7 Excellent Gift Ideas for Cat Owners

Whether guinea pigs or chinchillas, fish or birds, cats or dogs, every pet owner shares in one simple feeling: love for their pet. And it is precisely this love that drives them to all the gestures they do for their beloved companion: birthday cakes with bones and doggy treats, climbing equipment, new cozy homes and other endless gifts meant to bring more happiness into the lives of those beings you care for most. A while back we shared a post with 15 Cats with Adorable Markingsand we decided to also share a post with the best gift ideas for cat owners. Most of them are simple tokens, while others are extremely practical presents. We hope you will enjoy them. Here are some clever gift ideas for the cat owners you may know:

1. Cat Pendant

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There are countless charming creations, whether gem incrusted or plain silver, quirky or fresh , and even plain old simple, a cat pendant or a necklace is a viable option whenever in a pickle about what to get your cat loving friend.

2. Cat Mug

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How about an elegant mug with a long, twisted handle to remind everyone of a specific little cat? Or better yet a transparent mug equipped with whiskers so that, while drinking your milk, you can be the cat for a change?

3. Cat Tower

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If your budget can allow it, a cat tower is something that both your friend and his cat will totally love- you have so many options to choose between, from sophisticated to playful, that you can’t swing and miss.

4. Cat Bed

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Your friend will most likely already own a cat bed but no one was ever against some redecorating, and when it comes to his furred companion, a special cat bed will hit just the spot in his heart. There are so many models to choose from that your only problem will actually be picking THE ONE- may it be a pod cat bed, a hanging swing bed or your plain and simple cushion heaven, there’s no getting it wrong.

5. Cat Condos

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While we’re on the topic of remodeling, cat condos are also worth considering. There are stackable cube condos in different colors and sizes, stackable leather boxes, or cat trees with built in living quarters, you have an assortment of creations to suit your needs and your budget- simply browse the internet for the best fit.

6. Cat Scratchers

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Let’s be honest here, no matter how much your friend loves his cat, there is still the issue of furniture, carpet and curtain destruction that comes as a package deal with any feline. That’s precisely why a clever cat scratcher is just the thing for you- the sisal wrapped scratching surface and the comfortable feel will get your cat away from your prized possessions and focused on claw sharpening for a serious amount of time.

7. Cat Toys

This topic is endless since the variety of toys and contraptions at our disposal is endless.

This Peek-a-Prize toy box is certainly a blast for both your friend and his cat and ensures an activity they can both enjoy.

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Another option is a tunnel toy (feel free to combine, mix and match to get exactly what you want) that comes in various shapes and sizes (and for the owner’s convenience, is also easily stored away).

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And what are your thoughts on motorized contraptions, such as this Wand Cat Toy- turn it on and the erratic movement is enough to keep a sweet kitty busy for hours on end.

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Balls, yarns, feather teasers, lasers, mouse toys- there are so many things to choose from that all you need to do is to get-a-browsin’!

25 Stunning Fox Photos Plus Interesting Facts

As beautiful and interesting as foxes are, their existence is still a mystery for many. Their fiery-red coats and bushy tail which can come in steel gray or snow white has inspired many stories and legends throughout the years. While we may know a few things about this cunning creature, there are still many curiosities that you might not have heard of. Last week we shared 15 Photos of Cats with adorable markings, and today we would like to give you X images that will make you fall in love with foxes, along with some of the most interesting facts about them. So, what does the fox say?

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1. Foxes are Friendly

Although they are wild animals, foxes are actually extremely friendly, mostly because they have an unusual curios nature. They are often seen checking out other animals, and making friends with them. They might persevere in their antagonistic relationship so much, that they will even befriend a cat or dog. Studies have shown that the earliest species of foxes have also befriended humans. A 16.500 year old cemetery containing the corpse of a human male and his fox companion were found in northern Jordan. This means that we made friends with foxes long before we made the dog our faithful companion.

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(Check out more photos from Katerina Plotnikova)

2. Hunted for their Fur

Foxes have glorious fur, and this means that they are hunted across the globe for it. People without morals have managed to hunt them to the brink of extinction, and even today, many of these majestic creatures are killed. While we may understand that people living in harsh conditions like Siberia might need their thick fur to keep warm, there is no point in robbing them of their lives over a fashion trend. In the past, hunters were also interested in foxes because they were very difficult to hunt due to their agility and cunning nature. The only way to find them was by training hunting dogs.

At the moment, many foxes are bred in fur factory farms and suffer immensely. They live their whole lives in small cages, where they are unable to move. To preserve the quality of the fur, farmers use horrific slaughter methods such as anal electrocution, which provokes extreme suffering to the animals.

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3. The Nine-Tailed Fox

If you are a Naruto fan, the nine-tailed fox is definitely not a mystery to you. As you may very well know, foxes are a symbol of wisdom and cunning in many cultures, but it is the Japanese and Korean culture that have taken a special interest in this animal. As a matter of fact, they revere it so much that it is featured in many legends and said to help achieve enlightenment. The nine-tailed fox is a creature with magical powers, which can even transform into humans. Many legends actually consider it to be a curse, because the nine-tailed fox will always strive to change its fate. In addition to this, it is said that once every millennium a thousand-year fox is born, which should be sacrificed, while still virgin, to lift the curse of all the other nine-tails.

