The Compounding Conundrum (The Female Human Opines)

I move toward the counter at the pharmacy, thankful for the HIPAA regulations that require a generous space between people in line.  The woman at the register stands, fingers poised over the keys.

“Hello, name please.”

I lean in toward her, whispering, “Aurit, Tucker Aurit.”

She smiles and asks, “Date of birth?” There is an awkward silence.

“Um, well, I’m not 100% sure, uh, I’m not sure if you need his birthdate… he’s a cat.”  I wait for a look of shock or amusement. She continues to smile; nod and moves to the area where filled prescriptions are kept, looking through the “A” section.

This was my first experience picking up medications for my felines at a “human” drugstore and the beginning of my relationship with White Cross Pharmacy. My two 17-year old feline siblings have health issues that require regular treatment and medications. The male, Tucker, spent some quality time at the vet last year with bowel obstruction issues and the regime we follow now includes medications.  

One of the compounded medications proved to be problematic.  Tucker hated the taste, foamed at the mouth and howled when I gave it to him. This was when I was lucky enough to get him out from under the sofa.  After the first few doses he was on to me and ran under the sofa. My vet suggested I contact the pharmacist about the issue and it was through this experience that I began to understand the benefit and complexities of feline medical compounding and the importance of having a pharmacist like Lori Howard.

Veterinary Compounding – the Wild West of Animal Medication

As Lori worked with me to find a solution for Tucker’s issues with the new medication, I was impressed with her knowledge, creativity and passion to solve the problem.  I did some of my own research about veterinary compounding and then decided I wanted to interview Lori as well.

In a July 19, 2018 article in VIN News Service entitled, “USP tackles ‘hot mess’ — veterinary compounding”, Christy Corp-Minamiji, DVM states that,” Veterinary compounding in the United States has been described as the Wild West, with a mishmash of seemingly ever-changing regulations that differ from state to state.” The author says that “while compounding of medications for human patients is coming under increasing oversight by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the law pertaining to animal drugs – the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act (AMDUCA) — is vague on compounding.”

Some of the difficulty in regulating veterinary compounding is that animals, like cattle, enter the human food chain and their medications must be scrupulously monitored and controlled. Drug dispensation for pets does not require such stringent regulation. This often puts veterinarians on opposite sides of the compounding control debate. A vet that works with livestock will favor stricter controls than a veterinarian who treats companion animals only.

Lori Howard’s journey to pet compounding started with her love of animals and her desire to be a vet. Her career journey took a bit of a turn to pharmacy when, as she said, “pharmacy fell in her lap.” It’s clear as you talk to her and watch her light up about the subject of feline compounding that she loves her work. When she started pharmacy school, there were no pet compounding classes offered so she found classes on her own to add to her knowledge. She recently completed a 27 hour pet compounding course and has done many more in the past. She told me that another great teacher is experience. She’s always working on new pet compounding ideas and keeps a well-worn version of Plums Veterinary Drug Handbook at her desk.

Part of Lori’s self-education in pet compounding came from creating pet treats. Needless to say, dogs were far more appreciative of the treats then cats were. Still, the treats and liquids without active ingredients are part of her repertoire to show veterinarians the vast flavor options she can offer for even the most finicky feline.  

Lori shares her home with two dogs and two cats and all four are willing to let her know their opinion about flavor combinations she provides for them. You might call them her unofficial furry taste testing team.

Cats and Compounding

If she doesn’t recognize me she won’t give me the medicine.

In the words of the AMVA, “Compounding, consistent with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Extra-Label Drug Use regulations, is the customized manipulation of an approved drug(s) by a veterinarian, or by a pharmacist upon the prescription of a veterinarian, to meet the needs of a particular patient.” Lori explained that compounding is used when there are human meds that can be prescribed for a cat but the cat would not tolerate the taste. It also is useful to make a veterinary medication more palatable for cats to tolerate. Compounding also comes into play to ensure that dosages for those medications are correct for our felines.

When your feline refuses to accept the taste of a medication it can be compounded into a form that is applied topically.  It takes a little longer for the medication to reach steady state (to the point that the drug is affecting the system) but once it does, it works just as well as medications taken by mouth.  Any of us who have tried to shoot a pill or liquid down a cat’s mouth know the frustration of seeing your feline spit the pill out minutes after you think they’ve swallowed it.

