I interrupt this blog for an important announcement
Happy Wednesday Furiends! Our usual Wednesday feature has been moved to Thursday due to circumstances beyond our control. Our Purrsonal Assistant and General Lackey…er…Beloved Human has been a bit busy and overwhelmed. She’s running a bit behind and has requested a time extension from Feline Management to move my regular news feature to tomorrow.
Being the soft-hearted and considerate felines we are, we granted this request on the condition that she have something we can contribute to the blog today. Fortunately she had a bit of news. Her story, “Miss P. Saves Christmas” is being published in a new holiday compilation called, The Cat In The Christmas Tree that will come out mid-October of this year.
Now we were a bit miffed that this story was about a family feline we never met as Miss. P. crossed the Rainbow Bridge before we were born but she was featured in our book, Are There Head Bonks in Heaven? Miss P. is on the bottom right..
Here is a Christmas photo of Miss P. who, we are told, was quite a character.
Well folks, that’s the news for today and tomorrow I’ll be back with my regular feline filled news features.
Happy Wednesday Furiends! ‘Hope all is fine in your neck of the woods. Some of our nearby fires are contained and some are up to 50% contained and that is great news! We are thankful for all those brave folks who go into danger to save our forests and homes!
It’s been a bit cooler lately and this has allowed Oliver and I to enjoy our new fuzzy beds.
And just in case The Human didn’t get the memo that The Tribe is done with the hot weather, I dug a little something out of the toy box.
And, we decided we’d take the opportunity of Book Lovers Day to do some shameless self-promotion!
Lily wasn’t feeling photogenic this week so it’s time to get on with the newest feline news.
There is a feline in Southern California who has stolen close to 1,000 items in the last two years. Meowza!
Juno, the Klepto Cat has been purrusing her neighborhood in Carpinteria taking everything from gloves (almost 180) to socks to t-shirts.
Juno’s human, Connie Geston said, “In 2019, I started noticing things in my backyard. A ball, a glove. I was thinking the kids next door were throwing things over the fence.” So, I was throwing them back over. But I would find those things back in the backyard. I kept thinking it was the kids… the kids, and I never thought it was the cat.” That is until the day she caught Juno dragging a pair of infant leggings into the house.
Since her thievery is so prolific, Juno now has a place where her ill-gotten gains are stored. It’s a little tent with wire racks that display all the booty she’s collected.
Juno has now reached celebrity status. She has her own Instagram account and she even ran for mayor of Carpinteria. One of Juno’s latest projects with her owner is to take some of the recycled items and use them for an entry in an upcoming Carpinteria Art Center Art Show.
Thomas and Brenda Groth had two passions, music and cats. Thomas’ late wife Brenda took in a lot of abandoned cats over the years. They even added a cat room to their home that contains a spiral staircase and “condos” for the felines.
The brick feline living community at the AWL has two 216-square-foot rooms that can hold up to 12 cats each. There are perches that provide window access, ramped walkways, feeding areas and square boxes with bedding. Also included are toys, scratching posts and cat trees, noted Lori Shandor, the Animal Welfare League’s chief executive officer.
Groth said a driving force behind creating this two-room space was to ensure older cats had a place to live a quality life, as well as to have a fitting tribute to his wife’s memory.
“Brenda was relentless about giving cats a good life,” he said.
Providing the musical entertainment was the Bravura Woodwind Quintet, which played the famous Louis Armstrong hit “What a Wonderful World,” one of Brenda Groth’s favorite songs.
When Beth Deal told her husband, Pete, she wanted to bring their two 6-month-old Ocicat kittens to an agility competition, he had no clue what he was getting into. Now, six years, multiple trips across the country and many national awards later Beth and Pete and their Ocicats are top contenders in cat agility competitions.
Feline agility is not just for cats with pedigrees, it’s for every feline and many shelters are now putting cats through their agility paces.
Feline agility is much like canine agility. Cats are timed while running counterclockwise through a 20-by-20-foot course, enclosed with vision-obscuring netting. There are 10 different obstacles on the course, starting with a small platform with three steps up and three down, followed by nine other hurdles that gradually become more challenging.
After the feline competitor successfully makes it through a six-inch jump, there’s a 10-inch jump, as well as tunnels, hoops and weave poles set out in a straight line that cats must bend and weave around.
