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Happy Healthy Cat Month: Show the World That You and Your Cat Are Purrfect Together

September is Happy Healthy Cat Month—and there’s never been a better time to show our cats some extra love. Recently, the cat lovers at Meow Mix ran the Purrfect Together Survey, which asked cat parents around the country about their special bond with their four-legged friends. Here are some of the meow-nificent results:
83% of cats take naps with their humans
This is surprising—and not because 83% of people love napping with kitty. The bigger question is: Who are the 17% of deprived humans who don’t get to experience the joy of napping with their cats?
80% of cat parents believe they can interpret their kitty’s meows
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While humans and cats may purr in different languages, that doesn’t stop most cat mommies and daddies from understanding what their kitty wants—whether it be some treats, cat nip, or just a snuggle partner.
72% of cat parents love to surprise their kitties with treats
Speaking of treats, nothing makes a cat happier than some spontaneous, unexpected goodies from the person who cares for them the most.
55% of cats love chicken-flavored nibbles
Exciting news: Meow Mix has just released a brand new culinary-inspired food made with real chicken or salmon, Bistro Recipes—a classy meal for a classy kitty! Head over Meow Mix’s new Purrfect Together web portal right meow, and you can download a coupon for $2.50 off any bag of Meow Mix Bistro Recipes.
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And that’s not all! You need a classy painting to go with that classy meal. On the Purrfect Together portal, you can enjoy the unique experience of converting a photo of you and your cat into a Meowsterpiece—a digital “oil” painting that helps express and immortalize your cat-love on canvas. I did it, and you should too! (Poor Horus was not thrilled to pose with me, can you tell?)
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Now it’s time to show me how special your human-cat bond is! Post your Meowsterpiece on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #PurrfectTogether. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Paw It Forward With Morris the Cat

Hey Random Thoughts of Crazy Mandy readers! Morris the Cat, from 9Lives cat food, here. (You may have thought that a cat’s only computer skills involve laying on the keyboard while others are trying to use it, but in fact, we are very tech savvy.)

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For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve starred in over fifty 9Lives cat food commercials, am an advo-cat for kitty rescue, and was even crowned one of Advertising’s Greatest Icons by the Museum of Broadcast Communications. (But I must say, I took issue with this honor. I didn’t know I was advertising all those years… I just really love 9Lives!)

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In case you couldn’t guess, I’m purr-ty much an expert when it comes to eating, and that’s the subject of my next venture. As you know, the holidays are ‘prime eating time’ and I want you to be able to chow down like a pro.

I also thought, with everyone in the holiday spirit, it’s a great time to give back. Lucky for you, giving back is as easy as using your opposable thumbs. With those two bad boys – and the rest of your fingers – you can help feed a kitty in need. Watch this video to find out how. (Spoiler Alert: It’s totally FREE!)

I don’t know about you but all this meowing about food has gotten me hungry.

I’ve made it my mission to help cats and humans eat well – and by extension – live well. (I’ve often said the key to life can be found in your food dish.) With that in mind, I invite you to check out my Official Guide to Eating, Munching, Snacking & More. If you’ve ever caught yourself inhaling your food between errands or carting your human kittens around… or if you mindlessly shovel in your dinner while catching up on the latest episode of “Meownton Abbey” or “Silicon Alleycat”… then this guide is for you!

In it, you’ll learn how to eat like the true foodie you were meant to be. On my site Prospurr.9Lives.com, you can also enter to win a customized drivable cooler, so if you do have to eat on the go, you can do so in style. And don’t forget to tweet #MorrisFeeds to give hungry kitties the gift of a tasty, hearty 9Lives meal.

On that note, my stomach is starting to rumble. What’s on the menu tonight, you ask? 9Lives Lean & Tasty and a side of Meaty Paté with Real Chicken. For a beverage I’ll be enjoying some delicious tap water. How about you?

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Catching Up With Morris the Cat

When I was a kid, there was no Grumpy Cat, no hilarious cats-doing-funny-things videos, and, well, there was no internet, let alone YouTube. However, there were TV commercials featuring Morris the Cat, the star of the 9Lives cat food. Because of him (and Garfield), I placed “own an orange stripe-y cat” on my bucket list.

