I have a special treat for you this week. My buddies Snoops and Kommando, from Adventures in Cheeseland are chatting together. They wanted to tell you the story of their Cat TV, and it’s a fur raising one!
Their blog is like ours, it’s written from the purrspective of animals such as cats, a hedgehog, a mongoose, a sloth and other literary creatures. Instead of having a human editor as we do, their editors are mice!
I hope you enjoy this week’s chat and if you have something you’d like to meow about, send us an email (FelineOpines@gmail.com) and a photo. We (and our blog readers) would love to hear from you.
Happy Wednesday Furiends, I hope you all had a great week filled with all the kibble you want. The D-I-E-T thing is going better for some of us than for others.
In The Human’s defense, she is trying to offer us new forms of entertainment to attempt to take our minds off our growling tummies and she plays with us to make sure we get some exercise. Oliver is having none of it and has taken to whacking his pottery kibble bowl down the hallway at 3:00am.
Lily isn’t bothered, she has never eaten that much and quite likes the fact that the snow is now gone and she can look down into the forest to keep track of our resident deer.
As for me, I have really been enjoying my kitty TV experiences. Sadly, there was an unfortunate incident with the living room TV so my viewing has now been restricted to the small screen.
Of the three of us, Oliver is the most dramatic and fighting the new food regime. Lily and I (and The Human) do not pay attention to his histrionics and we are all hoping he will adjust soon.
It’s time to leave the diet drama behind and see what feline stories were on the web this week.
I reported on this new food from Purina several months ago and it’s a game changer for people who love cats but are allergic to them. Now, Purina Pro Plan has partnered with actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik to kick-off The LiveClear Challenge. This challenge encourages cat owners with cat allergen sensitivities to discover the life-changing power of Pro Plan LiveClear. LiveClear is the first and only cat food that reduces the major allergen in cat hair and dander.
When you sign up for the challenge, Pro Plan will donate $5 to the Petfinder Foundation, (up to $25,000) to fund a cat retention grant program that helps keep cats in happy homes – regardless of allergen sensitivities. These donations will be made throughout the rest of this year.
It’s been reported that 1 in 5 adults are sensitive to cat allergens. While many people think cat hair is the problem, it’s actually what’s on it—a protein called Fel d 1 that cats produce in their saliva. When cats groom, Fel d 1 gets on their hair and skin through the saliva, then into the environment when they shed.
When cats eat Pro Plan LiveClear, the key ingredient – a specific protein sourced from eggs – binds to Fel d 1 and safely neutralizes it in the cats’ mouth. By reducing the active allergen in saliva, it reduces the allergen transferred to the hair and dander when grooming, ultimately reducing the allergen in the environment.
“As a neuroscientist and all-around science ‘nerd’ myself, I appreciate the decade of research that went into developing Pro Plan LiveClear and what it means for cat-lovers like me,” said Bialik. “Several people close to me are sensitive to cat allergens, including my boyfriend, and while I take many steps already to manage allergens in my home, it’s often not enough. I’m taking The LiveClear Challenge with my three cats so that hopefully those I love can feel more comfortable being in my home and getting closer to my cats.”
While not intended to replace other methods for managing allergens, Pro Plan LiveClear can add another measure to help reduce the allergen burden in cat-owning households.
Find out more about Pro Plan LiveClear or sign up for the challenge (and save $8.00 on a bag of food), click here.
It has been understood over the ages that cats (and other animals) can predict the weather. One woman’s cat would always sit with it’s back to the fireplace when a storm was coming. For many centuries sailors, who were known to be superstitious and who were always looking for ways to predict the weather, believed that feline’s sensitivity to weather changes made them valuable crew members.
Cats were also considered to bring good luck to the ships they were on. They were valued members of the crew and treated as such. The crew would get to know their cat’s behavior very well, so that if they started acting out of character, they would take it very seriously indeed. If a cat tried to leap overboard, or repeatedly pawed at its face,-p they knew bad weather was approaching and could therefore take preparatory action. If they were in dock and a nursing cat began to carry her kittens ashore, that was a very bad omen, and some seamen would refuse to sail at all.
Many centuries ago, there was the belief that a cat had magic powers, and could cause a storm by twitching its tail, but later sailors realized that the tail twitching was not causing the bad weather but rather was a sign that it was on the way.
Today, we know is that cats are sensitive to changes in air pressure, so when warm and cool air collide, which is how a storm develops, the moist warm air is forced upwards, while the cooler less dense air is forced down towards the earth’s surface. As a cat senses these pressure changes, it will often try to look for somewhere to hide, a natural survival tactic. It can also be seen repeatedly cleaning its face and ears with its paws, which eases the discomfort it feels due to these changes, and its general apprehension is evident in a constantly twitching tail.
Cats were carried on ships until relatively recently, the tradition ending only in 1975 when they were banned by the Royal Navy for health and safety reasons. I wrote about one of the most famous nautical felines, Unsinkable Sam, in my March 24, Web Wednesday feature. According to the tale, he started out as mascot for the German battleship Bismarck, but after it was sunk in May 1941, he was rescued from the sea by the crew of the British destroyer HMS Cossack. The crew named the black and white cat Oscar from the letter O in the International Code of Signals, which means “man overboard”.
