Category Archives: Julia Williams

A Spooktacular Howl-o-ween Photo Contest!

By Julia Williams

Fright night is finally here! Are you ready for all the haunting fun? More importantly, is your four-legged friend ready?

Do you have a captivatingly creepy monster costume for your pet? Or maybe you prefer to go the cute route and dress your pet like a clown or a pirate? Or perhaps just a simple pair of devil horns suits your little “angel” best?

No matter what kind of bewitching getup your pet will be wearing today – even if it’s au naturel – CANIDAE wants to see their photo, and there are pet food prizes!

Once you’ve snapped a great photo of your pet, entering the contest is easy peasy. Just visit the CANIDAE Facebook contest page to upload a photo of your pet in their booootiful Halloween costume (or just celebrating the holiday), and you might win 6 months free CANIDAE.

Prizes to be awarded:

• 6 months free CANIDAE to the pet with the most online votes
• 6 months free CANIDAE to the dog chosen by our pet-loving panel
• 6 months free CANIDAE to the cat chosen by our pet-loving panel

Contest ends at midnight PST on November 3rd. See rules for eligibility and voting information. Pets who have won any CANIDAE contest within the last 12 months are not eligible. Votes are welcome from other countries, but entries must be from the US or Canada, due to shipping restrictions.

Let the Halloween revelry begin!

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Dear Cat: (Things Your Human Needs You to Know)

dear cat cloudzillaBy Julia Williams

Last week my cat, Rocky, shared his “Dear Human” list with you. Since I am the sole two legged servant for this cheeky feline, one can reasonably assume I was the human he was addressing. Although amusing, Rocky’s anecdotes weren’t really what you’d call “fact based reporting.” To be clear, he made most of that stuff up. That cat does seem to like telling tall tales (tails?). I, on the other hand, have a journalism degree and so I have a code of ethics to uphold. No fables from me!

Right.

So…just as felines obviously have lots of things they want their human (aka the Butler) to know, we Cat People have things we need our furry companions to know. Here are a few.

Dear Cat: I have a very dependable alarm clock. If I need to get up at 5 a.m., the clock will let me know. I do NOT need your help. I don’t need you to lick my face, jump on my stomach, pull my hair, scratch the carpet, whine incessantly, or knock things off the dresser in an attempt to rouse me. When it’s time for your CANIDAE breakfast, you’ll be the first to know.

Dear Cat: Please stop swishing your big fluffy tail in my Caramel Macchiato coffee drink. I happen to like the taste of the caramel foam FAR more than I like cleaning it off the wall after you flick it there with your tail. I know you’re just trying to help me diet, but come on… the caramel foam is off limits!

Dear Cat: I appreciate that you want to help me with my housework by licking all the dirty dishes in the sink. I really do. But – and this is a BIG but – you leave a slimy residue on them, which pretty much defeats the purpose.
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Dear Human: (Things Your Cat Wants You to Know)

By Rocky Williams, Feline Guest Blogger

Hello! It’s your favorite feline scribe, here to spill the secrets of cats. Well, perhaps not all cats but one in particular – a handsome black mancat that just might be looking at you in the photo to your left. Why yes, that’s me. Aren’t I the best looking furry beast you’ve ever seen?

Oops. I’ve gotten off track already and I haven’t even begun. Today I’m going to discuss some of the things I want my human, aka “Warden,” to know. It might help you understand what your own cat wants you to know, but there’s no guarantee because like snowflakes, no two felines are ever alike. We’re individuals, baby!

Onward. Recently I overheard the Warden telling her friend about this book she was reading. The main character, Brianna, supposedly had psychic abilities; she could “hear” animals talking to her. A friend’s cat was desperately trying to get Brianna to tell his owner he didn’t like his food and wanted something different. Brianna wasn’t comfortable revealing her Dr. Dolittle ability, so she said nothing, but for days she could still hear the cat talking to her and begging her to help him.

I had to laugh, for several reasons. One, it upset the Warden that Brianna didn’t help the distraught cat. I was like, “Warden, it’s a novel! The cat isn’t real.” LOL. Two, every cat knows that when we don’t like our food, our human will be told. They won’t need to be psychic either, because we cats don’t pussyfoot around when it comes to getting the stinky goodness we love (my purrsonal favorites are the CANIDAE grain free Pure recipes).

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Do Pets Make Us Happier?

happy cats niels kliimBy Julia Williams

If you’re a pet lover like me, you probably think that asking if pets make us happier is a pretty dumb question. You may have even uttered something sarcastic like “well duh.” I thought the same thing, until I happened upon a blog post where there was quite a debate going on about that very question.

“Debate? What’s to debate?” I naturally thought. My cats keep my Happy Meter so full, there’s simply no question their furry presence makes me not only happier, but healthier – body, mind and spirit.