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4. Foxes and Folklore

Although the Japanese have taken a special interest in foxes, this gleeful and evasive animal is present in nearly every culture of the world. Its mythological role ranges from the Icelandic gun-disabling, vicious demon (Skugga Baldur and Skoffin) to the legendary Brer Fox in American culture. During the middle ages they were associated with divine powers, witches and even trickster figures. Finnish people actually thought that the Northern Lights were caused by them, and their “fox fires”. Nevertheless, the most influential user of foxes in folklore, is Aesop, the Greek storyteller who described different traits with the help of foxes.

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5. They Resemble Cats more than Dogs

Foxes are part of the canine species, but they are more like cats, in many ways. For examples, they have catlike pupils (with vertical slits) for improved night-vision. In addition to this, their walk is very agile and elegant, and they are excellent climbers. If you study their anatomy you will find even more fascinating similarities. Their spine-covered tongues, for example, and sensitive whiskers are two of them. Last but not least, gray foxes feature semi-retractable claws.

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More Curiosities about Foxes:

  1. Foxes show great caring, adaptability and intelligence when it comes to raising their young.

  2. When they are born foxes can’t hear, see or walk, so they are highly dependent on their mothers. They will hunt and bring food back to the den for them.

  3. Foxes are the most widespread species of wild dogs in the world. They can live anywhere, even in urban environments.

  4. They are either solitary creatures, or live in small family groups. Their main sources of food are rodents, small birds, fruit and amphibians.

  5. The Red Fox can run at nearly 30 miles per hour.

  6. They can only live 3-4 years in the wild, but are known to survive 10 in captivity.

Source: Theboredpanda.com, flickr.com

5 Cute Animal Facts that Will Melt Your Heart

Animals are beautiful creatures and some animal habits are just too cute not to explore further, especially if you are a fan of the softer side of the wildlife. If you are tired of the same old feline photos that over saturate social media feeds, then let’s dig deeper, swim in colder waters, and fly higher in order to see some animals’ true beauty. Join us as we travel the world in the search of five cute animal facts that will melt your heart. We will convince you once and for all that our wild co-inhabitants are, at times, more affectionate, altruistic and emotionally attached to their peers than many humans.

1. Gentoo male penguins present their female partner the pebbles for their common nest

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You have probably seen the penguin bringing his mate a pebble as a form of a “mating” proposal, which is and it’s not true at the same time. Indeed the Gentoo live in rocky nests and pebbles found around are the foundation of their future home, but the Gentoo male doesn’t go hunting for the perfect rock to propose. It is mating season, however, so you might think some kind of proposal takes place.

2. Sea otters hold hands during sleep

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Among all the cute animal facts that will melt your heart, this one is coupled with cuteness overload courtesy of the sea otter, one of the most adorable sea creatures ever. The “sleeping together holding hands” part is true, as this is a security mechanism that prevents them from drifting apart during sleep. Taking an afternoon nap never as good as it looks on these beautiful creatures.

3. Cows make best friends and suffer when separated

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The animal kingdom is full of surprises and cows are no different. Similar to humans, cows can also make best friends, get attached to a peer, and suffer separation anxiety. Even if such facts have been reported by various media sources, which cannot all be trusted, it seems that some truth lies beneath the rumor, as research has begun to get conducted on cows’ befriending behaviors. How do they exactly choose their best friend? How does the whole process develop? How can one tell when two cows are best friends? These are all serious questions science will try to explain.

4. Did you ever wonder whether rats laugh?

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While not all of us would wake up one morning and think about essential scientific issues, at least one person did. And apparently, rats laugh, even if people are more inclined to exterminate them when they spot them around their houses. The question in the title was borrowed from an article on Scientific American which tells the story of scientist Jaak Panksepp from Washington State University who accidentally discovered that rats laugh. The videos are amazing, even if you hate rats with a passion.

5. Dolphins call each other by names and respond when being called

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This is among those cute animal facts that will melt your heart without a doubt, but will also make you raise your eye brow.  How can you determine if dolphins call each other by name? How can you tell? And where is the evidence for this statement? This article on National Geographic might clear the waters for you and give you a whole new perspective on dolphins – some of the cutest, brightest and amazing animals that blessed our world with their presence.

If you have other cute facts on animals that you know will trigger the “awww” effect on us or on our readers, don’t be shy in sharing them. We are suckers for cute animals, even if wild and untamed! And now even rats seem to be not that bad, either…

Animals in the News: From Talking to the Wildlife, to Genetically Engineering It

We love animals and we’re writing about them with every occasion that comes up, as knowing better our nonspeaking buddies from the wild is a great opportunity to understand life itself and to come up with better, more efficient ways of protecting nature and help it thrive. While we never miss the chance to show you the newest discovered species or the latest fun pictures on the Internet, we are also very connected to the animals in the news and the research conducted by brave scientists and wildlife lovers. Therefore, recent news speak about a dolphin – human translator, a new IMAX 3D movie lulling us into the mysterious world of lemurs and a genetically engineered salmon meant for human consumption which is still facing hot debates. So without wasting too much time, let’s see today’s animals in the news and take a walk on the serious side of exploring animal life.

