We have some wonderful furiends at Zoolatry who create beautiful monthly tributes to those who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We wanted to share the tributes for our Angel Tribe members Tucker and his sister Jasmine. We sure do miss them!
If you click on the photo it will take you to their memorial page
Hello Furiends, Thanks to the excellent work of our legal representative Oliver , my weekly feature is back on track.
It’s been a good week in our neck of the woods. I learned something new, ducks beg! Check out our little video. That was one bold mallard!
the Female Human went to some event where she had to dress in clothes like humans wore in the 1920’s. She spent a lot of time working on her hat and I really don’t understand why she got so annoyed with me when I offered her some advice.
The whole endeavor stressed me out so I had to retire to the shower and ask the human to turn on the water. Sheesh, a cat’s life is complicated!
Ah well, it’s time to get to our web worthy feline news stories.
Don’t let this guy’s grumpy face fool you. This cat named Pearl is serious about his job. He’s been guarding a watermelon farm for almost 6 years and is much loved by his humans. His human says he is the sweetest feline in the village.
Pon the cat has an interesting habit, he loves to rest his head on anything you put under his chin . His YouTube Channel, Pon’s Diary documents the daily life of this Scottish Fold from Japan. Why does he do this? It may have something to do with the scent glands under his chin. Cats use these glands to mark their territory and Pon may just be a bit obsessive of making sure he marks everything that he comes in contact with.
A woman believes her security camera captured her dead cat’s ghost curled up on the sofa. A note before you watch the video, the cat at the start of the video is a real living cat. After that cat leaves the room the “ghost cat” fades into view in the middle of the sofa. Is it her dearly departed cat or is it a pillow? What do you think?
I am writing this post from the depths of the rawness of recent grief. My beloved Jasmine followed her brother Tucker across the Rainbow Bridge three days ago. Tucker and Jasmine were in my life for 17 years but no matter how many years we have with them, we still want more.
As I suffered through the loss of Tucker in February someone asked me how old he was. When I said 17 the person said, “Well, at 17 he had a good run.” I don’t believe this comment was made to hurt me but it did. This is not the first time someone has dismissed or belittled the grief I’ve suffered at the loss of a fur kid.
It was Tucker’s loss that prompted me to enroll in a certificate course for pet bereavement counseling. I had no idea I would be grieving his sister only four months later and that I would become my own bereavement counselor.
I am learning that each loss is unique and grief takes many forms. The circumstances of the loss of our cats vary, sometimes we have to make the decision to help them over the Rainbow Bridge, and other times that decision is taken out of our hands when our felines pass away suddenly or, we may never have closure as they just disappear.
Grief isn’t logical
Loss is always traumatic but when the loss is sudden or unexpected it can affect us very deeply and for an extended period of time.
This was the case with my beloved coal black, green-eyed mellow tempered and loving Buster. Buster never insisted on anything. He always expressed pleasure at every petting he received, every treat he was offered and every stroll around the back yard. We shared twelve wonderful years together until the evening we were sitting together in the downstairs TV room. He woke from his nap with a scream, had a seizure and died. It was 11:00pm and there was nothing I could do until the next morning. I wrapped him lovingly in a blanket, placed him in a carrier and put him in my car in the garage. My logical mind said, “He’s gone.” My heart and emotions said, “What if you’re wrong?” I worried that it had all been a horrible mistake and that he’d be sitting up in the box wondering why he was in the car. I went out to the garage several times during the night to check on him.
Buster’s ashes were spread in the beautiful memorial rose garden behind my veterinary clinic. I couldn’t bring myself to visit that garden. I moved along in life, shedding tears when I found a favorite toy of his, looked at photographs and when the tape of the moment of his death ran in my head. I believed that time would heal my broken heart and I soldiered on.
It was about a year later I decided I wanted to bring a kitten into the family. I was excited (who doesn’t love a kitten?) and entered the kitten room at the shelter with anticipation. The room was full of sweet little guys – and all of them were black. I felt my chest constrict and my eyes filled with tears. I ran out of the room and the shelter. There was no adoption that day and not for many months later.
My logical mind couldn’t understand my reaction and it was only when I was working through my bereavement counseling course that I began to understand the particular grief I suffered at Buster’s death.
I watched Buster suffer at the end. I never had a chance to say good-bye. I couldn’t stroke him and tell him how much I loved him in his last moments of life. His sudden and traumatic death left me with many unresolved feelings.
According to the Ralph Site, a pet loss support group, “Sudden and unexpected pet loss can cause pet parents to exhibit physical and emotional symptoms of shock. If your bereavement has just happened – or you’re reading this on behalf of someone it’s just happened to – you may find yourself shaking, experiencing palpitations, headaches, stomach aches, sleeplessness and more. Some people even show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is defined as ‘recurring memories and a heightened state of arousal that lingers for more than a month after a traumatic event’. You don’t even have to have witnessed your pet’s passing to feel traumatized. Sometimes not having been there can be just as painful.”
