Walk Through The Web Wednesday 5/12

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
We are happy as we again have our Purrsonal Assistant under control and my Wednesday feature is happening on…..Wednesday!

We are still suffering through the dreaded D-I-E-T. Frankly, I don’t think Oliver has lost an ounce.

‘Excuse me Human. I am in dire need of kibble. Not only can you see the bottom of my bowl, there is not even ONE single piece of kibble there. Please put down your book and assist a dying feline!”
“What are you thinking about Al”
“Chasing birds from the Cat TV show. What are you thinking about Oliver/’
“Kibble, big piles of fresh kibble.”
“If Oliver doesn’t shut up about kibble I’m going to walk over there and give him a big whacky paw!”

Now you may think that the D-I-E-T was the only topic of conversation this week but you would be wrong. We received a nice email from a human named Jayne who told us we’d been featured on the “top 18 list of most underrated cat bloggers” on the Cat Informer blog. You can read about us and the other 17 meowvelous cat blogs here. Thank you Cat Informer!

And now, let’s get to this weeks findings for best feline news on the web.

Tennessee Woman teaches your cat to hike

Laura Partain says the #1 essential in packing for a hike is her cat. After spending four to five months working with the formerly timid feline, she now has a trail blazer. Partain has two cats who hike with her and needless to say, they attract a lot of attention when they are hiking. They also sparked an idea.. She said, “I really want to help people see their cats in a different way and to get out of the mindset of ‘Oh, my cat would never do that.’ She wants people to look at their cat and say, ‘How can I help this cat to have a better life. How can I help enrich this cat’s life and train them?’ They’re actually really fun to train,” said Partain, who grew up training show goats. To that end, Partain created the  Tennessee Cat Adventure Club, and so far she’s trained 14 new adventure cats.

She says it’s best if people train their cats themselves but she does offer training assistance as cat’s require some specialized training techniques. Dogs will learn things because they want to please you. Cats (and goats) are more transactional. (Who knew we fabulous felines had that in common with goats?)  In other words, felines want to know what’s in it for them and what the pay offs (treats) are. This means food is always required for training sessions. Her two most important tips are, have treats handy and make sure you have a harness that fits your cat well.

Recently Partain has partnered with Tennessee State Parks to encourage pet owners to use a leash on the trail. She said leashes allow all animals, including cats, to get out and enjoy the beauty of Tennessee. 

Meowza that hiking thing sounds like it might be fun!

Meet the cats fighting Chicago’s rat problem

If you’re a regular reader of my Wednesday web wanderings you know I love to feature stories about working cats. This story is a bit different than most as it’s not about a brewery, bookstore or bodega “hiring” a feline but about feral cats placed on the Chicago streets to deal with the problem this city, known as “the rattiest city in America” has had for years.

Since 2012, the Tree House Humane Society has placed over 1,000 feral cats onto Chicago streets.

The mere presence of the cats and their pheromones, are enough to keep the rats away.

I was a bit concerned about these felines being “tossed into the streets” but this isn’t the case at all. Cats are spayed or neutered “pre-employment” and “employers” are screened and required to provide food, water, shelter, and wellness to the cats who work for them. In most cases, these cats become beloved members of the family or team and some even have their own Instagram pages! If you live in Chicago and want to hire a feline, you can apply at Tree House’s website.

Couple builds mini-bedroom for their cat, complete with a TV for watching birds on YouTube

I only have one thing to say…..”Human, you need to step up your game!”

Twitter user @CinnamonBear9 shared photos of her meowvelous kitty bedroom with bed, bedspread that matches mom’s and dad’s, pictures on the walls, a rug, a miniature chair, some tiny yarn balls, and a mini scratching post. And the pièce de résistance? A wooden wall frame that holds a tablet (or “big screen TV to a cat) for endless hours of cat video watching on YouTube.

And how has the feline reacted to this pawsome bedroom? He naps in there and watches bird TV. Paws up for these creative humans for going above and beyond for their kitty!

Why cats may have more to teach us about living the good life than Socrates

Socrates is credited with saying “the unexamined life is not worth living.” For centuries, you humans have looked to philosophy as a way to contemplate and answer many of life’s biggest, toughest questions.