When taste is an issue, as it often is with felines, a compounding pharmacist like Lori is a wonderful resource. She said that cats don’t like sweet and getting a medication to taste like fish is usually a winner.  Getting to that flavor is no easy feat, though.

Lori explained that all medications start as powders. To liquefy them either water or oil is added. When flavoring medication for cats, an oil suspension is the most desirable but medications will have water, alcohol soluble or oil suspensions and a compounding pharmacist will know how to work with those formats. The mode of suspension (liquid or oil) also attributes to the life of the medication. Lori tries to use oil suspension as much as possible to extend the life of prescription. The cost of a three-month prescription is less than a one month prescription and she’s always looking for a way to save pet parents money.

Sometimes the simplest practices are successful and she said that many cats love the water tuna is packed in and “tuna water” often makes medication go down better. I’ve used the “tuna juice” method at my house and it works for several of The Tribe of Five members.

I was amazed when Lori showed me a three-page list, with very tiny writing listing all the medications that can be compounded for cats.  She told me the biggest challenge in compounding medications for cats is the feline’s fussiness and their sensitivity to so many things. 

Final Thoughts about Veterinary Compounding

Tucker and I say “cheers”
for veterinary compounding!

Veterinary compounding is a fairly new area and therefore it’s not surprising that many veterinary practices are not on board yet. As I noted, I am so thankful that my felines are patients of a veterinary practice, Pend Oreille Veterinary Service that takes a broad, holistic approach to veterinary medicine and who use a compounding pharmacist.  

I asked Lori two final questions at the end of our interview. First, “What do you wish vets knew about compounding?” She said she wished that veterinarians would know the range of things compounding pharmacists can do with medications and how much flexibility compounding provides when prescribing medication for felines. The pharmacist can work with that specific cat’s needs and wants and formulate a medication that will work for them.

The final question I asked her was, “What do you wish pet owners would know about veterinary compounding?”

“I wish people would understand that it takes time to make medications that are specially compounded.  Also, we have to comply with the veterinarians instructions. If the bottle says “no refill” we cannot refill until the vet gives an okay.”

I no longer sidle up to the front desk and whisper Tucker’s name when picking up his medication. I march forward boldly and I’m always asked how Tucker is doing. Tucker’s photo is hanging in the pharmacy on their pet board so they can see his cute little cross-eyed face when compounding his medication.  

Cat parents, if you haven’t talked to your vet about compounding I recommend you have that conversation with them soon.  

Meowry Christmas

Wishing you peace, joy, love and happiness this season!

Purrs & Head Bonks,

Alberto, Oliver, Lily, Tucker & Jasmine (and The Female Human)

“Hope your stockings are filled with kitty treats.” -Tucker
“God rest ye furry gentlemen..”
-Oliver
“Santa Paws is coming to town.” – Alberto
“Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my “deer” friends. -Jasmine

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 12/18

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello there furiends,
How is your week going? The Tribe of Five is getting in the holiday spirit and the weather humans are saying we’re going to have two days of holiday snow. I realize that today’s picture on Weather Kitty is a bit deceptive, what with the sunshine and green grass and all but you can see we have a winter storm warning.

Weather Kitty offers “meow prime” but evidently the staff is too cheap to get the paid version with our purrsonalized pictures!

On another note, we seem to have a disaster in the making at our house. This weekend The Female Human was boiling some eggs on the stovetop. She went to wash something in the sink and when she turned around, this is what she saw.

Evidently, the desperate yelling of the Female Human, “Oliver get down!” had no effect on the little heat seeking guy. Nope instead of obeying, he moved in closer.

Notice the bubbles in the water? That’s because there is a fire under that pan heating up the water. Still, Oliver doesn’t seem to be worried about setting his fur on fire.
Human still screaming (and filming) and Oliver is blase about the situation.

The yelling and removal of Oliver from the stovetop continued until The Female Human’s eggs were boiled. Oliver won the stand off and The Female Human hovered over the burner until she shut it off. All I can say is, it’s a good thing she rarely cooks!

“I have no idea why you are screaming at me. Can’t a cat get a little extra heat without making a big deal of it?”

Please do not give The Female Human a bad time. She always knew Oliver was a heat seeking feline but this stunt was a new one. He has been (gently) advised that waltzing across the counter to the stove top is not allowed and a very, very, very bad idea. Sigh, it’s a good thing I’m such a good cat and don’t give her any trouble..

