Stripey’s human, Debbie is a member of the Cat Writers’ Association, a great group of people who write about, take photos of, and do other creative stuff featuring felines.
Debbie has an author’s blog, Ruff Drafts and a blog written by the cat character, Sneaky, the library cat from her cozy mystery series. Check out Stripey’s guest blog about how he and Debbie deal with his hyperthyroidism. Stripey is also featured in the new book Pet Posts: The Cat Chats
Hello There Furiends, I hope you have been enjoying yourself this week. This week, Lily and I made some progress in our relationship. Oliver and I are trying not to chase her off the bed and all around the house. While Lily and were waiting for breakfast to be served, we discussed the state of our relationship.
The Human hasn’t caught us in another cuddle but she’s hopeful. Lily and Oliver are still mulling the situation over.
Well, here’s hoping Oliver will get on board the furiendship train. And here are our feline news items for the week.
Professor Peter Neville has worked alongside specialists at eco-cat litter company Natusan to identify five unique personality types that can help cat caretakers tailor their approach to their pet.
Working with date from 3,700 cat parents, experts have found five common personalities in cats and labeled them Nervous Nala, Outgoing Oliver, Bossy Bella, Spontaneous Simba and Agreeable Alfie.
They found that even in the same household, and from the same litter, we felines can be very different in our behaviors and preferences.
The professor says that, “Like humans, the more we appreciate what makes them tick, the more we can fine tune our interactions, and create environments that encourage them to thrive by accommodating their social and emotional needs.
Outgoing Olivers are usually more vocal and extroverted
Nervous Nalas have delicate dispositions and are often more highly strung than other cats. They can be shy around other cats.
Bossy Bellas are very assertive and often the top cats in multi cat households.
Spontaneous Simbas are the most impulsive and have a lot of energy (the kind of felines that love midnight zoomies).
Agreeable Alfies are the epitome of a cool cat. They are calm and sociable often as a result of proper socialization as kittens.
I don’t know what you think about all this my furiends. As for me, I’m not so sure all felines fit into one category.
Our Human has relatives who like different forms of car racing and introduced her into the car sport of “drifting” which is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, loses traction but still maintains control of the vehicle. Imagine my surprise when I found out that cats can drift too.
Pet Product News recently noted that dog owners do seem to get all the attention, especially when it comes to marketing and production for pet food, pet products and pet services according to a new survey.
In Packaged Facts’ Survey of Pet Owners, cat owners were asked whether they perceive that cats are “sometimes treated as second class” compared to dogs by various types of players in the pet industry. Across the board to varying degrees, the answer was “yes,” including for general merchandise stores that sell pet products (with 51 percent of cat owners agreeing strongly or somewhat that cats sometimes get second-class treatment), companies that make pet food/treats (45 percent), companies that make non-food products (45 percent), pet specialty stores (44 percent) and veterinarians (41 percent).
The good news my feline furiends, is that this does seem to be changing. Last year, many of the new products introduced at Global Pet Expo 2020 were cat-focused, including New Product Showcase winners Moody Pet’s Fling-Ama-String and Four Paws’ Kitty Kat Circus, and during 2020 Petco unleashed a slew of promotional emails with feline-focused headlines including ‘You had me at Meow,’ ‘Kitty 101’ and ‘Kitty’s first shopping list .
These marketing folks are finally getting the idea that cats rock and cat parents like to lavish us with all sorts of goodies.
This feline was dismayed to learn that more people are allergic to cats than any other animal. About one in five people in the world have allergy symptons such as sneezing, itchy eyes, coughing, wheezing and even the hives if exposed to cats. What a bummer!
But don’t lose hope my allergic feline loving furiends! Studies have found that it is’t t he amount of fur a cat has and that some of the most “hypoallergenic “ cats have very full, long coats.
Allergic reactions to felines come from reactions to a protein called Fel d 1, which is a protein that is present in our skin, saliva, and urine. When we lick our fur, this Fel d 1 dries into tiny particles that are carried through the air and then land on the hair, clothing, furniture and other stuff belonging to humans. These particles can hang around for months!
So, the bad news is that there are no felines that are 100% hypoallergenic but some of us produce much less of Fel d 1.
