A Big Purr of Welcome

This blog used to be written by Tara, cat and author of Cats in Charge: A Guide to the Training and Education of Humans. She is also a leading character in Big Dragons Don't Cry, Book One of A Dragon's Guide to Destiny and in its sequels.

Once Tara realized that the rewards of writing a blot didn't include treats or catnip, she assigned the job to me, human and nominal writer of her books.

However, she has final approval of all posts, and she advises you to visit often. The advice you'll read here can land you in a field of catnip if you follow it.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Now Available: Animals Have Feelings, Too
in Paperback

Animals Have Feelings, Too: Bach Flower Remedies for Cats and Dogs was first published in the summer of 2011. Copies have sold all over the world, and countless humans and animals have benefitted from the straightforward and simple advice in this book.

Although I'm a huge fan of ebooks and love reading on my Kindle, I noticed that whenever I buy a reference, I want a paperback edition. That realization inspired me to publish a paperback edition of Animals Have Feelings, Too.

It's now available at Amazon.

If you'd prefer the Kindle version, it's here.

Here's a sampling of what reviewers have said about the book:

"Animals Have Feelings Too is a simple must have for anyone wanting to help their animals with Bach Flower Remedies. Ms. Barrett explains in easy to understand terms which remedies are helpful in various situations for animals. It also covers behavioral changes and what remedies would be beneficial. Animals DO have feelings and we their family members can help them to heal." — Amazon Reader

"I enjoyed reading through this book. It's an easy read and easy to understand what each of the various remedies should be used for. I've had great success providing some of these to my dog and I think it's really wonderful that something so easy, natural can make a big difference in an animal's life." —Amazon Reader

Are you looking for a drugless solution for your pet's behavioral issues? The Bach Flower Remedies, developed in the early 1900s by Edward Bach, M.D., have helped countless humans and animals.

This book helps you to understand what your cat or dog's behavior means and recommends Bach Flower Remedies for many conditions. The book gives special attention to the unique needs of abandoned and abused animals.

Topics include:

How the Bach Flower Remedies Can Help Animals and Humans

Understanding Our Animal Companions

My Cat/My Dog/Myself

Abuse and Abandonment

Remedies for Common Conditions

C. M. Barrett has been a Bach Flower Remedies practitioner since 1990. She is the author of Bach Flower Remedies: A User-Friendly Guide and has taught the principles of Bach Flower Remedies extensively in online classes. She is also the author of A Dragon's Guide to Destiny, a fantasy series that features a large cast of cats, and Cats in Charge: A Guide to the Training and Education of Humans.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Trees

Greetings to all cats and their human servants. Below is an excerpt from the holidays chapter in Cats in Charge: A Guide to the Training and Education of Humans.

We move now into the danger zone. These trees are far too tempting. The ornaments twirl and sparkle on the tree in a way that is criminally irresistible. What cat can keep from batting a glittery bell or spinning ball? Is that fair?

What no one tells the unwary cat is that these gorgeous toys are sometimes very fragile. They break. When they do, not only may you be punished, but you may hurt yourself on very sharp fragments. I fear my pointing this out will make no difference, but if you can, keep your paws to yourself.

Tinsel presents another danger. Again glittery and twirly, this innocent-looking decoration begs to be eaten. If you do, though, you may find yourself in emergency surgery—and that's if you're fortunate.

The other major peril is the tree itself. Unless it's one of those artificial plastic jobs, it's a TREE. And what do cats do when presented with a tree? They climb it. It's in our DNA.

Unfortunately, Christmas trees, unlike the traditional outdoor models, have no roots holding them securely in the ground. This means that when you act like a normal cat and leap onto it, it may fall. You might find this a painful experience. To make matters worse, those fragile ornaments are likely to break, creating more possibilities for injury.

Finally, your humans will not be pleased. In a horrendous worst-case scenario, they might ban you from the usual location of Christmas trees, the living room. If I had my way, I would ban Christmas trees.

If you want to read more, you can buy the book at Amazon. This book is also available at Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Sony, and other book sites.

You can also pick up a free book, Cats in Command and Other Stories at Amazon and the other retailers listed above.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Cat's Eye View of the Internet, Part II: Costumes

The following is an excerpt from my book, Cats in Charge: A Guide to the Training and Education of Humans. It's available at Amazon.

If your humans think that a photo of you is worth Facebook exposure, it MAY means they hold you in high esteem. You always want to encourage esteem, which, if correctly encouraged, may lead to an appropriate attitude of worship.

