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!

LION by Alison Lee Rubie

I'm so excited to introduce to you the first of our new bloggers, Big Feline Expert, Sydney-based Alison Lee Rubie!


I remember back to when I got my first stuffed lion toy. It was in a supermarket and I can remember that when I squeezed its belly, a roar sound came out. It was the start of my fascination with big cats. I had $4 on me and I distinctly remember going to the counter by myself to buy it with my pocket money. When the checkout lady scanned the toy it came to $4.95. I was almost heartbroken. However the lady behind us in line kindly offered me the extra $1 to buy that stuffed lion that day. I was ecstatic and I will never forget the kindness of that lady. I still have that lion today and he sits proudly on my bedside table as the beginning of my fascination. (Mind you he is now a part of a bigger pride of stuffed lions, approximately 20 in total I think!) He no longer roars but his roar is echoed in my actions and obsession since that day. I was 5 years old.

I am now 33 years old. My name is Alison Lee Rubie and Sarah has kindly asked me to write about some of my experiences with big cats. I make no claim to being an expert here on big cats but I do have some stories and can share some wisdom with you so I hope you enjoy my blog posts. If you’d like further information on lions you can follow my Facebook and Instagram page Lobby for Lions.

A little more about me. I am a volunteer zookeeper, currently volunteering at Taronga Zoo in the Primates and Ungulates division. I hold a Certificate III in Captive Animals that I obtained last year and since then I have had the privilege to travel to South Africa to work with lions, cheetahs, black leopards, servals and caracals. I am going back in October and I’m sure I’ll have plenty more stories to share but to kick us all off, here is a photo of Bobcat the Lion. Bobcat is a lion that resides at Kevin Richardson’s Kingdom Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa. I took this photo while on a walk with Bobcat. By that I mean we were safe in the game truck while Kevin and Bobcat walked in front of us. It was a magical experience seeing this lion walk majestically through his natural habitat. 

The African Lion – Panthera leo – is currently listed on the IUCN Redlist as a Vulnerable species. There are four classifications of a threatened species (before they reach extinction) – Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered and Critically Endangered. While the African lion is only classified as Vulnerable the rapid decline in numbers suggests that it should fall in the Endangered classification. Numbers have declined from 300,000 to just under 20,000 in the last 20 years and this number continues to fall. But there is always hope and I hold this hope along with the Feline Foundation that through spreading awareness, not for profit organisations supporting the big cats of Africa and many passionate people around the world that we can contribute to building their numbers. We hope that you will join us in this quest by spreading the word, becoming a member of the Feline Foundation and helping to conserve the world in which we live in.

Shelter Cat Sunday

This is Bobo, and this handsome young man is looking for his forever home with Bendigo Animal Welfare and Community Services in Victoria.

Bobo is a delightful little man that will bestow heaps of love and affection on you. He has blossomed since coming into BAWCS care. Always quick to greet you, he is such a friendly boy. He loves playing and getting up to mischief with his other kitten friends but he is also just as happy having a snuggle with them. He is also quite the model, as you can see by his photos, he loves the camera!! A loving home environment will see Bobo continue to grow into a confident and happy adult cat.

If you're interested in meeting sweet Bobo, check out his online profile or call Liz on 0400 979 280. Good luck cutie!

bloggers wanted!

Are you a cat-loving blogger or writer? If so we want you! The Feline Foundation is looking an elite group of bloggers, to contribute pretty much anything kitty related, on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis.

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What we’re looking for:

Arts & style editor: Home and personal style tips, arts and crafting tips, or just plain old kitty finds. Decorating, painting, photography, sewing, upcycling and just having a great eye - if those things describe you, contact us!

Little Feline expert: Do you know a lot about our domestic friends? From rescue, to introducing a new cat, to feline health and anything in between. If so we'd like to hear from you!

Big Feline expert: Calling cat big kitty enthusiasts! Have you travelled the world just to see big cats, or volunteered with them aboard? Or do you work with them at a sanctuary or zoo closer to home? Or perhaps you have a degree in wildlife behaviour or zoology? If you know a lot about big cats and how to conserve them, and you'd like to regularly write about it, please get in touch.

