The Human has been taken down by a summer cold and she’s been miserable. I wanted to share a photo with you so you could see for yourself what a mess she is. Needless to say that idea went over like a lead ballon. Too bad, it would have been hilarious but since I noticed crankiness has been a symptom of this cold, I’ll let that idea go.
The Human (aka our Purrsonal Assistant) being out for the count has left us short handed or, to be accurate no handed as she’s the only one with hands. This means I have no news content for you today but fear not, we managed to rustle up something,
Since Oliver had a chance to debut his singing career, Lily has been meowing about wanting her turn. She reminded me that she gets little enough coverage in the blog so we took a vote to see if we should allow her to sing. Oliver wasn’t in favor (he’s a media hog) and we couldn’t tell if The Human voted yes or just sneezed. I took matters into my own paws and decided we’d let Lily sing.
We hope you enjoy it.
Shameless self promotion alert!
Oliver wants to know how you’re celebrating.
Hello There Furiends,
Things are finally cooling off in our neck of the woods and some of the local critters are availing themselves of our little pond and waterfall. The Human enjoyed watching a mamma raccoon take her two kids into the water and under the waterfall but said human was so enamored of the view she forgot to get a photo of the furry family so here’s a photo of the pond sans wildlife.
The woodland critters are back mooching, they like the upstairs deck.
Lily, Oliver and I also enjoy hanging out on the upstairs deck too.
Since we had such a rainy spring and early summer, the plants in the front yard are happy.
Some of our thoughts about the heat and our methods of cooling off.
That ‘s the report from our neck of the woods. Let us know how things are going in yours and enjoy this week’s news stories, there are some fun ones!
My readers know that I’m not much of a “sciency” feline but there are scientific issues regarding cats that I do find interesting and this is one. A A new study from researchers at Azabu University in Japan suggests that house cats’ gut microbiomes and hormones like cortisol, oxytocin and testosterone may explain why some felines get along well with each other and others are more aloof.
Now you humans talk a lot about “gut health” (or at least our Human does) and how important it is and now, it looks like it’s important for cats too.
Researchers split 15 shelter cats into groups, placing five random cats in three 13-by-25-foot rooms for two weeks. Over this time period, they used video cameras to observe the cats’ behavior, and they collected urine and feces to measure hormones and microbial species present.
They found that cats with higher cortisol and testosterone concentrations exhibited fewer social behaviors like grooming, sharing food or sniffing, while those with lower amounts of cortisol and testosterone were more social. Additionally, cats with similar microbiomes had more frequent contact with each other, and cats with higher testosterone levels were more likely to try to escape, per the study. The results were published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Unexpectedly, oxytocin—often called the “love hormone”—was lower in cats exhibiting more social behaviors.
The scientists did state that because the cats were of different or unknown ages and backgrounds, “we do not consider our results to be applicable to all cat groups,” Future research should look into how factors like spending time together as juveniles and changes in environmental conditions affect social behaviors. And though the study showed correlations between hormones and behaviors, causality is unknown. The authors conclude in the study that research conducted over a longer period of time may be required to provide “more comprehensive information.”
In other words, we’re not to take the study as gospel but still, it’s interesting and I do apurreciate the good folks in Japan for all the cat research they do!
Cat is obsessed with the ocean
Bao Zi was shy and timid and would always hide from everyone, until her humans took her to the ocean and then everything changed . You can follow Bao Zi ‘s aquatic adventures on Instagram. And if this story of a cat cooling themselves off in the water appeals to you check out Captain Ahab the sailor, The paddle boarding Bug and his human, Veterinarian Dr. Kenneth Lambrecht (our Human met Bug and Dr. Ken!) and Yoshi the tubing cat and his beloved human boy companion (see all their photos below). There are a lot more water and outdoor loving felines to get to know at Adventure Cats.
Fancy Feast is expanding into feline-inspired human cuisine, with a New York City Italian restaurant designed to celebrate the company’s new line.
