Since tomorrow is a holiday and the Human is taking a min-vacation for the rest of the week, I decided to give her a reprieve from her usual Wednesday blog duties. Actually “mini-vacation” is not exactly true as she will be finishing up our third Felines Opine book for publication (Its called “Are There Head Bonks in Heaven?”). She’ll be spending some quality time with the Tribe (we expect some petting and head bonk sessions by the fireplace!) and with some her favorite humans.
We did want to meow at all our furiends and tell you how thankful we are for all of you. We are thankful for our home, for each other and for the love we get every day. Our purrayer is that every kitty will find a furever home this season.
Although it’s not over yet, we are reflecting on this year, there has been much loss, many kitties crossing the Rainbow Bridge and some wonderful humans we know who are now in heaven. We are thankful to have known them all, furry and non-furry.
We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll be back next Wednesday with my reports on all the best feline news on the world-wide web. Give your humans (and furry siblings) lots of love and hopefully there will be some turkey in your future.
Stay safe, warm and happy. Oliver, LIly and I send you…
Hello Furiends, It’s been a good week in our neck of the woods but instead of talking about what The Tribe has been up to, I want to talk about what some fantastic folks in our community have been up to to help our shelter with it’s specific needs due to COVID. I also hope to inspire you to help your local shelters as well.
Our Human is a great fan of our animal shelter, Panhandle Animal Shelter. Our shelter director, Mandy Evans is amazing and has created programs in our little community that have gone national. Our Human wrote an award winning article about one of these programs called “Home to Home” and this innovative way to keep kitties in homes and out of the shelters is only one of many fantastic ways Panhandle Animal shelter is working to keep humans together with their furry family members.
Our Human heard the shelter director speak last week and one of the things she talked about was the specific challenges of running a shelter during COVID. The most pressing issue was that they couldn’t do the medical treatments for kittens and cats because they didn’t have enough surgical gowns. They brought patterns to the meeting and asked for help.
Now our Human is useless when it comes to sewing but she’s pretty good at marketing so she got the word out. And which group jumped into action right away? It was the pet loving folks who belong to her lost pet social media group, Bonner County Critter Finders. Now she should have figured that a community of folks that volunteer their time to get the word out about lost and found pets would be first in line to help the shelter and so they were.
Thanks to wonderful humans like these, our shelter will be able to do the medical work they need to do. There are many other things we can do to help our shelters during these difficult times. For instance, shelter disinfectant is hard to come by. Our shelter is able to obtain only a third of the disinfectant products they need and this affects how many animals they can take.
I’m setting my human furiends a challenge (I’m exempting the felines because our lack of opposable thumbs limits our purrticipation). Download the pattern and sew a surgical gown for your shelter or, if you’re sewing challenged like my Human, call your shelter to find out what specific needs you can help with that are caused by COVID.
That’s it for this week, kitties be kind to your humans, life is a bit stressful these days!
There were many people in Oregon who were evacuated quickly to escape the fires and due these hasty evacuations, some pets were left behind.
One human couldn’t stand to hear the stories of lost pets. Katie Albright, a trained missing pet recovery specialist joined forces with other likeminded humans to help find missing cats.
Her team went into homes that other humans couldn’t access to look for lost cats. Her sidekick, Franklin, a 3-year-old dachshund/beagle mix is her most valuable team member. She trained Franklin in cat detection through the Missing Animal Response Network.
She and Franklin were successful in locating lost cats on that mission. They continue to volunteer their services in other areas as well.
Sometimes you humans cause me to scratch my head! This one is a head scratcher for me. There are folks purrticipating in the DC Cat Count, sifting through 6 million photos and sorting out the cats and counting each one.
Despite the advances in modern technology there is no computer program that will sort the cat photos out of all the photos so the humans have to do the tedious job themselves, one picture at a time.
Why are they doing this? The DC Cat Count is looking to get an estimate of just how many felines there are in the District. Lauren Lipsey with the Humane Rescue Alliance says getting an accurate cat population number will help her organization manage feral cats in the city. The group operates animal shelters and provides animal control services in D.C. and is partnering with the Smithsonian on the cat count project.
She said, “If we don’t know the baseline population of cats, it makes it impossible to measure the effectiveness of various population control policies or strategies.”
Also, we felines get a bad rap from some humans who say we kill billions of birds and small mammals. This count will provide a more scientific approach to those allegations.
Researchers placed cameras in 1,530 locations, strategically sited across the city. Each location was surveilled for 15 days, for a total of 22,950 days of observation. Of the roughly 6 million photos captured, about 20% are of cats.
Needless to say, the cameras caught more than cats. The most common being dogs, squirrels, deer, rats, and raccoons. There were also some rarer urban inhabitants: flying squirrels, coyotes, beavers, and at least one bobcat.
Now the researchers are going through each photo to eliminate duplicate shots of the same cat. Once that work is done, a few months from now, the team will be able to model cat density throughout the
While the final analysis of D.C.’s cat population is still months away, McShea and Lipsey say there is at least one data point that stands out, in terms of cats’ impact on the environment. There were very few cats in the city’s largest parks, where wildlife could be most threatened by the presence of cats. For example — D.C.’s biggest, wildest park, Rock Creek Park, was “almost absent of feral cats or semi domesticated cats,” according to McShea.
The cat count project will be complete in 2021, at a total cost of $1.5 million, funded by a number of nonprofits and charities. Meowza, sometimes I wonder how you humans spend your time and money!