British philosopher John Gray opines that cats can often teach us much more about living the good life than philosophy ever could.

In his book, Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of Life, Gray examines the nature of our philosophical pursuits, and finds them wanting.

“In humans, discontent with their nature seems to be natural,” he writes. “With predictably tragic and farcical results, the human animal never ceases striving to be something that it is not.” He says cats make no such effort. Cats exist to serve their most immediate needs and keep themselves safe from danger.

Although this feline would argue that Gray makes us sound a bit shallow, I do have to agree.

Gray points out that cats aren’t philosophical about death. Cats refuse to quietly surrender to death from a predator. They’ll fight to the very, very end to protect themselves or their kittens if they’re female cats. So they have a strong love of life when they’re healthy, and when they’re sickening, they tend to crawl to some quiet, shadowy place where they, in a sense, they aim to die.

Gray says you humans shouldn’t try to be cats but maybe you should overthink a little less. I think that’s good advice!

Mount Washington Observatory welcomes new summit cat, Nimbus

Here’s another great working cat story. This Onway, N.H. cat, named for a type of cloud is taking his place above the clouds in his new home at the Mount Washington Observatory.

Nimbus was chosen from four candidates at the Conway Area Humane Society. His sociable attitude as well as his large repertoire or meows, chatters and purrs won him the job.  

Nimbus’ predecessor, Marty crossed the Rainbow Bridge in late 2020. The observatory employees said it was a long search as the new hire would have big paws to fill.

MWO Summit Operations Manager Rebecca Scholand said. “The summit cat is such a special part of our living environment on the summit, making it feel much more like a home on our weeklong shifts.”

Nimbus, we say “concatulations” on your new home and new career!

Walk Through The Web Wednesday (on Thursday 5/6)

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
If you read my earlier post, you know about the debacle at FelineOpines this week and the shoddy job performance of our Purrsonal Assistant. We did hold a board meeting regarding the potential dismissal of The Human. I called the meeting to order however purrticipation was half-hearted to say the least.

“Hey Oliver, Lily, we need to start the meeting, where are you?”
“Uh yeah, can we get back to you on that as soon as these sun puddles on the stairs are gone?”

Once the sun puddles faded and Oliver and Lily joined me in the office, we had a lively discussion about the repercussions about firing our Purrsonal Assistant. They both reminded me that The Human had duties beyond the blog such as morning wet food, keeping water bowls filled and litter boxes empty, kibble (even though the amount has been greatly decreased due to the dreaded D-I-E-T. ) They also mentioned the evening Cat TV sessions. After ruminating on this information, I made the decision that rather than a dismissal, a good rebuking would be in order. As this is my blog segment and, as a Siamese, my voice was the loudest, I would give the verbal chastisement. The Human was appropriately repentant and began working on my Wednesday feature immediately.

The life of blogging cats is not easy and the three of us were exhausted after this encounter. I believe this short video of Oliver immediately after we adjourned speaks for the three of us (literally speaks, you can hear Oliver snoring!)

So let’s go to the newsworthy feline stuff for this week and paws crossed that the Purrsonal Assistant took our scolding to heart and we’ll be on time next week!

Matilda Wins High Five Honors

This formerly shy, semi-feral feline outshined all the other national contestants in the third annual National  High Five Day contest. The contest was created by Jackson Galaxy, well-known as a cat behavior expert who hosts the Animal Planet show “My Cat From Hell” and Is part of a program from The Jackson Galaxy Project to help shelter cats become more adoptable.  In addition to bragging rights for Matilda and the Whis-purr Rescue Inc, the rescue was awarded a $5,000.00 grant as well as personal cat behavior training from Jackson Galaxy.

The cats have been learning to do “behaviors”—not to be confused with “tricks”—such as ringing bells, spinning around, playing a piano, “nose touches,” and sitting up, in addition to “high-fiving” with an outstretched paw.

Galaxy selected the top 25 high-five finalists for the public to vote on from April 8 to 14. Whis-purr Rescue staff and supporters pushed to get out the vote for their local girl.  Matilda’s clever bell-ringing high-five won 4,997 votes.  .

