Hello Furiends, It’s been crazy in our neck of the woods – below zero temps and nasty wind chill and then 38 degrees and rain. The Human has been doing a lot of grumbling, especially when the snow plow leaves a big icy wall at the end of the driveway so she can’t get out. I don’t know how you humans do it but at least we felines are sitting by the window and snoopervising.
I hope the weather is better in your neck of the woods but I know some of our furiends in the east are dealing with snowmageddon too. Here’s to a safe, happy week and we’ll be popping in again before the New Year with a feline take of 2022.
Well, if the truth be told, Billi, the 13-year old Floridian feline doesn’t really talk but she does make her thoughts known by pressing buttons. I did a report on cats and these devices several months ago and found there has been progress made since then.
When Billi presses a button twice that says “dog” her human asks her if there is a dog outside. A few minutes later Billi then presses the button for “tummy” twice.
Many cats and dogs have been featured in the news using an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device — essentially, a sound board made up of buttons with a different word vocally recorded on each — to “talk” to their humans. Billi’s human was inspired to try the device after she saw a dog using it.
Due to the lockdown Billi’s human had a lot of time on her hand so she began to work with Billi.
“At that point Billi was the first cat that I knew of to try it,” Baker said. “I hadn’t seen any cats do it.”
She was concerned because the buttons were very large for little kitty feet to manipulate. She started Billi with the word “food” because Billi is food motivated.
Billi was quite capable of pushing the buttons and quick to pick up on the fact that the food button made food appear.
Today Billi has 50 words on her board, and is part of the ongoing research project called TheyCanTalk, whose goal is to understand if animals can communicate with humans through AAC devices. While the study is mostly made up of dogs, about 5 percent of the animals using AAC devices are now felines. It turns out that many cats have been successful at using the device.
Leo Trottier, cognitive scientist and founder of How.TheyCanTalk Research and developer of the FluentPet system Billi uses, admitted to Salon Magazine he was “pessimistic” about cats using the buttons, but was pleasantly surprised when they started to see felines catch on. Now, he’s intrigued by the ways in which cats appear to use the buttons differently from dogs.
What’s interesting is that cats tend to do more single button presses than multi buttons. He said that you need to find what the cats really want in order to get the cat to work with the buttons.
Billi’s human observes that Billi strings words together less frequently than dogs. Baker has a theory on why cats, like Billi, might be more prone to pressing one button to communicate.
“She does string words together, but it is much less frequent than what I see some of the dogs doing, and I don’t know exactly why that is but I will say she’s more deliberate in her button presses,” Baker said. “Billi is very, very deliberate when she presses a button and knows exactly which one she’s looking for, she takes her time . . . and if she is going to string a sentence together, she’ll take a thinking loop and then she’ll come back — very rarely does she go from one directly to another.
Could it be that in observing cats use the AAC device, humans are finding out that the stereotypical differences between cats and dogs are actually true? Perhaps, but researchers have been very cautious to jump to any conclusions about these “talking” animals yet. In fact, it’s up for debate if these animals are, scientifically speaking, speaking — or if they’ve simply been trained to use specific buttons to conjure specific things. Whether or not their communications are spontaneous has yet to be concluded.
“I’m very intrigued by the cats that are using the boards, because there’s really a dearth in cat cognition studies, particularly those that happen in the home,” Gabriella Smith, a cognitive science researcher at CleverPet noted. “Cats are really kind of overlooked in the companion animal cognition world. I’ve been a big fan of Billi, and my animal cognition scientist brain just lights up because I see these behaviors that I know from my own cat — but now I’m able to look at it from a cognition lens.”
Smith added that having cats as part of the TheyCanTalk study is a great way to study their cognition — and also, perhaps, dispel myths about cats.
“They have this reputation of just doing what they want and not really caring what the humans are doing, and I think this is a great opportunity to see that they actually are paying attention,” Smith said. “Seeing that they can be engaged, that they’re not just cat automatons, that aren’t driven by instinct 24/7 can function a great deal positively for their role in other studies.”
Regardless of what these studies ultimately tell us about cat cognition, Billi’s owner has observed a noticeable shift in Billi’s happiness since introducing the buttons to the talkative kitty.
“I really believe that the majority of house cats are bored and depressed,” Baker said. “We don’t give them any stimulation so you know, anything that we can do for them that gives them a better life, I’m for it.”
