Walk Through The Web Wednesday 4/4

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Friends,
Alberto here. Boy have we been busy with the April Blogging A to Z Challenge. My little feline noggin is getting tired looking for new ideas to write about every day. You know we felines are not overly excited about working under pressure but we committed to do the thing and The Tribe of Five believes in following through with our commitments. The Female Human is a bit cranky about all the typing though.
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Siamese cat with blue eyes

Man Has Genius Plan to Feed Cat When Keys are Misplaced – LAD Bible

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Let me just say that this is one of the nightmares The Tribe of Five has every time the Humans go away. Humans, PLEASE make sure that the cat feeder has keys before you leave town. Evidently, someone from work was going to drop the keys through the mail slot of the neighbor’s door so they could feed the cat. Except it was the wrong door and the neighbor had no key. What did the neighbor do? Their solution was quite innovative but let this be a lesson to all you humans!

Boy Bullied Because of His Unusual Eyes Finds Purrfect Friend – Love What Matters

boy with multicolor eyes adopts cat with same condition

We felines will never understand why you humans bully. Granted, we felines will mix it up a bit now and then but it’s only for play. The little boy’s parents were shown a photo from a rescue in Minnesota. Now mind you any cat photo is worth another look but this cat was extra special! The kitty had a cleft lip and heterochromia iridum (different colored eyes) just like the little boy Madden. The boy’s parents knew that cat was destined to be a part of their family. Some kind friends helped the family fund the road trip from Oklahoma to Minnesota. If there ever was a match made in heaven, this one is it. We give this story a 2-paws up and wish Madden and his feline friend many happy years!

What Your Cat’s DNA Can Tell You – LifeHacker

cat dna kit basepaws

We felines are curious things. I mean, look at me and my brother Oliver. One of us looks like a pure-bred Siamese and the other, hmmm, is a stocky black and white feline with a heart over his eye. Our Humans often say they’d love to know the story of every Tribe of Five member but because we were all rescues they have no history about us.  And then there’s our strange behaviors like why do we all run and hide when a human sneezes, why do some of us love beef and the others turn their noses up at it, and there are lots more questions the Humans would like to have answered.

Now not all of your questions about your fabulous felines can be answered but you can get more information about them from Basepaws, a company that says through a DNA kit, you can learn about your feline’s ancestry and their habits.

Our humans were intrigued by this article because the human who wrote it said that the kit covers several areas such as health, ancestry, predicting traits, physical traits and more.  Can you imagine what our Humans could learn about us? Now that I think about it, I’m not so sure I want them to know all our secrets!

Catios Are The Newest Way to Spoil Your Felines – Simplemost

black cat in outdoor catio

I’ve reported on catios before but they are becoming more of a “thing” and, as felines who enjoy the out of doors safely at our house, I thought this article was great, offering many options for you humans to choose from. Our Humans didn’t want a permanent structure built on the house (and during times when we have 6 months of winter I can understand) so they got us a “pop-up” catio that can be moved from the upstairs deck to downstairs by the waterfall or on the front porch. We blogged about it if you want to see what our catio is like. So my feline friends, tell your humans to get you a catio posthaste!

Crazy Cat Guy – PeopleMusic

song I happen to like cats

When The Female Human read this article she said, “Hah, I knew it! There are crazy cat guys too!” Now I am confused as to why The Female Human found this surprising, after all, she’s married to a crazy cat guy…but I digress.

The singer, Granger Smith recently wrote a parody of his song, “It Happens  Like That” titled, “I happen to like cats” and we think it’s quite a catchy tune. The best part about this song is that he and his crew took over a cat cafe to film the video and this wasn’t some publicity stunt, Granger Smith DOES like cats! Meow!

