter SURVIVAL GUIDE She survived, I survived and it’s a brand new season.

Thank Cod, our cat daddy took care of us all but poor Nou Nou developed a nasty, hotspot on her leg. She’s difficult to handle, scratches like a banshee Vetericyn which works like a charm but won’t work if we can’t get it on her on a consistent basis. A vet visit is on the already overloaded schedule this week but we all know: happy cats = happy life. Cats come first.

This trip was a game changer in many ways. I’m not getting any younger and Layla is no spring chicken. Whenever we return from a trip, we see our home and loved ones with fresh eyes and ears. She was shocked to see me so thin. I was shocked to learn one of her favorite new pet products has to do with pet burials! Whoa, let’s not go there. I’m just happy to survive another winter and I have a few picnics planned on my agenda.

Spring is a time of renewal and Layla is ready for a really radical plan for the next couple years. It could be rebranding, a complete reboot or retiring. Whaaat? The lightbulb moment came at a VIP party and networking reception (co-hosted by Lisa Vanderpump of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and Vanderpump Pets and Shorty Rossi of Animal Planet’s “Pit Boss”) to celebrate the new Lumina Media brand from i-5 Publishing, the publishers of Catster, Dogster, Cat Channel etc.

New name, new logo and tagline “You’ll love this”. Just like that. We’ll have to wait and see who loves what. We did love seeing our friend Chris Poole with Cole and Marmalade featured in the Spring issue of Catster. Here’s a sneak peek. I’d say something purrfect is circulating in the wind.


Spring is such a happy time but nothing makes humans happier than some kitty therapy.  Chris Poole was filming at the famous Cat House on the Kings California’s largest no-cage, no-kill lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center. He spent the night there and had some feline pillow talk. Talk about kitty heaven!

See you next week,



P.S. Remember it’s kitten season. Share the the spay/neuter message. Layla politely asked someone with a pregant Siamese on Instagram and lots of cute kitten pics if they were breeders. They weren’t and were clueless about spay/neuter saying the unborn kittens already had homes. They have several cats indoor/outdoor cats (not sure if it’s in the U.S.) Layla went back and forth as diplomatically as possible about making a difference but realized how easy it is to cross the line into judgement and the question today is:

What do you say to someone in this kind of situation?


St.Patrick's day-cat-four leaf clover-kiss me1

Irish Cats Say, Kiss Me! because it’s St. Patrick’s Day. Our fur gang sends their best wishes and kisses. Our favorite Irish quote is: Beware of people who don’t like cats.




Kiss, me love Domino.




Every four years we have a leap year on February 29. Today we’re celebrating leap year cat love. Well, actually I’m just happy to get to the end of the month. Woo hoo, can you believe all the snow is gone and it was warm enough to sit outside yesterday? I’m more wobbly-legged than ever but what bliss to sniff fresh greenery which means I survived my 21st WINTER! The snowdrops and a few crocuses have popped up and March is coming in like a lamb. mondays _with_merlin_cat

After my first walkabout in weeks, I enjoyed a long overdue bath. What can I say, I can’t groom myself the same way anymore and it’s not a bath but a hand-held shower in the tub bath. The warm water feels so good and then I get towelled off and sit in front of a space heater to dry.  Did you know old cats lose more whiskers and they don’t grow back as fast? Mine are very short now and yet they still do their job detecting air currents and objects to navigate space. All the more critical if blind like me. My mom says I still look so handsome.

Oh, how I love my clean, soft, furs and wish my old meezer gal pal Nellie could nuzzle me. She is a spring chicken of 17 but still beautiful. She stopped blogging for awhile but she’s back! The sauciest Siamese is at Nellie on The Edge. And she’s Canadian like me. Who knows, maybe she’ll ask me to marry her. After all, today is the day ladies can ask men to marry them.


And we all know one cat leads to another so forget any romantic notions. Love is grand but unwanted kittens are not.


It’s a silly dream to think of romance at my age and the end of the day, my heart belong to mom. What can I can say? I’m a proud momma’s boy. And I won’t be doing any real leaping. Sigh, there was a time many moons ago when I could easily leap to the top of a six foot fence. However, I never did it for tricks or treats like some trained cats.



While researching about the leap year we found a video about leaping cats at a monastery in Burma.  Life is an adventure and enjoy a little trip down this river (fast forward if you’re impatient) to see the trained cats leap through hoops. It’s interesting to see their training technique. Cats perform or not according to their mood.

Will you be doing anything special this leap year?



Are you wondering what the best Valentine is for cat lovers? This year Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach a blush-worthy 19 billion in the U.S. and over 700 million will be spent on pets. My hubby and I must be very unromantic since there won’t be champagne, roses, chocolates, lingerie, perfume, romantic dinners at our house but we did spend a small fortune on vet bills and the dentist!

Gifts are nice but the loveliest Valentine is the love of a cat. At least that’s what my cats say. Cats are very particular who they love and there isn’t enough caviar in the world to bribe or force their feelings. When they CHOOSE to love you, it’s true LOVE.


And if you need more proof, here are 25 Ways Cats Show Love


If you love vintage cat Valentines, check out more of our Valentine post scanning 120 years of kitty V’ Day love!

Wait, there’s more. I’ve saved the best for last to prove a purrfect point.

Do you agree that there is no better Valentine than the love of a cat? If you are gift buying, what is on your wishlist? Please don’t say it’s Fabio 😉



mondays _with_merlin_cat
Cat Who is a Dog in the Year of the Monkey Seeks Valentine. Huh? It’s like this. I’m a cat but in Chinese Astrology I’m a dog because of the year I was born (1994). Yeah, I’m that old. To add insult to injury, of the 12 animals in the zodiac there is no cat! There are pigs, oxen, roosters and even dragons but no cats unless you count the tiger. Fine. Every year one animal is featured and 2016 is the year of the monkey. For dogs, it’s not a great year. Oh dear. Some years are better than others right but there is always something good. If you don’t know what animal you are, click to find your zodiac animal and find what the year of the monkey has in store for you.


We always begin our new year celebration on Asian time which was yesterday. The new year celebrations continue until the full moon on the 27th. If you missed our new year/feng shui post, you may enjoy our litter box tips and other tidbits. We weren’t kidding about the holiday becoming mainstream. All the schools in NYC are closed today for the Chinese New Year. I hope the year you brings all good things and a mountain of catnip. And tomorrow is Mardi Gras so let the party continue. I dragged out this old pic of me and bro Odin to show you how much has changed. He was still a kitten and I still had meat on my bones.

mardi gras_cat

This was taken last night. Odin is now plump and I’m scrawny but we still love each other.


It’s was blissfully quiet yesterday with the entire country glued to their televisions to watch the SuperBowl. It reminded me of another life in Ancient Rome when the Coliseum served up Super Bowl-type spectacles of a more primitive sort but the ethos remains the same.  Crowds cheering, wagering on winners, exciting entertainment in a communal circle. Instead of gladiators, we have hulking football players. I caught bits and pieces but preferred Downton Abbey snuggled on Layla’s lap.

And it was warm enough to catch a few rays on the porch. Can you imagine, in February? The gods have been extra kind to me. Sadly, I can’t say the same for some of my cat friends who are exiting or ready to catch the next flight to the Rainbow Bridge in record numbers. 

One blogger made a lovely remembrance video of 70 cats from one our blogging communities who passed in the past year, including our dear ginger boy, Radish. That put Layla over the edge. She’d been thinking about him a lot while cleaning and decluttering. When he died in June she made temporary memorial altar in the bathroom but couldn’t bear to touch it until last week. It was removed and a new smaller one was created in her dressing room. You can’t rush these things and when it feels right to move forward you do. That means not listening to anyone who suggests otherwise.

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t need any pomp or circumstance when I go since I’m not going anywhere.

I am not my tiny, ever-shrinking, fur-covered body.  All of us are more than a physical shell of a body, more than our species, gender, indentity of brother, sister, blogger, chief. We are more than our bank account, wardrobe, collection of books and possessions. Underneath all the trappings, We are LOVE. We are manifestations of the DIVINE. We are INFINITE. But we FORGET. Is it it any wonder why Valentine’s Day is such a huge holiday? We need reminders of that love. But rememeber when seeking love, to know if you can’t find it within, you’ll never find it out there.

On a lighter note, it may be the year of the monkey but let’s not monkey around. I’m seeking a Valentine and think Doctor Love is kinda cute. But will you be my Valentine?


Yours truly forever,



There’s much to celebrate today. It’s the Chinese Lunar New Year. In the U.S. we have Super Bowl mania. While grocery shopping yesterday, you’d think we were stocking up for a famine. Customers bought snacks by the truckload, treats for humans and pets (we’re down with the treats part) for eating, drinking and watching the Super Bowl. Football is not a big deal at our house but we make exceptions for the Kitten Bowl. And thrilled all 100 kittens appearing today were adopted!


January 1 may be our calendar new year but it’s never really feels like a fresh start until the lunar New Year which begins today. After an entire week of cleaning and preparing everything we feel ready for a burst of creative good fortune.  The Lunar New Year is celebrated by all Asians, but is morphing into an All-American holiday regardless of race or heritage. Part of the reason is the growing interest in feng shui. When I began studying the ancient art of placement twenty years ago, it folded effortlessly in my lifestyle but few understood what I was talking about.  Over the years it doesn’t seem so weird any more. Over the past couple years, I noticed a big jump in public awareness about both feng shui and the Lunar New Year. When HGTV airs how to feng shui your bedroom, it’s gone mainstream. Ditto NBC airing feng shui experts predictions for the New Year.

There are websites to quickly help newbies understand how to find the best direction calculators for sleeping, the lucky direction for your desk, auspicious times for planning anything and everything. And that advice applies to our cats. This is our post on feng shui and litter box placement. I wish I’d had all the tools and tips when I started! The Feng Shui For Dummies is a great primer.

At the grocery store while selecting mandarin oranges (lucky new year fruit) an Asian couple reached over to handle the fruit. They really looked like they knew what they were doing. We began chatting and they said they buying them for the new year. They were surprised I was doing the same and thrilled I knew feng shui. It felt like a cultural divide melted in an instant. The man gave me a vigourous thumb’s up and they both smiled like lost lost relatives. I may not follow their traditions to a T but when we break down the celebration to its core,

it’s all about living in harmony, honoring our planet and creating a safe, healthy and comfortable haven called home. Whatever you celebrate and or root for today and in the months ahead,  I wish you all the best for the New Year!



We like to plan our editorial calendar well in advance and find it handy knowing about cat-related causes and pet holidays. It seems like there is a pet-related holiday every day but we can’t celebrate everything. Our cats might differ and say every day with cats is a reason to celebrate. This is our curated 2016 pet calendar for 365 days of feline fun and wisdom..

Feel free to bookmark, print or share. Mouse over for links. Some have tips from us or other valued info. Circle the holidays relevant to you. Remember to add your cat’s birthday or gotcha day. May your year be full of feline love and joy!


Check the Severe Weather Calendar for events in your state by the month.


Walk Your Pet Month (consider learning to leash train your cat.)
January 2: National Pet Travel Safety Day.
January 14: Dress Up Your Pet Day
January 22: National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day.
January 24: Change a Pet’s Life Day (ASPCA).


Pet Dental Health Month (AVMA).
National Cat Health Month.
Beat the Heat Month. ASPCA.
National Spay/Neuter Month (Humane Society of the United States).
Responsible Pet Owners Month.
February 14: Valentine’s Day and Pet Theft Awareness Day (via Last Chance for Animals).
February 20: Love Your Pet Day.
February 23: World Spay Day (Humane Society International and HUSUS– last Tuesday of February).


Pet Poison Month and Poison Prevention Week
March 20-26

March 2 – Dr. Seuss Read Across America Day.
March 3 – If Pets Had Thumbs Day.
March 6 – 12: Professional Pet Sitters Week.
March 20 – 26: National Poison Prevention Week.
March 16 – 22: National Flood Safety Awareness Week.


Animal Cruelty Prevention Month (ASPCA).
National Heartworm Awareness Month (American Heartworm Society).
National Pet First Aid Awareness Month.
April 11: National Pet Day.
April 10 – 16: National Volunteer Week.
April 10 – 16: National Animal Control Appreciation Week.
April 17 – 23: National Pet ID Week.
April 17 – 23: Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week (Humane Society of the United States).
April 19: Pet Owners Day.
April 22: Earth Day.
April 26: National Kids & Pets Day
April 27: Free Feral Cat Spay Day (Alley Cat Rescue).
April 29: Hairball Awareness Day.
April 30: National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.
April 30: World Veterinary Day (World Veterinary Association). 


National Pet Month and National Pet Week
Responsible Animal Guardian Month.
Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
Pet Cancer Awareness Month (Sponsored by Pet Cancer Awareness and the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research).
Chip Your Pet Month.
May 1 – 7: Be Kind to Animals Week (AHA).
May 3: National Specially-abled Pets Day.
May 1-7: National Pet Week (AVMA).
May 8: Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
May 23: National Heat Awareness Day (prep for summer safety).


National Pet Preparedness Month (in advance of hurricane season).
Adopt-a-Shelter Cat Month (ASPCA).
Adopt-a-Cat Month (AHA).
June 5 – 11: Pet Appreciation Week.
June 4: International Hug Your Cat Day. Or May 30.
June 9: Meezer Show Your Colors Day.
June 11: Just One Day (One day of no-kill in shelters worldwide).
June 12: World Pet Memorial Day.
Mid-June: Animal Rights Awareness Week.
June 19: International Box Day.
June 23 – 25: Blogpaws and Cat Writers’ Association Annual Conference (Wild Horse Pass Sheraton Resort – Phoenix, AZ).


JULY 15: National Pet Fire Safety Day.  Awareness is needed re: fireworks, bar-b-ques and bonfires on Canada Day (July 1 ) and U.S. July 4th celebrations.
JULY 21: National Craft For Your Local Shelters Day.


August 8: World Cat Day or  International Cat Day.
August 15: Check the Chip Day. Microchip awareness (AVMA).
August 17: National Black Cat Appreciation Day.
August 20: International Homeless Animal Day (International Society for Animal Rights).
August 22: National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day.
August 30: National Holistic Pet Day.


Catalyst Council’s Happy Healthy Cat Month.
National Disaster Preparedness Month.
National Food Safety Awareness Month.
September 11: National Pet Memorial Day (International Association of Pet Cemeteries).
September 19: International Meow Like a Pirate Day.
September 22: Remember Me Thursday (Helen Woodward Animal Center). Be The light!
Sept. 28: World Rabies Day (Global Alliance for Rabies Control).
Last full week in September: Deaf Pet Awareness Week and Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable Pet (Petfinder.com).


National Black Cat Awareness Month (founded by Cat Wisdom 101 to dispel black cat myths and increase shelter adoptions).
National Veterinary Technician Week October 9-15
National Pet Wellness Month.
October 9 – 15: National Veterinary Technician Week.
October 12: National Pet Obesity Day.
October 16: National Feral Cat Day (Alley Cat Allies).
October 29: National Cat Day. In the U.K. October 27 is National Black Cat Day.


Adopt a Senior Pet Month (ASPCA).
National Senior Pet Month
Pet Cancer Awareness Month.
Pet Diabetes Month.
November 6 – 12: National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week (HSUS).
November 17: National Black Cat Day 


December 15: National Herding Cats 
Since December is oddly devoid of holidays we propose December 1 as Holiday Pet Safety Day to learn and exchange tips on keeping our cat happy, safe and healthy during the holiday season.
And how about Shelter Cat Secret Santa Month. Shelters need donations of cat toys all year round. Why not be a secret Santa to deserving cats at your local shelter. Drop off a package of new cat toys especially small catnip toys mice, balls that bounce, roll or crinkle and mini cardboard scratchers for cages.
There is one holiday I feel is needed and our feline muse, Merlin may address that on Monday. Meanwhile, today, Jan.14 is Dress Up Your Pet Day. It’s pure silliness but as always, respect your pet. Not every pet wants to get dressed up.  A simple bowtie is the least invasive way to be festive as Merlin demonstrates. 



The deeper the Internet archives, the longer our love affair with cats grows. For our Friday Finds and Feline Funnies, we have two fab examples of vintage cat art.

CAT CRUISE NEWS: Look for news coming soon about the curated cat art exhibit at our Cat Film Fest at Sea. 
Our cat arts and culture cruise is taking shape and embracing every aspect of what we love about cats. Check out our new lower pricing options under the Film Fest tab in our header! We’re going to sell out out so don’t miss the boat. Reserve your spot for only $250.

As soon as modern photography developed in the early 1800s, the easiest subjects were buildings, landscapes or still life since they didn’t move. Photos then required a very long exposure period of about 8 hours. In 1839 speed and techniques improved with the daguerreotype and more images of people and inevitably pets, appeared. Photography up until the turn of the century required the subject to remain as motionless as possible for about 10 minutes. No easy task for squirmy kids or kittens. Even with anti-shake settings today, it’s not that easy to capture the ephemeral quality of cats. They will photo bomb for the hell of it.

I took liberties colorizing and tweaking this antique French photo of a young girl and her patient cat. It’s likely taken later during the Victorian era than 1869 but the 1860s was the earliest  period I could find decent quality images from. All images until Kodak invented the film roll in 1888 were laborious one photo-at-a-time set ups.

Some things never change. For over 150 years, cats have been cajoled into sitting still for the camera. Cat bloggers and their cats are notorious for their love/hate relationship with the “flashybox”. Thankfully our models or meowdels don’t have to sit still for more than a second to snap an image. But one is never enough and then there are those infamous photo bombs.

History buffs will purr over an image/photography timeline.


About a hundred years later, in the ’70s, the iconic cat cartoonist Bernard Kliban enjoyed the peak of his fame. Thanks to the digital age his work is loved by a new generation of art and cat lovers.  I hope Kilban isn’t rolling over in his grave from my homage of his black and white ink drawing.
If you’re a fan of Kliban you may not know his deeper side as depicted in an astute analysis at thepaincomics.com. Yeah, I know who has time for a 25 page PDF but you will never look at Kliban, the social satirist the same way again. It’s amazing how well his work has aged with few truly dated pieces. It’s a fitting tribute and reminder that not all artists in any medium get recognized for their worth or may get famous for one hit wonders eschewing the real treasure.
It doesn’t take much digging in the past to uncover see how easily the vintage works paved the way for the LOL cat craze, the cats of Instagram frenzy and current cat culture mania. I don’t see it as anything new but new and improved as future editions of Friday Feline Finds will reveal.

Do tell: How do your cats (past or present) feel about the “Flashy Box” ?



Did you know over 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail? Most within days and yet humans are fool enough to keep repeating the annual exercise in futility.  If resolutions were stock in a company, their ROI would cause bankruptcy. We need to take a lesson from our cats.  Cats are far too clever to fall for the humiliation of epic fails. If cats really wanted to make a resolution, they’d succeed because of their feline secret sauce: focus and motivation. If humans could harness the same ability to sit with laser focus on a mouse hole, still as a stone for hours like a cat, they’d lose weight, run a marathon or ditch their loser boyfriend.

No, cats do not and will not make any New Year’s resolutions. They don’t have to. Why fix something not broken? Most cats exude a confidence worthy of emulating.  Just watch them walk with their tail high all la dee da. They don’t judge their habits as good or bad. They have no issue with any of their behavior until a human yells at them or worse.  They don’t think they smell bad and or look overweight no matter how poochy their belly is. Oh nooooo, you and I might prefer hide behind a curtain than show off a jelly belly, but a cat will roll over and luxuriate, look at my floofy yum belleh slaves. Uh huh.

Cats are clever enough to rule the online and offline worlds. Hello, some cats on Instagram get 30,000 likes in an L.A, minute or if you’re Taylor Swift’s cat Olivia, a  cool million+ likes on ONE photo. That’s right. Over a million.
Cats if anything have goals. Our boys opt for #2. our princess has selected #1 and are in collusion with a cat (maybe yours?) for #3.



Now for the serious stuff. Huge purrs of thanks for helping me realize some of my goals. I have a mega goal in 2016, so big I can’t do it alone and will be announcing a new partnership. It has something to do with the cat arts and culture cruise we’re working full tilt on and some other projects. 2015 was a wild ride I could not have imagined on new year’s eve 2014.  Success, failure, illness, death, near death, stress, stress, joy, stress, repeat.

 At times, I felt unmoored, floundering in a permanent state of exhaustion I wouldn’t wish on my cattiest enemy. It’s not easy to create something out of nothing, to feel the life and love of those close to me slipping away inch by inch. At the end of every day, I wonder if I’ll find Merlin or my mother or my marriage dead in the morning. I wonder if I’ll fall flat on my face for someone’s schadenfreude glee. I wonder who my real friends are. No, actually I do know that much, but not much else except how fragile and tenuous life is.

I’ve made no resolutions for 2016 but I have one goal: to make a big difference in the lives of cats and those who love them. I feel blessed to usher in the new year with Merlin (pictured below with the wisest words and hidden message). Thank-you and may 2o16 be the year you reach a meaningful goal.

If you could use a little hope, I have a gift for you at my other blog I made it for two friends who make my crazy life look like one of Merlin’s picnics. I call it a manifesto for an inspiring new year.



It’s Merlin here recounting one of the weirdest holiday seasons and certainly the warmest on record.  The full moon madness peaking on Christmas eve and spilling beyond Christmas Day into Boxing Day, frayed our tempers and moods blacker than a clowder of Grumpy Cats. That’s not entirely true. There were bright spots like our Secret Santa parcel, not that I got to see it. Odin hogged it in a most Scrooge-like fashion and suffered the consequences of his greediness. More about that in a second. With so many friends on and offline feeling sad, grieving, lonely, ill or injured (more than one friend hospitalized) this was not the year to party and swing from the chandeliers.  The operative word was kindness and doing less without the guilt.


That said, Layla was leaky-eyed with worry and stress about me and everything but hugely relieved the worst is over. She’s going out to dinner with friends tonight for a relaxed zero expectation evening. No gifts, no drama.  The best gift possible happened on Christmas Eve and Day. It was 72 degrees in New York!  The angels were smiling fur sure. Warm enough for the hammock. Warm enough for a garden stroll that pleased me to no end.  Odin ran up and down 22 trees. I even climbed up the stairs all by myself. Now, that doesn’t mean all was hunkydory peachykeen. I’m guzzling water faster than Marilyn Monroe sucked back champagne cocktails and peeing more. My litter box is more miss than hit but I do try my darndest.  I’m on antibiotics as the vet says, “Forever.”  It’s no picnic and you know how I love my picnics, but it’s as good as it gets for my last Christmas.
There’s all kinds of videos and photos floating about on Instagram of me but my mom is forever confusing her android and iPhone settings trying to make everything square and somehow nothing looks the way it’s supposed to by the time it ends up here 🙁  Duplicates pop up on Twitter, HD off and all she wants for Christmas is to sleep for a year or master Instagram.  She has gorgeous nature shots of fog, if you like that kind of thing on Instagram and a holiday gift “7 Life Lessons” at her Boomer Muse blog. Might be a hidden treasure for ya.
Domino, Merlin and crazy, one-eyed tree climbing cat Odin


Oh yeah, we’re ready to ring in the new year and say sayonara to 2015 but it was pretty darn great in many ways. A mixed blessing you might say. After all, I’m still here, right? Who knows, my dad thinks I’m going to make it to 22. That’s a stretch but strange things do happen like a dandelion blooming at Christmas. That’s a first.


Now on to the Odin episode which is embarrassing to Layla because she’s always harping about holiday cat safety. It’s our third year participating in the Secret Santa exchange with our fellow cat bloggers. This year our parcel arrived from Florida, but there was no card or ID of any kind. Talk about a real secret Santa!

Layla emailed the organizer who was crazy busy and then a friend, Caren from Cat Chat and Cody who pinpointed the Santa by a process of elimination. Yippee, it was the Florida Fur Kids. Odin, who can be boorish as a Viking pillaging the North Pole was only interested in the contents of the parcel. Each of the dozen items were individually wrapped and Odin wasted no time absconding with one in his mouth (video on Instagram). Layla unwrapped the carefully curated collection of catnip toys, container of fishy flakes, and cardboard scratcher with the idea of donating them the shelter. They need them more than we do. The adorable, green fuzzy soft “mancat cave bag” was a magnet for Odin so we figured he could keep it. It lined the bottom of the perfectly-sized postal box for Odin. And we all know every cat considers a good cardboard box better than catnip. Thanks a bunch Allie, Ellie and Raz and their thoughtful human.

Layla opened up the treat container and gave Odin a few of the fine, fishy flakes most cats go bonkers for.  A bonus gift was a pretty notepad organizer thingy for Layla which she is always in desperate need of since she has a horrible habit of scribbling on bits of envelopes even though she has a gazillion notebooks and calendars.

Being a sensible mom most of the time, Layla placed all the toys and treats in the box high up in the laundry closet and closed the door. Later that day, much later, the normally high energy Odin was nowhere to be seen.

He’d somehow pried the door open, squeezed inside the gift-filled and catnip saturated box. He poked his head out from the gift wrap with the classic “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” expression.


Layla was immediately suspicious. This was no ordinary catnip buzz.  Had he chewed on any ribbon, a sharp piece of plastic or what not? In a panic, Layla pulled the stuffed box with Odin, who felt suddenly five pounds heavier and prayed they didn’t have to rush to an after hours emergency clinic in the middle of a stressful day.  She checked his vitals, nothing alarming except sluggishness and then she found it. The container of fishy flakes had been chewed open and about a third of the container gorged on. At least we now know what Odin’s binge limits are.  The toys and treats were removed to a safe location. The catnip/flake fest combo effect lasted until dinner and no, he did not have dessert!

The following day, I found Odin snoozing happily in the empty box happy and no worse for wear. There was no one to blame but the human. She was harried and didn’t place the box in any of the usual safe places. Life and learn. Never underestimate the cleverness of a cat.

Do you have an nutty holiday story? Do tell!


In case you didn’t get our Merry Everything holiday card yesterday, here it is with our warmest best fishes, I mean wishes, okay fishes, maybe smoked salmon or trout and a very furry good new year!

It’s been an intense year of highs and lows and the support of our readers and fellow cat bloggers makes it all worthwhile. Thanks so much for being here, especially right now.

Today, just in time for Christmas, we have two special kitty announcements!

Many of you have gifts under a tree and stockings filled with treats, but the best gift of all for cats is a home. It was a year ago that a tiny, one-eyed gray gal arrived in our home just before Christmas. The plan was to foster a cat for the holidays. The thought of adoption seemed too committed, too long term and fraught with the potential of pain and loss. Our dear Gris Gris had suddenly suddenly the day after Christmas the previous year. Fostering felt safe, easy and a kind thing to do for Vicky as she was known then.  Vicky quickly turned into Nou Nou and despite her idiosyncratic ways has become our princess.

She still hates being photographed so I rarely bother her. Of all the cats I’ve known, she’s by far the weirdest, in a good way.  It took a few months, but she learned  to trust and not to scratch at the slightest provocation. I had to fine tune my intuitive skill to read her moods and avoid being nicked. She’s a mega head butting and affectionate gal now but only when the princess feels like it. So unlike our boys. She demands respect or simply runs and hides. It’s too bad she doesn’t like the camera because the camera likes her. Maybe one day she’ll turn into a meowdel muse, but today we celebrate her Gotcha Day and …


There is nothing predictable about Nou Nou. Sometimes she sleeps with me (never under the covers) and ideally when I’m asleep and don’t know she’s there. Sometimes she sleeps in a covered cat bed or a permanent pile of old cashmere sweaters. She scurries like a rat (her nickname is Rat Baby) has no interest in climbing (except inside the baby grand), being picked up or sitting in laps. She doesn’t mind sitting next to me or being near me when I work. Sometimes she plays like mad and then not at all for weeks.  Ditto on and off catnip or certain toys. Her unusually thick tail has more undulations than a cobra and she likes eating in numerous locations. 

Nou Nou is a sweet weirdo with more than her share of behavioral issues.  Frankly, in an average home, she would be a likely candidate for a shelter return. An on and off again litter box issue (peeing and pooping out of the box) was resolved with diet and probiotics for constipation. A good odor eliminator to clean soiled areas worked well and a UV light to check unseen areas of pee is always recommended.

She still adores Odin, but he runs hot and cold mostly since they keep different hours. Nou Nou is a night owl like me and but unlike me, gets to sleep 16 hours a day.  We’re both a bit crankypants these days and she nixed any photo shoot.  I made a collage which wouldn’t upload and posted it to Pinterest where you can see a nicer version.  Nou Nou of course is secretly pleased about the attention if not the photos.,,



We’ll never know about Nou Nou’s early life.  She was likely born in a hoarding situation with at least two siblings and about a year later landed a shelter with 15 abandoned cats. Her left eye was missing. and still is a bit goopy. Of the three sisters, Uma and Vanna were perfectly proportioned and very pretty. All were barely socialized and very skittish, but I figured they had a better chance of being adopted than the odd, stubby-legged and one-eyed Vicky. Living in a cage in a tiny, windowless for seven months didn’t help.  None were adoptable at that point. Again another reason fostering is important. It’s a break for caged shelter cats to live in a less stressful, or natural home environment and be socialized.
Nou Nou> Uma_Pablo cat_westchesterhumanesociety
Nou Nou, the day after she arrived at the shelter and the day we met eye-to-eye.
For a while, Vicky shared a cage with Uma but the tight quarters didn’t suit sharp-clawed Vicky and placed in a nearby cage alone.  More curious than fearful, Vicky would jump out of her cage and play but shied away from any physical contact.  Gradually her spunky character emerged and she grew bolder while her sisters remained as cautious as ever. Shortly after Vicky (now Nou Nou) arrived home for Christmas, her sisters were moved into the cage-free area of the New Rochelle Humane Society which recently changed their name to the Westchester Humane Society and have a great new website.

Early last winter, Vanna got lucky and despite her reticent ways got adopted. I’d hoped someone might want both sisters, but that’s adoption karma. You never know when you’re turn is. Uma waited and waited and waited.

Finally, just in time for this Christmas, Uma got adopted!











We’re sending Yuletide greetings of the furry kind.  Odin here, the Yule, winter solstice cat reporting on behalf of Merlin with a fireside chat. Why me? Apparently my namesake the Norse god Odin is the original Father Christmas. Sit down and warm yourself by the fire and I’ll tell you all about it.


This isn’t quite the Lil BUB Yule Log, but let’s pretend.

Yup, thousands of year before Jesus, my Nordic ancestors would dress up someone to represent Old Man Winter aka the god Odin, during the solstice to welcome the slow return to light. Winters were brutally long and dark up north and they didn’t have cat videos to amuse folks. Dressed in hooded fur coat and sporting a long white beard, Odin flew around on giant white horse Sleipnir with eight legs. When the Vikings invaded Britain and most of Europe in the 8th and 9th centuries, Odin eventually morphed into Father Christmas. And the 8-legged horse turned into a sleigh with eight very Nordic reindeer.  The European Father Christmas used to be more skinny and Odin-like. He didn’t turn into a jolly, fat red-suited Santa until an ad campaign for Coca Cola in the ’30s by Haddon Sundblom, a Finnish Illustrator and his now iconic imagery. So there you have it. Happy winter solstice and Yule!

Today marks the first day of winter, the longest night and shortest day of the year. All I care about is celebrating the longer days ahead. It’s been dark by late afternoon making it a snore for everyone around here. I always get extra restless and bored at this time of the year since I can’t go outdoors as much. Domino is getting older and preferring to keep Merlin company than our wrestling matches. Nou Nou and I play early in the morning, but she likes sleeping when I don’t. What I need is a frisky young kitty I can play full tilt with. It’s the usual hornet’s nest of activity around here and I doubt Santa will be giving me a kitten for Christmas. Bah humbug!

Did you know the winter solstice occurs at the same time everywhere on Earth?

In the United States, it’s tonight at 11:48 p.m. ET Monday (or 10:48 p.m. CT, 9:48 p.m. MT and 8:48 p.m. PT). In Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia the solstice actually comes on Tuesday.

And because you humans like to complicate things, our good friends down under in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the opposite! Dec. 21 marks the longest day of the year and the beginning of astronomical summer.

Wait, I’m not alone! Drats, even the blonde lady is here. Actually, we’re all here to wish you a happy solstice, Yule, first day of winter or summer.

Love, your one-eyed wizard Odin.




We’re big fans of Scott Metzger, the syndicated cartoonist who happens to be a cat man.  It takes a deep understanding of cats to extract humor as he does from situations all cat lovers can relate to.  And since we’re in the thick of the crazy busy holiday season, a little humor goes a long way to soothe the savage beast (and I don’t mean our cats).

 As a holiday treat, we have a Q. & A. with Scott Metzger and a few of his holiday-themed cartoons plus my all-time favorite cat cartoon (scroll to the end). Scott, who lives in northern California is married with two young kids, and two cats Frankie and Hannah, who act as muses, I enjoyed a leisurely interview by telephone recently with Scott and happy to share more about the man makes people laugh for a living.



Scott Metzger Q. & A


Scott Metzger with Hannah. Photo credit: Frankie Frost.


LMW: What do you think about the stereotypes of cat vs. dog people, crazy cat ladies etc.

SM: In general, I think cats and cat people get a bad rap. There’s this perception that cats don’t have personalities, don’t show affection, are mean, etc. Certainly cats can be aloof and they do things on their own terms (and I’ve done a bunch of comics about that). But people need to realize that cats do care about their humans, they show affection, and they’re often as friendly as dogs. You just have to interact with them in a different way. As for cat people vs. dog people, what I’ve found interesting is that many cat people I’ve known also like dogs. However most dog people I’ve met don’t like cats.  Those people just need to spend some time with cats and learn to appreciate them. Cats rock.

LMW: Some say cat videos are funnier than dog videos. What about cartoons? Can it be quantified in terms of sales?

SM: That’s hard to quantify. I have more “cat” greeting cards than “dog” greeting cards, so the deck is stacked in favor of cats. For me, cat videos are often funnier. Cats have this “dignity” about them, so when they do something stupid or embarrassing, it’s hilarious.


LMW: How long have you been a cat man?

SM: I’ve loved cats ever since I was a little kid. Growing up, my family had a cat – we got her when I was 5 and she died when I was a senior in high school. After that, we got a dog. I have two cats – a female and male.

LMW: You’ve been influenced by cartoons like Peanuts. How do feel about Kliban and his extraordinary marketing success which continues long after his death?

