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Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider: October 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Blog Hop - Last Week for Hope For Paws $25K Contest

You can help Hope For Paws save more faces like this!

We're in the last four days of the Facebook/Readers Digest "Your Life" contest and Audrey from Hope for Paws is in second place. She (and their non-profit) are pretty certain to win $2500 as a runner up for her story about how Chase the dog changed her life. We still have a few days to get them back into first place so they could win $25,000! (They just spent $1500 at the vet on rescues this week.)

I've already blogged about Chase and the contest here and here, OK and here, too. Sorry for being redundant but this is a huge deal and they would help so many animals with that prize if they were to win...

Like Levi, a one year old stray shepherd mix they rescued from Sylmar, in the San Fernando Valley (in L.A.) a month ago:

Please vote once a day until the contest ends at on November 1st at 11:59pm EDT, at do not have to have a Facebook account to vote.

Thanks again!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday on Friday!

Just wasn't enough time in the day yesterday, so it's Thankful Thursday on Friday! Lots of stuff going on out there, the weather is changing, Halloween's coming up, some of us will be honoring our loved ones who've left us on the Day of the Dead on November 2nd (or this weekend), and BlogPaws is sponsoring this year's Anipal Academy Awards, which will be held on Twitter over the weekend of November 11-13.

Today is the last day to cast your vote in The Anipal Academy Awards, so head on over there! There are two voting poll pages: General Nominations and Photo/Video Nominations. Vote for your favorites before 11:59pm PDT tonight! Then stay tuned for more details and to rsvp for the Ceremonies, which will be great fun. You might want to start thinking about who you'd like to go with and what you're going to wear... Just sayin'. 

One of the photo entries under 'Funniest Photo" is @eldad75 from Hope For Paws' little white dog Chase (below.) Chase is looking a little nervous because he's not only entered in this Anipal Academy Award contest, but also in a much bigger and much more important one for him and for Hope For Paws. Chase's mom, Audrey wrote a story about how rescuing Chase changed her life and entered it in the Your Life/ReadersDigest contest on Facebook.

I know I've already blogged about this a few times, but I really want to help them get some final votes down the home stretch!! In fact, I just blogged about it here last Saturday...

This is the Facebook Page to Vote on
If they win, they could have her story published, bringing publicity to their non-profit rescue work, and they COULD win $25,000 which they desperately need to continue the extreme animal rescues they do daily, along with the medical care, etc., each animal needs until they can be placed in a forever home.

Chase's rescue video is here:
Audrey and Chase's story was in the lead for weeks but just fell back by 1000 votes this week. It's the only animal rescue organization in the competition. 

@Eldad is going to be interviewed today on ABC News about his rescue of Nili, who we are very happy to say was recently adopted into this loving forever home. Here's Nili's rescue video:
Nili's new forever family
I know I ask you to vote, donate, forward and retweet a lot for Hope For Paws, but they've really got me by the heart, and once you see what they do, especially if you are ever able to spend some time with them personally, as I was, they'll have your heart, too.

Their beautiful book is sold out but they're now giving it away free online at: . You can also get to their Facebook page, Twitter page, Youtube page with their 130+ rescue videos, etc. from there.

Check it out, and please vote once a day for the next several days, and forward, email, tweet, blog, call and tell your friends to vote, too. Such a small thing could significantly impact the lives of animals in Los Angeles and around the country. Please vote HERE.

And we will all be very thankful!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Win a Trip Wednesday

OK, This is supposed to be my BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday post, but sometimes we have to take a commercial break and this is one of them. But, hey - you could win an awesome trip* in the process!

And now for a word about my sponsor (Mom):

I've figured out where Mom's been going every night, leaving me and Dad home alone to fend for ourselves: Willett Travel Academy. Do you know what that means?? It means she's going to be a Travel Agent. Do you know what that means?? It means she's going to be traveling MORE. Dagnabbit!!

She's already creating customized itineraries for inbound travel to Los Angeles. She knows all the cool places since she's lived here all her life, and has worked for 20 years (and is still) as a film scout and location manager on TV shows and movies.

Mom's working with the dozens of experts at Willett Travel, planning super cool vacations and corporate travel to and from all over the world. She loves it. It's a big, comfortable agency and they have experts in every place you could imagine wanting to go. They've been in L.A. since 1943.

Mom's also learning all the tricks (good girl!) and making all the connections that make using a travel agent SO much better than booking your own travel through Expedia or TripAdvisor or, and getting there to find your room looks over the garbage cans, the hotel's under construction, or there was just a storm and there's no sand on the beach.

