Monthly Archives: January 2012

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Making Notsokitty more Cat-tastic with Codeacademy!

If you’ve done any looking around this website one thing becomes pretty obvious: I don’t know how to code! I had developed an aversion to coding back in college; I was already an engineering major with a penchant for geekery– I was pretty sure knowing how to code would guarantee me a spot at the singles table at every future wedding I would ever attend. But alas, I should’ve known better— geeks always win in the end! If I had learned to code back then perhaps I would be rich beyond my wildest cat hat dreams by now…. or not…. but either way, it was a silly thing to avoid learning how to do.

Recently I had been trying to think of ways to spruce up Notsokitty.com without driving myself crazy in the process. Enter Codeacademy with their innovative and (better yet) FREE learn-to-code program “Code Year”. Founded on the premise that everybody in this age should know how to code, Code Year is an independently sponsored program that enables technically inclined people to be “building their own websites and apps in no time.” They just launched on January 1st, 2012 with the slogan that you could make this your new years resolution. I first read about codeacademy when I heard about Mayor Michael Bloomberg signing up— also in the same article I read how top coders become so popular they need agents like Hollywood movie stars—- I WAS SOLD!

According to MSN’s slate magazine, Codeacademy’s program takes about five hours a week to keep up with the lessons….. I spend more time than that a week just deciding on what shoes to wear so that seems more than reasonable. I signed up by just giving them my email address— that was it… I have made my way through the first few Codeacademy lessons already (I know how to define a variable in javascript!), and I must say it’s (geeky) fun. They make it interactive so you have to actually “code” to get credit for the lessons—- and they give you points and badges for doing things correctly so it feels kind of like you’re playing a video game.

Will I become a super coder with a Hollywood agent as a result of the Code Year program? Probably not….. But perhaps Codeacademy can give me some more flexibility to how I approach and design Notsokitty.com or technical problems elsewhere in life. Or at least something to mention at nerdy dinner parties 🙂

Life-Changing Technology: The Litter Robot

I love almost all things CAT, this is no secret. However as much as I could ever love cats, I abhor their litter box with almost the same passion. I have an incredibly sensitive nose—- I once dreamed about becoming a kitty vet before I tried working at a vet’s office one summer in my youth—- the animal smell nearly drove me to madness! I would literally not breath through my nose for days at a time….. Needless to say that a career in animal care was not in my future!

Living in the Boston-metro area requires that my cats be litter-box dependent since it is much too dangerous for them to be unsupervised outside. This leads to a very bad internal conflict for me: the battle between my love of cats and my hatred of smells!  I had tried everything throughout the years to get my cats litter situation under control— up until a year ago it was a losing battle. I tried changing the litter everyday to combat odors (a costly and time-sucking activity), I tried different litter box designs and liners (that might emit smells differently), I even tried potty-training my poor cats (a bad idea if you try this by just putting their normal litter box on top of your only toilet). Ugh! Nothing was working……. Enter Litter Robot!

Litter Robot was truly a life-changing discovery for me. I am not being paid by the Litter Robot people to sing this product praises—- I just sound like I am because I love this product so much. It is a little pricey, but well worth the cost for any cat lover that is sick of being torn between their love of cats and hatred of litter boxes.

 

Litter Robot works by electronically sensing when your cat has entered and exited the litter box and automatically flipping the “litter dome” into a garbage bag you have pre-loaded into the holding area after each use. This eliminates the smell as soon as it happens since it is enclosed in the bottom compartment— a perk that could not be overestimated in my book! At the end of a week or so you just take the garbage bag out and put a new one in—- no scooping and no touching any litter!

Litter Robot has to be the best product for cats that I have come across in awhile. Ever since I got it I must say that I love my cats even more without litter issues to deal with. I even think it has made it possible for me to someday have a third cat while still having a home that smells pleasant—- a theory that my cat-hating husband will not let me try out yet 🙂 Perhaps someday!

Selecting Cat Themed Sports Teams (why I love the Detroit Lions)

My husband is a Boston sports NUT— this is an understatement. I have declared today “Sportsmas” for him because there are three important televised professional sports games for him to watch today, and he has been acting like a kid waiting for Christmas all week. Boston sports fans…..Sigh….. I swear it’s a sickness sometimes! In the meantime though, I am reminded of my own sport team fandom since the Detroit Lions have made the playoffs for the first time since….. well since….. since I can remember, we’ll leave it at that!

