Walk Through The Web Wednesday

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello There Furiends,
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It’s time to wander through the web and see what feline news I can sniff out. Things in our neck of the woods have been pretty good. Tucker has been a lot perkier lately. I’m not sure if that’s because of the meds the old guy takes or if it’s the lower temperatures but either way, we’re happy the old guy is happy. By the way, this is a photo of Tucker looking perky, he’s never been one to overexert himself.

 

 

 

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My brother and Oliver and I are now doing the occasional snuggle but we won’t be spooning for real until the temperatures drop a lot more. Oliver likes to groom my head which I find a bit annoying but hey, he’s my brother so I humor him.

But I digress, let’s get started and see what newsworthy feline items I discovered this week.

 

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LavvieBot S Is Evidently The Cat’s Meow

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Okay, first of all what the heck? Who makes a litter box that looks like a washing machine? Every time any of the Tribe tries to climb into the washing machine we get yelled at.

Evidently this self cleaning litter box quietly cleans the box and the humans can even program it as to when to clean. The waste is put into a bag lined drawer that only has to be cleaned every two weeks. (Right, not with THIS Tribe!)

Other features include the humans being able to track litter box usage by cat (they track this by weight).  This is actually a “thing” at our house because our older Alpha has some, err, constipation issues. One would think he’d won a Nobel Prize the way The Female Human dances around and celebrates when his litter box visit has been successful.

Another feature LavviBotS offers is that the humans can receive a text when the cat uses the box. I discussed this with The Female Human and she said, “With five cats I’d be getting texts all day, no  thank you!”. Ah well, there’s just no pleasing some people. The LavvieBotS also can add fresh litter automatically from a storage bin.

While this all sounds intriguing the cost made our human meow….$899.00 to be exact. And if you follow the rule that there should be one box per cat, The Female Human would either have to get a second full time job or find a rich husband (and finding guys out there who are interested in taking on five felines with regular litter boxes is hard enough!)  Still, this new product sounds intriguing for the well-heeled feline.

Land of the Rising Cat appeals to those who can’t get enough of Japan’s obsession with cats

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The author of the book, Land of the Rising Cat, Manami Okazaki says that there is no population on earth more fascinated with cats than the Japanese. (I think our moggie loving friends across the pond might argue with this).  In her book she covers religion, destinations, artisans, pop culture, art and design, all dating back thousands of years, Okazaki investigates weird and wonderful stories of shrines, temples and festivals, and interviews toymakers, fashion designers and even an architect to uncover the country’s love affair with cats. The book will be released in September.

 

Royal Canin Encourages Veterinary Visits for Cats

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This is me at the place of white coats, not my favorite place!

The good folks at Royal Canin are promoting Take Your Cat to the Vet Day and The Tribe of Five is completely behind this holiday. Our own Jasmine blogged about how important this is (that’s her in the photo).

According to a survey from Royal Canin, more than one in five (21%) cat owners said they take their cat to the vet only after it’s already showing signs of illness. Thank goodness The Female Human takes us for wellness visits.

More than 36 million households own a cat in the United States, and only half of all cats regularly receive veterinary care. Compared to dogs, where nearly 80% receive annual care, there is a major gap.

Most vet offices aren’t set up to provide a good experience for cats or their owners, which makes taking cats to the vet a very stressful experience. We are very lucky as our vet, Pend Oreille Veterinary Service built a new facility completely focused on fearless vet visits. My brother Oliver and I did a tour and blogged about this amazing place.  This was an excellent move on their part for many reasons, especially when you understand that almost half (47%) of people who own only cats said they would be more willing to take their cat to the vet’s office were it a less stressful process. Our human says a big, YES! to that. I hope all my feline furiends out there have a place to go that is as relaxing and positive as ours.

REDDIT PUBLIC ACCESS NETWORK SOFT LAUNCHES, LET’S USERS STREAM THEIR CATS AND LAMPS

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Reddit has started a closed test for their new streaming service, the Reddit Public Access Network. A select number of users are currently able to livestream themselves and showcase the footage on the app or reddit website. The test ends on August 23 at 8 p.m. EST. and it’s unclear when the system will be returning.

Reddit users can access a myriad of channels with active chat rooms. There is a whole bunch of techno gobbledygook about what this service is, but frankly, I have no idea what they’re talking about. Those testing this new feature have been streaming quite a variety of things.There are cats playing on beds, guitars being strummed and a whole lot of people watching television. Now I admit, I am a technically challenged feline but my response to this  Reddit thing is….why? Cats already own the internet.