Gatto Bianco, (“white cat,”) is described by Fancy Feast as an “Italian-style trattoria,” and will be open for dinner reservations on August 11-12 only.
The human-friendly dishes were inspired by Fancy Feast’s new “Medleys” cat food line, which feature options like “Beef Ragú Recipe With Tomatoes & Pasta in a Savory Sauce” for the cat with discerning taste. Hmm, our Tribe has discerning taste, we’ll make a note for The Human to add that to the Chewy order!
Only a lucky few will have the opportunity to try the Gatto Bianco pop-up, located between Manhattan’s Far West Village and the Meatpacking District. The experience is limited to a total of 16 guests, who will each enjoy a complimentary tasting menu free of charge. The menu was designed by Fancy Feast’s in-house chef, Amanda Hassner, and New York restaurateur Cesare Casella.
The chef said, “Food has the power to connect us to others in meaningful ways and take us to places we have never been, The same is true for our cats. The dishes at Gatto Bianco are prepared in ways that help cat owners understand how their cats experience food — from flavor, to texture, to form — in a way that only Fancy Feast can.”
This isn’t Fancy Feast’s first foray into human dining. In 2021, the company released a cookbook with recipes cat lovers can make to pair with their cat’s food.
For those who can’t get their paws on a reservation, you can get the recipe book here. If your human tries these recipes, meow about it in the comments and let us know what they thought.
Once again our furiends in Japan come through for kitties. A Tokyo clothing maker teamed up with veterinarians to create a wearable fan for pets. The device consists of a battery-operated, 80-gramme (3-ounce) fan that is attached to a mesh outfit and blows air around an animal’s body.
Rei Uzawa, president of maternity clothing maker Sweet Mommy, says she was motivated to create it after seeing her own pet chihuahua exhausted every time it was taken out for a walk in the scorching summer heat.
“There was almost no rainy season this year, so the hot days came early, and in that sense, I think we developed a product that is right for the market,” she said.
After the rainy season ended in late June, Tokyo suffered through a heat wave for nine days. This device would be especially nice for all my feline furiends that are adventure cats or who just like to go for a summer stroll, even when it’s hot.
The device debuted in early July and Sweet Mommy has received around 100 orders for the product, Uzawa said. It comes in five different sizes and is priced at 9,900 yen ($74). I sent our Purrsonal Assistant all over the web to find a link to buy these products but it appears you an buy them in every country but the good old US of A. They do have a US Facebook page that hasn’t been updated since January. Looks like you’ll just have to have furiend in Japan buy one for you.
Woo Hoo for the bike riding, cat loving folks in Portland. They donned their whiskers and cat ears and purrticipated in the fourth annual Cat Ride.
The humans didn’t just dress up like cats, some actually rode with their felines. Those folks walking by the Southeast Ankeny greenway might have been confused by all the meows they heard. The ride was put on by Portland Pedalpalooza. Maybe next year they could help their local shelter by “charging” each biker to bring a bag of cat food as their entry fee.
This week The Tribe decided to share some of the rules that exist in our house and how we feel about them. We did write a book called, “Felines Opine on Etiquette, What Humans Need to Know About Guests, Cat Sitting and Furniture” but it’s become evident lately that the issue of rules needs to be addressed as well.
We assume that your humans have rules for your home. Some of them are meant to keep us safe, like the rule that says “Don’t leave the front door open” but many are oppressive and inhibit a feline’s right to live their best life. We are going to share a few of our rules with you and why those specific rules are made to be broken.
Stay off the dining room table
Full disclosure is needed here. The Human had the house designed so that the dining room (and the dining room table) are across from the glass sliders to the upstairs deck. What is a cat to do but to disobey this stupid rule?
Leave the puzzle alone
This is technically an offshoot of the “stay off the table rule” acknowledging the fact that humans hate it when you swat some of their puzzle pieces on the floor and then hide them throughout the house. Note The Human’s attempt to protect the puzzle. Epic fail!