I realized that the loss of Buster had traumatized me in a way that my other losses had not. Please make no mistake, every loss is traumatic but my reaction to this death was unhealthy and extended. My mind constantly cycled through the same questions, “Did I do something wrong? Why didn’t I see this coming? Did I take care of him the best I could? Did he know how much I loved him?” The tape of his passing played repetitively in my head. I felt tormented.
Healing and moving forward
There is no timeline on grief, every situation is different, every person is different and therefore there is no one size fits all formula to recover from the grief you feel. In sharing my journey to healing my hope is that there will be something in these five points those suffering from the loss of their cat or other pet can take and use to find their own healing. They a re helping me deal with the loss of Jasmine.
1-Feel Your Pain: No one likes to hurt but not allowing the grief to work itself through is unhealthy, physically and mentally. As awful as it is, there is healing in feeling the pain.
2-Accept solace from those who understand: Find the people who will cry with you, comfort you and who understand the grief you are feeling. Stay away from those whose attitude is, “It was only a cat.”
3-Stop the Distressing Tape in Your Head: This is not an easy thing to do. I am a person of faith and when that tape starts running I stop it with prayer. If prayer isn’t part of your lifestyle acknowledge what is happening and refuse to let the tape play. Replace those images with thoughts of happy days, remember the joy and love you shared with your cat. Refuse to allow the tape to play and every time it starts, fix your mind on something else.
4-Dump the Guilt: Refuse to play the “what if” game. Remind yourself of the care and love you lavished on your cat, focus on the wonderful times you had together, not the last moments of your cat’s life. The fact that you are grieving so much is a testimonial to the love you had for your fur kid.
5-Don’t dwell on the death, honor their life: Honoring your cat’s life needs to be done in the way that is best for you. Some people write a letter, some set up a memorial, some talk to others about their cat; some have a memorial service or another memorial type of activity.
My closure and healing will come soon not just for Buster but for my recently deceased and beloved Tucker and Jasmine. I will go, for the first time, to the rose garden where their ashes have been spread and I will remember them with some friends who also have recently lost their beloved fur kids. I will celebrate their lives and the love they brought into my life.
The answer is……..there is no answer
We all grieve differently and we move through our grief differently. The key is moving through it so that it isn’t detrimental to our physical and emotional health. This is why it’s so important to say goodbye, in whatever way is best for us as it will help navigate this rocky path of grief. When we say a proper goodbye to our beloved felines we find that in time (and that time is different for everyone) we focus on our cat’s life and how much we loved them, and not the loss. Our memories of them will be full of the happy days, the joy and the love.
Wherever you are on your journey of grief, I hope that you will find some help from my story. If you do not have supportive, understanding people around you, I highly recommend The Ralph Site Facebook page and group to share your story. You are always welcome to have a discussion in this blog in the comments or contact me directly. Don’t suffer alone, there are many of us who understand what you are going through.
Well hi there furiends, I do apologize for the late post. The Female Human (aka our Purrsonal Assistant and General Lackey) has been in quite a state. In addition to writing blogs and books, she has a thingy she calls a “business”. Well this “business” hasn’t been too busy lately and she has been rather discombobulated. This business thingy will be opening May 1 and now The Human is really in a tiz. All that is to say, she has failed to properly prioritize and my weekly feature is a day late. Sigh. It’s so hard to get good help.
This week’s report about the goings on in our neck of the woods is pretty boring. The Female Human is running around like her hair is on fire. While she’s not getting any of the green stuff for her business, she has been working on two diploma/certificate courses, Feline Behavior & Psychology and Pet Grief Counseling. There has been no lollygagging around the house or working on home projects, she is in full freak out mode.
In the chaos of our lives, I am happy to report that our county had only four cases of the nasty virus and our family and furiends here are healthy. I pray this is the same for all of you, Still, service at our house has left a bit to be desired but then again, The Female Human is our only staff and we must make sure we don’t cross the line.
All things considered, things are looking up, we are beginning to see some green and warmer temperatures and The Female Human has promised that if she ever sees that check they are supposed to be sending everyone, she will splurge on a cat stroller so we can check out our neighborhood.
We know our humans are devastated when their feline friends go missing. This was the case with a man named Russ Small whose beloved lynx point Siamese went missing. Buddy and his human were exactly that, buddies. The feline always wanted to be with Russ, when he was working on cars or in the garage. And while he worked Russ would talk to Buddy and Buddy would talk (or meow) back. And then one day Buddy disappeared and despite all their efforts, they couldn’t find him.
Fast forward almost nine years when Russ’s wife noticed a picture on Fur The Love of Paws Facebook page and was sure it was Buddy, now 16. The couple was sure it was “their” Buddy and cementing this belief were that the “stray” cat the shelter called “Cyrus” had an eye condition that Buddy had and had the exact same markings.
Russ and Kim went to check out the cat and Buddy ran to them almost immediately. Now Buddy spends his days back in the garage with Russ and they have returned to their special brand of feline/human conversation.
