Saturday, November 30, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas Gift Ideas, Day 2: Cat Perches and Calendars

Twelve Days of Christmas Gift Ideas, Day 2:

Cat Perches and Calendars

Yesterday we talked about cat trees and custom original artwork, because those need time to get made for Christmas delivery. Today's products are no different. We're getting them listed early because you need to order them now if you hope to have them in time for Christmas morning.

Oh, and today is Small Business Saturday, when American Express is urging people to shop with their small, local businesses. But just because Old Maid Cat Lady is online doesn't mean that we're a huge company! We're still a tiny business, operated by a genuine old maid cat lady. So we could use a little love today, too.

Day 2 for Cats: Cat Perches & Stairs

We discussed yesterday how much cats love to get up off the floor. And who can blame them? They're living in a houseful of giants, so to get on eye level with you, they need a little elevation. You can give them that with a nice perch, placed up high.

A lot of these items are also custom made to order, like those you see above: the wall-mounted stairs from The Vertical Cat. You can get them in a variety of custom finishes, with 3 to 6 steps on them, and with the elevation going up to the left or the right. Priced from $103 to $213, they'll help your kitties reach their high-up perches without knocking that priceless vase off your shelf. They even have a corner stairs model $137.45 to $162.45) so you can further customize your kitty steps. (All prices shown will be + shipping, so figure a little extra into your budget for that.)

And speaking of those perches, have you "catified" your house yet (to quote Jackson Galaxy)? If not, you need to get right on that! Perches give your cats a way to get up off the floor in an approved spot instead of atop your refrigerator or armoire. You know as well as I do that they're going to get up high one way or another, so it's better to have some approved, safe spots for them to hang out. The Vertical Cat makes a few different wall-mounted cat perches, all carpeted and hand crafted from wood right here in the good ol' U-S-of-A! Priced from $67.95 to $155, you'll find them in Old Maid Cat Lady's Cat Perches and Shelves section. This is a multi-page section of the site, so don't just stop at the first page! Click on one of the blue numbers at the bottom to see additional perches and shelves.

Among the items you'll see there are also some heated perches, which are great for chilly days. The Kitty Sill, shown below, comes in both heated ($52) and unheated ($31) versions. It sits in a sunny window so kitty can get a peek outside from a comfy, warm, microfleecy spot. The Deluxe Kitty Sill ($41) comes with a bolster in leopard or cat print, but does not have an electrically heated version available.

But not all cat perches need to be attached to a wall or windowsill! If you'd rather have a floor-standing model, Mr. Herzher's Craftsman Series, shown below, comes in single or double perches, with or without attached scratchers, in ebony or cherry wood finishes. Scroll down from the link provided here to see them, since the three options are at the bottom of that page of products. This one is the two-level ebony finish with scratcher. It's like a fine piece of furniture in your home! Prices range from $84.99 to $179.99.

Imperial Cat has a wide range of corrugated cardboard scratchers, many of which can double as perches! Cats love the honeycomb surface of a corrugated scratcher, and they apparently find it an attractive place to nap, as well, as exhibited by the kitty below on their Turtle scratcher. Many designs are available, from whimsical to elegant, priced from $15.95 to $144.95. You'll find them throughout the four pages of this section of Old Maid Cat Lady.

Also in this section, you'll also find other floor-standing cat perches, some of which are also cat trees, which we covered yesterday. I'm adding more all the time, as my time allows, so keep checking back to see what's new.

Day 2 for People: 2014 Calendars

For people, another item that's good to order early is 2014 calendars. Old Maid Cat Lady's supplier also supplies most of the bookstores across the USA, so the stores tend to order up most of their inventory by this time of year. By mid-December, there are only a handful of calendar titles left. But as of this week, here are a few fun suggestions for calendars that are still in stock. Order yours quickly if you want to make sure you get it! (Calendar prices do not include shipping; you have several options, priced from $4.50 to $19, available with each one.)

