Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 11/30

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends!

Instead of talking about life in our neck of the woods this week, I want to talk about an amazing place we just learned about in a very far away neck of the woods. We received an email from Peter, a volunteer at Velvet Paws Sanctuary, a small regional cat shelter in Hajdúszoboszló which is close to the second largest Hungarian city Debrecen.

Peter wrote that Velvet Paws isn’t a shelter but a refuge in the home of a woman named Ilona. She was active in shelter volunteer work until she moved to Hajdúszoboszló. She found that people there weren’t interested in the fate of stray cats so she decided to create a foundation to help wounded and ill cats from the streets and provide medical assistance, shelter and food and find forever homes for the cats. Peter wrote that there are cats everywhere in the house (at present there are 50) and the cats aren’t allowed in the garden in the winter as it is too cold. All of the cats are all socialized and given free access. An old white cat lives in the bathroom because he needs extra care and feeding. There is only one cage in the house and that is used to keep the new small kittens separate from the older cats in the house.  

Peter does the web and social media work and is the only one who speaks English and who reached out to us. He explained that Hungarian taxpayers can send 1% of their tax to any listed foundation but as they are new, the sanctuary does not qualify yet. Peter also noted that he had registered the non-profit with TechSoup (a Google organization for non-profits) but they haven’t qualified yet for free Google advertising. We sent The Human over to Google to find out more about TechSoup and it doesn’t sound like they are interested in small non-profits like this one.

Everything done for Velvet Paws is done by volunteers and they rely on the kindness of the community to provide cat food and other supplies as well as help with veterinary costs.  They are taking advantage of free social media accounts and use a free Wix website as well and don’t have the funds to hire professionals. I say they’re doing a good job with the volunteers they have but things could always be better.

Their website, Twitter account and YouTube channel tell the stories of cats they’ve rescued. This story about Bársonyka, found when she was three months old, especially touched my heart. Her name means Velvet Kitty and when she was found two of her legs were broken and she had a traumatic diaphragm hernia.  After her fractures were fixed and  her hernia surgery completed, she was fine. She’s now waiting for someone to adopt her. Her surgeries cost the sanctuary $400.00. You can find this story and others on their website. They also have a program where you can virtually “adopt” one of their cats.

I hope you will check out this very deserving sanctuary and, if you are so moved, to help them in whatever way you can. Spreading the word about them is a big help so please share the story of the good people in Hungary who donate their time, treasure and home to help cats in need. And I know many of my furiends are well versed in the cat saving biz so if you have any ideas that could help them, please let them know. If your Hungarian isn’t up to snuff, you can send an email in English to Peter at hungarianvelvetpaws@gmail.com.

and now, on to the news.

The Famous Acro-Cats

I love these amazing felines! They are traveling the country and if you have the chance to see them take it. I would caution you not to expect any of their feats from your felines in residence, even if all the Acro-Cats are formal strays.

The current show is called “Meowy Catmas” and will be in various venues in the New Orleans area until Dec. 18th.

There will also be a special appearance by The Rock-Cats, the only cat band in the world, playing seasonal carol selections such as “A Cat in a Manger,” “Catnip Roasting on an Open Fire” and “God Rest Ye Merry Kittens.”

In addition to being on “Cat People,” the Amazing Acro-Cats have been featured on national TV shows including “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl,” “CBS News Sunday Morning” and PBS Nova’s “Cat Tales.”

Tickets range in price from $35 to $50. The first week of shows offers a $5 discount when purchased online. For show dates and times, and to purchase tickets, visit www.rockcatsrescue.org.

Tickets are also available at the door. This two-hour performance has limited seating, so advanced ticket purchases are suggested as it is always a sellout.

Volunteer opportunities are available during the show that will earn you a free ticket. Learn more here.

The Acro-Cats tour supports the Rock Cats Rescue, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Rock Cats Rescue is focused on saving cats “one click at a time” through cat welfare, rescue and adoption. Acro-Cats performances promote the importance of bonding and training cats with positive reinforcement, while also finding homes for rescued cats. Rock Cats Rescue has found homes for 310 cats and kittens since 2009.

What are doubloons? Why TikTok has been taken over by an imaginary cat meme ‘currency’

Have you been seeing the word ‘dabloons’, or doubloons, a lot lately, and are confused as to what is going on? Well evidently this feline isn’t the only one confused.

I did some research and will hopefully answer  your questions about the dabloon movement.

When I asked The Human what dabloons were she thought I was talking about doubloons which are gold coins dating back to 16th century Spain and used as currency for hundreds of years. Those aren’t the ones I’m talking about. The ones on TikTok came from a meme (said to have been on Instagram) from 2021 with a cat holding out a paw and the words, “four dabloons”. Each toe was worth one dabloon.

The meme quickly became popular on Tik tok and has evolved into “Dabloons” andnow refers to an imaginary currency. This doesn’t surprise me. Humans have been involved in quite a bit of imaginary currency these days. It is a fictional currency used to trade fictional items and only for fun and not to be taken seriously.

The meme quickly became popular on Tik tok and has evolved into “Dabloons” andnow refers to an imaginary currency. This doesn’t surprise me. Humans have been involved in quite a bit of imaginary currency these days.

It is a fictional currency used to trade fictional items and only for fun and not to be taken seriously.

The meme quickly became popular on Tik tok and has evolved into “Dabloons” and now refers to an imaginary currency. This doesn’t surprise me. Humans have been involved in quite a bit of imaginary currency these days. It is a fictional currency used to trade fictional items and only for fun and not to be taken seriously.

How it works

Humans collect ‘dabloons’ by just counting up how many times they have seen dabloons online. In other words,  if you see dabloons, you get dabloons, and each meme is worth four dabloons.

Humans are going to great effort toe create this dabloon economy in extreme detail. You can get into dabloon debt, dabloon theft, some are tracing dabloon inflation, and there are even claims of a dabloon IRS (the American Inland Revenue Service).

Dabloon shops have popped up, such as @dabloongrocerystore, offering items as innocuous as eggs and flour. You may come across videos featuring cats declaring “hello traveller” as though you are a weary adventurer making your way around the internet. They will then offer you a variety of items with prices in dabloons, which you can choose at your leisure. Hmm, maybe I should check this out for Oliver, he could use a job.

You have to keep track of your own dabloon spending, which some people are doing using excel spreadsheets.

Some people started to give away infinite dabloons, but this has started to play havoc with the economy. The hashtag dabloons has been viewed 520 million times on TikTok.

This feline has concluded that some of you humans have waaaaay too much time on your hands!

Feline Agility, or Why Cats Land Butter-Side Up

How do cats always land on their feet? Far from being some human urban myth, the majority of felines dropped from a height manage to land on all fours; from your domestic feline to the king of the beasts, feline agility is at work.

The falling cat question has been under scrutiny by scientists for many years.. (There’s even a book about the phenomenon.) Back in 1894, Étienne-Jules Marey captured the arc of a cat falling on film, creating a slow-motion series of frames that showed what was happening. As Ars Technica describes, when it was first presented, Marey’s slo-mo cat fall led esteemed physicists to declare that cats were acting “against the known laws of physics.”

Regardless of feline agility defying physics, Marey’s film captured a cat showing the “bend and twist” necessary in mid-flight to bring its legs underneath its body for a safe landing. Each frame showed how the cat flexed its spine and rotated its legs to land “butter-side” up, so to speak.

In a BBC video, the wild cat, native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Pakistan and northwestern India, falls gracefully to the ground. Following the slow-motion frames, the narrator describes the sequence of events.