You no longer need to spend all your waking hours (like Mom always did) reading online reviews and choosing which ones to trust, which airline, hotel, airport bus/sedan service or taxi?, which tours to take, which restaurants to go to. There are people who already know that stuff! Who knew??

Super Fun Guided Tours
Even in this economy - especially in this economy - people are using travel agents to be sure they get the best value for their hard-earned money, and don't have to just 'hope' they've made all the right choices.

Want to go on a Ken Burns American Journey!?
Mom's specializing in pet travel (doh!), spiritual/sacred places, Hawaii and American National Parks, but she can help you with your travel plans literally from anywhere to anywhere, so give her shout at, if you're thinking of going somewhere, or just want to run something by her.
*Almost forgot the FREE TRIP part! Willett Travel always has a 'free trip' giveaway going. Right now, it's an awesome seven day FOOD NETWORK San Francisco/Wine Country vacation - including U.S. air travel! I'm not even kidding. Just enter HERE and select Mom (KristinD) as your 'preferred agent.'

Hope you win!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hope For Paws - Readers Digest Contest

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you've seen many posts about Hope For Paws and the amazing animal rescue work they do.

Hope for Paws is Eldad and Audrey Hagar. They rescue animals deemed unadoptable by animal shelters - the ones they won't even show to the public, as they appear too dangerous -  and the feral, injured and abandoned animals who've been living on the streets for years. The difficult rescues.

I wrote an article about them in The Anipal Times, which you can read here

Audrey Hagar
Money which would go directly into the rescue and medical care expenses for hundreds of animals next year.

Please click here to vote daily in this Facebook Your Life contest until November 2nd.

Audrey's story, which is currently in 2nd place in the competition, the only animal rescue organization entered, is about one of their rescue dogs, one they kept for themselves, rather than adopting out to another good home. Chase was special and changed Audrey's own view of the world.

The video below is also part of the competition.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday Blog Hop: Happy Birthday Mom!

What else can I say? 
I'm the luckiest cat in the world to have 
a mom who loves me SO much!

Thank you and happy birthday, mama!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Blog the Change for Animals

Blog the Change

Get the badge & spread the word!

My regular readers know that favorite animal rescuer is Eldad Haggar. is Eldad and his wife, Audrey. They do what I call "extreme" animal Rescue.

Eldad videotapes all his rescues and puts them on YouTube here to help raise money for their medical bills and to promote their adoptions.

Most of their rescues are much more difficult, dangerous or dramatic than Sinatra's, below, but it's a perfect example of how we can make a change in an animal's life, or in Eldad's case, in hundreds of animals' lives. 

Hope ForPaws needs your support and you can help them win a $25,000 to their nonprofit to help more animals and have a great rescue story published nationally just by voting in the Readers Digest Facebook competition here

It's a story of how Audrey's life was changed by a rescued dog. They're far in the lead now, but there are a few weeks left and that could change. Please bookmark the site and vote every day!

Twitter Tips for Beginners (5): Blog Hops

You've probably see a lot of references to Blog Hops on Twitter. We've talked about a couple of blog hops but I haven't gone into detail as to how they work, so let's go over that now. (If you're new to Twitter, catch up with us by clicking on the Twitter Tips tab up top.)

I host the #ThankfulThursday blog hop, BlogPaws hosts the #WordlessWednesday blog hop, and every Saturday, there's the 
Saturday Pet Blogger Hop, which is hosted by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs, and Baby Patches from Nip and Bones.
A blog hop, is a group of blogs which are connected with a common 'hyperlink' and usually with a common theme. If you click on any of the links at the bottom of a blog post that is part of a blog hop you'll be taken to another blog post with that same theme. You can just keep clicking on other links and visit (or hop to) all sorts of blogs, 'follow' or bookmark the ones you like, leave comments, make new friends... It's really pretty cool.

This post will be my entry in the Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop. The theme for this hop is simply pet blogs. Anyone with a pet blog can join! Even if you don't have a pet blog, you can still hop to the different blogs and see what the pet bloggers (or the pets) are up to this week.

Look at the bottom of this post and you'll see that I've joined the Saturday Pet Blogger's hop and 'linked' to the other pet bloggers in the list. The list will grow until the hop 'closes' tomorrow. Then it will be closed to new entries until next week. You can always stop by and hop to all the blogs, though.

There are a few programs people use to create the common hyperlink for a blog hop. Linky Tools is the one I use. It's $2 a month to the person hosting the hop (free to everyone else in the hop) and worth it to me because it's so simple to use. I found a great article about alternative programs here though, if you're interested.

