Walk Through The Web Wednesday 1/22

Hello Furiends,
Greetings from the snowy, blowy Inland Northwest. The humans are slipping and sliding all over the roads in their metal machines. We felines, on the other hand are staying close to home and keeping cozy.

Oliver and I are expurrts at staying warm.

I have been working though. Seems as if I can’t leave our Purrsonal Assistant alone for a minute so I have to snoopervise her every move. I did demand an “Al extension” on the desk and that my bed be placed there. If I have to work, I’m going to be comfy!

A cat’s work is never done.

I hope you are all safe and well and that this little sign in our office will resonate with you.

Cat lovers urged to nominate their furry friends in National Cat Awards 2020

Jeffree, last year’s overall winner. Photo: metro.uk.co

Bad news for us North American felines but great news for felines across the pond.    It’s time for nominations for National Cat of the Year 2020 . Last year’s overall winner, Jeffree took the title for helping teenager Finn Hackeson, who has Asperger syndrome, cope with the death of his father.

Other categories include ‘Hero Cat’ for cats that have saved the day and ‘Most Caring Cat’ for pets that have positively impacted a person’s health or wellbeing.

The ‘Furr-ever Friends’ category is aimed at bringing in tales of friendship between children and cats.

The ‘Outstanding Rescue Cat’ is a special award for the most fabulous felines that have been adopted from animal charities. There is also a Purina “Better Together” award to celebrate the special bond between a feline and a human.

The award ceremony will be a star-studded event at London’s Savoy Hotel and is sponsored by PURINA.

So my UK moggie furiends, ,get your humans in gear and have them enter the contest.

CHONKY cats beware, there’s a new feline fitness tracker in town!

The PurrSong Pendant is a tiny device that measures cat’s activity and  our sleep. Who knew, a fitness tracker just for felines? The idea behind PurrSong is to get data about our regular routines and to keep track of any times we change those routines. Changes in behavior could indicate there is something wrong. We cats are sneaky in hiding when we don’t feel good and this little gadget might just give you humans a heads up and get us to the vet sooner.  The information is sent to an app on the human’s smart phone and will alert to abnormal patterns. The device attaches to our collars. The PurrSong Pendant will be released later this year and will sell for about $100.00. You can watch a video about this cat fitness tracker here.

Eagle Scout’s service project benefits shelter cats.

Contributed photo Marek Jablonski stands in front of the cat playground he built as an Eagle Scout service project for the Marshalltown Animal Rescue League.

Marshalltown High School student Marek Jablonski took the little things to another level when he helped renovate the Marshalltown Animal Rescue League’s cat playpen as his Eagle Scout public service project. We felines know how important environment enrichment is for us and it’s even more important for shelter kitties.

Jablonski created a wall climbing feature that allows kitties to get to the very top of the wall. When Jablonski visited the shelter he saw three kittens sitting on one of the steps, staring out the window

Paws Up award by FelineOpines.net for humans who do amazing things for cats



We give Marek Jablonski a paws up award for this pawsome gift to the shelter.

Feline Social Club offers sound healing for kitties

Sound-healer Santiago Rodriguez plays some pet sounds as the cats try to be cool about it. Long Beach Post News

Since opening in September 2019, Feline Good Social Club has been a haven for the cat-deprived. If you can’t have a kitty of your own, you can pay $15.00 for a hour for lunch, a break or just some feline time. The Feline Good Social Club’s slogan is “get giddy with a kitty” and encourages all it’s patrons to enjoy the feline company they provide. The organization is a nonprofit, everyone there is a volunteer and the funds received used for facility upkeep, cat food, kitty letter, etc.

The Feline Good Social Club plans events with feline friendly titles such as Cats & Mats Yoga, Paint & Purrs, a cat toy making craft event and a cat-themed movie night. Last weekend Sound Healing with Illuminate Life came in to allow felines and humans to enjoy an unusual meditation session. The event was such a success they are considering doing it on a monthly basis. You can visit The Feline Good Social Club (and meet the kitties available for adoption) at their website or follow them on Facebook.

Homeless cats airlifted to new homes in Washington

I’ve reported on Wings of Rescue and The Jackson Galaxy Project before. These wonderful folks (and others) fly felines (and doggos too) to places where they will have a better chance of being adopted. These 118 cats were airlifted from shelters in Louisiana and Mississippi to Washington State where folks are looking for kitties to give a furever home.   Paws up to these folks who work so hard to get kitties adopted, even if it means transporting them thousands of miles away.

The cats chosen to be flown out came from Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter, St. Charles Animal Shelter, and Oktibbeha Humane Society. 

Wings of Rescue has flown over 41,000 pets to safety since 2012. The Jackson Galaxy Project’s mission statement is “To improve the lives of animals at risk by transforming
the places they live and helping the people who care for them” and working with Wings of Rescue is only one part of their mission.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 1/15

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello There Furiends,
My how time flies. It’s Wednesday already! It’s been a loooong week for our Female Human. We’ve had lots of snow and she’s been busy pushing all that white stuff off the driveway. We felines purrfer comfort so while she went out there at least four times per day, we kept ourselves warm and comfy and cheered her on. (We were with her in spirit).

Oliver stands…..err….lounges in solidarity with The Female Human while he warms himself by the fire.

Lily posed in front of the snow-covered trees and I crawled into The Female Human’s lap each evening and gave her a therapeutic purr session.

We hope that wherever you are, you’re safe and warm! And now, on with the feline news of the week.

Brave Kitty!

Max the Brave!