Scientists say that normally, female cats produce less of the protein than male cats, and neutered males produce less than those who haven’t been fixed. And now, you don’t have to adopt a hairless cat to stay away from allergens (although there is nothing wrong with my hairless feline furiends). You can also look into the breeds shown below. I would love to see everyone who hasn’t given a cat a furever home because of allergies be able to be a kitty parent!
A Russian man named Ramil is a volunteer who works to help free cats trapped in basements of Soviet-era buildings, places that are often the only shelter stray cats can find. He is the hero of many Russians and of felines as well!
Russians are cat lovers, a 2016 poll indicated that 57% of Russian households had at least one cat.
The stray cat problem is only recently being addressed in Russia. Those poor kitties need shelter badly as temperatures normally stay below zero most of the winter. Boy am I glad I’m a pampered indoor kitty!
Moscow’s parliament passed a decree this fall that all apartment buildings provide access to basement vents for “small pets”. Ramil and his cat loving furiends are expanding their cat saving work to the suburbs (areas which are not under the same decree).
The Russians don’t take to animal cruelty. One political hopeful was photographed allegedly kicking a cat and his political career ended immediately. Businesses in Russia catering to cats and their humans are thriving, even cat cafes.
We say two paws up for the cat loving Russians who are working to help the street kitties of Moscow and other areas.
Happy Wednesday Furiends! I hope the weather in your neck of the woods is better than ours. We’ve had high wind warnings and our electricity was out! Thankfully, our Human was forward thinking when she had our house built so we always have the gas fireplace in the living room to keep us warm. It’s a shame about her morning coffee but if she wants to use her Keurig, we told her she should get a generator! Everything is now back to normal and up to our finicky feline standards.
I wanted to clarify that when I refer to “our neck of the woods” I mean that literally and the woods offer great entertainment for The Tribe. The Human flung open the bedroom curtains and found this little guy stretched out on the pine needles sleeping!
Another interesting event was the new tea The Human bought. It’s a brand she’s used for years, Sleepy Time Tea. She drinks it because she has trouble sleeping, which she blames on us, more on that topic below. Anyhoo, she bought the “extra” version the other day which contains valerian. Did she not remember that valerian affects some of us like catnip?? I sure am enjoying my evening tea these days!
Before I share this week’s stories, I must tell you about the horrible allegations hw Human has made against us. She is claiming that Oliver and I keep her up at night due to our snoring. Snoring? Really? She went so far as to record us and claims that the sound quality isn’t great because we’re at the foot of the bed and she couldn’t get closer because she was afraid of waking us up. We will let you all decide if we snore or not.
Whoops, looks like this audio file won’t play. We’ll have our Purrsonal Assistant do some research but Oliver and I don’t see the need because we DON’T snore!
Finally, we will be featuring one of our interweb furiends tomorrow who has something he’d like to meow about on our first ever Cat Chat segment. Remember, if you’d like to meow at us just send us an email at FelineOpines@gmail.com with a good head shot so we can make sure we coordinate your mouth to match your words. Come back tomorrow and listen to what Marvelous (Marv) has to say!
Oh my whiskers, I love it when you humans find creative ways to help homeless kitties! Stray cats in Valongo, an area of Portugal’s city Porto, are starting 2021 very well. The cat colonies who live in the city streets are getting new shelters, all made from old washing machines and dryers.
The machines are painted and decorated, lined with blankets and offer the street kitties protection and comfort. Now the good humans of Valongo purrticipate in the TNR (trap, neuter, release) program and also work to find furever homes for kittens. There are care givers who come and feed the cat colony,
They project they will need 50 machines and are looking for donations. You can contact them via email at GMVM@cm-valongo.pt.
Our Human is always singing the praises of HABRI (The Human Animal Bond Research Institute) and the Winn Feline Foundation. The Winn Foundation’s Animal Studies Journal recently published confirmation of the effectiveness of the Feline Temperament Profile (FTP) in assessing the vehavioral responses of cats in different situations. They also found that even a shortened FTP assessment does not cause a loss of reliability, This can provide a quick, practical tool for shelters and other rescue organizations to help cats find compatable homes and reduce the likelihood of cat relinquishment.
