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FOR THE CAT LOVERS

FOR THE CAT LOVERS, TRAVEL

The Bali Diaries: Part Two – Villa Kitty

February 23, 2014

As you all know, I am completely and utterly mad for cats. Perhaps you could call it an obsession, but I don’t like coming across too crazy. They are my favourite animal in the entire world. Not only am I passionate about them as a pet, I am also passionate about their welfare. Cats are beautiful creatures that offer potential owners a wonderful companionship – they offer affection, loyalty and love and unlike some other pets, like dogs, require less daily attention. They are happy to be left alone (bot not for too long) and can often amuse themselves. For anyone that is living in a townhouse or apartment environment, cats are the perfection option. So for me, any opportunity to be involved with projects or programs that look after cats around the world is a given for me.

I was walking down the main street in Ubud, when I stumbled across a car parked. What drew me in was the magnetic sign on the sign of the car which read ‘Villa Kitty’, paired with a picture of a cat. I literally jumped and squealed in delight (my boyfriend Pete can definitely confirm that one!) and I immediately wanted to know more. As soon as I got back to the hotel room, I found out that ‘Villa Kitty’, located on the outskirts of Ubud, is a not-for-profit organisation solely focused on rescuing Bali’s abandoned kittens and cats and finding them suitable homes.

Founded by fellow cat lover and Australian, Elizabeth Henzell back in 2009, ‘Villa Kitty’ originally was a “Cats and Kittens Section” in another shelter in Lodtunduh. Elizabeth was asked to look after three tiny kittens, but simply didn’t have the time. Instead, she employed two of her friends, who were looking for work at the time to look after them. From humble beginnings, with just three care takers, two vet assistants and Elizabeth, ‘Villa Kitty’ has grown enormously, with now, twenty three staff. The ‘Villa Kitty’ veterinarian team is led by one of Bali’s most respected vet surgeons, Drh Karnata, with Drh Isa and Drh Sinta caring for all their beautiful cats and kittens.

I was so excited to head down to ‘Villa Kitty’, meet the team and of course, meet the beautiful cats and kittens house there. All in all, there are currently 113 furry friends being looked after. I was in complete and utter kitty heaven.

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There are so many wonderful people who are involved in the success and running of ‘Villa Kitty’, from vet assistants, to food preppers, a chef, cleaners, care takers, gardeners, security.. The list goes on. There is even a dog trainer, who feeds and trains the ‘Villa Kitty’ dogs (yes, dogs, even kitties need protection sometimes too!). It makes me so incredibly happy to see other people from around the world, passionate about providing the right care, attention and love to abandoned animals.

Elizabeth, whilst providing a safe and protective environment for all the felines, also runs successfully community projects. ‘Every Child Deserves a Kittten’, was a projected started in 2013. ‘Villa Kitty’ in partnership with SOS Children’s Village, placed 14 desexed and vaccinated kittens into eight different homes so the children and their foster mothers can have the opportunity to look after their own kitten. Additionally, Elizabeth has started a reading group for children, using the ‘Villa Kitty’ as a base – children are also welcome to ‘Villa Kitty’ every Wednesday from 10am – 12pm, where they can assist the staff with looking after the felines.

If you’re a cat lover like me and you’re in Bali, live a little, and do yourself a favour and drop in to ‘Villa Kitty’! The staff are incredibly friendly and you are more than welcome to meet all the feline residents. The cats and kittens loved it when Pete and I walked in – they are extremely curious and want to play!

As ‘Villa Kitty’ is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, support, where possible is always graciously received. If you would like to offer support, you can email Elizabeth directly at elizabeth@villakittybali.com. 

Villa Kitty
Jalan Ambarawati,
Banjar Tengah Lodtunduh
Ubud, Bali

FOR THE CAT LOVERS, SOCIAL

2014: Make the most of it!

January 5, 2014

2014
Somehow in the whirlwind of Christmas, the madness of the holiday period and end of year celebrations, we’ve made it to 2014! It certainly has come around so quickly, it’s already the 5th of Jan and up until now, haven’t had much of a chance to sit down and think about the new year and what 2014 is going to bring.