We felines don’t always get the kudos we deserve which is why I’m bringing you the story of Max, the fearless cat. This kitty lives in southern California and ended up chasing of not 1, not 2 but 3 coyotes in his yard. And just so you know this isn’t some tall “tail” his humans got the whole dust up on their security camera..

Max’s humans heard the altercation and went out to chase the coyotes out of their yard and had no idea how much work Max had done fending them off until they watched the film from the security camera.

Poor old Max was just a whisker away from bring coyote dinner.  Max’s outdoor days are now over bui his humans are talking about building him a catio.You’ve got to check out the security camera video!

A litterbox that keeps your tools handy and is easy to clean!

Tuft and Paw is an innovator in feline products and their latest kickstarter campaign illustrates this.

The Cove litterbox is simple, beautiful and has it’s own an integrated scoop, dustpan, and hand brush. It was created by designers, engineers, and cat behaviorists and made from recycled plastics that are completely toxin-free.

Double-walled, thick matte plastic looks and feels sturdy while a smooth interior is extremely easy to clean. Rubberized bottom firmly plants the box to the floor. Cove’s scoop is designed to sift faster and slide easily through coarse litter without much effort. The dustpan and handbrush allow for quick, easy tidying around the litter box. The litterbox can only be pre-ordered on their Kickstarter page at this time. Pre-order price is $99.00. Lining in a house with five felines, The Female Human isn’t sure that 5 Cove litterboxes are in our financial future but it does sound nice.

Spotify launches a pet playlist generator



I can’t say I’m all that excited about these choices, I’ll have to have a conversation with our Purrsonal Assistant who set it up. I have to say though, it’s about time a streaming company took some interest in feline mewsical preferences. The play list set up asks about your feline’s personality so I am hoping these tunes will suit me. Send your human over to set up your playlist.

Petcurean, a premium food manufacturer for cats and dogs is returning the “Uplift The Underdog – Cat Edition” program



Petcurean puts pets first and the purpose of this contest is to shine a light on the many cats who are overlooked for adoption because of health, weight, age or behavior or other issues, in other words, the feline “underdogs”. Rescue groups, shelters and cat adoption supporters from across North America are invited to purrticipate.

These entities will have until February 2nd to submit the details of their most overlooked, but utterly adoptable cats. Of the cats nominated, 12 finalists will be selected – six Americans and six Canadians. These finalists will be announced on February 18, 2020, and supporters will be invited to learn about the finalists, do their part to help raise awareness, and vote for their favourite cats. The public voting period will last until February 24, 2020, at 6:00 pm P.S.T. The winner will be announced on February 25.

All 12 of the finalists’ shelters will receive a cat food donation of 2,000 meals to support the important work they’re doing to help animals in their communities. Petcurean will also pay the adoption fee for all 12 finalists, and if they are adopted, they will receive year’s supply of food to take to their new homes. The cat who receives the most votes in each category will receive a three-year supply of food from Petcurean.

Let’s get our shelters involved and help these kitties find furever homes!

Cat and bunny are best buddies


This odd couple in London is garnering world-wide fame for their relationship. A huge English bunny was recorded visiting his feline buddy.  The cat’s human, Jessie Sayce recorded the bunny during his daily “hop over” to visit her cat.  This has been happening since Leo  was a kitten.  She said, “”We thought it was really adorable, but didn’t think it would last, as Leo was getting bigger and thought he’d scare the rabbit,” she said. “This started 6 months ago, and they’re still super friendly!”

Their friendship has reached the point where the bunny has sneaked into the house via the cat door to look for Leo if he doesn’t find him outside. Sayce couldn’t figure out how the bunny was getting over the fence so she filmed him one day.  She said he jumped on a chair to the top of the shed in her garden. She said they don’t always play, sometimes they just sit together and watch the world go by.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 1/08

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello there furiends,
Yes, I admit it, I took some time off and I quite enjoyed the rest (you know we felines need our rest!) But the proverbial party is over and it’s time to get back to work. I have a lot to cover since I’ve been slacking (and gave our Purrsonal assistant some time off). The Female Human is not a fan of early mornings and she and Oliver enjoyed hanging out and having a conversation over coffee (Oliver doesn’t drink coffee, he just likes the warmth of the cup).

I on the other hand, have been chomping at the bit to get back to work. The Female Human has an office that is for working and for doing crafts. I must say I love all the craft goodies on the shelf. I have no idea why she gets her whiskers in such a twist when I help myself to some craft supplies, sheesh, how selfish can you get?

“Hmm, let’s see what I can get into here. She really needs to tidy up these shelves.”
Alberto

The good thing about The Female Human having this craft/work situation is that she has a table rather than a desk and this table has an “Alberto extension”. This makes it much easier for me to snoopervise her while she works.

Well, it’s time for me to get to the feline news.

CHONK Statistics Revealed

For those of you who follow my Wednesday web wanderings, you know that our all time favorite Facebook group is This Cat is CHONKY. The humans and felines in this group are some of the greatest we’ve ever met (we’ll be writing more about why this is) but for now, here is only one example. A very mathematically motivated human in the group has created a Universal CHONK index so that the debate about whether your home is filled with CHONKS, SLONKS or FLOOFS can finally be steeled.

Ellis Mumford-Russell has taken on this herculean task and it has settled many debates in the CHONK   community. We now have numerical and provable  CHONK standards. If this is all a bit confusing to you I suggest you join the This Cat is CHONKY group and get to know the CHONKS AND the wonderful humans they live with and for heaven’s sake before you identify your felines as HEFTY CHONK, MEGA CHONK, etc. please refer to this index.