As the feline orientates itself in space to determine which way up it is facing, it starts a two-direction rotation. The forelimbs go clockwise while the rear spins counter to that. The cat holds its front legs close into its body similar to the way ice skaters do to increase speed of spin. This is key as it allows the animal to exert a force against the rest of its body, with the flexible spine allowing the rotations to continue. As the cat rights itself it brings all four feet underneath and arches its back to prepare to absorb the landing. Muscular and flexible limbs held perpendicular to the main body mass absorb the compression and impact forces for a successful landing.

Feet landings have helped cats survive in the wild and they have another advantage that makes them more likely to survive a fall: Their terminal velocity is low. Terminal velocity is the limiting uniform velocity attained by a falling body when the resistance of the air has become equal to the force of gravity. (I had to copy this as science is not this feline’s strong suit!) In other words, it’s the fastest speed a falling body gets to in free flight since resistance to the air limits the acceleration attained. To put it in non-sciency terms, we cats deploy a fluffy parachute by stretching ourselves out, a little like a flying squirrel. (I’m not so sure how I feel about being compared to a rodent but I digress).The scientists say this makes our terminal velocity around 60 miles per hour. You humans hit terminal velocity at 120 mph.

Fascination for feline agility extends to robotics, where building machines that are capable of self-righting, landing correctly or surviving falls offers a lot more versatile. This curiosity also extends to space, where NASA studied how cats fell in order to coach their astronauts on how to move around in zero gravity.

Once again, science proves what amazing creatures we felines are.

Welcome the Internet’s latest viral cat: A sad-looking little guy named Fishtopher

Over the years, we’ve seen unusual feline faces become instant social media sensations. Cats like Lil Bub, Cinderblock, Grumpy Cat, Perdita, and Jorts became overnight stars.. And now it’s time for everyone to hear about Fishtopher, a cat that’s become famous for looking really depressed.

https://www.avclub.com/embed/inset/iframe?id=twitter-1595800103503151109&autosize=1 Fishtopher first came to the internet’s attention with an adoption ad that was highlighted by Molly Clarke and subsequently retweeted almost 22,000 times. Fishtopher was described as a five-year-old domestic shorthair and Bengal mix who “is very sad and depressed.”

Fortunately, only a couple of days after the internet discovered Fishtopher, there were plenty of people interested in adopting him. In a Facebook post from last weekend, New Jersey’s Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center said that the cat’s “sad, fat face” had led to “hundreds of inquiries” and a line of people waiting outside its building for a chance to take home a rising star.

Among them were Laura Folts and Tanner Callahan, a couple from Baltimore who, NBC News states, took a two-hour drive to wait outside for the shelter to open on the weekend. They ended up being the first in line and adopted Fishtopher.

Now, as was probably inevitable, Fishtopher has an Instagram and a Twitter account. He no longer looks sad and his accounts are used to both document this fact and share links to other cats in need of homes. I would say this was the best result possible from Fishtopher’s fame..

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 11/16

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
It’s been a pretty routine week in our neck of the woods. We’ve been up to our usual shenanigans. Oliver is still deaf to The Human’s pleas to stop burrowing UNDER the sofa cover.

“Yes Human, I see the cat hair on the sofa. What’s your point?”

Lily heard that a friend of ours was feeling under the weather so she dressed up like a nurse. Lilly is a nice kitty but trust me, she is no medical purrfesional!

“I’m here to lend my purrfesional services.”

And Oliver thinks he’s some kind of comedian. Please don’t laugh as you’ll only encourage him.,

“Hey Al, what’s a cat’s favorite kitchen tool?”
“I don’t know Ollie, what is a cat’s favorite kitchen tool?”
“A whisker” MOL
“Oh PULLEEZE”

Well, that was our week….oh wait, there was one other thing. The Human was contacted by the good folks at Chicken Soup and told her story “Miss P and the Turkey” will be in the February release, “Lessons I learned From My Cat”. We are happy for her but would have purferred that the story was about us. Oh well, maybe she’ll get her book finished and published because Oliver and I are in it!

Well, that’s it for news from The Tribe. Now here’s some feline news from the web.

Scientists Confirm You Can Communicate With Your Cat by Blinking Very Slowly

Oliver exchanging a slow blink with The Human.

First, let me say that it was a bit disappointing that it took a bunch of scientists to research the meaning of the “slow blink”. Sheesh, anyone who knows cats knows that’s our way of showing affection.

Scientists published a study in 2020 where they observed cat-human interactions and, as the article says, “… were able to confirm that this act of blinking slowly makes cats – both familiar and unfamiliar animals – approach and be receptive to humans.”

They do give humans a nod by saying that this is something many cat owners “suspected”. Many humans know this to be a fact.

The scientists say that our partially closed eyes, accompanied by slow blinking is similar to how human eyes narrow when they smile.  In other words, the slow blink is a feline version of a smile.

The researchers then tested to see if humans copied this expression would they communicate friendliness and openness to their feline.

They did two experiments. In the first one, owners slow-blinked at 21 cats from 14 different households. The cats were settled and comfy and the owners were told to sit about a meter away and slow blink when the cat was looking at them. Cameras recorded both the owner’s face and the cat’s face, and the results were compared to how cats blink with no human interaction.

The results showed that cats are more likely to slow-blink at their humans after their humans have slow-blinked at them.

The second experiment included 24 cats from eight different households. This time, it wasn’t the owners doing the blinking but the researchers, who’d had no prior contact with the cat. The researchers performed the same slow-blink process as the first experiment, adding an extended hand towards the cat. And they found that not only were the cats more likely to blink back, but that they were more likely to approach the human’s hand after the human had blinked.

“This study is the first to experimentally investigate the role of slow blinking in cat-human communication,” McComb said.

Folks, you can try this at home and see how your felines respond.  Narrow your eyes at your feline as you would in a relaxed smile, followed by closing your eyes for a couple of seconds. You’ll find they respond in the same way themselves and you can start a sort of conversation.”

I’m always happy to hear positive things about our connections with humans. The scientists stated the following:

Cats, for example, respond in kind to humans who are receptive to them – so if you find cats standoffish, that might be a problem with you, not the kitty.

Likewise, cats echo the personality traits of the humans they live with – this may be related to why cats seem to pick up when their humans are sad. They also can recognize their names (although they choose to ignore them a lot of the time). And their bonds with their humans are surprisingly deep.

If you are interested in the more sciency information about this research, you can read about it in Scientific Reports.

FIP research: New hope for cats (and maybe humans)

This article contains important information and the facts are far beyond this feline brain so I am including this article in it’s entirety.

As veterinary professionals in 2022, few of us would have imagined that we would be diagnosing a fatal disease in young cats and telling our clients we know of a treatment but that we can’t administer, sell, or prescribe it—then suggesting they visit a Facebook page to purchase unmarked vials of a drug from China for thousands of dollars. But that is precisely the scenario in which we find ourselves in the diagnosis and treatment of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) in the United States.  

How did we get to a point where our only option is to suggest that our clients meet up with strangers from the internet with no veterinary training in parking lots to buy an unapproved medication to inject into their dying cats?  

A brief history on the seemingly miraculous, unapproved treatment for FIP 

Gilead Sciences, a US-based global pharmaceutical company, had been studying various anti-viral drugs for years with the goal of finding a treatment for the deadly Ebola virus in humans. Among the drugs they created and patented were GS-441524 and GS-5734—neither of which proved to be successful in treating Ebola.  

Meanwhile, Davis Niels Pedersen, DVM, PhD, a professor emeritus of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California Davis, was fervently studying and trying to find a cure for FIP. He reached out to a friend, who was chief medical officer of Gilead Sciences at the time, to inquire about antiviral drugs that might help.  

He received about 25 different drugs from their library to try, and two of them showed very promising results: GS-5734, now known as remdesivir, and GS-441524, which is metabolized to remdesivir in the body.  