If You Haven’t Seen This Video Yet of a Cat “Dancing” to “Mr. Sandman,” You’re in For a Treat

I’m closing this week’s report with a little happiness. This video is guaranteed to make even the grumpiest cat smile. You’re welcome. .

Jasmine’s Journey

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This was me about 10 years ago.

Hello Furiends, Jasmine here. I am the shyest and least vocal member of the Tribe of Five (at least on this blog, not so much at home) but since it’s National Take Your Cat to The Vet Day, I wanted to share my story.

Last summer I was losing weight and not feeling well. It was time for my yearly wellness exam so The Female Human bundled me into the carrier and  took me to the place of white coats. After  they stabbed me and poked me and gave me a very thorough once over, they announced that I had kidney disease.

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This is me at the place of white coats, not my favorite place!

The Female Human was beside herself, especially when she was told that to keep me in good health I would need Sub Q fluids every other day and a strict kidney diet.

You may think, “How could that cute kitten have kidney disease?” but don’t let my youthful appearance fool you. I am actually 16 years old  (as is my brother Tucker) and we older kitties often have kidney problems.

The day The Female Human went to learn how to give me fluids she was a mess and couldn’t see what they were trying to show her because she was crying so hard. The folks in the white coats were so nice and told her story after story about how many of their feline patients lived for many years on this regime.  She finally pulled herself together enough to listen and learn and I crossed my paws and prayed she knew what she was doing.

I was also put on a strict renal support diet. My favorite is the Royal Canin Renal Support morsels in gravy-yum! You don’t have to take my word for it, ask the rest of the Tribe why they always try to steal my food when it’s breakfast and dinner time!

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This is me, last week. Looking pretty good for an old lady if I do say so myself!

It took us a while to figure out how to manage this kidney issue thing and I did have one setback early on but The Female Human and I have it down now. I am feeling great, am almost at my young, fighting weight and love to play with my toys and the red dot machine. I wanted to share a few points with my readers who are dealing with this or will be dealing with this.

Jasmine’s Take Your Cat to the Vet Day Tips

1-Always take your felines for wellness exams, no matter how much we howl and hiss, it’s worth it and catches many issues before they become too serious (and we do apurreciate it, even if we don’t act like it).

Fluids2-No matter how you feel about giving your fur kids fluids, I’d ask you to consider it. Although I hate being grabbed for this little exercise every other day it beats the heck out of being shoved in the carrier and put into the noisy metal machine. Then I’d have to wait at the place of white coats and finally be put on that metal table to have a stranger stick a needle in me.   I would much rather have The Female Human stick the needle in me (but don’t tell her I said that)

3-Don’t be afraid of giving us the fluids. You only put the needle under the skin and no matter how much we protest, it doesn’t really hurt. And, if your human needs a refresher there are some great videos online or a trip to the white coat place (without the feline, of course) can always help the human brush up on her technique.

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Me on a fluid day, feeling rather feisty after my Scruffy Paws treat and giving The Female Human stink eye.

4-Make sure you keep us on a renal diet. If you find something new for renal issues, you might want to discuss it with your vet. I am now receiving Scruffy Paws Kidney Revitalize Chews twice a day. The Female Human had her doubts as I am very finicky but boy do they taste good. They seem to be helping because  I feel more energetic and my fur is looking so nice!

 

 

 

 

So my furiends, why not celebrate Take Your Cat to The Vet Day by taking your feline fur kids for a wellness exam?

Purrs & Head Bonks,

JasmineSig

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 8/14

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello There Furiends,
I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already! Things in our neck of the woods are going well. Just when we got used to the D-O-G, she left for her home in Arizona. Things are not near as exciting now and the Tribe is going to take a video of the squirrel to send to KD to enjoy.

The squirrel action pales in comparison to the raccoon family antics at the upstairs bird feeder. Momma and her little hooligans are making regular visits to raid the squirrel and bird food. They are so brazen that even when The Female Human stands on the porch and takes their pictures they are not phazed. All I have to say is, they better stay away from our food!

 

 

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That’s the latest here and now on to my weekly web wanderings. Enjoy!

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Turkey has so, so many cats

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Meowza, did you know that cats are the most beloved animal in Istanbul? They’re also one of the city’s biggest attractions. Stray cats usually take the best seats at cafes and restaurants in Istanbul without anyone even bothering moving them. They maneuver around tables and customers, inside and out of the buildings in search of the most comfortable spot.

