Don’t let the photo above fool you, it’s still cold and snowy here. This is a photo The Human took from the kitchen window the other evening. It’s COLD out there.
When The Human works in her office at our house, there are some rules that must be observed. The other day was a dismal failure as these photos will portray.
And now that we’re in the merry month of March, we thought we’d celebrate some holidays.
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 – World Compliment Day
And now, let’s take a look at this week’s feline news.
Can Cats Tell Time? Yes, But It’s Complicated
The Human never has to worry about getting up in time – as long as she gets up in time to feed us! She always wonders how we adjust to the silly “savings” time changes you humans use and has often wondered if we can tell time (or are hiding tiny little watches under the fur of our wrists).
In the article linked here, Kevin Healy, a zoology researcher at the University of Galway, discusses whether cats perceive time better or worse than humans. Smaller animals and predators tend to have faster time perception, but that’s not the case with cats. He said, “We can see time a little faster than cats who have a frame rate of 55 compared to our 65,”.
The second way to answer whether cats can tell time as well as humans has to do with whether cats have episodic memories, (memories of specific events in time). The ability to form episodic memories may be central to what cognition researchers call “mental time travel” — the ability to mentally project forward and backward into time. It’s long been thought humans are alone in our ability to mentally time travel, but that might not be the case after all.
Daniel Dombeck is an associate professor in Northwestern University’s department of neurobiology who has researched time perception in mice. He says it’s “unlikely” humans have a unique gift for mental time travel, though it’s probable humans can remember farther back in time and in greater detail than rodents.
To prove whether cats have episodic memories, you’d have to conduct tests that rule out other possible explanations — like a biological rhythm signaling it’s time to eat — for why a cat might appear to “remember” something, which is difficult to accomplish. Scientists believe that there are many animals with episodic memory.
A 2017 study found that cats indeed contain “episodic-like” memories, but the lead researcher on that study, Saho Takagi, isn’t sure whether cats really need episodic memories for time perception.
“It is difficult with current technology to prove whether or not they do mental time travel, but at least my research has shown that cats form episodic-like memories,” Takagi says.
To conclude: the jury is still out on this question, pending further animal cognition research — and hopefully, cat-specific studies.
Two words can explain your cat’s alarmingly precise ability to detect when it’s dinnertime: biological clock.
There are several ‘biological clocks’ that can assist with their ability to determine the passage of time. The most well-known is the circadian rhythm or the “24-hour” cycle, which often corresponds to light and dark times of the day. Another mechanism is the “zeitberger” which sets the biological clock and causes jetlag and other phenomena in its absence. Examples of zeitbergers include drugs, the pineal gland, the presence of light, and atmospheric pressure.
These internal mechanisms and external cues from the environment — like their owner stirring in bed — can signal to the feline in your home that it’s time to eat. Mikel Delgado, a cat expert at Feline Minds, lists some of the most common environmental signals that indicate breakfast time for cats:
Changes in light and temperature
The smell of coffee brewing
Their human walking toward the kitchen
If your cat wakes you up for food early and you give into or reinforce that behavior, you may be unintentionally turning your cat into an “alarm pet” who expects meals like clockwork.
“Woe to the owner that makes the mistake of giving in even once. These cats benefit from automated feeders so that the owner is removed from the cat’s motivation to be fed,” Stelow says.
Cats differ from diurnal humans, who sleep at night and are awake during the day. But contrary to popular belief, they’re not technically nocturnal but crepuscular instead. Crepuscular beings are most active during dawn and dusk — before sunrise and after sunset — which might explain why some of us get the zoomies at 3am.
Some experts say this particular difference in cat and human biology shouldn’t drastically affect their perception of time. The scientists interviewed for this article agreed that human activity is more likely to influence when cats are active versus their crepuscular biological clock.
Experts have a few tips to offer to help your furry friend keep track of time in case they have separation anxiety when you head out for work or can’t stop bugging you for meals at the wrong time.
Above all else: make sure to keep to a set routine like meals and play at designated times as well as cleaning the litter box. Disrupting a cat’s daily routine can stress your kitty out, leading to physical ailments like vomiting and diarrhea. Providing an automatic feeder that dispenses multiple small meals at specific times throughout the day can help establish a routine.
Cats are in tune with their environment and their timing is based on routine activity. For instance, when The Human comes home at the end of the day, we know we get some dental treats. Lily comes running from wherever she was snoozing and sits on the shelf of the hallway credenza, waiting for her treats while Oliver and I patiently wait on the carpet.
In conclusion, we felines can’t really tell time but we do understand our daily routine and if food or snacks are associated with that routine, we’ll remind our humans if they forget!