The feline/human bond is a real thing (another subject our Human is studying) and quite remarkable. In a 2019 study Kristyn Vitale, researcher at Oregon State University’s Human-Animal Interaction Lab said “Like dogs, cats display social flexibility in regard to their attachments with humans,”” The majority of cats are securely attached to their owner and use them as a source of security in a novel environment.”
What does a major travel company do when they can’t book humans on travel? They feature photos of the cutest kittens from all around the world. This photo is the Andean Mountain Cat (photo courtesy of Lupo/Wikimediacommons). This cute little feline is very rare and can be found in Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. There have only been 10 sightings of this shy cat in 25 years! Be sure and “travel” with Fodor’s Travel to see the rest of the rare felines.
Crazy things happen in these crazy days. The Lanai Cat Sanctuary (I’ve reported on this place in a previous Web Wednesday segment) relies on about 15,000 visitors a year to fund its programs but currently they have no visitors. These creative folks held a live streamed Yoga with Cats event. The sanctuary teamed with Anne Van Valkenburg, the wellness manager of the uber-exclusive Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort.
“This is a time where we are all keeping our distance and trying to find ways to keep close,” says Sanctuary Executive Director Keoni Vaughn. “We are really isolated in such a remote location and the sanctuary is completely off the grid with no electricity or Internet. So this is one way to bring everyone close and hopefully, ease some of the stress that everyone is experiencing.”
The Lanai Cat Sanctuary located in their current location in 2009. Since then, more than 2,000 cats have been sterilized, preventing the birth of thousands of kittens. They’ve found homes for more than 400 cats through it’s adoption program. The sanctuary now houses nearly 650 sterilized cats.
We’ve been seeing many felines showing up at show tapings, business meetings and streaming events while humans are staying at home. While most felines are cute and add a bit of whimsy to these videos, these two cats were clearly squaring off for a bit of a tiff while the meteorologist, blissfully unaware of the drama behind him, soldiered on with his report.
Viewers of the forecast were left in the dark as to which cat won the altercation although there has been much speculation. JoJo Girard from MIX.95.7 noted. “As far as I can determine, the fatter, white cat had offended the black and orange cat (probably ate all his food) and the black and orange cat was having none of it, and thus went on the attack.”
Viewers have been clamoring for the fight outcome, sending comments like, “Can we get an insider piece on whatever drama is happening in the back?”
I have to say that as a feline in the public eye, I am shocked and dismayed at the behavior of these two. Please my fellow high profile felines, if you are going to be making more public appearances, for heaven’s sake,try to have a bit of decorum.
Since you humans have turned into bona fide couch potatoes and are now occupying the sofa that is designated for feline use only during the day, it’s time to rethink your feline’s comfort.
Someone has unearthed a 1998 pamphlet called “Crochet Kitty Couches” by Candy Clayton. If you don’t have this gem, you can get patterns from the book online at Annie’s Craft Store available as a print to order for $8.99 or a digital download for $5.99
The patterns offer a blue couch, a green sofa and a pink chair and the details are amazing. All instructions you need as to how to fill the furniture with foam are included.
People are publishing photos of their kitty couch creations on Annie’s Craft Store Facebook page and, there is a Reddit sub-thread about crocheting that displays some as well. The moral is, if you humans are going to plant yourself on our sofa space, then we need our own sofas!
Happy Wednesday My Furiends! The Tribe is slowly getting back to normal. The Female Human always makes sure she gives us cuddle time (Oliver is a bit more demanding than the rest of us).
Lily is eating better and Oliver and I are trying to keep from chasing her all over the house (the little water squirt bottle that’s sprayed in our faces when The Human catches us treating her like prey has helped as well)
I spend supervised time with Jasmine in her “apartment” in the back of the house. She’ll tolerate Oliver and sadly, still connects Lily with the cat that came with her and bullied Jasmine so Lily is not a visitor. I like to hang out on Jasmine’s cat condo.
Well, it’s time to bring you my feline stories of the week. Enjoy!
If you follow my Wednesday web wanderings, you already know I feature many news items from Japan. Things like feline ID cards, condos designed for cats and their people, hotels where windows look into a feline playground and lots more. And now, those wonderful folks in Japan have created diapers for cats.
There are many reasons why a kitty might need a diaper, temporarily or permanently; diseases, post-surgery, spraying outside the litterbox, inconvenience due to age, etc. This “absorption wear”, as described by Unicharm, the product creators, were created after lengthy study of the feline body shape.
The high waist is said to help the snug fit along the cat’s body and will not hinder the cat from jumping and move with ease. Feline grooming and licking will not peel off the wide tape and the area for the tail will accommodate the floofiest of cats.
Each diaper is said to absorb moisture for up to 12 hours, and the absorbent, breathable sheet inside is made with ultra-fine silk-like fibers that are soft for kitty’s fur. There is no price noted at this time for the Manner Wear diapers. They will be released on the Japanese market on March 9th.
