Vanessa's View

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Thank you, Diary Gal!

September 6th 2014 11:31 pm
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I just want to meow a big “thank you” to Diary Gal who noticed my special diary entry on “Subscription Boxes for Cats” and deemed it worthy of attention on Diary Central yesterday. Thank you also to the kind cat families that gave me some nice “big hugz” and congratulated me on being a daily diary pick! And thank goodness that we are finally able to access Diary Central again!

Until yesterday, it was impossible to access diaries unless you visited a cat’s profile page, which allowed you to read only the entries on that page. I thought that problem had been fixed, which is why I decided to publish my diary entry, but it must have been a temporary fix. I-5 Publishing techs have a lot of hard work to do as they rebuild the Catster and Dogster websites after they were neglected and about to be cast-off by SAY Media.

I would love to add some more photos to my page, but I’m not sure that’s such a good idea right now. Toffy uploaded a few photos the other day and they didn’t even show up on his page. Not only that, he no longer has a CatsterPlus Photobook and lost all of his photo captions! One of our Catster friends was able to see one of the new photos that Toffy uploaded, which is really strange, because we can’t see it ourselves. I don’t want to lose my CatsterPlus Photobook too, so for now I can’t share any new photos with you. I’m sure that the I-5 techs are figuring out how to fix all sorts of glitches. We cats (and dogs too) have to be patient while all the behind the scenes work gets done. It sounds like a challenging and interesting job and I’m so glad that I-5 Publishing stepped up to the plate!


P.S. After visiting all the websites mentioned in my diary entry, I decided to sign myself up for a subscription box for cats. Here I am posing with my first box, which I received a few weeks ago.


Subscription Boxes for Cats

August 26th 2014 10:45 pm
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Imagine receiving a box filled with cat toys, treats, accessories and other goodies every month for as long as your humans will let you or even just for one month? Pretty pawsome, if you ask me! One such subscription box for cats was featured in Catster Magazine recently and there was even a giveaway for a free box. After perusing the website, my curiosity was definitely piqued and I decided to search the Internet for other subscription boxes for cats.

When checking out the websites listed below, here are a few things to consider:

What are the different types of subscription options available and how much do they cost? Often you can save money by subscribing for a longer period of time and paying in advance, but know what you’re getting into before committing for several months. A warning: some of these companies may be here today but could be gone tomorrow. Do some research, not only on the company’s website but also on their Facebook page and on other social media sites. Read reviews on blogs and watch some videos on YouTube to find out if customers are generally happy with the subscription box you are considering signing up for. You’ll want to make sure that there’s recent activity on social media sites and that what you see and read doesn’t give you any second thoughts.

Browse the customer service section of the website and read the FAQ. You’ll want to look for answers to any questions you may have about the service, including stuff your humans consider important such as billing and payment options, cancellation policy, and shipping (Where is the company located and does it ship to your country? Is there an extra charge? Will the box be delivered by the post office or a courier company?)

Before you sign up with a subscription box service, search for coupon codes and special offers on the Internet. Some bloggers will feature discount codes for subscription boxes that they have reviewed (usually only valid for a limited time). It’s always nice not to have to pay full price.

Although the element of surprise is part of what makes receiving a subscription box so much fun, you’ll want to have an idea of approximately how many and what types of products you can expect to find in your box. The website should mention some brand names and where their products are sourced or made. Purrsonally, I would be disappointed with a subscription box that includes the same brands you can find at any grocery store. There has to be something special about the contents of a subscription box, otherwise what’s the point?

Another thing that you might consider important is whether the company donates part of the proceeds to animal shelters and rescues. That’s always a good thing in my view.

So cats, let’s get to the list, shall we?

Subscription boxes for cats listed in alphabetical order; visit the websites of those that you’re curious about to find out more about them!

Name: Bunny’s Furr and Feathers FunPacks
Location: Texas, USA
As the name suggests, this company caters not only to cats but also to dogs, birds and “pocket pets” such as rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs.

Name: Cat Hampurr
Location: UK
This company ships to the UK only.

Name: Dr. D’s Pet Packages
Location: Southern California, USA
Packages are available for both cats and dogs, but the Fun Pet Package is for cats only.

Name: KitNipBox
Location: USA
This subscription box is currently only available in the continental US.

Name: MeowBox
Location: USA currently only ships to the US.

Name: meowbox
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada features free shipping to Canada and the US via Canada Post and USPS.

Name: PawPost
Location: London, UK
PawPost offers subscription boxes for both cats and dogs and ships to the UK and Europe, and if you believe their Facebook page maybe even worldwide.

