Training Your Human to Fetch (the Feline Way)

Hello there furiends.
I have taught my Human to fetch and it occurred to me the other day as I was running her through her paces that I should purrhaps share this information with my feline furiends.

First, it is a cat’s duty to swat every toy they receive under the refrigerator, sofa, the bed and any other place that is hard to get to. Once you have reduced the number of toys in your toy box, you begin phase two of the feline toy procedure.

Stand in front of the object where much of your toy treasure is stashed. Either give a sad meow or make a lackluster attempt to stick your paw underneath. The human will notice and take pity on you and, if you have trained them properly, they will go and find a long object to stick under the piece of furniture to retrieve your toys.

When the human has finished (and make sure they do a thorough job), the floor should look something like this.

Note that I had to prompt The Female Human to get down on her knees and get EVERY item out from under the cabinet.

Normally, your human will survey their work and feel quite good about themselves for retrieving your toys. You must then let the human know you are not impressed, nor is their effort anything special., but something felines expect.

“That’s nice Human. Now let’s go in the bedroom and you can retrieve all the toys I’ve hidden for you there.” – Oliver

I hope this little primer on human training has helped you. Remember, this activity serves three purposes:

  1. A well trained human is a happy human.
  2. You are keeping your humans healthy by providing them an opportunity to get some exercise.
  3. All your hidden toys are retrieved which gives you many more hours of fun swatting them back under the furniture.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 5/6

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
I hope you are all well and looking forward to life becoming more normal again. We would have had an excellent photo for you but The Female Human couldn’t get herself together enough to get the shot so I’m reduced to only sharing the story with you. Still, I think you’ll find our weekly local report very a-moosing.

Last night, The Female Human walked out of our next door neighbor’s house and noticed that the neighbors across the street were on their porch yelling at her and waving their arms. These are fairly new neighbors so she doesn’t know them and didn’t want to appear as if she was judging them so she smiled and continued to stroll down the driveway. The words finally became a bit clearer and she heard “MOOSE! MOOSE! MOOSE!” Thinking that they surely would not be so rude as to be referring to her appearance, she saw them gesturing to her right and turned her head to take a look. There less than the social distancing six feet recommended was a very large young moose, standing next to the cars in the driveway.

The Female Human has lived in Northern Idaho long enough to know that you never mess with a moose. They are extremely large, fairly bad tempered and have no problem charging anything. As she looked at the moose she could tell he was getting annoyed with the neighbors yelling and arm waving. He snorted a few times and, before he could head in her direction she hightailed it over to our house and ran inside. Yes, this would have been a fantastic photo op but she didn’t take the time to get her phone out of her pocket and shoot the picture. Sigh. Due to her failure to capture the moment, I am reduced to using a video and a link to an article in Sandpoint Magazine called, Urban Moose-The Good Life In The City, to show how these beasts have no boundaries and believe they own the forests and the city streets here!

.So now you know why these kitties enjoy sitting in the window and watching our local wildlife walk by!

“Hey Human, the moose is back, get your camera!” – Alberto & Lily

Well that’s enough moose talk, now on to the feline news from around the web.

U.K. Wildlife Park Welcomes Two Tiny Members of the World’s Smallest Cat Breed

I’ve always thought of my wild cousins as great, big fear inducing felines. Imagine my surprise when I heard about these little guys!

These two live in the Porfell Wildlife Park and Sanctuary in Cornwall, England and are Rusty Spotted Cats, the worlds smallest cat breed.  

These two tiny felines are rusty-spotted cats, the world’s smallest cat breed. The rusty-spotted cat grows to be just 35 cm (not quite 14 inches)- 48 cm (not quite 19 inches) in length. It is believed that these cats are only 2 of around 40 in captivity in the world.

In the wild, these tiny kitties are found in Asia. You can learn more about our little friends here.

Elmo, the Gardening Glove Loving Cat

Photo- BBC.COM

This klepto kitty made the BBC news with his penchant for stealing one purrticular type of item.

His human, Vikki Maddocks reports that to date Elmo has lifted 14 gloves from the neighbors in the past year. Also interesting to note is that he normally brings one glove home and then goes later to retrieve it’s match.

Elmo drops his treasure at Maddock’s feet and meows proudly.

Why gardening gloves? Trudi Atkinson, a cat behaviorist says it’s possible that Elmo’s mother taught him to hunt using replacement items if real prey was not available. If Elmo’s human reinforced this behavior by petting him or reacting in a positive manner to his “gifts” he would be motivated to continue his thievery.

Evidently this gardening glove stealing is a thing in England. Last year a female cat named Bella received media attention for her glove napping.

Message in a Bottle. Neighbors in Isolation Stay Connected with Carrier Cat

Who says you need skype, text or phone calls during isolation?  Sam Cramer has found a much better way to communicate with her neighbors, Cat Mail.