He sailed with HMS Cossack for the next few months until the boat, which was escorting a convoy from Gibraltar to Great Britain, was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in October 1941. The cat was rescued alongside the surviving crew by HMS Ark Royal, and it was then that he was given the nickname Unsinkable Sam. But his time aboard the Ark Royal was short, as it too was torpedoed by a German U-boat the following month. Attempts were made to tow it to Gibraltar, but it was taking on to much water and eventually sank 30 miles from the shore.
Sam was found unharmed and clinging to a plank, and ultimately taken back to land. After surviving the destruction of three ships, the Navy decided to retire him from ocean-going service, and he served in the Governor of Gibraltar’s office for a time, before being taken back to the Belfast Home for Sailors where he saw out the remainder of his days.
What a meowvelous idea the Pennsylvania SPCA came up with in this program! When the good folks at the shelter read about how humans, stuck in their houses, were learning container gardening to pass the time in quarantine. an idea was born.
“Over the course of the last year, pandemic plants have become very popular with individuals wanting to care for living objects while creating tranquil indoor sanctuaries during these uncertain and stressful times,” shelter officials said in a press release. ”The PSPCA is hoping these very same people will open their hearts and homes to cats who are in search of tranquility, hope and a new beginning.”
The matchmaking effort comes in the form of a new initiative: the Houseplant Cat Club.
Specifically, the nonprofit seeks to showcase cats whose social skills leave something to be desired.
To encourage new cat families to “grow together,” the PSPCA is teaming up with Urban Jungle Philly. Under the program, adoption fees will be waived for these shy felines, and each adopter will receive a $25 gift certificate to pick up a houseplant from Urban Jungle. Adoptable cats will be featured on the garden center’s social mediaand on posters in store.
More than a dozen felines are currently designated as potential “houseplant cats,” but the shelter has no shortage of shy kitties, Maddie Bernstein, PSPCA’s manager of lifesaving, told WHYY News.
Shy and timid kitties don’t always get the attention they deserve when potential adopters visit shelters and hopefully this program will give them the attention they deserve and help them find furever homes. Paws up to the PSPCA and the Urban Jungle!
Last Friday night, a bold feline dared to go where few of its comrades have trod before — and made himself famous in the process as he shot across a Major League Baseball field mid-game and captured the hearts of feline lovers across the country.
This cat is one of many who are called “the cats of Coors Field” and who keep the mice at bay. These cats have quite a few fans and have their own paparazzi. This colony has lived here for decades before the filed was ever built. They are shy and don’t like to mingle with the humans who come to watch the games.
The employees at Coors Field are as reticent about their feline residents as the felines are shy. There is one cat who does make frequent appearances and he’s been dubbed the Coors Field Cat (he isn’t the feline who disrupted the Friday game). He is spotted often enough to earn himself his own Twitter account.
Now that the cats have become so famous, a local TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) program is preparing to trap as many of the felines they can to neuter or spay them and then return them to their purrsonal baseball field.
As you all know by now, I am living feline proof that cats can enjoy movies. And there are some enlightened folks at the Mansfield Drive In who understand this too. For the first time since the mid-1990s, the three-screen drive-in complex is letting people bring their furry family members with them.
The drive-in owners said that well-behaved dogs and cats, with well-behaved owners, are welcome at movie screenings. Animals must be kept in cars or on leashes in their owner’s parking spots and owners must clean up after their pets. (Now that’s just too bad, I would love to run up and swat a gigantic bird on the big screen!)
Dogs were allowed at the drive-in in the ’90s but that was discontinued largely because people failed to clean up after their dogs. Hmph, it’s always the barkies that ruin a good thing.
Pet owners will be given a pet treat and a waste bag upon entering the drive-in. Extra waste bags can be found free at the snack bar or delivered to cars with a snack bar delivery order, which can be done through the app Noble Bar.
Now if they restricted their furry clientele to felines only, they wouldn’t have to spend all that money on waste bags since our staff can just bring our litter box along.
Animal admission is free with human admission. The owners are designating a local shelter every week to receive donations and they are hoping people will give a donation
This weekend’s movies are “Godzilla vs. Kong,” “Joker” and “Sonic the Hedgehog” . I think I’d pick the hedgehog one and would also suggest Stuart Little, an American Tail and Ratatouille.
Hello Furiends, I hope you had a great week. This week was better for some of us than others. This week is our veterinary wellness visits. Lily sailed through with flying colors. I have my appointment tomorrow but poor Oliver did not fare so well. He’s gained over a pound in 9 months, and is tipping the scale at 20+ pounds. Needless to say, The Human was beside herself and concerned about health issues so, Oliver is now on a D-I-E-T. This is as painful for all of us as it is for him. No more free feeding (kibble bowls magically disappear in the morning and evening) and a new low-calorie kibble. Really? Why do Lily and I have to suffer?!
Oliver has decided he will keep a diary during these dark days and here is his first entry.
While Oliver suffered, I had some fun this week. After listening to my furiend Rosie’s Cat Chat I told The Human that I too would like to watch some cat videos at bedtime. Well, she set up her kindle thingy and I had a blast. I like the string video but my favorite ones are the ones with the birdies and the red string. Meowza, those were exciting! I give them two paws up. The best part of this is I get a movie and a snuggle!
So my furiends, make sure you tell your humans to get out their tablets so you can do some evening TV watching! And don’t forget, you can share your secrets on our Cat Chat feature, just email us with what you want to meow about (FelineOpines@gmail.com) and send us a photo.
