Walk Through The Web Wednesday -on Thursday- 12/15

Hello Furiends,
The Human asked us to express her thanks for all your kind wishes. She is getting better and we are quite relieved to have the level of service at our house beginning to return to normal. Now, let’s get to the most important part of the business of today and that’s announcing our book winners! We have so many wonderful furiends that we told The Human we wanted to send a book to everyone who purrticipated. The Human started meowing about how we can’t afford to do that, as much as she’d like to and we told her it was only little green pieces of paper, she was not swayed or amused. So, here goes….

Brian from Brian’s Home Blog
Christine Carroll
Teddy from One Spoiled Cat

Concatulations to you all. Please send our Purrsonal Assistant an email with your mailing address to FelineOpines@gmail.com and she will get the books out to you right away.
And thank you to everyone who purrticipated!

And now, on to the news stories.

Utah couple buys new house, get the seller’s cat, too

If any of you humans are in real estate, you might want to play attention to this new house contract concept.

Most people will ask for money, appliances, or fixtures during the seller concession phase of buying a home but this home sale concession was based on a relationship-with a cat in residence.

Tori Taillac, and her fiancé, Alex Kravets, fell in love with, as Tori describes him, “the grumpiest-looking but sweetest cat I have ever met.”  And Loki the cat, who originally wasn’t part of the sale become the thing that sweetened the deal.

After making an offer that the seller accepted, it was hard for Taillac to focus on the walk through because she was spending so much time with Loki.

 “I made a joke when he mentioned that he was going to leave us an air purifier. I said, ‘You can leave us a cat, too. I love your cat.’”

The owner’s ears perked up because he said he’d been worried about moving his young cat Loki to a smaller home after the cat was used to having more space. He felt that Loki would be happier staying in this house and continuing his inside, outside life.

On the seller’s counter offer to he couple, he dropped the price down, but said that he’d include the cat and the air purifiers.  ”

The couple’s realtor, Crystal Richardson of Chapman Richards and Associates of Salt Lake City, said she has never had a cat listed as part of a real estate addendum before.

“I’ve been doing this for 34 years,” Richardson told Fox News Digital. “I’ve had people ask for a lot of strange things — but never a cat.”

Loki is already making friends with the couple’s seven-year-old dog, Marcus — an active half Shiba-half mini Australian shepherd. 

As is usual in social media, there were a lot of negative comments about the cat being given up, especially on TikTok.

Since The Human is a cat behaviorist, we asked her what she thought and she said that sometimes, the best decision is the hardest. Loki’s human was worried about how Loki would transition to a new, smaller inside life and, when he saw how much this couple loved Loki, he felt this would be the right thing for the cat. And from what she saw on Instagram and TikTok, she could see that Loki is very happy in his old house with his new family.   

How Cinnamon the Cat went from feral feline to therapy cat at Collierville Animal Services

Cinnamon, a formal feral cat has been working for the Collierville Animal Services for 15 years. Meowza, that’s a long time! Her life began as a feral, living in the shelter parking lot and today, she’s the beloved chief of cat socialization at the shelter.

Nina Wingfield ,the Director of Collierville Animal Services. said, Cinnamon was trapped and spayed in 2007 and she eventually found a place in Wingfield’s office. 

“She’s like our therapy cat,” Animal Care Technician and Animal Control Officer Sandy Kraemer said. “She takes care of all our young kittens that we get in. She corrects them. She makes them behave themselves.”

Cinnamon is also the shelter’s best interrogator for new staff interviews and will let the powers that be know if they get a paws up or paws down.

Cinnamon’s services extend to staff morale as well. When staff is having a bad day, they come in the office, sit on the couch and Cinnamon will crawl in their lap and offer some purr therapy.

Ever since Cinnamon was brought inside the shelter, she’s never had any desire to leave and continues to thrive as a very important member of the team.  

An Exhibition of Cat Art Worthy of a Meowseum

Cats have descended upon Maspeth, Queens, where Mrs. gallery is featuring the work of 39 artists focused on a single theme: furry felines. Cats have been an art historical focus for thousands of years, and the gallery’s latest exhibition, titled Even a Cat Can Look at the Queen, celebrates this.

From Cait Porter’s loving rendering of a fuzzy tabby’s paw to a Philip Hinge chair sculpture made out of scratching posts, the exhibition includes works by longtime artists of Mrs.’s program as well as some who have never before shown with the gallery.

Almost all of the works are by living artists, with a few exceptions, including an Andy Warhol print that presents perhaps the exhibition’s most straightforward depiction of a cat. A painting by Renate Druks — movie star, director, and avid painter of cats — titled “Male Cat Club” (1980).

Other works in the show are decidedly more modern, such as Sophie Vallance’s “Tiger Diner” (2022), which features the checkerboard pattern and rounded aesthetic that has become popularized on social media over the last few years. But like Druks, Vallance places cats in a surprising setting; namely, sitting in a diner.

The exhibit will be at the Mrs. Museum, 60 – 40 56th Drive in Maspeth, NY until January 7th.

England players adopt stray Qatar cat after World Cup exit

England’s hopes of lifting the World Cup might have been dashed but Manchester City duo Kyle Walker and John Stones did not want to leave Qatar completely empty handed . They will return home with a stray cat that cat befriended by the team at their training base.

The cat, who Stones named Dave, will have to spend four months in quarantine before he can be reunited with the City duo.

“He was just there one day, so we’ve just adopted him, me and Stonesy,” Walker told the Football Association’s official media channel.

“First day we got there … Dave pops out,” Stones added. “Every night he sat there waiting for his food.”

 It looks like Dave made the right choice and we look forward to hearing about his new life in the UK after his quarantine is over.

Cat Loves Riding Around London With Her Dad

This is an update on Travis Nelson, an American living in London and his cat Sigrid. I had reported that due to visa issues the human and his feline and a lot of free time so they explored the city via bicycle.  “Since Sigrid was already accustomed to going for walks on a lead, there was no transition needed at all.

Now their journeys have been turned into a book and, If you visit their Instagram page, you can see videos that make you feel as though you’re on the bike with them. Also, Oliver was quite excited to see that Sigrid has the same red bandana halter he has!

We interrupt this blog…

Dear Furiends,

We have been on duty providing care and purr therapy for The Human since Saturday. She calls it “the crud” but we purrfer to call it by it’s medical name, the flu.

The good news is we have selected the three book winners and we’ll announce them tomorrow on our day late blog.

And The Human has turned the corner due to our diligent purrfessional care.

Purrs & Head Bonks,

The Feline Opines Medical Staff

In memory of Harley from Three Chatty Cats

Dear Furiends,
We lost a friend this week, Harley from Three Chatty Cats crossed the Rainbow Bridge. His humans, Rachel and her husband adopted Harley when he was already a senior kitty and they gave him such a wonderful life. We will miss Harley’s musings and those crossed blue eyes that reminded us so much of our Angel Tucker.

Good-bye sweet Harley, please stay hello to Tucker, Jasmine and our other Rainbow Bridge kitties.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 12/7

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
We thought we’d change it up a bit with the logo. Oliver is quite happy to be featured during the holiday season. We like to keep track of unusual holidays and we found one for tomorrow (De. 8) that was lot’s of fun. December 8th is “Pretend to be a time traveler day”. We sent our Purrsonal Assistant to the web to find out about this holiday and here is what she learned.

Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day was created in 2007 by the Koala Wallop online community which appeared to be a group of folks who were interested in time travel. Unfortunately, the group no longer exists but there are still many folks who find time travel interesting. The Human is quite fond of movies and books that feature time travel. Here are some of the time travel movies The Human has enjoyed (she’s not a fan of sci-fi so these all travel to the past):

The Human told us that the best time travel books she’s ever read is from one of her favorite authors, Daphne du Maurier and is called The House on the Stand

We felines decided that we wanted to be photoshopped into our favorite time travel setting. We hope you enjoy our photos!

Lily loves all things romantic and she believes the past is more romantic than the present or the future. She pretended to be a traveler in the 1920’s taking an elegant train ride to some lovely southern plantation.

I decided to imagine a trip to the future on some far off planet where I developed amazing powers like shooting lasers from my eyes.

Oliver decided to split the difference and go back in time to enjoy being in the Steampunk lifestyle with one paw in one century and another paw in the future.

We hope you enjoyed our celebration of Pretend to be a time traveler day”. Where would you go if you had a chance to be a time traveler?

Cat hates his new kitten brother until….

This video will help you not to despair if your cat is having some issues getting along with the new kitten.

Why is this Belgian town obsessed with cats?

Now here’s a fun event that happens in the Belgian town of Ypres. Thousands of people show up masquerading as cats. There are fancy floats that roll down the streets of the town as well as feline costumed humans.  The parade stops at Cloth Hall which is the center of the city’s thriving textile industry. So what is this all about you ask? Kattenstoet, the Festival of Cats is what they’re celebrating. And why is there a festival of cats in this town? Granted, we felines are marvelous enough to have festivities that celebrate us for no specific reason but there is much history behind this party.

It all began in medieval times. In those days, we felines were scorned and regarded as bad creatures associated with the devil. Early writers of the day compared cats catching mice to the devil catching human souls. In the thirteenth century, Pope Gregory IX raised a call to action against the “demonic” cat and people believed this resulted in the extermination of felines across Europe. Historians believe that this action caused the spread of the bubonic plage ravaging the continent in the 14th century. This is because the plague was caused by infected fleas found on rodents. The mass killing of cats allowed the rats to thrive with no predators and that resulted in the plague spreading at a fast pace.

Legend has it that the celebration of Kattenstoet in this town was for bringing cats in the fall and winter to the Cloth Hall to prevent vermin from destroying the imported wool and valuable clothing that was stored. In the spring, when the clothes were sold and the colony of cats had rapidly reproducing cats, who had done their job well, were killed.

This terrible practice continued until 1817 and after that no more cats were harmed and only the church bells were rung.

In1955 the city saw its first full-scale parade, complete with intricate floats and thousands of costumed citizens. The people of Ypres dress up as cats, mice, witches and historical figures. Accompanied by lively music and dance, brass bands and horse-riders, the procession moves down the streets until it reaches Cloth Hall. A jester tosses plush cats from the top of the tower into the waiting arms of the crowd below. This is followed by a mock witch-burning, in which a giant puppet witch is set on fire.

Kattenstoet. has become a major tourist attraction in Belgium, drawing thousands of spectators from around the world, all eager to witness the famed Festival of Cats. As for this cat, I can’t get over the dark history of this celebration and I’m very happy felines in Europe are much safer now than in the middle ages.

From stray cats to online stars

There are a number of lucky felines who have moved from the streets of Hong Kong and now live their best lives working and living in the shops of Hong Kong. I love to read and report about working cats.

Simple tips, how to keep your cats away from your Christmas trees

We felines are fascinated with your Christmas trees. So many things to swat, such a cozy space to hang out in. Our Angel Miss P. lived under the tree from the moment it was put up until it was taken down and she preferred to hang out there by herself.

Still, many of you humans get your whiskers in a twist when we “play” with your Christmas trees so here are some tips to prevent total tree destruction

There are some tricks to keep your Christmas ornaments safe. Hang the most valued (and fragile) ornaments toward the top of the tree. Hang cat attracting things like bells or wooden (sturdy) ornaments on the lowest branches. The bells help to also alert you if your feline in residence is messing with the tree..

If more drastic measures are required you can place pinecones sprayed with apple cider vinegar around the base of the tree. Most felines don’t like the  smell. But if your feline can endure the smell to get to the tree, try a cat deterrent spray like  ‘Four Paws Keep Off Outdoor and Indoor Spray’ ‘which is safe for cats and kittens.

Another option is to put some oranges under the tree as many of my feline friends do not like the smell at all.  

If all of these options fail, you can hang the tree from the ceiling, put the tree in a play pen or, as The Human does, just forget the tree and decorate the house in a festive manner instead.

That is NOT a fish!

.

I’ve featured many thieving felines in my Wednesday news stories but this Wisconson kitty wins the prize as he showed up at home with a whole alligator head!

 “He was very proud of himself,” owner Wendy Wiesehuegel told Fox News , At first Wieshuegel thought it was a bass or some other fish native to Wisconsin. She was shocked w hen she saw what her black cat, Burnt Toast, had brought home.

A  conservation expert said a wildlife biologist would need to confirm its authenticity, but that he believed it was not a souvenir head but belonged to a real animal, which likely measured three feet long.

American alligators aren’t native to Wisconsin, Aspenson suspects that it could’ve been a pet that escaped or was released. However, the wildlife official wasn’t sure how it perished or came into Burnt Toast’s possession, and Burnt Toast isn’t talking.,

Coincidentally, Wiesehuegel remembered seeing what she thought was a gator a few days prior while on a lake with her brother-in-law.

“He just laughed it off like, ‘No, it’s not a gator,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, it probably isn’t one,’ and we just kind of dismissed it, and then this showed up,”

While it’s rare to find this cold-blooded predator in such a frigid climate, Aspenson believes this won’t be the last time.

In July, Wisconsin police were flabbergasted after finding an alligator roaming a neighborhood in Kenosha. As it turned out, the reptile — named Chomper — was actually someone’s pet, and it was reunited with its caregiver after its little adventure.

This marked the second such animal that’d been found in southeast Wisconsin that month. The first was a 24-inch allegedly escaped gator that was discovered swimming in a lake in Fond du Lac.

Meowry Cat-mas

Hello Furiends,
We want to send three of our blog followers a copy of the new book, the Cat in the Christmas Tree. There are pawsome stories shared by our very own Human and other humans that are fantastic writers.

Here’s how to get your book;
Meow in the comments with your name and let us know you want the book and we will do a random drawing on December 14th and announce the three winners on Dec. 15th. We’ll contact the winners to get your address to send your books.

The story our Human wrote is about our Angel Miss P. the story is, “Miss P. Saves Christmas”. We never got to meet Miss P. but The Human says she was quite a character. and there is an other story coming out in February about Miss P. in the n Chicken Soup cat book.

The book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Lessons Learned from My Cat will be released on February 14th, 2023 and the story is called, “Miss P. and the Turkey”.

We wish everyone good luck and we know you’ll enjoy this book with wonderful Christmas cat stories!
Purrs and Head Bonks,
Alberto, Oliver & Lily

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 11/30

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends!

Instead of talking about life in our neck of the woods this week, I want to talk about an amazing place we just learned about in a very far away neck of the woods. We received an email from Peter, a volunteer at Velvet Paws Sanctuary, a small regional cat shelter in Hajdúszoboszló which is close to the second largest Hungarian city Debrecen.

Peter wrote that Velvet Paws isn’t a shelter but a refuge in the home of a woman named Ilona. She was active in shelter volunteer work until she moved to Hajdúszoboszló. She found that people there weren’t interested in the fate of stray cats so she decided to create a foundation to help wounded and ill cats from the streets and provide medical assistance, shelter and food and find forever homes for the cats. Peter wrote that there are cats everywhere in the house (at present there are 50) and the cats aren’t allowed in the garden in the winter as it is too cold. All of the cats are all socialized and given free access. An old white cat lives in the bathroom because he needs extra care and feeding. There is only one cage in the house and that is used to keep the new small kittens separate from the older cats in the house.  