This is me, “helping”
Alberto

As you can see it’s been a bit of a harrowing week in our neck of the woods but we are all safe and sound and The Female Human is quite the watchdog when the stovetop burners are on.

So let’s get started on this week’s wonderful feline web stories.

Working Cats Keep Levees Safe

Former feral cat works to keep the levees safe.

The Metro East Sanitary District in Granite City, IL hired dozens of new employees this year, all eager and hungry to take care of rodent problems. These working felines are keeping the rodent population down and saving the levee system.

The felines were “hired” six months ago from Metro East Humane Society’s Working Cat Program and their job description isn’t limited to rats, they patrol for moles, voles and other burrowing animals along the levee system. An MESD spokesperson says the cats are doing a fantastic job. The cats receive room and board and are saving MESD from high maintenance costs.

Prior to coming to MESD, the cats were spayed/neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and ear-tipped. In the past most feral cats were euthanized and now these felines not only get to live, they live their best life. Paws up to the good folks at The Metro East Sanitary District!

Paws on the Job – More working cats

Business owners in Addison County, Vt are adding felines to the workplace through the Paws on the Job program of Homeward Bound, Addison County’s Humane Society. Shelter feline coordinator Michelle Shubert spends time with the new feral cats at the shelter so that she can transition them into the working cats program.

The working cats in the program live and hunt outside and the business owners feed and care for them. A new category for office cats has also been created. Sadie, a calico works at the Gaines Insurance agency, Chedder works at the Middlebury Animal Hospital, and a local hardware store employs Grayson

Businesses wishing to hire a working cat are required to assign a “boss” or point person who is responsible  for the feline employee. They must provide shelter, food, water and affection and attention. For a $35.00 hiring fee, the business receives a start-up package that includes a crate ,litter box, start up food and toys.

pays for a start-up care package that includes supplies such as a crate for the acclimation period of an outdoor cat, litter box for an indoor cat, startup food and toys. Let’s give a big round of applause for “Paws on the Job”.

Cats Steal the Show in These 12 Famous Feline Flicks

The holidays are near and my feline furiends (even the working ones) and their humans will have some extra time to relax and watch some flicks. When you’re planning your holiday movies, here are 12 of the greatest feline features ever made for you to watch. The list goes back all the way to 1958.

Molly, the amazing dog who rescues cats

Before you say it, yes of course I know this is a FELINE blog and dogs are normally verboten but this is a special case. This dog, Mollie, works with her human Colin Butcher, a former police detective in their agency that finds lost pets, with a specialty in finding felines. Mollied’s human learned quite a bit about finding lost pets when he was on the police force so this post-retirement job was purrfect for him.

Their agency, UK Pet Detectives took off when Molly started working with him. Molly is a rescue herself and has been trained to do feline scent recognition work. While Molly did her training her human brushed up on cat behavior and now they are an unstoppable team. They’ve recently released a book titled, Molly: The True Story of The Amazing Dog Who Rescues Cats

Tweet about dad who didn’t want a cat explains why cats own Twitter

A human named Ruby shared a tweet on December 11th about her dad who was adamant about the fact that he didn’t want the responsibility of taking a cat as he’d already raised his kids.  The tweet showed her dad showing his feline Lucas everything he bought the cat at the store. And Ruby’s dad now has two cats. In addition to obtaining feline approval of his purchases, Ruby’s dad also built a sandpit and paddling pool for them and holds an umbrella over them when it rains. The tweets are hilarious and heart warming and we want to remind you humans that real men love cats!

This week’s web star is Kidden

My regular readers will remember that I told you about one of the BEST cat groups on the planet, This cat is CHONKY. If you haven’t checked this group out yet you’re missing a lot. Wonderful CHONKY cats and fantastic humans. Well this feline, Kidden was a member and when Kidden’s human say a photo of this guy holding a friend’s CHONKY feline she felt compelled to comment on his cuteness.

The rest is an amazing love story. Chicago human begins to correspond with English human and English human sets off over the pond to meet female human. Thank goodness Kidden approves. So all you single cat people out there….start getting creative!

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 12/11

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
How is everything in your neck of the woods? Nothing much new to report but we did have a sprinkling of snow here in the valley. The ski area is getting enough to open all the trails and that’s a good thing. The Female Human purrfers a “light sprinkling” but I keep telling her snow shoveling is a good workout (and it’s quite amewsing to sit on the window sill and watch her). We kinda’ liked the white stuff we saw out of the window this morning, puts us in a festive mood.