No one knows the exact number of cats in the city although someone said there could be a million. Even though they are popular, these stray kitties still struggle to survive. Thankfully, there are people like Rana Babaç Çelebi, the founder of the Cats of Istanbul, who care for them along with a few other groups as well. Cats of Istanbul has about 300 active volunteers who get together whenever action is needed, like fixing some cages in shelters, setting up cat houses in the neighborhood, feeding the cats when the weather is bad or simply just giving them affection.

Some districts have created cat houses in parks, while other individuals spend money and time to install beautiful cat houses around their neighborhoods. There are three big shelters in the city, which Sable and Çelebi said don’t have the best reputation for care. And as the value of the Turkish lira drops, the cost of medicine and food has increased, which makes their cat-relief work even harder.

The first felines arrived in Istanbul on merchant ships from Egypt during the Ottoman Empire. The people of the day gladly kept the newly arrived cats because the city’s wooden houses attracted a lot of rats and the felines helped keep the rat population under control. Now the humans of Istanbul are returning the favor by helping the stray cats.

Scientists may have figured out why cats eat grass

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Lily loves her grass

A presentation last week at the International Society for Applied Ethology annual meeting in Bergen, Norway offered evidence on why cats eat grass and say it’s what we do when we want to fix an upset stomach.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis conducted a survey of 1021 cat owners who spent at least three hours a day observing their pet’s activities and found that of the 71 percent of cats caught chomping on grass, about a quarter wound up vomiting afterward—but roughly 91 percent of respondents reported that their cats did not appear to be ill before dining out on roughage.

So if they weren’t self-medicating a sick stomach, what happened? Well the scientists don’t have an answer for that. They did say that  it’s evolutionary behavior and, that grass consumption increases muscle activity in the digestive tract, which could force out unwanted contents. Cats have traditionally had to deal with parasites like hookworms or roundworms as a byproduct of devouring rodents, though it’s likely that most cats who aren’t on a diet of rat meat don’t have any parasites to treat. Still, the instinct to chew grass remains.

The Tribe of Five says this just might be a bunch of hooey! Some of us love snacking on grass, some of us could care less and even 16-year old Jasmine has her morning grass munch every day and she’s been following that ritual ever since she was a kitten. So much for science.

Giving cats a special food may one day help people with cat allergies

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The good folks at Purina may one day help humans who sniffle and sneeze around cats by changing the food the cat eats! The food would contain an antibody to the major allergy-causing protein in cats. This protein is called Fel d1. New research indicates that feeding this antibody to cats changes the protein so that the human immune system can’t recognize it, and that reduces the allergic response.

Nestlé Purina researchers conducted a small pilot study with 11 people allergic to cats. These people were exposed in a test chamber to hair from cats fed the antibody diet. They were also exposed to hair from cats fed a normal, control diet. The people had reduced nasal symptoms and less itchy, scratchy eyes with the hair from cats fed the special diet. These preliminary findings were released in June. The researchers presented them in Lisbon, Portugal.

Meowza, this would be a great thing if you can stop human sniffling by just changing our food!

NYC’s bodega cats have a feline fest on International Cat Day

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From “Bodega Cats of Instagram”

By day, their job is to greet people and pose in funny, whimsical ways for pictures that wind up on @bodegacats Instagram page.. By night, things get a little more intense, with bodega cats expected to walk the perimeters of their stores and keep invading vermin at bay. The iconic city cats got their big break in 2012, when Brooklynite Rob Hitt walked into his Williamsburg bodega for an egg-and-cheese sandwich and saw a photographic feline. It was “everything you would imagine in a bodega cat, so I took a picture of it,” he said. Now @bodegacats has 205K Instagram followers and its own Twitter channel at 262k followers. Hitt tries to leverage the attention for the greater good. Meow on bodega cats, I salute you!

‘Show us your cats’: Cat lovers unite for walking cat tour in Minneapolis neighborhood

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Sometimes you humans come up with really great ideas. The good folks in Minneapolis came up with a doozy. They conduct walking cat tours in their neighborhoods.  People gather at a meeting spot and then move door to door for feline viewing.  They get to meet some pretty fabulous felines and humans too.

One human said,  “A cat tour is just a way to meet your neighbors and go out in the community and meet people with animals and pets.”

Well, we have walking art tours, history tours, winery tours, etc. in our neck of the woods. Why not a cat tour? Watch the video and see what you think.