Peter does the web and social media work and is the only one who speaks English and who reached out to us. He explained that Hungarian taxpayers can send 1% of their tax to any listed foundation but as they are new, the sanctuary does not qualify yet. Peter also noted that he had registered the non-profit with TechSoup (a Google organization for non-profits) but they haven’t qualified yet for free Google advertising. We sent The Human over to Google to find out more about TechSoup and it doesn’t sound like they are interested in small non-profits like this one.

Everything done for Velvet Paws is done by volunteers and they rely on the kindness of the community to provide cat food and other supplies as well as help with veterinary costs.  They are taking advantage of free social media accounts and use a free Wix website as well and don’t have the funds to hire professionals. I say they’re doing a good job with the volunteers they have but things could always be better.

Their website, Twitter account and YouTube channel tell the stories of cats they’ve rescued. This story about Bársonyka, found when she was three months old, especially touched my heart. Her name means Velvet Kitty and when she was found two of her legs were broken and she had a traumatic diaphragm hernia.  After her fractures were fixed and  her hernia surgery completed, she was fine. She’s now waiting for someone to adopt her. Her surgeries cost the sanctuary $400.00. You can find this story and others on their website. They also have a program where you can virtually “adopt” one of their cats.

I hope you will check out this very deserving sanctuary and, if you are so moved, to help them in whatever way you can. Spreading the word about them is a big help so please share the story of the good people in Hungary who donate their time, treasure and home to help cats in need. And I know many of my furiends are well versed in the cat saving biz so if you have any ideas that could help them, please let them know. If your Hungarian isn’t up to snuff, you can send an email in English to Peter at hungarianvelvetpaws@gmail.com.

and now, on to the news.

The Famous Acro-Cats

I love these amazing felines! They are traveling the country and if you have the chance to see them take it. I would caution you not to expect any of their feats from your felines in residence, even if all the Acro-Cats are formal strays.

The current show is called “Meowy Catmas” and will be in various venues in the New Orleans area until Dec. 18th.

There will also be a special appearance by The Rock-Cats, the only cat band in the world, playing seasonal carol selections such as “A Cat in a Manger,” “Catnip Roasting on an Open Fire” and “God Rest Ye Merry Kittens.”

In addition to being on “Cat People,” the Amazing Acro-Cats have been featured on national TV shows including “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl,” “CBS News Sunday Morning” and PBS Nova’s “Cat Tales.”

Tickets range in price from $35 to $50. The first week of shows offers a $5 discount when purchased online. For show dates and times, and to purchase tickets, visit www.rockcatsrescue.org.

Tickets are also available at the door. This two-hour performance has limited seating, so advanced ticket purchases are suggested as it is always a sellout.

Volunteer opportunities are available during the show that will earn you a free ticket. Learn more here.

The Acro-Cats tour supports the Rock Cats Rescue, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Rock Cats Rescue is focused on saving cats “one click at a time” through cat welfare, rescue and adoption. Acro-Cats performances promote the importance of bonding and training cats with positive reinforcement, while also finding homes for rescued cats. Rock Cats Rescue has found homes for 310 cats and kittens since 2009.

What are doubloons? Why TikTok has been taken over by an imaginary cat meme ‘currency’

Have you been seeing the word ‘dabloons’, or doubloons, a lot lately, and are confused as to what is going on? Well evidently this feline isn’t the only one confused.

I did some research and will hopefully answer  your questions about the dabloon movement.

When I asked The Human what dabloons were she thought I was talking about doubloons which are gold coins dating back to 16th century Spain and used as currency for hundreds of years. Those aren’t the ones I’m talking about. The ones on TikTok came from a meme (said to have been on Instagram) from 2021 with a cat holding out a paw and the words, “four dabloons”. Each toe was worth one dabloon.

The meme quickly became popular on Tik tok and has evolved into “Dabloons” andnow refers to an imaginary currency. This doesn’t surprise me. Humans have been involved in quite a bit of imaginary currency these days. It is a fictional currency used to trade fictional items and only for fun and not to be taken seriously.

The meme quickly became popular on Tik tok and has evolved into “Dabloons” andnow refers to an imaginary currency. This doesn’t surprise me. Humans have been involved in quite a bit of imaginary currency these days.

It is a fictional currency used to trade fictional items and only for fun and not to be taken seriously.

The meme quickly became popular on Tik tok and has evolved into “Dabloons” and now refers to an imaginary currency. This doesn’t surprise me. Humans have been involved in quite a bit of imaginary currency these days. It is a fictional currency used to trade fictional items and only for fun and not to be taken seriously.

How it works

Humans collect ‘dabloons’ by just counting up how many times they have seen dabloons online. In other words,  if you see dabloons, you get dabloons, and each meme is worth four dabloons.

Humans are going to great effort toe create this dabloon economy in extreme detail. You can get into dabloon debt, dabloon theft, some are tracing dabloon inflation, and there are even claims of a dabloon IRS (the American Inland Revenue Service).

Dabloon shops have popped up, such as @dabloongrocerystore, offering items as innocuous as eggs and flour. You may come across videos featuring cats declaring “hello traveller” as though you are a weary adventurer making your way around the internet. They will then offer you a variety of items with prices in dabloons, which you can choose at your leisure. Hmm, maybe I should check this out for Oliver, he could use a job.

You have to keep track of your own dabloon spending, which some people are doing using excel spreadsheets.

Some people started to give away infinite dabloons, but this has started to play havoc with the economy. The hashtag dabloons has been viewed 520 million times on TikTok.

This feline has concluded that some of you humans have waaaaay too much time on your hands!

Feline Agility, or Why Cats Land Butter-Side Up

How do cats always land on their feet? Far from being some human urban myth, the majority of felines dropped from a height manage to land on all fours; from your domestic feline to the king of the beasts, feline agility is at work.

The falling cat question has been under scrutiny by scientists for many years.. (There’s even a book about the phenomenon.) Back in 1894, Étienne-Jules Marey captured the arc of a cat falling on film, creating a slow-motion series of frames that showed what was happening. As Ars Technica describes, when it was first presented, Marey’s slo-mo cat fall led esteemed physicists to declare that cats were acting “against the known laws of physics.”

Regardless of feline agility defying physics, Marey’s film captured a cat showing the “bend and twist” necessary in mid-flight to bring its legs underneath its body for a safe landing. Each frame showed how the cat flexed its spine and rotated its legs to land “butter-side” up, so to speak.

In a BBC video, the wild cat, native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Pakistan and northwestern India, falls gracefully to the ground. Following the slow-motion frames, the narrator describes the sequence of events.

As the feline orientates itself in space to determine which way up it is facing, it starts a two-direction rotation. The forelimbs go clockwise while the rear spins counter to that. The cat holds its front legs close into its body similar to the way ice skaters do to increase speed of spin. This is key as it allows the animal to exert a force against the rest of its body, with the flexible spine allowing the rotations to continue. As the cat rights itself it brings all four feet underneath and arches its back to prepare to absorb the landing. Muscular and flexible limbs held perpendicular to the main body mass absorb the compression and impact forces for a successful landing.

