Happy February Furiends,
Things have been soooooooo much better in our neck of the woods since The Human got the garage door fixed. As she explained it, life is much easier for her and even carrying groceries in from the garage rather than the long icy driveway to the front door has made her very happy. Needless to say, we felines are thankful for this happier, calmer mood as evidenced by this photo of Oliver but, if the truth be told, Oliver lets very little interrupt his chillax status.
The other day The Human stopped to stare at Lily wondering why she was sitting so far away from the upstairs deck sliders as Lily monitored a portly squirrel devouring the peanuts left out for him on the deck. Upon closer inspection, The Human realized that Lily was sitting on the heating vent while she enjoyed the view. Smart Lily!
As for me, I have been doing my duty keeping The Human’s jewelry safe. She insists she doesn’t have anything of value in there but I do believe she apurreciates me taking on the watch cat duties. Sigh, a feline’s work is never done.
That’s it for the news in our neck of the woods, I hope you enjoy this week’s offering of web-wide feline news.
We felines in North America are pretty used to microchipping but it seems Japanese humans aren’t nor are they too enthused about it. This is creating some controversy as It will become mandatory for breeders and pet stores in Japan to implant microchips in dogs and cats beginning in June 2022.
The majority of cat parents in Japan are opposed to the revised Act on Welfare and Management of Animals . An online survey of 2,000 persons conducted by Japan Trend Research, revealed a lack of awareness regarding the revised law, with 76.3% of respondents stating that they were not aware of the new requirement to implant microchips in dogs and cats.
Among those surveyed, only 24.5% said that they had had a microchip implanted in their pet.
Reasons cited for not wanting to have a chip implanted included the following: “It is immoral to implant a chip in a living being” and “My pet is always inside and I’m also worried about some problem arising from implanting a foreign object in the body of my pet.” Those who said they are unsure about whether to have a chip implanted or not included those who were concerned about the effect on the pet or were weighing up the cost.
I appreciate humans being very careful about the health of their felines but this feline (as well as Oliver and Lily) have regular wellness visits and have no negative health effects from our microchips (we are all from our local shelter and all pets adopted from there are microchipped). In addition, those of you who read my feline news regularly know how many times I’ve reported that cats have been reunited with their families because of microchips (even indoor cats who have escaped). We give microchipping paws up and hope the good folks in Japan will microchip their felines.
This grey tabby almost disappears into the fluffy rug and the cat’s human said she didn’t realize how the cat would blend in with the carpet. This cat isn’t the only one who has camouflaged themselves on rugs. Check out the photos in the story and see if you think these kitties are blending in. Are you a camo cat at your house?
Snapple the cat makes his way around with the help of a little wheeled cart — sometimes charging straight into walls and other obstacles but he’s never defeated, he just backs up and heads off in another direction. The fact that Snapple, an 8-month-old tuxedo (black and white) cat, has a disability doesn’t keep him from having fun.
“He’s got a sparkling personality,” said Kris Kaiser of Plymouth, who provides foster care for Snapple.
Snapple has a condition called cerebellar hypoplasia — also known as “wobbly cat syndrome” — a congenital condition in kittens that affects the area of the brain that controls motor movement, balance and coordination. It also makes their whiskers curly and their heads wobbly, but is not progressive or painful.
In December, Kaiser was chosen AdvoCat of the Year, an award from the Feline Generous program sponsored by Arm & Hammer. She was one of almost 4,500 nominees — “staff and volunteers at animal shelters across the country who go above and beyond to care for purrfectly impurrfect cats,” the company said.
I say this human deserves that award and more! Since Snapple’s front legs aren’t strong enough to allow him to sit, he spends much of the time lying on his side. But in the cart Kaiser bought for him, Snapple can rest his front legs on top while his back legs touch the floor, allowing him to run around.
The first time he tried it, “he was strapped in and he was off,” Kaiser said, as if the cat were thinking, “Finally, I can go places!'”
Snapple’s wobbling head can also make it difficult to eat, so Kaiser provided a special raised food bowl.
This wonderful lady won a $15,000.00 donation for her local shelter,, the Bitty Kitty Brigade in Maple Grove. Bitty Kitty serves orphaned, neonatal kittens up to 5 weeks old that are not yet eating on their own.
Kaiser has another foster cat, as well as three cats as permanent adoptees. All of them have wobbly cat syndrome which, in addition to hampering their mobility, causes their heads to bob, particularly when they’re excited, see something interesting or are trying to figure something out.
“There’ll be a bird or squirrel outside and everybody will be at the window with their heads bobbing,” said Kaiser.
Snapple, who came to Kaiser as a “tiny bottle baby,” loves to play with toys, tossing them up and grabbing them in his mouth. She conveniently works in marketing for Yeowww Catnip, a catnip-toy manufacturer in Roseville.
Snapple is being adopted by Ed and Gina Yamamoto of Honolulu, who will fly to Minnesota in February or March to pick him up and will bring him home to be a companion for their cat. They saw Snapple on either Kaiser’s account, @tippietuxies, which features all of her cats, or on Snapple’s own account, @tuxonwheels.
Snapple is a lucky guy and we give the human Kris Kaiser a big paws up for all she does for special needs kitties.
Monesia Greene is a cat whisperer, and now she is teaching felines to talk back at Best Friends Animal Society, in Atlanta.
To help the felines she fosters find homes, Greene teaches the pets enriching new talents. Recently, Greene has been training her foster cats to “talk” by using a customizable soundboard with recordable buttons. My readers may remember that I reported on cats and these sound boards previously.
A shy tabby named Ripley was the first foster cat to benefit from Greene’s language lessons. When Greene first took in the adoptable pet over six months ago, Ripley was a beautiful but scared cat who was not confident around new situations and people.
Greene and her husband helped Ripley slowly get accustomed to physical affection, interacting with other cats, and coming out of her shell. Ripley made huge strides with the couple’s help but still stayed a little shy when put in new situations, making it hard for her to charm potential adopters.
To help Ripley stand out and show off the kind, intelligent cat she is, Greene started training her to use the soundboard after seeing dogs learn to communicate with the recordable buttons. The volunteer invested in several recordable buttons and decided to use the products to teach Ripley the words “treats” and “pets” — two of the cat’s favorite things.
Greene taught Ripley the meanings behind each button by giving the cat treats or pets in front of the soundboard and pressing the corresponding button. Ripley learned quickly that the buttons were connected to things that she adored and started pushing the buttons to request treats and pets for herself.
After showing such success with two buttons, Greene added “play” for and “pick up” to Ripley’s soundboard, and the feline mastered those buttons too. Soon, Ripley’s talents and ability to talk through the buttons attracted adopters, and Ripley went home with her forever family. The same method helped another of Greene’s fosters, Momma Cat, find a home too.
Greene is now looking forward to using this training method to help and entertain future foster cats.
Wow, great job human and Ripley!
Glasgow, Scotland residents reported a “racket” as tan Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft flew over the outskirts of the city towards Loch Lomand around 2.45am.
Global flight tracking service Flightradar24 picked up the flight path as it carried out a rescue operation 32,000 feet above ground.
Posting on Twitter, they said: “300 dogs and cats from the Kabul Small Animal Rescue KSAR are back in the air on their way from Kabul to Vancouver.”
The military aircraft made a stop in Reykjavik, Iceland, before landing in Vancouver, Canada. Now why the cats flew on a Russian plane I cannot tell you but I’m thankful humans are doing what they can to save them. Now if you humans of assorted countries could work together this well for other international issues.