Oliver Opines on Easter and other things on Friendly Fill Ins #99

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Hi There,
Oliver here. I’m hosting the fill ins this week and I hope you enjoy them. I invite you to join the blog hop fun at 15andmeowing or McGuffy’s Reader. If you prefer you can leave your fill ins in the comment section of this blog. Happy Easter!@
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Oliver

black and white cat Oliver

 

1. For Easter ( or Passover), I ______________________________.

2. My favorite Easter ( or Passover) treat is_______________________.
3. Lately, the song                   is stuck in my head.

4. The A-Z Blogging Challenge                           .

My answers:

EasterEgghyunt1.  For Easter I hope the humans bring home some of those plastic eggs. Their church has a community Easter Egg hint for all the kids in our community and those shiny, colorful plastic things are so much fun to whack down the stairs. As you can see from the photo, it’s always a bit chilly (and often rainy) in our neck of the woods but the kids love it. Our humans volunteer every year and bring coffee and donuts to the parents and invite them to church. That’s all well and good but what do the Humans do for felines on Easter?

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2. My favorite Easter Treat is Hello Kitty Easter eggs! Now I know that cat’s don’t eat hard boiled eggs (at least I don’t think so) but we sure appreciate any nod to the feline population during Easter.

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3. Lately the song “We Are Siamese If You Please” from Lady and the Tramp is stuck in my head. Every one of the Tribe of Five has some Siamese in them and everyone but me looks Siamese. My brother Alberto looks like one of those cats in the movie and me, not so much. I’m a chubby little black and white feline with a heart over my eye but I still have Siamese heritage!

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4 The A-Z Blogging Challenge is something the Tribe of Five had never heard of so we sent our purrsonal assistant over to the site to sign us up! Look for our daily alphabetical blogs in April.

 

The Great Fireplace Mystery

Hello Folks, Alberto here.

We recently had quite a conundrum at our house. For the last three weeks there has been a loud rattling, vibrating sound coming from our fireplace. It has interrupted the morning, afternoon and early evening naps of The Tribe of Five, which is annoying but it’s has caused great stress in The Male and Female Human’s lives.

The Female Human, having been advised by the fireplace people that this was probably a problem with the fireplace fan, shut off all the gas and the electricity that connects to the fireplace. She breathed a sigh of relief, believing this would resolve the situation. Soon the horrible shaking, vibrating and rattling began again. The fireplace people would not be able to come by for another week and a half so the Female Human sought advice elsewhere in the meantime.

When consulting some friends The Female Human was advised that there may be some air or water in the gas lines, causing the loud noises and vibrating. This concerned the female human so she called the gas company who promptly dispatched a gas expert. The gas guy spent a good amount of time checking everything, gas lines, testing for gas leaks, checking the water heater and whatever else he thought important.

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Oliver’s favorite spot

None of the Tribe of Five was interested in the gas guy’s activities except Oliver. Oliver has an unnatural love of this fireplace as evidenced in his video, “I love you fire”. Oliver was quite concerned that his access to his beloved fireplace might be blocked (it’s still chilly in our neck of the woods).

After several hours, the gas guy admitted defeat, confirmed that the house was not in danger of blowing up due to leaking gas and bade our Humans farewell.

 

TukLilySnuggle
Still the horrific noise continued so the Female Human, always a logical being, decided she’d video the fireplace so she could play the sound for the fireplace guy when he arrived. Every day, like clockwork, the terrible sound shook the house morning and afternoon and early evening. The Tribe of Five was actually getting used to it and our naps were undisturbed, until yesterday.

Yesterday, the fireplace human came to check the fireplace. He spoke with the female human for a few minutes and then she played the video for him.

 

After watching the video he chuckled and said one word, “woodpecker”. Evidently this type of bird has pulled stunts like this at other houses (including his), drumming on the metal fireplace pipes on the roof. The fireplace guy told the Female Human that it’s  mating season and evidently, the louder the noise, the more attractive the woodpecker. The fireplace guy suggested a shotgun and fortunately due to the Female Human’s behavior later, we were relieved that she didn’t have one.

Although the Female Human was comforted that we were not in imminent danger of being blown off the hillside, there was still a part of her that did not fully accept the fireplace guy’s proclamation, even after he took everything apart, checked the fan and pronounced all was in perfect working order.

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What the heck is she doing??!

Sure enough, about two hours after the fireplace guy left, the noise started again. A rather maniacal look came over the Female Human’s face, a look I hoped never to see again.  She opened the slider to the upstairs deck and ran outside yelling, “Get out of here you stupid bird, go find a tree to drill on!” while waving her arms like a demented seagull.  And, as if by magic, the noise stopped not to return the rest of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

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Meowza, she’s at it again!

