Happy Last Week of October Furiends, This was quite a busy week. The Human attended the annual conference of #The Cat Writers Association and BOY did she learn a lot. The Tribe was uninterested in hanging around the computer (it was a virtual conference) so while she sat at her desk and scribbled notes, we enjoyed the beautiful view from our office.
Okay, purrhaps it wasn’t as bad as we’re making it out to be and we are proud to announce that we won a Muse Medallion this year!!
Well, time for the news and for us to finish working on our contest announcements for Friday.
I love when you humans get together and do something for kitties who don’t have forever homes. Humane Ft. Wayne in Indiana is inviting the public to help assemble shelters for community cats at their annual Feline Fall Festival. They will be building 300 outdoor shelters to keep their local felines warm and safe.
Humane Ft. Wayne estimates that there are 16,000 community cats living in the area. If you live near this shelter I hope you’ll help out but, if it’s too far, there are other shelters in different cities doing the same thing. If your city is doing shelters for community cats, meow about it in the comments and let the folks in your area know.
Oh my whiskers! I thought this costume thing was a method of modern humans to mock and embarrass their felines and now I find out, you’ve been doing this for years!
The book, Kittens and Cats: A First Reader was a hit with children of the day who loved reading about, Queen Cat, Dunce Cat, Granny Gray, and Party Cat.
The book was meant to be read aloud, and is about a feline kingdom whose inhabitants are getting ready for a fabulous party thrown by the Queen.
One kitten in the book boasts, “I’m the only cat in our country who has an automobile.” I guess the other poor kitties had to walk to the pawty.
The photographer didn’t receive credit in the book but it’s believed that Harry Whittier Frees, famous for his kitten photography, took the photos. Lest you worry that kittens were harmed during the shoot, it was said of Frees that he had “great patience and invariable kindness”.
The book was meant to be educational. The back of the book says that children would be taught 600 vocabulary words and teachers were advised to conduct classes by “assigning a cat character to each child, having them read in order the text devoted to their special character. The children should impersonate the different cats and tell their tales to amuse the Queen, who sits on her throne,” the author recommended.
This book is now in the public domain and you can read it online at Archive.org and even download it.
This feline is still no fan of costumes for cats, even for educational purrposes!
Have you noticed that around Halloween, humans like to post photos of their felines making the cat’s eyes look creepy? Well, Physicist Helen Czerski has some interesting things to say about our eyes (and by the way, our eyes aren’t creepy at all!)
First she says the pupil of the eye is the gatekeeper. Light has to pass through the pupil to reach the back of the eye where the light sensitive cells are located.
Cats have vertical slit-shaped pupils which are common in nighttime ambush predators who also need to function during the day. The muscle structure needed to open and close a slit-shaped pupil is simple. That means we felines can narrow our slits to the tiniest sliver, and then open them up in the dark until they’re round. Domestic cats are able to change the area of our pupils (and therefore the light it lets in) by a factor of 135. You humans are only able to change yours by a factor of 15. That means we see much better in the dark than you do.
Felines have a narrow pupil in the horizontal direction but a wide pupil in the vertical direction. Anything along the horizontal plane is in beautiful sharp focus but the image will be more blurred in the vertical direction. At the right focal length, the image will be perfectly in focus in both directions, and that gives the cat an extra way of judging distance. The slit gives the cat a second way of doing this (the other is the stereo images from both eyes, which is how humans judge distance); the two complement each other to produce pinpoint accuracy. Well, that just goes to show you that we felines have amazing eyes.
So there you go, another amazing fact about the wonderful felines that live in your house!
Every kitty needs an advent calendar
As you can see, we are ready to get in the holiday spirit and a good part of that is having The Human get us an advent calendar to count down the days. We found some great ones for this year.
Fancy Feast has a fancy advent calendar this year. It has 24 flavors that include classics as well as new, limited edition holiday recipes like Yuletide Turkey Feast in Gravy and Hearthside Salmon Platter with Pumpkin and Spinach Pate. Just think of your human opening a can of this goodness for you every morning during Advent! The calendar is $24.99 and you can find it at Amazon, Chewy, Walmart and more.