The results were incredible. They saw unheard-of cure rates in both artificially infected and naturally infected cats (between 80% and 100%). It seemed like the problem had been solved. Unfortunately, Gilead Sciences reportedly refused to license GS-441524, the simpler of the two molecules, for use in cats, and they later pursued remdesivir as a treatment for severely ill COVID-19 patients.  

The fear was that performing the studies to secure FDA approval for GS-441524 in cats might hamper efforts to approve GS-5734 (now remdesivir) in humans because if studies using GS-441524 to treat cats had any adverse effects or undesirable results, this could influence the analysis of remdesivir for human use.  

Remdesivir is now conditionally approved for emergency use in humans to treat severe COVID-19 infections, but without full FDA approval, it can’t legally be used off-label by veterinarians. GS-441524 is not approved at all, so it cannot legally be used either.  

As a result, desperate cat owners are left with no choice but to reach out to FIP Warriors, a global network made up of cat lovers, breeders, and rescuers—many of whom have been through treatment with their own cats. They help owners of sick cats get vials quickly, share notes on the best “brands” to purchase, and teach owners how to give daily subcutaneous injections to their cats.  

These are all tasks that would normally be performed by veterinary professionals. The other missing part to the current scenario is the drug safety, efficacy, and oversight piece. There are reportedly significant variations in the safety and success rates of products from different manufacturers, with one version even being blamed for killing cats in January 2021.  

Promising new research 

Researchers at the University of California Davis, where Pederson first discovered the success of those two molecules in treating FIP in cats, are taking up the charge.  

Krystle Reagan, PhD, DVM, Dip. ACVIM, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology, is leading several studies to find a treatment that is “readily accessible to treat cats diagnosed with FIP.”   

In collaboration with a team at the University of California San Diego, she is using CRISPR technology to develop a rapid test that detects viral genetic material. This study is still ongoing, but researchers hope it will yield a more definitive and rapid test that could replace the diagnosis by circumstantial evidence and exclusion that is currently the norm.  

Reagan is also the principal investigator on a clinical trial evaluating the use of GS-441524 and remdesivir in oral formulations to treat FIP. She reports that the efficacy of the oral formulations of both drugs appears to be good, and that this can provide an alternative to the daily GS-441524 injections, which are known to be painful to cats.  

Reagan’s colleague, Amir Kol, DVM, PhD, Dip ACVP (Clinical Pathology), associate professor of pathology, microbiology, and immunology, is leading a clinical trial of his own involving the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) along with GS-441524 in the treatment of FIP.  

Regarding the mechanism of action of MSCs in the treatment of FIP, Kol stated, “We still do not know if MSC treatment is effective in FIP. … Nonetheless, based on previous data, we expected MSC treatment to benefit cats with FIP by promoting three critical pathways that: 1) Decrease inflammation; 2) Rejuvenate exhausted T cells; and 3) Regenerate lymphoid tissue post infection.” 

This trial may add to our treatment arsenal for a rare, but serious, complication in human children as well. Kol draws parallels between FIP, with its “massive inflammatory response in conjunction … with an exhausted antiviral specific immune response” and MIS-C, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, which can be a severe complication of COVID-19 infection.   

MIS-C, he notes, is characterized by “1) Coronavirus-induced systemic hyperinflammatory disease; 2) Young age; and 3) T cell exhaustion.” He hopes that FIP in cats will serve as a good model for MIS-C in children, and that the findings from this study will benefit the treatment of both species. If success is seen in cats, MSCs are easily sourced for clinical trials in humans in the future, marking an “immediate translatable impact on children’s health.” 

Seeking FDA approval for cats and humans 

While none of these studies guarantee that a drug will be approved for veterinary use, we can hope that, with the preponderance of evidence for the efficacy and safety of GS-441524 and remdesivir in cats, one or both drugs can become licensed and FDA-approved for use in cats.  

Even full approval for use in humans would open doors to legal extra-label use in veterinary medicine. The more we learn about these disease models in cats and humans, the better we can refine the treatment and enhance the response rates in both species.  

While this story started with treatment needs in animals taking a back seat to treatment needs in humans, the next chapter can include cats, cat owners, and veterinarians finally getting access to lifesaving options for FIP, and better treatments for severe disease in both species. 

Further reading 

A Much-Hyped COVID-19 Drug is Almost Identical to a Black-Market Cat Cure 
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/05/remdesivir-cats/611341/ 

Unlicensed GS-441524-Like Antiviral Therapy Can Be Effective for at-Home Treatment of Feline Infectious Peritonitis 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8388366/ 

2022 AAFP/EveryCat Feline Infectious Peritonitis Diagnosis Guidelines
https://catvets.com/guidelines/practice-guidelines/fip-guidelines 

UC Davis Launches Clinical Trials to Treat a Deadly Coronavirus Disease in Cats 
https://www.ucdavis.edu/health/news/coronavirus-disease-cats 

For Parents: Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 
https://www.cdc.gov/mis/mis-c.html 

Cattywhompus Launches a Video Game for Cats to Play

Angela Eaton was fostering four kittens and when they reached that, “We want to play and we like your keyboard and computer stage” Angela tried to distract them  with one of her computer screens. She would put on videos that felines like to watch (my favorites are birds and squirrels). When she saw how much the kittens enjoyed the videos she was inspired to create a videogame for felines.

Eaton’s video game that uses visual stimulation to engage the playful participation of cats and kittens have been branded Cattywhompus. It’s a multi-level game that displays moving targets like frogs, flying saucers, fish-that cats “catch” with a touch. And the cool thing is the game keeps score and your humans can brag about who well you did against the felines in other homes (those humans love to brag about us!) And if your human is a real bragger, they can  upload their cat’s score to the Global Scoreboard to compare your cat’s points to cats around the world. Meowza!

The game is available for $2.99 USD and is available for iOS and Android. There are no in-app purchases or ads: pay once, play forever. Also, 10% of all profits from the video game will go to cat rescues throughout the country. Now that’s what this cat calls a “win win”.

Tell your humans to get you the app, we’re telling ours we want it and we’ll report back after we’ve played with it a while.

This Man Thought He Found His Lost Cat… And Then The Real One Showed Up

Many of you have probably seen this story on social media but wait….there’s more. Comedian James Felton shared the story on Twitter, musing on what could be going on and hilarity ensued. People began swapping tales about having the same situation…MOL,  Who knew? Do yourself a favor and read the posts on this page, you won’t be sorry.

A pet food bank saved me from having to give up my cats

Times are tough for you humans and when you suffer, sometimes we felines suffer too.  Chris Forrest thought he might have to give up his fur kids because he couldn’t afford to feed them any more. Imagine his relief when he discovered that there was a pet food bank in his neighborhood.

Chris loves his cats and said, “I would go without so my boys had food. They are like my children and I don’t know what I would do if I were to lose them. I’m welling up just thinking about it.”

Chris, who lives in Edinburgh, has four male cats – two five-year-old brothers called Galaxy and Shadow, and two four-year-olds called Leo and Sol. Chris is not able to work due to severe anxiety and depression and his cats help with his mental health.

Chris told BBC Scotland, “The cats keep me going – they interact with me and get me up in the morning as they need fed. I’m in a much better place having them, I’m more chilled out and relaxed.

They are so loving and give me cuddles and I burst out laughing watching them play together.”

Chris’ benefits were cut after the Covid pandemic, so he went to the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home and they gave him pet food.

There are now 66 pet food banks in community centers across central Scotland, the Lothians and the  Scottish Borders. Mike Dougan run the pet food banks who is the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home’s community outreach and development manager.

He started the project when he discovered people were sharing the food they got from food banks with their pets. “A pet is part of the family and every pet we can feed is a pet that can stay in a loving, warm, safe home without fear,” he said.

Pet Food banks are an important part of every community. We have one in our neck of the woods, do you?