For those who have no idea what I’m talking (writing) about, Morris the Cat starred in over fifty commercials ranging from the 1970s up to the present He also was the cute fuzzy face of the “Million Cat Rescue” initiative, which helped boost cat adoptions throughout the country. And, last but not least, his latest incarnation had him serving as a feline technology correspondent at South by Southwest.

Recently, I was given the opportunity to interview Morris the Cat about his new effort: ‘Live Well & Prospurr.’ Keep reading to see how he responded to my questions.

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You’ve been a TV star since the 1970s and yet you look as vivacious as ever. How do you keep your youthful glow?

People ask me all the time if I’ve had work done. But in fact, my whiskers stay perky thanks to a disciplined regimen of napping, sleeping, napping some more, eating (9Lives, of course), and just generally hanging out. I want to emphasize this last one because even though it’s categorically important for our health and happiness, it’s also the easiest to forget as we go about our busy lives. That’s why I developed my Official Guide to Relaxing, Chillin’, Unwinding & More. (I had to take some time away from hanging out to write it, but I hope you’ll agree it was well worth it.)

Are humans allowed to know what’s in this guide or is it for fuzzy cats only?

Oh no, the guide was written for all species, both two- and four-legged. And let’s face it, cats are pretty good at hanging out already. I know relaxing can be daunting—what with work, kids, errands, and chores—but that’s why I created the 5 levels of hanging out. Even the most stressed out person can master Level 1: Kicking Back. Then, as people get more comfortable with the idea of just relaxing, they can move on to the higher levels and ultimately achieve what I like to call Prospurr.

How does someone know when they’ve achieved Prospurr?

Excellent question, Amanda. Prospurr is the Holy Grail of hanging out. It’s not so much an action as a state of mind, but purr-haps I could describe it best like this: It’s like the moment you flop onto the couch after a hard day, mixed with the tingling sensation of getting scratched behind the ears, rolled into the drool-inducing taste of a bowl of 9Lives. You humans out there probably haven’t tried 9Lives, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one. For more tips on hanging out, go to this website that I built with my own four paws: www.prospurr.9lives.com

I know working in show biz can mean very long hours. How do you keep to your hangout regimen while you’re on set?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Just like Brad Pitt or Liam Hemsworth, I have a stand-in who sets up all my shots for me. That way I can rest in my trailer—ahem, carrying case—until the cameras start rolling. My stand-in is polyester and has a tag that says “Made in the USA,” but he does the trick. All I have to do is show up and look handsome… which is easy since I’ve spent the whole day getting my beauty rest.

Certainly the entertainment industry, and the world in general, has changed a lot since the 1970s. How do you keep up with the times?

I chase the times like a red-laser dot, and I’m always on the lookout for cool new tech gadgets that help cats and humans live well. One of my new favorites is the Apple Watch—it lets me track how much time I spend ‘napping’ versus the time I spend ‘sleeping.’ AND, today it told me that I took 19 steps going from my bed to my food dish—nothing like working up a sweat before a big meal.

What is the best advice you could give to someone who wants to live a better life?

Watch cat videos! A recent study conducted by some really smart people at Indiana University found that after watching a clip of Lil Bub, Nora the Piano Cat or of course, yours truly, participants felt increased levels of joy and energy. Science doesn’t lie, people! Bonus points if you watch said cat videos curled up in bed or on a fluffy couch.

If a cat watches cat videos, does it have the same effect?

Yes—in fact, the effect is multiplied. It’s like topping 9Lives Super Supper with even more 9Lives Super Supper. Some days I’ll watch cat videos the entire four hours I’m awake.

It seems like you’ve got a pretty nice life, Morris.

