The Divine Macy by Jessica McColl

Macy is a DMH tuxedo and every bit the supermodel. She is svelte, sleek, intelligent and discerning in her tastes. Yes, she is the total and complete opposite of Mr. Bean.

Macy was also my first ever cat. Macy, you should know, was a victim of animal cruelty. I believe that Macy’s shy nature is at least in part, a result of this. She takes a long time to accept strangers. She is very sensitive and highly bonded to me.

I think I called the shelter where I adopted her from almost daily for two weeks when we got her. I slowly molded into more and more of a totally devoted crazy cat lady.

When Macy became ill unexpectedly, I was every bit the panic stricken first time mum. She kept vomiting and seemed lethargic, I rushed her to our Vet [another crazy cat lady]. She was diagnosed with fur balls.

Yep, I felt the fool.

I decided to write about this as recently a friend of mine exclaimed how her kitty has never had fur balls Macy was two years old when I rushed her to the vet with her first lot. So if your are a seasoned cat owner, you may not blink at what I am about to tell you, new cat owners be warned.

Fur balls are gross.

The cat will cough and hack and eject what looks like a long poop, spectacularly from their mouth. Sometimes their breakfast comes with it. Why did no one mention this to me? I imagined a little ball of fur as coughed up by Garfield.  This, it is not.

So I prefer to focus on the solution, or rather management of them. If you are unsure, a visit to the Vet is not a bad idea. On the aforementioned trip to our vet, Macy required an injection. The friction caused by the fur rubbing against her stomach lining caused inflammation, so she was in fact in pain.

Macy devotes 98% of her life to the beautification process, you can tell this by looking at her. However it also leads to fur build up in her digestive tract.

Mr. Bean is a DSH and has only ever had one. It was nowhere near as traumatic for him as for Macy. The initial advice from the vet was that prevention is better than a cure, true of so many things in life. She said to start giving them both food, which targets fur balls. Even though fur balls rarely affect short hair cats so severely, if you have more than one feline resident there is the chance that they will mutually groom. I dutifully followed the vets advice, despite the fact we had recently discussed that Mr. Bean is flat our grooming himself. She also mentioned that I should brush Macy during molting seasons, which I was already doing.

This approach worked for quite a while. You will never eliminate fur balls in your cats. That is not the aim of fur ball management. It is good for cats to throw up [or poop out] their fur balls. Better out than in, I always say. What you want to aim for is that the process is easy and non-stressful for your cat.

Recently we had a horrible episode where Macy attempted to cough up a fur ball, which she couldn’t dislodge. It resulted in her drooling for about two hours. It was terrifying. We had been giving them both a high quality fur ball food. I googled and googled and googled. Most options were not an option for us. In the end I tried a fur ball paste which you smear on your cats paws for them to lick off. It helps lubricate the fur in their digestive tract so they can pass it more easily.

Macy is highly offended by the mess on her paw, and ensures she removes every single trace of it before she steps off the spot. Which is exactly what I want her to do. So far, so good.  

Another good option is offering cat grass. Macy has gone off the cat grass as Mr. Bean has [another] truly charming habit of pooping in it. But give it a go with your cats.

If she were to read this Macy would be mortified. Fur balls, in their essence, are VERY un-ladylike.

What do you do to help manage fur balls? 

Macy has declined to show her face in light of today’s topic.

Macy has declined to show her face in light of today’s topic.

Shelter Cat Sunday

This little sweetheart is Remy, a 4 year old British Shorthair looking for her forever people with Sydney's Cat Protection Society.

Remy looks like the type of cat who would appear on the pages of Home Beautiful. Aside from being beautiful herself, this 4 year old British Shorthair adores pats and cheek rubs. She’s quiet and relaxed so if you want to share your life with a cat who is happy to simply longue about your child-free home all day and night, you should come in and meet Remy.

If you're interested in bringing this beautiful girl into your family get in contact with CPS now.

Snuggle Coats

This blog post is a bit of a sad one, so apologies in advance, but its about something that a lot of people don't realise cats are used for. (And I promise it'll get less sad about half way through.)

The fur trade.

