Jackson Galaxy


Total Cat Mojo by Jackson GalaxyBook Review

I am an unabashed fan of Jackson Galaxy, as I am certain most of you know. So when I was asked if I wanted to review his new book, Total Cat Mojo, I immediately said, “Yes, please.”n

If your cat had come with a instruction manual, this book would be it. As the book’s subtitle (The Ultimate Guide to Life with Your Cat) suggests, Total Cat Mojo is a must read reference book for all cat guardians and anyone thinking of adopting for the first time.

Let’s start with defining Cat Mojo. According to Galaxy mojo is: “the confidence that cats exhibit when they are at ease in their environment an in touch with their natural instincts—to hunt, catch, kill, eat, groom, and sleep.”

Galaxy says in the book’s introduction, “My primary occupation through these years actually has not been about solving cat issues but about teaching you how to find, cultivate, and hold onto mojo.”

Galaxy’s packed everything he has learned since his first days working at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (Colorado) in the early nineties to being the star of the Animal Planet television program, My Cat from Hell, into this 365-page book.

He starts by describing what he calls “The Raw Cat.” The Raw Cat is another cat (little changed from ancient times) living inside your cat. This “ancestral twin” of your cat “sends constant transmissions to your companion about the urgency of securing territory, hunting, killing, eating, and staying ever alert, because just as cats hunt, they are also being hunted.” It is in understanding your cat’s instinctual behaviors that you will be able to eliminate the actions that are keeping your cat from attaining total cat mojo.

Territorial issues, litter box problems, aggression, anxiety, new pet/family member introductions…absolutely any question you might have with regard to these and other issues, are addressed in Total Cat Mojo. If you need help with your cat, you cannot find a better authority than Jackson Galaxy. He gives you all the tools you’ll need to have a happy and confident cat…filled with mojo!

Both an extensive table of contents and index will let you easily find the issues with which you might need help. Regardless, I suggest you read the entire book before putting it on the shelf as your go-to cat reference handbook.

Total Cat Mojo was written with Mikel Delgado, co-owner of Feline Minds, a San Francisco Bay area based cat behavior consulting business. It also is sprinkled throughout with delightful illustrations by Bobby Rock.

Book Tour

In conjunction with tomorrow’s release of Total Cat Mojo, Galaxy will be visiting book stores across America from November 1 through 18. Here’s the schedule:

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – Nov. 1, 2017 • 7:00pm •  get tickets
hosted by Rainy Day Books at the Turner Hall Ballroom

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – Nov. 2, 2017 • 7:00pm •  get tickets
hosted by Left Bank Books at The Ethical Society of St. Louis

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – Nov. 3, 2017 • 7:00pm •  get tickets
hosted by Rainy Day Books at Unity Temple on The Plaza Sanctuary

TEMPE, ARIZONA – Nov. 5, 2017 •  get tickets
• NEW TIME: 3:30pm
• NEW VENUE: Dobson High School auditorium, hosted by Changing Hands Bookstore

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Nov. 7, 2017 • 7:00pm •  get tickets
hosted by The Strand at The Strand (3rd floor)

HUNTINGTON (LONG ISLAND), NEW YORK – Nov. 8, 2017 • 7:00pm •  more info
hosted by Book Revue

WASHINGTON, DC – Nov. 10, 2017 • 7:00pm •  get tickets
hosted by Politics and Prose at the Wharf

MARIETTA, GEORGIA – Nov. 12, 2017 • 7:00pm •  get tickets
hosted by A Cappella Books of Atlanta at The Mansour Center

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Nov. 15, 2017 • 7:00pm •  get tickets
hosted by Book People

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – Nov. 17, 2017 • 7:00pm •  get tickets
hosted by University Bookstore at University Temple Methodist

BEAVERTON, OREGON – Nov. 18, 2017 • 2:00pm • more info at  powells.com
hosted by Powell’s Cedar Hills Crossing

Please Note: Some of these venues may

  • require that you purchase a book from the venue to attend the event
  • not allow previously purchased books, or books purchased elsewhere, at their event
  • have limited capacity
  • require tickets
  • not allow cats or pets in the venue


I have one copy of Total Cat Mojo to give away to a reader. For the opportunity to win, leave a comment here prior to 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 4. Random.org will be used to select the winner. We’ll announce the name of that person on next Sunday’s Selfie post. The giveaway is open to all readers worldwide.

