Walk Through The Web Wednesday 4/14

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
I hope you all had a great week filled with all the kibble you want. The D-I-E-T thing is going better for some of us than for others.

“Alberto, I am so weak I can hardly get up.” “Ollie, it’s not that bad, just stop eating your daily ration of kibble in one sitting!”

In The Human’s defense, she is trying to offer us new forms of entertainment to attempt to take our minds off our growling tummies and she plays with us to make sure we get some exercise. Oliver is having none of it and has taken to whacking his pottery kibble bowl down the hallway at 3:00am.

Lily isn’t bothered, she has never eaten that much and quite likes the fact that the snow is now gone and she can look down into the forest to keep track of our resident deer.

“Hey Human, the deer is back!”

As for me, I have really been enjoying my kitty TV experiences. Sadly, there was an unfortunate incident with the living room TV so my viewing has now been restricted to the small screen.

Of the three of us, Oliver is the most dramatic and fighting the new food regime. Lily and I (and The Human) do not pay attention to his histrionics and we are all hoping he will adjust soon.

“Somebody help me, I’m too weak to sit up.”

It’s time to leave the diet drama behind and see what feline stories were on the web this week.

Sensitive to Cat Allergens? Take The LiveClear Challenge with Purina Pro Plan and Mayim Bialik

I reported on this new food from Purina several months ago and it’s a game changer for people who love cats but are allergic to them. Now, Purina Pro Plan has partnered with actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik to kick-off The LiveClear Challenge. This challenge encourages cat owners with cat allergen sensitivities to discover the life-changing power of Pro Plan LiveClear. LiveClear is the first and only cat food that reduces the major allergen in cat hair and dander.

When you sign up for the challenge,  Pro Plan will donate $5 to the Petfinder Foundation, (up to $25,000) to fund a cat retention grant program that helps keep cats in happy homes – regardless of allergen sensitivities. These donations will be made throughout the rest of this year.

It’s been reported that 1 in 5 adults are sensitive to cat allergens. While many people think cat hair is the problem, it’s actually what’s on it—a protein called Fel d 1 that cats produce in their saliva. When cats groom, Fel d 1 gets on their hair and skin through the saliva, then into the environment when they shed.

When cats eat Pro Plan LiveClear, the key ingredient – a specific protein sourced from eggs – binds to Fel d 1 and safely neutralizes it in the cats’ mouth. By reducing the active allergen in saliva, it reduces the allergen transferred to the hair and dander when grooming, ultimately reducing the allergen in the environment.

“As a neuroscientist and all-around science ‘nerd’ myself, I appreciate the decade of research that went into developing Pro Plan LiveClear and what it means for cat-lovers like me,” said Bialik. “Several people close to me are sensitive to cat allergens, including my boyfriend, and while I take many steps already to manage allergens in my home, it’s often not enough. I’m taking The LiveClear Challenge with my three cats so that hopefully those I love can feel more comfortable being in my home and getting closer to my cats.”

While not intended to replace other methods for managing allergens, Pro Plan LiveClear can add another measure to help reduce the allergen burden in cat-owning households.

Find out more about Pro Plan LiveClear or sign up for the challenge (and save $8.00 on a bag of food), click here.

The pussycat went to sea: How cats were used to predict the weather

Unsinkable Sam

It has been understood over the ages that cats (and other animals) can predict the weather. One woman’s cat would always sit with it’s back to the fireplace when a storm was coming. For many centuries sailors, who were known to be superstitious and who were always looking for ways to predict the weather, believed that feline’s sensitivity to weather changes made them valuable crew members.

Cats were also considered to bring good luck to the ships they were on. They were valued members of the crew and treated as such. The crew would get to know their cat’s  behavior very well, so that if they started acting out of character, they would take it very seriously indeed. If a cat tried to leap overboard, or repeatedly pawed at its face,-p they knew bad weather was approaching and could therefore take preparatory action. If they were in dock and a nursing cat began to carry her kittens ashore, that was a very bad omen, and some seamen would refuse to sail at all.

Many centuries ago, there was the belief that a cat had magic powers, and could cause a storm by twitching its tail, but later sailors realized that the tail twitching was not causing the bad weather but rather was a sign that it was on the way.

Today, we know is that cats are sensitive to changes in air pressure, so when warm and cool air collide, which is how a storm develops, the moist warm air is forced upwards, while the cooler less dense air is forced down towards the earth’s surface. As a cat senses these pressure changes, it will often try to look for somewhere to hide, a natural survival tactic. It can also be seen repeatedly cleaning its face and ears with its paws, which eases the discomfort it feels due to these changes, and its general apprehension is evident in a constantly twitching tail.

Cats were carried on ships until relatively recently, the tradition ending only in 1975 when they were banned by the Royal Navy for health and safety reasons. I wrote about one of the most famous nautical felines, Unsinkable Sam, in my March 24, Web Wednesday feature.  According to the tale, he started out as mascot for the German battleship Bismarck, but after it was sunk in May 1941, he was rescued from the sea by the crew of the British destroyer HMS Cossack. The crew named the black and white cat Oscar from the letter O in the International Code of Signals, which means “man overboard”.

