Happy Sunny Wednesday Furiends!
At least it’s sunny in our neck of the woods. The Human hasn’t done much interesting and we felines have just been relaxing and sunning on the upstairs deck any time we are allowed out (supervised, of course).
The Human also did a little work in the front yard and the front porch. Can you see the cats hanging on our front door?
And now Oliver is trying to hog the iPad to watch his favorite channel of Cat TV!
That’s just about it for anything newsworthy at our house, things have been pretty quiet but sometimes, quiet is good!
If any of my readers are aficionados of the street artist Banksy, I guarantee you’ll love the artist Catsy who has been stenciling cats all around a Berkshire market town. The art appeared about a year ago and now can be found all over the area.
The cats, created with a cardboard stencil, a spray can and some stick on eyes have appeared along the street where children walk to school and a fence outside a nursing home. When the nursing home fence blew down, the old cat was cut out of the old fence and nailed to the new one.
Why did Catsy decide cats were the best way to make his mark on the town he has lived in all his life? “Cats are a simple image artistically that stands out, it’s just something nice that is easily identifiable and inoffensive.” He said, “My mission was for people to see them and smile, and it’s working out way better than I was expecting.”
The Old Idaho Penitentiary in Boise was the territorial prison and built in 1872. In 1952 one of the prison’s most well-known residents arrived – Dennis the Cat.
In the 1950s, the prison was in use and expanding, adding building number four and the maximum security building. All construction was done by the inmates.
In 1952, as the story goes, an inmate came into the prison through gate two, carrying a box with a cat inside. The inmate passed it off to another inmate to hide the cat from guards, feeding it scraps. That cat was soon named Dennis the Cat. No one has ever figured out who the prisoner was that brought the cat in.
For 16 years, Dennis the Cat was the official/unofficial pet of the prison.
“I mean they had been keeping him secret, they had been keeping him hidden, they’d been sneaking him snacks, they’d been sneaking him food,” Jacey Brian, the education specialist at the historical site, explained.
It wasn’t long until the warden found out about the cat, but allowed the prisoners to keep Dennis as long as there was no trouble over the cat.
Dennis quickly won everyone over, prisoners and guards alike. “The guards would open gates for Dennis, letting him come and go as he pleased.
There were other cats before Dennis but Dennis had a special place in everyone’s heart because his role was more of a pet rather than a mouser. He lived quite well in the barbershop with his own bed on the counter.
Legend says that Dennis lived at the old state pen from May 30, 1952, to May 30, 1968. When he passed, he was given a full-service funeral in the prison’s cemetery. Dennis the Cat has the only marked grave at the old pen. The prison newspaper reported that there wasn’t a dry eye in the yard that day.
Sixty-nine years after he was born, the Old Idaho Penitentiary continues to celebrate Dennis’s birthday on May 30. This year there was even a Dennis the Cat Day, on May 30 with special presentations on the prison’s feline inmate every half hour, food trucks and a prison paws scavenger hunt. Those attending were asked to “pay” with unopened pet food that were donated to the Idaho Humane Society and Simply Cats.
The Champagne Palace in Pacific Beach, California. This café rolls out the red carpet (literally) for it’s adoptees and features roses, string lights and paintings on the pink walls. There’s even a disco ball and a classical violinist to greet you at the door.
The place may look fancy but it’s mission is serious and that mission is to give felines furever homes. With a $20.00 donation, guests are invited into this regal space to spend an hour cuddliong and playing with the adoptable cats in residence (who are referred to as “princes” and “princesses” and to sip a glass of bubbly.
General manager and cat lover Tara Boornazian said she was inspired to start the animal rescue after visiting The Cat Lounge in La Jolla and The Cat Cafe in downtown. She wanted to bring the concept to Pacific Beach, swapping the coffee for something more bubbly.After months of planning during the pandemic, Cat Palace finally opened its doors in April. Since then, the nonprofit’s “princes and princesses” have been successful in finding furever homes, even from tourists who come and visit and fall in love with a purrrticular prince or princess.
If you can’t visit in person, you can check out adoptable cats online.
I’ve reported on cats working in all kinds of places, bodegas, breweries, libraries and the list goes on. Now there’s a new job market for felines – working in garden centers. At least three plant nurseries in the Sioux Falls area — Landscape Garden Centers, Cliff Avenue Greenhouse & Garden Center and Oakridge Nursery & Landscaping in Brandon — have cats that hide among flower pots and trail gardeners through the aisles of annuals and seedlings.
The cats do have work to do as “as long-tailed security guards” who prevent, mice, bunnies and gophers from taking up residence in the warm-walled buildings. But they also add friendship and fun to the workers and visitors to the centers.
Jazmine, featured in the photo above clawed her way through the plastic closed-off lean-to at Landscape Garden Centers.
She kept herself hidden under the soft drink machine for a while but the brutal cold and lack of food caused her ears to be frostbitten and her stomach to growl. “Then one day in the winter, she was just standing by the door looking in, like ‘I really need some help,'” Jessica Meendering, a retail manager for the greenhouse said. The staff took Jazmine in, and the next day someone brought cat food. She spent the remaining winter months regaining her strength at an employee’s house across from the greenhouse, but she often visited the greenhouse as the spring rolled around.
Then one day, she decided to stay. Now, plant shoppers can often find her sprawled out near the houseplants, following customers through the saplings or taking a few bites out of the catmint before a midday nap. “She knows we saved her,” Meendering said. “She’s a survivor.”
Taking care of Jazmine has been a community effort since the beginning, Meendering said. Customers sometimes bring her food, employees take turns checking her food bowl, and there’s even a “Jazmine fund” at the front of the store for donations toward her veterinarian bills. Any donations left over at the end of the year? Jazmine donates to help other local rescue cats in need.
There are some other heartwarming stories about the garden center cats in Sioux Falls in the article.
Jay Urquhart-Pettifer landed first place in Cats Protection’s Pawsome Baking Challenge with a cake made to look just like balls of wool and little felines based on cats she has owned through the years.
The competition was judged by Great British Bake Off finalist Kim-Joy, who praised Jay’s cake, saying it would “bring a smile to anyone’s face”.
Jay said: “I’m so glad Kim-Joy liked my ball of wool showstopper and it’s given me extra confidence in my baking.
This feline says this is a purrrrfect tribute to the cats in Jay’s life and to help local kitties in her area. For information about this competition, click here.