Cute specialist: If you're all about kitty cuteness, we need you! This project is all about love, and if you can find that love among the millions of photos and videos of kitties, then we need you!

Giveaway guru: We like to offer our feline fans the chance to win some cool kitty bits from time to time, so if you know how to secure an awesome feline find then you're the one for us!

 

If you're interested in joining our team you need to keep in mind that this is a volunteer position and you will not be paid. You will also need to become a member of the Feline Team and be willing to submit something on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis. Please email writing samples and a bit about yourself to hello@felinefoundation.org.

Shelter Cat Sunday

This SCS post is urgent. This gorgeous ginger boy is at Renbury Farm Animal Shelter in Western Sydney and is 'due' tomorrow :(

The descriptopn from the Renbury Facebook page reads: Domestic Short Hair m Ginger gorgeous affectionate natured boy who gets along well with other cats.

Please share this special boy who only has 24 hours or so. If you are interested in adopting Cobie, please call (02) 9606 6118 or email info@renbury.com.au. He is available for adoption or foster. All info here. Praying for this life to be saved!!

Also, please check out my friend Jessica's new Facebook page, she is painting cats and dogs on death row in the hopes to spread their plight. She just finished painting Cobie last night.

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Shelter Cat Sunday

Ahoy, matey! Say hello to Sailor, a very handsome chap looking for his forever home with the RSPCA in Canberra

Adorable Sailor will warm anyone's heart. This affectionate and loving boy wants nothing more than someone he can cuddle up with on a cold winter night. Sailor is quiet and settled he should adjust to his new home quickly and he is friendly with everyone he meets.Sailor has won quite a few people over already and will not take long to find his forever home.This is definitely a special boy who has so much love to give to his new family.

Sailor is 10 years young and ready to love. If you can offer him a home, check out his online profile or call Jane on (02) 6287 8100.

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Shelter Cat Sunday

This is our first SCS post here on the new blog, hoorah! Say hello to a very handsome chap by the name of Legolas! A 1 year old champagne boy looking for his forever home with Sydney's Cat Protection Society

Legolas is more than just a handsome fellow – he’s active and energetic, then once he’s worn himself out from play Legolas will be happy to stop for cuddles. His confident nature will allow Legolas to settle quickly in a new home and greet your visitors with glee. He can be a bully with other cats so could be best on his own or with a boisterous feline friend.

If you think Legolas is the one for you, check out his online profile or call CPS on (02) 9557 4818.

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The Last Blog Post at catteemission.com

The last Cat Tee Mission blog post, posted on Monday 30th June 2014:

Guys, we've made a big decision. A decision some might think risky, but a decision we feel needed to be made none the less. WE ARE CHANGING OUR NAME!!!

That's right, very shortly, Cat Tee Mission is going to become The Feline Foundation. The reason for this change is because WE have changed. When I first launched CTM, we were literally just about tees. My goal was to sell tee shirts with a message about the plight of domestic cats. Not too long after that we started selling other products too, then welcoming other artists on board to give you a whole bunch of other cool kitty merch with a wide range of designs to choose from. And then not long after that we started supporting big cats too. We also started holding online fundraisers and raffles, and I'm constantly trying to come up with ways to raise more money for cats. Something that couldn't be done through tee shirts alone. So I've been thinking about this for a long time, and we've finally gone ahead and made the decision to make the change.

We also feel that The Feline Foundation has a more professional ring to it, I wont have to spell out our web address to people anymore and it gives us a much more broad title, one we have room to move under, should we decide to expand even further and start holding events and dinner (which I would love to do). We will have a new website and logo soon, and hopefully Facebook will let me change the name of our current page too.TwitterPinterest and Instagram can all be changed at the type of a few keys, so that will happen over the coming days too.

If you're sitting here reading this thinking "but what about my tee shirt with the website on it?" never fear! catteemission.com will be re-directed to the new website and will stay that way indefinitely.

I always like to take opportunities to thank you for your support, and this is no different. THANK YOU guys, I couldn't do this without you. Make sure you're following us on FBTwitterPinterest and/or Instagram to stay up to date with all the announcements and name change-overs!