Stay off the kitchen counters
There are so many variations of the reason why this rule is impossible to follow. If The Human insists on putting the cat grass on the window sill how are we supposed to access it? And once we’re up there, curious creatures that we are, we are known to wander around to monitor the kitchen goings on.
Stay out of the refrigerator
Okay, I do see the reasoning behind this but you can’t blame a cat for trying!
Don’t drink water from the bathroom sink, kitchen sink, flower vase or the shower.
I think the photos speak for themselves here.
And last but not least, the random places our house rules say we should not climb into, on top of etc., yeah, those rules get broken too.
In conclusion my dear furiends I urge you to evaluate any rules in your house and before you blindly obey, make sure the humans have considered your needs as well.
And now on to this week’s feline news.
Spongecake, Donut and Mocha are adventure-loving cats who are also world travelers. Their human, Dan Nguyen started filming their adventures and has now created a TikTok account where you can follow their adventures.
Cats and their humans fall in love with the Stray video game
Oh my whiskers, you can’t go anywhere on the web without reading about the Stray video game.
Aside from the reviews that say the game is fun, there is a way for humans to edit the game so that their own cats are featured. Now I am not a very techy feline and sadly, The Human gave away our Play Station a while back so I can’t provide you a first hand report. I do know that that the game is about a pet cat who has lost their way in a vast, grimy cityscape full of droids and dangerous creatures. The poor feline is trying to find it’s way home.
There have been some fun results from the love of this game. Videos of cats watching the action unfold, clawing at the screen and interacting with the game have amassed thousands of likes and views online.
Then there are the inventive shelter folks who have Shelters and foster organizations who have figured out that that using a Twitch channel and a twitter account to bring awareness to the needs of their felines and to raise funds.
I love when shelters are creative and using this game is very creative. If any of you have humans who have played the game, meow about it and let me know what you think about it.
Cat reaches into every cage at the vet to pet the animals
The feline staff members of this veterinary clinic (all rescue cats) are excellent care givers. This video shows one of the staff cats training the other felines in the art of patient care.
You can follow these amazing working cats on their many social media platforms. Paws up for these dedicated working cats!
Scruffy looking cat turns into blue-eyed beauty
Oh my whiskers, I love a happy ending and this is the happiest. The best part of the video is when Malcolm gets into his human’s arms and purrs for the first time. You can follow Malcolm on TikTok.
While some of us in the good old US of A are suffering through a heat wave there are areas of the world that are experiencing winter. I thought I’d share some cooling photos of felines who are enjoying (or enduring) snow and water.
Despite the notation The Human snuck into our post today The Tribe has decided to continue with the blog post we had originally planned and allow all of you to make a judgment on our veracity and the horrible conditions we had to endure while she was away.
Here are a few pages from our diary and some other thoughts from each of us as we suffered through the harsh conditions created by The Human’s five day dereliction of her duties. Oh, and there are our usual news items as well. Enjoy!
We have heard that many of our furiends are suffering from high temperature and are thankful that things have been very comfortable in our neck of the woods. We’ve heard that temperatures are the highest they’ve ever been in Britain and in order to find some amusement in the sweltering temperatures, many humans are sharing photos of their cats attempting to keep cool.
The RSPCA included some tips to keep cats safe in a heat wave:
- Use a pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet’s skin
- Make sure they have shade
- Give them constant access to fresh water
- Put ice cubes in their water bowl
- Give them damp towels to lie on
It may be nice to be a famous baseball field cat but every cat needs a furever home. Junior, a cat born at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado now has his own humans and home and a new name as well. He is now known as Chip.
Chip was trapped in April when he was estimated to be 9 months old. Animal Rescue of the Rockies found a foster home. There was a concern that Chip might not take to people but that was short lived. When his new owner came to meet Chip he immediately demanded tummy rubs. A few days later, Chip walked into his new carrier and settled in for the trip to his new home.