Disclaimer: I received from Penguin Random House one uncorrected proof of Total Cat Mojo for the purpose of review and one copy of the published book to give away. This was in exchange for my fair and honest review. I received no additional compensation.



The petretary is having the “blahs” today, and so we have been forced to take over the blog. After all, we promised to announce the winner of Calista Jo’s birthday party giveaway.

You may recall that the prize is a Petmate® Jackson Galaxy® Space Station.


Cooper Murphy demonstrates how to play with the Space Station for Giulietta.


Cooper Murphy demonstrates how to play with the Space Station, while Giulietta observes. A day has not gone by that one or more of us hasn’t played with this meowvolous toy.

Oh wait, you didn’t come here to see us playing. You came to find out if you have won a Space Station of your very own. How about a couple of hints first:

  • This family has three kitties and one woofie.
  • One of the kitties is a ginger tabby like Cooper Murphy.
  • One of the kitties can never sit still for a photo.
  • Their mom is the artist who created Sampson and Astrid’s wedding drawing.
  • One of the family members is named Astrid.

If you haven’t guessed, we sure hope the winner has figured it out. That’s right, it is kitties, Evan, Thimble and Eddy, and woofie, Astrid, from Four-Legged Furballs.

We are curious as to whether or not woofie Astrid will try to play with it? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Congratulations to these friends. We hope they have as much fun as we’ve been having.

If you didn’t win, do not rend your furs in despair. We have two additional Jackson Galaxy toys to review and giveaway in the near future.

Until then…

Purrs and paw-pats, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo and Cooper Murphy




Caturday Art on Cat World Domination Day


Lisbeth's Caturday Art for Cat World Domination Day.


As today is Cat World Domination Day, I asked Mom to use this photo to show my domination over Lily Olivia. She cropped it down for the art, so I am making her post the original as well. She says it is blurry. Well, of course, it is. She took it! That’s why we are using it for Caturday Art.


Lisbeth shows how she tries to dominate Lily Olivia for Cat World Domination Day.


No matter, I am in the top position, inside the sphere, and Lily is stuck on the lower scratcher/shelf. Ha, ha. I’m the dominate cat over the queen of the house.

Cat World Domination Day is really about the dominance of cats over humans. It was established by now angel, Sparkle, and coincides with her birthday. Summer, Binga and Boodie (SparkleCat.com) have continued the tradition of celebrating as has most of the feline portion of the blogosphere. So lets all get together today and demand that our humans think ONLY of us and cater to our every desire. In other words, treat today like you would any of the other 364!

Cat World Domination Day


So now that we have established that today isn’t just about my domination of Lily Olivia, we must jump back to our Caturday Art. To create this incredibly, arty photo of me, she started in LunaPic. She applied the Fire filter, followed by the Surreal Painting and Beveled Edge effects. The final step was to add the Yellowed Papyrus filter with AdornPic. She thinks the end result looks unfinished, but all the other effects and filters she tried added nothing to my beauty. Both Dad Tom and I told her to quit fiddling, and she finally listened.

This is our entry in Athena Cat Goddess Wise Kitty’s Caturday Art blog hop. To join the hop and/or view the other submissions, click on Athena’s badge.

Space Station Cat Toy Giveaway

If you missed Calista Jo’s birthday party, you also missed the opportunity to win the super fun Petmate® Jackson Galaxy® Space Station toy. You can see C.J. playing with it on yesterday’s post. If you’d like to have the chance to win, leave a comment on the party post, Birthday Party & Space Station Giveaway. You must comment prior to Monday, June 26, at 5 p.m. ET. The winner will be selected using Random.org and announced on the following day’s post.