And here is more fantastic feline news from Japan. If you will be sharing your new home or apartment with a feline in Japan, call Necorepa Real Estate, Japan’s very first real estate agency that exclusively works with properties that allow cats.
Necorepa Real Estate is a collaborative venture between Neco Republic, an animal welfare organization that also runs a chain of cat cafes/adoption centers for rescue cats (plus a cat hotel) and Tokyo-based realtor Innov. The company doesn’t just list apartments that merely allow cats, either, but ones with features that make them extra attractive to the cats themselves, like the climbing/play ledges and places specifically designed for litter boxes.
If a property is very cat friendly, it earns the Nekorepa Seal of Approval . They must satisfy three criteria: abundant natural sunlight (to enhance cat naps), floors and walls with scratch-resistant surfaces, and a design that ensures your furry friend can’t slip out of the apartment and get lost while you’re away from home.
A portion of initial lease fees, as well as 222 yen (US$2) of each tenant’s monthly rent in properties managed directly by the company, is donated to Neco Republic’s cat cafes, to help keep the felines healthy and happy during their wait to find permanent homes. Most of Necorepa Real Estate’s apartments are in Tokyo, but it also has properties in Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, and Aichi Prefectures, with its full listings available online through its website here.
A London couple has let the cat out of the bag, at least regarding how they amuse their “super clingy” cat while focusing on their work-from-home jobs.
I do object to the word “clingy”. In our house we prefer the word “cuddly”. Lily is a great cuddler and has been called a “love bug” so she’s often referred to as Lily Bug.
A London couple’s cat Ziggy is a cuddle bug too. Both humans now work from home and Ziggy decided that their laps should be available 24/7. This put a crimp in the human’s work day so they came up with the idea of creating a “lap” out of sweat pants and sneakers, stuffed so that the lap would be inviting and soft. This faux lap was placed on the sofa with a heated map. Ziggy is in heaven. Hmmmm, maybe Lily needs one of these!
While we don’t get purrlitical on Feline Opines, Oliver did throw his hat into the ring in 2016 to run for Purresident. Sadly, his inexperience (he was a kitten) was his downfall. You can read about his campaign here. Since we haven’t had any feline Purresidents in the White House, we wanted to find out if any felines ever resided in the White House.
The first known cat in the White House was named Tabby, who lived with Abraham Lincoln and his family. There was another feline there too named Dixie. Lincoln treated his cats as family members (as it should be!). During one formal White House banquet he fed Tabby from the table with a gold fork. Mrs. Lincoln was appalled and told her husband this was “shameful in front of the guests.” (I hiss in her general direction!).
President Lincoln once remarked, “Dixie is smarter than my whole cabinet! And furthermore, she doesn’t talk back!”
During the siege of Petersburg in March 1865, (a few weeks prior to his assisination) Lincoln was distracted the sounds of kittens meowing. He found the kittens, brought them inside and cuddled them in his lap. Lincoln whispered to the cats, “Kitties, thank God you are cats, and can’t understand this terrible strife that is going on,” later remarking to a colonel that he hoped “these poor little motherless waifs are given plenty of milk and treated kindly.”
The first purebred cat in the White House was “Siam,” who was also the first Siamese cat to arrive in the U.S. in 1878. She was a gift to First Lady Lucy Hayes from the American Consul in Bangkok, Thailand. Nearly a century later, Gerald Ford’s daughter Susan brought another Siamese, “Shan,” to live at Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Teddy Roosevelt White House had Slippers and Tom Quartz, Woodrow Wilson had Puffins, and Calvin Coolidge had Tiger, who accompanied him around the White House. “Socks,” Chelsea Clinton’s cat, was a handsome tuxedo cat who came from a shelter. At this time there is no feline residing in the White House.
I love it when shelters dream up creative fund raising ideas and this one is a doozy. For a donation of $20.00 or more, the Concho Valley Paws shelter in Texas painted the name of your ex on the bottom of a litterbox and, as they said in their promotion, they will let their team of “well-fed felines super poopers cover your former #1 with plenty of #2.
Hello Furiends, I hope your week has gone well and that this week’s feline news report finds you healthy and happy.
We actually had sunshine this week. I must say though, I was a bit annoyed by the laughter from The Human when she came in the office and saw me soaking up some vitamin C. Seriously, I have no idea what she found so amusing.
Lily is still adjusting to the change in the Tribe and the loss of Tucker. She is a tiny little feline and she hasn’t been eating so The Female Human went to talk to the people in the white coats about this. She came home with some food called Hills AD Diet for cats and dogs. Now I’ve never heard of a food for cats AND dogs but evidently this is what they give patients when they are not eating well. And I must say it works! Lily is eating again and perking up, even coming over to get her “before bed treats”.The hardest part of this is keeping the stuff away from Oliver who needs no appetite stimulation!