Fast forward to this morning, when the Tribe of Five, having enjoyed our soft food breakfast was stretched out on our respective sofas, enjoying the sun streaming through the windows and preparing for our early morning nap. Suddenly, the sound started again.  Before you could say “Meowza”, the Female Human raced past us, flung open the glass doors, ran out on the deck, grabbed the snow shovel resting in the corner and began to bang on the lower part of the roof as she yelled “Get out, get out, leave us alone!”. Did I mention that she was wearing her sleeping attire during this little drama?

Methinks this war between the human and the pecking bird is not over. She has been hunched over her computer researching things like “getting rid of woodpeckers” and “keeping woodpeckers away”.  As she is a lover of all of God’s creation she doesn’t want to harm the offending bird, nor does she want to scare away the little birdies and the squirrel that come to the upstairs feeder. She just wants the woodpecker to go far, far away.

WantedWoodpecker

The culprit, northwest woodpecker, also called a flicker

The Tribe of Five refuses to join in the Human’s stress and hysteria. The only things we get our whiskers in a twist about is when our soft food meals are late, when you can see the bottom of our food bowls or when the litter boxes are not as pristine as we would like. This battle with the pecking bird is one the Female Human will have to fight on her own. However, The Tribe of Five is praying that the neighbors don’t call someone to take her away as a result of her erratic actions. I mean, who would give us our evening treats?

That’s it for now, I hope your days and your fireplaces are woodpecker free!
Purrs & Head Bonks,
AlHeadAlberto

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 3/27

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hi Folks,
Alberto here. It’s my favorite time of the week again (well unless it’s the day when our wet food meal includes my favorite tuna with gravy). I’ve wandered through the web to bring you my faves of the week. Enjoy.
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Siamese cat with blue eyes

New Photo Book Shows that Cats are Art Worthy – Feature Shoot

CatPhotoBook

Before you start meowing at me and say, “There are plenty of cat books!” allow me to explain. This isn’t just a book of kitty photos. It’s a book from Humble Arts Foundation that features a curated selection of cat photos in a book called Humble Cats.

In the words of the article from Feature Shoot, “While at times the imagery is pleasingly kitsch, it also goes beyond the meme with more contemplative photographs that ask questions and provide few answers.” Now I’m a pretty savvy feline but I’m not sure what “kitsch” means I think any photo of us fabulous felines can be “contemplative”. Take for felines opine book Anita Aurit siamese cat and black and white catinstance, the new book by The Tribe of Five, Felines Opine about God. I think a number of our photos are quite contemplative. But I am digressing into shameless self promotion now (the book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle edition). End of shameless self-promotion.

There are other wonderful feline photo books out such as PhotoCat by Sacha de Boer.

If you can’t get enough of feline photos,  head on over to Instragram. Start by visiting Cats of Instagram and you’ll see some fabulous furry creatures there.

How Cats Tamed Us – The New Yorker
NewYorkerCatsTamedUs

The human writer of this article certainly knows their felines! They begin the article by saying that “When you own a cat, it often feels as though your pet is your boss.” First allow me to explain that no one owns a cat, we are the epitome of the saying, “Dogs have owners, cats have staff”. There is an excellent quote from the author of The Lion in the Living Room, Abigail Tucker, who says, “You could see our relationship with cats as a series of cat-controlled takeovers.”. In celebration of these and other ideas about how we felines fit into the lives of our humans (or purrhaps make our humans fit into our lives) a video has been created called “How Cats Tamed Us” a new edition to the “Obsession” series that is based on Tucker’s book. I was quite excited to see they got some big name stars for the video like Cole & Marmalade. Lil’ Bub and Grumpy Cat! Meow, I give this movie a 2 paws up!

  Can you get a purr-fect score on this television cats quiz? MeTV

tv cats cat quiz
It’s about time that felines got some recognition for their television roles. Some of these questions will require that you dig deep, deep into your old TV show memory bank (this kitten never even heard of some of these) but it’s pretty cool. The quiz asks questions about the felines in courtroom dramas, sci-fi shows, cartoons and puppet shows. Take the quiz and let us know how you did!

4 Claw-some Cat Craft Books I’m Paws-itive You Need Right Now – BookRiot

cardboard buildable cat habitats
If your humans are crafty, you might want them to take a look at these books. The Female Human is crafty, even has a room she refers to as her “craft room”. This room is

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Me deciding if I should help The Female Human with her crafts or take a snooze on the cat bed on the bench.

usually off limits to me because I like to chew on plastic and paper and generally wreak havoc in her little spot but she does let me join her often. She’s even placed a little cat bed on a bench next to her crafting table so that I can snooze while she works.