Sunday Selfies Blog Hop

One of us will be right here tomorrow to host our popular weekly blog hop. We’d like to thank everyone who joined last Sunday’s Father’s Day hop. Tomorrow we will be dedicating the hop to two friends who recently received their angel wings, Minko (Meezer’s Mews & Freckles’ Woofs) and Bilbo (Da DB Boyz, formerly Dory’s Backyard). Both are members of blogs that have been consistent and long-time supporters of our hop. Please drop by and honor these special angel anipals.

Purrs and paw-pats, Lisbeth



Product Review: Jackson Galaxy’s Space Station


Well…we suspect we have probably made that claim previously. But that was prior to getting our paws on the Jackson Galaxy® Space Station from Petmate®. It is the toy we teased you about in yesterday’s International Box Day post. One look at it, and we were intrigued.

Are you wondering how we know this is the best cat toy ever? The answer is simple: Misty May has been playing with it. And Misty May does NOT play, at least not until now. Misty May’s idea of play has always been bullying Lily Olivia and Astrid. And you don’t have too take our word for her interest. We have photographic proof.


Space Station play by Misty May.


So what’s so great about this toy? First of all, it was developed by Jackson Galaxy, the noted cat behaviorist. Galaxy knows what cats like, and he definitely delivered with this inspired creation.

That track at the bottom has a bright yellow ball in it. The ball wobbles as it goes around and even reverses direction. It can be hunted and batted from either inside or outside the Space Station, as Misty May is doing. None of us have tried playing from the inside as yet, where a scratch pad (replaceable) is located.

Cooper was the first to investigate the Space Station as C.J. looked on.


Cooper Murphy investigates Space Station.


Of course, being the curious young cat among us, he also was the first to play.


Cooper Murphy swats Space Station ball.


And play…


Cooper Murphy discovers he can play with Space Station while lolling on his back.

And play…


Another swipe at the ball of the Space Station by Cooper Murphy.


Though we haven’t tried it yet, multiple cats can play at the same time; one from inside the bowl and one on either side of the bowl. We’ve been nicely taking turns with no squabbles.

Calista Jo has a go at batting the ball around.


C.J. takes a turn at the Space Station.


Lily, as yet, has not been enticed to play, but she was fascinated by the ball whirling around the track (with a bit of help from our mom).


Lily Olivia watches the Space Station ball whiz by.


The Space Station promotes a cat’s natural instinct to pounce, catch and play. Kitties Blue recommend this fun toy for all kitties who enjoy these activities.

One note of advice: If you have kitties who like to play while you are sleeping, put this toy away or in a room far from your bedroom. The ball is very noisy as it travels around the track.

The Space Station is available from a variety of retailers, including Jackson Galaxy’s on-line store, Amazon and PetSmart.

Disclaimer: Kitties Blue received one Jackson Galaxy Space Station free-of-charge from Southard Freeman Communications for the purposes of testing and reviewing. We received no other compensation. The opinions expressed are those of Kitties Blue, and represents their honest and unbiased review.


Conclusion of Galaxy Interview

Jackson Galaxy InterviewAfter jackson Galaxy and I finished talking about his Foundation and his and Kate Benjamin’s new book, Catify to Satisfy, a few minutes of our interview time remained. That’s when I had the opportunity to ask Galaxy two additional questions.

If you have ever watched Galaxy’s Animal Planet program, My Cat from Hell, you probably have wondered what gives him the ability to connect with both cats and humans and make a difference in their lives. I asked him just that. This was Galaxy’s answer:

I have no idea. I think the one thing I bring to the table is that I come to the world of cats, animals and their guardians from the perspective of an artist. My whole life was as an artist. (He has an MFA in acting from the University of Iowa and is a songwriter, singer, guitarist, bandleader, actor and performance artist.) The thing that drives me is the reality. I came at cats with the same kind of inquisitive nature I used to sit on a bench, watch people, make up stories about their lives and channel it into my art. I did the same thing with cats. I didn’t discriminate. I think when you are clicking on all cylinders as an artist, you are using both your imagination and tapping into your natural sense of empathy, which is to say you feel for what is going on in this being’s life. Two-legged or four-legged, it doesn’t really matter. That’s what I feel like I’ll bring to every situation.