Lots of love,

Sarah xo


Design Our Logo!

We held a Design Our Logo competition before we launched our new name, and we had some brilliant entries! It was very hard to choose, but in the end we went with our amazing logo by Heidi Glasson of Hide and Create Graphic Design. Heidi captured exactly what we're all about with her design, its simple, modern, professional with an arty twist, and I especially love the back end of the kitty with her leopard spots! Congrats to Heidi and a huge thanks for giving us a bunch of different versions and our FB banner. 

The other entries we had are below, which are all amazing and you may even see one or two of them in our shop for Artist Exchange later this year too! 

Entry by Charlie Dear of charliedoodles

Entries by Sarah Preuss Design

 

Entry by Jen Moules

 

Huge thanks to everyone who expressed interest and entered our competition, we really appreciate the support!

 

Zambi Wildlife Retreat

A few weeks back I had the privilege of meeting a little rescue lion cub by the name of Sukari, who's residing at Zambi Wildlife Retreat in Western Sydney. Zambi Wildlife Retreat is the first and only animal welfare establishment in Australia that rescues, rehabilitates, re-homes and offers shelter to a wide range of species.  

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Sukari fell asleep suckling my finger. As you can tell by the look on my face I'm melting!

  From their website: "While our focus is on exotic animals needing retirement from zoo breeding programs, circus and private ownership, we also provide care and shelter to domestics, farm animals and native wildlife.  Emergency rescue is available across all species. Managed by highly qualified staff and volunteers, Zambi Wildlife Retreat ensures the health, safety and dignity to all animals in our care. LOTL Rescue, established in 2010, is the founding company of Zambi Wildlife Retreat. ZWR operates as a registered charity in NSW (Australia)."

 

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My friend Lisa (left), Sukari and my mum

  They were offering encounters with their little cub Sukari (only while she was little!) in order to raise funds to run their amazing organisation. They also hope to be open to the public soon, to raise further funds for the animals. Being a charity, they rely entirely on donations and fundraising in order to operate. Click here if you'd like to make a donation. I asked one of the keepers, Donna, to answer a few short questions about their organisation and she was happy to oblige...

 

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Belinda (one of the other people at the encounter who is keen to get involved with us here at CTM - there were 6 of us which is the maximum!) letting Sukari suckle on her finger too

 

me: Are the encounters still running? If so for how much longer?

Donna: Encounters are still available for another week only. (contact them if you'd like to meet Sukari)

me: How can people sign up for your mailing list to stay up to date about when you guys will be open to the public for special viewing etc?

Donna: You can sign up for our e-news on our Facebook page. We also sell memberships for $15.

me: What is the future for Zambi (another cub) and Sukari? Will they stay at Zambi Wildlife Retreat or are they part of a national breeding program?

Donna: The lion cubs will live their lives out together at ZWR.

me: Will you guys continue to breed lion cubs? If so for what reason?

Donna: We have no plans to breed cubs. We are a retreat for retired animals from the zoo breeding programs, circus, private ownership etc.

me: Are you guys fully funded by donations? How can people donate?

Donna: We are solely donation based. We are a registered charity. People can donate on our FB page, website or by mail. Click here for more info on how to donate.

 

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A pretty amazing place huh?!

 

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And just a public announcement: While I wouldn't normally recommend cuddling lions cubs if you're travelling to places in South Africa for example, that are often guises for the awful canned hunting industry, there are obviously times when this does not apply (no such thing as canned hunting in Australia!) and not every single sanctuary in Southern Africa that has cubs is in fact involved in canned hunting. When I volunteered at Harnas in Namibia in 2012 they had a cheetah cub and have had lions cubs in the past. All the animals at their sanctuary have come to them as orphans, because sadly, big cats and other predators are often shot in places like Namibia if the farm owners feel they are a threat to their livestock. This is a problem in itself, but in most cases they contact Harnas, or their sister organisation and our partner, Nannkuse, to hand over any orphans left behind. If places like Harnas, Naankuse, and others, didn't exist, nor would these animals. You can usually tell the good organisations apart from the more sinister ones, by the fact that they don't breed any animals, which Harnas and Naankuse do not, and if they have a release-into-the-wild program, which both Harnas and Naankuse do. That's my two cents on that serious issue!

