Category Archives: Itty Bitty Kitty Committee

You’ll LOL at These Funny Cat and Dog Sites

By Tamara L. Waters

Aww, what a sweet little kitty! Such a cute puppy! We hear the oohs and ahhs at pet stores and of course, now online. Websites featuring adorable pictures and videos of dogs and cats doing the darnedest things make us laugh out loud. Yep, I’m talking about LOLcats and LOLdogs, and their cohorts among funny and cute pet websites. Here’s a rundown of my personal favorites.

I Can Has Cheezburger is a favorite in my house. These silly “kittehz” and their antics never fail to entertain and make us laugh, giggle and snort. As a cat lover who has a house and yard full of my own LOLcats, I know how much fun kitty cats can create. Anyone who has visited I Can Has Cheezburger knows all about LOLspeak – a misspelled, phonetic method of speech that is used with the captions on the cat photos. Around my house, it’s not unusual to hear someone asking “Mom, I can has pizza?” or “U wan know where teh Oreos are? I eated dem.”

I Has a Hot Dog is LOLcats in doggy form. The LOLdogs are as funny and cute as their kitteh counterparts and really, when it comes to LOLing, a preference for canine funny or feline funny just doesn’t matter – it all makes you laugh. The I Has a Hot Dog site has plenty to offer in the way of giggles and guffaws.

Cute Overload is a fun website that doesn’t just focus on cats or dogs, but pretty much any animal. You’ll get to see animals from every walk (and hoof) of life doing their thing and making you ‘awww’ and ‘ooohhh’ and of course laugh out loud. What’s not to love about a herd of deer resting beneath a trampoline or a precocious polar bear cub? Cute Overload shows the silly side of hamsters, bunnies, cats, dogs, gorillas and more. The difference you might notice with Cute Overload is the amount of written narrative and detail about the pictures. There is usually an explanation about the photo or video and for the most part, there is no LOLspeak and proper English grammar and spelling is usually in use.

The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee website exists for a great cause – finding homes for homeless kitties. This website features such awww-inducing kitty pics that you can’t help but love it. Knowing that the founder, Laurie Cinotto, started the site as a way to raise money and help these kitties makes it even more special. The IBKC isn’t just about being entertained by pets, but it is more about helping them. Responsible Pet Ownership writer Julia Williams has a great article about the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, and you can read it here.

Animal Planet Funny Pet has a variety of cute and funny video clips from the popular “Planet’s Funniest Animals.” The clips are usually set to music and have a narrator giving some play-by-play but they will peg your cuteness radar and make you laugh. If you’re familiar with the Animal Planet series then you know it’s the same as the long-lived “America’s Funniest Home Videos” except that it is focused on animals and features all the crazy, funny and amazing antics the animal world has to offer.

When I have some down time and need a quick pick-me-up, I have found that animals are the perfect choice. They make me laugh. They make me smile. They bring out my sentimental and protective nature, and these websites are great choices for getting a quick jolt of digital pet fun.

Read more articles by Tamara L. Waters

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Social Media Has Gone to the Dogs… and the Cats too!

By Julia Williams

Not so long ago, it used to be frowned upon for people to give human characteristics to animals, which is known as anthropomorphism (how’s that for an unwieldy word!). Those who were against it said things like “animals shouldn’t talk” and “animals can’t think or reason” etc.

My, how times have changed. This public disapproval of anthropomorphism seems to have faded into oblivion. I suppose it’s to be expected, given that the age we live in is so vastly different now, technologically speaking. The internet is firmly entrenched in the daily lives of everyone from teens to seniors. Most of us check email at least daily and visit many different websites and blogs every week. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have become the new gathering spot. Moreover, humans aren’t the only ones using social media to communicate – now there are countless dogs with blogs, and cats that tweet! Not only that, they are doing it with great success.

Consider these impressive numbers:

Surf Dog Ricochet, the inspirational canine who has raised over $20,000 surfing for charity, has nearly 5,700 Facebook fans. Surf Dog Ricochet also has her own website.

Nora the Piano Cat apparently tickles more than the ivories – she has more than 1500 Facebook fans and 1600+ Twitter followers. The Piano Cat also has her own website and blog, both of which “she” updates regularly.

● Charlene Butterbean is a surrogate mama cat to kittens fostered by Laurie Cinotto, aka, The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee. Ms. Butterbean (or “the Bean” as she is often called) has nearly 1,100 Facebook friends and the same number of Twitter followers.

Giant George, a blue Great Dane who is the world’s tallest dog according to Guinness World Records, has more than 40,000 Facebook fans.

Compare some of those numbers to the Facebook fans of world renowned writers such as Anne Rice (60,000) or J.K Rowling (58,000) and you can’t help but be impressed. Truly, the following these canines and felines have amassed in just a few short years is a testament to the power that pets have to touch our hearts.

