About Feline Opines

Writer, entrepreneur and lover of felines (and all furry creatures). You can learn more about me and my connection with felines in my story, All My Children Wear Fur Coats, In the 2016) issuer of Chicken Soup For the Cat Lover's Soul, My Very Good, Very Bad Cat. Feline Opines was awarded a Muse Medallion in 2018 from The Cat Writer's Association. The Felines have a book called "Felines Opine on God" available at Amazon & Barnes and Noble and a cozy mystery will be released soon.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 6/20

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello There Furiends,
I hope your summer is going well. The Tribe is anxious to get outside and enjoy the pop-up catio but the weather has not cooperated so we snooze on the sofa and await the sunshine. You may have noted that my Wednesday feature is appearing on Thursday..our Purrsonal Assistant has been under a lot of stress lately so we allowed her a days grace on my feature, as long as it does’t happen again!

This photo is of me chillaxin’ in The Female Human’s bedroom which is the territory that belongs to Jasmine but Jasmine does allow me to visit if I behave myself. This is me behaving myself.
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Since we have been forced to stay inside, window duty is very important to us because you never know what you’ll see out there. The other day we watched The Female Human pull out of the garage, stop the car and then run into the front garden waving her arms and yelling. As Oliver and I took up our post at the kitchen window we had a front row seat to the comedy that ensued. Our Human is shouting and waving her arms. The freeloader in the garden remained unfazed and took his time munching on the newly emerging flowers. Sheesh, The Female Human could use a chill pill.
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I hope you enjoy my web wanderings this week and here’s to days filled with lots of treats and head scratches.
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Mysterious ‘Cat-Fox’ May Be a Newly Discovered Species, Researchers Say

 

Okay, I will admit that I am a feline of limited scientific knowledge but this “discovery” has me puzzled.

On the French island of Corsica in the Mediterranean, a strange, rarely seen beast stalks the night. Locals call it ghjattuvolpe – the cat-fox – and for the last decade, scientists have been hot on its trail, trying to unravel the mystery.

The article states that a “rare beast” has been discovered on the French island of Corsica. They call it ghjattuvolpe which means cat fox. Evidently scientists have been studying the animal for 10 years. They say it differs from domestic cats because of its large size, up to 35 inches or 90- centimeters from head to tip, wide ears, short whiskers and long canine teeth. Okay, maybe I’m off base here but this looks like a large feline with a floofy tail. There’s a video on the site but I’m still not convinced. What do you think about this “cat fox”?

Kitty Cure: New Research Suggests an End to Severe Cat Allergies Could Be in Sight

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There is hope for humans who love felines but who can’t get near them without itchy eyes and sneezing fits. Purina scientists have been researching how to manage cat allergens and have recently made a breakthrough in their research. Purina announced that they have recently demonstrated “a proactive way to significantly reduce the active levels of the major cat allergen, Fel d1, at its source in cats’ saliva.”

“These allergens have created a huge barrier to cat ownership and may limit the loving interactions between cat lovers and cats,” immunologist Dr. Ebenezer Satyaraj, Director of Molecular Nutrition at Purina and lead investigator on the research, said in a statement. “Our discovery has the potential to transform how people manage cat allergens.”

I give Purina our paws up award for working to improve the relationship between felines and humans!

Cat-astrophe: Pakistani politician’s event streamed on Facebook with cat filter on

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MOL! I can’t stop laughing about this one. Evidently Pakistani politician Shaukat Yousafzai held a press conference was live-streamed on Facebook — with the cat filter turned on. He wasn’t the only cat filtered human streamed on the event as the filter shifted to whichever human was talking. The cat filter was left on by accident and rather than calling it a cat-astrophe, I’d say it was probably the best political live stream ever done on Facebook!

Just like their mothers: in cat breeds, behaviour is inherited

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“I must have inherited my love of high places.” Alberto

The human scientists are at it again. First they noted that different cats behave in different ways…DUH! So a team from the University of Helsinki studied information about 5726 cats and found differences in behavior between breeds across five different areas: activity level, sociability with humans, shyness, aggressiveness and stereotypical behavior.

Their sample of 5726 included 40 breeds (there are 71 in total, according to the International Cat Association), some of which had to be grouped, forming 19 breeds and breed groups.

You can read the findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports.  Some of their conclusions are a bit suspect to me but what do I know, I’m just a cat.

