Website of the Month 2005

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Moscow Cat Theatre

Winner December 2005

This month we have a very unusual choice for the site of the month. Not only is this site about an unusual topic but it's also just a supporting Web Site - that is to say that the purpose of the site is just to tell you about the live show of the Moscow Cat Theatre.

"Cat theatre?" you say, "I know, I was surprised too" I reply!

At first I wasn't entirely sure if this is a hoax or not. I was impressed enough when I saw a cat trained to sit (somewhat) on cue, but how could you train cats to perform reliably enough to base a show around?

Well, Yuri Kuklachev (the Ringmaster, if you will) isn't telling, but having run the show for some 30 years and performed in over 80 countries he's certainly not joking and seems to seriously know what he's talking about.

I was also a little concerned about the welfare of the cats, but after reading some interviews with Yuri (found randomly through Google) I'm sure that he's just as concerned for their welfare; plus, an unhappy cat is a stubborn and uncooperative cat - not what is required for a theatre show!

This site comes in two flavours, non-animated and animated (Flash) both of which are visually and technically excellent. Good colour schemes, easy navigation and plenty of interesting stuff to keep you enthralled, although the text on the Flash animated version is sometimes a little small.

The show features 20 cats 2 dogs and several other human performers and sounds like an absolute wonder of he modern world!

The extensive photo galleries contain pics of just about every aspect of the show you would want to see, although this didn't subdue my wish to go and see this spectacle at the first opportunity - don't tell anyone but I may even find myself considering their schedule when I'm next booking my annual holiday!

Pet AVision Inc.

Winner November 2005

Once in a while a cat will come and sit on my desk. No, let me start again.

On a daily basis, sometimes on an hourly basis, a cat will attempt to obscure my monitor.

For a while it seemed like none of them could work out what was so interesting, most of them still haven't got it, and really aren't that interested - they just know sitting in front of it is a good way to get my attention.

A couple of months ago, however, one of them started behaving differently.

Mit is definitely the cleverest cat I've ever seen. This is the cat who worked out how to use a doorknocker, the same cat who worked out how to use door handles and the same cat who worked out that when you cause mischief you can quickly hide (or pretend you're asleep) and the nearest innocent party may well take the blame.

"oh do get on with the review" you're probably saying by now; well I will, but it's 10pm on Sunday evening, I've had one too many coffees today and I'm in the mood for too much back-story. (That reminds me, I'm missing the latest episode of Lost!)

Anyway, where was I?

A couple of months ago Mit landed on my desk looking for attention. She tried several locations on the desk, but I was too busy and she wasn't tall enough to completely obscure my view, so eventually she just sat down and gave me the evil eye.

She started observing me looking at the monitor, then looking at the monitor herself, then looking at my hand, then back to the monitor. Her ears flicked as my mouse made the odd scraping sound on the desk and it seemed like she quickly worked out that there was a connection.

Her eyes followed the pointer around the screen, she made a few clicking noises and then she lunged for it with a beclawed paw. A great new game was enjoyed by us both, which went on for quite a while, until she got bored and went off to find some other mischief.

This got me thinking (and finally gets me to the point!!), there must be other cats that play with pointers, so surely there must be cat entertainment websites?

Turns out there are quite a few, and this is just one of them - but to be fair it's a good one that Mit particularly enjoys.

They've got a specific 'website for cats' part of the site, which features range of games from a crawling six legged bug (Red Buggy) to a flapping butterfly. There's some in Flash and some in Java, they all seem pretty entertaining, but the bug is Mit's current favourite.

There's quite a few other sections on the website too, including a very amusing photo captions section, some cool toys for sale and the warp-a-kitty game (you'll see when you get there) but still the best bit is the aforementioned 'Red Buggy' - according to Mit, that is.

I'll try to find some more cat entertainment sites for future Mewsletters, but in the meantime get yourself over to

P.S. Credit may be due for my resisting the temptation to make a joke about a cat chasing a mouse pointer

Stuff on my Cat

Winner October 2005

Sometimes an idea comes along that you just know is going to run and run, and Stuff on my Cat is one of those ideas.

The idea is so simple it's brilliant. Visitors put stuff on their cats, send in the photos and the people who run the site will put the pic into one of many categories that include Business on my cat, housewares on my cat and the hilarious food on my cat.

I was so inspired by this site that I felt compelled to go and immediately take pictures of stuff on cats. I've posted my favourite below, which appropriately enough is Fuzzball sniffing a bottle of Purr I managed to rest on her, before she got up and paffed it across the room.

They also have cool t-shirts available. I'm going to put my name down for one as soon as I've persuaded Sam that the company should pay for it as a business expense ;-)

The strapline for this site is 'Stuff + Cats = Awesome' and I can't disagree!!