Of course, I bolster that with the science of behavior and the science of animals in general. I bring to it all the experience I have had. But it all starts with the premise that nobody is a hero and nobody is a villain. Everybody’s three-dimensional and worthy of my investment.

We all know how important it is to spay/neuter our pets and to keep our cats in the house or a protected area such as a catio. With that in mind, I was interested in what one piece of advice Galaxy could give cat guardians other than these two things. This is what he had to say:

Expand your circle of compassion. Yes, I know that you love your cat, but if you just go a little bit wider you’ll realize that means you love all cats. And if you love all cats, then there is something you can do. My one piece of advice is to do something. If you don’t have the time to volunteer at a local organization, maybe you can trap a cat that is right outside your house who needs your help. You can foster or if you can’t foster, you can donate. Do a little research and find the organizations in your area you feel are being innovative at pushing the envelope. There is something you can do. You know what…adopt another one. There is always a little something you can do so that we can forever change this reality. Make it so that when today’s young children grow up, they can say, “You did what? You stored animals in shelters?  Why?” It won’t be part of their reality. We’ll change that realty if you expand that circle just a little bit and do something.

News from the Jackson Galaxy Foundation

The Foundation is working on a new project in conjunction with the non-profit organization, Photographers for Animals. The “Picture Me @ Home” campaign will help shelter animals find homes by providing animal shelters and rescue groups with turn-key marketing campaigns to help increase adoptions, community support and donations.

Elizabeth Putsche, Executive Director of Photographers for Animals, says, “If an animal shelter wants help from their community, they need to be part of the community. We encourage shelters to hold events that bring people into the shelter—so the public can experience the shelter as a positive place, with an atmosphere of love for the animals. The public will remember the shelter when they are ready to adopt—and shelters may find a few new volunteers along the way!”

Three campaigns are set for the Winter Holidays.

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” invites children of all ages to read their favorite holiday stories to the shelter animals. Reading aloud can help improve a child’s reading skills and help calm the animals, who are in unfamiliar surrounding.

Photos with Santa Paws & Mrs. Claws invites the community (and their pets) to the animal shelter for portraits with Santa and a chance for children to share their Christmas lists.

Black Friday Sale appeals to the bargain hunter by offering discounts on all black animal adoption fees and additional incentives today.

Check with your local animal shelters and rescues to find out if they are participating in any of these campaigns and find out how you can help. Barn Cat Buddies, the rescue group with which we work, will be taking part in Photos with Santa Paws & Mrs. Claws. Dad Tom will be taking the photographs on December 5.

Our Giveaway for Catify to Satisfy

Jackson GalaxyIn the post with Part 2 of my interview with cat behaviorist and Animal Planet star, Jackson Galaxy I reviewed Galaxy and Kate Benjamin’s new book, Catify to Satisfy. If you would like to have the opportunity to win a copy of this must have book, leave a comment here by 5 p.m. EST today. The winner will be selected using Random.org.

To read Part 1 of the interview, click here.

[I’d like to thank Patricia Jones, Founder and President of Paws PR, and Jackson Galaxy for this opportunity to interview Galaxy and share information with all of you about the Jackson Galaxy Foundation and Catify to Satisfy.]

If you’d like to learn more about Jackson Galaxy, I highly recommend you read his memoir, Cat Daddy.

(Credits: Photos of Jackson Galaxy: Jeff Newton. Excerpted from CATIFY TO SATISFY: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Copyright Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin 2015.)



Caturday Art Star


Star Lily O


Star Lily OliviaIf you look closely, you will see Lily Olivia in the background of my Caturday Art. I used three different programs to create this. Here’s the original photo.

I started with PhotoFaceFun, which I usually just use for frames. They do not have names for their filters, so I am unable to tell you which one I selected. The result is below.

