Walk Through The Web Wednesday 6/24

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
Thanks to the excellent work of our legal representative Oliver , my weekly feature is back on track.

It’s been a good week in our neck of the woods. I learned something new, ducks beg! Check out our little video. That was one bold mallard!

I can’t believe The Female Human was so enamoured of this bird!

the Female Human went to some event where she had to dress in clothes like humans wore in the 1920’s. She spent a lot of time working on her hat and I really don’t understand why she got so annoyed with me when I offered her some advice.

The whole endeavor stressed me out so I had to retire to the shower and ask the human to turn on the water. Sheesh, a cat’s life is complicated!

Ah well, it’s time to get to our web worthy feline news stories.

Cat in Thailand is Watermelon Snoopervisor

Don’t let this guy’s grumpy face fool you. This cat named Pearl is serious about his job. He’s been guarding a watermelon farm for almost 6 years and is much loved by his humans. His human says he is the sweetest feline in the village.

Pon The Scottish Fold Will Rest His Chin on Anything

Pon the cat has an interesting habit, he loves to rest his head on anything you put under his chin . His YouTube Channel, Pon’s Diary documents the daily life of this Scottish Fold from Japan. Why does he do this? It may have something to do with the scent glands under his chin. Cats use these glands to mark their territory and Pon may just be a bit obsessive of making sure he marks everything that he comes in contact with.

How Bastet, Warrior Goddess of Fertility, Evolved into a Cat

The Tribe likes to remind our Human periodically that we felines were once worshipped as gods. This little film is for all you feline history buffs.

File This Under “Where There’s A Will There’s a Way”

Oh MOL! I don’t k now what’s funnier, this cat’s predicament or the sub titles. You MUST watch this video, it will be the best laugh of the day.

Ghost or No Ghost?

A woman believes her security camera captured her dead cat’s ghost curled up on the sofa. A note before you watch the video, the cat at the start of the video is a real living cat. After that cat leaves the room the “ghost cat” fades into view in the middle of the sofa. Is it her dearly departed cat or is it a pillow? What do you think?

Oliver Opines About Legal Stuff

Hello Furiends,
Oliver here. Many of you may have noticed that Alberto’s “Walk Through The Web Wednesday” feature was not posted last week. There was no post, no explanation, and no mea culpa from our Purrsonal Assistant.

In light of these distressing circumstances, my legal services were called upon. Alberto (who is also my firms Purralegal ) brought his case to my office.

Alberto, Purralegal at Oliver & Associates, Feline Law

It appears that a gross violation of the contract between Feline Opines and it’s lackey…er…Purrsonal Assistant has occurred.

The Purrsonal Assistant has been tasked with ensuring our words and thoughts are presented on a regular basis on this blog as well as providing some other ancillary duties as dictated…err..requested by the feline members of this blog.

We live in Idaho which is a “work at will” state, the legal definition of “work at will” is ,””there is no set length for an employment relationship and either the employer or the employee may end it at any time, with or without notice; with or without cause.” At first blush the egregious lack of follow through by our Purrsonal Assistant would require immediate dismissal. However, being the cautious and thorough attorney I am, I did suggest to my clients (Alberto and Lily) that they carefully consider the repercussions of such an action.

Lily, being more reflective and cautious than Alberto, went for a stroll in the garden outside my office to ponder the advice I’d given. She came back with some thoughtful and important questions that Alberto had failed to ask.

She first asked about the definition of “ancillary”. I responded, “It is providing necessary support to the primary activities or operation of an organization, institution, industry, or system.”

When she asked what some of those services might be I noted, feeding, brushing, treats, petting, etc..

The next thing she said was, “What in the world was Alberto thinking?!” She marched back into the office and chastised Alberto for shoddy purralegal work, reminding him that if they proceeded in this legal action and fired the Purrsonal Assistant, they would be missing a lot more than blog posts.

The conversation turned into a hissing match and I decided to retire to my office until some conclusion (and semblance of peace) had been reached. Volatile meetings are a recurring problem when you handle feline legal matters.

When Alberto and Lily calmed down, I suggested we convene again.

The culmination of our meeting was that Alberto would take the threat of firing the Purrsonal Assistant off the table as long as she signed a pledge to be more conscientious in her blog duties and immediately place an order with Chewy for a case of their favorite treats.

All in all, I must say that I’m quite proud of my legal guidance and would like to announce that my office is open for any and all feline clients who wish to seek my advice.

P.S. As a result of the recent legal settlement, Alberto’s regular “Walk Through The Web Wednesday” feature will appear this week.

