I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. We have returned to the beautiful colors of autumn again and are having some nice rain showers.
When you humans insist on changing the time on us we really get discombobulated. It always takes a while to figure out ur new meal times, snack times, play times, etc and this really stresses meowt! Still not too much has changed. Ollie is seeking out the best heat vents and, when the sun is shining, likes to find the best sun puddles, which for him are on the dining room table (apologies to any of our future dinner guests). The Female Human takes exception to Oliver’s commandeering of this spot and he can never understand why she gets herself in such a tizz about it.
My favorite sun spot is on the very top of the cat condo in the office…can you find me?
Finally, there are brief glimpses of hope that Lily might find a cuddle buddy yet.
Well that’s enough about us, let’s check out the news items I have for you this week.
A portly gray Tabby from Thailand, missing for 3 days, returned home but when he came home, his human found out he had incurred some debt.
He arrived home after his adventure with a cardboard note attached to a new collar. The note read, “Your cat kept eying the mackerel at my stall, so I gave him 3.” The feline’s benefactor signed the note, “Aunty May at alley no. 2.”
A Facebook page picked up the story and shared it and the story went viral. Some folks offered to pay the cat’s debt. Others felt that “Aunty May” might not have wanted to be reimbursed for the fish at all.
At the time of this report, it is still not known whether the feline paid his debt or not.
Doorkins Magnificat, a beloved cat who made the cathedral her home for 12 years, died Sept. 30th. The tabby earned celebrity status during her years at Southwark Cathedral, meeting Queen Elizabeth II, starring in a children’s book and having a presence on social media.
After the cat’s death, Andrew Nunn, the dean of the cathedral, hosted a service of thanksgiving, which was live-streamed on Wednesday.
“She was enormously popular and had a massive Twitter following — and was also the focus of a lot of people’s visits to the cathedral,” Nunn said. “When she died the response was huge, and we knew we had to do something — there was no way in which we could just ignore the fact — and why would you? We loved her, and she gave a lot to our life. It felt entirely appropriate.”
The cat began visiting the cathedral in 2008 between Christmas and New Year’s Day and waited for food. Once she realized that the cathedral was a source of two meals daily, the cat decided to stay.
She became known as Doorkins making her bed next to a warm pipe underneath the cathedral’s chancel or on a cushion in the consistory court.
In August 2017 Doorkins “published” her first book, “Doorkins the Cathedral Cat,” which gave readers a tour of the Gothic-style church and a week in the life of the cat.
She developed kidney disease in the last few years and lost her eyesight. She died in the arms of Paul Timms, the head verger at his home after she had a stroke.
Her remains were cremated and she was laid to rest in the church’s courtyard.
The cat’s remains were cremated and she was laid to rest in the church’s courtyard.
“It was an unusual occasion,” Nunn told the congregation during the memorial service. “In more normal times, we often host memorial services for the great and the good. But I don’t think there’s ever been a service for a cat.”
Although some people like the Bishop of Burnley were negative about the service there were no regrets from the cathedral for holding the service.
Nunn said, “There’s such a lot of emotion around at the moment, and sometimes, something like that can just release it for people,” Nunn said. “It was heartwarming as well as emotional.” He also said that Doorkins was a positive influence to the church congregation.
If you’ve ever shared your living space with a cat, you’ll know that they’ll go wherever they want to go, whether you’re on board or not. And they love high places — all the better for looking down at you, right?
One cat owner decided to give his felines exactly what they wanted, and his friend revealed the results on Twitter.
As you can see from the photos posted on Twitter, this cat parent has carried out some major ceiling modifications to his store, including glass tiles for his feline spectators. His cats can now go into the ceiling area, perch on the glass and see everything that’s happening down below.
Pickles the cat is an excellent traveling buddy for Muninn Myrkvi, an over-the-road truck driver for GP Transco..
He says, “Pickles has the ability to brighten anyone’s day. Whenever anyone spots him through the window, I get smiles and a thumbs up.”
He adopted the 6-year old Maine Coon from a friend in 2019. Pickles was curious abut everything during his first few journeys albeit a bit skittish and nervous when the big rig started up.
It only took a week for Pickles to get used to his life on the road. Now when he’s on the road, he likes to look out the passenger window while they are driving. Most of his time is spent however, snoozing on the passenger seat.
This feline is as pampered as any house cat. In the early days, Myrkvi would try to get Pickles to check out his surroundings while wearing a harness but the harness was not a success. Now Pickles will sometines sit on the top step of the cab with his human by his side. Any noise or disturbance sends him scurrying back into the cab immediately.
When Pickles isn’t traveling, he spends time with his human on the family alpaca farm. Pickles enjoys himself there but he seems to prefer their road trips.
Pickles makes a purrfect traveling companion for this trucker who says, “Knowing Pickles is around helps keep my anxiety down as I go through my day.I tend to keep to myself even more than the typical OTR trucker, so Pickles helps alleviate loneliness. I also love when he cuddles up at night.”
What do I think about this app? I say, “It’s about time!”
Javier Sanchez, a technical program manager at Bellevue, Wash.-based business and tech solutions company Akvelon, has built a cat translation app called “MeowTalk” that he hopes will change how people interact with their feline friends.
Using data science and machine learning, MeowTalk listens to the sounds a cat makes and offers up a human language translation, promising to remove the barrier between pet and person on interactions ranging from “feed me” to “let me outside” to “I’m in pain.” With user input, an out-of-the-box version of the app can be trained to understand a specific cat.
Sanchez worked in the machine learning platform team at Alexa and wondered if there could be something similar for cats.
MeowTalk (on iOS and Android) comes with a general model that listens for cat meows in your home and then categorizes those sounds into 10 built-in intents that are universal to all cats. While cats don’t have a shared language, each will develop their own vocabulary that they will use consistently, Sanchez said. Users can create cat profiles and assign meows to new labels in MeowTalk when they think they know what their cat is asking for.
The app will learn a new word and will make accurate predictions for that word the next time it hears it. Behind the scenes, user feedback is training the cat-specific model to understand that cat’s meows going forward.
There is a smart collar in the works (Much like the translator worn by the dog in the movie “Up”, one of our Human’s favorites). Sanchez consulted with a data scientist named Stavros Ntalampiras, who wrote a research paper that got the attention of the Akvelon team, called “Automatic Classification of Cat Vocalizations Emitted in Different Contexts”.
Sanchez has been a cat person the majority of his life. As one of his cats circled his office as a test subject during a recent Zoom video call, he said dogs, while they definitely understand speech, just don’t have the same vocal capabilities to communicate through their barks.
Did our human download the app? You betcha’ and I’ll report on what we think about in a future feature.