 

 

 

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 1/24

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Hello All,
Alberto here strolling down the internet highway to bring you the best in feline happenings. I hope  you enjoy this week’s compilation.
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Siamese cat with blue eyes

Betty Boo, the Feline Hair Salon Employee – Yahoo Lifestyle

tabby cat in Melbourne hair salon

Those of you who follow my Wednesday wanderings know how much I love stories about cats with jobs. I prefer to find felines with unusual professions and Betty Boo fits the bill. If you happen to visit the BABAR Hair Studio in Melbourne, Australia you can meet their purrfect employee, Betty Boo. Her photo is featured on their website and they make sure you know Betty is part of their customer service team. Their website says, “At BABAR Hair we love what we do. We create professional salon results, in a relaxed, easy atmosphere: where good old fashioned hospitality with a glass of wine or beer, a coffee and biscotti, a cuddle from our salon cat and choosing your own vinyl (if you’re not digging our cool tunes already!) are all part of the experience…”

Not everyone finds a visit to the hair salon as a relaxing experience and Betty caters to the more nervous clients. Betty will sit on your lap or even sleep on you while you’re having a shampoo. And if that wasn’t enough, Betty is an opining feline on her own blog, aptly named “Betty’s Blog”.  Betty is definitely my kind of kitty!

Cats Can Be Right Or Left Pawed – SmithsonianMag.com

Siamese Cat Alberto from Feline Opines

Have you ever bothered to watch which paw your cat uses when they knock things off of counters or tap you oh-so-gently to wake you up? You may want to look next time because according to researchers at the Animal Behavior Centre at Queen’s University in Belfast, after analyzing data collected on 44 cats, 20 females and 24 males of all variety of felines, the researchers concluded that cats, unlike humans who are overwhelmingly right-handed, did not have an overall preference for a certain paw. Individual cats did display what they called “handedness” and certain paws were selected for taking the first step down a flight of stairs, snagging a treat or stepping into the litter box.  There are a lot more interesting tidbits in the article. You can see me above, exhibiting that I am ambi-pawderous when it comes to doing my blog posts.

Cats Get Their Own Violin Concert in this Animated Short – Nerdist

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Combine a famous violinist (Augustin Hadelich) and animation and you get a great little movie about music loving cats. Fantasia dei Gatti is an animated short film that features the violinist giving a concert to felines. What happens next? Well you’ll just have to watch the video to find out!

 Cat Brings Her Human a Gift Every Morning – MetroUK
LeafCat

Baloo the cat had a shaky start with her human. Adopted by Ben and his now ex-girlfriend, they returned Baloo when they felt they weren’t ready to have a cat in their life. They quickly realized they made a mistake and hurried to get Baloo back. Baloo, a cat to realize how lucky she is, is closely bonded to Ben. She began to bring him presents, birds, mice, etc and drop them on his chest in the morning. After Ben impressed upon her that half dead creatures were not gifts he greatly appreciated, she began bringing him leaves. When Ben showed his appreciation for the leaf gifts, the morning gifts became a regular routine. Now Baloo can show her love and gratitude and Ben doesn’t have to fear his morning gifts.

Felines Bringing People Together in Turkey – The Guardian 

Turkey

Selem is a resident of historic Istanbul. He puts up with the tourists that push their way through the crowds and demand a photo op with him. Selim enjoys hanging out in his shop, a leather store called Moria. Selem is a cat. Selem and the other cats in historic Istanbul much prefer their independent, cushy street life but when winter comes they are forced to endure the care of humans. Winter cat houses appear all over to accommodate these pampered pussy cats.

Turkey is a nation struggling with national identity, divisions about religion, secularism and ethnicity but there is one thing that does unite the Turks and that is their love of cats. Someone once said that the only thing an Islamist, a secularist and a socialist could agree on was the punishment of anyone who harmed a cat. I never realized that we felines were such unifying creatures. I think I should start a group, Felines for World Peace and make the Turkish cats the leaders.

Friendly Fill Ins # 89

Hello Folks Alberto Here,
Friday is becoming one of our favorite days with The Tribe of Five and there is always some quibbling about who gets to opine. I’m the lucky winner this week. I hope you enjoy my responses and, as always, I encourage my fellow bloggers to join the blog hop with our friends, 15andmeowing or McGuffy’s Reader.