The initiative aims to save the lives of shelter and rescue cats by increasing their adoption opportunities.  Shelter staff and volunteers are taught how to implement Galaxy’s positive reinforcement training for cats and includes “a signature move—teaching them to high-five.”

This cat says “Paws Up” to Jackson Galaxy’s program and any program that helps shelter kitties find furever homes. Click here too see all the finalists.

Helping Jimmy

Jimmy the cat was found in Nashville, dragging his rear legs and tail. He was in rough shape with spasms, road rash that became infected and a swollen bladder.

Rachael Resk was called to the rescue as she has had much experience rehabbing injured cats.  She began to work with Jimmy, first gently manipulating his legs to see how much he could take. Soon he could stand for a few seconds at a time.

She tried walking him on the treadmill and he was successful, going at 0.5 mph, using a chute to help Jimmy learn to catch himself and continue walking. When he could walk 10 feet, she wanted  more for him.so she took him to Canine Physical Rehab for water therapy.

And Jimmy responded well to the water therapy and now can walk at home, go up the stairs and lift his tail partially.

Though Jimmy is making progress, his road to recovery isn’t done yet. He can walk but sometimes falls. He also doesn’t have full control of his bladder. Resk will also soon be seeing a neurosurgeon to see if Jimmy has nerve impingement. If he does, he may need surgery.

To help with the cost of his ongoing care, Resk started a GoFundMe. She’s been able to raise a little over $6,000 out of her $10,000 goal.

Even if Jimmy isn’t completely healed yet,  Resk is thrilled with his progress.

“It’s not just his limbs and his tail that have come alive. As he began to and seek more freedom here in the house or out with people, out with the other cats he himself came alive,” said Resk. “He’s filled with joy, he’ll purr, he’ll meow, he’ll play. It’s extremely heartwarming.”

Once Jimmy Is recovered fully, the goal is to get him a furever home. Anyone who is interested in adopting Jimmy can email Resk at rachaelresk@yahoo.com.

Woo Hoo Jimmy, you found the purrfect human to help you!

Feline fracas fills air at county office

Sometimes you humans really make me shake my head. A cat was seen at the Trumbull county commissioner’s office and was the cause of informal complaints and now, a union grievance.

The cat, Betty, belongs to Commissioner Niki Frenchko and was brought to work several times. Well, evidently Mrs. (Dawn) Gedeon got her whiskers in a twist about the feline worker and filed a grievance with her union stating that the cat caused a health and safety violation in the office, claiming allergies.

The cat’s human said Betty lightened the mood in the office and that no one had spoken to her to say the cat’s presence was a problem for them.

The humans are still hissing at each other and no solution has been  reached yet. This feline has two questions, is all this time spent filing grievances and arguing a good use of tax payer funds and, is the office dog friendly? If so, there is a good case for species discrimination!

The “If I fits, I sits” instinct: Cats will sit in a box even it’s an illusion

Okay, you humans know we felines love boxes and that they calm us. A  2014, study carried out at the University of Utrecht found that shelter cats provided with boxes to hide in recovered more quickly and adapted to their new environments more easily than their box-less counterparts.

Now, a citizen science project led by Gabriella Smith from Columbia University, New York, has found that this behavior is so ingrained in cats that they are even drawn to sit in square shapes created by optical illusions

The researchers asked cat owners to set up different shapes on their living room floors to see if the cats were compelled to sit in them. Some made squares out of tape on the floor, others set up an optical illusion known as the Kanizsa square – an arrangement of four Pac-Man-like shapes positioned to look as if they are forming the four corners of a square. They then had the owners record their cats’ behaviour over six days.

The trial is limited by the small sample they used but the findings leave no doubt that we felines can be susceptible to optical illusions.

But humans, if you’re not into optical illusions, just get us a box and we will use it as our calm space.

This Cat Makes a Living as a Very Successful Car Model

Yes, you read that right, car modeling, not cat modeling, And car modeling is extremely competitive. You have to be young and beautiful, intriguing to watch with a winning personality, and female, or course,

Mao Mao has all these traits and then some. This 2-year old British Shorthair from China is proof that felines with the right talents and determination can make a good living.