People think of foxes, fur seals, minks, chinchillas, sables etc when they think of fur coats, WHICH IS BAD ENOUGH, but I'm sorry to tell you that in China, cats and dogs are used too. ALL of the animals used for fur suffer. They can be anally electrocuted, skinned alive, bludgeoned to death, hung, and the list goes on. And I still cannot believe that some people think that wearing, owning and buying fur is ok. Even people (well one person that I know of) on our Facebook page.

It has even been reported that you could actually be buying real fur when you think you're buying fake! So beware!

This is where this post gets a little less depressing... I'm happy to report that one of my good friends, animal lover and cat mum of four, Lisa Brennan, has started her own non-profit organisation to try and give back to the animals, using recycled fur. Lisa started her org, Snuggle Coats, so fur coats and other items can be donated to other animal non-profit organisations as enrichment for their animals.

We cannot undo the cruelty of the past – but we can partially counteract it by helping hundreds of animals each year. Donated furs are collected, disassembled and shipped to Animal Welfare Groups and used as bedding to provide a more natural and nurturing surrounding. Furs provide a more natural environment for the animals as compared to towels or blankets and the animals are often heard heaving audible sighs before snuggling into these fur donations.

If you have inherited a fur of any kind, or you know someone who has, or even if you find one in a charity shop, why not donate it to Snuggle Coats so it can now be used for good, rather than the evil it took to be created? Email Lisa on snugglecoats@outlook.com for more info. And please sign this petition.

Global March for Eles, Rhinos and Lions by Alison Lee Rubie

This blog will be a little different from me. I wanted to invite you all to come and join The Feline Foundation, Animal Works and Lobby for Lions as we march for elephants, rhinos and lions on World Animal Day on October 4, 2014.

In March we had a Global March for Lions which raised awareness of their plight and encouraged governments to take steps to ban canned hunting. 62 cities across the world march and roared. This time 119 cities are involved and Sydney is one of them! If you are in Sydney and would like to join us, you can find more information HERE.

“On October 4th people in cities throughout the world will march as one voice to save Elephants and Rhinos. The countdown to their extinction has begun. Unless action is taken now, we will lose these majestic, highly intelligent, and emotionally sentient creatures FOREVER. More than 35,000 elephants are being killed every year so their tusks can be carved into ivory trinkets. A rhino is slaughtered once every 9-11 hours for its horn. Their only hope for survival lies in an immediate end to the ivory and rhino horn trade (both "legal" and "illegal") and the chance to recover from decades of mass slaughter.” –Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions.

The Sydney march will start at 11am at Town Hall. Please come along to help be a voice for these beautiful animals.

My next blog will feature the cheetah. The fastest land creature who can reach speeds of up to 110km/per hour! Stay tuned.

Shelter Cat Sunday

This is Tank, and sadly, he is quite urgently looking for his forever home. He is currently running out of time at Blacktown Animal Holding Facility in NSW. 

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Tank is a 1/2 year old ginger domestic short hair boy who is currently at Blacktown Animal Holding Facility in Sydney. Tank is a friendly, smoochy boy who has already spent over a month and a half in the pound. This means he urgently needs a new home as cattery space is limited. If you think Tank is just the man you are looking for, head into the holding facility to check him out. The friendly pound staff will be more than happy to help you out.

Tank would make the perfect companion for anyone looking to bring a kitty into their home. Click here for more info on Tank or call (02) 9839 6161 ASAP!

Why Mr. Bean Won’t Win the Local Spelling Bee by Jessica McColl

Mr. Bean, Beanie, Bean Bag, BEAN [in Young Miss’ baby speak] is a large, goofy, loveable silver tabby. This is so fortunate. In most other aspects of his life he is a total dunce.

I often exclaim ‘there is just something not quite right about him’ to which my family laughs and my vet shrugs and says he is perfectly healthy.

But he does silly things. VERY silly things.

Let me enlighten you, he falls off the back of the couch, he consistently thinks my bookmark [which sports the eyes of a tabby cat] is an actual real cat, he fights the mark on the wall every few days, tries to hide in places far too small for his frame – resulting in him becoming stuck, the list goes on.