Name: PawPack
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Featured in Catster Magazine recently, this subscription box service is available for both cats and dogs. The company promises that their products will always be either organic, all-natural, or eco-friendly. Shipping is free in the US but costs $10 to Canada.

Name: Paws & Play
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (I found this out not on the website but on a blog.)
Subscription boxes are available for both cats and dogs and are shipped to Canada and the US and soon (Fall/Winter 2014) to the UK.

Name: PetBox
Location: San Diego, California, USA
PetBox offers subscription boxes for both cats and dogs and currently only ships to the US.

Name: PurrBoxes
Location: UK
PurrBoxes are available only to cats in the UK.

Name: Purr-Packs
Location: California, USA
Purr-Packs are not yet available internationally.

Name: Spoiled Rotten
Location: New Jersey, USA
This subscription box service is offered in conjunction with, with boxes available for both cats and dogs in the US.

Name: WhiskerKits
Location: USA
WhiskerKits boxes are available only in the US and shipping is included with the subscription. Unfortunately, you have to have a Facebook account to see their FB page.

Thanks for reading, cats, and I hope you find something that you like!



The last word

May 24th 2014 10:50 pm
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Toffy and Vanessa are sitting beside the base of the cat tree, on opposite sides, having a discussion.

Toffy: Vanessa, you have to learn not to tell lies! Haven’t you heard of the boy who cried wolf?

Vanessa: The boy who cried woof? What? Did he turn into a dog? But seriously, Toffy, I’m telling the truth when I say that I was a daily diary pick yesterday!

T: Catster was down yesterday. We couldn’t even get in, remember? The Community pages, including diaries, were Not Found, and every time we tried to get in the following message appeared: The requested URL "/cat-community/" was not found on this server. Did you actually see your diary on Diary Central yesterday?

V: Um, well… no…. but that’s because the website was down.

T: Did any cat congratulate you on supposedly being a daily diary pick? What I mean is, did you get any pawmail messages, comments on your diary, rosettes or special gifts, or did some cat maybe leave you a few treats?

V: Yes, as a matter of fact, I did. I got a pawmail message from Angel Buddie!

T: But if the website was down, how would Angel Buddie know that you were a diary pick?

V: He’s an angel. Don’t you know that angels have special powers? They see and know things that others don’t. More importantly, angels don’t lie. If Angel Buddie says that my diary was one of yesterday’s picks then absolutely it was, just like I’ve been telling you all along! It looks like the Toffster stands corrected. And I’m having the last word!



Fun with invisible toys

May 18th 2014 9:38 pm
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It was Christmas Day and Mom was unwrapping some gifts that she had received. As she did so, a piece of straw-coloured string from one of the packages fell to the floor. Mom didn’t notice, but I did. Immediately I pounced on the string and started playing with it in the living room and in the hallway. What fun! Mom saw me playing but she didn’t see the string, so to her it looked like I was playing with an invisible toy or maybe she thought I was a little nutty.

“Vanessa? What are you doing? Are you okay?” There was concern in her voice.

“Look at what Santa Paws brought me!” I exclaimed.

My fun with the piece of string continued until I got tired of playing and went to take a nap. Later as Mom was cleaning up she saw it: the piece of straw-coloured string was lying on the floor underneath the table in the dining area. She had found my new toy. And I never saw it again after that day. :(

Several weeks later another of my new toys met with a similar fate. This time it was a piece of clear plastic packing tape that had fallen to the floor from the table where Mom was occupied with some sort of project. I think she was wrapping a parcel with the tape. She didn’t see that a piece had fallen off the table, but I did, and before long I was batting it about and playing like a kitten. :)

Then Mom saw me. Like the other time, to her it must have looked like I was playing with an imaginary toy or like I was chasing something invisible. She must have been thinking: Is Vanessa going nuts? She picked up one of my cat toys from the floor and threw it in my direction. Usually when she does this I chase after the toy right away, but this time I completely ignored it and continued playing on my own with the piece of clear plastic tape, which to Mom was invisible and therefore a figment of my imagination. She threw more cat toys in my direction but failed to engage me in any way. Later when I had tired of playing, Mom found the piece of tape lying on the carpet, but instead of leaving it there for my future enjoyment, she threw it away. :(

I like most of my cat toys but sometimes the simplest toys that are really supposed to be something else are the most fun to play with, don’t you think?



A big breakfast

February 20th 2014 3:46 pm
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Toffy has this really bad habit of sneaking up on me when I’m eating and shoving me out of my food bowl. What bad manners! Can’t he eat his own food and let me eat in peace? After all, we’re usually eating the exact same thing and he always gets a bigger serving than me!