Are you a resolution maker? Or perhaps do you make a list of things you want to achieve in the next year? Or maybe, you just go with the flow and wait to see what happens? Either way, the beginning of the year always seems so exciting – a fresh start, a clean slate and opportunity to try things differently or make some big changes.

I am so excited for Live a Little this year – I have got some amazing surprises up my sleeve! Over the next couple of months, there will be two international reviews, some more beauty posts, a brand new hotspot that has recently opened up in Crows Nest and some kitty posts. I am also going to be encouraging my followers to interact with the blog a little more, share their thoughts and opinions and let me know what you want to know about. I can promise there are going to be some awesome freebies and giveaways too!

I thought I’d share some amazing images to get you inspired for the coming year.

Whatever your plans are for 2014, I hope its filled with adventure, courage and happiness. I encourage you all to be daring and perhaps each month throughout the year, try something new. Leo and I look forward to sharing with you all of our adventures. After all, everyone always deserves to live a little!

FOR THE CAT LOVERS

How your pet can beat the bulge!

November 15, 2013


I know there is something so unbelievably adorable about fat animals – they seem to look cuddlier, cuter and just make you just want to squeal in delight. But, in all seriousness, obesity in pets is something that all owners need to be aware of. “Pet obesity is a major problem in Australia, contributing to serious diseases including diabetes, arthritis, heart conditions, urinary obstructions all of which can reduce quality of life and longevity,” says Dr Romy Feldman, veterinarian, The Advantage Family™ A-Team ambassador and ‘The Roaming Vet’.

It is starting to warm up as we approach the summer months, but I bet we were all guilty during winter of not quite being at the forefront of exercise and our diet. Cue moan. During winter, it’s always so much colder, gets darker so much earlier and all I really want to do is snuggle up on the couch and order takeaway. Finding the motivation during winter is always a battle. The thought of going to the gym fills most people with abject horror and when it’s chucking it down outside with rain, the last thing you want to do is go for a walk.

However, it’s important to remember, if you’re a pet owner, then your bad habits during winter will seriously affect your pets health. Missing out on those daily walks with your pooch or you regular play time with you cat can certainly add some extra weight to their waist lines.

So, what can you do if you feel that you may have been a little lapse in winter, and how do you help your furry friend? Dr Romy gives her top tips so you and your beloved pet can start shedding that winter weight and jumpstart a healthy, summer life!

Dr Romy Feldman.

Dr Romy Feldman.

1.Now that the sun is shining, venturing out to the park has never been more attractive.  Start today by extending your pet’s activity and commit to maintaining the healthiest possible life for you and your best friend. 

I know Leo can’t go to a park, as much as I would LOVE to take him, but I recently bought him a cat harness, and I regularly take him for walks around the backyard. 

2. Consult your vet for tips on how to gauge whether your animal is within a healthy weight range. Basically, if they don’t have a waist – there is work to be done! 

I found this chart online, which I thought was really helpful:
bcs-chart
3. Discuss with your vet what exercise is appropriate for the life stage of your animal combined with any medical issues they may have.

It’s really important to take your pet to the vet every 4-6 months for a regular checkup – the vet can weigh them, check all their vitals and see if there are any abnormalities in your pets health. Additionally, you need to make sure all your immunisations, worming treatments and flea treatments are up to date!

4. Take your dogs out every day for a suitable amount of time – from a simple stroll to a good work out – dogs love not just the exercise, but the smells and sights around them.

I don’t have a dog, but my house mates do – a beautiful girl called Bella. They take her down to the ocean every day to have a swim and a run around. I have gone with them a few times and not only is Bella having an amazing time, it’s so refreshing to go for a walk and watch the ocean.  

5. Mix it up. Dogs and cats love variety – a new smell just around the corner, or a new ball or toy can make their day!

I regularly purchase Leo new toys – the shinier, the noisier, the better! He loves chasing toys and his current favourite, is his ‘Dinky Mouse’ – a realistic looking mouse that jingles.  

6. Be informed – speak to your local council – find out where off lead dog friendly parks are in your area or look parks up on theadvantagefamily.com.au website – a good play with a lot of dogs is natural fun and always a good work-out.

7. If you can’t manage one long walk, then do two short ones – that is often better in terms of joint health anyway.

8. If your animal is older, still take them out just for a short stroll and a sit in the park –stimulation is very important to maintain mental health in geriatric patients.

