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!

Book reviews, The One of a Kind Cat Book, Ciye Cho, Illustrated books, Cat books, young adult fiction, Australian authors, Illustrated cat books,The book is definitely fantasy but it also touches on moral issues and reflects many of our very human preoccupations, or obsessions, with aspects of modern life and pop culture. As I read through I immediately noticed that this book really does contain something for every cat lover. It would be nice to see this colorful work in print format  (like a coffee table book style) one day, but for now it can be purchased for your viewing pleasure on your computer, laptop or iPad in PDF format.

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.

Fun Feline Friday! 13

In honor of Friday the 13th, which I believe is lucky, here are my 13 picks for feline furniture that any cat would approve of, and any human would be proud to have in their home.

1. The Cat Tunnel SofaThis Cat Tunnel Sofa is to communicate and share feelings with a cat.”

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Cat Tunnel Sofa by Korean designer Seungji Mun

 2. Multifunction and multi-user deskThe design of CATable was a fusion…a locus where the interaction occurs.It is a table for us ,and a paradise for cats.”

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Designed by Ruan Hao of LYCS Architecture in Hong Kong and Hangzhou

3. The Cat-Library bookshelfCats love libraries; these are silent places, books have a tendency to keep the warmth, and mice love paper….

cats, bookshelf, library, cat friendly design, Corentin Dombrecht

The Cat Library is made from FSC-certified Birch Plywood by Belgian designer Corentin Dormbrecht

4. Dog shaped cat scratch towerLumpi is a clever scratching post design… protecting your furniture and keeping other belongings safe from scratch marks.

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Cats can finally get claws in their natural enemy without any repercussions Designer: Erik Stehmann

5. Arni Kitty Kasa CollectionAll profits of the Kitty Kasa collection go directly to the ARNI foundation a non-profit, no-kill, animal shelter located in Daytona Beach, Florida.

cats. Kitty Kasa, Mango Studio, Arni Foundation USA, Daytona Beach Florida, modules

Developed by Studio Mango All profits of the Kitty Kasa collection

 6. PetPlanter “…integrating the pet bed in an item which many people do love to have in their homes a planter gave us the perfect solution.

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PetPlanter by Studio Mango

7. Modern Cat Tree

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The Sebastian Modern Cat Tree

 8. Catinet “The Catinet stores the cat litter bag, scoop, etc. as well so you will now have everything easily accessible in one place and out of sight.”

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Catinet by Urban Cat Design

9. Starlet Felt with orthopedic pet cushion

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STARLET Felt by Pet Interiors

10. The Original Cat’s Trapeze

Cat's Trapeze, Haus Panther

Cat Trapeze available at Hauspanther

11. The Adult Cat Tree House

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The Adult Cat Tree house by Pet Tree Houses on Etsy

12. Cat Console cat scratcher “Perfect for any room in your home and ideal for small spaces! “

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Cat Console cat scratcher by Modernist Cat

13. Wall mounted cat feeder

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Chow Meow wall mounter cat feeder by Square Cat Habitat

 

Fun Feline Friday! Squeeze, Pour, Give

It’s been a while since I visited the Rolo Store and I must admit my visit was two-fold, one I picked up my awesome disappearing Cheshire Cat t-shirt that is activated by sunlight, and two to find out what is cool for cats.

I saw these cute little fellas sitting way up high on a shelf, immediately I wanted one but owner Rowley told me no, and to focus

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Cat Lady Pillows by Decor Craft Inc. $39.95 each

The perfect accent to your couch, chair, bed or window ledge. A furry friend without the fur and a cute pair of eyes peering back at you all the time. These pillows will either fill the void for those who can’t have a real cat, or they will compete for your own cats attention. Now you can “hug” and “squeeze” a cat without fear of repercussions or retaliation.

While your busy snuggling with your new cat pillow how about you pour yourself a nice spot of tea…with your new Black and White Tuxedo Cat ceramic teapot.

The Rescue Me Now line features actual cats rescued and successfully adopted into forever homes by the artist. Tea time will be a little better served from this handsome pot knowing that a portion from the sale of this item goes to the World Society for the Protection of Animals.

If you are planning to give any of the above items as gifts, complete the package with some “crush-worthy” cards from Smitten Kitten

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Smitten Kitten Cat Cards come in various cats & sayings $4.95 each

Smitten Kitten is a Toronto based (Yay!) design studio who offers a variety of papergoods and gifts with an eye for pairing cute cats with the most appropriate, or inappropriate depending on your mood, occasions. I really love the juxtaposition of innocence with adult themed humor. Who wouldn’t want to receive a card with a a cute kitty telling them “Shit just got real” or “You fill my heart-hole with love”? Cards are blank inside so you can write a complimentary message should you choose.

If you are “smitten” with any of the above items you can pick them up in store or online.

Big Caturday – Lions and Tigers In Your Kitchen

Integrating big cats into one of the most popular rooms in the home – the kitchen, just got easy. I will say it’s fairly cool to either give or receive any of these awesome big cat inspired items which are beautiful, yummy and unique!

Lets begin with one that I have been coveting ever since I saw it a few weeks back, the IMM Living Lion Head ceramic jar

IMM Living, Crowned Head Containers, Lion Head, Home, Gold Crown, Cookie Jar,  DesginDisplay it on your kitchen counter with “pride”

A porcelain Lion head container…with a gold crown. This beautiful and regal piece is the perfect vessel in the image of one of the planets most majestic species. So what will you put in your Lion Head Jar? How about some 3D Lion cookies that you baked with love.

The Lion shaped cookie cutter by Suck UK

Lion, Cookies, Suck UK, 3D cookie cutterThis is not just a typical cookie cutter its 3D! Cut the dough, bake them up and slot them together for storing in your Lion head Jar. If you are worried that your new Lion cookie may be lonely don’t, the 3D cookie cutter also comes in a whole safari theme so you can bake some friends up for your Lion to.

Finally, from one of my favorite places to shop for unique items I discovered this beautiful limited edition cup, which also turns out to be the perfect place to dunk your Lion cookie in.

Etsy – Tea Cup Tiger Limited edition by Baskakova

CatCup,Tiger, Tea Cup, Baskakova, Etsy, handmadeThis delicate, pretty, handmade piece is called a “CatCup” which the artist goes on to say “… is an elegant object challenging the common prejudice of felid water-phobia. Tigers, for instance, love being in water, so for them there’s nothing better than a cool bath in the sauna-like jungle climate!” Each piece comes with a certificate and the artist also takes custom orders which is a bonus.

For more Big Cat themed finds be sure to check out my Cat-stagram feed.

 

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