When we first got him as a nine-week-old kitten, he wasn’t totally litter trained. He was the product of an unwanted litter belonging to a family cat [read: DESEX YOUR PETS] and was therefore dropped off at the local shelter with all of his siblings. The whole litter was adopted in the first weekend, they tell me. Mr. Bean’s second family were looking for a cat to accompany their six-year-old cat. They introduced them by letting them romp together all weekend. The issue with this slap bang approach to introducing a new feline family member resulted in poor baby Beanie being attacked all weekend. He was promptly re-surrendered on Monday, as it was “too disturbing” for his new family to witness. Fast forward a week, and I went to the shelter on my day off. I often visited to cuddle the shelter cats. On this occasion I wanted to discuss getting a friend for Macy.

As I sat in the kitten room, Mr. Bean jumped straight on my lap, onto my shoulder and when he tried to follow me out the room, I knew he had chosen me. A quick call to the ever-obliging new husband and Bean came home with me. I followed the book exactly in terms of introductions. Mr. Bean was isolated for ten days while I slowly introduced them. Problem was, the stress of being in his third home took its toll on the wee boy. He began to poop outside his litter box; he even pooped blood, a sign of extreme stress in cats.

Once we got that sorted he has been pretty good about using the litter box. I no longer use multiple litter boxes because both Macy and Mr. Bean prefer to use the same one. I also always use hooded litter trays. When we first got Macy she was tiny and couldn’t use the door flap of the tray so I have always been in the habit of removing the door when I get a new tray.

Mr. Bean developed a truly charming habit recently. I first noticed it when I walked into the dark laundry one night and stepped into a puddle. Yes. He peed on the floor next to the litter box. I couldn’t work out why, nothing had changed that I could think of, and he didn’t show signs of stress, and the litter and box were the same. I googled, I consulted the Feline Foundation’s own Sarah, my dear friend and unofficial consultant on all things cat. It was truly baffling.

Then one day I caught him in the act. He was actually standing in the litter box and peeing straight out the door. I had a real life cat fountain in my house.

Joy.

Inappropriate toileting is completely different to having bad aim.

 I googled again, all these solutions: cut up a storage container so it is deeper [a ‘see through toilet’ – Pristine Macy will love that] a really deep tray, a bigger tray [bigger than our pre existing extra large?!], a puppy wee mat outside the litter door – it all made my head spin.

I actually used the most unremarkable solution. I bought a new hooded litter tray and decided it was time they both learnt to use the door. That way Mr. Bean’s urine would hit the door at worst. 

Macy went straight in, used it and came out like she had been doing it all her life. Macy has that cluey feline nature. I always think to myself that if she were on the mean streets again, she would have a fantastic set of survival skills that would emerge and she would be stealthy and unfathomable.

I showed Beanie how to use it initially, as it totally baffled him. After using it for about a week or so there have been no waterworks out the door, I am pleased to announce.

However yesterday, Beanie went in and couldn’t work out how to get back out.  If he were to be a street cat, he wouldn’t last five seconds.

This my feline loving friends, is why he won’t be willing a spelling bee.

Mr. Bean checking the mark on the wall is staying put while the rest of the family relaxes.

Mr. Bean checking the mark on the wall is staying put while the rest of the family relaxes.

Cheetah Drawing by Nafisa RAFFLE WINNER!

Thank you so very much to everyone who got behind our very first raffle! We were very kindly donated an original drawing by my friend and renowned artist Nafisa, and we raffled it off with all funds going to the big cats at our partner Naankuse's, wildlife sanctuary in Namibia, Africa.

We recently learned of the amazing news that we had funded a GPS tracking collar that has been deployed on a wild leopard that had been trapped by a farmer. This basically means we saved the life of a leopard because the GPS collar allowed him to be released right away. More info here.

I'm very excited to announce the winner of this amazing drawing - ELLIE ROBERTSON - who purchased 3 tickets back in May. Congratulations!!! You'll be receiving an email from me shortly.

Once again, if you bought a raffle ticket, THANK YOU, you are directly helping save the lives of big cats in Africa!

The Feline Foundation Welcomes Charlie Dear

We're super excited about this month's featured Artist! Charlie Dear of charliedoodles was a participant in our logo contest when we were making the transition from Cat Tee Mission to The Feline Foundation. We absolutely LOVED her logo, below, hence the fact we are using it for this months Artist Exchange!

Charlie is an illustrator based in Perth, Scotland and her designs are initially created by hand, before being tansformed on the computer. Be sure to stop by and check out her work on her website

You can get Charlie's awesome design in our Australian, UK and US shop now on tees, tanks and totes. And at the moment there's 15% off in the US and UK shops with coupon code SHIRTS15! Buy a tee, save a cat!