And of course, you’re always welcome to do the fill ins in the comments on our blog.

‘Hope you enjoy my mewsical mewsings this week.
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Alberto
Siamese cat with blue eyes

Here are the fill ins:

1. I have never been able to _____________________.

2. I wish I could still ___________________.

3.  ____ is my ideal winter night.
4.                      and                      .

 

Here are my answers:

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1. I have never been able to understand why the male human insists on changing his guitar strings upstairs and not in his music room. What’s a cat to do when those tantalizing strings bounce back and forth in front of me? This is a form of feline torture.

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2. I wish I could still sneak into the the male human’s music room but he has figured out a way to lock the doors so I can’t get in. And alas, all my sad expressions do not convince him to let me in.

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3.  Strumming a few tunes with my human is my ideal winter night.
4.Oliver and I are quite the mewsicians!

 

 

 

 

Friendly Fill Ins, Week 88

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Jasmine Here,
Welcome friends. I’m excited that I get to do the Friday Fill Ins this week. It’s been snowy and cold at our house. Thank goodness the humans provide wheat grass for us to nibble on and to add a bit of color in this white world.

As always, if you are a blogger, we encourage you to go to McGuffy’s Reader and join the Fill Ins blog hop or, feel free to do the fill ins in the comments of this blog. Have a purrrfect Friday (I love the weekends as the humans don’t have to go to that place they call “work” and they spend lots of time with us.)

Purrs & Head Bonks,
Jasmine (The Tribe of Five Diva)

Siamese cat with tiara

begging squirrel

 

 

1. I would like to ask the big fat squirrel who mooches off of us at the upstairs bird feeder why he has such an attitude if the bird seed is all gone? (Take a look at this photo, what an attitude!)

 

 

 

 

2 My favorite fast food restaurant is any place that serves pizza. All of the Tribe of Five love a nice lick of pizza sauce. 

TuckerMusic

 

3. If I could go to any concert of someone still performing, it would be wherever David Teie is playing his Music for Cats  The female human bought us some of his music and we loved it. You can read about us opining about it on our website . When we go to the place with white coats, they have nice cat music too. Music is good for kitties. 

 

4. My Winter pastime is usually sitting at the window and checking out the creatures who come by looking for food because what happens outside our windows is like cable TV.  

Oliver and Alberto Get Fearless

Alberto Opines on the Preparation

AlHeadOliver and I (Alberto) will be co-authoring this post as we each have a lot to say about the topic. Neither of us had been to the “place of white coats” for a number of months but the female human believes in this thing she calls a “wellness exam”. This means she takes us to the place of the white coats for no reason whatsoever. It boggles this kitty’s mind, if we’re well, why do we need an exam, especially since we’ve learned in our short lives that this visit to the place of white coats is not such a pleasant experience.

The day arrived and we were bundled up in our carrier and shoved into the back of the noisy moving machine. While we howled in the back seat, the female human spoke in a soothing voice, telling us this would be a “fearless” visit (there’s that word again). What  in the heck did she mean?

Oliver Opines on the Arrival

OllieHead
I was in the middle of a chorus of one the favorite song of my people, when the female human turned off the moving machine. The next thing we knew she was pulling the carrier out and walking toward a building. She opened the big door and we we found ourselves inside a place we’d never been before.PendoreilleVet

The first thing I noticed (when she moved the carrier so we could see) was that there were two signs, one said “Dogs” and the other said “Cats”. Hmm, very interesting.  As we are a feline only family, I wondered who these “dogs” were and when they would show up. Thankfully, we were never subjected to these dog creatures.cat area at Pend Oreille Veterinary Service

 

There were no smells to help me sniff out any information. The place was quiet and “smell-less”. Okay, so far so good. The female human roamed around to visit the “dog” area and then wandered over to the”cat” area where she inspected all the feline goodies for sale and made herself a cup of coffee. Nice she could entertain herself while we remained captives of our carrier.

She did finally offer us some cat treats but neither of us were in the mood to snack, nor did we want to indicate any approval of this situation we were in.