However, if they post a photo that makes you look undignified (dare I say, ridiculous?), you need to reconsider not only the value of exposure but the degree to which your human holds you in esteem. Serious corrective action may be required. (See my book for details.)

General Guidelines

If your humans put you in an outfit and start rolling on the floor, helpless with laughter, you can safely consider yourself humiliated. Remove and shred the costume.

If, instead, they're only smiling and saying things like, "That's so cute; we should take a picture and put it on Facebook," consider allowing them their childish behavior and demand many treats in payment.

If the outfit in any way inhibits your freedom of motion, decline to model it. This is especially important if you live in a household with small children and/or dogs. You must always be ready to flee at any moment.

If it's Hallowe'en (and you'll know because the house suddenly becomes filled with totally inedible food like candy corn, popcorn, apples, and other such nonsense), you might consider giving in because this is a day when humans also wear ridiculous costumes.

If they want to put a crown or tiara on your head, graciously concede and look extremely regal.

I have seen photos of cats sitting at tables with napkins around their necks. While the napkins are generally unnecessary, humans should be encouraged to welcome cats to their tables. This seating plan gives cats easy access to human food.

In summary, the clothing question must be taken up case by case. Once the photo is posted, be sure to read the comments. If any of them seem to be making fun of you, think twice before allowing your humans to photograph you wearing a Miss Piggy hat or an oversized woolen cap with a pompom.

Be especially cautious if they want to put you in a tutu or prom dress and high heels. If Barbie Cat were unexplored territory, I'd encourage you to go for it. However, it's been done, and the only thing worse than public humiliation is public humiliation plus coming late to a trend.

Exceptions That Don't Necessarily Prove the Rule

It would be unfair to end this without the principle of "different hats for different cats." Some cats enjoy wearing human-style clothing.

Feline behaviorists have attempted to float a number of developmental theories to explain this. Drag cats have no patience for such hot air. In their words: "It's my thing. Get over it."

If clothes are your thing, don't let your owners dress you in cheap fabrics with poorly stitched seams and dragging hemlines. As with food, toys, treats, and general accomodations, follow the Tara Principle.

Insist on the best. Always.

To buy this book, please go to Amazon.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hiding from Fireworks

This week I'm not making my usual post because of everycat's least favorite holiday: The Fourth of July. Here is how I describe it in my book, Cats in Charge: A Guide to the Training and Education of Humans:

"The main attraction of this holiday for a cat involves barbecues, where a variety of interesting meats are cooked. If you are an outdoor cat, I recommend frequenting the eating area. The same practice will serve you well on Memorial Day and Labor Day or any summer weekend during which humans return to their primitive roots and discover fire.

The Fourth of July, however, has a significant drawback: fireworks. These are colorful and very loud explosives that humans seem to enjoy. Cats do not. As day turns into night, retreat into a closet or beneath a bed and cover your ears."

Cats be forewarned, especially new kittens, who haven't yet experienced this disturbing holiday. Humans, if you live with cats who go outside, do them and yourselves a favor by keeping them in.

And now I'm going off to hide.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Celebrating Catnip

Last week's post on why a catnip frenzy need not damage your self-esteem provoked some confusion among some of my readers. They wrote to ask, "What's catnip, and where's mine?"

Although I've learned that you can never underestimate human ignorance, I thought that even the most uninformed would know about catnip. I was wrong.

Deprived cats, go into action. You have an absolute right to the comfort, stimulation, relaxation, and psychedelic experiences that catnip can provide.

And a little Catnip 101 is in order, both for the inexperienced and you big-eyed felines who think you know it all. You know who I mean. You're the ones staring at a sunbeam as it makes it way around the room and leaves sparkling rainbows everywhere. Raise your paws if this describes you—unless you've forgotten what a paw is.

Why Do We Love Catnip?

Catnip contains an oil with a chemical called nepetalactone. (Relax, there will be no quiz.) It's found in leaves, stems, and seeds. Scientists say that sniffing it provides stimulation, and eating it is calming. You'd have to wonder how many cats they've observed. Most of us are sniffing, eating, and rolling in it all at once. When it comes to catnip, we're good at multitasking.

Scientists also say that catnip has no effect on some cats. I wonder if they're secretly dogs—the cats, not the scientists, although I wonder about the scientists, too. They also say that young kittens and senior cats also don’t react to catnip because its effects are connected to sexual hormones. My idea is that, since catnip makes cats act like kittens, the babies don't need it because they're already high. They certainly act that way. And maybe our senior cats prefer the quiet mellow joys of sleeping in the sun.

The catnip high lasts about 15 minutes, and a few hours have to go by before it's effective again. It's ok. You need the rest.