Universal Chonk Index Update

It is with great pleasure that I unveil the findings of our UCI survey. I charted the 54 data points, which you can see here.

(explanation of UCI here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/133018060894811/permalink/560333531496593/?hc_location=ufi)

A few things:
1. You’ll see cat names listed on the bottom. If people didn’t list cat names, I put the human’s name with an asterisk after
2. Remember, the smaller the number, the more chonky the cat

Most Chonky Cat = Matita w/UCI 1.17
Most Slonky Cat = Noel w/UCI 4.75

Average = 1.8657
Median = 1.7222
Mode = 1.7000

UPDATE: photos now included below for Matita and Noel so that we can see the scale of C H O N K –> S L O N K ??

Proposed Chonk Standards

Given that I presume that the sample group skews chonky, I propose the following standards:
this cat is C H O N K Y ≤ 1.7
this cat is A V E R A G E = 1.71-1.9
this cat is S L O N K Y ≥ 2

Diving further into the data, here are my suggested parameters for the following categories of cat:
some sort of snake cat ≥ 4
l o n g b o i ≥ 3
A fine boi = 1.71-2.9
He Chomnk = 1.6-1.7
A Heckin’ Chonker = 1.5-1.59
H E F T Y C H O N K = 1.4-1.49
M E G A C H O N K E R = 1.3-1.39
AW LAWD HE COMIN’ ≤ 1.29

Use these findings as you see fit.

View the data here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UlWWRg6kLF1-MIT7om4WV-7TmsX-t1AAwuEX7DMy7OI/edit?usp=sharing

LuluPet’s AI Litterbox will analyze your feline’s “deposits” and check for health issues

LuluPet’s intelligent litter box not only detects littering frequency and litter weight but also the condition of the litter (normal, constipation, diarrhea, etc.). After judging litter conditions through the use of AI image restoration, it uses this data to notify the owner of the cat’s health.

If our Female Human had a dollar for every time she’s had to describe to the vet the appearance and texture of the poop of The Tribe of Five, she’d be a rich woman, And gathering this information accurately when you have a multi cat household and numerous cat boxes is like searching for the holy grail.

But take heart humans, LuLuPet has a litter box with “built-in stool and urine image recognition” to analyze our… deposits. And why have an AI litter box that does this? It’s for the health of your felines, of course. The Female Human paid purrrticular attention when she read that the LuLuPet device can be set to determine which poop is from which cat.  

When the cat walks into the litter box, the information is sent to an app on the human’s phone. The company says that the litter box is Alexa- and Google Home-enabled. This offers more questions than answers. Whose voice does it respond to? If it’s the felines, do we have to learn special meows? If it’s the human, what is the voice command? The next feature has Oliver’s whiskers in a twist because the litter box can weigh your feline and determine whether the cat is too fat. That brings me to another question; will they be employing the CHONK data information noted in the article above?

Evidently this wonder litter box can also determine if the cat needs more food or water.

LuluPets joins many other smart litter boxes but most of those boxes focus on cleaning the box and not analyzing the cat’s health. And there’s even a built in camera although this causes me to wonder, can’t a cat get some privacy?! The thought of my human watching me “do my business” over her phone app is a bit off-putting and frankly, an invasion of my privacy.  LuluPet says that these photos are uploaded to the LuluPet library and are used to compare the different “deposits” of the other felines.

Now don’t get me wrong, this thing could really be a help with cat health, but I’m having a bit of difficulty believing that it will be as effective as the company says it will be. But, time will tell. This smart litter box is slated to be sold on Amazon in March for $149.00.

Canyon Ranch Inspired Resort for Felines…Human send me right meow!

Cat’s Meow resort was founded by Kim Thomas who took her business acumen and love of cats and created her feline resort, Cat’s Meow. She refers to it as the Canyon Ranch for felines.   She began her feline career with a pet sitter service and said that she noticed many of the cats she cared for were in need of grooming. She did her research, connected with the National Cat Groomer’s institute and became a master cat groomer.

She loved grooming felines, bet felt something was missing in the marketplace.  She wanted to create a place where cats could enjoy luxurious, stress-free, happy cat boarding without the distraction and fear of dogs —- along with the latest in cat grooming. and Cat’s Meow Resort was born.

The spaces at Cat’s Meow are pawsome and very elegant and the grooming options are amazing. If you want to up your feline’s star quality, this is the place to stay. I would be tempted but traveling. If I didn’t find the idea of being stuffed in a carrier and traveling the 2682 miles from my home to the resort holds no interest for me! If any of my east coast feline furiends have a stay or a grooming session there, let me know.

Gus the Cat Entered in Australian Dog Swimming Race

. Gus also enjoys paddle-boarding, cycling and hiking. Photograph: Alec Smart

The Scotland Island dog swimming race has been held for 44 years in the Sydney area. This year an entrant nabbed Gus shook things up a bit as he is an 11-month old Tonkinese cat.  Gus’ human, Glenn Druery had been training the feline in Middle Harbor. Gus enjoys other water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding.

The Tonkinese breed is a cross between Siamese and Burmese and is known for not being fearful of water. Still, Gus is nowhere near the size and strength of the dogs that compete in the 500 meter swim.  Druery checked the rules and noted that a human can swim alongside the four legged contestants.

Needless to say, ther4 was controversy about Gus’ entering the race with many saying that it should be kept as a dog race, stating reasons such as, “it’s cruel to the cat, it’s dangerous to the cat and it will upset the dogs.”

