Website of the Month 2007

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Flippys Cat Page

Winner December 2007

Our Web Site of the Month award this month goes to a most impressive body of work. The home page claims the site has 2700 pages, and from the not so brief time I spent engrossed in this site I can fully believe it. I spent an hour looking and felt like I'd barely scratched the surface!

The site really does have something for everyone and is sure to entertain, amuse, enthral and generally keep you occupied until your eyes go funny from spending too long looking at a computer monitor.

There's too much to mention in one review, but there is room to mention a couple of the bits I liked the most, and I'm sure there are many bits I didn't even get to.

‘Signs you are a cat lover', is a large collection of amusing contributions including some very familiar scenarios, such as “You do a remarkable fandango any time you feel anything remotely tail-like under your foot, trying not to step on it”, “You use the smallest space on the bed because you don't want to disturb kitty” and my favourite “You have to type with one hand because the other hand is holding the cats head up off the keyboard just enough for you to reach the keys underneath.”

That last one is actually true right now, so I thank my lucky stars for auto correct!

My other favourite bit was the Feline Folklore page, where I learned lots of interesting things I didn't know before, including the English superstition that If a cat washes behind its ears, it will rain.

This is not a superstition I've heard before, and I quite like the idea that there is a superstition which takes one inevitable thing (i.e. a cat washing behind it's ears) and pairs it with another inevitable thing (i.e. it rains in England).

On the basis of this I've made up my own superstition that if I see a cat before midday I'll be compelled to talk about cats many times before I go to bed. But anyway, back to the review…

If I had to make one criticism it would be that the design is a little basic and with this amount of material it would benefit from a little reorganisation. I'm sure that would be quite a mammoth task and in all other aspects I really liked it, so on balance this is not a huge problem.

Overall I have to give this site 10 out of 10, not least for the impressive volume of top quality content on the site. I'm sure it will be a long time before our own humble web site can compete on this basis, but it's given us all something to aspire to.

Celia Hammond Animal Trust or C.H.A.T

Winner October 2007

I discovered this website via a link from a previous website of the month winner - - urging people to sign the latest petition on C.H.A.T.

The petition is for people to show support for the charity to continue rescuing the stray and feral cats from the 2012 Olympic site in London.

On the 27 th of September the Olympic Delivery Authority banned the C.H.A.T from entering the site, leaving the remaining cats with a grim future.

The most recent update says that they are in discussions with the Olympic Delivery Authority and have come to an agreement and have been given permission to access small areas of the site and continue their rescue work but they “still need your support to ensure that there is a happy outcome for ALL the cats on the Olympic Park site.”

This is, of course, just one project being undertaken by the charity, which was founded in 1986 by Celia Hammond. Her main objective was to set up a low cost vaccination and neutering clinic. When the first clinic opened it became fully booked straight away.

Today there are clinics in Lewisham, Canning Town and Chatham in Kent. Each of them neuter hundreds of cats and dogs each week, as well as looking after and re-homing many stray and unwanted animals.

After reading about the great work this charity is undertaking, I started looking around the rest of their excellent Website. I really enjoyed reading through the ‘happy endings' page, full of adorable pictures and heart-warming stories. The ‘Animal for homing' section of the Website is packed with even more cats and kittens needing good homes.

If you find yourself wanting to help, C.H.A.T. is not a bad place to go, and they are always looking for volunteers. They also offer other options such as sponsoring an animal, how to donate money via selling items on ebay or simply donating items to their charity shop.

Overall, this Website is well made and packed full of interesting stuff, well worth a visit.

Ruling Cats and Dogs

Winner September 2007

Ruling Cats and Dogs is a site all about… well, cats and dogs! If the introductory text is to be believed (and why wouldn't we?), the site has been put together by the animals themselves, with the goal of entertaining and enthralling the audience, and that it certainly does!

This site is separated into two main sections, one for cats and one for dogs, I bet you can guess which was our favourite. Both sections are packed with useful and fun information, including ‘world record breakers', ‘famous cats', ‘famous cat owners' and much more besides.

The web site itself is very easy to navigate around, even though it's quite big. Every section is well written and very informative and on every page there is a funny picture or quote – here is one I can definitely relate to: ‘ There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.'

If you find yourself with a bit of spare time (and considering you've just finished reading the Mews-letter, what else are you going to do?) it's well worth visiting this site.