SM: I’m a big fan of Kliban’s work, especially his cat cartoons. I really like the way he drew cats, probably because I’m partial to tabby cats. Kliban deserved all of his success. His cat drawings had a lot of personality and charm.


LMW: Has observing cats creatively improved your understanding or bonding process? What do your cats look like and who is funnier?

SM: I get a lot of creative inspiration from watching my cats, but I can’t say that observing them has improved my bonding process with them. Maybe it has and I don’t realize it. Our female cat, Hannah, is part calico and part Siamese – she’s super outgoing and loves people. Whenever someone comes over, she greets them at the door. Our male cat, Frankie, is all black with a white toe and a bent tail. He’s feral so he’s very skittish. He’ll run away at the drop of a hat. Hannah is friendly with me but she clearly favors my wife and daughter. Frankie only likes me, for some reason. Whenever I lie down in bed or on the couch he jumps up and lies on my chest. Hannah is more entertaining and funny because she’s more outgoing and adventurous. Frankie is often hanging out under the bed.

LMW: You draw a wide variety of humans, animals, vegetables, inanimates in action. What’s easiest to draw? Any plans to have a recurring cat or other character?

SM: The easiest things to draw are animals.  I enjoy drawing cats, dogs, giraffes, and elephants. I need to do more giraffe and elephant jokes. As for recurring characters, I’ve done a couple of cartoons that feature a hippie-like cat named Dave the Stray. He goes to Burning Cat, gets high on catnip, and isn’t into material things. He’s a cool dude and a free spirit – he just wants to live, love, and have fun, man.

LMW: Any plans for a cat book?

SM: I’m planning to put together a book of my cartoons next year. Either a book of cat cartoons with some extra material or simply a collection of my cartoons. I’m still figuring that out. 

LMW: It sounds like 2016 will be a creative and fun year. I’m delighted Frankie is contributing to my True Tales By Black Cats anthology.


The “You are Acceptable” card always cracks me up.


Scott Metzger has been a syndicated cartoonist since 1996. He creates single panel cartoons for greeting cards which are distributed by Papyrus, Nobleworks and Just Wrong Greetings, and if you live in the U.S, likely found at a store near you. There’s still time to shop for holiday cards and mugs at Scott Metzger Cards. To see more of Scott’s work, visit his website, at GoComics, or for the latest cartoons, his Facebook page or new Instagram page.

Hanukkah_cat_Be the Light

It’s your old pal Merlin here and doesn’t that make your Monday instantly brighter? Cats celebrate Hanukkah too. Just be careful with lit candles on the menorah.


Cat Wisdom of the ages_mondays with merlinIn a world of suffering and darkness, we can spark the light of one candle or warm one heart, one loving kindness at a time. Darkness and negativity grows from fear, resentment, jealousy and worry. Last night, we were watching the news during dinner (I don’t recommend it) and it was one awful thing after another. I wasn’t watching since I’m blind but listening made my ears curl. Fires, floods, bombs, shootings, celebrities acting badly, interspersed with holiday ads for kind of material excess since we haven’t seen since the fall of the Roman Empire.



Don’t get sucked into the blackness. Focus on the LIGHT.

Luckily my humans switched to something more pleasant: International House Hunters. That was harmless enough until my dad said he’d like to move away from this gun culture to a place like Iceland. Iceland! Good heavens, I come from Canada, one cold country and I’m not about to move to another one. For the hell of it, Layla Googled Iceland’s requirements to bring cats into the country.

Holy Mackeral and shrimp sushi!  They have zero rabies in the country and want to keep it that way. Getting pets into the country is Draconian. There is a mountain of bizarre forms, medical certificates and a 4-week quarantine with no exceptions, not even service animal for the blind! And they deliberately keep it pricey to dissuade the casual adventurer. With airfare, quarantine, tests and forms it would cost about 10K for our furry foursome. Not that my parents are fool enough to consider it. They had a good chuckle (always a good way to banish darkness) that and, purring of course.

Nope, we’re staying put. Mind you, I’d be half-willing to move to a tropical island with lots of dazzing light and warm sun. I enjoyed the warmish sun today and wish to remind everyone to focus on the light. It is the second day of Hannukah, the 7 day festival of lights. We’re a mixed religion clowder of cats. Odin and our dad are non-observant Jews. I’m more Pagan/Zen but my religion is love. We send lots of love and light to our Jewish friends and readers. Plus of lots of love no matter what your cats celebrate.

Hanukkah_cat_Be the Light



candleMuch love & eternal light,


P.S.  I love potato pancakes called latkes, traditionally served during Hanukkah but are usually made with onions, a no no for pets. If you’d like to give your pets a little treat make some with no onion and very little salt. One small latke, the size of silver dollar is plenty. (click the link for a yummy recipe made with coconut oil).


We’re excited to share our New Holiday Hazards For Cats Infographic.

If you’re as wildly busy as us, you have about a minute to spend at most blogs, more or less. That’s the reality of life these days but important info about our favorite subject: cats, must get out there.  Do you have time to read long posts? How long is too long? Please share our mini version (at the end of the post) or longer one which includes fire hazards, toxic plants and chemicals.

Our cats loathe being dressed up in any holiday finery for more than a minute. Tiny Santa hats are tempting though. Will you be dressing up your cats this year? If you have a suggestion to add to the infographic, please leave it in the comments. Check out our detailed post about the #1 hazard especially if you celebrate Hanukkah.

holiday_hazards_catscat wisdom 101 holiday cat hazards infographic


Holiday gift guide cat lovers

We test products for cats and cat lovers all year round. Many don’t make our review list let alone our annual gift guide for cat lovers. We’re delighted to share our 2015 gift guide which is NOT sponsored. These are our personal favorites for reasons outlined. You can be certain to find something for any budget. The last one is our true favorite. Cat books are not included but recommend these six books. Look for our annual top ten cat book list coming soon.

Holiday gift guide cat lovers

snowflakeThere was a time when invited to someone’s home for dinner or a party we brought a bottle of wine, dessert and/or a hostess gift. If you’re like me, you have friends with pets. A few years ago, it occurred to me that if pets are family, shouldn’t they receive a gift too? So, I began to bring treats or some other gift for their pet too.

The holidays aren’t a holiday without TREATS

treeribbonFriskies® Pull ‘n Play Cat Treat Play Pack is our paws down favorite hostess gift for it’s variety. Contrary to some reviews about it promoting cat play with string, it doesn’t. The “strings” are more like doughy ropes.  It’s true that cats should never play with string, yarn or thin ribbon to avoid possible intestinal obstruction. My only beef is that the “ropes” were labeled “strings” which proved misleading.

Friskies Pull n Play- Party Mix

The Play Pack is three gifts in one and includes “Wobbert” a fun interactive wobble toy, edible string treats and to get the party started, Friskies Party Mix treats! To see celebrity cat Waffles with Pull ‘n Play in action or visit Friskies® Pull ‘n Play.

 Our Odin isn’t as polite as Waffles and demolished the “snakie” in two shakes of wild cat’s tail. You can pull the “strings” one at a time or makes thicker ropes for more hunter-gatherer fun.

A bag of $2.00 treats can be worth their weight in purrs and smiles for your thoughtfulness. We just tried a few flavors (but haven’t reviewed yet) the NEW IRRESISTIBLES TREATS from Meow Mix in crunchy and soft versions. They offer great value and taste with real meat and fish and no artificial flavors. Our Odin likes the crunchy tuna but favorite tip for fussy eaters? The soft treats crumble easily to add on top of a meal. It jump starts Merlin’s flagging appetite.

Meow Mix Irresistibles cat treats


Canvas Pop ribbon

We were thrilled with the quality and quick service from CanvasPop. They transformed a photo of Merlin into a life-sized keepsake to treasure forever. There are many sizes and styles available and they kindly offered our readers a big discount, but it expires on 11:59 pm ET Nov. 29 so hurry to CanvasPop and create forever memories of your cat from @$20.00.

Cat merlin art pop portrait

FTC disclaimer. We love them so much we just signed up as a CanvasPop affiliate which did influence our views.


For the ultimate in purrrsonalization, nothing beat a one-of-a-kind pet portrait. Original art captures a unique soul of a pet, which a camera does not. Thomas Dalgaard Clausen is a young talented artist who still charges low rates. His work is an excellent investment for a future family heirloom. Mention us and he’ll give you a special price at Custom Pet Portraits by Thomas Clausenribbon

We love the watercolor he did for us of Merlin.

Merlin cat 21st birthdaymerry everything






Catnip is the #1 gift of choice of kitties everywhere and our #1 choice for potent ‘nip with explosive cuteness is combo of catnip, toy, charm and stocking is Santa’s Rocking Stocking Catnip Joints from StarkRavingcat.com They are famous for their catnip “joints” but if thats too risque, they have catnip candy canes and other holiday and hostess  gifts. The products are handmade in Texas and they ship fast worldwide. The scent is irresistible (our Odin went a bit berserk) so store the nip products in a safe place when not in use.

Catnip joints- Stark Raving Cat









Catnip and wool is the naturally purrfect combo for many cats. I know our boys love the natural/dye-free catnip toys from PurrfectPlay which seem to get better with age. PurrfectPlay has a large variety of toys ethically sourced and made with with love in the U.S.  Find something purrfect for your cat or dog at PurrfectPlay

ribbonPurrfect Play catnip toys

Our favorite carrier remains the round Sleepypod which is three products in one: an everyday pet bed (without the domed lid, a stylish carrier, and a safe car seat.Sleepypod carrier

ribbonloudpuff blankie sleepypod

Everything Sleepypod makes id top notch quality so we were eager to try the NEW CLoudPuff Blankie faux shearling blankets in two sizes which arrived just in time for cool weather. Merlin is 21, skinny and always seeking heat and loving the endless possibilities. Cover a window ledge or shelf to create an insta-bed, place inside a cat carrier for a cozier ride to the vet. Spills or accidents are no problem. Unlike real suede, they are ultrasoft polyester shearling on one side, microfiber suede on the other side and machine washable. Visit Sleepypodto see their full range of products designed beautifully for safety, durability and comfort.


Layla Morgan Wilde-RC TEESYou can’t go wrong with the classic Cat lady or Cat Man T’s From RC Tees. I’ve worn and washed one tee for several years and it’s as good as new.




But the T-shirts I wear the most (I’m actually wearing one right now) are from Motek.  The Israeli designer Hadas on Etsy designs all kinds items that are super comfy,  good quality soft cotton, reasonably priced and she ships worldwide free and fast.

ribbonmotek-hadas hall- cat fashion

I wear lots of scarves but the scarf I get compliments every time I wear it is this one. Stylish without screaming crazy cat lady and only $23.00







Give the gift that keeps giving six times a year. If you’re old school like me, and love flipping through a real magazine, give a subscription to Catster (formerly Cat Fancy). The glossy issues filled with fun and factual photo-filled articles about cats will brighten any mailbox for only $19.95.

catster subscription discount

ribbonFor the cat lover who has everything and wants the ultimate experiential cat culture experience with their own kind. Join me on Cat Film Fest at Sea, the first cat arts and culture Caribbean cruise sailing Oct. 29, 2016. The first 2 people to email me info@catwisdom101.com to book a cabin for two will receive a $100 discount per person and a private lunch on board with me and very famous celebrity cat. For more info call Lisa, our travel partner at (317) 412-2542.

CatWisdom101.com Cat Film Fest at Sea

snowflakeMay we suggest the most valuable gift that costs nothing? Volunteer at your local shelter or rescue group.


Every year we join blog 4 peace  with our fellow bloggers worldwide. We’re all different but we share our intention for a more peaceful world more one thought and action at a time. I wrote a peace sign into the sand carving my hope to be sucked up into the sea and beyond. We’re still travelling and busy so we’re sharing older kitty peace globes;one with Merlin and one with Domino. Visit Bloogers4peace.com to see a huge selection of unique Blog4peace.com examples.


domino peace globe blogger


dia de los muertos

News Update: Layla is off to the Purina #BetterWithPets Summit.  She’s thrilled to be invited a second time and can’t wait to share this year’s theme: emotional wellness of pets and the people who love them. Check out our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram feed for the latest.  Meanwhile, my mom Layla has left me for two days!  Wah, at least I have my dad and you dear reader. Tell me something amusing to pass the time, will ya?

cat love quote















Today is the 2nd day of Dia de los Muertos, the holiday which honors and celebrates our dearly departed with grave side decorations, candlelight, music and food.  It’s usually for humans but why not cats? Believe me, I’m alive and have some unfinished business before I depart this mortal coil, but I want someone to celebrate my life this way.

I gave my parents quite the scare last week. Oh yeah, way scarier than any Halloween chicanery. The prospect of real death and not plastic ghost decorations is a wake-up call.  It made this year’s Halloween or Samhain, the Celtic New Year more poignant.  Layla made the rounds of the three feline graves in different parts of the property.  It was too cold for me to join her as usual but here I am making my rounds in warmer weather.  These close brushes with death are kind of dress rehearsal you might say.

dia de los muertos

Merlin at cat grave

cat-grave-dia de los muertos

dia de los muertos cats


In the middle of the night on all hallow’s eve, Layla felt the spirits deeply especially Radish, maybe because he our most recently departed. It’s the time when the veil is thinnest between the seen and unseen worlds and communication  is easiest with the spirit world (if you believe in that kind of thing). It was cold enough for Layla see her breath and she always snaps a few photos with a flash in certain location in hopes of capturing some spirit orbs. It’s uncanny what shows up and different from other times of the year. Just before going inside, she asked the gods for signs of all three, Coco, Gris Gris and Radish to show themselves. This is what showed up: 3 orbs in the 3  different directions or areas where they are buried. Call it weird or a blip of fate, to us it was life-affirming and comforting to know I might connect this way next year.

What do you make of all this?

Halloweeen spirit orbs










cat quote gods Halloween

Happy Meowloween Halloween! I hope this finds you and your kitties safely enjoying the fun and treats. What a festive, fun but wild week. Thank-you and welcome to our new subscribers!


In case you missed our big news, scroll down for the highlights.

  • The week began with some hocus pocus at Mondays With Merlin our resident wizard. He is the poster boy for crying wolf. Every time he’s at death’s door, he rallies, forcing us to eat some crow.  We couldn’t wait for our scheduled mobile vet visit in November I whisked him a feline specialist on Monday morning. Two kinds of antibiotics later, he’s bounced back a hair but his days of pulling rabbits out of his hat are over. The test results were a mixed bag. Some good, some bad and as always it’s tricky finding the balance of treatment with determining quality of life. Merlin is loving his new prescription food and does not need any appetite stimulant. His gait is more tottery than ever but he is mobile and enjoying limited garden time (his fave). In lieu of the hot sun, we’ve set up a heater with a soft pillow for his fragile old bones in a sunny bathroom which is a hit. So for now, he’s having more good days than bad days. Our vet feels he has a little more quality time left but hey, he’s already used up more than nine lives so it’s all good. Thank-you for all your kind comments and messages.

cat wizard merlin

  • Our biggest news of the week and year, is the announcement of our new venture and brand extension.

  • Cat Wisdom 101 is launching a series of cruises geared for pet lovers. The first one is Cat Film Fest at Sea, the first cat film/video/art/pop culture cruise in the Caribbean. We set sail just in time for Halloween 2016! Find out more at Cat Film Fest at Sea. 

CatWisdom101.com Cat Film Fest at Sea

  • For a breath of fresh air, we have a fab giveaway for a kit of 4 eco-friendly pet odor and stain remover products from Skout’s Honor. There will be 3 winners, but hurry to enter. This giveaway ends in 3 days! Click now on the link to enter Skout’s Honor Giveaway.

Giveaway Skout's Honor






  • If you didn’t get enough Halloween treats for your cats, get some for free by simply posting a pic of your cat. You’re invited to join the Acatemy at Meow Mix. We’ve joined for their fun and factual info. Check out our post about it 

Irresistible quote cat










We can’t wait to see all your Halloween pics. Thanks for posting your gorgeous black cat photos. Post your pics on our Cat Wisdom 101 Facebook page. Instructions at the top.
Happy Meowloween Halloween from Layla, Merlin, Domino, Odin and Nou Nou. Yeah, we’re channeling our ancient Egyptian ancestors. We’ll be posting other Howleween pics on social and at our other blog Boomer Muse

cat quote gods Halloween



A Cat's Guide to Halloween video
With Halloween around the corner, we have a spooktacular Caturday to get you in the mood starting with a fab Halloween Cat Video. Cats and Halloween are a natural combo but there are risks. Click to see our 5 must-do tips for Halloween safety including one you may not have considered. There are some spooky, fun cat graphics to share too!

We’re thrilled the clever and sweet A Cat’s Guide To Halloween video from Cole and Marmalade went viral on Facebook yesterday.  It racked up over 1.7 million views and counting. I know some of you aren’t on Facebook so you can click on the link to view. And hint hint: they are part of our big announcement on Tuesday.

A Cat's Guide to Halloween video

The zodiac has moved into the sultry, mysterious sign of Scorpio.  Do you have one of these sexy beasts at home? Not sure? Find out the clues at our Cat Astrology post on feline Scorpios.

Scorpio black cat astrology zodiacscorpio-cat-astro-kitty-astrology

We love hearing from creative new bloggers and happy to share an awesome infographic from Dave, titled: 17 reasons To Own A Black Cat.  Dave should know; he has three fabulous black cats and three other beauties.  Ya gotta love a cat man with six cats. Check out his aptly named blog SixCatsOneDude and you’re going to want to follow this rising star for his cool pics and videos on Instagram  @sixcatonedude


And remember: all cats whether black or any other color aren’t evil or bad. They’re unfortunately still victims of superstition and ignorance. There are evil humans though. You can call them sick psychopaths or ignorant idiots but you don’t want them to get their hands on your cat.  Keep your cats indoors on Halloween and the night before for a delightful and not frightful holiday. If you have a black cat, we’d love to celebrate their beauty. Share pics at our Cat Wisdom 101 Facebook page

Black cat Halloween PSA

#lightforpets-remember me thursday

This is a revised post of a lost post and re-published.

We support Remember Me Thursday® #Lightforpets, a global awareness campaign to remember all shelter pets.

This year more than ever,  we support Remember Me Thursday™ #Lightforpets, a global awareness campaign celebrated on the fourth Thursday of September to remember all shelter and homeless pets who died before finding a home. Mike Arms, President of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, created Remember Me Thursday. Millions of orphan pets die yearly mostly from euthansia. Many are healthy, wonderful cat and dogs and some never knew any home before they died. Each one deserves to be honored and remembered so their lives were not in vain.

By lighting a candle on Thursday, September 25, 2014, we honor those lost pets and bring awareness to the pets in need of forever homes.

Adopt or foster a shelter pet. This week is Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week.  Old, blind, FIV+, black, one-eyed or just different means those pets are less likely to be adopted. I’d like to add: cats from hoarding situations. There is a prejudice that is unwarranted.

Click and Light a Remember Me Thursday™ candle now or create a ceremony of your own. We welcome your adoption stories and photos on our  Cat Wisdom101 Facebook page.

We’re dedicating this day and candles to two gray boys: Our Angel cat Gris Gris and Angel Gray Boy. One found a home late in his life and the other never knew a real home. Gris Gris lived 10 years as a basement mouser, one year at a shelter and three happy years in our home before dying at age 15 in December, 2013. Gray Boy, 8, lived an unknown time caged in a horrific hoarding situation before being rescued In May, 2014 by the New Rochelle Humane Society. He lived in a cage in small, windowless room at the shelter and died before an opportunity to be adopted.  He remains the inspiration and muse for our shelter volunteer adoption feature. I intended for him to come home with me when his health improved, but it never did.  He had cancer. I regret not bringing him home to enjoy even a few days of  sunshine and freedom like our beloved Radish.

Gray Boy shelter cat RIP



A few shelter cats. Some adopted, some dead and the rest still waiting to be adopted.


Most recently, B.W. died, thankfully in a loving foster home.


We’re also pausing to remember the dozen or so other shelter cats I got to know in the past year who were euthanized because of illness.  There was an contagion outbreak recently (resolved) and prior to that  a new policy whereby only staff are allowed in the back rooms where I used to work. So that means less socialization, no Reiki, and little to no time out of cages for the cats. I’ll comment on that in another post. I don’t know when I’ll be able to go to the shelter and uncertain whether to continue our shelter cat feature.  If you have suggestions, let me know.



Valentine-friday the 13th- shelter cats love
Humane Society of Westchester cats

Shelters are stop gap refuge but it breaks my heart to see cats grow up or grow old in a shelter setting.

Let’s shine the light of awareness to adopt shelter pets and not buy one from a pet shop. Please share this post and spread the word about Remember Me Thursday on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels. Remember to use the hashtag #LIGHTFORPETS on Twitter or Facebook to share your thoughts and feelings about the importance of pet adoption and responsible pet ownership. One candle can light a thousand more. Be the light. 

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20 thoughts on “Remember Me Thursday® #LightForPets Because You Can”

  1. ellen says:

    I wish I has seen this sooner, I am a nightowl and my usual day to make a special visit to ‘talk’ to Merlin.
    I have done TNR out of pocket for well over 20 years. The cats who break my heart are those who were housecats who some person has left behind, turned out or not wanted. They want love so badly and most often arent fixed and start a slow decline on the streets,
    I can barely tolerate shelters the main one here wont even release numbers and it is cheaper to destroy them then to adopt them. It falls onto the smaller shelters and people doing TNR to keep tings in check.
    There are so many beautiful cats, beautiful souls out there who need homes whether it be short term or long term.
    One of our most poignant was a cat we named Snowball. He was obvously someones cat – 4 paw declawed, nuetered, and found barely alive in my husband’s garage (he has a cat door into the garage and we heat it for those who need it) We took Snowball in and a few days after he went to the vet. Snowball was diagnosed with FIP the dry form. The vet didnt even have to test him as he recognized the cat and said the owner wanted the cat put down but the vet refused as the FIP hadnt progressed far enough to warrant being PTS.
    We made a bed for Snowball upstairs by my husbands computer and they spent many hours together away from the other cats who might have stressed him.. David would feed Snowwball treats , watch the birds through the window, and we would both fuss over him. Snowball lasted over a year until he passed quietly in his sleep.
    He was loved again in the end. I always thought his ‘owners’ lost out he was a beautiful animal.
    I wish they all had homes, and I applaud anyone who volunteers in the shelters,

  2. We’ve been lighting candles every day since Kit is gone. We adopted him the day he passed away because we really didn’t want him to be homeless even though he wasn’t here any more. Though, I really wish we could find him home and he would enjoy a long happy life. Purrs and prayers to all the orphan animals who lost their precious lives.

  3. Thank you for remembering Gris Gris and Gray Boy.

    We purr and pray every day for shelter cats. There’s no easy solution. We know that we can at least make a difference in the lives of the cats at the shelter where we volunteer, and there’s some encouragement in that. Hugs to you, Layla.

  4. I don’t post on Thursday and was shocked to only see 2 or 3 blogs about Remember Me Thursday. I guess people don’t want to remember that pets often die in shelters and on the streets without forever homes. Beautiful post.

  5. Skeeter And Izzy says:

    We pray everyday that those in need in any way receive the blessings that will help them.
    There is no easy answer. There are millions that suffer every day in some way. We can only keep taking every step that we can to try to solve the problem. SPAY & NEUTER STEP #1!!!!!!!!
    We give thanks for every living being and pray that the ones that are supposed to be the “smart” ones finally work to find and implement the lifesaving soulutions that we know exist.
    Purrs and Prayers of hope and rememberance
    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo and the Angels >^..^^..^<~

  6. I don’t know what to say. I know the idea of a shelter is not ideal, at least most shelters, but know of no other solution to the massive problem. Whatever the true rate of adoption is, at least those animals find homes. I am deeply sadden when an animals time ‘expires’ and they PTSD. But in their defense I am not sure what they can do? Unless you are strictly no kill, then you can’t accept any more in until there is an opening. It’s a hard world, and those that work within it I can easily understand the burnout.
    Remembering all the lives lost….

  7. Even though I spend a lot of my spare time volunteering at the local animal shelter, neither of my cats came from PAWS. I adopted them 5 years apart. Rufus and Mickey were both living – and not doing at all well – on the streets. When they were trapped for TNR they were not feral cats – both were starving and full of parasites.
    It’s very sad when a cat dies at the shelter without ever having a real loving home and the kind of life every cat deserves. Still, as another harsh New England Winter approaches, I give thanks for good shelters and the people who give their time there. I hear your frustration, Layla, and I’m sorry you have had a bad experience. But I know you brought comfort to the homeless cats you visited.

  8. Katie Isabella says:

    Thank you for the post. I have a permanent reminder to do this every day in my sidebar. My heart breaks that we can’t help every precious little one.

  9. We are sorry to hear about the outbreak and changes at your shelter. Today is important for the cats who will be seen less because of policies like those and loses chances at forever homes. We’re purring that there will be less of them to remember next year.

  10. We hope that one day all pets will get love and the attention they need.
    Purrs and love Hannah and Lucy xx xx

kangaroo sunset quote australia

This a revised post cached and may not contain different images and not all comments.

Good day dear ones, it’s Merlin here and yes, I survived my 21st birthday.  It may not have made the headlines or Buzzfeed but it was eternal sunshine for me.
Merlin cat 21st Birthdaykangaroo sunset quote australia

I could say there was something exotic like a smoked salmon and caviar cake but it was a very low key event.  A nasty, cold wind blew wet and stormy and I stayed under the covers all day. Layla stayed with me much of the day and she shared my favorite treat, a cheese omelet.

Thank Bast, the weather cleared and yesterday I was basking in the warm sunshine under cloudless cobalt blue October skies. It’s the little things as we get older that take on the warm glow of contentment.  Layla told me about the many birthday wishes which came from all over the world.  It made me feel warm all over. One of my favorite birthday wishes came all the way from Australia from a blogger and meowvelous photographer named Bev Green.  She made this card for me which made my day.  Check out her fab photos of kangaroos and other fauna and flora at Fozzie. M.






As you know, I hate the cold, the long, dark winter days but then it occurred to me: it’s always morning somewhere in the world and it’s always warm and sunny somewhere too. When we’re freezing our paws in the northern hemisphere, it’s the opposite down under.  So, as I ( and maybe you) head to my least favorite season, winter,  some friends are heading into spring!  You can be sure I’ll be keeping that in mind to keep me in good spirits. Layla, who also hates the cold says she can live vicariously by looking at the pics of the glorious blooming time ahead.  It really is a small world after all.  We’re all connected by just a click of mouse.  Together we can brighten the darkest corners with a smile, a comment, a compliment.  It takes so little to make a huge difference in someone’s life.

P.S. This photo of me (below) was taken recently  when something magical happened in the light which I’ll tell you about next week.  Also the rest of our kitty crew will make an appearance.

Love always,


Merlin light quote cat



Hardly anyone seemed to notice our Gift Certificate Donation Button so we’re adding it again.  We chose this instead of the usual donation button because you can include a message or request where you’d like your donation to go. i.e. shelter cat toys, emergency veterinary fund or Radish Memorial Fund. Thank-you!
Merlin cat 21 birthday

This is revised from a cached version of the original post.

Merlin cat 21 birthday

The biggest feline birthday we’ve ever celebrated is Merlin’s 21st.  What is there to say about a cat who for 20 years has behaved more human than many humans? He’s my soulmate cat and when my husband asked me to marry me I told him, “You do understand that Merlin will always come first?” He agreed and that’s the way it’s been. Our 15th wedding anniversary is at the end of the month and I often think Joe loves Merlin more than I do.

cat boy

If I had to imagine Merlin as a human it would be like this or as a movie star. He’s been an old boy for as long as I’ve been blogging so no one knows just how charismatic he was in his younger years. He could command a room of students or dinner guests with a glance and have them fall instantly under his thrall.  And now my baby boy is an old man.  For twenty years he’s been my faithful sidekick, brilliant muse and fur pillow.  Whip smart, elegant, wise and noble, he could crack up a room with a monologue in loud Siamese.  He could do no wrong even when he’d get into mischief.  In an imperfect world, every whisker, hair and claw of his was perfection.

Our birthday boy needs nothing but love and okay adulation (he’s still shockingly vain). If you’d like to make a birthday donation for less fortunate cats, please do and leave a personal message for Merlin there .

funny cat merlin 21st birthday

As a thank-you to Merlin’s many fans, we’re having a special triple giveaway. We’re big fans of PetSafe and for the first time, we’re offering readers a choice of products. The lovely folks at PetSafe are offering one Cat Wisdom 101 reader a triple prize of: 1 water fountain, 1 Bolt Cat, Dart, Pounce, Flik or Cheese Cat toy and one small cat toy of your choice.  Visit the PetSafe website page FOUNTAINS, the PetSafe page for Cat Toys to select the 3 items you’d like a chance to win. Please note: The Sedona Fountain is not available.

PetSafe  giveaway

Unfortunately when we re-posted, there were so many comments/entries that could not be posted. I’ve saved them all to a file and sharing one sweet example from Angel Ms. Phoebe’s Family:

We have adored you and your family since the great day we discovered your blog four years ago. Ms. Phoebe was an immediate fan of you and your brothers and especially how your wise ways influenced and inspired your fur sibs and Mom. Your zest for life she identified with and admired, your birthday celebration this week was bittersweet as I thought a lot about my best girl.
You are quite the mancat dear Merlin, we wish you a fabulous 21st year filled with many happy and healthy days. Thank you for the generous giveaway, how exciting!

We would choose the:

SlimCat Interactive Feeder
Drinkwell Zen Fountain
Cat Dart Toy

We already are subscribed too!
Thanks again birthday boy, you rock!
Love always,
Clove, Kaspars, & Mom

meow like a pirate day

Aaargh, it may be Caturday but it’s also Meow Like A Pirate Day. We’ve celebrated the feline version of Talk Like Pirate Day (aye, it’s a real holiday) for years. This year we joining the party (or at least Captain Odin is) at Speedy, the Cheeky House Bunny with a bunch of me blog wenches and scallywags for grog and grub.  Who know, maybe some rum and rhumba or digging  for buried treasure.

meow like a pirate day

Every year, I find some old lore. The best curse I found that a cat could say is: “Eat what drops from my tail!” It’s no accident that cats are a natural match to meow like a pirate.  Sailors, whether pirates or not, tend to be superstitious. The sea is unpredictable and those who sail her rely on extra luck.  For hundred of years, cats were a sailor’s or pirate’s lucky charm.  Cats kept rodents and bad luck at bay. Black cats and polydactyls were considered the luckiest. Having extra toes made for nimbler climbing and rat catching.  Sailors believed if the cat was well fed and taken care of, nothing bad would happen. Woe to anyone who would dare to throw a cat  or “Ship’s Cat” as they were called, overboard.  Stormy misfortune was sure to follow. I’d like to see a reversal of superstition to thinking black cats as lucky feline friends again.

Well, shiver me timbers, it’s time  to weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen!  Come sail with us.  We promise not to make you swab the deck. You may find  buried treasure or at the very least, rum and rhumba lessons on some exotic port-of-call.

meow like a pirate day-black cat dance


Blessings of the animals

Well hello there, it’s me Merlin still here for another week.  You’d think it would make Layla happy but she’s feeling melancholy.  Maybe it’s the first inklings of autumn or the visit yesterday to the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery for the annual blessing of the animals. She brought photos of all of us to be blessed but got so wrapped up chatting with so many wonderful pet parents, she almost missed her turn. She was just about to get in line when she noticed a sad, older woman walk away from her pet’s grave. Something made her walk over and say hello and the woman led Layla to her dog’s grave. What made it heartbreaking was she’d had one loss after another over the past three months. First her son, in his 50s who lived with her and she found dead and then her beloved dog. When someone is grieving they need to tell their story, repeatedly and the kindest thing is to simply hold a space and listen. This wasn’t the kind of woman who wanted to go to a bereavement group, buy books on grieving or see a therapist. I’m so glad Layla tells me everything.  Cats like that, you know. She was so immersed in her story, she  completely forgot about the blessing.

Out of nowhere Layla got one her psychic flashes and asked the woman about her connection to the holocaust. I think she has some kind of radar because my cat dad’s parents were holocaust survivors. Stunned, the woman says, “how did you know? I was in Auschwitz with my parents when I was five. We were released just before the war ended.” She proceeded to tell some stories of the horror and how she was truly alone now, no parents, spouse, child or pets. What do you say to that kind of loss? Layla gave her card and invited her to call. The woman turned to say the blessings are over but hurry, go someone is still there. The ceremony was over but Layla rushed over and there was only time for one and she didn’t pick me. She picked Radish.  Funny how these things happen.

Blessings of the animals

It was such a beautiful day of such joy mixed with sadness and so many stories.  People visited the pet’s graves, many with dogs,  bringing flowers, sitting on picnic blankets, filling water bowls.  I noticed Memorial pet tattoos are not only for hipsters.  There was a feeling of celebration tinged with tinged and Layla wandered up and down the crooked  hilly paths to read inscriptions new and very old.  IYa got to wonder who Roma was who was found in Rome, Italy and died in 1909.  So much love. Over a hundred years of love and devotion. Way more love expressed than in any human cemetery.

What does that tell you about humans and their pets?  Our love is pure and uncomplicated without criticism. We give what every sentient being wants: to be loved and accepted. We love our  humans just the way they are, warts and all.  It’s so simple really.  That’s it for now. Oh, I would like to announce the winner of our Fat Cat Art book giveaway is Jaguar. Hmm, not a regular commenter but I won’t hold that against them. I wouldn’t mind if Mr. Fat Cat himself would give me a few pounds. I can’t afford to lose any more weight.

at Cat Art Book winner

Check out some sweet cemetery pics of pets who brought many blessings to the lives of their loved ones.
And to all our Jewish friends and readers many sweet blessing for the new year on Rosh Hashanah. A common greeting on Rosh HaShanah is: “Leshanah tovah tikateivu” – “May you be inscribed (in The Book of Life) for a good year”. Apples are dipped in honey for a promise of a sweet new year. I know I’ll be having my Manuka honey!

hartsdale cemetery

Hartsdale cemetery


Hammock time cat love

It’s a special Labor Day edition of Mondays with Merlin.  My favorite meezer is Nellie, an old, blind Siamese (like me!) and we won her “finish the sentence” contest. Check out her blog The Cats From Hell She shares the blog with two other cats and a dog in Canada but really gets around. I don’t think she’ll mind me saying she’s a flirt with a worldwide cast of admirers. And she’s an old gal of 17! Go Nellie! Older is better and I should know. Anyhoo, Nellie’s mom/slave/creativedirector made this sweet cartoon of me and my mom when she found out about our daily quest for Hammock Time.