Lily Star Interim I was very happy with the look of the photo and the details added by the filter, but it needed something more. It took me a lot of trial and error to find just the right addition. I finally settled on the star effect from Ribbit. This is just one of several new effects available. I was able to manipulate the effect so that Lily was still recognizable in the background. The final step was adding the borders using Picasa.

This is my submission in Athena and Marie’s Caturday Art Blog Hop. If you’d like to enter and/or view the other submissions, click on their badge.

Stark Raving Cat Giveaway Winner

We were pretty excited when Random.org selected our friend Cathy Keisha as the winner of the limited edition Santa’s Rocking Stocking Catnip Joints. It seemed like serendipity after we reread her comment: “I need some of those joints so badly. I’ve coveted them since Hauspanther first reviewed them.” For those who didn’t win, you can purchase this for your own kitties for $15. from Stark Raving Cat.

Our Giveaway for Catify to Satisfy

Yesterday I posted Part 2 of my interview with cat behaviorist and Animal Planet star, Jackson Galaxy. I also reviewed his and Kate Benjamin’s new book, Catify to Satisfy. If you would like to have the opportunity to win a copy of this must have book, leave a comment here.

Finally, A Note from Kitties Blue

Cat4-001Have you taken your selfie yet for tomorrow’s blog hop? We haven’t decided who’ll be representing us, but we are fairly certain Mom won’t let us get away with having a guest host again.

We totally appreciate all of you who enter and support our hop each week. Our overall readership has dropped significantly during the last few months, so we are very happy that so many of you still enjoy joining us for Sunday Selfies! Hope to see you again tomorrow.




Design Your Way to Feline Bliss…

is a headline from the cover of Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin’s new book, Catify to Satisfy. The book is now available from Amazon.com ($9.99 – Kindle and $13.16 – paperback). We received our review copy about ten days ago, and I couldn’t wait to start reading. I was tempted to immediately turn to Chapter 3: Let’s Talk About Litter Boxes. I didn’t do it, however. I eagerly read the book from start to finish, and my review is included in this post.


Jackson Galaxy


When I interviewed Galaxy at the beginning of October, our main focus was the Jackson Galaxy Foundation.  However, we discussed the new book as well.

I wanted to know why Galaxy and Benjamin thought it necessary to write another book so soon after the success of their best seller, Catification.

According to Galaxy, “I talk a lot about community and the importance of community and that community which I call Catification Nation.” The moment Catification came out, this community started pelting Galaxy and Benjamin with questions about the things they didn’t discuss in Catification. Galaxy adds, “You can’t cover all the bases, and we did not.”

Galaxy says:And so this time around we’re delving more into things like dreaded litter box issues where behavior and design collide normally in a very unpleasant way. We are trying to deal with that 1000-pound elephant in the room.”

This is one of the main problems I face in my house with eight cats. I had been waiting since our interview to have the opportunity to study this chapter.

Galaxy, adds [It’s] “not just about what features to have in your house and not just about design but the behavior behind the design. A litter box is not just a litter box. A litter box for a cat is a sign post. It says I live here. I own this territory. It gives me that Cat Mojo. It makes me secure .”

“When we start debating about how many litter boxes you should have in your house, we need to start looking inward. We need to look at ourselves.” This is what Galaxy calls putting on your cat glasses.

“We don’t like litter boxes. We don’t like them out in the open. We don’t like them to not have covers, and we don’t like them in our chosen significant areas like the living room and the bedroom. But I am here to say that it is better for the house especially in the multi-cat house. It’s important and so we spend an entire chapter on that.”

“We spend more time profiling the people within Catification Nation. People who really took the task and came up with beautiful results, and we profile them, their lives, their relationships with their cats and the great work they did. There’s nothing like seeing being the proof. You can take a deep breath and go do something so life changing for your cat and for yourself as well.”

“We went deeper. We went wider, and I think the results are complementary to Catification but Catify to Satisfy can stand on its own.”

My Review

I totally agree with Galaxy’s final statement. If you read Catification (My copy is falling apart.), this is the perfect companion book. If you missed the first book, don’t despair. Catify to Satisfy has many great ideas and examples of of projects to make your and your cats’ home a place where everyone is comfortable, happy and “owns” the space.