Feet landings have helped cats survive in the wild and they have another advantage that makes them more likely to survive a fall: Their terminal velocity is low. Terminal velocity is the limiting uniform velocity attained by a falling body when the resistance of the air has become equal to the force of gravity. (I had to copy this as science is not this feline’s strong suit!) In other words, it’s the fastest speed a falling body gets to in free flight since resistance to the air limits the acceleration attained. To put it in non-sciency terms, we cats deploy a fluffy parachute by stretching ourselves out, a little like a flying squirrel. (I’m not so sure how I feel about being compared to a rodent but I digress).The scientists say this makes our terminal velocity around 60 miles per hour. You humans hit terminal velocity at 120 mph.

Fascination for feline agility extends to robotics, where building machines that are capable of self-righting, landing correctly or surviving falls offers a lot more versatile. This curiosity also extends to space, where NASA studied how cats fell in order to coach their astronauts on how to move around in zero gravity.

Once again, science proves what amazing creatures we felines are.

Welcome the Internet’s latest viral cat: A sad-looking little guy named Fishtopher

Over the years, we’ve seen unusual feline faces become instant social media sensations. Cats like Lil Bub, Cinderblock, Grumpy Cat, Perdita, and Jorts became overnight stars.. And now it’s time for everyone to hear about Fishtopher, a cat that’s become famous for looking really depressed.

https://www.avclub.com/embed/inset/iframe?id=twitter-1595800103503151109&autosize=1 Fishtopher first came to the internet’s attention with an adoption ad that was highlighted by Molly Clarke and subsequently retweeted almost 22,000 times. Fishtopher was described as a five-year-old domestic shorthair and Bengal mix who “is very sad and depressed.”

Fortunately, only a couple of days after the internet discovered Fishtopher, there were plenty of people interested in adopting him. In a Facebook post from last weekend, New Jersey’s Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center said that the cat’s “sad, fat face” had led to “hundreds of inquiries” and a line of people waiting outside its building for a chance to take home a rising star.

Among them were Laura Folts and Tanner Callahan, a couple from Baltimore who, NBC News states, took a two-hour drive to wait outside for the shelter to open on the weekend. They ended up being the first in line and adopted Fishtopher.

Now, as was probably inevitable, Fishtopher has an Instagram and a Twitter account. He no longer looks sad and his accounts are used to both document this fact and share links to other cats in need of homes. I would say this was the best result possible from Fishtopher’s fame..

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 11/23

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello there furiends!
It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I hope this post finds you all well and comfy and ready to eat some turkey! We’ve had enough snow in our neck of the woods to put us in the holiday spirit. Lily and Oliver and I have been arguing over the Thanksgiving greeting we wanted to share. The Human got tired of us meowing at each other and said we should put all the images up, although why Lily got one photo with her only didn’t make Oliver and I happy. The Human told us that we get a lot more blog time than Lily does-whatever!

Here are our greetings, hope you like them!

TSA finds cat in checked baggage 


PEOPLE!  Please check your luggage before you leave the house!

A sneaky feline tried to have a little Thanksgiving getaway — until he was discovered by TSA agents. The orange cat was discovered at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday morning after an agent spotted some orange hair poking out of the zipper of the suitcase.

The human who owned the suitcase told TSA he had no idea the cat was in the bag. The feline was discovered when the bag was x-rayed.

The human, who was visiting from out of town,  said the cat, named Smells, was owned by another family member. The New York Post followed up with the cats real humans who said Smells must have crawled in the relative’s bag while they were at work. No one knew Smells was gone until they received a phone call from the TSA and Smells’ owner’s fiancée got a cab and went to rescue the cat only to find Smells was chilling with the TSA folks and acting like he had not a care in the world.  

Again, I beg you, please check your and your relatives luggage this holiday season!

10 cat sleeping positions and what your cat’s favorite snoozing pose means, according to vets

The crescent

This is the most common sleeping position according to Zac Pilossoph, consulting veterinarian at Healthy Paws Pet Insurance. Some people also call this pose the Donut.

In this pose, we curl up in a ball, with our head bent toward our feet and our tail tucked in.

According to Pilossoph, your cat may sleep in the Crescent pose for two reasons:

1. We’re  conserving body heat.

2. We’re protecting our chest and tummy from predator attacks.

“This sleeping position was important for survival when they lived in the wild – and still is for wild cats,” Pilossoph says. Even though most domestic cats have never met a wolf or bear, they still have the instinct to protect themselves while they sleep.

the loaf

In the Loaf, we sleep with our body upright and our paws and tail tucked in. This creates a square shape, much like a loaf of banana bread fresh from the oven.  We use this sleeping position to conserve body heat. As winter approaches, you may catch us sleeping in these compact positions more often. 

The container

We felines love to sleep in containers of all shapes and sizes, from shoeboxes to mixing bowls to a tall boot. They may take on an almost liquid quality to “melt” into the shape of their chosen bed. 

Sometimes we seek out a hidden sleeping spot if we feel threatened — like when we’re wary of a strange-smelling visitor, or in the middle of a spat with a fellow feline. 

side sprawl

When we sleep in a side sprawl we lie on our side, legs out and belly half-exposed. This sleeping position usually means we feel relaxed and safe, although time of  year, temperature and time of day will also influence our sleeping positions.

belly up

The Belly Up position is exactly what you might imagine: we lie on our back, tummy fully bared. Our legs may be stretched out or flat at their sides. 

Sleeping belly up exposes our vital organs to the world. So, if you see us sleeping with our belly faced completely upward, you can take that as a sign we feel extremely comfortable around you, Pilossoph says. Warm temperatures may also cause us to sleep in the belly op position.

monorail

Sometimes we just drift off where we’re sitting and you’ll find us with our body resting on the perch and sometimes our legs dangling down the sides.

pretzel

And then there are times when we sleep with our head and limbs in every direction. It may even seem as if we’re about to tie ourselves in a knot. This position goes by the name Pretzel or Contortionist.

“Sleeping in strange positions makes it more difficult for potential predators to predict their next move. It also helps them to stay alert and aware of their surroundings,” Whoriskey says.

While you might find it impossible to sleep in a similar position, your cat may feel perfectly cozy. Generally, this sleeping position is harmless — as long as we can untangle ourselves when we wake up.

faceplant

In the face plant position we  rest our face flat on the ground, often with our paws covering our eyes. 

Whoriskey says felines may sleep like this for a few different reasons:

To keep our head and neck low to the ground, unseen by predators, to stay warm and to signal we want to be left alone. Sometime we cover our eyes if the light is too bright.

cuddle

We can cuddle with humans, hugging your arm or burrowing between your neck and the pillow. Lily sleeps on The Human’s arm cuddled against her side. We can even cuddle with each other and when Lily finally cuddled with me and Oliver after her cuddle buddy Tucker, crossed the Rainbow Bridge, it was a sign her grief was lessening.  

When we cuddle, it’s is a sign of trust and affection. It’s also a great way to share body heat and get cozy. 

One sleeping position yoou don’t want to see is a headpress

The Headpress position is when we firmly presses our head against a wall or solid furniture and fall asleep in this position. You won’t notice us rubbing our scent glands on anything — just sitting still with our face hidden. 

Unlike the other sleep positions on this list, headpressing almost always suggests a serious health concern. Most commonly, it happens as a sign of hepatic encephalopathy, a neurological condition caused by liver dysfunction

If you see us in the Headpress position, whether we’re awake or asleep, take us to the vet as soon as you can for an evaluation.

We felines have all kinds of sleeping positions and rarely stick to just one. If you ever see us sleeping in a position that concerns you, you can always take us for a check up at the vet.

Man Says His Rescue Cat, Garfield, May Have Saved His Life

A Massachusetts man credits his cat with saving his leg and likely his life.

