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Kitten season: It’s that time of the year again!

kitten on a bed

Shelter and rescue groups across the U.S. are dealing with an overwhelming number of kittens in all shapes, sizes, and colors at the moment. While we all agree there’s nothing more adorable than a kitten, we all know life could be kinder and better for cats and kittens everywhere if people are more responsible about ensuring their cats are spayed and neutered. A kitten can be spayed or neutered as early as four months, and a six-month kitten can become pregnant, so it’s essential to act as soon as the time is right. Your vet will know best.

We can all help spread the word.  When a friend tells you that they think it’s cruel to deprive a cat of having babies, here’s what you can say to help them make the right decision.

Some helpful tips

  • Female cats don’t need to experience motherhood. The more kittens there are, the harder it is for shelters to find homes for them, while also continuing to support adult cats.
  • Pets who are spayed or neutered can live longer since the procedures can prevent life-threatening diseases that might shorten your cat’s lifespan. For example, states that “intact cats have seven times the risk of developing breast cancer when they get older, compared with the risk for spayed cats. Spaying/neutering also prevents testicular tumors and uterine cancer and uterine infections.”
  • If cost is an issue, there are many low-cost clinics supported by organizations like the ASPCA that can provide affordable services. Click on the link for clinics across the country.

The bottom line is cats should be spayed or neutered even if the owner believes they will never be around other cats.

Help your local shelter

In the meantime, our shelters and rescue groups are struggling to feed all those hungry little mouths. If you’d like to help, our friends at KittyKind have an Amazon wishlist here. We’re sure your local shelter group will have the same. Any donation, no matter how small, helps. So, why not take a look on their website or social media pages and see how you can do your bit to help them through this tough period.

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Teaching kids kindness one book at a time

Chapter book series

My mom grew up with a cat and a dog named T.C. and Sandy (guess who was who?) Growing up with these two fur siblings instilled in her a sense of respect, love, and responsibility for them from a very early age. Ever since, animals have always been in her life. My dad didn’t grow up with animals at all really, but when my folks adopted me, I stole his heart, and he’s never been the same since! My adoption got them thinking, what if every child grew up with an animal, or had the opportunity to connect with animals? Would it make them kinder? More empathetic?

Teaching children kindness
Learning kindness at an early age can help children become more compassionate adults as they grow

Many studies prove this to be the case, and it would serve our society well to actively help turn children into animal lovers and advocates.

Three simple steps to inspire kindness

Here’s three simple steps to create the next generation of animal lovers:

  1. Visit a local shelter with your children, or those close to you (checking with the shelter in advance). Be sure to help them understand why the animals are there. If you decide to introduce an animal into your life, please be sure to adopt rather than buy from a pet store. There are millions of homeless animals in shelters across the country, waiting for their forever homes.
  2. If you already have a family fur member, then give the children some responsibility for looking after them. Perhaps they get to feed them in the mornings or evenings. Or maybe they are responsible for some gentle play time each day. Children should always know they need to respect animals. For example, if an animal is sleeping or wants to be left alone, they shouldn’t be interrupted.
  3. Introduce children to books and movies that present learning opportunities while ensuring entertainment value. Our purpose in launching the Hello, My Name is Bunny! book series is to help kids understand the power and value of kindness, and how they can practice it every day to help make the world a better place.
Hello, My Name is Bunny! gift set featuring the first two books in this charming children's chapter book series
$5 from every book sold is donated to KittyKind and other rescue groups to help cats in need

Not every child is naturally empathetic towards animals. That’s why these simple steps really can help them see the world in a different light. Who knows, they may become the Jackson Galaxy or Kitten Lady of the future!

Love and Purrs, Bunny and Team XO

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The reviews are in!

It’s been just a few weeks since we launched Hello, My Name is Bunny! London and we’re thrilled by the feedback we’ve received from customers and the media.

Hello, My Name is Bunny! London released in January 2019

Here’s what they say

Ingrid King, editor of The Conscious Cat said: “…this beautifully illustrated and equally beautifully written story will charm children and adults alike. I was pulled into the story from the very first page. As was the case with the first book, the antics of Bunny and her friends had me smiling throughout the book.”  Read her full review here.