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 10/26

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
How are things in your neck of the woods? We are settling in to the cozy part of fall and love it when The Human turns on the fireplace. She got us a new fury rug which is quite soft and comfy. I purrfer hanging out on the cat scratcher but Oliver, who always enjoys life’s comforts, has commandeered the rug.  It’s pretty clear how he feels about that new rug by the expression on his face.

The dreaded door-bell ringing festival is coming next Monday. If The Human cared about us, she’d hang a note on the door addressing those candy beggars that says, “Please knock quietly and for heaven’s sake DO NOT RING THE DOORBELL!” Hand in hand with this terrifying practice is the “Let’s stuff our hapless felines in ridiculous costumes” tradition. Oliver, Lily and I have made it quite clear that costumes are a “no-go” for us. Still, we didn’t want to be total party poopers so we suggested The Human Photoshop us in clothing, places and situations that we think would be fun. She agreed and we hope you enjoy the results.

Hello old Chaps, Sir Oliver here.
Join me in my library for a port or a beer.
This feline enjoys the luxurious things
Like roast beef or trifle, every luxury life brings 
Hi there, it’s Al, feline adventurer of great fame
All the  jungle creatures know me by name.
I chase tropical birds and hang out with gorillas
I’d rather sleep in the trees than doze off in a villa
My name is Lil-ee, the classiest of the bunch.
I enjoy some champagne and an escargot lunch.
With my beret and beautiful pearls
I’m the talk of Par-ee and an elegant girl. 

That’s it for our silliness. Now let’s take a look at all the feline related news of the week.

Your cat really does prefer your voice to that of a stranger

The web has exploded with articles about a study done by Charlotte de Mouzon at University Paris Nanterre in France.

De Mouzon and her colleagues tested the behavior of 16 cats, nine males and seven females, all living in studio apartments either as single pets with a female owner or as pairs of cats with a couple. The cats ranged in age from 8 months to 2 years, and their owners were all veterinary students at the National Veterinary School in Alfort, near Paris.

The team recorded the owners calling their cats by name, as they would normally. The owners were also asked to say things relating to one of four contexts: “Do you want to play?”, “Do you want to eat?”, “See you later!” and “How are you?” The team then recorded the pet owners saying the same phrases to people, now using the style of speech they would typically use with friends or adult family members as opposed to the tone of voice they use for their felines.

Sixteen women – not known to the cats – also had their voices recorded as they said the same four things to adult humans and to cats that they saw in videos in de Mouzon’s laboratory, using the same styles of speaking as the cat owners.

The cats heard all the recordings in their own homes, with their owners present but not interacting with them. When they heard the voices of their owners, the cats tended to interrupt their behavior and begin doing something else, such as looking around, moving their ears and tails, or even becoming completely still.

Even when they heard strangers speaking to them in a high-pitched, affectionate manner, calling them by name and inviting them to play or eat, the cats essentially ignored them, says de Mouzon. However, she did note that this might be because all the cats were indoor pets, with few opportunities to interact with strangers.

The findings provide further evidence that cats have strong social cognitive skills and that they are “sensitive and communicative individuals”, said Mouzon. Youi can click here to read the details about the study.

Hungry Cat tries to steal chips

This little video gives you a glimpse into the life of The Human who is still suffering due to her refusal to take Oliver off the D-I-E-T

San Francisco’s Store Cat Map

Oh meowza, this human has done a brilliant thing! Chris Arvin’s mapmaking has made him a Twitter star and his latest map is a BIG winner! The map is titled, “San Francisco Store Cats”

He’s located the best of the best store cats such as Lilly of Michaelis Wine & Spirits and Tosca of Nabila’s Naturals. He has even included notations about  which cats are especially friendly.

Cat Daddies- The Movie

Oh my whiskers, The Human is quite excited about this movie. The film is described as, “A heartwarming and tender portrait of a diverse group of men whose lives have been forever changed by their love of cats, CAT DADDIES takes us on an inspiring journey all across the United States during the challenging early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when people desperately needed hope and companionship.

These “cat dads” come from a variety of lifestyles. There is a firefighter, truck driver, a stuntman, an ad executive who has become a cat rescuer, a police officer and the list goes on.

The Human is hoping this film will show that the love of cats has no gender and that it will take some of the heat off the cat ladies of the world.

Cat Owners Discuss The Musical, Fictional, And Mythological Influences Behind Their Cats’ Names: Thread

We love hearing how our feline furiends got their names and now, thanks to Flattery Cat Café’s October 19th tweet asking what inspired the naming of their cat, I found some great stories!  I was named by someone who was a Tour de France aficionado and my sleekness and speed earned me my moniker. Oliver was the runt of the litter and was so tiny and always hungry when he came to the house with me, he reminded The Human of Oliver Twist, constantly asking, “May I have some more please?” Lily was named after the little girl next door who loved felines but whose dad was allergic. The human Lily could visit the feline Lily whenever she wanted until she moved away.

How do you, my feline furiends get your names? Meow about it in the comment section, we’d love to hear your stories!

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 10/19

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
It’s been a busy week here in our neck of the woods. Most of the time was devoted to The Human putting the finishing touches on her purresentation at the Cat Writers Association conference. She enjoyed some great seminars at the virtual conference. We liked it because she was at home with us on Friday and Saturday. We were very instrumental in helping her during the course of the conference as displayed in these photos. We have a nice view from the office window and since she was sitting at the big table, we were able to take over her pink office chair occasionally. 

After the conference, we went in the kitchen to see what the human was making from her Hello Fresh delivery. We were incensed to find out she was making a meatless dish and hastily made our way back to our sleeping stations on the cat tree in the office. It was a nice weekend and I’m sure The Human appreciated all the assistance we provided.

Where’s the meat and what’s up with the kale?

Today is “Evaluate Your Life” day and Lily, Oliver and I spent some time to honor the day. We suggest you do the same.

I hope you enjoy this week’s feline news.

A homeless cat is rescued and then finds an amazing furever home

We love The Dodo and find some of the most heartwarming videos there. This one gave The Human leaky eyes (she said only because it had such a happy ending).  This kitty was abandoned when his humans moved away, was rescued and then adopted by a family that takes him on boat trips.   This little movie is like a fantastic  fairy tale. You can keep up with all of Richey, Kiley, Lori and Jason’s adventures on Facebook.

Video game based in Maine follows 9 cats after humans mysteriously disappear

Meowza, there are a lot of video games featuring cats and here’s the latest on the list created by a man from Portland, Maine. The game features nine cats on a fictional island in Casco Bay. 

The creator of the game, Eric Blumrick, calls this an adventure game about cats and their encounters in the small island town where they live. The cats wake up one morning and find that all the humans have disappeared. The game poses the question, “Are the humans worth bringing back?”

The cats need to discover what humanity is and what it is to be human and as they do, they discover the story of the island and its history.

“In the end, once they uncover all the stories of Peace Island, it will be up to the cats and the players to decide whether the humans are worth bringing back,”

Dark Chocolate Cats

Please note, this product is for you humans only and it’s pretty clever. The Burdick Chocolates menagerie, well known for its silk-tailed mice, now includes cats. The company created  dark chocolate felines with a cherry ganache filling and a curved cashew tail. They’re almost two inches long, come six to a box and are being sold for a limited time online and at the L.A. Burdick shops in New York, Chicago, Washington and New England. The box of  six chocolate kitties sells for $27.00

Hysterical compilation of news reporters’ cats making guest appearances

It’s clear from these videos that when TV reporters work from home, their felines like to get in the act too.

Hurricane Ian cats rescued by Indiana women on vacation

Two Indiana women, Samantha Grimes and Holly Irwin were vacationing in Florida news reports about animals in need because of the hurricane. Both women who work in animal rescue and are board members and volunteers at SOAR Initiative Indianapolis knew they wanted to do something.