Our Lily wants this one because it’s called Lily’s Kitchen Christmas Cat Advent Calendar. There are 24 meaty gourmet treats of many flavors for the refined feline palate, such as chicken with liver and turkey with cranberry, The cost is $32.00
If you’re one of the lucky felines who don’t have to worry about your physique, Scrumbles Cat Advent Calendaris for you. The British based company packs this calendar with a variety of natural, healthy treats. They also give 50p (about 69 cents) per purchase to Woods Green The Animals Charity for the cats and kittens they help there. This organization has been around since 1924 and is one of the UK’s largest pet charities. They have a converted farm in Godmanchester that’s purpose-built, ready to help dogs, cats and more animals. This calendar costs $33.00 and has a variety of healthy, meaty treats for 24 days.
I would be remiss if I didn’t do a feature on a black cat for the month of October. I love this black cat named Lucky who is a hit on Instagram. He went from feral to fancy and is now living his best life. He has a signature look for his Instagram photos which includes dark shades and he’d never be caught at a photo shoot without them.
You can read Lucky’s story in the article and also get some tips from his purrsonal photographers about how they get those great shots of him. Black cats rock!
Hello Furiends, It’s Wednesday again and our Purrsonal Assistant is a bit overwhelmed. I keep telling her she needs to get herself organized instead of running around the house like her hair is on fire. So far, none of her issues have interrupted our feeding, snack, litter box cleaning or petting time so I’m sure you’ll be glad to know we are okay. And, having mentioned her being behind, now is a good time to say that our winners in the “RememberMeThursday contest still haven’t been notified so we won’t be announcing their names this week.
There was a rather unfortunate incident with a stuffed fish this week. The Human woke up to see a bit of a massacre on the bedroom rug. I did think she was a rather overdramatic when she said all we needed was crime scene tape!
The Human has been obsessed with some new glasses she got. She has a base pair and then got all these toppers to put over the base pair to change the look. She has ordered so many of these tops we’re becoming concerned that this might cut into our kibble budget! In the first photo you can see 3 of the many, many toppers she has. Oliver and I decided he’d make a purrfect spokespurrson for the company, Pair Eyewear, and so he sent his portfolio in to them. We are still waiting for a response!
It’s been a looong week so Oliver and I decided some stress reducing cuddling was in order. We hope you all have a chance to cuddle too!
Frankly this cat is a bit hissy about this article. If you want a dog, get a dog! But then I thought, purrhaps this is good information for people who are transitioning from being dog people to being cat people. I won’t list all the cats from the article but I picked out a few that were interesting.
American Shorthair Oliver made me include this one as this is the largest part of his heritage. The article says, they weigh 6-15 pounds, have a life expectancy of 15-20 years. They are playful and sweet. I guess I’d agree on most of these points except the weight (Ollie weighs in at a whopping 20 pounds) and he’s not always nice to Lily. They’re called the Golden Retriever of the household cat world. They adapt well to just about any circumstance and are playful and sweet.
Bengals are confident and devoted and they will climb anything and follow you everywhere. They are great at doing agility training and some even like to swim
I’ve never heard of or met a Chausie but the article says they are large and bold and that they like to explore. They are intelligent and like to learn tricks and are cats that are very eager to please. Because their lineage includes wild cat DNA, they look like miniature mountain lions,
There are many other breeds listed in the article, even the Siamese who the experts say are known for their smarts and athleticism. Left alone all day or ignoring our pleas to play will result in destructive behavior. Siamese cats thrive in social households surrounded by people and pets. In fact, adopting another animal to keep your Siamese company during the day is a very wise move. I would say this is a pretty accur4ate description of yours truly.
Good grief, sometimes all you have to do to find fame on the inter web is to be lazy! Kermit has taken a liking into his human siblingsbaby bounder and hanging out in it. The TikTok video Kermit’s human posted has already gotten 9over 4.5 million views. Note to self, tell The Human to buy a baby bouncer!