 

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If you can help out Zambi Wildlife Retreat and the amazing things they're doing for all animals, please check out their website for ways you can help.

 

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Shelter Cat Saturday - Special Needs Edition

This is Glitch! A very pretty young lady in care with CatRescue in Sydney. She is a year old, is a DSH tortie and needs a special person for her special needs.  

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Glitch is a very sweet and smoochy special needs girl who would love a fairly quiet home with special people who will love her. She loves curling up on your lap and loves to snuggle into a warm blanket. However Glitch wouldn't suit young children as she can get a bit playful and likes to nibble her carers leg sometimes. Glitch is also getting used to her carers greyhounds but is still a bit unsure. Glitch came to CatRescue when she was about 6 months old. She looks like her back legs are on back to front because of a congenital defect (see medical notes). Her disability doesn't stop her enjoying life. She runs around like other cats. She is so cute to watch walking - her back legs make a circular movement and little bit like a seal. But it doesn't seem to hinder her other than she can't jump high but she loves to run around and play with her toys. She also travels well in the car.

 

If you would like to give this special girl a home, click here to check out her online profile or call Jenny on 0408 435 514. We hope this pretty kitty gets the forever home she deserves soon!

 

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Kitty Phone Cover Winners

A huge thanks to everyone who entered our latest giveaway!  

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We have three lucky winners today! Congrats to Eden who won the iPhone 5 (leopard cub) case, to Helena who won the iPhone 4 (exotic) case and to Colleen Boudreau who won the Galaxy S4 (roaring kitty) case! I'll be sending you an email shortly.

 

If you missed out, these cases are available to buy (along with the Galaxy S3 case) in each of these designs in our US and UK shop now - they ship to most countries at a very reasonable price. Thanks again to all those who participated in this latest giveaway!

 

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Shelter Cat Sunday

Well hello there! This sweet kitty is Shadow, hoping to find her forever home with the Animal Adoption Agency in NSW.  

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Shadow is a happy cat that loves people. She has a fantastic temperament & is a lot of fun to have around. Shadow will settle into a new home in no time. Unfortunately her owner had to move overseas & had no choice but to find her another home.

 

If you'd like to know more about this pretty girl, please call her carers on (02) 4777 4746 or click here to see her online profile. Keeping our paws crossed for Shadow!

 

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GIVEAWAY - Kitty Phone Cases!

To celebrate our new range of super cute cat phone cases we've decided to give some away!  

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Right now in our US and EU shops (who ship to most countries at a very reasonable price) you can buy the three wrap-around designs above on iPhone 4 and 5 cases, and Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 cases (sorry to all the rest - these are the only ones available to me!).

 

Today three lucky people have the chance to win one of the covers pictured, an iPhone 4 case in the Exotic design (far right), an iPhone 5 cover with the Leopard Cub design (middle) and a Galaxy S4 case in the Roaring Cat design (left). You have two chances to win. For your first entry, simply leave a comment below telling me which style you want - iPhone 4, iPhone 5 or Galaxy S4 (we are only giving away the actual ones in the photo). For your second entry, tag someone you know on our photo on Facebook, click here to do that now. Easy peasy!

 

Giveaway is open to everyone and will be drawn on Friday 20th June. Good luck!

 

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New Partnership - Neighborhood Cats

I'm so very excited to announce a new partnership! We now support US non-profit organisation, Neighborhood Cats. Based in New York, Neighborhood Cats believes that Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is not only the most humane method to end the severe feral cat overpopulation crisis but also the most effective. Neighborhood Cat's mission is to make TNR fully understood, accepted and practiced in every community.  