I purrused the books and I think my favorite is the one that shows humans how to make cat castles. What feline doesn’t want their own castle, or airplane. tepee, rocket, battle ship..well,  you get the idea. I think this would be an excellent use of The Female Human’s time in her craft room.  If you can’t talk your humans into cardboard structures, they can also make creations with cat hair or even knit their own cat or make cat-like items such as cat bookends and a quick sew stuffed kitty.

 

Two Toddlers and a Cat, Not Such a Good Mix – Babyology

brown tabby with pink fairy wings
I am outraged my friends, just outraged! Take a look at the face of this completely defeated feline and tell me this is right. The human who contributed this photo says he has two toddlers and once a week he finds his cat like this. Fairy wings? Really? Sometimes the indignities we felines have to suffer is beyond the pale. I say felines unite against little humans who want to wrestle you into a costume. And to my pink fairy-winged friend in the photo I say, “Hold you head up man, be a cat of dignity!”

We’re Pawsitively in love with the Cat Pawsitive Program

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Hi Folks,
Alberto here (resting on my cardboard scratching thingy. The Female Human doesn’t get it but what can I say, it’s one of my favorite perches). But I digress. I told you about the Cat Pawsitive Program in my Wednesday web wanderings this week and lo and behold, our friends at Three Chatty Cats had done a feature article on it as well.  There is so much info on this great program, more photos and even updates because they are near shelters that are purrticipating in the program. I urge you to go and visit them and read their excellent article.

Purrs & Head Bonks,
Siamese cat with blue eyes

 

 

Oliver Opines on Family and Spring in Friendly Fill Ins #98

Hi Folks,

black and white cat eating wheat grassOliver here, just chillin’ and enjoying one of my favorite treats, wheat grass, while I purruse the neighborhood. We’re still waiting for spring at our house but the good news is almost half the snow is gone from the front yard!

I hope you enjoy this week’s fill ins and as always, you can go to McGuffy’s Reader and join the blog hop or join it at our friends blog 15andmeowing. Or, if you’re so inclined, you can leave your fill in answers in the comment section of this post. We love to have our friends meow at us!
Purrs & Head Bonks,

black and white cat Oliver

Here are the fill in questions:

1. I am the _________________ in my family.
2. I have __________________ sibling(s).
3. I am looking forward to                            this Spring.

4. The first sign of Spring this year was                      .

Here are my answers:

1.I am the most heat loving cat in my family . Whenever the humans look for me, they first check all the floor heat vents. They call me a “heat hog” as I’ll block a vent until my fur is so warm it’s almost on fire. And, speaking of fire, the fireplace is one of my favorite spots. Here is a photo of me blocking the vent under the kitchen sink.

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2.I have five siblings. Actually only one is a blood relative and that’s Alberto my brother (I know, we don’t look anything alike) but the other three tribe members are adopted siblings and we’re all a happy family.

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3.I am looking forward to butterfly chasing this spring. Our house has big windows and there are always birds and butterflies fluttering around. The Female Human managed to capture one of my fierce butterfly hunts from last summer.

4.The first sign of spring this year was not yet seen. Dude, we still have snow in the yard and not one robin has flown past our windows! Spring will take a bit longer in our neck of the woods. In the meantime, I’m hunkering down and staying cozy.

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2. I have five siblings. Only one is related by blood and that’s my sister Jasmine. The rest are rescue adoptees into the family.
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3. I am looking forward to sitting on the front porch with my humans this spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Purring With Excitement

Hi Folks,
black and white cat in mad hatters top hatOliver here. I’m wearing my fancy dress because we have some exciting news from our Feline Opines newsroom. We have been honored and Alberto is reporting from our newsroom with this exciting news.

We only have one question. If it’s the opining of The Tribe of Five that got us this award, why is the name of our purrsonal assistant on the announcement?
Purrs & Head Bonks,
black and white cat Oliver

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 3/21

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Friends,

It’s good to be back with you. I must say it was quite a hardship to be without our purrsonal assistant for a week. Granted, The Tribe remained safe and comfy at home and we have a pawsome cat sitter but still, there was work to be done and until we felines can figure out how to dictate to our blog and have it type itself we are forced to depend on The Female Human. Sigh.

Her trip was not without success though. In her wanderings, she met a cat who works in an art gallery and I as I am purrticularly fond of “working cat” stories, I will be doing a special report on Blue soon.

I hope you enjoy this week’s offerings,
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Alberto

Siamese cat with blue eyes

‘Cat Pawsitive’ training helps make cats more adoptable – Q13Fox

CatPawsitive

As my readers know, all of the Tribe of Five are rescues so we are very keen on any idea that helps felines get out of the shelter and into fur-ever homes. A shelter in Seattle is implementing Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Pawsitive  program to help their kitties find their own special humans.  The premise is that a mentally stimulated, active cat is a much more happy cat and happy gets get adopted sooner!