Now it helps if you have a good human agent. Mao Mao’s human, Zheng, although never thinking his cat could make a living as a car model still felt it was worth a try and set her on a car at a car show  

Mao Mao drew a crowd and the social media she garnered for the car manufacturer was what resulted in her official entry into car modeling.

And how much does car modeling pay a feline? She works three to four jobs a month (Zheng doesn’t want to tire her) and she makes up to $1,550 (10,000 yuan) for an appearance. Now I’m no math whiz but even with only three gigs a month, she’s bringing in $4650.00 per month. Meowza, that’s a whole lot of kibble and cat toys! She does have a designer for her modeling costumes so there is that overhead to consider.

Now Hiring New Purrsonal Assistant

Hello Dear Furiends,
I am sitting here in utter disbelief. Our Purrsonal Assistant informed us this morning that she forgot yesterday was Wednesday, hence no Walk Through The Web Wednesday feature. To say we have our whiskers in a twist would be an understatement!

While she furiously prepares to get my Wednesday feature published today, Thursday, Oliver, Lily and I are holding a board meeting to decide if she needs to be replaced.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 4/28

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello There Furiends!
I hope things are nice and springy in your neck of the woods. It is lovely and spring is definitely springing in our neck of the woods but The Human is having some issues with this. She has watery eyes and a runny nose every day and calls this strange condition “allergies”. With humans being so fearful about everything these days she said she feels like wearing a sign around her neck that says “It’s only seasonal allergies” when she goes out. She says these allergy thingys are because of these notices she gets almost every day.

I must say that this feline is a bit flummoxed as to how a text alert can make a human’s eyes water and nose run!

Oliver and I are still suffering through the dreaded D-I-E-T. The Human is not only reducing our kibble to near starvation levels, she’s also trying to make us exercise. Oh the pain and humiliation! I believe The Human is secretly feeding skinny Lily but so far I’ve not been able to catch her in the act.

As for Oliver and I, we purrfer to be couch (or bed) potatoes) and now Oliver has joined me in our evening “cat TV” watching sessions.

Now that Oliver has horned in to my TV time, I find I have to burrow under the bed covers just to get some alone time.

“Yes Human, what was so important that you had to interrupt my nap?”

The Human gushed this week when she came home and saw this sight.

“No it wasn’t a cuddle. I just came over here to rest my eyes. I didn’t realize Lily was on the sofa too.”

Well, enough about us, let’s get to this week’s web news.

Feline CKD sees new treatment possibility

As many of you know, our Angel Jasmine suffered from kidney disease in her last few years of life. We have many furiends who have this disease as well and the news that there may be a promising treatment for this makes me want to jump up and yell “WHOOPEE!”

The article I found said that  a novel cell-derived molecular therapy might offer a promising approach to treating chronic kidney disease (CKD) in cats.

Piedmont Animal Health and The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) is currently evaluating the intrarenal injection of a recombinant human chemokine (CXCL-12) to treat feline kidney fibrosis. (Phew, that was a “sciency” mouthful!)

Preclinical studies have so far indicated that the therapy has the ability to restore normal kidney structure in cats with clinically induced fibrosis. These studies have also provided evidence as to how the treatment acts to address changes in the kidney that can be associated with CKD damage.

And, a subsequent clinical pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of administering CXCL-12 with no obvious side effects over a nine-month study period.

CKD is a progressive and debilitating condition common in older cats. There are currently no available treatments for the reversal of its effects. The Human gave Jasmine sub-Q fluids every other day and Scruffy Paws Kidney Vitalize chews as well as a kidney diet. These things helped keep her kidney numbers safe but did not cure the disease.

Imagine how happy the human was to read,  “These preclinical and clinical study findings suggest our first collaboration could make a big difference in the lives of cat owners and their beloved pets,” says Piedmont’s chief scientific officer, Doug Hepler, PhD. “Anyone who has had a cat with chronic kidney disease knows how heartbreaking it is to watch their decline and be able to do very little about it. Our goal is to change that story to a much more positive one.”

What wonderful news this is and we are purraying that this new therapy would work to treat early kidney disease for all our furiends! For those of you who are interested in the study, you can read it here.