He sailed with HMS Cossack for the next few months until the boat, which was escorting a convoy from Gibraltar to Great Britain, was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in October 1941. The cat was rescued alongside the surviving crew by HMS Ark Royal, and it was then that he was given the nickname Unsinkable Sam. But his time aboard the Ark Royal was short, as it too was torpedoed by a German U-boat the following month. Attempts were made to tow it to Gibraltar, but it was taking on to much water and eventually sank 30 miles from the shore.

Sam was found unharmed and clinging to a plank, and ultimately taken back to land. After surviving the destruction of three ships, the Navy decided to retire him from ocean-going service, and he served in the Governor of Gibraltar’s office for a time, before being taken back to the Belfast Home for Sailors where he saw out the remainder of his days.

He died in 1955 and his portrait can be seen in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England.

Houseplant Cat Club: PSPCA helps shy cats flourish with time, patience, and plenty of sun

What a meowvelous idea the Pennsylvania SPCA came up with in this program!  When the good folks at the shelter read about how humans, stuck in their houses, were learning container gardening to pass the time in quarantine. an idea was born.

 “Over the course of the last year, pandemic plants have become very popular with individuals wanting to care for living objects while creating tranquil indoor sanctuaries during these uncertain and stressful times,” shelter officials said in a press release. ”The PSPCA is hoping these very same people will open their hearts and homes to cats who are in search of tranquility, hope and a new beginning.”

The matchmaking effort comes in the form of a new initiative: the Houseplant Cat Club.

Specifically, the nonprofit seeks to showcase cats whose social skills leave something to be desired.

To encourage new cat families to “grow together,” the PSPCA is teaming up with Urban Jungle Philly. Under the program, adoption fees will be waived for these shy felines, and each adopter will receive a $25 gift certificate to pick up a houseplant from Urban Jungle. Adoptable cats will be featured on the garden center’s social media and on posters in store.

More than a dozen felines are currently designated as potential “houseplant cats,” but the shelter has no shortage of shy kitties, Maddie Bernstein, PSPCA’s manager of lifesaving, told WHYY News.

Paws Up award by FelineOpines.net for humans who do amazing things for cats

Shy and timid kitties don’t always get the attention they deserve when potential adopters visit shelters and hopefully this program will give them the attention they deserve and help them find furever homes. Paws up to the PSPCA and the Urban Jungle!

Take meow-t to the ball game: The scoop on the cats of Coors Field

Last Friday night, a bold feline dared to go where few of its comrades have trod before — and made himself famous in the process as he shot across a Major League Baseball field mid-game and captured the hearts of feline lovers across the country.

This cat is one of many who are called “the cats of Coors Field” and who keep the mice at bay. These cats have quite a few fans and have their own paparazzi. This colony has lived here for decades before the filed was ever built. They are shy and don’t like to mingle with the humans who come to watch the games.

The employees at Coors Field are as reticent about their feline residents as the felines are shy. There is one cat who does make frequent appearances and he’s been dubbed the Coors Field Cat (he isn’t the feline who disrupted the Friday game).  He is spotted often enough to earn himself his own Twitter account.

Now that the cats have become so famous, a local TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) program is preparing to trap as many of the felines they can to neuter or spay them and then return them to their purrsonal baseball field.

A Connecticut drive in is inviting felines (and canines) to take in a movie with their humans

As you all know by now, I am living feline proof that cats can enjoy movies. And there are some enlightened folks at the Mansfield Drive In who understand this too. For the first time since the mid-1990s, the three-screen drive-in complex is letting people bring their furry family members with them.

The drive-in owners said that well-behaved dogs and cats, with well-behaved owners, are welcome at movie screenings.  Animals must be kept in cars or on leashes in their owner’s parking spots and owners must clean up after their pets. (Now that’s just too bad, I would love to run up and swat a gigantic bird on the big screen!)

Dogs were allowed at the drive-in in the ’90s but that was discontinued largely because people failed to clean up after their dogs. Hmph, it’s always the barkies that ruin a good thing.

Pet owners will be given a pet treat and a waste bag upon entering the drive-in. Extra waste bags can be found free at the snack bar or delivered to cars with a snack bar delivery order, which can be done through the app Noble Bar.

Now if they restricted their furry clientele to felines only, they wouldn’t have to spend all that money on waste bags since our staff can just bring our litter box along.

Animal admission is free with human admission. The owners are designating a local shelter every week to receive donations and they are hoping people will give a donation

This weekend’s movies are “Godzilla vs. Kong,”  “Joker” and “Sonic the Hedgehog” . I think I’d pick the hedgehog one and would also suggest Stuart Little, an American Tail and Ratatouille.

11 thoughts on “Walk Through The Web Wednesday 4/14

  1. Oliver, I am sorry about the diet. I think you are perfect, no diet needed. Great bunch of news, but I wonder about the food that reduces allergens and if there are any long term effects from changing something in their bodies like that- I would rather sniffle. 🙂 XO

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, we’re glad that two of you are doing okay with the diet thing. We’re sorry it’s tough on Oliver, though. We wish we lived closer to Mansfield (it’s *way* upstate from us) – that drive-in sounds like fun. It’s nice to know the Coors Field Cats have a home and “jobs.” How awesome that the local group is going to help TNR them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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