The first questionnaire survey to identify possible separation-related problems in cats discovered that 13.5% of all sampled cats displayed potential issues during their owner’s absence, according to a study published April 15, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Daiana de Souza Machado, from the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil, and colleagues.
Now this feline could have told you we miss you humans when you’re gone but in defense of these humans doing the survey, so many studies have been conducted on owner separation problems in dogs and very little work has been done to see how we felines feel! There is a common belief that we cats are happy being left alone for long periods of time, but the most recent research suggests that we are far more social than you humans realize and we are deeply bonded with our humans..
The results of this survey were interesting. 13.5% of cats showed at least one trait of separation related problems (destructive behavior was the most frequently reported)
Other behaviors or mental states identified were: excessive vocalization (19 out of 30 cats), inappropriate urination (18 cats), depression-apathy (16 cats), aggressiveness (11 cats), agitation-anxiety (11 cats) and inappropriate defecation (7 cats).
There is still more work to be done in this study but I am thankful that there are humans willing to dive into the emotions and reactions of felines.
Checking in on the Disneyland Cats
There is quite a clowder of cats at Disneyland and there are folks who are concerned about how the felines are surviving. The good news is that Disneyland loves having the cats around as they do an excellent job of vermin control. These felines even have quite a large fan club. On Instagram, @disneylandcats has more than 85,000 followers, and the handle has another 16,000 on Twitter. You can follow the #disneylandcats hashtag on either platform and find a fan page on Facebook.
There’s even a website devoted to all things cats at Disneyland. DisneylandCats.com has profiles of each cat with some real information about each one. Ned, for example, is a domestic longhair who hangs out on the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel. The site is so popular that you can buy T-shirts that say “We try to forget it was all started by a mouse” and “Beware of hitchhiking cats.”
“The cats are taken care of by the park’s workers with help from local veterinary clinics,” Kyle Jaeger reported. “There are feeding stations and shelters where the cats receive routine veterinary care, including flea treatments, spaying and neutering, and vaccinations.”
So I think it’s safe to say that the Magic Kingdom is still magical for it’s resident felines.
We have humans that enjoy ice fishing in our neck of the woods but I’ve never heard of felines trying it until now. This kitty from Korea is trying her best to capture a carp under the ice in the lake.
This poor feline, named Marilyn, is beyond frustrated. I doubt that she was happy having her unsuccessful fishing trip uploaded to her You Tube and Instagram accounts either. I’m guessing Marilyn earned a few more viewers to compensate her for her frustrated fishing expedition.
Hello Furiends, I hope this week finds you healthy and happy in your neck of the woods. It’s gotten pretty chilly here and while Oliver and Lily are busy looking toward their own comfort, I have been busy helping our Human with the chores.
That’s a brief look at our lazy week now let’s take a look at what is happening in the feline world.
I have seen ads from car companies who seem to be marketing to dog lovers but not Nissan who is partnering with a chain of Japanese cat cafes to promote the Nissan Dayz kei car.
This small kei car starting at ¥1,327,700 ($12,590 USD), is loaded with state-of-the-art features. Even base grades get lane departure warnings, forward collision braking, hill hold, and pedestrian detection braking, auto-dim high-beams, and more. Higher trim levels get Nissan’s Around View bird’s eye parking assist and ProPilot system that includes hands-free highway driving with adaptive cruise and lane centering.
Nissan says it’s so easy to drive, a cat could do it and to prove their point, they created cat-sized Dayz cars to be placed at “Mocha” cat café locations throughout Japan.The official Nissan website does warn (via Google translate) “Please note that the cat may not drive the car depending on the mood of the cat.”
I am beginning to believe that it’s time for the Tribe to campaign for The Human to take us and move to Japan!
Okay, this feline will be the first cat to admit that we felines eat some pretty disgusting stuff but I’m wondering if Purina has gone too far this time.
Purina PetCare is launching a new pet food line to offer dogs and cats a more eco-friendly meal option. Starting this month, they will sell insect-based Purina Beyond Nature’s Protein in Switzerland.
And if the idea of “fly food” isn’t disgusting enough, let me tell you the details per Purina’s press release. “The insect protein comes from black soldier fly larvae, which are already in use in animal feed in Europe. The millet and fava beans provide protein, energy, and fiber to aid digestion. All the ingredients are steamed to maintain nutrient quality.”
Purina is referring to this new product line as a new eco-conscious choice. And says that many scientists and chefs have long promoted eating bugs, including mealworms, as a sustainable food option with “great promise” for humans as well as pets.
This feline says “thanks but no thanks!”. If any of our furiends in Switzerland have tried this food, give us a meow in the comments and let us know what you think. As for me, I’ll stick to stinky fish.
She rescues kittens that nobody else will take and nurses them back to health. She will take mother cats with their newborns and deal with the medical issues of the little ones.
Cyr has had 23 years of neonatal experience and explains she’s compelled to work with special needs kittens because the sickest and most fragile ones who can’t do it without help and can’t tell us what’s wrong. They can’t tell us what hurts.
Cyr named the rescue after a cat that resides with her now called Lois. Lois was found paralyzed and lying in a parking lot five years ago. Today, after therapy, Lois has gained back all her motion and climbs, runs and plays with Cyr’s other cats. Cyr has 11 permanent feline residents.