So say you want to join the Saturday Pet Blogger's Hop. Write a post that you'd like to share in the hop, then go to one of the blogs that you know will be participating.

Some blog hops have a button or badge you can put on your own blog, so you can just click on it every week and go straight to the blog hop, like the one I made below. If there is such a button or image, it's generally expected that you'll put an image of the button, with or without a link to the original blog hop post in your own post - if you can figure out how to do that! That way visitors to your site will know they've found a post that's part of the blog hop.

What are you thankful for?
Two Little Cavaliers has a Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop button like mine with the code for you to add it to your blog. Theirs is in their right sidebar here. You might also see a link to the hop on Twitter. 

However you get there, read the blog post, then go down to the bottom and where it says something to the effect of Click Here To Enter, that's what you do.
When you click that link, it will take you to a page where you need to enter the url address that will take readers directly to the post you've written for the blog hop, not your basic url, i.e.

You want the long url. Mine is, which will take my readers directly to this post. If you can't figure it out, leave a comment below and I'll try to help you find it. Meanwhile, it won't hurt anyone if you just put in your basic url. As with Wordless Wednesdays, there are usually no Blog Hop police. 

The link program will ask you where you want to link it to, that is, for your own blog post's url address, and for a caption or title to submit with your link. The captions are generally limited to between 15 and 30 characters, so type in whatever fits that describes your blog or your post. I usually just write Cokie or Cokie the Cat, depending on how many characters they allow. In this case, it says 'maximum 25 characters,' so I wrote: Cokie the Cat: Blog Hops as my caption.

See the blog hop link captions below: "I Want to be a Vet," "Doodling Dogs," "My Life with Flyball Dogs," and "How Much is That Doggie?"
Next, at least with Linky Tools, you're asked if you want the program to 'Auto crop' your image or to let you 'crop your own image.' Not all hops use images, some just use your written caption as your link. This one allows/requires an image. I always click on 'Let Me Crop My Own Image' so my head doesn't get cut off in the pic or something.
Then you click 'From File,' 'From Web,' or 'Generic' for where to get your image/pic. I always click 'From File' and grab an image off my computer, usually one I've used in my blog post, or it could be my Twitter avatar or any pic, really. 

Once you've selected a pic from your computer to use for your blog hop link image, it will come up with arrows you can use to crop the photo the way you want it. Remember, this will be a tiny photo, so don't include too much detail. Your face is better than your whole body, and just you is better than you in front of your house.

Once you've cropped your photo, you'll be given the option to go back to the blog hop. Do that and you'll see that your pic and link have been added to the bottom of the list. It might take five minutes, so don't do it again immediately if you don't see it right away.

The next step is to add the code to your blog so your readers can see all the other participants in the blog hop on the bottom of your own post and join from your blog!
Go back to the blog hop back to the bottom of the page where it says 'Enter Here,' and below that it should say, 'Get the code here.' Click there.
See "Get the code here..." at the bottom.
That will bring you to a page that looks something like this:
Highlight and copy the text in the box, then back to your own blog. Log in if you need to, so you can go 'behind the scenes' in your blog. Find your last post, the one you linked to for the blog hop and click on Edit, so you can edit the post.

In the upper corner of your post it should give you the option of HTML or Compose. Compose is what we usually use, when we want to see what our blogs will look like as we create them. HTML is all the mumbo jumbo code that we don't understand a lot of! That's what you want right now, though. 
Compose is highlighted on the left, above. To add your code, you'll want to click on HTML.
You want to open up your blog hop post 'in HTML' then scroll all the way to the bottom of the post. At the very bottom, past the code you copied up above. Just paste it and hit Save or Update. Then click View Blog.

You should see your blog post, with all the other blog hop links at the bottom, and voila! You've successfully navigated joining a blog hop!

If it didn't work, leave me a comment and I'll try to trouble shoot it for you, but I think you'll be fine. 

Now go visit the other bloggers in the hop. Protocol suggests you 'follow' and comment on the posts of the host(s) of the blog, but again - no police. Follow and comment on all the blogs you like. Tell them you're from the blog hop, and make friends!

If you want to know how to create your own blog hop, let me know and we'll talk about that.

As always, corrections, additions and questions are encouraged!

Let's go to the Hop!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday Blog Hop

Save the Dates:
November 12th & 13th
with Special Achievement Ceremonies
on Friday evening, November 11th

I am honored to be producing the Photo & Video segment 
of The 2nd annual Anipal Academy Awards this year. 

Nominations are now open for all categories 
and our official Call for Submissions for Photos and Videos 
has been announced.