Catify to Satisfy - Jackson Galaxy

Peter Cohen of Goleta, California, has catified his house to turn it into a kitty paradise.


This new book is full of wonderful projects completed by others who share their space with cats, including a redo of the facility where Galaxy got his start some 20 years ago, Humane Society of Boulder Valley (Colorado).

Inspiration abounds on every page of this book. We constructed our catio several years ago after what I’d seen on Galaxy’s Animal Planet show, “My Cat from Hell.” We added some shelves a few months ago, but I can see, after reading the new book, that these need some modifications. And now, I am brainstorming and planning the construction of a cat super highway inside the house so Astrid can feel confident enough to start coming upstairs again.

Chapter 2 addresses the problem and solutions for kitties scratching in inappropriate places, like your furniture. This section explains why your kitty does this and includes projects (with instructions) to create a variety of scratching posts and surfaces. One of my favorite projects was created by Kate Benjamin—a vertical scratcher that can be attached to a wall. It’s created by repurposing a picture frame and a sisal rug remnant or carpet square. This will be my first project from the book. I already have a frame and will be picking up the carpet in the next few days.

I know I will be referring to Catify to Satisfy often as I make our home (that our vet already calls Kitty Paradise) one that will promote Cat Mojo even more than it does now. I recommend this new book to anyone who shares their home with one or more cats or works with a shelter that could use some catification.

Book Tour

Jackson GalaxyGalaxy and Benjamin have already embarked on their Book Tour. These are the remaining dates and locales.

Austin, TX
Nov 20 • 7pm – Jackson Galaxy
hosted by Book People
603 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703

Miami, FL
Nov 21 • 6-7pm – Jackson Galaxy
Miami Book Fair
Miami Dade College
Room 2106 (Building 2, 1st Floor)
300 NE Second Ave.
Miami, Fl 33132

Milwaukee, WI
Nov 22 • 7pm – Jackson Galaxy
hosted by Rainy Day Books
Turner Hall Ballroom
1032 N. 4th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Kansas City, MO
Nov 23 • 7pm – Jackson Galaxy
hosted by Rainy Day Books
Unity Temple on The Plaza, Sanctuary
707 W 47th Street
Kansas City, MO 64112

If you missed Part One of my interview with Galaxy, where we discussed the Jackson Galaxy Foundation, you can read it here. This is a three-part series, and I will be posting the final installment next week. It will include news from PAWS PR (see my original post) about a joint project with the Foundation and Photographers for Animals to help shelter animals find homes for the holiday season. And Galaxy will answer some questions I posed not specific to either the Foundation or book.


I was given a free copy of Catify to Satisfy by the publisher, and I pre-ordered a copy for myself. In view of this, I will be giving away one of the copies. For the opportunity to win the book, leave a comment on this post. You will have until Friday, November 27, at 5 p.m. EST to do so. The winner will be selected using Random.org.

(Credits: Photos of Jackson Galaxy: Jeff Newton. Excerpted from CATIFY TO SATISFY: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Copyright Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin 2015.)




Catify to Satisfy

Oh boy, tomorrow Mom will post Part Two of her interview with cat behaviorist and Animal Planet star, Jackson Galaxy. If you missed Part One, which was about the Jackson Galaxy Foundation, you can see it here. Part Two will be about Galaxy and Kate Benjamin’s new book, Catify to Satisfy, the follow-up to their bestseller, Catification. Tomorrow’s post also will include a review of the new book.

We’ll let you know right now, the new book is terrific. We sure hope you pre-ordered yours, but if you didn’t, it is now available at Amazon.com. The Kindle version is $9.99 and the paperback book is $13.16.

Tomorrow’s post also will include the dates and locations for the Catify to Satisfy Book Tour.