Druery assured the sceptics that he’d be swimming alongside Gus and, if Gus ran into any trouble, he’d climb on Druery’s shoulders.

Druery’s black Border collie, Bob, swam in the race twice and finished third and was declared the overall winner in the 2015 race. Sadly, Bob passed away from cancer.

Gus came in first in his category and is now a feline Australian sensation.

Osaka Hotel Offers Rooms With A View….Of Cats

Each room has an observation window looking into the cat’s play area

There are hotels for cats and now there are hotels for cat lovers. Neko Hatago is a hotel where guests can watch 16 resident rescue cats chilling in the adjacent cat café Neko Yokujo through an observation window in each hotel room. The hotel opened in mid-December. It has a traditional Japanese aesthetic, with traditional wooden fixtures, tatami mats and a rainbow Mt Fuji mural presiding over the cat café. The hotel is more hostel than a luxury property. The rooms have individual bunks for one or two people with a separate shared bath facility.  There is an observation window in each room that looks into the cats play area. The windows are designed so you can observe the cats but neither you nor the other human guests can see each other. There are radio controlled toys that you can use to play with the cats.

Rates run between 8500 Yen ($79.00 USD) to 11,500 Yen ($105.00 USD) and include a two-hour session in the cat café outside of regular hours. And, if you and one of the kitties connect you can adopt a new friend as all the cats are available for adoption.

How Dare You Call My Cat Geriatric! (The Female Human Opines)

Although I didn’t say the words out loud that‘s exactly what I thought all those years ago when my beloved Miss P was being examined by the vet. I struggled to paste a smile on my face as I gazed into the blue eyes of my sassy Lynx Point feline. Granted, she was 10 years old but she still looked like the sassy little kitten I’d first met. The kitten who began life as “Puddy” but let me know in no uncertain terms that she required a more dignified moniker and soon became known as Miss P.

My beautiful sassy angel, Miss P.

Miss P was with me for nine more wonderful years and during that time I began to learn to not only accept the geriatric time of her life but to embrace and enjoy it. She’s been gone for five years now and I am happy to say every memory I have of her is a joyful one.

A year and a half ago my world was rocked when 17-year old Jasmine was diagnosed with kidney disease. I immediately went to the worst case scenario, my heart was broken and tears flowed so fast couldn’t concentrate on the lesson the vet tech was attempting to give me in administering subcutaneous fluids. Then, something the vet tech said permeated my fog of sorrow.

“Anita, we’ve had so many kitties live many good years with this diagnosis on sub-Q fluids.”

I grabbed a tissue, blew my nose and said hopefully, “Really?”

Their Senior Years Are Only A New Stage

That was the moment I turned the corner and began to embrace the reality of my cat’s senior days.  I thought through Jasmine’s treatment and felt that no matter how hard it would be for me to give her the fluids, she deserved much better than being terrified by a vet trip every other day.  I screwed up my courage and learned how to administer the fluids myself. We discussed what Jasmine needed and how to monitor her health. I left the vets that day with prescription food, sub-Q fluids and a hopeful heart.

It took a few weeks to get Jasmine stable. We made one more vet trip when she seemed to be in distress but we managed to get her back on track. I monitor her weight, give her fluids religiously (although she has some issues with this as seen in this short video) and make sure she’s hydrated and her diet is low in phosphates.  Instead of bemoaning the fact that she’s a senior I take the time to create new rituals and fun times together. Now, while I give her fluids, she also gets an Inaba Churu Grain-Free Chicken lickable treat and despite her meows to the contrary, she enjoys the new addition to the treatment.

“I do not appreicate being poked with a needle!
Jasmine

It’s natural to want our felines to remain kittens forever but if we don’t embrace all their stages of life we miss so much. Tucker, Jasmines brother, Jasmine and I have developed routines and ways of living together over these 17 years that are a constant blessing to me. Yes, there are adjustments. Tucker can no longer come out on the deck with me and sit on the railing as his poor depth perception has made him more tentative in gauging how much space he has on that ledge. There is a 35 foot drop into the woods from that ledge that he already misjudged a number of years ago so now he and all the cats enjoy the great outdoors in their pop up catio.

Tucker, in his younger days, sunning on the ledge of the upstairs deck.

Jasmine went through a stressful time of bullying and, as a result, she now lives in the bedroom suite. I tried to reintegrate her into the rest of the house for several years but I finally had to respect her wishes to have her own space. Since the arrival of my “foster failures” Alberto and Oliver, she does have periodic visitors and enjoys bossing them around.  I constantly look for other ways to enrich her environment as well.

Tucker’ has always been a rather “laid back” fellow which is only enhanced in his senior years. Still, there are things he does that delight and often amaze me. He likes to jump up on the stools at the kitchen counter and then hop up on the counter to “snoopervise” the goings on in the kitchen (he is a cat that lives to eat and this  proclivity for eating seems to have been enhanced over the years). I would never dream of chasing him off the counter. If the old guy can make it up there, he deserves to stay there. Any visitors to my house have to deal with the fact that the counter is religiously cleaned with cat-friendly disinfectant and is often decorated by a rather large, cross-eyed feline. He has also been known to enjoy box sitting sessions and giving the “young ones” the occasional whacky paw when he deems them to be annoying. Tucker makes sure he never misses an opportunity to roll in some nip as well..

A little “nip” sprinkled on the counter will always get this old guy moving. Look at that happy face.

