Category Archives: YouTube

Lights, Camera, Action: A CANIDAE® Video Contest!

Have you ever lost yourself in adorable YouTube videos? Do you follow your pet around with your camera phone? Do you enjoy watching others perform their best talents? Then our next contest is for you!

For the first time, CANIDAE® is holding a video contest. Whether it is your first time filming your pet, or you have a variety of videos already ready to go, we want to see what you’ve got.22393 CAN Video Contest-Instagram Thumbnail

The theme is “Talented Pets,” but as we all know, talent is in the eyes of the beholder. A dog’s bark can sound like singing, or a cat’s jump off the couch can look like they’re taking flight!

And, for the most talented pets, there is a prize to be won! This pawsome prize is—of course—FREE CANIDAE® kibble! Two lucky winners will receive six months of premium quality pet food.

All you have to do is visit the CANIDAE contest page on Facebook, enter the link to your video on YouTube, and submit your entry!

If you don’t already have your pet’s video on YouTube, visit
their website, drag and drop your video file, and upload. Easy enough!

Next, you’ll need to share the contest with your friends, since one of the prizes goes to the video with the most online votes. The other winner will be chosen by a panel of pet-loving judges from the CANIDAE® team, so even if you don’t get the most online votes, you still have a chance to win!

CANIDAE® Prizes to Be Awarded

6 FREE months of CANIDAE® dry food to the video with the most online votes

6 FREE months of CANIDAE® dry food to the video chosen by our pet-loving panel

Good luck! Or—should we say—break a leg!

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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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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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“Simon’s Cat” Animated Cartoons are Simply Meowvalous

By Julia Williams

I love cats, and I love cartoons. So today I decided to share some information about my all-time favorite cat cartoon called Simon’s Cat. Now, I’m sure some of you know about this animated series and have watched the hilarious films on YouTube or Facebook. If you’re a cat lover, you can’t help but love the Simon’s Cat cartoons! I may have a lot of “favorite things involving cats,” but Simon’s Cat cartoons are at the top of that long list. They always make me laugh…and laugh… and laugh. The cartoons are such an incredible mood lifter, but I learned the hard way that I must put down any drink or snack before clicking the play button on my computer screen.

About the Simon’s Cat Cartoons

Simon’s Cat was created by Simon Tofield, an award-winning English illustrator, animator and director at Tandem Films in London. Simon is a “cat guy” who not only clearly loves and understands felines, but brilliantly translates that into the funniest animated cat cartoons I’ve ever seen! The Simon’s Cat cartoons center around the relationship between a man and his mischievous cat, who is always getting into some kind of trouble. If you’ve ever shared your home with a cat, you’ll recognize many of this cartoon cat’s antics, which Simon illustrates so hilariously. This “foodie cat” will do just about anything to get noms, including stealing a giant turkey off the table and leaving a small can of cat food in its place. The cat’s signature move is pointing to his mouth and making an amusing “feed me” meow that cracks me up no matter how many times I see it.

Simon’s Cat made his first appearance in March of 2008, in a film called “Cat Man Do,” described as “A hungry cat resorts to increasingly desperate measures to wake its sleeping owner.” Simon’s Cat has a huge fan base on Facebook and on YouTube, where that first cartoon has more than 29 million views! All of the Simon’s Cat films (there are 16 to date!) can be watched for free on their website and YouTube, and there’s talk of making a special DVD compilation of the films with added extras. I think that’s a splendid idea, but I’m not sure my body could survive all that laughing; I’d have to pace myself and only watch 5 minutes at a time.

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Surf Dog Ricochet: Changing Lives, One Wave at a Time


By Julia Williams

Some of you have undoubtedly heard about Surf Dog Ricochet, and you may have watched the incredibly moving YouTube video about her, “From Service Dog to SURFice dog: Turning disappointment into a joyful new direction.” If you have, then you know what an amazing canine Ricochet is. If you haven’t seen the Surf Dog Ricochet video, then I hope this article inspires you to do so— because the story of how this beautiful young golden retriever found her true calling and is changing countless lives as a result, is one that every pet lover should see.

Two-year-old Ricochet’s original path in life was to be part of the Puppy Prodigies Neo-Natal & Early Learning Program, as a service dog for a disabled person as well as a service dog breeder. Ricochet’s training began when she was just a few days old, before her eyes were even open. She learned quickly and showed great promise for becoming a service dog. But as she grew, so did her interest in chasing birds. Because this could be unsafe for a person with a disability, Ricochet had to be released from the service dog program.

Her people were terribly disappointed, but rather than dwell on what she couldn’t do, they chose to focus on what she could do, which was surf. You see, at 8 weeks of age, in addition to her service dog training, Ricochet had begun learning to surf on a boogie board in a kiddie pool. Although her surf dog training was begun just for fun, Ricochet displayed a remarkable natural talent for it. Moreover, she really seemed to love it.

Ricochet’s surf training progressed and before long she was “hanging 20” in the ocean, competing in (and eventually winning) Surf Dog Competitions. So Puppy Prodigies created a brand new job for Ricochet, as a ‘Surfin’ for Paws-abilities’ SURFice dog who would raise awareness and funds for charitable causes. And the rest is history, as the saying goes. In just seven short months, Ricochet has raised more than $20,000 for charitable causes!

Her first fundraising endeavor was last August, for 15 year old quadriplegic surfer Patrick Ivison. Surf Dog Ricochet raised $10,000 to help pay his medical bills, and one of her sponsors awarded Patrick a grant to fund three more years of physical therapy. Then in December, Ricochet began a new fundraiser: a Surfin’ Santa Paws toy drive. About the same time, the inspirational SURFice Dog video went viral, which spurred an influx of donations from all over the world. As a result, Ricochet was able to provide toys for 650 children in hospitals and domestic violence shelters.