And 10-year-old YouTube sensation @NPStation shared her enthusiastic five-minute review of the book in amazing detail!  You can view what she said here.

Customers tell us that they especially love the London illustrations and the touching friendship of Bunny, Lily, Goldy, and Rocky! Hello, My Name is Bunny! London is the second book in the Hello, My Name is Bunny! series, and it’s ideal for children aged six and above, and cat-lovers of EVERY age!

Coming up!

Next Saturday, March 23, you can tune in between 8.00am to 8.30am EST to iHeart Radio W.A.X.E. 1370 nationwide or 107.9FM/1370am if you are local to Vero Beach, FL. to hear my folks talk to Jan Demko of Cat Chat about me, my life, and my books! I’m SO excited!

If you don’t already have Hello, My Name is Bunny! the award-winning first book in the series, we currently have an amazing special offer when you buy the two books together. Check it out here, and remember that$5 from every book sold is donated to KittyKind NYC, the group that rescued me from a dingy Brooklyn basement!

Love and Purrs, Bunny and Team XO

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Kickin’ into spring with new London Bus Organic Catnip Kickers!

We love collaborating! It creates unexpected friendships and possibilities. That’s why we’re so excited to share our NEW London Bus Organic Catnip Kicker created exclusively for us in collaboration with Etsy’s ameowmazing Want More Meows.

Why a London bus? Well, we chose this London icon to celebrate the launch of Hello, My Name is Bunny! London.   

This week I interviewed Vani who is the creative force behind Want More Meows, and she’s a passionate animal welfare advocate who’s committed to helping make life better for homeless cats.

London Bus Organic Catnip Kicker

A chat with Want More Meows

Q: Hi Vani! I LOVE your toys! What inspired you to create Want More Meows?

A: Well, Bunny, there’s only one answer to this question – CATS! It started when I was volunteering at a cat shelter and saw the kinds of toys there. I was concerned about plastic parts, glue and long strings that can be harmful. I thought why can’t the toys be prettier, more eco-friendly and more safe? And so, I went home and started to make toys! They weren’t very pretty at first but when I took them to the cats at the shelter, they LOVED them. And that’s how it all started.

The joy of fostering

Q: Tell us about your cats and your foster work

A: Right now, we have three kitties. Jacqueline Starlight (Kiwi) and Fifi La Cuteness are our official furkids. Puddles is our foster baby who might well become an official furkid, too! He came to us physically and emotionally wounded but now he’s healing and he loves to play! I feel very connected to him. Jacqueline is a little troublemaker who also loves to play and is very talkative, especially when she’s hungry. And Fifi La Cuteness is a true New Yorker. Actually, she was semi-feral when we adopted her, so it took a couple of years, and lots of nurturing from us before she would allow hugs. Now she loves them. She’s a wonderful example of how time and love can transform feral and semi-feral cats.

There’s so much more I wanted to ask Vani, but we’ve run out of time for now. And so, we will continue our chat another time!

You can find Hello, My Name is Bunny! London and Bunny’s London Bus Organic Catnip Kicker here. $5 from every book sold, and $1 from every Kicker sold goes to our furriends KittyKind.

Love and Purrs, Bunny and Team XO

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Five fun facts about Hello, My Name is Bunny!

Living the kitty dream

When I was adopted in 2014, I had no idea I was going to be living the kitty dream! A nice comfy apartment. Food. Treats. Toys. Snuggles on demand. What more could a cat want? Having such good fortune led me and my folks to think about how we would pay it forward. And so, the idea for Hello, My Name is Bunny! was born. We donate $5 from every book sold to KittyKind. Our dream is to raise awareness and money for KittyKind, and eventually other rescue groups to help bring an end to cat homelessness and suffering! We know it’s going to take a while, but we’re in it for the long haul. We hope you’ll join us! 

Here’s some things you might not know about me

1. While my story is fictional, some of the characters’ names are based on friends and family. Mike the Mouse is named after my mom’s brother Michael; Joan and Bob are my dad’s real mom and dad’s names; and Polly the Pigeon was named after my mom’s beloved first cat she owned when she left home (I’m not jealous!).

