Keep tabs on your schedule with the cute face of a kitten or puppy, or the other end of a donkey or pig. Here's a wide assortment of wall calendars featuring pets to help you ring in the new year:
¢ "Jeanne Carley's: Ferret Calendar 2006." In her written introduction, famed ferret photographer Jeanne Carley says, "I love taking pictures of ferrets. They are funny, sweet and incredibly endearing." Carley captures their sense of humor and "life is fun" attitude. Admittedly, she has one big thing going for her: the subjects are cute kits (baby ferrets). There are ferrets riding the bus to school, Mom pushing a kit in a baby buggy and another kit teething on a pacifier.
Each year, Carley chooses a theme. View past calendars, including the 2005 ferrets playing music calendar and the 2002 ferrets at work calendar, at www.ferretcompany.com or call (650) 851-5775. The 2006 calendar is $14.95.
¢ Ronnie Sellers Productions Inc. calendars ( (800) 625-3386, www.makefun.com):
Now, the award for the most creative calendar ever: "Cats In Hats." The kittens on this calendar are adorned in assorted chapeau, for no particular reason.
"The Proverbial Cat Calendar" features philosophical proverbs from Sydney Hauser, such as, "Better to feed one cat than many mice."
"Uncommon Cats" is not your common cat calendar. Photographer Claudia Gorman manages to capture kitties making mischief. However, the definitive cat calendar is "Cat Naps"; after all, these cats are doing what cats do best: sleeping. There's a cat snoozing on the kitchen counter and another napping in clothes on the line outside.
It's a dog's life, all right. The packaging guarantees the "Pooped Puppies" calendar will even melt the heart of Cruella De Vil. Indeed, there's a snoozing Dalmatian pup, a Jack Russell curled up for 40 winks (rare for a Jack Russell) and 14 other dogs. Each Ronnie Sellers calendar listed here covers 16 months.
"Animal Antics" is a 12-month calendar version of America's Funniest Animals, and includes a penguin waving, waltzing polar bears and a yawning leopard seal.
All Ronnie Sellers calendars listed in this column are $12.99.
¢ Pet Print Calendars (800-738-2257, www.petprints.com):
Dog breed calendar: Available in over 100 breeds, from the most popular, such as Labradors, to lesser known types like the Tibetan terrier, Chinese crested and Dogue de Bordeaux. Each calendar highlights at least one puppy. Some photos feature the dogs doing what they were bred to do. New this year is a calendar of white German shepherds. Also, some breeds are available in puppy only calendars; all $11.95.
Alternative Pets: Calendars featuring hamsters and Guinea pigs aren't necessarily easy to find. Hamsters are seen walking out of planters and into the garden (it's not advisable to try letting your hamster walk through your flower bed). Rabbits, ferrets and lizards also are featured. Each calendar is $11.95.
"Cats" and "Kittens": Most of the cats illustrated in the cat calendar are domestic short hair, although there's one Siamese. The kittens are doing what they do best: looking cute. Both calendars are $11.95.
Birds: Calendar titles include "African Greys," "Amazons," "Budgerigars" and "Cockatiels"; all are $11.95.
¢ Design Tyme Calendars ( (706) 783-4563 or www.designtyme.com/animalden/2006calendars.html):
Purebred cat calendars can be challenging to find. Included here are Abyssinian, Himalayan, Maine Coon, Persian, Siamese and the trendiest of all breeds, the Ragdoll. Who says black cats are bad luck? For one calendar, they charm you every month. There also are all-calico and all-tuxedo calendars.
Many purebred dog calendars are also available, featuring everything from the American Eskimo dog to Yorkshire terriers.
Each calendar is $12.99 to $13.99.
¢ Brown Trout Calendars, ( (800) 777-7812 or www.browntrout.com):
More than 100 dog breeds are featured in this collection, ranging from the Golden Retriever to rare breeds such as the Came Corso (Italian mastiff) and Lurcher (a relative of the greyhound). Four separate calendars are dedicated to the American pit bull terrier. If you don't believe dogs can smile, check out the cover boy on the Brittany calendar.
There are four calendars dedicated to chickens, including "The Art of the Chicken."
"Divine Bovine: The Art of Happiness" is one of three calendars devoted to cows. "Jackasses 2006" is a calendar which hopefully requires no explanation.
Rabbit calendars spotlight the "Mini Rex" and "Lop-Eared" breeds.
What could be cuter than a calendar devoted to piglets? Equally attractive, to some with discriminating taste, is a calendar of adult porkers, called simply "Pigs."
Among cat calendars is "Cats and Dogs." (Nearly a quarter of all pet owners happen to have at least one of each pet.)
All these calendars are $12.99 to $13.99.