I always love to feature shelters and their human supporters who think of creative ways to help felines and this one is a great idea! The Williamson County Animal Center’s (WCAC) created a Snip ‘n Tip taxi that will offer free rides to free spay/neuter surgeries for outdoor cats from Fairview on April 8 and 15.
Pick-up and delivery is offered and, if people don’t have cages or traps, the shelter can rent them to you.
These clinics stop overpopulation by sterilizing outdoor cats. There are an estimated 50,000 community cats in the county where the shelter is located. Once the cats are spayed or neutered, they are microchipped, receive an FVRCP vaccination, rabies shot and ear tipping as part of the shelter’s ongoing Community Cat program.
Flay has been a cat lover all his life and toyed with the idea of a cat food before Nacho came into his life. Nacho has a Maine Coon sister at home named Stella and they both work hard to make sure Bobby has a stress free home.
Flay’s creative culinary talent and Nacho’s palate make great business partners. If we weren’t on a diet, we would love to try it!
Now here’s a twist, human food inspired by feline food! To celebrate their launch of Petites, Fancy Feast released a companion cookbook for humans. Now I never thought humans would want to eat what we eat but these recopies are inspired by the cat food and not exactly like the cat food.
The best part of this is you can download the cookbook hat has 12 human recipes. Fancy Feast’s in-=house chef, Amanda Hassner and James Beard award winner Jerrelle Guy collaborated to create the Petite Feast Cookbook.
“From Chicken and Ramen with Tomato Honey Butter Sauce to Whitefish and Asparagus with Beurre Blanc, the cookbook features recipes that are elevated but easy enough to whip up on a weeknight,” said Fancy Feast’s in-house chef, Amanda Hassner. “Each dish was inspired by the small-plate restaurant trend. The recipes are for humans but were created in honor of the dishes you will be serving your cat.”
“From Chicken and Ramen with Tomato Honey Butter Sauce to Whitefish and Asparagus with Beurre Blanc, the cookbook features recipes that are elevated but easy enough to whip up on a weeknight,” said Fancy Feast’s in-house chef, Amanda Hassner. “Each dish was inspired by the small-plate restaurant trend. The recipes are for humans but were created in honor of the dishes you will be serving your cat.”
This is another heart warming feline tale from our friends in England. Spritzer is an 11-year old rescue cat who lives on the grounds of Fairfield Hospital and he helped collect over 1,000 easter eggs for the paitents and staff at the hospital.
Spritzer spends her days visiting patients on the mental health ward and is loved by all.
Spritzer has a home and when she went missing five years ago, her human, Heléna Abrahams fit her with a tracker and this is how she found out Spritzer was “working” at the hospital. Spritzer is one of the most popular employees at the hospital and she uses her social media presence to encourage purrticipation in the Easter candy donations.
Every feline should live in a house like this! Tell your humans it’s only $550,000.00 and they can find it on Realtor.com. There’s plenty of space for humans and felines with four bedrooms and three bathrooms and has been recently renovated. It’s unique because it’s a house and a rescue called The Crescent City Cat Club as the current owner created a non-profit, taking in cats for adoption. We’re keeping our paws crossed that the new owners will keep the rescue going.
Hello There Furiends, Oliver here. I am excited to introduce our Cat Chat guest for this week, Rosie from 15andmeowing. Rosie talks about some cool things and we wanted to share links to some of the thing she discusses. The book her mom wrote, called, “I Am Not A Skunk!” looks great (and her mom wrote another book called “Prancie’s Prayer” which our Angel Tucker reviewed.)
Happy Wednesday Furiends, I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Things are great here and we are happy to report that Lily keeps moving out of her grief and becoming more of a member of the tribe. Here is a little sequence that shows you how well she’s doing. We had a cold snap and there’s nothing better than hanging out in front of the fire on those days.
So as you can see, Oliver and I are working to be kinder, gentler brothers. After our fireside meeting, we each went back to our normal routine.
So that’s our week. I’m thrilled to tell you that after my plea to hear from more feline furiends to appear in our Cat Chat, we will be featuring Rosie from 15andmeowing in tomorrow’s Cat Chat. Who wants to chat next week? Just email us at FelineOpines@gmail.com and send a photo and we’ll take care of the rest!
The moral to this story my furiends is, always make sure you know where your cat is when your neighbors sell their home!
Michael Hubank decided he wanted to check out his neighbors home listing on Zoopla. Imagine his surprise when he spotted his cat lounging in one of the bedrooms!
The cat’s secret life attracted many comments such as, “A family member was having a reoccurring dream about a cat in her bed for months… she did not own a cat… then she woke up and her “dream cat” was snoring at the end of the bed… the “dream cat” lived a few doors down, but preferred to sleep in her bed.”
I am happy to report that Hubank’s feline is home…for now.
Now I’m a cat that purrfers a good cat sitter when The Human goes away but I may change my mind if she could find me digs like this. The Cat’s Other Mother hotel offers a spa-like experience for the pampered felines who are booked in there.
The hotel is located on a farm owned by Helen Owen and her husband Chris, who has dreamed of a fancy feline hotel for 20 years.
It took 12 months to turn old stables into the beautiful moggie suites.
Helen looks after the emotional needs of each feline guest and designed every suite to combine luxury and home comforts while also focusing on the cats’ natural behavior requirements.