Hammock time cat love
Cat + Human+ Hammock = Love

Merlin hammock catmom stress cure

Hammock time-relax quote

Now that it’s September and you know that’s followed by falling leaves, no leaves, then the dead of winter and maybe dead me. Sorry, but that’s the reality in my time/space continuum. So, Hammock Time with Layla is the best time and most cherished time ever. Even though she busier than a hive of bees, she takes the time to be with me.  Sometimes she sneaks in work on a digital device  as if I wouldn’t notice. Ha! When I’m annoyed enough,  I crawl up to her chin so she can’t read and that’s that. We both hate cold weather and have often wondered why as hardy Canadians we dislike frozen water in any form. The only thing better than a summer hammock is a winter hammock somewhere warm with swaying palm trees and turquoise water.  I can only dream about it now but dreams do come true when you wish and work hard enough.

Who knows, maybe I’ll find myself swaying in a hammock with Nellie one day. Oh what sweet bliss. Two skinny, old blind meezers entwined, basking in the warm sunshine singing Siamese love songs. Love doesn’t have to be romantic. Brotherly or sisterly love is just a sweet.

September is Pet Memorial Month and I’ll be taking the time to remember my feline family that have passed over to the great beyond.  Losing any family member is devastating and difficult but it helps having friends who understand. I invite you to post any photos of your dearly departed kitties at our Cat Wisdom 101 Facebook page. I’ll make sure Layla shares all of them.

Today is quick stroll down memory lane with my OTRB bro Gris Gris. It would have been his 17th birthday this week but he died suddenly of an aneurysm almost two years ago. Talk about a Zen master. He was the wise, silent type rarely seeking attention or the limelight. He hated the cold like me and loved sunbathing in the garden where he took his seeing-eye cat duties seriously. If I wandered off towards the neighbor’s driveway, he’d herd me back to safety. We would often share the windowsill pillow, bed or porch chair and I miss him. Thank Bast for my only remaining true cat friend, Domino who took over Gris Gris’s herding duties and remains as loyal as a dog. The same cannot be said about Odin who is hit and miss in the friendship department. And Nou Nou, who Layla thought might be the reincarnation of Gris Gris (they are similar in many ways), finds my illness, blindness and demanding ways tiresome. Granted, sometimes she does jump up on the bed to sniff me out and say hi. She being a youngster wants to play but my days of silly games are over. I try not to judge. Friendships come in a many forms and no one, human or feline is purrfect.

gris gris-cat-quote-sun-shadow
The Late Great Shadow Cat Gris Gris


Merlin and Gris Gris cat friends quote
Good friends like Gris Gris always have your back.


summertime and the living is easy

cats-labor day

Until we meet again, I hope you enjoy many days of non-labor and hammock time (even if you don’t have one) ideally with a cat by your side.

Nose kisses and love,


ASPCA emergency stickers

ASPCA emergency stickers

September is Disaster Preparedness Month and we’re happy to share a powerful infographic from the ASPCA. Don’t wait for a flood or hurricane, emergencies can and do happen when we least expect it. Just yesterday, I heard a loud crack and went to the window. There was no wind or storm so it shocked me to see a big tree blocking our driveway near the road. It’s a good thing I didn’t need to drive any of our cats to the vet because we were stuck until ConEd removed the tree. Branches from the diseased tree touched electical wires but luckily didn’t impact service. Within a few hours everything was back to normal but it could have been a very different scenario.

It’s been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina. Are your pets safer? Pledge to be prepared: aspca.org/disasterprep Use the hashtag #NatlPrep when sharing on social.

What floors me is that 35% of pet owners still don’t have plans in place for the next big storm or any emergency.

If disaster struck your home or area, would you be ready?

These simple steps can make all the difference. I posted tips recently on taking your cat to the vet last week and would like to repeat, please keep your cat carriers within easy reach and not tucked away in the garage, attic or basement.

Visit ASPCA to find out more safety tips and get your FREE emergency safety stickers.

To enter our ASPCA prize pack giveaway, simple leave a comment. For extra chances to win, share this post on social media, telling us in a separate comment where you shared. Giveaway is open to US residents only and open until 11:59 pm ET, August 26, 2014 to September 2, 2014  A single winner will be randomly selected by Random.org and notified at this blog and via email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to our email to claim the prize; failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the prize.

FTC disclaimer: No purchase necessary.  Cat Wisdom 101 received no fee for this post and our opinions remain 100% our own.

take your cat to the vet day

take your cat to the vet day

August 22nd is Take Your Cat To The Vet Day and before we go any further, please note: there is no Take Your Dog To the Vet Day. Why do cats get the unwelcome holiday? Sadly, it’s because cats get taken to the vet about half as often as dogs and only when a cat very ill. Why? Cats go to great lengths to appear well (it’s a survival instinct) and avoid discomfort. That includes the stress of being corralled into a carrier, a bumpy car ride to the vet in their portable prison, a foreign place with strange smells and sounds like dogs barking, being examined under bright lights by a Dr. Stabby and reverse the fun, winding back home. It’s no fun for the one doing the coraling, carrying, driving and worrying either.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can have vet visits with more purrs and less hiss.

Look at how lovely this sweet kitten’s first vet visit was. It’s none other than Marmalade of video fame and the positive experience paved the way for future easy vet visits. Note the calm, positive energy of the vet, staff and cat parents.

Read my extensive post on making vet reasons easier or my quick tips below.

  1. We don’t expect you to actually take your cat to your vet today but how about making an appointment or researching a new vet with mobile or a feline-only practice or feline-friendly practice. A vet who makes house calls or one with a mobile clinic solves most of the stress issues. Most cats feel less stressed in a feline-only clinic. Enter your zip code here and find one near you from The American Association of Feline Practitioners.

  1. We don’t expect you to actually take your cat to your vet today but how about making an appointment or researching a new vet with mobile or a feline-only practice or feline-friendly practice. A vet who makes house calls or one with a mobile clinic solves most of the stress issues. Most cats feel less stressed in a feline-only clinic. Enter your zip code here and find one near you from The American Association of Feline Practitioners. Not all vets are created equal. Some are better and if you’re not happy with your vet, find one who is a better fit. We love the convenience of our mobile vet but love our new feline-only vet too. And yes you can have more than one vet plus specialists, just as you would with medical care for humans.

take your cat to the vet day


  1. Be prepared. Be Prepared. Be prepared and don’t forget to breathe. Whether it’s a routine vet visit or an emergency, reduce stress by preparing a carrier in advance.
  • Store carriers in easy to access locations.
  • Before leaving home, be sure the pet carrier is clean and in good condition with no broken zippers, faulty hinges or locks.
  • For pets who hate going into the carrier, consider turning an ordinary carrier into a cozy, everyday hideaway. Place a plush pillow and toys inside and cover the carrier with a stylish throw to match your decor. Leave the entrance door open.
  • Top loading carriers are more convenient for resistant cats.
  • All carriers should be roomy enough for a cat to be able to stand up and turn around.

comfort carrier-cat-cat wisdom 101


  • To avoid carsickness, don’t feed kitty at least an hour before leaving home.
  • Have a pet ID with collars ready even for pets who normally don’t wear collars. Many cats have escaped from cars to the vet’s parking.
  • Place a cozy old towel or t-shirt with a familiar scent into the carrier. Spray the interior (one spritz per side) with calming Feliway or other pheromone-based “feel good and safe” spray.
  • Other calming alternatives include homeopathy products like Rescue Remedy or flower essences. Toss in a favorite little catnip toy.
  •  Have all pet info handy including meds, supplements, dates of last visit, vaccinations, and insurance especially if this is a first visit to a new vet. Yes, there an app for that. Pet Veterinary Records.
  • In the winter, heat the car in advance. Some carriers come with heating pads or use an old, wool sweater with your familiar scent. I like to place a folded puppy pad on the bottom of the carrier making it easier to clean in case of vomit or other liquids.
  • Remember your checkbook, cash or credit cards to pay the vet bill.

take your cat to the vet day

  • Before leaving the clinic be sure you have all your paperwork, any instructions, meds and receipts safely placed in a handbag or bag. Check the carrier before heading to the parking lot. Tell your cat they were a wonderful patient and give them a treat if it’s a routine visit.
  • If indicated, give them another treat and play with them once home.
  • If other cats are waiting at home, they may notice “vet” smell. The foreign scent may cause inter-cat aggression. Allow the cat to relax or recuperate away from other cats for a few hours to lick or groom the foreign scent away. Give the room another spritz of Feliway and place the carrier in its usual location, ready for the next vet visit.
  • Book a wellness visit well in advance and stay alert to subtle changes in your cat’s mood and behavior.
  • Give yourself a treat for being a responsible pet parent 🙂


black cat appreciation day-Domino- merlin cat

Black cat Appreciation day

It’s Black Cat Appreciation Day. This isn’t just another made up holiday to promote something. Black cats get a bad rap for zero good reasons and are the least likely color to be adopted. Case, in point: several black cats I featured a year ago are still waiting to be adopted at New Rochelle Humane Society.

If every one gets the message we won’t need this kind of holiday anymore. To celebrate, we’re sharing 9 amazing reasons black cats are fabulous from our friends, the always entertaining Cole and Marmalade.

If you’re on social media, let’s share black and white cat photos to celebrate Black Cat Appreciation Day. Or share this one.

black cat appreciation day-Domino- merlin cat


Mondays with Merlin will return next week but we leave you a taste of what he’s been up to below the

Meowvelous, funny and true video.

The Straight Outta meme based on the film Straight Outta Compton has gone viral. This is our version.

Straight outta meme- black cats

Merlin and I are squeezing out as much hammock time as possible. He claims it’s a cure-all. I agree. I hope you enjoy catnaps with a special cat this week!

Merlin hammock catmom stress cureStraight outta meme- black cats

Corduroy-world's oldest cat-maine coon-

The Guinness Book of World Records has a special feline edition video. I couldn’t help but notice the one thing all these cats share in common. Scroll to the end for my observation and to view the video of some exceptional cats.

While not an official world-breaking record yet, I’d love it to be. Today is Clear the Shelters, an adoption initiative sponsored by 11 NBC owned television stations. Click on the map of a city near you at ClearTheShelters to see what shelters are participating. You may be surprised to see what states have zero participation. Many of the hundreds of shelters are offering reduced adoption fees. If you’re not able to adopt, spread the word in your area. 

It’s also National Check Your Chip Day. Check out our comprehensive post on microchips including a shareable infographic

The king of old cats is a Maine Coon named Corduroy who tuned 26 on August 1, 2015. There is nothing frail about this old boy. The world’s oldest cat still loves hunting outdoors for mice in Oregon, being petted and a treats of cheddar.

Corduroy oldest cat

The world’s shortest cat is Lilieput, tiny munchkin looks even shorter compared with Trouble, a Savannah.

Lilieput-shortest cat

Trouble-tallest cat

Sophie, boasts the longest fur on a cat. Can you imagine grooming her?

Sophie- longest fur cat

This gorgeous Calico, Missi has the most impressive whiskers I’ve ever seen. Not only are her muzzle whiskers long but look at her cheek whiskers and those above the eyelids.

missi-longest cat whiskers

Oh my whiskers! The longest leap by a cat is by Alley, a professional acrocat. Found in a Chicago alley by owner/trainer, Samantha Martin founder of cat performance troupe Acro-cats / Rockcats allows her cats to shine at what they love to do naturally. For Alley, she loved jumping and one thing led to another.

Did you figure out what all these world record holders share in common? None are solid colored.

Happy Caturday everyone! Do you have a cat with any unusual features?

World Cat Day- International

Every day should be about celebrating cats, but today, August 8, is officially World Cat Day aka National Cat Day or International Cat Day. Whatever you choose to call it, let’s celebrate everything we love about cats.

World Cat Day- International

  • We all know cats have taken over the Internet and now there is a museum exhibit to prove it or at least celebrate their presence. The Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) in Queens, N.Y.’s new exhibit How Cats Took Over The Internet will be catnip for any cat lover. The exhibit is on August 7, 2015–January 31, 2016. It’s the first exhibit of its kind and covers the Internet history of cats, their cultural impact from early chat rooms in 1995 to LOL cats, memes, gifs, videos to multi-media celebrity cats like Grumpy Cat and Instagram cats. There is a cat video reel running in a 30 minute loop curated by Will Braden of Henri Le Chat Noir and Internet Cat Video Festival fame.
  • If you’re in Minneapolis, the 4th annual #catvidfest event is on August 12 and the place to be if you love cats.
  • On Aug. 5, I joined a crowd of cat lovers to celebrate Matilda, the Algonquin Hotel’s resident cat’s birthday with her annual fundraiser. This year, the sold-out event featured “A Feline Salute to NYC’s First Responders” to benefit the Mayor’s Alliance For Animals. A handful of mew-dels posed for the paw-parazzi in their outfits designed by Ada Nieves.

The costumes were not as glam as last year but it was all for a good cause. Every year there is a new theme which takes six months to plan, design and execute the kitty creations.

Zeus cat


Awards were given to members of NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad.

NYPD awards animal cruelty

The Algonquin always puts on a lovely event but this year it out did itself with a literary themed buffet. Wine and cocktails flowed and the refreshing signature champagne cocktail “The Matilda” was a hit. A vintage typewriter on the dessert table echoed the hotel’s history as a literary hub for the famous writers “Algonquin Round Table”.

Matilda cat birthday cake

The event is always a fun place to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Being a foodie, I loved chatting with Seen Lippert, the ex-chef of the storied restaurant La Panisse who has six cats. The team from the Mayor’s Alliance worked hard adopting out kittens and cats from their mobile adoption unit parked in front of the hotel. The annual raffle was the usual hoot with a gorgeous grand prize of a large cat tree from Pet Tree Houses 

Matilda may have made a brief appearance but I didn’t see her. Cats are not allowed where food is served are were sequestered in a small room off the lobby where the event was held. The cat area was too crowded for me and I spend only a few minutes there.

Aodhan, a show cat used to crowds and dressed as an MTA worker, calmly enjoys his dinner while others are bored. Some cats love getting dressed up while others, not so much.

Ada Nieves cat fashion 2015

The most creative backdrop replete with a fire truck/bed for Zeus, a rescue Persian who played fire chief is owned by Miguel Rodriguez.

My vote for worst costume included every cat’s most hated “accessory”, the Elizabethan collar on a very patient “patient”.

A first-timer to the event and one of the most chill cats I’ve met in ages is a Scottish Fold named Thunder Fold @FoldCats with her cat mom, Kate Arian. Every Matilda birthday event is different and I’m already looking forward to next year.

ThunderFold cats

Tell us how you’re celebrating World Cat Day.

We’re also joining the cat art blog hop at AthenaCatGoddess

Kliban cat birthday cake


  • We’re in another heatwave and if you haven’t checked out our tips for keeping cats cool, please do right here We’ve added a video from our friends at Cole And Marmalade demonstrating how to make frozen treats for cats. Very cool!
  • We are happy to announce the winner of our Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain Giveaway from Petsafe is Carolsue. Congratulations! Please look for an email from Cat Wisdom 101 requesting your shipping address.

As soon as photography caught on as the latest craze in the 1880s, it was inevitable that cats would be charming their way into our birthday wishes ever since.

antique cat birthday photo

By the ’30s cute poems and graphics were popular on cards with staged setting of real cats or colored illustrations.


mainzer- eugen hartung cat birthday

The illustrator king of kitty anthropomorphism was Eugen Hartung, a Swiss artist who worked for Alfred Mainzer, a printer from the ’40s to ’60s. He captured cats living the human experience with all the joys and pitfalls.

Post war America favored illustrations of cute kittenish cats for kid’s birthday cards and saucier versions for adults.

vintage cats birthday vintage birthday card cats







vintage cat birthday martini

This is one of my all time favorite cat illustrations by Ronald Searles. His book, Big Fat Cat is a classic.

Ronald Searles cat cakes

Nothing is more quintessentially late ’70s to ’80s than the Kliban cat by the prolific Bernard Kliban, an illustrator who died in 1990 at age 55. The instantly recognizable tabby is still a coveted collectible on Ebay but new products are available Pomegranate

Kliban cat birthday cake

By the year 2000, cats and anthropomorphism continued as colorfully as ever. Marie Antoinette is famous for the saying “Let them eat cake” but she never actually said that. Maybe it was a cat after all. It’s easy to imagine cats saying worse and demanding more.

Cat birthday fish cake

birthday cat cakeHappy birthday cats cake etsy

Contemporary cat art birthday cards abound on Etsy .i.e. this one from This Week in Cats I can safely say, there will be more cat birthday cards in my future. How about you? Which card is your favorite?


Layla Morgan Wilde-purr-Merlin-001

It’s Monday With Merlin and I’ve been thinking about birthdays. My mom, Layla is celebrating her birthday this week but won’t say which day or Cod forbid which number, won’t announce it in any group or Facebook or Twitter, so this it. She is not in the mood to celebrate and wants nothing. Well nothing for herself. Her only wish is to help cats. Her secret birthday wish is to see me reach my 21st birthday on Oct.2. That of course is up to the cat gods and vicissitudes of feline fate.

I’ve lost my appetite and I’m back on an appetite stimulant which sort of working but I’m more wobbly. I just don’t have enough muscle mass left to hold myself up so my back legs are kind of floppy. I can make my way down the stairs but going up is difficult so I’m carried up. I can’t make it off the bed but getting up even with a step stool is iffy. My teeth are bothering me when I’m not on antibiotics and I can’t be on them all the time. Surgery is high risk at this point. There is a daily quality of life check-in that responsible pet parents of the very old  need to make but it’s easy to slip into denial and not so easy to be objective especially with worrywarts like folks. With a slow gradual decline like mine, there are bumps in the road like my recent URI, but I’ve weathered them. Only now I’m more fragile.

The quality of life scale really boils down to: are there more good days than bad days. When the bad days outnumber the good days, it’s time to have the conversation no pet parent wants to have. What treatment options continue to be available. How invasive or aggressive a treatment is warranted. Are there the funds for veterinary specialists which can reach 5 figures. Even if there are funds, is it fair to prolong the life of an animal for a few months when they’re ready to go. They say, you’ll know in in their eyes when it’s time for euthansia but that’s where denial can pop up. For instance, my dad thinks I’m fine and could live for another couple years. My mom thinks otherwise and has already picked out a spot to bury me in. One of them is right. I keep telling them I’m not ready but maybe I’m the one in denial. Worry is in the air but lots of love too. I love my daily Reiki, snuggle time in bed and outside on the picnic blankie or on the porch. I’m moving tortoise slow but still like wandering in the garden. A big red flag is I’m not as interested in garden scents as before. If I do make it until my big birthday, I have no interest hanging around to freeze my bony ass this coming winter. No, thank-you. I hate the cold. I hear the afterlife has climate control at a purrfect 78 degrees.
birthday-cat-monday-merlin-surpriseIt’s hard to believe this was taken only four years ago when I could still see and was shall we say, a pretty boy. My eyes are no longer blue like this, not that I could see them anyway. True beauty is more than fur deep any way. Like all cats, I don’t care if my mom puts on a few pounds, has wrinkles or bad hair days. Actually, cats prefer their humans more natural without a lot of artificial perfumes and stinky hair spray. Our sense of is smell is so highly developed we can smell a mouse a mile away. Well at least Odin can.

Merlin and cat mom Layla
Yes, I am a proud mama’s boy.

If you are feeling like giving a little birthday prezzy, we’re collecting funds for enrichment of the cats at shelter where Layla volunteers. She hadn’t been in awhile and brought 50 mini scratchers last week and was shocked to see no toys in the cages and hardly any in the cage-free rooms. Things have a way of breaking and disappearing when there are 100 cats. Layla usually uses her own money for enrichment (toys, cardboard scratchers, catnip, Feliway). Items quickly get dirty in cages and need to be replaced often. There is a PayPal donation button in the footer and any amount is appreciated.

Beside the donation button is our Instagram widget with our latest kitty pics. Click on any image and it’ll take you to our page or click on www.Instagram.com/catwisdom101 


July 4th safe pet graphic
domino cat july4th
Domino hopes your 4th of July is purrfectly relaxing.

Every year, Merlin and I celebrate Canada Day. It feels like a hundred years ago when Merlin, his sister Coco and I boarded an Air Canada Flight six weeks before 9/11 to New York to begin our new American life. Despite being married to an American, I remain distinctly Canadian and betray my roots when I say things like holidays instead of vacation. Merlin mellowed out after the move and settled into middle-age. He gained weight enjoying a little too much of the good life. It’s hard to believe the frail 5.4 lb.boy once weighed 17 lbs! This was taken in 2011. We’re seizing the moment more than ever to be in the moment.



Thanks to everyone for your continued good wishes. His vet test results were better than I expected but no picnic. He’s anemic with a very high WBC count and his URI is not responding to antibiotics so far. The vet calls him fragile but we’re following a strict protocol for the next two weeks and cautiously optimistic for a few more good days ahead.

For our Canadian friends, Happy Canada Day, eh! Many are taking the entire week off as we towards the July 4th holiday weekend. Enjoy but please keep your pets safe. See our holiday safety tips and graphics.

canada day-ex pats-cats
Merlin says Happy Canada Day!
July 4th safe pet graphic
Odin says happy 4th but provide a cozy, quiet place to hide if there are loud fireworks nearby.
Cat Wisdom 101 4th blogiversery blogoversery

They say times flies when you’re doing what you love. Well, time has flown by, four years to be exact since launching Cat Wisdom 101. After 1288 posts, thousands of images, comments, follows and 2 million views, we’re still here to enlighten and entertain cat lovers. It’s what we do and we love you for having been a part of the journey. Thank-you for very single comment, follow and like. Thank-you for the incredible friendships and support on and offline. Purrs of thanks too to our sponsors and guest bloggers.

Together, we have helped make a difference in the lives of cats, one purr at the time.

Cat Wisdom 101 4th blogiversery blogoversery

There is a 10,000 hour rule that purports that we achieve mastery with a deliberate focus on any skillset for 10,000 hours. When I started this blog as an off-shoot of Cat Saturday from my other blog Boomer Muse, I’d already worked with cats for years, and thought I knew cats and cat lovers pretty well. I was wrong. After spending over 10,000 hours over the past 4 years devoted to all things cat, I’m beginning to feel I know a little bit more and yet the only thing I know for sure is: cats defy being wholly known. I’ve experienced exceptions to every rule and remain more in awe than ever of the feline world.

It would be foolish to predict where I’ll be in another four years but blogging is responsible for the alchemy that fired my soul towards my life purpose of helping cats and those who love them.

Peace, love and purrs of gratitude,

Layla (and feline friends Angel Coco, Angel Gris Gris, Domino, Odin, Nou Nou and forever, Merlin.)

Join us for short trip down memory lane. Our Cat Wisdom 101 journey began on May 27, 2011 with a series of teasers. Odin was and still is the master tree climber.



leap of faith

Odin and his prize

Our garden remains a refuge when stress rears its unruly head. And who knew wise, old Merlin would grow even older and wiser?





May, 30, 2011.

A year later in 2012, we took stock about the effort it took pumping out a staggering amount of original content. In those days we blogged 7 days a week plus 5 days a week at Boomer Muse. Serious blogging is not for the feint of heart. It requires passion bordering on madness. It also takes wisdom to know when to back off, re-prioritize and do less. We streamlined last year but added new responsibilities like editing the CWA blog and writing for new channels.


On our 2nd blogoversery it was still, all cats, all the time.

cat wisdom 101-tagline- anniversary-blogoversary

For some reason we celebrated out 3rd blogoversery on June 1, 2014. It also marked Odin’s birthday and the day first day I got serious about helping hoarder cats at the shelter. Their plight inspired me to dig deeper into the roots of compassion and not judgement in the face of cruelty.

Cat Wisdom 101-blogiversary

This rescued hoarder cat had suffered the most horrifically and was fostered soon after the rescue. Even today, I’m can’t stomach writing down the details of what this cat endured. All I can do is educate and share the message of animal advocacy. Blogging and social media is a powerful tool to make a difference in the lives of cats and all animals. The weekly adoption PSAs I create are proof of that.

cat abuse quote-kindness

We are continuing to fundraise for our emergency veterinary fund for shelter cat Radish. See our post last week for details. Thank-you for loving cats and supporting the Cat Wisdom 101 community in any way from subscribing, to sharing to volunteering in your neighborhood. Every positive thought and maction helps. We can’t save every cat but we can save one. UPDATE: Radish is having a complete diagnostic exam today!

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memorial day -cat merlin

Happy Memorial Day cat lovers! It’s me, Merlin saluting our military past and present for their service. Military families and children benefit greatly from having pets during deployment to reduce stress.  Click for details of the emotional cycle of deployment for families.

Operation Military Pets from the ASPCA is a valuable resource. Military families move every two or three years and this program helps keep military families keep their pets by providing financial assistance for pet relocation.

memorial day -cat merlin

Domino cat memorial day


We have some special announcements and posts coming up this week. So, if you don’t already follow us, please do. You won’t want to miss them! Our mom, Layla is off to Blogpaws on Wednesday and is still recuperating but she’ll stay in close contact. Mega purrs of thanks to everyone who donated to our brother-in-arms, shelter cat Radish who needs your help. We’ll update with his test results and prognosis as soon as we know. His bite hold has been extended and our pawrents have negotiated a waiver with the shelter.

[cpDonation key=’1′]


Blogger conference tips

Blog conference tips by Layla Morgan Wilde.

Blogger conference tips

With digital devices, bloggers can and do work from everywhere these days; from a bedroom in Chicago, a subway in New York, a beach in Miami or a cafe in L.A.. Bloggers hide behind a screen most days and it’s easy to forget our fellow bloggers and online pals are real. A conference like BlogPaws offers an opportunity to meet many of your friends and others you’d like to meet all under one roof. It’s like a family reunion, working holiday and adventure all rolled into one. It’s exciting, fun and informative but can be exhausting and daunting if you’re not prepared. These are my tips gleaned from years of attending a variety of conferences. More than one of these tips may save your bacon if not your life.

1)  It’s an equal playing field

Whether you’re a first-timer, a veteran, a blogging star or newbie, you all have something in common: a love of pets and a love of sharing your passion online. Everyone has something to learn and something of value to share. No blogger is an island. It can be overwhelming or intimidating to be with hundreds of fellow bloggers but guess what, we’re all part of the same tribe or family. Many of us are shy about meeting new people and if that’s you, focus on the other person and the pets. Animals are the world’s best icebreakers and one of the reasons the vibe at pet conferences are friendlier. Afraid to walk up to the biggest bloggers? Don’t be. It’s in their best interest to be nice. Go on, ask them questions, Instagram a selfie, but don’t hog all their time. It’s an intense environment. Don’t take any reaction personally.

connection-communication-cell phone-cat-humor-quote-catnip

  • Chances are you already belong to niche blogger group i.e. cat bloggers, dog bloggers, rescue bloggers who have may have a private or public Facebook group or G+ Hangout. Find out in advance who is going and where they’ll be meeting for breakfast, drinks or a private party.
  • All the brand reps at the exhibit booth are super friendly and eager to meet you. It’s their job to share what’s great about their brand and make you interested.
  • Seeing someone wear a silly or fun t-shirt is easy way to make conversation especially it’s a blog or brand you know.

2) Plug-in or UnPlug?

stop-smell-flowers-unplug-cat-cute-cell phone

Most conferences are digitally-based so everyone is plugged in. Use the op of being there to live tweet who you just saw, met or having lunch with. That said, don’t be so busy with your head in the digital cloud that you miss an exchange with a real person. The biggest takeaway for any conference is the value of one-on-one connections. Enjoy the memorable moments, the laughter and heart-to-heart talks. Bring a portable charger and a power strip is nice for sharing. Ditto, sharing mints or chocolate.

Warning: You may need ear plugs. When bloggers who are friendly online finally meet in person, there is very loud squealing and shrieking of excitement with hugs and happy dances 🙂

conference packing tips

3) Packing: Luggage and bags.

Conferences are usually 2 to 4 days which means you won’t need a ton of clothes but you will likely bring back lots of swag and product samples. You have two choices if flying. 1) Pack a large enough suitcase to hold your clothes and anything you might bring back. 2) Pack a carry on with a large tote bag for swag and on the return flight check the bag. Not checking luggage saves time and money. Most airlines have an extra fee for even for one checked bag.

  • Be sure to check with your airline for their carry-on sizes, policies and limitations.
  • On the off chance that your checked luggage gets lost, pack your must-have essentials: digital devices, favorite cosmetics, meds and toiletries in travel-size (up to 2 oz. for liquids.) in your carry-on bag.
  • Airlines allow one handbag/tote/computer bag. Choose a bag big enough to use during the conference to lug digital devices, notebooks and incidentals.
  • I like to be as hands-free as possible and prefer either a tote bag with shoulder straps or a knapsack style bag. If you have tote with your own brand’s logo/tagline/image, it can be a great icebreaker or way to connect your brand with conference attendees. A pin, t-shirt or bag with your city/state/alma mater or favorite pet is a good conversation starter.

Motek Hadas hall-cat fashion-Israel

4) Wardrobe Tips

They say clothes make the man (or woman) but they also brand a blogger. Appearances do count. You can blog in a dirty t-shirt or pajamas at home but think about how you want to perceived by your peers. You are your brand. No matter how casual the destination, you’ll never see me wear blue jeans, gaudy jewelry (okay, maybe cat ears) or sport cleavage at a conference. You can be comfortable, casual but professional. My brand is all about cats, so I would never wear a t-shirt with a dog or other animal. It doesn’t mean you have to buy a new wardrobe but pick through your closet carefully.

  • Try on everything you’re thinking of packing at least a few days in advance. Check if it’s clean, in good repair: no snags, stains, rips or moth holes and most importantly, fits. A long mirror in a brightly lit room is your best friend.
  • There are wrinkle-resistant fabrics but I do two things as soon as I check into a hotel. I immediately unpack and anything wrinkled is either ironed or hung on hangers and placed on the curtain rod and steamed to release wrinkles. Close the bathroom door and run a steamy, hot shower. Hang clothing hangers outside the shower curtain. Hop in yourself. It feels good to have a hot shower after travelling. Leave the clothing to hang in the steamy room for an hour or longer. Then hang in the closet.
  • I prefer hanging all ironed garments in the closet instead folded in drawers and usually request extra hangers when checking-in.
  • Pack according to the season and destination. Most conferences strike a balance of casual during the day and dressier in the evening. If the conference is in a location with hot weather, it will be air-conditioned and can get chilly. Airplanes can get chilly too and I always bring a pashmina to double as a wrap/scarf/blankie. They can be rolled up and squished into corner of a bag without wrinkling. Layering a scarf, cardigan over a top or long sleeved top under under t-shirt all work. Choose colors that mix and match easily. All neutrals can be mixed but don’t be afraid of a pop of color, if that’s your style.
  • You’ll be sitting, standing and walking in a jam-packed schedule; a conference if not the time to break in a new pair of shoes or to find out a dress is too tight because you gained weight and forgot to try it on before packing (I’ve been there, done that creating unnecessary stress).

cat lovers valentine giveaway-bowtie collar -Rileywear

Accessories and extras:

  • Conferences have dinners, cocktail parties and perhaps an awards banquet, women should bring a small evening bag. It’s a nice break from lugging a big bag around all day.
  • I suggest packing
    two pairs of comfortable shoes and one pair of dressy shoes. Check for scuffs, dirt and condition before packing. If you don’t have shoe bags, use tissue or plastic bags to avoid dirt or shoe polish staining clothes.
  • If you’re planning to workout in a gym or go for a swim, bring trainers, workout gear, headband or hair bands, bobby pins, flip flops, a swimsuit and cover-up or sarong.
  • Bring enough undies, socks, tights or pantyhose as needed and a plastic bag to stuff a wet swimsuit or used lingerie before returning home. If wearing sandals or heels on a plane, I like to give my feet a rest and pack a pair of cozy socks on board.
  • If you’re bringing pricey jewelry (I don’t recommend it) remember to lock it in the safe.
  • Cat bloggers: If you like wearing cat ears, bring a pair or more to share.
  • If you can’t bring Fifi or Fido, consider bringing a flat pet, a large photo cutout of your pet.
  • A travel sewing kit and mini first aid kit is handy.
  • Lint brush. There are mini-travel versions but in a pinch pack a strip of masking or painters tape.
  • If you have blog branded t-shirt wear it; it’s an instant calling card.
  • Conferences are hyper-stimulating and exhausting. If you are prone to nervousness or insomnia, pack over-the counter calming aids i.e.homeopathic Rescue Remedy or prescription meds and remedies for headaches, upset stomach in travel-size packs.

The OCD Worry Wart Checklist

Cat on computer-typewriter

If you worry about forgetting to pack something important, remember most items can be found at your hotel or obtained nearby. Ask the concierge or front desk. I prefer to be prepared. Call it detail-oriented or neurotic, it will make your experience easier and more rewarding. Remember to bring small bills for tips for cabs, doormen and housekeeping.

  • I keep a standard  8.5 x 11 (hard copy) list of toiletries and misc. items from earplugs, sunglasses to umbrellas and check if off as I’m packing with a colored marker.
  • For clothes, shoes and accessories I make a infographic checklist. You don’t need to know how to draw and it really works! It acts as a wardrobe planner to save time when you’re frazzled after a long day. You can make one online but it’s quicker to do a rough sketch by hand. I take a standard blank sheet of paper and sketch with pencil (erasable) every item to pack by category and description i.e. t-shirt graphic (white T, gray T with cat, black tank with logo etc). It creates an instant virtual “closet” to easily see what goes with what. One look and you may realize you don’t really need to pack five sweaters.
  • Edit your final choices. Note what outfit is worn on each day with choice of shoes and accessories. Use colored markers to highlight categories. Check off every item packed. Repeat at the hotel before check-out so you don’t forget anything at the hotel. But also do an idiot check in drawers, behind furniture and doors anyway.