Play with Your Cat for Science: New Online Study Seeking Participants Worldwide

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It’s time for you humans to step up and  play with your cats for science. Anyone who owns a cat is asked to record themselves playing with their cat and submit the recording online. The deadline is June 30, 2019. You can take part in the study here. Here are more details. So get out that cat dancer and play with your feline!

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 6/12

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
It finally warmed up at bit here. Tucker , Oliver and the rest of the Tribe have been waiting for some warmth and sun puddles. I’m more of a “go with the flow” kinda’ guy and I’ve just been hanging out on the cat tree, waiting for summer.

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“Just me hanging out and waiting for some warm summer weather.” Alberto

I hope you enjoy this week’s web stories.
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This Cat is Chonky: The fat-cat Facebook group lifting humans from despair

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“I’m not chonky, I have big bones.” Oliver

Chonky is a fantastic Facebook Group and  founder Tori Diaz says she receives messages from group members who want her to know how Chonky has cheered them up during their most stressful moments. “What hit me the hardest,” Diaz says, “were the people responding saying the group has helped them through suicidal thoughts, depression and severe medical problems.”

What I like about Chonky is that rudeness and judgment are not allowed, in other words, no chonk shaming.

I sent the Female Human over to the page to see if she can join. I think this would be a purrfect place for Oliver to hang out.

Cat Goes to Groomer for a Haircut, Leaves Looking Like the Feline Version of a Slinky

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I often hear The Female Human meowing about her latest haircut but this is ridiculous. This cat (named Oliver) was taken to the groomers by his human grandfather and evidently the human thought this cut was a great idea. His human was not happy and posted about Oliver’s debacle on Twitter. Oh the humiliation, the shame. Poor Oliver! Good thing Oliver is a handsome fellow despite his ridiculous hairdo!

Vancouver Luxury Catios

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Summer is coming and it’s catio time. A catio is a cat patio and the purrfect place for a feline to safely enjoy the great outdoors. The Vancouver SPCA ran a contest and lucky Canadian felines were the recipients of 6 catios.

There are all kinds of cations, some are fancier than some human’s outside space. The Tribe of Five has a pop up cation what we enjoy very much. We wrote about it in a two part blog post.

A chic Houston house where all the residents are cats

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An amazing human named Patti Thomas turned her home over to felines needing their furever home. Her premise was that cats needed a comfortable environment to make them more house friendly and calm. This project was so successful she has donated another home as a cat shelter.

The home is decorated beautifully in ’50s-style teal and brown, complete with matching throw rugs. A leather couch faces a fireplace; a basket of cat magazines stands nearby. In the kitchen, a turquoise coffee machine shares counter space resident felines. The air is fresh and redolent of lavender thanks to constant cleaning by volunteers.

We give this idea our “Paws Up” award.

Whiskas Pet Food’s Interactive Voice Assistant Encourages Kids’ Curiosity

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I have to admit, I’m still trying to understand why a cat food company created a purrsonal assistant but still, the thing sounds cool. Since cats are curious, Whiskas decided to create a purrsonal assistant that’s curious too. It’s called Mia and Mia asks questions rather than answers them.

Mia works using a motion sensor. When she senses that humans are nearby, the kitty assistant will start a conversation, asking questions about a whole variety of topics that kids will find interesting and offering multiple-choice answers. Mia is 3D-printed and comes in Whiskas’ signature colors of white and purple.

We told our staff to try and find out how much this little item costs but so far, no luck.

 

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 6/5

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
Alberto here with my Wednesday web wanderings.  Nothing much new around the Tribe except for Oliver’s diet. I think he’s being a bit dramatic about the whole thing but I’ll let you decide.

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“Life has lost it’s meaning. I’m not sure if I can hang on. Diet may be the ruin of me.” Oliver

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“Please send kibble..soon”Oliver

Have a wonderful week and don’t believe everything Oliver says!
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       Feline High Five Pays Off Big Time

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Did you and your human enter the High Five contest sponsored by GreaterGood.org and Jackson Galaxy? Meowza, the prizes were pawsome including a $5,000.00 grant for the winner’s shelter. And Lil Bub was a judge!

Lest you think this was just a fun and frivolous event, the Cat Pawsitive Program is a life-saving program for shelter and rescue cats that aims to increase feline adoption rates by instructing shelter/rescue staff and volunteers how to implement positive reinforcement training for cats, that includes teaching them to high-five. You should find out how to get a Cat Pawsitive program started in your shelter.