In our book it's a sure-fire winner!!

The Cat Gallery

Winner August 2007

I really enjoyed reviewing this website. The design is nice and easy to use, but most of all I liked it because it seems to be the perfect place to buy yourself, or any other cat lover, a great cat related gift.

They have everything here - jewellery, cups, plates, beautiful art pictures, ornaments, games, clothing and more!

I spent a long time looking round and there are so many things I would love to buy, I am especially fond of the Rosina Wachtmeister range, and there is a good selection here I'm pleased to say!

They also have a very good selection from the ‘Country Artists' range of ornaments including the popular ‘A Breed Apart' range. These are very good quality - I know a few people who will be getting these as gifts in the near future.

This website is simply the best I've seen for cat related gifts intended for humans.

Greek Animal Rescue

Winner July 2007

When we took our Stray cat Domino to the vet this week for his neutering our vet handed us a leaflet from the Greek Animal Rescue charity.

After reading through the leaflet and website I was quite shocked at the extent of the problems in Greece and more so that I had never been aware of the problems before.

These animals have very few friends; there are many stray cats and dogs living on the streets and they are considered a nuisance and people fear they spread disease. During the summer months tourists often feed the strays, but as the tourist season ends the strays find more and more that they have to fend for themselves.

They are often good-natured and friendly just wanting food and shelter and somewhere to belong. Greek Animal Rescue support several small shelters in Greece, taking in the sick and injured, as well as trying to spay/neuter as many as funds will allow.

So please have a look around the website, it's very easy to navigate around, the message is clear and perhaps you could do something to help?

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Winner June 2007

With over 140 years since it was established and with numerous royal patrons and TV shows over the years, it's no surprise that Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has become a household name.

Taking in tens of thousands of cats and dogs each year also shows what a big operation this is, but their website has none of the cold corporate fluff one might expect from such a large organisation. In fact, upon arriving at the site you are greeted by a warm friendly page with enough interesting looking options to want to see more than one, but not so many as to confuse.

The site is divided into 5 main sections, comprising the four ‘R's (Rescue Reunite Rehabilitate Rehome) and the fifth ‘Lend a Paw' area, and the site seems to cover just about every aspect of the goings on at Battersea's 3 sites.

The rescue section covers the brilliant and essential work done by the staff, a full history of the organisation, behind the scenes photos and write ups and an abundance of other related information. This section of the site alone kept me there for over an hour.

The Reunite section has information about how to go about reporting your pet as lost or enquiring if they've been found and brought to Battersea. There's also a lot of good advice to help make sure they don't get lost in the first place.

The Rehabilitate section not only covers the work done at Battersea with regard to training and rehabilitating, but also has lessons and lots of good advice about psychological issues and pets. There's also an advice line for anyone having problems, which is detailed in this section.

The Rehome section deals with, as the name suggests, rehoming. As with every other area of the site, they haven't just put up their info and left it at that, there's a load of other related information for anyone considering adopting an animal, whether you're going to Battersea to find them or not.

Lastly but most importantly, the Lend a Paw section tells you all the ways you could easily and cheaply help out. Whether it's sponsoring a Kitty Kabin or jumping out of a plane, there's bound to be something you can do to support this organisation

My one and only criticism of this site is that even though their shopping pages are surely a good way to help raise the £10,000,000 needed every year to keep it running, the link to that section is far too subtle; I had been on the site for over an hour before I saw it. I'm sure most people would agree that sites like this can be forgiven for any commercial pushiness in aid of the greater good, so I wish they would make more of this section.

Overall, I have to say this is one of the best pet websites I've been to in a while, being not only a fascinating site but also a good cause, so visit them now!!

Pets Weekly

Winner May 2007

Pets Weekly is a website started and run by published author Stacy Mantle. Featuring all pets including loads of info about cats, this site offers advice, entertainment and fascination for anyone who is interested in their animals, be they cats or otherwise.

The design of the site is pretty good, although maybe a little too busy, but to be fair with this much info it would be hard not to make it busy. There are sections on just about every pet related topic from toys and other products, to caring for animals, to animal charities, to bereavement, you name it and it's here.

My favourite section has to be The Veterinary Viewpoint, which features letters from their visitors and responses from Dr. Diego Fernando Florez from Aztec Animal Hospital – this is a fascinating collection of the concerns of regular pet owners and responses from someone who really does know his stuff.

