We're so lucky to have Sarah Preuss back for Artist Exchange this month! She submitted the gorgeous logo design to our competition a few months back, and it was one of my favourite designs! You can get it in our shop now on all sorts of goodies including tees, cropped tees, totes and even yoga pants in a metallic print! I just bought myself a pair! AND from now until 5th October you can get 10% off all ladies gear in the US and UK shops with coupon code THINKPINK (between those two shops they ship worldwide, but we do have an Australian shop too of course!)
Let me begin by telling you that I find the wearing of fur totally abhorrent. It is cruel and totally unnecessary. I also think it is just weird, to wear a real fox, eyes and all, around your neck. It smells funny and I really just do. not. get. it.
I think the work of Snuggle Coats is fantastic. You should check them out, repurposing fur to benefit animals is a wonderful thing to do. It also inspired my crafty fingers.
So this week I crocheted my own stol which is styled to look like my own beautiful Macy.
I decided I would share my pattern with you, it is not very hard (intermediate, perhaps?) and no crazy cat lady or gent’s wardrobe is complete without one!
Feel free to personalize by adding you own cat’s markings, the pattern is written for a single colour, but you can alter it to suit. Also if you find this more Cruella De’ville than cool, you could try making a cat in a totally unrealistic colour.
You will need:
4mm crochet hook
3 balls of 8ply yarn [I used 2 black & 1 white]
small amount of yarn to embroider the nose and mouth [I used a fleshy tone]
1 pair of safety eyes
[ch = chain, sc=single crochet, st= stitch, sts= stitches, tog= together]
Method [worked in circular rounds starting with the cats head]
1. Ch2, 5sc in second sc from hook. 5sc
2. 2sc in each sc around. 10sc
3. (sc in next sc, 2sc in next st) around. 15sc
4. (sc in next 2 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 20sc
5. (sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st) around. 25sc
6. (sc in next 4 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 30sc
7. (sc in next 5 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 35sc
8. (sc in next 6 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 40sc
9. (sc in next 7 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 45sc
10. (sc in next 8 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 50sc
11. (sc in next 9 sts, 2sc in next st) around. 55sc
12 - 155. (sc in each sc) around. 55sc
Leave work on hook. Secure eyes and embroider nose and mouth.
156. (sc in next 5 sc, sc next 2sc tog) around.
157. (sc in next 4 sc, sc next 2sc tog) around.
158. (sc in next 3 sc, sc next 2 sc tog) around.
159. (sc in next 2 sc, sc next 2 sc tog) around.
160. (sc in next sc, sc next 2 sc tog) around. Bind off.
1. ch2, 9sc in second sc from hook
2-7. (sc per sc) around.
8. sc 2sc tog, 7sc
9-26. (sc per sc) around
27. sc in next 5sc, turn
28. Skip first sc, 4 sc, turn
29. Skip first sc, 3 sc, turn
30. Skip first sc, 2 sc. Bind off.
Sew tail to the end of the stol.
Legs [make four]
1. Ch2, 6sc in second sc from hook. 6sc
2. (2scs per sc) around. 12sc
3-7. sc per sc around. 12sc
8. Sc 2sc tog, sc in next 5scs, sc 2sc tog, sc in next 3 sc. 10sc
9-10. sc in each sc around. 10sc
11.sc 2sc tog, sc in next 8sc. 9sc
12-21. Sc in each sc around. 9sc
22. Sc in next 6sc, turn. 6sc
23. Skip first sc, sc in next 5sc, turn. 5sc
24. Skip first sc, sc in next 4sc, turn. 4sc
25. Skip first sc, sc in next 3sc, turn. 3sc
Attach legs to underside of the cat’s ‘body.’ The paws of the front legs should be either side of the face. The back legs follow the direction of the tail.
Ears [make two]
1. Ch2, 4sc in seconds sc from hook.
2. (Sc per sc) around
3. (2sc per sc) around
4. (Sc per sc) around
5. (Sc in next sc, 2sc in next sc) around
6. (Sc per sc) around. Bind off.
Attach ears to cat’s head. (Mine are located at round 23)
Happy crafting cat lovers =^.^=
What a pretty girl Lucinda is! She is looking for her forever home and is currently in care with Angel Paws Inc in QLD.
Meet the stunning miss Lucinda, this very pretty kitty is looking for a family to call her own. She is still a little shy, but is starting to come out of her shell now. Once she gets to know you she is an affectionate little girl. She is also quite talkative and will keep you well informed as to when she believes its her dinner time.
Before going to Africa, I’ll be honest, I had no idea what a caracal was. I hadn’t even heard of them. They aren’t a common animal to have in Australian zoos, nor one that we would learn about, so I was completely naïve about them. But while in South Africa last year I had the privilege to work with these beautiful cats up close. They have some great characteristics and certainly have a lot of character about them.
Found across Africa, Central Asia and south west Asia (into India), the caracal – Scientific Name: Caracal caracal, is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Redlist. This is positive as it means their numbers are steady and not declining. They occupy a wide variety of habitats and are adaptable to their surrounds from savannahs to semi-desert and even scrubland and forest dwellings. Their diet consists of small to medium mammals such as rabbits and duiker and other small antelope to even birds and fish and reptiles. As with all African animals, habitat loss is a big threat to them as well as laws allowing farmers and landowners to kill without restriction. Despite these threats, the population remains steady.
Pictured here is a Sakura. She was always so calm and affectionate when we didn’t have food to give out but seemed to be a completely different cat when she knew we had food for her. It was a race to run into her enclosure, drop the food and run out, beating the snarls and hisses coming from the hungry caracal. A thrill though nonetheless for me.
I’ll be heading back to Africa on October 5 after the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions in Sydney (11am Sydney Town Hall) and plan on sending through a blog then. Stay tuned for ‘on the ground’ blogging.
Say hi to Taj, the handsome-est boy you ever did see!
Taj had an unfortunate start to life and suffered abuse. He arrived here a very scared angry kitten but that has all changed. Taj has become a lovely cat who really enjoys your company, will greet you with a meow, rub around your legs he just doesn't want to sit on your lap. He would love a home that lets him be himself and grow in his own time. Taj is no longer scared, he allows me to groom him, carry him and he loves to play. In fact Taj will play with you for hours. Taj needs to be an only cat, however he is good with cat friendly dogs. Taj just turned one and his adoption fee is $150.
If you are currently catless and have been looking for the purrfect addition to your home, well look no further! Taj is located in Turramurra with the Mini Kitty Commune. For more info about Taj, get in contact with them on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?
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.
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.
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 email@example.com for more info. And please sign this petition.
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 caracal. Stay tuned.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.