Nominations will be open until October 15.

Voting will be from October 16-24.
(Photo/Video Voting: Oct. 18-24)

Special Achievements Ceremonies 
will be held on the evening of November 11th.

The Anipal Academy Awards Ceremony and After Pawty 
will take place on November 12-13.

Click HERE to submit your nominations of 
Twitter Anipals in the following categories:

Click HERE  for instructions on how to submit
your Photos and Videos.

Anipal Achievement Awards

The Friday evening Ceremonies will honor 
Anipals' Special Achievements over the year:
#Pawpawty and #Nipclub volunteers, Anipal Times staff, 
and other anipals who work tirelessly to support 
animal charities, educate and entertain our communiity. 

MaggieTKat is the Anipal Achievement Award Coordinator 
and is looking for input on several categories HERE.

You can follow The Anipal Academy Awards 
on Twitter HERE and on Facebook HERE.

We hope you will all be able to pawticipate in the nomination and voting process, and can attend the weekend of Anipal Academy Awards Ceremonies. It will be grrrrrrreat!

Disclaimer: I've lifted most of the information above directly from The Anipal Academy Awards website.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Twitter Tips for Beginners (4): #Hashtags - Wordless Wednesday

Every Wednesday, twitterers and bloggers around the world participate in a common a sort of a game called "Wordless Wednesday." It's a take off on 'a picture is worth 1000 words,' a photo that requires no explanation. 

Some anipals on Twitter also post #WW for Woof Wednesday. That's basically just folks giving a shout-out to their friends/

On Twitter, folks tweet links to their Wordless Wednesday blog post photo preceded by the #WordlessWednesday hashtag. The photo or pic can be very beautiful, funny, poignant... or just an 'a day in the life' type thing.

This was one of my previous Wordless Wednesday posts.
A pic of 2 just rescued dogs needing a home. 

If you don't have a blog, you can still tweet your Wordless Wednesday image using a service like TwitPic, Flickr or Picasa

To see how it works, first put #WordlessWednesday in the search bar on your Twitter home page. That will bring up a list of tweets that contain those hashtags.

Type #WordlessWednesday into the search bar.

You'll pull up a bunch of #WordlessWednesday tweets with pics you can check out. It may just open up a window in Twitter, or it may take you to a blog page, where they might have one or several Wordless Wednesday pics. 

This list I just pulled up has a lot of people re-tweeting one person's #WordlessWednesday blog post with photos of chickens. 

You can click on the link in each tweet and see all the Wordless Wednesday pics. It's a great way to discover new blogs and/or people to follow on Twitter - or both. 

If you want to participate, choose a photo that 'speaks volumes.' The idea is not to write about it, but sometimes people do write a bit about their pics. There are no Wordless Wednesday Police.

This was a Wordless Wednesday pic of me drinking from the tub faucet,
which my people decided for no good reason to deny me for
about three months. Humans...

Post the image on your blog with the words "Wordless Wednesday" as the post title. Then compose a tweet beginning with: #WordlessWednesday, then maybe a little hint of what your photo is of or about (or not), and then the url link to your image(s). 
You want the link to that one post with your image, not your basic url, i.e.

You want the long url. Mine is, which will take my readers directly to my post, whenever they click on that link, even a year from now. 

Find that direct link, however you do with your particular website or blog, then copy the address bar at the top of your browser window - the whole thing. It will look something this, with your blog title toward the end of the url:

You may want to use a url shortener, so it doesn't take up all your 140 characters in your tweet. There are many, you can just google: url shortener, but I usually use Just put the long url in there and it generates a shortcut url that will take you to the same post. Highlight and copy the shortened url and use that in your tweet.

For example, I've just posted mine and tweeted it with the tiny url. 
The tweet came out looking like this:

On Twitter, you could click on the #WordlessWednesday link, to see other Wordless Wednesday
tweets, or on my 'tiny url' to go directly to my own Wordless Wednesday post.
These links aren't active here because this is just a picture of a page.

Go ahead and click here
to see my Wordless Wednesday blog post for this week.

There are several Wordless Wednesday 'Blog Hops,' too, including one that
hosts. If you go to their website on Wednesdays, usually after around 9am EST, I think, they'll have their Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop up and open for you to enter. Go ahead and link up if you know how, or try to figure it out. If you can't, we'll get to Blog Hops, soon!

Thanks for reading!

Wordless Wednesday

Yes, it's Wordless Wednesday, but I feel a few words are in order to some of my new visitors from The lovely Yvonne mistook me for a girl cat in featuring my "Twitter Tips for Beginners" blog series, which I can forgive, as I was wearing a dress at the time. 