Pedigree cats seized in raid find new home

Two of the confiscated kitties

Oh my whiskers, I’ve heard of raids on human’s homes but normally the police find contraband….not cats!

The Thai police made a drug raid on a home and in addition to drugs they found… felines. They decided to auction the six cats (five Scottish Folds and one Bengal) and thankfully the auction winner was Nutch Prasopsin, who runs a Facebook page followed by 3 million cat lovers. Those cat lovers helped her raise the 100,000 bahts ($3186.00) winning bid for the kitties.

“I was very excited. I had very much hoped that the cats would end up in my care. I’ve been following their status since the very first day,” she told reporters.

The auction was held after a 30-day window expired for the owner, who remains at large, to come forward and claim the cats and prove they were not purchased with drug money. The confiscated cats will share their new home with Nutch’s 20 other cats.

The regional narcotics control board said the cats had suffered an ordeal and it was important they be auctioned off as a group.

“They were living together so they would be familiar with each other,” she said. “If we separate them, this may cause them stress or have psychological effects.”

The money generated at the auction will be held by police as a seized asset. I sure hope they take that asset and donate it to help kitties in Thailand!

The Kitty Convict Project

The Female Human and her sister have run a local lost and found pet page in our community for a number of years and when it comes to cats, if I’ve heard them say it once, I’ve heard them say it 100 times, “Think Lost, Not Stray!”

The innovative idea of the orange collar is to identify an indoor cat who is found outside as an “escapee”.  The Kitty Convict folks say, “it brands your indoor cat as a convict… it signals to the people of the world that your cat belongs inside.”

The Kitty Convict Project says in the US more than 7 million pets go missing every year. Of those, 26 percent of missing dogs and less than 5 percent of lost cats are reported and returned home.

The good folks at Dr. Elsey’s (makers of one of the the world’s best solution for felines with “litter box issues”, Cat Attract, are promoting the Kitty Convict orange collar program. They want to see your indoor cat posing in his or her orange collar! Share it on Instagram using #orangeinside™ for a chance to win a one-year supply of Dr. Elsey’s Ultra cat litter.

Where do you get such a collar? This is the one that Kitty Convicts recommends.  We have instructed The Human to order us 3 collars post-haste and will be modeling them for you in the future. But you don’t have to be fancy. Any reflective orange collar will identify you as a “Kitty Convict Project” kitty and get you home sooner!

How to tell if the cat you’ve found is a stray or someone’s pet

While we’re on the topic of lost cats, the Berkshire Humane Society published an excellent article about how to tell strays kitties from lost kitties.

We don’t want to shame all you well meaning folks who pick up cats you see outside and shuffle them to the shelter but we do want to remind you that many of these felines have homes. Now, if they were all Convict Kitty Project purrticipants with orange collars, it would be so much easier!

If you see a cat that  you might think is a stray without an orange collar, here are some signs that the cat is just visiting and has a home to return to:

 The cat confidently roams around in the middle of the day

The cat appears clean and healthy

The cat does not search for food

If these apply, the cat likely belongs to someone. However, you should always try to confirm this. You can post flyers or take a photo and post to your local social media lost pet finder organization. Another thing to do is to make a paper collar (about ¾” wide) and close it with tape. Write a message on the collar like,  “Am I yours? Please call (your name & phone number).” This will show the owner that someone is concerned.

Many local veterinarians and animal shelters will scan cats for a microchip, free of charge. If the cat is microchipped with current registration, an owner can be contacted immediately.

If the cat is hiding, scared, looks dirty or disheveled, is hungry or appears in any way to be injured or distressed, do not wait to get help.

If your cat doesn’t come home, don’t wait. Begin looking for them immediately. Post flyers, post photos and information on social media, search on foot and call local veterinary hospitals, animal control officers and rescue groups.

San Marcos, TX couple makes board game with internet cats

CATastrophe: A Game of 9 Lives will be available for preorder via the crowdfunding website Kickstarter on May 4th, 2021.