The training uses positive, reward based clicker training. When the felines master the “tricks” they are taught, they become more confident and more ready to meet humans who come to visit them. Some over achieving felines have been known to give the human visitors a “high five”.  Be sure and visit the story about this pawsome program and watch the video. 

At this time, the shelters who use this program are selected by the foundation but you can email them (jgp@greatergood.org) to see if your shelter can participate. I give this program a two paws up!

 

Reiki for Cats is “thing” – BravoTV.com

tabby cat getting reiki massage

Okay, first I had to ask the female human, “What the heck is reiki and is it edible?” She wasn’t sure so I sent her to the reiki.org website and this is how they describe it, “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive.”

Evidently “Cat Reiki” is a popular solution for “emotionally imbalanced kitties”. Now I would hesitate to point the paw at any of the Tribe who might be in need of this technique but Jasmine comes to mind. You can read Jasmine’s story (it’s in 3 parts and actually is called “Amelia’s Story”) and then draw your own conclusions if our Jasmine could do with a good dose of reiki.  But I digress.

The lady in this article., Misa Ono is a cat expert and specializes in Reiki for felines. Her company is called Balanced Cats .  

The goal of her company is to improve cat well-being so that “cats and their ownerrs share happy lives together for a long time.” In additional to the Reiki techniques,  there are also treatments for behavioral coaching with a focus on the cat’s environment and Flower Essence to help re-balance the cat’s state of mind.

Reiki helps cats emotionally and also helps with recovery from surgery or illness. Sessions take 5-10 minutes (which is really as long as any feline wants to be still).

This reiki thing sounds kinda’ nice. Have any of you felines out there ever tried it? I’d love to hear your stories.

Do Big Cats Get Hairballs? – National Geographic

African lion licking his paw

The Female Human and the Tribe had a discussion about big cats when she returned from her trip. She went to the Wildlife World- Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park on her trip. Of course, her favorite part of the place was where the big cats were and she said looking at the sleeping felines reminded her of our house. She told me there are many similarities between domestic felines and our wild cousins. She then wondered, if the big guys are so similar, do they have similar issues, like hair balls.

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A photo the Female Human took at the wildlife park. She’s right, it does kinda’ look like our house on a warm day.

Some animal behaviorists say all cat species, wild or domestic, have hairballs. Others say wild cats do not get hairballs (really humans, what is it, yes or no?)

Some believe big cats don’t get hairballs because they eat only meat while domestic cats cough up hair balls because of their diet. I think, since all cats have the same kinds of tongues (with little bristles) the tongues will catch hair and they’ll swallow it. Hair isn’t something you can digest so sure enough, the hair will resurface (if you catch my drift).

I think, for those folks who don’t believe big cats have hairballs, it’s just because it’s a lot harder to see them in the tall African grass. Leave a hairball on the floor or the rug and trust me, the humans can spot it right away!

Dogs and Big Cats Part of Mayan LIfe – LiveScience.com

black and spotted jaguars

I’m an educated cat and I know all about how the Egyptians worshiped cats as gods (seems like you modern humans could take a page from their book) but I never heard that the Mayan people kept cats too. Evidently new archeological findings prove that cats (and dogs too but this is a cat blog so canines only get a mention in passing). played “larger” rolls in early Maya society.

The scientists found that the cats (probably big cats and not the fuzzy domestic variety) were kept in homes from their youth. I think those archaeologists are pretty smart, they discovered evidence that a jaguar or puma had a maize (corn) diet from a young age, suggesting that the cat was eating either maize or animals that ate maize. There is also some ancient Maya art from the time period that shows kings holding jaguars or jaguar kittens.

This just goes to show once again, felines have a long and noble history. Meow!

Japan’s Famous Cats in Hats – The Japan Times

gray tabby in a panda hat

Okay, I’m not sure how I feel about this one but the cats seem to be chill about it.  And, I’m hoping The Humans will read this and stop griping about the cat hair around the house. Ryo Yamazaki has fashioned more than 100 hats out of the hair of their three Scottish Fold felines. Ryo and his wife work as a cat hat team. He takes the photos and uploads them and she does the design and creation of the hats. They’ve even published a book with photos of their “cats in the hats”.  Their cats wear top hats, acorn caps, berets, sushi hats and another designed to look like Princess Leaia’s side buns.

If you want to see more of these delightful creations, you can check out their Instagram account  @rojiman, which currently has more than 89,000 followers. Meowza! If I knew all it took to get so many followers was to don a hat The Tribe of Five would have gotten The Humans busy on this project long ago.