In addition to all of the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts purportedly manned by canines and felines, there are many other technological pet inventions that indicate we are in a new era. Take for example, the Twitter-enabled dog collar from Mattel called Puppy Tweets. When the collar’s tiny device detects barking or movement, it randomly posts one of 500 phrases to the dog’s Twitter page. According to the Huffington Post, there’s also an intriguing new app from Japan called BowLingual, which supposedly analyzes your dog’s bark and translates it into one of six emotions. It syncs the phrase, which can then be tweeted through your dog’s Twitter account.

Last year, the aforementioned Charlene Butterbean wore a “Cat Cam,” a collar with a tiny camera attached that automatically snapped photos every 15 minutes. The pictures were then uploaded to the IBKC blog so readers could log on to see what the Bean was doing throughout the day – mostly sleeping, eating and kitten wrangling (but please don’t ask me how I know that).

The “Shiba Inu Puppy Cam” became an internet phenomenon in 2009. This website featured a live-streamed webcam focused on six adorable newborn Shiba Inu pups doing all of the things that puppies normally do. I confess to getting my daily virtual puppy fix, although I usually only watched for a few minutes because it seemed like every time I tuned in the puppies were asleep. Those puppies eventually went to their forever homes, and now there is a new Shiba Inu Puppy Cam with five more fluffballs the public can fawn over via their computer monitor.

Should dogs blog? And what of tweeting cats? Should people put their puppies on a virtual display for the world to view whenever they want? I don’t see why not. If one chooses to pretend that a dog can type and is sending them a message on Facebook, that’s their business. If one considers it cool to get an email from a cat (ahem…that would be me), why should anyone else care? There’s no harm done to the animals, who are probably asleep in a corner of the room while their designated “PR agent” types away to their adoring fans. Intelligent people do realize that dogs and cats can’t type. Right?

Read more articles by Julia Williams

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Every Single Cat Matters

By Julia Williams

Two years ago this August, Laurie Cinotto started a little blog called Itty Bitty Kitty Committee (or IBKC). This wonderful blog is a perfect example of how lives can change for the better, thanks to the advent of the internet. In this case, the lives changed are those of itty bitty homeless kitties—lots and lots of them!

I didn’t start reading the IBKC blog until recently, so I don’t know how long it took to “catch on,” but it’s very apparent that it has. The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee chronicles the daily lives of kittens that Laurie fosters for the Humane Society of Tacoma/Pierce County in Washington. Recently, she also participated in their annual Dog-A-Thon fundraiser for the shelter’s homeless dogs and cats.

The IBKC started with a modest goal of $3,000 which was quickly met by her readers. Each day I watched the pledges soar to new heights, and I marveled at the generosity of people from all over the world. Most had no ties to this particular shelter, but were obviously loyal fans of the IBKC. In the end, more than $23,000 was raised to help homeless kitties. This amount is not something one person could easily raise, unless they have a very wealthy circle of friends. Hence, the IBKC’s successful fundraising is a testament to the power of the “world wide web” in bringing people together for a common good – in this case, homeless kitties in need.

A talented Seattle artist named Mimi Torchia Boothby donated a beautiful watercolor painting to auction off for the fundraiser. The painting featured a colony of feral cats that live in a courtyard in a small Italian town. Said Laurie Cinotto, “I think it’s amazing that these cats who live on the streets, barely cared for, will be making a difference. These cats touched Mimi and she made a painting of them. The money from the sale of this painting will help fund lifesaving programs for cats and kittens. To me this illustrates that every SINGLE cat matters, and every cat has a purpose.”

Black, white, tortie or tabby…every single cat does matter. And as fantastic as it is for all of the cats that the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee was able to help through this fundraiser, I got to thinking what would happen if every single cat in every single shelter had an IBKC to help them. Imagine how many homeless kitties lives would improve if every shelter had a volunteer who had a blog with such a huge following, and every year they also raised this amount.

I’m so happy for the kitties that the IBKC could help, but at the same time a bit sad for all the other shelter cats (and dogs). The brutal economy of late is forcing people to make some really hard decisions about what’s best for their beloved pet, and many see no alternative but to surrender them. Unfortunately, a fair number of shelters are ill equipped to handle the number of animals they had before the economy tanked, let alone this marked increase. So an “Itty Bitty Kitty Committee for every city” would be a truly great thing, wouldn’t it?

My lifelong dream has been to open a cat sanctuary, because every single cat absolutely matters to me. Not only that, every single cat deserves to live each and every day with plenty of food, a warm place to sleep, and a home with a human who cherishes them. That’s my idea of utopia. I only hope I live long enough to see my lifelong dream become a reality.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.