We felines had a bad reputation in the middle ages. Humans linked us with paganism and witchcraft which meant we were often treated with suspicion. Still, if you pursue medieval manuscripts you’ll be surprised at the playful images you see. Oliver wrote about a poem The Human saw in Dublin about Panger Ban, the meschevious cat owned by a monk.
From these (often very funny) portrayals, we can learn a lot about medieval attitudes towards cats—not least that they were a central fixture of daily medieval life.
In the middle ages, men and women were often identified by the animals they kept. Pet monkeys, for example, were considered exotic and a sign that the owner was wealthy, because they had been imported from distant lands. Pets became part of the personal identity of the nobility. Keeping an animal that was lavished with attention, affection and high-quality food in return for no functional purpose—other than companionship—signified high status.
It was not unusual for high-status men and women in the middle ages to have their portrait completed in the company of a pet, most commonly cats and dogs, to signify their elevated status.
It is commonplace to see images of cats in iconography of feasts and other domestic spaces, which appears to reflect their status as a pet in the medieval household.
In Pietro Lorenzetti’s Last Supper, a cat sits by the fire while a small dog licks a plate of leftovers on the ground. The cat and dog play no narrative role in the scene, but instead signal to the viewer that this is a domestic space.
Similarly, in the miniature of a Dutch Book of Hours (a common type of prayer book in the middle ages that marked the divisions of the day with specific prayers), a man and woman feature in a cozy household scene while a well looked-after cat gazes on from the bottom left-hand corner. Again, the cat is not the center of the image nor the focus of the composition, but it is accepted in this medieval domestic space.
Just like today, medieval families gave their cats names. A 13th-century cat in Beaulieu Abbey, for example, was called “Mite” according to the green ink lettering that appears above a doodle of said cat in the margins of a medieval manuscript.
Cats were well cared for in the medieval household. In the early 13th century, there is mention in the accounts for the manor at Cuxham (Oxfordshire) of cheese being bought for a cat, which suggests that they were not left to fend for themselves.
In fact, the 14th-century queen of France, Isabeau of Bavaria, spent excessive amounts of money on accessories for her pets. In 1387, she commissioned a collar embroidered with pearls and fastened by a gold buckle for her pet squirrel. In 1406, bright green cloth was bought to make a special cover for her cat.
Cats were also common companions for scholars, and eulogies about cats were not uncommon in the 16th century. In one poem, a cat is described as a scholar’s light and dearest companion. Eulogies such as this suggest a strong emotional attachment to pet cats, and show how cats not only cheered up their masters but provided welcome distractions from the hard mental craft of reading and writing.
Cats in the cloisters
Cats are found in abundance as a status symbol in medieval religious spaces. There are lots of medieval manuscripts that feature, for example, illuminations (small images) of nuns with cats, and cats frequently appear as doodles in the margins of Books of Hours.
But there is also much criticism about the keeping of cats in medieval sermon literature. The 14th-century English preacher John Bromyard considered them useless and overfed accessories of the rich that benefited while the poor went hungry.
Cats are also recorded as being associated with the devil. Their stealth and cunning when hunting for mice was admired—but this did not always translate into qualities desirable for companionship. These associations led to the killing of some cats, which had detrimental effects during the Black Death and other middle age plagues, when more cats may have reduced flea-infested rat populations.
Because of these associations, many thought that cats had no place in the sacred spaces of religious orders. There do not seem to have been any formal rules, however, stating that members of religious communities were not allowed to keep cats—and the constant criticism of the practice perhaps suggests that pet cats were common.
Even if they were not always considered as socially acceptable in religious communities, cats were still clearly well looked after. This is evident in the playful images we see of them in monasteries.
For the most part, cats were quite at home in the medieval household. And as their playful depiction in many medieval manuscripts and artwork makes clear, our medieval ancestors’ relationships with these animals were not too different from our own. Humans have always loved us!
Study FindsCats recognize the names of feline furiends who share the same household.
Cats can remember each other’s names when living in the same household, according to a new study.
The research, conducted by Kyoto University and published in Scientific Reports, found cats could identify other felines by their names and faces.
The scientists showed pet cats living in homes and felines living in “cat cafés” photos of cats they resided with to determine their reactions. The cats were then played an audio recording of their owners, or a researcher, calling out a name — either the name of the familiar cat in the photo or a fake name.