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Neighborhood Cats has been running many successful TNR programs since 1999. Some of their current programs are:

  • Shady's Fund which makes medical care and lifesaving services possible for community members taking care of cat colonies, who would otherwise have no way of finding help
  • Gimme Shelter! The Gimme Shelter! program purchases and distributes insulated shelters to local caretakers, to help feral cats in NY survive the harsh winter months
  • Neighborhood Cats/Humane Alliance Veterinary Scholarship Program. This program facilitates training for veterinarians in high-volume, high-quality low-cost spay/neuter to increase spay/neuters in communities with greatest need so that more animals can be impacted and overpopulation of free-roaming cats and other at-risk animals can be reduced
  • Feral C.A.T. (Community Assistance & Training). Feral C.A.T. is a Neighborhood Cats program designed to assist organizations as they establish and grow TNR programs in their own communities

 

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Photo via the Neighborhood Cats Facebook page

 

You can see from the info above why we want to partner with such an impactful and important organisation. Want to help this awesome group? Visit our US, Australian or UK shop now and get yourself some unique kitty gear and help us help Neighborhood Cats, and the other awesome groups we support.

 

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Shelter Cat Saturday

This is Kate, a beautiful DMH in care with Flick's Cat Rescue and Adoption in South Australia.  

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Black cats make great companions and Kate is no exception. This sweet and fluffy girl would love to find a furever home where she would be treated like a princess. Kate is not fussed on dogs or children, but can become scared of other cats especially if they are dominant. This sweet and affectionate girl loves her food, belly rubs and lots of cuddles!

 

To find out more about the gorgeous Kate, click here to fill out a contact form and here to see her profile. Hoping she finds her forever home this long weekend!

 

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Cat Tee Mission welcomes Nicola Rowlands

We're very excited to be welcoming Nicola Rowlands to Artist Exchange this month! Nicola is a UK based illustrator and has kindly created a kitty design just for us!  10273420_720856271291474_3748191139029304956_n

Nicola's design is in our Australian, UK and US shop now

 

Nicola designs aprons, stickers, greeting cards, tote bags, pocket manfriends, brooches, tea towels and pillows.  They are all her own designs born in her brain and materialised for your pleasure and happiness. A lot of these feature cats! Check out her Etsy shop to see all the awesome goodies available.

 

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Nicola's Boyrfriend Girlfriend Pillow Set - available in her shop

  We're very excited to have yet another custom design created by an amazing artist, just for us. These items are strictly limited though, and will only be available for the month of June. Hurry! Huge thanks to Nicola for being involved in Artist Exchange.

 

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Shelter Cat Sunday - Special Needs Edition

Meet Missy! A special needs kitty looking for a forever home with CatRescue in Sydney.  

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Missy is the sweetest little cat who deserves an owner who will show her the loyalty she deserves! Loyal, playful and affectionate, Missy loves to lay around and soak up the sun. Missy's luck changed when her previous owner moved and couldn't take her, but in fact it was just as well as her new carer could see Missy had a problem with her eye and ensured she went to a vet. It turned out it was a cancer on her eyelid. Then bad luck really set in because unfortunately there was a complication during the surgery and the remaining eye only has about 5% sight. Missy can not see very well at a close distance but is a little better at far distances. Missy will get to know your voice and respond when you talk to her rather than rely on seeing you. This will take some time in a new house so you will need to be patient. She takes time to get to know you but she is a gorgeous girl once she is settled.

 

If you'd like to meet Missy please call Jenny on 0408 435 514. Good luck to this sweet lady!

 

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Design Our Logo Competition!

We've had this lovely website for two years now, and some things have changed since we first founded in 2012. We've expanded to support big cats and we're not just about tee shirts anymore. So its time for a bit of a change! We're working on a new website and a bit of re-branding, which will remain a secret for now, but that re-branding will include a new logo! And we're giving you the chance to design it!

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Competition details:

  • Email info@catteemission.com to express your interest, where you'll then receive more specific information
  • ALL entrants will have their logo, name and website published on our blog
  • Winning entrant will get a spot on our Who Supports Us page with link to their website
  • Competition opens today, 30th May and closes on Saturday 28th June
  • All entrants are required to keep specific information regarding Cat Tee Mission rebranding confidential until after new website is launched
  • No payment will be given to the winner or any entrants. Your payment is the satisfaction of helping out a registered non-profit organisation and a spot on our website (and a huge thank you!)

 

Got any designer friends? Please pass this on! We look forward to hearing from you.

 

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