It’s Important to Say Goodbye – The Human Opines

I am writing this post from the depths of the rawness of recent grief. My beloved Jasmine followed her brother Tucker across the Rainbow Bridge three days ago.  Tucker and Jasmine were in my life for 17 years but no matter how many years we have with them, we still want more.

As I suffered through the loss of Tucker in February someone asked me how old he was. When I said 17 the person said, “Well, at 17 he had a good run.” I don’t believe this comment was made to hurt me but it did. This is not the first time someone has dismissed or belittled the grief I’ve suffered at the loss of a fur kid.

It was Tucker’s loss that prompted me to enroll in a certificate course for pet bereavement counseling. I had no idea I would be grieving his sister only four months later and that I would become my own bereavement counselor.  

I am learning that each loss is unique and grief takes many forms.  The circumstances of the loss of our cats vary, sometimes we have to make the decision to help them over the Rainbow Bridge, and other times that decision is taken out of our hands when our felines pass away suddenly or, we may never have closure as they just disappear.  

Grief isn’t logical

Loss is always traumatic but when the loss is sudden or unexpected it can affect us very deeply and for an extended period of time.

This was the case with my beloved coal black, green-eyed mellow tempered and loving Buster. Buster never insisted on anything. He always expressed pleasure at every petting he received, every treat he was offered and every stroll around the back yard. We shared twelve wonderful years together until the evening we were sitting together in the downstairs TV room. He woke from his nap with a scream, had a seizure and died. It was 11:00pm and there was nothing I could do until the next morning. I wrapped him lovingly in a blanket, placed him in a carrier and put him in my car in the garage. My logical mind said, “He’s gone.” My heart and emotions said, “What if you’re wrong?” I worried that it had all been a horrible mistake and that he’d be sitting up in the box wondering why he was in the car. I went out to the garage several times during the night to check on him.

Buster’s ashes were spread in the beautiful memorial rose garden behind my veterinary clinic. I couldn’t bring myself to visit that garden. I moved along in life, shedding tears when I found a favorite toy of his, looked at photographs and when the tape of the moment of his death ran in my head. I believed that time would heal my broken heart and I soldiered on.

It was about a year later I decided I wanted to bring a kitten into the family. I was excited (who doesn’t love a kitten?) and entered the kitten room at the shelter with anticipation. The room was full of sweet little guys – and all of them were black. I felt my chest constrict and my eyes filled with tears.  I ran out of the room and the shelter. There was no adoption that day and not for many months later.

Black cat in the garden

Traumatic Grief

My logical mind couldn’t understand my reaction and it was only when I was working through my  bereavement counseling course that I began to understand the particular grief I suffered at Buster’s death.

I watched Buster suffer at the end. I never had a chance to say good-bye. I couldn’t stroke him and tell him how much I loved him in his last moments of life.  His sudden and traumatic death left me with many unresolved feelings.

According to the Ralph Site, a pet loss support group, “Sudden and unexpected pet loss can cause pet parents to exhibit physical and emotional symptoms of shock. If your bereavement has just happened – or you’re reading this on behalf of someone it’s just happened to – you may find yourself shaking, experiencing palpitations, headaches, stomach aches, sleeplessness and more. Some people even show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is defined as ‘recurring memories and a heightened state of arousal that lingers for more than a month after a traumatic event’. You don’t even have to have witnessed your pet’s passing to feel traumatized. Sometimes not having been there can be just as painful.”

I realized that the loss of Buster had traumatized me in a way that my other losses had not.  Please make no mistake, every loss is traumatic but my reaction to this death was unhealthy and extended.  My mind constantly cycled through the same questions, “Did I do something wrong? Why didn’t I see this coming? Did I take care of him the best I could? Did he know how much I loved him?” The tape of his passing played repetitively in my head.  I felt tormented.

Healing and moving forward

There is no timeline on grief, every situation is different, every person is different and therefore there is no one size fits all formula to recover from the grief you feel.  In sharing my journey to healing my hope is that there will be something in these five points those suffering from the loss of their cat or other pet can take and use to find their own healing. They a re helping me deal with the loss of Jasmine.

1-Feel Your Pain: No one likes to hurt but not allowing the grief to work itself through is unhealthy, physically and mentally. As awful as it is, there is healing in feeling the pain.

2-Accept solace from those who understand: Find the people who will cry with you, comfort you and who understand the grief you are feeling. Stay away from those whose attitude is, “It was only a cat.”

3-Stop the Distressing Tape in Your Head: This is not an easy thing to do. I am a person of faith and when that tape starts running I stop it with prayer. If prayer isn’t part of your lifestyle acknowledge what is happening and refuse to let the tape play. Replace those images with thoughts of happy days, remember the joy and love you shared with your cat. Refuse to allow the tape to play and every time it starts, fix your mind on something else.