 

AlHeadAlberto Opines on the Exam

Soon we heard footsteps and the next thing we knew we were whisked into a room. AlDocAndVetTEchOh horror, what was going to happen to us now? Much to my surprise, the female human unzipped the carrier and invited us to come out and inspect the room. Well, well, that was interesting. I sniffed around a bit and then jumped up on the silver table to check that area out. The place was nice, no bad smells at all. As a matter of fact, there was a pleasant smell, kind of relaxing and music that this feline found especially calming. I’m a climbing feline so I hopped up on the counter and checked out the cabinets. To my delight, I discovered a jar with a bunch of feathers. Boy this place was all decked out for felines. Curiosity satisfied, I decided I’d lounge on the silver table. and wait to see what was next. The door opened and a very nice lady named Marsy came in. She talked to me asking permission before she stroked my fur (I do appreciate polite and respectful humans).   I took quite a fancy to her and found no need to run to my female human and hide myself under her coat. Soon, another lady arrived  (the human Alberto from FelineOpines looks lovingly at vet tech at Pend Oreille Veterinary Servicecalled her Dr. Ponsness) and this lady (although wearing the dreaded white coat) was respectful and very nice as well. Although both Marsy and the Doctor poked me a little and put a silver thing on me and listened to my chest (who knew, I had no idea there was anything to listen to in there), they talked to me and petted me the entire time.  I was feeling quite loved and calm. At one point, I even forgot my human was there as I cuddled up to Marsy.   When they were done, they let me continue to hang out on the counter and watch what they were doing with Oliver. All in all, an extremely pleasant experience.

 

 

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Oliver Opines on the Exam

 

 

Oliver from the Tribe of Five with Dr. Ponsness at Pend Oreille Veterinary ServiceI had no interest in hanging out on the silver table but I did wander around and inspect the place, sniffing table legs, trash cans, etc. Nothing but calming smells so when Dr. Ponsness picked me up, talked to me and petted me, I was a happy camper. She and Marsy  made me feel right at home, even if they did poke and Oliver napping in the exam room at Pend Oreille Veterinary Serviceprod a bit (there was the insertion of something called a thermometer that I found objectionable but it only lasted a few seconds and, in their defense, they did apologize beforehand).   When they were done, I was allowed to wander around the room again and explore. I was so relaxed and happy, I actually took a quick cat nap while my human chatted with the doctor.

 

After my brief respite, I did some more exploring. Marsy grabbed one of the big feathers from the jar, waved it above me Oliver plays with a feather at Pend Oreille Veterinary Serviceand we began playing. I attacked that feather with a vengeance.  I was quite fierce and I’m sure I made her a bit afraid with my aggressive moves. I hope she knows I’m a good cat and would never hurt anyone.

I must say all in all this visit was good (except for the part where they told my human I needed to lose weight) and if the female human insists on taking us again I won’t even howl on the way over (at least, not much).

The Human Opines

Alberto and Oliver allowed me some space to tell you about my experience at  Pend Oreille Veterinary Service. They have employed fear free practices for a number of years (before the term “fear free” was coined.) When they designed and built their new facility, they devoted themselves to a complete fearless experience, from the beautiful and comfortable lobby to the exam rooms, surgery suite and every other part of the hospital.

fearless vet visits for cats

 

Dr. Ponsness took me on a tour of the building and I was impressed. The surgery and kennels are strategically arranged so that they are not  next to the examining rooms.  Examining areas are dedicated for canine and feline patients and the imaging/consulting room is set up like a human doctor’s office so the people as well as the pets are comfortable.

The facility was designed by a veterinary architect and when I asked Dr. Ponsness what surprises they encountered during the planning and construction of the new building, she responded that she was taken aback when the architect suggested the specialized HVAC system.  It turns out, that HVAC system is pivotal in the fearless and state of the art medical aspects of the practice. It provides climate controlled areas such as the surgery suite which has negative pressure. Negative pressure is critical in controlling germs and assisting with healing. The HVAC provides climate controlled areas to fit the needs and purposes of each area of the practice and controls smells that often cause concerns in animals when they are visiting the vet.

