Walk Through The Web Wednesday 10/27

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Happy Last Week of October Furiends,
This was quite a busy week. The Human attended the annual conference of #The Cat Writers Association and BOY did she learn a lot. The Tribe was uninterested in hanging around the computer (it was a virtual conference) so while she sat at her desk and scribbled notes, we enjoyed the beautiful view from our office.

“Hey, I thought there were squirrels down there.” – Alberto
“Alberto, the squirrel is hanging around the bird feeder, you guys spent some quality time making fools of yourselves trying to intimidate him from the dining room window.” – Lily
“Sigh, Human when will you be done? I’m getting bored!” – Alberto
“How can you guys be bored with that beautiful view?” – The Human
“Hey, it’s me Oliver, under your desk. I’m getting faint from hunger. Will there be any treats forthcoming?”

Okay, purrhaps it wasn’t as bad as we’re making it out to be and we are proud to announce that we won a Muse Medallion this year!!

Well, time for the news and for us to finish working on our contest announcements for Friday.

Humane Fort Wayne holding Feline Fall Festival to build 300 shelters for community cats

I love when you humans get together and do something for kitties who don’t have forever homes. Humane Ft. Wayne in Indiana is inviting the public to help assemble shelters for community cats at their annual Feline Fall Festival. They will be building 300 outdoor shelters to keep their local felines warm and safe.

Humane Ft. Wayne estimates that there are 16,000 community cats living in the area. If you live near this shelter I hope you’ll help out but, if it’s too far, there are other shelters in different cities doing the same thing. If your city is doing shelters for community cats, meow about it in the comments and let the folks in your area know.

Century-old photos of cats dressed in human clothes shows people have been humiliating their pets for years

Oh my whiskers! I thought this costume thing was a method of modern humans to mock and embarrass their felines and now I find out, you’ve been doing this for years!

The book, Kittens and Cats: A First Reader was a hit with children of the day who loved reading about, Queen Cat, Dunce Cat, Granny Gray, and Party Cat.

The book was meant to be read aloud, and is about a feline kingdom whose inhabitants are getting ready for a fabulous party thrown by the Queen.

One kitten in the book boasts,  “I’m the only cat in our country who has an automobile.” I guess the other poor kitties had to walk to the pawty.

The photographer didn’t receive credit in the book but it’s believed that Harry Whittier Frees, famous for his kitten photography, took the photos. Lest you worry that kittens were harmed during the shoot, it was said of Frees that he had “great patience and invariable kindness”.

The book was meant to be educational. The back of the book says that children would be taught 600 vocabulary words and teachers were advised to conduct classes by “assigning a cat character to each child, having them read in order the text devoted to their special character. The children should impersonate the different cats and tell their tales to amuse the Queen, who sits on her throne,” the author recommended.

This book is now in the public domain and you can read it online at Archive.org and even download it.

This feline is still no fan of costumes for cats, even for educational purrposes!

Behind the Spooky Eyes of Cats

ILLUSTRATION: TOMASZ WALENTA

Have you noticed that around Halloween, humans like to post photos of their felines making the cat’s eyes look creepy? Well, Physicist Helen Czerski has some interesting things to say about our eyes (and by the way, our eyes aren’t creepy at all!)

First she says the pupil of the eye is the gatekeeper. Light has to pass through the pupil to reach the back of the eye where the light sensitive cells are located.

Cats have vertical slit-shaped pupils which are common in nighttime ambush predators who also need to function during the day. The muscle structure needed to open and close a slit-shaped pupil is simple. That means we felines can narrow our slits to the tiniest sliver, and then open them up in the dark until they’re round. Domestic cats are able to change the area of our pupils (and therefore the light it lets in) by a factor of 135.  You humans are only able to change yours by a factor of 15.  That means we see much better in the dark than you do.

Felines have a narrow pupil in the horizontal direction but a wide pupil in the vertical direction. Anything  along the horizontal plane is in beautiful sharp focus but  the image will be more blurred in the vertical direction. At the right focal length, the image will be perfectly in focus in both directions, and that gives the cat an extra way of judging distance. The slit gives the cat a second way of doing this (the other is the stereo images from both eyes, which is how humans judge distance); the two complement each other to produce pinpoint accuracy.  Well, that just goes to show you that we felines have amazing eyes.

So there you go, another amazing fact about the wonderful felines that live in your house!

Every kitty needs an advent calendar

As you can see, we are ready to get in the holiday spirit and a good part of that is having The Human get us an advent calendar to count down the days. We found some great ones for this year.