Granted, life and routines change over time but that doesn’t mean the changes are bad. Many are quite enjoyable. As you navigate the senior years of your cat, consider these five lessons for living with and loving geriatric felines that I’ve learned.

The Five Rules For Your Cats Geriatric Years

  1. Plan financially for your cat’s senior years. As they age, cats will require more veterinary visits than they did as young felines. Think about getting pet insurance when they’re young or, start a savings plan for their medical needs. I have a line item in my budget for “Cat Medical”. Whatever I don’t use in a month, I put in savings as insurance.
  2. Make sure you begin a habit of yearly wellness exams for your cats. Wellness exams help your vet identify and treat potential problems at their earliest stages.
  3. Have a first class pet sitter. If I have to leave home, I need more than someone who will come in and feed twice a day. Both Tucker and Jasmine have medical needs that must be addressed and medications that need to be dispensed. My sitter needs to know what to look for if the cats are not feeling well and when to take them to the vet. I always make arrangements with my vet before I leave in case my cats need medical attention.
  4. Just because they aren’t as active as they used to be doesn’t mean they don’t need environmental enrichment. Tucker enjoys box sitting and catnip is still a favorite.Jasmine has an assortment of toys and enjoys the occasional roll in the nip too.
  5. Love them and enjoy them and be thankful for every day you have with them.

Charles Dickens said, “What greater gift than the love of a cat?” and if we can receive that love for 19, 20 or more years, what a wonderful gift that is.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 12/18

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello there furiends,
How is your week going? The Tribe of Five is getting in the holiday spirit and the weather humans are saying we’re going to have two days of holiday snow. I realize that today’s picture on Weather Kitty is a bit deceptive, what with the sunshine and green grass and all but you can see we have a winter storm warning.

Weather Kitty offers “meow prime” but evidently the staff is too cheap to get the paid version with our purrsonalized pictures!

On another note, we seem to have a disaster in the making at our house. This weekend The Female Human was boiling some eggs on the stovetop. She went to wash something in the sink and when she turned around, this is what she saw.

Evidently, the desperate yelling of the Female Human, “Oliver get down!” had no effect on the little heat seeking guy. Nope instead of obeying, he moved in closer.

Notice the bubbles in the water? That’s because there is a fire under that pan heating up the water. Still, Oliver doesn’t seem to be worried about setting his fur on fire.
Human still screaming (and filming) and Oliver is blase about the situation.

The yelling and removal of Oliver from the stovetop continued until The Female Human’s eggs were boiled. Oliver won the stand off and The Female Human hovered over the burner until she shut it off. All I can say is, it’s a good thing she rarely cooks!

“I have no idea why you are screaming at me. Can’t a cat get a little extra heat without making a big deal of it?”

Please do not give The Female Human a bad time. She always knew Oliver was a heat seeking feline but this stunt was a new one. He has been (gently) advised that waltzing across the counter to the stove top is not allowed and a very, very, very bad idea. Sigh, it’s a good thing I’m such a good cat and don’t give her any trouble..

This is me, “helping”
Alberto

As you can see it’s been a bit of a harrowing week in our neck of the woods but we are all safe and sound and The Female Human is quite the watchdog when the stovetop burners are on.

So let’s get started on this week’s wonderful feline web stories.

Working Cats Keep Levees Safe

Former feral cat works to keep the levees safe.

The Metro East Sanitary District in Granite City, IL hired dozens of new employees this year, all eager and hungry to take care of rodent problems. These working felines are keeping the rodent population down and saving the levee system.

The felines were “hired” six months ago from Metro East Humane Society’s Working Cat Program and their job description isn’t limited to rats, they patrol for moles, voles and other burrowing animals along the levee system. An MESD spokesperson says the cats are doing a fantastic job. The cats receive room and board and are saving MESD from high maintenance costs.

Prior to coming to MESD, the cats were spayed/neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and ear-tipped. In the past most feral cats were euthanized and now these felines not only get to live, they live their best life. Paws up to the good folks at The Metro East Sanitary District!

Paws on the Job – More working cats

Business owners in Addison County, Vt are adding felines to the workplace through the Paws on the Job program of Homeward Bound, Addison County’s Humane Society. Shelter feline coordinator Michelle Shubert spends time with the new feral cats at the shelter so that she can transition them into the working cats program.

The working cats in the program live and hunt outside and the business owners feed and care for them. A new category for office cats has also been created. Sadie, a calico works at the Gaines Insurance agency, Chedder works at the Middlebury Animal Hospital, and a local hardware store employs Grayson

Businesses wishing to hire a working cat are required to assign a “boss” or point person who is responsible  for the feline employee. They must provide shelter, food, water and affection and attention. For a $35.00 hiring fee, the business receives a start-up package that includes a crate ,litter box, start up food and toys.

pays for a start-up care package that includes supplies such as a crate for the acclimation period of an outdoor cat, litter box for an indoor cat, startup food and toys. Let’s give a big round of applause for “Paws on the Job”.

Cats Steal the Show in These 12 Famous Feline Flicks

The holidays are near and my feline furiends (even the working ones) and their humans will have some extra time to relax and watch some flicks. When you’re planning your holiday movies, here are 12 of the greatest feline features ever made for you to watch. The list goes back all the way to 1958.

Molly, the amazing dog who rescues cats

Before you say it, yes of course I know this is a FELINE blog and dogs are normally verboten but this is a special case. This dog, Mollie, works with her human Colin Butcher, a former police detective in their agency that finds lost pets, with a specialty in finding felines. Mollied’s human learned quite a bit about finding lost pets when he was on the police force so this post-retirement job was purrfect for him.