Garfield, a 17-month-old rescue cat, was the hero for 69-year-old Thomas Williams. Garfield came to Williams from an abusive situation. Garfield received a second chance through his adoption and he soon returned the favor.

“He just kept sniffing my legs, and I said, ‘What’s he doing?'” Williams said. “And he got under my wheelchair, and he kept taking his paw, just poking at me.” Williams is an amputee and decided he’d call his visiting nurse. She came to see him and told him that animals can detect infection.

Williams’ doctor found a blood clot in his artery and there was an infection there as well.

“If I didn’t pay attention to what the cat was doing, I probably could have died,” he said. And credits  keeping his leg and his life because of Garfield.

“Like a guardian angel from heaven,” he said. “God put him in my life, and I’m glad he did.” And this cat says a big AMEN to that!

Photographer Captures Comedic Stray Cats on the Streets of Tokyo

Many photographers hit the streets in search of a perfect photo. But not Japanese photographer Masayuki Oki.

Oki scours his hometown of Tokyo and other cities for cats expressing themselves in unusual ways or posing in funny positions.

He fills his social media pages with his quirky and often hilarious photos that show cats fighting amount themselves, sitting in odd positions, and generally living up to their weird reputation.

“It was New Year’s Eve, 2013 when I began my interest in cat street photography,” Oki tells PetaPixel.

“When I was exhausted in a nearby park during a break in between work, I met the fateful cat ‘Busanyan-senpai’ in the middle of the road in the park. From the time I met him, the course of my life changed greatly.”

Oki was fascinated with Mr. Busanyan, who he describes as a gray-haired American shorthair cat with a bizarre appearance

“The more I look at him, the more things come to mind in my head, and the more I want to shoot. A passion was born in my heart. I’ve always liked cats, but I was unable to keep them due to my living environment, etc,” he explains.

“The next day, in 2014, during my work break, I picked up my camera and started taking pictures of cats.”

Since then Oki has taken his Canon 1DX III onto the streets to the delight of his nearly 300,000 followers on Instagram.

“I started taking photos and uploaded them to social media every day where I received exaggerated compliments from people all over the world,” says Oki.

According to The Oriental Economist, there are an estimated 1.1 million cats living in the Tokyo Metropolis, 60,000 of which are strays. This feline loves the fact that this man is trying to capture all of them in photos!

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 11/16

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
It’s been a pretty routine week in our neck of the woods. We’ve been up to our usual shenanigans. Oliver is still deaf to The Human’s pleas to stop burrowing UNDER the sofa cover.

“Yes Human, I see the cat hair on the sofa. What’s your point?”

Lily heard that a friend of ours was feeling under the weather so she dressed up like a nurse. Lilly is a nice kitty but trust me, she is no medical purrfesional!

“I’m here to lend my purrfesional services.”

And Oliver thinks he’s some kind of comedian. Please don’t laugh as you’ll only encourage him.,

“Hey Al, what’s a cat’s favorite kitchen tool?”
“I don’t know Ollie, what is a cat’s favorite kitchen tool?”
“A whisker” MOL
“Oh PULLEEZE”

Well, that was our week….oh wait, there was one other thing. The Human was contacted by the good folks at Chicken Soup and told her story “Miss P and the Turkey” will be in the February release, “Lessons I learned From My Cat”. We are happy for her but would have purferred that the story was about us. Oh well, maybe she’ll get her book finished and published because Oliver and I are in it!

Well, that’s it for news from The Tribe. Now here’s some feline news from the web.

Scientists Confirm You Can Communicate With Your Cat by Blinking Very Slowly

Oliver exchanging a slow blink with The Human.

First, let me say that it was a bit disappointing that it took a bunch of scientists to research the meaning of the “slow blink”. Sheesh, anyone who knows cats knows that’s our way of showing affection.

Scientists published a study in 2020 where they observed cat-human interactions and, as the article says, “… were able to confirm that this act of blinking slowly makes cats – both familiar and unfamiliar animals – approach and be receptive to humans.”

They do give humans a nod by saying that this is something many cat owners “suspected”. Many humans know this to be a fact.

The scientists say that our partially closed eyes, accompanied by slow blinking is similar to how human eyes narrow when they smile.  In other words, the slow blink is a feline version of a smile.

The researchers then tested to see if humans copied this expression would they communicate friendliness and openness to their feline.

They did two experiments. In the first one, owners slow-blinked at 21 cats from 14 different households. The cats were settled and comfy and the owners were told to sit about a meter away and slow blink when the cat was looking at them. Cameras recorded both the owner’s face and the cat’s face, and the results were compared to how cats blink with no human interaction.

The results showed that cats are more likely to slow-blink at their humans after their humans have slow-blinked at them.

The second experiment included 24 cats from eight different households. This time, it wasn’t the owners doing the blinking but the researchers, who’d had no prior contact with the cat. The researchers performed the same slow-blink process as the first experiment, adding an extended hand towards the cat. And they found that not only were the cats more likely to blink back, but that they were more likely to approach the human’s hand after the human had blinked.

“This study is the first to experimentally investigate the role of slow blinking in cat-human communication,” McComb said.

Folks, you can try this at home and see how your felines respond.  Narrow your eyes at your feline as you would in a relaxed smile, followed by closing your eyes for a couple of seconds. You’ll find they respond in the same way themselves and you can start a sort of conversation.”

I’m always happy to hear positive things about our connections with humans. The scientists stated the following:

Cats, for example, respond in kind to humans who are receptive to them – so if you find cats standoffish, that might be a problem with you, not the kitty.

Likewise, cats echo the personality traits of the humans they live with – this may be related to why cats seem to pick up when their humans are sad. They also can recognize their names (although they choose to ignore them a lot of the time). And their bonds with their humans are surprisingly deep.

If you are interested in the more sciency information about this research, you can read about it in Scientific Reports.

FIP research: New hope for cats (and maybe humans)

This article contains important information and the facts are far beyond this feline brain so I am including this article in it’s entirety.

As veterinary professionals in 2022, few of us would have imagined that we would be diagnosing a fatal disease in young cats and telling our clients we know of a treatment but that we can’t administer, sell, or prescribe it—then suggesting they visit a Facebook page to purchase unmarked vials of a drug from China for thousands of dollars. But that is precisely the scenario in which we find ourselves in the diagnosis and treatment of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) in the United States.  

How did we get to a point where our only option is to suggest that our clients meet up with strangers from the internet with no veterinary training in parking lots to buy an unapproved medication to inject into their dying cats?  

A brief history on the seemingly miraculous, unapproved treatment for FIP 

Gilead Sciences, a US-based global pharmaceutical company, had been studying various anti-viral drugs for years with the goal of finding a treatment for the deadly Ebola virus in humans. Among the drugs they created and patented were GS-441524 and GS-5734—neither of which proved to be successful in treating Ebola.  

Meanwhile, Davis Niels Pedersen, DVM, PhD, a professor emeritus of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California Davis, was fervently studying and trying to find a cure for FIP. He reached out to a friend, who was chief medical officer of Gilead Sciences at the time, to inquire about antiviral drugs that might help.  

He received about 25 different drugs from their library to try, and two of them showed very promising results: GS-5734, now known as remdesivir, and GS-441524, which is metabolized to remdesivir in the body.  

The results were incredible. They saw unheard-of cure rates in both artificially infected and naturally infected cats (between 80% and 100%). It seemed like the problem had been solved. Unfortunately, Gilead Sciences reportedly refused to license GS-441524, the simpler of the two molecules, for use in cats, and they later pursued remdesivir as a treatment for severely ill COVID-19 patients.  