Every suite is “supersized” with 60 square feet of living space and double glazed cat approved bay windows. Room packages include three meals daily from the pantry menu, lots of human interaction, cuddles and a mini pampering session of grooming, a fresh pot of cat grass and even turn down service with treats and electric flickering candles.
Upgrades are available with special menus like hand-shredded chicken or prawns on scallop shells.
For extra-special treatment, cats can even get a session with the hotel’s own ‘Purry Grandmother’ – Helen’s cat-loving mother who serves kitty’s afternoon tea and snacks (on bone china). There’s plenty of chatter, a beautifully dressed table, handmade toy and a photo session.
The Tribe gives this fine kitty getaway a paws up award!
This story gives an entirely new meaning to the phrase “cat burglar”! A man was arrested after he allegedly broke into a home, pointed a gun at the homeowner’s head and demanded that the man hand over his two felines.
The suspect crept into the home at about 4:00am. The police have since discovered there is a dispute over the ownership of the cats but it was discovered that the cats in this house are not the two in question. Still, the interloper managed to leave the house with one of the cats.
The cat burglar was apprehended and a cat was found in the area but at the time of the report it was “unclear if it was the stolen animal”. Really? How hard would it be to get the owner to identify the cat?? You humans really need to find better methods to deal with your disputes!
This story has as many twists and turns in any great mystery novel.
When 16-year old Wyatt Wetzel’s best friend, his beloved Siamese-mix Sinatra disappeared two years ago he was bereft.
Sinatra’s amazing story began in a hurricane and ended in Indiana.
Hurricane Michael totaled the Panama City rental home of Wyatt’s family. They were stuck in the home for four days until someone came and cut a tunnel through the fallen trees for them to get out. They loaded both cats and dogs and headed to Indiana to stay with family.
The family ended up staying in Madisonville, KY and the pets stayed with a daughter in Evansville. The owner of the Florida property contacted the family and insisted that they come back to Florida and get their belongings out of the house. And, as if this family didn’t have enough troubles, one of the family members had become ill and was hospitalized.
After the family member headed to Florida, Sinatra managed to get out of the house where he was staying. The family put up flyers, posted on social media, checked with the shelter but Sinatra was nowhere to be found.
They called Sinatra’s vet in Florida to get the cat’s microchip number only to be told he hadn’t been chipped because his neuter surgery was complicated and they had forgotten to do the microchipping as promised.
The family refused to give up hope and for two years chased after every lead where a Siamese cat had been found. Many folks contacted them but they could tell by the photos the cats weren’t Sinatra.
Last November, a cat showed up at the house where Sinatra had been staying and looked exactly like a skinny version of the missing feline. Walker got the cat but was so disappointed to see that it was a female; still she sent the family, who had returned to Florida, photos and told them about the feline. She compared them with photos the family had given her and was astounded that the markings were the same as was the face.
The family was in town over Christmas and they went to meet the cat and they felt in their hearts that the cat was Sinatra but a check at the vets confirmed the cat was a female. They went home but couldn’t let the idea go that this was their cat.
They went to their vet to check out Sinatra’s records and found the key to the mystery of the missing cat in the notes the vet had made in Sinatra’s record. “Make sure anyone who checks him out knows he was cryptorchid (had undescended testicles) as he will appear to be female.
The family drove to Indianapolis in March to get Sinatra. When he got back to Florida he greeted his furry siblings with joy. He knew to expect his food on top of the washing machine and still can’t get enough cuddles from his humans. This story is a great example of the need to never give up and to the importance of folks who come along side people who have lost their fur kids and offer help.
How do you come up with creative names for your felines? I’m named after a famous Spanish cyclist. Oliver, who was the runt of the litter and a tiny guy as a baby was named for Oliver Twist because he always was meowing for more food. Lily is named after the neighbor’s little girl who fell in love with her but couldn’t have a cat of her own because of allergies,
Still, there are some times you humans are stumped when it comes to naming a new kitty so these ideas might help.
I’m only going to list a few of my favorites from each category but you can find many more in the article.
Cat Benatar Bob Meowly Notorious C.A.T. Florence and the Meowchine
Hey There Furiends, It’s been boring on the feline side of our neck of the woods this week. Our Purrsonal Assistant has been attending to things other than us, which left us far too much time on our paws. Since we had very little to do, we decided to have some photo fun.
The weather can’t make up it’s mind as to what it wants to be and, there are no sunning opportunities on the upstairs porch in our near future, so we all decided we’d do a photo of where we would like to be right meow.
So there’s your glimpse into what the Tribe would like to be doing. How about you? We also would love to be doing more Cat Chats but we’re still waiting for our furiends to send us a photo and an email about what you want to meow about. We felines have so much to say, come on guys, email us (FelineOpines@gmail.com) so we can feature you on Cat Chat. And if you are a feline who’s not a fan of writing, no worries. Just tell us what you want to meow about it and our Purrsonal Assistant will write it up for you. Attach a photo of your furry face and we’ll do the rest!
And now, it’s time for this week’s web wanderings.
One would think that buying a GPS device for your feline would be a good way to keep your cat safe. Well, not necessarily.
Andel Kindell paid $180.00 for a GPS tracker and attached it to his cat Alex’s collar after a harrowing experience where the cat got out and was gone for two days. Then, one day the cat came home without the device and an injury on his paw.