I’m very lucky, but to me, being a celebricat isn’t about paw-ty hopping or head-booping Hollywood royalty. It’s about enjoying the simple pleasures that let me live well—and helping others to do the same. You may not know this but I was actually a rescue cat in Chicago before I was ‘discovered.’ This year, with your support, I’m donating a million meals to the ASPCA. Every time you tweet using #MorrisFeeds I’ll donate a bowl of 9Lives to a kitty in need. And I haven’t forgotten about my human fans: Go to www.prospurr.9lives.com for a chance to win $300 towards a relaxing getaway… You deserve it!

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On writing

When I was in college I took a class called Advanced Composition. My first assignment was to read Annie Dillard’s “The Writing Life” and write a paper in response to it. My paper started out with the basics: I wrote my first short story at age 7; went to my first writing workshop at 12 (a summer-long playwriting workshop at the Cleveland Playhouse); participated in the Power of the Pen essay competition at 13 (and didn’t win squat); blah blah blah… The gist of it is, writing for me is like breathing. It’s just something I do.

Since I have minimal drawing skills and a very weird imagination, if I weren’t a writer, I probably would’ve turned to crime or something. 🙂

Seriously though,  it makes my day when I get a bit of recognition. Like when this happens: Original Steaks and Hoagies (the restaurant I reveiwed last month for the Examiner) put a link to my review on the home page of their website. Check it out here. It’s the little things and small accomplishments that make my day.

I figured out long ago that writing fiction isn’t for me. I’ve tried to write short stories (actually, I’m not fond of reading them, let alone writing them) and it’s just something I can’t do. My attempts at fiction stand out like personalised number plates in a parking lot. Not particularly good, not horribly bad – just different! 

I’m more of a non-fiction/memoir/news story/article/blog person. I’ve been writing for over 20 years (that sounds scary, until I realize that I’m only 31 and am some sort of weirdo “prodigy” or something), and I’ve only recently been able to admit that to myself. Imagine what I’ll be writing 20 years from now!

 (We’ll probably all be “wrtng n txt spk” by then.)

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Random thoughts

I received my car registrations renewal on Saturday. I’m tempted to upgrade to the new Beautiful Ohio plates even though they cost more. I think they’re pretty, and I’m tired of my old ones. Josh was picking on me, because every time a new style comes out I have to upgrade to it. Oh, well.

I’m going to have to dig up a picture of my old car, because all of this talk about license plates makes me think of her. Yes, my first car was a Her, and she was named The Ladybug. She was a bright, bright red Ford Aspire with a swooshy pinstripe down each side.

I  wound up with a new cat a few weekends ago. She was thrown in a dumpster by her former owners and was rescued by my husband. We wound up keeping her in the bathroom, away from the other cats for about a day, and since we didn’t find her another home during that time frame, we got attached to her. So, she’s staying. Her name is now Isis, which sounds better than Bathroom Cat (BC).

Al, my Work Pet, has started hanging around a lot more. There’s some speculation that he has lost his mate and is lonely, so he adopted us. All I know if that when he sees someone standing by the front door, he comes running over all excited. Here’s a picture of him:

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Ohio Sports Journal

My new column on the Ohio Sports Journal is up and running. I am going to be covering the Cleveland Indians and Browns. Check it out here: Tribe drops second game in row.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for my Beginning Blogging column on SeededBuzz.com and my Restaurants column for AltOhio. Links to them will be posted when they’re up.

And yes, I know, I work too much!

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Al, my “work pet”

Before you read the title of this post and start thinking that I’m insane, last summer there were two Canadian Geese that hung around the building that I work in. I (or one of my co-workers) would feed them daily, so they just wandered around the area. One of them even stood outside my boss’ office one day and honked at him in search of food. I named them “Al” and “Timmy.” They vanished last September, and I hadn’t seen hide nor hair of them until last week.

I have no idea if it is the same goose or not, but I’ve convinced myself that it is. After all, when I go outside to feed him, he doesn’t fly away – he actually moves closer to where I’m standing, almost like he recognizes me. It more than likely isn’t the same one, since any goose that is getting fed will move towards the source of the food, but humor me anyway.

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Abby, the “Loner Cat”

All poor Abby wants is to be left alone. Instead she gets chased by the younger cats and hunts for a hiding spot. I feel bad for her sometimes.

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