Category Archives: television

Cats in Commercials

By Julia Williams

It used to be that the only time you’d ever see a cat in a TV commercial was when they were advertising some cat food or other. One finicky cat even became a household name as a result of those ads, but felines doing things on cue besides eating? That was rare back in the day.

Dogs on the other hand, were seen in television ads a lot more frequently. I’m guessing this was partly because dogs are typically easier to train than cats and therefore easier to “direct” in the commercials, and also to portray the “man’s best friend” motto.

Nowadays, cats in commercials are just as prevalent as dogs. Yay for the kitties! It’s about time cats got equal ad time on the boob tube.

Here are a few of my favorite TV commercials featuring cats.

Cats in TV Commercials 

The Cat’s Pride Fresh and Light kitty litter commercial elicits a giggle every time I watch the “kitty masseuse” karate chop the girl’s back, and when they both relax after the massage with cucumber slices over their eyes, I just lose it.

Fresh and Light also has another hilarious commercial featuring a cat who keels over from the smell of the litter box. A feline friend administers CPR, and all ends well in kitty litter land.

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PURRfect Movies and TV Shows for Cats

By Rocky Williams, feline guest blogger

When a certain couch potato canine wrote recently of his preferred TV shows, I was naturally curious why he left out the ones we kitties enjoy. Well, more miffed really, because everyone knows cats do not like to be left out of anything. Ever! But my Warden said “Rocky, don’t get your fluffy tail in a twist. You can make your own list any time you feel like it.” Yes, but that involves work, something we cats avoid like the plague.

Ah well…I really needed a list of the movies and TV shows cats would dig, because I’m feeling all sloth-like lately, and what better way to be lazy than to watch TV all day? (They don’t call it the Boob Tube for nothing!) So I put paws to keyboard and came up with some cat-approved programs. When I ran out of my own ideas, I plagiarized other cats,  I mean, I asked my cat friends on Facebook for suggestions, and they were happy to share.

So kitties, send your Warden out for a big bag of those catabulous FELIDAE TidNips treats to munch on while you watch these shows, and you’ll be all set.

Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell is a show every feline needs to watch. Just be sure to watch with your Warden, because I guarantee you that anything naughty YOU have ever done will pale in comparison to the Demon Katz on this show. Technically, these bad kitties are just misunderstood, and once they have their stupid hoomin trained, it all ends well. In any event, your Warden is bound to appreciate your angelic self after watching this show.

I like to watch The Little Mermaid movie, but for some reason it always makes me hungry. I think it’s because I can’t stop fantasizing about how many great seafood meals her ginormous tail would make. There would be enough stinky fishy goodness for every cat in town!

Finding Nemo is another obvious choice for seafood loving kitties. Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie, The Birds, is also highly entertaining.

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Good TV Shows for Dogs

By Bear, Canine Guest Blogger

Howdy! Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been allowed to write a post here, you know my mommy always wants to say things her way. Besides I’ve been a little busy lately… I’ve become a couch potato!

When Mom has to leave the house she always leaves the TV on for me so I don’t, as she says, destroy things. I really don’t, but when I hear things outside and want to see, I sometimes have to climb up on her desk or on the table near the window. Okay, sometimes I might put my paws on the windowsill and maybe the curtains get pulled down if there’s a cat or another dog in my yard. Hey, I’m just letting them know they are trespassing!

Oh yeah, back to the story… so, she leaves the TV on and turns it up to drown out other sounds, then she leaves. I don’t know why this woman thinks an intelligent dog like me is going to be interested in children’s cartoons; it’s obvious she hasn’t a clue about a doggie brain. I have figured out how to find the shows I want to watch, and let me tell you there is much better programming on for pets than cartoons!

Did you know there are entire channels dedicated to food shows? That’s right; I can curl up on the sofa and watch people cook all sorts of yummy foods. My favorite is Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives with that spiky haired Guy Fieri – boy, he finds all the best food!

When I’ve drooled a nice puddle and am tired of wishing I could eat what’s on the television, I move to the other end of the sofa and choose another show. There are lots of shows on Animal Planet that are great fun for a dog to watch.

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Famous Cat Actors

By Langley Cornwell

There are plenty of famous animated cats in cartoons, on television and in the movies. We’re probably all familiar with the likes of Sylvester, Felix, Tigger, Oscar, Tom and Garfield, but what about live cat actors? It seems like the live dog actors get all the press. Even here, I recently wrote about Eddie, the dog from Frasier, and Toto but I’ve never given any space to live cat actors.

Granted, anybody that has ever shared their life with a cat knows it’s not easy to teach a cat to perform a task on command. For that reason, there are not as many famous cat actors to write about. Still, our feline thespians should get the recognition they deserve, so here is a little background on some famous cat actors.