His strategy is to come over to my food station after he has eaten more than half of his own meal. He pushes me aside and eats what’s left of my meal. Mom does try to stop him if she’s there but Toffy is a persistent cat and often, like this morning, she does not succeed. I usually have no other option but to go and eat his food.

This morning I didn’t feel like eating anymore and went directly to the living room. I think Mom felt bad that I had my breakfast ruined, so she picked up Toffy’s food bowl (which still had plenty of food in it) and put it down in front of me on the carpet.

“Here, Vanessa, eat this!” she said.

This morning’s fare was Go! Grain Free Duck Pâté served with Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Fowl Ball (chicken and turkey au jus recipe). It was okay but nothing special, which was why I had bypassed Toffy’s food station on my way to the living room.

Well cats, guess what? I approached the food, sniffed it… and ate it. All of it.

You’re surprised? So am I. And so was Toffy. He returned to the kitchen and saw that his food bowl was missing. When he found it in the living room, it was empty. Ha-ha! That teaches him a lesson! I think I ended up eating a bigger breakfast than he did!



My hairball got the laundry done

February 19th 2014 9:43 pm
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Today I threw up a hairball. It took Mom a while to notice it but when she did she immediately went into cleaning mode.

Mom might not agree, but I think my hairball was a good thing because after cleaning the affected area on the carpet with Nature’s Miracle, she gathered up the cat mat on which my hairball had landed (it’s the cream-coloured one with the sheep on it, which you can see in a few of my photos), as well as some other things of ours that were getting kind of grubby (let’s see… the snooze sack that Toffy is always lying on these days, the mat that Toffy barfed on a few weeks ago and that kept on being left at the bottom of the dirty laundry basket, and the old beach towel that’s currently in my carrier), and after applying stain remover to a few specific areas, she tossed them all in the washing machine. They later went in the dryer and came out nice and clean.

So, yeah, Mom can thank me because my hairball got the laundry done.


P.S. I almost didn’t catch that I had written “snooze snack” instead of “snooze sack”! MOL!



February 17th 2014 8:32 pm
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Hey, cats! Guess what? I just earned 25 Zealies by playing the Dog Breed Photo Game over on Dogster! What a cool surprise! And to think that I’m not even a very good player!

Here’s a chance for you to earn 25 Zealies too! All you have to do is guess my current longest streak (the highest number of correct answers I got in a row before getting an incorrect answer) on the Dog Breed Photo Game.

Rules of the game:

- To win the 25 Zealies, you have to be the first cat to guess the exact number of my current longest streak on the Dog Breed Photo Game.
- Each cat can have 3 guesses.
- For each guess I’ll say either “higher” or “lower” or “You win!”

Since you’ll also see the other cats’ answers in my diary comments, this should make the game easier. If you have more than one family member playing your chances of winning will be greater… or maybe not.

Good luck and have fun playing!


Update: I'll now be giving away 100 Zealies to the cat with the winning answer!!


Getting older, but definitely not old!

October 8th 2013 11:08 pm
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It certainly has been a long time, a year and a half to be exact, since I last updated my diary, hasn’t it? I just turned 9 years old on Sunday, and guess who forgot it was my birthday… yes, her name starts with the letter “M”. I meowed at her repeatedly (while she was taking a bath so that she couldn’t ignore me) and then finally it dawned upon her that it was my special day and she wished me a “Happy Birthday, Vanessa” and no doubt felt guilty about having completely neglected to get me any kind of gift. Of course, I don’t want to sound ungrateful because I’m not. I’m lucky that my health is good. As they get older some cats--not me, but perhaps a certain cat whom I like to refer to as the O.C. (he thinks it means “Orange Cat”, but it really means “Old Cat”, mol!)--really start to show their age. I really shouldn’t be mean, even if he is mean to me. I’m just glad I’m not the one who has to take medicine. I suggest you read Toffy’s journal to find out what I’m meowing about.

On a lighter note, I got back at Mom for Sunday’s forgetfulness and made sure that Toffy was in on it too. When she arrived home from shopping tonight, at an earlier time than usual, Toffy and I purposely did not go to greet her at the door.

“Cats! Cats! I’m home! Where are you cats?” You could hear the disappointment in her voice.

We waited about a minute before making our appearance, walking together nonchalantly from the living room to the hallway, acting as if it was no big deal that she was home. This is in stark contrast to when Mom arrives home at a later time and we are both waiting impatiently at the door as soon as it opens. We got to eat earlier than most weeknights, which was a pleasant change.