The fear was that performing the studies to secure FDA approval for GS-441524 in cats might hamper efforts to approve GS-5734 (now remdesivir) in humans because if studies using GS-441524 to treat cats had any adverse effects or undesirable results, this could influence the analysis of remdesivir for human use.  

Remdesivir is now conditionally approved for emergency use in humans to treat severe COVID-19 infections, but without full FDA approval, it can’t legally be used off-label by veterinarians. GS-441524 is not approved at all, so it cannot legally be used either.  

As a result, desperate cat owners are left with no choice but to reach out to FIP Warriors, a global network made up of cat lovers, breeders, and rescuers—many of whom have been through treatment with their own cats. They help owners of sick cats get vials quickly, share notes on the best “brands” to purchase, and teach owners how to give daily subcutaneous injections to their cats.  

These are all tasks that would normally be performed by veterinary professionals. The other missing part to the current scenario is the drug safety, efficacy, and oversight piece. There are reportedly significant variations in the safety and success rates of products from different manufacturers, with one version even being blamed for killing cats in January 2021.  

Promising new research 

Researchers at the University of California Davis, where Pederson first discovered the success of those two molecules in treating FIP in cats, are taking up the charge.  

Krystle Reagan, PhD, DVM, Dip. ACVIM, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology, is leading several studies to find a treatment that is “readily accessible to treat cats diagnosed with FIP.”   

In collaboration with a team at the University of California San Diego, she is using CRISPR technology to develop a rapid test that detects viral genetic material. This study is still ongoing, but researchers hope it will yield a more definitive and rapid test that could replace the diagnosis by circumstantial evidence and exclusion that is currently the norm.  

Reagan is also the principal investigator on a clinical trial evaluating the use of GS-441524 and remdesivir in oral formulations to treat FIP. She reports that the efficacy of the oral formulations of both drugs appears to be good, and that this can provide an alternative to the daily GS-441524 injections, which are known to be painful to cats.  

Reagan’s colleague, Amir Kol, DVM, PhD, Dip ACVP (Clinical Pathology), associate professor of pathology, microbiology, and immunology, is leading a clinical trial of his own involving the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) along with GS-441524 in the treatment of FIP.  

Regarding the mechanism of action of MSCs in the treatment of FIP, Kol stated, “We still do not know if MSC treatment is effective in FIP. … Nonetheless, based on previous data, we expected MSC treatment to benefit cats with FIP by promoting three critical pathways that: 1) Decrease inflammation; 2) Rejuvenate exhausted T cells; and 3) Regenerate lymphoid tissue post infection.” 

This trial may add to our treatment arsenal for a rare, but serious, complication in human children as well. Kol draws parallels between FIP, with its “massive inflammatory response in conjunction … with an exhausted antiviral specific immune response” and MIS-C, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, which can be a severe complication of COVID-19 infection.   

MIS-C, he notes, is characterized by “1) Coronavirus-induced systemic hyperinflammatory disease; 2) Young age; and 3) T cell exhaustion.” He hopes that FIP in cats will serve as a good model for MIS-C in children, and that the findings from this study will benefit the treatment of both species. If success is seen in cats, MSCs are easily sourced for clinical trials in humans in the future, marking an “immediate translatable impact on children’s health.” 

Seeking FDA approval for cats and humans 

While none of these studies guarantee that a drug will be approved for veterinary use, we can hope that, with the preponderance of evidence for the efficacy and safety of GS-441524 and remdesivir in cats, one or both drugs can become licensed and FDA-approved for use in cats.  

Even full approval for use in humans would open doors to legal extra-label use in veterinary medicine. The more we learn about these disease models in cats and humans, the better we can refine the treatment and enhance the response rates in both species.  

While this story started with treatment needs in animals taking a back seat to treatment needs in humans, the next chapter can include cats, cat owners, and veterinarians finally getting access to lifesaving options for FIP, and better treatments for severe disease in both species. 

Further reading 

A Much-Hyped COVID-19 Drug is Almost Identical to a Black-Market Cat Cure 
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/05/remdesivir-cats/611341/ 

Unlicensed GS-441524-Like Antiviral Therapy Can Be Effective for at-Home Treatment of Feline Infectious Peritonitis 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8388366/ 

2022 AAFP/EveryCat Feline Infectious Peritonitis Diagnosis Guidelines
https://catvets.com/guidelines/practice-guidelines/fip-guidelines 

UC Davis Launches Clinical Trials to Treat a Deadly Coronavirus Disease in Cats 
https://www.ucdavis.edu/health/news/coronavirus-disease-cats 

For Parents: Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 
https://www.cdc.gov/mis/mis-c.html 

Cattywhompus Launches a Video Game for Cats to Play

Angela Eaton was fostering four kittens and when they reached that, “We want to play and we like your keyboard and computer stage” Angela tried to distract them  with one of her computer screens. She would put on videos that felines like to watch (my favorites are birds and squirrels). When she saw how much the kittens enjoyed the videos she was inspired to create a videogame for felines.

Eaton’s video game that uses visual stimulation to engage the playful participation of cats and kittens have been branded Cattywhompus. It’s a multi-level game that displays moving targets like frogs, flying saucers, fish-that cats “catch” with a touch. And the cool thing is the game keeps score and your humans can brag about who well you did against the felines in other homes (those humans love to brag about us!) And if your human is a real bragger, they can  upload their cat’s score to the Global Scoreboard to compare your cat’s points to cats around the world. Meowza!

The game is available for $2.99 USD and is available for iOS and Android. There are no in-app purchases or ads: pay once, play forever. Also, 10% of all profits from the video game will go to cat rescues throughout the country. Now that’s what this cat calls a “win win”.

Tell your humans to get you the app, we’re telling ours we want it and we’ll report back after we’ve played with it a while.

This Man Thought He Found His Lost Cat… And Then The Real One Showed Up

Many of you have probably seen this story on social media but wait….there’s more. Comedian James Felton shared the story on Twitter, musing on what could be going on and hilarity ensued. People began swapping tales about having the same situation…MOL,  Who knew? Do yourself a favor and read the posts on this page, you won’t be sorry.

A pet food bank saved me from having to give up my cats

Times are tough for you humans and when you suffer, sometimes we felines suffer too.  Chris Forrest thought he might have to give up his fur kids because he couldn’t afford to feed them any more. Imagine his relief when he discovered that there was a pet food bank in his neighborhood.

Chris loves his cats and said, “I would go without so my boys had food. They are like my children and I don’t know what I would do if I were to lose them. I’m welling up just thinking about it.”

Chris, who lives in Edinburgh, has four male cats – two five-year-old brothers called Galaxy and Shadow, and two four-year-olds called Leo and Sol. Chris is not able to work due to severe anxiety and depression and his cats help with his mental health.

Chris told BBC Scotland, “The cats keep me going – they interact with me and get me up in the morning as they need fed. I’m in a much better place having them, I’m more chilled out and relaxed.

They are so loving and give me cuddles and I burst out laughing watching them play together.”

Chris’ benefits were cut after the Covid pandemic, so he went to the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home and they gave him pet food.

There are now 66 pet food banks in community centers across central Scotland, the Lothians and the  Scottish Borders. Mike Dougan run the pet food banks who is the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home’s community outreach and development manager.

He started the project when he discovered people were sharing the food they got from food banks with their pets. “A pet is part of the family and every pet we can feed is a pet that can stay in a loving, warm, safe home without fear,” he said.

Pet Food banks are an important part of every community. We have one in our neck of the woods, do you?

