Hello There Furiends,
Since my weekly feline news report falls on 9/11 I wanted to take a moment to ask you all to remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Let us never forget.
An update on things in our neck of the woods. Fall is definitely coming and one of the indicators of this is when The Tribe members begin to snuggle with each other again. Tucker and Lily haven’t gotten near each other while the temperatures were warm but as The Female Human likes to keep temperatures a bit cool in our house, snuggling has now become a need, not an option.
Jasmine is annoyed because The Female Human was raised by a hearty German mother who believed a bedroom temperature was not healthy unless you could see your breath. This does not take into consideration that we felines are heat seeking creatures. This does not make Jasmine happy.
The first hint that fall is coming is that all the colors outside begin to change. I can sit at the windows and check out the changes in the woods below. It is quite pretty out there but those pretty colors mean that the white stuff isn’t too far away. The up side to that is there will be plenty of lounging in front of the fireplace!
Hello there fall, I see you hiding out there. -Alberto
But enough about us. Let’s take a look at the latest feline news I’ve discovered in my web wanderings.
Are Yawns Contagious For Cats Too?
You know how you humans yell at each other when one of you yawns because you don’t want to “catch” the yawn? Well, Japanese cat owner and Twitter user @nanao_ssan recently released photos to prove that we felines catch yawns too. Go to the link and see the sequence, Now the burning question is, can humans catch yawns from cats?
Here’s Your Chance To Fund an Open World PC Game About Mystery Solving Cats
You humans spend a lot of time on PC games. Most of them, IMHO are violent and do nothing to further love and understanding as you are focusing on killing each other.
Now you can change all that. A new PC game is in development where you play as nine different cats. It’s called Peace Island, and it’s being independently created. The original creators are backed by a team of about six people thanks to the nearly $13,000 per month they’re pulling in via cat-loving fans. The game is currently being developed for PC, Mac, and Oculus VR.
The story begins when the cats of the world wake up to discover that all their humans are gone. They start off slow with regular cat antics and mini-games that include staring at walls, but soon find themselves asking big questions, such as, “Are the humans worth bringing back?”
If you humans donate $25 to their Patreon you’ll receive a “postcard set, access to the Beta [version of the game], and the full game upon release.” It’s a pretty good offer for what looks to be a very cool open-world PC game. In a world where the idea of humans controlling their felines is laughable, this fantasy game is a winner. My only question is, when will they come out with the tablet version for felines to play?
New scale interprets pain from feline facial expressions
One thing vets and humans always agree on is that we felines don’t always show when we are in pain. That’s why it’s time to sound the trumpets and purr!. Dr. Paulo Steagall, an associate professor of veterinary anesthesia and analgesia at the University of Montreal, presented the Feline Grimace Scale for the first time in the United States during a session in August at AVMA Convention 2019 in Washington, D.C. Details about the FGS will be published in Scientific Reports, a journal from Nature Research, soon.
Researchers categorized and tested five facial action units indicative of pain in cats: ear position, orbital tightening, muzzle tension, whisker position, and head position. A score of 0 means absence of pain, 1 indicates moderate pain or uncertainty, and 2 is obvious appearance. A total score of 4 or more means the cat is in pain and medical care. The maximum total score is 10.
Here’s how they score it.The scoring of 0, 1, or 2, respectively, for each facial action unit is as follows:
Ear position—Ears facing forward, ears slightly pulled apart, or ears flattened and rotated outward.
Orbital tightening—Eyes opened, eyes partially opened, or eyes squinted.
Muzzle tension—Muzzle relaxed (round), muzzle mildly tense, or muzzle tense (elliptical).
Whisker position—Whiskers loose and curved, whiskers slightly curved or straight, or whiskers straight and moving forward.
Head position—Head above the shoulder line, head aligned with the shoulder line, or head below the shoulder line or tilted.
I don’t know about you, but I’m very happy my human will be able to tell easier if I’m in pain (although she knows us so well, she usually figures it out).
“It’s raining cats and dogs”?
Now that fall is here this is a phrase you humans often use. The Female Human is a bit of a word nerd and she loves to find out the origin of phrases. One explanation for this term is that it comes from mythology that says cats and dogs were believed to be associated with the weather. It was commonly thought they were even able to cause or influence it. English sailors attributed gales and violent rainstorms to cats. And in many areas of northern Europe, the dog was a symbol of the wind. The wind is often pictured in old German drawings as originating with the breath of a dog. So the myth of the cats and dogs brings both concepts together to create the term “raining cats and dogs”. Full disclosure here, I have never known a feline to cause rainstorms. That is very silly as anyone who knows cats knows we are not fond of getting wet!
How To Keep Your Cat Out of Your Christmas Tree
Now lest you think I’m featuring an article about spoiling feline fun during the Yuletide season, this is about cat safety, not spoiling cat’s fun. There are many things on the Christmas tree that are not good for us; those little cords of lights for instance, a big no-no to chew on. Anything tinselly or papery will end up in a stomach x-ray in no time. You get the idea. I am a bit of a plastic and paper obsessed feline and there is so much on a Christmas tree that I enjoy chewing. It’s one thing to have to pick up the ornaments we bat across the living room; it’s quite another thing to spend a good part of your Christmas holiday at the vet’s office with your feline!