“People often ask me why I do what I do,” Cyr said as she sat on her couch, a tiny kitten named Little Mary purring and outstretched against her chest. “This makes it worth it right here. If they can all go on to be safe, happy and loved, that’s all I need.”
Did you know that having felines in your home is healthy for you? The Pet Effect , a campaign from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) works toward the goal to introduce pet owners to the health benefits of the human-animal bond, and to understand how important veterinarians are for happy, healthy pets!
The Female Human used HABRI research while she earned her diploma in Feline Behavior and Psychology and is very impressed with their work. HABRI assembles scientific evidence that demonstrates how pets improve heart health; alleviate depression; increase well-being; support child health and development; and contribute to healthy aging. In addition, companion animals can assist in the treatment of a broad range of conditions from post-traumatic stress to Alzheimer’s disease to autism spectrum disorder. The Pet Effect campaign not only shares the benefits of pet ownership but also shares the message and the science that proves veterinary medicine is an essential component of health for pets and people.
So if you know anyone who still doesn’t have a feline in their house, please send them this video along with the number to your local shelter!
Kudos to our furiends at Cats Protection in the UK for creative thinking in these difficult times. More than 10,000 cats have found their furever homes since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic thanks to a pioneering new idea.
Cats Protection launched a new doorstep delivery scheme called Hands-Free Homing in March to ensure cats could still be homed despite forthcoming lockdown restrictions. They used interactive video to match prospective owners with potential pets, and then transporting the animals to the new owner’s doorstep if a match was found.
Interested adopters interacted with the shelters and the cats virtually and then when the match is made the new feline in residence is delivered to your door.
Hello Furiends, I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. We have returned to the beautiful colors of autumn again and are having some nice rain showers.
When you humans insist on changing the time on us we really get discombobulated. It always takes a while to figure out ur new meal times, snack times, play times, etc and this really stresses meowt! Still not too much has changed. Ollie is seeking out the best heat vents and, when the sun is shining, likes to find the best sun puddles, which for him are on the dining room table (apologies to any of our future dinner guests). The Female Human takes exception to Oliver’s commandeering of this spot and he can never understand why she gets herself in such a tizz about it.
My favorite sun spot is on the very top of the cat condo in the office…can you find me?
Finally, there are brief glimpses of hope that Lily might find a cuddle buddy yet.
Well that’s enough about us, let’s check out the news items I have for you this week.
A portly gray Tabby from Thailand, missing for 3 days, returned home but when he came home, his human found out he had incurred some debt.
He arrived home after his adventure with a cardboard note attached to a new collar. The note read, “Your cat kept eying the mackerel at my stall, so I gave him 3.” The feline’s benefactor signed the note, “Aunty May at alley no. 2.”
A Facebook page picked up the story and shared it and the story went viral. Some folks offered to pay the cat’s debt. Others felt that “Aunty May” might not have wanted to be reimbursed for the fish at all.
At the time of this report, it is still not known whether the feline paid his debt or not.
Doorkins Magnificat, a beloved cat who made the cathedral her home for 12 years, died Sept. 30th. The tabby earned celebrity status during her years at Southwark Cathedral, meeting Queen Elizabeth II, starring in a children’s book and having a presence on social media.
After the cat’s death, Andrew Nunn, the dean of the cathedral, hosted a service of thanksgiving, which was live-streamed on Wednesday.
“She was enormously popular and had a massive Twitter following — and was also the focus of a lot of people’s visits to the cathedral,” Nunn said. “When she died the response was huge, and we knew we had to do something — there was no way in which we could just ignore the fact — and why would you? We loved her, and she gave a lot to our life. It felt entirely appropriate.”
The cat began visiting the cathedral in 2008 between Christmas and New Year’s Day and waited for food. Once she realized that the cathedral was a source of two meals daily, the cat decided to stay.
She became known as Doorkins making her bed next to a warm pipe underneath the cathedral’s chancel or on a cushion in the consistory court.
In August 2017 Doorkins “published” her first book, “Doorkins the Cathedral Cat,” which gave readers a tour of the Gothic-style church and a week in the life of the cat.
She developed kidney disease in the last few years and lost her eyesight. She died in the arms of Paul Timms, the head verger at his home after she had a stroke.
Her remains were cremated and she was laid to rest in the church’s courtyard. The cat’s remains were cremated and she was laid to rest in the church’s courtyard.
“It was an unusual occasion,” Nunn told the congregation during the memorial service. “In more normal times, we often host memorial services for the great and the good. But I don’t think there’s ever been a service for a cat.”
Although some people like the Bishop of Burnley were negative about the service there were no regrets from the cathedral for holding the service.
Nunn said, “There’s such a lot of emotion around at the moment, and sometimes, something like that can just release it for people,” Nunn said. “It was heartwarming as well as emotional.” He also said that Doorkins was a positive influence to the church congregation.
If you’ve ever shared your living space with a cat, you’ll know that they’ll go wherever they want to go, whether you’re on board or not. And they love high places — all the better for looking down at you, right?
One cat owner decided to give his felines exactly what they wanted, and his friend revealed the results on Twitter.
As you can see from the photos posted on Twitter, this cat parent has carried out some major ceiling modifications to his store, including glass tiles for his feline spectators. His cats can now go into the ceiling area, perch on the glass and see everything that’s happening down below.
Pickles the cat is an excellent traveling buddy for Muninn Myrkvi, an over-the-road truck driver for GP Transco..