CATastrophe is a 2-6 player family board game as unpredictable as cats themselves. It features iconic cats from around the world such as Cole and Marmalade, Molly Happiness, Hosico and many more. Backers of the Kickstarter program have a chance to get their own felines featured in the game. There is also a tribute to Lil Bub, who passed away in 2019.

The game’s goal is to be top cat and has enough strategy and luck to make it fun. Each player starts with nine lives. The last cat standing is the winner.

The CATastrophe team includes cat illustrator Jenny Parks (Star Trek Cats book, Marvel National Cat Day Covers) and board game illustrator Jacqui Davis (Ex Libris, Euphoria).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m sending The Human over to the Kickstater site to see what it will take to get us featured in the game!

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 4/21

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
This week, rather than catching you up on what’s going on in our neck of the woods, I thought I’d take a short stroll down memory lane.

As we noted previously our lackey….err Purrsonal Assistant (also known as The Human) worked very hard the last couple of years to receive diplomas in Feline Behavior & Psychology and Understanding Feline Anxiety. She also received a diploma in Pet Bereavement Counseling but that is another subject. She did write a book, or rather we wrote a book, to help humans (and other cats) whose feline furiends have crossed The Rainbow Bridge, It’s called, Are There Head Bonks in Heaven?

But I digress, let’s get back to the subject at hand. The Human was contacted by Porch.com, a company that helps humans with their moving needs, and was asked to share some tips for moving with felines. The tips are published in the article, Moving With Pets? We Have the Experts’ Advice to Do It Properly. I have noted her part of the article below.

What can we do to reduce our cats’ stress and fear when air traveling to relocate to another city or country?

The first (and most important) step in planning any travel for your cat is dealing with its response to the carrier.

If the only time your cat is in the carrier is to go to the vet, chances are he will be stressed when the carrier comes out.  This response requires desensitization, the act of gradually exposing the cat to the thing that causes him stress so that an unwanted behavior (fear) is replaced with a positive behavior (acceptance without fear).

Desensitization would consist of placing the open carrier where your cat likes to hang out. Take the door off and put soft bedding and toys inside it. You can then work on counter conditioning by offering treats and playtime so that the cat is conditioned to expect positive things rather than negative things when he is around or in the carrier. Pheromone products (like Feliway) act as a calming agent so spraying the bedding and carrier also helps. The key to desensitize or counter condition your cat is to take it slow and easy. Never rush this process, and that means you need to start the process long before the day of travel.

Once the cat has acclimated to the carrier, put the door back on and then take your cat on some short trips and reward him with his favorite treats. Clean the carrier between uses and return it to the spot in the house where it was before.

If you have success in getting your cat to accept the carrier, the hardest part of the battle is won regardless of the mode of travel.

I only recommend air travel if the cat is in the cabin with you. Airline rules vary so you will need to check beforehand.  Cats are highly anxious when they are in an unfamiliar place or situation without their human. Being in the cabin with you will help reduce his anxiety.

Car travel is much easier to set up but it has its dangers too. Don’t take your cat out of the carrier while you are driving. The cat is not acclimated to the car but has been (hopefully) acclimated to the carrier, which will be his safe space. A freaked-out cat zooming around the interior of your car isn’t good for the cat, you or the other people on the road! If you take the cat out of the carrier when you are stopped make sure the cat has a harness and leash. Too many cats have been lost when they run out of the car as soon as the door is open.

You may enjoy traveling with your cat so much you might want to do it again. Check out “Adventure Cats” on Instagram and see how many people enjoy excursions with their feline friends.

-Anita Aurit from Feline Opines

Now The Human knows quite a bit about moving with felines as she traveled 1300 miles from her old home to her new home here in the Inland Northwest. She traveled with Angels Buster, Mis P., Tucker and Jasmine (this was waaaaay before Oliver and I and Lily were on the scene).

I scratched around and got some photos of our Angels discovering snow for the first time.

Buster (black cat) and Miss P. exploring the cold, wet stuff.
Jasmine (in front with pink collar) and Miss P. & Buster
Tucker was never a fan of the cold, he purrfered the upstairs deck in the summer

It was a long trip but everyone adjusted well and loved their new home. Oliver, Lily and I are proud of The Human sharing her feline knowledge (and she’s doing a lot more of it these days at KittyCounselor.com ).

