Walk Through The Web Wednesday 9/22

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
I hope things are going well in your neck of the woods. The colors in our woods are beginning to change and they are beautiful ( I’ll post some photos when it gets more colorful.)

The Human has been busy getting ready for Remember Me Thursday and, we’re going to be running a contest so look for that info tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a photo of Oliver posing for this monumental occasion.

And speaking of Oliver, he had his whiskers in a twist this past week because he claims this news feature is too much about me and he has demanded some time.. Rather than listening to him meow about this, I have acquiesced and so, I present, “The Many Faces of Oliver”.

“Okay, enough talk. I need to attend to my nap.”

I hope this cameo appearance will be enough to satisfy Oliver and I won’t have to listen to his grousing any more!

Can your kitty cruise with you?

Alberto is dreaming of sailing the seven seas

Okay, this feline is not so sure if cruising is in his future but, some of my furiends may find this a purrfect vacation. Having said that, I have to let you know that the only cruise with facilities to accommodate the many needs of felines is the fancy , 2,691-passenger Queen Mary 2 ocean liner.  Cunard has a long history of being feline friendly because in the 1800s, cats were “employed” on Cunard ships to take care of vermin.

On select transatlantic sailings between New York and Southampton, UK, Cunard makes available to pet owners two dozen kennels located in a private area aft on Deck 12. In addition to the cages, there is an Owner’s Lounge where guests may spend quality time with their pets and a large, gated outdoor exercise area equipped with an antique lamppost from Liverpool and a fire hydrant from New York City. The fact that fur kids must stay in kennels and not in staterooms makes me less than enthusiastic about this mode of travel. How will I sleep if I can’t park my 20 pound bulk on top of my human?  

Cunard provides toys, fresh-baked treats, feeding bowls and beds – as well as pet lifejackets, should they be needed. If you want to go all out, you can order for your pet, for an additional fee, treats such as liver or a steak. Those who want a fun memento may have their pet pose for a photo wearing a red Cunard uniform or a Queen Mary 2 life ring. Costumes?!  Oh heck no!

Space is limited and Cunard recommends you book pet accommodations at least a year in advance – and the price tag is steep: From $800 for a small dog, $1,000 for a large dog, $1,600 for a cat (since cats are required to have two cages, one for a litter box). There are also a bunch of regulations to be followed regarding vaccinations, microchipping requirements and such.

I don’t think the Queen Mary 2 is for me. I’ll let The Human take that trip by herself.

You could tell your humans to sail on Celebrity Cruises’ 2,918-passenger Celebrity Edge, and they may have the opportunity to meet Bug Naked, a hairless Sphynx owned by Captain Kate McCue – who dresses Bug in a cat-uniform and pushes the cat around the ship in a stroller.

And, finally, there is a purrfect cruise for every crazy cat lover, the Meow Meow cruise. They can share your photos with other cat loves while sipping cocktails and purrticipate in feline focused activities such as cat trivia, a cat scavenger hunt and other pawsome feline focused events.

Not kitten around! Moment brave black and white cat stands up to coyote and chases it away after tense stand-off

I reported in May about a cat that chased a coyote in a parking lot in Canada and now, here’s another brave feline taking on a coyote.! 

A video posted online by ViralHog/Shutterstock captured a tense stand-off between a coyote and a cat. The poor feline stands frozen around the corner from the coyote that keeps getting closer and closer to the cat.

As soon as the beast rounds the corner, and encounters the fearful cat, the cat pounces. And he doesn’t just pounce, he chases that coyote off! Go kitty!!!

Turkish owners, researchers decry study calling Van cat aggressive

A Turkish Van cat

Yours truly is getting weary of people who are quick to vilify felines. A recent study by Helsinki University in Finland branded the Van cat, a breed endemic to Turkey, as one of the most aggressive and least sociable types of cat in the world. Well, this got the owners, breeders and lovers of Van cats whiskers in a twist to say the least!  

