Ok, let’s talk about the elephant in the room… My name’s Rachel and I am a cat-oholic. Since becoming single I find myself sort of saying it under my breath like “yeah I have two cats” because of the crazy cat lady stigma. But after much soul searching I decided to come out as a cat owner as it were and deal with the consequences. After all – any man I meet will have to like my cats if they are going to be with me. “Meh, I think cats are alright” will no longer be my tagline.
So…I love cats! What is not to love? Their cute little paws, the way they give you a little nudge with a nose when you cry, as though to say ‘hey! Why are you crying, come and play instead?’ The way that you can provide complete bliss for your furry friend just by waving a ribbon creates lovely times and lots of giggles, and while I don’t run home thinking cats, cats, cats I do think that my house became a home the day that these spiky little bundles arrived. Cats are inherently selfish creatures, so to gain their love feels like a reward and humans do ponder over their ways – that much is clear from all of the literature out there.
This month a new book has launched called Meow – A book of happiness for cat lovers. By Anouska Jones it currently retails at £12.95. This glossy hardback is a compendium of quotes that aim to capture the essence of this fascination. I actually really recommend this book for those cat lovers who hate books about cats. Rather than looking at the authors experience of cats, or god forbid doing it from a cat’s perspective. I actually hate those books with a passion (and trust me I have been given a few, the curse and blessing for a cat owner is cat related gifts) and much prefer books such as Simon’s Cat, which give a bit of a comedic angle on the crazy little things that cats do. This book has a feel of that about it – in that it collates the ponderings of many people.
Verdict: 7/10 definitely a one to get for cat owners if you are stuck for ideas!
While I am the topic of cat related gifts I must quickly mention another product I spotted recently on Amazon and have instantly ordered. Firstly it felt like it sums everything up in two words, secondly it is an absolute bargain at £1.79. Be aware as with all international orders this takes ages to arrive, so order early!
Verdict: 9/10 does what it says on the tin!
ADVENT CALENDARS FOR CATS
For us Brits, advent calendars are another one of those strange customs that we blindly follow each Christmas. I know some grown ups who still love to buy an advent calendar for themselves each year, myself included. Yet, it lacks the same element of excitement as a adult. Let’s face it, if we fancy a chocolate we can just go and buy some chocolate. After a quick calculation I realised that the average 26 year old has probably opened 575 little doors, and eaten 575 little chocolates in their lifetime. Less if you shared your calendars, and more if you stole chocolates from your siblings! And to those poor children who had the calendars with no chocolates, the ones with only pictures behind the door I can only imagine that as an adult you have given up on the ‘excitement’ altogether.
Dreamies have found the perfect solution – advent calendars for cats. At first I thought the calendar did not appear to be good value, if each door only housed one treat. However on closer inspection i realised that each door actually has approximately 10 treats inside, and on the 25th December your kitty will receive a really speedy wind up toy mouse. My cats both absolutely love this, they come running to the crinkle of cardboard and rub against my legs waiting for the little treats to be released. Thank you Dreamies, for putting a bit of excitement back into my advent calendar experience!
With prices from £2.99 in supermarkets and retailers such as Amazon it won’t break the bank either.
Verdict: A Purfect 10/10
If, like myself, you are addicted to the joy of giving at Christmas you will find just about any excuse to buy the perfect present for every member of your family. There is not a single aspect about the gifting process – whether it is giving or receiving, wrapping or unwrapping – that I do not love. Even looking at the neatly stacked gifts under the tree gives me a shiver of excitement. For pet lovers, Christmas is yet another excuse to spoil those furry little creatures that give their cuddles freely and can put a smile on even the grumpiest of faces.
One of the best gifts that I have found to date for cats is the cat play house from iwantoneofthose.com. For £14.99 you can order a plane, tank, Cadillac or fire engine, and the concept is a flat pack cardboard set that you can then slot together to build the play house for your cat (I presume the idea was borne from the fact that cats love jumping into cardboard empty boxes) Upon arrival, I was very surprised at how large (though flat) the box was, the whole set comprised of under 10 pieces, which is quite handy if you do not like the ‘fiddly bits’. It did take me about 20mins to put together, as my cat Cleo was already intrigued and tried to lend a helping paw. This in itself was a rather fun activity!
After building the plane, it did take me a while to coax Cleo in. As it has a hole in the bottom (which isnt really very accessible) and a hole in the top it did feel like the wings got in the way a little. In this sense I think Cleo, being quite a curvaceous cat, would have been better suited to the Cadillac or fire truck. That said after throwing a few treats in there she quickly overcame her fears and was jumping in and out happily.
The plane now sits in our living room and Cleo loves it. I can imagine on Christmas day it will keep her occupied and away from our presents (especially if we throw our used wrapping paper in there!)
Verdict: A very fun 9/10
Cat Gadget Gifts
Personalised iPad case: InspireMyCase
This would make the perfect gift for a male or female, as it ticks both boxes – gadget and design. It was really simple to create I clicked onto the website (www.inspiremycase.com) chose the case that I required (there is also the option to choose a phone case based on the model) I then uploaded my JPEG photograph, and chose which text I would like to appear. It took under ten minutes, and when the case arrived I was amazed at the quality, it slots onto my iPad easily and has a really glossy feel to it. I would definitley recommend this as a gift for a personal touch!
Verdict: 9 / 10
For more blog posts from Contributor Rachel Mullaney, check out her blog A Geordie Lost in London at ageordielostinlondon.wordpress.com