The cats have 4 minutes, 30 seconds to complete the course — dogs usually get about 60 seconds — which starts the second a paw hits the stairs and stops when it reaches the floor after the final hoop jump. Most cats can do it in 30 seconds or less, with faster felines ringing in at under 20. Rascal has completed his course as fast as 12 seconds and Boo, another of the Deals’ ocicats, once made a 7.62-second run.
The furry contestants are allowed to correct mistakes. “They may stop to chase a bug between the first and second obstacles,” says Jill Archibald, 71, feline agility chair for the Cat Fanciers’ Association. “They can go back to where they went off course and continue the obstacle.”
Trainers and handlers at these competitions work off cats’ natural prey-hunting instincts by using a lure (that is, a high-value toy) to entice the cat through the obstacle course.
Now if your humans want to get you on the agility bandwagon, make sure they start slowly and take small steps. Dragging a favorite toy across a stack of books or a chair is a great beginning.
Agility training is also good for felines that take to it and can negate all kinds of bad behavior. So my furiends, let your humans to get out the clickers and let the training begin!
Oh my whiskers, do we really have to talk about feline fashion again this week?! I guess I can make an exception for Kristen Janssen who noticed a gap in the market when it came to stylish cat clothes for Sphynx cats. These hairless kitties often wear clothing to keep themselves warm.
Janssen, a Sphynx breeder started making clothes for the kittens she would adopt out. People would ask for more clothing and that’s how her business was born.
She now has a store on Etsy and also has some items in local stores.
The line has four designs, t-shirts, long sleeves, four-legged pajamas, and hoodies. Soon bathrobes and dresses will be added to the collection.
Twenty best quotes about cats in honor of International Cat Day
Needless to say this is a holiday every feline can get behind (although, if truth be told, EVERY day is cat day!). I thought that giving you some fantastic cat quotes would be a great way to celebrate. Which one is your favorite? The Human likes the one from Robertson Davies.
“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.” – Albert Schweitzer
“Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.” -James Herriot
“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” -Charles Dickens
“Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.” -Garrison Keillor
“If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.” -Mark Twain
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.” -Ernest Hemingway
“I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.” – Neil Gaiman
“Anyone who believes what a cat tells him deserves all he gets.” -Neil Gaiman
“Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” – Mark Twain
“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.” -Eckhart Tolle
“Time spent with a cat is never wasted.” – Colette
“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” -Jean Cocteau
“Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.” -Robertson Davies
“The way to get on with a cat is to treat it as an equal – or even better, as the superior it knows itself to be.” -Elizabeth Peters
“There are no ordinary cats.” -Colette
“I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.”-Hippolyte A. Taine
“I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.” -Jules Verne
“I love them, they are so nice and selfish. Dogs are TOO good and unselfish. They make me feel uncomfortable. But cats are gloriously human.” – L.M. Montgomery
“Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most inconvenience.” – Pam Brown
“What sort of philosophers are we, who know absolutely nothing of the origin and destiny of cats?” – Henry David Thoreau
Aaaaaaand a follow up from last week.
Some of you commented last week about my feature about the cat tour in Minneapolis that you would have liked to have seen more cats and less humans so I sent my Purrsonal Assistant out on the web to find a video of the tour itself. Here you go!
Happy Wednesday Furiends, This week, rather than catching you up on what’s going on in our neck of the woods, I thought I’d take a short stroll down memory lane.
As we noted previously our lackey….err Purrsonal Assistant (also known as The Human) worked very hard the last couple of years to receive diplomas in Feline Behavior & Psychology and Understanding Feline Anxiety. She also received a diploma in Pet Bereavement Counseling but that is another subject. She did write a book, or rather we wrote a book, to help humans (and other cats) whose feline furiends have crossed The Rainbow Bridge, It’s called, Are There Head Bonks in Heaven?
What can we do to reduce our cats’ stress and fear when air traveling to relocate to another city or country?
The first (and most important) step in planning any travel for your cat is dealing with its response to the carrier.
If the only time your cat is in the carrier is to go to the vet, chances are he will be stressed when the carrier comes out. This response requires desensitization, the act of gradually exposing the cat to the thing that causes him stress so that an unwanted behavior (fear) is replaced with a positive behavior (acceptance without fear).