Researchers discovered that pet cats spent more time looking at the image when the audio incorrectly identified a familiar cat than when the correct name was said. The study’s authors concluded this behavior may have occurred due to the cat expecting the correct name and being confused when it is not stated.
Additionally, the study found that cats who have lived with a family for a more extended time were more likely to stare at a photo of a misidentified cat for longer. However, cats who lived in cafés did not exhibit the same behavior.
“Whereas house cats probably learn by observing the reaction of the specific cat whose name was called, café cats are more likely to hear different names called by different guests, making such learning more difficult,” the authors wrote.
Fitzwilliam Darcy, a Flame Point Siamese cat from Edmonton, Canada, got to experience what it’s like to travel as a mini human (without the actual car ride).
Posting to the THIS CAT IS C H O N K Y group (a group I might add that Oliver and I are proud members of) on December 13, owner Natalie Ehrenholz shared two snaps of Fitz—who only goes by his full name when he’s in trouble—in her daughter’s car seat.
Captioned “safety furst,” the adorable photos have received almost 4,000 likes from fellow cat lovers..”
Well wouldn’t you know it-The Human forgot to set our post for publishing yesterday so the feline staff had to take matters into our own paws.
Now, not to be too hard on her, she’s still recovering from her “flu-ey” state and not operating at 100%, not to mention it has been C-O-L-D in our neck of the woods! The sun is shining today and this is the current temperature according to Weather Kitty.
Here’s an early morning photo of our lake.
We are sending you all Christmas Greetings and purraying you are all staying safe and warm.
The Human is quite familiar with the finicky reactions we felines have toward medicine. She has become fast furiends with our local compounding pharmacist and has spent much money looking for a medicine taste we would say “yes” to.
Amy Nichelason, a board-certified canine and feline practitioner and assistant clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine says that pills, forced into our mouths can negatively affect the human-animal bond, increase inflammation of the esophagus and make us more apprehensive about future treatment. Liquid forms of medication are typically easier to administer to cats, but acceptance of the medication hinges a lot on the taste.
If your human doesn’t know about compounding, its where the formulation of a prescription drug is changed to make the cat accept it.
In the study, healthy pet cats received a variety of flavorings, like chicken, beef and fish, in unmedicated oil- and water-based formulas. Owners gave the cats different flavors at home and observed which their cats ate. However, no flavor stuck out as the favorite.
One interesting finding was that cats don’t like sweet flavors in water-based formulations. This surprised Nichelason and her peers because cats can’t taste sweetness.
“They lack the gene to taste sweetness, so it’s interesting that they actively disliked the sweet flavor,” she notes.
Another standout finding was that owners struggled to accurately guess which compounding flavor their cat would like. Owners’ perceptions of their cats’ preferences in the study were only moderately associated with flavor acceptance.
“They’d say, ‘oh, my cat will like chicken,’ and then the cat preferred fish,” Nichelason says. MOL, you humans should know better than making blanket statements like this.
Although no individual flavor stuck out as a winner overall, cats favored oil-based flavorings over water-based flavorings. There were some trends toward preferences within the oil-based flavorings (specifically, chicken and fish), but these findings were not statistically significant.
In other words, all those trials and tests proved what everyone who knows cats already understands, we’re finicky.
“The moral of the story is to try something that has the best odds of working,” Nichelason says. “What I took home from this as a veterinarian is that I should avoid sweet flavors and use oil-based flavorings when possible.”
Nichelason offers a few general recommendations for lessening the stress of giving your cat medication: Try different formulations – chews, liquid or tablets – based on what your cat likes. If you aren’t sure of their preference, many compounding pharmacies have unmedicated samples owners can try giving their cats before adding the medication.
Additionally, rewarding your cat after any medication with a treat or extra affection can reinforce a positive outcome. But being honest with your veterinarian is most important.
“If the formulation isn’t working and it is creating stress, let us know so we can work together to create a better medication plan,” Nichelason advises.
And while we’re talking about medication, the Food and Drug Administration announced Dec. 8 that the agency has approved the first oral animal drug to improve glycemic control in otherwise healthy cats with diabetes mellitus not previously treated with insulin.