5) BUSINESS CARDS and other means of contact

  • Before attending any conference, you’ll want to make sure your business cards have up to date contact info and reflect your blog’s core message. Make them as visually pleasing and professional as possible. You’ll be handing out lots to other bloggers, conf. attendees, brand reps, PR peeps and perhaps strangers on a plane. Be prepared. It’s better to have too many than not enough. You don’t want to be the person who says, ‘I don’t have any cards left”.
  • I keep my cards in a small box and transfer a dozen to a small card holder in an easy to access location in a bag. I also keep a couple handy in a pocket ( I choose conference clothing with pockets if possible) at all times because you just never know when you might meet someone, like in an elevator. You don’t want to be fumbling deep in a handbag when opportunity strikes. I learned my lesson the hard way. Many years ago, I was assisting a film shoot on the tarmac of the Westchester County Airport. A world renowned designer stepped off his private jet and walked over to me, asked what we were doing and asked if I had a card. I rifled through my bag and wallet to no avail feeling like an idiot. Needless to say, I never did that again.
  • You’ll be collecting plenty of business cards. Place them into their own card holder or even an envelope or ziploc baggie will do. After meeting dozens if not hundreds of people, it’s hard to remember who was who. I like to jot down a note on the card after saying good-bye to the person to jog my memory of the connection. It may remind me to call them, Google their website, connect them to another person, a small detail about them like the name of their pet. Cards come in all kinds of finishes. Glossy ones are hard to write on so I carry pencils, pens, markers and highlighters for writing on.
  • If you have a media kit, you could print out a few one pagers to hand out to brands but it’s not mandatory. If you don’t, at least have all your contact info up to date including any press or awards or latest accolades on your blog/website.

6) Prepare in advance for the #1 question: What do you do or what’s your blog about?

Keep it short and succinct. Think elevator pitch. You should be able to sum it up in a sentence or two. i.e. it’s a lifestyle blog about special need cats with a focus on nutrition. We’re all about senior dog wellness with a baby boomer demographic and a California flavor. X is an offshoot of my work as an X and my pets act as their advocates with weekly adoption spotlights.

  • Share how your blog is unique. Let your passion speak. Only you are you!


7) Keep Your Eyes, Ears and Heart Open

Why are you really going to the conference? Be honest. Do you want to connect with other bloggers? Grow your platform? Have an mini-vacation? Learn about monetization? Get inspired? Improve your social media skills? Or maybe to figure out what’s the next step in your blogging career? Everyone has different goals at a blog conference. Make sure you know what your goals and intentions are before you get there. It might mean Googling some of the bloggers, speakers or sponsors in advance. Perhaps follow them on social or LinkedIn. Note what they look like so you’ll recognize them in person.

Plan your schedule but be open to Plan B. I always sneak way for a swim or quiet drink with a friend away from the madding crowd. My most fortuitous connections usually happen spontaneously and sometimes in unexpected places. Stay open to your intuition.

kitty-cat-swimming pool

Listen to your body. Drink extra water to stay hydrated. If you’re feeling headachy or unwell, skip a session and head outdoors for some fresh air or to your room for a quick nap.


When planning your travel arrangements, it never hurts to arrive early or leave a little late. This might mean staying an extra night. Spend some time browsing the conference hashtag on Twitter or on the Facebook group that most conferences open in the months leading up to the event, to find out who is going, when they’re arriving or departing. Arrange to share a cab to the airport. Use your extra time to connect with your fellow bloggers and brands. It is nice to be able say yes to an impromptu dinner or breakfast without having to worry about rushing to catch your plane.

Cat on computer-


  • Take notes during every session you attend. The act of taking notes will help you to stay more engaged with the material the speaker is offering. This is very important by the time you reach the last session of the day and you have already learned so many things your brain might explode from TMI.
  • Even if you take notes digitally, have a back-up. I like taking notes old school style: pen/pencil in a notebook or a legal pad. I like doodling and often get ideas while listening to a speaker that has nothing to do with what they’re speaking about. Bring extra pens. They always seem to disappear. If they have your brand logo all the better.

I usually sort through cards and make notes during the flight home. Once when you get home, open up a blank document on your computer, and start organizing your notes into categories. This will help you decide what things you are going to do right away, and what ideas will take a little more planning or preparation.

10. Follow-up with thank-you’s, queries and emails within a few days. 

Remember to bring homes some treats for your pets who will be missing you. Sort through your swag and freebies and only bring home what you really want. Give the rest to another blogger or leave at the swap table.

cat-travel-luggage-humor-odin-suitcaseEnjoy and pat yourself on the back for making the decision to attend a conference. Congratulations! It means you’re serious about blogging and ready to be a better blogger.

Share, download and/or print this article.

Did I forget something? Please leave your suggestions in the comments.

Nou Nou indoor foster cat

There still some lead in this old pencil. It’s me, Merlin and there’s nothing like good news to begin the week. As you know, I’m older than dirt but when a fellow meezer invited me to her birthday party, how could I refuse? Nellie posted this memento and dare I say, she knows how to make an old cat feel young again. Thank-you for the ahem, teepee time.

Meezer cartoon siamese

Merlin cat -quote old age

There is a young lady cat in residence named Nou Nou who isn’t the least bit interested in me. But she is interested in breakfast in bed with me. Okay she loves to steal my breakfast. Sharing is caring and all that. Anyway, why would she care about an old geezer meezer when she when she is smitten with Odin?

ats-quote -sharing is caringSilly thing is so smitten she doesn’t mind when he plays power games or leaving his manly scent all over her favorite Bergan Turbo toy preventing her from using it. It’s a territorial thing and she waits until he gets up. What she does mind is the freedom he enjoys by going outdoors.

Cats turbo scratcher


Nou Nou indoor foster cat

The trouble is Odin goes out to the garden every day while Miss N pines for him by the window or shreds the turbo cardboard into smithereens. There’s no question he’s loving her adoration. At least Nou Nou has the pleasure of super-scented window whiffies. Domino likes Nou Nou too but would rather have a dirt bath than romance.

Odin. domino Cats and wisteria

Everything bloomed and turned jungle verdant in our garden making me one happy camper. Oh the wisteria, azalea, lily of the valley all smell sweet but nothing beats loamy earth and grass under my toes. Don’t tell anyone but there has been more pee in the bed mishaps partly because my cat dad had to attend his son’s graduation from GWU. Layla thankfully stayed home on 24/7 cat care duty BUT I do not, repeat do not like big changes in routine. I’ve heard Layla has plans to travel soon. Grrrr, more about that next Monday.

Before I forget (it happens when you get old!) I’d like to announce the winner of our big GoPro camera and ProPlan giveaway is Ellen Beck. Congratulations! Look for an email from us requesting your shipping address. Have a safe, healthy and week everyone!



Mother's day cat wisdom 101

Happy Mother’s Day and Cat Mom Day! To me they are one and the same. Love is love not matter whether our kids have two or four legs. Our cats may not make us breakfast in bed but they won’t burn the toast either. I’ll be having breakfast in bed with Merlin and playtime later. How are you celebrating today? Although we don’t have an official Sunday selfie, we’re are joining the usual suspects for a blog hop at There’s Cat On My Head

Mother's day cat wisdom 101


World vet day-veterinarian's oath

UPDATE: Last night we updated to the new 4.2 version of WordPress which caused our major technical issues including comments not showing up. After spending much of the day with tech support, most of the issues were resolved but we’ll be taking a break until Monday. It’s times like these when I wish I could trade places with a happily napping cat! Thanks so much and hopefully all comments will show up soon.


The last Saturday in April is World Vet Day, the day when the life-saving contribution to animals and their community by veterinarian are honored. We’re hugely grateful for our vets. Thank-you Rich Goldstein, Stacey Joy Hershman and Letrisa Miller.

One vet in the news has the veterinary profession up in arms. Veterinarian Kristin Lindsey, accused of killing a cat with a cross box last week It might be time her for to re-visit the oath she took when she became a vet.

World vet day-veterinarian's oath

Our week in review.

Mondays With Merlin revealed news of his latest vet visit.

mobile vet squad-Rich Goldstein DVM










Our Shelter Cat Spotlight featured the largest cat I’ve ever seen.

Toony cat








Our favorite funny but true cat video this week is about Feline Superpowers. Come on, we all know they have them.

What are your cats’ superpowers?


microchip infographic-national check your chip day

Woman holding a microchip between her index finger and thumb

easter-egg-art-cat-cat wisdom 101

We couldn’t resist re-cycling this photo from an old Passover/Easter post. Hubby is a secular Jew and I’m the same religion as my cats except for Odin who claims to be Jewish. What religion are your cats? In any case, we’re all celebrating peace and freedom during the season of renewal. How about you?

cat-lol-passover-easter-cat wisdom 101-fish-

Happy Passover to all our Jewish friends and readers. May your seders be filled with joy.


Stay curious and Happy Easter! May all your broken eggs be chocolate. Keep your cats safe. Keep lilies, tulips and other bulb flowers away from cats. They are toxic as is chocolate for pets.

Easter-lilies- toxic-cats


easter-egg-art-cat-cat wisdom 101





















If you love Pinterest, we have a new Easter and Cats board with some pretty funny and different examples from vintage art to modern photos. The usual pastel imagery is fun but check out the vintage French card with lucky black cats. If you don’t already follow us, please follow one or all of our boards. We’ll follow any new followers back. Most of our boards are with cats but not all. Also, did you know you can PIn any of our images by hovering in the upper left corner. Click on the little red Pinterest button and from there you can share to other people’s boards, to Facebook, Twitter or email to a friend. It’s almost as addictive as chocolate but with no calories!

Whew, we made it. We survived one of the worst winters in memory and it wasn’t just the weather. We’re friends right, so I can tell you, it’s been rough. Between family and health issues, computer and the latest web hosting snafus, burn out reared its ugly head. Plus it’s been touch and go with Merlin but somehow he keeps on ticking. There’s at least one moment every day when I wonder if he’s still breathing. He’s peeing on the bed more often and falling off his favorite window sill cushion like a stuntman onto a safety net. It’s alarming but he’s not ready to go. His appetite is excellent and as soon as the weather warmed up he wanted to go out. I’ve rigged cushions everywhere he might fall but he stays by my side most of the time giving kisses and tender paw taps. It makes blogging difficult even when we work from his favorite location: bed. He’s okay with me being on the phone (I’ve been doing lots of consulting) but tapping away on a keyboard annoys him. This is his 21st spring and I’m going to respect his wishes.

So, dearest reader, I’ll be blogging less, starting with merging our Friday Photo Quote newsletter into this blog on Fridays. There will be a new look and direction in the months to come and I hope you’ll be there as the new season heralds exciting new beginnings.

I was going to edit out the dirty snow in this photo of Merlin but changed my mind. It may be the first day of spring but for many us it’s not all daffodils and sunshine.

Sure most of the snow is melting and the snowdrops popped but it’s not magazine perfect but neither is life. Spring can be transformational but muddy. Okay dirty, changeable and unpredictable but there’s never been a better time to make necessary changes. If you feel the need to make changes, don’t wait. There will never be a more perfect time. Do it now, dirty snow or not..

Peace, love and purrs,

Layla, Merlin, Domino, Odin and Nou Nou

spring happy dance cats

cat safety home-vintage cats cooking

Odin-dog day afternoon-007

March is Pet Poison Awareness Month. It’s springtime and thoughts turn to spring cleaning, gardening and holidays like St. Patrick’s Day and  Easter. While most of us know of the obvious toxins like chemical cleaners, nail polish removers and insecticides, there are other quieter dangers like prescription meds or supplements, foods like chocolate, garlic, alcohol (watch dyes for making green beer or coloring easter eggs) and the very lethal pollen, stems and leaves of Easter and other lilies. It’s not necessarily the item but the quantity ingested that creates the hazard.

Spring cleaning is a good time to inspect and cat-proof your home from top to bottom.

If you think your cat has ingested something harmful, do not hesitate to call your vet or poison control hotline.

The other day I was testing a carpet cleaner to spot clean the stairs and the soapy water leaked a big puddle on the floor, at the same moment Odin bounced into the room. Cats have odd timing that way. I barked at him to stay and luckily saved him a trip to the bathtub and a paws washing. He’s always getting into mischief indoors and outdoors so I keep spray bottles of Vetericyn handy for abrasions and apply coconut oil to protect and soothe dry paw pads.

Odin the cat licks paws pads and toes

A cat’s nose, paws, skin are highly sensitive to environmental irritants.

cat-licking-nose-gris gris-cat wisdom 101

Odin-cat-sun-cat wisdom 101-paws

















Our vet, Dr. Rich Goldstein has a few more tips to keep cats safe.

Many household items, ranging from floor cleaners and disinfectants to plants and foods, can be toxic to our pets. It’s important to be aware of them, and what to do if there’s exposure. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Always read the labels on cleaning products to see what it says about exposure to pets. Most will recommend keeping pets away (i.e. in the other room) until the product has completely dried.  Any cleaning product, even pet-safe products, can potentially cause skin irritation (if walked upon), or stomach upset (if ingested), or respiratory symptoms (if inhaled). Best to keep Fluffy out of the room, and ventilate the room until the products are fully dry and aired out.
  • If your kitty does come in contact with a cleaning solution, immediately wash the paws in warm water with a mild dish soap (like Dawn or Joy or Palmolive), rinse off the soapy water completely, and dry the feet thoroughly.

cat bathing-pet naturals shampoo

  • Store household products in cat-proofed cabinets when not in use.
  • Put together a Poison Safety Kit to keep in your house (right next to the First Aid Kit that you have!). Among the items it should include are:
  • Fresh bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide, with a bulb syringe (to induce vomiting – but only on the advice of poison control or your veterinarian)
  • Grease-cutting dishwashing liquid (like Dawn, or Joy, or Palmolive) (to wash feet and fur)
  • A can of soft cat food
  •   A soft towel
  •  A bottle of saline eye flush and artificial tears (to protect the eye after flushing)
  •  Rubber gloves
  •  Tweezers
  • The number for your veterinarian, local emergency clinic, and Poison Control
  • The ASPCA has one of the finest Animal Poison Control Centers in the country, available 24-7. Visit their website at more advice at ASPCA or call 888-426-4435. There is a $65 consultation fee for this service.
  •  The ASPCA also has a list of toxic household items for free.

safe cat housekeeping

Quote-cat-dr.seuss-cat in the hat day

Today is Cat In The Hat Day and Read Across America and we’re celebrating with our favorite Dr. Seuss quotes. While the holiday encourages literacy in children, we’d like to extend the love of reading from kids from 4 to 104. Can you believe it’s been almost 60 years since the classic reading primer The Cat in The Hat was published in March of 1957? It’s a safe bet that most of us grew up with the book. Did you?

Merlin was sitting in a sunny window looking older and wiser than ever. He’s loving the heated window cushion and sometimes poses like a kangaroo. It’s a snowy/sleety messy Monday and March sure came in like a lion. We’re making it a literary lion at least.

dr. suess quote READING -cat in the hat day















Domino has come a long way from his feral life and advocates for meaningful change in the lives of cats because we can. Yes, you can!

Quote-cat-dr.seuss-cat in the hat day


















Odin, is always his own unique self and doesn’t give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks. He thinks humans need to believe we’re all okay just the way we are.

cat quote- dr. seuss -cat in the hat day


















Nou Nou is an adorable one-eyed weirdo and that’s okay with us.

cat in the hat day-quote weirdness


















Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss quote, and do you read to your cat?

Cat oscars art

After record-breaking cold weather this week, we’re in the mood for palm trees, red carpets and hot gold statuettes. Yup, it’s the Oscars this Sunday and while we can’t be in sunny Hollywood, one of our kitty friends Bagel the Sunglass Cat is. Sunglass cat-oscars

And pet lovers do have their own version of the Oscars or Pawskers called the Nose-to-Nose Awards at Blogpaws in May.



Winning gold is nice but for shelter cats finding a forever home is the ultimate prize. Nou Nou our one-eyed foster kitty inspired this golden-eyed art work. I think she’s getting prettier every day and more confident. We’re joining the Saturday Art Blog Hop at our cat friends at Athena Cat Goddess.

Cat oscars art

On Thursday, the Chinese New Year of the Goat kicked of 15 days of festivities. Our cats say: Isn’t it the year of the cat every year? Merlin is our reluctant scapegoat. To make it more confusing, it’s also the year of the sheep.

Chinese new year goat sheep

In case you missed it, our Mancat Monday was brrrr frozen.

LOL cat winter vintage

Our Shelter Volunteer spotlight featured Nou Nou’s sisters and an update on the spoiled princess.

foster cat new rochelle humane society

If your cats are in the throes of kitty cabin fever or winter blahs, check out our 10 Tips including photos.

catification-vertical space cats

How are you staying warm and happy? Are you watching the Oscars? Any favorite films?


It’s Friday the 13th.  We’re not too superstitious but can’t think of anything luckier than adopting a black cat today. Okay, any cat. Your luck may or may not change but it will be that shelter cat’s lucky day. These 13 furry faces were a few of the many cats who greeted me this week at the New Rochelle Humane Society with paw taps, kisses, head butts, slow blinks, fear glares and one claw swipe (He just wanted extra love. Hey, don’t we all).

There were new faces like the gorgeous bulls-eye tabby Smokey and the adventurous Mr. Whiskers, who couldn’t wait to escape his cage and climb to the top. Tortie queen Selma had been moved to another room and gave me “the look”, Lady, you made me a star two weeks ago and I’m still in a cage. Come on, already. I’m not amused. Dear ginger Joe had been adopted and returned. Something about the home being too noisy for him. The best news was seeing our foster gal Nou Nou’s sister Vanna out of a cage and in the big cage-free room with her cagemate Pablo! They’re both still shy but I’ve made huge progress. Which ones will be lucky in love? Who knows, but their odds of being adopted improve with every share.

Valentine-friday the 13th- shelter cats love

cat lovers valentine giveaway-etsy

We’re celebrating Cat Love Month and sharing the love by offering a special giveaway of two gift packs. There will be two winners of cat products made with love for cat lovers by cat lovers.

cat lovers valentine giveaway-etsy

As much as I love doing giveaways for large brands, there is something so heartfelt and personal about cat lovers who make cat products. Our giveaway participants are all women who live in the U.S. (from coast to coast) who adore cats. I hope you share the love and support them by visiting their Etsy shops or websites.They are a joy to deal with and to show my love, I’m conducting this giveaway for free.

Gift Pack #1

1- KittyKuddly, the cozy practical multi-purpose kitty carrier/bed designed in California by Penny Hymes, a vet tech for easier vet visits. We’ve had ours since 2011 and most recently using it as Odin’s bookcase top aerie. The KittyKuddly is available is available in a wide variety of colors/patterns so visit her website at KittyKuddly.com and tell us in a comment which one is your preference.See it in action here.

Plus all Cat Wisdom 101 readers will receive a 10% off when entering the discount code “catwisdom101” at checkout.

1- Chocolate Box Heart Catnip Toy from Polydactyl Cats in Philadelphia. Randi Warhol is the creative force behind her line of wildly whimsical catnip toy designs. The Chocolate box is the cutest Valentine gift and contains only catnip. Chocolate as we all know is toxic to cats and dogs. Visit Polydactal Cats on Etsy or follow them on Twitter
cat lovers valentine catnip hearts box-polydactyl cats giveaway

1- Red Hearts bow tie on a breakaway collar with bell from Ripley Wear. Natalie Haas, the owner makes adorable handmade cat and dog collars with a capital “A”. Natalie, who lives in Dayton, Ohio says, “I have always loved cats and was raised with a love for arts and crafts. I started making collars for our 2 rescue cats and loved it so much that I decided to turn it into a small business. My husband and I founded RipleyWear in 2014 and we absolutely love dressing up all of our wonderful 4-legged customers!” Visit Ripley Wear on Etsy

cat lovers valentine giveaway-bowtie collar -Rileywear

Gift Prize #2

1-Hand-painted, one-of-a-kind tote bag from Florida-based Dawn Weatherstone Art. Dawn paints a different cat on each bag I really love this sturdy denim bag which has endless uses including as a book or beach bag, for toting groceries and even cats!

Visit Dawn Weatherstone Art on Etsy


dawn weatherstone art -cat lovers valentine etsy giveaway










1- Pack of 3 catnip-filled toys of lambskin leather from Jessie at Primal Kitty who lives on a farm in Washington State with 1 husband, 7 cats, 1 dog, 19 bison, 26 chickens, 3 geese and 1 turkey. All her products are made of natural products cats go crazy for. She has seven cats who test the products. See all the products at Primal Kitty on Etsy

leather catnip toy-cat lovers valentine etsy giveaway









Jessie says, “I wish I could say I was the brains behind Primal Pet toys but, I must give credit where credit is due, it was Sabrina the cat. She is a black-super-slinky-former-barn-cat and always likes to get into things, especially in my leather workshop. I will let her tell the story: “Hi, I am Sabrina Kitty. I have this really awesome game of going into my humans workshop and getting fun things to play with and bringing them upstairs to share. Weeeee fun! One day the silly human left open a bin of buffalo leather scraps and I had a blast flinging all things buffalo out onto the floor and then sharing with my 7 Primal Kitty friends upstairs. What a mess…….it was great! Then the real fun began when the human saw a piece of fur on the floor and squealed like a little school girl thinking the scrap was a mouse. OMG, we all had a great laugh! Even better, it got her to thinkin’ (a rarity in my opinion) and she got this cool idea to make a Primal Kitty Mouse. It looks so much like a mouse that even I squealed….ummm……with pleasure, of course!! So, I, errrr…..we, invented the Wooly Mouse made with genuine American Buffalo (aka bison) leather.”

Thank you, Sabrina! She may have embellished a bit but, it is a true story! I have since created several different designs and love making unique toys that kitties & doggies go wild for! Yah, and on another note, I do have a sneaking suspicion that I am a slave to my pets……=^..^=

Our Valentine giveaway is on for one week and the two winners will be selected randomly and announced on Feb. 9, 2015. Please note: since the individual vendors ship separately, the items may arrive at different times. This giveaway is open only to U.S. residents. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cat Love Month


Cat Love Month

Happy Groundhog Day! It’s Merlin here for another Monday’s With Merlin which I hope doesn’t feel like the film Groundhog Day. Sometimes it feels like we’re repeating things but maybe not. That’s what happens you’re about 100-years-old like me. A few years ago we used to blog about Cat Appreciation Month in February and then we stopped. There are so many pet holidays every month it’s hard to keep track BUT Valentine’s Day is coming and I thought why not celebrate the love of cats all month? So we are. Every post this month will be focused on CAT LOVE. We have some lovely topics and surprises including a fabulous giveaway tomorrow you’re going to love.

Your homework this month is to discover new ways you can show love to your cats or other cats in need. How are you feeling cat love today?

Odin, Domino and Nou Nou are becoming friends. Princess N is besotted with the boys especially Odin and  trails him like a lovesick puppy. He’s acting like the older brother with the pesky little sister.  He’s still a mama’s boy needing extra love to keep jealousy at bay. As always love and patience wins this game. Interactive play helps cats bond. The battery-operated mouse toy Frolicat Pounce was a great icebreaker.

Frolicat pounce cats playing-valentine

There are a few other pet holidays in February worth considering.

National Pet Dental Health Month

Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and World Spay Day is Feb. 26, 2015.

National Prevent a Litter Month

Responsible Pet Owners Month.

Feb. 14, 2015:  is Valentine’s Day but also Pet Theft Awareness Day.

Feb. 15-21, 2015: National Justice for Animals Week.

Feb. 20, 2015: Love Your Pet Day. 

#teamcat #Thelucybowl

Get ready to squeeee in kitten cuteness overload. The #KittenBowl will be the SuPURR Bowl highlight. Fire up the chili but make sure your cats don’t sample any. Ditto any other human food, beer or alcohol. Between you and me, I’m more interested in seeing the Superbowl commercials and Katy Perry than the game.

Besides the awesome #Dearkitten commercial, we’ll be rooting for #TEAMCAT in the spectacular The Lucy Bowl commercial by The Lucy Pet Foundation. Their mission is advocating for reduced pet overpopulation with their mobile spay/neuter clinics across the country. We can help by spreading the word by sharing via social media using hashtags, #TeamCat  or #TeamDog. See all the amazing photos posted on TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterest.

Our #TEAMCAT submission of Odin is doubling as our #Superbowlselfie or #Sundayselfie at the weekly blog hop TheCatOnMyHead (Scroll down for the LINKY). And a bonus GO #TeamCAT shareable, pinnable graphic of a classic, vintage Kliban cat t-shirt.

#teamcat #kittenbowl

#teamcat #Thelucybowl

#kittenbowl 2015- Friskies #dearkitten
Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Marc Lemoine


#kittenbowl 2015
Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Marc Lemoine

They say it’s impossible to keep a straight face in front of a kitten, so imagine a bunch of them playing football. To get you ready for SuperBowl Sunday or SoPurr Bowl Sunday we have the purrfectly funny #DearKitten video Regarding the Big Game. BuzzFeed and Friskies are teaming up to air a unique ad spot and next chapter in the popular Dear Kitten series. For this installment, Cat will provide Kitten with the ultimate “survival guide” for the Big Game. If you’re like me and can’t get enough of the Dear Kitten wit and wisdom, here’s the extended 3 minute version. or the 1 minute version.

We won’t tell you if we’re rooting for the Patriots or the Seahawks but we will say we’re rooting for #TeamCat and not #TeamDog. Okay, we can’t resist the cute puppies but we’re all about cats and the Kitten Bowl.  In two short years, “Kitten Bowl” has become an American institution.

#kittenbowl 2015
Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Marc Lemoine


“Kitten Bowl II” premieres Su-PURR Bowl Sunday, February 1st at 12pm ET/PT, 11C on Hallmark Channel and hosted by Beth Stern, with play-by-play announcing from John Sterling and Mary Carillo. Kitten Bowl II” brings together celebrities across all facets of the entertainment world to cheer on the kittens as they compete in the games.

  • News scoop! As Tara The Hero Cat’s behaviorist, I’m thrilled to announce she’ll be making a special appearance during the Kitten Bowl. 

ara the hero cat- Kitten bowl 2015

  • Hallmark Channel’s Happy The Cat, a lovable rescue who serves as the network’s ambassador, will make a highly anticipated appearance at “Kitten Bowl II.
But it’s not all fun and games. Hallmark Channel has once again partnered with North Shore Animal League America and Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation for “Kitten Bowl II” and ALL 92 kittens who played the game this year were adopted into loving forever homes! “Kitten Bowl” is part of Hallmark Channel’s evergreen corporate initiative, “Pet Project,” a multi-faceted initiative devoted to celebrating pets,bringing light to the plight of shelter pets and the incredible joy adopting a pet can bring to our lives.
  • Check out the Kitten Bowl II promo with Katy Perry’s song “Roar” here: http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/kitten-bowl/videos/kitten-bowl-ii-roar 
  • Stock up on treats for you and your cats and have an furrociously fun weekend! Don’t feed your cat chili. May the best team win!
  • #kittenbowl 2015 Hallmark
    Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Marc Lemoine
#kittenbowl 2015- Friskies #dearkitten
Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Marc Lemoine



National answer your cat's question day

The first answer is: Yes, there is a real holiday called National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day. And yes, the world is officially cat crazy. So crazy the holiday has gone international.

Our cats have reluctantly agreed to ask one question each. I have agreed against my better judgement to answer them honestly. Our foster girl Nou Nou is participating for the first time.

Merlin: What is the purpose of life?

Answer: Finding and sharing joy.

answer your cats question day

Odin: Why can’t I have opposable thumbs?

Answer: You weren’t born that way. Perhaps in your next life.

national answer your cats question day

Domino: When is dinner?

Answer: When the sun goes down.


Nou Nou: Why can’t all cats in shelters find homes?

Answer: Fate, karma, human ignorance and selfishness.

shelter-cats-answer your cats question day

May all your cats’ questions be answered with the love and the reverence they deserve. Okay, and humor because as far as cats are concerned the joke is on us. Also they mentioned they want their real Divine status back with back pay and no cheap, rhinestone tiaras thank-you very much.


Our Internet provider Verizon is down and we are doing a quick cobbling together from the library. Life is never perfect but somehow purrfect in the end. Many thanks for being there and Happy New Year. See you in 2015. May it be healthy and bright.

We were working on a new header and New Year pics but oh well, here are a couple oldies from last year. The sentiments remain the same!

Much love,

Layla, Merlin, Domino, Odin and Nou Nou

cats-new year-resolution-quote snowvintage-christmas-cat-new year

Cat Wisdom 101 Holiday post card

It’s raining cats and dogs so it won’t be a white Christmas but our snowy holiday card will have to do. It’s been a mixed year of highs and lows and we’re grateful for everyone who hung around. Your support of every kind is noted, appreciated and fondly remembered. Thank-you and may the love and light of season shine upon you.

Cat Wisdom 101 Holiday post card

Beyond over-extended and exhausted, I never completed sending out our snail mail card list or even our email list. If we missed you, it’s not personal. We’re taking our motto “Keep it Simple. Do less, Purr more” to heart. This year, hubby and I are not giving each other gifts or party hopping. We have no tree, or 32 course dinner or dozens of baked cookies; no decorations indoors or outdoors except a bowl of vintage glass ornaments and a wreath on the door. There was a time when simplicity reigned and there simply was more time. Time to relax like cats do.

Hammick & Yeoww nip cigar

This year, I made a choice to devote the precious little energy and time left to cat care. Merlin, Domino and Odin deserve extra attention. And our foster gal Miss Vicky aka Nou Nou is taking a big chunk. So much so, I’ve turned my office into her safe room. It’s a joy and the biggest gift. The cats however like real gifts and they lucked out with our Secret Santa.

Our fellow cat blogger friends participate in a Secret Santa exchange and our parcel arrived yesterday. Well, being the curious kitties (and human) we couldn’t wait until Christmas. Oh my whiskers, we must have landed on Santa’s extra nice list because our Secret Santa are the kitties from Ham-micks by 40 Paws famous for their fleecy hammock beds.

secret santa cats forty pawsThey not only sent us a Ham-Mick of our own but treats, toy smooshie balls, our fave loose organic catnip and everyone’s favorite a ‘nip nana AND a ‘nip cigar.  I felt like a was a BAD Santa because I only sent this Hello Kitty t-shirt  to my blogger pal at Sparkle Cat and donated toys to a shelter because we’re supposed stay under a certain dollar amount. Clearly the rules must re-interpreted.

Cats of course don’t have guilty bone in their furry bodies and can enjoy all gifts. Odin wasted no time trying out the Ham-Mick. He’s large and long cat and it fit him like a dream. He loves ‘nip nanas but this was his first ‘nip cigar.

secret santa-ham-micks cats

Now I understand what the fuss is about. Cats get instant hit of cozy, supported relaxation and a few whiffs of the nip cigar is bonus bliss. Thank-you Forty Paws! And if you’re hankering for a kitty Ham-Mick, they’re only $30.00 for 2! Double your pleasure fur sure.

ham-mick cat funny

We’ll be back on Sunday. Enjoy your holiday. May it be contain some bliss.

Santa hat adopt a shelter cat

Santa hat adopt a shelter cat

Ho, ho, ho cat lovers, hold onto your hats. It’s Merlin here with some furry good news. It’s why we haven’t been blogging or barely online. If you’re a subscriber to our Friday Photo Quote newsletter, you’ve had a sneak peek. Ever since my mom Layla began volunteering at the New Rochelle Humane Society she wanted to foster one of the cats rescued from a hoarder seven months ago. Certain cats like Gray Boy stirred her soul and he inspired the weekly shelter volunteer and adoption feature. Sadly he died before she could foster him. Other cats came and went. There would be a spark of interest and the cat would be adopted. It was as if the Fates were conspiring against her. Her favorite little munchkin with the wonky eyes, Babe endured one illness or issue after another. Finally her digestive issues were solved with diet but timing for fostering was never right. Then her cage-mate Pa died. Layla decided to wait.

New Rochelle Humane Society

A few weeks ago, she was moved from the back room to another caged area and clearly she was not happy. Layla decided the next time she visited, she’d take her home. And believe me, she consulted with me and my brothers repeatedly. Enough with the sob story of living in filthy cage with being rescued from hell. Okay,  we’re all rescues. We get it. And for anyone who thinks they don’t have time to foster, think again. When passion  or an emergency happens, time miraculously opens up. Layla is always crazy busy. She just re-prioritized her 80-hour-week. Working at home helps.

Before any fostering could happen there was lots of prep work. She decided our large bathroom with a clawfoot tub and three windows would be ideal with places to hide and for Babe see the sky for the first time ever.  Layla had spent a lot of time with Babe and had a sense of what kinds of toys, perches and beds she’d like. She cleaned and arranged, cat-proofed every square inch for hazards or toxic items. Babe is a tiny a thing, so  she didn’t need a huge carrier and Layla choose a Sleepypod Air. My resistant cat dad who for months claimed he didn’t want another cat asked to see her photo. He gave a thumbs up.

cat-proofing before adoption

Last Wednesday Layla brought lots of toys and goodies to the shelter. She telepathically kept saying, I’m coming to take you home, Babe. Nothing could crush her buoyant mood, right? Wrong.

Babe was adopted and her new person would be picking her up in a couple days. Poor Layla felt all kinds of happy and sad. Babe paced her cage in away she’d never seen before. She jumped out of the cage and onto Layla’s shoulders covering her in kisses. In a quiet room, she broke the news. You have a new home, just not with me.

Feeling awful, Layla made the rounds room by room of all the cats, checking out the new ones and the old ones.There are only a handful of hoarding cats left. There was a perfect foster room waiting. Christmas was coming and the thought of so many cats sitting alone in their cages over the holidays was too much. Who would be coming home for the holidays? It was a no brainer. There were four, six-month-old kittens rescued from a second hoarder in June. We featured them but there were no takers for these beautiful but undersocialized, fearful bunch.

3 hoarder rescue cats The only one who dared to jump out of her cage was one-eyed Vicky (see below).  Now a year-old they haven’t made much progress and have grown up in cages of a tiny, windowless room. Vicky hit the foster home jackpot and came home. The plan is if Layla can turn Vicky around and document her progress, it spells hope for all four. If it works for one, maybe someone else will take a chance with her siblings like Pablo

Well, it’s working. After only four days, Vicky (aka Nou Nou) is transformed. She’s affectionate, fully engaged and a killer soccer player. It’s taken a huge effort and nothing went according to the grand plan. Improvisation, intuition and lots of love turned this less adoptable gal to super adoptable. Details to follow.

So if you’d like to not only save a life but truly make a difference, there are dozens of shelters cats near you waiting for a real home. Trust me, it’s a super feel-good happy dance win win for all.  Maybe there is a Santa Claus after all.

cat monocle

Welcome to our Caturday weekly recap and International Cat Video of the week. This is the strangest cat video I’ve seen all week. No it’s not Photoshopped or paint. This cat in Bulgaria really is green.