Old Maid Cat Lady sells three main types of cat calendars: wall calendars (which also come in full size and mini sizes), page-a-day desk calendars, and datebooks/planners/engagement calendars. You can shop specific pages for just each type, or go to the complete Cat Calendars section to see them all. There are  Here are some of my favorites that were still available as of this week:

A perennial favorite, the 365 Cats page-a-day calendar ($12.95) has been around for decades...and with good reason! It gives you all the annual winners of their contest, one for each workday of the year, with another for each weekend. 

Or maybe you'd prefer funny to cute for your daily calendar:

Fans of Bucky, the Machiavellian Siamese cat in the Get Fuzzy comic strip will enjoy this daily calendar ($13.95). Each page features a new cartoon with Bucky, Satchel, and Rob.

Hello Kitty is very popular, especially with the young and the young at heart. This year, she has calendars in a regular wall format ($13.95), an engagement calendar ($15.95, in very limited supply) and this bizarre wall calendar that's a mash-up of Hello Kitty and rock band KISS ($13.95). This one has been so popular that it's only available to backorder from the publisher, if they still have any left:

Love the LOLcats? This wall calendar ($13.95) gives you a year's worth of them! There's also a page-a-day version of the Cheezburger calendar priced the same. On the back of each tear-off page of it is a puzzle, riddle, quote, tip, or some other little extra boost for your day!

Or perhaps that person you're shopping for is more of a "NO!" person. For a newer online star, there's always Tard (short for "Tarder Sauce"), AKA the Grumpy Cat, whose calendar is shown below ($12.95). Our supplier still has some of these in stock in their warehouse, but once they're gone, the publisher is out of stock, so there will be no more of Miss Tard's calendar for 2014. Get one early, while they're still there!

B. Kliban's cats are a classic that's still in high demand, and he has calendars in three formats: full-size wall ($13.95), mini wall ($7.95), and engagement ($14.95). They're all getting in very low supply, so order quickly. All are from Pomegranate, which means they're certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as environmentally friendly.

If cats doing downward-facing dog is not too much of a paradox for your gift recipient, she (or he, we're not judging) may enjoy the Yoga Cats wall calendar ($13.95). Dan Borris' photos of cats in yoga-like poses are a hoot!

While you're in that peaceful state of mind, the Zen Cat wall calendar ($13.95) is another option to consider. It features the art and poetry of Nicholas Kirsten-Honshin. One of the earth-friendly calendars from Amber Lotus, it's printed on either FSC-certified or 100% recycled 50% post-consumer paper processed without chlorine, and printed with soy-based inks.

As always, we have lots of breed-specific and coat-pattern-specific calendars for 2014: black cats (or this one), calicos, Maine Coons (alone or with friends), tuxedo cats, Siamese cats, tigers, and far too many kitten ones to link to all of them. There are more cartoon cats, and several art cat calendars. You get the idea - if there's a cat calendar out there, Old Maid Cat Lady has probably got it. And you need to order it now, before it sells out!

More ideas tomorrow as our Twelve Days of Christmas Gift Ideas series continues!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas Gift Ideas, Day 1: Cat Trees and Original Artwork

Twelve Days of Christmas Gift Ideas

Day 1: Cat Trees and Original Artwork

Once again, it's time to shop in earnest for Christmas, or whatever other holidays you celebrate at this time of year. And once again, Old Maid Cat Lady is here to help direct you to the best of what we offer for you!

With the shopping season being short due to a late Thanksgiving this year, we're starting a couple of days earlier to give you plenty of time. The items that take the longest tend to be made to order, so let's start with those!

Day 1 For Cats: Cat Trees

Every cat loves a good cat tree. And who wouldn't? You can still get the old-fashioned carpeted kind, if you like, but today's marketplace offers so many more options that look nicer in your living room.

Take, for example, the Kitty Palm, shown above. It has a sisal-wrapped trunk, which you can get in the lighter shade, as shown, or a darker brown color. Its branches are available in the palm, like those shown, or you can get ficus-style branches. They come in a multitude of heights, with varying numbers of platforms covered in tan or dark green. My boys love theirs, and scramble up that trunk like little monkeys! That's my Captain Roughy licking his lips while sitting on the upper platform of it.