Fancy Feast has a fancy advent calendar this year. It has 24 flavors that include classics as well as new, limited edition holiday recipes like Yuletide Turkey Feast in Gravy and Hearthside Salmon Platter with Pumpkin and Spinach Pate. Just think of your human opening a can of this goodness for you every morning during Advent! The calendar is $24.99 and you can find it at Amazon, Chewy, Walmart and more.

Since Oliver is on a D-I-E-T The Human is not so enthusiastic about extra treats, which is why she likes the idea of the Merry & Bright Holiday Feline So Festive with Cat Toys 25-Day Advent Calendar. This calendar has 25 Christmas themed toys and sells for $17.00.

Staying on the theme of no-calorie advent goodies, the  Merry Makings 12-Days of Thrills Cat Toy Advent Calendar is another winner. This one comes with just 12 toys and the cost is $13.00.

Our Lily wants this one because it’s called  Lily’s Kitchen Christmas Cat Advent Calendar. There are 24 meaty gourmet treats of many flavors for the refined feline palate, such as chicken with liver and turkey with cranberry, The cost is $32.00

If you want snacks that will help you retain your girlish (or boyish) figure then you’ll love Snif-Snax Holiday Cat Advent Calendar, Atlantic Salmon and Seaweed . This one is a real bargain, with 73 treats that are divided into 25 snack filled days of ocean delights for $10.00.

If you’re one of the lucky felines who don’t have to worry about your physique, Scrumbles Cat Advent Calendar is for you. The British based company packs this calendar with a variety of natural, healthy treats. They also give 50p (about 69 cents) per purchase to Woods Green The Animals Charity for the cats and kittens they help there. This organization has been around since 1924 and is one of the UK’s largest pet charities. They have a converted farm in Godmanchester that’s purpose-built, ready to help dogs, cats and more animals. This calendar costs $33.00 and has a variety of healthy, meaty treats for 24 days.

Lucky the Black Cat Went From Being Abandoned to One of the Most Handsome Felines on Instagram

I would be remiss if I didn’t do a feature on a black cat for the month of October.  I love this black cat named Lucky who is a hit on Instagram. He went from feral to fancy and is now living his best life. He has a signature look for his Instagram photos which includes dark shades and he’d never be caught at a photo shoot without them.

You can read Lucky’s story in the article and also get some tips from his purrsonal photographers about how they get those great shots of him. Black cats rock!

Harry Chats!

Hello Furiends,
It’s that time of the week when we felines get on (or rather in) our soapboxes and let the world know what we’re thinking!

We are always looking for feline “chatters” for this feature. What gets your whiskers in a twist? Do you want to brag about your clowder or your human staff? We’d love to hear from you. Send us a photo and your thoughts and you could be chatting to! (FelineOpines@gmail.com)

Harry is our guest this week. He’s a member of the clowder at Debbie’s house where Hermione and Stripey live. Thanks for meowing for us Harry!

Can We Talk About Swag?

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“Can we talk about swag?” Alberto

When The Female Human goes to the Cat Writers Association Conference (#cwa25) she always comes home with stuff she refers to as swag. l asked her once, “What is this swag to which you refer?” And she said the original meaning of the term was “goods taken by a burglar”. Now I know The Female Human is honest and that she would not bring home stolen goods so I had to settle for the definition that says swag is stuff given to cat media professionals by generous sponsors.

And this year the sponsors were very generous. The Tribe of Five will be reporting on individual items but I wanted to give a shout out to @Cat Lady Box for putting something really cool in the bag for humans!

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First, let me say that Cat Lady Box is a pawsome company. You sign up for one or more months and they send you AND your feline goodies. The Female Human went crazy over the human stuff on the website, here are two of her favorites, the Cat Squad hoodie and the cat umbrella, pretty cool huh?

 

Lest you think that this is a human only box, think again. There are so many cool feline things. The Tribe of Five had a hard time picking just two from the many goodies on their website to feature in this post. These two were the winners. The Teddy Bear rug for felines is purrfect for chilly winter evenings and the furry bunny catnip toy brings out the beast in us.

So what did The Female Human get from the  Cat Lady Box folks? Take a look, she’s driving around town letting her feline flag fly (and in the wilds of North Idaho where dogs rule, that’s quite a statement!)

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Feline Fine in Idaho!

So “fangs a lot” to the good folks at Cat Lady Box for making The Female Human so happy.

The Tribe is Honored

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The Tribe of Five at Feline Opines is all dressed up for the Cat Writer’s Awards.

Hey there Furiends,
We wanted to take a moment to meow about the fact that we received two Certificates of Excellence from the Cat Writer’s Association.  I guess all the hard work by our Purrsonal Assistant paid off. I just hope this doesn’t mean she’s going to ask for a raise!

Alberto will be reporting from the CWA conference in May.
Purrs & Head Bonks,
The Tribe of Five