9. Engage in 10-15 minutes of play per day with your cat, experiment with different toys until you find one they like.

I’ve bought Leo a range of toys – things for him to chase, to whack about and I have bought him a great scratching post, so he has something to climb (although he insists on climbing on ALL the furniture..). 

10. Ensure you are combining a sound exercise routine with an adequately nutritious diet for both of you!

I am very conscious about what I eat and what Leo eats. I am always making sure that I am hitting the gym, going for runs, heading off to my yoga and horse riding lessons, but also making sure that Leo is having daily play time. 

I hope this has inspired you to jump of the couch, live a little and get active with your pet! It’s so important that you provide them with the right care, so you can both enjoy a long and happy life together. The Advantage Family A-Team™ is a group of experts committed to helping you and your pet live a healthy and happy life. If you’re needing some more information or perhaps some more tips from Dr Romy Feldman and other Advantage Family A-Team™ members, visit www.theadvantagefamily.com.au.

Join me and battle your pets bulge!

FOR THE CAT LOVERS

To desex or not to desex?

September 20, 2013

I own three beautiful cats, Albert, Tinkerbelle and as everyone knows, my gorgeous little boy Leo. I am starting to build up quite a collection (and trust me I would do anything to have more!), but one of the most imperative decisions one must make when buying a kitten or cat, is whether or not to get them desexed.

Now, I am very passionate about this issue and I completely and utterly in favour of desexing. I know the thought of your female cat having 5 or 6 kittens would have you squealing in delight, but ultimately, with issues of over population, more and more cats in shelters, and the very deadly disease Feline AIDS in the mix, it is a necessity for cat (and dog too) owners.

It is estimated that there are millions of unowned cats (strays and feral) in Australia. It breaks my heart, but every year, tens of thousands of cats are unfortunately impounded with a vast majority being euthanased. Because of overpopulation, many felines, who are in many cases, healthy and sociable kittens, have to be put down. There are simply not enough people in the country to adopt them.

Cats are breeding machines – during the mating season (October – April) you female kitty will spend all her time try to get pregnant. It is no accident! You’ll find she will cry, yowl at the door, desperate to go outside. Additionally, she will often become agitated, will look unsettled and spend a lot of time rolling around on the floor. There are many myths that are passed around in regards to desexing pets. Often owners will feel guilty by not allowing their female cat to have a litter of kittens – “taking away her rights as a female”. There are absolutely no health or veterinary advantages by allowing your little girl to have a litter.

“I don’t want to get my boy desexed, it will destroy his manhood..” is often a common idea for owners of male cats. Firstly, Tom cats during breeding season are a nightmare. They become aggressive and spend most of their time fighting other Tom cats in order to win the females over. These fights are vicious and violent, and this is where the issue of Feline AIDS starts to emerge. Unlike human AIDS, Feline AIDS is spread by saliva passed from one cat to another by the form of a bite. Feline AIDS is much more common in entire male cats than any other. It is a terrible disease and sadly, deadly. Additionally, you’ll find your little boy will want to go out and wander the streets more than usual, often walking off for kilometres. Sadly, this increases the risk of them getting lost or sadly hit by cars. (On a side note, if you’re still REALLY bothered about your cat’s masculinity, you can check out http://www.neuticles.com/, yes.. that’s right.. a website that will pop testicular implants in your pet).

According to “Who’s For Cats”, there are a number of benefits to desexing your cat:

  • Desexing will help your cat live a longer and healthier life. Desexing prevents cats from getting some types of cancer. Desexing reduces cats’ desire to roam and therefore their risk of being hit by cars or involved in fights. On average, a desexed cat lives for 12-15 years, compared to only 3 years for an entire cat.
  • Cats that are not desexed cause most pet nuisance problems in the community. For example, they will mark their territory by spraying strong smelling urine in houses and gardens. They also create noise when fighting and yowling.
  • Best of all, desexing your cat means you are helping solve the problem of unwanted pets in society.

What’s amazing now, is that desexing cats is so accessible. Every vet has the facility to do so and even some animal shelters can too. It’s not too expensive to get your cat neutered either, with many facilities offering the service for free or discount days, purely to keep overbreeding down.