Dr. Gretchen Carlisle, Research Scientist at the University of Missouri said, “With this study, we conclude that the shorter FTP can be deployed to increase the possibility of successful adoptions by matching cats with adopting families’ expectations and improving shelter staff’s accuracy to easily and objectively assess behavior.”
Research suggests that cats have a better chance of staying in their furever homes if their purrsonalities are compatible with the humans who adopt them.
The discovery that the shortened test does not affect reliability makes this shorter version a much more valuable tool for shelter workers to use.
Meowza! The good folks who work in shelters could sure use a more streamlined form of this test to help their felines get adopted!
This feline finds it very sad that some of you humans are so hissy and judgmental regarding other human’s cat posts. One area where I see much judgment is about cats that are heavier or CHONKY. As a matter of fact, a Facebook group was formed in 2019 called “This Cat is CHONKY” where people can post without the fear of judgment. The group has over 860,000 members and has grown like crazy since I first reported about it.
As members of that group, we’ve already met (and love Squishy) who is a 36 pound feline who is not an overeater but who has a syndrome caused by a tumor in his brain. The tumor secretes an excess of growth hormone which results in his girth. His loing human, Lauren Masterson has been treated horribly by some folks who blame her for his weight. She says, ‘They assume I’m either an idiot or a negligent person who is drastically overfeeding Squishy on purpose.”
Rest assured world that Lauren has worked with her vets, giving him tests, trying new things to help with his weight and making changes as prescribed by her vet.
Squishy is a loveable guy and Lauren loves him very much. Instead of judging Squishy’s human why not let her know that she’s doing a great thing by caring for him and paying the vet expenses to keep him healthy and happy!
If you’re a purrrticularly lucky feline like Anna, when your human takes up a new hobby, you benefit. Anna’s human, Shelby Mitchell-Adams took up beading and her first project was a beaded floral vest for Anna.
Anna was adopted and given a furever home when she was found abandoned on the side of the road and now is loved and well dressed.
So my furiends, never give up. You too could go from the roadway to the runway!
Cumberland County Animal Services has a new mobile adoption van designed to help cats and dogs get out of the shelter and find homes.
These creative humans from the Cumberland County Animal Services in in North Carolina were gifted a custom van that can house up to 21 animals to off-site adoption events. And everything is organized so well that the humans who adopt can take their fur kid home on the same day!
The van can also help with evacuations, large animal cruelty and in partnering with other agencies to free up shelter space.
The shelter director hopes that with volunteers, adoption and resources like the mobile adoption center, more animals can be saved in the years to come. We hope so too!
Happy Mew Year Furiends! I hope your 2021 is off to a great start. Things are about the same in our neck of the woods. The Female Human had a lot of time off during the holidays. Although she was not going to work, she did work at home. I decided I was tired of the cushy bed next to her workspace and decided to hang out in the catnip infused bag she got us for Christmas. It was quite enjoyable!
Oliver decided to spend some extra time with the Human when she showered. He thought it had to be pretty boring in that wet, glass box so he added some excitement of his own.
As you can see, we had some fun with our Human! We also had her work on a new feature we will be doing on a weekly basis. Oliver, Lily and I have so much fun recording messages for you all and we decided that it would be fun to hear from our feline furiends about things that were of interest to them. It’s called “Cat Chat” and here’s how it will work:
1-Send us an email with your comments about the topic you want to meow about 2-Attach a photo with a good shot of you from the front (so we can have our Purrsonal Assistant work her magic with the automation) 3-Send the email to: FelineOpines@gmail.com and in the subject line type “cat chat”
We will email you and let you know when your Cat Chat segment is published on the blog. Now’s the time to meow about your favorite topic, special gripe and anything else your whiskers are in a twist about.
The Midnight Cafeteria is 45 small wooden houses, decorated by Taiwanese artists and scattered throughout the city of Taipei. They were created to be a place of rest and food for feral cats. A teacher, Hung Pei-ling and her neighbors started the program for the stray cats in their community.
These good folks do more than shelter and feed the cats. They also capture injured cats and cats that need spaying and take them to the vet. Once the cats are healed, they are returned to their territory.