Stark Raving Cat

stark raving cat stockingYou only have a until 5 p.m. EST today to enter our current giveaway. Kitties Blue is giving away one limited edition Santa’s Rocking Stocking Catnip Joints. It is designed for hanging on the Christmas tree or mantle. A red-and-white pair of catnip joints (topped with tiny Santa hats) peeks out from a traditional red stocking. From the ribbon on the front hangs a silver-tone cat-and-mouse charm. It’s perfect to add to your cat’s collar, a key chain or a necklace to wear as a pendant.

You can read our review here and leave a comment for the chance to win.

Purrs and paw-pants, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

(Credits: Photos of Jackson Galaxy: Jeff Newton. Excerpted from CATIFY TO SATISFY: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Copyright Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin 2015.)


Jackson Galaxy Interview

Jackson Galaxy Photo Credit: Jeff Newton

In September I was contacted by Patricia Jones, founder of the marketing agency PAWS PR, and asked if I would like to speak with noted cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy about the Jackson Galaxy Foundation and his upcoming book, Catify to Satisfy, co-authored with Hauspanter’s Kate Benjamin. Being a huge fan and loyal viewer of Galaxy’s My Cat from Hell TV series on Animal Planet, I couldn’t write back to Patricia fast enough to say, “yes.”

What follows comes directly from our 25-minute telephone conversation on October 5 as well as my research. 

We Believe the Best Dreams Are Big

Galaxy and I began by discussing the Foundation’s Mission and beliefs.

Mission: The Jackson Galaxy Foundation improves the lives of at-risk animals by transforming the places they live and by helping the people who care for them.

Beliefs: We believe the best dreams are big. We believe no animal should die waiting for a home. The Foundation is working to make this dream a reality for all sheltered animals and the people who care for them.

When I asked Galaxy how the Foundation specifically planned to achieve their mission and meet these beliefs/goals, his immediate off-the-cuff reply was, “It will be through magic.” After a laugh, we began our conversation in ernest.

For Galaxy, the creation of this Foundation is the culmination of everything he has worked for in the past 20 years—the vision of what the animal welfare system could look like and not just in terms of a no-kill reality. According to Galaxy, ”It’s about ideas coming from within the system and the rescue workers themselves.”

The Foundation will:

  • Focus on programs that drive innovation in sheltering by raising awareness for important issues in animal welfare,
  • Work to improve shelter design and construction,
  • Empower staff, rescuers and adopters with knowledge about animal behavior that will deepen the human/animal bond and get more animals adopted.
  • Provide “Elevation through Education”; inspiration to effect real change and raise the status of rescue animals through increased knowledge.

Just as he has educated the public about cats, Galaxy now wants to educate everyone about the animal welfare reality—the sacrifices the people in animal welfare make in terms of their lives, families, financial reality and emotional stability in order to give the animals better lives.

Galaxy wants the public to know that the Foundation is an organization right at its beginning. He says, “I think it is exciting to join an organization that is at that level of enthusiasm and optimism right off the bat.” He adds, “Getting the 501(c)3 was the best day of my life.” Though the foundation has his name on it, Galaxy wants people to realize that it’s not his money funding it. He says, “I really don’t have any. Reality TV is what it is.”

Though the Foundation is in its infancy, Galaxy has surrounded himself with people who know how to manage such an organization. Executive Director Sandy Montrose has a long history in animal welfare serving such groups as the ASPCA and National Animal Rescue and Shelter Coalition (NASARC). She is well-known and trusted in the world of animal welfare. This is of the greatest importance to Galaxy.

He adds,”One of the things I am so honored by is that a lot of my friends in animal welfare have basically raised their hands and said what do you want me to do? That is better than any other feeling you can imagine, and we are gathering.” He says that those involved are talking about the Jackson Galaxy Foundation as much as possible to build excitement from not just a donation standpoint but also to gather volunteers from the world of animal welfare.

Galaxy says that the Foundation will raise money through the web-site but also the “bully-pulpit” of his celebrity. He will use his social media platform and the Foundation to resolve problems and issues within the animal welfare community. As an example he sites the following incident.

I was having a conversation locally about what can be done in Los Angeles to get landlords to accept animals in their rental units. It is a significant problem in terms of adoption. What can I do as someone in the public eye to force that issue through? We were standing at a random event making these connections.