The Female Human purchased a new kitchen rug without our consent. What hubris! I immediately went into the kitchen to see if I would be willing to give it a paws up. I must say I like it much better than the old one.

Ah the softness!
Room to stretch out is always good!

Even though I am the official snooperviser in the house, Oliver had to get into the act too. He is the living, breathing example of a copycat.

I do have one question for you. I have had this “cardboard sofa” since I was a kitten. It’s my favorite thing to hang out in when I’m chillin’ and keeping an eye on the goings on in the house. The Female Human thinks I should have a bigger one and frankly, it is getting a bit difficult to squeeze my large (but lean and athletic) frame into this one. If any of you know of a larger version of this cardboard sofa, please meow at us and let us know.

It is getting a bit tight in my little cardboard sofa.

That’s enough about The Tribe of Five. Let’s get on with the latest feline news. Be sure and read to the end as I’ve added a new feature, “Alberto’s Weekly Feline Web Star” and who knows, some of you might end up in my Wednesday blog feature one of these days.

The age old battle, cats vs Christmas trees

My readers are well aware of the fact that this feline despises cat stereotypes but I must say, this is one stereotype that is not only true but hilarious. In our defense, if you humans insist on setting up something in the house that looks like a festive feline fun house you shouldn’t be surprised if it is the object of our shenanigans.

Two-day fair hosts thousands of cats in Moscow

Mewoza this was quite an event. Two days and 2,000 cats from 12 countries! I was purrticularily interested when I read in another article that one of the events was cat dancing. This caused me to set my purrsonal assistant on a quest to find out about this. Sadly, she failed to find any info about the cat dancing at the event but she reminded me I did do a report about the Moscow Cat Theater in a previous Wednesday feature. Evidently those Russian cats are quite accomplished. She found information about Russian dancing cats and about the Savitsky Cats, The Savitsky Cats are a family from the Ukraine that consists of mother Svitlana, daughter Marina, son Misha, and their 10 felines. Here’s a little clip when the Savitsky Cats were on America’s Got Talent (which is confusing to me if they are Russian cats-oh well).

Cats with jobs: Collierville Feline hires herself as a greeter

Cinnamon greets staff and visitors at the Collierville shelter

Cinnamon, a “semi-feral” cat resides in the outdoor area behind the shelter. In addition to her job description of “mouse removal” she decided that she needed to expand her business repertoire and has a new job as shelter greeter. It appears Cinnamon wasn’t getting enough human interaction and greeting filled that need.

Now lest you worry about the TNR feral cats who reside at the shelter, have no fear. They are well taken care of. They have small, warm houses to live in and special fan cooled areas for the summer.

The shelter will always try to help these kitties adapt to indoor life but for some, the “wild and free” lifestyle is more to their liking. The shelter staff says that Cinnamon has been there long enough to be accustomed to their routines. She’ll greet anyone who will let her, but never tries to get inside the building. I think Cinnamon has a pretty nice gig, a nice outside area to roam in and a job with room and board and benefits. Paws up to the good folks at the Collierville shelter for thinking outside the box!

New homes in Japan are designed with felines in mind

Oh my whiskers, I’m telling The Female Human we must move to Japan posthaste. She’s not so keen on the idea so we’re trying to see if there are any innovative architechts furmiliar with these plans here in the good old US of A.

Felissimo is  famous cat related brand in Japan that produces fantastical feline products has just won a gold medal with this concept. They collaborated with Wada Kosan, a company that develops rental condominiums in Kobe, Japan.  The new cat homes took two years to develop with the input from professional architechts and cat owning Felissimo Cat club members.

These designs are purrfection and even the outside is a hat tip to felines as the building exteriors are designed to look like calico cat fur.  Tenants in these luxury rentals will receive a 5,000 yen ($46.05) coupon every month for Felissimo products. Someone send me to Japan!

Stowaway cat was found at a British port after surviving a 12-day journey on a cargo ship from Israel.

Izzy, the stowaway cat from Israel is looking for a home in her new country.

The tortoiseshell cat, thought to be about a year old, was discovered in a container which arrived at Southampton in April. Following a four-month quarantine stay, she has been named Izzy and is being cared for at the Cats Protection Newbury Adoption Centre, in Thatcham, Berkshire, which is hoping to find her a new home.