I do, however, wish to take this opportunity to once again post the photos revealing the obvious likeness between myself and actor Daniel Craig, for whom I am often mistaken, living in Hollywood, as I do. 

I'm your Man Cat. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Twitter Tips for Beginners (3): #FollowFriday

This is Part 3 of my series, "Twitter Tips for Beginners." Today we're going to talk about the #FollowFriday hashtag. 

If you're new to Twitter, click here for a list of my Beginners posts, so far, and you can read posts 1 & 2 before this one. If you're a Twitter Pro, feel free to comment below if you have anything to add.

#FollowFriday (#FF)

#FollowFriday started in January of 2009, when a start-up advisor in San Francisco named Micah Baldwin posted this tweet:

Since then, every Friday, twitterers around the world have been recommending people to follow. If you like someone on Twitter and find their tweets interesting, chances are you'll like the people they recommend, as well.

This is especially true if you have a particular interest or agenda on Twitter. Obviously, I like animals, so I'll follow other animals, and interesting people I come across, too.

Participating in #FollowFriday promotes people you like - and yourself, too, as folks often re-tweet (RT) the whole tweet, exposing you and everyone else in the tweet to even more people, and so on, and so on.


Last Friday I posted this to Twitter:

Yes, that's me wearing a dress. I enjoy wearing the occasional frock. I borrowed this one from @eddieizzard.

All of my Twitter followers who happened to be online when I posted it (I have 4300 Twitter followers) saw that tweet, and some of them probably 'followed' the names they didn't recognize because I've 'vouched' for them - that they're real people, not spammers or annoying freakballs. ; )

Some of the twitterers above re-tweeted my #FF to their own followers, so I probably got some new followers from them, as well, and that's how it works. Some of my other followers will see my tweets, including my #FF suggestions, if they click on my Twitter name to see what I've been up to. 
Let's Try It
I'm writing this on a Friday, but I realize that you may not be reading it on a Friday. If it's not Friday, your time, come back when it is, and join in on #FollowFriday.

If it is Friday for you, let's go. Log into Twitter. From your Home page, type #FF into the 'What's happening' panel/tweet window, followed by the Twitter names/IDs of some of your friends/followers, or other Twitterers that you would recommend to others.

Copy and paste their names into the panel after the #FF, or just type them in. You don't need to put commas between the names but you do need to have one space between each name

Notice the What's happening panel or tweet window at the top. That's where you type your tweet. The 3 tweets below it are in your Timeline, tweets of people you're following. 

140 Characters
With this, and with all of your tweets, you'll need to keep an eye on the number of characters (letters, numbers, or symbols) including empty spaces you're using. You always start with room for 140 characters or spaces. The number you have remaining in your tweet is to the right and just under your tweet window. 

You can shorten and abbreviate words in your tweets, but not Twitter names/IDs, which must always be typed in exactly, including any underscores or numbers in the names, in order for them to link properly when someone clicks on them in your tweet.

Personalizing your #FF Tweets
Let's look at my #FF tweet again:

I've added a little ♥ heart symbol, which I just cut and pasted from the Internet. You can Google 'heart symbol' and you'll find articles that tell you how to make them with your keyboard, but you can also just highlight and copy one and paste it into your tweet. 

I also added 'Good Follows:' just to personalize my #FF a little bit and make it a little more personal - I'm really recommending these particular people. You can customize your #FF tweets, or you can simply type #FF and your list of names.

Now YOU Follow Some #FF Suggestions
The other part of #FollowFriday is looking for twitterers you want to follow, based on your friends and followers' recommendations. When you see someone tweet a #FF list, go ahead and click on the names in their list. Look at the people (pets, companies...) they're recommending and if you like the looks of them, go ahead and follow them, too.

The more people you follow, the more tweets you'll see in your Timeline and the more opportunities for interaction you'll have, whether that's talking about your business, your pet, your favorite chile recipe or what you just saw on the news.

Some people use a service which makes you prove you're a human (and not a computer spamming program) by copying a code called a captcha into a text box. Go ahead and do it. It's no big deal.

Follow Back
Be sure to check your own followers to see if there are new people following you that you want to 'follow back.

Twitter has an arbitrary number of 'follows' they'll allow you per session, so if it says you've 'hit a following limit,' give it up for a while. When you come back and more people have followed you, you'll be able to follow people again. That whole thing's a little more complicated to explain, so we'll leave that for later.

Now go

Questions, observations, suggestions? Please comment below. Thanks for reading!