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 11/9

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Well Hello There Furiends!
It’s been a rather chilly and blustery week in our neck of the woods. We had a surprise wind and snow storm and The Human says it’s like Siberia out there. Another human she knows said that instead of bemoaning the weather, she was going to be grateful for the new trampoline and lawn furniture she found in her yard (I told you it was a bad wind storm!)

While The Human did her civic duty yesterday and worked the polls, The Tribe suffered. We had to get up at 4am for our breakfast and before bed treats didn’t happen until 11:00pm. We were on the brink of starvation and Oliver was a bit miffed that the breakfast service was lacking.

And we were bored….soooooo bored so Ollie and Lilly entertained themselves by doing some interior decorating.

But life has returned to normal and The Human was able to come home and finish this post and some other work while we enjoyed treats and the fire.

This week’s web features will be a little shorter than usual but, being the thoughtful felines we are, we gave The Human a break.

Cat AWOL: New research shows 3 cats go missing every second – with 4 in 10 cats leaving home more than 5 times

Although I am not a wandering feline, I did find this study interesting. Did you know that In August in the UK there were 264,933 missing cats listed across five of the most popular missing pet websites, with 55% of cat owners saying their cat has gone missing at least once, with 22% saying their cat has left home at least five times.

This is a good reason to keep your felines inside as research across the five biggest missing pet websites reveals that 184 cats go missing every minute – and 3 each second.

Survey data from cat owners across the country revealed the top circumstances where cats go missing. These include when owners move house (11%), go away on holiday (10%), have builders in the home to renovate (9%) or get another pet (9%).

With more than half (53%) of Brits confessing they’d feed a cat who appeared in their garden, it’s no surprise many cats explore their surroundings for food, attention and adventures. (This is why The Human is always meowing about “THINK LOST NOT STRAY!”)

The good news is, 41% of people who reported a cat missing had them turn up again of their own accord. Of these felines, 18% of owners found their missing cat near their home, 16% received a call from someone local who found their cat, another 16% reported their cat had been found trapped in a shed or outbuilding, and 13% said they found their cat at an old home.

To explore what cats get up to when they are away from home, Admiral Pet Insurance partnered with Tractive GPS pet tracker.

Research conducted by Admiral Pet Insurance reveals that over a quarter of a million cats are currently missing in the UK. The data gathered by the insurer originates from the National Pet Register, Pets Located, Pets Reunited, Animal Search and the Blue Cross, where collectively there are 264,933 cats listed as missing.

Over 60% of the cats listed as missing were male, with an additional 27,000 more male cats listed as missing than females. Of the 11,000 missing cats listed on the National Pet Register, over 7,000 were microchipped; however the remaining 4,628 were not.

In December 2021, the British government announced a new law that will require cat owners to get their cat microchipped to help reunite missing cats with their owners. Pritpal Powar, head of pet at Admiral Insurance comments: “It’s important to ensure your cat is microchipped as it’s a great way to help missing cats be reunited with their owners.

“Microchipping is a safe, simple procedure for animals and the microchip lasts a lifetime, but remember to update the information if you change address.” Note-all of our Tribe is microchipped.

Black cats are most commonly reported missing, with over 85,000 black cats currently at large, making up 33% of the total missing cat population. A quarter (25%) of all missing cats are white and 13% are brown.

In addition, 72% of the cats reported missing had monotone coats, for instance a fully black, white or brown cat, which could suggest cats with easily identifiable coat markers are reunited with their owners sooner, resulting in fewer listings for cats with mixed color coats, now that’s interesting.

On average, male cats spend 5 hours active per day, while female cats were only active for an average of 3 hours per day. In this time, they also travel further than the female cats in the experiment, who tended to explore the same areas but spend more time there.

Cat expert, Lucy Hoile comments: “Male cats are naturally more active and maintain a wider territory than females due to their innate drive to find mating opportunities. The more ground they cover, the more females they are likely to encounter.

Due to their increased activity levels, male cats were also found to burn on average 19% more calories than female cats. (Hmm, if that’s true why does Lily weigh only 8 pounds?)

Fearful cats also express other problematic behavior: Socialization important already at early stages of life

A new research study about fearful cats was recently concluded. “We wanted to find out what factors are associated with the problematic behavior of cats, such as fearfulness, aggression towards humans and excessive grooming. We utilized a survey dataset previously collected in our research, which we have already used to investigate the construction of the feline personality,” says Doctoral Researcher Salla Mikkola from the University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Research Center

The survey included more than 120 statements used to score feline traits.

The fearfulness factor included statements on the cat’s reaction to strangers, sudden noises and changes taking place at home. Aggression towards humans included scratching or attempts to bite in conjunction with care, such as when being brushed. Excessive grooming included extensive and intensive grooming as well as self-mutilation by pulling hairs off with teeth, or by biting or licking.

“We investigated the link between these problematic behavioral and personality traits, and almost 30 behavioral, environmental and biological factors. For example, the socialization of cats with humans was associated with fearfulness. Cats who had come into contact with unfamiliar adults and children under 12 weeks of age only a few times or not at all were more fearful than cats who met strangers on a weekly or daily basis. Fearful cats also received, on average, higher scores for litterbox issues, aggression and excessive grooming,” Mikkola says.

Prior studies have also shown that fearfulness can lead to aggressive behavior, such as hissing and biting, if the cat sees no other way out of a frightening situation. No direct causalities can be established on the basis of the data.

“There were less aggression and fearfulness in households with more than one cat, but we cannot say for certain why this is. It may be that the companionship of other cats is an important stimulus for cats, or alternatively, people don’t want to take a mate for their aggressive cat due to its nature. Research carried out through a different design is needed to explain causalities,” says Professor Hannes Lohi.

Professor Lohi’s group will conduct research on feline litterbox issues in the near future. I say it’s about time those sciency people studied us amazing felines!


Cat’s GPS Reveals His Deepest Secret 

This cat’s mom hired an electronic “private detective” to find out what her feline has been up to. If you want to follow Bernie’s adventures you can check him out on Instagram

Beloved cat’s eviction from Vancouver grocery store sparks petitions

Mickey is a black and white cat that lived at Top Ten Produce until recently. Alas, the rules regarding cats in grocery stores are clear and after Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) received a complaint, the West Point Grey grocer had to bid the feline farewell. Luckily, Matthew MacDonald, the store’s manager, had space for Mickey at his home.

However, staff and their neighbors want Mickey to stay at the store, where he fills a variety of roles, from pest control to mascot to therapy cat. Mickey is a very multi-talented cat.

“I try not to watch people when they’re interacting with him because some of the interactions are so deep and people are really into him,” MacDonald told Vancouver Is Awesome. “He makes people feel special.”

Mickey arrived at Top Ten a couple of years ago, after a friend-of-a-friend found they couldn’t provide a good home for him. “We thought we had a better place for him, a better environment,” MacDonald says.

At first he was a bit of a scaredy-cat, but the store had lots of nooks for him to shelter in, and he became more comfortable with the human visitors. He also took on the job of mouser; when Top Ten faced a rodent issue a couple of years ago.

So far, no order has been given, but VCH has done an educational visit.

“The operation of food premises in B.C. is a regulated activity under the Public Health Act and an operator must not permit live animals to be on the premises. There are exceptions for service dogs and live fish in an aquarium,” a VCH spokesperson tells V.I.A.

They note the “use of live animals is also not a recognized component of an integrated pest management program for controlling pests in food premises.” Well as my feline granny used to say, “BALDERDASH!”

There has been a large wave of support for Mickey. So far, around 3,000 people have signed the online petition. When discussions with VCH continue, MacDonald says he’ll ask how to move forward.