 

Alberto Opines onFriendly Fill Ins -Week 169

Hello There Furiends,
It’s good to be back to the Friday blog hop. It looks like our Purrsonal Assistant is finally pulling herself together and attending to the large workload she has neglected. If she wasn’t also our chef, cleaning lady and general lackey we might have had to consider replacing her but it appears this will not be necessary.

This is a blog hop, which means that you can hop on over to our friends at 15andmeowing or Four Legged Fur Balls and enter your Fill Ins post. If you to prefer to meow your answers here, we’re always happy to read them in the comment section.
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Here are this week’s fill in questions:

1. When I can’t _________________, I get _________________.
2.  Bring back _______________.
3. I’m embarrassed to say _________.
4. I feel like _________ gives my life meaning.

Here are my fill in answers:

1. When I can’t get into the shower, I get frustrated and scream and yell until the shower door is opened for me.
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2.  Bring back the old treats we used to get. The new “healthy” ones are NOT tasty. Look at me, barely able to hold my head up from hunger.
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3. I’m embarrassed to say that I am having a bit of difficulty fitting into my felted wool bed.
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4. I feel like working as a purrfessional feline blogger  gives my life meaning.
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Five Felines and One D-O-G (Jasmine Opines)

Hello Furiends,

There’s been a lot of change at our house and one of the most dramatic has been the arrival of two human friends and their canine. First, let me explain that the Tribe has never seen a canine, never heard a canine and never knew that anything like a canine existed. We see deer, raccoons and the occasional bear from our window perches but a canine, never seen such an animal.

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Needless to say, we were all a bit rattled by the arrival of this four-legged guest. Last year, the Tribe wrote a book for humans about proper etiquette regarding pet sitting. furniture and guests. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we needed to include a section about other animal guests!

The Female Human quite likes this dog although the rest of the Tribe is still deciding how we feel.

 

 

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KD the (gasp) dog at our house waiting for the squirrel to come to the upstairs deck.

First of all, the dog has taken over the bird/squirrel viewing area. This is of great concern to Oliver and Alberto.  I don’t see why sharing the space is such a big deal to Ollie and Al but I do understand that the excited barking noise the dog makes when she sees the squirrel can be rather disconcerting. Or perhaps, terrifying is a better word because when she barks, Lily, Al and Oliver jump and then slip and side across the floors (like cartoon characters), looking for a place to hide. (Note, KD has never done anything aggressive to these chickens so their dramatic reaction is a bit over the top).

 

 

 

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Lily is on canine watch. Tucker is watching the kitchen.

 

Since KD and her humans are staying downstairs, one feline is always tasked with guard duty at the top of the stairs. Tucker is exempt from this duty because he could care less. The dog has not interfered with Tucker’s breakfast, dinner or snack schedule so he refuses to purrticipate in this feline drama.

As soon as the dog’s paws touch the first step downstairs, the warning is issued and cats jump and scatter, heading off in various directions. This is a good thing for Oliver as a little exercise is needed where he’s concerned.

 

 

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Alberto has proven himself to be quite the wimp. When the dog is in the house, Al whines and meows until The Female Human allows him access into my domain. I thought that I would be completely unaffected by what goes on in the rest of the house but now I have to share my space with this whiny, wimpy feline. Sheesh Al, get a grip.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lily is quite content to hang out on top of the cat condo. Alberto will join her sometimes if he can’t weasel his way into the bedroom.

 

 

Lily takes a more pragmatic approach. She hangs out in the office, on top of the cat condo and demands that her wet food breakfast and dinner be served there. She seems to be quite content with this arrangement and, as that room is a dog free zone, she feels safe.

 

 

 

 

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“Human, why does that canine make such a loud noise?” – Oliver

 

 

Oliver is almost as chill as Tucker unless KD the canine barks. He then hides under the small table in the living room or comes into the home office to complain to The Female Human.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As I noted, this is Tucker, not bothered or interested in our canine guest.

 

 

 

 

 

final-56As for me, well, I am usually unaffected by what happens in the rest of the house but Alberto, the big baby is getting on my last nerve. Sigh. Still, we are all furry family members and I realize I must extend some grace toward him.

So, my feline furiends, if you ever have a canine visitor, I hope they are as polite and well-behaved as ours. KD is a nice doggie (but don’t tell her I said that.)

 

 

 

 

Purrs & Head Bonks,

JasmineSig