The Female Human was a little stressed out about Tucker’s sister Jasmine after Tucker crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She took Jasmine to have her blood work done and her regular wellness check. Well guess what….Jasmine’s kidney numbers are lower than when she was first diagnosed with kidney disease. Meowza, you should have seen our Human doing the happy dance.
Oliver misses the big guy too so he spends some quality time with The Female Human in the evening. He’ll even hang out with her when she has a glass of wine on the weekend (note, Oliver does not drink wine)
And, as far as the problem with Oliver and I giving Lily a bad time…..things haven’t changed too much but it seems lately Lily is standing up for herself more.
Well, that’s all the news about the Tribe, now, on to the news!
A few years ago we opined about cat music on our website (yes we have a website in addition to this blog that our Purrsonal Assistant does not promote enough). We have mewsic at our house and we quite like it. The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery recently reported on the stress-lowering effects of music in cats. This study says that classical rather than pop or heavy metal soothes felines best….well DUH! I don’t think you need to be a scientist to figure that out!
Now they did dig a little deeper and said that cat-specific music with ‘melodic’ lines based on cat vocalizations (like purring) sooths us. We also purrfer frequencies similar to feline vocal ranges, which are two octaves higher than those of humans.
These scientists studied 20 domestic cadts, playimg 20 minutes of cat-specific music, classical music or no music at random veterinary visits 2 weeks apart. They used cat stress scores (checking the feline’s body posture., ear placement, etc.) as well as how the cat’s responded to being handled. They drew blood samples to mark the physiological stress levels.
And what did they find out? Cat specific music might indeed lower stress levels. Now, I don’t want to sound snarky here but when this scientific study ends with, ““[C]at-specific music may benefit cats by decreasing the stress levels and increasing the quality of care in veterinary clinical settings.” I’m not impressed. Even our Female Human knows that our cat mewsic may calm us down but at least I give the researchers an “A” for effort. You can watch the videos on our website and come to your own scientific conclusions as to whether we were less stressed when listing to our Music for Cats album.
Any company whose motto is, “life is better with cats!” is my kind of company! The company’s founder began this company after being inspired after she rescued a litter of kittens and their mother a few years ago. That rescue experience made her realize that there are thousands of cats and kittens who are not as fortunate as the ones she rescued. The company values are: Improving the Lives of Homeless Cats and Kittens – Advocating for Animals and their Rescuers – Compassion – Making a Difference.
Every time The Female Human gets out h er yoga mat, Oliver and I head on over to snoopervise (well I snoopervise, Oliver splays himself out on the mat) and she gets her whiskers in a twist and shoos us away. Now that I’ve found Boris. the yoga cat I’m going to make a case for us doing yoga with our Human. If you check out Boris’ Instagram you will see there is not a pose that can’t be done with a kiitty!
I don’t think you humans pay enough attention to our tails as they can tell you a lot. I’m not going into all 11 of the tail signs but I will highlight a few. You can read about all of them here.
Straight Up: When we stand with our tails straight up, pointing at the ceiling, it means we are happy, confident and willing to be friendly so come on over and give us a pet!
Fuzzy Tail: Well, that’s what we call it at our house. It’s when our tails get fuzzed up 3 times their regular size. If we are startled, scared or feeling threatened we will floof ourselves out to appear as big as possible. Trust me, you don’t want to pet us when are tails are fuzzy!
The Fast Flicking Tail: When you see us flicking our tails from side to side, the message we’re sending you is that something is wrong. It can be fear but it can also mean we are annoyed or reacting to something we don’t like.
The Slow Moving Gentle Tail Flick: This means we are zeroed in on something, that we’re very focused. We may be getting ready to pounce on a toy, another cat or a mouse. Basically it’s showing our intention to make a move.
I’ll let you read about the rest of the tail signals for yourself. Just remember, we are telling you a lot with our tails!
Evidently, the fact that we get the zoomies at night is not because felines are nocturnal. Shelly Zacharias, DVM, VPM and vice president of Medical Affairs at Gallant, in an interview by POPSUGAR, said that cats are actually crepuscular, meaning their waking hours are at both sunrise and sunset.
Well that information is all well and good but our Female Human wants to know how to keep us from waking her in the middle of the night with our antics. Some suggest that you humans play with us before bedtime. Also, some interesting toys for us to play with while you are sleeping will help keep us busy.
If you have any foodaholic felines in your house (I shall not name names) you might want to consider splitting the evening meal in two. Feed us one earlier in the evening and the other one right before you go to bed. This is supposed to keep us from bugging you for food but evidently ,the expert that suggested this has never met Oliver.
They also suggest puzzle feeders. I don’t know about the rest of you felines out there but The Female Human tried that on us. We quickly let her know we do NOT work for food.
The article also suggests that you humans ignore us if we wake you up. That might work for some but when you suddenly find a 17-pound feline on your chest, your desire to breathe will take over your desire to ignore us.