In an Instagram post celebrating Chip’s adoption, his foster human shared that while he was being fostered, he made friends with the other cats in her care. In the montage, he can be seen cuddling with cats of all ages and helping kittens learn the ropes of being a cat.
Chip is now happy at his new home with his new name and a ginger brofur named Dale.
Chip is the only known surviving child of Socks, the original Coors Field Cat, who lives at the Colorado Rockies’ home stadium, according to KUSA-TV. Socks has her own Twitter account, where “she” celebrates her son’s adoption. The account is actually maintained by Shannon Hurd, a fan of the Rockies who also helps care for Socks. Socks has also been trapped and spayed by Animal Rescue of the Rockies, though she was too feral to tame, and still lives at the stadium.
A colony of feral cats has lived at Coors Field for decades, according to The Denver Post. And the cats don’t just interrupt ballgames in the most adorable way possible, they’re also known for helping keep the pest population down. Like the Rockies, the Coors Field clowder has its own fans.
Photographer Elke Vogelsang, also known as “Wieselblitz,” is known for her photos of canines but now she has decided to venture into the world of felines.
Vogelsang is an admirer of cats as well as dogs and doesn’t understand the whole “cat vs dog” debate. Her new body of work features the expressions of felines.
She does admit that cats are more difficult to photograph than dogs but she still loves the process. She does have some tricks which were featured in an article by Colossal.
She will use a toy to get the cat’s attention and then press the trigger during that fraction of the second the toy is out of sight for the camera but the cat is still trying to catch it. She has many props that she uses to capture her amazing photos of the cats who model for her.
In Vogelsang’s studio shoots which occur in the pet’s home, she builds trust bribes and catnip as a mood lifter. Hmmm, I must tell The Human to employ this tactic when attempting to photograph us. She keeps noise to a minimum and uses small leather strings attached to a stick that produce the sound of flapping bird wings. She says that every cat she photographs teaches her new tricks.
I just love stories about felines reunited with their humans and this one about Rowdy is a great one. Rowdy, a four year old Bengal mix black cat, esaped from her kennel when her family arrived in Boston on a Lufthansa flight. They were reunited on Saturday. Rowdy, who had evaded capture seemed to have decided she was done with the airport life and allowed herself to be caught by the Massachusetts Port Authority.
Rowdy’s human, Patty Sahli arrived in Boston late Friday night to be reunited with the feline. She and her husband are moving back to the U.S. from Germany. According to Sahli, the door to Rowdy’s carrier fell open when baggage handlers went to grab her off the plane. “Her door fell open and she just saw a target of opportunity to get out and she wanted out,” Sahli said.
She wasn’t surprised that Rowdy had been spotted chasing mice as Rowdy has been an intrepid hunter all her life.
Rowdy’s human was not hopeful that Rowdy would be found but finding Rowdy and capturing her had become a community effort.
All kinds of humans, construction workers and airline staff were constantly on the lookout for Rowdy and the airport staff even put up a wildlife cameras in the area of the terminal where Rowdy had escaped. They also used safe traps. On Wednesday morning Rowdy sauntered into one of the safe traps and the rest is history. She was taken to a vet, scanned and had a health check.
Rowdy will be heading to the rest of her family and her two furry feline siblings in Florida on Sunday. Her grateful human thanked everyone who asked what they could do to help and said they should support the Boston ARL and Charles River Alley Cats with donations.
Furiends, you’re going to need a hanky for this story.
One of the saddest things to this feline is when humans shame other humans for having to rehome their kitty. There are many reasons why this might be done, our own Human suffered through this process and wrote about it in an article, When Forever Isn’t Forever. We have a wonderful program at our shelter called Home to Home that deals with this issue exclusively.
The Oregon animal hunger charity, through The Pongo Fund is doing this work as well. The organization shared a tale on its Facebook page of two felines, Penny and Lucy and the two women who loved these felines.
