Yes, it’s our favorite time of the week where our feline furiends opine about whatever they want. This week we’re introducing you to a wise old gentleman named Ginchan. He is a handsome man cat who will be turning 19 soon and he has a lot to say about super senior felines.
Hello Furiends, I hope your week is going well. Things are humming along in our neck of the woods. As a follow up to last week’s report about the budding relationship between Lily and I: things are still progressing and now we will even sit next to each other when we’re waiting for breakfast.
The Human did some reorganizing in her home office/craft room. Needless to say, the desk could not be used until I finished snoopervising the finished product.
And then The Human had the silly idea that I would be denied access to the downstairs for a while. Needless to say that attempt failed miserably.
Sending all my furiends wishes for a great week and remember…always jump high!
I’ve reported about street cats all over the world being looked after by good humans in their area. Last week it was the used washing machines for kitties in Portugal. This site highlights what people are doing for feral cats all over the world.
Today, you can find a mixture of cats in the streets of the city, relatives of the cats brought to San Juan, Puerto Rico by early Spanish settlers to control the rat population. There are ferals along with cats with collars enjoying the beauty and warmth of the city. The cats of Old San Juan are called the “cobblestone cats”. There are organizations that care for the feral felines such as “Save a Gato Cat Sanctuary” that will care for and even prepare kitties to go to their furever homes.
Be sure and check out this site to see what good people around the world are doing for felines!
Now that fire and police are not rescuing cats in many communities., tree care experts are taking over the job. Danato Green, ‘The Tree Man” is filling this gap in Alabama. Everyone needs to make a living so he does charge for his service. Prices depend on the distance he has to drive to the site and the distance he has to climb up the tree. This kitty says that’s money well spent! Be sure and check out the video of Danato at work.
This story ticks all the boxes. It highlights working cats and a human that walks her talk. Amanda Dykstra, owner of the Gentle Doctor of East Tennessee veterinary clinic and a vet that treats mostly rescue animals from shelters adopted two rescue cats herself.
She looked hard to find two felines who would connect with each other. Her cats, Tiny Cat and Simba were the purrfect fit. She says, “These cats have such crazy personalities and they’re so incredibly different but yet they’re best friends. It’s an interesting dynamic.”
Tiny Cat was an orphaned pound kitty and has turned into a bit of a diva. Simba’s laid back personality is the purrfect compliment to Tiny Cat and, he’s a bit of a goofball who goes crazy for watermelon.
Dr. Dykstra says that you too can find the purrfect shelter cat (or cats) for your family if you are deliberate about looking and know what you want. You can follow the adventures of these two on the clinic’s Facebook page.
This feline knows nothing about architecture, purrticularily brutalist architecture but evidently UB architecture master’s students Emily Battaglia, Madelaine Ong and Michaela Senay in collaboration with the studio’s professors, Gregory Delaney and Brett Doster do. They created an Instagram account — described as “Your daily dose of cats and concrete” which has a larger purpose: to raise awareness of brutalism, the often misunderstood and under-loved period of mid-to-late-20th century architecture, while promoting adoptable cats. I have to say, this is one of the most creative cat adoption promotion ideas I’ve ever heard. Check out their Instagram page, Cats of Brutalism.
The Hobo Hotel for cats has been living rent free in their building. Now they own the building thanks to James Boyd “Jim” Bel a local philanthropist and business owner from a prominent pioneer family. He turned over the ownership of 650 E. School St. to Hobo Hotel for Cats.
The Hobo Hotel has been rescuing felines since 1998. It was organized exclusively for the purpose of prevention of cruelty to animals through the operation of a no-kill shelter for cats and kittens,. This shelter has many duties, the rescue of abandoned cats and kittens, the adoption of cats and kittens, the development of foster homes until adoption is possible, education about pet care, promotion of spaying and neutering and the encouragement of relationships with pets.
Bel, the benefactor, is partial to cats and has owned as many as 13 outside kitties and five inside kitties and is constantly feeding strays in his community.
Since it’s inception, Hobo Hotel has spayed and neutered 6,000 cats.
Meowza, I hope there are generous cat lovers like this guy in other communities!
Stripey’s human, Debbie is a member of the Cat Writers’ Association, a great group of people who write about, take photos of, and do other creative stuff featuring felines.
Debbie has an author’s blog, Ruff Drafts and a blog written by the cat character, Sneaky, the library cat from her cozy mystery series. Check out Stripey’s guest blog about how he and Debbie deal with his hyperthyroidism. Stripey is also featured in the new book Pet Posts: The Cat Chats
Hello There Furiends, I hope you have been enjoying yourself this week. This week, Lily and I made some progress in our relationship. Oliver and I are trying not to chase her off the bed and all around the house. While Lily and were waiting for breakfast to be served, we discussed the state of our relationship.
