Walk Through the Web Wednesday – 9/7

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
First, Oliver would like to thank you all for the get well wishes. He really apurreciated them. He had a rough few days but he’s back to his old sassy self now.

As The Human was playing nurse to Ollie most of last week and getting up at ungodly hours (and rousting Lily and I from our sleeping positions on the bed) she didn’t manage to capture any new photos of us so I thought this would be a purrfect time to feature Lily’s Remember Me Thursday video and brag that this little video won a Certificate of Excellence from The Cat Writer’s Association.

On September 22, 2022, the entire world  shared the importance of pet adoption, and shine a light on all orphan pets waiting in shelters and rescues. Since its inception in 2013, Remember Me Thursday® has made more than 2 billion impressions on social media.

On #RememberMeThursday, love your rescue and help others #SeeTheLight. It’s up to you to spread the word. We’ll be celebrating again this year and hope you’ll join us!

I hope you enjoyed Lily’s story and that you enjoy this week’s news stories.

Stray Cat Island is ‘purrfect’ place for animal welfare

Now here’s a concept I can get behind. Shanghai’s first cat island is open and housing 20 stray cats and preparing to accommodate 200-300 in the future.  The island has interactive activities for visitors and is also serving as an adoption center.

Those wanting to adopt are required to volunteer some time at the shelter and time to get to know the cats they want to bring home. This is to mitigate the possibilities that the cats will be abandoned and that they will have forever homes.

Paws up to the wonderful people that created his sanctuary!

Twitter users delighted to see billboards announcing Larry the cat’s bid for PM

I do not like purrlitical stories as they often result in much hissing and fuzzy tails but this story has to be shared. Larry the cat is appearing on billboards all around London announcing that the No. 10 Downing Street’s Chief Mouser has thrown his collar into the ring to run for prime minister.

While most humans opine that either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak, of the Conservative Party will be the winner the #Larry4Leader organization is making sure he is considered in the race.

Larry was only four years old when he was adopted from Battersea Dogs and Cats home to begin his new life in politics and has served as a trusted companion to three prime ministers: David Cameron, Theresa May and the outgoing PM, Boris Johnson. That means that Larry has more purrlitical experience at the highest level than the two humans running against him.

Larry’s campaign team is making his purrlitical positions clear which include, “responsible hiss-cal policy” and “no lying in No. 10 unless it’s on a comfy cushion.”

If you want to know more about Larry’s campaign you can visit his website.

There is a website, www.larry4leader.com, dedicated to Larry’s political efforts.

Lana’i Cat Sanctuary hosts yoga with Cats

Two paws up for the humans who supported Lana’i Cat Sanctuary at their cat yoga session on the lawn of its shelter. The non-profit incurs costs of almost a million dollars a year to house the 680 cats that live there. They bring in about 200 new feral cats every year but they also adopt out about 100 cats a year.

This little island sanctuary that does so much good for felines doesn’t have the kind of opportunities for fund raising that larger places might have. According to the 2020 census there are 3,367 people on the island. That is about half of the population of the town we live in and we live in a small town. They streamed the yoga event on Facebook and plan to stream the next one they do.

Woman creates a camera that will monitor her cat’s poop

A woman created an artificially intelligent (AI) infrared camera rig using a Rasberry Pi to monitor her cat’s poop after she discovered it was eating plastic after her vet advised her to monitor her feline Teddy’s bathroom habits as he is a plastic eater. The vet told her it’s important to make sure Teddy eliminates the plastic and it doesn’t get stuck in his intestines.

The woman knew this would be a challenge as she had two cats so she wrote a program and set up a camera motion sensor that would trigger every time Teddy used the litterbox so she could tell if Teddy was constipated from the plastic he ate.

Estefannie wrote a python script and set up a camera with a motion sensor that would trigger every time Teddy used his litterbox so she could tell if he was constipated or not.

She said, “I did a lot of research and found I need to take a whole bunch of pictures. Luckily I already have a picture taking script that can take several pictures a second,” she explains on her YouTube channel.

This project wasn’t without its problems. Teddy took exception to the flash so she set up a series of infrared lights and gave the camera an infrared filter so it could see in the dark.

Every time a photo is taken it is sent to a server which processes the image and sends back a message to Estefanni’s computer. It tells her which cat is using the litterbox and if they are pooping or peeing. This complex arrangement allows Estefanni to save all of the data so she knows when Teddy is not pooping and if he needs to go to the veterinary hospital.

How long did it take her to create this incredible set up? It took about a year.

Purr-fect Pairing: Cats and Wineries Create ‘Win-Win Situation’

Ah, one of my favorite subjects – working cats and what better workplace for a feline than a winery?