My readers know how much I love to report on working cats and this article features 30 black and white photos of diligently working cats. The photographer, Marianna Zampieri, made sure that it was known that these are all natural poses, nothing was staged or forced. I love these and say paws up Marianna!
Hello Furiends, It is getting chilly in our neck of the woods and we were pleased to see that The Human called in the humans who clean and service our fireplace. This is Oliver’s favorite spot in the chilly winter months. He even made a movie about it. (Note that this movie was filmed when Oliver was younger and slimmer)
Well, the fireplace human arrived and Oliver had to stick his head inside to snoopervise the human’s work. This got him locked in the bedroom until the service was completed.
I, on the other hand, preferred to sit at a distance and ensure that all work was completed correctly.
Lily selected a comfy chair near the fire and waited to test it.
All went well, the fireplace is working wonderfully and we felines are looking for ward to a cozy winter.
There are odd couples and then there is this couple. Angel and Halo, a cat and a guinea pig have a bond that is quite unusual They are genuine best furiends and they had to lean on each other for support when their human had to surrender them to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control,.
The animal control officer who did the intake for these two said she’d many bonded pairs during her 17-year career, but she’s never met a cat who is best friends with a guinea pig. “I think honestly, my first reaction was this is definitely a first,”
Angel and Halo’s unique friendship helped them both during a difficult time. They shared a large cage where they cuddled together in one corner. The BFF’s reportedly even shared their own special language.
The shelter ‘s mission was to ensure both were adopted together and soon, a mother and son contacted them, eager to welcome Angel and Halo into their family.
The lady’s reward to her son for making honor roll was the adoption of this odd couple. Mother and son promised to keep the shelter updated on the progress of their new furry friends and she said they would create social media accounts for Halo and Angel.
Filmmaker Mye Hoang’s documentary tells the story of several male cat owners and their furry feline companions.
“CAT DADDIES” focuses on David Giovanni who was living on the streets of New York, determined to stay together with his beloved cat, Lucky. When he’s finally granted a spot in a transitional housing facility that accepts cats, the COVID-19 pandemic and a devastating medical diagnosis put his future together with Lucky in doubt.
David’s journey is interspersed with portraits of other “cat dads” from all over the country. Some struggle to navigate the unprecedented events of 2020 with their little furry friends.. They include a group of firefighters, a stuntman, a truck driver, a Bay Area tech worker, a schoolteacher whose cat becomes a viral sensation, and an actor/Instagram influencer. These men couldn’t be more different, but they share an unconditional love for their beloved felines and are true cat daddies!.
Meowza, this sounds like a great film and paws up to all cat daddies!
His original owner was heartbroken when they had to surrender him due to unforeseen circumstances. After Gus passed his health screening with flying colors (he was pronounced to be in excellent health) he was ready for adoption but, at 19 years of age the shelter was worried about finding him a furever home..
Shortly after Gus’s arrival, the shelter director received an unexpected call from a family looking for a pet who could be a companion for their aging mother. More specifically, they asked if there was a senior cat they could adopt. The family explained to shelter that their 101-year-old mother, Penny, recently lost her cat, and though they’d given her a stuffed cat to cuddle with instead, she simply wasn’t pleased with something that didn’t purr. Well, duh, what good is a cat if you can’t get purr therapy?
Judging by the pictures the shelter shared on Facebook, this was a match made in heaven and now, Gus is enjoying giving his new human purrs and watching the squirrels outside their door.
The latest report says that Gus has settled in purrfectly and is eating like a horse.
More than 70 artists have purrticipated in a feline-centric group exhibition. Now in its fourth iteration, the Cat Art Show includes sculptures, paintings, collages, and a variety of other works by artists from 16 countries—Ravi Zupa (previously), Lola Dupré (previously), and Aniela Sobieski (previously) are among them—that capture the antics and sheer fabulousness of both domestic and wild cats.