Why Can’t My Cat Be A Vegan?

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I never thought I’d have to say this to my readers but….People, cats cannot be vegetarians!!! Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of meowing about vegan kitties and I can’t stress enough how dangerous this is. I’m not going to go into all the details here but you can find them in this ASPCA article.

Here are the major points. We felines are obligate carnivores. That means we need to eat meat to survive. Our digestive systems are not built for a plant only diet (it’s kinda like feeding cows meat, just doesn’t work).

We need the amino acid taurine to survive and taurine is only found in animal sources.  Taurine deficiency leads to heart disease.  We also need high levels of protein and we don’t digest carbs too well.

Bottom line, you could kill us if you don’t feed us what we need. And if you are feeding raw, you need to make sure we are receiving the nutrients we need. You may see us gnawing on the random blade of wheat grass but this does not mean we want a veggie diet!

Suki the Canadian Adventure Cat

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Suki the Adventure Cat

Some of you out there are still poo-pooing the idea of adventure cats so I give you Suki. Suki has been to 12 countries and even spent two months in Europe last year. Suki’s human says, “She’s just a regular cat. I don’t think about it much until we are on the trail and she’ll get recognized. People are so ecstatic to meet her. Generally, it’s not something I think about much. We’re already out there taking photos [as a career] but getting to do it with Suki is amazing.” Evidently her 1.4 million Instagram followers and her jet set lifestyle hasn’t gone to her head. I need to get the staff busy and up our Instagram followers!

Meow-troid? Cat-slevania? Either Way, Gato Roboto Is Excellent

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I know many of you humans are fond of video games. I played the Friskies Cat Fishing game on my mini iPad when I was a kitten but I grew out of it. Still you humans are fans and now, there is a video game that features a  space pilot named Gary who  crash-lands on a small planet, gets stuck in his ship, and sends his cat (who caused the crash in the first place) on an adventure to find help.

Kiki the Kitty explores an abandoned research facility that’s crawling with hostile enemy life, she collects weapons and suit upgrades on her journeys. She is a brave feline who swims and pilots a submarine.  I say, with a feline as the main star of this video game I might need to try this stuff again!

Researchers strapped video cameras on 16 cats and let them do their thing. Here’s what they found

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So this happened. Scientists strapped cameras on 16 cats and followed them for four years. They published their findings in Applied Animal Behavior Science from Manchester Metropolitan University. I watched the video with The Female Human and what I saw was that these scientists noted we felines greet each other with nose bonks, sometimes charge our enemies, cover up our poop and play with things. Hmm, I wonder how much this study cost.

When asked why they used cats the researcher said it sprung from her own questions about her cat’s behavior outside. Evidently they started with 21cats but 5 of them were not having the camera around their necks. The researcher also noted that when inside; we felines follow our humans around thereby indicating they were attached to their humans.

Forgive me for sounding snarky but anyone who lives with cats, who loves their cats and who spends time with their feline furiends could have told you all of this. Evidently humans are not always so great at seeing the obvious.

 

 

Alberto Opines on Friday Fill Ins #159

Hello There Furiends,
Alberto here. I’m doing the Friday Fill Ins this week (Oliver has had far too much blog exposure lately!  This is a blog hop which means you can hop on over to the hosts, 15andmeowing or Four-Legged Furballs and enter your blog post or, just opine about them in our comments section.

Enjoy!
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Here are this week’s questions:

1. I would love to be a personal assistant to ___________________________.

2. If I had a boat, I would name it ________________________.

3. I want to improve my _________.
4. Surprises are _________.

Here are my answers:

1. I would love to be a personal assistant to the manager of a box factory. I can’t think of any other product I could be more excited about.

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Good morning sir. May I shred some papers for you? Knock over your coffee? Alberto

2. If I had a boat, I would name it the SS Alberto. If The Female Human ever gets the lead out and takes me in the kayak, I will tell her she needs to rename it.
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Me, still waiting for the female human to take me kayaking, Who could resist how handsome I look in my live vest? Alberto

3. I want to improve my guest greeting skills. This is the little settee in the foyer and I love to hang out here and greet guests. The problem is, some that haven’t met me before have been a bit startled.
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Why hello there, Welcome to the house of Felines. Alberto

4. Surprises are great as long as you are the one doing the surprising.
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Why hello there, don’t I make a lovely dining room table decoration? Alberto

Walk Through the Web Wednesday 5/29

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
Wednesday came fast this week, I guess that Monday off got us all discombobulated. It’s been a busy day. Oliver went to the vet because The Female Human is concerned about his portly proportions. Ollie tried to tell me what a harrowing experience he had but when the video of his visit surfaced, I called “foul” on his description of the visit. You decide for yourself.

