Sunday, 23 September 2018

Remember Me Thursday: Shine The Light for Rescue Pets

I am a rescue kitty and I'm so happy and proud! If you have read my rescue story you will know all about my rescue. If not, why don't you get yourself a copy of my book, A Forever Home For Athena? I promise that all proceeds will now be going to three of our favourite animal charities. Not just a percentage, as stated in the book details, but one hundred per cent!

It was a joint decision by Mum and me to donate all proceeds as unfortunately, it isn't selling as well as we'd hoped. It's been available for a few years now. But as I'm not a famous cat maybe no one wants to hear/read my story. I don't understand why, as I'm a beautiful, elegant and enigmatic goddess cat - and not forgetting the very wise and graceful! Mum says I'm funny too 😸 And just as many cats do, I have helped my human mum with her struggles.

So, here's is a little bit of my rescue story.

I was abandoned in someone's garden in North London. A kind person found me and I was taken to Wood Green, the Animals Charity in London. At the same time my now Mum Marie was grieving for her dear dad whom she lost 9 months previously. Mum was a lost soul in many ways and so terribly depressed with how her life was going. Her anxiety levels had hit an all-time high. She was feeling so sad and longed for a little light in her life. That light was me. I was also lost and abandoned. I was sad too. I longed for love and happiness.

In this sorry state, I wondered what was going to happen to me without a mum to take care of me. I am grateful to the staff and volunteers at Wood Green as they looked after me extremely well.  In July, on the 19th, the woman destined to be my human mother walked into the shelter. She came to me first (I was in the first pen, along with my sister Lily). I made sure Mum saw me and wouldn't miss what a beauty I was. I wanted her right away! I must have been doing something right (I was trying to climb the mesh door to get to the top as I wanted out of there!) We touched finger to paw. It was awesome! Such an electrifying sensation of love. Mum was asking the man that took care of us some questions. She couldn't afford to take both Lily and me. She regretted it terribly and she still does. Though I miss Lily I kind of like being an only cat! But I hope she is happy and safe too. On the 21st of July Mum came back to collect me and I was so happy because she fed me more than what I was fed at the shelter and she let me sit on her lap. She stroked me and loved me and I purred with delight. The best part was at night when I fell asleep on the pillow next to her. Mum was very happy too. She felt loved.

By rescuing each other, this has started us both on this journey to blog and write in order to help other homeless animals. We do the best we can to shine the light on animal charities and pets awaiting adoption. Not only via this blog and my book, but also on social media. Mum has a Pinterest board devoted to Pet Rescue. And via our Twitter accounts @mariesymeou and @athenawisekitty we share and retweet other rescues using mostly the hashtag #adoptdontshop.

We want to shine the light on the great work that all charities do. As Brits, we start with animal charities in our own country. But we care about animals all over the world. As Mum is of Greek descent (parents from Cyprus) she feels drawn to helping the cats of Greece and Cyprus, because she knows how bad it is for most of them out there. She isn't proud of her heritage when she sees how animals are treated there, I can tell you! We are not saying everyone is bad as it's obvious now on social media there are so many kind-hearted souls carrying out some major important work and really care about animals that need our help. We admire those people!

Here in England, Mum is a member of Cats Protection. We have so far donated food via their Amazon wish list with the money we've made from the book. Not much as we have said, but we're sure they appreciate it. We've also donated food and cat toys to the Wood Green Amazon wish list. And another great charity we support is The Greek Cat Welfare Society, which is excellent and based in the UK but helping the homeless cats of Greece. These three charities will benefit from the donations of my book.

So let's all join together today, and every day, to help save these precious lives. Without us speaking up for these poor souls, they will have no voice. Without us sharing and caring, they will be forgotten. And that is so wrong.


BLOG HOP We're also joining the Sunday Selfies Blog Hop hosted by our great furiends at The Cat on my Head.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Halloween Art with PicMonkey #caturdayart

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Happy Caturday!

I reminded Mum that Halloween is soon upon us and that it's now time to get some art practice in. I've got to say it, and we're sure many would agree with us, that this is the most fun time of the year in which to get creative with your photos!

There are lots of free editing apps and programs out there which can help you achieve amazing Halloween art but today we're looking at PicMonkey.

It's what Mum used in order to create this crazy scary photo of me. Isn't it fab?

Caturday Art for Halloween

Mum had been using the free version of PicMonkey for ages but it was clear that there were some fantastic-looking effects that would undoubtedly create awesome pawsome results but which she couldn't use because they weren't free.

Mum decided to go elsewhere and so she experimented with many of the other free online editing sites and apps and stuff. As I already said, there are some fine editing apps out there available to use for free. But recently Mum has started designing new cover art for her Blood of the Gods vampire trilogy and as she is useless with Photoshop and gets easily frustrated, I suggested to her that maybe she should go back to PicMonkey. "There's a free 7-day trial," I said, "and you could test out all those other effects you were so curious about."

So she took her wise kitty's advice and signed up and has spent the last few days busy with her art. But then she thought, "Wait, I'm using all these amazing effects, graphics, textures and fonts for my books but what about Athena's Caturday Art Blog Hop? Halloween is coming up soon, and Christmas ain't too far away 🙀 so it makes sense to continue with the subscription!"

The PicMonkey Basic subscription is purrfect for unleashing your creative photo editing potential. It's certainly unlocked Mum's creativity as she can sit there staring at that computer for hours. I sit on the bed and watch her at her desk, or catnap, and when I wake up I soon let her know when I'm hungry. I also remind her when it's time for our afternoon nap. 😻 Mum often wakes in the early hours and works from 4am to 6am so she does deserve a nap, in case anyone thought she's a lazy cat lady.

With the Basic plan, which costs £6.49 GBP/month and is billed annually (£77.99), or £9.00 GBP/month billed monthly, you get:

  • Hub storage for 50 images and you can sort Hub images, save, export and share.
  • Advanced touch-up tools
  • Primo effects, graphics, fonts
  • Re-editable images, in Hub
  • Top-shelf templates
  • No ads (which is just great as they really are annoying.)

There is also a Pro version which we don't think it's worth bothering with unless you can afford it.
The Pro version costs £10.50 GBP/month (£126.00 billed annually) or £14.00 GBP/month - billed monthly. With this option you get:

  • Unlimited Hub storage and you can organize your Hub with Collections
  • Save, Export, Share
  • Advanced touch-up tools
  • Primo effects, graphics, fonts
  • Re-editable images, in Hub
  • Top-shelf templates
  • No ads

Graphic design templates sized just for social. Take PicMonkey's ad-vice.

Mum only needs the Basic plan as she isn't rich and to be honest with you, we both think it should be cheaper, but as she really needs the extra features right now, she is willing to continue her subscription for a while to see what other fantastic photo art and graphics she comes up with. And I can't wait to see her new book covers!

Caturday Art Blog Hop

Create beautiful art with your pet photos!

Come on furiends and animal lovers, let's see your animal photo art. All animals welcome, not just cats! Some free photo editors and apps are really simple to use and you can have a beautiful artsy photo of your pet to share in an instant! 

Join us every Saturday!