Buy It, Give It – Holiday Edition

Here is the 2016 Holiday Edition of Buy it, Give it! With just a few weeks left to pick up those last-minute gifts I have listed some of my favorite picks for the holidays or anytime because you never really need an excuse to pick up some cool cat themed merchandise. Happy shopping!

As always I am including a t-shirt and this year my pick is Friends of P-22, available for men and women, from gurlRun on Etsy. It is a unique print featuring a silhouette print of everyone’s favorite mountain lion from LA

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Olive & Rye Cat Art –  Whatever you decide to go with you can be sure it will be fun and colorful. There are totes, like the Catroyoshka Tote Bag pictured here, mugs, pouches, t-shirts, leggings, scarfs and more

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Olive & Rye also offers amazing custom cat portraits like this one that was done of my cat Spinner

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The perfect stocking stuffer idea from Areaware is the Fauna Pouch featuring a tabby cat print inspired by early style photography

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Socks are always a fun, affordable and practical gift ideas. First pick is the My Cat is Cool as F&^%$ Socks by Blue Q

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For a more family friendly holiday inspired style, also available in kids sizes,  Sock It to Me Jingle Cats

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Just in time for winter, the Cat Scarf by Archie Mcphee available in store or online at Rolo Store. What I really like about this scarf is all the cats are looking up at you

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For the big cat lover the African Cats Pendant by New York designer Alex Woo, its beautiful and charitable with a portion of the proceeds from all sales going to help with conservation of African wildlife and wetlands

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For the cat parent who is looking for a new way to photograph their cat there is the Animal Adventures Pet Photobooth

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or, Cat Selfies by NPW because everyone including your cat are into selfies

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It wouldn’t be a holiday without a special hat and the bonnet by Archie McPhee is the newest in head wear for felines that takes us back to a simpler time

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Get retro with this fun and portable pinball game from Ridley’s Utopia Cosmic Cat Pinball

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For the home Lili Chin’s Exotic Cats Duvet Cover on Society 6

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Cat Nap pillow cases by Xenotees which come in various colors

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For the cat lover who also loves to bake a laser cut cat rolling-pin by SugaryHome on Etsy

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Finally for the literary cat lover, there is Shop Cats of New York – a photographic book of New York City’s most iconic felines

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The One-of-a-Kind Cat Book

The-One-of-a Kind Cat Book by Ciye Cho, is 127 pages of cat stories brought to life with 50+ illustrations. While it seems to be geared towards the Young Adult (YA) market, once I finished reading it, I could easily see adults of all ages enjoying the colorful artwork and entertaining story lines.

Ciye Cho – About the book“THE ONE-OF-A-KIND CAT BOOK is a whimsical treat for cat lovers everywhere. Dive into its pages to meet Catalina the narcissistic movie star, Kit the steampunk genius, and Guillaume the macaron chef. Browse through letters, notes, and photos to learn about mystery cats from Svalbard and the Amazon. Follow a detective as he unravels the crimes of “Murder Kitties.”

The OOAK Cat Book is a grown-up picture book full of modern themes: a shameless search for fame (or infamy), an obsession with true crime, and our constant need for adventure and kawaii cats. The felines here will guide you to places like Paris, Varanasi,
Woodstock, and the Great Barrier Reef.”

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Front Cover

I was curious to find out more about the illustrated book and Ciye was kind enough to answer a few questions and elaborate on the story and style!

Q Why did you choose to focus on cats for this novel?

CC I have been fascinated with cats for quite some time. They are creatures of great whimsy, beauty, and majesty.

Q Is there anything any particular about the colors/style used in this novel?

CC I tried to create hyper-expressive, super kawaii cats. I’m also a devotee to all things whimsical, so there’s a lot of rainbow hues, pastel colors, busy patterns, and playful imagery.

Q What type of cat lover are you trying to appeal to?

CC All sorts. There are thirty-three different cats in this book, from murderous moggies to famous felines. I’d like to believe that there is something here for everyone. Oh, and there are also some exotic cats in the mix (there’s one in particular that should interest in you, since you often talk about conservation and wild cats).

Q What is the inspiration for the characters in this novel?

CC Firstly, I was inspired by the beauty and wonder of cats. However, on a much broader level, much of the book is a statement on pop culture. For example, modern-day society is obsessed with the concept of fame and the pursuit of fame at all costs. Catalina and tricky, who feature prominently in the book, are perfect purrrrsonifications of these issues. I would like to think that the OOAK Cat Book is a kooky reflection on our strange new world.