Bexacat is an inhibitor of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2, the first SGLT2 inhibitor approved by the FDA for any nonhuman animal species. Bexagliflozin, the active ingredient in Bexacat, prevents a cat’s kidneys from reabsorbing glucose into the blood, causing excess glucose to be passed out in the urine and resulting in lowered blood glucose. Bexacat is given to cats orally once daily via a flavored tablet. he Food and Drug Administration announced Dec. 8 that the agency has approved the first oral animal drug to improve glycemic control in otherwise healthy cats with diabetes mellitus not previously treated with insulin.
An SGLT2 inhibitor is not insulin and is not for use in cats with diabetes mellitus that requires insulin treatment. The labeling for Bexacat includes a boxed warning regarding the need for appropriate patient selection and the potential for certain severe adverse reactions.
Although there are notable safety concerns with the use of Bexacat, according to the FDA, they can be mitigated by carefully screening cats before starting the drug, continued diligent monitoring regardless of the duration of or response to treatment, and knowing how to promptly recognize and appropriately treat serious and life-threatening adverse reactions.
The data from two six-month field studies and an extended-use field study demonstrated that Bexacat was over 80% effective in improving glycemic control in cats with diabetes mellitus.
If you are going to talk to your vet about this t4e3atment, be sure and read the client information sheet (PDF) from Elanco informing them of the potential risks associated with Bexacat treatment, signs to watch for, and what to do if their cat becomes symptomatic.
There are always risks with medication but we’re purraying that this treatment will be a breakthrough for our diabetic furiends.
Tony Pearce, 71, and his wife Deb Pearce, 63, from Southend, England started to feed a stray cat they named Billy when they were in financial difficulty. They were facing perhaps losing their home but they refused to turn their backs on a needy kitty.
Six months later, they won £1m on the National Lottery in 2017 and put the change in their fortunes down to Billy, the black cat.
“People say black cats are unlucky, I’d say nothing could be further from the truth” Mrs Pearce said.
Billy lives his best life with the couple and even goes on holiday with them to their second home in Norfolk.
“When Billy appeared we were close to selling our beloved home and becoming strays ourselves. “Tony had stopped working due to ill health and we were in serious debt.
“It looked like our only option was to go into rented accommodation then, six months after Billy arrived, lady luck struck and our lives changed for good.
Billy is firmly part of the family and the couple have spared no expense in looking after him, paying for twice-daily insulin injections after he was diagnosed with diabetes, and placing him on a tailored hypoallergenic diet.
“Aside from having us on call for his twice-daily injections, we also jump through hoops for his catering whims,” said Mrs Pearce.
“If he has more than three days on the same flavour he turns up his nose and while he enjoys the chicken and vegetable meal, Billy doesn’t like the peas.
“I find myself rooting through his food, picking out the peas and wondering who is the National Lottery millionaire around here?”
Mr Pearce said: “When I find myself paying the bill for vet care or Billy’s specialist diet – that comes in at more than our annual trip to The Savoy – I can’t help thinking that it might be Billy who is also lucky.”
I wonder if they’ll check out the new oral medication for Billy’s diabetes. If this isn’t a purrfect Christmas story, I don’t know what is!
As our readers know, at Feline Opines believe that the world is better from a feline point of view and this article from Bored Panda shows us why the world is better when everything has a cat face.
This scenario is made real by this fluffy Instagram account known as “Koty Vezde” (“Cats Are Everywhere”). The page run by Galina Bugaevskaya is dedicated to sharing the most amusing photo manipulations of random animals and things with furry feline faces.
Whatever creature you can think of shows up with a kitty face and the feline faces are not just put on other animals, but food as well.
How did cats become domesticated?
After studying the DNA of about 350 mummified cats, scientists believe they have the definitive answer as to how we felines were domesticated.
Hello Furiends, The Human asked us to express her thanks for all your kind wishes. She is getting better and we are quite relieved to have the level of service at our house beginning to return to normal. Now, let’s get to the most important part of the business of today and that’s announcing our book winners! We have so many wonderful furiends that we told The Human we wanted to send a book to everyone who purrticipated. The Human started meowing about how we can’t afford to do that, as much as she’d like to and we told her it was only little green pieces of paper, she was not swayed or amused. So, here goes….