Experts suggest that your cat should be desexed at approximately 5-6 months of age, however with technological advances, you can even have your cat desexed as early as two months of age. This procedure is referred to as ‘juvenile desexing’ and is performed using keyhole surgery with a small incision made on the kitten’s side. Whereas adult cats take days to recover from their surgery, kittens are up and running around within a day of being desexed. The surgery is quick and painless, with your furry friend always put under anaesthetic.

If you are going to purchase a kitten or provide a home for a shelter cat – please do the right thing, check if they are desexed and if they’re not, please consider. You’ll be helping Australia keep the numbers of homeless cats down and reducing the thousands of unnecessary deaths of unwanted kitties!

Love and light,
Sophie & Leo xx

photo

Note: All my cats are desexed and they look pretty happy to me right? 

BEAUTY + WELLBEING, FOR THE CAT LOVERS, GASTRONOMY, GIVE A LITTLE, SOCIAL, STYLE, TRAVEL, WATCH LIVEALITTLE.TV

Pedestrian.TV Ultrabook Blogster Awards!

September 10, 2013

 

BlogstersBadge1
I am so pleased to announced that my blog, Live a Little have been nominated by pedestrian.tv in the Design, Media & Tech division in their annual Blogster Awards! I am so overwhelmed and it is such an honour to be considered.

photo
I (and Leo of course) want to thank all the readers, supporters, friends and family who have been a part of the Live a Little journey so far. I love writing, presenting, photographing and creating interesting content that everyone can enjoy.

If you would like to support Live a Little a little more, all you need to do is head to my profile here, and just press the ‘like’ button! That’s it! The judging panel consists of Intel, pedestrian.tv and a major media sponsor for each category (Mine is Desktop Mag!). They judge each blog based on the following:

25% Creativity and originality of content
25% Technology and innovation
25% Overall design and presentation
25% Audience engagement

There is the potential to win the category or even be crowed the Intel Blogger of the Year! What ever happens, I am so pleased that I am finalist. I want to wish all the other bloggers the best of luck!

Thankyou so much everyone and as always LIVE A LITTLE!

FOR THE CAT LOVERS, STYLE

ASOS: Kitty Madness

July 24, 2013

Meow

ASOS is one of the leading online stores right now offering a huge selection of fashion for men and women, shoes, beauty products and accessories. Best of all, they have free shipping in Australia no matter what you spend AND 10% off for students!

Now, as everyone knows, I am a little bit cat mad – I am the ultimate crazy cat lady! If I see clothing, accessories, home wares or art that involves anything to do with cats, the chances are I will purchase immediately.

After a little bit of browsing on ASOS, I was delighted to find out that they have a number of products with a cat design! I am sure you can imagine how excited I got (my order has already been made) and I wanted to share with you all (and fellow cat freaks like me) what’s on offer.

All products can be found at www.asos.com and many thanks to ASOS for the pictures.

As much as I want to put on everything in one go, the trick is to choose one focal piece – my advise is do not go OTT with the cat prints, otherwise it may end up looking a little costumey. Cat and kitty designs definitely add a playful and fun element to your wardrobe, so if you’re a cat lover like me, hopefully there are a few ideas here to get you started.. I am sure Leo will be thrilled when my delivery arrives!

Let me know which products you like – or if you have seen any other kitty inspired fashion on the internet, feel free to share!

Happy shopping & live a little..

FOR THE CAT LOVERS

Breed Profile: The Persian

May 31, 2013

Recently I’ve had a lot of people ask me what breed my beautiful little lion Leo is. Additionally many people have commented on his sweet nature – those who wouldn’t say necessarily say they are ‘cat lovers’, almost seemed suprised at how gentle, cuddly and loving he is.

I thought introducing Leo’s breed would be a great first ‘kitty’ post, especially because through this blog, I want to stress and promote how amazing cats can be as companions. I plan to investigate a range of breeds for my readers, sharing their quirks and personality traits as well as highlighting the potential areas that owners would need to watch out for.

Technically, Leo is a “Lilac Persian Exotic Cross” – Basically, his father was a Persian and his mother a Short Haired Exotic. By having a longer coat, Leo is really a Persian. Persians are by far the most popular breed on the planet, and I have followed suit, by having three (Albert and Tinkerbelle, my other furbabies are also related to the Persian family).