The Human hasn’t caught us in another cuddle but she’s hopeful. Lily and Oliver are still mulling the situation over.
Well, here’s hoping Oliver will get on board the furiendship train. And here are our feline news items for the week.
Professor Peter Neville has worked alongside specialists at eco-cat litter company Natusan to identify five unique personality types that can help cat caretakers tailor their approach to their pet.
Working with date from 3,700 cat parents, experts have found five common personalities in cats and labeled them Nervous Nala, Outgoing Oliver, Bossy Bella, Spontaneous Simba and Agreeable Alfie.
They found that even in the same household, and from the same litter, we felines can be very different in our behaviors and preferences.
The professor says that, “Like humans, the more we appreciate what makes them tick, the more we can fine tune our interactions, and create environments that encourage them to thrive by accommodating their social and emotional needs.
Outgoing Olivers are usually more vocal and extroverted
Nervous Nalas have delicate dispositions and are often more highly strung than other cats. They can be shy around other cats.
Bossy Bellas are very assertive and often the top cats in multi cat households.
Spontaneous Simbas are the most impulsive and have a lot of energy (the kind of felines that love midnight zoomies).
Agreeable Alfies are the epitome of a cool cat. They are calm and sociable often as a result of proper socialization as kittens.
I don’t know what you think about all this my furiends. As for me, I’m not so sure all felines fit into one category.
Our Human has relatives who like different forms of car racing and introduced her into the car sport of “drifting” which is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, loses traction but still maintains control of the vehicle. Imagine my surprise when I found out that cats can drift too.
Pet Product News recently noted that dog owners do seem to get all the attention, especially when it comes to marketing and production for pet food, pet products and pet services according to a new survey.
In Packaged Facts’ Survey of Pet Owners, cat owners were asked whether they perceive that cats are “sometimes treated as second class” compared to dogs by various types of players in the pet industry. Across the board to varying degrees, the answer was “yes,” including for general merchandise stores that sell pet products (with 51 percent of cat owners agreeing strongly or somewhat that cats sometimes get second-class treatment), companies that make pet food/treats (45 percent), companies that make non-food products (45 percent), pet specialty stores (44 percent) and veterinarians (41 percent).
The good news my feline furiends, is that this does seem to be changing. Last year, many of the new products introduced at Global Pet Expo 2020 were cat-focused, including New Product Showcase winners Moody Pet’s Fling-Ama-String and Four Paws’ Kitty Kat Circus, and during 2020 Petco unleashed a slew of promotional emails with feline-focused headlines including ‘You had me at Meow,’ ‘Kitty 101’ and ‘Kitty’s first shopping list .
These marketing folks are finally getting the idea that cats rock and cat parents like to lavish us with all sorts of goodies.
This feline was dismayed to learn that more people are allergic to cats than any other animal. About one in five people in the world have allergy symptons such as sneezing, itchy eyes, coughing, wheezing and even the hives if exposed to cats. What a bummer!
But don’t lose hope my allergic feline loving furiends! Studies have found that it is’t t he amount of fur a cat has and that some of the most “hypoallergenic “ cats have very full, long coats.
Allergic reactions to felines come from reactions to a protein called Fel d 1, which is a protein that is present in our skin, saliva, and urine. When we lick our fur, this Fel d 1 dries into tiny particles that are carried through the air and then land on the hair, clothing, furniture and other stuff belonging to humans. These particles can hang around for months!
So, the bad news is that there are no felines that are 100% hypoallergenic but some of us produce much less of Fel d 1.
Scientists say that normally, female cats produce less of the protein than male cats, and neutered males produce less than those who haven’t been fixed. And now, you don’t have to adopt a hairless cat to stay away from allergens (although there is nothing wrong with my hairless feline furiends). You can also look into the breeds shown below. I would love to see everyone who hasn’t given a cat a furever home because of allergies be able to be a kitty parent!
A Russian man named Ramil is a volunteer who works to help free cats trapped in basements of Soviet-era buildings, places that are often the only shelter stray cats can find. He is the hero of many Russians and of felines as well!
Russians are cat lovers, a 2016 poll indicated that 57% of Russian households had at least one cat.
The stray cat problem is only recently being addressed in Russia. Those poor kitties need shelter badly as temperatures normally stay below zero most of the winter. Boy am I glad I’m a pampered indoor kitty!
Moscow’s parliament passed a decree this fall that all apartment buildings provide access to basement vents for “small pets”. Ramil and his cat loving furiends are expanding their cat saving work to the suburbs (areas which are not under the same decree).
The Russians don’t take to animal cruelty. One political hopeful was photographed allegedly kicking a cat and his political career ended immediately. Businesses in Russia catering to cats and their humans are thriving, even cat cafes.