Desensitization would consist of placing the open carrier where your cat likes to hang out. Take the door off and put soft bedding and toys inside it. You can then work on counter conditioning by offering treats and playtime so that the cat is conditioned to expect positive things rather than negative things when he is around or in the carrier. Pheromone products (like Feliway) act as a calming agent so spraying the bedding and carrier also helps. The key to desensitize or counter condition your cat is to take it slow and easy. Never rush this process, and that means you need to start the process long before the day of travel.
Once the cat has acclimated to the carrier, put the door back on and then take your cat on some short trips and reward him with his favorite treats. Clean the carrier between uses and return it to the spot in the house where it was before.
If you have success in getting your cat to accept the carrier, the hardest part of the battle is won regardless of the mode of travel.
I only recommend air travel if the cat is in the cabin with you. Airline rules vary so you will need to check beforehand. Cats are highly anxious when they are in an unfamiliar place or situation without their human. Being in the cabin with you will help reduce his anxiety.
Car travel is much easier to set up but it has its dangers too. Don’t take your cat out of the carrier while you are driving. The cat is not acclimated to the car but has been (hopefully) acclimated to the carrier, which will be his safe space. A freaked-out cat zooming around the interior of your car isn’t good for the cat, you or the other people on the road! If you take the cat out of the carrier when you are stopped make sure the cat has a harness and leash. Too many cats have been lost when they run out of the car as soon as the door is open.
You may enjoy traveling with your cat so much you might want to do it again. Check out “Adventure Cats” on Instagram and see how many people enjoy excursions with their feline friends.
Now The Human knows quite a bit about moving with felines as she traveled 1300 miles from her old home to her new home here in the Inland Northwest. She traveled with Angels Buster, Mis P., Tucker and Jasmine (this was waaaaay before Oliver and I and Lily were on the scene).
I scratched around and got some photos of our Angels discovering snow for the first time.
It was a long trip but everyone adjusted well and loved their new home. Oliver, Lily and I are proud of The Human sharing her feline knowledge (and she’s doing a lot more of it these days at KittyCounselor.com ).
Let’s get to this week’s web wanderings and, if any of my furiends will be moving, don’t forget to check out the tips from all the experts in the Porch.com article.
Our furiends in Japan love cats and I’ve covered many great cat loving innovations from condos designed for feline comfort to feline fashion and “World Cats Travelogue,” a TV show on Japan’s public broadcaster NHK.
According to the manufacturer, H Concept Corp., the “cat cup” as it is officially called, went on sale in July 2019. It became a hot topic on social media, and has been a popular product at their stores ever since. It was designed by Yuka Morii, a three-dimensional sculptor and goods collector who also specializes in clay creations. She commented on the site, “The power of cats is great. Just by being there, they create an air of serenity. I like the way they lay on the street, and I created it (the cat cup) with my inner passion for ‘the visual cat ideal,’ cherishing the image of a cat that suddenly comes into view, but is a little bit distant.”
So this summer, take your “infinite cat making machine” and add some feline flourish to your local beach.
As if The Human doesn’t have enough on her plate, she is working on a diploma in CBD for Animals. She is always looking for natural solutions for us and she was very curious about CBD for cats (we have very sensitive systems and you humans have to be cautious about what you give us, natural or not).
She said this article does a good job of giving an overview of CBD for felines.
CBD oil is extracted from cannabis plants (the extraction method is important as far as the quality is concerned) the best extraction method is the same used with quality essential oils. The region and country where the plant was grown is also important. When using CBD oil for your feline, quality of the oil and low THC is critical. Also, not all CBD oils that are made for humans are safe for cats.
Once you’ve talked to your vet and found a quality, feline approved CBD oil, it can be used for pain relief, sleep disorders, reduction of anxiety, treatment of seizures and general well-being.
Again, just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s good for your feline so talk to your vet first as CBD oil can be tricky. There is some more information on this topic at PetMD and Boulder Holistic Vet.
Has The Human given us CBD oil yet? Nope. She says she needs to complete her diploma and then talk to our vet. I for one, am glad she’s cautious!
Every cat learns from kittenhood that we were once worshipped by the Egyptians but I’ve always wondered why. We had our research assistant dig out some facts that were pretty interesting.