Vito Vincent

A congenial orange tabby named Vito Vincent has achieved a level of fame and a reputation for being incredibly calm, even amidst the hustle and bustle of film and television sets. So far, Vito has gained recognition by being on high profile TV shows that film in New York, like 30 Rock and The Colbert Report. His owner and manager believes that Vito will get even bigger and better gigs in Hollywood, so they recently moved from the Big Apple to the West Coast so Vito could let his star shine bright.

Milo

In The Adventures of Milo & Otis, the cat actor and the dog actor got equal screen time. Oh well, at least the cat got top billing. In fact, The Adventures of Milo & Otis is a remake of a Japanese movie called Koneko Monogatari, which means A Kitten’s Story. Milo is an orange tabby kitten and her canine companion is a pug named Otis. Dudley Moore provides the voices of both characters and all of the actors are animals; no humans show up in this film. The movie reportedly took four years to complete due to the complexities of working strictly with animal actors – I wonder how many truckloads of training treats like CANIDAE TidNips and Snap-Bits were used to get the animals to do what they were supposed to?

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Are Dog Training Reality Shows Helpful or Hurtful?

By Julia Williams

Given the popularity of “reality TV” programs and the large number of pet owners in the world, it’s not really surprising that dog training reality shows exist. First there was the Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan. Then came Victoria Stillwell’s It’s Me or the Dog, aka “Supernanny for dogs.” More recently, CBS began airing episodes of Dogs in the City with Justin Silver.

I’ve watched that show, but since I just have cats it was purely for entertainment purposes rather than learning about dog training or getting tips to solve a dog behavior problem. From that perspective, it’s amusing to watch; however, I’m aware that many dog owners and dog trainers have major issues with the methods and scenarios portrayed on the show, and I think they have valid concerns.

I do believe it’s possible for a dog owner to glean some helpful information from Dogs in the City or any other dog training reality show, and in that respect these shows could be helpful. Still, they might just as easily be detrimental…to the dog as well as their family.

The main concerns I have with owners taking tips from a dog training reality show are 1) unrealistic expectations, 2) the “one size fits all” misconception and 3) unsafe training techniques. I’ll cover each of those briefly.

Unrealistic Expectations

Most people understand that reality shows are scripted just like every other TV program. Scenarios are meticulously planned, executed and edited until there is little, if any, resemblance to real life. No network would ever take the chance that “good TV” just magically happened while the cameras rolled, and dog training reality shows are no exception.

Nevertheless, some people mistakenly believe that a behavior problem presented on the show can actually be resolved as quickly and easily as they make it seem. People buy into the show’s concept that you can make a few minor adjustments and voila, your misbehaving dog becomes an angel and everyone lives happily ever after. Sadly, that’s not going to happen in real life, because good dog training takes patience, consistency, commitment, practice and time.

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If Cats Had Thumbs, Would They Conquer the World?

By Rocky Williams, feline guest blogger

Yesterday I was awakened from a catnap by a loud sound. Naturally curious about this cacophony that had so rudely interrupted my peaceful slumber – I went in search of it. I found the Warden sitting at her computer, cackling loud enough to wake the dead. She was watching a YouTube video of a commercial for Cravendale Milk which posed the question, “What if cats had thumbs?” The commercial features a polydactyl feline named Bertram, a social media ‘celebricat’ famous for plotting world domination with the help of his Facebook and Twitter minions. The ad also features the voice of Rocky Horror Picture Show star Tim Curry, who asks “Why do cats stare when you’re pouring milk?

Cats with opposable thumbs are shown bouncing a ball, filing their nails, doing needlepoint and reading a book. “Imagine that. Cats with thumbs. And what if they got together? Gangs of cats with thumbs! Organized crime, with one thing on their mind,” says the voiceover. The cat gang opens the door and stares at the man eating his cereal. Terrified, he grabs his carton of milk to make a run for it.

Yeah, okay…it was really funny, but I still wasn’t amused that the Warden interrupted my beauty sleep. It did, however, make me think about all the things I’d do if I had thumbs. Top of the list, of course, would be to end the rationing of my FELIDAE cat food. Yep. I would get that bag of kibble down from the cupboard straight away. Feeding frenzy for all! The TidNips treats would flow freely, too. But I wouldn’t stop there. I love all food, and if I had thumbs I would raid the fridge and pantry every day. The Warden uses her microwave oven as a bread drawer, to stop me from carbo loading in the dark of night…but if I had thumbs, the bread buffet would be open 24/7.

If I had thumbs, no more ‘indoor life’ for me! Out I would go, as I pleased, to snoopervise the neighborhood and visit that cute ladycat down the block. If I had thumbs, I would watch Animal Planet on the Telly all day long. And in the middle of the night, I’d give the Warden a fright – I’d crank up the volume so she wakes up thinking there’s an introoder in the house. Hee hee! No, tis’ only me, watching Jackson Galaxy whip unruly felines into shape on My Cat From Hell.

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