Category Archives: Julia Williams

What’s On Your Cat’s Bucket List?

By Rocky Williams, feline guest blogger

Hey there! It’s your favorite furry beast, Rocky! It’s been awhile since I’ve been allowed to put my paws to the keyboard for the purpose of entertaining you. The Warden said it’s because “A little Rocky goes a looooong way.” Harumph. I don’t know what she’s talking about. Most people say they can’t get enough of me! Well, technically I haven’t ever heard anyone say that, but I’m sure they MUST be thinking it.

Yesterday I was enjoying a fabulous sun-puddle siesta when I was jolted awake by that rude Suck Monster. After it noisily ate everything on the floor and went off to digest its meal, I couldn’t go back to sleep because my Bucket List kept running through my head.

I just had a birthday – I’m 11 now! – so I’ve been pondering that ginormous list and wondering how I’ll ever cross off all the impawtent things I want to do before… before…well, you know. The Warden assures me I’m in tip-top shape and will have plenty of time to get ‘er done…but I’d rather zip through that list now, just in case. Besides, it’s not like I have more pressing matters. Catnaps can wait.

I know you’re curious as a three-legged rhino to know what’s on my Bucket List, and I’m only too happy to share. Mind you, this is only a partial list, because I’ve been given a word limit here.

A Cat’s Bucket List

1. Go on a date with a cool famous cat, like the pleasingly plump Pusheen. Oh wait…she’s not a real cat! Scratch that.

venus2. Make out with Venus the split faced kitty. (Her two-toned face is amazing and yes, she IS a real cat, not photoshopped as some people believe!).

3. Eat a corn dog at the County Fair. (What cat wouldn’t love to eat a dog? MOL).

4. Defeat the evil Suck Monster once and for all. (This, I firmly believe, is every cat’s dream).

5. Sharpen my claws on every square inch of the Warden’s carpet. (DONE!).

6. Have a “Stinky Goodness” pawty with ALL 17 flavors of CANIDAE cat food lined up for me to sample one right after the other. (I predict a Stinky Goodness coma afterwards, but it’d be worth it).

7. See Luna the Fashion Kitty “in the fur” (i.e., she won’t be wearing one of her infamous tutus, wink wink).

8. Rub noses with “Tara the Hero Cat” who courageously went after a dog that was attacking her 4-year-old human brother. I’d like to think my strapping ManCat self would be as brave as Tara if someone attacked my Warden, but something tells me she’d be left to fend for herself while I hid under the bed.

9. Go 24 hours without having to endure the Warden’s sloppy kisses and groping hugs. Just one measly day without her fawning all over me – is that too much to ask?

10. Meet my crush, Meg Ryan. Now SHE could womanhandle me as much as she liked!

Some of my feline friends wanted to share their bucket list too.

Janiss Garza:  Sparkle wants to make the cover of Cat Fancy.

Dean McCaughan:  A hairball in every room. And catch the red dot.
bucket list alisha vargas
Lori J.: Cory wants access to the Tillamook Cheese Factory for a night. And free access to a whole roasted Costco chicken. No sharing!

Peggy McNamara: Laila would like to go to Costco to pick out her own box.

Debbie Glovatsky: Waffles hopes that someday KFC will sponsor our blog.

Julie Church Cat Mackenzie: Chopin would like to walk across piano keys. Tinker, since I call him my little teddy bear, would like to visit a human toy store; Anastasia says, “Bucket list, Schmucket list. I’m still waiting for my personalized tiara.”

Sue Grybel Doute: Mine have never had the opportunity to hunt a real live mouse… I know this would be on Wally and Ernie’s bucket list.

Rene Schweitzer: Having recently lost a cat, I compiled a bucket list for him. He only got to complete one item: eating raw corn on the cob. Other items were eating grass and pizza cheese.

Nora Peluso: Buddy would like to stay out all day in the horse field eating as much grass as he wants…then come inside for stinky goodness!

Cathy Keisha: I wanna walk on the ceiling or actually touch the ceiling which is 16 ft. high. All our furniture is too short.

Marjorie Dawson: I wanna fly and reach the birds! Sienna

Lori  J.: Figaro wants to be able to fly with the butterflies.

Top photo by Julia Williams
Middle photo courtesy of Venus the Amazing Chimera Cat
Bottom photo by Alisha Vargas

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Do Our Pets “Mirror” Aspects of Ourselves?

mirrors jennie faberBy Julia Williams

There is a popular metaphysical concept that goes something like this: every person in our life is a mirror, i.e., they reflect back to us some aspect of our “self” that will help us grow as human beings. The theory is that everyone we meet gives us the opportunity to see who we are with greater clarity, much like holding up a mirror and gazing at our reflection. Further, it’s said that the attributes in others that bug us the most are the areas within our own lives that need the most work.

Whether it’s true or not is anybody’s guess. The thing about a concept like this is that science can’t prove or disprove it, so we can either choose to believe…or not. Personally, I’m inclined to think there’s some truth to the concept.