He says, “Pickles has the ability to brighten anyone’s day. Whenever anyone spots him through the window, I get smiles and a thumbs up.”
He adopted the 6-year old Maine Coon from a friend in 2019. Pickles was curious abut everything during his first few journeys albeit a bit skittish and nervous when the big rig started up.
It only took a week for Pickles to get used to his life on the road. Now when he’s on the road, he likes to look out the passenger window while they are driving. Most of his time is spent however, snoozing on the passenger seat.
This feline is as pampered as any house cat. In the early days, Myrkvi would try to get Pickles to check out his surroundings while wearing a harness but the harness was not a success. Now Pickles will sometines sit on the top step of the cab with his human by his side. Any noise or disturbance sends him scurrying back into the cab immediately.
When Pickles isn’t traveling, he spends time with his human on the family alpaca farm. Pickles enjoys himself there but he seems to prefer their road trips.
Pickles makes a purrfect traveling companion for this trucker who says, “Knowing Pickles is around helps keep my anxiety down as I go through my day.I tend to keep to myself even more than the typical OTR trucker, so Pickles helps alleviate loneliness. I also love when he cuddles up at night.”
What do I think about this app? I say, “It’s about time!”
Javier Sanchez, a technical program manager at Bellevue, Wash.-based business and tech solutions company Akvelon, has built a cat translation app called “MeowTalk” that he hopes will change how people interact with their feline friends.
Using data science and machine learning, MeowTalk listens to the sounds a cat makes and offers up a human language translation, promising to remove the barrier between pet and person on interactions ranging from “feed me” to “let me outside” to “I’m in pain.” With user input, an out-of-the-box version of the app can be trained to understand a specific cat.
Sanchez worked in the machine learning platform team at Alexa and wondered if there could be something similar for cats.
MeowTalk (on iOS and Android) comes with a general model that listens for cat meows in your home and then categorizes those sounds into 10 built-in intents that are universal to all cats. While cats don’t have a shared language, each will develop their own vocabulary that they will use consistently, Sanchez said. Users can create cat profiles and assign meows to new labels in MeowTalk when they think they know what their cat is asking for.
The app will learn a new word and will make accurate predictions for that word the next time it hears it. Behind the scenes, user feedback is training the cat-specific model to understand that cat’s meows going forward.
There is a smart collar in the works (Much like the translator worn by the dog in the movie “Up”, one of our Human’s favorites). Sanchez consulted with a data scientist named Stavros Ntalampiras, who wrote a research paper that got the attention of the Akvelon team, called “Automatic Classification of Cat Vocalizations Emitted in Different Contexts”.
Sanchez has been a cat person the majority of his life. As one of his cats circled his office as a test subject during a recent Zoom video call, he said dogs, while they definitely understand speech, just don’t have the same vocal capabilities to communicate through their barks.
Did our human download the app? You betcha’ and I’ll report on what we think about in a future feature.
Ever since Angel Tucker crossed the Rainbow Bridge I’ve been sad and anxious. Tucker was my cuddle buddy and protector and now that he’s gone and I’m left with the two hooligan brothers, Oliver and Alberto, life has changed a lot.
I’m not as comfortable hanging out in my old spots because I don’t have my protector and I’m not a very bold kitty by nature. My anxious behavior has prompted the Human to do some research to help me.
Is a grieving kitty an anxious kitty?
Grief can make us anxious. There are two main factors that contribute to making us anxious, our genetics and our environment. It’s easy enough for my Human to understand what goes on in my environment but how can she find out about my genetics when I was adopted from the shelter and she has no history about my feline family? Well, that’s why she had my DNA test done with Basepaws.
As a feline that doesn’t understand things too “sciency” I will try to explain this to the best or my ability.
The science of being anxious
There are humans who have studied anxiety, specifically separation anxiety in felines. This can be separation from our humans or our other furry family members. We know what happened in my environment to cause me to be more anxious (the loss of Tucker) but what are the genetic reasons for my anxious behavior?
Now, getting back to DNA, did you know that studies have been done that indicate some cat breeds can be calmer than others? For instance, an article on the Purina site states that Birmans, British Shorthair, Persian and Ragdoll breeds tend to be calmer. If you look at my DNA breed make-up from my Basepaws report, you’ll see I have very little “calm kitty” in me.
As I mentioned earlier, genetics and environment contribute to feline anxiety but did you know that environment can actually change your genetics? Things like stress, trauma, diet, etc. can all effect change and not always in a good way.
How do you know if your kitty is blue?
I think most humans know their fur kids well enough to notice when behavior changes and/or circumstances in the home changes. Any behavior change should be taken seriously and potential medical issues should be ruled out with your veterinarian. If like me, your feline is grieving the loss of a buddy and feeling like the “odd cat out” you can be pretty sure your cat is blue.
Sad kitties are often more lethargic than usual, we don’t hang out in our favorite places anymore, we may want more attention from our humans or just stick close to our human as I do since I’ve lost my feline protector. We can act as though we are on high alert, never allowing ourselves to be in a place where we could be trapped. In other words, we will act anxious.
So what do you do when your kitty is blue?
We felines can grieve and, like grief with you humans, there is no specific behavior or timeline that we follow when we grieve. While we are going through our sad times giving us extra love and attention always helps. Talk to us (yes, we do respond to your calming voice) and you might even consider some calming products such as Feliway pheromone spray or plug in or a natural calming product formulated for cats.