Kindell logged into the tracker app on his phone and was amazed to see the tracker quickly moving around town. How could that be, the feline was at home!
First he thought someone had taken it and used it for their cat so he followed the signal. He was confused as he could see the device crossing the road but there was nothing in front of him.
It took him a while to solve the mystery. When he took Alex in to have his paw tended to, the vet said the injury looked like it was caused by a bite and the two humans surmised that a rat had bitten the GPS off and perhaps had eaten it with the collar which would explain the weak signal.
Once they’d figured out the “how”, Kindell realized that the GPS path followed local drainage routes. All things considered, he thought it would be easier to buy a replacement GPS than think he’d get the original one back from the rat.
I love to hear about programs that help felines find furever homes and that help humans too! Black Dog Animal Rescue and the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department have partnered to begin “Meow Mates,” a program that will get foster cats out of a potentially stressful shelter environment and allow them to be socialized with jail inmates who have been cleared to care for them. The goal is, after the kitties are socialized and worked with, they will be ready to be adopted.
Sully, a 3-year old Ginger male is the first cat in the purrogram. Sully and the other felines that join him will live in the jail’s housing unit with the inmates, who will be responsible for their care.
Getting these kitties out of stress filled high volume shelters and with “foster inmates” will be a win-win for humans and felines alike.
Many studies have proven that the presence of animals in correctional facilities increases the welfare of the inmates and the attention and socialization the felines receive will increase their welfare too. The inmates are excited to have their feline furiends arrive. The program will not cost the jail anything. The will be provided with everything needed for fostering (included veterinary care) just as individual foster homes are.
Clearly, some of our humans need to up their game! This feline has her own living room with furniture made by her human. The feline digs have a kitty-sized sofa, plants, white rug and wall art.
Needless to say, this kitty is living her best life. I had the Purrsonal Assistant do a bit of research and evidently there are more enlightened humans out there who understand kitties need their own special pace. Furiends, what are your humans doing to accommodate your living space needs?
This story is for all the humans who have a “It’s only a cat” attitude.
The death of Heather Hall’s 16-month old daughter in an accident in 1995 left her depressed and suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. But then she began to foster kittens through her local rescue group and her world changed for the better.
She believes it was the cats that brought her out, literally and figuratively. And it all started with fostering kittens.
Eventually, Hall and a friend Patti Johnson began their own rescue called Operation Healing Whiskers whose mission is to sponsor cats for individuals in need of an emotional support animal.
“We started it because we saw a need in the area ,” Hall said. “There weren’t any (rescues) that specifically want to put their animals in the hands of people that need it — the ones that are hurting, that have suffered some kind of trauma.”
Johnston related an encounter with another rescue that illustrated what Operation Healing Whiskers is all about.
A young boy wanted to hold a fussy cat that the rescue had been having trouble adopting out. As soon as the cat was in the boy’s arms, it calmed immediately. The connection between cat and boy was unmistakable. Hall says that story illustrates what rescue should be about, connections between people and animals.
There are so many who’ve been helped by cats from Healing Whiskers, one boy with a developmental disorder is calmed by his cat while his mother cuts his hair.
The cats are not trained or certified service animals but they are emotional support felines.
The shelter is very careful about which cats go to which homes but often it’s the cat that picks the humans and not the other way around.
The humans at Healing Whiskers believe that they are providing people with love they didn’t know was there by providing them with their kitties, and the kitties are getting love and a home,” You can visit their website or their Facebook page and if you live near them, how about offering to foster or supporting them in some other way? We give Operation Healing Whiskers our Paws Up award!
I reported in a previous Walk through the Web Wednesday about the amazing sailors who rescued some hapless felines on a sinking ship. Did you wonder why there were three cats on that boat? Well felines have a long nautical history in the last several centuries.
Sailors brought cats on board to catch mice and rats, which would eat the crew’s food. Ancient Egyptians carried them on boats to control infestations of mice and rats. Irish and British sailors used to believe that inviting a black cat onboard ensured good luck on a journey and many felines have become famous for their seafaring ways.
Trim was a black and white cat, born in 1799 who traveled on the HMS Investigator while Captain Matthew Flinders mapped Australia’s coastline. During meals, Trim would steal food off sailors’ forks. When Flinders stopped at the island of Mauritius to get the Investigator repaired, French officials accused him of spying and put him under house arrest for six years. Trim stayed by his side until one day in 1804, when he mysteriously disappeared and never returned.
Blackie, a black cat with white paws served during WW II on the HMS Prince of Wales. When British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was about to step off the ship to greet U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Blackie walked up to greet him.
Mr. Chippy was a tabby who lived on the ship Endurance, the ship that explorer Ernest Shackleton sailed to Antarctica on. The cat belonged to the ship’s carpenter; “chippy” is a British slang term for “carpenter.” Chippy liked to climb the rigging in all sorts of weather and once fell overboard. An officer turned the boat around, and the ship’s biologist scooped the cat out of the ocean with a net.
In 1949, Simon was traveling aboard HMS Amethyst when the British ship came under attack on China’s Yangtze River. Seventeen crew members died. Simon and 10 sailors were wounded. The ship was stuck in mud for almost 10 weeks while the two governments negotiated. Simon protected the crews’ shrinking food supply by fighting off aggressive rats. After the ship’s crew made a daring escape late one night, the crew and Simon became heroes. The British animal welfare group People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals presented him with the Dickin Medal, the highest honor awarded for an animal showing bravery in battle. He’s the only cat ever to win the Dickin. Upon his death, Simon was buried with full naval honors.