Our Female Human has decided that the best remedy for our nighttime zoomies is to close her bedroom door (and then prepare herself for the havoc she sees in the morning). MOL
Hello Furiends, We’re getting used to the “new normal” at our house since Angel Tucker crossed the Rainbow Bridge. As my brother Oliver and I are still young-ish felines we are easily bored and always looking for a bit of fun. Lately, our “fun” has consisted of chasing Lily down the stairs and then not letting her come pack up the stairs. The Human keeps telling us to stop being “hooligans” (whatever that means, I’m sure it’s complimentary because we are such good kitties). Lily has taken to sitting on the ledge by the stairs and watching our every move. The Human is spraying pheromone stuff all over the house but so far, it has not had the desired effects.
If any of our furiends have advice for The Human as to how to keep us from treating Lily like prey, she’d sure like to hear it!
Okay, enough about us, let’s get on the the feline gems I found this week.
I’ve reported on many methods attempting to stop or mitigate the cat allergies that many humans suffer from and now there is a product coming to market in April that purports to do this. Purina Pro Pan LiveClear is formulated with a protein sourced from eggs that contain an anti Fel d1 antibody. Humans react to the protein Fel d1, produced by cats in their salivary glands. The protein is transferred to he cat’s hair and skin during grooming and it is eventually shed into the environment. It took more than ten years of research but the Purina Institute says this cat food, the first and only cat food capable of reducing the allergens in cat hair and dander is ready for the market.
Statistics show that about 20% of adult humans in the world are allergic to cats (meowza, that’s a lot!) but a study that was published last year in Immunity, Inflammation found that 47% fewer allergens were found in the hair and dander of cats eating Pro Plan LIveClear. These results manifested in the third week of feeding the cats the new product on a daily basis. The same study also found that active Fel d 1 production decreased in 97% of cats (with individual variability).
How does it work? As the cat eats the kibble coated with the special egg powder it neutralizes the Fel d 1.
Now our Human is very picky about what she feeds us and her first question was, “Is it safe for the cats?” Purina’s Director of veterinary technical communication, Jason Gagne said that the safety of the feline consumers was a key consideration. The goal was to neutralize the protein without impacting the physiology of the felines. The egg coating is perfectly healthy for cats to eat.
If you want to read more about the “sciency” details, be sure and read the article. We’re keeping our paws crossed that this will work and that more kitties will find furever homes because their humans no longer have to worry about sneezing, itching and other allergic reactions.
Our Human knows many people who take their felines to places to share them with others. Lots of folks at the Green Acres retirement home look forward to the bi-monthly visits from the non-profit organization, Country Cat Lady. As a rule there are about 12 residents ready to meet the dozen cats who come to visit. The organization has been in existence a little less than two years after the founder realized what a help her cats were with her special needs son.
The Country Cat Lady’s cats are trained to be support animals through exposure to people. After they graduate from their training, they are adopted out as support animals. Even if some of the cats don’t make the cut, they are adopted out to loving, furever homes.
The top tier cats live with the Country Cat Lady and they are the ones who travel to places like Green Acres. This is how Gary DeLude met a black cat named Trailblazer (although Gary refers to him as Rascal).DeLude says he can walk into the room, depressed about something and sitting down with Rascal makes him “feel better all over”. The Country Cat Lady has promised Gary that his buddy Rascal will stay with her so he can continue to come and visit.
The Country Cat Lady is now seeking partnerships, donations and support so she can continue and even expand her work.
What a pawsome job the Country Cat Lady has and she is helping so many people.. I hope you have something like this in your community and, if you don’t, find a human to start one!
Naughty cat disrupts live orchestra concert and steals the show
Oh my whiskers, this is hilarious. We’ve seen cats racing across sports fields, hanging out in stores and other places but this has to be my favorite “cat bomb”. The feline loving musicians try to welcome the music loving kitty but clearly this cat is having none of it. He was there for the music and not to make new friends!
At first I had my whiskers in a twist and was quite outraged that a government would require felines to register. Then I read the article and realized this is an optional thing and might even help the humans of felines in the area.
Kanagawa Prefecture, Tokyo’s neighbor to the south, is home to 9.2 million people, just about all of whom have a form of ID. It may be a driver’s license, a student ID, or a resident card, but there’s some sort of document that says “This is who I am.” Now the felines who decide to have an ID can have one too through a partnership between the Kanagawa Prefectural government and pet-related media company PECO.
You can have the basic information on your card as well as your birth date, name of your human family members, special tricks or abilities you want the world to know about and even your motto. (Mine would be “I’m always feline fine”).
There are cards for doggos too but since this is a cat only blog I don’t feel the need to expound any further. Oh, and the cards are free!
My last feature also comes from Japan. We’ve seen cat cafes, cat hostels, condos designed for cats ad their humans, cat ID cards and other fantastic feline stuff and this is yet another creative way the folks in Osaka are finding a new way to hang out with cats.