Brian from Brian’s Home Blog Christine Carroll Teddy from One Spoiled Cat
Concatulations to you all. Please send our Purrsonal Assistant an email with your mailing address to FelineOpines@gmail.com and she will get the books out to you right away. And thank you to everyone who purrticipated!
If any of you humans are in real estate, you might want to play attention to this new house contract concept.
Most people will ask for money, appliances, or fixtures during the seller concession phase of buying a home but this home sale concession was based on a relationship-with a cat in residence.
Tori Taillac, and her fiancé, Alex Kravets, fell in love with, as Tori describes him, “the grumpiest-looking but sweetest cat I have ever met.” And Loki the cat, who originally wasn’t part of the sale become the thing that sweetened the deal.
After making an offer that the seller accepted, it was hard for Taillac to focus on the walk through because she was spending so much time with Loki.
“I made a joke when he mentioned that he was going to leave us an air purifier. I said, ‘You can leave us a cat, too. I love your cat.’”
The owner’s ears perked up because he said he’d been worried about moving his young cat Loki to a smaller home after the cat was used to having more space. He felt that Loki would be happier staying in this house and continuing his inside, outside life.
On the seller’s counter offer to he couple, he dropped the price down, but said that he’d include the cat and the air purifiers. ”
The couple’s realtor, Crystal Richardson of Chapman Richards and Associates of Salt Lake City, said she has never had a cat listed as part of a real estate addendum before.
“I’ve been doing this for 34 years,” Richardson told Fox News Digital. “I’ve had people ask for a lot of strange things — but never a cat.”
Loki is already making friends with the couple’s seven-year-old dog, Marcus — an active half Shiba-half mini Australian shepherd.
As is usual in social media, there were a lot of negative comments about the cat being given up, especially on TikTok.
Since The Human is a cat behaviorist, we asked her what she thought and she said that sometimes, the best decision is the hardest. Loki’s human was worried about how Loki would transition to a new, smaller inside life and, when he saw how much this couple loved Loki, he felt this would be the right thing for the cat. And from what she saw on Instagram and TikTok, she could see that Loki is very happy in his old house with his new family.
Cinnamon, a formal feral cat has been working for the Collierville Animal Services for 15 years. Meowza, that’s a long time! Her life began as a feral, living in the shelter parking lot and today, she’s the beloved chief of cat socialization at the shelter.
Nina Wingfield ,the Director of Collierville Animal Services. said, Cinnamon was trapped and spayed in 2007 and she eventually found a place in Wingfield’s office.
“She’s like our therapy cat,” Animal Care Technician and Animal Control Officer Sandy Kraemer said. “She takes care of all our young kittens that we get in. She corrects them. She makes them behave themselves.”
Cinnamon is also the shelter’s best interrogator for new staff interviews and will let the powers that be know if they get a paws up or paws down.
Cinnamon’s services extend to staff morale as well. When staff is having a bad day, they come in the office, sit on the couch and Cinnamon will crawl in their lap and offer some purr therapy.
Ever since Cinnamon was brought inside the shelter, she’s never had any desire to leave and continues to thrive as a very important member of the team.
Cats have descended upon Maspeth, Queens, where Mrs. gallery is featuring the work of 39 artists focused on a single theme: furry felines. Cats have been an art historical focus for thousands of years, and the gallery’s latest exhibition, titled Even a Cat Can Look at the Queen, celebrates this.
From Cait Porter’s loving rendering of a fuzzy tabby’s paw to a Philip Hinge chair sculpture made out of scratching posts, the exhibition includes works by longtime artists of Mrs.’s program as well as some who have never before shown with the gallery.
Almost all of the works are by living artists, with a few exceptions, including an Andy Warhol print that presents perhaps the exhibition’s most straightforward depiction of a cat. A painting by Renate Druks — movie star, director, and avid painter of cats — titled “Male Cat Club” (1980).
Other works in the show are decidedly more modern, such as Sophie Vallance’s “Tiger Diner” (2022), which features the checkerboard pattern and rounded aesthetic that has become popularized on social media over the last few years. But like Druks, Vallance places cats in a surprising setting; namely, sitting in a diner.
The exhibit will be at the Mrs. Museum, 60 – 40 56th Drive in Maspeth, NY until January 7th.
England’s hopes of lifting the World Cup might have been dashed but Manchester City duo Kyle Walker and John Stones did not want to leave Qatar completely empty handed . They will return home with a stray cat that cat befriended by the team at their training base.