Their agency, UK Pet Detectives took off when Molly started working with him. Molly is a rescue herself and has been trained to do feline scent recognition work. While Molly did her training her human brushed up on cat behavior and now they are an unstoppable team. They’ve recently released a book titled, Molly: The True Story of The Amazing Dog Who Rescues Cats

Tweet about dad who didn’t want a cat explains why cats own Twitter

A human named Ruby shared a tweet on December 11th about her dad who was adamant about the fact that he didn’t want the responsibility of taking a cat as he’d already raised his kids.  The tweet showed her dad showing his feline Lucas everything he bought the cat at the store. And Ruby’s dad now has two cats. In addition to obtaining feline approval of his purchases, Ruby’s dad also built a sandpit and paddling pool for them and holds an umbrella over them when it rains. The tweets are hilarious and heart warming and we want to remind you humans that real men love cats!

This week’s web star is Kidden

My regular readers will remember that I told you about one of the BEST cat groups on the planet, This cat is CHONKY. If you haven’t checked this group out yet you’re missing a lot. Wonderful CHONKY cats and fantastic humans. Well this feline, Kidden was a member and when Kidden’s human say a photo of this guy holding a friend’s CHONKY feline she felt compelled to comment on his cuteness.

The rest is an amazing love story. Chicago human begins to correspond with English human and English human sets off over the pond to meet female human. Thank goodness Kidden approves. So all you single cat people out there….start getting creative!

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 12/11

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
How is everything in your neck of the woods? Nothing much new to report but we did have a sprinkling of snow here in the valley. The ski area is getting enough to open all the trails and that’s a good thing. The Female Human purrfers a “light sprinkling” but I keep telling her snow shoveling is a good workout (and it’s quite amewsing to sit on the window sill and watch her). We kinda’ liked the white stuff we saw out of the window this morning, puts us in a festive mood.

The Female Human purchased a new kitchen rug without our consent. What hubris! I immediately went into the kitchen to see if I would be willing to give it a paws up. I must say I like it much better than the old one.

Ah the softness!
Room to stretch out is always good!

Even though I am the official snooperviser in the house, Oliver had to get into the act too. He is the living, breathing example of a copycat.

I do have one question for you. I have had this “cardboard sofa” since I was a kitten. It’s my favorite thing to hang out in when I’m chillin’ and keeping an eye on the goings on in the house. The Female Human thinks I should have a bigger one and frankly, it is getting a bit difficult to squeeze my large (but lean and athletic) frame into this one. If any of you know of a larger version of this cardboard sofa, please meow at us and let us know.

It is getting a bit tight in my little cardboard sofa.

That’s enough about The Tribe of Five. Let’s get on with the latest feline news. Be sure and read to the end as I’ve added a new feature, “Alberto’s Weekly Feline Web Star” and who knows, some of you might end up in my Wednesday blog feature one of these days.

The age old battle, cats vs Christmas trees

My readers are well aware of the fact that this feline despises cat stereotypes but I must say, this is one stereotype that is not only true but hilarious. In our defense, if you humans insist on setting up something in the house that looks like a festive feline fun house you shouldn’t be surprised if it is the object of our shenanigans.

Two-day fair hosts thousands of cats in Moscow

Mewoza this was quite an event. Two days and 2,000 cats from 12 countries! I was purrticularily interested when I read in another article that one of the events was cat dancing. This caused me to set my purrsonal assistant on a quest to find out about this. Sadly, she failed to find any info about the cat dancing at the event but she reminded me I did do a report about the Moscow Cat Theater in a previous Wednesday feature. Evidently those Russian cats are quite accomplished. She found information about Russian dancing cats and about the Savitsky Cats, The Savitsky Cats are a family from the Ukraine that consists of mother Svitlana, daughter Marina, son Misha, and their 10 felines. Here’s a little clip when the Savitsky Cats were on America’s Got Talent (which is confusing to me if they are Russian cats-oh well).

Cats with jobs: Collierville Feline hires herself as a greeter

Cinnamon greets staff and visitors at the Collierville shelter

Cinnamon, a “semi-feral” cat resides in the outdoor area behind the shelter. In addition to her job description of “mouse removal” she decided that she needed to expand her business repertoire and has a new job as shelter greeter. It appears Cinnamon wasn’t getting enough human interaction and greeting filled that need.

Now lest you worry about the TNR feral cats who reside at the shelter, have no fear. They are well taken care of. They have small, warm houses to live in and special fan cooled areas for the summer.

The shelter will always try to help these kitties adapt to indoor life but for some, the “wild and free” lifestyle is more to their liking. The shelter staff says that Cinnamon has been there long enough to be accustomed to their routines. She’ll greet anyone who will let her, but never tries to get inside the building. I think Cinnamon has a pretty nice gig, a nice outside area to roam in and a job with room and board and benefits. Paws up to the good folks at the Collierville shelter for thinking outside the box!

New homes in Japan are designed with felines in mind

Oh my whiskers, I’m telling The Female Human we must move to Japan posthaste. She’s not so keen on the idea so we’re trying to see if there are any innovative architechts furmiliar with these plans here in the good old US of A.

Felissimo is  famous cat related brand in Japan that produces fantastical feline products has just won a gold medal with this concept. They collaborated with Wada Kosan, a company that develops rental condominiums in Kobe, Japan.  The new cat homes took two years to develop with the input from professional architechts and cat owning Felissimo Cat club members.