A lady asked the organization to rehome her cats ASAP. The cats were 12 years old and had lived with her for 10 years. The lady had cancer and decided she wanted to travel in the next year or two she had left to see family and friends and this would make it impossible to care for her cats. She didn’t want to let them go but with the clock ticking on her life, she had to make some hard decisions.
She adopted Penny and Lucy from The Pongo Fund a decade ago when Their previous human had world turned upside down. She’d lost her home and her marriage and had no place to live and didn’t know when she’d find one. She loved Penny and Lucy very much and asked The Pongo Fund to help her find a forever home for them. Now, the wonderful woman who adopted those kitty friends ten years ago needed them to return the favor so someone else could give Penny and Lucy a good home.
She asked, if possible, that she could meet the potential adopter of her beloved felines. She wanted to give them all the cat’s toys and to let them know that sometimes Lucy got an upset tummy and how she would put Lucy on her lap, lay her on her back and rub her tummy it while she sang to her.
Her only request was that they stay together, these two sweet older girls who each had their own bed but most often ended up in the same one.
She wanted to make sure the organization and the potential adopter didn’t judge her harshly for what she was doing.
Finding a home for two senior, bonded cats would be hard but they had one card to play.
They called a woman who used to live in the Portland area but moved away several years ago. She used to have two cats but needed to give them up when her life turned upside down. She now lived in a new state and had a great new life. Still, she always followed the Pongo Fund on Facebook and cheered them on. The Pongo Fund thought she’d be a great candidate to adopt Penny and Lucy, because ten years ago, she was the human who needed to let them go.
Over the years she had told the group that if there was ever a cat needing a safe place to go, to please let her know.
Who would have known that she would be asked to take in the cats she had to let go ten years ago! She’d kept up with them and every now and then she’d receive an update on how they were doing. She didn’t want too much information, that was too hard, she said. But just to know they were safe and happy and most of all, that they were loved.
They called her and told her about the two cats who needed a home. During the course of the conversation as they described the cats and their situation to her, she began to cry. She knew they were talking about Penny and Lucy.
A few days later she was in Portland. She met the cat’s former owner and the women hugged over their shared love of the two cats. One of them is back home with the two cats she didn’t think she’d ever see again and the other is traveling to family to spend the time she has left with them.
So my furiends, please don’t judge when someone has to rehome their kitty and, if you are able, please consider giving a kitty a furever home when their humans have to give them up.
We interrupt this weeks blog to tell you we will not have a Walk Through The Web Wednesday feature this week. We allowed our Purrsonal Assistant to depart on an 8-hour drive to a conference. We have made it clear to her that we will be demanding our pound of flesh when she returns.
Until next week, your furriend.
Wednesday came fast as we allowed our Purrsonal Assistant to have Independence Day off. Thankfully she managed to get all her work done and our regular Wednesday feature was on time. Since she was out and about she didn’t manage to get any new photos of us so we told her, since we’re always talking about “our neck of the woods” maybe we should share some pics from our neck of the woods. We hope you enjoy them!
Well, that’s it from our neck of the woods this week. Hope things are going well in your neck of the woods!
We felines have some strange ways of getting our water. My readers know that I like to stick my head under the bathroom sink for a little refreshment as this video attests.
Well, I’m not the only one. This cat, Ellie, is so crazy about water that she likes to actually be watered…like a plant.
You can see her in the Reddit video, sitting by some plants and waiting for her turn to be watered. When she meows at her human, the human asks, “what do you want? Do you want to get watered, showing Ellie the green watering can and asking if this is what she wants. Ellie responds with a loud meow.
Ellie continues meowing until the water is sprinkled over her. This delightful little video has made the internet crazy. I’ll let you decide what you think about watering cats!
This cat cannot start his day without hos own cat-uccino and he gives new meaning to the phrase “pampered cat”. I do have to say though that Vinny the cat is coming late to the party as our very own Oliver made a video about this in 2018 and he insisted that I include it in this news item in case any of his fans missed it (he’s pushy that way). So Cat-uccino, Catpuccino, whatever you call it, just remember that we felines like our comforts!