.If you’re in Los Angeles, stop by The Golden Pagoda between October 14 and 24 to see these works in person, and check out the available pieces on Instagram. Ten percent of all sales will be donated to cat care, with this year’s funds going to Kitt Crusaders, Faces of Castelar, and Milo’s Sanctuary.
Kitties do get depressed. Lily meowed about this in her blog post, “Even Kittles Get The Blues”. There are a number of reasons for this such as loss of a family member, moving to a new house, a change in the family’s schedule or a change in physical health.
And how do you know if your feline is depressed? Some signs are, when your feline exhibits very obvious changes in behavior, when appetite decreases, when they have no interest in playing, when they stop interacting with the other felines in the house, when their vocalization increases, when their sleep time increases (although with felines that isn’t always easy to figure out), decreased interest in grooming, house soiling or not consistently using their litter box. Grief can also make your cat depressed. We talk about this in our book, Are There Head Bonks In Heaven?
First and most importantly you need to take your cat to the vet to rule out any physical problems. If there is no physical reason for the behavoirs, then your kitty is probably blue. There are some things you can do (our Lily has recovered from her grief at the loss of Angel Tucker and she is doing great now). The Human used some of these techniques to help her.
Try some new types of food. Some felines (like our Oliver) are very food motivated.
Play calming music. Lily talks about this in her article and she even has a video about Music for Cats.
Supplements. There are natural supplements that contain l-theanine and l-tryptophan that can increase serotonin in a cat’s brain to help combat depression. Serotonin is sometimes known as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter and higher levels are connected to feelings of calm and happiness.
Use pheromones and invigorating scents. Feliway and other pheremone products are favorites without The Human.
Consider adopting another cat. Make sure you know your cat’s personality and the dynamics if you live with multiple felines.
Get professional help. This is a big one with our Human as she has diplomas in Feline Behavior and also Feline Anxiety. Get an expert to help you assess the situation.
Change happens and we felilnes are not the biggest fans of change so if something happens in your home that seems to make your kitty sad, please investigate and seek help so that your feline will go from blue to blissful!
Happy Wednesday Furiends! We’re having a beautiful fall and tomorrow the human who takes care of the thing in the living room that has flames and gives heat will be here to make sure everything is ready for our colder weather. We love that thing in the winter!
Otherwise there’s nothing much new. You may remember this video about how I expect water from the bathroom sink in the morning.
Well, The Human decided to capture the errr….rather unusual hairdo that my “dip” under the faucet creates.
I think I look kinda’ edgy and fierce which is why I’m a little miffed that The Human keeps laughing at me.
Oliver chooses the more traditional method of cleaning.
Lily is happy to just hang out with The Human and likes to on her shoulder and wrap herself around The Human like a furry boa.
Well, that’s about it for today except that we have news about our #RememberMeThursday contest, we have winners!!! We will announce them in the next couple of days so stay tuned!
Chicago’s Tree House Humane Society is working hard to solve two problems at once: finding feral cats that don’t thrive in a home or shelter and finding them furever home with local residents and businesses looking for a natural solution to rat infestations, launching a program called “Cats at Work”.
The feline’s new “bosses” feed and care for them. Evidently these cats don’t have to work too hard as their pheromones alone work to deter the rats. Pheromones are a chemical communication that all cats use to interact with each other and the world around them. The rats will flee when they detect cat pheromones.
This program has found jobs and homes for more than 1,000 cats who otherwise might have been euthanized since 2012.
The cats don’t just protect workplaces, they also conduct reconnaissance and patrol work in Chicago’s dark alleyways. And people are seeing a reduction in rat activity.
William Hurley from the Empirical Brewery believes the predatory nature of the relationship between cats and rodents has tackled his business’ rat problem more effectively. He says that grain is like a magnet for rats, and since grain is an important ingredient for a brewery rat problems will happen.
The program is working well for felines and humans and the shelter keeps tabs on how the relationships are working out to ensure that the furry employees have furever homes and jobs.