Pheromones and soothing music are offered in exam rooms, and, as Oliver and Alberto noted, treats and toys are available to keep the felines amused while they wait. Every space has been planned with comfort, calmness and efficiency for the animal and human clients.

I saw some of the feline and canine patients relaxing in their comfy “hospital crates” and the tour of the surgery suite was very impressive,. The  lack of “medicine” smells thanks to the HVAC system serves to keep pets calm and also helps the household stay calm when pets arrive home from their visit. In the past, our felines were welcomed home from the vet with hisses, swats and angry “fuzzy tails”. This time, because there was no “veterinary smells” the other three Tribe members were calm and curious and not a hiss was heard.

I’ve been bringing my felines to Pend Oreille Veterinary Service for years to see Dr. Ponsness and Dr. Smart. My fur kids receive the best of care and I would have argued with anyone who said better care could be provided there , until we made our first fearless visit to the new facility, that is.

I cannot stress enough the importance of taking your fur kids to a practice that uses fearless methodology. Even if your vet does not have a facility designed by a veterinary architecht, there are many methods they can employ to provide you and your felines with fearless visits.

Tucker, the Tribe of Five Alpha recently had two overnight stays at the new facility and I was amazed at how balanced and calm our 14-yer old guy was when we brought him home. Normally, it takes a few days for him to bounce back from an overnight at the vets, but not this time. He was his old sassy self as soon as we unzipped the door of the carrier and sashayed into the living room to reclaim his favorite chair.

The Tribe of Five all had wellness exams recently and all responded in a relaxed, unstressed manner. Five felines with diverse personalities all responding positively to their vet visit speaks volumes.

fearless vet visit oliver from feline opinesAnd one last note, the fearless vet visit is a blessing to the worried pet parents as well. I no longer have to face taking them to the vet with fear and trepidation (and feeling like the meanest person on the planet).

Are your fur kids fearless? If not, I urge you to find a fearless practice in your area.

 

 

Walk Through the Web Wednesday 11/16

siamese cat in black and white with blue eyes, Alberto, Feline Opines

Hello World,
Alberto here. I’ve been purrrusing the internet looking for new and unusual feline themed stories and have some great ones for you this week.  As next week is what the humans refer to as a “holiday” my purrsonal assistant may not be available to post my regular Wednesday feature. We will post an original photo and send Howl-iday wishes though.
In the meantime, enjoy this week’s features.
Your Friend,
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Feature Shoot – Pounce by Seth Casteel

kitten flying through the air for the book "Pounce"The human photographer Seth Casteel, is known for his books, Underwater Dogs and Underwater Puppies and has now turned his attention to shelter kittens.  He captures some special shelter kittens with names like , Chicken, FruityPebble, Fuzzbucket, Doodlebug, and Jennifer, in mid-flight pounce. This wonderful human is highlighting the fact that there are between 30 and 40 million stray cats in the US. An estimated 1.4 million are euthanized in shelters, unable to find safe and loving homes. This book illustrates the joy of kittens and the fact that there are many cats and kittens who need forever homes in shelters all across the country. Every one of us in #TheTribeOfFive were adopted and we are all for anything that helps other felines find forever homes too.

Evening Standard – 10 adorable photographs of London’s most famous pub cats

black English pub catAs my regular readers know, this working feline loves stories about other working cats. This is a pictorial tribute to felines that work in “Boozers” as the English refer to the establishments also known as pubs. I think working in a pub would be quite interesting and I wonder, do they get tips like the human bartenders do?