Mom almost forgot to give Toffy his medicine later on at the scheduled time. In full bullying mode he had approached the entrance to the carrier where I was trying to nap and when my cries alerted Mom to what was happening, she looked at the time and realized it was time to administer the evening dose. Otherwise, I think she may have forgotten. Luckily, I was saved from being attacked.

Before I forget, I want to express my sincere thanks to all my friends who wished me a happy birthday and left such lovely gifts for me. Thank you for thinking of me. I haven’t been coming to Catster very much lately. I may be wrong, but there doesn’t appear to be much happening here anymore. It seems that whenever I come here there is some kind of sad news about a kitty who is very ill or who has journeyed to the Rainbow Bridge. If I missed saying good-bye to you, I’m sorry. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones… for now.



Easter Eggs, The Birds, and Identity Theft

April 9th 2012 2:46 pm
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Part 1: Easter Eggs and The Birds

What a surprise it was when Mom checked her email on Sunday night and saw that there were 175 messages! Upon closer inspection, it appeared that Toffy and I had received multiple (must have been over 100) special gifts from a handsome black cat from New Zealand named Tyson (#476218 - I'd link to his page, but since it takes forever to load, you'll probably just get stuck there like I did, waiting and waiting and waiting, until you realize that you'd be better off if you just left.). The special gifts that Toffy and I received from Tyson were the beautiful Easter Eggs that you've most likely seen gracing many a Catster cat's page, including your own. Thank you, Tyson! We are infinitely grateful for your friendship and generosity! We'd have loved to send you our own special gift as a token of appreciation but as I mentioned before we got stuck on your page and couldn't do much except to eventually leave in frustration. (I'm sure that Tyson didn't intend to give us so many Easter Eggs and maybe Catster should find a way of preventing incidents like this from happening. These Easter Eggs may have been free but imagine the same thing happening with one of the expensive gifts!)

Anymeow, as Mom began checking her 175 messages, she thought it would be a good idea to watch TV at the same time and as she flipped through the channels there was a movie that caught her attention and she decided to watch it, as it was just starting. It was a well-known Alfred Hitchcock movie from the early 1960s. So, as she's watching this movie, all of a sudden she notices that Toffy is standing on the small stool beside the TV trying to get at the screen. Now, why on earth could that be? Well, I'll give you a hint: the movie was called "The Birds," and a bunch of birds were chirping madly, which piqued Toffy's curiosity, obviously. The movie, which I too was watching from atop my cat tree, turned out to be quite a scary one. The feathered creatures--there were lots of them--had invaded a small town and were attacking the people who lived there, trying to get into their homes. I witnessed a murder of crows swoop down on a group of innocent school children who were trying to run to safety. How frightening! By this time, Toffy had already retreated to his basket in the opposite corner of the room.

Meanwhile, Mom was having major problems trying to read her email messages, even after deleting all of the multiple messages from Catster announcing Tyson's many special gifts. It was futile and she eventually just logged out and decided to let us visit Catster. I think we were on my page admiring my special gift Easter Eggs when we clicked on Tyson's picture to get to his page. We weren't able to see much of his page except for row upon row of Easter Eggs in the special gifts given section. We were intrigued by Tyson's primary photo, which shows him being held by a funny-looking big bird with an extra long bill. What a coincidence to be watching the movie "The Birds" at the same time as finding out that we had been bombarded with all these emails from Catster announcing multiple gifts of Easter Eggs from a cat whose primary picture is of him posing with a giant bird!! Yet, stranger things have happened!

Part 2: Identity Theft

Mom may have been the victim of multiple messages clogging up her email program; the people in the movie were the intended victims of all those evil birds that had invaded the town (most of the people managed to get away in the end, or so it appeared); and I was recently the victim of… Identity Theft!! No kidding, cats! My lovely friend Sabrina alerted me to the situation several weeks ago. Well, I didn't find out until I finally logged onto Catster after a long hiatus. Some person had stolen one or more of my photos, my name and bio from my Catster page and used it on another website (Cat Channel) in order to enter contests and win prizes. Can you imagine that!? Unfortunately, there is a downside to being cute and photogenic… but seriously, this could happen to you too and unless you frequent other websites besides Catster, you won't even be aware of what's going on unless someone happens to notice and mention it to you, like my friend Sabrina did. I'm so thankful that Sabrina suspected that it wasn't really me on Cat Channel and took the time to question me about my supposed page there. Believe me, I did not create a profile on that website and have no intention of doing so! Mom wrote an email to the people in charge there explaining that this was a case of identity theft and asked them to remove the fake page. If any of you happened to see my page there and thought it was really me, I can assure you that it wasn't the real me but someone who was pretending to be me, or rather someone pretending that I was their cat. Don't some people have better things to do with their time?! All I can say is… hhhhhiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssssssss!!!!!!