These designs are purrfection and even the outside is a hat tip to felines as the building exteriors are designed to look like calico cat fur.  Tenants in these luxury rentals will receive a 5,000 yen ($46.05) coupon every month for Felissimo products. Someone send me to Japan!

Stowaway cat was found at a British port after surviving a 12-day journey on a cargo ship from Israel.

Izzy, the stowaway cat from Israel is looking for a home in her new country.

The tortoiseshell cat, thought to be about a year old, was discovered in a container which arrived at Southampton in April. Following a four-month quarantine stay, she has been named Izzy and is being cared for at the Cats Protection Newbury Adoption Centre, in Thatcham, Berkshire, which is hoping to find her a new home.

The shelter says, “Izzy is quite a shy cat, and we think she must have been a street cat in Israel – used to being around people, but not being handled.”  They said they’ll never know her full story, but it’s most likely she snuck into the container looking for food or somewhere cosy to sleep, and ended up getting locked in.

It’s quite remarkable that she survived for so long without food or water in what must have been very uncomfortable conditions. Izzy is described as “An independent girl, and she’d suit a home where she can have plenty of outdoor space. It may be that she’ll prefer to spend most of her time outdoors at first, but once she gets settled, she may well begin to come inside the home.”

As Izzy has been through a lot, the shelter would love to see her go to a home with a patient human who can give her the stable home she needs after such a turbulent few months.

Paws crossed that Izzy finds the purrfect home!

Alberto’s Weekly Feline web star

Hey furiends, I’m excited about this new feature I’m adding. I will be showcasing felines that I know (some of my feline blogging furiends) and felines furiends I meet in the many cat groups I belong to. This week I’m introducing you to my furiend Bear Cat. He and his pawtner in crime, Ellie Mae are fellow feline bloggers and they’re always good for some shenanigans. I think this photo of Bear Cat says it all. Go visit them at Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 12/4

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hi There Furiends,
I’m hoping we make it through this week without any technical difficulties. The Purrsonal Assistant is doped up on antibiotics but we asked Alexa (can’t Google without opposable thumbs) and we think the meds should not interfere with work, although Alexa kept trying to give us all sorts of useless information like “Meow is the sound a cat makes” and she even meowed back. I have no ideas why you humans are so crazy about these voice devices. When we can pry the Purrsonal Assistant away from her phone we might give SIRI a try.

It was a nice Thanksgiving although the Female Human went to another house and did not make the turkey and there was no turkey for us. She did redeem herself by giving us extra treats. As you can see below, Oliver and I were a bit lethargic in our regularly scheduled brofur wrestling match after eating so much.

Lily kept watch at the living room and dining room windows and alerted The Female Human to all our Thanksgiving day visitors.

Lily is on living room watch. What she usually sees there are raccoons, deer and the odd bear.
This is the forest moocher although there’s no food for her to steal in the forest. She does manage to come around, up the hill and munch on The Female Human’s cottage garden in the front yard.

We love to watch the little squirrel that frequents the upstairs bird feeder. We are told he is a pine squirrel and, despite his tiny size, he is FIERCE! He chases away the big fat “town squirrels” like an animal four times his size. We looked up information on these little guys. It appears that they are officially called Douglas’s Squirrel or Chickarees (around here the humans insist on calling them Pine Squirrels). They eat acorns, fruit, mushrooms, buds, and sap, and visit bird feeders for nuts. Their main diet is conifer seeds and they have plenty of those around our house. They’re bright, feisty and noisy. We can attest to the noisy part because if The Female Human is late filling the feeder good grief does he scream!

We hope you all had an excellent and animal-filled Thanksgiving and now on to this week’s notable feline news.

What are our feline expressions trying to tell you?

“You’ve got to be kitten me right meow!” -Oliver

There’s been a lot of meowing going on these days about you humans understanding what we felines are trying to convey to you. A recent study said that we also communicate with facial expressions.

Georgia Mason, a veterinary researcher and author of a study analyzing humans’ ability to understand cats has figured out the complexities of cats. “Anyone who writes cats off as sort of moody or distant is probably underestimating them,” said . Her work was published last month in the journal “Animal Welfare.” She says we felines are signaling things to you, it’s just subtle and you need to spend the time with us to figure out what the signals mean.

Mason and her colleagues were interested in gauging how accurately humans pick up on feline emotions written in their fuzzy little faces. They asked more than 6,000 participants to watch 20 context-free cat clips, collected via veterinarians or YouTube, and to decide whether the featured feline was experiencing a negative or positive emotion.

I’d love to say that the humans knocked it out of the park but sadly, correct responses were 11.85 out of 20.  Still, there were some humans in the group who were purrticularily connected to feline expressions.

The researchers concluded that it is the human/cat connection that is the key. If you spend time getting to know your cat, you understand their expressions.  Oh and another interesting note, female humans did better than male humans. Cat Daddy’s, you need to step up your game.

Sadly, we got to the end of the article and the researcher says that “data also show that cat owners are generally less bonded to their pets than dog owners — contributing to the sad outcome that, compared to dogs, cats are more likely to be neglected, abandoned and passed-over for adoption.”

I think this is a bunch of malarkey as we have furiends all over the internet whose humans are closely bonded to them. The researcher did redeem herself when she ended with this comment, ““We’re hoping [to conduct] more research to develop tools to help people read their cat better,” added Mason. “That would make living with a cat more rewarding.”