When the German warship Bismarck sank in World War II, British sailors on the HMS Cossack discovered a black-and-white cat floating on a board in the ocean. They rescued him and named him Oscar. Then their ship was torpedoed. Oscar survived, and British naval officers renamed him “Unsinkable Sam.” They stationed him on the HMS Ark Royal. When it, too, was torpedoed, sailors rescued him off another floating board. The governor of Gibraltar adopted Sam, and then moved him to a British home for sailors.
Oh my whiskers, I think I would rather stay at home than have the adventures these felines had!
Hello Furiends, Happy Wednesday and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Lily has been meowing that she doesn’t get much camera time so we decided to make her our official St. Patrick’s Day feline!
Last week I was meowing about that “budget” thingy that was restricting our cat furniture needs. I’m happy to announce that after some purrrsuasion (and Oliver’s success in scratching around under the sofa cushions for some change) we received two new pieces of cat furniture. We all love them (despite a few challenges)
So you see my furiends, never give up when you need something! Now, let’s check out this week’s feline news!
In Baltimore, there’s a quiet neighborhood that’s quiet because of the Riverside Watch Cats. Who needs to spend a fortune when you can hire purrfectly good security of the feline purrsuasion? And before you scoff, one of these security kitties named Goose, brought attention to someone trying to rob a house in the neighborhood! And Goose doesn’t just fight crime, he’s been known to give a trespassing deer a whacky paw (watch the video to see this)
Speedy is another neighborhood feline on the job. His specialty is car safety and will sit on his human’s car, which, I might add, has never been stolen.
Hercules is another member of the team. Unfortunately, Hercules’ Purrsonal Assistant was not available for comment and Hercules was on the job so he was too busy to be interviewed.
So humans, the next time you consider a neighborhood watch, think feline!
If being spoiled can make you a star, every feline should be famous! These three cats live in the same household and they have their humans trained well. Chase, Skye and Millie are living their best lives.
They get Happy Meals delivered by their humans Kareem Khalil and Fifi Furrha who are eager to provide all that the felines desire.
It stated during the lockdown. After spending so much time with their cats they started making videos and posting them to their Instagram account. Today they have nearly 5 million followers and even had one of their videos featured on Inside Edition.
One of the craziest ones I’ve seen is the ‘spa day’ video. The cats cooperate with their humans ideas with the administration of lots of treats. The next time you hear your humans complaining about being bored, why not suggest a spa day?
Imagine my supurrise when I found out that this event has been going on since 2007! The event features cat photos from around the world, a cat-themed market with 10 vendors and workshops for ages 12 and above.
The event supports local cat shelters and the workshops are all “paws on” so you can take home the things you made. The bad news…the venue is a bit far for us, Singapore. You can visit their website to check out the vendors and items for sale and you can also send a photo of your feline (email@example.com) for consideration for entry in the special World Purrzar Instagram page.
Oh my whiskers, this human deserves an award. Winter has been harsh in the Turkish town of Terkirdag and this wonderful lady made sure that the homeless kitties in her town had shelter. She had a tiny metal ladder made so that the felines could make it up to her window and come in for some warmth and safety.
The ladder is only wide enough for small animals so it keeps out bad humans. In order to make sure the neighbors didn’t complain about the ladder she made it pretty and added potted plants. Not only were her neighbors enthusiastic about her project, so were people around the world that heard her story.
She has always fed strays and now offers them shelter as well. She says, “I wish no animal is hungry or thirsty, just happy,” This world is not just for people.”
Paws up for Sebnem Ilhan, one of the kindest cat lovers we’ve ever met!
I bet you humans think all cats in the wild are huge and imposing but that just isn’t true. There are some fantastic felines all around the world whose size is small and many look like us domesticated cats like the picture of Scottish wildcats above.
There are far too many of these felines for me to feature in my write up, cats like Margays, Andean Mountain Cats, Scottish Wildcats, Pallas Cats and many more. There are wonderful photos and more information about our little wild cousins in the article. Be sure and check them out.
Sometimes a kitty just wants a little privacy in the house. This interior cat door is pretty cool. The PetSafe® Cat Corridor™ Interior Cat Door is durable and easy to install, and gives us our own private access to any room in the house. It’s also great for keeping our litter boxes, food dishes, etc away from view and, if you have a barkie in your house, it will keep them from getting into your food. And, if you have a bully cat or resource blockier in the house that’s heavier than 20 pounds, it will keep them out too!
The Cat Corridor has a cutting template to so you humans can cut just the right size and you can also paint it if your doors are not white.
If you’re not a CHONKY cat (20 pounds or over) have your humans head to the Pet Safe website or Amazon to get one for you.
New York fashion week offers something for everyone, even fashionable felines. The event is called the Kitty CATure Fashion show and is a gala event sponsored by The Internal Cat Association. They did have a few runway barkies as well hosted by the American Kennel Club but, since this is a feline news feature we’ll skip the canine models but as this was the first year in the show’s history that barkies were allowed I thought I should mention it.
This year featured designs by pet fashion designers such as Ada Nieves of Ada Nieves for Pets. The event began with a Bengal named Poet, the feline in residence at the home of the fashion show emcee. Poet surveyed the goings on from a chair next to the stage and spent most of his time napping.