Another cat loving human in Taipei, Chen Chen-yi, a researcher at the Taiwan Animal Equality Association, was instrumental in the building and decorating of the cat houses. Many times the places where people feed stray cats are messy and the public ends up complaining about the cats. With these tidy little houses the neighborhoods stay clean and the cats are accepted.
If you are a mewsic lover you already know that over the centuries cats have appeared in opera and other venues.
For instance, Christopher Smart’s cat Jeoffry received 74 lines of Smart’s poem Jubilate Agno (1759-63), set to music by Benjamin Britten in his cantata Rejoice in the Lamb. Smart wrote the poem when he was locked up in an for mania – with only Jeoffry the cat to keep him company. Jeoffry is also the subject of a book, Jeoffry: The Poet’s Cat,
Another cat named Pulcinella who belonged to the composer Scarlatti, ran over the keys of the musician’s harpsichord and inspired a theme for a fuge.
If you are a feline and mewsic lover, this article (and the videos in the article) are definitely for you!
The next time you think you don’t have time to help cats, remember Thomas Doerbecker. He is a subway maintenance supervisor and a rescuer of stray cats in the rail yards of New York.
His “side career” started in 2017 when management approached him and asked if he’d help him rescue a stray cat that had hid himself in the subway tunnels. He bought a humane trip, put some food out and the kitty was captured.
There were more cats to rescue so Doerbecker took a Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) class at his local shelter. If the cats are adoptable he will look to get them adopted out.
He and his wife currently have seven fosters plus six cats of their own. Thank you Thomas Doerbecker for keeping kitties safe!
A former teacher in Indonesia went from teaching humans to designing clothing for cats. The business of cat fashion has been very good to the former teacher and when he branched out into cat supurr-hero costumes he hit the jackpot, designing cat couture superhero costumes to cosplay characters. So, if you’re the kind of feline that enjoys a good costume, check these out!
There are so many benefits to living with cats but I bet you this is one you’ve never heard of. A human in St. Louis was getting sick and tired of having “porch pirates” steal packages off his porch. He knew he needed to do something and then one day, when he was cleaning out the litter box, the idea came to him.
He had several Amazon boxes in the basement so he took them and packaged up the cat litter and sealed it up inside the boxes.
Sure enough, the thief struck attain and a neighbor found one of the packages on the ground. He was going to return it when he saw the note inside addressed to the thief. To date, no more packages have been taken from his porch.
We are pleased to announce that our third book is out! It came out of the experience we had with the loss of Tucker and Jasmine this year and The Human’s certification and work in pet grief counseling. And the best news? If you have Kindle Unlimited you can get the ebook for free!
We wrote this book to offer comfort and advice for all our two and four-legged furiends whose kitties have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. If you read the book we would love it if you would leave a review on Amazon.
The Tribe is taking full advantage of the end of the year mini vacation and it took Oliver a while to get to gay Purree to record his greeting so Alberto’s regular Walk Through The Web Wednesday feature was preempted for our New Year’s message.
Hello Furiends, It’s almost Christmas and The Tribe is looking forward to the celebration. We each wanted to record a purrsonal Holiday message and we wish you a festive season, no matter what event you celebrate in December and that you enjoy the web gems I found for you this week.
We also wanted to share a Catmas Carol with you. Every year the Human takes our Catmas Carol book out and we enjoy some feline caroling. Here is one of our favorites!
Gary and Deb Mosberger’s cat had been missing for five weeks. Every pet parent is happy when their lost fur kid finds his way home but this reunion was a true Christmas miracle.
December has always been hard for the Mosbergers as their son Vinny was killed by a drunk driver 18 years ago on December 9th.
Vinnie loved cats and had many throughout his life. Having cats in the home help the Mosbergers feel closer to Vinnie and they added two cats to the home last year. The cats, Abe and Lincoln, like to stroll around the neighborhood, letting themselves in the house through a window.
On November 5th, the cats left the house for their daily stroll. Lincoln came back, Abe didn’t. When he didn’t return by the next day the Mosbergers checked with all their neighbors, put up posters around town and contacted shelters in their area.