The shelter says, “Izzy is quite a shy cat, and we think she must have been a street cat in Israel – used to being around people, but not being handled.”  They said they’ll never know her full story, but it’s most likely she snuck into the container looking for food or somewhere cosy to sleep, and ended up getting locked in.

It’s quite remarkable that she survived for so long without food or water in what must have been very uncomfortable conditions. Izzy is described as “An independent girl, and she’d suit a home where she can have plenty of outdoor space. It may be that she’ll prefer to spend most of her time outdoors at first, but once she gets settled, she may well begin to come inside the home.”

As Izzy has been through a lot, the shelter would love to see her go to a home with a patient human who can give her the stable home she needs after such a turbulent few months.

Paws crossed that Izzy finds the purrfect home!

Alberto’s Weekly Feline web star

Hey furiends, I’m excited about this new feature I’m adding. I will be showcasing felines that I know (some of my feline blogging furiends) and felines furiends I meet in the many cat groups I belong to. This week I’m introducing you to my furiend Bear Cat. He and his pawtner in crime, Ellie Mae are fellow feline bloggers and they’re always good for some shenanigans. I think this photo of Bear Cat says it all. Go visit them at Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 12/4

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hi There Furiends,
I’m hoping we make it through this week without any technical difficulties. The Purrsonal Assistant is doped up on antibiotics but we asked Alexa (can’t Google without opposable thumbs) and we think the meds should not interfere with work, although Alexa kept trying to give us all sorts of useless information like “Meow is the sound a cat makes” and she even meowed back. I have no ideas why you humans are so crazy about these voice devices. When we can pry the Purrsonal Assistant away from her phone we might give SIRI a try.

It was a nice Thanksgiving although the Female Human went to another house and did not make the turkey and there was no turkey for us. She did redeem herself by giving us extra treats. As you can see below, Oliver and I were a bit lethargic in our regularly scheduled brofur wrestling match after eating so much.

Lily kept watch at the living room and dining room windows and alerted The Female Human to all our Thanksgiving day visitors.

Lily is on living room watch. What she usually sees there are raccoons, deer and the odd bear.
This is the forest moocher although there’s no food for her to steal in the forest. She does manage to come around, up the hill and munch on The Female Human’s cottage garden in the front yard.

We love to watch the little squirrel that frequents the upstairs bird feeder. We are told he is a pine squirrel and, despite his tiny size, he is FIERCE! He chases away the big fat “town squirrels” like an animal four times his size. We looked up information on these little guys. It appears that they are officially called Douglas’s Squirrel or Chickarees (around here the humans insist on calling them Pine Squirrels). They eat acorns, fruit, mushrooms, buds, and sap, and visit bird feeders for nuts. Their main diet is conifer seeds and they have plenty of those around our house. They’re bright, feisty and noisy. We can attest to the noisy part because if The Female Human is late filling the feeder good grief does he scream!

We hope you all had an excellent and animal-filled Thanksgiving and now on to this week’s notable feline news.

What are our feline expressions trying to tell you?

“You’ve got to be kitten me right meow!” -Oliver

There’s been a lot of meowing going on these days about you humans understanding what we felines are trying to convey to you. A recent study said that we also communicate with facial expressions.

Georgia Mason, a veterinary researcher and author of a study analyzing humans’ ability to understand cats has figured out the complexities of cats. “Anyone who writes cats off as sort of moody or distant is probably underestimating them,” said . Her work was published last month in the journal “Animal Welfare.” She says we felines are signaling things to you, it’s just subtle and you need to spend the time with us to figure out what the signals mean.

Mason and her colleagues were interested in gauging how accurately humans pick up on feline emotions written in their fuzzy little faces. They asked more than 6,000 participants to watch 20 context-free cat clips, collected via veterinarians or YouTube, and to decide whether the featured feline was experiencing a negative or positive emotion.

I’d love to say that the humans knocked it out of the park but sadly, correct responses were 11.85 out of 20.  Still, there were some humans in the group who were purrticularily connected to feline expressions.

The researchers concluded that it is the human/cat connection that is the key. If you spend time getting to know your cat, you understand their expressions.  Oh and another interesting note, female humans did better than male humans. Cat Daddy’s, you need to step up your game.

Sadly, we got to the end of the article and the researcher says that “data also show that cat owners are generally less bonded to their pets than dog owners — contributing to the sad outcome that, compared to dogs, cats are more likely to be neglected, abandoned and passed-over for adoption.”