The cat, who Stones named Dave, will have to spend four months in quarantine before he can be reunited with the City duo.
“He was just there one day, so we’ve just adopted him, me and Stonesy,” Walker told the Football Association’s official media channel.
“First day we got there … Dave pops out,” Stones added. “Every night he sat there waiting for his food.”
It looks like Dave made the right choice and we look forward to hearing about his new life in the UK after his quarantine is over.
This is an update on Travis Nelson, an American living in London and his cat Sigrid. I had reported that due to visa issues the human and his feline and a lot of free time so they explored the city via bicycle. “Since Sigrid was already accustomed to going for walks on a lead, there was no transition needed at all.
Now their journeys have been turned into a book and, If you visit their Instagram page, you can see videos that make you feel as though you’re on the bike with them. Also, Oliver was quite excited to see that Sigrid has the same red bandana halter he has!
Dear Furiends, We lost a friend this week, Harley fromThree Chatty Catscrossed the Rainbow Bridge. His humans, Rachel and her husband adopted Harley when he was already a senior kitty and they gave him such a wonderful life. We will miss Harley’s musings and those crossed blue eyes that reminded us so much of our Angel Tucker.
Good-bye sweet Harley, please stay hello to Tucker, Jasmine and our other Rainbow Bridge kitties.
Happy Wednesday Furiends, We thought we’d change it up a bit with the logo. Oliver is quite happy to be featured during the holiday season. We like to keep track of unusual holidays and we found one for tomorrow (De. 8) that was lot’s of fun. December 8th is “Pretend to be a time traveler day”. We sent our Purrsonal Assistant to the web to find out about this holiday and here is what she learned.
Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day was created in 2007 by the Koala Wallop online community which appeared to be a group of folks who were interested in time travel. Unfortunately, the group no longer exists but there are still many folks who find time travel interesting. The Human is quite fond of movies and books that feature time travel. Here are some of the time travel movies The Human has enjoyed (she’s not a fan of sci-fi so these all travel to the past):
The Human told us that the best time travel books she’s ever read is from one of her favorite authors, Daphne du Maurier and is called The House on the Stand
We felines decided that we wanted to be photoshopped into our favorite time travel setting. We hope you enjoy our photos!
Lily loves all things romantic and she believes the past is more romantic than the present or the future. She pretended to be a traveler in the 1920’s taking an elegant train ride to some lovely southern plantation.
I decided to imagine a trip to the future on some far off planet where I developed amazing powers like shooting lasers from my eyes.
Oliver decided to split the difference and go back in time to enjoy being in the Steampunk lifestyle with one paw in one century and another paw in the future.
We hope you enjoyed our celebration of Pretend to be a time traveler day”. Where would you go if you had a chance to be a time traveler?
Now here’s a fun event that happens in the Belgian town of Ypres. Thousands of people show up masquerading as cats. There are fancy floats that roll down the streets of the town as well as feline costumed humans. The parade stops at Cloth Hall which is the center of the city’s thriving textile industry. So what is this all about you ask? Kattenstoet, the Festival of Cats is what they’re celebrating. And why is there a festival of cats in this town? Granted, we felines are marvelous enough to have festivities that celebrate us for no specific reason but there is much history behind this party.
It all began in medieval times. In those days, we felines were scorned and regarded as bad creatures associated with the devil. Early writers of the day compared cats catching mice to the devil catching human souls. In the thirteenth century, Pope Gregory IX raised a call to action against the “demonic” cat and people believed this resulted in the extermination of felines across Europe. Historians believe that this action caused the spread of the bubonic plage ravaging the continent in the 14th century. This is because the plague was caused by infected fleas found on rodents. The mass killing of cats allowed the rats to thrive with no predators and that resulted in the plague spreading at a fast pace.
Legend has it that the celebration of Kattenstoet in this town was for bringing cats in the fall and winter to the Cloth Hall to prevent vermin from destroying the imported wool and valuable clothing that was stored. In the spring, when the clothes were sold and the colony of cats had rapidly reproducing cats, who had done their job well, were killed.
This terrible practice continued until 1817 and after that no more cats were harmed and only the church bells were rung.