Shelter Cat Sunday

Meet Ace, a striking black DSH looking for her forever home with Pets Haven in Victoria.

Ace's previous owner suddenly passed away, leaving behind 4 cats [including Ace] at a caravan park. Ace now needs a forever lasting home where she will be loved and adored.

If you can offer ace to secure home he deserves, check out his profile or call (03) 5427 3603.

Shelter Cat Sunday

Say meow to Chop Chop (who may need a new, more refined name?!), he is looking for his forever home with Western Australian's rescue group, Saving Perth Animals From Euthanasia.

Uncle Chop chop is a superfriendly boy, who loves running alongside you and sleeping on your bed. His longhair and big head gives him a real boofy look, he is absolutely ok with woman, kids, big dogs, other cats. So far he is till a bit wary of men, perhaps this has to do with his past? We are convinced though that with time he will be a best mate to a bloke. So if you would like to take uncle Chop Chop home, then contact his foster mum quick :)

For more info on this very cool tabby, have a look at his profile or call his foster carer on 0406 742 686. 

Zoonoses Vs. Cat Noses by Jessica McColl

To avoid the suspense, Zoonoses is the scientific name given to a disease that is carried by animals and can be passed to humans.  As a parent, this one comes up a lot. So let’s cover the two that seem to pop up the most, ringworm and toxoplosmosis.

Ring Worm

Is not a worm. I repeat THIS IS NOT A WORM! Ring worm is a fungal skin infection [think tinea] which can be passed from infected animals to people. It can be spread through contacted with an infected animal or through contact with microscopic spores which have been shed. It is not limited to cats. Active ringworm infection presents as a rough, scaly patch of skin which is often raised. It is typically round and itchy. In animals, it causes their hair to fall out where the lesion is.

An interesting fact is that you are more likely to catch it from an infected child, than the cat. The cat is also more likely to catch it from your infected child than vice versa. Ringworm spreads rapidly amongst children as they often use public playgrounds and come into rather close contact with many other children. The lesions take 3-4 days to come out, so the children they are playing with may have an active infection with no visible outward signs.

I have come into contact with animals who have ringworm, and have not caught it.

In humans it is treated with a topical ointment applied to the lesions. In animals the vet will usually prescribe antibiotics which they will need to take for a few weeks.

Toxoplosmosis

This is a serious zoonotic disease by which a tiny organism passes it’s eggs through the cats faeces. An effected cat will often show no symptoms, an infected adult may have a slight cold at best. The larger concern is amongst pregnant women, for whom toxoplosmosis infection may have serious effects on the unborn child.

Toxoplosmosis can be passed from the cat for three weeks after it has come into contact with the organism. If your cats are indoor only cats, the risk is virually zilch. If you have lived with cats for a period of time, you are also highly unlikely to catch it.

The best way to avoid it is, would you believe, through practicing good hygiene. If you have been picking up your cats poop bare handed and are pregnant, now is the time to STOP!

Good hygiene practices include washing your hands after you pet your cat and especially before you eat. You can ask someone else to change the litter box, however you can do it yourself so long as take precautions such as wearing gloves and washing your hands thoroughly once you are done. Another nifty solution is to use litter pan liners. These are like a bag which sits inside the tray, when it is time to change the litter you simply remove the liner, it holds the contents of the tray and you come in no contact whatsoever.

Toxoplosmosis being transferred from cats is not as common as fear mongering parenting websites and the media would have you believe. The most common way to contract it is through consuming uncooked/ partially uncooked meat and unwashed fruit and vegetables. So if you are pregnant it is a good idea to be especially vigilant in your food preparation. I would also err on the side of caution and not feed my cats raw meat, if this is what you would usually do, I would slowly introduce them to a high quality, commercial wet food or cook their meat.

Now about cat noses. Don’t they just have the cutest little noses! I am going to be biased and say my Macy wins the most beautiful nose category with her Marilyn Monroe esque beauty spot.

Comment with your kitties’ cute nose – I’d love to see them!

Giveaway!

Want to win one of my ceramic cat heads?  All you need to follow my art account on Instagram: @_sarahmenzies and repost the photo below with #catsandclay. For a second entry, subscribe to my art blog by clicking here. Easy peasy!