The only slightly annoying thing about the site is that a lot of the links open a new window, and I had to spend time closing them every time I'd looked at a few pages.

Over all, this is a really excellent site and it's been added to my favourites, I highly recommend a visit.


Winner April 2007

This month's WSOTM comes from a rather strange source – the Academic Computer Club Umeå University in Sweden – probably not the first place you would look for cat related web pages, I'm sure.

Also, as has occasionally happened in the past, this is just one very excellent page.

This page features a HUGE collection of cat photos. Generally they are amusing, most of them are captioned, but also there's a lot of Awwww's and an occasional Ow!

What I didn't realise is that, if you follow the theme of the captions, most cats speak in L33t (Pronounced ‘Leet' – it's the origins of that new fangled Internet language you can see teenagers using whenever they write a text or get on a messenger program).

I don't know if it's a generational thing but some of the captions seemed barely decipherable to me, although I quite enjoyed looking at the pictures – especially this one and this one. - the invisible instruments photos are very funny too.

There are so many photos on this page you could really be stuck for ages trying to see them all. I've been back on a couple of occasions and seen photos I hadn't noticed each time too.

This page is one of those gems you can occasionally find by accident that is well worth visiting and passing the address on to some of your friends – visit Kattalogen NOW!

Cat Fanciers' Association

Winner March 2007

This month's Website Of The Month is The Cat Fanciers' Association Website or CFA for short.

The CFA is the world's largest registry of pedigree cats, and their Website is a must for anyone who's ever been interested in pedigree cats or cat shows. Although it's sometimes so large that the navigation can be a little confusing, it's still perfectly functional and it's just so interesting that I can't really hold that against them.

Every breed of pedigree cat has its own section, detailing absolutely everything you could want to know about the breed, including history, genetics and personality. There's a kids section too, with very simple language and lots of bright colours to keep the kids interested.

This really is a great resource, especially for those of you who might be interested in purchasing a pedigree cat, although before you do I would encourage you to visit a rescue centre and see if you might be able to provide a home for one of these cats first - why not consider a multi-cat household?

This Website has so many pages on so many subjects you could spend literally days reading through it all. I especially enjoyed looking through the pictures of prize winning cats, they are simply stunning.

Over all, this site gets a big thumbs up from me

Wikipedia Cats

Winner February 2007

This month's review is not about a whole site, but just a single page. You may think this is a bit strange, but we're so impressed with the depth of information on the page that we're sure you'll agree, it's a worthy candidate for a review.

For the uninitiated, Wikipedia is the Internet's free encyclopaedia. It's articles are created by the users and can be updated by pretty much anyone who wishes to contribute. My initial scepticism of this idea soon evaporated when I saw just how much good information there is on just about every topic – including cats!

The cat page really does have a wealth of information, much more than you would find on a great number of dedicated cat websites. Initially the length of the page is a bit daunting, but I was soon drawn in and found myself reading much of it in one sitting.

Containing information and facts ranging from the scientific to the anecdotal, to pure folklore and mythology, there is bound to be something to educate, inform and interest even the most knowledgeable of cat lovers – for instance, did you know that cat saliva contains a natural deodorant and their fastidious washing helps them to remain unnoticed when hunting? I certainly didn't.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this page, and couldn't help but to follow some of the links to other cat resources, spending another couple of hours today reading about our favourite subject. This page is a must for anyone interested in cats.

Kitten War

Winner January 2007

This month's WSOTM is simple, strange, humorous and cute, but more than anything else it's very, very addictive! When I first saw the title 'Kitten War', all sorts of images came to mind, but none of them were anything close to what kitten war actually is.

Upon arriving at the site you are shown two pictures of different kittens and you have to decide which one is cuter and therefore wins the battle. You then click on the picture of your winner and the result is added to the statistics of both cats, affecting their position in 'The Winingest' and 'The Losingest' charts.

As you would expect, submitting your own cat is easy, and I can't wait to see if Star can compete with all the cute cats on the site. Maybe she'll even make it into the Kitten War book, which is due out later this year.

Can your get your cat to the top of the charts? There's lots of adorable cats in both charts, but you'll have to go a long way to get higher on the losingest chart than my personal favourite, Liza Skinelli, a hairless Sphynx cat.

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