We say two paws up for the cat loving Russians who are working to help the street kitties of Moscow and other areas.
Happy Wednesday Furiends! I hope the weather in your neck of the woods is better than ours. We’ve had high wind warnings and our electricity was out! Thankfully, our Human was forward thinking when she had our house built so we always have the gas fireplace in the living room to keep us warm. It’s a shame about her morning coffee but if she wants to use her Keurig, we told her she should get a generator! Everything is now back to normal and up to our finicky feline standards.
I wanted to clarify that when I refer to “our neck of the woods” I mean that literally and the woods offer great entertainment for The Tribe. The Human flung open the bedroom curtains and found this little guy stretched out on the pine needles sleeping!
Another interesting event was the new tea The Human bought. It’s a brand she’s used for years, Sleepy Time Tea. She drinks it because she has trouble sleeping, which she blames on us, more on that topic below. Anyhoo, she bought the “extra” version the other day which contains valerian. Did she not remember that valerian affects some of us like catnip?? I sure am enjoying my evening tea these days!
Before I share this week’s stories, I must tell you about the horrible allegations hw Human has made against us. She is claiming that Oliver and I keep her up at night due to our snoring. Snoring? Really? She went so far as to record us and claims that the sound quality isn’t great because we’re at the foot of the bed and she couldn’t get closer because she was afraid of waking us up. We will let you all decide if we snore or not.
Whoops, looks like this audio file won’t play. We’ll have our Purrsonal Assistant do some research but Oliver and I don’t see the need because we DON’T snore!
Finally, we will be featuring one of our interweb furiends tomorrow who has something he’d like to meow about on our first ever Cat Chat segment. Remember, if you’d like to meow at us just send us an email at FelineOpines@gmail.com with a good head shot so we can make sure we coordinate your mouth to match your words. Come back tomorrow and listen to what Marvelous (Marv) has to say!
Oh my whiskers, I love it when you humans find creative ways to help homeless kitties! Stray cats in Valongo, an area of Portugal’s city Porto, are starting 2021 very well. The cat colonies who live in the city streets are getting new shelters, all made from old washing machines and dryers.
The machines are painted and decorated, lined with blankets and offer the street kitties protection and comfort. Now the good humans of Valongo purrticipate in the TNR (trap, neuter, release) program and also work to find furever homes for kittens. There are care givers who come and feed the cat colony,
They project they will need 50 machines and are looking for donations. You can contact them via email at GMVM@cm-valongo.pt.
Our Human is always singing the praises of HABRI (The Human Animal Bond Research Institute) and the Winn Feline Foundation. The Winn Foundation’s Animal Studies Journal recently published confirmation of the effectiveness of the Feline Temperament Profile (FTP) in assessing the vehavioral responses of cats in different situations. They also found that even a shortened FTP assessment does not cause a loss of reliability, This can provide a quick, practical tool for shelters and other rescue organizations to help cats find compatable homes and reduce the likelihood of cat relinquishment.
Dr. Gretchen Carlisle, Research Scientist at the University of Missouri said, “With this study, we conclude that the shorter FTP can be deployed to increase the possibility of successful adoptions by matching cats with adopting families’ expectations and improving shelter staff’s accuracy to easily and objectively assess behavior.”
Research suggests that cats have a better chance of staying in their furever homes if their purrsonalities are compatible with the humans who adopt them.
The discovery that the shortened test does not affect reliability makes this shorter version a much more valuable tool for shelter workers to use.
Meowza! The good folks who work in shelters could sure use a more streamlined form of this test to help their felines get adopted!
This feline finds it very sad that some of you humans are so hissy and judgmental regarding other human’s cat posts. One area where I see much judgment is about cats that are heavier or CHONKY. As a matter of fact, a Facebook group was formed in 2019 called “This Cat is CHONKY” where people can post without the fear of judgment. The group has over 860,000 members and has grown like crazy since I first reported about it.
As members of that group, we’ve already met (and love Squishy) who is a 36 pound feline who is not an overeater but who has a syndrome caused by a tumor in his brain. The tumor secretes an excess of growth hormone which results in his girth. His loing human, Lauren Masterson has been treated horribly by some folks who blame her for his weight. She says, ‘They assume I’m either an idiot or a negligent person who is drastically overfeeding Squishy on purpose.”
Rest assured world that Lauren has worked with her vets, giving him tests, trying new things to help with his weight and making changes as prescribed by her vet.
Squishy is a loveable guy and Lauren loves him very much. Instead of judging Squishy’s human why not let her know that she’s doing a great thing by caring for him and paying the vet expenses to keep him healthy and happy!
If you’re a purrrticularly lucky feline like Anna, when your human takes up a new hobby, you benefit. Anna’s human, Shelby Mitchell-Adams took up beading and her first project was a beaded floral vest for Anna.
