Happy Wednesday Furiends,
We are happy as we again have our Purrsonal Assistant under control and my Wednesday feature is happening on…..Wednesday!
We are still suffering through the dreaded D-I-E-T. Frankly, I don’t think Oliver has lost an ounce.
Now you may think that the D-I-E-T was the only topic of conversation this week but you would be wrong. We received a nice email from a human named Jayne who told us we’d been featured on the “top 18 list of most underrated cat bloggers” on the Cat Informer blog. You can read about us and the other 17 meowvelous cat blogs here. Thank you Cat Informer!
And now, let’s get to this weeks findings for best feline news on the web.
Tennessee Woman teaches your cat to hike
Laura Partain says the #1 essential in packing for a hike is her cat. After spending four to five months working with the formerly timid feline, she now has a trail blazer. Partain has two cats who hike with her and needless to say, they attract a lot of attention when they are hiking. They also sparked an idea.. She said, “I really want to help people see their cats in a different way and to get out of the mindset of ‘Oh, my cat would never do that.’ She wants people to look at their cat and say, ‘How can I help this cat to have a better life. How can I help enrich this cat’s life and train them?’ They’re actually really fun to train,” said Partain, who grew up training show goats. To that end, Partain created the Tennessee Cat Adventure Club, and so far she’s trained 14 new adventure cats.
She says it’s best if people train their cats themselves but she does offer training assistance as cat’s require some specialized training techniques. Dogs will learn things because they want to please you. Cats (and goats) are more transactional. (Who knew we fabulous felines had that in common with goats?) In other words, felines want to know what’s in it for them and what the pay offs (treats) are. This means food is always required for training sessions. Her two most important tips are, have treats handy and make sure you have a harness that fits your cat well.
Recently Partain has partnered with Tennessee State Parks to encourage pet owners to use a leash on the trail. She said leashes allow all animals, including cats, to get out and enjoy the beauty of Tennessee.
Meowza that hiking thing sounds like it might be fun!
Meet the cats fighting Chicago’s rat problem
If you’re a regular reader of my Wednesday web wanderings you know I love to feature stories about working cats. This story is a bit different than most as it’s not about a brewery, bookstore or bodega “hiring” a feline but about feral cats placed on the Chicago streets to deal with the problem this city, known as “the rattiest city in America” has had for years.
Since 2012, the Tree House Humane Society has placed over 1,000 feral cats onto Chicago streets.
The mere presence of the cats and their pheromones, are enough to keep the rats away.
I was a bit concerned about these felines being “tossed into the streets” but this isn’t the case at all. Cats are spayed or neutered “pre-employment” and “employers” are screened and required to provide food, water, shelter, and wellness to the cats who work for them. In most cases, these cats become beloved members of the family or team and some even have their own Instagram pages! If you live in Chicago and want to hire a feline, you can apply at Tree House’s website.
Couple builds mini-bedroom for their cat, complete with a TV for watching birds on YouTube
I only have one thing to say…..”Human, you need to step up your game!”
Twitter user @CinnamonBear9 shared photos of her meowvelous kitty bedroom with bed, bedspread that matches mom’s and dad’s, pictures on the walls, a rug, a miniature chair, some tiny yarn balls, and a mini scratching post. And the pièce de résistance? A wooden wall frame that holds a tablet (or “big screen TV to a cat) for endless hours of cat video watching on YouTube.
And how has the feline reacted to this pawsome bedroom? He naps in there and watches bird TV. Paws up for these creative humans for going above and beyond for their kitty!
Why cats may have more to teach us about living the good life than Socrates
Socrates is credited with saying “the unexamined life is not worth living.” For centuries, you humans have looked to philosophy as a way to contemplate and answer many of life’s biggest, toughest questions.
British philosopher John Gray opines that cats can often teach us much more about living the good life than philosophy ever could.
In his book, Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of Life, Gray examines the nature of our philosophical pursuits, and finds them wanting.
“In humans, discontent with their nature seems to be natural,” he writes. “With predictably tragic and farcical results, the human animal never ceases striving to be something that it is not.” He says cats make no such effort. Cats exist to serve their most immediate needs and keep themselves safe from danger.
Although this feline would argue that Gray makes us sound a bit shallow, I do have to agree.
Gray points out that cats aren’t philosophical about death. Cats refuse to quietly surrender to death from a predator. They’ll fight to the very, very end to protect themselves or their kittens if they’re female cats. So they have a strong love of life when they’re healthy, and when they’re sickening, they tend to crawl to some quiet, shadowy place where they, in a sense, they aim to die.
Gray says you humans shouldn’t try to be cats but maybe you should overthink a little less. I think that’s good advice!
Mount Washington Observatory welcomes new summit cat, Nimbus
Here’s another great working cat story. This Onway, N.H. cat, named for a type of cloud is taking his place above the clouds in his new home at the Mount Washington Observatory.
Nimbus was chosen from four candidates at the Conway Area Humane Society. His sociable attitude as well as his large repertoire or meows, chatters and purrs won him the job.
Nimbus’ predecessor, Marty crossed the Rainbow Bridge in late 2020. The observatory employees said it was a long search as the new hire would have big paws to fill.
MWO Summit Operations Manager Rebecca Scholand said. “The summit cat is such a special part of our living environment on the summit, making it feel much more like a home on our weeklong shifts.”
Nimbus, we say “concatulations” on your new home and new career!