I think this is a bunch of malarkey as we have furiends all over the internet whose humans are closely bonded to them. The researcher did redeem herself when she ended with this comment, ““We’re hoping [to conduct] more research to develop tools to help people read their cat better,” added Mason. “That would make living with a cat more rewarding.”

UK-based pet-whisperer gets all 17 of her pets to pose for a photo together

Now before you start meowing and saying, “Why is Alberto considering this newsworthy?”, I must remind you that the feat this human accomplished is not only noteworthy it is a clear violation of “Cat Code”. If you are not furmiliar with this part of the code it reads, “When a human advances toward a feline to take a photo, said feline must remain still until right before the photo is taken and then race out of the frame.”

In fairness, it did take this human who lives in Wales, several weeks to get the shot. This dear lady rescues animals (which is how she ended up with such a big tribe that also includes four parakeets, several fish and a baby hedgehog).

What magic did she use to get this shot? First she used treats for the dogs to get them to pose. She said the dogs were easy, they will always pose for treats. And then there were the cats.

Getting the nine felines to pose required that she rush back and forth with the camera at the ready to retrieve the less than enthusiastic felines who broke ranks and sauntered out of the frame (purrfect Cat Code behavior). She then put them back in place-again and again.  The lady stated, “I now know the real meaning behind herding cats,”  But she persevered finally, after two weeks she got this amazing shot.  Hmmmm, I wonder if The Female Human will attempt to get all five of us in one shot.

Staff Sgt. Dan Brissey able to bring Sully and her only surviving sibling back from Afghanistan

Because of a surplus of funds raised after this story was posted, Staff Sgt. Dan Brissey was able to adopt Sully’s only surviving sibling, shown here. Both Sully — and her yet-to-be-named sister — will be making their home in the United States. Sully will be leaving Afghanistan in early January, but it is unclear if her sister will be traveling with her or at a later date.
COURTESY OF DAN BRISSEY

Staff Sgt. Dan Brissey, on his fifth tour overseas and his third trip to Afghanistan, has raised more than the required $3,000 to bring the feline he rescued  and her sibling to the United States. Brissey found Sully while she was sunning herself in the crook of a concrete blast wall on his way back from getting fuel. Even though he is allergic to cats, Sully, one of a litter of four, bonded with him immediately.  It was love at first meow.

Brissey serves with the Maryland National Guard and said his mind was blown when he realized how much money had been raised through Nowzad, the Afghanistan animal rescue through Facebook donations.  Nowzad’s mission is to relieve the suffering of animals in Afghanistan and to provide and maintain rescue, rehabilitation and education facilities. A representative from Nowzad said the extra money raised will go toward the transportation costs of getting Sully to the United States. Anything beyond that will be used for the Nowzad shelter and clinic where Sully was spayed, vaccinated and microchipped.  And, since enough funds were raised after this article was written there is enough to get Sully’s sister to her new home as well. Nowzad is the only official animal shelter in Afghanistan, and it is home to more than 130 dogs, 40 cats and seven donkeys.

Our Purrsonal assistant got a bit teary eyed when she read this comment by Sgt. Brissey, ““It makes the deployment days a little better when you have a furry little buddy to spend some time with,”

Cat’s Bike Ride Tweet Goes Viral

You never know what the next viral feline tweet or social media sensation will be. This week it’s a cat in New Delhi . A Twitter user posted a picture of a cat riding on a motorcycle, looking chill and quite at home. The tweet attracted a myriad of comments. Some lauded the calm feline and said that cats also want formal educati0ns and posted a pic of a cat in the University of Mumbai. Others expressed concern for the cat’s safety (this was our Female Human’s reaction). Some were even angry tweeting, “Should have tagged Mumbai Police and PETA for No helmet’, endangering the safety of an animal….”. We just hope the human bike rider gets a clue and puts a basket on the back for feline safety.

Palmerston the cat back at U.K. Foreign Office after time off for stress

Palmerston explores his new workplace in 2016 (photo courtesy of AP)

I have reported on the purrlitical felines in London and Palmerston, the Uk Foreign Office’s “Chief Mouser”. He disappeared from the spotlight earlier this year and there was great concern about his health and wellbeing.