Anna was adopted and given a furever home when she was found abandoned on the side of the road and now is loved and well dressed.
So my furiends, never give up. You too could go from the roadway to the runway!
Cumberland County Animal Services has a new mobile adoption van designed to help cats and dogs get out of the shelter and find homes.
These creative humans from the Cumberland County Animal Services in in North Carolina were gifted a custom van that can house up to 21 animals to off-site adoption events. And everything is organized so well that the humans who adopt can take their fur kid home on the same day!
The van can also help with evacuations, large animal cruelty and in partnering with other agencies to free up shelter space.
The shelter director hopes that with volunteers, adoption and resources like the mobile adoption center, more animals can be saved in the years to come. We hope so too!
Happy Mew Year Furiends! I hope your 2021 is off to a great start. Things are about the same in our neck of the woods. The Female Human had a lot of time off during the holidays. Although she was not going to work, she did work at home. I decided I was tired of the cushy bed next to her workspace and decided to hang out in the catnip infused bag she got us for Christmas. It was quite enjoyable!
Oliver decided to spend some extra time with the Human when she showered. He thought it had to be pretty boring in that wet, glass box so he added some excitement of his own.
As you can see, we had some fun with our Human! We also had her work on a new feature we will be doing on a weekly basis. Oliver, Lily and I have so much fun recording messages for you all and we decided that it would be fun to hear from our feline furiends about things that were of interest to them. It’s called “Cat Chat” and here’s how it will work:
1-Send us an email with your comments about the topic you want to meow about 2-Attach a photo with a good shot of you from the front (so we can have our Purrsonal Assistant work her magic with the automation) 3-Send the email to: FelineOpines@gmail.com and in the subject line type “cat chat”
We will email you and let you know when your Cat Chat segment is published on the blog. Now’s the time to meow about your favorite topic, special gripe and anything else your whiskers are in a twist about.
The Midnight Cafeteria is 45 small wooden houses, decorated by Taiwanese artists and scattered throughout the city of Taipei. They were created to be a place of rest and food for feral cats. A teacher, Hung Pei-ling and her neighbors started the program for the stray cats in their community.
These good folks do more than shelter and feed the cats. They also capture injured cats and cats that need spaying and take them to the vet. Once the cats are healed, they are returned to their territory.
Another cat loving human in Taipei, Chen Chen-yi, a researcher at the Taiwan Animal Equality Association, was instrumental in the building and decorating of the cat houses. Many times the places where people feed stray cats are messy and the public ends up complaining about the cats. With these tidy little houses the neighborhoods stay clean and the cats are accepted.
If you are a mewsic lover you already know that over the centuries cats have appeared in opera and other venues.
For instance, Christopher Smart’s cat Jeoffry received 74 lines of Smart’s poem Jubilate Agno (1759-63), set to music by Benjamin Britten in his cantata Rejoice in the Lamb. Smart wrote the poem when he was locked up in an for mania – with only Jeoffry the cat to keep him company. Jeoffry is also the subject of a book, Jeoffry: The Poet’s Cat,
Another cat named Pulcinella who belonged to the composer Scarlatti, ran over the keys of the musician’s harpsichord and inspired a theme for a fuge.
If you are a feline and mewsic lover, this article (and the videos in the article) are definitely for you!
The next time you think you don’t have time to help cats, remember Thomas Doerbecker. He is a subway maintenance supervisor and a rescuer of stray cats in the rail yards of New York.
His “side career” started in 2017 when management approached him and asked if he’d help him rescue a stray cat that had hid himself in the subway tunnels. He bought a humane trip, put some food out and the kitty was captured.
There were more cats to rescue so Doerbecker took a Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) class at his local shelter. If the cats are adoptable he will look to get them adopted out.
He and his wife currently have seven fosters plus six cats of their own. Thank you Thomas Doerbecker for keeping kitties safe!
A former teacher in Indonesia went from teaching humans to designing clothing for cats. The business of cat fashion has been very good to the former teacher and when he branched out into cat supurr-hero costumes he hit the jackpot, designing cat couture superhero costumes to cosplay characters. So, if you’re the kind of feline that enjoys a good costume, check these out!
There are so many benefits to living with cats but I bet you this is one you’ve never heard of. A human in St. Louis was getting sick and tired of having “porch pirates” steal packages off his porch. He knew he needed to do something and then one day, when he was cleaning out the litter box, the idea came to him.
He had several Amazon boxes in the basement so he took them and packaged up the cat litter and sealed it up inside the boxes.
Sure enough, the thief struck attain and a neighbor found one of the packages on the ground. He was going to return it when he saw the note inside addressed to the thief. To date, no more packages have been taken from his porch.