When they heard that shelter doors had been reopened, they loaded 35 cats into crates and put them in their Kia Sportage. They had to move all of their items into the storage compartment on top of the car to fit the cats in.

I would say these Indiana tourists went above and beyond and that animal rescue folks are never “off the clock”.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 8/30

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
It’s hard to believe August is almost over! Now that The Human is better some of us felines have had our own health issues to deal with. Lily, as I reported before went for a tooth cleaning and had to have two teeth extracted.

“Let me just tell you that was NOT fun and boy am I glad my recovery is over!”

And poor Oliver. Lily only had two extractions, he had three and he’s not feeling happy about it. The Human keeps telling him that being proactive is good because our poor Angel Tucker had to have emergency tooth surgery because he had a terrible infection and he really suffered! Oliver’s not buying this reasoning but once he’s all better and eating treats again, he’ll be happy.

“I am not happy!”

As for me, I’m just crossing my paws and purraying that my wellness exam next year goes as well as this year and the people in the white coats will keep their paws off my fangs!

“I don’t want to even think of having any of my fangs removed.”
“Human, please tell me there’s no tooth extraction in my future.”

Well, that was our week in our neck of the woods. I hope your week went better!

2 cats are looking for new roommates. Their adoption fee is $285K, but their house comes free

You all know I’m a huge fan of creative adoption ideas and this one is definitely creative.  Well, here’s  great one. In Olivehurst, California (about 40 miles north of Sacramento) there’s a house for sale in town with interesting terms. Or rather, two cats up for adoption with interesting terms. You can adopt two cats for $285,000.00 and the house they live in comes with them for free. This deal happened when a cat loving lady passed away and donated her tome to FieldHaven Feline Center.

The cats, Spencer and Ginger are ready for some new roomates I the cozy 2-bedroom house. FieldHaven says they are “impeccable houseguests”.

The house comes with a back porch where Spencer and Ginger enjoying hanging out. On the FieldHaven Facebook page it says, “Spencer and Gin have lived here for some time, and don’t need rehoming. They come with the house and expect food, water, and a bit of love,” FieldHaven said in a Facebook post. 

The house is listed on Zillow and Realtor.com. The listing says the house has brand new carpet, fresh paint, a spacious kitchen and a single-car garage with added space for the washer and dryer. It also has a bonus bathroom and shower and a bonus room leading to a spacious backyard.  

The proceeds from the home’s sale will go to supporting animal adoption efforts at FieldHaven. 

I would suggest that the new homeowners consider putting a catio in for Spencer and Ginger.

Missing cat who fell through Mackay office roof reunited with owners after eight months and 1,600km journey

  

Here is another one of my favorite news items. Whenever a feline has a happy reunion with their humans I am a happy cat!

It all started when a large ginger cat fell through the ceiling of Egron Energy.  When some of the workers arrived to check their equipment they were greeted by the cat, whose name is Eugene and a hole in their ceiling. The cat ran out the door and for several days they could here meowing coming from the ceiling. They contacted Mackay Pet Rescue Incorporated (MPRI) who came out and set traps in the ceiling.

And during the waiting time the feline and workers developed somewhat of a relationship. They would look up occasionally and see Eugene staring down at them.

It took a few days but Eugene was finally caught and his humans were called. Imagine everyone’s surprise when they found out Eugene’s home was 1600 km (a little over 994 miles) from the office in Newcastle, NSW.

Eugene’s adventure began when his human Sophie Kilgariff and her fiancé moved from Townsville to NSW in December 2021. On the way, while cleaning Eugene’s carrier, he made his first dash for freedom, squirmed out of his harness and ran into the nearby cane fields.

After hours of searching the couple had to continue on to their new home and new jobs. Sophie’s heart was broken. 

Several days later, Eugene was found and returned to Sophie’s parents, but a paralysis tick threatened his life. Sophie instructed her parents to take him to the vet and he beat the odds, recovering fully. He was brought to Sophie’s parent’s house but he escaped again.

This time months passed but Sophie never gave up, posting on  Facebook and receiving sporadic notifications of Eugene sightings. Sophie became disheartened and clung to the hope that Eugene had found a new, loving home.

And then, eight months later she received the phone call from MPRI telling her they were calling about her cat. When she realized they were talking about Eugene she couldn’t stop crying.

Eugene is now happily at home in his new location in Newcastle. I’m thinking Eugene used up at least two of his nine lives on that adventure!

5 Cats and 5 famous scientists

You all know that this feline is not sciency at all but I do enjoy a story about famous humans and their cats, even if the stories are only legends.

1. Albert Einstein and Tiger

Albert Einstein loved cats and all animals. “If a man aspired towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals,” he said, and was himself known to own multiple pets, including a dog and a parrot. But it was his cat Tiger who seemed to get the most attention.  Biographers have recorded that Einstein was sensitive to Tiger’s moods, noting for example that the cat got depressed when it was raining.

Cats apparently held a big enough place in Einstein’s heart that they pop up in quotes historically attributed to him. I shared an Einstein cat quote in last week’s feature.  He explained the telegraph like a long cat saying, “You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles”.  .

“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life: music and cats,” is one of my favorite Einstein quotes.

2. Edwin Hubble and Nicholas

Portrait of American astronomer Dr Edwin Hubble, a pipe in his mouth, as he poses with a cat in his arms, California, 1951. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)

If you think huge space telescope when you hear the name Hubble, you’re right. His discovery of galaxies beyond the Milky Way was revolutionary for the time, as was his work to support the theory that the universe is expanding. And he didn’t do it alone.

The center to Hubble’s universe, was  his cat, Nicholas Copernicus, who, as Hubble explained, made a beloved nuisance of himself. According to the Huntington Library, where Hubble’s personal papers are stored, references to the giant black cat abound in the archives.

Hubble frequently referred to his home as “Nicholas’ estate.” And in her diary, Hubble’s wife Grace noted the close bond between her husband and the cat. In a moment that every cat owner will recognize, Grace observed that when Edwin would retire to his study to work, Nicholas enjoyed lolling on Edwin’s desk, “sprawled over as many pages as he could cover,” she wrote. “‘He is helping me,’ [Edwin] explained.”

3. Isaac Newton and Spithead

Legend has it that, in between developing the fundamental laws of motion and gravitation, doing groundbreaking work on optics and helping to invent calculus, the great Sir Isaac Newton also found time to invent the cat flap. Meowza, who knew?

As one version of the story goes, when Newton was at Cambridge, he requested that a hole be cut into his door and a leather or cloth flap put over it so that his cat, Spithead, could come and go at will.

While some scholars dispute whether Newton even had a cat, historical evidence makes it pretty clear that he didn’t invent the cat door. Apart from anything else, cutting a hole in a door — even one you might put a flap over — hardly qualifies as an invention. Humans have been cutting holes in doors and walls for thousands of years — since before we even domesticated cats — to allow feral felines access to barns and granaries. They could then hunt the vermin that fed on our food supplies.

But as vermin attracts us felines, so do great men often attract their share of legends over time, and Newton was no different.

4. Erwin Schrödinger and Milton(?)

The most famous cat in science history owes its name to the physicist and Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger, who won the honor in 1933 for his early work in quantum mechanics. But he is best-known for the thought experiment involving a theoretical cat in a box, and whether it could be said to be both dead and alive. Schrödinger proposed the scenario in a 1935 paper as a criticism of quantum theory at the time.

Forever after known as “Schrödinger’s Cat,” the paradoxical thought experiment has become a permanent — although frequently misunderstood — fixture in both science and popular culture.

People have sometimes wondered why Schrödinger used a cat in his example, instead of a rat or a plant or almost any other living thing. Some stories allege that Schrödinger had an actual cat, named Milton, and infer that the pet may have provided some inspiration to the physicist.

However, Milton may — and may not — have existed at all.