Deb Mosberger woke up on December 9th, the anniversary of Vinnie’s death. She said that Vinnie knew how much she and his dad loved their felines and so she said, “Okay Vinnie, it would be nice if you could bring Abe home.” All throughout the day she felt Vinnie would bring the missing cat home and she even told her neighbors.
That evening, while she worked in the kitchen she heard crying at the window, it was Abe, 18 years to the day that Vinnie had died. The cat was skinny and scared after his 5-week ordeal and was very happy to be home.
Deb Mosberger said that ever since her son died, she hated the month of December. Abe changed all that this December 9th. She said, “Now I can love December again because of this Christmas miracle.”
A cat named Frank just won $10,000.00 for his shelter, Focus on Ferals. Franks sweet face and heartwarming story earned him the top spot in the recent Arm & Hammer Cat Litter contest, “Purrfectly Impurrfect”.
There were about 2,000 shelter cats nominated for the prize. The purpose of the contest was to highlight stray cats overlooked because of their age, appearance or misunderstood personalities. The goal is to help these cats find homes too.
Due to the campaign’s success, Arm & Hammer established the Feline Generous “Kitty,” a fund that will donate $50,000 to shelters and shelter cats in need each year.
Focus on Ferals staff said Frank can make their “hearts explode with love” but also prompts them to “burst into tears,” given his injuries and scars. Five-year-old Frank arrived at the shelter with an ear infection and a cheek injury, where a bone fragment eventually had to be removed.
Despite all this, shelter workers say Frank has quirky facial expressions and cries out for attention. His lovable personality and charm attract volunteers and fellow cats like his best friend, Pickles. For more information about the shelter and its mission, visit its website or check out Focus on Ferals’ Facebook page.
We’ve all heard the old excuse, “the dog ate my homework”. Well my furiends, it’s not just dogs that like to chew or shred paper (or plastic, like yours truly).
A young human from Malaysia, who had just earned his university degree came in to his room to see that his cat had ripped it up.
Afif Adlan Mohd Hanafiah graduated with a finance, accounting, and management degree from the University of Nottingham in July and had been proudly displaying his diploma, until his cat shredded it. He tweeted a photo of the “crime scene” and the rest, as they say, is history. His post currently has over 53,700 retweets and 254,600 likes.
Okay, first I have to say that this study must have been done for people who really don’t know, love and understand cats. Any true cat parent knows we love and are bonded to our humans!
A 2019 study from researchers at Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences published in the journal Current Biology, indicates that like children and dogs, cats forge a similar attachment to the humans raising them. Well, DUH! Attachment, is a relevant behavior that applies to cats as much as other pets.
For the study, researchers had kittens and cats participate in a “secure base test”— similar to a test that is conducted on babies and dogs to study their attachment behaviors—in which cats are separated and reunited with their owners over the course of a few minutes to determine if the animals were securely or insecurely attached to their owners. Of the 70 kittens researchers were able to classify, 64.3% were found to be securely attached and 35.7% were insecurely attached. For the 38 adult cats they tested, the results were 65.8% securely attached and 34.2% insecurely attached.
To see if the kittens’ attachment style could be modified, the researchers had kittens undergo a six-week training course. No significant differences were found, indicating the lasting power of an initial attachment style, as in humans.
“Once an attachment style has been established between the cat and its caregiver, it appears to remain relatively stable over time, even after a training and socialization intervention,” Vitale commented in the same media statement.
If there’s one important thing you humans can learn from this is that it is important to spend time with your kitten to establish the attachment bond early.
I’m still not sure why the university had to spend money to study this but, if it helps non-cat folks understand what amazing and loving creatures we are, then I say, paws up!
Now I know many of you humans want to know why we felines love to destroy the Christmas tree but that explaination would take waaaay to long so I thought I’d take the simpler question, “Why do cats want to hide under the Christmas tree?”
You’ve seen us snuggle between the presents, rolling around in the ribbons and you’ve probably wondered, “why?” Dr. Ignacio Casali and Dr.Adrew Lee, both DVMs, tackle the answer.
Despite the fact that we are soooo cute cuddling under the pine boughs, we can also get up to a bit of mischief. Sometimes it’s the dangling ornaments that are just asking to be swatted or those flickering lights that draw us to the bottom of the tree.