Cat goes on walks with his dog
While we’re on the subject of what we felines purrfer, let’s talk abut this feline who likes to get his fresh air by walking his dog. Now I don’t know how my feline furiends feel about walking a dog, not to mention their dog, but his feline prefers a walk in the garden sans canine! Oliver doesn’t even like to walk, he’ll let The Human do that while she wheels him around the neighborhood in his stroller. This isn’t much different than this kitty, who has his own denim tote bag to travel in on their walks.
Woman “accidently” steals her neighbor’s cat
This story had me meow out loud! As funny as it it, it’s not so far fetched! The Human had family visiting once and she kept telling the young humans to be careful, close the front door so the cats don’t get out. One day the youngest little human came in the door holding a squirming feline saying, “I’m sorry Aunt Anita, I don’t know how she got out but I brought her back.” The Human forgot to tell the family that the across the street neighbors had a cat that looked exactly like one of us. MOL!! So remember, it can happen!
Because Sitka is an island and there is a limited genetic diversity, an interesting and somewhat rare genetic mutation has made its way into the feline gene pool.
Two years ago, Anna Laffrey was out for a walk on the Sitka Cross Trail, when she stumbled upon something unexpected .
It was a litter of kittens. She knew she’d have to act quickly. It was winter in Sitka, and they wouldn’t last long in the elements. Eventually, with the help of some friends, she was able to capture one of them.
“We used a butterfly net and a pot. Yeah, we picked her up with a jacket and we had a big stock pot and we kind of dropped her in the pot with blankets and took her home,” she said.
What she didn’t know was that kitten was a carrier of a unique genetic mutation.
Alice the cat is now two years old and her paws that resemble oven mitts are quite apparent as the cat bats at a toy on a string. “She’s polydactyl. It looks like she has thumbs. She has huge paws. She can pick up a blueberry with her hand!” Laffrey says.
Cats with polydactylism are born with extra digits. In Alice’s case, that means six toes on each front paw for a total of 20 toes (most cats have 18). But Alice’s paws are not that rare on Sitka. According to visiting veterinarian Nicole Caraway, Sitka’s lack of genetic diversity makes it a perfect breeding ground for the dominant trait.
“If one parent has it, and the other parent doesn’t, then there’s a 50% chance that all the kittens that are born will have polydactyl or extra toes,” Caraway explained. “So because it’s a dominant trait, it is something that that is basically guaranteed to be passed on. The population genetically here is smaller, so you’re going to see more of that mutation.”
Polydactylism is not a product of inbreeding only. There are cats all over the world with these paws. Actually, the condition is most common on the Eastern seaboard where they were historically kept as ship cats. Many sailors believed the cats brought good luck and that their extra claws made them excellent mousers. We don’t know when the first polydactyl cat made it to the shores of Sitka, but as a town full of fisherman, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they landed there.
There is another place that is famous for polydactyl cats, the Hemmingway House in Key West, Florida. Not only do they still have polydactyl kitties roaming the grounds (and well taken care of) the house is referred to as “America’s Unofficial Polydactyl Cat Museum,”
I thought you might enjoy some interesting facts about these big-mittened kitties. Are any of my furiends out there polydactyl? Give us a meow in the comments and tell us about it!
- In most cases, the genetic mutation is harmless
- Polydactyl cats typically have extra thumbs that resemble mittens
- Some believe extra toes gives cats an advantage but veterinarians do not agree
- You will likely find polydactyl cats in the UK and US
- Polydactyl cats were hunted in Europe due to witchcraft superstition
- The world record for polydactyl cats is 28 toes
- In the past, Maine Coons were most likely to have extra toes but nowadays all breeds may have them
- The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum currently houses 40-50 polydactyl cats
- President Theodore Roosevelt’s polydactyl cat attended formal dinners at the White House