ASPCA  Gift Pack GIVEAWAY + Pet Infographic

ASPCA holiday shopping giveaway







Everything You Need To Know About Keeping You and Your Cat Happy During The Holiday Season











Shelter Volunteer Adoption Special

NRHS-cat adoption-holidays










Our annual Top 10 Pet Products of 2014

Cat Wisdom 101 seal of approval-pet products

Mondays With Merlin and his Stinky News Read all about the outcome on Monday.

Happy Caturday dear friends. Are your cats feeling the full moon crazies?

Wonderpurr holiday cat

Cat Wisdom 101 holiday gift guide

We test and review a huge amount of products every year and many don’t make it onto our blog. It’s a tough choice but we’ve narrowed our favorites down to the Top 10 pet products of 2014. They come with our seal of approval. We are not including food, treats or cat litter on this list.

Cat Wisdom 101 holiday gift guide

While many pet websites are doing cyber sales, discounts and holiday gift guides, we’re doing something different. We’re not charging brands or sponsors a penny to be included on this list. These are simply products that my cats and I use, like and have stood the test of time. You could call them classics and they’re pretty darn purrfect. We’ve included links to the companies and our original reviews. They would all make fine holiday gifts for some lucky kitties. Most would be great for dogs too. The price range is from affordable to pricey. We’ll be offering a giveaway next week for one of them.

Cat Wisdom 101 seal of approval-pet products

 Our Cat Wisdom 101 seal of approval pet products recipients for 2014 are (in no particular order):

1) Kitty Treadmill scratcher from Royal Cat Boutique. We love its versatility and it happens to be our latest giveaway. Our three lucky winners are: Mo and the purries, Katie and Coco and Susan P. Congratulations! Please look for an email from Cat Wisdom 101 requesting your shipping address.

Royal Cat Boutique Kitty Treadwell giveaway

2) CritterZone. The natural way to remove any odor. Our review

CritterZone discount code

3) Sleepypod. We are very lucky and spoiled to have several of the best cat carriers available. A friend recently moved from California to New York with three cats and she asked my advice. Naturally she bought three Sleepypods for the cross country flight and was glad she did. Our review

Sleepypod air-pet carrier-giveaway


4) The catnip banana from Yeoww or “Nip Nana” is a perennial favorite. Our review. It came in a Pet Box with other goodies.

petbox nip nana

5) Furminator. No brush works better on pet hair to reduce shedding. Our review.


6) Drinkwell fountains from Petsafe. We have several and love them. We’ve had the stainless steel Pet 360 the longest. Our review with tips.

Petsafe drinkwell fountain giveaway

6 and 7 are from the same company. Neko Flies makes our # 1 favorite wand toy Our review  And Odin’s favorite winter hideaway is the Neko Napper house. Our review with cute pics. He’s napping there right now!

Neko Nappers

Neko flies

8) Feliway. Spray, plug-in or wipes,  Feliway is my feline ‘feel good” must have. Our Review

Feliway review giveaway-entirely pets

9) The Googie Bed from Davies Decor. Our fabadoo review.

Googie Cat Bed Giveaway


10)  Rescue Remedy. The one and only Bach Flower Remedy from the oldest source. The homeopathic natural help for stress. It’s safe and useful for people, kids or pets. They have many other formulas too. Our review

Bach Rescue Remedy

 It’s fun to shop and buy new items for our cats BUT we can do that any time. The holiday season for us is more about spending quality time with our family and friends and of course our cats. May your December be full of peace, love and purrs.

Vintage caturday-cat art

Happy Caturday! We’re in between the two big turkey day holidays and we’re in full holiday mode here. Stay tuned for with of news next week. To get you into the holiday spirit, the sweet and spicygrumpy cat movie movie Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever is purrfect. Lifetime at 8pm. ET.





And what better than our hilarious friends Cole and Marmalade to show us how cats make everything better at Christmas.


To recap our past week and yes, we enjoyed TURKEY.

We celebrated a week of gratitude and ThanksGIVING from A to Z which we’ve decided to extend into the entire holiday season.

Cats Thanksgiving-gratitude

We’ll be really thankful when our tech woes vanish and we can blog hop more! Thanks for your patience.

Thanksgiving cats autumn leaves

If you missed our shelter volunteer adventures this week, I did an update on the horrific hoarder rescue from six months ago. Plus our #adorableadoptables spotlight on three, shy sweeties.

NRHS-hoarding cats


Today is the last day to enter our Mystical Cats Tarot Kit Giveaway. The lucky winner will be announced tomorrow. To enter, simply click here and leave a comment.

Time is running out to enter our fab Kitty Treadmill scratcher GIVEAWAY with three winners. To enter, simply click here and tell us which color scratcher you’d like to win.

kitty treadmill

So, how are you getting into the holiday spirit, or are you being a grinch? Our curious cats wanna know.

Thanksgiving cats autumn leaves

Thanksgiving cats autumn leaves

That’s Odin doing his happy dance in the garden but he’s not there. Wah, he’s complaining that he has to stay home alone while the peeps visit friends for a big T’ day celebration. Okay, he’s not alone; Domino might angle for an impromptu wrestling match and Merlin will talk turkey about  whatever is on his mind. Hopefully Domino will snuggle up and keep him warm. I’ve promised a doggie bag of goodies and gravy for all.

There is much to be thankful for and we wish all our friends, readers and fellow bloggers all the blessings of the the season. We will be offline as much as possible and won’t blog hop until tomorrow.

The pied piper of kitty poems graces us with another poem.

Thanks GivingSalutations and warm wishes,
enjoy this special day.
Make time to be with family,
invite your friends to stay.Take time to wish good fortune,
appreciate your lot.
Cherish what is wonderful,
dismiss whatever’s not.

Give thought to those now missing
and raise a glass or two.
Value every moment
and what it means to you.

Enjoy thanksgiving dinner,
the harvest of the year.
The bounty on your table
deserves a mighty cheer!

With succulent tasting turkey
and splendid pumpkin pie
your holiday is now complete,
and that we can’t deny.

We will charge our glasses
to wish you all good cheer.
Have lovely day together
from all of us right here!


Teresa Harrison-Best

NRHS-hoarding cats


Gray boy-NRHSSix months ago the New Rochelle Humane Society where I volunteer, rescued over 60 cats from an extreme hoarding situation. Summer is a busy time for all shelters and the rescue taxed the shelter’s capacity. When it rains it pours and it rained kittens a few days later when someone dumped 15 more cats and kittens from another hoarder. There were no free cages and many of the cats were housed in large dogs crates. I’d never seen anything like it and marveled at the can-do attitude of the staff, vet, vet techs, volunteers and those who opened up their hearts and homes to foster.

I’ve chronicled the progress week by week; the adoptions, the medical issues, the heartbreaks and the victories. Sometimes it feels like a bottomless well of need and hopelessness but the rays of sunshine of progress propel us forward one purr at a time. In the sunshine room, several hoarding cats including our famous Marco are waiting but yay, tuxie queen Coretta got adopted. Will Marco be next?

Marco-hipster cat

Many of the hoarder cats are still in foster homes and some are likely to be happy “failed fosters”. Some of the more socialized cats have been adopted. Some have transitioned from cages to cage-free free rooms, while others remain in cages. Sadly some of the cats have died or given their medical condition had to be euthanized. Everyone involved in rescuing and caring for shelter cats try their best but the reality is no shelter can save them all. It’s not all roses and rainbows but there is much sunshine among the clouds.

My favorite hoarder kitty “Gray Boy” is this column’s muse and died six weeks after being rescued. One of oldest hoarder cats Pa (featured with his cage-mate Babe) died recently. Shortly after I’d featured him and his cage-mate Babe no longer liked other other and they were separated.

New Rochelle Humane Society

After he and baby split up, he’d look for her and this was the last time I saw them together. He’d made huge strides and happily roamed the vet tech back room with a few other cats. At least he was out of a cage, lapped up attention and always climbed into my lap when I sat on the floor. He never got to know the joy of sunshine or a forever home but he was loved. Rest in Peace, Pa.

shelter cat out of cages


Hoarder cats can be as adoptable as any other cat and sometimes more so. I’ve seem some of the most incredible hoarder cats be adopted. They carry a certain aura of endurance, grace and gratitude. The biggest issue with many hoarder cats is the shyness, fear and anxiety of an undersocialized cat. These are the cats the slink to the back the cage, try to hide and make no effort to engage with humans. It’s hard to be adoptable when they don’t present well. It takes a patient person to consider adopting a cat who may hide under a couch for weeks. With a little effort and a lot of love, all cats eventually turn around. They may or may not be super snugglers or lap cats but they all deserve a second chance.

3 hoarder rescue cats
We’re still waiting for a foster or forever home.

There was a trio of kittens, I’m calling the Three Musketeers from the second hoarder that are still available for adoption. They are ideal candidates for a foster home for gentle socialization. I met them a couple days after they were rescued and were housed in a crate. The one-eyed gray gal named Vicky is a real character and not as fearful. The other two, Pablo and Uma (name change?) made themselves as small and invisible as possible. They were about six months old. They are now young adults and still fearful. Instead of enjoying kittenhood and adolescence they have lived caged in small, windowless room. It’s not conducive to their socialization. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough time or staff.  Vicky is as charming ever as in a droll way and reminds of a character Louis Wain would have painted with a monocle.

cat monocle

She’s wary but will jump out of her cage while her litter-mates are more shy. She is currently alone in a cage. All three are available separately or in pairs. They are small for their age and I’d love to see them stretch out on a sunny window sill, where they would no doubt blossom in no time. They would be eternally thankful for a foster or forever home(s). Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for sharing and caring!

NRHS-hoarding cats

Holiday shopping? Did you know that you can shop at many favorites stores online and they will automatically donate to the shelter of your choice? It’s easy and free. Visit Adopt A Shelter. If your favorite shelter isn’t on the list of over 1400, let them know and they can be added.

Bright Monday greetings from Merlin, Domino and Odin. Life isn’t purrfect as we all know but despite the bumps in the road, there is much to be thankful for. We enjoyed the final warm weather of the year with garden strolls and Layla relaxed in the hammock. And we’re always happy you’re here! With Thanksgiving around the corner, our Mancat Monday thoughts turned to gratitude in an A to Z of ThanksGIVING or #CatThanks.

Cats Thanksgiving-gratitude

A: Autumn. Winter, spring and summer aren’t bad either.

B: Boxes or bags. Paper, cardboard, shiny, natural or corrugated, shoebox to shipping container, it all fits purrfectly.

C: Catnip, wild or dried, fresh or in toys a little ‘nip is catastic.

D: Domino, our former feral and best brofur.

E: Everything mousie, mole or vole scented.

F: Food, food, glorious food. Only the best will do for us.

G: Garden. We are blessed to have a safe and supervised wild, slice of nature.

H: Home. There’s no place like a warm, safe home especially after being in a shelter or on the street like Domino for 7 winters.

I: Intuition, a cat’s sixth sense. It’s one of our superpowers.

J: Jungles. Well, not a real one but the garden bushes and indoor plants excite our imagination.

K: Kitty Kaviar. Fishy Flakes. Need we say more?

L: Love, both human and feline is divine.

M: Merlin, our 20-year-old brofur and boss of all of us. Keep on keepin’ on. Every extra day is a blessing.

N: Neutering. Yes, us boys are happier and healthier for it. Ditto spaying for our gal pals.

O: Odin, our one-eyed wonder and ringleader of mischief, fun and delight 24/7

P: Purring and playing with or humans or each other, with or without toys.

Q: Quiet and peace. Peace and quiet with dollops of excitement.

R: Rolling in the grass, dirt or herb garden and no baths.

S: Snoozes in Sunpuddles

T: Treats and toys. Being a products tester means treats and toys galore.

U: Undercover snuggles.

V: VIP. How we are treated every day.

W: Water fountains. Fresh, fun, running water.

X: X amount of Cat Wisdom 101 readers. That means you!

Y: Yoga. Feline style stretches feel so good.

Z: Zzzzzzs and Super Zzzzzz

What are your cats most thankful for?


Nov.4 is #Blog4Peace one of our favorite global blogging events when bloggers all over the world design and share globes with messages and stories of peace. What began as one blogger’s small idea in 2007 has grown to 208 countries on the planet. We’ve been purring for peace at Cat Wisdom 101 since 2011. All action, positive or negative begins with a thought. All change happens one act or as we like to say one purr at a time.

Here are some of our globes from the past four years. I hope they inspire you to make your own, share ours or anyone else’s. Get a free globe template and see other globes at the Blog4Peace Facebook page If sharing on social, use the hashtags #blog4peace #peace #blogblast4peace or #donanobispacem (Latin for “Grant us peace”).

Merlin is our “one purr at a time” peace ambassador for 2014. Thank-you Mimi Lenox for getting the ball rolling. Visit her blog and the official Blog 4 Peace website at  #Blog4Peace



domino peace globe blogger

Gris gris- peace cat quote-#blog4peace

dona-nobis-pacem-blog-4-peace-cat wisdom 101

blogblast 4 peace-dona nobis pacem-cat wisdom 101

Halloween cats PSA

5 Purrfectly Different Halloween Safety Tips For Cat Guardians by Holistic Cat Behaviorist, Layla Morgan Wilde

Halloween cats PSA

This is a holistic approach to Halloween Safety Tips for cat guardians with some advice you won’t find anywhere else. Halloween can be spooktacular fun for kids and adults but pets, especially cats may not agree. Pets don’t understand the concept of a holiday but they watch for visual cues, changes in our mood and body language for clues that something different is afoot. Party preparations, costumes, decorations, treats oh my!  Excitement and anticipation can be almost as much as Christmas and cats pick up on every nuance. Cats, being innately curious, use their finely attuned sense of hearing and smell to sniff out what’s new or different  which can translate into fear or anxiety.

This holiday season from Halloween, Thanksgiving to Christmas and the New Year, I invite you to think like a cat. Anticipate what they might do or how they may react and prepare in advance. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. We may revel in the joy of  holiday celebrations but cats prefer a same old, same old routine.

1) Calm NOT Catastrophe

If your home is party central with doorbells ringing and spooky music blaring, strangers in strange costumes invading your cat’s territory, children shouting “Trick or Treat!” or increased traffic sounds, create a quiet, safe hideaway ideally in a separate room where you can close the door. Place a “do not disturb” sign on the outside of the door to keep guests out. Move your cats’ favorite bed or cushions, arrange places to hide and perch, place water and food bowls and litter. Close the curtains to hide any scary lights or movement. A couple days before the event, plug in a calming pheromone like Feliway. Communicate with your cats before the action starts; tell them it’s just fun and reassure them everything will be back to normal the next day.

2) Home and NOT Roam

If you can’t sequester your cats, make sure indoor/outdoor cats remain indoors. Many years ago, a friend of mine let her two cats out on Halloween. One returned but her black cat never did. It still haunts her. It’s always easier to be safe than sorry. Superstitions about cats especially black ones sadly continue, as does cruelty. Even the calmest or sociable cat can behave out of character with unusual stimuli. Indoor only cats may want to slip out the door. Just in case, have all pets wear a collar with ID even if they are micro-chipped.


3)  Wear that NOT That

Americans will spend a record 350 million on Halloween costumes for their pets this year. Since popularity for costumes is growing, let’s hope awareness of cat behavior grows with it. The truth is: most cats don’t like being dressed in anything other than their purrfect fur coat. If you can’t resist the urge to play dress up at least respect your cats’ limits. Never force your cat to wear a costume. If you do, don’t be surprised if they retaliate in unpleasant ways like peeing out of the box. If your cat doesn’t mind dressing up, make sure the costume fits comfortably, is kept on briefly (for a photo-op) and keep kitty within sight in case of “wardrobe malfunctions”.

Here’s a scary thought: loose threads, ribbons or feathers can be ingested causing intestinal obstructions.  An emergency visit to vet costing thousands is an even scarier thought. Some fabrics are flammable and some costume are choking or strangulation hazards. Avoid costumes that restrict movement or those silly wigs or hats that squish or cover the ears (they need their ears free to navigate within their environment). An easy festive fix would be a colorful collar or bowtie. The safest option is to photo edit your cat wearing a costume or other ghoulish fun. Our Odin (pictured below) prefer to be au naturel and photo edited.

Halloween cat #frankenpet

3) Safe Treats NOT Toxic Treats  

Halloween candy, bowls of snacks, treats with crinkly wrappers can be tempting. Cats don’t have the gene to taste sweet and can get sick or choke from snacking on chocolate or other toxic treats like alcohol. Give your cats their own healthy kitty treats. Tell your guests not to feed your cats any human treats or beverages.

4) Catnip Toys NOT Cobweb 

Halloween decorations are ghoulish delights but can be noisy, scary and potentially deadly for cats. Cats being curious are attracted to Halloween decorations, costumes, shiny foil, stringy cobwebs, spooky electric lights etc. Make or buy Halloween themed catnip toys instead. A little plain cooked pumpkin is healthy for cats but raw pumpkins or blazing jack-o-lanterns are not. Keep all candles away from cats to avoid singed fur, whiskers or worse.

5) Cat Guardian Not Masked Stranger

Did you know that simply wearing scary make-up or a mask, it may confuse or spook your cat? Our cats recognize us by using all their senses including smell. Wearing a latex, rubber or plastic  mask or heavy make-up not only changes our appearance drastically but it changes how we smell. If your cat is spooked, crouch down, approach slowly, speak softly and extend a familiar smelling object like or eyeglasses or finger. Allow them to smell it to establish the connection. Tell them, “It’s just your crazy cat mom or dad being silly and not a masked stranger.

halloween tale-cat card

Happy Halloween! May yours be purrfectly delightful and not frightful.

VET 101 will return next week. We’re in Atlanta for the BarkWorld/MeowWorld conference and won’t be posting on Friday.

Odin gotcha day-001

Odin gotcha day-001

Odin week continues with a special edition of our weekly shelter volunteer stories. What purrfect serendipity that we can celebrate both Odin’s Gotcha Day and National Cat Day today. I can hardly believe Odin arrived as a shelter foster kitten four years ago today. We were still mourning the loss of our 16-year-old Coco (Merlin’s sister) and not ready to adopt. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure I was ready to foster, but my husband fell in love with the gangly kitten with one mournful eye. The rest as they say is history. Our family history. And as we all know, cats make a house a home.

Odin is as rambunctious as ever, forever getting into everything but we wouldn’t have it any other way. His zest for life is contagious and brings sunshine on the darkest days. Good or bad, we’ve had 1408 day of Odin days which translates to awesome and needless to say, this is his forever home. That’s what pet adoption is all about. Things may not always be rainbows and unicorns but it’s about commitment for the life of that pet. Life is unpredictable so it also means making provisions for our pets in case something happens and we can’t care for them.

Angel Gris Gris Gotcha Day

On the day we brought home Odin we also brought home an unlikely companion, an old, toothless, gray cat. Trust me, I wasn’t looking to foster or adopt this scruffy senior but I heard him communicate with his eyes, loudly GET ME OUT OF HERE. This had never happened to me before. He’d already been in a tiny room for year and knew the odds of being adopted were slim. Hubby agreed and so Gris Gris joined us and lived happily until he died suddenly just after Christmas this year at age 15. He and Odin were rough and tumble friends despite their big age difference and the odd old gray boy brought much joy every single day he graced us with his wise presence. This is his Halloween card from last year.

cat wisdom 101-gris gris-boo-halloween



We’re sharing three shareable graphics ideal for Pinterest and joining the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday BLOG HOP to support our fellow pet bloggers. Scroll down to the Linky and visit some. Our regular weekly shelter adoption feature from NewRochelleHumaneSociety.org will resume next Wednesday.


How are you celebrating National Cat Day?

vintage black cat Halloween

don't judge-cat-by its-color-quote-black

We’re capping our Black Cat Week with a fab author interview and book giveaway tomorrow. Hint. It stars a black cat. If you missed any our black cat posts, photos and PSA graphics, take a peek now and please share. Black cats aren’t necessarily good luck or bad luck, they are just like any other cat. It’s only us humans who label and it’s up to us to stop perpetuating erroneous and negative stereotypes.

And who knows, maybe a little black cat magic will rub off on us.

black cats

black cat adoption PSA

Mancat Monday Black Cat Week 

Tara The Hero Cat with Cole and Marmalade
Tara The Hero Cat with Cole and Marmalade

IGGY-black cat

Kick Black cat superstitions to the curb

  Spooktacular, Wow or What? Cemetery Black Cats 

talk like pirate day-meow like a pirate

It’s International Talk like a Pirate Day and for cats, Meow Like Pirate Day. Why? Why Not. With the crazy stress of every day life, we can all use a dose of silly. This silly holiday continues to grow. The Facebook page has 130,000 fans! We’ve been celebrating with our cats for years. This year we have a new participant, Tara The Hero Cat who is our new partner

Meow like a pirate day-Tara hero catDomino says, “Shivers me timbers, there better be rum or you’ll be swabbing the poop deck!”

Arrrgh, is that any way to talk to a cute tabby wench like her?

talk like pirate day-meow like a pirate

Odin, who can legitimately sport an eye patch because he has one eye always has his eye on fun or trouble. He’d cozy up to a salty dog, or roam the seven seas in search of treasure. How are your cats celebrating today?

Merlin is not celebrating. Instead he has a starring role at our Friday Photo Newsletter today which may find its way to Facebook. As some of you know, he’s winding down for a graceful exit. Your continued purrs and prayers are welcome.

National Pet Memorial Day

The second Sunday in September is National Pet Memorial Day. It’s a day to honor and remember our beloved pets. For those of us who have lost a pet in the past year, the memory may be raw or tender. How you decide to remember is a personal choice but here are a few suggestions.

1) Share our pet memorial photo graphic and or memorial ceremony video (scroll to end) 2) Pause to simply remember the joy of what made your pet special. Notice how far you’ve come in your grieving journey and how time has softened the jagged edges of grief. 3) Scroll through old albums, pet photo files or video. Share photos and memories on social media. If you are on Facebook, please post photos of your angels kitties on our Cat Wisdom 101 Facebook page We’d love to see them. 4) Donate to your favorite animal cause in your pet’s name. 5) Volunteer or donate needed items for your local shelter or rescue group.

6) Tell your pet’s story. If you have lost a pet in the past year, you are welcome to participate in our ongoing pet loss research by filling out a confidential questionnaire. Email us at info@catwisdom101.com for more info.

More than ever, pets are family. How we celebrate and mourn their lives matters individually and as a community. Sharing is caring.

National Pet Memorial Day

gris gris-napping-vote-pettie-award-cat-blog

We lost our Gris Gris eight months ago and we’ll remember him by spending time at his grave site. There is a comfy bench to sit on but with summer coming to an end, it’s a great time weed, trim and prepare the memorial garden for a new season. The cycles of nature remind of that life goes on. Like many gardeners, I find comfort digging in the dirt and planting new flowers. Nature, like cats remind me to live in the moment. It’s where we feel the most alive.

Odin-cat-grave-memorial dayIn a wilder part of our property, Merlin’s sister Coco was buried on this day four years ago. She is missed but the heartache has softened to a sweet memory.

cat-grieving-grave-merlinCoco-Rainbow bridge-pet- memorial-Day-cat

If your pet is laid to rest in a cemetery, today is an ideal day to visit if you don’t mind seeing more visitors. I live near the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, the oldest and largest pet cemetery in the U.S. where they will conduct their annual blessing of the animals at 1PM today. It’s a jam-packed event and seeing the crowds visit their pets, many accompanied with their live pets is heart-warming.


This video is a memorial service led by pet loss professionals that anyone who has lost a pet may view and participate in. A pet parent may view this video at any time throughout the year, when a pet passes away or whenever they’d like to remember a beloved pet. We hope you find some peace and solace by viewing the video.

Tell us how you will remember your dear departed pets today.



Emergence pet cats sign

Emergence pet cats sign

When the Twin Towers tumbled on this day thirteen years ago, I watched the TV in horror with my cats on my lap. I’d moved a few weeks earlier from Canada to a safe and leafy suburb 20 miles north of Manhattan. My concept of safety changed that day forever. Many pets perished when owners who lived in the evacuated area in lower Manhattan were forbidden to enter the zone. I dedicate this post to all the pets who died on and in the aftermath of 9/11.

There is nothing anyone could do to prepare for that level of catastrophe but there is plenty we can do for other emergencies.

The likelihood of us experiencing a nuclear threat or terrorist attack is tiny. More likely are natural disasters. Most geographic areas have an increased risk of certain natural disasters i.e. hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes or flooding. Everyone who lives in an earthquake zone or place like “tornado alley” must familiarize with their specific risks. Then there a flukes of nature creating the unexpected like Super Storm Sandy. In my home, we were prepared with everything including a generator but nothing could prepare us for a sudden blast of hurricane force winds breaking open a window, leaving broken glass and debris in its wake. Thankfully our cats were in another room.

Emergencies aren’t always on a giant scale. They can be small like a temporary power outage, a basement flooding, a cooking fire, a burglary, a broken window, a sudden illness, a family emergency necessitating travel or any other sudden change in the household. You may or may not be there when an emergency strikes but chances are your pets will be home.

September is National Preparedness Month. If you don’t already have a pet emergency plan, take a few minutes to make one from the info in this post. If you have kids, get the whole family involved. Make it a fun weekend project. No one thinks clearly in a panic. Prior to a recent vet visit my husband was tore up and down the stairs looking for a certain cat carrier. He forgot he’d moved it to another closet without telling me. With an updated written plan, we’d have known the location.

A written plan can be hand written or printed out from the computer. Use a marker to mark each item on the checklist after you complete each item on the list. Review or update the list yearly. Keep a copy online and a hard copy in a protective plastic cover. Store inside your emergency kit container.

  • ID: All pets should be micro-chipped and their information updated yearly. Have collars with tags (regular or tags with id with QR.)  Have leashes and harnesses for each pet. If pets don’t usually wear collars or harnesses store in an emergency storage container).
  • Buy a sturdy 25 gal airtight and waterproof container, plain or fancy like one with wheels. Store the container is an easy to access location. We also store ours along with 10 gallon bottle of water and other supplies in our mudroom. If your have multiple pets or large dogs, you may require more than one emergency container. 

    • Pet emergency kit items: First- aid kit specifically for pets (store bought or assemble your own) towels, foil/space blanket, familiar toys, litter, scoop and small litter box, food in watertight containers, can opener, bottled water, unbreakable food and water bowls, all meds and prescriptions, copies of vet records and/or proof of ownership, natural stress remedies like Rescue Remedy, Spirit Essence’s “Storm Soother” or Feliway Comfort Zone spray, small plastic garbage bags for used litter and garbage, paper towels, plastic tarp, large plastic garbage bags, flashlight, extra batteries in sealed plastic bag. If you don’t want to store items with expiry dates like meds, Keep them separate and note them on your PLAN.
    • In case you lose cell phone contact, keep a hard copy of important info with a waterproof cover including: vet contact info including emergency vets, animal control agencies like the Humane Society, ASPCA in your area and/or destination area.
    • Keep carriers, one carrier per pet with bedding near the emergency container or other easy to access location. Tape your pet’s photo with contact info inside the carrier.
    • Do a home hidey-hole test. Inspect every inch of your home for possible inaccessible spaces for pets to hide. In an emergency, a stressed animal will hide. Block, stuff or protect inaccessible locations in advance.
    • Make or purchase a “Rescue Me” and “Evacuated” signs to place on your front door in the event you have evacuated the premises. You are welcome to print out the ours and add your number of cats.

pet evacuation sign

    • Make an exit plan in advance. Find out in which motels or hotel in your area accept pets. TripsWithPets.com has quick info for the U.S. and Canada.
    • Keep a list of pet sitters, boarding facilities, friends or neighbors who can care for your pet if you’re not there. Emergencies can happen in the home while you’re out. Make sure a pet sitter or someone you trust has a key/security codes to your home.
    • Listen to the radio for weather reports. You can’t rely on social media if there is no Internet service. A battery or crank-operated radio works well or the

  •  If given orders to evacuate your home do not leave your pet. Don’t wait until the condition are more extreme. If you have no choice, leave “Pets Inside” stickers or notes on doors and windows with contact info. If you have evacuated with your pets, leave a note on the door saying “Evacuated with pets”. Have a buddy plan with your neighbors to check up on each other.
  • If staying put, keep all pets (with their carriers and supplies) in one room or part of the house where the doors and windows are secured. Remove any sharp, toxic or dangerous items from the room.
  • Keep your vehicle serviced and gassed up. If you are taking public transportation or other means, place as many needed items possible in a large wheeled suitcase with the pet carrier on top. Bungee cords are handy for securing.
  • Place an article of clothing like a worn T-shirt that smells of you inside the pet carrier. The familiar scent will bring comfort to your pet especially if you are separated from them. 
  • Above all, stay calm and be prepared. Humans and animals have survived every kind of disaster for millennium and always will.
cat-labor day

cat labor day

Meowsers! It’s Merlin, on a holiday Mancat Monday called Labour Day in Canada and Labor Day the U.S. Let’s face it, there are very few cats with real money making jobs except maybe Grumpy Cat and her ilk. Today we’d like to celebrate fellow hard working cats who blog. We know how laborious it can be testing products, writing poems, reviewing books and modelling for photos, sometimes in silly costumes. And for what? A few treats and catnip toys? If you are a cat who blogs, we salute you! Maybe we need to gather the troops and create a union for higher pay and perks. Let me know.

Meanwhile, we are doing a whole lot of nothing today. Zero labor. Thanks for sending healing purrs. Domino was almost back to normal when some fool neighbors put on a fireworks display last night that rivaled July the 4th! Thank COD when it ended my pal stopped hiding and we snuggled in bed.

cats-labor day

Odin’s limp is 72% better and he’s eager to walk on a leash. The turning point came last night when he climbed up the stairs and left the security of his Googie Bed. Thank-you for your purrs and good wishes.

And me? I’m loving the hot, humid weather and Reiki healing time with Layla. She brought back grilled sirloin, ribs and swordfish from a BBQ, so life is good. How are you celebrating or not?

cat-labor day

some like it hot-cats sunbathing

Holistic Summer Guide To Safe and Happy Cats

By holistic cat behaviorist Layla Morgan Wilde

Summer safety guide for cats

While dogs may enjoy playing Frisbie in the park, swimming in the lake and other summer fun, most cats have less fun and attention. School is out; families spend more time together in the backyard or on vacation. That usually means less time spent with their cats and indoor only cats being creatures of habit, miss their humans and their usual routine. Let’s make this summer safe and happy for your cats.

For Indoor/Outdoor Cats

  • Allow NO unneutered/unspayed cat outdoors. Spay/neuter all kittens and cats.
  • Be sure they wear visible ID and are micro-chipped.
  • Use only well-fitting break-away collars.
  • GPS trackers like TAGG provide added security.
  • Treat cats with a topical flea/tick product monthly.
  • Keep cats indoors at night even if you have a safe, fenced in yard.
  • If you have a catio, make sure there is a shaded area.
  • Summer is great time to teach a cat to walk on leash.
  • Consider doing agility training in the backyard. 
  • Leave fresh bowls of water outside in shady spot.

Behavioral issues are more likely to crop up when routines are changed. Anxiety, separation anxiety and varieties of aggression can result. More animals roam in the summer from neighborhood pets to wildlife. This is the most likely time for incidents of direct aggression and redirected aggression to occur. When an indoor cat is agitated by an inaccessible outdoor animal, they may lash out to the nearest person or pet (redirected aggression).

cat in a tree

Run-ins with other animals can result in a variety of skirmishes from playful to deadly. An unspayed or unneutered cat is guaranteed to increase the kitten population when shelters are bursting at the seams during summer. A small claw swipe can easily turn into a hidden abscess. All the more reason for more frequent pet exams. During normal petting or play sessions take the opportunity to observe anything amiss i.e. sore spots, itchy areas, hair loss to excess grooming or limping. An easy, five-minute DIY home exam by my vet shows how in this Video.

Holiday Home Alone?

Most cats hate the sight of a suitcase. They know someone is going away. When making vacation or other travel plans, plan well in advance for cat care. Good cat sitters are booked weeks or months in advance. Most dogs love a good kennel or doggie hotel but cats aren’t pack animals and would rather stay at home.

  • Professional pet sitters are an excellent option. I recommend visits of at least 2 per day. Many pet sitters offer virtual kitty cams or other digital interface so clients can interact with their pets. The peace of mind knowing your cat is well cared for is priceless. If opting for free or bartered service with a neighbor or friend to cat sit have a clear understanding of what is expected with written instructions. Include contact info for your vet and local emergency clinic.
  • Live-in professional pet sitting is an ideal but expensive option. Be creative. Perhaps there is a family member or friend who likes cats, would like a change of scene and happily move in for a week or three. Connect with other cat lovers locally i.e. via MeetUp.com groups to exchange cat sitting services.
  • For cat lovers who weekend at their beach or country home must decide which option is best: bringing the cat or providing at home cat care. No, it’s not okay to leave your cat alone for the weekend. Anything can happen from a sudden illness, accident or home related issue i.e. burglary, electrical short, A/C breakdown, fire or flooding.

I’ve known cats who happily travel by car every weekend to their second home but most do not. If you are leaving for any period of time communicate with to calmly reassure your cat that you are going away for X amount of time, someone will take care of them, you will return and you love them.

  • If you are taking kitty with you on a car trip: a safe, well-ventilated and secured carrier, travel size litter box, scoop and litter in plastic container (I like recycling quart-size yogurt containers), plastic bags, paper towels, moist towelettes, familiar smelling cat bed or pillow, brush, water, food, treats and any meds or supplements in small plastic travel containers.
  • Spray calming pheromone products like Feliway inside the carrier, the vehicle and add a plugin version of the pheromone product at the destination.
  • Never leave a cat unattended in a car even with the windows open. The temperature in a vehicle even with the windows open on a hot day can rise to 120 F in a few minutes.

Some Like It Hot

some like it hot-cats sunbathing

Cats are lovers of heat but on hot days, a cat’s temperature can quickly surge past the normal 110.5 – 102.5 F to heatstroke.