Neko Yokujo, “cat bath house” in Japanese, is operated by Gifu-based firm Neco Republic, which manages cat cafes across the country. The 15 felines at Neko Yokujo are rescues and all are available for adoption. And there is a hostel where guests can stay with cats, Neko Yokujo attached to the cat bath house. Meowza, I say it’s time for the good old US of A to catch up with all the fantastic feline venues in Japan!
Hello Furiends, I didn’t want to miss my regular Wednesday feature although things have been a bit sad at our house because of the loss of Tucker. The Female Human still gets leaky eyes when people talk about him but she is getting better and she’s thankful for all the kind words you furiends have been sending her. She is in the process of responding now.
The Female Human is spending extra time with us and giving us love. LIly is the one that misses Tucker the most as he was her cuddle buddy (and Oliver and I would never mess with her when the big guy was with her). They had a great bond and Lily is very sad now. This is the way you would always see them together.
It’s time to get to the feline news for this week. Stay safe and healthy my furiends and always make time to cuddle.
A Kent Online office has been targeted by a mysterious artist who has been placing cat stickers across the county. The new tag appeared on a door of the Kentish Express in Ashford – just hours after an article was published about the feline phenomenon.
Black cats have popped up across the county, often on entrance signs to villages and towns – including Sittingbourne and Fordwich. They are also used to mark hospitals like the Kent and Canterbury and businesses such as Ramsgate’s Royal Victoria Pavilion Wetherspoons.
The miniature moggies have been spotted as far away as Rye and Bexley.
Ashford and its surrounding areas are becoming a hotbed for the unknown artist’s activity, with one at the William Harvey Hospital, one near Wye and another on the Orbital Park industrial estate.
Many believe this is the work of Whitstable street artist Catman, but he has denied any involvement.
Belarus might look confused, but it’s only his eye condition. He has been hard at work earning thousands of dollars for other rescue cats just like him. Those eyes were the main reason his human, Rachel Krallk, fell in love with him the first time she saw him on her local shelter’s Facebook page. She went to the shelter that day and adopted him.
Krakk began selling shirts and hoodies featuring Belarus’ unique face. She donates 100% of the proceeds to animal rescues and has donated to date, several thousand dollars. Be sure and visit Belarus’ online Bonfire store if you want to support shelters. Our Female Human thinks that we should be doing the same thing with the items in our store.
If you want to purchase some Belarus merchandise of your own, be sure and visit his online Bonfire store.
A survey of 1,000 cat owners conducted by Fresh Step Litter found that cat owners take seven photos of their feline daily. And 41% of cat owners have a framed photo of their feline. As to treating your cat as part of the family, 84% said, “You betcha’!” Some of you humans won’t buy a toy for your 2-legged kids without purchasing something for your four-legged kids. The study found that cat owners are not just partial to their own cats, they love everyone else’s felines too.
Most of those surveyed brought their feline home through adoption.-22% adopted from a county or state shelter, 16% adopted from a friend or relative and 13% adopted from a at specific rescue.
A whopping 60 % of respondents said their cats were loyal and 53% said they were well-behaved. Nearly half of the respondents said their cat often cuddles with them. In addition to cuddling, over three quarters of owners talk to their cats and they said it was like therapy. Their cats helped them through difficult times and 66% said they would rather snuggle with their felines rather than spending time with friends. My question to you humans is this, have you spent your 20 hours with y9ur feline(s) this week?
Five years ago husband and wife Shane and Maryvonne both in their 50s decided to leave their fast passed careers to sail around the world. After the humans were at sea for about a year, they met their furry shipmate. Mis Rigby (or Rigs) was given to them by a Connecticut breeder. Before they took of for foreign ports they trained Rigs and she now lives on and loves the 50 foot boat. She’s a natural sailor. The Burmese breed is very loving and loyal and trainable and Rigg’s sailing skills prove this. Her humans cannot imagine sailing anywhere without her. If you want to follow Rig’s ocean adventures, you can follow her on Instagram.
A Swedish self-storage company has launched the Cat Flat, a cat house with space for your cat to play, sleep and feel at home-all inside a very attractive cabinet that won’t ruin your décor. The company describes the Cat Flat as “The world’s first non-ugly cat furniture” . The Cat Flat was designed in response to the rise of small space living in Sweden. According to cat psychologist Susanne Hellman Holmstrom, author of the book, :” The Cat Could Decide” when cat’s can’t fulfill all of their needs it will result in a change in their behavior. Cats need the opportunity to spy, hunt and have a place where they can hide.
Designed by Eleonor Moschevitz and built by Stockholms Möbelverkstad, the Cat Flat enables kitties to feel safe and secure inside their own enclosed environment and come and go as they please.
Cats can move freely throughout the three-level cabinet, which is made out of walnut veneer. The slats covering the doors of the cabinet function as an abstract interpretation of nature, while inside the cabinet is decorated with sisal mats and leather. The brushes are made of FSC-certified beech wood with boar bristles and the scrubs consist of ecological coconut.