Let’s get to this week’s web wanderings and, if any of my furiends will be moving, don’t forget to check out the tips from all the experts in the Porch.com article.

What’s the inspiration behind Japanese shopping site’s ‘infinite cat-making machine’?

Our furiends in Japan love cats and I’ve covered many great cat loving innovations from condos designed for feline comfort to feline fashion and  “World Cats Travelogue,” a TV show on Japan’s public broadcaster NHK.  

According to the manufacturer, H Concept Corp., the “cat cup” as it is officially called, went on sale in July 2019. It became a hot topic on social media, and has been a popular product at their stores ever since. It was designed by Yuka Morii, a three-dimensional sculptor and goods collector who also specializes in clay creations. She commented on the site, “The power of cats is great. Just by being there, they create an air of serenity. I like the way they lay on the street, and I created it (the cat cup) with my inner passion for ‘the visual cat ideal,’ cherishing the image of a cat that suddenly comes into view, but is a little bit distant.”

So this summer, take your “infinite cat making machine” and add some feline flourish to your local beach.

You can order the “Cat Cup” from the manufacturer’s online store (they ship world-wide)

Top Reasons for Using CBD Oil For Cats


As if The Human doesn’t have enough on her plate, she is working on a diploma in
CBD for Animals. She is always looking for natural solutions for us and she was very curious about CBD for cats (we have very sensitive systems and you humans have to be cautious about what you give us, natural or not).

She said this article does a good job of giving an overview of CBD for felines.

CBD oil is extracted from cannabis plants (the extraction method is important as far as the quality is concerned) the best extraction method is the same used with quality essential oils. The region and country where the plant was grown is also important. When using CBD oil for your feline, quality of the oil and low THC is critical. Also, not all CBD oils that are made for humans are safe for cats.

Once you’ve talked to your vet and found a quality, feline approved CBD oil, it can be used for pain relief, sleep disorders, reduction of anxiety, treatment of seizures and general well-being.

Again, just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s good for your feline so talk to your vet first as CBD oil can be tricky. There is some more information on this topic at PetMD and Boulder Holistic Vet.

Has The Human given us CBD oil yet? Nope. She says she needs to complete her diploma and then talk to our vet. I for one, am glad she’s cautious!

Why were the ancient Egyptians obsessed with cats?

Every cat learns from kittenhood that we were once worshipped by the Egyptians but I’ve always wondered why. We had our research assistant dig out some facts that were pretty interesting.

A Greek historian named Herodotus asked the question, “Why do the Egyptians shave their eyebrows as a mark of respect when mourning the loss of a family cat? Well Herodotus, it’s because they loved their kitties!

The Egyptians believed that many of their gods had cat-like qualities. They revered the duality of the cats’ temperaments, being protective, loyal and nurturing and yet ready to fight, independent and fierce.

These qualities made the Egyptians believe that cats were special creatures, worthy of special attention. They had a goddess named Sekhmet who had the head of a lion and the body of a woman and also the goddess Bastet who was often represented as a lion or cat.

Cats were also loved for their ability to hunt mice and snakes. Egyptians loved cats so much they would give their children names or nicknames of felines including the name “Mitt” (which means cat) for girls.

According to archaeologists cat and kitten burials have been found dating as far back as 3800 B.C.

 I don’t know about the rest of my feline furiends but this feline would sure love to see humans show us that kind of reverence today!

Floating Cat Shelves Are a Stylish Way To Entertain Your Feline Friends

I’m including this news piece to placate The Human. We felines could care less what our cat condos and shelves look like but some of you humans are a bit obsessed about décor!

Husband and wife team Igor and Maryna of CatsMode have designed stylish cat furniture that the most finicky décor obsessed human will like.

Each modular compartment of their cat shelves features cut-out sections (some shaped like feline faces) that kitties can jump and clamber through. When your cats have tired themselves out, the shelves also make a great place to take a nap.

You can custom order your hexagon shelves to have a felt lining, and for those with particularly kingly cats or queenly kittens, there’s even an option to include a pillow. In addition, you can choose to order between one and four hexagons. Within each set, you can also determine how many of them have an acrylic window. This adds an extra sense of security for your cat, and it also lets you still see each other. If you opt for a window, you can even order it to include a printed design.