  • Watch for signs of heat stroke: open-mouthed panting, thick saliva, bright red tongue, rapid heartbeat and lethargy. If your cat seems over-heated bring them to a cool area, apply a cold, wet washcloth and if symptoms persist, call a vet.
  • Young kittens, senior, or sick cats are more prone becoming dehydrated and at risk for heatstroke. If there is a severe heat weather advisory, this extends to our pets. Use common sense.
  • When leaving home for work or any extended period, make sure to leave the A/C on or open windows and turning on ceiling and other fans. For floor or table models of fans, check the cords for signs of being chewed.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water daily in numerous locations. Add ice cubes as a treat. They’re fun to play with. Water fountains are popular and keep all bowls clean to avoid bacteria. If hand washing, wash and rinse until squeaky clean.
  • Keep toilet bowl lids down and watch outdoor water sources that may be contaminated.
  • Consider buying a gel cooling mat
  • Cats can get sunburn and skin cancer especially one with pink ears and noses.
  • Keep cats indoors during peak UV times between 10AM to 2PM.

Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine

summertime and the living is easy

All cats love window whiffies, the chance to smell the pleasures of fresh air. With warm weather and open windows, check all screens and window sashes including sliding glass doors are secure and in good repair. Cats have no fear of heights and will walk on the narrowest ledge, balcony railing or fence. Cats falling out windows is so common it has its own name: highrise syndrome. Creating a safe catio can be a wonderful summer project for the whole family. Place child-proof window protection if living on a high floor. Creating a safe catio can be a wonderful DIY summer project for the whole family. Catios range from small units that fit outside a window to room size enclosures attached to the home. A screened in porch in another safe outdoor alternative.

Porches, decks, balconies and gardens are places of relaxation but can harbor unsuspecting dangers from citronella candles, insect repellent especially with DEET, sunscreen, weed control, pesticides, ant and slug bait. Store anything toxic or unsafe away from curious kitties. That includes coolers of alcoholic drinks or food like raw chicken for a BBQ.

Itchy, Icky and Meow

cats and insects

Summer is bug season. Insects, fleas, ticks, scabies, mites, mosquitoes, bee stings, spider bites oh my! Even indoor-only cats are at risk. Tapeworms can occur from ingesting fleas. Mosquitoes can carry the West Nile Virus (WNV). While ticks are unpleasant for cats, the good news is there have been no cases of cats contracting Lyme Disease from ticks. Preventative flea/tick treatment is best. There are many choices from the topical chemicals to natural oils and diatomaceous earth.

It’s natural for cats to leap after moths, pounce on spiders, play with stink bugs or paw at ants. Cat don’t have the ick reaction humans to bugs. Tiny critters that move trigger a cat’s hunting instinct and they’re all fair game. Wasp and bee sting leaving a toxic venom, flies carry disease and the mesmerizing glow of fireflies spell danger. Most insects are not a cause for alarm but some can be potentially lethal to cats.

In our garden fireflies put on a magical lightshow and one found its way indoors the other day. I quickly caught and released it before the cats could have a glow in the dark party. Did you know if a cat eats a handful fireflies it could be deadly? The firefly aka lightening bug glow from toxic chemical compounds called lucibufagins.

Allergies to bees stings and bug bites are rare but avoid risks. For minor skin irritations or abrasions, I rely on the gentle, natural healing of Vetericyn

Gardens are an outdoor cat’s summer playroom. I grow catnip in my herb garden and like many cats, my cats love eating and regurgitating grass but we garden organically and never spray any pesticides. My large garden contains some toxic plants like Asiatic lilies but it’s more likely the deer to eat them than cats. To be on the safer side, note the ASPCA list of plants toxic to cats

  • Poison ivy is increasingly common in many gardens and while it’s rare for cats to be impacted, if they brush against it, they can cross-contaminate objects. If you suspect your cat has been in contact with poison ivy or poison oak or sumac, wipe then them down with a wet cloth. After a serious romp in poison ivy a bath with a gentle oatmeal shampoo is recommended.

Summer or seasonal allergies can crop up for cats. The most common one is Aspergillus mold from dust, pollen and grass clippings. Feline acne or dermatitis can occur eating or drinking out of plastic bowls. Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are a healthier choice.

Fireworks and Thunderstorms

4th of july-cats-scare-fireworks

What’s exciting for humans can be a nightmare for cats. Loud noise from a live band, cranked up volume on a stereo, thunderstorms or fireworks are no cause for celebration for cats. Remember cats have a far superior sense of hearing and senior cats are especially sensitive to changes. July 1st in Canada and July the 4th in the U.S. are the big fireworks days but noisy celebrations remain popular throughout the season. The American Humane Association (AHA) reports that July 5 is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters and more pets are reported missing or lost at this time. During noisy times this summer, provide cozy spots for kitty to hide and turn down the volume. Extra skittish cats can be calmed by Thundershirts, or a thin towel sprayed with Feliway and tightly wrapped around a cat burrito-style. Flower essences like Rescue Remedy offer gentle relief. A few drops added to drinking water all summer will help with stress.

harness training cats

With a little commonsense and mindfulness, our cats can enjoy summer as much as we do. It’s a great time to teach a cat to walk on leash or teach agility training in the backyard. There’s nothing like a cat on a lap to help us slow down to smell the roses. Have a safe, happy and healthy summer!

Layla Morgan Wilde-cat behaviorist

[Tweet “It’s #FF or Friday Follow on Twitter, if you’d like us to follow you Tweet this and we’ll follow back and shout out for #cats @catwisdom101”]

For Flashback Friday we’re going way back to the late ’80s when I was a young thing hanging out with some cats in the 1000-year-old ghost town Bussana Vecchia, Italy. Where ever I’ve traveled cats find me and it was inevitable I ended up making my living working with cats. Some things never change. Cats have always been part of my life and always will be.

Layla Morgan Wilde-cat behaviorist

If you’re in the NYC area, I’d love to meet you tomorrow (email me!) at the legendary Algonquin Hotel, famous for the literary round table and Matilda the resident cat. This year the fundraiser benefits the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals an umbrella group of over 150 shelters and rescue groups. Tickets are limited and only $40.00 includes entertainment, raffles and a wine tasting. RSVP Alice at 212 419-9197. Best of all, Tara the Hero cat the cat who saved a little boy from a dog attack is flying in from California as a special guest! Check out our post about the Matilda event from last year.
Matilda Algonquin cat birthday 2014

Thank-you to everyone who left birthday messages, comments, cards, emails and for sharing our adoption post. Cat lovers are the best!

Thank-you also to all the new subscribers. Please note: subscribing to Cat Wisdom 101 does not include our weekly original Cat Photo Quote. It’s a blog in itself where I do some of my most creative work every Friday. I’ve had so much of my artwork stolen online, I rarely share these but I’m rethinking maybe more people would enjoy seeing them. If you’d like to subscribe via email, please enter it in the white box at the foot of the page. One last thing, I’d love a vote to help the shelter cats I work with. VOTE Cat Wisdom 101.

Petties 2014-best designed blog



4th July cats

A few last minute tips for a safe and happy 4th of July. Enjoy and we’ll be back on Saturday. Our Friday Feline Photo Quote newsletter go out as usual. If you’re not a subscriber, you can subscribe via email (white box in the footer). 

For lots of fun cat pics celebrating July 4th, check out this Pinterest page Proud to be an AmeriCAT

FIREWORKS, THUNDERSTORMS and things that Go Boom

What are exciting celebrations for humans can be a nightmare for cats. Loud noise from a live band, cranked up volume on a stereo, thunderstorms or fireworks are no cause for celebration for cats. Remember cats have a far superior sense of hearing. The hearing range or distance is five times greater for cats than humans. If we can hear something next door, a cat will hear it and something five doors down (or equivalent).

July 1st in Canada and July the 4th in the U.S. are the big fireworks days but remain popular throughout the season. The American Humane Association (AHA) reports that July 5 is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters for lost pets. During noisy times this summer:

  1. Provide cozy spots for kitty to hide.
  2. Turn down the volume of every electronic device.
  3. Extra skittish cats can be calmed by Thundershirts, or spray Feliway on the cat’s bed and favorite spots, door jambs and furniture at cat-nose height ideally a few day before.
  4. Flower essences like Rescue Remedy offer gentle relief. Try 4 drops in a bowl of water every day or a few days before a part or stressful event.

We’re happy to share a cool infographic from our friends at TAGG.

tagg-4th July-infographic-pet safety


vintage-cat-dad-rescue-father's day

In honor of Father’s Day tomorrow we’re celebrating the men proud to call themselves cat lovers, cat dads, cat parents or cat daddys. The first image is a tweaked image of an antique photo and the second is a modern photo of our cat dad with Domino and Odin made to look antique.

There are more men than ever taking on the label of cat dad but there have always been men who adore cats. I married two cat men and dated many others. If was a deal breaker if they didn’t like cats, and I believe real men love cats. The kind of man who would deliberately hurt a cat, would be capable of hurting their girlfriend, spouse, child or other animal. Are there exceptions? Can we forgive an isolated case of kicking a cat in a moment of fear? Life is rarely black and white, and one complicated cat named Lux will be widely talked about tonight.

Update: After Lux was rehomed to the couple who fostered him, they surrendered him to a vet. The episode was riddled with media spin and clearly scripted.  I stand by my original opinion that Lux’s owners were in it for the money and had no intentions of keeping him. The story smelled of B.S from the start and remains so. If they truly wanted to keep their cat they would have seen a local behaviorist and worked with her vet who offered help for free. They also were willing to provide a foster or permanent home but preferred the deal offered by Animal Planet.

During Jackson’s three visits there was no indication of providing the usual client homework or catification. The only good news is that he is out of a home where he lived a cluttered room with a filthy, too small litter box. I would have liked to see a second medical opinion on his diagnosis before placing him on meds. I see this as yet another case of a cat being exploited by the media for material gain and fame. There was nothing heroic about it. That’s my truth and I’m sticking to it.

Cat dad day-cat daddy-sepia

I don’t approve of the sensationalism surrounding Lux the cat famous for the viral 911 call in Portland, Oregon, but I will tune in tonight to watch My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet at 8 PM ET. They’re devoting an unprecedented hour to Lux and his family. While the star of the show, cat daddy behaviorist Jackson Galaxy claims it’s a complicated case, and it is, remember it’s also reality television. Everyone is being paid handsomely. The show’s production company EyeWorks USA is very good at reality television, so much so, Warner Bros acquired their International TV operations for $273 Mil. in February 2014.

Remember also the owners of Lux the cat turned down free help by the Portland-based cat behaviorist who wrote The Cat Whisperer to appear on TV instead. I wrote The Truth About Lux the Cat back in March. Again, I don’t fault anyone. They’re all just doing their contractually mandated jobs. Almost four months have gone by since the LUX media frenzy and I find it odd that there have been no updates or no interviews until this week’s PR surrounding the show tonight. I guess someone signed a gag order. You can bet this was spin doctored making Lux’s owners Palmer and Baker appear to experience a behavioral epiphany. Do I sound cynical? Maybe. Sometimes I hate being psychic. And yes, I have compassion for everyone involved. This is yet another case of cats being our greatest teachers.

I’m hoping for a miracle, a light in the darkness. After all Lux is the Latin word for light. Wait a minute, of course there will be a happy ending. There always is on My Cat From Hell. That’s the magic formula. It’s how brands are created, enhanced and grown. Given the ratings, you can bet there will be a follow-up show. If this truly was the most challenging case in Galaxy’s career as he’s stated, I’d love to see him reach out for some local hands-on support in Portland. No one person can save the world but I believe we can make a difference one purr at a time.

Meanwhile in a less glamorous world, the New Rochelle Humane Society where I volunteer is as real as it gets. The large, cage-free cat room doesn’t have a direct window to the outdoors. The window (seen below) looks onto the entrance and front desk. I noticed a sliver to a real window was visible if I stacked some boxes in a corner. Sure enough Pearce, a handsome ginger and cream boy wasted no time claiming this new spot. I know he’d love to have a cat dad of his own and a big window. He would do best as a solo cat or perhaps in home with a dog.

See another pic of Pearce and please share his Petfinder profile. If you’re in the Westchester or NYC area, there will be an adoption event  TODAY at Larchmont Floral Design for 11 to 2 PM.



summer cat quote-hot weather

We have a feline jackpot of holidays with Meezer Show Your Colors Day, Mondays with Merlin and Mancat Monday. Merlin takes the lead.

Merlin cat-siamese-meezer show your colors day

Happy Monday everyone! Woo hoo it’s show your colors day if you’re a Siamese. As you may know the Siamese breed comes in a rainbow of enchanting colors or points from blue, lilac, flame and chocolate to name a few. I’m a blue point meezer with lynx point which gives me subtle stripes on my haunches and a ringed tail. As I’ve aged they aren’t as noticeable and I’ve turned darker and more beige everywhere. My muzzle is more gray but that happens to you humans too! My mom Layla has been having a rough time, working too hard and feeling burnt out. Even though she’s cut back a lot there are overwhelming deadlines and obligations.

One concerned cat blogger/herbalist/Reiki healer decided to send her a care package, a self-care package that is and it really cheered her up. Carolyn, creates her own Red Trillium Farm herbal teas like Catnap ( so good I want some!) flower essences and included one for the shelter cats Layla is helping. The dream balm soothed jangled nerves and the card alone would have made her day. We think it’s a gentle way of showing your true colors. Thank-you Cherry City Kitties

Red Trillium farm-self care package

Domino says,” I don’t care what color I am; it’s what’s inside that counts.”

Domino cat-mancat monday

Odin says, “Color me hot! Summer is here and smart cats need to stay hydrated and cool. When it’s a hot cat on a tin roof type of weather, you’ll find lolling in the shade or indoors on a cool surface. None of us in the Wilde family like cold A/C and only use it when it’s a Hades hot. Heat rises, so you won’t see me climbing up high like I do in the winter.

summer cat quote-hot weather

So do you have the hots or cools and just what color are you anyway? Curious cats wanna know.

cat birthday bad boys

Hello dear friends, it’s me Odin and guess what? It’s my birthday, well it was yesterday but the yellow-haired woman celebrated our 3rd blog anniversary instead. Is that fair? No. Is it fair that I lost my eye during my unfortunate youth in the Bronx? Is it fair countless sweet kitties languish in cages or worse? Life isn’t fair and we must enjoy what we have when we have it. How about right now? If you can help cats, then go ahead, do what you can. Even the smallest kind of kindness and goodness makes a difference. They add up just like a drops of water filling a glass. For my birthday I make the same wish every year…

Odin 4th birthday cat-cat wisdom 101

My life started out badly but I got lucky when I got adopted. So now I get to have luxuries like BIRTHDAY PARTIES! Did you know June is Adopt-a-Cat Month® from the American Humane Association.and Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month from the ASPCA. Spread the love and share. Now, let’s get this party started! I like low key parties, nothing fancy with good old-fashioned natural fun. Make yourself comfortable. You don’t need to wear a party hat and go can go a little wild. I won’t tell your pawrents. Okay, maybe not wild like my crazy uncle Norbert.

funny niptini cat

My fur bros, Domino and Merlin think I’m a bad boy. My bro Gris Gris who is OTRB does not think so. What do you think?

cat birthday bad boys

And hey, two of my female, feline blogger friends have the same birthday. Go visit my pretty gal pal Crepes at Catinthefridge (she could use some cheering up) and the scrumptius Truffles at Truffles and Brulee

vintage cat birthday party

My dear friend Sammy made me a super nice card. He’s an experienced cat scout and will be preparing our campfire and rotisserie delicacies.

birthday card cat odin

And if there are any sissies who aren’t satisfied with freshly caught trout and roasted voles, there are some fancy pants Hello Kitty catnip cookies.

hello kitty catnip cookies-cat birthday

memorial day mancats


memorial day mancats

Memorial Day is a holiday to honor the military men, women and animals who serve our country in the name of freedom. If we have deceased friends or relatives who served in the military, many will visit their graves to pay their respects. Pet lovers often mark the day to honor pets that have died. Odin took a moment to visit the burial mound of our dear Gris Gris who passed away OTRB five months ago.

Odin-cat-grave-memorial day

The Memorial Day weekend is the official kick-off to summer in the U.S. with picnics, BBQs and fireworks. If you have pets please keep them safe during the celebrations.

We bid our final farewell the warm weather clothes and say hello to sandals, t-shirts and sunbathing. Our blog friends at Sammy One Spoiled Cat is having a PICNIC. We’re going and hope you do too! Merlin may be old but his sniffer still works.



Merlin cat memorial day BBQ


Domino never says no to a free meal especially if there are guaranteed al fresco snoozing between courses. But before we pig out, let’s remember the real reason for the holiday.

Domino cat memorial day


Merlin-cat- put foot down-say no animal crulety

This week marks the Humane Society’s 99th anniversary of Be Kind to Animals Week. Do you know what we’d like for the 100th anniversary? A quantum leap forward in compassion and awareness so we don’t have to have these events. Merlin, our 19.5 year-old Siamese has this to say, literally!

Merlin-cat- put foot down-say no animal crulety

Find out more ways you can be kind to animals. Take the pledge at the Humane Society

Merlin cinco de mayo cats

Merlin cinco de mayo cats

It’s a festive Cinco de Mayo in the U.S. but not at our house. You see our mom Layla is leaving us again! First she goes to Grumpy Cat’s birthday party last week,

Merlin grumpy cat

and on Wednesday she’s taking the big metal bird to Vegas.

Merlin-sky-metal bird plane

Why you may ask? To go to Blogpaws, the social media conference for pet bloggers where’s she a judge and speaker. That’s okay but we heard there will be lots of d o g s, other critters and even a few cats. Can you imagine leaving us to gallivant with all these strange animals? We say Cinco de Mayo NOT.

We were having such fun in the garden and everything is blooming. Violets, lupins, dandelions…She’s blooming crazy to leave us, right?

Merlin cat garden violets




Around here every day is Earth Day but this year it’s especially welcome. Spring arrived late and I held my breath many times, wondering if Merlin would live to see and smell the new season, but he did. Yesterday, he joined me to sunbathe on a picnic blanket in the garden while I fought laptop glare. I’m under serious deadlines and it’s a compromise but there are worse places to work.

I think of all of our readers as winners but we have two in the spotlight today. The winner of our Gerrard Larriet Aromatherapy Pet Spa in a Box giveaway is Meowmeowmans. Our winner of our book giveaway for a copy of The Guest Cat is Marti Lewis. Congratulations! Look for an email from Cat Wisdom 101 requesting your shipping address.

How are you celebrating Earth Day?

At my other blog, Boomer Muse I’m suggesting we kiss Mother Earth and post #EarthDaySelfies. I planned to make several graphics but only had time for one and I’m recycling the one I made last year. Please share as you like.

Earth Day pets

earth day-cats-quote- april 22-purrfect

Easter cat card-cat wisdom101

Our cat whisperer pal Mieshelle Nagleschneider is hiking in Costa Rica with Nat Geo writer Jordan Shaul doing research on big cats. Did you know there are six species of big cats in Costa Rico? To find out about their adventures, read my Q & A with them at

 Modern Cat 


Odin is our most eggcellent model for our easter art. Hop on over to our friends at AthenaCatGoddess for the cat art blog hop.

 Merlin, Domino and Odin, our bunny boys  say…

Easter cat card-cat wisdom101


Happy Easter! Hope to  see you on Monday.

st.patrick's day-cat-catwisdom 101-lucky-gold

St.Patrick's day-cat-four leaf clover-kiss me

It must be your lucky day to stumble on our ManCat Monday and Mondays With Merlin on St Patrick’s oops, I mean St Catrick’s Day.

Hello friends, it’s Odin and I’m giving lucky kisses to you and your cats. Us Wilde cats will quote our uncle Oscar with one of his and our favorite quotes: I can resist everything except temptation. Sigh, so many temptations, so little time. There are mousies hiding, knick knacks itching to moved, green things sprouting and be still my beating heart, songbirds flying back north, as we speak!

Oscar Wilde also said: There is no sin except stupidity. Now, we know he was not referring to cats since we rarely do anything stupid. Adventurous, yes, bold and fearless but not stupid. He meant it for you dear humans, so we hope you don’t do anything stupid like feed us green beer, drink to excess and forget our dinner or vomit on the rug and blame us. No, by simply landing here today you are bestowed the luckiest of Irish wishes,

Love from Merlin, Domino, Odin and even Angel Gris Gris who paid us a visit recently but that’s another story.

Hey, I’m giving kisses too! Big juicy, Domino kisses for all the ladies.

St. Patrick's Day cat-kiss me I'm Irish

st.patrick's day-cat-catwisdom 101-lucky-gold

I’m Merlin Wilde and getting to old to be giving kitty kisses except for my mom but I am giving lucky wishes and sun puddles for all!

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland is famous for banishing snakes actually didn’t since there weren’t any? Snakes are a metaphor for paganism and he drove the pagan out and Christianity in. Ironically, today there are lots of snakes in Ireland kept as pets but hard economic times have forced many to let the snakes loose in the wild. I wonder what St. Patrick would do about that! We would love to get our paws on some snakies but can you believe it, after all these years we’ve never seen one? Our mom, Layla says we’re lucky!

Our most favorite Irish saying is: Beware of people that don’t like cats. Do you agree?

beware of people who don't like cats-quote- st.patrick's day-cat wisdom 101




Domino cat, kiss me I'm Irish

Scroll down for our big news!

Global Pet Expo, the largest pet product expo with over 3000 exhibitors impressed pet lovers from all over the world this week in Orlando Florida. We pride ourselves on sharing the latest and best cat news products with you dear reader. The pet product industry continues to grow with a forecast of pet lovers spending an estimated 60 billion in 2014, in the U.S. alone. Clearly we love our pets but with so much choice what new products stand out? I’ve posted videos for your opinion. Tell us what appeals to you and whether you’d like to see us do a giveaway for them.

The 2014 Global Pet Expo Award Winners (Cat Products)

Best In Show
Glide ‘n Seek
KONG Company

Kong is a reputable company and we enjoy many of their products. From my initial view, it looks like fun but my sense is the balls can be too easily removed and I’d like to see larger ones or perhaps we could substitute our own toys? Children enjoy bright primary colors like red but cats don’t see colors the way we do. Red is likely seen as shades of gray or purple. Cats also don’t see bright or saturated colors the way we do but more soft or muted. When choosing colors I’d like to see manufacturers consider what cats see or find a compromise.

Second Place
A-MAZE-ing Cat Furniture

Ware Manufacturing

This company has a large range of interesting products from toys to scratchers and kitty condos.I thought their Scratch-N-TV is adorable.


Third Place
Kitty Connection

Innovation Pet Inc. is a new company that is well named. Their products are fun and innovative. The award-winning Kitty Connection is a selection of interactive toys that slot into fee-standing furniture.

 Innovation Pet® Kitty Connection™ Modular Play System show inter-active innovation at an attractive price point from $20 – $30 and available at PETCO.com in May. What I like is the interactive- action without batteries and endless possibilities to change or attach the toys. If a cat plays with one toy is causing another toy to move. This initiates the hunting reflex providing real stimulation without playing with a human.

New products we already have our paws on include: SwiPets™ Pet Hair Cleaning Glove. it’s simple but effective glove that removes pet hair from any surface. I’ll be doing a proper review but I can tell you it really works well so far.

Light Green Glove<br /><br /><br /><br />
One Size Fits All<br /><br /><br /><br />
Machine Wash - Air Dry<br /><br /><br /><br />
Material Content: 70% Nylon and 30% Spandex<br /><br /><br /><br />
Coating: Nitrile

One new product Odin has already tried and looks very smart in is the SturdiPet™ Walking Vest by Sturdi Products, $17.95 at www.sturdiproducts.com. The lightweight micro-fiber fabric doesn’t pill or snag, the snug fit is escape-proof and the leash safely attaches without pulling on the neck.



You may know I’m speaking at BlogPaws, the biggest social media conference for pet bloggers, but I’m also proud to announce I’ll be one of the judges of the Nose-to-Nose Awards. These are the Oscars of the pet blogging world and I’m thrilled to be included in an such an impressive group of Judges. To See who they are, who the finalists are and more about the Gala Awards Visit Blogpaws Nose-to-Nose aWards

One of things I’m most looking forward to is meeting old and new blogger friends in purrson, and if you are thinking of going, don’t wait, it will sell out. To find out ALL the scoop, visit BlogPaws


It’s another Caturday Art Blog Hop and some of us are getting ready for St. Catrick’s day, namely,

Domino cat, kiss me I'm Irish

Domino. Would you like a kiss?





Kitty kisses-slow blink-cat love cloud kiss

Kitty kisses

You may be familiar with the slow blink kitty kiss. A calm and trusting cat shows their love or approval of humans by slowly closing their eyes in a slow blink. We can return the ‘kitty kiss” by slowly blinking back. If you wear glasses remove them first so the cat can clearly see your eyes. As a life long cat lover I’d noticed this behavior but never thought to give it a name but Anitra Frazier did. Over thirty years ago she wrote about the slow blink in her book The Natural Cat. Her updated book is The Natural Cat: The Comprehensive Guide to Optimum Care

Then along came Jackson Galaxy and his show My Cat From Hell which popularized the slow blink. Less famous cat behaviorists like myself would love to see the whole world slow blinking with their cats. It’s a great way to deepen the human/cat bond. Cats with trust issues will not return a slow blink and often avert their gaze. Scientifically speaking, the slow blink isn’t actually a mechanism for trust but is associated with feeling relaxed and happy. It’s a huge breakthrough when a cat finally blossoms with love and trust to feel at ease.

When our former feral Domino (seen above) began returning my slow blink, it was a milestone. When our fearful semi-feral Angel Gris Gris slow blinked me back it was like winning the love lottery. Scientists say the blinking isn’t necessarily love but non-aggression. Cats slow blink other cats they live with and cats outdoors who aren’t threats. When cats feel aggressive or threatened they will display a hard unbllnking stare. You can gaze all goo goo eyed at your lover but if you get into a staring contest with a cat without blinking they will perceive you as a threat.

Whether a cat is motivated by non-aggression or love, the slow blink cat kiss is a winner. If you’re already a fan of slow blinking you can go beyond to the next level of a cat kiss. I’m sure you’ll see copycat versions down the road but you saw it here first.

A couple of years ago I began to experiment with combining the slow blink with a visualization I call the love cloud. I’ve used visualization as a tool for stress for over twenty years. I touched on it in this article at PetFinder.com last year and feel visualization it has many useful applications with pets.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I can’t think of a better gift for you and your cat but my love cloud cat kiss. Enjoy it with a cat you love!

The Love Cloud Cat Kiss

by Layla Morgan Wilde

Like all things in life, practice make purrfect. This will take time to master but you and your cat are worth it.

Choose a time when you’re feeling relaxed and not rushed. Unplug from digital devices. Only 5 minutes. You can do it!

Go to the room where your cat is hanging out. After meal time is good. The cat doesn’t have to be next to you. A few feet away is fine. The bed, sofa or carpeted floor are all good places.

Sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes and take a deep breath into your belly. If you’re not used to belly breathing, place your hand on your belly and when inhaling the belly will rise and not the chest. Take another belly breath and slowly exhale. After a few more slow deep breathes you will begin to feel more relaxed. Notice if and where you’re feeling tension. There might be a twinge in your neck or tightness in your back. Just notice and breathe into the tension and exhale with an open-mouthed cleansing release. Let it go. Let the day and any concerns float way with every breath.

It’s amazing how even two or three minutes of this practice with reduce stress. Cats are constantly picking up on our energy and will mirror our feelings or internalize them. If you’re super stressed cats will notice. They may appear stressed or develop a stress reaction or behavior like excess grooming or peeing out of the litter box. Anything we can do to reduce our stress levels will benefit our cats.

Once you’re feeling relaxed, imagine a small pink cloud of pure love in the center of your heart. With your eyes still closed, imagine or visualize in your mind’s eye, the pink cloud growing and floating until you can feel the love cloud all around you. Feel the safe, cozy warmth. Sense the texture. This is your creation and you can make your love cloud to look, feel, smell and even sound anyway you want.

Send the love cloud over to the cat. Imagine the pink love cloud floating from your heart into theirs and surrounding their body in a cocoon of love. Open you eyes and softly call your cat by name. Notice their reaction. Some cats will already be attracted to the energy and ready snuggle up near you.

Once you make eye contact, slowly close your eyes in a slow blink and verbally or silently say, I love you. Open your eyes and repeat a few times until the love blink is returned.

Chances are the cat will slow blink you back but they may not especially if they are fearful or stressed. In this case, stop and try again another day. 

Some cats may come over to you with a real kiss, headbonk (bunting) wanting a snuggle or petting. Some cats may feel so dreamy they’ll have a snooze. Others will feel playful and will want you to play with them. Follow your cat’s lead. 

With practice, you’ll be able to do the love cloud cat kiss anywhere, anytime. Try it on the street with feral cats, with your friend’s cats or even the big cats at the zoo. It also works with dogs. Well, truth be told, it works on any living thing. All we need is love.

 Happy Valentine’s Day!

Layla and Odin cat quote love

Layla and Odin cat quote love

Love week continues with gratitude in our heart. The outpouring of love, purrs, prayers and good wishes for Merlin and me. There’s no doubt that purr power works!That marvelous old meezer is not ready to join Gris Gris anytime soon. He’s still incontinent but chowing down with gusto and demanding attention 24/7. I admit it’s been tricky working in bed all day with him but it’s what he wants. I’ve been doing Reiki and we went on an insightful shamanic journey together. It’s a blessing to have the flexibility that I do but I’m way behind some work deadlines now. Even today’s post is truncated and not quite what I expected but c’est la vie, right? I’ll report on vet updates as soon as they’re available and thank-you for loving cats!

For those of you not on Facebook, one top image of Odin and me is my current Facebook header.

.These are a couple antique and vintage valentines with my modern twist. Enjoy and share with my love.

vintage valentine cats

Valentine vintage Wedding Cats

Merlin cat Layla Love valentine

Merlin cat Layla Love valentine

Thank-you from the bottom of our hearts for all your purrs, prayers and kind words for Merlin. Our good friends on Facebook spread the word yesterday. If you haven’t heard, our dear old boy Merlin was rushed to the vet on Saturday with a bloody UTI. Our vet wasn’t around, our usual alternative vet clinic was closed so we ended up going to a recommended holistic vet. It felt like a deja vu. Just over a month ago we rushed Gris Gris to the vet only for him to die the next day. All the horrible feelings came back. The panic. The rushing about finding a carrier, The white knuckle driving. I even wore the same sweater. Before we left l found Odin, wide-eyed with fear lying on a favorite old spot of Gris Gris’s. A place he never goes to. I told him we’d be back and not to worry. In the car we discussed what we were prepared to do or not do. Anything needed to keep Merlin alive and well. Prayers went out to every god and higher power. Not now, please not now, I’m not ready for another death so soon.

At the clinic we were whisked in quickly and felt immediately in good hands. Merlin is always a good patient and accepted a shot of antibiotics and subcutaneous fluids easily. Getting urine and blood samples proved more difficult and we’ll know the results in a few days. The vet’s brusque but “can do” manner inspired optimism. There would be no dying, at least not on that day. We bundled our frail, old man back into the carrier and home. I spend all day in bed with him yesterday rearranging pee pads grateful for incremental progress. We gave him another sub q and by evening Merlin felt ready for the furry ministrations of his buddy Domino. There nothing else to do now but wait and love him. It is after all Valentine’s Day Week.

The image above was from a series I’d taken last summer knowing full well how unlikely a repeat performance would be.

Domino does not have a special someone for Valentine’s Day. Do you know anyone suitable?

Domino Mancat monday

Domino cat Valentine

Odin is exploring his Valentine options. He has several offers from older felines on Facebook and some lovely ladies here.

Odin-cat -Valentine

One boy won’t be needing a date. Yesterday I dug a hole in Gris Gris’s snow covered burial mound. It’s about the same size as the one in my heart. He is sorely missed.

Huge thanks to all those who have participated in my pet loss survey. The research material so far is extraordinarily insightful and generous. Research for my pet loss book will be ongoing for the next few months. If you have lost any species of pet in the past year and would like to participate, I’d love to hear from you. Email Layla at info@catwisdom101.com

Gris Gris cat grave marker

Merlin Gris Gris  cat Grave-001

The well known poem (below) about grieving reflects how I, Merlin, an old, old cat feels about death. It feels different in the house with Gris Gris gone. It’s emptier, the water fountain he loved, quieter. Layla claims Domino and Odin are mourning and it’s true, they are needing extra cuddles of reassurance. I must admit, I’m loving all the extra snuggle time with Layla. When she groans about being behind schedule, I purr louder to drown out her silly thoughts about work.

The other day in between cold snaps, we went for a garden stroll and she lead me to Gris Gris’s grave. “He’s here under the earth and sky”, she said. I started sniffing the ground like mad bloodhound near the entrance of the burial mound which is blocked by a birch tree stump. Layla placed a temporary marker not that I needed one. The only marker I need is my nose. Oh, he’s was there alright. At least his fur body but not the rest of him. He’s in the wind and snow and the soft feather’s of a bird in flight. He’s gone and not gone, if you know what I mean. Ask your cats. They know. Gris Gris was my shadow, my seeing eye-cat, my fur bro and good friend.

“Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the star shine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave bereft
I am not there. I have not left.”

~Mary Elizabeth Frye

Gris Gris was my shadow, my seeing eye-cat, my fur bro and good friend.

Merlin and Gris Gris cat friends quote



Merlin sp day- #Dressupyourpetday

We were having another “Spa Day” AKA work at home in our jammies when we remembered it was Dress Up Your Pet Day. Yes, there really is a holiday by that name and it’s not just for cats. We’re not big fans of costumes or dress up for cats but we have a super high end bathrobe (yeah, it costs more than mine) that Merlin likes draped on him like a prize fighter before going into the ring. It’s soft, warm and luxe. It would be cozy after a bath if he ever needed one too.

Merlin spa day






We’re recycling this post for Wordless Wednesday blog hop at Blogpaws

You’re welcome to post your kitty pics at our Facebook page.


2014 new year cats

Thank-you so much for the kind words, prayers messages, emails of condolence for our dear Gris Gris and me. It’s not easy to grieve during a time of celebration and I wanted to honor his memory with a special photo of him. Gris Gris arrived at our home as a scrawny, fearful and unsocialized, 12-year-old foster three years ago who avoided looking anyone in the eye. This photo was the first time he felt confident enough to look at me directly as if to say, thanks and might this be my forever home?

2014 new year

None of us know what tomorrow will bring but 2013 is ending and a new year is arriving. May your new year be full of peace, love and lots of purrs. Thank- you for being here and for loving cats!