The arguments against pets making us happier spoke of things like the hassle of caring for a pet (personally, I’ve never considered caring for my beloved cats a hassle, but whatever); the stress that can arise when they’re sick or injured; the agitation that occurs when your dog shreds your couch cushion or your cat deposits a hairball on the new carpet. I’ll give them points on the stress and agitation issues. No one likes those things. However, I still believe that all of the positives of having a pet far outweigh any negatives.

In my article, How Do You Keep Your Pet Happy?, my furiend Guido the Italian Kitty made an astute observation when he said “My Meowster self thinks your article should be titled How does your PET keep YOU Happy?” It was obvious that all of the things I do to keep my cats happy also make ME happy. I don’t do things that make my cats happy for the sole purpose of my own happiness, but it’s definitely a fringe benefit. I am reminded of that over-used saying: Happy wife, happy life. My version would be: Happy cats, happy me.

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The Pet Selfie Craze

By Julia Williams

It’s funny how new words seem to burst upon the scene and suddenly they’re everywhere. Case in point: the one-handed self-portrait everyone now calls a “selfie.” It’s been used so often lately that the Oxford Dictionary named selfie as their 2013 Word of the Year. The selection was big news nationwide, and gave the late-night talk show hosts some fresh comedic material. Conan O’Brien joked that “The Oxford Dictionary has named selfie the word of the year, narrowly beating out twerk. In a related story, the funeral for the English language is this Saturday.”

Interestingly, there’s no clear evidence of the word’s origin. It was initially reported that an Australian named Nathan Hope was the first to use selfie, in a 2002 forum post, but he later refuted that. Regardless of where the word originated, it seems certain that selfie is here to stay. And it was only a matter of time before our pets embraced the trend. Don’t believe me? Just Google “pet selfies” and you’ll see.

Pet seflies are popping up by the thousands on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and such. There is even a Pet Selfies page on Facebook (well yeah…of course there is). There’s also a Cat Selfie app that purports to help your feline with their self-snapped portraits. You put your iPhone or Ipad on the floor and a bouncing “flaming laser” appears on the screen for your cat to chase. Cat Selfie takes a photo every time the cat touches the screen. Curiously, there is no corresponding Dog Selfie app. However, that doesn’t seem to be stopping canines from getting in on the pet selfie craze.

Below are just a few of my favorite pet selfies.

The “Is There Food on My Nose Again?” Selfie – by Misko
selfie misko

The “Budoir Photo” Selfie – by Noel Zia Lee
Unused by Noël Zia Lee OK

“Rocking the Cone of Shame” Selfie – by andersbknudsen
selfie  andersbknudsen

The “Hangin’ with My BFF” Selfie – by Kerem Tapani Gültekin
selfie kerem
The “I’m So Tie-Tie” Selfie – by David~O
selfie David O

“Extreme Close Up” Selfie – by Tina Sherwood Imaging
selfie tina sherwood
“Photobomber” Selfie – by Rocky Williams

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The “Say Cheese” Selfie – by Joshua Ganderson

selfie joshua ganderson

“High on Catnip” Selfie – by Umberto Salvagnin

selfie umberto

The “Don’t Mess with My Bone” Selfie – by Greg Westfall

selfie greg westfall

The “I Am Lion, Hear Me Roar” Selfie – by Steve Hardy

selfie steve hardy

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Clicker Training Your Cat

clicker train martijnBy Julia Williams

Not many people use the words “training” and “cat” in the same sentence. The myth that cats are untrainable is firmly entrenched in society’s mind, right up there with the false belief that all felines are aloof and unloving. The truth is, most cats are perfectly capable of learning, but most people don’t have the patience, the knowledge, or both.

Is it harder to train a cat than a dog? I’m no expert, but I’d say yes because dogs are typically more eager to please us, which makes them more receptive to learning. I doubt anyone could train a cat using only praise as a reward. Treats are the way to get a cat’s attention.

I became interested in clicker training after watching videos of highly trained felines doing basic stuff  like sitting and touching a target with its nose, as well as fun tricks such as the high five, paw shake and hoop jump. “If these kitties can learn, so can you!” I said enthusiastically to my three cats, who didn’t bat an eye and promptly went back to sleep. Apparently they’d need some convincing. Oh, and lots of CANIDAE cat treats. Rule number one: never embark on a cat training expedition without a stockpile of the cat treats your kitty loves.

Next on the list: a clicker. You won’t get far trying to clicker train your cat without one. Although some say you can use a ballpoint pen, the click doesn’t seem loud enough to me to really get their attention. Clickers are inexpensive, though – I paid a whopping $1.99 for mine.
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