A Greek historian named Herodotus asked the question, “Why do the Egyptians shave their eyebrows as a mark of respect when mourning the loss of a family cat? Well Herodotus, it’s because they loved their kitties!
The Egyptians believed that many of their gods had cat-like qualities. They revered the duality of the cats’ temperaments, being protective, loyal and nurturing and yet ready to fight, independent and fierce.
These qualities made the Egyptians believe that cats were special creatures, worthy of special attention. They had a goddess named Sekhmet who had the head of a lion and the body of a woman and also the goddess Bastet who was often represented as a lion or cat.
Cats were also loved for their ability to hunt mice and snakes. Egyptians loved cats so much they would give their children names or nicknames of felines including the name “Mitt” (which means cat) for girls.
According to archaeologists cat and kitten burials have been found dating as far back as 3800 B.C.
I don’t know about the rest of my feline furiends but this feline would sure love to see humans show us that kind of reverence today!
I’m including this news piece to placate The Human. We felines could care less what our cat condos and shelves look like but some of you humans are a bit obsessed about décor!
Husband and wife team Igor and Maryna of CatsMode have designed stylish cat furniture that the most finicky décor obsessed human will like.
Each modular compartment of their cat shelves features cut-out sections (some shaped like feline faces) that kitties can jump and clamber through. When your cats have tired themselves out, the shelves also make a great place to take a nap.
You can custom order your hexagon shelves to have a felt lining, and for those with particularly kingly cats or queenly kittens, there’s even an option to include a pillow. In addition, you can choose to order between one and four hexagons. Within each set, you can also determine how many of them have an acrylic window. This adds an extra sense of security for your cat, and it also lets you still see each other. If you opt for a window, you can even order it to include a printed design.
CatsMode also makes wall-mounted cat steps. You can either choose between a decagon or one shaped like a cat’s head. But regardless of what you choose, each piece is lovingly handcrafted by Igor and Maryna in their home workshop.
As beautiful as these creations are, I am wondering if they will hold a 19-pound and 20-pound feline!
The artist Ai Weiwei says, “My cats think they are so important. They always want to sleep in the center of my bed or get on my shoulder, and I really have to negotiate with them. But they bring me so much joy.”
He always seems to be rescuing a cat, he found Shadow abandoned in some trash. His brought his cat Half to Portugal from his studio in Berlin. Yellow is a local street cat he took in who follows him whenever he takes a walk.
When Weiwei grew up in Shihezi, China, in the 1960s, families didn’t have pets because, as he says, “ Communism is against private property, and any kind of compassion back then was deemed questionable. Animals were only valued as tools for productivity, as was the case with donkeys and horses, or for their meat. My mom’s generation also tends to think that animals are dirty. Communism is very concerned with cleanliness — you have to be spiritually clean, physically clean — and so even a little bit of animal hair somewhere is unacceptable. “
Still, when he built his own studio in Beijing in 2000, the first thing he wanted to add was a cat. That was his first cat and they lived together for 20 years.
He said that he ended up with more than 30 cats in his Beijing compound and all were rescues.
His life was hard in Beijing, he was under constant surveilince by the government and he finally left in 2015. His studio is still there and his assistants report on the well being of the cats and send him photos. They will tell him if one dies and how they buried it.
Weiwei says he’s learned much from his cats and they have added so much to his life. Our Human says the same thing!
Since tomorrow is a holiday and the Human is taking a min-vacation for the rest of the week, I decided to give her a reprieve from her usual Wednesday blog duties. Actually “mini-vacation” is not exactly true as she will be finishing up our third Felines Opine book for publication (Its called “Are There Head Bonks in Heaven?”). She’ll be spending some quality time with the Tribe (we expect some petting and head bonk sessions by the fireplace!) and with some her favorite humans.
We did want to meow at all our furiends and tell you how thankful we are for all of you. We are thankful for our home, for each other and for the love we get every day. Our purrayer is that every kitty will find a furever home this season.
Although it’s not over yet, we are reflecting on this year, there has been much loss, many kitties crossing the Rainbow Bridge and some wonderful humans we know who are now in heaven. We are thankful to have known them all, furry and non-furry.
We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll be back next Wednesday with my reports on all the best feline news on the world-wide web. Give your humans (and furry siblings) lots of love and hopefully there will be some turkey in your future.
Stay safe, warm and happy. Oliver, LIly and I send you…