All Catnip Is Not Created Equal.

As long as your asking, ask for the best. You want certified organic catnip, grown under controlled conditions without pesticide involved. And let's make it pure, no fillers or additives. This also applies to catnip-filled toys, which should be marked as organic.

How Can I Get It?

If your house has a spice rack within your reach, visit it and stare longingly at items like basil and oregano. If there's any mint around, poke at it. (It may be a little too strong for you, so don't poke too hard.)

If you happen to see a catnip commercial on TV, paw at the screen—but lightly. Humans are very attached to those big flat things. Meow loudly.

If someone gives you a catnip-filled toy, tear it apart and get to the good stuff. Make sure that your human observes your state of ecstasy.

If all else fails, pray to the Great Cat Goddess that your human will become enlightened.

And don't let your humans see this video.

Catnip: Egress into Oblivion

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Crazed with Catnip


Catnip: recreational or addictive substance, was not covered in your book. I enjoy the sensations associated with chewing and rubbing on this delightful herb, but I'm concerned about how foolish this looks to my semi-trained humans. Am I losing their respect by participating in the catnip festivities?

Yours truly,
Torn between dignity and delight

Given the quantities of recreational and/or addictive drugs humans ingest, they have no business judging any cat who gets a buzz from 'nip. Add in the fact that far too many humans have no familiarity with the concept of moderation, whether in matters of food, alcohol, and other substances and activities, and you may grasp the idea that human opinions of you should matter not a whit.

However, the issue is much more complex. Deep down, humans recognize the superiority of cats. If they would simply accept this supremacy and humbly take guidance and direction from us, our lives, their lives, and the world would be a better place.

They're too accustomed, though, to the idea that they are the superior species, a false notion that leads them into destructive thinking patterns. It also causes them to look for any evidence of inferiority in other species.

The sight of a catnip-crazed cat rolling on the floor, chasing apparently invisible objects, or crashing into walls, soothes their egos. They think of us as stupid and dope-addled creatures.

Does this opinion make it more difficult to train them? It can only happen if you accept their judgment.

A human who was a cut above the average once said, "What you think of me is none of my business." Ponder these words carefully. Be concerned not with human opinions of you (which 90% of the time are ignorant and uninformed) and consider instead your opinion of yourself.

If you believe that you're the greatest cat since Bastet and walk with your head and tail high, no human can fail to realize your dignity and grandeur. Continued visions of your splendor will soon erase the memories of random catnip mania.

If you do feel a little foolish, once the catnip haze has worn off, simply turn your back on them and wash yourself vigorously. This is the best solution to any temporary dip in self-esteem.

Always remember: You are Cat. For those readers who have not yet benefited from Cats in Charge: A Guide to the Training and Education of Humans, it's available here.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Spring Training for Kittens: Part II

A number of social challenges face young kittens.

The following is what humans call a cheat sheet, designed to accommodate the brief attention span of the average kitten.


Some of you, I regret to say, were born in the wild. So was I, but I was born in a very friendly wild, where I had loving and fierce parents who were also mighty hunters. Because I was the Kitten (later upgraded to Cat) of Destiny, other animals knew not to make trouble for me.

You feral kittens haven't had my advantages. Your goal is to get inside to safety as quickly as possible. This will most likely happen with the help of humans called rescuers.

A rescuer may be wearing a protective mask and thick gloves. Don't let her appearance frighten you. She wants to avoid the claws and teeth of those cats who don't recognize her friendly intentions. Be friendly in return.

Foster Homes

You will do very well if you end up in a foster home. Humans who sometimes double as rescuers run them. You will have good food, comfortable lodgings, and toys. Foster homes also provide a relaxed atmosphere for interviewing potential human companions.


These accommodations aren't quite as luxurious. You will live in a cage, and the food doesn't approach foster home quality. However, the odds are good that kind people will take care of you. Again, be friendly, and practice being adorable. This should present no challenge.


Whether you're in a foster home or a shelter, people will come to look at you to decide whether they want to adopt you. Pay attention: the choice should always be yours. (See the chapter, "Choosing Your Human" in my book.)

To summarize: look adorable for humans you choose. Show your butt to those you don't like.


Once you've entered your new home, the real challenge begins. As a kitten, you arrive with major advantages. You are tiny. You are adorable. You are photogenic. Combine these advantages into a number of artful poses, and you can achieve stardom on Facebook and YouTube and rulership of your home.

The information in this post gets much more detailed treatment in my book, Cats in Charge: A Guide to the Training and Education of Humans. All cats with a serious or playful commitment to world domination need to read this book carefully.