There is another reason we want to dive into the depths of your holiday tree, it’s because it’s like a cardboard box on steroids to a cat, according to Dr. Lee. “It can provide height, a place to hide, and is full of toys — all things that cats love.” In a sense, it is the perfect playground for your feline friend. Dr. Casali agrees adding that your Christmas tree could provide us kitties with a sense of shelter or comfort.
Despite the fact that we felines love the bottom of the tree, you humans need to watch what we are playing with from the tree. Dr. Casali says, “During this time of the year, we see cats that come into the emergency room with foreign materials in the stomach, which many times come from Christmas decorations. Cats like to play with the strings and the ornaments, which they can swallow.” Dr. Casali reminds you humans to keep a close eye on us and, if we do swallow part of an ornament or another kind of décor, call the vet right away!
Oh, and be prepared for us to be bummed when you take down that fun tree with all it’s hanging cat toys!
I hope things are going well in your neck of the woods and your humans are putting lots of gifts under the tree for you (if your tree is still standing, that is).
We had some holiday fun when we purrticipated in the Basepaws Secret Santa event. Our new furiend Poppy lives with her human Ami, younger sister Violet and (as Poppy described her) grouchy Aunt Rose. Poppy is a Dwelf Sphinx, Violet is an Elf Sphynx and Aunt Rose is Peterbald. The best part of Poppy’s story is that her human Ami is allergic to cats but she can lives with these three felines without allergy problems! Poppy has great taste in gifts and I loved what she sent. Oliver and Lily were a little miffed that they didn’t get Secret Santa gifts so The Human has promised to sign us all up for Secret Santas next Christmas!
I no sooner got the gifts out of the box and Oliver had to show up to check out what I got.
There was one toy that The Human had to explain to me and when she did I was a bit shocked.
Being the resourceful kitty I am, I told Lily (who is always more curious and not as lazy as I am) to come over and help meowt.
Did I mention what a resourceful feline I am? I finally figured out that if I could paw the toy over, the treats would drop out and I can help myself.
Thanks again to Poppy and her human Ami and now let’s look at this week’s feline news.
The Catgarden Café in Seoul, Korea is the place where you can cuddle about 130 festive felines and now, these kitties in their Santa Suits are spreading cheer throughout the city.
Park Seo-young opened the Catgarden cafe in 2016 to take in cats rescued off the streets or that were the subjects of failed adoptions, a situation that has worsened this year.
The number of abandoned pets increased by about 3.7% in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The Catgarden Cafe itself has been hit this year by the coronavirus pandemic. The cafe used to have about 100 visitors a day, but that has recently dropped by about a third. Snack time is the best time to visit as the cats line up in the front yard for a treat. A special festive feast is planned for these cats in their Santa Paws gear.
Cat café simulation Calico is here. Now it is a bit confusing to this feline why you humans would prefer a simulation to a real cat café but The Human reminded me that not everyone has a cat café in their neck of the woods (we don’t). The game is ready and you can decorate cakes, collect animal friends and assemble your café right meow.
The job ad received over 40,000 applications before the Bowell’s narrowed the list down to offer the position to Jeffyne Telson, a woman who had run ‘ResQcats’, a non-profit sanctuary dedicated to the care and welfare of stray and abandoned cats and kittens in Santa Barbara for 21 years.
When Joan, and her British Richard first came to Syros on holiday 20 years ago they were appalled at the living conditions of the cats of the island and how distressed they appeared.
“We spent our holidays feeding them, rushing them to the vet and giving them medication. Leaving them behind was terrible. We talked about how wonderful it would be to build our own house and help the cats,” said Richard
In 2011, the couple sold their house in Denmark and moved to Syros, turning an acre of island into a cat sanctuary that they called ‘God’s Little People’. Within the first year Joan and Richard had rescued 30 distressed cats.
Initially funding the shelter was a struggle and it was done by selling Joan’s illustrations and through small donations but the couple were soon broke.
One day a €10 note blew onto the property, just enough for Joan and Richard to finally buy themselves some coffee and a croissant. From there things began to turn around and today the shelter is doing well (but still always in need of donations).
All I can say is bless these humans who gave up so much to help the kitties of Syros!