Q Is there a message you are trying to convey in your novel, or is
this purely for fun?

CC There are themes in this book (fame, infamy, crime, wonder, love, adventure) that should hopefully resonate with readers. But above all else, I just wanted to draw super cute, super whimsical cats. It relaxes me to look at pictures of fancy felines, and I know that many people feel the same way.

Q Do you have any cats of your own?

CC I was surrounded by cats when I was younger, but I currently don’t have any. However, if we’re counting imaginary pets, I probably have a dozen of those.

Q anything else you would like readers to know?

CC The One-of-a-Kind Cat Book is a story told through a unique mix of letters, postcards, emails, photos, and other clues. Many of these collected tales are mini adventures that you’ll need to piece together with your imagination.

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More images from the book can be viewed here

The book is broken down into 16 “experiences” with each character, relaying their story via different themes such as a Magazine cover, written letters, an iPad, email, postcards and even song lyrics. The attention to detail that has gone into crafting unique themes is appreciated and shows that a lot of thought not only went into the stories and characters, but also the actual illustrations, which could clearly stand on their own as art pieces.

The beautiful and bold use of color help to capture your imagination and work perfectly to bring the sophisticated, intelligent and highly detailed stories to life. One of my personal favorites is the illustration below and the story behind this lovely exotic cat!

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Overall, the book is a visually appealing, unique and fun read that will surprise you with its carefully thought out stories. It makes a great gift for the cat lover looking for something a little different, or that already has everything!

Ciye Cho is a graphic designer who lives and works in Australia and writes YA novels in his spare time. The One-of-a-Kind Cat Book is available in eBook format for $3 and may be purchased directly here.

Thank you to writer Ciye Cho for contacting me and providing a copy of the novel for review.

Buy It, Give It – Holiday Edition

The holiday season is well underway, and this means it’s time for a few of my favorite cat-themed gift ideas for Christmas, or anytime of the year. Some of them will even give you reason to shop for a cause. Simply click on the links or image to visit their sites. Enjoy!

I love t-shirts and they make great gifts for both men and women, here are a few that are cool, fun and give back with purchase. Squirrel Den Studio – sells mostly cat-themed tees and every month 15% of the purchase price of online sales go to a different Shelter-of-the-Month nominated by Facebook followers.

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Buy it, Give it, Christmas, Christmas gift list, Cat themed gifts, unique gifts for cat lovers, Cat themed Christmas gifts, holiday gift ideas for cat lover, Apron, Cat Apron, Etsy, gifts for the home, shopping for a cause, fun ideas for cat loversThe Cat Tea Shop makes catnip cookie toys for cats that are handmade and Eco-friendly. 10% of their proceeds go to volunteer run cat rescues here in Ontario Canada. Their catnip is organically grown and they ship world-wide.

Buy it, Give it, Christmas, Christmas gift list, Cat themed gifts, unique gifts for cat lovers, Cat themed Christmas gifts, holiday gift ideas for cat lover, Cat toys, The Cat Tea Shop, Catnip toys, Toronto, shopping for a cause, fun ideas for cat loversCustom Pet Portrait Pillows by Sarah Clark Art – I came across this vendor while at CatCon this year and I really loved the idea of personalizing a pillow with your cats image. This come with a bigger price tag but they are made to order and are custom illustrated based on your cats personality.

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Divan Due cat pillow

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Buy it, Give it, Christmas, Christmas gift list, Cat themed gifts, unique gifts for cat lovers, Cat themed Christmas gifts, holiday gift ideas for cat lover, Pet Interiors, cat beds, cat litter box, gifts for the home, shopping for a cause, fun ideas for cat loversTo go along with the Poopoopedo – a set of all natural cat litter box cleaner and deodorizer by HouseOfCat. The products are natural, Eco-friendly and hand-made.

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Buy it, Give it, Christmas, Christmas gift list, Cat themed gifts, unique gifts for cat lovers, Cat themed Christmas gifts, holiday gift ideas for cat lover, Cat book ends, Uncommon goods, gifts for the home, shopping for a cause, fun ideas for cat loversPyroPet Candle – the melting wax reveals a grinning metallic inner skeleton. Comes in grey, black and pink.