2. Hello, My Name is Bunny! was originally going to be a series of short stories of my adventures, but we had so much fun writing the first story that it turned into a full-length chapter book

3. Adults seem to love Hello, My Name is Bunny! as much as children do. Check out our five-star ratings on Etsy to see what we mean!

4. Joe the Carriage Horse became the star of the story because the carriage horses who carry tourists through the busy streets of Manhattan make my folks very sad. They would love to see the horses retired to the countryside and replaced by electric buggies or souped-up pedicabs. 

5. Hello, My Name is Bunny! is the first in a series of books featuring me! Watch this space for news of the second book launching in January! 

Thanks to everyone who has supported our project! Please follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for our emails, share our story, if you haven’t already, to help us help the kitties!

Love and Purrs, Bunny and Team XO

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Introducing Hello, My Name is Bunny! London

When we adopted Bunny from KittyKind, we were instantly struck by her sweet nature. It led us to imagine what she would do to pay forward her good fortune, if given half the chance. The Hello, My Name is Bunny! book series is the result of those imaginings! Our goal remains the same today: To entertain kids while helping them understand the power of kindness, and to raise funds for shelter groups across the U.S.

We’re so proud that the first book in the series won a 2018 New York City Big Book Award and was named a Top Ten Cat-Themed Book by The Conscious Cat blog. And now, with this week’s launch of Hello, My Name is Bunny! London we continue to dream big. We hope you’ll love it as much as we love Bunny!  And remember you help, too, because we donate $5 from every book you buy to KittyKind and to other U.S. shelter and rescue groups. There are too many homeless cats in our country, and around the world, and we know that every contribution helps.

Thanks so much for being on this pawsome journey with us!

Love and Purrs, Matt and Shelley XO (Bunny’s human parents)

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Meet my friends at KittyKind

When we launched Hello, My Name is Bunny! our goal was to entertain children while sharing  lessons of kindness and compassion. We also wanted to shine a light on the shelter groups who help homeless kitties every day. That’s why we donate $5 from the sale of every book to KittyKind, the amazing group that rescued me from my life in a dark, dingy basement in Brooklyn. As Giving Tuesday approaches, I sat down with Jean Fox, the Board President of KittyKind, to ask her how we all can do our bit to help the kitties awaiting their furever homes.

A chat with Jean

Bunny: So, Jean, tell me, what can humans do to help us cats?

Jean: Financial donations are, of course, hugely helpful. For KittyKind, people can donate on our website via PayPal or Square, and can even set up a recurring donation, which we so appreciate! They can sign up for AmazonSmile so that every time they shop, a small portion is donated to us. It’s also good to talk to employers to see if they offer match donations. Benevity and Network for Good both allow donations to KittyKind.

Bunny: What’s so special about KittyKind?

Jean: Well, firstly let me say, there are many amazing groups helping cats in NYC and across the country. We are proud that we rescue over 600 cats every year, and that we are the only volunteer-run organization in NYC that will rescue and rehome cats directly from the public.

Bunny: What’s been your proudest moment since becoming Board President of KittyKind?

Jean: Without a doubt, it’s volunteering alongside the many wonderful people that selflessly give their time to make a difference in our cats’ lives.

What does it take to become a volunteer?

Bunny: What does it take to become a volunteer?

Jean: For a start, having a love of cats is important! That aside, there’s a few things to think about. You must be willing to dedicate personal time regularly. Reliability is essential. You should be comfortable with talking to the public, and, of course, a good sense of humor helps! We have many incredible volunteers who’ve been with us a long time. For example, Dorothy, has been with KittyKind for over 20 years! That’s true dedication!

Bunny: And my final question, I have to ask. Do you have kitties?

Jean: Yes, of course! I actually have two Tuxedos, just like you! They are male, ages six and nine. Both were rescue cats who chose me (cat owners can relate to this!). Eddy came from a kill shelter in Georgia, while Pete was rescued in Brooklyn, and they add so much joy to my life. All three are always at the door to greet me when I come home. They are also very chatty!

Thanks so much to Jean for taking the time to talk to me! Furriends, if you’d like to help homeless cats this Giving Tuesday or during the Holiday season, please take a look at KittyKind’s website and follow them on Instagram and Facebook @kittykindcats. They are simply pawsome!

