Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Conferences for Kitty

Many humans have grown accustomed to attending conferences or conventions, either for work or simply for an opportunity to dress up like their favorite Battlestar Galactica characters.
I think cats would have a heyday at conferences and conventions. 
Here are six they would enjoy attending.

1.  World Nap Association Convention and Trade Show

Cats are known to get wasted on nip and pass out at these conferences. Photo by eugenethephotobug
Cats love to nap and are always looking for new an interesting ways to catch some Z's. At the World Nap Association Convention and Trade Show, they can attend workshops facilitated by world renowned feline snooze experts. This year, tickets sold out in record time because Dr. Stripey McGravy led beginner as well as advanced sessions titled "Napping Positions Your Mother Never Told You About." 

2. The Feline Apathy Guild Annual Conference

Cats love the hands-on workshop where they practice mirroring looks of indifference with industry experts. Photo of Hector by Nicky Westbrook.
Members of the Feline Apathy Guild are usually late to register because they lose interest after reading the first paragraph of the invitation. As the date grows closer, they realize they probably should attend. After all, they should always stay current with new findings and methodology in the field of feline apathy. Plus, the keynote speech this year will be stage star Smokey Sullivan's "Give My Disregards to Broadway." 

3. Human Management Conference

As the keynote speaker encourages, "The pillow is yours. Claim it."
Kitties constantly seek updated methods for managing the humans in their lives. This intensive two-day conference has practical sessions with speakers and facilitators who are masters in their field of study. Due to popular demand, the "I Said, Open the Blinds!" workshop will return for a second year.
Between sessions, participants can choose between the casual "Power-Pawing on the Door" gathering or enjoy some down time in the Nap Zone. Newbies are invited to come early to participate in a mixer, where there will be various treats, water fountains, and a special musical performance by "Down With People."

4. N.I.P. (Network of Internet Pussycats) Conference

Whether you're a cat with a video already on the Internet, or you're simply dreaming of a career on YouTube or Vine, you're invited to participate in this fun conference. Cats will have the opportunity to mingle with experienced cat Internet stars and join one of the popular breakout sessions like "Roomba Riding 101" and "High Velocity Box-Sliding." 
Phoebe plans to attend and entered the video below in the N.I.P. "Make Me a Star" Awards. 

5. International Box and Lid Expo

Cats fight for the chance of being the pizza box model at the trade show. Photo by Laura_Innis
The International Box and Lid Expo is the premier gathering place for feline box enthusiasts from all corners of the world. The expo center boasts the largest display of boxes and lids and attendees are encouraged to test them all. Some of the crowd favorites are the containers that come with promises of food bits and grease, like pizza and doughnut boxes, and especially the lids.

6. FeedMe-Con

The cosplay at this conference is unmatched. Photo of Oscar by Natalie Huckelberry.
Cats who enjoy cosplay swarm to FeedMe-Con, which is a food-based convention for cats. The convention center (Oreo's basement) is lined with booths offering samples of the newest treats on the market, as well as tasty nibbles of cats' favorite human food. Last year, the line to meet Brighton, the giant bag of Cheetos, stretched up the stairs and through the kitchen. Get there early.

Come early if you want to meet the giant bag of Cheetos. Photo of Brighton by Teri Thorsteinson
What conference or convention would your cat attend? Tell us about it in the comments!

***See entire article here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Does Kitty Need a Life Coach?

Saffy is a gorgeous gray gal. For real -- she could be a cat model. That part's the good news. The not-so-good news is she doesn't really do much and her self-esteem is buried pretty deeply in the litter box. I feel so badly for her because Cosmo and Phoebe treat her like a second-class citizen, and she spends her days sitting pretty in her basket thinking about food or actively seeking food ... usually not her own.
We, of course, play with her and offer equal snuggle time, but that doesn't seem to make her any more animated. I'm not asking that she Prancercise or juggle ketchup bottles (although that would be crazy-cool) -- I'd just like to see her chase something un-food-related now and again. And because she's a bit of a slug, I wind up writing way more about Cosmo and Phoebe and taking fewer photos of The Saffster. And for that, I feel a world of guilt.

Saffy, the first step is admitting you need help.
Here are five reasons why I feel like she could seriously benefit from some one-on-one time with a life coach. 

1.  She needs to express herself

A new hairdo always helps boost the old self-image.
Sometimes we allow ourselves to fade into the background when we don't feel self-confident. A new look often helps us feel ready to shine! Saffy could definitely visit the beauty parlor and try on a fresh new 'do.
Some cats like to set themselves apart with a fashionable hat or smart sweater. Saffy opts to skip the duds and favors the au naturel style, but is willing to toy around with wigs and colored nail caps. Just because she's 13 and has only six teeth in her mouth doesn't mean that she doesn't want to feel fancy.

Oh, Saffy ... the "Rachel" is so 1995.

2.  She needs to get out of the basket

Saff, you can't hide from your problems.
Although we play with her every day, she's just not one for a lot of physical activity. Perhaps some of it is her age, but she never really has been much of a go-getter. I think if she picked up a hobby of some kind, she might feel more motivated to leave the basket. She's always loved batting around game and puzzle pieces, so why not go with what she knows? Plus, she might meet new friends who appreciate her penchant for checkers and the gentler side of life.

Maybe a hobby?

3. She needs to set goals

Goal: Stop stalking everybody's food.
Setting goals helps give us vision and direction. Even baby steps are helpful. Lounging in a basket may be Saffy's favorite pastime, but anything food-related comes in a close second. When she's not feeding her own face, she's either stalking another cat's food or jumping on the counter, sniffing around for scraps of human grub. She's thinks she's totally sneaky, but she's totally not. Plus, losing a pound or two might help her feel a little more svelte and slinky. Look out, fellas: Here comes a six-toothed cougar hottie!
Shifting away from a food-centered existence will be challenging for her, but I think with the nurturing guidance of a life coach coupled with daily journaling and affirmations, this goal is very doable. Imagine how much more popular she'll be at parties! After all, others tend to avoid the girl who always has their face buried in other partygoers' plates.

Goal: Limit takeout pizza to once a week.

4. She needs to stay focused

Ignore other cats' attempts at hassling you.
It's hard work to stay focused when other cats are constantly harassing you. Saffy will have to learn to tune out the naysayers and keep Stuart Smalley's voice on a mental loop: "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me." 

Mix it up by frequently changing positions.

5. She needs persistence

Chin up, old girl -- you'll get there!
I know it feels like a lot to chew on (apologies to Saffy for the food reference), but I'm confident she has the fortitude it takes to sparkle with the best of them. After some time with a skilled life coach, she'll be ready to take on the other cats, her personal demons ... and the world!
Does your cat need a life coach? Tell us about it in the comments!

***See the entire article here.