Believe it or not, music helps many of us. Our Tribe purrrticularly likes Music for cats. You could even sit with us for a while and watch some of the pawsome movies for cats on Amazon Prime or Cat TV on YouTube.
I hope my furiends who’ve lost their best buddies over the Rainbow Bridge won’t be blue much longer and, if you and your humans have found ways to help you with your grief and anxiey, meow about it in the comments and share what worked for you.
Hello There Furiends, I hope all is fine in your neck of the woods. It’s been quite chilly here and it’s always a bit of a transition for these heat loving felines to get used to the chillier weather. Oliver prefers to hang out in front of the fire, Lily likes to sit under a map to warm up and me, well I just head back to bed and under the covers.
I hope you enjoy this week’s web wanderings and stay warm!
Did you know that about 50% of felines who have one episode of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) will have a recurrence? That’s the bad news. The good news is that Royal Canin USA and Blücare have teamed up to create an in-home system that works as an early detection of blood in cat urine. It’s a non-invasive test that cat owners can use at home.
Dr. Brent Mayabb, Global Chief Medical Officer for Royal Canin noted, “Cats are very good at masking, meaning that many cats show little to no clinical signs in the early stages of common diseases, It is our objective to create a convenient experience that is less stressful for both cats and cat owners. Hematuria Detection, technology by Blücare, allows vets and their clients to work together to manage the health of the pet and provide peace-of-mind for the owner.”
This detection, technology by Blücare, is an easy-to-use product with white granules designed to be evenly distributed over clean cat litter. Features and benefits of this product include:
• NON-DISRUPTIVE: The non-invasive, at-home test reduces stress for cats as the test is administered in the comfort of the cat’s environment.
• RELIABLE: Allows detection of microhematuria, which is blood invisible to the naked eye.
• SIMPLE AND QUICK 2: The granules are easy to spread into existing, clean litter while achieving clear results within a few seconds. Results remain visible for 48 hours.
It’s easy, just three steps;
1. SPREAD: Evenly spread the granules over clean litter and wait for the cat to urinate.
2. INSPECT: After the cat urinates, inspect the litter box. If the granules are white or yellow, the test is negative. If the granules are blue, the test is positive as it shows the presence of blood in the cat’s urine.
3. CONSULT: Contact a veterinarian if the granules are blue to confirm the results and determine next steps
The Royal Canin Hematuria Detection, technology by Blücare is available now through veterinarians nationwide. To learn more about this product, click here.
Now I normally have a strict NO POLITICAL STORIES rule in my Wednesday feature as you humans can’t talk about this subject without hissing and howling at eachj other. I do, however, make an exception when a feline throws his hat into the ring. Many of you may remember, our very own Oliver ran for Purresident and we were quite busy campaigning for him and his running mate, Olive from Three Chatty Cats.
Sadly, none of the Tribe was interested in a purrlitical career but this doesn’t apply to Wally, a handsome ginger man-cat. Wally doesn’t have an official owner, he just showed up at the block where Heather La Mastro lives over five years ago. The neighborhood fed him and looked after him so he stayed. He is well loved and has been dubbed “Mayor of 55th St.” With so many of the good folks on 55th street in lockdown and bored, they began to float the idea of approaching Wally to run. He does have three opponents, Betty, a gray tabby and two dogs, Mimi and Macy. The Tribe has decided Wally has their vote and are urging you all to support him with his Twitter hashtag #Wally4Mayor. Oliver is busy contacting his former supporters to ask them to back Wally.
Since National Black Cat Day was yesterday, I wanted to give a shout out to all you house panthers. This time of year is not such a good time for black cats but fortunately, black-cat rescue organizations across the United States are working hard to change the misconceptions about black cats and find them furever homes.Tracey Lenac runs Black Cat Holistic Rescue in Los Angeles, California and rescued her first black kitten 23 years ago. Across the country, Susanna Finn is assistant director of Black Cat Rescue in Boston, Massachusetts. Her organization finds homes for black cats, including a pudgy three-legged cat named Shelly and a skinny, mostly-bald cat named Snoopy. Finn and her co-workers promote black cats as funny, friendly and loving.
It is challenging to capture the beauty of black felines in photos. Our Human always had difficulty catching our Angel Buster in the proper lighting. Natural lighting is always best or a brightly colored background.
Jaggers Journey in Oregon finds homes for blackcats. The director, Leah Lyman says, “Black cats have amazing personalities,” she says. “People need to open their hearts to them.”
And while we’re celebrating the beauty of black cats, here are some interesting facts’;
• The Egyptian goddess of protection, Bastet, is often depicted as a black cat.
• Sailors used to believe black cats on a ship brought good luck. Fishermen’s wives kept black cats, hoping to ensure a husband’s safe return from sea.
• Some theaters have historically kept black cats to bring luck to a performance.
Scout Bio is working on two potential therapeutic applications for cats with diabetes. The goal is to first, replace daily insulin injections with a single injection of SB-009 to treat feline diabetes and second to significantly increase the percentage of cats entering remission when SB-009 is given with insulin.
Mark Heffernan, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Scout Bio remarked, “This one-time injectable therapy for feline diabetes has the potential to provide a convenient single treatment that is an alternative to the burden of twice daily insulin injections. We believe SB-009 has the potential to be a blockbuster product for animal health.”