You'll find Kitty Palms in Old Maid Cat Lady's Cat Trees section. Prices range from $178 to $278, plus shipping (all prices shown are without shipping). They're custom made when you order them, so it'll take a few weeks to get one. Order yours early.

Also in our Cat Trees section, you'll see some exciting new designs. The Catitude line from Midwest looks like modern art:
...and has a few heights and designs available. Priced from $52.95 to $94.95. Shown above is the "Salvadore" model.

Other cat trees look like fine furniture, like the Alexa from The Vertical Cat ($260), which is designed specifically to fit into a corner:

Or the Cat Power Tower ($399.95), which provides your cats with a veritable playground that includes a hunting maze and twirling feathers, and comes in different finishes to match your d├ęcor:

Don't have much space for a cat tree? Not to worry! If your ceilings are 9 feet, here's one that's only 6.5 inches wide, that stays in place with a spring-mounted top:
A bargain at only $49.95, it comes in blue or beige. Or you may wish to literally hang a spot for your cats to hang out with the Hanging Cat Condo from K&H ($112):

It hangs on the back of any door and gives kitties a safe place to climb and hide. 

And for the real Rolls-Royces of cat trees, you may be interested in the four custom designs from Cages By Design. All made to order, they can take up to five weeks to arrive, so they need to be ordered early. Some are available in a faux fur covering or bare cedar if you need an outdoor version. The Crystal Tower ($149.95 in faux fur or $399.95 in cedar) is a basic cat tree with platforms galore. The Roller Rink ($289.95, in faux fur only) stands over six feet and includes lots of sisal scratching surfaces, hanging tunnels and toys, all topped by a perch. The Purrsian Cat Tree is the next step up at $299.95 (faux fur only). It has elevated condos, hanging toys, and ramps. The Triple Tower ($399.95) is an outdoor version in cedar. Next up is the Tarzan ($322.95 in faux fur or $439.95 in cedar), with platforms, elevated condo, dangling toys and rope, and even a hammock! The Kitty Cabana ($399.95, in faux fur only), shown below, has a ladder, hammock, nest, teepee, condo, and perch...pretty much everything a cat could want, all in one cat tree!

Day 1 for People: Original Artwork

These items also take a little time to be created for you, so it's a good idea to order them early. Have you ever wanted an elegant oil portrait of your cat? Of course you have! It could be as easy as uploading your favorite photo and waiting a few weeks to receive your custom oil portrait! Below is the one I had made of my beloved little Vixen. Each portrait arrives rolled up in a tube so you can have it framed however you like. They're available in four sizes and priced from $79.95 to $119.95, including shipping!

How about a clock featuring the likeness of your adorable kitty? The Clock Lady's custom kaleidoscopic cat clocks can do just that! They're available in two sizes, and priced from $130 to $165.
If you've lost a special cat this year, artist Linda Huffman can take a bit of kitty's cremains and/or hair and make it into a beautiful dichroic glass Memory Pendant! This way, you'll always have a part of your beloved cat close to you. A variety of styles are available, priced from $91.95 to $194.95, all set in .925 Argentium® sterling silver. The one shown below is an example of one. Don't want jewelry? There's also a "worry stone" and an ornament available.
But while we're speaking of jewelry, artist Kay Fazio does beautiful pieces representing numerous cat breeds in sterling silver and 14 kt gold, many set with gemstones. Pendants, charms earrings, a few rings...and there are even rings for men! Bengals, Savannahs, Pixie-Bobs, and plenty more breeds are represented, and she's known for her incredible attention to detail on them. They're all custom made to order, as well, so get your orders for them in early. Prices range from $49 to $1,499. They are certain to please! Shown below is Fazio's stunning Savannah cat pendant in 14 kt gold with black diamonds...yes, it's that one priced at the top of the range (of course), and it's about 2 inches tall.

So, there you have it: a wide array of items to please both cats and people, and things that need to be ordered early if you want them before Christmas. What are you waiting for? It's Black Friday and time's a wastin'! Still not sure? There'll be another post here tomorrow with even more ideas for you on Day 2 of our 12 Days of Christmas Shopping Ideas for Cats and Cat Lovers.