It all started one day when Cramer’s cat Bella wandered into the house with a new collar. Cramer was confused because Bella had never worn a collar.  Her first thought was that this wasn’t Bella but she said, “I check out the cat and, yes, it has the same scraggly ears and, yes, it has a bad attitude so it’s definitely my cat.” 

Then she noticed a glass bottle with a cork stopper attached to the collar with a hand written note inside. The note was a message from her next door neighbors telling her that Bella had been visiting them for a few weeks

Cramer wrote a note apologizing for Bella if she’d been cranky and apologized for Bella’s intrusion.

The neighbor’s responding “cat mail”  assured her that Bella was “no bother.” 

The 15-year old daughter of the neighbor wanted to make sure Bella was not a stray and figured the cat mail might be a good way to find out if she had a home.

“I just thought it would be a good way to know if she had a home and a name and now it’s turned into a daily thing,” she said. “We’re always really excited to see her at the door.” 

As the lonely days of the pandemic drag on, all parties cherish the tiny notes Bella brings. 

These neighbors have decided that cat mail will continue long after their quarantine is over.

This international star has never left her Portland home

Portland’s ‘Owl Kitty’ has appeared in some of the greatest movies ever made. Her human, Tibo Charroppin says her work has been watched more than 50 million times on her Instagram page. The most amazing thing is that Owl Kitty has accomplished all this without ever leaving Portland.

Owl Kitty is her stage name. Her real name is Lizzy who was adopted from a local shelter. Charroppin said she’s been acting like a diva ever since she was a kitten and she was a natural to become a star. She’s appeared in scenes from many major motion pictures such as Star Wars and The Matrix.

How has this feline diva managed to become a star? Her human is a full time video editor so he has all the skills needed to insert Owl Kitty in the middle of famous scenes. The Human’s partner, Olivia Boone is the social media manager for a major non-profit organization so she had the skills to get Owl Kitty properly launched on the web.

Charroppin also does “behind the scenes” videos to document the process of filming Owl Kitty and those are as popular as the furry diva’s movie shorts. And if you have an aspiring feline actor in your house, Charroppin also offers tutorials to teach you the process.

If you would like to view more of Owl Kitty’s films, visit her Instagram account.

Cat vs. chants: Friendly feline tests Buddhist monk’s patience

This Thai temple cat’s refusal to be ignored during the five-hour-long New Year’s prayers was a true test of the patience of this monk. The video of this monk gently trying to move the cat away took Thailand by storm and now is reaching around the world.

After he tried numerous times to move the cat off his lap because the cat was kneading his shoulder and blocking his view of his prayer book, the monk finally realized that resistance would be futile and petted the feline.

Thailand has many cats that roam freely around the temples and they are called, you guessed it, temple cats. It is reported that all the temple cats are fat due to the love and good care they receive.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday, on Thursday Because Our Purrsonal Assistant Has Lost All Sense of Time 4/30

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

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.

“Human, take a deep breath, count to three and relax!”-Alberto

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.

‘Thank you human, you may place the wet food bowl down there. And no. I do not want to engage in this new “chase the ball” exercise.- Oliver

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.

“You humans need to be more cat-like. Chill. relax and eat your greens!”-Lily

Buddy the cat returns to original owners after 9 years

photo courtesy of the North Platte Telegraph

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.”

Fodor’s Can’t Book You A Trip But They Will Take You On A Virtual Tour of The Cutest Kittens in the world.

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.

Lanai Cat Sanctuary fights COVID-19 isolation with yoga with 650 cats

Lanai is the only Hawaiian island that is COVID-19 free

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.

On Screen Cat Fight Caught on Screen as Wood-TV 8 Meteorologist Streams

 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.

Couch Potato Cats Finally Get Their Own Couches

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!

Oliver Updates the Home to Home Kickstarter Program

Paws up humans for helping cats (and other animals) find furever homes all over the country! – Oliver

Hello Furiends,
You have all been so supportive of this innovative and wonderful program to help pets go from one home to another home and never have to spend a day in a shelter. The Home to Home program began at our local shelter and now they are looking to add every shelter around the country. The Female Human just got an update and it’s thanks to all of you that the program is in 22 shelters in 16 states!

On behalf of The Tribe (and The Female Human who is a staunch supporter of the program) we say “Fangs a lot” for your support!

Hello Home to Home™ Backers,

Thank you for believing in Home to Home™ and backing it with your pledge!

We’ve got BIG news. A national PR firm is sharing our campaign with news media outlets, bloggers, and other influencers across the country potentially reaching 81 million people! If a tiny percentage of them make a pledge, we could reach our goal! This would mean all backers (including you!) would get the swag that comes with your pledge!