Fall has come in all its glory to our neck of the woods. Oliver loves to sit on the living room window sill and watch the leaves fall and check out what beasts are in the forests, racoons, deer, moose, bear, skuk, even the visiting neighborhood felines hunting mice. A cat never knows what he’ll see down there!
Lily is far less interested in what goes on in the woods and is much more intereted in what’s going on inside the house.
Oliver is struggling during this time of “weight management”. The Human took a seminar on feline obesity and life hasn’t been the same for poor Ollie. He struggles between attempting to squeeze himself in tight places and begging for tuna casserole. Sigh, life is hard for a portly feline.
Well, that’s the news from our neck of the woods now let’s check out the feline news from around the web.
Stories where you humans go above and beyond to help kitties find furever homes just make my whiskers quiver. And, thanks to Paul Haddix and Haddix Construction the Central Purrk Café will be opening in a few months.
The company is donating their services to help build the interior cat lounge where adoptable cats will recline in fancy modern digs.
Visitors can reserve time in the cat lounge at $12.00 per hour, $6.00 per half hour. The lounge has a “free roam” area where visitors can get know the cats in an environment that is more like a home, allowing the humans to picture the kitties in their own homes.
Central Purrk will also host special events like Yoga with Cats, Trivia Nights, Beer & Wine Tastings, and offer birthday or other party packages. All cats are adoptable directly from the cat café and 100% of the adoption fees go to the respective humane society. Cats will be spayed or neutered, up to date on their vaccines and be microchipped.
Temptations, the cat treat company premiered the first ever horror movie for cats last week.
The story is about a kitty who makes his way through a haunted house. While storm rages outside, a ball of yarn leads the cat from room to room with all kinds of scary things around each corner. The kitty finally ends up in the kitchen to face the scariest thing of all…a cucumber!
So have your human break out the Temptation movie treats and watch this together this Halloween.
We felines don’t care much about your past. We just want you to pet us and love us and feed us. This arrangement works out purrfectly at the Pendleton Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Indianapolis.
Six hours every day, seven days a week the handful of men selected for the FORWARD program (Felines and Offenders Rehabilitation with Affection, Reformation and Dedication.) care for more than 20 cats. Those kitties repay the care and housing they receive while they’re prepared for adoption with love and affection for their inmate caretakers. The inmates gain skills such as empathy, responsibility and self-esteem. Many inmates have said that caring for the cats gives them a reason to get up in the morning. I say this is a purrfect “win-win’ situation!
This is an encouraging tale for all my feline furiends who have challenges. Determined kitties can accomplish great things with the help of their humans. These best furiends, Penelope and Orville just helped their local shelter, Hancock County Humane Society, win $1,500.00, $1,000.99 in cash and $500.00 for food.
Shelter volunteer Kathleen Free wrote the story about Penelope, a kitty born with no eyes, and Orville, the kitten who befriended her and became her “seeing-eye cat. The story won the Clear the Shelters Adoption Story Challenge hosted by The Animal Rescue Site and GreaterGood.org.
Humans, it’s never too early to spoil your felines for the holidays and at this price ($23.00) you can’t afford not to buy it. And since humans like Christmas too, there’s a beautiful kitty ornament included. Don’t wait, go to Chewy and make your felines happy for the holidays.
Hello Furiends, I hope this Wednesday finds you well. It’s been a bit boring in our neck of the woods and it appears that The Human has taken this lull in the schedule to mock us. Granted, Oliver seems to have received the worst of it. She entered two social media events, #childhoodphotochallenge and #unflatteringcatphotochallenge. I have posted the photos below and will let you be the judge.
I would suggest to all my furiends that you watch carefully what contests your humans enter you in!
And now, lets see what happened in the feline news world this week.
Sometimes you’re looking for a book, sometimes you’re looking for a cat and now you don’t have to decide between the two at the Auburn Public Library in Maine due to their cooperation with the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society. You can find feline’s hanging out in the library’s teen room. Customers can come in with a 30-minute browsing pass. That gets them in the library for 30 minutes, whether they want to look at books, read the newspaper, visit with the cats and yes, some come specifically to visit with the cats.
Library staff approached the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society about getting a feline boarder last spring. Employees had returned from their COVID-19 shutdown, but the library was still closed to patrons. A temporary resident cat felt like a good morale booster.
This library receives our Paws Up award for creative thinking and for helping more felines find homes!
Wow! You humans are really stepping up your game when it comes to helping felines find their furever homes. The Feline Advocates of Leon County Florida opened a new book store earlier this month called Fat Cat Books.
We felines have a way of getting around and Gunnlaugur is no exception. He lives in the north of Icland in a village called Varmahlio.
Gunnlaugur the cat, who lives in the northern village of Hofsos, was found around 31 miles away in Varmahlio, where locals had posted a picture of him online in hopes of finding his owners.
Gunnlaugur first went missing in June, but his humans said it isn’t unusual for him to disappear for several weeks at a time so it was a while before they figured he was missing. He had appeared in Vaermahlio and fortunately, someone had seen a Facebook post about the missing feline so they were able to reunite him with his family.
These two villages are abut 50 kilometers apart (about 31 miles) and ther are many lakes and rivers the cat would have had to navigate to get there.
His humans, upon his return home, remarked that he was a bit portly when he left but is now slim and trim and he has returned to his job keeping mice at bay in the stable and enjoying his equine friends.
You humans have been meowing for years about dogs who resemble their owners but nobody (until photographer Gerrard Gethings began to photograph feines and their look-alike humans.