Cat Camp led by ‘My Cat From Hell’ host
The first in person Cat Camp since 2019 happened last weekend in San Diego with cat whisperer and expert Jackson Galaxy. There were booths for shopping, presentations on kitten care and animal welfare efforts and even a seminar on how to shoot great photos of your feline.
Galaxy, whose show “My Cat From Hell” ran for 10 seasons on Animal Planet, held a morning session Saturday reserved for VIP attendees to ask him their most pressing questions. Litter box and cat aggression issues, he says, are the most common subjects he’s typically asked about, and Saturday was no exception.
Asked what he thinks about scented litter boxes, his answer was unequivocal. Don’t use them, he advised.
“Cats’ noses are so sensitive. They’re defined by scent, so (the scented litter boxes) are going to cover up everything,” he said.
And speaking of scent, Galaxy advised a woman worried about her imminent move from San Diego to Arizona to pack up everything in her home that “smells like your cats” and put it to “your new base camp” until her cats adjust to their new home. Oh, and don’t wash out the litter box no matter how tempting it is, he cautioned.
The dominant issue, though, on the minds of organizers and many of the attendees was the care and rescue of kittens and cats with no homes. Organizations like the San Diego Humane Society and the local Feral Cat Coalition staffed booths at Cat Camp, and speakers talked about how their own cat rescue efforts changed their lives.
People came from all over the country to connect and share resources regarding cat rescue in their areas.
We give two paws up to all you humans who use your time and resources to help feral, stray and lost kitties.
30 Old Photos Of Cats Posing Together With Famous And Interesting Personalities Of The Past
The “All Vintage Cats” project on Instagram, which shares impressive vintage photos of cats, has been gaining popularity with over 500 posts. The creator of the project, Brazilian journalist Paula Leite Moreira, came up with the idea during the pandemic when she saw an old photo of a cat and became interested in finding more vintage cat images. She sources images from historical collections, image banks, and social media platforms.
You can see many vintage photos on Bored Panda by clicking here, and here.
When asked about how she came up with the idea for the project, Paula explains that it was by chance. “I always wanted to create digital content, but I lacked an insight that was really original,” she shared. “At the beginning of the pandemic, I saw a photo of a kitten that was said to be from 1880. I fell in love and started researching more images from the time. So I came to the conclusion that all that research could be published, even if it didn’t have many readers.”
Paula constantly searches historical collections, image banks, and websites of international magazines for these photos. She also uses social networks like Pinterest, but always checks the information disclosed on other sites. Given the journalist’s passion for cats, we asked if she had any of her own. “I had a kitten for 18 years who passed away last year and I still haven’t adopted any new cats. But without a doubt, it’s a will that I have. I want to have at least a couple to keep each other company.”
Eight lives left: Ernie the cat rescued from gutted Long Island home 12 days after fire
Talk about happy endings! A family cat was found alive 12 days after a Long Island home went up in flames, and the discovery was made after a faint meow was heard inside the gutted, boarded-up home.
Ernie the cat seemed to have relief etched in his 10-year-old face. The soot in his fur and smoke in his lungs are becoming distant memories.
His humans were thankful and astounded how Ernie had survived so long without food, water or comfort.
Debbie Robinson, Ernie’s owner said, “I don’t know how much longer he could have gone for. Almost two weeks. We’re just thankful were there that day.”
Ernie was discovered twelve days after the fire, when the family stopped by for mail and heard a faint cry.
“I didn’t know if he was in a wall. I didn’t know where he was. And then the crying stopped,” Robinson said.
“ I dropped everything I was doing,” said Frankie Florida, of Strong Island Animal Rescue League. “I made my way to the highest point in the house. That’s when I found him. I needed to get him to a hospital right away because 12 days, no food, no water is a serious situation.”
“He’s been wonderful, healthy. We had all kinds of tests done on him. He was just a little dehydrated,” Robinson said.
Sadly, Ernie was the only pet who survived the fire. Four pets died in the fire including the therapeutic pet for son Glen, on the autism spectrum.
And another miracle happened when Ernie’s sister Remi was found unconscious that night by firefighters who performed CPR.
You could say Remi and Ernie rose from the ashes.
Ernie’s veterinarians were stunned by his recovery and say he will be just fine.
Five Feline-Filled Japanese Destinations For Cat Lovers
If you follow my news features, you know that the good people in Japan love cats and now, I’v e found some must see destinations in Japan for cat lovers. Cats are even considered good luck charms in the country. So, if you find yourselves in Japan check out these must see destinations.