The feline gets its name from the eastern province of Van, in Turkey, where the breed is found. The Van is known for its distinct white fur and different colored eyes. The cat is also known for its friendly behavior, lion-like walk and fluffy tail, and is one of the rare animals that hasn’t been hybridized.

Professor Abdullah Kaya, who heads the Van Cat Research Center in province’s Yüzüncü Yıl University (YYÜ), decried the Finnish study based on comparisons between 26 different cat breeds. He said the results are based on insufficient data. Kaya, who has been researching the cat for the past two decades, said the study was limited to Finland and wondered, “how many cats were there.”

“I certainly respect the results of a comprehensive study but this study is lacking. It is incorrect to describe the Van cat as the most aggressive breed, by comparing it to other breeds without proper knowledge of the Van cat’s features,” he recently told Ihlas News Agency (IHA).

Kaya said Van cats establish “an emotional bond” with their owners and tend to be reluctant to “share him/her with others.” “They cannot connect with a complete stranger at first but this does not justify branding it the most aggressive cat,” he said. “It is true they like to be independent but it has other features as well. Unlike other cats, it does not like to spend the day resting, and is playful, intelligent and tame,” he explained. Kaya added he was ready to prove the nonaggressive features of Van cats through a study.

Cat owners agree with Kaya. Mehmet Atar Bayır, who has been caring for Van cats at a shelter for the past 25 years, said the study contrasts with what he has observed over time. Bayır has looked after some 6,000 Van cats in his life and said the cats on the contrary are “meek.”

“They value ‘family’ ties and may maintain a distance from people at first. If they feel positive energy from strangers, their behavior changes and becomes warm,” he told IHA.

Fethi Tarcan, who has owned generations of Van cats over the past 50 years, said the cats are “more like children.” He explained, “It is tame and smart and likes connecting with people. It can sense the presence of someone they know from their smell.”

So there you go, another “bad rap” attributed to cats is debunked.

Cat That Escaped From Airplane Carrier Found Safe After Spending Three Weeks on Runway

A cat that was meant to fly from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York to Italy somehow managed to escape from its carrier. Foertunately, after making the airport runway home for three weeks, Etorre the cat was found safe and healthy with the help of the rescue organization, Long Island Cat Kitten Solution.

The cat’s owner, Salvatore Fazio, flew from New York to Italy at the end of August. Though he checked Etorre into cargo, he soon discovered his cat was not on the plane and learned that Etorre escaped the carrier.

John Debacker of Long Island Cat Kitten Solution told Newsweek that he became involved in helping locate Etorre once he learned the cat was missing.

“At first we were losing a little hope catching Etorre because it’s been so long and we didn’t know what could have happened to him. After the collar was found, we thought he could have been attacked or he could have drowned since it was right near the water.”

Debacker said that a Port Authority employee found the collar about two weeks into the investigation. Prior to this discovery, Debacker was not allowed to look around the runway or tarmac due to security. However, he was given an escort around the property after the collar was found.

After spending three weeks on the airport’s runway, Etorre was safely captured and returned to Fazio’s girlfriend’s home. The feline will be reunited with his human in a few weeks.

Although the feline lost three pounds and has a few scratches on his nose, he was healthy and safe overall.

It’s still unclear how Etorre escaped from the carrier.

VCA, the animal hospital organization offers a few suggestion when traveling with felines. First, see if the airline will allow the cat inside the cabin (the carrier has to be small enough to fit under the seat and the cat needs to be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier).

And if your feline is a bit on the nervous side, you may want to consider talking to your vet about a tranquilizer. Putting something inside the carrier that smells like the human and spraying a pheromone spray such as Feliway will also help with anxiety.

All I can say is I’m thankful that Etorre is home and safe and bless the good folks at Long Island Cat Kitten Solution for their tenacity in looking for him.

A social media star: Pumpkin the election cat enjoying meteoric rise to fame

Pumpkin the cat seems to find himself in the media spotlight quite often. Recently, there was an apparent spat with a dog on Court Street, where in a rare show of energy he hissed and bared his teeth at the offending canine.