2. The Dolphin – to – Human translator seems to work

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We were stunned to hear that dolphins call each other by names and we are even more stunned now to hear that incredible progress was made in the field of translating dolphin “language” into human. The director of the Wild Dolphin Project and creator of the Cetacean Hearing Telemetry device (CHAT), Denise Herzing stated that her team of researchers managed to narrow down and identify so far eight sounds common to dolphins’ communication system. This is just a drop in the ocean, as the dolphins have a tremendous range of sounds, some not even audible to the human ear, but the researchers hope that, based on the eight fundamental translations they could narrow down, in the future they will expand their understanding over larger areas of dolphin communication. The first identified “word” was “seaweed” and we all hope that one day we can eavesdrop on dolphins while they talk about us.

2. Welcome to the world of dancing (and soon to be extinct) lemurs

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You all loved King Julian and the world entirely became suddenly curious about the mysterious lemurs after seeing “Madagascar”, so hearing that there is a new 40 minutes movie / documentary narrated by Morgan Freeman that explores the world of lemurs, the extinction they face and the efforts of incredible people (like primatologist Patricia Wright) to save what is left in the Madagascar forests, can only bring us joy and restore our hope in humanity. “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” from Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros studios is the title you may look for in IMAX theaters on Friday.

3. The genetically engineered salmon won’t hit the shelves any time soon

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If you are interested in animals in the news, scientific research, bio-medicine and genetic engineering, you may remember that back in 2010, there were some debates regarding the FDA approving of an engineered salmon to enter mass – consumption. The “Frankenfish”, as it was called by the idea’s opponents, was considered safe to eat even in 2012, but the FDA isn’t hurrying up to bless the fish with its approval. Two sides are fighting against each other, one being represented by the company engineering the fish, and the other by all animal and human rights advocates, together with two big U.S. grocers, Safeway and Kroger – who sworn not to sell the modified fish not even if it gets approved for development and selling. Besides the ethical and practical dilemmas that revolve around the engineered salmon, the time problem is also delicate: even if the engineered salmon gets approved, it will take another two years until it will actually reach the shelves.

For now, these are our animals in the news of the day. While we aren’t very eager to eat the engineered salmon, we will definitely keep an eye on the developments regarding the dolphin language translator and will surely check out the documentary on the lemurs.

Russian Photographer Katerina Plotnikova Repaints the World in Mystical Colors

Here, on ThisBlogRules, we are very passionate about all types of artwork, but it is surreal photography that has somehow gotten under our skin. We love everything that manages to blur the fine line between reality and fantasy. A few weeks ago we shared the Impossible Photography Defying the Rules of Gravity of Michael Rhode, and today we would like to present the work of a very talented Russian photographer by the name of Katerina Plotnikova. She is not the first surreal, Russian photographer to have been featured here. We have already admired the work of young Elena Vizerskaya, another talented artists.

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Katerina Plotnikova was born in 1987, in Mowscow, and has been exploring the art of photography since she was a little girl (more specifically, five years old). Her artwork is indeed one-of-a-kind. She has described it as being an enchanting wonderland. And it truly is. Although she uses simple elements and settings, there is something mystical about the end results. Wild places, forests, jaw-dropping women, and animals are usually present. She seems to have taken a liking to ginger girls. Either way, she has shown us that true beauty can be achieved with the simplest of things, by paying attention to light, color, and environment. Nothing is left at chance, and every component plays a part in the ensemble.

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There is no need to suspend your disbelief when viewing her photography. Everything that she has done is real, no Photoshop (except for minor tweaking of the settings). The interaction between human and animal is real, the settings are real, everything is real. Katerina Plotnikova has managed to recreate these images with the help of two professional animal trainers, and a couple of beautiful women. She has managed to evoke a mythical, fairy-tale world, and when you look at her art you get the sense that you are transported to another time and place. In the end, it was the artist who said that her work is just another tale about Wonderland. The expressions on the models’ faces are extremely powerful and the majestic animals which are featured (bears, stags, camels) are exquisite. Nevertheless, it is the bond created between human and animal that makes Katerina’s work so powerful.

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In one photo, an autumn-haired girl extends her arm to a bear as if asking him to dance, while in the other, a ginger beauty caresses a snake. Don’t ask any more questions and simply enjoy the beauty that Katerina Plotnikova has captured in her photography. Her artwork will give you a break from reality and transport you to the land where nymphs, princesses and queens still exists. Where prince charming might still appear, riding his white horse, to whisk you away.

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At first glance, the shots might seem dangerous, but they were created with the help of professional trainers, and docile animals. The bear in these photograph, which symbolizes strength contrasts extremely well with the delicate and elegant princes that he embraces. But it is not only the animal photography that is filled with mysticism. Even the other poses are rich in magic and dream-like qualities which makes them absolutely beguiling. She is only 27 which means that she has barely begun her adventure with photography, and we are eager to see more. Plotnikova’s human models exude a quiet regal air that is only made all the more arresting by their animal companions.

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