How did I become a Detroit Lions fan? I don’t live in Detroit now, nor have I ever (born and raised New Englander). I’ve never EVEN BEEN to Detroit— a feat I consider remarkable given that I have visited so many places in our great United States. How can this be that I love the Detroit Lions then? Well, when I was little there was only one NFL team with a picture of a cat on its helmet (please don’t try to guess my age by expansion team timeline though)…  So naturally it was the Detroit Lions I grew to love. Sure there was another cat team at the time (the Bengals) but I’m not sure I knew what a bengal even was back then and since they didn’t have a convenient  picture on their helmets I passed them up to be my team of choice.

The old Detroit Lions helmet logo

The old Detroit Lions helmet logo

As a matter of fate and similar reasoning I soon became a Detroit Tigers fan too. Now everybody I speak to about my sports team preferences assumes I’m from Detroit! HA! Little do they know I’m all about mascots and cats! Not sure if my loser-edly Lions can eke  out a win today, but I am certainly hoping that they can– and not just for the typical fan reasons. You see, I’m in need of some new cat team attire— and I know they will manufacture more Lions related paraphernalia if they have a successful playoff run. Let’s go Lions!

Aside from the Detroit teams, I will cheer for any cat team as long as they aren’t challenging my precious Lions or Tigers. When I went to college at Clarkson University I found it difficult to cheer for our lame mascot (Golden Knight…. UGH!) and I wanted to cheer for the other team— especially on the occasion where they would play UVM or another school with a Cat Mascot!

I know that my reasoning and logic behind selecting cat sports teams doesn’t make me a  “real sports fan” in the eyes of other sports fans. But I never set out wanting to be a sports fan— I’m a CAT FAN! GO CATS GO!

Go cats go

 

NEW CAT HAT!!! The first Lady Gaga inspired kitty creation

What has the Notso Kitty Shop been missing thus far?  There is a cat hat theme  that has been suggested by more than a few people: The Lady Gaga inspired look for cats. Up until a few weeks ago I was at a loss of which Lady Gaga look would look best on a cat…. but then it hit me that I should perhaps do a series of Lady Gaga looks for all sorts of cats! With that sort of freedom I no longer was worried about what the “best” look would be to choose— I would get to all my favorites eventually if the first few worked out favorably.

Where to start? Well, just googling Lady Gaga comes up with millions of pictures of her in her “Hair Bow”— a bow made of her own hair (or hair extensions)— which is one of her signature looks. An example:

Lady Gaga Hair Bow

Lady Gaga Hair Bow

Another signature look of Lady Gaga’s that I love, though they are ever-changing, are her crazy sunglasses. I especially loved these heart-shaped ones that she sported on a couple of occasions:

Lady Gaga Heart Sunglasses

Lady Gaga Heart Sunglasses

The combination of a Lady Gaga Hair Bow and heart shaped sunglasses were what I chose to go with for my first Gaga look for cats…. So…. How to put this together for kitty? At first I started thinking about attaching hair extensions to cat fur, and I immediately got grossed out. The thought of human-looking hair on a cat always seemed so foolish to me (mind you, royal kitty fascinators do not seem foolish to me….. my foolish-barometer might need a calibration…. but I digress). Then I thought that cats should wear a fur bows instead of a hair bows— and it almost instantly came to me to make it of faux fur. Perfect!

The heart-shaped sunglasses were a little bit of a project, but they came together easily once I got an idea of what the construction could look like. I used cellophane, foam, felt and elastic to make these beauties and I have to say my efforts really paid off! The insides are lined with cheetah-printed felt so they stay comfortably on cats. Fluffy just LOVED them! He purred as soon as I put them on him. My Lady Ga-cat! Put your paws up Fluffy…. You were born this way!

Lady Gaga Kitty

Lady Gaga Kitty Look--- for the Notso Kitty Shop

Now available in the Notso Kitty Shop!!! Get your kitty it’s own Lady Gaga look!

Lady Gaga Kitty

Lady Gaga Kitty

Fluffy loves his Lady Gaga kitty look

Fluffy loves his Lady Gaga kitty look

 

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