4-Dump the Guilt: Refuse to play the “what if” game. Remind yourself of the care and love you lavished on your cat, focus on the wonderful times you had together, not the last moments of your cat’s life. The fact that you are grieving so much is a testimonial to the love you had for your fur kid.

5-Don’t dwell on the death, honor their life:  Honoring your cat’s life needs to be done in the way that is best for you. Some people write a letter, some set up a memorial, some talk to others about their cat; some have a memorial service or another memorial type of activity.

My closure and healing will come soon not just for Buster but for my recently deceased and beloved Tucker and Jasmine. I will go, for the first time, to the rose garden where their ashes have been spread and I will remember them with some friends who also have recently lost their beloved fur kids. I will celebrate their lives and the love they brought into my life.

The answer is……..there is no answer

We all grieve differently and we move through our grief differently. The key is moving through it so that it isn’t detrimental to our physical and emotional health.  This is why it’s so important to say goodbye, in whatever way is best for us as it will help navigate this rocky path of grief. When we say a proper goodbye to our beloved felines we find that in time (and that time is different for everyone) we focus on our cat’s life and how much we loved them, and not the loss. Our memories of them will be full of the happy days, the joy and the love.

Wherever you are on your journey of grief, I hope that you will find some help from my story. If you do not have supportive, understanding people around you, I highly recommend The Ralph Site Facebook page and group to share your story. You are always welcome to have a discussion in this blog in the comments or contact me directly. Don’t suffer alone, there are many of us who understand what you are going through.

Walk Through the Web Wednesday 6/10

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello There Furiends,
Things have been a bit complicated in our next of the woods this past week. The Female Human is preparing a post to fill you all in. In the meantime, here’s a photo of my brother Oliver feeling reflective and staring out the bedroom window.

“Furiends, don’t forget to hug your kitties today.”
Oliver

Couple Creates Makeshift Art Gallery For Injured Cat, Netizens Say ‘purrr-fect’

Three year old cat Richard Parker had a foot injury and this kept him without much to do as he recuperated. It’s a good thing that Richard Parker has creative humans who decided to create a mini art museum for him to alleviate his boredom. The female in the human duo designed 11 paintings for Richard Parkers purrsonal gallery, all art was cat-related and inspired by famous paintings. The art installation was done across from the staircase, six feet from the floor. This project has created quite a sensation on Twitter with many contributing their very own cat art.

Cat owners in stitches as felines fight seagulls through windows during lockdown

Be sure and watch the video

For those of our furiends who live in places with seagulls, you know how annoying they can be! We live in the Inland Northwest and have a huge lake and we also have seagulls! The Female Human once had one dive bomb her head and grab what she was eating out of her hand! Well this lockdown stuff must be driving the seagulls crazy because they haven’t had as many humans to annoy so now they’re picking on cats. It’s a good thing there is a window between these felines and those pushy birds!

There’s Another New Grumpy Cat on Instagram and She Might Be the Frowniest Feline Yet

The Tribe isn’t star struck very often but there are some famous felines we do love. Grumpy Cat was one of those and the loss of this icon was terrible. Imagine our delight when we found out that this feline, Kitzia, has become an Instagram sensation. She is a cat with many facial expressions but her grumpiest ones are our favorites.

Exploding the myth of the aloof feline. Cats bond with caregivers just as much as babies and dogs.

The old stereotype of felines being aloof should have been blown up years ago but I guess this information is better late than never. A new study by researchers at Oregon State University’s Human-Animal Interaction Lab, which appears in Current Biology, finally provides scientific proof of how much we love our humans.  The conclusion in short says that “cats bond with their caregivers to a similar degree as infants and dogs.”

“Cats that are insecure can be likely to run and hide or seem to act aloof. There’s long been a biased way of thinking that all cats behave this way. But the majority of cats use their owner as a source of security. Your cat is depending on you to feel secure when they are stressed out.” Kristyn Vitale.

If you want to read the “sciency” stuff be sure and go to the article. I think all you humans who know and love cats have known this for a long time and you don’t need science to tell you how much we love our humans.

Humans, it’s time to use your 3D printer for the benefit of your cat

Humans, stop being so selfish with your 3D printers and creating stuff just for you. There are tons of fantastic cat toys you can print for your feline buddies and even some very cool kitty armor (might be helpful when we’re back outside and dealing with those pesky seagulls).I like the laser robot buy my brother Oliver has his whiskers in a twist about the items designed to help cats not eat so much. Print away humans but don’t forget to print something for your feline.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 6/3

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends!
I hope life is good where you are. We are almost having summer….well, it’s always a bit dicey here in the inland northwest in May and early June but things are greening up and we got to have our first foray out on the upstairs deck.