 

Mental Floss – 11 Brilliant Gifts for the Cat In Your Life

tabby kittens with Christmas hatsThe #TribeOfFive is pretty spoiled and we have lots of great toys and feline themed items. As a matter of fact, number 8 on the list is something we already have (and have reviewed), Music for Cats (we recommend it highly). There were many on this list that I found appealing but I finally decided the KitNipBox was my favorite. It works on so many levels, we felines get a gift a month and a portion of the monthly cost is donated to animal welfare organizations. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

What Do You Give The Cat Owner Who Has Everything?  Katzenworld

Orange tabby with meowlingual cat meow translator‘Lest you think I’m completely selfish, I am also interested in what gifts are best for feline-loving humans. Our friends at Katzenworld and their guest poster, Mike James (who describes himself as a tech-obsessed, cat-loving content writer working with Best VPN) provide some excellent choices for your favorite humans this Christmas. I purrrused the list and can’t decide what I like best, the remote cat toys or the Meowlingual, cat translator. While it would be pawsome to have red dots and other kitty delights moving around the house while the humans are at work, it would be very handy for my humans to have a Meowlingual translator too. Just think, I could sit on the computer keyboard and dictate my Walk Through the Web Wednesday posts to my purrsonal assistant!

7 Sounds That Cats Make And What They Mean

gray kitten talking into a microphoneWhile I’m on the subject of translating “cat-speak” if you don’t have a Meowlingual cat translator, you can still learn how to understand a bit of feline talk.  You will be able to discern the difference between the trill, the bip, the yowl, the chatter and other feline expressions after reading this post by Care2. At our house, every one of #TheTribeOfFinve has some Siamese heritage and that means some are quite “yakky”. Sometimes it’s almost like a feline symphony at our place!

 

Mewsical

Hello World,
Alberto here (but you can call me Al, all my friends do). Today I wanted to write about the AlGuitar4strange fixation the male human has for this thing he calls a gee-tar. The male human has a very nice mewsic room downstairs (which, by the way none of the Tribe are invited to visit) but he often brings the gee-tar upstairs and strums it while he sits on the sofa.

I find this behavior a bit rude. The firm, unwritten rules of our household state that “when a human sits on any piece of furniture, said human will make their lap available to any feline who may be so inclined to sit on said lap.”

I am not a cat who easily takes no for an answer so I figured I’d hop on top of the human and get a closer look at this gee-tar thingy that he found more interesting than me. At first glance, I was not impressed.

Evidently the female human is not impressed with the gee-tar because she often complains about the male human “twanging” on the thing when she’s attempting to watch the moving images in the big flat box in the living room.

But I digress. So there I was, checking out this thing when I heard some noises coming from it. Hmm,  the male human runs his fingers along the string things and noises come AlGuitar_1out. The male human uses a bright-colored teardrop shaped cat toy he refers to as a “pick”. What a shame that humans don’t have the sharp teeth and claws we felines possess, they would never need to bother with the “pick.”

The male human did not pick up on my polite hint that I needed his attention so I decided to focus some more attention on his gee-tar.

As I came in closer, I noticed that the string things moved when he plucked at them. Could this be some wonderful new cat toy? Is it possible that the human brought this thing upstairs for my amusement and edification?  Hmm, maybe I was a bit to fast to jump to judgment.

 

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I thought, In light of this new information I must show the human my appreciation.  I leaned in closer preparing to help him coax a noise from the string things on his gee-tar. This could be quite a bonding moment, I thought. If I get this right I can help him compose a tune that he could play to accompany Tucker when he stands outside the bedroom of the humans and sings the song of his people in the wee hours of the morning.  (That’s just how I am, a cat that cares about everyone in his tribe, human and feline.)

I leaned in, lifted my lips back and got one of those string things in my mouth. Just as I was getting ready to pull it, I found myself unceremoniously dumped off the humans lap and onto the floor. Can you believe it? The human does not honor the code of the house and make room for me on his lap and then, when I am attempting to assist him, he dumps me on the floor.

It took me a few moments to recover from the indignity but I am a jovial fellow and prefer not to let conflict into my life. After giving myself a good wash, I hopped into the chair where the female human was sitting. She understands the rules of the house quite well and petted me and told me what a handsom guy I am. Finally, after receiving enough affirmations to renew my self-confidence, I twitched my tail, jumped off her lap and sashayed off to the dining room window to check for birds and squirrels.

Your friend,
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