His fierce pose was captured on a smartphone and posted on social media with the caption, “Pumpkin is the Great Protector”. That picture went viral and even Ohio University Athletics changed their profile picture on social media to the Ohio University photo of Pumpkin hissing.

The photo got over 3,000 likes and 300 retweets. (Don’t tell Twitter, but Pumpkin is a sort of stage name — his real name is Pierre.)

Evidently this photo was a rare depiction of Pumpkin/Pierre as he normally has much less energy. A local said, “Pumpkin is usually dead asleep when people see him in the window, so it was wild seeing him stancing up and defending his kingdom.”

Pumpkin was adopted by people at the Board of Elections in 2013 and those folks never dreamed he’d become so famous. At first, they kept him out of the spotlight, fearing what the public would think about an animal in the Board of Elections Office.

Since then, though, he has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity. He even has a Pumpkin fan page on Instagram with over 5,000 followers. On Reddit, his photos regularly circulate in niche groups such as “cats with jobs” and recently received over 40,000 positive interactions on a photo of him with the caption “would you elect him.”

Even some local businesses are benefiting from Pumpkin’s fame. Ohio is Home, located on Court Street, has begun selling Pumpkin merchandise, including shirts and stickers.

Despite his media fame, Pumpkin enjoys a quiet life. He lives full time at the Board of Elections office on Court Street, but when elections roll around, Pumpkin takes a vacation at Kroner Animal Care in Athens to avoid all the noise and extra humans. The office manager at Kroners Anima Care says that Pumpkin is a great guest and always enjoys his stays there.

Pumpkin, who is around 10 years old, is very healthy.  All Pumpkin’s expenses used to be covered by an anonymous benefactor, although that arrangement has since ended. Now, all the living expenses for Pumpkin are split between the Board of Elections employees.

During Ohio University’s graduation, students flock to the Board of Elections building to take photos with Pumpkin and give him treats. She said she’s even been recognized for her association with the cat.

“My funniest story” said his caretaker,” is I went to a doctor, and there was a big reception desk where you check in — I told him where I worked and the girl went, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re the place that has Pumpkin,’”

People are encouraged to come to the Board of Elections office, meet Pumpkin, and register to vote or vote early.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 5/19

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,

We had a nice week and enjoyed some warm weather. The Human got the waterfall going and we love to listen to the sound of the water when the windows are open. The Human also bought a bird feeder that sticks to the window so we can watch them eating. So far, no birdies but she only set it up yesterday. I’ll report more on that next week.

Until we get some real birds to watch, I have instructed The Human that I need my evening Cat TV to continue. As you can see, I’m enjoying my bedtime TV watching.

“I quite enjoy the suspenseful episodes. “
-Alberto

Now The Human has pointed out to me that being a couch potato is doing nothing to assist us in the progress of the D-I-E-T. But before she harps on me about my lazy ways, she needs to talk to Oliver.

“I repeat, I am not lazy, I am in my sun puddle, recharging!”
-Oliver

As we suffer through this D-I-E-T nightmare, we thought we’d talk to Lily to see how she keeps herself so svelte. Lily says diet is critical for keeping excess weight off.

“Stop begging for those calorie laden treats and eat your greens!”
-Lily
“Good advice Lily, I feel slimmer already” – Oliver
“Oh pulleeeze!” – Alberto
“Lily, I think it’s working! Look how much better I fit on the window sill!”
-Oliver
“Those two are annoying!”
-Lily

Well, that’s it for this week. I really do think we’re making some weight loss progress. Oliver is much livelier and The Human is still being very draconian about feeding. Hopefully we’ll be able to show you our new, thinner selves soon!

In the meantime, here are the feline focused news items I found in my web wanderings.

Fearless Cat Chases Spooked Coyote Out of a Canadian Parking Lot

Humans, when  you are told that we felines are territorial, please believe us. This video clip shot by Canadian police officers sat 4am is visual confirmation of this.