CatsMode also makes wall-mounted cat steps. You can either choose between a decagon or one shaped like a cat’s head. But regardless of what you choose, each piece is lovingly handcrafted by Igor and Maryna in their home workshop.

As beautiful as these creations are, I am wondering if they will hold a 19-pound and 20-pound feline!

The artist Ai Weiwei is inspired by the resilience and self-contentment of his beloved cats

The artist Ai Weiwei says, “My cats think they are so important. They always want to sleep in the center of my bed or get on my shoulder, and I really have to negotiate with them. But they bring me so much joy.”

He always seems to be rescuing a cat, he found Shadow abandoned in some trash. His brought his cat Half to Portugal from his studio in Berlin. Yellow is a local street cat he took in who follows him whenever he takes a walk.   

When Weiwei grew up in Shihezi, China, in the 1960s, families didn’t have pets because, as he says, “ Communism is against private property, and any kind of compassion back then was deemed questionable. Animals were only valued as tools for productivity, as was the case with donkeys and horses, or for their meat. My mom’s generation also tends to think that animals are dirty. Communism is very concerned with cleanliness — you have to be spiritually clean, physically clean — and so even a little bit of animal hair somewhere is unacceptable. “

Still, when he built his own studio in Beijing in 2000, the first thing he wanted to add was a cat. That was his first cat and they lived together for 20 years.

He said that he ended up with more than 30 cats in his Beijing compound and all were rescues.

His life was hard in Beijing, he was under constant surveilince by the government and he finally left in 2015. His studio is still there and his assistants report on the well being of the cats and send him photos. They will tell him if one dies and how they buried it.

Weiwei says he’s learned much from his cats and they have added so much to his life. Our Human says the same thing!

Snoops and Kommando Chat!

Hello Furiends!

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.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 4/14

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

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.

“Alberto, I am so weak I can hardly get up.” “Ollie, it’s not that bad, just stop eating your daily ration of kibble in one sitting!”

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.

“Hey Human, the deer is back!”

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.

“Somebody help me, I’m too weak to sit up.”

It’s time to leave the diet drama behind and see what feline stories were on the web this week.

Sensitive to Cat Allergens? Take The LiveClear Challenge with Purina Pro Plan and Mayim Bialik

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.

The pussycat went to sea: How cats were used to predict the weather

Unsinkable Sam

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.

He died in 1955 and his portrait can be seen in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England.

Houseplant Cat Club: PSPCA helps shy cats flourish with time, patience, and plenty of sun

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 media and 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.

Paws Up award by FelineOpines.net for humans who do amazing things for cats

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!

Take meow-t to the ball game: The scoop on the cats of Coors Field

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.

A Connecticut drive in is inviting felines (and canines) to take in a movie with their humans

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.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 4/7

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

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!

Ah, the sounds of nature!
It’s really hard to catch that red string

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.

Animal center’s Snip ‘n Tip taxi to give free rides to Fairview cats

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. 

Paws up for the Williamson County Animal Center!

Bobby Flay and His Cat Nacho Create a Cat Food Brand with Your Feline In Mind

When a famous chef creates food for cats, that’s great but when a famous chef’s cat creates food for cats, that’s fantastic!

Bobby Flay and his Maine Coon cat Nacho have collaborated to create their new food line, Made by Nacho.

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!

Fancy Feast Releases Petites Feast Cookbook- A Recipe Guide for Humans Inspired by Their New Single Serve Entrees for Cats

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.”

Download the cookbook and let us know what you think of the recipes. Meowza, they sound delicious to me!

Spritzer the cat’s Easter egg treats for Fairfield Hospital

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.

Attention, Cat Lovers: Crescent City Cat Club in New Orleans Hits the Market for $550,000

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.

Rosie Chats!

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.)

Rosie is also a member of The Tabby Cat Club. Rosie mentioned some of her favorite feline YouTube videos and we found links for two of them, White String Video, and The Red String video.

Okay folks, put your paws together and give our furiend Rosie a big welcome!