Christmas may be over but holiday hazards may remain. Cats, being forever curious can be tempted to nibble on forbidden foods or worse, toxic plants like poinsettias or potentially lethal tinsel. Continued vigilance is needed until the last decorations are tucked away and toxic items tossed out.

cats turkey vintage card

Leftover turkey can be a treat as long as no bones are given. According to a survey only 44% of pet owners believe cooked bones are unhealthy. A shocking 24% believe bones was healthy. They are not. Michele Dixon, Health and Nutrition Specialist with Petcurean says “Possible broken teeth, mouth or tongue injuries and bones getting stuck in your cat’s windpipe are just a few reasons why cooked bones are a no- no for pets,”

Pumpkin pie is another holiday favorite, just not for cats. Have you fed your cat pumpkin? Or cranberries? If so, you’re in the minority. Just 4% have fed cranberries and only 9% have served up pumpkin…but both make a great addition to your cat’s diet. Both are found in both Petcurean GO! and NOW FRESH recipes. “Pumpkin is good for your pet’s digestion and is high in Vitamin A and beta-carotene, while cranberries are high in antioxidants and are a good source of fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin K,” says Dixon.

Petcurean cat food Go!

We’ve used plain,unsweetened pumpkin for years whenever constipation issues crop up. It’s a wonderful source of fiber. This is our handy tip if you aren’t feeding a cat food with added pumpkin.


There’s still time to enter our giveaway for 24 lbs. of Petcurean, the premium cat food. To enter simply leave a comment at our giveaway post. The winner will be announced next Friday.

Petcurean is an independent, Canadian-owned family business. Since its beginnings in 1999, Petcurean has been committed to creating unique, nutritionally-balanced recipes for dogs and cats, using premium- quality natural ingredients. Petcurean pet foods are made in Canada, available only in pet specialty stores, and are enjoyed by dogs and cats all around the world. For more information, please visit www.petcurean.com.

petcurean blogger advocate

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but our opinions are 100% our own.

Holy Catmas Nativity

Well, we didn’t have a white Christmas, did you? Merlin, seen here on another Christmas doesn’t miss the white stuff.

merlin  cat in snow

We like placing holidays cards on both fireplace mantles and had a HOLY CATMAS moment. Since joining the world of cat blogging two years ago, the majority of our cards  now are from cat lovers. A coincidence? I think not!

catmas cards

We’re having a quiet day and will return on Friday. Hope to see you then. If you’re on Facebook, we’ve been posting tons of fun vintage holiday cards and you’re welcome to post your cats pics there! Visit our Facebook page Cat Wisdom101 Our Christmas wish was to reach 10,000 likes by Christmas and we’re awfully close. Can you help us get there?

mancat Monday

Mondays with Merlin

Woo hoo and you hoo, cat lovers, Merlin here. We’re taking most of the week off but will pop in here and there with a few goodies. After a freakishly warm weekend, all our snow melted. It was warm enough for the peeps to have coffee on the porch and the rest of us lollygagged in the garden dreaming of a white Christmas NOT.

I could not believe my eyes or nose. The frozen ground melted into a juicy, spring-like scent-fest. It inspired Layla to share some poetry from 18th C. haiku master Issa but hey, who are you calling old?

If you ever feel blue, he’s a joy. Reading how he triumphed over tragedy, a nasty step-mother and poverty will stop any pity party in its tracks.

mancat Monday

And did you know the boozing, bad boy poet Bukowski loved cats? The old curmudgeon who knew the blues only too well, had a soft spot for cats. The holidays are upon us and if you need some courage or strength take heart. This photo quote has stanza from one of my favorite cat poems. Enjoy!

mancat monday-cat quote

My Cats

I know. I know.
they are limited, have different
needs and concerns.

but I watch and learn from them.
I like the little they know,
which is so

they complain but never
they walk with a surprising dignity.
they sleep with a direct simplicity that
humans just can’t

their eyes are more
beautiful than our eyes.
and they can sleep 20 hours
a day
hesitation or

when I am feeling
all I have to do is
watch my cats
and my

I study these

they are my

 ~Charles Bukowski

2013 Cat Wisdom 101 Happy Holidays

Ho, ho, ho, it’s a holiday Catmas Caturday and the first day of winter, the Solstice or Yule. Grab a cocoa and get ready for some treats.

There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting in front of a Yule log. Our cats love a cozy fireside snooze but no one does it cuter than Lil BUB. Warning: it’s strangely mesmerizing.  We love her show on Animalist and tune in for an all-new show, LIL BUB’S SPECIAL SPECIAL
premiering on Animal Planet with Amy Sedaris on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 9-9:30 PM E/P.


2013 Cat Wisdom 101 Happy Holidays

We wish you peace in your heart, peace in your home and in your community. 

Thank-you for being a part of ours.

We participated in the annual Secret Santa gift exchange hosted by the Catblogosphere. It was our first time and clearly need some lessons. We’re were matched up with Boo from our friends at Manxmnews but got confused and sent books for their mom and forgot to pack two of our items. They graciously posted about our gift with photos yesterday

Then a large box arrives at our door from our secret Santa! MO– USES, we couldn’t wait until Christmas and somebody ripped through all the tissue. Everything was so lovingly packed and there was even a separate gift of a cute, cat necklace for me. There were all kinds of jingly balls, catnip mousies, feathery toys and treats. Normally, Odin is the first to pounce on new boxes but this time Gris Gris went all drooly-faced with joy. Big purrs of thanks to Kitties Blue, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giuiletta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth & Calista Jo of The Cat On My Head

secret santa catmas

We were sent a print copy of a very cute illustrated cat book about a “Ginger”  who drums up mischief into when her “Human” leaves her home alone during the holidays. Cat lovers helped create the “The Tale of Catmas” story compiled with the best of user-generated captions from Fresh Step’s Facebook fans nationwide. In the spirit of the season, Fresh Step® is donating $15,000 to the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) to help shelter cats stay warm, happy and healthy this holiday season.

Tis the season of giving and we’re offering a free down-load to “The Tale of Catmas” eBook. at www.freshstep.com/catmas Enjoy!

 Tale of Catmas

ASPCA twitter party

ASPCA twitter party

We’re going to is the ASPCA #SantaPaws Twitter Party tonight 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. (ET) If you want to be eligible to win prizes including a diamond pendant, be sure to RSVP Hope to see you there! If don’t already follow us on Twitter, please follow @catwisdom101.

Anyone who leaves us a comment and shares or Tweets this post will be entered in our giveaway for a big gift pack goodies from the ASPCA including:

We’ll post the winner’s name on Friday. This is not a sponsored giveaway.

Our latest piece at Petfinder.com is Holiday Home Alone is Bah Humbug! There is a photo of how Odin got on Santa’s naughty list and practical tips for making the holidays happier for you and your cats.  It’s part of their 12 Days to Help Pets During The Holidays. If you’d like to enter their “Tell us how you plan to help pets this holiday season” SWEEPSTAKES, click here for a chance to win a BISSELL PowerGlide Deluxe Pet Vacuum with Lift-Off Technology cleaner, plus a BISSELL SpotBot Pet carpet cleaner for the Petfinder adoption group of your choice! 

 Our boys are dispensing their wit and wisdom to humans at Catster.com  5 Holiday Season Survival Tips. Tell us which one you like best to help guide their future writing career.

vintage cat christmas cards

Time and fashions may change but one thing stays the same: cat love! I collect vintage ephemera and what I find remarkable is that cats from over a hundred years ago seem are timeless and modern as today. Our vintage cat Christmas card montage ranges from Victorian days to the 1950s. Until World War I  American used to say Happy Christmas instead of Merry Christmas but in the U.K. they still use happy Christmas. If cats had their way, they’d make everyone say, Merry Catmas.


vintage cat christmas cards

Today is National Cat Herder’s Day

Clip Art of a cowboy after a cat

Yahooo! We all have them and they seem to increase during the holiday season. Those impossible days when nothing goes our way and it feels like we’re herding cats. We all know how impossible that would be. December 15th is National Cat Herder’s Day created by the folks at Wellcat is a day to celebrate your grit and resolve for coping with frustrating days.

We’re happy to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway for a copy of the Catmas Carols is Cynthia Southern. Congratulations. Please look for an email from Cat Wisdom101 requesting your shipping address.

Rescue remedy giveaway

Rescue remedy giveaway

The holiday season can be very stressful. When I’m running around a mile a minute, ready to tear my hair out, I grab a Rescue Remedy product to help me calm down. Our pets know when we’re stressed and can get stressed themselves (see our Vet 101 post on cats and stress and our post on Rescue Remedy). Bach’s Rescue Remedy is a safe and natural remedy made from homeopathic flower essences designed to relieve stress. It’s been around since the 1930s, benefiting generations of people and their pets.

Usually I use the spray or dropper bottle but the nice folks at Rescue Remedy sent me a selection of products including some I haven’t tried like the Rescue Remedy PastillesRESCUE Pastilles The tasty, black currant flavored pastilles are alcohol and sugar-free and safe for kids but NOT meant for pets. The handy tin is perfect to keep in your purse, car or desk for stressful situations. I confess on a crazy busy day, found them so yummy I nibbled half the tin. They helped but I’d advise less is more next time.

Rescue Sleep MeltsThe dreamy sounding, non-habit forming. Sleep Melts are tiny gel caps that melt on your tongue. I’m a naturally, intense Type A personality who has trouble falling asleep and found I needed more than one Sleep Melts to feel the effect. It won’t knock you out like a sleeping pill but it helps to calm and stop the mind from going in circles.


Rescue Remedy 10ml Drops Our Products- 146x180For pets, RESCUE Remedy® Pet is alcohol-free and safe. Simply add 4 drops to you cat’s water bowl or on a treat. A few drops can also be rubbed onto your pet’s ear, nose or paw.


Our exclusive Rescue Remedy giveaway. Rescue Rescue is creating a special gift basket of products just for Cat Wisdom101 readers.

To enter the giveaway: simply leave a comment before 11:59 PM ET, Dec. 20, 2013. This is a short giveaway and we will announce the winner next Friday! For extra chances to win, social media share on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Please leave a separate comment telling us where you shared.

We have 4 winners for our self-warming Kitty Sack Giveaway from K & H. The two winners for a leopard print Kitty sack are Kelly Underwood and Crepes. The winners of the zebra print Kitty Sack are Andy Candy and Sweet Purrfections. Congratulations! Please look for an email next Friday from info@catwisdom101 requesting your shipping address. You have 48 hours to reply or we will select another winner. And please check your spam folder.

Disclosure: We received complimentary products but this is not a sponsored review/giveaway. Our views are 100% our own.

vet 101 cat holiday stress

vet 101 cat holiday stress

Our guest post is by Veterinian Dr. Letrisa Miller.

As you have probably guessed, events that are stressful for people tend to be stressful for cats too. Things like storms, visitors, and changes in routine. All of these tend to happen around the holidays. Why do our cats find these things stressful? One reason is that we find them stressful, and our cats are very attuned to us. When we are tense, our cats don’t necessarily know why, but they do know that something is upsetting us. Many cats seem to take our problems onto themselves and to worry about us. How many of us have been comforted in a dark hour by our cat? I am always amazed that these animals that hate being wet will allow people to cry on them!

Cats are often stereotyped as aloof, but really they aren’t aloof at all; they just tend to internalize their stress, signaling it in ways that are less obvious than nail biting, sleeplessness, or the other ways human beings tend to show stress.In cats a sign of stress might be a change in play or eating habits or the onset of interstitial cystitis and urination outside the litter box. Unfortunately, the latter reaction often causes further stress for their human companions, and things just get worse from there.

When we have guests in our house or move to a new place, our cats just get plain scared. Imagine being the size of a cat and having large animals (unknown humans) clomping around in your space! I think I would go into hiding too! Meeting new people is difficult for cats, and often we don’t show much sympathy for how small and vulnerable they might feel.

Moving to a new place can be even more upsetting, particularly for older female cats. Kittens are adventurous, but once a cat reaches the age of three or so years old, it starts having set territories. Female cats are often intensely territorial and have small territories. Male cats tend to have less-well-defined, larger territories. Stepping outside their territory is unthinkable to many older cats, so when they are forced to move, they might have difficulty coping. This is one reason that older cats have a harder time with visiting the veterinarian unless they go very often.

  • When you have guests in your home, give your cats extra support. For example, provide a space that is all their own. If you have to move your cats, make sure they have something that smells like home or at least like you. They are likely to be scared and to need extra gentle, quiet handling.
  • Some cats get overexcited, nervous and frightened and can’t seem to stay still until every crevice of a new space is explored. Others hide and won’t come out of a closet or out from under a bed.
  • However they react, give your cats the space to feel comfortable, but be there to offer your familiar petting when they want or need it. Talk quietly to the hiding cat, but don’t force it out of its “safe” spot.
  • The older a cat gets, the more important routine becomes. (Sounds like a lot of people, too, doesn’t it?) Events such as storms, guests in the house, holiday schedules, and moving to a new location all mean changes in our daily routine.
  • Cats that are sensitive to stress may have illnesses at these times; for example, interstitial cystitis or a flare up of sneezing and conjunctivitis. Cats that have kidney insufficiency may develop a urinary tract infection because they aren’t venturing to their litter box as regularly as they should be.
  • Some cats will stop eating, and some will overeat. Some of the reactions cats have to stress can be life-threatening, so any change that lasts more than a day or two should be checked out by your vet.

(Yes, trips to the vet’s office can be yet another stressful event for your cat. You can help make vet trips less stressful by gradually acclimating your cat to being in a carrier and riding in a car, using pheromone spray or wipes in their carriers, covering the carrier when outside, and by choosing a veterinarian who truly enjoys treating cats. I’m sure I’m biased, but I also strongly believe feline-exclusive practices offer a less stressful environment for most cats.)

Most cats adapt quickly to changes, but those that develop health problems should be helped. Urinary tract illness is very painful and at minimum should be treated with pain medication. Decreased eating can lead to fatty liver disease, so don’t ignore the full food bowl. Always be alert to changes in behavior in your cat during times that have an element for stress for you or your cat. Cats are very subtle beings and it is easy to overlook warning signs of illness.

Many parallels exist between stress in humans and cats. While the two species show signs of stress differently, similar stressors seem to contribute to our loads.

  •  Don’t forget that the visiting in-laws or grandchildren can be just as stressful for your feline companion as for the humans in the household. Watch for signs that your kitty needs some extra TLC and prepare before hand so that you can minimize Fluffy’s anxiety.

I often see critically ill cats coming from homes that have experienced recent major upheavals. Unfortunately, the people involved often heap even more stress on by blaming themselves for the illness at hand. Usually we can’t control the major stressors in our lives, but we can be aware that they can effect our cats as well as us. Perhaps veterinarians should develop a preventive medicine strategy for stressed households. Something to ponder.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a stress-free holiday season, for the sake of you and your cat!

Letrisa Miller, MS, DVM
Connecticut Feline Medicine and Surgery, LLC
95 Avery St., Manchester, CT 06042
Catmas creche

Catmas creche

As holiday season nativity scenes pop up, it’s not unusual for pranksters to steal baby Jesus from a creche. In Brooklyn, it’s a different story. For the past ten years on an empty lot, a creche is set up with the usual animals but a few extras show up. They’re feral cats and they’re not there to see Jesus. These homeless cats consider the creche with the cozy straw and warm lights, their turf and as soon as baby Jesus arrives on Christmas eve, they’re the first to boot hIm out. According to Rafael Lopez of RLJRnews.com there are six or seven ferals who sleep in the creche and are cared for by two sisters, Annette and Susane Amendola who own the vacant lot on Van Brunt St. in Brooklyn. Every winter they move the creche/feral cat shelter near the street and create their annual nativity scene. No one seems to mind that there’s a cat in the manger instead baby Jesus. After all, it is the season of peace, love and goodwill. Gold, Frankincense and Purr anyone? 

Special thanks to Rafael Lopez for providing us exclusive photos of the feral cats and creche.

cat creche brooklyn

feral cat brooklyn











Catmas creche cats

cat feral brooklyn












Bales of hay make excellent insulation for feral cat shelters. I’d love to see more hay surrounding the figurines for more warmth and I hope after Christmas they add a plastic wind barrier or other tips from our post on how to help feral cats in winter.

And speaking of goodwill, our friends at Friskies are making their biggest donation ever, half a million cans of cat food! Visit their If You Feed Me Wet campaign for info and funny photo memes. For something more to sing about, five celebrity cats Colonel Meow, Nala Cat, Hamilton the Hipster Cat, Oskar the Blind Cat, and Grumpy Cat, the official “spokescat” of Friskies are promoting the event with this adorable special holiday video. For EVERY view,  Friskies will donate one can of cat food!


Catmas Carols 2013 Chronicle Books

Catmas Carols 2013 Chronicle Books

Oh, come all ye furrful! Cat lovers rejoice. A brand-new edition of the top-selling book Catmas Carols is out from Chronicle Books and we’re doing a quickie giveaway. With 20 rollicking feline renditions of favorite Christmas carols, Catmas Carols is the purrfect stocking stuffer. The wacky wit is written by Laurie Loughlin and illustrated byGemma Correll.

The enter to a win a copy, simply leave a comment before 11:59 pm, ET Dec.14, 2013. For extra chances of winning, social media share and leave a separate comment telling where you shared. The winner will be announced next Sunday and will receive their book in time for holiday gift giving. If you’d like a copy on sale visit Amazon.


We’re purring with excitement to announce the 5 lucky winners of our Art of Purring giveaway! Some of the comments were very touching. The winners are: Darlene, Kathryn, Linda Lenhoff, Elizabeth George and Wendilyn Emrys. Congratulations cat lovers! You’ll be contacted by info@catwisdom101 requesting you shipping address.

We’ve been doing our own versions of holiday silliness. Note: this is not in Catmas Carols book. T’is the season to be silly. How are your cats enjoying the season?


catmas carols cat card

Astro kitty Sagittarius

Happy Caturday dear cat lover! We are counting our kitty blessings for an okay week. Thank-you for keeping us in your prayers. A friend’s 20-year-old cat just died and it hit a little too close to home. Merlin gets along with all our boys but he’s turned even closer to Domino, as evidenced last night.


domino merlin cat pals

  • We have our usual fab giveaways, click on our home page to see the latest ones.
  • Check out our new cat art and FREE Shipping code CATWISDOM101 is valid until Dec.31.at our Cat Wisdom101 Etsy
  • Gris Gris is sleeping within touching distance to me (a minor miracle) and Odin is happy testing so many new cat products he may demand a pay raise.
  • Astrology buffs, my latest feline astrology column about Sagittarius cats is up on Catster If you have any kitty astrology questions leave a comment there and I will reply.

  • This week’s Photo Hunt theme is creativity which is kind of what we do 24/7. The image above is my latest astro cat! It’s not for sale but if you like it, email me.
  • Halo, Purely for Pets, Ellen DeGeneres’ natural pet food company, today announced it has become the exclusive pet food sponsor of AdoptAShelter.com, a shopping portal allowing consumers to donate to their favorite animal shelters at no cost to themselves – just by shopping at stores such as Amazon®, Petco, Best Buy, iTunes, Expedia, Lowes, and more. It’s a great way to support your favorite shelter for free!

AdoptAShelter.com is an online Cash Rewards Mall featuring over 500 top-name merchants, from Amazon to Zazzle®. With no login or password needed, shoppers simply connect to their favorite online stores through AdoptAShelter.com, select their favorite shelter to receive a percentage of their shopping totals, and then shop as they normally would.

What NOT to buy? Say no to pet store puppies or kittens. They are usually from horrific breeding mills. Let’s get the message out until everyone finally understands needless suffering can be avoided. This short video is worth watching. Please share. And thank-you for loving cats!

3 cats motivation work quote

3 cats motivation work quote

Our Cat Wisdom 101 mancats have been hard at work trying new products but like all cats, they know how to relax.  On a recent sunny day the boys wasted no time enjoying sun puddles on the porch. Merlin enjoys the perks of being a product tester.

cat quote work

Cyber Monday/Tuesday Sale! CatWisdom 101 Etsy and Sleepypod. 48 hours only!



help cats click here

CLICK HERE TO VISIT and see the latest additions

We’re offering a buy one, get one free special on all our unique and affordable artwork in our Cat Wisdom101 Etsy Shop. Proceeds benefit cat rescue groups and cats in need. We are proud to support the ASPCA.

Cat Wisdom 101 Etsy shop

One of our favorite items in our Holiday Gift Guide is from Sleepypod. We have two Sleepypods and they are the Rolls Royce of cat carriers for cats who deserve the very best.

Spend $150 or more on Sleepypod products in Sleepypod’s web store and receive 20% off of your entire purchase.*

(*You must purchase at least one carrier: Sleepypod, Sleepypod Air, Sleepypod Atom.)
Offer valid on purchases made at Sleepypod.com/shop from December 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m. EST through December 3, 2013, 11:59 PST. Offer can not be applied to previous purchases and cannot be used in combination with any other offers.


We often say, thank-you for loving cats but truly mean it on Thanksgiving. Thank-you for caring enough about cats to learn more about them, to help rescue, volunteer, dispel myths, speak up for those who don’t have a voice or simply support other cat lovers in our online community. Thank-you for visiting us today and all other days. We’d be an empty space without you. If you love cats, you are our friend. This our 30 seconds on how we feel about thanks giving.

Thank-you cats




















For only the second time in history, the American Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day, so to all our Jewish readers happy Hannukah or Thanksgivukkah! Either way it means good food, family, friends and celebrating what we are grateful for.


Cat Wisdom 101 Holiday Gift Guide

Cat Wisdom 101 Holiday Gift Guide

2013 was an amazing year for cat products.

We’ve tested, reviewed and done giveaways for dozens of awesome pet products in the past year. As a thank-you to our sponsors, we’re sharing a few of our favorite things in this gift guide. Unlike some other gift guides, you can’t pay to get on this list. These are products we use and think they’d make purrfect gifts for any discerning cat or cat lover.

All are well made, safe and tested by us! There are a few items you may not have seen before and are sneak peeks for future giveaways. Enjoy. Click on the scrolling widget a the bottom of the page for more info on each item.

Tastes so good!

The purrfect stocking stuffer are treats! Shhh, don’t tell anyone but Gris Gris has secret vice: fishy flakes from Cat Man Do


Merlin loves the soft texture of Calming Treats from Pet Naturals. They taste good and really help calm cats.

Odin loves all flavors of Whisker Smackers from Dr. Harvey’s and Domino loves Hills Ideal Balance Crunchy Naturals with Real Tuna


Crunchy Naturals with Real Tuna - Treats

One of the biggest hits in our home this year was the stainless steel 360 drinking fountain from Drinkwell. 


Feel So Good

The holiday season can be a stressful time for people and their pets. The go-to remedy for us is Rescue Remedy.There is an alcohol-free formula for pets and kids. Adults have calming choices from chewing gum, pastilles, sprays and Sleep-Melts to melt away stress naturally.

Bach Rescue Remedy








For travel, moves, noisy parties and new pets, nothing beats Comfort-Zone Feliway plugins and spray to prevent behavioral issues. The natural calming pheromone is a holiday season must have. Our friends at Entirely Pets have the lowest prices.

 The two-story hang-out is only one of a large selection of  fun pet products from HagenCatit Design Home, 2-Story Hangout

The holiday season can be stinky mess. Stress can create litter box issues, house guests may be allergic to cats, hotel rooms may smell funky, and your car after a big holiday party? Ew!

Our #1 top pet product for the holiday season is a CritterZone the air naturalizer which naturally eliminates ALL unwanted odors anywhere. CritterZone has a new Holiday Travel Pack and offering Cat Wisdom101 readers $10.00 off with the discount code: CatWisdom101 at CritterZone check-out

CritterZone discount code

Play SO Good!

Despite trying oodles of toys we rely on few favorites like Neko Flies and a one new one we’re excited about from Pioneer Pets. The Kitty-go-Round may look familiar but this one is motorized to keep cats playing. We’re currently testing their new multi-level hanging scratcher is brilliant for apartments or homes where you don’t want to drill holes in the wall.

For the best interactive fun and slow feeders, we love everything from Aikiou

Aikiou interactive pet feeder giveaway

Sleep So Good!


K&H Manufacturing Logo                   All cats will hope Santa has this bed in his sack. New from K & H Pet Products the cozy, self-warming Kitty Sack is purrfect for cold winter nights. Look for our Kitty Sack giveaway on Black Friday!

Neko has cozy new cat beds called Neko Nappers and they’re the cat’s meow for snug snoozing.


Neko Nappers


Travel SO Good!

 SleepyPod is a new way for pets to snooze and travel in comfort.                   

Bergan Pet offers a cool new auto-safety harness for car travel.  We love it as an alternative to transporting cats in a carrier. 


 Sturdipet.com offers safe and stylish ways to travel. We’re crazy about their new double-decker carriers offering lots of room for two cats.Sturdi Products


Can you be giving and good? Yes! When you buy any of our signed, numbered limited edition cat art from Etsy 100% of net proceeds are donated to the ASPCA.

New “Snow Cat” the 2013 Muse Medallion winner for best black and white photography features our Odin.

No matter what you end up buying as gifts, remember the best gift is the gift of friendship, of spending time with those you love, whether they have two legs or four.

May your holiday season be full of peace, love and purrs!




National get a pal for your pet day

National get a pal for your pet day

When our cat Merlin’s lifelong companion died he was sad and lonely. At age 16 we wondered if it was too late to introduce a kitty companion or two. Three years later, Merlin is happy with his three devoted cat pals. They groom him in places he can’t reach, snuggle with him day and night and keep an eye out for him (Merlin is blind). It was the best and healthiest decision ever. As always, I encourage what is best for our pets and occasionally some cats are happier being the only pet in the home.

That said, most cats enjoy a cat, dog or other pet companion. To help encourage more people to recognize the joys of multiple pets, the American Pet Products Association (APPA), through their non-profit campaign Pets Add Life (PAL), has officially declared November 19 as National Get A Pal For Your Pet Day. The holiday is designed to encourage pet parents to consider adopting additional furry, winged and/or finned family members. According to APPA’s 2013/2014 National Pet Owners Survey, multiple pet ownership is at an all-time high with 44 percent of pet-owning households in the U.S. owning more than one pet (up from 42 percent of households in 2010).


“We couldn’t be more excited to have a dedicated, national holiday to educate and encourage multiple pet ownership,” said APPA President Bob Vetere. “Pets Add Life is about promoting the many joys and benefits of responsible pet ownership, and we are finding more and more that multiple pet ownership is not only better for pets, but better for their families in general. Our pets need friends, and there are so many great pets out there needing a good home.”

Considering adding an additional pal to the family? Below are a few benefits and tips to keep in mind:

  • Social interaction: Having at least two pets of the same type allows for more social interaction and will help keep them happier and healthier. For example, cats socialize by grooming and playing with each other.
  • Improved health and exercise: Not only is it entertaining to watch, but pets racing around together playing encourages exercise that they might not receive without a pal. Two or more cats are less likely to be destructive than a lonely single cat.
  • Companionship: When owners are away from home that makes for long, lonely days for single pets. Adding a new pet to the home not only provides humans additional companionship, but pets are much happier when they also have a pal to spend their days with.
  • Choose the best pet for your lifestyle: Adding an additional pet to the home is a big responsibility and its important to consider which type of pet suits your home, lifestyle and family best. Check out the following to help determine which pet is right for you: http://www.healthypet.com/FindAPet/FindRightPet.aspxcat friends
I am blogging on behalf of BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network (the link should point and the Pets Add Life (Pal) campaign. I received compensation for my time from Pal for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine.
Merlin cat-mancat mondays quote change

Merlin cat-mancat mondays quote change

Here here, the gang’s all here for Mancat Monday and we’re waxing poetic about cha cha.. change. Cats aren’t crazy about change but we do know how to adapt. That’s why we’ve not only survived but thrived for thousands of years. Merlin leads the way, looking adorable on a walk. Not bad for a blind old boy. On the same day, Odin and Domino played “ambush”. Odin may appear oblivious to Domino skulking but it’s all part of the game, one as long as feline evolution.

It’s Veteran’s Day and we’re honoring our military today: all those men, women and service dogs who bravely serve in the name of freedom and liberty. In Canada where I grew up, on November 11, we always rose from our desks at school at 11am to pause and honor the fallen veterans who fought for our country. I still pause at 11 to say a silent prayer and give thanks for living in a country where we are free. I hope it’s something that never changes.

mancat Monday-quote change

And last but never least, the biggest change this week is from Gris Gris who willingly sat in Layla’s lap for grooming, a milestone breakthrough for a cat who hates being picked up and never sits on laps. And because we love how purrfect imperfection can be, the first person who spots the error in one of the quotes get big Mancat purrs from the boys.

We’re off tomorrow but if you missed this month’s Astro-Kitty, it’s at Catster.  Hope you stop by and “like” it. If you have any questions about Scorpio cats, leave a comment and I’ll respond there. 

Gris Gris is in the autumn of his years but more handsome than ever.

Gris Gris autumn of our lives

mancat monday-change quote

Halloween trick or tuna

vintage halloween card card


Happy Howleween or Meowleween. Please have fun and keep your kitties safe.

The image above is an antique Halloween card I gave a modern graphic spin and the image below is a cat I found in a parking lot being petted by a limo driver. The cat apparently was not homeless and despite the Halloween cat arch, she was friendly. Things are not always as they appear. May your holiday be full of tuna, treats and not tricks.

NEWS & MEWS Cat Wisdom 101 will be on a new schedule for the next few weeks due to personal reasons. There will be no Caturday this Saturday and we’ll either be skipping days or simply posting images. Sadly, we are unable to visit more than a few blogs but will try to return all comments. We appreciate your support and would be deeply grateful if you share what we do post during this transitional time.

Thanks and purrs,


Halloween trick or tuna

Halloween cats party

We’re in the mood to stir it up for a spooky Caturday party. Odin is always ready to stir the pot.

Halloween cats party






















“Stir” is the Saturday PhotoHunt theme this week and to get us into a relaxed party mood (yes, we have catnip) the old Bob Marley song “Stir it Up” is purrfect. Are you dressing up your cats for Halloween? If, so what costume will they wear? Our boys like to go in their birthday suits.

Black cat Halloween PSA
Black cat Halloween PSA

Kindness is a lifestyle we learn at home. Kids can be cruel: teasing, throwing rocks at cats or worse. Kindness is contagious and kids quickly learn what is acceptable behavior by observing the world around them. Little boys often get a bad rap for animal cruelty but for every bad apple there’s many more who love and not hate cats. I love this vintage photo of a boy and his black cat who doesn’t need convincing how wonderful black cats are!

vintage  photograp ofh boy and  black cat





















If you’ve been following our black cat appreciation series, you’ll know we’ve been helping Mid-Hudson Animal Aid, a shelter north of us in Beacon, N.Y which needed to evacuate 150+ cats recently after a tragic fire. Their October Newsletter is tribute to the kindness of strangers and community. It memorializes the eight cats who lost their lives and the power of kindness or evil. If you read nothing else, please read the story of Atlas a cat who couldn’t catch a break but died a hero. Or the story about Phoenix, a little ginger tabby found in a gutter near death from kids throwing rocks but survived.

black cat art postcard

Our tale of two kitties spotlight is on two rescued black cats from Mid-Hudson who need forever homes. Many shelters do not adopt black cats before Halloween but it’s okay to meet with them. Bashful is a handsome black cat. Look at those eyes! Rescued from a feral colony as kitten, he’s come a long way and is very adoptable. Check him out in action in this short video clip.

Bashful - check out my video!


Meet Destiny. She’s a tiny, affectionate gal who has only known shelter life since kittenhood, but hopes a forever home is her destiny. She’s a bit shy at first and then warms up. To learn more about either of these black beauties, email info@midhudsonanimalaid.org


vintage black cat teapot

 A lucky black cat teapot dates for the 1950s. An adorable cat with goldfish are mid-century salt and pepper shakers. Black cats, long considered lucky have graced cards, postcards and ephemera of every kind since Victorian times. Black, white, orange, gray or brown, it doesn’t matter what color cats are. Let’s be color blind in our love of cats.

vintage black cat art postcard

vintage black cat salt & pepper shakers

 don't judge-cat-by its-color-quote-black
feral cat day-black cat appreciation day

feral cat day-black cat appreciation day


It’s black cat appreciation Wednesday featuring two black cats, worlds apart plus cool, black cat vintage finds. Black cats are considered lucky in many countries and we’d love everyone in the U.S. to think so too! It also happens to be National Feral Cat Day, a holiday close to our hearts. Not a day goes by without being reminded that our Domino to be feral. You’d never know it seeing him purring on my husband’s lap. Not all feral cats are that lucky, but all feral cats deserve to be understoodprotected and cared for. 

Way back in 1903, there was a literary magazine called The Black Cat. 


black cat magazine 1903

This vintage Fiesta ware pitcher is the cat’s meow.

black cat pitcher fiesta



black cat folk artA funny and not the least bit spooky black cat folk art. 








Did extra good news arrive to anyone using this vintage black cat letter opener?

goebel germany letter opener

We’re hoping for good news for the 150+ cats rescued from Mid-Hudson Animal Aid which experienced a fire recently. We featured three of their black cats two weeks ago and another black beauty today. Big purrs of thanks to our friends at Hills Pet Nutrition for answering our request for help and are making generous donation of cat food to Mid-Hudson Animal Aid.

Meet Yogurt, a black beauty who has never had a real home.


Yogurt is a sweet but shy gal born in a hoarder’s house. She’s only shy at first, likes being petted and held but would prefer a quiet home with maybe some kitty companions. She is spayed and up to date with all shots. All the cats were evacuated and are in foster situations but much help is needed to re-build. Please visit their Facebook page for all the latest good news, volunteer ops or to learn more about their lovely variety of cats available for adoption, visit their page on Petfinder.com

Our second special featured cat is from the Annex Cat Rescue in Toronto, Canada. It’s the group I founded in 1997 when I lived in Toronto. What began as one person feeding a feral colony grew into what it is today. It’s a testament to how one person joining other like-minded people can make a huge difference in the lives of cats.

Please visit and like their Facebook page and find out all the wonderful things they’re up to including Feral Cat Awareness Week

Meet Toby, an old boy who has used up a few of his 9 lives remains hopeful for a forever home.

All cats have a story. This is Toby’s. It reminds me very much of our former feral and FIV+ Domino and for that reason alone I have hope for Toby.