To give a brief history of the Perisan:

“The Persian is one of the oldest breeds of cat. The early history isn’t entirely known although it is generally accepted that the early cats came from Persian (now Iran) and Turkey. Italian traveller Pietro della Vale (1586 – 1652) is credited with bringing the first Persian cats back to Europe, arriving in his homeland of Italy in 1620 with them. By the 1800’s, the Persian had become a popular breed in Europe and the first Persians arrived in the Americans in the late 1800’s” – Taken from Cat World

For anyone that isn’t aware of what a Persian looks like, may I share with you some amazing images (Please note, these all are not mine) to get a sense of the Persian traits:

Key features? Fluffy coats, googley eyes and frying-pan face. Persians are heavy-boned, with quite stocky legs to support their broad bodies and have big fluffy paws. They have big heads, with usually wide set and open eyes. Their nose is short (giving the squished in appearance) with a stop. There appearance can often be described as dopey, sweet and sometimes grumpy!

Despite their ‘ugly-but-cute’ vibe, much like a Pug (if we are going to compare to the dog world) they have wonderful natures, and for me, it’s their natures that make them so perfect. They are so unbelievably loving and just adore being in human company. They have a very sweet and gentle nature and are great with other cats and children. Leo is very vocal too!

A couple of things to be wary of – their coats! Persians require a substantial amount of grooming. I regularly bathe Leo in anti-flea shampoo and he is brushed daily. Additionally the wiping of their face, eyes and ears is a must. Health problems are usually around the nose and eye area due to their facial structure. Because of their facial structure and long coats, they are best to be kept inside especially during hot weather.

Persians come in a range of colours – in fact every possible coat colour under the sun! As I mentioned before, Leo is a lilac, which is that very soft smokey grey, with an almost pinkish tone to his coat (very rare). Persian’s eyes are also dazzling from sea blues to a burnt amber.

If you’re looking for a furry companion – I truly recommend the Persian. They are loving, friendly, sweet natured and incredibly responsive to their owners. Definitely a winning choice if you’re planning on adding a kitty to the family.

I’ll be looking at a number of breeds – so keep your eye out for the next breed profile! In the meantime, as always, live a little!

FOR THE CAT LOVERS

Happy Birthday to Live a Little!

May 6, 2013

b_happy_birthday_cats
.. Woohoo! That’s right, roughly year ago today and introduced everyone to the whole world of ‘live a little’ and my blogging concept. I’ve had some amazing moments so far with my blog – collaborations with amazing people, attending fabulous parties and events, writing about amazing up and coming businesses and even having celebrity support!

I’ve purposely left the scope of my writing really wide, so I could attract all sorts of followers – fashion, events, lifestyle, travel, beauty, charity.. These are all areas of interest that at least someone will have. I also really like having variety throughout my blog – I’m not a fashion blogger neither am I a beauty blogger. Perhaps lifestyle blogger suits? Either way, I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who has supported my journey and been a part of the ‘live a little’ family.

To celebrate turning one, I’ve come up with a little plan.. And yes, it isn’t quite ready yet! But I thought I’d start the get the word out there, that Live a Little is getting a bit of a makeover and.. a new addition to the crew!

For anyone that doesn’t know (and if this is your first time reading, I forgive you) but I am completely and utterly crazy about cats – I have three, Tinkerbelle, Albert and now the newest addition, my little lion Leo. My new kitten, Leonardo (a gorgeous Persian Exotic), well to put it simply, is going to join me on my live a little journey. A new face to the brand, Leo is going to start to have an impact on my blog. He’ll be by my side most of the time – and I can tell you, he’ll definitely be having his opinion hear. You might say, Live a Little is going to get kittyfied!

Whilst continuing the lifestyle, entertainment, fashion and beauty, I have decided to start focusing some of my posts and interviews around cat related products, cat foods, cat friendly accommodation, animal charities and much more – as long as it has a kitty element to it.

I am so excited to share with you the brand new look for Live a Little – and keep an eye out for the changes!

In the mean time, “happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday live a little, check out www.livealittle.tv!”

Much love,
Sophie & Leo x