P.S. To make it harder for someone to steal your Catster photos, follow these instructions:
1) Go to your Catster account.
2) In option #2 Account preferences, click on the link "Review and set all your custom preferences".
3) On the Account Preferences page, you'll see #4 Photo sharing preferences. Click on the words "Modify now".
4) Read what it says on the page titled "Photo Sharing and Security Preferences" and then select the first option at the bottom of the page beside the sentence "Please add extra security to my photos so people cannot easily use them."
5) Click on the "SUBMIT" button at the bottom of the page and you're done.

P.P.S. I saw the funniest breaded cat photos of my friends TT and Tasha (look for the photos on their pages, you can't miss them)! Aren't they pawsome?! Strangely, Mom recently caught me eating a hole out of a piece of multigrain bread. Yes, it sounds bizarre for a committed carnivore like myself to have a craving for grains, doesn't it? But should you ever happen upon a photo of my face sticking through a piece of bread, somewhere on the Internet, rest assured that it's not really me it's someone who has stolen my identity! MOL!


Health Update

December 20th 2011 9:38 pm
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Hi there, kits! I hope you're enjoying the holiday season! I haven't written in my diary in a while and some of you might be curious about how things are going with me. Remember the pee sample that never got to the vet clinic? You'll also recall that I was due for a teeth cleaning. Mom made a dental appointment for me a few weeks ago to coincide with her time off from work. It was recommended that I be allowed to stay overnight so that I could be observed and so that a pee sample could be obtained from me as well. The pee sample would be analyzed so that any abnormalities could serve as a clue as to what might be wrong with me. You see, Mom thinks I've been producing more pee than I used to, based on the size of the clumps in the litterbox. She claims I'm peeing more than Toffy and thinks it should be the other way around.

So, on Monday afternoon Mom dropped me off at the vet clinic. She had every intention of leaving the stroller there with me so that I could sleep in it but the vet tech told her that there just wasn't enough room for it in the back with all the borders that they had at this time of year. Okay. Fine. The empty stroller went home with Mom and I got to stay in the standard accommodation, which was probably better since I had a food dish, water bowl and litterbox too, items not available to me in the stroller, obviously.

Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon around 1:30 pm. Mom gets a phone call from the vet clinic. The dental cleaning went really well, apparently, but the vet wants to talk to Mom. Perhaps something was detected in the pee sample, she guesses. Mom arrives at the vet clinic shortly before the scheduled time of 5:00 pm with the empty stroller. She has to wait several minutes before we are reunited in one of the examination rooms. The vet tech tells her that I've been rather cranky all afternoon. The first thing Mom notices is that I have these awful eye boogers. I've been getting those a lot recently. Perhaps it's something to ask the vet about… She eventually gets a tissue from her purse and starts wiping the eye boogers. Just then the vet walks in the room. Mom mentions the eye boogers but the vet tells her that I was given some antibiotic ointment and that I'm in no mood to be poked. Okay. Fine.

At this point Mom is expecting to hear some not so good news about my lab results and perhaps even receive a lecture of some sort. But guess what? There's nothing wrong with me!! All the tests came back normal!!* Even the pee sample, which had to be taken from me because I did not pee while at the clinic, turned out to be perfectly normal. Not only that, but unlike Toffy I didn't even have to have any teeth extracted, something Mom feared might have to happen. I was sent home with some tablets to take for a week. They're supposed to help my gums or something. We'll see starting tomorrow morning how that goes. I'm supposed to eat the tablet with a little bit of food and then Mom is supposed to give me some water as well. Afterwards, I can eat my regular meal.

Oh, before I forget, there's some more good news! The store where Mom buys our cat food now sells Weruva! She brought home a few cans in addition to the usual brands she buys for us and promised that she'll include a few cans in our rotation every week. The price was pretty reasonable too. Tonight we had "Polynesian BBQ" for dinner. Yeah, I know it contains fish, but we're allowed fish once or twice a week. Mom even caught me eating out of Toffy's food bowl! That's how hungry I was! Ha! ha!


*Two of the values (albumin and cholesterol) were slightly elevated (above the maximum), but the vet hadn't mentioned anything so it's probably nothing to worry about.

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