Feyda is a Russian cat who has captured the attention of the internet with his perpetually alarmed expression.
Natalie Zhdanova found the sickly feline in her backyard. She noticed the eyes were out of alignment and he had trouble moving his back legs. She took him in and with the help of her other cat, Handsome, nursed him back to health.
Fedya is a year old now and best buddies with his feline brother Handsome. He is healthy and playful and happy. His facial expression is still a mystery.
I don’t know about you but this feline has wondered this. Humans are always meowing about the fact that we house cats are so close to our wild cousins. If this is true, then why can’t we roar? Well, now I have my answers.
I will try to make this not too “sciency” so my furiends can understand it. The reason has to do with our voice box and throat, which create feline vocalizations. Because of the way purrs and roars are made, these sounds are mutually exclusive in cats — any given cat species can either roar or purr, but not both, says John Wible, curator of mammals at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.
Purring is a unique sound because it’s created both when felines breathe in and out. Felines that purr include house cats, bobcats, ocelots, lynx, cougars and cheetahs.
Wible says that roaring is much rarer in cats and evolved in the large cat breeds. “Roaring is much rarer among cats and evolved in a particular lineage of large cats,” Roaring felines include lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards. But get this, there is one exception, the snow leopard. And even the scientists don’t know why. Hmmph, humans aren’t as smart as they think they are.
As in you humans, the sounds cats make come from our voice box, called the larynx. The difference between purring cats and roaring cats starts here, though exactly how cats make these sounds are unclear, Wible said. (Again, we see that humans don’t know everything.)
The simple answer about “roarers” is that it comes from bendy bones in the throat. Instead of a bended bone, they have flexible cartilage that allows the cat to lower its voice for a deeper pitched sound. We “purrers” have a different variation in our voice box and our purring is caused by the very fast twitching of the vocalis muscle found in the folds of the voice box.
Roarers have longer, more stretchy, fleshyt, fatty layers of tissue that make up their vocal cords. This allows them to create the rumbling sound of a roar.
Despite all the scientific research, these experts can’t tell us much more. They speculate that purring is a healing or calming mechanism or that it might help hide mewing kittens from predators.
This feline says that any of you humans who live with us know how calming and healing purr therapy is.
Rocky was born and raised at his place of employment and has become a local celebrity over the duration of his 13-year existence. The runt of the 15-kitten litter, Rocky was bottle fed and when his brothers and sisters were adopted; his human nanny couldn’t bear to part with him.
Rocky’s fame has resulted in attempted kidnappings (three times) and now he wears a collar that reads, “Put Me Down” to thwart future cat nappers. Even though Rocky likes to roam (he’s been known to stroll four miles away) but he always comes back home. He’s also been known to visit other houses in the neighborhood.
He is well known in the business district where he lives and works and has lots of fans who are always happy to offer him daily treats.
Rocky has made his home at the brewery and surrounding businesses for 13 years and all the humans there consider him family.
We felines know a good human when we meet one and the cats in Chris Watson’s neighborhood know he’s a good human which has earned him the title of “Cat Whisperer”.
Christ takes a 2-mile walk around his neighborhood regularly and he takes notes of the felines in his neighborhood and has nicknames for each one. Sometimes he even gets to know their humans.
When Chris began taking videos of his daily feline encounters and posting them to TikTok (@catluminati) they went viral. One of his videos got 100,000 views but when you watch his videos you can understand why. Whether it’s stray cats or pampered house cats, the majority of them seem to love him.
Chris began doing research on cats, learning that when his new feline friends turned over on their backs and offered their bellies to pet, it meant complete trust.
People who watch Chris’ videos say that his kindness and love make their lives a little happier. . For Chris, his walks and the video captures of them help him connect with his community, both animal and human, while also fulfills his larger personal mission to bond with his neighbors.
“Sometimes we just have to love each other unconditionally and not be so afraid of each other and actually communicate with each other,” Chris said.
We give Chris a big paws up as one fabulous neighbor!