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Buy it, Give it, Christmas, Christmas gift list, Cat themed gifts, unique gifts for cat lovers, Cat themed Christmas gifts, holiday gift ideas for cat lover, Cat lunch box set, gifts for the home, shopping for a cause, fun ideas for cat loversKitty gram by lilyandpeabody 100% of the profit from the purchase of these plush toys goes directly towards helping animals. They are also raising funds to open a non-profit no kill animal rescue. Each kitty gram is named or you can personalize your own.

Buy it, Give it, Christmas, Christmas gift list, Cat themed gifts, unique gifts for cat lovers, Cat themed Christmas gifts, holiday gift ideas for cat lover, Kitty Gram, cat tower, cat scratcher, gifts for the home, shopping for a cause, fun ideas for cat loversFor the big cat lover – film and book by Dereck and Beverly Joubert, award-winning filmmakers from Botswana who are Explorers-in-Residence for National Geographic. Educational and beautiful The Last Lions DVD and companion book are a great gift set.

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If you are not familiar with an organization contact them directly to find out how their donations are used, or search for them on sites like Animal Charities Evaluators and Charity Navigator.

Caturday Picks – Awards, Paws, Claws

It’s Caturday, and that means it’s time for some picks from the Rolo Store!

One of my personal favorites is the World’s Best Cat Trophy by Archie McPhee. I think this one is self-explanatory – “insert your cat here” because your cat is the Best Cat and deserves an award. Have an official ceremony for kitty or your own “Cat-cademy Awards”. Worried about offending other cats in a multi-cat household? It doesn’t matter because let’s face it, cats don’t care.

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The award goes to…World’s best Cat Trophy   $14.95

If you want to immortalize the awards ceremony be sure to take some photos and place one of the pictures in your Les Chats de Dubout (The Cats by Dubout) Picture Frame. Part of the Highly Collectible Parastone Mouseion 3D Collection this will help your feline stand out.

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Cats in a Line Picture Frame by Dubout $59.95

Owner Rowley picked his favorite piece the Here Kitty Paw Doorstop by Fred and Friends. It’s practical, fun and represents the ever-changing moods of our cats “Do you want in the room or out?”

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Kitty Paw Doorstop $12.95

This cute kitten nail buff by Gama Go is another practical piece you can polish your claws on. The two-sided piece lets you buff bare nails and polish them to a high shine all without having to use your cats scratch post.

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Gama Go Kitten Nail Buff $4.95

Fun Feline Friday! Cat Themed Finds

I am always on the look out for cool cat themed or inspired items and today’s Fun Feline Friday feature is from the awesome Rolo Store here in Toronto. First let me say I looove this store, it can cure any bad day blues that you have and sometimes, we could all use a little cheering up. Owner Rowley and myself share some of our favorites.

Cat Hats Sixteen Paper Hats to put on your unsuspecting kitty – $9.95

photo 4Yes, there is a hat for every cat and you will not have a hard time choosing from the likes of a queen, frog, devil, sailor hat…and many more. I really liked the giant eyeball hat myself. Guaranteed to bring you many hours or minutes, depending on your cat, of entertainment. Bright, colorful and easy to put together. Now your cat will always look their best in every family, holiday or just for fun picture.

Crafting with Cat Hair – $16.95

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 5.40.14 PMThis has been around for a while, but is still a HUGE seller. If you are crafty or have a friend who loves cats and is creative, this is the book for you. Don’t let those extra fur balls floating around your house go to waste, re-purpose them into all kinds of fun, furry works of art. Learn how to make kitty tote bags, finger puppets, fluffy cat toys, picture frames, and more! No special equipment or training. All apparently can be made in less than an hour. And the best? Knowing your kitty helped contribute. Think of this as a way to bond.

Russian Cat Tattoos by Gama Go – $7.95

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 5.48.23 PMLove Tattoos and Cats? Cute distinguished and dashing cats can adorn our arm, leg or any body part. Show everyone just how tough you are while you gallivant around town sporting the mark of the cat. Believe it or not, tattoos of cats were widely used by Russian criminals as the mark of a thief.

Molla Space Sniffing Notebook – $15.95

photo 3Rowley is that you? 

Watch people, write your deepest secrets or just disguise yourself behind this fun notebook. Feeling a little catty one day? No problem we got you covered.

All these fun items can be picked up at the Rolo Store, or on-line at rolostore.com

Looking for more cat themed items? Head over to my cat-stagram feed @purrandroar