Finally, a tweet appeared at @DiploMog Twitter profile, announcing his return to frontline duties. Working cats are no different than working humans and sometimes the pressure requires a little R & R. Sir Simon McDonald, the permanent Under Secretary and head of the Diplomatic Service at the Foreign Office, stated this week,  “It was no longer an environment that was working for him.  He was over-grooming on his front legs, a sign of stress.”

Palmerston, named after Britain’s longest-serving foreign secretary, was moved on vet’s advice to the home of one of McDonald’s staff in July.

“During his summer holiday, Cabinet ministers, colleagues and overseas visitors have asked me anxiously about his whereabouts,” McDonald wrote. “The good news is that Palmerston is coming back this week. But we must remember why he needed a break, and change our behavior towards him. He is happy, healthy and full of energy. His pelt is glossy and mostly grown back. We need now to keep him that way.”

The @DiploMog Twitter feed set out new rules for Foreign Office staff when the animal returns to active duty.

Dubbed the “Palmerston Protocols,” Palmerston’s posts said they were “designed to ensure my welfare and happiness.” Evidently the size of the building of Palmerston’s workplace was difficult for him to maintain, adding to his stress. He’s been given a more manageable zone and it was noted that Palmerston should be allowed to choose whether he wants to interact with staff.

In other words humans, keep your paws off Palmerston unless he invites you over for a petting session. Staff  have also been advised not to wake him when sleeping and that Palmerston has “full choice and control of who he deigns to greet or imperiously ignores.”

The Twitter feeds of other government cats lit up with welcome back messages to Palmerston.  And humans tweeted  “good to see you back:  messages as well.

The Tribe of Five is calling a meeting to set some ground rules for our workspace. I don’t believe The Female Human takes our job stress seriously enough.

Good Help Is Hard To Find

The Tribe and I are considering advertising for a new Purrsonal Assistant.

Hello Furiends,
Well, our Purrsonal Assistant FINALLY figured out how to get back the final and correct revision of my Walk Through The Web Wednesday post last week. Why it took her five days to get this done is beyond me. She keeps meowing about a holiday and a sinus infection-really? Does this human not understand the meaning of a deadline?

Sigh, if she wasn’t also the server and cleaner for The Tribe we might consider replacing her but then again, I would miss the morning snuggles and evening head scratches and snacks. I guess you could say she has job security,

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 11/27

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
Meowza, this week has been all about Oliver. He gets to pick the winner in last week’s contest, he don’s a pirate costume to announce that a winner has been selected and then he tells me that I can’t announce the winner in my own weekly feature unless I wear this stupid hat.

Mind you, I was planning on wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving but not in this humiliating manner!

But let’s get back to the contest. We have some smart and creative blog followers but our furiends at Eastside Cats were the first with the correct answer. We’re having our purrsonal assistant contact them for an address to send their two Felines Opine books.

So what was Oliver doing? The photo of the evening feeding frenzy had the clue. Oliver, the little heat seeking feline that he is, found out that sleeping on the counter when the dishwasher is going is a cozy place to be! Concatulations Eastside Cats for being so well versed in the ways of felines.

he Female Human was working in her office at home the other night and Oliver came running in with a rugby ball she had purchased in Ireland. He was picking it up in his teeth, tossing it around and swatting it all over the house. By the time The Female Human extricated herself from her computer and got her phone ready to capture Oliver’s smooth rugby moves he was pretty much finished. You’ll see in the little video below below that Oliver was pretty much done with the rugby session and you’ll hear The Female Human’s whine. When will you humans realize that part of the cat code is “stop doing whatever you’re doing when the humans try to capture it on film.”

Well, let’s get to my feline features of the week. The Tribe of Five wishes you all a very happy Thanksgiving (and lots of turkey leftovers!)

River the beloved neighborhood feline is back

River the cat is a beloved feline in La Jolla, CA. When La Jolla resident Ariel Wagner read a news story that River was missing she sprang into action.

River is well known for his friendly demeanor, greeting pedestrians and visiting stores on the north end of Girard Avenue. Sometimes he was even spotted hanging out inside the tops of the umbrellas at Pannikin Coffee & Tea.

Wagner began to search the web for photos of lost cats and came across River’s photo.