Gethings first started with a series about dogs that resemble people before he began his feline photography. He does say that shooting cats is more difficult because cat’s (if they deign to come out from under the bed and join you) are easily fed up.
No matter what he had to go through to get these pics, I say they are amazing! Who knew humans could look as good as cats?
Hello Furiends, I hope you are having as beautiful a fall season as we are in our neck of the woods. The sun is lovely and The Tribe is enjoying finding all our favorite sunning spots. My favorite is in the bed next to The Human’s desk but often Oliver decides he wants to horn in on my space. Noted below is his sneaky way of stealing my sunny spot. He squeezes in next to me and then begins a campaign of licking me until I get so annoyed I give him the bed. He’s really annoying.
Lily, on the other hand purrfers to find a sunny spot by herself.
The other bit of news is that Oliver is considering changing his look (he’s decided that just being a black and white feline is boring). He presents his new “looks” for your consideration. What do you think?
Enough about Oliver’s identity crisis, it’s time to check out this week’s feline headlines.
We know our furiends across the pond love us moggies. And now, whether you live in the UK and want to locate to a cat friendly community or you want to visit in a cat friendly area there is now a cat friendly map of Britain.
The historic naval city of Plymouth beat the seaside town of Brighton to win the title of ‘cat capital’ of Britain. Research discovered that two thirds (66.1 per cent) of people who live in Plymouth are feline aficionados. Plymouth shares top spot with the cities of Brighton (a close second), Nottingham (third) and Sheffield (fourth). Southampton, also a seaport was number five.
The list of top 15 UK cities where felines rule is, : 1. Plymouth – 66.1 per cent; 2. Brighton – 66 per cent; 3. Nottingham – 63 per cent; 4. Sheffield – 61 per cent; 5. Southampton – 59 per cent; 6. London – 58 per cent; 7. Norwich – 58 per cent; 8. Manchester – 57 per cent; 9. Bristol – 55 per cent; 10. Birmingham – 55 per cent; 11. Liverpool – 53 per cent; 12. Edinburgh – 53 per cent; 13. Glasgow – 51 per cent; 14. Leeds – 49 per cent; 15. Newcastle – 49 per cent.
I’d be a lyin’ feline if I said this question hasn’t occurred to me. There is a whole Pinterest page devoted to heavy metal musicians and their felines.
Judas Priest singer, Rob Halford explained why he likes to blow up social media with pictures of him attired in cat themed t-shirts. He said, “I think I have about a hundred cat t-shirts now. I used to have a beautiful kitty cat called Ben, who lived a long life.”
Asked his opinion as to why so many heavy metal guys love felines he said, “They’re beautiful creatures. I think the reason why we like ’em in our metal community is because they’re fiercely independent. You think you know your cat, [but] the cat knows you better than you do. And they’re so full of character and knocking things off the shelf and looking at you as if to say, ‘Look what I can do.’ But I love ’em for that. They’re beautiful creatures,”.
This feline likes the idea of heavy metal cats and says, rock on!
If you think your mail carrier has an attitude then you need to meet Eric and Ollie who are deliverers with catitude!
Like the Instagram stars they are, these two Persians wear their uniforms with pride. We asked our Human how she would feel about a feline delivery purrson and she said she thought that would be cool but she’s not so sure she’d feel comfortable that our Chewy order would make it to our house intact.
Kettleman City Supercharger is a popular charging spot for Tesla owners … and cats. Fox26 has reported that there are around 60 kitties that live at the Supercharger
Now folks are looking to raise money ($3600.00) to care for these cats and they’re doing it through GoFundMe so the King County Animal Service can for the kittens. This money will provide care and help prepare the kittens for adoption (.
I’ve featured some great human/cat furniture but this desk is my all-time fave! The designer of this desk says that a home should be designed for all it’s inhabitants. I know our Human would love a desk like this and we bet she’d get her work done much faster!
There’s a lot of pawsome furniture for cats and their humans to share and for cats to use exclusively in this article (some I’ve reported on before).
Hello There Furiends, We’ve managed to get ourselves organized and ready to present this week’s web’s wanderings. The Human has been subjecting us to hard labor. Every time she changes the bedding we have to be there to snoopervise and when she turns the mattress, well that makes the work twice as hard! And there were other menial tasks we were forced to do. Now I ask you, should famous internet feines like us be subjected to such lowly labor??
Yes, it’s been a busy week and now it’s time for some good kitty stories.
Well who knew that there was so much scientific information on orange cats? As our Tribe has no orange kitties we’ve never been exposed to any of this info but we do have many orange furiends out there in cyberspace.
Science has determined that orange cats are more affectionate. Some say this is because the orange color is sex linked and there are more male orangies than female and current research states that males are slightly more friendly than females.
In a 1995 study,Pontier et al. that studied the frequency of the orange gene variant among cat populations indicated that there are numerous traits that separate orange felines from their other colored compadres.
Here are a few of the conclusions from this study:
1. Orange cats are more common in rural (less dense) as opposed to urban environments. This finding suggests that orange cats may enjoy greater reproductive success in particular social conditions.
2. Orange cats are less common in areas with greater mortality risk. This finding indicates that orange cats may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors that result in death.
3. Orange males weigh more than cats of other colors, and orange females weigh less than cats of other colors.
The study indicates that male orange city kitties who are very competitive may heighten their risk of death (e.g., through fights with cats or other animals), thus driving down the proportions of orange cats..