The first feline to strut down the catwalk was Vengeance, a 12-week-old Sphinx in an argyle sweater. To be clear, the cats didn’t strut, it was their humans who carried them down the catwalk. Not every feline was enamored of their new modeling career. Some attached themselves to their humans like kitty Velcro while others just rolled over and made themselves limp. One racy Oriental Shorthair attempted a strip tease as he slid out of his evening ensemble.
There was quite an age range represented,, everything from kitten newbies to older, more seasoned feline models.
Whether your feline enjoys clothing will depend a lot on how early you introduce them to modeling. And then again, some of us just hate clothes and hats no matter how early you try to introduce us to them.
The feline designers say that if your felines object to clothing, you could always try a collar with lots of bling (unless you’re a manly cat like me!)
I’ve reported before about the cats in St. Petersburg Russia and they’re making news again. The Cat Café, Cats Republic, where they reside is encouraging them all to “work from home” since the café is still closed. They’ve created a great way for felines and humans to interact despite the shut down.
The cats do what they normally do, run around, play on a wheel, take a nap and sing the song of their people while humans watch their antics over a live feed. The cats are then “paid” for their performances as the café overhead still is due, even though it’s closed.
All the cats have had their CVs published on the café website that describes their skills and special talents. One cat named Maru can solve math problems (our Human could definitely use his help!) There are many talented cats there, just waiting for a furever home.
The café says that each cat has a veterinary passports and a dowry. Paws up to the humans who figured out a way to earn the money they need for rent, kibble and litter while working to get these Russian felines adopted.
The premiere feline lover’s publication, Catster, wrote an article that will thrill those of you who combine your love of felines with a love of comics. Margaret Atwood, the author of The Handmaid’s Tale, published Angel Catbird, a graphic novel about a superhero that’s part cat and part bird (meowza, that sounds strange to me, wouldn’t that character always be in conflict with itself?). She says it’s inspired partly by her childhood when she would draw “flying cats with wings”.
Since the publication of Angel Catbird, numerous graphic novels have appeared such as Legend: Defend The Groundsabout a pack of dogs and a clowder of competing cats in a futuristic, bleak environment.
Captain Ginger is about felines who travel the universe on a spaceship. Madame Cat is a graphic novel with a different twist where the adopted cat believes she is the human and the humans are the cats. And then there’s A Cat Story that asks the question, what do cats really want? (I have to say I am happy to see more writers giving felines voices).
So there you go, all you comic book lovers have a whole new list of comics to enjoy.
Hello Furiends, Lily here meowing at you on International Women’s Day! This holiday made me think that we female felines are often incorrectly labeled with old and inaccurate stereotypes…”females are more aloof, females are more aggressive…meow, meow, meow…”
I’m here to tell you that we felines (male and female) can’t be categorized so easily. I consulted with our Human on this subject as she is not only our Purrsonal Assistant but she has diplomas in Feline Animal Behavior & Psychology and Understanding Feline Anxiety (as well as Pet Bereavement counseling but that’s a skill for another blog post).
When I asked our Human whether she would consider bringing a male or female feline into our clowder, she said that there were many factors to consider and all were important things to consider as well as gender.
She said there’s this thing called “nature vs nurture” which she explained to me is that a cat’s behavior is a combination of physical things like the personalities of our parents, our breed and yes, even our coat color versus how we are influenced by our environment (how our mothers train us, the humans treat us, etc.)
Human scientists even studied this at Cambridge University and they learned that the “friendliness” of a kitten’s father had an effect on the kitten’s behavior, even if the kitten hadn’t been handled by humans at a young age. They found that kittens with “unfriendly” fathers, regardless of how much they were handled were not as friendly. In other words, genetics are an important part of the makeup of our personalities.
The issue isn’t whether males are friendlier than females because there are many things that contribute to our wonderful feline purrsonalities. Breed makes a difference and you don’t have to be a fancy cat from a breeder to figure this out. Even those of us that are from, errr, multi-breed families from the shelter can find out about our dominant breed and how it affects our behavior.
The Female Human did this for all of us by having our DNA tested by Basepaws. All you have to do is look at me and you can figure out I have quite a varied heritage. My DNA says that the majority of my heritage is from The Western Group (almost 60%), meaning a mix of Russian Blue and Ragdoll with a sprinkle of “broadly western” (little bits of American Shorthair, Turkish Van, Turkish Angora and the rest of the “western” breeds). I also have a little mix of Eastern Breeds (over 15%) such as Thai Siamese, Burman, Peterbald and the catch all “Broadly Eastern” category. Needless to say, figuring out my purrsonality from my heritage is a bit tricky but it still helps to know my dominant heritage. And there’s lots of other great things DNA testing tells us like if I’m genetically pre-disposed to certain medical conditions.
It’s not just our breed heritage that determines how we act and react. As I noted above, our feline mom’s and dad’s personalities make up who we are. The amount of socialization we had when we were little kittens also can influence how we act and interact. Our life experience also determines how we live with other cats, animals and humans.
And the very good news is that you humans can have an effect on us, by giving us time and love you can change a fearful feline into a snuggle buddy with time.
So there you have it. This International Women’s Day let’s have a nice meow shout out to all the female felines out there and let’s stop believing all those old stereotypes people still keep perpetuating!