Other BIG news is that since we launched, we’ve welcomed another 5 shelters to the Home to Home™ network. The program is now in 22 shelters in 16 states…and counting!

Wondering how you can help support this campaign? Share it with friends and family and help us reach our goal!

Questions about Kickstater? Click here. Questions about Home to Home™, click here to learn more.

Thanks for backing the Home to Home™ Kickstarter campaign and for sharing with others – we can’t do this without you.

The Home to Home™ Team

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 4/22

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
I hope this finds you all healthy and still holding on to your sanity. The Tribe is trying to keep pawsitive and since the snow is finally melting, there is more to see outside. The neighborhood moose has been making his rounds and as soon as the spring bulbs come up, the deer will be showing up in the front garden to chomp on them (this makesThe Female Human very cranky!)

Now that the snow is finally melting and the sunshine is making an occasional appearance, The Tribe is taking advantage of every sun puddle we can find.

And speaking of Oliver, he’s really getting cranky about the Sunday morning wake up call for this “church” thing. In the good old days, The Female Human quietly slipped out of the house to go to this “church” place leaving us to snooze in as late as we wanted.

“Human, these early morning Sunday wake up calls are starting to get on my nerves. Have you noticed that my expression isn’t any happier this Sunday than it was last Sunday?”
-Oliver

We’er getting so bored we decided to help The Female Human when she brings out that pink, comfy mat that she claims she does “exercises” on while watching a lady on the TV. I think she should just leave the thing out in the living room and let Oliver and I have fun with it.

But enough about the Tribe. Let’s talk about the interesting feline stuff we found on the wen this week.

Big Boy the UC Santa Barbara Cat is Enjoying the Indoor LIfe

Photo Credit: Katie Title

There are a lot of campus kitties and I hope they are all being looked after as well as this UC Santa Barbara cat named Big Boy. Despite the fact that most employees are working at home now, Big Boy was offered a luxurious stay at the home of his “person of record”.

His daily schedule consists of feedings, occasional nizzles with the resident canine and a lot of naps.  He’s enjoying the domestic life so much the human is considering offering him retirement from being the community cat so he can continue the cushy life he is enjoying now.  Right now his other human caretakers are considering his future when everyone returns to school. Maybe semi-retirement will work but, whatever it is, we know Big Boy has good care! You can see more photos of Big Boy enjoying his new life here.

Soothing sounds of nature played to keep cats calm during lockdown

Do you know that we felines can be easily stressed? There are many reasons for this but one of the big ones is changing our routine. Cat’s like predictability and routine and when shelter cats are cut off from the world and don’t have access to their shelter workers and the public they are stressed.

This wonderful human,Senior cat care assistant Jane Francis realized that even though the workers were taking care of cats in her shelter, things were really quiet so she decided that, “… stimulating as many senses and natural behaviours as possible, without overloading them, could only be beneficial for the cats, especially the more sociable ones and kittens who are still learning about the world around them.”

She noticed that the cats and especially the kittens seemed to flourish and become more confident after they introduced the sounds into the shelter. You can watch a short video of Charlie the cat’s response to the soothing music.

MP3 players were set up in the cats’ pens for them to enjoy a variety of sounds like rainfall and bird songs, general garden sounds and other sounds of natue and the cats are responding positively! Way to go Mitcham Homing Centre in Surrey, run by Cats Protection!.

Sick of Being Stuck AT Home? This Traveling Cat’s New Book Will “Take You Away”

Photo: Martina Gutfreund

Suki makes a purrfect virtual tour guide. She has traveled the world with her humans Martina Gutfreund and Kenny Hildebrandt and now her humans have compiled her travels in a new book, Travels of Suki the Adventure Cat, which will be available in May from Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Suki came to live with her humans three years ago and they knew they wanted Suki to travel everywhere they went…and she did.  Suki has taken to the wandering life like a duck to water. Her humans call her “extremely curious, energetic and bold”, traits that make her the purrfect adventure cat.

Regardless of where they go, Suki is content on their trips as long as she gets to visit nature — she adores “hiking, canoeing, or just lounging in the woods” — and even earns her keep with modeling sessions.

St. Petersburg cat cafe launches online video service featuring Hermitage felines

And speaking of virtual travel, a famous Cat Café in St. Petersburg Russia has launched an online video service where cat lovers can watch the felines.

The café has published CV’s for all the felines as they all are available for adoption. The Café states that, “All our cats have a veterinary passport and a “dowry.” Now I’ve never heard of a cat with a dowry but purrhaps this description is due to the difficulty of translating from Russian to English.

Man Files HR Complaint Against His Feline At Home Coworker

“Human, when are you leaving the house and going back to work???”
Alberto

Andrew Stych and his wife, Sheila, are experiencing the phenomenon of working at home with four felines.  One of the feline coworkers, Penelope,  has proven to be a bit of a problem, so much so that Andrew had to file a complaint with HR.