Personality traits attributed to color is not a new idea and students have shown differences between rodents and birds based on their colors.
What do my orange furiends think about all this sciency stuff?
A few Wednesdays ago I did a feature on cats in Japanese history and this week I’m bringing you some history of the majestic Viking cat. Yes, the Vikings kept pet cats!
Norse mythology has many tales of cats, the Norse god Freyja drove a chariot pulled by two cats. Those cats are called ‘gib-cats’ and are depicted as grey or blue in color. The cats were a gift from Thor, and she used them to travel to the funeral of Baldur, her lover.
There’s also the Scandinavian folk tale of a cat that helps a poor man. First the cat wins a castle of silver and gold by tricking a troll – keeping it talking until sunrise when it turned to stone. Then, the cat asks the poor man to cut off its head. Hey, I wouldn’t mind tricking troll to get a castle for The Tribe and our Human to live in!
The ferocious wolf Fenrir is restrained by a chain called Gleipnir, made from six magical ingredients including ‘the sound of a cat walking’. And finally, once of the Frost Giants tricked Thor into trying to lift up a huge cat. When Thor could only lift one paw, the cat was revealed to be the Jormungandr – the mighty serpent that encircles Midgard.
It’s likely that the Vikings played a part in spreading felines around the globe. A study concluded in 2016 analyzed the remains of over 200 cats from 30 different archaeological sites throughout Africa and Eurasia to find out about the history of the domestic cat.
As early humans spread across the globe and started planting crops, these crops would attract vermin such as mice and rats. These vermin then attracted cats, protecting precious crops from being eaten. And, since cats are so loveable and fluffy it didn’t take them long to weasel their way into the hearts and hearths of the humans.
There is no firm data that tells us when cats reached Scandinavia but scientists believe thy were there during the Iron Age. Remains found in a Viking trading port in the Baltic Sea in Northern Germany indicate that cats were providing their valuable services to humans by the Middle Ages.
Cats were welcome on Viking ships as their presence there would ensure that the food supply would be intact and unspoiled by disease bearing vermin.
Another phenomenon of the ancestors of the Viking felines is their size…they are large! Today’s descendants of the Viking Cats are called the Norwegian Forest Cat and they are quite handsome!
I do not get into purrlitical stories unless they feature felines and this one does! Collar, a feline who resides at the home of a Member of Parliament, is the running for the award of Purr Minister.
MPs and peers will also be putting forward their cats to a public vote for Purr Minister 2020 – the title of the nation’s favorite feline in Westminster.
Collar’s human said, “I think that being a stray, Collar represents exactly what they are all about and I hope that when voting opens to the public people will be able to support Collar to become Purr Minister.”
Each cat-idate in the runninbg has a “manifursto” explaining why they should land the role.
Collar’s “manifursto” says: “Being a stray and someone who didn’t have a home, I searched high and low to find someone to love me, look after me and be my servants. I was lucky as I found a loving home which already had cats so I have allowed them to look after me.”
A feline named Ebisu may be the world’s first literal copycat. Researchers have revealed that the Japanese cat can imitate the actions of her owner under controlled scientific conditions.
The discovery came about unexpectedly. Claudia Fugazza, an ethologist at Eötvös Loránd University, had been studying dog cognition for nearly 10 years using “Do as I do” training. In this method, a researcher first trains a dog or other animal to copy a behavior it already knows—such as rolling over—by saying “Do as I do,” demonstrating the behavior, and then saying “Do it!” The dog is then rewarded for its success. Over time, the animal learns that “Do it!” means “copy me.” The approach can be used to test whether animals can truly imitate—that is, copy actions they have never done before, such as ringing a bell.
Fugazza, met Fumi Higaki, a dog trainer in Ichinomiya, Japan, who told her that she had trained one of her cats with the “Do as I do” method. Her cat, an 11-year-old female named Ebisu (after the Japanese god of prosperity) was highly food motivated, making her easy to train. Her owner said“She often snuck into my dog training classes because she knew the people there had good treats,”
Well, if that’s the case, our Oliver should be brilliant at this training!
Higaki showed that Ebisu could copy familiar actions, like opening a plastic drawer and biting a rubber string. Then she asked the cat to imitate two new behaviors. While standing before Ebisu, who sat on a countertop next to a cardboard box, Higaki raised her right hand and touched the box. At other times, she bent down and rubbed her face against the box.
In 16 subsequent trials, Ebisu accurately copied her owner more than 81% of the time.
So there you have it, we felines are capable of waaaay more than some of you humans give us credit for!
Sansa the Polydactyl Cat — named after the Game of Thrones character Sansa Stark — was adopted by her current owner in 2016 after being abandoned by her previous owner.
This beautiful white kitty with one blue and one green eye has now become an Instagram star with over 23,500 followers. Clearly The Tribe needs to up our game in the Instagram department!
Here eye color condition is called heterochromia and Sansa has other challenges, was also born with a seizure disorder called feline hyperesthesia and a congenital physical anomaly called polydactyl that makes her have more toes on her paws.
When her current owners found her in a New York City Petco, Sansa was “dealing with anxiety and heartbreak” from being abandoned. Thank goodness Sansa found a wonderful furever home and she’s now settled in.
Sansa is a loving cat to her humans and has become very social as well. “She sits on our lap on the couch every day and sleeps on the bed with us every night. She seems to know whenever Jack or I aren’t feeling well and will stay right by our sides.”