 

 

 

The good news is that Ollie’s blood work came back A-OK and The Female Human is relieved but the bad news is that Ollie is now on a diet. This should be interesting. This was his reaction when he was told he would be dieting.

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D-I-E-T is a four-letter word! Oliver

Poor Ollie. At least I hope he enjoys my web wanderings this week.
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Kitty Ends Up On The Wrong Side of The Law

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Oh how I love it when you humans are creative. If there ever was a prize for the BEST “found cat” post, this is it. Big Boy Bubbles even managed to land himself a number! I sure hope his family finds him but if not, he will be put up for adoption at the San Diego Humane Escondido campus. 

Company Gets It’s Whiskers in a Twist and Sues over the Name of a Cafe 

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Santa Cruz coffee shop Cat and Cloud Coffee says it received a cease and desist from Caterpillar Inc. — because they use the word “CAT” in their shop name and merchandise.

The large corporation has trademarked “CAT” and has taken legal action against the small business to stop them from using it. Owners of the small business say they first received the letter in August of 2018.

What hubris this company has…how can you trademark the word “cat”..are you kitten me??? And could someone please explain to me how there is any similarity between this café and Caterpillar???  Caterpillar machines, I hiss in your general direction.

Cats Gain the Upper Paw in Japan

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It’s official according to a nationwide survey on cats and dogs as pets that was conducted by the Japan Pet Food Association, cats rock in Japan! The total number of dogs in 2018 was 8,903,000 but the total number of cats was 9,649,000. There are lots of charts and figures for you humans that like that sort of stuff. As for me, all I care about is that cat’s rule in Japan!

Cats (and Dogs) in Tornado Affected Oklahoma Are Sent to Maryland and Virginia

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The Humane Society of the United States assisted in transporting cats and other animals from shelters in tornado affected Oklahoma areas and placed them with shelters and rescues in Virginia and Maryland.

This allows the shelters in impacted areas to have more room to take in displaced animals. By transporting adoptable animals out of shelters in these communities, the opportunity for them to find a furever home is increased. And, then shelter capacity is increased in order for displaced animals to stay safe until they’re reunited with their families.  Two paws up for the Humane Society of the United States and the shelters that are helping.

Yoga With Cats Craze Spreading to Europe

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Human, why is this block on my yoga mat? Alberto

The yoga with cats craze has hit France. The Female Human never gets to do any yoga without the full attention of The Tribe of Five. Instructors say that having cats around enhances the feeling of wellbeing. If this is true, why is she always yelling at us to move? We felines are natural yoga masters, just watch us stretch. The Female Human needs to chill.

 

 

Can We Talk About Swag?

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“Can we talk about swag?” Alberto

When The Female Human goes to the Cat Writers Association Conference (#cwa25) she always comes home with stuff she refers to as swag. l asked her once, “What is this swag to which you refer?” And she said the original meaning of the term was “goods taken by a burglar”. Now I know The Female Human is honest and that she would not bring home stolen goods so I had to settle for the definition that says swag is stuff given to cat media professionals by generous sponsors.

And this year the sponsors were very generous. The Tribe of Five will be reporting on individual items but I wanted to give a shout out to @Cat Lady Box for putting something really cool in the bag for humans!

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First, let me say that Cat Lady Box is a pawsome company. You sign up for one or more months and they send you AND your feline goodies. The Female Human went crazy over the human stuff on the website, here are two of her favorites, the Cat Squad hoodie and the cat umbrella, pretty cool huh?

Lest you think that this is a human only box, think again. There are so many cool feline things. The Tribe of Five had a hard time picking just two from the many goodies on their website to feature in this post. These two were the winners. The Teddy Bear rug for felines is purrfect for chilly winter evenings and the furry bunny catnip toy brings out the beast in us.

So what did The Female Human get from the  Cat Lady Box folks? Take a look, she’s driving around town letting her feline flag fly (and in the wilds of North Idaho where dogs rule, that’s quite a statement!)

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Feline Fine in Idaho!

So “fangs a lot” to the good folks at Cat Lady Box for making The Female Human so happy.