Toby is a handsome tuxedo boy with big black paws, big expressive eyes, and a big friendly purr. His big outgoing personality wins over everyone he meets and he is a big fan of cuddling, too. And if he could talk, Toby would have a big story to tell you. His ragged, frostbitten ears and deep, wise gaze offer a glimpse into the hardships of Toby’s life before rescue, but this resilient cat’s capacity to forgive is simply astounding. Despite his tumultuous past, since his rescue, Toby has proven that he still trusts the people in his world to do right by him. He is an optimistic guy who appreciates the simple joys of watching the exciting view through a screened window, basking in a beam of sunshine, and snuggling into a warm lap for attention and pets. Affectionate Toby just loves to be loved.

Unfortunately, being forced to survive outdoors for years after being abandoned has inevitably affected Toby’s health. A medical test revealed that he has feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Having FIV also means that Toby is more sensitive than most cats to viruses and respiratory infections, which can cause a bit of wheezy-breathing. A quality diet and a low-stress environment will reduce the effects of FIV and will greatly improve Toby’s quality of life, although he’s certainly not a complainer! (Read more about FIV )

Despite his lingering health issues, Toby is a content cat who enjoys indoor living. That being said, recently, Toby has been experiencing regular stomach upset (vomiting and loose stool) every week to ten days and lasting a day or two each time. Toby’s temporary foster mom reports that during these times, Toby tends to lose his appetite and becomes more reclusive, and she admits that this can be a little scary. But, she adds, these periods of illness disappear as suddenly as they appear and afterward, Toby always returns to his happy-go-lucky social self. The veterinarian is still running tests to determine what causes these recurring periods of stomach upset. Meanwhile, Annex Cat Rescue covers the cost of all of Toby’s vet visits, which will continue regularly into the foreseeable future. His temporary foster mom accompanies him to appointments and everyone who cares for him is working toward getting Toby feeling his best. If you are interested in fostering Toby or welcoming him into your family, please contact Annex Cat Rescue about becoming a foster parent:volunteer@annexcatrescue.ca

To learn more about feral cats and how we can celebrate National Feral Cat Day, visit Alley Cat Allies

hills ideal balance-cat food-natural

Happy Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving! This is a special holiday “Mondays With Merlin” with your feline host, Merlin. Balance is the natural key to a healthy life and one of my favorite subjects. Well, that and food. Let me tell you after nineteen years, I’ve tried just about every kind; dry, wet, raw, dehydrated, moist, organic, natural, you name it. Some, I’ve liked more than others and to be honest, some were healthy and others shall we say, the McDonald’s of cat food. Not that there’s anything wrong with occasional junk and treats but in moderation. 

Cats know all about balance. We prefer natural everything. We sleep when we’re sleepy. We eat when we’re hungry. We play when we need exercise. It’s really simple and natural. Humans on the other hand, have a hard time finding balance. They work too hard, often overeat and over do just about everything. Since cats depend on humans to feed us, we have no control over our nutrition or our environment. In a purrfect world, cats would choose healthy, natural food that’s nutritionally balanced.

  • Did you know: According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “for the most part, ‘natural’ can be construed as equivalent to a lack of artificial flavors, artificial colors, or artificial preservatives in the product.”
  • healthy cats get their energy from FOOD, derived from protein, fat or carbohydrates – essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals and plenty of fresh water?
  • Nutrient excess or deficiency can lead to certain health conditions.  When the nutrients are incorrectly balanced, they may lead to serious conditions.  Excess Vitamin D, for example can lead to high blood calcium levels.
  • Excess sodium and protein can lead to other health issues.
  • Excess pumpkin pie, pretzels, beer leads to… oops that’s not a pretty picture for you humans.

So natural ingredients do not guarantee optimum nutrition but precisely balanced nutrients do? Like Hill’s® Ideal BalanceTM is 100% balanced nutrition guaranteed or your money back. I eat mostly wet food but enjoy a little dry food like the tried the grain-free Chicken and Potato Recipe but don’t take my word for it, Check out the reviews


How do different natural cat foods measure up? Compare and discover for yourself.

I hope you have a happy, healthy and balanced week. Excuse me, all this work is making me ready for a catnap. Now about that second helping of Pumpkin pie…

This is a sponsored post by Hills Pet Nutrition, Inc. but the opinions in this article are completely my own.

meow like a pirate day

Ahoy mates! It be your lucky doubloon day with two posts! Shiver me timbers; it’s International Speak Like Pirate Day. Cats were a pirate’s favored companion on the high seas for keeping rodents at bay. Today, cats all over the world are celebrating Meow Like A Pirate Day. Avast and arrrr and meowaaarrrrrr!


Visit the Talk Like a Pirate Day’s official site  which offers a guide to pirate vocabulary info about the holiday’s origin and other fun stuff.

meow like a pirate day-cat

Okay, this isn’t for cats but Krispy Kreme is giving a free glazed donut to anyone who talks like a pirate today. Dress like a pirate, and you’ll snag a dozen free donuts. (For details, go to krispykreme.com/pirate.)


Gris Gris birthday

Happy Mancat Monday! We’re celebrating Gris Gris’s 15th birthday without much fanfare. He’s a kind of mysterious cat who doesn’t like the limelight and God forbid, party hats! Please help yourself to the crab surprise and salmon mousse cake and Domino harvested fresh catnip. Odin caught a bird as a gift but Merlin said to let it go. Gris Gris agreed. It’s his birthday wish that all homeless cats have the same luck he had being adopted at age 12. He’s never been happier or healthier. Grab a niptini and toast our birthday boy.  And he wants to remind everyone his name is pronounced Gree Gree. Gris is French for gray and a gris gris is a good luck talisman originally from Africa.

Happy Birthday Gris Gris!

mondays with merlin-garden

mondays with merlin-garden

It’s Labor Day and I’m having a dream come true! Hello dear cat lovers, it’s another Mondays With Merlin and okay, it raining but so what. My mom, Layla who hates making videos has decided it’s time to make some for posterity. In other words, she thinks I’m going to croak and it’s not enough that she has 88 gazillon photos of me. The first video was taken yesterday in the monsoon and today looks the same. Don’t be deceived by Layla’s cheery mood. I know she’d rather be lolling with me in the garden and certainly not trying to figure out how to make a YouTube channel. I can’t understand how someone so smart and talented has a mental block about YouTube. I mean complete idiots makes cat videos that are seen by millions and how many have seen hers? Six? Even her very cute video of Odin catching raindrops was only seen by 56 people. I mean what is her problem? Never mind, I wanted to share one smart

thing she’s done lately.

Catnaps in the garden! Lying in the sun on something soft, feeling the earth energy beneath and lying near my mom. First there was the beach towel and on the weekend she brought out a comforter and my favorite pillow. Can we say happy camper? But she is a slow learner. She tried to trick me by multi-tasking. I may be blind but does she think I can’t hear the rustle of newspaper? I’d get up in a huff to wander, knowing she had to follow me. After a couple tries she gave up and focused on only ME! MO– USES, she works too hard and what better way to rest than to catnap with an expert? Talk about Labor Day. A cat’s work is never done!

I let her make a video of me by the herb garden (below).The catnip is good but the grass is better. It would be even better without her crazy cat lady talk. She also made a video of Odin and Domino with Gris Gris. I hope I haven’t created a monster doing this video thingy. If anyone can help Layla with YouTube tips, please do. She finally figured out how to add the YouTube icon at the top of this page so you can click to see her embarrassing video page and zero, okay 13 subscribers. Seriously, I’m smarter than most cats who have 300,000 subscribers and I’m not talking famous like Grumpy Cat. If you feel like subscribing, I promise the videos will improve.

I hope you have a meowvelous Labor Day. Will you be having any catnaps?

cat and mom sunbathing

cat and mom sunbathing

Caturday NEWS & MEWS

What a week of ups and downs! Merlin and I have been enjoying lying on a beach towel in the garden savoring the limited time with have left together. Every day is precious and if you haven’t spent much time with your cat lately, don’t wait. Life is short. Homer the famous blind has died. Click here to see our memorial post if you missed it.

Homer the blind cat RIP




Our friend and cat blogger Deb from Zee & Zoe had a cat go to the Rainbow Bridge  Her dear Jazz featured here in this beautiful pictorial died on Wednesday. Fly dear Mr. Jazz.





Our vet Dr. G. who often contributes to our Vet 101, arrived on Tuesday with his fab 26 foot mobile clinic. One-by-one the cats are scooped up and carried the few feet to the driveway. It doesn’t get any easier. The only one who has to be corralled from under the bed and into a carrier is Gris Gris. After the examinations, the clinic door opens and we allow them to release pent up stress by running out the door and they high tail it to the house.

  • The good news: Featherweight Gris Gris has gained over a pound and doing well. Odin is in excellent shape.
  • The not so good news: Domino has the kind dental issues common to FIV+ cats. There is a cavity that will need extraction sooner than later and periodontal care. Merlin has chronic periodontal issues requiring a once monthly course of antibiotics. The bad news is he’s lost over a pound in four months and is now a hair over seven pounds. This is a cat that weighed 17 pounds three years ago. He’s slowly wasting away from the ravages of kidney disease.
  • The good news is he’s feisty and in good humor. The amazing news is he does not need subcutaneous fluids yet.

mobile vet squad

The Cat Video Festival ended on Thursday and the winner of the Golden Kitty is Grumpy Cat aka Tardar sauce. The runner up was Catalogue, from our friend Alana from Cat in the Fridge blog. We think it deserved to win but it’s hard to compete with a cat who has over a million Facebook fans.

Have a meowvelous holiday weekend! Are you doing anything special? We’re planning to do a whole lot of nothing.

cat mom in garden

blogpaws celebrates senior pets

blogpaws celebrates senior pets

One of our favorite blogger cats, Abby from ManxMews has flown to the Rainbow Bridge. We’ve dedicated our post to her at our other blog Boomer Muse today.

Blogpaws is celebrating senior pets this month has an awesome infographic. To celebrate they have a photo contest and bloghop. With three senior boys at Cat Wisdom 101, we’re ready to do some hopping!

World cat day 2013.bmp

August 8, 2013 is World Cat Day. It was founded in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and other animal rights groups. Cats are more popular than ever with a growing population. There are currently over half a billion cats in the world. Not all have happy pampered lives like most of our cats. How are you celebrating and how can we make cats’ lives better worldwide? To celebrate we’re doing two posts today!

World cat day 2013.bmp















Last night I attended a fundraiser in honor of Matilda the resident cat at the Algonguin Hotel to benefit for Bideawee, the oldest no-kill shelter in the U.S.

Bideawee had a mini-mobile adoption van with a half dozen adorable cats. By the time they left one cat was adopted, the cutest kitten I’ve seen in ages. To be honest there were some exceptional looking cats If you don’t believe me, click and see some of others.

Bideawee-new york  mobile adoption














Whenever I see pairs of siblings like these tabbies, I always hope someone adopts both.

Bideawee kitten adoption

Layla-cat mom-birthday


Odin: We’re celebrating! It’s our mom, Layla’s birthday. Well, actually it’s tomorrow but we have the day off. Apparently she’s turning 39 again!  Since I’m Layla’s favorite mama’s boy, I go first. Like my card? She loves Paris and I want to say Je t’aime mama beaucoup!

Gris Gris: Who let that young whippersnapper sneak in first? The nerve! Is it my imagination or is our mom beginning to look more like a cat?

Domino: Well she already thinks like cat…

Merlin: Good point, Domino, I’m blind but I think I felt some whiskers on her face.

Odin: You guys! Did you get her a present? I got her a fat little mousie.

Layla-cat mom-birthday

Gris Gris: I forgot. Anyway, she doesn’t need anything.

Domino: I made this photo for her phone.

cat wisdom 101 cats

Odin: How come I’m not in it?

Merlin: You were too busy mousing. And anyway she has everything she needs.

Odin: What’s that?

Merlin, Gris Gris and Domino: Our love!

Odin: You’re forgetting one more thing. A vote for the Petties! Only 2 more days left!

Merlin: And share far and wide. Pettie Award Voting Link

Birthday wishes-vintage cats-pettie awards







Domino-cat-4th of July-stars and stripes cat

We enjoyed a fireworks display near our house last night and that was enough boom boom boom for us. You can see the pics at our other blog, Boomer Muse. Tonight there will be a few smaller ones, and if you didn’t see all our holiday tips, checkout our post from yesterday. Domino, our poster boy, spent the evening under the bed. Do your cats get scared from fireworks?

Domino-cat-4th of July-stars and stripes cat


We created a couple of festive art works, one vintage style… and one more modern. Have fun and share them by pinning on Pinterest or sharing on Facebook and have a PURRFECT Holiday!

4th July-cats-vintage art-fireworks.bmp


4th of july-cats-purrfect holiday

petfinder.com-summer pet safety-cats-lost

petfinder.com-summer pet safety-cats-lost

Did you know more pets go missing on July 4th than any other day? Our friends at Petfinder.com want to change that scary statistic for this year’s holiday

4th of july-cats-scare-fireworks

This week, Canada Day and the 4th of July fall in the same week and many are taking off the entire week to celebrate. While the humans are having fun, cats are at more risk of getting get lost and noise of all kinds will make the most laid back cat skittish. On the menu this week are fireworks. parties galore and thunderstorms in many areas.

What’s exciting for humans can be a nightmare for cats. Loud noise from a live band, cranked up volume on a stereo, thunderstorms or fireworks are no cause for celebration for cats.

Remember cats have a far superior sense of hearing and senior cats are especially sensitive. July 1st in Canada and July the 4th in the U.S. are the big fireworks days but they remain popular throughout the season. During noisy times this summer, provide cozy spots for kitty to hide and turn down the volume. Extra skittish cats can be calmed by Thundershirts, or a thin towel sprayed with Feliway and tightly wrapped around a cat burrito-style. Flower essences like Rescue Remedy offer gentle relief.

With a little commonsense and mindfulness, our cats can enjoy our summer holidays as much as we do. Click here to read more of our July the 4th tips and visit Petfinders for their photo gallery of tips. Happy Independence Day!

Join other bloggers sharing the theme of pet safety at a fun Blogpaws BLOG HOP

canada day-ex pats-cats

Did you know 25% of our Cat Wisdom 101 cats are Canadian? It’s true, it’s Monday With Merlin and I’m  Merlin the Canuck kitty brave enough to fly to New York with Layla twelve years ago!

You may wonder how us Canadian cats are different. Are we nicer? More polite? You tell me. I will say, while cats are very territorial we aren’t patriotic or nationalistic. You could say cats are citizens of the world. After all, we rule internationally, eh? So to all my Canadian friends, Happy Canada Day! And be smart. Keep your cats inside and away from fireworks.

canada day-ex pats-cats

cats-summer-stress-vintage art

Summer sun and fun is here but it can be a stressful time for many cats. The number one reason for feline stress is change. It can be a change of schedule like kids being out of school or humans going away on vacation. It can be summer thunderstorms and fireworks or new neighborhood cats leaving threatening “peemail”. Cats respond to stress with a wide range of behavior from barely disguised anxiety, hiding under the bed, peeing outside the litter box to over-grooming, unexpected aggression to destructiveness some called “naughty”.

cats-summer-stress-vintage art

If there are lots of changes planned in your household this summer, be proactive. An ounce of prevention is worth a week’s worth of cat behaviorist consults.

Stop. Look. Listen.

We all lead busy lives but unless we stop for a moment we won’t notice something is amiss with our cats. Look at your cat closely. Are they doing something out of the ordinary? Licking their fur too much or shredding the toilet paper. Are their ears flattened into a defensive or aggressive mode? Are their pupil’s dilated and round with anxiety? Listen to how they vocalize. Are they yowling more or less? Listen to your intuition for anything that doesn’t feel right. Tell your cat you love them and any changes aren’t permanent.

If you’re planning a vacation, plan cat sitting care well in advance. To be on the safe side, plan a vet wellness visit before leaving on holiday. Before stress escalates, try using a calming flower essence like Rescue Remedy in the cat’s drinking water daily.

No matter changes may occur, keep some routine the same. If possible, maintain regular inter-active play sessions. Active play for 15 to 20 minutes or at least two-ten minute sessions daily is the best way to dilute excess pent-up energy. Summer is a great to to train your cat to walk on a leash. Many cats love training like agility training. Basic commands like come, sit, lie down plus tricks are easy to learn. I recommend this easy to follow book.

With a little commonsense and mindfulness, our cats can enjoy summer as much as we do.


 pettie awards 2013-cat wisdom 101



Happy Father’s Day aka Cat Dad Day. May it be filled with purrs and kisses. Enjoy our little video which celebrates our own cat daddy and cat dads everywhere.


Father's Day-cat-vintage-quote-real men love cats

Father's Day-cat-vintage-quote-real men love cats

This Father’s Day, let’s celebrate the men who are dads to either two-legged kids or four-legged furries. There have always been men who love cats and their numbers are happily growing.

This image of a farmer giving a treat to his cat is from my collection of vintage photo and dates back from the early 1900s. I colorized it giving it a modern look, although men don’t squirt milk into kitty’s mouths anymore, do they?

How will you be celebrating Father’s Day next Sunday?

Father's day-cat-cat daddy-cowboys

Our winners for copies of Faithful Friends book giveaway are:Sophie T., Nancy N. and Caren Gittleman. Congratulations!

Look for an email from Layla and Cat Wisdom 101.

We will return next Sunday with another cat book giveaway and until then, I leave you with another devoted cat man’s cat we made a photo quote of. This is Bambino, who belonged to Mark Twain. When his cat went missing in 1905, Twain placed an ad for $5.00 ( a big sum in those days) with this description: Large and intensely black; thick, velvety fur; has a faint fringe of white hair across his chest; not easy to find in ordinary light.

Luckily, a couple nights later, Bambino showed up and Twain was so thrilled he placed another ad with the good news.

bambino-mark twain-cat-quote


The Pettie Award Nomination link 

cat wisdom101-cats-hats

Let’s get this pawty started. Odin is 3 today and his friend Sammy send this card. Sammy is one smart cat who knew Odin didn’t want to wear a party hat. He wanted to look nice for his new lady love, Tard aka Grumpy cat. News bulletin: I met Grumpy Cat in person yesterday in New York. She was promoting her new book and I’ll be sharing an exclusive scoop soon!


Odin said he wanted a outdoorsy pawty without hats or costumes for a natural good time. It’s hard to roll around wearing a pointy hat. So if you’re wearing one take it off. In fact, take it all off and let it all hang out. Mmmm the grass feels so good.


Time passes so quickly. Can you believe it’s June already? Early on Odin’s dual Gemini nature became apparent. Equal parts angel/devil but 100% adorable.







Odin is sweet most of time but nothing stops his inner killer. He was born to hunt. Even his teddy bears were scared.



But don’t you be scared. Come on down to the riverbank where we’re having a picnic. There’s freshly caught trout and salmon. For dessert we have organic catnip cake and mouse mousse.


Nothing fancy, just good healthy food. Well, except maybe the spiked punch. Please drink responsibly.





Odin’s wise uncle dispensed some birthday wisdom…while Grumpy Cat is being of a bit of a party pooper.















grumpy cat-birthday







Odin wanted no gifts. He is blessed to have so much and his fur brothers Merlin, Domino and Gris Gris agree. Instead, we want to give to you dear reader a bunch of prizes. If you’re in the NYC area, there’s a huge free adoption event going on all weekend outdoors at two Petco locations. Maddie’s Fund Pet Adoption Event.

cat wisdom101-cats-hats

Woo Hoo, we have PRIZES! To be entered to win, simply leave a comment. Winners will be selected by Randomizer.org and announced  next saturday. good Luck!

1) A cool black T-shirt and tote bag from World’s Best Cat Litter.

2) A large container of natural litter attractant from Litter Getter.

3) A mystery gift pack of toys, treats, and cat books+

4) 2 fab new cat books.

5) A signed and numbered limited edition print from our soon to open Etsy shop.

We will have our final giveaway of the week tomorrow for a most fascinating book about pets. Have you entered our other giveaways this week to celebrate our blogoversary? There’s still time and great chances of winning. Hardly anyone entered our giveaway yesterday for a Tuff Den, so go click on the link (s), leave a comment and you’re in.

1) Whisker Smacker Triple Treat giveaway

2) Custom Oil Painting of your cat from Paintagr.am

3) A year’s supply of World’s Best Cat Litter

4) Tuff Den Snoozer Square giveaway

Thanks again your your loyal readership. We cherish each and every one of you.

cat wisdom 101-tagline- anniversary-blogoversary

We are pleased as punch to announce our 2nd blogoversary at Cat Wisdom 101. Over a million people have visited us since we launched so I’d like to say, thanks a million! We couldn’t have done it without you, dear cat lover.

When I began blogging back in 2008 at Boomer Muse, I thought blogging was just a fun hobby. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d become a top blogger. Two years ago I launched Cat Wisdom 101 with the intention to enlighten and entertain cat lovers. I wanted it to be the best of everything cat-related with all original content from vet and cat behavior advice to my unique photographs. You can be sure I will continue to bring you dear reader the very best. In fact, I’d say the best is yet to be. In the meantime, we’ve amassed a huge archive of material you can search on many subjects. Enjoy!

Layla Morgan Wilde- Cat Wisdom 101-holistic-cat behaviorist.bmp-002

cat wisdom 101

  •  We went from a simple website to the magazine format you see today with more exciting plans to come!
  • Our Etsy shop is about to open. Take a sneak peek here at Cat Wisdom 101

cat wisdom 101-tagline- anniversary-blogoversary

When Alice in Wonderland came to a fork in the road ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”

I believe in order to know where you want to go, you need to know where you’ve been. Here are a few milestones of our journey.

World's Best Cat Litter- catvocate-cat behaviorist- Layla Morgan Wilde

We are proud catvocates for World’s Best Litter and contribute to their blog.





Two years ago I became a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association. Over the past two years, I’ve won the CWA Muse Medallions for both color and black and white photography and numerous certificates of excellence in writing.

CWA-photography-award winner-Layla Morgan Wilde-cat wisdom 101

petties-pet blogger-awards-cat wisdom 101-best -cat blog

We were proud to be finalists for Best Cat Blog last year. Nominations for the Pettie Awards begin on June 3rd and we’re counting on you for your nomination. Maybe this year with your help we can win!

The cornerstone of Cat Wisdom 101 are our boys Merlin, Gris Gris Domino and Odin who appreciate all the comments, purrs and camaraderie say thank-you! Be sure to attend Odin’s 3rd birthday party this Saturday.

cat wisdom 101- cats


While I don’t usually mention the work I do privately with cats on a daily basis, it’s something that brings me the greatest satisfaction.

I have a new monthly column at Petfinders.com. This is the first one about my adventures flying with cats and air travel tips: Flying Without Fur Flying


To enter to a chance to win simply leave a comment of what you like best about Cat Wisdom 101. This giveaway is open until 11:59 pm EST June 14, 2013. The winner will be announced on June 15, 2013. For extra chances to win, please social media share and mention in a comment where you shared.

We’re holding giveaways every day from Tuesday to Sunday and multiple prizes at our birthday party on Saturday. Be sure to visit each post for giveaway details. Have you signed up for our free weekly cat photo quotes? It’s like a private club for now. Join while you can.

We’d love you to like us on our  Cat Wisdom 101 Facebook page. We often post extra photos and other fun there. And we’ll purr for a follow at @catwisdom101 our Twitter page.

While I mention some of the cat advocacy work I do on behalf of organizations like the ASPCA, the Mayor’s Alliance For Animals and Maddies Fund among others, I don’t usually mention the work I do privately with cats on a daily basis, it’s something that brings me the greatest satisfaction. It’s my passion to change lives one purr at a time.

Layla Morgan Wilde-cat behaviorist-cats


This Memorial Day we celebrate freedom because we can. Be sure to take a break from celebrating at 3 p.m. for a national moment of remembrance and to reflect on the real reasons behind the holiday and honor those who died so that we may remain free.

There will be a whole lot of celebrating all week at Cat Wisdom 101. We’re excited to announce a giveaway extravaganza to celebrate our 2nd blogoversary on Thursday and Odin’s 3rd birthday on Saturday. There will be four separate giveaways plus tons of prizes to be won at the party this week, so be sure to visit every day. If you’re not a subscriber, there’s never been a better to time to sign up. Scroll down for your choices.

Mondays with Merlin and ManCat Monday will return next week. P.S. all our boys are well and Odin is 90% back to normal.

coco-merlin-siamese-cats-memorial day

It’s a long holiday weekend in the U.S. We’d like to thank all the service men and women who have served our country. This Monday on Meowmorial Day is let’s remember all of the cats that we have loved and lost. Our feline friends enrich our lives beyond measure, bringing love, comfort and every day joy. They deserve to be remembered with respect and gratitude.

  • There are many ways to honor their memory. Plant a tree or flowering bush. I’ll be planting a perennial garden for Merlin’s sister, angel Coco. I never mentioned it, but Hurricane Sandy left more than broken windows and garage door. We’d buried Coco under in cozy spot a tree next the the barn/garage surrounded by raspberry bushes faced a sunny south expanse of law. Never in my wildest dreams did I think anything could happen to her grave. During the storm the tree was uprooted toppling her headstone leaving an unsightly mess. The worst of it was chainsawed away but it’s still not pretty.
  • Make a donation in their name to a shelter or animal rescue cause.
  • Have a special photo of them framed or have a photo turned into a portrait or other artwork. After Coco died in 2010, I couldn’t bear to look at old photos or videos at first but now they bring fond memories.
  • Light a candle and pause to remember them for the special friend they were and what you learned from them.

It’s hard to believe how fat Merlin was three years ago, seen here with his BFF and sister Coco.

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From the same photo file I found this pic of Domino in his outdoor feral days. Note how white his fur is. The beige batch is now brown and covers most of his body. He never used to like posing for me but sometimes I get lucky like this week when he was playing follow the leader with Odin who was jumping on the birch stools earlier. Domino has never looking better but I wish I could say the same about Odin.

cat-domino-birch logs It’s been nonstop mischief for the wild boy. He finally managed to climb up to a bird’s nest but he came up empty-handed. I can only hope the fledglings had already flown the coop.


Where oh where did you go birdies?

Then the ticks arrived, attracted to his eyes, ears and muzzle. Every day I’ve been removing two or three. We bought new tick removers and wondered why the diatomaceous earth worked fine to repel fleas and ticks on everyone but him. Cats that are ill are less resistant fleas and ticks but Odin seemed as energetic as ever. It takes a lot of exercise to drain him of his super-sized energy. I caught him mid-leap scaling some logs where he like to perform parkour.


But I noticed he wasn’t sleeping with me for a few days. Something felt wrong. Then I noticed some swelling in his ear. I sprayed some Vetricyn on but the swelling continued until the abscess burst into a pussy, bloody mess. Our vet Dr. G. is arriving on Friday to check everyone out on and hopefully won’t need to come sooner!

Gris Gris rarely eats grass but I caught him the other day enjoying some select blades with a smile on his face. I wish you miles of smiles this weekend! Are you planning anything special? And have you signed up for our weekly original photo cat quote? Scroll down the white box. It’s free and fun.


cats-happy mother's day

We believe Mother’s Day is to be celebrated by anyone who loves and nurtures unconditionally whether the child has two legs or four. Cat lovers make wonderful cat moms and this post is for you. But us Cat Wisdom 101 boys, Merlin, Gris Gris, Domino and Odin have our whiskers in a snit because Layla our mom has left us, yes the horror, can you imagine??? to go on a road trip. A kind of vacation, celebrating a convocation and Bastet knows what else. It’s our sad duty to report blog posts will be scanty in the next week but rest assured we will put in an appearance on our poor mother’s behalf.

We hope you have a purrfect Mother’s Day and thank-you for loving cats!

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We have no book giveaways today but there is still time to enter our fab giveaway for Neko Flies. They’re our favorites!

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be kind to animals week-vintage-cats-dogs-humane society

It’s Be Kind To Animals Week and The Humane Society has a long history with this campaign. For over a hundred years they’ve made it their mandate to help shift how people treat animals. An interesting timeline from cruelty to kindness can be found at bekindexhibit.org

To celebrate the long history of “be kind to animals” I created this artwork from a vintage black and white image.

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In 1868, George T. Angell founder of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals published Our Dumb Animals, the first magazine advocating awareness against animal cruelty. He said, “We issue of this the first number of our paper 200,000 copies for gratuitous distribution, which we think will enable us to put one copy into almost every family in the State. Hereafter we shall issue on the first Tuesday of each month, an edition sufficiently large, to supply all the members of the Society, all subscribers for the paper, and as large a number for gratuitous distribution, as we think the finances of the Society will warrant.”

The first issue of Our Dumb Animals with their motto ” We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

animal cruelty-advocacy-our dumb animals-first magazine

These vintage posters may look dated but the message remains the same. Let’s make every week “be kind to the animals week”.

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This 1935 vintage poster “the cat they left behind” by Morgan Davis from the ASPCA is as timely as ever. Cats are being abandoned in record numbers from home foreclosures or simply by being dumped for whatever reason. At the heart of every sad story is pain and ignorance. When misfortune or tragedy hits, there is a choice. Cats can be surrendered to a shelter, a foster home found or other alternative.

be kind to animals-vintage poster-Aspca

With the advent of social media there’s no longer a reason cats, dogs or any pet to be viewed as disposable. It’s up to those who know better to teach those who don’t. One tweet or Facebook share might make all the difference in the world to one cat. We’ve come a long way in a hundred years but we can make a quantum leap forward to kindness and compassion in this generation. You can never do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it might be too late.

Kindness begins at home. Children model behavior from their guardians and their peers but it’s not enough to be kind or not cruel. Many cruelties are born of ignorance by not knowing why cats need to be spayed/neutered or any basic knowledge of cat care and behavior. I’m of course preaching to the converted at Cat Wisdom 101. Our readers are unusually savvy and it’s our mandate to continue to enlighten and entertain cat lovers.

Imagine if every reader did one act to spread the word of everyday kindness to animals.

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It’s Earth Day and we’re celebrating Mancat Monday style! Hope your Earth Day is Purrfect!

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This Mondays With Merlin on Monday is about celebrating Earth Day However, Merlin thought celebrating only one day of the year day absurd. He said every day is Earth Day for cats. Do your cats agree?

This is an old photo of Merlin before being diagnosed with kidney. He was a chunky 16 pounds and now is half that but still believes in carpe diem.

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Domino takes Earth Day literally by communing with earth.

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Gris Gris loves all things green.

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earth day-cats-quoteOdin would spend 90% of his time out in nature if he could. He loves the feel of grass under feet and a good roll in the dirt.

April is national Poetry Month and some say cats are poetry in motion. In honor of cats and poetry, I’d like to share a favorite poem about love and cats. The author wrote about his encounter with a street cat in Rome on the day he would say good-bye to the woman loved.
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Another Insane Devotion by Gerald Stern

This was gruesome—fighting over a ham sandwich
with one of the tiny cats of Rome, he leaped
on my arm and half hung on to the food and half
hung on to my shirt and coat. I tore it apart
and let him have his portion, I think I lifted him
down, sandwich and all, on the sidewalk and sat
with my own sandwich beside him, maybe I petted
his bony head and felt him shiver. I have
told this story over and over; some things
root in the mind; his boldness, of course, was frightening
and unexpected—his stubbornness—though hunger
drove him mad. It was the breaking of boundaries,
the sudden invasion, but not only that it was
the sharing of food and the sharing of space; he didn’t
run into an alley or into a cellar,
he sat beside me, eating, and I didn’t run
into a trattoria, say, shaking,
with food on my lips and blood on my cheek, sobbing;
but not only that, I had gone there to eat
and wait for someone. I had maybe an hour
before she would come and I was full of hope
and excitement. I have resisted for years
interpreting this, but now I think I was given
a clue, or I was giving myself a clue,
across the street from the glass sandwich shop.
That was my last night with her, the next day
I would leave on the train for Paris and she would
meet her husband. Thirty-five years ago
I ate my sandwich and moaned in her arms, we were
dying together; we never met again
although she was pregnant when I left her—I have
a daughter or son somewhere, darling grandchildren
in Norwich, Connecticut, or Canton, Ohio.
Every five years I think about her again
and plan on looking her up. The last time
I was sitting in New Brunswick, New Jersey,
and heard that her husband was teaching at Princeton,
if she was still married, or still alive, and tried
calling. I went that far. We lived
in Florence and Rome. We rowed in the bay of Naples
and floated, naked, on the boards. I started
to think of her again today. I still
am horrified by the cat’s hunger. I still
am puzzled by the connection. This is another
insane devotion, there must be hundreds, although
it isn’t just that, there is no pain, and the thought
is fleeting and sweet. I think it’s my own dumb boyhood,
walking around with Slavic cheeks and burning
stupid eyes. I think I gave the cat
half of my sandwich to buy my life, I think
I broke it in half as a decent sacrifice.
It was this I bought, the red coleus,
the split rocking chair, the silk lampshade.
Happiness. I watched him with pleasure.
I bought memory. I could have lost it.
How crazy it sounds. His face twisted with cunning.
The wind blowing through his hair. His jaw working.

Gerald Stern, “Another Insane Devotion” from Lovesick Poems. Copyright © 1987 by Gerald Stern. Reprinted by permission of the author. Poetry.org

It’s one of our dear blogger friend’s birthday today. Visit Marg at Marg’s Animals



On behalf of Merlin (in the card above), Gris Gris, Domino, Odin and Layla we hope you’re enjoying baskets full of fun this Easter.

The three winners of autographed copies of The Cat Whisperer by Mieshelle NagelSchneider are The Island Cats, Mary and Martha Anderson. Congratulations! Look for an email for Layla and Cat Wisdom 101.

It’s a holiday weekend and we’d like to leave the heavy thinking to others.

Odin is resting from campaigning for votes to ponder life’s larger issues.


He also thinks we should not give real live chicks or bunnies as Easter gifts. How are your cats celebrating Easter?


Even though the weather is less than balmy, all our boys are spending more time outdoors. Odin caught his first mole, was spooked by a wild turkey, played with our neighbor’s cats and climbed 382 trees. All our cats know not to venture farther than our property. Domino and Gris enjoyed less strenuous pursuits like hot stone massage and watching which way the wind blows. Merlin parked himself on his favorite wicker armchair on the porch and sunbathed to his heart’s content.


Spring fever hits old, blind cat!

Normally, I put the baby gate up to keep Merlin from wandering off the porch and leave the front door wide open to allow him indoor access while I work nearby on a laptop. I keep a close eye on our blind boy but I went inside for a few minutes. Imagine my horror when I glanced out the window to see Merlin sauntering down the driveway! He’d somehow managed to squeeze through a slat in the porch railin