Love and Purrs, Bunny and Team XO

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I’m a New York City Big Book Award-winner

Exciting news

I’m thrilled to share that Hello, My Name is Bunny! has just won a 2018 New York City Big Book Award for best book in the Animal category! The judges chose my book from more than 600 entries, which makes me doubly proud of the honor.

Thanks to all our supporters

In the year since we launched Hello, My Name is Bunny!, we have received such positive feedback on the book, and also on our goal to raise funds for KittyKind in NYC, that we now have more products to offer, all with a donation to KittyKind or other shelters. Take a look here to discover more.  

With gratitude

Thanks to everyone who has bought our book or other items. If you have a cat-loving furriend or child in your life who you think would enjoy our story, please share the news with them. You’ll be helping us spread the word and helping us help KittyKind!

Love and Purrs,  Bunny and Team XO

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Essential plans every pet owner should make

There’s no easy way to address this, but I need to ask: Have you made plans for your pet if something unexpected should happen to you? 

No-one likes to think about a worst-case scenario, but we’ve read on social media too many tragic stories of pets who’ve been abandoned because their owner passed away and the owner’s family couldn’t or didn’t want to take care of them. Or the owner simply had no known relatives or friends. In these cases, the animal, often a senior, ends up back in a shelter, confused and scared. 

Get ahead of the issue

I always believe it’s good to get ahead of a problem, and making plans could save a whole lot of heartache for your beloved four-legged friend if you’re no longer around to care for them. 

Here’s some basic tips to make a bad situation a little easier:

1. Ask two animal-friendly friends or family members to be temporary care-givers in the event of an emergency. Provide them with keys to your home and an instruction sheet detailing how to care for your baby or babies!

2. Make sure your neighbors know to contact the emergency caregiver if something should happen to you

3. Carry a card in your wallet that lists the names and contact details of your emergency caregivers so that your animal isn’t left alone for an extended period of time

4. Identify someone you can include in your will as the assigned permanent caregiver. Choose carefully and ensure they are truly willing to honor their promise.

5. Include in your will the contact details of a no-kill shelter that can re-home your pet as a back-up should your original plans fall through

If you’d like to know more, here’s a great step-by-step feature on how to make sure your four-legged family member is never abandoned if you are no longer around. 

If you have friends or family who may not have made plans, please share this story with them. 

Cute photo alert

In the meantime, here’s a gratuitous photo of me with my book, in case you are interested!

Love and purrs, Bunny and Team XO

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Pet insurance and what you need to know

When you adopt a young, healthy animal, it’s tempting to skip getting pet insurance. It’s an added expense and you might wonder if it’s really worth it. The reality is something unexpected can always happen, even with the healthiest animal.

My Story

One day, about a year after my adoption, I suddenly lost my appetite and I stopped eating and drinking. So, my folks and I went to the local vets where they ran a series of tests and gave me a steroid injection to stimulate my appetite. The tests came back clear, but I still wasn’t eating without the steroids, and I had to keep returning. A distressing time for me and my folks, to say the least. More tests were conducted, and about four weeks later, they referred me to a truly pawsome veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center in NYC. I had every test, including a spinal tap, an MRI, and all sorts of blood work. It was eventually determined that I had Irritable Bowel Disease. And so, the experts advised my folks to find the right type of food for me to counteract it.

Getting to the root of the problem

Once we identified food that didn’t irritate my stomach, along with a daily dose of probiotics, I was on the road to recovery! I was lucky, and my folks were mightily relieved and glad they’d invested in pet insurance. Because the costs incurred by my Irritable Bowel Disease had run into the thousands. Luckily, my policy covered about 80%. My folks would surely have done everything to help me, even without insurance, but the point is that nobody wants to be faced with unnecessary stress and tough decisions.

A guide to pet insurance

Our furriends at AllAboutCats have just published a must-read report about the wide variety of pet insurance options available in North America. It’s a great guide that will help owners weigh their choices effectively. And you can read it here.

And me? Well, these days I have a pawsome appetite, and I’m actually a whole pound and a half heavier than before my illness! Like I say every day, I’m living the kitty dream.

Love and Purrs, Bunny and Team XO