Roughly fifteen minutes north of Tokyo Station by subway, you’ll find the idyllic Tokyo neighborhood of Yanaka, famed for its traditional architecture, historic temples, and massive population of friendly cats. Visitors are welcome to stroll through the Yanaka Cemetery or pay a visit to Kyōō-ji, a historic temple that played a prominent role in the Battle of Ueno. While there’s no shortage of street cats to discover in the narrow alleys and side streets of Yanaka, Yadorigi Cafe offers the opportunity to make a few new feline friends while enjoying coffee and hearty Italian cuisine.
The central Honshu city of Aizuwakamatsu is best known as the home of Aizuwakamatsu Castle—a massive structure built in the style of a traditional Japanese fortress—but just south of the settlement, is Ashinomakionsen Station. Back in 2008, resident feline Bus (ばす) was deemed honorary stationmaster, a role that she carried out until 2015. Since then, multiple cats have taken on the job, with Sakura (さくら) being the most recent appointee. Visitors can find Sakura working tirelessly during a trip to the station, while her human coworkers run an Instagram page dedicated to highlighting her day-to-day activities.
Kyoto draws both domestic and international tourists thanks to its ornate temples and rich history, and it’s not just humans that thrive across this storied city. The streets of Kyoto are filled with wandering cats all throughout the day, but for guaranteed feline sightings, Nakagyo is home to a wealth of cat cafés ranging from Fluffy’s Cafe to PuchiMarry. If you’re searching for some cat-themed memorabilia, Nyan-nyan-ji can be found on the outskirts of the city, offering a massive collection of jewelry, statues, and paintings depicting cats throughout history. As an added bonus, guests may be able to catch a glimpse of the property’s resident feline head priest.
Established centuries ago, Tokyo’s Gotokuji Temple is a top destination for fans of the maneki-neko, or beckoning cat. This iconic figurine can be found in businesses all across the globe, serving as a good luck charm in East Asia and within the greater East Asian diaspora— and Gotokuji Temple is home to one of the largest collections of maneki-neko in all of Japan. While the huge crowd of figurines is certainly the main attraction (and they’re available for purchase, as an added bonus) the temple doubles as a particularly idyllic destination for an afternoon walk, loaded with towering trees and native birds.
The story of the temple is told that a lord, on his way back from a falconry was beckoned by a cat at the temple gate and decided to stop by. While the lord was at the temple, rain began to fall and thunder clapped around him. As the lord sat dry and safe in the temple, having a conversation with the temple master, the lord credited the cat with his good luck. The Gotokuii temple built the the Shofuku-den to enshrine the cat that brought good fortune, naming it as “Manekineko”. Ever since, people visit Shofuku-den to pray for the well-being for the family, prosperous business, luck and happiness.
A statue in standing position of Shofuku Kannon-bosatsu is enshrined in Shofuku-den.
While it’s not the most easily-accessible destination in Japan, (you need to take an hour long ferry trip from Ishinomaki to visit, the island of Tashirojima. It is one of the most incredible stops for cat lovers in all the nation. In the 1600s, Tashirojima was home to a large silk industry, and cats were used to prevent mice from eating the resident silk producing insects. Today, the ancestors of those cats can be found all across the island and several hundred felines now call the docks home. While there aren’t a whole lot of amenities to enjoy around Tashirojima, newcomers can pay a visit to the local cat shrine and—of course—snap some photos of the adorable residents.
We love stories like Ernie’s –
Darn right animals (not just cat) can tell time, or at least have a sense of time. Maybe not in the “past and furture” way humans do, but the time of routines – and the way that the time changes make no difference to animals…and the way some of them are clearly regulated by the daylight and darkness.
We also enjoyed the retro pictures///but as usual we enjoyed ALL your features.
Hope we call get Spring soon !
All of us felines here can tell time plus we’re darn smart. Those were all good stories too!
Ernie’s story is amazing!
There is a Maneki Neko museum in Cincinnati, Ohio…isn’t that crazy?
I’ll visit there before too long.
We have cold, we have ice, we have sun, then we have snow.
In Michigan, besides a brolly, one needs a hard hat, some sunscreen, as well as a thick, warm coat.
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I am glad Ernie the cat was rescued. You always find the most interesting cat news.
Cats understand time better than we do, i think. I liked these stories, and today Ms. G found a cat, weak but alive (and it’s going to be okay) in a home where the owner died days ago and no one knew she had a cat. Miracles do happen.
We love national compliment day! You are all looking so fabulous, by the way! 🙂
Our favorite stories are the ones about whether or not cats can tell time (Ava definitely has one of those good biological clocks), and the cat places to visit in Japan. We definitely want to see those the next time we visit our relatives!
Stay warm sweet pals!
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We are very disappointed to have missed Polar Bear Day, although we will have to think about an appropriate celebration for next year.
Never heard of Polar Bear Day before now!! Amazing!!
Tons of great news items!
We loved reading about Ernie and his sisfur, Remi. Too bad the others passed…