There was a coyote lurking around a parking lot which, evidently, this cat considered to be his territory. This was not a situation where a pack of coyotes tried to ambush the cat. It was one, scaredy coyote against a fearless feline. The officers observed the cat walking his perimeter later in the morning.

Be sure to view this fantastic cat’s greatest moment on video.

The bar cats of Ten Bells Tavern in Dallas

Of all the stories I’ve covered on working cats, this just could be my favorite. The bar cats of Ten Bells Tavern roam the “catio” of this pub and they love it.

The owner of Ten Bells Tavern, Meri Dahlke has been caring for the feral cats in the area ever since she opened. She said that cats have always been a part of the bar’s story. When Dahlke arrives at work, the cats recognize her and come running (probably because that’s when she puts out the kibble and gives them canned food too).

The staff of Ten Bells love the cats and look after them and some, including Dahlke have taken some of them home. All the cats are neutered and healthy.

The cats are beloved members of the business community and the pub. They even have their own hashtag #CatsofTenBells and some people come to Ten Bells, not for the drinks or pub grub, but to meet the felines. The cats at Ten Bells are registered as a “colony” with the City of Dallas. Dahlke has done fund raisers for several organizations and non-profits and has raised over $445,000.00 through her efforts. Feral Friends is one of the non-profits they support as well as Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue , the SPCA, the Dallas Zoo and others.

The bar will be celebrating their nine-year anniversary during the weekend of June 25-27 by hosting a fundraiser for Feral Friends.

Boot camp for cats? Humane Fort Wayne’s ‘Thick Camp’ helping cats lose those extra few pounds

“Thick Camp”?? Really?? This feline takes exception to that! Mind you, I am not against the fact that a room at Humane Fort Wayne has been temporarily turned into a weight loss boot camp for cats. It’s the name that offends me.

Humane Fort Wayne said the goal is not to get the cats skinny but to have the cats get used to timed feedings, moving around their environment and adding more activity to their routine. Okay, that makes sense. I’m less fond of the next quote, however.

“When free fed, or when provided a full bowl of food 24 hours a day, we see cats start to carry about 5-8 extra pounds of weight on their joints and organs. It can cause long-term and expensive health issues and most of this is avoidable by measuring portions and adding play to your cats’ day.” I am a bit weary about hearing about unhealthy fat cats, I get enough of that at home!

Humane Fort Wayne currently has a livestream of the thick cats which can be viewed on its YouTube page.

Mother Cat and Her Newborn Kittens Found Living in a Bird’s Nest

Oh my whiskers! This poor momma cat couldn’t find a place for her kittens to be safe so she used a bird’s nest! The people in the area had seen the momma and found one kitten but couldn’t find the others until they spotted the momma climbing up a tree. Not only did they find the kittens but they also found a tomcat who has bonded with the mother cat and who is serving as “dad” to the kittens.

Paws up to the good people at The Chiltern Branch of Cat’s Protection for caring for these cats. The mother cat, Oriole, the tomcat, Willet, and the kittens, Bran, Jay, and Lori, have all been given distinctly avian names to commemorate their former home.

Willet spent a few days at the vets as he was limping badly, but fortunately it was just an abscess, which quickly healed.” The folks at the shelter say, “he is a good ‘dad’ to the kittens, washing and playing with them—although he does get a bit annoyed when they mistake him for mum at feeding time!” They noted that it’s very unusual for a tomcat to stick around after kittens have been born.

The cats are now in the care of a foster and they say that “Willet behaves like a doting dad to the kittens, even grooming them. Oriole and Willet are clearly bonded and we would love to think we could rehome the mum and male cat together.”

Let’s hope mom and dad find a furever home together!

Hilarious Video of Cat Who Cleans Owner’s House Goes Viral

Okay, I get it. This is not a real video but still, I feel I must speak up for the feline population and say this faked video is sending the wrong message to humans. Cat’s do not do domestic labor nor do we find the suggestion that we do amusing! Watch the video and meow about what you think of this.