Hello there furiends,
Happy Wednesday! Finally, things are getting organized in our neck of the woods and the home office is working for our Purrsonal Assistant so that we can actually get some decent work out of her. There are still a few things to organize and rearrange but we are making progress.
The Human likes old stuff and purrticularily likes to collect old tool boxes, especially the painted ones. She brought one home from her business and I’m trying to decide if this is something I need.
And since The Human is spending most days working in the home office, we like to hang out with her too. In this photo, I tried a new sleeping spot and position. Methinks I won’t be using that one too much.
We’re just happy to be getting back to our work schedule so, without further ado, here’s this week’s newsworthy feline stories from around the web.
An Engineer’s Guide to Cat Technology of the Future
Professional engineers Paul and TJ have done some of the most hilarious cat videos from an engineer’s point of view. This is there latest video which is a summary of cat technology and they discuss what cat technology will look like in the future. This video took them ten years to make! If you haven’t watched their previous videos, I highly recommend them!
Tile’s selling a tracker for your cat
I don’t know about your humans but The Human at our house isn’t happy until she locates all three of us when she gets home. Even though she tells herself that we have a lot of hiding places and chances are, if one of us doesn’t come out when she shakes the treat can, it doesn’t mean we’re not in the house. If your humans act the same way then tell them to get you a Tile -tracking bundle that includes one of the company’s Sticker trackers and a new collar attachment to truly secure it to the feline.
This tracker is more comfortable for us to wear and can be detected from 250 feet away which is why it’s a better in-house tracker than an outside tracker. It also has a battery that lasts for three years.
You can get the tracker in either black or white and it’s affordable at $40.00. And some of us, if we do make an escape, hang out very close to home. When Lily did a Houdini on us this winter, she was hiding under the wicker furniture on the front porch (and meowing like crazy!)
Cats Get the Point of Pointing
Now here’s something new and different, some scientists have gotten together and studied how we cats respond to you humans when you point. This kind of study has been done with dogs but, as usual, we cats were left out of the scientific loop.
So Claudia Wascher at Anglia Ruskin University took up the question in a new study in the Journal of Comparative Psychology.
“This study came about because a student, Margaret Mäses, approached me and said she would like to test cats,” says Wascher. “I was absolutely up for it because cats are an interesting and understudied species.”
Wascher and Mäses set out to replicate and expand on a study from nearly 20 years ago showing that cats may be able to follow human pointing gestures.
To find subjects, Mäses meticulously evaluated the suitability of approximately 200 rescue cats housed together in a shelter in Lithuania. Out of these cats, she worked to identify those who were open to being isolated in the testing room with a stranger.
“I do have to credit Margaret, who was absolutely brilliant in being able to identify individuals who were not fearful or anxious and were interested in taking part in the study,” says Wascher.
Out of the 200 cats at the shelter, Wascher and Mäses ended up with a sample of nine cats who completed testing. Now you might be wondering, why so few? She explained, “One of the problems was that so many of the cats were not interested in the test or in being isolated in the room or in whatever this strange human wanted from them,” says Wascher. “In cognitive tests like these, it is important that the subject know what question is being asked of them and they are motivated to take part in the experiment.”
Mäses presented the cats with two cups, each containing a small amount of food. She tested the cats in two conditions: one in which she pointed directly at one of the cups and one in which she pointed across her body at one of the cups.
Overall, the results showed that cats are able to follow human pointing gestures. As a group, the cats’ success rate was about 75 percent, and they performed significantly above chance whether the pointing gesture was direct or across the body.
While this replicates and expands on the previous study, Wascher said further research is needed to understand this behavior’s underlying mechanisms.
Wascher said this study also adds to the growing body of literature suggesting that species not typically thought of as highly social may still be able to master social-cognitive tasks. Even though cats usually do not live in huge, socially sophisticated groups, socialization with humans may give them a chance to exhibit their social-cognitive abilities.
Finally, Wascher hopes research like this will help cat owners better understand the behavior and cognition of the animals in their care.
“For a long time in science, the cognitive abilities of other species were underestimated,” she says. “I think a better understanding of how other animals think and feel creates an environment where humans tend to be more careful with them.”
Your cat could be paid to be in a commercial; here’s how
I think all cats should be famous and, if you’re a Boston feline, you may have a chance to be in a commercial, and get paid $1200.00 (that’s a lot of kibble and catnip my furiends!)
The cats, according to the casting call by Boston casting need to be comfortable being outside and in a harness. The cats and their owners also need to be available to film the commercial either the week of May 8 or May 15.
To be considered, email a photo of your cat, their comfort level with a harness, a photo of the cat’s owner, where you’re based and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line should be “CAT CASTING // [your name].”
The Human is bummed that we don’t have an opportunity to contribute to our lavish lifestyle so she’s on the computer looking for cat casting companies in our area.
Cat Who Lost Tips Of Both Ears To Sun Damage Finds Forever Home
Furiends, we kitties can suffer from terrible sun damage and the story of Dora the cat is a cautionary tale. Dora was an outdoor kitty who lived in an industrial area with her kittens. When wharehouse workers saw the state she was in they took her to the local shelter and were shocked to find that the problem with her ears could be cancer.
After a thorough vet check, the decision was made to operate and remove the tips of her ears in the hopes that the damage wouldn’t spread.
It isn’t just the ears of pale colored cats that can be sun damaged but also our noses (if they are unpigmented and white or pink). Sun damage and skin cancer will often appear as a pink, thickened or scabbed area on the ears or nose and also may cause hair loss and itching. As it progresses it can become ulcerated and bleed or cause black crusts to form.
Dora made a full recovery and has been adopted into a loving home. Her new human said, “I spotted Dora on the website and she looked so sad and frightened that I instantly knew I wanted to give her a forever home,” Dora was timid when she got to her new home but within a week she was moving through the house (which is how she got her name because she’s always exploring).
There are some great tips for caring for cats in summer at www.cats.org.uk/cats-and-warm-weather.