According to Galaxy, this is what thrills him about the Foundation: He can identify a place in the community that needs bolstering and he can help.

When asked about future plans for the Foundation as it grows, Galaxy replied, “I trust other organizations who are doing great work because I don’t want to do everything. He cites as examples, Alley Cat Allies, which is dealing with TNR legislation, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund as two of the those “other” organizations. He adds, “I want to help and be a significant part of the community but sometimes I have to step back and focus.”

The Foundation continues with the Monthly Mojo Award, which started on Galaxy’s Facebook page. He says,

I know there’s a ton of rescues and shelters and other organizations helping at-risk animals and doing fantastic work. I want to push those organizations forward, specifically for looking outside the box, pushing forward and not just accepting the reality of the moment. I honor everybody who sacrifices their lives to these animals.

I think at this particular juncture we have to be thinking of new ways…we have to be willing to improvise, to stick our necks out there. That in itself will change your organizations. And our (Jackson Galaxy Foundation) goal is not just funding you. My goal is to make sure others hear you. We can encourage great thinking. I want to make sure these voices are heard. My goal is to make sure others hear you so we can encourage great thinking.

At the time I interviewed Galaxy, the Foundation had one corporate partner: natural pet food company, Wellness. Galaxy says, “I think that Wellness is the first to recognize that this is a significant win-win. I believe others will jump on as it makes perfect sense from a philanthropic and a corporate standpoint. We can do a lot of good by joining together, and I think that’s what is going to happen.”

According the Foundations web-site, Wellness is sending more than 113,112 Divine Duos cups of premium cat food to six shelters, selected by the Jackson Galaxy Foundation, as the result of a “Buy One, Give One” Campaign. That amounts to 36 pallets of food for animals in need. Recipient organizations include the following, as well as the local rescues they serve:

  • Allen County SPCA of Ft. Wayne, IN
  • Stray Cat Alliance of Los Angeles, CA
  • Cats Cradle of Fargo, ND
  • Mid Hudson Animal Aid serving the Hudson Valley area of New York
  • Good Mews of Marietta, GA
  • Help Humane of Belton, MO

Since the time of our interview a contribution of more than $4,600 in cash and products has been received from PetFusion to help advance the mission of improving the lives of sheltered animals. PetFusion is the manufacturer of Galaxy’s favorite cat scratcher product, Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge.

If you have not yet visited the Jackson Galaxy Foundation site, click on the link above. You can make a monetary donation or volunteer your services to the Foundation. But best of all, from the standpoint of this pet guardian, is the section entitled, LEARN. There you will find the Cat Mojo Series 101-104. The subjects are: Basics, Special Occasions, Problems and Special Needs/Alternative Treatment/Life Stages.

Other tabs on the site include CONNECT, which lists upcoming events, and SHOP, which connects to Galaxy’s store as well as the Spirit Essences web-site.

You also can enter your favorite U.S. 501(c)3 animal shelter, rescue group or municipal animal agency in the Catify to Satisfy Giveaway for Shelters with a $12,450 grand prize, three 2nd prizes and seven 3rd prizes.

jackson Galaxy Catify to Satisfy book cover

Photo by Jeff Newton

While you are on the site, place your advance order for Galaxy and Kate Benjamin’s new book, Catify to Satisfy. A dollar of each advance purchase as well as from books sold on an upcoming book tour will be donated to the Jackson Galaxy Foundation by the publisher, Tarcher/Penguin.

This is the first post in a three-part series, which will appear during the next couple of weeks. The subsequent posts will cover the part of our interview dealing with Galaxy’s and Hauspanther’s Kate Benjamin’s, Catify to Satisfy, including a review of  that book and a list of cities and dates on their upcoming book tour. The final post will cover answers to some questions that did not fall within the parameters of either the Jackson Galaxy Foundation or the book.

(Credits: Photos of Jackson Galaxy: Jeff Newton. Excerpted from CATIFY TO SATISFY: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Copyright Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin 2015.)