UK-based pet-whisperer gets all 17 of her pets to pose for a photo together

Now before you start meowing and saying, “Why is Alberto considering this newsworthy?”, I must remind you that the feat this human accomplished is not only noteworthy it is a clear violation of “Cat Code”. If you are not furmiliar with this part of the code it reads, “When a human advances toward a feline to take a photo, said feline must remain still until right before the photo is taken and then race out of the frame.”

In fairness, it did take this human who lives in Wales, several weeks to get the shot. This dear lady rescues animals (which is how she ended up with such a big tribe that also includes four parakeets, several fish and a baby hedgehog).

What magic did she use to get this shot? First she used treats for the dogs to get them to pose. She said the dogs were easy, they will always pose for treats. And then there were the cats.

Getting the nine felines to pose required that she rush back and forth with the camera at the ready to retrieve the less than enthusiastic felines who broke ranks and sauntered out of the frame (purrfect Cat Code behavior). She then put them back in place-again and again.  The lady stated, “I now know the real meaning behind herding cats,”  But she persevered finally, after two weeks she got this amazing shot.  Hmmmm, I wonder if The Female Human will attempt to get all five of us in one shot.

Staff Sgt. Dan Brissey able to bring Sully and her only surviving sibling back from Afghanistan

Because of a surplus of funds raised after this story was posted, Staff Sgt. Dan Brissey was able to adopt Sully’s only surviving sibling, shown here. Both Sully — and her yet-to-be-named sister — will be making their home in the United States. Sully will be leaving Afghanistan in early January, but it is unclear if her sister will be traveling with her or at a later date.
COURTESY OF DAN BRISSEY

Staff Sgt. Dan Brissey, on his fifth tour overseas and his third trip to Afghanistan, has raised more than the required $3,000 to bring the feline he rescued  and her sibling to the United States. Brissey found Sully while she was sunning herself in the crook of a concrete blast wall on his way back from getting fuel. Even though he is allergic to cats, Sully, one of a litter of four, bonded with him immediately.  It was love at first meow.

Brissey serves with the Maryland National Guard and said his mind was blown when he realized how much money had been raised through Nowzad, the Afghanistan animal rescue through Facebook donations.  Nowzad’s mission is to relieve the suffering of animals in Afghanistan and to provide and maintain rescue, rehabilitation and education facilities. A representative from Nowzad said the extra money raised will go toward the transportation costs of getting Sully to the United States. Anything beyond that will be used for the Nowzad shelter and clinic where Sully was spayed, vaccinated and microchipped.  And, since enough funds were raised after this article was written there is enough to get Sully’s sister to her new home as well. Nowzad is the only official animal shelter in Afghanistan, and it is home to more than 130 dogs, 40 cats and seven donkeys.

Our Purrsonal assistant got a bit teary eyed when she read this comment by Sgt. Brissey, ““It makes the deployment days a little better when you have a furry little buddy to spend some time with,”

Cat’s Bike Ride Tweet Goes Viral

You never know what the next viral feline tweet or social media sensation will be. This week it’s a cat in New Delhi . A Twitter user posted a picture of a cat riding on a motorcycle, looking chill and quite at home. The tweet attracted a myriad of comments. Some lauded the calm feline and said that cats also want formal educati0ns and posted a pic of a cat in the University of Mumbai. Others expressed concern for the cat’s safety (this was our Female Human’s reaction). Some were even angry tweeting, “Should have tagged Mumbai Police and PETA for No helmet’, endangering the safety of an animal….”. We just hope the human bike rider gets a clue and puts a basket on the back for feline safety.

Palmerston the cat back at U.K. Foreign Office after time off for stress

Palmerston explores his new workplace in 2016 (photo courtesy of AP)

I have reported on the purrlitical felines in London and Palmerston, the Uk Foreign Office’s “Chief Mouser”. He disappeared from the spotlight earlier this year and there was great concern about his health and wellbeing.

Finally, a tweet appeared at @DiploMog Twitter profile, announcing his return to frontline duties. Working cats are no different than working humans and sometimes the pressure requires a little R & R. Sir Simon McDonald, the permanent Under Secretary and head of the Diplomatic Service at the Foreign Office, stated this week,  “It was no longer an environment that was working for him.  He was over-grooming on his front legs, a sign of stress.”

Palmerston, named after Britain’s longest-serving foreign secretary, was moved on vet’s advice to the home of one of McDonald’s staff in July.

“During his summer holiday, Cabinet ministers, colleagues and overseas visitors have asked me anxiously about his whereabouts,” McDonald wrote. “The good news is that Palmerston is coming back this week. But we must remember why he needed a break, and change our behavior towards him. He is happy, healthy and full of energy. His pelt is glossy and mostly grown back. We need now to keep him that way.”

The @DiploMog Twitter feed set out new rules for Foreign Office staff when the animal returns to active duty.

Dubbed the “Palmerston Protocols,” Palmerston’s posts said they were “designed to ensure my welfare and happiness.” Evidently the size of the building of Palmerston’s workplace was difficult for him to maintain, adding to his stress. He’s been given a more manageable zone and it was noted that Palmerston should be allowed to choose whether he wants to interact with staff.

In other words humans, keep your paws off Palmerston unless he invites you over for a petting session. Staff  have also been advised not to wake him when sleeping and that Palmerston has “full choice and control of who he deigns to greet or imperiously ignores.”

The Twitter feeds of other government cats lit up with welcome back messages to Palmerston.  And humans tweeted  “good to see you back:  messages as well.

The Tribe of Five is calling a meeting to set some ground rules for our workspace. I don’t believe The Female Human takes our job stress seriously enough.