“Penelope, this letter serves to formally document your failure to comply with household regulations, and your lack of adherence to workspace polices,” says the hilarious letter. “You have been a great contributor to workplace morale and have been meeting your quota with regards to cuteness and chasing hair ties. However, your continual insistence on attempting to (or succeeding in) shutting off the power strip and computer in the middle of work hours, insistence on stepping on the keyboard during critical company events, and general mayhem has resulted in significant loss of productivity. We value your contribution to the household, but you must demonstrate an immediate and permanent alteration to your workplace habits or you may face more severe repercussions up to and and including withholding treats.”

Evidently, the whole human/feline coworking thing may not be as successful as some of you humans think.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 4/15

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
It’s Wednesday again although with the world so topsy turvey, it’s hard for this feline to figure out what day it is!

LIfe for the Tribe is a bit boring. The Female Human is home a lot more but the dispensing of snacks has not increased and I find this unacceptable.

“Human, if you are going to be home more I would expect a inrease in snacks and treats.” – Alberto

It’s also been a bit more boring than usual and I have been forced to be creative about finding entertainment.

“So what should I drag off the shelf and destroy today?” – Alberto

There is one thing though. The humans have been meowing about social distancing as though they invented it. We felines have been masters at social distancing for centuries.

“I am social distancing” – Alberto

That’s it for the news from our neck of the woods. Let’s check out what’s going on in the rest of the world.

Museum Cats Will Be Your Pen Pal

The cats at The Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma are feeling lonely and missing their human visitors. They would love to hear from you and if send them a letter they’ll reply through April 26th.

Cleo and Perilla are two of the three cats who live and “work” in the gardens. Their job is to keep the grounds pest free.

 Perilla is the cat in charge. She likes to snooperviser and watch the other cats work, but she will hunt to earn her keep. Cleo (short for Cleome) is the youngest feline. She was dropped off at the museum as a kitten and has had a loving home there ever since. She shows her gratitude by bring an avid hunter.  

Man Builds Beautiful HIgh Rise Towers For His Cats and Now Everyone Wants One

When a man built two luxury high-rise towers for his cat he created such a stir that people have been begging him for his building plans. Rob Coutu from Windsor, Connecticut set out to create something extraordinary for his cat Zach, a Savannah so he could indulge his favorite activity-climbing.

These towers are amazing with balconies, decks for Zack to hang out on, 3D printed windows, window boxes with flowers and a bridge that connects the two buildings.

Rob created a Facebook group where Zach posted a mock-up design for his ideal kitty digs. The group now has 15,000 members.

Now before you humans decide to begin building, you need to know that the building project has cost Rob about $3,500.00 so far, not to mention the hours of labor.  

Construction began last May and improvements continue (you can follow the progress in Rob’s Facebook group. And if cost is no issue for you, you’ll be happy to know that Rob is considering making these towers for people as a custom install.

The Tribe loves these towers, what do you think?

Cat Ignores Stay At Home Order and Has To Be Rescued by Firemen

A kitty in St. George, Utah got herself in quite a pickle and her human had to call the Fire Department. They responded to the call arriving with a standard fire truck and crew but quickly realized the a ladder truck would be needed for the rescue.

The cat named D-O-G was so scared she offered no resistance to her rescuers. She was handed off to her owner after her hour-long ordeal. You can see photos of the entire exciting rescue.

Paws up to these fire fighters!

21 Mother’s Day Gifts for Cat Moms

Because felines love to join you when you do yoga

There are some purrfect gifts in this list some for your cat mom, and some for the felines (because if your feline is happy, you’re a happy cat mom!). Our cat mom really liked the kitty yoga idea because, for some unknown reason, she has an issue wih us trying to take over her yoga mat when she’s using it.

Do not despair if your human doesn’t do yoga, there are all kinds of other purrfectly wonderful gifts like cat shaped tea bags, a customized paw print necklace, a tiny head massager designed for felines and silky cat pj’s.

Once you’ve decided what you want to get your cat mom just meow into Alexa and have it delivered. I’m sure she’ll thank you.

Pet Wine Shop is Helping You and Your Cat During Social Distancing With An Offer of Free Cat Wine

Felines, have you noticed your human drinking alone during these times of isolation? Well. Apollo Peak  wants to put a stop to that. Your human can order Pinot Meow, Purrseco, Catburnet and other wines made just for felines.  These wines are made with ingredients that are good for felines (like beets and catnip in Pinot Meow).

Just a note though. Evidently there are a lot of wine sipping felines out there so the retail store for these wines, Pet Wine Shop, has some cat wines on back order because of their very popular special #quarantineandchill free cat wine offer.

Here’s to all our wine drinking furiends – clink clink.