Category Archives: fun and games

First Lines of Famous Novels, Rewritten by Cats

By Julia Williams

Ever since I could hold a book, I’ve been a voracious reader. That adoration for the almighty book evolved into a career of working with words, and although I’ve never written a novel, my love affair with words continues to shape every day of my life. I have even succumbed to digital books, and my kindle is now so full I could read a new novel every week for the rest of 2014.

Trolling the vast book offerings on Amazon, one trend simply can’t be ignored: cats are fast becoming some of the most popular authors of our time. Yes…cats. Those furry creatures previously content to sleep the day away, have now become prolific word chasers.

Cats have dipped their paws into many genres including self-help, humor and fiction. One day as I was reflecting on this, I asked myself “What if cats had been writing novels all along? What literary classics written by cats would sit on my shelf next to the timeless tomes of famous novelists?”

This led to pondering some famous first lines of novels, imagining what cats would have written instead. Then I thought, why not make a little quiz for you all, just for fun? See if you can guess which novels these 10 “catified” opening lines are  from. To make it easier, the names of the novels are below (scrambled). Answers are at the end – no peeking!

1. He was an old cat who trawled alone in the murky waters off the California Coast. He had gone an excruciatingly long half hour without catching a single fish, and starvation was imminent.

2. All kittens, except one, grow up to be cats who would rather spend their day napping on the couch instead of flying around with fairies in a fantasy world.

3. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a middle aged single woman in possession of a house full of felines, must be a crazy cat lady. Or maybe, she’s just crazy for cats.

4. In a hole in the ground there lived a gopher. This particular gopher had been taunting Fluffy for nigh on thirty days or so with his oozy rodent aroma, which wafted across the grassy meadow on the wind. Fluffy dreamt of nothing but getting that juicy gopher between her teeth, once and for all.

5. Boots McMillen was high on catnip. He was eloquently wasted, lovingly and pugnaciously blitzed on the nip.

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The “My Talking Pet” App Will Have You in Stitches!

My Talking PetBy Julia Williams

Everyone who knows me is well aware that I am a kid at heart. My philosophy is that you’re never too old to play. There’s a time and a place for adult stuff, of course, but I firmly believe that taking time to play keeps us young in our bodies and our minds. Nurturing your inner child is every bit as important as taking care of the adult you.

So it will come as no surprise that I discovered an app called My Talking Pet, and found it utterly hilarious. Yes, it is *very* silly, but so entertaining for your inner child as well as any actual human children you might want to share it with.

The My Talking Pet app is so easy to use, and unless you are one of those humans with no sense of humor, it will make you laugh… a lot. My inner child (I call her Baby Quirky) had more fun with this app than she’s had in a good long while. And trust me when I say, this kid knows how to play!

I downloaded the app on my ipad, but it will also work on your iphone, and there is an Android version now, too. Essentially, you take a photo of your pet, then record anything you want your pet to say. You can change the pitch from low (for doggies) to high (for kitties) or somewhere in between depending on what you fancy their voice to be like. When you’ve finished making your video, you can email it to a friend, save it on your ipad or phone, and even post it on Facebook or your blog (see my videos below!).

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Great Games for Kids and Dogs to Play Together

games for kids n dogs julie c OKBy Suzanne Alicie

Having a dog and being a responsible pet owner can be a very rewarding experience. When you have children, your dog can be more than a pet – it can be a playmate and a furry family member. Your dog needs exercise, fresh air and fun just like your kids do. With a well-trained dog and children who love and respect the animal, you can supervise a variety of fun games that everyone will enjoy.

Dog training may not be your personal specialty, but simple basic obedience training is all your dog will need to learn to play with your kids safely under your supervision. Linda Cole has shared 8 positive dog training tips that work to help you get started!

Not only are games for kids and dogs fun, but they can help improve the health and fitness of your progeny and your pet.  Exercise, agility, hand-eye coordination and a good, healthy sense of fun are great for your kids; playing with the family dog can prepare them for many types of sports and activities as they get older. Your dog may not need paw-eye coordination, but games can also improve their overall coordination as well as all the other high points mentioned above.

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Geocaching with Your Dog

By Langley Cornwell

When I was young, I used to love scavenger hunts. I think I was first introduced to hunts at Girl Scout Camp and from then on, I was hooked. I remember asking my parents to organize a scavenger hunt for my birthday party that year and the trend took off. Several of my friends followed suit, and we had loads of fun racing around gathering random things. Eventually we got too cool to run around the neighborhood gathering stuff, and the scavenger hunt craze fizzled out among my pals.

I had not given my scavenging days much thought until I ran across an article about Geocaching. According to The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Website, geocaching is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Players try to navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Players may then share their experiences with an online community of cachers. Currently, there are about 122,615 active caches in more than 210 countries.

Geocaching is a compound word including GEO for geography, and CACHING, which refers to the process of hiding a cache. This is not to be confused with cache in computer terms, which usually refers to information stored in memory to make it faster to retrieve. In this context, cache refers to a term that is also used in hiking/camping as a hiding place for concealing and preserving provisions. Geocaching containers are usually weather-resistant vessels holding a logbook along with an array of coins, plastic toys, key chains and other small items for trade.

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No Yard? 5 Ways to Still Exercise Your Dog

By Tamara McRill

While a big backyard can be wonderful for excising our dogs, a lot of pet owners just don’t have that luxury. That’s something I learned when we downsized from two lots of running space to a teeny tiny yard.

Luckily, I was able to find several solutions that worked for us, as well as some that would also work for any pet owner who has more pent-up dog energy than grass square footage.

1. Leash Up and Head Out

It might be an obvious solution, but taking your dog to a place where they can exercise certainly solves the problem. If you don’t have access to a dog park or are unable to walk your dog for long distances, then consider a friend’s yard. We make use of a neighbor’s fenced-in backyard on occasion, so my Wuppy can get in some of the free running he’s used to.

2. Hire Help

Sometimes time is an added problem, along with little yard space. If you ever run into a situation where you just get too busy to take your dog out to walk or play, then consider hiring a dog walker or taking them to a doggie daycare. That way, your dog gets all the exercise they need and deserve, and you don’t have to feel guilty about being so busy. Plus, you get to spend your spare time snuggling with your pet!

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Getting Fit with Fido: Exercise You’ll Both Enjoy

By Lisa Mason

Now that summer is officially here, it’s time to head outdoors with your dog! Going for walks and changing up the pace is a great way for both you and your four legged friend to get some exercise. However, there are lots of other ways you and your dog can get fit and have fun in the sun at the same time.

Dogs love to play fetch. You can throw a ball, a toy, a Frisbee or a stick and they will happily chase it down and bring it back to you. That’s great exercise for the dog, but you are just standing there waiting for him to come back. Change up the rules and race your dog to the object you throw. He will catch on pretty quickly and will run faster to beat you to the prize.

Build a “walk the plank” structure in your back yard. You will need four or more concrete blocks and a sturdy board (at least 6 feet long and 2 feet wide). Place the board on the concrete blocks spaced evenly. You don’t want the board to sag from you or your dog’s weight. Step up at the end and walk across the length and step down at the other end. Encourage your dog to do the same thing.

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