5. Nikola Tesla and Macak

Nikola Tesla was a brilliant but eccentric pioneer of electricity.  Tesla was fond of talking about his childhood pet, Macak, whom Tesla once described as “the finest of all cats in the world.”

In a letter written to a young admirer in 1939, Tesla extolled the cat’s virtues at some length; the man was in his 80s by then, but time had clearly not diminished Tesla’s love for Macak. And that just shows you how much a great cat can affect a human’s life!

He told the story of a winter evening where he found himself stroking Macak’s back. In a moment that inspired his lifelong study of electricity, Tesla was shocked — literally — to discover that the cat’s back became “a sheet of light and my hand produced a shower of sparks loud enough to be heard all over the house.” It was a pretty dramatic moment — his mother told him stop for fear he’d start a fire.

Ah the amazing feline inspires another human again.

Brave mew world: Lim Heng Swee’s cat landscapes – in pictures

I love it when you humans represent us felines in new and creative ways. Kuala Lumpur-based artist Lim Heng Swee has been creating digital artworks of cats camouflaged as landscapes since 2019.. “I found that the body shape of cats lying on the floor is very similar to the shape of a mountain,” he says. “So I decided to blend or hide them inside colourful minimal landscape art.”

Now the amazing thing is that Lim Heng Swee has never owned a cat but you don’t need to share your home with a feline to be inspired by us.

Cats’ Tree Hotel in Paris gives felines the purr-fect guest experience

The Cats’ Tree Hotel gives felines a classically Parisian guest experiences and to that this feline says, “Réservez ma réservation!”.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 7/20

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Please Note,

The scurrilous accusations and statements made by the felines in this blog
are unfounded and downright libelous. No feline was denied kibble, wet food or treats during my absence. . Yes, we do not have air conditioing because it is rarely needed in this neck of the woods and the temperatures during my absence from home were in the low 80s. The comments in this blog are greatly exaggerated.. The felines were well cared for.
Signed:
The human

Hello Furiends,
Despite the notation The Human snuck into our post today The Tribe has decided to continue with the blog post we had originally planned and allow all of you to make a judgment on our veracity and the horrible conditions we had to endure while she was away.

Here are a few pages from our diary and some other thoughts from each of us as we suffered through the harsh conditions created by The Human’s five day dereliction of her duties. Oh, and there are our usual news items as well. Enjoy!

This cat keeping cool is everyone in Britain right now

We have heard that many of our furiends are suffering from high temperature and are thankful that things have been very comfortable in our neck of the woods.  We’ve heard that temperatures are the highest they’ve ever been in Britain and in order to find some amusement in the sweltering temperatures, many humans are sharing photos of their cats attempting to keep cool.

The RSPCA included some tips to keep cats safe in a heat wave:

  • Use a pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet’s skin
  • Make sure they have shade
  • Give them constant access to fresh water
  • Put ice cubes in their water bowl
  • Give them damp towels to lie on

Junior the Coors Field Cat Gets a Forever Home, Furry Friend and New Name

It may be nice to be a famous baseball field cat but every cat needs a furever home. Junior, a cat born at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado now has his own humans and home and a new name as well. He is now known as Chip.

Chip was trapped in April when he was estimated to be 9 months old. Animal Rescue of the Rockies found a foster home. There was a concern that Chip might not take to people but that was short lived. When his new owner came to meet Chip he immediately demanded tummy rubs. A few days later, Chip walked into his new carrier and settled in for the trip to his new home.

In an Instagram post celebrating Chip’s adoption, his foster human shared that while he was being fostered, he made friends with the other cats in her care. In the montage, he can be seen cuddling with cats of all ages and helping kittens learn the ropes of being a cat.

Chip is now happy at his new home with his new name and a ginger brofur named Dale.

Chip is the only known surviving child of Socks, the original Coors Field Cat, who lives at the Colorado Rockies’ home stadium, according to KUSA-TV. Socks has her own Twitter account, where “she” celebrates her son’s adoption. The account is actually maintained by Shannon Hurd, a fan of the Rockies who also helps care for Socks. Socks has also been trapped and spayed by Animal Rescue of the Rockies, though she was too feral to tame, and still lives at the stadium.

A colony of feral cats has lived at Coors Field for decades, according to The Denver Post. And the cats don’t just interrupt ballgames in the most adorable way possible, they’re also known for helping keep the pest population down. Like the Rockies, the Coors Field clowder has its own fans.

Photographer Captures the Many Humorous Expressions of Cats

Photographer Elke Vogelsang, also known as “Wieselblitz,” is known for her photos of canines but now she has decided to venture into the world of felines.

Vogelsang is an admirer of cats as well as dogs and doesn’t understand the whole “cat vs dog” debate. Her new body of work features the expressions of felines.

She does admit that cats are more difficult to photograph than dogs but she still loves the process. She does have some tricks which were featured in an article by Colossal.

She will use a toy to get the cat’s attention and then press the trigger during that fraction of the second the toy is out of sight for the camera but the cat is still trying to catch it. She has many props that she uses to capture her amazing photos of the cats who model for her.

In Vogelsang’s studio shoots  which occur in the pet’s home, she builds trust bribes and catnip as a mood lifter. Hmmm, I must tell The Human to employ this tactic when attempting to photograph us. She keeps noise to a minimum and uses small leather strings attached to a stick that produce the sound of flapping bird wings. She says that every cat she photographs teaches her new tricks.

Cat reunited with owner 3 weeks after escaping kennel at Boston Logan Airport

I just love stories about felines reunited with their humans and this one about Rowdy is a great one. Rowdy, a four year old Bengal mix black cat, esaped from her kennel when her family arrived in Boston on a Lufthansa flight.  They were reunited on Saturday. Rowdy, who had evaded capture seemed to have decided she was done with the airport life and allowed herself to be caught by the Massachusetts Port Authority.

Rowdy’s human, Patty Sahli arrived in Boston late Friday night to be reunited with the feline.  She and her husband are moving back to the U.S. from Germany. According to Sahli, the door to Rowdy’s carrier fell open when baggage handlers went to grab her off the plane. “Her door fell open and she just saw a target of opportunity to get out and she wanted out,” Sahli said.

She wasn’t surprised that Rowdy had been spotted chasing mice as Rowdy has been an intrepid hunter all her life.

Rowdy’s human was not hopeful that Rowdy would be found but finding Rowdy and capturing her had become a community effort.

All kinds of humans, construction workers and airline staff were constantly on the lookout for Rowdy and the airport staff even put up a wildlife cameras in the area of the terminal where Rowdy had escaped. They also used safe traps. On Wednesday morning Rowdy sauntered into one of the safe traps and the rest is history.  She was taken to a vet, scanned and had a health check.

Rowdy will be heading to the rest of her family and her two furry feline siblings in Florida on Sunday. Her grateful human thanked everyone who asked what they could do to help and said they should support the Boston ARL and Charles River Alley Cats with donations.

Two beloved cats had to be rehomed, and their full-circle story is bringing people to tears

Furiends, you’re going to need a hanky for this story.

One of the saddest things to this feline is when humans shame other humans for having to rehome their kitty. There are many reasons why this might be done, our own Human suffered through this process and wrote about it in an article, When Forever Isn’t Forever. We have a wonderful program at our shelter called Home to Home that deals with this issue exclusively.

The Oregon animal hunger charity, through The Pongo Fund is doing this work as well. The organization shared a tale on its Facebook page of two felines, Penny and Lucy and the two women who loved these felines.

A lady asked the organization to rehome her cats ASAP. The cats were 12 years old and had lived with her for 10 years. The lady had cancer and decided she wanted to travel in the next year or two she had left to see family and friends and this would make it impossible to care for her cats. She didn’t want to let them go but with the clock ticking on her life, she had to make some hard decisions.