In1955 the city saw its first full-scale parade, complete with intricate floats and thousands of costumed citizens. The people of Ypres dress up as cats, mice, witches and historical figures. Accompanied by lively music and dance, brass bands and horse-riders, the procession moves down the streets until it reaches Cloth Hall. A jester tosses plush cats from the top of the tower into the waiting arms of the crowd below. This is followed by a mock witch-burning, in which a giant puppet witch is set on fire.
Kattenstoet. has become a major tourist attraction in Belgium, drawing thousands of spectators from around the world, all eager to witness the famed Festival of Cats. As for this cat, I can’t get over the dark history of this celebration and I’m very happy felines in Europe are much safer now than in the middle ages.
From stray cats to online stars
There are a number of lucky felines who have moved from the streets of Hong Kong and now live their best lives working and living in the shops of Hong Kong. I love to read and report about working cats.
We felines are fascinated with your Christmas trees. So many things to swat, such a cozy space to hang out in. Our Angel Miss P. lived under the tree from the moment it was put up until it was taken down and she preferred to hang out there by herself.
Still, many of you humans get your whiskers in a twist when we “play” with your Christmas trees so here are some tips to prevent total tree destruction
There are some tricks to keep your Christmas ornaments safe. Hang the most valued (and fragile) ornaments toward the top of the tree. Hang cat attracting things like bells or wooden (sturdy) ornaments on the lowest branches. The bells help to also alert you if your feline in residence is messing with the tree..
If more drastic measures are required you can place pinecones sprayed with apple cider vinegar around the base of the tree. Most felines don’t like the smell. But if your feline can endure the smell to get to the tree, try a cat deterrent spray like ‘Four Paws Keep Off Outdoor and Indoor Spray’ ‘which is safe for cats and kittens.
Another option is to put some oranges under the tree as many of my feline friends do not like the smell at all.
If all of these options fail, you can hang the tree from the ceiling, put the tree in a play pen or, as The Human does, just forget the tree and decorate the house in a festive manner instead.
I’ve featured many thieving felines in my Wednesday news stories but this Wisconson kitty wins the prize as he showed up at home with a whole alligator head!
“He was very proud of himself,” owner Wendy Wiesehuegel told Fox News , At first Wieshuegel thought it was a bass or some other fish native to Wisconsin. She was shocked w hen she saw what her black cat, Burnt Toast, had brought home.
A conservation expert said a wildlife biologist would need to confirm its authenticity, but that he believed it was not a souvenir head but belonged to a real animal, which likely measured three feet long.
American alligators aren’t native to Wisconsin, Aspenson suspects that it could’ve been a pet that escaped or was released. However, the wildlife official wasn’t sure how it perished or came into Burnt Toast’s possession, and Burnt Toast isn’t talking.,
Coincidentally, Wiesehuegel remembered seeing what she thought was a gator a few days prior while on a lake with her brother-in-law.
“He just laughed it off like, ‘No, it’s not a gator,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, it probably isn’t one,’ and we just kind of dismissed it, and then this showed up,”
While it’s rare to find this cold-blooded predator in such a frigid climate, Aspenson believes this won’t be the last time.
In July, Wisconsin police were flabbergasted after finding an alligator roaming a neighborhood in Kenosha. As it turned out, the reptile — named Chomper — was actually someone’s pet, and it was reunited with its caregiver after its little adventure.
This marked the second such animal that’d been found in southeast Wisconsin that month. The first was a 24-inch allegedly escaped gator that was discovered swimming in a lake in Fond du Lac.
Hello Furiends, We want to send three of our blog followers a copy of the new book, the Cat in the Christmas Tree. There are pawsome stories shared by our very own Human and other humans that are fantastic writers.
Here’s how to get your book; Meow in the comments with your name and let us know you want the book and we will do a random drawing on December 14th and announce the three winners on Dec. 15th. We’ll contact the winners to get your address to send your books.
The story our Human wrote is about our Angel Miss P. the story is, “Miss P. Saves Christmas”. We never got to meet Miss P. but The Human says she was quite a character. and there is an other story coming out in February about Miss P. in the n Chicken Soup cat book.
The book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Lessons Learned from My Cat will be released on February 14th, 2023 and the story is called, “Miss P. and the Turkey”.
We wish everyone good luck and we know you’ll enjoy this book with wonderful Christmas cat stories! Purrs and Head Bonks, Alberto, Oliver & Lily