Wednesday came fast as we allowed our Purrsonal Assistant to have Independence Day off. Thankfully she managed to get all her work done and our regular Wednesday feature was on time. Since she was out and about she didn’t manage to get any new photos of us so we told her, since we’re always talking about “our neck of the woods” maybe we should share some pics from our neck of the woods. We hope you enjoy them!
Well, that’s it from our neck of the woods this week. Hope things are going well in your neck of the woods!
We felines have some strange ways of getting our water. My readers know that I like to stick my head under the bathroom sink for a little refreshment as this video attests.
Well, I’m not the only one. This cat, Ellie, is so crazy about water that she likes to actually be watered…like a plant.
You can see her in the Reddit video, sitting by some plants and waiting for her turn to be watered. When she meows at her human, the human asks, “what do you want? Do you want to get watered, showing Ellie the green watering can and asking if this is what she wants. Ellie responds with a loud meow.
Ellie continues meowing until the water is sprinkled over her. This delightful little video has made the internet crazy. I’ll let you decide what you think about watering cats!
This cat cannot start his day without hos own cat-uccino and he gives new meaning to the phrase “pampered cat”. I do have to say though that Vinny the cat is coming late to the party as our very own Oliver made a video about this in 2018 and he insisted that I include it in this news item in case any of his fans missed it (he’s pushy that way). So Cat-uccino, Catpuccino, whatever you call it, just remember that we felines like our comforts!
Cat goes on walks with his dog
While we’re on the subject of what we felines purrfer, let’s talk abut this feline who likes to get his fresh air by walking his dog. Now I don’t know how my feline furiends feel about walking a dog, not to mention their dog, but his feline prefers a walk in the garden sans canine! Oliver doesn’t even like to walk, he’ll let The Human do that while she wheels him around the neighborhood in his stroller. This isn’t much different than this kitty, who has his own denim tote bag to travel in on their walks.
Woman “accidently” steals her neighbor’s cat
This story had me meow out loud! As funny as it it, it’s not so far fetched! The Human had family visiting once and she kept telling the young humans to be careful, close the front door so the cats don’t get out. One day the youngest little human came in the door holding a squirming feline saying, “I’m sorry Aunt Anita, I don’t know how she got out but I brought her back.” The Human forgot to tell the family that the across the street neighbors had a cat that looked exactly like one of us. MOL!! So remember, it can happen!
Because Sitka is an island and there is a limited genetic diversity, an interesting and somewhat rare genetic mutation has made its way into the feline gene pool.
Two years ago, Anna Laffrey was out for a walk on the Sitka Cross Trail, when she stumbled upon something unexpected .
It was a litter of kittens. She knew she’d have to act quickly. It was winter in Sitka, and they wouldn’t last long in the elements. Eventually, with the help of some friends, she was able to capture one of them.
“We used a butterfly net and a pot. Yeah, we picked her up with a jacket and we had a big stock pot and we kind of dropped her in the pot with blankets and took her home,” she said.
What she didn’t know was that kitten was a carrier of a unique genetic mutation.
Alice the cat is now two years old and her paws that resemble oven mitts are quite apparent as the cat bats at a toy on a string. “She’s polydactyl. It looks like she has thumbs. She has huge paws. She can pick up a blueberry with her hand!” Laffrey says.
Cats with polydactylism are born with extra digits. In Alice’s case, that means six toes on each front paw for a total of 20 toes (most cats have 18). But Alice’s paws are not that rare on Sitka. According to visiting veterinarian Nicole Caraway, Sitka’s lack of genetic diversity makes it a perfect breeding ground for the dominant trait.
“If one parent has it, and the other parent doesn’t, then there’s a 50% chance that all the kittens that are born will have polydactyl or extra toes,” Caraway explained. “So because it’s a dominant trait, it is something that that is basically guaranteed to be passed on. The population genetically here is smaller, so you’re going to see more of that mutation.”
Polydactylism is not a product of inbreeding only. There are cats all over the world with these paws. Actually, the condition is most common on the Eastern seaboard where they were historically kept as ship cats. Many sailors believed the cats brought good luck and that their extra claws made them excellent mousers. We don’t know when the first polydactyl cat made it to the shores of Sitka, but as a town full of fisherman, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they landed there.
There is another place that is famous for polydactyl cats, the Hemmingway House in Key West, Florida. Not only do they still have polydactyl kitties roaming the grounds (and well taken care of) the house is referred to as “America’s Unofficial Polydactyl Cat Museum,”
I thought you might enjoy some interesting facts about these big-mittened kitties. Are any of my furiends out there polydactyl? Give us a meow in the comments and tell us about it!
- In most cases, the genetic mutation is harmless
- Polydactyl cats typically have extra thumbs that resemble mittens
- Some believe extra toes gives cats an advantage but veterinarians do not agree
- You will likely find polydactyl cats in the UK and US
- Polydactyl cats were hunted in Europe due to witchcraft superstition
- The world record for polydactyl cats is 28 toes
- In the past, Maine Coons were most likely to have extra toes but nowadays all breeds may have them
- The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum currently houses 40-50 polydactyl cats
- President Theodore Roosevelt’s polydactyl cat attended formal dinners at the White House