Continued donations from the video have allowed Ricochet to fund therapies for six year old Ian McFarland, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident that claimed the lives of his parents. Additionally, most of the surfing competitions Ricochet enters are fundraisers for animal charities. So besides having fun and competing, the “Little SurFUR Girl” (as she is sometimes called) is also making a difference in the lives of her four-legged cousins. When she’s not surfing or fundraising, Ricochet is involved in goal assisted therapy work with children through Pawsitive Teams.

I’m a firm believer in the old adages, “Everything happens for a reason,” and “When one door closes, another one opens.” I’ve seen enough examples firsthand that I don’t doubt this is exactly how the universe works. And now, the story of Surf Dog Ricochet is yet another fine illustration of these principles. Instead of greatly changing one disabled individual’s life by becoming their assistance dog, Surf Dog Ricochet is changing the lives of thousands… and potentially millions.

If you’d like to know more about Surf Dog Ricochet, you can visit her website, become her fan on Facebook, and even follow her on Twitter. And if you want to try teaching your own canine companion to hang 20, Ricochet offers some great beginner doggie surf training tips here.

There are two lines in the inspirational YouTube video on Surf Dog Ricochet that I just love: “When I let go of who I wanted her to be and just let her ‘be’ she completely flourished. And I reveled in knowing she is perfect, just the way she is.” She sure is. The video features the Taylor Hicks song, Do I Make You Proud. I just want to end this by saying “Yes Ricochet, you do!”

Photo courtesy of Diane Edmonds

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.

What’s Nora the Piano Playing Cat up to Now?


By Julia Williams

Nearly everyone with internet access and a pulse has heard of Nora, the piano playing cat who took YouTube by storm in 2007. Considering that the video has been viewed almost 17 million times to date, I’m guessing most of you have seen it at least once. But did you also know that the piano cat has gone on to become quite the celebrity kitty? It’s true – and Nora’s popularity and busy schedule could rival that of most A-list human stars!

The talented piano cat has come a long way since being rescued from the street and adopted from a shelter by a piano teacher named Betsy Alexander, and her fame is well deserved. If you’ve watched any of the videos of Nora playing the piano (currently, there are four) you have to agree that this cat’s ability to tickle the ivories is impressive. Oh sure, any kitty can walk on a piano and plink out a few notes. Nora, however, sits primly on the piano bench and uses both paws to play. There’s a subtlety to her movements and she appears to be pressing the different keys with total deliberation. The piano cat also does this head roll thing which is remarkably similar to what humans do with their hands to create rolling chords.

In the three years since her YouTube debut, the self-proclaimed “musical diva” has become an internationally known pianist and bona fide media darling. She’s been featured on numerous television shows, including CNN, The Today Show, Animal Planet, Martha Stewart, ABC Early Show, Inside Edition, Jon Stewart, VH1, ABC and NBC News, Conan and Ellen. She’s also been featured on radio shows, online pet magazines and in print (People, Tails Pet Magazine, England’s Pianist magazine). Nora also received a signed photo from Billy Joel inscribed “To the piano cat from the piano man” and a bust of Bach from Martha Stewart.

Not content to rest on her laurels (or I should say, her paws), Nora the piano cat has been busy writing books and creating numerous merchandising opportunities too. Her literary works include a children’s book called My Story: A Picture Book, and Nora The Piano Cat’s Guide To Becoming A Good Musician. There is a DVD titled Nora The Piano Cat: Now with CATcerto for 2010, and a calendar, Nora The Piano Cat With Sound 2010 Wall Calendar. All of these are available on Amazon, and Nora fans can even download an mp3 album with 11 songs, from Litterbox Boogie to All About Me-ow. She also recently finished writing another book that is awaiting publication, titled Nora’s Guide to a Happy Life…or How to Make Every Day a Catnip Day.

The piano cat has her own blog, “Nora’s Mews,” her own website, and she has over 1500 followers on Twitter. There is a neat new IPhone App that provides a direct link to Nora’s blog, her YouTube videos and her Tweets, all from your iPhone or iPod Touch devices. Now you can keep up with all the latest Nora happenings no matter where you are (and I just know you want to, right?). For extreme piano cat fans, there are t-shirts, hoodies, tote bag, mugs, posters, journals, cards, mousepads and more, all featuring adorable images of Nora.

As if the piano cat’s resume wasn’t already longer than most professional musicians twice her age, last year Nora received two prestigious awards. In October, the piano playing tabby received the ASPCA Cat of the Year Award, and in November she received the Westchester Cat Shows Cat of the Year award. She also appeared via a live video feed at “Shelter Aid,” a fundraising event for shelters and rescue groups.

The piano cat has really improved over the years from that first original video, “Nora: Practice Makes Purr-fect” to her most recent performance, “CATcerto – Composed & Conducted by Mindaugas Piecaitis.” Watching this latest video gave me goose bumps, because it certainly sounded like all of Nora’s notes harmonized with the orchestra. It must be all that practicing the piano cat does. In a recent email to me, her caretaker Betsy wrote “Nora continues to play the piano quite a bit. When I was teaching on Saturday, she was with me playing on and off from 10:30 AM until 4:00 PM without any naps.”

It seems, however, that Nora the piano cat may have developed a wee bit of celebrity “catitude” along with her fame. Betsy said “Nora has gotten more possessive of ‘her’ piano and bit me rather hard when I picked her up and moved her from the bench so I could teach an adult student on that piano. Then she sat at the other piano glaring at my student for her entire lesson.”

Nora darling, I think you are a most sublime feline. Perhaps you could come by sometime and teach my three cats how to do something (anything!) besides sleep all day?

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.