She adopted Penny and Lucy from The Pongo Fund a decade ago when Their previous human had world turned upside down. She’d lost her home and her marriage and had no place to live and didn’t know when she’d find one. She loved Penny and Lucy very much and asked The Pongo Fund to help her find a forever home for them.  Now, the wonderful woman who adopted those kitty friends ten years ago needed them to return the favor so someone else could give Penny and Lucy a good home.

She asked, if possible, that she could meet the potential adopter of her beloved felines. She wanted to give them all the cat’s toys and to let them know that sometimes Lucy got an upset tummy and how she would put Lucy on her lap, lay her on her back and rub her tummy it while she sang to her.

Her only request was that they stay together, these two sweet older girls who each had their own bed but most often ended up in the same one.

She wanted to make sure the organization and the potential adopter didn’t judge her harshly for what she was doing.  

Finding a home for two senior, bonded cats would be hard but they had one card to play.

They called a woman who used to live in the Portland area but moved away several years ago. She used to have two cats but needed to give them up when her life turned upside down. She now lived in a new state and had a great new life. Still, she always followed the Pongo Fund on Facebook and cheered them on. The Pongo Fund thought she’d be a great candidate to adopt Penny and Lucy, because ten years ago, she was the human who needed to let them go.

Over the years she had told the group that  if there was ever a cat needing a safe place to go, to please let her know.

Who would have known that she would be asked to take in the cats she had to let go ten years ago! She’d kept up with them and every now and then she’d receive an update on how they were doing. She didn’t want too much information, that was too hard, she said. But just to know they were safe and happy and most of all, that they were loved.

They called her and told her about the two cats who needed a home. During the course of the conversation as they described the cats and their situation to her, she began to cry. She knew they were talking about Penny and Lucy.  

A few days later she was in Portland. She met the cat’s former owner and the women hugged over their shared love of the two cats. One of them is back home with the two cats she didn’t think she’d ever see again and the other is traveling to family to spend the time she has left with them.

So my furiends, please don’t judge when someone has to rehome their kitty and, if you are able, please consider giving a kitty a furever home when their humans have to give them up.

Are Cats Happy in Apartments?

Hey there furiends,
The Human was asked to contribute to an article by the good folks at Rent.com so the FBD (Feline Board of Directors) at FelineOpines voted to allow her some space on our blog to share the article with all of you.

There are a number of her #Cat Writer’s Association furiends who share their knowledge as well. If you’re a kitty that resides in an apartment or have a furiend who does, there are some good ideas here. I purrfer to enrich my environment with a short stroll in the garden or a tour through the neighborhood in the cat stroller. What does your human do for you to get you some fresh air?

Click on the image above or here to read the full article.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 5/4

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends!
Spring is here! The Human caught Oliver sitting on the chair in the foyer staring at three very plump robins sitting on the railing of the front porch. Now bird watching is always fun but I think Oliver’s interest in these guys has a bit of a nefarious purpose due to the recently implement D-I-E-T.

And how is the diet going? I am handling the reduction in portions just fine. Oliver, not so much.

“You want to know how the dreaded D-I-E-T is going , well let me tell you.”
“The struggle and the deprivation is real!”

“For the love of all that is fair and just, someone toss me a few extra kibble bits, a treat, something!!”
“And that, my furiends, is how the D-I-E-T is going!”

“Hey Oliver, you know those delicious treats The Human said she wasn’t going to order anymore because they’re too fattening? Yeah, not in here.”

“Oh my whiskers, all this caterwauling about food! I’m just going to rest on The Human’s shoulder until Oliver settled into this idea of the D-I-E-T.”

And there you have it, I think I’m safe in saying it will be a while before Oliver is on board!

Let’s check out this week’s news.

Cat’s meeting with newborn will make you saw awwwwwwww.

I just love seeing human kittens and feline kittens interacting. This one is just too sweet!

Cat Jumps Onto Her Dad’s Shoulders For Bike Rides

This little fellow loves to sit on his human’s shoulders (kind of like Lily laying across our Human’s shoulders).

Cats need sunscreen when outside

Meowza! Did you know that white or pale colored cats are at additional risk of getting skin cancer? Sarah Elliot from the Central Veterinary Office for Cats Protection warns that white and pale-colored cats don’t have a pigment called melanin in their skin, which is what protects humans from sunlight. The risk of irreparable damage over time, by the sun’s ultraviolet rays can increase the risk of developing skin damage and cancer.

‘Cats with unpigmented noses or ears are also much more susceptible to sun damage and require additional sun protection.’

Sunscreen is helpful but before you slap that gooey stuff on us, be sure to check with your vet first because we felines are very sensitive.  If you do let us outdoors for brief periods, make sure there are places of shade for us to get away from the heat and for heaven’s sake, make sure we have access to clean water. Also you can set up a cool place for us to rest outside by wrapping a bottle in a towel and placing it near the outside place we like to sleep.

There is an excellent article about caring for us sun loving kitties and also includes tips of ingredients not to have in any sunscreen you might use on us.

If you’re a feline fashionista and not opposed to wearing hats, you might want to give that a try.

Cat rolls down the stairs this way at least five times a day

Posy, or Roly Posy as she’s known on Instagram makes a definite entrance when she uses the stairs in her house.

Welsh Siamese cat found hundreds of miles away in Essex Garage

 

Here’s one of those “cat travels far away from home with happy ending” story that I like so much.

Ashley, a two-year-old Siamese, escaped through an open window of her home in Glan Conwy, Wales on 15 April and was discovered six days later in a garage of the Monk family in Essex, England by their dog Bobby who scratched and cried and insisted that the Monk family follow him and see what was in the garage.

When the family saw Ashley, they contacted a local group that helps reunite pets with their humans.  The cat was scanned, microchip information was found and Ashley’s family in Wales received the happy call that Ashley had been found.

Ashley’s humans surmised that she made a break for it when the house cleaners left the bathroom window open. Ashley had a 15 foot jump from that window to the ground.

Ashley’s owner said that the entire village of 4,000 people were out looking for her, but couldn’t find her. They thought they’d never see her again.

Just how Ashley made her way from Wales to England remains a mystery although some have promoted the theory that she’d gotten into someone’s car.

Thank goodness this is another happy ending for a story about a wandering feline.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 4/13

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
We had a near disaster at our house this week and rather than writing about it I thought I’d tell you the story in photos.

The Great Chewy Debacle

It all started when Oliver realized the food bowls were empty

“Oh Meowza, we are in danger, Human come here at once!”

He marched himself to the pantry to assess the situation.

“Look in there, it’s practically empty!”

The Human tried to calm Oliver down, explaining that she would put in an order to Chewy. I, being the “take charge” kind of feline I am marched into the office to check on the progress of said order.

“Let’s see here, how do I get to the screen with the Chewy order? The lack of opposable thumbs really makes this kind of stuff hard!”
“Human, are you sure you sent this order?”

The Human (using a tone that we felt was a bit snarky and disrespectful) said yes, she did send in the order and no one would starve.

“Are you sure we’re not going to starve? Oliver says we are going to starve.”

The Human spent the rest of the day reassuring us that starvation will not happen but, as the hours passed, we felines decide we need to have a back up plan.

“If need be, I can whip up some feline Sushi.”
“And this sassy so and so might tide us over if we’re in a bind.”

After the first day passed and there was no sign of a chewy box, The Tribe realized that they would need to step up the pressure.

“Excuse me Human, while you’re up may we discuss the Chewy order?” “Oliver, I’m only up because you launched all of your 20 pounds on me and woke me up and NO, I will not discuss the Chewy order at 3:00am.”

We knew we could not let up.

“Good morning Human. You might want to check that Chewy order oh, and you may want to take a little more time with your makeup, you’re looking a little rough this morning.”