Skittles Cam

Winner July 2005

Skittles Cam is a site dedicated to the life and adventures of the very lovable Skittles.

The name implies that there might be a webcam, and there's even a link that makes you think you're about to see a webcam, but as yet I've not seen anything moving and can't confirm if there's a cam or not.

None the less, this is a great site for a number of reasons.

The diary section is very entertaining, family safe and if you believe their 'about us' mostly read by kids - although a lot of what's written in their 'about us' is highly suspect, albeit very humorous.

The reviews section is full of honest reviews of cat products, which has actually tempted me to keep an eye out for one or two of the things mentioned, most interesting for me was the Diz Wiz - like a Weeble for cats!!

The road trips section has loads of pics of Skittles, there's loads of important and useful info, there's a great links section, in fact there's really too much to mention in this review.

I will definitely be returning to this site for another look, hopefully they'll have the webcam switched on next time.

Dog and Cat News

Winner May 2005

This month's site of the month is a spin off from 'Dog and Cat News', a TV show from Australia.

As the show is for kids and not shown outside of Oz, I really didn't think this was going to be of interest to most people but within a few minutes of arriving I was captivated and knew it was well worth a review.

The site, with it's bright colours and animation, is certainly aimed at a younger audience, as is the show, but credit should be given for being generally funny, pleasing to the eye and easy to use for all ages.

There's a section where you can direct your own episode of the show, which is great fun, and a section with some episodes available to watch online, giving more depth to some of the humour in other parts of the site. There's also character profiles, a studio tour and tons more.

If you have younger kids sit them in front of the PC and let them explore, if you haven't, sit in front of the PC have an explore yourself.

Overall, a great site!

The Cat Rescue Site

Winner April 2005

As a part of a family of sites run by environmental activists Tim Kunin and Greg Hesterberg, The Cat Rescue Site is dedicated to harnessing the power of the Internet toward helping animals in need.

The site has lots of information about their activities but most importantly offers a host of ways to help feed the animals cared for by The Fund for Animals and North Shore Animal League America.

Simply by clicking a button on the site you can provide an animal with a meal via the use of sponsorship, and you can also send a postcard from the site telling your friends how to help too.

The only slightly annoying thing I could find is the popup ads, but seeing as some of the money from any sales goes toward the charity I think we should forgive this.

Taking a minute to visit the site and click a button is such an easy way to help an animal in need, we can't see any reason you wouldn't be doing it as soon as you've finished reading this months Mews-letter!!

The Infinite Cat Project

Winner March 2005

We love to see how many people undertake to help and foster so many cats in need around the world.

It's great to see that people will spend their own time and money, and even give up the run of their homes for no reward other than the warm feeling of having helped.

That just gives us even more reason to occasionally show respect for something completely pointless. Funny (sure), original (definitely), unique (certainly) - but absolutely, completely and utterly pointless! FANTASTIC!!

That's why this month we honour.

...The Infinite Cat Project!!

If you've ever fancied getting your cat on the internet, and think that submitting your pictures to the Purr Gallery is just too sensible a way to go about it, then The Infinite Cat Project is for you.

Apparently it all started when a user of the Apple Help Website posted a picture of his cat enjoying a flower. Shortly after another user posted a picture of his cat looking at that first picture. Then the owner of this site posted a picture of his cat looking at the picture of the cat looking at the picture of the cat enjoying the flower - and a phenomenon was born!

As of the time of writing this they're up to nearly 811 cats looking at cats - maybe your beloved moggy could be number 812?

The site also has some other quite interesting stuff to look at, but really this is all decoration around the gem that is 'The Infinite Cat Project'

Visit them at and if you send in your pic don't forget to tell them where you heard about them. (.And don't forget to tell us about it if you get on the site!)

Big Cat Rescue, Florida

Winner February 2005

Well, re-enthused about my big cat sighting, this months 'site of the month' could only be about one thing. BIG CATS!!

What can I say but, this site is excellent!?!

Run by a big cat rescue sanctuary in the USA, this site has all the information you could ever want about big cats. Covering virtually every breed, the comprehensive texts and photos make for hours of enthrallment.

There's a news section, covering press stories and news from the sanctuary, some of the pages have sound samples and there are tons of excellent photos.

It's really too much to see in one sitting - but why limit yourself to one sitting? This is the sort of site I will probably find myself coming back to again and again.

Talking about the nice design or the easy navigation almost belittles the subject matter, but it's also worth a mention.

The only negative thing I could say about this site is that the pages took a while to load, even on my broadband connection. Quite possibly this is due to traffic on the net or on their server this afternoon, but either way, it's not too unreasonable and it's well worth the wait.

If you visit this site, please be sure to donate, the sanctuary is run solely on donations and such a good cause deserves all the support it can get.

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