I’m not lion… by Alison Lee Rubie

Walking peacefully through the savannahs of South Africa, Kevin Richardson (The Lion Whisperer) and Bobcat the Lion were exploring the surrounds while Gabby the Lioness ventured off on her own. Sitting in the truck with the other volunteers my attention turned to Gabby and her adventure. Gabby had found a herd of wildebeest and was stalking them as potential prey. She crept towards them before one of the herd noticed her. Startled the wildebeest galloped forward to the rest of the herd. Gabby continued to walk towards them, her intentions clear. Then without warning, the wildebeest outsmarted her (very rare!), they turned on her as a group and started to walk, almost charge towards her. Gabby thinking the situation through thought it best to retreat and returned to Kevin and Bobcat for the remainder of the walk. Her confidence was shaken a little but she continued on. It was very exciting to witness that first hand. All of Kevin’s lions are fed meat that has been prepared for them by Kevin’s team and volunteers. The meat is donated from farms around the area where animals pass away from natural causes. Kevin does not require his lions to do their own hunting and it is rare for one of his lions to go on a hunt like this so it was pretty awesome to watch even though she was unsuccessful.

Gabby on the hunt

Gabby on the hunt

Did you know that the lioness will do the majority of the hunting for the pride? The lioness will generally hunt either first thing in the morning or around dusk. They are nocturnal animals choosing to sleep during the warmth of the day and be active at night most of the time. Being careful not to expose their cubs when hunting they hide their cubs in dens before going out to hunt for them and return with food. On the menu is anything ranging from rabbit to zebra to wildebeest (if they are brave enough!) While lions are excellent hunters they are also known to be scavengers as well, electing to not exert the energy required to hunt if they find a suitable feed that requires much less energy to obtain.J The majority of the feline species are nocturnal with the exception of some cats like the cheetah that are diurnal (day time animals).

If you would like to volunteer in South Africa, I couldn’t recommend Kevin Richardson’s Sanctuary more. It is an ethical place to volunteer and the experiences you will have will last with you for a lifetime. If you would like more information you can go to their website www.lionwhisperer.co.za and click on the contact list. Let them know you heard about them through the Feline Foundation or Lobby for Lions or myself. It will be the start of an adventure. You won’t regret it.

Shelter Cat Sunday

Say meow to Erich, a gorgeous fair-haired man from Sydney's Cat Protection Society.

With the fair hair and chiselled features that would make a Viking jealous, the gorgeous Erich will have you swooning from the moment you meet him. Erich has an inquisitive nature which helps him quickly adapt to his new surroundings. He has decided that he doesn't want to become friends with any other cats and would prefer to be your one-and-only feline.

If sweet Erich is the one for you, check out his profile or call (02) 9557 4818.

Leopard Research in Namibia

I'm very excited to announce we have collared our first big cat in Africa! By that I mean that we have funded the cost of a GPS tracking collar, and together with our partner charity, N/a'an ku se Foundation in Namibia, we have put it to good use on a young leopard caught by a farmer. The information below is the report I was sent from N/a'an ku se last week. 

The research department at N/a’an ku sê Foundation received a call for assistance from a Namibian landowner, located 170km west of Windhoek, on the 29th of July. After losing several cows to what was suspected to be spotted hyenas, trap cages had been set out in an attempt to catch the offending livestock raiders. However it was not hyenas that got caught but a leopard instead.
The research team travelled to the site the day after receiving the call. Upon arrival we found a very healthy young male leopard approximately 3-4 years old. The landowner reported that he has not experienced any problems with leopard attacking his livestock and was therefore enthusiastic to help; giving permission for the leopard to be fitted with a GPS tracking collar and released immediately.
This leopard (N082) is now the 82nd large carnivore to be fitted with a tracking collar by the research team. The landowner joins the list of Namibian farmers who receive daily updates on the movements of the collared animals in a co-operative effort to understand and conserve the large carnivores of Namibia.
The researchers sincerely thank The Feline Foundation (CAT TEE MISSION) for sponsorship of the GPS unit that enabled the immediate release of this leopard. Without such external support our conflict mitigation work would not be possible.
— Stuart Munro, Research Department
Our leopard being collared

Our leopard being collared

A quick health check for our young man

A quick health check for our young man

The coolest thing for me in this whole process, apart from the fact that we gave this leopard another chance at a wild life, is that I was given the opportunity to name him. I decided on Ollie, after my own little-big cat. He will still be called N082 most of the time for research purposes, but that is also cool in itself because I was born in November of 82!! Seems like it was meant to be...