I felt it was quite rude that she mumbled something under her breath and stomped out of the room.

“Um. good morning Human. You know you could take that coffee into the office and check on the Chewy order.”

Then came that magical day when the doorbell rang and a loud thump was heard on the porch. We sat and watched The Human wrangle the heavy box inside. When she managed to get the box on the kitchen counter to make it easier to unpack, I arrived as Chief Snoopervisor.

“Boy are you lucky Human, this got here just in time. Feels like the order is correct.”

After I commandeered the box for the appropriate amount of time, I stepped away so she could take out the contents. Once she was done, I investigated the inside of the box.

Once the contents of the box and the box itself had been approved, The Tribe did a happy dance, confident in the knowledge that we’d managed to avoid starvation. Let this be a lesson to the humans belonging to all our furiends, “Stay on top of the Chewy order!”

Well, that was the drama we endured this week in our neck of the woods. I hope your week was drama free. Now let’s get on to this week’s feline news.

Turkey’s graceful Van cats give birth to 2022’s first kittens

The Turkish Van is an elegant feline and is noted for it’s pure white body and distinctive eyes. And these felines are cared for in the  Van Yüzüncü Yıl University (YYÜ), Van Cat Research and Application Center where they are taken under protection. A total of 23 mother cats and their 60 kittens reside in special rooms.

Last month, YYÜ Van Cat Research Center participated in the “Van Cat Beauty Contest” with two cats out of a total of 32 Van cats in the competition. Mia, with blue and green eyes, took home the first-place medal. It sounds like these cats have it made!

Cat food with activated AIM protein launched

Jasmine

This is a topic near and dear to our hearts. Our Angel Jasmine dealt with kidney disease for many years and The Human gave her SubQ fluids and medication regularly. Now, cats may benefit from a dietary supplement and a drug that will both allow the protein AIM (apoptosis inhibitor of macrophage) to properly clean and expel waste matter in a cat’s kidneys that is being combined in a cat food.

The food (named AIM30), which recently came out, and the veterinary medicine, expected in 2023 pending successful 2022 clinical trials and government approval, are the byproducts of Japanese immunologist Professor Toru Miyazaki’s decades of work on AIM, a protein which, when not properly activated, contributes to kidney problems in cats.

Miyazaki, a professor specializing in disease biology and immunology at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Medicine, discovered AIM protein in the1990s. His goal was to study AIM to treat human disease, but he also became very interested in feline AIM. He now has plans to leave his teaching career at the University of Tokyo so he can focus on AIM research at the nonprofit he intends to establish, the Institute for AIM Medicine.

AIM, also known as CD5-like (CD5L), is described as a secreted protein that can help identify and destroy dead cells and other debris in the body. Miyazaki’s research found that AIM attaches itself to IgM [immunoglobulin M] antibodies and from there proceeds to clean the body of waste and debris. 

In September 2021, Miyazaki ran into funding problems because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the success of feline AIM research at stake, thousands of Japanese cat lovers came to the rescue by sending almost US$2 million in donations to the University of Tokyo so Miyazaki’s work could continue. 

Realizing the impact his team’s work would have on so many lives, Miyazaki tapped a new pharmaceutical company as partner to speed up development of a prototype drug and start a clinical trial for felines with kidney problems. The drug’s efficacy will be assessed six months after trial and, if successful, will be subject to government approval. 

“I hope that ultimately veterinarians will give (cats) one or two jabs every year like vaccines,” Miyazaki told AFPBB News, the Japanese affiliate of AFP. 

Meanwhile, Miyazaki’s team and an unnamed pet food company worked to produce a cat food with the AIM protein in stable condition. Miyazaki said what works for humans as far as using dietary supplements with activated AIM protein also works in cats. The cat supplement, which will activate the non-functional AIM in the cat’s blood, promises to prevent kidney disease when mixed in cats’ food from the time they’re kittens.

The AIM-based therapeutic drug and food supplement for cats are expected to prolong cats’ lives by doubling their current life expectancy of roughly 15 years by promoting healthy renal function. Now that would be pawsome!

Slip-purrs! Cat becomes a social media star after owner makes him shoes made out of his own FUR

A cat went viral after his owner made slippers for him out of his fur and shared a photo online.

Minira, the one-year-old Minuet breed, lives with his owner in Japan and has racked up 85,000 YouTube subscribers with clips of his adorable antics. 

He also has thousands of fans on Twitter and Instagram.  In one recent post, his owner, who is not named, showed how she made Minira a pair of slippers out of she collects during his regular brushing.

‘Cat Daddies’ documentary

Men who love cats are manly men. Mye Hoang, a Los Angeles-based producer and director who’s earned writing and directing awards for several films, created a  new documentary “Cat Daddies.” The film’s goal isn’t so much to convince everyone to love cats, but to debunk myths of cats and the humans who love them.

 “Cat Daddies,” is scheduled to screen at Long Beach’s indie Art Theatre on Retro Row on Saturday, April 16. The event will be a fundraiser for Long Beach cat rescue The Little Lion Foundation (scroll down to Great Furballs of Fun).

“I think men have always been conditioned to love dogs over cats—this is further perpetuated by the images we see in movies and TV in the past, and from jokes about the ‘crazy cat lady,’ which I hope is going out of fashion,” Hoang said. “We see that changing now with social media and the internet—everyone has a camera at home, and we can see more authentic footage of how cats behave.”

Hoang herself said that she observed her husband transform from meh-on-meowsers into a staunch cat guy after they adopted their first cat. “He seemed to grow into a softer, more patient and compassionate person,” she said. “This inspired me to find more men who had undergone a similar transformation and document their stories.”

“Cat Daddies”’s pivotal character is David Giovanni, a disabled, unhoused person living in New York City with his beautiful brown tabby, Lucky. Both are determined to remain together despite a devastating medical diagnosis for David and an uncertain transitional housing status for him thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interspersed throughout David’s narrative are a crew of firefighters who successfully snuck a stray cat into the fire station, an actor and social-media influencer, a buffed and tatted stuntman, a truck driver, a Bay Area tech worker and a teacher whose cat becomes an Instagram sensation.

Cat Daddies through the years have embraced the joys and challenges of living with us felines. Mark Twain’s cats knocked his inkwells off the table and batted at the clacking bars on his typewriter. Ernest Hemingway loved cats; descendants of his many-toed polydactyls still live happily at his former home on Key West.. Ricky Gervais’ moggies appear frequently on his social media pages.   

 “The film may not convert everyone to love cats, but I hope seeing images of men caring for these little creatures wins over a few skeptics and becomes a catalyst for compassionate change,” Hoang said. Pun intended, surely.

And Speaking of Cat Daddies….

And speaking of Cat Daddies, a video of a man was shared in Reddit’s “Made Me Smile” forum on Tuesday by an anonymous poster under the name u/SnooCupcakes8607. The post has since generated more than 42,000 upvotes and over 500 comments from Redditors who declared the man the “best cat dad ever.”

The post also highlights one of the many ways in which cats show their affection for their owners—by cuddling up to them.

“After saving the kitties he won’t go anywhere without them anymore,” wrote u/SnooCupcakes8607 in the post’s title.

The video opens with the man walking into his bedroom while wearing a bathrobe with two front pockets, each of which contains a kitten. When the man approaches his bed, one of the kittens quickly jumps out of his pocket, but the other decides to stay put.

“Alexander don’t want to get out,” he said to the camera, referring to the one kitten still sitting in his bathrobe.

In the next frame, Alexander—who is still in the man’s pocket—stares up at the man as he brushes his teeth. Alexander stretches his paws up and lets out a big yawn, and in response, his owner absentmindedly reaches down and strokes one of his paws.

Needless to say, thousands of humans have been charmed by these pocket kittens and a few female humans are wondering where they can find a cat daddy like this!