Evidently he’d been taken in by a woman who owns a gymnastics studio in Clairemont. She renanmed him Zoom the Acrobatic Cat, because his favorite past time is  high-jumping.  The woman had a dog that did not get along with the cat so “Zoom” was transferred to a new foster home and this is where Wagner found him.  After making sure that Wagner was who she said she was and “Zoom” was actually River, he was returned to Stasia Osment, the La Jollan who has provided him with food, a water bowl and a litter box on a nightly basis for almost two years. (His previous human decided to let River roam free because he was miserable inside her house.)

“I’m elated, I’m ecstatic!” Osment said. “Since he’s been back, I’m so happy. He’s been doing his cruising again.  River’s human fan club is very happy that he’s back.

Support homeless pets and satisfy your shoe fashion passion

Skechers x Felix the Cat lifestyle footwear for women launched this month in celebration of the iconic  silent screen star’s 100th anniversary. Felix the Cat’s comic strips, character prints, logo details and classic colors are featured on several of Skechers’ popular designs. Initial styles include the brand’s Skecher Street chunky platform cleated and slip-on sneakers, as well as Skechers’ BOBS for Cats alpargatas and casual comfort sneakers.

For every purchase of BOBS from Skechers shoes featuring Felix the Cat, Skechers will make a donation to Petco Foundation to help save the lives of cats and dogs.* Since 2015, the Company has donated more than $4.58 million to animal welfare organizations through sales of its BOBS from Skechers collection — funds that have helped more than 847,000 pets in the United States, including more than 487,000 animals saved through adoptions.

Paws up to Sketchers!

The Meow Meow Temple in Kyoto

Priestess and cat monk Koyuki loves to greet visitors. She has her own Instagram account

I’ve told you about some really  cool feline places in Japan but this one is new to me. In English it’s called the Meow Meow Temple (Nyan Nyan Ji) and is dedicated to felines. You can find this wonderful place in Kyoto.  The temple has a priestess and cat monk named Koyuki. There are other felines that hang out at the temple. Go inside the temple and enjoy cat-themed food and beverage.

The Round Robot Feline Babysitter

Anyone who lives with a feline knows that environmental enrichment is crucial for us hence all the toys, scratchers, cat trees, etc. in the house. We miss you humans when you’re gone and playing with our toys isn’t as fun as having you there to play with us. But that’s all changed with the Ebo, a new cat companion robot now on Kickstarter.

Ebo is a small, round robot that can autonomously roll around the house, keeping us felines busy when you’re gone. Its erratic movements are designed to mimic those of an animal, and it makes noises and sports an LED screen that lights up like a pair of eyes. Ebo also packs some more traditional cat toys, too. The swappable head piece has feathers or string and there’s a built-in laser pointer, and what feline doesn’t love a laser pointer?

It’s designed to withstand scratching, pawing, drooling or chewing and if it’s knocked over it can right itself. The robot can scan the room to detect obstacles and it’s collision sensors will make it change directions.

If playtime has gone on too long and Ebo runs low on energy it will automatically return to it’s charging dock. The battery lasts about 2 hours and takes about 2 hours to charge.


Ebo has a built in camera and microphone that you can access through a smartphone app. And while you’re talking to your feline, you can control the Ebo’s movements. There is a standard and pro version of Ebo. The pro version uses AI to analyze the feline’s behavior and mood to decide how to better play.

If you have a CHONKY cat at your house, you might be interested in the option of a collar that tracks the feline’s steps and other health metrics so that Ebo becomes your cat’s purrsonal trainer.

Ebo is currently being funded through a Kickstarter program and has already made it’s $5,000.00 goal. Early bird pledges start at US$158 for the Ebo Standard Christmas version, which includes a little Santa and reindeer suit for the robot and are due to ship in December. You can see more photos and watch a video of Ebo by clicking here.

Bow Chicka Meow Meow

Paws up to the Octopi Brewing of Waunakee, WI.  They’ve created  Bow Chicka Meow Meow!, stout that benefits the Dane County Humane Society. They expect the brew to raise about $1600.00 for the Humane Society. Thanks to their help, so  far in 2019 the Dane County Humane Society has taken in over 2,400 cats and has been able to place more than 90 percent of those animals in adoptions or sanctuary programs.

The idea for the beer and it’s name came from the Dane County Humane Society staff. Bow Chicka Meow Meow! is sold in six-packs of 12-ounce cans for around $11.

I applaud this brewery because it seems like most brewers favor canines (we have a brewery in our town called Laughing Dog and they sponsor Yappy Hours . I am thrilled that felines are getting into the brewery game!