Wine magazine has done a feature article on these furry employees. Sometimes the cats arrive at the winery and make it their home, which was the case for the resident feline at Napa Valley’s Black Cat Vineyard. In the mid-1990s, a stray black cat wandered onto the property as proprietor and winemaker Tracey Reichow and her kids planted their first grapevines. Every day, he returned to snoopervise their work.

They named him “Black Cat.” The following year, Reichow decided to name the business after the friendly feral feline. Through her veterinarian, Reichow learned about other needy felines who were better suited to the outdoor life. Reichow would bring them to live on her property. At one point, she had 13 winery cats prowling over her 20 acres.

She has a cat door in case any want to come inside her home. But typically, they prefer to sleep in cat beds in the vineyard’s outbuildings like machine sheds and a huge barn, which she warms with heating pads in winter.

And these cats earn their pay by keeping rodents like gophers (that can tunnel through the roots of grapevines and kill the plants) away from the vineyard.

Many rescue organizations offer “barn cat” adoption programs for cats that are fearful or distrustful of humans. These cats would be stressed as indoor pets and that puts them at risk of euthanasia. But life in a winery can be the best solution for these cats.  .

At Black Cat Vineyard, the cats hunt rodents like gophers that can tunnel through the roots of grapevines and kill the plants. One of her current cats, Peanut, even leaves gopher guts on the front porch each morning as a gift.

There are requirements for the humans who hire winery working felines. As the cats are territorial, adequate food, water and shelter is required or the cats will move and find new territory.

And if the furry winery employees decide they like the company of humans there are plenty of people for them to choose from such as employees and guests.

At Carlson Vineyards in Palisade, Colorado the  three rescue winery cats—Hank the Tank, Gunny and Willow Taffy Snowball—seem to turn on the charm for guests, according to co-owner Garrett Portra.

“It’s almost like they know, ‘Showtime! Time to earn our keep around here,’” he says with a chuckle. “It’s amazing how many people come in just to see the cats.”

The cats live outside, but they sleep indoors at night since there are coyotes in the area. There’s even a cat bed next to the register, which is “purr-fect” for cat lovers who buy bottles of the winery’s popular “Laughing Cat.”

A beloved rescue cat named Jinx, who was “crazy as anything,” inspired the name of Crazy Cat Winery and Café in Bristol, New Hampshire, says co-owner Claudette Smith. At the end of the day, Jinx liked to come into the tasting room and do the “zoomies to entertain the humans. When Jinx crossed the Rainbow Bridge last year Smith was overwhelmed by the support of his fans. Jinx’s legacy continues as he is on the winery logo.

Now rescue cats Cricket and Jasper attract customers. When asked what they bring to the business, Smith doesn’t hesitate. “People. Cat people.”

Crazy Cat shares photos of the winery cats on social media, as well as posts about adoptable cats from rescues like nonprofit group FuRRR Feline Rescue, which rescued Cricket and Jasper.

The winery recently hosted a month long food and kitty litter drive for FuRRR. Anyone who donated received a 10% discount on bottles of wine, which have names like Whisker White and Cat’s Paw.

For the photography book Wine Cats, Craig McGill and Susan Elliott photographed 108 cats in three countries. They learned of a cat named Mr. Wu, who could detect cork taint whenever a wine writer opened a bottle that was off.

I’ve featured cats that work at distilleries too. At  Beehive Distilling in Salt Lake City, Owner Chris Barlow and his daughter adopted a cat named Gimlet from Best Friends Animal Society after they hosted a fundraiser for the nonprofit.

Gimlet’s job is to deter rodents that may be attracted to the grain bags around the gin distillery. But her main job is to entertain guests that watch her strut her stuff as they enjoy a drink. She even sleeps in cat beds on barrels and steam pipes.

“It’s really nice to have a cat around,” says Barlow. “I think she just makes everything better.”

Ultimately, when distilleries and wineries adopt working cats, it benefits the business and saves the cat’s life, according to Megan McCloud, senior manager of lifesaving programs at Best Friends Animal Society.

“Just like people, cats have unique personalities and thrive in different environments,” she says. “Working cats are a great asset to businesses, and it’s a wonderful lifestyle for their unique dispositions.”

Paws up to the great wineries and distilleries who give cats a job and a home!

20 thoughts on “Walk Through the Web Wednesday – 9/7

  1. Ollie, we are glad you are all recovered from your dental. And Lily, we love your Remember Me Thursday video! It’s wonderful, and it’s not a surprise that it garnered a Certificate of Excellence. 🙂

    We really liked the story about Stray Cat Island, and the cats at the wineries, too. And we would totally vote for Larry!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My boyfriend rolls his eyes when I say I want to get married at Ernest Hemingway’s house. I don’t care about the house per se, just the 6 toed cats. Don’t tell … but I have a feeling if we did that, I’d be too busy chasing cats around to get married.

    Liked by 1 person

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