The Feline Foundation is so proud to be partnered with N/a'an ku se who are doing an amazing job in the fight to save Africa's great cats. Please help us help them by buying some merchandise or by purchasing a raffle ticket to go into the running to win an original cheetah drawing by renowned artist Nafisa. 

Shelter Cat Sunday

Meet Paris, a very dignified young lady in need of a home in QLD. She is being cared for with Animals In Need Rescue.

Paris was brought in as a stray and not claimed. Now she has had all her vet work done and is looking for her forever home. She has become very friendly and loves to be near you. She will be a great companion. Initially we thought she would be better as an only cat but she has blossomed in foster care and is now happily sharing with four other cats!

If you've always dreamed of visiting Paris, why not let her come to you instead?! Check out her online profile or get in contact via the contact sheet to find out more about this gorgeous tortie.

When Baby Makes Five - Part 2 by Jessica McColl


Oh you will hear them all when you are pregnant, every terrifying cat myth conceived in the mind and passed down through generations by a million old wives. It really gets my goat, cats end up with a one way ticket to the pound/ shelter over this.

However, I can empathise.

Some deep, biological impulse kicks in when you are pregnant, and you will do anything, absolutely anything to keep your new little progeny safe. This does not mean giving up your cat. I wish more prospective parents realised this. I have even read baby books where they suggest giving your cat to a friend to mind for the first year * face palm*.

So here are my two favourite myths debunked, from my own first hand experience.

CATS STEAL THE BABIES BREATH

Everyone reminded me of this. If I had one dollar for everytime someone said this to me, I would be writing this post on the back of a postcard from my chalet in the South of France.

I never suspected my cats to be the breath sucking demons they were pitched to be by my well meaning grandmother, however I still brought the ‘cat net’ which covered Young Miss’ bassinet.

Let me just say that my cats would have rathered been fried alive than sleep next to the unpredictable, sqauling, ticking time bomb that resided in the bassinet. They will sacrifice the warmth of another human body for peace and quiet.

Oh, and as for smelling the milk on the baby’s breath, puuhleeaase. My cats don’t drink milk. Neither should yours. It is not good for them.

JEALOUSY

Why would they be jealous, pray tell? You read PART I, I prepared them for months and months before Young Miss even arrived. Apart from having a new housemate [ which came with the added benefit of their much adored Mistress was on leave from work], the rules were still the same. They still got attention, still got spoilt, still are included, still are members of our family.

Seems obvious to me.

Now baby has turned into toddler. She simply adores the cats. Macy, being the wiser of the two keeps a safe distance. She bears no malice towards Young Miss, but is not interested in being friends just yet. She also doesn’t really like my husband, but don’t tell him that.

Mr Bean on the other hand, is thrilled right down to his little white socks to have another person to shower him with affection. We constantly reminded her to ‘be gentle,’ and ‘Bean’ [as she calls him] as has been exceptionally patient while learns, letting out the tiniest of mews to let her know what he doesn’t like. He is also thrilled at the prospect that Young Miss tries to feed him everything she has as she exclaims ‘share.’ My cats have never been allowed table scraps, trying to keep it this way is… challenging.

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Some time after her first birthday, I took Young Miss to the Cat Protection Society of NSW to meet the shelter cats. I want to instill within her a sense of compassion and stewardship, so I am starting young.

Now let’s all have a good laugh, share your best cat myth below!

The Feline Foundation Welcomes Sarah Preuss

Because of the big name change, we skipped Artist Exchange last month, but this month we're very excited to welcome Sydney based designer, mum and cat-lover Sarah Preuss. Sarah created the beautiful digital artworks below for her friend Antonia, and is also lending them to us (hoorah!) so get these awesome limited edition items while you can.

We're a few days late with this post, so we'll keep this design in the shop until mid-September. They're available now on tees, totes, mugs and phone covers in our Australian, US and EU shops, AND you can get 50% off phone covers in our US shop right now with coupon code TAKECOVER50. 