However, he’s worried that while other shop animals fly under the radar, Mickey’s newfound fame may be to his detriment. “I’d like Mickey to stay here, but I’m scared. I feel this publicity means he cannot stay here.” And there you go; fame does have its problems.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – On Thursday – 11/3

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
I do apologize that I’m a day late with my feature but I did manage to obtain a little gift for you all as an apology for this (more on that in a bit).

We are in the full throes of autumn here in our neck of the woods and that means much cooler weather, even in the house. The Human keeps meowing about the budget and she has installed a thing called a “nest”. Although we’ve combed the hou8se searching for said “nest” we still haven’t found one but we understand it is to blame for keeping the temperature a frosty 64 during the day. Oh the horrible circumstances we are forced to live under! The temperature situation has forced us to put aside our differences and cuddle up.

Oliver felt a certain way about Halloween. Lily and I hung out in the bedroom but Ollie insisted on staying in the living room and running under the table every time the door bell rang.

And now for the little surprise. My regular readers have followed Oliver’s quest to keep the fall leaves under control but alas, we were having a sunny, non-windy fall and there was no leaf danger. That has changed and, in order to immortalize Oliver’s brave defense of our home, The Human put together this video. We hope you enjoy.

That’s it for us, I hope you enjoy this week’s news items.

Cats May Be Harboring Crime Scene DNA, Scientists Say

You may be wondering why I’ve included this in my news report but I was intrigued and so was The Human as she’s about three chapters away from finishing a cozy mystery she’s writing that includes Oliver and myself in the story and she is considering adding this twist to the story,

Evidently new research has recognized that we felines can be sources of evidence in crimes. How is that you ask? Well the fur of a cat can retain enough DNA shed by  a human who has been in their vicinity that it can serve as evidence. So, even though we felines can’t point our paw at the perpetrator and say, “He did it!”, we have other ways of helping to catch the bad guys,

This study is the first to examine how household pets can contribute to DNA transfer and there’s a lot more work to be done but it presents another opportunity to help in crime solving.

“Collection of human DNA needs to become very important in crime scene investigations, but there is a lack of data on companion animals such as cats and dogs in their relationship to human DNA transfer,” says forensic scientist Heidi Monkman of Flinders University in Australia.

“These companion animals can be highly relevant in assessing the presence and activities of the inhabitants of the household, or any recent visitors to the scene.”

In recent years, DNA analysis technology has become so sophisticated that even the most minute traces of genetic material can be relevant for a crime scene investigation. And we messy humans leave our DNA everywhere. Even just brief contact with an object can transfer traces of our genetic material.

Touch DNA obtained from a surface doesn’t even require that the human to touch that surface.  It can be transported by a number of means, in skin cells or hairs that drift from a passing body, for example. Which is where we felines may play a role.

Monkman and her Flinders University colleague Mariya Goray, an experienced crime scene investigator, teamed up with forensic scientist Roland van Oorschot of the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department in Australia to see if they could extract traces of readable human DNA from pet cats.

Their study was conducted on 20 cats from 15 households. At the homes of the study participants, the researchers swabbed the fur on the right side of each cat twice, and collected DNA samples from the study participants. The humans also filled out questionnaires about the daily behavior of the felines in their homes.

Detectable levels of DNA were found in 80 percent of the cat swab samples. For all cats, there was no significant difference between the amount of DNA present, and the time since last contacted by a human, or length of hair on the cat.

The team was able to generate DNA profiles from 70 percent of the cats in the study that could be interpreted well enough to be linked to a human. Most of the DNA was from people in the cat’s own household, but on six of the felines, only unknown human DNA was detected (makes me wonder what strangers were touching those cats!)

One case was cited as being particularly interesting from a two-cat, two-person household. One of the cats, a hairless sphynx, carried the DNA of an unknown third human. The other cat, a short-haired ragdoll, did not. Both cats had interacted equally with the humans in their household.

Possible sources could include direct transport of the DNA from a human, such as by patting, or by the cat brushing against a contaminated surface. The DNA could also have been lingering since the last time the cat had contact with a visitor.

Further research is needed and will be done but in the meantime, if you are planning on committing any crimes…STAY AWAY FROM THE CAT! 

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Cats Photoshopped being offended by salad

Those of you who follow this blog know what delight The Human takes in photoshopping our Tribe so why should other humans be any different? These images of cat’s “reactions” to salad are pretty hilarious.

Pet owners believe that cats have five different personality types

I have a tendency to get a bit “hissy” when humans attempt to put felines and their behavior in a box.

Solid Gold commissioned a study about feline purrsonaities which was conducted by OnePoll. Participants were asked to define the personality types their cat’s exhibited.

Over half (53%) said their cats were true “revenge seekers” when they hunt down their toys or hiss at the outside world. Nearly as many (52%) said their cats were “tornadoes” infamous for knocking items off of counters and causing a mess of mischief wherever they go.

Cat owners also have a near 50/50 shot of ending up with a “climber (51%) clawing their way up to the highest points of the home, or a “cuddler” (49%) who shamelessly lay across keyboards or piles of clean laundry to get some affection.

The study also found 65% swear their cats act like they’re from a completely different planet. A good portion of that sentiment comes from the strange things owners have caught their cats in the middle of.

Nearly four in five “cuddlers” (78%) are seen as complete angels by their owners when they’re not causing any trouble and 71% of “graffiti artists” are anything but angels when the havoc they bring has to be repaired or replaced by distressed owners.Solid Gold / SWNS / OnePoll

Many shared the wildest behaviors they’ve witnessed from their felines: gifting owners with their “kills” in the form of cat toys and pinecones, begging for bananas or learning to turn door knobs to get into rooms.

“We love our cats because of how unique their personalities can be,” said Steve Ball, CEO at Solid Gold. “No matter what kinds of chaos they bring, there’s no denying the things we would do for our furry friends. At the end of the day, pet parents want to make sure their cats are able to be their unique selves for as long as possible.”

Despite all the drama they cause, 70% of cat owners said there’s “nothing” they would change about their cat. 

It seems all the frustration caused can be cured when cats turn cute, which according to those polled, is wherever they’re playing (50%), eating (40%), purring (37%) or sleeping (37%).

More than three in five (63%) said nothing is more exciting to them than mealtime for their cat. At feeding time, cats are most likely to let their humans know they’re ready when they meow (49%), paw (37%) or headbutt (34%).

“Mealtime is a universal ‘stop-destroying-the-home-and-come-eat’ moment for cats,” continued Ball. “It’s so important to make sure your cat is getting the proper holistic nutrition they need in order to get back to doing what they do best.”

While I find all this interesting, I still believe each feline is unique and trying to paint us all with the same brush is just wrong.

Beautiful Video Proves Adopting Two Cats Is Better Than One

Brothers forever!

My brother Oliver and I are thankful that we were adopted together and this rescue story is great!

TikTok user @ZeroandOllie are a perfect illustration of why sometimes two cats are better than one. Adopted cats can be nervous in their new home and having a litter mate with them can help a feline adjust so much faster. 

Sometimes the cats look like brothers. Sometimes they are like Oliver and I, nothing alike but bonded by love nonetheless. I can’t recommend enough that you consider giving two siblings a furever home!

Scientists working on new experimental cat allergy shot that may provide longer-lasting relief

There may be a cure for humans who get sneezy around felines.

Scientists at UCLA say they’ve tested a new form of treatment that might allow people to tolerate symptoms of cat allergies.

After a year, researchers found that those who received a combined therapy of tezepelumab and regular cat allergy shots had maintained resistance against allergic reactions. 

Now I don’t know about you, but I am no fan of the Stabby place and getting stabbed and The Human feels the same way.