Resources: The ‘Feline Five’: An exploration of personality in pet cats (Felis catus), Carla A. Litchfield ,Gillian Quinton,Hayley Tindle,Belinda Chiera,K. Heidy Kikillus,Philip Roetman -Published: August 23, 2017
“The Impact of Paternity and Early Social Development on The Development of Cat’s Behavior to People and Novel Objects” –Cambridge University, 1998- Sandra McCune
Hello Furiends! Meowza, what a week! The Human has had so much to do this week that the attention we demand (and deserve) has been lacking. In her defense, she’s been very busy and comes home and crashes. And when The Human has a tough week, we felines have a tough week too, although we try to sympathize with her purrdicament, each in our own way.
My regular readers will remember that our human nephew just signed with the professional soccer team, The Charleston Battery. Today I received my team bandana. I bet that team doesn’t have any fans as handsome as me!
Now it’s time to get to my latest web wanderings of the feline variety.
Heroic Thai navy sailors braved choppy seas to rescue four felines that had been abandoned on a sinking ship that caught fire.
After the human crew was rescued and taken to safety the sailors returned to the capsized boat to check for an oil spill and much to their surprise found four furry crew members huddled toget6her on a bean of the boat.
One of the sailors donned a life vest and swam over to the terrified kitties. Each cat was placed on his shoulder while his crew pulled him and his feline rescues in to his boat.
All four felines are being cared for by their rescuers at their command post on the island of Koh Lipe.
I’ve heard of navy seals but this is the first time I’ve heard of navy felines. Paws up to these pawsome sailors!
A Tarco Aviation flight was forced to return to its origin after a furry stowaway made himself known in the cockpit. The feline, thought to have accessed the cockpit during a cleaning woke up after takeoff, became frightened and attacked the captain, causing the plane to return to Khartoum.
The crew tried to capture the freaked out feline but couldn’t get close to him.
It’s believed the cat was a stray. Unfortunately, there was no mention of what happened to this poor kitty. I would like to think that he was adopted by a cat loving airline employee and that his traveling days are over.
People, people, people how many times do you have to be told to secure your cat in its carrier?
John and Carol Forestieri will be more careful from now on, that’s for sure. They took 10-year old Buddy to the veterinarian for a minor surgery Feb. 8, when the cat escaped from the cage in the back of the car, “The door was slightly open and he just pushed through and — gone,” John Forestieri said.
Both humans ran after the cat but he went into the woods and disappeared. Then a few days ago John heard scratching at the back door. Buddy was home!
“At first I thought I was dreaming ‘cause I had been dreaming about him. I knew it was him without even seeing him, it was the same scratch and he did give a cry,” Forestieri said.
Buddy’s veterinarian said cats have an innate compass-like instinct that helps them determine their location. It is a miracle that Buddy made it home through snow storms and freezing weather.
Everyone celebrated Buddy’s return home, even the veterinarian. He was a bit thinner and has been receiving canned cat food the last few days.
“I still don’t quite believe it ‘cause I didn’t expect it, and I get choked up every time I see him,” John Forestieri said.
Evelyn Shields and Vanessa Roy, co-owners of Austin Cat Sitters, both woke up Monday morning shocked like the rest of Texas when they saw inches of snow on the ground. They also woke up to no power and it was cold and dark.
Shields received many messages from her managers at Austin Cat Sitters that things were going sideways. Visits weren’t happening as most of the cat sitting team couldn’t get out. Many of the cat’s humans were unable to get home so many cat sitting schedules were extended.
Shields and her partner took over all the visits and began circling the city in a four wheel drive Jeep. Her Prius would not start because of the cold.
They visited more than 30 cats from Monday through Wednesday. They visited Pumpkin and Spice in an apartment complex with no power. Luckily, they brought a flashlight to find the felines in the dark. This allowed them to also send photos back to their owner to confirm the purring pair’s well-being.
Ace had more pressing needs. Shields noticed that there was blood in the urine in his litter box. She called Ace’s human and while she was on the phone it was clear Ace needed to see a doctor. The next issue was, were there any emergency vets open? She and her partner got Ace to one of the two emergency vets that were open that night and then took him home with his medication. She kept Ace’s human updated on his condition and he has completely recovered.
One of her feline clients, Villy’s apartment was so cold his water bowl froze over.
As the week progressed the other staff members were able to get out and check on their assigned felines.
The clients of Austin Cat Sitters were grateful and expressed their appreciation. Shields said, “It’s a lot of cat love for us. We are cat people and then just knowing that they’re getting what they need is what really makes us feel the best.”
This Oregon feline is a hero! Sandi Martin was in her living room spending time with her cat Lily. Lily kept walking over to the fireplace and began sniffing around the fireplace valve.
Martin was curious and joined Lily, sniffing at the same spot. She smelled gas. After her husband confirmed rhe gas smell, they called the gas company who arrived within 20 minutes. The gas company confirmed that they had a dangerous gas leak. He went outside, cut off the pipe to the gas, capped it off and shut it down.
Lily’s humans said she may have saved their lives. This wasn’t the only time Lily saved them. Martin said that she found herself in a dark place during the ongoing COVID-19 shut down because she wasn’t able to spend time with her family. She decided she would adopt a cat from Cat Adoption Team and that’s where she found Lily. Lily helped pull Martin out of her funk and helped her deal with the stress of the lockdown.