It got me to thinking. If every person offers this learning experience, this opportunity to really understand who we are, then what about other living beings in our lives – our pets? Many of us are as close to our pets as we are to other humans. It stands to reason that every being we allow into our lives could offer this potential for personal growth. And as with humans, could it be that the pets who are particularly challenging are the ones who offer us the clearest mirror to our own flaws?

Take my cat Rocky, for example. I love him to the moon and back, but he has one habit that annoys me greatly. He is food obsessed, and he thinks nothing of making a grab for whatever is on my plate – while I am in the middle of eating it, no less – or jumping onto the kitchen counter to eat his CANIDAE food before I can finish dishing it into his bowl. (Trust me, it’s impossible to put cat food in a dish with his fluffy face in the way). It would seem that he has no control over these food-related urges.
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The 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival

catvidfest 1By Julia Williams

I’ve never been to Minnesota, but I’ve wanted to go ever since the shopping mecca known as the Mall of America opened. Now I have another reason, a much more compelling one actually, to add this fine state to my travel bucket list – Minneapolis, MN is where the annual Internet Cat Video Festival takes place!

The What??!

Yes, I heard you say that. This is likely what I also thought the first time I heard about the Internet Cat Video Festival, aka Catvidvest. Now I just say … what a great idea! That, and why didn’t someone think of this sooner?  I mean, we all love to watch funny cat videos, right? What could be better than sharing the experience with thousands of other cat people?

catvidfest 3Catvidvest is billed as an “offline celebration of online cat videos.” The live festival offers feline fanatics an opportunity to come together to watch a curated collection of cat clips in a social setting. In other words, the Internet Cat Video Festival provides people like me a much- desired way to “be among my people,” i.e., those who adore cats and aren’t afraid to tell it to the world.

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Dog Themed Museums

dog museums theilrBy Julia Williams

If you’re a dog lover and your summer travels take you to Missouri, Texas, Tennessee or Alaska, you might want to check out the following museums dedicated to our canine companions.  These woof-worthy dog museums feature original art, books, videos, historical information, dog collectibles, dog toys and a whole lot more.

American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog

The AKC’s Museum of the Dog claims to be “Home to the world’s finest collection of art devoted to the dog.” Now, I have not traveled the world in search of dog art nor have I been to this museum in person. However, if what they showcase on their website is indicative of the quality of dog art found in the museum, I’d have to agree. It looks doggone impressive!

Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the Museum of the Dog displays more than 700 original paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, bronzes and porcelain figurines as well as decorative art depicting man’s best friend through the ages. The All-Star Dogs Hall of Fame features colorful wall murals painted by the American artist Stephen Hubbell, and story boards created by the international design firm Hellmuth Obata Kassabaum. Also on permanent display is a Dogs of War exhibit with historical photographs, limited edition prints and memorabilia on the famous WWII Yorkshire Terrier mascot named Smoky.

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How Do You Keep Your Pet Happy?

Belle happyBy Julia Williams

Every now and then my mother, a true non-pet person if ever there was one, says something along the lines of “Your cats sure are spoiled.” I smile and say “thank you.” I know she doesn’t mean that as a compliment, but to me it definitely is. If I am spoiling my cats, it means I am doing everything I can to make sure they are happy and healthy, and feel loved and appreciated.

Unlike spoiled children who run the risk of becoming brats who feel and act entitled, spoiled pets are just contented creatures who have a wonderful life. Are they thankful for it? I’m sure there are those like my mother who believe animals don’t have the capacity to feel thankful, or happy or sad either, for that matter. But we know better, don’t we?

Who among us can say that we haven’t seen looks of sheer joy on the faces of our pets? The greatest thing about making a pet happy is that it’s actually quite easy. They don’t ask for much other than to be well fed and well loved – now, how hard is that?

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Book Review: Lessons in Stalking

lessons in stalkingBy Julia Williams

I have had the pleasure of a cat’s company for all of my life. Without giving away my age, let’s just say that this amounts to a very long time. Cats have been my BFFs ever since the cute yellow kitten my toddler self inexplicably wanted to name Blacky (sadly, I was outvoted). I think it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about cat behavior. Which means that whenever I start reading a new cat book, I can tell within the first few pages whether the author really “knows” cats, or not.

As it happens, sometimes people who have a cat decide to try writing some funny stories about the cat. The stories are indeed humorous, but they don’t really describe feline behavior. As you might imagine, I enjoy books about cats more when they’re portraying at least semi-realistic things the cats do … or might do, if given the chance.

When I began reading Lessons in Stalking: Adjusting to Life with Cats, it was obvious that the book’s author, Dena Harris, was a bona fide cat lady. Not everyone gets cats, but Dena Harris most definitely does. Moreover, she captured their feline quirks perfectly, and the stories – although slightly exaggerated for comic effect – were plausible. Events may not have happened exactly the way she described them…but they could have.

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