Huge thanks to Sarah for being a part of Artist Exchange! Make sure you head on over to her Etsy shop to have a little look at all her lovely things.

Shelter Cat Sunday

This is Arry, a sweet girl who was destined to a life on the streets until she was rescued by the Homeless and Abused Animal Rescue Team in Western Australia.

Arry is a shy kitten, but she can be affectionate and especially loves you at dinner time! Arry was trapped with her mum and 3 siblings from an industrial area at a very young age, she has adjusted to homelife very well but she would suit a quiet home better. Arry's best friend is her sister Dany HC-226 and if the two could be rehomed together that would be fantastic, as they have been together since birth.

If you're interested in meeting Arry (and perhaps her sister Dany too), click here to view here profile or call 08 6336 9410. 

When Baby Makes Five by Jessica McColl

I'm so excited to introduce to you the second of our new bloggers, artist, teacher, cake maker and mother of fur and fur-less babies, Sydney-based Jessica McColl!


We adopted our two rescue cats in the early days of our marriage, Macy [supermodel tuexedo] and Mr. Bean [silver tabby boof] while living in a trendy harbourside suburb of Sydney. They were referred to as our furrbabies, by us and all who encountered us. Even the landlord treated them with a sense of reverence. They were a little * ahem * spoilt.

A few years, a move to the suburbs and two pink lines later meant we would be bringing a non furry baby into the mix. We were excited, terrified, everything.

People always ask about how the preparations are going; which pram will you choose, which baby carrier, how many nappies, how many tiny outfits and mini baby booties, what will go in the hospital bag, cot or bassinet, have you painted the nursery, when will you finish work  and my personal favourite : Oh God, what will you do with the cats? [commence inward eye roll].

My first preparation, at three months pregnant, when most people didn’t even know there was a tiny fetus on board, was to prepare my furry babies. I slowly began changing the rules of the house. Here are some of the preparations I made:

1. First thing I stopped doing was allowing my two very much lap cats, to jump on laps at will. Sometimes I would let them, sometimes I wouldn’t. I hated it, but it was important for them to understand that there were times they couldn’t be on my lap. Macy took this with good grace. It is simply her nature. Mr. Bean on the other hand took much longer to get the hint. Once rejected from my lap, he began sitting across the back of the couch and draping him self over my shoulder. As you can see, that did not change once Young Miss was born.

2. The room that would become Young Miss’ nursery became off limits during the day for a few weeks. I was concerned about this the most as the cats always slept in there at night – which is why I started making it off limits during the day first. After a few weeks I made it off limits at night too, by this point they were used to the door being shut part of the time and didn’t really care once it was closed full time.

3. We got them a rather tall cat tree. I wanted them to have a high place to retreat to should they need it. Again this is an environmental change, all these changes should happen gradually and spaced well apart.

4. I tried playing them the baby noises. They cared about as much as you would imagine. I am not sure why that always gets suggested by the baby books etc. Even boofy Mr. Bean can tell the difference between the ipad and a newborn.

5. I invited young children over, to which the cats hissed and hid on each occasion. I was a little concerned about this but figured if it was still an issue when Young Miss was born we would work on it then.

6. A few weeks before Young Miss was due I organized my Sister Inlaw to come look after the cats while I was in hospital. We had a set of keys cut and gave them to her, I also showed her where the food was kept an wrote out some feeding instructions which I taped inside the cupboard door. As I suspected, once labour hits, you don’t want to be dropping off keys. It was as simple as sending her a quick text “Please feed and cuddle my cats”.

7.While I was in hospital I got my husband to bring home little outfits and receiving blankets which had Young Miss’ scent on them. He reported back that they were ‘mildly interested.’

8. When we came home from hospital I was very nervous as to how they’d react. I also had been missing them a whole lot and didn’t want them to be upset with me. I got my husband to carry Young Miss inside in her capsule so that I could greet them without them thinking I’d ditched them for someone else for the past five days.

Did they notice the capsule? Of course.

Did they care? Of course not. Their Mistress, formerly M.I.A was returned, she smelt funny and hadn’t given a good pat in an eternity.

They did look like someone had given them an electric shock when she wailed for the first time , and it did take them a few weeks to not run and hide everytime she cried.

Tune in for Part II soon…

In the meantime I would love to hear how you prepared you furry babies for your hopefully not –so-furry baby/s!