The product will launch during Stockholm design week. The famous feline duo of Prime and Raven (who have 141k Instagram followers) were the first product testers. The product is being presented at Stockholm Design week this week. At the time of this report, no price could be found for the Cat Flat.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s a beautiful day in my neighborhood. We had quite a bit of snow last night and this morning and The Tribe and I are enjoying the beautiful view from the bedroom (and watching all the furry and feathered freeloaders coming to the upstairs deck). Wherever you are my furiends, stay warm and safe and enjoy the day. Purrs & Head Bonks,
I’m not a fan of controversial purrlitical news items (unless it’s my brother running for Purresident) but sometimes I have to raise a paw in acknowledgment of those in purrlitical office who take the time and energy to look after felines. Moshe Lion, the mayor of Jerusalem, has approved 100 thousand nis per year to build feeding stations for Jerusalem’s street cats. Now that’s about $ 27,222.00 dollars in in the good ole’ US of A. It came about because the city changed its garbage disposal system to containers that are underground. This worried the good folks of Jerusalem because they were afraid the city’s stray cats, not being able to forage in the garbage, might starve. So this fine purrlitician is having feeding stations built where the new earth-buried garbage cans are located. City hall estimates that they will use about 210 food bags per month and 2500 bags per year. Mr. Mayor, the Tribe of Five sends you a hearty mazel tov!
Oh my whiskers, my column is late today because I couldn’t stop laughing. But this is a serious tale as well.
Teddy, a Russian blue, failed to come home in early January, so his humans reported him missing to Animal Search UK, an online database for lost pets.
They were soon contacted by a couple 11 milesway who said they’d taken in a Russina blue with the same markings. Teddy’s humans went to retrieve him and all was right with the word. Sort of that is,because a few days later the humans discovered they had two identical Russian Blues in their house!
There was no Russian Blue in the Animal Search data base so these resourceful humans took feline #2 to the vet to be scanned for a microchip and lo and behold, they found an address and the cat’s name,Nigel. Nigel’s family had recently moved to the area and Nigel escaped his new abode and went exploring.
The moral to this story is this, make sure your felines have identification, even house cats. The Tribe of Five is in the process of writing an article about an amazing company that has, what we believe, is an innovative solution to help humans reunite with their felines. Stay safe my furiends, and make sure you have a way to get back to your humans if you get lost!
How do I love this headline…let me count the ways! We felines get a bad rap about our purrsonalities and our inability to commit or show love.
Researchers from Oregon State University conducted tests with 23 shelter cats and 23 pet cats. They put the felines in rooms with some humans who completely ignored them and others who talked to them and petted them. Even though the humans were strangers, the cats spent much more time with the humans who paid them attention. The researchers found that when you call us felines by our names, we pay more attention. (Duh, they needed science to figure this out?!) And, for all you nay saying folks who call us unloving, the study showed that cats will choose interaction with humans over food and toys. So there you go, another urban legend debunked. You can read about the study in Science Alert.
The Female Human and her sister run a local Lost pet group and their favorite saying to humans looking for their lost pets is, “Never give up!” This story is a purrfect illustration of that. A feline made a what seemed to be a return from the dead when he appeared three years after his owners were told he had been run over and killed.
The human and her daughter were devastated when they were told their beloved Sidney had been run over and taken to the landfillby local workers. . When they received a call almost three years later from a woman who said she’d found Sidney they were incredulous.
The lady insisted it was Sidney (now six) who was alive and well and living 12 miles from them. The family had mourned Sidney and finally had dealt with the loss of their beloved feline. They didn’t believe it could be true that Sidney was alive but still they couldn’t ignore the call and went to visit the woman who said she had Sidney. She insisted it wasn’t some sort of a sick joke and that she’d had Sidney scanned and his microchip provided his name and address. The lady said Sidney had been living rough and was a little wild….until he saw his humans. He rolled over on his back and started meowing for a belly rub. Now that’s what I call a happy ending!
If there ever was a king of cat photography, it was Walter Chandoha. It all started one winter evening evening in 1949, Walter Chandoha was walking to his three-room apartment in Astoria, Queens, when he spotted an abandoned gray kitten shivering in the snow. He put the kitten in a pocket of his Army coat and brought it home to his wife, Maria.
The kittens antics were frenzied and the couple to named him Loco. Locos frenzied moves inspired. Mr. Chandoha (pronounced shan-DOE-uh) to photograph him. Loco’s photos quickly sold to newspapers and magazines around the world and a career was born.
Taking pictures of cats soon began to look like a more fulfilling career path than the one in advertising that Mr. Chandoha had planned while attending New York University, after serving in World War II. So, after graduating, he turned to freelance photography for a living — and, by the mid-1950s, he was the dominant commercial cat photographer of his era.
By the time of his death on January 11th of this year, Mr. Chandoha had taken about 90,000 cat photos. I think this man must have been greeted by so many felines who crossed the Rainbow Bridge ahead of him and I bet our Miss P. and Buster said hello too (and those two are very photogenic.) I wonder if they take pictures in heaven?