This is me making sure it’s safe for the rest of the Tribe to venture out.
Oliver is enjoying the fresh air and hoping our furiend Mr. Pine Squirrel will come and visit so he can extend the paw of friendship.
This is how Oliver enjoys the great outdoors.
this is how Oliver enjoys the great indoors.

The Female Human ordered something she calls a “cat stroller”. Evidently taking us outside in a harness and leash and standing watching us roll around in the garden wasn’t fun for her, so she decided to get a contraption where she zips us in and then wheels us through the neighborhood. Until she can guarantee us that she is not walking us the stabby place we will fight being placed inside and will sing the song of our people the entire time. Then there is the other issue, I am sure the neighborhood thinks our Human has lost her mind and it’s a bit embarrassing when the neighborhood cats sit on their porches and mock us. Sigh. Humans, what are you going to do with them?

“Get me out of here!!”

How to help your cat adjust to you going back to work after lockdown

Dear Humans, now that we have had your undivided attention for so long, I suggest you conider hiring a cat nanny when you go back to work.

Many of you humans have been at home for quite a while. You’ve been sitting in the places on the sofa where we like to lounge when you’re at work, you have meetings on your computer and you yell at us when we walk across  your computer keyboard and you have been giving us lots of extra attention.

Now we hear that you will be leaving to go to that place you call work soon and we felines want to ensure that you help us with this transition. We’ve just gotten used to having  you at our beck and call and now you’ll be leaving us alone again.

Some of you humans think we’ll be gleeful at your departure but the truth is, we’ve gotten used to having you around.

Now keep in mind not all  of us felines are the same. There may be some who watch you walk out the door with a sigh of relief but many of us will be missing you very much. What is true about all of us is that we are all sensitive to change, some felines more than others. To help  your felines gradually adjust to your absence, the good folks at the RSCPA have some tips for you.

Feline Funny? Purrfect! We’ve Got the 50 Best Cat Jokes Fur You Right Meow! 

And speaking of our humans being stuck at home and all the other crazy things going on, I think you humans  could do with a good chuckle. Here are 50 jokes to make you meow with laughter. I’m going to share a couple of my favorites…

What’s a cat’s favorite TV show? (Claw & Order)
When cats need to go to the airport, who do they call? (A Tabby)
What’s it called when the treats are gone? (A cat-astrophe)

Be sure and check the link for the rest of the jokes.

Arizona Cat Has 2 Lbs. of Matted Fur Removed in Stunning Makeover — and Finds a New Home!

When the Arizona Human Society was called to help a cat with horribly matted hair they had their work cut out for them.

“I have seen some rather horrific cases in my time rescuing animals, but had never seen matting this bad – they were larger than her entire body,”  said Arizona Humane Society emergency animal medical technician Julie Bolchalk, who responded to the call.

The good news is that those wonderful folks were able to groom this sweet kitty and underneath that mess was a beautiful feline. The shelter saved off 2 pounds of fur from the cat’s 8 pound body. This makeover has an even a happier ending than Fluffer’s new look, she was adopted two days afterwards! That’s a feline Cinderella story if I’ve ever heard one.
Be sure and check out Fluffer’s “after” photo, she’s one beautiful girl.

Perfect Cat Portraits

“Human, I think you need to retake that shot again, this is not my best side.” -Oliver

Now that it has been established that cats own the internet, you humans are going crazy taking photos of us. For those of you who have real photography skills (translation-=you actually use a camera and not your smart phone), this video will give you some good tips.

Running out of things to do with your feline? How about playing video games together?

We felines enjoy making toys out of things that you humans use, the tops of pens, paperclips, and other stuff. This was not lost on game developer Willem Delventhal  who developed “Mew and Me,” a collection of cat-focused video games that are designed to not just entertain felines but to also better understand the cats in our homes.

Delventhal watched cats viewing birds on TV and decided he wanted to do something that would allow the cat to interact more.  What he learned is that cat’s vision is a factor in their interaction with a screen.  Bringing the screen closer will cause the cat’s whiskers to come forward, compensating for their vision deficits.

He says that about 30% of young cats will play “Mew and Me” with no human prodding, and about 50% will play if their pet owner also plays with the app.

His goal is to use the app to help cat owners forge a deeper emotional connection with their cats. Our Human downloaded the app but hasn’t had time to introduce us to it yet but I will report on a future Wednesday feature.